Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

I got to play with some great spring colored batiks this weekend.

This is just the back, it still needs binding which I hope to get to later this week.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tea, china and quilting

I'm having the relaxing weekend on my own with my sewing machine that I'd planned to have.  Today I'm enjoying some tea from teacups I inherited from my grandmother while quilting this wall hanging.  The weather is so beautiful I've even been able to keep some windows open for fresh air.

I'm also watching classic movies on Netflix - some Doris Day, Danny Kaye and Clark Gable.  Obviously not all in the same movie.

It's been a fantastic weekend, how's yours?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's that time of week again where I look at all my projects and realize how many I've started and how few I've actually finished.  This week?  NEW PICTURES.  Oh yes, no recycling in this post!


1.  Rail Fence - Finished it up yesterday, you can read about it there.

Finished Quilt Tops

1.  Batik Squares
2. Snowballs (or fire & ice balls)
3.  Strawberry fields postage stamps
4. Halloween wall hanging

The Rest

1.  Flying Geese - No progress
2.  Pinwheel sampler - No Progress
3.  Daisy Doodles - Strips sewn together for 9 patch and rail fence blocks.

4.  Log cabin table runner - No progress
5.  Spring flowers - No progress.
6.  Stash busting triangles - Fighting with aligning triangles properly.  Who knew it would be so difficult???
7.  Stash Busting wedges - No progress.
8.  Stash busting hourglasses - No real progress, just a picture of cut fabric...

9.  Batik plus sign quilt - no progress

So, yeah.  Not a lot of progress, but I did get a finish!  And some new pictures of my other projects

I have an entire long weekend to myself coming up so I suspect the list of finished quilt tops will increase dramatically.    How's your week coming along?

Also?  I like my new format for this.  I no longer have a dozen WIPS.  I have 4 finished quilt tops and fewer than 10 WIPs...  It just sounds better!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So what is wrong with this quilt?

Why do I hate it so?

Why do I prefer looking at the back instead of the front?  Maybe it's because the friend this is going to requested tan after I'd made up the front so this is meant to be reversible.

Which worked out well, I think it's absolutely reversible and I totally prefer the back.

I can look at this one in pictures and think it looks great, if a little blurry.  Apparently my camera had a fingerprint on the lens so it wouldn't focus properly. 

But I've hated working on it for awhile now.  In fact, that back?  The red and black bits were meant to be the border for the front until I decided I was done with this quilt and just wanted to finish it.  So I sewed them together in strips, added some color blocking to the outside and called it the backing.

Now here's the thing.  This is the first quilt I'll give away.  I had others that I'd planned to give away, but when I'd finished quilting them, I was unhappy.  My biggest problem has been puckers in the back.  Big, giant puckers.

But not this time!

And the straight line quilting turned out pretty good, even if I did dread every minute of it.

After my last few attempts at quilting previous quilts, I decided to spend some time investigating my problems with the quilting.  What I was doing wrong?  I narrowed it down to two things.  First, my back wasn't taut enough.  I worried about stretching the fabric and didn't smooth it as much as I should have.  I also pinned the living crap out of this quilt - which may account for some of the dislike.  That was a lot of time spent laying on a hardwood floor, fighting with safety pins.  So much that my husband suggested next time we'd try spray basting.

So, I've learned how to layer and baste and I've played a bit with a more interesting pieced back.  I may not like working on this quilt right now, but I do like what I've learned from it.

Maybe I whined just a little too much.

In other news, this quilt and I have a date with a seam ripper.

I love the prints in this beyond all reason and it's time they got used for something other than a quilt both my husband and I don't like.   Sometimes you just have to accept that it isn't going to work and you need to go back to the drawing board.

Those owls are still awesome.

Fresh Poppy DesignA Lovely Year of Finishes

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm not neglecting my quilting

I'm not neglecting my blog either.  Well, ok, that I'm doing a little bit. 

I was really gung ho about quilting this year until we went on vacation and I spent time snorkeling, geo-caching, reading and relaxing in paradise.  The pictures you will see here are from that.  Everyone needs eye candy and I need my happy place for a moment or two.

And then I came home and spent a week trying to get used to getting up at 5:30 am.

I spent an entire weekend sitting on my butt in front of the couch.  Which, quite frankly, is doing nothing towards getting me running a half marathon (or losing weight) again.  This last weekend, I actually got up and did stuff. 

I started spring cleaning.
I worked on finishing my rail fence quilt for my friend.

And I watched more TV.  Seriously, Judi Dench is amazing, but she's doing nothing to get me quilting.  Neither is Nathan Fillion, Jason Bateman and David Tennant.  But I digress.

The quilt I'm working on?  That fabulous quilt I'd been anticipating making for years?  In my favoritest colors ever?  They're even my high school colors.  And some of the fabrics in there are too awesome for words.

I hate it. 

Hate. It.

I don't even have pictures of it because right now I want nothing to do with it. I even decided against using the borders (which were already cut out) because that would extend the amount of time I'd be working on it.

I did force myself to actually finish the quilting on it.  I even squared it up while watching Harrison Ford in Morning Glory last night.  So it really just needs binding.  I'm so close.

Have you ever had a quilt you thought would be the greatest thing ever turn so horribly wrong?  And it isn't even that the quilt went wrong anywhere.  It looks great.  I squared up the blocks prior to sewing the top together so most of the seams match up.  The back is pucker free - (first. time. EVER).  I just hate working on it so much right now.

Just a binding.  Then I can move onto something better.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

WIP Wed...errr Thursday

I'm a little ashamed of my growing number of WIPs.

On the one hand, it's great that the Lovely Year of Finishes has helped me actually FINISH some (all but one of the quilts in the picture above, in fact).

But on the other side of that, there's the projects that I'm starting.  So here goes, my WIP list for this week, complete with recycled pictures.

1.  This is now hanging out as a mostly finished quilt top.  The rail fence blocks are complete and they're sewn together and look lovely.  I'm undecided about the border, but it is cut out so maybe I should just suck it up and finish it already.  This is also my Lovely Year of Finishes goal for March.  I have three threads for quilting this - a medium grey, a red and a white.  It'll be straight line quilted and probably finished with either a black and white or a red binding.

2.  Stash busting Triangles - All the little ones are cut out. I'm most of the way through the big triangles.  Will probably work on this one during the quilt retreat.

3.  Stash Busting hourglassess - still have about a hundred 4.5" squares to cut out.  So. Much. Cutting.

4.  Stash Busting wedges - Have several 8" strips of fabric.  Am debating playing with wedge size and solids throughout this one so I haven't finished cutting.

5.  The quilt with no name.  Next up for quilting.

6.  Daisy Doodles - quilt from a magazine.  Cut out, ready to sew together.  Will be quick and easy when I get to it.

7.  Pinwheel sampler - just needs sashing and posts added then layering and quilting.

8.  Log cabin table runner - log cabins are done, just need some dark batik or solid fabric for sasing and borders.  

9.  Flying geese quilt - sewed together some more geese with the white background, but not many

10.  Snowballs - still waiting for backing/batting/quilting.

11. Strawberry fields roman square/postage stamp quilt - needs backing/batting/quilting

12. Halloween quilt - needs quilting finished.

13.  Spring flowers quilt - I've decided to use dresden plates on the background for the flowers rather than the original applique.  I'll need some yellow and peach bits of fabric to get this one finished.

In my defense, I've actually finished things this year - Shattered (twin sized), 2 baby quilts, 3 pillows and my Christmas quilt.  That's some progress for me.

I currently have 4 quilt tops finished and ready for quilting.  So close to finishes and getting off this list!  Soon.  I also have an upcoming quilt retreat that will move MANY of these from bits and pieces to finished tops.  It's kind of exciting.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ahh, back from vacation and a note about style

Maybe I should just say Aloha since we spent a week in Hawaii and I've spent this last week recovering from it :)  Too much relaxation.  Although I don't think that should be possible so it could just be reality shock.

I've finally caught up on my Google Reader reading (only to find out it's going away) and all the great posts and pictures about Quilt Con.  I'm so jealous of those that were able to attend as well as those who had quilts hanging in the show.  

 And seeing all those great quilt in one place made me think about my quilting style.  While I love looking at modern quilts and sometimes stealing bits of it (solids and modern fabrics mostly) I have to accept the fact that I'm firmly a traditional quilter.  I'm not blazing trails.  I'm not even close to the cutting edge of the quilting world.  Which is fine with me.

I like stars and clean points and symmetrical designs (although the lure of the asymmetrical is growing stronger every day). But I think my quilting can grow and mature by taking bits and pieces from the modern quilting trend and making it work for me.  Right now it seems to be low volume prints (although that could be yesterday's trend and Modern Quilting has already moved on).  Less bold colors.  Might work.

And solids and negative space are another tool that I could easily incorporate more of in my work.

When I corral my jealousy while reading blogs, I realize it isn't a bad thing to be a follower.  But maybe I should try to move away from the back of the pack.

And here's hoping I manage to get back to my quilting and cutting so I have something to show you soon.