Tuesday, January 17, 2017

progress on challenges!

As you may know, I'm participating in two challenges this year.  One is just mine (though guild members have joined me), the other is a blogger-driven project.  I've worked on both since my last post!

First is the self-challenge - one dolly quilt a month.  I had already started this one weeks ago and had the top finished before I went to retreat, but since I had to get my quilting stuff (and house stuff) together before I left for a long weekend, it had to wait until I returned.

The pink fabric is one that was in the bag of scraps I got at the UFO auction a few months back and it was screaming at me to be made into something.  (I pulled out all the screamers and set them on the cutting table - some of them made it into quilts that were donated for 2016, some will be with the 2017 bunch.)  I winged it with the pattern and think it turned out just fine!

It measures about 15x15".

The colors seem a little off, but I just snapped this and it's been a foggy day all day (never mind it's getting dark now) and I'm not sure the sun ever came up!  Bad for photos.

I quilted about 1/4" inside of each octagon.  After work and a few chores last night, I hiked upstairs to my sewing room and spray basted this little gem and it was screaming (this quilt sure is a screamer!) to be quilted that way.  Yes, that sounds great, says my brain.  The reality?  Lots of stopping and starting and burying threads.  But I like how it turned out, so it's all good.

And then, after another project I'll share in a minute, back downstairs to watch some Netflix and bind.  (Currently enjoying "Grace and Frankie" - my hubby calls it "the old lady show," which isn't terribly inaccurate, but enjoying it nonetheless.)

The other project?  The UFO challenge - Christmas Pickle!

Sunday, after much procrastinating, doodling and convincing myself to just quilt this darn quilt, I got up off the couch and dug in.

First up?  Piece the back.  Cut that one big piece into two equal lengths and seam along the selvedge.  That should be the right size, right?  That's usually how I buy backs...

Casually lay it out and see which way it definitely won't fit (this quilt is definitely a rectangle!) and load the back onto the longarm.  Lay the batting (relaxing since Friday, thankyouverymuch) over top and then lay the quilt on that.

Uh oh.

It's about 6 inches too short for the length.  (Thank goodness I loaded it sideways (fewer passes this way!), or I wouldn't have known until I was nearly done quilting it!

Reverse the whole process and ask the hubby to help me lay out the backing and quilt on the floor (after moving a few small pieces of furniture) to figure out exactly how much too small it was.  Thankfully, I could chop off 10" from the side and sew it to the top and it was all good.  But loading a quilt twice?  No thank you!

Ready to roll!

I had doodled for years on this (I even found some doodles I made one day at work - back when we had enough help and I sometimes had a little time to kill - that is not the case any more) and still hadn't come up with anything I really loved.  I'd searched the internet and finally settled on kind of an idea.  So I doodled more and then, with the aid of a thick black marker, realized there was a secondary pattern in there if you follow the largest of the red arcs...apple cores.  And it was done.

As you may or may not be able to determine, I was having some trouble with my doodles.  I could draw this one direction, but had a heck of a time reversing it.  Well, on paper, you can just turn your paper.  Doing that on a longarm?  MUCH more difficult!  So more doodles.

Finally, a deep breath, and off we go.  Not without a few hiccups, and I worry I didn't do the quilt justice with my quilting, but it's quilted.  And since I'm not much for ripping out a whole quilt, it's done.  Done is better than not done.

Here's a little tease.  I'm going to save the full reveal when I do the UFO challenge post when it's completely finished.

Then last night after finishing the dolly quilt machine sewing portion, I decided I would just keep sewing and put the binding on the Christmas Pickle - at least the machine half - since I already had it made and the walking foot on my machine and I was in the sewing room!

I think wrestling a finished quilt around to get the binding on is my least favorite part (followed very close behind by piecing backs!), but it's on and now just waiting for me and the kitties to settle in and do the hand-sewing portion.  It's a fairly good-sized throw quilt (I don't remember the dimensions off hand), so it will take a bit, but I've got a deadline and have decided that for the UFO challenge, binding is part of my challenge.  (Otherwise, who knows how many quilted but unbound quilts I'd have at the end of the year?!)

No sewing tonight - yet - but that's okay - it's early yet!  (And the hubby has been going to bed at 7pm lately, so I need quieter things to do after he goes to bed and this fits the bill - this and Netflix.  The kitties like it, too - extra layers of snuggly warm and mom sitting mostly still!)

I promise a full reveal soon!

Happy quilting,


canuckquilter said...

The doll quilt turned out really cute! Thanks for the teaser of your pickle quilt. Now I'm itching for the reveal! I'm sure the quilting looks great. We're all our own worst critics. In any case, done is perfect :)

a good yarn said...

The dolly quilt is so sweet. Kind of looks like little fondant cakes. Another good finish. The pickle quilt had you in a pickle (gee I'm a barrel of laughs today - blame the hot nights and lack of sleep - borderline delirious) and I'm excited for the reveal. The apple core design is so clever.