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I’ve begun working on a shop sample. It has a panel in the center and some strip block around it that look like a zig zag. I also did some binding last night. I really need to get one side done today so I can hang it up for Christmas!
I am starting to get things organized for the retreat. I am getting together with Misha Friday and we are gonna sew our lotto blocks and cut stris for the retreat mystery quilt.
Well, I bet that was fun pulling out an old top that had been waiting for just the right recipient. And think of the memories in it. No doubt she was so pleased. I bet you were amazed at how much you have improved over the years. How long ago did you make it?
I have no idea how many charity quilts I've made, but I have done pretty good at taking photos and keeping them in a file on my computer. I make a file for "quilts made in ---- "whatever the current year is. I looked back and my first file was "quilts made before 2005" There are quite a few in each file! One of these days I should get an external hard drive to move them to. I almost lost them when the computer crashed, but we have carbonite which saved them all. Phew!
I will wager a guess that you have made dozens and dozens and dozens ..... probably two or three hundred .... charity quilts by now.
Go ahead, try to prove me wrong, dear friend.
This is my L/E for the mystery....made 2 more blocks just haven't sewed them on yet..
I get dizzy just looking at those blocks!
Ah, you know me well my friend! Some cold, snowy, Illinois day I may go through my photo files and see. And just how many have you made and donated? Hmmm?
Those are pretty blocks. My L/E is coming along, so far I have 5 border units done.
It has been a REALLY long time since I've pieced or quilted anything. Last night, that hiatus ended! :-) (aside: I've been concentrating on working on my heritage scrapbook/photo albums so that those photographs and stories get properly saved and documented, instead of remaining in boxes. This is an activity that I can't multi-task ... it's a single purpose hobby!)
In addition to the self-imposed break due to the scrapbooking hobby, I also upgraded my longarm quilting machine to an Innova 18" (non-computerized) and it was finally delivered, assembled, leveled, adjusted and timed just before Thanksgiving. When I had recovered sufficiently from Thanksgiving, I loaded a recently rediscovered pre-printed top. This top is part of a "Skill Builders" package of 3 baby quilt sized tops that are printed to look as though they had been pieced. The "skill builder" part come from the quilting motifs that ARE PRINTED on the top. What you're supposed to do is simply follow the lines to learn new motifs. I can't remember when I got these but it was "some time ago". Aside: they are still available from Renae G Allen Designs, although, interestingly enough, *not* the one I just did. The 3-pack that I bought seems to be elusive.)
I'm not thrilled with the color choices but that is totally irrelevant. Some of the printed motifs I liked and have photographed for future reference. Some motifs I've decided can just "go away". :-) Here is the completed Skill Builder #3 panel. It's very small ... about 36"x45". What I learned from this panel is that I am absolutely dismal when I'm trying to follow a printed line! It's very apparent when I go "off script". This artistic license ::cough:: isn't noticeable when you are free-motion quilting on your own (because there is no printed line) and the variations are really noticeable. But with the lines already there? ack. Worse .. the lines didn't wash out! Good thing this was meant to be a donation quilt.
After I finished that "practice" quilt, I was ready to pull one of my 42+ finished tops out of the stack and Git 'er done! :-) Being practical, I took one of the very bulky packages. Sometimes, I have bundled the backing with the pieced top and the backing for this top was pieced fleece. I had some very large scraps of fleece leftover from something so I pieced them together to make a backing. In this case, the backing has absolutely nothing to do with the top. To control the stretch inherent along fleece cut edges, I sewed an narrow strip of muslin to all the non-selvage edges of the fleece prior to loading on my longarm. They get cut off when the quilted top is squared up.
This top was made from fabric that was given to me when my sister-in-law's mother died in 2015. My SIL doesn't sew and she told me to take whatever interested me from her mom's sewing room because if I didn't, it was all going to thrift stores. Ultimately, I pulled 65 yards out of her Mom's sewing room! The fabrics used in this top are just *part* of that haul. These solid, bright fabrics are a poly-cotton blend ... something that I wouldn't normally have chosen for a quilt top, but coupled with the fleece backing, I can assure anyone that the resultant quilt will be more than warm enough for our mid-state California winters! :-) I call this quilt "Audrey's Bright Hearts".
The quilting motif I chose was, what I call an "embellished meander". It's one of Darlene Epp's meander variations, designed to make the plain, boring meander more interesting to quilt and to look at. I alternated (more or less, kinda/sorta) an infinity loop and hearts along the meander path. I stitched around the edge of the machine appliqued hearts. For the binding, I pulled out leftover pieces of double-fold, bias binding and stitched them together to give me the length I needed.
The size of this quilt is fairly decent: 54'X69".
I gotta say that it felt REALLY GOOD to be back quilting! Now that I have a longarm machine again and I hear the siren call of those UFOs, I'm going to be dividing my time between my scrapbooking hobby and working on getting the backlog of UFOs quilted. I won't be making rapid progress on either front but I will be enjoying the satisfaction of quilting again.
and a close-up of the "embellished meander" quilting: