Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Minor Milestones

Another fun week! I did the best thing you can do when the temperatures are playing in the single digits in January. I sewed and quilted like crazy. 

I'm alternating right now between two projects, and it's working out well. I usually spend a little time in the morning and evening piecing blocks for my Choose Your Illusion quilt. It's a pattern by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. Her title is Use Your Illusion, but I mistakenly thought it was Choose, and that's stuck as the name for my quilt. I love working on this one. The seams nest so nicely. I always say that I love every aspect of making a quilt, but if I'm honest, I'm not that excited about sewing rows together, so for this quilt, I'm sewing the rows together as I go. That way I won't have a daunting task when I'm finished with the blocks. I'll just be done! It also keeps me from mixing blocks up as I'm working. I'm sewing in my living room, so I'm using my design couch instead of my design wall, and that's not ideal for keeping things straight. So, sewing blocks and rows together as I go is a win all the way around. I reached the halfway milestone yesterday, and since taking this picture, I've made the next row of blocks already.



In the afternoon, when the sun on the snow makes perfect lighting in my quilting room, I've been quilting on the Big Quilt. (If you want to see lots and lots of other posts about this quilt, just click on the label Big Quilt at the bottom of this post.) Another milestone!! I have officially quilted 2/3 of the top (and really more, because some of the already-quilted patches reach into that final third). I am picking up speed, and now that I'm waiting to bury threads until evening when I'm watching TV, it's going much faster. And all this quilting has made me so comfortable with my treadle--working with it daily reduces user error and seems to make the machine run smoother and smoother. This project was what I needed to master working with a treadle. 

Here's my favorite patch this week:
No more sketching--I just get in the zone and let it happen, irregular or not. And that's OK.
I usually sign my initials and the year in the bottom right corner of the quilt. That's where I was quilting this week, so I went ahead and signed it. Now it HAS to be done in 2016. I'm committed!

Even though this was a fun week there was one sad spot. The little quilt shop near my home closed last Friday. The owner decided to retire from retail. She had been thinking of retiring for a couple of years, and I think she's still planning to do longarm quilting, but I'll miss her store. It was close enough to ride my bike to and was always the first one I went to when I needed something or started a new project. I went on Thursday and bought enough batting for four small quilts and a piece of fabric that I might use on the back of Choose Your Illusion. 




So, that's it for the past week. Winter is definitely good for my productivity. And for a bonus, let me share with you my winter quilting "uniform." When my daughter was in middle school (or maybe early high school), she came across a fair isle sweater when we were shopping. The sweater was a men's medium. (She was tiny). This was in the era when biggest was best. The sales clerk said it was a classic design and a great buy because even though it cost a small fortune for a young teenager, it "would never go out of style." Now I knew that my daughter's love affair with the sweater would last only a season (or less), but I loved the sweater (more) and told her that she could get it if I could have it when she got tired of it. (I really hoped she'd tire of it quickly). Well, here I am at least 20 years later, and you know we've reached the deep freeze when I pull it out for a few weeks in January or February. 



Yup, it's still huge, even considering it's a men's medium. The shoulders fall about 5 inches down my arms and I have to fold the cuffs back, but it's roomy and cottony and warm, and I still love it. It's my favorite thing to wear in the house when I'm quilting at this time of year.

I'm linking up this week with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. Buttons are on the right.

I hope you're having a fun quilting week and that you're wearing your most comfortable quilting clothes.

15 comments:

Cheryl said...

Your Illusion quilt is coming together so nicely!

Paige said...

The fabrics you have 'chosen' for Use Your Illusion are beautiful! Love your quilting and how you are adding your initials and year into the quilt. That is a great idea. The sales guy was right, still fashionable after all those years. Stay warm!

Leanne Parsons said...

Choose Your Illusion is a beautiful version of Cheryl's quilt! I love all the bright colours you've used. That sweater makes a great quilting uniform, and a fun story too :)

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Your Choose Your Illusion top is coming along nicely - I love the colors you're using and the layout. The backing you've chosen is perfect for it!
Love that classic Fair Isle sweater, too!

Jayne said...

I really like your Illusion quilt! It's going to be amazing when you are finished! Your sweater looks so comfy! It had to be well made to last 20 years! My uniform is my PJ's! I could wear them all day, every day!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

Your Choose Your Illusion quilt is looking lovely! And getting 2/3rds of a large quilt quilted is a big milestone; your quilted flowers look great.

Paula said...

I really love your Choose Your Illusion quilt top so far. The colours and fabric you are using are really gorgeous. It's going to be stunning when finished.

Marsha Cooper said...

Seeing others share string blocks is really making me want to make some. It's been forever since I have and I have a whole basket of strips.

Lorna McMahon said...

I am loving the look of your Choose Your Illusion quilt. And that backing is perfect for it! Your quilting on your Big Quilt is fabulous. Looking forward to seeing that bad boy finished!

Bernie Kringel said...

What a great post. The Choose your Illusion quilt is fantastic. You picked the perfect backing for it too. I kept looking at your stitches on the Big Quilt. So precise. It will be perfect. That sweater looks so cozy and lucky it is multicolored because I am always covered in thread after I sew for a while. Probably blends right in with the sweater though!

Kaja said...

I like 'Choose Your Illusion'; it's a great title and I like how the top is looking too. I love a nice big jumper.

sonalee said...

Love your illusion quilt

Lara B. said...

Janine I just love your illusion quilt - it looks so awesome! Now I want to add it to my bucket list too.
It amazes me so much how beautifully you are able to quilt on your treadle sewing machine. And this is a BIG quilt too! Your quilting sweater is adorable. It's been many years since the hot flashes have allowed me to wear a sweater, LOL.

Sandra Walker said...

Well I love many things in this post Janine! Your comfy cosy sweater, your Choose Your Illusion quilt (FABulous) and your FMQ on a TREADLE woot woot! I will ahve to talk to you when I get my grandmother's treadle going...it HAS to be this summer since it didn't happen last summer... There will be a TON of room for fun FMQ in all the negative space in Illusion, and YES, that is a perfect backing IMHO. :-)

Valerie Reynolds said...

I have an old sweater of my dad's I "stole" from him when I was in college. My mom made it....I still have it today and find it cozy like yours!