Monday, January 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday

 I have been very productive lately (well with quilting anyway :^). I finished Daniel's top and back and they are ready to send to my sister so she can bring them to be quilted. I finished my January UFO and now I've started this charity quilt.

I love this fabric. It was $2.26 per yard from Connecting Threads because the last 9 inches of the leaf pattern is not square. When it's cut into pieces like this you don't notice so much, and I think this pattern is just too cute. I bought all the colors in the line and used all but one in this quilt.

It is a very quick top, I will probably be finished with it tomorrow, then if I have time I'll buy some fleece for the back and be ready to donate it at our next guild meeting. I have one more top ready to have the fleece put on, so I might have two ready, that would be fun.

Check out Judy's blog to see what other people have on their design walls.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daniel's Quilt of Valor

The top is done.The color of the outer border is not quite as blue as it looks in the picture, but has enough blue that it goes will with the cool colors of the strips in the top. Because I wasn't clever I have to get a bit more fabric to finish the backing. If I was quilting it here I would exactly enough, but I'm sending it to my sister who is going to have it quilted so I need an extra 6 inches on the width. I think I can figure out how to piece the leftover fabric to make it wide enough, then off this goes to be quilted. I'm very happy with how it turned out. Not my usual colors, but I like it anyway.

I'm feeling motivated, so I'm going to see if I can finish a charity quilt for the guild (or maybe two) before our meeting the second Thursday of February.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

C'est Fini!

I just finished the binding and label for the spiral rainbow. I haven't been able to get a good picture, but I'll keep trying. This is my first UFO from Judy's challenge finished before the end of the month. I'm so proud! I don't have a specific recipient in mind, so made a generic label. I can add the name later if I feel the need.

Now back to work on Daniel's QOV. I hope to have the top together by the end of today, then maybe I will be able to send it off to my sister on Monday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quilting Done...Tah D...

I can't say it's finished, I still have to do the binding, but that's not a hard thing for me. I always do all of my bindings by machine and I don't find them a horrible chore, so this UFO will definitely be done by the end of the month. I still have 4 more days so it will be a piece of cake to finish it. YAY!

I didn't want to interfere with the colored squares anywhere, so I only quilted in the black. I sewed a quarter inch away from the colored spirals, and then in the border I did a zig-zag from the center of each black block up and down. If you click on the picture you may be able to see it.

I just finished it (it's 9:30) so I didn't have good light, I'll get a better picture tomorrow and show the whole thing then.

Quilting Nearly Done on The UFO of the Month

 Do you see the black lines on the checkerboard border? That's how I'm thinking of quilting it. All of the spiral blocks are quilted in the black portion . I wanted to make the spirals sort of float. I'm thinking of using a variegated primary colored thread for the border---what do you think?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Switching Gears

I talked to my wonderful sister tonight, and she wants to participate in the Quilt of Valor for Daniel, so she is going to take it to her local quilter and pay to have it quilted. I know that I can send it through the QOV volunteers, but doing it this way we get to make this quilt for him together. She live states away, so we can't actually quilt together on it, but I know if she was closer we would probably work on this one, and others together. That would be so cool!

I've included a close-up of the border fabric, and then how I think I'm going to put it together with a narrow inner border.

On another note, I am switching back to the spiral quilt. I have to get's a contest. I come from a family that is just a bit competitive, and though there is no winning or losing here, I have said I would get it done before the end of the month, so I will. I have the backing just about ready, the batting is unfolded and laying out and I might even get started on pinning it tomorrow morning. I tend to get a lot of work done in the morning before work (I have been waking up about 4:30 or 5:00) and then I feel like I have some life outside of work and sleep. So, I may actually get it done, and get Daniel's top done and ready to send to my sister all by the end of the weekend...and wouldn't that be cool! Here is the border fabric with a bit of the top so you can see them together.

Design Wall Monday

Three more rows and the top is done. I like the "travel blocks" and the way the whole quilt is turning out. I think I am going to have to add a darker fabric between the border and the rest of the quilt. I don't know how wide I am going to make the border, but the top needs something. The border fabric I found has antique maps of the world. I think a bit narrower and some other fabric (maybe the dark blue) between the top and the border will work.

I went to help sew a quilt top with a local group that gets together once a month. We nearly got one top done. There were 6 of us sewing, but two were working on a different quilt top. We will meet again in two weeks (we had a 2 week delay because of snow).

If you want to see what other quilters are doing, check out Judy's Blog.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Saga of the Border Fabric

Here is what I decided to use for the border fabric. Originally I wanted to use one of the dark colors from the quilt, but the two quilt stores I went to get some didn't carry Moda Marbles.

Here is a very long story explaining why I didn't go to the original store to buy more Moda Marbles

The original fabric store is owned by a very controlling man. When I first bought all the fabric I purchased 13 different colors of the Moda Marbles. I wanted 1/4 yard of most of them and knew it would take a while to cut them all because there were so many, but it ended up taking about 30 minutes. The owner doesn't have cutting mats and rotary cutters for his employees to use...OK, not everyone does, but because the woman had to use scissors she could only cut one fabric at a time. That added a bit of time to the cutting time. He also has them use T-squares to mark the fabric before cutting so the cuts are straight and then it's marked with chalk and then cut on that line. The T-squares are those used for drywall, so are about 4 feet long. They're a bit unwieldy and when the employee is done marking, the T-square has to be put aside so the fabric can be cut, usually set leaning against the cutting table next to the employee. Twice while I was having my fabric cut the owner came through and told her to put the T-square away because it was dangerous and someone was going to trip (good thinking if she wasn't done using it.) She told him she was still using it because she was still cutting. He also told her to put away the scissors at another time, and not leave them laying on the table...oh, one of the other employees also came by and put the scissors away...while she was still working on cutting the fabric I had on the cutting table.

I was in a time crunch because I was there on my lunch 30 minutes and it took me about 10 minutes to get to the store. Needless to say I was late getting back to work. I clenched my teeth the whole time she was cutting because it took about 3 minutes per fabric (I never really timed it though so I'm not POSITIVE it took that long). The woman moved a bolt of fabric in front of her, unfolded a bit, lined it up along the front edge of the table and put a mark at 1/4 yard. She moved the fabric a bit, so she could get the T-square on the table in the right position. She then picked up the T-square, lined it up with the edge of the table, found the chalk, drew a line. Next, take the T-square off the table, set it aside (tell the owner she is still using it) pick up the scissors (need to be sharpened, so has to cut with the edge closest to the handles that means she can cut about 1" at a time). Set the scissors aside, fold, fold, fold my fabric, set it aside. Take the bolt of fabric, look at the end and write down the 7 -digit SKU  and put it with the other bolts that have been cut, (about 6 feet away). Start all over again. After all 13 fabrics were cut, she had to ENTER EACH 7-DIGIT NUMBER INTO THE COMPUTER with the amount. HELP ME PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE. I was about ready to pull my hair out by the time she was done. She wasn't dawdling, but she wasn't a speed demon either.


OK, I finally cut the fabric a couple of days later, and one of the 1/4 yard pieces was cut crooked so I didn't get 6 strips out of it, I only got 5...this means I have to go back and get another 1/4 yard piece. It's only one fabric to cut, so shouldn't take nearly as long, right?

This time, instead of measuring 1/4 yard with the chalk on one edge, then using the T-square to mark the fabric and cut it, she took out a tape measure to measure 1/4 yard in two places on the fabric then was going to line up the ruler and mark the line. Unfortunately this was the same fabric that was cut crooked before, so I would have lost a strip on each edge because I was cutting strips, with the fabric folded. I pointed this out and she said she had to do it the way, that was what the owner had directed her to do. I said again, that if she cut it that way I didn't have a quarter yard of fabric to use. There was another woman cutting fabric at the time (I guess the manager) and she came over and rather abruptly marked the fabric straight, saying that she would get in trouble from the owner for not following his instructions.  I kept quiet, payed for my fabric and left. When I got in the car I looked at the amount of "extra" fabric I got because one end was cut crooked and the other straight...3/4".

All of this to say, I just can't go back to that store right now and buy more fabric. No one was rude, but I know I would go INSANE if I had to watch them cut even one piece of fabric. Neither of the other stores in town had Moda Marbles, so I had to find something else (what a long story to explain why I have a different fabric for the border.)

I just needed to share that frustration. I have no idea how much it costs for rotary cutters, mats, and scanners, but holy mackerel, is it really THAT expensive?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Aspens and Pines

 The first two rows together. They took a bit more time than I wanted because the grey strip I cut for the cornerstones was a bit narrow, about an eighth of an inch too narrow so I had to fiddle with the first row of blocks and for the second row, I had to unstitch the grey and sew a right size block. Probably not crucial, but it makes sewing in the long run easier.

I also couldn't resist some clearance fabric. The colors just make me happy. I bought it at Connecting Threads. It was $2.28 per yard because the leaves do not go in a straight line across the fabric. I decided I am going to use it for charity quilts so I could justify buying 2 1/2 more yards of each. I'll have 3 1/2 yards of 10 different fabrics so that should be feels wonderful and looks beautiful!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Travel Blocks

I've got all but one of the "travel" blocks made. I think they work pretty well in the quilt. The fabric only had a few different motifs and I don't want to repeat any of them. I'm going to put the dark fabric that is framing the travel pictures between the blocks and a lighter gray-blue as cornerstones. I think I can have the top together by the end of the weekend, then I have to figure how to quilt it. I'm going to use the dark blue for the backing as well.

I don't know if I am going to add a border or not, the pattern doesn't call for one, but I may add one anyway, just to give it a little more width. It's only 49" x 56" right now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Quilt of Valor and Design Wall

While I'm waiting for the batting to arrive so I can finish my #6 UFO, I started the Quilt of Valor for our friend's son who was injured in Afghanistan. He lost both legs above the knee and fingers from his left hand. He is only 19 years old, and there is not much I can do, but I can make a quilt. I asked his father to check to see what colors he might like, or what theme. He told me he really liked earth tones and loves to travel, to see the 7 wonders of the world, like the pyramids.

I found this fabric and I didn't know how I was going to use it, but I think I've figured it out. The squares of the quilt are 6" finished, the motifs in the travel fabric will fit into that size block, so I'm going to make some of the blocks with the travel pictures with some of the leftover strips around them and put them in place of the striped blocks.

The colors I chose of the quilt remind me of aspens turning gold in the fall, and the color of pines and the sky...Daniel came from Colorado. I hope he likes the quilt. It's moving to the top of the list till it's done.

This is also my design wall see more design walls, check out Judy's blog. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Backing Fabric

 So I had this fabric in my stash, I think it will work well for the backing. I decided not to use fleece but actual batting this time. Connecting Threads has it on sale for 30% off, so I think I'll be buying it there. 

I still have 17 days to finish, so I think I'll be able to get the first UFO done. That's a good start.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall-UFO Challenge

It was a perfect weekend to sew, and I did get some done, but not as much as I could have. The borders are sewn together, but not to the quilt. I might yet get that done this morning, we have a 2-hour late start this morning, cold and snowy. (I did get the checkerboard border on. Now I have to decide about one more black border.)

I think I am going to add one more black border around the whole thing. Black squares in the corners.

Then the top is done and I have to quilt it. Maybe I'll get one done for January. That would be cool.

See what other people have on their design walls on Judy's blog.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Some Progress

I've made a couple of sets of the checkerboard. I'm liking it. Just 5 or so more sets and this border should be done. I'm thinking I may add a narrow black border around this one. We'll see.

I may have the top done by the end of the weekend, then I have nearly 3 weeks to quilt to finish it in January, not bad. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

UFO Challenge-Month One-and Design Wall

Here is number 6, I'm going to be working on this one for January. Looks like I've got to dig it up and out and see what I can do with it. WOnder how much I'll actually get done!

Wish me luck.

I'm already stuck. I have no idea what I did with the fabric I was going to use for the border. I'll keep looking for a while, then I'll have to come up with something new...darn.

Here is what I am going to do. Obviously I found the fabric. I don't know if I'll add something outside the checkerboard border or not. I'll see when I get there.

I got two sides of the first border on. I haven't sewn any of the checkerboards yet. I keep finding more UFOs that need to be finished. I need to stop looking around.

To see what others have on their design wall, check out Judy's blog.


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