Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Floribunda Is Done!

Floribunda is now done!

 

This was a Bonnie Hunter Quilt-A-Long project from last year that is now finally quilted and bound.  I finished it up on Monday after having a binding crisis over the weekend.  The striped fabric used around the edge was the original binding I picked but wanting it on the diagonal (candy-striped) I realized too late that I didn't have enough.  Having bought the fabric over a year ago I didn't think I'd be able to get more and didn't want to wait to try order more.  So the solution was to alternate some solid yellow (the one featured on the back) with the stripe to make it stretch.  I like it although my first choice would still be to have it all in the stripe.

Here's the back:



I got the idea for the "framed" design from Lerlene Nevaril's book "Over Easy: Creative Ideas For Pieced Quilt Backs".  The small floral print that comprises most of the back had been purchased years (and years and years) ago so had to also be stretched to fill out the back.  The simple solution was to add the yellow insets and then I decided to add some of the front background florals as well, partly to use up the scraps and partly, well just for fun.

Fun facts about this project:  it has survived three weather extremes:  I had started this project shortly before the earthquake that hit the east coast last year and continued working on it when Hurricane Irene came right behind that.  It was shortly after Hurricane Sandy that my tax class ended and I could go back to this.  Ah, memories!

When it didn't get finished last year as hoped, it went on my 2012 UFO Challenge List.  It was my #2 which Judy pulled in May.  Well, better late than never!  And at this point it's my only completed Challenge project (although a couple of others were layered or worked on).  Can't wait to throw this antique inspired bit 'o sunshine over the end of the bed (or my legs) in the spring (or perhaps on one of the cold dreary winter days ahead).

Next challenge: to make some of these cute crocheted pillows to go with it.  The design is by Beata who blogs at RoseHip and the pattern for the squares can be found here (or from the link on her sidebar).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Back In the Saddle Again....

I am finally back!  I've been away all Fall because I had taken an income tax preparation course in the hopes of getting work for the upcoming tax season.  I thought I'd be able to take the course (3 hours a day, three days a week) and still quilt.  But between the extra time spent after class reviewing concepts with my classmates and then the need to commit to a lot of study time, at the end of the day, I really didn't have the head space left for quilting. Then Superstorm Sandy wound up extending our course an extra week.  After I passed the course came another two week nail biting period waiting to be called for an interview.  So far, I haven't been hired so now I really want to get back to the quilting -- both to bring my life back to normal and to take my mind off the waiting.

Compounding all that was the fact that I had a couple of home dec projects I wanted to get out of the way before focusing on the quilting and I had a very long list of all the UFOs I still want to try to get done before year's end (yeah right!).  Now I am really feeling all the missed machine time.  So after knocking out two of the home dec projects earlier this week, the first quilt project is up -- finishing Floribunda!


The quilt stitching is my kryptonite -- it's the one part of the process that I'm most unsure of and usually procrastinate on. Which is funny since I set out to be a machine quilter from the time I started quilting and have always quilted my own quilts (over 40 to date).  Actually now, it's not so much the actual stitching that I fear but choosing a good stitch design and finding the balance between enhancing the quilt and what I am capable of executing at my current skill level.

I wasn't too scared of this one:  It was only lap quilt-sized, I had already picked an all over stitch design for it, the fabric prints and block design used in the top were busy enough to hide a lot of sins and I already had my thread picked out.  So I did some practice sketching and quilt samples and then got it on the machine.

I got a little more than a quarter of it done today so figure I should be binding it by Friday at the latest!  Yippee Ki-Yay (and with work continuing, I don't need that last part)!