Friday, November 21, 2014

Sticking with that Autumn Theme

Thank you so much for all the pineapple love, your timing was perfect, I was needing a little quilting love this week.

So for the last couple of months, when I wasn't working on tearing my house apart or putting my house back together, I've been working with this Autumn Woods fabric by Kate & Birdie for Moda.

I loved the fabric group the first time I saw it, but it was that tree line border fabric that really called to me.  I immediately thought some geese flying between the trees was just the way to go. I also thought the geese should be flying in some sort of pattern but I wanted it to have a random feel to it too.  So I started making geese, and some more geese and even more geese, until I had a basketful of geese.  Flying geese are the best block to work on when you have limited space and limited time.  Some days I would maybe only finish 5 geese, but at least I accomplished one thing, adding more geese to that basket.  Once my design wall was up I could hardly wait to see those geese randomly flying between those rows of trees.   Which led to this.

And while I do have to admit that this is pretty much how I pictured my project to look, it looks way better in my head.  I'm not sure I can even put my finger on what's wrong with this quilt top, I just know it doesn't look good.  I still love that tree border but the geese just don't look right with it. I'm not sure if they need to be bigger or smaller.  And even if they were a different size I'm not sure that background fabric is the way to go.

After the first couple of rows I had a feeling it wasn't working out quite right, but I've had that feeling while in the assembly stage of other quilts, and have usually been happy when they were done, so I kept making those geese blocks.  I even made a couple of blocks for that last row, 5 more blocks to piece and it would be done, close, so very close.

But it just doesn't work for me.  I tried putting the geese on point, changing up the border, but nothing really came together.  So for now my Autumn Woods project is packed up in a project box.  I'll give it some more thought.  At first I was disappointed that I hadn't been able to create the most clever pattern to go with that border fabric, and disappointed that I had spent so much time making geese, who enjoys the feeling of failure.  But I did enjoy working with that fabric, and I enjoyed making those geese, they were the only relaxing part of some of my days.  So if all I get out of this project is a basketful of geese, they at least kept me from pulling out my hair, yelling at a contractor, or crying as I tried to find a pair of decent shoes and somewhat presentable outfit in my garage full of boxes and clothes racks. Quilting is my hobby, my passion, my release, it's not my job.  I don't have to finish this project.

The good news, I already have that loving feeling back, and all it took was some fall Sandy Gervais fabric and Camille's Red Letter Day pattern.   My sister-in-law has been strongly hinting about wanting a king size quilt for their bed.  I'm out of the king size bed quilt business, I have even said so on this blog, but I'm making one last exception.  The original pattern calls for 9 blocks, but I'm adding an extra block and extra row for a nice size quilt using 16 blocks.

I only need 15 more of these blocks, a border fabric, and I'll have a quilt.   And when I sent the picture of this block to my sister-in-law she was thrilled.  That's the best thing about having a family of non quilters,  the simplest of blocks looks like a show quilt to them.  It feels great to be back on solid ground.

Oh, and one last thing, I'm already working on the next great pattern, and it looking pretty good, in  my head, lol!!  Sometimes it really is about the journey and not the destination.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pineapple, done and home woo hoo!

My pineapple quilt is home from the quilter.  Connie from Quilts Plus in Indianapolis quilted this top for me.

When Connie asked me how I wanted this top quilted I told her to do anything that she thought would work for this pattern.  Connie's been quilting for years and I figured she's quilted enough pineapple quilts to know what to do, but I did add this advice, I didn't want an all-over design that would flatten out the blocks or something so detailed that it would detract from the pattern.

So with my direction of dong whatever you want as along as it's  not an all-over design or a distracting  detailed design Connie went with quilting in the ditch, perfect!

I think every quilter should piece at least one pineapple in their lifetime, looking at this one don't you think so too?

I chose to paper piece my pineapple blocks, they finished at 6 inches and I pieced 100 of them.  It's lifetime quilt number 135, click here for more detail.

I'm so happy to have this quilt home, just in time for Christmas decorating, and Valentines decorating,  and summer decorating.  That's the great thing about red quilts, they're good for any time of year decorating!

Pam - Thanks for the Command Strip tip, perfect suggestion,  I've started hanging pictures, so far so good!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Noticeable Progress - Woo Hoo

So while I've been spending my days getting my house clean and back in order, for the most part I've just felt like I was moving dust and boxes with little noticeable progress, until now.

As soon as my design wall was up I cut and hung the borders for my Autumn Woods project.   

The tree print is the top and bottom border and the sides are the background print with the floating leaves.  My idea has always been to piece geese blocks that look like the geese flying between the trees.  I couldn't exactly see it in my mind so getting the borders on my design wall was a big help to me. 

Now I'm just filling in the space between the borders with geese.  Seeing the geese blocks on my design wall makes me feel like I'm finally making progress.

I have almost everything unpacked from my old sewing room.  I'm down to two boxes, boxes I filled when I didn't know what to do with the item when I unpacked the original boxes.  My goal is to find a place for at least 6 items in the boxes everyday until they are also empty.

The shelves aren't exactly how I want them organized, but at least they're neat, a great start.

I'm gaining a lot of space in my new room but lost a light of natural light.  This room only has one small window and the view isn't all that good either.  With the yellow walls and great light fixture I'm not missing the sunshine, however I know I will miss watching the snow fall this winter.   But if that is my only complaint, I think I'm a very lucky quilter to not only have a designated sewing studio, but such a nice one.

I've yet to hang anything on any walls in the whole house other than two rods to hold two quilts.  The place still feels and looks bare, but it's so hard to drive nails into my perfectly painted and neat walls. I have some great things for my walls in my sewing room so I'm just going to have to get over it, maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back In Business

I got my design wall up over the weekend.  My old design wall was 68 inches wide, and almost always too small for whatever I was working on.   I made my new one 92 inches wide, that should pretty much take care of most projects I work on since 72 inch square is my favorite size.

I went with the same setup that I've used for years, a quilt hanging on a rod covered in fleece.  When I'm not sewing I take down the fleece to enjoy the quilt.

And since I have a design wall I was able to take a good picture of the quilt I finished after I took my old design wall down.  I worked on this quilt in my little temporary sewing space.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 145
The pattern is sort of a knock off of the Miss Rosie pattern Gertie
The fabric is Daysail by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
It finished at 64" x 64"
It has approximately 176 pieces.

Now that I have a design wall I can get going on my Autumn Woods project.  I have all the geese ready but with no design wall I couldn't get a good feel for how many geese to put in each block, I'm all ready to see some geese flying across that wall now!