Friday, March 28, 2014

To Do List

So after finishing the Weekend Star Quilt on Sunday night, I was exhausted. So I actually haven't stepped more than two feet inside my craft room and then only to drop off some stuff and to dig through my pre-cuts for figure out where I might have misplaced my Charm Pack of Honey Honey, which I'm 99% certain I bought. Didn't find it, so ended up buying another pack, plus a charm pack of Solstice (like you do).

Then I also spent quite a bit of time on EQ7, mapping out how much backing fabric I'd need for my Verna Belle Waves quilt and ordered that plus binding. I actually found enough Verna fabric to do a backing and binding in the same line, woot! Then I designed the Kate Spain Christmas Quilt I want to make with charm packs of Joy, 12 Days, Flurry, and Solstice and ordered a yard from each line plus binding fabric from either Joy or Flurry (I forget), I have to wait for the Solstice one until they have yardage in stock.

Finally I bought several FQ and half yards for the backing of the quilt I'm making from Charm Packs of Terrain, Daydreams, Honey Honey, Cuzco, Good Fortune, and Serenade. I think I'm going to go with a very simple 5" square layout for that one. Between all six charm packs I have around 240 unique squares to play with, a little bit more with the five squares of Verna I'm thinking of throwing in as well, and even more if I decide to add in the charm pack of Sunshine. I'm going to be doing 10" squares on the back from the FQ and 1/2 yards I bought, so it will be my first seriously pieced backing.

The only things I haven't figured out or bought backing/binding fabric for is the Layer Cake of Sunshine and the FQ bundles of Central Park and Fandango. But enough about my grand Kate Spain dreams.

Here is my to do list for this weekend:
1) Make 12 Bitty Blocks with a winter theme (I've already decided on mittens, just need to execute)
2) Buy a zipper, and get the parts ready for my zippered pouch class during next weekend's quilting retreat
3) Figure out and put together my progressive quilt block. My theme is triangles and I'm stuck.
4) Start cutting fabric for the commission I'm supposed to have done by June (ahhhh, where did the time go?) I was really hoping to either take it to the retreat so I would have some floor space to baste it when it's done, or have it ready in time for the next library sewing day for the guild. So we'll see what happens, but I doubt that with everything else, I'll have the top and back done by Thursday.

So there you go. Then next week I have to pack myself and my husband, drop the dog with friends, and just generally get ready for a long weekend away. Luckily I made the smart decision to take Monday off as well, so I'll have a day to come back and decompress and do laundry when it's over.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Star Quilt

Final Stats
Name: Weekend Star
Dimensions: 70x70 Inches
Pieces: Front - 132
Pattern: HST Star
Technique: Patchwork
Materials: 100% Quilting Cottons
Quilting: Machine quilting done on my little Euro-Pro

So I've been pretty much offline all weekend. The reason: I was attempting the heretofore impossible. I learned on Friday that a coworker's younger brother (19 years old, to be exact) had passed away this past week. After polling her closest friend amongst our coworkers, I was told that he taste in home d├ęcor ran to white, grey and blue. For some reason I decided that I had to make a quilt for her, because... "quilters quilt" (amaright?). And for some reason it had to happen this weekend. As in, I wanted to give it to her on Monday! I'm a little crazy, can you tell?

So I came home, sat myself down in front of my computer and look through my favorites, saved quilt ideas, and my stack of quilting books and magazines. I gave myself until 8pm to get a final idea (although that didn't quite work out). I had two ideas by 8 though. Then I did my fabric pull to get an idea about colors, did some more digging through pictures, and then sat down in front of EQ7 to come up with my final plan.

After looking at the final design, I decided that I wanted to use all solids. The only problem: not enough light grey to cut 8 squares for the HSTs. I reached out via Instagram (I am DamascSt on Instagram, if you're interested in following) and found one of my guildies who had a grey fabric and was willing to drop it off the next morning (my hubby had our car, or I would have just run to the fabric store). In the meantime I cut the rest of the solids for the star and sewed, cut, and ironed the HSTs. That took me to the end of Friday.

Two of my guildies showed up bright and early on Saturday with the promised grey fabric. As soon as they left, I got to work cutting that, sewing, cutting, and ironing the HSTs. Then I did all of the trimming at once. I had to stop after every second color, because my back hurt, but I did get them all done. By the time another friend came over in the afternoon, I had the rows of the star sewn up, and was starting to sew the rows together.

I cut the background white once the star was done, and attached the pieces. Then I pulled the backing fabric and frankensteined that together, because I didn't really have enough of anything except white (time to stock up on some unspoken for background fabrics, I think).

By the time hubby came home, I was almost done with the back. I appropriated the living room floor to baste the quilt, and my friend helped, while hubby made dinner. After my friend left, I put together a practice quilt sandwich and tried my hand at FMQ. Because why wouldn't I try something I've never done before, while trying to finish a quilt in record time (because I'm crazy, that's why, but I think I already mentioned that).

It actually worked out much better than I had thought, so I decided to go for it in the background areas of the quilt. Sunday I sat down and started quilting. I think it took me six hours and five bobbins to finish the background FMQ. Another hour or two, and another bobbin, to do straight line outlines inside the colored shapes. During breaks in quilting, I cut binding from yet more white. Good thing I bought a bolt a while back.

When I was finally done with the quilting, I buried the threads I hadn't buried while quilting, squared up the quilt, and made my binding. I used another new technique, attaching the binding to the back of the quilt and using a decorative stitch to secure the binding to the front. Unfortunately my tiny machine has very few options for stitches and what I really wanted was the vines from my short-lived Brother. But I made do. And that was it, one finished quilt in a weekend. I actually did it!

Oh, and no embroidery of initials and year necessary, I FMQ'ed that sucker into the quilting itself. How cool is that!

I think the thing that kept me going, besides sheer obstinacy, was the positive feedback I got on Instagram and Flickr. I can do it, but I don't think I'll ever repeat this experiment. Next time I'll leave myself a few more days.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snow Day and Sewing Day

Sarah from the Stash Bee organized a sewing day at the Tyson's Library in Virginia on Sunday. I actually got there roughly on time. There were three ladies there from the Stash Bee, including Sarah, and one member from the DCMQG. I spent most of the time laying out the teals/aquas and the purples for the Scrappy Swoon quilt.

I started sewing some of the joining HSTs together. Then I sewed two of the 3x6 panels and some of the 9 patches together. Unfortunately I ran out of time and had to carefully stack the remaining pieces and take copious amounts of pictures so I would remember what went where.

A snow day meant I got to stay home on Monday and sew some more. Worked a bit more on the Scrappy Swoon quilt and managed to sew together all of the panels and 9 patches that I had all the pieces for.

My current leader and ender project is the Checkerboard quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts. I have mixed in some low volume prints along with two different white solids. Here are a few of the 4 patches I have sewn together so far.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Sewing

So I actually managed to get some sewing done today.

First I put the corners on one of my remaining X pieces for the X and Plus blocks. I also sewed the corners into bonus HSTs and trimmed those down to 2" square. I'm thinking about turning all of those bonus HSTs into blocks when I'm done.

Next I finished up the started Modified Bento Box block for my mom's quilt.


Finally, I pulled out the fabric for my memory quilt blocks from the Riley Blake Challenge quilt.

I thought about putting together the ones for my brother-in-law's wedding quilt as well, because I have fabric set aside, but realized that I don't have the binding fabric yet. That didn't stop me putting together the memory blocks for my brother's wedding quilt, but I figured I'd do scrappy binding for that one so just picked two random pieces to anchor the sides of the DWR melon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday

The needle has been moved, literally and figuratively.

First, and I'm pretty proud of this, I finished cutting all the pieces for my Japanese X and Plus blocks. I had to cut about 162 red squares and about 30 of the dark plus fabrics. The picture below is just half of them.

I also started on another Modified Bento Box block. I'm liking it so far. Those blue butterflies I bought this weekend at one of the pop up shops at the Anacostia Arts Center. I also bought the rest of the Catnap line. I just couldn't resist, it's so freaking cute.

I went out to lunch today with the Communications crew on my company's dime (best way to do lunch, imho). They had this great tile floor in the foyer, and one of the tiles in particular I'm tempted to turn into a quilt block. *runs off to boot up EQ7*

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quilty Bucket List

Stacey at The Tilted Quilt is hosting a Quilt Bucket List Blog Hop.

The Tilted Quilt

So without further ado here is my quilty bucket list (sorry, it's a bit picture heavy):

1) Rainbow Quilt: I love color, and I love lots of colors in one quilt, it's surprising that I haven't made one yet.
2) String Quilt: I love the look of string quilts, but I usually cut my scraps into squares, so there aren't many scraps to be turned into strings. I'm working on it though. I especially would love to make a spiderweb quilt.
3) Selvage Quilt: I've been hoarding my selvages for almost two years now and it's about time I do something with them.
4) All Solids Quilt: I am thinking either the Burgoyne Surround quilt, the Perkiomen Daydream by Bonnie Hunter, but with solids, or the Totally Groovy Quilt by Carolina Patchworks.
5) Memory/Journal Quilt: I am currently working on a DWR and an Octagonal Block variation, but I'm falling behind in making those pieces for each quilt I've completed.
6) Kate Spain Quilt(s): I have every one of her lines now, three FQ bundles (Verna, Central Park, and Serenade), one Layer Cake (Sunshine), and many Charm Packs. I want to make a Belle Waves Quilt by Faith Jones out of one of them, and I'm leaning towards Verna, but still need to figure out what background solid to use. I also want to make a house quilt using either the Christmas line Charm Packs or the "regular" line Charm Packs. The rest I still need to figure out.
7) A Paper-Pieced Theme Quilt: I am leaning towards Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Fandom in Stitches has some great patterns, including Princess Bride, Dr. Who (although I'm not a Whovian), Disney Princesses, etc.

So there you have it, my quilty bucket list. If only people didn't keep getting married or having children... :)

Disclaimer: none of the images above are mine (except the Memory/Journal quilt images), so if you have an issue with me using one of yours, please contact me and I'll take it down.

Stash Bee - February Blocks

Look what the ladies of Stash Bee - Hive 8 made! I am still waiting on a few of these to arrive, but I cannot wait to see them all together. With 16 plus my original practice block, I have a great start to my mom's quilt. How lucky am I!

1. Daisy 1, 2. Heather 1, 3. Heather 2, 4. Jamie, 5. Daisy 2, 6. Leonie, 7. Tami, 8. Sarah, 9. Kat, 10. Melissa 1, 11. Melissa 2, 12. Christina 1, 13. Christina 2, 14. Christina 3, 15. Helen 1, 16. Helen 2, 17. Mine

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WIP: Finding Inspiration

So the only thing I'm currently working on is some cross-stitch. Both the Once Upon a Time Sampler (March was the 3 Little Pigs, but I'm still working on the border) and the Alpine Flower Sampler.

Working on the Alpine Roses currently, finished the dark green, and have started layering in the rust brown. Not sure what color I'll use for the background yet, but I'll wait until I have the whole thing stitched up per the pattern before auditioning colors (the pattern calls for a blank background, but after finishing the middle Alpine Cabin square, it just didn't seem right that it was completely filled in and the other squares weren't).

I have all of these projects that I should be working on for quilting, but I have had zero motivation in the past few days to do so. Instead I end up playing Guild Wars 2 or watching shows on Netflix. So my true WIP is to find new inspiration and motivation to keep my projects moving along.

Update: I have made some modifications to my WIPs page. I was able to remove one completely that I had as "Stuck" but also added a ton of new projects. No wonder I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Goals

My goal for March is to get started on this commission quilt:

It's a queen sized Plus quilt in solids (Kona Snow, Black, and Robin's Egg). My goal is to at least start cutting out the fabric, maybe even finish the cutting. But I really just want to make a dent in it. It needs to be done by June.

My stretch goals are as follow:
  • Write the letter to go with the Community Quilt and send it off.
  • Figure out a design for a coworker's baby quilt.
  • Finish piecing the top of the plus quilt for my brother and get a picture of it to send to my future SIL. Fabric for the back is going to be used as a guest book and then incorporated into the design. I already have an idea or two.
  • Work on some "selfish sewing" (I entertained the idea of joining the 30/30 challenge), if I do, my goal for that is to get some work in on one or both of the quilt I'm making for myself (Japanese X and Plus quilt or the Giant Churn Dash blocks)
Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes.