January Slow down

These past few weeks have been a bit slow for sewing/project progress.  I got about an hour in on the dragon wall hanging.  I am stitching sequins and some thready trim on the spine of it. I managed to sew two and a quarter borders on the Catwalk quilt.  Spent an hour designing a commission piece and quilted a few blocks of the Catkin quilt.

Maybe, no, it is because of this guy.img_2266

Nothing like a puppy to keep you busy.  He is 3 months old this weekend, Berner puppies grow fast, he weighs about thirty pounds and will probably grow to 120 at maturity.  This period of his life reminds me of when my kids were little.  All my sewing was done during nap-time or after they were in bed.  When he’s awake he entertains himself chewing on toys and my other two dogs, luckily they like him too.   But like all toddlers, when he’s quiet, I know something must be happening .

Back to the quilts.  I did work on the January UFO, but it is not going to be finished this Tuesday.  I had the best intentions, got everything out, all the beads and sequins and trims I had bought for it.  I added a line of leaf-like sequins along the dragons spine catching a thread-y trim under them.  I sewed a bunch of red coral droplets to the legs and sequins to the beard.  I’d like to add more yellow beads to the belly strip, more clear sequins to the body and  more defining quilting.  I’ve been tossing around the idea of big stitches with silk cording or floss.  I’m debating on whether or not to put it away again, or leave it as a work in progress – in a tote.

 

Today I’d like to finish the borders on Catwalk.  There are only three pieces and they are already cut.   Yay! He’s asleep!

Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times to share my (small) progress.

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Design Wall Monday

Got my “Catwalk” quilt top done last night.  I can see though, I need to redo two seams where the intersecting blocks don’t quite line up.  I was in a hurry (famous last words!) to get the final section attached and didn’t pin the seam as much as I should have.  Should only take a half an hour or so.

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I got my “new” design wall set up this weekend.  My youngest son is at ASU, so his room is unused right now, it has a nice blank wall with great natural lighting.  I put up a row of removable stick-on hooks and found a bunch of big binder clips and presto! a place to hang tops and completed quilts.  I can even leave them up for display LOL.

Next up is the monthly challenge, my #3, Dragon wall hanging.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for “Design Wall Monday” today.

Quiltathon Report

Yesterday I got three main pieces of the CatWalk top done.  Although the instructions are good with plenty of pictures and hints I still had some trouble getting to this point.

Here’s a picture of what it looks like when it’s finished.

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All the pieces are cut using paper templates that are included with the pattern. Thursday afternoon I started cutting the shapes out of the strip sets I made.  The strip sets were 1/4 inch too narrow.  Ugh! I had to walk away from the sewing room, because my first thought was “you have to rip and re-sew all those sets”  of course, my second thought was “no there must be some way around that”.  After a bit, the solution came to me, I needed to cut the templates down 1/8 of an inch, on all sides.  That way they would be the same width of my strip sets and still proportionate to each other.  Good thing they were all straight sided.

The cutting for this quilt is simple, there are diagrams on how to lay the templates out to get the best use of the strip sets.  I was going along carefully placing the papers and cutting them, when I must have gotten distracted.  When I realized, I had cut four triangles instead of four Parallelograms.  Almost had to take a break again, LOL.  Luckily for me the kit included enough yardage to make another strip set.  Disaster averted, or rather UFO status denied.  The rest of Friday I organized the pieces into piles and labeled them.  The moral here is measure twice, recheck template required, make sure fabric is  in correct gradation and THEN cut.  Also, if you are so inclined to make this quilt, scant 1/4 inch seams are a must.

Yesterday I started sewing them together, and every thing fit nicely together.  You start by making the center star then add to it to make a hexagon.  Next you take two more stars and make them into top sections.  Being comfortable with inset and Y seams is a skill needed for this design.  That’s where I stopped for the night.

Today, I would like to get the two side pieces and two bottom pieces together.  Just in time for Design Wall Monday.

Linking up with Judy for January Quiltathon Day 4 today, hope you are sewing along too!

Weekend of fun

When Judy at Patchwork Times announced she was starting a Quiltathon I thought it would be fun to join in.  Coincidentally, my house is empty of men this weekend.  My DS’s went back to school and my DH went on a business trip for the next 5 days.  Plus its supposed to rain buckets this weekend.  The stars are aligning for all the makings of a sew-in this weekend.  I also made a big Insta-pot of chicken soup.

I spent about three hours yesterday completing the 39 strip sets for my Jinny Beyer kit “Cat Walk”.  I had a bunch done already, just mindless sewing of five 1 3/4 inch WOF strips.  This is the pistachio color way.

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I want to get the pieces cut today, and maybe start sewing them together.

Linking up with Judy this morning at Patchwork Times for the “update”.

En Petite Provence

I’m linking up with Bonnie at Quiltville today for Mystery Monday Link Up Finale.  My top has been finished for over a month now, but I wanted to show it off one more time.

I really pushed myself to get this done last Tuesday, the 3rd.  I started making the yellow, white and green blocks in the morning and got them done and trimmed around 11.  Took a break and then got to piecing the sashing and the blocks.  I finished the final  stitching around the edge at about 9:30pm.

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If you’ve been following me on this mystery, you know that I made this quilt half size.  Same number of pieces as the full size, the blocks finish at 1 ½ inches.  The quilt top size is about 44 inches square.  I took the picture below with my cutter as a size reference.

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Next up quilting it!

Linking up with Sara at Confessions of a Fabric Addict  for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Friday today and Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville for the Mystery Monday Link-up.

New Year Things

Time for recaps, resolutions, reconfiguring and renewing.  I’ve never been one for new year resolutions, I’m more of a “just get it done” person.  Although, I do get lazy and sometimes I even forget goals and to-dos, is it inevitable or human nature to resist change?

I started a new quilt last week, it’s a kit by Jinny Beyer called “Catwalk”.  It is made with all batiks and a pretty border fabric.  Simple strip piecing and template cutting, just have to be sure to label everything and keep it in order.

Judy, at Patchwork Times, has picked a number for the first UFO to finish in January.  Its number three, which corresponds to my dragon quilt wall hanging.  This quilt is about twelve years old now.  It is from a pattern by June Colburn called Celestial Dragon.  I’m pretty sure its got fusible holding the pieces together, and some zig zag stitching around the pieces.  I bought a bunch of embellishments to add and that’s sort of where I stopped with this project.  The fabric isn’t that dated looking, and my DD saw it and seemed to like it.  I’ll be working on it this month, its hanging up on my design wall, so its in my line of sight and out of the cupboard.

I completed the Firefly blocks for Fancy Forest.  These were difficult for me. The mirror opposite sides and angles made me question my sanity a few times.  Although the instructions are clear, step by step, build as you go, I think I did each firefly 4 times over. There were eight blocks and each one has 7 colors in it. I try to strip piece and chain sew them to expedite the process, it didn’t work too well, as I did everything 8 times, and then if there was an error, 8 more times.  They are finished now.   I have the owl and the thistles left, I am going to do the thistle next, as the owls have too many pieces for my brain to handle at this time.

I am caught up with the En Provence mystery, still keeping it half sized, lots of little 2 inch blocks.  I am trying to decide whether to call it Mon Petite Provence, Le Petite Provence or Petite Provence.   There is also Demi-taille Provence, translation: half size Provence.  This quilt is still a challenge for me, the cutting and piecing amounts are the same as regular size, just the sewing time and amount of fabric is less.  I am able to use a greater variety of fabric too, as the pieces are smaller and I have lots of scraps that are less than 3 inches square/wide.

I haven’t touched Gravity for two months now, I think finishing it will be a January goal.  I showed it to my DS, who was heavily hinting he needed a new quilt for his bed.  He liked it, so maybe it will become his.  I’m looking forward to quilting it, all the wide open spaces, I want to try some “graffiti style” quilting.