Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Schnitzel and Boo Mini round #4

After the rush of swaps that I did earlier this year I had decided to take a break from swapping for a while and focus on my projects -- well apparently I work much better on all things and get way more accomplished when I have deadlines to keep me going. My goals for the last 6 months have remained the same and my progress on my projects hasn't been very noticeable -- so I decided it was time to dip a toe back into swapping and joined up with just over a thousand other quilters for round 4 of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap (WOW!!)

I provide lots of information on my sign ups and always seem to get the person that says "make what ever, I'll love it" -- this time was no different but once I did a bit of stalking I knew exactly what I wanted to make and that she'd love it. Our interests were similar, fabric wise and color wise. We even included several of the same patterns in our mosaics so I knew one of these had to be the project that I made for her. 

Color pallet would be brights -- focusing on pink, yellow, teals and greens with splashes of white 

We both love the flowering snowball pattern and I found some templates online to make smaller blocks rather than making 12 inch accuquilt blocks (which I could have done). 
So now it was time to start putting things together and see where this mini wanted to lead me. 
I'm happy with the outcome and sure hopes that my partner loves it as it makes it's long journey to it's new home all the way in Spain. 
Here's another photo in better lighting to see how lovely it really is, I was so hesitant with those wrinkles but they quilted right out. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Winds of Oz #1

So back in 2014 I designed a block for Accuquilt for a contest -- I think I placed in the top 100. Now while I didn't win a big trip and prize pack I decided that it was time to take this sketch and turn it into an actual mini quilt.
I started on it at the stash bash back in April and got most of the top put together but it needed a little tweaking (esp since my math was not great in the group setting).
I got it to a point that I was happy with and quilted the dickens out of it -- as my friend Kelly would say. I'm pleased with the quilting and how this will make an excellent addition to my quilt room wall.

This year Accuquilt did the contest again but this time the parameters were that the block had to be able to be made using the Accuquilt dies. I reentered my block and placed in the top 20 of the viewers votes -- which for me was awesome. The official winner was chosen by a jury with consideration of votes so again no big trip or prize pack but something great did come from it -- but you're going to have to wait on the details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top 8 Things I learned from The Stash Bash

I had such an awesome time at the first Stash Bash that I went to that I went to the Mini bash this weekend. In preparation for the retreat I thought I would share some of the things that I learned and will be putting into practice this time around. 

1. Take way more stuff than you think you will be able to work on. 
crazy mom quilts: Work In Progress Bag pattern:
I want to be sure that I take projects of all kinds and at various levels of being finished so that if I want to work on something quick I can. I will also be taking something that I can do away from the sewing table -- like binding or crochet. This time around I had packed 10 projects, 4 things to bind and have several fabric bundles if I stall out on all my other projects. Now I didn't get to several of them but I was able to complete quite a bit thanks to organization of the projects (i'd really like to make some of these project folders that Crazy mom has made). 

2. drink lots of water, eat healthier snacks and take walking breaks 
Healthy snacks for on-the-go
This decreases the likelihood of sausage feet (when the ankles and feet take on the characteristics of water balloons and walking becomes excruciating) and it allows for more time to socialize and see what everyone else is doing. Hydration also keeps the brain flowing and when you are sewing at 2 am you need all the extra brain power you can muster. 

3. take an additional work surface 
Folding side tables are a must for these events. It was one of the first things I packed this time. This is also a great place to tie off or tape a trash bag. It's extra space to lay items out on and the padded ones are great if you have a mini iron (also packed). 

4. don't worry about cute clothes 
I Quilt Tee - Fuchsia
Comfort is king with marathon sewing. t-shirts / tank tops and yoga pants are dress code. you might want a pair of jeans, if you plan on leaving the event. Do take a sweater or coat --the more clothes that you take the less room for sewing stuff (especially if you are flying or sharing a ride). 

5. precut projects if you can

the cutting and ironing stations are usually busy places and sometimes it's hard to get a few things cut out / ironed let alone a whole project. Keep those maybe projects on hand though -- you never know when inspiration might strike and you pick up that uncut bundle to start something completely different. Also if you have moments of insomnia this can be a great time to cut a whole project. 

6. a chair cushion might be your BFF 
(this is the one I made for Mallory -- it's overstuffed and gonna be a great addition to her sewing space) Aside from dreaded sausage feet, back pain was the other thing slowing me down because those chairs are not good for lengthy sitting periods. Take a large throw pillow -- it also can help if you have a height issue with the table (I'm a shortie). 

8.Teach someone something new / learn something new
Quilters are awesome people and sharing knowledge is powerful. I usually take my accuquilt and teach several people how to use it, which lead to teaching people about piecing curves. Quilt tools are awesome and this is a great place to find out about new ones. This is also a great avenue for meeting new people. 

My first stash bash was a great experience but this 2nd time around I knew more of what to expect and it was even better. Every retreat is different and teaches something new but I know that I will be able to use these tips each time and have a successful retreat. 

City Sampler Progress in October

I'm Linking up with Michelle over at Crayon Box Quilt Studio to show my progress with the Tula Pink City Sampler. 

In the last 2 months I have been able to complete 15 blocks (which you can see here and here) and I wanted to get all 70 blocks completed before Stash Bash so that I could assemble them while i was there. I am leaving for retreat today, so -- How did I do? 

Not well -- Truth of the matter is that I didn't complete any new blocks. I spent some time cutting blocks and have about 20 ready for sewing but with all the other projects I needed to get done this just didn't happen. 

My book is a bulging bundle of promise right now and these blocks will be good to whip together when I need little successes in between other projects.
I had hoped to get more blocks cut so that the big box of fabric would not need to go with me but I'm still undecided as to whether it will or not -- and if it does it might stay in the car until it's needed. 

This post was supposed to have gone up 10/15 but for some reason my scheduling got messed up and it didn't post so I'll add to it with the things that I was able to accomplish at Stash Bash. 

#16: block 1 
#17: block 3
#18: block 12
#19: block 18
#20: block 30

#21: block 32
#22: block 33
#23: block 35
#24: block 46
#25: block 48
#26: block 58
#27: block 71
#28: block 77
#29: block 91
#30: block 99
#31: block 100
#32: block 24

My big box of fabrics did not go with me so I was limited in what I could complete, I had several other blocks that I was able to start but not complete (counting errors). I'm pretty happy to bring my total from 15 to 32 in just one weekend. I'm nearly to the half way point with my blocks and hope to make it to at least 50 before the next link up.  

Head on over and see Michelle and all the other wonderful ladies that are linking up to motivate one another on completing this city sampler journey. 

Happy Quilting Everyone. 

linking up 
Needle and Thread ThursdaySew Cute Tuesday

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

all it takes is a little focus

Last week as I was starting to think about the glorious days that were coming up for Stash Bash. I was starting to plan my projects and other things I wanted to get accomplished both before and during this retreat. My before list became daunting -- with swapping, prepping projects, making sure i had all the things I would need. I went to my husband and told him that I would be locking myself in my sewing room for the weekend and interruptions were to be minimal -- there would be no car group activities for this gal.

My sewing extravaganza started with a very lengthy list -- but I has Thursday and Friday evenings as well as the weekend, so I thought lets see how much I can accomplish. There were only a dozen things on my list.
I knew there were things of priority on the list like getting the items finished for swapping at stash bash -- that's 4 items of the list so I started on those and knocked them out pretty easily (but you'll have to wait on photos for these till after they are gifted. 

I did make a sew together bag for my secret sister and in the course of making it determined that this was a bag for me. When I showed it to hubs his first reaction was "oh good you've finally made one for you" -- so you know i had to keep it. My partner is still going to receive a very nice bionic gear bag that had been gifted to me but it wasn't in my style and it fits her maybe better than the sew together that I made.
I got my Schnitzel and Boo Mini top completed and so I went ahead and basted it so I wouldn't have to do this after stash bash.

Later in the weekend I picked it up going through my pile of things to quilt and completed the quilting and even found some scrap binding to attach -- still needs to be turned, but i needed some hand projects for the retreat.
Saturday and Sunday were all about the quilting -- with a few interruptions for some out of the house time and down time. (OK maybe one car group outing -- but it's Nick's and they are SO GOOD!!) 
I managed to get all 3 other quilts quilted and the binding made by the time I went to be bed Sunday night. I even attached the binding to the Accuquilt mini -- also still waiting to be turned.
Here'e the list after the marathon of sewing -- nearly complete!!
The only things on the list I didn't complete was cutting more of the Tula blocks -- though right now I have about 20 more cut ready to be sewn and only 38 more that need to be cut out to have all 70. I can work on this some each night before leaving but I doubt I'll get all 70 cut before Thursday morning.

I also haven't cut out or made fabric bins yet -- I still want to make these for all the ladies but this might not happen but we will see.

I'm nearly done with the packing as well -- I kind of packed as I got things ready this time and had to make sure that I had all my rulers and tools for working on some of the projects that will be going with me.
So overall a very successful weekend and I feel very prepared for the weekend ahead. Still more packing and a few last minute things to pick up (like thread) but my list of projects to take and hopefully complete is continuing to grow but still looks rather manageable.
There are 10 projects on the list and I'm taking 4 quilts to bind -- some are top assembly (A), some are make blocks (B), some are to start (S), and the binding is of course to complete (c). I'm also taking a few different bundles of fabric in case I can't get inspired by or stay focused on any of these projects.

The start of this week is going to be a busy couple of days but this weekend will be AWESOME!! I'll be leaving Thursday morning with a stop at my friend's shop The Quilted Thimble Cottage in Belmont to pick up some of Heather Ross' Tiger Lilly and then off to Greenville, SC for the weekend. YAY!!