A Lovely Year of Finishes – April Goal

7 04 2015

So, March was a complete bust as far as sticking with either the 2015 Finish Along or the Lovely Year of Finishes. I’m okay with it, mostly. My goal for the Lovely Year of Finishes is still not inspiring me, which is why it’s been bumped off the list for now.

For this month, I want to focus on completing Sunset and White Beaches. That means completing the hand-quilting, and attaching the binding.

Sunsets and White Beaches

I’m a good way through it. I just need to stick to this project this month.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

2015 Finish Along – Q2 Goals

7 04 2015

My ambition to finish things fizzled with the start of March, mostly due to the arrival of the Traveling Bee-utiful center that I was to work on for that month. There were issues, which gave me anxiety, and which ultimately had to be resolved by the Bee organizer.

Once the issues were ironed out, I got my butt in gear, but much of the last two weeks of March were focused exclusively on that quilt center.

The second quarter for the 2015 Finish Along is starting, which means it’s time to set new goals for the next three months:

High Tea Quilt Top

I want to quilt and bind my High Tea top. I’ll have to determine what to use as backing… I might have to order something, as I’m pretty sure that I don’t have anything that would coordinate. Nor do I have enough of the fabrics to used in the top to make a backing.

Charmed, I'm Sure

I want to quilt and bind, Charmed, I’m Sure. I’ve had a backing prepared for quite a while, and I have batting on hand. I just need to pin baste this bad boy – I want to straight line quilt this within the star and along the borders.

Sunsets and White Beaches

Sunsets and White Beaches is being bumped to this quarter. I’d listed it for first quarter, and then didn’t touch it at all. Bad me! But seriously, I just need to work on this a bit a day, and I can cross this one off. Hand-quilting needs to be finished, and then the binding completed.

Botanical BOM 2012 Top

And, finally, Garden Party’s Quadrille. This needs to be quilted and bound, and is probably the most intimidating of all the tops listed on this page to quilt. I love this setting, and would like to do something more than an all-over machine-quilting design. I would like to do some quilting that really pays attention to the negative space in this top, as well as emphasizes the setting, which means some planning is in order.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Bee – March

5 04 2015

The Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Bee underwent its third round over the month of March. I received Cseawright‘s center in the first week of March. Cseawright paper-pieced a beautiful heart for her center, and I was excited to add to it.

After some anxiety over how to fix some issues, and working with the moderator for the group, I added two borders to the center. I designed the borders first in EQ7, because I wanted to give the borders as much thought and effort as Cseawright had clearly put into her center block.

Cindy Quilt

I started with this design. Cseawright’s center is represented by the center square, and the three mitered solid/reads-as-solid borders around it. I wasn’t trying to nail down the exact fabrics I’d be using at this time, but the design, and the rough color values I wanted.

I knew a few things right off the bat: I wanted to repeat a couple of things that Cseawright had done in her center. Namely, polka dots, solid fabrics, and mitered corners. Due to the three borders she’d already added, I felt like the next border needed some piecing, and it needed some lightness. I also knew that I wanted to bring the entire project to a size that would make quilt-y math a little easier for the next person after me.

Cseawright’s center measured 17.5″ square (finished). Not a big deal, but I wanted to finished on a whole, even number.

Border #1 worked out well, though I did have to paper-piece it for accuracy. The four long blocks measure 3.25″H X 17.5″L, and the corner blocks are 3.25″ square. That brought the center to 24″ square (finished), making math for the next border much easier.

I started piecing the eight-pointed stars. Even paper-pieced, they weren’t coming out as precise as I liked – a block that finishes at 4″ didn’t leave a lot of room for error. So, I went back to the EQ7 drawing board.

Cindy Quilt III picked a different star, one that would allow me to create a fading effect with different shades of purple. Paper-piecing these stars worked out much better! I didn’t plan as well as I should have though… I didn’t have quite enough of the background fabric – I’d been working from bolt end cuts I’d gotten from a scrap bag from The Fat Quarter shop. So, I switched a bit, and did the four corner blocks with a different background fabric.

Despite the unplanned changes, I’m extremely happy with what I’ll be sending on:

cseawright Traveling Bee-utiful Top-in-Progress

The finished size now is 32″ square (finished). All fabrics came from my stash – who knew I actually had that much purple?

A Lovely Year of Finishes – March Goal

1 03 2015

So far, I’ve done fairly well in keeping up with my monthly goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I’m pleased that I’ve managed to keep myself to the goals I’ve assigned myself – that’s not typical for me, when it comes to quilting. I usually let myself work on projects as the mood strikes. Maybe I’m just in the mood to actually have some new quilts in the house!

Anyway… My goal for this month is to recover a project from failure, and make it into something that I’m happy with:


This is From an Unquiet Mind I: Semi-Phores. I began piecing this from scraps when my father was in the hospital over this past summer. I couldn’t be with him daily, but I could find some solace in making something. I couldn’t fix everything that was wrong, but I could make something whole out of things that might otherwise be discarded.

It quickly reached a point in which I felt it was complete, so I thought I’d make a small wall hanging from it, and turned to quilting it.


I decided to attempt using my Janome with a walking foot for quilting, because my Brother PC210 doesn’t like quilting anything. Despite alternating the directions in which I quilted, I ended up with an undeniable wave to the quilt sandwich.

Initially, I thought I’d throw it away, but by this time, Dad was temporarily living with us, and he convinced me to set it aside. Now, I think I’m ready to return to this project, and try to salvage it. We’ll see how this goes.

Fresh Sewing Day – February 2015 in Review

1 03 2015

February was a slow month for me. I’m still in the process of figuring out how my days will flow, with the ‘new’ old job. On one hand, I have more time to spend with my husband and son. On the other hand, I have more time to spend with my husband and son.

That might sound weird – I’m simply having a hard time separating out time for myself for sewing. I need to simply schedule this time, better use the ‘free’ time I have to myself, better define what is ‘my’ time.

February 2015 - Fresh Sewing Day1. Lone Star – Complete, 2. Home Treasure – 12″ Block, 3. This and That – 12″ Block, 4. Twin Sisters – 8″ Block, 5. Double X – 8″ Block, 6. Sugar Bowl – 8″ Block, 7. Road to Oklahoma – 6″ Block, 8. Mosaic No. 12 – 6″ Block, 9. Patch Me If You Can – 6″ Block, 10. Scrap Zig Zag – 6″ Block, 11. New Hexagon Rosette 1 – Restart AGAIN, 12. Embers – Front

What I did manage to accomplish, I’m pleased with.

As mentioned previously in this blog, I joined a single round robin for this year. My starter block for my quilt was a lone star block. My contributions for Blue Figs Quilt’s started block were a series of orange and yellow blocks in three sizes: 6″, 8″, and 12″ squares. She’s shooting for a very sunshine-y quilt. Finding fabrics in the right colors was not a hardship in my stash.

I also abandoned my efforts at hand sewing the hexagons for The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along. I just couldn’t stay awake while attempting to hand sew the thing. So, I gave up, and started over. I’m machine piecing it now. Obviously, this puts me further behind in keeping up, as I haven’t finished January’s rosette, and February and March’s instructions have released.

I met my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, by finally completing Embers. I’d had the top sitting since November of 2013, and was determined that I’d finish it for this month. I just met the goal – it took me forever to sit down and do the binding once I’d received the backing fabrics in the mail and did the quilting.

I’m looking forward to getting my butt in gear for the month of March – I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to finish, and some projects I’d like to start making progress on.

Embers – Photographs

28 02 2015

I got a chance to take photos of Embers after the end of my shift today.

Embers - Front

Details for this quilt:

Measures: 76.5″ X 76.5″ after washing and drying.

Swoon block was re-sized down to 16″, and no yellow, orange or pink fabrics were repeated in the top. Kona Coal was used in the background.

Embers - Back

I’d ordered three yards each of the same print in two colors for the backing. However, when I opened the package, I discovered that the red print was in two separate cuts. Rather than mess about with matching the pattern, I opted to insert a yard of the Matilda chevron print in orange.

Embers - Detail

I attempted to evoke the idea of flames in the quilting. Halfway into the quilting, I realized that it would have worked better if I tried to do a sort of cartoon candle flame – it would have made traveling easier. Regardless, I think the quilting worked out well, and I’m getting more comfortable with machine quilting on the frame. I might be ready to try something more complicated than the all over designs I’ve been working with.

Embers – Finished!

28 02 2015

Embers - Drying

I spent Sunday the 15th quilting up the Embers top at Sandi’s. I’m mostly pleased – the batting proved problematic, and I’m not thrilled, but resolving it would be more work than I want…

I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Black Batting for this top, as I was concerned about bearding through the Kona coal background. One of the first things I noticed about this batting was that it was very clingy. Which wasn’t a problem for the first half of the quilting process…

Then I realized that the batting was pulling more of the backing fabric off the roll than needed. I ended up having to release everything from the bottom rollers and then re-roll the backing fabric to get proper tension again. I thought I managed to avoid any pleats, but I was so, so wrong.

AFTER getting the thing off the frame and back home, I discovered that about two inches of backing fabric had pleated, pretty much in the middle of the quilt.


With the entire thing quilted, I elected to simply call it a learning experience, and attached the binding. I finishing binding the thing three days ago, but finally had a chance to wash it this morning. Very necessary, as the batting is fairly stiff.

It doesn’t seem as if the washer in the building laundry is working properly… The thing came out soaking wet, so I suspect the spin cycle didn’t run for its full time, or didn’t run at all. An hour in the dryer left the quilt still wet, so now it’s hanging over the shower rod in the bathroom until I’m done working today, and can run it through the dryer again.

Proper photos of it tomorrow, I promise!

Linking to a Lovely Year of Finishes, for February!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Also tracking this for the 2015 Finish Along. This makes three of my five goals for the quarter completed!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side


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