Friday, February 5, 2016

100 Dayd Challenge -- 30 days in

At the beginning of the year I set a bunch of quilty goals for myself and one of them was linking up with my friend Jen over at Quilter in the closet for her 100 days challenge where we come up with 3 goals for the first 100 days of the year 

I set these 3 goals for myself 

1. Complete at least 2 of my carry over projects from 2015
2. Decrease my stash by 50 yards or more -- through destash or use in ongoing projects
3. Make time to blog every week and link up with other bloggers. 

So now that it's 30 days in -- how are things going? 

Well I haven't finished any carry over projects though I have 7 quilts currently needing basting and I have been able to complete several quilt tops in progress. 

I did manage to finish up a project that had been in my mind for some time and gifted it to another quilter that is a dear friend that had been seemingly forgotten about in a recent swap -- so one finish off my overall list. 

So with all those projects to baste and two swaps coming up I am sure to hit is not surpass this goal. 

I've also been linking up monthly with Red Letter Quilts for the OMG challenge, and this is motivating me to really focus on and potentially complete at least one project during the month. Last month it was the Honda Scout quilt -- it needed sashing and a boarder to move off my design wall and into the basting pile.
This month my goal is to complete the additional 4 blocks and assemble my scrappy crossroads quilt. 

As for the stash management, I am prepping for a big destash on instagram (the pile is behind the cat in the photo above). 

Last month I managed to decrease the stash by 14 yards and most of that was through backings so that's pretty good too. I know there will be at least 10 more yards used this month since I whipped up 3 charity tops at the end of January that also need backings. 

As for the blogging more goal -- I am really trying to be more active and have posted 5 blogs since the start of the year which for me is pretty good. I have about 15 postings in the works -- projects waiting to be completed mostly and my stash tracking postings but fingers crossed that my plans to get all that basting done is accomplished this weekend so that I can share some of those finishes soon. 

I am healing currently and had a minor setback in physical therapy about 2 weeks ago but I return to the doctor later today and am hopeful that the news will be positive. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Stash Report

A big goal for me for 2016 is to continue to use more than I bring in, in regards to my fabric stash. Last year I felt pretty good about the 150 yard decrease that I was able to accomplish. My husband and I are starting to change our focus more toward an actual move in the near future (I've been there for some time but he's really getting closer on this point) and the more I destash the less that would need to be moved when that time comes. I even set one of my first 100 days goals as a destash of 50 yards to get this ball rolling in the right direction. So let's see how I did this month .... 

Early January and late January are 2 local quilt shows, usually I attend the later one but this year I elected to attend the first one. To me it was a bit small and many of the vendors were not quilt related so I will be sticking to the usual one next year. This didn't stop me from finding a few pieces of loveliness that came home with me. 
In total it's only +2 yards worth and I really hope to get started on that pattern some time soon -- I'm told the top can be made in like 6 hours. Isn't that wooden bear paw delightful -- the artist is a Mennonite who lives in Virginia. 

As for the rest of the month I did get in some sewing --- 

I made my bee blocks this month -- about -2 yards used 
Stash Bee hive mate Kirsten (kirstens creations) wanted Double star blocks in a Christmas / Winter theme. 
Bee Hive Mate Sylvia (Flying parrot quilts) wanted union Jack blocks to make into a quilt for her husband. Molli Sparkles has a well written tutorial on making these blocks (and no they aren't paper pieced). 

I also managed to make 48 Tula blocks by mid month and then I completed pulling most of the fabric for the remaining blocks before month's end. 

I worked on my Honda Scout Quilt as a part of my OMG Challenge -- I finished up the top and got the backing made (-7 yards)

I completed my Cotton and Steele Pixelated Heart (-2 yards) -- this was my first finish of the year and it's already off to be in a very special new home. 

Made a little progress on making backings for Spellbound and Kaleidascope. (-6 yards)
I have an quilt top that I made from quilt cutoffs that I made a backing for and it's ready for quilting (-3 yards) 

Did a serious fabric pull for an upcoming destash. 

I did get the Cat Lady Fabric bundle from Cotton and Steele -- as a late Christmas gift. (+5 yards)
Cat Lady Fat Quarter Bundle by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel Fabrics, COMPLETE
Late in January there was a snow storm in NC and this meant lots of sewing happened -- YAY!! 

I put together my sample Wanta Fanta block that I greatly altered for my bee Hive swarm to make for me next month and then the Stash bee hive 6 ladies will be making in March (-1 yard -- since I have a few more that I will make) 

I also have swaps coming up in February and March so fabric was pulled and plans have been started for both the Skinny Mini and Kitten Mini that I am very excited about making. 

First month of 2016 in the books and I added +7 yards to the stash, used -21 yards, started several projects and pulled way more that will be destashed soon. I wound up being -14 yards so far for the year -- well on my way to -50 by the end of the 100 day challenge. 

Linking up with 

Molli Sparkles

Friday, January 29, 2016

Broken hearted swapper

Here lately there seems to be a phenomenon of swapers flaking out on swaps -- I know some of these people have a real unavoidable reason to not complete the items but that is where communication comes in and many times a swap angel can be assigned and the package may be delayed a little, but when people don't communicate someone is left hanging and it breaks down that person's willingness to participate in the future. (Bad swap packages can do this too but that is for another time.) 

I have been fortunate to this point that I have not had a flake as a partner yet and you guys know I've done a lot of swaps, but when it happens to someone close to you it seems more personal and you are compelled to make things right. 

I had talked my quilty best friend and adopted mama into giving instagram swapping a chance and mid January and she has not received a package -- I get the word from my dr that I can start venturing around more and push myself so I decide that she needs something to remind her that she isn't forgotten. 

I had a project in my mind for a while but hadn't started it b/c the time hadn't felt right but now it seemed like the best excuse to put this into action. I got my Cotton and Steele mini charm pack of basics and some kona solid I had on hand and whipped up this pixelated heart mini. 
I cheated on this one and used grided interfacing to keep my colors in the right places but I like the results and I didn't have to sew a million little seams and worry about pressing and nesting.

It's going to fit right in her sewing studio and I know she loves it already because she helped me with the layout and didn't even know it. 
So, Craktpot this one is for you.

First finish for 2016 is in the books and this one is extra special. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bee Hives 2016

I was new to hives last year and decided that this year I would join up with 2 hives again. When we got our monthly assignments I was excited to be near the beginning of the year but that meant I had to really get on things when it came to picking out blocks and colors. My first month as queen bee was going to be in February as a part of the Bee Hive blocks that were hosted by Alyce last year, so this at least narrowed down the blocks to choose from. 

I decided that this year's bee blocks will be making up a quilt will be for my husband (since the one that he has claimed was one of my first ones and it is looking a bit shabby in spots). I'm going with the Wanta Fanta block with modifications to make it more man friendly (cause there is a lot of white in most of the examples I have seen). 

Wanta Fanta Block by Better Off Thread for the Bee Hive Series
He loves Purples, grey and white. So the first step to make this block more man friendly is to inverse the fabrics -- in your blocks the background pieces will be replaced with purples and the colored areas will be assorted low volume fabrics -- whites and grays with accents of black.
color sliced:

Bubbling Purples -
Color Palette:


Chopped hues..hmmmm   DAJA
Color Palettes Inspired by Nature - Purple_Revised
I pulled some fabrics out of my stash and scraps.

For this block I also tried to think of a way to make it scrappy and I wanted more interest. I came across this quilt online that uses similar shapes and I really liked the nine patch effect in the centers.As you might all remember, I spent the past several works working on a quilt for Free Spirit...: .  
This result can be achieved in the WF block by creating a 6.5 inch nine patch of 2.5 inch squares instead of using a solid 6.5 inch square. 

If you are not a fan of sewing the white corners on after making the 9 patch to create the snowball effect, this can be remedied by replacing the corners of your 9 patch with Half square triangle units. It's easy -- take a 3 inch square of purple and one of Low volume to create 2.5 inch HST units by drawing a line in the center and sewing 1/4 inch on either side. I like to use 3.25 inch squares and trim them down to ensure that my units are crisp. 

Careful fabric placement on the x units will result in the complete triangle effect on the points. I found using 4 different fabrics and marking my paper templates helped keep me keep track of which pieces were going to meet up together on the final block. 

Please remove paper before shipping, i don't feel that these blocks will shift as much as others I have made in the past.

Here is my completed test block and I am very eager to see the blocks that you all come up with. 

I'm glad that I am making it something slightly different than the tutorial initially called for but I know that my husband is going to greatly enjoy this quilt when it's all put together. 

I'll be queen in the Stash bee group in March and I haven't decided if I will have them make these block or if I'm going with the Arkansas snowflake (rainbow stars on low volume backgrounds) that have been floating in my mind for some time. The 5 inch paper pieced version goes together quickly and is scrap friendly. -- Here are a version I made for a hive mate last year and they turned out delightful. 

Happy Quilting everyone. 

linked up at 
Quilter in the ClosetSew Cute Tuesday

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

City Sampler January report

Linking up with Michelle over at Crayon Box Quilts to show my progress with the Tula Pink City Sampler. 

In the last 5 months I have been able to complete -- blocks (which you can see here, here and here). I wanted to get all 70 blocks completed before Stash Bash but as you all know that did not happen and now this break in my foot has limited me in sewing and I had barely touched this project for the last 2 months. My goal for this month if I am being realistic is probably having 50 blocks completed but I'd love to be able to finish all 70 so that I can start on layout and assembly next month. 

In October at the check in the book looked like this ... 
and now it looks like this.... 

See all those little blue tabs -- those are the blocks left to make to get to 70 blocks. You see, I'm also in the process of reevaluating my layout options and I may be choosing to make only 56 blocks (7 x 8 layout) or maybe 63 (7 x 9 layout) depending on how I like the blocks that I have made and how many more in the book that I actually want to make. 

So on to the blocks that I was able to complete.

#33: block 19

#34: block 16

#35: block 49

#36: block 61

#37: block 67

#38: block 88

#39: block 17

#40: block 34

#41: block 94

#42: block 76

#43: block 70

#44: block 65

#45: block 14

#46: block 41

#47: block 44

#48: block 53

Holy Cow that's a lot of blocks, but there are at least 8 more to be made and probably more like 22. I am still loving this project and I even resorted my fabrics this weekend to make sure that I am not leaving out fabrics that I really wanted to include because they got buried in the pile. 

I'm hoping that this winter weather threat that we have for this weekend means sewing time because I've got the itch to put these guys together, soon. 

I have resumed sewing in my sewing room rather than the living room make shift area so that makes me a happy gal and also pleases several of the kitties. 
Happy Quilting everyone -- can't wait to see your progress. 

Linking up with 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedQuilter in the Closet