Sharon’s top is quilted and the longarm is wrapped and protected for the next few months. I also cut some small tumblers and will cut some more tomorrow before loading up the car. I’m not leaving GA yet, but I am heading to Chris’ house for a long weekend with family.
Not as productive as I would have liked but I did quilt 7 quilts and am taking 6 back to FL for binding.
After Keith went to bed, I went downstairs to cut the last of my Drunkard Path blocks … Chesty does not like the stairs here … He has to be carried down them because they’re metal and spiral down but they get me from the first floor to the bottom floor without having to go outside so I don’t mind them.
I also loaded what will probably be my last top quilted while I’m here. It’s pieced by Sharon and I was lucky to meet her in person when I went to Nebraska in August.
One of the best tips I ever read when I first got my longarm was about using a spray bottle on wrinkles as you load the quilt rather than pressing quilt backs. This was especially nice in MN when my longarm room was in the basement and the ironing board up two levels but it’s still easier than pressing even now that my ironing board is just steps away.
Since I have a limited amount of space, I load the back and the lay the top out to measure how much batting I need and then lie the batting on the floor to cut it. My favorite batting is Hobbs 80/20 and I buy it by the roll. It has enough loft that my quilting shows but crinkles up when I wash the quilt PLUS it’s reasonably priced which is a bonus with all the donation quilts I do.
Sharon has sent me several tops to finish and donate over the years … I did a search on my blog and these are the ones I found … I think they’re all by her – sometimes my memory fails me.
Keith arrived last night and leaves Monday so the next few days will be family time … not much quilting except I might go down and finish cutting out the Drunkard’s Path quilt after Keith goes to bed. Tomorrow we’ll spend the day with Chris and his family and on Sunday, Adam and his family are coming to Chris’ for the day so we’ll see them too!
Today we had a lazy morning (translation, I slept really late!) and then we went for an 8.3 mile walk. With all the hills I’d call it a hike except there is a paved path. The hills definitely made it more challenging than the flat walks in FL but the temps were much nicer – high 60′s versus 90 and for the first time since I arrived, it wasn’t raining!
There’s still a lot of green but the leaves are starting to turn – it was a beautiful walk. ( Did you see my selfie in the collage?)
I have gone round and round playing with layouts for my 3rd Drunkard’s Path quilt. The other two are simple layouts but I wanted to try something with the Devil’s Puzzle layout but couldn’t make it work in a size I wanted with the large Drunkard’s Path blocks so I think I’m going to do this one … at least, this is what I’ll cut out. There are an equal number of light centers and dark centers which is perfect since the die cuts an equal number. It saves me from having to cut extra of one and not use them all.
My Strips and Strings Log Cabin is quilted … The pantograph is Blowing Leaves and it’s an old one and simple but I like it. It almost took me as long to find the laser light and reattach the post to the longarm and find the bin with the pantograph as it did to actually quilt it. Each day I get a little closer to actually having everything in it’s place and being able to just go down and start quilting without having to participate in a scavenger hunt first!
I’ve made several of these over the years from my string bins and they’re still a favorite of mine … In fact the banner on my website is a photo of one of them. The link above will take you there to instructions for the quilt if you’ve got some leftover strips and strings lying around!
If my occasional whine bothers you … Go ahead and skip this post but it’s just a little whine. I know I’m lucky to have dedicated quilting space and very fortunate to have a generous stash but it sure is a challenge to have my fabric in bins rather than in the open on shelves after 14 years of quilting.
I thought that separating the fabric into colors and labeling the bins would make it work well for me and it helps but trying to pull specific fabrics without dumping everything in the bin …. Not so easy!
So why was I scrounging around in the bins? HeartStrings is doing a Sharon Quilt Challenge … Well, a few of us are doing the challenge. Sharon is one of the quilters from Maine and she makes a lot of planned HeartStrings quilts where she cuts her strips the same size and places her fabrics in the same location in the block. Here’s an example of one from last month.
The guidelines for the challenge are:
8 fabrics – I yard each
All strips cut 2 inches
Corner triangles same fabric on both sides of the block from 4 inch squares cut on the diagonal.
This is a planned quilt with the strips in the same place for each block.
Blocks made and top assembled by midnight Dec 31, 2014
I had to find 8 coordinating fabrics … Hiding somewhere in 16-18 bins. Not fun. Luckily, in the first bin I came across a stripe that I decided I’d use to pull my other fabrics and that made it easier once I decided I wanted brown, gold, red, green, and purple in the quilt. I pulled 11 fabrics even though we only need 8 because I won’t start this until I’m in FL and I want a little wiggle room once I start deciding where to place the fabrics in the blocks in case I don’t like one or two of them.
I think this might actually look good … What do you think?