Monday, February 19, 2018

Experiment with quilt patterns

When I'm working on a big quilt top sometimes I make a small version of the top to experiment with the quilting.  The big top isn't finished yet but the basic idea looks like this only bigger with lots more squares and colors.
I saw somewhere on the internet (sorry I don't remember where) a quilt that had been quilted with this kind of pattern.  So I thought I'd try it out on my sample quilt. 
The good thing about this kind of straight line pattern is that it can all be done using the channel lock on my long arm.  A channel lock blocks the long arm from rolling back and forth so it only moves from left to right across the top in a straight line.  It's really easy, but it does require turning the quilt and re-pinning  it on the frame in order to get straight lines in both axis.  And it takes a bit of fussing to get the straight lines going parallel.  But once that's done it's a breeze!
This was a small quilt 36" x 48".  I might be singing a different tune when I try this trick with a big quilt, say 90" x 90".
We shall see....
Have I great Week!
I know I will I'm off to QuiltCon!!
Yippee!
Cheers, CW



Sunday, February 11, 2018

First Fiinshes of the year!!

Well, there not quite finished.  Both these quilts need to be bound but I can't do that right now 'cause both my sewing machines that have walking feet are in the shop!  They managed to break down  in rapid succession in one afternoon!  The nerve!  Fortunately I have several back-up sewing machines so the sewing goes on!  Just no bindings....

That's part of the reason I have gotten these two quilts quilted.  When I get tired of sewing I'll go to pin another top on the Longarm,  kind of like an intermission;  something brainless I can do while waiting for the muse to reboot.  And then of course once a top is on the frame...it must be quilted!

Any who this first quilt was made with Orphan blocks given to me by a fellow guild member as thank you blocks after my first year as BOM coordinator.   I think these must have been left overs from a much earlier BOM winner, 'cause some of them were signed and dated.   It was easy enough to sew them together and add borders.  voila!  Another bunch of blocks rescued from orphan block oblivion!  It will make a great donation quilt!
I kind of regret using the dark thread in the light ares.  It shows all the boo boos.  I was being lazy, not wanting to take the time to change threads. 
Six of these printed sceens came along with the blocks and they helped to fill in the bottom and top borders. 
You can see how the dark thread looks so much better in the dark background. 
I used a lovely soft flannel for the backing.  I got it at the guild flea market,  it's hard to beat yardage at $4.00/ pound! 
Next up is a baby quilt I made for a good friends daughter who just had a baby.  I ordered this fat quarter bundle from Craftsy with this new baby in mind.  
I keep baby quilt designs real simple.
No point in spending hours and hours piecing some elaborate design. My hope is the baby quilts I make will be loved and used 'til they are all used up!
I used a fun easy all over doodle for the body of the quilt 
And free hand straight lines for the border.  Probably should have used a ruler....
but I think it will be OK with the recipient. 
That's all for now.  Have a Great week!
Cheers, CW

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Managing (or not) my UFO's

Trolling around blog land I've seen a lot of good ideas about how to manage one's UFO's.  'Finish 'um up' challenges seem to be very popular this year (or maybe I'm just finally taking notice, lol).  In any case I thought I'd share my strategy in case there are people like me who shy away from getting to committed but still want to make Some progress on their pile of UFO's!

Because I am a visual type thinker I keep a folder on my desk top titled "Finish 'um up" and in this folder are pictures of (not all, but) a fair number of projects that I Think I would like to work on in the next year or so.  One reason this works better for me is because as I mentioned I am more of a visual thinker and I find when I write a list I tend to just ignore it or forget about it altogether so it really does not serve as a very effective reminder.  I do this with grocery lists too.  I dutifully write things I need from the store with the best of intentions and then promptly forget the list at home! 

Anyway, this pictorial reminder helps me stay more less on track and while it is true that I start more projects than I finish  I do finish a fair number of quilty projects over the course of a year!  You can see that these pictures are clustered into 5 groups (the lower left are just some random pix).
-in the upper left is/ are photos of quilts that just need bindings to be finished.  Usually when they get to this stage they get bound and move on, thus the single photo.

-the next group are tops that need quilting.  That's not all the tops I have, just the ones I want to finish in the foreseeable future.

-Next to that group are centers that are done but need borders.

- Then the Largest group...  Projects in various stages of piecing (PVSP).  I probably won't get to all of these this year, but these are the projects I want to keep in sight so's I might move them along.

-The bottom right are just ideas for projects. I don't really count them as UFO's  I just want to think about them.

When I'm casting about for something to do I can go to this folder and quickly scan my pix and decide what I want to do next.
It's very satisfying to move the little pix from one group to the next and then drag them to the trash icon when they are done!
How many UFO's do I have?  I have no idea!  How many projects do I finish each year?  It varies, but it's usually enough to make me feel like I haven't just been twiddling my thumbs!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Have a great weekend!
cheers, CW