Friday, December 6, 2013

My Quilt Calendar

I take a lot of pictures for this blog and for HubPages, and of course family pictures. I get the family pictures printed from an online store such as Snapfish or Shutterfly.  Once I get on the mailing lists, they will often send me offers to try out products or get something free.  Now, I have figured out that free isn't really free, since I do have to pay for shipping and handling, but it does bring the overall price down to a point where I, the thrifty shopper, will be willing to try it.

  Recently, I got an offer for a free calendar from Shutterfly.  I thought about what types pictures to use, and after much internal debate, I decided to do one for my quilts.  It is free, and there was a deadline.  I  probably wouldn't do one for my quilts if I had to pay a lot of money for it.  I thought about doing one with old  family pictures but I needed more time to get just right order, layout, etc.  Quilts would be much easier, since they could go on any page, and if I did something wrong in my haste, I was the only one who would have the right to complain to myself.  I thought about doing a UFO calendar, and work on the quilt on the month it is featured, and hopefully finish it then, but I thought that would be too much pressure.  I just want to enjoy my quilts, even the ones that aren't done.

 Ordering was easy, but it does take some time to choose the photos, decide what page they go on, etc.
There are several options for backgrounds - you choose a theme, and the whole calendar carries the same theme.  I chose one with quotes.  You can choose different layouts for each page depending on the number of photos, and can choose the font if you want to write something.    I tried to put the quilt photo that would look good on the background color.

It even lets you add birthdays and other important dates to really personalize the calendar. If you want, you can add photos on the birthdays, but I decided to leave the space free so I could really use the calendar.

unfinished quilts

Spool of thread on the floor
 I had some trouble loading the photos. The system told me it couldn't load some - maybe they were too big?, so I found more photos and added them one at a time, but then I went back and retried one I had already tried, and it worked fine.   I could have spent more time making sure they were tightly cropped, perfectly color matched, etc., but in the end I just found some random quilt photos and went with it.  I forgot some of the quilt names, and instead of looking them up, I made some up.  I was really at a loss for a quilt that I gave to a neighbor.  Really, Four Patch Star Mini? I'm sure it had a much better name than that.

I got it in the mail today and am so incredibly happy with it.  I have finished quilts, and lots of progress shots.  This type of calendar would be great for people who want to finish their UFOs.  Work on the quilt that is featured that month. There are a couple that have some clutter in the background, reminding me to clean as well!

These photos of the calendar were taken at an angle and it is dark outside, so the calendar doesn't look as good in these photos as it does in real life.

gifted quilt

The calendar is very professionally done - it was printed and sent quickly (I just ordered it last week), the paper is a great quality and the photos look great.  It makes me look like a real professional quilter instead of a hobbyist! And now that they have the important dates, they will be able to transfer them over to my next calendar without me having to retype them.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Daisy's Chickenpox

Having finished two small quilts, I felt it was time to tackle a UFO.  But the quilt I wanted to make was not one that was already started.  It was a kit I had purchased a while back. It must have been on sale for a really good price since I don't usually buy kits.   It is made with batik fabrics. The kit included all the batik and other fun fabric for the daisies, but we had to buy the fabric for the background and the border (and of course the backing). Since I had recently become a Bag Lady at the quilt shop and would get a free fat quarter every time I visited the shop, I decided to get the remaining fabric one fat quarter at a time.  This delayed the time I could actually start the quilt.  I was looking for dotted background fabric, so there was a short delay until there was a new dotted fat quarter. The background was supposed to be light green and dark green, but I decided to expand to yellow so I wouldn't have to wait for light green dots. By the time I had enough fabric, I was too busy or had started another project or something.

I have often wanted to finish this quilt (and another batik quilt kit) so that I could get a chance to play with the leftover batiks.  This was my only source of batiks (aside from buying more).  Eventually I did buy more fabric and the two batik kits stayed in the back of the closet.

Now, even though I felt I should finish something that is already started, I decided to make this quilt while I was excited about making it.  After all, my brother wouldn't know what to do with a kit anymore than he would know what to do with a UFO.  I do plan to finish what I start so I don't create new UFOs.

Anyway there are only 16 blocks in this quilt.  When I whined about having to cut the weird shaped background fabric, I could tell myself I only have to do it 16 times.  It turned out that cutting those weird shapes wasn't a big deal at all, and it was actually fun to do curved seams again. Same with fusing and cutting the daisies.

This quilt is not a cheap one to make, since there is fusible behind all of the pieces of the flower.  There is the background daisy, a smaller inner daisy, and then the center circle.  The inner daisy is doublesided (two pieces of daisies with a fusible between) so that it can be left free for a three dimensional look. I was able to get yards of fusible for a really good price on Black Friday so now I have fusible for another quilt as well.

I secured the daisy on the background using a flower stitch on the machine.  I want to give this machine some heavy use while it is still under warranty.  I also want to take advantage of as many features of the machine.

The pattern is in a book called Follow the Dazzling Quilts by Jayme Crow and Joan Segna and is called Daisies Do Tell by Jayme Crow. I believe this pattern is also available separately from the book.  The LQS kitted it with dotted fabric to go with the theme of the book.   Since I'm not selling it, I don't have to be politically correct, and am calling it Daisy's Chickenpox.