Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Fabulousness That Is February: One (or More) Monthly Goals

Hello, my lovelies!  Happy Thursday, and happy FEBRUARY!  Now that I have replenished my supply of Kona Solid in Ocean, I came close to finishing two more sampler blocks for my Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt last night.  The 10" block below wasn't quite done yet when I took this photo:

Progress on Another 10 Inch Sampler Block

All of my block sections had been foundation paper pieced and trimmed, but they still needed to be pieced together and, in order to nest the seams the way I wanted them for crisp, perfectly matched seam intersections, I designed my foundation paper piecing pattern so that the sections go together with partial seam construction.  I weighted the finished sections down with my acrylic square ruler just to keep it crisp and flat overnight.

Here it is, finished:

10 Inch Block Finished

As my dad used to say, "I think that's close enough for government work!"  (I have no idea WHY he used to say that, but he did).

The 5" block below is also newly completed and for the same sampler.  That brings me to 20 finished blocks and 28 remaining to be cut and pieced (32 if you count the border corner blocks).  Moving right along at the speed of Congress...  ;-)

Newly Completed 5 Inch Block

Here's what all of the blocks look like up on my design wall so far:

20 Blocks Completed, 28 (or 32) More to Go!

I'm loving this project right now!  I actually want to get my rainbow border strips for this quilt cut and pieced together before continuing with blocks, though, to make sure I have enough continuous yardage to get my lengths without piecing them.  I also know myself well enough to know that, once all the blocks are finished and pieced together, I will be VERY IMPATIENT to just be done with it already and it will feel great to have those borders already made and ready to attach!

One of the most fun things I worked on last week, that I was DYING to share but couldn't, is this gorgeous Picket Star Rainbow Scrap Quilt for my client and quilty friend, Preeti.  I didn't want her to see the quilt on my blog before she got to see it in person!  

Sneak Peek of Quilting on a Client's Rainbow Scrap Quilt

Preeti has the best eye for selecting and combining fabric prints.  Every time I advanced her quilt on the frame, a new row of blocks in glorious fabric combinations was revealed for me to admire.  I'll share more images of my quilting on this project once Preeti has a chance to do her own post.  But I did want to show you that I used the Serendipity floral E2E design on her quilt, the one that was the wrong scale and the wrong size for the brown quilt I wrote about in this post.  On Preeti's post, this design looks amazing because her Picket Star blocks are 17" and I scaled the quilting design down by about 25%, giving me a curly flower motif that was approximately 1/3 the size of her blocks.  The style of this "fantasy flower" works well with her mix of modern and vintage prints, and the curly swirls of the quilting design are repeating the curly swirls found in one of her background prints.  Finally, there is lots of negative space in this quilt, large areas of white/silver background fabric where the large scale quilting design can really show up.  This was such a pleasure to quilt.  Thank you, Preeti!  

In other news, we are now officially two weeks away from QuiltCon Together 2021!  There's still time to register here for the virtual show.  You can choose to register just for the Quilt Show Pass, giving you access to all of the yummy quilt photo eye candy and vendor specials, and/or for lectures and workshops that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.  I've signed up for a bunch of lectures on quilt history as well as a workshop called Deep Dive Into Better Quilt Photography.  As of today, there are still spaces available in Sarah Fielke's Everyday Applique workshop.  I'm tempted to add that to my registration because I LOVE her work, but I'm afraid that family interruptions would prevent me from getting much out of a virtual hands-on sewing workshop.  One of the things I like about going to a quilt show and taking classes in person is that it's so much easier for me to concentrate on the class when I've left all of those distractions at home! 

Mission Impossible, My Entry in QuiltCon Together 2021

My Mission Impossible quilt was juried into the show (yay!), so one of the things I need to do this week is record an audio clip about the quilt that quilt show attendees will be able to hear when they're looking at my quilt.  If you have any ideas about what I should talk about in that recording, let me know in the comments!  My time limit is two minutes, I believe.

February Quilting Goals

So, what are my goals for February?  Well, I do have a couple of client's quilts and another charity top waiting in the wings, but I think it's time I got another one of my own quilts on the frame and off my UFO list, don't you?  There are two possibilities.  The first is my Bear Paw quilt from forever ago ("forever" being May of 2014), shown below.

Not Sure How I Want to Quilt This One

This quilt isn't finished yet because I keep going back and forth about whether I should custom quilt it or just finish it off with the perfect edge-to-edge design.  It's too big to be a baby quilt at 65" x 65", so more of a square throw (if that's a thing).  I have no purpose in mind for it, either.  I remember that, when I was working on the top, my youngest son asked me "Who is this one for?"  And when I replied that it was just for ME, because I deserve a quilt, too, he looked at me like I had a horn growing out of my forehead!

The other personal quilt top that I could rescue from Quilt Purgatory and quilt this month is one that some of you have probably given up hope that I would ever finish (Colleen, even you have stopped asking me about it!). 😉. My Monstrously Huge 120" x 120" pineapple log cabin quilt weighs a ton and it's a California King quilt that is headed for my own bed, if I ever finish it.  So it's definitely getting E2E quilting rather than custom, to maintain the warmth of the wool batting loft and to add as little weight and stiffness as possible to this beast.

My Pineapple Log Cabin Will Be E2E, Either Feathers or Baptist Fan

The borders that were unattached in the photo above have since been added, so this top is also completely ready to go.  I just need to decide between Baptist Fan or feather quilting, and decide whether I want to fuss around with a separate border treatment or if that would be a wasted effort against the busy Kaffe Fassett border print fabric.  This will also be the largest quilt I've ever attempted on my 12' frame, by the way, and that makes me a little nervous, too.  Even though my 120" is 10' and my 12' frame is 144" long, you cannot actually quilt the entire length of your frame.  The canvas leaders on my frame measure about 132" long, so 132" is the maximum length of backing fabric that I can pin to my leaders.  

Here's Why Batting and Backing Must Be Bigger for Longarm Quilting

In the photo above, you can see that the need for batting and backing fabric to be larger than the quilt top also eats into the usable quilting workspace of your frame. Those red clamps gripping the backing fabric are crucial because they ensure that the backing fabric is smoothed flat from side to side underneath the quilt sandwich, preventing tucks and pleats from getting quilted in on the back of the quilt.  The extra backing fabric makes room for these clamps, and also keeps the quilt top far enough in from those clamps so that my longarm machine head doesn't hit the clamps when it's quilting right at the edge of the quilt top.  The extra batting is important, too.  Every time I start a new quilt, change thread types, or put in a new bobbin, I put a scrap of fabric over the excess batting at the side of my quilt top and use that area to check my tension before resuming stitching.  With my 120" quilt, I'm going to only have 6" of excess backing at the side of the quilt and those clamps will be right up at the outer edges of my frame.  

I gotta tell you, one more thing is holding me back from finishing this quilt.  After the ridiculous amount of time I spent making these blocks and matching up every single one of those seams at the block joins, will I REALLY be able to put this on a bed for daily use?  Of course, my 20-year-old son is currently away at college and sleeping under my QuiltCon show quilt, and he hasn't ruined it yet.  So maybe my husband can be trusted to sleep under the pineapple quilt without wrecking it, too...

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland


Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree


Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: TGIF Friday 


One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts. Link up your goal at the start of each month and link up your finish during the last 6 days of the month 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

of course you can sleep under that beautiful pineapple quilt and not wreck it -we use my quilts all the time and they are hand quilted.. I look forward to seeing yours finished and on the bed. Preeti's quilt turned out wonderful - she does always have an eye for color.

Lynette said...

YES!! You **definitely** can sleep under your pineapple quilt! Super cool to see it peeping up again. :) I absolutely adore your Mission Impossible, both the design and the awesome colors. And the Bear Paw - another So. Very. Cool. quilt!!!

Anonymous said... can put it on your bed for daily use!! Isn’t that why we make all the quilts we they can be used!!!
And, we all want to see a picture of it on your bed...
This is a beautiful quilt...cannot wait to see it all finished!
Sandra B

Anonymous said...

Rebecca, Mission Impossible is is so freakin’ cool! So awesome that it will be in Quilt Con. And the pineapple quilt? Breathtaking!

Michelle said...

Beautiful projects up next for quilting. I'd have a hard time determining which one was next! I've loved that pineapple for years! Sleeping under it will be like the icing on the cake . . .wonderful!

Verov94 said...

Pour la couette mission impossible, je donnerais ces dimensions,le choix des couleurs, le nombrede blocs ainsi que les difficultés, j'informerais qu'elle est faite à la machine. J'indiquerais la forme du matelassage que j'ai choisi.Bonne journée.

MissPat said...

Stop for a moment and think of this. How would you feel if the recipient of one of your quilts (that you spent hours piecing and quilting) said it was too good to use and they were just going to put it away for safe keeping? Yes, you need to use it and enjoy it and not worry about it.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

So much quilty eye candy in your post, Rebecca! I love the colors in your Building Blocks quilt. How neat that you're quilting Preeti's stars, too - I bet that is a fun one to look at in person and close up. Congratulations on having your amazing Mission Impossible quilt in the QuiltCon show, too!

Julie in GA said...

Here's an idea--if you can't deal with finishing your gorgeous pineapple quilt and actually using it, you can quilt it up and send it to me! I promise to take very good care of it!
Mission Impossible and the pineapple quilt are both amazing! Congrats of getting into Quilt Con, and we all look forward to seeing the pineapple quilt finished!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Rebecca! Just sayin' but did you actually tell us your February OMG??! You kind of hemmed and hawed about finishing an old UFO . . . but which one, my friend?! My vote is for the Pineapple log cabin. Get 'er done and get 'er on your bed! Not that's there anything wrong with finishing the gorgeous bear paw quilt. And it is smaller . . . and February is a short month. I guess you get to pick one and run with it! QuiltCon and your Mission Impossible - the theme music is stuck in my head now - is just fabulous. Isn't it exciting to have it juried into the show?! And finally, I wondered who Preeti had sent her quilt to! I can't wait to see her share all the details. {{Hugs}} and thanks for linking up today. ~smile~ Roseanne

Gretchen Weaver said...

All of the quilts are beautiful. Sleeping under the pineapple quilt will make you so happy! Get it quilted so we can see it finished, happy stitching!

Vivian said...

Ditto what everyone else has said: Yer darn tootin' gonna sleep under that thar Pineapple quilt when it's done! The only thing more satisfying than finishing it will be sleeping (blissfully) under it. After all, you're going to be pretty tired when you finish quilting that big 'un! Regarding the quilt size and your frame: would you be willing to remove the borders (I know, I know...) and do a "Quilting In Sections" thing where you quilt the center, then quilt the borders separately and then (re-)attach them together? That could also help in making all the quilting to be done feel less daunting.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

I'm in love with your choice of quilting motif for Preeti's quilt. Stunning, impeccable work.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Your design wall looks wonderful, a lot of beautiful blocks! I recognize Preeti's quilt before reading that it was hers ;) I love the quilting you did, such a perfect design to enhance her lovely patterns. Good luck for the quilting of your beautiful, yet quite big, pineapple quilt!

Sheila Oxley said...

So many beautiful quilts!!! I'm inspired by your blog! The one up on your design wall will be amazing! And that pineapple quilt will be stunning on your bed!
My dad use to have a similar saying... close enough for government work. Funny how we keep those in our thoughts.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

You know I am going to have to read this post like a billion times - too much goodness - but the close enough for government... i spit!! My dad says that ALL The time - too funny! - and your amazing Mission Impossible - its wonderful - and congrats on getting in the show!!!

dq said...

Perfection, as usual for you!

Margo Yang said...

Your design wall looks awesome!! Love all the blocks you have on there. Congrats on your QuiltCon entry...

The Joyful Quilter said...

Congrats on having Lars' quilt juried into Quilt Con, Rebecca!!

scraphappy said...

Though it is safe now, it isn't a quilt. I'm always a fan of using quilts! Imagine how beautiful this one will be on your bed. It will bring you joy every time you sleep under it.

Sara said...

Wow - I'm speechless over your pineapple log cabin quilt. It's gorgeous!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Lovely quilts, including the ones you are still in the process of finishing. I've been there with quilts that I've already put time into, not wanting to mess them up with quilting that isn't perfection. But you can do this, as the precision in your piecing shows, and the quality of your quilting on your other quilts. And they will be lovely!

Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Lynette said...

Hehe :) "Speed of Congress" But look at those perfect points! That's a thing of precision beauty, Rebecca.

Muv said...

Oh my goodness, so many quilts on the go! I am in awe of Mission Impossible. It is an excellent choice for the show.
Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks.
Love, Muv