Green Lemonade Update

Greetings!  I am so elated!  I could not wait to share my good news on the Green Lemonade quilt.  I have over-come sew many obstacles with this project.  I was worried once I got all that was ripped out sewn back together it would not work.  I have about 5 nine patch blocks left to sew together.

I was laying things out on the bed looking, trying to figure how I was going to tackle the beast today.  I had completed two rows and decided to see if my skill set would allow me to put them together.  Success!  I have learned in the melon process to mark my centers of the 9 patch edge and the melon edge and sew from the center.  That way any excess will end up in the seam allowance and not as big of a deal as ripping back out, trimming down and restitching.  Also start in the middle of the row and stitch to the edge of the next block.  If things don’t line up properly, because of the bias cut, you can stretch the dickens out of it and make it work (the quilt police would have me arrested and jailed)!melonstitchingSo here are two rows sewn together, and I was so happy I did not even bother pressing them.  This is still looking askew to me (Finished is better than perfect, yes?) but it is better than it was before with mountain peaks formed at the junctions of all four melons.  This quilt was formerly 3 dimensional, believe it or not.

2rowsBefore I started sewing on this project today I was perusing the internet trying to figure out a good backing for this.  I think some kind of plaid with greens and blacks.  But then I came across a yellow that resembles lemons.   After I get this top sewn together, it may be shelved yet again until I come across the perfect fabric.  There are cherries and cherry blooms on the black.  So maybe something farm/tree related.  Since there is sew much green, I am not sure green is the way to go.  I definitely do not want to go red, then it would become to christmasy.  And one of my pet peeves is christmas quilts.  I just don’t understand why someone would go to sew much work and then only use it a few days a year.  I guess I am too utilitarian for this concept.

When this one gets finished, I feel like baking a cake and lighting some candles for the extraordinary amount of labor to birth this quilt.  It is rather a love/hate relationship.  The looks of the quilt to me are meh at best, and the process/challenge I have enjoyed.  This has given me much experience and I would definitely feel comfortable helping someone else with a beast of their own.  Stay tuned for more green lemonade news!

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UFO Vs WIP Wednesday

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I have a mental block that will just not let me get past my point of the UFO hell that I am in.  Since picking one of the UFOs back up and working extensively on it, is it still considered a UFO?  UFO stands for unfinished object, so the answer is yes.  But technically because I have not abandoned it and am working it everyday I feel very negative in calling it a UFO, it is a work in progress right?  WIP?  I think UFOs should be renamed to reflect the time they are not touched.  So for instance, if this quilt had been going on for 7 years it could be called a SeptUFO.  But when I read this word my mind wants to say Septofu which is not where I am wanting to go.  Or perhaps I could think of nomenclature to represent the month it was started in Dectufo?  My green lemonade quilt, I suspect it has been going on for more than 20 years I am just finishing it like it is mine but really it has probably had multiple owners (hints of different threads, handstitching, basting, and interlocking sewing machine stitching).  So if I bring roman numerals into it it would be called XXIVufo which is not even pronounceable.  Any nomenclature ideas?

Additionally you can birth a quilt by sewing the wrong sides together and turning it right side out (basically, I have made this process sound easy).  So by it’s birthdate, do you date the quilt by that?  Or do you go by when the oldest fabric was manufactured  or purchased?

I have some cloth that was my Grandmother’s and put it in a memory quilt made from her fabric and Grandpa’s clothes.  That was 15 years ago and it was a daily used quilt with many washings.  When I was making the quilt, when I would iron over this black fabric with white circles, you could smell the iron in the fabric, which made me wonder with the smell of the age of that fabric if it would oxidize.  The answer was yes, it is almost completely gone from the quilt.  The quilt is only 15 years old but that fabric probably dates to the 40s, an antiquity which did not hold up to the chlorines in the water and the detergents and tumble drying.  So was this quilt really only 15 years old?  Or was it 70+ years old?

My mind is whirling with so many questions.  A quilting conundrum.

-To Be continued-

Ticker Tapes

UFO Green Lemonade is a little more than 50% complete.  I have stitched about 60% of these quilt blocks back together.  I am estimating my percentages on the quilting part as well.  I have yet to figure out what I am going to back this with, any of you have ideas?

improvedninepatchprogress2

Jacks Chain Circles UFO is 40% completed.  I have many blocks sewn together and still have a few more to go plus quilting. (this photo is out of date and I need to layout on my design wall (the bed) and capture that with a new photo).

circlesjackschain-1

Then I have the embroidery square project that is probably 75% done.  I just have a few more sashing pieces to make before it is all sewn together.  This picture was taken in the beginning stages.

embriodery

Clamshell quilt is about 50% done.  The pieces are all cut out.  I have some strip sets sewn.  I have some blocks sewn.

clamshell

The last three quilts are still in the collecting stage.  I have a vintage sheet quilt still in the planning stages.  I have a whole drawer full of sheets.  This quilt plan is taking up a lot of space.vintagesheetplan

I have been collecting silk ties now for about a year and have found a project for them I just need to complete what I have in the works before I start on something else.  I even have found a silk tie that has sewing machines on it!silkties

And all my scraps will make it into a string quilt one day.  This is also consuming a large chunk of fabric real estate.  I am only showing two gallon bags of many, and this grows with every project.  I am saving every last bit of fabric to turn it into something grand one day.strings

So the last three are not even UFOs yet they are just accumulating, they are all at 0% started/completed.  I have enough work here to keep me busy without buying anything else for a long time.

This blog is really helping me push forward.  The ties are really itching me to start yet another project.  I have plotted out my pattern, and am just wanting to do something new.  But I refrain because the difficulty of this project is even more so than the Jacks Chain Circle or the Green lemonade.  Please cheer me on as you see I need it!

Hi, I am a blogger and I have a problem.  The first step in a problem is admitting to it.  So that is done, what is my next step?  Quitting UFOs?  No….completing UFOs before anything else is started…YES!

 

A Quilt Show!

Well, I have attended another quilt show.  This one was a smaller more quaint one.  Lots of intricate quilting and a few beautiful quilts.  Some were great patterns but how they were quilted were a meh to me.  Here are the two show stoppers that I really liked.  There were so many but I forgot my camera (dang it)!  So these were taken with a family members cell phone.  A shout out to the photographer!!!  Thanks son!

The first quilt is a tumbling block pattern made with a 9 patch, oh sew clever!  And the second was made from 30s reproduction fabrics and was a beautiful butterfly pattern.  I would love to make both of these.  The rhombus quilt (tumbling block) I will have to invest in another template.  The butterfly quilt, I have the fabrics but have way to many UFOs to complete.

Besides this quilt show I actually got to go out and eat.  This is a rarity for me as I am always the one cooking up a mess in the kitchen.  The food was ok, the service was ok.  I am so glad I did not have to cook!!!!  Then there was a little shopping.  At the quilt show, I spied the nolting longarm quilting machine.  I WANT this MACHINE!  I really had a good feel for this machine, but where in the heck would I put it in my very lived in active house?  I would have to buy another house to accommodate it or rent space somewhere.  I just don’t want to do that.  I went ahead and gave the lady what I wanted in a used machine, so the Big HOUSTON quilt show is coming up and there will be trade ins.  Maybe I will catch a break and get the machine I want for the price I want.  But where in the heck will I put it?  That is TBD, when there is a will there is a way.

There is nothing better than to get wind in your sales by going and getting inspiration at a quilt show.  You see so many great ideas and lovely details.

Now onto other quilt business.  I have made a little more ripping progress in the Green Lemonade quilt.  I only have a couple more blocks to rip down, then there will be a gob of sewing and these go together rather quickly so be looking for a completed post in the next couple of weeks.  If all goes well tomorrow, piecing will ensue.  Perhaps I should count up all my UFOs and cross them off by 1/4 finished, 1/2 finished/ 3/4 finished, and completed?  hmmmm, I will be looking into this as it is a good idea for all those unfinished quilts.

Thanks for reading my blog and don’t forget to visit my other cookbook blog.

Let the ripping continue!!!

Greetings!  I recently posted not sure which direction I was going to go with which UFO (ooooo that rhymed).  As you can tell by the title and the picture, I have chosen to use my handy seam ripper also known as Jack the Ripper and we have been murdering some more seams.  I have made progress!!!!  Yipee!!! I am doing something I loathe and am pushing through.  As you can see by comparing the first photo to the second, it is progress.  I almost have enough nine patches to cover the whole bed.  I am still needing to attach more melons, but the ripping is minimal now.  I have less than 13 blocks to completely tear down and re-sew.  I am currently daydreaming/brainstorming on a name for this quilt.  I could call it The WaterMelon Crawl as I need to drink alcohol to keep sane and progressing.  I also thought since this has been such a lemon from the start to call it Green Lemonade.  Hmmm, that second one sounds kind of neat and will help tell the story behind it.  Place your votes in the comments of which name you like.

progressThis photo was taken with more natural light, hence the darker green color which is more true.improvedninepatchprogress2

And Now I actually can see drape-age off the sides of the bed.

Now that I have brainstormed a couple of names for this, what about the quilting?  I think feathers for the melons.  Perhaps to assist with a quilting design I should place these on point to make more of a statement!  Now that is an idea!  Off to go research some improved nine patch quilts to view their quilting and determine the fork in the road and decide later how to quilt this as I still have  a few weeks to go.  Next time I lay this out on the bed I will be laying it out on point.  It will not look so boxy and more geometric.  I hope the rest goes fast but, being a mother of young’ins and a full time job with an hour commute, my eight hour work day then turns to 10.  Then you have to add the cooking and laundry, and bathing the children (I am certain to bore you with the long list of daily chores).  Gosh, Mother’s are such fine tuned instruments (no wonder my batteries always need to recharge).  I reckon no one could keep up with us if they tried.  Till next time!  And don’t forget to check out my other blog here.

A Thrifty Score! And The UFO’s Need Attention too!

A couple times a month, me being the thrifty shopper that I am, I hit the thrift stores.  Looking for _____________ (fill in the blank).  I usually go to the tie section and look for pinks or unusualness.  I actually found a tie this week (100% silk for a buck) that had sewing machines on it with a yellow background.  Be looking for a post about my ties soon.   I also peruse the vintage sheet section but I think I have maxed out my space for this collection.   I also found approximately 9 yards of pink and light fuchsia pink solid fabrics for only 5 dollars!  I have so few solids in my collection.  The pink looked like it had been taken off the bolt and rolled into a bolster.  After feeling this fabric I think this is older Moda fabric, yay!  The other solid could be Kona but I am not sure.  Since I have been sewing so many children’s quilts for all these expecting parents with the the girl streak going, those pinks will definitely get used.

stash-builder

Since finishing the TOL quilt, I am in a slump.  I do not want to start another project, but I do not want to work on the UFOs that linger in my stash.  I have all this fabric calling my name and it is like a drug, I just have to say no!

I do need to plan a border for my dodecagon quilt.  circlesjackschain (1)I have several more blocks that need pieced together and then I need to applique some hexagons in the center (yuck, I dislike applique but I must push through).  Once the blocks get all sewn together, I need to come up with a plan for the border.  I am wanting to keep the circley part of the block to scallop on a border fabric.  I think piano keys would be too dark in the colors from the nine patches.  Perhaps a drunkards path to keep the circle theme going.  The border is TBD (to be determined).

I could also get out the ufo that I am tearing all apart and sewing back together,  but I am to the seam ripping stage and I don’t really care for that work (who does right?). progress And then there is another project I have not even mentioned which will not take me long at all, but it would require no children present as it is white and I don’t want grubby little hands touching it.   Most of the sewing is complete.  I guess this one will wait for the holidays when I can have time alone with out little helping hands.  These are embroidery squares that I purchased from Goodwill Industries.  embriodery (They are like their mama, they like to touch fabric but don’t have the skill set yet to do anything about it, that will change with time :)~.)

I got to my LAQS (local area quilt shop) and purchased some striped fabric for a future block build.  But I don’t want to spoil this surprise with any details yet.  I went in for thread and left with way more (that is how it goes, easy come easy go).

My mother and I share an Accuquilt cutting system.  We each purchase the dies we want and we have amassed a nice collection.  They just came out with the companion sets which we now have so I am just itching to try this.  But I already have a whole bag of clamshell pieces all die cut out waiting for some more action.  This will not take me long because I have many blocks done, with little effort to go.  Life can be very interrupting sometimes especially when you are catching up a weeks worth of laundry, or buying groceries, or cooking for that matter, let alone bathing children and and spending playtime/quality time with them.  Everything will work out in time.  I find if I rush myself by creating a deadline, I just make it hard on myself.  So I will work one of these jewels in between, cooking, cleaning, bathing, laundry, lawn mowing (glad my grass is almost dead, yay! this chore is solving itself), and working a 40 hour work week.

Decisions! Decisions!  I am so thankful I have all this work and play ahead of me.  Life would be rather dull without it.  Whatever did I do with my time before?

Please visit my other blog The CookBook Project.

 

A Puzzle Tutorial

While out and about on the last three quilt related outings, I kept coming across a very colorful fabric panel with Mario from Mario Kart.  This last time, I finally found it bargained priced at Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Then, what to do with a panel.  There are oodles of fabric panels out there and when I see them I cannot quite figure out how to incorporate their loveliness into a quilt.  So, I started brainstorming.  And then it hit me while one of my children was putting a puzzle together at the kitchen table.  I could quilt the panel and make a floor puzzle out of it!

So I quilted Mario to some retired Moda fabric that was in my stash.  I decided since this was going to be cut up, I would tryout feathers in FMQing.  Feathers are not as hard as they look and this is my first go round with that technique.  (Thanks to youtube tutorials, I saw they did not have to be symmetrical or perfect to be feathers.)

QUILTEDPANEL

I also chose not to bind it as it would be cut up and in the small hands of a child, so I just blanket stitched or applique stitched around the raw edge.  My original plan was to do this on all the raw edges, but I was afraid I would run out of the discontinued thread as this stitch is a major thread dump.

Next I determined my approximate sized pieces.  I decided to go with 5 inches since this would be easy for my scissors and for a small child to manage.  I began the puzzle process by coming 5 inches from one raw edge and marking that with chalk and proceeded to determine the intersecting square points to keep the pieces relatively square.  If you have ever done a springbok puzzle you know sometimes puzzle pieces are not square, so this effort is a little forgiving.ROW1You can faintly see my chalk lines above to make the puzzle pieces approximately squarish.  At this point I determined the applique stitching was going to cause me to run out of thread so I just straight stitched the length of the row at the raw edge.  I did this for all rows on both sides.  The row above happens to be an edge side so only one side was needed for stitching.  Now as a reflection if you quilted your panel well enough you could probably skip the stitching completely.  That would be for you to decide how you finish your edges.

After each row was cut I chained pieced with stitching if this makes any sense.  This way I would not have to think about putting the puzzle together when I was done.  This was an orderly way of doing it, but it ultimately is your choice.

ROWSBACKTOGETHER

Here are the rows stitched and put back into order.  Next was to make the perpendicular cuts for each puzzle piece.  I used my grid lines and at approximately 5 inches started cutting my row perpendicular to the rows I had just stitched.  The reason I did it this way was to make my puzzle pieces intersect equally, but you could make this as easy or difficult as you wish.CHAINSTITCHING

Now all my pieces were stitched and in a messed up pile, or were they?PUZZLEPILENow all they needed were a few scissor snips and placed back together.PUZZLESTACK.JPGALLTOGETHEROddly enough, I noticed because I chose to back this with other fabric you could do a different puzzle on the back and then it becomes 2 puzzles in one.  This may be a little more complicated for a young child.  But with a little bit of help, they will push through.

2PUZZLESINONEOne is the front side and one is the back side.  This project may take you a couple of afternoons.  I quilted this in a few hours one day, had another project to finish so I set this aside and the puzzle part took me around 2 1/2 hours to pull off on a different day.  It would have taken longer if I used the applique stitch as this is a slow process for my machine and the back and forth.  This was fun and I will probably find a really neat deer panel or floral panel and do a two sided panel puzzle.

The content of this post is copy-write.  If you pin this content via pinterest or other social media make sure to link to my site and give credit to me as I am the sole designer of this panel puzzle.  I hope you have enjoyed this read.  Now onto some UFO work so I can move onto other projects.

Please visit my other blog The CookBook Project.

 

 

TOL Finish!!! And the whole story behind this quilt.

I promised you from a previous read that I would tell the story of this quilt.  You see, I have made this for a couple who is expecting a baby and work directly with the father to be.  We were doing some grueling work and had worked a bit of overtime and such and was told it was no longer a priority.  So that work related project was pushed aside.

I proceed to leave work on a day in July and had my purse on my arm and was walking towards the door and Tyler (father in the making) showed up, asking to do some slight rework.  As much as I wanted to blow it off, I stayed an extra 30 minutes that day and fixed the issue.

On the way home that day, traffic was funny and I could tell something was up in front of me somewhere in my commute.  Turns out there was a head on collision that killed three people (according to the next days headlines in the local paper).  The time of this accident, would have put me right there if I had not been delayed that 30 minutes.  That head on wreck could have been me.  So, the father to be, managed to save my life, hence the tree of life quilt (TOL).  This accident really bothered me and has allowed me to slow down a bit and relish each moment with the children, and helps with the meltdowns or poddy accidents, or splashing way too much water out of the bath tub, you know every day, ordinary things that may be taken for granted by us adults.

In speaking with him before this took place he said his wife wanted trees and monkeys, a jungle theme.  The tree was easy.  Because my life was spared I thought I would make my version of the tree of life.  I went through my stash and had to go buy tree bark fabric and some backing.  After this tree started coming together, I could simply not put a monkey on it as I thought it would dumb down the wisdom of the quilt.  (Most monkey fabrics are cartoonish and this is more of a pictoral/fractal/serious quilt, and the monkies I found just would not work.)  Then there was a hurdle of trying to make this not look like a boy quilt.  I also wanted to accomplish the wish of the jungle (turned african) theme.  So I decided to do the african theme on the back.  This one was quite a challenge for me with the colors.  But, I think I got them all to tie together for a little girls room.  Oh and I also put the mom and dad’s name on the quilt because their love created this little baby to be.  I thought maybe this would be a nice touch.

The completed project of my own design.  This is the second time that I quilted free motion feathers.  This is not as hard as it looks and I did not have any problems doing the outer border with this technique.  All of the quilting was done on my regular sewing machine with a walking foot or a hopping/darning foot.  The quilting gave it a more girly flair.  I hope the parents to be like it.

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From the Quilt Stack

paperairplaneGreetings from blog land!  I am busy busy here.  I have two unveils coming up.  I hope to get one completed over the holiday weekend so be looking for a couple of posts from me.  I am starting the FMQ on the TOL quilt.  I am still brain storming on FMQ’ing.  I also have another project which will not take long, but I want to finish one before I get started on the other.

So a quilt from the quilt stack that is a blast from the past.  I made this around this time last year.  I never named this quilt.  It has an air force themed fabric on the back, so what would you call this?  If you could think up a clever name, what would you name this quilt?  I welcome you to name this in the comments!!!!

Thanks for visiting, and don’t forget to visit my other blog The Cookbook Project.  Stay tooned….