Sew Sunday March 18,2018 A Finish!

One of my UFOs was a simple panel I bought on impulse. Yes, I too have fallen into that trap on occasion but this PHD exercise has been very helpful in showing me the error of my early ways…or my ways early?

I bought this panel thinking it would be a good idea to have a couple baby quilts on hand. However when the opportunity knocked and I needed a baby quilt (and it knocked 3 times since I bought this panel), I quickly realized that if I cared enough about the person to make a quilt, I wanted it to be made especially for them.

Sew..perhaps some day this quilt will find a home, but for now it will be tucked away with its only purpose being a contributor to my PHD.

The panel was intended to be used to make bibs but when I saw it, I saw something differentl

I’m calling it “Bibbles and Dribs” (instead of dribbles and bibs).

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Summary of my PHD list (4/12 Done):

  1. Dresden quilt – started Aug 2016; flimsy in progress
  2. Autumn leaves quilt – in progress, some blocks partially done – no progress this period
  3. Feathered star quilt – one block made Sep 2017 – no progress this period
  4. Delectable Mountains quilt – ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  5. Little Girl quilt – DONE Jan 2018, gifted March 4, 2018
  6. Christmas quilt #2 – blocks started – flimsy and borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  7. Christmas quilt #3 – fabric purchased, pattern pending – no progress this period
  8. Winnie the Pooh baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  9. Bibs baby quilt -DONE (Mar 18 post)
  10. Lewe the Ewe baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  11. Secret quilt – fabric purchased – pattern: Alter-ego; no progress this period
  12. Blues quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period

Cheers all and enjoy spending your Sundays Sewing!

Sew Sunday March 11, 2018 – There is a reason this is a UFO.

Todays post is about #1 on my PHD list: Dresden quilt.

I remember a quilt I had on my bed as a little girl. At the time I had no idea where it came from but now I believe it was likely made by my grandmother. It had little fans on it that mezmorized me as a child.

So when I saw a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial called Checkered Dresden I wanted to try it. It looked really fun! And it turned out that it WAS really fun.

It was a great learning opportunity to decide how I wanted to topstitch them to the background. My Janome 7700 (affectionately named Ruby) has lots of decorative stitches, which I know I will never use…that’s just not my flavour of sewing.

Here’s where the problem is…and why it was the inaugural entry on my UFO list. When I was cutting the blades I wasn’t aware that there was pretty much ZERO room to be generous. When I say zero, I mean zero. In the end I only had enough blades to make 8 Dresdens (with 7 blades left…each Dresden needs 20 blades).

Now what am I gonna do? Each block is 22″ square. A flimsy with 2 columns by 4 rows would be 44 x 88. That’s a rectangle and it would look odd (to me, anyway).

I’m not a fan of rectangular quilts, so 3 x 3 blocks with an extra top and bottom border is more what I had in mind.

But what do I do with the centre? What would you put there? A solid white square is the easiest option, and does give me a spectacular spot for fmq, but I’m thinking its a bit too big.

I am planning on making prairie points for this one..the style really lends itself to them, IMHO.

I’m hoping someone has a brilliant idea, or at least an idea that provides me with the inspiration I need.

Summary of my PHD list (3/12 Done):

  1. Dresden quilt – started Aug 2016; blocks done – progress made this period
  2. Autumn leaves quilt – in progress, some blocks partially done – no progress this period
  3. Feathered star quilt – one block made Sep 2017 – no progress this period
  4. Delectable Mountains quilt – ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  5. Little Girl quilt – DONE Jan 2018, gifted March 4, 2018
  6. Christmas quilt #2 – blocks started – flimsy and borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  7. Christmas quilt #3 – fabric purchased, pattern pending – no progress this period
  8. Winnie the Pooh baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  9. Bibs baby quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period
  10. Lewe the Ewe baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  11. Secret quilt – fabric purchased – pattern: Alter-ego; no progress this period
  12. Blues quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period

Cheers all and enjoy spending your Sundays Sewing!

Sew Sunday – March 4, 2018 Stormy Weather

My adventures at sea have finished and I have sucessfully navigated to a safe port. “Storm at Sea” is DONE.

Before I share the picture of the full view, allow me to share my experiences at sea…

My first challenge was to find a pattern. I wasn’t successful but managed to muddle through with bits and barnacles from a couple of different sources. For the diamond blocks I wanted to follow Eleanor Burns’ instructions because I didn’t want to have to buy a template. Her directions to take a 3×6″ piece and cut corner to corner are simple and work for me. For the diamond centre I liked the idea of cutting a triangle on folded fabric. Unfold the fabric and voila!…a diamond! I used my Kaleilo-ruler for this.

Simple, right?

My first batch sewed together well but something was off..just couldn’t put my finger on what it was…. The corners weren’t lining up well and I had a hard time squaring them to the right size.

Eventually I looked more thoroughly at the instructions and whaddya know…a printed template! Hey….lets see how that template lines up with the ruler.

Oh… 😦

I guess that would be the problem.

This next picture shows the wrong block on the right and the correct block on the left.

Sew…smooth sailing ahead, right? Nay I say…

You see, in my search for a pattern I saw couple of different arrangements that I liked but I wasn’t exactly sure how to figure out in advance the exact configuration of each block. The colour placement was KEY for this quilt.

So I literally planned and pieced one block at a time. It was rather excruciating actually. I thought though that as I started seeing the quilt take shape, and the pattern appear, it would all be worth it.

Nope. I wasn’t liking it one bit. Arrgh matey!

I must have talked myself in-and-out of giving up on the whole thing at least a dozen times.

But tenacity can be my friend sometimes.

THAR She Blows….are you ready?

Now…I am loving how it turned out. Only one teensie problem… I dunno what I was thinking about whilst I was merrily quilting away. But suddenly, during a bobbin change, it occurred to me to ask myself, “why am I using dark grey thread?” The quilt back is cream!!

Are you kidding me? Seriously? Where the heck was my head?

By the time this happened I was almost finished the entire quilt.

Sew…how do you like my design choice? I used a new technique called “scrappy thread”.

Regardless of the back (which I’m planning on saying is just a reflection of my split personality), I LOVE this quilt! It won’t be gifted until April so I’ll just have more time to gaze at the calm waters after my personal Storm at Sea. 😃

This quilt wasn’t on my PHD list so next week I will pick up one of those projects and continue my progress.

Here is where I’m at with that list:

  1. Dresden quilt – started Aug 2016; blocks made, fabric purchased – no progress this period
  2. Autumn leaves quilt – in progress, some blocks partially done
  3. Feathered star quilt – one block made Sep 2017 – no progress this period
  4. Delectable Mountains quilt – ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  5. Little Girl quilt – DONE Jan 2018, gifted March 4, 2018
  6. Christmas quilt #2 – blocks started – flimsy and borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  7. Christmas quilt #3 – fabric purchased, pattern pending – no progress this period
  8. Winnie the Pooh baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  9. Bibs baby quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period
  10. Lewe the Ewe baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  11. Secret quilt – fabric purchased – pattern: Alter-ego; no progress this period
  12. Blues quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period

Cheers all and spend your Sundays Sewing!

Sew Sundays – February 25, 2018 (in some time zones, anyway) Clearing the To Do List

Sew…I fell off the wagon. Not literally…but I did as far as my plan to post every Sunday. But I had good reason. My phone died! Ok, so that may sound like a lame excuse however it does point out how much we rely on techology and how paralyzed we can become when things go wrong. You see, my phone is what I use to take pictures – pictures as i am working on quilts and pictures when they are done.

I’ve been able to recover them (thank you Google photos!) However, they are no longer organized into my albums. Higgledy piggledy sorted by date. Ugh! Just one more thing to add to my To-Do list.

Now, you might say that 3 weeks should be enough time to get all of that reorganized. But my answer is No. It is time I would much rather spend quilting! Sew…here’s what I’ve been up to…

Little girl quilt was finished but that little girl is about to be a Big Sister. Here’s the baby quilt I made for the baby shower:

I have also made huge progress on the Storm at Sea quilt. I have had some heartaches and headaches with that quilt. But overall, I am LOVING it! I will save the pictures and story until the quilt is done-done.

PHD Update:

Neither of these projects count towards my PHD list so I can’t report any progress. However once these projects are done I will go back to the list. Some people have already completed enough items on their PHD list as I have planned for the entire year!! 😉 (not mentioning names, lol)

See you next Sunday. Until then…happy sewing

Sew Sundays – Feb 4, 2018 – A new beginning

I started working on the Autumn leaves quilt briefly …

but then I needed put it to the side while I started working on another quilt which has an April due date.

This is the “Storm at Sea” pattern I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I bought the fabric – sew pretty!! but really do think I need to buy a pattern for this one – the colour placement seems to be pretty critical and I don’t want to mess it up.

I’m hesitant though because some of the patterns I’ve browsed … well…let’s just say I think there may be some patterns that are easier to follow than others. Do you have a Storm at Sea pattern that you tried and found easy to follow? Let me know and I’ll go buy it.

Here’s what I’ve managed to do so far…

I also want to work on improving my blog. I see how some people’s blogs have a “Linking to” section in theirs. Most of the time I compose my posts on my phone, so I understand that likely the functions may not be available via that method. I’m a real newbie with WordPress, so if you have any hints/tips for me — I’ll welcome them with open arms!

Spend your Sunday Sewing and Smile!

Here is my PHD list and the progress since the start of the challenge:

  1. Dresden quilt – started Aug 2016; blocks made, fabric purchased – no progress this period
  2. Autumn leaves quilt – in progress, some blocks partially done
  3. Feathered star quilt – one block made Sep 2017 – no progress this period
  4. Delectable Mountains quilt – ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  5. Little Girl quilt – DONE Jan 2018
  6. Christmas quilt #2 – blocks started – flimsy and borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  7. Christmas quilt #3 – fabric purchased, pattern pending – no progress this period
  8. Winnie the Pooh baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  9. Bibs baby quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period
  10. Lewe the Ewe baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  11. Secret quilt – fabric purchased – pattern: Alter-ego; no progress this period
  12. Blues quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period

Sew Sundays — January 28, 2018 A finish and a Bonus

Finished! Little girl quilt is done.

I am happy with the overall effect but do recognize now that I coulda/shoulda added either some simpler blocks or sashing to break up the repeated blocks.

This makes me realize that it’s time for me to start using patterns. So far I’ve pretty much only made one-block quilts, adding variation with borders and sashing only. But it’s time to go to the next level.

Question for you: are there some patterns which are better written than others? What should I look for when choosing a pattern?

This week I also finished a table runner for a friend. Her niece is having a stag and doe, so to help them out I whipped up this little beauty. My gf was thrilled!

Here is my PHD list and the progress since the start of the challenge:

  1. Dresden quilt – started Aug 2016; blocks made, fabric purchased – no progress this period
  2. Autumn leaves quilt – cutting started
  3. Feathered star quilt – one block made Sep 2017 – no progress this period
  4. Delectable Mountains quilt – flimsy done except for borders – borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  5. Little Girl quilt – DONE Jan 2018
  6. Christmas quilt #2 – blocks started – flimsy and borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  7. Christmas quilt #3 – fabric purchased, pattern pending – no progress this period
  8. Winnie the Pooh baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  9. Bibs baby quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period
  10. Lewe the Ewe baby quilt – DONE (Jan 14 post)
  11. Secret quilt – fabric purchased – pattern: Alter-ego; no progress this period
  12. Blues quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period

Happy sewing!

Sew Sundays – January 21, 2018 – Quilters ADD

Sometimes I feel very focused and other times I feel paralyzed by choices.

In my brief quilting journey, through reading blogs, articles, and other social media posts, two common traps appear time and time again.

1. Stash overload

Its sew fun buying new fabric! I know now that if I go to my local fabric store I need to bank on the fact that no matter why I went there I will inevitably spend at least an hour and a half there. There is simply no way around that. Where I have been successful is in not buying fabric for no reason. I’m not saying I’ve NEVER bought fabric just because it’s pretty..I’m just saying I haven’t overloaded on “just because” fabric in my stash. I think I realized that in order to make good use of a stash it needs to be of some considerable size and I just don’t want to go there.

2. UFO Overload

With the number of posts about people’s UFOs, it quickly became obvious that it’s an easy trap to fall into. Originally I wondered why…

Now I get it. Even though quilts made by machine are finished much faster than in generations before, where much or all of it was stitched by hand, they still take a considerable amount of time. And depending on how much ‘spare’ time one has, they can take even longer. In short..boredom, or getting tired of looking at the same thing is the reason I start getting antsy to start a new project. I tried to keep this trap in check by only working on two projects at a time. But all too quickly that approach fell off the rails. Now I find myself, after only starting this journey in July 2016, with a UFO list that has me feeling pressured. And then there are the new projects that pop up through the year…sigh.

I’m working through FMQing the little girl quilt on my PHD list. I’m nearly done – just have to finish the borders.

While working on this I find myself fiercely holding back the start of a new project. That new project was unplanned – 60th birthday gift due in April.

I was thinking about a storm at sea pattern but when considering the FMQ options I’m not too sure now. I think it may be too restrictive because of the lack of negative space. (I love to quilt in a grafitti quilting style.)

I may revert to a similar pattern with more open space – Tennessee waltz.

I did find this picture of a storm at sea, and with the light centres, it may satisfy my needs.

I’m thinking I would make the star points in the darkest fabric, the diamonds in medium, and the centers in light. What do you think?

Are there other quilting traps that you work hard to avoid?

Happy sewing and see you next Sunday.

Sew Sundays – January 14, 2018

Sew…this week I’ve been working on finishing my almost finished projects. For the Winnie the Pooh baby quilt all that was needed was to add the binding and label. I decided to use this quilt to work on my binding method. I tried an option which involves sewing it the back and then using a blanket stitch on the front. I LOVED how it looked from the front. But…silly me…I didn’t check the back early enough. Whoops! Given I’m using this quilt to learn its important for me to un-sew and redo it. Sew…after removing the old stitching I tried to make sure the binding was exactly on the line of stitching but no luck. After my second attempt, I gave up and used my usual method. Phd#8 is Done PhD #10 (Lewe the Ewe baby quilt) is also done. Now my grandson has something to sleep with when he comes over.

I’ve started few PhD #1 (little girl quilt) which is coming along nicely. Thank you everyone for your feedback about it. I kept the borders on. Now I realize that I should have perhaps added some more plain background blocks or sashing. There isn’t much space for the ‘fancy’ quilting that I so like to do. Still, I’m pretty happy with it. How is everyone else doing with your PHDs? Do you have different methods of binding that you would like to share? Be sew happy and have a wonderful week! See you next Sunday.

Sew Sundays – January 7, 2018

Happy New Year!! The snow and cold make sewing Sundays guilt free!  They provide the purr-fect excuse to stay in and sew.

For 2018, I’m working on my PHD (projects half done).

My cousin, Gail Sheppard, has laid out a challenge and is awarding fellow quilters their PHD if they accomplish the specified goal of finishing at least 12 projects half done.  See her post linked below.

While I tried to work on no more than 2 projects at a time, just into my second quilty year  I already found myself overwhelmed with projects I want to do, some I need to do, and others just because.  I found that I actually had enough PHDs to qualify for this challenge…YIKES!!

Here is my PHD list (pictures below in order) and the progress since Gail laid out the challenge:

  1.  Dresden quilt – started Aug 2016; blocks made, fabric purchased – no progress this period
  2. Autumn leaves quilt – has a deadline; fabric purchased and pattern selected – no progress this period
  3. Feathered star quilt – one block made Sep 2017 – no progress this period
  4. Delectable Mountains quilt – flimsy done except for borders – borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  5. Little Girl quilt – has a deadline ; fabric purchased and pattern (this is next on my to do list ) – flimsy (and borders) done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  6. Christmas quilt #2 – blocks started – flimsy and borders done, ready to sandwich, need to buy backing
  7. Christmas quilt #3 – fabric purchased, pattern pending – no progress this period
  8. Winnie the Pooh baby quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – FMQ in progress
  9. Bibs baby quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period
  10. Lewe the Ewe baby quilt – FMQ started – FMQ done, label ready to see on
  11. Secret quilt – fabric purchased – no progress this period
  12. Blues quilt – sandwiched, ready to FMQ – no progress this period

As I make progress I will post updated pictures but this is a picture of what I’ve been working on.

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And, now only a few days into the new year I received word of a friend’s milestone birthday this year, which of course means I have to add another project on my TO DO list.  I’m thinking I might use the “Storm at Sea” pattern.  This project won’t count towards my PHD but no matter.

Good luck to my fellow PHD contenders!

..and to all, a good sew

 

Sew Sundays – December 31, 2017

Sew, it’s Sunday.

I’ve been working on #1 from my PHD list.  Its a quilt for the granddaughter of my dear friend. My friend’s daughter asked me to make it and have it ready for the arrival of their second child.  It will be given to their first child to combat any jealousy that might ensue.

In my 2.5 years of quilting I’ve encountered some quilts that seem to resist my good intentions.  This appears to be one of them.

I started with a plan to use a pretty block I found.

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But the quilt needed to be pinks and purples.  I went fabric shopping but struggled to find the right balance between too much colour and not enough.  I thought I had come up with the right formula.

But now that the blocks are sewn together it is just not working for me.  I’m not sure why, its just not saying “wonderful” to me.

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I haven’t decided if I want to un-sew sections and separate some sections by adding sashing, or even blank background squares.  I made a twisted ribbon border for the sides, but there again I haven’t decided if that will add-to or take away from the overall quilt.

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What do you think?

Have you ever encountered a quilt that just needed extra encouragement to make it just right?

Enjoy your Sunday’s and happy sewing!