Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flowers for Christine

Flowers for Christine - backing

Flowers for Christine

Another quilt that I am just thrilled with! This quilt top was made while participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (February - red). I used the red border fabric that I removed from Full of Wonder (see previous post) to make the flower blocks and I used the bonus triangles from sewing the flowers to make the pinwheels in the border. Now that's what I call scrap busting - use up as much as possible before it even hits the bin! I like this flower pattern so much that I do plan on making at least one more quilt using it.

I have been working pretty well non-stop during my free time to get some of my quilt tops turned into quilts before the end of March. I basted this little quilt on Sunday and quilted it and attached the binding on Monday. I started hand-stitching the binding down last night but gave up at 11:30 pm. I often wake up at 2 am and it takes me a very long time to go back to sleep so instead I got up at 2:30 am and finished up the binding. This little quilt finished at approx. 60" x 70" and I free-motion quilted it in a meandering design. I quilted it a little bit denser than I might normally because I had a couple issues with the quilt top. I have discovered that it is better to press the quilt top with starch before adding the border. The same red fabric was used for the border and binding. I quite like the fabric that I used for the backing - it is a soft green teal and is really sweet. I would like to keep this little quilt for myself but I will be giving it to my sister Christine instead. She did originally pick out the red flower fabric to go in Full of Wonder and I just couldn't use it so now she will still have it. She doesn't read my blog so I know this will be a surprise for her.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Full of Wonder is Wonderful!

Full of Wonder
I finally finished stitching the binding down on this quilt last night. I am so happy with the way this quilt looks now. I am so glad I took the time to remove the original border from the quilt top....it looks so much better and I feel really great giving it to my sister Christine. I know she will love it too! Making this quilt was a bit of a saga but all is well that ends well. When I first saw the pattern in the magazine, I had earmarked it to make for myself but when Christine was looking at patterns for her quilt she just kept going back to it. Well, what could I do except make it for her! The only real request she had was to somehow have hummingbirds on it. The inspiration fabric that was originally chosen for the border did not have hummingbirds nor did any of the other fabrics so naturally I had to go shopping with my sisters.

hummingbird backing

close up of backing

Sandra first saw the navy blue hummingbird fabric but I wasn't too sure about it so we left it at the store. After thinking about it, I realized that it was just what was needed so we made another visit to the shop. Luckily it was still there so I picked it up and I really can't be happier with it. The finished quilt measures approx. 77" x 96" and I free-motion quilted it in a meander pattern using silvery-gray thread. I bound it with one of the red fabrics used in the quilt top.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - A Little Taggy Quilt

Molly's Taggy Quilt
I know this may seem a little indulgent but I decided to make a little taggy quilt for my puppy Molly. I know she is a dog and I treat her like one (she's not allowed on the furniture, she sleeps in a kennel not our bed, etc.) but that doesn't mean that I can't treat her like a "special dog". When I first got her, my sister Glenda gave her a couple soft stuffed animals to play with. I noticed that Molly absolutely loved chewing and playing with the "new material" tags so I thought a taggy blanket might work. I had these squares left over from making my son Eric's quilt (The River) so I stitched them together and then added some tags that I made from scraps. Once I stitched the tags to the top (with multiple sewing lines) I added the batting and backing. There was not going to be any binding so I folded the backing over the batting and stitched the edges before attaching it to the top. I then stitched along the outer edge of the quilt top - I went around twice to make sure it was really secure. I have never made a flannel quilt but I do have flannel remnants that had belonged to my sister-in-law so I used a piece for the backing and I quilted straight lines to hold it together.

Molly enjoying her new quilt

When my husband first saw the taggy quilt it was laying on the kitchen floor and his first response was "why is one of your quilts on the floor?" and when I told him it was for the dog he just shook his head. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In Results

Basting Full of Wonder

I always forget how much time it takes to complete each process when making a quilt.  I really am surprised  when I underestimate my timeline for completing each step. I guess it is something like giving birth - once the quilt is finished you don't think about how long it took you just revel in the completed quilt. So Friday evening I started getting everything ready for basting and by the time I was ready more than an hour had already passed. I worked on basting the quilt for a few hours and I got more than half done but then it was getting really late (past 11 pm and I had been up since 2:30 am) so I had to call it quits. Yesterday I was too busy to work on it so I will finish basting it this morning. One more thing to take off my to-do list! The next time I show this quilt it should be all done and ready to be given to my sister Christine.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lucky Stars - Raven Stars Quilt-Along

Lucky Stars
I have been working away over the past week or so but really did not have anything to show and tell about. But I do now....I have finished stitching the Raven Stars Quilt-Along top. I am really pleased with the way it has turned out. As I was making it I was thinking that I should have chosen a solid white instead of the flowery white-on-white fabric but now I am very glad that I did. I feel like it gives it a warm cuddly feeling - the plain white may have made it look too stark. I have named this quilt Lucky Stars in honour of St. Patrick's Day because the green flower fabric looks quite like four-leaf clovers. Thank you again to Amy of Amy's Passions for hosting this quilt-along.

Over the last week or so I have accomplished quite a bit behind the scenes -
  • folded and put away all the fabric my sister ironed - it seemed to take forever
  • cleaned up my sewing room (it is always a work in progress)
  • made the backing for Full of Wonder
  • did more hand-quilting on my green Seven Sisters quilt (I am on my 3rd row - many more rows to go)
  • hand pieced more fuschia star components for another Seven Sisters quilt
  • made homemade starch - I used a recipe that calls for cooking the starch and it turned out great
  • put together the Lucky Stars quilt top
Tonight I am participating in the Friday Night Sew-In so I will be basting Full of Wonder but today I really needed to try and make something with green scraps so I have something to show for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge tomorrow. I didn't quite get it finished and I will really try to finish it tomorrow but between going to the dentist, running errands and celebrating my youngest son's birthday (Eric turned 21 on Wednesday) there may not be enough time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In

I will be participating in the FNSI again this month...joining in with other quilters all around the world! I have many projects that I can choose to work on but I think my #1 project on my list is basting my Full of Wonder quilt top. I just need to make my backing today and I should be all ready to go tomorrow night. Why not visit Heidi and sign up so you can join in too! Just click on the picture and it will link you to the sign up page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Raven Stars Quilt-Along Progress

Raven Stars Quilt-Along
I have just finished making up my blocks for the sew along that Amy from Amy's Passions hosted. She posted the final step today and she also posted her finished quilt top. Her quilt top looks terrific! I have enjoyed following along with the quilt-along and so far I am pleased with my results. I am not able to really visualize what my finished quilt tops will look like so I just kind of "jump right in" and hope for the best when picking fabrics. When making a quilt I also usually go through a period where I am not sure of my choices and I start to second guess everything but I am starting to recognize that as part of my quilt-making process. Sometimes I really do need to pay attention to it but most times I just need to acknowledge it and move on. I hope to finish stitching the top together and add the borders over the next couple days, of course, that means I will have another quilt that needs backing, basting and quilting. This picture doesn't do justice to the green flower fabric in the 9 patches. They don't look quite like they do in real-life - they look much clearer and sharper and I don't think quite so dark. Since getting my puppy Molly, I have not had anywhere near the time I would normally have for quilting. She is a very nice pup and we are still working on the housebreaking and general training. She is almost 16 weeks old and I can't believe how much she has grown since I got her.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Green

I have a lot of green scraps that I can use up this month for the RSC. I have this pile of strings and I also have quite a few squares, rectangles, and various sizes of strips that I have cut from quilt leftovers ala Bonnie Hunter's Scrap User's System. I started following her suggestions about a year ago and I haven't looked back. At this point, I plan on doing several small projects throughout the month of March instead of a large quilt. I already have a green quilt in progress for Raven Stars Quilt-along. For my first project this month I am making water bottle cozies that I saw on Wanda's blog Exuberant Color. She has kindly provided a tutorial and I think mine turned out just fine even though my mitered corners are not as good as hers.

Water Bottle Cozies
 I really like the idea of these cozies because when I go out with my sisters we often use the same type of water bottle and this will make identifying each one alot easier. I made mine using some of my green strings but it really did not take up too many of them. I plan on making a few more but I need to buy some velcro for the closures. I already quilted one of these cozies but I think this may be an opportunity for me to practice some free-motion quilting other than meandering....maybe!

I sprained my left index finger today and it is quite swollen just before the first joint so it makes bending my finger and well ...just using my finger difficult. Thankfully it is my left hand and not my right hand as I am right-handed so I am now off to try and do some hand-quilting on my green Seven Sisters quilt.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Can Anybody Help?? - Update

I spoke to my husband (he who knows about such things) and he said that it is a problem of the website that I had visited. So possibly it is actually Blogger that is having the issue because I assume that is where the pictures go that we upload into Blogger blogland. It looks like the address of the site where the picture is actually stored was 2.bp.blogspot.com and that was where the problem lies.

Unsafe Message
Does anyone know what this really means? I took a photo of the message on my screen. I have received this "message" once before and both times it happened I was looking at pictures on other quilting blogs. When it happened the first time, I sent an e-mail to the blog owner letting them know but also explaining that I didn't know what the problem was or if it was my own problem and I never heard back from her. It has happened on 2 different blogs and the message only presented itself after I had clicked for a close-up of a picture of a quilt. I didn't get this message when I just visited the blogs. I am not sure if it is my computer or something else...I had just run a virus scan and I didn't have any problems. I would appreciate any input as to what this means.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Looking Back on the Month of February

Full of Wonder, Bella Butterfly, Seven Sisters, Red Rainbow Scrap Challenge

The other day, when I was writing my post about the quilt top I made for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I was feeling bad about my quilting efforts for the month of February. I was feeling like I really had not accomplished very much and that somehow I should have done a lot more. Keeping a blog is a great way to keep track of the progress of projects worked on and I was much happier about my efforts for the month after reviewing my entries. So instead of feeling "bad" about not getting the red quilt top basted and quilted I started feeling good about what I did get done -

  • made the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Red quilt top
  • started Raven Stars Quilt-along and keeping up, ready to start the next step today
  • completed Bella Butterfly quilt top (Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks)
  • completed Full of Wonder quilt top
  • started hand quilting my green Seven Sisters quilt and worked on it again last night
  • decided which block to make next for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks quilt - I just need to pick fabrics
Looks like I am going to have a very busy March because I do hope to get my machine pieced quilt tops all quilted and bound.
Come on Spring!
Happy Birthday to my sister Glenda! This is what it looks like outside this morning - enough already!!!!!