Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Spring Sew-Jo

It's so great to be sewing again and of course, I got my sew-jo back 2 weeks before school lets out for summer. I started using a dry erase board to list all of my WIPs and projects that I need to make and seeing them all written down really helped to motivate me. Here are just a few of the projects that I'm actively working on:

Picnic Plaid Blocks
These blocks were part of the Picnic Plaid pattern in the 2016 Quilters' Planner. I started the 2016 sew along but never finished it. These blocks weren't even finished - there are more to them but I decided that they were good the way they were and decided on this layout.

Valentine Magic Pinwheels
I won these red and white magic pinwheel blocks at my local guild meeting in February. I made 6 more blocks to make it larger and now they're ready to be put together.

These are practice quilt sandwiches when I first got my long arm. Not knowing what to do with them, they've just been lying around on the floor in my sewing room. When my cat Gideon was sick and had a difficult time getting around, I brought them downstairs where we had hardwood floors and he took to sleeping on them in the various rooms. At the most recent trip to the vet, I got the measurements of their feline boarding cages and I'm going to cut them to size and bind them. It's not glamorous sewing but cats always love sleeping on quilts.

Here's hoping my sewing streak lasts!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Jubilee - A Holiday Finish

I'm excited to share my recent finish with all of you! I've had this project for more than a year, the blocks were gifted to me by Libby from Life on the Hill. I absolutely loved these blocks the moment she posted that she was giving them away and when I received them in person I was envious of her mad piecing skills. PERFECT POINTS, people. On ALL the blocks. And they were square as square can be. It was such a joy to put them together.

I got them put together quickly enough but then got sidelined with health issues and a move to a new house so it sat for much longer than I would have liked. This winter I put some borders on it and quilted it last month.

I did custom quilting in the blocks (they're all the same design) with pebbles in the interior borders.

I made up a holly leaf design for the solid green border. I quilted a serpentine feather in the floral border. They were easier to see on the back of the quilt.


This was a great quilt to stretch my longarm skills. It may not look like it, but I used rulers quite a bit on it, from the stitch-in-the-ditch to the curves in the center square of the blocks. That's a win in my book.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hawkeye Finish

One of my coworkers is a HUGE Iowa Hawkeyes football fan and has been asking me to make him a quilt for the last 4 years now. If I could make a quilt for everyone who asks me, I would, but then I'd never get to a place of making a business of quilting (which I'm still wanting to do).

So how did he get so lucky? It's called the barter system. We made a trade of goods - he provides me with free parking vouchers for when my husband and I go to see the Broadway series shows and I make him a mini that had something to do with the Iowa Hawkeyes. He gave me absolute freedom to do what I wanted so I started looking at the logos online until I found the one I liked, with the logo inside of the capital letter I.

This project challenged me in 3 ways: I've never really done satin stitching to this degree. I can say that I'm now much more comfortable with it and I completely understand the need for a stabilizer.  This was also my first time trying a 3/4-inch wide single fold binding using this tutorial and it worked perfectly! Of course, using this method meant that I would have to hand stitch the binding onto the back which was also a first for me but I managed to do it and by the end, I felt pretty comfortable with doing it.

I kept the quilting very simple, just straight lines a 1/2-inch apart throughout most of it. If you look closely at the bottom though, you can see the outline of the word IOWA, in the university's trademark font. For that to pop, I did matchstick quilting. I tried getting a photo of it, but I just couldn't get it to read very well on camera.

The mini measures 20 x 24 and will be gifted during our next work shift together.

Monday, May 07, 2018

RIP Gideon, My Quilt Inspector #2

It is with great sadness when I tell you that Gideon passed away a little over a week ago. We had 6 weeks with him since his diagnosis but we could tell that he was finally starting to feel the pain and decided it was time to let him go.

He and I had spent his last hour nose to nose while he purred a bit and enjoyed all the good rubs I was giving him. He even gave me a few nose kisses right near the end, almost as if to tell me that everything was going to be okay. :'(

Now I prefer to remember him when he was my big guy, always lying next to me on the couch just purring away, or sleeping on the stairs expecting everyone to walk around him.