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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Plugging away

I'm slowly getting the blocks together on the mystery quilt. Only eight more to go before I can start on the borders.



Slow going on the hand quilting for this one too.


I've spent quite a bit of time this week rummaging through the stash. I put away some fabrics that I can't find now. They must be somewhere in the sewing room, but I haven't found them yet. Why is it that whenever you put something away in a special place you can never remember where that place is? At least I found some Prussian blue (or what I think is Prussian blue) for Barbara Brackman's "Stars in a Time Warp" QuiltAlong.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sewing without knowing

For the last couple of weeks I've been madly cutting, sewing and pressing to complete the units for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery quilt before the final reveal. Almost made it.


Not sure why I decided to do this. I have enough ideas and UFOs to fill all my days and nights should I live a few lifetimes. Maybe it's the sewing without knowing what the end result will be that has a certain appeal. Sort of mindless. Well, as mindless as keeping the pieces in the right order can be. Or it could just be procrastination; I have two backings to make that I've been putting off for awhile.



I'm constructing my blocks with the sashing on two sides. Then I'll sew the blocks together in smaller sections so I have only one really long seam to contend with across the quilt at the end. Forget where I learned that trick, but I love not having to sew as many long seams as you would when sewing rows together. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Close to another finish

I found this wall hanging, layered and pin basted, waiting to be quilted. I'm not sure how long it has been a finished top. Maybe 10 years? It probably hasn't been basted that long though.

29 x 29 inches.
I machine quilted a grid in the border, and I think I'll hand quilt the center part. Usually I make the binding when I finish the top, but I couldn't find any for this one. (I keep the bindings together in a drawer with a list of the quilt tops they go with.) It will be a narrow dark green to echo the border around the applique, but the width of the pale blue flange in the border.

My friend had a few leftover blocks from a project, and I really liked the fabrics and colors so she let me have them. I designed the wall hanging around those 12 small blocks, which form the corners of the outer border. I can't remember now if I based the applique design on a carpet or a fabric. I think a carpet. Like I said it's been 10 years (maybe more) since I put this together so the details are a bit fuzzy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two small finishes

I machine quilted the Cascadia mystery quilt.


Sketched a plan in chalk and dove in. Straight lines through the on-point squares, and a zig zag through the straight squares. No time at all to a finish.


Then I dug out the earlier doll quilt I made from Lori's blog, which has been languishing for close to three years (!) and machine quilted it too. That also didn't take long. One night to quilt and add the binding. Then I hand stitched the binding down the next day.

19 1/2 x 25 3/4 inches.
 I love this quilt. I don't know why it took me so long to finish it. I'd better rummage through the top pile and see if there's another quick finish waiting while I still have the walking foot on my machine.


Quilted in a grid pattern following the seam lines of the pieced blocks.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Cascadia mystery solved

Cascadia Doll Quilt, 16 1/2 x 18 1/8 inches.
I finished putting together Lori's Cascadia doll quilt mystery. It was small enough that I layered the top and backing with right sides together on top of the batting, stitched around it except for an opening to turn it inside out. Now I just need to add a bit of quilting. So close to being finished now that it might actually get done! (My last version of Lori's quilt-a-long is still only a top.)


If the fabrics look familiar, they are leftovers from Prairie Flowers with a blue and a few browns from the scrap bag thrown in.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Warning: There's pink in this quilt too

Not sure why there's been so much pink in my quilting life lately. At least this one isn't a baby quilt. It's an old UFO. Four applique blocks have been finished for 10 years now. The plan had been to do six, but I decided that after 10 years of no progress, another block was probably not going to happen.

For seven years, I've kept this magazine with the blocks because I liked this pieced sashing.


But it didn't work. The scale was too big and it was too busy for the applique. But the print fabric looked good. Even my husband agreed.


I had only a yard of the border fabric. Also years old so no hope of getting more. Not that I would have. I prefer the results of making do, which pushes you creatively. I extended the sashing into the border to jazz things up a bit. And the border width was determined by the amount of fabric available.

For awhile I considered adding the sashing fabric around the edge either as part of the top or as very wide binding, but it was too much.


Instead I'm going with regular size binding in a not-quite pink shade. My husband suggested the fabric, and it is the perfect choice. You can see it on the right in the picture above. I'm surprised sometimes by how helpful he can be and how willing he is to give his opinion.

Below is a picture of the whole quilt. The colors are more accurate in the picture above. We are into that time of year where it is perpetually gray skies, and it will be awhile before I can get a better shot.

55 x 55 inches. 
Applique from the book 'Prairie Flower' by Barbara Brackman.
Now, I need to find my next project.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yes, another pink baby quilt!

41 x 41 inches.
The baby quilt was for one of the neighbors. I had the top done ages ago, but with all the work travel this year, I hadn't gotten around to quilting it. Then a For Sale sign popped up in their yard, and I had the motivation I needed!


The backing is a soft pink minky. A little slippery to work with and did it shed when cut! I was covered in pink bits for days, but I'd use it again because I think babies will love the feel. I do.



The quilt was based on the pink fabric from my stash. The pattern is one of my own that I've made before, which leaves large areas of the focus fabric visible. The colors for the rail fence and star blocks are taken from the colors in the focus fabric: blue, teal, yellow and red. An odd combination, but a happy one.


For the quilting, I used the zigzag stitch from this quilt, and quilted a grid of horizontal and vertical lines.


All fabric from the stash and scrap basket except for the backing.