Categories
WIPs and PhDs

Finished!

The 50 days of works in progress challenge is finished. From February through late March, I (and a bunch of others on Instagram under #50daywipschallenge) committed to only working on projects that were already started. I thought I should share the results. There is one quilt that I have finished, but I can’t share because it is a gift. Here’s the sneak peak:

I also got two other big quilts finished. I realized that in our current pandemic situation, I was not likely to be able to rent time on a long arm, and have a coach help me with some of the techniques that were beyond my experience (which is everything except simple edge-to-edge quilting or a basic meandering free-motion quilting). So I sent all three large quilts to long arm quilters.

My 100-day transformation quilt was sent to Sesvold Designs. Carmen is a friend from the Friendship Star Quilt Guild. She created a masterpiece, following the diamond shape on the quilt front with exquisite lines of quilting. Just look at the detail:

This quilt was a lot of fun. I started it June 1, 2020 as a block-a-day, 100-day project. I used up all of my strip scraps, and even took scraps from projects I worked on during that 100 days. The back is also special. For Labor Day 2020, my daughter wanted to do some tie dyeing. I decided to try ice dyeing. I had a patterned, white-on-white 108 inch backing that was the wrong color for the project it was intended for, so I decided to dye it. Here’s the result:

Not too bad for a first attempt. Carmen did a great job of lining up the center on the front and back of this extra large (112 x 112 inch) quilt. We are using this on our king-sized bed – the first quilt I have made that my husband and I can sleep under!

The second quilt I finished is a sampler quilt that I started in February, 2017 when the National Quilters Circle issued a block challenge for the Snowy Day Sampler by Andrea at Happy Cloud Creations. Each week a new block pattern was released. I had not made any quilts for about a year and a half and decided this would be a good choice to get me back into quilting. I had blue, purple and teal scraps from other projects, and found the pansy print to tie them together.

The fabrics included scraps from my childrens’ 4H sewing projects, my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding quilt and other quilts I have made. I wanted it queen sized, so I added borders. I loved making the big 16 inch blocks. They went so quickly and the quilt came together easily. After I finished the top, it sat in a box until this spring. I did make a back that lists all of the fabrics and their original use.

When I first learned how to use computerized long arm patterns, I developed an elaborate plan to quilt this, but I was told that it would take me years to gain enough skill to execute it on my own. Fortunately, I found Amanda, at Prairie Folk Quilt Company. Amanda and I have never met in person – I “met” her on Instagram when she hosted a contest for free long-arm quilting. I didn’t win, but I was so impressed with her work, and her comments, that I decided to send this quilt off to her. And I am so glad I did! She was great to work with, asked me a lot of questions about the look I wanted, and even looked at my original design for the quilting and incorporated some of it into her quilting design. I am so happy with how this turned out (and so is my daughter, who claimed it). And she finished it lighting quick. Look at this detail.

All in all, I am pretty happy with what I got done during my 50 days of works-in-progress. And I am very glad I have discovered the joys of collaborating with talented long-arm quilters. Now I am off to working on a new quilt. What are your spring quilting plans?

Categories
WIPs and PhDs

Getting Quilts Done

Unfinished objects (UFOs) and works-in-progress are a normal part of my quilting life. I do have one friend who only works on one quilt at a time. She works on it until it is finished then picks a new project. She is very successful at making high quality quilts. I envy her focus, but I don’t understand how her mind works. I always have so many ideas floating around that I want to work on. I definitely have SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) where I always want to flit over and look at the new shiny project (or gorgeous fabrics). SOS seems to be a common issue for many quilters, so there are a lot of UFO and WIP challenges out there. I had decided to switch some of my long term UFOs to 100-day projects this year when @flyinggoosestudio issued a 50 day WIP challenge. The idea is to work on nothing but UFOs and WIPs (in other words, not start any new projects) for 50 days. It is a low-stress challenge and one that really appealed to me right now.

So far:

  1. I finished piecing a wedding quilt that was due three years ago and am finishing the back before I send it off to a longarmer.
  2. I prepped a quilt top and back that were started four years ago and sat in the closet since 2019 to ship to a longarmer who offered to use her art to enhance my piecing.
  3. I finished my quilty Valentine’s Day cards for my family.
  4. I got major work done on a wheelchair quilt for a presentation on March 1st.
  5. I made progress on my Double Irish Chain quilt that was untouched for three years.
1. Bluebonnet Broken Star
3. Purple Heart mini quilt
3. Polyhedral mini quilt
3. Coffee mug mini quilt
3. Tea mug mini quilt
3. Atomic star mini quilt

I’m pretty impressed at the progress in 17 days – I can’t imagine how much will get done in the next 33!

How are your UFOs and WIPs?

Categories
WIPs and PhDs

Making Old Things New

Let me start by saying that I didn’t want to do a “rework” project for UFOvember. When Bobbi Gentili from Geeky Bobbin sent the sign up sheet, I was on vacation and by the time I got home, the only slots left were for “rework” or “rehome”. I knew I didn’t want to give any of my UFOs away, so I signed up for “rework”.

I knew exactly which project I would work on. These 25 quilt blocks were first made between 1992 and 1995. The original plan was for a king-sized Bear’s Paw quilt for our bed with cream sashing and cornerstones. I finished all of the blocks, started sewing some sets of two together with sashing before I got busy, packed all of the blocks and the fabric in a large paper bag and set it aside in our basement. (Note, that was before 1995 and I still do not sleep under a quilt I have made!)

Unfortunately, around 1999, we had a 100-year flood in our town and sewage backed up into our basement. Yes, the same basement where I stored a paper bag full of cream, navy, blue and green fabrics with my blocks.

It took a few days to find the bag and we promptly threw all of the fabric in the washing machine on the hottest water to disinfect it. At the time, we were washing every piece of clothing and fabric we found, so it was quickly washed, dried and put into a plastic bin. When I got around to looking at it, the navy had bled onto the cream on almost all of the squares. Here are a few examples:

I really loved some of the fabrics in this quilt and I wanted to find a way to redeem and reuse these blocks. So I sorted them, pressed the blocks and the fabric, and put it in a bin until I decided what to do with it. Over the years, I raided the bin and used the navy border fabric for other projects. When I needed a patch for a quilt made with fabric that matched one of the blocks, I snipped it out of a block because the washed and worn block was a closer match to the quilt than the new fabric.

When I pulled out the box, I had 25 blocks (including the one with a square missing and these fabrics:

So, I decided to make a quilted jacket. My style is pretty tailored, so I took this jacket pattern, which I already had at home.

I cut out some oversized backing pieces from plain muslin, then fitted quilt squares to them. I used some of the existing sashing strips to extend key parts of the pattern. I also discovered that when quilt squares have been washed, they create these lovely nests on the back.

I had a nest this size for every couple of squares.

I decided to quilt a chevron on the back center panel, cross hatching on the front and back side panels and the sleeves, and angled lines on the front center panels.

I even got my serger out – I don’t think I have used it for at least 5 years!

I finished it with facings cut from the border prints. On the straight hems at the bottom and for the sleeves, I did a wider border print.

For the facing around the neck, I cut a narrower strip to accommodate the curve of the neckline.

I like the overall look, but it is still stained. (Check out Bruce the cat in these photos, when I am turned to the back, so is he!)

I decided to overdye the whole coat.

I wasn’t sure I could get this done in time because as of Monday noon, the dye hadn’t been delivered. But it came in the afternoon, so after dinner I boiled up some water and had a dye party.

At one point, I was very worried that it would come out dark blue, but I got the effect I wanted. Here are some pictures of the finished coat.

Floral border print for facing

I carefully used Aurifil 100% cotton threads so they would dye the same as the cotton fabrics. You can see above that the serger thread was not all cotton and stayed cream-colored.

I like the subtle color and you can’t see the stains anymore. I may add buttons, but I am declaring this a FINISHED project!

Check out all of the other great UFO blogs this month to see other ideas for cataloging, resuming, reworking and rehoming your UFOs:

Sunday 11/1Bobbi GentiliThe Geeky Bobbin
Monday 11/2Becca FenstermakerPretty Piney Quilts
Tuesday 11/3Joanne KertonCanuck Quilter Designs
Wednesday 11/4Sue GriffithsDuck Creek Mountain Quilting
Thursday 11/5Ashli MontgomeryStorytelling Tees
Friday 11/6Anne BoundySaid With Love
Saturday 11/7Sarah RuizSarah Ruiz Quilts
Sunday 11/8Teresa WeaverYour Sewing Friend
Monday 11/9Karen BrownJust Get it Done Quilts
Tuesday 11/10Bobbi BridgemanSnowy Days Quilting
Wednesday 11/11Raylee BielenbergSunflower Stitcheries and Quilting
Thursday 11/12Althea GydeBlue Heron Quilting
Friday 11/13Kenzy HoganSewing Corals
Saturday 11/14Leann ParsonsDevoted Quilter
Sunday 11/15Jessica CaldwellDesert Bloom Quilting
Monday 11/16Laureen SmithTourmaline & Thyme Quilts
Tuesday 11/17Karen KehlBetter Done Quilts
Wednesday 11/18Stacey HTwo Terriers Studio
Thursday 11/19Cinzia WhiteCinziawhitedesigns
Friday 11/20Laura PilandSlice of Pi Quilts
Saturday 11/21Rachel MThe Barefoot Crafter
Sunday 11/22Kathryn LeBlancDragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio
Monday 11/23Judit HajduQuiltfox Design
Tuesday 11/24Lyra McCabeQuilting McCabe
Wednesday 11/25Jill TherriaultStitching in Heels
Thursday 11/26Cristina De MirandaShips & Violins
Friday 11/27Katie StarcherKatie Mae Quilts
Saturday 11/28Valerie PrideauxCozy Funky Cool
Sunday 11/29Kim MastomartinoLine Design
Monday 11/30Natalia KnowltonNerdyQuilter
Categories
WIPs and PhDs

UFOvember

Something about seeing the calendar turn so there is only one more new page left makes me think about what I want to get finished this year. I know there is power in numbers, so I have joined with other quilters for UFOvember. If you are on Instagram, you can follow us on #UFOvember.

My posts this month will all be focused on UFOs (Unfinished Objects), WIPs (Works in Progress), PhDs (Projects Half Done) and my progress. We will see if I get my “big” UFO done before my assigned blog on November 17th.

If you want to follow all of the fantastic quilters and bloggers participating in UFOvember, here is the list:

Sunday 11/1Bobbi GentiliThe Geeky Bobbin
Monday 11/2Becca FenstermakerPretty Piney Quilts
Tuesday 11/3Joanne KertonCanuck Quilter Designs
Wednesday 11/4Sue GriffithsDuck Creek Mountain Quilting
Thursday 11/5Ashli MontgomeryStorytelling Tees
Friday 11/6Anne BoundySaid With Love
Saturday 11/7Sarah RuizSarah Ruiz Quilts
Sunday 11/8Teresa WeaverYour Sewing Friend
Monday 11/9Karen BrownJust Get it Done Quilts
Tuesday 11/10Bobbi BridgemanSnowy Days Quilting
Wednesday 11/11Raylee BielenbergSunflower Stitcheries and Quilting
Thursday 11/12Althea GydeBlue Heron Quilting
Friday 11/13Kenzy HoganSewing Corals
Saturday 11/14Leann ParsonsDevoted Quilter
Sunday 11/15Jessica CaldwellDesert Bloom Quilting
Monday 11/16Laureen SmithTourmaline & Thyme Quilts
Tuesday 11/17Karen KehlBetter Done Quilts
Wednesday 11/18Stacey HTwo Terriers Studio
Thursday 11/19Cinzia WhiteCinziawhitedesigns
Friday 11/20Laura PilandSlice of Pi Quilts
Saturday 11/21Rachel MThe Barefoot Crafter
Sunday 11/22Kathryn LeBlancDragonfly’s Quilting Design Studio
Monday 11/23Judit HajduQuiltfox Design
Tuesday 11/24Lyra McCabeQuilting McCabe
Wednesday 11/25Jill TherriaultStitching in Heels
Thursday 11/26Cristina De MirandaShips & Violins
Friday 11/27Katie StarcherKatie Mae Quilts
Saturday 11/28Valerie PrideauxCozy Funky Cool
Sunday 11/29Kim MastomartinoLine Design
Monday 11/30Natalia KnowltonNerdyQuilter

The first few days are focused on making an inventory of your UFOs. You can’t finish it if you don’t know it is there. I actually keep a list of UFOs, WIPs and new quilt ideas on my phone, so I can add to it when I get a new idea. Here is my current list. I included every project where I have started sewing and that is not ready to be used. Fabric purchased for projects that have not been started doesn’t count in my book.

Quilt NameYear StartedCurrent StateWhy I Didn’t Finish
Bethlehem Star Wallhanging1993Needs quiltingWas hand quilting, which I took out because I would never finish it hand quilting.
Bear’s Paw King Quilt1995Blocks pieced, some sewn into sets of 2 with sashingSquares got stained in a flood and I couldn’t figure out what to do with them
Memory Sampler (Snow Day Sampler by Happy Cloud Creations)2017Needs quiltingI have an elaborate customized quilting plan that will require a lot of time and experience on a computerized long arm (and I don’t have the experience or my own long-arm)
Quilt Your Weight Off2018Some squares piecedWaiting for me to lose more weight
What My Grandma Gave Me – English Paper Pieced Carpenter’s Wheel2019Still piecing I will be piecing this for a long time – it is hand sewing and takes me forever!
Rainbow Hand Dye2020Front pieced, back partially piecedSet aside to finish Tree of Life quilt and pattern
100-Day Transformation2020At long-arm quilterAlmost done! Ordered the binding fabric today!
Texas Broken Star Wedding Quilt2020Diamonds pieced but not assembledThis is one of my active projects.
Tree of Life Table Runner2020Partially quiltedSet aside to work on other projects with deadlines.
Completing this is my one monthly goal for November!
Charity Baby Quilt2020Needs quiltingMissed the deadline for the challenge.
100-Day Improv Quilt-a-Long2020Still piecing100 days ends 12/23/2020. Quilting is already planned out.
Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge2020Still designing and piecingPlan A and B didn’t work so I am trying an improvisational salvage using some of the piecing from previous attempts. This has a deadline of 11/30/2020.

Writing it all down is always revealing. First, I didn’t think I had 12 UFOs. I would have guessed about 6. Second, quilting is an issue, with 1/3 of the projects needing quilting, and another that I sent to a long-arm quilter. Finally, I see is that if I am driven by deadlines. Quilts without deadlines get set aside, as do quilts that were not done before the deadline. But deadlines also help me complete important projects.

What is your oldest UFO? Is there a UFO you want to finish in 2020? What are your UFOvember goals?

Categories
Wednesday Wisdom WIPs and PhDs

One Monthly Goal

Patty at Elm Street Quilts has this wonderful project called “One Monthly Goal”. If you click the link to her site you can read all about it. The basic premise is to set one (1, not 3 or 5 ) goal for the month. I like to set goals, and I am good at working toward both short- and long-term goals. But the idea of ONE goal was a revelation to me. I usually have multiple projects in various stages (right now I am working on 5) and the idea of making one goal seemed impossible. But I decided to try it.

I knew September would be busy with launching a business and a website, finishing one 100-day quilt, starting a new 100-day quilt as a quilt-a-long, making a new version of the Tree of Life quilt, and prepping my first quilt pattern for release (whew, I am getting tired just writing that). I wanted to make sure that other projects did not get neglected. So I turned to a quilt that is a very overdue wedding gift that always seem to be on the back burner. I had started the diamonds for my broken lone star quilt, but only had about 8 done of the 32 that were needed. My one monthly goal (or OMG) was to complete all 32 diamonds. I scheduled it on my calendar – and then moved it when other priorities came up – and then moved it again when something unplanned happened. And got to Monday, September 28th and I still had 12 diamonds to go. Because I had set the goal (and declared it publicly), I spent Monday and Tuesday evenings finishing up the last of the diamonds!

OMG worked for me – all of my big goals were achieved. And setting the OMG pushed me to make progress on another important project that was not quite so urgent.

Bottom line – Don’t let the urgent goal keep you from achieving the important one.