Saturday, January 12, 2013

First Quarter Finish-A-Long Projects

I think I may have to move my computer down to my quilt studio--it's a bit of a challenge to keep up with a blog when all my quilting stuff (that I'm hoping to blog about) is down in the far reaches of the basement...and my laptop is upstairs at the completely opposite end of the house. If it worked better to blog on my Ipad, I could use that, but that's even more of a challenge! So the learning curve continues...

Meanwhile, I've been finding lots of Challenges, Quilt-alongs, Mystery Quilts, Blocks of the Month, Scrappy Saturdays, WIP Wednesdays, Quilters' Blog Hops, Give-Aways, etc., to participate in, almost to the point of being overwhelmed. HOWEVER, the most important object is to get my projects FINISHED, and that is what this post is about.

I'm joining up with Leanne for the 2013 Finish-A-Long. The first quarter is beginning and the rules to it are given here. So with that being said, here are the projects that I plan to accomplish for the first three months of 2013:

I think there are lots of people still working on Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street mystery quilt. I finally finished up the last of the blocks yesterday and laid some of them out on my design wall to see how they would look. My plan is to get the top all sewn together on this, add borders, then quilt and bind and it will be completely finished.

Egg Money Quilt
A few years ago, I gave my mom a "Block of the Month" quilt as a Christmas present. I used the blocks from Eleanor Burns' "Egg Money Quilts" book. I don't think she ever did anything with it, since I didn't encourage her to sew along with me and actually make it. (We had previously done Eleanor Burns' Underground Railroad quilt as a family block of the month project and all the tops were completed by everyone--five of them!) So...Mom's 80th birthday is in March and I have never made a quilt for her and I thought this one would be a good one to do, since I chose fabrics in colors that she likes. That puts this project (all I have are "kits" I made for each block) high on my priority list of what I want to accomplish this quarter.

"A Modern Twist" Mystery Quilt
 New Year's Day seems to be a prime time for mystery quilts. Every year Merry Mayhem at Planet Patchwork does one that's usually a large lap size. I hadn't joined in for the mystery in a few years, but decided to do it this year and this is what we produced. I really like it, but I want to get it quilted and finished.

A Winter's Night Mystery Quilt

Another mystery quilt--in this one, the actual quilting itself was the mystery and as you can see, I'm still working on that. It's loaded on my frame and I've gotten some of the quilting done, but I'm far from finished. This quilt was the New Year's Mystery Quilt that Cindy Roth does each year at Longarm University. The quilting is not difficult and is actually quite fun. I want to get this one done so I can hang it on my wall and then free up my longarm machine for the next project!

Scrappy Leader-Ender Quilt

This next project is one that I've worked on for years. I used the blocks in it as a "leader-ender" project and now it's ready to assemble and quilt (these are just rows of blocks laid next to each other). I'm ready to have this one finished and over with, but I also want to be able to put it on my bed because Charles really likes it...and I do too!

Cosmos Quilt
When my older son was still single, he saw this quilt in a 2008 Fons and Porter magazine and said he wanted it. I ordered the kit, knowing it would have been really difficult to find all those various shades of each color of fabric. My other son's wife had completed the Underground Railroad quilts with us and really enjoyed the process, so she volunteered to sew this one together. Well, life got in the way and this project got pushed to the side. Now she's working two jobs, going to school and pregnant with their first child (our 12th grandchild!), so now this project is mine to complete and I would like to have it finally be done.

Dresden Lane Wall Hanging
Last year I put together several "kits" of small hand projects I wanted to work on whenever I had time to just "sit." This was one of those projects and the embroidery is completed, it just needs the quilt piecing done around it. It will be a Dresden plate design, hence the name of the project. Oh, and this came from Quiltmaker Magazine in their May/June 2010 issue.

Breath of Spring Pillow Top
This is another handwork project that I just love. And it's also from Quiltmaker Magazine, from issue Jan/Feb 2009. The embroidery is also completed on it and it has some nine-patches and some little Dresden plates to add. I think it will be beautiful when it's finished! I'm just not sure I want to make it into a pillow--I'll probably end up doing a wall-hanging instead.

Bag Ladies Bee Blocks
 I used to belong to the Bag Ladies Bee, one of the bees of my local quilt guild. One of the last things we did together was each make one of these signature blocks. I didn't count them but there's 12 or 13. I want to put them together in some way and make a wall-hanging from them as a memory of my friends in the bee.

"Bring on Winter" Wall Hanging

This project came from Quiltmakers' 100 Blocks, Volume 6 from Winter 2012. I didn't realize how much I liked the projects from Quiltmaker until I began sourcing all my projects! I had made a small (12x12) wall hanging for Christmas that I hung on a small rack in my quilt studio. I liked the look of it so much that I decided I wanted to keep something hanging there year-round and thought seasonal wall hangings would be great. I cut all the pieces for this block and traced the design for the embroidery. I want to quickly get this one done so that I can be ready to start a new one for February!

Hand Applique Piece
I've taken several classes from Quilt University and one of them was a Hand Applique class, taught by Nancy Chong. This piece was the result of that class and I've been carrying it around in my applique case for too many years! I decided that now was the time to figure out what I want to do with it (pillow? wall hanging?) and then get it done.

Laura's Quilt
Last, but not least is my daughter, Laura and her quilt. Laura is 26 years old, deaf and mentally about 5 years old. She LOVES to sew while I'm sewing, but unfortunately needs quite a bit of hands-on guidance. And trying to explain sewing instructions in sign language is somewhat challenging!

Laura has a cute little Elna machine that we bought from a friend. The speed on it is adjustable, so it can sew quite slowly. I've taped various guidelines onto the bed of the machine, but Laura still needs reminders of where to place her fabric and how to cut her thread (NOT right next to the needle!)

Laura actually does very good at putting pieces of fabric right sides together and her favorite task is to sew strips of fabric to each other. I give her the strips to sew, she chains pieces several of them and then presses them. I cut them into smaller sections that she then sews together into 4-patches. Finally, we match each 4-patch with a plain piece of fabric and she sews those together into rows. Below is a picture of the first quilt Laura made and I would like to help her finish another one this quarter.
Laura's first quilt-2008
 So...this ended up being a much longer blog post than I intended, but I really do want and hope to get all twelve of these projects completed this quarter--that only averages to 4 per month and I think that should be quite do-able, especially since they've all been started and some of them are quite small. And since the name of my blog is "Get More Done...Today" I need to stop typing and get sewing!

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