Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I worked on a lot of different projects this week based on my location.  So while I didn't make a significant amount of progress on any one thing I made small progress on several things.  I baked a yummy cake for the holiday and spent a lot of time not doing sewing related things so I don't have a ton to share.

The first project I worked on I talked about on Monday and you can read more about that here.  I really do enjoy pulling this project out every once in a while and passing the time sewing all of those hexagons together.  Plus it is a great conversation starter, I got to talk to a great lady at my meeting on Friday who was working on a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt as well.

When I got home I gave myself permission to change the way I was working on my Complications Quilt and once I allowed myself to change the blocks up I made a lot of good progress.  I have two more blocks to make and then it will just be about joining all of the pieces together.  I am still working through how I will go about doing that.  I am thinking maybe I will create a few more smaller blocks that will allow me to fill in some of the empty spaces.

That's it for me this week.  Be sure to head over to Lee's and see what everyone else is up to this week.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hexagon Love

I spent a good part of Thursday and Friday taking a train back and forth from Norfolk, VA to Washington, DC.  I had never ridden a train here in the US before so it was a new experience.  Who knew so many people still take trains to get places.  Maybe it was because of the holiday weekend here in the states which is exactly why I didn't want to drive around in downtown DC but it sure was a busy ride.  Something I would do again for sure.  On the way up to DC I spent most of my time on my Nook doing work emails and reading because I had a great wifi signal but on the way back I wasn't able to get connected so I spent the time working on my Hexagon Charm Quilt instead.  It is such a great little project to travel with because I can just sew up chunks and then add them to the mail piece whenever I am ready.  When I look at the big piece I have done it seems to be growing so slowly but I know I managed to add two pretty significant chunks this time as well as filling in a few wholes where I needed just one or two hexagons to make the piece more even.  It's still wonky but I assume that comes with the approach.

Needless to say I have tried to spend the weekend relaxing though as always that had proven to be a bit more of a challenge than I would like so if you will excuse me I'm going to go enjoy my piece of this little beauty that I was too full to eat at today's cookout.

Happy Memorial Day to all of my fellow Americans.  If you or someone you know has/is serving our country be sure to give them an extra hug today and let them know that there are still plenty of us who appreciate their service.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's Complicated-WIP Wednesday

I have started and stopped this post so many times today.  I don't know what I want to say, I don't get overly personal on here very often but sometimes I wonder if by not sharing more I'm being dishonest in a way.  So hang with me if you will and I'll try not to go on and on but maybe share just a little bit.

Sunday night I managed to finish up my Swoon quilt top.  I was excited about the finish because its been a long time coming.  Once that top was done I decided to go back to working on my Complications quilt.  Honestly, I picked it up and put it down about 5 times before finally just walking away and going to watch TV instead.  I really like the part of this quilt that is done so far.  You might remember I am putting it together in chunks and so I don't really have in mind what the entire quilt will look like.  I think I was feeling frustrated because while I love to quilt I typically follow a pattern.  I'm not very good at just thinking something up and pulling it out of myself and into a tangible form.  I like to have a plan and I find it frustrating when that plan changes.  Okay-yes you can laugh out loud now, I understand that plans rarely work and that part of life is adapting and modifying the "plan."

I was really struggling though with what to do next.  See I'm not particularly fond of all of the blocks in the original quilt.  They are all lovely and I don't mean to detract from what someone so graciously designed and then shared with me.  I am grateful because I don't think I ever would have made this quilt without that starting point.  But I just don't want my quilt to be exactly the same.  Of course it never would have been because of the difference in quilting, fabrics, and just general thought process but I was having a hard time with giving myself permission to do it differently.

Then on Monday as I was sitting in my sewing room crying listening to the news reports about Oklahoma and just being mad in general about how much hurting there is right now in the world I felt silly.  Here I was being super hard on myself because I couldn't figure out how to do something with a quilt, because I couldn't just make a choice about what to do next.  Here I was getting frustrated with myself and wanting to put the quilt away again when there was this going on in the world around me.  So while this quilt is not only complicated it is also forcing me to learn.  Not only techniques but about myself.  So maybe in the end I will have a beautiful quilt or maybe not but at least I will have learned along the way and I guess that is what matters.  After all if we aren't learning then what's the point of the experience.

Thanks for stopping by to visit and for listening.  Be sure to head over to Lee's and see what everyone else is working on this week  Hopefully you will find something that makes you want to learn more.

Edited to Add:  Looks like there is no link up for WIP Wednesday today.  Thanks for reading a long and be sure to check back next week.

Monday, May 20, 2013


That about sums up how I feel about this quilt.  It's been a long time coming but I am so happy that I finally have the top of my Swoon quilt finished up.  Now I just need to sew one long seam on my backing and it will be ready to take to the long arm.  I am putting this quilt on my list of WIP's for the summer wip challenge the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild is hosting.  We each submitted 4 projects we want to have finished and pay $5 then we will showcase the finished projects at our September meeting.  Those who participate and complete their 4 items are entered into a drawing to win the pot of money and another great prize.

I managed to finish up my last two blocks for this quilt on Saturday night.  I had planned to sew a lot more on Saturday after our guild meeting but for some reason I just wasn't feeling it.  So I finished the blocks and then moved on to other chores.  There is always more to be done then there are hours in the day anyway.

I figure by September I should be able to get this one back from the quilter and have the binding on.  Since imitation is the highest form of flattery I'm hoping Camille won't be offended that I plan to have this one quilted in the same baptist fans as her original swoon quilt.  I mean after all why mess with perfection.

I really loved the layout of Camille's original quilt and so I wasn't really thinking when I sewed the top together.  I was just sort of following along with the picture.  I almost wish now I would have switched up a few of the blocks.  See at the last minute I did switch the order of the bottom row so that my three blocks with the red centers made a diagonal line through the middle.  If I had planned ahead I think I would have switched it so the two red and gray blocks were on opposite corners from one another.

And of course because sewing is never easy at my house, I managed to run out of thread while I was sewing on the final borders.  And I don't mean just ran out of the thread I was using I mean I am out, empty can't sew any more until I go to the store.  I was in panic mode at that point because I was so close to being done I could taste it and well lets face it there isn't anywhere in my area to get thread at 5pm on a Sunday.  So I scrounged through all of my stuff and managed to find a almost dead spool of thread that was acceptable.  It too is now empty and so there will be no more sewing until I go to the store.  Unless of course I want to sew with black thread but since I sew so much with light colors I don't see that happening right now.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival-Summer Sorbet Revisit

I've never had the chance to participate in Amy's Bloggers Quilt Festival before.  I usually think about this as a chance to share a recent finish but I noticed this year that many people were linking up with a revisit on a favorite quilt that they had finished.  I decided that I would share about my Summer Sorbet quilt again with a little update.

If you are new to my blog, welcome hope you will stay and take a look around or come back again soon for another visit.  If you read along with me you may remember this quilt from last year.  When I started Summer Sorbet I had in mind that I would just make a fun quilt in super girly colors to have around.  I didn't really have a plan for it but was aching for some sewing time and a fun pattern.  I chose Bizzy Kid by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew and set to work.  Then my boss told us the news-she had cancer and I knew I wanted to do something.  Our office collectively set a plan to provide meals to her and her family but I wanted to do something more.  She knew I was a quilter and had often commented on my hobby so I knew a quilt was the way to go.  She has such an out going and bubbly personality that I knew this quilt I was working on would become her quilt.  And then I pushed to get it finished.

Of course nothing goes as smoothly as you plan and I had a lot of bumps along the way but in the end I had a beautiful quilt for her and I knew she would enjoy it for a long time to come.  I am happy to update that while she is no longer my boss because she has moved on to another opportunity she is healthy and happy and enjoying her life and family.  And that is the real joy of this quilt.

If you want to read more about the original journey of this quilt you can find post here and here.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Bizzy Kid by Cluck Cluck Sew
Pieced: On my home machine by me
Quilted: Long Arm-Ellen Harris Elizabeth City, NC
Size: Just shy of 60" x 80"

I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival and gather tons of inspiration from all of the quilt.  I can feel my to do want list growing already.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I took a little break from sewing Swoon blocks this week to focus on other projects that needed my attention.  But with only two blocks left, both of which are cut out and the pieces marked I don't imagine they will take me too long.  Then again never say never.

First up I worked on my main project for the Sew Sew Modern Swap.  I made the Go Anywhere Bag.  You can read more about that project here.  But I did take a picture of the other side of the bag for you.  See what I mean-not perfect but I still like it.

After making the bag I sewed up some flags to send to Boston.  I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  From the start I knew I wanted to make at least two flags because I have two very special families I love in Boston.  But then I was stuck.  I didn't know what to do.  There are so many amazing flags that I was stumped as to what I could do that would fit in and that I would be proud of.  Then I read this post and I couldn't get the idea of how we are all people and that if we would join together and support each other more then we really could make this world a better place.  Then I got this song stuck in my head from when I was a child "red and yellow black and white they are precious in His site"  I didn't want to make that too literal because some of those colors aren't in the requested color scheme of the coordinators.  So this in the end is what I ended up with.  I think I will leave it at that because I have so many thoughts about this and I'm not sure I can do justice to them by trying to put them into words.

If you haven't had a chance to make a flag for Boston yet there is still a little time.  They have to be in Boston by May 21st.  By the time most of you read this mine will already be on their way.  But check out the details here if you are interested.

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

Go Anywhere Bag

A while bag I decided to dip my toes back in the pool that is online swaps.  I have a love hate relationship with swaps.  I love participating but I always get super anxious that my partner won't like what I made.  But I decided I had spent long enough on the bench.  One of my friends had told me about the Sew Sew Modern Swap and it sounded like a good place to start.  So I joined the group and submitted my form and waited to see if I got in.  The swap was limited to 50 people and the flickr group has over 100 people in it so it was kind of a wait and see game for awhile.

I have to give props to these swap mama's because the questionnaire was so good.  They even asked us what we would prefer not to make.  But that's where it gets funny for me.  I said I would rather not make a complicated bag.  I'm not a huge fan of sewing any bags but I figured I could make something similar to what I made for the Goodie Bag Swap if my partner really wanted a bag.  Oh boy, my partner wanted a bag.  Specifically the Go Anywhere Bag by Anna of Noodlehead.  Okay I love this bag-I bought the pattern and if you are the bag making type I would say this should be on your list of must have patterns.  It's a great size bag nice and roomy.

My bag isn't perfect.  I don't like the way the pocket on the front lined up.  It's a split pocket and you sew through the pocket and front panel to make the divide.  It probably works well but you do this after you have already sewn the pleats.  I'm not very good at pleats.  And for some reason my front pocket didn't line up quit right.  I am sure this has something to do with the pleats but I ended up with a strange little wing type thing.  It looks fine intentional but I think if I were making when I do make it again I might cut those at a little less severe angle to accommodate my lag of bag making skills.  Sorry somehow I didn't manage to get a picture of the front.

After looking around on my partners flickr page and blog I decided that she must like purple.  At least I hope so.  A lot of her favorites have purple in them and so I hope she picked those items because she likes the color and not just the style of the projects.  So I went with this plum solid and I used this piece of architextures I had just gotten.  I ordered it as a stash addition last month when purchasing fabrics for my pillow swap.  I didn't know it at the time but the text talks about quilting stuff.  I think that's an extra bonus.

And because of crazy vet bills of late I was really trying to make things work with fabrics I had on hand without sacrificing what I thought my partner might like.  Honestly purple is not a color I work with very much and I don't have a lot of fabrics in that color way.  For some reason I had this piece of Anna Marie Horner left over and thought it would work well with my other fabric choices.  I made the inside slip pocket out of a piece of garden party that I had and I think it gives it some fun little kick.

I still need to make a little something to go with this bag before I mail it out on Friday.  The details of this swap were a large item and a coordinating smaller item.  I'm thinking I am going to make a journal cover but then I found this cool journal at target that is graph paper inside and I already like the cover of it.  It is an odd shape so I don't really want to make a cover to fit it since I doubt my partner would have an easy time finding a refill for it later.  Anyone have any ideas of a different small item?

Links to Original Pieces: 1. My Pillow Talk Swap from Little Miss Shabby, 2. Feeling Stitchy, 3. Fabric Bin, 4. PTS7, 5. Sew Sew Modern, 6. pillow swap d.o.n.e., 7. Not so spring deer, 8. DSCN3354, 9. New sewing machine cover

I promise pictures of the whole package after she/he receives it.  Maybe at the same time I tell you guys about what my partner made for me.  And just for fun here's the mosaic I gave my partner to work from.  So many pretty things.

Update-My partner commented on my photo over on flickr so I think I can breath a little easier.  At least on the surface it seems this one will be a success.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Black Swoon (WIP Wednesday)

I don't know if it was because I was so excited that I only had 3 swoon blocks left to make, or the fact that I had been up sick all night on Saturday, or the extra stress at work, but this swoon block is now lovingly the BLACK SWOON.  You get my movie reference, right?  The Black Swan.

The Black Swoon

Typically when I finish sewing up a swoon block I have a new favorite.  This time though I was extremely disappointed.  I didn't know what it was at first.  My seams didn't match as well as they had been-disappointing but not unusual.  It just didn't look right.  I couldn't figure out why so I just stuck it up next to the others and went to bed.  I woke up in the middle of the night and that stupid block was taunting me from the other room.  Of course knowing I wouldn't sleep until I figure it out I got up to go look at the block again.  This time it was like a giant head slap.  You know the kind in the V8 commercial.  Duh, could have sewed the block right.  Turns out I had sewed one of the pieces in my corner units the wrong way.

The culprit!

Normally this would have just been annoying if I had caught it when I laid out the block as it would have required two seams in each of the four units to be unsewn.  Transfer that to the fact that I had to take the whole block apart and it meant unsewing 14 seams.  Of course I wouldn't notice the mistake until the whole block was together.

Current favorite

So Monday night instead of sewing I was seam ripping.  Well I guess that is technically part of sewing, right? I did manage to get the block taken apart and put back together the right way.  But I have to say it still doesn't replace my most recent favorite.  I think the fabric in that block is holding strong as my favorite in the whole quilt.  Hopefully this time next week I will have a finished quilt top, of course only if I do more sewing and less unsewing.

Head on over to Lee's to see what everyone else is up to this week.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Finish it up Friday (Posh Enigma)

Is it still Friday?  I was just about to run out of light to take pictures today as I finished sewing the last stitches of hand binding on my Posh Enigma quilt.  I still can't believe I started this quilt over 4 years ago.  I knew it wasn't my style any more after leaving it sitting in my closet unfinished for so long.  When I first bought the fabric to make the backing for this quilt I didn't get enough.  So it sat and sat then one day I had it out of the closet and just happen to see a piece of leftover Bliss from the back of a baby quilt I had made and I knew it would work perfect on the back of this quilt.  So I pieced the back and took it to the quilter.
Posh Enigma
Front and Back 
Close up of quilting

It's finished now and thanks to the help of some readers during WIP Wednesday I have some choices now of ways to send it to benefit those impacted by the explosion in West, TX.  So I feel great having another finish under my belt and even better knowing that this quilt that I no longer love won't languish unused for much longer and hopefully will find its way to someone who will love it for a long time.  And hopefully they will know every time they see it that there are people out there thinking about them and praying for them in their time of need and long after.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Did you know it's already Wednesday again.  I can't believe how fast the week is going by but I guess that is a good thing when you are counting down the days to the weekend.  I haven't been doing a whole lot of sewing this week.  But I am making some slow and steady progress.  If you are following along you know I have finished up 6 out of 9 Swoon blocks.  Which is super exciting.

That of course also means more Ruby making it's way into my Complications quilt.  I've started piecing together the next larger section of complications.  You can see in this graph the parts that are done.  The pink section is the larger part i have all sewn together.  The purple section is what I have sewn together in this second large section so far.  I need to make a few more blocks before I can really go any further.  Of course I have been doing some juggling and rearranging to be able to connect the sections but so far I am still happy with the results.

I didn't get a chance to show you this block last week but I stitched this up for our guild meeting on Saturday.  Each member of the guild can select a month and during their month the bring instructions and fabrics for a block.  Much like a bee and then the next month they get back a slew of blocks.  This is the first time I have participated.  I didn't grab a block at the meeting Saturday because all of the packets were gone so quickly.  But it's a fun little way to sew something different from my projects.

The last thing I am working on this week is sewing binding to my Posh Enigma quilt.  I'm still not sure what I am going to do with this one when it's done but I am leaning towards donating it if my mom doesn't want it.  I offered it to her first but she turned me down.  I'll give her another shot but if she still says no then I'll be looking for a good group to send it to.  Does anyone know of someone collecting quilts for West, TX?  I am working on flags and blocks for Boston but I haven't heard much about West.  But if I know quilters I am sure there is someone organizing hugs for those effected by the explosion down there.

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