Thursday, June 30, 2016

A New Baby Quilt

I have been trying to decide on a quilt design for a baby quilt that I need to make for an upcoming baby shower. I have pulled out all sorts of fabrics from my stash hoping that a design or plan would come to me from looking at the fabrics but I was really having no luck at all. What the heck...I have all of this fabric and absolutely no ideas would come to me. I know that I have been going through a bit of dry spell when it comes to creativity but this really is quite ridiculous if you ask me!

Thankfully we have the Internet and all of the wonderful resources and eye candy that it supplies to us daily. I became reacquainted with a Bonnie Hunter design called Little Monkey and I decided that it was the one. It really is a traditional block that is not too difficult to make and it looks so cute!

Time had flown by and I just didn't realize how close the birth of this baby was until I got the invitation to the baby shower in the mail the other day. I have just about 2 weeks to get this quilt made and that really won't be a problem now that I know what I am going to make. ;)

I have pulled out lots of 2.5" hsts from my bins (as long as I had at least four of each fabric) and I cut more as well from my 2.5" strip bins.

I had a bin stashed away that contained a whole slew of twosies made from 1.5 squares and many of them were in sets of at least four so I was able to take advantage of those as well. As a matter of fact, there were many more than I actually need in this bin - yippee. These twosies were leftovers from a long ago project and I am very happy that I saved them!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Double Trouble

Honestly....I have been having a run of bad luck. First off, I got sick with a terrible cold and I think this is the worst cold I have ever had! Knocked me on my butt and I ended up missing two days of work because I just didn't have any energy and the cold symptoms were just plain old....ugh.

I am recovering and I was feeling not too bad earlier today so I thought I would work on my Winding Ways quilt. It has been sitting on the frame for the past few days waiting for me to get going with it. I had already quilted the first row and even though it looked great it was a real bear to quilt because of all of the seams that intersect and overlap. After getting through the first row I thought that maybe I had all of my quilt troubles behind me. Let's just say I was too optimistic because I have had not one but two needle breaks today. The first one caused only very slight damage but the second one has damaged the front and the back of the quilt. I feel sick about it :(.

The second broken needle did not cause a large hole but it did really fray and shred the fabric and it just will not hold up over time if I leave it. I will have to figure out a way to applique over it with the same or similar fabric and then try to match up the quilting lines later.

I took a photo of the broken needles as well as an intact needle as a comparison. I don't know if you can tell in the photo but I was able to recover both pieces of the needle on the first break but for the second one I am missing the pointy end. I have searched the quilt top, the floor, the machine and the bobbin area but I am at a loss as to where it went.

I think that there is still just about three more 12" rows to quilt and I have changed my needle again and I have everything ready to go. I just hope I don't face any more issues with quilting this quilt.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Winding Ways Quilt

loaded and ready to go
It feels like it has been forever since I finished this quilt top. I guess I didn't get it turned into a finished quilt because I just couldn't find THE backing.

Quite some time ago I had gone through my stash and set aside some fabric that I thought I might use but I still couldn't finish it. I have even shopped and purchased a couple different backings for this quilt but they just didn't do it for me in the end. So there sat this quilt top...waiting.

I was at a loss as to what I was going to use until I saw this perfect fabric. Dragonflies on a pale blue backing! My niece wanted her quilt to be either a baby pink or baby blue and that was really tough to find without babyish prints. Those dragonflies are not as large as they appear in the photo - the circles surrounding them are only an inch or so big.

close up photo
I knew immediately that it was the right fabric and I purchased it right away. I didn't want to wait and then find it all sold out - luckily for me it was on sale at the time. But, even after finding this 'perfect' backing it sat in my sewing room waiting to see the light of day. :)

I have been working at getting everything loaded onto the long arm over the past few days and I finally started quilting it.

I got the first pass done but it was a bit challenging. As you can see by the thread tail in the photo I had thread breaks right away. Those seams in the center of the blocks are deadly! By the time I finished the first pass my shoulders were up around my ears and my muscles had tightened up and I needed to take a break. I will finish it up over the next few days. It is being quilted with a dragonfly panto and I think it is going to be a beauty.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Off the Frame

I recently quilted this quilt for Marjie and it turned out wonderfully! First off, I can't help but love the colours and fabrics in this rail fence quilt that she made using a jelly roll.

Marjie requested that I quilt it using the panto Tickle Too and she supplied the batting.

Marjie was so excited when I returned her quilt to her that she had it bound within a couple days. She plans to give it to one of her daughters as gift.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Sewing Day

I finished all of the blocks for my pinwheel quilt and sewed them all into the top yesterday. I am really loving the simplicity of the design and it really is quite pretty to look at. Now my thoughts have turned to borders. I know I want them but I am not too sure where to go from here so I started making these flying geese as a possibility. If it doesn't work out I can always use them in another quilt. I got quite a few geese made but nowhere near enough. I sewed a few together into a strip and they look pretty good together.

To make the geese, I raided my parts bins and I also pulled out a bunch of 2.5" strips from my bins and started cutting them to get the center triangles using my Easy Angle Companion ruler. I also ended up with a lot of hsts as a bonus because I used my Easy Angle ruler to take the first cut off each strip. Those extra hsts will go into my parts bins for another future quilt. It seems the more scraps I use, the more scraps I make!

A lot of the strips that I took out of the bins have started going all shaggy and hairy from being manhandled every time I searched for a specific colour  - they really do need to get out of my bins and into some quilts!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pinwheel Progress

two sections ready to be put together
My pinwheel blocks have almost made it into a completed quilt top. I had calculated how many pinwheel blocks I needed and made them and then I realized my calculations were incorrect. Don't you just get annoyed when that happens...

I just have a few more pinwheel blocks to make to allow for an 8 x 10 layout. My blocks finish at 8" and if my math is correct, which has proven to be questionable ;), that will give me a quilt top measuring 64" x 80". I do have the option of rejigging the blocks that I have left and making them into a single row. That would allow for a quilt top of 72" in length and I would only need to make one more pinwheel.

I am leaning toward the option of just making one more pinwheel. I think I want borders on this quilt and that would make it a reasonably good size. I work from 1-9 today and I plan to make some bread this morning so I doubt that I will get any sewing done today. In any case, I will have plenty of time to ponder it while I am at work.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pinwheels Galore

I have been chugging along making pinwheels and I think they look so pretty hanging out on my design wall.

Once I decided that I had 'enough' made I started adding the alternate block and then started sewing those into four patches.

Look what happened to my design wall - I am loving it. 

It is such a simple design and it is looking so good to me. Sometimes we need less complicated things in our lives. 

My design wall isn't quite large enough to hold all of the blocks that I have already made but I really don't need a design wall for this quilt other than to take pictures- nothing complicated going on here! I am sewing the blocks together randomly and because of that there just might be clusters of colours or patterns but that doesn't bother me one bit. I think it just might add to the charm of this quilt.

I want this quilt to at least fit a double bed so I will probably need to make some more pinwheels. Once I get all of these blocks sewn together I will have a better idea of how many more pinwheels I need.