Monthly Archives: January 2013

January: A Lovely Year of Finishes ~ You’re Never A-Lone Star 1 & 2

At the beginning of January, I linked up to A Lovely Year of Finishes with this photo on Flickr…

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I used Jeni’s Giant Star tutorial to make two quilt tops.

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I’m calling these “You’re Never A-Lone Star 1 & 2” and plan to quilt them in a diamond pattern to look like a Lone Star block. These tops are for a special twosome and the name couldn’t be more perfect for them. More when I get them quilted up and gifted.

This was my January A Lovely Year of Finishes goal. I’m linking up…

Finish It Up Friday

A Lovely Year of Finishes
Plum and June

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WIP 1.23.13: Waaa Waaa Waaa…

I had grand plans for this week. Which is why it should come as no surprise that I haven’t been able to sit at my machine since I finished up my bee blocks. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 15 years ago. I’ve learned how to manage it fairly well, but every once and awhile I have a rough spot. This particular flare-up included back pain, so as much as I wanted to, it just wasn’t worth it to make it worse by sewing. At the same time, it’s impossible for me to keep my hands still. Ever since I was little, I have to be doing something with my hands to sit still and relax…from shuffling cards, pushing buttons on a mindless game or in more recent cases… SEWING HEXIES!

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I have multiple hexie quilts going and this week I decided it was time to catch up on my charm quilt. I  have been making a 1″ hexie out of every piece of fabric that comes my way. Whether a charm pack, charm swap, bundle, or individual prints, one of the first things I do is cut myself a 2 1/2″ square and toss it into a bin. Every once and awhile I try to get caught up. On the left, are my finished ones for the week and on the right, are the ones waiting to be basted.

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It’s been awhile since I dumped them all out, so I took this chance to grab a picture of the lot of them. I didn’t have quite enough energy to try a new layout, but I did take some time to count them before I put them away.

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Each stack above is 20 hexies for 927 total. I’m pretty sure once the ones at top are done I’ll be over 1000. I have no idea how many I need to make a finished quilt, but I think it’s time to decide on a design and start sewing these suckers together.

Linking up…

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 1.16.13 ~ Bee Boppin’ Along

Those of you who checked out my WIP list, probably noted my crazy number of bee commitments. January, in particular, is a big month with 16 bee blocks due!

Empower at do.Good Stitches

I made two sets of blocks this month… December’s Boy’s Nonsense blocks in goldenrod, yellow, lilac and tan, from Where the Orchards Grow and January’s Many Trips Around the World blocks from Quiltville. January also happens to be my very first month as the quilter. The colors I specified were pink, orange and yellow, with one strip of lime green for the middle of each block. I’m hoping that the green strips will create a lattice design when the quilt is assembled.

01 do.GSI didn’t have much in my stash of goldenrod, lilac or tan and it’s not a color scheme I ever would have thought of, but I love the sophistication of this palette and can’t wait to see the finished quilt. I have been planning a Many Trips Around the World quilt for months now and it’s on my FAL list. It’s been tough not jumping in on the Scrappy Trip Along happening on Flickr, especially since I have all the fabric cut. This gave me the chance to make a few blocks and experiment with how well an additional design element works out. Blocks have already started coming in and I’m excited to start assembling this one and thinking about with quilting ideas.

3 X 6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee

Hive 8 Sampler
This was my first quarter participating in this mini bee and I signed up for two spots. For my sampler blocks, I chose Jess Kelly’s Simply Woven block. I didn’t have many problems with it when I constructed my test block. But when I went to make them in my bee mates colors, I had a hard time keeping everything from going wonky.

3X6 Q4 Hive 8

I think it was a combination of not being quite square when I made my secondary cuts and having a hard time lining up seams. I’ve become good at nesting seams, but with this block your matching seams across the 2 1/2″ strip you add in each step. I always seemed to be a hair off one way or another. I have also been working on making sure I press, not iron. I think with a block like this with long, narrow strips, that’s especially important to avoid distortion. I hope my bee mates aren’t too disappointed with their blocks. I really enjoyed working with color scheme’s I wouldn’t normally choose. I’m not ready to give up on this block yet. Since I have Jelly Rolls of Simply Color and want to make the complete quilt featured at Moda Bake Shop, I’m going to be making more sample blocks. On a side note, Jess is one of my favorite new designers. Not only is her Simply Woven quilt one of my favorites from the past year, but I also love her first independently published pattern, Lucky Squares.

Hive 4 Paper-pieced
For my paper-pieced block I chose Tallahassee from Quilter’s Cache. This was my first try at paper-piecing since the 90’s. This block appears pretty simple and straightforward, four colors and a background. It’s not necessarily difficult to construct, but I underestimated how time consuming it would be. It may just be a few colors, but each color is made up of four blocks and each block is made up of five pieces of fabric. That’s 80 pieces and a whole lot of trimming!

3X6 Q4 Hive 4They aren’t perfect, but I really love how they all turned out. I certainly don’t regret choosing this block, but I’m going to get a much earlier start on my paper-pieced blocks for the 4 X 5 Modern Quilt Bee next month.

On Tap for Next Week

  1. Color Bee Shocked ~ The Modified Bento Box we’re making is going to be a nice change after all the paper-piecing I’ve done this week. Hopefully, they will be finished and out by this weekend.
  2. Lucky Star BOM ~ Practice Block and January Block
  3. Gen X BOM ~ January
  4. Aurifil BOM ~ January
  5. January’s A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal ~ I have both Giant Stars constructed, but am considering adding a border to one of them.
  6. Madrona Road MQG Challenge ~ Our guild didn’t get our fabric until the beginning of this month, so we’re extending the challenge through February. If possible I would like to get it done and a picture submitted to the Flickr group by the national deadline.

Linking up…

WIP Wednesday

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2013 ~ WIP List & FAL Q1

It’s time to take stock of my sewing projects. I had joined in on the last FAL of 2012, but didn’t get my finishes submitted in time. I am following Rhonda’s lead at Quilter in the Gap and made myself a handy chart to list my projects and track my progress. I had to do some digging to capture pictures of them all. Unfortunately I can’t figure out how to insert it in my post. It’s a good thing I made it none the less. It’s so easy to have a new idea and work on it through the initial steps. But I’m finding that if I set it aside to start on a new idea, it becomes harder to go back to, because the shine is off the penny. What seemed so fresh and exciting becomes lessened by the newer projects catching my fancy. It’s not only a matter of choosing to work exclusively from my current list, but also of not actively thinking about new projects or browsing new fabrics. It sounds counter-intuitive, given that I do this so I can explore my creativity, but it is also about engaging deeply with the process. I find that if I slow down, I work in more thoughtful ways and also get to enjoy the sense of completion. I am a new enough quilter that I’m still in love with all my ideas and projects. I want to keep working on them so my WIP’s don’t become UFO’s.

That doesn’t mean there will be nothing new for me in 2013. I find that Bees and BOM’s offer a great opportunity to spur on creativity. I am especially enjoying working in other people’s palettes and seeing color in new ways. I’ve found myself active in several, so I should have no problem finding monthly opportunities to try new things.

Monthly Bees & BOM’s
1. Empower at do.Good Stitches
2. Color Bee Shocked
3. 3 X 6 Bee – Currently finishing up rounds in paper-piecing and sampler hives
4. 4 X 5 Modern Quilt Bee – Currently starting a round in paper-piecing
5. Lucky Stars BOM – I will be making them in the same palette as my practice blocks
6. Gen X & Aurifil BOM‘s – I will be picking and choosing from both of these in Terrain from stash

Quilts In Process (FAL Q1 Eligible in Bold)
1. Hexie Charm – 650+ charms complete
DSC_04512. Grandmother’s Flower Garden – Approx. 75 flowers complete
DSC_04523. Terrain Stairway to Heaven – Ready to baste
DSC_08854. DS String – 24 blocks done, needs 6 more
DSC_04455. Cate’s Granny – 24 blocks done, needs layout decision
6. Ava’s Granny – 24 blocks done, needs layout decision
DSC_04487. Cate’s Weighted Blanket – Top pieced, back & binding done, needs inner portion
DSC_09938. Black HST – Ready to Trim
DSC_04579. Log Mansion – QAYG Blocks Complete, needs assembled
DSC_010810. Birds and the Bees Dream Weaver – Top Complete, Back ready to piece
DSC_009211. Madrona Road Giant Star with Charcoal – Star complete, needs borders
12. Madrona Road Giant Star with White – Star complete, ready to baste
These are also my January Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes
DSC_044213. DS Magic Numbers – Pieces cut
DSC_045914 Reunion at Grannies – Pieces cut
DSC_045615. Many Trips Around the World – Pieces cut
DSC_0458 (2)16. Girls I-Spy Patchwork – Pieces cut
DSC_045517. Flower Fairy’s in Megan’s Star – Ready to cut
18. Tradewinds Pinwheel – Ready to cut
19. Simply Color Woven – Ready to cut
20. d.GS Trips – 6 blocks in, waiting for remaining
DSC_044421. Practice Blocks and Lucky Star BOM – 6 blocks complete, need 18 more
DSC_044722. GenX & Aurifil BOM in Terrain – Ready to begin
23. Scrappy Swoon-Along (yellow & green) – Pieces in process of being cut
24. Scrappy Swoon-Along (aqua & orange) – Fabrics selected
25. Rosalie in Cuzco – Ready to cut
26. Shoeman’s Puzzle – Ready to cut

Small Projects (FAL Q1 Eligible in Bold)
1. Stairway to Heaven Pillow – Top complete, ready to quilt
DSC_09962. Joy Table Runner – 40 blocks complete, need 10 more
DSC_04533. Madrona Road MQG Challenge – In process
DSC_04434. Gabe’s Minky Blanket – In process
5. 3 Play Doll Blankets for Girls – Blocks complete, ready to be assembled
DSC_04545. Lego Mat – Ready to cut
6. Drawstring Bags – Ready to cut
7. Coin purses – Supplies assembled
8. Quilted Tote
9. Journal Covers
10. Pot Holders

I can’t believe I was able to find pictures for all but two. I’ll insert the others once I get them photographed!

Linking up to…
2013 FAL Q1 at She Can Quilt
Let’s Get Acquainted Monday Link-Up at Plum and June

First Finish 2013 ~ Josie’s Quilt

DSC_0414Last Spring I jumped into quilting and pieced a bed quilt for my daughter Josie. I selected 19 fat quarters from my LQS, threw in 5 Flea Market Fancy prints and based it on this stack and slash pattern. I learned a lot about fabric selection with this one. The directional ABC print gave me fits. It was a fat quarter, so when I flipped it so the letters would be in the right direction, I didn’t have enough fabric at the top. I ended up inserting one slice of the back fabric to make up for the lost chunk. This ended up being a happy accident, because that quirk is probably my favorite part of this quilt top. When purchasing that fabric I was focused on the letters and didn’t give much thought to the pictures interspersed with them. Since this quilt used relatively narrow strips, several of the people where cut in unfortunate ways. Luckily I had extra blocks, so the worst of those cuts migrated to the back.

DSC_0417 (2)I love that the pieced stripe on the back matched with the large print make this quilt reversible. My measurements were a little off, so I’m especially proud that the strip ended up relatively straight and centered when I was done quilting. Piecing the large print was a pain, but Josie loved this fabric, so it had to be done.

I waffled on the quilting for most of last year. With the wonky cuts, I had a hard time visualizing it quilted in anything other than a stiple. Josie was anxiously waiting for me to finish and it’s clear that I’m not going to learn to FMQ anytime soon, so I had to come up with another plan. After using the QAYG method for my Log Mansion and straight-line quilting a couple of patchwork quilts, I decided I was confident enough to try a random crosshatch. I didn’t initially plan on quilting it this densely, but more I added the better the organic lines looked

DSC_0423The binding was an easy decision. These orange and gold ombre dots are strong enough to stand out on the front and perfectly frame the back.

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Josie’s Quilt Stats:
Fabric: 24 Fat Quarters including Michael Miller Dick and Jane Collection and
Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy
Back: Dick and Jane Fun Park for Michael Miller
Binding: Jane Sassaman for Freespirit Fabrics
Finished Size: 60.5″ X 78″
Finished Date: January 2013

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Linking to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and
TGIFF! hosted by Diane of from Blank Pages

Final Finish 2012 ~ Christmas Patchwork

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I’m finally posting about my last finish from 2012. As soon as this one came out of the machine, it was put into service. It my be months before someone tall is home on a sunny day for good pictures, so I decided to enlist my four-year old assistants.

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There’s not much to tell. Straightforward patchwork plus 1/4″ quilting on either side of the seams equals soft, crinkly, flannel backed goodness.

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Quilt Stats:
Fabric: 4 sets Christmas charms from Flickr swap
Back: Greenhouse Basketweave in Green Flannel by Erin McNorris
Finished Size: 66″ X 76″
Finished Date: December 2012

Someone’s just thrilled she gets to stand on the table.DSC_0412 (2)