Sunday, January 31, 2010

January UFO Challenge- Status Update

It is officially the last day of January, and I am not done with my January UFO. But, I am making progress and I fully intend to finish it this week. I only need to do some quilting in the outer border and bind it. But I may need to play with that last border a bit, as it seems to be a bit wavy. :(

The pick for February is a good one. Quilt number seven from our list will be the focus. That is my Thyme to Water quilt. This quilt is not yet a completed top. I still need to add a few borders to it.

I have to say that letting someone else dictate my UFO project each month is more of an issue for me that I thought it would be. I guess my inner control freak is stronger than I imagined. I'm trying to go with it for now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Design Wall 1-25

This is my design wall today. As you can see, no progress has been made on my two-block nightmare. I'm still giving it some time to rest while I let something else stress me out for a while. Namely, this!

This is my OP quilt UFO I intended to finish this month. I wanted to experiment a bit and decided to use a decorative stitch in the sashing strips. I chose one that is wavy. I thought it would be nice and girly, sort of like rickrack. But it is making my quilt look puckered. And not in a good way. Even though it was nice and flat when I basted it. I'm not sure if this picture shows what I'm talking about. I can't seem to add pics so that they expand when you click them. :( Anyways, this one is resting a while too, while I ponder what steps will make this quilt look better. I don't intend to rip out the wavy stitching, but you never know.

Soooooooooo, in the meantime, I am back to playing with my scraps. That usually puts me in my happy place. This batch of scraps are the result of the Carolina Christmas quilt I'm working on. Here's what I have so far, along with my EQ drawing of the intended finished quilt.

This will be a wall hanging, or maybe a pillow. The individual basket blocks are going to finish at six inches, and the finished quilt will be around 18 inches.

To see what other quilters are working on, check out the linky box on Judy's blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This has been a busy week in the sewing room. I am in the process of quilting my ufo for this month. I thought I would try something a little different with the quilting on that one. I'm not sure I am happy with how it is turning out. I used to think I was a fairly experienced quilter, but this month has taught me that I still have so much to learn. Between the mis-sized blocks and the experimental quilting I'm doing, I am seriously questioning my quilting skills right now. Sorry, but I'm not going to share any pics of my ufo's quilting just now. I want to work through this one on my own. Maybe I'm just having an off month. Here is a little something I will share, though. Remember those scrappy blocks from last post? This is what I did with them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not exactly what I was planning, but I did sew

I had hoped to get a good start on quilting the OP quilt tonight. Unfortunately, I was having issues with thread breakage. I tried four different needles before I decided that I do not have the correct needle in the house to do the quilting tonight. So, that quilt was put to the side for now. Once I get some new machine needles, I will get back to it.

So I went back to playing with scraps. This is what I did tonight.

For the record, I do realize that there are a couple odd blocks in the mix. It is intentional. It just feels more like the old scrap quilts would have been to me with the odd balls tossed in.

It's Friday and Time for a Friday Night Sew-In!

Heidi is hosting a Friday night sew-in on her blog today. And since I have so many projects in the works and my hubby will be ice fishing, I am joining in. Tonight I will start quilting this.

It is my UFO #4 from the sidebar list, also known as my OP quilt. The quilt was inspired by Pat Sloan's Orange Project challenge last winter. That's the backing fabric in the upper right corner. This one is going to be fun to quilt! :D

Playing with scraps

I am taking a break from my current quilt project. No, it is not put aside to be a UFO yet. But I need a little break from it, as I am getting frustrated. So, today I played with some scraps.

To be more specific, just the triangles that get cut off in the speed technique of adding a corner triangle to a block. In this process, you place a square of fabric on the corner of the piece that needs a corner triangle and stitch diagonally across the square, trimming the excess off. This leaves a couple triangle pieces of fabric that most people throw away. But not me. I have been saving mine and using them as leader and ender pieces as I sew. And I have been accumulating lots of little half-square triangle blocks as a result.

So, as a bit of a revolt against the tedium of trying to precisely stitch those corner star blocks in my current quilt project, I made blocks with my scrap triangles. No pinning, no trimming, no precision- just kind of a free-form, go with the flow kind of thing. And it felt great! Sorry, I have no finished block pictures I can share at this time.

One note of progress I can make is this: I have my January UFO project layered and pin basted.It is ready to be quilted!!! :D I'm still deciding how I want to quilt it, but it is on my list to start this weekend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today's wall

On the design wall today are my completed blocks from my two-block nightmare. I am going to try a different marking technique on the cornered star blocks and see if that helps me get a block that I am satisfied with. If not, I will be putting this one aside for a while. Can you say future ufo? ;)

To see what other quilters are working on, Check out Judy's blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This one is a struggle

This is an EQ drawing of my current quilt project. I showed a few of the finished blocks on my last design wall post. I like the color combination and the pattern of this quilt. It was part of an experiment I was doing with combining two quilt blocks to make a quilt. But, I wish I had paid more attention to the actual blocks I chose to use as one of them is proving to be a challenge to make. I have all of the mosaic blocks finished. They finished to the correct size and look great. But the cornered star blocks are not going together as well. First they wouldn't lie flat, and now I can't get them to finish the correct size. I don't normally have an issue with seam allowance, but these blocks are finishing too small. UGH! I'm glad I went with a simple border for this one, because once I get these blocks right, I'm going to want to be finished with this one quick. Next time I'll remember to make a test block first, before I cut my fabrics.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I feel like I'm in high school again

Recently, I had an opportunity to join an Internet quilt swap. It has been a while since I have done this form of swap but I usually enjoy it. And the particular swap I was signing up for is one that I had wanted to do for over a year. When I saw an announcement that sign-ups were being taken up to a limited number of swappers, I sent in my information and waited to see if I made the cut off.
I got an e-mail reply from the swap hostess questioning my qualifications for the swap. It wasn't my quilting ability that was in question. The swap required active participation in a certain Internet sharing network. I have an account on this network. I use it occasionally. The swap hostess was afraid that I did not post often enough on the network in question. She was concerned that my low chatter and activity on the site would spoil my swap partner's fun. She suggested that I watch from the sidelines this round and try to post more often. Then maybe next time I could join in the swap. Seriously? I feel a bit like the fat kid in gym class that gets picked last. Or like the girl in high school who is shunned by the "in" crowd for not having the right clothes. I don't need this.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Monday! Do you know what that means?

That's right! It's time for a peek at my design wall. I have made a few more block parts for the Carolina Christmas quilt. There are still so many more to piece, but there is some progress, so I am counting that as a positive.

But that isn't the only thing on my design wall today. I have also made a few test blocks for a quilt that I designed last year. I have been wanting to make this quilt for several months, but I've been putting it off. I got a bit carried away and cut out all of the block pieces for this quilt on New Year's day.
But now I'm not sure if I like the fabrics together as much as I thought I would. They look a bit different in the blocks than they did sitting together as a pile of fabrics . Plus, what was I thinking with those set-in seams?! UGH! The first of that test block turned out a bit wonky and wouldn't lie flat. Of course, I failed to pin the pieces before I sewed them. Will I ever learn that lesson? Let's hope so.
If you are a regular reader, you know that I am trying to finish up old projects. You also have probably figured out that I lack a certain amount of discipline in that area. Please don't judge me. I really am trying. But, sometimes the urge to start something new simply overcomes me. And who doesn't like a new project?
What about my UFO #4 from last post? It is still waiting for a turn. And I will finish it this month. Just not today. :P
To see what other quilters are working on, go check out Judy's blog.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

UFO focus for January

I guess it is time for me to get serious about the UFO challenge I joined for this year. Nancy has declared that the UFO to complete for January will be number four on our list. For me, that means I will finish my OP quilt. This is a complete quilt top, and is one of the newer ufo's from the list, as it is less than a year old. It would not have been my first choice for a finish, but I think it will be a nice lift for me on the grey January winter days here. I need to piece the backing still, but then I'm ready to go.