Archive for January, 2007

Planning my next string quilt/Baptist Fan Template

While I was quilting today I glanced over at my shelves and saw a crate of fat quarters from Joann’s on the shelf. I decided they would be perfect for the next string quilt I want to make. It will be a version of the cover quilt from New Cuts for New Quilts: More Ways to Stack the Deck by Karla Alexander. I also have the perfect border/sashing fabric too.

I called and spoke to Michael at Loricles Quilting today and am definitely going to purchase the Baptist Fan template and am thinking about the Circle Lord too.

I was a chicken

Even with the snow plow coming through at 3:30AM this morning there was still plenty of snow on the roads so I moved Chesty’s vet appointment to Friday afternoon. It’s just a get acquainted visit so it wasn’t worth the stress of getting in the car.

Instead I stayed home and quilted a UFO from last year. This is a top my Mom made and gave me to finish and donate. As you can see, I’m adjusting to having less space but luckily my longarm is on wheels so I can push it over to one side when I need to trim a quilt or cut some batting.

I have SNOW too!

I can’t believe how fast this accumulated. I was just commenting on a couple blogs that we were finally supposed to get some snow and went to turn off the light by my cutting table and everything was already covered in less than 30 minutes.

I’m supposed to take Chesty to the vet tomorrow afternoon but you can bet I’m not driving. I haven’t driven in snow or ice in many years and I’m not going to start tomorrow.

It’s COLD!

The really cold weather has finally hit. Yesterday I don’t think it made it to 10 degrees and it was as low as 1 degree when I took Chesty out for his walk last night. This afternoon it was 8 degrees when I took a break and walked down to the bookstore and coffee shop. I’m not used to these temperatures being the HIGH’s for the day but so far it’s not too bad as long as I bundle up. What I really want is some snow! Other than a few flurries now and then we haven’t had any since New Year’s Eve.

Keith comes home tonight from Denmark and we’re going to go out and get a drink later. In the meantime, my stack of blocks for my next string quilt is growing! I have 43 of the 80 I need finished.

Hourglass Strings photo

Click on the photo to see a larger version

Here’s the label I just finished stitching. I made a simple one on the computer and embroidered my initials beside it. I don’t usually put my name on my donation quilts but last year I started putting my initials – you can see I really need more practice with my embroidery!

Hourglass Strings

I finished quilting my Hourglass Strings yesterday and the binding was done tonight. I don’t have a picture yet – not sure how I’m going to manage pictures here at the apartment but I’ll take one somewhere tomorrow and post it.

This quilt is a UFO from last year AND my first finish for the HeartStrings Quilt Project! I had planned to quilt it using a freehand design from the Line Dancing book but ended up playing with my tension way too long and opted for a quick pantograph instead. I’m way behind on my quilting thanks to the move and other stuff that kept me busy last fall so I’m on a mission to FINISH quilts!

When we started the HeartStrings Quilt Project there was a suggestion that we create a website and after reading the comments on Nancy’s blog about so many people NOT wanting to join another group but willing to make blocks for Nancy I thought it was time to get one going. One of our members, Phyl has offered to help us set up a web page so we’re looking at options for hosting sites and starting to draft the content.

Off Center 4 Patch Backing

I had some questions about one of the pieced backs I frequently use – an off center 4 patch. I like using this back when I don’t have enough of a single fabric to make the backing and when I don’t have time to piece multiple fabrics together. In a nutshell – this is how I make the back:

I take 2 pieces of fabric that are long enough to cover the width of my quilt plus 8-10 inches. (my selvages are running horizontally here and the WOF is going to provide the length I need).

I trim one selvage off each fabric and sew the two together.

I make an offset cut so the seam won’t fall in the center of my quilt. (see vertical line)

Flip one side around and sew back them together to create the 4 patch.

This gives me a backing that is about 84 – 88 inches long and to offset my horizontal seam – I just position my quilt near the top of my backing rather than centering it. I also don’t worry about having the top and side exactly even although they are in this picture.

More String blocks

I sent 20 HeartString blocks off yesterday and started working on an older UFO. I had the muslin foundations and larger triangles for this quilt cut but hadn’t made any of the blocks yet. I’ve got 20 made so far and need 80 which will give me a quilt that is 61×76.

I also got the Hourglass String quilt loaded and will start quilting tomorrow. I’ve been playing with some Line Dancing ideas but not sure what I’m going to use yet.

I have 3 baby quilts ready to ship off to my Mom along with the top I just quilted for her. They’ll all be donated to Catholic Charities. Two of them count as UFO finishes for my Stashbuster group.

Settling back into a routine

I quilted a top for my Mom this afternoon. I still think the new machine may need some adjustment of the wheels to make it move a little easier but I’m getting more accustomed to it. It’s nice to get back into the routine of piecing and quilting each day.

In my new *studio* there’s a window seat that overlooks the park. Chesty can watch people and cars coming and going as I work AND the sun shines right in on him – he loves curling up in a spot of sunlight. He sat and watched out the window the entire time I was quilting today.

String blocks

I made 4 more string blocks today in honor of Nancy’s birthday and now have 20 blocks along with some $$ for postage and fabric for a backing ready to ship off to Sue for the HeartStrings project. I did a quick count on the database today and counted 604 blocks made so far – that’s enough for 12.5 quilts and we’re just 1 week officially into the project!

I also pulled out a UFO string project that’s been sitting around for a couple years and made 4 blocks. I’ll make this quilt ( which will be similar to my first string quilt) from start to finish and donate it here in Minneapolis. It’s based on a quilt I saw in the book Great Lakes, Great Quilts.

My package from Gammill came this week so now I have my side clamps for my longarm and a working outlet that fits on the center leg of my table. I’ve got a quilt of Mom’s loaded and can’t wait to quilt some tomorrow.

UFO # 1

I finished my first UFO last night. It’s just a simple strippie pattern I made up a few years ago using one kiddie focus print and 2 coordinates – I use this design to make quick donation quilts. Everything is cut in strips WOF and then alternated between skinny acent strips, a plain strip, and then the focus print. The plain strips are usually a good spot to try some border designs – hearts in this case.

Chesty and I went on a cultural outing today for our walk to the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden. I like the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture but he likes rabbits so I think he preferred Hare on Bell.

On the quilting front I made 6 more string blocks for the Heartstrings Quilt Project for a total of 16 – I plan to mail these off once I get 20 made. I have 2 UFO’s that are finished string tops that I’ll also quilt and donate for this project. I checked the database earlier and with just 12 people having entered their information, we already have enough blocks made for 6+ quilts. The plan is to set the blocks 6×8 for a finished quilt size of 54×72. I also finished the binding on one of the baby panels I used to practice quilting on the new machine. I have one more panel and a small strippie to finish the binding on and then all 3 quilts will be donated.

Chris sent me a picture of my bedroom ceiling – they’re going to repair the roof on Monday so cross your fingers that we don’t get anymore damage before then. Chris did put up some tarps but I won’t stop worrying until the roof is repaired and I know that it isn’t going to leak anymore. Chris and Becky went home today so there’s no one there to keep an eye on things. I’ll be glad when they get themselves moved the end of this month.

When it rains – the ceiling collapses!

Chris and Becky are at the Marietta house for a couple days and when they got there last night they found that there was a leak in the roof and part of the ceiling had collapsed in the master bedroom.

Luckily, Chris was able to take off work and get a roofing company out to look at it today. They’ll repair it ASAP next week and in the meantime Chris is putting some tarps up so that we don’t get anymore damage.

This is SO not what I needed right now!


Laurie Ann asked how Chesty was adjusting to the move – we think he’s a little depressed. He’s been very adaptable over the last few months but he’s moping around somewhat right now. Of course that may be because our time has been spent unpacking rather than cuddling with him!

He also HATES the snow – I need to buy him some booties before the next snowfall – I just have to find them. I saw some in Target when I was here in November but there were none in his size so I’ll check again this week. Otherwise I’ll have to find a pet store.

Happy New Year

View of the snow outside our window
Last night Keith and I walked to dinner with the snow falling down – one of the wonderful things about actually living in the city. We didn’t have to worry about driving on icy roads or having a few drinks.
This morning I’ve been working in the office – clearing out more boxes. I’ll probably sew some this evening but for now Keith and I are heading out to walk along the river. One of my favorite short walks so far is a 3-4 mile route from our apartment to the river – we cross over the Mississippi river on the Hennepin Avenue bridge , walk down to the Stone Arch Bridge ,cross back to our side of the river, and then find a coffee shop on our way home.