Monday, April 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday

As expected, not a lot of quiting was done here this past week.

Ronan's quilt from this post is quilted and ready for binding. That's what's on my wall today. I have the binding strips cut, but not pieced together yet. My goal is to get that done today, attach it to the quilt and start the hand-stitching tonight. We'll see how that works.  :-)

I did get some handwork done. The binding is completely done on this quilt. (You saw a glimpse of this quilt here.) This is a very old UFO (at least six years), and it feels great to have it done.

I had finished the top a long time ago and even pieced the back. Thinking I was going to quilt this on my home machine, I didn't worry too much about the fact that the back wasn't too much larger than the front, or the fact that the back was pieced and there was a definite need to layer this acurately to center the front and back. Well, after it had been sitting in my "To Be Quilted" tub for a year or two, I took it to my friend Kare's house soon after she got her HQ 16 because she was going to teach me to quilt. This was definely NOT the quilt on which to learn so it sat there for at least three years. Seriously, there was probably one 1 -1 1/2 inches of excess backing on all sides. That was it! I certainly know better now. 

I finally bit the bullet and quilted this thing in mid-March while Kare was gone. I used a varigated thread on top and bottom and quilted random swirls over the entire thing. I know the thread was from Superior Threads, but I forget the name or number and the spool is at Kare's. :-( 

Here's a close up of the quilting.

And the back. Bad picture, but you get the idea.

I really like the results and am so glad it's done!

I recently had someone ask me why I make so many quilts. I tried to explain, but finally decided that a picture is worth a thousand words. What better explanation than seeing two young girls enjoying the fruits of my labor while Uncle Jerry reads to them!

The kids will be here for another week, and I'm so happy! I look forward to many more photo ops that include quilts.  :-)

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A New Quilt

While I was at Tennessee Quilts, for the Judy Niemeyer workshops, I won a door prize. I won a pattern by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts called Paper Roses.

I like the pinwheel look of this and decided that I would make it "some day." Well, the next day, Denise, Mary and I went shopping at the Sewing Bee Quilt Shop and I found a charm pack that I thought was just adorable. It's called Ten Little Things by Moda and I figured it would work for the above pattern to make a baby quilt. Afterall, I had a new grandchild on the way and I didn't know the gender. 

Well, to make a long story short, "some day" came sooner than later and I just finished to quilt top.

I think this will be ok for a little boy, don't you? I will probably have Nikki and Zach make that decision and then try to get it quilted right away. I really didn't want Ronan to have to wait for his quilt, like Sadie did. 

Monday, April 23, 2012


I fixed the problem area of my Summer Solstice. I unstitched all the "offending" points and resewed that strip. This is so much better!

I decided that since I was doing this much, I might as well finish the top. Besides, the embroidery machine was still working away. Here's the completed top, complete with a possibe/probable binding option (right top corner and partial side).

Design Wall Monday

Summer Solstice is still on the wall, but with the border units sewn together and anxiously waiting to be added to the rest of the quilt.

I was able to sneak in some quilting time, but I'm thinking I shouldn't have. You know what they say about working on something when you're tired or can't give it your full attention. Well, what they say is true. I made a mistake and now I have to fix it!

First of all, I decided that I wanted to make a little change. Do you notice the four dark triangles in the center of the border units? Well, in Judy Niemeyer's original design the fabric used is the same as the background for the New York Beauty blocks, or something very close. I decided that I didn't want it to blend so much and that I wanted to repeat one of the black fabrics from the center star. No problem, right? Wrong!! 

Check out the picture below. I REALLY don't like how the points of the triangle and the New York Beauty block don't line up. If I had used the original fabric it would have been fine, but since there is so much contrast I think it sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm so lucky I put this on the wall and took a look at it before sewing all the units together (notice the pins in the photo). I just wish I had sewn one and then looked at it instead of sewing all four. Live and learn, right?

It really won't be a difficult fix. I plan to increase the size of the triangle and re-draft where it is sewn to the adjoining piece. It will be a piece of cake to fix, as soon as I get it all unsewn. A date with the seam ripper. I can't wait! I think I'll do this while the embroidery machine is running a bit later today. I don't like to leave the room when I'm embroidering so it will give me something to do.

Even though it's really not on the design wall, I have two quilts that are ready to have the binding hand stitched down to the back. I like to have at least one hand project ready at all times in case I want to sit and watch a ballgame or something. :-)

The Pink Star quilt that I mentioned yesterday is on top and the other quilt is a Puzzle quilt that I made quite a while ago while I was at a retreat. When I pieced the backing, I knew that I didn't have a lot of wiggle room, but I figured it was ok since I was planning on quilting this on my home machine. Well, that never happened. As a matter of fact, this quilt has been at Kare's house waiting for me to quilt it, but I was afraid to do it because I knew that the pieced backing needed special attention and I really didn't know how to handle it. Well, I bit the bullet and quilted it. There are some not so great spots, but overall it didn't turn out too bad. I struggled a little bit to load and keep the backing and top aligned properly with each other, but I'm ok with the results. I'll post pictures of the front and back when the binding is complete.  

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stash Report - Weeks 16 and 17

I've been using up some of the massive amount of fabric that I reported as "In" in my last stash report. I still have a lot to use, but I'm out of the red for now. I'm really not stressing about this. I know it'll all get used - eventually. I'm please with my numbers here, especially the five UFOs completely done (and three more that are quilted and ready for binding) and the nine new quilts completely done.

Of course, the fact that I have eleven quilts that are ready for quilting is a bit daunting, but I'll get to them. It's just that I seeem to always find a new project that just calls out to me and says "Joanne, you need to make me. Put aside other things and move me to the front of the list. NOW!" Well, as you all probably understand, you just have to listen to the voice of reason fabric and do what needs to be done. I admit it. I lack quilting discipline. Maybe there should be a support group for those of us with this affliction. Maybe I should work on this. Maybe.....see there I go again. Distraction!!

Back to the stash report. I finished the Amazon Star top and that used a lot of fabric, and I'm close to finishing the Summer Solstice. I finished up a couple of little projects and those are already gifted; plus I got the binding machine sewn to the Pink Stars quilt that Lynn started a number of years ago and I finally finished. I don't think I ever showed a picture of that. Heck, I don't even find a picture of the quilt at all, so I'll try to remember to snap a shot of that and post a picture later today or tomorrow.

I've been working on a couple of other projects that have deadlines and that has defintely put a kink in my sewing time. My goal is to finish up all those things in the next day or so and get back to sewing. Well, maybe not actual productive sewing, but some sewing. Jerry is coming to visit this coming weekend and Nikki and family will be arriving here in a few days. I just have to spend time being Grandma.  :-) 

Here's the Report:
Fabric Added These Two Weeks: 0.00 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 150.25 yards

Fabric Used These Weeks: 28.50 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 160.375 yards
Net Fabric Used for 2012: 10.25 yard

UFOs Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound): 5
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): 9
Quilts Ready to be Quilted and Bound: 11
Quilts Quilted and Ready to be Bound: 3

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Expectations vs. Reality

I tend to set my quilting expectations too high and I am often disappointed when I don't reach them. I need to learn to be more realistic. I just get so excited to finish projects, especially the ones I love, and I don't account for interruptions and life in general. If I just didn't have to take time to eat or sleep, I would get more done. Of course, after I spend a day volunteering with my hospice patients I tend to be pretty interspective and realize that I have a pretty darn good and easy life!

I had expectations of finishing my Summer Solstice by today, but in reality I don't think that will happen until after this weekend. I have too many other things that have to take priority. :-(

Here's what I have so far. I'm so close.....

Monday, April 16, 2012


I decided to stop talking about finishing the Amazon Star quilt and just do it! Here's the result.

I was going to try to get a picture outside hanging from the clothes line or something so you could see the entire quilt, but it is way too windy to do that. As a matter of fact, my friend Kare just said that the wind picked up their trampoline and moved it accross the yard! I'm on the lookout for Dorothy and Toto and she's looking for Miss Gulch.  :-)

Design Wall Monday

Wow, this past week has been very busy/crazy!

Last Monday, I showed the progress of my Amazon Star and I had hoped to spend some quality time finishing that, but of course that didn't happen. I did have the chance to do more, but not finish. Here's where it stands. I only have the final two corners to add, and I just need to take the time to do them.

UPDATE:  Click here to see a picture of the finished quilt top.
It's funny but there are two fabrics that I was unsure about - the lightest green and one of the light background fabrics in the outer border. As usual, I fret for a while and then end up liking them. Do you do that? Anyway, I'm loving this quilt and have begun thinking about the actual quilting part. Any ideas?

Here are a couple of things that had to move to the front of the line, thus pushing the Amazon Star back a bit. Here's a quilt that I finished and quilted for my friend Mary. She needed it for a baby shower this past weekend. She picked up this fabric at Tennessee Quilts while we were there for the Judy Niemeyer workshop. This is so quick and easy. I may just have to make one or two of these. They make great baby gifts and I should always have one or two on hand, don't you think?

I had fun quilting this. I outine-quilted around the fish, fins, and tails and then mimicked the seaweed in the borders. The binding is the fish fabric and I think it works perfectly to bring out the colors. Love this!!

Ok, I also finished Quinn's birthday quilt and we gave it to her when we were there this past weekend. Besides the quilt, we also gave her a couple of Dr. Suess books. I think she likes it!

This is just a panel to which I added borders, but it it so darn cute. I usually don't enjoy working with panels. I often find that they are not printed on grain and that the quilt looks skewed when it's complete, but this panel wasn't too bad. Besides, I know this will be used and loved rather than critiqued and that's what's most important. I think the picture below proves my point. I guess this quilt is well on its way to doing its job. It put everyone to sleep! Isn't Ronan so cute? I love new babies!

I took a bunch of pictures this weekend and I'm still going through them. I'm the first to admit that I'm really a bad photographer.  There are pictures where I was trying to get Nikki, Quinn, Sadie and Ronan together, but someone either has their eyes closed, is moving, or I've cut off the top of their head. ARGGGGG. Can I blame it on the fact that I was trying to work with a newborn, and two kids under the age of four? It's worth a try. Besides, Nikki has some pictures she's going to forward to me and I know they're good.  :-)

 Even though I don't have the pictures to prove it, we had a wonderful time. What could be better? I was with my husband, two daughters, three grandkids and even got to spend time with Mom! 

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's a Boy!

Ronan Gene Marshall arrived early this morning!

Isn't he beautiful? Ok, I might be a bit biased., but I think he's just wonderful!   :-)

He was born at 12:59 this morning, at home, as planned. All went well and I can't wait to see him. I'll provide more details later.

I need to start working on a quilt for this little guy, don't you think?!?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I'm finally getting around to working on the Amazon Star quilt again. The center is sewn together and anxiously awaiting the corner units to be added. They are sewn together, and have been since Monday but I just haven't had time to work on it. Well, tonight I have some time.  :-)

I'll post pictures tomorrow of the progress. Keep  your fingers crossed!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I worked on 3 projects while I was at Tennessee Quilts for a workshop with Judy Niemeyer and this Amazon Star is one of them. This is just the center, but I have all the components made, so I just need to sew them together.

I am making this quilt for Jack and will give it to him for our anniversary. He doesn't usually read my blog, so I feel pretty safe in posting a picture here. Of course, that means he'll probably read this post! Anyway, I'm excited about giving this to him. The picture isn't the greatest, but the colors are green, purple, cream and off-white and this baby is big - 104" x 104". 

I plan to pull out the other two projects I worked on at the workshop (Summer Solstice and Bali Bed Runner) and hope to gt them done relatively soon. I'll keep you posted on that.

To see what other quilters are working on, go to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stash Report - Weeks 8-15

YIKES!! I haven't posted a stash report in a very long time, and I only made two posts the entire month of March. I've been very busy and now I'm trying to play catch-up. It's really not working too well, but I'll keep plugging along. Hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to take and post pictures of the quilts on which I've been working. (Don't hold your breath, though.)

I spent 9 days at Tennesee Quilts at a workshop with Judy Niemeyer and that was wonderful! I had every intention of posting pictures during my stay, but I didn't have to cord needed to download the pictures from my camera. It was on the ironing station, right next to some papers that I printed out and planned to take with me.  :-)

Anyway, even though I haven't been posting, I've been keeping a pretty good log of my stash ins and outs. I have to double check it to be sure I haven't missed anything, but I'm going to go ahead and post what I have and make corrections as needed.

Now, before you look at these numbers, remember that I worked on three projects during the workshop in Tennessee (Summer Solstice, Bali Bed Runner, and Amazon Star) and I've included the fabric in for those, but not the out because I don't include them until the top is complete. Also, I had the opportunity to have Judy Niemeyer pull fabric for kits while I was there so I just HAD to buy them. She pulled for Raindrops and Christmas Celebrations Tree Skirt, but I also bought a kit for Summer Solstice using Kaffee Fassett fabrics. I also bought a kit for Pauline Smith's Vintage quilt from Kaffee's Quilts in Sweden book.

Ok, that last paragragh was written in order to mak me feel better about my numbers. Thanks for letting me try and delude myself. Didn't work, but it was worth a try.  :-)

Here's the report:

Fabric Added These Weeks: 124.75 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 150.25 yards
Fabric Used These Weeks: 69.625 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 131.875 yards
Net Fabric Used for 2012: -18.375 yard

I have to check out these numbers so they are the same as the last report in February.
UFOs Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound): 4
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): 2
Quilts Ready to be Quilted and Bound: 13
Quilts Quilted and Ready to be Bound: 1

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