Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Twister Progress

My twister blocks are done! I free motion quilted feathers in each blade of the twister block. It really didn't take as long as I thought it would. I found my rhythm and just kept going. I stitched in the ditch around the actual square, not the twister. It was impossible for me to find a way to outline the twister without back tracking a million times or breaking my thread. I opted to outline the block. I want the quilt to lay nice and flat. So far, I'm quite happy with the results.
My next question is what to do with these borders!! I think I'm going to free motion a scroll in the skinny red border. I've done it before and like how it looks. I'm probably going to end up stippling the large outer border. I was even thinking of outlining some of the large flowers and then stippling around them. However, I'm not sure what to do with the blue border around the twister blocks. I wanted something small to showcase the feathers. Any ideas? Let me know! I'm looking through books right now trying to come up with something I like and feel comfortable quilting.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valentine's Day Mug Rug

I had promised myself that I couldn't start any new projects until I finished my works in progress. When I came home from work yesterday, I just felt the need to make something small for Valentine's Day. It happens to be my son's birthday too!  I felt I didn't have any cute quilted item for the holiday. I got home and started looking through my stash and this is what I came up with! It's a cute project and it's finished! No need for guilt!

Here's a close up of my quilting. It's the open head band motif I found on line. It was so fun to practice. I just wish the mug rug was a little bigger so I could have really kept quilting this wonderful motif!

I had posted some pictures of my Twister quilt in an earlier post. Here's a close up of one of my Twister blocks after quilting. I think the contrast is much easier to see with the dark red background.

I have a very busy day planned today! Trying to catch up on my projects! Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Machine Quilting, Finally!

I finally felt as though I'd practiced enough and could finally sit down to machine quilt my Twister quilt. It's been all pinned and ready to go but I just didn't feel like the timing was right. I had been practicing but I was busy with the kids on their winter break. Then, I got sick and it just seemed I couldn't get to the darn machine! Today was finally the day!

I looked around at examples of quilted Twister quilts and settled on a feather. It's just one side and I didn't mark anything. I figured I would try and follow the shape of the Twister. My feathers aren't perfect but I feel I'm learning so much! They get so much easier as I keep going. I hope my feathers will improve as I continue my quilt. I have to admit there are times the quilt doesn't move as freely as expected or my hands aren't positioned just right so the feather doesn't come out quite as planned but it's a great way to learn. We all need to start somewhere!

I've only quilted 1 row, 5 more to go! I'm so glad I finally got started and have a little more confidence to continue. I also had a little helper along the way!

I think Lily wants to get in on the fun! Don't tell her, but sometimes she's just more trouble!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bad Week

My computer was fairly old and has been slow for awhile but it finally died this past week. I had to resort to using my phone and my Nook. I really missed the old desk top! Also, my daughter and I have been shopping and had hair appointments. My days off were rather busy. However, yesterday, my husband did go out and found me a nice lap top! I like it but have to get used to it. I was trying it out last night when I came down with a stomach virus. Not fun at all! I went to bed early and woke up a bit better but still not that great. I hope to rest and lay around like Lily is doing in the picture! I'm sure she will love company on the couch!

I haven't had much time for quilting. I have been practicing some more FMQ, knitting my shawl and doing some applique on my Dresden plates. It's been sporadic at best. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things once I feel back to my old self.

 The desk top was on a good sized desk in the sewing/computer room. I may be able to rearrange things and make it a sewing room only! I have so much to do this week! I just have to get over this darn virus.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Keep away from all the nasty viruses out there!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Practicing FMQ

Even though the FMQ Challenge sponsored by SewCal Gal is over, I've still been practicing my free motion quilting. I've been noticing many different patterns as I view quilts in magazines, on line, etc.
I'm not quite as scared to try new patterns and try to figure out how the pattern is actually made. The above picture is just a sample of different patterns that I was trying out. I'm sure you can see a feather in the middle but I was also trying stars and an all over meandering.

This practice piece is mainly clam shells and swirls.I really love the feel of a pattern that rotates. I think the effect is very pretty and adds great texture. It's a bit difficult to get the swirls exactly the same width. I suppose they don't really have to be exact but the closer in size, the better.

I was trying to work on my feathers. I love feathers! I find them challenging but really love the look. I tried this one by sewing a curved spine and just seeing where it would lead. I was happy with it! I need more practice but it's coming along!

I found an allover background pattern called headband. It's very similar to the clam shell but is more open. I love this pattern! I need more practice but I just love the effect. I'm very used to meandering but really want to branch out. I feel this would be a great pattern to replace my allover meandering.

The next quilt I plan on quilting is my Twister quilt. I made a few mock ups of the finished quilter block so I could practice. I would really love to quilt feathers in each quadrant of the twister block. I practiced feathers but also tried a clam shell. I also practiced smaller clam shells in the middle of my practice piece.

There you have it! I'm hoping to start quilting my Twister in the next week or so. I've been working a lot lately and have to find time to get my practice done. Also, my kids are still on school vacation and we've been out shopping. My daughter needs nice work clothes since she'll be student teaching for the semester. We have another shopping expedition planned. Once school starts, I'll be back to my old routine.

I'll be linking to Leah Day's FMQ Friday Link Up. You can see what other people are doing with FMQ! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blogger's BOM

I finally finished the border on the Blogger's BOM quilt. There were 96 rectangles to cut that measure 2.5 inches X 6.5 inches. The corners were 6.5 inches square. It's quite colorful! One of my daughter's friends already has her eye on this one. However, there is still much to do! I have to buy a backing and batting. The quilt has to be sandwiched and then quilted! Long process! However, the biggest step is done. I now have a quilt top!! I haven't measured it yet but I think it's about 60 inches square.

My new kitty, Lily, is settling in quite nicely. She seems happy and is very playful. Here's a picture of her napping on a pillowcase I made using cat fabrics. Very appropriate! Wish I could sleep as well!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolutions 2013

I know we all make resolutions at the beginning of every year. I'd like to lose weight, cook healthier, volunteer, etc. This post is all about the resolutions I'm making to finish my projects. I'd love to start some new quilt projects but feel I really should finish what I've started.

I'm beginning with my knitting. I'm only working on one project. It's the lace shawl pictured above. I'm only about halfway through. It's not a hard pattern but it's sort of a large shawl. It was a pattern I found in a lace magazine from the UK. I'm using 100% baby alpaca yarn. It's so soft and I'm going to love it, when it's done!!

I seem to have more quilt projects going on. I currently have 2 projects that I refer to as hand projects. I'm still working on my hexagon quilt. I've collected quite a few scraps that will be wonderful to make my hexagons with. I just have to remember to get to them! I'm also working on my dresden plates. I'm almost done hand appliqueing the 9th block out of a total of 12. Getting there!

Blogger's BOM (pictured above) needs a piano key border. I just cut all 96 rectangles as well as the corner blocks for this last border. I'll be all set to machine quilt it once that border is done.

Speaking of machine quilting, I have 2 quilt tops all set to machine quilt, my Twister quilt as well as my Puzzle Box quilt. I have been practicing my machine quilting as well. I'll be showing some free motion quilting I've been working on in a future post.

There you have them! Six projects! I'm hoping to work on these projects consistently and finish them. I've always wanted to make a Swoon quilt but I'm trying to hold off until these are done. I'm hoping by blogging about them that I'll actually work on them!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone! I'm wishing you all a happy and healthy 2013. Today was my holiday at work and it was quite busy. The flu has truly arrived in my area! Our emergency room was busy all day. Hope you all got your flu shots. It seems quite nasty this year.

I haven't had time to do much quilting or knitting due to the holidays. I'm hoping to get back into my old routine now that the holidays are winding down. I look forward to completing some of my works in  progress. I think I say that every year!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday! Be safe!

Old and New!

I made this quilt about 15 years ago. It's called Starry Night. I signed up for a Block of the Month. I would receive directions as...