Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017

March was filled with quilting.

Early in the month I made St. Patrick's Day "cards" for my great-nieces and nephews.  Today I finished Easter cards as well.  I forgot to take a photo of the St. Pat's cards before I put them in the mail.  I've been having fun making something to send the kids.

I didn't create this design.  It's from Embroidery Library.
For the St. Pat's cards I scanned a shamrock and used
IQ Designer on my Destiny to create the design.
I actually finished a challenge quilt one month BEFORE it was due!  That is truly amazing for me.  I actually scrapped my first attempt and created a similar second version to use for the challenge.  That means I completed two table runners in about one week.  Of course, this was only possible because I was working ahead.

Two table runners.  The top one is my first attempt.
I cut the pieces with my Sissix, then just quilted, thinking I'd cut it down to size
afterward.  However, I liked the quilting and didn't want to cut it 
off, so I made the second one.  The challenge was black & white, with the
red fabric given to us.  There are actually three different blacks, but even in person
you can hardly tell.  I didn't want to make a 24 x 24 piece, so decided the table runner
could fit the size restriction and be something I would actually use.
I didn't want to cut off all the feathers.

I had to use a recognizable piece of the given red fabric. I made red piping.
The quilting is similar, but I marked the outside edge first then stayed
within the boundary.  

This is the quilt I gave my sister this month in honor of her award.  I
tried making a beaded fringe, but it wasn't adding to the quilt.  I cut
off the beads and left it plain.  Actually a good choice.
I started my block of the month for The Quilt Show.  (no photo - just because I didn't take one)  I had finished month two, but took it apart to correct a size error that would only grow as the quilt progressed.  I know in a couple of months I'll be glad I did.  So even though tomorrow is the end of March, I'm actually only one month behind.  Not bad for me!!

I have three quilts in Best of The Valley quilt show.  April 7 - 9, Lindsay CA.  Although I never expect to get a ribbon, it's always exciting to see if there is one on the quilt when I get there.

As I finish writing this it doesn't seem like a lot of projects, but it felt like I was at the machine a lot this month.  I'm still working on finishing projects and getting them out of the studio.  That's why I finished the challenge.  It's already delivered . . . . . out of the studio!

Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

En Provence is on the bed! and another finish

I finished the binding on En Provence and it's now on my bed.  In my 30+ years of quilting I have not made many bed-size quilts.  Two for the same sister and a double size that was on my guest bed for years - so I probably slept under it at some point.  I didn't get a photo in time to post on Bonnie Hunter's web site

I added an extra row to make En Provence 90 x 90 inches and it fits the bed very well.  Just like Goldilocks!  Not too big, not too small, just right.

I may go back and add quilting in the area of the "blue" squares.
I just couldn't decide what to put there???

I had fun with the border section.  In hindsight I wish I had used a light,
lavender thread.  The white hardly shows, but it does add texture.
I think the red piping adds a little pop.

I also finished a quilt from a workshop with Jean Impey.  I think the class was in 2015, but I'm really not sure.  My sister is receiving an award next month so instead of sending her flowers, I'm sending her a quilt.  It will certainly last longer.  I still have a couple of weeks, so I'm thinking it needs some beads!

25.5 x 23.5 inches

Unusual technique:  cut out the flowers and pin them to the background, then quilt.
No fusing, no glue.  You intentionally want puckers.  If I do it again I think
I will skip the step where she had us use white thread.

I need to select my next project to finish!  Two down.

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

It was a crazy January

I'm back.
January was hectic and full !!!
1.  Two friends came for our third annual New Year's retreat.  We sewed in the new year.

2.  I finished the first of my family quilts.  The top was complete, the back was ready, so when my niece selected this one, I went for it.  She was home from WA state so I finished it and was able to give it to her in person.  We had to mail it later since she was already at the limit for luggage on the plane.

One down!  Some of the tops not selected by family and that I didn't want
to finish, I donated to the charity division of my guilds.  It was a win, win, win.
I reduced by stack, the guild got finished tops, and one top was auctioned
at the meeting for a cash donation to the guild.  Another win - that person has
a queen size top ready to quilt.  I gave another top that was pinned and ready to
quilt to a friend to finish.  It's her's to do with as she wants - donate, keep, gift.
3.  I finished my En Provence top and was folding it up to put on the stack then stopped myself.  Remember:  Finish it and get it out of the house.  I pieced backing and started the quilting.  It's ready to be bound then it goes on the bed!  The first bed size quilt I've finished for me.

4.  A friend was unable to attend Road to CA so I took her place.  The class was not something I would have selected for myself, so rather than start a new project, another friend prepped the fabric and I made blocks for her.  The class was a lot of fun and I learned some new techniques, but I'm happy I don't have another project in process.  And yes, by the time all the bills came in, the "free" class was very expensive.  However, I'm now in the mind set to attend Road next year.  We're looking for a hotel that can house 5 of us together.

5.  I took two sessions of training for my Babylock Destiny machine.  My dealer has great follow up classes and they are free to customers who purchase the machine from his shop.  It was good to go back and hear some of the basics, but I loved the day of IQ designing.  I took his ideas and created Valentine Day cards for my great nieces and nephews.  They go in the mail tomorrow.  Two are headed to Australia.  Of course they won't make it in time, but they're used to me being late.  They're getting their Christmas ornament in this mailing as well.  I think that family would all fall down in disbelief if I had a package to them BEFORE the holiday!
Finished Valentine Day "cards".  Approx 5.5 x 5.5 inches.
I loved that I had all the supplies on hand to make these.

To cut down on hand work, I treated it like a pillow top for the backing.
Finished the raw edges, overlapped, and sewed around the outside eidge.
Turned, inserted extra batting, and top stitiched the edge.
When I quilted around the heart it basically closed the opening.
I stitched them out two at a time.  All done in the hoop.  The background is quilted
with cross-hatching.  It just doesn't show in any of the photos.  The IQ Designer
was the reason I purchased the Destiny.  I get excited when I acutally use it
6.  I did a demo at my guild of different ways to make half-square triangles.  I started with making paper templates (I never actually did this, but in the dark ages of quilting it was how it was done!) and moved to adding 7/8 inch and cutting along the diagonal.  I also included paper piecing, Bloc Loc rulers, and my favorite Dragonfly Triangle Marker.  The only source I know for the last item is Wendy Mathson,

In between all of this was Soroptimist meetings, choir, church 50th Anniversary celebration weekend, 4 guild meetings, and life.  I purchased a new refrigerator.  Mine was acting up and I'd been closly watching it since November.  The sales were good so I researched and made my decision.  After a lot of reading online and at the library, I was so confused I almost gave up.  Decision:  LG French door.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

En Provence Top Complete & TQS BOM

Yea!!  I finished the top for the Bonnie Hunter 2016 Mystery - En Provence.  I changed out one color.  I used aqua blue rather than yellow.  As I did in 2013, I used a fabric to select colors, but that fabric does not appear on the front of the quilt.  I'm excited about how it turned out.  For the third year, friends and I have sewn in the new year.  A great start to a new year.

UPDATE:  I've started the ditch work for my quilt.  Yea!
Here's the  link to see what others accomplished in the mystery.

All the parts.
Finished!  I added an extra row in the border so it will finish 90 x 90 inches.
My "neutral" was white with black.  Looks gray here.

Two versions of the same quilt.  
The Quilt Show does a Block of the Month each year.  In previous years I have collected the patterns, but have never made the quilts.  This year, several friends and I have challenged ourselves to actually get it done.  I was originally  going to order the kit, but ended up finding other fabrics to use.

Background required 11 yards.  (white)

Happy 2017!

Thanks for checking in.

Monday, December 26, 2016

En Provence Part 5 & UFO Challenge

It was a nice Christmas with family and friends.  I delivered the T-shirt quilt and he was thrilled.  It was fun to watch him tell his family stories behind several of the T-shirts.  My nephew was excited to get his graduation quilt.  When I delivered the "past due" ornaments, one nephew remarked it was for the year he was born.  I'm glad he now has a complete set.

I did not start Part 5 for En Provence until this morning . . . and I'm done.  Thanks to Bonnie for giving us a small assignment this close to Christmas.  Check the progress of the world-wide group at her website:

We only had to make 64 half-square triangles.  Still haven't used the green or yellow??

I was reading a post from Pat Sloan regarding a 2017 UFO Challenge from  It sounds like a lot of fun and since I now have a stack of "requested" tops to finish, the timing is perfect.  During our Christmas Eve celebration, I laid out unfinished quilts and even kits then had individuals go back and select one they would like to have - sometime!  I made no promises as to when it would get done, but I'm hoping this will be an incentive to actually work on them. The quilts were all sizes - queen to 24 x 24.  I'd post a list but it may take 5 years or more.

2017 UFO Challenge

I have friends coming for our third annual New Year's retreat.  Four full days of quilting!!  Great way to end one year and start the next.

Thanks for checking in.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Opportunity Quilt 2017

I belong to four quilt guilds in my area.  After living by a bell and school calendar for 37 years of teaching, I'm having fun doing what I want.  I like each guild for different reasons.  One guild is about 45 minutes away, so I don't want to be on the board.  I've organized their challenge for a few years, but this year the president asked me to organize the Opportunity Quilt for 2017.  There were offers to help in any way, but I ended up just making and quilting it myself.  Three of us selected fabrics.  We had nothing in mind when we went shopping, just the thought that we wanted something bright.

When asked I knew immediately what pattern I wanted to use.  "Irish Mist" from Six Halves Make a Whole Lot More by The Quilt Branch.  This is the pattern I quilted for a friend earlier this year.  The top went together nicely, but I kept stalling on the quilting.  I wanted to do something different, but in the end I did feathers similar to what I had done on my friends quilt.

I used the back side of a fabric for the corners on bottom left star.
I couldn't find a "light" that worked here.   I know quilters are OK
with this, but I wasn't sure for an opportunity quilt.

The drawing will be December 2017.

Thanks for checking in.

Finish and get it out of the house

"Finish" was my theme for the past few weeks.  If I get some of my many projects finished, I can get stuff out of my house.  Since I finished my ornaments one week early (yea!) I had time to do extra sewing.

1.  I finished the T-shirt quilt I said I would do after I retired.  I retired 5 1/2 years ago!  It's done and will be delivered Christmas.  That gets two boxes out of the studio.

This is my second T-shirt quilt - many years apart.
This time I made all the shirt pieces measure the same.
You'll notice a couple of the blocks are pieced,
yet still the same size.

2.  When neices and nephews graduate from high school I make them a quilt.  One nephew served in the Navy immediately after HS so I got his quilt partially finished, then put it away because he couldn't carry it around with him.  I did show it to him before he left to serve.  I would find it every once in a while but just put it back in the box.  I found it a couple of days ago while looking for something else and decided it needed to be finished.  He graduated in 2004.  The quilt was completed, even bound, I just wanted to add special quilting in the light sections.  When I looked at what I had done previously, I realized I've come a long way in my quilting!  I needed to finish feathers in two corners, but the style back then was very different from my current style.  It's done and he gets it Christmas.
sorry, not a good photo.  Too much black and cream.
You can see the music fabrics in the photo below.
My nephew was part of the drum line.

The quilted notes are the school fight song.  When I took this photo I noticed
I forgot to include the b flat symbol.  Oops, I'll have to go back and fix that.
3.  30 years ago I did not finish two ornaments.  I would find them every few years, but they just went back in the box.  I know the date because it was on the back with their names.  All the cross stitch was done, I just never put the front and back together.  Who knows why???  They are now done and will be delivered Christmas Eve.

One of the ornaments goes to the nephew with the quilt above.

4.  I did do some new sewing.  I had a pattern to make grocery bags - in CA you have to take a bag or they charge 10 cents each for what they provide - but they are not very cost effective since each requires 1.75 yards of fabric and 2+ yards of fusible.  But they are so cute I couldn't resist since I had time.  Using fabric from my stash I was able to make 11 in time to present to the ladies at Christmas.  (Last year they all got fabric sachets filled with dried roses and lavender.)

There's a lot of yardage here, but my stash doesn't look any smaller.

Thanks for checking in.
Merry Christmas!