28 August 2013


I've been working in earnest on Vintage Stars (from this publication) and 41 this week.  At my guild's Sew Day over the weekend, I managed to sew the binding onto 41, as well as make significant progress sewing star blocks together.   After much sewing, un-sewing and re-sewing last night (I kept pinning the rows together the wrong way), the Vintage Stars top, my first attempt at piecing a quilt on-point, is finally done:

Absolutely adore the Rosette collection by Juliana Horner but I snuck in a couple of Garden Party blocks, just because.

The 41 quilt will be finished by the weekend, which should satisfy my hubby.  It drives him crazy to see so many unfinished quilts about the house.

14 August 2013

On the cutting table

There's a new project on my sewing table.  I should be working on burying loads of knots in this quilt, but after burying about twenty of them, I'm taking a break.  Threading the needle over and over gives me headaches, thanks to presbyopia.  Also, two lines of quilting need to be ripped out and done over. 

So I took out my lovely Rosette yardage and started cutting.  The quilt pattern is from BHG's Antique Quilts and is called Vintage Stars. 

Very unlike me, to cut into newly purchased fabric!  I usually let new prints sit and marinate for a while in the stash.  But I've been wanting to make Vintage Stars for ages, and the stack of Rosette sitting on my sewing table seemed a perfect match.

Now I've got three quilts in progress.  Next week the older kids are back and school, which may or may not mean more sewing time to work on Vintage Stars, 41, and Kieran's brick quilt.  The little guy may be clingy until he adjusts to not having "the Big Kids" at his disposal at all times!  

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Go on over and take a look at what others are working on today!

05 August 2013

On your marks...

After a pretty but challenging Sunday morning hike in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (note to self: hiking downwards at the beginning of a hike means hiking upwards on the way back) I decided to take it easy the rest of the day and mark the quilting lines on my "41" quilt.  I think the uphill hike was less frustrating.

Have you ever used Clover water soluble pencils?  I used them for the very first time marking this quilt, and I think I spent more time sharpening the pencils than I did marking the lines.  The lead kept breaking below the shaved area.  See the blue bit of lead in the upper left side of the bowl?  There are countless more, of both the blue and pink variety, buried under those shavings. 

Even with a light hand and barely sharpened point, the lead kept breaking and popping out.  The pink pencil was worse than the blue.  I marked 40 lines with each pencil and here's what the pencils looked like when I had finished:

I wrote a nice, diplomatic email to the company describing my experience with their product.  Not sure what they can do about it, but I thought they should know. 

On the bright side, I've finished marking the quilt top and can now move on to basting.  Did I mention that at 68" x 76", this quilt is the largest I've made?  I'll be spending the better part of the day on the floor pin basting.  Guess that's not such a bright side after all.

02 August 2013

A finish and a fail

Of all the charity quilts I've made, this Sorry! inspired Goose Creek quilt is by far my favorite.  It's hard to part with, but knowing that a child in need will find some comfort in it lessens the sting. 


The ladies of the Love Circle (of do. Good Stitches) did an amazing job making these blocks, and I adore the end result.  I always thought I liked modern quilts, but this one feels very vintage-y and I'm completely charmed by it.  In fact, after I wrap up a couple of other projects, I think I may make another to keep.

After finishing Goose Creek earlier this week, I intended to piece the backing for Kieran's brick quilt.  An error in calculations held this process up last month, a fact I conveniently forgot.  Since working on K'S quilt calls for a fabric purchase, I decided to move on to "41."  The back was carefully cut and methodically pieced last night.  After pressing the new backing, I laid it down over the quilt top and... something's rotten in the state of Denmark. 

The backing is a full 17 inches too narrow.  I ask you... 17 inches???  Not to mention the major puckering in the middle of the quilt top (see how lumpy it is under the backing?).  Will it quilt out?  I don't even know.  I have a horrible feeling that when I make the quilt sandwich, no amount of smoothing will make it lie flat.  There is most probably some painstaking un-sewing in my future.