Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Bee – June

30 06 2015

June was a fun month for the Traveling Bee-utiful Quilt Bee. I received 16muddyfeet‘s top-in-progress. She requested a farm theme to her quilt. 16muddyfeet said she wasn’t afraid of color, and encouraged us to be free with our additions. I needed no further encouragement.

I immediately knew I wanted to add more animals – it was just a matter of what animals to add. I ended up buying several patterns from an independent designer, BubbleStitch, on Etsy. I highly recommend the patterns available through this shop. I’ve made three of them now, after having purchased quite a few. I think I own nine of the patterns available through BubbleStitch.

The quilt top arrived to me at an odd-size: 52.75″ X 53.75″ or so. I ended up narrowing my animals (from the patterns I’d purchased), to the Piglet, Chick, and Rabbit. I elected to re-draw the patterns in EQ7, in order to get them as large as I’d need (about 15″ each).

From there, it was a matter of piecing, which I ended up not wanting to do. Not because I didn’t want to contribute, but because it’s so flaming hot in my apartment right now! Our AC is not working optimally, and we have terrible air flow. Every time I sat down to sew, I started sweating like crazy.

Piglet Block

Chick Block

Bunny Block

From there, it was a matter of adding the blocks to the top-in-progress. I’d known I needed to sash it, and already had the idea that I wanted a black and white print to space them out. It didn’t take much auditioning – I needed something simpler and more stark than the blocks to make it work.

Since the quilt measured such an odd size, I made the sashing between the blocks finish at 2″ wide. The sashing at each end of the quilt was cut wider, so that I could simply trim it down once I’d sewn my blocks to the greater whole.

Farm Quilt Top

The entire quilt top-in-progress was almost too large for my design wall, so I had to take a photo at an awkward angle. I tried to take a better picture, on the floor at work:

Farm Quilt IIOverall, I’m very happy with my additions, though I feel like they might be too heavy right now. We’ll see how I feel as others add to the top. After all, we’ve another six or so months to go!

WIP Wednesday – Winged Square Blocks

13 05 2015

Stitch ‘N’ Bitch was this past Saturday. I brought my new sewing machine – a Brother SQ9185, hoping to take my first stitches on it. I’d purchased the machine as Bessie, my Brother PC420, desperately needs to be serviced – her timing is way off – but the local service shop has a terrible reputation, and I’ve heard that they’ve had machines for ten months or more for servicing. I don’t want to hand over my machine, and be without it for possibly a year, without having something on hand to sew with. Nor do I want to pay $100 or more for the ‘privilege’. So, I bought a machine, and I’ll research other options in neighboring cities.

Anyway, rant over.

To start myself off, I dusted off one my projects and brought the tote along… Yeah, there were a LOT of HSTs that needed to be trimmed. As in, hundreds of HSTs.

That was how I spent Saturday.

Incidentally, my new machine purchase spurred Sandi’s brother to surprise his fiancée with the same machine, since it only cost $200. She was very surprised to go up for lunch and find a new machine waiting for her for Mother’s Day.

So, many, many, many HSTs later, I was able to finally start piecing blocks. Over the last couple of days, I made six:

Winged Square Blocks - 6 More

To be added onto this:

Winged Square - Top in Progress

Another 14 more blocks in the aqua and pink combination and I’ll be able to add another round onto that top. Thankfully, these seem to go quickly, so I’m hoping to have that round done in a week or so.

Linking to Freshly Pieced’s WIP Wednesday!

I just need another

A Lovely Year of Finishes – May Goal

5 05 2015

April was not a hand-quilting month for me, so I’m going to make May the month I finally finish Sunsets and White Beaches! I keep telling myself I really don’t have that much to finish, and I really don’t… I jusgt seems like so much when I’ve got the blasted thing in my hands.

Sunsets and White Beaches

Really, I’d just love to get this out of my WIP. I’ve actually done a pretty good job about getting stuff through to completion this year. I’d hate for this project to be the one I constantly fail on.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

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.

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

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.