Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Progress


So not so much a quilting progress post (or at least not solely) but more about progress in general.  Thanks to the support of a dear friend, I finished my first 5K.  I'm a firm member of the run-only-if-something-is-chasing-you category, and even with that I frequently gauge just how large the thing chasing me is before running.  But middle age is a cruel thing, and my middle section is rapidly expanding to take on a general whiskey-barrel shape.  So running and exercise, and cutting down on my beloved carbs and sweets, really has to happen.  My dear friend, whom I haven't seen in over 5 years, told me if I signed up for a 5K she would come run it with me.  As a "real" runner, I'm sure sticking with my snail pace was painful for her, but we had a great time and it was wonderful to see her! 


Kid events are also taking over the calendar more and more, and I'm sure it will only get worse as the kids and niblings get older!  Isadora had her first band concert, and she was one of only two kids selected for the Young Musicians Honor Band.  She was thrilled beyond words, and we are so proud of her!  My best memories of school all involved band and music, so I'm glad she's finding success there as well. 


There is some quilting in progress - this is for the Charley Harper mini-swap.  I do have two of these in progress, as I really want one for myself as well!  I'm not much for embroidery, so the eyes were a challenge, but I like it so far.  I'm playing around with border colors and ideas.  

I did the lines on the snowy owl with the walking foot.  It was 12wt thread, and I've never used that in my machine before, but it came out well, I think. 


The pink swap is also in progress.  I've had the kaleidoscope ruler forever, and thought a small project like this would be a good testing ground for it.  I'm still trying to figure out how to quilt it, although I think spirals may be involved...  




Finished!


So there actually have been finishes recently, but I've been terrible about getting pictures.  The pictures have been largely dumped in favor of getting the quilts to where they belong.  The one above went to my Grandma, for her new assisted living facility room.  She was NOT happy about being moved out of her beloved house, but she simply can't live on her own (she's 95), so this was my attempt to help make her new digs a little more homey.  She loved the final quilt, so at least I made her smile for a bit.  It's a pattern called Secret Garden, and is made of a layer cake of Hoffman batiks.  I've had the top in progress forever.  I did the quilting for it on my Elna, and I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.  FMQ is such a learning process, and the only way to learn is to do, but you do end up with a lot of quilts that I wish looked a bit more professional!  

The sad looking little guy is another reason not as much has been getting done.  He's been sick off and on for far too long.  So lots of snuggles have been happening. 



This one went to my cousin and her new baby girl.  When I found out she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make the baby something special.  In my quest to use up my existing stash, I went digging, and I'd completely forgotten about this panel and the coordinating fabric.  The baby's bedroom was in purple, and my cousin loves fairies, so this was about as perfect a match as I could find!  A simple pattern, with two curved corners (that was new, and required some creating piecing of binding to get enough bias!) and I quilted it myself.  A simple stipple, which I'm getting more and more comfortable with.  This got mailed off and is now in its new home as well. 


I'd never really been a mini-quilt person, largely because of a lack of space to put them.  But my new quilting room has plenty of wall space, and it's way too easy to find fun swaps on IG!  This is the black-and-white 2 swap.  This was a bundle of Frond Design Studios fabric, with a little Kona red mixed in.  The pattern is from the Missouri Star Block magazine, or at least a riff on the pattern.  The original was 42 inches square, so I shrunk and modified.  I meant to make two and keep one, and hopefully eventually I will get the one for me made!  I went with walking foot quilting, and I love how it turned out.  It's a variegated thread from Superior Threads, and I've used it on multiple projects. 

I also had a bit of fun with my new sewing machine, and experimented with embroidering the label info onto the binding.  I love how it turned out!  This one will get mailed off this week. 




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year WIP

I took almost two weeks off for Christmas.  I honestly can't remember the last time I was off that long, and it was blissful.  Crazy busy, but blissful!

The biggest task accomplished was the migration of my sewing room.  It's been in a basement bedroom since we built the house.  Marc has always wanted that space for the guest bedroom.  So when we built a new shop this fall, we put in a 12x30 foot loft room in one end.  That's where my long-arm will eventually go, but for now most of my quilting stuff moved there.  My garment sewing/cross-stitch/craft stuff moved to the old (much smaller) guest room, and the guest room moved into the downstairs room.  Which, by the way, looks at least three feet wider than it did when all my sewing supplies were in there.  I'm honestly not sure how it all fit.

I did throw away about five garbage bags full of stuff.  Projects that I don't have any interest in completing, mystery synthetic fabric that will never find a use, that sort of thing.  I also boxed up four or five boxes of stuff to send to IG friends.  It felt good to purge!

I did a much more careful job of sorting and organizing my fabric when I put it away in the new quilting room.  I finally sorted my yardage by color, rather than collection.  Apparently I like blue a lot, and orange not so much!

I did get some sewing in, thankfully.  I finished my black and white quilt swap mini, and am delighted with the results.  I finished a knit top that's been cut out for ages last night, and started in on my next Moda Bakeshop project.  I started and finished a baby quilt for my cousin's baby.  I finished a long-standing WIP that will go to my grandmother's new assisted living facility room. 

I broke out a layer cake and jelly roll to get another leader/ender project going, and it should be a quick one.  I'm going to take part in the APQ UFO challenge, to see if I can get a few of these long-term UFO's knocked off.  I'm only including items that have lingered in my UFO/Planning category for far too long, so hopefully that will provide some impetus to get those moving. 

Recent Completions:

Kaylee's baby blanket
Secret Garden
Black and White swap mini  

WIPS

Aviatrix
Farmer's Wife
Moda Building Blocks
PB&J Four Square
MSQC stars (Leader/Ender)
Secret Project
Pink Swap
Charley Harper Swap

Needs Binding


Landscape


Top Completed, Waiting for Quilting

Breezeway (basted)
KerBloom
Stars (basted)
Every Which Way

Planning 


Gravity
Sparklers
Abacus
Triple Barn Star

UFO's

Craftsy QAYG
Vintage Modern Scrappy
Fabulous Flowers
Blossoms



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I feel like I've finally been making some progress, although I'm not sure my list shows it!  I've completed section A of the Moda Building Blocks, and got five or six quilts basted.  I finished the quilting on two of them - my FMQ is certainly not great but I feel like it's coming along!  I didn't actually finish my last Moda project, I ended up taking pictures of it unquilted.  So it's gone into the tops pile for now. 

I found out my in-laws are coming for Christmas.  We don't see them often, so it was a bit of a surprise, but I'm happy they'll be here and that my kids will get to spend some more time with them.  They shortened their projected stay to only three or four days, so I don't think I'll have to empty my craft room, which is good! 

Recent Completions:



WIPS

Aviatrix
Farmer's Wife
Moda Building Blocks
PB&J Four Square (Leader/Ender project)

Needs Binding


Landscape
Secret Garden

Top Completed, Waiting for Quilting

Breezeway (basted)
KerBloom
Stars (basted)
Every Which Way

Planning 

Black and White swap mini  
Gravity
Sparklers
Abacus
Triple Barn Star

UFO's

Craftsy QAYG
Vintage Modern Scrappy
Fabulous Flowers
Blossoms

Thursday, November 10, 2016

WIP Thursday

Does anyone else feel like they can spend just as much time organizing and planning projects as they actually do DOING projects?  Maybe it's just the effort that's going into planning my new sewing room, but I am itching to do more hands-on sewing.

I did break out the scrappy Vintage Modern blocks, and realized I'd made a lot more of them than I'd thought.  So I may start working on that in spurts again.  The QAYG blocks may find themselves turned into minis for my new sewing space, as well.  

I'm enjoying working on the Moda Building Blocks quilt.  I love the Downtown Abbey fabrics, so it's nice to finally be using them! 

Recent Completions:

Final Frontier
Geometric sewing machine mini (swap project)

WIPS


Secret Project #4
Aviatrix
Farmer's Wife
Moda Building Blocks
PB&J Four Square (Leader/Ender project)

Needs Binding


Top Completed, Waiting for Quilting

Breezeway
Landscape
Secret Garden
KerBloom
Stars

Planning 

Black and White swap mini  
Gravity
Sparklers
Abacus
Triple Barn Star

UFO's

Craftsy QAYG
Vintage Modern Scrappy
Fabulous Flowers
Blossoms

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Time for a much, much overdue WIP Wednesday...

This week I had to entirely empty out my huge fabric cabinets.  We are building a shop on our acreage, and we designed a loft room to go into the top of one end.  It's going to be 12x30, so a good sized space. The idea is that someday I will own a long-arm quilting machine, and that will be its home.  In the meantime, it will still be my primary sewing room.  The current sewing room will covert to the guest room, and the current smaller guest room will be my 'satellite' sewing room.  So I get a ton of room, but that does mean a LOT of thinking and organizing about what will go where. 

The loft room is open right now, and I put the cabinets on pallets so the construction company can lift them up with forklifts and get them put into place.  The things are well over six feet tall, and weigh a TON, so this is by far the best way to move them!  It involved 5 adults just to move them the 15 feet to the pallets (although that did include putting them through a window!)

It also made me think about future projects, since I'm not entirely sure when I'll get to open the four large boxes of fabric again.  So I pulled out a couple that have been on this planning list for a while.  I'm sure that will keep me busy!  

Recent Completions:
Thicket of Stars, aka Secret Project #3
Control Panel (still need pictures)
Mondo Bag

WIPS

Aviatrix
Farmer's Wife
Moda Building Blocks
PB&J Four Square (Leader/Ender project)

Needs Binding



Final Frontier (fall dinner quilt)

Top Completed, Waiting for Quilting

Breezeway
Landscape
Secret Garden
KerBloom
Stars

Planning 

Secret Project #4
Gravity
Sparklers
Abacus
Triple Barn Star

UFO's

Craftsy QAYG
Vintage Modern Scrappy
Fabulous Flowers
Blossoms

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Thicket of Stars

This was a fun one!  I'd sketched out the design a while ago, and when picking fabric options for the Moda Bakeshop, the center of my 'octagons' seemed to call out for the animals in this line, rather than the pinwheel shapes I'd originally planned.  I love how it turned out!

Key to the success of actually constructing the quilt top was to find away to make the half rectangle triangle with the right dimensions, so that it was 2 inches wide and 4 inches tall.  The provided template will work, as well as several rulers. 


 This one goes together very quickly.  I did simple straight-line quilting, which was both easy to do and emphasizes the outlines of the stretched stars.

 Windy day!  I finished this up and had to get the pictures taken. Unfortunately, the wind wasn't really cooperating, but I did like this location. 


I'd have a hard time saying which little animal is my favorite, but this guy probably wins. :)


Another fun project finished!  This one will be auctioned off to benefit Feed the Kids, a local charity that gives food to school kids every Friday, to make sure they have something to eat over the weekend.  I have enough left-over HRTs to make at a matching pillow case or two, hopefully I'll manage to get them finished before the auction.