Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My first attempt at Hand Quilting

Last night I stopped and picked up black thread to stitch my mystahhhhry quilt together with. I am doing my version of big stitch quilting. Since I don't know what I am doing, I'm winging it. So far I have two big triangles and 2 of the black ones done. I am not sure how much more I will do.  When I posted the picture on Facebook I said my mom was probably rolling over in her grave because I was hand quilting. When I first started quilting there there three cardinal rules I made for myself - No hand piecing, no hand quilting, and no scraps or stash. This little quilt covers all of those. I used scraps of my batik stash, hand pieced it, and am now hand quilting it. I would like to hand quilt my Rubic Star, so I figure if I can do this one I can do that one.
We've had a few nice days, so we let the kids play outside after daycare. Mathew's first time on the 4 wheeler and of course Mikaela had to be right there.

He's so happy all the time, but especially outside.

They love to play together and touch everything. We are waiting for it to warm up and stay that way, but that was not the case this week. It's been warm/cool/warm/cold/warm all week. This morning we got rain and cold wind. Spring will arrive, maybe in June?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

EPP April Link Up

This month I haven't done much English Paper Piecing, however the little bit of time I did spend on it was in finishing the top of my Chromatic Mystahhhhry. I have the batting and backing with it and hope to get some thread tonight so I can quilt it. I turned out okay for a mystery quilt. I also worked on a few more rows of my sewing table runner, but nothing new to show.

I've been slowly working on these winding ways blocks as well. They are turning out really nicely, but I only get a couple done each week.

This week I put the binding on my mom's Loralie quilt. It's going to be a birthday gift for her sister, so I needed to get it done. The back is just as pretty as the front.

This morning Mikaela insisted on wearing a dress to daycare. She looked so pretty I had to take her picture. See all that batting on my cutting table? I think it's time to clean it up and figure out what to do with it. I have a lot of smaller pieces! I have one more quilt on my cutting table to put binding on, then I am all caught up again.

Linking up for the EPP monthly link up at Splish Splash Stash.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Finish it Up Friday

This week went by so quickly! After a great day of quilting on Sunday, I had lots of binding to do this week. However, it was a very long week at work trying to meet the IPEDS deadline, working my third job every night, and teaching on Wed. night. I just didn't get much sewing done. Thursday marked the 100th day of sewing in a row this year! I've made a little time for sewing everyday and it just makes my life so much easier. Sometimes its at break or lunch at work, sitting and waiting at a Drs. office, doing hexie's while the kids sleep in the car, quilting at my dad's, or sewing at home in the evening. I can't wait to see what the next 100 days bring.

 I finished one more block of the Scrappy Batik Trip Around the World.
I put the last two blocks together last night and they look great. I put them in my box and I now have 10 of the 30 I think it is I am making. I need to do a bunch of strip sets so I have them to work on at lunch next week.

This week I finished Mikaela's BQ4 quilt. I squared it up and put the binding on it.

I cut the binding on the bias, but instead of doing my tried and true way, I tried another way. It didn't work out so well. I ended up with a lot cut in each direction, but not enough of either. Luckily I had a lot of the fabric left, so I just cut a few more strips. I ended up doing a wider binding and machine stitching it down since it's for a kid and binding by hand on minkee is just too much work.

This is the minkee back. It is a bit darker than the pink on the front, but it goes together well.

I tried to get pictures of the kids last night for National Sibling Day, but they weren't real interested in pictures. I did get a cute one of Mathew.
A blurry one of the kids. They are just too squirmy. Hopefully tonight I'll have better luck as we're going out to celebrate grandma's birthday.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Quilty Sunday

This weekend was so nice, after a blizzard day last week and a snow day that was awful, it was nice to see sunshine and warmer temps. I was so excited to be able to get outside and enjoy the weather. It also meant Paul could finally work on the door for my dad's crawl space on his house. A trip to Dad and Ann's ranch means quilting for me!
First up on the agenda was Mikaela's Wanna Be a Cowgirl quilt. She helped me sew it this week and it went together so quickly on Friday night that I was ready to quilt it on Sunday. The front and back are a bit different, but they go together well. The back is minkee. It quilted up very nicely!

Here's the top after quilting. I used a warm and natural batting and pink/brown King Tut with a medium pink Bottomline. The quilt is 60.5"x 72.5". I stretched my limits with the minkee, so a bit of the seam is on the back.

Paul was still working, so I loaded my mom's Loralie quilt. This is the back. I used a dark red King Tut and red Bottomline. The sashing is all red hearts. I need to get my Loralie fabric stash out and figure out what will work for the binding.

This is the front. I loaded it sideways so it was a quick quilt for me to do. It's probably in the 60x70 range as well. I finished it up after lunch while Paul was taking a nap.

Since Paul was still sleeping, I loaded this Giant Starburst quilt top. It's made with Green Bay Packers colors and I'm not sure where it will go, but it will be done. It's backed with a scrap of minkee as well. I love to quilt with minkee as the backing.
Last night I trimmed up this one as well as the Pink one and started working on the binding. I'm so excited to have them done. I am down to only 2 BIG quilts left to quilt on the frame - Scrappy Swoon and Merry Go Round. It's time I got busy working on a few others.

I worked on my Scrappy Trip Around the World on Saturday night, but it was getting late, so only finished one. I have another ready to sew together. I also got partway finished with 3 Winding Ways blocks.

I felt so productive getting that many quilts quilted. I also got the Scrappy Swoon quilt loaded and it is ready to quilt when I get back out there. It's so nice spending time at my dad and his wife's house in the country. The kids get to play outside and spend time with grandpa and grandma, free of mom and dad, and I get to spend some time quilting. We had such an enjoyable time. After I finished quilting I helped them with their ipad and we did some stuff in the yard/garage. Such a fun day. The kids were exhausted and so were Mommy & Daddy.

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Year of Lovely Finishes April Goal

My goal for April in the A Year of Lovely Finishes is  to make a BQ4 quilt for my daughter. I started it at the beginning of the month and so far I have gotten all the blocks made. I don't think it will be too difficult to get it made into a quilt top either tonight or tomorrow and then quilt it on Sunday. It's made out of the scraps from my other 5 Wanna Be A Cowgirl 1 & 2 fabrics. I have a pink cowgirl Minkee I want to use for the back since she loves minkee blankets. She helped me sew the pieces together on her machine one night and then I finished the blocks while she was asleep. Hopefully she'll help me lay the blocks out.

My other smaller goals include:
Working on blocks for my scrappy Trip around the World

Making Winding Ways blocks

Finishing up the Mystaaaahry quilt top
Finishing Mikaela's Giraffe stuffed animal
Sewing 2 rows of my hexie quilt top
Quilting a LG quilt on the frame (possibly my mom's Loralie quilt)

Finish it Up Friday

Welcome to Finish it Up Friday! Since we had a month off, I have gotten a ton done and feel very accomplished on my UFO list. The two biggest finishes were my Swoon which measures 95"x95".
It took me 2 trips to my dad's house to get it quilted and it turned out amazing.
I also finished quilting and binding my brother Ed's Crown Royal quilt. This one has been on the back burner for a while, so it was nice to finish it.
Since I had a few big finishes and haven't gotten out to quilt again, I started working on a few of my basically unstarted UFO's. They had all the fabric cut and gathered, but only one block sewn. I worked on Winding Ways blocks. I made 4 the first night and felt pretty confident in how I was putting them together.
I added the two I had originally made and it's turning out how I had anticipated. I have a lot of blocks left to go, but making a few each week will get me to a full quilt top. I also go the 4 in 1 essential tool and the stiletto part of it is awesome for making these blocks.

I sorted my batik scrap strips and started the Trip Around the World blocks. I'm loosely following Bonnie Hunters pattern. I used a center strip that was the same on all of them, but otherwise am using her directions. This is the first pattern I have made of hers and I am loving it. I truly struggle with scrappy and if you'd known me 15 years ago when I started quilting I was NEVER going to have scraps - as in NEVER EVER. I gave them all away.

My new project this week is a BQ4 quilt made from leftover Wanna Be a Cowgirl 1 & 2 fabrics. I added the brown Kona Solid. I have just a few scraps left now to make something very small. I have a piece of pink cowgirl minkee I want to use on the back. Hopefully I can get it put together tonight and quilt it on Sunday at my dads.

The other night Mikaela was sewing with me and she must have moved my needle position. I went to sew after she went to bed and my needle hit my quarter inch foot and bent like this. It's a Superior Titanium needle. I've been very impressed with their quality so far.

Last Sunday the kids and I went to Dinosaur Park to play. It was in the high 50s.
It was Mathew's first time and now he can walk, but up there it was a little too much for him. He's just not that steady yet. On Monday we had a blizzard and were all at home. It's SD, you never know when the weather will change!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Projects

Last night I pulled out my 2.5" batik scrappy Trip around the world strips. I started making two blocks, but got tired and went to bed. I brought the rest to work today and sorted through them, putting them in groups of 6. I now have 29 block sets ready and need to find a few more to make another block. I'm excited to work on another quilt off my UFO/Bucket Lists.

Also at lunch today I cut out the beginning blocks of a BQ4 pattern. It's using up the scraps from Wanna Be a Cowgirl. I have some minkee I want to use for the back, so I need to get the top made and finished so I can move on with the leftovers. This will be the 5th quilt I have made with this fabric. It will probably go to Mikaela. I'm trying the BQ4 pattern as I'm trying to use the big scraps and I'll add in a solid brown and a pink/brown polka dot. It's fun to plan new projects. I'm hoping Mikaela will help me with these projects this weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Year of Lovely Finishes March Goal Met - SWOON

My Button
My March goal for A Year of Lovely Finishes was to finish Swoon - A project I have been working on since March of 2010. In my goal post I simply wanted to get Swoon quilted. It took me two trips to my dad's house, but I was able to get it quilted.

I used a wool batting and a creamy white Aurifil 2024 to quilt it. I used a wool batting and a extra wide white backing fabric.
It quilted up beautifully. I only had about a foot that the tension went askew when I changed the bobbin, but that was easily fixed. I put the binding on Sunday night and was able to work on the hand sewing on Monday and Tuesday during breaks at work.
I washed it up and it's all crinkly, just how wool batting is supposed to look. I am in love with this quilt! This goal was kind of a stretch for me since I was working on the last class for my masters degree, but I successfully finished both! I am so proud to have it done and plan to enter it in the quilt show in June.

Amazing Week of Finishes!

This has been an AMAZING WEEK!!! I truly am blessed by good fortune, friends, and support. I finished my last class for my Masters in Management in Proprietary Higher Education Management on Monday. My final grade was a 97.6%! That gives me an A, so I got a 4.0 while in my masters program! It doesn't really matter at this level, but I am so excited to be done and have done so well.
Last week I taught a class and saw a little Janome Jem Gold 2 on the used table. I inquired about it, the cost, etc. and figured it was the perfect machine for Mikaela. She wants to sew, but there are too many buttons for her to get into trouble with on the Bernina. I took it for a test drive Friday night and fell in love. It's perfect for her, but works for me too.
Saturday I surprised her with a trip to the Sewing Center to buy her first machine. She had so much fun picking out fabric, testing it, and looking around. Shaina was so professional and treated her so well. She had her sit up to the machine, try the buttons, and see if it was the right fit.

She got to pick out a drag blanket kit and 2 1/2 yard cuts of fabric.
Sunday we sewed this drag blanket together. It was super easy. She ran the foot pedal and pulled out the pins, while I guided it and she had her hands on mine. This is the kit I would have picked, but I let her pick it out and she picked this one. She has the same taste as me!
It is the perfect size for dragging around, taking to daycare, or sleeping with at night.
She even helped me thread the machine.

Then we made a little daycare bag. It's the perfect size for her and I winged it with her fabric and some from stash. I've cut out a few more to make for her friends. She sewed all the seams and helped turn it. It was so fun to spend all day Sunday sewing together. Now she's requested a stuffed animal. That's a bit out of my comfort zone.

This week I was busy making this table runner for a class sample. It's #Seaside by Jaybird Quilts. I used a charm pack instead of the 5 strips.

I used a wool batting for it to be puffy. It's going to be a bed runner.

This week I was able to get the binding on Swoon and get it washed and dryed in our new washer. It turned out so nicely! I'll keep it off the bed until after the quilt show in June though. I'm planning for it to be my first entry.
I also got the binding on my brother Ed's Crown Royal quilt. This project has been in the works since 2010 or so, so it feels great to have it done!

I also was able to quilt and bind the Star Light Star Bright quilt. It's a table topper for a co-workers wedding present. I again used a wool batting scrap for this one.
Star Light Star Bright
I feel like it's been a great week and I've accomplished so much. Now I'm not sure what to work on next! I have plenty of projects, but no deadlines, so I need to figure out what my April goals will be.

Needle and Thread Thursday