Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Down…??? To Go!

The last border has been sewn on Half-Square Triangle Madness (HSTM) and it is ready to be quilted. I even had the backing fabric in my stash and I have enough yardage that I don’t have to piece the back. I may piece it anyway to make it more fun…but I am happy that I am at this point. It turned out really nice and I am anticipating getting it quilted. Probably, a feather pattern in the big blocks and stitch in the ditch around the hst’s and borders. So, the next WIP on the list is the Ocean Waves quilt. I think this WIP goes back about 2-1/2 years and like HSTM, it has a heap of half square triangles. There are 800+ in the finished quilt. I am not even going to count them, because I don’t want to develop a mental block. This quilt requires 80 – 10-1/2 inch blocks. Well, I thought I only needed 40 blocks, but each ocean waves block requires four 10-1/2 inch blocks to make one 20-1/2 inch block. So, I have to make a few more blocks, but everything is cut out. I just need to sew them together. I am shooting for completing the top by the end of the weekend. And yes, I have the backing fabric for this one too…

I feel I am on a roll, but when this top is completed, I am going to do a little work on the Farmers Wife Sampler, may be 1 or 2 more blocks. And then, may be a little time on the Orca Bay mystery quilt. With Bonnie Hunter’s quilts there is a lot of cutting, sewing and cutting again, so it takes more time. But I want to complete at least 2 blocks to see if I am going to like this quilt. If I do, then I will keep working on it however long it takes. If not, then I am going to pack up all of the pieces and donate them. Pineapple Blossom is up next…

I learned a new quilty word yesterday from a new blog friend at http://theslowquilter.blogspot.com/ . Flimsy is the word used to describe what we used to call "an un-quilted top" that has been hanging around for more than a year. You complete the top and put it away promising to get it quilted real soon. But it never happens. Just when I thought I was putting a dent in the fabric and WIPs backlog, here comes something else. So now I need to know…how many flimsies are lurking in a bag (I don’t do boxes) some where. How many flimsies do you have?  Below is a photo of the Half Square Triangle Madness quilt top.  It will not become a flimsy.  And now on to the Ocean Waves blocks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HSTM revealed...

Following up on my previous post, I wrote that I would take pictures of a quilt that I started on about 4 years ago.  I saw it in a magazine and absolutely fell in love...knew I had to re-create it, however challenging it might become and sealed the deal on what would become my love affair with everything half-square triangles (hst's).  This quilt has a little bit of everything that I enjoy working with: taupes, batiks,  black, and of course lots of hst's.  It is a variation on the ocean waves quilt pattern and I finally counted the hst's.  There are 120 (480) in each border and approximately 1200 in the quilt top.  It will finish at about 80 x 80. They are all 2.5 inches.  I used the Tada fusible triangle product to make them and it was a breeze somewhat...I can't believe I am admitting to this, but I stopped working on this quilt because I became overwhelmed by so many of the hst's.  And then I miscalculated the border triangles and they did not fit and I had to take them apart. Sheesh... It just made me crazy.  One of my coworkers named it half-square triangle madness (HSTM). Mariah is not a quilter, but she didn't realize how right she was. The name stuck and I folded it, not so neatly, along with unsewn borders, bias edges and all and stuffed it in a tote bag.  From time to time, my friends would ask about it and I would claim ignorance on its whereabouts.  But I knew...it was thrown up in the back of the closet in the tote bag. :0)   Up until this weekend, I didn't even have a picture of it.  So feeling guilty about the number of WIPs, I moved it to the top of my to do list,  I pulled it out of the bag, my girlfriend Wendy (thanks again Wendy) pressed it a little for me and I am back to work on it.  I have one more border to construct and put on and then I will have it quilted and decide on a home for it.  I may keep it for myself, but I haven't reached that decision yet.  So, here it is ... revealed at last.   I will post a pic of the completed top very soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recovering and regrouping…

Can you believe that we are in the 2nd week of the New Year? I am still recovering from all of the gift making and gift giving of the holiday season and frankly I am pooped! Now that the new grand daughter has arrived safely and is too cute; and the holiday rush is over and after much reflection, I have resolved to complete the quilts that I started on last year for myself. I gift quilts and I love that part of the craft, but I love them for myself too. So, if you look at my WIP list on the right side of this blog, I am going to work my way down the list. Maybe not in that exact order, but it is going to happen and I will keep at it until I am done. There will be a few new projects, but I just can not resist starting new stuff before I finish up the old stuff. I do that all of the time, so it will be a hard habit to break.

So for a brief update, I am continuing work on the Farmer’s Wife Sampler quilt. This is my diversion project and there is no rush here. The Ocean Waves quilt is moving back up the list. I am done with making the blocks. Just need to lay them out and create the top. I don’t want this one to continue to be a UFO, so it will definitely get done. Then, there is the Nine Patch Pineapple quilt that I started as part of an online challenge. It was definitely a challenge, required my undivided attention and I had to put it aside. I could not keep up. But it is going to be a gorgeous quilt and I do want to finish it. In 2010, I went to a retreat in Smithfield, VA where I had 2 classes with Bonnie Hunter. Lots of scraps, lots of blocks and not enough time. So the Pineapple Blossom and the Holiday Blue Ridge Beauty are moving up the list. And finally, a quilt that has become sort of my trademark for my obsession with half-square triangles. I started this quilt probably 4 years ago. I don’t think I have ever mentioned it on the blog, because, well, I worked on it for so long that I had to stop. It had started to overwhelm me and every time I looked at it, it was just too much. A co-worker  named it Half-square Triangle Madness and the name stuck. You will see what I mean when you see the photo.

So that is the short list of to do’s. Remember I wrote in a previous blog that I am going to start a Dear Jane. I intend to do that, just not until I finish something on the UFO list first. And I am also doing Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay Mystery quilt. It has been revealed, so I am taking my time on this – no big hurry. The Trinity Celtic Knot quilt is on the list and may move up faster than others because it will be a long overdue wedding quilt. All of the quilts on the WIP list are in various degrees of completeness, but here are photos of some of them, so that you can share in the fun. I will post a picture of Half-square Triangle Madness as soon as possible. It is a big quilt and I have to think about the best way to photograph it. I plan to do more frequent updates as I scratch them off the list, so stay tuned. Thanks for following my blog and have a great week.

       Ocean Waves

       Nine Patch Pineapple

     Farmers Wife Sampler

     Orca Bay Mystery