Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Michael Miller Challange quilt

I still haven't found out what I can show so for now you will only get little peeks of this quilt. There are 25 blocks that will finish at 9 1/4" x 13 3/4". Yes, that seems like a weird size, but it was the biggest block I could get after trimming all the block made with fat eights. There was one of the Michael Miller fabrics in the free fabric that was very small even for a fat eighth so that was the piece that dictated the size. Over all the quilt will be approximately 47" x 68". I have just about 5 blocks quilted with only these three pink stripes to quilt before I have 5 blocks done.

I am using a variety of quilting threads - Connecting Threads Essentials, Coats and Clark Star, Mettler, and Marathon.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A busy three days

Thursday night was Artist Appreciation night at the gallery where my piece "Where's Jimmy?" is hanging. There was a big crowd and I got to talk to a lot of people and explained the story behind my quilt. Several of the MQG members came. Stephanie snagged me a cake pop as there were lots of appetizers and free wine.

Of course I had no time to take any pictures or eat. Another MQG member, Joanna, also came and she gave me a spool of quilting thread. I had given her a spool of Connecting Threads Essential at our meeting so she could try it out and she had an extra small spool of Presencia which I have never used. I will have to try it out.

Friday was all about running errands and sewing together the blocks for the Michael Miller challenge quilt. Saturday Stephanie came over so she could use my table to pin baste the quilt she showed at our last meeting.

I had the blocks for the Miller challenge quilt on the design wall and asked Stephanie what she thought about it as well as the other arrangements that I had taken pictures of. I was kind of stuck. I think working with these pastels has got me thrown. Stephanie rearranged a few of the blocks and came up with a solution for me. I don't know if I can show the quilt or not. I didn't see anything in the rules that you can't but I want to make sure before I do so here is just a taste. I got the quilt top sewn together, pin basted, and the quilting started. Here is before I quilted the white areas and after.

For the binding you were allowed to use a Michael Miller print. I really didn't find a well priced print, but I found this tone on tone for the back and my binding will be a solid color.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

MQG meeting

The five of us had a fun meeting last evening. Here are some of the items brought for show and tell.

Stephanie's commission quilt

She took the scraps and pieced the back

June made this cute Halloween table runner. She did a great job!

Joanna made this wonderful small quilt with striped fabric from her husband's shirts.

She finished this small quilt combining left over pieces from other projects.

Then she showed this top that she cut up a convergence top and added some batik fabric she had made plus other fabrics.

I showed the two Halloween quilts.

Yesterday I received my order from Fabric.com. I needed some quilting thread for my Michael Miller challenge piece and a couple of colors for another quilt for QuiltCon. They also had Halloween fabric on sale so I got a little extra of the white fabric I will be using in my Moda QuiltCon piece and I needed a dark Halloween piece for binding it.

Tonight is Artist appreciation night for the Akron Art Prize so I will be spending a couple of hours greeting visitors and answering any questions about my piece "Where's Jimmy?" I already know I have at least one person I know coming. My piece was shown in the newspaper which was pretty cool even though they did not mention my name.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dress is fixed and blocks are sewn

I needed to get my friend's dress fixed so last night I did work on it. It wasn't as bad to fix as I thought. After I got the facing opened up it was just a matter of shortening the strap of the dress by machine, pressing, a bit of trimming, and reattaching the facing by hand. I tore more out on the first strap than I needed to so for the other strap the job went much quicker.

I did get my first two blocks for the Michael Miller challenge quilt sewn. This yellow was not one of the fat eighths they sent me. I wanted to add a few deeper colors. This one is called citrus.

Once I get a few more blocks made I will work on the arrangement. Here is the pile in the meantime. I plan on taking Friday off again so guess what I will be working on!

One nice perk with the Akron Art Prize was an opportunity to get a discount on business cards from MOO.com. I had bought cards from them years ago, but I needed more. They have different sizes and are totally customized. I bought the mini cards and put several different quilts on them. You download your pictures and can crop them any way you want. Even on these small cards I was able to get my email address, blog address, and my name on them. Why the white card? Well, that was a mistake. Somehow the picture (a crop of the Where's Jimmmy? quilt) got lost in transmission. I contacted MOO and they are printing me new cards! Thank you MOO.com!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What story does this picture tell?

I washed the fabric for the QuiltCon Michael Miller Cotton Couture challenge - my LAST CHALLENGE! Here is the first block cut. I haven't decided what configuration that my blocks will take. That decision will come as I get more blocks made and put them on the design wall.

I have been making time for myself every day since last Friday to get in some form of exercise. I will be working at Miller's Dry Goods Quilt Shop for a couple of days next month and I need to get some stamina. I sit at day at my job and it is killing me. Last night it was working out to my exercise tape which uses weights. It was a struggle, but I got thru it. The bottle of Excedrin was for this morning. It will get better every day; I just have to be patience.

Monday, September 22, 2014

17th finish for 2014

I finished the purple and gray Halloween quilt.

Besides working on the Halloween quilt I spent time this weekend working in the yard. After seeing a show on PBS, I realized I needed to mulch around my pine trees. Three of these trees were free with a mail in coupon. The were just a stick when I got them 10 years ago. I had to replace one two years ago, the one that had the cage around it. I think it got rust. Here they are before.

After three hours crawling around in the wet grass, I got the grass and weeds pulled from under the trees, put down landscaping fabric, and mulched each tree keeping the mulch away from the tree trunks. I don't know it this made them any happier, but they don't have to compete with the grass and weeds for the moisture around their roots. I will have to put the cage back around the small tree to keep anyone cutting thru the yard this winter from stepping on it.

Tonight I have to work on fixing that dress.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More progress on the Halloween quilt

I had company last evening so I only got a little over one block quilted last evening. So now I have 22 1/4 blocks done with 7 3/4 blocks to quilt.

My company brought me a dress that she needs the shoulders taken up in a dress. She needs it for next Saturday so I will be fixing it this weekend. I am taking tomorrow off for another 3 day weekend this month.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Halloween progress

I got two more blocks quilted so that is 21 out of 30 done. I only have a little bit of the dark gray thread I have been using left, so once I run out of it I will switch to a medium gray. I may happen in the middle of the next block, but I think it will be fine.

I need to read announcements thoroughly and not just speed thru them. What am I talking about? Well, I opened up the pieces for the Michael Miller challenge and they are only fat eights! What the heck am I going to do with that little bit of fabric?

I had designed a quilt in my head for FQs. I was thinking about this while I was in the shower this morning and have come up with another idea. I had bought an additional 2 1/2 yards of snow, half yards of aqua, peony, citrus, and mango Cotton Couture to go with the fat eights.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Progress on the Halloween quilt, Michael Miller fabric and weeds

I received my free 8 FQ of Michael Miller fabric for the last challenge I ever plan on participating in.

Here I spread them out so you could see all the colors and the other row is the fabric I bought to add. There is no way I could make a quilt only using 8 FQs.

I did do a bit a weeding last evening until it was raining too hard. Here is the before with lots of thistle

and here is the after. My Shasta daisies which kind of look like a weed, are doing well and that is the green that remains after tearing out the thistle. They are a perennial. Since I grew them from seeds I didn't know if they were going to flower. One plant did flower and I expect next year the rest will bloom. I would have weeded more except for the rain. At least this section is done.

I did get 3 more blocks quilted on the gray and purple Halloween quilt. 19 blocks are done and 11 to go.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm done ... Finishes 15 and 16 of 2014

What am I done with? Challenges. The here are my two Farm to Fabric challenge projects that were not accepted.

I do have the Michael Miller challenge that I already promised I would participate in so I will honor my commitment, but that is it - no more. Universe - I got the message - my work is not wanted.

I got 16 out of the 30 blocks quilted on the gray and purple Halloween quilt.

I took a vacation day on Friday. The garage door repairman came and fixed my door. He replaced both springs so now I am back in business. This morning I noticed that one of my headlights is out. Darn, one more things I need to get fixed.

Saturday night the band had a gig. They played from 8 to 11 p.m., but I got there about 5:45 to help unload the equipment. The show went great. I sold a bunch of CD's, t-shirts and guitar picks.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Progress on the gray & purple Halloween quilt and updates

I went over to my brother's after work expecting to have to clean, but his cleaning lady finally called him and she was at the house when I arrived. YEAH! I changed a light bulb, made the bed, set out the towels, and pick up the mail and I headed home. I had started to rain and about half way home it was pouring! At times I couldn't see a thing. Here there were tornado warnings out. It was still pouring when I got home. Right now I have to help my garage door open because Sunday the right spring broke.

So I had to get out of the car in the pouring rain to help the door open and then get back in the car to move it into the garage. As soon as I was done the rain changed to a sprinkle! Oh well, at least my car got washed off.

I did get a bit of the gray and purple quilt pin basted after I pressed it a bit. I got the bottom two rows pinned.

I untapped the backing for the bottom two rows so I could drop the leaf of my table down. Now I can reach the middle block to pin.

I was looking in my thread stash for quilting thread for this quilt and this is what I came up with.

I just don't buy purple fabric thus I don't have much in the way of purple thread. I will make it work.

We ended up getting 1 1/4" of rain yesterday and today we have a 66% chance of rain. When I got to work there was a break in the clouds - so beautiful.
I turned the other direction and there was nothing but gray clouds.

That little bit of blue sky is long gone now and it is very overcast.

I still have not heard if either of my pieces have been picked for the Farm to Fabric Challenge. I was suppose to hear by Sept. 5.