Sunday, March 22, 2015

Flower Garden Finale

I'm doing a very happy dance over here. My flower garden quilt has been fully quilted and just awaiting a decision on the fabric for binding.

I had some tense times while the quilt was on my b-line quilting frame. I was in distress thinking I was ruining the quilt. I made an SOS call to my friend Teresa Ranson, who is a very experienced and talented long arm quilter. I drove up and pulled the quilt from my front seat. I could hear Teresa's voice say as I approached her front door, "not a lot of respect being shown to that quilt". Nope. I confess that I was very close to just tossing it.  I grabbed it from over my railing at home and shoved it in the car unfolded. 

 We had a consult and she encouraged me to carry on and not to be so hard on myself. So we nicely folded it back up and off I went home to redeem the situation. 

I decided to load it back on the frame to finish the stippling in the floral borders. From there the plan was to pull it off the frame and pull the Janome 6500 to the dining room table and set it up to quilt it sitting down. I needed the spread room for the quilt. My sewing table doesn't have room for a big quilt. 

And after all, my quilting buddy was returning from Uganda and we had a sewing date set. I set up my small Janome for her and this is where we spent two wonderful days reconnecting and sewing ourselves into a frenzy. 

Here we are on day two having a blast. 

Here is Terry's station

She is making a storm at sea quilt for her foster son in Uganda. It will be beautiful in her blue and aqua batiks. 

I had such a better time sitting down to custom quilt the blocks.  And here are the blocks with their unique quilting in each block:

And now the finished quilt!!

Cooper approves. Sophie is still sniffing to decide if she approves. 

Now to decide on binding. If I had some of the sky blue fabric left, that's what I would use. But I don't. So then I wondered about yellow. Not sure. Then a friend suggested white. That may just be the ticket. I will decide tomorrow. 

Until next time,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Flower Garden quilt adventures

My oldest UFO is my flower garden quilt. The block of the month top is now complete and it feels so great to cross it off my UFO list!  This quilt top is not perfect by a long shot. I started it before I knew about a scant quarter inch and some of the blocks with a high number of teeny tiny template pieces were smaller than some of the latest blocks that I've finished.   There was some fudging and frustration but it's done!!  Here it is before the final border:

I thought that a yellow backing would be great so I looked but couldn't find anything on sale that was calling to me. I figured I should really use my stash anyway and build a back if I could. I was reminded of my bin of orphan blocks, of yardage languishing in my stash and some strips in my bins that could be pieced into blocks to enhance the back, and that's what I did.  

I started with a bright yellow daisy print yardage  Then I dug deep in my orphan blocks I discovered some pieces that were extracted from a mystery quilt that I didn't like.  That's another story.

Then I found some yellow and purple leftover units from which I made columns. 

I added some plain yellow to the top right column and the bottom left column (not pictured).  I was trying to keep it symmetrical.   Hmmm...what next?  Nothing else from the orphan block bins seemed to fit so I decided I would piece some nine patches. And put them on point. 

Getting there!

Here it is almost done. I decided to separate the columns with a bit  of green, also from my strip bins. You can just see a bit of the yellow and green piano key strip at the top.   Stash busted for this back:  2 + meters of daisy fabric, orphan blocks, 4" squares cut into triangles for framing the nine patches, 2" strips for nine patches, and yellow fat quarter for column extensions.  That feels amazing!!  I didn't spend money. I used what I had which was my 2015 unspoken resolution/challenge. 

One final check on size revealed that it was just needing a bit  more width. So I ended up adding some green strips to the sides before giving it a final press and loading it on my quilt frame for quilting. 

This is as far as I got yesterday. Our house is for sale again ( fingers crossed for a quick sale!) and we got a last minute showing request for this morning. In noticing  the high amount of thread on the carpet, I decided it was time to tidy up, rather than party in my sewing room. Perhaps I will start quilting it tomorrow.  The next questions are:  which colour thread should I use and how should I quilt it. My friend who is a missionary to Uganda is home on a short furlough. She is my quilting buddy and she is coming for breakfast tomorrow.  Maybe there will be some inspiration as we look at it together. But we will be on a shopping mission tomorrow. She has been on a fabric fast and needs some supplies. Me?  I don't need anything, especially since my quilt back is now a done deal. I'm also still recovering from hip surgery and my shopping stamina still isn't there. But we will have some fun together. Then we have a sewing date on Wednesday. It will be sew great to spend time with my friends sitting around the table chatting and catching up while our machines hum in the background. 

I may finish piecing my scrappy log cabin quilt on Wednesday. 

Or maybe I will finish constructing these:

I will think of something. In the meantime this girl needs some shut-eye. My friend will be here for 7:45 and my chance for sleep on this sleepless night is fading.

Until next time,