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Archive for the tag “Sewing machine”

Heidi Grace Panels are done!

While getting ready to finish the top for the “Acadia” Heidi Grace fabrics quilt, I had received a call to pick the other quilt up from my new Long Arm quilter. I did manage to finish all of the panels before I left and have put them out on the bed to get a sense of what it will look like when finished.

Tonight I will hopefully have the time to finally finish sewing the top together. I still have so many other irons in the fire however that I might not be able to get the back together until the weekend. I feel a little bad because I’m already thinking about the next quilt I’m going to make! Focus, focus, focus should be my mantra!

A look at my future quilt

I know I’ve talked about it a little before, but what is on my mind right now is the Heidi Grace quilt that I’m putting together.  Half of the panels are done and even though it’s slow going during the week, I’m still at it.  Kay has a nasty cold that she’s been battling with lately and I’m not the best caregiver but I’m trying to take some of the dinner making and house cleaning duties off her shoulder while she gets well.

So I wanted to post a few more pictures of the Arcadia quilt in progress and here they are:

 

Patience and Anticipation

A funny thing happened last night that I was reticent to talk about without the approval of my spouse.  I asked her only because I am making fun of both of us, but didn’t want to offend her by including it in my post.  She of course approved of my using it because she’s fantastic.

I had to do some work from home last night and knew that I wouldn’t be able to do too much on the quilt that I’m finishing.  All of the blocks are together, all that’s needed is to piece the blocks together to make the panels and then sew the panels together.  Two of the panels are complete, but rather than have the expectations of finishing during the week, I’m trying to be realistic and have the patience to finish this weekend when I have more time.

After my work was completed and dinner was finished, we went back into the sewing room for the last hour of the night before we went to sleep to get a little sewing in…  After I’ve sewn my first strip to join two blocks together, I realize that I’ve sewn the strip on the wrong side of the block (with this pattern there is no way I could leave it in and make it work).  Now I have to say that on occasion this happens to me, but with this quilt… let’s just say that it is chronic.  It was at this point that Kay looking over at me and my “new” difficulties and makes fun.

Kay suggested that I give it up for the night and laughed a little at the continuing difficulty that I’ve had with this quilt.  Sewing blocks and strips to the wrong sides, forgetting to use the 1/4″ selection of the machine, and other trials I’ve faced while making this quilt.  I was thinking (you could actually see the gears move) of something pithy to reply to her when I looked down and saw that she was using the wrong sewing foot for what she was working on!!  What ensued at that point was nothing less than storm of cursing at our machines and the collective fate of our two quilts.

We could have given up at this point, but given our nature we hunkered down, brought out two seam rippers, and proceeded to “fix” our mistakes.  Rather than stopping afterwards, we completed what we had started before finally going to bed.  I had finished another panel, number three out of eight.  I realized though that I’m kind of enjoying the time that it’s taking to finish this quilt.  I happen to be making it for myself and think that as I use the finished quilt this Autumn, I will appreciate it that much more knowing as I do the time and patience I’ve had to have with it.  All of the effort I’ve put in leaves me feeling a great anticipation for what this quilt will be when it grows up.

Your Opinion Matters

Okay, so I took the night off… sort of.  I have a couple unfinished projects, or more correctly projects that were started and went horribly wrong so I stopped where I was at.  I had finished the nursery blanket but havent cut the batting for it yet.  I cut out all the white squares for a beautiful blue and white quilt and they are languishing in the closet right now while we talked about our next weekender quilt.

So last night I watched television while doing nothing.  I actually felt a little out-of-place and guilty knowing I could have been hand quilting my Amish mini.  Have you ever felt guilty for taking a break?  I must admit my mind has been on work a lot lately with quite a few projects on my plate.  We also have the 4th of July holiday coming up which I have off and my wife is working.

Send me your encouragement and let me know which project I should finish first:

Re-sew the messed up mini, hand quilt the Amish mini, piece the blue quilt, or start a new “quick quilt”.  I’d be really interested to have your opinions.

Persian Plum Block of the Month 6

I did everything I promised myself I would do this weekend.  Yes!!!  The Arbor Lane quilt is finished and I’ll post a pic of that one tomorrow along with the nursery quilt that I also finished.  I even had time to start the week out right by finishing and being able to post this morning the Joann Fabrics Persian Plum block of the month quilt block #6.

This was an interesting block of flying geese.  I will mention right now that no matter how I sew this together I’ve never quite go the hang of having the finished size come out good.  The length is always correct, but the height is off by 1/4″ almost every time.  We persevere though, don’t we?

It came complete as has all the blocks to this point.  The measurements were correct and the instructions clear.  The colors I will still say are the most striking aspect of this quilt and flying geese is the motif.

Then we just sew them in the correct configuration for the block

Le me know how yours turned out.  Mine ended up being about a 1/4″ off, but I’ll fix that when I go to put them all together.  Here’s the comparison to the way it’s supposed to turn out.

Making Handkerchiefs

I set out last night to slay another dragon.  I’ve always love the handkerchief, though I haven’t always carried one with me.  I’ve thought about making them for some time.  When I had gone to the Dallas quilt show I picked up some civil war era fabric.  I must have only purchased five fat quarters which really isn’t enough to make into anything, but I really liked the look and feel of it.

After work I headed to the sewing room with a purpose… Kay was as usual embroiled in one of her wonderful craft projects but saw I had a head of steam going and asked what I was planning to do.  Out came the implements of destruction: iron, ironing board, cutting mat, rotary cutter, and fabric… actually it was some test fabric that although it’s nice, I wasn’t worried about how it came out.

It turned out to be a good thing I did use the “test” fabric.  I cut the fabric 12″ X 12″ and ended up with a too small 10″ X 10″ hanky when done.  I had also sewn a couple up for Kay and measured that fabric 8″ X 8″, which turns out to be big enough for a coaster not a handkerchief.  It wasn’t a total loss however, as I was able to perfect (in my humble opinion) my technique and get the stitches to look exactly how I wanted.

Out came the civil war era fabric and I stitched it all up.  On a side note, the 10″ X 10″ fabric turned out to be the perfect size for Kay’s handkerchiefs and she’s going to use the 8″ X 8″ fabric for another of her projects.  I’ve determined since they came out looking so well of monogramming them with hand embroidery, or finding someone to machine embroider a monogram to them!  Happy Quilting!!

Shopping and Other Sins

I have purchased fabric for my next six large quilts over the past couple of months.  I’m also thinking about which projects that I would like to make for Autumn and after that for Christmas.  So, why did I find myself at a fabric store yesterday afternoon on my way home from work???  I normally do not buy my backing fabric for any of my quilts until before I drop it off to the long arm.

I don’t know if this is common throughout the quilting community, to buy the backing while buying the rest of the fabric to ensure color coordination, but I like to live on the edge!  There have been a couple of times where I was stressed for not finding the “right” material to go with the rest of colors that I had in the quilt, but it’s always worked out for me.

My wife and I like a lot of the same color schemes, but when it comes to what colors work well in our quilts it becomes vastly different.  We’ve learned to accept our differences of opinion when it comes to each others’ quilt material selection.  At times we jokingly try to steal a piece of fabric from one another.

So, back to the store where I’m standing there looking for a reason to buy more fabric… I come across one that would be perfect for the persian plum block of the month quilt I’m in the process of making.  It wasn’t on sale and I almost bought it any way… that’s when you know you have a problem issue and probably need to just… walk… away.  I feel very good about myself because I did walk away and will wait until at least the 1st before I shop again!

Persian Plum Block 5… almost half-way there!!

I’m so happy today that I was able to get accomplished the behemoth task of working late today and still managing to get the block finished and sew on the binding for my Arbor Lane quilt. Of course I’ve probably stayed up a little later than I normally would to make sure I could finish this. So here it is:

This block had a little more assembly, but went together fairly easily and finished 12 1/2 x 12 1/2.

And underneath was the fabric I used to bind the Arbor Lane.

Then a little trimming and some more sewing

and finally…

Almost but not quite!

If you’ve been following my attempts at quilting then you know that binding the quilts is one of my favorite things to do.  It is the ending, the completion that seems to make the whole process worthwhile.  I am by nature ambitious and set out this weekend to cram finish three quilt bindings in one weekend.  That was the plan…  I even had the hubris to say that I might try to do something else, like put one of the nursery quilts together as well.

Binding a quilt the way that I’ve chosen to bind my quilts is a stately process.  You really can’t hurry it along as I was trying to do and if you did, I don’t know that I would like the finished product at all.  It is a methodical, beautiful, measured, process and if I can be so bold as to quote one of my quilting friends, “neck down work”.

I started with the Christmas quilt since I had finished piecing it back in March, the my green Sage Garden Quilt since I am to surprise a friend with it tonight!!  EEEEK!!  The Arbor Lane quilt, which is by far the larger of the three quilts will have to wait until next weekend.

I didn’t even create the binding yet, let-alone sew it to the quilt.  It’s still on the couch mocking me for my overly ambitious plan.  I did take out one of the nursery quilt kits to see what I will have in store for me this week.  My plan (don’t laugh) is to try to finish it by the end of the week.

On a side note, I never did finish the mini quilt for the swap due to the fact that I sewed the first half at 3/8″ and the second half at 1/4″ seam…  but that’s a different story.  Until next time, happy quilting!!

Shopping Day

Yesterday was a shopping day for me.  I had specifically purchased fabrics for three quilts minus the backings, but had received a couple of coupons from Joann Fabrics for 30% in addition to any other discounts.  So, off to the store I went where I found the Heidi Grace fabric collection.

This I thought would make a really nice queen size quilt.  I ended up buying enough of the fabric to make a queen and a twin.  My plan was to make a twin first as a sort of proof of concept and then make the queen.  I had assumed that I could readily find a pattern for this fabric set… and that’s what I get when I assume!  I laughed until I cried.  I will find something suitable however and soldier on.

I also found a couple of quick nursery blanket kits that I intend on making for my nephew and niece:

And of course a shopping trip wouldn’t be complete without buying some more Jelly Rolls

There was another item I was able to pick up was some of my favorite Warm & White batting.  Have you done any shopping lately?

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