Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wow, What a Night!

My grand total quilting time for yesterday was 11 hours, 5 minutes. My day didn't end until 6 this morning and I restarted my timer when I woke up a few hours later.

My friend came about 5:30 and I had dinner well under way. We ate and visited and then started sewing somewhere around 6:30. My main goal for the night was to finish this top, and by about 11 the middle was all assembled. As I laid out the chosen border fabric, I was disappointed. It wasn't quite what I expected when viewed up against the assembled blocks. After literally going through all my larger pieces of fabric I still wasn't finding just the right thing. I did finally find a piece I liked, it made all the ring blocks pop (I felt like they were getting lost with everything else) but it still wasn't quite right. I took the original floral I picked out and made it a smaller border next to the blocks and did a larger border out of the solid rose color...and I think I really like the result. It still seems a little odd to me, but I like to experiment with color...not every quilt will be a masterpiece! It will be just as warm and cuddly as a beauty.

My friend Tyanne had given me quite a few pieces of fabric while weeding down her stash. Every so often I'm the beneficiary of such kindnesses from various friends and acquaintances. I never turn down quilting fabric and love the challenge of working with pieces I wouldn't have necessarily picked out. Both of these fabrics grabbed me, so I decided to make something that would work with the amounts that I had. This 60 x 60 quilt is the result. The purple is actually more of a reddish purple. The smaller picture gives a better view of the pattern, I can't seem to get the colors to photograph true. The larger picture is closer colorwise. The two fabrics are the same value, which makes the pattern a little hard to see, but I know from experience that it will very likely show up much better once quilted.

With those two quilt tops finished, I'm turning my attention to other things. With the toppers designed and the pieces cut for the first one, I want to get at least some of the pieces on today. I started the day with 2 stem pieces on. I've also had bowtie blocks cut for hand piecing for years. For the first several years I quilted, everything was done by hand, I didn't use a machine for any part of quilting, not even attaching the binding to the front. Mostly because I used to say my machine and I didn't get seemed I struggled through anything I tried to sew by machine. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago and I wanted him to have a quilt while going through chemo, I knew I needed to get it to the quilting stage as soon as I could so I machine pieced my first quilt on a 100 year old treadle. I didn't feel like I could do inset seams by machine so had this "when I feel like working on it" hand piecing project waiting in the wings.

I'm now not so machine challenged and found a pattern in a magazine that uses bowtie blocks and has a beautiful applique border. I pulled out my box of already cut bowtie pieces. The pieces for each block are pinned together. A few of the blocks are already finished and I decided to keep a separate pincushion to watch my progress. As I do each block I place it's pin in the cushion. It will be a fun way to keep track of progress, as the stack of finished blocks grows and the pincushion fills up. Here are some of the finished blocks. I also hope to add some more pins to my cushion today.

Another thing I have in mind is to spend some time hand quilting. The black and red quilt is nearly finished, with only 1/2 of the borders left to do and I would really like to finish that today. Realistically I'm not sure it's possible, with my lack of sleep last night and the day slowly slipping away. I do hope to make a dent in it, though, with finishing tomorrow in mind. My husband and most of the kids are heading out to a mall for a while tomorrow afternoon, leaving me some extra quilting time (gee, darn.)

This morning found all my kids at home so they were playing cards at the table for a while. My oldest and youngest daughters were playing a hand together. Now they are beginning to scatter, one babysitting, one at work and another bumming around with a friend. I'm going to go take advantage of the free moments and hit up these new projects. I'll keep you posted!
Sue and Ruthie


loulee1 said...

Phew, just worn out reading that lot! LOL
I'm loving the white top. It's fantastic.

Tyanne said...

Sue, I love both quilts. If you are still disatisfied with the rings border. You might want to try making the rose a narrow middle border and then using the darkest fabric in your blocks on the outside (I can't tell what color that is from the photo.)

I'll look forward to seeing them quilted.

Marilyn R said...

Your quilts look wonderful! I love the setting you used for your ring blocks. Sounds like you had a great quilt-a-thon!