Quilt ADD in therapy

My Photo
Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love any and every style that makes me smile. Traditional? Awesome, especially with historic or family story connections. Modern? Fun! Free! Cheery! Paper piecing? How cool can you get?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BOMs Away - "Garden Friends"

Welcome to the Link-Up for BOMs Away Mondays!
We'd love to see the BOM you're working on lately.
This week's link-up is at the bottom of the post.

Today I started working on a "new" BOM out of my deep storage of NETYs. (That's my acronym for the kits/BOMs/fabric sets I've bought in the past that are Not Even Touched Yet)

"Garden Friends" is from 2007. I got all the fabrics washed and ironed a couple of Saturdays ago. Today I did the piecing for three of the blocks. They still need their applique.

I love the little bits of specialty fabric for each block, like this B&B flag, and the Buzz Inn hive at the top had interesting construction with the folded black print flaps that are almost like shallow pockets on each level.

How are you doing with your BOMs?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flimsy Alert! ~ "Heart & Home"

I just realized that I haven't recorded the finish of the top for the "Heart & Home" BOM.

This is probably my favorite spot.  :)

I got the final borders finished up a couple of weeks ago while I was using it as the masking project to hide my secret work. 

This was a pattern from The Quilt Company, and I received the BOM packets in 2009. It's happiness to have it sewn up after it sat untouched for so many years! 

Linking up at:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP - Binding, Masking, and FMQ

I haven't done a WIP post in forever. How fun to have time for one again.  :D

I **finally** finished all the clean-up work on my king-size double wedding ring a couple of days ago! That part alone took exactly 62 hours, and I started the process early in August. So now I "just" have to get the binding stitched down for a long-awaited special finish. This is my top priority project.  I'm 5/38 finished, and I figure it'll take about 16 more more movies to get all the way around. . .

Those points with their double inner angles and skinny acute tips are BUGGERS to fiddle with! And the only way to secure them well enough for sewing up is with straight pins. Makes for porcupine work if you don't pay careful enough attention when you shift around.  heh!

I just love looking at the quilting on this - wow, am I happy with it! And to think that I did it all on a mere domestic table-top machine...

Two other projects get almost-daily focus. When my fingers are just too tired from fine hand stitching, I go down to the machines and work on the FMQ for Kelly's second Joseph Smith quilt. Some of the latest work includes the vases and vines in the bow-tie area:

The third official WIP has to be kept completely off my blog and I can only sneak in short work times when both of two people are gone from the house. I keep a masking project on hand, ready to "throw" under my needle like a leader-ender project so I can snip off the chaining work of the real project and hide it away quickly. 

I'm getting very tired of only working on reproduction stuff UFO/NETY stash. Also, while it's absolutely gorgeous, my DWR has been in front-and-center position for 14 months straight, so I set aside the Thanksgiving wallhanging I'd been using for my masking project and pulled out this perky, far more modern project. 

I love my Boomerang fabrics!! They're a fun hodge-podge of scraps from my bin, old pieces from my stash, and brand-new fat quarters from a shop in the Springs. I started working on these back in February for a NewFO, but put them away at the end of that month as this project was not a priority. But it's perfect for lifting my "I miss moderns blues".  

Now they just need a side strip of white before I start laying them out for assembly. I love scrappy quilts!

And what a fun pattern to work with. It's by Emily Herrick over at Crazy Old Ladies

This is my second go-'round with the pattern. I made a smaller version with it as a baby quilt from my stash early in the year. 

Linking up at

Sunday, October 12, 2014

BOMs Away - Ruffled Roses

Welcome to the Link-Up for BOMs Away Mondays!
We'd love to see the BOM you're working on lately.
This week's link-up is at the bottom of the post.
Yep, looks like my BOM work is back on track.  :)
Got the last of the baskets made up for this quilt! 24 altogether - 4 today. Those suckers take quite a while.  Also sewed up the next 3 keyboard swag blocks.
How are you doing with your BOMs?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flimsy Alert! ~ "Lori & Aliya"

This is my first commission quilt - I'm not at a point in time yet where I'm ready to take those on in any regularity, but when a friend that good asks, you see if you can do it.  :) 

A fantastic friend from our Florida days wants a red and white quilt with gray minkee backing that features quilting of cameos of her super-cool German shepherd, Aliya. So we used Pinterest to find a design she liked, and we settled on the "Metro Hoops" pattern, with a uniform red background instead of the two-tone.

I ended up constructing this top differently from the pattern, because I wanted the cameo fields to be seam-free, and the diamond pops of the black print to be one piece instead of four corners sewn together. I also wanted a larger size than the 3x3 grid would yield.

It wasn't terribly hard to figure out how to work it - that Quick Curve Ruler is awesome! I just made curve bars to insert with squares of background and accent. The worst part was getting my history-writing saturated brain to work the math reliably to upsize the rings.

I have to say, if you are happy with the modern wedding ring shape and want/need to piece a top in much greater speed than the tradition wedding ring pieces let you do, this ruler is a FANTASTIC way to go. 


The fabrics were fun to work with since they have a modern pop to them, despite the atypical red background. Technology is awesome, since camera photos make it easy to share findings with a distant commissionee to see what they do and don't like!

I actually finished the top in something like early August, when I had zero time for non-academic writing. Now I'm finally getting to its report. Lori asked if we can wait a few months before doing the quilting so she can save up for the custom job, which fits perfectly with my quilting time/priorities at the moment. Sometime in January I'll start on that part. I'll put different cameos of Aliya inside the nine rings, developed from photographs that Lori's been taking. I'm not certain yet what I'll put in the spaces between the rings, but her paw prints will be worked into the quilting of the outer edge areas. I extended the background beyond the rings (another departure from the Metro Hoops pattern) to give space for that and to make a little more snuggling room under the nine rings.

Linking up at:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

BOMs Away - Flimsy Alert! ~ Kelly's Strolling the Block

Welcome to the Link-Up for BOMs Away Mondays!
We'd love to see the BOM you're working on lately.
This week's link-up is at the bottom of the post.
Well, I got further today than I thought I would! I did the embellishment for Kelly's December block on her "Strolling the Block" quilt.
Put some fuzzy fleece on Santa's boots,
snowflakes hanging in the windows,
wreath on the door,
Some paper chains on the tree,
and a few gifts here and there.
Then I remembered to give the poor turkey on the November block some feet and eyes.  :)
At that point, everyone else in the family was busy doing their own things, so I got out the seam ripper and took off the borders.
Kelly had used the cheater method of just cutting the width you want for the border, then taking it all straight to the machine and sewing it to the quilt center, then trimming off the excess border length. But that's a really bad method to use sometimes - particularly when the fabric you're attaching to has a lot of give. You end up with problems like these waves.

Once I had the borders off and pressed flat again, I measured the quilt and had to cut off an average of 4 inches from each border piece! Got them back on, and now it all lies nice and flat:
Yep - I'm super happy to have an unexpected flimsy finish!!

Have you done any work on your BOMs recently?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Modus Operandi & October Goal Post

Several people have been asking me to share again the process that I use to move my quilting work along. Sorry it's taken me so long to be able to do any real blogging - I have a few things that I need to catch up now that my thesis is in a good position for the final stretch.

To understand why I do things the way I do, keep these concepts in mind about me:

  • I am drawn to large, intense quilts for the most part, although I like lighter fare as well.
  • I have a tremendous collection of kits and fabric sets that accumulated over a 23 year period of ineffectual dabbling. I also have a lot of UFOs that I rescued from my cousin's sewing room when she passed away. I mean, we're talking a combined collection of over a hundred in all. . . you can see them at my "On the Horizon" tab if you're morbidly fascinated.
  • I am dedicated to finishing every one of those UFOs and NETYs (Never Even Touched Yet), but I also crave modern projects.
  • I need variety - I am incapable of working on only one project at a time when they are creations that would take months to finish if a person worked straight through, only on the one thing.
  • I don't have a longarm machine, but I do have the luxury at this stage in life of having three sewing stations that I can keep set up for use at all times.

With those in mind, the most productive way I've found that provides good variety with regular finishes is:

Organize a combination of monthly goals with a basic weekly structure. I always keep something "up to bat" at each station with ideas of what will come next at each one, but I set a specific finish as my top priority. (That priority finish may be the final completion of a quilt, or it may be getting something to a significant step.)

That's my modus operandi in a nutshell, and it works in a cyclical fashion. The only quilt I have ever taken from cutting to piecing to quilting to finishing as the priority project is my 25th anniversary double wedding ring quilt. Anything else goes through one station's cycle and then gets shelved or hung until I pull it out at a future point for a turn at the next station.

How that plays out for October:

The priority finish right now is my "25th, Baby!!" anniversary double wedding ring quilt. 

This is at my Handwork Station, which consists of the sofa corner closest to the lamp or whatever doctor's office or DMV I anticipate spending time at. I keep supplies and individual blocks being worked on in a tote to the side, and a few more supplies on a shelf in that side table.

I work here maybe 5 evenings out of the week while watching TV with my Honey, and I occasionally capture a blissful movie session during the day. I have 22 more rings (of 90) needing the tuck-and-tie clean up work, then I have to hand stitch the binding down. It's probably going to take all month for that.

Normally, my handwork station has a sub-prioritization that goes in this order: Hanging sleeve for anything going out to a show > any label or binding that needs stitching down > any hand work that pops up for "Ruffled Roses" > a block for "Affairs of the Heart" > "Fiesta Mexico" work, except on fourth-Sunday. Don't think about it too much, this is a guideline for myself, not a rigid schedule.  :D


Monday through Friday, any daytime opportunities I have for quilt work are spent at the machines in the Piecing Station and the Quilting Station. I have a Viking Sapphire that is an excellent table-top FMQ machine, and a cheap-o Singer Confidence Quilter that is an excellent little piecer. At this moment, I go back and forth between the two according to my mood. The FMQ table is occupied by my cousin's second "Joseph Smith" quilt.

The piecing station has a Super-Top-Secret project for attention that can only happen when both of two family members are not in the house, masked by my "Heart & Home" final assembly work.

These two stations tend to remain stable in whatever project is at them until that project reaches the next significant stage, like the full flimsy of an uncomplicated pattern - or all the blocks made of something intricate, or everything but borders assembled, etc.

Oh, and I do often keep a leader-ender project in a side box to get patches assembled between chainings of the "real" project at the piecing station. In other words, I'll do something like sew all the flip-over snowball corners for 42 heart halves for the main project, then throw a leader-ender duo together so I can snip off the string of heart halves to trim and press. . . then come back and chain-piece those heart halves through the next step without having to start new thread ends all over again. Leader-ender projects typically come from whatever non-priority project coordinates well with the current priority piecing thread color.

Weekends are for variety unless I'm particularly driven to smash through on the top priority finish.

On Saturdays, if I do any sewing work, it tends to be given over to something that's a treat to work with or a community service project, so I get a break from the projects that are living at my stations or on BOM rotation.

Usually this plays out in attention to whatever I want to do for a NewFO for Barbara's monthly link-up at Cat Patches. Since I clearly do not lack for UFOs, I *usually* use her linkup to pull a kit out of the NETY storage and get it onto a progress list. I'm happy if the month's NewFO accomplishment is to wash/iron the fabrics and get everything carefully cut out and nicely re-stored in a marked box. That way it's ready for pulling out some day when it can get "real" attention at the piecing station. This month, I want to pull "Saltbox Harvest" out of storage.

But a lot of Saturdays see no sewing because, well - - - Family! and the Great Colorado Outdoors!

On Sundays, I work on Block of the Month projects for BOMs Away Mondays. This might last several hours, or it might be only 10 minutes - - - See the final Saturday notation. ;D

You can probably guess that my NETY storage holds several BOM projects (and this was the entire impetus for the creation of my weekly link-up). So outside of thesis immersion months, I keep a regular schedule of "assigned" attention. On first Sundays, I work on one of my cousin's projects as a BOM - that's her "Strolling the Block" quilt right now. Second Sundays are currently for "Ruffled Roses." Third Sundays will be open in October, so I'll pull something from storage to slide into this spot. Fourth Sundays are for "Fiesta Mexico."



It all sounds like a LOT of craziness, but it really settles into a very nice rhythm when you don't have to put individual stations away on a regular basis. Usually, the top priority is at one of the table machines. If it's at the piecing station, FMQ only happens for a short spell a couple times a week as a breather when the priority gets monotonous. If the top priority is at the FMQ station, piecing happens after a couple hours of quilting as a break from the mental intensity of FMQ work and a relaxer for my back muscles. Although, I've found that my back can withstand longer periods of FMQ work since I've been training in Taekwondo.

The weekly changes of BOM work and the slower-rolling hand station changes bring the variety of technique, color, and point-of-attention that my brain craves, while allowing me to zoom in on whatever priority finish gets the bulk of my attention.

Consider that before this system I was starting-and-storing many projects every year with maaaaybe one finish, because I'd get bogged down with the boredom of expecting to finish something straight through without systematic breaks.

Now I get several fantastic large quilts finished in a calendar year, as well as a lot of flimsies put together for the quilting queue. At this point in my life, the fact that the flimsy closet currently has 32 tops waiting for attention is a good thing rather than a daunting shadow. It means I've made terrific progress in the last three years at moving that truly stupendous number of NETYs and UFOs I had accumulated toward being finished, despite allowing myself a few brand-new projects here and there.   :)   

Give me 5 years or so, and I'll work my way through the entire list, at least to flimsy status! And by that point, I may even be able to buy a longarm - and then look out! I'll blow through that flimsy closet like you can't believe. In the end, it'll be a great legacy for my family~!

So!!  For my October Goal Post:


All revisions and maps/pictures inserted by the 14th, professionally printed out and the proper file submissions made to the plagiarism and publisher establishments, university departments, and defense committee members.

Top-Priority Project:

"25th, Baby!"

UFO Work: (I try to make sure something from that list is at one of my stations at all times)

Free-Motion Quilting on Kelly's "Joseph Smith quilt

Community Service: (I try to slip this in somewhere - usually on a Saturday time or as a leader-ender.)

Work on hourglass blocks for a wheelchair quilt

Station Priorities:
Handwork - Finish the clean-up work on "25th, Baby!" and stitch the binding down
Piecing - Work on Top-Secret and finish the "Heart & Home" flimsy
FMQ - the UFO quilt, ideally finished! Next-in-line: "Plums in November" or "Modernology"