Thursday, September 27, 2012

QFC Boy's Quilt #1 coming off the frame...

Things have been moving along at a really fast pace!  Not only do I have running water in my Quilting Studio -  YIPPEE! (pics upcoming in another blog), but while the plumbers and electrician have been finishing things up, I stayed busy quilting away on one of the three QFC boy's quilts I need to finish over the next couple of weeks.  The first one we call the 'car quilt', has turned out amazingly well.  Here's close-ups of a few of the 'car blocks':

Isn't this neat how this quilted out?

Alternating quilt blocks w/speeding wheel quilting

Another vintage car block

The back - I am always surprised by how the back turns out

Finished quilt - ready for binding

This is another QFC quilt top designed and created by one of our members and sent to me to quilt.  I am always conscious of why each quilt was created, how it will be used, and certainly want to incorporate those features into the quilt while taking a little creative leeway to allow for some artistic FUN!  I think I was able to accomplish that with this quilt and I will be sorry to see it go, (my family and friends will be, too ;-)  

But, we always knew it was originally designed with the intended in mind and therefore, has a pre-determined destiny that must be fulfilled, which is how it should be.  I feel so very fortunate to be a part of such a generous group which has allowed me to vastly improve my quilting skills far beyond what I ever thought possible just by quilting these incredible quilts.  

If you ever have the opportunity to sharpen your quilting skills by donating a few quilting hours, I hope you will jump at the chance.  You will be so surprised at how much you gain from the total experience - words cannot do justice how impactful this can be.  I will always be grateful for the incredible experience these ladies of QFC have afforded me.

And now, you know what I'm gonna say, right?  Time to get back to it ...;-)


Friday, September 21, 2012

Mystery QOV Quilt-a-long Top finished...Updates on Quilting Studio

Got my version of Alycia's Mystery QOV Quilt-a-long top finished and I really like it!  Here's a not-so-good pic of it:

QOV Mystery Quilt-a-long top - ready to be quilted!

Again, I'll probably have to revise how I quilt this since I not only changed fabrics, I also attached the outside borders a little differently than is given in Alycia's instructions over at  But that's ok, I love to improvise and get creative...that's what I call FUN!  (I just hope Alycia doesn't mind too much ;-)

I had planned on having quite a bit more done by today, including having my dog quilt all pieced and on the frame but life (mine) had other plans.  My plumber FINALLY decided to come back and pick up where he left off over 7 WEEKS ago.  But I am NOT complaining this day, since there is some progress to see so, I took time out to take a few pics.  Here we go:

First level garage - getting the second level (quilting studio) plumbing installed in the ceiling, FINALLY!

Lots of trim, some stained, some waiting for the plumber to finish...

2nd level - this is where the Sewing/Quilting studio will be...someday ;-)
Yep, that's a RED corrugated metal ceiling - the carpenter's installed it, I painted it.
When everything gets finished up, there will be a dark walnut hardwood floor.
The patio doors lead out to a second story tip-out deck 
that is almost finished, waiting to be stained.

Betcha didn't know I could wallpaper, did ya?

and lay tile (I NEVER want to do this again!) 
The black grout stained my fingers for days, even though I wore rubber gloves.

Yes, another matching RED ceiling in the bath...

...and more of my favorite wallpaper!
The bathroom will be a 1920's theme complete w/Betty Boop paraphernalia

At least the deck is almost finished, just need to stain it 
- hopefully I'll get to that over the next 2 weeks

As you can tell, it's far from finished but at least it's starting to look like it might get finished sometime this century.  Lest we forget, this project was started on February 25, 2012...and I was PROMISED it would be finished NO LATER than Mother's Day with the original projected completion date of Easter weekend, (they must've meant 2013 - silly me!)

And in the middle of all this (I live in the MidWest married to a grain farmer, you probably know where I'm going here) we're having one of the worst droughts in 50 years in our particular area.  Thank goodness for irrigation systems or we probably wouldn't even have a viable corn crop this year.  My husband just told me he spent the better part of the day disking down corn stalks that had NO corn on them - that has NEVER happened in his entire farming career of more than 25 years!  However because of recent rains (3 whole inches in more than 2 weeks, it's a monsoon!) we have more grass growing in our yard now than we've had all summer - I'm spending more time mowing and weed-eating NOW than I have all year - what a world... what a world...

You may be getting a better idea when I say quilting is my stress-buster ;-)  I've actually gotten more quilts quilted this summer (during the drought, that may slow down with the mowing competing for my quilting time) than I have ALL year!  And I've been lovin' learning all these new techniques - even I'm amazed at what one can accomplish in such un-creative circumstances.  I guess that old saying, 'Where there's a will...there's a way', still rings true!

And now, I need to get back to my favorite thing 'cause I've got another quilt to quilt so time to get back to it - pics later in an upcoming blog.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Step 5 Completed of QOV Mystery Quilt-a-long...

Had to step things up a bit to get Step 5 of my QOV Mystery Quilt-a-long finished up before the next clue is revealed on Wednesday, since I've had a request for a Marc Jacobs vest (from Vogue/BurdaStyle) to be completed in time for annual school pics from a very special person.  Nothing like a little pressure to get the old juices flowing ;-)  All the while, I'm also working on the dog quilt for the QFC Boy's home.

I had to change things up a bit because I wanted to use fabrics out of my stash for this Quilt of Valor quilt - mainly due to the fact that I just discovered this particular project a few days ago and really didn't have time to shop for additional materials.  As such, I ended up a little short on some of my fabrics so did the old 'switcheroo' to get things to come out.  I think it turned out ok, don't you?

I'm sure I may have to change up my quilting options as well, but that's OK, I'll still have a good quilt for a very worthy cause and isn't that the main goal?  I did enjoy the chain piecing method that was recommended for construction and will definitely utilize this procedure for future quilts:

Borders already assembled to be chain pieced onto foundation block (above)

You'll have to wait for a future blog post to see progress on the dog quilt - for now, let's just say it's coming along nicely and I need a little nap to continue ;-)

Nighty nite,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lots going on...QOV, Bow Ties, Boy's Home and Veteran's...

Well it's been a fairly productive, albeit busy week with lots of projects going on all at once - some are getting finished up while others are just getting started!  All 3 of the QFC Veteran's quilts are now completed and getting ready to ship to their final destination - YEAH!  Started embroidering the dog blocks for a Boy's home quilt that Quilter's for Comfort is also generously gathering quilts for.  Here's a few I have so far:

Block #1

Blocks #3 & #4

Block #7

You'll have to wait to see ALL seven blocks after they're assembled into the quilt ;-)  I have some really neat 'dog' fabric I found right after I agreed to make this quilt - I'm anxious to get started putting this one altogether...

While the blocks were getting embroidered, I managed to get off a few more bow ties in between thread changes:

There's almost 300 blocks in this 5 qt. ice cream bucket!

While that's a nice amount, I thought I'd be farther along by now because I need 755 total bow tie blocks for the quilt I've designed...oh well, will just have to keep pluggin' in between projects ;-)

And while trolling the net, I came across a really interesting Quilt of Valor project that I just couldn't resist (yeah right, like I need another project...but it's for a really good cause and...)  Anyway, even though I'm a little late to this party, I decided to just go for it, what with ALL the fabric I have in my stash, might as well get it into some quilts that can do others some good.  

So here's the gist on this one:  it's a Craftsy Mystery Quilt-a-long QOV, hosted by guest blogger Alycia of Alycia Quilts, who's collected/made/delivered literally 'hundreds' of quilts for her local Veterans.  You really need to read Alycia's entire story, it's almost unbelievable!  And the kicker is after we get our QOV quilts all assembled, we can opt to take an online quilting class with renowned quilt instructor, Kim Brunner - all over at Craftsy!

NOTE: I originally misspelled Alycia's name, my apologies.  I have now corrected my mistake.  

The online quilting class is scheduled to go LIVE sometime in October, 2012.  I can hardly wait for this class as 'Kimmie', as we like to call her, is a previous long-arm Teacher of the Year and one of the best instructors I've had the privilege to be taught by!

This is what I got done in the last 24 hours on the Craftsy Mystery Quilt-a-long QOV:

Cutting - Week #1

Week #2 - Chain piecing

and pruning blocks...

Eight 5" Star Blocks - Week #3, these turned out cute, didn't they?

Since the class is up to Week #5, I still have some catching up to do but, I've made a healthy dent in 24 hours so I think I have half a chance of catching up by next Wednesday when the next clue is released.

Soooo, like I always say - time to get back to it!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

QFC #3 Coming off the frame...YES!

Alrighty then - I'm thrilled I can say I've finished up QFC Quilt #3 ahead of schedule and it turned out great!

Close-up of one of the embroidered/quilted blocks

This is one of my favorites!

The back - I almost like this as much as the front ;-)

That's what I love about doing these quilts - there are definite deadlines and it compels me to 'get w/the program' and get things done, even if I have to struggle through a new quilting design challenge, I always come out better on the other side packin' a brand new skill, it's a WIN/WIN for everyone!

Been using a few of Dusty Farrell's Radical Rulers to get some of my 'curves' going on with my McTavish/Tango quilting - they work great, especially when I get stuck for an idea.

Most of the quilts I've quilted recently have been embroidered/constructed by fellow Quilter's for Comfort members, who do such an incredible job.  This quilt however, is my own personal contribution.  I enjoyed designing this one, especially the embroidered blocks w/my trademark 'crazy quilt' spin on things.  Because this quilt is intended for a very special Veteran, I wanted to keep it gender neutral.  I did eliminate any blocks that could be considered too 'girly'.  So it was somewhat of a challenge to add my crazy quilt embellishments in a tasteful manner, but I think it came out fine, don't you?  

Coming off the frame...

And now I'm off to bind/wash/label - right after I celebrate w/Hershey Bar ;-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

QFC #2 Finished - #3 is on the frame...

The Quilter's for Comfort quilt #2 is now finished up and I think it turned out far better than even I expected:

QFC #2 Coming off the frame...

Up close of one of the 'McTavished' blocks

Another close-up w/border and fireworks and star quilting

Originally I thought I would quilt the white frame border with a 3" curved line through the center, but after quilting it I didn't like it all by itself, it just looked out of balance so once again, I added more 'McTavishing' quilting to balance everything out and I think it did the trick!

And now, QFC quilt #3 is now loaded and on the frame:

In keeping w/previous quilt choices, 'McTavishing' quilting will be utilized ;-)

I like to use Superior's clear monopoly w/bottom line in the bobbin to SID, outline applique and embroidery motifs, white bottom line in the needle and bobbin to 'McTavish' the white blocks to avoid thread build-up and in these QFC veteran quilts I've been using Superior's Patriotic Rainbows to quilt the red and blue blocks and the red/white/blue borders.

So far, I have all of the Stitch-in-the-ditch quilting done and half of the USA borders quilted sooo, need to get back to them so I can move on to the blocks.