Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday's Orts

Tuesday's Orts--bits and bobs of thoughts and events that land here occasionally
  • A month went by during which I thought about blogging roughly daily but never seemed to get myself to the computer.  Life has been very busy and it is apparent that is likely to remain so!  We are spending a lot of time dealing with my husband's 97 year old mother's needs and difficulties with worsening dementia, including a number of emergency room visits for falls, fortunately without any significant injuries.  She has caregivers to help now but we still worry a lot.
  • I got back the Mystery Quilt from the longarmer and love the Baptist Fan quilting.  Binding I made about two years ago is waiting to be applied.  I need a new name for this quilt!

 I took another quilt in to be done and can't wait to see how High Cotton will look.
  • Our MQG Opportunity Quilt is finished.  I volunteered to take over the binding from another member.  This is the first time I have ever finished someone else's binding and it was an odd exercise.  If I had been thinking better, I would have machine finished the darn thing, but instead persevered with hand binding and attaching a hanging sleeve.  Since the hanging sleeve was an afterthought I ended up taking out the stitching I had already done as well as nearly  two sides done by another guild member.  Thankfully it is all done now, has been handed off for photography, and tickets are being sold. 
  •  There were more work hours this past month as I filled in some shifts for another employee who was off taking the MCAT for medical school entry.  That is one gnarly test and only the cream of the crop are even asked back for an interview after top tier scoring.  My co-worker was asked back after taking the test last year, but as there are literally thousands of applicants for few openings, he didn't get into a school.  Therefore he decided to retake the test to improve his score and studied intensely again for months.  It will be a while before his results are back and that can't be easy to bear. 
  • Quilting-wise, my continuous attempts at focus and progress have upped a tick, with the use of a visual aid: 
I found this at a school supply store, it is magnetic as well as being a white board and came with two types of hangers and some easel thingies so it can stand up.  I'm happy to report that, yes, I did indeed finish all the goals for August.  They only slightly spilled over into September as I finished the backing to Cocoa Baskets on Saturday.  Still need to choose September goals.
  • Baby Spam!
This is a photo from last month, when the quilt Mimi made grandson Hunter was at the County Fair (it got a 2nd place!) so he was posed on a different quilt for his monthly update.  Hunter is now 6 months old; a happy, smiley little one and more mellow than his very active older brother. We love them so!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Design Wall Monday--Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  I hope to spend plenty of time stitching today while my boss pays me :)  On my design floor today is a new baby quilt from leftovers.  

Some of these flying geese are from grandson Cove's baby quilt.  Other prints are leftovers from another baby quilt I made for one of DD Elaine's friends.  The layout I found on Pinterest but cannot give credit or find the pattern as the link dead ended in a bad site with a warning!   But it is simple enough-- the blocks will all be sashed on the left side with a white on white print, then every other block is turned. I drafted it out on graph paper and made a bunch more Fast Geese.

Pairs of flying geese are topped with a third goose in a different pattern.  This is the first go at layout, trying to get the darks evenly distributed. 

I added all the single geese to the pairs but it needed tweaking.  I pulled them apart to simulate the sashing and played switcheroo a bit more. 

I'm liking it so far!  Nearly all of these fabrics came from the Superbuzzy store, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last weekend with a big sale.  The line was very long at the cutting table but my sister and I managed to find some things to buy that didn't need to be cut.  Kathy's now on a jelly roll rampage :) 

I'm off to attach all those single geese to their pairs.

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

Monday, August 1, 2016

Design Wall Monday--Aug 1, 2016

I've been busy in the sewing room lately, but don't have much on the design surface.  Our County Fair entries were due last weekend and I waited until the last minute to try to get a few things entered. First I decided to try to finish a whole baby quilt in a day, starting from a few finished flying geese blocks I had.  Sanity prevailed by Saturday evening though I did get all the individual geese made.  In the end, I  submitted only three quilts. A Halloween wall hanging I wanted to submit is missing and I have no clue what I did with it.  Also not completed in time were two mini quilts:

I started with just the center star I made up a couple of years ago and I wanted to add the triple sashing.  It got as far as being ditch quilted and the binding mostly attached but I just ran out of time!  This mini is about 12" square.

Tiny HSTs compose the center flag (it's about 5x10") and I had fun mixing and matching scraps for the corner squares and borders.  I've stitched in the ditch but it could use more frosting--I'll channel Janet if I get brave.  This obviously also didn't get finished for the Fair.  There's always next year!  I submitted grandson Hunter's black and white baby quilt, a comfort  quilt I made for our neighbor's son who was fighting cancer (and won!), and a Christmas quilt.  My sister entered an art quilt she designed of a penguin diving, and a modern abstract piece in black and white. Not sure what day I'll get to go to the Fair, maybe not until after next weekend.

I'm most pleased about a new longarm service offered at my LQS and yesterday I spent about two hours prepping the back of a UFO that has been waiting for years to be quilted. 

This is my version of a mystery quilt that Judy had in 2010.  I loved how my fabric selections turned out but had a heck of a time with the backing and this poor quilt has remained in the closet for about four years. Today I took it to the LQS and selected Baptist Fan for the quilting.  Looking back on blog posts about this quilt, I may need to made some leaders for the sides, as I noted I barely made the backing wide enough and the longarmer wants 4 inches all around.  But she won't be getting to my quilt for a couple of weeks so I have time. By the time she finishes one quilt for me, I'll have another ready.  Time to get these UFOs out of the closet!

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Design Wall Monday--More Cocoa

Off my design floor is Cocoa Baskets;  progress has been pretty straight line--there are no quilts jumping ahead at the moment!  I got all the vertical rows completed late last week except for some half-blocks.  Saturday  my sister called and we went to the local quilt shop where I unexpectedly found the perfect sashing fabric.  I thought I wanted green but when I saw this Nancy Gere print, it seemed a good fit.

The scale of the stars is just right.  Serendipity! I bought 2 yards to allow for shrinkage and to avoid having to piece the sashing, which I cut for 5" finished width.  I also completed the four half blocks to finish the rows.  The top went together easily and just before it got too dark, DH held it up for me to photograph.

I'm happy with how my abbreviated version of the pattern turned out (Cocoa Baskets, McCall's Quilting Sept/Oct 2010).  I'll use the remainder of the sashing fabric and whatever else I can turn up from stash for backing.  

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday's Orts--MQG version

Tuesday's Orts--bits of thoughts and events that land here occasionally.  This one is quilt heavy!
  • The Modern Quilt Guild I belong to has some very talented members.  This was much in evidence for a quilt swap I joined in a few months ago.  Last year we did a Round Robin, this year it was a Row Robin.  Eight members submitted a beginning row and fabrics to accompany the row along with a preference sheet.  Each month we passed along a completed row and got another quilt top to work on, all modern in style--a real stretch of the brain!  Four rounds later, the tops were done and we had our reveal last night.  Here's mine: 

The Improv half-log cabin blocks on the left end were my starter row and I included all solid fabrics for the other stitchers to play with; I requested a minimum of black be used.  Wow, what a great job they all did!  I love the way the quilt is more red on one half and more teal on the other. Many thanks to the four wonderful ladies who worked on my top: Kathy M, Joyce, Barbara, and Kim.  I'm thinking another row of the Improv blocks at the bottom might be a fun way to finish off the quilt top, but haven't decided. These were from a workshop I took at QuiltCon in February 2016 with Heather Jones--my blocks are on the wall in a photo she shows on her blog!
  • I had a good workout on all four of the tops that passed through my hands.  The final one was Barbara's.  In this case, her starter row didn't stay as an end row; she sewed the dark gray blocks with the Improv triangle corners.
My thoughts upon getting this top were that it needed yet another style of triangle to finish it off.  I added the TriRec triangles at the bottom (for size reference, my TriRecs were 3x6")

Look how different they all were.  I'm hoping to join in yet another such quilting adventure next year to practice more hallmarks of modern quiltmaking including improv piecing, negative space, high contrast, and alternate gridwork.
  • My sister Kathy's Row Robin didn't fit in the above photo I stole from the guild's Flickr
Kathy used some gorgeous Burma silks she'd bought at a quilt show, but found out that they were not colorfast AFTER she made her starter row.  That beautiful deep teal blue turned gray!  So this quilt will have to be dry-cleaned.  Her starter row is the second from the right; I added the first round, which ended up as the center row on the completed top.  What a great job everyone did repeating certain elements and bringing it all together as a whole. 
  • Our guild is making a quilt for the Orlando Pulse Club victims and families.  We will send our heart quilt with love for those devastated by this senseless killing of so many.