Friday, April 30, 2010

Prepping the Next Round of Projects!

The semester is nearly over....just a couple more papers to grade and a final to write.  Then I'll have time to work on quilts!!!  Before my computer started giving me fits (it's time for a new Internet provider) I got to participate as a guest blogger on  Stash Manicure.  This is a great inspiration for using up your stash (so you have room for more fabric!)

Wed night while my family was watching a movie I wasn't interested in, I pulled out an absolutely MAD project that I started gathering for last summer.  Once my "have to" list is done.... I'll start on a quilt that looks a little like the photo below.  Crazy huh.  I forgot that I was planning to use the blues from my stash.  They're gone.  Time to go buy more.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baby Bear Paw

How great is this quilt!  This is pattern for the West Yellowstone workshop May 15th.   Anna also sewed this up in a brown and green.  You can see it on the Victoria Rose Quilts blog.  I can't wait for this quilt vacation! I'll be doing a Trunk Show Friday night.  The focus is on applique, including some of the projects that we've planned for the 2011 workshop.  I will also have the quilts that are going to be given as gifts this summer, including a couple that I haven't posted because they are surprises.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Lucky Week

I WON!  I WON!  You just don't understand how exciting that is.  I rarely win anything. I'm not un-lucky...I have lame prize luck.  On the rare occasion that I do win, it's usually the ugly centerpiece door-prize that no one wants.  But this time, I hit the jackpot!  Kellie has very generously given some incentive prizes for the Joseph's Coat Quilt-along.  Mine arrived Monday.  Yipeeee!

This past weekend, the weather was gorgeous here, and the hubby was itchin' to ride the motorcyle.  I was able to talk him into riding on Saturday, rather than Sunday...because the quilt shop that's an hour-or-so North of here, up that winding road he likes to drive, is closed on Sunday.  He dropped me off at Stitch n Snip in Crouch and headed to the Longhorn Saloon for a cold drink.  I was well behaved and bought 1/8th yard pieces of these fantastic batiks.  Of course, I ran into someone there that I know, so I had to stay and quilt gossip with Gretchen.  And it turns out that the shop is part of a 10 day, Idaho/Oregon Shop Hop.  Seriously?  A quilt shop hop is like inviting an alcoholic on a pub crawl.  I will NOT be trying to hit the other 15 by Saturday.  I will, however, keep the maps and addresses in the saddle bag, and I got this cute card holder kit (which I sewed up the moment I got home).  

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Columbine Quilting

I've finally managed to get some photos that show the quilting on the columbine quilt. I was going for the look of an ornate carved frame around the columbine.  To mimic molding, I used decorative stitches and varied the distance b/w the lines of stitching.  On the print sashing, I used a decorative stitch in lines that varied in width from each other.  This idea was inspired by Jacquie's posts at Tallgrass Prarie Studio.  Thanks!!!  Although now I'm wishing that I had more than a handful of stitches on my machine. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Goal

I've set a new cut-off goal for myself.  The last petal count that I attempted seemed to overwhelming, so I'm looking now at just the petals on the final 17 blocks.  That's 204 petals.  I was able to sneak in a little stitching at a meeting I was attending, so I'm up to 70 done, 134 to go. OK.  That doesn't make me feel better.  Must be too many years in school that makes 34% feel like a failing grade, rather than 1/3 finished.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I finished the black & white columbine quilt and am quite pleased with the result.  Am quite glad I took the time to hand quilt the white section, as the textural difference b/w that and the machine quilting is quite pleasing.  I haven't found the right lighting situation that really captures the quilting, but will keep trying and will post final pics when that happens.

I have been working on the Joseph's Coat again.  Partially, that's b/c I can applique even when my hands are tired from quilting.  The other part, is that summer is sneaking up and the daughter for whom I'm making it graduates in August.  I've  changed my mind on the pieced back and DD thinks that purple may be the answer.

Even though I only have 3 more blocks to the next goal cut-off, I've decided to work on the remaining 17 at the same time.  In an attempt to make myself feel better about progress...I started considering my progress in petals rather than blocks.  If I'm counting right, there are 637 petals in the entire quilt (including the joining 1/2 blocks and the fill-ins on the side). I have 461 finished (72%).  Honestly, I was wishing this percentage was higher.  Only another 50-60 hours to finish up this quilt top.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lap Quilting

 Here's what the quilt looks like from the top.
And here's what it looks like under the frame.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break - Update 5

Today is my 7th day in my self proclaimed Quilt marathon.  I'm going to be pretty close to meeting the goals I set out originally...though I'm down to hand-work, which goes slower than I anticipate.

The SD Ashley quilt is done, bound & washed.   I had forgotten how long it takes to sew the binding on a large quilt like this.   I think I like the "modern" side (aka "back") better than the "traditional" side.  I finally found a fabric for the binding that I like.  The blues are a perfect match for the ones in the quilt and the print makes a stripe effect that I like.  My only disappointment, is that compared to the stark white, it looks a little ivory.  Oh, and don't worry, the sides are nice and straight...the wind was blowing. (Took the photo between the snow flurries and the hail storm, when the sun was shining.)  It's quilted on the diagonal and on close inspection, the lines are a little wavy (no officer...I haven't been drinking and sewing...)

While I was working on these other projects, my friend Emily came to my rescue and pieced the colored columbine blocks together with these flying geese.  I'm so lucky to have a friend like this. ( And the cost of the bribe was well worth it.)   Now that I see this from a distance, I'm having second thoughts about the green in the corners.  We never considered red when we were test driving options, and that might complete the frame better. Otherwise, I might have to add another border outside the geese...which just means more quilting for me.  Anyway...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Emily!!!

I generally abhor anything that has to do with a sewing machine.  ( I was traumatized by a terrible machine in my teens that liked to jam and skip stitches.)  Since my current machine and I are on reasonable terms, I decided to machine quilt the black & white columbine, using the walking foot.  I borrowed an idea from Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio  who uses the decorative stitches on her machine to make wonderful, wavy line stitching.  Mine, only has 9 options, two of which work for this idea.  This didn't photograph well, but the floral sections have random width (as you can see with the white markings) lines that look like a rows of brackets {  } stacked on top of each other.  (You can see the stitching better if you double click on the photo for an enlarged version.)  Around the frame sections, I was aiming for the look of a fancy molding,  You can kind-of make that out in the top left corner...the sequence is straight, wiggly, 4 straight close together, then a squarish zig-zag.  I'm hoping this will be more obvious after it's washed.    The only glitch on this quilt, is that I couldn't bring myself to machine quilt the white sections.  I had planned on echo quilting, but realized when I was doing the framing sections, that I would go nuts trying to do so.  And since every attempt I've made at free-motion quilting on my machine has been a disaster, that wasn't an option.  This adds several hours of handwork to the list, but I know I'll be happy with the result.

So the only goal that hasn't been met yet, are 3 more blocks for the Joseph's Coat quilt along for the next cut-off point.  I am, however, making progress.  I have the center 3 petals of the final 17 blocks, basted.  Check out the group site on Flicker to see some great pictures of everyone else's progress.  BahayKoobo is finished and did a color wash version that is absolutely stunning.

Well...I'm not making any progress while sitting at the computer....I'm off to quilt.