Friday, January 31, 2014

End of January Quilt Update

January Goals:  Let's see how we do

Two quilts made - Raef and Jared - yes
All four Block of Months (BOM's) current - yes
Applique finished on Jen BOM - yes
Cut 3 quilts for next month - yes
Do swap blocks for February - yes
Celtic Solstice - 20 blocks - yes
Hawaiian table runner finished - my UFO for this month - yes
Roll Quilt - yes

Yay Me!  I started out the New Year in fine fashion and January was definitely a busy month in the studio.  As I reported at the beginning of the month, I had taken classes and was full of new ideas.  I had a one day break in my classes on Jan. 2 so Mister and I went to the studio to start yet another quilt.  I'm pretty sure I have hit the insane point.  We do have a good reason for this one though - it is for a grandson's birthday this month.  Mister starts cutting squares and then triangles while I select and press the fabrics.  He even takes the leftover material from each piece and pre-cuts strips for me that I can use later in other projects.  No mess.  Yay!

I join the light and dark triangles which are then pressed and cut into strips.  The strips are then rearranged and resewn with the result being either an uphill or downhill block.

(6th) Once I have all the blocks made, it is into the house we go to pick a pattern layout.

It was time for a break and I had just recently learned about the fabric warehouse district.  I asked Mister if we could go down and check it out.  Woohoo.  It is a bonanza with warehouses full of fabric everywhere.  We stop at Golden D'or first and I am in heaven.  I know I will be back here within the month.

A few more stores later and we have a new walking foot for the 301, some oil, and a border fabric for Jared's quilt that I will be making later in the month.  Waay too fun.

(8th)  I sewed the blocks together and discovered that I needed a couple more rows.  Fortunately I had made several extra blocks and I had them added on in no time.  I looked into the solids bin and found some chocolate brown that made a perfect inner border.  As I was finishing it, I remembered the stack of 3 1/2" strips that mister had saved from cutting the squares.  They were all 8 1/2" long and I just starting running them end to end until I had enough for the outer border.  It turned out pretty dang sweet and the size made me happy.  Just look at all the variety in this top.  Awesome.

(9th)  Mister and I cut the backing and batting to fit the top.  After stitching the backing together, we create our sandwich.  The next step is so intimidating to me that I am done for the day.

(10th)  I headed out to the studio and made a sample sandwich so that I can practice free motion quilting.  It took practice and we also had to make some changes in the studio sewing machine arrangement, but after a bit I thought I was ready to give it a whirl. I cannot believe how scared I was.

It turned out that it was much easier once we had the 301 involved and I had so much fun just letting myself go.  I was giggling like a schoolgirl again.  I got two quadrants finished and called it a day.  There are a lot of mistakes, but overall I am pleased.  And it was fun to boot.

(11th)  I went out to the studio early and finished quilting the last two quadrants before bringing the quilt into the house to trim and audition binding fabrics.

I had brought in about 1/2 dozen green prints to use for the binding but we wound up deciding on a solid bright green.  Back to the studio to cut and sew it on.

I cannot believe how excited this all was.  I had perma grin all day long.  I loved the way it was turning out and couldn't wait to get it finished.  After dinner, I settled in by the Christmas tree (yes it is still up and will be for at least a week or so) to get the hand stitching finished.

It only took me about an hour and a half before I could say that the quilt was finished.  Well, almost.  I still needed to write on the label, but all sewing was completed.  This has been a great project and we certainly chose a good pattern to work with.  This is Scrappy Mountain Majesties by Bonnie Hunter.  We are going to use it in several other quilts this year, just with different layouts.  Should be interesting.

Before sending, I wrote out the label and Mister took the quilt out back for one last picture:  He wanted the true colors to show.

I jokingly mentioned that we didn't have a deck with a railing to hang it on while taking outdoor pictures.  It appears that that is the correct way to do it if the pictures on Facebook mean anything.  Too funny.  A fence would work as well, but we don't really have a good display one of those either.  I guess Mister will just have to stand there and hold it up.  Such is life.

(12th)  Fun day in the studio.  I completed 3 blocks for the BOM's that I am working on, the February swap blocks, and the half square triangles for Jared's quilt.  What a great day.  I absolutely love days like this.  Different machines set up all over and each one humming a slightly different song as we stitch along.  It was a very productive day and I feel like I came a very long way on checking things off the list.

13th -- Yesterday, I had also finished the piecework on my applique quilt but still needed to do the appliques on all 7 blocks.  I spent today cutting and ironing everything in place to prepare for blanket stitching.  So many parts and itty bitty pieces.  I worked all day and didn't finish -- perhaps tomorrow.

14th - I Finished ironing on appliques and wanted a change of scenery so I started making Jared's blocks.

15th - Since I finished the squares for Jared, I played with crumbs for awhile and started my Celtic Solstice blocks.  Mister was out in the studio with me working on the Memphis (Sphinx - Singer 27) .  We worked together to get Jared's quilt laid out in living room and ready to put the rows together.

16th - Trying the weaving method that I had been practicing with my CS blocks, the top went together easily.  I loved it.  I did a few more CS blocks as leaders and enders and then Mister and I attended the Featherweight club meeting that evening.  It was a good time spent planning this year's meetings and getting a little sewing in as well.  Allison was there and invited me to a retreat in May -- I think I'll go and perhaps invite some of the girls too.

17th - Borders are on!  Woohoo!.  I also made another BOM block, some CS leader-ender blocks (I have 10 now - moving right along) and we stopped at an estate sale  where I scored on a ton of  thread and more storage boxes.  I keep putting things in the studio -- I know it is time to clean again, ugh.

18th - The sandwich made (see above picture) and we are ready to quilt -- started cutting next two quilts in order to take inventory and see what I still need to get.  I think I am going to be short some neutrals.

19th - We went out playing and shopping today and came home with big bags of fabric from several places.  It is definitely time to clean.  I finished the neutrals for two quilts and then started cleaning.  I need to get the scraps managed and into their new homes. After ALL day -- the studio is under control again and I am thrilled.  I decided to take a few shots of the different areas in the studio at this point in time.

20th - I finished quilting two quadrants and did all the blanket stitching on the burgundy appliques.   Mister, meanwhile was doing the finish work on the irons for my Memphis.  He hand painted the gold back as it had been before rust and time took it's toll.  Many machines have a red S and so that gets added and I love it.  He is amazing and they look incredible.  See for yourself.  Is this not just oh so wonderful?  I stand in awe of him.

21st - Finished quilting the last two quadrants and worked on pink appliques.  Another lesson learned today -- when cutting borders that are obvious stripes, one must cut straight.  Oh well, he will love all the bugs anyway.  This is the fabric I got on my first trip down to the warehouse district.

22nd -  Quilt bound, all threads worked in -- Fini!  Back outside we go!  Do you know how hard it is to hide when you are in your pajamas with messy hair in the front yard taking pictures?  Well, let's just say, I did my best.

23rd - I spent all day cutting fabric for a recycled shirt quilt.  Had to take inventory again to make sure I have enough variety.

24th - Went to some estate sales, picked up a few shirts and a box of fabric.  No work in studio.

25th - Finished cutting shirting strips, unpacked goodies (my fabric ordered online arrived today and needed to be refolded and put away), and started sewing strips.  I had myself a Twilight marathon and just kept working.

26th - I had picked up a few shirts at an estate sale and deboned them in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.  It turns out -- I have great variety and am ready to roll on this quilt. Several estate sales caught our eye today and we also had made plans to meet up with a lady advertising a Rocketeer on Craigslist.  First up -- the Rocketeer.  She is asking $100.00 and that is a good price for a 503a.  When we arrived, the machine was not quite as aesthetically perfect as we had hoped so Mister was able to cut the price in half.  It runs though so YAY for us.

Then we were off to the estate sales and OMG -- I hit a gold mine.  I was able to get a ton of yarn, hooks, and books for crocheting, a Gazelle stitching frame for needlework and small hand quilting along with so many accessories, and a very cool pine case that has two shelves and a small ironing board attached to the back.  What a fun find.  No work in the studio today as I had to totally go through my crocheting supplies and organize everything once I had my treasure trove home.

27th - In studio all day -- green applique finished (wow - that took awhile but the blocks are now ready to be embroidered).  The  blocks for shirt quilt started and I am loving them.  It is called Dancing Nine-Patch by Bonnie Hunter and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  Just 2 inch strips everywhere.  I think that perhaps these shirt quilts are my favorites of all.  They just feel right.

28th - It is absolutely freezing outside - not an exaggeration.  Mister doesn't want to heat the studio so I am stuck inside for the next couple of days.  I guess this is as good a time as any for making some progress on my hand quilt projects.  I spent all day and was able to roll the quilt once and get a great start on the next section.  Check another thing off the list for this month.  Yep - movies always help.  Once my fingers were shot, I grabbed my applique blocks to finish the embroidery on them.

Another item marked off the list.  I am running out of days -- will I make the goals I set forth at the beginning of the month?

29th - I did some hand quilting on my UFO - a pineapple table runner that Mister picked out while we were in Hawaii last February -- and then we were off to a couple of estate sales but left empty handed - there was a pink Atlas for $100 and although we talked them down to $25.00 we still walked away from it.  It just needed too much work and the bed was so scratched that it would snag fabric.  I don't really care that these vintage machines are perfect, but they must be usable.   From there we zoomed down to the fabric warehouse district (I told you I would be back this month) as we couldn't go home empty handed, right?  We picked out about a dozen fabrics for backings and brought home about 50 yards for less than $100.  Yep -- good shoppers here and most of these are Robert Kaufman, Michael Miller, and Timeless Treasures prints.

When we got home, Mister weighed the fabric and it came to almost 20 pounds.  Yes, we are stocked up for awhile I think.  Can you tell we have some girl quilts coming up?

30th - A quick trip out in the morning for a couple of estate sales.  We walked away from a Singer 15-91, a 401a (might regret that one), and a Featherweight that they wanted $375.00 for and since I already have two - well it wasn't happening. I picked up a zipper pencil case full of sewing items at one spot for $3.00.  It contained a new Olfa rotary cutter and 3 extra blades.  Score!  I also brought home another set of storage drawers -- Yay.

When we arrived home, treasures were in the mail.  Scrap bags from MODA and the first February swap block.  I need to get mine mailed tomorrow.

It is still cold out and so I spent the rest of the day completing my table runner hand quilting. It was another movie afternoon spent in the den.  In the evening I made a dash out to the studio (brrr) and grabbed a cutting mat and the fabric for binding my table runner.  I cut binding for tomorrow using the new rotary cutter.  It is going to stay in the house in my  mini studio that we are setting up in the office ((the madness spreads - Mister)).  Yep - that way I can still do my thing in the evenings AND be with Mister.

31st -  It is the last day of the month.  I still have two items on my list that are not checked off.  Our cold weather disappeared during the night and it is now 55 degrees at 7:30 a.m. so I take my cut binding out to the studio and quickly attach it to the runner.  I then bring it into the house and sit by the Christmas tree to hand finish.  It is the last day for our decor -- it comes down today.  I have an enormous list of things to do today -- better get moving.

I finish the table runner and settle in for a cup of tea with Mister.  We go through the day's plans and then get busy, busy, busy.

The laundry gets sorted and going, the decorations come down, and we settle in for some lunch.  It is now noon -- yep -- moving units here.

I finish cleaning the front room, switch laundry to the last load and make a dash for the studio.  I have one item not checked off on the list.

In almost 2 hours time, I have finished 10 more Celtic Solstice blocks and the laundry is behind me as well.  Now to get the international swap blocks ready to mail and my scrap swap as well.  I then head to the grocery store and post office.  It is now 5:30 and we need to leave at 6:15 for the auction.  There is a white featherweight tonight and I am interested.  After a quick dinner, we are off and running.

The machine sells for $450.00 -- way out of my range, but I am able to pick up an original featherweight table at a reasonable price of $45.00.  It has been painted white though so Mister is going to strip it down and see what we have.  I am hoping we can get it back to what it originally looked like, stained top with black edges.

It has been a great month!  Very productive and exciting.  I did manage to accomplish all that I set out to do and don't feel as though it consumed my time.  We went out often and spent a good amount of time together.  We saw friends and neighbors, worked on our yard and home, cooked and baked, and just all around enjoyed life.  Now -- onto February.


  1. How nice that you have someone to share your quilting interests!! Love the aqua blue star block in one of the pictures. Looks like you've been busy!

    1. Thanks so much Gena. I had such a great month and the fact that I met the goals is amazing to me. The aqua block is a BOM from JoAnn's that was on clearance and my daughter and I were able to pick up complete sets dirt cheap. We are doing them together.

  2. Such a lovely and productive month you two had!! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs, Allison

    1. Thanks so much Allison. Hope to see you soon.

  3. I'm breathless just reading about your productive month. Sounds like you have as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.

    1. It was great fun -- thanks so much for reading. I am astounded that we accomplished as much as we did. My fingers are crossed that February will be as much fun as well. I spent the day today hand quilting as our weather is yucky again.

  4. Loved your January accounting. It was very motivating.

    1. Thank you so very much. To be truthful, keeping track each day with stories and pictures helped keep me motivated.

  5. WOW, WOW WOW. I wish I could find that much motivation. Where exactly is this fabric district?

  6. Thanks so much Ann Marie. I am in Dallas and it is near Harry Hines and Perth. There are numerous fabric warehouses down there. Great deals can be found -- many Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman, and Timeless Treasures fabrics. It is such fun to go there and walk away with goodies.

  7. How large were your half square triangles that you cut for your grandson's quilt. I have seen that before and it would make a great baby quilt! Thanks. Love it. Love Golden D'Or too! Love your Celtic Solstic. I'm on Step 2 but have finished the others except 5.

    Greenville, TX

    1. Jane -- They started out as 8 1/2" squares and were paired as a neutral/color with right sides together and sliced on the diagonal. Then sewn together to create the HST's. They finish at 8" and then are cut into 2" strips to make the mountains. The final block finishes at 6 1/2 x 8. Thanks for reading and good luck with your CS. Since it is snowing today, my Featherweight is in the house and I am working on those blocks as leader/enders.

  8. How nice for you that your husband quilts too,. My husband totally understands my obsession for quilting, but now that he is retired with no hobbies( other than me he says) I wish that he would cut the fabric, I have good intentions but am usually slightly askew.God bless you both.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment regarding my sweetie. I am indeed a lucky girl.