Tag Archives: Quilting

Stitching scrappiness

I had a moment of panic when I read this post that indicated that my Scrap Attack quilt had to be completed by March 28 in order to be considered for all the goodies.  I truly thought I had until the end of March, literally March 31, to finish it.  Of course, had I read this post, I would have known the deadline so much sooner.  True to form, I skimmed and made assumptions, all of which were wrong.

No matter, it turns out that the quilt can be mostly finished (the top must be finished, ready to quilt and bind).

Mine definitely qualifies – I have yet to hand sew the binding.  Other than that, I’m pretty much as far along as I had hoped to be by now.  True, it’s not “done” but according to the rules, it’s done enough.


Scrap Attack quilt with legs

Gratuitous shot of J, the Ginger, my quilt holder who tries to not complain while his mom fiddles with the camera.




Filed under Quilting, Scrap Attack

Scrap Attack Quilt Progress

Scrap Attack quilt in 5 strips, enjoying the breeze

It’s amazing, when making a quilt, how quickly things wrap up after hours of measuring, cutting, piecing, stitching, measuring, stitching, and measuring some more.


This is one of those times.

I have so enjoyed making this scrap quilt.  I had some doubts at the beginning (that it might be boring, that I might not like the aqua solid, that some of the scraps didn’t “go”, etc.) but really, really, I like it.  I’m getting together with the MMQG gals this weekend for a sewing day and I hope to begin quilting it.  If I want to be “in” for the Scrap Attack contest, I have to finish by 3/31.  It’s looking pretty good (hope I didn’t just jinx myself).

Linking up to Lee and WIP Wednesday.


Filed under Quilting, Scrap Attack

Kitchen Window progress

Nine of 12 blocks completed.  I don’t have a design wall, so I photographed each block separately against white fabric in my sunroom and then cropped each picture to approximately the same size.  Not quite the same as a design wall, I know, but it’s the best I have right now.

Despite it’s shortcomings, my “design wall” shows me what I like and what I don’t like, which is the whole point of a design wall.  The dark green pieces of the blocks really stand out to me, and not in a good way.  I think I would have liked them better if they were heavier on the blue.  I also thought I would not like the blue/gray part of the middle left block, but that doesn’t bother me too much from afar.  That said, I’m going to substitute something else for the blue/gray pieces I’ve already cut for the final 3 blocks.  Maybe I’ll add more of the pink AMH Shattered.  That’s kind of appropriate for blocks of windows, no?

I’ve got too much invested to undo the green/blue pieces of blocks 1, 2, 3, and 6 so I’m going to have to live with them.  I’ll rearrange them on the quilt so they’re not so close together.  I do love love love the aqua parts.  Perhaps they’re opposites on the color spectrum and that’s why they draw my eye in(?)

Note to self:  need a real design wall soon!


Filed under Anna Maria Horner, Gifts, Quilting

A new project and March do. Good Stitches

I decided to cut into my stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  I’ve been hoarding collecting them for some time now and finally found a worthy project to make, and someone for whom to make it.

It was my birthday last week and one of my gifts was Elizabeth Hartman’s book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.  Elizabeth is the most amazing quilter – everything she makes is perfect and I have gone to her website for block ideas, free-motion quilting help, and just overall inspiration many, many times.  She is also, incidentally, a member of do. Good Stitches, though she’s not in my circle.

I wanted to make a quilt for a good friend in Cincinnati who I’m going to visit in April (I know, I’m biting off a lot with little time to chew).  My friend Gwyn and I are going together.  We planned this trip back in November when Jo El was visiting during a rough patch for my family.  Jo El is the kind of friend who will hop on a plane in a moment’s notice and will show up with laughter and love, and her friendship is truly a gift.  She is also a world-renowned heart researcher.  I am not kidding.  She is impressive in many ways.

Gwyn and I made this trip 2 years ago for Jo El’s 40th birthday party and spent a fun weekend just hanging out together.  We’re really looking forward to this trip again and I want to bring a little something as a thank you to J.

AMH stash

These are mostly AMH Innocent Crush with a few Good Folks in the mix.  Missing from the picture is my all-time favorite, Filigree in Meadow.  I’m not quite sure about the print 5 from the left, Good Folks Festival in Dusk.  It doesn’t really go with the solid border so I might have to substitute for that one – I’ll make that decision later.

Selvages saved, organizer cards ready

One tip I really appreciate from the book is how Elizabeth suggests cutting the fabrics and grouping them right away onto organizer cards.  It’s really a brilliant idea – it keeps everything together and there’s a real sense of accomplishment as each card is cleared and the block is completed.  You can use anything for the organizer cards; I used old file folders that I tore in half.

A 12-card project is very doable; my mind doesn’t bend around a 64-card project.  The pattern I’ve chosen is Kitchen Window.  This is a 12-card project.

12 organizer cards, organized.

I finished cutting last weekend but didn’t have time to sew anything together until last night.

The solids are Kona Berry and Quilter’s Only Solids in Tea Dye.  I hope I don’t regret the Quilter’s Only fabric (upper left).  I’ve never used it and it’s a bit see-through, but just a bit.  I don’t think that will be a problem.  I hope not.  Keeping my fingers crossed about that.  Trying to convince myself that it will be OK.  I just didn’t like the Kona neutral color choices available to me in the store and I really wanted a linen-look.  I think got it with the Quilter’s Only Tea Dye.

I finished 3.  Six Nine more to go [I don’t know what’s wrong with my math!].  These are really big blocks.  You can see one almost completely covers my cutting mat:

Moving on

March’s do. Good Stitches block for the Faith Circle (organized by Alecia) was the Stashbuster Block from Material Obsession Two.  To be honest, this was probably the most challenging bee block I’ve made.  I won’t say it was a hard block, but it required a lot more of my attention than usual.  Most of the time I can envision an entire quilt out of the bee blocks I make, but in this case, I am not so sure.  My points weren’t terrible, but they certainly weren’t as beautiful as Rita’s inspiration quilt over at Red Pepper Quilts.  To combat the points-not-lining-up problem the author suggests putting a doodad (yo yo, whatever) in the center of each block after the whole thing is quilted.

I scoured Red Pepper Quilts’ website for pointers (no pun intended) and realized that Rita didn’t use the pattern’s paper templates on her quilt; rather, she used a special acrylic template that she had on hand.  I think that might have made all the difference in how beautifully hers came together.  I think when cutting fabric using a  paper template you eventually end up with uneven measurements.  And we all know in quilting a little difference in seam allowances means a lot.  That said, I’m sure Alecia’s quilt will come together very nicely because there are a lot of talented sewists in the group.  And we’ve got good juju on our side.

Anyway, back to the basics.  We were asked to make two of these babies.  The finished size should have been 9.5″ according to Alecia.  I made mine and they were relative monsters at 10.5″ unfinished.  So I wrote to one of the authors of the book, Kathy Doughty,  and she replied (how nice!)  She said that her finished block was 10″ so I seemed to be on the right track.  In the end I didn’t even trim the sides because Kathy said the blocks could really be any size (finished) as long as they were all the same size when sewn together.  I’ll leave the final trimming to Alecia.

This is the block as first assembled.  I sent this picture to Alecia in desperation because my measurements were so off compared to hers.  After re-measuring her block and doing the math, Alecia decided that her blocks were the ones that were off.  So she remade hers (of course, I wouldn’t be a Catholic if I didn’t feel guilty about that. Grrr.).

I tried but no amount of ripping and re-sewing could make those points come together nicely in the middle.

My blocks were finished last Sunday.  I hope to get them in the mail today if I can get this post finished!

Stashbuster blocks without the doodad in the middle

Stashbuster blocks with the doodad in the middle


Filed under Anna Maria Horner, do. Good Stitches bee, Gifts, Stash

FNSI – February, 2011

I had one completion this week for FNSI and I’m OK with that.  I have been wanting to make a quilt I saw in the Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  I thought the simplicity of the design would make it a quick quilt.  Well, although the design is simple, it requires a lot of quilting.  And I found out that I really don’t like quilting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love selecting fabrics, piecing, and binding.  It’s the quilting that I suck at.  It makes my back and neck ache, and I generally get annoyed doing it.  That said, I like how the quilting, or stippling, turned out in this piece.

OF COURSE I didn’t finish a quilt for FNSI, that’s ridiculous.  I did finish a pillow though.  My circles leave a lot to be desired, and for sure, that’s the focus of the piece.  I noticed afterword that the circles in the original quilt are actually a continuous loop and mine have a definite starting and stopping point.  I ripped and sewed each of the circles twice because I wasn’t happy with them.  Ultimately, I had to leave them because I ripped and re-quilted after I had stippled with the red thread.  There is some puckering but it’s not too bad.  However, I am satisfied with my stippling overall.  I made a simple envelope-style closure for the back and used one of my throw pillows from the couch for the form.  I bound it like a quilt with the same Kona red.  Here it is, modeled by Rex:

And a closer view

I might actually like the quilting process in the future if I can get a more comfortable chair/table setup.  I think that’s why my back and neck ache when I do it.   Here is the quilt in the book:

Mine looks reasonably like the original, right?  Minus the messy ends in the circles.  Well, minus the messy circles themselves.

I also mailed off my blocks for February’s do. Good Stitches quilt.  We’re supporting a young lady in Australia whose home has been devastated by the flooding and I think this quilt is going to be really beautiful.  I think all the do.  Good Stitches quilters have done a really wonderful job picking the blocks and making the quilts for worthy recipients.  Kristy’s design is no exception.

Here are my blocks:

She asked for a disappearing 9 patch in Spring colors.  I think I got the “value” wrong in these – Kristy’s colors are more pale – but I think they’re very Spring like.  I hope they work well with the other blocks.  This block was so simple and rewarding.  I might have to try it again.  I like how these turned out.


Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Friday Night Sew-In, Quilting, Quilting bee

Quick update

I got a total of 1 1/2 blocks done last night.  No wait!  I actually only completed one.  Here is the one that I completed.  It  is part of a very long project (from the 2nd QAYG Quilt Along):

And here is the one that I couldn’t quite finish.

Believe it or not these took hours to finish.  I make a practice block every time I try something new.  I’m practicing for the November Do. Good Stitches block.  I can make a block in any style but it has to include a little embroidered piece that was provided by the quilt designer.  I’m too afraid to screw it up so I’m totally playing it safe.  I did finish my practice block this evening and then made another one that is a bit wonky and that is the one I’ll use for the final design. The block above involved precision and I simply can’t eek precision out of my machine.  I broke down today and purchased a 1/4″ foot and we’ll see how that goes.

The QAYG block is time consuming because I quilt each piece as I lay it down.  I’ve tried it the other way (sew each piece to the batting and then quilt the whole thing) and it does go more quickly but I don’t like the finished result quite as much.

So, that’s what I got done last night, and what I didn’t get done.

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, QAYG Quilt Along, Quilting

A big finish

This week (Wednesday precisely) I finished a quilt that has been languishing in my office for over a year.  Let me correct that:  it is not just “A” quilt, it is my first quilt.  It is the first thing I learned to piece, it is my first complete quilt that is bigger than a baby stroller.  And I love it.  I loved it when I was piecing it, I loved it when I was picking out the fabric, I loved binding it, and I love it now that I can throw it over my knees while I watch TV.  Okay fine, it’s small.  It is however, larger than one you might tuck in a baby stroller.  I deserve some credit for that.  While I might not have graduated to full adult body-sized quilts (not yet anyway), I can still step back and admire this baby.  Here she is (click on the picture to see the complete image – I couldn’t size it to fit this page properly):

I’ll try not to throw my back out patting myself on it.  Try to ignore the scraggly plant in the background – I guess it’s time to get rid of that.  I’ll be the first to admit it’s not without flaws, but notice how all the trees are going in the same direction in the border?  I did that intentionally.  I think this is the last time all of my points lined up too.  The kid holding up the quilt is over 5 feet tall, so I bet it’s a good 4 feet square.  Not that small, right?  So this was a good week, a week in which I finished a project long overdue and I am, obviously, proud of it.

I like this quilting thing.  I think it’s going to catch on.

UPDATE:  I am updating this post to say it is my first ever Sew & Tell post – yea!!  I’ve never really thought my stuff was Sew & Tell worthy, but I think this one will do 🙂


Filed under Learning Curve, Quilting, Sew & Tell