Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Done, done, done!

OMG ..... can you see me doing the happy dance way up here?

Slowly, but surely, the applique borders were worked on and before I knew it ..... this was the last bit to do!
The top is DONE!  Started in July 2009.  This only took 10 years to finish, but who's counting!  Well .... me!   LOL
I'm so thrilled with how it turned out and so glad that I finally figured out my problem.  That applique stencil has been tucked away because I can see doing that again on another top.   Oh, happy, happy, happy!
Another  UFO crossed off the list.  Only 33 more to go .....
What else has been worked on?  The embroidery for this hanging is slowly coming along.
This is not my quilt.  It belongs to a 92 yr. old lady and I'm finishing it for her.  She can't quilt anymore and she can hardly see as well.  She has offered to pay for the hand quilting, but she won't be charged for it.  I just want to get it done for her to use and enjoy now.  There are just a few blocks to do and a bunch of cornerstones and then the outer border.
Oh, the weather.  Usually, I don't talk about the weather, but this year is an exception.  This photo is looking out at the amount of snow outside my studio window.  See the railing in the upper right side?
Where did it go?  There is about five to six feet of snow there right now.  We had our roof shovelled last week and the snow is piled up around the sides of our home.  Good thing we had that done because there is another foot of snow coming today and it is snowing as I write this post.
Groceries have been bought and this will be a good time to stay indoors and quilt away.

Have a great day!

Linking to:

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Problem solved!

Today, my post is about showing how my problem was solved with not being able to use my light table or window to transfer the applique layout onto my borders.  The fabric was just too dark to see through.

To get started, photocopies were made of the applique pattern.  Since my top was made a lot bigger than the original pattern, extra parts of the border applique was added.

Pasting and cutting the photocopies together until the perfect length was made.  Then I started cutting out the applique bits.  This is part of what my stencil looks like.
Can you see blue tabs on the stem part?  I had to put them there and colour them to remind me not to cut out those parts; otherwise my stencil would just fall apart.
My top is then laid out onto my cutting table and weighted down so that it doesn't move.
The cut-out stencil is placed on top of the fabric border and secured after being lined up just so.   Those yellow circle things that you see are weights.   I will use pins to secure the stencil to the fabric also just in case the top slips a bit down towards the floor.
There is a reason why I bought these pounce notions!  They have never been used until now.  This is just the chalk version and they don't stay around too long as the chalk is too easy to brush off.  Next time I come across the version that has the pounce that is ironed off .... I will purchase it!
So, I pounced away at the the empty spaces on my stencil and then removed my paper stencil and shook out all the loose chalk.  Looks good .... well sort of!  At least, I can actually see the design on the fabric now.
Since I am very particular about my circles, I did take time to trace them.
A plastic template that has all different circle sizes is very handy.   Crayola washable markers is used for marking my circles.
Then, my stem is placed on top of the chalk line and pinned in place.
Then, the leaves are added.  All my stems, leaves and circles have been prepared in advance and all I have to do is place them on top of the chalk outline.  More pins.
Next up is the red circles.  Yep, more pins again.
All pinned in place.  Lots of pins in there.  How do I manage those pins without anything coming loose?  Basting is the next step.  Yes, a lot of time spent basting, but it is so worth it.  Someone said that glue would also work well if you want to give that a try.  I'll stick to basting with thread and needle.
Once everything on that section of border is basted in place, the next section is ready to go and all the steps are repeated, except the stencil is reversed or flipped to the left.  In other words, one side has printing on it and the backside doesn't.
There, last two sections all basted in place and ready for me to sew.
A close-up of the basting.
Tune the music for dancing because that is what I'll be doing soon!

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

An oldie, but goodie!

I'm on a mission to get another UFO to the top stage.  Seven UFO's have been chosen to tackle this year and one of them is already done.  This was on the list and I might as well get it done.  I'm on a five-year plan to tackle my 35 UFO's.  Seven a year will do it.  There will definitely be new starts but ones that can quickly become finished tops.

Pressed Flowers.  This UFO has been hanging around for a long time.  Back in May 2011 and November 2011, I posted about getting borders on.  That didn't happen.

Then finally in January 2013, outer borders finally got added.  Then it got shelved again.

How do I know about all these dates?  My blog posts keeps me informed.   Which is embarrassing, also.  Sheeesh .... I'm such a procrastinator!

Now it is back out again and applique is finally getting added.  My garage friends are helping lots in keeping me on schedule and they are so happy whenever an UFO comes with me to the garage to work on. 
The top left section is done!  The right hand section is being sewn.  Finally, progress is happening!
So, why was I hesitant to do the applique on the borders when that is one of my favourite things to do?  It was the fabric that was the problem.  Too dark for me to use either a light box or a window to trace the applique design onto the fabric. 

There has to be a solution to this problem.  I'll show that in my next post because soon I will be ready to prep another border, but not today.

Winter, winter go away!  This is the winter of cold and snow.  Really, really cold weather.  Lots of snow!  My husband had to remove snow from the shed roof.   Next is our house roof, but we will hire someone to do that for us.
Have a great day!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

All churned up

Well, have I been busy or what!  It took me just nine days to make a brand new top.  Here is how it got started.

Browsing Pinterest is always interesting.  I have seen churn dash blocks done scrappy and since I'm drowning in scraps, what better way to get started and tackle some of them.  Notice I said 'some' because I'm still drowning in those scraps.  LOL

Anyway, here are a few of those churn dash blocks.  Then, I decided why not do some crazy blocks to be used as an alternative block?  They would use up even more scraps.  Now we're talking!  No sashing here.  Just by adding tan fabric strips around the crazy blocks makes it look like there is sashing.
Making progress.  Then the light bulb came on.  Why not make a border of scrappy strips?
Oh yes, that will use up even more scraps.  Out came my 1-1/2" and 2-1/2" strips.
Getting there.  Only one more border to assemble.
Now, working the scraps is a very messy job.  I'm not kidding when I say 'messy'.  But is it worth it?
Oh yes!  Here is my top .... all done.  Only took nine days.  Whew, I think that is a record for me.  The top size is 58-1/4" x 82-1/2".  I'll be working those scraps again on another new top.  No pattern yet, but something will come to me.
A closer look at some of the blocks.  For the crazy patch blocks, I used my EQ7 program and printed out some paper piecing blocks.  This did take extra work to make them, but the look is very satisfying.  The crazy block size is 8-1/2" x 8-1/2" and a 2-1/2" border was added on all sides to bring the size to 12" finished.  That is the same size as the churn dash blocks.

This is the backing fabric that will be used.  Nice and colourful to go with the top.
I can't leave today without talking about our snow and our weather.  It has been brutally cold.  One night it got down to -33C (-27.4F) and with the wind chill it was -48C (-54.4F).  Extra blankets were pulled out that night.  What about the snow?  This ruler shows 14" of snow and that is the third time that my husband has snow blowed our back patio.
So much snow.  The snow banks along the city streets are high and it is difficult to see oncoming traffic when turning left or right to get onto another street.
The weather is going to warm up a bit and another snow storm is expected.  Oh my word ... where are we going to put the snow?  We may have to seriously think about taking some of the snow from our roof.

Have a great day.

Linking to:  http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Stitching slow today

It has been a few months since this project was last worked on.  Simple embroidery stitches.  I'm on a mission to try to work on this at the beginning and ending of each day in my studio.  Just a few minutes, just a few stitches will make all the difference in getting this wall hanging done.
You are probably wondering why are there safety pins here and there on my top?  There is batting behind.  No backing yet, just batting.  I prefer to do my embroidery with batting.  Call me silly, but that is what I prefer.

Isn't it bulky?  Well, yes it is.  How do I embroider with all that bulk?  I don't put my hand behind the hoop.  I just let the hoop sit on a pillow and embroider away.  The needle won't go all the way through the layers and catch the pillow fabric and I find that I'm not constantly moving my hoop.  It works for me.

Right now, I'm working on the center and the right at the same time.  That way, when I get to the bottom, both those sections will be done!
 This wall hanging will be hand quilted and already, I'm thinking of ideas on what my design will be.
It has been awfully cold here the last few days and having this on my lap is keeping me warm.  This morning, it was -28C (-18.4F) and much colder with the wind chill.

Have a great day!
Linking to: https://kathysquilts.blogspot.com/2019/01/hand-quilting.html

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Humble Christmas

One UFO is now a top!   Now that is good progress to start the year off.

Started way back in 2015 from a scrap box that I bought from a guild lady that was moving to Barrie.  Wendy, I know you read my blog.  This is what your scraps made and there are still more in the box!

I got stalled on the side borders.  Since it was my decision to add trees to the borders, I got a bit frustrated that my trees would just not add up to something decent looking .... so this project got binned .... for, oh four years.  Oh well, who's counting!  LOL
Since taking it out at the beginning of this year and putting it up on my design wall, I was determined to make it work somehow.  There was a bit of fudging to do with those two skinny trees that are side-by-side on the right side border, but finally that side border got done and now I can proceed with the other two borders.  If you look closely, you can see my paper tree foundations hanging on the two remaining borders.  That is where that tree had to go when completed.
Finally, this is now a top and I'm very pleased with the look!   It was gloomy outside when I took this photo and even with the lights on, my photo is still dark.  It truly is nice and bright and cheery.  Right now, my design wall on something on it, so I will have to go with this photo for now.  Oh well ....
You are probably wondering why this top is called Humble Christmas?  Take a close look at this photo below and see all the arrows pointing to block sections that were pieced to make the correct size needed.  Waste not, want not.  I was determined to use only scraps from Wendy's scrap box and I succeeded.   I'm wondering what in the world will people down the years think when they see this quilt?  Was she a lady that didn't have much money to spend on more fabric or did she really make errors on cutting her fabric and didn't want to spend any more on this project?  It will give someone pause to think about this, for sure!  It is giving me quite the chuckle when I look as I had forgotten how many pieces had to be sewn together.  When I took this photo, it reminded me that .... well, there are a lot!  LOL
Cross off one UFO from my list.  Only 34 more to go.
Have a great day!

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Chevron Log Cabin

Here is another ufo that got finished before 2018 ended.  How glorious is that!

So .... how did I do for 2018?  How many quilts got finished.  How many ufo's got moved to the tops ready for quilting stage?

I did a print screen of all my finished tops and my ufos at the beginning of 2018.   This is how I keep track of my tops and ufos and new projects.  A file was created for each topic and as a item gets finished, the photo gets moved around until it gets a big X.  As each one got done on either the ufo file or top file, a big X crosses that photo off the list. 

The photo below were my tops ready for quilting.  There are 23 tops shown below.  Eight got crossed off  that list during 2018.  That is GOOD in my books.  Thanks to my LAer, Tella, she helped me achieve this goal and my husband and friends are breathing a bit easier.  Everyone is happy to see me sewing binding on a quilt.  Heck, I'm happy to do that too.
This one below were my ufos and there were 40 here.   Seven photos got crossed off during 2018.  Really, that is not bad.  Seven is better than nothing.
Does doing this work for me?  Seeing the results, I think it sure does.  You have no idea how good it feels to me to make a big X on a photo.  Before doing this, a list was made each year, but I'm a visual type of person and seeing a photo helps me more than first realised.

What actually is happening is downsizing.  I'm starting to see more room on the shelves in my studio.   Stuff is not crammed on them like before.   Fabric is still being purchased but not in any great quantities anymore.  Bins are starting to get emptied.  I can't believe I actually wrote that.  But, yes, that is happening.

What exactly got done for 2018.  Here are a few group photos to remind me.

First up, 5 baby blankets for the NICU at our local hospital:

It was definitely a good year!

So, for 2019, this is what I have.  New print screens have been done and I'm ready to do my bit to start crossing off a few tops, ufos and new projects.  Yep, bring it on!

My tops (ready for quilting) has 22 items.  Some will be sent out and some will be done by me.  I would like to get a few tops hand quilted.   Big stitch hand quilting is calling to me.
My ufos (or works in progress) have shrunk nicely but a few new projects have been added to the list.  My ufos can include any old project but also new projects too.  Only 35 now.  
To sum things up, I'm far happier now than I was a year ago.  There are a number of quilts that I can pull out at any time for hanging up with the change of each season.  Yes, very happy.

So, which top will I work on next?

The one at the top of this post.  Hand quilting.  I want to get it done.  What else?

This quilt.  The binding is on and even the label, but I had asked LAer Tella not to do any custom quilting on the leaves and circles in the borders.  These are being hand quilted.  There are a lot of flowers and each is taking time, but they will be worked on now and then and by spring I can show you this quilt as finished.  That is my goal.
I'm hand quilting around each leaf and circle and then putting an X right through each circle and a single line on each leaf.  Love the look and so love this quilt.  Gotta get it finished!
Which ufo?  This one from 2015.  It is time.
Have a great stitching day!

Linking to: http://www.esthersquiltblog.com/ and http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com/