Monday, August 31, 2009

Review of August 2009 Quilting Goals

Here it is the end of the month. I must say I'm pleased with what I accomplished. I don't know if I set more realistic goals than I've done in the past or simply stayed focused for the most part. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
* At least 2 sets of blocks for the SBS Brown/Blue Swap
The 3rd set was completed 8/9
* Keep up with the SBS BOW
5 blocks turned in for August
* Finish star blocks to go with birthday swap blocks
not only finished the blocks, completed the quilt top 8/22
* Work on Josh's quilt
completed hand quilting block #10 and started block # 11
* Make up mind about applique on table runner
decided against applique, repaired quilt, made and attached label 8/27
* Work on DWR - top needs to be done by mid-October
attached row of 5 rings, repaired previous work and made more rings
* Make rest of Birthday Swap Blocks
completed them on 8/12 and addressed envelopes for mailing
* Keep scraps cut up
no new scraps added to scrap bucket

* Quilt a baby quilt to get a finish!
This is the one thing I did not get done.

In addition to the above, I finished another baby quilt top (blocks already made) and I completed the shop sample for the Kansas Spirit BOM for my LQS.

What's On My Design Wall? - 8/31

It's another row of partially completed rings for my Double Wedding Ring quilt. Last week I added the row of 5 rings and fixed those spots where the seam was too narrow. I discovered one spot that I completely missed the background!

Before I can go any further, I need to cut more pieces, but first I'll do this week's SBS BOW.

Check out other design wall by visiting Patchwork Times.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stash Report Week # 35

Nothing in -- that I'm going to count this week. I've got 2 1/2 reusable grocery sacks of fabric out in the car from a friend. She was clearing her stash of stuff she'll never use and wonders why she bought. There was more, but I did my best to limit myself to stuff I really liked and thought I would use. Once I bring it inside I'll count it.

Outbound, I did a bit better. I cut, with my new templates, some backgrounds and melons for my DWR and I pulled sashing, cornerstones and binding from my stash to complete a baby scrappy quilt. I've selected the backing, but until it gets sandwiched, I won't count it either.

Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 168.25 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 1.43 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 67.236 yards

Net Stash: +101.014 yards

See how others are doing over at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Off the UFO List and on the To-Be Quilted List

Last night I pulled out a set of 5-patch blocks which I made from my pre-cut fabrics Spring of 2008. I'm not sure that this was the original intent, but they didn't look right w/o the cornerstones and sashing.

I've made the binding from the cornerstone fabrics, and dug around in my stash to find a piece of fabric large enough for the backing. I found this:

Now to get it quilted -- one of these days.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cranberry Wishes Table Runner - A Finish

The table runner is finished.

I'm sure you are thinking haven't I seen this table runner before? What wasn't finished on it then?

Three things.

1 - I had to decide if I was going to do the raw edge applique.
2 - I found a strip which did not get caught and it needed to be repaired.
3 - It needed a label.

I choose to skip the applique because if I use this on the table, I want dishes to sit flat. That and generally speaking applique is not something I do.

The repair took a bit of thought. I came up with a solution, which although is visible to me, shouldn't really be visible to anyone else -- especially if I've got the table set on top of it.

The label I printed a label and then 'bound' it with the backing fabric. A bit of sticky fusible to hold it in place while I hand stitched it down.

This project is done!

A Solution I Can Live With

In the last 24 hours or so, numerous individuals have commented on my DWR delemma. Not only did I blog about it here, I posted the question to a couple of my e-mail groups and the QIAD forum.

First, I thank you for the compliments and comments on the quilt top. I still have a ways to go, but I'm confident this UFO will grow up to become a loved quilt.

Overwhelmingly the majority said to leave it alone. The few who said 'fix it' did so with the qualification that I had to do what I thought best and could live with. Someone recommended watching Sharon Schamber's Beginning Quilter: Magical Basting which I did. Very interesting and when I get to the top done, I will review this video again.

Since I am torn between seeing my progress as a quilter and knowing I tend to lean toward the perfectionist side. I still needed to do something.

I flipped the quilt top over.

Look at that seam. The muslin caught maybe an eighth of an inch. Since I plan to USE this quilt and wash it, I sure don't want the seams to pull out. I've tried to get away with tiny seams before and I had to still need to repair them after the quilt was washed a couple of times.

As it turns out some of the worst places have these weird seams. My solution is to fix the seams so they have a better chance of not ripping out. I've fixed two and there are a couple of more, including the one pictured above.

I think this is a solution I can live with.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5 More to Go

Apparently I can't count. Back in July I have a post with this same title. It's was a reference to the number of pieced blocks I had left to quilt on my nephew's quilt. Well, I've finished the rail fence block -- it only took a month - and now I really only have 5 more blocks to go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I've just added 5 rings to the right hand side of the Double Wedding Ring. I still need to sew the 4-patches, but I thought I'd lay it out to see how it looks.

Awesome! if I do say so myself.

However, everyone is their own worse critic.

The last time I had this quilt out and did any significant work on it (2 or 3 years ago), I saw all my flaws - puckers and lumps and all of those other things which you hope no one sees. I decided at the time, if I went back and fix them, I'd end up taking the entire top apart.

I'd like to quilt to lay somewhat flat, so, I'm leaning toward adding the rings log cabin style. I added these 5 rings to the right, so I'll add 6 rings to the top, 6 rings the left side, 7 rings to the bottom and then 7 rings to the right side making the top 7 x 8 rings.

But as I look at the quilt, the 3rd ring from the left on the 2nd row has got way more 'poof' than I'm going to be able to hide with quilting. There's also a melon or two which need significant help.

So what to do?

Should I decide which two or three spots simply have to be fixed and limit myself to them, or leave well enough alone as a testament to how my skills have improved?

SBS Block Due 8/30

B-9 Irish Chain

I got a buy this week, as I did this block back in March 2007. I should do another block - I've got another 107 to go, but I'm focused on the DWR. Maybe later in the week when I need a break.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's On My Design Wall? - 8/24

For those of you expecting the Blue and Yellow Stars, I’m happy to report I finished that top last week.

I am now on to my oldest UFO, the anniversary Double Wedding Ring. The saga thus far is told in this post.

Saturday night I ripped apart the arcs which had not already been sewn to the melons. Sunday I carefully trimmed the pieces with my new templates. By dinner I had reconstructed 4 arcs, sewn them to the melons and attached the melons to the background. I already had 4 rings sewn together in the box, so I added my new ring to the row.

I've got to cut more pieces. Before I can do anymore.

Over the next few weeks, this will be my main project, with a few SBS BOW and swap blocks thrown in. I have 26 more rings to piece before I can call this quilt a top.

To see what others have on their design wall, check out Judy's blog at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stash Report Week # 34

No fabric in this week.

Fabric going out included the borders on the Kansas Spirit BOM, the setting triangles on the Birthday Quilt and a tiny bit on this week's SBS BOW

This week (and for the next several weeks) I'll work on my DWR, so there will be no need for fabric to come in. Since I count when I cut the fabric, I need to stop and measure what I have left in my bucket for the quilt and then figure out how much I use each week.

Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 168.25 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 3.3.188 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 65.806 yards

Net Stash: +102.444 yards

Check out who others are doing with their stash over at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Double Wedding Ring

This is my Double Wedding Ring (DWR) Quilt - or what I've got done so far.

In September 1989 I signed up to take a Double Wedding Ring quilt class. I had previously made my first quilt in 1980 and I had been sewing for nearly 15 years, so I figured I could make this quilt with proper instruction.

The quilt was originally to be finished for our 5th wedding anniversary, which was 14 months away. I thought this was extremely do-able, although the ladies at the quilt shop had doubts since I didn't have much had next to no quilting experience.

We used Mary Ellen Ingle Hopkins' book The Double Wedding Ring Book.

I had no experience picking out multiple fabrics for a quilt. I knew I wanted blue and burgundy. The ladies at the shop had to guide me toward texture, print size and color value.

The class met at least twice, maybe more -- at this point I can't remember. I do remember an experienced quilter, who had made a DWR, taking the class. She said she was taking the class to 'force' her to get the quilt underway. It seems it was to be a wedding gift and the wedding was just two or three weeks away!

Anyway, I enjoyed the class. By the end of the class I had two rows sewn together. I continued to work on the quilt after the class was over for a while. However, life got in the way of completing it. We moved the following summer and the quilt got packed up. It was not finished for our 5th anniversary.

We moved a couple of more times and I would pull it out and work on it for a bit. My next goal was to finish it for our 10th anniversary, then 15th, and 20th. Well, it's still not finished.

I really want to finish this quilt for our 25th anniversary -- 15 months from now. Again I think this is do-able -- probably more so now than it was then. To that goal my intermediate goal is to get the top done by mid-October so I can put it on the quilting frame. Yes, I want to hand quilt this top.

So I've got to get piecing. Here's my most recent problem.

A combination of bad cutting and seam allowances. The arc on the bottom was cut out with scissors. The one on the top is an arc I ripped apart and re-cut using a rotary cutter and the templates my friend's husband made me. That's nearly 3/4 of an inch difference at the top of the arc. No wonder the newly cut pieces weren't going together well. I've checked and the new arc is the right length, so I think I'm on the right path.

I'll post my progress. Perhaps this time I won't get distracted.

Birthday Quilt Top

This afternoon I finished sewing the Birthday Blocks and Stars together. I really need to settle on a name for this quilt so I know what I'm talking about.

I used my Flip-n-Set ruler to make the side triangles and they came out so much better than if I cut a large square and cut it diagonally twice. The packaging on the back said to cut a square the same size as the finished block then cut it in half diagonally. As a result it's about an inch too large - but easy enough to fix.

Originally, there was a border planned for this quilt -- not that I had settled on a border. But I think I'm going with my DH's idea of just binding it. It measures approximately 68 x 86.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SBS Block Due 8/19

K-9 Barrister's Block

60 Pieces!

24 HST triangles finishing at 3/4" --- yes, less than 1-inch

Just don't look at my points.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kansas Spirit BOM

Here's the quilt top I was working on all weekend and which was on my design wall in pieces yesterday. The last border was added to the quilt about 6 this evening which gave me just enough time to do a quick photo session and get to the shop before it closed. (I promise the quilt is 'square' and really doesn't have lumps. It was the flannel behind the quilt and the hangers making it hang weird.)

The pieced blocks are from the book Kansas Spirit, by Jeanne Poore. Connie at Heritage picked out 12 of the 15 blocks to use as a Block of the Month and she choose to use a variety of Kansas Troubles fabrics to use for the blocks. Tomorrow participants are picking up the Courthouse Steps and then there are two more blocks.

This layout is not in the book, but rather one I pulled together. This will be the choice for the smaller of the two quilts (approx. 65 x 83). I've got about half of the instructions written for this layout. There will be a larger choice finishing at approximately 89 x 108 which I still have to write. I've got it drawn in EQ.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What's On My Design Wall? - 8/17

Last week I slowly got the Blue and Yellow stars sewn together into rows. Got to the setting triangles and realized I hadn't washed the fabric. So, while it was in the wash, I took off for Heritage to pick up the finishing fabric for the Kansas Spirit BOM.

Boy did I have a scare when I got the first few blocks up. The contrast between the setting squares and the BOM squares was huge. I felt much better once I got the side setting triangles up -- or at least the pieces for them up.

Yesterday I asked my DH about the quilt. The last time he had walked through the room I had the stars up. He was surprised that I had as much of the quilt done since it was a pile of fabric around 4 the previous day. It occurred to me later that he thought I had made all of the blocks and not just the setting blocks.

As soon as I get permission to post a picture of the quilt, I will. In the meantime see what other quilters have on their design wall by visiting Judy's blog at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When Music and Quilting Collide...

...around here you get an original piano composition by my husband which is illustrated by some of my quilts and quilt tops.

My DH is a instrumental music teacher. For the past 10 years he taught beginning 5th & 6th graders string and band instruments. Prior to that he taught at the high school level. Additionally, he has been a member of the Overland Park Civic Band and other ensembles.

To hear some of more of his original compositions or to hear some of his groups perform click here.

Stash Report Week # 33

It was a simple task. Go to the LQS and get the 4 5/8 yards of fabric for the finishing kit for the Kansas Spirit BOM that I'm writing the finishing instructions for. True, I'll need to get border fabric for my Blue and Yellow stars to finish it, but I don't have to do that right now. There's plenty on my plate that I want to finish that I have all the fabric for. But since I was in the store, I wandered back to the clearance shelves to see if anything on them would work for the stars. Maybe - but I'll need to have the quilt with me before I buy. As I walk out of the room what do I spot but a bolt of fabric with music notes in Red on White!

But I've already finished the music quilt top! And I have enough music fabric to make 2 or 3 more -- including backing. But I am working on those red work snowmen and they'll have red and white pieced blocks -- so a FQ came home with me in addition to the 4 5/8 yard -- ok 5 yards of fabric for the BOM finishing kit.

So much for not making it though the first day of Burton's UFO Challenge on her blog Quilting Literati

Outbound I made 2 sets of 6 blocks for the SBS swap (6" blocks), 4 blocks for the birthday swap (12"), the last block for Kansas Spirit and cut all the fabric needed for the setting blocks.

So now for the report:

Fabric Added this Week: 5.25 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 168.25 yards

Fabric Used this Week: 3.865 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 62.618 yards

Net Stash: +105.632 yards

See how others are doing with their stash over at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mid-August Update

Here it is mid-August and time for an update on my August goals.

  • At least 2 sets of blocks for the SBS Brown/Blue Swap Done 8/9
  • Keep up with the SBS BOW - 3 blocks done, 2 more to be announced
  • Finish star blocks to go with birthday swap blocks Done 8/7
  • Work on Josh's quilt - spent 1 night hand quilting
  • Make up mind about applique on table runner - still deciding
  • Work on DWR - top needs to be done by mid-October - got my templates today -- Thanks Mark!
  • Make rest of Birthday Swap Blocks (4 more needed) Done 8/12
  • Quilt a baby quilt to get a finish! Replaced with new goal
  • Keep scraps cut up - so far so good

    But what's that picture of Kansas Troubles fabric doing at the top of this post? Well, this is how my goals change. Although the last block for the Kansas Spirit BOM at Heritage Fine Fabrics won't be picked up until October, the fabric for the finishing kits need to be ordered now. And in order to know how much fabric to order, I've got to write up the instructions. I've got the easy part (for me) of the instructions written (setting blocks and triangles) so I now I get to test it. That's bounced the baby quilt off my list. Oh and did I mention, that once I got the star blocks done, I decided I had to sew them together into a top?

    So for the remainder of the month:

  • Keep up with the SBS BOW
  • Work on Josh's quilt
  • Make up mind about applique on table runner
  • Work on DWR
  • Finish at least center of birthday swap block quilt (will need to buy border fabric)
  • Finish Kansas Spirit Top and pattern instructions
  • Keep scraps cut up.
  • Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Waiting is Over

    DH came out of the procedure with basically a clean bill of heath. Apparently the test Monday was a "false positve". What a relief.

    I didn't get much done on the snowmen. Dad's left arm, chest, neck and a bit of the face. It's exhausting sitting around waiting and the surgery was running about 2 hours late. While the procedure was done, I ran down to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat and then read few pages in my book, before the doctor was telling me the results. Then we waiting and catnapped until it was time to come home.


    So what does this redwork pic have to do with the title of this post? Well, when I'm waiting, in doctor's offices, for concerts or musicals to start, or for us to get somewhere (long drives), I work on my redwork snowmen.

    There were no plans to work on this project this month, however a trip to the doctor's office changed all that.

    My DH is having a cardiac catheterization later this morning. So, I while I'm waiting for him to come out of surgery, I will do some stitching to try and keep from worrying.

    Everyone reacts differently when a loved one is in the hospital or in surgery. The last time DH had surgery I was working in the hospital computer department. My choices were to sit in a hard chair in an empty room and watch TV, or do something. I chose the latter. The nurses all had my pager number, and they let me use a small office to participate in a conference call that was on my schedule (my choice -- not my employer's). Then I wandered off to the medical records department to check on a software install we were doing -- again my choice. Now admittedly, I couldn't stay focused on any of these tasks, but it kept me from actively worrying.

    Today in my bag of tricks, I've got the redwork, a book to read and my husband's netbook. Although I still work with hospitals and computers, I don't work for the hospital -- so there will be no running around working to keep me occupied. Of course this procedure won't take near as long, so I won't need to keep myself distracted as long.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    SBS Block Due 8/16

    B-7 Swamp Patch

    For this block I used the Companion Angle ruler and 1 1/2" strips instead of cutting squares into triangles. I'm not sure how long I've had this ruler, but I know until I needed it for one of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt I never used it.

    Now to file under 'clearing the counter' is this orphan block:

    About a year ago a group I quilted with made a quilt to auction off for charity. I think the kits were from a shop hop quilt from a few years earlier. Given that I had a limited amount of fabric - and no way to get more - I started to make a sample block. Once I saw that I wasn't going to have trouble with the block I made the 'real' block and tossed the sample block into the scrap box. Back when I was working on my scraps I found the pieces and pulled it out. It's been sitting on my sewing table for the past 6 - 8 weeks. Last night I decided to finish it. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but for now it's in my orphan block drawer.

    Also finished in the last couple of days are a couple of Mini Bow Tie blocks from for the birthday block swap. Sorry no pictures, because the birthday ladies occasionally read my blog.

    What's On My Design Wall? - 8/10

    The stars are still on my wall. I've decided on this arrangement of blocks. Still no idea on borders, but I figure I'll figure that out when I get there.

    Check out other design walls by visiting Patchwork Times.

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    SBS Swap Block Set # 3

    This is the third of the five block sets I'm making for the SBS swap. I finished F10 - Aunt Sukey's Choice last night, and now I've finished C1 - Contrary Husband. Two more sets are needed, but my goal for August was to just get two sets done. Cross that goal off my list.

    Stash Report Week # 32

    No fabric in this week. Found fabric in my stash for 3 of the 4 remaining sets of SBS blocks, but have only counted one set since that's all that's cut. Also finished up the star blocks to go with the birthday swap blocks.

    Check out how other quilter's are doing with their stash at Patchwork Times.

    Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
    Fabric Added to Date: 163 yards

    Fabric Used this Week: 1.605 yards
    Fabric Used to Date: 58.753 yards

    Net Stash: +104.247 yards

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    SBS Swap Block #2

    Here's the first block of the second set I'm making for the SBS Swap. It's F10 - Aunt Sukey's Choice.

    I still need to make the flying geese for the rest of these blocks, but I've been called away to assist with swim suit design. I'll enjoy the time I spend with my mom this afternoon, but I'm not looking forward to the designing. She promised me she'll have the cutting board cleared by the time I get there. So I best get a move on it.

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    All Stars

    Not athletes, but rather all of the star blocks are done that I need to go with my birthday swap blocks. Cross one thing off my August list.

    I still need to decide proper placement, but tomorrow and tomorrow. I guess it's time to work on one of those tiny blocks.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    First Quilt Revisited

    Back in February, I posted about my First Quilt. It's still missing in action, but tonight while my husband and I were looking through our box of pictures I uncovered this one.

    Here it is on my bed shortly after I finished it. You can clearly see that there's next to no quilting in it. I also can date the quilt a little more precisely. On the back of the picture I wrote:

    My quilt I made in Clothing. 11th grade. Apr 80

    Shoot, the first picture I found tonight had it scrunched up on the bed and one of the cats laying on the bed -- proof that I still had it and was using it later. Of course I found this pic and then tossed that one back in the box. Now I wish I had kept it out. Flipping back through the box just now I didn't see it. Oh well. Maybe the next time we dig through our box of pictures.

    SBS Swap Block Fabric

    This evening after making the BOW, I dug through my blue, brown and cream fabrics to see if I had what I needed for my swap blocks. Since these are small blocks, I don't need much, but I do need to deal with scale.

    I'm thrilled that I was able to find fabric for 3 of the remaining 4 sets. From top to bottom:

    G10 - Arizona
    C1 - Contrary Husband
    F10 - Aunt Sukey's Choice

    I still need to pick out the fabric for L6 - Steps to the Alter, but I'll save that for another day.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    SBS Block Due 8/9

    L-1 Friendship Quilt

    This is a simple enough block, but the stripe units are supposed to be cut 1 3/16" wide. I figured my cutting wouldn't be accurate, so I pulled up the block in EQ and paper pieced it.

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    August 2009 Quilting Goals

    When it comes to quilting, I'm all over the place as far as getting things done. I'll say I want to finish XYZ, but then I'll get distracted by something else -- and it's not always new fabric or a new quilt.

    So, I think I'm going to start listing my goals here on my blog, as well as a large printout by my computer, to see if it helps.

    So, in no particular order, here are my August 2009 Quilting Goals

  • At least 2 sets of blocks for the SBS Brown/Blue Swap
    (5 sets are needed by mid-Octber, 1 set is already done)
  • Keep up with the SBS BOW
  • Finish star blocks to go with birthday swap blocks
    (10 done, 10 more needed-block kits already cut)
  • Work on Josh's quilt
    (5 1/2 blocks to hand quilt, and machine quilt the borders)
  • Make up mind about applique on table runner
  • Work on DWR - top needs to be done by mid-October
  • Make rest of Birthday Swap Blocks (4 more needed)
  • Quilt a baby quilt to get a finish!
  • Keep scraps cut up
  • What's On My Design Wall? - 8/3

    What's on my Design Wall? A wider longer wall for one thing. This is a 60 x 102 tablecloth. I folded over about 19 inches at the top. This reinforces the buttonholes and shortens the tablecloth. I didn't center it on the fireplace this time since I needed to avoid the grout. The buttonholes are spaced about 9 1/2" apart and there are 7 of them.

    The quilt is my Birthday Quilt. The blue and white Pennsylvania blocks are from a swap I did on the QIAD Forum. Last Thursday I decided I needed to work on something mindless and bigger than the 6" blocks with lots of pieces. This was the project since it involved working on a UFO, cutting fabric, and seeing quick progress.

    The stars are not in their final location. I've got to see how the other blue and yellow stars turn out. I also have to decide if I want to float the center or make 1/2 Pennsylvania blocks to take it to the border. Right now I'm thinking a narrow yellow border and then a wider blue border, but I'm not there yet, so who knows.

    To see what's on other quilters' design walls, visit Judy's page over at Patchwork Times.

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    Stash Report Week # 31

    You would think 20 blocks would use up more than a smidgen over 2 yards. But when most of them are 6 inch blocks, it just doesn't use up the fabric. I did break down and buy 3 one yard cut of white on white fabric to use as backgrounds in the star blocks I'm making.

    Fabric Added this Week: 3 yards
    Fabric Added to Date: 163 yards

    Fabric Used this Week: 2.072 yards
    Fabric Used to Date: 57.149 yards

    Net Stash: +105.852 yards