Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Category Archives: Challenges

The Year of the Pig – Question #7

No,  I didn’t get questions #5 & #6 answered.  Perhaps I’ll go back at some point and answer them.

What do you do when you have no desire to sew?
Do you ever get bored with your fabric and look for a different direction?

My youngest nephew will be 8 this summer.  It was when I made his baby quilt that the “Quilt Pox” really caught hold.  Over the past 8 years there have been a few times when the last thing I wanted to do was quilt.  I think once I went nearly 3 months without sitting down in front of my sewing machine!  Fortunately the other times it wasn’t quite as long.

I finally figured out when the melancholy hit me.  It was after I had a big finish, especially if I had spent several intense weeks at the sewing machine.  At the time, I simply walked away from the sewing machine and then read and read and read and read some more.  Reading is another favorite thing to do.  I finally either ran out of books, or heard my sewing machine calling and resumed quilting.

Since that first dry spell, it’s happened a couple of more times, but no where near as intense.  I recognized it for what it was — I wanted to READ.  So, I did, but only two or three books, then I was able to get back into the sewing room.

It’s been a while since I’ve not spent at least some time each day either at the sewing machine, picking fabrics for my next project or playing in Electric Quilt, but I think the reason is because I’ve found Books on CD.   I pop a CD into the player and can enjoy both of my interests — reading and sewing/quilting.  That’s not to say I don’t read paper books, but I since I don’t feel deprived, I don’t spends weeks trying to catch up.

So, I guess the answer to the first question is to let yourself walk away if you need to and try to figure out why you don’t want to sew.

On to the second part of the question.  Sometimes.  I’m a scrappy quilter, so I don’t have a whole lot of yardage.  It’s mostly FQs or what’s left from yardage. Generally the purchase of a FQ or two will get the sparkle back into  my stash.  I will say I don’t have a lot of batiks in my stash — until recently only one or two pieces.  So, I went shopping in a friend’s stash and came home with two dozen batik FQs.  Originally they were intended for a specific quilt, but I don’t know if that’s where they’ll end up.  Regardless, they’ve added a new life to my stash.

See how others answered these two questions by following the links over at Ramblings of a Fabric and Yarn Obsessor.

Click here to see the answers to the questions I’ve answered.

 

 

 

What’s on my Design Wall

Woo Hoo!!  I finally finished my Dresden Plate quilt. It was February’s UFO Challenge Quilt.

The fabric for the plates started out life as a skirt my mom made for me in the early 1990’s.  I loved that skirt.  But an elastic waistband on a longer skirt and a rolling desk chair just don’t mix well.  I rolled over my hem and attempted to stand up one too many times.  Putting the fabric into a quilt apparently has not solved this problem. As I was binding the quilt, I rolled over the end of it and got tangled up.

This is the back of the quilt.

I’m working on a pillowcase to go with the quilt.  Right now I’m leaning toward a black case with alternating blades and a narrow gold trim.

I hope to get this pillowcase, and perhaps one for the Dragonfly quilt finished before I leave for retreat later this week.

To see what others have been up to follow the links over at Patchwork Times.

April’s UFO Challenge

Judy has announced this month’s challenge number.  It’s #4.  In theory that means I’ll be working on one of these two quilts:

From list #1 (get the quilt to the top stage) is the Red, White & Blue Sampler.  These blocks came from a couple of different sources.   Some of them are from a small shop hop I did in May 2009 and some were birthday blocks sent to me last year.  I’ve tossed in a couple of extra blocks to get the count up to 15.

These blocks are tossed into my retreat bag to take with me next week.  At the moment, I’m leaning toward sashing and quilting the blocks and then assembling them in the same manner I’m doing my Dresden Plate.  If I go this way, the completed blocks with sashing will be my “top”.

From list # 2 (quilt & bind) is “Thangles 2”.  This is one of the two baby quilt tops I made from  my Thangles BOM blocks from several years ago.  I picked the “black and bright” theme but didn’t think the brights selected worked well together and made two baby quilts with 2 blocks left over for “back art”.  Then there was my piecing.  Ugh!  Anyway, in theory this is the quilt top #4 which needs to be quilted.

So, what will I really do?

Last month Judy picked # 1, which is the 4-Patch Stacked Posies quilt my mom started several years ago off my list #1.  I didn’t work on it in March because I needed something to take to the retreat in April.  It is my plan to get this quilt to the top stage at the retreat.

It’s my intention to finish the Dresden Plate quilt (February’s Challenge) this weekend.  I’m in the process of putting the borders on, so with luck, I’ll have it done for Monday’s Design Wall.

Also on this month’s list to complete is the Mini Stars quilt; appliquéing the letters for the Crossword Puzzle quilt (one of the “7 by June” quilts), complete two twin quilt tops (pieces already cut out) and get hanging sleeves on any quilt I’m planning on entering in the Guild quilt show.  I’d really like to quilt the baby mystery quilt, but think I ran out of month three or four projects ago – especially since I want to get The Chain Event (a “7 by June” quilt) done this month.

March UFO Challenge is Met


Admittedly this pink and blue quilt is listed as #7 on my UFO Challenge list, but I did say there may be occasions where if a quilt needed to get bumped up, I’d swap #s.  So, I’m swapping #7 for #1.  It just didn’t seem right to use my bunny quilt to meet this month’s challenge since it wasn’t list on the UFO Challenge tab — although it was on either the “tops to be quilted” or “quilts in progress” tab at the beginning of the year.  Anyway, this quilt got bumped to the front of the line so I could practice quilting dragonflies.

For the backing, I used a piece of vintage fabric I got from my friend S when she was cleaning out her stash a year ago.  Come to think of it, the blue & white hearts came from her stash as well.

The quilt is approximately 39″ square.  I  used Warm & Natural batting, King Tut # 993 (white) in the top and Bottomline  in the bobbin.  The binding is stitched down by machine — I can’t think of any binding I’ve done by hand.

Now on to the next quilt – Dragonflies.

This is the first of the seven quilts I need done by the end of June. Here’s a closeup of the quilting.  My dragonflies were various sized and going every which way.

I opted for King Tut # 978 – Rosetta Stone in the top.  I wasn’t gutsy enough to use the bright thread.

White thread in the bobbin.  So essentially you can’t see my quilting — which at this point is a good thing.

After washing the quilt measures 57 x 68.  I used Warm & Natural batting in this one as well.

Must Have Lost My Mind

I started off the year with a bang, but here we are a bit over 10 weeks into the new year and I have 3 quilts completely cut out — 2 with the borders!  This is cannot be good for the UFO count.  To further illustrate that I’ve lost my mind, I’m planning on taking all 3 of them with me this weekend to a sew-in.

The bag on the left is Bonnie Hunter’s Fun With Bricks.  This started innocently enough as a leader/ender project in January.  The bag on the right is the Dragonfly quilt.  The middle is a red, white & blue scrappy twin size version of the Mystery Quilt I wrote for the April retreat.

Add to this that my husband has just convinced me that I need to quilt and bind six quilts before the end of June and now I know I have lost my mind. This does not include anything which is on my UFO list or any other project I want to finish sooner than later.  At least four of the quilts are completed tops.

Here they are:

Pattern - BQ2

Quilt #1 – 54 x 70.  I have enough fabric to make a second identical quilt and bind them both in the purple.  I may use the fabric to make the backing.  No idea on the thread color or quilting motif.

Pattern Old Tobacco Road

Quilt # 2 – 70 x 100  When I started the quilt in Purple, Green & Yellow, I was thinking “Mardi Gras” and purchased either 1/2 yard or yard of Mardi Gras frogs.  I may look for some more Mardi Gras fabric for the back.  The purple binding is made and tucked in with the quilt and frogs.

 

Pattern Victoria's Rose

Quilt # 3 – 68 x 86.  I have a  piece of the border fabric left in the stash.  The floral, pink and green fabrics, along with a stripe and a small floral print were part of a bundle.  I found more of the floral on-line, but don’t think I there is enough for the backing.  My spreadsheet says I have ‘binding fabric’.

Oh, my.  I just thought of something.  I really want pillow cases to go with each of these quilts.  Have I mentioned I’ve lost my mind?

 

Pattern - The Chain Event

Quilt #4 – 74 x 88.   I thought I had backing fabric for this quilt top, but when I inventoried my quilts tops and UFOs last year, I discovered I only had binding fabric.

 

Pattern - Disappearing 9-patch Variation

Quilt # 5 – 60 x 76. It’s a variation because I’m not making 9-patches and I’ve changed the size of the pieces.  It just worked better for the size quilt I wanted to make.  Fortunately I have the backing fabric – a great dragonfly print I found on-line and the binding has been cut, just not made.  So, if I finish piecing the top this weekend, this will be the first quilt I get done.

 

Pattern - Crossword Puzzle

Quilt # 6 – size unknown.  The size is unknown because this is still a work in progress.  I have about 1/2 of the letters made.  This one is going to the April quilt retreat.

I think my husband wanted to suggest a 7th quilt, but quickly left the room before I could throw something at him. Good thing I put the following qualifier in my UFO Challenge rules:

There will be occasions when a quilt will need to get moved to the top of the line regardless of the # pulled for the month. In those instances, I’ll either swap the #s if they are on this list, or if the quilt doesn’t have an assigned #, but is on either tab as of January 1, 2011, I’ll substitute it for the current # drawn. After all the goal is to get quilts off the UFO list.

What’s on my Design Wall

There’s all sorts of things hanging about today on my ‘design wall’.  First, I’ve finished the center of the Dresden Plate. It’s UFO #10 which was February’s UFO in Judy’s UFO Challenge.

Then there’s a single block from Fun with Bricks.  This the leader/ender project I started in January.  Last week I got impatient and started working on the quilt so I could mindlessly piece.  I’m currently sewing the light squares to the pairs of bricks.

Not pictured is the border and binding which I cut for both the Dresden Plate quilt and the Dragonfly quilt.  I’ll work on the Dragonfly quilt and Fun with Bricks at this weekend’s sew-in.  With luck I’ll finish the Dragonfly quilt so I can get it quilted in the next week or two.

The big news is that I finished a UFO!

A friend gave me the quilt top (sans border) at a retreat two years ago.  I didn’t know how I was going to finish it, so it sat on my Quilts In Progress list.   I finally decided  I wanted Easter Egg fabric for the border, but couldn’t find any that I liked.  I bet I had a dozen bolts of fabric pulled out trying to find the ‘perfect’ fabric before settling on this light green with tiny white butterflies.  I got my Easter Eggs though — it’s on the back.  You can see a scan of both fabrics here.

I used the Faux Piped Binding technique from TCL Stitches tutorial.  Who knew I would be able to use it so quickly.  I think the tiny bit of purple sets it off nicely.  I’ll get back to you toward the end of the month to see if I substitute this one for this month’s quilt.  I think I tweaked my rules to allow for this….

In the meantime, check out the links at Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are working on this week.

What’s on my Design Wall

There are 4 more blocks to appliqué, quilt and then attach to the quilt center (two blocks are already quilted). Then I’ve got to figure out my inner border. I could go buy more gold Dimples so there’s no thinking involved, but what fun would that be?

The quilt is a bit stiff at the moment — at least I hope it’s just at the moment. I don’t know if it’s the batting – Soft & Black, a needled polyester batting by Warn & Natural (no longer made); the basting spray; the amount of quilting or a combination of all three.

I’m quilting a 2″ diagonal grid up to the edge of the plate. I’ve stitched in the ditch around the outer edge of the plate and center and between each blade. The sashing is edge stitched on both edges. If you click on the picture and enlarge it the quilting is visible. I’m using black thread, so any white in the grid is the result of the marking, which will wash out.

Follow the links over at Patchwork Times to check out other design walls.

Another Design Change to UFO #10

I tell you, it’s as though I’m working on a new quilt, not a UFO started in 2006.

The Dresden Plate started out as a Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) project, originally because it’s so much easier to maneuver a 16″ square than a full size quilt under the arm of my sewing machine. I still intend to make the quilt a QAYG project, but since I couldn’t find the blocks I previously quilted, I was free to make a new design.  I no longer have a full size bed, so decided to scale the project down to twin size.

For the past four weeks I’ve been pondering how to put the quilt together, but hadn’t settled on a solution.  Then earlier this week, Fiona from BubzRugz was the guest blogger at Stash Manicure.  Fiona wrote a tutorial on QAYG where she joins her blocks with sashing by machine.  I have seen this style of joining before, but did not realize it could be done completely by machine.  Since I had 4 string blocks I tried it out.  It works pretty well.

Oh, did I mention I finally realized that my 6 1/2 yards of black fabric was not going to be enough for the border, backing and binding for the Dresden Plate and the border and binding for the Dragonfly quilt?  I’m committed to the borders and binding on both quilts, but that still left the backing for the Dresden Plate.  You do see where this is going, don’t you?

Yes, this is the new design.  I have just enough of the gold fabric for the sashing and inner border — if I don’t make any mistakes!    I’ll be able to quilt each block with ease and then join them together.  I dug through my stash and found a fuchsia and purple floral which came from Mom’s stash and half a yard of a mottled green which I’ll use for the sashing on the back.

I can’t wait to finish this quilt.  But first I need to finish the quilting on my friend’s baby quilt.  Her great-niece is two months old and needs her quilt!

March UFO Challenge

Judy has announced the # for the March UFO Challenge, and I’m not finished with February’s!  Although significant progress has been made.   It’s a good thing that Judy let us modify the rules.  As a result I have two lists – one of project to get to the top stage and one for tops which need to be quilted. The idea was I would pick one of the two projects and get it done.  January I was lucky and got both done, but February the Dresden Plate was on both lists, so I didn’t have a choice.

This month’s number is 1.

On my “get it to the top stage” list is Mom’s 4-patch Stacked Posies that she started the last time she hosted my friends and me for a quilting weekend.

To be "Topped"

On the “To be Quilted” list is a Red, White and Blue baby quilt.  This quilt top has been around since Spring 2008.

To be Quilted

So, this month, I’m going to continue working on the Dresden Plate – hopefully complete it.  I will also try to get the baby quilt finished.  The Stacked Posies is on my list of projects to work on at the quilt retreat next month, so I don’t think I’ll work on it.  Besides I have a “new” project to work on — Dragonflies —  which I’d like to have done before I go to the retreat – not to mention a few other projects which I need to make progress on this month.

What’s on my Design Wall

Yes, it’s my Colorworks Dresden Plate – or what I’ve got done of it.  I still lack 5 blocks, but that’s OK.   This quilt is so much further along than it was on February 1st.

February 1st

Follow the links over at Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls.  And check back here after Judy posts the UFO Challenge # to see if I work on this as my UFO for another month, or make it my “current” project and pull another quilt into the mix.