Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Last One for the Holiday Weekend

I finished one more quilt yesterday.  I'm considering my in-home retreat a giant success! I started this quilt when I got to California (the first time) this year. I'd brought multiple projects with me because I knew I had 3 weeks of dedicated sewing time. But are our current projects ever enough? Actually they would have been, but when we got to San Juan Bautista and I saw this quilt on the wall, I had to have it. So here it is - all finished!

This pattern is Red Letter Day by Camille Roskelly. So fun and cute!

Fabulous quilting by the girls at Lynne's. 

Yes, magic binding again, but I used a white flange so it would blend in with the background.

Close-up for the little cuties on the back. Sorry but I was too lazy to flip this photo.  😊

Cute backing for a cute quilt. This quilt is just full of too much cuteness!

Now it'll go be a sample for awhile.

Here's the recap of the last few quilts. Boy, does it feel good to get these done!

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Productive Day - 4 more finishes

I had quite the productive day yesterday. At least it seems that way at first glance.  In reality, I am terrible at finishing things! I get to the 90% mark, then get bored and put it down (whatever "it" is). Well,  the goal of this in-home retreat is to get things finished. Completely. OFF the UFO list.  These quilts needed only bindings to be completed, but if you're a quilter reading this, you know I'm not alone when it comes to the binding part. The Magic Binding technique has changed that for me.  I know some purists will poo-poo their disapproval, but ... remember when we used to look down our noses at quilts that had been omigod-quilted-by-machine?  Yes. That. So without further ado, - the day in pictures.  

I don't even remember how long ago I made this quilt. The fabrics tell me it was a long time ago, though. Sometimes, after I put something down at the 90% mark, I completely forget about it.  Well, now it's a finished quilt. The pattern is called "Fat Quarter Fun".

I used plain muslin for the flange piece of the magic binding.

The corners really do meet easily, even with the two different fabrics.

One of my favorite things to do with backs! These are two apron panels from Joann's Fabrics. They were in my stash, because I guess I thought I'd get around to making them.  Instead, I used them on the back of this quilt, then continued adding fabrics until the back was large enough.  I love doing backs this way.

This is a really good representation of the colors.  The full pic of the quilt is too washed out.

Next up is the Jaguars quilt for my niece.

It's extra-special now because I used my Route 66 fabric as the backing (road trips, away games, doncha know).

The quilting step was done by my friends over at Long Arm Quilting by Lynn Graham.

We don't have many cold days here, but hopefully my niece and her family will be able to bundle up at the occasional cool Jags game.

Next is the nautical quilt. Doesn't it remind you of Nantucket? Gosh this one came out great, again mostly due to the quilting done over at Lynne's. 

The backing. Oh, the backing! It's a piece of heavy home dec fabric that I got on EBay years ago.  It finally found it's home on the back of this quilt. It's a perfect match! Sometimes fabric has to age until just the perfect moment. Sorta like good wine, yes? The top has lots of linen and chambray, so the back really is a great complement to the front. (Actually, that's somewhat unusual for me!) this will be a sample at Cinnamon's Quilt Shoppe for awhile.

Bad color again. There's no blue, but more of a deeper aqua.  (I'm a quilter,  not a photographer.)

Don't you just love the fruit quilting motif? Again done over at Lynne's. 

How could I NOT put the fruit-butt ladies on the back?

Good color here. Guess I'm using too much light on the full shots. 

I'll leave you with a tip: when you are pressing long strips, pressing them on a towel will keep them from distorting and getting all curvy. Remember to fluff the towel "often" if you're doing lots of pressing.

And that was my Sunday! Today (Memorial Day here in the USA) we remember, and thank, all those in uniform that didn't make it home.

Thanks for stopping by!

2015 counts
Tops: 8 
Finishes: 18 (10 quilts, 8 other)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two More Finishes

Every month or so (when I'm not traveling), I give myself the gift of a 3 or 4 day in-home Retreat.  All those pesky things that usually distract me from my quilting focus are ignored. This weekend is my May retreat; it started yesterday and will continue through Monday.  I'm focusing on my enormous pile of UFOs, which I decreased by two yesterday (thank you, magic binding).

This piece has been a top for ages. I quilted it with simple squiggly line quilting to  refresh my muscle memory for machine quilting.  It will be a donation quilt, probably for the elderly. 

Back when my friend Joyce had her quilt store, she had a club that met once a month on Saturday. At each meeting she gave each of us a 2 1/2" square of every fabric that had come into the store that month.  I have sooo many of them, so decided to use them - finally.  Each of these squares has a flower, as does the sashing and border. Simple 25-patch. Makes a cute block, yes? 

By the way, did you know that a piece of batting makes a great thread catcher? And don't we all have extra small pieces of batting that seem to multiply like rabbits?

Keep the piece wherever you're dealing with small thread pieces and they'll stick to the batting like magic. When it's too full to hold anymore, run the clean side over whatever dust is driving you the craziest then toss the whole thing in the trash.  

The second quilt is one I made quite awhile back, had quilted just as long ago, but completely forgot about. I added it to the "needs a binding stack" and whipped this out yesterday.  This is the Cheech and Chong pattern from my friend Lynn, over at Country Crossroads. I've made so many of these! This one doesn't count against my "no dupes" project, though, since it was made so long ago. It is a GREAT pattern for showing off fabrics, and when you need a gift.  For variety, make double the blocks called for in the pattern and use them, rather than borders, to increase the size of the quilt.

It feels so good to be marking these things off THE LIST and decreasing my number of UFOs! Monster Week is currently going on over at Animal Planet, so I'm "watching" all the creepy animal shows as I sew.  If I get bored there, there's always a bad movie or two to be found on Syfy: I adore bad movies! Maybe they'll be showing Sharknado again. One can only hope. Or at least some awful zombie films. Maybe the original Night of the Living Dead. Whoa! That would be for the win.

Off to play with quilts and bindings. Thanks for stopping by!

2015 counts
Tops: 8 
Finishes: 14 (6 quilts, 8 other)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another Finish

At the moment, I'm focusing on finishing. I have a stack of pieces that need either only binding, or quilting then binding. (The ones needing quilting are small works.) I'm devoting the next few days - through the holiday - to getting as many of these FINISHED as possible: there are far too many UFO project in this household.  

This is my latest 2015 finish:

The pattern is called "5 & 10". It was a free pattern at one time, but I can no longer find the link for it. Simple stuff, although it really should have been called "5 & 8", because the big block is an 8" square.  The smaller blocks are indeed 5", then sashed. The pattern calls for starting with a layer cake, but I have used my stash whenever I've made one of these. 

(I see a piece of my precious Red Sea fabric below. I have very little left and still treasure it after all these years.)

I didn't have any more of the border fabric (I probably do somewhere), but had enough of this great stripe to use for the binding. I think it worked better with the dash of yellow than if I'd had just the stripe for the binding; the eye doesn't get confused trying to resolve the stripe of the binding with the random squares in the border fabric,

Again I used the magic binding technique. 

It turns out quite well, and with just a tiny pop of contrast.  I have one project where I will use the same fabric as the border for the "piping" so that it will blend into the quilt rather than contrasting.  Can't wait to see how that works! Although I enjoy the hand work part of the bindings, sometimes I need to get things completed, and not all quilts need the handwork; many can use a machine-finished binding.  Have you tried it yet?

Let's see what today brings!  Thanks for stopping by.

2015 counts
Tops: 8 ( I think this needs updating)
Finishes: 12 (4 quilts, 8 other)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Moving Right Along

I've finished the quilting on the gecko quilt. Whew! A LOT of thread was used! I'm pleased with the results though. Now on with the finishing (binding, blocking, label - not necessarily in that order.)

My next quilting project was this cute little tumbler. It's finished now, using the magic binding technique.  I didn't do dense quilting because I wanted this one to be soft. The tumblers are 3"; the piece is small.. Love the frog fabric on the back! 

(If you're not familiar with the magic binding technique, find it here.)

Throwback to my most recent drive across the country. Badass quilter in The Badlands. It was close to Halloween - I recognize the sweatshirt. 

That's my weekend in a nutshell. Thanks for stopping by.