Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another year is done already

Here we are at the end of 2009 already. Is it just me, or did this year seem to fly by? Time just really gets away from me these days. At least I managed to finish some things this year. Thanks to Kris and May Britt, and their One Project a Month Challenge, I completed 25 items this year. And that feels pretty good to me. Of course, I still have a list of unfinished projects that is much longer than I am comfortable with. And don't even ask me about the list of things I haven't even started on but have the supplies for already. Hopefully I will still like those when I finally get around to making them.

I am still committed to finishing up some of my UFO's. I have joined the UFO challenge at the Patchwork Penguin for 2010. I like how it is set up. And the target is 10 quilts finished in 2010. One for each of the first ten months. My only hesitation was selecting the ten ufo's I would commit to finishing. But I have made my choices and posted them on my side bar, with links to photos of each in their current state. The list represents about a third of my unfinished quilts. If I can finish all 10 on my list in 2010, I will be thrilled. If I somehow manage to finish even more from my big list, I will be overjoyed. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Final design wall Monday of the year

These blocks are part of Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Christmas mystery quilt. I had more parts completed, but I am currently in the process of redoing them.

Broken dishes blocks that have been unstitched.

Mine turned out mis-sized. Even though Bonnie clearly stated in her instructions the importance of checking to be sure your units were coming out the correct size. I guess I thought she was directing that to those who are less experienced quilters. My mistake.

I've found that pinning actually helps get a more accurate finished block. Who knew?

I suppose doing piecework in the wee hours of the night when you can't sleep isn't such a great idea. But what else was I supposed to do for the 12 nights hubby was away at deer camp? I thought it was a great set-up. I moved a sewing cabinet into the living room where I could watch movies as I sewed. Seemed like a great idea at the time. In hind sight, maybe not.

These will need to be pinned too.

I will say, I like what the finished quilt looks like on Bonnie's site. But I think I will change out the final border when I get that far.

Oh, I did manage a couple more finishes this week. My little laundry wall hanging is done. I think it will actually end up as a doll quilt.

My other finish is another purse. I think it will be good for spring.

If you want to see what other quilters are working on, check out Judy's blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another finish in time for Christmas giving

Here it is another Monday and I still have nothing new on my design wall. We have kids home from college and have been busy with Christmas celebrations. That has left no free time for me to play. But, I do have a finish to share. This one had to get done, as it is a Christmas gift.

If you want some more inspiration, head on over to Judy's blog and check out some other quilter's design walls.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not exactly my design wall...

...but here are the things I've been working on. First up is a finish! This is my version of Judy L.'s Bears in the Farmhouse quilt. I am very happy to be done with this one. I am giving this one as a gift for Christmas.

I still have one more quilt to finish before Christmas. I know I'm cutting things close, but these gifts were actually afterthoughts. I'm not organized enough to think far enough ahead to have already finished gift quilts. It's just not how I roll. And I usually work well under pressure, so I am confident this will be done in time as well. It's all pin-basted and ready to quilt. I even have a quilting plan decided. :)
And finally, I am working on this wall hanging. It is a pattern from Darlene Zimmerman's Clothesline Club. I was having a hard time finishing it as the pattern suggested. (I imagine a few of my loyal readers are detecting a pattern here. It seems I just cannot make a quilt exactly like a pattern shows.) She scalloped the outside edge on her quilt and did not have prairie points. I left my outer edge straight and added the prairie points instead.

I don't anticipate having anything new on my design wall for the rest of this month, seeing as Christmas is almost upon us. But, you never know.

To see what other quilter's have up on their design walls, check this out!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So many unfinished quilts ...

Lone star top made with fabrics I dyed. I'm guessing from 2005?

... and plenty of time to work on them. So why don't I have more finished? That is something I struggle with. In my sewing room there are more than a dozen quilt tops that need quilting. A lot more than a dozen. I won't count them, that would be too embarrassing to admit.
Swap Block quilt top. Blocks swapped in 2006, top made in 2008.
Most have backing fabric and bindings already. I probably even have a half-dozen quilt batts. So, if I could just get into the mindset to quilt some of them, that would be great. My main problem is, I don't really enjoy the quilting part of the process. And I don't have the money in my budget to pay someone else to quilt them for me. (At least not very many of them.)

Can't even tell you when this was pieced.
Most people probably wouldn't worry about how many unfinished quilts they have. But I also have at least a dozen projects still in the works. Some I am working on the piecework. Some are just fabrics and patterns waiting their turn.
Nine patch top. Blocks were swapped in 2006-07. I'm still stitching the top together.

And I feel guilty working on them, when there are so many unfinished quilts already. Still, I feel the need to change up what I am working on regularly. It helps me keep the creative juices flowing.
Made this top in 2007, I think.
So I am going to start working on another new project. I collected the fabrics for this quilt last year. And I would love to have it completed to have out next winter. So I will be trying to tackle this on a block-a-month basis. Well, the stitch will be a block each month anyways. I plan to add the pieced blocks in a couple a month as well. I'm starting this month. Will I get this one done as planned? Um, your guess is as good as mine. (My guess is probably not, but anything is possible!) And here's why...

Wrought in 2007...still not quilted in 2009. Oh well.

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Monday, and once again I have something on my design wall. For starters, I have a new wall. I used to have a sheet of flannel attached to my wall with Velcro fastening tape. It was only attached at the top of the wall. Blocks had a tendency to fall off when the flannel was disturbed by air movement. Now I have some insulation boards covered in flannel and screwed into my wall. I haven't had much chance to try it out yet, but I think I'm going to like this new version better.

Some of the blocks for my recent project.

My current piecing project is a crib quilt. I am using a pattern from the book Scrap Basket Surprises. My quilt will be a variation of the quilt 'A Little Tangy'. I'm still trying to decide which way to go with this one. Although the pattern calls for a completely scrappy fabric selection, I am using a constant fabric in each block. But I'm not sure if I want to alter the placement of the of the constant fabric. If I do, I'll get this quilt.

Or, I could put the constant fabric in the same position each block. That would give me a quilt that looks like this one.

Either way, I think I will be happy with the end result.

Need more inspiration? Head over to Judy's blog for more links to check out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Design Wall Monday

With my recent quilt finish, I am once again free to work on other projects. Thank goodness! I have so many things I want to finish, as well as some to start . Yesterday I worked on my project from last month's clothesline club. This is what the quilt was supposed to be.

It isn't very big; a small lap size at best. I had hoped it might be large enough to use as a table covering for my dining room table, as I currently keep it a smaller size. But this quilt was too small even for that. So I decided to rework it a bit to see if I could make it work for something. On my design wall today you can see my changed design.

I think it is going to make a cute Christmas tree skirt. The inner corners of the outer border are not yet stitched. They are only pinned for now. I wanted to make sure it would lie flat before I stitched them.

To see what is on some other quilter's design walls this week, check out Judy's blog.

Edit: I finished the tree skirt! You can see it here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Done

Finally finished with this one. I hope Matt is happy with it. I am thrilled to be able to move on to other projects. I have a few more tops I'd like to get quilted soon. For now, I'm off to sew. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yesterday I taught a dozen women how to make a purse.
We had a five hour span of time in which to work.

Only two ladies actually finished with-in the allotted classtime.

Everyone worked hard.

But we all had fun.

And a couple of my students from my jacket class wore their finished jackets to class. I am very proud of them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A new favorite quilting tool

I have been mentioning Matt's quilt a lot lately. That is because I need to get it done. By Thanksgiving. That is my self-imposed final deadline. And it is November. Already. So I am down to the wire here.
Unfortunately, I was struggling with the large open areas that needed to be quilted. I had no idea what to put in them and even less of an idea how to mark it successfully. But I am happy to announce that I have turned a corner on this, thanks to my new favorite quilt marking tool, Golden Threads paper. It has made machine quilting on my regular home sewing machine a much more pleasant experience. I love, love, love this paper!

This is Matt's quilt with a couple of the quilted motifs stitched through the paper.

I have known about this product for quite a while, but had never given it a try. Why, oh why, have I never used this before? I have been a long-time fan of printing quilting lines on paper and pinning them onto my quilts as quilting guides. But it has always been difficult to pull all the little bits of paper from the stitching. That is not an issue with the Golden Threads paper. It tears away cleanly. And now, back to the sewing room. I have a quilt to finish.

Here is one corner showing quilted motifs with the paper removed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Back in the groove

I'm starting to get back into my quilting groove. That makes me feel happy. Maybe it is the terrible weather that is helping, I'm not sure. But finally things are happening again in my sewing room. Hooray!

I spent last evening and all day today sewing. I finished a small quilt top that is intended to be a baby quilt one day. It isn't very babyish, in the traditional sense, but it works for me.

Plus I made nice progress on a Christmas quilt. (Sorry, no pic of that one yet.) And I have decided that I will use my favorite Borders on a Roll to help me finally finish Matt's quilt. No more excuses there, once I actually purchase the border papers. Here's a peek at Matt's quilt in it's present state.

Oh, and here is the purse I made last week. I really love it! I wish I had managed a better shot, but I think you get the idea. The pattern is Mini Bow Tucks. I'm excited about teaching this one. I think I have around 10 people signed up to take the class so far. Cool!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In my last post, I mentioned the sweatshirt jacket class I taught at The Wooden Spool quilt shop. I made myself a jacket along with the class, and I finished mine last night.

This is the front view of my jacket.

And this is the back.

I like how it turned out, and as a bonus, this one fits. :) The last one I made finished too big. I may try reworking that one to make it fit.

I also managed to finish a pillow this month. It is made of orphan blocks left from the quilt I made for my bed.

And this sadly, is just about the full extent of my sewing/quilting for this month. The only other thing I made was the purse for my class next month. But I forgot to snap a picture of it before I dropped it off at the shop. I will try to get a pic this weekend and post it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm ok, I've just been busy lately

I didn't realize it has been so long since my last post. Life has thrown some interesting changes my way. The last of my kids has left the nest, as he has gone away to college. I would have thought that meant I'd have lots of free time to quilt. Somehow, that hasn't been the case. In fact, I have done very little quilting for the past two months. :(
Matt's quilt is still unfinished. I haven't even made any new progress on it. And he has been hinting that it is cold out and he needs it now. I will confess that it got pushed aside to work on a different project.
This month I taught my very first class at a local quilt shop, and I dropped all of my other projects to work on my class project, a quilted sweatshirt jacket. Today was our last class. It was a real learning experience for all of us. Most of my class are nearly finished with their jackets, and I am really impressed with how well they are turning out. We faced a few unexpected problems, but worked our way through them together. And in the end, we all had fun. I'm going to be teaching a purse class next month. :D
I do have a couple things nearly complete that I hope to have pictures of in the next couple days. No pictures for today, though.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I got two baby quilts finished :D

Oh, yeah! You read that right. I have two quilts finished already this month. :) I wasn't working quite fast enough to finish them in August. But, both babies these are intended for have already been born, so I really needed to make finishing them a priority. It feels good to start the month on a positive note.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where has my mojo gone?

For the past week, I have been sidetracked away from the quilting that I want to be working on. This quilt needs to be finished, as the baby it is intended for has arrived. And so I am

hastily quilting away on it using my little featherweight sewing machine.
Poor Matt may get his quilt before the cold weather arrives, or he may not. It is partially quilted and waiting at my machine in my sewing room. Much more quilting is needed before it will be done. I just can't seem to force myself to sit down and quilt for long stretches of time right now. I think I've misplaced my quilting mojo.
However, I did manage another finish this month. Here is a little table runner that I made at clothesline club this month. This one is going to be gifted.

Tomorrow is strip club, where I will continue with the quilt I showed last post. That one is for a baby due to arrive on Sept 2.
Matt leaves for college Sept 6. I sure would like for him to be able to take along a finished quilt.
I guess I need to get busy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Design Wall Monday

It's Monday, and that means it's time for a peek at my design wall. Actually, this peek is at my portable design wall (aka a flannel backed tablecloth). These are blocks I will be making at the next strip club at my LQS. I want to be able to get this quilt done quickly, as it is a baby gift and the baby is due early September. So I am playing with color placement now, so I will be all ready to go.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Now What?

This past week, I have been spending a great deal of my time out by the pool. It finally feels like summer here, and I want to take full advantage of it. So, I have not been in my sewing room. But I have been working on some handwork. I finished this top today.

You got a peak of it last month. I combined two different sources for this one. The background is based on the Bee Charmer from Oh Sew Charming! The flowers were taken from a couple of the blocks in the Aunt Millie's Garden pattern from Piece O'Cake Designs.
I can't tell just exactly what this wants to be. The Bee Charmer pattern was intended to be a wall hanging. It is also a good size for a table topper. But, I had so much fun working on this, I am wondering if I should use this as a center and expand around it to make something more substantially sized. Except that I used scraps for this so far. So it may take some doing finding the right fabrics to make any additions look like they belong. What should I do?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Too much socializing, not enough quilting

There is not very much to report on the quilting front. I am currently trying to finish machine quilting my son's quilt. I am making progress, but I still have a long ways to go. I don't have a picture of that quilt to show just yet. But my son moves off to college in less than a month, so I will plug away at that quilt until it is finished.

I haven't done much other quilting lately. However, I did finally finish the jacket I was working on. I'm thrilled to be done with it. Here it is.

The two bright fuscia strips on the lower front bother me. But, it will stay as is and I will get over it. Probably. Otherwise, I think it looks pretty good.

Monday, July 27, 2009

July finishes

This has been a slow sewing month for me. I just wasn't in the groove, I guess. But I did manage to complete two things. They are projects from the Clothesline Club at the local quilt shop.

This little topper actually looks much better in real life. It is shown on an ottoman and is not lying flat in the photo.

The only other thing I have accomplished this month is I have this quilt layered, pinned and ready for quilting. The plan is to have it finished before someone leaves for college. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A va-cay, a b-day, but no new progress to display because I've been away

Sunset over Lake Michigan

Last week was our annual family camping trip for my side of the family. My siblings, their kids, our parents and sometimes a few additional tag-a-longs camp together and we always have a good time. We stay at one of our beautiful state park campgrounds, which varies from year to year. This year we camped at Muskegon State Park on Lake Michigan.

Of course, camping doesn't mean I can't do any quilting. This year I brought along supplies to do some hand applique work. This particular project still had a long way to go before it is done. You will get to see more when the applique is complete. For now, you will have to settle for this peek.

As luck would have it, my birthday, which I share with my nephew's fiance, happened to be during our camping trip. So we made the family announcement board that was proudly displayed for all to see. (Thanks to my niece, Mallory, who was in charge of keeping us all informed of the news.) And because I had a birthday, I got to grace my picnic table with these...

Kind of gave the campsite an upscale look. I think everyone should have roses on their picnic table. :D