Last year my Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild decided to do the Sugar Block Club 3.0 Block of the Month club. It seemed like we all had a lot of energy about it for the first few months, but the enthusiasm waned. I tried to keep up with the blocks every month, and had a big push in December to finish the last block and get the setting together.
It would have been easy to just do a 3 blocks in a row, 4 rows setting, but I decided I wanted to do a non-traditional setting. I also had a lot of extra fabric left over, and I thought some large open areas for the top would be useful for practicing some quilting. I cut the background fabric in to large squares and rectangles, and developed this for the setting:
After doing a large amount of practice on my long arm, I thought I was ready to tackle this guy.
I struggled with a thread choice for the top – I wanted something that blended, but my first choice blended so well I couldn’t see what I was quilting.
I wound up choosing a very light grey – Aurifil Dove #2600. I think it worked out well, but it still was very light in places and hard to see.
I spent a lot of time choosing patterns for each block, using many tools to work through the design – my notebook, books, and a plexiglass sheet to put on top of the quilt and try out ideas.
It took a lot of time, but I think it came out really well!
Here is the finished quilt:
Some detail shots:
The back – I pieced it with leftovers from the blocks.
I almost used a whole big spool of Aurifil on the top:
Maggie was exhausted when we were done!
But she did help me with the binding:
Thread used – Top (Aurifil Dove #2600), Bottom (Bottom Line #620)
Quilt Size: 66″ x 78″
Total Quilting Stitches: 352,919
I am really happy with how it turned out. There are a lot of bobbles and wonky stitches, but I think I’ve come a long way!
Heading into the year Yvonne at Quilting JetGirl hosted a linky party for setting 2017 goals. We are over halfway through the year, so it’s time to check in on what I said I was going to do.
Going in, I said that my word(s) for the year were ‘Settle In’, as I had a lot of change in 2016 and really wanted to get into a routine and into a groove. I wanted to find some balance, make time to sew, and get really comfortable and skilled with the things that I’m doing. I think I’ve done pretty well with that – my ‘new’ job is now about a year old, and I’m getting adjusted to my routine. I don’t have as much time to sew as I would like, but I have managed to fit in a lot of projects.
These were my goals –
Long Term Goals:
Find a good balance between work and life and make sure I keep making time to sew. Getting a bit more physical activity and losing a few pounds wouldn’t be a bad idea either! UPDATE: As I said, I’m doing pretty well finding time to sew. I have NOT done well with the physical activity/losing pounds thing. I’d really like to find a way to get back to doing yoga.
Continue to try new things with my quilting. Learn new skills, make things that are outside my norm and my comfort zone. UPDATE: I think I’ve done pretty well here too. I’ve worked a bunch with my long arm, and taken a lot of classes – both online with Craftsy and in person with Angela Walters. I finally got out my EQ7 software and have been playing with that. Once I get a bunch of these WIPs done, I want to spend more time on design.
Short Term Goals:
Long arm, long arm, long arm. I want to get very comfortable and capable with my new big machine! I’m taking an Angela Walters class in March that should help. UPDATE: It’s going well. Some set backs, but mostly I’m feeling pretty happy with it. I loved the class! I’ve also figured out my Pro-sticher, along with doing my own free-motion. I’m starting to get people to ask me if I will quilt their quilts for them, so I went ahead and registered Brown Paws Quilting as an LLC and am working on getting the business set up. Yikes!
Figure out something to do with all of these quilts! I will be making some donations, but I’m also considering opening an Etsy store. UPDATE:No real progress here, but as I said I set up the LLC, so maybe I can open an Etsy store using that LLC. I will likely be donating a lot of quilts.
Do less BOMs and quilt alongs this year and do more of my own designing. I joined a monthly design group that should push me to do this. UPDATE: No real progress here. The monthly group wasn’t as helpful with the designing as I hoped it would be. I’ve done a few things, like my plans for my cat quilt, but mostly I’ve been wrapped up with finishing a bunch of older projects.
Keep up with my Bee group. I’m in a group with some great folks from my New Blogger’s group. I’ve never done a Bee, so it should be fun. UPDATE: This is going really well and I love the group.
New Goal (only one, but it is a big one…)
Get the Long Arm business set up and running. This is scary, but I’m excited about it. I have a lot of little things I want to do to get this rolling (get cards, stitch up some samples, work on my intake forms, find batting sources, etc…).
Projects on the list:
Sugar Block Club BOM layout and finish – done! need to take photos and do my post.
Splendid Sampler layout and finish – on the frame now!
Death Star quilt – done!
Blueberry park Drunkard’s Path – no progress
Hawaiian batik sampler – no progress
My embroidered Bee quilt – all the embroidered blocks are done, top is pieced, perhaps this one is next on the frame…?
Other stash projects – I have a large amount of fun bundles I have purchased that I need to get working on (more Blueberry Park, some Alison Glass, Me+You batiks, some Grunge…)
Long arm practice quilts (rings, funky squares, Circa 1934 Squares, mess-of-a-quilt) – lots of progress – I’ve finished a bunch of quilts this year working on my practicing. I’m really happy with the results.
I should finish the rest of these this year.
So far so good – I’ve made a lot of progress. It’s good to remember when I’m looking down at all of these little stitches, sometimes going a bit wonky, how much I’ve learned. I’ve really loved having my long arm, and am looking forward to more new things during the rest of the year.