Friday, January 30, 2015

Trip Around the Prairie

No finishes this week but here's an update on the progress I'm making on my latest UFO!

Do you have a UFO that for whatever reason you don't like anymore?

This was my Pine Burr (also called Target and Bullseye) quilt that I was no longer liking. It just wasn't turning out the way I'd envisioned so I took it apart.

I decided to reuse the Prairie Points in a new project. I ended up cutting more fabric to make even more Prairie Points and have no idea if they'll all get used. I thought I'd planned out the color placement and how many Prairie Points I'd need for each color but I'm changing my mind (often).

One of the things I didn't like about my Pine Burr blocks was that my circles were going wonky and I couldn't line up the Prairie Points to keep them even. 

A square or rectangle was my choice because I could draw lines on the foundation fabric to help me line up the triangle bases. I would also be able to space the Prairie Points more evenly. When I realized I was making a "Trip Around the World" with Prairie Points, I decided to name it "Trip Around the Prairie".

Here I'm trying to decide the direction I should take in the next round of colors. As usual, I'm short on lighter value fabrics because I tend to purchase medium and darker value fabrics. I'm considering using the floral fabric on the left for the borders. The colors in this photo are a little more intense than in real life.

Even with the placement lines drawn on the foundation fabric, it has been a bit of a challenge to keep the design from going wonky. Lots of measuring and adjusting after each row! It will definitely not be perfect.

I'd like to finish this wallhanging in the next week or so because I'm already planning which UFO to work on next! Below is part of "Pumpkin Peel" from the book, Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts, written by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms.

I think I have almost half the pumpkin peels paper foundation pieced. I'd like to applique them on red solid background fabric. Recently I saw this same design on a cheddar background. Mine won't be hand quilted like hers is but I'm considering using a striped binding if I can find one that will work!

Until next time,

Friday, January 23, 2015

UFO Quilt Top Finished!

Another UFO quilt top finished!
Bonnie Hunter's quilt design "Criss Cross Applesauce". 
 While this is a name easier to remember and to say, I've named my version something apple related also but with a nod to the Civil War. When the quilt is totally finished, I'll reveal its name.

I really used a lot of my green fabric stash for this quilt which is good! 

I pieced the backing out of fabric in my stash and lets just call it "creative". Tomorrow, I'm delivering the quilt top and backing to the machine quilter and I hope to get it back sometime in February.

UFO #3 is calling me but I'm not sure what I want to do with it. Continue with the original plan or take it apart and start over? I'm leaning toward starting over. Watch for pictures of it next week!

Until next time, Mayleen 

Saturday, January 17, 2015


UFO #1 "Finish"
My latest selvage quilt, measuring approximately 84 x 96, was quilted by Jan Hutchison. Flash was supposed to be a wallhanging but I kept making blocks and more blocks. I probably could make another small project with the leftover blocks.

Flash is not officially done because he's waiting for a label. Yes, this quilt is a he. I print my labels on the computer and will need to finish three more quilts before I can make labels.

My UFO count - one down and 33 to go!

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wall of Fabric

A little cheeriness on a partly cloudy day:
Prairie Quilt Guild's 2014 Block of the Month
"Inspiration at Dusk" - my blocks so far.

Here's my Wall of Fabric pictures:

What was lacking the most in my sewing room was fabric and project organization. This is the wall just as you walk into the room completely taken up by two heavy duty wire shelf units. 

We already had one of the racks but it wasn't being used much so I claimed it. I purchased another rack and more of the Artbin containers. I usually buy them at JoAnn's but found a good deal on the internet this time. 

On the end nearest the door, I've hung most of my tote bags from "S" hooks. My husband thinks I have too many tote bags. I'm always looking for a bag to transport quilts so totes call my name!  

I couldn't back up far enough to get both racks and the tote bags in the picture so here's another view. Almost everything has been sorted into containers. Each project has its own container, fabric has been sorted by color or type and my current or most used patterns, magazines and books are together.
I still have some organization to do and decisions to make about this wall but its been really nice to be able to find what I need when I need it!

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Oldest UFO and More

This year, I've decided to try to finish or make progress on my UFO's so to keep myself motivated, I've joined Field Trip and Fiber's UFO Busting link up! Click on her button in the upper right hand sidebar to read more about it and see what UFO's other bloggers are working on.

In this first post, we've been asked to tell how many active UFO's we have and name our oldest UFO.

My total number of UFO's is 34. Some are tops needing to be quilted, some are tops needing to be finished, and some are just a few blocks. Its very difficult for me to get rid of any quilt I start unless its really horrid so I'm going to say they're all active. Disclaimer - I may change my mind later.

I think this is my oldest UFO. It was started back in the late 90's as my daughter's high school graduation present. Unfortunately, it looks like it was meant to only be a double size quilt and it's also no longer my daughter's taste.

My mother did the cross stitch and I pieced the top, as far as it got.

Here is the final border fabric which I had purchased but not cut. It's dated 1998. It reminds me of the new color of the year - Marsala. I would like to finish this quilt as a remembrance of my mother, have it quilted but not sure what it's future will be.

So, what have I been working on? This is Criss Cross Applesauce, a Bonnie Hunter pattern, which is also a UFO. I finished making the blocks and was trying to web the rows together when I got them so tangled up that I had to cut the first two rows apart. I'll make another attempt at stitching the web together tomorrow.

I've also started to work on Love Entwined again. I'm a little further along since I last worked on it but not much. I do plan to take some of it apart - those heart wreaths really bother me.

I have "finished" one UFO - my wild child quilt, "Flash". It just needs a sleeve and a label for it really to be done. Since I print my labels on the computer, I like to print four labels on one fabric sheet. That means I'll need to finish three more quilts before I can print labels. Pictures of "Flash" and my fabric stash wall coming next week!

This Arctic blast weather has been perfect for quilting! 
(Trying to put a positive spin on freezing cold temperatures and wind chills.)

Until next time, Mayleen

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Truth be Told - my Sewing Room

  I thought I'd show you a "Before" photo of my sewing room.  In this photo, I'm standing at the doorway and looking in toward the window. Sometimes people have told me that I'm a perfectionist and must be highly organized, LOL. I don't think so. You are the first people to see what my sewing room was like because I never allowed visitors in there.

My sewing room was quite a disorganized mess and I certainly wasn't enjoying stitching in there anymore. Organization was very badly needed. I couldn't find fabric and notions when I needed them and I couldn't put them away either. Its no wonder some of my UFO's hadn't seen the light of day in years!

It was also becoming a place I'd just drop off my guild president stuff - notebooks, tote bags, papers, stuff, etc. I'm hoping to keep those kind of things in the office from now on.

I normally don't store my finished quilts in my sewing room but it looks like I'd just unpacked my quilt after the AQS Des Moines show.

Here's the space I have to work with. The room is about 10'x11', has a window with a window seat  facing west at one end, a closet and a door at the other end. I have two walls to work with and a very high ceiling so I plan to go up as much as is convenient.

In this space, I'll need to put my sewing desk (5'2"x25"), ironing board (57.5x19"), chair (19x24"), two design walls (each measures 4x8') plus some kind of storage for my fabric stash, patterns, rulers, WIPs, UFOs, and whatever else I need in there.

Its a challenge and I can tell you that after playing around with numerous options, there is not a good option but whatever I do will be better than before. I have sewn on the dining room table, in the master bedroom and in the basement so I know that having any space devoted exclusively to sewing is a blessing.

Next week, I'll show you the first wall and how I'm organizing (somewhat) my fabric.

Until next time,