Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Silence is not golden

Maybe some of you have noticed my absence as of late. Well that's because there hasn't been a lot of sewing going on. 

Earlier this month my hubs and I and a few friends went up to the mountains to hit some curvy roads and have dinner in Asheville. We made a stop in Little Switzerland and while we were there my left ankle gave way and I ended up on the ground and in a lot of pain. Hubs was taking pictures and managed to capture it. 

I waited it out a few days thinking it was simply a sprain before heading to the doctor. I was promptly sent to the hospital for x-rays and referred to a specialist. Thursday I got the news that I had broken my Talus bone (that's the top bone in your ankle) and upon further review of the x-rays he discovered that my Navicular bone was also broken (and might have been so for some time). The last "sprain" i had was exactly 2 years ago, so it could have been from then but who knows for sure. 
So for the next month I get to be in a fun foot boot and use crutches to get around. --- not a happy gal about any of this, my sewing room is upstairs in my house but my husband brought me a work station and most of my needed supplies for things I must complete and set them up in the living room. Sewing will be minimal for a while but maybe I can sneak some in during small breaks in medication fog. 

Right now I'll be focusing on bee blocks (one bee finished this month and the other has one more month), keeping up with my block of the month (that I just started last month) and getting my big reveal finished by the deadline. I may also try for some of the Tula Blocks but no big Christmas sewing for this gal. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Sewing and stashing report

I knocked out the bee block I had to make this month in the first few days so I wouldn't have to rush it at the end of the month -- our hive queen this month sent her background fabrics to us so not much stash was used in this book case block and it all came from the scraps bucket. 
The beginning of October was a busy time for sewing as I prepped for stash bash. I did buy a good deal of fabrics but they were mostly for swap items that will be showing up in this post so not really anything to count as stashing. 

I made some secret sister items and gifted some fabric. (-2 yards)

I made a few pillow cases (-3 yards)  and did a pillow swap with Mallory 
I made these 16 baskets for all the lovely ladies that would be attending (-12 yards)
In the course of making my secret sister a sew together bag -- I kinda kept it so this one is mine now (-2.5 yards)
I made the binding for the commission t-shirt quilt and the Kate Spain Quilt (-1 yard used) 
While at stash bash I purchased 20 yards of fabric (WOW! OOPS!)
Tiger Lilly by Heather Ross, some coordinates and a Piece of Kate Spain 
Coral to finish a quilt top, great text print, some Tula Pink Birds and Bees and Tula Pink Neptune 
Cotton and Steele, Alison Glass and Kona Solid

At the retreat and throughout the rest of the month... 

I completed my Schnitzel and Boo Mini (-1 yard for backing and binding)
I completed the commission t-shirt quilt
I completed the Kate Spain Jewel Box Quilt 
Completed Winds of Oz (-1 yard) 
I got 32 of my 70 Tula Pink blocks made 

I made a quilt top from my Spellbound Layer Cake (-3 yards)
assembled my kaleidoscope Block top 
Completed a charity quilt top (1 yard for sashing) 
Started on my scout quilt car seat cover for the Honda
I started with a new block of the month and am substituting in a different background fabric than the one that the shop is providing so that's another 2.5 yards of stash that will be going to good use. 

My totals this month were 20 yards added, 29 yards removed, total for the month 9 yards used. That brings the yearly total to 145 yards used this year so far -- still working to get near that 150 yard mark for the year. 

Next month will be about backings and finishing up some holiday projects so I hope to surpass that 150 goal and maybe hit 200 yards to start into 2016.

Kate Spain Jewel Box

Kate Spain has long been one of my favorite designers. I've participated in 2 rounds of Charm swaps hosted by Michelle at Crayon Box Quilt Studios and finally put all these lovelies to good use. 

First I had to pick a design -- the fabrics vary in size so I wanted something that would still showcase them well. I went with the Jewel Box block and started whipping up HST and 4 patch units. 
It grew and grew on the design wall and I was loving every part of the process (OK maybe not trimming all those HST -- this photo is only half of them). 
when I finally got the blocks completed I decided that I wanted 4 patches in the pattern to go off the edges so that the quilt looked like it kept going. I pieced it all together and took it to one of my friend's shops to baste it -- kind of concerned about the size and my ability to quilt it but I decided that I would press on.

I also put some awesome KS on the backand pieced in one of my fav prints but I went with the single color version rather than the brightly colored one. 
Early this month I took a weekend away from the car group and took time to get caught up on some things and get things ready for the quilt retreat that was coming up. I managed to quilt it in about 4 hours total and I figured out a way to quilt flowers that is easier for me and results in less points in the middle -- I'll call this Rose quilting. 
I took her with me to Stash Bash to put on the binding because I am so ready to sleep under all this Kate Spain Love. 
Once I finished it all up I had to wait for good weather and my quilt helper to be available on the same weekend but I really love the completed shots that I got while visiting Reynolda Village last weekend
I think this one might be my favorite -- so bright and wonderful. 
I absolutely love this quilt and sleep under it every night now -- you know when the kitties let me. 

Milky Way Medallion Quilt Completed

Way back in August 2014 I pattern tested for Lovelea Designs for her Milky Way Medallion and completed the quilt top.
I then took some time away from the quilt because I was stalled on how to quilt it and also it's a big quilt to tackle on my standard deep throat machine. I tried to quilt it in -- after Stash Bash and that resulted in spraining my hand and not being able to have full use of my Right hand for over a month. 

At that point I was not feeling great about the quilt and I talked to a few of my long armer friends and decided that this would be the first project I would ever not quilt myself. My friend Sheri did an awesome job on the quilting -- I told her I wanted swirls and motion in the quilting. 
I went with a scrappy binding to finish it off. I keep all my cut offs from binding in a bag for projects just like this but I think it really adds to the overall quilt in this manner -- win win for me. 
It's been a rainy and busy few weeks here so it's taken me a while to get her photographed well but here she is .... 
This was my oldest UFO, completed just in time at the end of last quarter and I am very happy that it is completed and I am able to share it with all of you. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Schnitzel and Boo Mini round #4

After the rush of swaps that I did earlier this year I had decided to take a break from swapping for a while and focus on my projects -- well apparently I work much better on all things and get way more accomplished when I have deadlines to keep me going. My goals for the last 6 months have remained the same and my progress on my projects hasn't been very noticeable -- so I decided it was time to dip a toe back into swapping and joined up with just over a thousand other quilters for round 4 of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap (WOW!!)

I provide lots of information on my sign ups and always seem to get the person that says "make what ever, I'll love it" -- this time was no different but once I did a bit of stalking I knew exactly what I wanted to make and that she'd love it. Our interests were similar, fabric wise and color wise. We even included several of the same patterns in our mosaics so I knew one of these had to be the project that I made for her. 

Color pallet would be brights -- focusing on pink, yellow, teals and greens with splashes of white 

We both love the flowering snowball pattern and I found some templates online to make smaller blocks rather than making 12 inch accuquilt blocks (which I could have done). 
So now it was time to start putting things together and see where this mini wanted to lead me. 
I'm happy with the outcome and sure hopes that my partner loves it as it makes it's long journey to it's new home all the way in Spain. 
Here's another photo in better lighting to see how lovely it really is, I was so hesitant with those wrinkles but they quilted right out. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Winds of Oz #1

So back in 2014 I designed a block for Accuquilt for a contest -- I think I placed in the top 100. Now while I didn't win a big trip and prize pack I decided that it was time to take this sketch and turn it into an actual mini quilt.
I started on it at the stash bash back in April and got most of the top put together but it needed a little tweaking (esp since my math was not great in the group setting).
I got it to a point that I was happy with and quilted the dickens out of it -- as my friend Kelly would say. I'm pleased with the quilting and how this will make an excellent addition to my quilt room wall.

This year Accuquilt did the contest again but this time the parameters were that the block had to be able to be made using the Accuquilt dies. I reentered my block and placed in the top 20 of the viewers votes -- which for me was awesome. The official winner was chosen by a jury with consideration of votes so again no big trip or prize pack but something great did come from it -- but you're going to have to wait on the details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top 8 Things I learned from The Stash Bash

I had such an awesome time at the first Stash Bash that I went to that I went to the Mini bash this weekend. In preparation for the retreat I thought I would share some of the things that I learned and will be putting into practice this time around. 

1. Take way more stuff than you think you will be able to work on. 
crazy mom quilts: Work In Progress Bag pattern:
I want to be sure that I take projects of all kinds and at various levels of being finished so that if I want to work on something quick I can. I will also be taking something that I can do away from the sewing table -- like binding or crochet. This time around I had packed 10 projects, 4 things to bind and have several fabric bundles if I stall out on all my other projects. Now I didn't get to several of them but I was able to complete quite a bit thanks to organization of the projects (i'd really like to make some of these project folders that Crazy mom has made). 

2. drink lots of water, eat healthier snacks and take walking breaks 
Healthy snacks for on-the-go
This decreases the likelihood of sausage feet (when the ankles and feet take on the characteristics of water balloons and walking becomes excruciating) and it allows for more time to socialize and see what everyone else is doing. Hydration also keeps the brain flowing and when you are sewing at 2 am you need all the extra brain power you can muster. 

3. take an additional work surface 
Folding side tables are a must for these events. It was one of the first things I packed this time. This is also a great place to tie off or tape a trash bag. It's extra space to lay items out on and the padded ones are great if you have a mini iron (also packed). 

4. don't worry about cute clothes 
I Quilt Tee - Fuchsia
Comfort is king with marathon sewing. t-shirts / tank tops and yoga pants are dress code. you might want a pair of jeans, if you plan on leaving the event. Do take a sweater or coat --the more clothes that you take the less room for sewing stuff (especially if you are flying or sharing a ride). 

5. precut projects if you can

the cutting and ironing stations are usually busy places and sometimes it's hard to get a few things cut out / ironed let alone a whole project. Keep those maybe projects on hand though -- you never know when inspiration might strike and you pick up that uncut bundle to start something completely different. Also if you have moments of insomnia this can be a great time to cut a whole project. 

6. a chair cushion might be your BFF 
(this is the one I made for Mallory -- it's overstuffed and gonna be a great addition to her sewing space) Aside from dreaded sausage feet, back pain was the other thing slowing me down because those chairs are not good for lengthy sitting periods. Take a large throw pillow -- it also can help if you have a height issue with the table (I'm a shortie). 

8.Teach someone something new / learn something new
Quilters are awesome people and sharing knowledge is powerful. I usually take my accuquilt and teach several people how to use it, which lead to teaching people about piecing curves. Quilt tools are awesome and this is a great place to find out about new ones. This is also a great avenue for meeting new people. 

My first stash bash was a great experience but this 2nd time around I knew more of what to expect and it was even better. Every retreat is different and teaches something new but I know that I will be able to use these tips each time and have a successful retreat.