Monday, April 14, 2014

Lots o Sewin

I like things that end in zero -- my blog is getting closer to a milestone in views.
I completed a small hippo last week -- all except adding his eyes. these are so fun to make, I have a few others in the works and hope to have another 2 or 3 complete this week.
Friday was the big lock in at Sewingly Yours and it was a blast as usual -- I did manage to get my triangles quilt put together with the aid of my buddy Rox and her mad ironing skills. 
I started working on more string blocks but didn't get any actually finished yet because I was working on several at once. 
So it was an evening of fun, laughter, eating and sewing -- a great time. I did buy a new book and am excited about doing a few different projects from it. 

Fat Quarter Shuffle by Annie's Quilting - 13 Fat Quarters Projects #141357
 Saturday was an exhausting one for me -- I decided it was time I traded the car in. We had it appraised about a month ago and had been looking heavily for a while but I find the whole process very over whelming and had given up until I saw a few new things at CarMax that I wanted to take a closer look at. We headed over there Saturday morning and in a few hours I was heading home with a new car. 
CarMax is a great experience because I suck at negotiating prices on things but my anxiety flared up so high that passing out was a real concern -- luckily I did not and only came out with a small case of hives. I am still adjusting to all the features that my other car was missing (remote entry, cruise, Bluetooth technology, xm radio) but I am loving these new amenities. This is also a good motivator in destashing more fabric and using what i have on hand to get me through the rest of the fabric fast. I will probably be putting some fabric on instagram in the next week because this will be my spending money for non essential fabric purchases maybe throughout the rest of the year if i decide to push the fast that long. 

Saturday evening I spent time in my craft room pulling out the fabrics that need to be put away properly -- you know how sometimes we just make a pile here or there with plans to put it up later or decide to not use fabrics that we have pulled so they sit to the side, apparently this had gotten out of control for me. 
So another task for this week is putting all this away -- good thing I'm off Friday. 

Yesterday I finally sat down and worked on actual projects for a short period and made some good progress. I trimmed the triangle quilt and had a super helpful photo assistant that tried wearing it as a hat. 
The wind was not being very cooperative so I finally got one decent shot of the top. 
It turns out there are 504 triangles in this quilt -- I think I have exactly enough yardage left over to make a backing. I love when that works out. Maybe I can baste this week? 

My other exciting progress is on the clam shell mini -- I got her quilted and am debating on binding. I am leaning toward the sketch fabric over the gold. I wanna get this completed so that I will take it to the guild meeting next week before shipping.
I tried my hand at paisleys for the quilting and I am generally happy with the outcome -- I can work to make them smaller next time and also not have bare spots (this was a directional issue at times and thread breaking at others). 

Looks like a busy week ahead but it's a long weekend so that means happy quilting for sure. 

I'm linking up over at SEWjo Saturday and she wants to know of an inexpensive and unconventional thing in my sewing room -- for me it's my thread catcher, AKA a soup mug.
linking up at Linky Tuesday

Monday, April 7, 2014

April Showers of projects

My April goals are starting to take shape and there was much sewing happening this weekend. I hope to get some evening sewing in this week so that I will move things closer to the completed pile. 

Project #1 -- Clam Shells mini
the tutorial by the quilt engineer was wonderful and gave me hope that i would be able to finish this mini. I have her all spray basted and ready for quilting and hope to knock it out this week. I surely could use some FMQ therapy this week. I haven't figured out yet how I want to quilt it but I've considered pebbles, waves, straight lines and paisleys --- any suggestions? 

Man it's going to be hard to give this one away. 

Project #2 -- Triangles Galore 
As I mentioned last week I am linking up with the triangle quilt along on this one and it's a gift for my niece that graduates next year. What I didn't realize is how many triangles a full quilt would entail --- over 600. Thanks to the  go baby cutter and a huge design wall I nearly have all my rows laid out and some of the rows are sewn together. 
She loves yellow and gray scale so I think this will be pretty close to perfect for her. 

Project #3 -- Jelly Roll Race (vol 2) 
I started pulling fabric to make backing for it but that's about the extent of it. I am hoping to add in some yellow on the back but I may be sick of yellow by the time I finish that triangle quilt. 

Project #4 -- scraps and decluttering 
Putting away fabric always makes me feel better about the cleanliness of my room and here lately I have been neglecting this task, so I know that means I really need to do it. To combat my procrastination I have taken a few steps 
  • I poured the scrap basket on my ironing table so now I have to work on it in order to use the iron
  • moved some fabric to go back into the drawers onto my sewing table -- thus blocking my machine 
  • we packed up most of the scrapbooking items into groups so that I will be able to list them online to sell (now I can access some of the fabric drawers easier) 
  • still needing to sell / purge some more fabric -- haven't found a motivator on this one yet.
Project #5 -- Hippos 
In May I have the opportunity to participate in some weekend festivals close to home in downtown Winston Salem and I need to get on making more crochet hippos because i sold out at the holiday shows last year.  

Project #6 -- Gypsy wife 
I went through and put all the blocks back in the book so that this will hopefully aid with organization and assembly in another few weeks. This will take the place of the triangles on the design wall once those rows can be pulled down and numbered. I am anxious to see what it's all going to look like together. 

Looks like April is going  to be a busy month for me -- with these projects and the other 2 quilts that need to be quilted I surely have enough to keep me busy for a while. Happy Quilting everyone.

linking up with sewjo-saturday

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Wrap up -- for the link ups



So this month I had a grand total of 4 finishes
How Mack Unwinds
Sunday in the Park
PGB scrappy 

I also made 20 blocks for Kevin the Quilter's Valor block drive, meaning that I used a total of 15 yards of fabrics from the stash this month -- this brings my yearly total to 55+ yards. 

On the fabric non buying front I am not doing great and have bought small bits throughout the month mostly for projects but a few items were because I wanted them. I did use my gift certificate earlier this month on some splurge fabric but I already have a plan and many friends to go with it so I am hoping to move this into the WIP pile soon.

Now here's some other things I've been working on for the variety of other link ups that I am doing.

Gypsy Wife QAL
I have made amazing strides in making blocks and have a few more extra blocks to go and then assembly. I will probably remake my Perishing block using the paper piecing method because I'm not super happy with it. Here are the blocs sorted by section
and here are the blocks for this month.

Library Challenge
scout quilt -- needs quilting and binding 

Sound Garden -- needs quilting and binding


New Stuff
Clam shell Mini -- This one is for a very special person.
Triangle QAL -- a triangle quilt has been on the list for a while now so I decided why not?
Day at the Beach -- scrap Bin quilt

So what are the goals for April?
- finish scout
- finish sound garden
- finish Clam Shell mini
- make progress on triangles quilt
- baste and complete Day at the beach
- assemble the Gypsy Wife (or at least part of it)
- make some string blocks or purge the strings
- start working on rock N romance Swoon
- purge more fabric from my stash

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sick Crafty Cat

I love orange kitties and supporting other crafters so I am passing this story along to the rest of this amazing community.

Holly is a very talented young lady that designs and makes plushies by hand out of minky that I met during a craft fair last year. She is an amazing person and loves kitties so very much -- especially her orange kitty Tramp. You all know that I have 2 special orange kitties in my life and when I saw her latest plushie I knew it needed to come live at my house (and it was for a good cause).
How Adorable is he?

Recently Holly found out that her lovely Cat Tramp is diabetic and us pet lovers know that can be very expensive so she has decided to do a fundraiser to help with Tramp's expenses (here). There are several great gifts available but I couldn't pass up the plushie guy.

I know crafters and especially quilters are a very supportive and close community so I am happy to bring support to Holly and her cause. I know I would do something similar if one of my guys got sick and Tramp is a very special orange kitty.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Did you hear wedding bells? or gypsy bells?

I am finding that I am blogging a little less lately -- perhaps this is because I passed off the traveling stash boxes but more likely is that my new job is in full swing now and I'm not getting down time to update during breaks. Either way I am still here and I am still sewing and I am sneaking time in to read blogs some. 

This past weekend -- national quilting day was spent mostly at the wedding of by beautiful niece Brittney and new nephew Cass. It was so lovely and they are a great couple -- wishing them many years of happiness. 
But about the quilting --- My biggest project right now is the Gypsy Wife Quilt. I was intending to make this a year long project with the quilt along group and just work through it. However, I've kind of become obsessed with it and in  seeing how the little things come together when I can work in short spurts, and that is all I have worked on in the last week and a half. I am one focus block away from finishing all the components of the quilt. 
I am needing to finish a few things this week and weekend and hopefully I will be able to step away from the Gypsy Wife in order to do them. 
  • Make a few more valor blocks and send them off to Kevin 
  • mail off my Kate Spain Charms -- they are cut and in the envelope I seriously don't know what my hold up is
  • select a winner and mail off the Traveling Stash box that ends tomorrow -- still time to enter 
  • Make a gift item for our guild speaker this month (Due 3/25) 
  • finish up my star along top and work on getting it completed (due 4/2) 
  • write postings for my link ups coming next week -- guess who's not doing well on the fabric fast? 
  • make the last block for the gypsy wife
Seriously where is March going? In another 2 weeks it will be April and so far I only have 2 finishes this month. 
Hope this post finds everyone well and there is lots of happy quilting going on.

Monday, March 10, 2014

NO more Ice please

March brought in another round of the wintry weather -- this time it was ICE. There were wide spread power outages -- luckily at my house this only happened over night and I was able to spend most of my Friday quilting. I couldn't keep focus on any one project so I have lots of little progress
star along block corners
star along block -- all the components are ready to be sewn 
put border on sound garden and made backing
Quilted Sunday in the Park
quilting on sunday in the park
made valor blocks
worked on the Gypsy Wife

I've also decided to put the block of the week project to the side right now -- I have lost momentum for it so rather than rush it and not have heart in it . I know this isn't a great practice to have but for now this is where I am with this one -- at 14 blocks to go (4 new and 10 to remake).

I am headed to Charlotte Saturday to a quilt show and found lots of goodies that will sparked my interest. I know this could meant bad things for my fabric diet but I had my limits set -- only purchase for projects on hand and up to 5 yards additional. (I've decided to allow myself to get one half yard for stashing for every project I have completed.) 
Now most of this was payment for something I picked up for a friend (back row except foxes and the granny prints in the front row) and the right half of the front row are for the Gypsy Wife so really I only bought the foxes and the brown texty print for stashing so 1 yard bought this month so far. -- don't you love my math? 

Sunday I finished up binding on the Sunday in the Park project making it my 2nd finish in March and I worked on a few more of the Gypsy Wife blocks. 
14/23 for the 3 inch blocks -- 9 to go YAY!!
half done with the larger square in square blocks 

This week I want to get out in the 70 degree temps and take photos of some of the projects I am working on and document the 2 march finishes. I also want to finish up these square in square blocks and make a few of the larger Gypsy Wife blocks. 2 quilts need to be basted and i have a project to make for the guild speaker coming later this month -- Lots to do for sure. 

Happy Quilting everyone -- also a big thank you to those that stopped by my blog over the weekend and left love for the memorial post to my mother, I pushed through and spent some time with good friends and that helped so much. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Time Marches on, like tears

Warning to my readers -- this is not a quilting post.

March is a difficult month for me and I suppose it always will be -- for me this is a month of loss and today (4/8/2014) marks 13 years since my mother left this earth. 
She was a wonderful, loving, supportive, funny and playful person.
She wasn't a crafty person herself -- and would tell anyone that she couldn't draw a stick figure, but she loved watching and nurturing my creative endeavors. I know she would be so proud of the things that I have created in the last few years with quilting. The one and only quilt she ever created was my baby quilt, in all it's polyester glory. 
As I was looking for photos to share here I was reminded of all the times I still she her -- in myself, my sister and my nieces. 
Born 11/6/1949 
around 3rd or 4th grade
her first day of high school 
this is the only picture I have my mother and my father together
my mother and step father 
the last time we went to the beach 
the last time getting together with her siblings 
(mom, grandpa and my uncle all were being treated for cancer at this time and all have since passed)

In the family they believed that the after life was like a big family gathering filled with laughter, food and loved ones that had past before you but everyone was in the prime of their lives. I hope they were right and one day I will get to see them all again -- because sometimes life is so difficult when part of your heart is gone.