Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quilters Accountability 11/24/10

Not much to show for this week because it's been a busy one.  First the recap:

Last Week's Goals:
  1. Continue to work on the quilting on the Amish Doll Quilt.  Some done but it's still a slow go.
  2. Make one block for the Sage Sampler.  Didn't touch it.
  3. When the fabric comes, make the "Blue & White" Doll quilt top.  Nope, still has not arrived.
  4. Finish the machine applique of DWR block centers in prep for Thanksgiving trip.  Well, something was accomplished!
This week was a whirlwind.  I volunteered in the library at DS2's middle school on Thursday which wasn't so bad.  Then I volunteered on Friday for Picture Day.  I thought it would be just a few hours since it was only two grades but it wound up taking all day!  I was exhausted after and so didn't do a thing once back home. 

Nope, sorry correct that - it turned out DH had taken the day off and after Picture Day we had to go shopping because my MIL, who I am traveling down to see tomorrow, was in town.  When she lived here in New York she, I and a friend of hers used to get together to quilt.  But since she has moved, our schedules have not allowed us to link up.   She asked if she and her friend could come by since her friend needed help layering a quilt.  Normally, my MIL hosted our sessions because she had the most space.  Since we'd only work on her  friend's quilt, I said yes.  Yes, with all that hosting entails.  We had a great time working in my little space but that meant no time Saturday to do my stuff. The good news was that I had to clear my table for the layering so I think I will leave it that way until I come back and can work on layering some of my own quilts on my return.  

I thought I'd have my own mini-quilt-a-thon on Sunday but after the long week the only thing I did was stay in bed and rest.  Monday, I'd planned a longer day at the library because Tuesday and Wednesday I had planned to spend both days doing some baking for the trip.  My MIL also put in requests for some additional things so that meant more to do on my baking days.  

So I did finish the rest of the DWR applique blocks and the outline quilting of the border motifs on the doll quilt but  encountered a problem when I started on the middle.  Namely, seam allowances!  The Hand Quilting class project I did was a wholecloth design so I wasn't prepared for just how much resistance seams put up in hand quilting.  So far, I've tried to stab stitch at seam intersections but I may also try changing to a larger quilting needle (I am using a 10).  But all of that will have to wait until after the holiday!!

This Week's Goals:
  1. Finish the DWR top while down in NC.
  2. On my return, continue to work on the quilting on the Amish Doll Quilt. 
  3. Make one block for the Sage Sampler.
  4. When the fabric comes, make the "Blue & White" Doll quilt top (received notification that the order has shipped and should arrive by Monday at the latest).  
  5. Layer some quilts (but we'll see how that goes).
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.   And if you've got a little time, check in at Bari's to see what everyone else has planned for the week -- after all the eating is done of course!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quilters Accountability 11/17/10

 A productive and not so productive week this week.  As expected the weekend was a bust for quilting since I had things to do and places (a quilt show) to go to.  I should have had pictures for that but while I did remember my camera (for once), I forgot that I took the memory card out to transfer files between computers!

And the quilting on the Amish Doll quilt has started off just like the applique did -- more challenging than expected and therefore very slow going and not finished.  On the other hand, I am on track with the prep of my Double Wedding Ring centers and those should be ready for travel next week (is it Thanksgiving already?!?!?).

Last Week's Goals:
  1. (Finally) Start and finish the quilting on the Amish Doll Quilt.  Did get a little done but it's still (slowly) ongoing.
  2. Make one block for the Sage Sampler.  Nope was too focused on the DWR work.
  3. When the fabric comes, make the "Blue & White" Doll quilt top. Nope, because the fabric hasn't come yet.
  4. Do machine applique of DWR blocks in prep for Thanksgiving trip.  Yes, only have the last two rows left to applique and trim.
The pattern, the layout for the fabrics for my centers, what's been appliqued and/or cut so far.
An example of the (machine) appliqued centers and the remaining two rows to do.  And boy do I need a new ironing board cover!

This Week's Goals:
  1. Continue to work on the quilting on the Amish Doll Quilt.  (I've learned my lesson, no more promises for a finish until it's finished!)
  2. Make one block for the Sage Sampler. 
  3. When the fabric comes, make the "Blue & White" Doll quilt top.
  4. Finish the machine applique of DWR block centers in prep for Thanksgiving trip.  
I've got an extra bit of volunteering to do this week:  in addition to working in the library, I am helping out with Picture Day on Friday.  Since it is only two grades (6 & 7th, the 8th grade graduates took their pictures last week), I am hoping it will only be for a couple of hours.  I've worked Picture Day in the past at the elementary school when we had to do grades K-5.  That was an all day job so this should be much, much quicker.

Now that I'm done reporting, I'm headed over to Bari's to see what everyone else got done this week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quilters Accountability 11/10/10

 Last Week's Goals:
  1. Complete the applique leaves on the Amish Doll Quilt.  Start and finish the quilting.  Applique is finally finished!  Quilt is layered and on the frame and the hand quilting can start tomorrow!
  2. Make one block for the Sage Sampler (to be done each week until all six are done).  Done, I technically got two done, one pieced and one a cut-out from a coordinating panel.
  3. Piece the Christmas Tree skirt.  Done, needs to be layered and quilted.
  4. Catch up on all the Quilt Whisperer class notes and assignments. I downloaded the last of the notes.  Since the class ended last weekend, I am on my own to read and learn from them. 
  5. Quilt the "Scratch" top.  Nope and on hold since I've got to start back on my DWR blocks to take with me on Thanksgving.
It was a busy week.  I never thought I'd get the applique work done!  Part of it was just the slog toward a finish and part of it was that I started volunteering at the beginning of the month in the library at DS2's middle school.  The library completed a year long renovation over the summer and I am helping re-shelve all the books.  Since they weren't put away in order, it means sorting everything down to the last decimal!  

With the applique done and on the frame and I've got the next two days for a mini quilt-a-thon (the kids are off from school tomorrow for Veteran's Day and I don't normally go in to the library on Friday ).  And I'll need those days since I've got an appointment to go to on Saturday and I have plans to go to a quilt show on Sunday.

I got everything else I wanted to get done except for reviewing the quilting class notes and well, quilting!  But if I can get past this last phase of hand work, I'll be ready to re-focus my head back to machine work. 

Sampler Blocks

Christmas Tree Skirt: "Happy Holidays" by Atkinson Designs.  The green fabric will be backing and binding.

Another little diversion this week happened while finishing up the applique:  I remembered that I had planned yet another doll quilt for this same aunt.  Back in 2006 or 2007, we had a conversation and she told me her favorite colors were blue and white.  Shortly after that I came across a fat quarter fabric sampler in the perfect colors in a Connecting Threads catalog.  Back then, they still sold other manufacturers fabrics.  The fabric line was called "The Gathering Garden" by Debbie Beaves for RJR Fabrics and I wanted to make a nice garden-themed quilt.  When I dug out the sampler set, I found that back then I had worked up a quilt design based on a pattern called "It's A Snap".  Unfortuately, after cutting out half of it, I realized that my cutting calculations were not correct and I didn't have enough of the large blue rose floral fabric for all the outer setting triangles (see: measure twice, cut once!).  

The good news is I've got another quick design in mind to use and combined with the fabric I have left and some more fabric I was able to order from an internet vendor who is still selling the line (and on sale!) I can still try to add this quick project to my year-end list.  Finn, who is hosting the Year-End Challenge recently blogged that some participants are adding "X-tra" projects to their lists (projects in addition to the UFO finishes they pledged) so this can count as a bonus project for me.

This Week's Goals:
  1. (Finally) Start and finish the quilting on the Amish Doll Quilt.
  2. Make one block for the Sage Sampler.
  3. When the fabric comes, make the "Blue & White" Doll quilt top. 
  4. Do machine applique of DWR blocks in prep for Thanksgiving trip.
We will be going back down to North Carolina to my mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving.  When she lived up here, she, a friend of hers and I would get together to quilt.  She says she has some quilts she wants to make for Christmas gifts so the plan is for us to work on our projects over the long weekend.  I want to take my Double Wedding Ring blocks down and put the top together.  I finished all the pieced arcs last summer and need to add applique to some centers (by machine this time) and then cut the centers and the melons so they can be sewn to the arcs.  This is one of my UFO Challenge List projects so it would be good to move it along. 

Please Note!  
On my sidebar is a link to the blog tour for Quiltmaker's newest special issue  "100 Blocks, Vol 2".

The magazine is filled with blocks designed by many popular designers (all you Judy Laquidara fans--she's in there!).  The magazine will be in stores on November 16 but if you check out the designer's blogs on the tour, you might win a copy -- like me!!  I  found out yesterday that I won a copy from Rebecca LoGiudice of Willow Hill Quilts.  Seems like my luck has been good lately since I also won a copy of the Fall/Winter 2010 American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Sampler from Jill at Cre8fmom Quilts at the end of last month.  That one was my very first blog giveaway win.  With luck like this, maybe I'd better play the Lotto too!

Now get even more lucky and check in at Bari's and see what other quilters are getting done this week!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quilters Accountability 11/3/10

Subtitle:  Reality Check!

Well, at least I expected it.  Despite thinking I'd have a number of opportunities to get to all my projects, reality was that most of the non-quilty things I had planned this past week took more time or energy than expected so when I had down time (aka hobby time), I was sometimes too tired to get any quilt work done.  On the up side, there has been some progress made and I've learned over the last few years that any progress, even baby steps, gets you that much closer to the finish.  And with progress, has come knowledge and that has kept me going.

Last Week's Goals:
  1. Complete the applique on the Amish Doll Quilt.  If accomplished start (and finish?) the quilting. Did get all the flowers done and all the leaves cut out. 
  2. If doll quilt gets done before next Friday, post to Amy's Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival. Nope won't make this in time. So taking this off the list.
  3. Complete the remaining six blocks for the Sage Sampler.  Decide on the layout and whether it needs/there is room for sashing. Didn't get to this one at all and I've decided to make this a little easier on myself, so see revised goals for this week. 
  4. Cut out the Christmas Tree skirt.  Done!
  5. Complete assignments for the Quilt Whisperer class. Didn't get to this and have to pick up this week's notes and assignments as well.
I was a little disappointed in not getting the doll quilt finished, I have enjoyed all the hand work but am anxious to get back to machine piecing and quilting.  But I have also learned a lot about it as I've progressed though this project.  I now realize that this was too small a project for me to do needle-turn given my current hand work skill level. 

The applique looks very rough.  It is much harder to get a smooth line on such small pieces and I can now really appreciate all the extra leeway you have on bigger items.  If I were to work this small again, I'd have to consider methods for preparing my pieces (freezer paper, english paper pieceing, starch and press) to get better edges.  But I still like it and think the rough look will suit it when it is displayed with the dolls -- it will look like either a kid or the dolls themselves made it!

So rather than this being a set back, I am even more focused on getting this finished and off the WIP list.  I have also lined up ideas for a lot of future applique projects.   I got the first block of the Jan Patek "House & Garden" BOM I signed up for.  I'm saving that to try working on it in the car since we are expecting to drive down to North Carolina for Thanksgiving.  I also plan to substitute a few blocks in that project and have to review the options I lined up for it while waiting for the series to start.

If any of you are interested in applique, the Canadian quilt designers of The Rabbit Factory have started a new, free pattern series of four seasonal wall hangings which can be picked up monthly from their website here (scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the .zip file).   I found one of their designs in a 1999 issue of McCall's Quilting and look forward to getting a couple of their patterns.

    This Week's Goals:
    1. Complete the applique leaves on the Amish Doll Quilt.  Start and finish the quilting.
    2. Make one block for the Sage Sampler (to be done each week until all six are done).
    3. Piece the Christmas Tree skirt.  
    4. Catch up on all the Quilt Whisperer class notes and assignments. 
    5. Quilt the "Scratch" top.  
     I am also a little disappointed not to have something for the Bloggers Quilt Festival, but I've already been enjoying the entries by the bloggers who are in my Google Reader feed.  So I am looking forward to surfing through the entries over the next few weeks and seeing what is out there.  I was actually able to look at all 600+ entries made in the spring and found a lot of great new blogs as a result.

    With the Quilt Whisperer class almost done, I am looking forward to quilting all the quilt tops I have laying about and getting them done for the Year-End Challenge.  My (as usual, ambitious) plans are to try to get to one each week.  The "Scratch" top is a wall hanging so I hope it will only be a one or two day quilt job. 

    If anyone is struggling with motivation for finishing up (or getting rid of) your UFOs, Pat Sloan is issuing weekly "UFO Busting" tips on her blog from now until Thanksgiving Day and has a support forum that you can also participate in.

    So join me back at Bari's to see what everyone else accomplished on their list this week!