Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ready for another undertaking?

I made it to July 18th without a purchase this month, I had been busy with getting my dad's quilt completed for his birthday and car club related events so not much time was spent shopping. One of my LQS was having a sidewalk inventory reduction sale and I decided to head over and see about getting another size of embroidery hoop. However, the fabric fairies had other plans for me and I ended up adding 5 yards of fabric to my stash ---- OOPS!! 

Not to worry cause most of these lovelies already have been earmarked for a project and will be a part of the fabric pull for the Tula Pink 100 Blocks quilt that I plan to start in the beginning of August. 
My darling friend Michelle over at Crayon Box Quilt Studio proposed that since we both had this on our wish list that we should be each other's cheerleaders and do it as a sew along -- I'm game for that. (And, we've invited you all along to join us -- check it out)

For me the most daunting thing about starting this project was determining the fabrics that I wanted to use and then I'd figure out the time component for getting it accomplished. 

I had decided a while back that I wanted to use a limited pallet for this one and I wanted to base everything off this lovely Tula Pink Acacia fabric so at least I wasn't stabbing in the dark when it came to pulling out all the lovelies I wanted to use.
FreeSpirit Fabric - Tula Pink - Acacia Collection - Modern, Geometric, Diamonds, Circles Patterns on Cotton Print
I then turned to my friend Lee, she has made this quilt a few times and taught it at some of our local shops so I asked her -- what's a good number of fabrics to start with, especially since I was limiting my color pallet. After getting her feedback I started pulling from my folded fabric (half yards , Fat quarters and large scraps). 
I then pulled some fabric from the yardage stash shelves.
Last pull was from the Tula Stash -- I added a few more so that I would be able to have at least one fabric from each of her lines through Elizabeth represented -- I plan to add some true colors and Eden as they come out. 
This is an estimated 40 yards of stash (I'll have to narrow that down a little before I start working on the blocks) -- time to put some money in the savings jar. With that much fabric I might have enough to make 2 or 3 of this quilt. 

So, Who else needs to be motivated on this project? Michelle is going to be doing a link up, but it's gonna be low key -- just showing off what you've accomplished each month and stop by to see all the lovely things that everyone else is working on too. The first link up is posted and deadline for this one is august 15th to show off your fabric pull or maybe you've already started it and are ready to pick it up again. Join us, I hope that Michelle and I can inspire others of you that have been delaying this project to jump on in and make this project not so daunting because together we inspire each other. 
I'm hoping this will be a 2015 finish so my personal goal for the check ins will be 6 blocks per week or about 25 total each month (August - November). That leaves December to set them, baste, quilt and bind the project -- Oh MY! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blue Strings

So I have a finish for the quarter and I am happy to announce that it is bigger than a mini. I finished up my blue strings quilt that was initially supposed to be for father's day but turned into a Father's day / birthday quilt for my dad. 
He turned 73 this year and he's so difficult to find something to get for so I thought what's better than a quilt. I'm really happy with how the string blocks turned out and overall the outcome of this project. 
It has been on my to do list for some time and felt really great to cross it off and gift it to him -- I think he even liked it (he's a man of very few words). 
I'm also pretty excited to report that these photos were taken with my new Cannon Rebel t5i -- so hopefully this means better quilt photos for the future. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

3rd annual Piggy Bank Challenge

Since things went so well for me with the reveal of last years Piggy Bank Challenge I decided that I would link up with Val again and see how things go with both people in out household being active participants. 

We are both competitive when it comes to things like this but hubby doesn't usually carry cash with him (mainly because of his job) so I'm not sure we will do this as a competition but more as a cooperative. However we are toying with the idea of doing a cash allowance each month to help with budgeting better and decreasing the frivolous expenses.  

You all know that my banks are ready to go 
Gotta find something fun for hubby to use for his cash 

This year's goal for the savings is looking like it might be going toward another project car -- we have had such a blast working on and putting the civic together that there has been talk of doing another car some time in the future. 

Hubs would love to have an original AE86 (1983 -1987 Toyota Carolla Hatchback-- for my non car people).  This is the little car that his car is based off -- I think it would be an awesome 35th or 40th birthday gift for him in a couple of years. (If anyone has one they are wanting to part with let me know.)

I'm going to keep working on using my stash as much as I can to help with saving and I think for my new projects I will start rewarding myself by adding a dollar to the jar per yard used -- If I had gone out shopping I would have spent way more and it's extra encouragement to use what's on hand. (this is only the beginning of it) 

I'm not necessarily trying to top my savings from last year but it will be awfully fun to try -- If I can save at least half as much I will be very pleased. 

Hope everyone else feels motivated to join up -- it's a great way to see what little bits of coin or cash add up to in the end. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

3rd Quater goals in place

Since last quarter was not very productive I am carrying many of my goals over and I will not be doing nearly as many swaps going forward. I really want this quarter to be about finishing up somethings that have been around for a while (or things that I have been putting off starting) so that I can refocus and start some new stuff. 

I'm linking up with Adrianne over on the windy side to see what progress I can make with these goals. 
  • Continue to keep up with making bee blocks and make a few more kaleidoscope blocks for my quilt. -- This won't be a finish the quarter since I am still in 2 bees and my last round as queen is in October. 

  • Complete the Blue Strings Quilt -- my Dad's birthday is in a short 2 weeks and all I have currently is a quilt top

  • Complete my Scrappy Trip Along Quilt 

  • Complete Moda Modern Building Blocks 
  • Complete the Medallion Quilt -- sending it out for quilting since I know I won't be able to manage this one on my own and not hurt myself, again. 

  • Quilt Rush Hour -- maybe, I've nearly lost interest in this quilt so I may pass it along to someone to turn into a charity quilt or 2. 
  • Accuquilt Block Mini 
  • Swoon Quilt with Rock N Romance
  • Lucky 21 

  • Katie Spain Jewel Box Quilt 
  • Pixelated Heart with Cotton and Steele mini charm pack
  • vintage mini quilt top
  • Tessellations 

  • Quilted Seat Covers or a car quilt for my new 1994 Civic
  • Tula Pink's City Sampler -- planning to start in August, so I know this won't be finished. I've tried to work on this one multiple times before but never seem able to really get moving on this one, hopefully this time it will take.
  • Pouch swap for the guild -- due at the August meeting
  • Work on the Triad 86 quilt for my husband -- I would like to finish this by his birthday in September
  • Make a few more of the 1 Hour Baskets 
  • Commission t-shirt quilt for a coworker -- due late November
  • Rainbow tumbler quilt 
20 Goals and only 3 months -- some I know won't be completed and a few might not get started but if I have at least a few finishes I will be happy with my progress.  (Realistically, If  I really focus I could finish 10-12 of these). 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2nd Quarter goals reviewed

My initial post for this quarter was here. -- I spent one out of these 3 months with my hand in a brace, completely unable to sew so my progress will be minimal and finishes are nearly non existent. 
  • Continue to keep up with making bee blocks and make a few more kaleidoscope blocks for my quilt. -- I did manage to keep up with these and made about 10 more for my collection -- not finished and I should get the last of my bee mates blocks when I am queen again in September and October so maybe this will be a 4th quarter finish 

  • Complete the Blue Strings Quilt before Father's Day -- I did get the blocks made into a top but not basted or quilted. This is hopefully going to be finished by my dad's birthday in Mid July. 

  • Complete my Scrappy Trip Along Quilt -- nope, all the blocks are made and need arranging for assembly
  • Complete Moda Modern Building Blocks -- nope -- I'm about a third of the way through the blocks 
  • Quilt the Medallion Quilt -- I attempted to quilt this one and ended up with a sprained hand so I'm considering sending it out for long arm quilting. 
  • Quilt Rush Hour -- nope 
  • complete the swap items for the swaps I've already committed to -- YES!!!
1. Spring Fling Mini (due 4/21) -- completed and mailed 
2. Stash Bash Sister Swap (due 4/23) -- completed -- a mini sew together was just one of the goodies that I made for her. 
3. One Hour basket (June 5th) -- completed 
4. Alison Glass Mini (due 6/15)  -- completed 
5. Viva La Villains (due 7/15) -- completed 

  • A tote bag for me to take to Stash Bash -- complete
  • Make my Accuquilt Block -- a project for Stash Bash -- started at stash bash but not completed 
  • Swoon Quilt with Rock N Romance -- nope 
  • Make one of the 4 patterns from Lisa Alley that have been waiting patiently-- nope 
  • make an infinity scarf -- completed at Stash Bash
  • Lucky 21 -- nope
  • All Squared UP -- nope 
  • Katie Spain Jewel Box Quilt -- started and the first step is ready for pressing 
  • Pixelated Heart with Cotton and Steele mini charm pack -- nope
  • Mod POP or Metro Rings with the Quick Curves Ruler -- nope
  • vintage mini quilt top -- nope 
  • Another Sew together bag and perhaps try my hand at making a larger one. -- made a sample for a LQS
  • Jen Kingwell's State Fair -- nope
  • Project for the Cat Nap fabric -- nope
  • Tessellations -- I attended a workshop in June and am making good progress on the blocks 

I have several more than this completed but being paper pieced it's tricky to put them on the wall. 

  • Quilted Seat Covers for my new 1994 Civic -- nope
  • Pattern testing for The Littlest Thistle (Due 6/5) -- had to back out because of the hand injury
  • Tula Pink's City Sampler -- planning to start in September
So out of my 29 goals, I managed to complete 8 things and made progress on 5 others. I am thinking that my goal for next quarter needs to be to simply move some of the WIP's to the finished pile and limit the number of things that I start new. I am already taking a break from swaps currently but I feel that I haven't shared a finish in quite some time so that is where my focus will be a I go forward in 2015. 
Yeah, Ma, we need more sewing time. I miss hanging out with you in our room. 

PS -- it's kind of a mess in here, we should do something about that too. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Piggy Bank Challenge Reveal

Click the picture to read more!

So, a year ago I linked up with Valerie for her 2nd annual Piggy Bank Challenge and my goals were --
  • Save money by using my fabric stash 
  • save money for a big trip
  • Get a Featherweight 

My outcome was pretty good and I even dipped into the fund a few times for some things I will tell you about below. 
  • in coin savings I have $459 -- these are only the coins that made full rolls the rest will stay in the jar as a start for next years totals. 
  • in paper savings I have $645 
  • I had some online savings in my paypal as well but those have currently been depleted. I had been using it for when I sold fabric or craft supplies or had client payments and making my online purchases from it. About a month ago, I made an online purchase from a fabric store and somehow my paypal got linked to the family ebay - instead of the family paypal and my reserve is gone. (This would have been an additional $150 - 200). 
My splurges that came out of the money pot 
  • at my birthday last year I took out some cash and bought some the Anna Maria Horner line Folk Song and a few other lovelies that I had been wanting 
  • I got a featherweight off ebay from a local person (my friend found me a 2nd one) and I paid to have them both serviced 
  • I pulled money again a few months ago for a shopping trip Elegant Stitches after my husband bought me a groupon for the store -- and they happened to be having an end of bolt sale that same weekend. 
  • I paid for my trip to Stash Bash -- and my traveling / spending money for while I was there. 

Now about savings through fabric use from my stash. While I have bought fabric, and last year I didn't do a great job of keeping up with my intake and use, I can honestly say that my stash is at least 100 yards lighter than this time last year. I have been keeping track this year and since January I have been running in the positive and am over 70 yards lighter as of the end of May. 

I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with the saved money yet but there are quite a few fabric lines that I saw photos of from quilt market that I have my eye on -- Tiger Lilly by Heather Ross, Eden by Tula Pink, Canyon by Kate Spain and Ex Libras from Alison Glass. -- but I usually wait for the line to come out so I can determine what I really want before jumping straight in.

In a years time I managed to save up $1,104 (nearly the cost of my "new" civic) without my husband even knowing I was doing the challenge -- He was quite surprised when I told him about the challenge and the outcome. He was excited about this idea and wants to help me next year to see how well the two of us can do together -- maybe we will make it a contest.

June Sewing and Stashing

June started slow enough and the heat is getting really hard on me here in NC. I'm back to sewing but I am trying to take things slow so that I will not end up back in that lovely hand brace. I can tell that my hand is getting stronger and I know before to long I will be back at it 100%.

This month I started a new and awesome project when I went to a workshop with Kathleen Baden to learn how to make Alison Glass' Tessellations quilt. I've had this pattern since I went to the AG trunk show 9 months ago and I probably could have figured things out on my own but I really needed that motivation of a workshop to at least get things started. I figured out what fabric I wanted on the back and bought this lovely voile from Trailer Stash Fabrics when they came to the guild meeting a few months back -- 3 yards pulled for use. 
For the front I decided that I would start in my stash and pull out all the things that I had on hand and see what I needed to add in as I started to put things together -- and as you can see I had a wonderful helper, demanding the inclusion of more orange.

Well. the pattern calls for 25 fat Quarters but I kept pulling and ended up with around 30+ fabrics some fqs, some large scraps and some half yards -- an estimated 9 yards of fabric. 

The first blocks are coming together and I'm excited to see where this quilt will end up as I keep making more of it -- this surely won't be the last time you see this quilt. 
I did get my bee block made for this month  -- half a yard used 
I'm queen bee in one of the hives this month and the lady in hive 3 is MIA -- so only one block to make. These 2 were 6 month hives and a lot of fun to participate in, the other hive will be all year. 

We went to Greenville for Father's day weekend --so you all know that means that no sewing happened. It also means no fabric purchased because there aren't any good shops in that area.

I did buy solids for a quilt that I will be making to represent the different members of the Triad 86 car group. (+8 yards ) 
I did some minor sewing through the end of the month and attended a sew in but all these projects are still in the WIP pile, which means they will be going on the goals list for the upcoming quarter. 

I finished up the month with having bought 8 yards and with having pulled / used 12.5 yards. So put that with last month's totals and I am sill in the positive 72.5 yards for the year.