Another Quilty Resolutions Update

It’s that time again. Time for the Third Quarter Quilty Resolutions Update.  I have the Quilty Resolutions that I made for Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us (where I’m linking this) and I have my own Quilty Resolutions in the sidebar to the right. I’ll cover both here.

First, Sandy’s, which are the quilting monkeys we want to get off our backs.

  1. “The American Beauty block of the month that I started in 2010. The blocks are all done – I just need to add the setting triangles, sashing and border.” Nope, this monkey is still here. The best I’ve done is look at the triangles and pick them up and count to make sure they’re all there. Sigh.
  2. “My fear of free motion. I need to make some quilt sandwiches with the scraps from the wool batting I used in my daughter’s wedding quilt so I can test them for the best laundering and drying. I might as well play with free motion quilting on them before I wash them up, right?” Well, I did put some sandwiches together, but I haven’t used them at home yet. I took two free motion quilting classes at the AQS show in Grand Rapids and I am definitely less concerned that I won’t be able to do it. I’ve just had other projects I’ve been working on.
  3. “My laziness and avoidance of learning to applique.” Yeah, that’s still there, sorry to say.

Now on to the resolutions on my sidebar.

  1. Complete at least 2 of the 4 BOMs I have going.
    a. American Beauty BOM See above
    b. 2009 Designer Mystery BOM – On the frame for hand quilting
    c. 2011 Designer Mystery BOM – Blocks 1-6 completed
    d. 2012 Designer Mystery BOM – Blocks 1-5 completed
  2. Complete the Wedding Quilt for my daughter and her husband before their first anniversary which is July 20. It is finished and delivered!!!!!! You can read about it here.
  3. Do some free motion quilting on one small project. See above.
  4. Complete the two Christmas tree skirts for my daughters before Thanksgiving. The first skirt top has been completed and quilted and is just waiting to be bound. The most recent blog post on it is here. The other Christmas tree skirt top is completed and off to be quilted.
  5. Complete the studio (aka family room) reorganization. Not enough progress to mention
  6. Complete the Falling Charms Quilt that is currently on the design wall. Finished!!!!!  The last post on it is here.
  7. Try some machine appliqué. See above.

I seem to have done much better at the Quilty Resolutions I made totally on my own that at the ones that I made following Sandy’s suggestions.  I’m on track to finish the tree skirts before my eldest daughter’s visit the weekend of October 31. Then I can give them to both girls. The tree skirts are not surprises so I’m not giving anything away.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Celtic Pieced Illusions

This week we are looking at Celtic Pieced Illusions by Karen Combs. Yes, that is an Amazon Associate link as usual. (According to Amazon, I purchased this book on September 20, 2011, so you can tell I’ve had it awhile.)

I’m not sure why I purchased this book in the first place. I know that I really am not drawn to Celtic Quilts (although some of the designs make nice quilting patterns). I don’t think I will ever make an entire quilt from this book. What I may well do, however, is use some of the units she introduces in this book to make pieced borders for other quilts. And that is one reason I still own this book. The other reason is that there is quite a bit of good information in it and stuff to play with.

The book starts with an introduction, in which Ms. Combs discusses Celtic art, most especially Celtic Knots. Then it’s on to business.

  1. Chapter One – Let’s Play (This includes some worksheets to copy, cut out, and use to rotate sections to make different patterns. Sooooo much fun!)
  2. Chapter Two – Color & Value
  3. Chapter Three – From Design to Fabric
  4. Chapter Four – Sewing Hints
  5. Chapter Five – Patch Patterns (AKA templates)
  6. Chapter Six – Quilt Patterns (There are 14.)
  7. For Quilt Teachers
  8. Meet the Author
  9. Resources

And there you have it!

Quilt on!

Craftsy’s Stash of Possibilities Sale!

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A New Christmas Tree Skirt Project

I’ve made some progress on a couple of things. First, I got Janni’s Christmas tree skirt to longarmer. I had hoped for custom quilting on it, but I got a phone call on Thursday from the longarmer saying she was booked for custom quilting through June of next year. Sigh. But she promised to make it look pretty and it is back already, waiting for me at the quilt store. This means I will be very shortly learning to make bias binding!

So next big project with a deadline – the other Christmas tree skirt. I started cutting it almost right away and got these green HSTs cut:

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Then, on Saturday during a lovely Twilter hangout, I finished cutting the red and white pieces. I also managed to get the first half up on the design wall and here it is.IMG_2308

Later Saturday evening, I got downstairs to finish putting it up on the design wall. I texted the picture to my daughter and son-in-law, and they gave me the go ahead to put it together (I was a bit concerned about the scrappiness). So the plan for this week is to get it pieced together, decide on a backing and batting and get it to the longarmer.IMG_0063During the football game Saturday, I got Block 5 of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM and here it is:

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What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Simply Triangles

Today we are looking at another older book from my collection, Simply Triangles: 11 Deceptively Easy Quilts Featuring Stars, Daisies & Pinwheels by Barbara H. Cline. The link below is an Amazon Associate link and the book is also available in a Kindle version for about $10 less than the print version.

This is the first book by Barbara H. Cline I purchased, but not the first I’ve reviewed. I reviewed her book Diamond Chain Quilts: 10 Skill-Building Projects • Dynamic Star, Daisy & Pinwheel in an earlier post. And, yes, I like the looks of her quilts. I may need to make some soon.

When I first purchased this book, it was with some trepidation, because triangles seemed a bit challenging. Now that I’ve got a little more experience, I’m about ready to try some more, so I pulled this book out. (Okay, let’s be honest, I also needed something to review today! I admit it.)

Ms. Cline’s directions seem (I only say seem because I haven’t followed them and actually made anything yet not because I think they are deceptive or anything) very straightforward and easy to follow. The sections of the book are as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Triangle Quilt Basics  (This covers supplies, fabric preparation, cutting and various techniques, including the dreaded Y-seam)
  3. Triangles to Stars (7 projects)
  4. Triangles to Daisies (2 projects)
  5. Triangles to Pinwheels (2 projects)
  6. Template Patterns
  7. About the Author
  8. Resources

Stay tuned. Maybe I’ll actually make about 5 of these!

Quilt on!

Fall Craftsy Sale

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Check it out and learn something new or review something you already know.  And, as always,

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler

Today we are looking at Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts: The True Story Behind the Quilt, 140 Traditional Blocks by Jennifer Chiaverini. Yep, this is another one that has been around awhile. Here is the Amazon Associate link – please note that it is also available for Kindle.

If you’ve read the Elm Creek Quilts books, you know the  history of this quilt. The Elm Creek Quilter’s recruit people from Sylvia’s life to create 6 X 6″ (finished) blocks for a wedding quilt for Sylvia Compson.  Obviously, that is a fictional quilt. In the introduction to this book, Jennifer Chiaverini (author of the Elm Creek Quilts books) describes how the real quilt came to be. There is at least one Pinterest board with examples of this quilt. A Pinterest search brings up even more examples.

The sections in this book are:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Blocks (diagrams of how to make each of the 140 blocks)
  3. General Instructions (for how to put this quilt together, not for how to make a quilt)
  4. The Gallery
  5. Template and Foundation Patterns
  6. Block Index
  7. About the Author

Since I am not an expert quilter (and I think 6 inch blocks are easier to deal with than 4 inch blocks!), I’m pretty sure that I’m more likely to make one of these than to make a Dear Jane quilt. I also think I like the quilts with these blocks set on point with lots of white sashing. (Yes, maybe I am planning to make one since I’m giving it so much thought. Sigh.)

Anyway, if you are attracted to quilts like the Dear Jane, this is definitely one you should check out.

Quilt on!

Musings on Machines

Every once in a while, I wonder if I might be interested in a new (and probably pricier) sewing machine. This usually happens when I have taken a class where a fancier machine than mine is provided for my use or my current machine is acting crappy. (In the case of the latter reason, I actually did succumb about 3 years ago & bought my current machine.)

The first time I experienced this was when taking a class at Paducah in 2011. The provided machine for that class was a Janome Horizon (6600, I think). There were features on that machine that I found quite intriguing (most notably the stop/start button) and the show special really had me tempted. I did not succumb then, but did use that experience with those features when I needed a new machine six months later.

The most recent experience was at the AQS Grand Rapids show. Over the course of my four days there, I took four classes on three different types of machines. Two were Janomes. One was a Bernina. I don’t remember the model number of the first, a smaller Janome, but I wasn’t really thrilled with it. It allowed me to sew with no warning when I had forgotten to put the presser foot down. My Brother would never let me do that!

The second was another Janome Horizon (7700, maybe?). The show special was amazing and tempting. The machine sewed very nicely. I sewed on this machine for two classes and had no problems except… Brother’s needle threader is so much easier to use! I am so spoiled! If I were a sewing machine manufacturer, I’d pay the money to purchase my needle threaders from Brother. Seriously! And that feature was enough of a deal breaker to bring me back to earth.

Now for the Bernina. I will admit that I have pretty much decided I will never own a Bernina. I kind of feel like they are overpriced or maybe more machine than I will never need or use. However, this picture illustrates a feature that I strongly believe all quilting machines should have – lines on the machine bed to help guide fabric for no mark HST sewing or binding joining. (I came to this belief when I did a tool review here.) I’m not a fast quilter, nor do I aspire to be one, but I’d be a little faster with these on my machine.

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A brief note about my love affair with my start/stop button

One thing you need to know about me – I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. When I took my first free motion quilting class, it was on a machine with a start/stop button. I realized quickly that I will always do better at free motion quilting with this button than using my machine foot pedal. I can’t focus on controlling machine speed and my speed, so…  Another plus about my start/stop button, when I had tendinitis in my right ankle I was still able to sew because I had that lovely little button.

And, to wrap this up, I think I’m quite happy with my current machine even though it doesn’t have lines on the machine bed, so I get to save a boatload of money instead of spending it on a new machine.

Quilt on!

A Finished Top

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen this, but I finished this top tonight:

IMG_2299 IMG_2300Not every seam lines up perfectly where the wedges join together, but you have to look pretty closely to find where they don’t. I’m fine with that.

Now I can make the next tree skirt (once I get the backing and batting ready for this one to go to the longarmer). It’s quite different but there is a star involved.

Quilt on!

Sorry No Books on Monday, But…

So, apparently, I have not looked at a single quilt book this week and I really want to get downstairs and sew, so no book review today.

I can, however, show you what I’ve been working on.

First, I was able to complete Block Five of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM:

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I also got quite far sewing together Block Five of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. That will certainly be completed by the end of next Saturday’s football game if not sooner. (Football on TV is perfect for hand work because you can always look up to see the plays and replays, but keep stitching most of the time.)

All of my sewing machine time this week was spent on the Christmas Celebration tree skirt. I took a few pictures.

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This is what the bottom section of the individual wedges looks like. I’ve already trimmed the bottom point to make the hole for the tree trunk. (The curved piecing of the flying geese was not nearly as bad as I was expecting.

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This is the top section of the individual wedges. And, yes, there is more curved piecing when I put the two together.

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And here are the two pieces put together to make one wedge. If I were doing it over, I probably would put red instead of gold around the outside, but this does look kind of Art Deco. IMG_2298

Here is what the two wedges I’ve completed look like sitting next to each other. I think this is going to be okay. I hope.

And now I should get downstairs and put the other six together! I want to get this thing off to the longarmer soon.

Quilt on!