Monday, December 31, 2012

December (lack of) accomplishments, January goals

Oh, the goals for December didn't go so well.  (Ok, ok, I didn't manage to finish anything!)  Christmas time is busy!
1. Quilt a quilt for Christmas.  This didn't happen because I didn't get the back.  It'll probably be for a birthday now.

2. Make at least one heart block
.  This also didn't happen.  I was thinking about at least cutting out some pieces, but didn't.
3. Make some potholders for Christmas
.  This was code for finish the duvet cover (#4) and I was hoping to finish it for Christmas.  I got really close, but didn't finish.
And some other things that I hope to work on:

4.Work on duvet cover.  The main reason I didn't finish this is because I kept making mistakes while sewing the long rows together and had to unpick them.  It took a while.  I had really been hoping to finish it but didn't quite make it before Christmas time got busy. :(

This is what it looks like right now...the top is upside down and the bottom was gently tossed on top.  I'm not always very neat, but I figure when it is being used it'll be tossed around too.  Might as well start early.

5. make a pattern for the heart block. 
I think I'm going to take this off the list.  I'm not sure that I have enough exposure to make selling patterns worth the time I put into them.  I'll still keep the templates around should I ever change my mind.

6. work on the I-spy quilt.
  No progress 
7. make the wall hanging for office.
No progress

8. pretend to work on scrap quilt.
Pretending accomplished.
9. finish green coasters. 
No progress 
10. Aunt's throw.
No progress
11. Pillow for family room.
No progress
12. Finish Adding Up Nicely baby quilt. 
Progress!  The binding is about half way finished!

I got the clips for Christmas!

13. Quilt blog hop giveaway winner quilt. 
Well, I emailed the second person asking that she finish it by the end of January.  I had intended for the quilting to happen rather soon after the giveaway (which is why I said that they would be finished by Dec 10) and feel like five months should be enough time.  I haven't heard back.  I'm going to take this one off too.  I can always put it back on.
14. Quilt map quilt. 
Progress!  I'm actually pretty far along.  I worked on this one instead of the Christmas quilt.  But then I took it off the quilter.

There are swirls, back and forths, triangles, pebbles, and buildings.  It's been a lot of fun putting in different textures.

15. Another wall hanging for upstairs.
No progress

16. Quilt Sarah's quilt.
Started!  I'm excited to see this one come together.

There are pebbles in the quarter circles and wavy lines in the apple cores.

So for January I'm taking a few of the items off but I'm also adding a few designs that I want to make.  I've been excited about them for a while, so decided to put them on the list.  I ended up with 17 items.  That doesn't sound so bad.  (How many do you think I'll bring into 2014?)
The January top 3...
1. Finish duvet
2. Finish Adding Up Nicely
3. Quilt Sarah's quilt (I need to do about two blocks a day to finish on time.  So far that hasn't been a problem.)
And some other things that I hope to work on:

4. Interlocking hearts quilt (finish by end of April)
5. work on the I-spy quilt  (finish by mid April)
6. make the wall hanging for office
7. pretend to work on scrap quilt
8. finish green coasters
9. Aunt's throw
10. Pillow for family room
11. Quilt map quilt.
12. Another wall hanging for upstairs.
13. Quilt red quilt for mother-in-law (finish by end of October)
14. Random triangles (finish by end of April)
15. Fractured quilt
16. Jeweled floors
17. Picture quilt (finish by Christmas)
Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day and Just three

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Map quilting progress

I'm continuing quilting on the map quilt.  It has a ton of different types of spaces, so I've been trying several different quilting patterns.

This is the back with pebbles and city scape.   I like looking at the bottom and seeing the light come through the little holes.

And this is a portion of the top.  Again, the pebbles and city scape, but you can also see some  triangles, swirls, and back and forth.  So far I think the back and forth has been my favorite, but there was a nice grid to work with so that could be part of the reason.  (And again, I'm still working on getting good pictures of the quilting.  When these are large it's a lot easier to see...)

I'm planning on taking this off at the end of the weekend even though it won't be finished.  It's been fun though, so it'll get back on the frame soon!

Oh, and I finally joined a bee!  It was pretty close to what I was looking for, so I thought I'd give it a try.  If you're interested, you can see more info here: Simply Solids Bee

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quilting frame

I had been planning on taking the quilt that is currently on my quilting frame off when I was about halfway done with it.  But some deadlines have changed, so I decided that I wanted to keep it on the frame.  The problem?  I hadn't practiced the last two designs much.

So I thought I'd try putting my scrap piece of fabric on the end and practicing a little bit.  I wasn't sure how it would work, but it went rather well!  I just pinned the fabric to the leaders...although on the bottom rail it isn't pinned to the end of the leader like normal.  I also loosened the main quilt so I could get the tension on the scrap piece correct.

I was practicing pebbles and cityscape.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Design floor take 2

Thanks to everyone that commented on the last post!  I was actually rather surprised, but there was 100% agreement to use the top layout.  I would have chosen the bottom layout, but people mentioned that they didn't like the two white stripes next to each other.  Ah...that makes sense.  The white is a little brighter than I realized.

So I laid out another layout and I think I'm going to go with this one.  I took out one of the white strips and separated the remaining two.   So I'll either need to make another strip or add some plain green to make the size correct.  I thought I'd put it together and then measure. :)  I figured it all out on paper, but sometimes things seem to come together a little differently that I expect.

But first I need to finish the Christmas potholders.  Christmas things first.

Joining up with Plum and June.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Design floor

I thought I'd lay out the duvet tonight and see how it looked.  It's been one of those projects where the individual strips don't look great by themselves, so I needed some reassurance.

It does look a lot better all laid out.  I was also able to find my missing brown least I didn't do the math incorrectly.

I wonder if it would look better in a different layout.  The strips are currently in a repeating pattern from the left.  I can't change the up and down stripes anymore, but the vertical stripes might look better if they radiate from the center.

Hmm, I 'm not sure.  The left and right sides don't match each other, but I figure they'll be hanging off the side of the bed anyway.  It's hand to keep that in mind when analyzing the pictures.  I guess I'll send off the pictures to the intended recipient and see what they like the best.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November accomplishments, December goals

This month I got my top three goals done.  I made a little progress on some of the other things, but not much.  I'm still calling it a successful month!  I'm not sure about December though...I might not be able to meet those goals.  But I'll try!

First, November...
1. Finish quilting the kaleidoscope quilt for the blog hop winner.  Done!

2. Finish Grandma's wall hanging  Done!

3. Work on duvet cover - at least start to get all the pieces put together.  Accomplished...the pieces are mostly in long strips.

And some other things that I hope to work on:

4. work on the heart quilt
No progress
5. make a pattern for the heart block No progress
6. work on the I-spy quilt No progress
7. make the wall hanging with fabric I won Started...finally

8. pretend to work on scrap quilt Pretending accomplished
9. finish green coasters No progress
10. Aunt's throw No progress
11. Pillow for family room No progress
12. Finish Adding Up Nicely baby quilt Progress!  It is quilted and now just needs a binding

13. Quilt blog hop giveaway winner quilts. No progress
14. Quilt quilt for mother-in-law/map quilt. Progress!  Swirls (or ocean currents) are done.

Addition #1. Another wall hanging. Got the fabric from Jennifer
Addition #2. Quilt for Sarah.  I got the quilt and need to figure out a design.

And for December...
1. Quilt a quilt for Christmas
2. Make at least one heart block
3. Make some potholders for Christmas

And some other things that I hope to work on:
4.Work on duvet cover
5. make a pattern for the heart block
6. work on the I-spy quilt 
7. make the wall hanging for office
8. pretend to work on scrap quilt
9. finish green coasters
10. Aunt's throw
11. Pillow for family room
12. Finish Adding Up Nicely baby quilt
13. Quilt blog hop giveaway winner quilts.
14. Quilt map quilt.
15. Another wall hanging for upstairs.
16. Quilt Sarah's quilt

Joining up with Fresh Sewing Day and Just Three

Friday, November 23, 2012

Grandma's quilt

Grandma's quilt is done!

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  The colors aren't colors that I probably would have chosen, but that is one of the fun things of making quilts for other do things that are different than what you normally do.

I'm happy that most of the points came together correctly.  There are a few points that are off but not too many.  I clipped most of them with the binding, but decided that could be a design feature.
Based on Helix, I originally saw it first here.

I quilted my first pantograph on it.  I need to get better at doing edges, but the middle went really well.  My favorite heart is ended up placed just perfectly.

This is currently hanging up in the rehab room with Grandma, but she's super excited to get it home and to its real location.

Linking up with LAFF, Finish It Up Friday, Whoop-whoop Friday, Plum and June, and Canoe Ridge Creations, Freemotion by the River, and Quilt Story.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blog tag

I was recently tagged in blog tag by Camilla.  (Her submission to the Quilter's Blog Fest was my favorite.  You can check it out here.)

So even though I'm rather late, I'm still participating! 

Here are the rules:

  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • the person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer them
  • ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you're going to tag (the people you tag should have less than 200 followers)  
  • mention the blog that tagged you, but don't tag them back.

So 11 things about me.
1. I have a shoelace collection.
2. I hate shopping.
3. I love winter.
4. My favorite candy bar is Take 5 but since it isn't always available Reeses' Peanut Butter cups are my next choice.
5. I've collected umbilical cord blood from a pig.
6. I love taking naps.
7. My favorite way to exercise is by playing racquetball.  Swimming and Frisbee are close seconds.
8. I wish that Firefly hadn't been canceled.
9. I've gone skydiving.
10. The dead person that I'd like to most meet is Enoch (from Genesis 5:21-24) because it says that he walked with God and that he didn't die...he sounds interesting to me.
11.  I lived in Japan for two months and really missed sandwiches.

The questions I was asked:
  1. What is one of the best places you've been to?  St. Lucia
    The view off our porch
  2. Where would you like to travel to, even if not possible at the moment? The moon.  Or Mars. I have a not-so-secret desire to be an astronaut, but don't want to put in the work to actually be one.
  3. What's the best thing you've made?  I'm not sure about this one.
  4. What do your family/friends think about your blogging? They seem to enjoy it...especially my personal blog.  It's fun to get comments in real life about something that I wrote there.
  5. What else do you like to do in your spare time other than make stuff? Read and play games
  6. What's the last good book you read? I just finished "Let's Pretend this Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson...I cracked up so many times.
  7. What's on your "to read" list? What isn't on that list, really.
  8. What's your real job? Mother
  9. Would you choose it again? Why or why not? Mother...yes.  Stay-at-home mother...probably.
  10. How many places (different towns) have you lived in since you were born? 6..Indiana, New York, Michigan, Illinois, New York, Michigan.
  11. If you weren't living where you are, where would you live?  Upstate NY...I have some good friends up there that I miss.
I'm only tagging one person (because that's how real tag works).  Since there is only one person, I'll just let her answer the same questions that I was asked.
Melia Mae Quilting

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shiny fabric

Hi!  I'm looking for some help.  I have a quilt idea in mind, but I'd like it to have some shimmery/sparkly/shiny fabric.  I saw that Hoffman fabrics has some Brilliant Blenders that might work.  Has anyone used them?  Do you have any other suggestions?


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Behind the Seams: 5 minute clean up

Welcome to Behind the Seams!

This month I did a five minute clean up.  I really need to do more than five minutes, but at the same time it's amazing how much better things can look after only five minutes.


Then I put all the scraps in the "to be sorted" box, folded up the fabric that I will need soon but am not actively using, and threw the baby toys to the other side of the room.

Five minutes later:

You can see the desk!  And the floor!

Care to join me?  Link up below.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I took Grandma's quilt off the frame and started to bind it.  This was the first time I've tried a pantograph.  It was a little rough around the edges of the quilt, but the middle went super fast!  I was hoping to not wash it since it's going to be a wall hanging, but I don't think that my piecing allowed for smooth enough quilting.  So it'll be getting washed.  I'm putting the binding on now.

I figured out how many more pieces the duvet needs and am working on those strips.

And I finally started a little wall hanging for myself after talking about it since May.  I didn't get very far, but I can at least say that I got started.

Joining up with WIP Wednesday.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last week's mail

I got a fun package in the mail this week from Jessica at Quilty Habit!

I really like the colors.  And the patterns.  It'll be fun to make something with it!

I also got some mail from an aunt.  It's a map of the barn quilts on the Foothills Quilt Trail in Kentucky.  I really like looking at quilt blocks.  One of these days I want to make a quilt (or quilts) with just one type of block.  There are just too many quilts that I want to make.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grandma's quilt

Grandma's quilt is ready to go on the frame!  I'm going to do a pantograph on it.  (Hmm, I'll need to get the info for it.  I think it's called timeless treasures.)  However, some of the hearts looked like spades to me, especially the ones on the left.  So I penciled in some changes so that the middle of the heart goes deeper and meets in the middle.  It might cross over a little bit, but I think it makes it look a lot more like a heart.
This is a piece of scrap fabric and I accidentally ended up going over a different practice pattern. 
I figure I'm just saving fabric.

Here's the top.  Thanks to everyone that voted a while back on the layout options.  I ended up going with the majority.  I feel like I'm getting better with making all my points line up.  There's still a ways to go and if you look (not very) closely you can find errors, but if you take a step back it looks good.
Based on Helix, I originally saw it first here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quilting finished

I finished quilting Beth's quilt yesterday!

It is a kaleidoscope quilt with a large border.  She has mentioned that it is from the 80s, but maybe the colors are coming back in style because I think the colors are great.

I quilted it with a design that (I think) brings the blocks together.  So there is a sunshine looking thing at the junction of the blocks.

It's easier to see the quilting from the back.  I was scared at the beginning because every mistake can be easily seen on the back.  But after some assurances from Lea and reminding myself that it's just the back and giving myself a little grace, things got better.  I also started singing per Lea's advice.  This quilt heard a lot of "Jesus Loves Me."

I haven't  figured out how to take decent pictures of quilting yet. :(  But it's better if you zoom in, and at the very least you can see that there is some nice texture. 

Here is a close up of one of the sunshine looking things.  

It was fun to figure out a quilting design and see it appear on the quilt.  Thanks for entrusting your quilt to me Beth!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I sent out (or am about to send out) a few blocks this week.  I've never sent out any blocks before and it was fun.  I keep my eyes open for a bee that I would like to join, but what I'm looking for doesn't seem to be very common.  (I'd like to determine the block layout, the approximate color scheme, and the background color.  But I don't want to send fabric out, so it they would be a scrappy blocks.)

Anyway...a siggy block.

And some scrappy blocks for Hurricane Sandy quilts with Knotted Thread.  You can still sign up for scrappy blocks if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October accomplishments, November goals

It's that time again!  I feel like I got a lot accomplished this month, even though I don't have any big finishes.

These were my top three goals for October:
1. Finish the cloth book (before the baby gets to old for it).  Done!  Although the baby has pretty much ignored them.

2. Move and adjust the quilter.  Done!  Thanks to my parents, it didn't take very long.  It is now in an alcove in the basement so that it is out of the play room (but still easy to watch the play room) and can be sectioned off if there is company.

3. Finish the girl baby blanket. Sort -of done.  The top is done and the pattern review comments were sent back to the author.  Another quilt got on the frame first though, so I didn't completely finish this.

I was also hoping to work on:
4. work on the heart quilt.  I restarted this a few days ago after a hiatus.  The block went together much better.  I made a few more tweaks, and we'll see shortly if that broke it or make it better.

5. make a pattern for the heart block.  Well, I worked on the paper piecing templates.  Does that count?
6. work on the I-spy quilt. 
All of the I-spy parts are sewn together and I'm starting to add the background.  This made a great leader/ender project for a while, but now I need to do more thinking.

7. make the wall hanging with fabric I won. 
No progress
8. pretend to work on scrap quilt.  Actually, I cut out a few pieces.  So I exceeded my goal.
9. work on duvet cover.  Moving along!  Tomorrow I'm going to see my parents and hopefully get a layout plan so I can figure out how many more pieces I need.

10. finish green coasters No progress
11. wall hanging for grandmother Almost all pieced.  She ended up away from her home for the next several weeks, so I moved up the priority on this because I want to make her something to hang in her new room.

12. Aunt's throw.  I've been reading the Value series and thinking these would be great fabrics to do something like that with.  No plans to start soon though.
13. Quilt blog hop giveaway winner quilts.  I got one of them and am getting close to done!

14. Quilt quilt for mother-in-law.  Haven't received these yet.
Addition #1: Pillow or table runner.  I was going to try really hard to not add any projects, but I won some fabric!  I think I made lots of progress on the rest of my goals though, so I'm making net progress.

My top three goals for November:
1. Finish quilting the kaleidoscope quilt for the blog hop winner.
2. Finish Grandma's wall hanging
3. Work on duvet cover - at least start to get all the pieces put together.

And some other things that I hope to work on:
4. work on the heart quilt
5. make a pattern for the heart block
6. work on the I-spy quilt
7. make the wall hanging with fabric I won
8. pretend to work on scrap quilt
9. finish green coasters
10. Aunt's throw
11. Pillow for family room
12. Finish Adding Up Nicely baby quilt

Other things that might happen if I get them:
13. Quilt blog hop giveaway winner quilts
14. Quilt quilt for mother-in-law

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, Just Three, and Fresh Sewing Day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Giving Quilt - book giveaway

Earlier this month I was contacted to do a review on The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini.  I really enjoyed her last book, Sonoma Rose, and happily said yes to this too.

Photo from amazon
I'm not going to copy the summary sheet that we got, but you can go here to read the synopsis if you would like.

My review may contain some spoilers, so if you just want to enter the giveaway for the book I decided to give those details first.  Please leave a comment with what you are currently reading.  The giveaway will close Friday morning.

On to my review.

The book tells the individual stories of five ladies that have come together for a week to make quilts for project Linus.  I think that Ms. Chiaverini was trying to show how there no matter what your circumstances, there is always something you can do to help.  While I agree with that, I found most of the book to be rather depressing.  All the stories had hope and cheerful elements, but to me there was a thread of sadness through the stories.  The stories did feel real to me though...maybe that's what many lives feel like right now with the economic depression along with the normal sadnesses that can be found in life.   The good news is that things get mostly resolved in the last ten pages, which I found to be a little too convenient.  Overall I'd probably give the book a 2.5 on a scale from 1 to 5, where a 2 is "I'm not sure why I finished that book" and a 3 is "that was a decent book."

The other very minor thing that disappointed me was the front cover.  In the last book I read, Ms. Chiavernin's characters saw lots of different quilt blocks, referred to them by name, and then I could look to see what they looked like on the cover.  In this book the blocks weren't mentioned.  I sort of understand why some of them were shown on the front cover, but some I have no idea.

I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed here are (obviously) my own.  If you would like a chance to tell me that it is really a heartwarming story of people overcoming adversity, enter the giveaway! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival again!  Thanks to Amy at Amy's Creative Side for putting this together.

This time I'm showing my Tetris quilt.

It was the first QAL that I've done (with Happy Quilting) and I had such a fun time making it!  I also met several new friends while along the way.  The border is made of the pieces that I used in the quilt, in order.  Since they're not on the top or bottom I think it gives the quilt a downward feel, like Tetris.

The back is how my Tetris game would have played out if rows were deleted like an actual game of Tetris

I quilted a double echo around all of the Tetris pieces in matching thread, which had the wonderful effect of giving them a slightly 3D look.  The grey border was left unquilted, and the outer boarder was quilted only on the black part with squares and rectangles.

The back shows the quilting a little better, although you might need to enlarge the picture.

And finally, here is the quilt trying to climb a tree.  (Curious about why?  Check out the original story.)

Needless to say, quilts can't climb trees very well.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Linky number: 161
Finished quilt measures : 94″x 65″ (long twin)
Quilted by : Amanda Hilldore (myself)
Best Category : Bed Quilt, Group Quilt (if QALs count), Home machine quilted