Binding and Buying

You guys, I have not sewn a single thing of my own this week. I've quilted and attached binding on multiple large quilts. And spent lots of money.

First up is the quilts. These all belong to Ann. This first one is a set of pillow shams. Quilting design is Windswept and I used a variegated Fantastico thread at her request. I don't typically offer variegated because it is significantly more expensive than solid thread and the colorways are so specific that it's not a sound financial decision to just buy them to have on hand. I don't usually charge a thread fee except in situations like this where I have to buy something out of the ordinary. It does look cool though.

This is a king size batik quilted with the Malachite design. I wish you could see the whole quilt in person. The colors are gorgeous. Thread is Glide Cool Mint. 
And the matching pair of pillow shams.
The next one is quilted with A Fishy Tail. I did this one in a pretty small scale, which took forever. It looks really cute though, so it was worth it. Thread is Glide Pearl.
And this last one is quilted with Fall Foliage using Glide Sand thread. I'm working on attaching binding to the front of all the quilts (plus her Melodic and her t-shirt quilt with minky backing from last week). 
My husband and I took a day last week to go on the Indiana Quilter's Trail Shop Hop. I spent way too much money. The shops were mostly around the Indianapolis area and included a few I'd never been to. I rarely go out anywhere anymore other than guild meetings, appointments, my recent IKEA trips, and very occasionally to grocery shop. So this was a big deal in a way. 

The shops were Not Your Average Quilter (male-owned and worth the trip), Quilts Plus (relocated and tiny but great curated selection), True Cotton Company (different brands than everyone else), Quilt Quarters (under different ownership and very transformed since I'd last been there--huge selection), Always in Stitches (only place that sells Fig Tree from what I can see), Crimson Tate (most fun always), and Back Door Quilts (celebrating 50 years in business this year 🀯). 

Here are all my shop hop kits and other shop freebies. Amanda Castor designed the quilt. Wanna take bets on how long it takes me to complete this top?
I did find a quilt backing for one of my very oldest unfinished quilts. I wasn't planning to buy anything for that, so I had to call my daughter and have her measure the quilt top so I could calculate what I needed. I still love this quilt even though it was one of my first and the points don't match and/or are cut off. 

I was specifically looking for Riley Blake Swiss dots for a quilt backing and no one carried that line. I was totally surprised by that--I consider it a basic. Luckily I was able to order it from Fat Quarter Shop online using a gift certificate I won in the Loves Me, Loves Me Not QAL. That worked out well since the backing is for that quilt. πŸ˜„ 

I was trying to be really focused and buy backing fabric and the shop hop kits, are my impulse buys. My husband encouraged me on these. The green fat quarter with the words was a freebie from Mike Stephens' shop. Several of the fabrics I bought from Crimson Tate were on sale and the text fabric was a remnant.
Something I was surprised by is how much the cost of fabric has increased. I shouldn't be surprised because I know how much thread and batting costs have risen over the past few years, but the $15/yard fabrics shocked me. This should be good incentive for me to use what I have. I've been trying to anyway, but this was a special occasion, I guess.

We also stopped at IKEA to buy cabinet doors. It was conveniently right along our route. Our project isn't quite complete yet, but here is a sneak peek of the custom walnut legs my husband made. 

The OMG March finish link up is still open for a few more days and the April goal link up opens on Saturday. I think I've decided on my April goal and I shared my March completion on the finish link up post--the last post I wrote before this one if you haven't seen it yet. I'm hoping to find some spare time to go look at all the finishes soon.

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation and  For the Love of Geese.

March One Monthly Goal Finish Link Up

 It's time to link up your March finish.

This link up will remain open until March 31 at 11:55 pm EST. Remember, you can link up from either my post or Patty's at Elm Street Quilts and your link will show up in the same link party. 

Want to see everyone's goals? Check out the March goal page

My goal for March was to keep up with the Loves Me, Loves Me Not QAL. I'm happy to say that I met my goal for the month. I worked ahead a bit and completed next week's block and the entire quilt top this week!

Now it's your turn to share your finish. Please add a link to this OMG post so that others can follow where you are linking.  Just paste this into your post:

Stories from the Sewing Room One Monthly Goal March Finish Link Up

Take a few minutes to visit others and make new friends!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Home & Sewing

Last week we took a trip to one of my favorite places. 

We got really lucky because every single thing we went in for was in stock or able to be ordered and delivered within a few days. You might recall me discussing our 10-month quest to gather parts for a closet remodel. {Which hasn't even been started yet...} I've noticed that a lot of things have really gone up in price here, too. But I still love the simplicity and use of space.

We underestimated the size of some of the boxes. Everything just barely fit in the car.

My son was very excited that the desk he wanted was in stock. We didn't think that would be the case based on the website. It said the desktop wasn't in stock. They had tons. We did get the last Alex unit though. He has resurrected our ancient Mac (not pictured) and made himself a little workplace.

We are doing some customization on all the other pieces we purchased. My husband's been hard at work in the garage. Hopefully by next week I will have a clean living room with new, customized furniture that I can share. 

I had a bit of an accident with my sewing chair last week. It had been making horrible noises  every time I moved for a few months. I was talking to my husband on the phone, told him my chair felt funny, and boom. Down I went. The chair broke in half. I did not drop the phone, but my daughter was upstairs and heard me thud onto the floor. I bruised up my arm/elbow pretty good, but nothing else. The chair base used to connect there.

I already had a replacement chair picked out, but it turns out it is discontinued, so no chair for me. My husband found (he thinks) a replacement part for my existing chair. It's on order and I might get it within a month. We'll see. I'm back to using my antique bench, which is quite comfortable, but stationary. So I keep moving it back and forth between the computer and the sewing machine.

I've done a very small amount of personal sewing this week. I made some small throw pillows for our chairs.  This project has been in the purchased-but-not-started category since November. That's actually a pretty short time for me. The big delay came because I couldn't figure out how to insert the zippers. I finally found a tutorial here that made sense. 

There are a few changes I would make. The biggest one is that I would have serged all the raw edges first. I also would have taken more time to center the stripe pattern on the pillows, but when I cut them out I was more concerned with lining up the stripes on both sides and I didn't have a lot of the upholstery fabric because it was expensive. 

Even though I lined up the zippers and matched centers and edges and so forth, when I sewed the zipper using the invisible zipper foot for my machine, the pattern did not line up. I took more care with the second pillow than the first and it still did not line up. Perhaps this is where the built in even feed on some machines would be useful?

I was successful at lining up the pattern on the tops of the pillows, so that was good enough.

The only other personal sewing I achieved this week is completing the next two blocks of the Loves Me, Loves Me Not QAL.

I did quilt a few quilts.

First is the quilt I teased last week. Paula expertly pieced this one and it is my most favorite quilt I've been sent ever. πŸ˜ƒ It's a quilt full of Harry Styles! How fun is that!?! The quilting design is Interlocked Orange Peel. 

This is an interesting pattern because the line drawing looks like this:

But when you zoom in all the way, it looks like this:

So the challenge is to try to get the intersections to line up as closely as possible to give the illusion of touching, but they will probably never touch. Here's a detail shot of one of my own quilts that I used the same design on. Can you see how they don't quite touch?

The next quilt I did is Ann's t-shirt quilt. This one, like Harry, has a minky backing. Ann graciously let me quilt Diagonal Plaid on it. 

Next I quilted Baptist Fans on Lyn's Irish Chain quilt. 

And then Swirling on Ann's Melodic Mystery quilt.

These last three are all very large quilts!

The only other things of note this week are that something ate all my tulips before they had a chance to bloom. 😭 This is the only spot in the yard I can actually grow tulips (until now).

And my husband and I are going on a marathon shop hop on Friday and adding another IKEA stop to grab some more cabinet doors since I changed my mind on what I wanted to do. 

The link up for OMG finishes opens on Saturday. Stop back to see if I will complete my goal or not. 😬

Linking with For the Love of Geese, My Quilt Infatuation, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Chalk Quilt

I feel like I've been really busy, but I have almost nothing to show for it. πŸ€” I've been working a lot and I did bind Pat's three quilts that I shared last week. Maybe that's why I don't feel accomplished? It was all for others.

I have four three personal quilts that need to be hand bound. I work on these very, very slowly in the evenings, and not every evening depending on how tired I am by the time I sit down after dinner. 

This is Chalk. The pattern is by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. I used Kona Blueprint and Kona White for the front and the backing fabric is an old print from the Sommer line by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. The blues are really, really similar!

I originally planned to quilt this using matching blue Glide thread, but then I decided I didn't want the blue to show on the white, so I switched to 60 wt Superior Bottom Line thread in one of the white shades. The quilting design is Propel by Jess for Longarm League. I like how subtle it looks with the lightweight thread. Oh, and Quilter's Dream white 80/20 batting. Quilter's Dream battings are my favorite.

Besides binding all the above-mentioned quilts, I have quilted several for others. 

This one belongs to Barbara. It's a nativity scene pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful. We went with Starry for the quilting, Hobbs batting, and Glide thread in Smoke.

Next is Elaine's quilt. Quilting is Honeycomb, batting is Hobbs, and thread is Glide White.

Toni sent me this beach-themed quilt with a request for a seashell themed design. She liked Sally by the Seashore. Batting is Hobbs and the thread is Glide Pearl. I like how the thread color I chose fits the theme!

The next two belong to Paula. They both have polar fleece for the backing, Quilter's Dream Green, and Glide Seagull thread.

This one is quilted with Boho Boxes. Love all the blues!

And this one is quilted with Diagonal Plaid Bias Cut. She does the best tiny little star sashing intersections.

I have one more of Paula's to complete and I think it is my most favorite quilt ever. You'll have to wait until next week to see it though. 😏

My kids are both on spring break this week. My daughter is splitting her time between working and doing tons of homework. My son has been cleaning out his toys because he wants a desk. He's also trying to resurrect our very ancient Mac to put on the desk.

We are taking a day to go to IKEA to buy the desk, a coffee table, and an entertainment console. Or at least parts of them. We'll have to see what's in stock when we actually get to the store. I've been trying to decide what I wanted to do forever, but I don't like a lot of the furniture that is currently available when I've searched. Or I can't afford it (looking at you $2000 walnut console). So hopefully this will work. We're planning a few modifications to the pieces to customize them. We've had our previous tv cabinet for close to 25 years and it was made for the old style of television. Our worn out ottoman/table is also over 20 years. It's time for a change. 

If you're a One Monthly Goal person, the finish link up opens next Saturday, March 25. Will I finish my goal? You'll have to stop by to see. I'm really struggling because I want to start something new, but I have things I need to finish.

Linking with For the Love of Geese, My Quilt Infatuation, From Bolt to Beauty, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

I'm a Winner

*photo heavy post*

I won the Mayor's Choice award at the IHQS for my Flower Patch (pattern available from For the Love of Geese) quilt! It's a subjective award, but it was what I was hoping for when I entered, so I am thrilled. I feel more legit now. LOL. One of the white glove volunteers asked me if I knew the mayor. The answer is no, I've never met him. I also can't vote for him because I do not live within the city limits. So there. 
The judges were Linda Scholten and Sue Cortese. The judging was not very judge-y. One of my friends volunteered during the judging and she said that while they may have been more critical in their verbal comments as they viewed the quilts, they were careful to only say positive things for the written feedback. I was hoping for more specific feedback, but here is what I got for Flower Patch:
  • Color and value distribution help move the eye.
  • Piecing is generally accurate.
  • Machine quilting technique is good.
For Macaws:
  • Repetion of Macaw pattern and your use of proportion creates and holds interest. {I'm not sure what they mean by this. I made this exactly as directed in the kit and had noted in my description that it was a kit. 🀷🏻‍♀️}
  • Back art is appreciated.
  • Piecing is accurate.
  • Machine quilting design is evenly distributed across quilt top and is well done.

From those comments, they thought Macaws was better done than Flower Patch, and I can see why. I had two places on Flower Patch where the intersections were obviously off--one bird beak that I couldn't get right no matter what, and one intersection where I just never noticed until I was attaching the hanging sleeve two days before quilt drop-off--, and I used a design on Flower Patch that has backtracking, which usually is not exact. Macaws was my most technically perfect finish last year. 

I thought my Flower Patch quilt looked very different from any other quilt there. It seems like a lot of "show quilts" are very similar. If you've been to the AQS Paducah, maybe you understand what I mean? You can check out the gallery of winners here. Margaret Solomon Gunn's quilt was truly amazing and I'm still surprised it didn't win Best of Show. 

There were a wide variety of quilts at the show. I really enjoyed the "Inspired by Endangered Species" special exhibit quilts. 

This one won first place for small pieced quilts and it was amazing! The squares are 1/2" finished.
Look at this quilting!
This was the one I voted for as Viewer's Choice. It was really nice and it didn't get any ribbons. The maker is Sharon Engel of Colorado.
Back to my personal things, I am still on track for my OMG. Here are this week's blocks for the Loves Me, Loves Me Not QAL.
Of course I've been quilting some quilts, too.

Pat's, quilted with Charming Feather. Thread is Glide Wheat and I picked Quilter's Dream Blend for all of her quilts this time.

Another of Pat's, quilted with Sugar and Spice and Glide Caramel thread.

And one more, quilted with Stardust and white thread. I still need to fully bind all three of these.

I quilted my own Board & Batten quilt with Scratch Modern. I used Quilter's Dream 80/20 in white and Glide white thread.

Charlene's Board & Batten is in progress. She picked Hooked Up for her quilting and Hobbs 80/20 batting. Glide Tar Heel (blue) is the thread.
I was going to share a bunch of daffodil pictures, but this post is already really photo-heavy, so I'll just share two. I was so surprised that I had a bunch of crocuses bloom this year. Usually the rabbits eat them while they are still buds.