MCM #92 – Baby Quilts and Clearing the Clutter

I’ve beenย  in a ‘get it done, move it out’ kind of mood lately. This sounds bad, but I have so many projects started, and have so much fabric thrown all over the sewing room that I can’t stand it. Projects and stacks of fabric have started creeping into Anthony’s bedroom and are even making their way into my living room. It’s driving me crazy and it has to stop!

(Did that sound like the rant of a crazy woman?? Probably more like a very overwhelmed woman…)

I finally decided to take control of the situation, start finishing some things and move them out of my house.

I started with a stack of baby-size quilt tops that I promised our local Quilts for Kids group I would quilt. They’ve been piled in Anthony’s closet for a while now. Why? Who knows. They got put in there and I forgot about them until I needed room in the closet. It’s time to get them done and to the kids where they belong.

So I loaded them on the frame and quilted them up. It was a good opportunity to practice a few quilting motifs like loopy flowers and big swirls.

FMQ Swirls

Big swirls – love the texture!

FMQ Swirls quilting detail

Those swirls still need some work but they’re getting better.

Speaking of big swirls, do you follow @rubybluequilts on Instagram? If you like to see pics of beautiful free motion quilting you might want to check her out. She does all her quilting freehand and her work is amazing. She makes the prettiest swirls.

I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram too. I’m almost to 600 followers – when I get there I’m having a giveaway, you know, to move out more fabric!

For now, back to the baby quilts:

Baby Quilts

I finished this stack of quilts and they are ready for delivery. There’s another one that somehow didn’t make it into the picture.ย  Only one has binding, but there is a lady in the group who loves to bind quilts and so she gets to do them. I love that! Quilt them up and send them on their way!

I’m also delivering a stack of flannel I bought from JoAnn’s one Black Friday a couple years ago, and a bolt of Minky my friend Julie found for me. These fabrics will be perfect for the group to use on more quilts. So everyone wins! The kids get quilts, the group gets fabric, and I get a little less clutter.

I still have a few of these baby tops to quilt, but I feel good about the progress I’ve made. Hopefully, this mood I’m in continues for awhile and I’ll get more projects finished!

In other news, I was hoping to show you progress on my Alison quilt but there is none. None! Sigh. Life jumps in sometimes and redirects my plans and that is exactly what happened on Friday. But the good news is that it is loaded on the machine and I’m ready to start quilting. And, I have a quilting plan! ๐Ÿ™‚

Clearing out some of these projects and fabric is my crush for this week’s Main Crush Monday. What’s yours? I’d love to hear about what you’re working on and what has you excited to be in your sewing room this week – here’s how you can link up:

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It’s a Friday {Flimsy} Finish!

It’s been soooo long since I’ve had a Friday finish to share – I can’t even remember how long! So I decided to search my blog to find out exactly how long it has been. June 9th, people! Over 4 months since my last Friday finish. Hmm…. I gotta work on that….

(If you want to see what it was, hop on over to read all about it. I won’t blame you if you’ve forgotten what it was. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Anyway..

With only a couple of seams left to sew on the Alison Glass version of ‘Floating’ since I last posted, it seemed likely that I would have a finished flimsy soon.ย  And by golly, I got it done!

Floating patternI am smitten with this quilt, and it isn’t even quilted yet. I love the fabrics so much, I’ve been calling it the Alison quilt. When I said something about ‘Alison is done’ in the quilt shop the other day, one of the girls thought someone named Alison finished her quilt. Haha!

Floating PatternI hope to load this for quilting later today – I just have to get the backing put together. I still have no idea how I’m going to quilt it, but I know inspiration will hit. Hopefully sooner rather than later. ๐Ÿ™‚

But wait – there’s more!

I have a second finish to share with you today. I know! Hold on to your pants! I didn’t piece the quilt, but one of my customer’s did. She then graciously allowed me to quilt it. I like this quilt so much I don’t want to give it back.

Barn Quilt

When I started quilting I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I started with feathers in all the dark brown chevrons. I love feathers but am not 100% comfortable quilting them, so I want to push myself to do them when I can. I used a thread color that blended well so mistakes aren’t as easily seen. But the blending thread can be a bit of a curse too because it makes it so difficult to see the quilting.

Feathers FMQThey feathers show really well here – I took this picture outside with the sun shining from the side. Most of the feathers look really good, a few of them are wonky. But I’m getting more comfortable stitching this design and will keep on keeping on!

In the other areas I used a stipple and figure 8’s. I’m happy to say I had no tension issues. Which is a very good thing because I used a dark brown thread on the back and a cream colored thread on top.

I had originally planned on doing a more dense design in the barn panel squares. But the customer wanted a quilt that was soft and cuddly so I ditched my plan and did the stippling instead. It was a good decision.

FMQ Figure 8's feathers

For the borders, I used one of my favorite designs – piano keys. I just love the look of them!

piano key border fmq

This quilt was such a pleasure to work on. It was almost perfectly square and there were no waves, puffy blocks, or any other wonky issues. I had so much fun.

Here’s another pic – just because:

Barn Quilt

I’m excited with these two finishes. Maybe I’ve got some of my quilting mojo back! Oh, and I also finished the quilting on a baby quilt for our local Quilts for Kids group, but didn’t take a pic. So technically – THREE finishes for the week. Whew! I’m tired! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and have some finishes of your own in your very near future. I’m going to share my finishes on Finish it up Friday, and Myra’s Finished or Not Friday party. Hop on over to see all the amazing projects!

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MCM #91 – Playing Catch Up

Progress has been made in the sewing room, unfortunately I don’t have many new pics to show you. But I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to this past week.

I was able to finish quilting a couple of customer quilts. They have been delivered and the clients are happy with them. I always feel a little sliver of anxiousness when they see their finished quilts, until they tell me they are happy with the way they look. That anxiousness is a good thing, right?

The last quilt I worked on was made of embroidered blocks and the only request from the customer was to make it look good. Ouch! Having free rein over the quilt design sounds good, but can sometimes be pretty stressful. The middle block was full of embroidered flowers and leaves and measured 33″ wide by 45″ high. It was a BIG block!

I didn’t want to quilt over the embroidery, but had to do something to stabilize the block. I finally landed on a loopy meander design and it worked perfectly.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished block. I stitched the design around and among the leaves and flowers using a pale pink thread which blended beautifully. I was happy with the way it turned out and more importantly, so was the client. I’ve got to do a better job taking pictures of the finished quilts!

On my personal projects, I have two seams left to sew on my Alison Glass ‘Floating’ quilt and the top will be finished. Yay! (Read more about it here) I had hoped to get those seams done last week but went out of town for several days instead. Traveling really cuts into my quilting time! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m looking forward to quilting Floating and will have to work it into my quilting schedule. Quilting time is booking up with Christmas orders, so I’ll have to be sure to save a time slot for myself!

Oh, I almost forgot – I ordered Teresa Silva’s Longarm Quilting Workbook and it was delivered last Wednesday. I was really excited to add this to my quilting library.

If you are new to free motion quilting you might like to have this book. Teresa shares a lot of quilting motifs, and information on longarm machines. Even though the book is written for longarmers, it can easily be used by anyone who quilts on a sit-down or domestic machine.

I have seen all the motifs before so there’s nothing new there. But what I really liked about this book is how Teresa breaks down a whole cloth quilt and walks us through creating our own. I’ve spent some time sketching and practicing. I can’t wait to take these practice sessions to the machine and work on a real quilt.

That’s it for me and my quilting adventures of last week. This week I have a class to teach, a guild meeting, two customer quilts I’d like to get done and of course, I’d like to finish the Floating flimsy. Our nephew is getting married, so there will be a fun wedding to attend. Sounds like a busy week!

Now let’s hear about your projects! You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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MCM #90 – Floating Remake & October OMG

Floating Quilt Pattern

Happy Monday everyone, and welcome to October! Can you believe it? We have officially entered the final quarter of 2017, and I don’t know about you but I am finding my days flying by.

It’s been really busy over here at the Cooking Up Quilts house. I love the busy-ness and checking all the projects off my To Do list, but I find myself sometimes wishing for a less hectic schedule. We are having cooler weather, lots of fall sunshine, and the days are really beautiful. Hubby and I have been spending a bit of time each morning swinging on our new front porch….hmmm, I just realized how that sounds. Let me say that again.

Hubby and I have been enjoying our morning coffee in the swing on our new front porch. The mornings are so cool I have been wrapping up in my favorite quilt while sitting in the swing. Summer has always been my favorite season, but as I get older I find that Fall is just about to take the top spot. What’s your favorite season of the year?

I owe you an apology for being AWOL last week. Without going into detail let me just say it was an emotional week and I took a few days to withdraw without really meaning to. I didn’t realize how much I would be missed, and I love and appreciate all of you who reached out. My quilty friends are the best!

One of the projects I have been working on is making another quilt using my first pattern, Floating. I am re-printing all my patterns into booklet form and I want a new cover quilt for this particular pattern. You can see the original version here. This project is my OMG for October and I’m linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

As you may have guessed by now, I have a BIG crush on all things Alison Glass. So when I started thinking about the fabrics I would use for the remake, I immediately knew I wanted to make an AG version of Floating.

AG Meadow

Before I started cutting into those lovely fabrics though, I wanted to see how they would look in my design. I took a little time to play around with fabric placement. I imported the fabrics into EQ7 and started experimenting. I have to say, importing fabric swatches is my favorite feature of EQ7.

I ended up with 35 different versions. Thirty-five!! I finally had to say โ€˜enough!โ€™ and make a decision.

Here is a small sample of what I came up with:

And here is the version that I decided to make:

Floating Quilt Pattern

I love the way that dark gold (Alison has named it Midas) pops those blocks off the background and gives them the floating effect. All the other colors recede and look layered which is exactly the look this pattern strives to achieve. I think the AG prints were the perfect choice for me to work with.

The first few blocks are hanging on my sewing room wall. I always get so excited to start putting completed blocks on the wall and see the quilt top start coming together. My sewing room is all sorts of happy right now!

Floating Quilt Pattern

Once all the cutting was done the blocks went together quickly. The pattern utilizes fast strip piecing techniques and chain piecing makes it all go even faster.

All the blocks are made and Iโ€™ve started sewing them into rows. I hope to have the rows sewn together later this week.ย  Iโ€™m super excited with how it looks and I get a little rush every time I look at it. Do you do that when youโ€™re making a quilt?

Floating Blocks on Design Wall

Rows are being sewn together.

Next up will be coming up with a quilting plan. Sometimes I instantly know how a top wants to be quilted and other times it takes a while before it starts talking to me. I’ve got some ideas swimming around in my head; hopefully I’ll have a full blown plan by the time I’m finished with the piecing.

My goal is have the entire quilt finished by the end of the month. Since today is only Oct. 2, I think I might reach my goal! ๐Ÿ™‚

This project is my crush for this week’s Main Crush Monday. Now it’s time for you to share yours! You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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MCM #89 – Continuous Curves Ahead

Welcome to the eighty-ninth edition of Main Crush Monday! Can you believe we’ve been crushing on our quilty projects for this long? I can! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a very interesting weekend that included visiting and touring a now defunct state prison and an operational Krishna Temple and gardens. Both of these are sooo outside my comfort zone but I rolled with it and had a nice time. Now I can check these activities off my bucket list and move on!

I also stopped by my local quilt shop and picked up another 9 yards of Alison Glass fabrics. I know! I’m on a fabric diet and failing miserably!! But what’s a girl to do when the guys text and tell you they have new AG fabric?? I’ll tell you – she goes shopping!

In other news, I finished the quilting on this red/white star quilt for Dee:

Star quilt blocks

The pieced blocks are the star blocks (see bottom row in pic above), but when the rows are put together the secondary design with those white blocks and X’s are what jumps out at me. I debated quilting a separate motif in each of the big white squares, but felt that would draw the attention away from the stars so I eventually changed my mind. (That’s something we’re allowed to do, right?)

Dee made the quilt for her brother, so I didn’t want to quilt a design that looks feminine. I also wanted the focus to be on the quilt and not the quilting, so something simple was called for.

Continuous CurveI chose to quilt a very easy continuous curve design over the entire quilt. This design is also sometimes called orange peel. I could have freehanded the stitching, but decided to use a curved ruler to keep a consistent look. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Continuous Curve backI love the texture that shows on the back – it makes it more of a ‘reversible’ quilt. It’s also a light quilt, which makes it perfect for spring, summer and fall.

I’m super pleased with the finished quilt, as was my customer, and I’m calling this my crush for this week.ย  It’s too bad I couldn’t keep this one for myself!

Later this week I’ll be sharing how I stitched the continuous curve design. I hope you’ll stop by and check it out. I also have the most gorgeous aqua/yellow quilt loaded on the frame and will be working on it over the next several days. I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’m excited to see your MCM crush today! You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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