Skorca! - Finished

Just running right through the list of UFOs. This is another longtime one - finished the top in March 2012. I covered the problems I had with quilting it earlier this week - short version, that many bias seams and a walking foot do not make pretty.

The longarm makes a huge difference, and changed my love/hate relationship with Skorca to just a simple like. The top still has some puffiness to it, but it's not a disaster like it was before.

Oh, right, so there's this show, the Penguins of Madagascar. It's basically awesome, and the best episode of all is Skorca.

The penguins at the Central Park zoo are afraid of the Sky Orca - the Skorca. I swear, the first time we watched this, I laughed for five minutes.

As I remember, I started Orca Bay with Quiltville right from the start, and it was renamed by the Dude to Skorca within the first week. Skorca was my first time doing a mystery quilt, and was a learning experience.

{That bear peeking out is hands down my favorite scrap in this quilt.}

I didn't do a good enough job picking fabrics - some of my black and whites had too much white, and the blocks aren't as defined as I would like, as you can see above. I solved that by letting the Dude draw on some of the blocks.

The quilting, which you can almost see in the above picture, is a looped swirl with a meander in between.

The Dude picked more than the name - the borders, backing, and the quilting were his picks as well.

Oh, and there's a story behind the layout, according to him. The penguins {border}, obviously, are on the icebergs {stop border.} The black and white blocks are the orcas, swimming in the blue {block} ocean. And the red is the BLOOD OF THE ORCAS' VICTIMS.

Living with a boy is super fun.

I also discovered I hate - and I do mean HATE - string blocks. I will never make one again. If pattern calls for them, I'll just substitute a single solid block. Don't try to convince me that they make the quilt better, because...

My hate is your gain. As I cleaned out my scrap boxes, I've been stuffing everything under 1.5" into this box. It's about a gallon size bag or so of skinny strips, selvages, and some random triangle-y shapes.

Want 'em? Enter with Rafflecopter. You don't need to comment or like me on Facebook or Tweet about it. However, there are scraps in there from Joann's and Hobby Lobby, as well as "quilt shop quality" - so if you don't want them...don't enter.

Oh, and sorry - since we're leaving for Korea shortly, I'm limiting this to US entries. I just don't have time to make it to the post office and find the proper stuff for international.

{Why yes, that is a Perry pillowcase from Phineas and Ferb, our other favorite show.}

Quilt Details
Fabric: hahaha, you're kidding, right?
Backing: from Hancock Fabrics
Binding: more B&W scraps
Size: 66" square
Pattern: Orca Bay by Bonnie Hunter, now found in String Fling


Weekly Progress - Striped Table Runners

Y'all. I have a new addiction.

And it's not a TV show.

Or Benedict Cumberbatch.

{CC....still a PITA!}

I took a class on these striped table runners, because my mom bought the witch fabric a while ago and asked for one. I bought the pattern in Oklahoma, but finally committed to the class here, because I wanted someone to hold my hand for the first few cuts.

They are so easy, once someone holds your hand through the first few cuts! A yard and a half yields two long runners and one hexagon one, with only a little bit of excess fabric.

I may have a problem. But at least it's a quick project!


Reverse Hearts top - ready to quilt!


I feathered all the blocks of Chunky Log Cabin, but ran out of time before I got to the borders. Back on Wednesday this week.


I have been picking out the quilting in Skorca for a while now. I originally quilted it at home with my walking foot, and it was terrible. Not in an "oh, I think it's terrible but it's really kind of okay" - really, terrible. 

It was well pinned, but see that bubble behind Skipper? The quilt kept shifting and stretching over and over with each line, and it kept getting worse. My stitches were awful - I'd hit a massive seam and stop, then have large jumps when the walking foot finally made it through. There's puckers all over the back.

I made it about halfway across the top and quit last year out of frustration. I honestly think Bonnie Hunter's patterns can't be quilted at home with a walking foot - there's just too many seams and bias edges.

Enter the long arm late last year, and suddenly Skorca is a viable project again. I'm down to one episode of Downton Abbey of stitch picking to go, and the plan is to get it quilted and bound for the Dude's birthday. Only two years late!


Weekly Churn Dash - the border from Flirt, because I love Flirt so very much and I would make every churn dash this month from it if it hadn't been a jelly roll.

Spin Cycle is moving along well. Once all the square-in-square blocks are done, each block goes together quickly.

I'm debating using the dark blue from Happy Go Lucky. I like it...but I think it's way out of the color scheme, and would be distracting. I don't need it - I have plenty of fabric to finish without it - but...I really love those puff balls! Thoughts?


Weekly Progress - On UFOs

I have not started anything really new in ages. But I need to get somewhere with all these projects before I can start something new!

T-shirt quilts are not very creative. But they force me to be very precise in piecing. And they pay for more creative quilts.

Design Wall - LQS Saturday Sampler 2011

I'm working on this because I have to - it has a date with the long arm and needs to be in a box by Christmas. But all that white space and the simple layout makes the blocks pop.

Grandmother's Choice, block six. I like this one. I don't like #7, and I really don't like #8. But this is a BOW about choice. So...I'm going to do the blocks I like, and appreciate the work the designer put into each week even if I don't make the block.

 Fat Quarter Stars - I made two 12" blocks - Weather Vane and LeMoyne Star - from my shop hop collection. Then I figured that if I was going to get my sister's block book back to her, I should start doing those. So, my first 9" block - Air Castle.
Technically, Weather Vane and Air Castle aren't stars, but they are kind of star-like.

UFO Busting

 Oh, Skorca! I mowed the backyard on Sunday to put off quilting this about a bad sign. I think I need something different than one UFO day a week - because I will come up with a hundred excuses to not sew that day! This week, I'm going to try quilting for an hour each day. That should, hopefully, take care of Skorca, and then maybe I can move on. 

Fifteen Minute Challenge - Organization

 I only folded fabric once in the past week. The cutting table? Covered. The sewing table? Piles on the corners. Felt boxes are on the floor from a kid craft project, I have a giant basket of t-shirt scraps... I need to DO my 15 minutes this week!
Oh, and my other deadline project. Crazy as the idea was, this is actually coming along nicely. The base of the costume is done - now I'm adding the layers. 


Weekly Progress - Serious Progress!

We are finally getting into a routine and getting life into a rhythm, and I got tons done this week!


Bad Romance - finally!

Fifteen Minute Challenge - Organization
Slow and steady, I am getting my sewing room under control. I did my fifteen minutes every day this week: sorting scraps, folding bigger scraps, filing patterns and keeping the flat surfaces clear.

I want this to be a Christmas gift, so I talked to my quilter and scheduled it to go to her on Nov. 15. Deadline!

UFO Busting
Leah's post last week was about the snowball effect - working on little things to free up more time to work on the bigger things. So I looked at my stack of flimsies and picked Bad Romance because it was already halfway quilted.

Next, quilted a wall hanging for my mother. Binding is on and handstitching has begun.

Now I'm at the point that the next quilt done will probably be my Blogger's Quilt Festival I want it to be a good one. But also one that has a back picked already...which kind of limited it to Skorca! 

Grandmother's Choice, block five. It's a little chaotic, but I like it!

I found six of these blocks {leftover from Sunkissed Jewel Box} and made four into a pillow-sized block. Once I quilt the quilt version, I'll use leftover backing to finish off the pillow. The other two blocks...I don't know. Probably make a notebook cover or something.

Toyland Row Quilt had a few of the rows sewn together. I'm not in a hurry to finish it...only to add it to the quilting pile.

No picture, but I finished another t-shirt quilt to the quilting stage! I should finish that off this week.

And finally, I started making these as leaders/enders, thanks to a tutorial on the Sew Lux blog.

Finish-A-Long First Quarter Summary

It's March 31st already?? Yikes! 
I said I wanted to finish three quilts this quarter, plus quilt as least one of my languishing tops. 
Then life, as it does, went all topsy turvy. My husband is deploying. In conjunction, the Dude and I are going to live with my parents this summer. They have a huge basement floor perfect for quilt basting. (I can't easily baste anything bigger than 50" on my kitchen floor.)

{And they have three cats. So there will be five of them "helping" me. And one is convinced he's still a kitten. He'll be a BIG help.}

So all tops - except for three baby quilts I need to finish in the coming quarter - will be doing more languishing until then. So I'm not technically finished with these, but I am finished in accordance with the new plans in my life.

Skorca! - top finished
Frolicking Pinwheels - top finished
Big Blue - top finished, quilted, waiting for binding