Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another quilt done!

I finished machine quilting another quilt! Straight grid lines...I LOVE them...I have always loved straight grid lines (preferring the hand quilted ones)!
Here is a closer look! I still have to throw it in the wash to get rid of those basting stitches.
This quilt is going to be a gift for a family to keep that a secret for now!
I have to mention I am still not fond of machine quilting, but I can't imagine trying to hand quilt all the quilt tops I have done and I can't imagine hand quilting a quilt to give to someone where you just know they are going to use it lots and wash it lots!
And I counted up my quilt tops this week...I have four to machine quilt and one to hand quilt.
Here is another pair of socks- almost done. I just have to finish up the toes and weave in the ends. These will be a gift too!
Now with everything I have going on you would think that I would try to stay untempted by new projects, but that really isn't the case...
My temptations right now are...a couple of projects I have wanted to make for a long time, both of which I've started at least once and abandoned...Dear Jane or Farmer's Wife????
Or how about this temptation (I am VERY close to giving in)...a primitive sew a long from Jeni from the Willow
She is up to 6 blocks...
Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 8, 2014

I found OLD UFO's!

One thing about moving and getting re-organized is that you find things! This weekend I found old UFO's I had almost forgotten about.
Here are the UFO's I will actually do something with....
Two sashiko panels I originally thought I would frame, but now maybe they will be tote bags!
...And two stitcheries that will become part of  Christmas gift bags...
Here is a 'Promise Stitch' aka Double Stitch project. Many years ago my Mom and I each did one. She framed hers and I was going to do the same thing but never got around to it.
It's back on my list of things to do.
And here is one I may do something with...someday...
...Some very old Dear Jane blocks. I really am not sure If I will ever use them but you never know!
...And two samples I won't use but I will make these blocks again...for a quilt, not a sample. They are both quilts I have always wanted to make.
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Christmas is coming...and other stuff too!

It is feeling a bit like fall already and it seems like a good time to start thinking about Christmas.
When I got married, I gained three young adult what do I decide to do for them for Christmas...make quilts of course!
Son number one is a HUGE Saskatchewan Roughrider fan. It only seems right to make him a football themed quilt. I had bought a kit and added the football fabric to it. The pattern is "Crazy Eights" by Bits 'n Pieces. It is fast to cut and fast to sew. It's a fun quilt to make and perfect for a quick gift!  
So the important theme fabrics are the footballs and the watermelons (I am not sure why the fans wear watermelons on their heads, but they do!).
I finished piecing the quilt top yesterday. The kit included a pattern for an applique football but it just got lost on the quilt top with all the busy fabric.  It is a nice lap size...54"x62". Now I am going to see if I can find some football themed flannel for the backing to make it cozy.
And as a bonus...I have enough of the football fabric left that I can make a matching pillowcase.
And now that I am living in a city I thought it was time to join a quilt guild. The first meeting was Tuesday night so I went and joined the Prairie Piecemakers Quilters Guild. They seem like an active guild...I am really looking forward to being a member! They are doing a mystery quilt in their newsletter this year so I may just start that and see where it goes!
 I've been shopping for coasters and not finding anything I like. I wanted something different...after lots of wasted time Googling DIY coasters, I found this tutorial...I had some jute, found some round cork coasters at Michaels and got my glue gun out of hiding....
After the outside row is done, it gets much easier. My first coaster I had hot glue everywhere! I was really out of practice!
It was a fun and easy project and now I have coasters!!!
Now it is time to start thinking about a quilt for the next son...this one is going to be western themed. He loves cowboy's a place to start...
Happy Stitching!

Friday, August 29, 2014

A little machine quilting!

I finished the quilt!!! I looked back and found that I had basted it way back in October 2013...a long, long time ago.
It has been a while since I machine quilted and I am definitely out of practice! It didn't take me long to realize I had to pay attention...and here is what I figured out while quilting.
I need a new free motion quilting with a closed toe. I use water soluble thread to baste and I love it but my open toe foot keeps catching the thread and that means not very consistent stitch sizes and even pulled stitches.
I have to shift my quilt quite often (more often than I think I do) so it is not pulling and getting caught on the table extension corners and desk corners. All that gives me is inconsistent stitches
Take frequent stretch breaks. I know I want to get it done but rushing it will not give consistent stitches! Getting fatigued means not paying attention.
Pay attention to the density of the quilting. I found my stitching was further apart in the beginning and as time went on I was stippling a bit closer together.
 It's not too bad but it is worth paying attention too!
Most of all...don't just motor along.
Good machine quilting requires a person to pay attention to your speed and your stitch length.
It is all about consistent stitches!  
Over all, I am pleased with this effort and because I took the time to pay attention to the details I know my next quilt will be much better. I am on the road to improving my machine quilting!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A few days of quilting time!

It is wonderful what you can accomplish in just a couple of days of 'me' time!
My churn dash kit that I had barely started got a lot more done on it! Here are all the blocks done.
Many of the blocks are low contrast... 
A few are higher contrast...
It makes an interesting mix and certainly gives it an 'old fashioned' feel that I love.
Here it is all put together. I can't wait to quilt it (but first I have a few other quilts in the queue).
It was a generous quilt kit. These are the fabrics I have left.
It is definitely enough to make a small wall hanging.
Sometimes I wonder how many other people do things like I do. I thought I would share one of these things. When I am sewing on my borders I always pin them down loosely along the other edge to keep them from flopping about while sewing. I used to not pin that edge and they would flop around and get all askew on me...and just generally be a nuisance. Plus I often will pin the opposite borders on at the same time so the one you are not sewing would always flip over and I would have to straighten it. Now that I pin the loose side I always have well behaved borders!
And now that I have so many quilts in my machine quilting queue, I thought I had better get at them. It has been a while and I am out of practice so it is going to take me a bit of time to get my stitches nice and even again.
Happy Stitching!