Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Lovely Year Of Finishes: September Finishes

Ok I'm not sure what happened to September, I swear it just started  a couple of days ago and now it is gone.  I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted to this month, but I did get lots done.  Hope that makes sense.  I had listed 5 goals and I completed 4 of them, so not bad.  Of course there weren't really hard goals, but still I will take 4 out of 5.

My first and main goal was to finish my Cupid Shuffle quilt, which I did last week.  I really do love this quilt and can't wait for colder weather.  I wish I had been on my game when this line first came out, because I would have purchased enough to make a bed size quilt with it.  But for now I will settle for the one I have and I have the fabric to do another that hopefully you see sometime soon.  My favorite part of this quilt is the backing, I simply love it.

My second goal was to finish the test quilt I did for Cora's Quilts.  I'm very happy to say it is quilted and bound.  But sad to say I still can't show it to you because the pattern hasn't been release yet. It was the pattern that used 388 - 1" squares, yes that is right 388.  I was really surprised at how fast I was able to sew them, I guess there are fewer stitches on little pieces.  But just so ya'll know the project is real, here is a tiny snippet.  It shows mainly the backing but if you look close you can see a couple of snowball corners.

My third goal was to finish and mail my bee blocks.  They went into the mail this week.  Yeah!!!  I had a lot of fun making the Cross Stitch blocks once I moved to a smaller ruler to trim them.  The colors she requested were orange, yellow and pink, which I think turned out awesome. I think my favorite block was the one that used the text print for the background.  I am developing a real attachment to text prints.

My fourth goal was my fail for the month.  The border fabric still sits, and nothing has been done on my Texas quilt.  I plan on finishing it soon, but borders aren't my favorite thing to do, and so it has languished this month.  On a happier note my sister did get hers finished and I'll show it to ya'll soon.

My last goal was to get another quilt cut either for me or for Sharla.  I did get Box Trot cut out for Sharla, but not from the Wishes fabric.  She decided she wanted to do a test one out of some fabric we had purchased for a different quilt that never got made.  It is definitely bright and cheerful, which is Sharla's favorite type of quilt.

Now I did get other things done not on the list.  I have started the memory quilts.  After a lot of debate with myself, I have decided to do simple 4 patches that are sashed. When I get them all finished I will show them to you and explain my process.  I will say for simple quilts these are some of the hardest things I've ever done.  I also got more work done on organizing my sewing area.  I almost have it the way I want it.  I'm still tweaking a few things.  But then I'm not sure I will ever be totally happy with it, I'm sure I will always find something else that I want/need/desire.

September was a slow month, but not a bad month.  I have lots planned for October...ok not a lot, but hopefully I will get a little more done than this month.  Today I am linking up with Shannon of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Finish: Cupid Shuffle

I actually finished this last week, but somehow didn't get any photos of it.  So as the saying goes, better late than never.  Over all Cupid's Shuffle was fun to do.  When I laid out the finished top, I knew I wanted to do something a little different on the quilting.  I decided to load the top sideways and quilted wavy lines on it.  That way when it is turned the lines run up and down the quilt.

I knew I wanted wavy lines but I didn't want them really close together because I want it to drape softly. I love how heavily quilted quilts look, but they seem stiffer to me so I wanted some space between my lines.  Now wavy lines are easy, but they take time because my long arm is designed to only go left to right.  If I go right to left the thread breaks, so it is a lot more passes, just fast passes.

I used Signature's Misty Jade thread which blended with the back perfectly and still looked good on the front.  It did mean that my stitches showed up more on the rusty red sections, but that is ok.  Now I will say that my favorite part of this this quilt might be the back.  I love that fabric so much and it just makes me happy.

I'm glad this one is done, because fall is in the air and it will be lots of fun to use to snuggle.  Well if I can keep Tucker off of it, he finds it anytime it is anywhere near the floor.  It maybe time to make him a new quilt, so I don't have to share mine (hehehe).

If you notice you can see my quilt label.  I like to print mine on the computer, because my handwriting sucks and they just look neater.  A couple of weeks ago I got a new printer and every thing I printed bled.  I'm not sure if it was the ink or the fabric.  After the first one I printed one and let it set for several hours before ironing it and then wetting it to make sure it didn't run, and it still had issues.  So I researched and ordered some Bubble Jet Set and that stuff worked like a champ.  I treated the fabric and then printed the label and it didn't run at all.  So now I've got to  treat some more fabric so I will always have some treated on hand.  I love when things work like they say they will.

Today I am linking up with  Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio and Weekend Link Party @ Patchouli Moon Studio.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Compass Quilters Bee Blocks

I don't know what it is about these bee blocks, but I finish them and just can't seem to get them into the mail.  I finished them the first week of the month, and then had to do my label block. I did it over a week ago, and yet they still sat. But I made it to the post office today and they are on their way to Italy.  It is sad that my bee blocks are going more fun places than I am.

This month the Queen was Nesta of Ella and Nesta's Little Room and as I said earlier she lives in Italy.  Nesta picked Cross Stitch blocks done in orange, yellow and pink with low volume or white backgrounds.  When I did my test blocks they went together very quickly, but trimming them was a little tricky.  But when I used my smaller ruler it was a breeze.

Since the blocks were only 6 inches each, we decided that instead of just two blocks we should do 8 each.  That would make something close to two 12 inch blocks.  I had plenty of low volume fabrics, and lots of pink, but struggled to find yellows and oranges in my stash.  Luckily I remembered the scraps from my High Street quilt.

I ended up doing 9 blocks because one of them is slightly off, but I decided to send it to her anyway and if she wants to use it she can.  I learned a lot doing these blocks.  First I learned to just go for it, when I first read the instructions I thought ohhh no I can't do this. But it really was easy, and jumping in feet first was the best way to do them. 

The biggest thing I learned was to watch how I ironed the fabric.  The first two blocks I ironed the correct way by accident, but then I ironed one the wrong way and learned a lesson very quickly. If you iron the fabrics so they nest, it is so much easier.  See the photo below

I ironed the strip wrong side together and the bottom piece right sides together.  Now this may not seem like a big deal, but when you put them together, having those creases nest really helps to keep everything in line.  I only did one wrong before I realized how much easier it was with them ironed correctly.

I love all the colors in these blocks and I can't wait to see what Nesta creates with them.  And I will say I had a little of Texas go into these blocks as well. It is small, but if you look close you will see Texas in the white on white fabric.

It is strange how doing blocks for someone else makes me nervous, but at the same time it is so much fun.  I hope Nesta likes them and that she loves all the blocks sent to her this month.  I will be back tomorrow to show you the quilt I finished last week but never got around to posting.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Finish: Cupid Shuffle Flimsy

I was very sad that last week I didn't have a Friday Finish.  Now I could have shown my test blocks for my Compass Quilter Bee, but that would have been really stretching it for a finish.  I had hoped with the long weekend I would get lots done, but alas I did get some done, but spent a lot of time watching movies, taking pictures of a new baby (not mine), and generally moving slow.

But I did get lots done this past week.  I finished my Bee blocks, but will show them to you later when I get my label block done and get them in the mail.  I also got my test quilt for Cora's Quilted, quilted and bound, and should get to show that to you next week.  And last but not least something I can actually show you.

I bought a jelly roll of PB&J by Basic Grey some time ago and I found a pattern called Cupid Shuffle by Harding Hill Designs.  I love this line of fabric because the colors and patterns are just so fun.  To make lap sized quilt I only needed 32 strips, so I picked out my favorites.  And here is the finished product.

I really love doing jelly roll quilts because they are fast!!!  For this pattern you make groups of 4 strips and 2 strips, then sew those together.  I will say that if I do this pattern in the future (and I most likely will because it is easy), I think I will cut the strips in half so I can have a little more variety in my groupings.  But I was able to pick my groupings, sew, iron and cut the strips in one afternoon.

They sat in this stage for a couple of days, and then I had to put my columns together.  I think this is the first quilt that worked in columns and not rows.  It was fun watching it all come together.  Once I had all the rows done, then I had to add the reddish backgrounds.  I got 4 of the five vertical rows done and then it sat in this stage for several more days.

Which was hanging on my long arm.  But on Monday I moved it off so I could quilt the test quilt. On Tuesday I finished the red and then added the final borders.  I have to say I really love the border fabric and it is also going to be the backing fabric.

Now I hope to get the backing pieced this weekend so that I can quilt it on Monday/Tuesday.  I really miss quilting.  When I put the test quilt on the frame I was thinking I like piecing better, but then Abby (the Avante) starting humming and it was just so much fun.  There is just something about the quilting process that makes me happy.  I think because I know the quilt will be finished soon.  I think I may really go out of my comfort zone and quilt this on sideways so I can do wavy lines.  I saw a video on it last week and think it will look cool with the columns.

Over all I had a very good week, got lots accomplished.  I even finished cutting all the shirts for the memory quilts.  My goal is to start piecing them next week.  I was going to move to another quilt on my list, but I think it is time for me to get those done.  Today I am linking up with  Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts, Finish It Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Fort Worth Fabric Studio and Weekend Link Party @ Patchouli Moon Studio.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Lovely Year Of Finishes: September Goals

Can you believe it is already September?  I am struggling with how fast time is flying these days.  But never the less it is time for me to set my September goal(s).  I know for A Lovely Year Of Finishes it is only supposed to be one goal, but I like doing all of my goals for the month and it helps me stay accountable, if only to myself.

Goal 1 - This is my primary goal for the month, and it is to finish my Cupid Shuffle quilt.  I cut it out this weekend and began sewing.  Right now all the columns are sewn together and I'm sewing the background onto the columns. I want to finish the top and get it quilted.  I have to say I am loving the pattern and the fabric on this one.

Goal 2 - Quilt the test quilt for Cora's Quilts.  I've finished the top and instead of quilting it over the holiday weekend I worked on the above quilt.  It shouldn't take long to do, because it is only a crib size, but I want it done.  I plan on hanging it behind my sewing machine in my sewing room.  I can't show you a photo of it, because it hasn't been released yet, but you'll see it before September is done.

Goal 3 - Bee Blocks in the mail.  This month our Queen Bee is Nesta of Ella and Nesta's Little Room and she picked a Cross Stitch block. Since the block she picked is small, we are going to do 8 blocks for her. I want to do my test blocks this week, so I can make sure I have everything down, before I start working on her blocks.  Here is the photo she shared of her test block. She wants low volume background with orange, yellow or pink "X's".  I'm excited because I'm going to try glue basting with these.

Goal 4 - Finish borders on my Texas Quilt.  I went to my local quilt shop on Monday and found fabric for the border.  So I am hoping to get all the borders on it, and if things go well, maybe even get it quilted.  I looked at greys and blacks and didn't care for any of them and then found a white on white print that I really like.  Since I had it with me all the ladies in the shop had to oooohhh and aaaahhh over it, which was fun.

Goal 5 - Get another quilt cut for either Sharla or I.  I think it will be a quilt called Box Trot for Sharla using the Wishes by Sweetwater line, but if I can I would like to get another one cut for me.  I'm thinking my next one will be one using Mod Century by Jenn Ski for Moda.  I have a charm pack and jelly roll and I plan on just framing the charm square with the jelly roll fabric.  It should be easy, and I just love the bright colors of this line.

Now I have more than 5 goals for the month, in fact if I listed them all there would be about fifteen or more. But I know I can't get them all done.  I will say this, writing down my goals has really helped me focus my energy this year, and I like that so much.  I am linking up with Shannon of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs.