Archive for January, 2011

7 left, that seems doable!

A HeartStrings quilt from donated blocks; assembled by Sue or her Mom and now quilted and bound.

#21 done and #22 in progress

This top by Mary H is quilted – with the pantograph Halcyon and #22 is a binding in progress. I’m getting so excited about finishing up these last donation tops. It’s taken me more than 6 months after my decision to not accept any tops other than HeartStrings to get through the tops I already had here but I’m down to the last few now.

While my focus will still be on HeartStrings and donation quilts, I’m really looking forward to spending less time quilting tops by others and more time piecing and quilting my own quilts in 2011.

UFO #6 done!

I love this quilt! Not sure where it will end up – either as a gift or an extra special donation – I’ll hold on to it a while until the right recipient comes along. The binding on this makes #20 – I think I’m actually going to meet my goal of 29 tops quilted or bound this month!

Are you playing along with Judy’s UFO challenge? Is your January quilt done?

Churn Dash & Stars

Thanks to another sleepless night, I’ve posted instructions for the Churn Dash and Stars quilt. Obviously I haven’t had time to piece my own quilt so the instructions are UNTESTED! Please make sure you read over them and email me with any questions before making the quilt.

This binding was finished last night

The top was pieced by Sharon – it was the one I showed the other day when I was looking for a fabric to bind it in. Sharon saw my post and sent the perfect fabric – it was a print/subtle stripe that went with the quilt perfectly. I can’t figure out how she did it either because although she had a bit of the green border to match it to, that orange was the tricky part and there’s orange in the fabric she sent that looks wonderful with the quilt. I couldn’t have bought a more perfect one with the quilt right in front of me.

That was #18 and #19 is my UFO from Judy’s challenge that is on the longarm now and about 1/2 quilted — I’ll finish it up later tonight. I almost chickened out but decided to go ahead and try the larger Fern Stipple from the Pajama Quilter DVD on this one. My biggest challenges with this are changing directions so that the design isn’t too linear (also a challenge with my limited throat space on the Premier) and filling the space without getting too small. I like my overall quilting to be loose NOT tight so that the quilts remain nice and cuddly. I’ll have to wait until I finish and get this off the longarm to see how well I did.

Version number xxx

When I’m playing with a quilt design I go through many, many different versions before coming up with the final one (which many times ends up modified even more during piecing).

Last night I played around a lot before finding the Churn Dash/54-40 or Fight block combination and tonight I’ve been playing with border options. These are the 4 progressions I’ve gone through (so far). Can you see the progression? You can click the thumbnails to enlarge.

Pairing up blocks

I couldn’t sleep so I played with quilt blocks for a while last night. I like both of these ideas and will be using them in quilts.

Two more bindings done

This HeartStrings top from the Oroville CA group and sent this time by Sandra — quilted with my freehand Baptist Fans.

This one pieced by Tamera and quilted with Wonky Feathers from the Pajama Quilter DVD.

I used another stripe on the binding.

These are #16 and 17 ….on to #18.

Date Night

A walk downtown for dinner in the snow – wonderful!

I haven’t mentioned it much this year but we’re having lots of snow and I love it! After dinner, more binding quilts # 16 & 17 are both in progress.

I’m getting a late start

Today will be a prep day …getting quilts trimmed and ready for hand stitching the binding and I’ll probably get my UFO for Judy’s challenge loaded too so I’ll show you a couple quilts Mom’s working on.

This is made from my Half Log Cabin instructions from my site and a Jelly Roll I had sitting around here forever! I’m glad that she was able to use it. This is the version that has no borders, just the framing by the setting triangles.

And here is the little Elephant quilt I worked up for her in EQ. You may have to click on the photo to see the details. She felt like there was too much white space between the elephants so she used a decorative stitch between them when she was quilting it which turned out really cute.

And one more bound

#15 puts me over the halfway mark toward my goal of 29 tops quilted/quilts bound for January.

A simple baby quilt pieced by Tish is now bound and labeled.

And a close-up of the sailing print she used. Doesn’t it make you think of stories of far off places? Maybe the child who ends up with this quilt will be a world traveler or a reader like me who travels the globe from my chair through the books I read.

Another top quilted

This makes # 14 (of 29 tops/bindings to be done in January). It’s a HeartStrings top from donated blocks pieced by Sue (or her Mom) and quilted with a freehand pattern called Fern Ziggle from the Pajama Quilter DVD.

As promised

Here’s a photo of the HeartStrings quilt pieced by May that I finished binding last night (#13 of January’s goal of 29 tops to be quilted or quilts to be bound).

The whole time I was binding it, I was admiring my quilting and was VERY thankful for the day that I found Dawn’s Pajama Quilter DVD’s.  I LOVE the look of allover feathers but never would have attempted them without the DVD.

I was perfectly capable of doing simple allover freehand designs — leaves, loops, hearts, etc but watching Dawn’s DVD’s helped me branch out and do more involved freehand designs that aren’t too dense and that look great.


I finished another binding tonight, I’ll post a photo tomorrow.

Two more done, a third in progress

This small top from Tish is now quilted (#11). Pantograph is Surf’s Up by Dave Hudson and I just noticed that the boats are upside down in the photo … oops!

I also finished assembling the top for my tutorial later this month at Stash Manicure so I’m counting that as #12 and #13, a binding, is already halfway done too.

I was straightening up in the sewing room and as I separated my fabrics to put them back I noticed they were in 3 piles, one for the shelves usually anything greater than 1/4 yard, scraps for the bins in my shelving unit, and strips that will end up in the string bins. I know some people love the more elaborate system of precutting all their scraps into a variety of sizes but I like to keep my options open.


A HeartStrings quilt from donated blocks, assembled by Sue (or her mom) is now bound and labeled.

Chesty napped by the fire while I worked.

I slept all afternoon

But that was OK because I was up all last night and I’ll be up very late working tonight too. Sometimes it scares me to think what I would do if I had to function full time in the real world again.

So other than sleeping … I worked on a project that I won’t share yet because I’ve been asked to contribute to the Stash Manicure Blog at the end of the month. And then it was on to binding.

I had a recent question about whether bindings were provided when I received a donation top and the answer is no 99% of the time but I have a fairly extensive stash AND I’ve been doing this for 4 years so I have an idea of what kinds of fabrics to keep on hand for bindings … and you know that the last year or so, I’ve been in love with stripes so for the most part I do OK.

Today was one of those rare days I couldn’t find anything to use on a quilt.

Well, technically that’s not correct because this green would have worked but for some reason I only had a quarter yard left — I don’t even remember using it.

And this one would have worked … it has the right shades of green, orange, and blue from the quilt … but again not enough left. Unfortunately, I just used this on a quilt this week – had I know, I would have saved it for this one.

So I had to set this one aside until I can run out and find something that works…not a big deal because there are plenty more waiting for binding. Like this HeartStrings top – don’t you love the subtle stripe in this one? I told you I’m in love with them for bindings.

#9 is bound

A top pieced by Melva — I quilted it a while back and it was waiting for binding like the others…. DONE! These diamond HeartStrings are favorites of mine and you can find instructions on my site.

Just in case you missed my initial post … my goal is to bind or quilt 29 items by the end of January. They’re not all finishes and some will count twice — as a top being quilted and as a finished binding — I’m indicating my progress on the sidebar.

Ipad app – Flipboard

This is probably the 3rd app I’ve tried for reading blogs and really I think it’s my favorite although NONE of them make it easy to comment which is why I do more reading than comment.

At a glance I see a photo, the title and which blog it’s from, some I don’t go past this page but I can click on any of them to read the entire article, click on them again to open the actual post and comment….which blogger doesn’t make easy with the iPad, it usually involves hitting the submit button about 3 times and re-entering information.

Like everything else on the iPad, a swipe of the finger takes you to the next page.

#7 and #8

A machine mishap yesterday slowed my progress for a while but luckily I have a backup. Once I stopped trying to use the knee lift that the Elna doesn’t have, things went much smoother.

#7 bound – pieced by JulieK

The border was kind of a red/orange and I didn’t have a fabric to match but I love this stripe that I found(in my stash) to use.

And #8 was a top from Nancy’s group in CT – quilted now and waiting it’s turn for binding.

#9 is another binding and is already in progress!