Friday, December 31, 2010

2009 Challenge Review

I thought I would look back to my last UFO challenge. Two years ago I thought I would list ALL of my UFOs and tackle them one at a time. I didn't just list projects that were unfinished. I also listed projects that weren't yet started.
On that list I had 24 items! (You can see the post HERE) Of those items listed, I finished 5 quilts:
  1. Christmas Trees first quilt top,

  2. Tree of Life,

  3. Botanical Shop Hop Quilt,
  4. Disappearing 9-patch,

  5. Lap Quilt Swap IV

And I "De-commissioned" 2 more projects on the list: Woodsy Center - This became the back of another quilt, Lost Blues - this one I took apart and used the fabrics elsewhere

Another 5 of these previously listed projects I just plain never started. So I'll take them off my list until they become either projects in process or get used elsewhere.

That leaves me with only half of the original 24. But of course I've added more unfinished projects to the pile so not all of these original 12 made it too my new UFO challenge list. But that's ok, I've come to realize I will always have projects in process. Its the thrill of starting something new!

There will always be quilters who are more productive than me, with better skills and bigger fabric budgets. But I will always love my projects best, because they are mine.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quiltmaker Finishes

I recently challenged myself to take two Quiltmaker patterns and finish them in a scrappy style. Two quilts tops in two weeks. It wouldn't have been that bad if I would have been able to take a break from all my other responsibilities.

Still, it was a lot of fun. Here is what I came up with:

First is a controlled scrap quilt. I used all warm, fall colors to make the pattern "Confetti" found in Quiltmaker on page 22 of the March/April '10 issue No. 132.

This second quilt is entirely scrappy. I didn't control the colors in this crib-sized version of the "Sweet Morsels" pattern found in Quiltmaker on page 60 of the November/December '10 issue No. 136.

The really fun thing is that Quiltmaker magazine invited me to work with them on their 2011 patterns. I'll keep you updated as I can!



Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 UFO Challenge

I am going to participate in a UFO challenge for the year 2011. If you want to participate as well, go to Patchwork Times. Participants number their unfinished projects 1-12 then each month Judy will pick a number and that’s the project you have to finish. I'm taking the challenge.
Here is a list of the UFOs I plan to complete in 2011:

  1. Orange Road to California - blocks completed, just needs sashing and sewing, quilting and binding.

  2. Christmas Bauble Runner

  3. Around the World Cottage Quilt

  4. Old Tobacco Road (a Bonnie Hunter Mystery) - a lot of little quilty pieces, lots of work left to do... this is a big one.

  5. Kaleidoscope Quilt - Not sure what the status on this is, I took this picture more than a year ago and haven't looked at it since! I blogged about it HERE:

  6. Flannel Crazy Quilt - This is another quilt whose status is unknown. I haven't looked at this quilt since I took this picture more than a year ago. I blogged about this HERE:

  7. Cameron's Calender Quilt - This quilt I made with my 5yr old son. We never put the blocks together, my son is now just 7 and has forgotten about it almost. Think it's time to finish this one. Here is a picture of my son at the age of five:

  8. Starstruck Quilt - These fabrics were chosen by my daughter, whom this was originally intended for. It's a series of blocks that need to be put together. I had intended to do the quilt as you go method on it, but are now trying to do the just-get-it-done method. I blogged about the day I started this quilt HERE.

  9. Robot quilt - Almost done!

  10. Batik Triangle Quilt - Not much further I'm afraid from this picture.

  11. Cinders Best Day quilt - I started this quilt, but I didn't have the skills to finish it. Now I can finish it.

  12. Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll - I'm not sure how old a project has to be to get onto the UFO list since I started this project this month, but I'm already behind and it already got shoved aside for some other projects. But I sincerely want to finish it.
I do plan to complete several more quilts as well. All my normal goings on. So here we are. I needed to choose some of my UFOs to finish up and I guess I could have spent more time choosing the projects, but these are the ones I've chosen.
My biggest goal is to complete more than I start.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Some Finishes from the year.

Here are a few finishes I don't think I posted this year. It's hard to remember what I blogged about. It was a roller coaster year, and the end of last year as well. My father had so many illnesses, he was like the energizer bunny really. The end was hard for me though.

Yowza!! I didn't mean to go there! Here are a few of my finishes from the year:

This is one that was published this year, but most of the photos I took I sold the rights to in conjunction with an article I wrote this year. The picture is of my daughter with the quilt in my front yard:

This is a quilt I finished sometime this year. I can't remember when... I call it Garden Path. We use this blanket for warmth, so it sits on a random bed at our home, but not on top where it will be seen. Currently it's on my bed underneath the quilt we have on top - the one on top of my bed is one I made last year called Botanical Shop Hop Quilt. (if you follow the link to see it, you will need to scroll about half way down the post) but the one I finished this year is here:

These two pictures are of the Batik Spice Market quilt I made for a friend of mine, I did the piecing and binding, but sent out the quilting to the longarm quilter:

This quilt I finished for the daughter of a friend of mine, come to think of it, I finished a quilt for all three of her children, but it seems I only snapped a picture of this one:

This is my picnic quilt, that we've used several times, but it's never seen the out of doors! I know you've seen this before HERE:

This is the second quilt I made identical to this. I made it, then realized I sent it's twin to the same cousin's last baby. I can't have two siblings with identical baby quilts, so now it sits on my shelf without a baby to belong too:

This is the replacement quilt I made for my above mistake. This one went to baby Gavin:

This quilt went to my good friend, whom lives so far away now.

Well, that's all for now!



Still not what I intended, but a little closer...

Well, it's a little closer to what I was thinking.

But the same problem that everyone agreed on, the border fabric, is still there. I auditioned several other fabrics in my stash to replace it, but I wasn't happy with any of them.

I just don't have it in my budget right now to go fabric shopping so I'm probably just going to leave it as is and move on to the applique.
I'll post a picture of the finished quilt when I get finished.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Greenpiece Month Seven. Two piecing alternatives.

Make Flying Geese Blocks:

Place two 2 7/8" squares of color 1 or 2 at opposite corners of a 5 1/4" background square, right sides together. Stitch 1/4" each side of the center diagonal lines of the color 1 or color 2 squares. Cut apart between the stitching lines. Press the color triangles away from the background triangle.

Place a 2 7/8" square of the other color right side down on the corner of the background triangle and stitch 1/4" on each side of the diagonal line of the color square.

Cut apart between stitching lines.

Press triangles away from center. Makes four flying geese units with colors one way and four with colors opposite. Each unit should measure 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Now make unit for center of star.

Take a 4 1/2" background square and place 2 1/2" squares of color 1 or 2 in opposite corners, right sides together.

Stitch on drawn lines. Trim 1/4" from stitching line and press triangles away from cneter. Place 2 1/2" squares of same color on remaining opposite corners of background square and stitch. Trim 1/4" from seam lines, press. Each unit should measure a 4 1/2" square.

Now arrange center unit, flying geese units and 2 1/2" background squares to make the block. Sew pieces into three rows, sew rows together to make two blocks.

Alternately you can assemble this block on-point.

The applique blocks can be set in wool or in cotton. Wool is pictured here.

The alternate colorway is in thirties prints.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Perfect Picnic Quilt

This summer I heard a lot of talk in the cyber-quilting community about Picnic quilts. I saw all many pictures of adorable quilts and everyone was calling them Picnic quilts... Picnic Quilts?

At first I thought perhaps these were a specific kind of quilt. You know, like log cabin quilts. Or perhaps this was a reference to a technique, like applique. But looking at the pictures, these were clearly not of any specific type, style, technique, or anything I could easily group together except all being exceptional quilts.

But still, I mean, okay, really. Do people REALLY go on actual picnics? I'm talking, put a blanket on the ground and actually eat on it!

Well, yes, as it turns out, they do. I don't know about all of you out there in cyber-space, but Victoria of Bumble Beans actually showed a picture, not only of her Picnic Quilt, but also of them actually USING it... for it's intended purpose. Victoria does EVERYTHING well, and if I were a petty person, I would probably be bitter and jealous. Fortunately I don't have a petty bone in my body... not one.

Now, I was raised (partially) by a good Italian catholic family. I firmly believe in the value of mommy guilt. If you don't feel guilty about not being the best mother possible, clearly you just aren't trying hard enough. I'm not sure if this has actually improved my parenting abilities, but I am pleased to say that it has increased my Tums budget from all the heartburn it's given me. You did know that Tums is an excellent source of calcium, right? I feel I'm doing my part on the war against Osteoporosis.

Now, lets pair my love of a good quilting project with my over-active mommy-guilt complex... and voila! I have a new project. I decided to make my family a picnic blanket.
Because, being rather realistic, my children can be messy at times, I decided to use feedsack fabrics that could hide spilled foods well. That way I don't have to clean it every time we use it.
Also, I didn't want to spend too much time on it, because I have many other projects on my plate.

So I used my Accuquilt Studio (die #50222 or GO! die #55016) and made myself a quick picnic quilt!

Trouble is, it's December and not quite warm enough for a picnic. I'm never one to let minor details, such as weather, to get in the way when I'm on a mission. Especially a mission induced by a good healthy dose of mommy-guilt!

We're going to use that quilt darn it!

Yup, it's an indoor, middle of the winter, picnic!



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I LOVE Words!

I love words, and I love quilts, but I love word quilts most of all! Several years ago I stumbled on some tutorials posted on Bonnie Hunters website -- funny that I found Bonnie's site after a google search lead me to Tonya (not the other way around)!

Since then, I've followed Tanya's blog, her challenges, her travels, her definate opinions about TV shows (Some I share, Some I don't) and the heartbreaking ailments of her adorable cat. Fortunately he came out much better in the end than my Cinder, who also suffered from kidney failure. But mostly, I followed the quilts!

I wish I could say I mastered Tanya's fabulous methods, but alas I'm just a beginner. Still, Tanya was my inspiration to push on when my results were... well, less than stellar.

I could muster up some photos of earlier works but... well, best to let sleeping dogs lie. I sure made a few dogs! But I find a photo of the block I sent to Tanya for her Eek, Slither, Boo! quilt. In the photo below you can see my son 'Howling' at the moon so to speak. He was 5 and quite happy to help me show off that block.

You can see the entire quilt HERE, well, most of the quilt anyhow.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Block Party Quilters Quilt Show

For your viewing pleasure, I'm sharing some pictures from the Block Party Quilters quilt show.


by Nancy Lee Chong

Nancy was the featured artist of the show. She is well known for her hawaiian applique patterns and art quilts. There were many of her pieces showcased at the show, but I only took a picture of this one, which was a bit of a departure for her.

Her quilts are huge and all of them are hand quilted.

Strippy Scrappy Trees
By Jean Whiteaeker
Sorry this picture isn't better. I took it on my iPhone.

Miniature Obsession

By Diane Becka
My hand should give you a good idea of the scale of this little piece!

Colonial Applique
By Charlotte Tucker

Stairway to Cat Heaven
By Audrey Fisher

This pattern if from a 1997 McCall's Quilting magazine

Daisy Wholecloth
By Linda Tellesbo

This whole cloth quilt uses the shadow applique process which creates the cream colored fabric and white trapunto.

Airing the Quilts by Donnah Burke

This quilt is an original design by Donnah. She both hand and machine pieced the quilt. The quilting is machine quilting.

Donnah took commercial green fabrics and overdyed them to get the variety of greens she wanted.

Bali Wedding Star

by Linda Tellesbo

Hexagon Mosaic Quilt
by Eileen Merrick

Eileen said she got her inspiration from a quilt she saw at the Bellevue Art Museum made in 1845. It took her almost a year and a half to complete.

The quilt was hand pieced and has 11,374 half-inch hexagons.

This quilt was hand pieced and machine quilted. This shot with my fingers gives you a good idea of the scale.

Bodacious "Lady of the Lake"
by Martha Olson

History has this old quilt design made up of a larger half-square triangle surrounded by smaller half square triangles as being named after Sir Walter Scott's beloved 1810 poem "Lady of the Lake"

It is one of the few designs that have no other name. Found as early as 1820 in Vermont, I still see it often today.

Scrappy Triangles and Squares

by Valerie Bishop

I like this quilt. I love scrappy quilts and I love triangles. This is a simple, traditional quilt and I like how the border is also scrappy.

There were so many more quilts that were beautiful! Leave me a comment and let me know which of the quilts pictured is your favorite.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Cotton Boll is Rolling Away...

So, just as soon as I finished Step One of the Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery quilt, Bonnie went and published Step Two! It took me some time, but when I saw that Step Three was going to be published I decided just to finish Step Two.

Fortunately I had the right die and cut out the triangles in minutes. Shortly after that I had those pesky HSTs all sewn up.

And so now we have Step Three. It's a doozy! I think my schedule is lost. I have work deadlines, personal deadlines and I really wanted to get this done quickly. But perhaps, I can just keep plugging away at it!



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Quilt Club Show n' Tell

So here is a little show and tell from my last quilt club. (We aren't a guild, there are guilds for that sort of thing). This is just us girls who get together and sew, we have common projects and individual projects. I've been sharing our common projects every month, but here are some of our individual projects.

Snowman Hand Embroidery Quilt top:

I wish I had taken a better picture of this, the beautiful hand embroidery doesn't show up very well, but the snowman is fabulous.

Feathered Friends Redwork:

The redwork was all done by hand. What is difficult to see is where she hand embroidered the name of each bird in neutral. The block above says "Sparrow"

Below you see the entire quilt. It took her six months to complete the piecing and the embroidery and then she took a weekend to finish the machine quilting.

This is a Roxanne Carter Block of the Month:

This pattern is Brave New World by Fons and Porter:

Finally this beautiful quilt is from Jennifer Chevarini's sampler pattern from the Elm Creek Quilters:

It's 140 six inch blocks, all with sashing, hand quilted. I wish I would have had my camera with me and not just my phone! It's quite stunning in person.