21 February 2018

Winter Weather Means Quilting Day

My thoughts were just starting to move on to flowers,
sunshine and gardening.  I even bought my onion sets.
(But I avoided looking at seeds!)
Great Scott, I was actually going to cry "uncle" but quickly
came to my snow-loving senses this week. 
We had just enough ice here to call a snow day on Tuesday and
tonight's forecast is calling for more winter weather. 
I spent today catching up on household chores and making
12 mini-French bread loaves and about a billion or so meatballs--
some for meatball subs and the rest for the freezer.
(Some will come right back out this weekend to be served up with homemade pasta.)


I also finally finished quilting the last few rows on The Crown Jewels.
It's amazing (and yet not!) how many things got in the way of me finishing
this quilt--I kind of expected angelic singing as I pulled it off of the frame.

I know I should sew the binding on this first tomorrow but I know that
the winter weather and an open day are going to be too tempting.
(I probably just jinxed myself by writing "open day"!)
It might just be the last of it till late next fall and so
shouldn't one take full advantage of it?
What a great day for starting a new quilt!
The sleet has already started and the streets are getting icy.

Happy quilting!

And by the way, a couple posts back I forgot to include the
actual finished Thankful Quilt (quilting and binding complete).
I've since updated it but here it is.


18 February 2018

First BOM Started


I finally started on my first BOM of the year.
last year. Mostly, I loved the leisurely pace of a side-project
that was making a noticeable dent in my stash.
And then by Christmas?  A completed quilt all ready for gifting.
Why it took me so long to decide on fabrics for this year's BOM
I have no idea but I mulled over themes and colors for 2 months and
still nothing spoke to me.  I finally went to my stash a few days ago and
somehow immediately picked the exact fabrics I wanted to work with.
Sometimes your inspired...and sometimes your just not!


A "Cozy Christmas" it is!
Hopefully, with some fussy-cutting, I will be able to fit
a hot chocolate mug or a Christmas house into the
center, or main focus at least, of each block.
I'm also crossing my fingers I have enough of the
snowflake background fabric for all 12 blocks.
But, if not, I will just stop at 9.


It may have taken me forever to decide on fabric
but in no time at all I had the first two blocks completed.
I just love the warm colors!


So far, I've not a clue whose name this quilt will have on it
as it sits under the tree come December but, as always,
these things have a way of working themselves out.


Over In the Kitchen
The girls are still contributing nicely.  Every bit of these
beautiful eggs will go into the breakfast casseroles I'm
baking up tomorrow for a local shelter.  I've had chickens
for many years now and I just never tire of these colors.
It is still fun to collect eggs!

I'm also working on some interesting sour dough starter
that will hopefully generate some yummy breads but
I'm saving that for another post.
(Translation: waiting till it's proven successful!)


For now, it's back to the long-arm to finish up the last
few rows of my big queen-size quilt.
Unless I get distracted by another BOM.

11 February 2018

2017 Thankful Quilt Completed and Wading Through Scraps

Last fall, I came up with an idea that I hope will become a 
yearly tradition in our family:  the Thankful Quilt.
At Thanksgiving I had everyone wrote on a small muslin square
what they were most thankful for throughout the year.  This could be
fun, serious or just whatever thing(s) first popped up in their minds.
(No pressure!)


Then I made a beautiful little wall quilt featuring the squares
that everyone completed with love and fine penmanship 
and we all ooh'd and aww'd over it as we lived happily ever after.

Okay...7 of the squares sat there through the holidays waiting on one
family member who apparently needed a month to think over what he
was truly thankful for and for me to put the whole thing together.
And I just finished it...in February.  I guess completing
2017's quilt a little over a month into 2018 isn't too bad really.
(Maybe my 2018 thankful list should include finishing 2017's Thankful quilt?)
As the years go by and the family grows, gratitude should literally fill
the walls of our home.  If I can stay on top of this idea that is.


 This first one ended up twice as big as I had pictured.  Mental note to self:
smaller quilts or we'll run out of wall space completely. 
(And too much thankfulness is a problem how?!?)


A quick and fun little project was very welcome after piecing my latest quilt!
It's loaded on the frame and ready to go, by the way and
will be my creative focus for the next few days.


I've also been working on my scrap bin a little more.
Somehow that seems to be my chosen activity while watching 
football--especially the Superbowl.  I love football but I just haven't
taken the time to watch much on tv the last few years.
Maybe if I'd watch more this bin wouldn't be so stuffed full?


Last year I started cutting everything into squares but this year I've
switched gears after I stumbled across the strip idea again.
So now all scraps are being cut into 2.5", 3.5", 4.5" and 5.5" and going
into these 4 bins that sit above my cutting table.  Any 1.5" strips go
in the two larger bins in the middle of my project cart for a log cabin quilt
which I clearly need to get started on since my bins are pretty stuffed.

This sounds like a great way to keep things under control and organized
as I cut projects out.  Of course, the problem is the mountain of scraps
"behind me".  And now that football season is over maybe I'll start
watching more movies or cooking shows.
I'd love to eliminate the big canvas scrap bin completely!




06 February 2018

Borders On and Ready For Quilting

Quite often one of the local shops has a great sale that sends me
across the city and waiting at the door when it opens.
All fabric is $2 off/yard...and if you buy what's left on the bolt,
you get $3 off/yard.  And the best thing?  It applies to their
clearance fabric that is already down to $7/yard.
So yes I stock up--backing fabric especially--at $4/yd.


I was unable to find the blue that I was after for my latest project
but this green (with a faint print) seemed to set it off.
I'm especially happy with the addition of the first little ivory border
that helps set it up nicely for that bigger dark frame.
Over 10 yards on the bolt set me up nicely for borders and binding,
both cut lengthwise (leaving less than 1/2" scrap strip!) and the backing
which I hope to put together today.  


This quilt is 106 x 93 which, I think, makes it the biggest one
I've ever made.  So big that I was struggling to get a good pic
so I gave up and went this angle.
My husband helped me try it out on our guest bed (for border
measuring) and it looks great so, instead of a Christmas gift,
it'll be staying out our house.


I was able to find several other bolts of fabric--as modeled by
Chloe--so I dropped a decent amount at the shop but I'm so
happy with the savings and being able to complete the two
projects I have "open".  
  I even found backing for Grandmother's Orchard.



When these are both quilted I'll have no WIP's.
None.  Clean slate.
But I'm guessing I'll start something before those
get finished.  Either way, not a bad situation at all.

30 January 2018

Sharing My Latest WIP

I am happy to share my almost-done quilt top.
At this point it measures 86X73 but I think I've decided to put
it on our guest bed so, with the addition of another border,
it should be complete and ready for quilting very soon.


If I were to critique my work here, I would note that my
mediums and darks aren't as defined as I would like but,
as you know, I always lean toward the darker, richer side of fabrics.
Also, allowing myself only scraps and stash fabrics 
limited my options.  But hey, I can certainly live with the results.


You do kind of lose the pattern when looking at the quilt up close
(like many quilts) but I am still proud of the work that went into this one.
There are some points that aren't perfect but the directions had me
at new levels of quilting-frustration so I simply let them be.
The major lesson learned is that, when choosing a pattern,
 always reading through it completely first,
especially if you do not know the designer.
Though I certainly have never (and will never again) expect
anyone to direct me to sew something only to rip it out
in another step down the road...and with that, I'd better stop
because the list is long and I really don't want to relive all of that
when I am now pretty happy with the finished (almost) product.
We'll let bygones be bygones.  Knowing what I know now,
I probably still would've made this quilt because I love the design.

before the addition of the pieced border

Having now done two on-point quilts and one table-runner,
I'm feeling more comfortable with them.
I've always loved the look--somehow just a little more special.
This quilt contains 50 blocks and has just under 1200 pieces in all.
I think that might be a noticeable dent in my stash I see but, sadly,
not really in my scrap bin.  I think I made as much as I used up!



My stash doesn't seem to hold what I'm looking for in a border
but there are good sales going on at the quilt shops.  Hopefully
I can find just the "frame" it's needing.  Definitely dark but 
what if I put a small 2" light border on first, in the same
fabric as the setting triangles?  Especially with dark squares
 already in each corner.  Thoughts?
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