Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making Progress

My BTCT is coming along.  I've gotten two more blocks done.
This one is Block 22 but for me it's #17
Just finished the stitching on another block tonight, it still needs the embroidery, but that will be done at the end. In the pattern it's Block  20 but for me it's #18
I love the vase fabric on this block. I needed a green vase in the quilt but I didn't want a solid.  This project has me completely engaged, and a big part of that is seeing people post their 25 blocks and borders over at Beyond the Cherry Tree blog. 
What's got you engaged these days?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good Things in Life

Flowers from my boss. He said he had to make up for taking my quarter in a bet. I told him it's because I did a great job and made something happen and which meant I lost the bet!
Smoky the wild cat. She loves to come in the office and sit on my windowsill. Some days she'll come over and jump on my lap and cudddle for as long as I'll sit still. Other days she runs like a wild cat. She's such a cutie.
The best thing in my life. Who can resist this? Miss Annie all curled up as snug as a bug in a rug. She needed a nap after our 45 minute walk last night.
Oh, and a sale at your local quilt shop, that's the cherry on top of my week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Homespun Stars

Lest you think I've only had my hands on customer quilts, I thought I'd show some progress on these blocks. I can get 2 blocks started while I warm up my machine and then finish them off before I head upstairs. Plus I leave it set up so if I have a few minutes to spare, pieces are all ready to sew. I'm loving this and am saving all the trimmings for a mini version sometime in the future.
I've also completed 10 more Sisters Choice blocks, 52 done, 20 more to go.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Other Peoples Quilts

One of the biggest joys I have as a longarm quilter is seeing other peoples quilts. I love seeing their fabric selections, their piecing style,and I just love "talking quilts" to anyone.
This was a BOM that was made using Marti Michell templates. Elsie said each block went together perfectly, due to the precision cutting. To me that seems fussy, but whatever works. Lots of different ways to get the same result.
When I saw this quilt, it took me a minute to realize I have bolts of almost every one of these fabrics. My border fabric has a cream background instead of the black. E was lamenting on how long this was in the making and I was thinking.....geez, have I had that fabric for that long and done nothing with it? :-)

This next quilt was inspired by Kathie's cover quilt. Wow, what a difference brights and whites make!  I quilted it with a lime green specialty thread and I love it.  It's not mine  :-( but I know MF will love it when she picks it up tomorrow. 

It's quilted in a swirly, wavy all over freehand design.  She's taking this quilt to her daughters house, so when she visits her grandchildren, she will have a quilt to snuggle under.
Working on other quilts is such a treat, I feel honoured that I am entrusted with these treasures, if only for a short while.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bouncing Around

I finally am cutting into this FQ bundle of brushed home spuns. Using Primitive Muslin, color Pie Crust as the background, each FQ will produce two 12" liberated stars. 25 for each quilt. Yes, I'm making two quilts at the same time with the same fabric. Both will be gifted, one to my cancer surgeon when I graduate his 5 year plan (2014) and one for the Hospital Foundation to raffle off for funds for a digital mammography machine.
I've been making the sashing pieces as leaders/enders, so I finally had enough for another stack of 10. Making headway on this one, Sisters Choice, and I'm still loving it when I took out the stack of 9 patches this weekend.
Couldn't resist these charmers, I finished up the 1/2 square triangles I made last week. Using the sheets of paper, you get enough for seven blocks. I'm sure there will be more sewn on a future sew day. Just what I need, another WIP!
You may have seen a few of these around blogland. JT2 (Just Takes 2) is going to be a great skill builder for some and for others, a great refresher on techniques that we maybe don't use that much . My first set is at the LQS where we are going to meet once a month. If there is enough interest, a second group may be formed so check with Carol if you are interested.
And finally, a finished top. After auditioning all the possible colors for a border, I ended up with blue. Binding is made (same fabric) and the quilt is hanging in the "to be quilted" closet. 
I LOVE this quilt, now that it's together.
All the customer quilts I've done lately have been large and the one on my machine is no exception. (pics in next post) I bounced from the studio to my sewing room, back and forth, all day and worked on all the above projects. Yes, I took time out to walk my dog, the weather finally broke and the worst we had was wind on our walk, I'll take that over the rain any day.
Hope you all had a great weekend and got in some sew time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

I've got nothing! Well, nothing to show of my own.  I've been putting the borders on my 30's reproduction BOM, 2 done and 2 more are cut and ready to pin and sew. Then to make the binding and put it in "the pile".  line to get quilted.

Finished a large quilt for a customer on Sunday, 100+ x 100+. Yes, it was big. Loaded up another one for M.

Just Takes 2 is in progress, I made 3 blocks last night, so two more to go and I'll be on track. I'm going to demo Back Basting Applique at our first JT2 meeting at Fabric Etc.  This is a fun project so far and it will definitely get people outside their quilting box with the variety of techniques that have appeared in the first two installments of patterns.
A few years ago I taught my boss DebS to quilt. When someone wants to learn how to make a quilt, I won't teach them how to make a specific quilt. What I teach them is how to quilt, so then they can go and make anything they want. Here is Debs first project she did. After grumbling about the hand work that I insisted she do on this project, it is now hand quilted. Oh, and she has hand quilted several pieces in the meantime, has made numerous Hawaiian appliques and she now loves the hand work!
Great job Debs!

Hope you are all staying safe and warm with all the snow. Winter has arrived here in the NW.....brrrrrr. It was 11 in my little town last night!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sixteen Done...

and nine more to go.  I wanted to look at how far I've come with my BTCT quilt.  I could quit right now and have a beautiful piece, but I'm going to continue on and finish the last 9 blocks.

The picture isn't the greatest because I can't get far enough away. My wall only holds this much, so I'll have to find another place when I go to do the final layouts. The reason I put them all up was to see how many more blocks were baskets, wreaths etc and the help me with color choices. I see a purple basket in my future blocks. I've also ditched 2 patterns so I will make up something for those last 2 blocks. At this point, I don't know if they will be wreaths, baskets, or sprays, but I"m sure my quilt will let me know what it needs at that time.
On another note...
These are addictive and cute. Check out Liz's post and see her colorways.
Hope you get some sewing time in this weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This is only a Test

Do not adjust your monitor, I'm not starting a new project.  This is only a test.........maybe   ;-)

Liz, over at Quilterie, has named 2012 "The Year of Solids".  She emailed me about making this block at 5". Since I couldn't wrap my head around the measurements, (I'm an even kind of girl so a 6" block made more sense to me) Liz emailed me a picture of the vintage quilt. 

So I went home from work last night and made a few blocks..........I think the 5" finished is fabulous........ . .and isn't the cheddar and natural yummy??  Interesting how they look like different sizes by reversing the colors. 
Go for it!

who needs a cleaner design wall

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On my A Game

Yes, I have re-engaged on my Beyond the Cherry Tree project.  It's the 3 P's that will keep me going, Prep, prep, prep.  Selecting the colors and fabrics can really bog me down on this project and I have to kick myself in the butt and say "just pick something out of the box, it will work!"  With 25 blocks, you need a variety of prints and colors and althoughI didn't stick to the colors on the pattern, I did stick to reproduction prints.  The green in the vine is the only constant between all the blocks.

This is block 23, but I'm really not that far along.  I still have 15, 17, and 19 to 22 left to do, as well as the border.  I've got lots of cherries prepped, enough for the whole border but I see a few more blocks calling for circles.  All in good time.
Due to the amazing internet, I've stayed engaged in this project and seeing all the beautiful blocks from quilters around the world has kept me inspired and helped me along.  If you haven't checked out the blog where we have been sharing our BTCT, it's worth a peek.  All the contributors are listed and if you click on their name, you will see all their posts and blocks.  It's fun to see how others have interpreted this pattern.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just in Time

It doesn't get any closer than this. I did have a back up spool of YLI, just in case.

This is my first piece from Gwen Marstons workshop I took last May. I made a second one, quilted it and gifted it. This one is for me.

The finished size is 22 x 24 and I loved doing the hand quilting. No marking on the borders, I just guesstimated a needles length between each row of stitching and liked the angled lines, it works with the piecing in the center.  Tonight I'll start the hand stitching on the binding.
Solids are fun to play with, I'll be doing more this spring!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Are you "Taking 2" ?

I need a 12 step program, I admit it. I'm addicted to quilting and but I really don't want an intervention. I like to enable others so Carol and I have organized a Sew Along for the Just Takes 2 project that the Sentimental Stitches and Dear Jane ladies are doing this year.

9 yards of Kona Natural and 6 yards of Kona Rich Red and I'm off and running. If you live in my area, Whatcom County, and you want to join a group to keep you motivated or get help with any blocks, contact the amazing team at Fabric Etc in Bellingham and sign up for some monthly 2 color fun. You don't have to do red and white, cheddar and cream, blue and white, muslin and scrappy browns, whatever makes your skirt fly up! Check out the green and white one already posted.  You all know for me it's the Red and White.

We are going to meet on the 1st Sat of the month, starting in February.  You can sew or ask questions or come for coffee and a visit and show off your blocks.  Patterns will be supplied via the Just Takes 2 website, for free, on the 1st and 15th of the month.  After 4 months you will get the setting layout for that section of blocks, and at the end of 12 months, you will have completed all four quadrants of the quilt.  So come on, what's stopping you, I know you want to join in the fun.  The first set of blocks are cute, and fairly easy to construct.  It's going to be the 2 color combo that's going to make this quilt shine.

What 2 are you going to pick?


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starting with a Finish

A finish is a great way to start the new year! All the blocks are done, with the exception of trimming down a few of the appliqued pieces. I always like to cut the background bigger, that removes any stress of the block shrinking when doing the applique.
There will be a few set in seams to put this top togehter, but I think the final piece will be worth the effort. I just have to pay attention while putting the blocks together. There are lots of little "filler" blocks, Bow Ties, Pinwheels, and some Birds in the Air type blocks.

Here is my favorite block in the quilt.
With every quilt that I make, I always learn something. This BOM taught me a very valuable lesson. Don't sweat the small stuff, and when you think the small stuff is big stuff, look out, cus the big stuff will smack you into reality.
Thank you Carol, for not letting me bail on this project when the small stuff got the better of me. After setting it aside for a year to deal with the big stuff and then just picking away at it over the last year, I am going to have a quilt that I will treasure.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I wish that you all have the best year in 2012!

Christmas was over in the blink of an eye, my travels were uneventful, (which I like), and we have had the nicest weather for this time of year.

There was a bit of stitching over Christmas, I made this little redwork piece.  I bought the pattern here right before I left and it was a perfect travel piece.
I used the Auriful 12 Wt thread and I LOVED it.

Remember I posted that I had 6 blocks to go on my 30's reproduction BOM? Well....
here are 5 of the 6! whoohoo, I'm going to start the new year with a box of blocks turned into a quilt top.

Life is good!