Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joy in the New Year by Tallgrass Prairie Studio

I signed up with 12 quilts in progress at the beginning of November.  As I'm off to see my brother before he is deployed, this will be my final tally of completions.  I don't have them all posted yet but I'll get around to it soonish.

Morning Glory
Circle Saki
Pink Roses (just quilting on that one)
Mom's Christmas
Dad's Batik
Stars and Swirls
Aerith's Pinwheels (although I might add embellishments)
Sherbet - another girl baby quilt 
Jelly Roll Cake Walk

So that's 10 out of 12.

Still to Complete

Figgy Pudding (quilting correction)
Bleeker St Yellow Brick Road (waiting for fabric)

I'm glad I did it but I won't sign up for one of these challenges again.  I just don't like the deadlines, if you can even call them that.  I think I would have done some of these a little differently if I wasn't on such a tight goal.  I know, I know, I'm one to talk about timelines for quilting when at least 2 of the completed quilts were done in my kamikaze-must-do-it-right-now style.

Being Honest

Being Honest, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
It's 10 hours until my flight and I've only got the borders left to quilt on this one. The pattern from Amanda Jean on the Moda site is great, the fabrics make me happy, I found a green polka dot flannel for the backing, I love the binding and I'm pleased with the quilting on the pattern fabrics. This is one of the quilts I'd planned to finish for the Joy in the New Year challenge but I decided to be honest with myself.

I will not power through to the finish.

I do not like the big double loops on the solid green borders. I do not like them at all.

They remind me of olives in a martini glass and I prefer my martinis to be olive free . . . and lemon-y tart.

So I'm going to leave it here and rip out the stitches when I'm back from my brother's house.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quilting on the Blue Batiks

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
This is some of the quilting on the blue batik quilt I gave to my dad for Chrstmas. Instead of a design, I wrote the start of stories on the quilt. Most of his stories start "Once upon a time in a far, far, far away place not far from here . . ." so I used that to start. He was surprised and I think really likes it. And what could warm your heart more than my nephew asking "Grandpa, can I read your quilt next?"

It was a great Christmas Eve and now that I'm over my 24 hour stomach bug, it's going to be a great weekend too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In other news, I have officially started all of the quilts I committed to get done by the end of the year for the Joy in the New Year challenge.  It'll be a Christmas miracle to get them all done before I leave for my brother's house on Wednesday morning but I'll give it a try.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Project

New Project, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

I just happened to bring up a fat quarter set to my parent's house that is perfect for a friend of theirs that has recently been hospitalized. So with the help of my brother-in-law who is skilled in the ways of ironing, we are putting together a quick Yellow Brick Road lap quilt for her. Here's the initial strip sets with my sister in the background working on the chocolate chip cookies for tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quilted in Record Time

Quilted in Record Time, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
I still have to get the binding on before getting this one off to it's new home so I'll post pictures of the quilting after Christmas.

But it looks good with the sewing room walls.  Thanks again, Brooke.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Design Wall

Design Wall, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

My design wall is in what would be a dining room if I had a dining table. It's a magnetic wall. Actually it's a wall painted with the magic paint that magnets will stick to and even hold up fabric if you use the little neodymium strong magnets. At any rate, it's a handy wall for putting quilt bits up on and generally living with the layout for awhile. Not with this quilt though. I've got a few short days left to get this one finished if I have any hope of getting it sent out before Christmas. And am two squares short. Sometimes math is hard. Not the sizing kind but the kind where you have to count to 49. When does my fabric store open this morning?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Little Stacks

Little Stacks, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
Guests start showing up on Friday and unfortunately they are not guests who like to be put into quilting assembly lines. Hmmm, I should be able to pawn off some chores though. At any rate, I start piecing the top of this blue batik quilt tonight.

And hooray, one of my gals is off her quilting hiatus so is coming to sew tonight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas is When?

Fwd: Do you like it?, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

This is the first block for a Christmas present that I just started making today. It took a LOT longer to cut and piece then I thought it would . But at least it's started and if I can finish 48 more, someone will at least get a pieced top in a package a week and a half from now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fireworks Quilting

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
This is a close up of the firework design I did in each 12 x 12 block. I did a couple of hidden messages throughout but didn't take any photos where they show clearly. I did all of these freehand so they are kinda wonky but I like them. I didn't quite finish the binding but it's for my aunt who is in the hospital again so my mom agreed to finish the binding while she's at the hospital with her.

Edit: I designed this on Dec 8th and it was finished on Dec 13th.  That is a new kamikaze record for me!

Friday, December 11, 2009

From Excel to Sassy

From Excel to long arm, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
I've got the Fireworks quilt partially loaded on the frame (who may be named Sassy). Clearly this is one of my kamikaze projects. That means that I take an unrealistic deadline and go crazy trying to meet it. I think this one won't send me straight to the loony bin though.

You can see that it's not too much different from the Excel plan and I'm really happy about that. I decided not to fussy cut the center square fabric because one of my followers said that the white dot was distracting.  And what's the point of having followers if you don't listen to them sometimes?  It's about 84 inches square. . . theoretically.

The quilting plan for now is to try to do some freehand sort of firework is each 12 inch block. We'll see how it goes and if not well, there's always loopy loops.

The back is black flannel and the binding will be red polka dots.

Edit 12/29: Sassy didn't stick as a name.  Mostly it's called Big ______ like Big Momma or Big Bertha.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Re: Fireworks, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

My aunt would like a black and white and red quilt so this is what I came up with in my complete nerdiness. I love Excel. Really. It's good for everything. Including making different examples of a quilt before the fabric is cut. Like this one. I'll start cutting in a minute while I do the laundry. It'll look a bit different because the pictures I took are not all to the same scale. But not a bad start.

Now what color flannel for the back?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Zipping Away

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

We agreed at the annual Festivus party that it's finally starting to feel like winter today. So I almost caught up with the season. The Fall Cake Walk quilt is partially quilted. Just random loops and I wish I'd remembered to try the swirly curly C's I saw on YouTube but I started looping before my brain kicked in.

I really like some of the fabrics in this quilt and some not so much. This is my first try with a jelly roll and you can see I didn't get real creative.

Favorite Long Arm Quilting Tools

I'm new to long arm quilting but have already picked my favorite tools.  Nope, not seam rippers or laser lights (although I do love a good laser).  It's actually . . . a LED headlamp and a skateboard.   That's right, headlamp and skateboard.

LED headlamp - great for getting under the quilt on the rails to make sure everything is working well on the back.  And if the top thread is the same color as the quilt top, it helps to see the stitching. Plus, who doesn't look good in a headlamp?

Skateboard - I pin the quilt backing and top to the fabric leaders.  So when I'm putting the top on the leader, it's really close to the floor and I need to smooth it along the whole rail. . . a lot.   It was slow going crawling back and forth.  Solution?  Sitting on a skateboard and rolling back and forth makes the pinning go a lot faster.

Then it's on to the fun part. . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Next Up

Next Up, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
The borders and backing of the Fall Cake Walk quilt. It's a Sandy Gervais collection from last year. I might do a pieced binding just to mix it up a little.

I've got gifts to work on but I'm contemplating a pattern and waiting on thread to arrive. Crossing my fingers it's here before the weekend.

Also, we just got our third competitor in the Christmas Whip Stitch Race Around the Quilt Extravaganza.  So now I need to be sure we have three quilts ready for binding.   Does it still count as a finish for me if I trick others into doing the handwork?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Circle Saki Quilt

Circle Saki Quilt, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

This quilt is for me (I'm selfish and stuff) and I call it Circle Saki because I stole the pattern from Bean, who has one called Summer Mojito. The center fabric is all one piece and I got it on a trip to New York last April. The circles all have shiny gold bits and outlines. So of course, the border stripe had to have gold shiny stripes and the little border and binding couldn't get left out so they have little shiny gold dots. Do you get the feeling that I really do like sparkles?

I had a ton of problems with this quilt including some weird gather in my binding that I had to whip stitch down but I don't mind.  I keep forgetting to put down the sizes of these quilts so here goes.  I think this one is about 66 x 78.

This is quilt number 8 for the year!

Pending Project Countdown: 8
Days Until Deadline: 30

And according to my handy dandy Excel nerdiness, that means a finished quilt every 4.29 days!

Circle Saki Quilt Back

Circle Saki Quilt, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

Ok, I definitely love the back of this quilt. They're a little jittery and finish at odd times if you're not looking at the front but hooray for variegated blue Japanese Lanterns! I was lucky enough to be in Tokyo on this day last year so it's fitting that I finished my Circle Saki quilt now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Although officially Christmas decorations start on the evening of Thanksgiving when Sam the Snowman and Santa are brought out of the garage rafters. My mom painted these two ceramic decorations when I was a kid and it's a family tradition to get them out on Thanksgiving evening with my dad complaining that it's too late and they are too hard to find. The kids and mom are supposed to beg and say "It's tradition" We only have two or three in my family after all. Spaghetti for Christmas Eve dinner is the other one I can think of right now. Oh, and hunting Ding Dongs instead of eggs for Easter.

Anyway, this was my mom's birthday present last year and when I came home from Thailand just before Christmas, I was sad that it wasn't up but didn't say anything to my mom. It wasn't until New Year's when I was packing up my car, I found it with the binding not quite done in my car. My mom didn't want to tell me that she was a little sad I wasn't finishing it for her. So it's done and up this year!

Mom's Christmas Quilted Wall Hanging

I finished the hand quilting on this a few weeks ago but since it was a present for my sole blog reader, I couldn't post until she received it. It's a wall hanging that I machine quilted on the little Janome last year but hand quilted all the pears with gold sparkles. Cause I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Granddaughter is on the way

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

We found out this weekend that my sister-in-law is having a little girl next April. My mom is so excited about her first granddaughter that we already put together a quilt top for her and there are big plans for more.

This is not a great picture but my assistant was quite short. Thanks Sam.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Sure

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
I like the japanese lanterns on the back with the blue varigated thread but am not so sure about the front because it's just a little busy. So this quilt will either be ready to be bound at Thanksgiving or I'll be picking out a thousand little stitches.

I suppose it wouldn't be so hard to just make a new one. Who knows, I might get the mitered corners right on the first try.

Lynn's Quilt

Lynn's Quilt, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
Lynn will think twice before giving me a quilt to finish. This one was handed over 3 years ago and only just quilted. Of course, now that I am missing a wall and have the quilting room extrodinaire set up, it just might go a little faster. She's going to do the binding on this one so I am counting it as good and done. Or at least done. It will make it's way back up to her next week.

I did a pantograph named Tea Rose on the center and some free hand vaguely following the fabric print on the border.  All in a cream thread so it doesn't show up too much, luckily for my not so perfect laser tracking.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekend Goal

I'm determined to get two big quilts quilted this weekend.  One will count as done because the lady who made it wants to do the binding herself.  And one will get as far as machine bound so I have somthing to hand sew at my momma's for the holiday.  I'd also like to piece another top but I'm trying not to live up to my nickname, the Kamikaze Quilter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Love and Lemon Pie

Love and Lemon Pie, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

Finished and in the mail today! I did really small loopy loops on just the green and then straight line in the middle of yellow stripes on the border.

I'm not sure what it is just that it's happy and bright and I hope my aunt gets a kick out of it. Maybe it's a placemat or something. I didn't use a pattern so it can be anything.

While this doesn't count towrd my pending project pile I did make some headway this week.

Pending Project Countdown: 9
Weeks Until Deadline: 5.5

Lazy Label

Love and Lemon Pie, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
I know, it's not that label-y but allegedly the important thing is to have a name and date on the quilt.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lemon Pie

Lemon pie, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

I considered ripping out the mitred corners another 37 times but decided to see how I felt about it in the morning. I feel fine. It's not too bad if you don't take a magnifyling glass to it So now, I pick out a backing and see if I can get it quilted and out in the mail this week.

But for now, it's time to take the whiny dog to the park.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stars and Swirls - Freehand

IMG_5183, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
This was the first quilt I quilted on my longarm since I could set it up baby quilt size and this top was just sitting and waiting for the light of day. Once I got the hang of loading and all, I was off and quilting. I did the whole thing freehand although really it was just a few stars and some swirly bits. You just can't go wrong with swirly bits.

I'm counting this as Quilt 2 for the year.

Stars and Swirls Back

Stars and Swirls Back, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
I like the back best as far as colors go.

This quilt is going to Project Linus . . . at least on the pile for Project Linus.

Wait, that's the top of Circle Saki?

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

I had figured out a quilting plan for my Circle Saki quilt until I bought the thread and unfolded it today. Those circles are closer together than I had remembered. So know I'm sure that I'll use the pantograph on the borders but not sure about what to do on the middle panel. Darn!

The lanterns were intended for another quilt in progress but we'll see what that top actually turns into before deciding.

Pending Project Countdown: 11
Weeks Until Deadline: 7

Stash Maybe

IMG_5177, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

The trip to the quilt store I don't like (mean staff) was unsuccessful for a flannel backing for a ticker tape quilt I'm pondering. Then I came home and found 4 yards of this in my piles of flannel. Not quite the lime green I was envisioning but bright enough to stand up to the wild front.

Any votes? Oh wait, I only have one person reading this blog. This could be a close race.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Before the Washing

IMG_1477, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

and I'm keeping my fingers crossed on how that goes.

Number 4 Done (After 3 Years)

IMG_1473, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
But who's keeping count? I finally was able to quilt my sister's birthday present the way I wanted to all along (pretty much). So today it's finished and in the washer. And she's still in her 30s so I don't want to hear any complaining. Because of the long drive to Phoenix I was able to get the binding on this in about 4 days. But I still am having a hard time talking myself into machine stitching my binding. Let's see how much longer my poor fingers hold out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First Started

IMG_9708.JPG, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.
Here's a photo I just found that shows the start of my red and black FQ quilt in February It's the dull one in the corner while the other two gals quilts are all sorts of fancy.

But guess what? It's done. I stippled it with cheater paper on my longarm (who really needs a name) and figured out the speed and tension thing before I started my sister's quilt.

That's Number 3.

Quilt 1 - Girl Tool Quilt

IMG_1162, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

The last few years I've made a resolution to finish 12 quilts a year. One a month, not so bad right? Well this is the first finished quilt for 2009. In July.

I've entered a group thing to finish all the pending projects currently in the works by the end of the year. It's actually listed at 12. So theoretically, I could finish just those and be ahead of the game.

Black is the New Pink

Black is the New Pink, originally uploaded by shanleytulip.

Look away from the water heater in the background, I've just hung a new design rack in my studio. It's a towel rack with 4 moveable rails from Ikea. I can drape fabrics together until I find the combo I like.

This grouping is called - Black is the New Pink, in honor of Wicked, the soundtrack I've been listening to while building the room and sewing.

Coming Soon

So I bought a long arm quilter last month and am determined to meet my goal of 12 quilts completed this year to justify the purchase. So far, I'm at 4 quilts but along the way I learned how to tile a floor and knocked down a wall. I love the room but my house is a disaster since I'd rather play on the machine then finishing figuring out where all this stuff should go now. I have a deadline for that though since I'm having a party here next Tuesday.

I'll post quilt pictures somewhere in the middle of all that.