Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Challenge To Finish

It's that time of year again. Jacquie is hosting her annual spring challenge to finish and the fact that I am more than a week behind in telling you about it is indicative to the chaos in my life right now. The first step is to make a to do list of things you want to have finished by May 31st. They don't all have to be sewing related and you can count your finishes however you want. While the greatest reward of course is having finished projects it is also a great excuse to treat yourself to something special. Here is my list: (Is it cheating that I have things on my list I finished this past weekend? I don't think so since I made my list before then but I am just now getting to post about it.)1. Double Pinwheel Blocks

2. Mini Pinwheel Blocks

3. Week 8 Pinwheel Blocks

4. Week 7 Pinwheel Blocks

5. Assemble pinwheel quilt along top

6. March and April Spiderweb Bee Blocks

7. Paper piece Bee Block

8. Assemble my scrappy star quilt top (waiting on the last three blocks to arrive)

9. Catch up and stay current on hexagons

10. Assemble "bricks" quilt

11. April and May Fussy Cut Bee Blocks

12. April and May Bee Stitched Bee Blocks

13. May Circut Bee Block

14. Finish Quilting and Bind "Figgy Pudding Scramble"

15. Do a little Spring Cleaning and take some boxes to Goodwill

Pinwheels, Pinwheels, and More Pinwheels

Okay straight away I apologize for this being a very picture heavy post but I love pictures and I love pinwheels so I wanted to share with you all what I've been working on. I participated in Rachel's Pinwheel Quilt Along over the last several weeks and I am very pleased with the results so far. There is still a lot of work to do on this quilt but I love all of the blocks and the Hunky Dory fabric is a favorite for sure. I have to get some yardage of this before it gets hard to find.

All in all the quilt along was eight weeks on blocks with two blocks each week. Granted I fell a little behind but I am happy to report I have finished all of my blocks and even made some mini pinwheels because I loved that touch in Rachel's original quilt. I have to admit those little guys were tricky. Now I am trying to decided about sashing for this quilt.

My initial thought was to use the same solid yellow that I used in the blocks but I am running low and since I'm not sure what it was (it came out of my stash) I'm not sure I can get more of it.

Then I saw some other finished tops popping up over on flickr where they used a different solid for their sashing and it really made the blocks pop. So I am entertaining this idea. Which of course leads to another dilemma. Pink, yellow, green, blue, and tan all appear in the line and so far I think I have managed to maintain a balance with the colors so what in the world do I pick for my sashing? I was thinking about just using off white but that just sounds so bland to me. Any recommendations?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Double Pinwheels

As I mentioned before I spent a good part of the weekend trying to catch up on bee blocks. While I was at it I also managed to get these double pinwheel blocks done which aren't actually due until the end of May but I've had the fabric for a few weeks and thought they were for April. Well no harm in being a little bit ahead of the game with at least one block right.

Here's what I learned. I love the second block (the one on the left) I made because the dark as just a small part in the center really helps the eye focus on the double pinwheel. I'm not as thrilled about the first one. I think the dark as a larger part of the block takes away from the block a bit and the two pinks side by side looses a little bit of the impact. The cutting instructions on this one were a bit odd too in that they called for you to cut things at 3/8 and 1/4 and random places on the ruler I never use. I think if I had to do it over I would round up my measurements and then trim down the four squares before sewing the whole block together. I guess it is good I learned something because I am planning on making this block for my pinwheel quilt along quilt as well. I almost have the top done but more on that later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Little Circle Love

When Ruth first told us that for her month of the Bee Stitched Bee she wanted blocks that featured triangles and circles I immediately thought of this block because it features both. She sent along a great collection of fabrics from the timber and hope valley lines in blues and grays. With my new found love of gray I thought her selection was amazing to say the least. I completed one of the blocks right away and decided it would work well as my triangle block. Truthfully I think I still has pinwheels on the brain from the pinwheel quilt along.

Then I procrastinated and before you know it two of those blocks popped up in the flickr pool. Of course I wanted to be sure that Ruth had enough variety so I scrapped my plans to make that block. Then I freaked out a little. Man a circle block with no raw edged what am I going to do. Leanne suggested that I do a dresden plate but I wasn't to sure about those pointed tips. In the end I listened to my friend because I mean lets face it she makes some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. But I did forgot the points after seeing this, I thought it would be okay. Hopefully Ruth will love the blocks.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spiderweb Catch Up

I had gotten a little behind with my blocks for the Spiderweb Bee. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I spent the weekend catching up and these blocks will return to their rightful owners this week along with my fabrics for the May blocks. Up first Theresa sent along a brown solid for the middles of her blocks and asked for fall inspired fabrics. As I was trying to gather fabrics I realized that even though fall is my favorite season I had very little fall inspired fabrics. The best I could do were some scraps of Joel Dewberry from the quilt I made for my mother in law for Christmas. Luckily the last time I was home I spotted a small bag of strips my mom had left over from a project she was working on and I asked if I could take them. I think she was surprised since the fabrics weren't really something I would normally pick on my own but she was happy to turn them over. Thanks a million mom those strips really saved me on this one. Do you see any your recognize?

Next up Tracy sent along a really pretty very subtle marbled fabric for the middle of her blocks along with green and purple batiks. The lighter greens didn't photograph as well as I would have liked but they are very pretty in person. These blocks took me a bit by surprise because it was the first time I have ever worked with batiks. Not usually my cup of tea, but Tracy did a great job choosing because the finished product is very lovely. Almost enough to make me entertain the thought of introducing some of these fabrics into my own collection.

May is my month to send fabrics and while I know for sure I am sticking with my pink and orange color scheme the layout and center fabrics still have me stumped. My latest idea is to use "snip" for the centers. Of course it would be the pink scissors on the white background. What do you think? Too kooky?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I knew as soon as the post went up that the next round at the ORBC was going to be Hexagons that I was in. Julie posted the materials list and I immediately went about trying to find a matching Jelly Roll and Layer Cake. I didn't really have a plan for this quilt as far as if I would be giving it away or keeping it for myself so choosing the fabrics proved to be a little bit difficult. I like bright fabrics so originally I was drawn to something like Plume by Tula Pink. However, I also know I can't keep every quilt I make and so I thought maybe something more neutral would be the best. As I was searching I kept coming across Fresh Cottons. I really liked the line but it was hard to get a real feel for the colors on the computer. One of my good quilting buddies, Corey, took photos for me so I could see parts of the line in more detail. I guess I wasn't really paying attention because I didn't notice the flowers that were on the polka dot strips or that there were all those pastel versions of the colors as well.

So I ordered the line for my quilt. All in all it is okay but as I started trying to pair up my first five strip sets to make into hexagons it was very obvious which colors and patterns I liked and those I didn't. Immediately I tried to write off the stripes. I don't know what it is about stripes but I hate them. Okay hate is a pretty strong word so lets just say I'm not that fond of them. I remember when my mom and I were making those figgy pudding quilts and she told me she was going to use the stripe for her border I tried to convince her not to do it. And I tried to make sure she got all the blocks made with the stripes. Of course her quilt top looks great and the stripes worked out well, I just don't like stripes. Okay I digressed. In my first five sets I realized I had all pinks and yellows paired up and I had only used the bright pink none of the more pastel pinks. So I reshuffled my fabrics and picked again. Here's what I ended up with:

So much for trying to change it up. As you can see I ended up with pink, yellow, and browns. That last one there with the stripe and the mint green of course was my forced effort. Since Julie is going to show us 5 or 6 different block types I didn't want the last one to end up being made entirely out of stripes and pastels. Hopefully next week I will do a little better with my balance and it won't be so tricky.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

ORBC = Happy Mail Day

You may remember reading about all of my adventures with the United States postal service and a certain package that was bound for Marguerite back around the Christmas Holidays. Well the ladies over at the ORBC decided it was time for round two and chose a "may we always be friends" theme for the swap. My package came today and Molly, really outdid herself. Here's a look at the box just because I got a giggle out of it.

Inside were all kinds of goodies. Molly even sent along some special treats for Rusty and Ali. I don't talk a lot about the dogs here so I don't know how Molly knew I was a bit of a snob about their treats but she pegged me right. I assume it is because she takes such good care of her own "assistant." Early on my husband was a bit fanatical about what the dogs ate and we decided then not to give them things like raw hide and beggin strips. Sorry I know a lot of people give these treats to their pets we just decided it wasn't for us. I had never seen the treats Molly sent along but the dogs loved them and I can pronounce all of the ingredients so I was happy as well.

Molly pegged me as a toffee fan which by the way is my favorite. And would you check out those super cute coasters she made from the new frolic line. And yes, I see you over there drooling over that jolly pack of Wonderland but this ones mine. And just because I can't let you think I got all the good stuff, here is a sneak peak at what is on it's way to my partner. A little Anna Marie Horner, Tina Givens, and even some Heather Bailey.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lesly's Flower Garden

In March for my Modern Tradition Bee Lesly sent along a lovely linen and fabrics in two colors. She asked for monochromatic blocks using grandma's flower garden. Lucky for me I got pink and orange as my two colors. Not sure if Lesly knew those were my favorite colors and that I have been collecting fabrics for an orange and pink quilt or not but it made pulling in some of my own really easy. I had a lot of fun with these blocks. At first I was really intimidated because Lesly did such a great job on her example blocks. I wasn't sure what I could do to make mine different.

Amazing right, so how do you really change that up? Well there are some really creative girls in my group and they did amazing things with this block. Here's what I learned in making these blocks. Linen is a bit more slippery then my quilting cotton. It took some getting use to to make sure the seams were nice and straight. Ironing required a lot of patience, I'm not sure I really ever got all of the wrinkles out of my blocks. See I like steam and a lot of it, I don't iron (one chore I have made the hubs do since we got married) but I'm pretty sure somewhere along the way my mom taught me steam and linen are not a good match so I kept the iron on super low.

Looks like there is a huge difference in Lesly's snowy backdrop up there in Canada and the nice spring green grass here in Virginia.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pinwheels for a Cause

Recently as I was browsing through blogland one of the blogs I read had a link to a project that Kathy and Amber are working on. Together they are making quilts to donate to the children of a local children's hospital. They asked for pinwheel blocks so that they would all match and could easily be sewn into quilts for these children. You can read about the inspiration for this project here. I recently asked my friends on flickr to help me out by making No no arm bands to send on a mission with the nonprofit that I work for and once again I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my online friends. So when I saw this project I new I needed to make a couple of blocks. So I whipped up two blocks in pink for a little girls quilt and two more in green for a boys quilt. I am mailing them off to Amber in the morning and I hope they will make it into a quilt for a couple of very special kids.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not Sure It's Love

I made a sample block with the changes I had made to the All Hallows Eve Block pattern and the fabric that I had selected for the block. My plan was to get all of the fabrics cut and mailed by Saturday. But now after making this block I'm just not sure I LOVE it. I'm not committed.

I have been hoarding this fabric since October when I bought it as a treat for myself. I justified finally using it because Camilla has another line coming out soon that I already know I am going to love. What do you guys think? Do you like this block or hate it? Should I try something else? I have to figure it out pretty quick so I can get my fabrics out to my bee members but I just don't know if this is the right one. I'm not sure it has the "it" factor.