Monday, December 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This probably doesn't look much different but the slip of paper pinned on the left marks row 4. I had to fold down the finished areas to make more room to work. It's taking me about one hour to put together an 8 x 8 square. The top row in the finished area contains two 8 x 8 squares. I also need to cut more fabric to finish this row. Due to holidays and furlough days I don't have to be back at work until January 3. I should be able to make a lot of progress on this, though I have a lot of longarming to do also.

Christmas day was great. My daughter and I joined our extended family at Dillon Beach. It's the first time we have been able to get everyone all together at the beach house in four years. The photo below is from the porch, although not taken yesterday. It was sunny and the parking lot was packed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

UFO Challenge 2012

I will be participating in Judy Laquidara's UFO Challenge again next year. Looking back, I can’t believe how many quilts I finished this year. My goal was to get 12 UFOs to stage one (top completed) and 12 to stage two (quilted and bound). I completely finished 20 quilts! I think having some accountability helped me meet this goal.

I had 27 UFOs and 24 Ready to Quilt projects a year ago. Now I have 22 UFOs and 32 Ready to Quilt. Some of my numbers seem to be going in the wrong direction!

Of the quilts on my list, these are the ones I really want to get to the “ready to be quilted” stage this year. All of them have some kind of problem, which is why they aren't finished. I chose six so it would be a reasonable amount of work to accomplish:
2006 2nd Saturday
Arctic Appliqué
Buffalo Ridge
Farm Appliqué
Gram’s Memorial Quilt
Hand-dyed Log Cabin

I never made a master list last year, only the sidebar list, which I changed as I went along. Here's all the UFOs:
2006 2nd Saturday
2010 BOM Drunkard’s Path Variations
African Animals II (donation)
Antique Postage Stamp
Arctic Appliqué, Roxy Appliqué, Farm Appliqué, Yosemite Appliqué
Buffalo Jewels
Buffalo Ridge
Carpenter’s Square
Chicken a la Carte (kit)
Dinosaurs (donation)
Gordian Knot IIII
Gram’s Memorial Quilt
Green Millwheel
Hand-dyed Log Cabin
Hot Cross Buns
Houston Quilted Jacket
Keryn’s Stars
Ranch Hand’s Challenge 2012
Scrappy Irish Chain III

And this is the Ready to Quilt list. I would like to finish 12 on this list:
2003 Pumpkin Seed BOM
2009 Tamara’s BOM
4 strip quilts (donations)
2 Dog themed quilts (donations)
Aqua flowers (donation)
Bali Stars
Bear Paw (donation)
Bright Scrappy Stars (donation)
Bug quilt (donation)
Cow puzzle (donation)
Fabulous Blues
Funny Monsters (donation)
Giraffe Appliqué
Gordian Knot I & II
Guitar quilt (donation)
Jacks on Six
Making Ends Meet (civil war style)
Making Ends Meet (purple and green)
Michigan Crossroads
Millennium Stars
Minnesota Stars
Petaluma Quilt Guild Challenge 2011
Scrappy Irish Chain II
Spring Baby Quilt
Spring Tile Quilt

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I have made a lot of progress on this in the last week. The lower portion is sewn together in three large rows. Then I folded it down after the photo so I would have room to work. I was having to stand up from my chair to reach the upper squares. Now my workspace in down at a more comfortable level.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I have made a lot of progress this week. Unfortunatly, I have been working on this instead of other important things.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I started working on this quilt last spring. The pattern is from an antique quilt. The squares have to be laid out and carefully sewn together. It's very slow going, however, I find it relaxing and meditative. I will keep going until I run out of the red I am using for the chains between the blocks. The squares are cut at 1 1/2 inches, so 1/3 of this quilt is disappearing into the seam allowances. I'm thinking of using wool batting because the top will be so heavy.

Here's a closeup of some of the blocks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Renewal Quilt is Complete!

Here are a couple of photos of the completed quilt. One of the whole quilt and a close up that shows the quilting and signatures.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Renewal Quilt

Here's the top finished. It is folded into quarters since I don't have a space indoors large enough to lay it out. It came out to 104" square. I had hoped to have it quilted and bound by tomorrow but everything always takes longer than I think. I'll make the back and binding tonight so I can put it on the longarm Friday. I should have it finished by the end of the weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here's what's on the wall today. This is a gift for my friends who renewed their wedding vows last spring (married 20+ years!) It's a pattern from the 3rd nickel quilt book. We had attendees sign the white pieces at the after party. This is only the center, the whole thing will be 100" x 100"! I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all laid out. I may have to clean my living room to get it done. And I got a crazy idea that I could get the top done and quilted to give to them on Thanksgiving. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday

More of the same blocks this week. I need 35 total, so 20 more to go. I do have all the white star parts finished.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday

These blocks came from a photo I saw on Keryn Emerson's blog so I will call them Keryn's Star. There is no pattern so I am using 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" strips sewed together using the stitch-and-flip method. These are 12" blocks and the final quilt will be 5 x 7 blocks.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I didn't get a lot done this week but I did knock out another one of these quilts. Tamara gave me a pack of fat quarters that was almost enough fabric to make this. I added a few pieces from my scrap stash and the background.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Nothing really new today. Pictured is a quilt I finished last week at the quilt retreat. I got the idea from a post on someone else's blog but I can't remember who or where. If anyone knows the name of this pattern, please post a comment. I would like to give credit where it's due. In the mean time, I liked this pattern so much I started another. It's a great way to use scraps.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Actually, it's the design floor. This quilt is too big for the design wall. The pattern I was using as my inspiration is called Michigan Crossroads. It's from Quiltmaker (J/F '10). The pattern calls for no sashing but I wasn't happy with the way it was turning out. I was also getting tired of making the blocks, so I drew out an alternative. I tried light and dark sashing and light improved things. It also meant that I could make fewer blocks and still have a twin size quilt. Sorry for the dark picture. It's hard to get a good photo in my living room at night. That's my dog Boo's face in the upper right corner. My other dog Roxy is afraid of the camera and leaves the room whenever I take it out.

I'm going on a quilting retreat in two weeks so I'll be cutting up projects to work on and quilting others for show and tell. I'm planning 6 projects, one of which I hope to have completed by the end of the week. The others are ongoing projects.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I spent the afternoon sewing these blocks together. I think I'll do a small black border and a larger green print border. This put a small dent in my scraps.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

More Michigan Crossroads blocks this week. This is not my usual style, everything but the kitchen sink, but I'm trying to reduce the amount of scraps I have. This pattern uses 3 1/2" strips and 2" strips. It has put a small dent in my scraps stash. I can get the 3 1/2" strip drawer shut now. I'm going to have to make a few more quilts that use 2" strips before that one will close.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I can't seem to focus on any one project so I worked on several over the weekend. The upper left is a rail fence based on a photo Mary Johnson posted on her blog. I couldn't find instructions so I worked it out myself. The upper right is a pattern from Quiltmaker (J/F '10) called Michigan Crossroads, although I changed around the position of the light and dark squares. The bottom row, left to right, is Old Kentucky Album from Bonnie Hunter's Addicted to Scraps column in Quiltmaker, Pennsylvania Scrapple from Quiltmaker (S/O '01), my last Minnesota Star and Twist and Twirl from Quiltmaker (M/J '09).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I worked on the Minnesota Stars this weekend. I laid them out on the floor but I forgot to take a picture. I had to pick them up when the dogs came back from being washed. So here is a sample block from a pattern called Old Kentucky Album. It was featured in Bonnie Hunter's "Addicted to Scraps" column in Quiltmaker's January/February 2010 issue.
Her instructions call for using all 2" strips and trimming the block down but that leaves bias edges around the outside. I might calculate the size triangles I would need before I make any more blocks to avoid that.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday

More Minnesota Stars finished. This pic shows 18, I have 4 more waiting to put up and 11 more to finish. That makes only 33. I thought I had 35 cut out so I guess I'll have to do 2 more. That will make a twin size quilt. I made a huge mess trying to use up these scraps and get things under control. I cleaned up today so I wouldn't be tempted to take a photo and post it! Three or four times in the past couple of years I have knocked out a few quilts in an attempt to reduce my scraps but to no avail. I have some ideas for at least 8 more so I'll just keep going and going....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I haven't been very motivated to get anything done lately so I started cleaning up my sewing area. The fabric scraps are getting out of hand so I cut up fabric and started some new blocks today. They are called Minnesota Stars. The pattern is a free download from Connecting Threads.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Finally something new. I have been working on finishing projects that have been hanging around too long. I was using this project for leaders/enders. The pattern is called Fabulous Blues and is from Evelyn Sloppy's book 40 Fabulous Quick-cut Quilts.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This first quilt is for the spring retreat challenge. The challenge fabric is the bird print I fussy cut for the center of the diamonds. I have to find more background fabric so I can finish it the way I want. If I can't, I'll just put a border on it and be done.

This next photo is my bed with my recently completed purple quilt. I made this quilt with the corners cut out to accomodate the posts. Quilts hang so much better this way I think I'll do it from now on. I am very happy with the way this one turned out.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday

It's actually Design Table Monday. I couldn't put this up without disturbing something else. I am finishing this top I made two years ago. I want to hang it in a local show next weekend so I had to quilt it. Now i'm working on the binding and pulling in the thread tails. This will be my May finish in the UFO challenge. I have another quilt for the show but it's in the dryer right now. When both are finished I will take better photos.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Not much has changed. The bottom is my Petaluma Quilt Guild challenge. I'm testing sashing and borders. That's actually brown fabric strips, not black. The top is a few blocks from a signature quilt I'm making for two friends who recently renewed their wedding vows.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recent Finishes

I can't believe how time has flown by. It's been over a month since I last posted. Since then I have returned to work and gone on a quilt retreat. I finished this first quilt at the retreat. I made this same quilt once before only smaller, as a donation. I loved it so much I bought the fabric all over again so I could have one to keep. That was over three years ago. I was looking for a good project to take on the retreat and decided it was time this fabric was made into a quilt.

Here's a closeup of the individual blocks. I was able to find almost all the same fabrics.

After I returned from the retreat I was looking for a mindless project to finish and decided on these Millennium Stars. I originally blogged about them here. I decided to finish them with purple sashing. I used left over strips from the purple quilt I made last fall. The photo is washed out but it's the look I was hoping for. Now to make a back and quilt it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I started this Sunday. It's for the PQG challenge, due in August. The "rules" are blue, orange, drunkard's path and a thimble. I think I'll use a thimble to sew on the binding.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've been working on the pieced borders for Making Ends Meet. I have 14 blocks to go before I can start putting things together. Maybe tomorrow. I have lots to do today.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Recovery Projects

This is my second quilt using Judy Laquidara's Making Ends Meet pattern. I haven't decided if I'm going to do the full pieced borders or a simple border. The first quilt I made I am going to do the full pieced orders so I'm not sure I need to do that twice.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I have made a lot of progress on this quilt! Of course, I have been trapped in my house for the last two weeks. Last Friday I drove for the first time since my surgery. Plus there has been a lot of rain here so no reason to go out. I will finish the center tomorrow and start working on the borders. I also started cutting fabric for a second quilt of this pattern. My friend, Barbara, gave me two Moda scrap bags. Put together I should have enough fabric for the star blocks. The rest will come from my stash.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recovery Projects

This is what I've been working on while I recover from surgery, Churn Dash and Stars. I wish I could have made more blocks so the circular pattern would really show but I was trying to use blocks I had already made for another project that ended up a UFO. At least now it's finished. And I used up most of the fabric. I cut up the leftovers into 4 1/2" squares for the borders. That was the quickest way to finish. I will definately mke this pattern again.

This is my sample block for Making Ends Meet, a new pattern from Judy Laquidara. It's available free on her blog. I changed the colors from the original because I have no orange fabric and I was trying not to buy anything for this project. I only purchased the background. The star points will be scrappy greens and the chains will be scrappy purples. I may have to buy some purple for the final border. I'm not sure I have a piece bi enough. I'll worry about that when I get there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I took down the blocks from last week and started working on these. I couldn't decided what to do with the others and I needed something brainless to work on. This is actually a UFO that I decided to change. I had started the star blocks with different alternate blocks that I wasn't crazy about. Then I saw Mary Johnson's latest free pattern, Churn Dash and Stars, and I decided to do that instead. My blocks are larger and I don't have enough fabric to make mine as big as hers so I'll just keep making blocks until I run out.

My surgery went well Tuesday, in fact better than I expected. I thought I would feel crappy from the anesthesia but I don't. Just tired and sore. I'm working on the above project between naps.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday

These blocks are called Millenium Star and are from the Nickel Quilts book. I'm trying to decide if they need sashing or not. I'm having surgery on Tuesday so they will probably be up for a few weeks. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February UFO/Monochromatic Challenge

My plan last month was to get this quilt finished, including quilting and binding, but the quilting gods were against me. I had such terrible problems with the thread shredding and breaking that I only got 1 1/2 rows quilted before I ripped it all out. I had this problem at the same time last year and I think it has to do with it being winter and the heater is on, drying out the air and thread. When I figure out how to "moisturize" my thread I will try again. The name of the quilt is Violaceous! I used an online thesaurus to find synonyms for purple and that was one of the suggestions.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I started out with these blocks I made a couple of weeks ago. I made a quilt with them a couple of years ago, pictured here. I was never really happy with the setting. It looks interrupted to me.

So I fooled around with the sashing and came up with this:

Now I'm auditioning borders. My daughter says it deserves something more than just plain borders and she may be right.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fonthill Quilt

This weekend was the biannual San Francisco Quilters Guild two day show. I entered my Fonthill Quilt and was elated that it won BEST OF SHOW!!!

I didn't know it won until I walked up to it at the show this afternoon. The judges made some very nice remarks about my use of color and technical skills on the evaluation form.

Other great news about this quilt: 18 months ago I got a call from Christine Barnes. She saw this quilt at the Pacific International Quilt Show in 2009 and wanted to know if she could include it in the gallery section of a book she was writing. Two weeks ago I received my copy, shown below.

This book is available from the C & T website and Amazon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here's what's on today. I finished this UFO last night. Now I'll piece the back and put it on the longarm. This is for Judy Laquidara's Monochromatic Challenge. February's color is violet, my favorite! To enter the challenge your quilt must be finished by the end of the month, including binding and label. Today is a holiday at work so I should be able to get this loaded at least.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I'm working on this for Judy L.'s monochromatic challenge. This month's color is violet. I had already started this quilt with scraps from another quilt I made last fall at a retreat. I need to make it one row wider in each direction. And it has to be quilted and bound by the end of the month.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I was up late so I decided to post before I went to bed instead of in the morning. This was on my wall until late:

This pattern is called Carriage House by Pat Speth. It's available for free download on the Windham fabrics website. It only needs the final border. Then I started working on these blocks:

This is all an attempt to reduce my scraps. It seems like scraps multiply when you're not looking. Hopefully I will be able to get my scrap drawers shut soon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January UFO of the Month

Instead of doing a block of the month, I am participating in Judy's UFO of the Month. When I counted up all my UFOs in December, I had more than 50. I divided them into two groups, projects that need to be quilted and all others. I decided to try to get one project from each group finished each month. I was chomping at the bit to get going on the UFOs so I finished some in December:

Cow Puzzle, African Animals, Funny Monsters, Broken Dishes, Oklahoma Stars (tops)
made backs for several donation quilts
Hungry Caterpillar, Completely Dotty (quilted)

My first finish in January was the 2008 2nd Saturday quilt. I finished making the top at 12:45am on January 1!

Also in January I quilted two donation quilts, a Red & White Irish Chain and a blue and brown quilt. Unfortunately I don't have photos of those. They are at Joann's house waiting for labels.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday

The Christmas tree is put away and the design wall is back where it belongs. On it is a Bonnie Hunter pattern called bricks and stepping stones. While gathering up all the UFOs last month I came across piles of scraps waiting to be cut up and put away. I took care of that and now I can't get my scrap drawers shut again. I need to make some quick scrap quilts to get things under control. This one will be twin size when complete. About half of the blocks are shown in this pic and I only need to make about 1/3 more to finish.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Finishes

Here's photos of some more quilt tops I finished in the last two weeks. This one I call Oklahoma Stars. It was an experiment with the Road to Oklahoma block but you can't really see the stars because I inadvertenly made the wrong squares dark. I may try this pattern again. I have moved this project to the Ready to be Quilted list.

I call this one cow puzzle. The only thing this needed was the final border, which I think really brings out the puzzle pieces. Now I need to dig up some cow fabric for the back.

I started this quilt years ago but I thought it was boring so I never finished it. I think it's pre-2007. I had a lot of triangles already cut out so I went ahead and finished the blocks and put on a border. I also made a back out of some zebra print flannel a fellow guild member gave me. I still think it's boring but I'm sure some kid will love it. It's headed for the VOM children's home.

And finally, the Hungry Caterpillar. My daughter (age 26 btw) asked me to make this for her about 3 years ago. She has fond memories of the story. So I snuck it out of the house and finished it as a Christmas surprise. She loves it.

I have not been at my day job for the last 16 days and here's what I accomplished:
put borders on Cow Puzzle
blocks and borders on African Animals
quilted Red & White Irish Chain
quilted Hungry Caterpillar
quilted 3 customer quilts
binding on a donation quilt
put together 2008 2nd Saturday blocks
quilted Completely Dotty
put together Broken Dishes blocks
put borders on Funny Monsters
worked on Arctic applique
organized UFOs for 2011 Challenge
pieced backs for several donation quilts