Monday, April 28, 2014

BIG News

So last week was the deadline for the Accuquilt Block contest and I decided to throw my name in the ring -- my buddy Lee came in 2nd last year and encouraged me to give it a go this year. 

The entry had to be an original design and that was my only draw back, in my mind I'm not a quilt designer -- I'm a person that finds inspiration from others and then either by creative accident or not following directions that ends up taking the project in a different direction. 

As I was continuing to contemplate entering, I realized that I had designed something on my own (again out of creative necessity). 
This was the mini that I made for Jen for the DQ 14 swap 

So I took my initial "design" and vamped it up to create my official entry for the 2014 Accuquilt Block Design Challange 
"Winds of OZ" 

I am looking forward to making this block into a quilt top in the near future. I am thinking I might like to get the metallic pearl bracelets for the rainbow geese -- I still have a credit @ westwood acres fabric to use but I may hold out and use solids instead -- oh the tough choices, we quilters make.

In the mean time, I do hope that I can count on all of you to help me out by voting and even sharing my entry. Voting lasts the entire month of May, thanks in advance Everyone for your support -- we all know quilters are the best. 

I'm linking up various places this week to spread the word.
Sew Cute TuesdayLinky Tuesday Freemotion by the River
My Quilt Infatuation

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's been a Crazy Week

So apparently I forgot to post my finishes last week ---- OOPS. It was a crazy one at work along with my destash going on through instagram. So lots to update on today. 

First off the destash went pretty well -- enough to make a dent in that huge medical bill but I still have a huge pile of fabric remaining that I hope to get re-listed today. I'm thinking about going with the fabric destash group on Facebook this time and perhaps bundling at least my fat qtrs this time. A big thank you goes out to everyone for your support. 

I do have 4 finishes for the last 2 weeks 
this one is now whisking its way to it's new home and I hope it arrives quickly so I can put up the whole post about it. (3 yard of fabric used) 
The link up for the Triangle Quilt along is happening this week and i knew there was no way that I would be able to complete the quilting on the larger version -- mostly because the backing hadn't been made yet. So I whipped up a mini one from the leftover triangles, it's a baby size. (2 yards of stash)
Quilting on Scout is completed and I attached the binding to the front last night -- hope to get it turned soon. I have no idea what happened to the full frontal picture. (10 yards of stash in this project)
Quilting on Sound Garden is completed and now I need to finish the binding -- are we noting a trend in the "finishes" department. 

I couldn't stay focused last weekend so I also spent a great deal of time working on my string blocks. 
  • first I tried the everything in a bin method -- that didn't work so well for my assistant 
  • so I sorted everything out and tried working in color piles 
  • 30 blocks later I was feeling pretty good about my string blocks again 

This weekend I have been working on getting backings made for 2 completed tops. The day at the Beach Jelly Roll Race 2 quit and my triangles galore quilt. I hope to be able to get these basted at some point this week unless I take the plunge and decide to learn to long arm quilt -- both would be excellent projects for learning a new skill but I'm still hesitant about long arming. 

I also made some franken batting out of my scraps that I hope to be able to easily use for charity or small projects that are coming up. I had various types of batting and lots of long skinnies so I didn't end up with as large of pieces as I had initially thought I would but making several at once did help clear out some that needed to go to the trash. I'm wondering if there is a size limit to franken batting from relatively small squares before it would become to choppy to use in larger items.

Being that I have been fighting the insurance company for the last month -- my fabric purchases have been kept fully in check. When I announced my destash posting last week I also committed myself to trying the purge for the rest of the year and I am still feeling pretty good about that choice. I will make a few exceptions -- like when there are quilt shows and also for Quilt Carolina in the Fall. 

Hope this post finds you all well and there is lots of happy quilting going on. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fabric Fast For Real

OK, so this marks the 4th month of the Fabriholics Anonymous Fabric 6 month Fast, and as we all know I have been making strides in decreasing the fabric I have just sitting around but as with all diets I am not doing great. I have completed several projects and used an estimated 55 yards of fabric while only "stashing" about 5 yards. I have surely bought more than this but these are specifically for the point of putting them in the stash. I also have MANY projects that I am not counting yet because they are still in the UFO pile so I have probably used closer to 100 yards of fabric in the last 4 months. 
WOW!! Triple Digits -- WHhhhAaaaaT? 

I still have plenty more to go and probably another year wouldn't clear me out -- but that isn't the real goal of FA it's to break the cycle of stashing for the sake of it. 

I received notice that my insurance was not going to pay for some medical testing that I had recently, so now I am responsible for a nearly $1700 medical bill . I'm planning another destash on instagram (@karmawillow) to help with this unexpected expense.  

If I were to purge it all that would remove another 120ish yards from my sewing room -- WOW . 

I have also decided that I will TRY to continue my Fabriholics Anonymous goals throughout the rest of 2014 and this should put me in a better place with my stash. (You know unless I run out of fabric -- hahaha).

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