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Friday, December 9, 2011

Leaders and Enders

Leaders and Enders. Do you know what I mean? If you are a follower of Bonnie Hunter and Quiltville, you'll undoubtedly know what I'm referring to. As a sewer, did you learn to leave a piece of fabric under the needle when you ended your sewing time? Unfortunately, I didn't and when I first started quilting, I had so much wasted thread laying around on the floor. It was a mess. Then I stumbled across Bonnie's web sight via my Yahoo quilting group I was so impressed with everything on her sight and one thing was, you hear it coming, Leaders and Enders. I'm not going to go in to detail explaining this, you can click here for a complete description. The premise is, instead of leaving a scrap of fabric under the needle (which eventually has to be thrown away when it gets full of thread), you begin and end with a piece you are working on. When I make my Crumb Blocks (also from Bonnie's site), I am always working on two at a time. I chain sew the first two pieces of two separate blocks. Cut off the first bit and iron it flat, pick out the next bit to sew on to it and sew them together. I then cut off the second bit and iron it, then pick the next bit to sew on it and the cycle starts over. I am going to use this technique to work on my next two quilts. I will cut the fabric for Wyatt's and Caitlyn's quilts and then start chain sewing and work on each at the same time. I'll add pictures as they become available.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rianne's quilt

This is the beginning of Rianne's quilt. The top row is coming off and being replaced as well as the pink row at the top. I unknowingly bought cotton with polyester for some of the fabric and melted some of the yellow when I was ironing the seam. As a result, the butterfly is also being redone because I wasn't totally pleased with the one seen in the photo. The new one is much better.

Too Ambitious??

I don't know if I'm being too ambitious with my plans for the rest of the month of December, but here they are. As you may know if you've been following this blog, I have SEVERAL unfinished quilts to complete as well as SEVERAL promised quilts to start and finish. My goal for the rest of December is to complete 3 baby quilts and one child's quilt. The baby quilts are for Wyatt, Rianne and Hugo. Rianne and Hugo live here in The Netherlands and Wyatt is my great nephew living in Colorado. The child's quilt is for my great niece, Caitlyn, who lives in Texas. Once these are finished, I still have my three children's quilts, Holly and Will's wedding quilt and my daughter-in-law, Samantha's quilt. That doesn't include that I'd like to make a quilt for my son-in-law, Mickey, as well. And while I'm at it, my nephew Jonathan is is getting married in June. I am making a signature quilt for them as a wedding gift. I still have to choose the layout and then cut the pieces that will be signed and prep them as well as make the display for the table at the reception.
To top this all off, I have to redo my sewing room so that I can easily sew/quilt the bigger quilts. I know what I want to do and should be able to get that done in a fairly short time. When Marco and I moved into this apartment in 2001, the previous occupant left us her "computer table". This consisted of a wooden file cabinet (now in my living room) topped with a white kitchen counter held up on the other side by a table leg. I think the table leg is long gone but the counter top is still out by our front door leaning against the wall. The plan is to get rid of the dining table that is now in the sewing room. I will buy 6 table legs to attach to the kitchen counter to make a long table. This will go against one wall and I'll put my sewing machine on one end and have the rest to be used in some way that I haven't yet thought of. I have SEVERAL plastic containers of fabric and magazines and such that can be stored under this table. on the opposite wall, I will put the bookcase which is now in the room and buy another bookcase to match it. I also have downstairs in storage and big piece of shelving that we had in our old apartment. I'll cut that down to size and use it as my cutting table, so I'll need to buy 4 table legs for this too. Once this is done, the room should be fairly efficient and clean. There will be lots of stuff thrown away or given away.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hayden's Quilt

Here is Hayden's quilt. I finished sewing on the binding while I was in Texas in August. Unfortunately, not in time for Samantha to take it back to Alabama with her and Hayden. It's now waiting for Travis to bring it with him when he comes home from AIT for Christmas ( assuming it's not forgotten). I still have to make the label and mail it to Samantha to sew on. The pen I had with me at the time was not good to write on fabric.

End of year update

Although it really isn't the end of the year yet, I thought I'd update my blog now. I have not kept up to my end of the bargain as I last posted on January 8, 2011. First of all, I have taken on more commitments and secondly, I haven't come close to finishing the quilts on my list. The Maker's Choice blocks were of course finished and mailed. Zoe's quilt was finished in time for her birthday. As a side note, she loves her Winnie-the-Pooh quilt and sleeps with it every night. Lyn's quilt is in the same state of unfinished as it was as are all the other quilts with the exception of Hayden's quilt. Although I stopped working on the blue quilt, I have finished the other quilt and she will get it at Christmas when her daddy (my son, Travis) brings it home with him from San Antonio.

The new commitments are:
*Baby quilt for our friends here, Rianne
*Baby quilt for the grandson of the woman I work for (Hugo)
*Butterfly quilt for my great-niece, Caitlyn
*Wedding quilt for my nephew, Jonathan

I will try my best to get these quilts finished this year as I am planning on selling baby quilts on Etsy if these 2 new quilts turn out as I hope.

I originally wrote this on my iPhone but had the wrong address for sending it, so it didn't post, I have finally figured out the mistake and now it's working., I can now post directly from my phone which may help in keeping this blog up to date. I will now go look at my phone pictures and see if I have a photo of Hayden's quilt to post.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

No more commitments

I am taking on no more commitments until I have finished the ones I have at this moment. First and foremost are the 4 remaining blocks for my QuiltingforAll Yahoo group. After that, I have several baby quilts and the quilts for each of my 3 children. I have put this off too long. I'm posting here my To Do List:

1. 4 Maker's Choice blocks for QuiltingforAll Yahoo group
2. Zoe's baby quilt needs to be finished by her 2nd bday in February
3. Lyn's butterfly quilt that I hope to finish in time for her birthday in March
4. Hayden's baby quilt (one of two to be completed for her birthday)
5. Travis' quilt for his bday in April
6. Wyatt's baby quilt for his bday in May
7. Will and Holly's wedding quilt for their anniversary in September
8. Joe's quilt for his bday in November

Besides the above quilts, I have fabric for a quilt for Samantha and a second quilt for Lyla. I've also got squares for a quilt for myself as well as a star quilt I started in my quilting class but didn't get finished. My hope is to finish all of these quilts in 2011.

Crumb blocks

This is Ginger guarding the quilt blocks for Angelika's quilt. If you have been to Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site, you are probably already familiar with "leaders and enders" as well as "crumbs". These blocks are called crumb blocks because they are made with tiny pieces, crumbs, of fabric. I have been working on these blocks since around August 2008. The final quilt will be going to my friend, Angelika. She knows all about it, so it's no surprise, she doesn't know when she'll be getting it. I make these squares as leaders and enders while working on other sewing or quilting projects, so they are going kind of slow right now, since I haven't been sewing or quilting for a while. Last night though, I made two blocks (see other blog post) for my Yahoo group exchange and was able to make nine 3 1/2 inch crumb blocks. I'll sew four of these blocks together to make one block like the ones in this photo. I'm not really sure how many blocks I need for the quilt but I think I'm pretty close to having enough for a personal size quilt or a wall hanging. I'm ready to pick the other fabrics for the finished quilt and start putting it together.

Quilting for All exchange blocks.

I'm super behind on my commitments for this exchange. I should be finished and have received my own blocks but helaas, I'm not finished so I have to wait to receive my blocks. I still have four more blocks to make. These two will go in the mail Monday (Jan. 10, 2011).