Monday, January 30, 2012

My long neglected SIS

Don't need to say much more than this... three SISters, three ChristmaSIS quilts, lots of SISillyness.
It DID start with a triple-four patch so perhaps it is fitting that it ended in three quilts....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - Final Delivery

So the backstory on this quilt is pretty much the same as the first - except that after cutting out Jill's quilt I STILL had too much fabric, and then Moda Bake Shop published this pattern and I knew that a quilt for Lazy Sister Sue was in the works.

Again I started cutting (and AGAIN -my SIS swap quilt languished to the side).  This time I realized I was going to run out of scraps from THIS SIS swap, but I dipped into my stash and found some from previous swaps, the borders I used on the 2nd SIS quilt I did with Lazy Sister Sue (fabric she did not get as they were added after we swapped), and some other odds and ends.

This one was going to be BIG - but between her 2 kids 3 new grandbabies were due (twins in September and one in November), so I figured it would be great for a triple-first Christmas.

The flimsy was finished in August - right along side Jill's (and mine?? -still not done at this point).

Again, quilting waited  until the table was ready.  I did not do any free motion work on this one - just a lot of straight line outlining of the stars and the squares - and a lot of turning the quilt.

And if you are reading this post - it means that this one is now in Sue's hands and hopefully will be enjoyed by those three grandbabies for many Christmases to come!

(and mine?  it IS done - I just have not shared photos yet.  Maybe soon)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - AT LAST!!!

(Well - at last for 1... the other one is still in the hands of the United States Postal Service -hopefully to be delivered Saturday.)

So I have taunted and teased long enough - it's time to share one of the quilts, as well as a bit of the "backstory" on this project.

This project actually began in April, when Lazy Sister Sue, Jill and I got together to swap our fabrics for our SIS quilts (oh - and visit Jill and attend a big quilt show and some other fun stuff... but that's another story).  Later that month, as I am cutting the fabrics - I once again realize that I have more fabrics than needed for the pattern.  So even as I cut my top, my brain is plotting what to do with the scraps.

So my top is all cut - not assembled but cut - and it's now July and I come across this pattern on Moda Bake Shop.  Instantly the lights go on in my head, and I set myself to cutting squares for half square triangles, planning on making this for Jill - who has told me she does not put up a tree for her and the pups. 

The flimsy for Jill is finished in August (and mine is not):  (note the green trees and grass, and flowers in the garden)

The quilting got put on hold as I needed to get my table adapted to do better quilting - and then with Christmas and new windows and a new furnace and a new hot water heater and a full time job and Cub Scouts - it kind of got put even more on hold.  I opted not to rush through the quilting as I wanted to do some new things and did not want to be stressed about the calendar, too.
And then it FINALLY got finished.  I was a bit spooked by all that open white space that just begged for FMQ - I was straight line quilting within the tree itself and thought straight lines in the open area would cause the tree to get lost on the back.


So I quilted some snowflakes.  This was an experiment -and I had printed them out and quilted over the printouts - causing a bit of paper and toner to get trapped under the thread (oops - not good on WOW) but they look really great despite that!!!

 Then on the borders, which were rippling slightly - I wanted really heavy quilting, so I did what I think of as "radiators" -kind of a loopy zig zag one way, then the other way, in squarish quadrants all around the border.  This picture shows it on the red stars (red thread) and on the back (an offwhite pinstripe shirting fabric).
It was a tough secret to keep - only a few people saw the flimsy photo ahead of time.  My son loves this quilt and wanted me to "decorate" the tree with ornaments, but I love the crispness and simplicity of it.  It was fun to see the swap fabrics in a different light as they made up my "branches".

It is finally in Jill's hands -with some shortbread to sweeten the gift.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Un-unwrapping the UFO

"Un-unwrapping" - double negative - which means WRAPPING!
Actually, they are both done, washed, labeled, photographed, wrapped, and packaged -and as soon as I click "publish post" I am headed to the post office to send these out!!!
(only a month after Christmas - not too bad?!?!?)

Pictures to follow after they have been received and opened by both.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Tangled Web

If I was playing by my normal rules - the Christmas UFO quilts would be done.  I am normally a very conservative "quilter" (though my piecing can be crazy at times) - edge to edge with the walking foot is my norm...with all those pesky starting and stopping threads trimmed off when the binding goes on.  Neat, clean and done...

Not this time.  This time I decided to get "fancy schmancy" with lots of nested outline stitchery and lots of FMQ - with lots of starts and stops - and LOTS of tails of thread that need to be trimmed and buried.

So even though I have the quilts quilted and the bindings neatly attached both sides - I am not done...

This is going to take a while....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - Part 9

Update -

The two gifty quilts are basically "done" - I put the last of the FMQ stitches into the one this afternoon (and am now icing my shoulder!!!) - there is more thread in this quilt than in any quilt I have EVER made before!!!!! - and I really pushed my comfort zone wayyyy out there on the quilting on this one.  I went through more than 2 bobbins JUST on the border work!!!!!

I am almost done with the binding on the other -and still need to choose, make and attach binding on the FMQ quilt.  Then LOTS of threads to bury and clean-up work to do... maybe they will get them by January 25th???  Only a month late - that's not bad...


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - Part 8

Still no photos I can share, but I made a lot of progress this weekend.

One quilt is done done - except for trimming threads, adding a label and washing.

One quilt is nearly done - except for hand stitching binding, trimming threads, adding a label and washing.

One quilt is not quite so done - the FMQ motifs have been selected and marked out, threads chosen.  Machine still needs to be swapped from walking foot to FMQ, and binding still has to be made.  This one is going to take a while... I am stretching my skills with FMQ on this one and think it will be awesome when done, but don't want to rush it.

Sorry to keep everyone in suspense.

(oh - I also threw in making a name tag for the quilt guild I just joined.  A bit of couching and hand stitching, some bead work and some final sewing to go on that and I can show pictures.)

(oh and I killed a spool of Aurifil by using it on all 3 quilts - but luckily won a few more spools from Amanda Murphy Designs, so I am good there)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - Part 7

So when I talk about these UFO's and can't show pictures for fear of giving away the surprise, it's difficult to convey the scope of this project.

So here's some dimensions:
Quilt A - 51x60
Quilt B - 64x80
Quilt C - 58x72

So now there are three?  Are you confused yet?
Well - one of these is the quilt I had to throw under the needle to free up the safety pins - so yes, there are 3 quilts simultaneously being finished - but one is a keeper.

Progress update (in no particular order)
1:  straight line quilting finished - needs FMQ, trimming and binding (which needs to be cut and made)
2:  quilting finished, binding on and hand stitching of binding has begun.
3.  straight line quilting almost finished, some FMQ needs to be done, binding made but not yet attached.

I was hoping to ship these out this weekend -but that is not going to happen.  MLK Day gifts, anyone?  (no wait - no mail delivery that day.  Dang)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

UFO-is Interrupt-us

We interrupt the ongoing work on the 2 Christmas UFO's so that me might quickly quilt another quilt that was sandwiched and waiting in the wings.

And why, do you ask, should we have the audacity to do such a thing -to make our two very patient recipients wait even LONGER for their Christmas gifts?

Why - because we are out of safety pins - most of them holding said sandwich together - and they are needed to sandwich one of the UFO's.

(on a good note - the straight line quilting on the UFO with the pinstripe backing (with red strip) is done - and awaiting some FMQ and border work).

Now to get the other one sandwiched while I have an open living room floor after post-holiday cleaning.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - Part 6

To give equal time to the other backing - here it is:
It doesn't look like much in this photo - I had just sandwiched and pinned the quilt and flipped it over, so it was not straightened back out again.  The tan is actually a really fine pinstripe, and was used to make crib skirts for my twin great-nephews  - it was just a wee bit too narrow for the backing I needed, so I inserted the red strip to expand it out (yes- the same red from the pillowcase).  Once the quilting is done on this one - it should really really POP on this backing.  I can't wait!!!  ;-)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Unwrapping the UFO - Part 5

So in case Jill and Lazy Sister Sue have not already guessed, these quilts are Christmas themed quilts.  The fabrics we swapped for our 2011 SIS swap were all reds and greens and golds and "Christmasy" colors.

I was able to piece both these tops from the leftover SIS scraps and some additions from my stash - right down to the backings.  The backing on one of them, in fact, is a well aged fabric... and a well traveled one.  It was purchased probably around 1998 in South Carolina - at a store that I believe is no longer in existence - and made the journey north in 1999 - to languish in a drawer for a long time.  It's original purpose was for a Christmas shirt - but long ago I realized I would never make such a shirt - let alone wear it - and so it sat.  A few pieces were cut off to make some holiday gift totes and book covers a few years ago but I could not figure out a use for the rest of it, until now.  To be honest, the SIS quilt and these 2 quilts are the very first Christmas themed quilts I have ever done.  Lucky for me there was plenty left to do the backing on one of these two UFO's (I won't say which)... and even a teeny bit left over to make ME a pillowcase!!!  (and the red star fabric in the cuff part of this pillowcase is part of the backing in the OTHER quilt!  Now how cool is that!)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 "goals?"

I have never really worked off an annual goals list for my quilting.  There are a few projects that hover around each year - like my annual quilt for Christmas gifting to one of hubby's siblings, and graduation quilts for nieces and nephews as they reach the end of high school (I have years of advance notice on those and still I am 3 quilts behind already - and just gifted one to a nephew who is in graduate school now!!! ooops)

This year I hope to finish up those 3 grad quilts so I will be back on track, and I have the fabrics for the annual Christmas Gift quilt (and the pattern, too!), so I can get a good start on that and hopefully not be IOU'ing it like I did this year.

Beyond that?  Who knows.  We will probably do another SIS swap this year, though I need to finish up mine from 2011 still (flimsy done), and I have a drawer full of other flimsies.

4Patches4Hope will play a big role in the first part of the year - with squares for well over 10 quilts I will be quite busy assembling those. 

I may have a wedding quilt to make - just learned of a friend's engagement on Christmas Day and don't know when the magic date will be - they are also buying a house so it will do double duty.  Looking forward to making that one - those are always fun!

Who knows what else the year will bring - I am keeping my mind, and my options, wide open!!!

Happy New Year!