Monday, August 1, 2016

maddie's quilt - pink hazel hedgehogs

So I started this quilt a long time ago.  I also gave it away a long time ago.  I'm finally getting around to blogging about it.

Maybe two years ago a coworker told me his wife was pregnant.  They'd been trying - recently married - and were thrilled to be bringing a little girl into this world.  That little girl was going to have a big half-sister when she arrived.  And while I knew for sure the new baby would get a quilt from me, I thought the big sister needed something, too.

I found Hazel Hedgehog and knew it was THE quilt for Maddie.  She was 10.

I teased you with a variety of posts regarding my progress in 2015, but instead of linking to those, I'll just do a review...

PINK hedgehog parts!
I cut and cut and cut pieces.  Pink hedgehogs for a girly girl!

Pieces labelled up to the letter "S"!
There are a lot of pieces per hedgehog.  Every hedgehog is different.

Lots of hedgehogs!
They took a lot of time - chain-piecing wasn't really an option.  But I loved each one as it came to life.

The layout took a bit of doing - I wanted the wild ones scattered around - you never know what those crazier hedgehogs might talk the tamer ones into doing!

...the weather never cooperates...
Deep breaths!
It took a bit for me to decide HOW to quilt this.  I still struggle with what designs the quilt needs, but I think I'm getting better.  This one, each hedgehog got her own hairdo!

...a flower headband... overall floral 'do...


...and what might be a bad hair day to some!

And eventually, I had a finished quilt!  There's still snow on the ground, but that's spring 2015 snow.

Though the friend no longer works with me, nor did he by the time the quilts were finished, we met up for lunch last summer and I handed over two bags.  He was surprised...he shouldn't have been!

Maddie LOVED the quilt.  He texted me a photo of her...well, her hiding...under it, reading a book that night.  I was so glad she loved it and her dad (and step-mom) let her use it.

I don't think I've shared the baby quilt either - at least not finished - so perhaps another day when I have little else to share in the way of quilting, I'll be motivated to share that one.  (I love it, too!)

Happy quilting,

Monday, July 25, 2016

feng shui in purple and grey

I know I promised a reveal and should have done this sooner, but, well...

First the thread took more than a week to get here.  I ran out of thread on the 4th of July.  I got notification the following Thursday that it was FINALLY shipped.  It didn't arrive until Monday, July 11th!  The delay I'm sure was in part due to a sale on the thread I'd ordered - I'm sure they were swamped and placing my order on the last day of the sale didn't help matters...okay, well, the sale ended on the 5th, but I'm fairly certain they were not open on the 4th.

So Monday night, after work, making dinner, washing dishes and all that nonsense, I fired up the longarm and finished that last pass.  It didn't take long, but it sure did take a long time to get there!

Let's take the journey again!

layout on the living room floor - room not big enough!

ready to longarm - deep breaths!
(and no stitch regulator again!)
first motif in a block - and some border work!
(oh look - starting to reveal things!)
out of thread?!?!
after the final pass was FINALLY completed!
(I never did use the extra bobbin...)
let's go outside for photos - first with the sun at my back
and now with the sun in my face (ooch! - bright!)
a little closeup of the quilting
(thanks for the inspiration Angela Walters!)
and some borders while looking into the bright, hot sun
(probably not the best of them, but I couldn't see what I was photographing!)
quilting from the back
(looks a little pokey, but really, it's just sunlight coming through the needle holes!)
fabric is a purple and black herringbone flannel
it really pops and I love it!
back inside - ready for binding!
So my new quilt for my bed is done.

about 86"x100"
weight: 8 lbs (yes, I weighed it)
front: Cherrywood
back: garment flannel (heavier and fluffier than quilting flannel)
quilting: freemotion, no stitch regulator, done by me!
thread: Smoke, SoFine from Superior Threads - 1 spool plus some

It's rather hot lately and very humid and though the air conditioner is running like mad in the window, I'm fairly certain the binding part of this quilt can wait a few more weeks.  It's not like I need it on my bed to keep me warm any time soon!  (And truly, I'm a little worried about my Emma who regurgitates me presents quite regularly on the bed while I sleep...her white fur is okay, the regurgitated kind, not so much...)

In my last post, I neglected to mention that part of the family time involved the annual book sale.  I decided not to go so early this year and maybe be there late enough for the "bag sale".  (You purchase a paper grocery sack for whatever their deemed cost and can take home anything you can fit in there - let me tell you how packed you can get one of those sacks if you just take the time!)  My dad and I headed out - no one else wanted to go - and we got there just in time for the bag sale!  (Now this is a game - some years they don't even have the sale because they feel enough has been sold already, other years it's really late...just depends on who volunteered to be in charge that year, so you shop a bit and see how things are looking - sometimes you have to pay full price ($1 per paperback!), sometimes you hit it right...)  We hit it just right!  The bag was $10 this year - up from $5 last year, but seriously, look at the cost of a SINGLE paperback and with just ONE book you've done well - and my dad and I shared it.  We could both probably have filled a bag on our own, but we didn't.

It looks fuller than it would if packed properly - my dad pulled his out and then the bag fell over on the way home - maybe should have seatbelted it in the back seat instead of heaving it in the trunk?

Fun times.  I got a little sun (it was hot and sunny and a perfect day for the local 4th celebrations) and a pile of books.  Now I just have to read through the stack left from years before.

But I did work on that some this past week!  It was our annual trip to Drummond Island.  Where the hubby fishes all day and I quilt and read all day!  It was hot there, too, but not as hot as at home.  We had rain a few days, but the hubby managed to fish every single day but Friday (boat problems - his ran out of juice, so he planned to fish with a buddy the last day, then the starter on his buddy's boat decided it was ready for the 4th and started sparking everywhere...a little late, but also a little dangerous!).  I sewed every single day, but forgot my camera and my phone takes lousy photos, so not so many photos of what I did accomplish.

I took four projects, I worked on one.

Remember these fabrics that I bought for the Bonnie Hunter 2015 mystery quilt?  These were my final choices and they stayed that way, though that pink...I hope it tones down a bit in the final project because those blocks with pink in them got REALLY pink REALLY fast when I started sewing units together!

The pattern is no longer available (at least I don't think so?), but I'd printed and saved it way back last year when she had it up and just waited.

I came home with all 50 blocks completed!

30 of the blocks on the left, 20 of the blocks on the right.  They alternate.  I have to finish putting together the setting triangles, as this quilt is on point.  And I sure hope when it's all together they look better.  Right now it looks to me like they're two different projects!

This took a LOT of work.  The first step is something like 294 half square triangles.  Yeah.

I tried a few new rulers to make the "headless geese" units as well as the half square triangles.  I'm not sure I'll ever make a "headless goose" unit again, but I'm not fond of the ruler technique to make the half square triangles.  I know it takes longer to make and square them with a more traditional method, but I had a lot of trouble with accuracy using the rulers (probably partly me being new to them), but I think it's worth the trouble to do it the way I have been for years.  But I TRIED it!  There are a LOT of missing points here - not just the intentional ones.  But from a distance, it's not too bad and I have no idea where this quilt is going to end up, but it's sure not going to be a judged show!

So that's what I've been up to.  My suitcase of quilting stuff is still only halfway unpacked, but you know how it is when you come home from vacation...laundry, dishes, groceries all take up your time.  I took today off work to have a little extra to catch up and the hubby has the rest of the week off, so while he's out fishing, I'm relaxing a bit - and catching up on the stuff he rolls his eyes at - like blogging!

Happy quilting,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

leftovers and no thread

What I planned to share today (or yesterday) is not what I will be sharing...but I'll tell you the story and the why...

A few years ago you may remember me sharing my purchase of a purple and grey kit...  (Okay, okay, it was 2013.)  And then I didn't really share much more...perhaps this blurry gem...

...and then a while later, I shared with my guild via facebook this poorly lit gem...

...with the comment that it was going to be a lap quilt, then I decided to keep sewing and make it fit my bed, but instead it didn't fit in my living room (which I really didn't think was that small!)...

I have been in love with this quilt since the moment I saw it.  And I'm over the moon excited it's now big enough (with a $36 purchase of additional fabric) to fit my queen size bed and replace the current quilt that, after 21 years of use, is literally falling apart.

It took a while to get it together.  I had to be in the right mood.  It's Cherrywood fabric.  Pricey.  And I wanted to do this when I WANTED to do it.  It's an easy pattern, but I want to climb into bed every night and snuggle under something I love - not resent for all the work I HAD to put into it.

So for a while it sat as pieces.  Then as blocks.  Then as a top.  Then as a top I knew needed borders.  Then as a top waiting for me to not be afraid to cut up the extra fabric I bought for borders.  Somewhere in there as a top waiting for the exact perfect right back.  While the top had no borders, it was also a quilt that I wasn't sure how to quilt.

Finally, last week it all came together.  I knew how to quilt it.  I had the back.  I had the border fabric.  I took a deep breath and cut into the fabric.  I did it right!  I even made the binding while I was making borders.  I sewed the borders on.  I loaded the longarm.

I quilted for 4 hours.  5 bobbins.  Longarm bobbins.
I went to bed.
I quilted 1.5 hours.  2 bobbins.  Longarm bobbins.
I went to celebrate the 4th with family.
I quilted 2 hours.  3 bobbins.  Longarm bobbins.
I rewound 3 bobbins and saw I was getting low on longarm thread.  A 3,280 yard spool - new 10 bobbins ago.  I'll be okay, I thought.
I quilted 1 hour.  1.5 bobbins.  Longarm bobbins.
One more pass!  6 more blocks/motifs!
My machine threw a fit.
I looked up and over.


Yes.  Empty.

I've never done that before.  Not on my longarm.  I quilted more than 3000 yards of thread into a single quilt!  And I'm not done!

More is on order.  2-5 business days.

But I really, really, really, really, really wanted to show you the quilt finished.  Well, quilted at least.  But I'm not going to.  Because it's not finished.  I LOVE it.  LOVE.

(If I hadn't wound that third bobbin, I might have made it.  Probably not...)

So instead I will share with you what I've nearly finished using the "lost" triangles from the heart blocks!

I had a plan in my head to use these as pinwheels - the big mixed with the little - but with 7 colors and pinwheels, how does one properly set that?  I thought and thought and then one night in bed (why do my best ideas come to me when I'm supposed to be sleeping?), I thought "A HEART!" and it all came together quickly.  Well sort of...

If you look close, you can see how I fixed some rookie mistakes.  Somehow I forgot how to work seam allowances, so my heart is 1/2" too big for the pinwheels.  And the teeny pinwheels (each HSQ unit measured 1.25" unfinished) aren't framed exactly'd think I'd been quilting 20 days, not 20 years with the mistakes I kept making.  But I was determined this was NOT adding to the UFO pile.  No more!  The pile cries "UNCLE!"

And here it is quilted (with the binding pinned down - I should be sewing that right now):

I love this one, too.  I hope this makes some young girl happy to wrap her dolly in it.

And with that, I am off to wait for the mailman to deliver my much-awaited (already) smoke-colored thread!  Tomorrow?  (Ha ha ha, I ordered it Monday!)

Happy quilting,

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jade's quilt (super secret project #1 revealed)

A little over a month ago, my oldest niece from my side of the family graduated high school.

My mom, being a quilter, I assumed would be making her a quilt to commemorate the occasion.


So the week before her Thursday graduation (or was graduation Saturday and her last day of school Thursday?), I decided she should probably get a quilt.  You know, just a few days out, no biggie.

I offered to my mom to do it together, but she had other plans.

Off to the store!  (Oh the horror!)

Last I knew, Jade liked Dr. Who, so this seems like a fun way to go.

I decided on a disappearing 9-patch simply for the quickness of it.

Yeah, right, quick.  *eyeroll*

I worked my tail off that first week and though I knew I probably wasn't going to attend graduation itself, I wanted something to present to her soon after.

Then I found out they were, after all, going to have an open house.

That was yesterday.
(The open house.  Not the finding out about it.)

So I slacked off a bit.  Finished Sarah's quilt and sent it along.  Procrastinated a bit...

And finished sewing the binding on and labelled it at 9:30 yesterday morning.

Plenty of time for a 1pm celebration an hour from home!

This is an awful photo, but when you've pushed your timeline to the max and your clothesline only faces the one direction and it's sunny out...

You can see there's a pink stripe on the back, but you get the idea.  It's a disappearing 9-patch!

Here's the back (and you can see the quilting)

(facing the other direction on the clothesline so the sun wasn't shining through, of course...)

(This is the last quilt I quilted with the stitch regulator on.  Free-motion, though.)

She studied French all four years of high school and what's more French than the Eiffel tower?

The only thing I really missed was her love of music, but, well...

I think she was surprised, though she probably shouldn't have been.  (Perhaps the surprise was that this came from me and not her grandma?)  I think she liked it, too.

She plans to use it on her bed (it's about 80x80" because I have no control, er, math skills...well...both) and I did make a matching pillowcase.  (Because, really, what else am I going to do with almost a yard of Dr. Who fabric?)

I also remembered to take some photos of the heart blocks.  Those will be donated this coming Thursday, so I had a bit of time, but while the sun is shining (rain is on the way today), and I should be getting ready for a party, that seems like a logical time to take photos, right?

Time to get sewing.  (or perhaps grocery shopping before the hordes of people get there and I have to carry stuff inside in the rain...)

Happy quilting,