Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Monday 28 February 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 9

Monday, again, and the last day of February, which means that spring, according to the calendar at least, is only 3 weeks away. I am soooooooooo looking forward to the warmer weather, and the first day that I can take my morning coffee outside and enjoy my swing and the sounds of the birds, and the wind in the leaves, and the breeze on my face. It feels like this winter has lasted forever. And unfortunately in Southern Ontario, it tends to last far into April. But maybe this year it will be an early spring.


 I've managed to finish, and hang up on the design wall, 2 quilts this past week. Chocolate Swirls is done, and quilted, and waiting for a binding. And my UFO #10 is up to flimsy stage. It was a struggle to get that one done, and had it not been for this challenge, I don't think it would have gotten finished. However, it's not going to get quilted just yet, so it will join the others in that pile of my own quilts waiting for quilting. Since the challenge rules are so flexible, no matter what number she draws tomorrow, it is going to get assigned to the one that has the least left to do on it, or to the hexagon baby one, since I need to get that one done. I'll decide that tomorrow. For sure it will NOT be one that requires a lot of time and thought, since I don't have a lot of either of those, at this point in time. But, since I finished the last of Evelyn's cross stitch quilts yesterday evening, today is going to be a play day. I'm going to see if, in between browsing design walls at Judy's Patchwork Times I can't get caught up with my 100 block challenge squares. I'll post either later today, or tomorrow on my progress. Then tomorrow, it's back to customer quilts again. I think I'm down to 4 left, but one of the is a 100 x 100 kings size, so it will take quite a while to load and finish.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Stash report Week 9

I've been incredibly busy this week, but not with sewing. I am trying to get the backlog of customer quilts cleaned up. One of them, that has occupied most of my time this week, is a cross stitch quilt, that is a custom job, that requires all kinds of starts and stops, and thread burying. Because it's custom, the thread needs to match the background, so there are thread colour changes, and the thread is a fairly fine one, so I'm having tension issues, and thread breaking issues. Needless to say, the frustration level is rather high at the moment. The good news is, the quilting on Chocolate swirls is done, and all start and stop threads on it trimmed. And, my UFO #10 is also finished. Pics of both of those tomorrow. I'm hoping to get the binding sewn onto the Chocolate Swirls today, in between blocks of the custom quilt. No work done this week on any of the 100 blocks challenge squares, other than doing the hand stitching of one I've already started. That means I'm pretty much almost 3 weeks behind. Once I get this quilt off that machine, that can change.
So, on to the numbers:

Used this week:            .8 yards
Used year to date:         40 yards
Added this week:            0 yards
Added year to date:        91.5
Balance:                               +51.5

To see how others are doing with using up their fabric stashes, go over to patchwork Times

Monday 21 February 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 8

I haven't accomplished a thing today. I had all these good intentions, but all I've done is sit on the couch, with my computer in my lap, watching the "Pillars of the Earth", which I've already seen. I finally got up the oomph to take some pictures of what on my wall. The Tropical fish quilt, which I wrote about here is still up there. Then there are my 100 block challenge blocks. The one on the left is in its beginning stages of sewing down, and there are still some pieces left to go on it. The one in the center is all stitched down. There are supposed to be little circles at the tip, and on either side of the gold points, but I don't think those are going to get put on. Then, if you go past these 3 pictures........................

there is a picture of the first of the My Tweets blocks. It is so close to being done. All it needs are those teeny tiny top knots for the second bird finished, and then I can sew it down. However, because they are so teeny tiny, I've been putting off doing them. If I ever get up off this couch today, LOL, I just might add that to the list of the things I wanted to do today, that have yet to be accomplished, because I have yet to get up off this couch. (sigh) I can always blame it on having worked the weekend, but it's more that I've simply lost my oomph. But, sitting here won't find it, So, I'll post this, link to Patchwork times where there are a whole lot of other design walls to see, and to tempt me to stay on the couch, and then get up and get something accomplished for the day.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Stash report Week 8

I have the fabric for the fishy quilt to count this week, and a couple of 100 block challenge squares, so more fabric went out. I'm several weeks behind on the challenge, so I'm hoping to use part of tomorrow to fix that.

Used this week:      4 yards
Used year to date:   39.2 yards
In this week:           0 yards
In year to date:        91.5 yards
Balance                   +52.3

I am hoping this week to get the Chocolate Swirls baby quilt finished and off the frame, to get caught up on the 100 block challenge squares, and to get started on the 2nd My Tweets Bom square. Plus, I need to load, and work on the second of Evelyn's cross stitch quilts. And, I really would like to get that UFO # 10 done, as well. Looks like I know what I'll be doing for part of tomorrow, at least.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

I've had the blahs.........

The February blahs. Plus, I'm adjusting to some medication changes at bedtime, so not sleeping very well. So, what does a girl do, when not feeling like doing anything, when it's cold and grey and dreary outside? Start a new quilt, of course, a bright, fun, cheerful quilt...... silly question. LOL. I took the graph paper sketch, and colouring diagram that I did on the weekend, and put it into real life. I knew I wouldn't be able to wait, once it was planned out. I took all the fun tropical, fishy fabric, and put it into a quilt. This makes four now, that I've stared for this grandbaby that is coming in May. One of them, Chocolate Swirl, is on the longarm, and about 2/3 of the way quilted, which is what I've been doing today. Yesterday was spent loading it, and then trying to figure out what to do with it. The fabric off to the left of the picture are the borders, a narrow purple, Laurie's favourite colour, and then some more fun fishy fabric for a wide outer border. It'll probably be a while before it gets much further than this, but it sure is fun to look at. In the meantime, there are 20 more small crazy curves to sew up, before the next stage of Crazy Curves can progress. And 4 100 Block Challenge squares to do. I'm a week behind. I think that is going to be part of tomorrow's tasks. And Friday, the new My Tweets block is supposed to go up, so I'll probably spend Friday, before going in to work at 3, prepping that block, so I can start to work on it. I love being quilty busy. So much fun, and a sure cure for the blahs.

Monday 14 February 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 7

I've been working on my UFO challenge which was # 10 on my list of 12, which turned out to be my Crazy Curves. It's a good thing this number was pulled, since it is totally out of my style range, which is, I guess, the reason why I wanted to try it, last year.  I suspect, though, if I hadn't added it onto my list, it would have sat, all cut in pieces, in its box, unfinished, for years. I'm still not sure if I like it or not. I think I'm going to put a fairly bright green 1 1/2 inch border around it, and then a border of smaller crazy curves, aka drunkards path, blocks, that finish at 3 or 3 1/2 inches. I have a bunch of those cut, and ready to sew. There might not be enough of them to go around the whole quilt, in which case, I will put them on opposite sides, or around opposite corners, and finish with plain fabric of some sort. Once these are done, I don't think I'll be doing more. I'm mostly a speed, don't pin things, sort of piecer, and these things need pinning. I know there is a way out there to do it without pinning, and I've watched the video on how to do it, but just can't seem to master it. (sigh). So, I think that's what I'm partly going to do today. I might give myself a daily assignment of 10 or 12, to get them done. I have a customer coming this afternoon, to drop of a quilt, and I need to get working on my 100 block challenge squares, as well. To see more inspirational design walls, go on over to Judy's place at Patchwork Times It's always a great way to spend part of Monday.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Stash report Week 7

It's been a busy week here. A baby quilt top, most of which I counted last week, and the backing for that top made. Plus, I ended up cutting more crazy curves units, for my UFO #10. And, for the first or second time this year, no fabric came in. Plus, I spent my breaks at work last night with graph paper and crayons, (yes, the other girls at work already know I'm slightly unbalanced. LOL), and now have the layout, and general idea of the next grandson quilt, featuring fishy fabrics, that I can start to work on as soon as my UFO #10 is finished. Hows that for incentive to get it done? LOL Now, on to the numbers:

Used this week:           6.3 yards
Used year to date:        35.2 yards
In this week:                 0
In year to date:             91.5 yards
Balance:                      +56.3

And now, I'm off to finish sewing the crazy curve blocks into a quilt top, before going in to work at 3. There will be pics of it tomorrow. Go on over to Judy L.'s Patchwork Times to see how others are doing with using up their fabric stash.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Back up and running

 After many frustrating hours, and taking apart my long arm, tightening and loosening screws and lots of teeny adjustments, I seem to be back in business. The test is going to be today, (I did all kinds of playing and making sure things were going well on plain muslin yesterday), when I load one of Evelyn's cross stitch quilts, and start to work on that. It is a custom job, with all kinds of starts and stops. I'll take a pic once I get it loaded, and some of the squares done. That's my goal for today. Plus, during the times I need to sit and rest my legs, I'll finish the last border on the blue/brown baby quilt, which I need to come up with a better name for, and maybe sew up some more crazy curves.

Fast forward a couple of days since that paragraph was
 written. The longarm is back to humming along,
 and the baby quilt, which I've decided to name
 "Chocolate Swirl" is finished. And, for the first
 time, I'm piecing a backing for it out of what
 was left from the top. One of the fun things about
 this quilt is that the deep chocolate colour of
the setting triangles, and the cream sashing
 and border fabrics are from the fabric I bought
to make Noel and Laurie's wedding quilt.
The chocolate brown is just about the last of
 this fabric, and I was able to us the border
 strips that I originally cut, that turned out
 not to be a good choice for the top And some other fabrics that I bought at the same time as the ones for the top that just didn't quite work with it, but now I can use them up, instead of having them just sitting on the shelves. I have
 to add a few more 5 inch strips to the back
 to get it up to the right size, then, once
Evelyn's quilt is done, I can load this one
 and get it quilted. So, that's my plan for the rest of the day, before I go in for a 3-11 shift at the hospital.

Monday 7 February 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 6

 Not much new happening on my wall. I'm still working on the quilt I started on Friday as an antidote to long arm machine issues. Those have almost been resolved, but I'll be spending at least part of today trying to finish it. Never before I have wished I lived in Iowa. That's where these machines are made, and if I lived there, I could just call someone, and have them come over and fix it. (sigh)

I tried putting up the border fabric for this quilt, that I thought would work, only to find that it doesn't. It is extremely blah and boring. No punch, no pizzaz, adds absolutely nothing to the quilt, just fades off.

So, I decided that I have enough of the blue fabrics to do a 4 1/2 inch pieced border around it.  Not bad, but still not there. They blend into each other too much
What if I put some narrow brown pieces in between the blue squares? I think that's it!! Now all I have to do is figure out the math to get it all to fit. And, if you keep going to the end of this post, past these pictures............

 These are my next 2 squares for the 100 block challenge The applique one isn't finished yet. There are still some pieces to go on it, and some embroidery. I might end up checking out our local Michael's store, to see if there are more fabric markers out the that I can use to draw the embroidery designs with, that will show up on the dark fabric. And now, to check out the directions for the next step in fixing my machine.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Stash report Week 6

I did a lot of sewing, and quilting, and even more unquilting, this past week. The good news is, my longarm is mostly fixed, due to a lovely man on the APQS forums, who sent me instructions on what the problem was, how to diagnose it, and then how to fix it. With my wonderful husband's help, we managed to take apart the back of the machine where the "mag collar"lives, and adjust it. Considering I had no idea there was such a thing as a mag collar, let alone where it was and what it did, it was very scary stuff. But, it's done, and 90% better than it was. It's still occasionally catching the thread in the bobbin assembly and breaking it, but I know how to prevent that form happening, until I can get instructions on how to completely fix it. But, in the meantime, I won't be using any of the thin polyester threads in the top layer of the quilt. King Tut it is, for now, at least.

Stash report:

Used this week:        9.2 yards
Used year to date:     28.9 yards
Added this week:      3 yards
Added year to date:   91.5 yards
Balance:                    +62.6 yards

Yikes, that's a huge added number, but I should be done with purchasing for quite a while now, so the balance number should start to go down over the next few months. I don't have a particular goal in mind, and I don't have a no more purchasing policy. This is more a curiosity thing, keeping track like this, just to see how much fabric actually does come and go around here in the course of a year.  

Saturday 5 February 2011

You know you're a Quilter when........

You know you're a Quilter, capital "Q" Quilter when, your longarm machine is giving so much trouble that you could cheerfully throw it out the window, assuming you could lift it and it would fit through the window. That's how I was feeling last night, and most of today. I think we have a diagnosis now, and am just waiting for the instructions to fix it. But, back to the subject at hand, do you:

go out for a walk? ................. nope
grab a stiff drink? .................. nope, unless Champanade counts
take a long,hot bath? .............. nope
find a good book? .................. well, yes, if it's on audio disk.

What you do if you are a capital "Q" Quilter is............... pull lovely, brand new fabric off the shelf, and start a brand new quilt. Especially if the brand new fabric is wonderfully cute fabric for a soon to be grandson. The pattern is from the Feb/March 2011 Quilt magazine, which was in my Christmas stocking from Noel and Laurie. It's called "Raspberry Swirl" There are still 2 borders to go on it, yet. A narrow cream, like the sashing, and then a wide light blue and cream plaid sort of check like fabric. Sock monkeys, and cartoon puppies........ so cute.

Friday 4 February 2011

What's wrong with this picture?

My love-hate relationship with my long arm has raised it's ugly head, once again. The quilting on Shakespeare in the park was going along beautifully, I thought, until I started hearing this weird clinking kind of sound, coming from the bobbin area. I checked the back, and this is what I found........
the top thread dragged to the backing into tangled knots. And, where it isn't tangled knots, it's pulled through in great big loops, but only at the places where the machine changes direction. The rest of the time the tension is fine. The frustrating thing, is that I checked the tension before I started, and everything was perfect, then, suddenly it wasn't. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So, now there will be some major unsewing going on, and then I have to figure out what went wrong. (sigh)

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Wednesday goals

Judy Laquidara pulled a new number yesterday for the UFO Challenge and drew #10, which on my list is Crazy Curves It hadn't progressed any further than what was in that old post. There are enough pieces cut to make 56 of the 7 inch squares, and 30 of the small ones. So, I'll do them up, and see where it goes from there. The good news is, the big ones sew up fast. I did 17 of them last evening in about 20 minutes. The 3 1/2 inch ones are a bit more challenging.

I finished Amalia's last quilt yesterday, and it is HUGE! There is no place in my house big enough to spread it out. I think it must be for a large king size bed. It's a double 4 patch with Civil War type fabrics, which called for the always classic baptist fan quilting design. I really like the way she laid out her squares to get the barn raising design with the light squares around the outside, and the cross hatch in the middle.

Now, to today's to do list:

1. Load, and start quilting Shakespeare in the Park
2. Sew a couple more rows of the baby quilt
3. Laundry
4. Sew some more crazy curves
5. call Amalia
6. Prep applique shapes for 100 block challenge square.