Sunday, July 22, 2012

...life gets in the way...

Has it really been so long since I last blogged?

Well...there's a lot to catch up on then!

First, my UFO for the month is done.  Rather gone.  I gave it away.  Yay!

That freed me up to finish my Baltimore Album block challenge.  Last time you saw it, it had a lot of pins in it.  It's finished!


But I didn't get a real chance to compete.  Life had other plans for me that day.  On the way home from work, the "spoiler" that sits under the engine in most cars (a nice flap of plastic) snapped off in the front and turned itself into a freeway shovel.  What a noise!  I had it towed and while waiting for the mechanic to figure out what was wrong, I was late to my quilt group picnic where the competition was.  (Thankfully I got there in time to eat!)  (And the mechanic said nothing was wrong - the hubby and I figured it out ourselves!)

The gal who won, though?  I voted for her block.  It was better than mine and she won by a landslide.  So no hard feelings and I have a beautiful block to show for my efforts.  I want to do something more with it, but that's a conundrum for another day.

Do you recognize any of those fabrics Kathleen?  :)

And once this was done, I thought I had a bit of breathing room, but I was wrong.  Remember this quilt?


I'm not sure if I mentioned it last year, but I was working on it while on vacation and the wife of the guy my hubby was fishing with loved it.  We decided (the hubby and I) that we should give it to her this year.

So...we were heading back up to Drummond Island last week for vacation and the friends would be there again.  The week we were there, Linda turned 65, so what better occasion to give a quilt?  But wait...it's not quilted and it's Thursday and we're leaving Saturday!

Good thing I have a longarm...


First I had to get it from under Tucker...  It's a bit unfolded here to cover the TV, but there are a few quilts on top of the TV in my longarm room and he likes to sit on the pile.  Mr. Princess and the Pea...


The quilting went pretty fast and I had inspiration before I started, so at least that went well.  And I sewed the binding on Sunday and Monday after we got to the island.  Just in time for birthday gift-giving.  And she loved it.  (Sadly I don't have a photo of the whole thing quilted...yet...)

Again, you would think I could relax after that was done, but no.  The coworker having twins will be leaving work permanently on the 3rd of August.  I assumed I had until then to get the quilts finished, but another coworker decided to have a little shower for her at work.  On the 24th.  Oh great...here's where the quilt stood last Saturday:


Cut and stacked and ready to sew, but there's 60 blocks there!  Pack it up.  Take it on vacation.  The hubby will be fishing most of the time, so I can have a solo quilt retreat!  (You will NOT hear me complain at that!)

I worked hard, but these blocks are fast and easy (but when there's 60...not so fast overall...) and by Sunday night, I had these:


No longarm up north, but hey, the tops are done and I made the binding!

Now what?  Finally I can work on what I want to work on!  My sis-in-law and I challenged each other to a black and white and something else quilt.  I'd decided on turquoise (a few recent projects have left me with a good stash of that color) and then went to work finding a pattern.  (I looked before I left - planning ahead!)

A google search and I was in love with this.  A little digging to find it seems to be a shop hop quilt...with little help to figure out where to get the pattern if I didn't do the hop.  Ah well...I can do this myself, right?  I printed myself a batch of foundations and drew a few diagrams and stuffed my suitcase with every fabric that might meet my needs and I was off...


First block type done...not too bad.


Paper piecing...ugh...  Chain-sewing them worked and, needing 17 blocks, I figured out what size to cut everybody to make it all fit.


The first test block (before the chain sewing began) and it looks good!

I think I refilled my bobbin twice making these 17 blocks, but they're pretty easy so they went pretty quickly. 


Oh no, my design floor isn't big enough!  (But it was big enough to get everything placed enough to squint to be sure everybody was facing the right direction!)

Sew, sew, sew...


And Thursday afternoon a top is born!

Yes, I slept.  Yes, I ate.  (I even cooked.)  No, didn't go fishing.  I also finished reading "Pillars of the Earth" (very good) and two other (much shorter) books.

What will I do with it?  No idea.  But I really do like it.  It's 70x98 and I may add borders.  Black would probably look nice...

The hubby?  He fished.  A lot.

Caught a Freshwater Drum, which apparently isn't so common in Lake Huron. 


We actually had to have the DNR guy on the island identify it because no one else knew what it was.  For a while there was worry it was an Asian Carp, but thankfully it wasn't.  (Though the rumored $10,000 reward for catching the first one would have gone a long way to fund a new boat for the hubby!)

We returned home just yesterday and I was happy to get back to my kitties and my own bed, but the quilty fun isn't over yet!  Those baby quilts need to be done by Tuesday!  So while the laundry was going and we were waiting for it to be late enough to have a cookout at my in-laws, I quilted them!


Do you see the elephants?  (Getting that angle just right was a problem...)  Now they just need binding...I think I'll sit down and relax and work on that this afternoon.  I wonder if the hubby will make lunch?

Happy quilting,
Katie

PS  Two more baby girl quilts are in the works.  Still in my head, but my brother-in-law has a little girl due in late November and a good friend just announced she's having another girl, too.  I see lots more pink in my future!

PPS  In case you weren't jealous enough that I had a week vacation turned into a mini-solo quilt retreat...here's a look out the window from my sewing table:


(maybe it looked better in person...)

13 comments:

Jessica Ledergerber said...

Wow a lengthy post!! The twins quilts look AMAZING! Too bad you didn't get the memo that most of us (or at least Heather and myself) aren't giving our gifts on Tuesday... because we haven't had time to work on them. My hope is to get her something by her last day or I will mail it since she Oct 3 is the latest she will have them... I have a month right?! LOL!! See you Monday!

Debbie said...

I am jealous. You certainly were very productive. I enjoyed see all of your fabulous projects.

canuckquilter said...

Wow! You've been busy, and they all look fabulous! Summer turned me into a lump. Maybe this post will inspire me to get sewing again.

---"Love" said...

My mom used to always say, "No rest for the weary!" Looks like you are into that stage of life right now! Oh well, at least the stress involves the thing you love to do! All those projects look really great! ---"Love"

LynCC said...

Wow!! You've done some really terrific work lately. I just LOVE that last one. How cool! Tucker looks so perfect sitting on the gift top, could you blame him at all for posing? :)

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Wondered where you were and what you were up to - ;)) Lots of great stuff! I remember the blue/brown quilt - LOVE IT! And I like that the baby quilts are similar but not the same. Your black/white/turquoise is STUNNING! Very productive vacation - mini-solo quilt retreat - and I am definitely jealous - your view is terrific! ;))

Barb said...

Good thing you do have a long arm...lucky you...the quilt and quilting on it is fabulous....sorry about your car, what a freak thing?

Alison said...

Your quilt is so beautiful! So glad that you could find my quilt inspirational. :) Happy quilting!

Liriopia said...

Oh, geez, I gotta catch my breath! Marvelous quilts, Katie! Can I bring my unfinished quilts over to your house so you can finish 'em for me?

Liri

Beth said...

Katie as usual everthing is amazing. Love your Blue and brown quilt looks beautiful, what quilting I saw was just perfect for the blocks.
The twin quilts are adorable. And quilted elephants!!! The cutest.
The black and white and turquoise quilt is just fantastic. I love the pop of color, but most of all I love the way the blocks are a bit different.
Great job as always. Glad you had fun on your retreat. Can't wait to see the baby quilts coming up.

Queenie Believe said...

Absolutely beautiful quilts from the Baltimore, to the Baby to the birthday to the B&W&more!!!
I am totally jealous about the week's lone quilt retreat :o)
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Alf and Lily Creations said...

Wow you were busy, glad you had a good holiday. The black, white and turquoise top is amazing, love it.
Karen x

a good yarn said...

Life gets in my way but I don't seem to achieve one tenth of the wonderful projects you make. Obviously I'm not doing it right! Great quilts - all of them. ann :-)