Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

    Ever have one of those weekends that was so nice, it makes Monday extra painful?  Or maybe that's every Monday?  Either way, it was a good weekend.  I did a little sewing, a little shopping, and a lot of hanging out with my boys.

First, I finished up the top for the Made in Cherry quilt.  At 80" square, thing is huge!  This was the best picture I could get.  Maybe when it's quilted I can get some good pics, although how/if I'm going to quilt it myself is another problem.

    My husband earned some major brownie points on Saturday.  We went to a nearby fiber arts quilt show/vendor event.  Not a lot of stuff that was my style (which the pocketbook appreciated), but I loved seeing the variety of vendors and quilting styles.  The next place was closer to home and a lot more dangerous to the bank account: Karen Gray Designs.  She was having another one of her famous sales.  I only left with a couple of bundles and could have definitely gotten more!

    From Karen Gray: a 1/2 yard bundle of Nicey Jane, and a quilt kit of Anna Maria Horner.  I never buy kits, but this one was such a steal and very pretty.  
    From the quilt show: some yardage of Fandango and Michael Miller, a triangle ruler, Machingers gloves, and a really cute growth chart for E.

    I did also manage to get some nice sewing time - during the daytime, what a luxury! - thanks to my son's 3 hour nap on Sunday.  Woot!

     First up is a drawstring bag for E to hold cars and toys when we go out.  The lining is duck cloth so it's super sturdy, and he's all about dragons so I used a random print for the outside.  I used the fabulous tutorial from In Color Order, except that I only used 1 string strip and made it a little longer.

    I've been wanting to practice making clothes, and I picked up this dinosaur print several months ago with that in mind.  E even picked it out.  The pattern is the Easy Linen Shirt from Sewing for Boys.  It's a little crazy, but he loves it.  The hubs and I decided that if we take him anywhere scientific, like a museum, he has the perfect shirt to wear! 

    Now back to the usual manic Monday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Green Posh Quilt

   I am really excited to have finished my new quilt.  It's just for me, with no thought to who it's for, what others like, how it matches the house, etc.  (Although I'm apparently not that rebellious, it matches our home colors really well).  This is the Posh pattern, a free pattern from Moda.  The pattern uses a small print for the background, but I used a pretty solid green, Kona Tarragon, as well as a couple of matching solids.

     I just love how quilts look after they've crinkled up from the dryer!

    Inspired by all the focus on free motion quilting lately in blog land, I decided to follow the loopy lines on the flannel I used as backing for the quilt (which I love almost as much as the front) instead of stippling.  I loooove the feel of flannel backing, it makes quilts extra snuggly.

   I also stepped a little outside my comfort zone and used a printed binding.  Told you I was a rebel! ;)  I usually use a matching solid for binding, but I think the bright contrasting print really adds to this one due to all the solids.

    This was a really quick pattern, and the whole quilt took me only a few weeks from start to finish, with lots of breaks in between.  Not too bad, that's 2 finishes for 2012!

    And now, a cautionary tale of the danger of lunch hour + coupon + wandering.  Earlier this week I had a 30% off total purchase for Joann's, and they were showing Kona cottons at 40% off online, which would have been less than $4 a yard.  So I went on my lunch break with the intention of stocking up.  Instead, come to find out the sale was online only, and the coupon is only good in-store.  Booo!!  But I still needed a few notions and other odds and ends, so I decided to wander aimlessly around the store.  Besides some notions and fusible web, I left the store with this stack of randomness:

    A yard of flannel and some black tone-on-tone from the remnant bin, a DS quilt print, a knit for some serger practice, a couple of yards of Alexander Henry, and Star Wars.  They were all on sale - unlike my original, probably much more useful fabric goals - but hey, it's Star Wars! And Alexander Henry!  The Star Wars stuff was picked over or I so would have bought more.  The only bad thing, I really do need some more Kona.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

    I'm excited about this WIP Wednesday, since I actually made some progress this week!

    First up, I'm doing the Made In Cherry Quilt Along over at pins and bobbins.  I'm using Joel Dewberry Heirloom and Kona Berry for the background.  I have all the squares and triangles cut, and I'm getting really excited about this one!  I love QALs, it's so fun to see how differently people interpret patterns.

    Next up, the Triad Modern Quilt Guild is doing a travel pillow swap for February.  After much debate (I am a classic over-thinker), I think I've settled on this for the front.  This was my first foray into flying geese, they are way easier than I thought!  It's made with a different prints from Denyse Schmidt's lines at Joann's.  Now I just have to decide on quilting, any edging, backing, and how to close it.

    Finally, I am sooooo relieved to have all my blocks completed for my crazy scrap quilt, whose working title is what-was-i-thinking-holy-HST...or something.  

    Not one fabric is repeated (I guess I have more fabric than I thought!), and although I fell out of love with this thing big time while piecing it, I'm getting back to loving it.  Now I'm just trying to decide if I like it with or without sashing.  It seems a little spastic without the sashing, but maybe that's a good thing?

    Here's to another productive week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fall Whirlygig - first quilt of the year!

    I finally completed my first finish of 2012!  This was actually mostly completed in 2011 - back when the colors were actually in season...I finished it in early December, and it has been sitting unbound on my couch since then (shame shame!!).

    This was made from a fat quarter bundle of mostly Moda fabrics, and a lot of them were Sandy Gervais.  I have to say, I would probably never choose most of these fabrics on a stand-alone basis, but I loved the fall colors of the bundle, and they matched my house so well, that I just had to get it.

    Now, you might have seen a bunch of this style of quilt floating around, because there's apparently a tool you can buy where you just sew squares together, cut, and resew to get this shape.  I started this quilt before I heard about the twister tool, so this one is made with a plain old wonky-rectangle template.  I've been trying to console myself into saying that doing it the slow way just means I didn't waste any fabric :)

    And I think it looks pretty good on my couch - especially now that it is bound!  Even if it is completely out of season now...


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catching Up & Future Plans

  Well, after finally getting some antibiotics for what has turned out to be a sinus infection and an ear infection  in both ears, I am starting to get back into my normal routine.  I have a ton of laundry and work to catch up on too, but hey, this is the important stuff.  I've been unable to sew much since Christmas (and even had to miss a guild meeting, boo!) thanks to this mess, so I am really happy to have made a little progress.

  My first WIP of the new year is technically a Christmas gift to me.  Thanks to a gift card, I got the fabric for the whole tab and 4 spools of thread for only $18.  Score!!  This quilt pattern is called "Posh" and it's free from Moda.  I've made it before and hated giving it up, so I decided to make one for myself.  I like the soothing colors after the craziness of the holidays, and I'm hoping the green will brighten up the living room for the dreary winter.  The green is Kona Tarragon, and really nice light green that I should have bought more of because it goes so well with everything.

   Getting a decent picture of this is impossible at night so I gave up.  My poor husband hurt his knee, so after the above pathetic pic I tried the living room.  Unfortunately, matchbox cars have taken over so I'm stuck with the back of the couch - and the helpers couldn't stay away.   Oh well, I'll get nice outside ones once this thing is actually finished.


The back is going to be this lightweight flannel I bought a while ago to make PJ pants for myself.  I wasn't really liking it for pants, but I think it will be great for this quilt.

   My other WIP, which is making me question my own sanity, is a scrap quilt.  It's a pattern from "The Big Book of Scrap Quilts", and is a really traditional pattern.  I thought the shapes were pretty and that it might look fun with modern colors.  Plus, I've been able to use all scraps, and not one fabric is repeated.  But it's a lot of weird cutting, and oh, the piecing!! - this thing is a HST beast and I still have 14 more blocks to go.  It's been hanging around for a few months as a project to pick up whenever I felt like it, but now I'm really sick of all those little pieces on my table, so it needs to get done.  I think this might be the perfect motivation to push me along!  The pattern doesn't call for any sashing and uses a lot of borders.  I think it definitely is going to need sashing to avoid inducing seizures, and I want to avoid the matchy borders to help update the look a little.

    Finally, I keep seeing some great quilt a longs, and I think I might have to join a couple.  The first is the Made in Cherry Quilt Along over at the confused quilter.  I looooove that pattern, now I just need to buy some fabric and decide what size I want to make!   
    The other is the really pretty star quilt, Oh My Stars, over at thought and found.  I'm not sure I'm quite ready to make a truly scrappy one since I'm still piecing the behemoth above, but if I can find the right fabrics I might just have to jump in too.  

   Now that I have some energy back, I just need to find the time to do all the stuff I would like to do (wouldn't we all?).  Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Recap & Looking Forward

  I have really been enjoying looking at all the 2011 recaps that have been floating around, especially the mosaics of finished products, so I decided to make my own.  Since I just recently started photographing & blogging my projects, I took some time this afternoon to try and get pictures of the projects I completed this past year.  Of course, I left off a quite a few, including a wallhanging quilt for my mom for Christmas, some bags and toys, and a baby quilt for a friend.  I am terrible at getting pictures of gifts before I give them - one more resolution for 2012!

  So counting wallhangings, I made 10 quilts this year.  Not bad at all, but I started a lot more.  Need to finish up some of those UFOs I have laying around.  I also have a bunch of ideas bouncing around in my head, so I feel like I have plenty to keep me busy for a while.  Not that that's a bad thing.

  Now on to the important part (ok well, for me at least!) - my goals for 2012:

1) Be a Better Me
       I got really burnt out at work at the end of the year, and it really affected me.  So, in order to better deal with stress, I need to take better care of myself.  Basic things, like eat better, go to bed at a decent hour, and exercise.  You know, the usual 2012 resolution stuff!  I've also learned that my moods really affect my husband's and son's, and my family is the most important thing in the world to me.

2) Live a Simpler Life
       I want to slow down and appreciate the things I have, eat real food at home more, and stop buying things just to buy (yes, that includes fabric - eek!).  I hope that going back to basics will make our lives much easier.

3) Get and Stay Organized
       Yes, another classic one.  But I started down this road in the last couple of months, and just need to get there in a few more areas of life.  This one is crucial to the success of the others!

4) Finish More Projects & Use My Stash
       I have several UFOs laying around that need to be done, and lots of projects in my head that I either have the fabric to do or just need a little to do.  Need to get on top of those before buying a bunch of new stuff.

5) Sew Clothes
       I started doing this in the last few months, mostly easy pants and tops for my son and PJ pants for my husband.  I'm hooked!  And my wonderful husband bought me a serger for Christmas, so no I have no excuses!  Now if I can just figure out how to use the thing...

That's about it for me!  Hope everyone had Happy Holidays and is looking forward to the New Year!