Thursday, December 31, 2015

Remembering 2015 while Planning 2016

2015 has been a great year, and I feel that I have definitely met my main goal for the year which was to "Enjoy."  I have enjoyed creating many things this year, as my stash report shows.  

Quarter 1: 105.5 yards used, 101.5 yards added, 0 yards donated, 4 yards less
Quarter 2: 45.75 yards used, 43.25 yards added, 100 yards donated, 102.5 yards less
Quarter 3: 107.5 yards used, 21.25 yards added, 4 yards donated, 90.25 yards less
Quarter 4:  40.5 yards used, 22.5 yards added, 10 yards donated, 28 yards less

Year to date: 299.25 yards used, 188.5 yards added, 114 yards donated, 224.75 yards less

Everything I created helped me meet all fifteen of my little goals for the year.  
  1. Using my stash ~ About 160 yards of old stash were used.
  2. Using my scraps ~ 4 projects made using my scraps.
  3. Using new fabrics ~ About 140 yards of new (to me) fabric were used.
  4. Building my stash ~ About 45 yards of fabric purchased are now part of my stash.
  5. Finishing quilts ~ I finished 28 quilts and pieced 20 tops for Cheetah's project.
  6. Finishing quilty projects ~ I made 44 drawstring bags, and 9 other bags/baskets.
  7. Making quilts as gifts ~ I gave 6 quilts as gifts.
  8. Making quilts to donate ~ I donated 12 quilts this year.
  9. Making quilts for my home ~ 6 quilts were made for my home.
  10. Sewing my WISP by hand ~ I made lots of progress, but there is still more to do.
  11. Improving my FMQ ~ Wow!  I loved trying new things, taking classes, and teaching classes.
  12. Blogging (when I have something to blog about) ~ This is post #111 for me this year.
  13. Participating in online events ~ It has been so much fun!  
  14. Preserving memories ~ I started making a quilt photo album which I love.  
  15. Last, but definitely not least... Being a wife and mother ~ The most rewarding goal of all.  I love my family!
It really has been an enjoyable year!  Here are my top 5 favorite projects for the year (in no particular order) for the Best of 2015.

Not only is "Floating" one of my most favorite quilts, it is also the most viewed with nearly 9,000 pageviews and 3,500 pins on Pinterest.  

"Quilty Kisses" is still one of my favorites, because it is so me. I love the ombre effect, the simple piecing, and the fun quilting.  

"Modern Farmer's Wife" was a huge accomplishment for me, and I love it.  Here is the introductory post with links to all of my ideas and cutting instructions for modernizing the original Farmer's Wife Quilt.  

And I seriously love my "Into the Vortex" quilt.  It is so cuddly and filled with quilty memories.  

But the project with the most memories is Cheetah's Eagle Scout Project.  I donated 20 pieced quilt tops and matching backs for his project.  

He showed great leadership in getting them all finished.  

Over the Christmas Break he finished up the paperwork and got them turned in to our local chapter of Project Linus.  Now he just has one merit badge to finish up and some more time to serve in the scout troop.  

2016 will also be an exciting year.  My big goal for the year is practically the same as for 2015.  I want to "Enjoy the Journey."  I can see many journeys I will be taking, but here are just six specifics for 2016.

  1. Creating and quilting.  
  2. Teaching quilt classes.
  3. Building a new house.
  4. Moving to a new house.
  5. Making it a home.
  6. Being a mother and wife.  
I wish all of you a Happy New Year with my best wishes for your journeys in 2016.  


P.S.  I will be linking up to some fun parties including Best of 2015, Planning 2016, and Our 2016 Goals.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sneaky Sewing with My Friend

I have helped my dear friend Alissa with a huge sneaky sewing project for the last few months.  I am so glad that we started early, because my husband and I decided to move halfway through the project.

Alissa and I did almost everything together, starting back in August after the kids were in school.  We bought the fabric together, cut the quilts out at my house, and used my design wall to determine the layout.  Then she stacked the individual quilts up, put them in boxes, and pieced them in her craft room at home with a locked door.  Then we quilted about one quilt per week.  Three were quilted on my mom's Fusion long arm machine, and I quilted one on my Tiara.  Then we did all four bindings by machine at my house. All four quilts were finished the first week in December before my big move.

While her family knew I was helping her with a "project" they all assumed they knew what it was because I am a quilter.  However, they were surprised that there was one for each of them.  The quilts were a big hit with her family because she made them and because they are all backed in minky.  And yes, they were all Monkey tested and approved.

This first quilt is for her husband who loves watching sports and is a big BYU fan.

I quilted it on the Fusion in a large stipple.  She wanted to keep the quilting simple because the prints were so busy.  Alissa did help quilt the last block.

The second quilt is for her son who is currently attending the University of Utah.

It is also quilted with a large meander on the Fusion.   Alissa quilted the last block on this one too.

Both of the boy quilts used kits she purchased.  The pattern used less blocks and had a border.  We bought more fabrics, made more blocks, and eliminated the border.

For the girl quilts, she decided to keep the piecing simple and made plus quilts with eight inch cut squares.

This one is for her older daughter who loves the color gray but also likes yellow and light blue.

We quilted most of it with a digital pantograph on the Fusion.

Then we had a problem and my mom's machine went out of timing.  We took the quilt off the frames,  traced the design onto gold paper, and I was able to finish the quilting on my Tiara.

It turned out great, and you would never know that some was quilted by a computer and some was quilted by me.

Because we were running out of time before I had to move, we decided to have me quilt the fourth quilt on my Tiara instead of waiting for the Fusion to be serviced.  This one is for her younger daughter who loves everything bright and colorful.

The loops and daisies turned out so cute for the quilting.

Alissa had previously made quilted table runners and rag quilts, but these were her first quilts which have been quilted.  She loved working on her project and looks forward to future projects.  She might even want to learn free-motion quilting.  I look forward to more projects with her, even though we no longer live on the same street.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out to see what other quilters have been up to.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my parents' house!

We have said goodbye to our old house...

And look forward to the finish of our new house.

Check out that mountain view.  (Pay no attention to the shorts my boys are wearing in all this snow.)


Friday, December 11, 2015

Eagle Scout Project Almost Finished

Cheetah has been working hard on organizing and leading his Eagle Scout Project.  In November he had a big service day at the church.  In a four hour time period sixteen quilts were tied.

He was able to get it set up in the cultural hall at our church building.

The turn out was great, and he was an awesome teacher.

His dad was supportive and even tied two of the quilts.  I think it is the first time I have seen my husband use a needle.

Panda even got involved and did amazing.

I think Cheetah was exhausted after we were all cleaned up.

One of the quilts was tied previously as an example, so only three quilts were left to be finished after the big service day.  One family took a quilt home with them, and Cheetah took the last two to a recent troop meeting.

I love seeing boys sew.

Cheetah, my husband, and I have gone over all 20 quilts and fixed any problem ties.  Now all that is left of his project is the paper work and turning them in to Project Linus.  It is so exciting!!!

Thanks for all of your encouragement along the way.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Packing Break

We have been super busy packing up to move.  I decided I needed a little break and pulled out this large whole cloth quilt to finish up.  It is two six yard pieces with one seam down the middle.  I estimate it took me about 7-8 hours to finish.

I used a polyester batting because it was inexpensive and I wanted to see how it would quilt.  I used Comfort Loft by Mountain Mist from JoAnns.  A lot of my FMQ students ask about polyester battings, and I didn't have much recent experience with them.  So I thought a simple picnic quilt would be the perfect project to try it on.

I spray basted the quilt, but sprayed both the fabric and the batting.  (This tip came from Svetlana of Sotak Handmade.) It held together very well through the quilting process, and I would do the same thing the next time I use a polyester batting.  However, I still won't use a polyester batting very often.  I don't like how they beard.  I also don't like how the thickness/loft wasn't consistent throughout the quilt.  It almost seemed to shift a little and bunch up in places even with the spray basting.  

After four hours of quilting, I stitched the binding down by machine.  I cut the binding out three inches wide, because I like a wider binding when I have a thicker quilt.

The binding is black which matches the red side of the quilt.  The background on the apple side is actually navy blue.  It was nice to just use what I had to go with this fabric my mother gave me.

I think it will make a great picnic quilt replacing one I made back in 1996 which was tied.  The sunflower quilt has been used, abused, and loved.  I hope someday this quilt will also be faded and filled with memories.

I quilted this quilt with a 50 weight red Aurifil thread in a large stipple.  I am excited that it will not have the ties on either side.  It makes the quilt nice and reversible, but the red is definitely my favorite side.

I was pleased with how well I was able to match the seam.

Can you see the seam?  Hint:  It is almost in the center of the picture.

I didn't worry about matching the seam on the apple side, because I wanted to make the quilt as large as possible.  The apple fabric wasn't as wide as the red.  The print is so busy that it doesn't really matter to me.

And because the print was so busy, I was able to empty four partial bobbins using four different shades of red.  :)

I call this quilt my apple quilt, but I realized that there are also strawberries and cherries.

Quilt Stats #170
Name:  Apple Quilt
Pattern:  Whole Cloth
Fabric:  Apple and red fabric from my mom
Binding: Kona Black
Amount Used: 12.5 yards
Batting: Polyester Comfort Loft
Size:  About 80 x 102 inches
Date Finished: December 2015
What I learned:

  • I can quilt with polyester batting, but it is much easier on my big machine because it adds so much bulk.
  • I can spray baste the polyester batting if  I spray both the batting and the fabric.  

This is most likely my last quilted project finished in my current house.  Our house is under contract and we will be moving in with my parents soon until our new house is finished.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out for some awesome quilty inspiration.