Thursday, June 28, 2012


I finished quilting this quilt today, my first attempt at quilting flames. I think the variegated thread helps a lot. You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

I pinned binding on three quilt tops, made a couple more maple leaf blocks, and started pressing some quarter blocks for a different quilt. I will assemble those blocks as leader/enders while making maple leaf blocks.

I am now out of pin-basted quilts, so I went through my quilt tops and chose three to get pin-basted next. I picked backing fabrics for those three, but I haven't checked to see if I have enough of all the backing fabrics. If I don't I will just piece something else in to make them big enough. I doubt I'll get a chance to work on them until mid-week next week.

While I was looking through my pile of quilt tops, I sorted the pile into the order I want to work on them. I didn't want to have to look through the whole pile each time I was going to pin-baste a quilt.

I chose the border fabric for the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Sampler quilt. I haven't cut it yet, but I do have it out and ready to go. Once I get that border on, I'll have another finished top.

I'm not really working on any new projects. Everything I've been working on was started long ago. I have a couple new projects I am planning as leaders/enders, but I haven't been working on them. As long as I have old projects I can finish up as leaders/enders, I'll keep doing that. I had more projects hiding than I thought. At least I am working on projects as I find them. Eventually, I'll get them done.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Needed some Piecing Time

I needed a break from quilting. I really want to get this pile of quilt tops finished, but I have only been piecing a little bit, and that is my favorite part, so I decided today would be a piecing day. I worked on Double Delight Remix, as I'm calling it.

I made a few maple leaf blocks for the border. I still have lots of these to make!

I assembled the center as leaders/enders while I was making the maple leaf blocks. Doing it that way is a painless way to put together a quilt. I got the first border on, which is really just coping strips so the pieced maple leaf border will fit. I plan on putting a third border on as well, just to make it the size I want it. The quilt center is now neatly folded, and will stay that way until I get the maple leaf blocks done.

Tomorrow should be a good sewing day too. My plan is to quilt the last pin-basted quilt. I want to try quilting a flame design, which I've never done before. I will actually watch a video on how to do it before I start doing it ;-) I will be using a variegated thread in reds, oranges, and yellow, and the quilt top is fiery colors as well.

As far as my sewing goals for the week go, I want to get the fire quilt quilted, and bind all the quilts that need it. If I do that, I'll be happy. If I have more time to work on quilts than that, I will likely be making maple leaf blocks, or making backings to go with the next pile of quilt tops I need to tackle. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Feeling Brave...

 ...or foolhardy, I'm not sure which ;-) I have been working on my quilting spree, still quilting up quilts from that first pin-basting spree. With the baby quilt I finished quilting today, I only have one pin-basted one left to go, then I can bind the quilted ones, and start on pin-basting the next few.

This is the baby quilt I was working on today. It is flannel and denim, and reminds me of my mother's china. Because I've been quilting on denim quilts, I have been doing pretty simple stuff, trying to avoid corners where all the heavy seams meet. I did a couple denim quilts with spirals in each square, and a couple with these wavy lines. When I got to the border on this quilt, I was sick of doing what I had been doing, and I figured I'd try making feathers.

Now, I've never made feathers before, and I considered going upstairs to watch a video on how to do it (I have watched them before, but not lately) I decided I was likely to wake the twins up if I did that, so I didn't. I have never practiced drawing feathers, like I had with some designs, but I just felt like trying it, and I knew the fabric in the border was busy enough that if they came out lousy it wouldn't show too much.

That busy fabric with matching thread made things more difficult than they needed to be as it turns out. It was hard to see where I had been to exactly match the return path. I couldn't really remember how to start, so I made a wavy line in the center of the border all the way around it. I didn't mark it at all. I made all the left hand feathers first, going all the way around the quilt, then all the right hand ones. I went up from the bottom, and I think a lot of people go the other way.

Here is a view of the back of the quilt, where you can see a little better how they came out. I didn't even try to make all the feathers the same size, because the wonky feathers I've seen are more fun to me.

Now, I had never made feathers before, and I had certainly never turned corners with them, but the way I started I had four corners to navigate. I just winged it along with everything else.

Here is one of my corners, not the best one, just the closest one to me when I was taking pictures.

They are not the prettiest feathers, but not bad for being completely unprepared and doing it on a whim. Quilting sprees really work best for me. When I have multiple quilts to quilt, I get a bit braver on tackling new designs. When I am only quilting one at a time, I tend to stick with what I know and am comfortable with. I wish my quilting spree for this year wasn't going to be quite so long, I let way too many quilt tops build up this time. I think somewhere in the four to six quilt tops in a spree would be better, not the twenty-five or so I had at the beginning of this quilting spree.

I am working on a couple other projects as well. I got the machines back from the repairman, and I tried playing a little with the featherweight. I can't find those accessories I bought in Flagstaff, so I was stuck using the foot that is on the machine. I am really glad I ordered a 1/4" foot for it, because the foot that is one it too small for me to feel comfortable with it. I was trying to make some string blocks with it, and I just wasn't getting into it, though the machine runs well. My new presser foot will get here Tuesday, so I will just wait for it.

The treadle will have to wait, DH wants to have the cabinet refinished before we put the machine back in. I am hoping we can just repair the bottom of the cubby that fell out (still have the piece, it just needs to be secured), and refinish the top of the cabinet.The sides and front of the cabinet are in pretty good shape, and I'd like to keep it as original as possible.

My piecing project on my Aurora is Double Delight. I can't believe still haven't finished that quilt, it was a mystery quilt from 2008! I have been chuckling as I have been working on it. I only went scrappy on two colors in that quilt, because my stash at the time didn't have enough variety to go scrappy on more than that. Even on those two colors, I know I went and bought some fabric to have enough variety. Even though I was a fairly new quilter then, I was already breaking rules, and I am setting the quilt differently and using different borders. I recently cut my pieced border for it (on my trip to Flagstaff last month) and it will be much scrappier than the rest of the quilt. I am assembling the quilt as leaders/enders while I work on the maple leaf border blocks. It is slow going, because I am trying to put most of my sewing time into my quilting spree.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Going Vintage

I've been wanting a Singer Featherweight for a while. Truth be told, I really wanted one that had been painted some wild color. If a machine needs to be repainted do to hard use, I have no problem with repainting it whatever color you please. I've looked on ebay, looked at various dealers, and I just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money. My MIL had a featherweight that was given to her (I think by a family member, I really should find out), and she said I could have hers.

So here she is, my new-to-me featherweight 221, and the price couldn't be beat! There is no case, and no accessories, but I am pretty sure the Singer feet I picked up in Flagstaff will work. According to the serial number, this baby was manufactured in 1955, one of the featherweights biggest years. I know it hasn't been used in years, and the cord had a nasty spot covered in ancient electrical tape, so she went straight to the repairman for servicing. I wasn't willing to risk bad electrical just so I could play with my new toy.

I plan on mainly using the featherweight as my travel machine, so although I could get a reproduction case easily enough, I plan on just making a cloth cover and storing her in  my sewing machine trolley. I will play with the featherweight at other times too, but since the sewing machine trolley takes up space no matter if it's empty or full, it may as well hold a machine.

DH is willing to pay for it to be painted the color of my choice, but really the paint is in good shape, some minor chips on the handwheel, and one chip on the light cover. I am leaning towards leaving it as is, color- wise.

I ordered some bobbins for the featherweight today, and a foot that said it was 1/4". We'll see how that works out. I'll have to take another pic of the featherweight when it is all cleaned up.

While I was thinking vintage, I decided I have waited long enough to get my grandmother's (my father's mother) treadle up and going. I knew our repairman would look at it if we took it out of the cabinet. After a little fiddling, DH got it out.

Obviously it wasn't very cleaned up at this point, though we had knocked some of the dust off. I didn't take a photo of the cabinet, but you can see it in this ad
The cabinet I have is the 560. It is a very pretty cabinet, and it's been in my living room for years. Everyone just thinks it is an antique table, and no one ever guesses it is a sewing machine cabinet.

I am missing an important piece to this machine, and that is the screw assembly to hold the needle in. We brought this to the repairman at the same time we dropped off the featherweight, and he said he thinks he can come up with something that will work. I will need to buy a treadle belt, but most of those are interchangeable.

I found the manual online, (thanks to this blog post ) which is great since I've never sewn on this machine before. I didn't recognize all the accessories I had for it, but thankfully, the manual tells me what they are. It looks like of the original accessories, I am missing the two screwdrivers, the stiletto, one of the hemming feet, and the braiding foot. I have far more accessories than I am missing. There is a long bobbin in the shuttle, and I have one spare, which is all I am likely to ever have unless I get incredibly lucky. Long bobbins varied drastically in size, and since Free is not a major brand, I am unlikely to be able to come up with more the same size. I do know of an antique store with a jar of bobbins I can look through, and I know there are long bobbins in the jar, so I will likely see if I can come up with another.

I had planned on quilting a baby quilt today, but instead I spent all day online, learning all I could about the featherweight and the Free treadle. I learned you have to thread the featherweight backwards from my Bernina, and the needle is inserted opposite as well. Finding the age of the featherweight was easy, the treadle not so much. I have figured out the treadle was made sometime between 1913 (the latest patent date on the machine and 1925, when Free merged with Westinghouse, and became Free-Westinghouse. A couple years later than that they were bought out by New Home. I couldn't find a serial number on the machine, but I read about where to look, which I will do when I get it back from being serviced.

I would like to have the cabinet completely restored, but so far I haven't found anyone local who will do it. I still have a couple calls to make. The front of the cabinet looks great, the top is badly scratched, and one of the cubbies had the bottom fall out of it. The backing is in poor shape as well. I would really like to get it looking better if I can find someone with some experience in jobs like this. That being said, the lift works great, and when you pull up the top the machine pops right up. It is not heavy or hard to work at all.

I am so excited at the thought of getting these vintage beauties up and running! It has been my dream for a while to piece a quilt on my grandmother's machine. I just think that would be amazing. Maybe I will break out the 30's repros for that project. If I can piece on the treadle and the featherweight, it will be just such a fun link with history, and having family machines from mine and DH's families makes it all the sweeter.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Using my Test Blocks

I was a block tester for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volumes 3 and 4. After the first couple of blocks, I decided to pick a color scheme, so I could use most of the blocks together in a quilt. I chose blacks and brights, though some blocks didn't lend themselves to that, so I still have some that don't work together. I have been trying to figure out ways to use these blocks and get some finished projects out of them.

The penguin block was one of my test blocks, and I opted to make four of them, and pair them with some stars with penguin fabric centers. The border fabric I picked up at a thrift store. I only have a bit of the border fabric left, so I will piece it into the backing. The penguin fabric was scraps I had leftover from making DH a scrub top.

Here are twelve of my test blocks with the black and brights. I still have a couple more blocks with this color scheme, which I am likely to piece into the back, just to have them all go into the same project. I am not a big fan of sampler quilts, so I opted for a more complex sashing/cornerstone design to add more unity to the quilt. I plan on adding a border, but I am undecided on what to add. I need to audition a few things.

My next piecing project will be working on Double Delight, a mystery quilt from a few years back. That is the project I took to Flagstaff with me and couldn't sew on because I forgot the power cord to my sewing machine. I have finished all the mystery quilts I started after this one, but since this one was meant for my bed, it kept dropping to the back of the line. I am determined to get this quilt finished this year.

Of course, I still have that mountain of quilt tops to get quilted too, But I am making good progress on those, and I am pretty happy with how the sewing is going :-)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Forward Momentum

I did get some time to sew this week. On Thursday, I quilted up two baby quilts. I want to finish quilting the stack that is pin-basted before I mess with binding. I have four (I think) left that are pin-basted.

Since I got two quilts quilted, I decided to reward myself with a little piecing, but I am trying to be really good, and I worked on assembling the two quilts I have ready for that step.

I only got the rows sewn together today. I was planning on getting at least the centers together, but we had a thunderstorm during part of the time I had to sew, and I didn't want to risk frying my new Bernina, so I unplugged it and worked on some cutting instead.

Tomorrow I should/hope to have time to get the rows together. Part of what I cut was the borders for the penguin quilt. I am debating on borders for the black and brights quilt. I think I need to finish getting the center together, and then audition a few things before I can decide.

The rest of what I cut was the shirt parts I had left out to be cut into strips. I looked through some quilt books of patterns I want to make from the shirts, and 2" strips was definitely the most common size I will need. Needless to say I cut mostly 2" strips from the pile I had out. I also cut some other strips. but I now have strips cut from every shirt I have, so it's a nice assortment. They are all sorted by lights and darks, and ready to play whenever I get to those projects.

This weeks sewing goals are to get the penguin quilt top finished, get the black and bright sampler quilt center together, and quilt at least two more baby quilts. You can see the baby quilt next in line peeking out from under the quilt rows.

Getting these tops together makes it nice, because now I won't have sashing and cornerstones piled in various spots of my sewing room. My cutting table is looking a bit better as well, now that the border fabric for the penguin quilt is cut and off of there, as well as the pile of shirt parts put away in the shirt strip containers now that they are cut.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Judy Martin

I just love how the wedding quilt for DS the Elder and DDIL came out, and I am not the only one who liked it. I was contacted by the publisher of the book the pattern came from, and now a photo of that quilt is available from Judy Martin's Viewer's Photos page.

There are some amazing quilts on that page. Mine is under the Log Cabin Book section, Shoreline Log Cabin by Melodie Rains. If you have some time, check out some of the other quilts. Trust me, you could spend hours on this site checking out what's there. There are several other of Judy Martin's patterns on my long list of quilts I want to make.

I didn't sew today, it was errands all day. I'm hoping for sewing time tomorrow.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Days Off

When I posted on Saturday I said I was taking Sunday off, and it is true that I haven't sewn since Saturday, but boy, have I been busy. What have I been doing? Let's just say a little soul searching.

 I have had some time to think things over lately, and I have realized a few things about myself. I used to consider myself a crafter, and I have gone through several crafts through the years. When we were newly married and broke, the only way we could afford for me to craft at all, was for me to make gifts we needed for people, so my craft budget was the gift budget, and I think I made some pretty nice things. I went through a ceramics phase, and a long-lived cross-stitch phase, and some needlepoint, both on tapestry and plastic canvas. I've made a few baskets (the only craft classes I have ever taken), and I have always sewn various things. I tried scrapbooking, but never did get into that.

I started sewing when I couldn't find maternity clothes in larger sizes, and I've been sewing ever since. There were seasons I made all of the clothes my five kids had, and almost every curtain I've ever hung has been made by me. DH has a closet full of scrub tops, all made by me. I always wanted to quilt, I've always loved quilts, and I was a typical blanket-loving child, I had a yellow one I really loved, and when I was sick, I wanted it. My mom even sent it to me, after we were married. 

I made my first quilts years ago, I think the very first was a wall hanging for DD#1, with horses on it. I made quilts for DD#2 and 3 when we re-decorated their rooms on a shoestring budget, and those were made from old jeans, backed with sheets from the clearance section. Eventually I made another quilt for DD#1, again for a room redo. All of those quilts were tied. 

When I stopped homeschooling, I actually had a bit of time to do what I wanted to do, and that was quilt. I started with a wedding quilt for DD#1, then I had to make both my boys quilts, because I had never made them any, and then I started making LOTS of quilts.

I have tried to play around with doing other crafts since I started quilting, and I occasionally get something done. More and more often though, I just want to quilt. I started a set of plastic canvas blocks for the twins before they were born. There are six blocks in the set, one is finished. They turn 17 months old tomorrow. On the other hand, they have two crib quilts a piece from me, one lightweight, one winter, and I have already started quilts for them for when they move into twin sized beds. 

Hmmm, you know, I think I am over everything else. I don't want to do ceramics, I don't want to cross-stitch, I don't want to do plastic canvas, and I definitely don't want to scrapbook. I still plan on making the occasional garment, and I'm sure I will making curtains for years to come, but what I want to do is QUILT! I have dozens of my own designs saved in EQ, just waiting their turn to be made. When I am stressed, I plan quilts, when I am getting an MRI, I plan quilts, when I doodle, it is quilt patterns. 

So what did all this soul searching lead to? It resulted in two days of sorting, packing and flinging. I am passing on all of the stuff from the crafts that no longer interest me. I am not panicked about the "what if I decide to do another ________ project?" If I really want to make something, supplies are easy enough to come by. I even got rid of some of my sewing supplies, since I am not garment making frequently. I didn't get rid of all of anything for sewing, but I did weed out some things I have lots of, some trims I will likely not use, some zippers I had multiples of, some cheap thread.

Here are some of the the things on their way out:

These are being passed to one of my sisters. There is also one more box for her not in this pic. DH and I are meeting her tomorrow for lunch and a craft supply hand-off ;-)

These things are being donated, some of these are not craft related. While I was sorting I packed up the computer games no one plays, and the last of the VHS tapes, along with a few misc. things.

There are also three other boxes that will be moving on that I didn't take pics of. Now in my sewing room I have two empty containers, and four empty drawers, as well as some empty space on shelves. Where my craft books once took up four shelves, they now fit on two with enough extra room for my quilting DVD's! I was merciless going through books. I looked through every one, and if a pattern didn't jump out at me, the book went. I did keep an assortment of quilting books, some on scrap quilts (my favorite), some on paper piecing (not my favorite), curved piecing, books on borders, books on settings, basic blocks, free motion quilting books, and a couple on design. One craft besides quilting made the cut. I kept two books on basket-making. You know what is really funny about that? I have no basket making supplies! I only ever purchased enough to make one basket at a time!

I still need to go through my quilting magazines, though they are all sorted now. I have had subscriptions to seven different quilting magazines over the past few years, trying different ones and seeing how well they fit my interests in quilting. I think I know which one fits me best, but it will be interesting when I go through the magazines with the same criteria I used on the books. Whichever company I keep the most of, I would suppose will really be the best magazine for me to keep receiving. My quilting magazines take up one shelf with some empty space on that shelf. I am only willing to give them one shelf., so for now they may all stay, but when they don't fit on that shelf anymore, the purging will commence. I think I am getting three different magazines currently, but it may only be two. I have never gotten seven magazines at once, I just try one for a year, and see how I like it.

I have already started reorganizing a few things with my newly found space. I have a drawer to put all my Sewing machine feet into now! The Bernina BSR and the walking foot come in tins and now they actually have a home! No longer are they on top of things in my way. It's a good thing. I learned a lot while I went through so many things. I found out I used a lot more of some things than I thought. There were several things I thought I had a bunch of, but when I actually went through it, I had used most of it up. I learned if I had consolidated a few things as I used them, I would have had one empty drawer long ago.

You know what else? I FOUND MY MISSING CAMERA! I have been looking for it for weeks, and I had correctly assumed it had fallen off my workbench in the sewing room. I had looked all around on the floor and couldn't find it. I had moved the set of plastic drawers next to the workbench and it wasn't under there. So where was it? It had fallen into one of the plastic drawers from the backside. I only found it, because I had decided to get rid of all my felt, and when I was taking it out of that drawer, I found it.

I did take two days off from sewing. I worked hard on those two days. I found extra space, I found out what I use and what I don't, I found my camera, and I found out I am a quilter.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Robot Baby Quilt Done

I did get the quilt for my great-nephew finished today after all, and that is a good thing! I didn't have any thread issues with this quilt, on either the quilting or binding, so it must have been the fleece on the rubber duck quilt causing all of the problems.

I think this quilt is really cute and I'm kind of wishing I had more of the robot and rocket fabric. I have some scraps of the robot fabric since I had fussy cut that, and I have a 1/2 yard of it with a white background instead of the yellow. I don't have any more rocket fabric, this quilt took all I had. Suffice it to say, this quilt will stay a one-of-a-kind because I can't make another exactly like it.

I still have a few baby quilts pin-basted, and I will start on quilting those next week. I think I'm taking tomorrow off!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Receiving Blankets

I made some receiving blankets for grandbaby #5 today. I really don't understand commercial receiving blankets. Most of them are rectangular, which make little sense for swaddling, and most are way too small for a full term baby. I have a little bit of a skewed perspective on that, since my last baby weighed 10 1/2 pounds, but still, even the grandtwins that were premature outgrew the commercial receiving blankets quickly.

My normal way of making receiving blankets is to make as a large a square blanket as I can with the fabric. If you figure 44" width, you need 1 1/4 yards to make a one sided blanket, and 2 1/2 yards to make a double sided blanket. If I want contrasting sides, I use 1 1/4 yards from two different fabrics. One sided or two sided I first cut off the selvages and make sure the ends are straight and squared up. For a one-sided blanket I just put in a narrow hem, and add some trim if I feel like it. Those are good for summer babies.

For a two sided blanket, I either have two squares of fabric, or a 2 1/2 yard piece folded in half, either way they are right sides together. I sew around the square, leaving an opening for turning it right side out. Once it's turned right side out you can just edge stitch or use a decorative stitch around the edges, and you will close the opening with those stitches, no need to hand sew.

These three receiving blankets are double sided flannel, as South Africa in July/August is winter, and most houses there do not have central heating or cooling. I bought this flannel to make these blankets, 2 1/2 yards of each. The selvages and trimming from squaring them up are in the trash, and these will soon be on their way to SA, so no increase to the stash for these. This fabric never even met the stash!

I did start quilting my grand-nephew's quilt yesterday, but I didn't get very far. I had to babysit for a few hours today, and I didn't want to get into quilting and be interrupted for so long, so I made the receiving blankets instead. I trimmed the flannel up before my charges got here, and sewed them up after they left. The grandtwins left around the same time, to spend some time with their other grandmother, so the house was pretty quiet this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow I am hoping to finish grand-nephew's quilt, I'm hoping for quilting and binding, but I'll be happy if I just get the quilting done.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Couple More Finishes

I finished a couple of baby quilts today, one for grandbaby #5, one for donation. The donation quilt Miss S has taken a liking to, but she already has two quilts from Nana, with another one in the works for when she moves into a big girl bed. I don't know if Miss S will be a quilter someday or not, but she certainly likes quilts :-)

This is grandbaby #5's quilt. I tried quilting a watery design on it, and although I would do it differently next time, I don't know that it is bad for a first try.

I pieced the backing from some leftover fleece from another project. I had just enough, and the small trimmings leftover I actually threw away.

Here is the donation quilt. It is flannel from my flannel-busting spree of 2011. The funny thing about that is, I was busting all my flannel, because I didn't like quilting with it, but after making over a dozen quilts with it, I don't mind quilting with it anymore. Flannel is now my friend. I never minded making garments with it, it was only using it for patchwork that I originally didn't like. Now that I've racked up so much experience working with it in patchwork, I really don't remember what it was I didn't like about it.


Here is the backing for the donation quilt. Most of the backing is flannel, but it wasn't quite wide enough, so I added some orphan blocks to make it a bit wider.

Tomorrow the plan is to quilt my great-nephew-on-the-way's quilt.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's Done, It's Done, It's Done!!!!!

Until I get Perkiomen Daydream finished, this quilt holds the record for the most pieces in a quilt I've made. I was so excited to get this back from the LAQ and see it finished! This is DS the Elder and DDIL's wedding quilt, just a bit late, they were married in March. The pattern is Shoreline Log Cabin from Judy Martin's Log Cabin Quilt Book. If you like log cabin quilts, I suggest you look into that book, there are some stunning quilts in it. This quilt is large, about 110" square. The pattern did not call for the outermost border, it was my decision to add it. The backing fabric is the same as that outer border.

This quilt has about 8,000 pieces, 102 different fabrics, and a lot of hours of work in it. I just love the way it came out, and I can't wait for them to see it in person. I mailed it today, and they should get it Thursday.

I did a little sewing today, on grandbaby #5's quilt. I am just over halfway finished quilting that baby quilt. I ended up buying some flannel to make a couple warmer receiving blankets, and once the quilt and receiving blankets are done, I can get those in the mail to South Africa. Hopefully they will all arrive before grandbaby #5 makes his/her appearance in the world. That baby is due the beginning of August, but I am thinking end of July more likely. Our family really likes July birthdays.

Tomorrow, I will hopefully get a chance to finish grandbaby's quilt, if the grandtwins aren't too fussy. The twins are not thinking teething molars and canines much fun. They get upset if they can hear me sewing, and know I'm there, but they can't see me, even if their Mama is right there with them. Once the baby quilt is done, I should be able to get the receiving blankets done quickly, the fabric is in the dryer now. I'm hoping to get those packages mailed next week, and with the quilt I got mailed today, I will be able to cross a couple things off my to do list!

My Orca Bay quilt is due back from the LAQ any day, and that one I get to keep! I am anxious to see that one too.

Bonnie K Hunter, who designed the Orca Bay quilt, is taking pre-orders for her next book, String Fling, and the Orca Bay pattern will be in that book. I already pre-ordered my book, and if you'd like to pre-order yours go to and pre-order yours too :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Quilting Basics

In my last post I mentioned winning four lots of fabric on ebay, and now the fabrics are here. I am out of corrugated plastic forms, so my new fabric is piled up next to my batting roll.

I divided it up by color, and I am thrilled I got the most greens! I always say I don't have a favorite color, just a least favorite (blue). I like different colors for different things. I probably wear pink, purples, and red the most, but my favorite flowers are yellow, I tend to decorate with greens and browns and I think orange is the happiest color. Yup, I like everything but blue.

At any rate, the lots I won were one lot of solids, one of blenders, and two tone-on-tone lots. Perfect for quilting basics, the plainer stuff you need to make the other stuff work. Now that the scrub stash is integrated with my quilting stash since I am no longer making scrubs to order, I have so many novelty fabrics to use up, and you have to add some basics to use up the novelties. I was almost completely out of blenders, I had only a few solids, and I never did have many tone-on-tones. Now my stash is larger, yes, but much more workable.

I checked ebay for corrugated plastic to make the mini bolts forms out of, and I didn't see the size boards I ordered last time, which were really ideal. I think we will check will a local sign place, and see if they will sell us some blank boards, or maybe something with a misprint on it to use. DH has done quite a bit of business with one of the sign businesses, so I'm hoping I can get some corrugated plastic locally and not have to pay shipping.

Once we get some more mini bolt forms cut, I think half of this will fit on the fabric shelves, and the other half will have to wait until there is room. Since I have all of the backings to piece for the next quilts to be quilted, there should be room pretty quickly.

I got almost all of the shirt fabric put away. The only parts not put away are the sections I want to cut into strips right away and put into my shirt strips stash to add to the variety. I have one tote for shirt parts, and it is now full, so no more buying shirts until I get some room in that tote. I hadn't bought shirts in a long while, and this time I had planned on buying some, so I haven't been regularly going wild ;-)

I quilted a baby quilt yesterday, so now it just needs binding. I started quilting grandbaby #5's quilt today, but I am having a hard time concentrating on it, my headache is bad today. I am trying to quilt a watery kind of design on it, and I'm hoping when it's done it will look cool. The quilt has rubber ducks on it so I thought a water pattern would be good. I am having thread breakage issues, which is driving me a little nuts. The thread is variegated, but it is Aurifil, a brand I rarely have problems with. I changed my needle, and adjusted the tension, and of course I've rethreaded over and over again. only the top thread is breaking. Yesterday I was quilting with some really cheap thread and I didn't have any problems at all. Hmmm. You know, I backed this quilt with fleece, maybe that is the problem. I have only used fleece one other time, but I wasn't free motion quilting on that quilt, I was using a walking foot. Does anyone else have problems with fleece backings?

I have a chair in my bedroom now that the crib is not in there. I brought up a tv table, and the things I need to trim up the bonus HST's. I figure if I spend a little time each evening trimming HST's I will eventually have them all the same size. I really have no idea how many HST's I have. I am using Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Triangle Trimmer ruler, so I can trim them up before they are pressed open. I think I will count them as I press them, then put them into a plastic shoebox. One of the ideas I have to use them requires over 5,000 HST's and I know I don't have that many yet. If I put a post-it note on top of the shoe box, and note every 100, I should be able to keep track as I add to the trimmed, pressed collection. I'm sure I'll be needing to make more HST's to have enough for that project. Maybe I should just start a couple projects that will result in lots of bonus HST's!