Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Finish :: Charity Quilt

This is the second UFO finish for me for February. If you missed the first one, it was this one.

This is a very simple quilt, just some 5 inch by width of fabric strips sewn together.

I quilted it using my walking foot on my BERNINA. I used the serpentine stitch on my machine. I haven't quilted anything this large with a walking foot in a long time. I forgot how much shifting can happen. Also, when sewing lines, even wiggly lines, with a walking foot you need to sew them all in the same direction. If you know what to look for you can tell where the three or four lines are that I sewed the opposite direction from the rest. Hence the bowed look.

I opted to square up the quilt rather than finishing it wonky. So some of the bottom stripe had to be sacrificed. Oh well. The back is cute!

The serpentine stitch gives a nice texture but I will go back to free motion quilting for my next project.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Binding Bucket

I keep a bucket in my sewing room for storing any leftover bits of binding.

When it overflows, I make scrappy binding.

I use this to bind scrap quilts. I make a lot of scrap quilts. If the binding is already made and ready to use, I find that I am more likely to use it and finish things rather than letting them wait.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Day and Stupendous Stitching

Despite living in Colorado and being surrounded by mountains, where I live does not usually get much snow. In the ten years we have lived here this is only the second time school has been cancelled due to snow. In addition, even though much of the eastern part of the U.S. has been socked in with snow and cold, up until Sunday we had been having spring like weather for weeks with temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s.

As the saying around here goes, if you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes. Things changed drastically for us on Sunday when it snowed all day and into the night. It continued to snow off and on Monday too. I spotted this little bird stopping for a snack in our front yard.

He snacked for several minutes before moving on.

Our estimate is that we got a foot of snow at our house, again very unusual for us. When it snows we rarely get more than 2 or 3 inches of accumulation. We've had little to no moisture for far too long though so we are not complaining. But enough about the weather!

On to the sewing. I purchased the class Stupendous Stitching on Craftsy a while ago. I finally got around to watching it recently since my art group decided to use the technique for one of our 12 by 12 projects.

Last year we did a little round robin type exercise. We got six 15" squares of prepared for dye white fabric and put them in paper sacks with our names on them. Then we traded the sacks each month and did a surface design treatment on everyone else's square. In December we finally got to see our own squares. We put them all up on the design wall and decided that we would each do a Stupendous Stitching type treatment to our fabric and cut them down to 12" by 12".

I looked and looked for the photo I was sure I had taken of my square, but I can't find it. So here is what my piece looked like part way through the process.

I think you can still see enough of the background in this picture to get the idea of what it originally looked like. At this point I had couched some things down and done some machine stitching.

Then I did the hand stitching, trimmed it up and quilted it, then added buttons. Here it is finished.

This technique is really fun! I enjoyed pulling out all of my yarns and ribbons for the couching. Then I pulled out my collection of variegated threads for the machine stitching. I used a variety of threads from my growing hand embroidery threads collection. I collect buttons all the time but rarely use them. It was fun to dump them out and sort through them to find a nice range of sizes and colors for this project.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Scrap Group Report

My scrap group met last Wednesday at Kathy's Fabric Trunk in Del Norte, two towns over and about a 35 minute drive from my house. The link will take you to her website. It really is a great shop! If you are ever in the San Luis Valley of Colorado you should stop by.

We had a great time! Nine of us attended, which ties our attendance record. Most of us made spider web blocks. Thanks to my friend Debbie who helped me with my blocks, I now have six, half the number I plan to make.

Again, I am using this tutorial but I am sewing through the white base fabric instead of flipping it back.

I'm not sure when this will get finished. It may be my next Leader and Ender project since I have everything cut and marked already. When finished it will be a charity quilt.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Scrap Cutting with a Plan

Earlier this week I turned this pile of scraps, plus a few more that didn't get into the picture

Into this stack of 2.5" strips

In just a couple of hours.

I put on a movie and before I knew it, I was done. I used my Accuquilt Go! to cut them. I could have cut the fabric with just a ruler and rotary cutter, but ... (1) it would have taken me much longer and (2) my shoulder and wrist and back would have been killing me long before I had cut everything.

My plan for some of these strips is to make rail fence blocks to go with a few of these stars.

I haven't sewn the star together because I have decided I'd like all the light fabric in the HST to be the same fabric. I have enough to do this. I just haven't done it yet. Once it is finished I plan for it to be a Quilt of Valor.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Finish :: Second Scrappy Log Cabin

I'm on a roll! This is my third finish of this week!

For the back I pulled from my stash.

And if you look closely you will see that the binding is also scrappy. I used the left over purple binding from the quilt I posted yesterday as well as three other pieces from my leftover binding bucket.

This one finishes at 42" by 56". It will go to my local hospital for my guild's oncology quilt project.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Finish :: UFO Busting

While doing some sorting/organizing in my sewing room I came across a completed top I pieced at a retreat a few years ago. My mom sent it to me as a kit, complete with binding fabric. It is now finished.

She even sent me this cute backing fabric although it wasn't part of the original kit.

It finishes at about 42" by 48". It will be donated to a local charity. It feels good to have it finished!

Speaking of finishing, I've had it in my mind that I'd like to shoot for finishing one completed top from my stash per month this year. I'm stating it here to make it official. I can of course complete more than one per month, but my goal is to finish a minimum of one per month. In January I completed my Modern Monday project. This is my project for February.