Friday, June 16, 2017

It's a Week to Celebrate

quilt that is finally finished is a cause for celebration for me and this one is no different. It's the middle of June and hard to believe that the year is almost half over.  In looking at my project list, I haven't been too productive in getting some UFO's quilted so I wanted to make sure I got one quilt done this week before the start of our week of celebration which involves two birthdays, my oldest son's and mine, and Father's Day in which my youngest son is celebrating his first one.
I made this top in July of 2015 and it was on my 2017 list to finally finish it.  I had to dig out my 2015 Planner to see what the inspiration for this quilt was besides finding a pattern to use the Bonnie & Camille stash.  I found a quilt on Pinterest and it was A Quilter's Table, Quarter Cut Baby Quilt, you can read the post here, but I changed the block dimensions from 8"(f) to 6"(f). After making the blocks, I saw Stitched in Color, Simply Stacked Quilt, you can read the post here, and was inspired to make more changes. I decided to orient all the blocks vertically and add some 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles intermittently in some of the rows to offset the blocks, making some of the square blocks look rectangular and giving the quilt a more improv look.  This quilt measures 48" x 60".
This was the first top I made using my, then, brand new Juki 2010Q and all of the strips were die-cut (3-1/2" and 2" strip dies).  Of course two years later, I did machine quilting with my favorite straight line quilting, (3/4" apart) and I'm happy to say my Juki and the Janome Walking Foot have recovered from the overdose of grease it received from its recent repair experience--no grease spots and the stitching was perfect.

After finally finishing this quilt, I now only have 11 tops left on my project list to machine quilt.  I was all set to do another quilt on the list, I sewed the backing, cut the batting and binding strips but wouldn't you know it, I got distracted as usual.
This was one of the distraction, Hazel, my new Juki HZL F600 which I have received, as I put it, in celebration of the Silver Anniversary of my 40th Birthday (nice way of saying I'm 65 now).  I haven't spent too much time checking out Hazel but there are several features I already love,  the LED lights under the arm, the Walking Foot and the bobbin feed is on top so I can see when the bobbin is running low. The only drawback was the patchwork foot, I prefer sewing with a 1/4" quilting foot and happily was able to order one specifically for this machine.  I wanted another sewing machine to complement and to back up the Juki 2010Q and was set on a Janome but I really like the Juki brand and this machine was half of the cost of a comparable Janome.  My hubby and I have an agreement that I can buy an expensive sewing machine as long as when we pick it up I can carry it home on the back of the new Harley Davidson he's going to buy.
I really wanted to spend more time playing with my new Juki but as I mentioned earlier, this is our week of celebrations. There's only a few things that come before quilting now and the arrival of my granddaughter Micah Rose for a four-day visit to celebrate is one of them.  I'm sure once this week is over,  I'll get back on the quilt track next week.
Micah's already a granddaughter after my own heart.  While we were at Ikea, she picked out her first yard of fabric which is the Farmers Market print.  There was a yard laying among the bolts of fabric and her Mom showed it to her and she was just enthralled with it so of course I had to buy it to make another play mat for her.  Guess who stayed up past Midnight so this was ready to take on our road trip today.

I was doing so well at the beginning of the year with my Minus 100 Yard Challenge and confident that I was going to reach my goal earlier this year but it seems like I going towards the plus side.  I'm sure once I get some more tops quilted and make some Blanket Ministry Quilts, I should be minus-ing once again.

Minus 100 Yard Challenge:  -50.25 Yards

Linking up with:

Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Busy Hand Quilts: Finish or Not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hometown Christmas Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilt

I'm excited to be finally able to share my Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilt which is a pattern I did for Moda Bake Shop.  I've been quietly working on it since the beginning of April.  The recipe is now available (you can read about it here) and can also be found on my homepage under "Tutorial".

The Jelly Roll Charm Chase pattern is a variation of a Jelly Roll Race which I am sure many quilters have made one.  My version includes using a Charm Pack of the same fabric line as the Jelly Roll which gives the quilt a more modern, improv look.  I came up with this idea when I happened to have in my stash a jelly roll, charm pack and yardage of Amy Ellis' Modern Neutral and had already made a Jelly Roll Race Quilt.  I loved how it turned out--the strips and squares sewn together had a woven modern Southwestern blanket effect.  
I posted this quilt last year on Pat Sloan's Facebook Group and received favorable comments and the suggestion since I purchased the fabrics from Missouri Star Quilt Co. they might like to feature the pattern.  I sent a photo of the quilt to them and the response received was a thanks for sending and they liked the fabrics I used.  I thought nothing more about this pattern until I happened to read Angie from Gnome Angel's post in mid-March that Moda has put a call for Chefs to submit recipes for Moda Bake Shop.  I went on Moda's website and completed the submission form, included a brief description and photo of the quilt, said a quick prayer and emailed it to them.  Shortly after, I received a computer-generated response that my submission was received and they would be in touch if my project was approved.  By the end of March when I had just returned from out of town welcoming the birth of my first granddaughter, I received an e-mail from Moda that my submission had been approved.  This was a heart-attack moment which was quickly followed with the thought that I've already had enough on my plate having just started my participation in the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and being involved with learning new computer skills, so the stress and angst was on.
While waiting for my fabric to arrive, I decided to make another Jelly Roll Charm Chase Quilt since I had a jelly roll and charm pack of another fabric line from Amy Ellis, Chic Neutral and to prepare for drafting the pattern. This quilt, as well as the first quilt, was machine quilted by me with horizontal straight line quilting.
It was really nice working with Moda (United Notions). I was able to choose from three future fabric lines and I received all of the fabrics, including backing and binding, to make this quilt. Here's a photo of my box of free fabric with a double side order of pressure. I wasn't sure if I would receive the Hometown Christmas Edition fabrics and was happy when I did since I wanted to make it with fabrics that had a more traditional look and I think the pattern looks wonderful with these fabrics. And to think I would have a finished quilt for Christmas by the end of May which is a personal best for me.
The making of this quilt was smooth sailing until I was ready to machine quilt it, that was when my Juki decided it would be a perfect time to visit the repairman for a week to ten days. This delay would have cut too close to my goal of finishing the quilt by the end of May since I still needed to take photos of the finished quilt for the June deadline.
Fortunately, my super-wonderful Long Arm Quilter, Jan Bryant, was available to perform her magic by quilting it with a lovely heart pattern within 24 hours. And once the binding was sewn, my next concern was finding a place to take glamour shots of the quilt which I didn't want to take around my house since I wanted a more wintery feel to reflect the Hometown Christmas Edition fabric line. Thankfully, my long-time friend and quilt peep, Mary, had the perfect ambience on her front porch.

I've become a little bit more computer savvy since I started blogging, reading other blogs and participating in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop so I wasn't too overwhelmed having to prepare the pattern on Moda's website. I'm just happy I finally have a pattern to share, the stress is over and peaceful quilting is back. Also, it's nice to have a connection with Moda now because way back when my boys were young, my friends whom some of them were quilters, thought it was funny that the boys called my mother 'Yoda" and asked what I wanted my grandchildren to call me and I quickly responded 'Moda'.
I hope you check out my Jelly Roll Charm Chase pattern and find how easy and fun it is to make and perfect if you need to make a quilt for family or friend.  I'm already planning the next one with Janet Clare's Aubade, A Song to the Dawn, fabric line with a different twist with the strips and charm squares. Moda has announced that September 16th will be National Sew A Jelly Roll Day, (you can read about it here) when quilters will be encouraged to finally break out the jelly rolls they've been saving and making something for them, for their family or friends or for charity. Perhaps, you may want to try this pattern then. Please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to see photos of the Jelly Roll Charm Chase quilt(s) you make.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching/A Smitten Update

Happy Sunday Everyone!  I haven't posted lately about my Smitten project so I thought I share what I've been sewing while finishing watching (really listening) the Gilmore Girls series, two episodes of Blue Blood and four movies.
I only have four small hexagons (approx. 6") out of the 26 left to paper piece and then I'll be ready to sew them together to make the large hexagons and half large hexagons which still will involve additional paper piecing to finish this quilt. There is definitely will be more Slow Sunday Stitching before this top will be done. 

Am I still smitten with this project which my dear friend Carol got me involved with?  Yes.  Am I at the stage where I thinking of making a voodoo doll of Carol?  Maybe. (I know she'll be reading this post). Those one-inch equilateral triangles are killers.  Just like the other Kingwell patterns I finished, I know once I'm done it will be an accomplishment.

Happy  Sunday Sewing!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts: Slow Sunday Stitching

Friday, June 2, 2017

Free Fall Quilt--A Final Finish

Updated 6/15/17

I previously posted on 6/2/17 that I had finished my Free Fall Quilt and wanted to update this post with photos of the quilt hanging on my staircase wall.  This wall has been a big blank for the past four years and it's so nice to have a quilt once again hanging on the wall even though it can be treacherous getting it on the wall.  The Free Fall Quilt is fitting in nicely with the other quilts I have hanging on the stairway and it really brightens up an otherwise dark area in my house since there's not too much exposure natural light coming in.  It really is nice to make a quilt when you know you have a spot for it.  To see the other Free Fall Quilts made, here is the link:

I'm very happy to share my Free Fall Quilt which is a QAL hosted by Sandra of mmm! Quilts (you can read about it here).  This 38" square quilt was designed by Sandra and involved foundation piecing which is something I don't do very often.  Despite not being able to print the foundation pieces and having to draft them myself, this quilt came together very well and I am glad I participated in this Free Fall QAL.  The completion date and final link-up is June 15th and I'm ahead of schedule which is a nice place to be.

I have to thank Yvonne of Quilting JetGirl for the following trifecta of reasons:
  • I joined the QAL because she posted about this on her blog, it was a monkey see, monkey do inspiration
  • Yvonne's choice of fabrics for her quilt helped me to see I could use modern prints instead of batiks
  • And the big reason, after finishing the top, the big hang up for me was how to quilt it.  Fortunately, Yvonne completed her quilt last week and she machine quilted it with horizontal straight lines which I wanted to do but wasn't sure how it would look.  After seeing Yvonne's quilt (you can see it here),  I knew this was what I wanted to do and let her know that I was going to copy her quilting idea.  Thankfully, she gave me the go ahead.
Sadly, the Juki woes continued with this quilting.  After bringing my machine back to the sewing shop and figuring out the problem with the bobbin winder wasn't that they didn't install the new bobbin ring, (which it turned out they did, they just like to hang the replaced part on the thread holder) it was the bobbin itself, it was defective.  I thought all could be forgiven now until I started quilting Free Fall; I was still getting grease spots even after I cleaned the walking foot and needle area so my annoyance with the dealer was rekindled.

Apparently, I should have cleaned the walking foot better with Q-tips.  I couldn't believe how much grease was in there and wondering why all this grease.  When I picked up the machine the first time, the repairman spent more time telling me that I was using the wrong foot and I had to explain that a Janome Walking Foot can be used on this Juki, especially if you do straight line quilting like I do.  Maybe I don't know the mechanics of how this grease could have gotten there but I do know that I never had this problem before the machine was serviced.  So, I don't think I'll be doing any more business with this dealer.

Needless to say, my Free Fall Quilt is far from being perfect, just like my other quilts, but I'm happy that it's finished and ready to hang up.  Now to finish some other projects on my list now......

BTW, I haven't posted any new totals for my Minus 100 Yard Challenge lately which thanks to Memorial Day Sales, I'm sadly moving farther away from my goal.  I'll post my new numbers once the packages arrive.

Linking up with:

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Small Final Finish Amongst the Sew Woes

Sorry for the sad photo but we've been experiencing some gloomy weather for the past few days.  I finally quilted the small wallhanging I made last year during my epic World Series bet with my dear friend, Dee, whom I met when we were members of Pat Sloan's Facebook Group.  The "C" represents both of our baseball teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.   I wrote about the outcome of this bet in an earlier post, you can read about it here.  I intended to finish this top which was made with Pat Soan's Hometown Girl fabrics before the start of the baseball season but several projects needed to get done first and I am glad to say that I am finally free to work on some other projects.  

Unfortunately my Juki needed servicing; one of the problems was that the bobbin winder would not work which meant I couldn't sew if I needed a certain color thread.  I was without my Juki for over a week and when I finally received it back this past Tuesday, I worked on quilting this top.  Sad to say, I was only able to wind one new bobbin when it stopped working again and for some reason, five small drops of black grease from the Juki dropped on the center part of the top while I was machine quilting.  What is really frustrating about this is that the new bobbin winder ring  which was ordered was never installed, it was just left on the thread holder. The repairman just gave me the back my machine without realizing he never installed it.  I thought he blew me off when I asked what was wrong with the bobbin winder.  Nevertheless, I have to make another trip to the shop next week which is really frustrating since my husband  has some problems with his sciatica and I don't want him carrying my machine--he might drop my Juki and oh yeah, I don't want him to aggravate his condition since he's doing physical therapy, I have to lift and carry this heavy mama myself from the basement, to the garage, from the parking lot to the shop, etc.  And to think I was planning on purchasing a new sewing machine from this shop which I may still do but definitely not from them.

The Hometown Girl Quilt is now hanging on my front door, just in time for Memorial Day and will remain there throughout the summer.  I hope everyone have a wonderful and safe holiday and good weather will be yours.

P.S.  Just to bug Dee, I'm telling her during the NBA Finals, that the "C" is for Steph Curry.  I still remember that smug photo she sent me of her and Buster the dog with their Cleveland wear when the Indians were leading the Cubs 3-1.  Thankfully, I kept the faith.

Linking Up With:

Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Busy Hand Quilts: Finish Or Not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I Get A Whoop Whoop

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Baby Genius Play Quilt for Micah Rose

Last week, during a conversation with my daughter-in-law, Christina, she asked me if I had any black and white fabric to make a play quilt for my granddaughter Micah to use for tummy and stimulation time.  I told Christina I had something better than that; I have in my stash Baby Genius fabric by Benartex which was designed to "encourage baby's brain activity during their first important development years".  I bought this bright and colorful fabric over ten years ago and used it sparingly for co-workers' baby quilts with the intention of saving it, especially this panel, for my future grandchildren.  Micah is only seven weeks old and I thought a Baby Genius Quilt wouldn't be needed until she was at least four months old. According to Christina, Micah really gets excited when she sees patterns in black and white or in colors.  So, of course, I had to make this play quilt right away since I will be seeing Micah this weekend.  When I think about this quilt, it should have been done soon after she was born--my bad.

This panel measures 42" x 48" which is a nice size for a play quilt.  Sadly, my Juki went on the fritz last week and was brought in for servicing and I really missed using it for this quilt.  I only stitched in the ditch because I didn't want any quilting to interfere with the pictures or patterns.  I wasn't really happy with the stitches made by my Elna Sewing Machine especially with the puckering where the quilting intersected--this would not have happened with the Juki.  Hopefully, Micah won't notice.  Since this quilt is going to be used on the floor, I decided to back it with black and yellow ticking which I had in my stash and was waiting to be used for just the right project.

I also have in my Baby Genius stash, this panel which I will make a wallhanging for Micah when she starts talking,  Hopefully, I'll have at least six months to finish it and I'm crossing my fingers that my Juki will be back by then.   Really, what am I thinking, as soon as the Juki returns next week, I should start working on the wallhanging.  After all, any projects for Micah now are immediately put on top of the project list which it should be.
This baby girl knows that she has this grandma wrapped around her little fingers.

BTW, I had mentioned in previous posts that I was finding all sorts of projects which were started over ten years ago and never finished so I was wondering what could have happened back then.  Well, I finally  remember what it was; I went back to work; maybe it was an event worth forgetting since it interfered with my quilting.  I don't think I'll have any problem with remembering I retired four years ago.

Minus 100 Yard Challenge YTD Total:  -60 yards

Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Busy Hand Quilts: Finish Or Not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I Get A Whoop Whoop

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Finishes

My big finish for the week is that all of the Free Fall Blocks for the MMM Quilts Sew Along are done and ready to be sewn together next week.  I'm looking forward to completing this top, machine quilting and all--not quite sure how I'll quilt it though.

I will admit that I definitely had to use some brain cells and some hours to complete the last six blocks.  This is what I get for choosing to use two lights instead of one light.  I did enjoy making them and have to give Sandra a shout out for designing such an amazing pattern.

And the Smitten Blocks, I just keep sew, sew, sewing along......just twenty-four more to go and I finally am done watching everything Gilmore Girls.  I'm going to miss them.  Tom Selleck and Blue Bloods are next on the binge-watching queue.

Finally, I'm happy to show that there is absolutely no fabric waste with quilting.  I'm someone who hates to throw away even those tiniest bits of fabric pieces and have finally started throwing away some selvedge bits but I still have several bags full of these tiny pieces.  I found an idea on Pinterest several months ago of making a dog bed with scraps which I hadn't tried yet. Since I had to clean my sewing table which was filled with tiny fabric scraps I decided that would try this idea, you can read it here.  It turned out I had enough scraps to make two dog beds. The first one I  made (above), I cut my fabric 18" x WOF and it makes a nice small bed.  You can see it is Sophie approved. The next one I made, the fabric was cut 25" x WOF and it fits inside the waste basket much better.  I will say, though,  these scraps make for a heavy bed.

Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts also has a tutorial on her website for making dog and cat beds from scraps also, you can read the post here.  I have another case sewn for the waste basket and it's ready for the fabric scraps that can't be used for scrap quilts, rug weaving, jewelry making, etc.  It's so nice to have a place to throw my scraps in and a way to use them up.  For my dear quilting and blog friend, Susan, who just confided in me she throws away scraps that are under 2.5" and I know she has fur babies in her family, you better save your scraps now or else I will call the police.  Ha Ha!

Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day (guess what I'll be receiving!)

Minus 100 Yard Challenge YTD Total:  -56.75

Linking up with:
Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday
Busy Hand Quilts: Finish Or Not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I Get A Whoop Whoop