Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BQ Quilt - Done!

This cute little quilt top made by my sister Phyllis, is from the BQ Pattern, designed by Maple Island Quilts. I quilted the top combining lines, meandering and feathered borders -- so as to keep it "boyish". Phyllis will add a striped binding to match and deliver in time for a new born little boy.

Of course -- keeping with my promise to show the backs from now on -- the pieces are from a stash of 10" squares leftover from this quilt and the "Goose Has Left the Pond" I made last year.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quilting and Stash Report

I am quilting a little quilt top (60 x 70) for my sister Phyllis . She used the BQ Pattern by Maple Island Quilts. The good news for me, she used up some of my stash for the backing.

Yesterday, Phyllis and I headed north for a Gulf States Quilting Association Meeting. The speaker, Dorinda Evans is a prolific award winning scrap quilter -- WOW, she is an awesome scrapper!!! We brought Phyllis' twelve year old granddaughter Alissa, who made her first quilt at 5. Gulf States has opened their membership to Juniors, so of course we have signed her up. We actually came home with NO new stash. After an inspiring meeting, we were ready to come home and sew.

I also got to meet Donita from DT Quilts. It is so cool to meet the quilters we visit with regularly on line. Be sure to go drop by and tell her hello.

Here is my report:
Used (finished only): (20) yards
Used to Date: (116.40) yards
Purchased: -0-
Purchased Year to Date: 126.50
Net: 10.1 yards --Goal is 150 yards.

This means, if I just finish what I have started and not buy anything, there is still a slim chance I will make it -- but I will sure give it a try.

For more stash reports, visit Judy at Patchwork Times -- where I will be linking up with others.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to Back

Choosing the perfect backing can be fun! Really guys! Even if the top is several years down the road and not even a "twinkle" in your eyes. I bought this awful duck fabric years ago, which eventually made it to a very masculine quilt for my husband (his favorite by the way). There was enough left over to make a charity pillowcase, the lining of a purse, and a couple of hot pads.

I tend to buy bulk for backs and save for later. My inventory has a variety of large-piece novelty, classic, masculine and kid prints. When there is a sale, six (6) yards is my favorite length to buy. However .... I have been known to buy whatever is on the bolt (5 to 10 yards). What is the best backing fabric to buy ahead -- good quality, good price, and oh yes, something pleasing to the eye (well ... sorta). Sometimes, the surprise look from the recipient, when they see that crazy fabric on the back is worth the edgy choice.

In general .... nine (9) yards can back a king; six (6) yards can back a queen if you add a filler strip; five to six (5 - 6) yards for twin/double; and three-four (3-4) for small/lap. The Orange Quilt I showed off earlier this week needed an additional 10" strip -- Here is the back below --- I alternated scraps and 10" x 16" rectangles (which were left over after I added the outside border). Although the quilt top was scraps of all shades of orange, the six yards of yellowish gold was a perfect fit.

Below is a little top my sister Phyllis and her granddaughter made last weekend. She inserted a 6" strip to a 1-1/2 yard piece of fabric, which made a very cute backing. Oooops -- I forgot to remove my ugly quilting gloves. Those little quilts are where I try out new free-form quilting designs and practice before moving to my big quilts.

Below is a nine (9) yard piece purchased last year (on sale of course) -- I love this retro print! I will have enough for a large quilt backing one day and still have scraps left over. Any imperfections while quilting will be well hidden.

One of my favorite quilts hanging in our hallway, this "Art Affair" quilt designed by Jan Douglas was made in 2006 (her pattern published in February 2006 McCall's Magazine).

The backing below -- who knows why I bought this one! I am sure it was on sale and bought "just because". It was later used from my stash and it worked!

Sarah, over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict likes to piece her backings incorporating the scraps left over from the tops. I would say her quilts are reversible, because they are gorgeous from both sides. Bonnie Hunter, one of my favorite scrappy girls of the Quiltville fame, has used 10" squares and orphan blocks for her backings -- can I say "L-O-V-E" them!

Now the next time you are digging through the sales, don't look at the fabric to match the perfect quilt top --- think outside the box. Pick something that makes you smile -- the one that pops -- or the onetime fad fabric that may or may not ever come back in style. AND, to the shop owners out there, package those 5-6 yard "gotta-get-rid-of-before-tax-inventory" fabrics into "BACKING" sales and I will see ya there!

From this post forward, I will be always display the pictures of my quilts from both sides (even though they may not be reversible like Sarah's) and even those "YUK" backings! I am challenging others to do the same -- lets see how many different styles are out there. Are you "matchy-matchy", "scrappy", "close-enough" -- or some other style or combination?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Finish - Orange Monochromatic

Patiently waiting for the rain to stop for pictures, I found a little sun. As soon as the picture was taken on the swing, the rain started coming again ..... so the picture below is shadowed.

The finished quilt is 83 x 92, taking 22 bobbins of thread for the custom quilting. The binding is an orange and white stripe for the final touch.

Again, I must give special thanks to Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times for her Monochromatic Challenge. I have always liked orange so I had a huge collection of various shades ..... after this quilt, I love orange. I believe it will rest very nicely on the double bed in my son's old room.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Alexis' Quilt

A few weeks ago, I shared a quilt top made by my five year old niece with help from her grandmother (Phyllis). Today, I have been quilting the top -- not much else to do with all the rain.

Alexis sat on my lap and placed her hands on top of my gloved hands to help me quilt -- Worked for a little while, however she is five and found other things to do.

The back of the quilt has the cutest fabric with the number "five" as a theme. Phyllis had the idea that Alexis will always remember when she made this quilt -- perfect choice.

A preview of this week -- more quilting. Phyllis brought three child size quilts, the one above and two more. They are so cute, so I can't wait to start the other two.

I have also started a post all about Backings coming soon. Thanks to my friend Cookie, she gave me the inspiration to talk about how I choose backing fabric. Are you "matchy-matchy", "scrappy", or "close-enough". Do you buy ahead, do you only buy when needed? Most of us are a combination of each -- so stay tuned for "Back to Back" .

Next, I am patiently waiting for the rain to let up so I can take pictures of my Orange Monochromatic Quilt for Judy's challenge at Patchwork Times. It's HUGE! Like ... Queen Size! My favorite monochromatic so far.

Now it is time to hurry over to Sarah's so I can link up to the ''Whoop" end of the week report at "Confessions of a Fabric Addict". I have already visited a few others and see the H2H Challenge is coming together. So glad mine is done and off to Green Fairy's.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stash Enhancement

My very good friend Mary came down from New York with her hubby Howard. Of course, that meant visiting with quilting friends, shopping and eating out. Howard bought Mary an Accu Cut Go (how sweet was that) at the Quilting Niche'.

Then on Saturday, we went "down the bayou" to a cute little shop in Cut Off, La. called MeMaw's Sewing Room, to visit our quilting friend Leslie. As you can see above, there was lots of stash enhancement. Leslie had a big sale, so 56 yards of backings later, and only $146 spent, I was a happy camper. I picked up several pieces (and bolts) of Westminster and Windham fabrics, for an average of $2.60 per yard.

I am so close to finishing the Orange Quilt (if I would just stay home). It will take me a while to hand sew the binding, however I hope to have it finished by the end of the week for my Friday Finishes.

Stash Report:
Purchased, 56.25 yards
Purchased year to date, 126.50
Used (finished) year to date, (96.40)
Net, 30.10 --- Since my goal is to bust at least 150 yards, I am now 180 yards away.

For more stash reports, I am linking up with Judy over at her Patchwork Times. I hope others have done better than me -- although I don't have an ounce of guilt.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Orange Monochromatic and Kristy's Dream

Mary Lea brought her version of Kristy's Dream to Show and Tell recently. I still get excited when someone uses my patterns.

And, after a few days of picking out some of the quilting on the Orange Monochromatic top, I am back on the machine. I think I was starting to get withdrawals as I try to sew something everyday. The Orange Monochromatic is for the month of April for Judy's Challenge over at Patchwork Times. The blocks for the Red top are done, but not sewn together and the Indigo top is ready for quilting -- which I will tackle next.
I am so glad July is here -- it is a slower month at work, so I hope to catch up on a few quilt projects, and -- finish writing 2 patterns, pillowcases, three mug rugs -- oh my goodness, the list is just too long to post.

To add to my already busy life, I have recently joined the local Art Guild. Our mom was a painter (oils) and very talented. She did sew (a lot of everything), except quilts -- I guess it sometimes skips one generation. My goal is to one day bring more art to my quilt tops --- I guess we will see.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"The DJ Quilt" for the Fourth of July!

Carolyn finished her "DJ Quilt" just in time for the Fourth of July weekend. A very lucky soldier will be receiving this quilt very soon. Notice the quilting? She does this awesome work on her home machine! Carolyn added a border to the pattern, for her own version -- I guess I will be pulling fabric for my next one soon AND it just may have a border!

If any readers make their own version of any quilts from the L'Fair line (they are all listed to the right), please send me a picture or a link and I will post it here! I have Mary Lea's version of "Kristy's Dream" also coming soon, along with a couple of beautiful quilts from more friends.

This long weekend will bring plenty of sewing time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Indigo Challenge and H2H Friday

My Indigo Challenge Quilt has not left the wall for some time now. June is one of two busy months for me at work -- so glad July is here. I am off today and on my way to our Guild's workshop for "sit and sew" time with the gals. I will stop off at the Quilt Shop for a border -- I hope she has an Indigo, because it just needs another border.

I will be linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times to show the Indigo after I add the border, and maybe a sneak peak of the quilting. Do you remember the "Orange" quilt? I finished quilting and now I am "picking". I started something new and became better the more I quilted, so I am going back to fix a few areas.

Here is the back of the H2H Quilt -- all quilted, bound, labeled, washed and ready to mail. Special Thanks to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for hosting this worthy project and to KatieQ for the fabric exchange.
The simple pattern is from the 2007 "Quilt Pink", in the Better Homes and Gardens, American Patchwork and Quilting. I have made SEVERAL -- let's see --- the Red/White/Black, a Green/White my sister somehow has now, two Orientals, and two Black and Whites. Did I mention that I really like this pattern. AND thank you hubby for helping to stage the quilt.