Monday, January 27, 2014

Wow How Time Passes.

Does anyone remember this post from June 2011?

I cannot believe that it was 2011 when I started this! I have decided to get these finished and have been working on them a little. Soon, I WILL have them finished!

I have all of the strips sewn together into tubes and have started cutting them into squares. I am very excited to have started this up again.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ocean Currents

I am working diligently on finishing my wall hanging and should have it finished in a few short days.

I am working on the background (ocean) first, starting at the dark end of the quilt and working toward the light end. 

I am also working on some of the other smaller designs as I go. I am going to do the turtles last. I want to give my FMQ as much practice as I can before tacking the subject. So, I have quilted fish, coral, necklaces, and ocean currents.

I like the swirls. I have tried to make spirals without marking anything; it doesn't work out very well, but I like the results that I have made. It looks very organic and swirly.

I cannot wait to finish this and hang it. I have been thinking a lot about how to hang it. I would usually make a sleeve all the way across the back, but I am not sure if I want to do that. I was also thinking about making a few tabs similar to a sleeve but in pieces to go across the back, but what if I get off a little. I have also considered having hanging tabs from the top, but I am not sure how to do those.
Also, I am wondering about the binding. I think I will do a single fold binding, but I might just fold the bottom around and whip-stitch it to the top.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Little Something For Me...

...because I deserve it, dang it!

I have a love for turtles and just had to make this wall hanging for ME many years ago. It has been at least four years since I made this top. I never finished it because at the time I did not quilt by machine let alone do ANY FMQ!

The pattern says 2006, so it may have been more than four years ago since I made it. Hmm... I wonder how many other WIPs have been waiting more than four, five, and even more years for me to finish. Maybe I should check on that and make it a new year's resolution. Anyways, we got a new TV and it changed our viewing pleasure of more than the TV. There is this large bare area above the TV. I thought that a wall hanging would look great there and then I remembered this wall hanging that I made and put away.

I thought I would be the perfect shape (long), color, subject for that area. So, I pulled it out along with some backing fabric, found a piece batting JUST wide enough, pieced the back, and basted it all together.

Time for some lovely FMQ to finally finish this wonderful wall hanging and then to hang it! So, excited to be making something for me.

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Challenges/ Resolutions

This is new for me and maybe a little late in the month to post. I do not make New Year's challenges or resolutions, although I usually have a few plans. This year I have plans, but I want to put them here so that I will feel more of a push to complete them.

So, plans/ challenges/ resolutions for 2014:

Crown Royal quilt-I have been promising a quilt for my husband made out of the bags that he has saved over more than a decade. I have been gathering inspiration on Pinterest. So many possibilities and possibly more than one quilt with what I have. I hope to have it finished by December. That should be plenty of time.

Three "Finishing the Unfinished" quilt tops-as I have stated, I have three more quilt tops to finish for my friend. I plan to have these finished before mid May.
Also, I hope to make a series on my blog using this title. I have in the past finished quilt tops that others have made. I feel that there are many quilt tops that should be finished, and I plan to continue this.

I also currently have two baby quilts to make with varying completion dates.

That is really all the quilty goals I have planned this year. I am sure there will be a lot more quilt than these six, but this is a good start, right?

I have a really big non-quilt goal/plan for this summer-fall. Let's just hope it works out.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Purple Half-Square Triangle Quilt Finish

After burying the knots in this quilt, I finally was able to finish it.

I think I have finally, with the help of my husband, decided which end is the top.

 I am so excited to have it finally finished; I have been working on this quilt for way too long. I know my niece is excited to finally be getting it.

Although as I have said before that I do not like to use plain or white fabric for the back, I used the left over white fabric and some of the left over fabrics for the back. I like to use the leftovers in the back if I can. When I look at the back of this quilt I can see mistakes, but like the last time I used white for a backing, it is very pretty.
If my sewing machine would have cooperated with me this year when I was doing these little petals, I would have finished it a lot sooner. That is okay because it is finished now and I got a new sewing machine in the process. Who wouldn't be happy with that?

I made long up and down spirals in the white triangles with white thread and in the dark triangles I used darker purple thread and in the lighter triangles I used light purple thread to make the petals. I think it is interesting how the back shows a square of dark purple with light purple on two sides of the petals.
Although it was not my first for 2013, it is my final finish for 2013. So, I say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014. I cannot wait to see what happens this year.
edit: other posts about this quilt: first mention, completed top, quilting/ thread problem, finally finished/ burying the knots

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Quilting Challenge Complete

This was my quilting challenge. The quilt was thick and I was not sure how should or would quilt it.
What I settled on was a stich-in-the-ditch just along the rows that were sewn together and on the edges to sew a long line down near the center of the blocks.

I am very happy to have this quilt finished. After finishing this quilt I have decided that if I am going to machine quilt I will not use such a think batting. I have found that I have trouble with thick battings before and this confirmed what I thought about my use of high lofted batting.

I did not trim up the sides because I did not want to alter the quilt as it was made. It is hard to notice in this picture that the top has a slight angle and the bottom has a large angle.

I used two different purple fabrics for the back with the last of the green/purple dot fabric. All I have left of this dot fabric is a few scraps.

The binding was put on by machine. It is a purple fabric with little fans on it.
The problem that I had mostly with this quilt is the puckers on the back.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Finishing the Unfinished

This is the first finish of the quilt tops that my friend asked me to finish for her.
I think this is a beautiful nine patch quilt. It uses the same fabrics with the next quilt that I intend to quilt for her.
I used stich-in-the-ditch straight line quilting to quilt it. I thought it worked well with this quilt.

 I pulled this burgundy fabric for the binding. The pattern and color matches the quilt and the backing perfectly, and I sewed it on my machine.

 I had just enough of this fabric for the back and I think it is wonderful. Those lovely little flowers makes it welcoming.

I was very happy to hear that this quilt was given and received with love.
I love to hear how people love receiving quilts and my part in it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

T-shirt Memory Quilt #2

When I made my last t-shirt quilt, I did not know that the recipient would love it so much. It was very surprising and made me so happy to know that she loves it like she does.

With her enjoyment of this quilt, she has suggested me to several people who have asked about t-shirt quilts, and this has led to me making another t-shirt quilt.

I was contacted and asked to make a quilt using not only t-shirts but hospital gowns. The lady who contacted me had recently lost her grandfather, and he was often in hospital gowns toward the end of his life, so they naturally wanted to include them.  She wanted this quilt made for her grandmother. She asked me to make it for Christmas. Since I get a, usually a two week, winter break from work, I thought I could get it completed in two weeks. I decided to go ahead and make the quilt for this family. We met and I started the quilt.

Their Christmas was moved up by four days and she asked if I could get it finished in time. I did my absolute best and finished this quilt in record time: ten days!

I stayed up late one night and quilted most of it. The next morning I finished quilting and put the binding on it just a couple of hours before their Christmas.

She thanked me and told me that her grandmother loved the quilt and that she cried and stroked it. That, to me, is the best thing a person could say about a quilt.

This is one of two pictures I took. I took it to help me keep the pieces in place as I sewed the top together. When I sew I move all of the pieces around and sometimes they get sewn together differently from what I intended, but I have found that if I take a picture and keep a copy (digital or paper) beside my sewing machine it does not get rearranged as I sew.
Although this quilt came together in ten days, it is surprisingly my best technical pieced and quilted quilt. A majority of the pieces lined up perfectly and the sparse stitch-in-the-ditch had only a couple of puckers. In the past I would not cross the stitching choosing instead to go in one direction to avoid the dreaded pucker. The quilting was almost perfect in this account. I wish I had had just a little more time to quilt a little more on it.
The backing is a blue on blue gingham with a small piece of Atlanta Braves fabric since the grandfather was such a big Braves fan, and the binding was a navy and white stripe. This quilt was almost perfectly square. The Braves fabric is quite hard to find and I bought the small piece the day after I picked up the shirts and gowns. I also purchased the binding and backing fabric the night after so that I could start quilting as soon as it was pieced. That makes things go much faster.
I finished this quilt before my winter break, which was fine because it gave me time to finish a couple of other quilts.
Whew, this has been a long post.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mama's Green Strip Quilt

My mama got a quilt for Christmas, and I made it for her!
She has it on her couch to show it off to everyone who comes over. I wanted to take a picture of it and the back, so she started showing it off to me! She is so cute. You can see some of her hand in the above picture.

I used the only piece of Castle Peeps, that I have been able to get, on the back. My mom loves castles, so she gets the fabric. She thought it was great.

I of course used my favorite quilting waves. It is the best!
I do not currently have any green thread, so in the dark green stripes I used black thread. Although it is not green it still looks good.
Since my sister and I are both married and spend Christmas with our in laws, she in another state, we celebrate Christmas with our mom on the first day of winter. I finished the binding on this quilt that morning before heading to my mom's for our Christmas.
That was my theme this year: finish the morning and sometimes the hour of.