Category Archives: Goals

Choices, Choices – 2018 Quilt Along Decisions

It is my hope to be a bit more mindful this year.  Maybe sew with more intention or planning.  Time is precious and I want to use it wisely.  To this end, I have been looking at the myriad of quilt alongs and block of the month programs popping up in our community.  Just search on 2018 QAL and you will get approximately 16 million hits.  (Truth – when I did the search, I got 16,200,000 results. Of course many are duplicates or things that don’t totally match my search criteria, but still – you get the idea.) But after checking out many of the opportunities I have decided on two.

My criteria were to have one scrappy project to use up some stash and for any program to be a monthly one.  I did the Sewcial Bee Sampler this year which was great, but a block a week sets a different pace. I want to make a monthly plan this time around.

Classic Stitches Row Quilt, February 2016

First on the list is this. Mari of Academic Quilter has hosted a quilt along/block of the month for the past three years.  I joined in with her first one which was a row quilt. (Above is the finished quilt from the Classic Stitches QAL.) She coordinates her QAL’s with Angela at So Scrappy and uses the monthly colors for the annual Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I didn’t participate in the last two QAL’s because the blocks were more challenging than I was comfortable with.  But this year, Mari assured me the blocks were based on squares and not very fussy. (I am not a fussy quilter who likes to deal with 9 billion tiny pieces.)  This will be a block of the month and begins in January. I am happy to, once again, follow along with Angela’s RSC 18 plan and use my scraps. I sort of missed that interaction last year and my scrap bins hardly close so I clearly need to use them.  I know Mari well and she writes an excellent tutorial. Probably due to her long time teaching career, she is able to clearly explain the process and when I had questions she responded quickly. Per a recent post on her blog, Mari plans to announce the details for the 2018 QAL tomorrow, Saturday, December 30th.

Aurifil 2014 BOM; Quilt Top

Next on my agenda is the Aurifil Design Team’s annual QAL.  Each year Aurifil sponsors a fun QAL with a team of creative quilt designers.  Wonderful boxes of Aurifil thread are given as prizes each month.  Maybe this year is the year I win one?!?  The last time I followed along with an Aurifil QAL was in 2014.  I made the colorful quilt shown above using (mostly) Malka Dubrowsky’s fabrics.  It is one of my favorites because of the bold color scheme.

Hosted by Pat Sloan, this year’s event will be themed “The Places We Go” and blocks will be inspired by places the quilt design team has been.  I am curious to see how the blocks created by this team relate to the theme.  So many talented quilters are on the team this year.  Take a look:

2018 Aurifil Design Team

Jan – Katja Marek from Katja’s Quilt Shoppe
Feb – Scott Hansen from Blue Nickel Studios
Mar – Jo Avery from My Bear Paw
Apr – Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl
May – Minki Kim from Minki Kim
June – Kerry Goulder from Kid Giddy
July – Sherri McConnel from A Quilting Life
Aug – Rebecca Bryan from Bryan House Quilts 
Sept – Sharon Holland from Sharon Holland Designs
Oct – Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill from Whole Circle Studio
Nov – Sue O’very from Sue O’very Designs
Dec – Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company

The designers are using black and white with a splash of color.  I am not sure if I will follow along or if I will change the pallet.  I do plan to use my scraps though so my colors will likely be based on which of my scrap bins are overflowing the most! I will need to make a decision soon though so I can get started in January.

These two monthly events should be easily integrated into my ongoing sewing.  I find interesting how after looking through the numerous events that are starting up, I ended up choosing two that I have already done.  Is it because I was successful and enjoyed them that I choose to do them again?  Or because I am timid and not wanting to venture out and try something different? Either way, I am looking forward to these. If you are planning to follow either of these QAL’s, let me know.  I would love to sew along with you!!

I am off to the sewing room.  Last night was a migraine night so I am running at half speed today.  But I have a bit of quilting left to do on a baby quilt and really hope to finish it before we turn to 2018.  Maybe I will have another post this year sharing this finish.  Wish me luck!!

 

 

Q1-2017 FAL Plan

I wasn’t going to post again this week but I decided I should do a quick outline of my quilty plans for the first quarter of 2017. I will be joining in with the FAL event hosted, in part, by Rhonda at Rhonda’s Ramblings. I joined in last quarter of 2016 and I liked having that list to work toward. In fact I finished all but one item.   Here is the plan for the current quarter.

  1.  Baste, quilt and bind the Harmony quilt. This WIP is moving from last quarter’s plan to this quarter. The issue is that I really want to use a rental at the long arm shop to finish this one and between their schedule, my schedule and my unpredictable migraines, I haven’t gotten there. Surely I can manage this over the next couple of months though.
  2. The second goal is going to be so much fun!  I will make – cut, piece, baste, quilt and bind – a sweet baby quilt for my first grandbaby. The baby is due March 3rd. I hope to have it done by then. It is a simple pattern of HST’s set on point that my kids chose.  Called Simply Snuggly, the tutorial  was written by April Rosenthal. The pattern finishes at 52″ x 61″ so I will be cutting it back a bit.   The parents-to-be chose a lavender, gray, white and pink color scheme. I have the fabric – all of it – for piecing, binding and backing. So I am ready to go. When I get back from our trip this week, I will get it cut out.
  3. I have another baby quilt to make this quarter as well. My niece is expecting her third child, a sweet baby girl, at the end of March.  My plan is to make a quilt from one oversized block. I am thinking of doing a big granny square block with bright, cheerful fabrics. I don’t have the fabric for this project yet but if I look through my stash, I suspect I will find at least a portion of it.
  4. I also plan to make some progress on the Sew Fresh Quilt Bee Hive blocks I am doing for the Canadian Ronald McDonald houses. I have 3 1/2 blocks completed.  I am sure I will be able to squeak these in between the other projects.
  5. I would like to make at least one, and maybe two, garments. I have no plan for these yet but I have a few pieces of fabric that would be fun to use. Two of them work for a baby outfit for that little grandbaby we are all waiting for. Or, I have that vintage border print I have mentioned before. I would love to make a little skirt for myself with it. I can fit those in, right?
  6. If there is any other time left for sewing, I will start a scrappy project. I decided not to follow the RSC17 color of the month this year. I have two scrap bins whose lids no longer snap tight. The green and blue bins are overflowing. Tons of scraps!! It would be fun to make a quilt with greens and blues and a pop of – something? – maybe yellow or a tiny bit of orange?  I will use Amanda Jean Nyberg’s and Cheryl Arkinson’s   book Sunday Morning Quilts for inspiration. I look at that book all the time, drooling over the ideas within. Maybe I should actually use one of them?!  Did you know Amanda Jean is soon to publish her second book, No Scrap Left Behind (love that title)?  I can’t wait to get my hands on it!!

This is plenty to shoot for this quarter! Now to see what actually is accomplished. Are you planning along with this quarter’s FAL?  If so, I look forward to seeing how the quarter progresses for you too.  OK – this is probably, almost certainly, the last post for this week. Probably, maybe, I think so?

New Beginnings

I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t really like the New Year’s Holiday. I think it was because to me it signified Christmas was over (oh how sad I was to see my mom take down the Christmas tree) and school was starting up. I didn’t like school a whole lot as a child – I would much rather be at home!  Anyway, New Year’s wasn’t my thing, that’s for sure.

Now it is signifies a clean slate, opportunity, and a new beginning. While I do love putting the tree up and decorating for Christmas, by New Year’s Day, I am ready to take it down and clean the house. Time to embrace the new year and the awesome opportunity that lies within!

For 2017 I have a few major goals:

  1. The first of which is to greatly expand my Etsy shop. I have a plan blocked out for this but I believe I will save the details for another post. I am excited to share this with you but need to finish a few things up before I do. Now you’re all curious, right??
  2. The second goal is to continue to improve my free motion and long arm quilting skills. I feel like I made great strides in 2016 and want to keep the momentum going. To this end, I am plan to:
    • Make some smaller projects (baby quilts and several minis) because I can quilt those with ease on my home machine which provides lots of practice.
    • Additionally, last night I made a stack of small-ish quilt sandwiches to practice on. Using batting scraps that I stitched together and old fabric, I pinned four sets to be used strictly for practice. For whatever reason, I usually think I need to actually “make” something before quilting. Really, I just need to practice. Using up scraps and weird fabrics will be an economical, quick way to get some practice in.
    • I have two larger quilts planned for this year which will be provide practice on the long arm that I am able to rent. Also, I still have one quilt in my UFO pile and will quilt it on the long arm as well.  (It is the Harmony quilt that was made for a wedding gift for my nephew. He was married in September and I still haven’t finished this. Not for lack of trying though!  I have made two different appointments to rent time on the long arm but both times woke up with a migraine and had to cancel.  Lucky for me, they are very kind about these things. Hoping to schedule time later this month to finish this up and then I can mail it off to the newlyweds.
  3. Next on the list is to fit in a few garment projects. I have several really nice patterns that I would like to make. These are patterns I have picked up while collecting product for my Etsy shop.  Refining my skills in actually fitting a garment would be wonderful. Seems like the main thing that holds me back from making clothing is the difficulty around fitting the pattern. There are a billion tutorials for this, many of which are found at www.collete.com. I subscribe to their newsletter and follow their blog. This year I am going to actually implement some of what I read on their site! First off, there is a vintage fabric I found a long while back. It is a border print and I think it would be cute for a simple skirt. Wish me luck!
  4. Last on the list is time management. There is SO much I want to accomplish. The best way to ensure I can do this is by managing my time wisely. Between sewing, blogging, my Etsy shop and taking care of the house, I seem to run out of hours in the day. To achieve this I plan to:
    • It is my hope to use the Quilter’s Planner even more this year. (I was fairly good about using it last year too.) If I can set goals for each week and plan blog posts out for a few weeks at a time, that would be great. Last year I tried to sketch my week out each Sunday. This year I would like to sketch out farther than one week at a time.
    • Stop multi-tasking. Seriously. This is my downfall every time. If I start one thing, invariably I stop to “just do one quick thing” and then I don’t finish the first thing. I need to stay put. Finish the quilt block, complete the Etsy listing, write the entire blog post, etc. Finishing what I have started would be hugely advantageous. Texting is a big distraction. Turning off the sound on my phone is very helpful
    • Meal plans also help. I do love to cook but if I don’t have a plan for the week’s meals, it feels like a chore. Trying to come up with something at the end of the day often results in dinners like omelets (thanks to our ever diligent hens).  Let’s just say Julia is sick and tired of eating eggs! I love knowing what I plan to make for dinner. It allows me to put more energy into the rest of the day, especially if I prep meals ahead.  Meal planning is something that I do sporadically. It would be so helpful if I planned at least four meals weekly – so that is the goal here. It makes grocery shopping much more efficient as well. I make more quick runs to the grocery store when I don’t have a meal plan. (This is actually a fallacy; from my house to the grocery store is a 14 mile round trip which  means there is no “quick run” to the grocery store!)

With these goals listed, I have a plan. Each objective is easily broken down into steps which makes achieving them much more likely. Go 2017!!! I am off to begin reaching for these goals. Later this week I will share the book that I selected for the Winter Book Share. Stay tuned! Happy New Year everyone!

 

2016 — What a Great Year

I have to tell you — I had a whole lot of fun blogging this year. I met quite a few new friends – some bloggers, some readers, and all so very kind. Let’s take a quick look at what went on here over the past year.

I feel like it was a year of growth. Not just with my quilting and sewing skills but also with regards to my blog. For the first time, I held several events here. It was a fun learning experience, between approaching companies to sponsor the events with giveaways, to creating the theme of the event and then publicizing it; it was all new for me. I think it was both successful and rewarding. I have more up my sleeve for 2017 so stay tuned. Both of the book shares were great fun. The next one is coming soon. I will post the new book during the first week of January. If you want to join in, watch for that as it is first come, first served.

While working on expanding the blog, I was also trying to improve my quilting skills. To this end, I worked on my free motion skills quite a bit. I am loving creating pictures, or motifs, with my quilting. Also, I learned to relief quilt and did several projects using this technique. Finally, I took a long-arm class (I believe that was the only class I took all year!) and it was so much fun! Since the class, I have quilted two more quilts and have one ready to go. I am sure I will continue to practice both my FMQ and long-arm skills throughout 2017.

One of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2016 was to write more tutorials.  They are one way to give back to this community. I have certainly used my share of the amazing tutorials that are floating around this community and it is only fair to create some for others to use. In addition to those that are shown in the pictures; French Press Cozy, Reusable Sandwich Bags, and THREAD Relief Quilting tutorials, I also posted a tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.  These are only a few of the tutorials I posted on the blog. If you would  like to see more, click on the Tutorials link at the top of this page. I have very much enjoyed sharing these with you and plan to create more in the coming year.

While I do love to quilt, I have also been enjoying making things like bags, zip pouches, and even two dresses! Sometimes these projects are just what I need to give as a gift or to satisfy my need of a quick finish. They don’t take nearly the time that a quilt does! I will say that if I make any bags in 2017, I will explore a new pattern. I have used my Noodlehead 241 Tote pattern three times already. Time to move on!

However, this Washi dress pattern may be used another time or two. It is so comfortable!! I have seen people make it as a tunic and it looks really cute. Possibilities, so many possibilities!

I hope that 2016 was a good year for you as well. The new year is just weeks away. I have some really exciting plans to tell you about but let’s save that for another post. For now, I am grateful for all that I learned this year and for all of the friendships that have occurred via this blog. I look forward to another fun year with each of you.

Linking with Meadow Mist Designs Best of 2016 event!

Q4 – Finish-a-Long

Not sure how this happened but it is the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2016 and I never once set goals for the quarterly FAL that happens at She Can Quilt. Leanne hosts an event each quarter to incentivize each of us to get organized and approach our projects with some level of prioritization. Of course this means to participate, I have to actually think forward a bit and decide what is reasonable to finish up.

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This time I am joining in. Better late than never, right?  Here is my list:

  1. Finish the project for the Autumn Abundance blog hop that I am hosting next week. Obviously, there is no way to not reach this goal. Paintbrush Studios has generously sponsored the blog hop and we are excited to provide some autumnal inspiration for all of you! My project is nearing completion. I have been working on quilting it and now need to put some finishing touches on it and bind it. Here is a peek.
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  2. I am working on a little project that will be gifted soon. I am using a mini charm pack of Chic Neutrals, designed by Amy Ellis for Moda. I have only just started this one but it isn’t a huge project. Here is a shot of the patchwork. I really like the colors and geometric prints in this line.
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  3. Remember the Harmony Quilt? I was supposed to quilt this at the long arm shop last week. That plan was derailed (as happens far too often) by a series of migraines that caused me to lay on the couch for much of the week. But I really want to finish this. It is a wedding present for my nephew and the wedding was at the beginning of September. It is a gotta-get-it-done sort of project.
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  4. My scrappy projects will likely be done by  the end of the quarter. I am going to prioritize my Scrappy HST quilt over Gemstones. Mainly because I am not entirely sure what colors I want to do to finish up the Gemstones piece. So – for sure – I will finish the flimsy of the Scrappy HST’s by the end of the year.
  5. I have a whole cloth baby quilt that I just pin basted. This is a fun project, commissioned by my niece, for her friend who will have a baby this coming winter. Love the fabric for this one! I am looking forward to getting this going. However I need to wait for some thread that I just ordered from Craftsyimg_1457I think that is it. During the fall, I spend quite a bit of time sewing for my Etsy shop and usually end up making a few Christmas gifts. Since I don’t have the gifts planned yet, it doesn’t make sense to put them on the list. I suppose I could add in the Etsy items though since they will take a lot of my sewing time. Yes, that seems like a good idea. One more thing for the list. 🙂

6.  Etsy Shop – I need to make about ten more of the Chemex Cozies and five of the French Press Cozies.

That should do it for the next couple of months. Plenty to keep me busy and likely there will be more but this is the list of have-to’s.  How about you? Linking up this quarter? Today is the last day to link up if you want to join in.

 

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Today is the last day of the Supply Sale at Craftsy. Great prices on all sorts of supplies like batting, needles, rotary cutters and blades, thread, etc. I put in an order yesterday for some basics. It is nice to buy this sort of stuff at a decent price for a change!  Check it out.

(I am a Craftsy affiliate.)

Weekly Planning

Last week I hosted To-Do Tuesday for Christine at Stitch All the Things. This was good for me as it gave me a reason to organize my thoughts and make a plan for what I would accomplish that week. List making tends to keep me on task and it worked well last week. I didn’t put very much on the list because my first priority was to finish up the vintage quilt for my guest bed. That took a bit of time but I did finish it. I also finished item two, cut out the second Washi dress I wanted to make and number three, select a book for the Fall Book Share (which I am loving and will tell you about soon). Done and done!

This week, I have ambitious plans.

  1. Finish painting the deck railings for the upper deck of our house. The caps on the railings are forever exposed to cold winters and very warm summers. The wood is constantly contracting and expanding so the paint doesn’t hold well.  I am currently scraping, priming and painting them. Just the caps though. Not each picket because that would take about 907 years and I don’t have the patience. This is an early morning job though because it gets really warm out there after about 10:00 am.
  2. Continue working on my Mighty Lucky Quilting Club challenge for July. This month the challenge was developed by Cheryl Arkinson who is a very talented quilter. I am enjoying this month’s challenge. To be honest, I have been really disappointed with most of the previous month’s challenges. But this one is fun. She talks about creating with only one fabric, using a directional print or large focus fabric. Here is where I am so far.IMG_6836If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a post about this. I love where it is headed. Putting all of these blocks together creates an effect that is almost dizzying. Remember the vintage pink striped pillow cases from two weeks ago? This is the same fabric and I will make a throw pillow with this. A modern project to put on my vintage bed. I think it will finish at 21″ square – I can’t remember for sure. My quandry is the same as usual, how do I quilt this? I am at a loss. I want to retain the effect of the stripes, but how? I would really appreciate ideas on this one.
  3. Finish and take photos of the second Washi dress – I’m almost there.
  4. Prep a project for hand stitching. We are going to spend a few days on the coast soon and I want to have something to bring along. I started last night. Remember the Row By Row project I bought in Maine? The two outer blocks are traditional log cabin and I have those about half way there. The center block is a wool applique and I want to work on it during our trip. All that I need to do is finish cutting the shapes and fusing them in place.
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5. Finally, if there is time, and there might not be, I picked the fabrics for the quilt I am going to make for my nephew’s wedding gift. I didn’t have all of the solids that I need so I took advantage of a sale over at Green Fairy Quilts, Judi Madsen’s online shop, and ordered some Kona solids. But I definitely have enough here to start cutting. It is all set up on the dining room table so I can do a bit of cutting here and there. I am pretty excited about this project. This is the first one that I designed myself, using the Quiltography app. (If you are unfamiliar, see this post.)IMG_6839

That is more than enough for this week. Wish me luck and then tell me what is on your list. Also, if you have a second, take another look at my dizzy stripes and tell me how you would quilt it.

Linking to Let’s Bee Social and To-do Tuesday – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Looking Forward to 2016!

Happy New Year everyone!!! We enjoyed a very quiet New Year’s Eve with just the three of us at home, a big pot of French Onion Soup and some lazy movie time. The perfect way to end 2015. Between my mom’s heart surgery and my sister defeating breast cancer, our family looks forward to a year of peace and good health.

Last year I wrote a post to set some goals for myself in 2015. I want to take a quick look at those and then set up a few for 2016. Here is what I had hoped to accomplish in 2015:

  1. Finish my three UFO’s
  2. Sew only from my stash
  3. Improve my piecing by slowing myself down while sewing
  4. Improve my photography skills
  5. Study up on quilt restoration

Here is what actually happened.

I did finish all three UFO’s, check! Sewing from my stash was a miserable fail. I was only kidding myself with that one. I think I lasted about ten days before I purchased fabric!  I believe I made huge improvements on my piecing – partially through slowing down, which made the process much more enjoyable. But even more than that, through joining up with Mari’s BOM, Classic Stitches. She chose blocks that had lots of pieces which forced me to really practice a lot. I used a lot of chain piecing with her tutorials and overall, my corners and points are improved. Thank you Mari!! I worked on photography by using a light box at times (mostly for product photos for my Etsy shop), taking a class with a friend who is a photographer and buying a 50mm lens which I absolutely love. The last goal, quilt restoration? Nope, never happened. Not once did I work on this, read about it or even look at the two quilts I want to restore.

The year seemed to fly by.  Here we are again with a fresh new year just ahead. I have a few simple goals, several of which build on last year’s goals.

  1.  UFOs – I have three quilts that are nearly done.  My Kaffe Fassett strip quilt top is finished. I need to sandwich, quilt and bind it.  The baby quilt that I made from the thrifted blocks needs the same; sandwich, quilt and bind it and then send it off to Project Linus. Finally, my Classic Stitches row quilt. The quilt top is not yet done but I have it nearly sashed. Then it needs to be finished as well.  So these three projects are at the top of the list.
  2. Improving my quilting skills. This will be done via a great group that I just subscribed to. It is called The Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. So named because the subscription is sold through Lucky Spool. This is a one year subscription where I will receive a new lesson and project, based on a certain skill, with support and inspiration from a different quilter each month. Some of the twelve awesome teachers are Amanda Jean Nyberg (Crazy Mom Quilts), Allison Glass (fabric designer/pattern writer), Angela Walters (Quilting is My Therapy), and Jacqui Gehring (Tall Grass Prairie Studio). These teachers and the rest of the group are sure to provide some really great instruction and should help me to really advance in my quilting. The cost is very reasonable at $5.00 per lesson or $50 for the whole year.
  3. Write some tutorials. I have only written two and would like to practice this skill. It is also a way of giving back to this community. I have learned so much from other’s and want to contribute.
  4. I will carry over the quilt restoration goal and hope that I will take the time to learn about this so I can work on the two quilts of mine that need restoration.

These goals seem reasonable, thus attainable.  I am especially looking forward to the monthly lesson from the Quilting Club. I have a feeling this is going to be a great way to learn and have fun in this community of ours!  What are you looking forward to in the new year? Whether you are one to set goals or not, I wish you all the best in 2016.

A Vintage Finish

Looks like I made it, and with a few days to spare! My ALYOF goal for August was to quilt and bind my vintage double nine patch quilt. Yahoo for setting goals.

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I had asked readers to suggest ideas for quilting the vintage quilt and was happy to receive tons of suggestions. Thanks so much for the ideas. I decided to quilt a basic cross-hatch over the main nine-patch blocks. Then I wanted to do something different with each of the three borders. My original thought was to do different cable patterns so I bought a couple of cable stencils.

Alas, it wasn’t entirely successful. I started by doing a basic, single cable on the middle (narrowest) border. I had great help with tracing the stencil. Ian was home for the weekend and kindly traced for me.

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Try as I might, I couldn’t relax and just stitch. I wanted to use my walking foot, maybe that was the mistake? The stitching isn’t fluid and I am less than pleased with it. Hoping that a run through the wash (in my NEW washing machine) will make the jitters a bit less obvious.

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Because of the issues with the single cable, I lost interest in doing a more complex cable pattern so I put the stencils away in the deepest recesses of my desk drawer. I don’t plan on looking at them for quite some time. Instead, I played with some motifs that Lori Kennedy has posted over at The Inbox Jaunt. I chose her Modern Leaf pattern (which I posted about earlier this week.) Because I am susceptible to this sort of nonsense, I wondered if I should use a motif with the word “Modern” in it when I was really trying to go for a vintage look. Jeez… I need to get over myself already. It worked out fine and was very fun to quilt. Because I did the quilting with cream colored Mettler thread, it is hard to see in the pictures. But I am much happier with it than the single cable. (I love the fabric with those little pins. Really cute.)

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For the final, outside border I did basic straight-line quilting which I just eyeballed using the side of the walking foot. Simple and clean. I backed it with a blue print and as you can see, I used one of the cream background fabrics as the binding.

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One small concern that came to mind is that I have a six inch gap between stitching lines on the cross-hatch. The batting said I could space the quilting with as much as an eight inch gap. However this is likely the widest I have gone and it seems sketchy to me.  Any input on that? I could still add lines to the body of the quilt if need be. If I split the difference between the existing lines, I would have a three inch gap. Thanks for any ideas you might have.

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Overall, I am happy with the finish. This is a more traditional quilt than I normally make but I enjoyed it. My next project is more modern and uses Kaffe Fassett yardage and jelly roll. I am chomping at the bit to get started on it so stay tuned.

Linking to my favorites:  Let’s Bee Social, Finish it up Friday, and Sew Bittersweet Designs.  Take a peek at these sites – there is a lot of great work out there!

August, really?

August is here. That’s crazy. Summer is buzzing by and we are trying to cram as much as possible into these last few weeks.

With the new month, I am looking at what I want to create and complete for August. The list is long, maybe too long?

The main goal is to finish the vintage nine patch quilt. I have the quilt top and backing ready to go. I ordered batting on-line because I don’t feel like the 75 miles (round trip) to Jo-Anns. I won’t buy batting at the local store, it’s too expensive. Anyway, it should be here this week and then I can get the quilt pin basted and start quilting it. That is the goal I am submitting for August for ALYOF.

I also have a project that came my way via the New Quilt Bloggers Bloghop. Fabri-Quilt has sponsored an activity for the group. We are each to work with a set of solids and create a block that is of our own design.

IMG_20150803_3649These are the fat eighths that I received this week. I have been cutting and sewing mock ups and so far don’t have exactly what I want. It needs to be original. What exactly does that mean? I can’t really think of a block that hasn’t been used in some way by someone else. Truly, there are only so many ways I can visualize HST’s, squares, triangles and rectangles. So, I am trying to take a regular block and put my own spin on it. That is about as original as my brain gets.  At any rate, this is certainly forcing me to work beyond my comfort zone. In addition to making the block, we will all be writing tutorials for the blocks. That part will be fun and I am really curious to see everyone’s block tutorials. Could be a fun project to make a selection of the blocks and come up with a sampler quilt or wall hanging. Stay tuned for more on this.

IMG_20150803_3646Next on the list, as always, is my RSC15 row quilt.  Last month I veered from the Classic Stitches block but this month I plan to go back to Mari’s monthly block. She wrote up an easy block for this month and the color is indigo, black or gray. I need to look at the quilt so far and choose either indigo or gray, either of which I have plenty of scraps to choose from.

Lastly, if I get around to it, I am going to start making two twin quilts for the beds up at Downieville.  Ray saw me looking at comforters on-line and raised those eyebrows of his – like, really? You are always looking for a reason to sew and you want to buy two comforters?  I shook my head and came back to reality. I painted the room a pale sage green. There are cute curtains (that I thrifted) with a floral pattern of green and violet on a tan background. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture for some reason.) I was at the store last week and they had  a deal where if you bought the end of the bolt, it was 40% off. The tan bolt (I think it was a Bella Solid) was perfect so I bought the remaining six yards. Then I bought a piece of violet and a print.

IMG_20150804_3653It is a good starting point. I don’t know exactly the design yet, but I do know I want it to be big, oversized blocks. I started a board on Pinterest for inspiration. I think with big chunky blocks, both quilts will come together reasonably fast. My hope for this month is to settle on a design and get the pieces cut.

The bedroom will look much better with normal bedding. Right now there is a hodge-podge of linens that I had stashed away. Not exactly pretty. I really love this little hummingbird print. It is called “Windsor Woods”.

IMG_20150804_3654Somewhere in all of this, I need to start working on Etsy items. The holiday season will be here soon. I hope to have plenty of items posted by fall. Last year I was new to the game (actually, I still am!)  I didn’t have enough items listed and sold out quickly. Hope to boost the quantity this year.

Lots of the list. I better get to work!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social. Links to all of these sites are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

 

 

 

The Plan for May

OK, May is going to be busy. We have my daughter’s 14th birthday (yikes!). I have a family trip planned that lasts nearly one week and we have my daughter-in-law’s graduation from medical school (double yikes!!)  Lots of activity going on so I am trying to be reasonable.

My main goal for the month  (which will by my ALYOF goal for May) has to be the completion of my Allison Glass Mini Quilt. The swap has to be mailed out in the first part of June so this needs to be at the top of the list. It shouldn’t be a problem as the top of the mini is done. I need to make the back and quilt it up. I want to make the quilting shine and as I still consider myself a newbie, I need to spend some time with this. I also want to make an “extra” giftie to include with the mini using some of the Allison Glass scrap.  Here is what I have left to make the backing with as well as an extra. I should have plenty of fabric.

IMG_20150504_3260 Second to the Allison Glass Mini is a custom order I am doing for a friend. She frequently has her granddaughters for the night and they sleep in bunkbeds. She asked me to make two hanging bags so they can have books and stuffies up on the bunk with them. The bags will hang from the rails of the beds. These are already cut and 1/2 way done so I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing them up. Hoping to do that this week. I am using a polka dot twill by Riley Blake and lining the bags with the lovely “Wander Woods” print from Wee Wander.

Third on the list is to make this month’s row for my Classic Stitches Row Quilt that I am doing with Mari over at Academic Quilter as my RSC15 project.  Tomorrow she will post the block that is to be made for this month. Luckily May’s color is green – I love green and have a bundle of scraps for it.

That is it for goals. Anything that is accomplished beyond that is a bonus.

This weekend was our local quilt show. It was great fun and so inspiring. I want to share the quilt that won Best of Show. This local artist, Sandra Bruce, is amazing. I posted about a class that I took with her last spring to learn her process called “Material Matrix”. It is a great process that takes a photo and divides it into patchwork squares by overlaying a grid on it. Sandra is an excellent teacher and a brilliant artist. Her portrait of Clair is approximately 4′ x 5′. Really striking, it is a perfect portrait of this sweet girl. When I was oohing and ahhing over the portrait, Sandra pointed out Clair to me. I asked her to pose for a picture and, while she probably thinks I am some sort of stalker, she did it for me.

IMG_20150503_3257Below is a closer look at the quilt. Sandra’s ability to create the human expression with bits of fabric never ceases to amaze me. If I remember correctly, she used 2 1/2″ squares to create this. Click on the link above if you want to check out her gallery. She does travel and teach so you never know, maybe she’ll be in your area some time. If she is, it’s totally worth your time to work with her for a day or two!

IMG_20150503_3258Finally, have you seen the list for some of the instructors at 2016 Quilt Con??? This was in today’s issue of the Modern Quilt Guild  Newsletter. Absolutely. Amazing. I am so excited and am considering whether this might be my first time attending. It is in Southern CA in February of 2016 so it would be fairly easy for me to attend.

quilt con teachers

Big question is, how would a person even choose which one(s) to take a class with??? Most of my quilty heros are in this line up. It’s too good to be true!!  Are you going?  C’mon, you have a nearly a year to figure it out!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, FreeMotion by the River and ALYOF at Sew Bittersweet Designs.