Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stash Report - Week 47, 2013

I'm running neck in neck with my added and used fabric this year.  When I start to turn to positive numbers in my used column, I get sidetracked with temptations of  fat quarters or other pretty fabrics. Since my stash was low on yellows and oranges, I picked up a few FQ (you know Bonnie's mystery quilt is coming up the day after Turkey Day). Guess I might as well give in this year and try to make a dent in the stash 2014.

My stash usage was for a matching pillowcase for my cousin's comfort quilt and a Christmas block for our guild meeting.

Used this week: 1.25 yds
Used YTD:  96.86 yds
Added this week:  1.5 yds
Added YTD:  95.34 yds
Net Added for 2013:  1.52 yds

To see more stash reports, go here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

On and Off The Needles - Nov. 22, 2013

I kept missing the Friday OTN post because I hadn't taken any pictures of what I was working on, but finally got my act together this week.

I'm addicted to these little guys.  I guess it's the instant gratification and the fact that I can finish them without having to rip anything, and they are so relaxing to knit!  I just can't stop making them.  They will make great stocking stuffers, so I'll keep making them for a while longer.  Some of the yarn only makes one with a little yarn left over, but not enough for a second one.  I'm hoping the tangerine yarn will last enough to finish this second one that I have on the needles now.  If not, I'll take some of the leftover green or multicolor yarn and finish it for my use.  My dishes won't care if they are scrappy looking.  The yarn is the 100% cotton Sugar and Creme brand, but the length varies within the skeins.

On my circular needles is the beginnings of a shawl that I started last month.  It's taking forever to see any progress.  It seems after an hour or two of knitting, it only grows a half inch more; and, I have to concentrate more, can't talk and knit at the same time.  It's the 3S Shawl that was so popular earlier in the year and everywhere I looked someone was making it. Anyway, I still have to check the pattern frequently so I don't make silly mistakes.  You see, I still don't know how to fix dropped stitches, especially when I don't realize I've dropped them!  Another reason it's taking forever might be because the needles are Size #2.  I wish I had started this on a #3 or $4. By now it might be half finished. lol Sure hope I can finish it before Spring arrives so I can at least wear it once.

Stop on over at Judy's and see what others are working on this week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Finish

Finally, the Liturgical quilt that was started last year is finished.  The only task left is to attach a hanging sleeve to the back and bind it.  I was asked to quilt it simple and not too densely.  Here are a few pictures of the quilt hanging in my dining room.  Do you see those white cords at the top of the quilt?  You'll never guess what they are.  Have you ever seen those stretchy elastic holders with the pincher clips on each end for holding a mattress cover on your mattress, well they work very well for hanging irregular shaped quilts in order to take a straight picture.

Stitch in the ditch was done on both sides of all the grey "lead" and between all blocks and around the cross and heart.  There are  two crosses quilted in the top squares on either side of the main cross and continuous curves in the light squares to give the windows a cathedral look on the stain glass windows.

I tried to make the center cross look more dimensional by quilting irregular lines and knot holes running the length of the wood.  In looking at this picture though, I can't see them at all.  

This original design was first made by Joanne Wietgrefe for the First Congregational Church of Ithaca, New York in 2006. Her original is 7 ft. wide and 11 feet tall and hangs in the sanctuary of her church.  This smaller version measures 70 inches by 82 inches and all the fabrics used in the design are batiks.  It is to be a gift to the pastor of a church in Indiana.

This was definitely a challenge and learning experience for me and my customer.  I can say now that I did enjoy the process of figuring out how to make it without any pattern, but not sure I'll be making many more quilts in the future from a tiny picture out of a magazine. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Finishes and Stash Report - Nov. 17, 2013

This week has been productive for finishing some small projects and getting my numbers back going the right way.  Last week on my trip to Missouri Star Quilt Co. I added to my stash with a few purchases; well that layer cake as been turned into a finished quilt for a relative who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.  All it needs is a label and to be delivered.
The collection is T.W.Roses by Free Spirit 
It's quilted with Double Rose Vines since there were roses on many of the fabrics. 
This helped to reduce my stash by 7+ yards.

My next finish is the baby quilt challenge by one of my guilds.  If you remember, we got a bit of fabric in a brown bag and had to make a baby quilt from it.  My bag contained a fat quarter of the little Chinese dolls.  I  pieced together the top at a retreat in September, and now it's quilted, labeled, washed and ready to go to a child who needs a portable hug. It was a challenge to find colors that went with that fabric and still look cute. Fabric was counted back in Sept. when the top was finished.

This was a good quilt to practice free motion quilting.  I changed thread to match the color sections (so my mistakes would not be seen as easily) and it was fun coming up with what to quilt in each of the bands. I need much more practice to keep my designs consistent, but hopefully a small child won't notice too much where I wobbled and got off track! :)
The designs from the back.
I also finished piecing another baby quilt with embroidered kitties on the blocks. Hope to get it quilted soon.  AND, the liturgical quilt is finished too.  I have to take some pictures to show you.  I'm so glad it's done except for the binding and sleeve to hang it with.

Now for my numbers:
Fabric Added this week - zero
Fabric Added YTD - 93.84 yds.
Fabric Used this week - 8 yards
Fabric Used YTD - 95.61 yds
Net Used in 2013 - 1.77 in the black!!

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times and Let's Make Baby Quilts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Added Stash from Missouri Star Quilt Company

Here is what caused my stash report to head in the wrong direction last week.  I think I have to blame Bonnie Hunter for most of these additions.  Her mystery quilt is starting the day after Thanksgiving, and my stash was short on some of the colors she suggested.  The rest was a bargin and too good to pass up (a layer cake from Free Spirit - T.W. Roses), it was the "Daily Special".  If you know anything about the Missouri Star, you know that they have the BEST daily specials.  Yes, and everyday there is some temptation that is hard to resist.  Could you pass up a 50% to 75% off price on jelly rolls, or layer cakes, or cinnamon buns?  I didn't think so.  Me neither!  Cinnamon buns are one my favorite pastries from the bakery.  Haven't tried the fabric kind yet.

The layer cake on the left is scheduled to be made into a comfort quilt for a relative that has been diagnosed with cancer.  I hope to use a very simple and quick pattern this week at a retreat, so she can use it during her treatment.

Here were a couple more quilts that were on display in the shop that caught my eye.  I didn't get the pattern names and fabrics used, but they look quick and easy to do.
Made using a patriotic layer cake

Such a cute and easy baby quilt

Modern Circles

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mo. Star Quilt Co. & Stash Report #45

Oh, oh, I've been naughty again when it comes to buying more fabric.  I've been trying so hard not to buy any more fabric this year.  But then I went to Houston -- will power was good there.  Didn't want to carry big heavy packages around all day and then have to check them.  Then, this week some of my friends invited me to go to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, in Hamilton, MO and we drove.  This means lots of room for packages, no matter how heavy or bulky, right?

Here we are with our beautiful purple shopping bags filled.  It was a rainy, cool day, but no one noticed after spending time shopping in this lovely store.  This is where Jenny films all those great tutorials that you can find on U-tube.  It is also the home of every line of pre-cuts I've ever seen.  At every turn there were charm packs, layer cakes, jelly rolls, cinnamon buns, tiny 2.5" packs (can't remember what they called these) and the rest of the complete collections all conveniently located for the samples on how to use them.  They have so many samples on the walls that my head was spinning from all the inspiration and all I wanted to do was get home and start in on one of them!

Check out their store, daily deals and great simple tutorials on how to use many of the pre-cuts. Jenny is a great teacher and lots of fun.  

Fabric Added - 4.64 yds
Fabric added YTD - 93.84
Fabric Used - 0, zero, nada
Fabric used YTD - 87.61 yds

To see more stash reports, go to Judy's here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Houston Trip

My trip to Houston was so much fun, even though it was fast and furious.  It was raining when we left home, and from Dallas to Houston we encountered some very scary weather and a major delay in arrival time, but we made it safely.  It was raining in Houston when we arrived too, but it didn't dampen our spirits at being at the International Quilt Festival. One of my friends that I went with had a quilt accepted and hanging in the show.  That was where we headed first.  Her quilt was beautiful and the quilting amazing. It is a wholecloth and all the color is done with the quilting threads. My picture does not do it justice at all.  It was a previous winner at MQS earlier this year.

All My Rowdy Friends by Ann McNew
The show did not disappoint.  I was on sensory overload after spending hours trying to see it all. There seemed to be more quilts than I remembered from past visits, the last time was many years ago -- 12 yrs. to be exact.  There were many special exhibits from around the world - "The Many Faces of Jerusalem"; Winning Quilts from the Open European Quilt Championships 2013; Prize-Winning Quilts from International Quilt Week Yokohama 2012; Taiwan Environmental and Ecological Art Quilts; Tapestries of a South Korean Woman; O Canada 2013; The Modern Quilt Guild Showcase 2013; Quilts of Valor; Healing Quilts in Medicine; Hoffman Challenge; AAQI quilts and many, many more.

Here are a few pictures from the Quilts of Valor exhibit that caught my eye.
 Doesn't this one look like each strip is hanging freely?  It wasn't, at least I don't think it was; but my eyes are not as good as they once were!
This one had amazing detail in white blocks

Sorry about the shadows, the ceiling light was at my back and I couldn't avoid some shadows.

 There were signatures around some of the stars.

The next time I go to the Houston show, I definitely will stay longer and plan ahead so as to not be on a tight budget! Although being there longer would have surely made a difference in my finances. It was a fun trip with two friends, one who had a quilt hanging in the show and worth the sleepless hours and scary flight.

Stash Report #44 and November Goals

The stash didn't change this week, because I brought in the same amount as I used.   I acquired a fat quarter of 'shot cotton'  and I made two blocks for a friend in my block exchange group.  So the net number remained the same.
Fabric Added  -  .25 yd
Fabric Used   - .25 yd
Fabric Added YTD - 89.20 yds
Fabric Used YTD   - 87.61 yds
Net added YTD  -  1.59 yds

Three of my October goals are rolling over to the November list since I did not finish them all.  Maybe this month will fair better, but I won't hold my breath.  There are so many activities happening this month that I'll be happy to finish one or two.

November Goals
1. Piece backing for Easy Street
2. Quilt RWB baby quilt
3. Quilt guild challenge baby quilt
4. Finish quilting liturgical quilt - almost done
5. Quilt one UFO
6. Quilt one QOV

October Goals
1. Piece a backing for Easy Street
2. Quilt RWB baby quilt
3. Finish applique on liturgical quilt - done
4. Finish 2 more knitted dish cloths - 4 done
5. Quilt baby quilt for guild challenge

To see more stash reports, visit Judy at Patchwork Times.