Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Arizona & Arkansas

I finished these two blocks tonight. They need to have the paper removed (saving this for TV night) and be trimmed down to size.


Of all the blocks, I think I'm least happy with Arkansas. Somehow the pink blender just doesn't seem to go very well.

I'm really dying to try these with different fabric designs, introducing as much negative space  as possible. I'm going to need to pick up a few yards of background fabric before I can get started on that. I think I will do them on black for that particular project. The Ohio design is a good example of the look I'm going for, similar to the block I put together for my block swap.

Ohio Block for block swap
Updates coming soon on my Project 144 and Nana's Quilt.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Please meet Persephone, another one of the kittens that we pulled out of the pallet stacks at work. Two down, two to go. This one was adopted by another coworker, who hasn't named her yet, but I like to call her Persephone after the Queen of the Underworld from Greek mythology. It seemed to fit. She is solid black and malnourished, but I think she'll be ok now!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Arkansas and Twisters

Sneak preview of the Arkansas star...

And I finished all the hand-stitching & eyelets on my purple surcoat, so I can cross that off my list.
Last but not least, I was bit by the twister bug and whipped out these scraps to make a small quilt. All my 5 inch square are cut, I just have to decide on a layout. I have a box of misc 10x10 squares that I'm using for this project.

I wish I had a little bit more of either the red or the jungle print, but I'm working with what I have. I was inspired by the layout of this quilt, by Connie @ Freemotion by the River. According to her, I will lose about 1/3 of my surface area by the time this quilt is all put together, so I will plan on adding at least a couple borders.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Problem with Being a Creative Minded Person

What? Problem you say? Pshaw, there is no problem.

I love being creative. And crafty, in both the construction of beautiful objects AND the devious sense of the word.

So what is the problem?

Let me just first say that, I am NEVER bored. (This is not the problem). Instead, my unproductive hours are spent drooling over new projects I want to start and being wishy-washy about the projects I have because I can't decide which ones to spend my precious time on! Oh so many ideas... So many things to do! So many things to make!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my problem.

But it does get a bit worse than that, because my "problems" are not limited to those in the quilting world. I also make garb.
And cross-stitch. Lets not forget those needlepoint projects I started ages ago. Oh, and there are the two (count them, TWO) novels I started writing in the last two years. Yes, one for each NaNoWriMo in which I have participated.

And those crochet edged fleece blankets I bought all kinds of fleece for, to donate to Project Linus.

I may do something else with the fleece, I've discovered that I don't really like crochet all that much. But there are at least one I've started, oh and the three I was going to make for the munchkins that are cut out.

We won't even get into the list of books I want to read. I will say that I discovered a source for free  Kindle books, so the list is getting longer. Yay for Bookbub!

I'm a little scared to start new projects, because I don't want them to end up unfinished. I'm also scared to make a complete WIP list, because I don't want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

I'm sure all you like-minded folk can empathize.

Whew, that's better. Got the whining out of my system and now I'm good to go.

Since this blog post would be incomplete without something crafty, here is my latest brain storm.

I want to make a couple dozen "Vertigo" blocks like the one pictured below and use them for a border on my OBW quilt. I'm sure that will take no time at all! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WIP Update

Well it was of course a busy weekend. I got out of going to work on Saturday (yay!) but unfortunately karate class was cancelled due to a power outage. I spent an hour at the park with the munchkins and came back home to do... this!

My first Project144 completion. I have two more of these to do this month, one in black and one in brown, and some hand-stitching to finish to meet my goal. This shirt actually didn't take very long to throw together but I was dragging my feet because it is not as interesting as my stars quilt. Which I also worked on this weekend!

Alabama & Alaska on my design wall

Arizona, waiting to be put together
Somethings I learned this weekend in piecing these stars: (1) don't trim the outer edge until it is all put together. That will give you a little wiggle room. My first star is a 1/4" small on one side. My second star came out about perfect. (2) even if you don't add the fabric pieces in the order listed be consistent about whatever order you choose.

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday and Building Blocks Tuesday.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Of Kittens and Crumbs

Check out this little guy... isn't he cute? A little camera shy though. I couldn't catch a picture of him actually looking at the camera.

We found him and his brothers and sisters out behind the pallet stacks at work. His name is Loki and he's been adopted by one of my coworkers. He has at least three other siblings that we are attempting to catch. Living in the brush behind a chemical plant is not a healthy place for kittens to grow up. We have no idea where Mommy Cat is, no one has seen her.

I've been chugging away at quilting Nana's Quilt. Its a little rough because I want to turn corners and that is a bit unwieldy with a walking foot. It is about half done now and I may switch to the FMQ foot to see if I have an easier time with that.

Last night I couldn't sleep until about 2:30 in the morning, so at around 1 am I gave up and wandered into my sewing room for a little sewing therapy. What is easy to not mess up at 1 am when you are tired but can't sleep? Crumb blocks! A seven inch square crumb block can be safely cut into a 6.5 inch hexagon.

The crumb blocks are coming along nicely. I have 3 hexagons (one not pictured) and 5 triangles so far. I'm playing with the idea of making a small quilt that has a row of each in it and a row of crumb squares on a white background.

Last but not least, I hit a wall with my paper pieced stars. I'm not sure I like how the block is turning out, so I may change it up. This is the original color scheme:

And these are the other fabrics I auditioned.

Or I suppose I could make every segment different! But part of the appeal of these stars in the kaleidoscope effect. Oh, decisions, decisions.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Getting It Done Update

Alright, well I feel very accomplished on a day in which I had to work. I've been concentrating on my Get It Done list for this month.

I recently rearranged my sewing area and I love it! It is so much easier to do piecing now, because everything is close at hand. I purchased a small cutting mat and ruler and put them next to my sewing machine, on the left, and I have my mini ironing board and iron on the right. I no longer have to get up and walk around to the table every time I want to press a seam or trim something.

This also means I have access to my ENTIRE large table, making it much more useful. And yes, there is a sneak preview of my paper pieced stars, which are on my list. I'll post those when I get them quilted (QAYG). My sewing machine apron is too large though, I will eventually make one about half the size of the current one.

The other thing on my list was Nana's quilt. Finally found the gumption to get it basted.

And I started quilting it. No FMQ this time, I'm still finding that much too frustrating. Walking foot only for this baby. Going to keep this one simple and practice my FMQ on the star blocks.

Okay well I'm officially out of steam for the night and headed off for some shut eye.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Crumb Blocks!

Working on these paper piecing stars is accelerating the collection in my scrap bin to overflowing. The current star is Alaska and I have three sections put together. This block takes 104 pieces total.

I decided to do something about my overflowing scrap box and started working on crumb blocks. Any pieces I can't get cut into a X.5-inch increment square are candidates for the crumb blocks. Basically, you just stitch the pieces of fabric together any old way and you make usable blocks out of scraps.

Which is cute and looks like a wonky log cabin. It needed something.

Turns out what it needed was a 60-degree triangle cut.

Add a little sashing:

And voila! We have the makings of a scrappy quilt top.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars - Alabama

This weekend marked the official start of my paper-pieced stars quilt. I've decided to do them in order (I'm a little OCD like that) and I'm currently trying to determine whether to do two sets: one in the traditional coloring, as they are described in the book and one in an unusual coloring.

Fabric selection for "Alabama"

One of the nice things about this book is all the sizes for each piece are included, removing the guess work that often comes with paper piecing.

Pieces, stacked and labelled
The first corner put together
All eight pieces
I haven't stitched it together yet because I'm trying to decide whether to take out that piece at the top in the purple section that is half green. I'd hoped that I would see more of a blending between the purple pieces and the green/blue ones but it didn't happen.

Next is Alaska - which set of colors to use?

If you have the book and are working on this set, I'd like to see your blocks.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Playing Catch-up, Project 144, and Get It Done

Happy Independence Day all!

I'm the lucky recipient of a four day weekend, for which I am very grateful. I have plans to work on Nana's Quilt this weekend but I find myself playing catch-up instead. Camping it seems, is a lot of work before, during, and after. There's unpacking, clean up, laundry, work, etc.

Here is the block waiting for me when I got home, from the monthly block swap. I love the colors!

June 2013 Block Swap
Instead of sewing today, I had to clean my sewing room, which was such a disaster from Pre-Rag work that it was hard to walk through the room. I'm not quite sure how I managed to use it for sewing before Rag. I also rearranged things a bit in an attempt to make better use of my table space.

Tomorrow, Project 144 will officially launch.

 I will be including my project in my Get It Done List. That makes it a two-fer!

Since I haven't been keeping up with Get It Done, I'm starting again this month. Here it is for July

Get It Done - July 2013

1. Quilt & bind Nana's Quilt
2. Complete Project 144 for July - Sew together the three shirts already cut out.
3.  Write pattern for Disappearing Cube Trick
4. Start paper-pieced stars quilt (two blocks)

I'm intentionally keeping my list short this month as I have many other non-sewy things I want to keep up with, like Camp Nanowrimo.

For Camp Nanowrimo, I decided to cut the word count in half to 25,000 words and spend some time editing and revising what I already have written. I've worked on it three out of four days so far.

Thanks for staying tuned, hope to get some sewy things done soon. Enjoy the holiday weekend!