Sunday, November 30, 2014

November projects

I don’t know how I managed this, but today is EXACTLY one month since my last blog post;  I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy during this past month, too!

In the first part of November we had a snowfall of 7”-10”, leaving a bunch of ice on the streets and sidewalks and an inversion that caused some VERY cold weather!

PW_hatI pulled out the hat I’d started making my husband last winter and sewed up the side seam, finally completing the project.  Nothing like a sudden weather change to prompt finishing UFOs!

starParticipants in my online vintage sewing machine group decided to make a quilt for a friend of the group who was recently diagnosed with cancer and  I made this 54/40 or Fight block.  It’s one of my favorites!  The participants in the group are far and wide and most of us haven’t met in person.  However, we got a lot of satisfaction making this quilt and it turned out great so we’re going to continue this group.

20141116_182900I’ve also been working diligently on a quilt for a special veteran.  This vet is a new friend of my mom’s so I thought I’d take some blocks that I had left over from the first American Hero Quilts I made to make this second quilt.  I figured I’d get it finished in time for Christmas.

Well, I got an email from my mom in early November telling me that my brother, who lives in New Hampshire, was bringing his 15 year old son to visit my mom, who lives in Montana.  He’s a Montana State University alumni and my mom is a University of  Montana alumni and they planned on attending the cross-state rivalry Cat-Griz football game.  Of course that changed all my plans!

Try as I might, I didn’t get the quilt finished in time for the trip so I’m putting the borders on it and piecing the back this weekend.  It’ll have to be a Christmas gift instead, especially if I decide that it’s not long enough; he’s a tall guy!

I already know how I want to quilt the interior and which thread I’ll use, so now I need to figure out how to do the borders.  I’m pretty pleased with how this one is turning out!

I’d better get moving if I want to get any sewing done today.  I’ll post an update on the last customer quilt I did for this year next time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cute Baby Quilt!

20141021_165635This is the latest customer quilt I finished.  Isn’t it cute?!?!

This is Thalia’s first quilt.  Well, she helped on a bunch of them with her mother-in-law on all the previous family quilts, but unfortunately, her mother in law has passed away, and now she’s expecting another grand child….THIS week!

If you zoom in on the picture you can see bicycles in the dark fabric.  She wanted to create a pathway for them so I quilted some close, wavy lines in that area, with wider wavy lines in the squares.

We chose Warm and Safe batting with King Tut Heather thread on the top, which matched perfectly.

I did the binding by machine because it’s going to get washed … a LOT!

Thalia was so thrilled to complete the quilt, and I was thrilled for her.  We’ll be sitting down, creating more of them together, soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Slide Show Quilt

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This is a customer’s quilt that I recently completed called Slide Show by Atkinson Designs.  It was made for my customer’s son’s wedding.

Once I completed the quilting she had a week to spare to get the binding on before she was heading to the wedding.  I haven’t heard if that got completed before she left; you know how stressful and busy the week before a wedding can be!

If you’re old enough to remember actual film that was loaded into a camera then you’ll understand the reference for Slide Show’s design.  This is NOT a Microsoft PowerPoint reference!

For those who only vaguely remember, here’s a reminder:  the film was advanced on a roller that had pegs on either side.  The 2” squares located around the large square depict the holes at the edge of the film that went over those pegs.

DSCF8228I used a King Tut variegated thread in both the top an bobbin with this overall meander design.  The back was also all black so the variegated thread was a great choice there.

I think my customer did a great job.  The use of batiks against black is always stunning and I love the geometric design.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Got My Paint Chips!

20141012_072820Are you going to do Bonnie Hunter’s annual mystery quilt?

The name of the mystery is called Grand Illusion.  Bonnie released the color palette information earlier this week and paint chips are flying off the shelf!  Bonnie started using the color chips last year to give people a better idea of the colors she’s using in her quilts, and I think it’s a great idea.

Don’t know what a mystery quilt is?  That’s when you make a quilt without knowing what the design is before you start.  Drives me crazy!  However, all of Bonnie’s quilts are amazing so it’s another way to challenge myself.  I’ve followed along with her mysteries for the past 4 years but never have completed one.  Maybe this will be the year!

The first clue to the mystery will be released on Friday, November 28th, 2014.  You don’t need to be a member of the Yahoo Group to follow the clues, but you will get an email notification that way and  it can be fun to see everyone’s progress.  Otherwise, just check the website every week.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Wandering Spiral Block

DSCF8447Last weekend was the Boise Basin Quilters annual quilt show.  I went on Saturday with a fellow Innova owner and long arm quilter, Linda V. and we had a great time.  I entered Odd Girl Out in the Exhibition Only category and had lots of compliments.  It was a super busy day and the quilts were great.  I even purchased a couple of tools I’d seen earlier this summer.  You’ll be hearing about those over the next few months as I get those projects started.

20140928_153902On Sunday I took the Wandering Spirals class from ReNae Merrill.  Of course, I had to get a photo in front of the class sample!  If you look closely you’ll see “shadow” blocks in the quilting.  That would be the outline of the quilt blocks on the other side.  Yep, it’s a reversible quilt!  Unfortunately I neglected to get a photo of the other side.

ReNae developed this block specifically for our guild and debuted the pattern at our show.  She specializes in a unique paper piecing technique.  I’ve done very little paper piecing but found it easy to follow and really enjoyed the class, learned a lot and made a new friend, Vicki.

Notice that in the photo my shoes don’t match.  That’s because I can’t sew with my shoe on so I was wearing the felted slipper that I made earlier this year.

Vicki and I 20141003_214033didn’t finish our blocks during the class so we got together last night and worked on the block for about an hour.  After dinner I completed mine.

Nxt up: print the additional foundations and get them assembled (this block requires 4 foundation pieces), cut the fabric, and find time to piece the rest of the blocks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unintended Break

I’ve been unintentionally absent from my blog since the end of July.  Boy, does it feel like a lot longer than that!  I’m renewing my efforts to re-establish some habits I enjoy, working out and blogging among them.  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the planet!

It wasn’t a planned break.  It started out that I finished up my customer quilts and had a little bit of time off.  As it turned out, I haven’t quilted for a customer since July, at the latest, and that’s when my last blog post was.  I’ve been busy, though, and really needed the break.

hot-pink-white-sm I’ve really been enjoying the time off and actually finished one of my own quilts!  Do you remember this hot pink and white quilt from Sept 2011?  I’ve called her Odd Girl Out because of the one block that is different, created in a unique way at the very end of the process because I started this quilt without a plan and ended up improvising on the last block of the quilt.

I ended up not using any of the border ideas I’d plotted out and posted back in 2011.  Instead, I used a Kaffe Fassett fabric that turned out to be the EXACT same colors as the interior strips!  That just NEVER happens!  I had quite a dilemma choosing the fabrics because I found quite a few strong contenders.  I think I spent an entire afternoon in the quilt store taking photographs, comparing, and trying to decide.

DSCF8196I only chose the back about a month ago.  I got a wide back fabric from Craft Warehouse, a local chain here in Boise.  I don’t remember the name of the fabric line itself, but it’s a nice quality fabric.  I really like the light gray on the back, it gives it a nice, fresh feel.  I used Hobbs Tuscany 100% washable wool for the batting and I like the texture and how light the quilt feels.  I’m still experimenting to find my absolute favorite wool batting, but in general I really like wool.DSCF8193

I outlined the flowers in the border with Permacore  to give a very textured surface; that took about 4 hours alone!  I sewed a wavy line down the middle of each strip and a freehand circular motif in the sashing with the So Fine and the SID work..  Superior Omni thread was used on the back.  I finished it with a dark purple binding and think it’s the perfect finishing touch.  I even got to try out my new vintage Kenmore walking foot while sewing on the borders.

DSCF8210I’m entering it into the local quilt show which will run from September 27-28th at the Expo Idaho fairgrounds in Boise.  Because I had some tension issues in the border area it’s an exhibition only quilt, but I’m thrilled that I’ve actually finished one of my own!

During this time off I also rearranged my quilting studio to accommodate space for another quilter so now I have room to have a friend over to sew!  During that upheaval I located all of my UFO’s and I’ve committed to working on those projects to finally get them completed.

Well, that’s all the news I should share for now.  I always have a long post when I haven’t shared for awhile!  I hope you’re all happy, healthy, and enjoying your crafting adventures.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How Much Do You Love YOUR Iron?

DSCF8152I made a blue and orange quilt for a customer, which she picked up this week.  I’ll post more about it later this week.  It turned out quite lovely, I must say!

Because this is a customer quilt I’d planned to hand sew the binding; you may have heard me say in the past that I absolutely detest hand sewing so you’ll understand when I tell you I wasn’t looking forward to the task.  A quilter friend of mine hates adding borders so I traded her hand sewing my binding for adding her borders.  All in all not a bad trade, but I’m glad it’s now finished so I can take a break and work on my own projects.  I think I’m even going to be able to enter a quilt into the BBQ Quilt Show in September!  I haven’t made a quilt of my own for about 3 years, so this is quite exciting!

As I was finishing up the borders on my friend’s quilt yesterday, my iron turned itself off.   That’s the nature of the automatic shut-off so no biggie, right?  I jiggled and nothing happened.  Then I moved the cord around and the light slowly, and dimly, came back on, then the iron started working again perfectly.  Then it shut off again.  More jiggling with no results.  More cord moving with results.  I remembered that the cord near the base had felt pretty warm, even hot, earlier, too.  Uh oh!  I have a fire hazard on my hands!

20140726_135639I’ve had my iron, a Shark Professional model GI490, for about 7 years and I love it!  You can see that the finish on the handle is even starting to wear off.  How am I ever going to replace it?  I’ve seen all of the online requests asking for recommendations for an iron which I’ve blissfully ignored. 

I knew, of course, that because of the amount of time since the manufacture of my unit that I wouldn’t be able to purchase the same model again so I started my search on ConsumerReports.com. The reviews I found on the next model after it are terrible!  I was shocked and truly disappointed.  Eventually, though, I narrowed down my choices and went shopping.  Nothing beats an in-person inspection.  And you know what I came home with?  Another Shark! 

20140726_184354The Shark Ultimate Professional model GI505 is the next model up from the model with the bad reviews.  It looks and feels very similar to my old model so I suspect I’m going to really like it, all except the size of the top button that selects the temperature.  That’s the main button in the use of this iron so maybe I’ll get used to it and the size won’t bother me.

20140726_184429None of the other irons felt quite right, probably because I’ve used the same iron for over 7 years and have truly enjoyed it.  ConsumerReports.com has this model highly rated, although there are no reviews on it yet, but time will tell.

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