Monday, May 18, 2015

Design Wall Monday 5 - 18 - 2015

I had a good sewing day while at the beach house last week.  I am now working on finishing two of the three newest quilts I have started.   I've got the inner border sewn.  I'm now sewing the string pieced blocks together for Love Shack.  I see a finished top coming soon! 

I spent more time yesterday working on Galaxy than I did on Love Shack.  With the V Block ruler from Studio 180, as with all Deb Tucker's rulers that I own, you make the block slightly larger and trim it to the exact size.  The down side of this is that's a LOT of trimming.  The up side is the blocks go together perfectly and you don't need to trim the blocks up at the end. I ran out of units just as I was finishing up for the day yesterday.  

On to my goals.  Last week I was very successful.  Let's hope I can continue the trend for this week! 
Week of May 11, 2015
Trim antique quilt
Make and apply binding to antique quilt
Work on Galaxy blocks
Work on Love Shack
Have fun at the beach

Week of May 18, 2015
Continue on Galaxy Blocks
Load and begin to quilt Wild Dogs
Keep progressing on Love Shack
Figure out Christmas blocks to make a table runner 

I leave you with a picture of Pat and I on the Nags Head Pier.  It was chilly most of the days we were there but we did spend a little time sitting on the beach and enjoying the surf.  

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times and Love Laugh Quilt

Happy Quilting All! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

15 Minute Studio Spiff Up #18

OOPS!  I missed last week, sorry.  I was out of town at Kevin's house helping with getting Ellie to daycare. Two weeks ago Vicki commented that she needs some ideas on organizing finished projects.  Yes, they can overwhelm us.  As I start a new project Pat always asks me who is getting that one.  My standard response if I don't have a plan for it is "It's going to live here for awhile." Yep, we do tend to gather lots of finished projects.  

So today's job is to
Organize our finished projects.

We all love to make quilts -- big ones, little ones, wall quilts, bed quilts, table runners.  You get the idea.  Some quilts are spoken for before you even start them. But others you make just because you like it.  Or maybe you want the challenge.  Or you're tired of the old projects you keep pulling out in hopes of finishing some UFOs.  At one time my quilting goal was to own 4 large quilts. Time passed and I've got way more than 4 large quilts.  And bunches of medium quilts and small quilts and . . . Needless to say I store a lot of quilts of all different sizes. 

Here are some suggestions on how to store your finished projects.  

In my house bed size quilts are generally folded, rolled and then stored in an old pillowcase.  I have several Christmas quilts that come out right after Thanksgiving.  They spend most of the year in a pillowcase stored in the closet of the room they are displayed in.  While Christmas quilts are on display the regular quilt is stored in the pillowcase.  This isn't the best way to store them but it works for me.  I do try to refold them with different sections getting folded  at least once a year when I return them to the pillowcase.  I should probably do it quarterly. 

My small wall size quilts are stored flat on a shelf in the walk-in closet in my studio. One of the things I wanted when we were designing my studio was a space to store my quilts.  I have a set of wooden shelves.  I've got plastic shelf liner on the wood and I store my collection of small quilts on the shelf.  Smaller ones are stored flat.  Larger ones are folded.  I need to go through this pile and refold all the quilts and put all the flat ones at the bottom.  These get rotated on to my wall of small quilts. 
Many of my medium wall quilts seem to be in this pile of quilts.  They need to be moved to hangers. Here's how I store many of my medium quilts.  These include wall hangings and some lap quilts.
Some of  my quilts are stored on plastic coat hangers that I've put a piece of pool noodle on.  If you look carefully below you can see where I've cut a slit in the length of the pool noodle.  I slip the noodle on to the hanger and then hang the quilt over it.  I use an Exacto blade to cut the noodles to the right width and then use it to slit the side.  The best time to buy pool noodles is at the end of the season when they go on clearance.  (Note to self -- buy more pool noodles next fall!) It makes more sense to actually store quilts with the front on the inside and the backing showing to protect the quilt front from dust.  The problem with that is it takes a bit more than a glance to identify the quilt. 
In all honesty these are not all of my small to medium size quilts.  Some are still stored in the various closets and dressers in which I found room for them when we first moved into this house.  I need to gather them all up and move them into this closet.  Hum, I may also have a suitcase full of quilts somewhere.  I need to look for those too. 

For many years I've also stored unquilted quilts.  Those are still in a fairly small Rubber Maid box.  But quilts I've finished in the last 4 to 5 years but haven't quilted are stored in the same closet as all the quilts shown above. These are all my quilts waiting to be quilted.  Some have their backings and some still need backing.  If I have customer quilts they are stored on hangers with paper tents over the hanger with whose quilt it is and when it needs to be done by.  The far right is a skirt hanger with some small nylon flags hung on it. The far left is a skirt hanger with a smaller quilt on it. (Hum, more ways to store a quilt.) Notice on the quilt to the left the fold is not clamped by the hanger. 
Last, but not least, is this picture showing several blocks I took off the design wall and hung with a skirt hanger.  Normally I'd think nothing of folding blocks but these have fusible web holding the appliqué pieces that have been machine blanket stitched.  I really don't want these folded.  
It seems to me I need to do some more organizing of my finished projects.  As I've written this I realize I have spare quilts all over the house.  I need to gather them so that they can be stored in this closet which is air controlled.  Of course, the bad part of storing in here is if there ever were a fire I would not be going upstairs to the former attic to grab the quilts. 

One of my friends stores her quilts on large tubes (6 or 8" diameters.) That way she doesn't have any folds in the quilt.  I'm not sure if she does that for all of her quilts or just special ones. Please let me know how you are storing your finished projects. 

Unless I get a brilliant idea or two in the next week this will be the last weekly 15 Minute Spiff Up. You can find links to all of the spiff up posts on the tab at the top of the page.  Over the next 7 months I hope to post a monthly reminder to spiff up your space.  I may even give you a focus area to help keep your space neat and usable.  Thanks for spiffing up your studio with me. 

Happy Quilting All. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Design Wall Monday 5 - 11 - 2015

A very busy week has passed.  I'm hoping I can start having some more "boring" weeks soon.  Hum, probably not happening for a while.  But you can be assured I will be having fun!

Aimee was out of town so I stayed with Kevin for a couple of days to help get Ellie to daycare and a little meal help.  They just moved into a new home the week end before I went up.  It's a bit closer if the traffic on 95 cooperates.   I was impressed with how much they had gotten unpacked in 4 days. They are both still figuring out commute times.  Kevin's should be shorter while Aimee's should be the same.  

The full day I spent with Kevin I spent sewing off and on.  I finished the blocks for the table runner. And once home I got them together and added the triangles and border.  The runner has been balled up and stuffed in various containers over the last few days so looks very wrinkled.  I hope to get it quilted in the next week.  The block is Quatrefoil and the directions are here -- a video  by Missouri Star Quilt Company on You Tube.  I need to figure out a better way of doing the triangles on the ends.  
Sharon and I got to my house about the same time Thursday afternoon after we met at Crazy Cousins in Fredericksburg.  We had another sewing weekend with a class on Saturday. As usual Sharon got lots done and I got my fabrics cut for Saturday, got the borders on the table runner and got organized for the guild meeting.  

At the class we learned to use The V Block Trimmer by Deb Tucker from Studio 180 Design.  I'de used it before as I bought it at one of the shows. But, WOW! This works like a charm to make accurate blocks. You cut the center V using one of the lines.  Then with fabric strips right sides together you cut the two side pieces at the same time.  Sewing it together is incredibly easy because there isn't any guessing where to line the pieces up.  AMAZING.  The final trim up makes sure that the 1/4" seam is always there.  No cut off points.  I'm betting I'll get this to top stage fairly soon because I like it so much.  The pattern is Galaxy designed by Deb also. 

As usual, Sharon got more done than I did. Here's hers. Love that secondary pattern that looks like a circle with no curved piecing! 
And mine. (Our blocks are the same size but mine appears larger probably due to the cropping of the photo.) 
I spent part of last evening cutting more pieces and marking the half square triangles.  I have time for sewing today -- looking forward to finishing some more of these blocks.  Surprisingly they sew up quite fast.  And, can I just add here?  I LOVE my colors.  Wait until you see the border I picked for it. Can I just mention I did not choose anything that looked like the cover picture on the pattern! 

Here's the goal list for last week.  What you don't see is "make the table runner" shown above.  It took time away from Love Shack. 
Week of May 4, 2015
Finish customer’s baby quilt on Ruthie
Cut out Galaxy quilt and attend class
Spend time helping Kevin
Get Love Shack to top worked on but not a top yet... 
Have fun with Sharon visiting this weekend

And, for this coming week -- 
Week of May 11, 2015
Trim antique quilt
Make and apply binding to antique quilt
Work on Galaxy blocks
Work on Love Shack
Have fun at the beach

I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times and Love Laugh Quilt. Enjoy browsing the web for lots of quilty ideas. 

Happy Quilting All!