A View of My Quilt Life

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Day of July and 2014 NewFO Link Up

July is ??  WOW!!! This year seems to be flying by!  Time to recap and link up.   

I am participating in Barbara at Cat Patches 2014 NewFO Challenge. Click here to see everyone's new projects  July NewFO Challenge and Linky Party

My July 2014 quilt stats:
1 new quilt - FINISH!!
This was a NewFO this month - Petal Pinwheels - Prairie Style

1 new quilt - FINISH!!
This was a NewFO this month - WICKED...WALKING!

1 new quilt - FINISH!!
This was an ongoing challenge project and it's actually done, though no pictures of it done, as it was raining this morning.

And then there is the final FINISH from an old UFO - my Sweet Man's 'Grey is not a Color' quilt.   

August turns my attention to  the 9 patch New Quilt from Old Favorites that needs work.  

How was your July?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


It’s Official – It’s a FINISH!!

Presenting:  WICKED…WALKING!

I said my DH was going to be a big help this week & he truly has been.  Monday evening, I was in a quandary as to whether or not this quilt needed embellishment.   I set four of the metal bits in place on half the quilt & called him into the living room from doing the dishes to see what his opinion was.  “Add them” and off he went back to the kitchen to scrub the pots from dinner.

I, on the other hand, did resist adding anything else in the early morning hours of Tuesday as I prepped paperwork & prepared to ship. 

Tuesday morning paperwork included completing the official entry form for the Daring Downton Debacle Challenge Quilt – it needed to be turned that day.  I know how much work goes into hanging a quilt show & usually my entry paperwork is in well before the deadline but not this year.  DH to the rescue again! He dropped off my paperwork almost as soon as the shop opened for business. Sometimes, my quilting is very much a joint effort.

Now I just need to hurry and finish the quilting, applique & binding by Thursday. Oh, and that quilt finally has a name – “Granthams, Gardens & Grounds.”  Pictures of the finish, just as soon as the last stitch is in place.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Tell-All

Another week with a Missing Monday post!
Hopefully this won’t become a trend. 

I was busy over the weekend, even managing to squeeze in some non-studio/stitching activities even – more on that later. 
Never fear, I did spend a good bit of time in the studio – most of it was stitch, stop, turn, stitch, stop, turn, lather, rinse, repeat.

In other words, the machine quilting on the DDD challenge quilt continued. It has really come a long way, though it’s hard to get good photos of the quilting at this point.   I am happy with my progress but since it needs to be dropped off by Thursday, I need to hurry up even more.   Two sides of the binding have been attached but not turned.  I kind of jumped ahead on this step since the borders have all been quilted even though two rows interiors still need quilting added.  This project is being handled a bit differently but it’s okay, sometimes you need to think & quilt outside the box.  Rest assured no quilt was harmed in the jumping around of the quilting, though I am certain a few quilting rules were broken. 

At the same time, the Wicked challenge quilt is nearing the finish line as well.  It was layered and quilted on Friday/Saturday and I was stitching down the turned to the back self-binding yesterday on my breaks & lunch.  

The finishing touches were added last night & it should be on its way to Minnesota later this morning. I’m hoping I don’t suddenly decide it needs ‘just a little more’ as I go pack it into the shipping box. Cross your fingers!  Here are some in progress pictures from the weekend.

Quilting started

I’ll post the finished picture once I am sure it is actually a FINISH!

I’ve never had two projects, both not done, this close to the same deadline – YIKES!  That’s where the DH is really going to pitch in & help this week – taking over chores & cooking so I can have every spare minute to work on them.  Hope your projects are all on track and ahead of schedule!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wicked Challenge Progress

Progress on the Wicked Challenge quilt! 

While I had the original drawing on the sliding glass doors, I made a master tracing of the boots in order to start the drawing of the detail layers that I wanted to add to the purple base color.   In the back of my mind, I kept seeing flames, but not hot rod biker flames, more feminine, scroll-y flames.   My hunt for inspiration on the web didn't turn up anything remotely what I had in mind, though I realized after the fact that I should have searched cowgirl boots & I probably would have found something close.

In the end, I just grabbed my pencil & started drawing, and erasing, and redrawing. There were several crumpled up, discarded drawings and a rather large pile of eraser crumbs before I decided on the design-in-progress. 

I can’t call it final yet because it will continue to evolve until I put the last stitch in place.  I know me…I always think I can make it just a bit better, one more detail, what about this bit or that something.  Drives. Me. Crazy.  And yes, I realize it me, driving myself crazy – all my own doing.  It’s the joy/curse of a creative mind – it never wants to shut off!

I love FUSING!  It’s a perfect way to get these sharp point stuck down!
5 flame pieces on - 5 more to go!

The skirt, on the other hand, is not fused.  It’s one piece of black, with a partial interfacing in lavender, with the bottom edge rolled under and stitched down. I didn't take any pictures of the process (*smacks head* - need to remember to do that for the blog, dummy!) but the piece of black was shaped something like this:

I cut it about twice as long as I wanted it to finish for the width so that I would end up with fairly deep pleats.  I pleated it, pinning it in place and carefully stitched down the edge of each pleat.  I think I achieved a nice effect of a real skirt with it.

I thinking the quilting will be straight forward so as not to detract from the busy details on the boots but we’ll see.  This quilt needs to be finished by Monday & sent off to Cherrywood Fabrics in Minnesota to arrive before August 1st!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Petal Pinwheels - Prairie Style!

It’s a FINISH!! 
 “Petal Pinwheels - Prairie Style”

And my entry in to the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller fabric challenge. 

Entries are due July 25th – so I made it with two days to spare!  Actually it was done last week except for stitching down the binding, which kept getting pushed aside by other projects.  Tuesday night was it! I was feeling the need to spend some evening TV time with the DH and the dogs were feeling clingy. Why?  I have no idea but as soon as I settled into my spot, before I could put down my teacup, never mind pick up my hand work – there was Drake! He thumped down next to me & pretty much passed out to deep doggy sleep – stretched out to his full length and snoring!  Hobbes nicely settled himself in his spot on the other side of me, after the requisite ear stroking of course - his lovely Beagle ears are like satin.

It worked out okay as I was able to just stay boxed in by the boys as I stitched my way around the edge, chatting with the DH, sipping some peppermint tea. A lovely relaxing, yet productive evening. 

Proper pictures were taken last night & my entry duly uploaded!  And while I was taking quilt pictures, I couldn't resist a shot of the giant hostas on the side of the house.  I live the intense lavender color flowers on them.

Tonight I add some details I've worked out for the Wicked challenge quilt - fusing will hopefully go fast!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Wicked Sneak Peek

The Wicked Challenge quilt is due in Minnesota by August 1st. Which meant it was time to get busy on this project! 

I've had the fabric since May and only managed to get it washed on Friday.  That's it - the sum total of my progress before the weekend.  Oh sure, I had tossed a few design idea around but there was no full size sketch to work from, no color decisions made.

On Sunday, I allowed myself the morning to machine quilt on the DDD project, swearing to put that aside & devote the whole afternoon to my Wicked project.

I did well - I drew a full size (20"x 20" sketch), hung it up on the sliding glass door & hated it!

More accurately, I started to second guess myself. Big Time.  I went so far as to bring the laptop down to the studio & started to surf the web, looking for a new design inspiration.  With time flying by, I stopped that nonsense and moved forward - the wicked and wonderful boot idea was my first design concept & I needed to stick with it and make it happen.

Color was easy - I had 3 shades of Wicked green plus black.  Only other Cherrywood fabric in other colors is allowed as long as combined they can't exceed 40% of the top.  The four Wicked colors must make up 60% or more of the top.
I chose purple shades as my other color, with a touch of sand. 

The base of the top - lots of fiddly bits, detail work and some embellishment to go, not to mention machine quilting.

And there's another project that saw some finishing work this past weekend that I will share tomorrow!  Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek at this project.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blueberries, Barns and Basting

Wow - It was a full weekend!  It was so jammed packed that I didn't get a Monday blog post written - sorry about that!

It started Saturday morning with one of my infamous wild hair ideas...to make scones!

What made it a little crazy is that I didn't have all the ingredients in the house - like cream or blueberries - so that meant a quick trip to the store.  It was already 7:00 and I needed to be out of the house on my way to the barn no later than 9:00.

What's a girl to do? Throw on some clothes, run to store & go into overdrive to make 3 batches of scones, that's what! I made it!  Mostly, I'm sure, because I had excellent kitchen help. 

I love Hobbes to bits but in our small kitchen, having to move around with hot baking pans and not fall over him is quite a workout!

It was a gorgeous day to be out in the sunshine riding!  This week's ride saw me mounted on a beautiful, slightly head strong, energetic Appaloosa named Cetan ("Shay-ton"). He was either tired or having a good day, because he was responsive and very cooperative. 

So that's the blueberries and the barn accounted for - what about the basting?

Actually, the Daring Downton Debacle challenge quilt has already layered and ready to have the machine quilting commence.  

Sunday was quilting day and I was able to remove some of the basting pins as I went along.  A lot of time was spent figuring out how I wanted to quilt this.  I'm not one for an all over pattern - it's pretty on some quilts though not my style. 

No, I would much rather plan on having to manhandle a good size quilt through a 6" sewing machine throat, stitching an inch and a half, stop, turn and sew another inch and a half and repeat, over and over and over and over again in all those danged triangle pieces.

On the end rows there were stretches of six inches of continuous straight line stitching - twenty of them in each of the two rows to be exact.  The rest weren't that long. It is cool though that I can take a break from working on the blocks and quilt the outside border.  Gives my hands a bit of a rest & progress is much faster.  As I quilt, I'm tossing around ideas for its real name.

And that's not the only project I worked on, but that's tomorrow's post.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July Projects!

Hostas in bloom
We're just over half way through July  and the push is on!  I have three projects that need to be done by next weekend.

I have to finish hand stitching the binding down on the MQG challenge. In order to not waste any available sewing minute – it comes to work with me for some lunchtime handwork!

I have to machine quilt the Daring Downton Debacle challenge quilt so it can be entered in the quilt show the first weekend of August.  I got it layered and pinned Wednesday night – have no idea on how it will be quilted exactly  but it will be fairly straight forward as the blocks are mostly busy.  I started last night with some quilting in the ditch to stabilize it and some basic diagonal lines in the sashing.

I have the basic design for the Wicked challenge quilt.  Since I plan on doing a mostly fused piece, the construction should go quickly. I’m hoping anyway as I want/need to spend time on the embellishment of this one.

Shade Garden

Hope you all have a good weekend - I'll be in the Studio for part of it with (hopefully) more to show you all from my efforts.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilt Alliance 'Inspired By' Winners

The Quilt Alliance has announced the winners of the "Inspired By" Contest. 

 Click HERE to see all of the winners and check out all 92 entries.

My 'Pink Pineapple' was not among the winners chosen but since all of the entries will be auctioned off this fall to benefit the Quilt Alliance, I consider it a win!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

There Once was a Quilt...

That never wanted to be finished.

Until now - "Grey is Not a Color" is finished! 
Done! Washed! And on the bed!!

Okay - on the line for pictures  but then it's on the bed.

At 84 inches square, the top part of the quilt drapes to the back of the line, else it drags on the ground.

Dried and crinkly!
The binding was machine finished as I know how much wear and tear this quilt is going to take.  Would I do anything different? Yes, I'd probably rearrange the order of some of the greys. But it's done, the DH is happy and it's off my project list.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Interrupting the Scheduled Post to Shout Out a Giveaway

Had to let you all know about a FABULOUS Giveaway over at

Michele in conjunction with Classic Metal Company is giving away a  24" x 24" Barn Quilt sign AND a ruler holder to one lucky winner!  I have seen these signs in real life at several quilt shows and they are beautiful - heavyweight steel, powder coated, and Made in America!

Feathered Star in Navy

Visit Classic Metal Company's website to see all their great items - I love the  brass ornaments!

The Giveaway is open until Saturday, July 19th at Midnight - Good Luck!

Monday, July 14, 2014

MGQ Challenge - It's Almost a Finish

This weekend was very productive!  

And while this quilt still doesn't have a name, it is almost a FINISH!!

I've done all the machine quilting, 

The very narrow coral binding has been attached, turned and pinned.

Though the binding needs to be hand stitched down.
Here is a shot of the back  pieced from the leftovers.

The hand stitching will be completed this week and it will be ready to be posted to the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge - ahead of schedule!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saving and Sharing on Sunday

I'm behind - I admit it. 
I don't like it but I am behind on my blog reading.

And because I am behind, I didn't find out about a new challenge, until it was too late to link up.  You all know I am a challenge junkie but this isn't the kind of challenge that requires fabric up front. 

It's Val's Quilting Studio: 2nd Annual Piggy Bank Challenge !!

By saving change and the odd one or five dollar bill, Val & her husband have a competition over the course of a year to see who saved more.  Val uses her found money for quilting fabric. 

I've been in the habit of saving change for years!  But of course, I take it to the next level - I sort my change into 3 banks. Okay, I know that sounds ridiculous but let me explain.  These are my "banks".

Half gallon bottles - pennies, nickels & dimes, and quarters
First - let's be clear: I did NOT empty these bottles by myself!!  I did participate in the emptying but that's a whole other story.  They are perfect for saving change - wide neck & large capacity.  The penny bottle has exactly one penny in it right now, as it was cashed out recently. 

I collect loose change into this tin on my dresser. When it's full or when the mood hits, I sort pennies in one bottle, dimes & nickels in another and quarters in the third.  

WHY??? you ask.  

So I can gauge how much money I have saved up as the bottle fills.  Once the bottles are completely full, the pennies total around $27,  the dimes and nickels combined are around $150. and finally the quarters come in around $350.  Knowing the amount the full bottles contain means I can estimate my savings by the level at any given moment.

What I don't know is how long it takes me to fill them up because that varies.  But by using this post and Val's blog as a reminder, I will see how much change gets added in a year.

As for the odd dollar bills, they get saved somewhere else entirely.  What about you - do you save spare change and what do you spend it on? 

And even though it's too late to link up on Val's blog - how about seeing how much you can save in a year?

UPDATE:  I have linked up on Val's blog - check it out! Thanks for opening the linky back up, Val!