Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Remembering the Year 2013

This was my year of finishing.  I finished so many quilts and other projects.  I was able to do so much, that I am now down to one work in progress.  (After a little destashing, too.)

I learned this year that quilting is more than a hobby.  It really is a talent.  I am so happy that I was able to use my talent to help my children and others.  Yet through all of this I really helped myself so much.  I mentioned in my first post, that quilting helped me through postpartum depression.  I now realize that a little depression may be part of my life.  However, when I am actively quilting and finishing, I feel so much better. 

So, here is my tally for 2013:

9 Twin-Size Quilts:

9 Lap Quilts:

6 Wall Hangings:

6 Mini/Doll Quilts:

 5 Table Runner/Toppers:

4 Quilted Pillows:

4 Bags:

3 Baby Quilts:

That is 46 quilty projects that I finished.  It doesn't include other things I also finished like new drapes for the kitchen, a crocheted afghan, a needle book, and the more than 30 tied baby blankets for gifts and charity. 

Wow!  I am tired just thinking about it.  Yet, I am so excited for 2014.  I hope to get lots done in the coming year. 

Happy New Year! 


2013 - Fourth Quarter in Review


I finished this mini quilt which is made from the scraps of two custom quilts I made in February.  It is fun having a reminder of quilts I sold. 

It was my first time quilting with the walking foot on both sides of the seam.  I liked trying out a new quilting design on a small quilt.  It lives on my Cricut and makes a great dust cover. 

Then I finished this quilt (also my header) called Springtime Kisses.  I had to have a quilt made out of X's for my blog.  It is inspired by the March Mystery Quilt at Stitches and Sew Forth


My big quilty project for the month of November was this blog.  :)  I gathered lots of pictures of my quilts and wrote lots of posts.  I went through twenty years of quilting in just a couple of weeks!  It was exhilarating and exhausting, but so worthwhile.  Now that I am "caught up" I won't be posting as often. 

I also wrote my first tutorial...

And made lots more baby blankets

I was also able to make these two table runners for Christmas gifts. 


After the rest of the Christmas stuff was done, I was able to finish this quilt for our home for Christmas.  It hangs in our kitchen. 

I was even able to get this quilt finished after Christmas before New Year's Eve. 

I am grateful I was able to get anything quilty done in the super busy, family-filled month. 

All in all, it was a great quarter.  I am grateful I now have this blog and my new friends. 


Boxing Day

{a picture heavy post}

This is my last quilt of 2013.  :o)  And the first time I laid a quilt on the snow for a picture!

I finished Boxing Day with a whole day to spare.  I named it Boxing Day for many reasons.  First, my friend Esther suggested it.  (Thank you, Esther).  Second, I realized when Genie commented, that it does look like a bunch of Christmas presents.  (And I do use elegant gold and red wrapping paper.)  Third, I finished it right after Christmas.  (The backing fabric was 50% off after Christmas.) 

It is funny to think that it all started, because I bought this stack of fabric to make table runners for my sister and sister-in-law. 

I just fell in love with the fabric, and had to buy more to make me a new wall hanging

Because I didn't follow the original pattern, I had a lot of green fabric left.  So I went back to the store and bought another yard and a half of red fabric to even it out. I added some more beige with gold fabric which was in my stash, and had the perfect amount to make this quilt top. 

All I had to do was go buy more red fabric for the backing.  I had enough for the binding and extra stripe of the backing. 

What is that?  Four trips to the fabric store for this Starry Night fabric, and I still totally love it. 

I decided I wanted to quilt it in a golden thread, but not metallic.  So I held a little try-out. 

I compared the golden threads I had to a real metallic, and started with that golden yellow (to the left of the metallic).  I used that until it was gone.  Then I used the golden tan (to the right of the metallic.)  I don't think anyone but me will know I used two different colors.  Well, except anyone reading this.  ;)

I finished up the quilting on the 30th of December.  I quilted loose pointy spirals. 

Then I quickly sewed the binding on by machine. 

I started the handwork on the binding with 36 hours until the new year, and finished with nearly 30 hours to spare. 

I hope you don't mind a little show and tell, because I am seriously loving this quilt!  Here it is in all its glory:

And here is the pieced back.  I thought it would be fun to use two different reds. 

How about some close-ups...

That old golden fabric from my stash really blends in well.  It is hard to tell that there are really two different prints meeting in a 4-patch above. 

I love how the golden quilting turned out.  It was worth fighting the thread breaking to get this finished.  I changed my needle, changed the thread, and tried quilting slower.  It still kept happening, so my Janome is now being serviced.  (Probably should have been done a while ago.)

I think it is kind of ironic that I was hurrying to finish this quilt in 2013 - just to say that I did - when I won't be using it much for the next eleven months.  LOL. 

I just have to say, that you know you are a quilter when the biggest criteria for your new living room furniture is how it will look with a quilt draped over it. 

You also know your husband is totally used to your quilting habit when he doesn't think twice when you ask the salesman to borrow a throw from another display to see how it looks over the back of the sofa.  ;)  My husband even helped me adjust the furniture a little in the showroom, so I could try it out.  (Although the salesman must have thought I was a little odd.) 

My new sofas were delivered this morning  *squee*  just in time for pictures.  I now think I need some star pillows out of this fabric. 

You know, it really does look like presents under the tree.  I am loving the name of the quilt even more. 

I also love this quilt on the rack behind the sofas. 

Yep, I definitely need some pillows for next year. 

Okay, I think I am done with the pictures.  I had so much fun taking them.  Next, time I will try to reign myself in. 

I think that next year this quilt may move around the house throughout the Christmas season.  It was so much fun seeing it in different rooms around the house. 

Quilt Stats #78
Name:  Boxing Day
Pattern:  Large Disappearing 9-Patch
Fabric:  Starry Night by Northcott
Batting:  Hobbs 80/20
Size:  About 66 x 88 inches
Date Finished:  December 30, 2013 :D
What I Learned:
  • It is easier to cut an 8 inch square in half than a 24 inch square. 
  • I can use a more contrasting thread.  I love the look of this gold. 
  • My thread may break less if I quilt a little slower. 
If you want to read more about the process behind this quilt, check out this post


P.S.  I may have to go to the store yet again for this fabric.  I need backings for the pillows I will make out of the scraps.  And maybe a new tree skirt.  I found out a couple days ago that my husband doesn't like the store-bought one.  Please, tell me I'm not too crazy. 

P.P.S.  I am linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

P.P.P.S.  This post was highlighted by Val as part of her Nine Patch/Disappearing Nine Patch archives post.  

Val's Quilting Studio

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Love My Design Wall

I decided to make another Christmas quilt to add to my quilty Christmas decorations.  It is patterned after a Disappearing 9-Patch.  I started with eight inch squares, because I could get 10 for each half yard of fabric.  Instead of sewing the nine patches and then cutting them in half, I cut the dark squares in half and quarters.  I figured that would be more accurate than trying to cut an almost 24 inch square in half twice.  After cutting it all out, I put it all up on my design wall to balance out the colors. 

This layout was inspired by these quilt blocks made by Deb at A Simple Life Quilts.  She used a crossroads block, but it reminded me a lot of the D9P.  I love how there are four patches in the corners. 

One of the reasons why I love my design wall (which is a queen size flannel sheet) is because if it is a large quilt, I can use the floor too. 

Another thing I do when using my design wall is piecing the blocks in columns instead of rows.  That way I can put a pin at the top, and not have to fight gravity. 

Here is my completed top up on the design wall.  I am hoping I can get this quilt finished before the end of the year.  :) 

This quilt top finishes at 66.5 x 88.5 inches.  About a twin size. 

Here is a sneak peek at the pieced backing and binding ready to go!  My husband is taking the big boys inner tubing, and I am hoping to get a lot of the quilting done now.  It is all basted and ready to go.  I am planning on quilting it with a golden (but not metallic) thread. 

Any ideas for a good name for this quilt? 


P.S.  I am linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Check out the quilt that Sarah made in a week and a half before Christmas while her husband was home.  The amazing thing is that she was able to keep it a surprise. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wishing Everyone a

Jasmine and Family

P.S.  If you want to watch a sweet, short video of Luke 1-2, click here.  (It is about 8 minutes long.)

Friday, December 20, 2013

O Christmas Tree

I was able to get this Christmas Wall Hanging finished this week.  It is a quilt for my home, and is actually my own Christmas present.  My mom gives us money each year, and this kit and pattern is what I spent my money on.  It was low on the priority list, and I am so glad that it is finished and I can enjoy it until I take down the Christmas decorations. 

As I mentioned in this post, I was originally going to use a more detailed pattern.  But I decided to simplify it.  I love the finished result. 

I kept working on this quilt little by little amidst the rest of my Christmas stuff.  One day I made the binding.  Another day I basted it.  A couple days later I quilted it. 

I thought I would do a more detailed quilting, but ended up keeping it simple.  Once I sat down at the machine, I traced around the snowflakes on the tree with my finger.  I couldn't get it to flow well.  So I decided to stipple on the red panel.  If I can keep a flowing pattern with my FMQ, then my stitches look so much better. 

I did something different on this quilt too.  I used a red thread in the needle...

And a green thread in the bobbin.  I was a little nervous, but you can only see a tiny bit on red thread on the back if you look VERY close.  My tension was really good, and I was a happy girl. 

I stippled in the green borders, and quilted in the ditch around the stars.  I just love how these stars float in the border.  It made binding so much easier. 

I was able to get the binding sewn down by machine right after I finished quilting it.  It was so nice having the binding already made, so I didn't have to get out the iron.

Then I did the handwork on the binding another day. 

A few thoughts on binding by hand... 

What do you do while you do the handwork on bindings (if you do it by hand)?  I used to watch TV or movies while doing handwork, and I calculated how long I spent by how many movies I would watch doing it. 

I have since found that I bind much faster if I am not watching something.  So now I listen to music, a talk on tape, a book on tape, or I enjoy the silence.  Most of the time now I just enjoy the silence and spend my time pondering my next quilting project.  I bind much faster, but enjoy the peace and quiet.  With three active boys, I look forward to quiet in the house.  ;)

I love the way the green binding turned out, and the green snowflake print on the back. 

But I especially love it hanging in my kitchen.  (Most of my decorations are in the basement family room, temporarily dubbed the Christmas Room.) 

I know it would look so much better with a centerpiece on the table runner, but have I mentioned that I have three ACTIVE boys?  ;) 

Quilt Stats #77
Name:  O Christmas Tree
Pattern:  My own design
     inspired by All That Glitters
Fabric:  Starry Night by Northcott
Size:  about 41 x 52 inches
Batting:  Warm and Natural
Date Finished:  December 2013
What I learned:
  • I can use different colors of thread in the needle and bobbin if they are the same value.
  • I like stiffer batting (100% cotton) in wall hangings.
  • I LOVE Christmas quilts... but that is not really new ;)
I now have plans for using up the rest of my Starry Night fabric.   I have a lot left, because I didn't follow the pattern I purchased.  I am thinking about a large disappearing 9 patch starting with 8" squares.  What do you think? 


P.S.  I will be linking up with Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts