weekly update

Winter Quiltfest 2017 Recap

Winter Quiltfest 2017 was absolutely one of the most fun weekend retreats I’ve ever been to!  It was my first quilting retreat, but that doesn’t matter; it was AMAZING!  I did the whole package for Winter Quiltfest; I arrived Wednesday afternoon and stayed all the way until Sunday.  I took 5 different classes and learned all sorts of different techniques.  The organizers for the event had table favors for every meal, door prizes, trunk shows, quilt raffles, vendors, and even the first ever quilt show.  I met people from all around the Utah area, and a few ladies from Columbus, LA, and Seattle. Everyone was so nice and friendly I definitely want to attend next year!

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The featured teacher(s) this year were the sisters from Sew Kind of Wonderful.  Helen and Sherilyn where there to teach, but Jenny had to be home with her kids.  They were so down to earth and absolutely a joy to learn from.  The first class I took was Chic Country.  I had actually bought the pattern and the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) last April during the Twin Cities Shop Hop but never had the guts to actually start making the quilt.  When I saw these ladies were teaching this quilt, I was all in!  This pattern is so neat because it looks great but is really just one block repeated.  The colors and the orientation of the block creates the circular pattern in the quilt. The other thing is their patterns are really forgiving.  By forgiving I mean the blocks get trimmed down after the curves are sewn, and the points aligning or not getting chopped off isn’t a big problem.  The bias stretch in fabrics can inadvertently cause the block to be a little wonky so squaring the blocks after really helps compensate.  I was able to finish one of the blocks during the 3 hour class.  I had brought my scraps of Blueberry Park fabrics to create the block. Prior to the class, I had spent over an hour attempting to decide which fabrics I would use but couldn’t come up with any sort of resolution.  The Blueberry Park fabric looked great in this block!  If you look closely, you can see that I chopped off all my points on accident.  But it doesn’t detract from the overall look of the block.  I am still trying to decide what fabric I want to use to make this quilt.  I have been thinking I will do a black and white solids quilt with a accent color, definitely more to come!

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The next class I took was “Good Day” taught by Leslie Bergeson.  Good Day is a pattern in Yoko Saito’s Scrap Valley book and is a paper pieced pattern. Leslie is local to Utah and was so insightful for tips on paper piecing.  She taught us tips on not using the add-a-quarter ruler by folding the paper on the seams to align the fabric.  Also her tips on how to remove copy paper from paper piecing was awesome.  Tip: Score the seams on the paper side of the piece with a blunt stick (like a pen cap or chopstick) and then remove the paper from the inside of the piece to the border.  The only downside to this quilt is needing 126 blocks to complete it.  Each block is taking me about 30 minutes to do.  I completed 4 in class and another 4 during open sewing time, so only 118 left to go.  Yikes, this may be a long term project!

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Windswept was a class taught by Marian Gallian, the author of Dresden Carnival.  The entire book has all these cute dresden shapes.  The Windswept flower is made with the an appliqued part onto the dresden petal to create the rotating look.  I attempted to fussy cut my fabric which obviously was not the best.  I was able to confirm that I applique correctly even though I always have knots and use double thread.  It’s a habit from when I learned to hand sew as a child that I probably will never break.  The shapes in this quilt are all hand-cut from the fabric and will eventually be appliqued to the larger background.  The applique of the smaller pieces is actually great for things to do while I travel!  Hopefully I can get this quilt finished while on the road for work.

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I took another class with Helen and Sherilyn called Mod Dots.  This is a pattern that was written specifically for Winter Quiltfest. The pattern shows these really cool dots, but the pieces can be repositioned to be very different designs.  I am so enamored with the dots…my quilt will show the dots in the pink, blue, and black/gray colors.

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My sister also took this class with me and it was her very first quilting class.  She did the curves so well on her first time using the method that Helen and Sherilyn taught!  I am so proud and I think she’s hooked on quilting!

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The last class I took was called Starkiss by Maho Schwartz.  It was a star paper piecing pattern.  My sister also took this class with me and learned how to paper piece for the first time.  I believe I found a typo in the pattern when we got to the borders because mine didn’t turn out correctly in relation to the sample.  I’ll be emailing Maho so she knows as well since we tested the corrections on my sister’s block.  These will end up being pillow covers.

img_20170128_173141_042My Block

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My Sister’s Block

Before heading back to the airport, I went to visit Rhonda Walker for the first time!  I am so lucky to have her longarm my quilts.  She’s so nice and has such a great little shop and setup at her house.  I was able to pick up my 2016 Craftsy BOM quilt that she finished and also bought more fabric!  I can’t wait to get the binding on this quilt.  I feel like it shows my progression through 2016 from a beginner quilter to who I am now.

It was really sad to have to come home and back to reality, but I’m so jazzed about these new projects!  I hope next year, there will be even more people I know who will attend!

One last thing – I was able to put together my photo inspiration for the Mighty Lucky Challenge for January.

photogrid_1485365083250top left: rain drop patterns on the window
top right: the lights and windows in the red building
bottom left: the simplicity of the hotel lobby fire place
bottom right: the symmetry of the beds and artwork in the hotel room.

Now I just need to actually make a quilt design out of these inspirations!

1/31-2/7 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM and Monday PM (so little time this week!)

Projects I want to work on:
America’s Garden Quilt
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block
2016 Craftsy BOM

Goals for the Projects:
America’s Garden Quilt: Complete 1 Block
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 4 Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
2016 Craftsy BOM: Finish Binding

 

weekly update

Broken Lattice Pattern Release Day!

Today’s the day!  Pattern #102 (called Broken Lattice) is now released as a FREE PDF Pattern on Craftsy! (Free for a limited time!)

I’m really excited about this pattern because it showcases the fabric and colors really well.  This quilt is a beginner and precut friendly pattern with either 2 Jelly Rolls or 1 Honey bun for the 2 sizes.  The full size quilt finishes at 72″ square and the small quilt is 36″ square.

 

When I was designing this quilt, I was a burnt out on complicated blocks.  I wanted something that I could create quickly and easily that also had a cool design factor.  The meaning behind the Broken Lattice is the fact that the quilt is not a complete lattice.  It’s only on every few columns that the lattice shine through.  The fact that the rows and columns are consistent across and down help the continuity of the pattern.

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The smaller sample is made from Sundrops by Corey Yoder.  I divided the main row of strips not by color but by contrast so the lattice structure is not quite as pronounced compared to the larger sample made from Spectrum by V&Co. The bright colors in Spectrum are showcased well, and the awesome quilting job is by Rhonda Walker from Olie&Evie.

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The two sample quilts were Finish #1 and #2 for 2017!  Finish #3 goes to my Steampunk quilt!  This looks amazing with the Spirals Big and Small quilted edge to edge by Rhonda!

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I’m still in progress of starting my new Completed Quilts Page for 2017.  Hopefully it will be up by next week!

I head off to Winter Quiltfest tomorrow, and I need to get to work on cutting more fabric for enders and leaders.  The Modern Heritage BOM Block 6s are finally finished just in time for my Month 7 package arrived.  I’m doing the BOM with a fabulous group of ladies with Pam from Serendipity Woods leading us.  I look forward every month not to the fabric for the blocks, but the personal letter she writes each month.  It’s super awesome, so thanks Pam!

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So because I’ll be at the retreat until Sunday I realized that I had to play catch up on all the blocks for this week so I made double the normal list!  For the Quilter’s Planner block, I ended up using my wild card because I just wasn’t feeling the block with the yoyo.  I did however finish this week’s block early!  There are a few corrections to the tutorial cutting instructions for the white fabric. Replace 2.5″ square with 2.5″ x 1.5″ rectangles and replace 2.25″ square with 2″ x 1.5″ rectangles. You don’t need any of the squares and with the 2.25″ dimension your strips for columns 2 and 4 will be too long.

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I finished the Maine and New Mexico Blocks for America’s Garden Quilt.  I seriously LOVE this quilt.  I’m not typically a fan of lots of florals, but the significance of the state flowers is really neat.

 

For the Modern Building Blocks, I completed a total of 8 blocks this week.  I’m working on the tutorial page for each of the blocks as well as arrows for pressing directions.  I’ll include that once I get that up and going!

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Block 17: Alternate the seams on flying geese, and when you sew the strips together.
Block 39: This block is the same as Block 5, just smaller!  The only seams that need to nest are the solid blocks on the corners with the center blocks.
Block 42:
 Churn block! The 9 block grid seams will be pressed in alternate directions to be nested
Block 20: 
For the flying geese there isn’t an direction you need, but 9 block grid will need to be pressed in alternate directions to be nested

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Block 26: Ohio Star block! 9 grid pressing instructions
Block 35: Press towards the dark and to the middle strips.
Block 36:
 9 grid pressing instructions
Block 17: 
Press towards the dark when the dark orange and cream are sewn together.  Press towards the triangles on the edges.

It’s been a busy week, and I didn’t get a ton of time to work on the January Mighty Lucky challenge.  I will be trying to work on it this week while I’m in a new place!  Time to get inspired to design.

1/24-1/31 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Winter Quiltfest Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Projects I want to work on:
Winter Quiltfest!
Mighty Lucky

Goals for the Projects:
Enjoy Winter Quiltfest
Mighty Lucky – January Challenge

weekly update

Why I say No.

Saying no and my reasoning behind it is something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while…people I know all think everyone is getting a quilt for a present.  There are many articles that have been written on how to say no as a crafter since we all feel that nagging guilt when someone you know and love asks you to make them something whether it’s knitting, crocheting, quilting, needle work, etc. So here’s to the world on why I say “No.”

I say “No” to everyone, don’t be offended by it.  I won’t outright say it but I internally scream it.  The people that have been and will be gifted quilts are the people that don’t initially ask for one.  Let’s start with the people that have already gotten a quilt from me.  My Grandma, she got my very first gifted quilt.  Not because she wanted one, but because I wanted to make her one.  I actually had to tell her that I made her the quilt for her to actually use not just to look pretty on the bed or chair.  Knowing her, she’d consider it special and then never actually use it.  The next person that got a quilt was my sister.  I love my sister, but she really knows how to weasel her way to the top of my gift giving list, call it a talent.  But to be fair, I’m getting my sister into quilting so I consider it sharing the hobby!  Plus, she sends me photos of my nephews snuggling with the quilt.  (It makes me want to make them one too!)

I’m sharing this because quilting making and giving is very personal for me.  There are hundreds of hours poured into making a quilt, not to mention the money on materials.  I want to spend my free time on my rules for creativity and making something I want.  Back 6 years ago or so, I used to have an Etsy store that I sold some paper craft work and cards.  I enjoyed making them until I was selling them.  That conversion to becoming a “job” destroyed my love for the work.  Call it fear that it will happen again, but quilt making will never become a job.  There is just too much time and love sunk into the quilts to make it a viable “job.”

Ultimately, if you want a quilt that I’ve made, the best way to get one is picking from an older quilt that I’ve made that I would be willing to part with.  I’m not sure how socially acceptable it is to gift “used” quilts, or quilts that were not made with an intended person in mind.  I have a very short list of people that I want to give a quilt to.  Everyone on that list is either very important to me or someone that I know understands the value and the effort that goes into making a quilt.  However, I still struggle on how much input I’m allowing those people to influence their gift. If I’m asked to make something I don’t particularly like, the odds are slim for actually finishing it.  (sorry!)

So this is why I say no.  I don’t have that much spare time to make everyone something, and most people don’t understand how personal quilt making is for me.  Eventually the situation might change where I am drowning in quilts and would be more willing to give them away, but that falls under the gifting “used” quilts.

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The most exciting new I have from this past week: I got a logo!!!

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Next week, I’ll share my next pattern that’ll contain the new logo!  I can’t wait to share the process of how I came up with the design too.  The large sample is completed as finished quilt #2 of 2017, and the pattern is almost ready to share!  I was also very productive this week finishing everything on my list!  The four Modern Building Blocks I completed are below.

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Block 4: The Quadrants are not the same, there are 2 of each.  I made the mistake of making all the same and having to rip out and redo two of them.
Block 13: The seams can be pressed in any direction, none of the seams are nested.
Block 15: Press the seams towards the darker orange triangle, or away from the lighter orange on blocks that do not contain the darker orange. All the seams for the HSTs will then nest.
Block 21: Use the Marti Michell’s Corner Trimmer tool, the triangles will be easier to spot on the side of the square.

Eventually I will mark up the Blocks to show all the pressing directions for the seams.  It’s on my to do list to help others out.

This past week’s Quilter’s Planner block was so cute.  I used some spare Jelly Roll strips for the color. 2 out of 51 complete!  (one week will be a WILD CARD aka skip)

 

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I completed Pennsylvania’s block for America’s Garden Quilt.  Their state flower is the Mountain Laurel.  This quilt is going to be educational for all the different state flowers. 3 out of 50 complete!

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I’m not yet done with the Modern Heritage Blocks, but I was able to complete half just by using them as Enders and Leaders.  I think of it as bonus sewing!

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Next Wednesday, I will be leaving to go to Winter Quiltfest in Logan, UT.  I can’t wait to go and learn from some awesome instructors!  Recap of the trip will be the following week, yay!

1/17-1/24 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday PM; Saturday and Sunday

Projects I want to work on:
Powered by Quilting Patterns
Modern Heritage BOM
America’s Garden Quilt
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block
Steampunk Quilt
Mighty Lucky

Goals for the Projects:
Powered by Quilting – Finish PBQ102 and release next week!
Modern Heritage BOM – Month 6 Blocks as enders and leaders
America’s Garden Quilt – Make 1 Block
Modern Building Blocks – Make ANY 4 Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block – Make this week’s quilter’s planner block
^ looks almost standard each week!
Steampunk Quilt – Finish Binding the quilt!
Mighty Lucky – January Challenge

Bonus: Start either the Elephant Abstractions quilt or work on the Technicolor Galaxy BOM.

weekly update

Push Through the Daily Grind

 

Back to reality of the daily grind.  I forgot just how exhausting working can be and how hard it is to get motivated to quilt after work.  So my to do list?  Way too aggressive!  But one of my personal new year’s resolutions is to be kind to myself.  So it’s okay, the stuff will get done after I get back in a rhythm.  🙂

The update for the new pattern (PBQ102) that is releasing this month… I haven’t started writing it.  I know that’s awful, but I am committed to getting it out by Jan 24 prior to Winter Quiltfest.  This one most likely will not be proofread due to the multiple diagrams I plan on having!  I will be getting the quilt I made with Spectrum fabric by V&Co. back from Rhonda this week, too.  So I can’t wait to finish it!  I was able to complete my first finish of 2017, the mini-version of the PBQ102 quilt.  So a sneak peak of the back of the quilt, but it’s missing a label.  Recognize the Sundrops fabric by Corey Yoder? I’m obsessed with this fabric line, it’s so pretty!

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I realized I was going through enders and leaders so quickly that I figured that the Modern Heritage BOM Month 6 blocks would be perfect for the enders and leaders this week.   Obviously I did not get these blocks done this week, so this is my excuse!  Hopefully with the sewing I’m doing, the blocks will almost sew themselves!

I’m giving myself low pressure for finishing America’s Garden Quilt by attempting to finish at least one block a week.  This past week I finished the Tennessee block with their state flower, the Iris.  It’s such a beautiful block!

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The 52 Quilter’s Planner block this week was “Unnamed.”  I read some frustration with how much waste this block created and how frustrating it was to align.  I tend to agree with the comments, however I used my scrap bin to make the block, so the waste just went back into the scrap bin.  I oversized the block and cut it down to size to minimize the frustration and it worked out well!  I made a head start on week 2’s block by cutting out the fabric and using them as enders and leaders.  (I’m loving the usage of enders and leaders!  I feel it’s like bonus sewing!)

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I finally finished cutting all the blocks out for the Modern Building Block quilt.  It’s rather unfortunate the way Moda lays out the cutting instructions for the quilt.  You will end up cutting more squares than needed if you cut each block as instructed.  If you purchased the kit, make sure you cut the larger blocks first or you’ll run out of fabric.  There is a published google sheet a fellow quilter made to help with cutting, but there are also some errors on that as well.  I’m trying to figure out a good way to communicate the cutting instructions better, but it’s rather cumbersome.   If I come up with something, I’ll definitely post about it!

The 4 blocks I decided to do were Blocks 6, 23, 27, and 41. Here are some tips for each block!

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Block 6:  Press all seams to the lighter yellow fabric.  This  will help all of your seams match up!
Block 23: Be careful about pulling the fabric, the bias will catch the fabric to stretch and the block to distort.
Block 27:  Press all seams to the darker fabric.
Block 41: Like Block 23, be careful not to pull on the fabric as the bias will stretch.  Press the seams to the darker fabric and then the final seam will align.

Once I have more blocks created, there will be a page added for Moda Building Block tips to be able to find them all in one spot!  One thing to note, the pattern is written so that there is NO trimming needed with using half-square triangles or quarter-square triangles.  If you would like to trim your blocks, you will need to add 1/8″ to the squares prior to cutting.

1/10-1/17 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday, Sunday PM (Boo on traveling for work this week)

Projects I want to work on:
Powered by Quilting Patterns
Modern Heritage BOM
America’s Garden Quilt
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block

Goals for the Projects:
Powered by Quilting – Start writing PBQ102 pattern and name the pattern.  Bind the Spectrum Sample Quilt.
Modern Heritage BOM – Month 6 Blocks as enders and leaders
America’s Garden Quilt – Make 1 Block
Modern Building Blocks – Make ANY 4 Blocks
Quilters’ Planner Block – Make this week’s quilter’s planner block

**hummm this looks similar to last week’s to-do list doesn’t it? Maybe I need to drop a weekly task. *sigh, but which one?

 

 

 

weekly update

Happy New Year!

First post of the new year!  I’m going to take a look back to this past year’s of quilting!  So by the numbers:

Quilts finished: 15 (including 5 minis, all displayed on the Completed Quilts 2016 page)
Quilts gifted: 3 (including 1 swap)
Quilt tops finished: 7 (2 are currently at Rhonda’s to get quilted!)
Quilts/Works in progress: 5 (2 were started this past week!)
Patterns released: 1 (Patterns page)
Other Works in Progress: 4 (including 2 from Sewing Expo classes and 2 scrap quilts; these may never be finished)

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My stack of non-mini quilts that were not given away from 2016.

I think for my first year of quilting, those numbers are not bad at all!  This next year I have lofty goals of what I would like to accomplish.  Let’s first start with my pattern writing.  I would like to target releasing a pattern once a quarter (approximately every 3 months).  This includes the pattern that will be released later this month that’s a free pattern!  Rhonda already quilted it, and it should be headed back my way shortly.

I have so many quilts on deck ready to be started but not nearly enough time to complete them all.  There are also LOT of quilt-alongs and groups of quilting kicking off in the year that I feel a tad bit overwhelmed by everything.  A few of the ones that I am going to attempt to keep up with are the 52 weeks of Quilter’s Planner hosted by GnomeAngel.  It’s posting the quilt block each week as shown in the quilter’s planner.  I am also going to attempt to keep up with @kupitis on getting the Modern Building Blocks quilt done.  I missed the quilt along this past fall due to all the other open projects that I had.

I am also doing Mighty Lucky Quilting Club 2017 hosted by Lucky Spools.  It’s a design challenge each month taught by other artists and designers meant to help grow your skills.  I’m looking forward to completing the January challenge!

I’m sad I’m back at work because I was able to get so much stuff done over the break.  Seriously, like a quilting and sewing factory going on here. First, I mentioned there are 5 works in progress (WIPs) at the end of 2016.  Two of those WIPs are now completed quilt tops.  The first one is a whale baby quilt and the pattern is by Clare’s Place Designs.  I’ve had this pattern for a long time and finally got the ric rac and missing navy fabric to complete this quilt.  It’s just so darling!  I’m keeping this one for my currently non-existent future kid.IMG_20170101_120738_404.jpg

The second quilt top I finished is Frivols 9 – Little Miss Sunshine fabric by Lella Boutique.  I used this as my lead-ers and end-ers this past week and ended up finishing most of it pretty quickly.  There does come a point where the lead-ers/end-ers become the main quilt you are working on and you need new lead-ers and end-ers.  Lead-ers and end-ers are pieces that you sew together at the end of a chain piecing run and then they become the item under your needle when you start a new chain piecing runs, hence the lead-er and end-er name.  I’m not super pleased with my points on this quilt but there were just parts where the seam was super bulky, and I need to investigate a little more on how to cut those down in the future.  Bulky seams are really hard for me to get everything to align correctly.

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I also started cutting the fabric for America’s Garden quilt a year later.  I decided that there is too much thinking for the quilt to be a lead-er/end-ers quilt.  I made the first block with Minnesota state flowers.  The side triangle blocks I just really hate doing.  The corner trimmer tool is the only thing that makes them barely line up correctly, but having to trim each triangle is just a pain!

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Prior to 2017, I went on a finishing spree!  The Satsuki quilt was started months ago, and I just never finished the raw edge applique on the flowers on about half of the blocks.  I sat down, finished the applique, and pieced the top together in an afternoon, it went so quick!

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Keeping with the applique mood, I decided to finally take another stab at working on the 2016 Craftsy BOM quilt that I hadn’t touched since April.  The applique part made me realize I really hate turned edge machine applique.  I can’t ever sew close enough to the edge for the applique to look right in my mind.  I think for future cases I either do raw edge machine applique or turned edge hand applique.

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One thing I realized as I was adding the appliqued blocks was the quilt I used to think was a good size (of what was already there) now seems rather tiny to me.  The second thing is that I used to struggle quite a bit with getting my seams to align and the points were all over the place on the center of this quilt.  It’s really a nice reminder of how much I’ve gotten better over time.  So all that was left was the piano keys and the outer borders, so why not just try to complete the quilt top?  I finished. It took a full day’s worth of sewing to get all the piano keys completed and sewn on the quilt.  This is the largest quilt top I’ve finished to date, and once I get the back cleaned up and the backing sewn, it’ll head off to Rhonda to get quilted.  I am not going to even try to fight quilting a 84″x92″ quilt on my home machine.

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I was so busy quilting this past week I forgot to check my goals from the previous blog post until I was typing this post up.  So I forgot to do the Modern Heritage BOM blocks for this month, oops!  I think reality is setting in for being back to work, and my progress will go back to a more “normal” pace.  Bummer!  Also, with this many quilt tops waiting to be quilted, I think I need to figure out a time to quilt everything!

1/3-1/10 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday AM, Sunday

Projects I want to work on:
Powered by Quilting Patterns
2016 Craftsy BOM
Modern Heritage BOM
America’s Garden Quilt
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block

Goals for the Projects:
Powered by Quilting – Finishing writing PBQ102 pattern and name the pattern.  Quilt the honeybuns sample quilt.
2016 Craftsy BOM – Finish piecing the back and send to Rhonda!
Modern Heritage BOM – Month 6 Blocks
America’s Garden Quilt – Make 1 Block
Modern Building Blocks – Cut the rest of the fabric for the different blocks and sew 4 blocks (any blocks!)
Quilter’s Planner Block – Make this week’s quilter’s planner block

**Looking at this to-do list, it seems very aggressive. Let’s see how it goes?