Monday, May 30, 2011

UFO Confessional/Design Wall Monday #22

This is what I am up to this week.
I have been sewing strings together to make a border for my May UFO and trying to finish it by the end of May...
yep, that's tomorrow!
The strings are coming from these scrap bags that my friend Sandy passed on to me.  It's a different feeling (no nostalgia!) to sew scraps that I "don't know" but I am thankful to have them for this border.
This is how far I was as of yesterday. That is not even enough for 3 sides of the quilt! I think I might take out the soccer ball strips cause they really stand out.

And which quilt is getting these scrappy borders?

It's this scrappy spiderweb quilt that I started sewing many years ago. It has been in hiding for so long that there isn't a photo of it or any mention of it on my blog. I tried to remember when I started it...I know my kids were very young. But I see some millenium fabric in the blocks, so maybe it was around 1998/1999.

About 10 years ago I gave up on trying to sew the 25 blocks together because it was a nightmare matching up the seams.
If I matched up the intersection of 8 pieces, the purple edges were
impossible to match.

So, when it's number came up for the UFO this month, I just went ahead and sewed the blocks together the best I could and kept telling myself that "finished" is better than "perfect".
I was hoping to be able to have another finished quilt from my UFO list, but I think my goal for this month will have to be the satisfaction of finishing the top.
To check out the other design walls at Patchwork Times, click here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Quilt Auction 2011 Report

It was quite a cool day for the New Hamburg quilt auction this year and the turn out seemed better than ever, perhaps because the lack of sun, cool temperatures, and the constant threat of rain caused all the gardeners to come to the auction (to read the local newspaper report- click here).

I missed out on buying some tea balls on Friday night, so I foolishly stood in line for one hour on Saturday morning for these darn things (yes, during the quilt auction... won't do that again!) ...but OMG they are so good! There are few things in life that I enjoy more than coffee and tea balls, while watching a fabulous quilt auction!
Our "Chicklets" quilt was #15 (of 201 quilts) and it sold for $325. This is a very washed out photo of the quilt being auctioned. We hope that this quilt has found it's way to a happy home with lots of children to cuddle!

The feature quilt was #150 and sold for $9,000! To see this quilt and description - click here. This is NOT a cuddle's an amazing piece of art!

Remember the paint chip block challenge I worked on in March? (You can see my blocks here and all the blocks here).

This was quilt #186 and it was sold for $1,050!!
You probably can't see the fabulous hand quilting on the border in this photo, but it was amazing. And it had a very cool label that I wish I had a better photo of.

What else do you want to know?
The 75 block kits that we made up (to create a quilt for next year's auction) are gone! If you desperately wanted one and missed out,  I might be able to get my hands on an extra one for you... just let me know!
And if you want to see the arena where the quilt auction is held, someone posted a video on YouTube of the choir - click here to see the video (turn on your sound). Maybe next year I'll be technically sophisticated enough to post a video of the quilt auction on my blog...wouldn't that be something?!?!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scrappy Saturday - Pink

If you're looking for the quilt auction report, please come visit tomorrow...I haven't even had a nap or downloaded my pictures yet!
Today is the last Saturday in May for the pink Rainbow Challenge. I was able to make 2 words this week using the letter patterns from Word Play Quilts for my Virtues Quilt. Thanks again to LeeAnn for the inspiration for this project!

My first pink word was only 5 letters and was made with scraps from this quilt.
"Trust" was quick and easy to make. If only the virtue was as easy to build ..."Trust is having faith in someone or something. It is a positive attitude about life. You are confident that the right thing will happen without you trying to control it or make it happen."

The second word I picked to sew is joyfulness:
"Joyfulness is an inner sense of peace and happiness. You appreciate the gifts each day brings."
This is a generally an easier word for me in my life, but to sew it was quite challenging and used almost 2 fat quarters!

Here are my first 4 words together... 2 from the purple month and 2 from the pink month.

It really tickles me that I spelled 'Joyfulness' wrong! I can't decide if I want to change it or not! Would you?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quilt Auction

I went to preview the 200+ quilts that will be auctioned tomorrow - details are here. I got there too late to buy any tea balls (deep fried batter covered in sugar...yum!) so I'll have to go early tomorrow and see if I get some.
Come on over to the auction and see these fabulous quilts! It's the only place I can count on seeing the most beautiful, hand quilted, "one of a kind" works of art year after year. There are a couple of gorgeous candlewicked quilts, some spectacular star quilts, and some really fun scrappy quilts. We are also selling the fabric kits to make blocks for a quilt to auction next year. I'll be at the table over the lunch hour...come by and say "hi"!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dirt or Chocolate??

All my brown star blocks are pieced. The quilt is called Chocolate Stars but because I'm not loving it, and am spending so much time in the garden, I find myself calling it "Dirt Stars"!
Now what to do with the setting?
On my bright version I didn't do the recommended sashing/setting, but I did make the friendship star border. However this time I really don't feel like sewing all those friendship stars again. I think I just talked myself into adding the sashing strips/ four patch setting, with maybe one or two plain borders depending on how much fabric I have left.
I read an interesting article about current trends in quilting based on the International Quilt Market - click here to read it.  It's Quilt Festival in my neck of the woods and I just wish I had more time to visit the venues and see what the trends are around here - click here for the events.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday #21

It has turned out to be a wonderful sunny, warm long weekend here and lots of outdoor yard work was finally completed.  I did a lot of digging in the dirt, planting seeds for the vegetable garden.
And I played with the dirt coloured fabrics indoors! I worked on the brown version of our guild mystery. To see the colourful version of the quilt I finished earlier in the month - click here.  I have had these blocks sewn since December, but they are so boring compared to my colourful blocks that I have to force myself to work on them. The deadline for showing the quilts/tops at guild meeting is in 3 weeks so I am motivated to at least finish the top. I just know that this is a quilt that will not get finished otherwise...I am not a brown person, nor do I enjoy sewing 2 colour quilts (remember the civil war blocks?).
I cut out all the pieces for the remaining 4 blocks and should be able to sew these up today. Then I just have the sashing and border to figure out.
What's on your design wall today? Don't have a design wall? You NEED one - click here to read ideas for making your own.  Then hop over to Judy's blog and get some inspiration from all the design walls posted.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Scrappy Saturday- Pink

It's "Scrappy Saturday" of the Rainbow Challenge and the colour of the month is pink.
I decided to return to working on my Bonnie Hunter mystery (which I have heard will be removed from the website at the end of the month) and finish sewing the 600 pink HST's.
I need these HST's sewn in strips of 5 to border the blocks which I finished sewing in January. It's been a long haul...very monotonous, but made more enjoyable by listening to a book on tape/CD. I wanted to read "The Help", but the waiting list at the library was long for the book. The CD's were available, but I was unsure if I could sew and listen at the same time. Turns out that I can do both!
I have already listened to half of the book on my little pink apple computer while sewing all these pink HST's. They are done and I am ready for the next step of the mystery and the next chapter of the book!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bowties Finish

In 1997 (yep...14 years ago!)  I participated in a 6" bowtie block swap. Just look at my cute little 5 year old son helping me put the blocks together!
Then I went in search of the perfect sashing fabric. When I found the sashing, I put the project in the closet and let it age perfectly, until the time was right!

This year I got the bug to make bowtie blocks again. I remembered that I had some bowties aging somewhere, and went in search of the blocks. When I found them, I quickly sewed them together and sent the quilt top over to the senior's centre for hand quilting.
Here are some of the ladies working on my quilt. I quilted with the ladies one day and worked on the block on the bottom left, because that's where the empty seat was!
I had bought some Warm and White batting because there was a lot of white in the quilt, and this batting package said there was no glue or resin, which I thought would be good for hand quilting. This was NOT good for hand fact, it was terrible. I could barely get my needle into it. Even though I LOVE Warm and Natural and use if all the time for machine quilting, I won't buy the Warm and White again.

We tried that 1/4" quilters masking tape to avoid drawing pencil lines on the white fabric, but that drove me thread kept getting stuck on the tape. Back to the pencil and ruler!

This was a perfect compromise for me...I got to enjoy some of the hand quilting, but the group finished most of the work for me, so that the quilt could be finished in record time...14 years!

Here is a bad photo of the finished quilt. I've been waiting for some sun to get a better photo, but we haven't seen the sun for a long time!

And how do we know a quilt is truly "finished"?!?!?

It has a label!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Design Wall Monday #20

What's on my design wall this week?

I finished the Lil' Twister pinwheel quilt top that I was working on last week, and I do love it!  I predict that I will make more quilts using this technique because it's just fun! I could see myself sewing together the first step, then cutting the pinwheels and putting all the pieces in a kit to sew at a retreat.

Then I worked on ideas for my Capricorn stitcheries quilt top.

I love the effect of the half chain blocks and want to make the border with them. But I don't want the border to take away from the stitchery blocks that are the focus of this quilt.

This is option #1 with the solid red blocks between the half chain blocks. I think it's a little "heavy". Plain white blocks are a little boring. And I didn't like the flying geese idea either.

This is version #2 with the alternating half chain blocks pointing in.

This is version #3 with the alternating half chain blocks pointing out.

Do you have a favorite?
Or a recommendation for another version?

You can check out lots of design walls over at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Empty Spools

At the beginning of last year I wrote a blog entry about using up threads - click here. I have continued my "thread busting" practise by only buying new threads once I have thoroughly checked my thread box and found nothing that will work for the project.
I am binding a quilt right now (one of my favorite things!) and plan to finish up these 2 old spools of Mettler thread.  Looking at my thread box today, I would estimate that I have approximately half the thread spools I had at the beginning of 2010! I gave away the threads that my machine didn't like, and I used up the spools with little bits left.
As a result of my thread busting efforts, I have a new problem...a large collection of empty spools.
This was my old, overflowing container for empty spools,  and I am wondering...why am I saving these? 
I have acquired a couple more spool containers and looking at these spools I feel some pride at using up all those bits of threads,  but also feel a bit shocked at the amount of money I have spent on thread...each of those orange Aurifil thread spools cost $10!
What possible use could these empty spools have?
Help me out here blog readers... should I save these old spools? And if so, what purpose could they serve?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scrappy Saturday - Pink

It's Saturday... the day to review my efforts for the  Rainbow Challenge. My participation seems to have evolved into a predictable pattern. When the colour of the month is announced, I search through my UFO's to see if I could entice myself to work on something already started (blue UFO);  the next week I dig out some small scraps and sew up a few crumb blocks (green blocks);  next I sew a word or two for my virtues quilt (purple virtues) and if there is time left I work with the colour in any little project that suits my fancy (red hearts).
This month is PINK.   It's one of my favorite colours, but back in January I wrote a blogpost about being "pinked out" when I was working on the last mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter (click here to read that). So, to start the pink month, I searched for that mystery project in the UFO closet...hey, does anyone remember Fibber McGee or are y'all too young to know what that means about my closet??
I found the box with the billions of pink pieces and I plan to work on them until I finish that step! I need 120 of these strips of 5 HST's...I have made 50 so far, so that's only 70 more to go.
To see what other pink projects the challenge bloggers are working on, click here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Quick Finish

When doing some spring cleaning I found an "almost finished" quilt top that I never knew I had! It must be at least 10 years old, but I really love the colours. It only needed a border,  but the border fabric that was with it was a bit short, and that's probably why it became a that time I didn't know what to do next.
I put on a narrow border of the purple fabric and then crazy pieced the  purple scraps around some stray dragons for cornerstones.

I just did a stitch in the ditch and straight diagonal quilting through the purple chains, and added some free motion quilting in the borders around the dragons just for fun.

The quilt backing is made from fabrics donated to the guild, and I especially like the frog fabric at the top.

And this is the finished quilt - with an orange binding (because I ran out of the purple). I think a little child will enjoy this happy quilt and I am delighted that this quilt is done in plenty of time for the June deadline for donation.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Design Wall Monday #19

I can't believe that a new project is on my design wall today! Didn't I say I wasn't going to start anything new?!? I wanted to tackle my pink scraps and my May UFO, but there were 2 shop hops in my neck of the woods this weekend and that's my excuse!  It's so annoying that both shop hops are on the same weekend, because I couldn't get any time off work, and I missed out on one hop completely.
I went with my friend Louise to the Goose on the Loose shop hop, which we have been attending for years. Last year it was snowing, so this year we were happy to have a sunny day and see some flowers blooming along the way.
Here is Louise winning a gift bag at Cobwebs and Caviar - isn't this a gorgeous photo of their shop?!?

We really enjoyed the demos in each store and I plan to try the new techniques they showed us... which I guess means that there will be 4 new projects!?!
One of the things I bought (besides a little bit of fabric!) was a Lil' Twister ruler. I saw lots of these quilts on blogs last year, but hadn't seen the ruler until this weekend. I bought an older charm pack called Aster Manor to experiment with and sewed together this little quilt top as soon as I got home. Today I went to work with the twister ruler and this is what is on my design wall... three rows assembled and I'm still cutting out blocks.  Very fun! I wish I would have put all the solid charm squares in the quilt to give it more contrast, but it's my first one, so now I know. Do you notice how much it shrinks down in size from the original pieced quilt to the finished pinwheels?
I just love the Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen that I bought for the border and can't wait to finish the project.

For more inspiration, hop over to Patchwork Times and see what other quilt bloggers are working on.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mystery Quilt Finished!

I haven't started to work with my pink scraps yet this month - click here to access the posts of other quilters in the Scrap Rainbow Challenge to see what they are up to.
I have been obsessed with finishing my guild mystery quilt to show at the next guild meeting and I met my goal!
This is a photo of the quilt's backing to show the wavy grid quilting that I tried. I first saw this idea on Wanda's blog called Exuberant Color back in 2009. Her more recent post reminded me that I wanted to try this quilting idea (click here to read it) and this was the perfect project to try it out. It was so fun and quick....I loved it! I will definitely try this quilting design again.

Then I found the perfect binding fabric in my stash - lots of bright colours with purple dots.

I like this photo on the right, which shows how the binding changes colour around the corner block.

Ta da... here is the finished quilt! It was a fun sampler project with some challenging blocks.  This was a pattern posted last year on Fat Cat Patterns.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Finished Layer Cake Quilt & Draw Winner

This is my finished Layer Cake Quilt Along top and I'm very happy with the result.

I started to rip out the cornerstones to put the stars into the sashing, but that got old very fast! I inserted 2 stars on the inside blocks and had enough of that!
Then I put the stars into the outside corners and added a colourful border fabric that was leftover from the backing of a quilt I made years was the perfect width and length for the border!

Thanks to Konda at Moose on the Porch Quilts for this fun mystery quilt!

I almost forgot to announce the winner of the Easter draw for my bowtie mini quilt.  I asked my daughter to pick the winning number from the 22 comments, and she picked #22. Congratulations to Deanna!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Layer Cake Quilt Along Deadline Today

joinforblogtour3 200 Spread the Word: 100 Blocks Volume 3 Blog Tour May 2 6*A brand new Quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine is out!  I haven't had enough time to make good use of the last issue yet, but of course I'll buy the new one too. There is a blog tour to visit some of the block designers and win a copy of the magazine - check it out at the Quilty Pleasures blog. I LOVE their blog hops because there are so many great blogs to visit, patterns and quilt ideas to enjoy, and gifts to win.  Don't blame me for all the computer time you are going to enjoy this week!!
I have been working on my Layer Cake Quilt Along project because today is the deadline for submitting photos to the flickr group.  I was determined to not buy anything extra for this quilt (except the original layer cake) and picked out some B & W from my stash for sashing. After I had the sashings sewn in, I remembered that I wanted to do the sashing stars in the suggested layout. Why couldn't I remember that before I sewed it together?!?! What to do...leave it, or unsew the white sashing squares and insert the star pieces?
I have until the end of today to sort it out...the time deadline may make the decision for me!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Design Wall Monday #18

This is what is on my design wall today and I am so happy that these blocks are sewn together!  I have been working on this project since March 2008 but most of the blocks have been sitting in a box waiting for some attention.

To read more about this project, click here.

I sewed the red scrappy alternate blocks in February, and hand embroidered this last 6" block in April.

Now I am pondering what to do about the you have any ideas to pass along?!?

Hop on over to Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls today.