Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last February Finishes

I have 3 UFO Finishes to share with you on the last day of February. Is it just me or did February fly by? I know it's a short month, but still... it seems like it just started a few days ago.

First up is my paper pieced "Log Cabin in the Pines". I ended up doing very minimal quilting on this because it's a small topper and I wanted the paper piecing and the cute border fabric to stand out. I might go back and add some wavy lines of smoke coming out of the chimney now that I look at my photo, but I ended up taking out a line of quilting through the middle of the border because it was distracting.

This is my February finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes.

I'm calling this Happy Block quilt for Project Linus "Scrapped Up Animals". It's got a little of bit of everything in the block borders!
The centers are a bee print, a monkey print and one with dogs & cats (also kind of random). I added to the randomness by quilting it using unevenly spaced lines - something different and I think it works with this quilt. I used green thread on the top and teal on the back.
I pieced a leftover FQ of the monkey print to make the teal paisley backing fabric wide enough and found a medium green print to use for binding.
"Polka Dot Cats & Dogs" alternates Happy Blocks with the polka dot squares. It makes me think of a dalmation now that I'm looking at the photos!
I love this bird print flannel for the backing. I had originally picked out a B&W binding but went with the red print at the last minute. I like the contrast.
I did my favorite wavy line walking foot quilting with white Auriful. I need to remember to take a picture after I wash these because the last quilts I donated with this quilting design came out of the dryer looking amazing with the wavy lines of crinkles!
Last night I realized that I've finished over 1/3 of my UFOs since 10/1/12!  As you can see in my UFO Countdown on my sidebar, I'm down to 60 from 94. I still have a long way to go... but I'm feeling pretty darn good! And, best of all, I'm having lots of FUN doing it.

Tomorrow I'll recap my February quilting and prime the foot pedal for March. I'm linking up to TGIFFCan I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Finish It Up FridayLet's Make Baby QuiltsA Week of FinishesFirst Friday Finishes and Link a Finish Friday.

February Finishes

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lots of Wednesday WIPs

I look forward to a productive day today... I have several projects that are close to the finish line and that is always exciting! Especially at month end.

My quilting binge for Project Linus continues, the top 2 are done and ready for trimming and machine binding. I'm going to do some lines of quilting down the center strips on the bottom quilt (aren't those the cutest cats!). My husband thinks I should keep this one. It's pretty rare for him to comment on my kid's quilts so I might have to consider it.
Remember my post about The State of My Stash and the big reveal that was supposed to happen 2 days ago? My major downfall of any organizing project is my absolute tendency to 1) get sidetracked and 2) make it an even bigger project.
I've been reading all over the net about quilters using comic boards to store their stash, so I ordered a package of 100 from to try it out. As I was sorting through my fabrics that needed a home I started wrapping them and I really like this!

I was already folding them to fit my shelves, but adding the board makes it a little sturdier and easier to pull out a fabric without toppling the pile. My plan is to put my new fabrics on boards, and over time I'll pull out a stack and wrap them while watching TV or listening to an audiobook.

I'll post pics of my cleaned up stash closets over the weekend.

What's Hot:
  • Quilts for Project Linus
  • Christmas Stockings - might be a late night sewing session as I'm determined to get these DONE!
  • PP Cabin & Trees Topper - quilting and binding
  • Four Patch & Friends - I found a scrap of fabric that I liked for the small inner border around the quilt and ordered some yardage on Feb. 13. When it hadn't arrived I emailed, then called last Friday. Not sure what happened, but the package was mailed Saturday and they gave me a discount for the delay.  It arrived yesterday.
What do you think?

The quilt in the book used a Moda Marble in a bluish green. I tried using several small florals from my stash, but none of them really grabbed me. I had a Moda Scrap Bag of Sunkissed that had a grey and white swirly print on the outside that caught my eye and when I unwrapped the bundle I found this. It's unexpected... but I think I like it. I'll have to futz with it to make it horizontal on the vertical strips.

Another option might be a small stripe?  It's hard to pick a tone on tone because of the wide variety of colors used in the blocks. Or I could use the white background for a safe choice.

Again, what do you think?

What's Not:
  • HGTV Pincushion Swap - next month!
  • Threadbias QAYG (FMQ) - the blocks are done but I'm stalled (again!) on FMQ
I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday@Freshly Pieced.

Monday, February 25, 2013

2 Monday Finishes

I'm crossing 2 more UFOs off my list!

"Cats Dressed in Hats" is made from a pattern I call Noodle Recipe. The pieced 8" finished blocks are made from 2.5" strips sewed together, cut into 4.5" segments and sewed together in units of 4. I'm sure these blocks have a name, if you know it please tell me in a comment.
I pieced the backing from yellow and white gingham flannel and the top strip of novelty flannel. Cute and cozy~!
A close-up of the fun cat fabric.
I quilted it using white Auriful with walking foot waves.
"Cats on Skis" is also made using my Noodle Recipe, except that I flipped the color placement on some of the blocks to create 2 sets of blocks used in alternating rows for a different look.
It has a pieced flannel backing of 3 fabrics.
A close-up of the front of the quilt.
I used white Aurifil and (my favorite!) walking foot waves for the quilting.
I'm up to 15 UFO Finishes for 2013! Both of these quilts will be donated to Project Linus.

February Finishes

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dusting off Embroidery Skills

I finished my "warm-up" stitching before I start my Stitch Me Up Embroidery Blog Hop project this week. I used some of the Presencia Finca thread we were sent and really liked working with it.
I had found some helpful embroidery videos online from Sublime Stitching and a visit to their blog & website brought this to my mailbox. Fun mail indeed!
Back in January I won a give-away from Cindy at Tops to Treasures, a gift certificate to one of her favorite quilt shops in Texas called Happiness Is... Quilting. I had looked several times through their quilting goodies and was having having a hard time deciding what to buy.

While using Google to search for Prescencia Finca floss I was surprised when their store appeared in my results. Even better, they carry a wide selection including the variegated threads I was wanting for my Blog Hop project. Thanks again Cindy~!
Now I've got to trace the pattern and get started. I have no idea how long it will take so I'm aiming for an hour a day this week and will see how far I get. If you have any embroidery tips to share please do!  It's been a LONG time since I stitched stamped tea towels.

I'm linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching@Kathy's Quilts.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

One Last Round of Purple

It's the last Saturday of February... one more chance to show off purple scrappy blocks!
Birds in the Air blocks in a couple of different layouts, I'm hoping I'll be up to the task of quilting all of that negative space by the end of the year~!
I'm linking up to ScrapHappy Saturday.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's a 3 Finish Friday!

It feels great to cross 3 more UFOs off the list!
"Boxed in Brights" alternates Happy Blocks with bright squares of fabric. The black and white prints came from a FQ swap and the brights were from my stash. I used a fun print of small eggs on black for the binding.
I love this over-sized print on the back!
I used black King Tut thread on the top and white Aurifil on the back for quilting with walking foot waves.
"Rainbow Sherbet - Hold the Lime!" is yet another Yahoo! Stashbuilders Happy Blocks swap quilt. I had asked for borders to be only shades of yellow, orange and pink for these blocks. LOVE this color scheme and I found a perfect peace sign backing fabric.
I used wonky wavy lines to quilt this - orange Essentials (Connecting Threads) thread on top and white Aurifil on the back.
"Purple 9 Patch on Lime" was made using the pattern Nine Patch from the book "Even More Quilts for Baby" by Ursula Reikes. It's backed in a cute daisy print with bumblebees sniffing the lime centers.
I grid quilted the center of the quilt and the lavender inner border with lavender Essentials thread and white Aurifil on the back. The border has 2 wavy lines along each side.
These quilts will be donated to Project Linus, are UFO Finishes 11, 12 & 13 for 2013 and put me at 7 towards my goal of 50 Kids Quilts for the year. I'm linking up to TGIFFCan I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Finish It Up FridayLet's Make Baby Quilts and Link a Finish Friday.

February Finishes

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Changing Old Habits

For my 1st seven years of quilting I was addicted to steam. My Rowenta iron was always full of water and ready to go! I am so impressed when I take out a quilt top now how those seams are still perfectly FLAT! I never used starch, always steam.

When I started quilting again in late September I quit using steam. I think my Rowenta had been dropped one time too many as it started spitting and occasionally spewing gunky water where I didn't care to have it. I cleaned it, but think it was too late.

I read raves about Mary Ellen's Best Press and how using a spray bottle of water was better than steam. I have both handy and use them on occasion. Other than ironing fabric for a NewFO (which doesn't happen a lot around here!) I'm not sure exactly when to use to use starch.

Just before Christmas my Rowenta started smelling like it was burning. I didn't have a lot of time to decide on a new iron so went with a mid-level $$ Black & Decker Digital Advantage. I don't love it like my Rowenta, but I like it fine. I use it mostly dry, but will bust out the steam when needed. Mainly to press a quilt top before sandwiching it. And, I'm obeying it when I get the CLEAN message on the display!

I also sewed over pins ALL the time. My Pfaff never seemed to mind, I never broke a needle and rarely bent a pin. I like to use the extra fine pins so that might have helped. Both Jukis are not so pin friendly...
so I am trying to remove my pins as I sew up to them but I am finding that habit much harder to break than my steam habit. Having to pack up one of these machines for a service call due to a pin bit or needle tip somewhere it doesn't belong scares the you-know-what out of me!
Today's tactic.

Are you addicted to steam, a fan of starch or do you sew over pins? Do tell! I'm linking up at...
Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Kid's Quilts

I had such a blissful day of quilting yesterday! Bright sunshine (although cold!) to get things off to a great start with 3 quilts for Project Linus that I had sandwiched on Monday night. I am trying to be resourceful about coming up with ways to make basting quilts less of a dreaded task and I think I might be onto a few things that I'll post about another day.

And, I tried something new... listening to an audiobook! My library offers downloads for 3 weeks using an iPhone app called OneClickDigital so I set that up and browsed their library. I enjoy John Sandford's detective novels set in Minneapolis/St. Paul and they seemed like a good fit for quilting along to. So far, so good!

I took these pictures mid day before I lost the good sun. One done (I washed out the color a bit so you can see the wonky waves of thread better)...
One at Mr. Juki...
 One ready to go on the floor!
On Monday my son and have a trip for his last orthodontic visit (he's been braces free for just over a year). It's in the same town where I drop off my Project Linus quilts, so it makes sense to chalk up some more UFO Finishes, clear some space in my closet and, most importantly, get some quilts out to kids in need!

What's Hot:

  • Everything with a single asterisk on my February Goals List - more than a few projects underfoot this week.
What's Not:

  • Everything with a double asterisk on my February Goals List (hopefully they are hot at my LAQ!)
  • HGTV Pincushion Swap - good thing they aren't due until the end of March.
I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday@Freshly Pieced.

Monday, February 18, 2013

And Sew On... Jan & Feb

When I saw this BoM by Kristy over at Quiet Play it was love at 1st sight! I've never done a BoM before but knew I had to join this one as my quilting room needs some wall art.
Here is January's block. I think Kristy was smart to give us the easiest block of the series to get everyone off to a good start! Well, except for me because I couldn't decide what to use for background fabric. I had bought a layer cake of Aneela Hoey's Sew Stitchy during one of the December blowout sales and had initially planned a white solid background. 
But when I peeked at the 9 blocks and saw how much background there will be I decided to try a tiny pin dot light grey from Bonnie & Camille's Ruby line instead. I'm happy with my choice. 

February's block is just adorable!
My only regret is that the seam ripper blades are a bit lost in the green, but a little back stitching with either dark grey or black perle cotton will be an easy solution. I'm planning to do some hand embellishments to these blocks and might even hand quilt them. I've got all year to figure that out.
I'm going to sash the blocks with the white pins fabric... I think that will set them off nicely. Now I'm wondering which of the 9 blocks we will be making in March!

I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday@Patchwork TimesFreemotion by the RiverBuilding Blocks Tuesday@Quilter in the Closet and Let's Get Acquainted!@Weekend Doings.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Stash Report 2/17

I'm beginning to question my wisdom about doing these reports... it's beginning to take on a "confessional" tone in my mind. I'm really not a fabric hoarder! Just filling in some gaps.

But, here's the deal this week. I did legitimately NEED a binding fabric for my Reverse Applique Heart Pillow. And, I had some fabrics on my wishlist at Thousands of Bolts just waiting for an order (I like to fill up a Priority Flat Rate Box to get the most of shipping charges). I've fallen head over heels for grey, am stocking up on B&W fabrics and am having a love-fest with polka dots. These fabrics all were $4.95 a yard or less - love this site.
Lovely, aren't they?

I also bought some fabric to make a Barcelona Skirt later in the spring.  I'm excited!

  • Used this Week: 2 yards
    • 2 for Reverse Applique Heart Pillow & Triple Zip Pouch
  • Used Year to Date: 64.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 31.5 yards
    • 2.5 @Sew Bee It Quilting
    • 29 @Thousands of Bolts
  • Added Year to Date: 157 yards
  • Net Added for 2013: 92.5 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 34 yards (53% of total used)

  • Gulp... I'm linking up to Patchwork Times and Sunday Stash Report@Molli Sparkles.