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1  Chaos Contained in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: July 30, 2011 12:45:35 PM
This is a small test version of a larger quilt I want to make. I wanted to make sure my concept would look good before I cut up the fabric I have for the 'real' quilt. It's discontinued and if I mess up, I can't start over with new fabric.

The blocks started out as wonky stack-and-whack nine patches which I then bisected vertically and horizontally. Then I spun the bits around and sewed them back together. This left me with wild "disappearing" nine patch blocks.

The borders, despite what I thought was careful measuring, came out a little wavy so I'll have to be extra careful when I make the bigger version. 6" borders are just hard to get right I think. At least for me. Smiley

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2  Bright Kitty Cats - And free-motion success at last! in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: July 15, 2011 08:04:21 AM
After three years with my Janome MC6500, I finally have figured out how to free-motion quilt on that machine. I had an older mechanical Janome that I learned to quilt on and I could put just about anything in there and FMQ without any trouble. It was easy as pie and I never had a day of trouble with it.

New machine? It was a nightmare of shredded thread, jamming, skipped stitches, you name it. I went to the users group and they advised a dozen different needles, certain brands of thread, a special "blue dot bobbin case" and I tried it all. Still trouble.

I gave up for a looooong time and finally pulled a UFO out of the closet and set up my old machine to finish it. And I noticed that compared to my new machine, the old machine ran like a turtle. Slow, much slower than the new machine. So I slowed my new machine down to about 1/4 speed and PRESTO!  Free-motion success!  With a regular quilting needle and regular ol' thread. Now I've been in FMQ mode for the last few quilts and I'm planning to finish my last two unfinished quilts by the end of the month.

Slow Down. That's the big secret? I feel sort of dumb now. Anyway. I'm SO glad I finally figured it out.

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3  Scrappy Nine Patch - Hello Kitty in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: July 15, 2011 07:55:17 AM
My sister pieced this top and I added borders and finished it up. It's a quilt headed for Quilts for Kids.

Thanks for looking! Smiley
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4  The Pink Lady in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: July 09, 2011 04:14:52 PM
I had this fabric in my stash forever - I made a reversible apron out of it first - and didn't know what to do with the leftovers.  I have made one New Wave quilt before and thought the contrast would look good in that pattern.

My fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants quilting style almost got me into trouble on this! I looked at what I had left in my stash and decided (without measuring) that it was "plenty of fabric."  And then.....I *almost* ran out of both of the main fabrics. I had to dig in the trash for scraps so I could piece the last few blocks together Frankenstein-style. But I made it - whew!  And I feel pretty good about fabric that I bought on a whim "because it was pretty" got used up to the last tiny scrap. There was no waste in that purchase. Smiley

close up of the quilting:

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5  Teen boy quilts in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: July 05, 2011 08:37:47 AM
I've been making quilts for Quilts for Kids and they said they were desperate need of quilts that could be given to teen boys. I think these will work!  I made two of each design.



All four finished quilts:
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6  Sashing audition in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by Compwalla on: March 15, 2011 11:37:04 AM
I'm making a twin-sized New Wave quilt and I wanted to make it with only two contracting fabrics and black sashing. Very graphic.

I thought maybe black sashing didn't give enough contrast but when I audition it, I think it looks pretty good. I dunno. Maybe white or pink would be better?


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7  Four Quilts in Eight Days in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: March 15, 2011 12:01:19 AM
I have been making quilts for the Downy Quilts for Kids program over the past year or so. The program takes leftover fabric often fabric thats discontinued or not quite perfect and instead of throwing it away, volunteers cut the fabric into quilt kits to be mailed to volunteer quilters all over the country. The volunteers sew the kits together, finish the quilts with batting and binding of their own, and mail the finished quilt back for distribution to a hospitalized child. Kids who are sick cant take their stuffed animals with them for comfort because they cant be washed but quilts are snuggly and can stand up to repeated washings in hospital washers and dryer so Quilts For Kids helps give as many kids as they can something warm, fun, and colorful as they go through treatment.

The program also asks quilters to make a second quilt out of their stash fabric to send back to double the donation. This time I accidentally ordered two kits so I decided to challenge myself to finish four quilts two kits and two from my stash in one week. I made it in eight days and Im calling that a win.

The quilt pattern is very easy and the kits are definitely beginner level. If youre a new quilter, these kits are a great way to hone your skills for a good cause. If you're not a beginner, these are quick quilts you can finish in a day and are enjoyable, easy, and fast. They ask that you return the quilt within six weeks which is plenty of time for a quilt this small and simple.

Two from my stash:

Two that were from the provided kits:

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8  New Wave Guitars in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: August 19, 2010 07:09:17 AM
I loved the "new summer bedding" quilt and decided to try my hand at the New Wave quilt. I bought these Michael Miller fabrics with no idea what I was going to do with them and when I saw that new wave thread, I knew they'd be perfect. Smiley

I was going to outline it every 3/8" but decided a diamond pattern inside was more interesting. I like the way the quilting came out.  Thanks for looking!

Overall view:

The back:


Gratuitous cat-on-quilt shot:
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9  Rebirth of a woobie in Quilting: Completed Projects by Compwalla on: August 12, 2010 06:09:27 PM
A friend of mine sent me a facebook message out of the blue. Her son's woobie is falling apart and could I possibly make a replacement? I would be honored!

We messaged back and forth and I made sure to tell her that it would be impossible to get the same fabric as the original woobie. Thankfully, there were no loud and specialized novelty prints and we managed to find a close facsimile of the dark blue cosmic print of the original.

The original quilt was tied and the "bumpies" were especially important to her little guy. But in my opinion, the main reason the woobie was disintegrating so fast was because the quilt was tied. Without quilting to secure the three layers, the repeated washings had shredded the batting and allowed the quilt to wear out. My advice was to quilt it and add the bumpies just for show. Otherwise we were wasting our time making a new quilt because it would shred in the wash too.

Here is the original and the re-creation.



I hope it lives up to her little guy's expectations.
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10  Does homemade jelly save you money? Who cares! Its delicious. in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Compwalla on: August 01, 2010 11:23:51 AM

My mom has been making jellies and jams for as long as I can remember. Her low-sugar strawberry jam is to die for and when there is Gammy Jelly in the house, my kids refuse to eat anything else on their sandwiches. I asked her to teach me how to make jelly and since she was in town last month, thats what we did. We gathered some wild plums from a friends yard and made the most spectacular wild plum jelly. Its heavenly.

Next on my list was pomegranate. Its one of my favorite flavors but the kind without corn syrup is expensive. I knew I could make it from just pomegranate juice like Pom or some other brand but during a trip to Drug Emporium (Abilenes dusty, decrepit, illy-stocked answer to Whole Foods) I found this:

The label said to dilute one cup of concentrate to 5 cups of water. Even though this bottle cost $12.59, diluted properly it would be far cheaper than a jug of Pom. My estimates say this will make 25 or so cups of pomegranate juice, enough for ~48 jars of jelly.

I used the Certo recipe so cost for my jelly will be:

    * $7.69 for jars and lids
    * $3.50 for the Certo (it takes two envelopes of gel)
    * $3.00 for the sugar
    * $2.03 for the pomegranate juice

Total cost : $16.22 / 8 jars = $2.02 per jar

Amazon has pure, no corn syrup pomegranate jelly for $5.59 a jar.

As it turns out, homemade jelly can save you money. But even if the cost was the same, Id still make my own jelly now and then. Weve got 6 jars of wild plum left and the 8 jars of pomegranate I made last night. Our PB&J sandwiches will be out of this world for many weeks to come.

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