Thursday, January 26, 2012

In the Light of Day

Ok, I left the Twin Sisters quilt on the design wall last night and when I looked at it this morning, I decided that I really do like it. The border really brightens it up (I really do love mitered corners) and the cornerstones really aren't too bad. As a reader commented yesterday, had I used brighter fabric for the cornerstones, it would have overpowered the flow of the quilt. And like my husband and  a couple of others said, the qult has an old or washed out look to it, which makes it feel comfy. Thanks Vrooman's Quilts for the reminder that we are our own worst critics!

Here's a better picture of the quilt.

Today, in between baking the 15 dozen cookies for an order and packing for the retreat, I'm putting the binding on my Big Ten quilt. This is a fun and big quilt (86" x 106") by Swirly Girls Designs. I'm loving the orange binding!

Met the Goal

I wanted to finish my Twin Sisters quilt top before I went on retreat and I was able to do that tonight. If you click on the picture it will enlarge it and it does look better. I really do need to learn to take better photos!

Adding the blue and floral stripe borders really helped brighten this up a bit; but I really wish I had used brighter fabric for the cornerstones. Oh well. It's ready to be quilted and then I'll bind it with the same blue that was used for the first border.

I do like the fact that this is now a more "user friendly" size for me (about 70" x 80"). Who knows, by the time it's quilted I might really like it.

The REALLY good news is that this is a UFO that is close to being DONE, DONE and DONE (pieced, quilted and bound)!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday

This is going to be a busy week, but I hope to get the borders added to the quilt that I put on the wall tonight. It's a UFO, of course, and it's called Twin Sisters, by Eleanor Burns from her Quilts Through the Seasons book. I've made a couple of these but this is the only one that is still in my possession. I think the fabric that I used was mostly from April Cornell's Sunshine line for Moda Fabrics and I know it's a few years old.

 I know exactly why I stopped working on this. I was disappointed in how it was turning out. I thought it was kind of dull and even if I added a narrow dark blue border and then the floral border, I just wasn't going to be thrilled with it. (The picture isn't the greatest, but I can't blame it all on my lack of photography skill. This quilt is pretty bland.) I'm probably still not going to be thrilled with it when it's done, but I will be thrilled with the fact that I will have finished another UFO.

Here's how I picked this project to work on. This evening I finished up my Weave It To Me quilt (my first DONE, DONE, and DONE of 2012), and I decided that I didn't want to start something new before heading off to retreat on Friday. That meant that if I was going to sew, it had to be on a UFO and it probably shouldn't require too much work. Since I've been working in blues and yellows lately and I have a pretty full light blue bobbin, I decided it was time to finish this puppy. I'm sure that if If don't like the end product, I can find someone who will.

Here's a few pictures of my Weave It To Me (front and back). I really like how this turned out, including the back. I don't usually piece my backs this way, but I had two large pieces of the floral that, pieced together, would be about 6 inches too small for a solid-fabric backing; so added a strip of the yellow fabric and it worked perfectly. I like how it compliments the front of the quilt.

In case you didn't see my post about the Missouri Star Quilt Company Iron Quilter contest results, be sure to take a few minutes and check it out. I'm thrilled to say that I won third place, but even more exciting is that there are LOTS of fabulous projects to see and put on your "to do" list. I think their site is down for repairs right now, but be sure to check back later. It's worth it!

If you need inspiration or just want to see some really talented quilters, check out the Design Wall Monday links at Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stash Report - Week 4

It was a good week! I've got two more quilts quilted so that used up some backing yardage. And even though I bought more backing fabric because it was on sale, it pretty much equals out - only 3/4 yard bought more than used. YEAH!! I love it when that happens.

Now, here's a warning about my next report. I will be going on a retreat to Holmes County (Amish Country) from Friday - Monday and of course no matter how much I think I'm NOT going to buy, I always do. My only saving grace is that I usually get a lot sewn and I hope that holds true this time.

Here's the report:

Fabric Added This Week: 12.00 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 12.0 yards
Fabric Used This Week: 11.75 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 38.50 yards
Net Fabric Used for 2012: 26.50 yard

UFOs Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound): 2
UFOs Still to Do: ??? (I really should make a list, but that would only upset me!)
New Quilts Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound):
Quilts Ready to be Quilted and Bound: 12
Quilts Quilted and Ready to be Bound: 2

Check out what other quilters are doing with their stash by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Third Place-Not Too Shabby!

Remember this post, when I said I was entering the Iron Quilter Contest put on by the Missouri Star Quilt Company? Well, they announced the winners this week and I won third place!! YEAH!!

Here's the quilt I entered.  According to the rules, we had to use at least one charm pack of Summer Breeze by Sentimental Studios for Moda Fabrics and anything else we wanted. For my quilt top, which measures 43" x 53", I used two charm packs and 1 3/4 yards of Kona Snow. That's it because I wanted simplicity. As soon as I saw the fabric, I knew I wanted to make this block because it reminded me of a trellis, but I was playing around with different layouts and border options. When I figured out a way to make the center blocks and the pinwheel border blocks at virtually the same time and with very little waste, I knew that's what I wanted to do. I really like how this turned out and I plan on tweaking it a bit and make another quilt, only larger. 

Here's a link to the top ten quilts. And here's a link to all the entries. There are some amazingly talented quilters out there!

Shot, I now have even more quilts to add to my "To Do" list!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Moving Right Along...

I'm still on the right track with gettin stuff done here. I finished the pumpkin wall hanging. It's all quilted and bound!

I had to do a little playing around with the backing fabric because the fabric I wanted to use was not cut straight and was a bit short in a couple of palces. Now I could have changed fabric, but I really wanted to use this one. It was a black and orange check that I don't know when or why I got it. I also knew that I probably wouldn't use it for anything other than a backing so this worked, almost. At most, I was only about 3/4 of an inch short (before quilting) and I really didn't want to piece a different backing. So, I decided to go ahead and quilt it and make a wide binding to flip around back and cover the problem area. Here are some pictures.

Here's what it looks like from the front. It's done and I'm happy, even though this is a crappy picture!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Twister Cats

It's done and I love the binding with just splashes of color! It's easier to see if you click on the picture and look at it when it's a bit larger.

After I finished this, I quilted the pumpkin wallhanging top I made right before Halloween. It's ready to have the binding attached and I hope to do that today. Again, it's small, 36" x 36" but done is done, right? Come back here tomorrow to see the finished product.  :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I decided that I really need to work on a couple of UFOs that are ready to be quilted and not start something new until I completely finish at least one project. So, last night I picked a UFO (a small one, mind you), and got to work. Here's my original post about the cat fabric. I did make a couple of donation quilts, but then a couple of months later, I found two more panels and decided to try something different with my Twister ruler. It's pretty sad, but this top was completed in the summer of 2010 and it's only 36" x 48" so I don't really know why it wasn't quilted.

It's ready for the binding, but that's the reason it is on my design wall and not in my hot little hands having the binding attached. I am trying to decide what to use for the binding. I thought about the same black that is in the quilt, but I think that will be boring. I only have bits and pieces of the fabrics that I used for the twisting pinwheels and I don't want to buy anything new. After trimming the backing fabric, I decided that I do have enough left over to use that for the binding, and even though it is directional and has words printed on it, I think it'll be fine. I like that the background is black and that there are lots of colors in it. Regarding the words printed on it, I think that since you're only going to see 1/4" it won't matter. What do you think?

Update: The quilt is finished! Check it out here.

To see what other quilters have on their design walls today go to Judy L's Patchwork Times!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stash Report - Weeks 2 & 3

Since I didn't report anything last week and I did sew quite a bit before I headed to Dayton, I have decent numbers to share. I've made two tops since the new year began (Margarita Sunrise#2 and Weave It To Me) and I finished my Tumbler UFO. There has been no fabric purchases so far this year, but that could change at any moment, as we all know. I think I have the backing fabric for all three of the tops that I recently finished so I need to get them quilted and count that fabric as "out the door."

What a perfect day to sew! It's cold outside but toasty in here, thanks to the fire in the fireplace. And the smell of soup simmering on the stove and Jack's bread rising in the kitchen is so wonderful! I've got to get a handwork project ready so I can sew and watch the football game later! As I said, it's a perfect sew!

Here's the report:

Fabric Added This Week: 0.0 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 0.0 yards
Fabric Used These Two Weeks: 26.75 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 26.75 yards
Net Fabric Used for 2012: 0.0 yard

UFOs Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound):
UFOs Still to Do: ??? (I really should make a list, but that would only upset me!)
New Quilts Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound):
Quilts Ready to be Quilted and Bound: 14
Quilts Quilted and Ready to be Bound: 0

Check out what other quilters are doing with their stash by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Even though the last couple of weeks have been a little crazy (holidays. travel, etc.), I have managed to get some quilty things accomplished. For the past two weeks I've had my Weave It To Me on the design wall and I finally finished the top. It measures 64" x 88" and I really do like it. I can picture this in just three fabrics for say, Christmas or July 4th . I may have to consider making this as a wall hanging. What do you think?  :-)

I pulled out my Tumbler quilt from almost a year ago. I began this at the annual January retreat last January and have done very little since. Well, I started working on it again and had hoped to get a bit more done and possibly finish it at this year's retreat. This is by no means my oldest UFO, but it is a UFO and for some reason it has been calling my name to work on it. Well, here it is. I guess I need to find another UFO to take on the retreat - like that'll be a problem!  :-) Thanks Linda for your layout. It's perfect and doesn't make me have to bind all those side twists and turns!

This quilt is kind of big, about 82" x 102" and it has 577 different fabrics in it! It's laid out 25 across by 23 down and each block is a different fabric. I used a single off-white fabric for the half blocks that finish off each row and frame the top and bottom. And finally, I used another fabric (remenants from a 2008 project) for the outside border. I know exactly which project in which I had used this fabric and I had long strips that I just couldn't bring myself to throw away. You can see the project here. Well, it's found a home and is a perfect fit. I only have about 6" x 3" left over. Awesome!!

This makes three tops that have been finished this year and I already had a bunch to quilt from the last couple of years. Perhaps I should concentrate on some quilting rather than piecing for a little bit.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted! Weave It To Me is still up on the design wall, but with more completed.

I still have to sew the side "points" on and the final border and then this puppy is ready to quilt!

I haven't done any sewing since Tuesday because I was out of town. My sister Ann and I went to visit Mom at another sister's house in Middletown and we had a wonderful time! Now it's time to get back to work her at home. :-)

If you have a few minutes, you should check out the Summer Breeze challenge quilts at the Missouri Star Quilt Company blog. Here's a link to the site.
There are some really neat projects. My quilt is #33, and if you've been reading my blog over the last month, you saw various stages of this quilt. The voting continues until Jan. 16th if you're interested. 

Check out what other quilters have on their design wall today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Design Wall Monday

It's the first Design Wall Monday of 2012. I've always enjoyed Design Wall Monday, even when I didn't regularly participate. There is so much talent here! Thanks Judy for hosting this.

Here's what's on my wall today. The pattern is Weave It To Me  by Black Cat Creations and all of this fabric is from my stash. YEAH!! What a great way to start the new year.

I'm just about half way through piecing the top and I'm really liking it. I cut the fabric Saturday and spent a little time piecing Sunday. I'd love to finish the top today, but we'll see how that works. The pattern is a bit confusing at first, but once I got going, it was fine. I didn't particularly care for the way the pieces were labeled (I thought it was confusing) so I made myself a swatch cheat sheet and remarked them and I was ready to go. 

Other than the background white, this quilt uses fat quarters. Now, I have a couple of yellow stripe fabrics and because of the stripe spacing and me wanting to have them line up, I did have to use more than a fat quarter for those fabrics. Also, this quilt has reminded me that not all fat quarters are created equal. I understand that the 18" x 22" is an approximate, but when a fabric is 18" x 19.75", that's a problem for a quilt like this. I was really glad that most of the fabrics I picked to use were not fat quarters, but rather leftovers from another project. But I digress. Anyway, it's always a good idea to check a pattern to see how much "wiggle room" you have in regards to the fabric requirements. It would be heartbreaking to get to the end of this (or any) project and be short by just a couple of inches. 

I also made another Margarita Sunrise quilt top this past weekend. Click here to see the first one I made, and check out the latest one below.

This isn't quilted yet, but I hope to be able to do that soon. I'd like to have a faster turn around time for my quilts this year than I've had in the past, but we'll see.

I have a question for you all. What are your thoughts on black or grey design wall coverings? As I discussed in this post, I've been making some changes to my design wall and I still haven't covered the wings. I've been waiting to do that until I decide about how to cover the main wall. I've noticed that when taking pictures lately, the blocks often get washed out because of the white background. Of course I'm worried about when I use dark fabric in a quilt and that those would blend in too much if I use a dark background. (See the Margarita Sunrise above.) I just don't know. Thats why I thought maybe a grey would work. I'd appreciate any thoughts you might want to share. Thanks in advance!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pay It Forward

I've been thinking about the giveaways that I had during the month of October as part of Blogtoberfest. I had a lot of fun doing those and am thinking about doing more during 2012.

I belong to an on-line group and a number of people participated in a Pay It Forward event. I love that idea and will come up with the specifics and let you know soon.

Stash Report - Week 1

It's Sunday and it's January 1st, so all the In and Out numbers are zero, but I'm reporting anyway.

I'm thrilled with last year's numbers and even though I doubt I'll be able to top them, I'm going to try. Quite honestsly, it really isn't about how much fabric I use or how many quilts I make. It's about accountability and continuing to be productive. There have been times in the past that I quilt like a maniac and then do nothing for weeks and weeks. For some reason, that doesn't happened nearly as much when I'm posting stash reports.

I still have a goal to finish up the UFOs around here, but not in any real order. I'd like to say that I'll finish one a month, but I doubt that will happen. Last year I finished 12 quilts, but not one a month and I'm ok with that. They're done and that's what matters.

Here's the report:
Fabric Added This Week: 0.0 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 0.0 yards
Fabric Used This Week: 0.0 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 0.0 yards
Net Fabric Used for 2012: 0.0 yard

UFOs Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound): UFOs Still to Do: ??? (I really should make a list, but that would only upset me!)
New Quilts Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound):
Quilts Ready to be Quilted and Bound: 11
Quilts Quilted and Ready to be Bound: 0

Check out what other quilters are doing with their stash by going to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

2011 ~~~2012

I feel comfortable in saying that 2011 was pretty sucessful quilt-wise. Thirty-eight (38) new quilts were started and finished, twelve (12) UFOs were completely finished (most of them have already found new homes), and over 200 net yards of fabric used. Not too bad!

I have to insert a note here about the 38 new quilts. That number does includes the 15 Honor Flight quilts that were pretty small (36" x 48"). These numbers are for me. They help me keep track of what I do or have done. No one should compare themselves to others and try to "keep up with the Jones". I had a couple people comment that a quilt that small shouldn't count as one quilt, but hey, why not? I had to do everything the same as if I was making a bed size quilt from the planning, designing, piecing and quilting. I did all of that in less then 2 months. Thinking back, I'm really kind of stunned that I did all of them in less than 60 days. It just goes to show you that when you put your mind to something, it can be done.

As you can probably tell, of all the projects I worked on during 2011, I am most proud of the Honor Flight quilts. These were such an honor to make and help distribute. I felt very close to my Dad while making these, and I'm not ashamed to say that I cried while I watched these veterans return from D.C. and join us in the hanger for the closing ceremonies. It was truly an amazing thing in which to participate. (Thanks Jeanette for telling me about it!)

I made some quilts in 2011 that pushed me to try new things. Glacier Star was probably the most obvious, but there were others. My Hunter's Star was a challenge (new ruler), as was working in basically all scraps on a number of projects. Check out pictures here, herehere and here. I am was a bit of a control freak and really struggled making scrap quilts. Well, that certainly has changed! I love making scrap quilts. It's so exciting to throw caution to the wind and not really know how it's going to look when you're done. Of course, there were times when it just didn't work and I spent some quality time with the seam ripper. :-)

Besides quilting, I participated in my fifth (5th) 3-Day Breast Cancer walk and even though I had some issues with dehydration during the walk, Lynn and I reached our goal of raising $5000 and that's all that matters. Since the first time I walked in 2007, I continue to be amazed at the people I meet during those weekends. Yeah, I understand that walking 60 miles with someone, sleeping in tents and peeing in porta-johns has its own special bonding technique, but I've met some of the most incredible people during those walks. Whenever I'm feeling bogged down or sorry for myself I just have to spend a little time thinking about those weekends and it doesn't take long for me to really put things back in perspective.

I'm proud to be part of the Girls' Night Out Charity and organize the Bras for a Cause. This year's event raised over $50,000 for four local cancer centers! It's a lot of work, but well worth the effort. I continued to volunteer for Stein Hospice and find that the time I spend with the patients and their families helps me probably more than it does them.

On the home front, 2011 was a busy year. Lynn and Ty got engaged, Zach graduated from paramedic school, Jack started another year of teaching ESL, and Nikki and Zach announced that they are execting another baby in early April.

2012!! There'll be a new baby and a new son-in-law! WooHoo!!!  :-)

I know there will be surprises and challenges; but I plan to take each day and be thankful for what I have and "just deal" with the problems. I am excited to learn new things, quilt-related included, and hope that I succeed in helping at least one person learn something new and enjoy their life just a little bit more.

I don't make resolutions, so I won't say that I'm going to use "X" amount of fabric or make "Y" number of quilts. I'd like to lose weight, but I'm not going to say how much or in what time frame (that never really works for me). Instead, I think I will strive to be healthier in 2012 than I was in 2011. I will continue to volunteer, but I don't know how many hours and in what capacity. I seriously doubt I will walk the 60 miles again this year, but I will be involved somehow. I'd like to continue teaching some quilt classes, but I don't know when, where or what.

As you can tell, 2012 promises to keep me busy but I'm not quite sure how. I will simply do what I can and hope that what I do makes an impact. I think that's really all I can ask, don't you think?