Sunday, May 29, 2011

Batik Braid Update - I can't believe I quilted this!! and a giveaway!

I'm about half way done with the quilting.  Oh, this is going to take a while. But I thought I'd share a little of the progress.  I am really liking it!!  I can't believe I quilted the free form feathers.  It just amazes me.  When I started the FMQ challenge, I could barely do one decent feather.  Three weeks later, lots of drawings and lots of practice and I was able to do this.   I do have to say that while I was doing this on my wonderful domestic machine, I kept thinking  "I really want a long arm".    My shoulders are a little tight, no matter how many times I told myself "drop your shoulders, relax the shoulders" it just didn't work for me. Seems as though my brain thinks hands when I say shoulders and my hands would go all limp.  I need to find some trick to get my shoulders to drop and relax.  I used a some of the left over layer cake on the back.  This is heavily quilted by I used bottom line on the top and bottom which is a nice thin thread so it's not all that stiff.  We'll see how it is after it gets washed.

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Have a happy memorial day.  Thanks to all those that served or have had to sacrifice for those that have.

The rain has stopped and just in time, heading over to a friends for a nice dinner!!

To celebrate my excitement on winning my first ever giveaway and finishing the Batik Braid quilt, I'm giving away the remains of the layer cake.  28 in total - two of each of those shown in the picture (sorry about the shadows on the pic).  These are Timeless Treasure Tonga Treats - Sugar Plum.  Actually I just don't really know what to do with layer cakes. So if you would like to win the Sugar Plum fabric, just leave a comment and let me know what you do with your layer cakes.  I really do want to know.  My random number picker (my husband) will activated on Wed evening.

If you need some inspiration check out the design walls at Judy's and  Esther has some WOW things going on at her site.   Also linking up with Lily Quilts
Fresh Sewing Day

Friday, May 27, 2011

H2H quilt done and ready to quilt the batik braid

I finished the Urban Cabins.  I pieced one large one on the back.  This time I was able to center it much better.  I marked the middle of the back and the front and things lined up so much better!!  I just need to wash it and get it in the mail.  I think I have enough time to make one more before the deadline.

I did a practice run of the feathers for the batik braid quilt and I think I'm ready to go with it.  I was really surprised how easy it was.   I'm going to do the feather pattern in the corners and some mctavishing between the braids and around the feathers.  Still not sure what I'll actually do for the braids and the border.  I'm hoping I think of something soon!!  This will end up being a table runner if I finish it. It's the back, the front has lovely green chalk marking the stems and the rough registration lines, this side is prettier right now.

And look what I got in the mail today.  It's the first time I've ever won a giveaway, very exciting.   With the urban cabins done, I'm down to 5 quilts that are either in progress or waiting to be quited.  I think this will provide some inspiration for new project.   I'm just about ready to start something new, or at least start thinking about something new.  I do have to get that Baltimore Album done by then end of June, oh why can't I get going on that one????

There are some wonderful quilts and goodies posted at Sarah's today, stop by and take a look! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

H2H top is done and dreaming of feathers

I finally finished the H2H top.  I"m pretty happy with it.  I just have to piece the back.  I think I have enough of the colors left to do a large urban cabin for the back.  I just don't want to use white on the back so I'm trying to find a different color other than white.  Any suggestions?  I think I'm going to quilt large pebbles in the white space and maybe just stitch in the ditch on the cabins.  Maybe some twirly ferns on the border.  I'm really into the FMQ at the moment and need to take advantage while I'm in the mood!

And I finished the border on the batik braid quilt.  I've been drawing some designs out for the large purple triangle areas.  I just got the DVD set from Kim Brunner - "Twirly Whirly Feathers".  Oh it was wonderful!!  If you want to do free form feathers, I highly recommend this one.  

Here's a few designs that I'm been playing with today.  the last one is my favorite.  I'm just really amazed that I could even draw these out.  This is my last feather practice quilt before the Baltimore Album.  I've cleared my "in progress list" to only two - the Baltimore Album and the wedding quilt.  The happy couple have not yet set a date, so I don't feel much pressure on that one.  But  the Baltimore Album is the last one on my list for PhD challenge which is closing the end of June.  I can do it I know I can!!

So which of the feather designs do you think for the batik braid quilt?  I"m think the feathers in the corners and then McTavishing between the braids and around the feathers.  Not really sure how to quilt the braids and the border.  I want those to be the same design.  Maybe some fern like feathers there, hmmm a little stumped on that part.  But I still have to piece the back so I have a little time.

Don't forget to stop by Judy's to see what is on everyones design wall this Monday, so much inspiration!

And Esther started a WOW (WIP on Wed).  She always has something amazing going on over there, stop by and see what everyone else is doing).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just a little sewing this week

I did get my braid quilt center done.  Someone suggested that I leave the braid strips as is and I just LOVED that idea.  I'm gong to take the remaining logs and piece a darker border to frame it nicely.  I'm trying to come up with a wonderful feather design to go in the corners and then try some McTavishing on the remaining purple space.  Not real sure how to quilt the braids themselves, but there will be lots of quilting on those too!!

And I finished the boxes in boxes quilt.  This one is for me and Rocco, we have lap time on the floor.  I sit on the floor spread the quilt out and he jumps in my lap.  He's a german short hair pointer, but he thinks he's a little lap dog!!  I'm so happy to have a quilt of my own for watching tv and snuggly with my puppy from time to time.  The colors are perfect for me.  And I pieced the back, very excited about that.  It was practice for the H2H quilt.  I almost got this one centered right but I think I know what I need to do to get the H2H quilt just right!

And here is it just waiting or me in my chair!!   Stop by Sarah's to see what everyone else has done this week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A wonderful Sewing Weekend

Lots of fun stuff this weekend.  It rained all weekend, so I sewed!!  Of course that means twice as much garden work next week, but that's ok.  I don't mind delaying the pain when I got so much done.

I actually finished the Mirage Bargello top..  I thought for sure this would never be completed, I really had no desire to work on it.  And then one day I decide, I'll just do a couple of rows.  So I got out the pattern, the panels and did 4 rows.  Then I did another 4, then I only had 12 left and just got it done.   At one time I had grand ideas of making a wonderful pieced Bargello border, but that was just a dream.   By the time I finished the last row, all I wanted was the solid fabric to put that last border on.    This is going to hang in the kids living room once it's quilted.

And I just haven't been able to get enough FMQing since I did the FMQ Challenge.  I'm working on curved feathers and feathers that fill up an entire space.  This is the boxes in boxes quilt.  It's a quilt for me!!  Can you believe I don't have my own quilt???  It's just my colors and it's a great quilt for lap time with Rocco.  I love a lot of quilting on my quilts.  He's a little lap dog trapped in a big body.  So we have lap time on the floor.  I spread the quilt in my lap and he jumps in.  If I'm too tired to sit on the floor I get half for me on the chair and half for him on the floor.  Oh and the back is just adorable, but that will have to wait until it's finished.

And the last thing I was working is the batik braid quilt.  This one is for my niece.  She really likes the quilts and loves purples so this one is for her.  The Cyber Quilters bucket item this month is braids, so it's time to get this one done!!  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger' Quilt Festival

Amy has created this virtual quilt show to coincide with Quilt Market in the spring and fall of each year.  For those of us unable to go to Quilt Market, it gives us a wonderful opportunity to share and be inspired by other's quilts.  I encourage you to hop over to Amy's site and submit a quilt of your own, and then make sure you take a look all all the incredible quilts that are linked!  Select this link,

 Directions to my Heart was made for my husband because the dog ate his other quilt. That's right, for some crazy reason the dogs loved to chew on his quilt.  I had repaired it twice, but the third time I was done and the old quilt was given to the dogs. Fingers crossed, they haven't chewed on a quilt since I gave them the old one. But on to the new quilt.  This is one that is partially my design.  I took an EQ7 quilt and modified it.  I do want to start designing my own quilts some day, but this was about as close as I could get for now.  It was in electronic form (on the computer only) for about six months.   I actually thought it was going to be too hard and I wouldn't be able to complete it.  But one day something stirred in me and suddenly I was brave, I can do this!!!  So we went shopping for fabric.   My husband picked the fabrics, I had veto power but only had to use them once.

I learned on this project that a bias tape covers mistakes wonderfully!!  on the radiant beauties, that small circle at the corner of the block was just a bit to much for me.  The small curved seams weren't working, ugh what a mess.  So I appliqued the small red circles on.  But when it came time to sew the blocks together, again I was having trouble matching the seams.  So I simply took my 1/4 inch bias tape maker, made some orange bias tape, sewing it on and problem solved!!!  There's more than one way to get things done.  Here's a picture of the quilting.  I tried not to get too heavy in the quilting, mostly SITD.  On the blue I tried to add a pattern that went with the rest of the quilt.

If  you are interested the pattern in EQ7 format and in PDF for those that don't have EQ7 is available here  .   This was the first time that I ever put a pattern together so lots of learning going on.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Smell the Spring

I don't often post about my kids  on the blog as this is quilting blog and I use facebook for all the fun family stuff. But today, is my youngest daughters last day of high school.  My goodness, where does the time go?  Seems like only yesterday we were signing her up for preschool.    This particular child had a world studies class this year, it's a multi year program and they created a "Senior Memory Book".  They talk about what they've learned and how they have changed over the last 4 years and profess all their new found wisdom for those that have time remaining in the program.  There was part of hers that I thought was very insightful and certainly applicable to how I approach quilting (hmmm maybe the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree???)

To quote my little Allison:
"For those who still have many years ahead for themselves the best thing I can say is to "Smell the Spring".  Enjoy the time spent (doing what you are doing), there is no better way to live than to enjoy the position you are in at any moment in time.  Do not take it too serious because, there are far more important things ahead.  Do not strive for perfection, you will never be satisfied.  You will be stuck looking at all the improvements you could be making instead of actually appreciating how much you have the end you need to try your hardest in everything you do, but if failure is to happen, learn to look back and enjoy everything you have done in your life and come back in effort to improve. "

While she wrote this about her high school years, it certainly is applicable to so many things.  Try hard, learn, love and have fun.  Isn't that what it's all about?  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fun with EQ7

The FMQ challenge has created a monster.  I just can't stop.  I have all my projects for FMQ done, and really felt the need to get another one to practice more.  I had the blocks from a leaders and enders project ready to go, so now I just need to get the back done.  This is boxes in boxes with the left over scraps from my Irish Stars quilt.

I had the block in EQ and tried the Kaleidescope feature and just loved the what came out!!  

I did the same thing with the H2H quilt.  Here's the original and then three of clip and flip version - what fun!!  One block and the wonderful changes that can be done so quickly!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to All the Mom's out there.

And to celebrate Mother's day I finally finished the snowman collector quilt!!  YIPPEE!!  This one seemed to take forever.  Only one left on the waiting to be quilted list, that feels so much better.  And I finished it just in time for the last day of the FMQ challenge.

For the last day of the FMQ challenge I quilted mittens on the green border.  They aren't perfect but I like to call the imperfection "whimsical".  I was going much too fast, cuz I just wanted to be done!!!  As I've said before I'm not a perfectionist and this is a cutesy sorta of quilt.

And last, I thought I would share a little picture of the change in seasons here in the Midwest.  Here's the Winter Wonderland picture.

And the Spring is blooming picture. what a difference a couple of months makes!!  Yes that is the same patio furniture in the picture above, same spot, crazy huh??

And best of all was the Mother's day feast!! My goodness it was good!

Friday, May 6, 2011

H2H progress

I put the blocks together for the H2H quilt, Urban Cabins  (yikes I didn't finish the snowman quilt yet!).  But now I'm thoroughly motivated to get all those little snowmen quilted.

I did make some progress on the snowman collector quilt, just embarrassing to show how little....ah but wait until Sunday!!  That's when I should have something on that one.  Only three days left for the FMQ challenge and this was top on my list to finish.

Stop by Sarah's to see what everyone else is doing.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

3 finishes this weekend!!

Lots of FMQ this weekend.  I finished both Summer Breeze quilts.  One will go in my baby shower stash the other is going to Happy Chemo along with the Pastel String Quilt.   I was trying to get larger free motion patterns rather than the smaller tighter ones that feel so comfortable.  I like how it turned out.  Still a bit dense, but much less so that what I normally do.

 I also finished Tyler's Bargello.    Kinda hard to see the quiting on this one.  I just went diagonally through all the squares.  I have chocolate brown minky on the back and it really doesn't show the quilting very well.    Just went with simple lines on the border.  I really wanted to do a curved grid on the borders, but by the time I got to the borders, I just wanted to be done!  So that cuts my "waiting to be quilted list" in half.  I started on the Snowman Collector, but just not really feeling that one yet. Need to get it done!!

I've been participating in the FMQ challenge and making some place mats with the practice pieces.      I'm working on larger scale patterns with different fills.  If they turn out ok then I have nice little place mat.  If they don't, well it is just practice so no loss. Lots of fun this weekend.   Sharon at Vroomans Quilts had a great post on Stash Manicure a while ago about using common things from the local home improvement store for quilting.  I've never been able to use gloves for FMQ.  She suggested using the latex gloves found locally.  I tried them and absolutely loved it  (and so did my shoulders!).  They worked like a charm and I could feel the quilt through them, which is what I really need.  Thanks for such a great tip Sharon!