Quilting pile up

Oy, my pile of unfinished projects is growing rapidly! I have a big stack of UFOs on my spare bed ... probably a good five or six projects that range from almost finished tops to some that are partially hand quilted. This doesn't even take into account all the other quilts that are in progress, with blocks here and there.

Normally I am much better about finishing projects, but with the stashbusting contest last year, I started churning out quilt tops (because I could do those on the machine) and not getting them quilted, since a) I kinda suck at machine quilting and b) hand quilting takes forever and a day.

For the last week or so I have not done any quilting, but have been working on a variety of knitted dish cloths. I know they are a good project for me, since I am FINALLY making myself learn how to do something beyond scarves with a basic knit, purl pattern. So far I made one a heart design, one with a Snoopy design and have started one that has a lacy mock cable design. While these are fun, I don't really get the same sense of accomplishment as I do when I quilt. Sigh.

I know I need to get back on the wagon. My small group of quilting friends is getting together on Sunday ... I definitely have to be back in the groove by then.

Until I actually do some quilting, here's a few inspirational pictures. I heart this quilt so much, and I love, love, love how I'm quilting it. It's just such a pain to do!

Detail of quilting

Quilting in progress


Valentine's Day inspiration

Happy Valentine's Day! I love this holiday ... I love the flowers, the candy, the colors red and pink, the cute cards and all the cheesiness that goes along with it.

After finally finishing the Christmas/Valentine's Day scarf for my sweetie, I've been wanting to try something more challenging than basic scarves. I really have never made anything more complicated and was kind of worried about having to keep track of a pattern and/or counting, since I am a notorious multitasker, usually watching TV, being online and crafting at the same time.

But, I just finished my first project from a pattern - a dishcloth with a heart pattern on it, just in time for the holiday. I was hoping to start some dishcloths earlier in the week, because I thought they would be a good way for me to practice more complicated designs without getting sucked into something that would take forever to make. When I started looking at patterns though, they all suggest all-cotton yarn, of which I don't have. :( I was bummed, but figured I would buy some while at Wal-Mart last night. I bought four skeins there, two in a red, pink and white scheme, two in black, white and gray.

I was able to finish one dishcloth in less than one skein, so they end up being cheap and quick. I think they will look better in a plain color, especially the ones that have designs on them. I did find one skein of plain white cotton, so I'll use that for my next one - a Snoopy design! I was so psyched to find a pattern online and also to find a Woodstock one. I can't wait to try those.

I am so getting ready to take a nap now ... I have the worst headache. Even my scalp hurts when I pull my hair back, and that's a challenge not to do, since I almost always do that.

At Wal-Mart I also found the perfect fabric for a quilt I was thinking about making, so that made me happy. I'm trying to decide on a pattern now.


Update on George and Martha project

I've been enjoying these so much! I got my second one finished and can't wait to start a third.


And this is the second one. The back story is that George tells Martha that he is a snake charmer. Martha doesn't believe him, so she pulls a stuffed toy snake out of a closet. Needless to say, George wasn't exactly telling the truth. You can see a hint of him at the top of the picture on top of the chandelier.



A test of my patience

I've been working on a postage stamp quilt for years. I've been cutting 1.5" squares out of any quilting fabric I get my hands on. I've been trying to make it a true charm quilt, where my goal is to use only one square of each fabric. Working on this project is definitely a labor of love; it's taking FOREVER.

I got little bits out of fabric my mom has and cut 1.5" squares out of every piece of fabric I buy. I also am the scrap disposal system of most of my quilting friends. They give me their little odds and ends they don't want anymore ... I love this! It's like Christmas every time I get them. I have so much fun sorting through all the scraps and finding treasures. I've also been known to dig for good stuff through the discards at quilt camp ... some people throw away some really big pieces!

I've been collecting blocks for the longest time, and about 6 months ago I thought I knew exactly how I wanted to put them together. After keeping them separate into large Ziploc baggies by color, I would lay them all out and then try to fish out the multiples I had. After doing this for days, it was very satisfying to put all my pieces into a large bag and mix all the colors together.

I started sewing them together into a pattern that was sort of like an Irish Chain, but then I really wasn't fond of how it was turning out. Plus, I lost a lot of them after the bags of fabric got lost after quilt camp. Ugh. So frustrating!

So I decided to start over. I resorted all the pieces into color groups and then shades of the colors. Now I've been spending time off and on sewing the squares into nine patches that are organized by color. I love how they are turning out so far, but boy, is this a slow process. I now have 97 nine patches done. It sounds like a lot, but really they only finish to 3 inches square, so this is going to take a while.

Here are what a few look like:



I recently got some fresh scraps from some friends and I also am off my fabric buying diet (I don't seem to be that great at diets in any form!), so now I'm cutting again. I'm also cutting 2.5" squares of all the fabrics that are large enough for my friend Natalie. I'm sure she'll finish her quilt before I do!


Another new project

I've really been in the mood lately to do some embroidery, but I wasn't sure what I was going to work on. I've seen lots of cute patterns out and about, but couldn't find the perfect project. Then I was inspired by my two favorite hippos: George and Martha!


I just laid a piece of muslin over the book and lightly traced with a mechanical pencil.

Here is a photo of the first one. I've now finished two of these, each with a different pattern.


The hardest point has been picking out the pictures! There are so many cute ones, but I don't want the story lines to be lost to people not hip to the George and Martha and the underlying humor.

I have another one done, but haven't gotten photos yet. I think I will try to work these into a quilt top. Maybe a non-perfect log cabin style?

Joining the challenge

Stephanie at Organized Chaos and my friend Natalie posted a handmade/homemade challenge that I'm excited to participate in. So the way it works... The first five people who respond to this post will receive a gift, made especially for you, by me. The rules and restrictions according to Stephanie:

1. I make no guarantees you will like what I make.
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year - as in sometime in 2009.
4. You will have no clue what it's going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
6. When you receive my homemade/handmade item, you must post a picture of it on your blog.

So you know there's got to be a catch... The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. The first 5 people to do so, and leave a comment telling me they did, win.