Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday Night

Not much going on here. Had a little excitement earlier in the day.  Ever broke a Corelle dish?  Me either, in fact, I thought they were pretty much indestructible.  Not when dropped on granite.
It was a small bowl.  Shattered in itsy, bitsy pieces.

We've had a few trick or treaters.  Not a lot, but a few.  Our young friends came over as is the tradition.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Catch Up Day

It's so nice having a day to get caught up with laundry, house cleaning, and errands. What did you do today?

As I was putting away some freshly washed quilts today, I other quilters decorate their homes with their quilts?  Do you?

The husband often falls asleep in his recliner so there is always a quilt there.  The runner on the back of the couch is not for decor, but to try to keep the couch clean.  One of our cats loves to sleep on the top couch pillows.  I have several on the ladder and a few folded up on the trunk, the little fall leaf quilt on the coffee table, and it isn't very evident in this picture, but I have my retirement quilt hanging by the front door.  I also have a quilt chest in my bedroom, with several, a rack in the extra bedroom with a few, one on my kitchen table as a topper, and one hanging in the landing of the several little ones packed away. And of course, at least two on each bed.  How about you? Do you decorate with quilts?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Merry Monday

Love my Monday's off work. Finished up the remembrance quilt yesterday. Take a peek....
Then I made a couple of blocks for our guild president's quilt.
Then today, I've done some house cleaning, got in a run.....
....and also have six loaves of honey wheat bread in the oven.....
I eat this every single morning for breakfast. Sometimes with honey and butter, sometimes with cinnamon, sometimes with jam. Yum. Thankful I have a convection oven so I can make a double batch at once. It is a mess but so worth it.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Sewing and Running

Good day.  Finished the quilting on the latest Remembrance Quilt.

This was difficult to make and quilt.  Sometimes that happens with shirts.  I was not too happy with the outcome but Jim likes it and think she will love it.  I decided to bind it in Harley Davidson orange.  The big emblem didn't work out on the back, so I plan to try to hand sew it on the back after I get it bound.

I did a 5k this morning. I was a little worried because I hadn't run since Monday and my knees really hurt Monday night.  No problem at all with my knees today and I am pleased with my results.  First (of two) in my age group, and finished in 34:38.

I met a friend there who finished first in her age group too. She did awesome at about 32 minutes.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Remembrance Quilt

I've made good progress on this Remembrance Quilt today.

Sometimes shirts are pretty difficult to work with.  These haven't been easy but I think it is going to turn out ok.  I'm doing some of the fancy filler work in each block.  I am not sure how the quilting is going to work out on the back because I put a large Harley Davidson emblem, from one of his shirts, on the back.  I didn't think about how the quilting will work on it. I am going to continue on and if it doesn't work, I'll crawl under the table and remove it.  I didn't piece it into the back but just sewed it on.

I'd love to hear about Memory quilts some of you quilters have made.  Tell me about them!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quilting Magazines

Aren't they great? I love to look through the quilting magazines for inspiration. Having a quilt accepted for a magazine is a fabulous experience. However, you must have patience.  They work from about 9-12 months ahead so if you get one selected you won't see it in print for months....or even a year. I submitted my latest quilt - the shadow quilt, to Fons and Porter and they have selected it for one of the quilts in their fall 2016 issue of Easy Quilts. I'm really beside myself with excitement but it will be a whole year before my quilt is returned and I see it and my name in print.  So I'll just have to patiently wait.

This makes two for me.  My Edinburgh Square quilt is scheduled for McCall's Quick Quilts in spring 2016. One of the things I love about quilting is there is always a new goal to try for -- learn a new technique, make a really difficult quilt, design a block or quilt, or get one published.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Learning while Running

I had a long run on my half marathon training schedule again today.  Did ten miles on the treadmill.  Thank goodness for Fons and Porter and Quilt in a Day Youtube videos!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Quilting tools

Do you have some quilting tools you can't do without? I'm not much for gadgets. They have to really help me do something better or I won't use them. Some seem to slow me down. For example....
I know a lot of folks love using the binding clips. I bought these recently (are they not exactly like little girl hair barrettes?!). At first I thought they were great, but they really slowed me down. I don't pin my bindings but use my left thumb to turn it up as I stitch with my right hand. Nope. They are not for me. One thing I like to do for bindings is keep my little recycled zip bag full of everything I need -- needles, hand quilting thread, scissors, thimble, reading glasses. When I'm ready to bind, I just grab it and go.
These were an investment ($$$). They are leader clips. Pinning a quilt onto a long arm machine takes about an hour. With these, you place the fabric over the hard plastic dowel that has been inserted into the leader fabric. Then snap on the top. The verdict is still out but I do know they are not good for a quilt that has no border, or a border you want to quilt to the edge. Ok for loading the backing but I probably won't use them on the top again. On this quilt I had a two inch border that I wanted to quilt to the edge. They took up about 3/4" of my two inch border.
This jewel, I love....It is a silicone lint roller. Got it at the quilt show in Chattanooga. It came with three sizes -pocket, regular, and this big boy. Great for picking up all the little threads that attach themselves to us quilters and our work space. The only draw back is after you rinse it in hot water to release the junk it picked up, then you have to dispose of the water, preferably not in the sink unless you also use a drain to catch the threads.
I went out on a limb and tried a McTavishing type filler on my shadow quilt. I think it is much easier than stippling and looks "fancier." It really wasn't hard. The key is using matching thread to the fabric. On the back (Orange) it looks quite messy but on the front, beautiful. I worked all day yesterday on this. The filler took 9 bobbins of thread and today my arms and shoulders are sore.

So, what are your favorite tools of the trade?

(by the way, I've updated my running under its tab, and added a new wonderful recipe under the recipe tab)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Learning machine quilting

I've been scouring over lots of machine quilting YouTube videos lately. I want to learn how to do better at custom quilting. I found a relatively easy technique for filling background called McTavishing. I am going to try it on the white background on the shadow quilt.

They recommend using a thread the same color as the background, at least on first attempts. So I'll be changing thread from a light gray to a white for the filler. This one will take some time to quilt, but I am ready to stretch my abilities so I am excited to get started on it. I found a star pattern and learned how to enlarge it using the iPad. Just take a pic of it, then go into a free application that enlarges it. The biggest enlargement made it perfect for a six inch square. I have a new straight edge tool for the straight line quilting. I am ready to go! Going to a quilt shop today to find the right backing so I can get started.