Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

My good friend, Pam, bought her first home just before Christmas 2012.  To celebrate this terrific accomplishment, I made her a wall hanging as a house warming gift.
Welcome to the Neighborhood is my first finish of 2013 and satisfies my goal of making a charm square quilt each month.  I used the Neighborhood Charm Quilt free pattern available in the Moda Bake Shop.  The quilt was designed by Debbie Grifka of Esch House Quilts.  When I first saw the pattern on the Moda Website, Pam was just starting her house hunt and I knew I would make this quilt for her when she finally bought a house.

My version is a bit smaller than Debbie’s.  I used 26 charm squares from a charm pack of Double Chocolat by 3 Sisters for Moda.  I still have another charm pack left over (I buy two at a time since most of the Schnibbles patterns call for two charm packs).  The “house” blocks are super easy to put together.

Since I didn’t have any Double Chocolat yardage, I went in search of something similar at my LQS and ended up using the Frost Ornamental Poinsettia fabric from the Sentiments line (also by 3 Sisters).  The color perfectly matches the Frost Truffles fabric in the Double Chocolat line.

I quilted a roof and door on each “house” and diagonal lines in the plain blocks. 

Welcome to the Neighborhood finished at 30 ½ by 37 ¾ and has 97 pieces.  It took me 4 weeks to complete.

Pam, I hope you enjoy your house warming gift and that you have many happy, healthy years in your new home!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Holiday Mini Quilts

About 13 years ago, I went through a short bout of renewed interest in quilting because some of my coworkers were quilting.  One friend, Mary Jo, really like paper piecing and she gave me a pattern for a paper pieced star.  I made the star block then used that for the star section of a mini flag quilt top but never got around to quilting it. 

2 years ago I bought backing and border fabric and finally got it done. 

That sparked my desire to make a new mini quilt for every holiday/month.  I moved into a new office at work a few months ago, so now my new goal is to have 2 mini quilts for each holiday/month (one for home, one for the office).  Most of those I’ve made so far are my own design.

I only have one mini quilt for January so far – Mittens.  I used fusible web to fuse the mittens and cuff to the background fabric then used a running stitch and embroidery floss to embroider the string between the mittens (so they don’t get lost).

I embellished the mini quilt with three plastic snowflakes then machine appliquéd the mittens and cuffs using a blanket stitch.  Finally I did a kind of meandering quilting in the background.

Each mini quilt is no wider than 14", so they are centered on one angled wall in my living room. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kelly's Bottled Rainbows

When I really got back into quilting, about two years ago, one of the first projects I wanted to make was a Bottled Rainbows quilt.  The colors Rachel used were so bright and happy and modern.  I started out in February 2011¸on track with the other participants.  The sew along was supposed to take 16 weeks and mine took 15 months!

I bought fabric and made all the base blocks, sorted my scraps and found out I needed to buy a lot of “scraps” to get fabrics in the right colors.  So instead of busting my stash, I was building my stash.  I made a block a week for the first few weeks and then…other projects called my name, a baby quilt for my friend’s new granddaughter, a purse for me, wallets for my niece and mom – you get the picture.

At one point, I thought I’d break the blocks up into a baby boy quilt using the blue, green and yellow blocks, and a baby girl block using the purple, pink and red blocks.  Then I realized it would make a nice quilt for my sister, Kelly.  I worked hard to get it done for her birthday in April 2012, but didn’t end up finishing it until May.  She loves it so I’m happy I kept at it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm getting nervous...

…about taking my sewing machine in to be serviced.  I’ve had my sewing machine, a Brother Innovis NX800, for just over 2 years and haven’t had it serviced yet.  Since it cost more than some used cars we’ve owned, I figure it’s overdue for a “tune up”.  One of the reasons I haven’t taken it in before now is because it will be in the shop for about a week and I can’t stand the idea of not having it her for that long in case I want to sew (and I always want to sew).
There have been a few times in the last year when I knew I wasn’t going to be near my sewing room for at least a week (vacations and when I had my neck and knee surgeries) but I just didn’t bring it to the shop.  With my son coming home for a week-long visit, I guess this is as good a time as any.  Still I’m already feeling withdrawal!
So how am I preparing for my “downtime”? I’ve brought several projects to the “handwork” stage:
1.        Cutting the fabric for my February charm pack project – “Hot Cross” from the book Schnibbles Times Two, by Carrie Nelson.  I’ll be using 2 charm packs of Friendship Collections for a Cause by Howard Marcus for Moda.

2.       Finishing the reverse appliqué on my Valentine’s mini quilt then hand quilting it using perle cotton and “big stitch quilting”.

3.       Hand sewing the binding on “Welcome to the Neighborhood”, January’s charm pack project and a gift for a good friend.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Blogger Girls BOM - Block 1

As soon as I had the fabrics cut out for Version 2 of Block 1, I know I had to do something different for one of the reds.  All of the red fabrics in the Trail's End line are the same value, but there are light and dark greens.  In her Version 2, Monique has 2 reds next to each other, but one of the reds she used has a lot of white in it so the reds don't blend into one another.  My reds just melted together.  I auditioned the greens I purchased but none of them looked right in place of one of the reds.  I looked at Thelma's blocks and really liked the yellow chevrons, so I felt like I should use a gold fabric for the chevrons.  I zipped up to Patti's Quilting and Fabrics and went straight to the Trail's End bolts, but there was no gold in the line.  The new owner, Jessica, remembered me from when I purchased my fabric and she pointed out that the shop also carries other Marbles by Holly Taylor and suggested maybe one of those would work.  She was right - there was a gold that was perfect.  The best part is that the gold also maintains that Christmas feel.  Trail's End isn't a Christmas line, but the lodge feel of the fabrics along with the colors I'm using should make it feel like a Christmas quilt.

Each block took me about 1 1/2 hours to piece and they came out to perfect 12 1/2" squares!  I'm very happy with the final results and can't wait for next month's installment!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm all set... begin the Blogger Girls BOM.  I downloaded the free instructions, ordered and recieved the Fit to Be Geese and Fit to Be Quarter 6.5 and Companion rulers (see the Open Gate Quilts blog to download the pattern and purchase the rulers).

 I also purchased the fabrics.

Since I want mine to have a Christmassy look, I'm swapping out the black in the pattern for green.  I'll be using the red and green fabrics from the Trail's End line by Holly Taylor for Moda along with some of her Marbles fabrics in red and green.  I have all the pieces cut for the A & B blocks and I'm ready to go!

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 in Review

Since the New Year has begun, I thought it would be a good time to review the projects I finished in 2012.

Bubbles preemie quilt (16" X 24")

Off-Kilter Log Cabin Baby Quilt

Phoebe bag

Sunny Squares quilt

I also finished:
  • A Bottled Rainbows Quilt for my sister based on the quilt along hosted by Rachel of Stitched in Color, 
  • Watering Can with Tulips mini quilt,
  • Valances for the sunroom, downstairs living room and my son's bedroom,
  • Christmas Windows mini quilt
  • Mittens mini quilt
  • Coffee Cups wall hanging
  • and 10 clutch purses for Christmas gifts (Michelle Patterns Pocket Clutch)
It doesn't seem like that much, but considering I had several surgeries and we had remodeling taking place in and around my sewing room, I think I did fairly well.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!  Welcome to Adirondack Urban - a blog about quilting, sewing, and life in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

My first introduction to quilting came in 1976 when I was in 6th grade.  My elementary school made a quilt to celebrate the nation's Bicentennial.  I designed and appliquéd a square for the quilt depicting a cannon and a pyramid of cannon balls.  Some of us also participated in the actual quilting process.  We would meet after school on the school's stage and hand quilted around a wooden frame.

My real interest in quilting came about 25 years ago when I used to watch Quilt in a Day on public television.  I made a red, white, and blue quilt for my husband.  We used it on our bed for years, but eventually the white fabric started to disintegrate.  I found the quilt again last year in a plastic tote where I had stored it away for posterity.  Since so much of the fabric was gone, I decided not o keep it anymore and threw it out.  I wish I had at least taken a picture of what was left!

I quilted pretty steadily until 1996 when my sewing area moved to our unfinished basement.  Idid very little quilting when my boys were in high school and busy with sports.  I really only got back into quilting two years ago when I finally had a dedicated sewing room and a new sewing machine.  My sewing room is still in the basement but now it's all finished and has a door I can shut when it's messy.  Since January, 2011, I've spent at least part of most weekends and other days whenever possible.  When I'm not working or sewing, I'm reading quilting magazines, books, and blogs and thinking about quilting.

With the start of a new year, I like to make a list of what I'd like to accomplish.  So here,s my list in no particular order:

  • Quilt and bind Pam's "Welcome to the Neighborhood" quilt
  • Finish quilting the Underground Railroad quilt
  • Finish quilting the bird quilt class project from my December, 2011, machine quilting class
  • Finish Anne's Log Cabin quilt
  • Some type of quilt for my brother Noah
  • Do small quilt each month using charm squares
  • Participate in the Blogger Girl's Block of the Month hosted by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts
  • Work on more holiday mini quilts

It's a pretty ambitious list, but I think it's doable, especially if I work on a big project for a few hours then spend an hour on one of the smaller projects.  I'm excited to start this blogging journey as a way to chronicle my quilting projects.