Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Dress Quilt

Stitched this down during my Fall quilt retreat a couple of weeks ago. Got it quilted, bound & even put a hanging sleeve on it (my first hanging sleeve ever!) this week. Got it hung up this afternoon. 

The designer is Cherry Blossoms Quilting & the title of the pattern is The Dress. 

I'm pretty pleased with the results. Especiallly the fact that all the fabric except the back came from my stash. 

I think this may be my first full finish of 2015!  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jean Quilt

I saved jeans for a couple of years to make this one!!! My first string quilt, inspired by a friend who did a jean string!
It took a TON of fabric. I love it though. Can't wait to use it. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

More Aurora!

Here are all of the arch pieces are sewn together (comprised of white half circle centre, flying geese, & New York beauties). 

I still have to see them to the centre star. 

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting There!

Sixteen arches & 16 sets of flying geese made. 

I was able to get the four corner pieces put together. Here is how they look up (but not yet sewn) with the rest of the top. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sew Much Fun!

I'm just sewing my fingers off & having sew much fun doing it!

I've finished all the arches. The big ones (pictured here) took an hour a piece. That's 12 hours on the large arches alone! And there were 4 smaller ones too! But I have to say that I loved every minute of it! 

I made a couple of mistakes with the colours. Four times I grabbed & sewed in the wrong colour & continued on without noticing the error until the end. I've decided that I can live with it. 

Now that I've finished the arches, I've moved on the flying geese. Are t these lovely? There's 16 of them to make, but they go MUCH faster than the arches. 

Once they're trimmed, they'll be inserted into the arches like this:

I'd be lying to say that I wasn't nervous about it all coming together well. But I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Right now, I'm just totally loving the process. And the colours. I really, really love the colours!!! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Another Aurora Update - First Arch Done!

Oh, I could get very addicted to paper piecing! I just loved making this arch! A good thing, too, considering I've got 11 more large ones & 8 small ones to make. 

As you can see, I still have to trim it down to the 1/4" seam. 

Here's the pattern cover for reference. 

Hoping to get another arch or two done today! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cutting Done!

Took a long time, but it sure looks pretty. 

Next step is to put them into sewing order for the arches. Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Interesting Article!

We were away this weekend, so no sewing to report, but I did get the strips cut in order to sub-cut them into smaller pieces. The first step in a long series of next steps for this quilt.

I must admit that having run out of the white fabric, I'm worried about running out of the rest of the fabrics also. I guess I'll cross that bridge if/when it happens. I do have to stress that I ran out of the fabric due to MY errors. It's no one else's fault but mine.

A member posted this article on our guild Facebook page. It's a longish read, but a very interesting one on "quiltonomics". I have to say that I found myself agreeing with most of the people quoted. I just don't think it is possible to sell your quilts for their true value.

Quilting for me is a hobby. I do not generally sew or quilt for others and on the odd times that I have, I have always regretted it. As mentioned in the article, you are lucky to recoup the cost of the materials let alone your time. Also, I find that I apply too much pressure on myself when sewing/quilting for others. To me, it sucks the joy out of the whole experience. I am too self-critical to enjoy making something on commission.

The cost of quilting caused me to make some changes a couple of years ago. I love the sewing and the gratification that comes with it, but boy, I was turning out a quilt every two months. At $200 a pop, I could just no longer afford it. So, I made a decision to make fewer quilts. I wanted to make fewer, but more intricate and skill stretching quilts. In this way, I would be spending less on materials but have something to work on all the time.

How has this decision worked out for me? I think it is working pretty well. (Although, I did complete 5 quilt tops last year one of them was made almost entirely from scraps so had very little cost and a couple of others were started in the year previous.) The Double Wedding Ring and Aurora are good examples of quilts that stretched my skills but not my pocketbook.

There is a downside to this decision, though. When I am into something tough I sometimes regret the decision to work on harder things. Sometimes mindless sewing is what your soul needs. Perhaps the solution is to have 2 projects on-the-go? One straightforward scrappy one and one tougher one for when you are mentally/emotially ready for it.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This was REALLY hard!

Only because I kept making mistakes! And worse than that, the mistakes were all my fault! Not bad or incomplete instructions, but just plain ol' failing to pay attention. Don't you hate that? 

The last time I posted about this quilt, I had realized that I had the wrong side of the fabric facing on 2 of the spikes. I undid them & resewed both. I was very satisfied until I realized that I did it AGAIN on one of the spikes! Grrrr. So, I unpicked the stitches & then discovered that I had unpicked the spike that was sewn correctly! Yikes!!

So. I had to cut more of the white fabric. There is very little hope now that I'll have enough white left to complete the project. One of the drawbacks of buying a kit is the possibility of running out of fabric if you make mistakes. It's ok, though. I have a plan .... One that involves buying more fabric. This quilt is continuing to be the most expensive quilt I've ever made. Oh well. What can I do? 

I did, finally, get all the spikes sewn, sewn together & then got the center sewn in. It's not perfect, but after all the mistakes I made I was just happy to get it to this point. 

Let's hope I pay better attention with the future pieces! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Aurora Update

Got a few minutes to sew this weekend!!!! YEAH! Here's the latest pieces! 

They're not sewn together yet, I just placed them in position with the centre I finished a couple of weeks ago to see how it would look. I like it!

Looks great, right? Well, that is what I thought until I picked them up to put them away for the evening at which point I realized I had the wrong side of the fabric facing up on 2 of the long pieces. Ugh! I'll have a remake those ones. I'm a bit worried about running out of the white fabric. 

I'm looking forward to getting them all sewn together!

Wish my luck!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree Completed

This is the quilt that I was working on when I stopped blogging in 2011. It is called "Oh Christmas Tree" by Don't Look Now designs. 

I started this one in the fall of 2011 and it was finished by June 2012.

The applique tree is made from a single piece of fabric (which was no small feat) and is satin stitched down. I no longer satin stitch applique. I prefer the more "forgiving" blanket stitch. It is so much less stressful and much, much faster, which helps me enjoy the process more!

For the quilting I did an all over meander in a variegated thread.
For the back, I used flannel and added my signature mark; my monogram.
I love it and we use this one a lot. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cheese & Crackers

One of my favourite quilts of all time is the Cheese and Crackers by Atkinson Designs. (I guess I DO call every quilt my favourite!). 

Here is my version below. This is the one the family uses when we watch tv. 

The colours are bright and vivid. The binding is a black polka dot (LOVE!).

The colours are so "happy" that I named the quilt Be Happy and used left over fabric to applique "Be Happy" on the back. I deliberately placed the "y" as dropping off for fun!
It is quilted with an edge to edge design in variegated thread (also LOVE)!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Swirled Christmas Tree (2012)

Here is Swirled Christmas Tree from Cherry Blossom designs. It was originally a wall-hanging size, but I enlarged it to make it a large throw size. Used my favourite blanket stitch. 

I backed it with flannel & quilted swirls in a blue variegated thread. 

I may have a wee problem with Christmas quilts. Swirled Christmas Tree is number three. Then, I saw this one below. Isn't it awesome? The first verse of "T'was the Night before Christmas" appliqued in a tree-shape!!! Can't wait to make it! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hobo Quilt

This quilt was a nightmare to make. It took nearly 3 years & is the primary reason I stopped blogging in 2011. The directions weren't great & it was as if the project were cursed. Everything that could go wrong went wrong with this quilt. I got so discouraged I gave up on it many, many times. But, it finally got done, quilted & shipped to its recipient. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pineapple Quilt

A Pineapple quilt was on my quilting bucket list. I saw one hanging in my LQS and just had to make it!

I started this quilt in April of 2014 & was finished just a couple of weeks later. 

I used the Creative Grids Pineapple Ruler. It was a bit confusing at first, but after 3 blocks it made sense. I am thrilled with the results. I'd definitely use & recommend the ruler! 

It's just waiting to be quilted. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Family Tree Quilt

Nothing new to report with Aurora. Still awaiting the replacement pattern that I ordered.

But I will take the opportunity to show another one of my 2014 finishes. This one is "Family Tree" by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. I love her patterns & am just delighted with how my version turned out. I modified mine a bit by using checkerboard borders rather than the appliqué versions suggested in the pattern.

Here's the photos.

I started this one is September of 2013 & finished it (including the quilting & binding) in March of 2014. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spin Wheels

American Patchwork & Quilting is one of my absolute favourite quilt mags! I just love it! 

The February edition had a great pin wheel pattern called "Spin Wheels". 

At our semi-annual quilting retreat in September I completed my version (below). I love this quilt, but there are 2 things I love especially: 1) aside from the oatmeal background, every single fabric came from my scrap bin. Not my stash, but my SCRAP BIN! Isn't that great??? It was neat to see fabrics I had used in quilts more than 10 years ago and hadn't seen since. It was a bit of "quilting memory lane", 2) my monogram in the corner. I have been using my monogram on the back of quilts for years, but once I saw how it looked on the front in Whimsical Garden I decided to do it again and I LOVE IT!!!

One thing I did not like about this quilt was the time it took to make the half square triangles. I forgot how much time those HST's take!

The quilt looks very red & green in photos, but it's more red, blue & burgundy in real life. 

Can't wait to get it quilted up and start using it!