Friday, November 30, 2012

Quilt # 9 - Patchwork Garden

Here is another quilt that I made back in 2008.  This quilt was actually made for my older sister.  I had wanted to give her something special for her birthday, so I started this quilt.  I knew she would like something with purples in it and with lots of color.

Oddly enough, this was the first quilt I ever made where I followed a pattern that wasn't of my own design.  The pattern is called Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson's Designs.  Its a pretty common pattern these days, especially for new quilters.  I think the reason I struggled with it at the time was that I wasn't very confident in my cutting and/or piecing skills and I was very worried that the blocks wouldn't come together properly in the end.  Thankfully it did. :-)

So here's the fabric that I purchased for the quilt all laid out on the floor.  Most people I showed the fabric to didn't like the combinations, but somehow in my head, I could see the finished product and knew they would all work together.  I still have pieces of the dark purple yardage on the bottom as well as bits of the seashell yardage.


After following the pattern for cutting and piecing directions, here's all the blocks laid out on the floor.  There were a few leftover blocks from the pattern so I was able to mix and match the various blocks to get a pleasing design.  It took a while to get the mix just right, but it definitely helped to lay everything out on the floor.  Laying it out and photographing it actually gives you a really good view of the quilt and you can see areas where you may want to shift things around before you finalize the design.

Garden Patch - 2

Once all the blocks were pieced into rows, the seashell fabric was used for a nice solid border to anchor the design.

Garden Patch - 3

Here's the larger view of the pieced quilt top.

Garden Patch - 4

I did my own quilting on this one, too.  The middle section was done by tracing the quilting pattern onto Golden Threads' quilting paper and then pinning it to the quilt.  This was pretty time consuming as was tearing the paper off.  I'm definitely glad I don't have to do that anymore.  I sometimes do it for individual blocks, but I've also gotten more confident with marking on the quilts and being able to get the marks out.

The border was quilted in straight lines to offset the curved quilting throughout the main portion of the quilt.

Garden Patch - 5

Here's where you can see the whole thing on our couch.  It was a fairly large quilt, but is considered a lap-sized quilt.  I believe it was somewhere around 57 x 75 or something like that.

Garden Patch - 6

Here's a few attempts at getting pictures of the quilt draped over different objects.  Some photos were successful....others not so much. :-)

Garden Patch - 7

Garden Patch - 8

This one shows the straight-line quilting in the border.  I continued the straight lines right to the corner so the very corners of the quilt has little 2" boxes.

Garden Patch - 9

My sister really liked the quilt and it worked really well with the other colors in her condo.  There's nothing quite like cuddling under a nice warm quilt after a long day at work.  :-)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quilt #8 - Teddy Bear 9-Patch

This was a quilt I made for a co-worker back in 2008.  The fabrics were the cutest flannels and so incredibly soft!  I loved the bears, stripe and the starts/hearts on the fabric on the back.  They all worked really well together.  The only fabric I probably would have changed is the gingham fabric.  This was incredibly stretchy and very difficult to work with.  It looked great in the quilt, but it was a bear (pun intended) to work with.


I don't have photos of this quilt in-progress, but it was pretty simple with 9-patches and solid blocks.


This was one of the first quilts I quilted on my own sewing machine.  Since I was still learning, I decided to just do simple, straight diagonal stitch across the 9-patches and left the solid blocks alone.


The binding I chose for this quilt was a dark green fabric.  The green seemed to offset the bright yellows and reds in the quilt nicely.


Here's a close-up of one of the corners.


And quilting you can see on the back.


Happy Crafting!

~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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Time Flies....

 I didn't realize so much time had passed since my last blog post.  Needless to say, I've been pretty busy with the Thanksgiving holiday.

On the 17th, we had my husband's family over for Pre-Thanksgiving.  Everyone had a great time and we had a ton of food.  Thankfully some of the extra turkey went home with my husband's parents and his uncle, and the rest was mostly eaten by two friends who came over on Sunday to do some hunting on the back of our property.  No luck for them though as a coyote chased off the deer just as the deer ere getting within range.

Right after Pre-Thanksgiving, it was a short week at work, but that just meant that we tried to fit 5 days of work into 3.  After work on the 21st, we drove out to Syracuse, NY to visit my parents.  We stayed there through Saturday morning and we arrived back home Saturday around lunchtime.  It was good visiting with everyone and we helped them put up one of the Christmas trees.

Saturday afternoon Rich and I put up our Christmas tree while watching White Christmas. :-)  Its a tradition in our family to watch White Christmas while putting up the trees.  Besides...I love the movie!

So on the quilting front, there hasn't been a ton of quilting done as I've been cooking, cleaning, putting up trees, etc.  I'm not even going to bother listing the last post for Make-A-List Monday as I really didn't get much done.

I haven't shared pictures in a while, so here's some things that I have been doing:

The Whirly Stars quilt is completely finished.  I decided to do string blocks in the corners with the strings pointing towards the center of the quilt.


We also finally  hung the Starry Night needlepoint that I finished last year.  We've had it framed for almost a year now, but hadn't figured out where we wanted to hang it.  Its now hanging in the dining room.


We also had a little bit of snow a week or so ago.  It was really a wet rain with a little bit of snow.  We had more snow over this past weekend, but I didn't take any pictures.  Its all gone by now despite it remaining cold out.


I also finished the binding on Shine on Bayou Cane.  I haven't washed this yet, but its already getting some use on our couch for snuggling in at night.  I laid it out on the queen-sized bed in our guest bedroom to get a good view of it fully laid out.


And here's a close-up of the quilting.


This coming week, I do have some things I'd like to finish/start.
1. Post pictures of completed quilts and update blog.
2. Quilt charity quilt for guild.
3. Post pictures of Patchwork Garden completed.
4. Post picture of Christmas tree.

Happy Crafting!
 ~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Make-A-List Tuesday

Whenever I have a long weekend, my blog posts tend to get a little off-kilter.  There are definitely two separate reasons...
     1 - My husband is home on long weekends, so not as much sewing gets done. :-)
     2 - Since its the long weekend, I want to get lots of sewing done instead of posting on the blog.

Either way, I didn't post anything late last week or yesterday, so my "make-a-list Monday" is now Tuesday for this week.

I don't have any photos to share yet, but it was a busy weekend.  I was able to get a fair amount of sewing done, but we also rebuilt a sand-bag dam for holding water in the spring.  We wanted to rebuild it now while we didn't have a lot of water to deal with.  So we managed to move over 90 wet sandbags (yuck) and rebuilt the dam using just sandbags and a pond liner to help with sealing.  We also added at least another 50 sandbags to the dam to shore it up.

We also did some window shopping at furniture stores.  We're trying to find a pub-height table for our kitchen, but haven't really found anything yet.  There was one we liked, but it was way more expensive than what we wanted to spend for the kitchen.  So we'll keep looking....

So last week, here's what was on the list:

1. Trim the baby quilt and machine sew binding.  Done!  I'm about 1/3 of the way done hand-sewing binding.
2. Finish sewing star blocks for "Whirly Stars". Done!  I also have the main quilt top done.  I just need to add the borders at this point.
3. Order thread for Lone Star quilt and applique project.  Bad, Sarah!  This isn't done yet.
4. Layer and baste Lone Star quilt.  This also isn't done yet.

So this coming week is a short week since we're already on Tuesday and Friday is going to be spent preparing for "Pre-Thanksgiving" with my husband's family.  I would like to get a few things done though...

1. Finish sewing entire quilt top for "Whirly Stars".
2. Order thread for Lone Star quilt, applique project and Wildflower Fields.
3. Baste Lone Star quilt on the quilting frame.
4. Quilt a lap-sized quilt for my guild's charity group.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, November 5, 2012

Make-A-List Monday

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind.  Thankfully, hurricane Sandy didn't cause too much trouble here in the Albany, NY area.  We had some strong winds and a little bit of rain, but by large, the storm missed us.  I definitely feel for the folks in Connecticut, NYC and New Jersey.  They got hit really hard and are struggling to pick up the pieces.

A lady in our quilt guild is gathering items at our guild meeting tonight to take down to NYC and New Jersey to help out folks there.  Quilters are very generous, so I imagine there will be lots of items donated tonight.

We had a house guest for a few days last week as my husband's Uncle lives in southern CT and was without power for a few days.  We offered up our spare bedroom for him to come stay for a few days in the warmth.  The power in his neighborhood was restored late last week and he went back home on Saturday morning.

Since we were pretty busy during the week, I'm actually surprised at how much I was able to accomplish.  Everything on my to-do list is completed.

1. Press sewn blocks for boy baby quilt. DONE!

2. Take photos of quilt blocks sewn/pressed. DONE!  I even have it laid out and started sewing some of the blocks together.

Whirly Baby Quilt 4

3. Select backing, thread, and quilting pattern for baby quilt. DONE!  I even got the whole thing quilted last night.  After a bit of a fiasco at the start (note to self, do not use super-thin Bottom Line thread as the top thread on the quilting frame...machine not happy!), I was able to really get going on this.  This is a small quilt, but the quilting was also fairly simply.  I love the texture the quilting gives to this quilt.  Its a pantograph called Celebrate.

Garden Nine Patch 2

4. Start creating freezer-paper templates for a wool applique mini-wall hanging. DONE!  No pictures though as freezer-paper templates are pretty boring to look at. :-)  I did however, sew all of the background for the applique, so I'll be able to start appliqueing things as soon as I place an order for matching threads.

So now, the plan for the upcoming week....

1. Trim the baby quilt and machine sew binding.
2. Finish sewing star blocks for "Whirly Stars".
3. Order thread for Lone Star quilt and applique project.
4. Layer and baste Lone Star quilt.

 Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stashbusting 2012 - Week 44

I've actually been able to get some quilting done the past week or so.  I wasn't so sure about this past week due to Hurricane Sandy making her presence known here on the east coast.  Thankfully, we only got a little bit of wind and rain from it.  The folks in NYC and NJ didn't far so well.  My husband's uncle lives in southern CT and he had no power for several days and came up to stay with us for 2 days while he was waiting to get power back.

The past two weeks I've been able to make progress on my "Whirly Stars" baby quilt.  Here are the fabrics all cut into strips.

Whirly Baby Quilt 1

Then into 2.5" squares for 4-patches and for corners on some larger blocks.

Whirly Baby Quilt 2

Here's the stacks of all the fabrics cut for the main body of the quilt.  I have my Yankee Candle burning nicely in the background as well as my "parking sign".  The parking sign reads "Princess Only.  All others will be toad." :-)

Whirly Baby Quilt 3

Then this past week I was able to get things up on the design wall and lay out the squares.  I have half of the star blocks sewn together.

Whirly Baby Quilt 4

And here's the full quilt...albeit a little offset.  The ones on top are just there in the layout and not sewn yet.

Whirly Baby Quilt 5

I"m hoping to get some additional sewing/quilting done this week.  I think a fair amount of it will be hand-sewing binding onto a quilt though.

Here are my numbers:

Added This Week:       0.0 yards
Added Year to Date:    23.54 yards
Used This Week:          2.50 yards
Used Year to Date:       25.7 yards
Net Year to Date:         2.15 yards

I'm back in black again.  Go on over to Judy's blog to see how everyone else is doing this week.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Bad Kitty!

You wouldn't be able to tell from this picture, but this little sweetheart can be a bit of pain!


Since moving into the new house, she has taken it upon herself to the middle of the night.  These aren't just little meows where she comes and wants to be in bed.  This are meows where she goes into the foyer and yells at the top of her lungs and it echos everywhere!

Most nights I sleep through it and the nights where I don't, it doesn't really bother me that much.  However, its a completely different story for my husband.  He dislikes the cat... a lot... because of her meowing.

So I'm hoping blog-land may have some suggestions.

Any ideas on how to figure out why she meows or how to get her to stop?

We've tried locking her up in a bedroom with her litter box, food and water, but then she wants out and pulls on the door causing it to bang against the molding.  We've also tried keeping her awake in the evenings in an attempt to make her tired and sleep through the night, but that doesn't seem to help either.

I'm open to just about anything at this point to try to keep the sanity in the household and to not have to find her a new home.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations