"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Quality Quilting Time

Today was a no-school day, and I got to stay home.   And played "hooky" from the grading that I brought home to get done over the weekend.   Will have to work on that tonite and tomorrow, but that's okay because I had fun today.  =)  

I finished up one UFO that had been in progress this year - a set of BOM blocks that I made using block patterns from the BOM on my Quilted Snail website.   I started making the blocks as a part of a group of friends from a yahoo group that I am in called QuiltChicks.   I wanted to use up a set of FQ's in Halloween colors that I had inherited from an online friend 8 yrs or so ago.  I used a candy corn print as the common fabric in all of the blocks.    I had finished the blocks yesterday, but then ran into a momentary block because I couldn't decide what color to use as the sashing between the blocks.   I'd initially thought that I would sash them in white, but once I laid them out I realized that wasn't going to work.   Ended up going to bed thinking about it and by the time I work up this morning I had decided to use a bright lime green stripe as the sashing.   Cornerstones are more of the candy corn print.   The middle border is the final bits of the 5 different FQ's that I used in the quilt. Am happy with how the quilt turned out.    Haven't decided if I'll donate this one or quilt it and see if I can sell it.  Colors in the quilt are much brighter than in the pic above.

Am still thinking about what to do next to the teddy bear quilt.   I had a bunch of 3.5" blocks (unfinished) in my orphan block tote in colors that coordinate with the panel and what I've added so far.   They have a muslin background which works perfectly with the cream background in the panels.  The pic to the left shows one possible layout.

The problem is that I need to add more width to the quilt before adding more to the length.   So I'm thinking I need to just add the blocks to the sides of the quilt.   there is a small size variation between the blocks so I will border them with more muslin and then trim them to a final size (probably about 5" or 5.5") so that they are all the same.   Then will sew them together and the strips to the quilt.   Once this one is finished, I already have the perfect fabric for backing because I found the coordinating yardage in my stash this morning when I was looking for something else.   This one will likely be a donation quilt for Sunshine Quilts.   Or I may send it to the ministry to single moms that a friend of mine in Phoenix is the executive director of.

Next up to work on though is to prep 4 more blocks from the pumpkin BOM that has been a UFO for way too may years and finish getting stuff ready for the quilt  retreat I'm headed to this next weekend.  I also need to start thinking about what I want to donate for a silent auction for the building fund at the church I attended in Garland.   Need to go through the ones I've already got finished up to see if I have something finished that will work.

Gratitudes -
1. My niece graduated from AIT for the Army Reserve and is headed home.   And I get to see her abnd her mom tomorrow when they'll stay overnite with me.  =)
2. For God's provision of all that I need even when funds are tighter than I'd like them to be.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thinking about borders and color......

.....about what to add to one of the current quilts in progress.    I like how it's turning out so far, but still am not sure how to make it wider before adding a final border.   I do know that I want to use the two border strips that I cut off of the panel before squaring up the two panels.       I'm thinking that I might like to keep the asymmetrical look to it, but not sure about that either.

And I've been thinking about color and how I choose them for my quilts since reading a post by an online friend, Sophie, this week.     When I stopped to think about color and how I choose them in my work, I decided that I will typically find a focus print - fabric, picture, or some other means, and use that as a starting point for pulling additional fabrics and colors for my quilts.  Both of the quilt tops in the pictures here are examples of this.   The bears started "life" as a pillow panel that I'd stashed away many years ago, while the black and feathers started "life" as the leftover piece from a backing for a long ago finished quilt that I don't even remember now.   But what is common for both is that I'm using the prints as the basis for the colors that I'm going to add or have added to them in order to finish the quilts.   Now if only that would make it easier for me to figure out what to add to get the size that I needed.

1. The weekend is here.
2. Short work week coming up for Fall break!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Playing Hooky.....

......from all of the commissioned sewing here that is and working on a new quilt project.  I had so much fun this past weekend at the quilt retreat that I couldn't resist starting a new quilt project last night/this morning.     When finished it will probably end up as a donation quilt for Sunshine.

The focus print is actually two pillow panels that I bought about 15 years ago at Ben Franklin's in Phoenix.   The store went out of business many years ago and the fabric languished in my stash of fabrics that I had pulled for 'kits'.   When getting ready for the retreat last week I had pulled three coordinating fabrics which I've added in the asymmetrical piano key border that connects the two blocks.   The current size is about 20" wide by 38" long.   And I'm happy to say that I was able to correctly miter the corners to put the border on.  

Next up will be a narrow border of a darker color all the way around.   Then I want to put something down both sides, and then finish with a final border around the whole thing.    What I haven't figured out is what I want to put down the sides of the quilt to add width to it.    Any one got any ideas?

1. Weather out here has finally cooled off!
2. Only 2 weeks till the next quilt retreat.  =)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Retreat memories and tally

I was blessed to be able to attend a quilt retreat this weekend with a group of friends from an online quilt group, many of whom I've known in person and virtually since 1996 or so.    And one of my best quilt buddies came through this group of wonderful gals and their DH's.  

To set the stage, I hadn't really been able to do much sewing of quilty stuff for pleasure in more than a year.  While most everyone else was out shopping on Saturday or at the Amish dinner on Friday nite, I made up for lost time this weekend!   Pics below are of the pumpkin BOM blocks that I got the stitching finished on (BOM was started in 2005), 2 pairs of pillowcases that will be Christmas presents this year, 2 quilt tops that were done start to finish (one has been sold, the other will be a donation to sunshine), and the start of another donation quilt made from a leftover piece of backing from a long ago quilt.    Both of the quilt tops were made from 'kits' of coordinating fabric that I'd pulled yrs ago and never had time to make up.   Both used up multiple pieces of fabric from my stash, yeah!  

The black and peacock feather print is the top in progress.   I'm planning on adding a black border, then a piano key border in turquoise, lime, orange, and pink, followed by a narrow border in black and ending in one of the 4 colors in the piano key border.   This will also be a donation for Sunshine quilts.

I've got another retreat coming up in 3 weeks so I'll be prepping more (maybe all remaining) pumpkin blocks, prepping blocks for the other two BOM's that I've got in progress from this year and pulling more fabric kits to take with me to get made up and out of my stash.  

Gratitudes -
1. Safe travels this weekend to/from the retreat, good times with friends and my roommate for the weekend.
2. For the blessing of knowing that I have a job to go to tomorrow morning.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Been a while since I posted and I've actually been able to do some quilty type work for the first time in what seems a long time.

One of the things I managed to get done was to pull backing fabrics to go with the quilts I finally found that are for Sunshine quilts.   I knew when I had moved over a yr ago now that I had a tote filled with quilt tops for American Heroes and for Sunshine Quilts.   Well, that tote managed to stay hidden until a couple of weeks ago when it decided to make an appearance again.  These five pics are the ones that I made for Sunshine a couple of yrs ago and then never managed to get them sent off to be quilted by someone.   Thanks to today being payday I can finally afford to mail them off next week.   Just need to confirm with the quilter that that is ok.  Some of the fabric in them (upper right quilt and lower left quilt) is from Bev, a very special quilting angel that Sunshine misses very much.   I've still got some of her fabrics somewhere so her love for the kids will carry on as I have time to make it up.   The middle quilt on the right was made from the leftover fabric that I had in making up backings for the other 4 quilts.

 I finished up a couple of commissioned projects for a friend back in Dallas.   These included felt Wordless books and bean bags.   The bean bags are made out of cotton fabrics, with one side being solid green and the other side being a rail fence type block with 4 stripes.   They are supposed to finish at 4", but I ended up cutting the strips wrong and the blocks finished at 6".   Net result was that I had to remake the strip sets for the bean bags.   But because I hate to see fabric go to waste - especially as much as this would have been, I too the blocks that were too big and put them into a quilt top.   This quilt will end up going to American Heroes at some point in the future for the child of a service man/woman.

This weekend I'll be headed to a quilt retreat after getting out of school on Friday.   I'm taking lots of goodies to work on, and hopefully I'll make a dent in what I'm taking with me.  Among other things that I'm taking with me are blocks from 3 BOM projects - one of which I started back in 2005, the other two are from this year.   Here's a pic of the three blocks that I'm taking to do the buttonhole stitching on for the 2005 BOM.  I've got a number of other projects with me as well to work on including pillowcases for Christmas gifts and fabric for a sample block for my next block submission.  And I should say, I'm not taking a one of the commissioned garments that I need to get made up.   This weekend will be spent sewing on fun stuff.    I'll post a pic next week of what I get done over the weekend.  =)

Gratitudes -
1. The hot temps are finally gone!
2. Quilt Retreat is this weekend and I can afford to go again.