Wednesday, January 31, 2007

UFO finish #6 - tablerunner

Whoo Hoo! I finished another UFO today! This makes #6 so I am really pretty excited about this! Considering that I finished 6 UFO's and it is just the end of January I am really pretty happy.

This is the tablerunner that I made out of left-over log cabin blocks and using scraps from my scrap bin (or scrap heap as I call it). You can see the original post here. I am extra proud of this UFO because the backing and batting came out of the scrap heap too. I have no idea where i am going to put it but hey it is finished :)


Here is a close-up of the quilting that I did. I did a type of quilting called 1-2-3 in the backgrounds and the border. Andi aksed me to explain the 1-2-3 quilting pattern and it is sort of like this but tighter and closer together. Actually I would say that this link is it exactly. This is a link to Diane Gaudynski's book Quilt Savy on Amazon. look at the bottom area in purple. I hope that this explains things for you Andi.

Since the runner looked rather Egyptian to me I did a sort of palm frond sort of eye looking quilting in the log cabin blocks themselves. I just couldn't decide how to quilt this runner so I ended up leaving it for a while and I think that the break was very worthwhile. I was listening to a Podcast called "Driven to Quilt" and she talked about UFO's in one episode. She was talking about how sometimes you need to put them away for a while before you can finish them and how sometimes you just need to get rid of them. I think that this was one that I needed to put away for a while so that I could decide how to quilt it.

We have our quilt guild meeting tonight and it is the mini workshop night. I am teaching a little workshop on bobbin work. I hope that people like it. I am going to wear my DiggiBobbE jeans and show off my DiggiBobbE bag just so that I can show some bobbin work in a project. I am going to show free-motion bobbin work, using your decorative stitches, DiggiBobbE via the embroidery machine and free-motion DiggiBobbE. What do you think?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Yo Yo's!!

I finally got my Clover Yo Yo maker this weekend! You can see my original posts here and here. There are a bunch of links in these posts. I have to say that this is a really great tool and I just love using it. Here's a picture of all the yo yo's that I made this weekend. The purple ones on the right are the very first ones that I did and I embellished a couple with buttons just for fun. The others are all out of Christmas fabric scraps. Eventually I will have enough to make a Christmas tree garland for next year. Won't that look nice? I have to say that this is really nice hand work and I love how accurate and perfect the tool makes the yo yos. You also don't have to cut out the fabric circle before the fabric goes into the tool. You can rough cut it later! And, that is something that I just love. I really love tools that make a task faster, easier, more accurate and more enjoyable. I have to say that these little guys are pretty addictive and I can see all kinds of places where yo yo's would be great. For example how about bags and pillows, tablerunners and into a quilt binding? I have a feeling that you're going to be seeing some yo yo's from me in the future LOL! :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fabric Postcard UFO finish #5

Here is my UFO finish #5!! Well, maybe I shouldn't really count this as a UFO but it was somethning that I needed to get done and I should have done it last year (December) so I put it on my list :) These are my "Oh La La!" fabric postcards for a fabric post card swap on the Fabric Postcards Yahoo list. This is the first swap that I have participated in and I am really excited about it. So far I have received one postcard in the mail and it is from the UK. These little cards can take quite a while to make but I think that they are really fun.

The pattern is based on a larger pattern from the McCalls magazine for a wall quilt. I reduced the pattern so that it would fit on a postcard. I hope that everyone enjoys their cards.

Thanks for all the encouragement from you all! I love hearing from you :) How's everyone doing with their UFO's and WIP and WISP?? I only have 28 more to go so now onto UFO#6!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

UFO finish #4!!

I am on a roll lately with these finishes :) Well, I guess if 4 finishes in one month can be called a roll:) Thank you all for all you kind words and encouragement! It has really been a huge factor in keeping me going on these UFO's. Thanks again!
Here is picture of my UFO finish #4! This is a fall pattern from The Quilter Magazine from November of 2004. I substituted embroidery for the pumpkin applique that they had to try something a bit different. I wasn't very pleased with the way that ithad turned out (I was very new at embroidery and I had stabilized incorrectly) so I put it away for a few years. I took the project back out this weekend basted it and quilted it. I am proud to say that it now has a hanging sleeve, a label and the binding is finished :)


Here is a closeup of the machine quilting. I saw a neat technique for meandering leaves on Diane Gaudynski's website so I thought that I would try that in the corners. Then I wanted to try to create the illusion of depth in the center so I quilted spirals to make the flowers fade to the back.

I also really like the way that leaves blurr the edges of the of the piecing a bit so it looks a bit more harmonious.

I have been using these UFO's as a chance to try some different quilting and finishing techniques and it certainly is turning this project into something very fun for me. Taking advantage of the creative opportunity I suppose. Since I didn't like the project enough to finish it right away anyways if I do and experiment and it doesn't work out it's no big deal anyways:)

Again thank you for your comments :) I really love reading them:)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

UFO #3!!!

Okay so I know that this isn't quilting but hey it was a UFO of mine so I put it on my list and I finished it :) This is a rug-hooking kit that I purchased, at a quilt shop, where I took the class, and I finally finished. Would you believe that I had the center completely hooked I just had to put on the binding? Some of my UFO's are sooooooo silly because I have them almost completely finished and I only have a few more hours into the project and it would be done. What is it about me that wants to start a project without reference to the finished project sometimes? I think that this is in many of us quilters? But, then I hear of other quilters that have 2 UFO's or none and I just don't understand it.

My next UFO, #4, that I will show, is another silly UFO. I only had to quilt the thing!! It was completely finished otherwise. So silly. Hopefully I will complete the hand sewing on the binding tonight and then it will be completely finished.

Do you guys have UFO's? Or, is it just me? I need some reassurance since I have talked to so many people that have next to no UFO's lately :)

Take Care;

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Second UFO Finish of 2007

Hi all;
I mentioned in my last blog post that I was tackling another UFO yesterday. Well here it is! I finished this raggy bag from scraps from all my raggy jackets that I have made. I did some DigiEobbE work in the centre to set it off. I am really pleased with the bag so far. O thought that it might be big enough to be my gym bag but I think that maybe it should be a bit bigger for that. The only problem is that I still have a ton of these scraps left over! I think that I may have anough to make another jacket or bag LOL! So if I still have left-overs does it count as a finished UFO?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More quilts for the hospital

Hi all;
Thank you all for your nice comments about my "Bella Fiori" embroidery quilt :) I really enjoyed it (except for the ripping part) and I am planning my next embroidery quilt project now.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday machine quilting another quilt for our local hospital :) You can see the first one here. I think that it turned out very nice. The blocks were peiced by various members of our quild and the top was assembled by another one of our guild members. Then it came to me to quilt. i did a very simple all over wave pattern on this one and I really think that it turned out nicely. We plan to have 12 quilts all together to donate to the hospital by our June meeting so that should be pretty great :)

I also spent some time today working on UFO #2 for 2007! Hopefully it will turn out okay. I am working on a bag from left-over pieces from my raggy jackets (pattern by Four Corners Designs) and I have WAAAAY more left-over pieces than I thought that I did :) I'll have to post some picutres of these jackets too at some point because they are so cozy to wear. I think that I have enough for another 2-3 bags or maybe another jacket :) Why do I over-buy like that? Well, all that I can say is that these scraps are about 3 years old and I think that I may be better at purchasing fabric now LOL!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

First UFO finish of 2007!!

Hi all!

I finished my first UFO of 2007! I am very excited about this finish since I completely abandined this project when it was in the homestretch about 1 1/2 years ago :( I had to rip the last cluster of flowers in the top right hand corner because I got the placement incorrect. Thank goodness I had my electric seam ripper (here's the one that I have. It is great for ripping embroideries) or I never would have been able to rip that :) Anyways, I was so upset about it that I put it away for a year and a half. I joined a UFO online group and we had to make a list of all of our UFO's (I have 33 now 32) and this was one of my top 5 that I wanted to finish up. The machine embroideries are by Jenny Haskins and they are the "Bella Fiori" card. I just love Jenny Haskin's work! Her designs are soooo well digitized and just beautiful. I also love how open her design cards are; as in, there are so many posibilities for working with them. The were 16 hoopings for the 5x7 hoop and each hooping took at least 2-3 1/2 hours to run on my Pfaff 2170. I think that the over-all finish was worth the time though :)
I was very inspired by the new "Quilting with the Pros II" magazine put out by McCall's magazine. It had an amazing tutorial by Diane Gaudynski where she teaches how to do "bouncing bannanas" as a background fill (if you have never seen her work please check out the link to her web site because she is amazing). I have been wanting to try something new in machine quilting so I thought that I would give this a go. I used 100 weight cotton thread in the top and bobbin since the quilting is so dense. It is pretty intense quilting but I just love the movement of it. I thought that the wavy lines really complimented the beauty of the embroideries. The other thing that I am really happy with (if I can toot my own horn here :) ), is how flat the quilt is :) Not to mention the fact that I finished my first UFO of 2007.

One down 32 to go!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quilt for the hospital

Hi all!

I'm glad that everyone seems to have enjoyed the mystery jacket story. I still smile everytime I think about finding out who made that quilt top that I cut up and made into a jacket.

Our local quilt guild is making several quilts as a group project to go to our local hospital for the long term care patients. In this program the guild buys the fabric and makes the patterns and the members put together the quilt tops, someone bastes them, someone quilts them, someone puts on the label and the binding. I received this quilt top finished and basted and I machine quilted it yesterday afternoon. It is a nice lap size that I think someone will appreciate very much.

I tried out a new quilting technique on this one since I thought that it was a great time to try something new. Now if I could just get all my preemis quilt tops quilted and finished :)

So far I have been stitcking to some of my New Year's Resolutions :) I am near to completing one of my UFO's that has been sitting around for a while so that makes me really happy. I still haven't made up a house work schedual though. My whole person just revolts at the thought of trying to make myself stick to something like that but I really think that it might be good for me (not to mention for the state of my house) . I swear being good at housework skips a generation :) My mother is an excellent house-keeper and really enjoys doing house-work. Not me!! I enjoys sewing and pretty much anything that has to do with fibers and textiles. I know that I am not alone here LOL!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Jacket Mystery Solved!!

I have a very funny story for you all! Remember the quilt top that I bought at a yard sale 5 years ago for $0.50 and turned into a sweatshirt jacket? You can see a picture of the completed jacket here. And, if you want you can see a picture of the unfinshed quilt top here. Well anyways I was at my quilt guild the other night and I was showing off my jacket at show and tell and telling the story about how I bought the unfinished quilt top at a yard sale etc.

Here's the story. While I was doing my show and tell a woman Barb (she's in the picture wearing the jacket and I'm the one with the dark hair) in the front row pointed at me and said "I made that quilt top!" I thought that I was going to die I was laughing so hard. Anyways, I pulled her up to the front and she told about making the quilt top and then I told my part. The whole guild was laughing as we told our two separate halves of the tale.

It turns out that Barb took a course several years ago and ended up spending 5 days making the quilt top. For whatever reason she didn't end up finishing it and donated it to a local thrift store. I purchased it at a yard sale so someone must have purchased it and then ended up selling it again. I had the quilt top for at least 5 years and finally made it into a jacket as you know. I think that it looks great on her and she asked if she could borrow it and how could I deny her that :)

It's funny because when I posted about the jacket last I said that I would be walking down the street on day and someone would say "Hey that's my quilt!" I just didn't expect it to be in front of an audience of other quilters. It's truly amazing the journey that a quilt, or UFO, can take in this world and the story that is behind each of our projects :) That's why we always have to remeber to put labels on our work so that they can speak for themselves :) I'll get off my soap-box now!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Years Resolutions

Well I have finally decided to write down my New Years Resolutions! Do you all do this? I know that I will probably break everyone of them but I think that it is still a good idea to write down your goals and strive for them :) I thought that I would post them here because I had a really good question on my last post. Someone asked:

"I would be interested in finding out how much you quilt a day? Do you have a specific time slot,a routine, a job outside of this or what? Have you made resolutions regarding your projects or time committed to it this year? What are your goals?"

Lets start with my resolutions and goals for 2007

1. Make a list of my UFO's and finish them (I did this and I have 33!!!)
2. Use my stash more (especially for my UFO's).
3. Drink more WATER!!
4. Do more cardiovascular activity.
5. Eat one bananna a day.
6. Make "To Do" lists and do the stuff on them :) (I think that this might make be more organized and hopefully make me more motivated to do the stuff I need to do)
7. Blog more regularily.
8. Call and e-mail my friends and family more.
9. Enter more quilting challenges and comopetitions.
10. Make a house-work routine and stick to it (Blah!!)

That's it for now but I have a feeling that I am forgetting a couple that I wanted to do. Maybe I'll add some later.

As to the rest "how much you quilt a day? Do you have a specific time slot,a routine, a job outside of this or what?"

I quilt at least a little bit most days. Some days I quilt for hours but other days for a couple of minutes. I use the "pockets of time" approach to quilting. I use the bits of time that I ahve available. Also, I don't stress about house-work as much as I should :) My sewing room is in the family room where my kids have some of their toys. You can see some pictures of my sewing room here. This way I am not shutting myself off from my family to quilt. My boys are young still (7 and 5) so this works for me. This has good and bad points of course but it works for me. So I guess the answer is no I don't have a specific routine (I'd love to have one though) I just use the time that I have.

As for a job outside of quilting I am a fitness instructor. I have been teaching aerobics for over 14 years now. I also teach senior's fitness and Pilates. I love teaching fitness classes. I think that it is an amazing thing to do and I am really happy when I teach :) I also teach some quilting classes now and then and I love teaching them as well :) I love sharing what I can which is why I also really enjoy blogging I suppose.

I hope that this answers your questions and let's just see how long I can keep these resolutions :) Wish me luck!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great and safe night :) We had a quiet night at home watching Jet Li's "Fearless" movie. If you haven't seen it yet it is really great.

I thought that I would share some more fabric post cards that I did for new years. These are done with an embroidery from the Sapphire Stitches yahoo group. It was a freebie to the group members for Christmas and it is just the perfect size for a fabric postcard. I love the fringed edge on the top one. I'm not sure if I am going to send these one off or keep them for myself yet :)

Now I have to go and finalize my new year's resolutions :)

Happy New Years !