Friday, July 31, 2015

Curves & Cornerstones top finished!

One of my major quilting goals for this year has been to clear out some of the old UFO projects that have been hanging around. There are some that don't appeal to me anymore, and those need to get passed on to someone else or thrown out, but there are others that I still like very much. In most cases I got stuck because I couldn't make up my mind what direction to go and I didn't want to mess up and waste all the time and the fabric that had gone into the project up to that point.

The latest UFO to make an appearance is my Curves and Cornerstone quilt. This is my oldest UFO, dating back to a class I took in 1996! You can read more about the history of this project in THIS POST.

Over the past 10 days or so, I made an additional 12 blocks for this quilt, taking it from a square piece to rectangular. It now measures approximately 60" x 80", perfect for a throw quilt. I am so excited to have this quilt top together and ready to be quilted!

Curves and Cornerstones
59" x 79"

I had run out of two of my original fabrics for this quilt and had to find substitutes for them in order to make the extra blocks. Here is a closer photo that shows the fabrics better. The upper row of blocks is all original fabrics, and the lower row has the two replacements, one red and one white. I think they look pretty good in there.


I even pieced the back right away too. Not too difficult since it was only one long seam down the center, although I did match up the print.


It feels so good to get another UFO to this stage. I believe this is the 6th or 7th UFO to become a top so far this year. The pile of tops and backs ready to be quilted has gotten rather large. One of these days I will have to find someone to do some long-arm quilting for me and decide which quilt to have finished first.

I am linking up to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, WIPs Be Gone at A Quilting Reader's Garden, and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

I am also trying to help spread the news of a new linky party. Krista is hosting a quilty version of Throwback Thursday. Go to her blog on Thursdays to link up a post showing some of your early quilt projects (maybe pre-blog quilts?) and see other posts of quilts from the past. Yesterday I shared photos of my first quilt, made in 1995. You can see my post HERE, and join in on the fun at Krista's blog next Thursday.

Julie in GA

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quilting Throwback Thursday

This post was first published in late July of 2015, but I am linking it up now (8/4/2016) to Throwback Thursday at A Quarter Inch from the Edge.

 

It's time for the quilting version of Throwback Thursday over at Krista Quilts. Last Thursday Krista showed photos of one of her early quilt projects, and I suggested she host a linky party each week for Throwback Thursday. I'm so glad she decided to go ahead with the idea. I am looking forward to sharing photos and stories of early quilt projects.

It seemed like the place to start should be my first quilt. In 1994 I made a patchwork Christmas tree skirt for my mother. I had no prior quilting experience and made up my own pattern for the tree skirt. It's far from perfect, but I enjoyed the experience. 



After that, my sister Karen (who had been quilting for several years) suggested that we make a quilt together for our brother's wedding. One weekend in April, 1995, I met her at her house where she had picked out a few possible patterns. We decided to go with the Double Irish Chain, using Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day book as our guide. That same day we shopped for fabric, washed and dried it, then started cutting and piecing. Here is our first block.



How about those 90's fabrics? Actually, I still love the light background print. We kept working the rest of that Saturday and all day Sunday. By the end of Sunday we had the entire center of the quilt together. To tell the truth, I can't remember if we got the borders pieced and stitched on that weekend or not. It's possible that we got together another weekend to finish up.



We pieced the border of squares on point seminole style. It didn't turn out quite the right size, so we just trimmed it off at the length needed.



This was my first quilt experience, and I was immediately hooked! It has been a wonderful 20-year journey, and I am looking forward to sharing early, pre-blog projects on upcoming Thursdays.

Check out other Throwback Thursday quilt posts at Krista Quilts. Even better, add your own Throwback Thursday quilting post to the link-up.

Julie in GA

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Scrappy Design Wall

My design wall is currently covered with the beginning of a back for the scrappy quilt top that I showed last week (see it HERE.) The back is made from bigger chunks of the old fabric scraps that Mom has been saving. I cut the fabrics into 6-1/2", 8-1/2", and 10-1/2" strips. They will be pieced together into columns, then the columns will be joined together. I need a back that measures about 67" x 80", and there should be more than enough here.



I am linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework. Check them all out for lots of amazing quilting inspiration!

Julie in GA

Stash Report Sunday 7/26/15

It feels good to move back into black numbers this week. I made 12 blocks to add to my Curves & Cornerstones project, using 1.5 yards; you can see more about that in yesterday's post. I also used 3/8 yard for applique circle blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and 3 yards making pillowcases to go along with three Quilts of Valor. No stash additions this week.

          

TOTALS: 
Used this week:                4.875 yards     
Used year to date:              97.0 yards

Stashed this week:                  0 yards
Stashed year to date:         93.0 yards 

Net year to date:              4 yards used

Check out more stash reports at Patchwork Times.  


Julie in GA

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Red UFO

Several months ago I had the idea of working on old UFOs as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. My selection of which project to work on is based on our color of the month. Sometimes I don't have time for a UFO, but I have managed to make progress on a few. I have been anxiously waiting for our red month because I knew exactly which project I wanted to finish.

I call this quilt "Curves and Cornerstones." The pattern is a log cabin variation that was designed by Mary Ellen Hopkins. I started this quilt in a class in 1996! That's nearly 20 years ago! That means it is also one of my oldest UFOs because I started quilting in 1995. I was mostly working with fabrics from my stash, and I didn't have a lot to choose from back then.




I made 36 blocks to start with and joined them all together, giving me a panel that measured about 60" square. (You can't quite see the two sides in the above photo.) I played with lots of ideas for borders to make it big enough for my bed, but none of them were working for me. It didn't help that I had used up two of my fabrics. I packed the whole thing away in a box around 1998. It would reappear from time to time, but I never came up with any brilliant solutions to the border problem. 

A year or so ago I was photographing all of my UFOs and really enjoyed seeing this piece again. I pulled a couple of fabrics from my stash as possible substitutes for the ones that were used up. The new plan was to make 12 more blocks, adding a row to the top and bottom of what I already had, turning it into a good-sized throw quilt measuring around 60" x 80". 

So far I have made 8 blocks and have 4 left to finish. The following photo shows a row of new blocks along the top edge. I hope to finish the rest of the blocks sometime this weekend and get them all sewn to the quilt top. It will be such a satisfying feeling to turn this very old project into a quilt top.




Be sure to check out all of the wonderful scrappy projects featuring RED at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Julie in GA

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Design Wall Sunday/Monday 7/20/15


Yesterday I finished adding the final border to the third scrappy quilt top made from the collection of scraps my mother had saved for many years. Check out this post to see the other two tops. For this one, I made the grey outer border wider than the sashing strips--the sashing is 1.5" and the border will finish at 2.5".

One of the best things about making these quilts has been playing with all the wonderful old fabrics. Some we remembered quite easily what was made from them, and others were long forgotten. Here are some close-up shots of a few blocks.



Check out the two matching prints in the above photo--the dark pink with lighter pink flowers and the light green right next to it. My sister and I had matching dresses out of those fabrics plus the reverse of each (light pink background with darker pink flowers, etc.) My dress had the pink fabrics and hers was green. It was such fun to make something with them again!





As you can tell from a closer look, many of the fabrics date back to the 1960s and 70s, some even earlier. Mom refers to the oldest ones as B.C. (before children.) So many fun fabrics and just as many wonderful memories all put together! It has been a special treat making these quilts, and I can't wait to get them finished. Thanks Mom for hanging on to all those fabric scraps. I promise we'll get the rest out of your house before too long!

I am linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework. Check them all out for lots of amazing quilting inspiration!

Julie in GA

Stash Report Sunday 7/19/15

No change to my stash report this week. I have been doing lots of cutting, but not enough stitching to count anything. Maybe next week? 

              

TOTALS:
Used this week:                        0  yards     
Used year to date:            92.125 yards


Stashed this week:                  0  yards
Stashed year to date:          93.0 yards 

Net year to date:           .875 yards stashed

Check out more stash reports at Patchwork Times.  


Julie in GA

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Red Scraps for Saturday

Progress on my two projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge has been very limited due to being out of town for much of the month. Since I have so little to show that is finished, I will share a little about how I work on these scrappy quilts.

My strips are sorted by color in a way similar to Bonnie Hunter's Scrap User's System. You can read about her method and see photos HERE. I have three little rolling carts with 10 drawers in each, and they are all filled with my scrap strips, sorted by color and size. This keeps them nice and neat, which makes cutting go faster. Here are two of the drawers of reds--on the left are 1.5", 1.75" and 2" strips, the drawer on the right is all 2.5" strips.



Yesterday I pulled out my red 2.5" and 1.5" strips to cut pieces for my rainbow bowtie blocks. I went through the strips in those sizes, choosing the fabrics I want to use in these blocks. As usual, I have selected many more fabrics than I need!



When it's time for cutting, I like to work with three strips at a time, all folded in half. I pick out three 2.5" strips, then make sure I have matching 1.5" strips of the same fabrics. They get stacked up and are ready to be cut. I need one pair of squares of each size for one bowtie block, but since I have all these fabrics laid out and ready for cutting, I am cutting three sets of each fabric (if my strips are long enough.)



The next photo shows my pairs of squares cut from the three strips. You can see that one of the smaller squares is missing a corner. That is okay for this pattern, because I am stitching corner-to-corner on the small squares. 



The next photo shows all of the squares I have cut so far. The two groups on the left have both sizes matched up together, and the stacks on the right side are extra squares that will go into my bins of pre-cut squares, waiting for a future scrappy project.



Here are my first few red bowtie blocks all stitched up.


I now have enough red squares cut to make tons of beautiful bowtie blocks (once I add 2.5" squares of background fabric to the mix.) I hope to have more time in the next week to finish up the rest of my blocks for July.

Check out all of the terrific scrappy rainbow projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Julie in GA

Monday, July 13, 2015

Design Wall Monday 7/13/15

The Improv Scrappy blocks that my sister and I were making together last month have been joined together into a quilt top. We are planning to make a total of three throw quilts/wallhangings with our blocks.


Another group of blocks have been joined into this second top. This one includes a scrappy pieced border and will get a final wider border of the grey solid.



The fabrics in these blocks all came from many bags of scraps that date back several decades when our mother used to make clothing for all of us. We've had such a good time reminiscing about the garments that were made from these wonderful prints.

I am linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Timeswhere you can see all sorts of amazing quilting inspiration! I am also linking up to Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and with Scraptastic Tuesday hosted by Nicky at Mrs Sew and Sow.

Julie in GA

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Stash Report Sunday 7/12/15

Quilting time has been extremely limited this week, but I hope to make up for it next week. I did visit a quilt shop a few days ago and came away with some light neutrals. They aren't the most exciting when laid out together, but they are necessary additions for my many scrappy projects. 

              

TOTALS:
Used this week:                        0  yards     
Used year to date:             92.125 yards


Stashed this week:              1.75  yards
Stashed year to date:          93.0 yards 

Net year to date:              .875 yards stashed

Check out more stash reports at Patchwork Times.  


Julie in GA

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Scrappy Circle Saturday

Thanks to Angela, our hostess for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, for organizing a mid-year review where everyone posted photos of their rainbow projects. You can see all the posts HERE. There were so many wonderful designs posted that make me want to start lots of new rainbow projects right away!

I haven't been doing any machine stitching this week, but there has been plenty of time for hand applique in the car. I have completed seven red circle blocks, plus the last two turquoise blocks left from last month. There are several more red circles ready to be stitched.


Check out all of the terrific scrappy rainbow projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. On Sunday I will also be linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.

Julie in GA

Monday, July 6, 2015

Design Wall Monday 7/6/15

It has been so much fun participating in Alycia's Quilt of Valor quilt-along called "Starry Night for Josh." It seems appropriate to share my progress after the July 4th weekend. All the different parts have been made and are ready to be joined together.

The first photo shows the layout Alycia used. I like her design, especially the small white stars inside the large red stars, but I decided to play with some other layout ideas.



For my final choice, the blue and gold nine-patch blocks have been arranged in a more diagonal setting rather than the two parallel rows. I like the movement this brings to the quilt.



Thanks to Alycia for the terrific quilt-along. I can't wait to get these blocks all sewn together! 

I am linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Timeswhere you can see all sorts of amazing quilting inspiration! I am also linking up to Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt.

Julie in GA

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Stash Report Sunday 7/5/15

I made a very happy discovery while calculating my stash report for the week. Not only did I use 5.5 yards of fabric on various projects this week, but I had forgotten to count my usage on the May blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge--that's another 1.25 yards out! 

Here's the tally for the week:
Alycia's Starry Night for Josh     2.75
2 pairs of pj shorts                    2.5
RSC Circles--May & June           .625
Rainbow Bowties--May              .875

My husband loves the Atlanta Braves, and I am a big fan of the Milwaukee Brewers. Whenever they play each other, we consider it the "family feud." Last week I made us each a pair of shorts representing our favorite teams. Since I counted these fabrics as additions to my stash last month, they are being counted on the usage side now.                


TOTALS:
Used this week:                    6.75  yards     
Used year to date:             92.125 yards


Stashed this week:                   0  yards
Stashed year to date:         91.25 yards 

Net year to date:              .875 yards USED

Check out more stash reports at Patchwork Times.  


Julie in GA

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rainbow Scraps in Red

Our color for July at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is red, which makes me very happy. I have tons on red scraps, and my rainbow blocks need some fiery warm color added to the mix.

So far this week, I have prepped a batch of circles for my applique blocks. Some are all pressed and ready to be stitched down, the rest need to be basted around the outside edge before pressing.




Happy July 4th to all the quilt lovers out there in blog land!

Check out all of the terrific scrappy rainbow projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. On Sunday I will also be linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.


Julie in GA

Mid-Year Rainbow Report

Angela is our hostess for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and she has suggested a mid-year update on our rainbow projects. I can't wait to see what everyone has gotten done so far this year. The months are just flying past!

I recently added borders to one of my rainbow projects from 2014. This is my scrappy LeMoyne Star quilt top. I will probably use the same striped fabric for binding as the inner border, although it might end up being a darker black with white print like the cornerstones. The star blocks finish at 12".

Rainbow LeMoyne Stars
53.5" x 68"


My two rainbow projects for 2015 have been bowtie blocks and appliqued circles. For the bowties, I am making between 40 and 50 blocks every month. I will end up with enough for a huge quilt or a few smaller ones. I haven't figured out what I will do with them yet, but I always enjoy making bowties. There are too many blocks to put them all up on the wall, but I will try to get a photo with a sampling of all the colors soon.

The rainbow project that I am most excited about is my appliqued circles. The pattern is called "True Colors" and it is by Nancy Mahoney from her book Simple Circles and Quick Curves.  The first time I saw a photo of Nancy's quilt, I knew that it would be a great rainbow project. Her pattern is written for machine applique, but I have been stitching mine by hand. It has been the perfect project while riding the train to work or for travel. Like any applique work, I just need to have everything prepped in advance. Here is what is done so far. This one just keeps getting better! 




Check out all of the terrific scrappy rainbow projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. It's so much fun to see what everyone has done so far this year!

Julie in GA
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