Lemon Pie is finished

A finished quilt is a beautiful thing.

Lemon Pie
Please do not copy without permission
 I'm so glad I've switched my focus from my FWS to finishing up a few things on my WIP pile such as the quilt above.

Here's some texture detail on the back:

quilt back
Please do not copy without permission

I really like how velvety-soft the backing fabric feels - almost like a brushed cotton.  It's a lavender dot print from Lucien.  I used a variegated thread for the top stitching and plain grey (Coats & Clark) in the bobbin.  It blends beautifully with the lavender.

I had just completed the free-motion quilting and was changing feet on my machine to start on the binding and my machine went dead.  Kaput.  Oy.  I took it into the shop on Tuesday and got a royal spanking from the shop owner for horrific negligence.  3 years is WAY too long to go without a service.  I guess the equivalent would be to drive your car for 20k without an oil change!!!  So, I have my fingers crossed that there is nothing major wrong that can't be resolved with a thorough cleaning and adjustment.  I have a quilting class in mid-Oct. for which I need my machine and it's questionable it will be done by then. 

If anyone reading this is thinking this sounds familiar, don't make my mistake; stop what you're doing and take your machine in IMMEDIATELY for servicing!

I still have my Featherweight which came in handy for making the binding strips and finishing up the quilt.  I can still work on piecing my FWS blocks too.

Lemon Pie, Completed!
Please do not copy without permission
Have a GREAT weekend!

Here's my tubby guy Axel - we bought him a battery operated hamster in hopes he'd chase it and get more exercise.  As you can see here, he wasn't too impressed.
Axel vs. Hamster



Oh yes, I do love Fridays.  The end of the work week is in sight, and various "quilt-y" projects beckon.

New Stash
  Before I tell you what I have planned for this delicious stack, I wanted to give a yell out to Amy at Amy's Creative Side for featuring me on her bog today.  I feel totally honored to be featured, and maybe a bit astonished, to be honest.  Amy's next Bloggers' Festival is coming up next month, so mark your calendars.  I can't think of a better way for small bloggers such as myself (under 50 followers) to get our work out there and to encourage us all to support other quilters. 

Back to the fabric featured above.... I had purchased for my FWS project, but now I can't get the idea of making a log cabin mini or table runner out my mind!  I'm not sure if I have enough yardage as these are smallish scraps - somewhere in between fat quarter and fat eighth in size.

Speaking of log cabins, here's a fun idea on quilterscache.


Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!



Yes.... I've been busy quilting.  This is, after all, a quilting blog, and I've been making good progress on quilting Lemon Pie.  You can read about the making of this quilt here, here and here.

Lemon Pie Applique quilt
Please do not copy or link to this photo without my consent

I was able to get this sandwiched fairly quickly due the the small size of the quilt.  I love being able to do this on a table vs. floor -- I'm too old and my back hurts having to stoop over the floor!

I'm loosely following the freemotion quilting pattern recommended in the magazine but changed the background stitching in the 3 lower inner panels to better match the background fabrics.  I'm actually working on the border now, so it's going quickly.  As you can see in my photos, I still need to go back and bury my threads.

Lemon Pie Applique quilt
Please do not copy or link to this photo without my consent
I used embroidery floss to make the birds' eyes and a variegated thread by YLI for quilting.  I just finishing up the quilting in the outer borders and it feels good to see the finish line in sight!

A pic from my Saturday walk at Oyster Pt.  The red leaves made me think of Fall, although it this is some sort of evergreen tree!  One can tell that Fall is nearly here because we're finally getting some super hot weather here in the SF Bay Area!


This and That

First of all, Happy Friday!  I had really good intentions of blogging last Friday about my weekend plans, but it never happened.  The big plan was to do some reading.

Which in fact, I did...but then my daughter spied the pattern on the cover of Quilts & More (right under The Hunger Games).  I hadn't even so much as cracked open the magazine yet.

She just had to make it, so we got out some fabric and I assisted with the measuring and rotary cutting; she did all of the stitching.  We didn't have pre-printed pumpkin printed fabric for the center squares so she's designing some motifs and I'll probably stitch those by hand.  This is my (our) very first time making prairie points and they're super easy.

Some loot from a recent trip to Joann's.  2 half yard cuts of Denyse Schmidt's new fabric line and some embroidery floss.  [The little embroidery pictured in the photo was stitched by my daughter. ]

And these:

I've been meaning to find some self-threading needles for a long time.  They should really come in handy for quickly burying threads when quilting.  I also thought I'd try out titanium sewing machine needles.  I have one on the machine right now and I honestly say I can't tell the difference.  I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who uses these.  Are they better than standard needles?

Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!  I'm looking forward to finishing up the last in The Hunger Games trilogy and probably a little sewing.   I can't wait!


Getting Unstuck

After getting completely “stuck” on the Darting Birds block, and seriously questioning whether it was worth continuing on with the FWS project, I decided to skip over to the next block in the book; Ducks & Ducklings.   I’m happy to say that I am now officially “unstuck”.

The block would be more aptly named Cobwebs & Clover.  I used 2 different Alexander Henry prints, both Halloween themed - the B&W clover is from the Ghastlies line.

I then revisited Darting Birds, and once I settled on the bold wavy print, it came together.

Next up, Economy

Thank goodness for an EASY one!!!!  I've been waiting for a block with some large pieces so I could feature this cool print from my stash.  The way I oriented the fabric, it actually looks much better not "on-point". 

Lastly, #30 End of Day

I literally finished this one at the end of day, yesterday, which is why the photo is so grainy.  Again, I was able to use a wonderful Alexander Henry Print (the dark print) ... the black striped fabric in Economy is also an A. Henry print.

I used templates for this last batch of blocks.  I can say now after 30+ blocks, with the exception of some blocks that only need very simple math calculations, my blocks made with the templates have come out the best. My  paper piecing blocks yielded exacting results but loads of frustration (and swearing) and the finish size blocks were coming out a tad on the small side.  I like to piece with a scant 1/4" seam as it gives me wiggle room to trim down anything too wonky.

I'd like to share with you my work process.  I should probably take some pictures to flesh this out.  

I'm cutting out the templates and pasting them onto plastic template sheets.  I leave the paper template cut a little big and then trim it down once it's secured to the plastic.  I find I can use my rotary cutter and ruler to cut fabric with these.  Occasionally,  I do need to toss a template if I've cut on it too many times, but still, I'm finding myself working faster, and with good results.  Before cutting into my fabric, I measure my templates and cut a fabric strip horizontal to the selvage to fit the template.  This saves a lot of time.  I wasn't having good results with slapping my template down randomly on a fabric piece, and tracing around the template with a pen or pencil.

FWS- Progress Shot

Have a great week!



Farmer's Wife: at an impasse

My free time (as it is) these past few weeks have been consumed with my house painting project, but I do have a couple of FWS blocks I put together a few weeks ago, but have yet to share with you.

#25 Cups & Saucers

#26 Cut Dish

I attempted the next block, Flock of Birds, but didn't get far.  The few nights I sat down to work was at the end of some very long work days. After shuffling these pieces around, and getting no where, I called "it a day".

Not quite a Flock

I find myself losing steam on my FWS project, and it's not just a lack of time or energy.  I haven't figured out how to streamline my work process, so I'm reinventing the wheel on each block.  Sometimes I use the templates, or paper-piece or use math.  This takes more "brain energy" than I seem to have these days. 

I'm also finding that I'm out of good background prints in light colors.  Not all fabrics can be "rock stars", and I'm lacking good "blenders".  Unless I start reusing fabrics, but I was hoping to keep things scrappy.  Ideally, I'll be able to pick up some FQ's at my local fabric shop, if I can only find the time.  So, it's at an impasse for now.

Now with the bulk of house painting done (still need to do touch up), I hope to turn my attention to this WIP. 

Lemon Applique

I have the backing fabric and would like to get it prepped for quilting. Maybe I can squeeze in some time this weekend between the 2 planned picnics/BBQ's.

I wish everyone a great Labor Day weekend!