Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finally ... Let's talk quilting!

I finished another quilt... Yea!!  I had to because I was teaching the technique last week!  Snuck it right in under the wire ... I love this fabric!
You will recall I got the blocks done some time ago ... It was just waiting for borders.  Can I share a deep, dark quilting secret?  I HATE putting borders on ...it takes so long to add them the "proper" way ... I preach it and I know it is the right way, but it takes so long!
Ok ... First step is cutting the border strip; then I measure the length of the quilt through the center of the quilt; then lay my cut, squared off strip out, with my measuring tape on top, and cut it to the measurement.  Then I fold the strip in half and mark the center; fold the quilt in half and mark that center; pin centers together, pin strip at ends, and then ease in the fullness where needed. 
Sew ... Then repeat the same process for the top and bottom borders!  Times three  different borders ... Sheesh!!  It takes a lot of time, but like most things in life ...
The outcome is worth the effort!!  Oh yeah .. Mark that as another finish!!  Now to add it to the stack that needs to be quilted ... Hahaha ..


Today I had coffee with a good friend ... My favorite local ...
It's not that I have to have Starbuck's coffee ... I love Peet's, Coffee Bean and would always support a local, private owned shop!  This Starbuck's has great memories for me ... My friends and I have been coming here for about 15 years!!  We have spent many hours hashing out our lives ... Announced pregnancies ... Marriages ... Divorces ... College acceptances.  Through tears and lots of laughter ... surviving 2 store remodels (none of which we like, but they didn't ask our opinion!), and made many new friends that we see whenever we walk through the doors ... Known to us privately as the living room group.  Most importantly though, my neighborhood coffee shop is close and a place where I keep my sanity, see my friends, don't apologize for the tears, or the raucous laughter some days ... I sure LOVE my girlfriends and can't imagine where we would hang if it wasn't our local coffee place ... It is our version of Cheers!!  I love my girls!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stash Report - Week 12

I am just going to pretend like I did not just disappear for a week and a half!!!  I will bombard you with posts this week and you will get sick of me!!

Lucky for me I have been sewing right along on my APQ Quiltalong so using more of my fabric ... Because I snuck in a little fabric too!

Used this Week: 2 3/4 yards
Used year to Date: 36 3/8 yards
Added this Week:  2 yards
Added Year to Date: 22 1/2 yards
Net Used for 2015: 13 7/8 yard

Oh my goodness these fractions are killing me!!!!  Haha

Want to see what was responsible for the 2 yard addition to my stash .... Polka dots ... Well kind of!!

I am currently having an obsession with Navy blue ... I believe it has something to do with the fact that fabric designers are bombarding us with it right now!!  Just as an FYI ... The picture credit goes to Fat Quarters online shop, but I did not purchase my fabrics there.  Quilt on friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day ... Obviously with a name like Colleen, I'm a little irish!  Enjoy your day ... And look out for the wee folk!

Quiltalong ... Coming along

Well I have finally finished my 1,089 2 1/2" square blocks that I need for my king size APQ Quiltalong quilt.
I used two charm packs in with all my other fabrics, and when I was subcutting my segments after the 1 1/2" strips had been sewn together, they slipped here and there.  So I had to trim many of the blocks just a wee bit.  When your blocks are finishing this small, it is even more imperative to keep your measurements just so. Is it taking a lot of time ... Yes.  But it would be much more frustrating to start assembling this and have it not go together properly.
Just a few of my four patches, but I really need to start sewing them into blocks of nine so I can feel like I am making some progress.
Chaining ... Now to trim apart and press. Do you chain?  A lot of people don't, but I swear by how much time I save.  You do have to be careful when you're stacking and sewing so the squares don't get out of order.  I usually have at least a couple times where I have to stop and figure out where I went wrong!  Haha
Oh {{sigh}} ... This block is measuring a mere 6 1/2" square and with all these intersections and seams, when I pressed the seams to one side, it was just too bulky and I did not like how it was laying. So I am pressing my seams open ... I really hate how much time it takes, but the result is so worth it.  It just does not make sense to spend so much time assembling these blocks, only to take shortcuts to finish.  I really want a beautiful finished project, wouldn't you?
Chaining my nine patches along on my little Singer.  I sew at my friend's house on Monday's and I really love this little machine!  Enough of a break for me now, back to my nine patches!!

Stash Report - Week 11

Lots of sewing this week, but it was all on the APQ quilt that has been cut and yardage counted for many weeks now. I  am getting there.  Post to follow on my progress.

Used this Week: 1/3 yards
Used year to Date: 33 2/3 yards
Added this Week:  0 yards
Added Year to Date: 20 1/2 yards
Net Used for 2015: 13 1/3 yard

Friday, March 13, 2015

Baby quilts

One of my friends is a prolific baby quilt maker.  I told her she should go into business for herself ... She can whip one out in several hours!  I have the honor of quilting them.  Here is one of her latest ...
This is a quilt for her niece's baby and she always loves tight quilting.  I think her vision for this quilt was for it to look really antiquey (my own word, perhaps?) ... It does look that way and she was very pleased with the way it came out.
This is such a beautiful line of fabric .. I don't know if you can tell, but some of the fabrics like the lavender one, have lines running through them so they look like linen!
The aqua one is not part of the line, but it really goes well and gives the quilt a little pop of color.
I love this gray and white print ... I did my loop design trying to get it as small and tight as possible ... That is always a challenge for me .. To go small.
See how the outside edge has a half of a hexie?  She had to make a whole block and cut it in half!!!  Isn't that criminal?  There was not a way to make half a block ...
I did not have the right color Omni thread, so I used Permacore in top and bobbin.  It is a 40 weight, 100 percent cotton.  I usually don't like to use that thick of a thread in the bobbin because it doesn't go that far, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Two bobbins per row ... Not bad at all.
And look who is not a baby anymore ... She is a 2 year old!
She sure looks happy about it!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stash Report - Week 10

Finally going to get my stash report done on time this week!!  I did lots of sewing on the APQ Quiltalong and cutting the alternate blocks so I used quite a bit of material!  Almost have my 1,000 four patches done ... Woo hoo!

Used this Week: 4 2/3 yards
Used year to Date: 33 1/3 yards
Added this Week:  0 yards
Added Year to Date: 20 1/2 yards
Net Used for 2015: 13 yard

So happy, so happy ... Going in the right direction for using my stash.  This quilt is really going to BUST some of it!  Please play along ... How did you do?  Have a great week!
This is a photo I got from Pinterest .. Are these beagle babies not the cutest thing ever!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A New Design

So sorry to have ignored you this week my friends ... I have been busy with issues with my mom.  She lives in an assisted living facility 1/2 hour away; it is a great place, but I am the sole child that lives local, so all the problems fall to me to solve.  She has been having some medical issues and I have been coordinating doctor appointments because it's been a little overwhelming for her.

Earlier in the week we had a surprise visit from my aunt and uncle that live in Washington state.  It was great fun to spend an evening having dinner with them.  It always makes me think of my sweet grandmother when I see my relatives ... I know she would be so proud of us for keeping up with each other and visiting together.

I did manage to get a friend's quilt done this week and I love the design I did.  Something a little different ...
A circular swirl with two little echoed loops thrown in here and there ... They almost look like feathers and I think really make the design look unique.
It was fun to do ... Since I usually do all free motion designs, I get stuck in a rut and like to do something different sometimes.  Can I tell you a secret ... My favorite stitch to do is a stipple!  It is fun, fast and antique looking.  With all the fancy stitches that people create now, so many do not like stippling.  I LOVE it, and you will find it on most of my own quilts.
Don't you love her fabric choices?  It is a jelly roll quilt ... I don't usually like them, but I love this one.  This is the Atelier line from Moda.  

 I used my favorite thread, Omni by Superior. 

Thank you Jayne for allowing me to quilt for you!

Here's a peek of what else I have been working on this week ... More APQ Quiltalong progress ...

After years of living without Instagram, and saying I would never do it, a friend convinced me to try it ... I LOVE it and find it a quick source of inspiration.  Follow me there @quiltingunderthesun

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stash Report - Week 9

Been steadily working on my four patches .. Slow and steady, right?  

Used this Week: 2 yards
Used year to Date: 28 3/4 yards
Added this Week:  .75  yards
Added Year to Date: 20 1/2 yards
Net Used for 2015: 8 1/4 yards

Slowly moving in the right direction!  I longarmed a beautiful quilt this week ... I will show and tell tomorrow.  Come on, jump right in and keep track of what you use and buy.  It's easy ... You don't have to count all the fabric in your stash, you're just keeping track of what you buy and use each week.