Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Quilting Mojo Has Returned

I recently went on a quilt retreat, this was our second annual retreat. I had more fun and more progress than I did last year. I was trying to rush and finish the project that I worked on at the retreat last year, but I measured a few things wrong. So that has not been completed yet.

I think it was last year or earlier this year when I purchased my first quilt kit. It was one that I spotted and could not get it out of my head. The quilt that is on my bed is currently falling apart. It was purchased at least 16 years ago from an Ames store. I'm not sure how wide spread this store was, but think of it as a cheap version of Wal-Mart. It cost me $40 and at the time I didn't know that it was an actual quilt, and not a panel made to look like a quilt. 

So earlier this year I cut all my pieces for the quilt, and decided I would work on it at the retreat. I had everything ready and all the different fabrics cut and in their own bag. The borders were ready, the binding is ready, I just didn't have the back together.

So while at retreat I put ALMOST all of the blocks together while I was at the retreat. I counted wrong for one piece which caused me not to be able to sew a couple blocks. Then right before I pack all my belonging up to leave, I cut one of them a 1/4 too short. As soon as I got home I looked for the fabric to be sure I would be able to create the blocks....I had enough.

I named this quilt after Te Fiti from the most recent Disney movie, Moana. There are several pieces of fabric in the quilt that look like the heart of Te Fiti, it felt only fitting that it was named after it.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday when I went to my LQS and quilted my quilt. I love to do all of my own work, and I do not have the room or the means to purchase my own long arm. They rent theirs out by the hour and it just works perfectly for me. I don't have any interruptions and can quilt until I'm ready to stop.

So I got the backing loaded, the top and the batting. Well, the backing was put on upside down and the label is at the top and facing the wrong way. I was not about to take the quilt off of the frame and put it back on. I am ok with the label.

Skip ahead to when I was taking the clamps off so I can quilt my last pass along the bottom border. Then I see this....

Can you see it? It looks like there's not enough backing or batting. I know I have only been quilting less than 4 years, and have made less than 20 quilts, but I have NEVER had this issue. I always had WAY too much. 

Sew I turned my head to the left to their Sweet 16 and got an idea. If I can get this basted then I might have enough to be able to sit down and get it quilted.

Well, once I sat down with the basted quilt, I realized that the basting wasn't good. I took out all of the basting stitches and basted it on the 16. Luckily I was able to get it straight. I turned it over and I had about 1 inch of backing hanging past my top. Woo Hoo! I was sew happy!

This was my first time using the sit down long arm, and it will probably be my last. The bottom border of my quilt was quilted with this machine. The stitches are uneven and jagged. BUT the quilt is quilted!

So now I just have to trim it down and bind it. I am so happy that it is almost done and ready to replace the worn and tattered quilt that is currently residing on my bed. Here is a better view of the quilt top. I purchased this one because I have wanted to do a Storm at Sea pattern, and I just love the two hearts!

I was hoping to have this completed and on my bed by the weekend. It might take an extra week, but it will definitely be on before fall arrives!

Thank you for visiting.

~Happy Quilting!~

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Boy It's Been Quite a While

Get ready for a lengthy post...

I have not been as busy as I would like to think, at least making quilts that is. Last month I took a good part of my birthday and spent it in my LQS renting their long arm so I could quilt 2 quilts. I could have done the smaller one on my machine at home, but I really didn't want to. 

Since we last spoke I have finished 3 quilts and several small quilts. Some of my time has been tied up with 2 part-time jobs, school, kids, and naturally taking care of a home. My free time (the little that I have) has been spent sleeping and working on hexie swaps. I did have a couple instances where the swapper did not participate so I had an extra hexie project for myself. One has been completed and the other is still in process. I will show you those later in this post.

My first finish is Pat Sloan's 2015 mystery quilt, Vacation Time. I am rather proud of how it turned out. I took the completed top to my mother's to show her and on that particular day her neighbor stopped by and saw it. She absolutely loved it because she loves pink and purple as I do. So when I completed it I naturally thought of her. She is my first non-family recipient and I was so happy I decided to give the quilt to her. She is elderly and rather sick, but she loves the quilt almost as much as I do. 

The blocks don't stick out as much as I thought they would in the picture, but in person it is beautiful!

I have a habit of adding my name into the quilting as I am coming to the end, this quilt was no different.

This is the first time that I have used leftover fabric from the front as the backer. Although it isn't perfect, I think it looks lovely!

My next finish from that day was my very first on two levels. It was my first t-shirt quilt and my first commissioned quilt. I am not certain if I will ever do another t-shirt quilt but if I do I will definitely plan it better. Several of her cousins have told me quite a few times that she is going to love it. And I have shared pictures with her which she confirms they are correct.

These are from shirts she had from her college years at Salisbury State. As you can see I didn't plan this quilt out very well at all. I cut the shirts the wrong sizes didn't put enough border between the columns, some of the columns are too long so they are partially covered by the binding, and as you can see I wasn't able to use all of the shirts on the front.

I felt it only fitting to call this 'Success at Salisbury' since she did graduate.

Again my name is in the border along with the year which is cut off in this picture.

Here are all of the pieces that didn't make it onto the front of the quilt. I carried her favorite color onto the back of the quilt.

I am hoping to be able to give this to her soon as I have had it way too long. She needs to get it home so she can enjoy it.

I also finished up one that is way out of season. This was a swap from a Facebook group that I can't seem to remember the name of, and have no clue who did 3 of the blocks. But the blocks that are identical are all made by me. 

This is a close-up of one of my blocks. I know it isn't perfect, but it's mine.

A little further back.

Halloween = Happy Haunting.

I probably should have used a black bobbin so the thread blended in better, but by the time I thought about that it was too late. Although you can see the rather sad quilting on the back, I still love it. Especially the border/sashing fabric, the backer, and the binding. I think they go together very well.

Now I need to work on getting pictures of my smaller projects for you for my next post. Hopefully, it won't take me another 2 years to post something.

Oh....I attended my very first quilt retreat last year and am going again this year. I took WAY too much stuff with me last year and got hardly any of it completed. This year it is a day longer, and with my prior retreat experience, I should be able to plan this year out better.

Until my next post with all my minis... 

~Happy Quilting!~