Fabric of the Year 2010 Top & Back

FOTY 2010 Top
FOTY 2010 Top

As I mentioned in the Zig Zaggy post, I am working on finishing tasks for a number of quilts. One of the tasks I finished was the back of the FOTY 2010.

The Zig Zaggy quilt back was miserable to make because I used too many small pieces. I put it aside 4 or 6 months ago and I hadn’t finished it when I started the FOTY 2010 back.

I decided that I would try and use similar colors instead of using all variety of colors. Is this a new way of making backs? I don’t know, but found it a lot easier to use big pieces instead of a bunch of fat quarters. The process went faster and wasn’t so frustrating. It also didn’t take up an entire weekend to make one back. I think that using a similar color will be better for the quilting. I think it will help the quilting stitches blend in.

Building the Back
Building the Back

I built the back on the design wall, which I found to be a lot easier than trying to lay it out on the floor. I really like having a second design wall, as I think I said.

I had the Metro Coffee fabric I had saved to use. The Metro Coffee fabric was printed in such a way that made it too much of a pain to use for another bag. I found another large of piece of fabric in a similar color.

In addition, I used number of the fabrics from this year, but I also used a fabric or two from one of my fabric bins.

Somehow, I found using similar colors was a lot easier to make than using many different colors. I think it took out one decision from the process of making the back.

FOTY 2010 Back Finished
FOTY 2010 Back Finished

I don’t know what has gotten into me with this finishing jag. I think some factors were: not having enough time to sew for a week or so which made just want to sew as quickly as possible. Bringing a quilt to the quilter and knowing she could do a just a little more for me made me get on with the bindings so I would be farther ahead when I got the quilts back. I also think that talking with Colleen about three quilts ma and then made me see the possibilities if I did just a bit more work to get more quilts to her. I am behind on FOTY 2010 and  finishing the FOTY 2010 top made me want to try and catch up on it.

I knew I would have a good chunk of time on the weekend to sew, so I got a bug in my ear to move through some of the finishing tasks. I also knew that I didn’t want to spend all of my weekend sewing finishing tasks, which doesn’t seem like creative sewing to me. Since I had a bit of time during the week, and small amounts of time are great for making bindings, I decided to make the bindings for the 3 quilts (Frosted Stars, Frosted Stars Leftovers and the Purple Quilt) which are currently being quilted. I also made the binding for FOTY 2010 and will make one for the Zig Zaggy quilt.

It is great that my longarm quilter will machine sew the bindings to the front of the quilt for me. I normally do it myself, but, this week, I decided that having her do it would move the process along a bit quicker.

On my list for this year is finishing one of my UFOs. I need to move through some of these other projects before I can get to that UFO. I have been trying to move projects past the piecing process before I start something new. I am trying to move some of these projects past that point.

FOTY 2010 Progress

Starting out at Home
Starting out at Home

As soon as I arrived home from the retreat, I put up the portable design wall and organized the diamonds. They were pinned on the design wall, so I didn’t have to do much for the part that was already sewn. All the unsewn diamonds were just in the bag of pieces.

Progress 1
Progress 1

My next task was to put all of the reds and pinks back on the design wall. Above, I have put all the diamonds I could fit back up on the design wall.

Progress 2
Progress 2

I was really trying to fix that bottom right hand corner, which meant working on the blues.

Progress 3
Progress 3

The blues are getting better. I am making progress.

Progress 4
Progress 4

But not all of the blues are cooperating.

Progress 5
Progress 5

I felt like I needed to take a lot of pictures, so when I have succeeded in a section I have a record. I am nervous that I will need to recreate it if the diamonds get rearranged. I live with creative people and sometimes they think they are helping by rearranging things.

Progress 6
Progress 6

More with the blues.

Progress 7
Progress 7

Minor changes, but the piece is looking better.

Progress 8
Progress 8

Trying to make the leap from blue to green to yellow is proving to be a challenge. I don’t think there is such a thing as a dark yellow and that one green (smack in the middle of the photo above) is really sticking out and doesn’t seem to fit anywhere.

Back to it!

2010 WIP Report

I decided to rename this post. I just don’t like the term UFO. It is too negative. My pieces may be unfinished, but they are all in progress.

Below is the 2010 inventory of my current works in progress. Let’s see if I made any progress since the  previous roundup post of December 31, 2009 and where I am in the process as well as what I need to do. First, I want to tout my accomplishments. 😉

2010 started off very well in the quiltmaking and reading departments.

I read 49 books this year. Of the 49, 11 of them were quilt, bag or creativity related.

Completed Pieces in 2010
One of the great things about completing quilts and projects is that they go off the ‘not done’ list and on to the completed list. Two birds with one stone and all of that. 😉

Completed means to me that they are now usable and can in no way be considered to have anything left to stitch. I donated House & Garden , which was completed on 5/17/2009 to XXX organization. A former work colleague asked me to do so and I thought what the heck?

2010 completed projects are:

Mostly Done, Need Finishing
I added this new category to break up the UFO list and to make myself feel like I had accomplished something, which was quite overwhelming. Also, these are all mostly done, IMO.

  • Frosted Stars: at the quilter; needs quilting, binding and sleeve
  • Frosted Stars Leftovers: at the quilter; needs quilting, binding and sleeve
  • FOTY 2010: diamonds cut
  • Kissy Fish: top finished, though I may want to add some more machine quilting to it, needs binding and sleeve or binding and framing.
  • The Tarts Come to Tea: quilting in process. Needs embroidery and embellishment, binding and sleeve.

True UFOs
Here is my list of UFOs. You can see many of them over at Artquiltmaker.com or look at the links I have provided.As mentioned last year, this list in no way implies that I will discontinue starting new projects or finish any of these.

  • Original Bullseye: Still have those directions for doing the border the way I want it (the directions I found late last year). Took a Dale Fleming class and learned a technique which may help me with the border. No progress in 2009.
  • Flowering Snowballs/Cross Block quilt: I did not work on this quilt at all year and have finished the center blocks. The side and corner blocks are drawn out on EQ6. I worried on and off about how to keep the blocks from fraying after I square them up. Got some good ideas from fabulous readers after my December 20, 2008 post! No progress in 2010.
  • Garden from Pamela Allen class: needs hand embroidery and embellishment. Worked on it in the 2009 Pamela Allen class and it is much improved. Needs quilting, embellishment and binding.
  • Laura Wasilowski Flower Garden: started in the Laura Wasilowski class CQFA held in July 2007: needs machine quilting, hand embroidery and embellishment. No progress in 2008.
  • He Tried to Make it Up to Her: needs back and to be quilted. This is probably a quilt I will want to quilt myself. TFQ has dug out a number of quilts, but I don’t know if this was one of them. No progress in 2008.
  • Her Eyes were Bigger than Her Stomach: needs a back and to be quilted. Very active quilt; probably not the best design, but a mile marker in the quiltmaking journey and an excellent learning experience. No progress in 2008
  • Michaela’s quilt; in the process of piecing
  • Moon & Stars: in the quilting process…by hand
  • Pineapple: All blocks are done. Need to put them together. Still facing the reality that some blocks are much too large and trying to figure out how to move forward. I measured all the blocks and found they were all different sizes. I think that I will cut them down to all the same size and let them be wonky.
  • Pointillist Palette 4: Night: This is the fourth (of six) in a series of Pointillist Palette fabric by Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka that was popular a number of years ago. No progress in 2008
  • QA Challenge Quilt: need to fuse the parts and rubber stamp the words. No progress in 2008
  • Quilt Sorbet: on hold.
  • See: started in a David Walker class. Needs fusing, satin stitching around fused pieces and quilting. No progress in 2009, but I did think about it alot.
  • Self Portrait from Pamela Allen class: needs more piecing, hand embroidery and embellishment. No progress in 2009
  • Solid Star Friendship Quilt: need more friends so they can make stars for me in solids with black. Do you want to exchange a star block with me? No progress in 2009
  • Spiderweb: foundation pieced project, still piecing. Need to create the templates for the border blocks. Aside from collecting more strips, no progress in 2008
  • The Tarts Come to Tea: Top and back finished in 2010. Needs quilting. embroidery and embellishment, binding and sleeve.
  • Under the Sea:  brown piece from April 2009 Pamela Allen class with CQFA. Needs machine quilting, hand embellishment and finishing.
  • Women’s Work 2: last year I said that this quilt “needs focus.” Was inspired and have the design. No progress in 2009, except for finding my drawing and making a file.
  • Zig Zaggy quilt: started in 2010. Finished piecing top. Working on piecing the back.

On My Mind
Here are the quilts and projects I am thinking about. Some are on the list from last year. In some cases I have purchased fabric, but no sewing has been done, so they are not yet considered UFOs.

  • Liesl tote/backpack: have fabric and pattern and after hearing her interview with Jennifer at CraftSanity, I also have the confidence.
  • San Mateo County Fair Dot quilt
  • Paper pieced Nativity scene: I downloaded this pattern when it was free years ago and have never gotten up the energy to be as organized as I need to be to make this, but I still want to make it. You can find the pattern, for purchase, at Paper Panache.com
  • Interlocking triangles #4: love the technique and have at least one, if not two, idea[s] for more quilts using this technique.
  • Dot quilt with inset circles a la Ruth McDowell: more uses for dots and a good exercise in piecing. The Twinkle quilt shown in the January 2009 issue of Quilting Arts magazine is similar and renewed my interest in this design. Took a Dale Fleming class in April of 2010 and learned another way to make circles.
  • Feathered Star dot quilt from Summer 2007 issue of Quilts & More: more use for dots. Thought I would get to this after making the Pineapple, but the Pineapple is still not complete, so this this dot quilt has not been started.
  • Some kind of pink quilt with all the pink fabric I have still been buying. I have begun cutting 2.5″x4.5″ rectangles of pink fabrics that cross my cutting table.
  • Colorblocks 3 with silks: I want to use this pattern from Sandy Bonsib; silk fab will use silk fabric with a luscious sheen instead of the regular cottons. Background will be black cotton sateen again. What’s been holding me up? Backing all the silk. I have the backing and just can’t bring myself to do it. Barsha told me to skip the backing and just make the quilt without it. Can’t decide if the project has new life or not. Definitely not on the top of the list.
  • Garden Quilt: I have been collecting photos and patterns of interesting flowers for years and have always wanted to make some kind of garden or flower quilt. It will probably be something like The Tarts Come to Tea. Need to finish the Tarts first before starting the same kind of project. Now I can use the Soft Fuse for this quilt.
  • Jack’s Chain: I saw a quilt of this pattern years and years ago and have always wanted to make one. Probably at least a partial hand piecing project after the Flowering Snowball (Cross Blocks quilt). I am more confident seeing how Liz Porter and Marianne Fons handled equilateral triangles. I also have that new ruler to use. I could, additionally, decide on a size and start piecing nine patches.
  • P&B Pop Parade quilt a la Serendipity Puzzle
  • Bathroom ‘quilt’ out of heavy clear plastic. I want to make pockets that I can put interesting things in that won’t get waterlogged. I also think the stitching would be an interesting addition to the piece. I also saw a tallish tote bag with many pockets that is similar to what I have been thinking for this quilt, so perhaps I will do another tote instead.

Abandoned Projects
This is also a new category. I decided to be upfront about the projects I got rid of.

  • Nothing abandoned in 2010!

Other

  • I am still trying to enjoy the process of quiltmaking more than the finished product. I think there is more work to do, but I also feel like I havesucceeded so far.
  • I have added other projects to the On My Mind section because tote bags have been a big part of my life since 2008 and I expect that to continue in 2011, as it did in 2010.

Dreaming a Work of Heart

"Dream"
"Dream"

Lil Sissy nagged me to go with her to A Work of Heart on Tuesday night. She started last week and kept asking. We had some pending, but tentative plans that fell through, so I was able to go. It was one of the worst weather nights of the year – lost power, water on the road, rain for hours – and the drive was a bit arduous. Still, I am really glad I went. The piece above is the piece I made.

Not a quilt, or fabric related piece, so stop reading now if you are not interested in mixed media.

Andrea, the AWOH goddess, was inspired to make her original piece after reading Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts. This type of mixed media isn’t really my thing mostly because it is so messy and I just don’t have a space to be supremely messy.  I really went to the class to hang with my sister and mom and because I want A Work of Heart to be successful. Also, I need to learn to be more spontaneous.

I love this piece. I didn’t think I would, but I love the end result. I needed a bit more time for the class, but I got done. I just felt a bit rushed. I love the messiness of it. I love the spontaneity of the piece. I love the mix of turquoise and ‘titan buff’ over the ripped paper. I think I would like to do one of these with copies of some of my great grandmother’s letters. She had beautiful handwriting and it would have so much meaning to me.

Dream detail
Dream detail

I feel like this is really a successful piece.

Dream detail 2
Dream detail 2

I didn’t plan to rip the paper, but I saw my sister doing it and copied her. When Andrea mentioned ‘titan buff’ (the beige I rolled over the background with the turquoise) I heard “tight and buff” and we had a good laugh about the implications of  such a name.

Mom Star for San Bruno

Mom's Star for San Bruno
Mom's Star for San Bruno

The good thing about being off of work for a few days is that I can post things as they occur rather than waiting until I have a spare minute. Mom made this star for the San Bruno quilt this week and I think it will go very well with the others.

All star blocks are welcome!

Block background: dark blue
Block design: Yellow star (any pattern)
block size: 8? or less (we will work with any size)
Remember to sign your block!

Deadline: TBA

Contact us through our blogs for mailing instructions. Thanks so much for your generosity!

If you would like to contribute the parameters are:

Gift Post #4

See? I really did go on a jag making these wallets. It was a great project that I could make quickly. After making the first one, I was able to make one in about half an hour, not including the bit of hand sewing required.

Philip Jacobs Wallet - closed
Philip Jacobs Wallet - closed

The version above uses that great Philip Jacobs fabric I bought at Always Quilting after PIQF.

Philip Jacobs Wallet -inside
Philip Jacobs Wallet -inside

One issue I am having with this project is the selection of fabrics. As you can see from the various choices I have made, I have tried different things. I like this combination, mostly. I like that the Philip Jacob fabric has different areas that I could select from. The ‘foil’ fabric was a challenge. I don’t mind the solid, but I would have liked something a little more active (a tone-on-tone, perhaps?) since it shows quite a bit on the bottom, especially when the wallet is open.

Philip Jacobs Wallet -outside
Philip Jacobs Wallet -outside

I love the Philip Jacobs print! It is so fun. This particular colorway is quite loud, but it works. It works for my mom, the giftee, as well. I made it with the intention of putting a gift card in it and the young man ended up getting her a gift card and I gave this to him as the wrapping.

Gift Post #3

Julie, over at High Fiber Content, has been making Halloween Houses for some time. You can see her most recent post about the project. I found some cool skeleton fabric few months ago with the intent of making her some houses. I didn’t do it right away, because I was busy and also because I started to doubt whether it was a good idea or not. I am not sure if it is a friendship block project or just a project she is working on herself. In the end, as you can see, I made the blocks. After 25+ years of giving gifts to someone, a person has to get creative. If she doesn’t like them, she can put them the back.

Halloween House #1
Halloween House #1

The above block uses some Dia de los Muertos fabric I found somewhere as well as some Jay McCarroll fabric for the walls and roof of the house. I intended to use the same Liberated Quiltmaking technique I used for the Women’s Work 1 quilt to build the houses. That was a fun technique when I was in the class.

During the process of making WW1, I really got into a groove doing the red houses for Women’s Work 1. I thought it would be easy to get back into the groove, but it wasn’t. I had to rip and redo, because my ratio of roof to walls were off and looked strange.

Halloween House #2
Halloween House #2

I had a little scrap of the Dia de los Muertos fabric so I made the above house, too.

Halloween House #3
Halloween House #3

This is the last block I made and, as you can see, the skeleton fabric is different. It was a much larger print and a little hard to work with. I could have made a really large block, but didn’t want a block I made to dominate her quilt.

I included the leftover fabric in the gift bag, so she can make some others. I hope she has already received the package before she reads this!

Boy Art

Boy Art #1
Boy Art #1

The Young Man has to do 2 hours of art at home every quarter if he wants to get an A in the class. That isn’t difficult since my mom is an artist and she ADORES doing art with him.

Boy Art #2
Boy Art #2

Getting him started in the hard part. Once he gets started, he can create and create and create. He is like me in that he needs space to create.

Boy Art #3
Boy Art #3

These turned out especially great. I would love to see them as fabric. Do you hear me fabric companies? The squiggles could be separated out and be a companion fabric.

Boy Art #4
Boy Art #4

These are also a test of the media he was using, apparently, and warm-ups. The xes could also be companion fabric, perhaps resized a bit?

Boy Art #5
Boy Art #5

And, voila! The piece de resistance! It looks like spin art, but no machinery was involved. I see an additional stripe as a companion print as well.

Gift Post #2

Little Wallet closed
Little Wallet closed

I didn’t make as many gifts this year as I did last year, but I did make a few. This is a Valori Wells Little Wallet project. Terri promised that it was an easy project and she was absolutely correct. The hardest part of this project was the turning it! The part that took the longest was the cutting. This is a great project.

Little Wallet open
Little Wallet open

This is a present for my SIL. She wanted some gift cards and I thought it would be cute to put the gift cards in this little wallet.

Thursday Misc.

Gifts and Wrapping Department
How many gift bags have you made? I saw a great video on making gift bags. Longtime readers know that I love fabric gift bags because:

  1. they use great fabric
  2. I am terrible wrapper
  3. can be reused
  4. little to no garbage/recycling on the holiday, birthday or anniversary

Deirdre has been sending me Colouricious videos and the most recent one is all about making making a gift bag. This is a really lovely pleated gift bag. You won’t be able to make a bunch of them before Christmas 2010, but this is a heads up for 2011. I think these bags would actually make nicer birthday or Mother’s Day bags. Please show me what you make!

I have had a whopping 4 sales in my Cafe Press shop. I am excited that people I don’t even know like my stuff enough to buy it. Look in the New Year for your thank you note cards!

Fabric

Westminster MN43 Plum
Westminster MN43 Plum

I think I said recently that I was going to try to keep my fabric purchases to a minimum through the end of the year so I could finish cutting all the diamonds for the FOTY 2010. I wanted to show someone some Martha Negley fabric I bought a few weeks ago, so I searched Google and found MY image there (I am ranking in Google. Cool, huh?). In the process, I saw other Martha Negley fabrics. I really like her designs, especially the one above. Perhaps I will just admire it.

I want to make a Quillow and need some nice fleece. The stuff at some local chains is just too pilly (is that a word?). I once bought a whole bunch of fleece for a bathrobe making jag from a place in Massachusetts that had the most wonderful feel. They had a fire and there was a big deal about how they kept paying their workers. I can’t remember the name of the place or if it is still in business. Where do you buy your fleece? Do you have a brand that doesn’t pill too much?

Replay Department

I know that I wrote about this tip before, but I really think it is a good tip. Also, questions about it have come up. I thought I would do a replay, not to bore you, but to encourage you to bite the bullet and set up a feed. ResearchBuzz is an electronic newsletter I read for work. One day, I was pleased to find an article that would allow me to keep a steady stream of quilts coming to my blog reader.

Here is a sample of a quilt search:

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?tags=quilt,modern

After creating the link above (by changing the tags-everything after the = sign with terms separated by commas- at the end to suit your needs), paste this URL into your Bloglines or Newsgator or Google or whatever reader. The feed will send you back search results showing the gorgeous quilts that have been added to Flickr. I put the above search into my Google Reader and was immediately provided with several fresh looking quilts for my viewing pleasure.

I also wanted to see what was new and exciting in the basket quilt arena so I changed up the URL above to:

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?tags=quilt,basket

I retrieved a number of basket quilts, but also some mishits. They were pretty mishits, so I didn’t mind much. You can also cut and paste the feeds I have created above into your reader.

Find more info at ResearchBuzz.

Workroom/Studio

This TedTalk is about offices, but I am curious to know how it applies to your quilt work? Jason Fried, the speaker, talks, at one point, about creativity and creative people.

Rice Freeman-Zachery is doing a workshop sort of thing in 2011 using her book Creative Time & Space. Take a look at the blog post on Goodreads. She has a worksheet you can download. You may have to sign up for Goodreads to read the post.

Chronicle Books

We didn’t win the big list of books I made. I did get some new visitors and I hope they come back. I never win the blog giveaways. I did win a book once from Quiltin’ Jenny and that was fun. Perhaps I got a taste of that joy and just want more. I have plenty and will be happy with what I have. -)

Being Serious about FOTY 2010

Tools
Tools

I shouldn’t buy stuff right before Christmas, but I did anyway. Nobody is going to buy this stuff for me anyway. I went to Joann to get a gift (well, look for one that I didn’t find) and decided to get serious about finishing the FOTY.

I am trying to finish the journal I have going. I only have a few pages left and they seem to be magically expanding the more I write. I have been writing a lot of lists. One of the lists I wrote was things I wanted to accomplish during my vacation. On that list was to decide on the border fabric for the Fabric of the Year quilt for 2010 and get busy cutting those pieces. I know I didn’t need a special ruler when I made the border for the Eye Spy, but I also remember that the triangle gymnastics I went through were a pain. I decided to buy the specialty rulers while at Joann. (Actually, I bough the side triangle ruler at the Granary when I was having my quilt appraised. More on that later.)

I also saw Fons & Porter using their Pyramid ruler. I haven’t tried it yet, but like it much better than the ruler set I looked so hard for in October. I like the lines. I am acknowledging that I might not like it after I try it.

I needed another pair of scissors as my Ginghers are too hard on my hands . I have been using them to cut out the Little Wallets. It is a good thing those wallets don’t take much to cut out, because my hands couldn’t handle much more. I have some bags in my future, thus the scissors.

I was also almost out of machine needles. I couldn’t remember what I normally use, so I just grabbed some. I also bought the leather needles, because I want try sewing the future journal signatures (like in the Red Journal) together and I know I will need a serious needle. It might not work, but I will try.

I have some cool handmade paper that has been hanging around and somehow my mind put all the pieces together and I will use some of that paper for my next journal.

I never used more than one coupon at Joann and they let me use on for every regularly priced item. I was shocked at how much I saved and felt a little guilty about it.

Additional Stars for San Bruno

SherriD's Stars
SherriD's Stars

I received these blocks from SherriD yesterday. Aren’t they great? I love the combinations of goldy-yellows and blues she chose for the blocks. They glow.

Sherri told me that she tried a new technique to make the blocks, which is a great idea. It is nice to not have to commit to an entire quilt if you want to try something new.

If you would like to make blocks, too, here are the parameters:

All blocks are welcome!

Block background: dark blue
Block design: Yellow star (any pattern)
block size: 8? or less (we will work with any size)
remember to sign your block!

Deadline: TBA

Contact us through our blogs for mailing instructions. Thanks so much for your generosity!

Possibility?

Free Fabric
Free Fabric

This fabric was included free when I ordered the Mexican food pillowcase fabric from Whichway Quilting. It is beige/taupe/tan (no info on the selvedge on my piece) so I wasn’t very excited about it. However, when I washed and pressed it, I noticed the incredible dimensionality. It made me think that this fabric would make a really cool journal cover or pencil roll. I only have a FQ, so the project would have to be small. Also, it isn’t as if I don’t already have a thousand projects on my to do list. We’ll see.

More Stars for San Bruno

Bron's Stars
Bron's Stars

I mentioned that I went to a party on Sunday. Bron, a CQFAer was kind enough to give me two star blocks for the project. Bron is originally from New Zealand and is the leader of our little band. She keeps us on track at meetings. I was fortunate enough to see some of her work last Sunday. She does beautiful NZ imagery.

If you would like to make a block (or blocks), here are the parameters. All blocks are welcome!

Block background: dark blue
Block design: Yellow star (any pattern)
block size: 8? or less (we will work with any size)
remember to sign your block!

Contact us through our blogs for mailing instructions. Thanks so much for your generosity!