Saturday, January 31, 2015

RSC2014 Finish

Last year I linked up with Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014!  It was a very new experience for me. I had been working on using up some old stash and had some brights that I needed to use. I wanted to make a pickle dish quilt and decided if I used the black and whites I had and added a neutral gray I could use up my bright scraps.  Then I saw a wonky star that another quilter had made and decided I could stretch those scraps to make one more block a month.

So  twelve months later I had twelve wonky star blocks and a quilt was born. I had so much fun linking and sharing my progress and the enjoying the  progress of the other quilters. We only had to follow Angela's lead on which color to use each month. All of the other decisions were ours to make.  It was so much fun to see all the creative blocks each Saturday.  I decided that my wonky star would go to my only granddaughter Aria. She loves everything princess and will soon be four.  But first, I needed to get it quilted.    I took a craftsy class on straight line quilting and decided this would be  a perfect opportunity to practice what I had learned. Why not start with something simple. Straight lines across the quilt at a 45 degree angle. Sounds simple doesn't it.  Well, after starting I wondered what I had gotten myself into.   It is so much different than hand quilting.  In my book, it was so much harder. I know my arms got a workout.  I also know why the instructor kept saying take it slow. Getting and keeping those lines straight is a real job.  My lines are not perfect, but I reminded myself this was my first attempt at a larger project.  So last night I finished the binding and threw it in the wash.   I love the way it turned out the texture is wonderful and the cotton batting softened up and has a great drape.  I also made a pillow case to match out of the few scraps I had left.  So today I am linking up with So Scrappy to share my finished wonky star.  Thanks Angela for hosting RSC2014 I really enjoyed the challenge! Now to get that Pickle Dish quilted!

Even though it is pretty dreary here early this morning, I still like the way this quilt sparkles!

The picture up above shows the back of the quilt!  I solved the problem of not having enough width by adding a band of squares. It as also an opportunity to use up the rest of the scraps.
matching pillowcase

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Simple But Not's Debut

I know it seems like ages since I have had a finish!  Yes these quilts do take time to make especially if we are hand quilting them.  But, I happen to think they are worth the wait. Simple but Not came from a book called Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts. In fact it was featured on the cover.

But I really really wanted a cheddar quilt, so I changed up the background and added this wonderful Marcus Brothers centennial cheddar.  I have had more compliments about the color in this quilt. I have to agree that the cheddar is spectacular, isn't it?  Enough said, on with the photos!  I don't know if it's because of the season, but I found it more difficult to get some good shots.

No verdict on the trapunto yet!  But I am leaning the other way, thinking I won't add it!  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

Wow! Another Sunday has arrived. Lately it seems that time just passes by so quickly.  I was very busy this week but found the time to get the hand quilting done on Simple but Not.  It seems ages ago that I had a finish.  I still have to sew one side of the binding down and then I can enjoy some slow stitching as I sew down the binding.  I just love this step!  I think, that is because as I stitch, I realize that all the time I spent on this project is just about to pay off.  After the binding is stitched down it will go into the washer and dryer and then the big reveal.  I am pretty sure I will be adding some trapunto to the feathers. It may not happen right away, I will lay the quilt across a guest bed and give it some time to speak to me.

I also found a bit of time to add a few more rows on my TATW. This is my first attempt at hand piecing. So far I enjoy it immensely. I have run out of squares to add so this week I need to cut some more two inch squares.  I think I have chosen the fabrics for rows 13-16.  That should keep me busy for a while.  I don't work on this every day, but I love that is there waiting for me on those evenings when I am not in the mood for my other projects and it is  great take along project.  Have you ever tried hand piecing?  Right now, Craftsy BOM 2015 is being hosted by Jinny Beyer. She is the queen of hand piecing and if you want ever wanted to give it a go why not take advantage of the free class and learn from the master of hand piecing.



Hope you have time for some slow stitching and reflecting on your week. I will be linking up with Kathy and the others who link up with Slow Stitching Sunday.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday!

Well, this week I started quilting the final block of Simple but Not!  There is still probably a week of stitching to be done. It's a bit sad to think in a week, I won't be able to have my morning coffee and then come over and sit and stitch on this quilt.  I love quilting in the early morning!  But, I shouldn't get too upset, I have plenty of projects that need my attention.  But, by this point, I have become very comfortable with this quilt and it has become like  a friend.  This week Kathy has asked that we include a picture of our hand as we quilt.

They are after all, the most important tool we have when it comes to hand quilting.  As I have gotten older I realize we need to appreciate what they can do and make sure we don't over do.  So link up today and honor your hands and take a break and visit all those that link up to see all the wonderful stitched projects.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More feathers!

Yesterday, was a very productive day, quilt wise.  I was able to turn the third corner on Simple but Not.  So now we are heading toward the homestretch!   I turned on my current audio book and really got lost in my quilting.  I am listening to Killing Lincoln and was captivated by the description of some of the last battles fought in the Civil War.  It made me think about the mom's and wives that were at home wondering if their sons or husbands would come home. It made me think of the civil war era quilts and how important it must have been for those women to be able to stitch as they waited for their love one to return.  Do you have a quilt that has special meaning to you?  A quilt that has special memories stitched into it!  Quilting for me is so much more than cutting up fabric and sewing it back together. It is more than a craft that I enjoy.  I think of it more as therapy.  In this busy old world, it is nice to slow down and reflect about what all of it means.

So today, I hope to continue with my book and stitch another section of Simple but Not.  Hopefully, this section of feathers will get look more like the picture below when I put down my needle today. I hope you can also enjoy some meaningful stitches today. I am also linking up with Kathy and the other slow stitchers that share their beautiful work at Kathy's linky party.  Hope you can join us!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Life's Up and Downs!

Well, it has been a successful week!  I was able to put spend at least one hour a day hand quilting. The weather has been just perfect!  I bet you weren't expecting that statement today.  The truth is, it is perfect for hand quilting.  Just so you don't think I am a Pollyanna, It has had it's downs.  I thought I was deleting a draft and actually deleted my last post.  I have looked around and from what I can tell it is lost forever.  Oh well, as they say no reason to spend time crying over spilled milk.  This morning as I was finishing up my hour of stitches I noticed that some distortion happened on the very edge of the quilt.  I really have no reason to complain about it, since it was my own doing. There is only one solution and that is to remove some stitches.  I know why it happened and it is completely my fault.  So, as soon as I get done kicking myself, I will get over it and redo that area. It happened because,  I  usually take the time to stay stitch around the very edge of my quilt, but with this one I did about half of it and quit so that I could start stitching. You know that feeling!   Then the other night, I ran into the area where there was no stay stitching and continued to stitch. It really makes a difference as you can see in the photos below.



So lesson learned!  I will remove a few stitches, stay stitch the edge and continue the journey.  I hope everyone is staying warm with the frigid weather a lot of the country is having.  Cold here too, but the sun is shining!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back to Normal

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but oh so wonderful for staying inside and enjoying some slow stitching.  I have been busy this last week entertaining guest that arrived on our doorstep.  So good to see family as we live so far away, but I have been really looking forward to getting back to normal.
I have been able to get some stitching in here and there.  So thankful to have my Barnett Hoop and plenty of room to keep it up in the great room.  So between loads of laundry and visits I could slip into my chair and put in a few stitches.   I do find sometimes it is hard to relax and take the time to put in a few stitches.    So I took the advice of Hilda of Every Stitch and downloaded an audio book from the library.  Oh my, what a wonderful way to stitch.  With my earphones on, I am in my own little world.  Thanks Hilda for the inspiration to try this.  If you have never been to Hilda's blog, you are really missing out.  She has made some very inspirational quilts.  I should warn you however that you could easily spend several hours going back reading and enjoying her wonderful photos.  Today, I will be continuing on block three of Simple but Not.  Two blocks completely done is really giving me an idea of how this quilt will look when it is complete. I am leaning towards adding the trapunto, but time will tell.  I wish we had some sunshine so that the quilting design would show a bit better.  It is so hard to get great pics when the weather is so gloomy.
Four block quilt

Completed block

Partially completed block

 Last night when I finished up block two I noticed that my hands seemed  tired, that is always a sign that I need to start with a new package of needles this am.  It makes such a difference.   I will be linking to Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday and  enjoying what others are slow stitching today!   I am so thankful that Kathy is continuing the linky party we have every Sunday.  Hope you can join us!

Friday, January 2, 2015

I have enjoyed seeing all my fellow bloggers year end posts.  It made me wonder why I was feeling as if I hadn't accomplished much this year.  As I look back over the blog to see, I realized I really had a very good year.  It started with finishing three quilts!

  I also completed the rest of the blocks for Baltimore Garden and finished three of the borders.  Four more quilts were started.


Two tops were completed, now to get them quilted! Hopefully at least two more tops will get completed in 2015.

I was also able to make a couple of minis and a table topper.  One mini will be finished in 2015 and the other two were finished and gifted.

Currently I am hand quilted Simple but Not and plan on starting my last border for Baltimore garden later this week.

I guess it was good to be brave enough to look back.  I actually accomplished much more than I realized.  I think getting Simple but Not quilted will be my first focus for 2015.  I also want to get the last border for Baltimore Garden finished so that it can be come a top.  Wonky Star needs to get machine quilted by March. My reward for those finishes will be starting my eagle project.  As the year progresses I want to finish two more scrap quilts that I have been doing as leader and enders.  Looks like another year of a lot of fun stitches!