Irish Chain Twist Finish

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My lovely time with the Irish Chain Twist QAL came to an end on April 13. I’ve been waiting for the quilt parade to share my finish here. Do go take a look at the quilt parade on Melissa’s site. Everyone was so creative with their fabrics and quilting!

This QAL was well-planned and resulted in a quilt I absolutely love. Last time I posted (almost 3 weeks ago!) I had finished the flimsy and asked for some FMQ ideas. Thank you everyone who left me an idea. I really appreciate it. I played with all of your ideas and narrowed down my choice to what I thought my skill level could handle.

The first thing I did was enlarge and print a black and white copy of a picture of my quilt. Then I got to work doodling all over it.

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I decided to stitch in the ditch the blue x-blocks, echo the petals and then straight line quilt the negative space around it, and then make a swirly/flower shape over the chain blocks. I like the contrast of staight lines with the curved appliqué and the curvey quilting with the square chain blocks.

 

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Here is a close up of the finished quilt before I washed it. Once I washed it the FMQ became rather camera shy.

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The stitch in the ditch was surprisingly viible from the back, while the other quilting disappeared into my backing fabric.

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Here is the finished quilt after washing.

This quilt is now waiting for its new home. In a few weeks, it will be given to the special mom who stepped up to be team mom AND score keeper for my daughter’s softball team. My husband coaches, and I keep the scorebook- usually. This year I just couldn’t consistently be at softball because of the freshman baseball team’s practice and game schedule. When no one else came forward to keep score, this wonderful mom asked me to teach her how and sit with her when I could. She’s done a fantastic job and deserves some extra recognition and thanks.

Hope you’ve been working on something you love lately!


Two Weeks?!

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Wow. I didn’t realize I hadn’t written a blog post over the last two weeks. I’ve been sewing, but not making much progress – maybe that’s why. High school baseball started last week and softball practice has begun with opening day next weekend. I love these two sports, but they are a big time commitment compared to hour long soccer and basketball games. We had glorious weather for both baseball games last week. Baseball – spring weather how much better can it get?

Here’s my freshman baseball player. See what I mean? Gorgeous spring weather. I hope all of you in snowy places warm up soon.

baseball

Enough mom stuff.

I’m about 8 rows away from done with my Clambake clamshell quilt. If I put this to the side, I seem to loose momentum and have a terrible time picking it back up again. The quilt has gotten heavy, and I’m tempted to free motion my clamshell appliqué. If I change the stitching at this point, I think I will dislike it even more than I do now. This quilt has been a challenge, and when I finally finish it, I’ll tell you all my ups and downs. As this WIP is currently in a heap on a side chair in my bedroom – no picture updates.

Rachel (Stitched in Color), who hosted this QAL, had some traumatic baby news. The thoughtful Jodi at Tales of Cloth is organizing a “flower” collection (quilt) to show Rachel our love, so I stitched up a hexi flower, appliquéd it on a low volume square and mailed it off.

Eleni

I am keeping up with my Irish Chain Twist QAL. Melissa’s (Happy Quilting) pacing on this has been fantastic, and I’ve been able to complete each weekly step with no problem. We’ve completed two of the three different blocks so far.

final x-block

 X Block (supposed to be wonky – couldn’t do it)

Chain Block Twist on Tradition Patchwork (a happy cutting error created opportunity for me to add a little punch of orange to this block)

This week we should be starting the appliqué block. I’m curious how Melissa will have us do this step. I’m VERY slow at needle turn appliqué. Ten blocks with four petals may take me more than a week.

My March The Bee Hive bee block is at the post office and should be leaving for its new home today. My March queen bee chose the Wanta Fanta block using novelty prints and a low volume background. I enjoy paper piecing, but I think I wasn’t feelin’ it when I made this block. I had to make part of it twice when I realized that all four novelty prints shouldn’t go in one quadrant! Oops. New coaster for me.

wrong

Tried again, and then had some trouble lining things up. This isn’t a hard block to make. I probably should have put the project away until I was in a better creative mood, but I struggled on and finished. This photo turned out really blue for some reason, but it’s the only one I took and the block is at the Post Office. Sigh.

wantafanta

I’ve also been assembly-line sewing special wide open zippered pouches (tutorial by Noodlehead) in which to send my quilt block and some goodies to each month’s queen in my bee. I put in 9 zippers on Sunday. Bleh.

I’ve also been working on my New Hexagon Millefiore Rosette 3. The row I’m working on has some smaller pieces that take more time, so my progress has been slow. I have a few more hexagons to choose fabric for after this row. Working with yellow has been challenging. It surprises me how hard it is to find yellows that have the look I want. I’ve had to mix bright yellow, light yellow, and gold tones – not my favorite. Even though this isn’t turning out the way I imagined, in the big picture of the whole quilt it will be fine.

Rosette 3 progress

On to my assembly line. Sew forth!

 


Half-Baked

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I’ve been working through my list of quilt alongs in the last few weeks. In an attempt to not bore those of you kind enough to follow my blog, I haven’t been posting every little bit of progress here. I’ve posted a few things to Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook as was appropriate for that QAL. (You can see my Flickr and Instagram feed by clicking over on the right.) I think I’ve made enough progress to show you some pictures of my half-baked progress.

17 rows of clams for my Clambake QAL – halfway there.

Half Baked Clams

Irish Chain Twist QAL –  cutting done, x-blocks pieced, trimmed, pieced again. Tomorrow we start the next block.

trimmedhalf blocksfinal x-block

Mystery FMQ QAL – The mystery was solved – we made a thread sampler for ourselves. As it turns out, I don’t have much variety in thread. I use mostly cotton and a few polys when I want something thin (although I usually use these in the bobbin, not on top). Each spool is a different thread, and I’ve written the brand, fiber, and weight on each spool with a Micron pen. Lori also had us “write” the needle/thread guideline 80/50 in the top corner. (Not my best choice of thread color.) I’ve attached a thin binding and just need to sew it down on the back, and I can call this one done.

closeupFMQ almost done

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

 

 


Cut, Cut, Cut and FMQ QAL

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If you are stopping by from Vicki of 2 Bags Full Grow Your Blog, welcome. My post for the party is here.


Irish Chain Twist QAL

I took a break from the EPP rosette for February to cut fabric for this week’s assignment in Melissa of Happy Quilting’s Irish Chain Twist QAL. The cutting list looked daunting at first, but I kept at it and was actually able to cut all the pieces. Melissa’s cutting instructions are super easy to follow.

I even cut my binding today. I absolutely hate cutting binding after I have pieced and quilted. It feels like going backwards instead of forward towards completion. I’m sure that many of you do this all the time, but this is a first for me. I usually don’t have the forethought to pick out a binding fabric when I get started. Sometimes this is good, as I’ve changed tracks after piecing a quilt and not having binding fabric allows me to audition different options. More often though, I finish piecing and quilting and know exactly the direction I want to take the binding………….. and I can’t find the fabric I have my heart set on or I have none left from piecing and can’t find any more because I don’t know what it was called nor do I remember where I bought it. For this QAL I know that I want to revisit the orange that will be used for the appliqué blocks -easy, peasy, leamon squeezy.

Wow, I sure am wordy tonight. Cut to the picture. (See what I did there? Ha ha – snort.)ICT QAL step 2

Mystery Free Motion QAL

Lori of The Inbox Jaunt has added tasks to her Mystery Free Motion QAL. So far we have

  1. Zig-zagged across our mini to divide it into sections
  2. Practiced writing and then wrote our names and the date in the bottom rectangle.
  3. Cut out a paper spool template and practiced some filler patterns (I didn’t do anything that week – sigh)

Today’s assignment was to practice spools. I traced the template twice on my practice sandwich and then free-handed the rest. The fill had me a bit stumped. I quikly learned that looking up at the birds on the feeder was not conducive to quilting smoothly, so I kept my head down and filled my practice square. After practicing and warming up, we were to quilt one spool in the center rectangle.

*We weren’t supposed to write anything under the spool, but I have a hunch we will be exploring different weights  and types of thread, and I wanted a record of what I used.  (King Tut 3-ply/50 weight – a cotton thread) Here is my practice and progress. (Still hate those zig-zags)

FMQ Along

Now for a question. How do you keep track of your fabric (designer/design/where you bought it)? This was never an issue for me until recently when I posted a photo for a QAL and someone asked me what the fabric was. That time I had the selvedge. As mentioned earlier with binding, I am really bad at remembering where I bought the fabric, much less who designed it and what it is called. I’ve marvelled for quite some time now at the bloggers who know the names of all 50 fabrics they used in their gorgeous scrappy quilt. This will never be me. If you ask me, you might get “um, it’s called ‘Buy Me Because I’m Really Pretty’.

Believe me, I’ve tried to be more organized. I’ve tried…..

  • keeping a notebook
  • keeping a notebook with a swatch
  • taking pictures with my phone of the bolt end
  • making a label,
  • writing the info on a swatch and saftey pinning it to the fabric

None of these methods really sticks with me and none of them work if you happen to buy the fat quarter that didn’t have a marked selvedge.

So, do you keep track of your fabric’s name/designer/place of purchase? If you do, please share your method with me. Please.

 

 


Seriously -Somebody Stop Me

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If you are here from Vicki at 2 Bags Full Grow Your Blog party. Thank you for stopping by. My post for the party is here.

 

I have a terrible habit. I want to make practically EVERYTHING I see. I just love QALs and SALs, and FMQALs. I think I need a project 12 step program!

So what have I decided I needed to join today? The Irish Chain Twist QAL hosted by Melissa at Happy Quilting. You should check it out, if you need a new project (or even if you don’t). She has a whole book about Irish Chain quilts coming out for the spring. This is a different style than I’ve seen before. An Irish Chain quilt is on my ever lengthening to-do list, so why not?

Um……..because I have already involved myself in The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along – a monthly EPP project;  my first ever quilting bee – the Bee Hive Quilting Bee (which is closed to new members, but the block patterns are available to anyone); The Inbox Jaunt’s Free Motion Mystery QAL; Rachel of Stitched In Color’s Clambake QAL; and my own list of projects I made at the beginning of the year

  • La Pasacaglia ( check these beauties out on Pinterest
  • the Medallion Baby Quilt in Angela Pingel’s book A Quilter’s Mixology
  • a backpack for myself for a summer vacation
  • a few patterns I have for using my Quick Curve Ruler
  • a Snowman paper pieced wall hanging I never got to last holiday season
  • using up all my scraps and sewing through my stash
  • and, and, and, and

Some of these committments are helping with the “use my scraps and stash” goal, but sometimes you need a specific fabric for a specific project – ya know what I mean?

Oh well, I don’t have specific quilts or projects to make for any specific person (except the backpack, but I am designing my own frankin-backpack and don’t know if it will really work). All of these project commitments are learning opportunities for me, so why not?

Are your list of projects growing this year?