Judy L's UFO Challenge

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend of bent and broken needles. I had every intention to come home Friday night and jump right into quilting on the 9 patch. But about mid afternoon I started feeling queasy. I had a migraine coming on and no matter what I did I could not ward it off. I limped home and fell into bed. I lay down for an hour or so and started feeling well enough to get up and make dinner. In fact I think hubby had already grilled the meat so I just had to reheat that and make sides. I cannot even remember at this point if I went into my sewing room to sew that night.

Saturday I got up and we all got ready to go to the Real Texas Festival here in town. They now gate up all the vendors and carnival rides so that you have to pay $8 a person to get to these people when they used to be lined up in old downtown and you had free access. We had gotten free tickets so no big deal for us. The crowd wasn't that big but we got there when it first opened. I am sure the younger crowd showed later that evening for the music. I quilted half of the top in the first direction. There were some rough spots but all in all it was manageable. I went back later that night and that is when the trouble began. I was hitting the bumps in the seams and first broke a needle trying to work through that. Not a minute after changing that needle I bent the new one. In spite of all the trouble I kept going. I got to a point where I decided it best to stop. I noticed the tension was loose on the last two rows so I picked those out and called it quits.

Sunday I got up again with the intent to sew. I had lots of things to accomplish and knew my time would be split. I mananged to work a few hours on calls that I was required to be on and got groceries. I even cooked dinner. And no, I didn't make it to the sewing room!

So much for 2 more finishes this month!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stash Storage. I have been ogling and coveting everyones stash storage solutions. I came across this cabinet and am very tempted to buy it. I am actually wanting two. Tell me what you think. The frame is composite with oak veneer. The doors are solid oak. It is 48" x 26" by 9.25". 5 shelves, only 1 of which is not adjustable.
Please comment!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Weekend Accomplishments. This past weekend was the stashbuster retreat weekend. I quilted the baby Irish Chain top and am trimming up the thread tails so I can quilt the border. I also managed to baste my peach and blue nine patch top as well. Last night I began quilting it and after two passes ran into some trouble. I think it is the monofilament I am using. I had bought this thread a very long time ago and think that the quality isn't as good as the newer monofilaments. I will find my sulky and try that. It has a much better feel to it than the other and will probably work better.

I am now working on UFOs that had been made by other people. If you read previous posts you will see that I usually talk about why the UFO became a UFO. Let me start with the baby quilt. I bought this top off ebay. As it turns out it was a friend of mine selling it. She had quilted about half of it by hand therefore it was obviously all basted. She had pieced a cotton batt together for it. It has a muslin backing. The colors in it are nice and I just could not really see a reason for her to have given up on it. I picked out the hand quilting and started machine quilting it. I quilted it across the diagonal of the squares. The quilting went well but as I got further into it I could see where points were not matching and the quilting design was a little wiggly trying to follow the lines. I don't think these things took away from the quilt at all. The hand quilting would have been fine and whomever received that quilt from my friend would have loved it. I don't think there were any glaring errors that would warrant it being abandoned. So now I will finish it. I didn't have any particular person in mind when I bought this quilt. Since I have been on my crusade to finish my UFOs I learned that a friend of mine is expecting a baby. And of all days he is due on my birthday! I think I get the message!! I will gift the quilt to my friend and her new baby!

The peach and blue ninepatch on point. I bought this completed top from an antique store back when I was a new quilter. I picked it up from an antique store in Garland, TX that was near a quilt shop I frequented. I remember at the time I was wanting to get some tops that I could quilt and possibly some tops that might need a little restoration. I have 4 of these tops. 2 need no repair, 1 needs a small amount of repair and the last needs a lot of repair. It needs so much repair that I am not even counting it as a UFO. I am currently planning to practice restoration techniques on it only. But as I sit here typing this I am thinking I may have to cut it down a bit and finish it too. But I digress.

I quilted the first row of quilting in the ditch. It went fine and I was encouraged. **Note to self, roll that quilt better so that it is easier to handle please. The second row did not go as well. The points were not aligned and my walking foot would not walk over the seams as there was a big bump at the points. Then the monofilament was not cooperating either. I may just use a peach cotton/poly on top but will give the sulky a shot. I plan to stitch in the ditch on this entire top which will echo the quilting design in the plain peach squares between the 9 patches. Having handled this top a lot in the past two days I noticed that the creator was using every bit of scrap whe could find. There are 4 different blues in the top. The main blue seems to be a knif of some sort. One square even has a small print on it. A few of the nine patches were reversed in the color arrangement with the blue being predominant rather than the peach. The solid peach squares are all cut from a single piece but several of the nine patch peach squares were pieced from scraps. This quilter really had to draw on her resources to finish this top. I think I would have given up on it too. But after being so resourceful why stop there? Did the quilter pass away to the great quilting frame in the sky? There was no history with that quilt so that story is lost. I will label this quilt and credit the area where I purchased it and preserve some portion of it's history.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Favorite Quilt Store. This is a hard question for me since I have been avoiding the stores since I am "no buy". I was also away from quilting a bit and got out of the habit. Let me tell you that I love all quilt stores. They all have a personality of their own. I like to look at all shops just to see what kind of character a store has. I also like just the "right" level of customer service as well. When I go into these shops I love when you are greeted with a warm "Hello, how are you today? Is there anything special you are looking for?" I don't like to be hovered over but if I turn to look for someone to help me I like that I don't have to play "Hide and Seek" to get that help.

With this said I will mention a few stores that I frequent. Quiltmakers in Dallas, Texas. Quilt Country in Lewisville, Texas and The Carriage House Quilt Shoppe in Plano, TX. They each have their own personality. They all have a nice selection of fabric, books and patterns. Each has a little something that no one else has.
Momma Got Her Quilt and in record time too! I mailed it on Monday at 1:00 p.m. and just talked to her about 10:30 a.m today and she had it. Less than 48 hours. Wow! She really likes it she said. First comment was that she was going to put it away until the fall. It is because she wants to use the lighter colored one I gave her last year. I told her she had to sleep under if for a week before she put it away!

This quilt was originally intended for some friends of ours that divorced. I had it pieced with the exception of the borders before it became a UFO. When I went to work on my UFOs again I had to choose a new recipient and Mom was the only one I knew that had a King size bed and that I wanted to give a quilt to. She and I discussed whether she liked the colors. She said she did. I happily finished it knowing it would be a birthday gift for her and hoping she would forget she was getting it. She did!

The hand quilting in the baby quilt is all ripped out now. Now for that swatching tonight to get my quilting plan in place!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Baby Irish Chain. I sat down to decide how to quilt this quilt. I unfolded it and to my surprise found that it had been half way hand quilted. I had purchased this quilt from ebay for $17.50 a few years ago. I knew that I would not finish hand quilting it so went to work ripping the hand stitches out. The quilting was not that fine so it is coming out quickly. I hope to complete the ripping tonight and will then make a swatch of some of the specialty stitches so that I can make a decision on how to proceed.

12 Days of Christmas. I pulled this quilt top out and looked at a piece of white fabric that I had already cut. I am not sure what I had intended to use it for but it wasn't large enough for the backing. I took the bolt of 60" wide bleached muslin and cut a piece and threw it into the washer with my load of wash. It is sitting in the dryer waiting for me to pull it and press it so I can baste the quilt. I am planning on stippling the blocks and may put some specialty stitches in and around the sashing.

Wow, two more finishes this month sure would be nice! If possible I will even squeeze in the 9 patch that I have everything ready for.

Monday, April 16, 2007

What am I going to work on next. Hmmm.... Well I have your votes and you voted on the 12 Days of Christmas. I have that topped now and just have to baste it then quilt it. I am thinking about stippling it but have to play on the new machine first to get some practice. The next item you voted on was the Denim and Flannel log cabin. That one is done. Then came the Baby Irish Chain. That one will go very quickly so while I fiddle with getting the back together for the 12 Days and get it basted I think I will quilt up that baby quilt real quick.

My buddy DrBeth-MD sent me a great quilt last year. She had quilted it using specialty stitches on her machine. I have to look at the stitches on my machine and choose one. I may go with a combination of specialty and straight stitching. You know I am a planner! Of course I will make a test swatch first to make sure I have my tension right. Then I have to choose my thread color! LOL! Yes I am a mess! She warned me it will take lots of thread. That will be a consideration as well. I did get my free cone of Sulky variegated thread when I bought my machine. I'll look to see if it matches the fabrics.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another finish!! This was my oldest UFO that I made. I have others that are older which I purchased. This is my first pieced back as well. My friend Beth quilted it and I just finished binding it. It will go into the wash shortly then get wrapped and shipped off. You know my mother never reads my blog unless I ask her to so now she will without being asked! This is her birthday present for her birthday on the 21st this month. Happy Birthday Momma!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stashbuster Topic of the Week. How did I become a quilter? What was my first project and where is it? I did not inherit quilting from my ancestors. Both of my grandmothers worked and had large families. I am not sure if their mother's quilted either. I went home to visit my parents in the late 1980's. While I was there my mother took me to my Aunt's house. She and my cousin showed me a quilt they had made using Eleanor Burn's Quilt in a Day Log Cabin. They showed me how they used a blanket as the batting. I was hooked. Up to that point I had sewn clothing and pillows.

In 1988 or 1989 I went on vacation with my parents and husband to Myrtle Beach, SC. The guys went and did their thing and Mom and I went and did ours. We happened across a fabric store. We went in and I found Eleanor Burns book and I bought the fabric to make my mom a blue and mauve Queen size log cabin. I sort of read the book and sort of followed the directions. having sewn clothing I used my standard 5/8" seam. Oops. Needless to say her quilt wasn't quite big enough. I quilted it in the ditch using batting and not a blanket and sent it off to her. She still has the quilt but it is in her basement with seams that have started pulling apart. She is a washaholic and washed it to death. I never think to get it from her to see if it can be saved. I will have to try to remember to do that.

You know I made myself a Log Cabin as well and still hadn't read those directions closely. I also used a 5/8" seam on that one as well. I finally read the directions closely to see the error of my ways! Now I read the heck out of directions to make sure I don't repeat that mistake!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Reflections on March. I forgot that I planned to reflect on the previous month each month. So here we are a third of the way through the new month and I just remembered! I didn't think I accomplished much but here goes!

  • Topped my 12 Days of Christmas quilt
  • Topped my floral Irish Chain quilt
  • Finished my denim and log cabin....ummm...hot pad
  • Got my King Log Cabin back from the quilter (currently binding)

So all in all not bad. I am now down to 8 UFOs from 10 at the start if the year.

I got Tagged. Well I am honored to have been tagged by Leigh to name my 5 favorite or inspirational sites. Honored because she named me as one of her 5 favorites!

Please note this is in random order. And I will whine like all others when I say that it was hard to choose just five. I quickly listed 8.

I adore Triller. She is a cat that blogs with the help of her Mum Cat. She and Chelsea have some great adventures. Mum Cat is quite the artist and Triller shows off her work all the time.

Mary has the most beautiful quilts. She is very prolific and shows great pictures. She is a large part of Heartstrings and has exchanged emails with me many times to help me see why a quilt speaks to me. She is very generous with her time in many ways.

Darlene has this huge stack of UFOs. She amazes me. They don't stop her from starting new things either! I want to be more like Darlene but momma keeps asking when I am going to finish all my other stuff. She has been doing all these great little projects with charm packs. I STALK Darlene's blog and I am not afraid to admit it. I can't wait to see what new goodies she has to post.

Lisa just did an amazing quilt that she painted and then did some extremely detailed quilting on. She does such a variety of work. I like to see what she has done lately....it let's me know what is possible and inspires me to try new things.

Beth in MD is my bud. She encourages me herself. We laugh all the time as we discover one more thing we have in common. Are you keeping a list Beth? She cheers my every little accomplishment and cyber hugs me when I need it. She really helped me get through a tough year last year! Her blog is great. She has lots of lists. I push her to add more to that completed list all the time! ;) She is the Queen of UFOs in #quiltchat but I wonder if Darlene could unseat her....hmmm...watch out Beth!

So those are my 5 but I am not going to stop.....

Sharon does amazing miniatures work. She and I chat a couple times a week and she recently blogged about Blog Pressure. Gee, could that be me?!?! Sharon has lots of lovely work and shares it most generously with all. She is a sweet gal!

Beth is an inspiration to me. I was a soccer mom, now a tennis mom and will soon be a golf mom. She helps kids with chess tournaments. Any person that spends one minute helping a child is #1 in my book. I know there are many kids out there lost...not getting that "thing" they need. I had many teachers that helped me with that "thing" that I needed at the moment. Beth, I am sure there are many kids out there that will remember you for a long, long time!

Bonnie at quiltville has a great website in addition to her blog. She makes the greatest quilts and gives out her free designs. She has lots of tips about organizing your scraps. Her site is a great read. Read Bonnie's blog from March 31 and April 1, 2007. Here is proof to the world that no good deed goes unturned. She has been so generous and when she needed help it came to her ten fold. Bonnie, you are a treasure!

There are so many blogs out there that I love. I picked those that came to mind immediately. I am sure I will be remorseful that I didn't pick this one or that. There are so many that inspire me.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Please be gentle! This is my sewing room and overflow area. To add to the misery we are trying to remodel which came to a screeching halt. This room is about 9 x 10. I really need to just haul it all out and setup the basics. My table, storage shelves, etc. The problem is there really isn't any place to haul it to. I am trying to figure out how to accomplish this now. I really want to finish the UFOs I am working on instead of stopping and cleaning up. I know this will be beneficial in the long run. So should you choose to leave a comment please be encouraging! I need it!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stashbuster Topic of the Week. What kind of quilter am I? Well I must admit I picked this topic myself because my own answer makes me giggle. Yes, I laugh at my own jokes. I am a STRIPPER!!!!!!!! Thank you Eleanor Burns and Donna Poster! You did this to me! LOL!!

Okay, okay, calm down. This has nothing to do with my clothes....well except those old jeans I am planning to cut into strips. My favorite quilts are all done in the strip method. I like fast and easy.....hmmmm.....no, I won't comment on that. Even when I am looking at other patterns NOT done in a strip method I try to see if I can use that technique to speed it up a bit. I machine piece and I machine quilt. I do have plans to try some hand piecing, Cathedral Windows, and some hand quilting in the future though. But fast and by machine is my prefered method.

The other characteristic I have to comment on is that I do tend to lean toward the more traditional patterns. The majority of my quilts have been log cabins, irish chains, rail fences. There are a few more "modern" pieces in my history though.