Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I haven't had a ton of time for sewing lately but thanks to an extremely loud upstairs neighbor who makes it difficult to sleep I have managed to fit in a little bit of sewing time.  And while I should be using that time to get caught up on my mystery quilt I am thisclose to finishing the  top of my Complications quilt and so that has been winning out the fight for my time.

Last night I managed to finish up the last section I needed for the quilt.  It has one really big glaring error in it so I am debating ripping it out.  What do you think?  With all of the little squares and the way this quilt was put together in pieces I don't think it will be overwhelmingly obvious once the whole thing is together.

Once that section was done I joined it to another smaller piece I had worked on earlier so now this quilt top is in 4 large chunks and they just need to be joined together.  I am still debating if I want to add the boarder or not.  In my mind it would be 2 1/2 inch squares and alternate between the prints and a solid.  I was thinking Bella Snow but my conflict is there is no other solid in the quilt and the blocks in this quilt run together on purpose.  So what do you think?  Add a border?  Skip a border?

That's it for me this week be sure to head on over to Lee's to see what everyone else is up to.  Happy Sewing!

PS-If you are looking for the giveaway post you can find it here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Reality Check-A Really Big List Update

Back in February I made a really BIG list of all of my outstanding WIP's because I thought it would help me with my goal of finishing up some of my projects before starting new ones.  I guess a really big list really doesn't do any good if you never revisit it.  So I thought I would pull out the list again and see if I have managed to make any progress.

  • Anna Marie Horner Chevrons-I made a few of these as part of this great quilt along.  However I decided I wasn't loving the project and stopped with just a few made.  I am thinking I might revisit these blocks and turn them into some throw pillows.  Sometimes my projects just change and then change again.  I joined the AMH Charm Square Swap because I have been wanting to make a very simple patchwork quilt with her fabrics for a long time.  I'm planning now on making the chevrons I made for this quilt into part of the back of my simple patchwork quilt.  I have a plan and everything!  
  • Swell Quilt-After Mary sent me a jelly roll of Swell that she somehow managed to track down I swapped some amazing fabrics with a Canadian friend to get the last of the pieces I needed for this quilt.  I haven't settled on a pattern yet even though I based all of my fabric sizes off a quilt in Camille's book. I am still planning to make this quilt I just need to find the perfect pattern for this great fabric.
  • Anchors Away-this is a really hard one for me because in theory I love this quilt.  I'm scared to death of it but I love it.  The fabrics are Neptune, which is out of print and extremely hard to find.  I have enough to make the quilt but I am so chicken to cut into it much less cut circles out of it.  And then of course there is the applique of the circles which is beyond scary to me as well.  Then again it will be a great learning experience. Yup, still scared to death to cut into this fabric.  I know it is going to be amazing so I really should take the plunge.
  • Swoon-I got this kit from my parents a little over a year ago.  If you follow along regularly you know I have broken this one out of the closest and am working on putting the blocks together.  2 down and 7 to go.  I am thisclose to being able to cross this one off the list.  The piecing is finished I just need to drop it off at the long arm for a little quilting magic.
  • Sunny Trails-I have all of the sub-blocks made for this one and just need to go about sewing 18 more blocks and then putting the top together.  I'm not very good at making blocks that require you to sew a square to something and then cut off a triangle and flip back the square.  If anyone has any good tips for making those blocks better I would love to hear them.  Honestly I put this one in the box again and all but forgot about it.  I need to dig this one out so I can finish it up.    
  • Spools of Love-This quilt top was made for me by a lovely group of women.  It is the top that I received back as part of a year of traveling quilts.  The group is a spin off of the Old Red Barn QAL Group and though I sat out the second round I am considering jumping back in for round three because it was just so much fun.  This one just needs a backing and I have it started and it is about half pieced.  Hopefully it won't take me too long to finish it up.  I have two more sections that need to be sewn up for the back on this one.  It is just waiting for its turn for a little TLC.
  • Summer Love-I started this quilt with the intention of entering it into a challenge that was being hosted by the Old Red Barn Group.  I only managed to get a few of the blocks done before life got in the way.  Of course because it is a dreamy combination of solids and Freshcuts I plan on finishing this one up.  I'm just not sure when.  Still just waiting for a little love.
  • Dance Party-This is an original quilt for me.  Inspired by a simple quilt block on a repeat and the bright colors of the 80's.  I planned to make this a lap size quilt when I started but I am amending my plan there.  I'm hoping to finish it up into a baby quilt.  After all you never really know when you might need a fun and funky baby shower gift.  I'm in no hurry to move this one along and because of that it is still just 3 finished blocks.  I don't really want to give up on her because she is one of the first quilts I ever started without a pattern and just with an idea in my head.  
  • Posh Enigma-This is one of the first quilt tops I made when I started quilting.  It isn't my taste at all but it only needs a backing made up for it and then it will be ready to be quilted so I might just do that.  I bought fabric for the back way back in 2009 when I first made up the top but it isn't wide enough.  I'm sure I can figure out something.  This one is finished so I guess I can cross it off the list as complete.
  • Paintbox QAL-I gave up on this one after making just a few blocks.  Recently I gave my mom the jelly roll strip and the coordinating pieces we had picked out together.  She has adopted this WIP but I don't know that she knows what she is in for.   I turned this quilt over to my mom so I am taking it off my list of projects.
  • Spider Webs-I have a set of pink and orange spider web blocks from a bee I participated in.  They just need to be sewn up into a quilt top.  Perhaps I will get around to that one of these days.  Still just waiting.  Maybe I will add this to the quilts to be finished for this years 100 Quilts for Kids.
  • Scrappy Stars-This is also a a result of a bee.  I was actually the bee mama for Bee Stitched and these blocks were all the rage back in 2010 when that bee was started.  They are fun and I have one row sewn together for this quilt.  It needs some TLC but it's going to be awesome when it's done.  This is one of those quilts I still love but just haven't paid any attention to.  It really would be pretty easy to just finish up.  Maybe I should move this to the front of the class.
  • Flower Power-These are log cabin blocks with fussy cut flowers in the middle that I received back as part of the fussy cut bee.  I guess I should make up and finish at least one of my 5 bee quilts.  I'm not really in love with these blocks any more.  It would be a pretty easy finish so I should just make it work.
  • Pinwheel Sampler-This was made as part of a QAL hosted by Rachel.  It's a super cute quilt and it is just in need of a backing.  Of course since I have no idea what I am going to do with it when I am done with it I have let it sit in the closet unfinished for a while.  Still needs a back and some quilting love-Anyone want to adopt this UFO?  The top is completely done it just needs a back.  Leave me a comment if you are interested.
  • Hexagons-This is my five year project but I am sure it will take longer than that to finish.  Hand stitching all of those little buggers is more than I bargained for.  Still making slow and steady progress.
  • Mod Bento Box-I collected these blocks as part of two rounds of the mod bento box swap.  I sewed half of them into a baby quilt but it still needs to have the quilting finished (its about 1/2 done) and binding.  My mom adopted the other half to make into a baby quilt as well.  Taking this off the list as I have given away the blocks I had left.  It is my mom's WIP now.
  • Modern Meadow Bricks-I have the pieces cut for this quilt so I really just need to break them out and start sewing.  This was originally going to be a quilt for the hubs but since I made him a UNC Quilt with the help of a few friends I'm not sure he will get to keep this one.  I will of course share :)  I actually took these with me when I went on vacation but since I didn't sew a stitch these are still untouched.  Maybe someday...
  • Spring Weekends-I didn't participate in the QAL for this one but stumbled on it after it was over as a result of WIP Wednesday and had to make one.  This is actually all basted and ready to go.  It just needs to be quilted.  I have a new idea in mind for it so I just need to pick up some more yellow thread and get with it.  Just needs quilting.  Why oh why can't there be 36 hours in every day.
  • Well Hello Betty-this adorable little quilt top is done and is just in need of backing.  Does anyone know what color teal matches the solid in the Hello Betty line?  Maybe a solid back would be the way to go on this one.  This pretty little quilt needs a back and some quilting but I haven't been in a hurry to finish her up.  I still love it a lot so maybe someday this one will be done.
  • Mod Times QAL-I didn't keep up with this quilt along either.  I thought I was going to get creative and piece rainbow string blocks for the middles on this one.  I have about 1/2 of those done.  But I'm not giving up on this one.  It sits in the back of my brain because I know it will make an awesome gender neutral baby quilt.  Sometimes you just have to let things go.  I decided to take this one off the list because the truth of it is with all the new ideas and inspiration poring in I will probably never come back to this one.  And since I didn't buy any materials for this quilt I don't have to feel guilty about giving it a gentle push off the list.
  • Farmer's Wife QAL-I am actually actively working on this one.  I have about 68 blocks done and now I am just trying to make some decisions about sashing and corner stones.  But if I don't have this one finished by the end of 2013 I will be surprised.  Just debating now if I am really done with this one.  I've seen more and more people picking these back up and making a push to finish the rest of the blocks and I just don't know if I want to join in.
  • Summer Sampler-I don't know how to paper piece.  The rest of the blocks for this quilt required paper piecing.  So I think I have decided to make these into a small quilt to be donated.  A good friend gifted me the fabric to make this quilt at a time when I was really down an out so I think donating the quilt would be a great way to continue to share the love on this one.  Still just waiting for some more inspiration to hit me on this one.  I know it will be lovely when it's done I just don't know what I want to do with it yet.
  • 100 Quilts for Kids-I made a MoMo Wonderland quilt top a little over 2 years ago for the 100 Quilts for Kids drive but didn't finish it in time.  I would really like to get a head start on that one so that I can donate it this year as part of the drive.  Better late than never.  This has moved to the top of my to do list because I really want to have at least one quilt finished this year for 100 Quilts for Kids and since the top is done on this one it would be a quick finish-in theory anyway.
New Since the Original BIG List
  • Complications-I am really close to finishing this project.  I just have one more section to go and then adding the boarders to the top.  I am very much in love with this quilt so I know it won't be getting stuck at the bottom of the list any time soon.
  • Color Therapy-this quilt was great in theory but after making one row of this it was obvious that it wasn't working out.  I'm okay with just letting this one go so it has long since been forgotten and crossed off the list.
  • Mystery Quilt-This one is driving me CRAZY.  I'm currently on step 2 which is made up of a ton of HST's and those other blocks I can't stand to make.  I'm really trying to focus and get myself to just sit down and get this part over with so we can move on to the next step but it's so hard when you aren't feeling inspired.
I really thought that between making my really BIG list and now I would have a ton of new projects.  I guess even without doing a check in I have actually made some progress.  I am closer to my goals of finishing some things than I thought and having a list really makes it easy to see where you are and where you are going.  I promise not to post any more about this really BIG list until the end of the year but getting feedback from all of you really does help keep me motivated.

And because if you are still reading its pretty impressive that you are still here so how about a give away.  Leave a comment and let me know what you are working on, if there is a project I haven't crossed off that you think I should just give up on, or even what you think I should move to the top of the list.  I'll leave the contest open until Friday August 2nd and then I'll pull a winner from the comments who will get a little something special from me.  I'm not sure what the prize will be yet but I'm think a little something homemade and a few goodies.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday-The Best Laid Plans

Well I'm back from vacation and I need another vacation to recover.  You know those weeks you have where anything that can go wrong will.  Well that about sums up my vacation experience.  Between taking my husband to the emergency dentist and getting a call from the alarm company that someone had broken into our apartment it was anything but relaxing.  I should mention I had no cell service where we were so the call about the apartment was over 24 hours later when I heard it.  Luckily they didn't actually get into the apartment and nothing was broken or missing.  But it did freak me out a bit and I knew I wouldn't relax again until I had checked on things myself even after a kind neighbor took a look around for us.

I thought this week I would have so many good things to share with all of you.  But in reality I didn't sew at all while I was gone.  Turns out I assumed there would be an iron and ironing board at the rental and I was wrong.  So no way to press seams means no sewing.  Honestly though with all of the other craziness going on I doubt I would have been able to relax enough to sew a stitch anyway.  I did manage to lay out my Complications quilt all together to figure out my last section.  I now have a plan for that also so hopefully I will be able to add this one to the completed list soon.  It is still a favorite of mine so far!

One highlight of our vacation and the only thing we did outside of being on the lake was a trip to Rosemont Winery.  It's an old family farm turned winery in Virginia right on the North Carolina boarder.  Really its in the middle of no where but it was a great little side trip.  There wines aren't bad, I tend to like the sweeter wines so those of course were my favorites.

Be sure to head over to Lee's today and see what everyone else is sewing.  I know I can't wait to check them all out and get some more inspiration.  With Complications coming to an end and my dread of the mystery quilt I am suppose to be working on (don't worry mom I'll try and catch up by the time you get home) I'm already getting a little antsy to find my next project.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday-Prevacation

So have I mentioned yet that next week I'm going to the lake on vacation.  Ha Ha just teasing you guys I know you are all tired of hearing about it already but I am super excited to spend some time unplugged.  The only bad part about this is that I won't be able to check email, flickr, or look up great sewing tutorials.  But the good news is I should have plenty of time to sew with few distractions.

This week I did manage to make a little more progress on my Complications quilt before moving on to other things.  I am hoping to get some stuff cut out and have a good list of projects together to take with me to the lake.  I want to avoid taking too much so a well thought out plan is what I'm counting on.  But with only 2 more days until we leave I'm not sure how well organized and prepared I am actually going to be.

Here's what I'm planning on taking with me:

  • Complications
  • Wonderland Baby Quilt-100 Quilts for Kids
  • Sewing Machine Cover-Swap
  • Market Tote-Swap
  • Mystery Quilt-just so my mom won't be too mad that she is waiting for me to open that 3rd envelop

That is the plan anyway-but I have a few other things on my "wish" list so I guess we will just have to wait and see what actually happens.  After all there is floating in the lake and jet skis and fishing to think about too.

If you haven't heard yet the next round of 100 Quilts For Kids just opened.  You can read more about that here.  What are you making?  I have a Wonderland quilt top that I made up for this project almost 2 years ago-that's embarrassing that I am planning to finish for this round and then we will have to see what other goodies I can come up with.

If you haven't voted in the threadbias wallflowers quilt design competition yet be sure to check that out.  If you want to vote for my Mama's Wagon Wheel Design even better :) and thank you.  There are lots of great designs though so head on over.  I love when contest like this get a lot of response because it lets the companies know that we are interested in seeing more of these events.

Head on over to Lee's to see what everyone else is up to this week.  And I will see you guys after the 21st unless I manage to sneak in one more post before I go.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Shameless Plug

Okay so here it is my shameless plug.  You might remember a little while back I shared my "Mama's Wagon Wheel" quilt design that I entered in the threadbias contest.  Well voting opens today so if you have a second or two could you mosey on over and vote for Mama's Wagon Wheel or whatever other quilt design you like.  There are some great quilt designs there.  Voting will narrow it down to a top 5 and then Allison herself will pick the winner.  How cool is that!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A little sewing

So I should be focused on getting all of my chores done before we head off to the lake for a week.  There is laundry to do and dusting and all kinds of other things but today I stole a few minutes for sewing.  I should be working on my mystery quilt so my mom doesn't get too far ahead of me since we have an agreement about not opening the next step until we are both ready.  But the thought of all of those HST's just wasn't working for me so instead I thought I'd try and make a little progress on my Complications Quilt since it is sitting out in the sewing room and just begging to be sewn together.

I managed to get this chunk of the quilt sewn up.  It is actually the bottom of the quilt.  I've been jumping around a little based on which blocks I have done and how much time I have to sew.  Since I only had about an hour today I went with a section that I had most of the blocks finished for.  I had to make another little churn dash block because I had used the one I made for this earlier in the quilt.  I've been just working in different pieces here and there to fill up the empty spaces.  I actually only have one more section a little larger than this to make and I will have the top finished.  I'm debating now if I want to add the boarders or if I want to just leave it like this with all the blocks running together.  I think the boarders add a bit of calm and bring it all together but I'm just not sure yet which way I'll end up going.

You can read more about this quilt here and here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Catching Up but Can't Stay Long

Hey everyone!  Well I'm back from my trip to Florida and overall I would call it a success.  I didn't make it to any quilt shops while I was down there because the hotel was so far away from everything.  My aching legs can attest to that after a 2 mile walk back from dinner one night in flip flops they were not happy.  But then again that's what happens when you don't plan things out.  I also managed to lose my debit card for the first time in my life.  I'm pretty sure the cashier didn't hand it back to me but there is a chance it could also be in the Atlantic Ocean now.  Luckily I was able to put a stop on it and get issued a temporary card so I could get home.  That of course was another adventure after Atlanta grounded all flights in or out on Wednesday due to weather.  In the end I made it even though my bags didn't but no worries they were delivered the next day with only a slight amount of damage.

Since I missed WIP Wednesday this week while sitting at the airport I thought I'd pop in really quick and give you all an update although I haven't been sewing.  I did convenience myself to join a couple of swaps right before I left for Florida.

The first one is the sewing room swap.  Well I don't really have a sewing room to speak of but I do have a corner of what is suppose to be our guest room.  Don't judge but here's a picture.  I'd love to replace that table with an actual sewing machine table that wouldn't wiggle every time I sew.  My mom has a great portable one that I like a lot so maybe I can start saving some pennies.

Here's a look at the mosaic I made for that swap.  I left it wide open for my partner because there are so many things I could use in that space that I didn't want to be too specific.  I think in my sign up form I mentioned a sewing machine cover which is something I could use for sure.  And it looks like that's what I will actually be making for my partner in this swap so it is a little ironic.  I need to find some good fabrics first though.  I have summer and bright colors on my mind but my partner is looking for a little something different so time to readjust.

You might have noticed some of my Anna Marie Horner fabrics sitting out in that photo.  Well that's because I also joined a charm swap of AMH fabrics.  I have lots of quilts made out of AMH but have wanted to make a very simple charm square quilt mixing all of her lines together for a while now and saw this as a perfect chance to get a variety of charms.  Here's hoping it will all work out the way I see it in my mind.  I like swaps like this because they are easy-just cut and send to one person who mixes up the fabrics and then sends them back to you.  And I can totally get that done before taking off on vacation next week.

Last up I signed up for one more round of the Sew Sew Modern swap.  You might remember I just did this swap to get my feet wet again in the world of swapping.  I was really planning to sit out this round but I knew I wouldn't be able to join the next one as it will be due right before the holidays so as the mosaics started popping up I ended up jumping on board.

Which reminds me I don't think I ever showed you guys the packet I received last time.  So here's a look at the pillow and little bag that I received.

Its going to be a busy work week and then we are heading off to Lake Gaston for a week where we have no cell signal and no internet so I'll be unplugged for a while but I promise I'll be back to catch up when we get home.  Hope you are all enjoying your summer!