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Archive for the ‘Finished items’ Category

Empty Rails

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A joyous ending
Possibilities abound
Empty quilting rails

That attempt at haiku sums up the early part of my week. I finished the borders and pulled the quilt from the frame. Its now sitting in the machine with the binding halfway sewn.

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I will be sewing a quilt from these fabrics for the new cousin arriving this fall. I am undecided on a pattern. I keep vacillating between pinwheels and tumblers. The fabric is a nuance gradient bundle thats 5″ by WOF. I purchased it in Paducah from SewBatik

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I will probably put the baby top into the floor hoop, so I can also choose a top to put into the frame. I have no lack of choices. The tee shirt quilt was king size and not portable, so I’ve been spending a lot of hours by myself. My husband has been tolerant, but having a project that I can do during TV time will be a welcome change. As much as I love the quiet time in the mornings before the rest of the house stirs, I also love sleep, so I am debating if I keep my 6 AM studio time. I’ll probably keep the habit, but not sweat it if I miss a few days.

Since I have been quilting in the quiet hours, I have been listening to
Librivox recordings. I’ve completed Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I think I’ll try Anne of Green Gables next.

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In the oven

Third trimester fatigue has set in. It was almost like flipping a switch. And it’s no wonder. I have six weeks (or much less) to go and after the latest ultrasound, here’s hoping for less.

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They tell me she is over six pounds already and tracking growth wise two weeks ahead. That means she might be here in less than a month. Right now I don’t want to nest, I want some sleep!

I am also really trying to prioritize my time as we are in the holiday season. So here are my ground rules (subject to the whim of the moment):

1. No more project starts
2. Complete quilting on the BOM
3. Get past halfway on the tee shirt quilt
4. Keep up with Easy Street
5. If those are on track, then piece a few more flowers for GFG.

After baby, this list will probably be shortened to the tee shirt quilt and GFG. Both require little thought and can be done in a sleep deprived state. I will also probably start a shopping list for Paducah. My family does not purchase quilty gifts for me, but I am trying my best not to spend until then.

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How about a photo finish to start the week? The peach baby quilt has come out of the hoop, binding still to be applied.

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Front corner and the back. Machine pieced and hand quilted. When I was marking this one I did not want to stitch it all in the ditch, so I used a feathered block spray rotated around the center to create a medallion. The corners use one half of the design while the filling grid is based on block construction. The border stencil was marked from the corner to the center. On the short sides it meets nicely. On the longer sides, I used the corner heart motif centered to fill. Normally I would shrink or stretch to make motifs meet, but this seemed to be an acceptable option without looking awkward.

As suggested by the title, I will be hanging onto this one. All the family is hoping for a princess, but only time will tell. I am feeling well and we had a good ultrasound this week. I am hoping for only a few more weeks of limited activity.

I am going to focus on getting the Christmas stocking done for the new niece/nephew and assembling the commissioned tee shirt quilt. I have all my supplies so this moves to priority number one.

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My third attempt at this post.

Quite a lot has happened in our personal lives over the past month that has drawn me away from quilting. I know the silence can be overwhelming, but things had to stabilize here first.

One major event was the emergency hospitalization of my grandmother. She was sent for evaluation, went “code blue” twice, has a new pacemaker, and is now doing rehab in a nursing home. Whew! That tires me to even think about the emotions over the past month. She is doing well now as we are looking at services to help her transition back to independence in her own home.

While she was hospitalized, I was also sidelined, but for a much different reason. We are expecting our third child! And for me that means really restricting my activity – limited stairs, no lifting, no vacuum, semi-bed rest. We are really excited for this new addition, and are all learning to adjust to limited mommy activity. There is nothing more humbling for me than to allow family to clean my home for me, while directing life from the sofa.

I have been working again on the baby quilt. After all, this might be our little girl. All that remains is a small section of border. Once my restrictions are lifted, I can get into my studio to make binding. I am also working on a Christmas stocking, as our little one will be joined by a cousin the same week. Yes, my SIL and I have due dates within one week of each other. Things around here will be wild after Christmas. This stocking is a Buncilla felt kit of a snowman conducting a train. My husbands family has a tradition with trains, and this one is appropriately sequined. I love shiny for Christmas!

I am hoping to convince my husband to dig out my grandmother’s flower garden UFO from my studio, as it will make great couch work over the next few weeks. This experience is another reason why I really enjoy hand work, be it piecing, applique, or quilting itself. I can get a lot done while I cannot be in the studio at the machine or the big frame.

I think I have dropped enough bombshells for one night. I’ll try to post another progress pic of the baby quilt as it comes out of the hoop, hopefully this week. Until then, goodnight.

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Thimble talk

Thimbles, like all tools, are very personal items. Finding the one that fits a personal quilting style can be a quest. I have tried all types of thimbles, the leather ones, the stick-ons, plastic, metal, no thimble even, and arrived at one I enjoy using – a Roxanne.

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I own two in fact, one used on my forefinger and another for my thumb. These are heavy thimbles unlike so many available, and take time to get used to wearing. I appreciate the deep dimples in the surface and that they cover the whole pad of the finger. So many thimbles do not have dimples exactly where I like to hold the needle. I also like the lifetime guarantee. I have used these thimbles for about 9 years and have worn some areas of dimples deeper, but if I ever puncture it, the company will replace the thimble. I like that. With leather thimbles I was replacing them after every quilt. This was an investment, but well worth it. The thimbles do have an open top, but my fingernails do not fit through the opening. I view it more as ventilation.

I have learned to quilt with my thumb so I could do complex designs with my quilts in a frame. Finding a thimble to fit a thumb is challenging, and the sizing on the Roxanne thimbles go beyond what I use.

TJ Lane thimbles have also caught my eye, but I have not seen them in person to decide if they would be right for me. I know that for hand quilting I will never go back to a craft store variety thimble. I either chew up the leather ones too quickly, or they do not have deep enough recesses to control the needles.

So I mentioned quilting style, I prefer to use the traditional rocking method with the quilt held in a hoop or frame. I have looked at spoon quilting, but have not taken the time to experiment with it. In some ways it would require me to learn new motions and develop new muscle memory. The action of the needle is so different. I do not like hoopless quilting. I view the hoop as my second set of hands to help control the bulk of the quilt, especially for large items.

Here is a quick view of what is in the hoop. It is the baby quilt from the UFO bin. I finally decided on a feather spray rotated around the center to create a medallion. A portion of the spray is placed into the corners and I have crosshatching filling between the two areas. For the borders, I have used a stencil by the Stencil Company called victorian feather. I marked from the corners to the center. On the short sides, the feathers meet exactly in the middle. For the long sides, I centered the corner motif which the feathers meet.

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As I have previously discussed, this is a low contrast top, so I treated it as a whole cloth, completely ignoring the block size. I did not mark the gird, instead I am using the natural divisions of the block to dictate the space between the lines. I am very pleased with the result.

So far, I have been quilting just one hour a day, and it is easily 1/3 complete. I has been a roller coaster of emotions as I anticipated. I am so happy to be completing this to add to my baby girl bin, but DH is subtly suggesting it is time to give away everything baby. I am trying to get used to the idea. Even if I let the furniture go, I know this quilt and the newborn outfits for the hospital and baptism will stay. Somethings are too precious to let go, at least not yet.

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I have been digging through my UFO pile and came across this baby quilt top. I made it pre-children when husband and I were struggling with infertility. I made this quilt top for baby girl, and a blue and white one for baby boy. Our family now includes two preschool boys, so this top has been languishing. So many times I have pulled it out of storage only to put it back because I have not had the strength to deal with the emotional baggage attached to this quilt. Now it is time. We have taken apart our nursery and put all the baby things to storage. I’m not ready to part with the top, but I am ready to finish it. When it is complete, I’ll add it to the baby girl clothes in storage until I am ready to make decisions. I trust that we will either need the cradle, or know when it is time to let go.

The block pattern is the Double X first published by Farm and Friends in 1893. More familiar names for this block are Goose and Goslings, Old Maid’s Puzzle or Crosses and Losses. I set them on point with a border. The fabric was a Moda release by 3 Sisters called Faded Memories. I was going for a soft, low contrast palette and this certainly does it.

As seen in the photos, it is in its raw state. A good pressing before marking is in order. I have settled on the border stencil, but am still debating what to do on the interior. On one hand I am considering daisies in the alternating blocks with an allover grid behind, but since the quilt is so low contrast, my other idea is to treat it as a whole-cloth. I’ll live with it in my living room for a bit before I start marking.

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A Finished Object

Finished quilt for a customer. The pattern is “On Point” by Bit ‘n Pieces Designs. Approx 80×100. Fourteen blocks surrounding an applique center.

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