Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Stash Report and Goals Update

Stash Report:

IN this month and YTD: 4-3/8 yards (3/4 yd QF sale share end-of-bolt w/ Karen;  3 yds Jackman's FQ dollar sale;  5/8 yd STLMQG free table)
OUT this month and YTD: 17 yards (1/4 yd binding for UFO table runner;  Dancing Plus flimsy: 5 yds background & 2-3/4 yds colors;  Black & Tan Flimsy: 3-7/8 yds;  Antler Dance backing 4-1/2 yds and binding 5/8 yard)
Month & YTD Net Change: 12-5/8 yards OUT

A very good start to the year!

Goals Update:

January Recap:
1. Assemble Dancing Plus top. DONE
2. Quilt and bind Antler Dance. DONE
3. Locate and make list of UFOs and WIPs; prioritize them for completion. DONE
4. Complete one WIP. DONE (a very small finish)
5. Keep up with bee blocks. DONE

Other: While waiting to be able to quilt Antler Dance, I pieced a black & tan top from stash for donation.

Dancing Plus Flimsy

 UFO Table Runner, Now Completed

Black & Tan Flimsy

Antler Dance

February Goals:
1. Finish one UFO to a flimsy
2. Prep for teaching Cut & Shuffle class on 2/20
3. Organize project(s) for sew-in 2/27
4. Layer & pin-baste one top
5. Prep for C&S trunk show March 2
6. Keep up with Bee Blocks

The February goals are lighter than usual because I have a lot of non-quilting activities and family events going on which will take a lot of my time. February is also my guild's annual fabric swap, so I'll go through my stash to see what I want to swap out, and hopefully I'll bring home less than I give.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Friday, January 29, 2016

Antler Dance, Just Finished

With the bug that's going around, I didn't think I'd get Antler Dance finished this week - no energy. But it's my main January goal and today I'm feeling better, so I was able to get the binding sewn down and snap a couple of photos.
Antler Dance, 76"
I found a few stray threads that still need to be buried, and it needs to be washed and blocked, and it needs a label, but I'm counting it as a finish for January. Maybe I'll get some better glamour shots later.
Antler Dance Spiral Quilting Detail
I'm pleased overall with how the spiral quilting came out. It's nice and even and wasn't too difficult on my big new machine. You can see the center of the spiral here. Actually, the print camouflages the wobbles at the very center pretty well!

However, I still have some issues with the even feed on my new machine vs. the actual walking foot on my old machine. There are five or six tiny puckers that I know of on the top. I never got puckers with the walking foot. I'm signed up for the Bernina class from the dealer in March, so I'll learn more about fine-tuning the adjustments to avoid puckers in the future. There's no way I could have wrestled this quilt through the throat in my old machine. This quilt weighs a ton!

Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Binding Antler Dance

Not making much progress  - the upper respiratory crud that's going around has landed here and I'm not feeling very energetic. But I did get the spiral quilting finished on Antler Dance. The binding is attached but not sewn down yet.
Since I finish all my bindings by machine, I attached it to the back and will stitch it down on the front. Hooray for glue basting! I'm hoping to get the binding finished for a Friday Finish this week.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Stash Report 1/24/16

With the finished flimsy (see post below) I can count out the fabric I used for it, 3-7/8 yards. And no yardage in this week! I know I have more out than in so far this month; I'll total it up at the end of the month. Hopefully I can keep this up this year!

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Finished Flimsy

A couple weeks ago, when I decided to delay quilting Antler Dance until the sewing table could be retrofitted and before the sewing room was a construction zone, I started working on a piecing project using fabrics I already had on hand.

I was able to finish this flimsy, and get photos last week before it snowed here. The colors are true above; the bright sun kind of washed out the color in the outdoor shot below.

This will finish at 58" x 58" and will be a donation quilt when I need one. I like the nice masculine colors.

So does it count as "all from stash" if some of the fabric was purchased recently? The number print came from a sale in December when a LQS was closing. The tiny black background print came from another LQS's recent FQ sale. Do these count as stash? They weren't purchased with a specific project in mind, but I knew when I bought the FQs that they would coordinate with the number print.

The stripe has been in my stash for years; the black was folded up with it for some reason; and the tan print is left over backing from one of my Cut and Shuffle book quilts. These fabrics definitely count as stash.

Regardless, it's a finish and I'll be able to count out all the yardage on my stash report this month. Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Sewing Room is Back in Business

The sewing room is no longer a construction zone. All the stuff that was moved out has been moved back in, with a little purging along the way and a lot of serious cleaning up. The new sewing machine fits perfectly in the retrofitted table, and with the table fully open, I can finally quilt Antler Dance.

The bulk of this quilt fits easily within the huge throat space of the new machine. I'm using the even-feed feature with a guide and quilting a spiral with 1-1/4" spacing. It's going much better than I anticipated. I was actually quite anxious about quilting this, but so far so good.

In the photo above, the sewing table is fully opened to its max size of 80" wide x 40" deep, which gives me plenty of room to the left of the needle to bear the weight of the quilt. The table is so big, I can only open it up this wide with the door closed.

The sewing room is mostly back in order, but the cutting table has to be pushed way back when the sewing table is fully open. Here the cutting table is fully open too (so I could mark the center of the spiral); usually the leaf on the right is closed. That leaf is close to the wall so getting around when the table is fully open is a challenge. I'm really glad the furniture in here is easily moveable.

I'm very happy to have my sewing table fixed and my studio clean and usable again. DH did a fabulous job retrofitting the table, and now I'm enjoying my new sewing machine even more. Here's how it looked when he finished working on it (before I cleaned up the room and took down the plastic). A perfect fit, and no chips in the laminate.

Today I plan to make some more progress on the spiral quilting. Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Construction Zone

Not much sewing going on in my sewing room...  Here's why:
Everything that can be moved out of the sewing room has been moved out and the room is lined with plastic sheeting floor to ceiling. Here's all the stuff temporarily parked in the den.
Why? So DH can make this fit my new sewing machine:
This is my sewing table, which was originally built for my Bernina 1090. See the plastic piece over the opening? That's the new insert for my new Bernini 770QE. The opening needs to be cut larger. Also a larger shelf for the machine to sit on needs to be installed; the old smaller one has already been removed here.
DH is doing the work. He already built a new shelf which is ready to be installed after the hole is cut. The sewing table is much too big and heavy for us to move, so he'll have to do the cutting in the sewing room. The job will generate a lot of sawdust, so I lined the entire room with plastic sheeting. I don't want sawdust in my fabric or clinging to my design wall.
The sewing table is made of laminate (particle board), which is notorious for chipping when cut. He's a perfectionist and he's been sweating bullets over this.  He'll use a router to make the cut.
He started working Saturday morning and finished up yesterday afternoon. This is the result, a perfect fit, and no chips in the laminate:
Now I have a ginormous job ahead of me, cleaning up the mess and moving my stuff back into the sewing room. I plan to do a bit of sorting, reorganizing, and purging while I'm at it. But the main thing is to get the sawdust mess cleaned up and make the room usable again.
This project was a huge undertaking for DH. He says the sewing machine was my Christmas present. I think his work here to retrofit my sewing table is just as much of a gift. I'm so fortunate to have a handy hubby who's willing to do all this work for me!
Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; since my design wall's out of commission for the time being you'll have to check out everyone else's for quilty inspiration.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Stash Report 1/17/16 - Every Little Bit Counts, Right?

So since I bound the UFO table runner, I get to count out the fabric used for the binding.
1/4 yard out this week.
Even better, nothing in!
Totals at the end of the month.

I'm not counting the fabric used for the top or the backing of the UFO table runner. Even though it's never been counted, it hasn't actually been available for use in my stash for over ten years.

Check out the other stash reports over at Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Little UFO Finish

One of my goals this year is to finish or get rid of my UFOs. I made a list of them, and decided to start with the easiest:

This project was started in a 2005 workshop with Judith Larzelere. At that time it was unusual to work in all solids, so I took inspiration from Amish quilts and chose an Amish palette. The workshop featured Judith's strip piecing technique using Fibonacci proportions and sew-and-flip construction on a prepared backing. I ended up with this piece which measures about 11" x 38".  I also ended up with a half yard of prepared (layered and basted) backing and a lot of fabric pieced into the first step but not cut into the narrow strips yet.

I decided to just bind the finished portion as a table runner. Voila, a finish!

This table runner and the leftover parts need a new home so I'll put it into the orphan adoption event my guild is having later this year. I want it gone!

Binding is just a little finish, but at least it's a start toward dealing with my UFOs. One down, many more to go...

Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thank you, Yvonne!

When Cut and Shuffle Quilts first came out, I asked Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl if she would review it on her blog. I was thrilled when she said yes! I got to know Yvonne through the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers, and we've kept in touch ever since.

Yvonne not only reviewed my book, she made an actual finished quilt from it! You can read her post about Cut and Shuffle Quilts here.

Yvonne is super talented and she's known for her work with transparency. (In fact, one of her transparency quilts is in the running for the cover of QuiltCon Magazine.) She chose the Alternate Four Corners block using the Block Mama method from my book, and made this:
So pretty, and so Yvonne, using her favorite blues. I love it! Her quilting is awesome, too:
Yvonne speaks highly of her experience using the instructions and patterns in Cut and Shuffle Quilts. I'm glad to hear that the writing, block method, and patterns are user friendly.
Thank you, Yvonne, for such a wonderful post to help promote my book. Your Alternate Four Corners quilt is lovely, especially with all that dense quilting giving it such inviting texture. 
Cut and Shuffle Quilts is available from me (leave a comment) or from AQS or Amazon.
Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Delay, Therefore a Change of Plans

When we got my new sewing machine, DH & I knew that the sewing table would have to be modified to accommodate it. The opening in the table is smaller than the new machine. DH will have to cut a new opening and build a larger shelf for the machine to sit down into. This means we need a new Dream World insert, the acrylic piece that fits around the machine flush with the tabletop.

Here's the temporary set up with the machine sitting on top of the tabletop. It's sitting on the solid part of the table toward the left, not the part where the old opening is, due to its weight. I wouldn't want something to give way and the new machine to crash into the hole! The insert that came with the table is filling the opening now, but it rests on only four tiny supports.
Temporary sewing set-up until the table can be retrofitted
to accommodate the larger machine
See that blue tape under the machine? That's how much longer the new hole will need to be cut.

The insert was ordered and arrived in December. However, we ordered it with a lip so it would fit over the new opening, and it came without a lip. I talked to the company and they're supposed to be sending a correct one with a lip. We don't have an ETA for the new insert yet.

Meanwhile the retrofitting process is on hold because DH doesn't want to cut the new opening until we have the insert, because the exact size of the insert will determine the exact size to cut the opening. He has the new shelf made, and will install it after the opening is cut.

When I made my January goals, I had planned to quilt Antler Dance as my next project. However, it's big and heavy. I've decided to wait until the sewing table is fixed and the machine can sit down flush into it and the table can support the weight of the quilt as I quilt it.

So I guess I need a piecing project instead of a quilting project. Yesterday I started this:
Block on sashing fabric, all from stash

This is one sample block using a couple of the fabrics I showed in my stash report plus a couple more from stash. The block is just sitting on top of yardage of the stripe; I'll use the stripe for sashing. The pattern will be similar to the practice quilt I made recently, but will be a little larger, 16 blocks, and is destined for donation.

Since I can't work on quilting for awhile, I guess I'll work on getting this pieced this week and then figure out a backing for it. Hopefully the insert for the table will arrive soon, DH can finish retrofitting the table, and I'll be able to quilt.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Stash Report 1/10/16: Some In, Some Out, Some 2015 Accounting

I succumbed to the FQ dollar sale at a local shop this week, 12 FQs for 3 yards in. But I also finished the Dancing Plus flimsy, estimated (based on EQ7 & my cutting notes) at 5 yards background and 2-3/4 yards colors for 7-3/4 yards out. You can see the Dancing Plus flimsy in the post below.

IN: 3 yards
OUT: 7-3/4 yards
I'll tally up the totals for the month/YTD at the end of the month.

So what did I score at the FQ sale? Some great stash enhancers:
I picked up two of this black & tan print - I knew it would work well with other prints in my stash, particularly this number print I got in December for a donation quilt.

More greens - you know I have a thing for greens. I used greens in Broken Chevron and in a potential publication project I haven't shown on the blog. You'd think I'd be over greens by now, but I still love them. At some point I still want to make a Four Corners Cut and Shuffle Quilt using greens.

Periwinkle, navy, magenta: so pretty, and I have very little of these colors in my stash. It's nice to branch out for some variety.

Some basic stash builders. I have very little in patriotic colors so these will be handy for QOV blocks whenever someone is having a QOV block drive. Plus, they're versatile enough stash basics that they're not limited to just patriotic projects.

I think I did all right for my $12.94 spent!

Speaking of spending, here's the 2015 fabric recap:
  • $1031.87 spent on fabric (includes tax and shipping; does not include batting or notions)
  • 160-1/4 yards acquired in 2015 from all sources (includes purchases, free table, etc.)
  • Average cost per yard $6.44
  • Pretty good considering regular price for quilting cottons is approaching $12 per yard on average now.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times and with Molli Sparkles.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Dancing Plus Flimsy


I was lucky to get photos outside on the only sunny-ish day we've had in weeks, but it was windy so my flimsy flapped around a bit.
It finished at 60 x 75, a nice size for a sofa quilt. I don't have an immediate need for or recipient in mind for this one, but I do want to get it finished and off the WIP list. I'm thinking of an allover loose meander for the quilting.

Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WIPs and UFOs

One of my goals for this year is to finish WIPs  and UFOs. A specific goal on my January list is to locate all the UFOs and log them. I did, and the result is two lists, one of UFOs and one of WIPs. What's the difference?  WIPs are less than a year from their start date or are still actively in work and on my mind, or in one case, a WIVSP (work in very slow progress).

The WIP list isn't so bad. No surprises. Most of them have been blogged about in recent months. The oldest one on the list is a hand-piecing bee project; my turn comes around every 18 months and we've been working on it for several go-rounds. Here it is on my wall as I was prepping to hand out last time.
WIVSP - Hand Pieced by CSQ Piecing Group

The UFO list, on the other hand, turned out to be longer than I expected. 12 items, and I couldn't find another that I know I never finished. (I think I may have gotten rid of it because it was faded.)

I've already dispatched the first two on the UFO list. The first went into the trash can - it sat in a basket for 20 years and collected so much dust you couldn't see the colors of the fabrics any more. What a relief to have that gone! The second wasn't far enough along to be worth pursuing. I saved the cute ABC fabric and put it into my stash; I can use it for donation quilts. The few flying geese units that are finished are in a baggie to go to the free table at guild.

Most of the rest of the UFOs are worth finishing. There is one that I don't like and I will offer the blocks for sale, trade, or whatever, in a separate post another time. My goal for the year is to finish as many as possible. We'll see how many I manage to get done by the end of the year.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, January 4, 2016

DWM: 120 Little Blocks Dancing on my Wall

I spent a lot of time arranging blocks lately. Move them around, take a photo. Run downstairs, download the photo to the laptop, look at it in color and also in black & white. Note what needs to be changed. Run back upstairs and move blocks around some more. Repeat, repeat...

I finally decided the layout was about as balanced as it can get. No two of the same backgrounds touching each other. No two of the same plus fabric near each other. No heavy concentrations of warm, cool, light, dark areas.

So here are my Dancing Plus blocks on the wall. They're sewn into columns, so this is the final layout.

I decided on a half-drop layout, so I need to make filler blocks for the tops and bottoms of the columns where they don't line up. I'll use a variety of background fabrics so they blend in with the rest of the top. This top will finish at 60" x 75" which is a nice size for a sofa throw.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times; check out what everyone else has on their design walls over there.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

First Stash Report of 2016: It's all Her Fault

I was going to be good, really. I was going to get through at least the first stash report of the month with out any incoming fabric. Then my friend Karen and I found this on the sale table at the First Saturday BOM Meeting at our LQS yesterday:
There wasn't much on the bolt and it was 50% off if you cleared the bolt. You know I'm a sucker for colors with black. I picked up the bolt and put it back. No, I'm going to be good. No new fabric for me.

Karen had been eyeing it earlier. Then we thought to split the yardage on the bolt. We each came away with 3/4 yard. See? It's her fault. She's the enabler.

Of course, she's saying exactly the same about me. I guess should own up to my own weakness for fabric after all.

So, first stash report of the year:
  IN: 3/4 yard
  OUT: none.

But I did find some friends in my stash for the new fabric. They're taunting me to start something new.
Wait - I really need to exercise a little more self discipline. Maybe I'll hold off on starting something new until I get a few of the items on my list done. Do you think I can?

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out everyone else's much better stash management efforts for the new year over there.

Also linking up with Molli Sparkles. I'm not the only one who's a sucker for pretty fabric!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Starting the New Year with a Finish

What a great way to start 2016, with my last finish from 2015. I was able to get the practice quilt bound earlier this week, and when it finally stopped raining around here I was able to get an outdoor photo.

This will be a donation quilt for the next time I need one or one of my groups has a Project Linus drive. It finished at a nice size for a tween, 44" x 58". All the fabrics including the back were from stash (I counted the yardage out last week). Kate from Life in Pieces blog named it for me: Dotty with a Change of Stripes.

Linking up with Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wishing you all the best in 2016!