Friday, January 30, 2009

Pinwheels & Flying Geese in Ami's Garden

Ami is our second great granddaughter. She was born on Christmas Day. This quilt is for her, but still in progress. It is laying on the floor in strips. I've used fabrics from my stash only (determined to do that as much as possible this year). It has about 300 half square triangle blocks, about 3.5" square. I flipped through Spectacular Scraps before coming up with this layout.

I want the outer triangles to extend into the border so am trying to figure out how to piece that before I sew the strips together. My border print is laying underneath things at the top of the photo. It might look better with a darker border, but I've nothing that works. I like it okay, but wonder if I should go buy something else. I cannot take the layout to a shop to preview any choices, so am thinking it is safer to just go with this one.

Btw, this is Alberta in January, and it rained yesterday... a downpour. I've seen snow in every month, but never rain in January. My DH drove home from work last night on a street that had 6-8" of water because the storm sewers are plugged with ice/snow. I'm sure we now have many unplanned skating rinks throughout the city!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fuchsia meets Fuchsia.

I've finished another UFO and posted it to my PhD site, not here. So if you know me personally and have a new baby, DON'T peek. I cannot gift this one until after the 26th (she pleads as she grins mischievously).

So I will post this one. I cropped the border a bit. It is called "Fuchsia meets Fuchsia" and obviously a Ricky Tims harmonic convergence effort. I've a plan for another one, but not urgent. This one has appliqued fuchsias with some beaded parts I took out of silk flowers. It is about 30" square and doesn't fit anywhere in my home, so it needs a new one.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Two from my scrapbook

I'm quilting, but so busy with other things that I've not had time to take pictures. One quilt is a gift so cannot post the photo or details until after I give it.

Instead, here are a couple of older projects. The first one was for a little gal whose older sister had a quilt I'd made when she was born. The family moved away, but when the older sister refused to share her quilt with the new sibling, her mother looked for me and asked for another quilt. It is called "The Sun Always Shines in Kaylee's Garden."

The second one is a sample for a 2004 class on table runners. It is pretty basic. However, the same group that took this class is now wanting some more. We are looking at the book, "Skinny Quilts & Table Runners" and are quite excited to get started.

The sun is shining and our copious drifts of snow are shrinking. Winter is winter, but having a break like this in the middle of January certainly makes it seem shorter and more bearable!

Friday, January 9, 2009

One more done - well, not quite!

The weather got worse so I didn't walk outside (have a treadmill tho). Today the temperature is supposed to reach nearly thawing. Already the sunshine is inviting me.

As Sue commented yesterday, I am a procrastinator too! But I know if I don't first do the stuff I enjoy the least, it will never get done. So I did all the work first except vacuum (BH has to take that tree from the middle of the living room first), then I quilted. And the baby quilt is done! Yeah. Now binding... and I'll post a photo tomorrow.

My machine and frame are HQ-16, adequate for the job but already I can see the value of a longer arm. I'm rolling as much as I'm quilting. The tables are two from IKEA, very sturdy with height adjustment and leveling features on the legs. As it sinks into the carpet, my BH is adjusting so the machine stays where I put it on the track. Very helpful. The IKEA tables are much less expensive than what HQ wants for their special table, and I already had them so saved over $1000 with that.

I'm noticing that the machine moves so easily that I have trouble with controlling the speed. I try to go slow, but the big loops wind up going too fast, then a red light flashes (I'm using the stitch regulator) and I try to slow down. The sudden burst of speed produces a tension problem -- the bottom thread is not getting pulled into the fabric as it should. I might have to redo a couple of places. Will someone please tell me that this will improve with practice??!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today's Choices

Today we have about -17° C. (0° F), a wind, and a white-out. I heard sirens and saw fire trucks about twenty minutes ago, but cannot see anything that looks like a fire. Everything is white. (See, we Canadians do not live in igloos - grin!) I wanted to go for a walk today.

Also, my to-do list includes bathroom floors, tidy my pantry, clear my desk, and vacuum.

The other option is this picture. It is for the baby of a dear friend, and although not traditional baby fabric, this baby is one of those that seems grown up already, with clear eyes and a wise little face. Hopefully she will love it now but even when she is much older.

I'm not sure I have ambition for all three, but need to accomplish some of this — so what do you think I will choose first: walk or work or making wiggly lines?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Falling Through the Hourglass

I started this quilt in 2004 as a class sample for one my buddy and I were teaching to several beginner quilters. The class used baby colors but I wanted to be different. The top has been sitting on my shelf forever, and seemed like a good one to be my first attempt at quilting a "real quilt" on the new HQ-16. I wanted to do a familiar pattern rather than struggle with pantographs or any free-motion designs that I'd never done before, so picked leaves.

I'd called this quilt Sands of Time but that title didn't work after putting leaves on it. With all the talk about 'where did 2008 go?' and feeling a bit like my life is so quickly dropping through an hourglass, Falling through the Hourglass seemed like a better name. However, the bright colors are a far more appropriate symbol of my usual mood than that title!

Now I have a real baby quilt laying across my machine, in real baby colors, ready to be pinned to the leaders so I can quilt it. Yeah!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Planning for 2009

The monthly "Grad Club" that I belong to (grads from a local stores 'Quilt by Degree' program), offered a challenge. We are to bring a list of our UFOs plus all the PIGs we have on hand. (PIGs are 'projects in a grocery bag' and can include patterns with some of the fabric and kits.)

This list will enter participants in a UFO challenge. The details are not yet revealed, but the last time they had one, it involved points for progress made, even if a project was not completed. Of course, the whole thing is designed to keep us working and maybe even purchase more fabric in the process.

So I sat down last night and started to tally them. The UFO part was easy. Those are in bins and listed on my PhD site (see link at the right). I have about 22 and notice that some are still not posted online. The kits were easy too, as I generally don't buy them. I have only three.

It was the next category that shocked me. If I found them all (big IF - LOL), there are 37 patterns or design ideas, with all or some of the fabrics, stashed in various drawers and shelves. Thirty-seven? How did that happen? This doesn't include all the ideas in my head, nor all the books and magazines with bookmarks in them and filed in a box called 'Possible Projects' (which should be titled 'impossible' or 'am I crazy?').

I'm not going to set the ridiculous goal of trying to get all 62 done this year, but it did cross my mind. Having them written down works as motivation for me, but this would take a staff of ten. Where is that houseboy that I keep telling my husband to hire?

All joking aside, each year I'm directed and encouraged by a Bible verse (this year it is John 15:5) and some words to keep me on track for each thing that I tackle, quilting or otherwise. My attention-deficit mind seems to need this type of prompt. So the 2009 words are: Focus, Plan, Do, and Tidy up.

Enough said. I need to get busy!