Thursday, February 22, 2018

a BIG finish

I finished my Bird of Paradise quilt!!  Appliqued and quilted by hand - only the assembly of the blocks and basting was done by machine. 

 I started with the Threadbear Civil War Bride quilt pattern.  I made 10 of the blocks just like the pattern, 4 blocks slightly altered and the remaining 6 blocks I drew myself using some of the flower and leaf shapes from the pattern and my own drawings.  For my borders I took inspiration from the original 1862 Bird of Paradise quilt pictured in The Quilt Engagement Calendar Treasury.  I wanted the horses for sure to be included - they add so much energy to the quilt.  I also really liked the top border from the original so I sewed mine to be similar.  The sides and bottom are of my own design. 
With the horses racing along the bottom you'd think I'd have been racing to a finish.  Actually I started this quilt in September of 2010.  Quilting began in May of 2016 and finished in Sept of 2017.  Yeah - September.  It took me 5 months to trim and bind this quilt.  It was like an anticlimax.  And, I'm not sure why.  I loved working on this project so much - I miss working on this project.  It's a fairly large quilt and I really don't have anywhere in mind to hang it.  I'm really happy with how it turned out - I'm just not really sure what to do with it.
 Here are some close ups.  I love the squirrels :0)  They've been so busy hanging upside down off of our bird feeder eating seeds all day today.  (I was less happy with them when they were digging up and eating my carrots in the summer though)
It's a large quilt to display.  I'll find a spot for it somewhere I'm sure.
 It was a tremendously fun journey.  I learned so much about applique and designing blocks and borders while working on it.  Honestly I'd love to make it again. 
It is fairly densely hand quilted.  After I saw Hilda's beautifully quilted Civil War Bride quilt I wanted that look as well.  I learned a few things about marking while I worked on it too.  There were challenges :0)
Overall, it was a wonderful ride :0)  What next??

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

On Ringo Lake mystery

 This week is the last link up for On Ringo lake - Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  I don't have my quilt finished - not even close.  I have 39 blocks made and I love them.  They go together quickly when you have all the block parts pieced.
 I especially love them set side by side.
 However, there are a lot of points to match up and those spots could potentially be pretty lumpy so I'm thinking about some plain sashing.  This pink is my favorite so far.
The On Ringo Lake mystery has sashing pieced from these parallelogram units.  A few people have used these units as a border and I really like the look so I'm going to save them for that.
 My border won't be exactly like this layout here.  I may still set the blocks on point like in the pattern.  Here is a link to go see other peoples' mystery quilts.  It was such a fun mystery project to participate in. 
We enjoyed a lovely family escape from winter to Hawaii last week.  It was beautiful!
Of course there was some stitching.  I could sit outside and watch for whales and enjoy the flowers with my stitching.  It was wonderful!
We came home to -25 temperatures and it just keeps snowing.  Winter is a long season here so it was good to take a break.
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, January 15, 2018

finished but not posted yet

I finished a quilt just after Christmas that I haven't posted about.  This quilt I've been calling Not Toasty is for my 13 year old son.  He was eager to start sleeping under it - mostly because I made it extra long so it will stay tucked in on his extra long twin bed.  

I really should have a picture of it on his bed but his room has been a little chaotic of late...  So, here it is in my room instead :0)
It's hard to photograph such a long quilt.  It was wonderful to free motion quilt this on my new (well it still feels like new) Juki sewing machine.  The tension was perfect on the back every time.  The extra harp space was wonderful for maneuvering this large quilt. 
I didn't want it quilted too heavily as I wanted it soft and comfortable for sleeping under.  The stitches might not be exactly the same length and a few awkward spots happened with my quilting designs but overall I am very pleased with the results.  He chose the pattern and colors.  It's Just Toasty by Betsy Chutchian in the Oct 2016 issue of AP&Q. 

With that finished I can relax and enjoy no quilt deadlines for awhile :0)  I laid out my 2 side borders for my signature quilt a few nights ago.  I think I can applique a few more flowers on the ends of these and still have room for some corner applique so I haven't started on the bottom border like I thought I would. 
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mystery link up

Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt was a fun distraction alongside all the usual busy Christmas festivities.  I was excited to see the final reveal.  I just love the blocks. I have most of the parts made but have only managed to get 4 blocks done so far.  Here they are laid out with the sashing pieces.  

 I actually love the blocks laid side by side without the sashing pieces shown below. I will make all the blocks before I decide how I will set them together.
It's a bit strange to have so many block parts made - its different to store them than completed blocks.  I have bags and containers and boxes full of parts so the blocks should go together quickly.
Here is a link to Bonnie's mystery link - up so you can checkout what other people made.

There had to be some applique to work on while I was away visiting family.  I prepped another block for my guild challenge project. I drew this Mexican Rose block and it was quick to stitch up (a little too quick - I hate running out of hand stitching)
Today the kids went back to school so hopefully I can get some other applique prepped now. 
Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

falling behind

So Bonnie Hunter's mystery is not for the slow and busy sewer.  Wow! there are a lot of units in the last 2 weeks worth of clues.  I am conceding that I will fall behind.
One of the fun things about her Mystery link up posts is seeing how people arrange their completed units - experimenting to try and solve the mystery.  Here are units from the first 3 clues arranged together.  This was how Grace B (link up person #12) had arranged hers and I thought it looked fun.
I cut and sewed and cut and sewed and got all of my clue #2 units made - oodles of flying geese.  
For clue #3 I have only just a handful of units made.  I hope to get a bunch more made before Friday's clue #4 but I know already I won't be done :0)
While I was waiting for clue #2 to be released I had a try at a Circling Swallows block.  Barbara Brackman had posted about this block here back in July on one of her blogs and I was wanting to give it a go.  It was fun!  This block will be an extra to go with my guild challenge blocks.  (once I finish it) 
Well, back to the sewing machine Christmas preparations for me  :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

not a spectator

Every year for the last several years I have enjoyed watching Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt unfold.  This year when she announced her colors I was hooked - what a pretty palate to work with!
So the first clue was released on Friday and by Sunday evening I had all of these delightful scrappy little 9 patches made.  
 Bonnie's Monday link up is here.
I pulled plenty of fabric to use from my stash.  It's been sitting on this card table tempting me for weeks so I'm happy to be sewing with it now.
 Now I have to wait until Friday and the next clue...

In the meantime I am steadily making progress on quilting my son's quilt and I pulled out this little ufo that I'd love to finish up before Christmas.
I misplaced the pattern so I took the pieces and attached them.  I think its wrong but I like it and now I just need to quilt it as well. It would be great to use it for Christmas decorating :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

free motion quilting

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.  
I was so pleased with this little pumpkin that I grew in the garden I wanted to share a picture.  I've never tried to grow pumpkins before - the squirrels chewed off all the other little ones that started but they never found this one hiding in the rhubarb :0)  Pretty soon it will be time to put out Christmas decorations so this little guy will get cut up and used.
 I finished all the blocks for a quilt for my son recently. The pattern is Just Toasty by Betsy Chutchian.  I wanted to make the quilt super long so it would stay tucked in on my son's extra long bed so it was a lot of blocks to sew. 
 Of course I had to play a bit before I sewed them together :0)
 This was the arrangement in the pattern and its what my son wanted.
 I added borders to frame it and to make it a little longer and wider yet.  It's really long!
On Tuesday I managed to get it pin basted and yesterday I started quilting it.  It's going so well and I'm so very happy with my Juki machine.  The extra size of the opening makes it so easy to maneuver and it is much easier to free motion quilt with this machine than with my old one.  The bottom tension is perfect everytime. I'm doing a fairly simple boxy pattern in the squares and not too dense - I want it to be soft and comfortable to sleep under.  I hope to get this finished soon so he can use it!  (And, because I promised myself I could do the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt this year if this quilt was nearly done ;0)

I made a bag last week too.  I used a French General Moda candy pack.  I was pleased it went well with this brown fabric because it has names of Jesus on it and the bag is for carrying my Bible to church, Bible study, etc...
 I free motion quilted it a little denser - fun and a good warm up project for my son's quilt.
 I'm starting to get a small forest of these trees - pieced for fun every once and awhile.  No clue how I'm going to set them.  I'm just going to keep making them until I get tired of them and then I'll decide.
 I was delighted to win this giveaway prize from Barb at Fun with Barb  I was most interested to read the Quilt Study seminar booklet.  One day I would LOVE to go to a seminar.  It was great to read about the offerings and tours.  I love Barb's blackbird cards and the fabric very much too :0) 

Happy Quilting!!