Thursday, January 19, 2012

The First Finish of 2012 (well at least 1/2)

My mom and I worked together on this quilt for my nephew.  It's hard to believe he is almost a year old already.  And with a face like that who wouldn't want to make as many quilts as possible just to get in a little bit of extra snuggle time.

Finishes Max and Whisker's Quilt
It all started last year when Julie released a bunch of patterns designed to be used with the lazy angle rulers.  I knew I wanted to make one or two of these quilts.  I also knew I needed to find a good excuse to make something with the Max and Whiskers line because it was just so cute.  My mom and I went on a mini quilt shop hop last year around the same time and one of the stores we stopped at had the pattern, ruler, a jelly roll, and yardage of Max and Whiskers.  We ended up picking the Fast Forward pattern.

I started things off by sewing together the jelly roll strips and cutting out the blocks.  I did make a huge mistake when cutting the orange grunge fabric.  I left my fabric folded in half thinking I would be smart and cut two pieces at the same time.  Needless to say I ended up having to recut half of those pieces because they were all backwards.  It was completely my fault because after rereading the pattern Julie even mentions not to do this.

Close up of quilting and stars

Once the blocks were together the pieces and I went to visit my mom and at that point we sewed the rows together and laid them out.  It was at this point that we decided to skip the sashing between the rows which is what gave us these more defined stars.  And since we were making the lap size quilt for a small child size wasn't really a factor.  Once the quilt top was together my mom took it to her local long arm quilter who quilted the sweetest little paw prints on the quilt.  She says it was intentional but I love that the stars ended up with a great clear paw print in them.

Back of the quilt

For the back of the quilt my mom used a piece of yardage we picked up for the back and left over pieces from the front of the quilt.  I love that print on the back and I think it is one of my favorite from the entire line.  I loved working on this quilt with my mom and I would recommend Julie's patterns for anyone looking for a fun and quick project.  If speciality rulers aren't your thing she does include a template for the blocks.  But with a whole line of patterns designed for use with the rulers and a ton of other ideas on the internet it really is worth the investment.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

How is it already Wednesday again?  You would think that the three day weekend would have helped but the truth is I just feel that much more behind.  I did make some progress this week though.  I finished piecing my Loulouith Tiles Quilt.

This quilt has really been a lot harder than I expected.  I did a few things different from Rachel's suggested pattern.  I increased my size to a queen because I wanted it to be big enough for my bed.  Rachel suggested adding a row to the top and side but I found I actually needed to work them both in to the height to get to the queen size I wanted since the width was already there.  I worked in one of my extra rows in the middle and the other at the top.  So far I am happy with the way this one is coming together.  I just need to piece a small strip for the back and then this one will be off to the long arm.

I'm still not sure if I'll had some hand stitches in those picture frames or not.  Anyone have any thoughts on that?  I think it would look good but I picked up my backing fabric on sale and it even though it is from the same line the fabric does not appear in the front of the quilt and I'm not sure it would look good with the hand stitches.

My fabric came in for my Sunny Trails Quilt I just needed the white fabric still so I am picking that project back up to work on.  I don't think it will be much longer before that one is ready to go to the quilter as well.  Now for this one I do plan to have it quilted all over by the long arm and then I will go back in and add some hand stitches so it will be a nice combination of the two.  I like the idea of hand quilting but I'm a little afraid of it as well.  Quilts around my house take a lot of beating between washes and dogs so I need them to hold up and I'm just afraid a little hand quilting won't last.

Sorry for the iphone photo but my camera died.

Finally I am working on getting my center pieced for the Awesome Rawsome Round Robin Group.  It is a spin off of the Old Red Barn Quilt Along group and I am super excited about this project.  Since I'm not participating in any bees this year I wanted something to do with a small community of quilters and this seemed like a good idea.  As the top goes around my group each person will add a round.  I plan to add more to this before sending it off to the next person.  Think braid and mini weather vane blocks, hopefully I can pull it off.

Be sure to head over to Lee's to see what everyone else is up to this week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holy Quilt Along Batman!

So along with all the list, resolutions, and goals popping up all over the internet for 2012 there are also a ton of new quilt alongs to get those creative juices flowing.  Have you seen them?  Are you looking for something to do?  Do you need a fun project to jump start your 2012 sewing?  I'm not going to claim this to be a comprehensive list because I am sure I have missed some.  If you know of a quilt along I've left out please leave a link in the comments.  I always love to check them out when I can.

Jeni and Megan are hosting this fun little quilt along.  The first post on choosing fabrics went up today.  I am thinking this would be a great opportunity to make a child size quilt to complete the goal of making more quilts to donate.  I love the solid colors she used in the button but I am sure some fun prints would look equally as amazing.

Rachel is also currently hosting a quilt along.  Now this little ditty is more like a support group for scrap addicts.  The goal is to finish a quilt made from scraps by March.  It can even be a project you started a long time ago.  But of course their are tons of new ideas and inspiration over in the flickr pool as well.

This is a fun little quilt along I just happened to stumble across.  To be honest I'm not sure where I first saw it but I'm super excited about this one.  There was a mock up in Echo and Heath that was just amazing.  So I am pretty sold that I am going to order those fabrics to make this quilt for a dear friend for her 2012 Christmas/Birthday gift.  They are both in December and I figure that should give me plenty of time to finish this.  It's pretty massive at 80 by 80 but I've been told it is super easy and will go together quickly.

This quilt along being hosted by Shelia looks like a lot of fun.  In fact my mom and I have Zippity Doo Dah fabric we ordered to make 4th of July Picnic Quilts with but our original plan didn't turn out so I am thinking this quilt along might be the perfect plan for using those fabrics and actually getting our 4th of July Quilts done.  Maybe we can even finish them in time to use them this year.  We have a neighborhood picnic each year on the 4th of July and it's bring your own seating.

So there you have it four fun and exciting quilt alongs.  I'm sure there are many more out there these are just a few that I've seen popping up over the last little bit and thought I would share with you.  All of these pictures have links back to pages with more information as well so be sure to check them out.  And remember if you have more to share please just link them up in the comments.  I'd love to hear about them.

****Edited to add****
I don't know how I managed to forget this one in my list yesterday but Elizabeth is also hosting a Sparkle Punch Quilt Along.  I loved this quilt from the start I was contemplating how to make a quilt top based on this quilt but with a lot of negative space when she announced the quilt along.  I'm planning on using a gray and blue bundle I bought for another project that never happened to make this one in baby size for a friend who added her first little one in December.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

With all the craziness that has been going on here I haven't been doing as much sewing as I would like so I don't have a ton of things to share this week.  I am at a stopping point on my Sunny Trails Quilt because I have to order some Bella White but once I do that I plan on finishing up that quilt top pretty quickly.

In the mean time I started work on my Loulouthi Tiles Quilt.  This quilt so far has not been what I expected.  There were some hiccups with cutting followed by some frustration in layout but now that I have it all worked out and on a chart I am making steady progress on this one.  This quilt is a little different for me because it is put together in sections rather than in rows.  It's a fun challenge making sure you put the sections together in the right order and then that you connect them the right way.  Since I snapped this photo a few days ago I have completed another section.  But it's dark and rainy here so no updated photo.  Sorry for the bad iphone photo as well.  But that's all I had on hand when snapping the picture.

This one is going to be a massive queen size quilt for my bed.  Not sure yet about the quilting.  I do plan to do a little hand stitching around the large blocks as Rachel suggested but probably before I make my quilt sandwich and then I will probably have the rest of it quilted on the long arm.  Anyone have any experience with this?  Or thoughts?

Be sure to head on over to Lee's to see what everyone else is up to this week.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The List Part II

2011 Finished Quilts
So I've been thinking more about these quilty goals for 2012 and while 12 quilts seems like a lot I realized that my list did not include a lot of growth.  I'd really like this year to be as much about quality as it is about quantity so that means learning some new skills.  So I've been giving a lot of thought to what I want to learn in 2012 and what opportunities are out there that can help make that happen.
  1. So obviously the big one is Sewing Summit.  I'd love to attend but since it is in Salt Lake City again this year I'm not sure how reasonable that will be.  It is the weekend of my birthday but I already started pricing plane tickets and the cheapest I could find even this far in advance was 400 bucks round trip.  So the budget is probably going to rule that one out for me but I can always keep looking and who knows maybe it will work out.
  2. Learn to embroider.  I was planning on learning this is 2011 by following along with Corey and her birdie stitches quilt along but I never got started and ended up not following through on this one.  Maybe this year I will have better luck.
  3. Curves-I'd really like to learn to sew curves.  Rachel is gearing up for a curves class over at Stitched in Color and I am seriously considering joining in.  Right now though I am trying to weigh my options.  I'm not sure I would be able to keep up with a project a week and if I can't finish them then I won't know what I'm doing wrong or what questions I should be asking so it seems like it would be kind of silly.
  4. Paper Piecing-this one scares me a lot but I am determined that I need to learn this skill.  There are so many projects I have missed out on because I don't know how to do this.  So I need to learn for sure.  Besides there are some amazing blocks out there that can only be made through paper piecing.
  5. Quilt Along-I'd really like to cohost a quilt along this year.  I've been toying with some patterns but I'm not sure I have the time or the following to warrant hosting a quilt along.  I was lucky to participate in some great quilt alongs last year hosted by multiple bloggers and I am hoping I might get the chance to work on one myself this year.
  6. Tutorials-I'd like to share a few tutorials here.  I'm starting to dabble with creating some original blocks and patterns and I'd love to share them here.  Still working out in my own mind what's worth sharing and what someone might be interested in so there's that.  What would you like to see?

So what new skills do you want to learn in 2012?  What are you excited about out there?  Is there anything you just can't wait to participate in?  I'd love to hear them maybe it will encourage me to expand my list a little.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday

So the lovely Lee is once again hosting WIP Wednesday and I thought I'd better get started again so I could maintain some sort of schedule.  I don't have as much going on in my sewing room as I would like these days.  I know I'm never going to reach that goal of 12 quilts if I don't get busy but there has been a lot of adjustment going on here.  But that's a whole other story.

I am making progress on my Sunny Trails quilt.  I have 11 out of the 20 16 patches sewn together.  So that is pretty good progress there.  I imagine I will have the rest finished this week, although Wednesday did sneak up on me a lot faster than I expected it too.  Hopefully the rest of the week won't go by too quickly.

16 Patches Sewn Together

I've been spending a lot of time online searching for the perfect center square for a new project I'm doing this year.  Some of the members of the Old Red Barn Quilt Along Group have branched off and are doing round/row robins.  I am part of the group doing the round robin and I am super excited to try it out.  It's a lot like a bee I guess except we get to make whatever we want and at the end you have a finished quilt top and not just a bunch of squares.  I figured it would be a fun way to meet some new friends and get to know some other ones better.  I'm just having a really hard time deciding what parameters I want to set for my quilt top.

Stack of Farmer's Wife Blocks
Other than that I've been making a little progress on my Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Blocks.  The Quilt Along isn't starting back up until February but I needed to make a few blocks to get back on track with the group so I am sewing away on those.  More details on those blocks later.

Be Sure to head over to Lee's and link up your WIP's.  I always love seeing what everyone else is up too.