Thursday, March 31, 2011

binding and finishing

Bah. I just recalled that I have four quilts to bind and finish. Three of them are wedding quilts, between 18 months and 6 months late. And I have to get a move on with them!!

Dang and bother and blast and...

I admit, I dislike the binding and finishing part of quilting - not the result, which is always a quilt that makes me want to quilt-nap it - but the actual process of hand-sewing the binding together. My brain keeps telling me about all the things I could be doing instead of sitting here, creating callouses on my middle finger from pushing the needle through the fabric.

How do you guys reading this manage to do your binding and finishing? Do you watch a movie or a tv show while sewing? Do you listen to music? Is it peace-and-quiet time for you, or do you think of it as 'dead time' - time when you could be cleaning the kitchen, or sorting through your wardrobe, or reading a book?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday, credit card CPR, and time

1. Sanctuary Kaleidoscope

The fabric to complete the Sanctuary Kaleidoscope quilt has arrived and I'll be doing some more cutting of kaleidoscope pieces on...Sunday? I have some time first thing in the morning, midafternoon, or last thing at night.

Once it's cut, the arranging and sewing should start. When I'm going to have time for this, I don't know, but I'm beginning to think I should set, say 45 minutes down for quilting in the evenings, complete with timer to bing me out of the zen. From 9:30pm, perhaps, until 10:15pm?

2. Supernova Quilt-Along

sorting prints into blocks

Colours picked, arranged, and cut.

cut fabrics

Background fabrics cut. I calculated that I'd need (8) 3" by 5.5" strip and (8) 3" by 3" square for each block, which makes it (128) of each for a 16-block quilt.

Thankfully, I'm now working with yardage with a ~42" width instead of FQs - and I love my cutting template with the 0.5" slots for easy cutting of strips! One of the best quilting investments I've made of late!

background squares

background squares - natural light

I figure I'll leave the borders for the moment and perhaps deal with them later.

oh credit card, my credit card!

Right, so I bought 4 FQ Bundles from the Fat Quarter Shop. *coughs* At 20% off!

Three Kona Solid fat quarter bundles (Hot Spice, Flying People Eater, and Denim) and one lovely red and white/cream set that went by the name 'French [something]'. I came this close to buying a Kona FQB of Candy Corn (Sunshine Yellow!) and the pink FQB was just that luv-er-ley and pretteh, but I'm not a pink person most of the time and neither are my friends so it would not likely get used.

In addition to this FQB spree, I purchased four yards of Kona White Solids. The shipping nearly killed me and my credit card is still gasping. However, I got my bonus in March and it was very good and so the ccard will not be gasping for long.

I wonder if I can keep myself from buying anything else (other than the Kaufman Valley Of The Kings set that's due out in April-May which I am going to buy if I have to hock my house for it) for the rest of the year. I've bought much too much fabric this year, and I fear even 12 quilts are not going to use it up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

thoughts and more thoughts

So, I spent a chunk of the weekend cutting and sorting for the Supernova Quilt-Along, and am debating the relative wisdom of increasing the quilt 'stars' to 16 blocks instead of 9 blocks. I like large quilts and I think I have the fabric for it, it's just a question of making the adjustments appropriate for the borders.

And, uh, finding the time.

April is going to be One Of Those Months. The Winter Hockey Season has just begun, so I have a game on Sunday (open competition), a game on Monday (veterans' competition), and training on Tuesdays. I also decided that I would attempt Script Frenzy this year, in which I attempt to write 100 pages of script in the 30 days of April.

I have two short stories due in April - 1000 word minimums, then one short story due in the first week of May - 2000 word minimum. And I've offered to help with a guidebook for newbies to online interests that a friend is compiling.

Plus there's still that Sanctuary Kaleidoscope sucking floorspace in the lounge room, and which I'll need to have laid out and either sewn or sorted out by the time I fly out to Europe on the 6th May...


Away from the 'why do I overbook myself like this' front and back to the quilting front, I've decided I need more solid fabrics. All these lovely quilters around me are doing wonderful, beautiful things with solids and patterns and I have lots and lots of patterns...but nary a solid in sight!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday (a few days late)

(Okay, so it's Thursday night, but it's been a really busy week and next week is worse!)

I finally have the layout working for the Sanctuary Quilt!
Thanks for the advice and encouragement, Lee!

Sanctuary: laying out

It's still a lot busier than I like, but the pattern is coming much clearer now. One thing I'll have to keep in mind when cutting and placing the rest of the blocks is that the darker and solid colours will become the visual anchors for the quilt, so I should use them very deliberately.

Also, I've run out of fabric, so I've had to order in some more yardage to complete it! These are all the wedges I cut laid out with some of the corners filled in - I'm thinking the final configuration will be at least 9 blocks by 9 blocks, which should be about 60"x60". I think I might make some borders for this, although I'm not sure exactly what, or whether I really want to go through another round of piecing.

That's unlikely to be finished before I head off to Europe in May, though!


I finally got my act together, picked my fabric and photographed them. The new phone is a little dodgy, so it's not a fantastic piece of photography:

I figured I'd use up some smallprint FQs I bought in a bundle aeons ago, as well as drag in a bunch of whites-on-creams that I have lying around. It should be a pretty, bright, classic quilt. Theoretically.

Now, the really tricky part will be actually quilting it before the deadline for the comp!

(And, crap-o-rama, I have to start working up my patterns for the Moda challenge thingy.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday: the Sanctuary Kaleidoscope

I finished the Moda Jelly Roll competition design. Now I have to put together instructions for it and photograph it. Easy peasy! (hah)

Which brings us to the quilt for April 2011 (we're ahead, I know; that's okay) - the Sanctuary Kaleidoscope.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I really like the fabric choices in this FQ bundle - Berry Sanctuary, I think it was called at Fat Quarter Quilting. So bright and beautifully contrasting!

The fabric stack:

The fabric spread:

This was my first attempt at laying out the pieces in a kaleidoscope:

That was just a starter to get the feel of the colours and fabrics and to work out how it was all going to fit together. And whether it was going to fit together.

Initially, I liked the strong patterns in the layout but then while sewing the blocks together, I decided I wanted to break it up more, which gave me this:

I'm not sure I like it so much now: the pattern gets too easily lost in the noise. It's salvageable - there's still have about half to two-thirds of the blocks to make - that's only 26 blocks there and I was hoping for an 8x8 block quilt (at least 60"x60") which means another 40 or so to go.

Redesigning with an eye to what I still have and what effect I want would probably be the best process to finding a good solution. Lay out the existing blocks and work with/design around those until I have something that maintains the shapes and colour blends, but still contains enough diversity to make it interesting for the eye.

I also need to be more careful when sewing - at least one of the blocks in there was supposed to be pieced differently and then I got my wedges out of order while sewing and it all went haywire.

This weekend is either going to be the Weekend Of Working It All Out, or the Weekend Of Sitting In A Blue Funk Wondering Why I Do This To Myself. I have Sunday mostly free at least...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Supernova Quilt-Along

Supernova Quilt-Along with Freshly Pieced

Joining the Supernova Quilt-Along over at Freshly Pieced! The last quilt-along went so well, I think I'll try this one! And I certainly have sufficient stash for it!

Hopefully it doesn't go into May, because I'm probably not going to finish it if that's the case.

WIP Wednesday tomorrow. The nightmare that is the Sanctuary Kaleidoscope to be displayed...