Sunday, March 20, 2011

Progress Report

Yesterday's post presented my "to do" list for the weekend.  It was filled with UFOs.  Only 5 items, but one had a deadline and one had been languishing here since Christmas.  Another one was (is) a problem child and the fourth was the simplest of tasks.  The last one (these are how they are now ordered in my brain, but not necessarily in the order I listed them for completion yesterday) is just too creative for an everyday sewing day.  I am afraid this last one needs the extra burst of adrenaline that a deadline presents in order for me to actually get to work on it.

So here is the progress report....

The Central Park Whirly Wheels quilt is finished!!! (Please say "Yay!")  This is the one with a deadline and needs to be at Pensacola Opera by Tuesday.  I thought it would be a simple matter to complete the quilt - after all the top was done, and it didn't take any time at all to fix my mistake with the cornerstones.  But sadly, when I laid the quilt on the floor to start the "sandwich" process, my backing was 2 inches too small all the way around.  I finally decided to piece a center strip for the back.

I used the fabrics I had the most of along with a few random squares to break up the monotony.  I put a Lawn Zoo square smack dab in the middle, just for grins.

Then there was the label fiasco.  I tried to do a label with my Sharpie marker on a piece of white broadcloth, but that was a mess.  I KNOW I bought label fabric, but could I find it???  No, of course not - at least not until I had already done something else.  Said label fabric has since been located and is still in its virgin packaging, waiting for me to lose it again for next time.

Meanwhile, my printer was out of black ink.  I found a tutorial on the net on how to use an inkjet printer to create quilt labels, but it only referenced black ink.  Naturally, this required a trip to Office Depot.  WH says that Wal-Mart is cheaper, but there is no way I would go near that place at 1:00 on a Saturday afternoon!!

I finally created a fabric label with a piece of Heat N Bond, a piece of broadcloth, and (since the printer apparently didn't like the weight of that combo) a piece of cardstock stitched to the top.  That actually fed fine, and my printed labels turned out pretty well.  I used a scrap to bind the edges and sewed them on the quilt before it was quilted.  I'm still not sure I like it, but I couldn't think of a way to sew it on after it was quilted except to hand sew it, and that is always just a last resort for me.

Anyway, once I got the label done, it was on to the quilting.  This quilt is so busy, I thought it really needed a less-is-more approach, so I just quilted the sashing and the main part of the pinwheels.  Still, it took me 3 hours or more to quilt it.  I really hate the quilting part....  Well, no, I love to see a quilt when I'm finished, but I always feel like I just wrestled a bear when I'm done.  There's just no easy way to maneuver all that fabric through the throat of my machine without getting a major workout in my arms and shoulders.

So, I'm glad it's finished.   And I really like it.  I hope the folks at the auction do too - and pay big money for it!

I finished CPWW early enough in the evening that I decided to go ahead and work on project number two.  This is a quilt BD#2 and I started at Christmas.  Santa gave her a Fandango charm pack in her stocking, and she decided to make Camille Roskelly's Sugar Rush quilt with it.  The pattern was designed for jelly rolls - not charm packs - so we had to make a lot of it up as we went along.  BD#2 pieced the top herself up to the 1st borders.  We didn't get to the scallops, so I did those and the 2nd border a few weeks ago after work one night when I was feeling creative.  I think I thought it would be super hard, but it was actually very easy.  I really like doing the blanket stitch on the machine.  It was really fun.

This little baby was already sandwiched, and just waiting to be quilted.  I hadn't made a label yet, so I made it at the same time I made the CPWW label.  I didn't realize until I made the label that Fandango is a Kate Spain fabric too.  I must really like her!

This fabric is also very busy, but the white in the scallop calms it down a lot.  I had fun playing with different quilting techniques.  The squares are done with FMQ in what is essentially a quotation mark design.  I don't know if that's a bona fide FMQ technique or not, but it is what it is.

The gold is FMQ'd around the flowers, sort of.  Or maybe you'd call it a pebble stitch.  Maybe.  The white part of the scallop is loosely quilted in rows that start out echoing the scallop but gradually get to be more shallow.  The green part of the scallop exactly follows the curve of the scallop 1/2" apart.  The bottom has 7 rows and the top has only 5.  Why, you ask?  I don't know, I just felt like changing it up a little.

This photo is remarkably good considering I took it with my phone!  Why is she taking pics with her phone when she has a perfectly good, in fact really awesome, camera?  The battery is dead.  What!  It has to be charged?  Who knew?

The backing is quilter's flannel.  BD#2 wanted it to be WARM.  I can't really blame her considering it was -18 or something in Idaho this winter.  Of course it's a little late in the season, but I think she'll find this baby is warm enough!  Once again, though, the piece of fabric I had wasn't big enough to fit the top, so I had to improvise.  This one has a pieced border all the way around the back. 

Since I mostly had FQs of this fabric, the binding is pieced too.  I got a little carried away when I was making the binding...  I think I could have used it to bind TWO quilts.

The Sugar Rush pattern has 3 flowers appliqued on the front, and I really didn't like the way the flowers looked.  I thought it was just too busy.  To me, the flowers just seemed to blend right into the background, so I was going to try some solids for the flower scallops.  I did have an alternate plan, but in a text message conversation, BD#2 said she liked it just the way it was.  It's her quilt, and who am I to argue with her?

At her request, I stitched them on and another project finito completo!  (Say "Yay!" again, please!)

The third project didn't take long at all.  I got those 27 blocks squared in no time.  Here is my pile of shavings.  They seem almost too pretty to throw away.  The blocks are in the mail tomorrow!!  (Please say "Yay" for the third time - thank you!

  Sadly, I did not get to either of my other two projects.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how to finish the Kumari Gardens place mats.  I still really want them reversible.  I kept thinking, if only I had about a yard of a pretty floral, I would just put it on the back and they would be reversible.

Well, lo and behold, what should arrive in yesterday's mail but my Pink Chalk fabric order.  (They were having an awesome sale last week on fabrics I've been eying for months!!)  And what should be in that order but some Erin McMorris Weekends.  And for some unknown reason, I bought a whole yard of it. 

I think this will look durn cute on the back of those placemats.  I was about ready to slice into it when I realized everything else was pre-shrunk, but this wasn't.  I didn't want to take a chance, so into the washer it went.

I didn't get to the mini-quilt at all, but I have the idea rolling around in my head.  Unfortunately, what's in my head doesn't always execute as well as I would like.  Oh, well.  I'll get to that.

What I did do was make 3 of the cutest little hexi needlebooks from this tutorial.  They were easy, and pretty fun! I think mine are a little larger than the tutorial, but I didn't measure.  I just cut down a hexi pattern I had from another project.  The appliques are from some sewing themed fabric I bought a couple of months ago

They were easy, and pretty fun!  Easy as




  1. Yay! Yay! Yay! Three finishes is a great effort!
    The placemats will look fab with that fabric on the back!
    I'm off to check out the hexi needle book tutorial now!

  2. So glad you liked my needle book tutorial! Yours are so cute!

    And that's a fabulous list of finishes and quilts - Yay!


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