Monday, February 25, 2013

chipping away at the list

I am making progress on my UFO list! Last week I finished the backing for two big quilts and off they went to be quilted.

First is "Rear Window". This is the quilt I had started in February, 2012, when Thing 1 decided she'd like these same color fabrics for her college quilt. Needless to say, I put these blocks aside (which were nearly all complete) and worked on her quilt. A couple of weeks ago my friend Andrea came to sew for the day, and I finally finished it!

While I was working at Quilt in Joy, we had a Blue Underground trunk show, and this is one of their quilts we had hanging in the shop. I loved it so much I copied as many of their fabric choices as I could for my version. I guess it's not really a "version" if it's a near 100% copy, but you know what I mean. It finished at 66" x 81" - nearly twin sized.

And finally my Twinkle quilt made with 168 unique bits of fabric, most of them Kaffe and cut by my good friend Sharon :) I've had this huge quilt top (84" x 98") finished since last fall, but kept putting off piecing the backing because I didn't want to wrangle with the nine yards it required! But now it's done and waiting patiently in line to be quilted by Carol. I stepped out of my comfort zone choosing the quilting thread for this one - magenta! I do love that color, and there seems to be quite a lot of it in the fabrics, so rather than going with the safe blue or green thread, I took a leap. It will either be fabulous or a lesson learned... we'll see!

So I guess I'm still holding steady at 28 UFOs, but these two have moved much closer to dropping off of that list! Enjoy your week, and go sew something :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tree of Life decisions

I've finally decided on sashing and setting triangle fabrics for my Tree of Life quilt!

I wasn't planning on the whole thing feeling this "purple" but there you go. You just never quite know what's going to look best, and often (at least in my case) the whole project ends up much different than what you envisioned at the start.

All the fabrics are from Kaffe. My sashing is Paperweight in Purple, the cornerstones are Spots in Black, and the setting triangles are Jupiter in Purple. I particularly like how the Jupiter fabric looks a bit like tree bark :)

All the strips and cornerstones are cut and some are even sewn at this point. I haven't cut my triangles yet because I want to make sure I get the math absolutely correct on that the first time. I'll need to cut 2 large squares - around 24" - then cut those in half diagonally twice to yield four triangles per square. Getting that wrong would waste quite a bit of fabric, so I'm going to wait on that cutting until all the sashing and cornerstones are sewn.

It's been a productive week so far - the cold wind and snow have kept me from venturing out unless absolutely necessary. Yesterday I pieced the backs for two of my UFO quilts for delivery to the long-arm quilter on Thursday. Photos of those two quilt tops coming soon!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Polka Dot Sunburst Baby

I rarely make the same quilt twice. But I cranked this one out in about three weeks because I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to teach the technique in a spring class at an LQS, Material Girl Fabric Shop in Crystal Lake! This version full of bright, happy polka dots will be hanging in the shop...

It is the same size as my previous Sunburst quilt - 42" x 55" - and constructed in the same manner as the tutorial that I wrote earlier in 2012. Click on the "Tutorials" tab above to access those instructions.

I quilted this one with an all-over meandering stitch in light pink thread. And I added a bright pink stripe cut on the bias for the binding - I love, love, love a bias stripe binding!

My color inspiration came from this lovely backing fabric in the Benartex Sun-Kissed collection by Michelle D'Amore. This print is called "Spray" in her Tropical colorway.

The number 1, Group A item on my UFO list now complete! That means I'm down to 28!

It is still sooo cold here in Northern Illinois, but the sun is shining and the birds are singing on this fine Friday morning :) Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, February 1, 2013

UFO busting

Ah, Pinterest... how I love thee. I stumbled across a pin from Pat Sloan's blog yesterday that called out to me.

Busting UFO's? I'm interested!

12 tips (aka steps)? I'm very interested!

I have quite an accumulation of UFOs that mostly cause me guilt, so I decided to dive right in and bust through them along with Pat. She seems like a fun and funny gal with project hoarding tendencies similar to mine, so who better to share the pain?

The first step is "Knowing What You've Got" which involves making a list. I excel at compiling lists - it's an inherited trait, right, mom? ;) Then I got to categorize the list into five separate lists! Woo-hoo! I am so on board with this.

So here we go with categorization of my 30 UFOs...

Group A - Almost Done! Really Want to Finish!

1. Sunburst baby quilt for teaching - deadline February 15!
2. Dotty Stars needs a label - easy peasy.
3. Twinkle - needs backing sections pieced and then off to the quilter.
4. SewMod row quilt - finish applique borders, then off to the quilter.
5. Green and teal baby quilts for church donation - quilt and bind these myself.
6. Spools quilt with Lorrie - applique borders, then quilt off to quilter.
7. Kaffe colored pencils needs a pieced backing then off to quilter.
8. Christmas pillow tops (2) - quilted and backs added.

Group B - Almost Done but Do I Want to Finish?

1. BOM table runners/toppers (2) from QIJ 2009 - GIVE AWAY!
2. Red hand-pieced sampler from late 1990's - GIVE AWAY!

(This is a short list because if I've lost interest, the project rarely gets to the "almost done" stage)

Group C - Partially Done but I LOVE it and Want to Finish

1. Tree of Life pieced
2. Tree of Life applique
3. Kaffe floral snowball
4. Rear Window
5. Fresh Modern Bee stars
6. Laundry Basket Quilts batik house table runner

Group D - Partially Done but Do I Really Want to Finish?

1. Yellow/orange batik placemats (2)
2. Picnic quilt
3. Sunflower wreath applique/embroidery
4. Grandmother's Window applique (3 of 12 completed)
5. "Merry Christmas" door banner

I'm not sure what to do about these items yet. They might be give-aways to friends or they might be moved to Group C before this UFO busting 12 step program is complete. Right now I'm awaiting further instruction from Pat regarding this category.

Group E - Barely Started and No Interest

1. Batik log cabin diamonds - I actually tossed these out!!!

I took a class with Flavin Glover at the IQF in Chicago in 2010, and finished only 8 of these blocks. The many dozens of remaining pre-cut strips have been neatly organized for almost 3 years now, but I'm never going to pick up this project again, so into the bin they went.

Group F - Partially Done, Don't Love but Keep for Gifts/Donations

1. Twister pinwheel Christmas pillow
2. Baby girl lava flowers quilt
3. Twister pinwheels "Hideaway" baby quilt
4. Dresden color wheel pillow
5. Amy Butler 16" pillow w/coral cording
6. Summer Sampler coordinating dresden pillows (2)
7. Zippy strippy bags (2) - brown w/birds
8. Christmas table toppers (2) Birds & Blooms

This last grouping was my idea - I like having a small stash of things that can be quickly finished for donations or small "thank-yous" to just the right person :) Sort of like a "gift stash" that people sometimes keep on hand.

And if you're thinking, "wow - that girl has got 30 UFOs!" you're right - that is a LOT of UFOs - but I'm already down to 29 because I tossed one out! And Pat has 42! You can see her categorized list here.

Sorry for the text-heavy posting; list making is wordy work! I think Step 2 is going to involve prioritizing, but I feel like mine are already in rank order, so I'll spare you any revisions.

Have you made a formal count of your UFOs? Think you can beat my total? I dare you!


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