Monthly Archives: January 2007

It feels SO good to be productive again

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on It feels SO good to be productive again

I can’t believe how good it feels to be back to work after what felt like months of quilting inactivity. You all are going to get tired of seeing this quilt but I finished the last couple rows of quilting and just had to show another picture of it even before trimming.

I also finished the 80 blocks I needed for this string top and started putting the top together. Hopefully I’ll get it assembled this weekend and then guess what I’ll be quilting on it? I need some practice turning the corners on the BF anyway – my lines are a little wobbly as I turn to go into the next fan.

I’m quilting Fans!

Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on I’m quilting Fans!

I’m so excited – my Baptist Fan template came today and I’m quilting away on my Blue Strings. I called Keith in to see my first row and I’m jumping all around telling him how excited I am and how I’ve wanted this template for 2 years – he just looked at me and asked why I didn’t buy it sooner if I wanted it so bad.

Whatever – It’s my present to ME for moving to Minneapolis and I’m happy now and that’s what matters!

Circle Lord/Baptist Fan Template

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Circle Lord/Baptist Fan Template
I ordered the Circle Lord and the Baptist Fan template earlier this week and they should arrive tomorrow. Last night I pieced a back for my Blue String quilt and am going to load that on the longarm and quilt it with the BF template when it arrives.
Tonight I finished stitching the binding down on my 4th UFO for the year. This was a top my Mom made and gave to me to finish and donate. I’ll take a picture of the finished quilt tomorrow. Earlier today I made another 16 blocks for my string quilt so I have 6 more to finish and then I’ll have the 80 I need for this quilt. I’ve already started assembling the top so that will be done and ready for quilting in the next few days.
Since I hate to post too many times without a picture, I’ll share of picture of my brother-in-law Jamie and my niece Sarah. Jamie keeps up with my blog and emails me if I don’t post frequently enough!

Linking to the HeartStrings Website

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Linking to the HeartStrings Website

I’ve had a couple comments and emails asking about linking from individual blogs to the HeartStrings website. I have links in my sidebar and anyone else is welcome to link to the site too. The more people that hear about our project the more quilts we’ll make.

Jane even went to the trouble of creating a graphic if you’d like to use that.

The website can be found here:

HeartStrings website

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on HeartStrings website

Phyl, a member of the HeartStrings Quilt Project has been working with me on developing a website for the project – not an easy task I’m sure! She uploaded a trial version today and I’ve been playing with the format tonight. It’s basic at this point but I think we have the bones up of it up. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Our goal is to have information about the project and contact information for people interested in the project who do NOT want to join the Yahoo group.

Planning my next string quilt/Baptist Fan Template

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on 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

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on 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!

Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on 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!

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on 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

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on 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

Published / by Mary / 14 Comments on 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

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on 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

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on 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

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on 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.