Sunday, February 19, 2017

XO Rekindle

I'm a firm believer that quilts are like fine wines and cheeses.  They need to age!  I made 4 X-O blocks 3 years ago to enter in the Madison Modern Quilt Guild's monthly Block Lottery.  For some reason, I couldn't make it to the meeting, so my blocks never got entered.  I tucked them away in a tote with the thought that I would turn them into a quilt someday.

This year, I brought the blocks and fabric I had set aside with me to retreat, where they safely stayed tucked away in their tote!! =O  I was hoping to find a way to arrange the blocks with the 2 yards of grey fabric that I had into a modern design with a lot of negative space.

Last week I was motivated to move this project along.  I hung the blocks up on my design wall and squinted at them a while.  More blocks!!  I need to make more blocks!  So I started to assemble what I could with the grey that was separate from my 2 yard cut.  That made almost 6 blocks. Now that I have momentum, I've decided that I need to do 20 blocks total and arrange them in a 4 x 5 layout.

Here is what I have so far:

Ironically, Timehop shared with me that it was 3 years ago this week that I made the original block!!
I can't wait to assemble this top!


linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Retreat Wrap Up

It's been a few weeks since I've been home from retreat and it's been hard to find the time to write a summary.  Instead, I've been using any spare time to keep on sewing!

I'm fuzzy on which year was my first at Lutherdale-- it was either 2010 or 2011.  Either way, I've been going there in January for quite a while and it is a highlight of my winter.  This year was just as enjoyable as all of the others. My focus this year was on starting new quilts.  Often times I use this week as an opportunity to finish what I've started, so this is slightly different for me.

The first quilt I worked on was 'Legendary' by Elizabeth Hartman. She blogs at Oh Fransson! and I absolutely love her graphic style.  I was warned in advance to be very, very careful with the organization of the cut pieces and how I sew them together and that was good advice!  The size differences of the pieces from branch to branch is very subtle!  My little forest of trees took 2 full days to cut and piece.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to make the sasquatch block at retreat,  I was ready to move on to something else!

And that something else was to make a baby quilt for my co-worker!  This was so much fun!  In about 1 day, I cut and pieced this entire top!  They don't know the gender of the baby and are decorating the baby's room in grey and mint.  I've been hoarding stashing black/white and grey fabric for a while and found a great inspiration on Pinterest.  This is the first 60 degree triangle quilt I've made and I love this so much, I think I might do another version in Pink!  My quilt guild is doing a challenge this year with a black and white fat quarter.  It fits PERFECTLY with this quilt!

All throughout the weekend, I demo-ed how to make wonky stars to the other retreaters.  I had already made several of these blocks and the plan is to assemble all the blocks in an improv setting and donate to Lutherdale's auction in August.  As a group we made a ton of blocks and now I have my work cut out for me!

Speaking of donations for the auction-- I brought my finished Strawberry Quilt with me and after showing it off to everyone, I left it there.  I had a good chunk of fabric left from the backing and Janet graciously turned it into a pillowcase! (forgot to get a picture)

Here's Janet in the Elvis apron she made!

That about sums up my 2017 retreat.  As usual, I didn't want to leave and as soon as I did, I started counting down the days until next year!


Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts - Let's Be Sewcial and Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish It Up Friday

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ready for retreat!

Just a few days left before I leave for my yearly Lutherdale retreat and I totally cannot wait!  As usual, I have a long list of projects to work on.  A little too late to submit this list for the 2017 Finish Along that is being hosted on several websites-- maybe next quarter I can be organized for participating in that?  Here are my main goals:

Quilt #1
Legendary by Elizabeth Hartman
Wow-  this quilt looks like fun!  I found yardage in my stash for the trees and Sasquatch.  I bought a super cool textural fabric for the background and I can't wait make this!  It's one of my top priorities.  How far can I sew on this at retreat?

Quilt #2
Triangles in Mint-B/W-Grey
As this is the year of the baby quilt, I want to make some gifts that aren't overly complicated, but still stunning and not too simple looking.  Making an all triangle quilt is something I've wanted to try for a while and it let's me use the special ruler I bought a while ago.

Quilt #3
Pink Baby Quilt
See above about year of the baby!  This pattern is pretty simple and I think I can put together a top in short order.  I have a large supply of pinks and I would make it scrappy.  The sashing is TBD-- grey? Black?  Not sure and need to audition the fabrics.

In other sewing news, on Saturday I hoped to finish the scrappy, use it up, get it out back for my charity quilt.  It's not complete, but it is getting there!  I'm at the stage where I feel like I need a few different fabrics to freshen up what I've been sewing with...  It would be super nice to have this wrapped up prior to leaving for retreat!


linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times

Monday, January 9, 2017

What's under my needle and on my design wall?

I've been a busy quilter lately and have all kinds of things to report on!

My lion quilt top is complete!!!!  I absolutely love how it turned out and can't wait for it to be quilted! This went together quickly.  Probably because I was rather obsessed and was working on it in most every spare moment. What is hard to convey in the photo is the size-- 60" x 60".  It's practically as tall as me! I'm hoping to enter this at Quilt Expo this year! ☺

Over Christmas, I added the borders and quilted my Strawberry Quilt. I'm making this as a donation to Lutherdale's annual quilt auction.  It seems perfect for a little girl to take naps under, play picnic on top of and just to decorate a room! Hopefully it gets a high bid!  Just a little bit of binding left before this is complete.  I'll see if I can get better pictures at that point.

Now that the lion is off the design wall, I can use it for other things. I have another charity quilt I would like to finish up and send on it's way.  I assembled the top 2 years ago? And it has been hibernating in my closet.  Instead of purchasing yardage for the backing, I've decided to purge my stash of fabrics I am not in love with anymore.  That is how the top started!! I had some fabrics that were taking up precious space, so I started making large nine-patched for a 'disappearing' quilt.  

The back is all improv with 2 orphan blocks.  It is about 75% complete. This quilt will be part of Mad City Quilt Guild's donations to Project Linus.

Lastly, I've started pulling fabric for a baby quilt.  I'm quite excited to get this started!


linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts and Patchwork Times

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016 - Year in review

Another year has passed and it seems to have gone faster than ever.  How is that?!?!  I always have ambitous goals, whether it is chores on a Saturday, things to do on a vacation or quilts to make in a year.  Looking back on 2016, I might think that I wasn't very prolific in finishes, but I had a lot of wonderful experiences.

I quilted my longest UFO (my bed quilt) and completed the binding in less than a week! (2006-2016).

I entered a quilt at Quilt Expo for the first time! And-- my Aunt Nancy happened to be visiting from Seattle at the same time as Expo and was able to spend a few hours there with me (so much fun!!).  

I sent my second quilt ever home with Nancy to give to my cousin who is expecting her first child! This quilt was waiting patiently for a special home.

I added another vintage machine to my collection.

I had a fantastic weekend in Eau Claire making bags and meeting new people.

I participated in the Lutherdale gala quilt again and feel honored to help with such a fantastic cause.

I've started what I think is my most stunning quilt ever!

I'm settling into my new sewing room at my new home and feel very blessed.

All in all, it was an amazing year!!  And I can't wait to see what 2017 brings.  The way things are looking, this might be the year of the baby quilt.  I have plans to make quite a few. 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

My oldest UFO --> Quilted!

Very early this year, I declared that it was the year of the UFO.  Lately I was thinking how I haven't been as productive with finishing up projects this year and found time to quilt my oldest UFO.  It's "My Bed Quilt".

As it turns out, I haven't been as bad as I thought! Of the 5 tops I listed that needed quilting (Maize Maze, Cartwheels, Elephant Parade, Civil War Throw and My Bed Quilt), two were already complete and now my bed quilt is quilted!  I've exceeded 50%!  Hooray!

I named my bed quilt 'Swallow's Flight', because the shape of the burgundy pieces reminded me of a swallow diving.
According to the dates on the in progress photos, I started this in 2007! I saw the pattern at a wonderful shop in Fitchburg that has since closed-- "Going Quilting".  That shop was fantastic and I'm still missing it today (even though it's been ages since closing -2008?).

I had been quilting for about 8 years when I bought the fabrics and had done one other queen sized quilt before this.  Otherwise all my quilts were crib and throw sized.

My records are a little fuzzy (this top pre-dates my blog (2008)!), but I sewed the blocks together pretty quickly and might have even sewn the rows together right away.  But those borders-- yuck!  I don't enjoy long seams and really don't enjoy calculating borders.  It took until 2012 for me to sew the borders on! =O  Then I let it age more!  Quilting-- How to quilt it??!!??  After all that time, I used a pantograph.  It needed to be quilted and I wasn't going to deliberate any longer.

Maybe I should name this "Like a fine wine or cheese" due to all the aging?  My bedroom has literally gone through multiple redesigns in the time I've been working on this.  Of course these fabrics were selected to match the bedroom from 2007!  Oh well-- I love burgundy very much and I will be THRILLED to put this on my bed.  Especially with the wool batting I used!  I can't wait to snuggle under it!  After I get the binding done, I'll do a proper photo shoot and share the official results.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Barn Quilt + Lion progress

Last week I took a Barn Quilt class at Ardyth's Sewing in Baraboo and it was all kinds of fun!  We picked our pattern in advance and they drafted the block for us before class.  All I needed to do was show up and paint! My design is 'Whirling Star',

My Lion Quilt is coming together quite nicely!  The bottom section is complete and just needs a few long seams sewn together.  I'm actually a bit further along than this, but don't have the latest photo. =(  I'm still a bit obsessed and would rather be sewing on this than doing practically anything else!  The perspective in the photo is a bit deceiving.  This finishes at 60" x 60"  It will be pretty big!

Linking up with Patchwork Times - Design Wall Monday and Sew Fresh Quilts - Let's Be Sewcial