Lots of July Sewing!

Puppy Town Quilt

End of July already?? The intense heat of this month has kept me in my quilting studio. Certainly not a bad thing, but I would like to enjoy the outdoors just a little bit more. I did just have a very special weekend escape to the mountains of NC, just outside of Boone. A very generous friend invited me to do my own personal little retreat. I did do some sewing, lots of reading, and mostly relaxing. It was a very special three days for which I am so grateful. And look – is this place not darling? Looks like its right out of the thirties, but they did build it themselves. It’s one big room – nice and simple. The temperatures were comfortable, even cool in early morning and the views outside were wonderful. Thank you friend!

I did have a few finishes in July. My biggest accomplishment was another of Ellen Guerant’s wonky houses. I call it “Puppy Town” – there are several puppies living outside some of the houses and one kitty! When my niece visited last year she mentioned (well, a little more than mentioned) how much she liked my wonky house wall hanging. Love her to death so it left me with no choice – make her one! The quilting went fairly quickly – one day of sewing. The binding and then it was in the mail – whew!

House tag

I made the label to mimic the quilt block design – fun!

My Works in Progress chart is updated. How is it there have been so many finishes this year and the number of WIP have not decreased? It is at 23. Three of the WIPs just need bindings, so that will be a fairly quick finish.  I have promised myself that I will NOT start anymore projects until I have this list whittled down to five. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but the number has begun to overwhelm me. Today I’m off to my son’s house for two days of dog sitting – should get some sewing done.

Works in Progress

 

Workin’ It Wednesday – Border Dilema

Pinwheel quilt

Leftover blocks from a split pinwheel quilt last year, so I sewed them up for another quilt top. I’m all about the borders lately, and don’t want to just “plain” border it again, which would be the easiest way to do it. I made some smaller pinwheels and am auditioning a couple of possibilities. Oy – what to do. A very thin red border and then the pinwheels on point with white print setting triangles? Or just the pinwheels with the white print and no separating border? WHAT should I do??? I need a quilt fairy on my shoulder advising me!

Pinwheels on pointBorder with whiteBorder with red strip

I’ll need to live with this on the design wall for a few days and hopefully the bolt of lightening will hit me. Actually, I shouldn’t use that as we really did get hit with lightening last week. A huge tree was destroyed, telephones fried as well as our garage door opener. Yes, we’re fine, just experiencing some stress. I’ll just immerse myself in sewing – one of the best destressers I have (except when trying to decide borders!)

Fallen limb (Large)

This is just the “threatening limb” that was hanging from the tree and had to be removed. The limb alone was a pretty impressive size.

Red, White & Blue Quilt Blocks

A quilting tool and notions company, Martelli Enterprises, recently announced a quilt block drive for 12 1/2 inch blocks that exhibit a theme of law enforcement and patriotism. I had just finished quilting two quilts, so the timing was perfect. Not too much red, white and blue in my stash, bits and pieces really, but I did manage to put together nine blocks. No real planning – just cut and go. It all turned out okay, but there were two mis-cuts. I really need to start curbing my enthusiasm, plan a bit better, and measure twice cut once! They are already in the mail – astonishing – and I love knowing they will be put in a quilt that will comfort a person or family. Love it when a company shows its heart and gets involved this way.

Workin’ It Wednesday – Borders On

Thank you for all the help last week with border fabric choices. The blue really was the best choice. The fabric, however, is a cotton voile, which is much lighter than quilting cotton. A very lightweight fusible interfacing came to my rescue.

IMG_1007 (Large)

The camera has become a critical tool in my quilting process. I took a picture and converted it to grayscale and ouch! One of my greens was too dark. I took it out and replaced it – not a highly recommended process. It is a real pain, but worth it in the end.

I chose to do the second border as a pieced border. The third border is the blue again. I was so happy to get it off to the long arm quilter I never got a pic, but the “solid” outside border framed it just right. I can’t wait to get this quilt back – I have an idea of something to add to it, but am keeping that under wraps ‘cuz it may or may not work!

1st border (Large)2nd border (Large)

Hope you all had a happy and safe Fourth – Enjoy the rest of summer!!

 

Stashbuster Sunday – Sew Much Progress

Mid-Year Update  –  This year is half gone already? I feel like I’m just getting started! There were a few weeks of no motivation, but I’m once again pumped! So far this year I’ve had nine finishes, two of which I cannot show because they are gifts. Three of the finishes are charity quilts which makes my heart sing! Before retirement my goal each year was to complete two charity quilts. I have no set goal now, but should have completed at least six by the end of this year – Yeah!!

IMG_1019 (Large)

My newest project is Tula Pink’s True Colors Sedimental quilt. I cheated a bit on my progress chart and posted that this project is cut. Well, it will be all cut in about an hour or two. These fabrics are just so yummy and how fun to work with so many different colors!

IMG_1018 (Large)IMG_1020 (Large)

Having three quilts at the long arm quilter’s is a pretty big deal for me. It’s usually one at a time. I should have them back in a few weeks and will have several days of binding. Now that I do most of my bindings by machine, it’s not too bad and goes quickly compared to binding finishes by hand.

Year End Goal – to reduce my Works in Progress to fifteen. Twenty-seven projects is just more than I want to even think about! Do other quilters set goals? Do other quilters keep track of their projects? Please share – I’d love to know!

Picture1 (Large)

A Big Accomplishment – Goal #1 Met!

IMG_0995 (Large)

Retirement Quilting Goal #1 – a large hand applique quilt.  I am over the moon to be able to say that the top is done! Because this one is so special, I am sending it to a professional quilter to be custom quilted. Her schedule is quite full now, so I’m in the line-up!

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Center portion – I love the stars.

 

This pattern is a Kim Diehl pattern, “Late Bloomers.”    Many of the fabrics are hers, and there are some Civil war prints in there and a few pieces from my stash. This quilt was so out of my norm, but from the moment I first saw this pattern it captured me and  I knew I had to do it.

IMG_1000 (Large)

For the body of the quilt there were a lot of half square triangles, which meant that there was a lot of squaring up to do. This was a rather ambitious hand applique project for a first (before this, I did hand applique many, many circles.)  I tried needle-turn applique but soon found out that it just wasn’t the method for me. I then prepared all the pieces using freezer paper, an iron, and starch.  It was days of prep and I did it all at once. It was tempting to begin the hand sewing process but I knew if I did that, I’d finish one panel and it would be forever before I got back to the prep work for the second panel. I absolutely hooted when I finished the first panel – Yay!! The fourth panel was another story – it seemed to take forever (being anxious will do that!)

KD Flowers

There was still the task of putting it all together – lots and lots of sewing. When I laid the top out, I couldn’t believe I had done it. Woweeeeeee!!!!

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The top is now squared, all the seams are pressed open and lie flat, and all threads are clipped. The backing is just one fabric, an extra wide fabric. All is hung safely in a closet waiting for the call from the quilter. It will definitely be worth the wait!

IMG_0996 (Large)

Workin’ It Wednesday! Borders

whole quilt (Large)

What would I do without my design walls?! A couple of weeks ago I sketched a medallion quilt pattern and hubby put it on EQ for me. The plan was to use all Kaffe fabrics in blues and greens. After much sewing – flying geese and half square triangles, and much arranging and rearranging on the design wall, it just wasn’t working. I left it alone for a few days and then decided to just rearrange the pieces. This is not even close to the original design, but I do like it. Now it’s border time! I think borders help to make a quilt come alive. I will do a pieced outer border but need to decide on the inner border. Here are my three choices:

choice 1 (Large)

Choice #1 – Too Busy – a NO.

choice 2 (Large)

Choice #2  ??

choice 3 (Large)

Choice #3 ??

 

I know #1 is a definite “no.” Help! Which do you think works better – #2 or #3?  Your help would really be greatly appreciated.

And what about my original quilt design?  I still have two bins full of Kaffe fabrics. I’ll happily pull some out and have another go at it another day!

A Daisy Garden

Photography. Sewing. Cooking. Quilting. Inspiration.

Calvin & Carolyn

Man Friday and his Mad Seamstress enjoying cold beers and warm quilts

LSQUILTS

»Quilt and Art Design by Lesley Storts«

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