January Quilting Update

Once a month I post an update on my quilting/sewing projects. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

Star Quilt
Finished on December 22nd, 2016!

Red, blue, and grey star sampler quilt

The big thing holding this quilt up was that I had quilted the first half then let it sit. This gave everything a little too much time to settle and I ended up with some puckering between the part I had quilted and the part I hadn’t. In December I helped a friend pin a quilt for her husband. Then she returned the favour and helped me unpin the half of this quilt that wasn’t finished, so we could repin it. I was nervous about repinning, but in the end it was the right decision. This was the first quilt I ever quilted (I quilted the first half before the digger quilt), so it has a few foldovers on the back. Luckily it is for my husband who doesn’t mind at all.

Back of star quilt. Pieced modern cross back

I did the last of the quilting in December, and then finished the binding over several days of TV watching before we headed out for our holiday. It now lives in my living room and is frequently snuggled by both my husband and son.

This quilt was started as a Bee quilt in January of 2013. Each of the members of the bee made one of the blocks (I actually didn’t make a single block for this quilt). When I made the label, I included the names of everyone who contributed a block.

Mystery Quilt
This quilt is for a very good friend of mine who is having a child. Until the quilt has been given this one remains a mystery! I don’t even want to include the quilt name, because it would be a bit of a hint as to what to expect. I will say it has a few fun fabrics, and it very bright. The top is finished and I know what fabric I’m using for the backing. I just need to pin baste it and decide on the thread colour I’ll use for the quilting.

Jungle Path Quilt
I’ve cut the short sashing pieces that go between the blocks for each row. I have a sewing date on the 21st where I hope to get each of the rows sewn together. Should have a few pictures of the progress for next month’s update.

Shoo Fly Quilt
No progress since I finished the top. This will be the status of this quilt for a few months, so I won’t include it on monthly updates until I prep it to quilt.

September Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

Shoo Fly QuiltShoo Fly Quilt

For the last few months I’ve been putting myself first when it comes to sewing. Any change I get I’m working on my Shoo Fly lapquilt for the couch. On September 9th I finished piecing together the quilt top! I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Next steps are to order the batting and get it quilted. Before I can start on the quilting though I need to finish quilting the Star Quilt. I would love to have both these lap quilts finished and on the couch by Christmas time. It’s doable if I can find the quilting time. Something which unfortunately can be difficult because of the larger block of time needed.

jungle path block quiltJungle Path Quilt

Several years ago a friend of mine organized a quilting bee. We had twelve members and each month, for a year, we made a block for one member’s quilt. The first year I got the blocks for the Star Quilt. The second year I asked everyone to make me a modified Jungle Path block. I resized the block to be a 14 inch square, so the quilt could be made into a twin without needing a crazy number of blocks. The final layout of the twin quilt is 4 by 5 blocks. I may also add a bit of a border, but I really want to quilt it myself which means I need to aim for a small twin size. My machine doesn’t have a particularly large harp, so smaller is easier.

This quilt is destined for my son’s bed and I would love to have it finished by winter, but with two lap quilts to quilt (and bind) I’m not sure if I’ll manage it. As you can see from the picture, the blocks are finished. I also have the sashing strips for between the blocks in each row cut and ready to go. If I can get this quilt top pieced before I start quilting the Shoo Fly quilt I might move it ahead in the line up.

Have you done any sewing lately? What craft projects do you have on the go?

July Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

Shoo Fly QuiltGreen shoo fly quilt rowsThis month I decided to focus on getting my Shoo Fly quilt top finished up. Over two nights I’ve put together five of the six rows needed to complete the top. This quilt won’t have a border, so once the rows are done I just have to sew them together to call it done. I bought the backing fabric and the binding fabric for this one on my last trip to Avonport. Once I order the batting, (I’m going with warm and white since the dominant fabric is white), I’ll have everything I need to finish this quilt up.

Side angle of green shoo fly quilt

Star Quilt
I still haven’t made any progress on the Star Quilt. The good news, for my husband anyway, is that I have promised I will only have one quilt in the quilting phase from here on out. Will force me to quilt the Star before starting on the Shoo fly. I can’t promise I won’t be binding them at the same time though!

Do you limit the number of sewing projects you have on the go? Are you good about finishing one project before starting a new one?

June Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

The Digger Quilt
I finished my first quilt! I still can’t believe I designed and made it myself.Finished digger quiltLast month I set myself the goal of finishing the digger quilt for my son. I had been putting it off for far too long. I did it! The quilt is labelled, bound, and beautiful. He snuggles with it pretty much whenever he watches TV. quilt binding and backingWhen I gave it to him I got a lovely song about how “Mommy is the best”, so I’m confident he likes it.

I didn’t have anything specific picked out for the backing, so I took my son with me to the fabric store. He found the Star Wars fabric and couldn’t be torn away. In the end we picked a 100% cotton flannel Star Wars print. I  like it a lot more than I thought I would. With a simple repeated pattern it was easy to seam (the seam is almost invisible), and it quilted beautifully. I didn’t manage to snag the back at all. My husband’s quilt is only half quilted and it already has two small snags on the back. I do wish I’d made the binding strips smaller. I went with a 2 1/4 inch width, but would have been fine with 2 inches.

The ShooGree shoo fly quilt Fly Quilt
I haven’t done any sewing on this one this month, but I’ve made progress.

This quilt will have 21 blocks, each made from a different fabric. Last week I decided on the final layout of the blocks. You can see the layout (and fabrics) in the blurry picture to the right. I always take a picture, so I have a reference when I start the final piecing of the top.

I also found time over the weekend to cut the spacing strips. They are in the white fabric and will go in all those places you can see the floor.

Star Quilt
My goal for June is to get two nights of quilting in on my husband’s star quilt. At my best guess it will take me 2-3 nights to finish the quilting. I would love to be onto the binding before the end of the month, but I haven’t even done the first night of quilting yet.

What have you been working on this month? Do you already have your next project planned out (I do!)?

June Goals

My goals for May were:

  1. Write 8 times. – Not even close
  2. Continue to use my spreadsheet. – DONE!
  3. Read at least one book. – nope
  4. Finish (100%, REALLY finish) the digger quilt. – DONE!

The writing I did get done was on a new short story, but I didn’t hit even half of my writing goal. I think it’s safe to say May was a bit of a failure. I did manage to finish the quilt. It was done and ready to be snuggled on May 25th. I guess it was a bit optimistic to finish the quilt and get anything else done. This month I will try and set goals that are a bit more achievable.

My goals for June are:

  1. Write 6 times.
  2. Continue to use my spreadsheet.
  3. Read at least one book.
  4. Spend two nights quilting the star quilt.

I really want to get to the point where I’m writing two nights a week again. This month I’m going to create a schedule, but I’ve worked in two free passes in case I’m just not feeling it. Two nights work on the star quilt should finish the quilting, but I don’t want to set a goal of finishing the quilting in case my estimate is off. I want to acknowledge time spent so I can enjoy that time instead of stressing over whether I got far enough.

Did you finish everything you wanted in May? Do you have any big plans for June?

It’s Time to Quilt that Quilt

Star QuiltMy two main hobbies are writing and sewing. I don’t find it too hard to fit writing into my schedule. It is something I can easily pick away at while my son plays in the same or another room, after my son is in bed, or from any number of spaces in the house. Sewing has proven to be much harder.

I don’t have a dedicated sewing space. I sew on my dinning room table. It only takes 10 minutes to set up or take down all of my stuff (I’ve had a fair amount of practice and have it down to a science). If I only need 2.5 hours I can fit it in an evening after my son is in bed without much trouble. The project I want to work on right now though will take longer. It isn’t that I can’t work on it in 2.5 hour chunks, but it is also something new and a bit intimidating. I don’t want to get started, only to find after 2.5 hours that all I have accomplished is finally having everything set up properly by the time I need to take it apart.

Today is my yearly, all to myself, vacation day. I haven’t actually had it all to myself since my son was born. When he was in daycare it was our special vacation day. Then last year it was a snow day and school was cancelled. Convenient since I didn’t have to worry about childcare, but annoying since I had been looking forward to a day to myself.

This year the weather looks good, and there is not reason I shouldn’t get my day to myself. My plan for the day is simple; I am going to quilt a quilt. I have the sewing machine, gloves, thread, and quilt top ready to go. I even got some practice quilting not too long ago. Once the boys are out the door I should be able to get 5 hours of quilting (plus breaks). I hope to get the quilt top half finished over the course of the day.

I have two or three finished quilt tops, but plans for a day of quilting have been easily derailed. Today I will finally get my chance. I’m excited to practice my new skill, and nervous about the results. Luckily the quilt is a lap quilt for my husband, and he will be able to see past any perfections to the love it was made with. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself that!

Do you have any hobbies that are hard to fit into your life? How do you make the time to do the things you love around the things you have to do?