Sunday, December 30, 2018

GO, Cardinals!

When my sister told me she was involved in organizing a fundraiser to help with her BFF's medical bills I (naturally!) offered to make a quilt to be raffled.  I wanted to make something that would appeal to a large audience so I decided to make a gender neutral baby quilt. Then, I got to thinking about the fact that this fundraiser is being held in Cardinals country.  St. Louis Baseball Cardinals to be exact.   A lot more money could be raised from a Cardinals quilt, right? 

Really simple blocks came together fast .....

..... AFTER washing that red batik seven (yes, seven!) times to remove excess dye.  

Gotta love those color catchers, but it wasn't until the last wash cycle when I added Synthropal that I saw the results I wanted.  Next time I work with red fabric I think I'll use it the first time.  :-(

Once it was basted I wasn't sure what thread to use.   My quilting is decent, but I don't really want it to show up that much!

It's hard to tell when you look at it on the spool, but this variegated thread is blue, red, and yellow so I thought it would work well.  The quilting shows more than I wanted it to.  I just had to work slowly and do the best I could.  Well.  I always do the best I can, but, you know....

Not too shabby!

It ended up about 60" x 70", the perfect size for a snuggle quilt.

Of course, I had to add a little fun to the back .....

..... and get a few semi-creative shots!

So, off it goes in the mail this week to my sister.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Making a Dent - Another Finish

One of my goals this year has been to use up some of the 2.5" batik strips I cut last year.  In May I completed "Hypnotic", a 72" x 72" beauty (if I do say so myself!) for Stephen and Kailey's wedding.  I blogged about it here.  Then in November I finished piecing a gorgeous 98" x 98" top (if I do say so again!) for my sister, Debbie.  I blogged about Debbie's quilt here.  This top is currently with a friend waiting to be quilted so it won't make it off the UFO list this year.  

As the year is winding down I have a third batik quilt finish to share.

"Gemini" by Janine Burke for Blue Underground Studios has been on my "to do" list for a while, and I had fun working on it.  

The actual construction of the blocks didn't take long at all.  I made two-color rectangular blocks, and cut them in half .....

.....then mixed them up and sewed them back together.

You can't really make a mistake putting blocks like these into rows.

Shirley, did another great job quilting this one for me.  

Don't you love the Grunge fabric I found for the back?

I didn't make as big a dent in the box of strips as I'd hoped I would, but I definitely did make a dent.  Here's the box of strips "before".

Here's the box "after".

"Gemini" will be gifted soon, and I'm excited that I'll be able to do that in person in just a couple of weeks.  Now to decide what the next batik quilt will be.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
Linking up with Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Debbie's Quilt - Part Two

I'm determined to keep Debbie's quilt from the UFO list when I update it at the end of the year.  I don't know if that's been my driving factor lately or if I just can't wait for her to have it, but it's "this close" to being done.

My design wall isn't wide enough to lay out all the blocks so I ended up setting out two piles of blocks next to my machine, the "A" blocks and the "B" blocks, and sewing them together fairly randomly.  The rows extended at least 6 inches over the edges, and I would have needed a step-stool to get all the rows up there at the same time!  

The larger it grew the more "fun" it was to work with.

I could only get a photo of the whole thing when it was spread out on the living room floor.

Now, two of the borders are on .....

..... and the backing fabric is ordered from Fabric.com  Isn't it perfect?

It looks like I'll be able to send it off next week to my longarm quilting friend, Shirley Jackson.  There is no way I could man-handle that thing to quilt it on my domestic machine!

I will be happy to have this quilt finished, Debbie will be happy to have it on her bed, and it might just be another sister's turn for a new quilt.

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Linking up with So Scrappy
Linking up with Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Debbie's Quilt

I got into a crazy mood a while back and started cutting up a lot of my batiks into 2.5" strips. Having a health supply of pre-cut strips readily available would be handy and they might get put to good use.   So I cut .....

..... until I had this!  Gulp!  

(I hate to admit it, but this didn't make much of a dent in my batiks stash.)  Earlier this year I used some of the strips to make a wedding quilt for Stephen and Kailey.  You can read about it here.

I used a few strips and made a big mess.

Last year my sister, Debbie, asked me to make a replacement quilt for the one I'd made for her hope chest back in 1981.  I didn't quilt much then so I'm pretty sure I used broadcloth for the backing.  Maybe that's what held it together all these years.  Polyester never really dies, does it?  I would say my work has evolved quite a bit since then. I've changed a little bit as well!  

I figured since she had made that quilt last for over 35 years she deserve a new one!  Plus, I was happy to have another opportunity to use more of those strips.  Bonnie Hunter's "Strip Twist" pattern would be perfect for this one.  Strip sets made then sub-cut into 144 squares .....

..... then cut again into 288 triangles .....

..... and then sewn back together into 144 squares. Squares with a little different look to them, though.  

Now the fun starts.  Or even more fun, I should say.  Laying them out on the design wall and sewing them into rows. Like this --

The goal is to have it finished by the end of the year so I can give it to her when I'm in St. Louis for a family wedding. I'm pretty sure this one will last for at least another 35 years.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Another Great-Grand Finish

Not only did I just finish another quilt to put back for the great-grands, I also got something checked off my UFO list. That's two things to be excited about!

I started this quilt at a retreat in April of 2016, but I just barely started it.  That made it officially a UFO, and now that list is down to only five. The pattern is called "Framed" from the book "Simply Retro" by Camille Roskelley.  The fabric line is "Bright Sun" by Sherri and Chelsi of a Quilting Life for Moda.   Cute, right?

This one is hand quilted with echo quilting and a square-in-a-square design in the largest pieces.

A simple design with simple quilting still makes for a special quilt to put back for future babies.

That's the third baby quilt I've made to put back for the grands .....

..... and my 14th finish this year.  I'd say this has already been a very good year. 

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
Linking up with Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Getting Modern

I've been a member of the Modern Quilt Guild for a while, but I just recently got around to joining the local branch.  In September I visited the Rocket City Modern Quilt Guild (what else would you call the group in Huntsville, Alabama?) and decided to become an active member right away by jumping into some of their current projects.

When the half-square triangle piecing papers were passed around I grabbed a few to take home, found a few 10" squares, and made some half-square triangles to take back with me when I go to the meeting next week.

I also brought home one of the partially made round-robin quilts the guild members pass around hoping the quilts will grow as volunteers add something.  Once they reach a suitable size they're made into charity quilts.  I chose the bag with these fabrics .....

..... and this partially made top.

I was drawn immediately to the print and the fact that someone had fussy cut it for the first block.  I wanted to use that somehow.

I wanted to bring in more greens so I came up with these blocks.

That print makes my blocks look a lot more complicated than they are.

That was fun.  I'm looking forward to seeing this top come together!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Playing Catch-Up - Two Finishes

Recently, I was updating my spreadsheet where I document all the quilts I make (yes, I am that nerdy) and realized I've had a few finishes I had forgotten to share with you.

The first finish was in July.  I had blogged in 2013 about the disaster of working with a badly cut kit.  You can read about it here.   The whole thing was so frustrating I put it away for a while.  A long while, actually. I picked it up again in 2017 and got a handle on how I could make it into something acceptable.  You can read about that here.  

A few months ago I added a few of the leftover pieces when I put together a backing, quilted it, and called it a keeper.  I like this one so much I don't think I could give it away.

The second finish is a baby quilt to put back for the great-grands, one of my current projects.  I started it and shared about it in this post.  This quilt didn't sit around very long. It was done in about 6 weeks. I just forgot to share my finish with you!  

This one is hand quilted.

Finished, washed, and ready to use.  One day.

I guess I have been very busy this summer, but that doesn't mean I'm not getting things done.  I just need to sit down once in a while and tell you about it!