Archive for August, 2010

Filling up my schedule

I’ve been home for weeks now – we’ve planned a remodel of the shower in our master bathroom since we bought the townhouse 2 years ago but haven’t gotten around to it until now. We’ve had MAJOR issues and they most likely won’t be done by the time I leave next Thursday but they are finally going to start tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m booking travel again – next week I’m heading to VA to visit Mom, family, and friends. I’ve also booked a couple trips in September – a quick one down to Atlanta to see the boys ( well, really to see Caleb) and to Maine for a HeartStrings sew-in.

More travel to come in Oct, Nov, and Dec – we’ll have a busy fall which is just how I like it.

Another binding stitched

I’ve been quiet for a couple days …not a lot of quilting going on but I did manage to get the binding stitched down on this small top pieced by Cheryl.

This one was quilted a while ago but I had a hard time finding a binding that worked — my stash has NO 30’s prints and while I looked for fabric at several stores I couldn’t find anything I liked so I finally decided I’d have to go with a solid. The color is a little off in this photo but it does pick up the blue in the sashing and there’s that same blue in the outer print border so it works.

It was quilted with a pantograph – Curly Hearts.


I finished handstitching the binding on this HeartStrings top pieced by Sue in FL.

Isn’t this a pretty pantograph – Halcyon from Lorien Quilting.

Finally a finish

Unfortunately my binding is not keeping pace with my quilting – I still have 10 left here to bind.

This little one was pieced by Sue in FL.

I’m such a Chicken

I didn’t intend to quilt tonight but I wandered downstairs for some reason that I can’t remember now and ended up loading and quilting this HeartStrings top from Tish. I love the colors in this one!

As I was loading it I was thinking about doing my Baptist Fans on it but decided I was ready to try the Fern Ziggles design from the new Pajama Quilter DVD. I’m such a CHICKEN when it comes to trying out new quilting designs, I’ll draw them out for months and keep chickening out when it comes time to actually put them on a quilt but after seeing Kathie’s quilt earlier today I bit the bullet.

Is it perfect? NO. Is it kind of wonky looking? YES. Do I need more practice? YES. Was it fun to quilt? HECK YES!

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to create the right amount of space between my spines because I only have 12 inches of quilting space on my Premier but it worked out OK. I found that if I quilted the line and then the top half of the wiggle, I could advance the quilt to give myself room before quilting the bottom half.

Getting a slow start

I’m getting a slow start today but I’m binding and will have have something to show later this evening. In the meantime, here’s a new photo of Caleb that Adam sent me today. Isn’t he sweet?

Yesterday was my day of rest

It was one of those days I didn’t do much other than sleep and read but it must have helped because I woke up early this morning and was ready to work.

Today’s accomplishments included binding, making backings, and loading and quilting this top of Tamera’s.

Quilted with the pantograph Blowing Leaves. It’s simple but one of my favorites.

And now, I have a stack of bindings to hand stitch – I’ll start tonight but now I’m going to read for a little while until Keith gets home.

Online fabric shopping

Do you shop for fabric online? I don’t do much of it but I’ve shopped some at Thousands of Bolts (thanks to reading about the site on JudyL’s blog ) but it always seemed like a laborious process to scroll through all the screens looking for what I wanted….until someone mentioned on HeartStrings that their search features had improved so of course I had to run over and check it out.

After using the different filters and still having to page through more fabric that didn’t match what I was looking for, I happened upon the Color Picker (under the Find a Fabric heading) and WOW, I asked for a specific shade of blue and while all the results weren’t exact, most were pretty darn close. Needless to say, there’s a box of fabric heading my way soon.

Mary was good, and then she was bad

I got up this morning and decided it was binding day. First, I bound the HeartStrings quilt I tied on Saturday at the sew-in. This one was pieced by Sue Frank or her Mom from blocks donated to HeartStrings.

If you’re a frequent visitor here you probably know I don’t like machine bindings (not going to convince me otherwise so don’t try!) BUT, there is one exception – I love turning the backing to the front on the tied quilts and machine stitching them down.

Then, I pulled fabric from stash and made bindings for these two – got them machine stitched to the front (yes, I do that part by machine) and they’re ready to be hand stitched down.

Realized that I had nothing appropriate for the other two tops I was going to bind so I ran out to buy fabric for them … and then after eating dinner out (Keith is still gone), I came home and instead of getting those bindings made, I started cutting green fabric.

I had no intention of starting my Forest Bricks top but somehow I couldn’t resist playing in the greens. And because I try to NEVER cut out just one scrap quilt at a time, those triangles are going to eventually be used in a 1000 Pyramid quilt unless I change my mind and use them in a Kaleidoscope and I have been known to change my mind.

Playing in EQ

This is the quilt I almost started a couple nights ago … before I realized that if I ever wanted to make half the quilts I had ideas for that I was going to have to cut back on some of the donation tops I accepted. So instead, I’ve been piecing backs, binding, and quilting …. but soon I’ll have more time for piecing.

I plan to use my Accuquilt GO to make this one — the bricks are 3.5×6.5 (with seam allowances) and the framing strips are 1.5 inches finished. I’ll play some with the borders once I actually make the quilt because I’ll probably use leftover bricks and cut them in half … which of course will keep them from being exactly square….or maybe not, I forgot I had the 3 inch finished square die just recently purchased but not yet used.

Another iPad app – MobileRSS

Sometimes I really really want to love an app but it doesn’t quite work as well as I want it to work. So I decided to try another Reader app for the blogs I follow. So far MobileRSS is working well and it seems to be easier to comment as well as skim posts. I was able to enter my Google Reader info and it pulled up all my blogs, no reentry required.

In case you don’t recognize the blog in the screen print below, it’s Vicki’s, one of a handful of blogs that I read every day.

This was a big one!

Pieced by Sharon and quilted with a new pantograph called Herbology.

Because of the plain blocks, I wanted a pantograph that would fill in the space with a nice motif and although they aren’t placed precisely like a custom motif would be – I think it works.

In addition to finishing up the quilting on this one, I also walked downtown. I’m still trying to walk or bike most days in an effort to be more active and to GET OUT of the house some!

Thursday’s farmer’s market was in progress but with Keith gone, all I brought home were some flowers.

The results of yesterday’s binding

A sweet little baby quilt pieced by Tish.

I think the curly heart quilting suits it well. Pantograph from Willow Leaf Studio by Lorien Quilting.

It’s time for a change

It’s been almost 4 years since I started HeartStrings along with a group of quilters who wanted to focus on donation quilts and I’m still just as passionate about what we’re doing today but I’ve been unable to find a balance in the last year that allows me to focus on my personal quilting (much of it still for donation) so I’ve decided that I am not going to accept donation tops to quilt, bind, and donate.

The one exception will be that I’ll continue to quilt string quilts that come in for HeartStrings but I won’t be accepting any other tops AND I will work harder to find other volunteers to quilt and finish more of the HeartStrings tops also.

I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to finish all the tops in the last few years and have been amazed at how generous quilters have been in sending them to me to complete and donate.

I expect that it might take me the rest of the year to finish up what I have here but I’m looking forward to more time for creating my own quilts in 2011 while still actively participating in HeartStrings.

So today I spent the afternoon piecing backings and binding…I’ll be doing a lot of that along with quilting in the next few months.

Not much quilting

But lots of drawing here and there. My iPad lets me doodle quilting designs when ever I have a minute or two to spare.

A poor batting choice

Picture me sitting here all day struggling to pull my needle through this Warm & White batting as I tied this HeartStrings quilt. I had a second quilt that I could have tied but decided I’d substitute another batting or maybe a blanket as my fingers were sore after tying the first quilt…..which feels great now that it’s tied but was just too hard to needle.

Click to see other photos from our day.

Fun Fun Fun

Tomorrow is an all day HeartStrings sew-in and I’m heading to Roberts, WI.

We’ll be working on a variety of HeartStrings projects …. making blocks, assembling tops, binding, and I plan on tying a couple quilts.

I’ll post photos tomorrow night so check back.

How cute is this

Last visit home to see Mom, I helped her make up some quilt kits to work on. Remember this little EQ quilt I shared? I designed the simple little quilt while I was there and we shopped for fabric and look how cute this is…Mom’s got the quilt finished.

This top is finally done

Am I the only one that has those projects that seem to drag on forever? I’m not sure why this HeartStrings top turned into one of those because usually these blocks are fairly mindless and quick to sew but I definitely dragged my feet here. Of course, it still needs quilting but the top is done!

That odd little glow at the bottom is just the way the light is coming in through the window – for some reason it’s making the blue fabrics (that are in all areas of the quilt) show lighter than they actually are in that one corner.

A little of this, a little of that

A little knitting – working on  my 5th pair of socks.

A little piecing – the rest of the Homespun HeartStrings blocks are completed and I’ve started assembling the top.

A little quilting – the first of 3 Quilt of Valor tops I want to get quilted this month. Pieced by Vicki and quilted with the pantograph Ebb and Flow.