Sunday, November 22, 2015

I underestimated, again

Yes, yet again, I have grossly underestimated how long it would take me to hand quilt something.  When Deb issued a friendly challenge to pick a project to finish by the end of November, I picked my kaleidoscope quilt.  I thought it was close enough to a finish to be possible.  As you can see from my progress chart, I’m not going to make it!


I have been working on it diligently since I took Deb up on the challenge, much more so than before, so there is actual progress now even if it doesn’t look like much.  I’m just slow, and the quilting lines are less than 1 1/2” apart.  But, since I am working on the quilt regularly thanks to the challenge, I will say the challenge is serving its purpose even if I don’t quite meet it.


My new goal is to be able to wrap it and put it under the Christmas tree.  So, time to get off the computer and go settle in my quilting chair.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Throwing fabric around

Yesterday I felt like I was playing a version of the cooked spaghetti game.  You know, the one where you throw a strand of spaghetti at the wall and if it sticks, it’s done. No, I don’t do this with spaghetti anymore though  do admit I tried it when I learned to cook, just to see if it was true. Yesterday’s version was to throw fabric at the wall and see what stuck. 

IMG_0132I pulled out my blue drunkard’s path units and snowflakes, determined to get this project to the finished top stage.  I got all those units up on the wall and finally, after almost a year of struggling with this idea, admitted that some ideas just don’t work.  It was a wonderful feeling to just let it go.

(Hmm, letting go and snowflakes.  Maybe I should have had the Frozen soundtrack playing in the background.)

Anyway, all those drunkard’s path units were neatly stacked for some future undetermined project, and the contents of the blue fabric bin came out, definitely not neatly stacked.  I cut big squares and little squares and stuck them to the wall, and cut more, and removed some and cut again, and put some back.  This was not a tidy process.

This is not my usual process to pull a quilt together.  I usually have a plan, and I don’t cut into fabric until I know precisely where and how I plan to use it, because I don’t want to waste any.  Maybe months of frustration with the now-discarded plan freed me to just cut with abandon, but whatever the cause, it’s what I needed to do for this one.

It doesn’t look like much right now.  Sewing up the seams will help, and looking at the picture I can see a few patches I need to move around.  However, it is closer to being a finished top than it has ever been.  And wait till you see what I have planned for the borders!  Those should pull everything together.  I hope.  It looks good in EQ, but then my whole drunkard’s path idea also looked fabulous in EQ…  Sometimes the look and feel of a design in a small scale drawing doesn’t translate well to actual quilt size.  I’ll just have to make it and see what happens!

PS:  Mom, I’ll post the fall quilt top soon, I promise.  I just need to add the top and bottom borders.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Yes, they go together!

Yes, the leaves and zigzags from my last post both belong in the same quilt.


Hmm.  Three posts about this in 8 days.  You might think I am excited about this one, and you would be right!  The design has been simmering for a long time, though not in these colours, and not necessarily with leaves in the blocks. When those details popped into my head last month everything fell into place.

I had planned to get the tree skirts quilted and their pattern written before jumping into this project, but I just couldn’t wait that long. I haven’t been this excited about a project in a long time and it feels great!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Extending the fall colour show

The squirrel is taking shape quite nicely.  I’m really enjoying these saturated colours, especially since the trees have almost all dropped theirs by now.  I’m extending the fall colour show a little longer in my sewing corner.



I goofed calculating my measurements for the black or I would have finished he top by now.  It’s really coming together quickly.

I also made a bit of progress machine quilting the large snowflake tree skirt, and I've progressed to quilting the borders on the hand quilted kaleidoscope quilt. Not a bad showing for this week so far. 

Friday, October 30, 2015


You know how a dog can seem perfectly happy then see a squirrel and any other thought flies out of its head, replaced by “Must chase squirrel!!!!”?

Here’s my squirrel today.


It really needed chasing.  I tried really hard to stay focused but then my green thread ran out while I was quilting the tree skirt and I gave in and started cutting into the project I really wanted to be chasing.

Don’t worry, focused hand quilting will continue in the evenings!

Thursday, October 29, 2015


I’ve been going in too many different directions lately and mentioned to my blogging friend Deb that I had too many ideas/projects and couldn’t focus.  She promptly challenged me to pick one project to get done by the end of November, and she would do the same. 

Oh boy.  How to choose?  In the end I settled on finishing my son’s next bed quilt.  If you’ve been following a while you’ll know it’s been in the works for a long time.  The piecing went pretty quickly, but the hand quilting has been accomplished in fits and starts over starting in May 2014.  It’s time to get it done!


As you can see, it just needs one more little push.  The center has about 3 evenings of work left, then it’s all borders, with very simple quilting planned.

Here’s the thing about hand quilting.  I love the look of it.  I love the quiet stitching when I’m doing it.  I just have trouble making that quiet “me” time, away from computers and designs and patterns in progress, a priority.  So, thank you Deb for prodding me in that healthy direction!

As a bonus, my son’s smile is growing wider every time he sees me sit with his quilt and it gets closer to being done.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It couldn’t be avoided


Minions!  I tried to talk myself out of bringing some home, but somehow they are here.  I have the panel too, so I can make the Minion quilt from the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of Quiltmaker.

I need a quick, just for fun project and this fits the bill.  The fabric is already all cut up, ready to toss on the design wall tomorrow and then I can just spend a few hours sewing.  The only stressful thing about this one will be mediating who gets to use it when we all sit down to watch a movie together!