Monthly Archives: October 2012

Scrappy Stash QAL Update

I made a lot of progress last week on my quilt for the Scrappy Stash QAL at Ellison Lane Quilts.I pieced 33 more blocks, including three big ones and got all seven of the big ones I’ve made so far quilted. I quilted diagonal lines using my presser foot as a guide, so it took awhile. I had hoped to start on my last groups of blocks this weekend, but I had two days with no sewing. It’s all good though. The hubby and I had our first date night in almost a year and went to see Red Hot Chili Peppers. A few hours of feeling 22 again does a body good!

This morning I used the time my kids were at preschool to lay out the blocks I’ve finished to get an idea how it’s going to look. I had to move furniture and the one place that is big enough in our house has crummy light, but I got a sense for how it’s going to look once it’s all together. I was worried that I wouldn’t like it as much once I threw more colors in, but I shouldn’t have worried. I actually missed those last two colors and can’t wait to have them finished. I have no where I’m going to baste this monster. One of my LQS has open sewing times a couple of nights a month, so maybe I’ll have to check out what kind of space they have.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Here’s the updated picture…

When Josie and Leo walked in from preschool. Leo stopped, looked at it for a few seconds then matter-of-factly declared, “it needs more blue.” I told him I was going to add blue and purple and he replied that “it would be beautiful.” That kiddo has a good eye. Lol.

More as I finish. Thanks for stopping by!

Scrappy Stash QAL Update

Dear Husband knows I’m obsessed with these improv log cabins. This weekend, he did well more than his fair share of kid duty, giving me lots of time to sew. Weds I had 15 blocks, now I have 40! I finished my reds and did all of yellow and orange. I’m anxious to get started on my cool colors, so this post will be short and sweet. It’s rainy and dreary here, so the pictures aren’t great. Hopefully I’ll get a couple better shots by Weds.

Forty Scrappy Log Cabins, Quilted and Ready to Go!

All Spread Out
I plan to use a completely random layout, but that was hard to do with only four colors

Looking a little Blah you say?
I’m sure the green, blue, purple and gray blocks will help, but so did this…

I may have lost my mind! Now I just need forty-FOUR more blocks. Plus a back and binding. In two and a half weeks?!?! Two hours until I pick the kids up from preschool. Time to get busy!

Edited to add… Greens done, now purple. Can’t type, must sew!

Scrappy Stash QAL Check-In at Ellison Lane Quilts and
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday: 10.17.12

Looking back on the past week, I’m surprised at how much time I had to work on quilty things. Since my work space is right where the kids spend most of their time, I’ve found that if I leave stuff out, I can catch a quick sewing break several times during the day. I got so much prep work out of the way because they are finally old enough to leave everything alone. A generous husband who took the kids out for an afternoon this weekend and a bout of insomnia didn’t hurt either.

I’ve narrowed down my WIP list to the things I hope to work on during the rest of the month.

1. Scrappy Stash QAL at Ellison Lane Quilts: Who knew that scrappy, monochromatic, inprov, quilt-as-you-go log cabin blocks were just the thing I needed to get over my sewing anxiety? Improv doesn’t come easily to me. In this case, it’s only a handful of scraps and an 8″ block, I don’t have to worry about messing something up and ruining a whole project. I’m finding that it’s so much easier experimenting with quilting methods when I have something manageable in front of me. With that in mind, I decided to try a few blocks of spiral quilting. I figured if the first one was awful, I’d leave it out. If it was okay, but I didn’t like doing it, I could leave it in the mix as a singular surprise element. If I really liked it, I could continue and figure out a way to incorporate the randomness in the overall quilt. I ended up quilting three of my pink blocks this way and I love how they turned out.

They certainly aren’t perfect. The centers are pretty rough and I need to figure out how to get my inner circles smoother. If anyone has some tips, I’d love to hear them. I also kept spacing the lines wider as I moved to the outside. I don’t mind that part as much, since I don’t think it will be noticeable with everything else going on with the quilt top. You can see what I’m talking about better on the back.

The top block is the first one I tried. The lower left was the last one. I think I improved a little and hopefully will continue to get better as I try some more. As of this morning I have 15 blocks completely done and have started in on my orange scraps. I’d like to double that by next week.

2. Cate’s Weighted Blanket: I haven’t made any additional progress on this project. I’m still waiting to get the poly pellets I need for the center portion. Will see if I can work them into my budget before the end of the month.

3. Birds and the Bees Dream Weaver: I haven’t had a chance to work on this one either and don’t think I’ll get to it in the coming week. It will only take me a couple of sessions to piece the top, so I hope to get that done before the end of the month.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

You MUST Make a Mess!

Last night my lovely 17 year old daughter decided to take her younger sibs to their dance classes, leaving me alone with Cate and Ava, 7 & 6. Around here two on one is like one on one time. Since these two daughters always get along, it was especially peaceful and precious. They were coloring, so I sat down at the table with my fabric scraps to make more improv log cabins. After watching me for a while Cate asked, “Mommy, if we promise not to make a mess, can we cut?” I immediately answered no and her little face was crestfallen. I continued on, “does Mommy make a mess when she cuts?” Ava pipes up, “You make a really BIG mess!” (the kid gets points for honesty). Back to me, “Cutting things and putting them together in new ways always makes a mess. You can only cut if you promise to make a mess and then clean it up when your done.” Needless to say, after collecting glue, tape and a run to the kitchen for paper plates, this Mommy and her daughters had a messy good time!

My Beautiful Girls

I ended the evening with a lovely stack of pink scrappy improv log cabin blocks. It was a challenge to not think about whether things matched as I was chain piecing. Every once in a while I couldn’t help but make a studied decision. I had to have a few places where fabrics fell next to each other. The block in the upper left corner has two pieces of Madrona Road toward the center that form a small corner with their smattering of flowers. The bottom left has a print from Madrona Road in two colors near each other. I purposely repeated the same fabrics in several blocks. The block on the middle far right is not actually a log cabin. I found myself wanting to over emphasize some design elements. i love the look of a super skinny stripes flanked by light ones. Placing darks perpendicular to each other within a block also draws the eye. I experimented with both clusters of lights and randomly spaced ones. Several blocks were too colorful after the first few rounds, so I intentionally chose pink fabrics to balance them out. After doing so in the center block I changed my mind and decided to add in more colors with the Broken Herringbone as the last strip. The dark DS Quilts fabrics were originally in my purple bag. I pulled them back out when I felt like I didn’t have enough dark value. I am even more in love with the dark pink with light pick swirl fabric. It’s a rare dark pink that isn’t too bright. Unfortunately they are my last few pieces. I hope my LQS still has it, so I can restash! The dark pink Metro Circles, 2 Chicopee magentas and magenta Oval Elements are also big favorites.

The one element I can’t seem to capture is monochromatic. While they’re obviously pink, there are a lot of other colors sprinkled in. I love them anyway and it will be interesting to see how they look once they’re interspersed with the other colors.

This was just the relaxing color play my girls and I needed. And of course, we did clean up our mess!

Edited to add… I forgot to post the picture of my mess. What you can’t see is the two blocks that I lost in that mess of strings. I kept thinking my stack kept getting smaller as I was chain piecing. Oops!

Fourth Quarter FAL

I seem to have started a bad habit. All last week I happily cut fabric for new projects, ignoring the fact that I have a whole stack of stuff I was excited about mere months ago waiting to get finished! I dug them all out and made a list of next steps. I doubt I’ll get to all of these this quarter, but if I get one or two done I’ll count it as a success. I being good too and not adding any of the new stuff unless it was already planned, cut and ready to go before the linky opened up last week. I’m also leaving off my long-term EPP projects that I plan to be working on for the next couple of years.

1. FMF Pillow: Basted and ready to be hand quilted.

2. 1/2″ Hexie Mini Quilt: I had hoped to get this done in time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, but that’s not going to happen.

3. Josie’s Quilt: The top, back and binding fabric are ready to go. I haven’t made a final decision about how to quilt this one. Maybe randomly spaced lines at all different angles? Or would it look better with something curvy to offset all the straight lines? I’d really like to stipple it, but it’s kind of big for first time FMQing.

4. Terrain Stairway to Heaven: I love exactly how I want to quilt this. Again though, I’m not sure I have the skill.

5. Stairway to Heaven Pillow: I want to hand quilt this one in Perle

6. Cate’s Weighted Blanket: Need to make the inside, then put it all together.

7. Denyse Schmidt String Quilt: I started this one last summer, sewed like a maniac for a week then set it aside. I really want this one on my couch this winter, so I’m including it here.

8. Not Your Granny’s Bee quilts: There’s two. I’m waiting for blocks and have to make more blocks, so we’ll see.

Linking up to Quilter in the Gap

Make a List Monday: I Can Sew!

The other day I asked Leo a question and he answered me song.  He is such a goofball (though I was impressed that he selected a song that provided an appropriate answer). I don’t know where he gets it. Then again, I’m singing this post in my head because… “I can sew! I can sew! I can sew!”

Which means that this is the last day I’m ever going to complain about sewing machines! I finally had a chance this weekend to put my new machine through its paces and it is positively dreamy. It’s amazing how many of the things I was horrible at fixed themselves with the right equipment. I think I appreciate it even more having struggled with a really poor machine for six months.

Last weeks cutting marathon yielded this…

That’s 360 strips for the Many Trips Around the World, a king size Dream Weaver, enough for two Rainbow Stripe quilts, a full size Magic Numbers, three throw quilts and a table runner. Plus, I snipped several hundred 2 1/2″ squares for various EPPing projects, dug out all my WIP’s, made a list of next steps and completely organized my sewing cabinets. I have one small stack of fat quarters I need to go through for the Many Trips Around the World and Rainbow Stripe quilts, but I simple couldn’t cut another second. I like doing things in phases, but previously I did a weeks worth of cutting at a time. I should be set for the next six months!

Better yet, I was left with this…

These bags are stuffed tight. Fortunately, the Scrappy Stash QAL started up last week at Ellison Lane Quilts, so I knew just what to do with them. I dumped my red scraps and started piecing my improv log cabin blocks. Then decided to go all in and QAYG. I followed this great tutorial  provided by Maureen Cracknell Handmade. I have never done straight line quilting before and was so pleased with the results. It was so much fun whipping these out, I got five blocks completed!

I decided to quilt half of them horizontally and the other half vertically so when I go to put everything together I can alternate directions and not worry about matching up quilting lines. I also cut my blocks to 9″, instead of 8 1/2″ to accommodate the 1/2″ seams specified in the QAYG tutorial.

There is only one thing on my list for the coming week. More monochromatic improv log cabin blocks of course! This one is going to be easy.

Linking up for the first time to Make-A-List Monday.

WIP Wednesday: 10.10.12

I feel like I spent all my time this week cutting fabric. By Monday morning I was itching to try out my new sewing machine, so I decided to stop playing around with block arrangements and sewed together the top of Cate’s Weighted Blanket. I am in love with how bright and cheery all these fabrics are.

I went with Sonia’s suggestion to add an additional pop of green and will be adding one more with a green and white striped binding. I need to find some flannel for the back and start working on the inside weighted portion, but this quilt is well on it’s way.

Then I pulled out my Tula Pink Birds and the Bees. I ironed my half yard bundle, took a deep breath cut out all the pieces for a king size Dream Weaver quilt. While I had it out, I cut an additional strip for my Many Trips Around the World quilt and a couple more of each for Ellison Lane Quilt’s Scrappy Stash QAL.I even have a small stack leftover of pieces that are slightly larger than a layer cake to use in my king size back. I am pleasantly surprised at how far I will be able stretch this one bundle of fabric!

Today I’m continuing to work my way through my scraps and stash to cut stripes for all three of my planned scrappy quilts. I keep reminding myself of how great sitting down to sew is going to feel when I have all this prep work done.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced (I still haven’t figured out how to insert the button into a wordpress post…)