Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The quilting process

My least favorite part of making a quilt has to be the quilting process. It would be nice to be able to send my tops out to a long-armer, but then I would need to cut back on how many tops I could piece, as my fabric budget would have to be cut way back. So I quilt almost all of my own.

I have spent this past week obsessing over how to quilt my ostrich round robin quilt. It is such a different quilt style than I normally make. The medallion type style seems to ask for something different in each border area. A simple all over pattern or outline quilting just isn't right for it. So I have been searching my books for ideas.

I was able to find a several designs in these books that I thought might work for some of the borders. So I photocopied them and cut them into preview strips that I could place on top of my quilt. That way I could better see how they would work.

These are some of the designs I tried out on my quilt. A few of them made the cut, others did not. Still, I needed to get the designs onto the quilt. And I already had the layers sandwiched, so I couldn't trace them on using a light box. So I decided to try something different.

I photocopied the chosen patterns onto paper that is designed for paper piecing. This actually worked out fairly well. I cut out the design strips and pinned them into place on my quilt. Then I just stitched over the paper and followed the lines. The paper was then torn away and this is what I ended up with.

This is the center, where I added the four triangle motifs.

Moving outward, I added this:

You will notice that the yellow and red border is still not quilted. I have decided what to put there, I just haven't gotten it quilted yet. Maybe today I will get to it. Or not- I have a lot of dirty laundry to deal with.

I am not sure if the quilting on the white area is showing up here, but it's there, honest. Again I have an unquilted border between the quilted ones. This one I think is going to be outline quilted. I haven't found anything else that works with my tiny NYB blocks.

But I did add a little something to these triangles, which still leaves me with the final border needing something. I am still thinking about that one.

And finally, the whole thing as it is in progress.

I am sorry that my photos won't expand when you click on them. I don't know why won't. The actual photos are larger. I have yet to figure out what is causing this to happen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Follow Your Heart

I have another wallhanging done. This quilt you have seen before in various stages. Here it is done. The pattern calls for some buttons to go on the scallops at the top of the quilt. I haven't found the right ones yet, but I am still looking. So if I find what I want, they will eventually be added.

In my mailbox this week...

...I was lucky enough to find this sweet little quilt and fat quarters! They were sent to me by Megan, as a thank you for commenting on her blog. Isn't this just the cutest? And oh so simple! I seem to forget that sometimes less is more.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I finished something!

I am happy to report that I have finished my challenge quilt. It feels good to have finally finished something. It has been a while since my last completed project. I probably should have added more quilting to this, but have decided to call it DONE! With a little luck, I will have another completed wallhanging within the next couple days. WOOHOO!

Friday, October 19, 2007

What is up with this weather?

This week the weather has been all over the place. Earlier this week it was warm and sunny. But today it is windy and rainy. Very windy. In fact it is downright blustery. Bummer.

I have been making progress on a couple projects, but I am not finished with anything yet, so no new pics today. But hopefully I will have some before the weekend is over. I met with the family quilters this morning, and thought I was going to get a lot accomplished. But somehow I managed not to bring everthing I needed for any of the items I brought along to work on. Oh well, I can't be on my A game all the time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More from the WIP weekend

I want to share with you the other thing I accomplished over the weekend. I have finished work on my Ostrich Round Robin quilt top. I am so excited about this. I showed you a drawing from EQ in an earlier post. Here is the real thing.


Monday, October 15, 2007

WIP weekend...continued

Now then, where were we? Oh yes, I have been sharing with you the process of my half-yard challenge quilt top. When we left off I had just stitched the very center of the quilt together. But there was still a lot of fabric left to play with. So I added another round.

As much as I liked how the red was repeating the shape the brown had in the previous photo, I decided it was time to square things up a bit in order to make things go a little easier. Plus I like the way the green star shape is accented here. So on to the next round.

This was my most challenging addition, as there were so many different ways that I felt worked well. This is one option that I did not choose to go with. I don't know why. I liked how this looked, but instead I went with the layout below.

I like this enough to leave it be and call it done. But, there were still too many left over pieces for me to stop yet. So I decided to go for one more round. The thing is, while there were many pieces left, at this point I was much more limited in the variety of shapes left. And I had already cut into almost all of the extra strips for shapes I ran short on. So I had to do the best I could with what was left. And now I present my final outcome of the half-yard challenge.

I would have liked to do this one a bit differently, but I did not have enough of one of the fabrics to do it how I wanted. Still, I am satisfied with the end result. And while there are still some pieces left over, I am certain that there are not enough to add another round. This was a fun experience and it was a great challenge.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend W.I.P.

This weekend I have been having fun playing with fabric. My local quilting family is doing the "half yard cruise challenge". This was featured in 'Fons and Porter Love of Quilting' magazine in January of 2006, and was also on an episode of their PBS series.
The challenge is to design a quilt using five half-yard pieces of fabric. Each of the five fabrics are cut into four inch strips(four strips each). One strip of each of the five fabrics is cut into one of three specific shapes- a 4 inch square, a half square triangle, and a quarter square triangle. The fourth strip is saved to cut whatever shapes you may need extras of in that particular fabric.
We chose one fabric that we would each use in our designs. My fabrics are shown here cut into the three shapes for the challenge. The common fabric for the group is the holly print on the off white background shown upper left.

I was really not in a hurry to start this project, as I have so very many unfinished quilts already. But I just couldn't help myself, especially when everyone already had theirs on their design wall.

So the fun began Friday morning. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wasn't even sure I liked my fabric choices. But I was determined to work with what I have and so I began.

This was my first attempt. I liked the idea of a medallion style layout, but that was about it for this one. And so I began again. With this:

Ok, I like this better, but I still wasn't ready to commit, so I tried yet again to get the center started. How about this one?

Getting closer! By now I was having trouble keeping my pieces in place. I decided I would stitch some of them together before moving forward.Lovely! I am definetly feeling it now. :) But there's more...

To be continued tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

There is a history of breast cancer in my family. My mom's sister, Rosie, is a breast cancer survivor. And their mom's sister, Mooney, also had breast cancer. Both women eventually had both breasts removed.
This is enough family history to make me a bit nervous. I have four sisters and I hope breast cancer does not invade any of them.

Medical technology offers some hope. Yearly mammograms for those over forty can help detect breast cancer. And we can all do monthly breast self-exams to check for lumps and abnormalities.
Early detection can increase the odds of survival. I am happy to report that my yearly mammogram showed no abnormalities. If you are a female forty or older, I hope you will also have a mammogram. It could save your life.
The beautiful quilt blocks you see were purchased by me a couple years ago as part of the quilt for a cure auction on eBay. The proceeds from that auction benefited the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I hope to make them into a quilt soon. This year quiltpinkauctions is auctioning completed quilts on eBay with the proceeds going to the Susan G Komen foundation as well. Go ahead and take a look. There are some beautiful quilts for sale.

Here is something else to check out:
Yahoo is donating $1.00 to the Susan Komen foundation per pink photo added to this group up to $50,000.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More blocks complete-I'm on a roll!

That's right, I'm gettin' 'er done! The finished blocks are multiplying all around me. Yippee!!! It feels so good to be stitching. Too bad I have so much dirty laundry piling up, huh? These are the latest of the blocks from the Time to Water quilt I am making.

Monday, October 8, 2007

BOM progress

Well I'm gaining on my BOM projects. I have all of my September blocks done but one. And I have two of my October blocks partially finished. Yes! It feels good to make some progress.

I did not get as much finished over the weekend as I had hoped. I brought "Eb" along but never got him out. Instead I worked on applique blocks. All that hand stitching takes alot of time. No big deal, there's always tomorrow, right?


Two more blocks have joined the ranks of the finished! I got the October blocks for these two quilts finished this afternoon. I wish I would have chosen a different background fabric for the bees, but I think I will just live with my poor choice. Next time I will pay better attention to the overall effect.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Apron extravaganza

Friday was my mom's birthday. She can be a difficult person to gift, as she doesn't offer suggestions readily. But I noticed earlier this year that all of her aprons were horribly stained. I found a border print fabric that was perfect for an apron and I noticed there was a pattern for an apron in Eleanor Burn's 'Egg Money Quilts' book. So I got busy and made this for her. It went together quite easily and quickly. In fact, I made one for myself too using a different border print. I can't decide which one I like best. But Mom will get the blue one as she tends to favor blue, and I will keep the red one because I heart red.
But wait! I'm not quite done yet. There was a farmer's market in the town I spent the weekend in. I had fun chatting with the vendors and checking out their produce. But my favorite vendor by far was the sweet older woman who was there selling aprons. She had several plastic tubs full. I just couldn't resist looking through the mix and of course I found one I wanted to take home with me. Plus I really wanted to purchase something from this woman. She was so nice to talk to and told me a bit about the area. She even filled me in on the location of the nearest quilt shop. (Yes, I did go check it out! :) )

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I'm a road warrior this weekend

I feel a need to apologize for the lack of new posts lately. Life has still been keeping me busy, and I have just not accomplished much quilting. Sigh. :( This weekend has me on the road. My youngest son was invited to a paintball weekend with some family friends. This event is taking place on an Air National Guard base. I was the lucky one who got to drive him there- a full four plus hours away. And since he would also need a ride home on Sunday, I packed a bit of sewing and found a hotel room in the area.

So here I sit with several applique blocks, stitching the time away. Hopefully I will have some pictures for you soon. I will share something else I made this week. I got the pattern from a local quilt shop. Last week was a local quilt shop hop and I went with my quilting family members.

Anyways, I fell in love with this pattern for many reasons. It is a clothespin bag and as clothespin bags go, it is pretty darn cute!

It reminds me of some dresses I used to wear when I was a pre-schooler. I loved those dresses. I think that they were some of the few things I wore that weren't actually hand-me downs from my older sister. Even at a young age I hated having to wear her hand-me down clothes. (And it was even worse when my mom bought us matching outfits and I had to wear the same thing in two different sizes.) This is going to look so cute out on my clothesline. :)