This Weekend in Quilting

It has been a very quilty kind of weekend.

Friday was the church auction. The wholecloth quilt was this year’s quilt and sold for a very good price. Here’s the official portrait of the front.

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It isn’t the best ever picture. I regret the wrinkles, but you get the idea. The back is blackish, darker than the picture below. I never got a picture of the whole back, but my friend Ellen did and shared it with me.img_5148

It was also Christmas decorating weekend in the upstairs. (Our daughter decorated her part of the house last weekend – way more decorating than I ever do). I wanted to use the Christmas table runner I finished back in April on my coffee table but there was a problem. My coffee table has a raised edge and the table runner covered that. I could picture lots of spills as we set drinks down unevenly. So I decided to do some editing and make it a little wider. It would have been faster if I’d just cut an inch or so off of it all the way around, but I really liked the binding so first I removed the binding. It felt like it took forever.

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Here is the before picture:

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And here is the after picture as it sits on the coffee table:

fullsizeoutput_1e66The other quilty decoration is my tree skirt. The very first church quilt I ever worked on was a Cathedral Window quilt. When there were too many blocks made for the size quilt we were working on, we made a tree skirt. Guess who got it at that year’s auction! (We also had enough parts left to make another tree skirt the following year.) Here’s my tree skirt, hanging off the table on which we put our downsized Christmas tree.

img_5143The other quilty thing I got done this weekend is that I got Scrap in a Box basted. I didn’t get a good picture, but I did want to show you where I need to do this now. (I used to use the JoAnn’s cutting table, but I don’t have that anymore.)

img_5149Yep, that is a tile floor. My knees are not happy with me. I don’t want to do this too often. I need to figure out something else.

How was your weekend?

Quilt on!

This Week’s Progress

As I mentioned in the previous post, we were in full finish the quilting mode for the church quilt. Four days and one evening a week for the past couple of weeks. By last week, it became apparent that if all went well, Friday, November 11 would be the day the quilting was finished. We had to work a little later than our usual 4:00 PM, but the quilt came off the frame on Friday.

Here are some pictures:

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It is still on the frame in this picture. The marking is still visible, but we did also use different colored thread in various places. For example, the feathers are purple. (And they go all around the queen-sized quilt. I am more than a bit tired of feathers – but they look sooooo cool.)img_5100

In this picture, we are looking at the center of the quilt, checking to make sure everything is done. It’s still mostly on the frame at this point.fullsizeoutput_1e5c

This is another shot of the center, but including some of the edge too. img_5102

This just gives you an overall idea of how the texture shows up. (I’m sorry that these pictures are not the most beautiful. We were in a hurry to call the quilting done!)img_5103

This is the back of the quilt. It is really much darker than this, almost black.img_5104

Yes, really, this is the back and it looks even less black. but it is. I hope to get better pictures in coming weeks.fullsizeoutput_1e5b

The next thing I worked on were these placemats. I am not very happy with them. They are not very square and the sides are really that wavy. And they don’t lay especially flat. I think I will still donate them to the church auction, but I will not be making more of this style. I really should have done the extra step that Joanna Figueroa mentions for cutting strips is in her Craftsy class Smarter Strip Quilting. (Yes that is a Craftsy affiliate link that will help pay the blog bills.) That  is part of the reason the placemats look a bit wonky.)

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As I was clearing off the top of the cutting table to trim up the church quilt, I had to move the Birds in the Air blocks. I put them back up on the design wall. I’m not sure if I will keep this arrangement, but I’m contemplating it. I’d need to make a couple more blocks, which wouldn’t be a problem. It was a fun idea to make it look like a flock of birds flying, but I’m not sure I’m really feeling it. I will have to do some more playing with the arrangement before I decide for sure. I’ve seen some very fun settings from the other members of the exchange so…

I had originally thought that I’d spend most of this afternoon and evening sewing, but inertia overtook me after I got home from church and nothing got done. Sigh. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the church quilt trimmed up, the binding made and attached to the front. We are having the binding party to whip stitch it to the back on Thursday morning, so I do have until then to get done, but I’d rather not wait until the last minute.

I’d also like to get the borders on the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. I know I’ve said that before. I also have a few more small items to make for the auction, so it should be a very sewy couple of weeks.

Quilt on!

Memorial Day Sew-In Success

I thought there was a chance that I might not even get to join in on the Memorial Day Sew-In on Twitter due to a hectic week or two of travel and visitors, but, not only did I get to sew on Memorial Day itself, but I also got a very good start on putting together my Birds in the Air blocks for the Twilter block exchange (and I finished the last few tonight).

For the blocks I used a white solid (I’m pretty sure it’s a Bella solid) and varying scraps for the colors. I can tell you what project each of the fabrics I used came from. As a matter of fact, I’m about to do just that. First up, the ones I made on Memorial Day.

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The top two blocks are made with fabric from the 2009 FQS Designer Mystery BOM which has lingered in my quilting frame downstairs waiting for me to not have anything more important to hand quilt. I got it onto the frame a month or so before my daughter became engaged to her now husband and the wedding quilt took over the hand quilting mojo. Since then, most of the hand quilting time has gone to the church quilt which is a wholecloth quilt and requires a lot of quilting! Here’s what the top looks like:102_3033The one on the lower left is the border fabric from my eldest daughter’s quilt (Janni’s Woven Star). Here’s a reminder of what that one looks like:IMG_0544 IMG_0545 IMG_0554And here’s a closeup of the border fabric with chalk marking on it:IMG_0532Then the fabric on the bottom right is from the backing fabric for my youngest daughter’s wedding (AKA, Spotts’ Sea of Love) quilt and Hearts of Flowers. Here are the blocks I finished tonight:IMG_4022The top fabric here is the border fabric of the first church quilt for which I was the project manager. This one:100_0662And last, but not least, the fabric on the bottom is from Philippa’s Mug Rug from last year’s swap. Here it is:IMG_4230

Slacking Apology

I have apparently become the worst slacker ever. No update after last weekend’s sewing. No Books on Monday. No blogging at all.

Let’s see what I can do to remedy that.

Late last week we headed to the Chicago area to spend a couple days celebrating our eldest daughter’s birthday. So fun to spend time with her and the granddog. Part of the celebration was a showing of Ghostbusters at one of those movie theaters that serves meals while the movie is being shown. That was a first for me! Other than a Cheesecake Factory lunch and viewing of Scream and Scream 2 (DH had never seen either of these), we  mostly just hung out with DD, and, of course, there were presents.

We got home Saturday evening in time to catch the start of the Michigan – Minnesota football game. The football sewing did not go well. Actually, what happened was that I realized it hadn’t gone well the previous weekend and I’d cut some of the strips too short for the pineapple block. I’ll have to dismantle that a bit before I can make any progress on it. Sigh. Probably not during the Michigan – Rutgers game tomorrow. I think I’ll work on the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM during that game.

This year’s church quilt is a queen-sized wholecloth quilt. Unfortunately, this week we realized that with only four of us regularly hand quilting it, it will not be anywhere close to done by the time of the auction. This being the case, we scaled back our efforts and are aiming for next year’s auction for this quilt. I am not happy to give up, but it would take more hours than my aging body is willing to give me on that quilt to get even close to finished. And I’m not sure we could even then.

Feeling a bit guilty about this, I am putting together a quick throw quilt top which I hope to get longarmed and bound in time for the auction. It won’t be at all the same kind of thing as the usual quilts in the auction, but it will be something biggish to auction off. I’m using this Diamond Dash tutorial from Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company:

I’m using a layer cake and a jelly roll, but not the ones I originally planned to use when I first saw this tutorial as I want to keep that for me! This layer cake is La Fete de Noel from French General. The jelly roll for the diamonds and sashing is just an off white, maybe snow from Robert Kaufman. I’ll post pictures once I get it finished or at least a little farther along.

And now you are all caught up!

Quilt on!

Labor Day Sew-In Update

I sort of started my Labor Day Sew-In on Thursday night by hand piecing while watching the Michigan – Utah football game. Football is so great for hand piecing because you can look up for the plays and replays, but you can sew while everyone is just talking. During the football game, I got 8 of these done for the the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM:

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Friday afternoon was our church hand quilting meeting. It was just Amy and me for that, but I got the crosshatching in one pineapple completed.

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Saturday I was starting to get sick (thanks to my very generous DH), but I did get downstairs to do a little more hand quilting. I finished the green parts of the leaves and the outline of the pineapple, although I took this picture before I quite finished the last green line.  (I also pressed Scrap in a Box and some borders to add but took no pictures.)

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Sunday I had absolutely no energy. Didn’t go to church. Didn’t read. Didn’t sew. Binge watched Criminal Minds and took a nap. Blew my nose a lot.

Yesterday, I did some of the feathers around the pineapple.

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Then I did some more hand piecing for the 2011 Designer Mystery Block.

Four of these:

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Four of these:

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And four of these:

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Yep, not much more to do to finish this block! But I did run out of steam there, so either I’ll do it during Saturday’s football game or I’ll do it sooner. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Quilt on!

Quilting Update

Yes, I have been working on various projects, sometimes simultaneously! So here is the update:

  • Cut the charms for the Twilter charm swap. While I was at it, I decided to cut some 1 1/2 inch strips and store them like Judy Martin recommends – IMG_1822Yes, that is a silverware organizer from Target. I cut strips of 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2, and 6 1/2 inches and put them in different sections. I didn’t cut any larger ones because none of the strips I was working with were long enough. And, yes, I used my handy dandy labelmaker to label each section.
  • Next up was cutting the 42 6 1/2 inch blocks for the church quilt. That went well, except that this batik drove me nuts (a little) because it was not printed straight on the cloth (or dyed straight or batiked straight or whatever the official word is). IMG_1824
  • Next up was some piecing. I completed the center for Falling Charms IMG_1826and began piecing the church quilt. As of now there are actually 5 rows together, but I took the picture at three rows.IMG_1827The top is on the right. As I’m doing this, I am remembering how much fun it isn’t to put together a quilt from blocks made by several different people since the blocks vary widely in size, especially the pinwheel blocks. I may have to actually resew a few of those. We had hoped to make a king sized quilt, but right now the plan is for a queen since all of the blocks didn’t come back. Maybe I won’t have to resew very many since there are extras. I need to get this done so we can start hand quilting it soon.
  • And then there was the shopping.  Missouri Star Quilt Company got me with (not pictured) a white Kona jelly roll and these:IMG_1833@Tubaville, a Twilter friend, talked about the Gypsy Wife Quilt which I had never heard of and so, of course, I had to look it up and see what it was/is. And yes, I bought a copy of that pattern and another by Jen Kingwell called Green Tea and Sweet Beans. I think these will be a good way to use up scraps and Green Tea and Sweet Beans has some appliqué also! IMG_1828 IMG_1830
  • I have also made a bit of progress on the wedding quilt, which must be finished by July 20 since I promised. Kids are purchasing a house and in case they get to move in sooner, I’d like to get it done before that. So… yeah, it looks possible.

Quilting Update

Over the past week or so, a lot has happened in the basement/studio! I have been knocking out a few Disappearing Pinwheel blocks and sewing together the first 6 rows (well, maybe it’s the last 6, since I started at the bottom of the design wall) of the Falling Charms quilt as I go.

Here are the most recent DPWs:

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Houndstooth Twins

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Floral Twins

IMG_1729Stack of pinwheels waiting their turn.

On Wednesday, Carolyn and Amy came over to help prepare fabric for the church quilt. Amy did her favorite pressing job, I did the cutting, and Carolyn did the sorting and bagging (which Amy also helped with once the pressing was done). We got all of the block kits prepared for the pinwheel blocks for the church quilt and got a pretty good start on the flower blocks. Tonight I wrote up the directions for the pinwheel blocks, so I’ll start handing those out tomorrow at church. Here’s the pinwheel block (not all of the greens are these colors):

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I spent about four hours today downstairs making DPWs, sewing Falling Charms blocks together, sewing the green pinwheel together, and making 10 more pinwheels for future DPWs. Then I spent some time this evening doing some hand quilting on the wedding quilt, so I have started March-a-long with a bang.

Quilt on!

Progress update

Well, I am still waiting for the Wedding Quilt to come back, so there is no progress there.

Yesterday Careful Carolyn, Amazing Amy, and I got the church quilt on the frame and started the quilting. We actually mounted it lengthwise, since it is not a queen-sized quilt. This way we have more room for people to sit around the frame and work.

You may remember (I think I mentioned it earlier anyway) that this top was donated and we just added the two outer borders. It was layered and basted in a bright orange thread by the longarmer. (Frankly, I can’t imagine myself ever basting a quilt for hand quilting again!) Good thing she basted it in bright orange or we might have been tempted to just bind it and call it a quilt!

I was a little concerned that hand quilting might be a bit more difficult than usual because the batting is a higher loft than we normally use, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this was not the case at all. And, of course, the higher loft is puffier, so we may like the way this one looks a lot.

The Church quilt on the frame

One end of the church quilt

The other end of the church quilt

Quilt on!