Monday, September 16, 2019

x-plus - the last of the longarm week quilts

I know it's been a while, but I finally have little enough to share for the past week that I can reveal the last of the Longarm Week quilts without overwhelming you!

This quilt started out in late December last year as I prepped for an early January retreat with friends.

I raided my 2.5" squares and then moved on to my stash, managing to get all I needed for 49 blocks from just my stash of greens, greys, blacks and off-whites.  (And, for the most part, you can't tell they're gone - uh oh!)

Of course, I had help!

To start, I had planned a smaller quilt, but after deciding I didn't want to have wide borders, I added another round of blocks and ended up cutting a second set.  But I had plenty for all 49 blocks (making a 7x7 layout) and left for retreat with sets of fabrics pinned and ready to sew

These take a while to make, but it was a good mostly-mindless project for a retreat where gabbing is a main event!  (Also, eating in-laws had given the hubby and I a huge box of filled chocolates - way more than either of us could reasonably eat - and I took that with me.  Boy was that a hit to share!)

I put the first batch up on the design wall and they look pretty awesome.  The placement of color can really change the look of the block, but I knew in the long run it would all work out just fine.

I soon filled up the design wall (and blurred out my sewing friend because I don't have her permission to use her face!) and, other than a few that obviously need to be mixed in, it's looking awesome!

I came home with all the blocks completed, waiting for the design floor.

Unfortunately, it seems that photo has been lost.  (Or never taken?)  The next photo I have is from Longarm Week where it was undergoing a million little pokes to become a quilt!

I decided to just do wavy lines across the quilt.  I debated for quite a while about how to quilt this.  It was on the Rack of Shame, hollering, for quite a while and I just couldn't figure it out.  And then, when the day came, I thought "simple!" and away I went.

This process was not without difficulty.  Not the trouble like I had with the orange quilt and the tension and bobbin troubles, but I decided that, since I was doing simple straight stitches, my stitch regulator should be used.  It would make nice even stitches (my stitch regulator is super basic and has trouble keeping up with me when I stop and start a lot - I can do much better without it for that style of quilting!) and not cause me any trouble.  The problem?  How to turn it on and what stitch size to use!  I couldn't remember how it worked and had to consult the manual!  With that figured out, it took For. Ever.  And I was so bored silly by the first pass, I was regretting my decision.  Just walking it back and forth, varying the position a little as I went was mind-numbing.  And the quilt, 70x70" seemed never-ending.

But it did go fast.  The boring made it seem longer, but it did quilt out a lot faster than anything fancy.  And I didn't use that much bobbin thread, so in all, it wasn't the worst thing that has happened to me.  I do know, however, that this will NOT be a staple in my quilt motif arsenal!

The good news was that a quick finish meant an early start on binding!  And this quilt, like all but the orange one, had binding sewn down by hand (to absolute completion) before bedtime!

And there you have it, the finished quilt!

What's on the back?

Why this obnoxious, bright green print found in the sale room at my local quilt shop.  (I swear, I should just shop in that room because that's where all the good stuff ends up anyways...seems more often than not something I buy ends up there a few weeks later...guess my taste and that of other shoppers is vastly different?  But the owner likes my style!)

Quilt details:

Pattern: free tutorial here, inspired by this quilt
Size: 70"x70"

I bound it with green and grey binding leftovers, which made it fun and busted even MORE of my stash.  And the weather is starting to get cooler, so I've been able to start using some of these new lovelies!  Later this week we'll be heading up north for a few nights and it's going to be hard to decide which to take along to grace our bed (because, honestly, who wants a highly used, pilly, polyester bed spread when you can have a quilt?!), but we'll survive this decision, I'm sure!

The sewing room has been busy lately, just not too many photos.  I've worked ahead on the 100 blocks to get me through Saturday and since that last collage worked well, let's do that again!

These are blocks 77-83.  All of a sudden, this project seems to be chewing through my fabrics.  The bin seems to be getting empty quickly, but that's good!  I'm busting some stash and getting a quilt done.  But I will be glad to get these done.  They seem to be dragging on forever and I'm ready for a new project.

The remaining projects from my last post have not all gotten a lot of attention.  All of the "seeds" have been prepped and are ready for the road trip.  Jordan's quilt has been cut and sewing started - this one has gotten the most attention lately.  (That's where I'm headed next!)  The Single Girl quilt fabrics have not yet been selected and my pattern is lost in the mail (working on a replacement there), so I'm stalling there.  Maybe this afternoon?  Tiny stars have been continuing and Adrian's quilt has gotten borders.  Of course, no photos of any of this...too busy sewing!

To keep track of all of this, I ended up printing out some simple calendar pages and color-coding quilt-along dates.  They seemed to be here, there and everywhere, but nowhere easy.  The calendar seems a perfect option and I can put the pages in sight in the sewing room for quick reference.  (The quilt-alongs do have e-mails and instagram posts and whatnot to remind me, but this is a visual reference how they all fit together without relying on someone else to tell tell me!)

And with that, chores are done and it's time to sew!

Happy quilting,

Thursday, September 12, 2019

a long post...

It's been more than two weeks and, as those of you who know me guessed, a lot has happened.

I'll start with the hardest part first.

Because the details hurt, I will summarize to say that over the holiday weekend kitty Lexie took a turn for the worse.  Emma had also been having increasing health issues.  So we decided that Wednesday, after 15 happy years with them, we would say goodbye to both together.  They were littermates and spent their entire lives together, so, hard as it was, we decided this was the best decision.

These are the last photos of each that I have and I am happy to see that in both they were having a good time.  (Lexie inspecting a quilt and Emma inspecting cat toys that were sent to a friend.)

But on to happier things!  (Because I can only cry so much...)

I'm going to try to do a quick update on everything...

Projects that were in the works before the tragedy:

100 blocks - blocks 59-76 have been completed.

I'm getting tired of these, but nearing the end.

Adrian's quilt - top minus borders has been completed.  Yesterday I purchased fabrics for the borders and binding.

Purple will be a skinny inner border and binding.  Blue will be a wider, outer border.  First on my list of quilty chores today.

Kae's baby quilt - top, including embroidering antennae has been completed, awaiting quilting and attachment of buttons for antennae balls.

And how perfect is my finger for an antennae template?

Ongoing projects that get random attention:

Tiny stars - working as leader-enders for 100 blocks and getting a lot done.

This is not all of them completed recently, but I didn't feel like laying them out only to have to pick them up again in a few seconds after the photo.  But you get the idea!

Bird Seeds quilt - prepping "seeds" (finally) for a road trip in the near future.

I would love to be able to put this one together soon.  It's been waiting too long!

New projects:

Little Miss Sawtooth - a quilt-along I joined on a whim.  Currently in "step 1" phase.

As you can see, I'm using the same fabrics from Adrian's quilt.  Because I bought way too much.  I have an idea where this quilt will go, but I'll save that for another day.  Coloring sheet is just an idea.  Actual fabrics/colors to be determined.

Jordan's quilt - for a cousin's daughter for her college apartment.

Fabric has been purchased and washed.  I plan to make the Yellow Brick Road pattern and hope to get started on it today.  (I wanted simple because it's due at Christmas!)  Colors selected by the cousin, it will be a surprise for her daughter.

Hands2Help 2020 September project - leftovers that have been staring at me.

Leftover trimmings (and some leftover yardage) from Chelsie's baby quilt finally made it into a small baby quilt.  Note - do not trim setting triangles, no matter how too big they seem, before construction is finished...see middle photo!  Still needs to be quilted, but binding has been made.

Quilts I plan to start soon:

Single Girl Quilt Along - starts this coming Monday.  I have ordered the pattern (which is technically called the "Free Wheeling Single Girl Quilt" because of upgrades to the original "Single Girl" pattern) and am excited because this one has been on my bucket list since forever.  I still have to decide on fabrics and stuff, but whatever.  There's time.

Farm Girl Vintage 2 Quilt Along - starts November 1st.  Lori Holt's new book came out this week and she will be doing a quilt along to compliment the book.  I got my book yesterday and can't wait to start!  Fabric selection, etc, to be determined.

So there you have it.  Lots going on in my sewing room.  I have an actual list pinned to the wall to remind me if I decide I don't have enough to do what to work on!

And with that, I am going to head up to the sewing room!  Borders await!

Happy quilting,

PS I promise to try to post more frequently in the future.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

jelly roll waves finish (h2h 2020 quilt 3)

You may remember a while back, I decided to participate in the Jelly Roll Waves quilt along?

Well.  I got off to a slow start.  I knew what fabric I wanted to use...

...but I stalled out even before starting to cut.  I think part of my problem was the number of colors and patterns and trying to wrap my head around how it would all fit together.  This is my usual trouble when using precuts, but since this one was purchased for me, I can't be blamed for the problem.  (Remember, I swore off precuts without a purpose a while ago...and I've been very good!)

But finally, I worked out a plan and got busy cutting!

This still didn't motivate me a lot to sew them, but I was getting closer.  And finally, because there were weekly (or every other week, depending on the step) link-ups, and I wanted to participate, I decided it was time to get with the program.

I think this will work!  And the colors are so sweet.  Very springy, but also a refreshing change from my usual in-your-face brights!

Since the weekly link-ups were set up for half and all of the blocks, I have a few in-progress shots!

That is not to say there wasn't help laying them all out to make sure there weren't too many of the same colors in the same areas...

The columns went together fairly fast, despite all the seams I had to match and pin.  Thankfully, they were just straight seams, no points or anything to fuss with.

And then it was a top!

Despite the final quilt reveal not being until this week, this was the second quilt on the longarm during Longarm Week.

I decided to do my echoing heart motif that goes quite fast.  And it did!

Before I knew it, I was unloading it and realized I hadn't taken an in-progress shot!  So I guess this mid-removal shot will have to do!

I had prepped the binding ahead, so it was just a matter of sewing it down by machine and then another Gilmore Girls marathon to do the hand-sewn side.  It went fast, but when your mind is occupied with things other than binding, it does go faster.

And there you have it!  It looks all crinkly already, but it has not been washed.  It is slated to be donated, so I will let whoever receives it make that decision later.

The back?

I was trying to stay away from anything too girly, but decided that this hot pink kitty flannel was too cute to pass up.  And the colors on the front really don't lend themselves to making this a boyish quilt anyways.

But this quilt is not what I have been doing this week.

I have kept up with the 100 blocks, and since my last post have completed #52-58!

Well...that didn't load in order, but whatever.  That one with the chevrons up two?  I fussy cut them so the points would be centered.  Bonus?  They matched up at the edges!  I didn't even try when I was sewing and they came out that well.  Go figure.  When I actually try, things never go that well.

I also worked on sewing blocks for Adrian's quilt after the show with my sister-in-law.  I got through all the turquoise blocks and then, this week, I worked through the purples!

I have done my Tuesday chores already, which means the design floor has been vacuumed, so tomorrow I hope to get the blocks all arranged and start sewing the top.  Of course, little (who is not little at all any more) Freddie is currently chasing the sunlight streaming through the trees in that space...and the trees move, so the sunlight does, too, and he thinks it's grand fun.  I know I keep saying it, but this cat is such a goofball.

Speaking of cats.

Remember how there was an adoption event at work in December and that's how we ended up with Freddie?  And how I told my boss not to schedule me any more adoption event days?

Well.  She did.  This past Saturday.

And I resisted, though there were tons of adorable kittens.  So many black ones.  And tabby ones.  And this guy...

Chocolate Kisses.  He is 5 and weighs about 18 pounds.  His former owner (a man) passed away and he ended up in foster care.  My parents had adopted two senior kitties who looked a lot like this guy a few years back, from a lady who had also passed away.  Those kitties have crossed the rainbow bridge after spending their final years in a good home, so my parents have just two kitties right now.  So I sent my mom this picture.

My dad said no.

My mom said to send the pic to my dad.

In a little over an hour, they were there to adopt this guy.  The group doing the adoptions even lowered the adoption fee because it was going to "an employee"...not entirely true, but they knew my parents were coming for him and were happy to find an older cat a home.  (Everyone loves a kitten (until they climb your bare legs and pull down the curtains and wake you up by pouncing your face when you breathe in your sleep...))

My dad, growing up, was a "NO CATS!" person.  We had cats, but he was just as aloof about them as they were about him.  But in his old age, he has mellowed.  And this kitty was a man's cat, so guess what?  This guy follows my dad around and jumps in his lap every chance he gets!  He settled right in, the other two cats not even giving him a proper hissing to welcome him.  And my mom sends pics about every day of the new spot he's found to lounge happily in.  He fit in so quickly and I am so glad he found a new forever home.

(And my husband is happy we don't have any more cats living here than we had before I went to work that day.  That's not to say I didn't donate a bunch of food and litter to the entirely volunteer and donation funded rescue group.  But seriously?  Anyone who can give me such a wonderful cat as Freddie deserves all the donations I can afford.)

And with that, it is time to go make myself some dinner and relax.  I worked today and it was a busy day, so I'm looking forward to some kitty snuggles and a good book!

Happy quilting!