Friday, January 29, 2016

One Friday Finish

I only have one finish for this week. Yesterday I finished piecing the first section of the batik Gypsy Wife

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I then started cutting the strips for the background for the neutral Gypsy Wife…

These are the strips for Section 1. I hope to finish cutting them into segments today, then I plan on putting the neutral Section 1 together. It shouldn’t take long once the strips are cut. That will give me three more weeks to cut the remaining strips for the backgrounds of both quilts. I don’t have to have them cut by then, but I would like to have them cut and have that part out of the way. I’m sorting the cut strips into numbered bags relating to where they go in the quilt. So when I get to each section it should just be a matter of grabbing the right baggie and getting the strips out. Then the only measuring and cutting will be for the blocks for each section.

Besides that I’ve only done a bit of stitching on HocusPocusVille. I’m hoping to get that one done this weekend. We shall see!

I will be linking up at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! Link-up. Head over to see what everyone has been up to, and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

It’s Thursday!

Not a lot has been going on around here in the sewing room the past several days, though I did get Easy Street loaded onto the long arm…

I hope to get quilting on it later today or tomorrow. Here is the backing fabric…

For some reason this photo looks like it is creams and browns in this fabric. It’s not. The background is white and the dots are gray and black. It is a 108” backing fabric from Robert Kaufman called Spot On. The lighting must have been bad in the sewing room yesterday when I was pressing it. And can we talk about pressing for a second? Ugh! It took about a half hour just to press this humongous piece of fabric. But, it’s done now and ready to go.

Other than that I have gotten a little further on my current HocusPocusVille block and I have been working away at finishing up my portion of work for our guild Quilt Show. I have a bit more to do on that, which I may try to finish up today. Then I just plan on writing out everything that I have done for the show for the person who does this job next year. I am doing all of the early notifications for the Publicity Committee, so I’m contacting websites, magazines, media, guilds, etc. in the region and getting the word out about our show. I already have much of what I’ve done typed up for the next person, but I still have a lot of the guild contacts that I want to get typed up and neat. I had to kind of find my own way doing it this year, along with cobbling together what had been done in previous years. I’m hoping to have it all in one place so it is easier for whoever takes this job over next year (not me!)

Today I have to run miss priss back to the vet for a follow-up…

She started on some high blood pressure medication a couple of weeks ago so they have to check that, plus she had a respiratory infection so her rabies vaccine had to be postponed…but she is fine now so she should get that today. Once we’re home, I have some chores to do around the house, then I hope to get some sewing on the Gypsy Wife done. Until then, I will be linking up at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday. Head over to see what everyone else is up to!

Monday, January 25, 2016

One Monthly Goal – January Finish

My goal for January for One Monthly Goal (#16 at the Goal Setting Party) at Red Letter Quilts was to finish this very old Sampler quilt from about 15 years ago…

I’ve had it on the long arm for months practicing on it…well, it was mostly just sitting there. So my goal was to finish quilting it, get it bound and labeled and done. I’m happy to say I did it!

Here it is bound and hanging out in the living room…

And here’s a photo of the whole quilt…

I’m glad that one is done. I will be linking up with the OMG It’s Finished Party at Red Letter quilts. Head over for some great projects.

The Gypsy Wife

I have started a new project. This was not on my original list of new projects I had in mind for 2016, but after I made that list I signed up for a Block of the Month class at a local quilt shop using the Gypsy Wife pattern (by Jen Kingwell). After the first class, and after starting the quilt, I have just fallen in love with the Gypsy Wife. Here is the photo from the booklet of the finished quilt…

It looks very involved, but it really is just traditional blocks and a strippy background. I like it so much that I am making it in two color ways…yes, two quilts! The one above is in batiks, but the other one is in neutrals (creams & taupes to browns). I have the blocks done for the first section of the neutral top…

I had seen a photo of it done in muted tans and neutral tones and really liked it, and originally planned on just making that one. But I have so many batik scraps that I decided to try to use them up and make a second one. The background strips of the batik top are all greens and browns…kind of forest-y and foliage…and I’m using bright colors for the blocks along the top.

The Gypsy Wife is made by sections (10 in all) rather than rows, and then the sections are pieced together. For January we are working on Section 1. This is what it looks like in the book…

Section 1 is the top right corner of the quilt top. The blocks kind of “float” above the background strips near the top of the quilt, but the strips run from top to bottom through several sections. So, I have had to number the strips (there are 63) along the bottom (where all the strips appear, unbroken by blocks), as well as number the strips within each of the 10 sections so I can use the same fabric for the same strip, top to bottom. I hope that made some sense. It sounds involved, but it is really fun (for me at least!).

Today I plan on finishing up the background strips for Section 1 for the batik top. I have six more strips to cut for this section. Then it should be quick to piece them together and finish up this section. Then I will need to start on the strip background for Section 1 of the neutral background. I have nearly 4 weeks before the next class in February, so I may spend some of that time getting the remaining background strips cut and labeled for future sections.

Other than working on the Gypsy Wife over the past several days, I also spent a little time stitching up my second to last block of HocusPocusVille.

This is one of the smaller blocks, so I don’t think it will take too long to finish. I’m hoping that I can get this one done sometime next week. I usually only spend an hour or so stitching each day, but now that I’m nearing the end of HPV, I’m spending a bit more time focusing on finishing the blocks. It has been fun working on HPV and I am really looking forward to putting the quilt together…though I will probably wait until the fall when I am done with the Gypsy Wife tops.

This week should be busy at home. I have quite a bit of computer work to do for our guild Quilt Show; I have some genealogy work I really want to get to; I plan to load Easy Street on the long arm and get started on that; and I hope to make some more small stars for the Rainbow Stars quilt…along with the Gypsy Wife and some HPV work. I think I can get all of those things done. I only have a few days I need to leave the house this week for quickie errands and appointments.

For today, I’ve already made English muffins and the laundry was done yesterday, so I need to get some computer work done then I will head down to the sewing room for some quality time with my rotary cutter.  Dinner tonight will be easy...baked potatoes with broccoli and leftover crock pot chicken, so I will be able to maximize my time in the sewing room late this afternoon J. In the meantime, I have several parties to link up to:

Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
The Stitchery Party at Super Mom – No Cape
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts

Check them out for some wonderful projects, and I hope you have a warm and wonderful Monday!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

I was able to finish a HocusPocusVille block this past week…

And then start on the next one…

I plan on spending some time today watching football and stitching on HPV. It sounds like a plan!

I will be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Head on over for some fun!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge – January Blue

This week I finished the blue tote for January…

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think I have avoided making totes and bags because I thought they might be too involved. But this was really not too hard, I learned a couple of things, and I’m happy with it.

Originally I was going to use the blue solid fabric in this photo for the lining…

When I cut and sewed it, I found that it was a wee bit too small. So I grabbed some Kona black and re-made the lining and got it attached…

I changed up the pattern just a tiny bit by adding magnetic snaps to the tote and the side pocket. I also sewed the straps in the seam instead of top stitching them to the outside of the tote. I then topstitched around the top of the tote. Once I handstitched the bottom of the lining, it was done!

Now I need to pick out a new bag pattern for February.

That’s probably all I will do in blue for this month. I hope to have some time this next week to work on my Rainbow Stars from the 2015 RSC. I still need to make some smaller stars. Here is my stack of stars…

I’m looking forward to getting this quilt put together.

I will be linking up at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Head over for some wonderful blue projects!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Finishes

I’m quite excited that I have four finishes this week! Woo hoo!

I finally finished this Sampler quilt…

And here it is done...

I think this was the oldest UFO in my sewing room. I wrote more about this finish in this post, and I must say that it is a relief to get this out of the sewing room. Sometimes I can just feel these UFOs hanging over my head when I walk in there.

I also “finished” a charity quilt for Ronald McDonald House this week. These are quilts that members of my quilt guild make and then we donate them to the local RMH. I help out the RMH Chairperson, so I have lots of tops and batting hanging out at my house. So, each month I try to get some of the tops quilted and attach some binding. That way they are ready for guild members to take home and hand stitch the binding down and then they are ready to go to RMH. So my “finish” is actually getting it quilted, and the binding and label attached. Here is the very bright and colorful quilt…

And here is the yellow binding I decided to use…

My third finish is the blue tote bag…

My plan this year is to make a tote/bag/purse in the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I have so many patterns for these items that I really want to use them! I will write more about this tomorrow in my post for the RSC, but I will say here that this wasn’t nearly as hard as I was afraid it would be!

My final finish of the week is this HocusPocusVille block…

I now have two more blocks to do before I put this quilt together. I really would like to get it done this year. I enjoy working on HPV; I’m sure I will be a little sorry to see the blocks all done. But, I have several more embroidered quilt patterns that I will quickly find another to do!

That’s about it from here. I will be linking up with the Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! linky party at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Head over to see what everyone else has accomplished. In the meantime, I will be sitting inside stitching while watching it snow! Have a safe and warm weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Warming Thursday

This is what it looked like when I woke up yesterday. By last night we had nearly 3 inches of snow at my house. We have been below freezing since the weekend, so everything that fell overnight on Tuesday night stuck. Finally, today we will get back above freezing temperatures. I’m hoping to make a quick trip to the grocery store…along with the rest of the world…to pick up a few things. We are due for another storm Friday night into Saturday with another 3 inches expected. I have plenty of food to get through the weekend, but I just want to pick up a few fresh things, presuming the shelves are not empty.

The past couple of days I have been doing little bits around the house. I got all of the tax paperwork filed (yay!) and I did some computer stuff.

On Tuesday I spent a bit of time in the sewing room and was able to get some binding and a label attached to a charity quilt…

I like the bright yellow binding with the busy dots! This quilt is ready to go to the guild meeting in a couple of weeks for someone else to hand stitch the binding down.

I also got the lining made for the blue tote. I initially made a blue lining, but it was too small for the tote, so I made a second lining in black fabric and I think it will work. I hope to finish that up today.

I also spent some time Tuesday working on HocusPocusVille. And since yesterday was such a snowy day, it seemed like a good day to sit in a chair and stitch all day…so I did. I’m nearly done with the current HPV block…

I just have the bottom right corner to finish. I hope to get this done today too. I am so hoping I can get this HPV quilt put together in 2016. If I can finish both this block and the tote today, I will then get to work on The Gypsy Wife.

That’s about it from here. I need to go get on the treadmill for a bit, then try to finish the HPV block. Then hopefully after lunch I can make it out of the neighborhood on the snowy roads to get to the grocery store. If not, I’ll have hubby drive me tonight J He did drive to work this morning (he came home in the morning yesterday for a family matter, but couldn’t make it back to work due to the weather)… since he is from Upstate New York and I am from Southern California there is a reason driving in the snow doesn’t bother him much…and I’m a bit more timid. I hope you all have a warm and safe Thursday!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sampler Done!

Yesterday I finally finished the binding on the Sampler quilt, and I even signed it…

This Sampler was my One Monthly Goal for January, and it is one of my projects for the First Quarter of the 2016 Finish-Along. It’s nice to have this one done!

This was a great quilt to use to practice on the long arm. I had all kinds of trouble getting the tension right, but I think it is set now. The quilting is not great…I still am much better at FMQ on my home machine…but I am determined to become at least proficient at using the long arm quilting machine. I have so many big quilts that will just be easier to do on the long arm. Anyway, it’s done. This quilt will just be a utility quilt around the house. For quilts like this I don’t make a label; I usually just write on the back. This time I used a new Pentel Roller Gel pen made for fabric.

It was really easy and smooth writing on the fabric with this pen. I think I will keep giving it a try and see how I like it.  I used to use these Tee Juice Fineliners to make labels…

They work fine. I found them to be much better than even Pigma markers. I found the Pigma markers to bleed a little. I just wasn’t especially happy with the Tee Juice pens though. Here is a sample of a label using them.

Recently I found these Edding pens at a local quilt shop…

I really like these. Here is an example of a label using these pens…

I think they have nice sharp lines and I really like them. But when I saw a recommendation of the Pentel Gel Pen I decided to give it a try. I think it will be OK. Though I think my preference is with the Edding pens, I will probably continue to use all three of these depending on the project.

Right after lunch yesterday I took a break from hand stitching the binding on the Sampler to put a charity quilt on the long arm and get a little more practice in. It took me about an hour and a half in total, and I got the quilting done. I did a loopy circle all over pattern that I plan to use on the next quilt I put on the long arm, so this gave me a little practice. Here is the (crazy busy!) front…

It’s a little hard to see the quilting, so here is the bright pink plaid pieced backing where you can see the quilting a little better…

I plan on finding some binding fabric for this and getting it attached this week.

That’s about it from here. It’s another cold day here and another day I don’t have to go out of the house. That means I get to hang out doing things at home. For now, I will be linking up with Mel’s Quilting Room for Fiber Tuesdays. I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Looking Back and the Week Ahead

I got a few things accomplished last week. First, I made some progress on my current HocusPocusVille block.

This is the Toil & Trouble Employment Agency. It has been fun to work on. Once it is done, I have two blocks left. I will be linking up at Super Mom – No Cape for the Monday Stitching Party.

I’ve been doing some other hand stitching as well. I finally finished quilting the Joann’s Sampler, so I have been stitching the binding down.  I’m about ¾ of the way done.

This week I also made progress on a few other projects. I was able to get the outside of the blue tote completed for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge; I completed the background squares for Bird Dance; I made a block for our guild block drawing in February; and I worked on a charity quilt. I think I got quite a bit done in the sewing room last week!

Today I should be able to finish up the binding on the Sampler quilt. I also plan on working on quilting another charity quilt today, then spend some time this afternoon working on HPV. For the rest of the week, I would like to complete the blue tote, work on HPV, and start on the Gypsy Wife quilt. This wasn’t a project I intended to do this year, but a local quilt shop is offering a class using this pattern as a block of the month. I thought it would be fun so I signed up. We’ll see how that goes.

That’s about it from here today. It’s going to be a cold day here today so a perfect day to stay inside. I hope you are warm where you are!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Little Stitching

I will be doing a little binding stitching today…

This is the Sampler quilt that I finally finished quilting on Thursday. I started this quilt about 15 years ago and I think it is the oldest project I have in my sewing room. The quilt is my One Monthly Goal for January, as well as one of my first quarter Finish-Along goals. It should be done soon, and it will be nice to have it out of the way.

I will be linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. Head over for some relaxing hand stitching projects.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wednesday is Sewing Day

At least yesterday was! I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the sewing room yesterday, even in the evening (rarely happens!)

I finished the blocks above for the background of my Bird Dance blocks. I probably won’t be starting this project for several weeks, but these are done. I really like all of the neutral and taupe colors in these blocks. I think they will work well with the brightly colored wool I have to make the birds. I also plan on using the same colors in my Gypsy Wife quilt (the class starts Saturday!)

I pieced a Card Trick block for our February guild meeting block drawing. I made one of these blocks for the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I really like how it turns out. I like these bright colors on the black background. Maybe I’ll win the drawing (and have another quilt to put together!)

Finally, I worked on quilting a charity quilt for Ronald McDonald House. Here it is all pinned and ready to put under the needle.

I just did meandering swirly circles all over the quilt, but I got it finished Wednesday.

It turned out pretty good, except there are a couple of pleats on the back (not good). I have taken one out already and have fixed it, but there is another one that I need to un-stitch then re-quilt. It won’t take too much time, it’s just the fact that I have to un-do and re-do it that bugs me. Once this is fixed, I will attach the binding then take it to the February meeting so someone can hand stitch the binding down.

That’s about it for yesterday. Today I have already run out for an errand, then I did some more quilting on the borders of the Sampler quilt, and in about an hour I have to take the cat for a she seems to be getting another respiratory infection L. Think good thoughts for Ms. F and her trip to the vet…

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What’s Up For Tuesday

Yesterday I was able to get the Sampler quilt done to the point I could take it off the long arm. I quilted everything except the borders. I am planning on doing that on my regular machine. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this quilt!

I also finished quilting the side pieces of the blue tote for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Once I got that done, I put the outside pieces together and boxed the bottom corners. I also put the other side of the magnetic snap inside the pocket. Here it is done…

Later this week I will work on putting the lining together and inside the tote. I’m pretty sure I can get this one done this week.

That’s about it. Other than plugging away on HocusPocusVille, that’s what I’ve accomplished so far this week.

Today I have a couple of errands, then I need to work on some organizing and cleaning. I think I will also try to put together a couple of blocks for our guild meeting in February and do some quilting on the borders of the Sampler quilt. I hope you have a great (and productive) Tuesday!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Slow Stitching for Today

I will be working on HocusPocusVille today. Nothing new there! This is the block I am now working on…

This is the Toil & Trouble Employment Agency. When this one is done I will only have two more to go. I’m getting excited about finishing these blocks.

Earlier this week I was able to finish up the Witches Stitches Needlework and Quilting Shop.

I’m pretty pleased with how these are turning out. I will be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and on Monday at Super Mom – No Cape for the Stitchery Party. Head over to see what everyone is working on this week.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge – Blue Tote

One of the things I would like to do for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year is to make a tote/purse/bag for each color of the month. I have a lot of patterns for bags, so I could do several each month and never run out. But I plan on just trying to get one done each month. I've not really made them before, so I would like to strengthen my skills in that area. For January, I am using the following blue fabrics with the pattern shown…

This wavy blue fabric is about a yard and a half long and it was on the free table at one of our quilt guild meetings. My price range!

The bag is actually a Trick or Treat bag, and it looks very simple with a pocket on the outside. I have decided to quilt the sides of the bag and the outside of the pocket to give it a little substance. This week I was able to get the outside pocket panel quilted. I used black thread to follow the wavy lines in the fabric…

You can see the quilting lines better from the back…

This has a large rick rack trim on the pocket, so I basted that on the outside (quilted piece) of the pocket before sewing the two pieces together. I have decided to add magnetic snaps to the side pocket and the tote itself. So, I went ahead and got one side of the snap put on the inside (lining) of the pocket, and here are the two pieces of the pocket ready to be put together.

Once I got the pocket pieces together, I realized I didn’t have the rick rack up high enough L .

I really wanted to see more of it peeking out the top of the pocket. But what’s done is done and with such dark fabric I don’t think the black rick rack would show that much anyway. Here is the inside (lining) of the pocket with the snap.

I was able to spend a little more time in the sewing room getting the tote pieces ready for quilting. I have used Misty Fuse to fuse the fabric to the batting before I quilt the lines. I have about one-half of one side of the tote quilted. You can see it best from the back (batting) side.

So that’s where it stands right now. I probably won’t get to it again until Monday or Tuesday, but maybe I can get it completed next week. I will be linking up at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Head over for some wonderfully colorful projects!