My goal for August for ALYOF was to make the needed decisions and get started on hand-quilting a quilt. I'm happy to report that I decided to baste the quilt using a long-arm machine; I decided to use Quilters Dream Cotton batting; I decided to not use a hoop; I decided to try a rocking motion quilting stitch. And, yes, the hand quilting has begun, although it's very hard to see in the picture.
I can tell you that my quilting will not win any awards. Only a few stitches got lost on the back.
It's a blessing that the stitching doesn't show up more. The back really blends in as well.
I will probably put this aside and pick it up again when the weather cools a bit. Working with a quilt on your lap in summer, with no air conditioning, is, well, warm!
Time for a new goal for the month of August. (Can it really already be August?) For the month of August, I am pulling out an unfinished project I believe I started in the spring of 2004.
I purchased a quilt pattern and some 30's fabrics from a quilt store in Texas. Unfortunately, while I'm sure I still have the pattern, I have no idea where it is or how to give credit where credit is due. But the quilt blocks were made Buggy-Barn-style, where you stack up several fabrics, make strategic cuts, shuffle the fabrics a bit, and then sew them all back together and trim the blocks.
It didn't take too long to sew the blocks together. That was the easy part! But I always thought the quilt deserved hand-quilting. And in order to do that, there are so many decisions......baste? pin? baste with a longarm?......use a hoop? don't use a hoop?......what batting to use?....try to perfect the rocking method of hand-quilting? just use a stabbing motion for each stitch?.....so many things to consider! I do have some yellow quilting thread picked out, and I know I want to quilt just inside each of the small patches.
So my goal for August is to make the decisions, get the basting done, and get at least six of the blocks quilted! I may get more blocks quilted, but six would be a good start. And then there will be the decision on what to quilt in the sashings. (I think that I'm leaning toward a cable of some sort.) I do have more of the small print I used for the cornerstones to use as the backing, and the binding will be the same yellow fabric as the sashings.
What are you working on this month? Be sure to check out all the goals that have been posted over at Sew Bittersweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts. Give a word of encouragement to those who have posted goals, and consider making a goal of your own!
Time did become a crucial factor. My original intention was to echo quilt around the appliques and do some sort of custom quilting in the nine-patch blocks. (Yes, those are nine-patch blocks.) However, my volunteer work for the show took a bit longer than I expected. I put together a great deal of the show booklet, and I produced the cards that hung by each quilt.
As I trimmed and punched holes in the cards, my good friend Pauline quilted the quilt for me. (Wasn't able to re-make the card to give her credit there, but want to give her a shout out here! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pauline. You are a fantastic friend!) A panto that included cars and loops was the perfect quilting pattern to use.
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the fabric I used on the back, but it can be seen here. It was Hot Wheel cars on a white background. I just love this quilt. When I started it, I was going to give it as a donation quilt to SafeHouse, but at this point it might stay in my collection. If so, I will make another quilt as a donation quilt.
Be sure to check out all the other finishes on the Fiber of All Sorts or the Sew Bittersweet Designs blog page. There are some really great finishes. (Be sure to click through to number 41 -- simply fantastic!)
My goal for July for ALYOF is to complete the quilt I worked on last month. In June I completed the stitching around the appliqued cars, and this month I will complete the quilt.
The quilt is from the book, Growing Up With Quilts, by Mimi Dietrich and Sally Schneider. This pattern is one of Mimi Dietrich's. In the corners, there are blocks to represent Stop signs, and then there is a final border of black-and-white 9-Patch blocks. I have ordered some HotWheels fabric for the backing and have my red binding all ready to go.
Earlier this month, I set a goal, with ALYOF, to finish doing the blanket-stitch applique around 16 cars blocks. I got a lot accomplished the first weekend, and I thought I might get the entire quilt top completed before the end of the month.
But then other things happened. My third grandchild, a granddaughter, Jordyn Lee, made her appearance on June 11th, and babies have a way of capturing your complete attention! I've also been busy working on the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild's quilt show which happens next month. And then there is the five miles a day I'm walking....four miles in the morning and another mile in the evening. That really cuts into your sewing time, but I need to keep at it!
But I am happy to say I did complete the goal. I blanket-stitched around all 16 car blocks!
And I want to give you a sneak peak at how these blocks will be used in a quilt.
Check back in the next day or two, because my July goal will be to finish the quilt!!!!!
It's time to reveal the finished quilts I'll be donating to the Hands2Help challenge this year. If you are unfamiliar with Hands2Help, please read all about it on Sarah Craig's blog, Confessions of Fabric Addict. Thanks to Sarah for her efforts in organizing quilters for such worthy causes.
The first quilt is for a girl, although I know a few grown-ups who would love to snuggle
with it as well. It's approximately 53" x 65".
It was made from a Benartex kit with a collection of fabrics from Princess Boutique,
by Kimiko Ikeda. The kit came with pre-cut pieces of 3"x3", 3"x6", 3"x9" and 3"x12",
along with several suggested block designs. I loved the fabric but just
wasn't thrilled with any of the block designs and layouts, so I cut the
fabric a bit and came up with my own blocks.
I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I am now on the lookout for another collection
of fabric in bright colors to make another similar quilt. I was able to find a
multi-colored paisley-type fabric for the backing. (And I've been trying to
pick off that small piece of thread on the aqua fabric, but it just won't come off.)
My second quilt is using spaceship fabric from Joann's in bright, primary colors.
It measures approximately 40" x 52".
I used a block I created that I call "X" Marks the Spot. It's the
perfect block for focus fabric that you want to highlight.
(Watch my blog for another quilt where I've used this block, in a larger size,
to make a baby quilt.)
I used the same spaceship fabric for the backing,
and I quilted it with a stars and loops design.
I've decided that both of these quilts are going to Quilts of Compassion. The quilts
are distributed to a wide variety of folks in need.
They will be put in the mail next week.
Be sure to check out all the Hands2Help quilts at the linky party.
And I think I'll get started on some quilts for next year's effort early!
I can't believe how fast this year is going, or how fast each month goes
when you're setting specific goals to be completed during the month!
My goal for May was to complete the baby quilt for my soon-to-be-born
granddaughter. Yes, it is finished! All that is needed now is
the little one, who should make her appearance in the next few weeks.
The colors for the nursery are pink, gray and white, with navy blue accents,
all with a nautical theme. Here is the finished quilt!
One of the names for the block I used is Grandmother's Choice, per the
The year is going too fast. It's time to post my April finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes. This is a great way to set goals and finish projects! Thanks to Melissa from Sew Bittersweet Designs and Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts for the opportunity.
I meet with a group of ladies on Wednesday evenings to sit and stitch. This year we thought we would work on some projects together. Each of us is taking a turn presenting a project. For my project, I designed a mystery quilt, giving out 'clues' over four weeks.
So for April, my goal is to finish the mystery quilt. Here are the fabrics I'm using for mine, a wonderful assortment of 30's fabrics. I'm excited to see the finished quilt!
At the beginning of March, I set a goal to finish this quilt top. Yes, it is finished!
I wanted to share with you the pattern I used as a basis for this quilt. It is Doubly Charmed, by Deb Tucker at Studio 180 Design. The pattern is designed to be used with charm squares. The quilts that our guild makes for donation quilts are larger than the pattern made, so I had to alter the pattern slightly, and I ended up with four-patches instead of nine-patches in the chains. The pattern makes two quilts from the same square of fabric.
I used seven-inch squares from a collection of 30's fabrics and first made this quilt, the Charmed Corner Beam. The side pieces are then used as the star points in the Charmed V Block.
I purchased three of the rulers to make these two quilts. They are very easy to follow and will make your finished product go together so much easier. And don't you just hate it when you you can't find the instructions for a ruler you've purchased? Not to worry. There are videos on the website to walk you through each ruler. If you're left-handed, instructions are included special for you as well!
After quilting and binding, both of these quilts will be donated to SafeHouse Center, a domestic abuse shelter in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
Thanks to Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs for hosting the Lovely Year of Finishes. There are a lot of finished projects out there so far this year! Check out either blog for all the finishes this month!
One of the things about quilters that I think is amazing is how fast they are to donate their quilts to help others who are in need of a little comfort. Most guilds have a favorite charity who they support.
It is made with scrappy 30's fabrics. I'll have more on the pattern I used, etc., when I post the finished quilt top. As you can see, I have a few rows left to sew together, then sew the rows together and decide how to finish it with borders. I am making it as a donation quilt.
Rather than doing traditional quilting, I chose to attach small beads randomly to the background. It's the first time I tried that technique, and for a small project I like it. I wouldn't want to do it on something larger, though.
Do you like the eye? Here is a close-up of it.
I cut the complete eye out of a piece of fabric with dots on it. This portion of the fabric had a green circle with a red circle in the center and the green outline around the red center. Makes adding an eye easier!
Not sure what I'll do with this little gem. One of the ladies in my Wednesday night sewing group really likes it. I may just give it to her!
I recently finished a two-year term as president of the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. Traditionally, the outgoing president is given a quilt made by the group as a whole.
This is the quilt I was presented. It measures 77" x 90".
I just love it!
And a close-up view......
The back is mostly black, but a few more blocks and some black-and-white fabric appears
in a stripe on the back.
The quilting is done with a multi-colored variegated thread. Such fun!!
I just love all the bright colors! It has made a home on my couch and has come in handy for snuggling under during the cold winter we are having this year, the winter that doesn't seem to want to end! (Yep, more snow tonight and tomorrow.)
If you are a member of a guild, I encourage you to volunteer to fill some of those positions that always need filling. It's a wonderful way to meet other guild members! (And if it's not already written into your bylaws, suggest a two-year maximum term for any volunteer. It's enough time that you still feel fresh but not so long that you start to feel burned out.)
I will always cherish this quilt and the memories it recalls of my time
My January goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes was to put the borders on this quilt, quilt it and bind it. I am happy to report the goal has been completed, with a couple of hours to spare!!
This was my second attempt at quilting a small quilt (31" x 37") on my Janome Jem. Actually it's my second attempt at quilting a small quilt on any domestic machine. I still need some work on getting everything pulled taut and basted. I used a polyester/cashmere batting, since that is what I had available. I definitely like a cotton batting better....less loft. But I must say, this quilt is already soft and cuddly.
I'm glad I made this quilt my goal for the month; otherwise, it would still be unfinished.
for hosting this opportunity for us to finish and show our projects.
For January I'm going to finish a quilt I started a couple of years ago. I had started a small quilt to work on a new technique. The center of the quilt went together quite quickly, but I stalled out on the borders. The quilt is from the book Flip Flop Block Quilts by Kathie Alyce. The pattern name is Ziggity-Zaggity, and it uses her Flip Flop Block ruler.
The pattern is basically a rail fence, cut with curved block edges. The finished quilt will be
about 33" x 40". I had to cut strips of the cat fabric in two directions in order to have
all the cats sitting horizontally.
For the border pieces, I want to have the cats line up across the quilt on the two vertical borders. And I think I've cut it at a spot where, when I add the top and bottom borders, it'll appear as one complete piece used for the border.
I did add a flange to separate the border from the quilt center.
I will probably add a small piping with the binding, just to practice that technique.
So my goal for January is to get the borders on the quilt, quilt it and bind it.