A Day of Completions

So, I have tried to take the path of getting stuff done before I start anything more. I really don’t have it in me to not start stuff…but I am getting stuff done. Ha!

First, the Lego Mini-Figure shadowbox is done. Here are the little fellows sitting safely on their 2×2 blocks on the black foam core. You will note the large blank space at the bottom, this is for the pieces that will sit on the inside bottom shelf.photo 2

And here is the foam core sitting snugly inside the shadowbox frame. The glass is throwing some reflection, but you can see the pieces sitting on the bottom ledge.photo 1I have some more mini-figures that I want to add to another shadowbox, as well as a truck (Indiana Jones series) and a camper trucker as well as some small Star Wars pieces. Then I have to find wall space in the house.

The other thing that I worked on today was the preparing the remaining quilt tops for getting sent to get quilted. As you may recall, I had 51 tops (paired with their backings) that were awaiting quilting and binding, but as it would go, my quilter is hanging up her quilt hoops. So I am trying out someone new and sort of local, so I shipped her two of my quilts and see how she does. In the meantime, I am getting more ready for her. LOL

So, I did manage to get five more ready and I have four more. I don’t often piece backs, but since I have time and the fabric, I wanted to try some ideas that I had. I should be able to finish up the other four tomorrow. Then there are about four or five denim quilts that need backs and then I have at least four or five quilts that need to be finished. Of course, after that, I think that there are three, four or maybe five hundred quilts I want to make!

julie

Final Quilt Wrap Up (For Now)!

So, even though The Kid and I are not home, but out on the open road, I uploaded photos of all the quilts that I spent the previous last ten days completing.

Here is a quick rundown of them. The first one is a very fun piecing project. Gave me a chance to dig deep into my green fabrics. The great thing about green is that there is such a variety of choices: light, dark, deep, yellow-green, blue-green, kelly green and of course, all of the patterns and designs.

 

 

DSCN3104This one has an awesome backing fabric, totally the opposite of the front. Sort of. Its a kind of camouflage in shades of green.

DSCN3103To be able to just sit and sew strips is so therapeutic and allows me to watch old classic movies and really be able to zone out. Might not be for everyone, but for me, this is pure relaxation.

DSCN3102Up next is this strippy quilt. These were the left over pieces from another quilt (still yet to be quilted) that I wanted to use up. Simple and easy around a large red center.

DSCN3100A leftover star block ended up in the middle of the back which really shows off the quilting.

DSCN3101Another “mini” quilt made up of the leftover blocks of a larger quilt (and also another one waiting to be quilted). This turned out so well, I am so anxious to see the full sized quilt.

DSCN3097This one also had an orphan block end up on the back. And as before, the red solid backing really shows off the quilting.

DSCN3098And one more courtesy shot. I took these photos the day after our “blizzard” in Kansas City. It was forecasted to receive 2 to 3 FEET of snow and I think we had a grand total of two to three inches. And by the next day, most of it was gone.

DSCN3096And drum roll please:   tatatatatata dum! The last quilt in this series.

DSCN3095This was done mostly with a pre-printed fabric and some piecing in the middle. A wonderful little patriotic quilt.

DSCN3094I was gifted this fabric and I really didn’t know how I would use it. I really felt like I couldn’t cut the flags – so I wanted to use them whole and I figured what better way than as the border.

DSCN3093It might be hard to see, but the center quilting is sorta a flag motif. The blue and white represents the stars of the flag and then the results of the red and white stripes. Okay, I know it is a bit of a stretch, but hey, it is the thought that counts right?

Okay, since we are on our adventure and far from my sewing machines, I will probably not post for the rest of this week. But I will be back at it sooner than I will realize.

Thanks for taking this ride with me!

julie

Binding: How Do You Do It?

I think I’ve talked about this before, but for those new, this is an old habit (?) of mine. Every now and then I get stuck and don’t seem to have any forward momentum. When this happens I do one of two things… either I clean and organize or I jump head long into finishing up long overdue projects.

Well, over the past week and a half, I have been doing some serious finishing. I vowed to not start anything new (even though I went out and bought some new triangle templates and even some fabric. Let me just tell you that I have not bought new fabric in forEVER – at least a full year. But you also know that I have a small store of my own upstairs in my quilting room. Ha.

The guest bedroom’s bed was covered with quilts that had been quilted but needed binding. And my design wall has been covered in at least two layers of orphan and test blocks.

So, almost without a break, I have been binding and finishing quilts. And finished two orphan quilt tops.

But first…. we have to talk a little about binding. I recently posted the question about binding on a DIY site called HomeTalk about preferred methods of binding (you can see it here). As a self-taught quilt maker, I never knew exactly how to approach binding. My earliest quilts were bound by using the pre-made, pre-cut, pre-packaged binding pieces. That got costly quickly.

When I started quilting, the internet was still very much in its infancy and I guarantee that no one was talking about quilts on what was out there. It was either books or other quilt makers and I didn’t really know any quilters. So, I tried some things. First, I thought if I could fold each layer in on itself and make a seam, that would work. And it did, but seemed like a lot of work. So then I went with making the back larger and folding it over to the front. That worked much better. Sometimes I thought that I had ‘invented’ it.

Recently I posted the question about the preferred or better way to bind quilts. A serious debate ensued. I left the post with my opinion that everyone is entitled to bind their quilts in whatever way suits them.

I had come to this crossroad in a kind of funny way. See, Gloria – my long time long-arm quilter – parted ways with her equipment – and she retired. Actually, I think one of my denim quilts broke her machine and she saw it as a sign to quit! But she had a friend of hers finish what I had sent.

In the process, I think it wasn’t communicated to the newest quilter that I did the fold-over binding. You see, the quilt top needs to be centered onto the backing material or there isn’t enough material to fold over. So one of the quilts didn’t have the requisite material and I thought I would give (separate) binding method a shot. Someone in the online discussion had posted a good tutorial about how to do such binding, so I jumped in and completed this quilt in just that way.

Let’s just say that I am still not a fan. I purchased pre-fold binding and attached it to the back and then hand stitched the front. It was supposed to be invisible stitches, unfortunately my skill was somewhat lacking and invisible the stitches are not.  And it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to do the hand work and this was a small baby quilt. I couldn’t imagine working on some of the very large quilts I do… I think I could have been there for days!

Here is the baby quilt with the separate binding:DSCN3090

The backing is a solid pink and the binding is white, which I think gives it a nice contrast while still coordinating.

DSCN3092

And one more courtesy shot:

DSCN3091

Notice the last vestiges of our “blizzard” two days previous. I think we ended up getting like 3″ when they were predicting 2 – 3 feet of snow. Temps today reached into the low 50’s. And who said Mother Nature doesn’t have hot flashes!

Over the next week or so, The Kid and I will be doing some sightseeing. We are headed south (from Kansas City) and the ultimate destination is The Alamo in San Antonio Texas. I have uploaded all of my photos of the finished quilts and will post one every day while we’re traveling. I know I have been absent as of late, but I was just not feeling up to sitting behind a keyboard after being at the sewing machine most of the day. You understand, I know.

julie

Back To My Quilting Roots

I just seem to be all over the place these days. Work is consuming me as I have joined a new team and am learning all new technologies. I just haven’t been able to land on a single project at home, so many are this close to be completed, yet I can’t seem to wrap my brain around any one thing or get those last few details finished.

Then a box arrived in the mail. A long forgotten group of quilt tops that I had sent off many moons ago. I have this wonderful friend in Arkansas that has been quilting my tops for as long as I can remember, probably close to 15 years. I don’t even remember how we connected, but I remember that I trusted her completely to make decisions about patterns and styles and thread colors. She has experimented and I have always been over-the-moon happy with her work.

So, once I moved to Missouri and put together my wonderful sewing room, I put together quilt tops like there was no tomorrow. I suddenly found that I had more than 200 completed and it was going to be a fortune to have them quilted, even with my wonderful quilting friend. I let them accumulate for some time. I finally thought it was time, so I sorted through, found some of my favorites or ones that I promised to friends and sent them off.

I got the first few quickly but it came with a note. Gloria was having trouble with her machine and it would take some time to get someone out to her home to get it fixed. Did I want her to ship the quilts back? I told her to hang on to them and work on them when she could.

So, a week or so ago, a box appeared on my doorstep! Yay! Quilts that needed to be completed. I’ve not worked on these specific quilts for some time, in some cases years!

So, when I was struggling with completing a number of projects, I turned it all over for a chance to finish some long awaited quilts. Here are a couple…

Jeans Quilt

The first one is a just one more of a series of scrap denim quilts that I’ve been doing for a while. These are made from many different pairs of jeans, some mine and the Kid’s and from friends that thought of me when cleaning their closets. I take apart the jeans and harvest the largest squares and then down until what I can get are 2″ x 6″ pieces. That is what went into this quilt along with pockets in each corner. If you look closely, you will see a second quilt underneath the latest, the Kid has placed dibs on both. They are backed with a soft flannel, one green and the other blue. One more still to go will have red backing. They are incredibly warm and soft, from years of wear… there is no breaking in needed for these quilts.Small QuiltThis quilt is simply the left over blocks from a larger quilt. The hearts were the first real attempt that I did in doing applique, not exactly my cup of tea. But I wanted to really give it an honest shot to ensure that I wasn’t passing up something that was really going to excite me. And I realize that this isn’t going to be it. 😦

One more quilt arrived in the box that I haven’t had a chance to get finished… and I want to take my time with it. It is made with a multiple of red and white patterns and it is stunning! This will definitely be completed this weekend. I will share it with you then.

Every quilt gets a special finishing touch. I know that I should be more detailed and more informational and more creative, but for the most part, once I sew that last stitch on the binding, I want to be done. So 25 or so more stitches secures this little note in the corner on the back.

Name TagSo, a little time spent doing one of the things I love doing the most and I have given myself some time to figure out how to get organized and see a better path for the other projects that need to be completed. And I am looking forward to the next box of surprises.

%d bloggers like this: