Friday, October 28, 2011

finish it up Friday, week 3

Welcome to week 3 of finish it up Friday! I've heard from several of you that this challenge is really motivating you to finish up your projects. Hurray! Thanks to all of you who have joined in. It makes finishing much more fun! I'm really enjoying the challenge, although it does seem like Friday rolls around faster than ever before. Ha!
This week I was able to finish knitting a pair of socks that I had been working on since February. I'm so excited to see these complete. I'm a very sporatic knitter, and I had one of the socks knit for months. The other one was started, but I stalled out for awhile. I turned the heel on the second sock last Saturday, and sped through the last part of the foot in record time. I closed the toe last night...thanks to this challenge! I always get a little bit giddy to see how slick the kitchener stitch finishes things up. (Look at me throwing around knitting lingo like I know what I'm doing!) It's getting COLD here, so hurray for a timely finish!

How about you? Do you have a finish from the past week? If so, feel free to link up and share your accomplishment! Please remember to link to a specific post. Thank you! And happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

evolution of a quilt top

Here's a little rundown on how this community quilt top came to be....
I started with several blue scraps (thanks to Heather!) and cut several 4.5" squares with my Go! baby while talking to a very good friend on the phone. (I love multitasking!) The go cutter made quick work of the task. Plus, it was easy to do while I was on the phone. :)

My friends and I sewed the blocks together into 4 patches at the beginning quilting class I taught last month.
I had enough blue scraps to make 26 blocks. But how to lay them out to get a decent size quilt? I mulled it over for several days. At this point I also started thinking about what I could use for the back of the quilt.
One night while I was NOT sleeping, I remembered I had this fabric, which would work great for the back. It came from my neighbor, Mary. It was leftover from her son's school project and it ended up in my stash. Who am I to turn away awesome fabric? 
The backing choice inspired the addition of a few green blocks. These fabrics came from my stash. I'm so glad I added the green, the quilt would have been very flat without it.
I decided to use my fair and square pattern, so I trimmed all 33 blocks down to 6.5" square.
I did a quick layout on my floor, then added some gray sashing. (The color is ash from connecting threads. Best gray ever!)
Here's the finished quilt top! I wasn't sure I was going to like it before I sewed it together, but now I am pleased as punch! My son just told me that it looked kinda weird and kinda cool. Ha! Good to know! :)
So there you have a slightly scary look at the inner working of my brain and how a quilt comes together. :) Lots of using what I have, using what others share with me, and bits of inspiration during sleepless nights. That about sums it up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

madilynn's quilt

Yesterday I hosted a baby shower (with the help of a few good friends) for my friend Tanya and her little baby girl. Of course I had to make them a quilt. :) I don't really make that many baby quilts, so I always forget how much fun they are! I love that you can start and finish one in a few short days.
I went with a simple patchwork pattern with a few random circles thrown in. I started with 5 circles (on white background squares) when I pieced the quilt. After the quilt top was done, I decided that the circles were too sparse, so I cut a few more to add on. I ended up quilting them right on to the quilt sandwich. It worked fine and dandy! It's fun to design on the fly. :)
The circles have raw edges, so they frayed nicely in the wash. I quilted the circles in spirals and the rest was stippled. The whole quilt crinkled up quite a bit after washing and drying. Yay!
The binding is from the Children at Play line. LOVE this fabric for binding. It's just so sweet!
The backing is Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman. I picked this up last summer for a song. It's the perfect baby (girl) quilt backing! I'm happy I still have a bunch left. The quilt measures 40" x 50". I'm pretty certain that this quilt will be well used and loved. Hurray!

And while we are on the subject of baby quilts....remember this one? My daughter and I went to a birthday party a few weeks ago, and the new little guy was passed all around the room wrapped in his quilt. It made me so very happy to see his quilt in use! He made it look so much better. :) Aren't those little feet so adorable???

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

finish it up Friday, week 2

Welcome to week 2 of finish it up Friday! I hope you have been motivated to finish up something this week. I want to thank everyone who linked up last week. It was fun to visit and see all your beautiful finishes. Keep up the good work!
I was able to put the last few stitches in the binding of my Machine Quilting Sampler this week. It was quite exciting, especially since I bound this one and a half times. I wasn't happy with the mitered corners (or non-mitered corners, as it were) the first time around, so I ripped out my stitches (a whole lot of stitches!!) and did the binding all over. Now it's much better, and it's complete. Hurray! (Sometimes it's a huge pain in the hinder to be a perfectionist!)
This quilt is my class sample for the retreat I'm teaching at in a few weeks. I quilted each square individually with a different quilting design and then joined them with a quilt as you go method. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!!!!
The backs are all different prints, which made things a bit tricky when it came to layout time. Not only did the prints need to be evenly distributed, so did the solids on the front. Just a bit of shuffling and it was good to go. What a relief!
It measures 64" x 80".

I had a bunch of questions in previous posts asking how to join the blocks together. I'm not ready to share that information here on the blog yet, as it wouldn't be fair to the students that are taking the class. And to be honest, it takes a whole lot of prep time to get a class planned out (not to mention getting the sample done), so I'm planning on teaching this class several more times. Thanks for your understanding!

Now, how about you? Are you ready to link up with your finish for the week? Please link to a specific post (not just your blog address) from the past week so we can see what you finished! Thanks for joining in! :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

finish it up Friday, week 1

Welcome to week one of the finish it up Friday linky party! My hope is that this challenge helped you finish up some (or any!) of those WIPs and UFOs into finished projects.

I know this challenge kept me on the straight and narrow this week. I so badly wanted to start something new (every single day!), but I buckled down and focused on finishing rather than starting. I hope I can keep on that trend! :) 
Technically, I finished Mary's quilt last week, but I still had to wash, dry, label, wrap, gift and blog it. So, now it's done. :) And it's my finish for the week.

How about you? Did you finish anything? If so, please link to a specific post from the past week and share your fabulous finish! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mary's quilt

Yesterday afternoon I was hanging this quilt up on my rain gutter on the side of my house (for my third round attempt at a decent photo) and a lady was walking by with her young children. She stopped to ask me if I made the quilt. It turns out she is a quilter, too, and new to the neighborhood. We chatted a little bit and I invited her to our little neighborhood quilting group next month! What a fun surprise to meet yet another quilting friend on my street. So, maybe it IS good that I am the crazy quilt lady in the neighborhood trying to get that one decent shot of the quilt for the old blog. :)

I made this quilt for my friend (and yet another neighbor) Mary, with the help of my lovely Two's Company Bee members. Thanks so much, ladies!! I couldn't have done it without you! It turned out to be such a bright and happy quilt, don't you think?
I requested red, aqua and white maverick stars, and I got such a beautiful variety of blocks back. Each bee member so graciously added a few of their own fabrics in their block, which helped make this a scrappier quilt. Just what I was after! If you ask me, this is THE PERFECT bee block. It's easy, it doesn't use a ton of fabric, each person can add their own personality, but the blocks are still unified with all the others in the end. That's just my 2 cents. :)
I pieced the back, of course. The center print was in my stash and it was wide enough to cover the width of the quilt with a few inches to spare. There was just enough leftover after trimming to add a strip or two to my scrap bucket. Sweet! I added a solid aqua and a white and blue dot for the rest. I LOVE this back!
I stippled the quilt in white thread and machine bound it (yay!) with this leaf print. Instead of using my normal warm and natural batting, (I didn't want the flecks to show through all the light fabrics), I used some Fairfied 80/20 batting that I had on hand. It has no flecks, but it has a higher loft. That made me nervous, because I was afraid of puckers. (Been there, done that!) All went well with the quilting, thankfully, and after washing, the loft settled down just a touch so it is the perfect thickness. Unfortunately, one of the stars bled (boo-hoo), but with all the variety of reds, I guess I wasn't surprised. (Yes, I did use a color catcher, but it didn't help.) It really didn't bother me too much. Like we say a lot in our house, "It is what it is." :)

The quilt measures 60" x 72", which is a perfect lap quilt. I gave it to Mary yesterday, (which was so fun!!!) and she loved it. Hurray!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

rag rug wip

I love to reuse/repurpose things. I also have an unhealthy love for rugs. Handmade rugs? All. the. better. This one is pretty zany, I'll be the first to admit it. But so far, so good!
I started with this stack of previously worn knit shirts. Some were pilled, some were slightly stained and some of them shrunk up funny in the wash. (Hate that!) I deconstructed them and cut them into approximately 3" squares. Thank goodness for my rotary cutter!
I selected a few upholstery samples that I had in my stash (these are 18" square). Then, I basically used this tutorial (thanks Vanessa!) for attaching the knit squares to the upholstery squares. Working with 18" squares made the process pretty manageable at the sewing machine. Any larger and things would have gotten awkward fast!
These totally remind me of those little tissue paper flowers we used to make in grade school. The ones where you used little tissue papers wrapped around a pencil eraser and you dipped them in white glue, then attached them on a background piece of paper. Remember those?
So far I have two squares done and four left to go. Once all 6 squares are made, I plan to zig zag them together in a 2 x 3 layout. (Now THAT should be fun. Heh.) If all goes well, this will be my new entryway rug.

I started this back in May (oh, my!) and I'm blogging about it now in hopes that it will motivate me to finish! Because I really, really could use a new entryway rug. In fact, I could have used a new rug a few months ago. :) I'm also linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I just finished quilting my (20!) blocks for my machine quilting sampler quilt.

A few reasons I love this project...
You get to play with all kinds of different quilting patterns, not to mention thread colors! I love to machine quilt, especially when things are going well, LOL!
You get to use up leftover batting pieces. Who doesn't have a plethora of those lying around?
You get to use stash. I have plenty to use....and solids? Twist my arm!
Then, when you are all done, you get to wrap up in a beautifully textured quilt. This one is going to have a LOT going on. I can't wait to wash and dry it and see how it feels. Maybe I'm getting a little (just a little) ahead of myself. I still have to trim the blocks and then join all these babies together.

The downside of this project...

Too much time to think of new projects to work on, or shoot, even variations of this one! Can you imagine a quilt like this done will all pebble quilting in cool colors? Mmmmmmmm. Sign me up!

These two blocks are new-to-me quilting designs. They are my favorite of the bunch, at least at the moment!
If you are looking for some free motion quilting inspiration, Christina at A Few Scraps has a LOT of fun ideas to try. They really helped me out when I was down to the last few blocks. Thanks so much, Christina!

Monday, October 10, 2011

fuddy is not duddy challenge quilt

This is my entry for the fuddy is not duddy challenge. The guidelines were to use brown, green and burgundy and add only one additional color to make modern looking mini quilt. Of course I chose to add white! What a shocker, I know. :) I had a few different ideas when I started cutting my fabric, but in the end I went with wonky crosses. The are so fun to make! I still debate about whether I should have added more white sashing in or not, but then again I like the blocks all smashed together. The crosses are machine quilted and then I added some hand quilting in all the white squares. I love what the hand quilting added to the quilt-it really helped finish it off. It measures 15" x 14.5".
This challenge was right up my alley...given my history with wanting to rescue fabric and all. I can safely say that I am not about to use these colors all the time, but I think that they CAN look pretty good. It's all about what you add to it. Thanks for the fun challenge, Cheryl! If you are interested, you can see the other challenge quilts here.

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 07, 2011

finish it up Friday

I have so many WIP's it makes me frantic to think about them. I wish I were kidding and/or exaggerating. I am not.

My two newest are fun, but WIP's nonetheless.
This is my fabric pull for the Fuddy is Not Duddy Challenge. Have you seen/heard about it? It's a fun concept for a challenge...too fun that I just couldn't pass it up. The deadline is Monday, but it's just a mini quilt, so why not? So far I'm liking what I came up with....just the binding to go!
This is the very beginnings of my class sample for the quilt retreat that I'm teaching at next month. I'm quilting each individual square (there are prints on the back of each block) and they will be joined together at the end with a quilt-as-you-go method. I am at the "oh-boy-I-sure-do-hope-that-this-turns-out" phase with this quilt, but I do have high hopes. Each quilt is an adventure!

So, getting back to the overwhelmed thing. I think it's finally time to launch my new series that I've been thinking about for months. I love what Lee at Freshly Pieced does with her WIP Wednesdays. So, it's going to work something like that. (Thanks for the inspiration, Lee!) I'm calling it "finish it up Friday". I will host a little linky party each week here at my place. :) You can post about your finished project on your blog and link up here, and we can all encourage each other as we finish! The first link up will be next week. I might get all official and make a button, or I may not. We will see. My hope is that this series will motivate me (and you!) to finally turn some of those WIP's into finished objects. Anyone care to join me in? Or are yours all under control? (HA!)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

thank you!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your excitement about Cheryl's and my upcoming book! It feels so very good to finally be able to tell you about it! I am a terrible secret keeper and I have a little story to prove it. A few years back I went shopping for my husband's birthday. I came home and he and I were talking and at one point in the conversation he simply asked "so, what did you get me?" (Yes, he is a stinker!) I opened my mouth and was just about to tell him. I managed to stop one second before I spilled the beans. I almost told him right then and there! It's pretty pathetic, I know. So can you imagine how hard keeping this secret was? It was a doozey!!!

Sunday Morning Quilts was a true joint effort right from the beginning. Cheryl and I both brought different things to the table and combined, we worked (very, very hard) on writing a book that we, personally, would love to read, study and make all the quilts from. We hope that you will, too! So start (or keep) collecting those scraps!

We do have just a few more details to share. It's being published by Stash Books and will be released sometime next spring. I know, I know, that's a long time to wait. (Trust me, I'm anxious, too!!!) It isn't available on yet for pre-order, but we will let you know when it is.

Tomorrow, back to regular programming. :)

Monday, October 03, 2011

no longer a secret