Wednesday, October 31, 2018

One Monthly Goal -- I Made It!!

I apologize for interrupting your regular Halloween night programming, but this big quilt just moved from the ancient UFO stacks to it's forever bed!!
I shared how I was finishing it in four sections HERE.  This morning I finished quilting the last bit down the center of the quilt where the two halves were joined together.
This afternoon, I took it along to my Wednesday stitching group to trim (no large empty surface at home!?!).
The binding was cut so I could get right to that when I got home! 
I love the way the back looks!!  I used Maderia Thread's 40 wt. AeroQuilt machine quilting thread in variegated teal/green/blue.   I am always pleased with the bobbin tension when I use this thread.
The quilt  was started by my oldest daughter about 15 years ago and I've been plodding along with it for the past 5 years.  I threw it out across her bed for a quick preview of how it will look in use. 
 It's good!!
She's not home from work yet, so I folded it up and left it on her bed as a surprise.
Now she'll have a new quilt to match her new house when she moves in later this year!! 
The pattern is my design -- Mississippi Mud -- you can order a PDF version in my Etsy shop right HERE!!

Ready to set a new goal for November!!

Don't eat too much candy this weekend!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tidying Up the Studio (disguised as Scrap Quilting)

Or should it be the other way around?  Scrap quilting disguised as "tidying up the studio".
Touching the fabric often leads to cutting up the fabric!!
 My box of reproductions looks a lot tamer and I've refreshed the 2 1/2" square basket and the 2 1/2" strip box (it's my studio's sourdough).
I also cutting pieces for these simple blocks which finish at 6" for another small charity quilt.
Corner squares are cut 2", center square is cut 3 1/2", and rectangles are cut 2" by 3 1/2".
It's a great little "leader and ender" project or just right for a quick fix of stitching without thinking!
I laid out some today with the plain alternate squares (cut 6 1/2") to make a plan for size and determine how much more of everything I need to cut.  
Pretty cute, huh?
And then this started to happen, too.
The idea comes from @lorrainequiltsallday on Instagram -- she's an Australian quilter who hosts a Facebook group called "English Paper Piecing Projects" HERE and the Instagram hashtag is #1797revisited .  The Facebook group is doing a sew along English paper piecing style.
The quilt is inspired by an antique quilt in the Victoria & Albert Museum in England.
It would be a great EPP project, but I still have a huge one going with another good size one in the queue.  Solution?  Machine piecing!!
   Lorraine started her version (which is lovely) by trimming 1/2" off each end of a 60 degree diamond paper.  (Templates and papers are beginning to pop up on the Facebook group at this point.)
 I'm using a larger diamond and starting with the 3" template H52 from Marti Michell.
Once I have a stack of diamonds cuts, I'm trimming them into the "coffin" shape.
(Notice that the points of these diamonds are trimmed off during the cutting process.)
I'm using the 60 degree line on a rotary ruler. 
By aligning the 60 degree angle line with the long edge of the diamond and the 3/4" grid line with the pre-trimmed end, trimming off 3/4" is simple and accurate. 
Yes, there's a bit of waste but a simple cutting process justifies it! 
Here is a stack of the coffin shapes after trimming.
Once I've transferred the "stop dots" onto the wrong side of each corner of the coffin pieces, I'm ready to stitch. 
I'm working on both projects at the same time -- there's a 9-patch laid out and ready to stitch.  The beginning of 1797 Revisited is under the needle.
Sew off the coffin onto the 9-patch. 
Then off the 9-patch onto the next coffin.  It's fun!
Back and forth, I love the rhythm of chain piecing.
Even though I'm no longer teaching face-to-face workshops, you can teach yourself the Set-In Piecing Simplified Technique by using my teaching guide -- available as a downloadable PDF in my Etsy shop -- MaryHueyQuilts HERE -- plug in the coupon code RETIRED through 10/31/18 for 25% off the price. 
I think the next round is going to be yellows and golds.
Be sure to check out Lorraine's feed on Instagram or head over to the Facebook group to see some versions that are farther along and lots of other interesting EPP projects.

Now I have to go cut up some more fabric!!

Friday, October 19, 2018

My New Gig -- Not Teaching!?!

It's the first morning of my "retirement" from teaching quilt making -- called for a late breakfast (10 a.m.) of my favorite tea (yes, I use my coffee press for tea) and oatmeal with apples, walnuts, and maple syrup!
There's a stack of quilts on a chair in the living room that need putting away but they'll still be there later today . . . . and tomorrow! 
Not going to miss the packing and unpacking of traveling to teach!!
One of my birding friends asked the other evening "what are you going to do now?"
Does this look like the habitat of a person who is going to have trouble keeping busy?
I'll forgive him because he's one of those guys who is bored with retirement.
I'm starting out by clearing out my teaching files and workshop paraphernalia.
This is my light/dark kaleidoscope teaching sample.
I engineered the "step-by-step" samples into two more blocks . . .
. . . to make a sweet little quilt top for my charity project. 
The leaf color in this red print from the era of bluish greens can be a challenge and so I was delighted to find enough of a similar blue/green in my stash to add an accent border as I worked to make the top large enough to be a child size quilt.  All those clumps of fabric laying around the outside edge are possible "final borders".
Quickest way for me to make a decision is lay them all out and leave the room.
When I come back, the best candidate usually reveals itself quickly.
Auditioning this way leads to intuitive decisions which are less taxing on my brain.
Saving mental energy!! 
And here's the finished top!
It's moved into the stack of charity quilt tops along with some of that blue/green for the binding.
It should be finished in time for our annual Christmas donation to a local transition program for young women with children.
I'm back at work hand quilting this beauty -- in the past seven days, I've finished one and a half of the large motifs and started the border quilting (keeping it simple).  
The cutting table is a busy spot as I prep for several projects -- looks like there are at least 3 different projects in this picture!?!  One for a charity quilt, one a long term scrappy quilt that has been on my "to-do" list for some time (and is suppose to whittle down the quantity of reproduction prints in my stash -- we'll see????).  There is also a new y-seam project in the offing -- not quite ready to share but if you are a fan of Set-In Piecing Simplified, you are going to love this one!!
I'm also plotting a sew-along in November that will feature a simple quilt you can make without leaving your stash.  The purpose of the sew-along will be to #shareaquilt.
It will also be a perfect pattern to introduce a friend to quilt making -- hoping to suck in my DIL!!
More to come!!
I am currently dealing with a bit of knitting fever!  
Having successfully completed a cardigan for my oldest daughter this summer, I'm hot to knit more than socks!!  
The flood of new Indie hand-dyes is hard to resist but I will try to stay calmer about the "starting" of knit projects than my quilting starts -- one at a time and all the way to the finish!
My life isn't really changing as much as it does for many retirees -- I've been easing into it for 10 years and while I did think I've last a bit longer as a teacher, I'm excited about this new path.
I'll remain active in my local quilting community through my charity stitching group and continue to share ideas and skills via this blog.
My "retirement" gift to myself is a new camera (well, I literally wore out the last one)
and I'm hoping to do a bit more nature photography with it.
This portrait of a Lincoln's sparrow that popped up on the rail for a minute yesterday delights me!
So here's to hardly any deadlines and less responsibility!!
Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Third Quarter Goals for the 2018 Finish Along

 Just setting myself up with two finishing goals for this quarter!
First up is my Value Proposition QAL top from 2015 (?) -- I'm on the last row of blocks and haven't touched it all summer.
Just these four blocks to go . . . . .  
. . . . . and 300" of this 10" wide border.  Since it's such a busy print, I expect the quilting design choice will be simple -- parallel lines or a grid that echos the 60 degrees angles of the hexagons.
Part of my renewed interest is thanks to Jeana Kimball who has started a #50daysofhandquilting push via her Instragram feed and so I started out the first day this morning with an hour of stitching!
I would love to have this hanging in the living room by Christmas!!

Second project will be a retirement gift for a long time naturalist birding friend.  When she announced her final day last month, my immediate impulse was to make her a quilt.  But first I always check this shelf to see if I already have something perfect on hand -- it's not nearly as full as it once was so I was fearful that there wouldn't be the perfect quilt top (with backing and binding) to suit her. 
But yes -- have no fear!  There it was -- third quilt top I touched!!
Complete with backing and binding -- ready to layer.
Bright, cheerful, and featuring birds!!
The quilt isn't askew -- it's my photo -- quilt on floor, me on a chair reaching way out?!?  I have about two months before her official last day -- thinking Baptist Fan but we'll see!
These two project should keep me busy for the next few months.

Enjoy the weekend!