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.

IMG_2322

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.

IMG_1863

IMG_1866

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.

IMG_1876

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.)

IMG_1945

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.

IMG_1955

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

IMG_2230

IMG_2264

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!

IMG_2323

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.

IMG_2344

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

IMG_2442

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.

IMG_2455

IMG_2456

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!

Catch Up time

I think it is time to play a little bit of catch up here! Remember the Books on Monday post that didn’t happen because of an impromtu visit to DisneyWorld with my eldest daughter? Well, here is a little bit of what happened since then.

We only spent two days in the parks – Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’m not going to bore you with lots of pictures of what is in those parks, but I am going to just mention a couple of the places we ate. Since there were only two of us, we did a bit of splurging.

We had dinner on our day at the Magic Kingdom at Be Our Guest, the restaurant in the Beast’s castle. Reviews claim that it is the best food at DisneyWorld and I agree. (Reservations are a must! We felt fortunate to have scored some!

This is how the napkins are folded! Anyone know how to do this?

IMG_1918

Here is a fairly dark picture of the dining hall:

IMG_1919

And here is the view out the window next to me (apparently it is always winter at the Beast’s!):

IMG_1920

At the Hollywood Studios, we ate at the Hollywood Brown Derby. The food was pretty good but I think we were both disappointed in our choice of sandwich. We were not disappointed in the dessert we shared though!

IMG_1922

While walking around (19,449 steps according to my FitBit) the Magic Kingdom, I had a phone call from my longarmer. Falling Charms was ready to be picked up! When I got home, I picked up the quilt and it is seriously all I can do to keep from running downstairs, trimming it up and binding it.

IMG_1925

Also, my prize (yes, I’m a winner) from Very Lazy Daisy arrived yesterday!

IMG_1928

I think I need to practice free motion quilting a lot before I quilt this gorgeous top!

And, last but not least, a Wedding Quilt update! I have begun to quilt the borders!

IMG_1929

This is good because their anniversary is the 20th and I promised! Also, the official moving date for moving into the home they have purchased is July 26th. I’ll be out of town but I’ve already been instructed to make sure that Daddy brings the quilt so that it’s there for their first night in their very own home.

You can picture me hand quilting my fingers to the bone!

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:

IMG_1716

Houndstooth Twins

IMG_1726

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):

IMG_1727

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!

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!

2014 Quilty Resolutions

I should really not bother making resolutions. I think we can see from yesterday’s post that I don’t do well at keeping resolutions. I think I rebel against the expectations I put on myself. I guess we’ll see how that really goes this year. I may carry over a few resolutions.

1.  Complete at least 2 of the 4 BOMs I have going. (Yep, I really am going for this.)
a. American Beauty BOM     This one is destined for my basement guest room bed.
b. 2009 Designer Mystery BOM     This one is mine! I’m not sure I can get it finished this year though since I’m handquilting it.
c. 2011 Designer Mystery BOM     I have plans for this one but they are way off in the future.
d. 2012 Designer Mystery BOM    I just like the colors in this one so it is well worth finishing.

2.   Complete the Wedding Quilt for my daughter and her husband before their first anniversary which is July 20.

3.   Do some free motion quilting on one small project     I know I’ll finish this one because I want to test out the best washing and drying for the wool batting in the above quilt. And I found the Christmas table runner too, so I’d like to have that to use next Christmas.

4.   Complete the two Christmas tree skirts for my daughters before Thanksgiving.

5.   Complete the studio (aka family room) reorganization

6.   Complete the Falling Charms Quilt that is currently on the design wall.

7.  Try some machine appliqué. I have a surefire plan for this one which I’ll tell you about in the next post or two.

 

How about you? Do you have some quilty resolutions for this year?

Quilt on!

Catching Up on Sunday!

IMG_1493

Yep! That is part of what I finished up yesterday, choosing the block arrangement for this quilt. I’m sorry that the color is not quite true. If only Apple would ship my new phone, I think I could get truer colors with the new flash system, but I’ve got another week or so before it ships. Anyway, back to the topic. This arrangement grew on me, so I broke open the layer cake of the Cold Spring Dreams fabric and made some more of the purple and blue/green blocks. Now if only I could get some work downstairs longer without feeling like I’m setting my ankle back several weeks. Sigh.

I also pre-ordered a book just now – Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts by Judy Martin. (The Amazon link doesn’t have a picture yet as I post this. hopefully the cover shot will come soon!)

Quilt on!

Friday Fun

Just a few little pieces of trivial information for you.

  1. I made a decision on my Falling Charms Quilt. I’ve decided to go with using all of the colors of the fabric line but separate out the blues and purples kind of like this.IMG_1481 I did change some of the fabric order around and cut more of the blues and purples so that I had enough for the full rows of those colors. I’ll post an updated picture sometime after I’ve been down to the basement again and get the whole thing up on the design wall – or as much as the design wall can hold.
  2. Behold the latest in Fashionable Fall Footwear. IMG_1490 Yep, the foot is in the boot and walking is less painful but also less inviting. I have to take it off to drive, since it is on my right foot, and then put it back on before I walk anywhere. Sigh. But it should help me heal faster.
  3. My goody box of books from the C & T Labor Day weekend sale. Yes, new books for the Monday reviews. I’ll be working on those over the next few weeks. As you know, I own all the books that I review. (Yes, that idea is a little frightening. Luckily I do purge every once in a while.
  4. I have the paper and templates all prepared for the Judy Niemeyer Christmas tree skirt that I’m going to be making for my daughter. Now I just have to press and cut the fabric and start sewing. I think I have read the directions enough times that it is starting to make sense and look easy. I think I will enjoy the putting it together part.

Have a great weekend and

Quilt on!

Another Color Option

So, since the previous post color options didn’t really grab me, I played a little more today. First, I took out the yellow and purple colorway and put the blocks in as random an order as possible.

IMG_1485

Then I put a few of the purple colorway (but I left the yellow and goldish blocks out .

IMG_1487

So I know what I think so far. What do you think?

Decisions, Decisions

Yesterday I spent some time downstairs working on my quilt top made with my Cold Spring Dreams charm packs and a white jelly roll. First I finished trimming and pressing all the blocks, and then I started playing around with the layout. You may remember that in this post I wondered if I should use a random layout or even use the two different colorways of the line together. Then I saw some other versions of this quilt pattern that kept like colors in diagonal stripes (sort of), so I decided I’d at least try it using both colorways.

Here are the two layouts I tried:

IMG_1480

In this first one, I separated the blues out of the pink and blue colorway to make their own stripes, but left the purples in the yellow and purple colorway. IMG_1481

In the second one, I separated out the purples to make their own colorway also. To actually finish this, I would need to break into my layer cake, because the blues and purples only have three different patterns, but I have the layer cake so I could do it.

I haven’t tried a random layout yet, mostly because I can’t imagine some of the yellows and purples right next to the pinks and blues. I think if I’m going to kind of randomize this, I’d use all of one colorway.

The other frustrating thing is that the colors look a bit off in these pictures. They are really quite a bit brighter than they look here.

So what do you think? Any ideas?

Quilt on!