Thursday, June 28, 2012

Start to Finish in a Weekend

I started cutting one of the baby quilts last Friday evening after work, I finished hand sewing the binding on the back Monday evening (while sitting, once again, in a hospital room). Yay for finished quilt, boo at hospital again. We are hoping (but it is getting hard at this point) that the doctors will be able to actually fix the problems so that we can both get back to a normal life of doing fun things together and enjoying being a couple, and eventually make plans to get married. It is hard to imagine planning a wedding with the fear of him having to go to the hospital at any given moment.

But back to the quilting, I love this quilt. Absolutely adore it. The machine quilting is getting easier, I am learning more and more every day. Only 1 pucker in the whole back of this quilt. Still perfecting the bobbin tension and getting my speed more consistent. All in all I love quilting on the machine now. It is also much easier with a small quilt. I can't express how much I love the salmon Kona Solid in this, and the back. Oh the back! A Denyse Schmidt dot via my local Joann Store. I am smitten.

I started quilting my surprise quilt last night. I will post pictures when I am back to my regular computer. Its hard to balance work, quilting and hospital visits, nevermind blogging and taking pictures of quilts!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cutting, Cutting, Cutting

I didn't get much done last weekend, not nearly as much as I had hoped. I have started cutting fabric to make a second watermelon quilt, I also managed to stich up some nifty sleeve things (for rolling up and holding your sleeves) for my boyfriend for work. So he won't have to keep tugging at his sleeves when its hot. They sewed up in a matter of minutes, and now he is requesting them in different colors too! I also got some red and blue fabrics prewashed for a picnic quilt I am working on. That idea I will share when it gets under way. The fabrics I ordered for boy and girl baby quilts came yesterday so I spent last night cutting the fabrics for the baby girl quilt, all from Michael Miller's Children at Play line by Sarah Jane. I got them here. The boy quilt fabrics I got from the same website, but they are Funky Monkey from Moda by Erin Michael with a few other prints thrown in. I am super excited to start on that quilt, but hesitant to start cutting those fabrics. I absolutely adore sock monkeys! I also managed to get my pieces squared up for the picnic quilt I am working on, and I have some more cutting to do for the watermelon quilt I am making for my sister (since I sold the other one!) and also some more cutting on my retro quilt that I have been toying with. Lots of Works In Progress, and I gather from reading other quiting blogs that this is nothing out of the ordinary. I'm going to end up driving my boyfriend crazy with all the fabric I have!

Here are some pictures from the watermelon quilt cutting!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zero Progress

After everything I managed to finish last week, I have not worked on one project all week.

Well, I have a little. I cut out some fabric for Raggedy Annies, and stitched on the face for the last doll I made (over a month ago) who was patiently waiting, faceless, on the couch.

My boyfriend is home, out of the hospital and feeling much better, so we have been enjoying spending time together outside of a hospital room! Yay for that! And we'll be taking a day trip tomorrow to go fishing, so the quilts I have in the works and all my other projects will be on hold until Sunday. Although I'm almost dying, not having something to work on. Hopefully next week I will have some pictures for everyone (if anyone reads this!)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two finished quilts

I managed to not only finish my table runner this weekend, but also my watermelon picnic quilt. Its amazing to me to have started the watermelon quilt 3 weekends ago, and to have only worked about 6 days on it and have it completely done. I don't have a good picture of it yet, but as soon as my boyfriend gets out of the hospital I plan on having him drive me out somewhere nice and hold it while I take some pictures (he doesn't know this yet.) So my next few projects include, but are not limited to, finishing several raggedy Annie dolls, which I spent this evening working on a little while, my Positively Retro quilt I started cutting fabric for last week,  2 or 3 baby quilts, as well as making some pillow covers to match my American flag quilt, maybe a table square for someone special, and about a dozen other things floating around in my head. I will leave you with this picture until I can snap some with my actual camera, but for now it is bed, seeing as how its back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Machine quilting... love hate relationship

So I started machine quilting the watermelon quilt yesterday, and have officially spent more time ripping stitiches out than quilting stitches in. I have finally started getting the hang of it, a little anyway. I am doing freehand swirly lines. My boyfriend questioned how hard it could be, and I compared it to drawing, only you are moving the paper and holding the pencil still, and trying to keep it from looking like crap. Only its a lot harder to erase than a pencil line. I am using a nice bright pink thread (which makes the mistakes stand out nicely on the white parts of the quilt), at least to me it does. My boyfriend says the pink thread was exactly what the quilt was needing. (And for him to actually approve of pink means it must be true, or he was trying not to hurt my feelings, which I doubt. He isn't the most tactful of people for the most part, he is too honest, and a horribly liar.) The machine quilting also made me realize how much I like quilting by hand, and how relaxing it is to sit on the couch, watch TV and quilt. Also it made me realize how genuinely easy I find hand quilting when compared to learning an entirely new way to quilt. Its hard to do continuous line quilting when I am used to being able to 'jump' around when hand quilting by going in between the layers and in the batting and coming up in another place in the quilt. Its all very new to me. Its also a workout! I probably should have started my machine quilting on a much smaller piece than the watermelon quilt, its really hard on my forearms moving such a big quilt. I never realized how heavy it is when you're trying to move an whole quilt with just your fingers!

My goal this week is to finish my table runner and get the binding on. I got the fabric cut for my retro quilt, and I had planned on quilting it on the machine, but I'm starting to rethink that now! I'm sure it will continue to get easier, and I do ahve about 1/3 of the watermelong quilt already done. Thats a lot faster than I could do by hand. On the retro quilt though, I will do some straight line quilting, and make it easy on myself. No pictures this time, I am waiting until I have something finished, whichever comes first.

And despite the fact that I have 2 projects in process right now, and another one nearly completely cut and ready I am still thinking about things I want to do. Not just quilting either. There are several projects I want to sew for myself and as gifts, on top of the list I already posted. I'll have to post an updated list soon, and then in a month or so, see if I've actually managed to complete any of them! I know I do want to piece some baby quilt tops, just to keep on hand in case I need a quick baby shower gift, as well as some fold and go changing pads and diaper totes. Hopefully soon I will have a finished project to post!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Watermelon Picnic Quilt

The first quilt I've made using my new machine. I'm almost ready to start quilting, and I'm nervous. I've never quilted on a machine before! I was a little shaky doing the applique stitch around the "seeds" but got better each time, after a little trial and error I've figured out how to maneuver the quilt top to make it easier. However, the prospect of actually quilting on it is still daunting. I'm sure it will get easier as I go, I may just attempt stippling or straight line quilting on this one for now until I am more practiced at it. This was what I spent my morning doing :)

Mmmm coffee, a sewing machine and morning sunshine. The pink fabric here is what I am using for the binding, and that delectable green stripe will be the backing.