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 bearing 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

Traveling Quilt Start

7 02 2015

I did end up joining one swap this year, but ONLY one. One item that remained on my quilting bucket list was to participate in a round-robin type swap, where each bee mate adds to an existing quilt center.

My opportunity to arose after I’d stalked a Flickr group long enough – an advertisement was posted for a round robin swap, though it was hosted on Threadbias. I joined, and waited. The swap organizer was still looking for participants. It took a while, long enough that I actually forgot that I’d signed up.

Just before the end of the year, it was announced that we had enough members and our starter blocks should go out at the end of January. Unfortunately, due to my surgery, I couldn’t sew until after I’d healed. Right after that, I started working at my new old job (I took over managing the mall location that I’d been working part-time in).

So, I fell a little behind, just not being able to make sewing time. Once I figured out what I wanted to sew, I had to let the tutorials I’d read percolate – the instructions made sense, yet not. Finally, I buckled down and sewed.

After some strips and cutting I ended up with:

Lone Star - Fractured

Yes, I decided on a Lone Star start. Actually, I ended up making enough strip sets to do two of these stars. Right now, only one of these is sewn up, so I can send it out. I used a number of tone-on-tone prints and some of my more ‘modern’ prints, to try and capture the essence of what I personally find appealing.

Lone Star - Complete

Scrappy. Saturated colors. Grey/blacks for neutrals. A mix of low volume prints for the background, so no one has to worry too much about matching.

It’s not perfect – my angles didn’t come out quite right, so there’s a slight wonk to the star. Rather than freaking myself out about it, I’m calling the wonk part of the block’s charm. After all, it lays flat, and I’ve got good seams throughout the piece.

This will soon be winging its way to Tennessee, for its first trip for the year. It will return to me in a year, something for which I’m excited.

In the meantime, I will sew up the second star, and begin making a sister top to the one traveling across the United States.

A Lovely Year of Finishes – February Goal

6 02 2015

Last month was an excellent month for finishing thing! I’m determined to keep the momentum up, so with that in mind, my goal for February, for A Lovely Year of Finishes, is to get Embers to a completed quilt:

Swoon Top

Embers has been a completed quilt top for a long time… Since November of 2013, in fact. I’ve got the binding fabric and batting furnished. I need to figure out a backing fabric. The batting I have is a dark batting to prevent white bearding through the top, so I need a backing that is sufficiently dark colored enough to not show the batting.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Fresh Sewing Day – January 2015 in Review

1 02 2015

January was an interesting month. I was not as productive as I wanted, though I did finish two quilts.

Not only did my employment contract with the university end on 09 January, I ended up in the ER on 02 January. I was having extreme abdominal pain – I actually thought I was having a heart attack. Thankfully, it was simply a gall stone, though the presentation of gall stones led to having my gall bladder removed on 07 January.

Due to the four incisions on my abdomen, I wasn’t able to actually sit at my sewing machine for a couple of weeks. I was only comfortable reclining, so I spent quite a bit of time sitting up in bed.

January 20151. TNH Millefiore 2015 QAL – Round 1 Done, 2. Night Sky Completed Quilt – Front, 3. 3xS Completed Quilt Front

I fail at not doing anything, so I ended up joining The New Hexagon Millefiore 2015 Quilt Along. EPP is not normally my cup of tea, but I really liked this design, so I bought the book and started stitching. I’m still behind on this QAL… February’s instructions just released.

I also finished two quilts, finally! This met my goal for January, for A Lovely Year of finishes, and gets me through two of my goals for Quarter 1 of the 2015 Finish Along.

Unfortunately, being unable to machine sew for most of January left me behind on my ONE swap obligation. I’m going to do my best to finish that ASAP. I’d really like to send it out by Wednesday, at the latest.

Now, I need to decide on goals for February, and get my butt in gear.

Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day, at Lily’s Quilts.


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