Saturday, September 20, 2014

An Almost Done UFO

My mental deadline for this quilt came and went. But I was diligent and it will be done by the end of today.  I want to share it because I doubt I'll get good pictures when I finish it this evening. This was Mystery 28 from Marge's Mysteries for Relay.  I started it in March or was it April in 2013?  I worked on it on and off for a while and finally finished the top at the Faithful Circle Quilter's Retreat in June.  By then I knew we were computerizing Ruthie so I waited to quilt it until after the upgrade.  

This quilt is being donated to Manakin Episcopal Church's Gala Dinner and Auction to be part of the silent auction next Saturday. The binding has already been sewn on one side by machine and I am doing the hand stitching in the evenings.  

I need to make a label for it but have come up short on naming it.  I love the names Bonnie Hunter gives her mysteries so I'm trying to come up with something descriptive and interesting.  But I've got nothing, nada, nope, not anything.  So help me out folks.  I need a name for this.  If you can come up with something that would be helpful. Although the blue with red flowers is a Christmas fabric it really doesn't scream Christmas to me.  You have to look at the flowers to realize the flowers are poinsettias and are generally thought of as Christmas.  Any thoughts? Ideas?  Add them in a comment -- soon.  I have to have it done to turn over tomorrow. I'll check back early afternoon and see what has been suggested.  

Here's what the quilting looks like on the back.  I pieced the back with mostly fabric from the front except I purchased a piece of red that went well with the front.  The binding is the red from the front.  I love how precise the computer stitches out the design.  I will definitely be quilting for others with Ruthie now.  I have several more quilts waiting to be quilted one of which I need to do a little more custom type work.  That will be interesting to see if I can place partial rows of quilting.  Keep tuned, I'll be showing more finished quilts in the next week or so. 

Needless to say I'm going to have a very good month when I do my final monthly accounting of my stash busting efforts.  We'll be traveling for several days next week so I probably will only get one more quilt done but every one helps especially since I've acquired nearly no yardage this month.  Well, except that one piece I picked up at guild as someone is downsizing her stash. It was only ONE piece -- it could have been yards and yard. But, friends and I are going Tuesday to an embroidery event, lunch and then visit the new location for Quilting Adventures.  

I'm off to have breakfast and some ice tea.  I'll be in the studio most of the day in hopes of getting several more things either finished or farther along toward finished. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Design Wall Monday 9-15-2014

Last week was really busy.  By Sunday afternoon all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and read a book.  Which I did! 

Ruthie continues to stitch out beautifully while being controlled by a computer. This first picture was my 3rd quilt -- a wheel chair quilt made by Jane.  You can see how nicely the parallel part of the pattern comes out.
I also quilted a lap quilt for Colleen W.  I really like this quilt and am thinking using a similar pattern next year.  She wanted light quilting.  This turned out amazing.  Well, except for the hour or so I spent trying to figure out how to place a particular row.  I had a little issue because about 2" at the bottom wasn't quilted at all.  Now, how did that happen?  It may have been when I did the sizing to begin with.  

Here's a close up of the quilting on this one. I think it was the same pattern as the charity quilt shown above.  
I was really behind last week so I didn't even post goals and how I did on the previous week's goals.  I thought I would get to it later in the week.  Nope, didn't happen.  I did hand write some goals just to keep focused. 
Except for the mystery quilt everything got done.  The mystery quilt is close to the top of the list this week. 

Week of September 15, 2014
Upload new pantograph patterns and try them
Make backing for mystery quilt to be given to church auction
Quilt mystery quilt
Bind mystery quilt
Finish paper pieced glasses from row x row
Finish table runner from guild
Plan quilting for sailboat quilt
Attend Womans Club and bring part of lunch
Knit on sock

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times today.  Enjoy your browsing around Design Walls.

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Design Wall Monday 9-8-2014

Busy times in the studio. 

First Design Wall Monday stuff:
I'm showing off the switch over of Ruthie the hand guided long arm to Ruthie the computer driven long arm. 
First she was taken off the carriage and new electronics were added. (Ok, I admit I am not technically savvy on electronics so I might have described this wrong!) 
Then Ruthie was put back on the rails with a WHOLE lot of wires going to all sorts of different places. There is a new computer sitting near the handles. 

Then I had to figure out how to use that computer and to get it to tell Ruthie where and what to sew. Eventually I was able to fill up a yard of fabric with practice runs. 

Finally I figured out how to quilt an entire quilt.  Ok, so it was only 36 by 42" but it was quilted by Ruthie. I actually took this picture while it was stitching away on these hearts.  You can see the heart pattern on the screen.  Unfortunately I ran out of thread with about 3" left to quilt.  And rats!  I could not figure out how to convince it to sew those last 3".  Sigh.  Luckily it is a charity quilt and most people won't even notice those few missing hearts. 

I am going to postpone my goal results until later this week because I agreed to post for the "Around the World Blog Hop."  This has been going on for some time and it finally came around to me.  Alycia, of the Colorado QOV fame, asked me to participate in this blog hop.  Thanks Alycia.  Go check out her blog at Alycia Quilts. Her Around the World Blog Hop post was Monday, 9/1.  Scroll back and you can spend some time looking at her post and then link to a couple of posts from the gal who asked her to participate.  

There were several questions that were offered to get me started.  I'm going to answer only one or two of them or you might be stuck here forever! 

First off was the wonderful question of what am I working on.  My goal this year is to finish some UFOs.  I thought I had been pretty good about working on older stuff this year and not starting new stuff.  Um, no, not really. I've completed 4 quilts from my UFO collection.  (Two were big enough to send to Alycia for QOV.  She shared them on her blog here. You need to scroll down nearly to the bottom to see them.) Seven quilts were started this year -- almost all of them smaller charity quilts. One larger quilt was started about a year ago so I didn't count it as a UFO.  

In the UFO finishing pipeline are at least 4 more quilts that need borders and quilting and 4 quilts that have been waiting for Ruthie's computerization.  I'll be working on those soon.  

The other question that got me doing some heavy thinking was how does my creating process work.  S L O W L Y!  I am not a fast quilter or piecer.  I tend to work on at least 2 and sometimes 3 projects at a time.  I've found that I can prep steps from two or three different projects and then chain sew them.  I try to always have an ender project going also.  

I am a pinner -- everything gets pinned but often it is more a reminder of which seam to sew.  And, I'm a presser.  My ironing board is across the studio from the machine because I want to get up and move around.  And I like a crisp seam.  

Cutting out a quilt and binding are my least favorite things to do.  I seldom cut an entire quilt out before I start sewing pieces together.  I do try to make a sample block before I cut everything.  The few times I've cut a whole quilt out I've enjoyed how quickly the sewing goes. It really works well if using limited fabrics but most of my quilts are scrappy -- thus it takes forever to cut and I'd just as soon start in on the piecing part! If I'm really good the binding gets cut out before the quilt is quilted but after piecing.  I've started doing both sides of the binding by machine instead of hand stitching one side. 

In the future I'm hoping I can try some projects that are more challenging.  If I can clear out several of my project bins I just might start on a New York Beauty table runner.  I figure that will be quite the challenge for me! 

Part of the "Around the World Blog Hop" is to invite other quilters to continue the journey.  Unfortunately I was only able to get one to agree but you are in for a real treat if you haven't visited Chris's Quilting Universe.  She does some amazing artistic quilts. She's been taking classes so she is blogging a lot about the design process of her pieces.  I've been following her work for years and it's been wonderful to see her growth.  Plan to visit her on Sept 15th during her posting for the blog hop.

I'm linking up with Patchwork Time's Design Wall Monday.  Hope you will get over there to see what folks are up to this week.  

Happy Quilting All!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stash Busting Report August - 2014

FINALLY!  I used more fabric than I acquired during the month of August.  In going over the year so far, I've had very few months where I used more fabric than I acquired.  Hopefully this trend will be continued.  

Fabric In Month
Fabric in Year
Fabric Out Month
Fabric Out Year
Total In or Out Year

I have 5 or 6 quilts in my closet waiting to be quilted and finished.  With the upgrade to Ruthie I hope to get several of these quilts loaded, quilted and then bound before the end of September.  I have a few quilts that I still need to figure out the backing but I know I have several that have the backing ready to go.  

Yesterday I got the last of the sashing on my Dresden basket quilt.  I don't want this too large so it may be done.  What do you think?  Does it need a border on it or does it look done at this point?

I'm thinking I'll use a black binding with it which should help to make it seem finished.  Opinions? Um, maybe not as I lose the cornerstones on the outside.  I'm not sure I like this. Do you think it needs a small border? If any, I'd think of about 1 1/2" finished.  The places I could hang it have fairly small quilt racks and I'm afraid the sides will droop if it is much bigger. 

So how about the same orange fabric? Um, or any color except the turquoise?  

I'm not sure I like that either.  I guess I need to do some thinking about this before I commit to anything.  Maybe the olive green.  I need to figure out the backing too.  The two or three pieces I tried were too small. I sure would like to use one piece of fabric for this!  But if need be, I can piece it.  So, share your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for your opinions.  I've made a lot of progress on two of my goals for the week.  I am nearly ready to sew the last four rows of the mystery quilt together.  I purchased fabric for a small and large border this past month so I am good to get this quilt a top and off of the design wall! 

I'm steadily working on my sock which I showed before I ripped it all out. (See the horrible details here!) I'm trying to do a bit every night so it won't take so long to catch up to where I was.  I've got a plan for a UFO sweater and would like to start on it but don't want to until I have this pair of socks finished.  Fellow knitters -- Do you have any really good book for knit beanie-style caps that fit all head sizes from toddlers to adults?  I'm in the mood to use up some yarn stash and thought that might be a good way to do it.  Plus, Christmas is coming!  Thanks for your suggestions. 

Happy Quilting All!