I haven’t mentioned my Love Beads quilt for Kim’s Modern Quilt Along in a really long time. I could be something to do with the fact that 1.) It’s barely been worked on in the past several months and 2.) It looks pretty much the same as it did here.

But now that the quilting has been started, the beads are starting to look kind of neat:

Quilted Beads

The light in my house stunk today. It wasn’t much better outside either.

Quilted Beads

Quilted Beads

When I first started quilting this, I felt like it was brilliant–all of the tiny, close together quilting would make it look so unique and contemporary. Now though, I’m thinking about how much it’s sucking to quilt the whole thing. There’s still a lot of beads to be quilted, and even more blank space to be quilted in a yet-to-be-determined pattern. I had no idea how much thread it was going to eat up either! I have a lot of work ahead of me on this.

I just finished piecing the top of my Love Beads quilt for the Modern Quilt-Along. Wheeee! I’m happy with how it turned out.

Love Beads Top

I really wish I could take some better pictures. Part of the issue is that I still need to give it a good ironing before it will look better. After that, I’ll need to sqaure it up and trim the edges (the last two circles on each side will end up looking like they’re moving off the quilt) and the top will all be done.
I’ve been debating trying machine quilting for finishing this, but I think I’m going to end up hand quilting it after all. I just like the look of it so much. I do have a different strategy for going at the quilting though. I’m going for close quilting to give the effect of a lot of texture. It’s such a visually stimulating pattern that I think I need to continue that with the quilting too.
I’m so excited to have this part done!

You know how I was going to do the Eclipse quilt in red, yellow, orange and pink for the Modern Quilt-Along? Scratch that. I just couldn’t make it look right. I have a new plan though. First off, I’m changing to the Love Beads pattern.

Love Beads

Then I started thinking about an actual Big Idea. Why did I want to use those colors in the first place? They’re colors that I keep wanting to make a quilt out of (most things I’ve made seem to end up in the blue and green family). At that point I decided to drop the pink and orange from this quilt. I just think it’s going to be necessary for this project.
My next train of thought was to determine what things I love are red and yellow. Flowers, of course!
They were in my wedding bouquet:
Red and Yellow Bouquet

And they’re some of my favorites in my yard:
Red and Yellow Tulip

Yellow Sunflowers

Red Daylily

Yellow Coreopsis

I made a list of my favorite red and yellow flowers and picked fabric to represent each one of them:
Love Beads Fabric

The main color will be similar to the color of my house to represent all of my favorite flowers growing next to my home. I feel content finally with this Big Idea. It’s much more satisfying than my original plan was.

What do you do on a 90 degree day? I make quilts, of course. I didn’t know I could work up such a sweat using my sewing machine. Today is better though; it’s much cooler and the breeze is nice. (I’m no longer trying to cool the entire house with one wee window air conditioner.) I’ve been working on this for the last few days:

Almost Finished Top

Sorry for the bad picture. I tried and that was the best I could get. The top is almost done but I’ve pretty much wiped out the last of my white fabric and will need to get more before I can finish it. I do have a question for the more knowlegable quilters though: Can I technically call this a charm quilt? There’s no two pieces of print fabrics the same in it, despite the white. I didn’t know. The machine piecing is going well though. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with it now. I’d like to try tackling machine quilting too, but I think I’m going to need to get a walking foot before I hit that.
Today’s big project is to add a hanging device to Wedding Spectacularrr (last summer’s quilting drama). I’m taking it to the fair on Friday (to be judged along side of the cows and pigs) and I think it needs to be able to be hung. We’ll see how it goes. I have a feeling that I’m not up to fair standards though–like my friend Steve told me, there’s no way I’ll win since there’s no chickens, sheep or 4-H logos appliqued anywhere (everywhere) on it! County Fair Pride!
I’m reconsidering my decision on doing the Eclipse quilt for the Modern Quilt-Along. I just don’t think it’s going to work. Once my book gets here I’m going to rethink the project a bit.
Off to have lunch with my birthday husband!

Say Hi To Eddie!

Sock Monkey Eddie!

I’m happy to say, I have finally created a softie to submit to A Month of Softies. I’ve been wanting to do this for months, and I just haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. I’m really pleased with my first attempt.
Now on to quilting! I’ve been trying to decide on my color scheme for my Eclipse quilt, and I think I’ve decided on red, pink, yellow and orange. Here’s Fun Quilt’s version first:
Fun Quilts: Eclipse

Here’s some of the fabrics I have pulled up so far:
Eclipse Fabric

I’m just not sure how I’m going to work this though. I want this project to be as much about making the right fabric choices as the quality of my quilting. I think my fabric is really going to be lacking in the lighter hues, especially in the reds and oranges. Does anyone have any good tips for me, or would be willing to do some fabric swaping for some of those lighter colors? Let me know.
And since my kitchen is still taking up the majority of my life lately, (it’s so cool to see everything starting to look like a real kitchen!) here’s another look at the same wall that I showed in the last post. We have cabinets, a microwave, and a fridge that isn’t in the living room anymore! It’s so exciting!
It's A Real Kitchen!

I’ve been meaning to update for days now, and I’m finally going to sit down and do it. We have been so busy this month, and I’ve had so little time to do anything quilt related. Ben and I have spent most evenings and late nights for the past several weeks hanging drywall, plastering, painting, scraping and laying tile in our kitchen. We gutted the whole thing, and turned an awful, ugly, once covered completly in nasty wood panneling into a halfway decent room!
Here’s before:


Here’s the same wall now:
Becoming Less Barf Like!

The cabinets just came in today, and tomorrow night we’ll hang all of the uppers. I’m so excited to have a kitchen again! Do you have any idea how much of a freak it makes you look like to have your fridge sit in the middle of your living room? It’s bad.
And so after that’s all finished, I’m looking forward to finally going back to quilting full force. I haven’t worked on my wedding quilt in weeks; it’s been impossible to with all of our other work, plus with the heat here in Michigan this summer. And since I love starting new projects, I’ve signed myself up to participate in Dioramarama’s Modern Quilt-Along! I’m so excited! I wish I could spend the money splurge this month on The Modern Quilt Workshop, but with all of our kitchen expenses right now I think I’ll hold off. I’ll instead be working on the Eclipse quilt. I love piecing curves, but I usually piece by hand and I think I might go ahead and try this one on the machine. I’m looking at this project as a chance to improve my machine skills, as well as make a cool quilt. I’m still thinking about colors, but I’d like to try to do a mix of both solids and prints. I have a lot of fabrics that I’d love to use, and haven’t had a use for yet, so I may be able to find a home for it in this project. There’s still a lot to think about!
And before the month is up, I really want to find the time to participate in Loobylu’s A Month of Softies. This month’s theme is Sock Monkeys! How freaking cool is that! Now I just have to find time to make one….