Quilt ADD in therapy

My photo
Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Feb Wrap-Up & March Goal Post

February Accomplishments:

Complete Finishes:  This was a great month! Two fantastic quilts, and two minis that were long-time UFOs.

"Jovial Trees"




"The Snooty Sisters" - UFO finish!





"Koo Koo Puff" - UFO finish!




"Fancy Me A Rainbow"

[Still needs a photo-op, although I confess that I'm not positive yet if I'm going to submit it to a magazine first. It turned out really fantastic with the quilting!]


Flimsy Finishes:

Baekjul Boolgul - Which was actually a NewFO all from stash for this month as well! More later on this. It's the motto of our Taekwondo dojang, meaning "indomitable spirit," and I started this because I needed a hand-work meditation project to calm my worries during the cancer diagnosis workup process. Nothing as awful as the wait for news each time, eh???  






NETY pull-out:
(This is how I begin to incorporate Never Even Touched Yet items on my monster list of long-ago purchases into my work cycles)

Star Crazy - which is now in the 2nd-Sunday slot of my BOM rotation.



and - 


Woodland Stars Winter Fun - a Connecting Threads kit from mid-2012. It's washed, ironed, cut out and boxed with careful notes about all the changes I want to make. This will probably come out next December or January for actual sewing.





Community Sewing:


So, for reasons completely non-religious, I despise the whole 50 Shades of Crap thing. In response to a friend's challenge to do something constructive about that, I committed to making a quilt for the Cinderella House in Colorado Springs. It's a place of refuge for girls and women rescued from human trafficking. This project is coming from stash. There wasn't enough of these fabrics to make a quilt center larger than baby size from these blocks, so my thoughts right now are to frame one half in white and the other in a nicely-playing-along gray (or other color) before bordering everything with a pink hibiscus print I have that would look great with these.




March Directions:

(Please note: I work best with open-ended guiding matrices that direct my work in a variety of projects as I move things forward, with something marked as the priority work. Lists with items meant to be checked off as finished in a finite period of time stifle me. So don't look at this as something intended to have everything absolutely completed in a month. That would be amazingly stressful!)





Quilting for the finish: "Fireflies in the Meadow" -  This is my chosen project for ALYF.

I'm really jazzed to try the glow-in-the-dark thread that I got for the quilting on this. It's pin-basted, ready to go. 







UFO work: I'd love to get a couple more of my McKenna Ryan Sea Breeze minis from 2011 finished up.
"Twinkletoes" and "The Nerdles," I'm thinking.








"Lori & Aliyah" - Still have to dive into the intensity of this one. Waiting on some confirmations from the customer.




Community Service:

Get the Cinderella House blocks made into a flimsy. And find a real name for it.


Piecing: Woohoo!!!!!!  It's all about the 2015 Hobble Creek Retreat!!!!!  I am SO JAZZED about this! Two years ago I went to Emily Herrick's bring-your-own-project retreat, and I had the best time. Met some fantastic people who I'm very much looking forward to seeing again. I feel like a kid waiting for Prom to get here.  :D




I'm going to take more projects than I'll probably get to, but I'm using this as an opportunity to work on things I wouldn't normally pull into the current work load, but that call to me.  My own "Boomerang" (Emily's pattern, even - I hope she likes it), "Leaded Glass," "Stepping Stones," and "Top Secret." Maybe I'll throw in the Chubby Chicks that need applique stitching just to make sure I don't run out of work!


Pieces are all made, just need final assembly

Yep, this may have something to do with an upcoming family wedding.  :)

This was washed, ironed, and kitted in November, I think. Ready to start sewing.

Something like half of these blocks were made in 2009 or 2010. 'Bout time I make the rest!

This was a summer 2013 NewFO. The chick bodies are all fused, waiting for blanket stitching.



Evening Handwork Station: Continue pushing block 1 of "Fiesta Mexico" along, taking breaks from it for binding work on Fireflies. Also, I STILL need to make labels for "25th, Baby!," "Kelly's Joseph Smith 2," "A Laurel Burch Christmas," "Patriots in Petticoats," and guide label making for Heather's dragon quilt and Marissa's community service quilt. And now "Jovial" and "Fancy Me a Rainbow" as well! 

BOMs:
Carry on the once-weekly attention to the projects on the Roll. Continue the FMQ on Kelly's; do another set or two for "Star Crazy"; finish button-hole stitching on the interior blocks for "Garden Friends"; and finish the mini quilt for block 1 of "Wind in the Whiskers" and trace out block 2's pieces.

NETY Pull-Out:
Eyeing "Dove in the Window"

Friday, February 27, 2015

Two UFOs Shot Down!!

Yay!!!!  I've finished two UFO minis this week, and it's exciting for me beyond just finishing something that was put together in 2011.

I ain't skeered of no stinkin' McKenna Ryan quilts anymore! In fact, I'm rather puffed up with pleasure at the leap forward.


Koo Koo Puff

Her designs have lots of little fused pieces that are semi-insane to cut out and put together. In many places there are multiple layers which are quite thick with fabric and fusible. The thought of doing the actual stitching on these has frankly freaked me out, both in terms of the level of FMQ skill needed and the difficulty of working through all those finicky layers.

This month I made myself Get Over It and finally got to work on the ones I like least out of the mini collection for "Sea Breeze." This has a series of nine 17"-square scenes, and they will be stretch-mounted on canvas frames to be wall art.


The Snooty Sisters
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
"The Snooty Sisters" were up first. This mini was on my Q1 goal sheet for the 2015 Finish Along. 

I decided I wanted to further complicate this project by doing trapunto on the marine figures. No big deal: pull out scraps of my wool batting, pin it behind that portion of the quilt, and do the applique stitching for the trapunto layer. (I'm going to work up a tutorial for that with later companion minis.) Well, my Sapphire has a very sensitive tension system, and that fusible stuff really threw it for a loop. Literally.  Loops and nasty nests on the back like this one:



ALL OVER THE PLACE, no matter how I tried to compensate for it. I was bad. After taking out and redoing about 400 of them, I left all the ones you see here and just pulled everything tight to the back as well as I could and tied them securely.



It was all going to be hidden away, anyhow, and this was meant for my own studio, not any competition or commission. Still, I was pulling my hair out at the thought of 8 more of these, and was ready to chuck the whole set back into deep storage for another 4 years!

But then I saw a very timely conversation on Margaret Gunn's Facebook page where somebody offered the tip of applying a drop of Sewer's Aid directly to the machine needle periodically. BRILLIANT! Problem solved!!  Remarkably, when I did the trapunto/applique stitching on "Koo Koo Puff," not a single nest! And I was so excited on that one that I forgot to snap a picture and rushed right into the next step of relayering it with the full batting and its backing. So you don't get to see the beautiful sight of a perfectly clean backside with smooth, happy stitching along all the layering batt.

So, I got both of these quilted up. I kept things pretty simple (but with my own twists), because I like the look in the pattern pictures of them finished that way on the frames. 


I threw in some bubble doodles in silver hologram thread for the seahorses. It's super sparkly in real life:




No binding was necessary, or even desirable - I just finished the edges with zig-zag stitching because it's all going to be hidden away when I take the whole set over to be mounted. (7 more to finish, first.) For now, I've pinned them up by my ironing station.





I really love the effect achieved with the trapunto! Can you see the dimension the figures have? 

Especially this guy! He is COOL with all his poof! (What else could I do with a puffer, fish, I ask?) I went all out and gave him two trapunto layers, in fact. The first one lies under his face and one more "ring", and the other lies under his whole silhouette. It worked perfectly without creating a shelf in the exterior hand of the quilt:


It did cause the outer strips that have no quilting to ruffle up a bit, but those pull out flat very easily, so they won't show when it's mounted. If this much puff was put into a non-mounted project, those outer areas would need fairly dense fill-quilting to tame them.


It was cheaper to buy the 9 unassembled frames from an online art supply store than to get 2 ready-to-go frames from Michaels. Now, if I could just find what I did with the connecting hardware. . . 

So, the verdict is that even with stiffer fused figures, the technique works marvelously. I used washable Tuscany wool batting scraps for the first run, and Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly for the full bottom layer.

That makes 2 of these UFOs finished for February, which I'll be reporting to Aunt Marti for her UFO Parade at 52 Quilts.

And I'll probably get 3 or 4 done up in March. After this set, I still have a full-sized Christmas flimsy and a beach flimsy of her designs that have been waiting for years, as well, to be finished. And if you follow me, you know I'm working on yet another in my BOMs lineup. But I'm not so freaked about them now.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Linking up at:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

BOMs Away - Wind in the Whiskers



Welcome to the Link-Up for BOMs Away Mondays! 
We'd love to see the BOM you're working on lately. 
This week's link-up is at the bottom of the post.


The two little pictures on this post represent hours and hours of work today! Who would have thought??




We're basically snowed in, so with a couple of breaks for shoveling duties and one for a "Family Date" to push a car up the hill because there's too much snow down below for it to be left down there, it was a perfect day to work on quilt stuff with various movies being run in the house. Nice to sit with folks and watch something entertaining while you're meticulously cutting. . . cutting. . . cutting. . .    :)




Most of these pieces are double-sided and will hang on a clothesline that will span the mid-section of the panel. When the block is joined to its neighbors, a large tree will be added to the right, and branches will hang across the top. The blossoms and chickadee will get added in with those. Next month I do want to make up the tiny mini quilt that the hearts and kitties are for before pulling out the Block 2 pattern to trace its pieces. The nice thing is that this block was the most involved, so everything else from here is less demanding. Still an astounding amount of work remains, so I'm really glad I'm doing this as a BOM and not as a straight-through project!

P.S. I got good news about my cancer stuff. It remains an unidentifiable lymphoma, but there was only the one spot. It is not showing up anywhere else on the PET/CT studies, and my bone marrow was clean and happy. So - I just have one radiation appointment and a 6-month follow-up so the oncologist can check the size of one neck lymph node that registers large by touch but shows nothing of concern on the PET. I am a very happy camper!

Oh!! And yesterday we had our latest belt test for Taekwondo - raging blizzard and all. 




Two of us got our blue belts and will start in the next-higher class division. I'm a bit apprehensive about keeping up with their workout level, but looking forward to being with some friends again who are a belt ahead of me. I'm really glad our family has been doing this activity together, as I'm very certain the high level of regular exercise has played a large role in helping my body fight the cancer. With an autoimmune condition, this could have been a very different portrait right now. Thank you so very, very much to everybody who sent out prayers and healing energy to me!!

~*~*~*~*~
How about you? Did you get any work done on your BOMs this week?


Friday, February 20, 2015

Finish Report! ~ "Jovial Trees"

Woohoo!



I'm so in love with this quilt. Like: Seriously! And adding to the happiness is the crossing-off of a UFO from 2013 and the fulfillment of my February Lovely-Year-of-Finishes goal.




The dimensionality on this is marvelous with all the 3D parts, the fabric feels so nice, the 80/20 cotton/poly batt has a perfect drape inside that fairly-dense quilting . . .  Who cares that Christmas has been put away for quite some time?   ;D



I don't have a full-on shot, yet, of the finished quilt. I'll get that in a couple of days and insert it here. We're supposed to get 18" of snow starting tomorrow, so I'm waiting for that blanket of beauty to form before going outside for a photo op. Too bad I'm not ambitious enough to pull the reindeer back out and set them up, too - that'd be pretty, but this flimsy shot is going to have to be enough for that idea:



This quilt is from the free pattern, "Jovial," put out by Moda in 2011. I bought the kit made from the Basic Grey fabric collection, Jovial. I didn't get enough of the blue-based reindeer yardage for the backing, so it's framed with some coordinating Grunge yardage of red. LOVE THE EFFECT! Just perfect for the quilt.  It measures 75 x 75" after the quilting, which pulled up two inches from its 77 x 77 measurement as a flimsy. (So don't forget about that effect if you're ever making a quilt for a very specific dimension.)  



All the quilting was done on my Viking Sapphire, in a combination of walking foot and free motion work with the spring-action foot. When I started doing the quilting on this, you may remember that I decided to do something about the free-flying 3D trees, as the pocket in this shot catching a spool I'd dropped made it clear to me that this intended sofa-snuggler would get repeatedly ripped by feet catching those pockets! 



I'm super happy with the cathedral-window type approach I used. I stitched those flaps down as I did the quilting, with curved pop-out edges. I used a fine-gauged blanket stitch for that, and switched to straight stitches on each tree to finish its outline at the base and trunk. 



Everything else was done with free-motion work. On the border, I just ran parallel squiggle lines outward by following the edges of the bubbles in the print. You can see here that I just used the border print for the binding. It disappears on the front (and truthfully, this design doesn't need further framing), but it's a very nice edging on the back.



In the center, I wanted to make meandering "wind" that was blowing around everything. I guess it's a McTavishing adaptation of sorts, and I think it was quite successful! 



As I came to each spinner, I ran a straight line close to the heavy edge to give a nice definition as well as to stabilize the bulky seams underneath. Worked like a charm. They all lay down properly now, and the flaps look perky without rebelling against their placement.



My wind-work execution is not particularly refined, like I dream of it being, but there are no tension problems nor messy nests. 






And on a quilt that's fun in a whimsical, almost-folksy way, the amateur form is right at home. It won't be long before I get the feel of the McTavishing family of fills in my hands for very smooth, evenly-paced and attractively arranged results. :) 



I really love the effect of the unquilted trees on the back:




Navarre thinks I made this quilt for him. It was so difficult to catch some shots today, as he kept doing the kitty-ski maneuver under, into, and through it!



The amazing thing is that the camera was actually able to capture him in focus one time:




I'm going to keep this quilt out for another week and enjoy it through the snow-in before I put it away until next year. It's highly unusual for me to work on a Christmas quilt outside of the late-Nov thru New Year's range, but I'd really wanted this one finished this winter, and when you have a tussle with cancer, you just get to do whatever you want with your quilts.  ;D





~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Linking up at: