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 - FINISH IT UP

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 wall hanging. 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!