15 November, 2010

2 done, 2 to go!

I'm motivated.  A comment led me to be invited to participate with the New Years' Eve UFO Challenge happening on Finn's blog, Pieces from my Scrap Bag.  The idea is to pledge to complete an amount (you decide) of UFO's before Year's End. 
Since we're already well into November, I didn't have a spectacular number of UFO's that I could realistically finish in time, but I did have a stack of quilts ready for quilting that I would love to have done so I could get a bit of a fresh start in the New Year.  Besides, having stacks of unfinished tops and projects just cuts into the fun of it all, doesn't it?  I can't stare at them anymore, and trying to hide them doesn't help either ( because we all know they're there, lurking somewhere...), so getting a few done feels good.

My challenge is to finish 4 quilts before year's end.  If I keep up the momentum, and the holidays don't get to me, I may add another!  Here are the first two:

"Cherry & Chocolate": a quilts made, oh months  if not a year ago!  Simple straight line stitching put it all together to make a nice little lap quilt.

Here's a quick snap of the back.  I've also been trying to use up my stash lurking in the closet, and this is part of my ongoing "make-do" project.  After all, what's the point of keeping those fabrics in the dark?  I'm pulling them out and working them into my quilts so I can enjoy them!

"Chicken Soup": now this quilt makes me happy.  Lots of fun fabrics put together in a pretty much random way  and left the border on three sides only to create this vintage look quilt.  I also like the gold binding.  It brought a touch more light into the quilt, and I felt like trying something other than the perhaps more safe choice of using a darker binding.  This was also quilted by machine in simple lines.  The idea was to create an overall diamond quilt pattern, but I ended up with squares on point.  Oh well....
The evening I finished the last stitch of this quilt my daughter snatched it up and took it to put on her bed; it hasn't been seen since...kids!

Here's the back of the quilt - another bit of stash that can now be put to good use.
 This is also the first time I used a bamboo batting.   My fellow house dwellers were not too thrilled with it.  They found it a bit flimsy and light, not enough "beef" to it.  When tested for warmth....eh...perhaps good as a summer cover.  Ok, fair enough.  They may be used to the 100% cotton batting I normally use.  Those quilts are a bit heavier, and so far have kept us nice and warm in the winter ( either on the couch or in bed) and they do have a bit more "beef" to them.  I haven't formed a final opinion yet, but did notice a difference in the feel, and the quilts are indeed lighter in weight and to the touch, although to be fair, they do have a nice drape to them.   I'd need to experiment a bit more...

In the meantime, I returned to the sewing machine guy this weekend and he checked out my Pfaff.  Turned out the "shredding" of my thread was due to the plate not being centered to the needle.  As the threaded needle moved up and down, the thread chafed against the plate, causing the thread to shred and break.  Mystery and problem solved!  Now I can go back and try my hand again at free motion quilting.
Quilt number three is on the table and ready to go, so let me get to finishing!

Have a great week,


05 November, 2010

pulling, shoving, bunching....

I love my craft, but this can make me grumble...
...but I'm in that "must. finish. now." mode, and this is quilt number two....(out of four)

So, while the water slides down the window, the wind thumps against the house, like the big bad wolf, I  sing, hum, and bop to my favorite tunes while trying to get through quilting this mass of fabric!

Since the quilt is made up of very busy fabrics and my machine has decided to shred my Yli cotton thread when I attempt to free motion quilt ( yes, I will bring it back to the Sewing Machine Guy ), I'm doing a simple all-over 60-degree diamond pattern.

You can see the paper tape I used here to get me started.  Once that first line is done I'll use the guide to help me to the rest of the lines.

The stitch-in-the-ditch foot is very handy here.  I use the "skate" to follow the line exactly.

You know, it's not all that bad really, I just need to get into a groove, have my tea and music nearby and remind myself that just because I'm sitting behind a sewing machine, doesn't mean things will or automatically have to go faster! Repeating that to myself today while puling, pushing, adjusting, propping and bunching the quilt through my machine, made it go a little easier...a little.......

Have a great weekend my friends!
( I'm heading back to my machine......)

Fall drab?

Who thinks Fall is drab and depressing?
I'm enjoying my walks with Darwin even more and am loving the inspirational colors around me....

...and when you come back inside and shake the rain and wind off, that hot cup of tea tastes soo much better....
happy stitching,

04 November, 2010


That's my daughter helping me to sandwich the Fall Stars quilt.  A task made very pleasant by working together, chatting away and giggling over some silliness...

...with tea and her freshly baked cookies nearby...

thank you Monki!


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