Monday, July 29, 2013

Week Four - Quilt Four - Under the Big Top!

 Now this quilt was totally made in the past week. In fact, I think I began it last Thursday, but as you can see, it is quick and easy and the fabric makes the quilt. I even put a very simple quilt design so as not to take away from the Circus! 
I bought the fabrics at Intown Quilters in Decatur, GA, and the pattern is free from Blend Fabrics. Intown had some kits made up with the pink fabrics but this quilt is for a great nephew to be born in August so I wanted the blue and greens. Here is the link to the pattern, Bailey. Really was fun and easy! So, that's my quilt for this week!

Lest you think I have lots of quilt tops all made up to quilt or bind - I don't. I only have one left to bind and one completed top to quilt and that is it. I'll be 'on my own' to produce more quilts quickly. I'm excited with my challenge and hope you come back to see how the quilts are coming along!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week Three, Quilt Three - Hugs & Kisses!

 My third quilt is for Lacey, my granddaughter. I like to make a quilt for the grandchildren to have at "Nana's house" when they visit so this is for Lacey. I appliquéd this years ago and recently put it together. Now it is quilted.
 I used a Daisy Bounce pantograph for the quilting design. 
Most of the backing fabrics were fat quarters so they were basically cut in half and ended up all the same size, unlike the previous quilt.
Here is a close up to show one of my favorite fabrics on the back - the paper dolls. I loved playing with them when I was a little girl and laugh now and say that was my training for cutting all my freezer paper that I now use for appliqué. I'm also pretty fond of the stripe binding. Hard to go wrong with stripes for a binding! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week Two, Quilt Two - BackArt!

Jake's Trucks Quilt
 My little grandson, Jake, loves to play with trucks, backhoes, excavators, etc. There were some dump trucks in their neighborhood and he was fascinated with what they were doing. When I saw this fabric in Florida, I could not resist and made this easy quilt for him. The pattern is from Villa Rosa Designs and on a simple postcard, Sundance.
 He's coming to see me soon and I hope he'll have fun with it! 
 I decided to 'use up' some fabrics for the back, also known as Backart. One of my first introductions to Backart was a book by Danita Rafalovich and Kathryn Pellman, Backart on the Flip Side, published in 1991. It seemed to be a fairly new concept then.
My method of doing this is simply looking at the quilt top and beginning to pull fabrics from my stash with those colors in mind. I probably pulled at least 25 from my closet that MIGHT possibly work, maybe more. As I begin making the back, I look at the size of my pieces, determine a plan and begin pressing the fabrics and cutting into straight pieces.
First I wanted to use all the leftovers from the kit for the top, piecing some of those together. Next I decided this might work best in strips, or rows, because I had so many different size fabrics. I determined how large I needed the backing to be, tried to find a common denominator with the size pieces I had cut to join them to a row, and then what was "pleasing" to the eye, next. 
This is working improvisationally to me, and quite fun! No rules but the ones I make as I go along. If a fabric doesn't make it into this back, it's okay, back to the shelf it goes. If I need to cut half an inch off a strip to make it fit another, that's ok. I just do it. the horizontal rows may not be exact to begin with but as I go, I even them up or add "coping" strips to make them close to the same. I may even piece some simple blocks to make use of some fabrics.
Because of longarm quilting, I need the backing to be 6" - 8" larger than the quilt top.
Here is a larger picture of the whole back as it lays over my longarm machine. I am going to try not to worry so much about all my photos. It often keeps me from blogging on my other blog, Quilting by Judith, waiting to get that really good photo or the whole quilt at a time. I'm trying to 'let that go' yet still have reasonably good pictures so I can reach my goal.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week One, Quilt One - Goals!

This blog was begun to help motivate myself to get some quilts completed. I am a goal-oriented person and list maker, so I thought this would help, plus maybe inspire others to finish some UFOs AND have some STASH CONTROL. Since having a recent birthday on July 2, I realize I have many less years than I've already lived left to make quilts. It is funny to realize I have been quilting over half of my life!! Seriously, I have, and hope to continue as long as possible.
 This quilt was on my list to finish this year. It was begun several years ago at a retreat and was started with a layer cake stack - I think. It has been a while! I got the top finished and then it was just hanging in the closet, waiting for quilting . . .
then I finally got it quilted and it was waiting for binding. No, first I had decided to MAKE the backing from stash fabric, which always takes longer than just putting a couple of fabrics together with one seam but it does use up some of your fabric, saves $$ and a trip to the quilt shop and can also make it very interesting and fun.
 So here it is! The animal print was from the nineties and the other bright prints are fairly new - maybe in the last 7 years. I lose track really.
Here is a close up and now I just need a recipient for the quilt. I'll let it hang until I find out who it should belong to. So this is Quilt One, Week One. I realize there will be weeks I may not reach my goal, but it is still to have finished 52 quilts by the time I am 63 - next July! 
Happy Stitching and Quilting!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Impossible Goals?

  • Is it really possible for me to make a quilt a week? 
  • Or FINISH a quilt a week from my UFO pile?
  • Or begin a new quilt, bind it and do all of this in a week?
  • Or, quilt some of the lovely antique quilt tops from family?

Well, I know it is possible if I use my time wisely and work towards this goal and stay focused. This idea began recently when we had guests over for dinner and the ladies wanted to see my longarm quilting machine, so up the stairs we went and I gladly showed them my fairly organized sewing room. All was going well until my husband decided to OPEN the CLOSET door which holds all my fabric!!!
  Uh-oh - I had been found out. My secret was out in the open! What used to be very organized, color coordinated and sorted by collections or "quilts in the making" was now a large jumbled mess - along with plastic shoe box containers holding even more projects, not to mention the large plastic containers on the floor holding leftovers from many quilts, organized together, waiting for a 'creative' quilt to be made with what was left. Oh, and few tote bags in the floor holding even more fabric.
I did not even try to explain - I just smiled. I will say, I've been quilting for over 30 years, made over 200 quilts and collected a lot of fabric, often with a specific quilt in mind.  So now what am I doing? Deciding to begin a new blog about getting control of my stash. 

I had an email from American Quilter which told of a lady who has NO stash. How can that be?? I have made many quilts, only from my stash!! Well, it HAS happened but often I end up buying more fabric to go with the stash. Or just think how much fabric we have leftover from excess backing fabrics?

So, this blog is to see if I can accomplish my goal of a 'quilt a week', share my pictures and give my thoughts on the stash reduction.........and what to do with the quilts I make. Seriously, I want to be able to share more of my quilts with others, whether through a local or national charity or a gift to someone. I don't want to leave this closet full of fabric when I die when it could have been made into quilts for others to use and enjoy!

Happy Stitching! I'd love to hear from you if you are trying to reduce your stash or finish a quilt a week, or finish UFOs in general. I could visit your blog and add your link to my sidebar!! Please leave a comment or email me!