Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UFO Project

Ok, for the last few posts, I have been bringing out a few UFO BOM's that I hope to work on weekly.  Then I will post the progress of all the BOM's that I am working on in one post once a week.  

But, for today, I am going to post about a UFO project.  Back in 2008, I was laid off from my job, and had much difficulty finding a new job, so I delved into my sewing.  I started and finished quite a few projects, and had started this project when I have to pack up my sewing room to "stage" the house.  Can you believe that the real estate agent said that people looking at houses would not want to see a sewing room, because they couldn't envision it as a bedroom.  So, we really needed to sell this house, and I packed up everything.  The house sold, we moved, and this project stayed packed.  I found it the other day, and went ahead and brought it out so that I could finish it.

It was from a program from Main Street Cotton Shop involving Thimbleberries pattern and fabrics.  The program was called Room by Room and lasted for 12 months.  This is the project from month 5.  The original pattern says it is 72" X 72", but I don't like square quilts, so I am making it about 16" longer, so it will end up 72" X 88".

The pattern can be found in Lynette Jensen's, Thimbleberries, book "Cranberry Harvest".

The pattern is called "Autumn Retreat".

Here is a full laid out picture of the quilt.  I will be adding three blocks in the center of the quilt.  See the blocks below.

Here are the alternating blocks found in the center of the quilt.  I only had one of these completed when I had to pack up the project.  As of today, I have 5 of the 6 blocks done.

I had all of these blocks completed when I packed up the project.

As soon as I am done with the last center block, I will be working on the flying geese border.  I will need to make over 200 flying geese to complete the border.  I see lots of chain sewing ahead!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wicker Shelf

Funny story about my newly acquired wicker shelf.  I so like wicker!  But really good, solid, sturdy wicker is expensive.  So any way onto the story.

My husband and I went to the big city of Portland to find some store fixtures for his new gun shop he is opening.  We ventured into a back area of a big warehouse where the used  fixtures were located and while hubby looked at counters, I ventured over to the clearance corner and there it was, just waiting for me to come.  It came from some kind of retail environment, so it was made to have heavy things setting on it.  The unit is  wicker wrapped around metal tubing, even the shelves are sturdy metal tubing.  The only thing that was out of whack, was one of the leg bottoms was missing a rubber cap.  The very best thing about this shelf was, drum roll please,  $10 price tag!!!!!!! Yikes!!!!  I was stoked!   Something like this, for a retail setting would run a couple of hundred dollars.

Brought it home, put all new rubber caps on the legs, blew out the dust, found the perfect place for it in the sewing room, and loaded it up.  Yep, this is the new spot for my WIPs, right by my sewing machine.  Just now all neatly stacked and not spilling over on my workspace.  Did I say I'm stoked?

Yipee skippy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

One More UFO BOM

Confession:  I get bored with working on just one project until it is done.  I think that's why I like Block of the Month clubs.

Hence, here is another BOM I dragged out when doing the re-org of my sewing room.  This BOM is from 2010 and I started it only getting month 1 and part of Month 2 done.  Then for some dumb important reason, it got put aside and it was temporarily lost. Not really, I know where everything and anything I have bought can be found.

This BOM is called a "Civil War Tribute", using fabrics designed by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics, and the pattern was designed by Homestead Hearth. (Note, this BOM is no longer available)  What makes this BOM different than other BOM's,  is each month consists of two blocks or four blocks, instead of just one block.   And, on top of that the blocks are bigger in size than the normal 9" or 12" blocks.  It will make a much larger quilt as a result of the bigger blocks, approximately 100" x 112".

Here is a pic of what the quilt will look like when it is completed.

Here is Month 2, and it consists of four 15" blocks.

This is Block 1, and it has two blocks, one is 18", and the other is 12".

I will be working on many older BOM's this year, as my budget is very limited, and I am really committed to completing what I have on hand.  This will take me well into the 2020's, for real!

Block 3 (Fat Quarter Shop Designer BOM)

Block three showed up in Monday's mail, and I was able to get it cut out and sewn together this afternoon.  Another cute basket, so I am thinking that all the blocks will be baskets.  I have always liked basket patterns, and these have proven to be a bit more complex than ones I have done in the past.  More modern, too?

 So here is the prior month's blocks......

Block Two

Block One

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Peek

Here is just a peek of my Farmer's Wife blocks after I pieced together a few blocks.  I really like how it is going together.  I usually don't like on point settings, but I think it is best for the small sized blocks (6 inch) and the quanity (110 blocks) that will be used in the whole quilt top.

 I am away this weekend, doing a gun show with hubby, so I won't get any sewing done, but I thought you might enjoy a peek...

A close-up...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Putting it Together

Remember when I posted forever about the 110 blocks I made for the Farmer's Wife Quilt A Long that I was participating in? Well all 41 posts can be found  here, if you want to get an idea of the whole block making portion of this thing.

I had already purchased the fabric for the sashings and the setting triangles when I finished all the blocks, so this afternoon, I took all the blocks and fabric out and set out to get  all of the pieces cut out.  A. Lot. of. Pieces.  I mean a lot, really.  Here let me show you...

See all the tan areas of triangles and little cornerstone settings, and all the brown sashing around every block?  Are you beginning to get an idea of just how many pieces there are?

Here is the fabric I chose for the sashing and the setting triangles.  The dark brown is from Andover's  by Jo Morton's 2011 line,  and the light is from Moda's  Primitive Muslin line pattern 1040.  

Upon reading through the finishing directions I needed the following:

110 Cornerstones
4 Corner Triangles
32 Large Setting Triangles
24 Small Setting Triangles
252 Sashings

Final product of the pieces cut out, and the pile of blocks, for a grand total of 518 pieces to put together.  This might take awhile.    

And just think, I will have to do this all over again for the other color way, Moda's Breath of Avignon. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Re-Design of the Blog

Did you notice a change of the appearance of my blog, mainly the new header at the top?  I am a self-taught blogger, and I have added things and gadgets one at a time in the past.  But I now want to personalize it more that the templates that blogger has available.  So, over the next few weeks, I will be giving my blog a facelift with more of my style.  Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hexagon Table Topper

Today, I finished the table topper I posted about yesterday.

It measures about 21" across.  I did a simple stipple quilting all over the topper because this time I used a thin scrap piece of cotton batting.

Here is a close up of a corner.  The next one I make I will be sure not to stretch the strips as I sew.  The 1 1/2" strips are a thin width, and stretch easier than the 2 1/2" strips I am used to working with.

Here is a picture, showing the nice yellow backing I used.

I think the next one will be a fall one, then a Christmas one, and then maybe a patriotic one.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A New Project

I am revamping my dining room, only because I am really tired of what was here when we moved in a few years ago.  It's not that it is all that bad, I am looking to perk up the living space with my craftiness. 

I want to keep the blue theme going, as the vertical blinds are blue, and that would be a rather large expense to change, so I have had this kit of a table topper that is blue and yellow and would look great on my round dining room table.

The pattern is by Terri Staats, through her company, Sweet Treasures and is called "The Centerpiece Tablemat".  She is a local designer, here in the Pacific Northwest, and I have used several of her patterns.  I have even had the privilege of attending a monthly local quilt shop club meeting that she led, several years ago.  Awesome lady!

I think this would be a hit out there in blog land, as everyone is on a hexagon kick right now.  It is also "honey bun" friendly, as it uses 1 1/2" strips.  

The fabric line in the kit is from Moda, the Summer Breeze (either I or II or a combination of both) line, and I have a larger piece from this line that I will make a valance for my glass sliding doors.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Land of Lincoln Sampler

Remember I like BOM's?  Well here is another one from 2011.  I am a big fan of traditional quilting and reproduction prints.  We have a semi-local quilt shop that I adore, but when I say semi-local, Something To Crow About is 70 miles from my house.  I adore this shop because they have awesome  reproduction civil war and 30's prints, a whole section of wools, and lots of BOM's.  I have participated in two of their programs, and manage to visit the shop about three times a year!  This is one of the two BOM's that I never got started on until this week. It is called Land of Lincoln Sampler and has thirteen pieced blocks and twelve rail alternating blocks.

Here is block one, called Illinois.

Block two called Lawyer's Puzzle

Block three called Presidential Armchair

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Different Baby Quilt

This is one of those times, when my husband comes home and says something like this, "Honey, you know blank blank from my office?  Well she having a baby, and it's due in September.  We (we?) need to make a baby quilt for her.  Oh, and we need to make it to match her new shotgun."

After much further discussion, and ordering special fabric from the manfacturing company, and doing a little design to make it simple, here is the result.  The fabric is pink camo from Realtree, the brown stripe is minkie, and the backing and binding is a dark thick flannel.  It is approximately 50" X 44" which is a good size, as it will be big enough for a while for the baby.

My hubby is happy, now I hope she will as happy with it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Messed Up Bad!

Ever make a bad purchase sometime in their life?  Well, here's mine.  Yep a quilt frame that uses a home sewing machine.  Sounds perfect, especially if the budget is slim, and one cannot afford a longarm setup.  I thought this would be the next best thing, and would be better than quilting a big quilt with just the home sewing machine.

All sounded good, looked easy enough, would speed up the process, and I would be cranking out all my quilt tops faster than one could blink!  Ha! Ha!  Not so...

In doing my first quilt on this frame, I chose a BOM that came from the same local quilt shop as this post (you can read about it here) , and again the materials were not the same throught the quilt, and was something I didn't think fit in the stellar column.  Perfect for testing and practicing on the frame.  So, I made leaders, pinned the quilt to them, rolled it up on the roller bars, and started the quilting.  Yeah right!  What a disaster......argh!

1.  The thread broke a lot.  I mean a lot.  Especially if I didn't use the correct speed.  If I went too fast the stitches would be too long, and the bobbin thread would pull up to the front of the quilt, and at some point very quickly the thread would break.  If you went too slow, the bobbin thread would snarl and become a rat's nest on the back, and the thread would break.  This meant, that I had to roll the machine back to one end or the other, rethread, and reload the bobbin, and then roll it back to where I had left off.  I could only quilt a small area, and then I would have to stop and do all the steps to rethread the machine again..

2.  The stitches were uneven and jerky, which I am sure is because home machines do not have a stitch regulator, and the mechanism that operated the foot pedal was inconsistent, thus causing the unsightly stitches.  See number 1.

3.  Quilting with my home machine only let me quilt about 7 inches, which is the "depth of the machines throat" by the width of the quilt.  Then I had to stop and roll the quilt forward.

4.  I needed to have more bobbins wound, because after going one and a half widths of the quilt, the bobbin would run out.  I only had two empty bobbins to use on the project,so after three rows, I had to take apart a section of the frame to get to the machine in order to wind two bobbins.

It could also be a possibility that I might not be smart or patient enough to operate the frame! I know it was put together correctly, because hubby did that part, and he's very good and smart in thaat area (he even reads the paper directions!).

I did about a fifth of the quilt, and several days (did I say days?), yes days, I gave it up. Stopped. Quit. Done. Put it on Craigslist and couldn't get it out the door fast enough!

Here is a picture of what I considered a disaster.

Originally I was just going to throw the whole mess out, but my Husband talked me out of it.  I came across it the other day when I was reorganizing my sewing room.  I pulled it out and began taking out all that messy stitching.  Yes, I use a razor blade, rather than a seam ripper.  I had it ripped out in no time!

Here is a picture of what the top looks like, just note another row of basket blocks over the fence.

Here is a close up of the basket block. I am a big fan of basket blocks, so I think rework this one someday. It would make a great charity quilt. I think? Maybe? Sigh.....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Older Project Revealed

Ok, here is the "big" reveal of the older project that I posted about yesterday.  A nice Christmas table runner!

It was the first project from a Thimbleberries club I did back in 2006.  Yeah, you read that right, 2006!  I discovered Lynette Jensen, and her "Thimbleberries" beginning 1998.  There was a point in time when I just had to have everything she came out with through her company, including books, patterns, and fabric.  Then I discovered the Main Street Cotton Shop.....they had everything Thimbleberries, including clubs and her annual BOM (sometimes in two color ways).  I don't mean to ramble, but it kinda is the lead in to this post.

This table runner is from a Main Street Cotton Shop called Christmas Countdown Club 2006.  This book was based on Lynette's new book at the time called "Christmas Countdown.  The Main Street Cotton Shop put together a 6-month club from July 2006 to December 2006.  This is a picture of her book.  

This is a really bad picture (the one I took not the publisher's picture) of the table runner inside the book.

 Here is a close up of the quilting I did for the runner.  I did shadow quilting around the appliquéd stars on the green prints, spiraling inside each red triangle, and cross-hatching on all the light background print areas.

Here is a close up of the binding.  I am only showing you this because I learned how to sew on the binding by machine.  Usually, I machine stitch the binding on the right side, then hand stitch it down on the back side of the item.  But, looking through Pinterest the other day, I saw how to machine sew it down on the back side and make it look nice on the front side.  I was tickled pink on how it came out!

This is the table runner folded up next to the book.  It shows how thin it folds up, and that is because I did such intense quilting on the runner.  I use poly batting (cheaper) for table runners, but it has a higher loft.  So, to get it to lay flat and be thin enough to set things on so that they're not wobbly, I do this kind of close quilting.

Here is the back side of the table runner with the label.  Thimbleberries even had matching quilt labels to go with their projects.

Just for kicks, I took a picture of the label the Main Street Cotton Shop sent with the kit.  Before the blog, I used to keep these kinds of things for the scrapbook/record of the projects I completed.  I think I used to like doing the record keeping of the projects as much as making them.  Weird, huh?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Older Project

I found another older project when doing the reorg of my sewing room.  I found it with the top done, batting and backing pinned to the top, and on a hanger waiting to be quilted.   This is just a peek at the quilting I have started doing on it. 

As we all know quilting the quilt takes forever awhile, so I am only about half way through completing it.  Look for the finished project soon....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Making It Right

I have been doing some straightening up in my sewing room, and have come across some unfinished projects. Now there are many reasons for this, I get bored, a newer, greater something else grabs my attention, I get frustrated when something doesn't go right, I've ran out of one or more pieces of fabric, etc, etc.

I could go on forever, as evident of my UFO (unfinished object) list. I have even, in past years, set a goal of completing a old project before starting a new project, that lasted for about three projects. But, that was while I was working outside the home, because I wanted to "get in as much sewing time as possible" for the few precious hours of time I could set aside.

Now I don't feel as rushed. I am getting my house and yards/gardens in order, laundry and other duties are caught up all the time, and we eat at home way more (so we are not spending a lot of time eating out). Also, these last couple of weeks, I finished 4 commissioned orders out the door, so I began a little reorg of the sewing room, and came across a couple of projects that were in need of completing. So for the next few days I will be posting some of my old projects.

I posted about this project sometime last year here. It was a local quilt shop BOM, that was designed by the shop owner. After putting it all together, I realized that the background fabric did not match, because the first two blocks had a different background than the next ten blocks. Then, I remembered the shop owner switched to another background because the original one she chose ran out, and she couldn't order/find any more. See, it things like this, that makes me frustrated, and causes a project to be put on the back burner.

So, I bit the bullet, and removed the two blocks with the different background from the quilt top. Looks a little strange, doesn't it? Maybe if you are a quilt restorer it might look fairly normal?

It is really hard to see in these pictures, just how different the background really is, but trust me, I can tell. I knew I wouldn't be happy until I redid the blocks. I have it all sewn back together now, but my two guys who hold up the big quilts for me, were really busy this weekend, so I didn't get a picture yet. I'll try to get one done tomorrow.

The block on the left in the pictures below is the background that doesn't match the rest of the blocks background fabric.

P.S. I really like not working outside the home, even though I work harder staying home......

Friday, August 2, 2013

2012 FQS BOM Top Done

Well, I finally put together the 2012 Fat Quarter Shop BOM quilt top put together, complete with the sashings and borders.  It looks like it will be about the size for a twin bed or maybee a little bigger.

I have trouble photographing the bigger quilts, so I asked my son and hubby to help.  The breeze was no helping much, and then the shade didn't work out well either, and having the sun behind me wasn't much better.  Hopefully between the three pictures, you can get an idea of how awesome it turned out!