Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Finishes

My big project for 2011 was putting together my wedding. But, I found some spare time for quilting, and here's what I got done


Batik Beauty:

Completed: July 2011
Original design and piecing by RLQ
Professionally quilted by Another Mary Ann
Given to Niece T upon completion and via US Mail

Rainbow Off the Rails:

Completed: September 2011
Design adapted from 90 Minute Quilts
Piecing AND Quilting by RLQ

Spookyville 1

 Completed September 2011
Original design, piecing and quilting by RLQ
Gifted to Baby L at his shower on 10/7/11

 Sunset Surprise

Completed October 2011
Pattern from Quilt Magazine
Piecing and quilting by RLQ

Basket of Joy

Completed Dec 2011
Pattern adapted from Fabric Freedom
Pieced and quilted by RLQ
Gifted to Neice A for Christmas 2011

Charity Quilt for a Princess

Completed December 2011
Design, piecing and quilting by RLQ
Originally intended for 100 Quilts for Kids, which had a due date of October 15. Oops!



Completed July 2011
Butterick 4945
Made by RLQ

Apron 3:

Completed November 2011
Butterick 4945
Made by RLQ
Gifted to Friend K for Christmas 2011


Completed November 2011
Instructions from The Cotton Patch
Made by RLQ for niece M


Completed November 2011
Instructions adapted from (book forthcoming)
Made by RLQ
Gifted to Friend M on her Birthday 2011

Emerald City Pillow

Completed December 2011
Designed, pieced, and quilted by RLQ
Gifted to Mom O for Christmas


Quilts: 6
Other: 8

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2010 Finishes

I started quilting in April of 2010: Here are my projects for that year.


Care Bear Stare:

Completed: August 2010
Original design and piecing by RLQ
Professionally quilted by Another Mary Ann
Gifted to niece M at Christmas

Ellie Fun 1

Completed: November 2010
Original design and piecing by RLQ
Professionally quilted by Another Mary Ann

Ellie Fun 2

Completed: December 2010
Original design and piecing by RLQ
Professionally quilted by Another Mary Ann
Gifted to niece R at Christmas


Good Witch/Bad Witch Pillows
Only one 2009 finish, so I'm going to lump it in 

Completed: November 2009
Original design, piecing, and quilting by RLQ

Gifted to M-I-L at Christmas 2009

Scotty Dog

Completed: August 2010

Pattern by McCall's, piecing by RLQ


Completed: September 2010
Pattern by McCall's, piecing by RLQ

Tree Skirt

Completed November 2010
Original design, piecing, and applique by RLQ

Mini Tree Skirt

Completed November 2010
Original design, piecing, and quilting by RLQ

Completed Dec 2010, Total count = 19
Design adapted from (book's name forthcoming), piecing by RLQ

Quilts: 3
Other: 8 (or 27 depending on how you count it)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Froggin' - for a good friend

Work still progresses slowly but surely on Ready, Set, Snow. But now I've got a new deadline to meet: my friend B is having a baby boy in March, and I just received word her shower is January 28th!

B and I met through dance, and have been friends ever since. She introduced me to my husband, and was a bridesmaid at my wedding this past May. So clearly, I want my gift to her baby boy to be as special as it can be. She's shown me the bedding set she and her husband had selected - Lilly pads and frogs in blues and greens - and I have the perfect fabric to go with it:

Froggin' by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks.

Froggin' came out just this month (you can thank the Fat Quarter Shop for the preview that hooked me), and I ordered it the day I got the "in stock" email.  I also did a considerable amount of shopping online and in stores for a corresponding pattern, before settling on "Little Buddy" by Carlene Westberg as my final design.

Froggin' and Little Buddy Pattern

I decided I liked Little Buddy because it didn't look overly formulaic, but it still had nice big blocks that I could use to help feature the frogs. I'd also considered "Little Lady Jane," "Crazy Eights," and "Yellow Brick Road," but decided they just didn't have *quite* the playful, blocky look I was going for. So now, I had fabric AND a pattern. All I needed was opportunity...

Opportunity is a little short around my house these days, what with my sewing room being the living room and our lives a blur of holiday parties, shopping, and family visitations. But last Thursday - literally, the night before my Brother-in-Law came - I got my cleaning done early and was able to drag out my sewing machine for a few precious hours. This is the result!

Partially pieced, I was able to assemble it later
I really really want my quilt for B's son to turn out right, so I have decided to send it to Another Mary Ann, "my" Pro Quilter of Extreme Awesomeness. It's a pretty fast turnaround request for her - and there may have been some uh, begging and groveling involved - but now that I have quilted some of my own quilts, I have an even greater appreciation for what she can do!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday #3 - BoJ, RSS

Alas, no linkup over at Freshly Pieced. And honestly, less progress on the sewing front over here that I would have liked, but this is life. The big news is:

95% Completed - Painting the Living Area

This was definitely a huge project to tackle, especially around the holidays with all the Christmas parties and Holiday shopping and whatnot, but... we're so close we can taste it! There's one spot over the fireplace where we haven't 100% committed to red, and I belatedly realized that there was some drywall around the window in the kitchen that hadn't been painted, but we got enough done that we could put our living room back together: re-hang the paintings, move the stuff on the shelves back, and just in general reclaim our living space. Here are some pictures of the finished product (which was ALL white before).

Between the two of us, there's probably about 40 man-hours of work involved! For the most part I did the white, and Beloved Husband (who used to be a firefighter) did a fabulous job climbing up and down the ladder for all the red.

I'm especially excited, because now we can put the tree and decorations out.

Bound - Basket of Joy

Brother In law is scheduled to arrive on Friday Dec 16, with recipient niece in tow. It took a lot of frantic stitching, but Basket of Joy will be ready for her when she arrives!

I'm pretty happy with the final product

Partially Quilted - Ready, Set, Snow

I had hoped to have this done by Christmas, but it seems there just aren't enough hours in the day. Oh, well, I can still enjoy it next year!

I am putting little stenciled trees on the tree blocks, and just meandering a line through everything else.

No Progress:

- NEW Froggin' quilt
- Stockings 4 5

- Christmas Traditions Quilt

- Charity Princess Quilt

Completed, Need to Post
- Stocking 3

Not bad for 2 weeks, I guess. Can't wait till the linkups come back in January!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ready Set Snow - The Sashing Strikes Back

Remember my Ready Set Snow quilt from last post? Here it is in its native state:

And here is a re-enactment of that quilt with the original sashing I chose, just to illustrate how light sashing... really didn't do anything positive to the quilt.

It was worst where the lightest blocks were.

So I pretty quickly figured out that I wanted a darker color for sashing. But this led to a dilemma: the colors of the Me & My Sister line were pretty unique - a feature that had initially drawn me to the line - but that worked against me when it came to finding complementary winter-themed fabric. I didn't want to go outside the line, and end up something that sacrificed either whimsy or tone, but I had the dilemma that picking one of the darker colors IN the line would lead to having my blocks blend into the sashing.

Fortunately, my mom came up with a way around that - she proposed a pieced sashing, that alternated color choices. In desperation, I tried what she suggested and liked it!

With one exception: I had no idea what to do with the cornerstones. I couldn't just continue the pattern without putting all 3 colors around a corner block (thus increasing the chances of a block/sashing same-color mashup), but that left me needing an original design for the corners (I thought). My runner-up solution was to make little Four-Triangle squares for the corners, but in practice that did not turn out as attractive as I'd hoped. For one, it introduced triangles where there hadn't been any before, and in a quilt that was mostly about swirls and dots, and not at all geometrically inclined.  For another, my math was off, and my points didn't line up the way I'd hoped they would. Which meant either 1) live with it or 2) do it over anyway.

Then I realized I also had option #3 - call my mother. Boy, quilting was sure turning me into a dutiful child! She suggested a different fabric for the cornerstone fabrics, and it worked! I am still sort of borrowing the color of the blocks for my corners, but since it's not the same print any more, it doesn't matter nearly as much. Here's my final product:

With the tree feature fabric in the corners. I really like that fabric, and I'm glad I got to highlight it again. Also, the original sashing didn't *entirely* go to waste, I was able to use some on the backing:

Ready, Set, Snow got basted last week, and it is my goal to get it finished (ie, quilted and bound) by Christmas. It's been represented as Christmas I in my WIP lists (as opposed to Christmas II which is the Christmas Traditions Quilt) and here it is based and ready for quilting:

The force is with you, young quilt top, but you are not a jedi yet.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ready Set Snow - A New Hope

Some quilts just sort of... come together. Others don't. This is the story of one that didn't.  My original inspiration for this quilt was a kit I saw at a local quilt shop:

I liked the bright colors and thought the separation by horizontal lines added a fun pop to an otherwise pretty simple quilt: unfortunately, by the time I had convinced myself to run back and buy it a few weeks later, they had already sold out. But, I was not to be deterred. I started watching for collections with those black horizontal stripes like I liked.

It didn't take long before I realized that Ready, Set, Snow from the same line ALSO came with fabrics with horizontal stripes - in three colors to be exact. After some back and forth-ing, I decided to order myself a layer cake, and recreate the pattern for my first Christmas quilt.

I'd seen it in stores and liked the fun, playful design and the addition of blue as a Wintery but not-quite-Christmas-cliche color. Of course, by the time I cut into it, I'd forgotten the details of the inspirational pattern a little. Here's what my blocks looked like:

Notice that now the blocks do not change fabric across the stripes, and that the stripes now come in all different colors.  I arranged my blocks according to a pattern I liked, and then sewed them together. So far so good.

But then came the challenge of... the border. I knew that the blocks alone would finish just a LITTLE small for my tastes as a "throw it over the couch and use it to keep warm while you watch TV" quilt, so I'd already invested in a yardage of the white-with-red-snowflakes to use as a border. But as soon as I put it on, I knew that was a mistake - the other snowflake prints on the outside blended into it so that their blocks disappeared, and it just... didn't have the effect I was going for AT ALL. Even my normally-very-forgiving husband was like " that actually what you're using for the outside color?" For the record, this was in July.

I am not proud, but at the time Spookyville was on the horizon with a baby-shower deadline looming, so I decided it was best to just... let this one age a bit before coming back to it. Four months later, no less than 4 quilts have been pieced - and three of those completed in their entirity - in the time it took me to get close enough to Christmas to feel obligated er, brave enough to come back to this thing. Now my goal is to have it completed by Christmas. Please stay tuned for part 2: the Sashing Strikes back.