Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kitten Mini Quilt Swap 2016

I was super excited when @frankiesfabrics announced a 2nd round to the kitten mini swap but then as I read the initial guidelines i realized it was only for Australians -- insert sad face. As the deadline was approaching for the signups to end I got a happy message that I (and a hand full of others) had been selected to take part in the swap if we still wanted.

Once I got my partner's info I started formulating a plan and decided to make a paper pieced version of her cat in a purple heart -- I still wanted to work in chevrons somehow but at least the basic plan was in place. 
This didn't feel quite right
There we go -- much better 
Binding Choices
Here it is all finished and ready for shipping off to Cheryl Mitchell (@rose_patch70) all the way in Melbourne, Australia. 
For this swap we also had to send along a 2nd handmade item and i made a mini sew together bag for all that hexi work that Cheryl does. 
and a few other goodies. 

I know she's super excited that this is now her's because of all the lovely comments that she left me along the way, during the swap. 
Her response to the package was great .

The pouch is my 2nd finish for the 2nd quarter

Monday, April 25, 2016

medical bills and dwendling work leave be damned

  1. medical bills 
  2. not that much saved leave from work 
  3. the distance 
  4. driving alone 
  5. short deadline
  6. missing time from my hubby .... 
There are more reasons that I shouldn't have done it but I did it any way and I'm better for it. 

OK, what the hell is she talking about -- right. 

I'm talking about Stash Bash. 
I originally wasn't going because of the distance and being in the car for such a long time, then I broke my ankle and didn't know if I'd be better in time and if I was, I wasn't sure the medical bills I would have. I passed up several opportunities to get resale tickets and as the time got closer I was really down about missing out on seeing everyone. Hubs knew I was upset and even offered to have our own home bash that weekend. 
It was 2 weeks from the retreat and he looks at me and says -- you know you can go, just use your destash money. 

Now it was time to juggle and see if I could make it all happen -- verify time off with the boss, pay for a ticket, transportation (or a plan), I'd want to make a  few things for some of my buddies, get things together for swapping and making. 

My UFO bins were ready to go.
In preparation,  found a bunch of new projects that I am taking with me along with the ongoing ones and it looks like it might be enough to keep me going for 3 days. 
An extra fun addition to this is that most of my friends do not know that I am coming -- so it will be really fun to surprise them when I or they get there.  (I'm sure I'll get called a dirty liar at least once). 

I even managed to make a few fun gifts and an angel item for the secret sister swap. 
I have a few more gift items planned to whip together once I get to the retreat. 

And there was no way I could show up unannounced without rice crispy treats -- I think 4 batches is enough to get me in the door. 

But I did it and here I am all packed up an ready to head out.

The truth of things is, I need this trip and this time to myself  -- I've been having more and more migraines lately and feeling very blah about life so here's to a weekend with the girls filled with laughing, sewing, treats and being generally awesome -- I figure in the long term this is going to be better for me and you know those medical bills will still be here when I get home, that's what payment plans are for right. 

This is finish #4 , 5, 6 & 7 for the 2nd quarter

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April City Sampler Check in

Last month I managed to complete the blocks for my city sampler and realized that I had an extra one to boot. I laid them all out on my office floor one afternoon and marveled at the colors. 
I am happy that they are all done and slightly anxious because now it's time for sashing and I really hope that the Acacia flag print isn't going to be to much of a distraction. 

I laid out some of the blocks on the print to build up my courage and really like the results, so now it's time to cut.

and cut, and cut.

I was able to get all the cutting finished by mid month and hope to work on assembling rows over the rest of the month -- Maybe next month we'll have a completed top. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spellbound

Another project that I started and completed the top for at stash bash was from my Cotton and Steele Spellbound layer cake that I had picked up at Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill during a recent trip, I also had the Mossouri Star Quilt Company Blocks Book Fall Vol 1 Issue 5 to whip out this awesome quilt top using the Teacup Quilt pattern.

This is another of the projects that just needed a little more love once I got home from stash bash that got delayed due to the ankle break. All this lovely needed was backing, basting and quilting. I looked in my stash and discovered that I already had some of the fill in fabric that Ella had helped me with at stash bash that I could use for this project. So I whipped up a backing.
Got it quilted -- which initially proved to be a real pain in the tail until I tried using Coats and Clark embroidery thread instead of the brand I usually use for actual embroidery. 
and now it's all ready for next Halloween

This is my  3rd finish in the 2nd Quarter.

100 day challenge results

Jen put forth a fun challenge at the beginning of the year to see what we could accomplish in 100 days if we set up a few goals for ourselves. 


So I set forth with these 3 that I felt were pretty obtainable 

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. 

We've linked up a few other times and I've been doing pretty good on these goals except for the more blogging part -- I am at least keeping up on my blog reading. 

In 100 days I have accomplished 

-- 9 completed projects (3 this month)

-- I have kept up with all my bee blocks and made several extras for other hives and my hive mates.

-- I have decreased my stash by at least 50 yards, even thought I was very bad last month and nearly blew it. It could stand to be decreased by at least another 50 -- but that's coming in time. 

-- I have managed to blog 20 times since the beginning of the year and I have about 10 blog postings in the wings waiting on deadlines or completions. Many of my postings are monthly wrap ups or progress with the Tula Sampler but that's actually better than I thought I was doing. 

I feel pretty good about my start into 2016 and hope to keep up momentum throughout the rest of the year as I work on several other goals that I have going. A big thanks to Jen for motivating us all. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stash Bash Revamp

So last year at the Mini Stash Bash there was a little mix up with the shirts and they were way smaller than most of us quilters could even start to think about putting on. They were still really cute so as a group we decided to revamp the shirts and bring them back in the spring to the retreat for a little mini contest to see who had the most clever way of using the shirt. 

As I thought about the shirt I remembered the bags of scraps that I had collected during the first 2 retreats and my idea was starting to come together. 
Initially I was going to make a pillow but then I decided that making a large project tote would be far better for the next time I am able to attend the retreat. I pulled a pattern for some basics of assembly but then didn't follow it. I wanted to do scrappy so I cut my outer panels and started rough piecing the collected fabrics together to come up with these lovelies. 
I added some linen material as a boarder, the bottom and the straps. 
I also pulled from my stash for the inner lining and pulled it all together. 

The finished size is 19 x 18 x 9.5 and large enough to hold 3 project boxes and plenty of extras. 
While I am sad that I won't be going to the retreat in 2 weeks, I still wanted to complete the challenge and maybe have one of my other quilting buddies take my project with them to show it off. This is going to be a great project for carrying to retreats or sew ins, since it will allow me to keep everything together and hopefully help me narrow down things that I take with me. --- Yeah Right. 

Another thing is for sure -- the kitties love it

and Mr Pink thinks it's his personal carrying bag to go hang out with all his lady friends.

First finish of my 2nd Quarter goals, my April OMG and Sew My stash April Challenge project. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

2nd Quarter goals

Well, First quarter was productive in knocking out some of those UFO projects, with 6 finishes and that means making room for new projects to get started while finishing up a few of those other stragglers. So I'm linking up again for the next round of the FAL
2016 button 640 best

1. finish up the Stash Bash Revamp project -- I came so close to finishing it last quarter.

2. I know that I will be finishing up the 2nd item that will be in my Kitten mini swap -- I'm leaning toward a mini sew together bag. 
3. I want to finish up my Tula Sampler Quilt -- I need to sash it and get it ready to be long armed. 
4. I still have the Scrappy Cross roads in my basted pile 
5. the spell bound quilt is currently in the process of being quilted
6. I hope to get back to tessellations and finish up the other half of the blocks to start planning a layout. 


7. still needing to finish up the blocks for Wanta Fanta -- not all of them have came in from the hive mates yet and I still need to make about 20 more blocks so that I will have a quilt large enough for hubby. 
8. Swoon is still on my want to make list and I am thinking about changing up my initial plan and incorporate a solid for the diamonds in with all the prints from Rock N Romance



9. Moda Modern is still hanging around and it's looking more like it will be an abridged version of this huge quilt -- I have about 1/2 of the blocks completed. 
10. Lucky 21 is something that's still hanging around.
11. My sister has requested a cross quilt that she saw online -- no pattern for this one, just the image so that should be fun. 
12. I'm looking for a project to use my Proiry Square fabric 
13. There are 2 scrappy trip along quilts for charity waiting to be quilted
14. Sew together pouch as an angel gift 
15. Kate Spain Christmas Spectacular quilt -- North Woods comes out in June, so really this is a 3rd qtr goal but I could go ahead and start sewing all those HST that this project will entail.
North Woods Half Yard Bundle Reservation <br/>Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics
16. I want to start working on the bag pattern I got for Christmas 
17. I will be making a first year clothes quilt for a little girl, whose mom really loved the one that I made for her brother. 

18. I am sure there will be a swap some time this quarter to attract my attention .

Eighteen projects, that's not to bad. Some are far more likely than others but I am still working on my goals for the year to purge out more stash than I bring in and several of these projects should make a sizable difference. I'm also working on bee blocks every month and one block of the month project.