Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pink Swap

So I told myself that 2017 was going to be about focusing on current projects and decreasing my stash and I would limit the swaps that I signed up for (especially since I was already doing another traveling quilt and 2 bees). I had however forgotten about a swap that I signed up for right before making this decision -- the PINK swap. 
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What's not to love right it's all things pink and the swap is supposed to be minis only so no added pressure. My partner was really clear about what she didn't want and this was somewhat limiting until I saw that her mosaic included a mini I had wanted to make for some time -- it just needed to have the colors swapped (and as it turns out needed to be resized). 
Sizzix.com - Ombre Vibes Quilt:
She didn't want Flowers or Tula so I opted for solids -- this scared me, I've never done a quilt with only solids but tiny pieces and all it went together pretty quickly and I'm happy with the outcome. 

When I started to quilt it I looked at the inspiration photo and decided straight lines were a good thing -- just not those so again I changed it up but it still works and the black binding frames it all really well. 

This was my 2nd finish for 2017 and will get mailed out early next month. 

2016 Block of the Month

When I signed up for the APQ Resolutions and made my list I added things randomly with the hope that as each month came along I would be able to get that project completed and face some things that I had perhaps been putting off. 

This month was the first month and #6 was the Challenge number -- for me this was the Block of the Month from last year that I had actually intended to finish up last year and gift it as a Christmas gift to a 10 year old little girl who recently had to move across the country with her mother when her grandmother passed away. I never found the energy in December to get it quilted though I did manage to get it basted one afternoon at lunch. 

So I set forth in simple quilting around mid month and it only took me a few hours on a Friday evening. 

I already had the binding cut from the same fabric as the backing and once I got it all attached, the quilt was all ready to go. 

She loves her new quilt and was very happy to put it in her very own room now that they are getting more settled in the new place.  

This was my 4th finish of the month. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

The story of traveling quilts

Last year I started a traveling quilt with an Alice in Wonderland theme and it's still out there -- it comes home in another few months and I'm really excited to see what all has been added since the last time that I saw pictures of it. 

When my friend Rena asked if I wanted to take part in a new round robin quilt that she would be starting in 2017, I said sure and once i found out who some of the other ladies were I was really excited because I actually know most of them IRL. 

I wanted a cat themed quilt at first but then when I settled on a color pallet I didn't really have the cat fabrics to support this so I went with colors instead because they were really speaking to me. I
the orange color is similar to what we are thinking about in the bedroom.  I think gold-ish curtains/ canopy for our 4 poster bed. Maybe a rug that teal color?:
When pulling fabrics, I threw in Navy and brightened up the colors a bit for some added pop. 
I picked a Moda Love Star as my center (with a little resizing to meet the size limits) and it turned out really fun. I almost wanted to make another so that I could make this one a mini and keep it. 
So now it's out in the world being added to by awesome ladies and I won't know what's going on till it comes home next year -- because it's a secret quilt that we haven't decided if there will be sneak peeks through out the year or not.

Here's hoping for a creative year for my Moda Star, I can't wait to see what awesome things the ladies do to you. 

2017 Here We GO

2016 ended a bit on a low note for me with only 2 finishes but I am hoping for renewed energy going into 2017. I'm going to be linking up my goals and finishes with the Finish Along again this year what's even more exciting is my gal pal Ella is a host this year. 
Finish-A-Long 2017
I'm also hoping to stay focused with a monthly goal set out by American Patchwork and Quilting. I've linked up these fun lists with that resolution challenge. I made a list of current UFO's, projects I'd like to start and another that is things that have deadlines or are ongoing. 
I currently have 14 projects that are needing attention and 12 others that are pending being started so why not aim high on the goals. 

Things that have deadlines 
  • Eevee Pillow / Pattern Test (ASAP)Related image
  • Pink Swap (Feb)
  • Elephant Quilt for Mallory (April) Circa 15 Fabric Studio | Modern Fabrics | Kirkland, Washington:
  • Jewel Box Throw (April)
  • McKinley's Quilt (ASAP)
Things in Progress 
  • MODA Modern Building Blocks Image result for moda modern building blocks
  • Tessellations 
  • Lucky 21
  • Weekender Bag
  • Swiss Cross Quilt     Swiss Downloadable PDF Quilt PatternThimble Blossoms | Fat Quarter Shop:
  • 2016 Block of the Month 
  • 2016 Traveling Quilt (will return to me in March) 
  • Triple Block Bee (January Queen) love the combination of orange and teal. definitely keeping this in mind for my next living room.:
  • 12 Scrap Bins -- one of each color for my scrap sorting, I'm thinking of making this my scrap challenge each month to link up with SoScrappy well holy cow look... scrap bins with color coded tops!  Go for it!:
Things I might start this quarter 
  • Swoon -- There is a quilt along starting soon. 
  • Jen Kingwell Pillow
  • All Squared UP
  • Plus Side 
  • Broken Herringbone 
  • Crafty Carrier Image result for crafty carrier
  • AMH Scrappy quilt 
  • Steampunk Image result for steampunk quilt
  • Botanics Pendant Quilt 
  • DJ Jelly Roll 
  • Granma's Surprise
  • Kitten Quilt -- this may be another scrappy project 
So as you can see I have plenty to keep me busy if the weather turns bad in NC in the next few months. I'm not planning to hook up with many swaps this year so that I can focus on the projects at hand and really work on decreasing my stash this year (it's gotten a little out of hand). I know later on in the year my craft room is going to be revamped again because there is need for some different furniture in there to be a better use of the space. 

My 100 Days goals this year are 
  • keep up with the ongoing challenges above 
  • have 5 completions in 100 days 
  • Rehome my scrapbook supplies to someone that will use them -- I did this with my beads last year and it was really freeing. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

4th Quarter 2016 wrap up and 2016 by the numbers

In wrapping up 2016 it's always nice to look back and see what all I was able to accomplish this year -- so here are the numbers. 

Quilts -- 10
Swaps / Mini Quilts -- 8 
Pouches and Bags -- 8
Bee Blocks / Charity Blocks -- 118

Stash Decrease by 102 yards

This is also a good time to link up for the quarterly goals. I was able to complete 2 of my goals -- not great but ok. 
2016 button 250 best

I completed my coworkers t shirt quilt

The Kate Spain Epic Christmas quilt is also completed. 

My other goals and projects will be carried over into 2017. I'm plan on continuing to link up with the Finish A Long but I'll also be linking up with All People Quilt -- I've got my lists ready to go and I hope that means focusing on some of these older projects and knocking them off the list.  

All these projects are still in the works 
-- 1st year clothing quilt for McKinley -- need assembly, basting, quilting, embellishing and binding
--BOM quilt from Sewingly Yours needs quilting and binding. 
--KS bonus jewel box needs to be quilted and bound.
-- Weekender Bag as part of the sew a long -- still in this state. 
-- tessellations -- still 25 blocks to be put together 
-- Moda Modern Building Blocks -- I'm going to make an abbreviated version of this one
-- Lucky 21

I hope 2017 is full of completions for me and more motivation while sewing. 

December sewing and stashing

AKA the last ditch effort for some finishes in 2016. 

My goals going into this quarter were pretty high and the list of completions was pretty low but I am glad for the things that I completed this month, and the new items that I added to my fabric collection. 

We took some extra time with the traveling quilts to help people not feel rushed for the holidays so I sent Diana's quilt early in the month and didn't get my replacement till after Christmas so no real sewing here this month.  

You may have already read about my birthday buying --- this added 10 yards to the stash.  

December brought the conclusion to the bee hive this year with Sue asking for a sampler quilt so we could make any blocks that we wanted, I choose Jagged Pill (-.5 yard) 

I was also asked to make some angel blocks for another of the stash bee hives -- aren't these candy canes cute. I know that she will put them to good use soon. (-1 yard) 

I made some Pin blocks for my friend Ella (-.5 yard) 

I finished up my Christmas quilt that you might have read about here

The rest of the month I mostly did some prepping for the new year and straightening of my sewing room. With these few completions this month I finished 2016 at -102 yards for the year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Spectacular

It's surely no secret around here that I LOVE KATE SPAIN and creating things with her awesome fabrics. One of my favorite quilts that I've ever made is my Jewel Box quilt from the charms I got in a swap that included every line except her holiday lines. 

Well last year I thought how wonderful it would be to make a quilt using only her Christmas / Winter lines. I'm not usually a fan of devoting a quilt to something I will only use once a year but this seemed different and special. Christmas had always been a special time to my mother and she took great pride in doing the house up nice each year so I committed myself to making maybe a throw size in her honor. 
Image result for cardinal in snow saying
I did a little research and it turned out there were 6 lines from previous years and another coming out mid 2016 and I really loved them all -- they have a certain vintage/timeless feel to them, like my mother's ornament collection. 
Crayon Box Quilt Studio
(image from Crayon Box Quilts -- who did a round of holiday charm swap round that I passed on when Jingle came out)

Lovers of Fabric know that OOP and HTF equate to being long shots at times and I was seeking a charm pack of each line (make things a little harder for my self, right.) I came across an awesome hashtag #GetYourQuiltyWishesGranted about this same time so I threw this wish out into the cyber world and also started to look online to see if this was going to be a possibility. 

I was really excited and surprised when charm packs of 4 lines were offered to me right away. I started to tell myself -- this might actually happen, so I focused on the other 2 heavily. 
Image result for kate spain christmas charmImage result for kate spain christmas charm
One I was able to find online (not cheap), I asked the shop owner about the other missing line and my intentions for the project, and she lowered the cost a little for me and directed me to another person that might have what I was looking for (how great, right). While I'm waiting to hear back about the other, I got a message on IG and the missing pack was gifted. 

Knowing the new line was going to be released after market I started asking around to people that I knew would be going, and a friend's shop was doing an after market sample sale and I was able to pick up the new line before most people really knew about it. 
Image result for kate spain christmas charm
So with all the packs in hand it was time to choose a background color since I already knew the pattern I wanted to modify and use. 
When my dear friend Melanie decided to close her retail store and this provided a great opportunity to get an abundance of dark grey grunge that blended all the the beautiful variations of reds, greens, blues, grays, whites and creams that all these different lines brought together -- not exactly the color you think of in a Christmas quilt. 
Moda grunge fabric UK stockists
Then it was time to make what seemed like a thousand half square triangles -- but really it was 422 (211 different fabrics) and I got most of these sewn at a series of sew ins with the help from my friends all taking part in the assembly line process. 

I sorted them into groups of 8 for the stars. 
and with a strong dose of courage pushed forward on assembly. This was October and I wanted to see if I could make it at least to the quilt top phase by December. 

I tried a new to me method of sewing the blocks together called the scrambled net patchwork. I had seen this done before by 2 quilters (one focused on design/ layout and the other was working on a scrappy quilt) and once I got the hang of it I was amazed, because knowing me at least one of those triangles would have been wrong along the way. If you look at the tutorial I linked to I did mine a little differently -- I only focused on one column at a time instead of every other but it's a great method. I even repeated it once I had all the blocks completed to make the top. 
These blocks are large and I knew the idea of a throw was out the window. I also knew that I didn't want to break my back with rearranging them on the floor to determine layout -- so I cheated and I made block representation cards and did a basic layout with these before spreading the blocks on the floor. This might be handy for my fellow quilters with furry helpers. 
I did have to do a little swapping out for fabric placement but this probably saved me -- hours! No seriously, when you factor in time for blind rearrangement and cat moving and recovery time from all that bending over -- hours, maybe even days. (Kahn is kind of a jerk when it comes to quilt layout time).
This lovely girl is a much better helper than the other one because she waits patiently off to the side and then patrols the edge before coming onto the quilt -- She's such a love. 
The quilt pattern is by my awesome online friend Michelle that she designed for Moda called Castles on the Horizon, Michelle is someone that I feel I will meet in real life some day and she happens to be as big of a Kate Spain fan as I am, she was the charm swap host for the other KS quilt I made. I decided this quilt would be called Castles at Christmas in honor of her.
Once assembled I added a simple border and incorporated the solid charms that I initially was going to have to leave out -- my change from her design but it emphasizes the diamonds and reminds me of the holly bunches that my mother put on the corner of the mantle. 

The backing had been purchased on the way to Stash Bash last year after I surprised my awesome friend Mallory and  we stopped at the shop closest to the retreat to just hang out some more before the big weekend -- where she helped me find the hidden bolt of this great fabric from the Jingle line. 
Image result for kate spain birds and berries
I patched in the extra star block into the backing 
and sent it off for some spa treatment in Florida -- right after Thanksgiving. As I have said before Kira is awesome and I feel confident in letting her do her own thing when it comes to my quilts and she sure didn't disappoint on this one -- stunning work, she quilted poinsettias and swirls. 
I set forth binding it right away with the hopes that I would still make my holiday deadline and as of 4pm on 12/27 I had a completed queen sized quilt -- The Kate Spain Christmas Spectacular -- Castles at Christmas
This one is so very special because of all the components that many of my friends added to it along it's journey and it will now be a part of my holiday traditions for many years to come. 
Image result for disney castle at christmas
Wouldn't it be great to get a photo with the Disney castle. 

This is my 2nd finish for this quarter.