I Can’t Decide


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Decisions, Decisions

I’ve been participating in A Lovely Year of Finishes since January.  To date I have declared and finished the following projects:

Ever since completing my Miranda Day Bag I’ve been pondering what to choose for my June challenge.  My To Do List is filled with suitable options as is my stash of projects to quilt.  With so many choices it’s been extremely difficult to decide.  I find myself flip-flopping from one item to another.  Just when I think I have made up my mind I come across another idea and that sends me into a tailspin.  The problem is I want to finish everything on my list but that’s just not humanly possible.  Obviously I will have to narrow down my options.

Here are a few of the projects I have pondered:

If you scroll over each of the photos you can see what their names are.  Aside from those projects one of the other candidates is the June Block Lotto over at the Madison Modern Quilt Guild.

I’ve Chosen

After weighing my options the one that jumps out at me the most is my daughter’s Picnic Blanket.

My Daughter's Picnic Quilt
My Daughter’s Picnic Quilt

She designed and assembled it herself.  I believe it may have been way back in April that she delivered it to my home for quilting.  Since the picnic season is upon us I believe her Picnic Blanket is screaming the loudest.  To satisfy that small voice telling me to “get it done” I am electing the Picnic Blanket as my June project.

Mr. J’s Rectangles Galore


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Last week I gave you a sneak peek at a small quilt I was finishing.  My plan was to bring the project to conclusion by today.  I am so happy to report my goal was achieved.  I’m calling the quilt Rectangles Galore.  Presented for you are photos of the completed quilt.  Enjoy!

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Miss L’s Quilt


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Sometime last year I purchased fabrics to make a small quilt.  The pattern, well there really wasn’t a pattern, was simply to add two borders around the perimeter of a remnant piece of fabric.  I really didn’t want to spend a lot of time cutting and piecing together an elaborate design.  My main focus was to use the specimen as a practice piece for my long arm quilting.  Sadly the fabrics sat idle for a very long time.  So many other projects seemed to take precedence.

Earlier this month I made up my mind it was time to bring that small project to the forefront.  Last week I removed the blue and tan quilt from my quilts-in-progress storage area and installed it on my long arm quilter.  I had a blast marking and stitching patterns that I believe compliment the fabrics quite nicely.

Start to finish the entire quilting process took relatively little time.  After squaring up and removing the excess fabric I once again set it aside.  However, the time spent idle, on this leg of the journey, would be brief.  You see I had a much more pressing engagement to attend.  I spent the weekend with my grandchildren at a water park in the Wisconsin Dells.

Now that I have returned from my adventure I am ready to finish the project.  By this time next week I will have the binding attached and the quilt completed.  If you are wondering what the small, blue and tan quilt looks like I have one sneak peek to share.

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That’s all you can see for now.  If you want to see the finished project you will just have to return next week for the final viewing.  Until then have a super day!  Now go and get busy on your own unfinished projects.

Carissa C’s Over Due–A Quilt


Over Due:  A Quilt

Carissa, from this is happy stuff, recently hired me to quilt one of her projects.  Perhaps you may have noticed it on my side-bar recently.  According to Carissa the quilt, known as Over Due, had been under construction during the past three years.  At our guild meeting in March she approached me about the possibility of having it quilted.  We exchanged basic information and ideas before parting company.

Am I Already Too Late?

Early in April I saw a post on her blog updating her readers with the quilt’s progress.  Her intention, to pursue my services further, was announced in that post.  Here is an excerpt from her story.

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I was overjoyed to read her words.  The posting prompted the exchange of numerous emails eventually leading to a signed contract.

Square Stippling

The quilting pattern Carissa chose was divided into two categories.  In the white or a.k.a. negative space Carissa wanted an informal square stippling.  For the colored blocks she asked me to stitch around their inside borders.  Carissa quickly sketched her interpretation of square stippling on a scrap piece of cardboard.  Before leaving her home I asked her if I could retain that cardboard as a reference.

Any Questions?

As with any project though, there can be unanticipated questions.  You know the kind that don’t surface until you get started.  The square stippling was easy.  I quickly got into a groove and sailed right along.  After completing the first panel of white fabric I emailed a photo to Carissa for her approval.

Over Due by Carissa Christner
Over Due by Carissa Christner

The outlining of the blocks is where I had questions.  I sent her the following note:

. . . Do you want the stitching around the inside of each block to be a continuous row of stitching, beginning in the first block and moving on to subsequent blocks?  Or do you want me to start and stop (tie-off) in each block?

As is typical for Carissa, I soon received an illustration of her vision (oh, the wonders of modern technology).

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The drawing provided the exact information I needed.  There was no longer any doubt in my mind how to proceed.  Once I had that drawing in my possession I was able to finish Carissa’s quilt without hesitation.

Without Compromising Quality

Knowing that Carissa’s desire was to display her quilt in the MMQG quilt show I made every effort to finish the quilting as quickly as possible, without compromising quality. In less than seven hours I had her quilt finished and removed from my Tin Lizzie.  She was totally blown-away when I emailed her to announce the quilt’s completion.

Seven Days Left

I delivered the quilt to Carissa at our April MMQG regular meeting on April 24, 2013.  Setup for the quilt show was scheduled for April 30, 2013 so that left her with seven days to apply her binding and make final adjustments.  I was so thrilled to meet my deadline and so absolutely pleased with the quilt’s outcome.  It truly was a joy to work on this project.

Thrilled Beyond Words!

To say that Carissa was thrilled beyond words would be an understatement.  Her out-pouring of praise was evidenced by the comments in her emails and a subsequent posting on her blog.  Here are a few excerpts:

This is what she said after seeing the first panel of white fabric quilted:

I LOVE it!!  It’s exactly what I had in mind!

After taking the quilt home Carissa emailed me this message:

I had the goofiest grin on my face all the way home and am already plotting my next quilt for you to quilt.  🙂  Thank you, thank you for doing such an amazing job on my quilt–even my husband was impressed!  🙂

I ask all my customers how they found me and why they chose me to do their quilting.  This is how Carissa responded:

I chose you because . . . I know that you read my blog and therefore had a good sense of my taste and style, I trusted that you would probably at least quilt it better than I could on my own machine.  But those were my minimum expectations.

These were her impressions of my quilting:

The end result that you created is far, FAR better than I could have done and adds so much rich interest to this quilt top that I already loved and made it SO much more interesting and beautiful.

Truly, I feel giddy every time I see it!

Her final words of affirmation were announced to her readers in this way:

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Well there you have it!  I would say this is one VERY happy customer.

I’m Linking Up

I’ve chosen to link my post with Freshly Pieced’s Work In Progress Wednesday.  There are many other readers that do as well.  You may view their projects by following the link below.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Camo iPad Tote


Free Fabric!

Before we get started with today’s post let my remind you of my First Anniversary’s Give-Away.  I’m celebrating this blog’s first anniversary by giving away a free charm pack.  Check out the link above for the specifics.  You wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to get free fabric.  Now on to today’s WIP post.

Tag-Along

Not too long ago I assembled a tutorial showcasing the construction of a Tag-Along tote. Before embarking on the construction of the Tag-Along I had begun a quest to make a tote suitable for my iPad and keyboard.  Being unsatisfied with the options available I went through the process of developing my own pattern.  My first mock-up showed room for improvement.  Since I already had the pattern for the Tag-Along I decided to try it out as an alternative.  As I assembled the tote I made numerous changes to the pattern.  While I am quite pleased with my finished product there were things about the Tag-Along I just wasn’t happy with so I went back to the drawing board and resurrected My Original design.

My Original Design

This time around I set out to overcome the issues I had with my first mock-up.  Missing on the first attempt were handles, a pocket for miscellaneous items and tabs to keep each pocket as well as the entire case securely closed.  I also had to address the inadequate size as well as the flimsiness of the layers.  Below are photos of my second attempt.

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As you can see this tote was definitely made using fabrics not typically in my stash.  Since the finished project was destined for my husband I let him choose the fabrics.  He was quite thrilled to be in charge of the selections.  I felt a bit strange going to the fabric store’s cutting table with a cart loaded with camouflage, bright orange, black and green bolts of fabric.

If you examine this second tote you will notice my first change.  Not only does this specimen have handles but they wrap completely around the tote.  I felt the handles would provide more security if they were not just attached at the top.  You can also see that I added a closure tab.

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Here’s a photo of the inside.  Note each pocket now has a tab closure.  Also added was the pocket for miscellaneous items (look for the camouflage fabric).

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From this picture you can see that I made the pockets much deeper.  This time the iPad does not extend above the top edge of the pocket.  Obviously the iPad shown is not my husband’s.  He would never have a pink case on his.  For display purposes I used my own.

My Review

Granted nothing is ever perfect.  I however have plans for a third tote.  With this experiment I want to change the width of the handle, add a pocket for pens and use stabilizers that are not quite so sturdy.  Well, at least that’s what I have in mind so far.  It’s entirely possible there may just be a fourth and fifth version.  Who knows what will happen along my journey to improvement?

I’m Linking Up

I’m linking up this post with Freshly Pieced.  Go see what they are up to.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced