2014 In Review

One of the best things about blogging is that you can start a post and save it as a draft and add to it before actually posting it. I started this post, in note form, on January 2, 2014. I have added to it over the course of the year so that I have a pretty decent picture of my quilting year. Let me share it with you.

The first project I worked on in 2014 was the Christmas Celebration Tree Skirt for my eldest daughter. I had started it last year, but, as you can see, it was a complicated project.

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The first projected I actually started in 2014 was the Disappearing Pinwheels quilt. I’m still working on making the blocks as I have plenty of other projects that I’m working on simultaneously. I have serious Quilter’s ADD.

We began the church auction quilt in February by cutting the fabric and passing out block kits to several people at church. The goal this year was to make a quilt that would fit in almost any color scheme. We put together enough block kits to make a king sized quilt, but they didn’t all come back finished and several had to be redone, so we settled for a queen-sized quilt which I began assembling in May.

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I took part in my first charm swap in May (yes, I am late to the party!), and I have definite ideas of what I’m going to do with those 1 1/2″ squares, but I’m trying to hold the Quilter’s ADD in check and finish a few things first.

I completed a potholder (my first!) in June. I used a block from my 120 blocks project. This was also my first finish of the year. I did it to enter Very Lazy Daisy’s contest.

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As I had promised our youngest daughter and her husband, I completed the Wedding Quilt in July. The finish coincided with their first anniversary and their move into their first house. (By the way, the room where this picture was taken is now their theater room and the walls are red.)

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I completed Falling Charms a week later. It had been waiting for a binding for a month or so after returning from my favorite longarm quilter. The binding was even already made.

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Another first for this one is that I pieced the back. As a hand quilter, I don’t usually do this, because in hand quilting I prefer as few extra layers (like seam allowances) as possible to quilt through. I think I like the back every bit as much as I like the front of this one.IMG_1954

We began quilting the church auction quilt in August. We got together in my basement a few times a week to work on this.

I attended AQS Grand Rapids in August. Last year, I learned I really didn’t like going for just one day. I like the chance to drop in on the show several times during the week. I took four classes! And I learned two things about that. First, I don’t want to take four classes that start early in the morning. Second, four classes are too many. Maybe a class or two and some lectures would be better. And maybe a couple of mornings to sleep in a bit! I started two new quilts at the quilt show during my two Kimberly Einmo classes. IMG_2229

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At the quilt show, I had a great time with Nonnie and Carole. We got to spend a little more time together than last year. (Actually, Carole and I got to spend a lot more time together. Nonnie, I hope you get to come for more days next summer!)

IMG_2256Here we are in front of Katie’s Corgi Fairy Tale quilt.

I completed Christmas Celebration Tree Skirt top in September and sent it out for machine quilting. I got it back and bound by October 7, making it finish number four!

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Immediately after sending off the above tree skirt, I began Carpenter’s Star Tree Skirt in September. After all, the younger daughter and her husband deserved a Christmas tree skirt also! They chose this pattern and it went quickly. I sent it out for machine quilting also and got it back and bound by October 29 (finish number five!). I was able to give both the tree skirts to their new owners when we got together to celebrate our eldest daughter’s birthday at the end (literally) of October.

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We finished church auction quilt November 25, and it was auctioned off on December 5.

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Shortly after that, I got the itch to play with some Christmas fabrics so I made a Jelly Roll Race and added some blocks to it. It is just waiting for me to take it to the longarmer, but I need to figure out a back for it first.

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I have also worked on some old BOMs this year, getting to the seventh blocks in both the 2011 and 2012 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOMs. And I started the 2014 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM with my friend Amy. I am hoping to completer the American Beauty BOM top before year’s end so that it can be my first finish next year.

The last UFO that I worked on this year is a tumbler quilt kit that I bought a few years ago and started a few years ago and wrote about here. I found it last week and started a push to finish it. So far 8 of the 14 rows are together:

IMG_2483Yep, those are not my usual colors, but they do look kind of masculine, don’t they? My son-in-law’s birthday is on January 9 and if a miracle happens, this will be a birthday gift.

So, I am apparently using this quilt top to avoid finishing the American Beauty BOM. Why do I not just get that one done?

Happy New Year and

Quilt on!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry #2 – Small Quilt

AmysCreativeSide.com

At 60″ in diameter and (if I’ve done my math correctly) 188.5″ in circumference, “Janni’s Christmas Celebration” tree skirt qualifies as a small quilt, I guess.

IMG_2323Last year about this time, my eldest daughter asked if I would make her a red and gold Christmas tree skirt. We looked online and found the Christmas Celebration pattern by Judy Niemeyer. I will admit to being very nervous and intimidated by this pattern as I’d never made one of her patterns before.

IMG_1442I think that this year’s updated version of this pattern has a different cover, but it’s the same pattern. But back to my story.

I was a little nervous about doing this tiny pointy paper piecing, but the cutting and paper piecing directions provided were amazing. Even the curved piecing was not as scary as I expected it to be.

Here are some pictures I took along the way:

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I got started with the first section (above) and the finished first sections are below.

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Above is the beginning of the curved flying geese sections which did have me a bit worried but once I got going they turned out fine as you can see below.

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  The next few pictures show the sections as I put them together to make the wedges.

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Below are the first two wedges joined together.

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Below is the completed top before I sent it off to be quilted by Crystal of Longarm Lyrics.

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Below is a picture of the beautiful golden swirls that Crystal quilted into the tree skirt. I took the picture from the back because it is easier to see the quilting on the plain backing.

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And here is another shot of the completed tree skirt!

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Name: Janni’s Christmas Celebration
Size: 60″ in diameter
Pattern: Christmas Celebration by Judy Niemeyer
Batting – 100% cotton
Quilting: Machine quilted by Crystal of Longarm Lyrics in swirls.
Quilt on!

Some Tuesday Catch-Up

I haven’t been on social media as much as usual lately because I have been working on some projects. The list here is not in the order of completion or dates worked on. It’s just in an order that makes sense to me.

First off, I have finished Janni’s Christmas tree skirt! I wanted a slightly lighter red binding but I didn’t think I had enough of that fabric to make it so I had to go with the darker red. I still like the red binding, though. This binding was my first bias binding and went pleasantly well.

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And here’s a close-up of the quilting on the back so you can see it! It looks gorgeous. IMG_2324

The binding was a pain to machine sew around the small hole in the center, so I’m thinking once I finish Lizzi’s and Joe’s tree skirt, I will stay away from Christmas tree skirts forevermore!

Speaking of Lizzi’s and Joe’s Christmas tree skirt, that top is completed and at the longarmer’s for quilting but here is what it looked like before I cut out the center hole”

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I also finished block 6 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM. I also thought I’d finished the 2012 block since but when I went to press it, I realized that I had made a major mistake on it and had to take a bunch of it apart. I’ll probably get that one done this week, but in the meantime here is the 2011 block 6:

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Up next: hand quilting on the church quilt, finishing 2012 block 6, cutting the two block 7s, and working on the American Beauty BOM. Of course, all that will take a back seat to binding and washing Lizzi’s and Joe’s tree skirt when it comes back.

Quilt on!

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!

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!

#LDSI Results

This weekend being a long weekend with a Monday national holiday here in the US, there was a Twilter Labor Day Sew-In. And this time, I got to participate a bit. I started on Friday and here are the results by day.

Friday afternoon Christmas tree skirt paper piecing:

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That was all the sewing that happened on Friday.  Then came Saturday. Football games are perfect for hand piecing because you can listen to everything being said and then look up for the individual plays or replays. So, I worked on the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM Block Five. Here’s one of the sections (I should finish this block tomorrow evening when I drive DH to his rehearsal and wait for him there):

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Saturday evening I finished paper piecing these sections of the Christmas tree skirt and started to take out the paper:

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Sunday was a pretty busy day so all I accomplished was tearing out the rest of the papers.

Monday I had more time. I had unrealistic visions of quickly putting together all of the paper pieced sections and finishing the Christmas tree skirt. Yeah, right. First I had to put these together (and I confess that I had to unsew at least half of them at least once to get the one seam that had to match up correctly matched):

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Then I took a break for dinner and came back (after a quick ride on the stationary cycle) to put the next sections on. Now I have eight of these:

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Now that #LDSI is over, this week will be full of the usual plus some hand quilting on the church quilt, hand piecing while waiting for DH, and eventually back to the Christmas tree skirt and some curved piecing as I add the flying geese.

How about you?

Quilt on!

Quilting Fun

I have been getting  in some sewing while the getting is good. Carolyn was planning to finish and block the sweater today, so sometime in the next couple of days I will get the sweater and start embroidering the sleeves. Amy tried it on and definitely only wants the sleeves embroidered, which means I may actually be able to get it done in time for her to wear it to the wedding on Saturday.

This means that I spent yesterday evening cutting and putting together Block 2 of this year’s Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM. This one was designed by the ladies from Sweetwater:

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Today I decided that some paper piecing was in order since I couldn’t vacuum the sewing area while my husband napped. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) I started working on the Celebration Christmas Tree Skirt that I’m making for my oldest daughter. This is about where these units were when I started.

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Here is how they (there are actually eight of them) look all completed:

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My Block 3 (designed by Bonnie & Camille) arrived today, so if I don’t get the call from Carolyn early in the day tomorrow, I may try to get it put together and be ahead for the first time ever in a BOM!

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

Help!!!!

So, I’ve spent several months just kind of moving along in several areas without really being excited about sewing/quilting. I’ve made progress on the paper piecing of my eldest daughter’s Christmas tree skirt. (Haven’t started the one for the youngest daughter and her hubby yet.) I started the Falling Charms quilt and the Disappearing Pinwheel. I signed up for the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM at the Fat Quarter Shop. I did a little stitching (and a lot of reading) in preparation for learning to machine appliqué. I fell in love with another BOM that would utilize both piecing and machine appliqué, but I haven’t yet signed up for that one. (Available here or here or here. And if we really want to confess something, I would love to make this kit and maybe even a couple of others, but I don’t usually like kits. And we’ve gotten started on the church quilt for this year, but that is not entirely on me.

So what’s missing from all of these things? Finishes! Where is the mojo for actually completing something? Does someone have a shot of that that they could send me? Please! Before I start something else that I may or may not regret starting!