Thursday, July 30, 2009

lots to share

I'm trying to take pictures that show off the quilting a little more. This first one shows the clam shell quilting. I really like this pattern of quilting because it goes really fast and looks good and is super easy. I can throw a quilt on while making dinner, stop several times to stir the pasta, flip the burgers and have the quilt done when dinner is ready to go!

These next two are of the same quilt. Both show off the flower and leaves quilting.

This is a close up of the flower pattern. Again, super easy to do, but takes a little more time since you are back tracking over yourself just a little.

Another clamshell, this time on my favorite colors, reds! Gotta love that one. Easy, pretty, what more could you ask for?

Simple meander on a cow themed quilt. I love cows. I lived in the dairy barns when I was in college. That's how much I loved cows. I didn't actually live in the barn, although I did sleep in the barn one night, before a dairy show. To keep the cow from laying in her poop. But, there were 4 girls who lived in a dorm room at the dairy barns and we took turns on the weekends getting up super early and helping move the cows for milking and feeding them twice a day. It was really hard work and you got really dirty and I loved it. That was when I wanted to be a veterinarian. Everyone who lived in the dairy barns and applied to Vet school got in. But, then I changed my mind and became a teacher. I still had fun with the cows.

This one is a loopy clam shell. It was kind of weird, but I wanted to try something different. At the top of each bump on the clam shell, I made a loop. Not my favorite pattern, but...

Meandering loops on more cows. Gotta love cows.

I really love this pattern on the 63 block square quilts. It is quick, fun and looks really good. I have to try it on some of the other quilts to see if it looks as good. It is just so easy on the blocks because they are already spaced out nicely for me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Will I make it?

I have 10 days until my mini vacation take my daughter back to school trip and I have 30 quilt tops to quilt. That means 3 quilts per day. Will I make it? Not sure, but I'm willing to give it a good try.

Today's goal is to pick out backing fabric for everything and stitch a whole bunch of pieces together. Things go much quicker when the backing fabrics are all sewn together in a veeeeery long strip and then pinned once to the frame. That way I can put 5 or 6 quilts on before having to put more backing fabric on.

How many of you have trouble giving up fabric for the backs of quilts? I have some really cute fabrics, but just can't seem to use it for the backs of quilts. I keep pulling it out and thinking, this would be so cute for a quilt. So, back into the stack it goes.

I think I will head to the shed this morning and pull in a bucket of fabric and just call it backings. That way it doesn't have a chance to be 'cute' and get used for the front of the quilt. Besides, the backs of the quilts need to be cute too.

I think with these 30 quilts, we will just about be at the goal of 150 quilts. It is really hard to keep track of how many quilts are where. I have the number on the side bar, but I'm not sure that is accurate. I'd rather send over a few extras just in case.

But I do know that I've now quilted over 100 quilts this year since Jan 1. You can see the list on the side and I'm over 100, but there are still a couple on the list that are just tops, so I think I hit 100 yesterday, but again, counting has never been a strong point for me :) Good thing I teach science!

Hope you enjoy your day. Summer is coming to an end for me. Once I'm back from vacation, I have one weekend left and then it is back to work. Yipee. Budget cuts, increased class sizes, new principal, uncertainty, all things to look forward to. At least it won't be boring!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

the last 6 for the day

Ok, so these are the last of the bunch going off to church this morning. My house will be empty of finished quilts. I still have a pile of quilts that need bindings, but my friend Carla told me to leave those for our next Quilt Day. I need to try and get all of the quilt tops finished up by Aug 5 so there will be lots to work on for Quilt Day on the 16th. I'm leaving to take my daughter back to school and have a family reunion. Can't wait! For both :)
Stripie in yellow and brown. I can't remember what I called it the first time I posted a picture of it. It has animals and trees and stuff.

Another 63 square quilt. Can you tell I love this pattern. They are made with 6 1/2 inch squares. Great way to use up scraps.

Attic windows, little quilt, only about 40 inches square.

African masks. See the little heart on the quilt? I had to put that on there to cover a hole in the quilt. My attempt at applique :)

Farm scene quilt? Not sure what I called this one the first time either. I am getting so many quilts I am running out of names! HELP>

And another quilt in yellow and browns. I really need to write down the names so I can call them the same thing :)

and another 5

and more quilts that are going to church this morning, finished at Quilt day.

Hibiscus Stripie
Maroon stripie

Dog stripie

I thought I had turned this one the right way. This is a blue coins, made by Carla. Just tip your head and it will look right :)

63 squares, another one made by Carla

5 at a time

I have so many finished quilts to show that I am going to upload them 5 at a time so I can keep track of them in my side bar. Here are the first 5.

63 squares
Angel stripie

Teal and blue crazy patches

Red sashed giant crumb

blue and white fish quilt--this one is going to go to an airman who had gallbladder surgery and there was a mistake by the surgeon. She accidentally cut his aortic artery and he lost both of his legs because the blood flow was cut off to his legs for over 8 hours. I'm working with a friend to get the quilt to him for his recovery period.
Click on the picture to see the fish and waves quilting.

tennis and quilts

My #2 daughter is now playing tournaments and driving 1 1/2 hours each way is really cutting into the quilting time. I'm loving it! I forgot how much I missed going after my older daughter stoped played when she went to college. She still plays in college, but she is 3,000 miles away and I don't get to watch her anymore.

Yesterday I got to watch her play mixed doubles with a friend and that was really fun. They won, which made it even better because they played against a teaching pro, who was really good, and one of his students. Since going off to college, her tennis has become much more agressive and she can move much quicker to get balls she never would have gotten to before.

Here is the quilt I got done yesterday. I am taking a whole huge stack of quilts to church this morning. I have to count them, but I think there are about 25 in the stack. These are the quilts from Quilt Day that got bound.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

first things first

I have been busy with quilting and life. I have so many pictures to show you, but I think I had better limit my pictures to the quilts I've quitled and save the finished quilts for another post. I have to finish cleaning the house for my #2 daughter's sleepover birthday party that starts this afternoon.

These quilt tops were all done at the quilt day and by my friend Carla. I bordered two of them because the backing fabric I had is extra wide and the batting is 48 inches. So I figured I could get a little bigger quilts out of the batting and backing so why not add a little to the top as well.
I have to say, I'm loving having the 70 wt polyester bobbin thread. I picked up two more spools yesterday at JoAnn's with the 40% coupon. It was just over $5 and I wound 18 spools of bobbin thread off one spool of thread. With the 50% coupon, I only spent $4.36. I will have to save up my 50% coupons to use on this thread. I use one bobbin per quilt now which saves time changing bobbins and seems to be working really well. If anyone has a reason not to be doing this, please let me know before I keep working on all of these quilts.
Yesterday I spent about 1 1/2 hours winding bobbins, taking all of the cotton thread off the bobbins and winding them with the bobbin thread.
Ok, off to clean.

Monday, July 20, 2009

crazy good stuff

My #2 daughter entered her first tennis tournament this weekend and won the whole thing! It was so much fun to go back to tennis tournaments again. I used to spend every weekend with my older daughter, driving for hours to take her to tournaments and for the past year while she has been in college, my weekends have been free. While I enjoyed the free time and the cleaner house, I did miss the competition and getting to watch my child play a sport she loves.

It was really fun watching this first tournament and watching my daughter do so well. She has been playing tennis and taking lessons for only a few months. She took lessons when she was younger, but never really played like her older sister, so this was a really big win for her. I was so proud!

On the quilting front, I have been working as well. I have a lot of finished quilts to show, but that will be a later post.

These are the quilts I have quilted. These were done at the quilt day two weeks ago.

And look how cute this backing fabric is. All three of these quilts have this backing fabric. I got it several years ago for $1 a yard at WalMart on clearance. I couldn't figure out how to use it and am glad I had saved it.

You would think that as I work thorough these quilts and use up about 1 1/2 yards of backing fabric for each one, the pile of fabric would be going down, but I can't see a dent just yet.

Friday, July 17, 2009

heating up

Summer is finally here and the temps are getting over 100 every day now. At least for the last 2 days. What better thing to do than stay inside and quilt?

Here's what I've been up to.

My friend Carla is coming over tomorrow to drop off 28 quilt tops from last week's quilt day and to pick up all of the quilts I have quilted to take to her sister to bind. She is going camping for a while and I will have some time to play catch up with these quilt tops while she is gone

Then, in a couple of weeks, we will trade again.

I have been working like crazy these couple of days trying to get as many quilts done as I can for her to take. I have about 4 quilts left that have backs picked out and about 10 quilts that need backings picked. I will have to take some time tomorrow when the other quilts get here to sort through and match backings. That makes the whole quilting go faster, when I don't have to think :)

I also discovered a new love today. Coats and Clark 70 wt bobbin thread. It is 100% polyester thread and I did a whole quilt with just one bobbin. It normally takes me 2 1/2 bobbins to do a quilt and not having to change bobbins saves me about 10 minutes per quilt. So, now I can do a quilt in under 20 minutes. I only bought one spool of black so tomorrow I will go back to JoAnn's and buy some more. They only had black and white thread so I will have to see what is available online to buy.

I wasn't too sure if the polyester bobbin thread would be ok with the cotton top thread so I called my local quilt shop that does machine quilting and the lady says she uses that combination all of the time. She said the only thing to worry about is getting the tension right since the weights of the thread are so different. The top thread is 40 weight and the bobbin thread is 70 weight. Big difference and that is why you can get so much more thread on a bobbin. But, I didn't have any tension problems. In fact, my tension was actually better with the two quilts I did with this thread. So, now I have a faster way of getting quilts done that will be better in the long run.

The thread is normally $7.99 a spool for 1800 yards, but with the 50% coupons that JoAnn's is always having I figure $4 for a spool of thread that will make my life easier, I can't go wrong. Too bad it doesn't come in other colors :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

day 40

Yes, it has been 40 days of my vacation so far. I have 32 days left before having to go back to work. The rest of the summer is going to go fast. I have a mini vacation planned for 3 weeks from tomorrow to take my daughter back to school and to visit my parents. Every day counts when you have a huge goal of 150 quilts to get finished up. I am not good at keeping track of numbers so I'm glad I have this blog to do that for me. I love being able to look back at the pictures and see just how far I've come with my quilting skills too.

Here are three quilts I did yesterday and one so far from today. I say so far, because I really need to get a bunch of quilts done before Saturday when my friend Carla is going to take all of the quilts I have quilted to her sister to bind for me. Hooray! I now have a binding buddy to finish up these quilts so I can focus on the quilting. This will make the quilting go so much faster.

This quilt today really gave me troubles. The thread broke about 20 times. At first, I thought it was the thread. I started using YLI, which I have used before, but not recently. I really love Signature thread. It comes on cones and is very inexpensive. As I am quilting this summer, I am making a list of all of the colors I would have liked to have for each of the quilts. I have quite the list going so for Christmas I can order lots more colors. Because I don't have every color there is, I go with what I do have and the quilts look just fine. I find the color I use the most is called Baguette. It is an off white/tan color and I plan to order a couple of those next year.

Back to this quilt. So, I noticed that every time I went over the thin stripe, the thread would break. The thin stripes have some gold in them, but it isn't glittery so I wasn't sure if that was it the fabric or the thread. So, I switched thread back to the Signature. The thread kept breaking every time it went over the thin strips. So, I switched needles and the thread stopped breaking.

Grrr. Now, why didn't I just change the needle in the first place? I hope I remember this the next time I have thread breaking troubles. And I'm going to try the YLI again, just to see if it works this time because I have two giant spools of that thread too.

Hoping to get one more quilt quilted tonight to add to the stack of quilts :)

Oh, and I bought a sewing machine today for $30. It is an older model Kenmore that the owner kept clean as a whistle. It sews so nicely and so quietly. I have it set up in the kitchen so that I can get my kids started sewing quilt tops together for me too. I tried it out today on some flannel strips that I had and put together two quilt tops with no tension troubles or skipped stitches.
John 14:6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

want to see the quilts?

Of course you do!

I have 14 of them here with me. The others are still with Carla and her sister, who took some home after everyone left to finish binding them.

These quilts were made by Carla

Blue coins

No, you aren't seeing double, there are two idential quilts, both made with the easy quilt pattern to the left side bar here on the blog. I love the colors on these quilts.

red coins

9 fat quarters

This is a stack and whack quilt

brown coins

this one is double sided and you get two quilts in one!

3 1/2 inch scrappy strips

And here are the finishes for me:

2 of the 63 squares quilts, which when I counted again, one turns out to be 70 squares. Good thing I'm not a math teacher :)

Bento Blocks
Purple bows stripie
Pink Barbie love