Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's hard to believe that it is already Wednesday again already.  I made some great progress on a few things this week.  I finished up the baby quilt top that I was working on thanks to some unexpected time on Friday afternoon.

Then I decided that I was going to start knocking some of those WIP's off my list.  I looked through my pile and decided that it was about time I finish up my Sunny Trails quilt.  I started this quilt back in January of 2012 and after sewing up 15 of the 20 required 16 patch squares I stalled.  Maybe because cutting fabric is my least favorite part of the process.  However, when I looked at my stacks of half finished projects I thought it was about time I finished this one up.  I quickly sewed up the 5 remaining  16 patch blocks.

After that it was simple enough to cut the strips from the solids and after a night of TV watching I had the lines drawn on the backs of the solid yellow and gray squares.  Now that I have all of the smaller parts done it is just a matter of getting the blocks sewn together.

I managed to make just one of these blocks this week which turned out to be a blessing.  I have really paid attention to making sure that the text prints are all running the same way.  The instructions call for making 20 blocks and then laying them out in a 4 by 5 layout.  But as I was looking at the layout again last night after finishing the first block I realized that every other block is turned.  So I need to adjust the position of the text in those blocks to account for that.  It makes a ton of sense but had I just made all 20 of my blocks before laying them out as I had planned to do I would have had text going all sorts of crazy ways.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Snow Day Sewing

I live on the Southeast tip of Virginia and it rarely snows here.  Of course that means we have no equipment to deal with such events.  That's bad news if you need to go somewhere but great news if you have a super nice boss who closes the office early and lets you go home.  So Friday I got to go home at 1 pm and while I was cozy in my sewing room I was reading on Facebook about all my friends stuck in traffic for 2-3 hours to make their less than 10 mile commute.  I was so thankful not to be one of those people.  Hard to believe that  it will be almost 70 by midweek.  Even better, the gift of time that I would not normally have meant I was able to get some sewing done on the baby quilt.

This quilt top actually went together pretty quickly.  I ended up making just a few 4 patches in place of some of those larger squares.  I originally sewed some two patches to replace the rectangles but it just didn't look right.  The bright colors of my solids seemed to overwhelm the quilt so I reduced the number of large squares in solid and added in a few more tree prints.  Overall I am happy with the look and think the multiple shades of pink leave no doubt that this is a quilt for a baby girl while the bright colors still make it more my style.  Hopefully mu aunt will be happy with it and my cousin will love using it for her little girl.

PS-Does anyone happen to know what the heart fabric is?  I received it on a swap and didn't have the selvage with the name and designer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Twisted Fandango

I have my first finished quilt for 2013 and it feels good to have a finish under my belt.  I set some pretty lofty goals last year of making 12 quilts in 2012 and then life got in the way and I only managed to finish up 5 quilts.  So having a finish this early in the year has me doing a little jig.

I started Twisted Fandango way back in February 2011.  Wow that's even longer than I thought.  You can read earlier post about the quilt here, here, here, and here.  After I got the main part of the quilt together I really stalled with the borders.  I couldn't make the little pin wheels work out the way I wanted them to look and then nothing seemed to fit just right.  Then when one of my good friends announced she was moving I really wanted to send her off with a quilt.  I knew I didn't have time to start something from scratch and I knew she would like the colors in the Twisted Fandango quilt so out of the closet it came.  Needless to say she moved a while ago and I didn't get this quilt done in time to give it to her.  I am debating sending it to her now but there are a lot of things about this quilt I'm just not sure about now.

I started this quilt when I was a fairly new quilter.  I was still learning.  I rarely used more than one fabric line in a quilt unless I was going for a scrappy quilt.  So while I think this quilt is pretty and I love the fabric line as much now as I did back then there are some things I would do differently if I was making this quilt today.  I'm not a huge fan of the white in this quilt.  I'm pretty sure its just your basic Kona White although it feels a little stiff so I'm not sure now that it's actually Kona.  I'm thinking it might be the Joanne's brand of Kona.  Same name much different quality of fabric.  I'm also not a huge fan of the borders.  I thought when I was making them that adding in some of the charm squares I had left would give it a little something but now it just looks like an afterthought to me.  It's also a little small to me, I think it measures roughly 65 by 65.  I like my quilts to be nice and big for snuggling on the couch.  They have to be able to cover my shoulders and toes at the same time.  This one is a little small for that.  What do you think, is that a deal breaker?  I know not everyone likes blankets to cover that much and that some people prefer lap blankets that just cover their lap and feet.

The back, oh the back of this quilt is perhaps my favorite part of the whole quilt.  I love the little line of baby twisters marching down the back off centered.  And the fabric that makes up the rest of the back and the binding is one of my favorites from this line.

 I know my friend and I know she would appreciate the thought and love that goes into every quilt and that she would love this little quilt despite what I see as flaws.  So tell me, what do you think?  I know that sometimes I am my own worse critic.  Quilting is like everything else, the more you make the more you learn and the more you improve.  So would you share a quilt with someone you love despite its flaws or would you start over?  And if you start over with your skill set being what it is now in 5 years will you regret giving a quilt you made 5 years ago?

And since I finally have a finish to show on a Friday I am linking up with Amanda's Finish It Up Friday.  I have no crazy thoughts that I will have a finish every Friday but this is a start.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I am still slowly getting settled into the apartment so sewing is slow going but I have been trying to fit in a little time here and there.  The trouble is I seem to have left my mojo somewhere.  Several things I've tried just don't seem to be working out.

 I ordered fabrics for the baby quilt last week.  In full disclosure I must have been rushing to try and get fabric ordered in time to have it to sew over the long weekend.  Monday being a holiday here in the states meant and extra day off with some time to finally sew.  At least there would have been if there had been fabric and not an unexpected trip to the vet.  At any rate when my fabrics came yesterday I opened the bag from Hawthorne Threads first and was excited at the colors in the stripe and the multi colored houndstooth.

Oops that won't work
But then I opened the bag from and the first thing my hand touched was the rough thick fabric.  I immediately thought there was something in my bag that wasn't suppose to be.  But then when I pulled the stack of goodness out I found that no in fact it was exactly what I ordered.  In my haste to get just the right balance of colors I accidentally order three fabrics that were a medium weight non quilting fabric.  So those have been scrapped from the pile.

I added in a few pieces from my very limited stash and I think I am almost there.  I also forgot to order the multicolor polka dots that I had planned to use for binding.  So I'll have to place another order but that won't be hard since I know now that I have to add some of that stripe and houndstooth to my stash.  They are the perfect shades of bright.

Too many blocks or not enough blocks
So while I was waiting for these fabrics to come I thought I would work on my Farmer's Wife Quilt.  Since I have every intention of making a second one I decided I no longer felt the need to make all 111 blocks for this one.  I thought I could easily make something between the throw size and the twin size with the blocks I had.  But with that missing mojo I couldn't figure it out.  I have something like 69 blocks made and honestly I just don't want to make a lot more.  I didn't want to discard 19 blocks to make the throw size in the book and I didn't want to make 14 more blocks to get the number necessary for the twin size.

This could work
Eventually I settled on arranging the blocks in rows instead of on point and removing just two blocks.  It was fine because the weren't the strongest blocks I made and I figured I could always use them in the quilt back somehow.  I had picked up brown sashing fabric last week and I a light mint green for the setting triangles.  I wanted something a little less expected and thought going with the mint green would do that.  But the more I looked at it the more I thought about mint chocolate chip ice cream.  And now of course that is all I can see. With the new layout I don't need the mint green but once I started sewing the brown strips I'm not sure I really like it either.  So now I think I am just going to put this one away for a little while and think about what to do next.
Just not sure about the brown
Be sure to check out what everyone else is up to over at Lee's.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I got my Twisted Fandango quilt back from quilter and I am working on sewing on binding so I can send it off to someone special.  It's a gift for a friend and even though I intended for it to be a farewell quilt when she moved it has turned into a quilt for so many more occasions than that but I know she will still love it.  I promise to show you photos when it's done.

In the mean time my aunt has commissioned me to make a baby quilt for my second cousin who is expecting her first child.  So I thought I would share a little bit of my planing process with you guys.  And I'll admit I am scared to death of this quilt for a lot of reasons.  The biggest one being I have never made a commissioned quilt before and the pressure of knowing someone is requesting this special gift and paying for it has me breaking out in hives.  While I am confident in my abilities I am also my own worse critic.
Dena Happi

I started with this photo of bedding that is on my cousins registry.  I wanted something that would coordinate but not be super matchy.  The first fabric I picked was the Michael Miller Forest Life in Watermelon which features some very cute owls and other wild life.  From there I built my fabrics around the colors.  I am still planning to add in a few more but I'm starting with these.  It is so hard to match fabrics online that I want to see how these look and then decide what else I am going to need.

For the pattern I sent my aunt several photos of baby quilts that I thought she might like and we ended up choosing this one as the starting point.  I am considering changing it up some by replacing some of the large squares with 4 patches and possibly changing out some of the rectangles into stacked squares just to add a little more depth and interest.  I had even considered going with a scalloped border but since the owls will be the backing I think it might look funny from the back and think I might skip the scalloped border but I am still considering rounded corners.  Have any of you used rounded corners?  What do you think?  I'd love any feedback you guys have because this one needs to be perfect.

This baby quilt was made by Christine @ Punkin Handmades

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday

How is it that it is already Wednesday.  I feel like the week is flying by and I am getting no where.  I haven't sewn a stitch.  But I have more WIP's to share so I thought even if it takes me a few weeks to talk about all of them putting it out there would at least get me to be accountable to what is really going on.

Scrappy Stars is a quilt that has been in the making for a long time.  It is one of my very first online bee quilts.  I have the first row sewn together but I still need to make a few more.  Although I have an alternative plan worked out that wouldn't require me to make more blocks and would still look really cool.  I think I might go that route since I am likely to get the quilt finished sooner this way.

Do you remember the Summer Sampler?  It's been a long time since this one wrapped up but I still only have a handful of the blocks done.  Mostly because the rest of them require paper piecing and I don't do paper piecing.  I am hoping to learn and I'm even thinking about joining this BOM in hopes that it will teach me.  Are any of you doing this?  What do you think?

Also, what do you do with WIP's that you know you are never going to get to?  I have several that I would love for someone to adopt but I don't know where to begin with that sort of thing.  I can't just throw them away.  Does anyone know of groups that take blocks or finished tops?  I tried searching flickr but the only group I found looks to be inactive.  I'd love your ideas here too.

Be sure to head over to Lee's and see what everyone else is up to.  My suspession is they are all being far more productive than myself.  Even if it is with the Scrappy Trip Along mania.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I am so excited to be getting back on the WIP Wednesday train.  I have missed taking the time to see everyone's projects and sharing where I am at with mine.  While it seems my WIP list is never ending I thought it might be fun to share just a few of them with you as we kick off 2013!  Did I mention I am excited to be starting a new year in a much better place than where I found myself for most of 2012.

1. Dueling Flurry-this is actually no longer a WIP but a finish.  My mom and I made these as matching Christmas quilts for my brother and sister in law for Christmas.  However in my haste of finishing the week of Christmas I forgot to snap finished photos.  Once I manage to get a few I will share them, I promise.

2. Twisted Fandango-A long forgot WIP but I managed to finish the top and back of this one and it is at the long arm so soon hopefully it will be coming back so I can finish it up and ship it off to a very special friend.

3.  The Farmer's Wife-I haven't had a chance to make any of these fun little blocks for a while.  This one is high on my list for 2013 because in my craziness I have plans to make a second Farmer's Wife Quilt using several of Bonnie & Camille's lines.

4. Hexagons-this is a long term project for me but I'm including it in my list because I want to remember to work on it when I have time.  It's a great long term project but I often forget about it because it isn't something I work on all the time.

5. Sunny Trails-I started this project in January of 2012.  I'm not sure why I stalled out on it because it is a beautiful quilt and I have everything I need to finish it up other than time.

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

PS-I am seriously crazy because I have seen all these great scrappy trip around the world quilts popping up today and I am totally thinking about adding this to my list of must do projects.

PSS-My amazing parents got me a Nook for Christmas so if you have read any good books lately please share.  I love to read just about anything so I am on the hunt for new books all the time.