My quilting and family life journal

After almost two years of searching off and on I finally found the fabrics that will work with a large needlepoint piece that took a few years to complete.

Needlepoint quilt center

The he piece will be incorporated into a large wall quilt that will fit nicely into a center hall or long wall. Unfortunately, the pice has hung so long that I have to size it again. šŸ˜ž

Birthday Weekend

This past weekend we celebrated my honey’s birthday.

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We started the celebration early by attending the Vermont Flow Show on Friday where we got a small taste of spring and attended a wonderful workshop on growing and cultivatingĀ  herbal medicine bushes.

imageThe session was extremely informative and the presenter Julie Mitchell was very knowledgeable and sharing. I wish we could have attended some of the other workshops, but we needed to attend to a few other things on the birthday wish list.

Saturday we went to look at puppies and run a few errands. We spent the evening curled up together under quilts on the couch watching old movies — what a great way to spend an evening.

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imageSunday was spent with our respective books in each other company enjoying the wood stove heat. I also spent a bit of time making the requested birthday dinner: beefless stew, fougasse stuffed with chopped olives and lots of fresh herbs and ended the meal with a Greek yogurt cheesecake topped with strawberries (this time of year I had to use some frozen strawberries I had in the freezer from last season).

cheesecake

… What an enjoyable chore-free weekend.

Putting the Scraps to Work

My fabric scrap draws were so full that I either had to start new draws, throw some fabric out or put it to use. Additional draws are not an option and I could never throw perfectly good fabric away, so I started making hexies out of the bit and pieces. So far I have made about 1,500 and have about twice as many more to make before the scraps are under control.

it is really interesting to see how my taste in fabrics and colors has changed over time, and how the quality of fabrics have changed over the years.

Hexies units

Moving right along…

This weekend we are scheduled to get another 6-8 inches of snow, so I’ve had some time to finish the center unit to my English paper piecing project (264 – 1 inch diamonds and equilateral triangles). I was even able to start some of the stars and hexies for the next layer of the top.

floating blocks english paper piecing projectI truly love hand piecing projects, even though that take a long time to complete (it will take me 6-9 months to finish this top). Fortunately, I will have several hours next week to work on start pieces as we dive to and from the Vermont Flower Show.Ā  I am really looking forward to the touch of spring the show will provide and the workshops and seminars we can attend at the event.

New project started

I started a new hexagon project today to practice fussy cutting log cabin block centers. So far I have managed to get four of the ten colors around each of the centers.

Log cabin blocks

Not it sure what I will do with the blocks when they are done, but I am having fun putting the together…

I have also made a bit more progress on my floating block quilt as well.

Floating blocks

tomorrow I should put aside the quilting and do a bit of cooking and some cleaning. Why does life get in the way when you want to have fun?

A tale of caution…

About six weeks ago I finished the quilt top below. I was very proud of the design so decided to send it out to be customer quilted.

Dancing to the light of the moon

The decision to outsource is where the saga begins. I love, love, love designing and piecing tops but my quilting skills are not at the level that I would like, so I outsource a number of tops to be quilted by others. My favorite long arm quitter is Joanne at SplittingĀ Stitches, she works closely with her clients, provides good input and feedback, communicate all through the process and provides quality work, unfortunately (for this project) she only does edge to edge work. So, I had to look for a long arm or free motion quitter that would take on a custom project.

After much searching I selected a quitter in Maine who has been doing custom quilting for others for 3-4 years. I approached her with photos of the top, an explained the inspiration and vision behind the top and asked her if she would be interested in working on the project. She said that she would be very interested and the initial communications over pricing, batting and possible design techniques went well… I was a bit concerned with her need to have all ribbons if the quilt was shown and placed, but that was a small detail since I wasn’t sure if the piece would be appropriate to show in anyplace other than my home. Once all of theĀ  were worked out I mailed her the quilt top and backing.

A month went by and no communication. Then a couple of days ago I hear from her and she states that she is thinking about putting my piece on her machine and to start thinking about the stitching (not sure what she did with the information from our last conversations). So we email back and forth again (she not will to talk on the phone about the project) about the design for the quilt top. Yesterday she decided that she didn’t want to quilt the top after all. I have now wasted 7 weeks with this women and out a bit of money in postage and purchasing the type of backing that she wanted over what I had originally envisioned for the quilt. Now I am waiting to see if I get my top and backing back… be very careful who you choose to work with you on projects. Lesson learned for me.

More project time

We are in the middle of the second snow storm in as many weeks. We were fortunate with last weeks storm when we only got a foot of snow. This week it looks like we will get between 1 and 1.5 feet of snow over the next couple of days, I love the snow, but at this time of year it is getting hard to figure out where to put all of white stuff that has to be moved from the driveway and around the out buildings…. at times it is hard to believe that we should be starting veggie seeds in the next week or two….. Oh well time to procrastinateĀ a bit…

This morning I started a nice pot of navy bean soup that will be severed with some olive rosemary bread I made the other day, set the wood stove and picked up with a few craft projects that I have been working on.

The needlepoint project posted a week or so ago is moving along.

equality needlepoint I still need to finish the border, add all the words into the background and finish the embellishments.

Over the past few days I have also been working on my English paper piecing project.

floating baby blocks

I have about 10 more baby blocks to piece, then I need to add the triangles between the units and piece all the units together for the center of the quilt. The next series of units to be worked on are the larger hexagon shapes that will have six pointed stars in the center. I plan on having 6-8 rows of the star hexies around the outside of the floating blocks.

Hope you all stay warm…

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