Thursday, December 31, 2009

Project Challenge Review

It was in October -  that I took stock of my unfinished projects and actually did something about them. Now, I fully thought I'd work through all of them, as I did have the time, but I realized that sometimes taking an inventory of where one is and then taking action towards doing something about it - is really a vital step in becoming a successful person. If what is done, is done in anguish, hurry and stress why do it in the first place? 

So... I am happy to say I did accomplish part of my goal and what is remaining has been planned out to being finished in the next six months.

I am also working on a new website for quilters that will be a place for sharing great book titles, reviews, and finished projects. It should be available soon... and along with my goals for 2010 will be discussed in my first post of the new year.

Project Review:
So out of the seven projects I listed in October 2009 - here is my review:
1. Birthday Quilt – (twin size)
        Quilt top/backing fabric are ready to quilt and then bind. It will be quilted professionally and I'll  add the binding. I figured why not wait until after the Christmas rush to get this one done.

These quilts are finished:
2. Churches in the Country – (wall-hanging)
3. Stained glass flower and butterfly - (wall-hanging)
4. Butterflies Return Home – (wall-hanging)
5. Christmas medallion block – (table topper)

6. Stack ‘n Wack block – (orphan block)
        This is now a finished quilt top and destined to becoming a preemie quilt for the quilt guild I attend. I will quilt and bind it myself after I buy the proper batting that is required for it.

7. Beyond Baby Blocks workshop  -  (quilt design)
        This will hopefully be made into a quilt... since I was not inspired by my original drawings, I was able to reconstruct them. Now with the new design ready, it should be fun to make...maybe in 2010!

New Year's Resolutions:

Why not make them unique, creative and personal? Instead of the usual boring ones that not many people have much hope in accomplishing.... look within and find something that you've always dreamed of doing... and set that as your new goals/resolutions for 2010.

Wishing you all a very happy and properous New Year!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Project Item #2

Project Complete:
2. "Little Church in the Country” – wall-hanging

This quilt was bought as a kit - pattern, fabric for quilt top, and binding included. I really liked it when I seen it, but I waited because I wasn't ready to let go of that much cash ($80) and then one day is was on for 50% off at the quilt shop. Oh yes, that day I did buy it. It didn't get made for about four years. Now, it is ready!!

I would have preferred for a professional long arm quilting machine person to quilt it, but I decided to try it myself. So, the quilting is only done around the applique designs as I am not ready to try free-motion quilting, just yet.

Top of Quilt (close-ups)

Using a broom handle, I found a place to hang it for these pictures.

I asked my older sister back in the spring of this year, if she'd like any of my quilts that I had made and still had in my collection. And she liked this one, which was only a quilt top at the time, so I am happy to get it finished so I can send it to her. It does feel really nice to be able to stitch up some things for her as she had to always make three dresses, one for herself and two for her two younger siblings, so many years ago for those special occasions. Thanks Sis!! 

Finished Quilt

The pattern is from Meme's Quilts and I really like all her designs. I have made a few of her designs in the past and one day I'll get them put up in the gallery on my website. I always make some changes to the design, as that is how I make quilts, unless of course, I have designed the pattern myself.

Enjoy your preparations for the Holiday Season!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Project Item #5

Project Complete:
5. Christmas Medallion - table topper

I called this one an orphan block because it was a technique I wanted to try but didn't have any purpose for it at the time. It is a stained glass window design using ready-made fusible bias. So, as the Christmas season approaches it seemed fitting to decide to do a table topper project to get it ready for the holidays.  And, entering it in a contest at the quilting gallery was an added bonus.

There wasn't really much work involved to finish the quilt top as a table topper - sew down the remaining bias at the center and add borders to the finished size I wanted. I decided I was just going to keep it small and so added two borders in the green and gold fabrics that were used in the center. I did add red fabric to add depth to the middle of the design and it really stands out nicely.

Center of Design

Adding red fabric and using metallic gold thread to online the design.

I would rather pay someone else to quilt the layers together, however, there comes a time when more difficult techniques need a fair chance, and so I headed into that task.  I at first tried copying the design's shape but was not happy with my attempt. So, I enjoyed an hour of ripping the stitches out and after a break came back to it and thought, I can do straight lines better, so I really simplified it and added some metallic gold thread to the stitching.

Background of Center block

Quilting with straight lines outside the design

 The completed quilt - size: 28 1/4" x 28 1/4"

I hope you enjoy planning for the upcoming holidays - in all the many ways we celebrate the season.  When I find my notebook, I'll add the designer's name and the book I found this pattern in, later as I started this several years ago.

Happy Quilting and Enjoy the Festive Season!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Design Is Ready for Project #7

Project Design is Complete:
7. "Beyond Baby Blocks" workshop quilt

This 2-day workshop with Carol Seeley was put on through the local quilt guild I joined for the winter in 2008-09. I remembered all the great fabrics that I had not brought with me, and so my small selection of fabrics didn't inspire me enough to complete it then. It is time to bring this design project out of the closet.

But... just to show you what I came up with in class - here are the  pieces that made it to the design wall. It would look more amazing on a black background, but I bought this beige color flannelette?? (Next time I'll know.)

I have now totally changed the theme and am looking forward to continuing the process with this new direction. The new design has been drawn out, the pattern has been enlarged, and the background fabric has been chosen. Next step is to decide on the color palette that will most successfully make this design stand out on the dark background fabric it is planned for and then to continue creating the quilt top.

My design goal here has been accomplished, and when I have finished the other quilt tops on my list I will continue with this design.  I intend to make this quilt for my January project.  It is to be my reward for finally getting all those boxes unpacked at our new location.

Enjoy your quilting journey.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Project Item #4

Project Complete:
4. “Butterflies Return Home” – wall-hanging

Finished Quilt

This is a pattern I designed and made in 2006. The layers had already been quilted by Anita Miller from Cold Lake, Alberta and only needed the binding added.  One reason I didn't finish was that I wanted to try adding piping to the border and just didn't get motivated to do it.

When I revisited the project this week, I started with the piping and got thinking it was not what I wanted to do, so I did a mock piping strip because I still wanted the look of the white inside the binding.

Close-up of the mock piping/binding

Close-up of the stitching around the flowers

Now that it is finished, I am not sure what I'll do with this quilt.  If it is to be hung, I'll still need to add a hanging sleeve, which I totally forgot about adding with the binding.  It does feel good to finally have the two oldest projects done from my list.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Project Item #3

Project Complete:
3. Stained Glass Quilt – Flower and Butterfly wall-hanging

Finished Quilt

All that was required was to machine stitch the binding technique to the quilt and it was finished. If I decide to keep this quilt, I think I'd like to put it into a frame to hang on the wall.  It was one of the earlier quilts that I had made so I am not certain which year I started it, but it was sometime before 2005.

Close-up of the Design

I haven't found the book that I wrote down the information from this quilt. All I can remember is that it was a stained glass design without the bias strips that are commonly used to outline the parts of the appliqued pieces. Instead it uses a black background and the design is cut out to appear as it has the bias strips added to complete the design. It was fun to make and since I hadn't done many bindings at that time, I used the technique that brings the backing to the quilt front and then machine stitched it down. I now prefer to use the continuous binding technique for all of my quilts.

I checked on Amazon to see if I could find the book and am not 100% sure if what I found is correct.  So I will correct this information, if necessary, when I can confirm the details. However, this is what I think it is:  "Stained Glass Quilts Made Easy" by Amy Helmkamp.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Finishing Those Projects

To be realistic there will NEVER be enough time to make all the projects that get created because there are so many good ideas being born everyday. So thinking if you start whatever new thing comes along without finishing the previous project will only multiply the problem of unfinished projects.

So my goal for the remainder of 2009 is to finish ALL my quilting projects that are still in unfinished mode.  So why not make an END OF THE YEAR RESOLUTION so you can be ready for the NEW YEAR with new ideas and projects. That is my intention.

Then, I went into my project box to actually see what was there and at what stages of completion each project was at. I set each project on the table and photographed them and will list them here to show you.  Then, as I complete them I will submit photos of them done!!

Therefore, after the review, I have seven potential quilts to work on this fall and winter to be done by January 1, 2010.

My Seven Unfinished Projects -- 2009

1. Birthday Quilt – twin size  
This quilt is for my grandson's third fourth birthday. The quilt top is ready to quilt and bind. I will be taking it to get quilted by a long-arm machine service after our upcoming move.

2. "Churches in the Country” – wall-hanging 
This quilt top is ready for quilting and binding, as well.  I am giving it to my sister when it is finished. She really  would like it soon. I am considering using a long-arm quilting service, but have not yet finalized that plan.

3. Stained glass – flower and butterfly wall-hanging
This quilt was made from a pattern in a book, and only has the binding left to do, but it didn't get finished. I will need to look up the title and designer for my finished entry.

4. “Butterflies Return Home” – wall-hanging
This is a pattern I designed and it only needs the binding finished. One reason I didn't finish was that I wanted to try adding piping to the border and just didn't get motivated to do it.

5. Christmas medallion block – orphan block
I call this one an orphan block because it was a technique I wanted to try but didn't have any purpose for it. It is a stained glass window pattern using ready-made bias. I still need to sew down all the bias edges and then decide what to do with it. I named it a medallion block because it would make a great center for a quilt.

6. Stack ‘n Wack block – orphan block
I wanted to try out this technique and made several small blocks and put them together into this bigger block. It remains as an orphan block because I didn't have a purpose for it at the time. I still need to decide what I will do with this one.

7. "Beyond Baby Blocks" workshop quilt
I took a workshop for this technique in November 2008 and haven't yet got anywhere past the initial planning stages for a design and haven't got anything yet that I am happy with. So now I at least know the concept I want to try to design and the title of the quilt. I will share more on this when I get it completed. I have no pictures to show here of this project.

There are the seven projects that need attention. And I am happy to report that since Friday I actually have accomplished a few things on them. I hope to work on some more this week.

Enjoy your quilting journey!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Quilt Sampler Journal blog!

Welcome Quilters and Non-Quilters!!

The intention for this blog is to bring you glimpses of my weekly projects that I plan to create in 2010. I'd like to see how many new ideas I can quilt up over the next year that I discover as I journey through the many quilting blogs and websites every day with the click of my mouse.

My thoughts are already going ahead to see what new quilt ideas I'd like to try out and hopefully this will get me excited about finishing up those loose ends from my unfinished project box for the remainder of this year.  I realize it may seem like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but really it actually gets me motivated to check out my unfinished projects to see if they can ALL reach the finish line before January 1, 2010 rolls around.

So, that means I'll need to go check my project box and tally up a list of those must-finish-up projects and share them here with you.  Perhaps get you motivated to work towards that same goal. It would be really fun to start the new year with new ideas and projects, wouldn't it?

Enjoy your quilting journey!