Archive for March, 2010

March Results

Tops finished– 0

Tops quilted – 5

Quilts completed (bound and labeled) – 7

In addition, 5 that I’d quilted were received back from Sheree that were bound by her and Cindy.

A cute little house quilt

This donation top is from Barbara Jean and I thought I would quilt it with the Halcyon pantograph while it’s on the machine but I changed my mind when I got it loaded, I was afraid the ric rac would get too messed up if I tried to quilt it from the back so instead I quilted flowers from the Pajama Quilter DVD. They have a kind of whimsy that suits the quilt I think.

I’m never that happy with my freehand quilting while I’m doing it but usually once I get the quilt off the machine I’m happier with it and by the time it’s bound and washed I’m usually very happy. This one’s going to be really cute when the binding is finished.

I’ve been wondering how much I’d be able to get done before heading out of town again next week and was thinking I might be able to get 6 – 10 tops quilted if I worked really hard.

This is #3 so 6 is definitely doable but I’m not so sure about 10 as I have some non quilting things to do including spending some time Monday with a couple new friends and getting outside a bit since we’re having such beautiful spring weather.

Love the yarn, love the texture

Too bad the pattern repeat is off – whether through my misunderstanding or a failure to communicate it correctly. This pair is the first one that I’ve not used the book I learned from and it’s written somewhat differently.

All ready to try again

I decided to create a page for my socks with the method/needles/and finished pairs so if you’re interested, check out the tab at the top of the page. I did finish the 3rd pair today and posted a photo of them there.

Some finishes

Since Tuesday is for Strings, I worked on finishing the binding on this QAYG Quilt and pieced a backing for one of the donation tops.

This was the first attempt at assembling QAYG blocks and my machine really didn’t like the bulk at all. Sheree and I came up with the basket-weave setting which was much easier for me.

You can find instructions for the blocks and assembling them on my site.

Other finished quilts that I got back from Sheree/Cindy who helped out with the binding.

This first one was pieced by Cecile.

Pieced by a local guild, the Quilting Queens

Pieced by Barbara in FL (this is the last of several tops she’d donated)

Assembled by Carol from blocks donated during a HeartStrings project.

Did you miss me while I was gone?

I know I’m posting a lot today but I’m trying to make up for lost time!

Normally I wouldn’t quilt a top that had just arrived when I have others that have been waiting a while but I had a donated backing that fit it perfectly,  cream thread already on the machine, and I wanted to try out this new pantograph that I’d recently purchased.

The donation top was sent to me by Sue in Lakeland FL and the pantograph is Halcyon.

The pantograph is just what I look for when buying one.

  • as close to the maximum size that can be quilted by my machine to decrease the number of times I have to roll the quilt. (this one is 10 inches and my machine can quilt about 12 inches)
  • fairly loose so it’s quick to quilt AND the quilt stays soft and cuddly
  • a design that will adds a pretty element or great texture to the quilt

And here’s a closer view of the quilting and the photo can be clicked on to enlarge it.

Quilts of Valor

On the agenda this week is to ship off a stack of finished quilts to Alycia for her to distribute as Quilts of Valor. She has several projects going, WWII vets, quilts for the Wounded Warrior games, and the ones that go to the wounded at Fort Carson so I know she’ll be able to use these.

All but one of them, which I pieced and quilted, are donation tops that I’ve quilted as a part of HeartStrings.

And I’ve just finished adding a HeartStrings label to this one pieced by San and her NC group and bound for me by Sheree or Cindy (I never know which one of them bind which quilt but I really appreciate the help!)

That makes a total of 7 going to Alycia along with 9 pillowcases I made during our HeartStrings pillowcase project in Jan/Feb 2010.

If you’d like to help Alycia with tops or finished quilts, visit her blog.

I don’t like to quilt pleats!

I quilted this little donation top today and while I try very hard to distribute any fullness sometimes there’s just no where for the fabric to go and you have to pleat it. It looks really noticeable from this angle where it’s pinned and then quilted.

But from this angle it’s hard to see. By the time I hand stitch the pleat, and wash and dry the quilt they will be nearly invisible.

This was quilted with a cute pantograph called Curly Hearts that was given to me by Vicki one of Sheree’s friends.

I know a lot of people don’t like pantographs and many say they have a hard time following the lines but unless it’s a very dense one, I don’t try to stay right on the line — I like the variation I get when I *loosely* follow one and it looks more like a freehand version than one quilted by a machine where every motif is exactly the same.

In this case, the only place I really had to pay attention was coming out of the curl inside the heart so I’d keep moving in the right direction.

A few more weekend photos

I plan on getting back to work today and seeing how many tops I can quilt before I leave on the 9th of April for my nephew’s wedding and another HeartStrings sew-in.

I should have something actually quilt related to show later today but in the meantime, here are some additional weekend photos.

If the slideshow doesn’t play on your computer, you can see the photos in their Picasa Album.

Wedding weekend photo’s

We’re in the airport waiting for our flight home and it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend. The wedding was beautiful and I’m sure Adam will share photos with me when he gets them but I have a few to share.

With Adam on Thursday when we arrived.

Adam with Chris as they were heading to the Ceremony.

Keith and I all dressed up for the wedding.

The house we rented was great — right on the lake and it had a gorgeous deck where we spent most of our time.

Almost but not quite done

I was trying to finish up the current socks (pair #3) so I could get started on another pair before my trip tomorrow but didn’t quite make it. I’m almost done with the toe and I could have finished them tonight but because I have to concentrate to get the socks cast on correctly, I like to do it at home without distractions. And since Vicki thinks I need to start something new today anyway, pair #3 was set aside not yet completed and pair #4 started.

I’m going to try a textured pair so I’m using a solid color yarn and since it’s getting warmer – this is a cotton blend.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to start accumulating sock UFO’s — I’ll finish up this pink/green pair as soon as I get home.

Thank you!

It’s been so nice to read all the lovely comments and compliments on the wedding quilt both today and when I posted the photo of the quilting a week or so ago.

Normally I try to respond to most of the comments or at least make a return visit to your blogs if you have them listed but I’m swamped getting ready to go out of town so I’m doing a big group Thank You today.

I always appreciate the comments and encouragement you all give me!

Now back to laundry, and packing.

This one is difficult to give away

I don’t often have a problem giving my quilts as gifts or even donating them to strangers but every once in a while I fall in love with one. I’m beginning to think that pink and brown are my colors because the last quilt I struggled to give away was pink and brown too.

And a little closer. To bring this up to the size I wanted, I put a pieced border around all 4 sides and then added a solid border to the sides – I didn’t need any more length.

I rarely do printed labels for personal quilts unless it’s one that Mom and I are gifting together but I did embroider my initials, the year, and a heart that signifies my love for Adam or it could signify their love for each other since it’s a wedding quilt.

Stars & Pinwheels Instructions

The instruction sheet does not include the borders which were an afterthought but there are two EQ drawings on the page with 2 ideas I worked up. In the end, I chose the border version that Adam liked best.


Nothing to show yet but I’m busy binding.

I did however spend the afternoon at the spa. A massage, pedicure, and an hour sitting by the fire reading waiting for my polish to dry really well so I wouldn’t mess it up on the walk home.

Design wall Monday

I have 2 rows that don’t fit on the design wall and a few more blocks to make but it’s just about ready to be assembled….after the wedding quilt is bound.

I couldn’t resist

Is anyone else looking at the iPads? I ordered one and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival. I’m not that fond of the netbook for travel (seems slow, I find myself squinting to see the screen) so I’m going to give this a try.

From start to finish

I assembled what I’m now calling a basket-weave QAYG quilt today at our HeartStrings sew-in. I found it much easier and the basket-weave effect is much more prominent in person.

We had a good time and were productive although I still have to do the binding on the green QAYG that I finished assembling yesterday. Here’s a photo of my fellow HeartStringers at today’s sew-in.

Assembly required

My Elna was a little challenged today by the bulk in the seams as I assembled my first set of  QAYG blocks but I finally got them together and hopefully figured out a few things along the way.

I worked some back at the hotel to get this point and I just need to bind it tomorrow.

After watching me struggle, Sheree had an idea to offset the seams that we played with tonight and in theory it should create a basketweave effect. Tomorrow we’ll give it a try and see if it works.

And look, it snowed just for me today!

Our actual sew-in isn’t until tomorrow but Sara invited us to a sew-in before the sew-in and we had such a good time. I uploaded some more photos of our day to  a HeartStrings album.

Packing up for Nebraska

Not much excitement going on here today – just packing for the HeartStrings sew-in this weekend in Fremont, Nebraska. I’m heading down on Thursday morning so after trimming and cutting bindings for several quilts that Sheree and Cindy are going to bind for me, I started gathering my supplies.

Since I’m taking the Elna to assemble the QAYG blocks, I set the Brother back up in the sewing room. I got it back from the shop a couple weeks ago but hadn’t bothered to change them out since I knew this trip was coming up. And of course, had to sew some of the Lattice blocks on it to make sure it was working OK.

Normally I don’t piece a quilt on two different machines but since I’m just at the block stage and all the blocks are trimmed to 5.5 inches after piecing it doesn’t make a difference.

Thanks for all the comments on the Wedding Quilt. I also managed to get that trimmed so it will be ready for binding when I get home next week.

I think it’s gorgeous but I’m biased

Stars & Pinwheels – quilted but not yet bound.

Quilted with a pantograph called Plumage from Willow Leaf Studio

This one is my own design and instructions are available on my site.

I can’t procrastinate any longer

So finally instead of talking about getting the wedding quilt actually quilted, I loaded it tonight and have about 1/3 of it finished. I’ll work some more on it tonight and tomorrow and hopefully it will be done by Tuesday – the quilting that is, the binding will have to wait until I get back from Nebraska next Sunday.

I also finally put my design wall back up and have some of my Lattice blocks arranged – I want to get the rest of them pieced before I put them all up so I can get the duplicates distributed well throughout the whole quilt.