Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hey, I get to add this quilt to the "finished" category!

Happy Birthday to me - I can add this quilt to the 'finished column.'

Ocean Waves: Baby Boy Schaffer (Scrap) - 33.5" x 47"


I rinsed the lovely little thing today to eliminate the marker lines, but the residual quilting pencil marks will have to eventually wear off with use over time - no big deal. I am looking forward to delivering it to the new owner some day....soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Decisions, decisions

Well, my mind is made up.  I have decided to pick up loose threads and finish this Log Cabin wall hanging called Reading Rainbow. 
Some years ago I became very turned on by primary colors in quilting, and spent a lot of time accumulating, and using, primary colors in everything I did (and didn't do).

Truth be told, I still catch myself assembling quilts with clear, sharp colors and high contrasts.  But, since this falls within the scope of my self challenge for 2010, I am going to enjoy having one more completed quilt checked off the list...or is it added to the plus side?

Any way you look at it, I am glad to have dug this one out - it will be fun to look at.

See you again, soon.  Have a great day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I am desperately hoping somebody out there can point me in the direction of this lovely material.

Either I am able to locate and buy more of it (there really is no "either/or" - I want more of this material...period!), or I something REALLY similar to it can be found to use on the same project.  The closest material I have seen is something called "Kiki" by Robert Allen.  Sadly, it seems it is only a designer material for upholstery uses, and not 100% cotton that would work for quilting.  :>(

I hold out hope that one of you out there has seen this material.  I bought my sample in a fat quarter bundle at a JoAnn Fabric store, and of course, it was the ONLY such bundle....and of COURSE, they do not carry bolts in the store of the materials in their bundles...and of COURSE they cut the identifying color guide and manufacturer's/designer's name from the selvedge - so I am sunk (for the time being).

Can anybody help me? 

Thank you!!

What's next?

My quilting stash - tucked into my sewing corner, under the stairs.

I admit to being scattered (some days more than others). Currently, I am having a hard time committing to my next project, although I have committed myself to finishing something already begun and not starting something new.

There are no new babies on the way, so I think I can safely stick to that commitment. [smacking self on forehead]

I have far more projects in the throes of quilting stages, and many tops that have yet to be stretched - but it is probably safer for them to be awaiting the rack and pins than to have already been pinned and folded. I have two large quilts (double or queen-size) in this predicament (the already-pinned-and-going-nowhere-fast type), and I am not doing them any good this way. Still, my mind races with ideas, and my storage shelves bulge with future projects already stacked and taunting me.

This is one project I have been itching to get started on for quite a while, now. I am calling it "From Sea to Shining Sea," as it is based on the song (in its color selection) and a picture I have drawn to create/quilt. It would be my first applique quilt, and while I am not crazy enough to make it large and unmanageable, I do want it large enough so that the overall picture/design makes sense. Too small and I fear the message would be lost, but too large, and I definitely would lose momentum over time. As I said, it would be my first applique style quilt, so I want it to be fun, but I want it to be do-able and look like something when it is finished (preferably so that people would be able to see my intent - my message - when they look at it) without having to struggle to interpret the way it was delivered.

I would also like to begin and finish quilts for each of my sons, and perhaps one for each of my brothers... and something for my friends (maybe those will have to be Christmas stockings just to keep it realistic).

I did finish a lap quilt for my mom earlier this year (although, to be honest, it was one of those things that I had begun a l-o-n-g time ago and just never finished until I challenged myself this year), so I was feeling pretty good about sticking to my goal for the year.

We'll cover the dearth of other quilt tops 'assembled and waiting' another time, for now let me leave you with just two more shots.

These are two quilt tops under construction.

This orange and brown Snail's Trail was something I began at the tail end of 2009, after coming home from the Grayling production. I found a few of the orange prints that were used at a quilt shop I had always heard great reviews of (but found their material selection had been greatly exaggerated). I still have one more border to sew on to the top, then I can get busy stretching and quilting. It was simply a neat color study for me.

The pink and brown group of squares is still not officially a quilt top yet, since I haven't even finished assembling the blocks. I believe I am four squares shy of a load - LOL - but I wanted to make a scrappy quilt way back when; this project began as my marriage was ending, and the boys and I were looking for a new home of our own. The comfort of the pinks and browns together helped ease me into what was a bleak spring - but with the promise of a new beginning.

That was ten years ago, so I believe it would be a fitting anniversary for us all if I applied some of my energy toward completing this Ohio Star beauty in 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Photos of the baby quilt progress

Here are the additional photos of the Ocean Waves baby quilt progression.

The safety pins are my method of basting the backing/batting/top 'sandwich' together for the quilting process.
I went from stretching and pinning the quilt on Wednesday morning, to stenciling and quilting the majority of it over Wednesday evening and on through Saturday afternoon.

As an area is stitched, the basting pins are removed, and voila!

Cut and applied the binding Saturday afternoon, then began to slipstitch it to the back the remainder of the evening and through Sunday morning while the laundry did it's thing in the dryer.

I still have the four corners to fill (to the inside of the quilted border) with some sort of pattern to keep the batting stable (they are large triangles - about 10" on the longest side, and 8" along the right angle sides), and then two smaller triangular shapes to fill (along the center of the two longest sides).

After returning home yesterday afternoon, I easily pieced two separate stencils together to come up with exactly what was called for in the largest areas. The two smaller spaces will be taken care of shortly. I will be able to accomplish the remaining quilting tonight, after a busy day of catch up.

Introductions aside...reality sucks!

I am happy to report that progress on the "Baby Boy - Ocean Waves" has been pretty quick.

I worked my cha-chas off these last five days to stretch and pin, mark, quilt, bind and finish it (as much as I could). I still have a small bit of quilting to accomplish, but it will be done this evening. Stuff got in the way.

Not unlike anybody else, I can get sidetracked...weigh-layed and simply hung up on a project by some sinister problem. You can get halted by 'situations' that crop up; a temporary gig or familial obligation steps in the way, and poof! Work stoppage. I find myself away from my stash and tools and habitat, and without my things to turn to (if I don't pack it), I am sunk.

In all honesty, sometimes I lose interest and/or momentum somewhere around the completion of the top and next steps. I let my fabric wall whisper too loudly about a new color combo that would be really cool in the same pattern, and I step away to explore the color choices, [smacking forehead] then I am left with finished quilt tops, but no actual quilt!

I have at least two full-sized basted quilts (and one wall hanging) who have suffered the lost-momentum fate, and while I use one of them on a fairly regular basis, I am nowhere near ready to put it on the table and quilt it...finish it. I don't know why.

I should, I know I must. Perhaps, with my personal challenge in hand, this summer that lovely quilt will meet the sewing machine for it's final phases!!!

Oh! I feel so empowered! Prop me up, you quilters out there in the 'verse.

And still, there is a lovely pile of tops I have completed and who are ready to be mated with batting and a back...but in what order will I complete these? Aaargh!!

The saddest part is that it all means I should really stop starting new projects and only concentrate on finishing what I've already got started. [sgnort!] Yeah, right, that's gonna happen.
Waaaahhh! [sob] I am gasping at the reality.

Reality sucks. So, let's quilt!

Monday, April 12, 2010


I hadn't intended to create another blog page, but here it is.

Lesson 1: Never drink (even weak) white russians while you are blogging.

I've been blogging for right around two and one half years now, but for other purposes beyond (or including more than to) purely write or photograph or share quilting ideas/stories/ideas/etc.

And, I have noticed/found many other quilters who blog, and have been sent several good links to other bloggers out there in the 'verse.

"Hello" to one and all.

I am not exactly certain of the purpose for the creation of this new blog (and the white russian isn't talking at present, so I can only guess that), perhaps my slightly innibriated psychie reasoned it's existance was to purely get you to the quilting portion of my blog entries faster (for those purely interested in the quilting aspect, and not the rest of my entries).


Not long ago I decided I would create one new quilt each month.

No, let me amend that statement. I didn't simply task myself with the monumental chore, but...rather... I "challenged" myself.

Dared myself to be creative and commit my time lock, stock and barrel to planning, cutting, sewing, patching, assembling, ironing, toiling and agonizing over, basting, stenciling, quilting, questioning...and ultimately regretting (several times over) the inception, creation and completion of one new project twelve times over for 2010.

Once I took a step back and reasoned through my folly, and the unreasonable nature of the desire/task, I scaled it back slightly to allow for finishing several objects already underway (in leau of beginning a number of those twelve new projects) in order to sufficiently fulfill my personal obligation.

Oh, my Lord, I am an idiot of some proportion!

[heavy sigh]

At any rate, it's April already (nearly mid-way through the month), and I have been at work on a baby quilt for one of my many cousins - it is for their first son, so the quilt was given the dubious title of "Baby Boy Schaffer." It is an Ocean Waves pattern where the elongated hexes are set into color two-tone patterns, none of which repeats. To finish it off I've decided to use a good number of the remaining triangles in the border by assembling half-size pinwheels (it also makes me feel a little better about having stepped into my stash and cut from so many pieces), and alternating those blocks with muslin tone-on-tone blocks. Originally, the pinwheels were to completely surround the quilt and a subsequent smaller border, but sanity stepped in and helped me realize the enormity of that task, and from there I was able to rethink the use of nothing but pinwheels.


I reduced the number of pinwheel blocks from 80+ to a more reasonable number, and get the border completed much faster.

Now I can turn my laborious over-analyzing (perfectionist tendencies) to the task of choosing and using the right stencils for the quilting process. LOL

To date, I am finishing the construction of the quilt back, which incorporates autograph squares from family members. I hope to stretch/baste it tomorrow, and have it with me at Gram's to quilt and (hopefully) finish while I am there.

Welcome to my quilt world!