Saturday, March 29, 2014

30/30 Update


I've spent some time sewing this week although not as much as I'd like. But I did get in some quality time learning to use my serger and finished another quilt top or two. See yesterday's post for details.

I've been playing around with EQ7 this morning. There is a quilt along called ViceVersa by GenXQuilters which swaps the background and the focus fabrics. I was kind of excited to see this because its an idea that has been hovering in the back of my mind since I started 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars. I wanted to play around with the idea a little so I made this:

The concept works better with some blocks than others but it was fun experimenting.

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to start quilting Anemone. I prepped everything first thing this morning and went to start stitching - and unfortunately discovered that I couldn't use the thread I selected because the cone was too large for my sewing machine to handle. Not one to be deterred, I put on my MacGyver Thinking Hat and made my own in the space of a few minutes. I used a wire hanger, a cardboard box, and of course, duct tape!

If I was to do it over again, I would add something heavy in the box to give it more stability. It is only a temporary solution but it seems to be working well for now, as evidenced by the quilting I was able to do this morning.

I'm using my free-motion foot so things are a little shaky, but I think I'm getting the hang of this motif.

Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday

Well I kind of had a slow sewing week up until today. I wasn't feeling too well so I left work a little early and found things to do at home that distracted me. It turned out to be a wonderfully productive day anyway.

First, I finished this blanket that has been languishing in my UFO pile for a few years.

If only we could get some decent weather around here, I'd take some pictures outside in the sunlight. Today it was warm-ish but cloudy.

Next, I cut and prewashed backing for Anemone. Its in the dryer right now, I hope to sandwich and start quilting it tomorrow before practice.

And lastly, I finished putting the second quilt top together from my jelly roll quilt a few weeks ago. I ended up with seven blocks instead of nine like I originally thought, so I was a little creative with block placement.

Here is the first one again - same blocks but the quilts look so different!

Linking up to TGIFF!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Not much sewing going on this week

I did a little cleaning up of the pile that I was tripping over every time I walked into my sewing room. At the bottom of the pile I found a flannel blanket that was a Project Linus quilt, started about 4 years ago and never finished.

It is two layers of flannel so I didn't put any batting in. I decided to try to finish this one up and get it out of here, so I layered the top on the backing (already pieced - I don't know why it took me this long to put it together) and serged all the way around the edges leaving a few inches open to turn it right side out. Now I'm in the process of top stitching all the edges, and then it will go into my TV handwork pile for tying. Truth be told, it would have been in the handwork pile already except for the fact that the bobbin thread ran out the other night and I went to bed rather than replace the bobbin.

I also finally got my thread in! I picked out two variegated threads to quilt Anemone and now I just have to decide which one to use. The purple was supposed to be for my Mod Mosaic quilt but I suspect it is a little too light.

The green one isn't as neon as it  looks in the picture but I'm leaning towards using the rainbow one in the middle. Here's the quilt - which one do you think I should use? I also have white, cream, and light gray, so all those are options as well.

And finally, I've been taking a Craftsy class on how to use my Serger. The teacher is Amy Alan and it seems to be a pretty good class so far. A nice bonus is that we are building a stitch book that has all the settings filled out, so that next time I was to do a three thread flat lock I'll be able to reference my book and set it up quickly. I'm in lesson three right now where we are building our reference book. I'm hoping to make some steady progress in this over the weekend.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Confessions of a Craft-a-holic

Last night Jack found me sitting and moping in my sewing room. When he asked me what was wrong, I gestured to my large piles of unfinished projects and whined about there not being enough time in the day. I was tired and spent the day working on our tax return and felt justified in indulging in a little whining. (My mom is reading this and mentally offering me some cheese to go with my whine.)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and show you a picture of my sewing room. It may not look like it but there is actually room to move in here. It is well-organized chaos. Every thing laying around is a projects I am currently working on or should be working on or have plans to work on. Except for that overflowing box of scraps at the bottom right of the picture. I really need to put that away somewhere. 

Moreover, I can find anything in this room in a few seconds. It may not be clean but it is organized - my way. The instant I start putting things away, I won't be able to find anything if my life depended on it.  Having said all that, I'm starting to think that maybe I should put everything away and concentrate on one project at a time. 

Ah and the loot is incoming faster than it is going out! Purple Moose Designs sent my fat quarter pack of Cherry Wood Fabrics - and I love it. Then there are the Kona Cotton bundles I picked up recently. 

I don't know if you can tell but I'm desperate for a little spring color around here. It is still all gray and mopey outside and I've about reached my limit for winter.  I think the all purple pack is going to become a Celtic knot wall hanging for my sewing room and the Easter egg color pack is going to be a HST/QST quilt. The Cherry Wood fabric pack is called Blue Lagoon and I have vague plans for an art quilt involving a beach. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Grand Rapids Public Museum Baltimore Album Quilt

I was listening to the radio on the way home from work today and I heard about this new, groundbreaking study. It found that children who are taught disciplined eating habits are less likely to become obese.

Um, what? Really? I had no idea that eating habits had any sort of influence on obesity!

I cringe to think about what kind of money was spent on this, or what government grants may have funded such a conclusion . Tell you what, mysterious research company. Next time, ask me first and I'll give you the same information for free.

Now that I'm done banging my head against the wall, I thought you all might be interested in this Baltimore Album quilt I found in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago.

I do most sincerely apologize for the lousy picture. I forgot to take my camera on this trip and was left collecting photos with my phone.

It turns out the Grand Rapids Public Museum has several antique quilts in their possession, but this was the only one on display. *sad face*  It was made in the 1840's. Each of the thirteen blocks was made by a different quilter, most of which are signed.

They also had different piecing techniques on display, including a scrap from an English Paper Piecing project

Kind of cool to actually see some Quilt History. I know they've been around for a while but as much as quilting has changed, there is a lot of it that is still exactly the same. Pretty nifty!

The museum also had a special Lego exhibit.

Lego Model of the Grand Rapids Public Musuem

If I had more time, I would take up Lego-ing as a hobby. I did download the official Lego CAD program when I got home (its was free!) but I haven't had time to play with it yet. If I had a million dollars.... (those of you who don't have a BNL song now stuck in your head are missing out!)

Linking up to Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

30/30 Update

Hey! Time to celebrate - this quilt that I started on Wednesday (during snow day) is now a complete flimsy!

This was a jelly roll quilt, was way easier than it looks, and I have nine more blocks to use up. I couldn't decide whether to put in white sashing or not, so I ended up agreeing with myself to make two smaller quilts. This one is about 45" by 60" and the second that I will make with sashing will be about 50" square. Great size for lap quilts.  I now have three flimsies ready for quilting and my DP9 quilt still just needs borders.

So while I haven't had 30 minutes a day necessarily, I've definitely made up for it this week. Linking up to 30/30 Challenge Participation Party!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday and Bee Social

I'll be linking this post up to both WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social by Lorna. See the sidebar for links.

Having attempted to put away a new project the other night, I realized that I'm out of shoe boxes. Now the natural response I am sure should be to go get more shoe boxes (the very helpful guys at Red Wings Shoes said I could have as many as I want) but I thought instead I'd try something new - emptying a currently used shoe box.

I started with the easiest one on the list - the Mod Mosaic. I started these more than a year ago and then put them away when I couldn't decide on a background color. Additionally, the pattern author didn't seem to provide instructions for setting the blocks. It was one of those things that I had to mull over - apparently for more than a year.

So here it is, and the shoe box is now empty. This one is hanging up in my closet waiting to be sandwiched and quilted.

And then there was a box of Jelly Roll strips leftover from my first attempt at a bargello. I sewed for most of the day (yay for snow days!) and came up with a stack of these:

Which I will eventually turn into these:

I'm about half done - too bad I have to go to work tomorrow.

Thanks to Lee and Lorna for hosting these great link ups! Stop by and see what other crafters are sharing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Big Plans Tomorrow!

I was told, as I was packing up to leave work today, to "plan on staying home from work tomorrow." The closure is not official but an email was sent out to all employees asking those who could work from home to do so and those who can't, please be very careful if you are required to come in to work.

I'm not a huge fan of Oprah but this meme was too funny to turn down.

There is this nasty winter storm supposed to hit tonight, dropping 4-9 inches of snow on top of a layer of ice as the temperature drops from a balmy 45 degrees F to frigid 3 degrees F.

And tomorrow, assuming I wake up to freeways fill of ice and snow as predicted, I plan to spend the whole day in my sewing room making up for all the 30/30 challenge time I've missed so far this month.

Remember that mystery stack of fabric I posted about a week ago before Jack and I took off for Grand Rapids for the weekend?

I turned it into a couple test blocks for one of those quilts I designed a while back. Ta Da!

My blocks are just a smidge smaller than they should be, so I'll be fiddling with the 1/4" guide on my sewing machine. Pretty happy with these blocks though!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Purple Moose Designs Loot!

I won!

Meet Purple Moose Designs, proud sponsor of Drop and Give Me Twenty 2014. The owner offered a $20 gift certificate to one lucky participant and my name was drawn! Please drop in and check out this great little shop. It is run by Terri who designs and sells patterns - but I have to admit I fell for the fabric fat quarter sets she has in her online store.

I ordered the Blue Lagoon FQ Set - yes it was tough deciding. 

Its still winter here in Detroit and with all the half-melted snow, mopey skies, and brown grass (where you can see the grass) I thought I needed a little tropical color to cheer me up. Maybe I'll pick up a few golden browns and a couple more greens and try my hand at a beach scene quilt to hang on my wall and remind myself that it isn't winter everywhere. I'm still trying to convince Jack that he Really Does Want to live in Miami.

Thank-you shout outs to Terri at Purple Moose Designs and Beth at Quilting Hottie Haven for this great DaGMT event and giveaway!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sneak Peak

Turned out to be a lousy month to start the 30/30 challenge but I'm sneaking in time when I can. Some weeks it seems like I have all the time in the world and on other weeks, I couldn't find spare time to save my life.

Here is a sneak peak of an upcoming project:


Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Goals - ALoYF and 30/30

Okay, first things first.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Sometime yesterday I was sitting in my sewing room trying to decide what to work on, when this appeared on my sewing machine.

I'm not one to argue with fate so I started working on the FMQ, which I must say needs a lot of work. This quilt was put together with leftovers from my nieces' Christmas present and was basically a practice quilt to (idealistically) improve my non-existent free-motion quilting skills.  Loud and obnoxious-looking quilt that it is, the rectangles make it ideal for trying out several different quilting motifs. Here are a couple that don't look entirely horrible.


Hopefully the electric color scheme will hide the worst of my mishaps. Anywho, this will be my March ALOYF Project - I would like to get it quilted and bound.

30/30 Sewing Challenge

I also decided to roll with the 30/30 Sewing Challenge over at Berry Barns Design.  The idea is to spend thirty minutes a day sewing for the thirty days in March. My goals are:

1. Finish the neon electric look-away-before-you-go-blind quilt.

2. Finish the purse I started yesterday.

3. Sandwich, quilt, and bind the Anemone quilt.

4. Borders on the Train DP9 quilt and sandwich and quilt.

I picked four goals because there are four weeks, so if I get busy I could work on one project a week. And when I get bored in between, I can always choose and start a NewFO!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Review

Lots of stuff going on today. I was able to spend a few happy hours joking and chilling with my close friends, who I haven't seen for a few weeks for various reasons. And while I was there, I finished my February Finish for ALYoF. Yes its a day late and too late to link up to the finishes party, but I still got it completed. Here it is: *cue epic music*

Tada! It took me, count them, eighteen days from the time I finished quilting this to get the binding completely stitched on. This would be because I only do hand work while watching TV and lets be honest, I just don't have time to watch a lot of TV.

Earlier this week, we moved the large white cupboard from my sewing room into the basement. It was awkward and hard to store stuff in and hard to find stuff. Everything that was in the cupboard went into my closet in more or less some semblance of order. I really was missing it because its primary purpose was to hold all my quilting rulers, so I picked up some more hangers and turned the sewing room door into something more useful.

Where the cupboard was, I put a card table and set up my serger. I will eventually need to get a sturdier table for this, but in the meantime it seems to work pretty well.

And then I started this project - no that is not a purple fabric, it is actually a nice gunmetal gray. The red is from a red home decor fabric remnant that I picked up for a dollar at JoAnns about four years ago, with vague plans to use it in a corset.

This will be a new purse. I downloaded the original tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens but it was written so poorly that I'm not going to link back to it. The last step is "See this other tutorial here and follow steps 1-4 to finish assembling the tote bag." Like it would seriously be that difficult to copy and paste those last few steps. I'm making some modifications and rewriting it as I go.

My February NewFO was my A4A Quilt. I completed two blocks!

My March NewFO is currently the purse I'm working on, but I'm debating finally starting this quilt I designed months ago.

I have all the fabrics hanging in my closet, I just haven't started it yet. Although, I do have two completed quilt tops waiting for quilting so I guess we'll see how the month plays out. And sooner or later, I really do need to settle down and get some Ragnarok Garb squared away.

My DaGMT participation was mixed. I did get a lot done (see the link at the top of the page) but I didn't get to sew every day. Its just too busy, with work and cooking and stuffs. But that isn't going to stop me from trying out 30/30 Sewing Challenge by Berry Barn Designs. Generally it is the same thing as DaGMT, only its thirty minutes a day for thirty days. More to come later on this, and my new ALYoF goal for March.