Audiobooks and Podcasts, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

A Happy Ending for “Happy Ending”

“The Quilt is in the Mail”

A package arrived in the mail yesterday. A very exciting package. A quilted quilt!

I could not wait to open the package and see Cindy Anderson’s, of A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (inastitchquilting.com), long-arm quilting magic!

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How fast can I get the box open?
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Oh the anticipation, now I have to unwrap it from the enclosed bag!

Before we get to the reveal (don’t scroll down and peek yet!) here is a little background on this quilt.

I found the pattern for this quilt, Happy Ending, in a book I borrowed from my public library – Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics by That Patchwork Place. The pattern was designed by Lesley Chaisson. I used a couple packages of pre-cut 5 inch squares (charm packs) and deep blue (Ink) Peppered Cotton, shot cotton to make the quilt.

If interested, you can read these previous posts about the evolution of this quilt: Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) and What’s on the Design Wall and What’s on the Design Wall.

After  removing the quilt from the box, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I opened it up and laid it out on our bed to get the full effect of the completed:

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Draped on a king-size bed

My quilt top traveled from Oregon to Wisconsin and returned from Wisconsin as a quilted quilt!

I wish it was completely done and ready for use, but first I have to make and then sew the binding to the edge of the quilt to finish it.

Originally my plan was to use the deep blue shot cotton (main fabric of the quilt) for the binding. TTQH suggested a contrasting color for the binding instead of the dark blue, like an orange or a red fabric.

I like that idea! I found in my stash a reddish-orange Moda fabric that coordinates with the Moda fabric charm squares. I will post more photos when I get the binding put on the Happy Ending quilt. Photos do not do it justice, the geometric designs of Cindy’s long-arm quilting are lovely on my quilt!

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Waiting for the binding to be added

How Do You Trim?

I have a question for the quilters reading: How do you trim the excess batting and fabric off the edges of a quilt that has been long-arm quilted (or domestic machine quilted by you)?

When I began having quilts professionally long-arm quilted, I would use scissors to trim down the quilt. Eventually I moved to using a rotary cutter and a ruler to get a sharp straight edge. This takes a bit of time to complete trimming on a large quilt and I long for the day when I would just use scissors.

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Trimming my quilt after long-arm quilting completed

Rotary cutter and ruler or scissors? How do you trim?

Bonus Content

Inside the box with my quilt from Cindy were a couple extra items that made me smile:

A handmade card (not by Cindy but by another artist) from recycled fabric scraps:2017-04-11_13-30-49_944.jpeg

Scraps left over from the quilt including some fairly thin scraps that I think Cindy was challenging to make something with! (ok true confession – my quilt back was little bit short on one side and Cindy had to do some “remodeling” on my quilt back to make it work):

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And finally – a challenge piece – an embroidered napkin:

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When I saw the napkin, I misunderstood why Cindy sent it. I thought she sent it in support of my post The Napkin Story. However, after chatting with Cindy I discovered she sent it to me as a recycled fabric quilt challenge! She wants to see what I can do with it! (I took it out of my cloth napkin drawer and put it in my studio).


Postscript

I love listening to audiobooks and most of the audiobooks I listen to are borrowed from my public library’s digital download system. You reserve audiobooks just like you would hard copy books (the library is given a limited number of licenses of copies of a digital book they can loan out at one time) and the library e-mails you when the audiobook is available for download. On popular audiobooks, you can wait anywhere from a week to a couple months to get that e-mail.

So I went crazy reserving a bunch of audiobooks a couple of weeks ago when I suddenly ran out of audiobooks to listen – PANIC! Then, yesterday in addition to getting the quilt in the mail, I got an e-mail from my library notifying me that FIVE of the audiobooks I had on hold were available for download:

  • Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
  • For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
    – Shaunti Feldhahn
  • We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere – Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel (yup, Gillian Anderson of The X-Files fame)
  • Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions – Neil Gaiman

The loan period is 21 days, so I need to listen to all books in 21 days or have to go back into the reserve book queue – yikes!

I went ahead and started listening to For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men as I was in the mood to begin with my nonfiction options. Also I previously read Good Omens and several of the short stories in the anthology Smoke and Mirrors are in the Neil Gaiman book I read last year, Trigger Warning. 

The audiobook is very interesting so far! I might share some insights from this book in a future post.

(Shaunti Feldhahn did also write with her husband Jeff Feldhahn the companion book – For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women. According to Ms. Feldhahn these books are used as reading requirements in some church-based premarital counseling programs.)

Studio

Updates

One of the cool things about blogging is I feel obligated to complete the projects I write about. Maybe you all do not really care (ha!) but I feel a sense of obligation to finish things or my readers will think I am a…non-finisher (not even sure if that is a proper word).

Here is an update on some projects related to previous blog posts:

The Charming Continues

In my posts What’s on the Design Wall: Rediscovering My “Charms” and What’s on the Design Wall: Pre-cuts Wrangling, I discuss trying to use up my out of control collection of pre-cuts such as charm squares (5 inch pre-cut coordinated squares). Another charm square quilt has been completed – this one I call The Charming Continues.  It was pieced by my quilting husband and myself using a couple Moda Basic Grey charm packs and coordinating Moda Basic Grey/Grunge line of fabric. It was long-arm quilted  by Betty Anne Guadalupe of Guadalupe Designs. Originally I was going to list it on my Etsy shop but I fell in love with it and it is very happy now in my cozy reading area (where the 370 Craft Books live, see that post…).

Right on Target

In a recent post, What’s on the Design Wall: Not What Should Be There, I discuss how at a recent quilt retreat, I began impromptu working on the same quilt another retreat attendee was piecing – the pattern Right on Target. I have now completed piecing the top and now I am deciding whether to use it as a quilt or as a quilted tablecloth. I am going to quilt it myself (just a simple “stitch in the ditch” or “stitch outside the ditch”). I am happy it did not become an UFO (unfinished object) – this can happen to random projects you start on an impromptu basis at a quilt retreat!

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: Rediscovering My “Charms”

If you would like to see what is on my design wall in regards to new pieces for The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection, check out the post In Progress on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall blog.  To stay up to date on Sassy the highly opinionated miniature schnauzer’s check out her page Schnauzer Snips

CHARM PACKS

If you are quilter you know exactly what I am talking about – those addicting little charm packs. If you are not a quilter – charm packs are collections of precut 5 x 5 in. squares in coordinating fabrics. They are a great way to sample a new fabric collection – they usually come in packs of 40 squares and have at least one of each fabric in a collection. They can also come in solid fabric collections.

I fortunately or unfortunately have acquired quite a stash of charm packs over the years.

You go into a quilt shop and see a new fabric collection and daydream of a yard of each of the new 20 fabrics. Then you remember you need to eat and keep a roof over your head so you don’t give into the temptation of such a glorious shopping spree. Walking away from the collection you were coveting, you spy over in the corner the charm packs sets for the new fabric collection! You now think – “Yes! I can have a taste of the new collection (and still be able to pay my mortgage)!”

You bring them home, with no particular plans in mind for them and put them with the rest of your impulse buy charm packs…

Examples of 5 inch charm packs
Examples of 5 inch charm packs

A year ago I decided to stop hoarding charm packs and to actually use them. There are many wonderful books with charm pack specific patterns – patterns designed to start with 5 in. squares and go from there.  I made a couple quilts from these pattern books, but quickly burned out of this structured traditional quilt making. So I put the rest of the charm packs back in their display (gather dust) area and forgot them.

I was reorganizing my fabric a week ago and came across my stash of charm packs again and thought: Why do I have to use a pattern? Why can’t I just do something initiative and “modern quilting” style? So I took two charm packs of collections of various solid color batik fabrics and randomly sliced each 5 x 5 in. square into three sections. Then I reassembled this huge pile of charm pack sections into random columns. I experimented and sliced up one of the columns to make thinner columns and alternated the columns.

I am still experimenting and plan to create table runners out of these columns. Below are photos of “playtime” on my my design wall.

I think they are on their way to becoming quite CHARMING. I am glad I rediscovered my CHARMS!