Monday, February 17, 2014

UFO's Multiply Like Rabbits!!

Hubby and I have been on a purging binge.  When we moved a little over a year ago, a LOT of stuff landed in HIS barn.   The last couple of weeks, we have been going to Goodwill, local antique shops, listing stuff on eBay and Amazon.  Oh, also donated a bunch of stuff to Tri-County Quilt Guild for the upcoming quilt show  and had a hugely successful Fabric By the Pound sale.

Why is it that now I feel like I have even MORE 'stuff' than before?  My quilty UFO list is now up to a grand total of 50 items - although I do have 13 finishes for 2014.    But, 2 steps forward - one (or three) steps back!   already have about 4 or 5 NEW STARTS for 2014.
  • We had our first Blockbuilders meeting of the year last week, and swapped blocks, and decided on next swap.
  • Saw another pattern that I just HAVE to do.
  • Found out having a new grand baby in August
  • Pinterest - OMG.  Need I say more?
Always need a break after the new year.  Going on a quilt retreat next week at Quilters Cabin in Tomball TX.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I took a break for a couple of weeks after the Christmas Holidays.  So what??  I work hard, I deserve it.   Of course, Hubby thinks every time I leave the house I am going to a retreat.  I'll still keep him - he does treat me like a queen - or is that a Diva?  Have a bunch of projects lined up to work on.  Always take way more than I can possibly get done, but you never know what you might be in the mood to work on.

Speaking of UFO's and finishing.  Did finish up a couple of UFO's - got them submitted for the upcoming Quilt Show, so can't show pictures yet.  Literally, finished the binding and ran them over to the church to turn them in.   Will get pictures of them hanging.  We have a great venue for the show, and last I heard there were 187 entries turned in.

The cold stuff has finally moved to the areas of the country where they expect it to be.  We have had 70's temps the last few days.  Even turned on the A/C in the car over the weekend.  Ready to start planting.  Hubby made a couple of new flower beds, and Houston Garden Center and even Lowes did not have bedding plants out yet.  Hope that does not mean we have any more freezes coming.  SO ready for spring.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

UFO Finishes for January 2014

After finishing umpteen hundred T-Shirt Quilts and Machine Quilting for the holiday season, I always take a week or two (or three) and work on 'my' stuff.  So far this year, have several finishes to report - Yippee!

Here are a couple of them.

Batik Jelly Roll Race. 
Batik Jelly Roll Race.  Started 2013 –   62  x 74  8.5 yards 2013.  This is one of those Jelly Roll Race quilts.  SUPER easy to piece, not as easy to finish and quilt.  I did join my strips on a 45 degree angle to give it a little more interest.   However,  I did get it done in January.  Added borders, quilted and binding.

18 patch on Point - (started 2006)  67 x 82 .
Does anyone know the name of the pattern?  It's an old pattern.  I saw an old quilt hanging from the ceiling in an old store on the Strand in Galveston when we first moved down here.  This is my version of that vintage quilt seen in Galveston.  The fabrics are Moda brushed cottons from many years ago.  You can see it is still on the machine here, but has since been finished.

Bamboo & Pinwheels Part Deux
Bamboo and Pinwheels Part Deux  –
Started in 2008.   68 x 72  This quilt was the second quilt made from swap blocks with the Thursday Night Bee.  Finished it up by adding borders, quilting and binding.  Did a leafy pattern in gold colored thread that mimics the metallics in the Oriental style  fabrics

Saturday, January 18, 2014

T-Shirt Quilts - Should I or Shouldn't I????

At Shadywood Quilts and T-Shirt Quilts of Texas, we have literally made hundreds and hundreds of T-Shirt Quilts over the last 10 years.  Suffice it to say, that we have a bit of experience in making a successful T-Shirt Quilt.

While we are busy making T-Shirt Quilts for hundreds of folks every year, we have several people that bring us the T-Shirt Quilt TOP for us to finish.  We love taking care of you, but sometimes we cringe when we see the top that the customer wants us to work a miracle on.  Here are some suggestions.

Usually, the problem is that they have not STABILIZED the T-Shirts before piecing them together.  We use a high quality 100% cotton fusible to stabilize all T-Shirts before including them into a quilt.  This prevents the block from stretching or looking "saggy" in the finished quilt.  While we don't suggest using a heavy-weight polyester, that is still better than NO stabilizer at all.  If you do decide to not use a stabilizer, we will require a stabilizing 'waste' border be added to control the stretching.
We also always include Sashing and Cornerstones at no additional charge.   We always press the seams away from the T-Shirt towards the sashing to reduce bulk.  The cornerstones help us line the blocks up nice and even.
The finished T-Shirt Quilt does not have to be heavy and cumbersome when it is complete.  Use a high quality 80/20 (80% cotton, 20% Polyester) batting.  Don't go 'cheap' on the batting (or any of the fabrics) when making a T-Shirt Quilt (or any quilt for that matter).   Make sure your quilter does an 'all-over' pattern or 'pantograph'.  There is no reason not to quilt through the T-Shirts.   You want the quilt to be securely quilted so that it can hold up after years and years of loving use and laundering.  Our favorite battings are Hobbs and Legacy brands.

In most cases, stitching through the emblems does not cause any problems for the quilter.  However, sequins and crystals can wreak havoc with the longarm machine and it's needles.  Be aware that the 'hopping foot' cannot go over these items and may cause the stitching to go around the 3-dimensional object and corrupt the quilting.  'Puff' paint also causes problems, and if you think about it, is not very pleasant if you put your face on it!!
We have been asked to use 'invisible' thread.  First of all, no thread is invisible.  It might a translucent shade that blends really well, but we really don't know how well the nylon or polyester thread will hold up to repeated washings and visits to a hot dryer.  We always use neutral colored thread, more on the light side that won't detract from the shirts.  Most popular colors that we use are a light grey or a light tan color. 
Be realistic.  If you are not familiar with machine quilting on your domestic machine, let a professional quilt your quilt.  PLEASE don't tie your quilt or just stitch around the squares.  We have had so many people bring their quilts to use to fix after well meaning moms, aunts or grandmothers have tried to do.  It really does not cost that much, and the recipient will be much happier with the result.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Basic Washcloth Pattern (Grandmothers Favorite)

Many of my quilting friends are learning how to knit and crochet.  At our last Bee meeting, most of us were sitting around knitting and crocheting rather than working on a quilt project.  How wierd is that?  I think it is a natural extension.  We all love fibers and yarn is just another fiber that is fun to look at and touch!

My friend Barb K. gave me a 'basic' washcloth pattern.  Lots of references on the web to "Grandmothers Favorite Washcloth", but it is just a very simple cloth and GREAT for beginners and for using varigated cotton yarns.

Designer: Unknown

Rating: Easy
Materials: Sugar and Cream or Peaches and Cream yarn; Size 6 or 7 needles (US) 

CO (Cast on) 4 stitches

Row 1:  Knit 4
Row 2:  Knit 2, yarn over, knit across the row.
Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches on the needle.

Decrease Row: Knit 1, K2T, YO, K2T knit to the end of the row.
Repeat Decrease Row until you have 4 stitches on the needle. 


Your choice to bind off or do a round of single crochet and make a little loop of chain stitches in one corner to hang the cloth when not in use.

CO - Cast On
BO - Bind Off
K2T  - knit two together
YO - yarn over

Would love to see YOUR pictures if you use this pattern. 

WORD for 2014

I've been a member of the StashBuster group for years, but had not been involved the last couple of years.  After finishing up the Christmas Holiday orders I turned the emails back on and jumped in with both feet.  Instead of a piddle little 15 projects  (see previous post)  that my Bee had us list, I started going through ALL of my projects (past & present) and while I keep adding more to the list, right now, I've got 47 (read FORTY SEVEN) UFO's that I would like to finish.

The list have been discussing the WORD for 2014.  Mine is more of a phrase... FINISH it up!

So, to that end, since the beginning of 2014 I have been quilting (and piecing) like crazy working on that list of UFO's   8 Finishes already, and it is only half way through the month!  Can I get a WHOOP?
Will list the new list - am adding pictures and sizes.  Figured that would help me get them under control.  We have an FML Retreat at the end of February, so am preparing UFO's that need piecing to work on at that retreat.  Other than that, have to get back to work piecing T-Shirt Quilts  and doing longarm quilting for my regulars.

OK, here it is ---  The lines drawn through the title are the ones I've already finished.   When I post it to the side margin, I will add links to photos!.
1.       Quilt 'n Stitch Sampler (aka Dead People Quilt) .  Bee block exchange done in 1987. (most everyone has passed on:( )  Just have the blocks.  Pieced, added borders,  Pieced back  
2.       Boston  Commons.  Top is complete, but might add a border.  Started 1987
3.       Peppermint Party.  Blue & White square in a Square with Pink & white nine patches.   Started 2003.   Current Status.  In process of enlarging top from double to king size.  
4.       Pineapple – Red, White & black.   Started 1999.
2007 - Blocks are assembled, need to add borders, quilt, & bind.
5.       Flower Garden Variation.  Started 2002.  Ready to quilt
6.       Road to Fairmeadows. King size drunkard’s  path.  Started 1997 (one block has appliqué ‘1997’)    Still in blocks, needs appliqué and border
7.       Dream Quilt.   Blocks are mostly done (277 pieces per block).  Needs assembly and some idea of what to do for a border. Started around 1995
8.       Rachael's Amish Quilt.  top is done, needs quilting and finishing.  1999
9.       Grannies Bloomers - Finish piecing king sized quilt. Quilt, & finish.  2000
10.   Savannah Stars - Started Jan 2001.  Top is done. quilting, binding, borders, label.   Undo previous quilting
11.   An Autumn pumpkin wallhanging. Cynthia Regone workshop 2002. Need to be quilted
12.   Robert & Rachael's Double Wedding Ring –Wedding 2001. Mostly pieced
13.   Batik Pineapple – Started 2005.
14.   Smokey Mountain stars -  Most of top pieced
15.   18 patch on Point - My version of a vintage quilt seen in Galveston. 67 x 82
16.   Disappearing 9 Patch – Swap w/Thursday Night Bee. 
17.   Old top Rendering - Created old top based on Great-Grandmothers quilt.   68 x 84. Finished  Jan 2014
18.   Bamboo & Pinwheels – Started 2008 – Finished Jan 2014  68 x 70
19.   Chloe's Baby Quilt.  Signatures collected from family members.   Need to piece top, quilt, bind and get it to her before her next birthday in September. Started 2006
20.   War and Pieces -  appliqué.  needs last borders and quilted.
21.   BRIGHTS churn dash – blocks only.   2010 (block swap - NO Pitas) 
22.   Orange & Black – New York Beauty – started 2010.  Most blocks paper pieced, need to assemble total blocks.
23.   Christmas Log Cabin – Started 2010
24.   9 patches & Hour Glasses – (No Pitas group swap )-2011
25.   30's Twister.  10 blocks pieced, ready to sub-cut.  Started 2012
Oct 2013 – pieced blocks. RTQ
2013 Starts
26.   Ironing board cover -  cut out pieces 2013.  Finished January 2014
27.   Chasing Chevrons –Flannel quilt, 98 block paper pieced blocks.  Jan 2014 - all blocks pieced.  Have to have ready for quilt show turn in Jan 30!!!!
28.   Tangerine Dreams –orange and gray.  Pieces cut, and laid out
29.   Dutchman’s Puzzle – ombre fabrics, cut out, partially pieced
30.   Crow's Nest –Thursday Bee swap 2013
31.   Fractured Jewels – No Pitas group swap 2013
32.   Fractured 6 patches – No Pitas swap June 2013
33.   "Seaside” -Zig Zag Table runner -Top mostly pieced, needs borders and quilting. Pattern by Julie Hermann
34.   Christmas Chalkboard Wall hanging – started 2013.  Panel, and blocks cut out
35.   Fire & Ice –Using Red on black batiks, black/whites, blacks & reds (from birthday fat quarters from Bee). Blocks cut, need to assemble
36.   Lovers Knot  (¼ Log Cabin)–
37.   Craftsy 2013 BOM – some Blocks pieced
38.   Brick & Mortar “ Christmas Quilt 2012 .  Cut and laid out.  Finished Jan 2014. 68 x 80
39.   Flannel – 4 on the floor started 2012.  top done, needs to be quilted. Finished Jan 2014
40.   Boyertown Tiles – (Pita Swap Nov 2013) swap continues into 2014
41.   Harley T-shirt Quilt started 2012.  Finished Jan 2014
42.   Batik Jelly Roll Race.  Started 2013 – Finished Jan 2014  62  x 74  8.5 yards
43.   Mystery Quilt (Penny Lassiter party – 2008. Turquoise, Magenta & dots. 60” x 60”. Finished Jan 2014
44.   One Fabric Challenge  (can't use any fabric more than once, no batiks, solids or hand-dyes)
45.   Candy Pinwheel - HST, blocks made and laid out. Need to assemble

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Years Day Annual Sew-In

My Thursday Bee came over for our annual Sew In at my studio.   Just woke up from a 2 hour nap after everyone left.  Sewing  is such hard work!

Finished putting the binding and label on my '4 on the floor - Flannel quilt.  60 x 80" 8 yards from stash.    Don't know if this counts, but gave away 5 pounds of 2, 2.5 and 3inch strips.  At our fabric by the pound sale next week, we figure that 1 pound of fabric is about 3.5 yards (Darker fabarics weigh more than light colored fabric!)  So, by that calculation another 17.5 yards from some really old stash (like from the 80s and 90s) .

Last year on New Years Day, we did a 'Jelly roll Race' with strips cut from my stash.  We measured out about 13 oz each for all our Bee members.  We -  in our estimation- figured 13 oz came out to about a good sized Jelly roll  (i.e. 42 2.5" strips)  We did not want to count strips, so we weighed the fabric.  See the quilts that we turned in to the Comfort Quilters.  Nita says these were the first ones to be selected at the nursing home due to the bright colors!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

UFO's for 2013

 Every year for the past several years, I've listed my top priority projects that have been UFO's (UnFinishedObjects) that I wanted to finish for the year.   Well, at the beginning of 2013, we had just moved not only our home, but our business (T-Shirt Quilts of Texas and Shadywood Quilts).  Not an easy task, let me just say...
We moved right before the Christmas/holiday rush began..   We had contractors building out our new studio, and we were only down about 2 weeks, and then we were working round the clock to fulfill orders.  Granted, there were a few local folks picking up their quilts on Christmas Eve, but hey.. EVERYONE got their quilts before Christmas!  Whoo Hoo!
This year, we made the cut off date a wee bit earlier (last weekend) so hopefully, we can enjoy a trip to visit the kids over Thanksgiving, and still get everything done.
So, here is the official 2013 UFO list and it has been updated with what got done.  Not bad..  However, my bee woosed out, and only Nita and I put our $$ in the pot this year.    No worries, I  am still thrilled that I got so many of these projects completed!    7 out of the top 19.  Yeah, I'm patting myself on the back.

1.  Peppermint Party.  Blue & White square in a Square with Pink & white nine patches.   Started 2003.   Current Status.  In process of enlarging top from double to king size.       
2.    Pineapple – Red, White & black.  Blocks are assembled, need to add borders, quilt, & bind. Started 1999
3.    Road to Fairmeadows. King size drunkard’s  path.  Started 1997 (one block has appliqué ‘1997’)    Still in blocks, needs appliqué and border
4.    What’s the point?   Patches  on point.  Needs to finish piecing, a border and quilting
Finished June 2013 

5.    Boston  Commons.  Top is complete, but might add a border.  Started 1987
6.    BRIGHTS churn dash – blocks only.   2010 (block swap - NO Pitas)
 7.    2 panel on point lap quilt
.  Fabric is cut, one panel is sewn.
Needs: piecing, quilting, binding, borders, label. 2009
Finished June 2013

8.    Dream Quilt.   Blocks are mostly done (277 pieces per block).  Needs assembly and some idea of what to do for a border. Started around 1995
9.    Savannah Stars - Top is done. quilting, binding, borders, label. 2001.  Undo previous quilting.
10.  Chloe's Baby Quilt.  Signatures collected from family members.   Need to piece top, quilt, bind and get it to her before her next birthday in September. Started 2009
11.  Quilt 'n Stitch Sampler (aka Dead People Quilt) .  Bee block exchange done in 1987. (most everyone has passed on:( )  Just have the blocks.  Pieced, added borders,  Pieced back  
12.  Grannies Bloomers Finish piecing king sized quilt. Quilt, & finish.  2000
13.  H is for Halloween. Chloe wants a quilt that she can bring for show and tell.  Is cut out.  need to finish piecing, quilt and bind.   Started 2011    Finished June 2013
14.  Rachael's Amish Quilt.  top is done, needs quilting and finishing.  1999
15.  T-Shirt Quilts ZTA Logo wallhanging.  Re-do borders, quilt,  bind and label.  2010.
Finished June 2013

 16.  Flannel Cheese & Crackers.  Top is pieced, make backing, quilt, bind and label.  2006.  Finished June 2013
17.  Patriotic Stars - top pieced.  2008 (at QGGH Retreat in LaGrange). Added borders,  Pieced back, quilt, bind and label.   Finished June 2013
18.  Smokey Mountain stars -  2006 Most of top pieced.   
19.  BRIGHTS SPOOLS – blocks only.   2012 (block swap - NO Pitas)
Finished Aug - 2013 - add'l blocks made,  blocks assembled, borders added, Quilted.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

We're HERE!

We have finally finished moving all of our  crap - junk stuff, that we have been accumulating for over 30 years.  We moved from 3/4 acre home with apartment, studio, garage, barn and STUDIO to our new place on 2 acres, larger studio, and HUGE 40 x 30 Barn/Airpane hangar  for Jon.  No garage, so guess where all of the stuff that had accumulated in the garage, apartment, barn and all of the built-ins from the house landed?  Poor Jon, the barn is filled to the gills with antiques, candle making stuff, studio stuff, garden stuff,  every peice of wire, wood, motorcyle and airplane part.  Not to mention all the tools and the AIRPLANE that is out there.   Oh, did I mention that the airplane almost did NOT fit in?  That was NOT a funney moment, when the last thing in was the airplane and it wouldn't fit.  Several things came out, and and we finally got it parked at angle.

OK, here is my studio in process.   At the back is the office and store room.   The steel building was in place when we bought the property, but was was uninsulated bare walls.   We had to add bug proofing, insulation electrical and so on...... 

Flash forward to the sheetrock.  

We have primed, painted, added flooring.  Oh, and a powder room!  Enough is done that we could start the move.  Oh boy, everything landed in the middle of the room.  Piles and stacxks and of bolts of fabric.  Of course all of the back orders of fabric have been arriving.    Did I mention that we had a lot of built in shelving and cabinets at the old house?  Slight miscalculation.   We have no place to PUT things.

Got the quilting machine set up today, a corner for my sewing area, and actually quite a bit of progress.  Had a bunch of built in shelving and cabinets that we couldn't take with us.   I would show pictures, but the camera cables are packed somewhere and I have not located them yet.  I am sure it is in some box the packers labled  "living room misc".  Good grief. 

We had to fire the movers.  Took them 8 hours to load and unload one trailer full of boxes.  They conveniently didn't load the BIG heavy stuff  and when we would point and indicate we wanted the 'big desk'  or 'heavy armoire'  they would sign and indicate that it would need to go on last in the trailer.  Well, then the trailer was too full, and would have to be next trip.   Anyway, long story short, we told them not to come back, paid them off and rented a U-Haul  truck.  Jon and I spent the next 4 days loading and unloading the stupid truck.  needless to say, we didn't get all the things done this week we wanted to, but managed to get everything done.  We both agreed we are too old to be doing this, and I kept suggesting we hire someone else (Labor day weekend - no change).  So, we sweated, hauled and heaved and got it done.

Funny how you get used to little things.  I'm used to the kitchen sink being on the right.  I keep going in and placing dirty dishes on the stove!   Tonight, still had not located the can opener, and Jon used his swiss army knife to get the can open.  He is kinda handy to have around.

Well, more later.