Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's my own fault

In my last post, I spoke briefly about my huge number of WIP's and how I was on a mission to work on them rather than starting something new.

Do you know where I'm going with this?

In my defense, I left my walking foot in Mandy's driveway. The two projects I have on my sewing table right now are the Strawberry Fields quilt, that I'm straight line quilting, and my daughter's messenger bag, that also requires straight line quilting of the pieces. I can't continue with either of those projects until I get my foot back, so I really had no choice. Really.

As a side note, you should go check out her new quilt! Very cute.

I scored a huge bundle of Paris Flea Market very cheaply at an estate sale last year and, other than taking it out to pet it every now & then, I haven't done anything with it. I was in the mood to finally cut into that, and I was in the mood for a quick and easy project:


You're only seeing half the quilt here because I don't have any tall quilt holders handy. The total quilt is 66" x 84".

I absolutely love it!!


The solid is Kona Putty, which was a happy accident. I bought 5 yards of it to go with my Rock 'N Romance bundle for my bed. I wanted the darkest "white" I thought I could get by with because ... life. Pets & kids. But I wasn't happy when I got it. I went just a bit too dark. Thankfully, it goes with these fabrics really well.


One of the very first quilts I made was also out of this pattern. One of the biggest joys in making this current one was seeing the difference in the process for me. When I made it the first time, it took FOREVER. And so many problems. I basted that stupid thing three times because it kept puckering as I tried to quilt it. I'm actually surprised I persevered and finished it. By contrast, I made this quilt top in one week. With no issues at all. So satisfying to see my own progress with this project.

I haven't yet decided how I will quilt it. Mainly because I keep wanting to hand quilt it, but hesitate to make that choice knowing the time commitment involved. But don't the vintage inspired prints and even the solid seem to scream for it? I'm thinking pink thread in a Baptist fan pattern.

And, if that rather large quilt top wasn't bad enough for someone "dedicated" to knocking out her WIP's, I'm also playing with the idea of the flowering snowball quilt along that Molly Flanders is hosting. And by "playing with", I mean my fabrics are starched and my templates made.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Working down the list

A couple of months ago, I made a list of my WIP's and a list of projects I want to do in order to try to stay on track. A "to-do" list of sewing projects. Because my ADD brain just wasn't keeping up otherwise. I'd get focused on one thing & then - ohhhh, squirrel - I was off on something else.

It was a rather embarrassing list. Some projects that were very old, and some projects that were soooo close to being finished. Just do them already!

So here's two. The first is a baby quilt for a boy, because my husband seemed offended that I only made girl quilts for my shop. 


I really wish I was a better photographer. Some of the blame can be laid on my less than expensive equipment, but really, most of it is me. When I see the pictures of most of my quilts, I'm so disappointed. In person, this quilt is so pretty. In pictures, it doesn't quite make sense. It looks like "why did she put orange & yellow squares around a blue center?" 

The close-up is slightly better: 


And I was so happy to have this older Riley Blake print for the back: 

I'm really happy with this quilt. If I had a boy, I'd keep it for sure! 


This next one is for a girl, obviously: 


I've shown these blocks on the blog several times, so I won't go into them too much. I was particularly pleased with the back of this one: 


I think the yellow in the center is Kona banana. The blue stripes on the bottom, also Pam Kitty, is what I had left from binding my daughter's quilt and my table runner, and the yellow gingham on the top is from Riley Blake. 

I so love those kitty panels:


I still have one left.

Those are my finishes this week. They're both listed in the shop.

My plan is to buckle down and focus on housework and party planning next week as it will be my daughter's birthday. We're going to have about 12 kids at the house, and I'm going to make small cakes, with a cake bar to let them each decorate their own. It's times like this I wish I had an industrial kitchen and could just hose it off, letting all the water drain out of a hole in the middle of the floor. At least I'll be sending the kids outside after to play in slip & slides & other water-related things, essentially hosing them off:)

I'll be linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday, assuming she does it this week. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What I do at Mandy's house

One thing I lack, that I desperately need, is a place to lay out blocks. A design wall, or floor, or table - something. The largest area I have is my living room floor, but it's surface is the very slick Pergo, and it's the home of a husky. We have a saying in our house - every season is husky shedding season. You can see the hairs fly off him when he walks, like the dirt coming off Linus' blanket. So even if I sweep or vacuum immediately before using that floor, stray hairs still find their way back, and it's impossible to keep things in place on such a slick surface.

All of that to say, my favorite thing to do at Mandy's house is lay out quilt blocks. She has a great spot in her carpeted living room. It's like it was made to lay out quilt blocks. I'm sure that's what the builder had in mind. The last time I was there, I put my Salt Air quilt top together, and this time I put my gray diamonds together:


It's quite a stunning quilt to look at in person, and I love all the warm grays, but boy was it a pain to piece! I didn't follow a pattern, so I didn't have measurements for the various pieces. I just trimmed them according to the edge of the piece I was attaching it too. Not very accurate. If you were to look too closely, the magic of it would all dissipate as you saw very few seams actually meet where they're supposed to. It's a gift for an old and dear friend, someone who has always been there for me. As I was struggling to piece it, and working to overcome the urge to pick out every seam in the hopes of greater accuracy with a second try, I kept repeating to myself "it's a gesture of friendship, not undying love." It's ok for a gift to be pretty and imperfect. At least a gift to a non-quilter:)

The prints all came from Joann's, some are a great quality and others are unbelievably thin. The worst were a couple of fat quarters I picked up and you don't get a chance to really feel the fabric in those since they're all folded up and taped. Suffice it to say I will never buy another fat quarter from there. The solid is Kona Pewter.

It has now joined my every growing stack of unquilted quilt tops. And since I dropped my walking foot in Mandy's driveway and didn't notice it, it may be a while before that stack gets any smaller.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Day 10

It's day 10 of "the never ending conversation," otherwise known as Summer Break. I'm struggling to adapt to working, cleaning, grocery shopping, sewing, watching TV, and even peeing with a constant stream of talking and questions directed at me. My friend Mandy, the mother of two boys, didn't really understand when we first started hanging out. She loved having her boys home, playing, while she sewed. After enough time with my daughter, Mandy, she gave it a better description than even I could: "the talking and the talking and the talking." She probably was able to come up with a better description than I could because I'm the object of the talking and the talking and the talking and can no longer think.

But she's cute, and sweet, and becoming quite the quilt holder. Exhibit A:


I started this quilt maybe as long as 2 years ago and the finished center hourglass blocks sat in a drawer with the cut out centers of the border and the yellow and orange fabric. I've gotten a new-to-me urge to finish things instead of constantly starting new things, so I pulled it out the other night & finished the border in an embarrassingly short amount of time. The animals in the center of the border blocks...


are matched by the fabric in the center of the quilt:


I just love an hourglass block. They always turn out so well for me, yet they look difficult. But why do I always choose the spot with the stray thread to photograph? Are threads invisible until you take a picture of them?

Exhibit B is my granny square blocks:


If you've read my previous posts about this, you may remember that I had 16 blocks. When I went to lay this out, I discovered that I actually had 17 blocks. I was faced with the choice of making a square quilt, which isn't my favorite, and wasting a block, which is offensive, or making a smaller baby quilt and using 5 blocks to make myself a table runner.


A no-brainer. And also a lesson in how hard it is to photograph table runners.

My favorite block:


My hand quilting is so very bad. But I love the look so very much anyway.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series, otherwise known as my Friday night entertainment, because I'm wild like that.