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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Endings & Beginnings

When I decided that my February finish was going to be my longest Work in Progress I knew that I was going to be treading waters I've never done before. I put on my Walking Foot or what mine is referred to as a Dual Feed Foot and decided diagonals would be the way to go. I'd show you a close up but it's quite scary how stitching in the ditch was really to the left or right of a seam. I used my invisible marker and drew the lines so I'd have some sort of direction but even the best laid plans veer off the beaten path.

I also followed Lori's Binding Tutorial since I've never done that before either. I will say one thing that these finishes have me learning and doing things I've never done before. The binding went on quite smoothly. My corners aren't quite the picture perfect seam but I've accomplished something that really makes me proud.

 
And then the back . . .
 
 
I'm so happy with my end result.
 
I've been so tempted to try a block from the Scrappy Trips Around The World! I decided I'd use the fabric I won from Lynne of Kansas Troubles Quilters and her line of Sandhill Plums by Moda. I actually made 2 blocks but this is one of them. Once I knew how to do the first one the second one went by quite quickly.
 
 
I won quite a few scraps so we'll see how big I can get this. My daughter was quite bummed that the Wreath was just a small table size and something that she could not wrap her body around. Hopefully this will do the trick. 
 

 
Have a Great Day!

 
 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Longest Work-in-Progress

Many (not a few) years ago - let's just say it - 18 years ago a pattern came out on the Internet from McCall's Quilting. The pattern was "Christmas Wreath" and it was November, 1995. In 2001 (from the date stamp on my printed sheet) I came across this pattern. The wreath was made up of lots of half square triangles in an assortment of greens and reds. In true fashion I looked at it and dove right in. I didn't have a clue to what I was doing. I doubt very much any of these seams were true 1/4" seams. I winged it with fat quarter bundles I got from my local Jo Ann's.

 
 
Looking at this WIP brings me back to when my children were young and in some sort of school program. I had hours to myself that I had not seen in awhile so I jumped into those itsy-bitsy HST's with enthusiasm that I've never had before.

 
I was an extreme amateur tackling something that truly only someone who's actually done this before would do. My points aren't true, my squares weren't accurate but I burst through the challenge like no one's business.
 
 
 
So it is only fitting that I choose this beautiful wreath as my February finish. I will be first of all taking apart batting that I had started to sew in the ditch (I was clueless remember). I have backing fabric already so I'll sandwich, pin and use my walking foot like no body's business. Nothing fancy just straight seams. Then I'll make a binding and find some sort of tutorial on that because I've definitely never added a binding to something before.
 
 
Then when I'm done I can cross off my longest WIP, a first of hopefully many finished quilts even if it's just a wall hanging size and getting over my fear of making and sewing some binding. Wow! I do have a little ammunition in my corner that we'll be on winter break for a whole week and it will be give me plenty of time to sew.
A Lovely Year of Finishes Have a Great Day!

 
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

2012 Craftsy BOM Finished


This quilt top has been a long time coming - a year to be exact! I've learned so much and I have to thank Craftsy for sponsoring a year long Block of the Month. Amy at Stitchery Dickory Dock provided me with a visual and printable handouts to be able to go at my own pace and learn new techniques that I've never even thought of doing before.

 
The one thing I definitely learned is I will not be making anything that has to do with hexagons! I hated the hand sewing to make the hexi's and the attachment of them on the block. Hand sewing is just not my thing!
 

I also learned on the curved piecing that I do need to use spray starch on one of the pieces. This picture is actually my second block of the same thing. The first one was so crooked and out of shape it was quite embarrassing. By starching the curved piece and keeping the top piece flexible I was able to handle the curves much better and get an accurate measurement.


I've said it before and I think I'll say it again - I LOVE PAPER PIECING! My blocks come out accurate and just putting the pieces together make me happy! This is by far my favorite block!


 
I signed up to for Shanna's "A Lovely Year of Finishes" at the beginning of January with having to complete 14 blocks. This was a lot of work to finish and luckily it's a "snow day" today so I was able to finish it up this morning. I still want to add more to the top and sides to make it bigger but for now we're calling this a finished top.
 
Time to think about what I want to finish for the February links - something much smaller will more than likely be on my agenda. I've also been encouraged by my blog friend Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches to link up to her blog. Every month she is encouraging blogs to link up their post on something that they've done new to them. If you've done something that is new to you - go link up!


Celtic Thistle StitchesA Lovely Year of Finishes
 
 Have a Great Day!

 
 

Friday, January 18, 2013

January Check-In

 
The Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month just might be a finish by the end of the month. When I signed up for Shanna's "A Lovely Year of Finishes" I honestly didn't think that I would get all those blocks done. Out of 20 blocks I only had 6 (3 months) done!
 
 
I now have 10 more done! Yeah! I have 4 more to go and of course I have saved the Hexi's blocks for the last. I've also cut out the pieces for the curved piecing blocks so I can get to those ASAP. You can see all of the blocks over in my Flickr page.
 
It's funny how once you take a picture you see things that you definitely would do different in a block. There are a few blocks that I have done that I've made a mistake on or the color combination is terrible. I'll be ripping one block out that is upside down and redoing it (if you see it don't point it out, I already see it), and one of my original blocks I have to re-do because the background is totally different.
 
In the mail I received a Snowman Applique quilt book. Patricia from Quilting Lines sent me the book after drawing my name from my stockings link. I love snowmen and can't wait to add that to my long list of projects/wish lists of things I'd love to accomplish in 2013.
 
  
Have a Great Day!

 
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Finishes

 
I kept going back and forth over to Shanna's blog Fiber Of All Sorts to decide whether I wanted to join her new group and be accountable to all my unfinished UFO's. Then she sent me a message to join their flickr group called "A Lovely Year of Finishes". I have quite a few but the one that I jumped into last January with both feet because I wanted to learn to quilt has appeared to be a project that I got tired of. I joined the Craftsy Block of the Month 2012 and stopped when she got to April. I'll be honest I love to cross stitch but I really hate hand sewing. Hexi's to me is hand sewing and I just stopped because I don't like to hand sew. I just received a new email that 2013's BOM is out so I really need to finish this top.
 
 
This was the Balkan Puzzle Block from February that I never talked about. Luckily I have done a few more months in the past year and on Saturday sewed June and July's blocks. To finish this UFO I have to finish the months of August, September, October and the dreaded April. Will I get done and have a quilt top by the end of the month with a new UFO for February?  I have no idea what life is going to throw in my way to not let me finish but I certainly will try.
 
So here we go time to start the year of 2013 with finishes and even new projects. Time to make myself accountable to all the UFO's I've started and never finished. One in particular is a wreath I made over 10 years ago but didn't know how to quilt and never finished so that might be a month.
 
If you want to join in today is the last day so hurry.
 
 
Have a Great Day!

 
 
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