Sunday, September 25, 2011

Piecing Along

I'm just about finished with piecing my blocks together. Can you tell that some of these blocks have had a little "plastic surgery."I had to go out and get a few more fabrics for a little more variety. It was really hard finding oranges that were not too bright. Next up: finish adding a border or two onto a couple blocks, then adding grey fabric to all the blocks and squaring them up, then sewing them together! I just might get this done by next Sunday, just in time to decorate the house. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Halfway There

I haven't had much time for quilting this last week. Work and school have taken up a ton of time, not to mention I have been doing a great job of going to the gym lately too. :) I discovered that I love spinning classes, although they don't feel so great on the bum. If you enjoy bike riding, check one out at your local Y (or any other gym), it is a great challenge.

Here are the other 6 blocks for my Ghastlies quilt I have completed, just 10 more to go. I may be adding another square around some of these blocks, which will make my end quilt a bit bigger than originally planned, but I think it will add to the quilt nicely.
Still unsure if I will use grey or white for the sashing...

I had a question about where I got the black and white number fabric. I bought it at a local quilt shop, and I was just there today so I checked the bolt to find out the maker. It is from Makower UK fabrics. I did find a listing for it on etsy here, which is much cheaper than my quilt shop sells it for. 
Well it is back to writing a paper for my Addictions and Families class, it is a really fun class, but I would rather be quilting. Hopefully everyone is enjoying the beginning of fall, my favorite season! It is really gloomy in Lincoln today; I am sure the Washington players, here to take on the Huskers, are feeling right at home.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Did It . . .

...I made that first cut, and then several more. Over this past week I have made 4 blocks for my Ghastlies quilt, and 2 more that are almost finished. I love the quilts Anna over at Thimbleanna made with her Ghastlies fabric from Alexander Henry, so her quilts are the inspiration for mine. I am so excited about this quilt (can you tell), Halloween is my favorite holiday! Only (roughly) 14 blocks to go.

Here are the four blocks I have finished so far:
 I love the invisible dog he is walking!
 Not sure about how thick I made this bat fabric square around the house...oh well.
 Doesn't she look like one evil witch! (or substitute the w for a b)
This guy makes me think of Bill Compton from True Blood, 
maybe right when he was turned and was angry about being a vampire. :)

For my Ghastlies quilt, I wanted to get away from using bright "Halloween orange" and go for more of a dull burnt orange, with greys and black. I think I am going to use white, rather than grey, as the sashing fabric, to help with contrast to the muted colors. Not to mention the vignettes in the middle of the blocks are on grey fabric, well all but a few. I had to by some of the new "Ghastlie Night" that came out this year, so a few vignettes on the quilt will be from the new line which I ordered in natural.What do you all think....white or a light grey for the sashing? (for my friends that don't quilt, sashing is the fabric between the blocks that make  them appear to be floating.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

The First Cut

I am excited to make my much anticipated Ghastlies quilt, but how do I get over the fear of making that first cut!?! It's been a year, and I can't take my rotary cutter to this beautiful fabric. If I wait too much longer, I will go another Halloween without my quilt! Wish me luck...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In a Bind

My friend Tiffaney's birthday was today. My goal to give her a birthday quilt was met as well....thanks to another amazing online tutorial on machine binding. Tiff's quilt is called "Birthday Blush"....because it is a Birthday quilt, made with Basic Gray's "Blush" line. (I know, so much creativity went into naming this quilt!) I jokingly told my husband I should name my quilts based on the movie/tv show/music I listen to/watch as I make it. If that were the case, this would be called "Mad Men."
For this stacked coins quilt I used (roughly) 3 charm square packs and 2 1/2 yards of coordinating backing fabric using the "Blush" line, which I love, it seems so retro and girly (or as my husband called it, old lady). I also used about 1/2 yard of another coordinating fabric for the binding, not sure how much white Kona cotton I used for the sashing though as I cut from my stash.
As I posted earlier, my sewing machine was giving me major problems with the tension. I discovered it was where my thread was being fed through, somehow it was catching. Unfortuanetly I didn't notice this until I was half way through quilting. Tiffaney has promised not to show the back to people too closely, although she didn't seem to mind. I do, but if I was to give this to her after taking out those stitches and re-quilting it, she would receive it sometime around Christmas. Good thing great friends don't mind mistakes as much as this quilter does!
I pieced the back of the quilt, mainly because I was a little short on my backing fabric, but I love how it turned out, and so did Tiffaney.
And she made sure I put a label on this quilt, inspecting the back to find it, and commenting "I love the owl!."
On top of learning a bit about my sewing machine's tension problems (after taking it apart too), I also learned a new method on attaching binding by machine. I used this tutorial, from Bloomin' Workshop, which was so helpful and SO FAST! I will definately be doing my binding by machine again, although I am curious to see how it turns out after washing. With this quilt, I finished it, headed to the park with Lee and Penny to get pictures in before sunset, and headed to Tiffaney's house to deliver her gift.
We went to Pioneers Park, (my favorite place in Lincoln) to the columns where Lee and I were married. I have been meaning to photograph a quilt at this spot for a long time, I think this quilt was the perfect one to take there.
There are Lee and Penny, peaking from behind one of the columns, trying to patiently wait for me to finish.

It is time to enjoy the rest of the long weekend. I hope all of you are enjoying your Labor day weekend as well! I will leave you with a picture of my favorite block: a little bird on pink fabric peaking at you. :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On the Outs

My sewing machine and I are on the outs at the moment. "The evil machine" is giving me major tension problems as a quilt my friends birthday quilt. Note that her birthday is TOMORROW... and I have been quilting this thing for a few weeks now. I discovered that my major problem with the tension is where my thread spool was positioned. It was catching while on the horizontal spool feed, so I moved it to the vertical spool feed and my problem was solved.....until JUST now:
I am nearly finished, and plan to attach the binding completly by machine, no hand stitching. But I really want to take out the bad stitches....which means this will not be done for months because the bad stiches are spread out on half the quilt! I really hate to give it to her with the top thread showing on the bottom in places, but to unstitch it and re-quilt will take FOREVER. She is coming over in an hour to grill with Lee and I and have a few beers before the two of us head to the Husker game, her birthday tradition for the past two years. Maybe some time away from "the evil machine" will allow me to get back into quilting this guy tonight and we will be on good terms again; then I can give it to her tomorrow. She is going to have to promise, to never show the back of the quilt to anyone though, only the good half. :) Is this horrible of me?
*Please note that the photo shows the worst of my tension problems that JUST happened, and I removed this section. The rest of the stitches are not that bad.

Time to hide the quilt and then it's: "GO BIG RED!" time.