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.