Thursday, October 31, 2013

October NewFOs--busy stripping!

This has been my most prolific month to date! I have one finish and three NewFO tops ready to be quilted! My plans to set up my sewing space downstairs where I could sew while my grandson played is working better than I had expected. So here's what I've done this month and am sharing with the 2013 NewFO Challenge hosted by Cat Patches.

First off is the finish. It took nearly three years and two moves (one cross-country!) before this beauty got done. It's Strutting Peacocks made with the One Block Wonder design. I had finished the top in May 2011, but had shelved it until earlier this year. So happy to have this one off the UFO shelf!

Next up, I went to my stitching group's first all day stitch-in held in a local church fellowship hall. There were seven of us for this first gathering and we had a blast! There was laughter echoing down the halls causing other people in the building to come see what we were up to. One of the gals had wanted to make a Jelly Roll Race, but didn't know how. We both purchased jelly rolls at the quilt show a couple of weeks ago and brought them with us to the stitch-in. In just under 3 hours, I had this beautiful top complete! What fun to have a project I could complete in just a short time while at the stitch-in.

Next up is the fall quilt I'm making. I'm doing a stitch-and-flip technique on strips of batting that I'm then sashing to connect and will back and quilt like a whole top. It's ready for the backing so is close to being done.

When I finished the fall flip-and-stitch quilt sections, I had a whole table full of leftover 2-1/2" strips. So, I figured I'd just strip them together like the jelly roll, only these strips are varying lengths from 18" to 40", and put it together like a Jelly Roll Race. It turned out pretty cool! This one is ready for sandwiching and quilting, too.

Whew! There's plenty of scraps left from the stitch-and-flip quilt, so there will be more fall items coming together from the leftovers. How is it that for every quilt I make I seem to have enough scraps to make 2 or 3 more?!? Crazy! Next up out of the box will be the Christmas/holiday fabrics to start making something quick and fun out them. Time to get some of the stash used up, maybe sell a few quilts or table runners or placemats/mug rugs, so I can justify buying more fabric when I go on the Deck the Walls shop hop next week!
Jacob, sporting his Grampa Dave 'stache binky, loves watching the sewing machine go!

Jake and I, along with these little guys, wish you a Happy and Safe Halloween! More UFOs, these Eleanor Burns pumpkin faces will be hanging in my window tonight to greet the Trick-or-Treaters. They still need some quilting, but are perfect as is for today!

More snippets from the sewing room soon,

Only took nearly three years to finish...

This quilt was started when I was still taking care of my dad in California. We're fast coming up on two years since his passing and my return to my life in Kansas. Finally, Strutting Peacocks is complete!

In February 2011, a friend back in Kansas posted a picture on Facebook of the beginnings of a One Block Wonder in beautiful understated tones of creams and browns. I had purchased the same book and some beautiful fabric with peacocks in full tail spread and walking with tails behind that I thought would be beautiful in this kaleidoscopic design. [My one regret is that I didn't take a picture of that fabric before cutting into it. Today I'd know better!] With Laura's project as inspiration, I started cutting out and assembling the 60 degree triangles that would become my blocks in blues and greens. A month later I had put together all the blocks and took about 30 pictures of possible layouts, playing with color placement and flow. Every time I moved one or two blocks, I snapped a digital pic so I could go backwards if I decided I liked a previous layout better.

Once I decided on a layout I liked, I started sewing rows together, matching up the block halves on adjoining rows. When it was all assembled, I added the borders and fell in love with the little 1/2" orange pop border that brought out the bits of orange from the peacocks' feet in the print. In May 2011 I took the finished top to work to share and had my picture snapped with it. Then it got folded up and added to the UFO pile.

Jump forward two years after my move back to Kansas when this top came down off the shelf and finally got sandwiched and pinned! Progress! I had recently purchased a HandiQuilter Sweet 16 mid-arm and was ready to start quilting my backlog of tops. However, life got in the way once again and it got shelved once more. Finally after yet another move, it came down off the shelf and got quilted, bound, and is now FINISHED!!!!!

I used a lovely tulip stencil that fit perfectly into each of the design blocks, along with 1/8" ditching bordering each block. For the borders I followed the lead of the swirly print and did large scale swirls, leaving the little orange border alone except for ditching. All of the quilting was done with Aurifil #50 in coordinating blue & green. When it came time to bind it, I had planned on using the same blue as the borders; however, that left over fabric is long gone in two moves and ended up who knows where. So, a trip to the quilt shop to look for new binding. I chose to go with the deep blue that matched the background of the main fabric to frame it. I an so happy with how it turned out!

It's nice to see the pile of UFOs on the shelf shrink. However, just this week I started three new tops, so hopefully they won't have to sit as long as some of these that are still waiting to be quilted.

More snippets from the sewing room soon,