Saturday, June 28, 2014

June Finishes: A Lovey Year in Finishes 2014

I cannot believe that June is almost over...time really flew this month.  I did get my main goal done, and I'm doing good on my second goal.  The gift quilt is done and gifted.  It was very well received and you can read about it on the Monkey Blanket post.  But so you can see it for yourself here is a picture of it.

It was a fun blanket to do.  I think it will be treasured for a long time.  I have also been working on my #TexasRoadTripQAL and have quadrants one and two completed.  Now I decided to do the city blocks separate, because I really love the look of the patch work alone.  I need to get caught up with my city blocks which I'm making into a separate wall hanging and start on quadrant 3.  Here is one and two side by side

I am so loving the Alison Glass fabric line call Sun Print.  It is bright and cheerful, but it also has some subtle prints as well.  I'm using Kona Ash as my background.  I've decided when I'm done I'm going to do a small Ash border all the way around to that Texas is framed....just as it should be.  Can anyone tell I am a native TEXAN??

I didn't get much more than this done in June...well I did another quilt finished and a major clean done on the sewing room.  I was feeling a little down that I didn't get more done in June, but I went back to my quilts spreadsheet...yes I have a spreadsheet to track my quilts.  I have quilted 21 quilts this year...not bad really and add to that I finished 5 tops, and cut out 4 others for Sharla.  So I'm quite happy with the progress I've been making.  I am linking up with Shannon at Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa at Sew BitterSweet Designs.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Finish: Monkey Blanket and then some....

Happy Friday everyone, I'm so happy today because I get to show you the project I finished a couple of weeks ago.  It was gifted last weekend and totally loved!!!.  It is a very simple blanket, using Zack Sock Monkey fabric by Bethany Berndt Shackelford.  Now that name may ring a bell, because it is the same designer for the fabric for Sharla's sock monkey quilt.  We had bought some different monkey fabric to make Tina and her baby a quilt.  At the time we just knew it would be a girl because she already has two girls.  Then low and behold the sonogram said it was a boy. So we changed out some of the fabrics and were all set to go, when Sharla found the Zack and Zoey line and she just fell in love with it.  So we ordered the boy prints for Baby Samuel.

We decided to just do squares again because it is easy, and because it just looks so cute with these prints. It turned out to be about 54 x 54 after the borders were added and before quilting or washing.   I really love the red we used for the small border and binding, because it frames everything so nicely.

I decided to do loops for the quilting, because then if I accidentally crossed a line, it would just fit right in with all the other crossovers.  I used Signature's cotton thread in the color Parchment, which blended in nicely.  All of my loops weren't the same size but I was pleased over all with the finished product.

Now if we had stopped at this point and given the quilt to my friend she would have been extremely happy. Because she knows and respects the value of things made with love. But we decided to go one step further. My friend lost her husband suddenly last December, two weeks before she found out she was pregnant. She gave me all of his shirts and I'm in the process of cutting them up to make memory quilts for her and her children.  I took some of the odd pieces like the cuffs/collars and framed the quilt label with them.  Just so he would have a little something of his daddy on it.

Now the colors don't match really well, and the piecing wasn't great, but the point got across and my friend loved it. In fact after she finished opening the presents, everyone was just chatting and I saw her looking around, and I asked what she needed.  She wanted the quilt back.  And she sat and just stroked the label, remembering each of the shirts on the label. 

She told me later that she took it to a second shower that weekend to show some people that knew her husband and that it made some cry.  I told her it wasn't intended to make anyone cry, only to let her and baby Samuel know they are loved.

I did not get anything quilted this week, because I spent my time on Monday/Tuesday cleaning, and working on Quadrant 1 and 2 for my #TexasRoadTripQAL project.  I will say I am loving it so far.  I'm not doing the city blocks on this quilt, but I am doing them and going to make a wall hanging with them.  The fabrics are Alison Glass's Sun Prints and I so totally love them.  I still have to pick out my backing fabric, and I just can't decide.  I'm thinking one of the feathers, but I love the all. Here are quadrants 1 and 2 hanging on the wall at Sharla's office.  I wanted to take photos of them outside, but it has been raining and I don't want to put them on the ground.

It was a good week, but looking at the above photo, makes me want to get an iron out after those sections!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Finish: Rail Fence

Ok let me start by saying...."WOOOHOOO" I finished a quilt.  Now that might not seem like a big accomplishment, since I regularly have a Friday Finish, but I've not been able to show a finished quilt in two weeks.  And to top that it was one heck of a week.  Sunday night I blew a tire and Monday our air conditioner went out.  So this quilt was a challenge, I did most of it while waiting on the repair man, without any air...and let me just say it was HOTTTTTTT.  Alright, enough capital letters, let's talk about this quilt.  I finished the top last year.  The fabric is Look and Learn from American Jane.  If you're new to quilting you might not recognize the fabric because it is from 2007.  That seems so long ago.  Sharla gave me two jelly rolls of the fabric for Christmas in 2007.  I never made a quilt with the jelly rolls, and it was packed away when I was laid off and we stopped quilting.  Last year I found them again and decided that I wanted to do a simple rail fence pattern with them.

Now doing a rail fence with a jelly roll is super easy.  I just did strip sets of four and then cut the strips into 8 1/2 inch blocks.  Once it was pieced it went into the "to be quilted pile" while we saved for the Handiquilter. Once we had the long arm, the problem was what to use for the back and the binding. All but one 8 1/2 inch block when into the top and the line was no longer around to get fabric for the back.  I looked at a couple of other American Jane lines and they had a couple that would work, but nothing that I just loved. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to pick something out, so I could finish this one.  I went to my LQS and found a 108 inch backing fabric in red.  It isn't the exact red, but close enough, and I didn't have to piece anything.

I didn't want to use the red for the binding since it wasn't a match, so I found a yellow from Bear Essentials 2 in the swirls pattern.  It is close enough to the yellows on the front and frames the back nicely.  Now one piece of advise I will give you, is if you want the back to match the front, buy the fabric at the same time.

I did an all over meander and used Persian Red by Signature for the quilting. I wanted the thread to blend with the back but show up on the front and that is what I got. Some of the fabrics have little boys and girls on it and I tried not to run over the faces of any of them, but alas, one orange haired little boy got his face sewn through...sorry Cole.  But the blonde boys and red headed girls were safes (yeah Trey and Callie).

I tried to take my photos outside, but sometimes the sun is a little bright even in the morning.  But I will say I love how it looks when there is a mix of sun and shade in the photo.  The quilt is large and I think for now it is going on the quilt ladder, but it may just have to reside on my bed when it gets cooler.

I was even able to get a tree shot, not a great one, but still it is nice to see the quilt not just laid flat on the ground.  I wish I could find a pretty tree with a low branch and nice background.  This one is in the parking lot of Sharla's office.

Overall I'm very happy to have a finish, I think the quilting is good (not great but good), and it is nice to put this one onto the quilt ladder.  I have also gotten more done on my Texas Quilt, quadrant one is almost complete.  Hopefully I can show you more of that next week.  Today I'm linking up with Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, Sew Fresh Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation and Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Finish: Another Small Week

Ok I have worked on sewing this week, I just don't have much that I can show you.  First, I've trimmed the quilt I did last week, buried the threads and made the label, but it still needs to be bound.  Something for this weekend.  I've made my real Dallas block for the #TexasRoadTripQAL and I've done a practice block for the Tyler rose block.  Sharla and I both decided we wanted a more defined rose than the one they showed.

So first up is my Dallas block.  I showed you the test block last week, and I have to say I really love this block done in the Alison Glass Sun Prints fabric. It was so hard to cut into it, but I am very happy with the results.  I use grey dot bike path for the arms of the ferris wheel, hot pink, pumpkin, teal, chartreuse, and fuchsia corsage for the buckets, and just plain white for the background/sky.

Now the rose is just using some yellow scraps we have on hand.  Now I love how it looks, but let me tell you the rose itself has 34...yes that is right 34 pieces.  It took me about 4 hours to piece the block.  I've not done a lot of paper piecing and this one just has lots of little tiny pieces. 

Now I did get some other things done this week.  The biggest of which was to clean and organized the sewing room.  I moved all the furniture and got behind it and swept and dusted.  I'm amazed at how many dust bunnies were running around that room.  I changed the layout just a little and cleaned off Sharla's sewing table.  She doesn't sew in there, so I wanted it clean it to hold my threads and rulers.  By the time I was through I was pretty beat, and had a very sore back.  Of course I did that on Monday and started the paper piecing on Tuesday so I ended up making another mess.  But I did clean it up.  I also got a quilt onto the frame, but just didn't think I could quilt it on Tuesday because my back still hurt from cleaning.  But it ready for me to do this weekend or on Monday of next week.  

I also started cutting out Sharla's pieces for the rest of the the first quadrant of the Texas quilt.  I think I have it about all cut for her and hope to cut mine tonight.  I also made a decision about the quilt.  I love these special blocks, but I think I love the plain pieced Texas more.  So I am going to make mine without the special blocks and then make the special blocks into a wall hanging for the sewing room.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Finish: Just a little

I'm sad that I can't show you a great quilt finish, but I have a good reason.  I didn't finish one.  Ok I did get one almost finished, just needs to be bound and labeled, but it is a gift so I can't show it until I've actually given it away.  And just let me say it is very very cute.

Now I did get somethings done this week, not big things but still accomplishments.  To start I am participating in the Road Trip Across Texas QAL and I've gotten my fabric.  Now this may not seem like a big deal, but I struggle to put fabrics together, and since this one requires 108 2 1/2" squares, 78 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 rectangles, etc.  It is a challenge for me.  I had one set of fabric picked out but decided I wanted more variety.  So I went looking and found something I loved, but of course it was last years fabric.  Luckily I found some FQ bundles on Esty and got them ordered.   They arrived last night.  So my pick for fabric is....Alison Glass' Sun Prints.

Is that not just the prettiest thing you ever saw?  Ok I admit I bought a lot of fabric here, more than I will need, but it will give me lots of variety in my quilt and what I have left over can go into a scrappy trip quilt. I found the feather's fabric first and that just made me want the whole line. I think I'm going to use Kona Ash or Kona Graphite as my background, but haven't picked just yet.

Sharla is also doing a quilt but her fabrics are from the line Texas Lone Star State. What can I say, she is a Texas girl through and through. I have to admit I almost went with the same fabric, because it is hard to resist bluebonnets.  The black is going to be her background on the front and the black with bluebonnets is her backing. 

The QAL is divided into 15 stops and each stop will have a special block.  So far two have come out this week Dallas and Tyler.  Dallas' block is a paper pieced block of a ferris wheel to represent the ferris wheel at Fair Park where the State Fair is held every year.  I haven't done a lot of paper piecing so I knew I wanted to do a practice block (and I am so glad I did). Sharla wanted to do a practice block as well.  I had gotten some wash out foundation paper, to use and let's just be honest here...I HATE it.  It is washed out great, except under the seams and you can see the printing.  Also it was much stiffer.  Having said that I also found a problem with one of the wedges, one the lines was not on it.  So my block looks much rougher than Sharla's, but we learned lots from doing both of them.  She didn't set her stitch length close enough so it was tough tearing the foundation paper away.  Also you will see that I didn't use a big enough piece on one of my wedges, but over all we learned a lot and I'm sure our real blocks will be even better.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June Goals - A Lovey Year of Finishes 2014

June...can you believe it is already summer?  I've got lots of goals for this month, but my main goal is to finish a gift quilt.  I can't tell you much about it because the person may read this post.  But it has to be ready to gift this month.  Sharla pieced it and I have to get it quilted and bound.

Now for the other things on my list, I want to keep up with the Road Trip Across Texas QAL.  I've done a test block for the first city, Dallas and hope to get my fabric this week so I can really get started. When I'm done I will have a quilt with the great state of Texas on it.  Actually we'll have two because Sharla is doing one as well.  But they are going to be different fabrics.  I also want to try and continue quilting one quilt per week, it is a little slower in the summer, because I always seem to have more to do.  And lastly I really want to finish getting the shirts for the memory quilts cut into squares.

I really hate having a post with no photos, so I'm going to show you one of my cutie. Tucker sleeping on his quilt I made him.  The pattern is called Star Crossed, but you can't see it because he is laying on the backside.  He loves laying on quilts.

I am linking up with Shannon at Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa at Sew BitterSweet Designs.