Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WIP: A 2nd Peek at Quilt for 2nd Granddaughter

Monday I finished piecing and adding a border to the top of the quilt for my second granddaughter. Yesterday I spray basted it. Today I am on to the part I fear most - the free motion quilting. My Pfaff does not have a stitch regulator so I obsess over getting the quilt stitch size to look even. I knew I was going to tackle the FMQ  today, planning to start first thing in the morning while I was fresh.

I woke up at 5:15AM today. I cannot really blame FMQ fear for the sleeplessness but still, even though I was up early and refreshed, I rationalized that I preferred to quilt in brighter sunlight. So I delayed beginning, again. But, like any good athlete, before I began this challenge, I prepared by stretching my sewing muscles, making burp cloths. I can make those practically in my sleep. I liked the cute little puppy dogs on this flannel and made this coordinated pair of burp cloths.

I have not identified the burp cloths recipient yet. Maybe these should go to a boy baby. Aren't little boys reported to be made of "snips and snails" and "puppy dog tails"?

All the babies-to-be that I know are little girls. Yellow is a gender neutral color but this particular tone is very soft and feminine. After the burp cloths I then procrastinated a bit more. I surfed online at Amazon and the Fat Quarter Shop and ordered owl flannel fabric. I "needed" this for a friend of my son who is expected a baby in April and has an owl theme in the nursery. Give you three guesses what I intend to make out of the flannel.

I eventually did start the FMQ today, late morning. I am doing stitch in the ditch with a clear nylon monofilament thread, and not to jinx myself ... but, so far so good. Using clear thread and being in the ditch are forgiving. So far they are building my confidence and helping me establish the rhythm and coordination between my hands on the quilt top and my foot on the speed control. Maybe I will build up my nerve to quilt a pattern on the fabric between the seam lines! Here is a sneak peek of a bit more of the quilt. I do not want to reveal all of it to my daughter-in-law before the baby shower – and she reads my blog faithfully even though she is not a quilter or sewist. In the center rear you can just glimpse my darning pressure foot and needle. In the foreground is a bit of border, and yes in the far right background is just a wee snippet of the backing. Maybe my daughter or one of you other quilters can suggest a relatively easy idea for quilting in the larger squares and larger half-square triangles. I have a feeling it is going to need more than the stitch in the ditch outlining.

Once begun is halfway done so I will continue quilting this tomorrow. Writing this blog post is truly just a break, and not more procrastination. I will see what inspiration awaits me with other quilters at for WIP Wednesday. 

I last updated my WIP stats in my 11/12/13 post so here is the relatively unchanged list since then.

Completed projects since 11/12/13 WIP post:
  1. Knitted circular blanket (December 26, 2013 post)
  2. Two burp cloths - this post
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Quilt for 2nd granddaughter
  2. Classic Cars strip quilt (August 3, 2013 post)- need to back, quilt, and bind
  3. Grinch quilt (May 22,2013 post) - all borders added, need to back, quilt, and bind
  4. Jack O'Lantern Trio (February 2, 2013 post) - awaiting FMQ
  5. Chicken quilt - awaiting FMQ
  6. Overlapping square wall hanging - awaiting FMQ
  7. Mask quilt (October 19, 2011 post) - hidden away awaiting inspiration for arranging hexagons
New projects since 11/12/13 WIP post:  
  1. Knitted circular blanket
  2. Quilt for 2nd granddaughter
  3. Two burp cloths
Stats since 11/12/13 WIP:
     Completed  projects - 3
     Currently in progress - assembly completed on 6 of 7;  finishing is my bottleneck
     New projects - 2

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 in Review

It appears that I was not as productive quilt-wise this year as I was in 2012. I claim that the turmoil of two retirements, more travel, and home remodeling were the handicapping culprits. I made only two quilts, start to finish during 2013. They were gifts, one of which I free-motion quilted myself. Two of my five claimed 2013 completions were started before January 2013. Other quilts that I started earlier than 2013, but have not yet finished, are not listed here. There are many. One of the five quilts I did not even make at all, but won in a raffle. 

But I did make other smaller items. Here is my completions list for 2013, followed by pictures and headings only. Details are in my past posts. Scroll fast! If nothing else, it's a nice browse of fabrics. At the very end (maybe no one will read that far) are my 2014 quilting resolutions.
  • 5 quilts
  • 3 pillow cases
  • 2 child dresses
  • 9 holiday items
  • 29 burp cloths
  • 4 cloth books
  • 12 miscellaneous items
  • 1 knit blanket
  • 2 hardcover blog books
Doll Quilt that was started before 2013 (See March 13, 2013 post.)

Karate Kid Kwilt (See June 18, 2013 post.)

Quilt won from OKC Modern Quilt Guild raffle (See June 29, 2013 post.)

Color Play of the Day  (See July 19, 2013 post.)

Sunny Spring Frost (72" x 72") that was started before  2013 (See July 24, 2013 post)

Fire engine pillowcase (See September 25, 2013 post.)

Forest friends print dress (See September 10, 2013 post.)

Airplane print dress (See September 10, 2013 post.)

Seven Christmas ornaments (See February 20, 2013 post.)

One scarecrow wall hanging and one bonus toy for fall (See April 30, 2013 post.)

Six burp cloths (See February 20, 2013 post.)

Four burp cloths (See March 13, 2013 post.)

One cloth bunny book for Easter (See March 24, 2013 post.)

One baby animals cloth book (See November 25, 2013 post.)

Two Christmas cloth books (See November 25, 2013 post.)

One knit blanket with accompanying poem (See December 26, 2013 post.)

Two floor pillows (See March 13, 2013 post.)

One cover for changing table pad (See March 13, 2013 post. No picture available.)

Four critter napkins (See August 21, 2013 post.)

Five quilt blocks for college commemorative quilt (See November 12, 2013 post.)


DianeLoves2Quilt – Vol.1 (See April 17, 2013 post.)

Color Play of the Day (See July 19, 2013 post.) 

2014 Quilting Resolutions
  • Generate hardcover blog book DianeLoves2Quilt  – Vol. 2
  • Finish Grinch Quilt before next Christmas
  • Knit a vintage Christmas stocking for each granddaughter
  • Free-motion-quilt at least three quilt tops (any size) on my Pfaff
  • Rent time to long arm quilt at least one quilt
  • Assemble at least two pre-purchased quilt kits
  • Keep a running draft of my "2014 in Review" post as I complete items
  • Remember to add labels to blog posts so I can find them more easily
  • Get real... I know I will start new projects before finishing old ones!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quilt for Second Granddaughter

My son Dan and his wife Carrie are expecting a baby girl at the end of March. I asked Carrie if she had a room theme and color preference for a quilt. She replied that they had no "character" theme and for colors she opted for "brown and green" with a "bit of pink" to know it is for a girl. Their color tastes are far more elegant and refined than mine. (I admit that I tend to go overboard on the bright and flamboyant and thought I might have trouble cutting back a bit.)

During Christmas I showed Carrie some fabrics from my stash, noting which she liked. Here are the fabrics I picked. There are ten of them. I only had fat quarters of the seven on the left and half yards of the three on the right. The large scale paisley (third from right) will be featured. I positively love that one and have been saving it for something special. Yes, I plan to sneak a bit of turquoise in there but in a very small dose, like a phantom spice in a great recipe. Never fear, Carrie, the quilt will be mainly brown and green. I tried to rein myself in. The backing is not in the picture; it will be a surprise where I mildly indulge my whim for the wild.

I started the quilt top today and am using an abstract pattern that favors large scale prints. Of course I needed to incorporate my signature polka dots. But, after all, I am just echoing what is already in the paisley print. Here is a sneak peek of one portion of the quilt. It really showcases that knockout, to-die-for paisley! So far I am happy that it says fun little girl to me. I hope it will please her mom and dad as well. Stay tuned.

Whoops! I forgot to say that since this is Work In Progress Wednesday I will hook up to WIP at