Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pillows for the wedding quilt

I thought it would be rather nice to have some pillows to go along with the wedding quilt that I made for my sister-in-law's sister.  I also thought it would be fun to work on something a little different this month.

I made two pillowcases for normal pillows.  I didn't have enough Kona Grellow, so they're reversible.

I also made some covers for throw pillows.  I only gave her three pillows, figuring she could either swap them out or buy more as desired.

First up we have the light grey (Kona steel).  It mirrors the light grey quilting on the quilt with the one inch square squares.  It is in a different setting though.  Also, I had to use to different pieces to make a piece large enough and it seems as though they might not actually have been the same color.  This was very evident after it came out of the wash and I may have freaked out a bit.  Now that it's dry it isn't nearly as noticeable, but it is still there.  The dark grey (Kona iron) and saffron are just enlarge copies of the quilting from the quilt.  The saffron one does have a single white loopy strand running through it.  It's subtle.

The other three I played with a bit more.  The dark grey doesn't have any quilting.  The white has a meander in three different colors, and they all overlap each other.  The saffron one has their monogram, which shows up because of microquilting straight lines around the letters.  There is also a dark strip on the right where I used a different color thread for a bit.

I think my favorites are the white one and the dark grey with quilting.  I'm pretty happy with how the monogram turned out, but the thicknesses of the letters are a bit wobbly.

This was my December goal.  I didn't finish in time to give it as a Christmas present, but I did finish with plenty of time by the end of the month!

Monday, December 26, 2016

2017 goals

Goal time.  It's fun to think about goals.

I took a look at last year's goals and am happy to say that I most hit all of them.  The first one says that I wanted to average 15 WIPs and I really just got down to 15 WIPs, but I'm still going to call it a win.  (I also have some ideas floating around that I want to put on the January list, so I'll never see a list with 15.  But right now there are only 15.)

Those small goals were good for me, but I'll admit I only really worked hard on the first one.  The others just came as a matter of course.  The goals for this coming year seem a bit bigger, as in I will need to think about them just a bit more, but will still be very manageable.

1. Get the WIP list down to 11.

2. Enter a quilt in a challenge or contest using one of my own designs.

3. Doodle quilting motifs from the AQS doodle a day...I'm not going to try for a certain number, but let's go with more than 12.  Twelve out of 365...ambitious, right?

4. Do a thorough cleaning at least once.  I tend to keep my areas messy but just shy of terrible, so I keep working instead of cleaning.

Sharing the goals with others here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Purse

I made myself a messenger bag about two years ago.  I like a lot, until about two months ago when the fraying and the stains started annoying me.  So I made a new one.

Here's the old one, for reference.

I used the same pattern.  I did change a few things.  I added a zipper pocket for the outside instead of an open pocket.  I realized in the last one that I like to keep my keys and phone in that pocket, so they're easy to find.  But then I'm a bit paranoid that they'll fall out.  So there is a little split pocket, one side for the keys and one side for the phone.

I also added an extra pocket inside.  Because you can't have too many pockets.

The outside is pretty tame, but I added some bright blue to the inside flap, leftover from my ironing board, and some fun orange triangles inside.  I am hoping the light inside will make it easy to find things. :D

Sunday, December 11, 2016

HI quilt

My mother-in-law is making quilts for all of her grand kids, and my son was the next one up.  Since he knew that he had a quilt coming, he had lots of suggestions for the quilting - wires, spirals, circles - and then at the last minute he also added stars in there too.

I finally figured out a way to incorporate all his criteria while still having it flow together ok.  The Hs got straight lines.  Some of the lines have a slant to them, but wires aren't perfectly straight anyway.  I put spirals and pebbles in the inner border.  This removed a lot of the points when going from spiral to spiral because he didn't want that.

The outer border has loops, but not on the dolka dots.  I'm not sure whether I'm happy or not that he had so much to say about the quilting.

He saw it drying on the chair after the snow pictures and seemed unimpressed by the quilting.  The stars are variegated thread, and one leg always managed to be yellow and not show up very well.  The wires weren't wirey enough, but I think he was ok in the end with those.  He did like the borders.  He also really liked the soft back.  I expect that will make the quilt a winner for sure.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

November accomplishments

1. A few simple pillows to go with the wedding quilt.  I'd like to make a few covers for throw pillows and two normal pillow cases.  It just seems needed to tie really complete the gift.  This is my December goal.
2. bee hive scrap something - baby girl quilt.  I finished the top.    I like how I was able to include elements of randomness and order in it.

3. Aunt's quilt. The strips are almost all sewn together; I just have two rows left!  I'm not expecting this to be a Christmas present, but we'll have to see how timing goes.
4. Quilt HI quilt.  I just need to take some good pictures of it.  I missed my chance in the snow this past weekend, but hopefully more snow is coming soon.

Other items still waiting around.
5. scrap quilt #2.  
6. Scrap quilt.   
7. Simply solids bee quilt.     
8. Rainbow log cabin.  
9. Orphan rocket block.  
10. Jeweled floors.
11. New purse   
12. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).    
13. Winter quilt.    
14. fabric from Christmas.    
15. A pillow with green/purple fabric.
16. Sunset wall hanging.  
17. Quilt nautical quilt.  

My goal was to get down to 15 items by January.  If I can finish the pillows and take pictures of the HI quilt and not add anything new, I'll just barely make it!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November goal

I just realized it was the last day of the month and that I hadn't shown my completed November goal!  I finished the top a few days ago.

I used the scraps from this quilt.  I had to add some squares and ended up cutting out way too now I still have scraps from this color way.  I might just throw them back in their respective color bins since they're squares and easier to use later.

It turned out about as I expected.  In the original concept you could see the light purple squares around the yellow diamonds better, but the dark purple triangle in the bottom left was on purpose and came out well.

Linking up with November Finishes at Elm Street Quilts.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Stash Bee quilt - finished!

I was part of a quilting bee this year.  This bee is exactly what I was looking for in a bee.  The rules and guidelines are there, but there are few limitations on what you can choose for your block.  I received all my blocks within two months and the last person was in communication and so I knew that she just needed more time.  (It seems like a small thing, but previous bees haven't gone that well.  Not bad, but this one has been the best.)  It might have been fun if hive had been a bit more social, but it's not as though I did anything to promote that and everyone, including myself, is busy.  I'm hoping to do it again next year and will find out in December if I got in.

This year I choose a random HST in grey scale with pops of color.

I asked for the other members to use at least three different shades in the white to black spectrum, all solids.  Because I do love my solids.  One of the triangles was to be a different color.  I did let them know that it was going to be for a boy, so that's why there are more blues than some of the other colors.

People also sent enough extras for me to make an additional long row.  There was a reason at the time I added the extra row...maybe to balance out the shades a bit?  I don't remember, but since I can't tell I'm going to assume that it worked well.

The squares all lined up very well.  It helped to have nesting seams, but apparently my bee-mates were also great at the quarter inch seam.

I backed it with grey minky and bound it in sateen, per normal.  For quilting I did wavy lines, except for the colored triangles.  In those I did some pebbles.  It was nice and fast, something I was looking for after the previous quilt, while still having in interesting element.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


These trimmings are rather old, but I still think they're rather fun to see.  They're from my Aunt's quilt.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quilting HI quilt - ready to go

I have the HI quilt loaded on the quilter.  My son helped me pick out the thread (the quilt is for him)

I also asked him a while ago what he wanted on it.  "Wires, swirls, loops, and circles," he responded.  I had him draw some, and then added in a few of the things he couldn't draw so well.

Um, yeah.  He doesn't seem to realize that you can't pick up a quilting design like you can a marker.  His wires are more or less a cross-hatch...which would be ok, but not with other things too.  He didn't like the points in my swirls.  He doesn't want lines going over the swirls. I'm ready to start quilting, but only have a poor idea of how to do it.  Right now I'm thinking free-hand lines up and down in the HIs, swirls with circles in the inner border, and loops in the outer border.  I might change my mind by the time I start though. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

October recap

1. bee hive scrap something - baby girl quilt. My goal for November is to figure out a design and sew the top together.  I previously thought I had about 540 HSTs, but I really have about 280.  I'm not sure where my math went wrong. :p  Anyway, that's not quite big enough for a baby quilt, so I'll add in some plain squares too.

2. Baby quilt (boy). This is almost done; I need to put on the binding and bury a few threads.  Hurray!

3. Aunt's quilt. I've put a few rows together.  Nothing exciting but it is at that stage where it will suddenly become a top before expected.

Other items still waiting around...or newly added.   

4. scrap quilt #2.  
5. Scrap quilt.   
6. Simply solids bee quilt.     
7. Rainbow log cabin.  
8. Orphan rocket block.  
9. Jeweled floors.

10. New purse   
11. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).    
12. Winter quilt.    
13. fabric from Christmas.    
14. A pillow with green/purple fabric.
15. Sunset wall hanging.  
16. Quilt nautical quilt.  
17. A few simple pillows to go with the wedding quilt 
18. Quilt HI quilt

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wedding quilt

It's finished!  All of the threads are hidden, pictures taken, and it's ready to be delivered this weekend.

First of all, the quilt inspiration is Nonchalant from "20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts".  Our original plan was to do it in three colors, substituting Kona Sand for the white.  But when I got the fabrics all together, there wasn't enough contrast.  So we added some white.  Then for fun some of the medium grey was substituted with a dark grey to round out the value spectrum a bit more.

It's a large queen.  It might actually be a bit too large, but I like my bed quilts on the large side.  That way, if someone needs to steal some blankets in the middle of the night there is still a change the other person has some covers.  It was rather hard to photograph though.

The quilting looks pretty good to me.  Besides the loops, the designs were from "180 doodle quilting designs."  I don't love the quilting in the sand strips.  I found that I have a hard time going straight on the diagonal, and so they're rather wiggly.  When taken as a whole it isn't too bad, but still not my favorite.

However, I really like the quilting in the light and dark greys.  I used pounce to mark the lines, so while they're not perfection they aren't crazy all over the place either.  I love the texture that they give to the quilts.  The saffron (Kona Grellow) pieces got loops.  I realized I would need something easy to get this quilt done in a reasonable amount of time.  I had originally be planning on quilting the white part too, but then decided that it would be softer if I didn't.  (And it was that much faster too.)

The back is minky.  It's just so soft.  The quilting comes through very nicely too.  You can see some of the different color threads (each match the fabric color), but it's not very noticeable.

This was my October goal, and I just managed to finish it! Also linking up with Finish It Up Friday.

Friday, October 7, 2016

September recap

1. Wedding quilt. Well, this was last month's goal.  I wasn't too far off, but I also wasn't very close.  I just finished the quilting (four days into October) and I have to tie off a gazillion thread ends and bind.  This will be October's goal too.  At the rate I've been going, it is a possible goal but not a for-sure goal.

Baby quilt (boy). I received all the blocks from Stash Bee and put them together.  This is going on the quilter next as it's for a baby who is a few months old now.  Now that I'm seeing it in a picture, I really, really like it.

. Aunt's quilt. I got all the colored HSTs together.  It was close a few times as the cat seemed a bit mad at me and messed up my pieces.  The first time she didn't mess them up too much and the second time most of them were at least put into blocks.  I quickly numbered them after the second time.  The third time three numbers fell out, but it was still pretty easy to put them all in the right spot.  Now they're all in a stack waiting for their corner triangles.  Look at how well my points match up!  There's only a few that aren't "perfect" and I'm rather excited about that.

Other items still waiting around...or newly added. 

4. bee hive scrap something.  
5. scrap quilt #2.  
6. Scrap quilt.   
7. Simply solids bee quilt.     
8. Rainbow log cabin.  
9. Orphan rocket block.  
10. Jeweled floors.    
11. Lost piece (almost whole cloth quilt).    
12. Winter quilt.    
13. fabric from Christmas.    
14. A pillow with green/purple fabric.
15. Sunset wall hanging.  
16. Quilt nautical quilt.  
17. Baby quilt (girl) 
18. Quilt HI quilt

Thursday, September 22, 2016

BQF: Rainbow Diamonds

Here is my second entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival...Rainbow Diamonds.

I did take a bit of liberty with the rainbow, substituting pinks for reds.  It's my own design and made of HSTs, although in retrospect I should have just pieced it in a log cabin style.  Oh well, live and learn.

I used a swirl pantograph for the quilting.  It had been a while since I used a pantograph.  I definitely like free motion quilting better, but it also went much better this time around than it had previously.  I've learned that smooth swirls are more important than staying on the pantograph line.

I had fun with the photoshoot with this quilt.  To see more pictures, click here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BQF: Big Plus, Little Plus

It's time again for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival!!  I'm happy to share with you "Big Plus, Little Plus".  (And I can never stop myself from saying, "what begins with plus" after saying the title.)  Since this is my own design, I'm entering in the Original Design Category.

I know, it isn't really made of pluses.  But I didn't realize it wasn't a plus until I was taking pictures!  This sat on the shelf for a long time, so it was about five years of being called a plus quilt when it wasn't.  I couldn't bear to change it at the end.

I quilted it with pluses.  It's a fast all-over of (sort-of) echos the piecing.

If you'd like more details, the full finish post is here.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Making it work

The quilt I currently have on the frame is a little bit too big.  I wasn't going to be able to roll it up and have it fit under the throat of the sewing machine easily.  So I decided to turn it.  I've had this in the back of my mind for a while, and wanted to see how it would work.

So far it's going ok.  I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to be able to roll all the layers on the bar as I had expected.  This made me wish I had gone down as far as possible before turning, but I'll know that for next time now.  The extra weight does add some drag on the machine, but it is still movable.

Since I don't have everything up on the roller I decided to just do the saffron parts first.  This will tack it in place and then I can go back and get the other spots.

The other problem I had was a wrinkle in the batting.  It was the last piece on a roll and I think something made it stretch oddly.  After working it in for a few rows it became time for more drastic measures.  A cut.

That's right, I cut a hole in the middle of my batting.  While it was on the quilting frame.  It kind of freaked me out and seemed like a terrible plan.  But since it was that or deal with a wrinkle that wasn't going away I decided to take my chances.  I took out the offending part and hand-sewed it back up.  I can tell the seam is there, but I'm not sure anyone else will be able to.  It happens to be under one of the sashing pieces and I'm quilting those just right for this (I think).  There is some nice continuous quilting to keep it in place in the future but not too much such that it will strain the seam.

(This is the lower half; the picture with the hole is the upper half of the hole.  You can barely tell it's there!)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Design floor

I've spent the last three nights laying out a quilt.  I put it in a back corner and have taken many pictures, hoping that a small child/cat doesn't mess it up.

My biggest decision right now is whether to have the dark green centers seen in the left three rows.  There are trees on them, which is special to the recipient and myself, but they're a bit dark.

They don't look so bad in the picture.  I'll probably keep them.  There's also a chance I won't make it quite this big.  It feels quite big, although I guess nothing has been sewn together yet.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bee hive quilt - finished

So...I finished this a while ago, but have been slow to take pictures.  And then slow to post the pictures.  I love having a record of what I've made, but sometimes I don't want to do the work.

Anyway,  this is a quilt from a Bee Hive run by Blossom Heart Quilts called Spinwheel.  I did change it a bit - prints B and D are the same color in my quilt.

The yellow spinwheels are most prominent, but there are also dark purple, grey, and light purple spinwheels too.  I had hoped for scrappy blocks, but forgot to actually say that in my instructions.  In the end I had a few blocks that stick out a bit more than the others - they aren't scrappy and the colors are a bit lighter.  I just strategically spaced them and now they are a design feature!  Score.  I actually really like them as it's a rather busy quilt and they give the eye a place to rest.

For the quilting I did loops in grey thread.  I think the loops feel like wind, and so it seemed appropriate with all the spinwheels.

I bound it in a light grey.  The back is purple minky.  It's going to an adult friend, but I love minky.  Love it!!  I strongly feel that all quilts that are meant to be used (and not just looked at, like on a wall) should be backed in something soft.

This quilt, just like me, enjoyed some relaxing this summer.

Linking up with Finish It up Friday and Whoop-whoop Friday