Friday, April 29, 2016

OMG -- Another Finish

Four months of One Monthly Goal and I've got four (4!) finishes.  And every one has come from my UFO list.  Can you see the grin on my face?  Yep, I'm a happy camper quilter.   I will say most of these didn't have much in the way of finishing.  This month's only needed a border, the backing sewn together, quilted and bound.  And, best of all I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with it too.  The weather has been cloudy/rainy for the last few days so I haven't been able to do an outdoor photo shoot with this basket quilt.  But here it is hanging on my design wall. 
And, a closeup of the quilting motif inside the handles. (Remember this post where I wanted your opinions about which motif to use.  Most everybody said the top one which is what I did. Thanks for the opinions.) 

My last picture is a close up of the border quilting and the binding.  Why show that?  My main reason is to show my machine stitching on the binding.  I machine sew the binding on to the back first, then I pull it around to the front and sew that down my machine.  I find I am getting quite good at it.  It sure makes it faster for me to finish quilts.  

One issue I had with quilting this quilt is I didn't have very much excess backing on the sides.  Because my longarm is only 18" I would have needed to turn this quilt 90ยบ to do the sides in one pass.  Um, couldn't do that because I need more backing fabric to attach it to my leaders.  What to do? What to do?  

I finally decided to take it off the longarm and use my domestic machine to stitch three straight rows in the borders.  Worked like a charm.  I used my walking foot and before I knew it the quilting was done. 

Now it is time to figure out what to work on in May.  I was just looking at my calendar and I realize I have very little to do in May.  We'll be at the beach house with friends for part of a week, and then I'll be in Maryland attending the annual FCQ retreat.  (Interpret that as 2.5 days of constant sewing and lots of quilty friends to talk to.) So I could choose something that will take a little more to do than I usually do.  After seeing this quilt (the first quilt pictured) in the show I decided to show the sincerest form of flattery and copy it!  Except, I also found my notes about what to do and it was exactly the same.  So here is the beginning of that effort. 

There are several things I figured out from this -- I need to pay attention to where the colors are.  These rail blocks were to be made from warm or cool colors.  And, I really need to make sure the blocks are horizontal/vertical on one row and vertical/horizontal on the other.  The first block is fine; the second has a problem.  I'll be paying closer attention while sewing the blocks as I construct them.  I have some mottled black I was looking at and I decided I don't really like it.  And, I don't like the 2.5" strip.  I'll be using a Kona black that I have on hand and it will be cut at 2".  I may buy backing for this as I don't have very much batik.  Read that -- I have fat quarters only.  With very little going on in May I shouldn't have any problem getting this quilt done. 

I'll be linking up with Red Letter Quilts for the OMG It's Finished Link Up, Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop? and TGIFF!.  Take some time to see what folks have finished this week or month. 

Happy Quilting All! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cuddly Critters Quilts

Last June I picked up a bag of fabrics for a Cuddly Critter challenge sponsored by my guild in Maryland, Faithful Circle Quilters.  Here's a bit of the back story on it.  A quilter was moving out of state and wanted to downsize her fabrics.  She brought three big tubs of fabric to Stephanie who handles a lot, but not all, of FCQ's donation quilts.  Stephanie, with some help, divided the it into fabrics that went together, bagged them and then passed them out to anyone who wanted to make a donation quilt for Project Linus. What most of us didn't know was there were few, very few, fabrics that had anything to do with critters or kids.  The woman specifically asked that the fabric be made into quilts for children.

Fast forward nearly a year.  One of my jobs at the recent quilt show was to white glove in the room where the Cuddly Critters quilts were hung.  I had a terrific time talking to our guests about the challenge and showing them little hidden things in the quilts.  And, I had enough time to take lots of pictures, although some of the lighting didn't enhance the quilts.   This group of women and men are so talented and creative.  Here are some of the quilts that will be going to Project Linus of Howard Country, Maryland. 

Nina had lots of browns in her bag and it made her think of a garden.  The stones lent themselves to the garden wall.  With a little pondering she came up with Peter Rabbit who might have visited her garden.  It's titled "Where's Mr. MacGregor."

Again, brown fabrics dominated this challenge bag.  Jonnifer  wondered how animal print fabrics and beige fabrics could be child friendly.  She went to her stash and found these cute animals that added just the touch needed to make this quilt very child friendly.  

Amy was wondering what to do with all the blue fabric she got.  She finally decided on sock monkeys.  She originally was planning to make a quilt with full body monkeys but eventually decided that she'd make mug shots.  Hum, I wonder if her monkeys actually started taking selfies?  She titled the quilt "But I Only Had Blue Socks." 

A whole grouping of browns and beiges created a dilemma for Sandy R.  When she found the cute monkey fabric she used for the border her beiges and browns became the background for a couple of frolicking monkeys holding some balloons.  "Monkeying Around" will certainly cheer up some child in need. 

Marianne got lots of browns with orange.  Her quilt is called MacCavity and Friends.  What, you don't see him and his friends.  You might notice his paw prints on the front of the quilt.  Do you see him below? 
How about if I hold the quilt up so you can see the back? 
It was awkward to take this picture and try to hold up the back so if it looks slightly "off" that's the reason.  Marianne put three cats on the back of her quilt.  From the front you can just see their outlines where she didn't quilt them.  Too cute. 

I was much more concrete when I made my quilts for this challenge.  You can see my first quilt here.  I figured the hummingbirds were my "cuddly" critters.  Not very creative at all.  It would have helped a lot if I was actually able to go to  meetings to see what others were making.  Sigh. 

I had a LOT of fabric left over so I decided to make a boy oriented quilt.  Unfortunately I picked a pattern that had way too many pieces in each block.  It seemed to take forever.  But when the gals were down for the in-house retreat in March MaryBeth suggested I piece it differently which was much easier and faster. So, there is a mix of both in the quilt although I don't think most people will ever notice.  I used a lot of my own fabric in this cause really, do boys want hummingbirds and strawberries?  No, I didn't think so either.  
Some of the fabric had fishing gear on it,  And, no pink.  I finished the binding at Sharon's house and left it with her to turn in at the next guild meeting.  

I heard over 50 quilts were turned in and displayed at the show and another 12 or so were coming soon. That should keep Project Linus in quilts for a while. Hopefully, I can show another grouping of them in a future blog. 

Today I'm linking up with  Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Meanderings 4 - 25 - 2016

My design wall is pretty bare today.  I've finished one quilt and passed it on to the group I was donating it to.  And, the other quilt that was up there has been loaded on Ruthie.
Here is my Dresden Baskets top, loaded and ready to be quilted.  I hope to get it completed today because this is my OMG quilt for April.   

I know I want a design in the space between the handle and the basket.  So, I drew the space onto a piece of leftover fabric and stitched out the designs I was thinking of using.  Here's my sample. I'm thinking of using an olive green thread so the stitching will be obvious but the heavy black lines I drew on the fabric won't be there. 

I'm having a hard time deciding which one to use.  My first thought was the Tri Feather but now I'm thinking the top one might be better.  Hubby liked the one called Full.  

What do you think?  Feel free to let me know in the comments section.  I definitely plan to do this today but not until early afternoon.  

I was thinking of stippling in the corners but have pretty much talked myself into stitching 1/4" away from the sashing within each block and calling that good. The border will be 2" when done and I'm not sure I'm interested in trying to quilt in there.  I may change my mind after I review what designs I might be able to develop for the space.  Maybe two wavy lines on top of each other.  So much for wanting to get this whole thing quilted today! 

These dog blocks are all that is left on my design wall today. The sunlight hits this wall first thing in the morning.  I love the design it's made coming through my blinds. Ok, back to quilting ... I had planned to use the blocks on the back of the doggy quilt but changed my mind.  Now I need to figure out how to use them and a whole bunch of doggy fabric.  I bought lots of 1/4 yard pieces of all types of dogs.  I also was given blocks to use from lots of friends. I guess I'll spend a little time in EQ and try to figure out a quick and easy pattern to use up some of the fabric.  

Now, how did I do on those goals last week?  Honestly, I had my nose to the grindstone (so to speak) most of the week as I absolutely had to finish the Slide Show (doggy) quilt and deliver it.  So, I was quite successful with the goals.
April 18, 2016
Load Slide Show
Quilt Slide Show
Bind Slide Show and deliver to group
Add borders to April OMG
Load and quilt OMG Loaded but not quilted
Start planning May retreat projects√ much thinking is going on and a little cutting too.

And here's what's on tap for this week.  I really want to finish this month's OMG so that will be the priority until finished. I'm also sewing with friends on Wednesday so I'll have to decide what to bring to work on that day.  

April 25, 2016
Quilt OMG
Label and Bind OMG
Pick next month’s OMG
Finish the 9 patches for guild’s QOV
Pick a top to quilt 
Cut and kit up one project for May retreat

That's it for today.  I'm linking up with Monday Makings, Main Crush Monday, and a newer one called Moving It Forward Monday.  That's what I'm trying to do every week! 

Happy Quilting All!