Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 5

After playing catchup over the weekend I am now on track with the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along.  The goal is to finish 2 blocks a week for the next year.  I think that goal is pretty do-able since these little blocks don't take too much time to make and are actually a bit addictive.  So this week I made blocks 84, 16, 10 and 92.  These four blocks make me even with the quilt along.  I haven't really been going in any sort of order with these blocks.  Just whatever I feel like making that day or what I already have the templates or measurements figured out for.  Here is a closer look at these two blocks.

Block # 84 Spool

Block # 92 Streak of Lightning

I think I will take after Elizabeth over at Don't Call Me Betsy and try to post about these blocks every Tuesday.  That is if I can have them done each week by Tuesday.  And yes I know this is really my week 5 but I figured since that is where the group is at that I would get caught up and then just pick up with everyone else.

Block # 16 Calico Puzzle and Block # 10 Bowtie

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Farmer's Wife

I caved!  I was trying to avoid new projects because I just have so darn many that I need to finish up.  But I may or may not have sent my mom an email while she was in Texas telling her about this quilt along and that I thought we should make this quilt.  I was surprised when I saw her Friday night and she brought me this book.  So Saturday when I got tired of hand sewing down binding (I can't wait to show you guys a finished quilt in a few days) I was chatting through email with my good friend Leanne and we started talking about this quilt along.  I had planned to make these blocks scrappy because I'm not allowed to buy any fabric right now.  I couldn't decided what to do.  L had a great idea of making the quilt out of solids but I looked around and well I just don't have many solids.  Truthfully I don't have much of a stash at all I tend to only buy what I need for a specific project unless it's something I just love and happen to find on sale.  Out of all of the lovely photos in the flickr group I kept coming back to one person's in particular.  Of course being the fabric designer of the line and having access to fabric that doesn't come out until October helps.  I pondered what I wanted to do while I sewed up bee blocks for Do.Good Stitches.  This is the only bee I am currently participating in and since it only requires sending finished blocks and not the back and forth of fabric I think it will be a good one.  Besides the quilts are all donated to charity and that makes it even more gratifying.  If your not already a member be sure to check it out.

Finally I realized what it was about Camille's blocks that I liked so much.  All of the fabrics blend really well together and they are in softer tones which means the fabric isn't fighting with the block to see who is in control.  I had a jelly roll and layer cake of Fresh Cottons that I had originally purchased to use for a hexagon quilt along over at the Old Red Barn Quilts group.  Since I had only gotten a few pieces in and figured I would probably not get back to it anytime soon and I have my little hexagons going I thought it would be okay to cut that project from the list and use the fabric for the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along.  And I must say I am pretty happy with the results.  While these fabrics are not as bright as the ones I usually use I think their softness is the perfect blend of modern/traditional fabric.  I think that is exactly what I needed to make this very traditional quilt in a more me style.  I'm excited to keep going but I have to admit that these blocks are very addictive.  I was able to catch up to the group in just one evening of sewing.  Here is a more detailed look at my first 6 blocks.

Block # 1 Attic Windows
Block # 2 Autumn Tints
Block # 4 Basket Weave
Block # 6 Big Dipper
Block # 9 Box
Block # 11 Broken Dishes
I found that the blocks are relatively easy to piece.  I have used a combination of both the templates and using my math skills.  For example in block number 6 the Big Dipper I used the templates from the CD in the back of the book.  But on block 11 Broken Dishes I used my regular method of constructing half square triangles instead of the templates.  I knew that using the templates would mean sewing all of those little triangles together on the bias and I tend to tug and pull on my fabric a little bit especially when using small pieces so I felt this was a safer way to go.  I'm happy with the way it looks and I don't feel that my points are off in the block so I think overall it was a success.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Goodie Bag Swap

My partner has finally received the package I sent along for the goodie bag swap so now I can share a little more about it.  I was starting to get really nervous about this since I mailed it back on June 1st.  I understand it had to fly half way around the world but waiting is not something I necessarily do well.

You may recall this picture of the back that I showed you before.  I used this tutorial to make up the bag.  Only making a few small changes.  Mostly because I think I did the corners wrong and ended up with something different.  But I like the way the corners made the bag less square.

Inside of the bag. 
I also made my partner a little case for her glasses.  I have to admit that I way underestimated the amount of time this one was going to take.  Sewing all of those little hexagons together.  I also had a bit of a hard time with the lining.  The seam wanted to keep popping open so I hope it is still together now that my partner has it.  I think sewing through the hexagons, interface, batting, and lining was just a little difficult for Bertha.  I added the layer of batting for a little extra protection since my partner mentioned this was going to be for her glasses and not sunglasses.  I used this tutorial for the case and matching fabrics from the bag.  The inside of the case is different it is a cute little love bird print just for fun.

I'm so glad that my partner has received it and is happy with the package I put together for her.  I was a little worries as always that she would receive it and hate it so there is always some sense of relief when you know they like what you have made.

The package I sent my partner.  Bag, eyeglass case, fabric scraps, and a Liberty of London journal.

Package I received.  Bag, zipper pouch, journal, notepads, and gummy candy.
Here's another look at the goddies I received in this swap.  I really love my bag too.  And it made the trip with me to Milwaukee and the zipper pouch was great to make sure I didn't loose any of the receipts I needed to keep and turn in for my expense report.  Being out of town means not much sewing has been taking place here but hopefully I'll have some fun things to show you all soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

 Yup I love that song.  But it's true tomorrow morning I head of to Milwaukee for the GFWC convention where I will be representing the nonprofit that I work for by day.  (General Federation of Woman's Clubs, I know you'll ask because despite attending at least one Juniorettes meeting in High School I had no clue until last year either.)  But I couldn't leave you all with out some eye candy (especially since I won't be back until at least Tuesday of next week).

I received a great little package in the mail this week.  My bag from the goodie bag swap came from Corrie and I love it.  She nailed it.  Let's see I told her I liked pink and orange and needed a bag with plenty of room because I often carry not only my own stuff but my husbands medical supplies as well.  This is what she came up with.  Isn't it the sweetest.

She even nailed me on the sweet little extras because she sent gummy candy (which I love) a little zippered pouch and a journal book.  Which by the way I've been wanting to pick up to keep grocery list and coupon match ups in since I have become so concerned obsessed with keeping tabs on lately.  The only required "extras" for this swap was a sandwich size baggie of fabric scraps.  Sorry they didn't make it in the picture because I already started using them...

I made my first block for the Japanese + & x quilt along.  It's made all from scraps and at first I thought I hated it but then it grew on me a little.  Now I think I kind of like it.  Maybe I do like it.  I trimmed mine down a little small by accident.  I thought it strange I had so much room on the sides but oh well it was really a practice block anyway.  I might trim them all down to this size though or I might just start over.  I am finding myself wishing I had some fabrics with words on them.  The blocks with words in the flickr group are just so appealing to me.  Honestly I don't think I own a stitch of Japanese fabric so maybe that's what is missing.

Hope you all have a great weekend and I'll see you when I get back from Milwaukee!  If you know of great quilt stores or restaurants there leave me a comment and tell me about them.  I'll have some time in the evenings and I'd love to check it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WIP Wednesday #5

I haven't been doing a whole lot of sewing since I am trying to get prepared to go to the GFWC Convention with work next weekend.  Lots of time spent doing stuff around the house and trying to make sure I have everything I need to go.  If anyone has suggestions of things to see and do in Milwaukee (or where some good quilt stores are hiding) please let me know.  I'll be there for four days this time and I'm hoping to get the chance to see some sights.

What I have been working:

I quilted about a third of my Spring Weekends quilt before running out of thread.  I always underestimate how much it will take.  I went with the all over loopy pattern again and I was really surprised by how much easier it has been the second time around.  Not as many problems with the flow of the quilting.  I did take your advice and go with a pale yellow for the quilting.  It is subtle but I like that it's something different from the typical white.

I'm still working on this robe for my coworker.  Hope to finish it up today as a matter of fact.  It just needs buttons and the bias tape at this point.  So I have been making a little progress.  She asked me to make a second one for her son but I declined.  See sometimes I can say no.  Bertha didn't really enjoy the first one and it dulled my rotary blade really bad cutting the towel.  Not to mention there is still pink fuzz flying all over my sewing room.

I'm slowly turning the pile from this post, into a quilt.  It's slow going especially since I cut a bunch of pieces wrong the first time.  More on that later.  As I plan to write up my thoughts about the quilt and pattern a little later.  Probably once the top is finished.

I decided to use this lovely stack of fabric for Elizabeth's Quilt Along.  Although I am still trying to make a decision about which solid to use.  And then again I'm still eyeing my collecting of Garden Party and wondering if it might be a better choice.  What do you thing?

Head on over to see what everyone else is working on.

Oh and with a little help from this tutorial I spruced up the blog a little bit.  Head on over and check it out.  It was a lot of fun and now I'm looking forward to changing it up more often.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Looking for Something To Do?

Even though I have a ton of things on my sewing room table right now and about a million more on my list of things I need want to do, there are some amazing projects popping up all over blogland right now so I thought I would share some of them with you just in case you haven't seen them yet.  I'm still entertaining which of these projects I'll be participating in and which ones I'll be adding to my ever growing list of projects I just have to try.

Elizabeth over at Don't Call Me Betsy (one of my favorite new to me blogs) is hosting a Kaleidoscope Quilt Along.  The button she created based on the color palette for Prince Charming has me drooling.  You all know I am a huge fan of Tula Pink anyway and these colors just make me happy.  She's worked out some discount deals on fabric so I am entertaining the thought of picking some of this fabric up but the logical part of me that wants to take a vacation in August for my upcoming anniversary is suggesting this might be a good time to use something I already have.  Maybe Garden Party with white would look nice.  Or perhaps this would be a good time to break out my High Society with a nice warm color for the perfect fall quilt for my living room.  After all it will probably take me that long to finish.

If you like traditional quilts Angela and Amanda have teamed up to host a quilt along based on the Farmer's Wife book.  I love how Angela has taken the approach of making these traditional blocks in fabrics from some of today's hottest designers.  The blocks look amazing and I am excited to see how this one progresses.

Angela is going to be starting up A Zig A Zag Quilt Along.  There aren't a lot of details on this one yet but it looks like fun.  I like how the zig zag is more elongated than what you typically see and I'm interested to see how she will do this.  I am really digging the mock up in two solids and I'm thinking a blue and gray color combo would be nice.  Maybe ash with a mix of blue prints.  Maybe different colors altogether.  This one is on my maybe list and I'll have to see where I am when more details are released.

Last but not least I wanted to mention the Japanese + and X Quilt Along.  This one is really a great scrap busting project as all of the pieces are fairly small and you don't need a lot of each fabric.  I am planning to do this one but at a relatively slow rate.  More or less as an in between projects kind of thing.  So on nights where I want to sew but don't have a lot of time I can complete a block here and there.  Check out the flickr page here and take a look at all of the blocks that have already been finished.  They are amazing!  I do think fussy cutting lends a lot to these blocks so it might be slow going for me for a while.