Books quilts and sewing

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Archive for the tag “sewing”

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!

Bound and Determined

This weekend I finally did it!!  I received a call from Linda who had my blue and yellow Sage Garden Quilt that it was ready to be picked up!  After wrapping up what Kay and I were working on we drove the 45 minutes to the quilters and picked it up.  It turned out so very beautiful and I could hardly wait to get it home.

What I didn’t know at first touch, was how stiff it would be with that much quilting on it.  I was actually unprepared and we started joking about it being so stiff that it may just walk off on its own.

When I got it home and pulled out the fabric to use for the border, it was close to 8pm already.  Determination set it however and I put most of the fabric together for the binding… yes I said “most” of the fabric.  Like any great story with trials and tribulations, I hadn’t measured correctly and while sewing the binding on came up a little short.  Not to worry though, I quickly added two more strips on and I was off and running.

No one every mentions it, but when you have something with that much quilting pushing the needle through the fabric is very difficult.  On several occasions I looked at my finger at the hole that was forming from where it created an indentation!  Well, here it is, I’m very proud of how this turned out.  Now I have but to put the label on to put it in use.

The wife is still sick…

Last night I took the night off of all of my projects to take care of a sick wife… and that was the plan.  Then work called because they lost power at one of the job sites and for the next three hours I was monitoring servers with one half of my brain and the other half spent trying to make Kay comfortable.  I didn’t even have time to write this until this morning where thankfully she is up and around and causing all kinds of ruckus between her and our grey cat.

It might seem that because I said “grey cat” that we have more than one, but that is not the case.  He is the neediest animal that we have ever had.  He’s been out of sorts for the past few days because Kay has been too sick to play with him the way he likes.  He has been taking his frustrations out on me.  Last night as I remote in to the servers to check their status, he jumps up and starts putting his cat feet on the keys to see if he can help.  I just assumed he wanted me to finish my work faster so we could play.

Seriously though, I am VERY pathetic when she is sick.  Being married so long we men don’t know what to do any more when we’re left to our own devices…  I “teasingly” at dinner time asked Kay what I was supposed to do.  She laughed so hard and then started coughing and I felt bad for the ill-timed joke!  This morning all is right with the world however and I’ll be finishing my beautiful Heidi Grace quilt and will post the top for all to see sometime tomorrow or Monday.  Until then…  happy quilting!!

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.

Letting go… when it’s time to let go

Lately, all of my free time I’ve devoted almost entirely to piecing my latest creation together.  After feeling under the weather at the beginning of the week I was almost manic about catching up I guess.  Though the race is with myself, I have the funny notion that I can’t get behind.  In a very real sense this is true because I have a tendency to slack off if I don’t put pressure on myself.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting one of our long arm quilters and dare I call her a friend.  Every time we visit with her and see the quilts that she has laid out, stuffed in a cubby, or draped on one of her beds, it makes me want to go home and quilt myself into oblivion.

We have five quilts out being quilted at the moment and of course have them staggered to arrive back home over the course of the next two months.  At home however, we only have three quilts large enough for our bed with a few lap quilts and minis thrown in.  Four of the five are large enough for at least double to queen size.  It got me thinking though… how many quilts should I be keeping and how many should either be sold or given to friends and family?

We haven’t discussed it really.  I’m sure Kay wouldn’t think I was funny if I told her we needed to have a hundred!!  I suppose because at the moment I feel that we don’t have enough for ourselves and every quilt that goes out the door represents literally weeks of work that we won’t personally see the benefit of.  I know that the ones we’ve given out were very much appreciated, but have a difficult time letting go of them all the same.  I would say that I’ve even given blood for some of them (I really have to watch where I’m putting my needles sometime).

Yes… even the ones with obvious mistakes I have difficulty letting go of and provides no end of amusement for Kay.  I don’t know if people realize the care, joy, love, frustration, time, and angst that goes into each step of making a quilt.  Quilts made by hand and not an assembly line, with quality fabrics and personal attention are worth far more intrinsically than anything that a store could put up for sale.  Which brings me to the other facet of why I have such a difficult time letting go… will it be appreciated?

This is not an easy question and for me is a difficult thing to get past.  In the end though, I can only hope that what I’ve made and given finds a good home and is well-used by the recipient.

Work in Progress

My new work in progress has been delayed, as I was lucky enough to get the flu over the past two days… yea me!!  The pattern is called Arcadia, by Mountainpeak Creations and will be reviewed once the quilt is completely together.  I love the whimsical nature of these fabrics.  I have to say that I found it difficult determining what pattern to use with these fabrics… they are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill patterns.

After three days of searching, I found one that I thought would work and have made the first panel.  Now, I did end up created three squares roughly 11 1/2″ X 11 1/2″ as test squares to find that I needed to sew my seams a little different.  The strips needed to be sewn with a scant 1/4″ seam, while the block needed to be sewn with a full 1/4″ seam.  That to me is very frustrating to have to remember while sewing.  Sewing it any other way and I ended with rectangles instead of squares.

Rather than wasting the fabric I have planned to of course make a throw or a mini with the strips  that have already been sewn and just throw in a border to compensate.  The queen size pattern I tested,  was tested with the first complete panel.  As I put it on my bed and looked at it, it is definitely large enough to be used as a queen sized quilt and gave me a preview of the completed quilt.  WOW!  is what I was thinking as I imaged what it will look like when finished.

Have you ever picked a fabric without regard to actually having a pattern for it?  I’ve done this before, but never had such a difficult time as with this one.  My biggest issue was that I liked all of the fabrics and didn’t want them to “disappear” into the quilt, but stand out individually.  Speak out and let me know struggles that you’ve had!

Eat your Vegetables

Work has been very tough on my schedule lately, but I’m back to writing again and have accomplished a lot in the last few days.  I’ve wanted to start… okay, I’ve been dying to start a couple of new queen size quilts that I’ve already bought the fabric for.  After telling Kay about this, she not so politely said that I really needed to finish my other projects before starting on new ones.


Let’s take stock… I finished my Arbor Lane quilt and even washed it!  I needed to deconstruct my “Spools and Dreams” mini and then sew it all back together.  I needed to start and finish the hand quilting on the Amish mini quilt and then bind it.  I have another Sage Garden quilt that needs to go out to the long arm quilter after I sew the sashing on it and get the backing sewn together.  But what I really wanted to do was to start the two new quilts that I had in mind.

My wife’s response was a little like “Eat your vegetables and then you can have desert”.  Well, as much as I hated to admit it, she is right.  With all of those unfinished projects hanging over my head, I really needed to finish them before I started my new projects.  I’m eating my veggies now in anticipation of desert.

Here’s the “Spools and Dreams” mini with the backing fabric I chose…

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.

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