Just made it – the July finish, Mellow Yellow

This monthly finish was started as a Project Quilting challenge back in February of 2018. In case you didn’t know, Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams has had a Project Quilting Challenge that begins in January for several years now. On Sunday the prompt is announced and you have one week to produce a quilt. It doesn’t have to be traditional and you can find all of the details on the Project Quilting Page at https://kimlapacek.com/project-quilting. Participating is a lot of fun, but so is checking out how others interpreted the theme. But I do digress.

The prompt Project Quilting 9.4 (season 9, fourth challenge) for February 18 of 2018 was Mellow Yellow. My interest was tweaked and I got to work. I pulled out neckties and background and got started. I got to a certain point and realized that I just wasn’t going to make the deadline. So my Mellow Yellow has really had time to Mellow.

One of my local quilt shops, Quilters Corner in Midlothian VA has started a Finish-A-Long and each month a number is chosen and that number will correspond with a project from your list of six. Well July was my opportunity to finish this project.

All I had left was the quilting, the binding and the buttons. Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I prefer piecing. Quilting is not my strong suit, I don’t enjoy that part of the process, but my skills will not improve if I don’t do more of it. And I love the work of those that quilt professionally. But I gave it a go.

Mellow Yellow started February 2018, Finished July 2019. Neckties, drapery material, and buttons.

The yellows are all necktie pieces sewn to a cotton foundation. The background is a blue chintz drapery fabric that contrasted well with the yellows. Notice that the binding is also neckties!

Piecing is my strength, my passion. Quilting, not so much. I’m not very good at it because I don’t practice. Most of my quilting is done “by check”. For these smaller pieced though, I really need to do them myself. And obviously the practice will do me good.

What I was going for here was the illusion of a radiating line from the yellow. I found some great threads while at a quilt show and couldn’t wait to try them out.

Superior Threads Sew Sassy 12 wt.

I changed my needle did a couple of practice passes, loosened my tension, and had a go at it.

Apparently my machine does not like this thread.

It was tough going with threads breaking, the machine jamming, my top thread going down into the bobbin. Things improved incrementally as the project moved on but still, I know I have a lot to figure out before I use this product for any work that I am going to put into a quilt show.

One thing I may do is go and get a second bobbin case for my machine and play more with the adjustments.

For this particular wall hanging – done is better than perfect. And generally, I’m pleased with the side that will be showing.

Til next time!

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The Finish-A-Long Q3

Often I am not sure about how I find some of the crafty quilty motivational blogs that help me get things done or inspire me to start something new. Sometimes it can be a blog I follow, that leads to another blog that leads to a challenge. This year I found the Trinkets Sew-A-Long sponsored by Alison Glass, and now 100Blocks100Days organized by Gnome Angel. These are fabulous for new projects but what about those that have been languishing incomplete in my sewing room for years (some for decades)?

Locally, Quilters Corner is sponsoring “Ready, Set, Goal 2019”. In July I listed 6 projects that I would like to complete. Each project should have less than a months worth of work to make it finished. This was easy – or at least I think it will be. We shall see and I will share my progress as the months pass. This months project is something I started with Project Quilting organized by Kim Lapacek of PersimonDreams it was the Mellow Yellow challenge and I bit off more than I could finish in the time allotted.

Mellow Yellow 30 Day finish for Quilters Corner. Needs a center and some quilting and binding.

So about those projects that have more than a months worth of work that are crying out for attention welcome 2019 Finish-A-Long! Each quarter you list the projects you want to complete, link up, and work it off. No bad vibes if a project doesn’t get finished, carry it over to the next quarter. For more information about this visit https://sewofcourse.blogspot.com/ or put 2019 Finish-A-Long in your browser and move those projects forward! And do it quickly as Quarter 3 linkup is going on through July 18!

Sew, what’s on my Finish-A-Long list for Quarter 3?

I have had this beautiful pattern and quilt started since around 1998, it’s called Prickle Fish by Karen Stone.

Prickle Fish Pattern by Karen Stone. Project started around 1998ish.

Half of the blocks are done. Leaving 72 more foundations to construct and sew together. There is enough dark and medium fabrics that had been previously pulled and stored with the project, but the lights are a little thin and I may have to scrounge around for more. I’m not certain that I am going to set the blocks like the original pattern. I love the center but not so much the outer corners. I’ll play with it and decide after all of the foundations are done.

Foundations are not on newsprint but on standard copy paper. It appears that I’m light with the lights.

I’m kind of excited about this. I really like the palette I chose for this project! I’ll report back on my progress.

Posted in Challenges, Impressionist, Paper foundations, Quilting, recycling, Ties, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Well that took a while

Well over 20 years ago in a little quilt guild in Fauquier County we had a block exchange.  We broke out into groups of four and each month we would exchange our blocks.  If I remember correctly my group did two sets of four – one bright and one not so bright.

About 12 years ago I put together the first of the two quilts as a challenge to complete a UFO.  I have no recollection of having any problems tearing out the papers or putting the blocks together.  OK maybe the mitered interior borders made me think a little longer but I remember being pleased with the finish.

Foundation Paper Piecing block exchange, Fauquier County Quilters. Approximate start date 1996 approximate finish date 2006. Compiled by Diane Phillips, Quilted by Joyce Gould of ReJoyce Quilting.

After moving several times in the last 15 years I dug into a sweet little box and found these:

Second set of blocks created by Fauquier County Quilters, Paula Rabkin, Annie Morgan, Cathy Konoza, and myself. There may have been a fifth member.

These blocks were so sweet and really deserved to be in a completed quilt. I knew that I wanted this quilt to be different than the original so I pulled out some fun and funky dots. Then I started really looking at the blocks.

Someone used glue to adhere the first fabric to the block. After a couple of decades, the glue still held. There was no getting that off. Some of the seams were skimpy while others were not trimmed. I used them anyway. I recognize one or two of the fabrics as mine but I don’t remember ever using glue on my fabrics.

With a little coaxing and cajoling I found a layout that worked. This second piece is not nearly as large as the first, but I’m liking it.

Foundation Paper Pieced Block Exchange with the Fauquier County Quilters. Piece 2. Blocks from approximately 1996, compiled and finished 2019. Quilted by Terry Burris Quilting

Terry used a higher loft batting to “fill out” the blocks and the quilting is extraordinary. Some of these blocks are similar to the ones in the “original” quilt. The quilting really makes this quilt even more special!

I was so thrilled with this I pulled out a couple more UFO’s to finish. Isn’t it amazing how a little success can inspire!

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Exchanges, friendship quilt, Paper foundations, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

#trinketsal

From the beginning of March until the last week I’ve been obsessed.  I participated in my first SAL (Sew A Long).  Alison Glass, creator of the Trinkets pattern, organized a project where each day the assigned block (one of the 40) was posted on Instagram with the hashtag  #trinketsal.

Although the Alison Glass fabrics are absolutely fabulous, I felt I had to use what I have, and those that know me, know I’ve got plenty.  I culled through my stash and decided on my fabrics and had a go at it.  The first week was easy, as the blocks were pretty simple.  I was able to get all of my blocks done and photographed in a couple of days so I just had to post daily.  If  you posted all week you were put in the running for some wonderful prizes by quilt industry sponsors.  I was even able to get a little ahead once in a while so I could work on other projects, and go on vacation.

What I observed.  Several people took wonderful photos of their blocks using creative props.  I figure I need to up my game, as I was merely photographing the completed blocks on my cutting board.  I didn’t get as involved as some who actually gave much thought to what the blocks meant to them or how they were inspired by the blocks.  To see what I mean check out the AG sewalong community on FB, the pictures and stories are very creative.

As the blocks grew into more blocks I got excited.  It was fun to see them all stacked in a pile, or spread out like a deck of cards.  And I was beginning to feel like I was actually accomplishing something.    I learned a little about hashtags.  Which really doesn’t mean much as I knew nothing about this hashtag thing to begin with.

Then the time came where the blocks were complete and the top had to be put together.  The checkerboard (as seen on the cover of the pattern) was nice, but I did not want my quilt to look like hundreds of others made with the same pattern.  So the auditions began.

I was getting nowhere fast.  Too many ideas in my head and I just wasn’t sold on any of them.  Finally I settled on this:IMG_3830

I am satisfied that there is enough negative space for my favorite quilter and sister, Terry Burris to make this special.  If I look closely I can see that technically it may not be perfect, so I won’t look too close.

All in all it was a fun project that allowed me to share the creative process with many other quilters.  I have been inspired and amused and saw a few things differently.

Check out the many other works on Instagram using #trinketsal, you might be inspired too!

Posted in Accomplishments, Paper foundations, Sewalong, trinketsal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

#5 of Nine Patch Nine Ways

IMG_2239The humble Nine Patch, is so simple to construct, yet this workhorse can look very complicated.

Several years ago the Fauquier County Quilters had a Nine Patch Nine Ways retreat that was coordinated by Annie Morgan of the Quilting in Vermont page on Facebook and myself. It was a novel approach where we were going for a more themed retreat than we had experienced in the past. Many of us were “over” the mystery quilts yet wanted a little inspiration or structure to the retreat.

Decades have come and gone since that retreat, and so have many of the quilts that were made for samples. Although this one was not a sample, in recreating a Nine Patch Nine Ways trunk show it truly fits the bill.

The Blooming Nine Patch is truly easy to make. The fabrics were all pulled from my stash at the time, with the exception of the border. Believe me I had no idea of what my finished product would look like when I was pulling these beauties. It all goes together easily, and the  3 1/2″ nine patches are built using the fabrics from the surrounding squares.

The pattern I used was from Traditions With A Twist by Blanche Young and her daughter Darlene Young Stone, originally published in 1996.  The instructions are easy to follow. This quilt teased at my compulsive nature, as I wanted to see how it would change with every additional fabric.

Several moves and life changes put this quilt on the back burner. But after final construction and the magic of Terry Burris Quilting it has new life in a completed quilt. This one I would definitely do again, look how well it fits on the bed!

I do see another of these in my future…maybe batiks, maybe Kaffe.  You can see why I am so smitten with it! 

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First Finish of 2019 and Last Finish of 2018

Some fabrics are difficult to cut up, they are just so pretty. I remind myself over and over again, that is why you buy pretty fabric, to cut up and sew back together. We are lucky to have a shop that carries most if not all of what Kaffe Fassett has to offer. Such beautiful saturated color and interesting designs are wonderful to look at and can be a challenge to attack with the rotary cutter. But I did it. I offer you my last finish of 2018.

Created with Kaffe
The Long Road to Jericho

And then the final days of last month I finished this UFO from 1999/2000. It languished for nearly 20 years. This sweet beauty was a flimsy that I made as a sample for Fauquier County Quilters Nine Patch Nine Ways Retreat. It was fun…really.

What a feeling of accomplishment to finish projects…

 

Posted in Kaffe Fassett Fabric, Quilting, simple, Terry Burris Quilting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brownies Earn Their Badge

Last month I was invited to help a brownie troop earn their quilting badge. After doing some digging, I found the lesson plan used by another group that seemed manageable with some editing. After cutting and kitting, planning and revising, I was off to see some brownies.

The experience was positive both for the girls and for me.

Takeaways from the experience:

1. The girls were very enthusiastic about hearing about and seeing the quilts. Even more than I thought they would be. They especially liked the ones that had bright colors. They absorbed all of the information I shared with them and was able to repeat the information back to me. And did I say they were enthusiastic…what a gift that was for me!

2. One hour and 15 minutes really isn’t enough time to fully complete the project (we made a potholder). It was after school (so it was the end of the day) and the girls did fabulously but most of them had never held a needle, let alone taken a stitch. That being said, they did not give up and were very patient with me and themselves. If and when I have the opportunity to do this again I would suggest doing this on a day the girls don’t have school, and to set aside between 2 and 2 1/2 hours to totally complete the project. I would also have one adult for every 3 to 4 girls. In spite of the fact that the little ladies did not complete all of their project on site, they were pleased with what they did accomplish, and this pleased me.

Cheerful Brownies at the end of their introduction to quilting and quilting badge project.

3. Kitting the project was the way to go! Threading additional needles prior to the event was a blessing. Using fabrics that engaged the girls was a good call. Not all the kits had identical fabrics, but there was no fussing, everyone seemed pleased with what they were working with.

I would definitely do this again, and the girls were so positive! One thing we need to keep in mind as those of us that have been quilting for decades may or may not have noticed, if we want the craft to continue we need to pass on our knowledge and enthusiasm for the artform. As I attend shows and classes I’m noticing more and more women of a “certain age”. It’s time to get youth involved. And it’s been time for awhile. We need to get out there and engage the youth.

My dear friend Mollie Willey, was confident in her group of girls and their leader, and she was spot on. I was thrilled and delighted with the chance to meet them and hope to do so again when they are Juniors. And such thoughtful girls. They were kind enough to thank me with these…

Beautiful flowers from adorable Brownies.

I am the one that was blessed by this encounter.

Posted in Coaching, Quilting, simple, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments