Saturday, July 27, 2013

vacation quiltings

I went home for a week of vacation recently and it was fantastic!  A much needed long break from work and you can't beat being home.  Especially when this is what awaits you after a long drive!
personalized parking spot!

Momm and I had a couple days to quilt and I brought Gilbert up with me to play - so fun!  I worked on the strippy table runner pieces and turned it into a finished piece that now lives in their kitchen.  This was a fun project and quick to pull together. Linking up this finish at crazymomquilts Finish it up Friday.

This is my Quarter 3 finish #1 at the Finish A Long over on She Can Quilt's blog.  It was nice to start out with a quicker finish and even better to gift it to M&D!  My original Q3 list post can be found here.

finished runner!

We talked quilty talk and made huge progress on some lingering WIPs which was awesome.  Our main focus were our challenge quilts from about 6 years ago with our mini group.  We each picked a theme, made a strip and passed it to the next person who then made a strip with our fabrics that coordinated with the theme and so on.  My theme was the Outdoors and I made the strip with the tent and campfire on it.  Now my job was putting all the strips together into one quilt - a very difficult one.  We spent a good couple of hours trying out various layouts and I've decided on this one.  It's really cool how the strips create a landscape all together while still being individual pieces.  I'm planning to add in a Bear's Paw and Flying Geese block as fillers.

Momm's theme was travel and we spent some hours on figuring our her layout too and it was great to have more floor space to layout all these projects.  True confession - I hadn't made my strip for Momm's quilt until about 3 weeks ago - sorry Momm!   When I finally got my act together I made this fun strip of postcards showcasing places we've visited.  I'm glad to get this finished so it doesn't lurk on my to-do list anymore.

We didn't go out to any fabric stores this trip, instead the fabric mobile came to us!  A friend of Momm's runs a fabric shop on wheels and we had a fun time shopping.  I added a Honeycomb of Happy go Lucky to my project list and can't wait to start sewing with these fun hexagons.

My visit also included watching the end of the 100th Tour de France which was epic!  Always a good summer race to watch.  We went biking and Dad & I raced a train that ran alongside part of the trail - the train was definitely faster!  Delicious home cooked food was abundant of course.  We also went to the Art Institute which was amazing.  So many great exhibits and works that I'd only seen in books before.  I love seeing them up close!  Highlights included: American Gothic, A Sunday on the la Grande Jatte, a partial view The Wave and the lions of course!  We made a brief stop at the Bean too to complete the experience.

A fantastic visit and I've got lots of quilt progress to continue making so I'll sign off here dear readers.  Enjoy the rest of July!

Friday, July 26, 2013

catch-up July

I had a fantastic vacation last week.  It was full of biking, no alarm clocks, camp fires, lots of quilting, Tour de France, hugs and Art!  More on that to come though, today I wanted to make sure I linked up my July project finish for the Lovely Year of Finishes.

My goal was to baste my Kaleidoscope quilt and I did that - hooray!  Here's the original post and I'm ready to keep this quilting progress going.  I'm still a bit undecided on how to quilt it at the moment but can't wait to get started.  Linking up over at Fiber of All Sorts with this step done!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Quilts on Deck

Heading into the next Quarter takes us into fall - I'm not sure I'm ready for that to be in the back of my mind just yet.  I'm going to challenge myself this time around and have a longer list ready.  We'll see how that turns out on the other side!
she can quilt

1. Kaleidoscope quilt - this one is a carry over from Quarter 2 and next up for Gilbert to tackle.  Even though I didn't finish it last quarter, I do have the backing and batting prepped so it's ready to baste.  Still undecided about how to quilt it, but will figure that out soon enough.

2. Swoon quilt - I joined the Swoon Along on flickr last year when I started this quilt. Right now the top is finished & the backing almost all together.  I need to baste and figure out how to quilt this one so it's ready to use come Fall on my bed.  I waited to quilt this one until I had my new machine and know that Gil will be up to the task!

3.  GS Quilt-  this was fun to piece....until I decided i need to make the center strips shorter so I'll be seam ripping and trimming and re-piecing the top.  Then it'll just need backing and a decision on how to quilt it.  *phew*

4. Table/Counter runner - this is a more recent start, but does need to be finished soon as it'll be a gift.  I have strips cut and backing ready, so it's almost complete.  I'm using the strippy table runner tutorial from ps I quilt.  

5. Pinwheels- This is a quilt top from Momm that is intended to be a quilt to donate. The blocks are from a Triangle Tricks class we took together. A perfect summery quilt waiting to be basted, backed, quilted and bound!

Catch you on the flip side Finish a Longers!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

holiday weekend fun

panorama view from the bluff

Hope you had a stupendous 4th of July celebration weekend!  Mine definitely has been great.
 I had The holiday off and a half day at work on the 5th so it was a nice long break just waiting for an adventure - so I obliged.

Thursday I headed westward to the Mississippi River and spent the afternoon at Columbus-Belmont State Park.  It's on a bluff above the river and was a strategic point during the Civil War  - first held by the Confederates and finally taken by the Union.  The earthwork trenches are still there and now part of the trail you can walk. 

 Impressive to see those and the giant anchor on display.  This was part of a huge chain stretched across the river to Missouri as a way to stop up the Union ships from getting through to land.

picnic in style
 It was fun to adventure through the 'wilds' of west KY and stand above the Mississippi River.  I took my newly complete Stepping Stones quilt and after exploring the park had a nice picnic.  

You can't have Independence day without fireworks - well, I try not to!  After coming home from the park, I headed to the riverfront for some musical entertainment while waiting for the fireworks.

  I remembered my chair this year and was real to have left a blanket in my car - it got chilly by the water! It seems like all of Paducah crowds the riverfront and I amused myself by capturing the changing light in the clouds through the sunset.
loved the reflection in the river of the fireworks! 

I got to run some errands and do some shopping and planning on Friday as well.  I worked on finishing my Cave Painting quilt and sewed sleeves onto some mini quilts so I can hang them on the wall.  I finished a secret project and just need a label for it now too.  Also exciting - my new dishwasher was installed so I had fun trying out the new buttons.

I caught up with a friend Saturday, indulged in some Panera goodies and hit the pool too.  The sun finally cooperated so that was nice.  Even finished a good book too - The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.  Went biking on the greenway trail this afternoon because it's hard to watch le Tour and not want to go biking!  I didn't cover nearly as many miles as the riders do!

All in all a great weekend to celebrate our Independence - hope yours was just as wonderful.

back against the wall

In which I recap my Quarter 2 Finish A Long progress and link-up a last minute finish.  My goal setting post found here seemed a tad ambitious due to the major events of Quilt Week and Quilt Camp.  I surprised myself a bit in that I completed 2.5 of my 3 goals.  I know only 2 will count but am super excited!  [the .5 is that I have the 3rd goal ready to baste]

Stepping Stones, my first finished project link-up (#22) post can be read back here.
Stepping Stones detail
Today I'm sharing my 2nd finish: this 4.5 year lingering quilt top has been turned into a finished wall quilt.  Here it is on the wall of my entryway - it's so happy!

This top came about from the 1st winter retreat Momm & I planned 4.5 years ago.  We played a right, left, center dice game with batik fabric strips and I ended up winning the equivalent of a jelly roll!  Afterwards, I turned it into a top using the Athena Puzzle pattern and showed off the finished top at the 2nd retreat.  Each year the winner of our game has continued to turn their prize into a finished quilt.  Last year I was a bit embarrassed to admit my winnings were still just an unfinished top and determined to finish this one so that I could show it off at the next retreat - our 5th anniversary!
quilting detail

I call it Cave Painting because of all the cool designs of the batiks and the quilting design.  I used my walking foot to quilt a giant spiral starting from the center outwards.  I kept seeing this used on various blogs and wanted to try it myself - this top was the perfect fit.  I liked the idea of using the spiral to mimic the blocks, but have it create interest by being round instead of square.  I enjoyed the process, but don't think I'd do this type of quilting on a larger quilt - too much turning and asking am I done yet?
quilting detail with backing

Finished Size: roughly 47" x 47"
Machine Pieced and quilted by me 
Quilting: giant spiral using the walking foot & guide bar
Backing: a brown print from Moda's 108" wide I picked up from the remnant bin at Hancock's
Binding: purpley Batik print from my stash

So there you have it readers - 2 finishes this past Quarter and getting my line-up for Quarter 3 ready.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

project for July finish

It's been a rainy & cool start to July so far - perfect weather for lots of quilting!  I'm linking my July project for the Lovely Year of Finishes hosted at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs.  This motivation has been great so far this year!

quilt top all ready

backing fabric & top detail
Over the last week or two I have gotten the batting pieced and backing fabric bought & sorted for my kaleidoscope quilt.  This month I'd like to have this one basted.   Not sure how to quilt it just yet, but am looking at various ways others have finished their kaleidoscopes for inspiration. 
A Lovely Year of Finishes

The linkup is open until the 7th so grab a project and get finishing!  :)