Monday, September 27, 2010

The Part I Hate

So I love quilting... Okay let's back up a moment. Until recently I loved piecing quilt tops. Now that I have a finish under my belt I feel a little better about saying I love quilting. But what I don't enjoy so much is cutting. I just don't feel this sense of satisfaction that I hear some of my bloggy friends talk about when cutting into a stack of beautiful fabrics. Lucky for me my dad is an expert cutter. See he has the whole system down with duel cutting mats, homemade rulers, a straight edge and the whole bit. My mom is patient and holds the rulers and when I can't reach even cuts for me. So taking advantage of their help while also getting to visit and have a home cooked meal just makes for an all around great day. I have a lot of quilts that I want to be working on but I've been putting off for a while because well I just didn't want to cut them out.

As soon as I saw this quilt I knew I had to have one of my own. About that same time Joel Dewberry was releasing Modern Meadow so I ordered a fat quarter bundled in the Pond colorway from Hawthorne Threads along with one orange print for that extra pop of color. I decided to use the same gray Kona that I have used for a few other projects as the "grout" or space in between the postcards. So those "postcards" all got cut on Saturday and now I am once again excited to put this quilt together.

Remember Amanda Jean's quilt a long? Yes I know she is already done and I am just getting started. I had sewn together the strips of Freshcuts (Thanks again L!) and a jelly roll of Snow. But then it was time to sub cut all of those strips into those little pieces. So slowly I had been doing a few here and a few there but not really getting very far. And those strips to go inbetween, well forget about it. Lucky for me my dad is a math whiz. He made a plan and the strips were cut. In between laundry, dishes, and the general house cleaning chores on Sunday I managed to make a little progress on this quilt. This is what my Freshcut Square Dance looks like to date. And yes I just made up that name but I like it so I think it's going to stick. I see now what everyone meant about this one being a little tricky. All of those pieces sewn together tend to get a little wonky but I found that a little best press and a hot dry iron works really well for me.

Last but not least I managed to get most of my pieces cut for a Blueberry Chocolate Squares quilt. I am making mine a little larger and actually don't want to end up with triplets of any prints so I am going to need to pick up 2 fat quarters of pure to cut the last few pieces. But there is plenty of work to do on that quilt in the mean time. All of those half square triangles are just sitting there ready to be put together. That one is a Christmas present so there is a hard deadline. Unlike last year I have no intentions of sewing binding on a quilt on Christmas Eve. Okay well I'm not ruling it out completely but I would prefer it to be one I am working on just for fun and not one that needs to be wrapped and under the tree before the next morning. How about you, is there any part of the quilting process you just wish someone else would do for you?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Sproutz Store

Okay all my little fabric junkies I want to tell you about a new fabric store. Laura over at The Sproutz Store on etsy has a fantastic shop. I try not to review stores on my blog because service is one of those things that is very objective. But with more and more talk out there of bad service, patterns and designs being ripped off, and just all around fear of a bad deal by my fellow fabric friends when I stumbled upon this delightful shop I thought it only fair to share the good with you as well. I was lucky enough to find Laura's store because I wanted to make the Blueberry Chocolate Squares quilt recently featured on Moda Bake Shop. Yes there were kits available through another store but I knew I want to make my quilt a little bit longer since it is going to be a Christmas gift for the hubby's dad and girlfriend (the dad's girlfriend, not the hubbies). Well the store featuring the quilt kit did not have the binding fabric available by the yard so off I went in search of an economical way to put this thing together without sacrificing style. I found that Laura had what I was looking for. I quickly sent her a convo to see if I would be able to get additional yardage and she was quick to respond. She set up a custom listing for me and then added to it when I realized I needed two yards of another print as well. The product was shipped quickly and I had it in just 3 days. Which makes a big difference especially if you are in a time crunch like I usually find myself. When the fabrics arrived they were all wrapped beautifully and the cuts were clean and accurate. I would order from Laura again in a heartbeat and while I debated putting in a large order before sharing my new love of her store with you I decided to go ahead and share. Head on over and check her out but be aware before you do she has some great bundles of some fabrics that are getting harder to find so if you are on a fabric diet or budget just remember I warned you. Be sure and tell Laura I said hi and that you are popping over from my blog. I know she will be glad to see you and help you with whatever she can.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pincushion Winner(s)

Well I decided that I would pull two winners and they would each get a pincushion because really I do appreciate you guys reading my blog and sharing your thoughts with me. I couldn't figure out how to put the screen shot of the random number generator on here so here are the winners. First was number 7 which is Dorrie & the second winner is number 12 who is craftytammie. Ladies I have sent you emails for your details. And of course for the rest of you, if I don't hear back from one of these ladies within the next 24 hours I'll be drawing another name. So stay tuned because the last time I did a giveaway I ended up with a do over.

It's Not to Late

Originally uploaded by gretters_h
Just a quick reminder that it's not to late to enter the giveaway. I'll be closing the comments tonight about 6:30 EST. This pincushion is on its way to my Modern Swappers Partner but one similar along with a few other goodies could be yours. Just leave a comment to enter on this post by 6:30 tonight.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Figgy Pudding Scramble

Figgy Pudding Scramble might not be the most creative name ever but it works for me. Baby steps you guys. Okay so let me tell you a little bit about this quilt. Two years ago I bought a quilt kit at the first quilt show I went to and terrified I would mess it up somehow I waited over a year to make that quilt top (I say top because as you already know it hasn't been basted, quilted, or finished) and of course I did make a cutting error but it was recoverable. The pattern was called enigma and it came from this store. After I put that top together I realized that the pieces could easily be cut from a jelly roll and a little more than a charm pack because I wanted to add another roll. So I quickly schemed a plan. I convinced my mom that we could order a jelly roll and 3 charm packs and that we could make matching quilts. So the journey began, we picked our fabrics and we were off.

One rainy afternoon we sat in the car outside of Sam's Club I think and went through the jelly roll and picked our 1/2 of the fabrics. One for me and one for you style. I tried to keep a good blend but my mom just wasn't feeling the blue but she was big on the red. In the end she ended up with more red and was able to make a pretty nifty red square in the middle of her quilt hence the name "Red Square Envy" okay so that name is a little more creative. We picked different fabrics for our boarders and it made a big difference in the overall appearance of the quilts. So I love this quilt because it is the a quilt that I got to make with my mom. We spent a whole day sewing them together and competing to see who could get the next row on first. It was a lot of fun.

The one in front is my moms. Don't you just love the red
square in the middle and then the red in each corner.

I love this quilt because it is the first quilt I quilted myself. I took my inspiration from Jacquie and her fractured quilting technique. I thought it was just the right look of whimsy for this very structured quilt. Do you think its structured? I think the look of all straight lines, even though the blocks are arranged randomly give it structure. Of course I decided to use a bright red thread for the quilting as well. Now before you think I am completely crazy it is close to the same color as the backing and well it is a Christmas quilt and red is very festive. For those of you who told me the washing and drying process would hide my imperfections you were right in so many ways. While it isn't perfect I am very glad I stuck to my idea not to pull out the seam ripper. The quilting isn't overly heavy so the quilt is still nice and cuddly and well I love this quilt. Now that the first one is done, on to the next.

Close up of the quilting and one of my favorite
blocks in the quilt. I love those trees!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Phony No More

Okay hear me out on this one. You know when you are getting to know people and they ask what you like to do for fun or what your hobby is. Well I always say I really like to quilt. But the other day I got to thinking (dangerous I know). Humm, can you call yourself a quilter if you've never actually quilted anything? Okay well I landed on yes because there are a lot of amazing people out there who design beautiful quilts but always send them to the long arm quilter. But on that same note there are a lot of people who stick strictly to patterns but quilt them all themselves. I think both groups and all of those in the middle are considered quilters and I am happy to put myself in that category of the somewhere in the middle. So while all of these thoughts were running around in my head a few well timed post by fellow bloggers really got me to thinking. First up I read Molly's post, you can find it here, about fall cleaning. Brilliant I tell you and what a great point she makes. So as I was cleaning up a corner of my sewing space I came across this quilt. Maybe came across is the wrong choice of words. I knew it was there basted and ready to go, just waiting. Some of you may remember her from last year, no I don't always refer to my quilts as male or female but this one just seems like a she to me. Just go with it, you can call the white coats later. Also this week I saw this post by . Let me sidebar here by saying I love Jacquie and she is an amazing inspiration. Her blog is one of the first I found when I started exploring the world of quilt blogs and she has provided countless inspiration. All of that said to say this. I finished a quilt. I'm super excited about it because it's not just any quilt, it's my first quilt. Okay well I've made quilts before but this is the first quilt that I pieced, quilted, and binded all by myself. The quilting isn't perfect and I had a deep discussion with myself about using the seam ripper on her but in the end decided that while the imperfections make me a little unhappy now they also tell a story and one day I will be happy to have that quilt with those imperfections. The quilt is in the washer now so you'll have to wait until tomorrow when I can take pictures for a full reveal and the rest of the story but here is a sneak peak.

PS-I'm a little star struck right now because Moda Lissa came by my blog and left some comment love for me. So I'm going to bask in my happiness. She you all later.

PSS-If you are looking for my giveaway post you can find it here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hexagon Madness

So this is what 883 basted hexagons look like in a pile. I realize it has been a while since I gave a hexagon update and I thought I would let you all know I am still plugging away with them. If you look over there on the left you will see the few scraps of Flea Market Fancy I have managed to wrangle. My goal is to try and have the entire line in this quilt before it is all said and done. So I've been keeping my eyes open on ebay and etsy for scrap packs that won't break the bank and I've managed to make a few well timed swaps for some that I was missing. I don't think I will ever be one to have slowly collected the entire line but I would like to see it happen in this one quilt. Most of these hexagons are made up from charm packs that I have swap and scraps that different online friends have traded with me. The good thing about doing this at the same time as so many of my friends is we all have the same question, how can I manage to get over 2000 fabrics that I only need a 2.5 inch square of without breaking the bank. I did find 3 duplicates today when I was counting these and with so many swaps it is getting a little harder to keep track but I think I've done pretty good so far. Still no plans for how I am going to sew them all together. I'm thinking I might just dump them in a big box and whichever one I pull out will be the one to go on next. With the exception of the super cute ones that Cory made for me. I know I want to do something special with those so they are a feature. I just haven't figure it out yet.

Friday, September 3, 2010

How About A Giveaway?

Well ladies, it's been a long time since I had a giveaway here in blog land. I am reminded all the time how lucky I am to have made so many wonderful friends over the last year through my quilting bees and swaps. I had so much positive feedback on flickr over the pincushion that I made for my Modern Swappers package that I decided to make another one. You can check out the one I made before in the post below. It will be the same style but may use different fabrics. No hoops to jump through here, just leave a little comment love letting me know what you like, don't like, or would like to see here on the blog. INTERNATIONAL PEEPS ARE WELCOME! (That's for you Lesly!) I'll leave the comments open until next Friday September 10th around 6:30 EST when I get home from work so that I can get it in the post next Saturday. Hope you all have a great weekend.