Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week in review and Diamond Daze

Update: I'm entering the Diamond Daze quilt in Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side, in the Baby Quilt category.

Lots of fun, but not a lot of quilting action this past week because I've been getting sick (pretty sure it's another sinus infection) and yet managed to get some hours at work. When I work swings and graves, it is hard to get a lot of quilting progress done, because I'm working during children's sleeping times, which are my most productive project times and "me" time.

1--Got the borders onto my Starburst. ( )  I didn't like how they looked. I should not have strip-pieced the borders, but should have put each border on one at a time. I have picked out the corners and I will redo them.

2--Binding for the fire truck quilts is almost ready....I just need to press the strip in half and roll it onto the Binding Buddy.

3--So very excited! My latest obsession is Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda, and I finally was able to order my favorite prints in fat quarters from . Really want to do a Starburst with them. I picked up the mail on my way home from my graveyard shift this morning, to find my Cuzco! So gorgeous!

4--I knew my coworker was coming in this morning, so I could surprise her with her baby quilt: the yellow and gray quilt! Presenting quilty gifts is almost as much fun as the process of making them. She loved it and so did the nurses and techs looking on. Her baby girl is such a cutie and I'm proud to have put a quilt together for her.

This is "Diamond Daze" by Quiltmaker's "Quilts from 100 Blocks Volume 2" Fall 2012. My coworker wanted the yellow and gray color palette, and I fell in love with the palette and the fabrics I found. I used some yellow and gray from my small stash, and found this gorgeous yellow/gray paisley at Joann Fabric. This is my first quilt with mitered corners on borders. I had to tweak them before I quilted them because a few of the corners weren't laying flat with all the layers. The most difficult part of the whole pattern was cutting the large squares, and then having a ruler and an arm reach long enough to cut the squares in half diagonally. And yes, I quilted the whole thing on my little Bernina 1090, with the walking foot, and darning foot for the free-motion borders.

I watched the free Craftsy class "Creative Quilt Backs" to piece my backing...the quilt was 48x48 which is more than a standard WOF. I wanted something a bit more than adding a strip of self-backing vertically. I split the backing fabric vertically off-center. I pieced a four-patch strip using scraps from my top fabrics, then sewed it to both sides. I learned from the class that if you are working with multiple strips, match centers and pin outward. That way, you won't get as jagged ends if you're working with strips of different lengths. You have less waste and more usable fabric at the centers of the quilt, where you need it. Very cool advice, and it worked great.

So even though I don't consider myself a modern quilter, I found I could still learn some tricks. There's no right way to do things; you learn all you can and apply knowledge and techniques that work for you, that you're comfortable with, and apply in a particular project.
And yes, I hand-embroidered the label !

Monday, February 18, 2013

Starburst Quilt-Along--Making Blocks

The rest of this week, after the big Valentine's reveal, was a little bit calmer. Thursday and Friday:
1-- I started the continuous binding square for the fire truck quilts
2--I cut out and started piecing some more kisses and hugs blocks
3--finished cutting the continuous binding prep for applying/making fusible bias for the Celtic borders.
4--finished sewing the binding and label on the yellow and gray baby quilt, and took pictures!

I'm so proud of myself for a Sunday night!
I finished the center star for the Starburst Quilt-Along last week. So tonight, I put together the side burst units, and pieced and matched and pieced and matched, and Ta-Dah!
I finished the Starburst!
Now I just need to add some border and purchase some batting, and I will be prepared to make it a big block baby quilt!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Quilt U Be Mine reveal

Happy Valentine's Day!
It's time to reveal our Quilt U Be Mine Round Robin quilts!
Ok, so I'm nowhere near being done, but the deadline for the reveal post is past, and I'm so stinking tired and disappointed in myself that I'm about to cry.

Anyway, here are the blocks laid out with the quilt, and another with the paper pattern for the knot border on one side, so you can get an idea of what I'm planning on doing. That Celtic knot border will go all the way around the quilt.

Thank goodness for editing posts. Goodnight, or good morning. 01:00 am.

So I'm awake but have a migraine, but I'm in a more calm state of mind. Just disappointed that I didn't finish my quilt top by the deadline. I guess things just always take longer than I think they will.
The Celtic appliqué is not that hard, but there's tons of steps involved, and it's just time-consuming.
But I adore the look, so I'm glad I challenged myself to learn something new! Very worth it.

I started with four little appliqués hearts for my center block. Then I sent it off to Ann in Pennsylvania!

Ann added the beautiful appliqués tulips and fun asymmetrical squares. Then she sent it to our lovely hostess Michele.

Michelle added some more little borders of checkers. Then sent it on to Rachel K is California!

Rachel added the sweet HST in a pretty burgundy and pink with a burgundy gilt-etched florals!

I was so excited to open my package that I opened it with my hubby, and was so surprised and thrilled with everyone's additions. It is a very sweet quilt.

I really enjoyed participating in my very first Round Robin. It's unexpected and very fun, and everyone is so creative! It was fun challenging myself to do new things and try new techniques. I auditioned so many blocks, and got some things ready to make, and searched books and computer programs, and some I didn't get to use. Maybe next time.

And I'm going to keep working on that Celtic knot border.

Here are some pics of what I added to the rest of my group's quilts. Be sure to stop by their blogs to see the finished quilts!

Hugs n Kisses to all my new friends on Valentine's Day, and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Short supply

What happens when you try to finish a bunch of projects all at once? You start using up all your supplies!

1--Monday I had to buy more quilting thread for the fire truck quilts, and quilting needles, and regular needles!

2--Today I need to go to the fabric store for more background fabric, and fusible tape rolls for the Celtic borders in Quilt U Be Mine.

This past week, I have a bunch of near finishes!
1--I have been sewing binding on the yellow quilt. That's done, and the label is embroidered and fused on--just hand-stitching! Then pictures and ready to gift!

2--I have been quilting the fire truck quilts (how often do you use up your bobbin and spool of thread at the exact same time!!!!)

3--and got my center star done for Starburst Quilt Along.

4--I copied, cut and taped together the Celtic border design I want to use for Quilt U Be Mine.... Cleaned up, and two days later, I went back to pull it out so I could start putting it together, and couldn't find it anywhere!!!!!!!! Aaaagghhhh! I wasted two hours of precious time Sunday night looking for it, when i should have been cutting squares and making continuous bias strips.
My only guess is that a certain little guy, who loves to color and crumple paper, snagged it and possibly threw it away when he was done with it.
So yesterday, I copied and cut and colored and taped another one together. (I used the Celtic Chain border from Quiltmaker's 501 Quilting Motifs. But the motif doesn't have indications on where the knot should be "tied", I.e. which strands cross over and under each other. Luckily, has a lovely wedding ring band with the exact knot I'm using, so I was able to snap a screen shot of the ring to use as a reference!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Tee heee heee!
So I just got my hubby to participate in my quilting!
I'm trying to decide how I want to finish my Quilt U Be Mine, and I have wanted to make a whole border of Celtic knot appliqué. I found a knot border that I like, that is a quilting motif in Quiltmaker's "501 Quilting Motifs", called Celtic Chain. The only problem is that the quilting motif doesn't have any indications of where the threads should cross each other, or over and under, to tie together.

I made a printer copy for a scratch sheet and sat down in the love seat with my hubby: "help me figure out how to "tie" these knots". My hubby is a firefighter, and recently took his test for promotions to Senior Firefighter. One of the parts of the practical test was knot tying, and each knot had to be tied in a certain # of seconds, and I was helping to time him. I thought this Celtic knot looked a little like some of the knots he was tying, so he could help me figure it out.

We think about it a little differently, and visualize it differently too, but together we figured it out. We used colored pencils to help us color them in. It was a fun 20 minutes, and I love it when we can help each other out, and combine our areas of expertise and interests creatively. I appreciate it when I can get his input in my quilting.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Starburst Quilt Along- Flying Geese

If you're just seeing this for the first time, I'm participating in the Starburst Quilt-Along on

This week's assignment was to complete the flying geese units of the star. I chose to make one 40" block for a baby quilt. Those flying geese are pretty darn big!

And here are all my units, ready to put together into the star. Easy peasy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Wow. I got the background flames FMQ done on one fire truck quilt tonight! Whew!
I really wanted a black thread for the bobbin and variegated yellow for the top. I used Star Variegated yellow thread, but I only had Superior Bottom Line in black. I just wasn't happy with adjusting the tensions, to get a good stitch and yet minimal show-through on the top with the black from the bobbin. Grrrr. So I loaded a bobbin with the yellow. It's working a lot better now. I'm not sure I really like the yellow on the back because of the print, and i think it looks busy. My hubby, the honest-to-the-point-of-bluntness-New Yorker, told me it looks fine, and if he didn't think so, he'd tell me. Even from across the room.

I just had to force myself to this. It has been a big nervous hang up for me, these background flames. And yet nothing else seemed appropriate for fire trucks!
Maybe it's just because it's completely free-hand and I just am not good with free handing anything! And I'm still scared that it will look awful !

So here you go, you let me know.