Saturday, July 11, 2009


Well, progress is being made! I got the color challenge top together after much auditioning. I think I stress too much over the balance of things. I was trying to spread out the floral stars so they weren't clumped in one spot. I decided that one star wasn't working, and made another one. I tried some things with the borders. Finally, got everything decided and started putting it all together. The actual construction went pretty quickly. . . faster than the decisions!

I decided to piece the backing, using up the left-over fabric. That took some time. It's like putting a puzzle together. My DH thinks I'm crazy. Maybe he's right?? But I used the two stars that didn't work for the front, and also incorporated a label. This post on La Vie en Rosie blog inspired me to do that.

Time to pin-baste. I stalled some over that too. But it wasn't bad at all. I did it on my kitchen counter, which is actually a peninsula. I can walk around 3 sides of it, and drape the quilt all over to reach the middle. And it's the right height to not strain my back. I put on some music, and it was done before I knew it! Sweet.

Last night after dinner, we went to the fabric store so I could purchase the right thread. That was fun. I was very restrained, due to having DH with me! I bought two spools of thread, and some fusible for another project. We also bought some denim so I can make DH a new pottery apron. The one he's using is pretty shot. We had priced an apron at the pottery supply store, and the price they wanted was outrageous! Something like $24! We bought enough fabric for $4.99 and I already have a pattern and thread. Am I cheap? I like to think I'm thrifty! But now, of course, I do have to do the work of making the thing. AFTER the challenge quilt is done.

Then we went to the Dollar Tree, and spent too much money on stuff. I never did find the one thing I went in there for. After that, I had to go to Borders as I had a 25% coupon burning a hole in my pocket. I found a book on folk art applique that intrigues me - not that I do applique exactly. I'll share that with you another time. That was our Friday night. Pretty exciting, huh?

I'm finding that I really am not that drawn to most quilt books anymore. I find I get my "pretty pictures" fix from the Internet now. And I'm not likely to need a pattern anymore. Kind of takes the fun out of the quilt books/magazines. So, I'm saving some money there that I can spend on more fabric! (not that I need that either!)

So, today I got down to the actual quilting. . . . eventually. That was a process too. I had to watch my Patsy Thompson DVD for inspiration. I had to find more batting and make a practice swatch to warm up. I was also trying to get some laundry done. Then I had to clean off the desk so I wasn't "dusting" with the quilt. I oiled the machine, wound bobbins, got myself all set up. . .music, fan, drink, cat/supervisor.

Finally, I started quilting. I straight-line quilted all the chains. Easy-peasy. Humming along.

Then I got stuck.

I can't decide how I want to quilt the rest of it. I outlined the two stars in the corners, and decided that I wouldn't be doing that on all of the stars. What a pain - remember, these are 4 inch stars. Way too much quilt wrestling! Especially considering that it was 84 degrees today! I also tried some straight lines in the background of the border, and ended up ripping that out. That's not the look I want either. So, I did more free-motion on my practice swatch and used that all up. I wasn't happy with the F-M either. I'm rusty, and it shows.

So, I'm taking a break. I need to make another practice swatch. And maybe tomorrow will go better. At least the weather will be cooperating. . . it's supposed to be a high in the low 70's and rainy. Sounds perfect to me! At least for quilt wrestling!

Thursday, we had an invasion. You can see the thundering herd here. I'm not sure why they did this. Maybe they saw us on the deck and were hoping for food. This the first time they've done this this summer. Eventually they swarmed the huckleberry bush, which has berries on it. I've even seen the robins going into the bush too, even though they usually ground feed. (Just not at the same time as the duck herd.)

And look! Two little baby ducks came along! Sorry these pictures are fuzzy - those ducks were moving fast!

Here's a fuzzy yet closer picture of the two babies, thanks to my DH. Don't they look like they have blue beaks? They had a hard time getting to the berries on the bush, and no one was sharing.

And here's a better photo. The flower in the foreground is lavender - it really brings out the color in his/her beak, doesn't it? I never would have guessed that their beaks would be that color. I don't think the adult ducks have that. Or are these mutant ducklings?? Whatever - he's really cute! You should have seen when he stretched out his little stubby wings - so cute.

So, that's it for around here. Stayed tuned for further whining about the quilting. . .maybe it will be all over next time you visit!


  1. I love all the purples you chose for your quilt! Free motion would look good with the sharp angles of the stars, maybe you just need to get warmed up. I'm sure whatever you decide will look great.

  2. Your challenge quilt is looking like a winner to me. I have a piece of light blue background fabric that has been in my stash for years and scrappy stars of various blues sounds like a plan. Thanks for being inspirational. Also thank you for the link about the label being the birth certificate of the quilt, I will now try to incorporate one into the back of my quilts from now on.

  3. Wow that quilt is lovely. Brilliant idea to use the counter to baste it! I use a table, a little taller than normal and it makes it SO much easier.
    I get my inspiration from the net too. WAY too much inspiration, matter of fact, lol.
    Those ducklings are so sweet!
    Good luck on figureing out the quilting. That's a hard one for me too, on every single quilt.

  4. good luck figuring out how you want to quilt next. I always hate getting stuck like that too. Cute duckies!

  5. The decision on what design to quilt is the most difficult for me, too. I agonize over this or that. If I had better skills with free motion machine quilting, it would probably be easier. I know it is practice, practice, practice. But that's not fun! And who has the time for that? I want to sew, sew, sew! BTW, I LOVE the purple stars, the PURPLE background, and everything, especially the PURPLE duckies!

  6. I feel your pain! It's amazing how all the decision making takes longer than the actual sewing.

    If those stars are only 4", and it's a small quilt, do you really need much more quilting? What kind of batting did you use? Could you stitch in the ditch of the seamlines that join the blocks together? Or is there a decorative stitch on your machine that you could use between the blocks?

    The ducks are adorable. Hope they didn't leave too big a mess behind. I know geese can be a problem in that regard.

  7. LOL, my quilting process sounds exactly like yours. Everything from taking forever to decide on layout to whining about the quilting. ;-)

    Cute ducks! I'll be that was a sight to see.

  8. Your quilt is beautiful. I love the colors. Your points look perfect. I see that you are sometimes indecisive over how to actually quilt the top also. I like machine quilting but like you I don't like wrestling with all the fabric to turn etc. I sometimes bring my machine downstairs and use my dining room table but that means I have to clean up at the end of the day and I rather close the door to my sewing room.

  9. Beautiful quilt...the quilting looks good so far...and I love the ducks!


Thank you for visiting my blog! I'd love for you to leave a comment - your comments really make my day!