Thursday, April 23, 2015

Swaps Received in March and the first part of April

Since the end of March and April were busy with swapping deadlines that meant lots of happy mail was coming my way so here's a recap of the 5 exciting  swaps that I received in return and another that I am still working on, but my package arrived early. 

Tula Pink Swap from @TawnyTawny

Studio Ghibli Swap from @Sewninred

(great extras -- she thinks I need to take up EPP, and I have to say I am intrigued)

Viva La Villains Swap from @beebsinwonderland (this one was a little bit early but well worth missing out on the anticipation of waiting at the deadline) 
Awesome Right!! 
The extras were equally awesome -- esp that cross stitch 

Rainbow Swap was from @sewkristen 

Isn't it cool -- I love things that are appliqued because of the effort that it takes and the lack of patience that I have for doing it. Plus this one is kinda naughty if you have a pervy mind. 
Some cute and thoughtful extras. 

Kitten Mini Swap, finally arrived after a 10 day delay in Chicago from the AMAZING @jaclynb
I squealed and jumped around so much that my cats wouldn't come in the room with me for about an hour. 

Spring Mini Swap from @jmtuller

Look at all that great color!! She also put in some great extras -- it's like she knew I was running low on pins. 

This was truly a great month and a half of swap packages, now it's time to rearrange my mini wall in my sewing room so that I will be able to display them all. That's going to have to wait till after stash bash and the swapping awesomeness that I will be doing there. 

I have a few other swaps on the horizon as well but they will be in a few months. I think I'm going to take a break for a little while and really focus on the things that I commit to so that I can get some personal sewing done -- those things aren't going to finish themselves. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Totally Different and New Project

So you all know that I have several projects going on at once -- like we all do. This time the new project offers me the chance to work with my hubby and learn something totally new -- CARS!!!

Those of you that follow me on Instagram know that I had been having trouble with my Chevy Sonic after only a year -- truth be told I hadn't really liked that car after about a week of having it. I looked into trading her in and just rolling my payments but couldn't find anything that I liked that met all my needs and was in my budget. My husband had been wanting a 3rd car for some time and had already been looking at cars online so when he suggested that I start looking online, I was skeptical to say the least. I knew that this could entail getting a private bank loan or getting taken for all of our savings and I have a considerable commute every day so being without a vehicle was not an option. 

After about a week and a half I found one that I felt comfortable going to test out that my husband could agree on our owning. So we drove about an hour from home and tried out the 1994 Civic I had found on Craig's List -- the interior was a little shotty and very dirty but I felt that she had good potential and if my mechanic agreed that she was sound this would be my new car.
Hubs and the mechanic went back later in the week and checked things out. The mechanic assured him this was a car he would let his wife drive but it did need a little work right away (like new fluids, changing the belts and a system flush) but nothing dramatic or unexpected for a 23 year old vehicle. (that means in 2 years she'll be a classic) The rest of the upgrades and replacements could come on down the road. This was great news for me because I was getting a "new" car and could get rid of my headache of a Sonic and as a bonus I wouldn't be having a car payment any more. (You are all smart people and know that's code for more fabric, right.) 
We brought her to the shop for the immediate repairs and tune up -- most of the crew wanted to take my car home with them and they did an awesome job making her ready for me and even did a thorough cleaning of the interior -- you could tell that they really loved this car. 

The shop is staffed by a group of late 20's and early 30's guys, and they were getting emotional because the car like they had learned to drive on and had fond memories of owning was leaving the shop. I had to promise to bring her back as we did more upgrades or at least let the mechanic I know take pictures to bring in and show to them. Seriously, I thought a few of them might tear up when I left with her and turned down their offers to buy her from me. 

Next we needed to start looking for things to tweak the minor things that we still needed to fix -- like getting a rear view mirror, a new emblem for the front and upgrading some of the more worn interior components since the former owner had been a smoker and hadn't taken very good care of things. Which means lots of this is being used. 
So the new project begins -- learning about car parts and car language and visiting auto salvage places to put my new knowledge to use. I am looking for new seats right now and then I plan on making the most awesome quilter worthy covers for them -- black, grey and bits of teal using a modified Scout pattern. So it's not all about mechanics -- some of it is about pretty and comfort. 
This past weekend I missed out on sewing time because I was out finding parts, getting sun burnt and putting a new lining in the trunk -- it looked like a mug monster had exploded back there but now it's clean and ready to hold anything. 

I added my sugar skull Storm Trooper to cover some paint wear 

Small touches are making a big difference in this car and I know that it will be one serious learning experience but I am eager for the ride. I am finding that I am adding new groups on Facebook about Civics and reading more car blogs but rest assured that quilting is still my passion and I really can't wait to show you those awesome quilty things I will be adding... like maybe this sticker. 
Sew Sassy - Ultimate Power Square Sticker 3" x 3"
This weekend it will be more about the sewing as I am finishing up a few things before heading to Stash Bash at the end next week and have to finish my secret sewing in preparation, my huge project tote bag and my bee blocks for this month so that weekend can be all about fun new projects and fun new people. I'm traveling down with a great group of ladies from the Charlotte area and then it'll be 3 total days of quilting awesomeness with my 70+ new friends (many of whom I already feel I know from the online community). 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Have you ever....

had a project that you just couldn't seem to complete? 

It's a quilt that you love and want to finish it but when it gets to a certain point it's just stuck and try as you might things just don't seem to be going right. 

This is where I am with my Milky Way Medallion quilt that I pattern tested last year. I love this quilt and all the colors and fabrics that I used. It was a growing experience for me to put something like this together. Last year, I got the top completed and I even got the thing basted 
but now when I try to quilt it things aren't working out. Things are going badly and the frustrations are mounting so the project gets put back to the side ... again. 

I have had a busy couple of weeks and my first night I had to sew in about a week turned more into a marathon of seam ripping and fighting the quilt than anything that resembled relaxing quilting. This was the 2nd attempt -- the first was far worse. 
I was hoping to get this one quilted to take to stash bash and be able to work on the binding during down times but unless things get more cohesive this weekend I do not think that will be happening, and that makes me more upset. 

I don't want to end up hating this quilt so, now I am at a dilemma with this quilt --- should I send it to another quilter and have it quilted for me? 

I know people send quilts out all the time but, I've never had another person quilt anything for me before. I don't really know what to expect from the process. She is a big girl at over 80 inches square but not the largest quilt that I've quilted myself -- so then cost might be a factor (again the unknown) but it could be worth the piece of mind. I do know some very awesome ladies that I would more than trust to do it -- either on a long arm or at a sit down like a tiara. Any feedback or thoughts are appreciated, I have a few options -- sit on the project until we can be friends again, learn to long arm and work my way up to quilting it myself, send it to another quilter or purge on with it until things work out and make good friends with the seam ripper if they don't. 

Thanks Everyone. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2nd qtr goals

So in keeping with my tradition of linking up and setting unrealistic goals for my self I am once again linking up with Adrianne over on the windy side to see if my goals can become more reality in the next quarter. 

Last Quarter I was able to accomplish 9 of my 27 goals -- most of these were swaps and I do have a few more of those coming up but I am really going to try and focus more on things I need to finish up and working on things that I want to this time around. 

My carry over / started and ongoing goals are 
  1. Continue to keep up with making bee blocks and make a few more kaleidoscope blocks for my quilt. 
  2. Complete the Blue Strings Quilt before Father's Day
  3. Complete my Scrappy Trip Along Quilt 
  4. Complete Moda Modern Building Blocks 
  5. Quilt the Medallion Quilt (hello old friend -- currently my oldest UFO)
  6. Quilt Rush Hour
  7. complete the swap items for the swaps I've already committed to -- 
    • Spring Fling Mini (due 4/21)
    • Stash Bash Sister Swap (due 4/23) 
    • One Hour basket (June 5th)
    • Alison Glass Mini (due 6/15)  
    • Viva La Villains (due 7/15)
    • Harry Potter Mini (due September)
My new / not started goals are 
  1. A tote bag for me -- to take to Stash Bash
  2. Sewing Machine Pad -- to take to Stash Bash
  3. Thread Catcher -- for Stash Bash 
  4. Make my Accuquilt Block -- a project for Stash Bash 
  5. Swoon Quilt with Rock N Romance -- I will be starting this one at Stash Bash in a few short weeks. 
  6. Make one of the 4 patterns from Lisa Alley that have been waiting patiently -- one or more of these may head with me to Stash Bash 
  7. make an infinity scarf 
  8. Lucky 21 is another project I will be starting at Stash Bash but it looks like things will go together quickly.
  9. All Squared UP 
  10. Katie Spain Charm Project 
  11. Pixelated Heart with Cotton and Steele mini charm pack
  12. Mod POP or Metro Rings with the Quick Curves Ruler 
  13. vintage mini quilt top 
  14. Another Mini Sew together bag and perhaps try my hand at making a larger one. 
  15. Jen Kingwell's State Fair 
  16. Project for the Cat Nap fabric
  17. Tessellations -- I am doing a workshop in June for this one so a completion on this quilt may be a little less than realistic at this time. 
  18. Quilted Seat Covers for my new 1994 Civic 
  19. Pattern testing for The Littlest Thistle (Due 6/5)
  20. Tula Pink's City Sampler -- After I finish up MMBB
Well at least we can see that I have reigned in on what projects I really want to work on this quarter (hahaha) -- 30+ different things. Several of them have deadlines so I know that will be helpful and I am really excited to see what I can accomplish at Stash Bash later this month and throughout the quarter. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rainbow Swap -- #rainbowteamorange

Since I am all about swaps, sometimes I get paired up with people that I have been admiring for a while and this time I got paired up with Carrie Hanson of Gotcha Covered Quilting. I know that she has great taste and is super generous as she is often one of the sponsors in swaps that I have been in -- so if you haven't checked out her awesome shop you probably should head on over there (once you finish reading of course). 

So, now that I knew who my partner was my initial idea of doing a color block and then fancy smancy quilting was thrown out the window. 
I didn't feel that either of these options were really where I wanted to go with this mini, even though I still really liked the one on the left. 

Now it was time to regroup and do another fabric pull to see where this mini was headed. 
Well sometimes the back up and punt turns into something spectacular and I am really happy with the outcome. 
I got to use my accuquilt and a die that I had been wanting to use for a while and I felt that she would really love the outcome -- and guess what, so did she!!
Extras were all about rainbows too. 

Now it's time to wait and see what I receive -- I'll be putting all my received packages together in a big post once the four of them arrive by mid April.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

1st qtr recap and link up

2015 Finish-Along

Back at the beginning of the year I linked up my lofty Quarterly goals with Adrianne over at The Windy Side, so now it's time to link up again and see how I did with all those goals. 

  • Complete Rush Hour -- still needing to be quilted 
  •  Find a Project to use my Cat Nap fabric -- not yet hoping to before the retreat in April 
  • Swoon Quilt using Rock N Romance -- I have plans to work on this at the stash bash retreat in April. I have made progress in that I got the background fabric but none of the blocks have been made at this time. 

  • Tula Pink's City Sampler -- not started but one of my friends and I are planning to start this in the next few months, once we complete the MMBB.

  • Make another Sew together bag -- I've actually made 3 (here, here and here)
  • Keep up with the Bee Blocks -- right on track and I'm ready to whip up this month's blocks this weekend 
  • Blue string block quilt for Father's day -- all the blocks are finally made and ready to be assembled. It's going to be 120 blocks when assembled, the picture below shows when I had about half the blocks made. 
  • Make at least one of the many patterns that I have from my friend Lisa Alley -- didn't get around to it, this might be another Stash Bash project or 2. 
  • Disappearing Hourglass -- completed 
  • Complete the Scrappy trip along quilt -- most of the blocks are complete, only 6 more to go till I have all my initial ones completed. 
  • Make at least one plushie from this pattern -- nope 
  • Lucky 21 is another project I will be taking to Stash Bash -- still resisting the urge to buy Cherie yardage.
  • Still working on my Moda Modern Building Blocks 

  • Pattern test for @the_littlest_thistle this will be for my Villains Swap partner as her main item. 
  • I'm also still working on Sewing My Stash, so far this year I am 45.5 yards lighter in my stash -- If I hadn't been adding back I would be over 130 yards lighter (but a girl's got to have a hobby right). 

As usual Happy Quilting Everyone.