Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Summertime top finished

I finally finished this large top.  I've been calling it Summertime.  I was happy that my plan to sew the zigzag sashing using partial seams worked well and I didn't have to set in any seams at all.   
 I was surprised to find myself including a cream zinger border - I was sure red was going to look better.  The cream frames the quilt yet doesn't detract from the blocks or the very pretty main border fabric. 
 So now it needs to be quilted.  I thought long and hard about sending this one out to be longarm quilted.  I've only once before machine quilted a quilt of this size and it wasn't very fun.  The bulk of the quilt was so hard to manage in the small opening my machine had.  Even long twin sized quilts are hard to manage with that small opening.  There were several other things that I was unhappy about sewing with my regular machine as well.  So, I decided to take the money I'd have paid the long arm quilter and put it towards a new machine. 
 I ordered it online,  sight unseen - based entirely on what other people said about it.  It's an industrial straight stitch machine with a much larger opening - a Juki TL 2010Q.  I've only had a it for a few days now but so far I LOVE it!  I haven't tried quilting with it yet but it's lovely to piece with.  My old machine can go in the closet and get pulled out for mending or sewing clothes.  I hope to try some free motion quilting with it later this week.
 The wild crocuses are blooming now.  I love to go see them on the hills. 
Soft, furry and purple coming out of such dead looking grass - spring is really here :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

a May basket and starting something new

I have been enjoying some other blogger's posts of May baskets and it got me thinking about this appliqued basket block that I've never done anything with.  Finished in Sept 2009 - I think it needs some attention but I really don't know what to do with it.  
 I have started another new project.  My son is next in line for a new bed quilt.  I was chatting with him a couple of weeks ago and he reminded me that I should make him one.  He's turning 13 soon and I figure if he actually brought it up he probably really wants one. 
 I already knew he wanted green and blue for the color palate.  I dug through my tremendous pile of magazines and gave him 5 or 6 options for the pattern.   He chose this Betsy Chutchian pattern called Just Toasty in the Oct 2016 AP&Q magazine. 
It will need a different name because there is nothing toasty about this  :0)  The blocks are big with few pieces so this should go quickly??  (I hope)  I will need to make a lot of blocks for this quilt needs to be a really long one to stay tucked in on his extra long bed. 

Happy May Day! and Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

border begun

Finally I got started with the applique border for my signature quilt.  Designing my own applique seems to take forever. Happily there is no rush :0)  It's only been 7+ years since the signatures were signed...
 I've also made a few more stars recently for my star-a-day project.   The tin still isn't very full yet but I think this is a good summer project and summer is coming!  I saw my first robin yesterday :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

ideas change

I thought I'd better get a quick post in today because for some of my kids spring break starts 
tomorrow.  Days get busy but there is always time for a few stitches in the evening :0)
I've been working (playing) pretty steadily with these 36 patch blocks.  I have so many neutrals to choose and cut I've enjoyed this very much.  As soon as I had 4 blocks made I changed my mind about the setting and I think I will just set these blocks side by side like shown.  It will use less of the 36 patches than my other plan but I think I like this end result better.

This Lemoyne star is for another project - a guild challenge that I can't show much of yet.  I want to make several stars like this one to put together with the challenge blocks in the final top.  This star is 6 inches finished and was it ever easy to piece by machine after all of those hand pieced 3 inch star-a-day stars. 
I have made very few star-a-day stars the last couple of months.  I need to get going on them again if I'm ever to make it to 365. Current count is 53...

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

something old feels new

The first time I posted about these blocks was April of 2010 (I just checked)  Wow I sure like to work on things sloooowly!  These 36 patch blocks have been a leader/ender project on and off all that time. This weekend I thought I'd take them out and count how many blocks I had. As it turns out, I have 88 blocks made.  I figure that's enough - on to what to do with them!
I thought about just setting them side by side and make a postage stamp quilt. The squares finish at 1 inch - but I wasn't excited about doing that.   I had a fairly big piece of this red that I had bought for another project that went a different direction and I think it works just great with these blocks. 
So now I have a setting in mind.  I'll make a dozen or so blocks like these 2 and then set them with sashing using more of the 36 patches.  I could just leave it to work on as a leader/ended project but maybe it should get some dedicated time after all these years to get to a finish. 

So probably I won't be making so many of these Tree of Life blocks in the next while.  They sure are fun to sew :0)  It's good to have lots of projects going at once - it keeps things interesting :0)  but sloooow...
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

4 blocks appliqued

Life sure doesn't slow down around here.  I always think there will be more time "next week" to sew and maybe post on my blog.  Oh well - squeezed in between making supper to put in the crockpot and driving kids places there's time today  :0)
 On Sunday I finished appliqueing the fourth block for my Radical Rose and Reel quilt.  (Pattern from Collector with a Needle)

 I wanted to lay out all 4 to get a picture and get a better idea how they would look together but toys are occupying my design floor space...  I found this other spot but the lighting is poor.  Those toys...  I know one day they won't be a problem anymore so in the meantime I gotta love those toys and the kids still playing with them. 
I've also been working on this long forgotten project.  I think I'd been calling it Summertime.  I had all the blocks made over a year ago.  Recently I pieced the half blocks and started cutting sashing.  I wanted the zigzag effect but liked the blocks closer together than setting with triangles so I'm attempting rectangular sashing pieces and I'm hoping to put them together using partial seams but may have to result to set in seams - I'll keep you posted  :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

handquilting progress

Good progress is being made on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  The parallel lines in the background are almost done. I have about 1/2 of one block left to do. 
 It was actually pretty fun to do. 
Here is where my hoop was this afternoon.  The sun came out briefly so it was a good opportunity to lay the quilt out for some pictures. 
It's hard to get the whole quilt in and still have the quilting show.  I can see some areas where more quilting is needed like the girls' skirts.  I want to add veins to a few leaves and there's a vase and a tablecloth needing more quilting too.  I didn't cut away behind the applique so I will likely procrastinate finishing those things until the end ... 
The border is next :0)  More outline quilting will come first.

Happy Quilting!!