STS – #1 – Singing The Blues

Cher and I have decided that we need to use up some of the “Classic” fabrics that we have in our stash.  We have proclaimed 2017 to be the year of STS – Slash the Stash!   (I have also proclaimed 2017 to be the year to finish UFO’s.)  I started at the end of November 2016 with my stack of blue fabrics.  I have wanted to make the quilt pattern, Hot Shot by Maple Island Quilts for a while now.

MIQ139

By the end of December, according to the pattern I had enough blocks to make the bed size.  However, I made a design change and I decided that I wasn’t going to add the borders to my quilt like was suggested in the pattern so I needed to make more blocks to get my quilt up to a nice bed size – 87″ x 99″.  I ended up making 56 blocks for a 7 by 8 grid.

By January 2, 2017, I had my finished flimsy.

Singing the Blues - flimsy - 87" x 99"

Singing the Blues – flimsy – 87″ x 99″

I kept pushing on, determined that this project was not going to get added to the UFO pile.  By January 15, 2017, the quilting was finished and on March 7, 2017, I took the last hand stitches on the binding.

Here it is in all its finished glory:

SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES

SINGING THE BLUES

This is also one of my 13 projects that I listed for my guild’s UFO Challenge – for the first quarter.  :)

Four UFO Finishes For the Table

2014_July 1_Group Shot of Four Finishes-Optimized

 

Yesterday, I took the last stitches in the four table toppers/runners that I quilted last weekend.  These projects have been on the UFO pile for years.  I set out this year to quilt as many of the tops that have been sitting on the flimsy pile as I could.  I had some incentive from the guild’s UFO challenge this year which I won in June.  I am on a roll and don’t plan on stopping soon!

This group shot photo of the four finished projects was taken from the deck directly above the grass where i placed the quilts.  This may be my new favorite way to take pictures of quilts.  :)

2014_July 1_Daisy Table Runner-OptimizedThis sunflower table runner is from the pattern, Easy Striped Table Runner by Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company.  Years ago, this was a free pattern on the Timeless Treasures website.  They have taken it down now, but the pattern is for sale on several on-line quilting sites.  The following is taken from the pattern jacket.

Pattern Back - Easy Striped Table Runner

Although the pattern jacket says that this is the easiest project you will ever make, this project has been sitting on my “to be quilted pile” for years!  I made one of these table runners for my Mom years ago and I started one for myself right after finishing my Mom’s.  Like so often happens, the project that is destined as a gift gets finished and my project sits in the flimsy pile waiting for me to have some spare time to quilt it.  The pattern says that the runner finishes at 45″ long, but my version is only 35″ long.  Once you understand how the construction works, you can vary the size of the finished runner easily.

2014_July 1_Lilac Table Topper-Optimized

This lilac table topper is from the Spirals pattern by Ursula Riegel of Designs to Share with You.  I have made this topper many times over the years. It is a great pattern to showcase a novelty fabric.

While in Oregon on a trip with my Mother and Aunt in May 2008, I picked up this cute lilac print fabric.  I made table toppers for my Mother and my Aunt.  In 2009, I made a topper for myself.  It has sat in the flimsy pile waiting to be quilted until now.

2014_July 1_St Pat's Day Table Topper-Optimized

This is another table topper made from Ursula Riegel’s pattern.  Did you know that Ursula Riegel is a Canadian designer?  She is located on Vancouver Island in Victoria, BC.  I love to promote Canadian quilt designers.  :)

2014_July 1_St Pat's Day Table Runner-OptimizedThis table runner is from another of Ursula Riegel’s patterns called, It’s Fast, It’s Easy.  This is another pattern that I like to go to for seasonal projects as it showcases the novelty fabrics so well.

Pam sent me the St. Patrick’s Day fabric back in 2006.  Back then, it was nearly impossible to get any novelty fabrics for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter in Canada.  Now because the Canadians are demanding these fabrics they are a little easier to find in Canada.  Believe it or not, I have one more table runner made from this same batch of fabrics that is still on the “flimsy pile” waiting to be quilted.  :)

 

 

Finished UFO’s – Table Runner and Bed Quilt

The table runner that I started on January 2, 2012 is finally finished.  Sometimes it is not just the larger and more complex projects that sit as UFO’s for a very long time.

2014_Feb 20_Poppy Table Runner-Optimized

Here I am at our Guild meting last night showing my completed table runner.Show and Share - February 19, 2014 (15)

We have a UFO Completion Contest at our Quilt Guild this year.  Although I took this completed table runner for show and tell last night, it doesn’t count towards the UFO Completion Contest as your UFO has to be from before 2012.  Because I started this project on January 2, 2012, I am just outside the time period for the contest.

I did show another project at Guild this month that does qualify for the UFO Completion Contest though.  I finally took “Plum Dotty” for show and tell at the Guild.  Plum Dotty was finished to the partial flimsy stage on July 5, 2011.  I say partial flimsy stage because after I had this one together, I put it on the bed and decided that it needed some more blocks to make it wider.  Adding just a few more blocks to make it wider proved to be a challenge because I had run out of the black and white and white and black dot fabrics.  After getting some help from a friend in Oregon who helped source out more fabric for me, I was able to add the extra blocks.  The quilt top then sat for a long time until I had time to quilt and bind it.  I finished Plum Dotty on September 12, 2013, just in time to show at the Fall Fair in our town on September 13 and 14, 2013.

Here is Plum Dotty on the bed.  This is a perfect quilt for winter – not only does it brighten the room at an often dreary time of year, but it is heavy with the extra foundation for the blocks and the flannel back.

2013_Sep 12_Plum Dotty_Finished-OptimizedHere I am at our Guild meeting last night talking about Plum Dotty during Show and Share.

 

Show and Share - February 19, 2014 (17)I wish I could say that finishing these two projects has caught me up to date with my UFO’s, but sadly it barely scratches the surface.

 

 

Merry Christmas!

This year was a very special Christmas for our family.  All 12 of the members of my family were able to celebrate together on Christmas Day!  We did have to wait for two members of my family to get off work before we could eat our turkey dinner, but the important thing was that we were all able to be together.

To commemorate this occasion, we took a picture.  Well, actually, we took several pictures!  It took some time to get all 12 people to be looking the same way, not be talking, etc.  We were a bit challenged because of limited space in our living room, but we managed to get a decent picture in the end.
Pictured, standing in the back row, left to right:  my husband, myself, my son, my son’s finance, my daughter’s fiance, my daughter, my nephew, and my brother.  Sitting in the front row, left to right:  my niece, my dad, my mom, and my sister-in-law.
Years ago, (I am not sure how many exactly, let’s just say many years ago) my mom and I were at a local quilt show.  My mom spotted a table runner that she just loved.  She purchased the kit and I brought it home.  I pieced the top right away and then the project sat on the shelf….for years.  While going through some things in my studio before Christmas, I came across the unfinished table runner.  I decided I would finally quilt the runner and then surprise my mother with the finished product in her stocking at Christmas.  My mom was surprised when she opened up the runner–truth be told, it has been so long since she purchased the runner, she likely forgot that it existed!
I also came across a runner kit that I bought from the same shop during a shop hop one year–poppies instead of sunflowers.  My kit is still in the plastic.  *Sigh*  Maybe I will finish my table runner in 2012!

How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt Anyway?

This is a picture of a quilt that I started a long, long time ago. I started this quilt before I bought my long arm and before I started keeping a detailed tracking sheet of the quilts that I make.

I got the inspiration to make this quilt from a magazine article. I needed to hunt down the article to determine exactly how long this quilt has been in the making. Luckily, I remembered that the quilt pattern was in an American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and so my search for the article was narrowed.

This quilt is made from 16 1/2″ finished blocks that are quilted first and then joined together to make the quilt. Once the blocks are joined together and the binding is applied, there is no further quilting required.

This is a close up of one of the blocks. I did not use Marti Michell’s technique as mentioned in the article to join my blocks together. I preferred the technique that is in Sharon Pederson’s book, “Reversible Quilts: Two at a Time”. Have a look at Sharon’s website for further inspiration and details about her book. http://www.sharonquilts.com/


These two pictures are scans of the magazine article: American Patchwork and Quilting , February 2003–the original inspiration for this quilt.


I am often asked how long it takes me to make a quilt. I find the question hard to answer. The answer is not necessarily based on how difficult the quilt pattern is, which is one of the things that could be a factor in total time to make a quilt. Sometimes, it is necessary to first understand what motivated me to start the quilt in the first place. In the case of this quilt, I was looking for a way to make larger quilts with my DSM. The idea of quilting a quilt in small blocks and then joining the blocks together to make the final quilt appealed to me. I was anxious to try the technique. Once I made a few blocks, the quilt sat–the technique was tried and the inspiration that motivated me to start the quilt waned. This quilt sat for a long time as a UFO. I had no original purpose for making this quilt other than to try out a new technique. Because there was no purpose for the finished quilt, there was no incentive to finish the UFO.

Fast forward to March 2008. We received an invitation to my husband’s Uncle’s 85th birthday party. An 85th birthday is definitely a milestone and very special. I thought this birthday required a quilt to commemorate it. I assessed my UFO’s and dug out the quilt-as-you-go UFO. Now with inspiration to finish because there was an intended recipient of the quilt, I finished the quilt in time for Uncle Aaron’s 85th birthday on March 29, 2008.

This is Uncle Aaron with his cake.

This is a picture of Uncle Aaron’s immediate family–at least those that were able to be present for the celebration.

This is a picture of one of Uncle Aaron’s daughters admiring the quilt.


How long does it take to make a quilt anyway? Sometimes it takes 5 years to make a quilt! *LOL*