Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July Finishes for A Lovey Year of Finishes

I can officially say that July sucked.  I knew there would be a lot happening, and that with the heat I wouldn't want to do much, but I didn't anticipate how bad it would really be.  I did get some things done, but not nearly what I wanted or needed to get done.

My first goal was to quilt my Watkins Star test quilt.  But alas it is still in this stage.  Now in my defence I had some issues with my long arm, and it took it in yesterday and I believe they fixed it.  It is top of my list to do now that my machine is fixed.

Now the month was not a total loss I did get two table runners completed, and both were sewn and quilted in July.  The first is one was done with some scraps of lesser "quality" to test the fix on my long arm.  At the time I thought it was fixed, but not so.

Then I did a test quilt call Diana, and made my block into another table runner.  I will say it was lots of fun to start and finish a quilt so quilting.  After this one I thought my tension issues were over, but when I put my next quilt on the frame it all started again.

I did make some process on my Texas Road Trip quilt, I'm about 85% done with quadrant three and should have it finished by the end of this week.  I didn't get anymore progress on the shirts for the memory quilts. And most important I got a wonderful present for my birthday.

If everything is fixed on my long arm I'm hoping to much more productive in August, but then it wouldn't take much to be more productive than July.  I am a little disappointed with July, but at the same time not really.  I think I needed a break.  I will say that Sharla and I have been consistently putting our change (and sometimes paper bills) into DiNozzo and McGee (DiNozzo is the duck and McGee is the monkey).  Thanks to Sarah for suggesting the names.

Today I am linking up with Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of BitterSweet Designs.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Finish: Diana Table Runner

I had really hoped to have two finishes this week, but alas more tension issues with my Handiquilter, so it looks like it will be visiting the shop soon.  But I did get my test quilt/table runner done, so I do have something to show you.  I got the wonderful opportunity to test the quilt pattern Diana by Cora's Quilts. Which was a super fun pattern which taught me another way to make Half Square Triangles (HST).  I'm starting to like HSTs, which is odd because I never thought I would. The pattern is Broken Dishes blocks with sashing and they come together very quickly.  I rifled though my stash and found a brown with green, teal and purple and thought it would make a perfect table runner.  So my Diana was born.

These blocks went together so fast.  I cut them and sewed them in just part of an afternoon.  I really debated about only using two colors, the brown and the green or throwing in the purple and teal. That probably took more time than piecing the blocks themselves.  The pattern calls for corner stones but since the table runner wasn't very big I decided not to use them and just did a white on white print for the sashing. It sat o my long arm longer than it took me to sew it.  I just couldn't decide on what thread to use.  Parchment looked really good on the sashing and good on the blocks but I thought it would stand out on the back.

I finally decided on Sand Dunes, which is a variegated tan/cream.  I picked it because it blended with the blocks and the backing very nicely, and wasn't too stark on the sashing. I did an all over meander, because I really wanted the blocks to show not the quilting.

And I have to say I'm very very happy with my points, are they perfect, NO, but they are pretty good.  I think a lot of the credit is my new sewing machine, it really flows over they points with ease.  Learning to make HST is pretty easy, but sewing them all together was much harder for me.  I also have to say the Bloc-Loc Ruler has really helped as well. If you've not seen them demonstrated, check out their site. I did manage to get an outside shot of the table runner.  I wanted to show all the colors of the brown fabric so you could see why I chose the green, purple and teal.

Now I've made table runners for two weeks in a row and still don't have my dinning room table cleared enough to use one. I might have to find a different use for them. I did notice this one work well laying over a chair in the lobby at work. Might be a way to add some color to the tan couch at home.

Now the wonderful Shelly @ Cora's Quilts is offering a coupon code for 25% off of the pattern in her ETSY shop until 8/1/14, just use the code ANNEandDIANA.  Now if you want to see her version and what the other testers created head over to Cora's Quilts.  And if you like the pattern make sure you get it while it is on sale.  I'm hoping to make a full size version of this quilt in the future. My last quilt shot for the week. I still love the little chalk board.

Now when I had to stop quilting this week, my frustration level was at the max and I needed something to calm me down and sooth my brain.  I have plenty of other projects but somehow sewing seemed too taxing for my fragile emotional state, so I decided to start organizing my fabric.  About a month ago I purchased some comic book backing boards.  I've seen several people use them to hold their fabric.  I had tried the folding around a ruler method but it always seemed to fall apart when I moved things. So I purchased 200 boards thinking that would be more than enough.  I've separated my fabrics by big box stores (JoAnns/Hobby Lobby) and Quilt Shop quality fabrics.  The big box fabrics were mostly bought when my local JoAnns was moving and I got a bunch for 75% off list price.  We bought lots knowing we'd want to practice on the long arm, and such.  Well I've spent time every day folding fabric and last night I ran out of boards. Yes I've used 199 boards (I cut one in half to see if I wanted to do that for FQs) and I'm not through all of my fabrics, in fact I've only really gotten my big box book case done.  I will say, that I'm very happy with how it looks.  I still need to do some more color sorting, it is more in categories right now, but I still have more to load, but have to order more board today. Here is my progress to date....I didn't take a before picture but believe me it was a disaster!!!

Today I am linking up with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, Quokka Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio.