Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I've been a cutting fool!

Chipping away at my projects this week.

I finalized my plans for a Starry Seuss quilt and cut just about all of the fabric. I ran out of background fabric so I have about 26 more 4 1/2" squares left. That's completely minor in comparison to the 388 other squares I cut this weekend!!

Then to top it off I cut 112 charm squares last night from my Spoonflower fabric for the swap. Phew! I think I hear my rotary cutter screaming for a break.

I got one row done of my quilt top for the Charmed QAL. I had to add some borders on my feature blocks to get them to 5" which stalled my progress a bit. I'm planning to do some straight line quilting on the sashing which should sorta hide the borders. Not worried at all.

I finished knitting my Christmas sock for the baby, I just need to sew in the ends and then make some icord for the hanging loop. Should be done in time for St Nick's.

I've made no progress on my Thomas quilt or my Dead Simple Quilt. On hold for now.

Also, I joined a bee and ordered more fabric on Cyber Monday. I just couldn't resist sales or free shipping.

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Charmed WIP

Yep, Wednesday, my ol' buddy.

I actually got a lot done this week. This is my 3rd post of the week and I am going to post once more.

Piecing right along here on my Charmed Prints QAL. I already have this week's four feature blocks done.

Not too difficult, although I made a few mistakes sewing. Naturally, right? I'm still a beginner so I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. I noticed that the pinwheel blocks aren't quite 5" so I measured my others, yeah not quite all 5". What's up with that? My seam allowances look ok. Again, not worried, I figure if it's a little wonky at the end, so be it.

I made a trip to the fabric store to select border fabric, flange binding and binding fabric. I am going to use the tan gingham for borders and the tiny red gingham for the regular binding. Now that I know what flange binding is (it's really cute) I can't decide. Should I use the solid mustard or more gingham in yellow? I'd love your opinion!

I also started my star Dr Seuss quilt. I am testing out things and I already don't like the red dot star. I don't like how the white dots make the star points fade into the background fabric. Why go through all the trouble of making star points (not to mention wonky ones) and then not see your points? It's also taking me a while to get used to this method, it's the Stargazing block from the Modern Blocks book, so my points aren't quite aligned with the center piece. I will definitely remake this star with solid red for the points.

Isn't the little blue star cute? It's only about 3" big. The third star isn't done yet, it's going to be the Cat in the Hat and blue star points. I was planning on making the entire quilt in this 12 1/2" block (three stars each block), but now that I examined my fabric, I might make some larger stars too. Fussy cutting some of the centers won't do this really cute fabric justice. Does anyone have a good sawtooth star pattern they like? Or do you have a good reference for star blocks?

Thanks for your input! Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, November 21, 2011

Charmed Prints QAL

Well, it's off and running. I haven't selected all of my fabrics yet, but I'm not worried about winging it. For once! I really just need to select borders, binding and flange binding, which I think will be easier once the top is together anyway.

As usual, I had to make things harder on myself. My first block is this star with red gingham. Only thing is, this gingham is really sear-sucker, so it has some stretch to it. EEK! As you can see this star is a little wonky. I think it will be fine once I sew it to the borders.

Here is my second star, much easier with regular woven fabric. Phew.

Again, I used a little of that sear-sucker for this Greek-cross. It didn't turn our quite as wonky.

Lastly, this cross uses regular woven fabrics.

I love how they all look together too. Overall I am really happy with how the gingham looks.

On the other hand, I am regretting choosing that linen. It looks great but it's fraying A TON! Not good, not good at all. I thought since it was $10 a yard, which is a little pricey for JoAnns, it would be good quality. Not sure if it's just the nature of linen or if I really should have ordered some Essex Linen online. Any opinions out there?

I am linking up with the QAL.
Gen X Quilters

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Saturday Night

And I've had a full day of quilt work.

The guild had sew-day today and I was able to cut Peacock Lane into 160 tumblers, whew! Here are a couple of ones that I fussy-cut. That quilt is on hold for the time being. I did enjoy the Go Cutter, maybe I'll ask for the Baby Go for Christmas. We shall see.

I also had time tonight to work on the layout of my I-Spy charms which arrived on Thursday. The fabrics with the blue post-it's will be feature blocks. Of course it's all subject to change.

Here are the other fabrics I'm using:

I'm planning to use the gingham for the feature blocks. I will use the natural linen (on the bottom of the stack) for the sashing and other background fabric. The natural fabric with little green flowers could potentially be my backing fabric, not sure yet. I think I'll need a trip to the fabric store for borders and binding though. I'd like to get some colored linen. Hopefully I can get some blocks done for my Wednesday WIP post.

Also this week I had time to finish my tree pants. Just in time for the tree which will be going up on Friday. Now to finish knitting that St. Nick's sock for the baby...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP sorta

Hi There!

So it's been a weird week, I feel like I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked. In my defense, I did hours of yard work this weekend and I am waiting for fabric.

I had a great time with WIP last week. It was fun seeing all 145 entries, although I only commented on 50 myself.

I worked a bit on my Tree Pants, I still have 2 more corners to go. It was quite challenging to hand bind the circle cut-out for the trunk. In retrospect a square cut out would have been way easier.

As I mentioned, I am waiting for my I-Spy Japanese Fabric to come in from our swap. I almost tackle my postman every day! Then I shall get started on that QAL. Of course that requires a trip to the fabric shop for coordinating prints and some border/backing fabric. Bummer. Just kidding. I think I am going to use some linen, but not sure what the shop will have.

In the mean time...I am going to start cutting up this fabulous Peacock Lane fabric into tumblers. I borrowed a Go Cutter from a guild buddy to try it out. Super excited to make a tumbler quilt, a la Red Pepper Quilts style. Have I mentioned how much I love EVERY quilt she makes? I might even try to bind it in a stripe pattern like she does.

Another interesting thing happened this week. I read a blog post in which the author asked if anyone else was using Echo yet and I about stroked out! I had no idea it was available yet. Then I went searching and found it SOLD OUT at several shops. EEK! Next, I found it at Pink Chalk Fabrics, so I added the half yard bundle to my cart, went to check my stash to decide if I wanted half yards or fat quarters, came back and went to "check-out" and it was SOLD OUT! Yep, in the 10 minutes I dawdled with my decision, it was gone. I ended up buying all but one print at the Fat Quarter shop (in half yards) and bought the last print on Etsy. It happily arrived today and I have to say it's even more beautiful in person. I absolutely love it. Can't wait to cut into it.

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WIP Tree Pants

Hello there!

Wednesday's have become my perpetual due date lately. It really motivates me to make progress on my projects so I have something new to share with WIP at Freshly Pieced.

I teased you last week with my tree pants star. Well they are still a WIP but I made great strides. All I have left is to hand bind, super exciting! I love how these turned out and I feel so much more ahead of the game for the holidays.

A few words about these tree pants. As you can see, I made things a bit harder on myself by making each star with a different fabric (I used "Ready, Set, Snow"). It took a lot of thinking when it came to cutting and then piecing. The directions had cutting instructions for one fabric for the stars and then pieced it in rows for the little stars. I had to lay everything out in order to get it just right. I am very pleased with how I placed the stars. For the backing, I used the squares fabric that is in my center star.

I quilted it with a few straight lines in both directions and... a first for me! I whipped out my free motion foot and outlined the stars for additional quilting. I must admit it was HARD. Good ol' me, I chose to trace something first instead of just randomly wandering around. I think it will be MUCH easier to stipple than to trace. It's amazing just how much the foot moves when you drop the feed dogs! I totally got cramps in my hands and my shoulders hurt, not to mention I had to move super slow. I'm so glad I went for it though: firstly because with white thread on white fabric you can't see my mistakes real well and secondly because it's going to be on the floor so you again, won't notice my mistakes. I think I'm ready to do some meandering lines on my Thomas quilt, which is still ready for quilting.

With the scraps I am planning to make a matching table runner using a star pattern from "Modern Blocks." However, I am doing the Charmed Prints QAL, so that will come first.

As I anxiously await charms from the Japanese Fabric I-Spy Swap I participated in, I joined another I-Spy Swap with Spoonflower fabric. I have always wanted an excuse to order from Spoonflower, but with $16 a yard prices, I've been putting it off. I chose these two fabrics. My toddler will love these guitars and I just couldn't resist picking Lee's boots fabric.

Well, that's it for now, I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced. Wish me luck at winning her contest for fat quarters of Echo by Lotta Jansdotter. I have been oogling it since I first saw it months ago!!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I've decided to enter the Bloggers Quilt Festival with my Summer Sampler.

First of all, I absolutely love how this quilt turned out. I love the colors, the fabrics, all the different blocks, the binding and the pieced back.

But the main reason I chose this quilt is because it was my first quilt using bold colors outside of my comfort level. I believe it represents what modern quilting is all about. Bright colors, solid and print fabrics, yet with traditional quilting roots.

I also chose this quilt because I learned so much. I learned how to paper piece and I learned a couple of different HST techniques. I learned about balance by thoughtfully choosing prints and solids. Most importantly, I learned that there is this awesome world of online blogging friends to be had out there! I learned so much from them and gained so much inspiration. Certainly a valuable experience for me as a relatively new quilter.

WIP Wednesdays

I actually started a new project this week. Ironically, it's the Christmas Tree Pants from the Sew Mama Sew "No Excuses" Holiday Sew Along that ended on Monday. HA! But it will still be done before Christmas so I guess that's all that matters.

Here is one of the 7 large stars with a sneak peak of the other fabric I've chosen. It's from the "Ready, Set, Snow" Moda collection. I'm also using the polka dots. I loooove the fabric and I have plenty left over so I'm going to make a table runner or placemats or something! It's super cute.

I've also made great progress on the Thomas quilt, it's basted and ready for quilting, yay!

I joined my first swap last week too, very exciting. I am doing the I-Spy Japanese Fabrics Swap over at Gen X Quilters. You may have noticed that I'm also going to do the corresponding QAL. Very excited for that as well.

I have made no progress on my Dead Simple quilt, oh well. I guess I am losing some of my uptightness by having three quilts to work on at once. Very unusual for me, but I think it's going to be the norm for a while.

Still on tap:
BOM October block
Dr Seuss quilt
Tumbler quilt
Guild challenge quilt
Bee quilt

Here's the link-up! Gotta check out what others are doing.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced