Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Q3 FAL - Shanee's Sparkle - Finished!!

Oh yeah!! Another to add to the done. done. and done. list! I am truly amazed at how motivating making a list can be!! LOL This was my first time linking up with Adrienne over at On the Windy Side for the FAL and I have to say, this has been a success! The linky party is now open so make sure you head over and check out all of the amazing finishes people have linked! Shanee's Sparkle (named after the recipient and the name of the pattern, Sparkle Punch) was number 7 on the list and my 'stretch' goal. I had my doubts about whether this one would get put on the finished list. . . that might have been due to my slightly insane quilting . . . it didn't start out that way. . . but then, when do things ever end as they are intended here?? ;)

OK, here it is!!
I wish you could run your hands across this quilt! The texture is amazing!!
I had SO much fun quilting this quilt! I was sitting with pencil and paper drawing out various designs and all of a sudden, the design that went into the pinwheels was born :) Then, after quilting just one of them on the quilt I started thinking about those stars. . . rulers? No, they are wonky stars so ruler work didn't seem to fit the bill. Back to doodling on paper. . . and then I thought, spiral, swoosh through each of the star points. That works! Imagine my surprise when I quilted it out, turned it over and saw that the design made a secondary design, framing the pinwheels!! I just love unintended happy secondary designs!! :)
Cue Happy Dance! OK, is is really only noticeable on these solid pieces of fabric on the back BUT how cool is that???

First, I stitched in the ditch around all of the gray pinwheel/whirly giggies. In free motion with a ruler. If you haven't tried SITD with a ruler in free motion - seriously, try it!! But even though it was FMQing, and you know how I love to do that, it was still SITD so when I came up with the doodle for the pinwheels, I was excited and had to check it out. I did one and sent it to my #1 fan. The response? "Intricate much? lol" . . . yeah, told him I needed my head examined.... there are a lot of those in the quilt! His response? "Lots of hospitals around! Haha" . . . How's that for encouragement?? Thank you #1 fan. . . I think ;)

After doing that first motif, I got excited, really excited and SITD lost its luster! LOL BUT I plowed through it and did it. I was really shocked at how square this top ended up being, there was a LOT of potential for wonk to set in with all of that bias. I wanted to keep those blocks square while I was quilting and I know of only one way to do that. . . the dreaded SITD :) OK, more pictures!!
Those pinwheels are one of the about bajillion things I love about this pattern. I wanted the quilting to really put some emphasis on them :)
Instead of stitching over the spine of the feathers, I chose to do a fill that took two passes to complete. A little trick I learned from Gina Perkes! :)
I used various different colors of thread for the stars. White, maroon, yellow, green, blue, gray. . . I had to break thread anyway so why not? LOL
Shanee is lucky I love her so much! This one is going to be very difficult to send away!!
And the back. I used voile (Floral Asphalt by Sarah Lawson for Art Gallery) for the backing fabric. It is absolutely YUMMY! I may or may not have miscalculated how much I needed. . . OK, yes, yes I did miscalculate but I was able to find two fat quarters in my stash that matched perfectly! Combine those with a little creative pieces and VOILĂ€!

So I found out Shanee, like her auntie, is not a huge fan of pink. . . oops! BUT she is a huge fan of vintage :) I thought maybe the blue and orange would pull out more of those colors.... it kind of worked. . . LOL
Had to include this picture, just love how the stars shine through ;)

And one more picture of the front. . . just because :)
It just makes me smile :)
For the binding, I used one of the fat quarters from the bundle and some of the background fabric. If you are interested in more information on my experience piecing this quilt, go here. :)

OK, making my list for Q4!! . . . watch for that post soon. I have three commissions (I know, no, I typically do not do commissions but they all asked nicely! LOL), a private mini swap and something totally awesome for me planned!

Wait, what about number 6 on the list? Um, no, didn't even put one stitch in the rose linen quilt. . . it will go on the list again. . . But I completed 6 of the seven items on the list! Not only that, this FAL thing has renewed my blogging bug :) Not to the point that I'm posting multiple times a week, but at least I'm getting more than two posts a month ;)

As I said at the top, linking up with Adrienne for the Q3 FAL party, head over there - there are SO many finishes. I dare you not to be inspired!! ;) Also linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social, make sure you check out the awesomeness over there too! One more, Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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Friday, September 25, 2015

Flimsy Finish Friday

OK, this is going to be a quick post. The flimsy for Sparkle Punch is finished. If you want the low down on the process of sewing this baby together go here. Many details and thoughts shared :) I finished this flimsy on Sunday. It was basted quilting began on Monday. I have had my head down and I have been quilting like crazy but it seems like I am making no progress! Does that ever happen to you? Yeah, I might be quilting it to death but jeeze. It seems to be taking forever! :) OK, that's it, the only thing I have to say about sewing the flimsy together is this - I only turned one block and I caught it early in the game so it only required a very little ripping :) Without further ado, here it is!!

As promised - short post :) I'm going back to the machine to continue the quilting . . . Still not convinced this is going to be finished by the 1st. . . . focus!! :)

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday. Make sure you check out all of the awesome makes people link up to this very popular linky party!!

Until next time, keep on quilting! I know I will be ;)
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Sparkle Punch

I planned to have this post up this morning. . . first thing. . . I also had planned to have all of the full stars completed by the end of yesterday. . . neither happened :) So I'm a few hours off but that's not so bad right?? Right! This is my stretch goal for the Q3 FAL. . . and I am pretty sure it is going to be finished by the end of this month! I was hoping for a flimsy finish by this Friday. . . We'll see, it seems a little ambitious right at the moment :)

The pattern is Sparkle Punch, a free pattern from Elizabeth Harman of Oh Frasson. I had to do this quilt when I saw this version made by Katie over at From the Blue Chair. Had.To. Not so long after that Massdrop had Amy Butler's True Colors fat quarter bundle on a drop. I bought in. I thought it perfect for this quilt. I also thought the combo and the quilt would be perfect for my goddaughter. Does she have a Judy Quilt? Yes. She does. And now she will have two because the stars aligned (totally in her favor) and I thought of her immediately when I saw the pattern and when I saw the perfect bundle :)

First, here's the status of the top right now:
Still needs the partial stars added. No, they are not made yet . . . fabric is cut, I've decided what fabric is going into each of those spots but have not started sewing them yet...
Just a few comments about the pattern and the changes I have made. First, to get a better stretch out of my fat quarters, I started with 4" squares. Kati mentioned that she did that and I thought it a great idea. . . and I wouldn't have to make as many blocks to get the same size quilt. . . not going to lie about that - and I'm very glad I did! LOL Also, when the size of the fat quarter allowed, I cut 4 1/4 inch squares. Why? I liked that I would have a little extra fabric in case I went crazy with the wonk. :)

We all know I am not a pattern follower. But this one is straight forward and individual tastes can play in big time when making those wonky stars. Depending on how much stomach you have for waste, the amount of wonkiness could get pretty extreme. I have a stomach for waste - just didn't have enough fabric to be wasting much. Hence, there is wonky going on there but not a huge amount.

Design wall or floor is essential - really essential. This quilt goes together like a Modern Plus quilt. All of the blocks have to be made and put in place prior to sewing - because the 4" block is the block in this quilt. Fans and design walls do not mix. . . that comment is not related to the pattern or changes I made. It's just a statement. :)

This pattern is very very very friendly to chain piecing. I really think this is the only reason I have been able to stick with this and get as far as I have with the top. Well, that and the fact that once I started putting stars up on the design wall, I couldn't stop! LOL
The 18 different fabrics I used for the stars paired with the background squares. These piles are pieces for one star.

The back of my machine after chain piecing about half of the stars :)
As my mom would say, there was a lot of 'fartin' around' in making these blocks. . . Sew the first star point onto background fabric, cut, iron and cut again to square up before sewing on second star point. Repeat all steps for second star point. . . 288 times. Yeah. Wait... that's 576 when having to do it TWICE is taken into account! I'm kinda glad I didn't think about that much before I started! :)

Elizabeth provides a quilt top layout which was invaluable for me to figure out exactly how many full and partial stars I would need. Without it, I'd probably still be trying to figure that one out! LOL It was also useful in figuring out how much fabric I needed. And believe it or not (I still cannot), I actually got it right!! I used 18 fat quarters - with a few blocks left over.

I tried something new to me in laying out this quilt. I don't know about you but I obsess about the layout. Are the colors in the right place. Are there any fabrics touching that I don't want to touch (is that weird?. . . don't answer that LOL). Is the light dark balance right. On and on and on and on! For this top, I stitched up the first 18 stars (one of each fabric) and then started placing them on the design wall. I'm not sure why but instead of going row by row across, I placed the stars diagonally. So I was working more top to bottom instead of across. Once I had those initial 18 placed the way I thought they looked best, I sewed the next 18, placed them starting with the top right star fabric and going through in the same order. I hope this makes sense. . . what I learned is that, for me, this took the angst out of getting the 'perfect' layout. Instead of agonizing over the placement of 58 stars, I agonized over 18. Once that was finished, the rest kind of fell into place.

I am going to admit. I will be glad when this quilt top is finished and I can get to quilting. I'm not loving the process but I am loving the outcome :)
I texted a picture of it to my sister (mom of recipient) and her response was "She is going to like that!!" She better ;)
I am off to start chain piecing those partial stars. With a little focus (that tends to leave in the afternoon but I'm determined!), I think I can get them finished today. If I can maintain that focus, I might get this baby to the flimsy stage tomorrow. . . OK, probably not completely sewn together until Friday morning ;)

Linking up with Lorna for Let's Bee Social and Lee for WIP Wednesday. Both are great places to overdose on inspiration! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Another Pillow Cover Finish :)

Ahh, another relatively quick but oh so satisfying finish :) Cally is now winging her way back to MN with another pillow cover :) She had a blast digging through the scraps from her quilt to pick the majority of the fabric. Then more fun looking through all of my other fabric for the outside border.

There is nothing like sewing along with a cheerleader!! :) She picked quilting designs and stood and watched in amazement as I quilted her cushion cover. I think she is happy with it:
Pleased as punch ;)
More butterflies :) And the last little bit of that awesome spotted batik that I used on her butterfly pillow.
Ribbon candy in the spotted batik and the border got a design ala Kathleen. She uses this design a lot - and now I know why! LOVE! :)
Scribble quilting in the text print with YLI nylon thread. Love the effect of mashing down that part but totally leaving the fabric as the star :)
On more . . . the excitement of being the quilt holder is fading fast at this point!
The heart block is a free paper piece block from Juliet over at TheTartan Kiwi. Her paper piecing patterns are absolutely wonderful. One of the zebras is on my list of must do. . . MUST do :) I haven't decided which yet. . . hopefully the hardest part will be picking which one. . . a girl can dream right? LOL

And the back:
I had just enough of the butterfly fabric to sew it together for the back of the pillow. It looks like the seams don't line up on the two sides, but they do. . . if you look towards the bottom you can see it is gaping open :)
"Are you kidding me?? How many pictures do you need???" LOL OK, she didn't really say that but when I looked at this picture, I think that's exactly what she was thinking :D
Fabrics are all from my stash and scraps left from Cally's quilt and pillow cover. Once again, yay for scraps. . . cannot believe I am saying that!! They absolutely do come in very handy when paper piecing :)

We had a week filled with sewing, swimming and lunching :) We had lunch with Cally's Jr. High teacher who retired after the last school year. So much fun to spend some time with her and catch up! She also got to have a visit with the wonderful woman who cut her hair for years. Jody still cuts my hair so I get to see her regularly but Cally has not seen her in a very long time. She was very excited to get to spend some time with her as well.

Now, it is back to getting that Q3 list done! Can I just say that the Q4 list has started and is growing? LOL I have Sparkle Punch all cut out and the first blocks sewn. I think this one is going to take a little time... lots of sew, cut, iron, sew, cut, iron, cut action going on with each block. And there are a lot of blocks! I'll do a separate post on my progress soon.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts. There is never a shortage of quilty inspiration over there so, if you haven't already, check it out!

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Friday, September 4, 2015

Nod to Gees Bend - Another Q3 FAL Finish!

Nod to Gees Bend is finished!! I have now finished 5 of the 7 on my Q3 FAL list with Adrianne over On the Windy Side!

I thought this quilt would be done months ago. . . and then I got distracted and Nod got thrown in the corner. . . Then, I thought it would be finished by last Friday. . . When I pulled it out of the corner, I figured out why I might have gotten distracted so easily. . . I had quilted squiggly lines (technical terms only here lol) in a 16" x 8" portion of the quilt. . . my husband told me, very nicely, that he didn't think it fit. I told him, probably not so nicely that I didn't care what he said, I was not ripping it out. . . That was pre-corner time. Fast forward to post corner time. He was most definitely right. It needed to come out. Maybe I was the one that was in the corner the entire time!! ;) So I spent several days ripping this:
Didn't take long to quilt. . . took hours to rip :( SOO glad I did though!
And then I sat and stared at the quilt. What next? This quilt has taken me completely out of my quilting comfort zone. Looking at this picture, can you guess why?
Yup, hung sideways... no wall on the property tall enough for the 76" length plus the additional three or so inches using pants hangers adds....
Yeah, ALL straight lines. And only a smidge (another technical term) of dense quilting in the negative space....
Diagonal rainbow color lines, meet horizontal rainbow lines :)
Only ditiching in the middle of the quilt... done with the FMQing foot and ruler, hey, I had to do something in free motion!!
I used YLI nylon thread again for ditching. Seriously having a love affair with this stuff!
And in the middle of the triangles....
I pondered for a very long time about what to put in the center of those triangles. . . in the end I just ditched them. The more I look at it, the more I like it. :)
I am still fighting the urge to quilt more...
Sometimes, you just have to listen to the quilt . . . and this one was screaming at me!
But I won't. I think it is finished. I think the fabric is the star in this show so I'll let it shine. Without my added thread ;) All of the fabric in the quilt (except the backing) is Oakshott Cotton.
Prisms again for the back :) This time in Grey. The crush on this fabric is not showing any signs of fading.... I may have ordered more today! :)
When it came time for binding, I thought I had enough of the dark gray.... not.even.close. Now what?? I pulled out the silk I bought at the Albuquerque Art Festival. . . hey, that's pretty darn good!
Looks pretty good in this picture. But when it was laid next to the quilt in just the double fold, it was just off enough in color.
Enter the grounded one otherwise known as my husband. When I showed him the fabric next to the quilt and then let him feel it, he literally turned up his nose and said "no." Alrighty then. His reactions are typically not that strong. I went with this one :) Now what?? Wait, I know! I had fabric left over from Off Course. The dark blue or the purple will work! After putting both of the darkest colors up on the board and explaining to the opinionated one that I wanted the binding to 'end it', he picked blue. I told him I thought purple. He said he thought purple until I said I wanted the binding to 'end it.' . . . OK. . . You may have noticed that I used both. You might wonder why. It was a design choice... made due to circumstances :) Turns out, I didn't have enough of the blue or purple to go all the way around. In the end, I think the fact that I didn't have enough of either color to go all the way around was a very good thing. I like how this looks :)
Not a bad seam match huh? LOL I have to admit, this part scared the bajeebers out of me but it wasn't quite as difficult as I thought it would be! :) Never mind that dog hair ;)
When I went out to take pictures, I tried to use duct tape on the wall so I could hang the quilt without the hangers. That didn't work. At.All. I was frustrated. I took the quilt back in the house and hung it sideways because I didn't want to get on the stool to hang it on the design wall. . . OMG! I love the way this looks when hung sideways!! I am now on the hunt for a wall big enough in this house to hang it and that is when I decided I would hang it sideways for its photo shoot! :)
There has to be a wall big enough in this house to hang this ;)
My favorite part? How the rainbow thread looks on the dark gray strip. . . swoon!
Aurifil 40 wt threads, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green. :)
I have been working on the stretch goal on my list - Sparkle Punch. I have all of the fabric starched, the background fabric cut AND the binding cut - not going be sprinting to the finish line and not have the binding sorted! :)

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday and I'll link up with the Q3 FAL when that linky goes live. I am loving this goal thing! There is something about saying out loud that I'm going to do something that lights a big old fire under my beeeeehind! :)

Cally is coming tomorrow to visit for the week. I'll be working on Sparkle Punch but we also might be making another pillow cover - not a butterfly . . . it's too soon! :) She will move to her new home on the 15th of September. We will spend the week in the pool and maybe even at the sewing machine prior to her move. She's a little stressed. A little R&R is called for prior to this major change in her life. :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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