Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Measure twice, cut once

I guess it's back to the drawing board for a quilt to hang on my balcony. One would think by now that I learned the lesson to measure the space where I want to display a quilt, and plan accordingly. I finally got the border on the log cabin quilt that I made last winter. It looks like the quilt was too big even before I added the border! I did make sure though that the quilt was big enough for my bed, so someday I'll use it there. Unless of course, I could convince my husband that with a little creative carpentry we could make it fit.

I also got the border on this Infinite Star quilt. I am undecided, about what I want to do in the background area of the star. I don't know if it'll just be the quilting or if I want to do some couching of some colored yarns or what.

We had comfort quilting at church today. I had so much to bring, I packed my big suitcase. It was heavier than when I travel on the plane to do lectures. I brought the raffle quilt back in and maybe eight kits I was returning after cuttings strips for them with the studio cutter. I also brought this big Sunshine and Shadow quilt that I had on the frame this last week. Someone had donated the quilt top to church.

I still have borders to add to 3 quilt tops that I listed three weeks ago. But I changed my mind about one of them. It's maybe 4 feet across. And rather than just border it I think that I'll add some smaller stars around and make a medallion quilt with it. So I've moved that quilt top to the PhD pile. Another top waiting for a border is a comfort quilt and I'll add the border When I prep the back before I quilt it. The 3rd is on this weeks schedule.

It is still amazing to me how motivating it has been to get my projects organized. I would like to reward myself for getting so much done, and start another quilt, but I think since I'm on a roll, I'll wait another week and see how much more I can get done. So that means I have to go now, sew long.

Monday, July 19, 2010

always on the go

I had a busy week last week and I didn't even have any classes. I went to Fox Lake, Wi to see my friend, Ellie. I had no idea she had made so many quilts until she opened a closet to show me it was stuffed with quilts. That was a shock! I guess 2 hours is just too far away for us to keep up.

This quilt hanging in the guest room inspired me a few years ago. I spent a few days with her one summer, and she worked on another strip quilt while I was there. I have made several of my own since.

I also saw Judy last week and picked up the Delectable Mountains raffle quilt she had quilted for us. She did another great job as you can see. Maybe next year I will feel I'm doing well enough on the long arm to quilt the raffle quilt myself. I will have tickets if anybody is interested
and I'm sure Judy would be happy to quilt for you too. Judy always inspires me too. When I got home, I planned the quilting for another quilt on Lennie.

I have to get ready for quilting at church tomorrow and then I'm going to go quilting in the studio tonight. Thanks for stopping by, sew long.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

They call it applique

I tried raw edge applique the other day. It was too easy and would have been even easier if I had put it on the longarm. I was concerned that raw edge applique might not hold up, but I did my research and learned that as long as I stitched a 1/4" or more away from the raw edge, it'd be fine. I did two row of stitches. I could call the security row - embellishment, I guess.

It's a comfort quilt. The dark purple background fabric was prequilted, so it didn't take much time at all. The leaves are lime green. Funny how some colors don't photograph well. I think it needs a little more, though. I didn't have any fabrics on hand I wanted to add, so when I take it to church next week we will see if anyone wants to contribute to the quilt in any way.

That is one great thing about the church group. Many hands go into one quilt sometimes. Different person for each step. Kitting and precutting, piecing, basting, quilting and even binding and the label!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Still a Mystery

I have gotten some more sewing done on the red and purple mystery quilt, this is the setting that I want to use. Except all of the pinwheels will use the purple segments, and all the corners will be red, but I need to make another decision. I'm thinking I might use some of the units for a pieced border rather than making more blocks with them, but we'll see, one step at a time. Sometimes I wish I could just follow a pattern. Instead of always coming up with something on my own. I think that's what slows me down.

I have several comfort quilts here that I want to finish up soon. I want them out of the way so that after I take the quilting classes at the machine quilt show in Milwaukee I will be ready to practice what I've learned. I am pretty excited about this show; I never have been to a show that focuses on machine quilting.

I'm going to post a few more quilts and/or tops for sale on the other page on this blog and then I think I'm going to go quilt. thanks for stopping by. Sew long,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Can't compute all day

As much as I enjoy the computer, I just can't do it all day. Sure wish I could sometimes. One thing I'd like to do is finally post some of my retired sample quilts and tops for sale. If I have this thing figured out right, I should have a new page with the first quilt top. I also plan to add the terms of sale and return policy to the sidebar. This morning I took photos of a dozen quilts/tops to post. One step at a time, I guess.

This is one of the tops I just finished and will be posting it for sale right away. It was one waiting for a border. It is a Random Four-Patch, but I call it Roadkill Rag quilt. It is made from flannel. That stuff is soft and cuddly but I am not interested in using it in quilts. I started a small collection when I was given a small charm pack of flannels. But then I decided I didn't want to use them because I don't like the way flannel ages. I call it Random because there is no rhyme or reason to the placement of the colors, but the four-patches do alternate with the plain squares. It is one of my favorite comfort quilts to make.

I also got the border on this Thirtysomething quilt. This is the one that I started 12 years ago to be a wallhanging. I didn't like the way it was going and ignored it for a long time. When I pulled it out again I decided to add an alternate block, made the blocks and put it away again. When I pulled it out this spring I decided to make the half-blocks to make it bigger and look for something to border it. No way was I going to find more of the same stuff 12 years later. Sure was surprised to find this green the first time I looked. Glad it's finally done.

More later. Sew long,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Loads of Progress

I have had lots of energy to sew lately and I am getting lots done. Yet, I feel like I have to get "caught up" with my sewing. I don't know where that is coming from because I have no deadlines or commitments. I haven't had this kind of energy for a while now, so am glad for it.

I got the borders on this Swizzle Sticks quilt finally. I made the top at retreat last November and didn't put the border on cause I wanted to change the cornerstones. They were a coral pink and didn't give it the look I was after so I ripped out the pink ones and replaced them with the dark gray. Glad I did. I wasn't sure I wanted to put the blocks together at retreat without a design wall to spread out the blocks and audition the color of cornerstones. I learned from that mistake. This is one of my newest and favorite Thirtysomething quilts. I still can't believe all the designs you can make with that little unit.

I also got Brian's big log cabin quilt done. He took it home today and at 9pm when he called it was still out in his van. I can't imagine he will be needing it tonight anyways. It has been hot and muggy this weekend and promises to be the rest of the week. Okay with me, I will stay in and quilt.

I got a few other simple borders done, but didn't take pics yet cause the sun was shining on the wall. I also assembled more kits with the fabric cut with the Studio cutter. I still have to put some directions together for those. I also loaded another big quilt on the frame and it is 1/4 done already. It's hard for me to believe I got so much done and Mark was home on vacation. Makes me think his retirement won't be so bad after all.

Here is hoping all you quilters find a little time each day to get some quilting done. I know, it makes my day!
Sew long,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Try it, you'll like it

In between all my gardening and quilting I have been gathering St. Pete's scraps to cut using the Accucut Studio Cutter. It is available for rent at the Oconomowoc (WI) Ben Franklin Quilt Shop. You can see here I set my sights high and packed this whole tub with fabric. I was betting I was going to like it, and like it I did.

Lucrecia joined me to help make better use of my time. Here she is placing fabric on the 3" strip die. With the big studio cutter, we could cut 10 layers of fabric with one pass. The 3" die cuts 4 strips across the width of the die (dies accommodate folded 44" fabric like it comes off the bolt).

After you crank the die through the press the trimmings around the edges are dumped and you stack the good stuff. I cut 2 1/2" strips. We also cut some 5" squares, but generally we don't use this size at all.

This is the trimmings that I trashed. I am sure someone that does miniatures would love them. I would have saved them, but I am swamped in scraps and the church ladies have minimums so they get their quilts done quickly.
Did we get the tub full of fabric cut??? No, unfortunately. We were warned a number of times that it goes quickly, but apparently not as quickly as I'd imagined. WE got about half of it cut.
Here it is. This pile was cut in 2 1/2 hours.

Will I rent it again??? Absolutely. Even though we didn't get it all done it saved tons of time and energy on my part. Most of my 70 year old ladies don't enjoy cutting out the quilts. I don't know if its cause the ruler slips or the ruler is hard to read or they just get sore shoulders, arms and backs when they cut, but they will appreciate this much precut for them.

I don't know if it is really efficient use of your time or fabric to cut using some of the other dies. And it is expensive to own. I just thought I had to experience it once. I'm glad I did and I am glad I didn't have to own it to try it. Funny, that is just what I said when I rented the longarm I just had to try. At any rate, I feel it freed up some of my time for more quilting! Have a good one.