Thursday, December 22, 2011

The year in review

I thought it would be a good exercise to review all of the projects that I have started and finished in 2011. It was a busy year both in and out of my quilting world. The year started with the completion of my 2010 Easter challenge to finish all of the UFOs that I found in my closet. I am happy to report that I achieved what I set out to do (mostly).

Finishes in 2011

Caramel Kitties: Started 13 years ago for the daughter of a friend. Added more borders to increase the size to a single bed. The color scheme is quite muted but is fresh and pretty. I included this one in the Blogger's Quilt Festival - see the post here. Finished January 2011.

Beach Creatures: Started 14+ years ago for my oldest nephew. Only a few of the applique blocks were done. My applique technique was ... primitive to say the least but the overall effect and the machine quilting rescued this one. None of the novelty prints matched, but somehow it all came together. Finished March 2011

One-patch: This one was started in April at the Remarkables Symposium in Queenstown during a class with Natalie Murdoch. My mother also attended the same class I have yet to see her finished quilt). I did a long post about this quilt and the lessons I learned while making it - check it out here. Finished September 2011.

Challenge cushion: Made for a challenge held by the Auckland Modern Quilt Guild. We were presented with a fat 1/8 of a (not so nice) green/blue print and challenged to make a quilted pillow of any size or style that used at least half of the fabric on the 'front' of the pillow. I went with a design of 9 small blocks with several black and white prints. The pillow is quite big, but that's what I like about it. Finished November 2011

Owl baby quilt: Made for a friend at work who is expecting a baby early next year. This is the third baby quilt I've started (see above), but it was finished in about 14 days, not 14 years. That's a big improvement! It's a big quilt for a baby, but will be great for many years (I hope). Finished December 2011.

Christmas makeup bags: I made eight of these in three color schemes for four generations of women in my family from age 8 to 98. I go tthe idea and some instructions from the web, but made a few changes to speed up the production. I love making gifts and often make a single item that I can vary for all the women on my list. The men usually get shirts, or books - somehow I never manage to come up with a good handmade gift for them.

Block Lotto: I played every month in 2011 and never won. I learned so much and was inspired by everything I did and saw on Block Lotto. I hope that this year will be as inspiring - but is it selfish to want to win once every so often? Fingers crossed as usual.

Started but not finished in 2011

Blue snowflake: I started this quilt in April at Symposium and have managed to finish three blocks and am halfway through the fourth. I found that during the winter months I quite liked sitting in the sunniest room in the house to hand sew, but as the weather warmed up, I moved away from it. I hope to do some more while at the beach over Christmas. I'm planning at least 9 of the light on dark blocks and am considering 9 dark on light blocks. Still have not decided but I think I have all the fabric I need.

Butterfly hearts: I started this about a year ago for my DD using a collection of butterfly prints on a pieced cream/beige background. I have been a bit stuck trying to decide how to do the raw-edge applique and the quilting to get just the right effect. I have basted the layers and am just about ready to dive in.

Green/white half-square triangles: This quilt falls into the 'what was I thinking' category. At last count, I still need to make about 600 more squares. I know it will be spectacular when it is done and it is a great project to pick up if I'm having a creative block. While I'm at the beach over the next few weeks, it might be a good project to do in the evenings. One day I will finish it...

Crumb quilt: I finished the top in October as part of a Crumb Along but set it aside to work on Christmas gifts and a baby quilt. I have everything I need for the backing and binding and this will probably be the first finish in 2012. I'm not sure how I will quilt it - probably an all-over pattern rather than my usual style of working within the piecing design.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Finished baby quilt

I am so pleased with this little quilt: firstly, because it went together so quickly, but also because I like it. The 60-degree equilateral triangles wee also fun to work with and I'm sure that the pattern variations are endless. These triangles finish at 5" tall - I made them this big so that the cute prints did not get lost.

The back is pieced with two prints in wide stripes.

The free-motion quilting started with spirals on the light-colored hexagons. Then I did a bounce around the perimeter of each dark triangle. It looks like the spirals go out into the dark tringles - this was not really planned, but I like the effect.

I also labeled this quilt, whch is a first (I know, shame on me). I had all sorts of grand ideas, but ended up writing one and sewing it on quickly the night before I had to give the quilt away. I will do better next time, I promise.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday update

There's no WIP this week on Freshly Pieced and no Block Lotto this month either. Everyone is taking a holiday.

The baby quilt that I started last week is almost done. I've quilted and bound it. Really, it's just some thread tidying that's left to do. I'm really pleased with the end result and am amazed at how quickly it went together. Here's a quick preview - I'll take some better pictures soon.

I've joined a round robin through Floribunda Quilts. I've never done one before and am keen to give it a go. The only problem is that everything is a secret, so I won't be able to post any detail. I'm thinking about my center block design already. The finished quilt will be very small (20"), so I want to do something that's different than my usual style that can stand alone. So often in quilts I rely on the repetition and variety of fabrics to make an impact - in a small piece that will likely hang on the wall the focus is much different. I don't have a lot of time because the first center block needs to be sent in less than 4 weeks. Time to get the sketch book out.