Sunday, November 17, 2013
Well today I used QLB on my Thanksgiving/Fall Wall Hanging. I would have never picked this quilting design if I wasn't able to see it first using QLB and I never would have picked gold for the thread color -- I was planning to use dark brown. But I really like the results and am so happy I gave this design a shot -- I was actually just playing and picking somewhat random blocks to try out on the quilt. Below is a photo of what QLB showed me and a photo of the actual wall hanging all quilted. And some closeups of the actual quilting. Still needs binding to be done -- but that's for another day. I need to go play with the table topper on my QLB and pick a design for it.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Here's some pics of my "haul" as my quilters friends call it.
I also got a bunch of free fat quarters and more than 20 free patterns. Probably a dozen different new patterns that I bought and three new books of patterns. Two signs that I posted on Facebook already. And I can't even remember what else. I definitely did my part for the Texas economy. Too bad I didn't realize at the time I'd be laid off the first of October. Oh well, still had fun.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
I've been working on a big project at work for a while and was getting down where only little stuff was needed for it to be perfect, but these little things are also the hardest things. It was things my team hadn't been able to figure out on our own. One of my coworkers had asked others how to do some of the stuff and he said it was too hard to do, so we should just forget it. I wasn't willing to forget so I gave it another shot and asked the questions again. The person I called took care of almost every issue we had left. She fixed them all and we immediately got compliments on the changes. After a long time and a lot of frustration, in less than a day this person fixed about 90 percent of the stuff we had left to do. I was very grateful and said I wanted to make her something as a thanks. I asked what colors she liked and she said pastels. I'm a bright and bold kind of person but I also have a lot of darks and autumn colors since that goes well with my house, but I hardly ever make anything in pastel.
I used a Carol Doak pattern from her Mariner's Compass Stars book -- Sweden. I did some digging and found colors/fabrics I thought were near pastels and made a small wall hanging for her. Just a 12" block and 4" borders makes a 20" wall hanging. I think it came out great. I quilted it in a pattern called Summer that I really liked and hadn't really had a reason to use. I loved the quilting. You can really see it on the back of the quilt. Only took a couple hours to make the top, a couple hours to quilt it and a few hours to hand sew the binding on and I was done. Today I added the little loops to the back to hang it with. I love projects that can be finished in less than a day.
Hope she likes my little thank you wall hanging. It was fun to make. So much fun I offered to make some for my daughter. I figured I could make one for each month and use colors that fit the months. Like snowmen for January and hearts for February and green for March and Easter pastels for April and Flowers for May and beach fabric for June and patriotic for July and fall colors for August, school fabric for September, Halloween fabric for October, Pumpkins and turkeys for November and Christmas colors for December. All in 20" wall hangings so they can just be interchangeable using the same hangers. Think that will have to be a Christmas present. Pictures will come when I'm all done.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
A year ago, my favorite online group started a Block of the Month. I posted about it last August and have been keeping up posting the individual blocks in there ever since. (You can read about it if you want and can see the pictures here: http://clkinmd.blogspot.com/2012/08/getting-back-to-sewing.html. I ended up having two knee replacements during this project. One in July and another in January.
The project was designed as a mystery, which means we had no clue what the design was going to end up as, we had to just follow along and hope for the best. Which I did faithfully for a year. I had to take time off after each surgery and it took a little while to get back in the swing of things, but I was so excited about this project and the fabric I had chosen, I got right back at it as soon as I could.
When Carol Doak first started this BOM, she designed it as a two-color quilt. I was a little skeptical about that, as two colors are often boring. Some others in the group added a zinger color or just used multi-color prints, and some even made it scrappy using every color under the sun, but I decided that Carol often has a reason for her choices, and she’s been designing quilts for years, so it’s best to listen to her. But I still thought two colors was going to be boring, so rather than using more than two colors, I decided to stick with the two color quilt, but add the zinger in the borders.
I found this Northcott Kaleidoscope line of fabric that really seemed to fit the bill. But of course I couldn’t follow her directions exactly so rather than use the layout she designed, I decided to do a little more and surround more of the pretty blocks with star points. And then it looked unfinished so I added reverse star points to make some of the blocks look like square in a square block. All those changes made me need more fabric than originally planned and I ran out when all I needed was 16 pieces of 4 x 4 inch squares. I looked all over and finally found it in an online store. I even got fabric for the backing, I wasn’t sure in the beginning what I was going to do, but since the fabric was expensive and I hate to use expensive fabric on the backing, I didn’t buy any, figured I’d find something on sale later. But the quilt looks so cool, I decided to go ahead and spend the money for the expensive backing. I decided very early into the process to quilt it with an all-over daisy design. I used a design by Anne Bright called Daisies and Loops.
I had a hard time deciding what fabric to use for the binding. Pink would look good on the front but bad on the back. Green would be best, but very boring. I could use the print, but it's so big I was afraid it would look funny. So I tried out a new technique some fellow quilters told me about. Below is a close up showing 3 layers of the binding because the quilt is folded. Two show the front which has the pink flange and the center layer is what the back looks like. All green. You can see my stitch line which should be right on the edge of the binding. I’m really happy with the end result.
Friday, May 3, 2013
After my surgery, I had a few friends come stay with me and help take care of me. I was well enough when Ann came that we worked together to make a twister quilt. She did a lot of the work, but we did get it all pieced and quilted during the week she was here with me. All that was needed was to get the binding added. I hate to admit how long it took me to get the binding finished, but it is finally done. This was not a color scheme I would have picked, it is civil war reproduction fabric I think, but I have to say when it was all done I really liked it. Everything seemed to go together so well, even the quilting. I know she'll like it and it'll be a great reminder of our time together. I have fabric for a few more of these twisters. They are so fun to make. If it wasn't for the binding I'd make one a week.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
The leader of my favorite online quilting group (Carol Doak) designed and dedicated a block in memory of Pat Campbell who passed away in March. She was a friend and colleague of Carol's most know for her applique quilts. Then Carol challenged us to use the block she designed with a border created using Carol's newest book (Creative Combinations). I chose Double Duty Unit 05, which is a chevron type of block. I had to make them 2" x 4" to make them look the way I wanted and then I modified the block and left off the last sections that would square off the block so that the quilt was left with a zig zag border. I had to birth the quilt instead of adding a binding and then I had to quilt part of it on my regular machine before I could quilt the rest on the long arm. I finally finished all the quilting today. I still need some more practice but all in all I'm pretty happy with it. You can't really see the quilting on the front so I took a picture of the back too. It's so nice to get back into sewing.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
My favorite online quilting group is doing some charity projects in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness. We started in October. We had 56 people volunteer to make pink and white ribbon blocks, 15 members volunteered to assemble all those blocks into quilt tops, 16 more people volunteered to quilt the tops, and 12 people volunteered to finish the quilts by binding and adding a quilting label. Then these quilts are to be donated to charities that would use them for fundraisers to promote efforts toward breast cancer research, awareness, or related activities.
I volunteered to quilt the tops that other people made. I did 5 of those and it was so much fun picking out what quilting design to use to highlight the quilt but not overpower the quilting design. I got to try out a bunch of designs I hadn't used before. Someone misread the volunteer list and thought I wanted to assemble the tops, so she sent me 9 pink ribbon blocks. I was supposed to send them to someone else but I kept forgetting. Then another member posted a design she came up with and I liked it so much, I decided to use her design and the 9 blocks sent to me by mistake and make a top. It came out great. I posted on the group that I needed some more blocks and got 9 more, so another top is in my future. Don't think I'll get it done before my surgery though
I went to the local quilt shop looking for fabric for the backing (when I was there previously they were having a clearance sale and had a bunch of pink fabric). Of course when I went back (after the inventory) there wasn’t hardly any pink fabric left and none with enough fabric to cover the back of my quilt. So I ended up paying full price for some really cool pink ribbon backing fabric. I'm so glad I did, it looks perfect. I also got some fabric on sale from a friend who has a fabric shop. I ended up buying 10 yards at a little over $4 per yard. Quite a deal. I used it on the back of 3 quilts.
But I had the hardest time picking a quilting design for the top I made. So I decided to use my favorite quilting design which is just swirls. It takes a long time and a lot of thread, but I didn’t care, it was what I wanted. Then I added the binding, including the hand stitching I hate. But the hand stitching wasn’t holding well, so I had to add machine stitching around the binding too (something I hardly ever do). So this charity project ended up costing me a bit more than planned and taking a lot more time than I dreamed, but I am so happy with the end results, it was definitely worth it. Now I just hope the charity it goes to will be able to use it to raise a bunch of funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Below are photos of the quilts I quilted (I didn’t piece 4 of the tops, they were each someone else’s design/work); the one with 9 stars is the one I made the blocks for (except the center ribbons) and added the perfect backing, quilted, and machine and hand-stitched the binding. Wish I was keeping it, but hopefully it’ll raise money for the cause and provide comfort to someone special.