Decisions, Decisions, and a Grace Quilting Frame

I started the year out with 17 UFOs that I wanted to finish. I met my January goals, and looks like I will meet my February goals. I have decided to not continue with RSC 2017 this year because there are 3 quilt shows that I want to enter in 2018. They are the Dallas, New Braunfels, and Austin Texas shows. It will be nice to visit the Dallas Show so I can get a feel for the Judges and the show set up. I have shown before in NB and Austin. In order to do this I must stay focused on 4 quilts that I want to show. Three would be appliqued and hand quilted and the 4th is going to be Robin’s Nest. I could show in the San Antonio Show this year, but would need to send 2 quilts to a professional. I will ponder on this one as I have plenty of time to decide and the quilt tops are already finished! In place of the RSC 2017 project, I am going to work on the Quiltmania 2017 Mystery Quilt.

I have been in an “Indecisive” mode for a while, but finally getting over that and am making progress – more than I had last year!  This last week I have caught up with Margaret Potts BAS BOM. (I am doing this post on my iPad so the pictures are not the best)

 

Block 19 Ms Potts

Ms Potts Block 15

Ms Potts Block 19

Ms Potts Block 19

Yesterday the BAS newsletter was posted and so now I have one more block to do soon in order to stay current!

Along with catching up on Ms Potts, I wanted to finish prepping the 4 Bountiful Life blocks for applique.  I have all four backgrounds traced, and two blocks ready to applique.  Tomorrow I will finish selecting a few fabrics for the flowers and they will be ready for applique.  When I first started appliquéing I used the “blue marker” but I had one issue and I only use a number 2 pencil to trace the pattern on the background fabric.  As you can see, I do not use glue or starch, I use freezer paper and needle turn the pieces.  I do not baste the pieces either.  I work with glass head applique pins to keep each piece in place.

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Ready to Applique

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Ready for Fabric Pieces

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Vase Fabric – Need to finish leaf fabric pieces

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Ready to Go

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A Bountiful Life Finished Blocks

One day last week I read Happy To Be Scrappy (Deb) where posted that she decided to purchase a Grace hand quilting frame.  She is such a bad influence on me as a lot of Blogger’s are!  LOL.  I had not hand quilted a quit since 2013 and every time I read a post from another blogger who had their quilts in a quilt frame I thought about my applique quilts.  I will not have them machine quilted every though there are any quilters who do.

So I went to the Grace website and fell in love with the Z44.  It would be great to have a frame like this where I can adjust it in 6 different positions which would make it easier for me with my Fibro and back issues.   They have a great video for the Z44 hand quilting frame.  Check it out.  I worked with Karla when I ordered the frame.

 

 

At first I thought I was nuts for doing this, but then realized that I wanted to enter Quilt Shows again after a 3 year hiatus and that I would need this frame for my applique quilts!

Well, this post is lengthier than I thought it would be, but I am very pleased that in the first 2 months of this year I am well on my way to catching up on projects and have a goal in mind for 2018!  Now let’s see if I am able to maintain this momentum.

Have a great week all!

 

Grammy Squares, Circa 2016, Ms Potts, and Dresden Heaven!!!! The fun things in life!

I cannot believe that it is the end of August and we are not in the 100’s anymore!  This summer we have had 20 inches of rain here on our quiet little hill.  The 100’s appear to be a thing of the past now and I can live with the 90’s and decent humidity!   I am so ready for Fall, end of Daylight Savings TIme and a cold winter that would bring us some snow.  It has been almost 30 years since we had 16 inches of snow in the San Antonio area!  Maybe this year we will have a “real” winter!

I have been working on my Grammy Squares.  They are fun to make and I have the process down pat now!  I have pre-cut some of my strips but not all.  I had so much fabric out on the cutting table and was going to cut the strips as I needed them, but I could not take the “mess” so I have about 12 blocks (strips) ready to sew and the fabric is back in the drawer until I need more strips.   I am trying to use up the Summer of Baskets fabric by Moda.  There are 2 or 3 of the squares that may not make it in the quilt as the contracts in color did not work as well as I would like.  But that decision will not have to be made for a while!

Grammy Squares - Aug

Grammy Squares

Here are a few of the blocks close up!  The first one may be a candidate for “not in this quilt”…. I think I messed up when I used the light green for the first round, and the last picture shows a very dark block.  Maybe I will make a pillow top with them!

Grammy 3Grammy 1

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Grammy 4

I am caught up with Circa 2016 (well OK – I have not done the ones for the 26th of August).  I hated to waste the 2 extra blocks, so will see if I can use them in the quilt.
Circa 2016 Blocks2

 

Circa 2016 Blocks

I am caught up with Ms Potts blocks.  I love the way Blocks 17 and 13 turned out, but when it came to Block 20, I gave up!  I tried 3 times to do the stars, EPP, making a whole star (not piecing) with a red batik, and then back to EPP!  I gave up – and so I am going to make Block 20 with a bias circle and the 4 flowers on it!  May throw in a few leaves, but not the Stars!  When it takes me a month to finish a simple block that turns into a nightmare, I am out of there!

Ms Potts Block 17

Ms Potts Block 17

Ms Potts Block 13

Ms Potts Block 13

Ms Potts Block 20 (replacement)

Ms Potts Block 20 (replacement)

And now – Dresden Heaven.  I enjoy making these little Dresden plates – so much fun!  I have this one down pat also.  Today I had hoped to make another 20, but all I was able to achieve was to have them ready to put together!  Oh well, tomorrow is another sew day!

Tiny Dresden Plates

I have no idea where I am going on this one, other than to just make them.  I may just make the quilt with the small ones, then again if I end up with too many of the same color I can make 2 quilts!  I just am enjoying making them.

Have a great week – getaway is just around the corner for us so my machine stitching will probably come to an end for a while after Tuesday.

Ms Potts, Circa 2016, Goodbye Dear Jane, and Hello Dresden Heaven

OK – one sentence on the weather – The weather has not changed for the good it is now 100 degrees and heat index running from 105 to 109 and this ole’ lady has finally thrown in the towel as far as walking goes for this week.  Now on to quilting!

I have (again) caught up with Circa 2016 blocks from the 29 July and 5 August!  YEA.

Blocks from 29 July and 5 August 2016

Circa 2016 Blocks from 29 July and 5 August 2016

I really do enjoy making the 3 1/2″ blocks.  They go fast and are always a challenge because of the size.  To me this is a “practice” session preparing me for some of the quilts that are waiting in line for me to make.

This summer the Margaret Potts group from BAS have 3 blocks to work on.  I have finished 2 Blocks and working on the 3rd.  The last block has 4 stars and I am using the EPP method to make them so they will be “perfect” (Ha Ha).  The pieces are so small so I had to set it aside and complete the other blocks.  I took one look at the circles and thought – OH NO!  So tiny – no bigger than a dime!!!  But I started on the block and begin to enjoy the process.  The stems are embroidered with 2 strains of variegated thread.

Blocks 13 and 17

Margaret Potts BAS Project – Blocks 13 and 17

I thought I would share with all on how I do my circles.  I have 2 sets of Karen Kay Buckley mylar circles, but the time it takes to cut the fabric, baste around the circle, and then spray with sizing and iron, that I decided to take a  different approach when making circles for my applique projects.  I use C. Jenkins Freezer Paper Sheets Here  from Amazon.  The paper is 8 1/2 x 11 and the pattern prints out great onto the freezer paper.  It is a little expensive, but the time saved is worth it.  I copy the pattern onto the paper and then cut out the pieces.  On larger patterns I have to be a little more creative, but for this project it is great as the blocks fit on the paper size just fine.  I am sure one could cut regular freezer paper and feed it through the printer, but then that takes time to do that.  (Maybe I am spoiled or getting lazy in my old age! LOL).   I still use Karen Kay Buckley circles, but only to trace around the template like I do with the freezer paper.   Here is how I prepared the small circles for the circle block above.

My technique for circles

As always, the pattern is traced on the background fabric for placement purposes using a light box and number 2 pencil.  I really thought I would have issues with the small (dime size) circles, but after working on two or three, it became easier, and besides, that is what ripping is all about when doing hand work.  It is not permanent and corrections can easily be made.

I have given up on Dear Jane.  I studied it, thought about the paper piecing, and decided that I have other things I want to work on the remainder of the year and making a quilt using paper piecing technique is not for me at this time!  I have a lot of hand work waiting in the wings to be appliqued and those should go fairly quickly (maybe by September).  I have Blocks 5 and 6 prepped for Bountiful Life, 7 more blocks for Segment 4 of Stonefields, and lots of lovely hexagons to sew together for Brinton Hall quilt.

For piecing projects I went through 5 different patterns and finally chose to make Dresden Heaven by Susan Marth.   It has mini and tiny dresden plates and such a fun project.  I finally found a pattern that I can use my 1930’s fabrics that were originally intended for the Farmers Wife… so I am happy about that, but it will take a few other projects to use all the fat quarters I purchased.

Dresden Heaven by Susan Marth at Suzn Quilts

The 1930 fabrics are not my favorite colors, but I thought that they would look good using this pattern.  This will be a fun project and one that I can cut out the plates and sew at my leisure,  remember I am supposed to be quilting on the long arm… if only I would stay away from chicken noodle soup from the can that has MSG!  I have so many notes on the refrigerator now that say “do not eat” and if only I would remember to read them!!!!!

Oh well.  I hope that everyone has had a great day and continue to enjoy your stitching.   Fall is just around the corner – 30 to 60 days!  Sometime within the next 30 days or so I will be relaxing in the RV,  visiting the Choctaw Casino, and 2 wonderful fabric stores.   I need to complete some projects to justify the fabric expenditures!