Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Work in Progress

Works in Progress. I often have several of these going at one time, some active and some temporarily on the back burner. Some sit on that back burner too long and become UFO's.

Well today I have pulled one off that back burner before it sat too long.

These blocks are from the book Baltimore Country Cousins by Susan McKelvey. I made my first block in October last year, kept up a steady pace, but then got sidetracked on the 4th block.
This is my first attempt at making an entire quilt with needle turn applique.  I really like how it's turning out so I'll be working on it again now, it will be my hand work to do during TV time.

I'm still working on my Farmers Wife borders, so close to being done, just the final strips to sew on today. Here's a sneak peak!


Watch for the final photo tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

I've been stalling!

I have my farmers wife quilt top all sewn together........yes..........happy day.........



 I love it!  It just needs a border and it's done.

However I've been stalling.

It all started when I was auditioning fabrics for a border, you know, a quick border, a plain border sewn around the edge so I could be done.
Well none of the fabric I tried seemed to be the one, this quilt was trying to tell me it wants more, no plain borders here.

So I started trying out other options.
first try was 3" nine patches borrowed from another project.  I liked how they looked, but I would have to make at least 60 more, that seemed like a lot of work!
second try was 2 1/2" squares. I lined them up straight, it was OK, but then I lined them up on point and they looked much more lively. I have a ton of these squares already cut in my scrap bin so this seemed like a little less work.

I quickly got to work. Went back to the quilt store and bought some more of my background fabric. I estimated I needed 130 scrappy squares so I cut 260 background squares and sewed one on either side of my scrappy ones.

Then sewed some together ready for my borders.

But now the stalling.............. WHY?

Well, this quilt has maxed out my design wall, to lay it out with borders I have to move my kitchen table, sweep and probably mop my floor ( I have six kids at home, yes definitely mop).
Also, I'm making up this border as I go. I have to figure out exactly how many squares to sew for each side, and how big to make the inner border to make it all fit perfectly.
And what if my scrappy squares don't look good?
Housework, math and decisions, yikes, no wonder I've stalled for a few days.

But NO MORE PROCRASTINATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I want to finish this top by the end of the month and that is almost here, so today I'm getting busy and getting borders made!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Catching Up.

I've been so focused lately on my first Scrap Squad quilt and my Farmer's wife quilt. It was time this week to take a little break and catch up on a few other things.

Like the Craftsy block of the month.
I'm using a fat quarter pack for these blocks, Ella's wishes from Connecting Threads.
Here's February's blocks


And the Just Takes 2 blocks.
I had looked at these blocks but not committed to making this quilt. It's not like I don't have plenty of other projects to keep me busy.
But..............I've always loved red and white quilts and wanted to make one someday. But I just couldn't see myself sticking with a project that made the same block over and over with just 2 fabrics.
This quilt was more appealing because it is a sampler quilt, all kinds of blocks. I still can't see limiting myself to only two fabrics though.
So.............I decided I'm in on this quilt! However mine will be scrappy red and white. Only 2 colors but many, many fabrics!
I got busy and in just a couple of days I have units 1 and 2 completed and I'm loving them!

Also I've been busy plotting and planning my next Scrap Squad quilt. I pulled a bunch of fabrics that are possibilities and it's looking like this will be one bright quilt!

Unfortunately this cheerful quilt has to wait just a little longer.
My Farmer's wife quilt needs border's first! Hopefully to be completed before the end of this month.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My first Scrap Squad quilt.

Today's the day, My first Scrap Squad quilt is revealed on Quiltmakers blog!

My quilt went from some of this
                      and some of these

             

               to a few blocks made

                        and then a quilt top

I liked my top but thought it needed a border.  I had this pile of scraps left from making the quilt that I wanted to use in my border.
 It looks so simple once completed but making this border took me a while to figure out! One thing that made this border possible was that I had LOTS of this black fabric. It was on sale for a great price and I bought all that was on the bolt. That gave me freedom to make the border without worrying about being short of fabric.

And TA-DA.........the finished quilt, Chain Reaction.



You can read more about it on Quiltmaker's blog http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/2012/02/qm-scrap-squad-jackies-chain-reaction/
You can find the pattern in the Mar/Apr 2012 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Best birthday present ever!

I recently had a birthday and my mother in law told me she was giving me a gift of time. She would watch my 2 little ones for 2 days while the bigger kids were at school. Today was the first Grandma day! As soon as the last child was on the school bus we headed to Grandma's. That gave me about 6 1/2 hrs of uninterrupted time. What to do with all that time? It wasn't hard to figure out, about 30 mins of quick run around the house, start the dishwasher, move laundry from washer to dryer, stoke the fire and then head to my sewing room......................6 hours to sew!
It's time to get that Farmer's wife quilt DONE!

I started the day with 10 blocks left to go. I didn't have time to sew yesterday but I did get a couple of blocks cut out. That helped things get moving along and by lunch I had 6 blocks made.
Quick lunch while looking through my Farmer's Wife book to choose which 4 blocks I want to make for my last blocks. My CD broke early into this project and since the book doesn't include measurements I have to draw some of these blocks out to figure out template sizes. Since my layout only needs 99 blocks I was not sad to be able to skip out on making 12 of these blocks.
So more drafting, cutting and sewing, it was getting down to the wire, but literally 5 mins before I had to pick up kids I got my last block completed! Today I sashed each block as I made it so I snapped a quick photo, put them on the wall and headed out the door.
And here's all 99 blocks. It's hard to stand far enough back to take the photo! I'm leaving them up for a day or two to check the arrangement and then I'll sew them together.
All in all a very successful sewing day and definitely the best birthday present ever. And I still have another day to use .........I'm already planning my next project!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sewing in every spare moment I find!

Now that I'm back working on my Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt I can't stop!
Here's 4 blocks I made on Saturday
I cut all the remaining sashing pieces. Now every time I get a few minutes to sew I go and sew sashing on a few blocks. My design wall is quickly filling with rows of sashed blocks. I have 9 rows up now, only 2 more rows to go!
I have a few bright blocks that seem to stand out a little too much.  I have 8 more blocks to sash and when they are on the wall I'm going to try and disperse those bright blocks a little more evenly throughout the quilt.
I have 10 more blocks to make. Before I make them I plan on taking a good look at the quilt and seeing if any particular colors are needed to balance the quilt.

I thought finishing this quilt was going to be a daunting task and yet in about 10 days I have made huge strides. Maybe another week and I'll have a completed quilt top. Wouldn't that be great!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm making progress!

 When you set aside a project is seems hard to be motivated to get back to it, there are so many other fun projects to work on.
 Now that I'm back to working on my Farmer's Wife quilt the momentum is building and I find I'm wanting to work on this project more and more!
Here's 3 blocks I just made
I must have been wishing for some sunshine yesterday because they all have yellow in them!

I bought some fabric for the background but when I brought it home it was too light :(
So another trip to the store and I have a background fabric that I like!  And amazingly, it was the only thing I bought. I never buy only one thing at the quilt store.

Here's how it looks

I guesstimated that 5 yards would be enough, we'll see if I was correct.

If you want to do this with 6" blocks here's what I did:
For all the on point blocks I cut 2   5 1/4" squares, cut them in half diagonally. After sewing them on I squared the block up to 9"
For all the straight set blocks I cut 2 pieces 1 3/4"x6 1/2" and 2 pieces 1 3/4'x9"
This will give me blocks that will be 8 1/2" finished size.


I didn't get much sewing done today. I was writing up my notes/thoughts for my Scrap Squad quilt and submitting them with photos to Diane.
Have you seen the first Scrap Squad quilt? Donna's was just revealed and you can see it here http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/2012/02/qm-scrap-squad-donnas-chain-reaction/
I love Donna's quilt!
Can't wait till I can show everyone mine.
Meanwhile I think I'll be busy with Farmer's Wife!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Progress on my Farmers Wife quilt

Now that I pulled out all those blocks and set them on my wall I've been a lot more motivated to finish this quilt. I've been mulling over layout trying to decide between straight set or on point when found a perfect solution, a layout with both!
Looks something like this
My lighting wasn't very good but you get the idea. This way the blocks that look best on point can go on point and the ones that look better straight can set straight! My layout would be 9 X11 blocks which needs 99 blocks. I would need to make 19 more blocks.
 I'm trying to decide on which fabric for the background. These are 2 possibilities, but it always fun to go shopping in search of the perfect fabric.
Guess I'd better get sewing!

Friday, February 3, 2012

February's UFO

When I made my list of UFO's I wanted to finish this year I put Farmer's wife first because I knew I wanted to finish that quilt. However I knew when that number got picked it would mean a lot of work. And here it is........February's UFO to work on is #1..........yes, Farmer's wife will get lots of attention this month.
So I took a deep breath and got out the shoebox I've been keeping the blocks in. Figured I'd at least better find out where I was and how much work I had left to do! I put them up on the design wall and boy was I happy. They looked great and I had 80 blocks made! Now I'm really motivated to get going on this quilt.
There are 111 blocks in the book and that makes a queen size quilt. I don't think I want one that big, it would be too big for me to quilt. I saw the twin size quilt only needed 83 blocks, that's only 3 more blocks! But maybe I'll make it a little bigger than that. Decisions, decisions............
And time to start looking at sashing fabric. This project is going to get done!