Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stash Report Week #30...

July 23 - 29, 2011

And the winner of the Lame Blogger Award goes to... Me! 

I realize I've been completely absent this week, but I've either been too busy to blog or to sick to.  I hosted an all day sew-in on Wednesday for my quilt bee and spent the days before hand getting ready and the day after recuperating and putting things back in order.  I spent a busy and productive day Friday in my sewing room but have been dealing with a migraine since then.  (The two aren't related, just coincidental.)  My head has finally eased up enough for me to try and post my stash report. 

The only thing I managed to finish this week is a table topper (or small wall hanging).  It's the Charlotte pattern from the book 3 Times the Charm!  There are 7 patterns in this book all using one Charm Pack and a small amount of yardage.   This book is written by the fabulous ladies behind Me & My Sister Designs.  I love that they actually show each of these patterns made up in 3 different fabric choices.  I'm calling this little quilt Holly Jolly and it used 1.75 yards for the top.

Holly Jolly Christmas Topper
As for what I bought, it was all about backings this week.  First, I bought the backing for one of the charity quilts I made recently.  In fact, this quilt is already quilted and just waiting for the binding.  The backing fabric is from Clementine by Me and My Sister Designs and I bought 1.5 yards.

Clementine Backing Fabric from Me and My Sister Designs
My local quilt store, Quilts Like Crazy, had a 40% sale off of one cut of fabric this week so I bought 6 yards of Jovial by Basic Grey to use as a backing.  Isn't this such a happy, cheery print?  Gotta love those reindeers.

6 yards of Jovial by Basic Grey
I don't usually purchase much Christmas fabric, but the fabric lines this year have really drawn me in.  So far I've bought some Nature's Gift, Jovial, Countdown to Christmas and Ready, Set, Snow.  Do you think it's the heat getting to me?

Purchased-this-week: 7.5 yards
Used-this-week: 1.75 yards
Purchased-to-date: 258.75 yards
Used-to-date: 116 yards
Net used: -142.75 yards

You know, I think it's still possible I can break even by the end of the year. 

I have a lily out on the deck that has bloomed like crazy this summer.  I probably got a good 15 blooms on this one plant and I just LOVE the smell of them.

Asiatic Lily in Bloom
Until later...

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 
Romans 5:8 (NLT)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moses and the Crazy Bird...

This year we've been having an issue with birds flying into our back door.  In particular, we have one crazy stubborn cardinal that keeps hitting it.  That bird must have flown into it at least 100 times and we were a little afraid he would hurt himself.

The cats on the other hand were having a blast.  They loved watching that stupid bird - especially Moses.

See the bird sitting on the flower pot?
Moses kept throwing herself at the door trying to catch it.   At times, there was only the glass of the door separating the two.  I expect this is as close as this cat will ever get to a real bird.

Moses trying to get the bird through the door.
By the time I remembered I can record video on my camera, Moses had stopped leaping for it.  But you can still see the crazy bird hop around right outside the window.

The internet recommended putting paper over the window to prevent the bird from seeing it's reflection and trying to attack it.  It worked and he's now gone away.  But boy did the cats have fun while it lasted!

Until later...

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)

Stash Report Week #29...

July 16 - 27, 2011

For the first time in a while, I'm glad to report that I used more than I bought this week!

On the finishing front, I completed the binding on Grace.  I used 5 yards for the backing and binding on this one.  I also finished another 2 quilt tops to donate which was another 5 yards of fabric.

Finishes this week
A local quilt store was having a Christmas in July sale so I picked up the border, backing and binding for a table topper I'm making using a Ready, Set, Snow Charm Pack.  The small quilt is all cut out, but I haven't started sewing it together yet.  There's 2.25 yards here.

Ready, Set, Snow Backing, Binding and Border Fabric
I also realized that I needed a few more fabrics to make the pieced blocks for my Winter Wonderland quilt.  I'm making great progress on the Fly Stitch and am almost ready to start on the blocks.  I bought a yard of fabric to coordinate with what I already have for this.

Fabrics for Winter Wonderland Blocks
Purchased-this-week: 3.25 yards
Used-this-week: 10 yards
Purchased-to-date: 251.25 yards
Used-to-date: 114.25 yards
Net used: -137 yards

Moses has spent this week napping on yet another quilt.  She really must think I lay them out just for her and gets mouthy when I try to move them.

Moses on a quilt

Until later...

If you want to know what God really wants you to do, ask him . . . but if you don’t ask in faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.”  
James 1:5-6 (LB)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dilly Dallying Around...

What a productive week for me!  I've gotten more quilting done this week and last than I have in the last couple of months.  At least it seems that way to me.  Just this week I managed to completely finish Grace, start and finish quilting Connections, continue working on the Fly Stitch for Winter Wonderland, make 2 more quilt tops using Dilly Dally fabric and prepare a bunch of new pantographs for use on my frame.  Whew!  That's a lot.

The only other things I would liked to have gotten done this week were to make a Christmas table topper using a Ready, Set, Snow Charm Pack and to finish the Fly Stitch on Winter Wonderland.  It's pretty slow going on the latter though. 

What I really wanted to show were the quilt tops I made recently using a Dilly Dally Layer Cake and some Kona Cotton White.  I won the Layer Cake some months back from Green Fairy Quilts and I've been wanting to make some more quilts for charity.  The fun, bright, cheery fabrics in this line make it perfect for children's quilts.  I used the pattern Spice Cakes by Pieces from My Heart for all of them.

Pattern cover taken from Fat Quarter Shop (where I also bought the pattern)
This is a nice, simple pattern.  I made it as is except for changing the size of the quilts and adding setting triangles to make the edges straight.  I was able to get 3 quilts from the Layer Cake - one is 36" x 48" and the other two are 48" x 60".

Quilt #1 (Baby Blocks) - 36" x 48"
Quilt #2 (Dilly Dallying Around) - 48" x 60"
Quilt #3 (Around the Block) - 48" x 60"
I'm planning to quilt each of them differently - with flowers, bears and butterflies.  Next step is to piece the backings for them.  I have enough backing for 2 of them and plan to go out tomorrow to get a piece for the smallest quilt.  In fact, my mom is visiting as well and this will be her first trip to a real quilt store!

I hope you're having fun (and staying cool) in your neck of the woods as well!

Until later...

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grace, a wrap-up...

I've officially finished Grace.  And a couple days ahead of schedule too!  It's nice not to feel that last minute pressure to finish something.  I can't count the number of times I've put myself in that position.  This is definitely the way to go.

This may be the only quilt I've made where I know the exact day I started it, July 4th.  So it took me 17 days (including today) from start to finish.  That's a pretty quick turn around - especially when I consider I have quilt tops that have been waiting to be quilted for at least 3 years!

I used the pantograph, Climber, by Meridith England to quilt it.  I like this pantograph; it's simple to follow and flows nicely across a quilt.

Climber by Meridith England
We took it outside in the late afternoon sun to get a picture of it.  You can tell the sun's been very bright here lately.

Grace - hanging outside
It's already been washed and dried and will be delivered to the birthday girl this weekend.

The Back of Grace
So, here are the stats for this quilt:
  • Size: 68" square
  • Fabrics: Looking Back Jelly Roll and backing by Brannock & Patek, Kona Cotton Bone and Ivory
  • Batting: Warm &White
  • Thread: Aurifil (piecing), Superior Threads Variegated for quilting
  • Pattern: Star Struck by Cozy Quilts
  • Quilting: Climber by Meridith England (15 passes, 4 bobbins)
  • Started: July 4th, 2011
  • Completed: July 20th, 2011
  • Recipient: Michele - for her birthday
 Until later...

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. 
Psalm 62:2 (NLT)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Progress Report...

I'm puttering along on several projects right now- switching between them frequently.  I'm both enjoying the work on each of them as well as the variety.

First, I've hand sewed the binding down on 3 sides of Grace so far.  This should hopefully see a finish tomorrow.

Completing the binding
Second, I've almost finished assembling another quilt top.  Once quilted, this will be donated to a child in need.  I only have 3 more rows to sew together...

Dilly Dallying Around Charity Quilt
Third, I've quilted a quarter of the Connections top.  I'm trying to make several passes on it a day.

Quilting the Connections Top
And finally, I'm continuing to work on the Fly Stitch on my Winter Wonderland quilt.  I think I'm slightly more than half done with it.

Adding the Fly Stitch in between the embroidery blocks
So that's what I've been up to - or the bulk of it anyway.  I hope you're enjoying whatever's keeping you busy as well!

Until later...

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” 
 Psalm 25:9 (NIV)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another record for me...

Although I hoped to post a different record finish here, this weekend has been incredibly busy and I didn't quite make it.  If I had finished hand sewing the binding down on Grace by tonight, it would have been exactly 2 weeks from start to finish on this quilt.  But no biggie, I still have 5 days before it really needs to be done, so I'll cut myself some slack.

However, I did set a different record for me.  I started quilting Grace at 9 PM on Thursday night and finished quilting less than 24 hours later.  That's a 1-day turn around for a quilt that's 68" square.  I'm just amazed that I got it done that quickly!

Closeup of the quilting on Grace
I felt a little rough the following day, but am still so excited to have this done!  I know there are those of you out there who regularly accomplish such things, but I really didn't think my neck would hold out that long.  Funny enough, my neck wasn't the issue.  It's my knees that were giving me fits.  I was concentrating so hard, I kept locking them up!  Ha! Ha!

Back of Grace
I'll continue to work on the binding, but I'm almost ready to call this one done!

Until later...

God does speak—sometimes one way and sometimes another—even though people may not understand it.”  
Job 33:14 (NCV)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Stash Report Week #28...

July 9 - 15, 2011

I'm taking a short break from cleaning the house to do this latest stash report.  Only the kitchen and half bath left to clean, although those generally require the most elbow grease!

So this week saw a couple of finishes and some more fabric coming in.  I'll start with the finishes.  As I reported earlier in the week, I completed the top for Grace.  It used 6.25 yards of fabric.

Grace quilt on the frame
In between working on Grace, I've been working on some quilts for charity.  I finished the top for one yesterday.  It's 36" x 48" and will be good for a baby or small child.  It used 2 yards of fabric.

Small baby quilt for charity
I have 2 similar quilt tops that I may be able to finish this week.  I'm also hoping to load Connections on the frame and start quilting it.

Now for my purchases...

Do any of you look at Moda Bake Shop?  Several times a week, they feature different designers with free patterns (usually quilts) made using Moda Pre-Cuts.  Recently they offered the pattern for this quilt.

Moda Bake Shop Project
 I not only love the pattern, I think the fabrics are perfect for it.  It uses a Layer Cake and 2 Charm Packs of Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater.  As of this week, I now have both and I managed to get them on sale.

Countdown to Christmas Pre-Cuts
The quilt also requires 3 yards of Moda Bella Solid Ivory.  I had ordered a bolt of this for my Jewel Box quilt, but it's been backordered.  Fortunately, it came in the mail this week (all 15 yards of it) and I have enough for both quilts.

Bolt of Moda Bella Solid Ivory
I also had some other Bella Solids come in - half yard pieces of 2 as well as 3 yards of Natural.  And finally, I found myself with some extra time between appointments and ended up at my local quilt store where I bought several more charm packs - 1 of Ready, Set, Snow and 2 of Luna Notte.  The latter is an older line, but one I wish I'd bought a lot more of when it was out.  I'd love to make an Eventide quilt out of it, but can't get enough of the fabric anymore.

3 New Charm Packs
Purchased-this-week: 25.5 yards
Used-this-week: 8.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 248 yards
Used-to-date: 104.25 yards
Net used: -143.75 yards

Even though my numbers don't really reflect it, I'm getting a lot of quilting done lately.  More importantly, I'm having so much fun working on all these different projects!

Until later...

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish. 
Proverbs 18:13 (NLT)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Funny pet poses...

I've got lots to talk about on the quilting front, just haven't had time to sit down and blog.  However, before I drag myself off to bed, I thought I'd share some recent pet photos with you.

Jack on the cat scratcher
David on the counter (where he shouldn't be)
David emerging from under the living room rug
Gabriel with her new deer antler
David waking from a nap
Gabriel on the sewing room steps
Cappe and Gabriel - angling for treats
Moses on a quilt
Sam drinking water

Until later...

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. 
Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Finished on time...

Whew!  I almost didn't make it.  But a little after 11 last night, I put the final stitches in the birthday quilt top.  (I've now decided to call the quilt Grace.)  It was kind of an arbitrary goal - to have the top done by the end of the weekend - but it now gives me 11 days to quilt and bind it.  It also means I completed the top start to finish in exactly 7 days.

There are 9 of these blocks in the quilt - 5 with a light background, 4 with a dark one.  Each block finishes at 16" and contains 40 pieces.

One of the blocks in Grace
Once I had all of the blocks made and most of the center together, I had Mr. Quilting Bug come and give it a look over.  I wanted to make doubly sure that none of the units were turned in the wrong direction before everything was assembled.  Been there, done that.  It takes so much more effort to unsew a complete quilt top to fix a mistake rather than to catch it before then.

Center of Grace assembled with sashing
The quilt was too large (68" square) to lay out on the floor of my sewing room to take pictures, so I took it to a spare bedroom.  The lighting isn't as good in there so the colors aren't as true as in the previous picture.  Oh, and Moses helped me with these shots as well.

Completed quilt top
Instead of stopping for the day - it was already after my bedtime - I decided to stay up and complete a few other small tasks.  I made the binding for this quilt and pieced the backing as well.  Once I pre-wash the batting, it's ready to be loaded on the frame.  I also took a half hour or so to start cutting out my next quilt.  It's going to be a charity quilt using a Dilly Dally layer cake.

The amount of help I had while working on this quilt yesterday was just amazing!  Moses was my fabric inspector...

Moses on the quilt while I'm trying to pin on borders
Gabriel offered workout advice - by making me step over her every time I got up...

Gabriel in front of my cutting table
And Sam acted in a purely advisory capacity...

Sam napping on the back of the couch
I'm hoping to get this quilt loaded on the frame later today.  But first, I've got some chores to take care of.

Until later...

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14 (NLT)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stash Report Week #27 (And the trend continues)...

July 2 - 8, 2011

More fabric in this week and a couple of finishes as well.  But the trend still continues in the red.

I've been working hard on the birthday quilt.  I've got 5 of 9 blocks completed and most of 2 rows put together.  I'm adding the appropriate sashing as I finish each block because I think it makes it easier to put together at the end.  I timed myself and it takes me 15 minutes to lay out and assemble each block.  So another hour to put the last 4 together plus time for adding the sashing and the borders.  It'll probably take another 3 hours to have the top done.  That being said, I bought the backing for it this week so it'll be ready to quilt when it's together.  I bought 5 yards of this print from the Looking Back line by Brannock & Patek to use for both the backing and binding.

Backing for the birthday quilt
It's so hard to accurately photograph dark fabrics.  The flash always washes them out.  This fabric is actually a very deep dark blue - bordering on black.  Much prettier in person.

I also bought a layer cake of Nature's Gift by Deb Strain and a charm pack of Jovial by Basic Grey.  The layer cake will be used for a Dresden Plate Christmas quilt and I have no immediate plans for the charm pack.  I just liked it. 

Nature's Gift Layer Cake and Jovial Charm Pack
That's all the fabric in for the week.  Now for the finishes...  I completed block 12 of the Baltimore Halloween quilt and I estimate that used half a yard.  I also finished a quilt, Hodgepodge,  that I'll donate to charity.  It used 4.5 yards for the backing and binding.

I've got a number of near finishes right now, so I hope to see some change in my numbers in the next month or so.  Assuming I don't click any more buttons between now and then!

Purchased-this-week: 8.5 yards
Used-this-week: 5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 222.5 yards
Used-to-date: 96 yards
Net used: -126.5 yards

Until later...

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  
Hebrews 4:15–16 (NIV)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another fun day and a finish!

Today was yet another fun, relaxing day for me.  Again no chores on my list - except for making dinner.  But I enjoy catching up on Mr. Quilting Bug's day while cooking so I don't really consider that a chore. 

I never made it back to quilting last night after blogging.  I was tired and my neck was bothering me so I decided to take a bath and go to bed early.  But I got up bright and early this morning feeling refreshed and ready to get back to it!

I had hoped to finish quilting Goulash (now renamed Hodgepodge) and to make all of the blocks for Michele's birthday quilt.  Well, I did manage to finish quilting, labeling and binding Hodgepodge.  Can you guess how this quilt got its name?

Hodgepodge - 60" x 64"
This was a Block of the Month offered by a local quilt shop back in 2009 (I think).  You provided one fabric for all of the blocks and they gave you the rest.  I had no idea when I started it that the fabrics would be so different.  I enjoyed making the blocks, but it also taught me that I'm not really a scrappy quilter.  I can see no instance (in the future) where I will combine hot pink, bright yellow and magenta in the same quilt.  Although it's not the prettiest quilt, I used black flannel for the border and backing and it's really soft.  I'm going to donate this to an orphanage and hopefully a child will find it comforting.

I used scraps from the blocks to make a label for the back and quilted it with an all over meander using Black Aurifil thread.

Label for Hodgepodge
As I already mentioned, my other goal for today was to finish making all of the blocks for Michele's quilt.  Perhaps if I'd forgone the afternoon nap, I might have finished them.  (But what a wonderful nap.)  In any case, I did complete all of the components and got one other block put together.  Only 7 more blocks to make plus sashing and borders!

I also took some of the left over scraps and played with them.  I made some quarter square triangles and pieced them together to make a larger block.  I think I'll use this on the back for the label.

Extra block made from leftover pieces
Earlier I brought the finished charity quilt downstairs to wash and dry.  I swear I laid it on the chair for no more than 10 seconds before I had a cat on it.  That shouldn't have surprised me in this household.

David on Hodgepodge
Until later...

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  
Psalm 82