Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Over the Tops - First Finish!

The flying geese quilt is done! The first on my challenge list to be completed all the way to the binding. I'm so excited to see this long term project finished. I started this about 10 years ago with an internet friend. I don't know that she ever finished hers, but we spent hours and hours talking about them and planning them, trading fabrics and she designed and printed the foundation paper pattern we made them on. This is a close up picture of the some of the quilting. Here is a view of the whole thing. It's funny, this was one that I thought I would love, but along the way I thought "eh, it's ok" but I absolutely love how it came out and am so glad that it's finished and didn't remain a UFO forever.

My plan was to have something in the quilting stage all of the time, with so many big projects to quilt, I needed to keep the hand quilting train on the tracks. Since the cornice box cover top was done, I quickly basted it and put it in the hoop. This one quilted up so quickly, I couldn't believe it. Here is a closeup view.

Here is a picture of a little more of it, this is just over half, there are 7 full diamond shapes across this cornice cover. The bottom is bound with the same fabric as the background, but the other 3 sides are bound with a print. The reason for this is so that a colored bottom binding doesn't "draw a line" across the shade when the shade is down.

With that one quilting up so quickly, I was again left with nothing in the hoop. A 10% off coupon for the grocery store in addition to some careful planning meant I could buy a package of batting today. I already had the backing, so the shade is now on the table for basting. I'm nearly done and it should be ready quilt in less than an hour. I'll spend the rest of the evening hand quilting.

My plan for the next few days is to applique during the day and hand quilt at night. I'm really anxious to be done with the celtic and posies top and it's getting close now.

We're also counting down the days until the start of the winter Olympics. I should be able to get a huge amount of hand work done during that 16 days. My girls and I will be total couch potatoes as much of that time as possible. I'm not sure which project(s) will get a lot of attention during those days, but I'm gearing up for many happy hours of handwork.
Until next time,
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Unexpected Blessing

It's been a busy few days! I've made some progress on the flying geese quilt though I doubt it will really be done by the end of the weekend. I plan to spend this evening quilting on it, as well as a good part of the next several days.

A couple of my kids were gone for the weekend and met up with an email friend of mine, who said she had fabric for me if the kids would swing by her way. They did, and I received 2 shopping bags full of fabric that already have my mind a-whirling. Thanks, Kimberly! Among the pieces was 9 yards of 60" wide home fashions fabric.

My little couch has been in dire need of re-covering for a long time. It's been well used and just wouldn't come clean anymore. Some of the fabric was even tearing (in it's defense, it really wasn't made to be upholstery fabric!)
Part of me SO wanted to do it right away last night, but that meant moving a lot of stuff around, making a huge mess and needing to finish because we had friends coming in the morning to meet up with us for breakfast out. But that little couch kept calling to me. So at about 8:00, I decided to go for it and get it done.

I'm so glad I did! Really, I should probably pull some of it off, when I did the bottom part some things didn't really line up right and I just stapled the heck out of it, but, for now, it's done and looks ok. It will mostly be covered with a sheet or blanket, at least for a while, to keep it as nice as possible for as long as possible. The covers will come off when we have friends come over.

I finally finished around midnight and it took a while to clean up and wind down, but it was very worth it.

Our friends came today and we had a lovely visit. Tonight I'll be quilting and cleaning up the bit of kitchen mess still left to care for.

I got the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas and I'm having a ball with it. I've actually made a few things from it already and have plans to try many more. A lot of them are a bit pricey for my budget, but I will collect the ingredients that are not perishable and those that I can freeze and will buy the perishables when I plan to cook.

I made a chocolate cake from the book that was fabulous. My friend, who LOVES chocolate, said she thinks it is the best chocolate dessert I've made for her, which is high praise because I've made a lot of them and many were really, really good.

Hopefully I'll be spending the rest of the winter doing a lot of quilting...and cooking!

Keep Warm!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Over the Tops - This is the Year

My biggest quilting year ever has begun. What I'm hoping is that this is the beginning of a few more years like it. I really want to get some old projects done and looking through my storage compartment I saw how many tops there are under there to quilt. The plan will be to quilt most of them simply but often once I get them out and start to really look at them the quilting plan gets bigger.

I'm excited to have made quite a bit of progress on the flying geese quilt. It's over half quilted now, and I have one more double row of geese like the one below, a sashing piece (not too wide, it's the size of the border shown at the left in the photo), a single row of geese and then the outer border. The binding is already made and ready to sew on to the quilt. I really hope to be binding by next weekend.
This morning I basted the cornice cover for the roman shade in my sewing room. It will go into the hoop as soon as the geese are done, and buys me a bit of time to get the batting for the shade. I had planned to quilt Oriental Roads next, but I'm on a roll with this shade so that one will get bumped. The plan is to get the batting and backing for that one as soon as possible so that I can have it marked and ready to quilt as soon as the shade is finished.

I finished the top for the shade last night and am really happy with how it came out. Rebekah and I played with it several weeks back to find the best way to place the blocks. I will be making another strip block quilt for the couch by the window, that one will have smaller blocks, but it probably won't get any attention until next year.

Ruthie continues to do very well. When she's tired she'll settle herself wherever she is and nod off. The older kids laugh at how little space she still takes up a lot of the time (though when she snuggles down with us at night for a bit before moving to her own bed, she sure can manage to take a lot of space in our queen sized bed!)

Below she is showing off her Christmas pajamas. She LOVES pajamas and I brought these out for her on Christmas Eve, she was thrilled.

I have big quilting plans for today, hoping to make a serious dent in what is left on the flying geese quilt. It's quiet here today, two of the older kids are out of town, the other two have plans starting about 4:00 and I've been keeping up around here so a quick run of the vacuum and putting away some dishes leaves the house in pretty good stead. That leaves this afternoon and evening wide open for quilting, I plan to take advantage of it!
Happy Quilting, keep warm!