And so here is the first one done. I am pretty confident I can get these done before the end of the month.
It's a new month, so it's a new task from my list of 12 (no, 12 is not all I have!) unfinished projects for All People Quilt. The number chosen for March is #12. Cat Coasters.
I call these coasters, many people call them mug rugs. Mine measure 5" x 6" and as you can see, I have four sets of cat coasters that are all done. Except for......wait for it......The cats! The problem was, the reason I quit at this point was:
This little piece of copper foil will not be big enough for 16 cats. Needing to treat more copper was reason enough for me to set the coasters aside and move on to something else! :-) But now it's my task. So I get out my tools. Fireplace bricks to lay the copper sheet on, sand for texturing (my husband brought me 2 different grain sizes), and butane and the cooking torch for firing.
Heating the copper changes it from a flat color
to something with other colors and textures.
Much more interesting. You can see the outlines of my cats that are traced on the backside.
And so here is the first one done. I am pretty confident I can get these done before the end of the month.
Finally! A monthly project I will get done. One out of three. If this was baseball, I would have a HUGE contract! :-D
The Persimmon Dreams challenge this week is, "A Well Dressed Man". My first inclination was to not accept the challenge. But you know how it is, your subconscious brain starts working and the next thing you know, you have an idea.
I started thinking, not about a well dressed man, but about my man. He's more of a flannel and jeans kinda guy. But he really thinks he's styling' when he puts on his red corduroy shirt (because he thinks he looks good in red) and a new(ish) pair of blue jeans. So here's MY Ohio Star:
Yup. Denim, red corduroy, and flannel. I have a hard time with the idea of making something that has no purpose. So I decided to make a piece that is large enough for me to give away. A group of ladies that I sew with (loosely called "The Good Deed Quilters) make quilts that we give away. And at Christmas time we take the quilts made in the second half of the year to the homeless shelter for women and children in Cleveland. And so I made this week's challenge large enough to give to that.
It's about 47" x 59". I got it sewn together and layered up by the end of the day on Tuesday, and I was quite sure there was no way I would get this done by the end of the week. But I also knew that if I didn't press on, using that deadline, this top would end up on next year's unfinished quilt list!
So I started quilting. By Thursday evening, I knew I could get it done in time for the challenge, except that I was going to babysit a 2 month old baby on Friday. Now, my belief about babies is that they need to be held as much as possible. Especially while they sleep. This only applies to other people's babies though, not your own. Don't be crazy! YOUR child cannot get the idea that they can only sleep if they are being held. But other people's babies? Um, yuh! So I was back to the idea of not getting it done. Then the dad came and picked him up early. Hmmm. Not sure he was held enough, but I had to let him go. :-D
So here it is. Done.
It is not flat. First of all, it is not square, which contributes. And the quilting probably didn't help. If I had quilted the straight lines along the rows first, that would have probably helped. But I didn't in the interest of saving time.
But the bigger problem, I think, is the issues that come with using flannel as I did. First of all, not all of the fabrics were prewashed. Some were, some weren't. It depends on when in my quilting career I collected each piece. I also didn't spray the pieces with sizing to give them more stability. Just didn't think of it until late in the process. And to top it off, there are different weights of flannel and some are woven and some are printed on. So, too much stuff going on there.
What I do know is that some young boy will get this quilt and it will be soft against his skin, and warm at night, and it will be HIS. And he won't care if it's flat or square. And that is more important.
Anyway, after noon CST (that's 1 p.m. for us in the Eastern Time Zone!) you can go to Persimondreams.blogspot.ca and vote for your favorite quilts. And I will be back soon with my March Unfinished Quilt project! ;-)
My February unfinished quilt project was the Lone Star that I started around the turn of the century (I love being able to use that phrase!). And I was feeling pretty good about my ability to actually get it completed in the month.
By February 11th, I had put the new borders on. Pieced the backing,
and got it layered up for quilting. I was feeling pretty confident. That may have been a mistake! The next week was a Persimmon Dream Challenge week, so no quilting was done on the Lone Star.
Last week I quilted, but it takes a lot longer to quilt each of the diamonds in a star than I had appreciated. So, it took me until Friday just to quilt the star.
For the corner squares and triangles I wanted to do a traditional feathered wreath, but when I started researching the best way to do that, I found out that pretty much everybody was using a stencil to mark the wreath. I was hoping for a way to avoid that. If I had a bunch of time to practice, I probably could have worked out the kinks of just drawing the circle and doing my own feathers, but color me "not confident enough" in my machine quilting skills to wing it, and not willing to take the time to take the time to practice. I know. I am a lazy person who just wants to do things well the first time out of the gate! :-) And we know the chances of that being a successful strategy!
I have a quilting stencil that is the right size for the square (10 1/2 inches), and while it is not a truly traditional pattern, I just went ahead and used it in the interest of expediency. I did (while driving home from the quilt shop) have the brilliant idea of making a small quilt sandwich and doing a practice run, but by the time I got home and got to George, that brilliant idea was totally out of my head. Surprising, huh?! Until I was about halfway through the first square and I wasn't feeling a good flow! Then I remembered. Figures!!!!
It doesn't look so bad, but I'm sure that by the time I get to the fourth (and last!) square, it will be much better! That, however will not happen soon. The month is over, and I will go on to the March challenge. Maybe if it's not a big project, I can get it done and come back to the Lone Star.
In the meantime, it's another one week challenge. The prompt is "A Well Dressed Man." I got an idea. I made a plan, sort of. Okay it's really more of a sketch of a plan! But I am on my way!
The challenge this week was based on the title "Color". It's pretty grey in Wisconsin this time of year, so the challenge was to pump up the color. Right in my wheel house! A quick way to accentuate color is to frame it with black. But I didn't want to do that. So I chose a deep eggplant piece of fabric from off of my shelf (which looks pretty much like black in this picture, but it's not!), and then added my colors.
Since I did not have a well defined plan, and I cut generously. I came to regret that decision, when I ended up not having enough of the eggplant fabric to make the size I wanted. Grrr! I auditioned a navy blue, and solid black.
Not working for me. So off to the quilt shop I went. (Darn that nasty bit of luck! :-D) What I found was a good dark blue and black stripe-ish print that I thought worked quite well.
When I got the top completed, I thought it looked like Chinese (or are they Japanese?!) lanterns, and so that made my quilting decision easy....as far as the colored areas went. Then I saw a fun spiral quilting design featured on Lori Kennedy's blog, "The Inbox Jaunt", and thought that could be fun. And so there we go. Finished.
You can go to persimmondrreams.blogspot.ca vote for your favorite quilts from this past week.
Well, I got it done! But since I didn't really start until Thursday afternoon, it should come as no surprise, that not much else got done around here! ;-)
Anyway, working off of my picture of the ladder, I made this little beauty and I let the background fabric do much of the work of portraying the trees in our backyard. I enjoyed the quilting, though it doesn't really show from much of a distance. It is 26" x 42", and I am pleased with the end result. So here it is.
Now for the hardest task of all. Trying to remember how to link this up to the challenge site! Since I didn't participate in the second challenge, it has been a whole month since I did this. :-D
I took 9 days off and went to Wisconsin for my nephew's wedding (a big shout out to the newlyweds, Mike and Rachel Holzschuh!). We had a good time and got to see LOTS of family members. But that makes for a short month with a big project. I did not get the APQ Challenge project done, but I did get the top completed. That was a good bit of progress for me.
The new project is #8 on the list.
The Lone Star. I started the lone star quilt back in 1999 for a window display for Erie Street Fabrics. We were doing a political theme and I made this for the Republican side of the ticket. I do not remember if there was a Democrat offering, but it is possible that since I was in charge of the window display, that it was just blatant partisanship! ;-D
Originally, in the top border there were "W"s, and in the bottom border, there were the GOP elephants. I am no longer interested in the political statement, but I do like lone star quilts. The "w"s and elephants were fused on and while I could get them off, they left color residue on the quilt.
I tried washing them out. I even used Dawn dishwashing liquid like a friend (thank you, Mary Ann) suggested might do the trick. It did not. So now the fix will be to take off the borders and put on something else. That will be the first task towards getting this quilt done this month.
The other challenge in which I am participating, has as it's theme, "texture". So looking at texture and pattern, I snapped a picture out my kitchen window.
Wait. Doesn't everyone have a tall ladder leaning against the back of their house?! Anyway, I thought I could make this work. The larger challenge to me, is to work small enough that I can make a complete quilt by Saturday. I have check again to find out what time the deadline is. In any case, it will be a real sewing frenzy going on in my studio for the next 3 days!
Here's another unfinished beauty!
But it is mostly done! I sent off my entry form for the Lake Metroparks Farmpark Quilt show this morning. Yes, this was the last day to do that. So I don't even know if it will get in. They only accept a certain number of quilts and so it is quite possible that I waited too long. But I am going to finish it this week, just in case! All I need do is put on the binding and attach the hanging sleeve on the back. Then tie up a few loose threads and I am done.
So now it is time for you, friends, family, even total strangers, to go to persimondreams.blogspot.ca to vote for your 10 favorite quilts from last week's challenge. Mine is #59, and of course I would love it if you would (and tell ALL your friends!) give me one of your votes. There are prizes awarded, and I adore winning prizes! :-)
I told you at the beginning of the month that I had mentally made the committment to two online challenges. And you saw the first one from the start to the finish of week 1. So now I will tell you about the second challenge that I am participating in. I know, the sentence should read, "so now I will tell you about the second challenge in which I am participating." English majors out there can calm down. ;-) But I digress.
The second challenge comes from allpeoplequilt.com/resolution. The premise is that you make a list of 12 unfinished quilting (or other) projects and number them one through 12. APQ assigns a random number for each month, and you work on that numbered item from your list. For January they chose the number 6. As you can see from my list, that is the quilt, "Ask, Seek, Knock".
Lucky for me, that is not the largest unfinished project I have on my list.......only my second largest unfinished project. Yea!!! Start out big!!! Yea! ;-( Yea.
I am pretty sure that you, dear readers, do not have my whole catalog ingrained in your memory banks (why should you?), so I will refresh and recap.
It started with a picture.
This is how far I got before I put it aside for many other things. The door is made out of some hand dyed fabrics I bought on line from cherrywoodfabrics.com, a couple of lovely women from Minnesota. The rest of the fabric comes from the infamous stash. Don't cry Honey, think of it as extra insulation on that outside wall! :-D
The quilt is larger than I usually work, 72" x 90" because I wanted the door to look like you could actually walk through it. It is NOT large enough to actually walk through. Well, I could. But most people (think average or above heighth) could not.
I have the floor boards for the unfinished side done, but now I have to complete the piecing of the blue background. ALOT of work yet to happen. I do not think I will get this quilt out of the UFQ pile this month, but I should be farther along the path than when the month started. So that's good, right? It's progress. :-)
I will let you know how it goes!
Now to try and learn a new skill......linking up to the challenge site. I'll let you know how it goes! :-D
I did it! I did it! With the expert help of my good friend, Mary Huey, I got linked up. The last thing you need to know about this quilt is that the title is: 7 Dots and 1 Stripe, and the finished size is 45" x 30".
So this whole thing starts with a theme. This week's theme is "8". And. oh, I'm sorry! I meant to identify where you can find this challenge, just in case you wanted to jump in next week. Or any week between now and the end of March (I think). If you go to PersimmonDreams.com, it is call Project Quilting Challenge.
Anyway, back to me! ;-) I decided to use polka dotted fabrics and my idea was to have 7 polka (love the dots AND the dance!) dots, and one striped fabric. Seven dots and one stripe equals eight. So if you look at Monday's post you can see that I picked the dots and the background, but I didn't come up with a stripe from my stash of fabrics that made me happy. So I was going to go to a quilt shop that I was quite sure would have the perfect stripe. This particular shop is closed on Mondays, so I would go on Tuesday. Interestingly enough, even though it wasn't posted on her website (grrr), the owner had decided to have the carpet cleaned and so the shop was closed on Tuesday. Wasted trip. BUT on Wednesday she was open again (I called ahead to make sure!), and so I went again and I shopped. I found some more polka dots I liked. And in my defense, I am thinking that if at all possible I will use dots in all of the challenges and then the quilts will be a series. Am I right?
But I did not find a stripe I liked. I did get a quarter yard of a piece of fabric that worked for me color wise, but I couldn't quite make it work as a title.....7 Dots and Some Flowers? That "some" doesn't make any "8" sense. So I am really glad I only got a quarter yard!
Well, then I had to go searching through my stash again. I could use a plaid. 7 Dots and a Plaid still works. In the end I spent far too much time angsting over what to choose. I auditioned several different plaids and some stripes that had not been previously considered.
None of these. But I did end up with one that would work.
When I was considering whether or not to engage in this challenge, I was pretty unsettled about the idea of being able to come up with a plan, do the work and complete a quilt in a single week. But I got the top done, and the back done yesterday.
I was origingally going to use this purple polka dot in the top, because I really like this piece of fabric. It is O-L-D, and I have really liked it for too many years (It is from the last century! ;-D). I know this because it had some pretty ugly fade marks along the fold lines.
So there was nothing left to do but cut around the fade lines and use the poor thing up. So now there are just a few little scraps in my scrap bin awaiting their turn in a scrap quilt. And the stripe is the one I chose for the front, and now it too is completely off of my shelves and the bits and pieces are in the scrap bin.
I layered up the quilt this morning, and this afternoon I completely quilted it. You might notice, if you compare which dots ended up in the quilt against the picture of the dots that I had originally chosen, that a couple got changed.
Tomorrow I will square it up, put on the binding and sew in the thread ends. It will be done in time for me to try and learn how to post the final picture using Flickr before 11 a.m. CST on Sunday......... I'm hoping for one of the prizes! Hey! It doesn't hurt to hope!