Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

2014 ALYOF Finishes!

It is that time where I make a bunch of posts recapping last year and looking ahead to this year. First up, my finishes for 2014 ALYOF. For how unaccomplished I feel last year was, I actually met 11 of my 12 goals.

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1. December – Completed Anchors Aweigh quilt
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2. November – Completed Kaleidoscope top
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3. October – Finished economy block quilt
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4. September – Finished back for economy block quilt (and Tula Houndstooth quilt)
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5. August – Finished Tula Houndstooth top
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6. July – Finished Economy block top
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7. May – Finished Piggy weighted quilt
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8. April – Finished Bento Block quilt
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9. March – Finished Block of the Month top
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10. February – Finished Piggy top
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11. January – Finished Stack the Deck quilt
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My one failure was in June when I attempted to finish my anchor quilt the first time. I later finished it in December.

Here’s to more in 2015!

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December ALYOF: Anchors Aweigh

I finished it!

I actually had it done a couple weeks ago, but we’ve been traveling and then without internet for some time, so once again I am squeezing the post (but not the finish!) in last minute.

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I gave it to my parents at our holiday celebration. Then we all headed to Florida which I thought would be perfect for the pictures. That’s my husband and Brother in law you can see through the quilt.

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I had some yardage of some of the saltwater prints (unfortunately not the blue ones I wish I had now). In the back I used the coral octopi for the upper portion and the coral seahorses for the lower. I like the contrast of saturation. I separated them with some water related layers from my swap last year.

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You can see some of them here. Mostly Neptune and a few others. I also used one of the sand bars for the label.

I believe this is my only ALYOF failure in the 12 months – I tried to finish it in the summer and got overwhelmed with the quilting. I do all my own quilting on my Singer and was trying to be very ambitious and this is a very large quilt (96×96) and I gave up. I decided I needed to just get it done and so “copped out” and just did some meandering horizontal wavy lines.

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This was, of course, hardest in the center of the quilt, but I got into good rhythm elsewhere. I do still fight with starts and stops on my singer. No matter how cautious I am it skips and/or knots at those points. I was very good about keeping things well rolled to help with the bulk. Not the elaborate quilting vision I planned, but it works and it got the job done.

Happy New Year! So looking forward to 2015.

Goal Post

More posts about this quilt

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ALYOF: October Finish

OK. I finished my quilt about a week ago, but it has been impossible to get pictures til today. I made a point to make sure I got them done as soon as I could.

Here it is

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This is my economy block quilt that I started in April. This is the first quilt I’ve finished since around then too. 😦 However, I have a whole line up to do while my quilting table is extended. I quilted it along the diagonal seams. I want to say it measures around 52×72. My memory may be off.

Here are some closeups of the blocks/quilting

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This quilt was supposed to be a graduation gift for my cousin. It is now sort of a combined grad/birthday/holiday quilt. I am just going to hang onto it til holidays and give it to her then.

Here is the back:

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There’s a label under the Celebrate girl that I will fill in for her.

 

Yay! It feels good to finally FINALLY finish something. Unfortunately, the next quilt I have to do, I have no idea how to quilt it.

Here is my goal post

Here are other posts about this quilt

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ALYOF May Finish: Bad Piggies Pixel quilt

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I completed my May goal – my bad piggies quilt. I made it a weighted quilt. I thought I had taken more pictures throughout the process, but I guess I didn’t. So I will do the best I can to describe how I made it.

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The back is just an angry birds print in blue featuring the pigs. I sandwiched and basted as normal.

The quilt was made up of 16 blocks, each block was 8×8 pixels. So I decided to stitch in the ditch every 4 pixels (approx. 8 inches) to create my pockets. That made 64 pockets to fill. So, I started by stitching the vertical lines. Then I stitched down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side, leaving the top open.

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I used a new marking pen to mark the lines. They are supposed to iron out. Of course, it didn’t occur to me to question if it would work until after I had marked most of my quilt. I held my breath and hoped it would disappear. It did! What a relief. I have heard the lines can reappear in the cold. We will just hope that doesn’t happen.

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I used poly pellets for the weighting. They had them on sale when I got them. They are 2 pound bags. The rule of thumb for weight is 10% of the person’s weight + 1 lb. My son is roughly 30 pounds so that would be 4 pounds. How delighted was I to discover 4 pounds = 64 ounces? (Yes, I really didn’t know that til I did the math.) So, that meant one ounce per pocket. I diligently weighed out my ounces on my scale. However, for some reason I couldn’t get exactly one ounce to register on the scale so I alternated between .9 and 1.1 ounces. It worked out fine.

I poured each ounce of pellets into each of the 8 columns I created in the quilt. I placed them between the batting and the top of the quilt, figuring there should be some cushioning on the back. Then I held it over my balcony and shook shook shook the pellets to the bottom. Some words of warning: they will not all go obediently to the bottom. They get all stuck in the seams. I did my best to push them down to the bottom, but it wasn’t worth the effort. I figured it would all work out. After I was satisfied with the shaking I sewed the horizontal row. Then I repeated for the next column.

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There were also many needle casualties as a result. Again, I did my best to clear the seams as I went along, but there were several times I hit a pellet. Sometimes the needle broke, sometimes it just got jammed up inside a pellet. I ended up taking my plate off a couple times to retrieve needles. Wow. Look what I found under the bobbin case.

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Ick. So, my machine got a good cleaning too. Let me also tell you, 4 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot (especially when I am hauling a 30 pound baby around throughout the day) but it is HEAVY. This quilt is heavy.  Once I had worked my way to the top row of the quilt, I sealed off the top and bound it with a different angry bird print in black.

For more posts about this quilt, see here.

For my goal post about this quilt, see here.

 

Linking also to the FAL

Here is my goal post: https://drowninginfabric.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/finish-along-q2/

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Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry – Bad Piggies

I am going to make a more detailed post after my son’s birthday but I have finished his Bad Piggies quilt and I am entering it in the Blogger’s quilt festival

 

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I created this pattern from a picture of bad piggies using Google Spreadsheets. Then I assembled the quilt using Kona solids according to  the pattern. I made this into a weighted quilt. It is stitched in the ditch every four pixels (8 inches). I backed it and bound it in two different Angry Birds fabrics featuring the pigs. It is 65″ square.

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For past posts discussing this quilt, please see here.

I am so excited to be entering quilts into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival this year! Please go and vote for this quilt in the Original Quilt category. And thank you for visiting my quilt!

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Friday Finish: Citrus Bento

It is done! It only took a year! Well, most of that year it was just sitting on a shelf ignored.

To recap:

I started this quilt last year at stash bash where I was led to believe by the tutorial that it could be completed in an afternoon. Well, I spent 15 STRAIGHT hours that first day at stash bash working on it and it still wasn’t finished. That didn’t include the cutting, which I had done ahead of time. I completed the main part of the top the next morning. I made the borders last May. Then, lacking inspiration for the back I folded it up and put it away.

As Stash Bash 2014 crept closer, I felt the pressure to complete this quilt, as that would mark a year since I started it. I do have one (much) older wip, but really didn’t want this one to languor past the year. Over the course of the year, I had collected fabrics that might work for backing or binding. I also had quite a bit of leftovers. I was still not sure what to do with the back, but finally sat down and busted something out. I immediately basted and worked on quilting.

I again wasn’t sure what to do, and even though I’ve really been trying to FMQ, I felt with all the straight geometric lines I needed to go that route – even if it would probably take longer. I used my walking foot and straight(ish) lines quilted on either side of the seams in the blocks. (Which I don’t have a good picture of) I used variegated Aurifil thread in orange/yellow/white (choosing against the lime green. Wisely, I think.)

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Then in the white borders I quilted several lines which crossed in the corners. In the middle border I quilted Xs. I still struggle with keeping lines straight on large quilts on my machine. No matter how careful I am, I still have drag or shifting.

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I am in love with the binding. I found it at my favorite store last fall and knew immediately it would work great in this quilt. It works so well as the binding, having all three colors in it, making a nice frame and transition from front to back.

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I also tried something new – I hand sewed the binding on this one. I have never done that before and felt it was something I needed to do. I am aware there is a certain …snobbery… over how bindings are attached. I’ve always liked the speed of machine binding, but believe I need to try something before I knock it. So now I can knock it. LOL. I was not enamored of the hand binding process. The upside was that I could do it while being with my family in the evening (instead of at 2am like I normally do). Other than that, I am not sure what the love affair is. It does not seem nearly as secure to me, for starters – and most important. And it took forever.  I definitely got better and quicker as I went along – my stitches are more even and invisible at the end than the beginning.

Citrus Bento

Citrus Bento

Citrus Bento back

Citrus Bento back

See all my posts about this quilt here

See my goal post here

Finish it up Friday!

Linking also to the FAL

Here is my goal post: https://drowninginfabric.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/finish-along-q2/

 

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ALYOF: March finish

For March my goal was to finish my top from my BOTM class last year. I got busy on it right away and had it completed pretty early in the month.

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I was only able to get one picture of it before my son ran by and pulled it down. The clothesline isn’t working for my pictures for a number of reasons lately… I need to find a different solution.

Anyway, there it is. I wish I had placed a couple of blocks differently now – I was trying to balance both the colors and the surface area of the blocks. I played around with it quite a bit, but it is always different when you have it done and can step back from it and see the whole thing. Anyway, I am proud of myself for completing it. I signed up for the class again this weekend and it starts in a couple of weeks. I will be glad to show my teachers my progress.

You can see my March goal post here

You can see (most) all of my posts about this top here

I’ve been busy this month. I need to catch up my posts!

 

 

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First 2014 finish!

I can’t believe I made it! Everything was conspiring against me, from my machine not working to my trip cutting my month short…. But I’ve always said I work best with my feet to the fire.

I was so excited to get my machine back and the first order of business was to get my mug rug swap completed.

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With that pressure off, I moved onto my quilt. Imagine my disappointment when, after all the trouble and service and everything, this is what happened right away:

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Oh my goodness! Did I just waste that money? Is my machine broken?? One thing the guy told me was that this is caused by bad top thread. I was using a good brand and a new spool. I thought he was nuts, but it seemed I had ruled everything else out. I had a trip to Joann’s planned anyway and considered picking up a new spool while there, but “Visit your local quilt shop” day was Saturday and they were having a good sale. I was nervous losing even more time on getting this done, but I decided I wasn’t going to screw around – I needed to get the Aurifil.

I was so skeptical and hoped I wasn’t throwing more good money after bad, but it really did work! I spent most of Saturday quilting. Around 2am I was distressed to find I was looping again. Luckily, I caught it quickly and took it as a sign it was bedtime. After unpicking and rethreading things ran fine the rest of the time, but I honestly am at a point where I am not really trusting my machine anymore. That isn’t good for our relationship.

This is a much smaller quilt than the ones I’ve been working on. I tried to really focus on developing my control and plan. Since the blocks look like butterflies to me, I quilted flying butterflies. I found it was easier to get what I wanted pushing the quilt away from me, both because I was able to move in a more intuitive way and also I could see where I was going. I started to learn how to maneuver the quilt where I needed it by traveling instead of by physically moving and turning the quilt through the machine as I have done with the previous quilts. Even though it was smaller, I still had a hard time working in the middle of the quilt. I also am still getting some knotting or jumping when I stop. Some areas look better than others, and I did cross paths in a couple spots, but overall I am pretty happy with the quilting.

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some areas are bad

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OK. I can’t see those well enough to tell which are supposed to show the good quilting and which the bad and which are duplicates. 🙂 (you can click the pictures to see closeups)

So, here it is completed:

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back

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I actually think it is upside down in the front picture. Oh well. It is about 50 x 68.  The back showcases my inspiration fabric, which I also used for the binding, but is not anywhere else in the quilt. I still need work on binding as well. There are several spots where I sewed through the back of the binding. I didn’t miss any spots this time though. I love it and am excited to already have a finish this year. It took 6 months to get to that point last year. 🙂

Now I am trying to decide on my goal for February. I have several things to choose from.

Here is my goal post from the beginning of the month

And you can see all of my travels with this quilt from start to finish by clicking the stack the deck tag

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Wordless Wednesday… Happy New Year.

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2013 goal review

1. Lose at least 25 pounds. And I really mean it this year. It is important.

Yeah. This didn’t happen. Which sucks. I haven’t weighed myself in a while, but I think I was down ten pounds or so from the beginning of the year? I forget where I started.

2. Get back on a budget. Get the car paid off. Get things balanced and get our savings back in line. Think about what house repairs need to be tackled this year. Cash flow tuitions (we will hopefully have). Get a part time job. Figure out what to do with kidlet so that working isn’t counterproductive.

Wow. If I only knew then what I know now. We did pay off the car, but the other car is on its last legs. When I said house repairs, I was thinking maybe refinishing the floors or getting nice countertops. Taking care of odds and ends. Instead, we had to repair and repaint our house, exterminate the attic, replace the a/c and thermostats, fix a plumbing leak… am I forgetting anything? Tuition became sticky when my husband was laid off, but we’ve worked around it and he’s still working and in school. Job thing didn’t happen. It’s been a heck of a year.But financially, at least, at this point at this moment, we are not worse off than we were.

3. Make friends and be a better friend to the friends I have. Get out more (which is sososo hard for me. I have gotten more agoraphobic as I have gotten older). Keep working on not being as judgmental or obnoxious.

I made some efforts at this, but became more self absorbed as things were falling apart around here.

4. Find more ways to make our life greener and stick to them. Reinforce and expand the things we have been doing. Start a garden finally. Will this be the year of family cloth?

I guess we maintained status quo here. Didn’t really embark on much new.

5. Clean out the garage. Clean out the basement. Systematically clean out and declutter and organize and get rid of things throughout the house. Have some garage sales.

I don’t know if these things will ever be accomplished. I feel I am constantly doing them and nothing’s getting done. We’ve made a dent in the garage but have a long way to go. But so much is storage… classroom storage, baby storage, furniture storage… I haven’t been in the basement in a couple of years. I can’t imagine the state it is in. I’d love to make it a playroom. I am always working on cleaning and decluttering, but with a 2 year old the house is always a disaster. This will still be a top goal next year and I hope to have a garage sale to get rid of stuff.

6. Read more.

I started so strong on this. But distractions and non fiction books have slowed me down. I think goodreads has me at 33 of the 36 goal I set. I will probably finish one more.

7. Sewing Goals:

*Complete at least 12 quilt tops
*Complete at least 2 quilts

I made a page of my finishes. I am not sure how to grade this one… I completed 5 quilts. I have 3 more tops completed and one almost completed. And 4 backs which took some work and should count I think. I feel like I am missing something. So I guess I came out ok. Not as much as I hoped, but probably more than I really thought I would do.

*Keep up with my BOM (already signed up for 6 :/)

Oh, this is so sad. And you know I signed up for more in 2014 right? Even the one I actually went to class for, I only have 9 done. Any virtual ones weren’t touched.

*Take some classes

I did! I took my bom class, an fmq class, the stack the deck class… and many Craftsy classes.

*Use what I have

Yeah. No. What I’ve learned is that none of my stuff goes together. Or I don’t have enough. Or I need more fabric that does not have a white background.

*Organize the sewing area so that it doesn’t become a huge mess every time I am working on or starting a project.

It’s come a long way this year. I got rid of the baby gate around my fabric. I got my sewing table. I installed shelves. I got bins. And I still make a mess with every project. Especially when I am working on multiple projects.

*Get my swap up and running

I’ve been very pleased with how this has gone. Please join!

*Create a quiet book or two

I haven’t, and I haven’t found mine either. 😦

*Keep up with my blog

Not as well as I’d hoped, but I am still here!

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