February 10, 2013

On the Fly

We're well into February, and I'm still not finished with 2012.  As I visited my favorite blogs last month, many people were sharing their New Year's resolutions, and some had even chosen a single word to define their expectations and goals for 2013.  If I had a word, I'm afraid it would have to be something like "unpredictable" or "chaos," so I'll pass on the word thing.  If I had made any resolutions, I'm sure I would have already failed to follow them, so I'm happy to have not spent time thinking about it.  I'll just keep doing it on the fly and hope it all works out. 

And today, on the fly, I'm sharing pictures of Courthouse Steps, my first finished quilt of 2013, as well as a little about my process.  Sometimes I work on projects that I'm not able to share along the way, so I'd like to be better about doing that when I can.  That isn't a resolution, mind you.  It's just a thought. :-)

This is part of the fabric "audition."  Some of these fabrics made it; some didn't.  I gathered every fabric that I hoped would work -- yardage and scraps alike -- and sorted them by value (light and dark).  There were more baskets and more auditions, and eventually I settled on a huge pile of fabrics that I pressed and cut into 1 1/2" strips, one strip from each fabric.


For some of you, cutting is just a necessary task that gets you to the fun part.  I kind of enjoy it.  Probably too much.  I like to cut every piece, plus a few extra, before sewing the blocks together.


Had I thought ahead about discussing my "process,"  I would have taken more pictures of the block construction.  I like to sew in an assembly-line fashion, constructing at least five or six blocks at a time.  Check out the picture of my design wall, and you'll see that I'm a little fussy neurotic about arranging all the pieces before sewing them together.   


Do you do this, too?  (Just say yes, even if you don't.)  I like to spread out the large-scale prints and the bold "screamers" so they're not in the same area of the quilt.  If I arrange the pieces before sewing the blocks willy-nilly, I'm always happier with the arrangement, and I don't have to think about it any more.  And while I'm not thinking about it, I can simultaneously watch (or half watch, half listen to) an entire season of Homeland.  For the second time. 


Part of my process includes moving the cat around the room until we find a place where he's content to sleep while I quilt the layers together.  It's hard enough dragging a quilt through the little opening in the sewing machine.  When there's a 12-pound cat sitting on the quilt, it gets a little dangerous for both of us.  Cat hair in the lint filter isn't so bad, but having to explain to the vet how I managed to sew his tail to the quilt would just be embarrassing.   


The stats:
Blocks:  11" finished
Size:  55 1/2" x 66 1/2"
Batting:  Warm & Natural, 100% cotton
Quilting Design:  Free-motion paisley











Do you enjoy hand-stitching the binding?  I enjoy doing it, but I love the feel of it even more.  Once the binding is on the edge, it begins to feel like a quilt.       


This one now lives with a dear man who has promised to use and enjoy it.  And for me, that's just the best part of making a quilt. 

I hope you all have a terrific week and find plenty of time to play.  

Kim 



25 comments:

Pokey said...

Playing on the fly is the best way; it's even better having the time to create like that! I love you have a sweet quilting buddy, even if he is mostly a quilt weight, lol!
I enjoyed reading your share, Kim...probably mostly because I have tomorrow off, and have the free time to read in on blog buddies, too ~
:-}pokey

Carol said...

I like to lay out my blocks and pieces before they're sewn into blocks too. I don't like it if the same color is touching or the same fabric so ts important to spread it out first. I also saw lots of people picking a word for 2013; I did not do that. I decided to not plan my year too much or set any goals. I just want to take things as they come, sewing whatever my mood suits me. I love your courthouse step quilt, glad no kitty tails were sewn to it in the process. I'm sure you enjoy such a nice little helper.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Nice quilt! I enjoy reading how others go about making their quilts 'scrappy', so your post was wonderful. I'm more of a mix as I go quilter and then enjoy playing with the blocks. Have a happy week!

Jennifer said...

Lovely quilt and very pretty quilting!

Stephanie said...

Such a handsome quilt. I love that block, the colors, and your quilting adds the perfect finishing touch. I've never sewed with a kitty on a quilt but it is difficult sewing with a needy doggie whose head is in your lap. Nice seeing what you're up to.

Darlene said...

Love your finish - it's a true beauty. I didn't select a word or make resolutions for 2013 - it was easier to be a rebel. LOL I'm basically flying by the seat of my pants and loving it. :-)

Little Busy Bee said...

A beautiful quilt, the colors go so well together, and your machine quilting is perfect.

Ruth said...

I love the quilt and have made a mini courthouse steps. When the binding is sewn on, it just looks so much better - and finished! Your cat is so cute. I just commented about another blogger's cat - they just have to be "ON" something it seems.

Lori said...

Start to finish in one post! I love it and I'm sure the new owner loves it too.
OMG your cat is the cutest!!

MamaT said...

It's beautiful! I'm sorry to say I DON'T lay everything out before sewing. I'm too ADD to stick to one process for more than a few minutes at a time....cut a little, sew a little, get distracted and start another project! Haha. I'm glad there are people like you who can stick to the task. That's how we quilters have all those wonderful books written by people like you!

Loris said...

Such a lovely Courthouse Steps! This is one of my favorite blocks. I lay out my pieces and re-arrange before I sew them together....If it's a larger quilt, somehow they seem to get "re-arranged" again in the process which makes me crazy :-) I must get confused with where they go while I'm trying to string piece.

Thimbleanna said...

"Just say yes, even if you don't" -- you're too funny! Yes. And Yes. I LOVE stitching the binding. Probably my favorite part of making a quilt. Your quilt is gorgeous. Lucky man!

Livin' Blue Quilter said...

I like to audition pieces before sewing together. I love scrappy,but I am so anal about the same pieces somehow ending up side by side. So I fully understand your process. The quilt is beautiful. Makes me want to pull out my batiks and get busy.

SueR said...

Gorgeous quilt! Enjoyed reading about your process. I pick and choose where every piece goes too!

Lynn said...

The quilt is gorgeous! I mess around with fabrics and blocks for quite awhile before I sew them together. I don't want those loud fabrics stealing the show.

Muddling Through said...

Your quilt is gorgeous, the fabrics just delightful and I really enjoyed seeing your process. I kind of take turns being precise and then being random. Muddling. I can't seem to help it.

Leah said...

Beautiful! I love cutting the fabric as well. I love to see it all stretched out and then later stacked into cute little piles of different shapes.

Mama Pea said...

A pretty quilt! I loved your process post. I love cutting, too. I find it sort of "zen." I also love hand stitching the binding. Also "zen."

I don't lay things out on the design wall, but only because I don't have one yet. Someday, I'll have room for it. And then, I'll be neurotic about it, too. :-)

The cat is cute. You crack me up about his tail. I haven't watched this season of Homeland yet. I watched the first season on DVD, but by the time I did, we were already into Season 2 on TV. So, I have avoided watching any of it so I can pick up right where I left off. I'm waiting for Season 2 on DVD.

Karen said...

How did I miss this?? I'm bummed I didn't get to see this in person - no show and tell :(. It turned out so pretty.

Michele said...

It's beautiful! Can I send you my fabric to cut? That's my least favorite part! Spectacular quilting on an amazing quilt! That reminds me how much I love batiks but for some reason I rarely sew with them......even though I have quite a collection LOL!! You've inspired me :-)

AnnieO said...

Beautiful, just beautiful! Your cat seems a mite spoiled, tooling around on your quilt while it is being quilted, too funny. Glad your finely tuned methods are working excellently for you--I agree with sewing blocks in batches. The cutting part of the quilt, not so much :)

muhammad ibraheem said...

Investment Plans to make money online, Online Jobs can make money online from home, Just Visit
www.jobzcorner.com

Sinta Renee said...

Your quilt is just beautiful... who could have imagined that just hours before the strips were just boxed up and so unassuming! The best part is that it has a new home with someone who appreciates it.

BilboWaggins said...

What a lovely post, great words and beautiful pictures ending in a stunning quilty. Your process is very much the same as mine only I don't have to negotiate with a 12 pound cat (just a 45 pound dog!)

Anonymous said...

www.tollywoodpolitics.com
www.bollywoodindiaboxoffice.com

telugu