Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Stashing and Sewing

So the goal in May is to see if I can lighten the load another 19 yards of fabric and bring my lightened load into the triple digits for the year, since April ended with me being 81 yards lighter. 

So how does one go about this goal -- by purchasing fabric of course. I needed backing for my Tula Pink Quilt and had a coupon from Stash Bash for an awesome shop Stash Fabrics and I had been eyeing that Free Fall Wide backing for some time and after feeling how it quilts up I knew this was the way to go. This 3 yards was destine to be the backing of my Tula City Sampler and went straight to the long armer. 
Free Fall Wideback in Orchid

I made the backing for my Wanta Fanta quilt (-8 yards) in time to send it off to Cotton Farm Fabrics for long arming -- she was doing an awesome special on quilting for stash bash attendees and this big monster was way to much for me to think about trying to quilt. 

The beginning of the month brings bee blocks and the ladies had some fun ones this month. My required blocks were for Carolyn in the stash bee group, who wanted Migration bee blocks
and Courtney in the Bee Hive who asked for Hounds tooth blocks 
Again, I elected to make extra blocks for other stash bee ladies and I whipped up a lovely granny square. (-1.5 yards) 
My OMG goal this month was to complete my Tessellation blocks -- I have been stalled on these for some time because of all the other paper piecing that I have been doing and the fact that these blocks require some concentration to complete because of the angles. While I didn't get them finished I did make some progress on them and decreased my to finish blocks to about 15-20 from 45. Looks like this quilt gets to hang around a little longer in the UFO pile. 

I did make up the bindings for my Tula Pink City Sampler and Wanta Fanta quilts in anticipation for them to return from the long armers (-2 yards) 
I spent the majority of the rest of the month completing the bindings on my Tula Pink and Wanta Fanta quilts 

I also started planning for some upcoming swap and traveling quilt projects.  (don't we all really want to be like Nugget? and roll around in our favorite fabrics) 

Memorial day finished out the month and this meant a trip to the in laws for the weekend and no sewing for me. 

April ended with me being 81 yards lighter for the year, this month I added 3 yards (and promptly used them) and used 14.5 yards meaning that the yearly total is now 92.5 yards lighter. I have several new things lined up for June and really hope to have more completions as the 2nd quarter winds down. 

Do you really WANA?

My husband has a quilt of his own but it is very worn and not well made -- it was I think the 2nd quilt I ever made and this was before I realized the importance of stitch length and seam allowance. I told him if he would let me dispose of the ratty quilt he could choose his next quilt and I would have the hive mates make these blocks for him, and each night it would be like he was sleeping with a whole bunch of quilters. 

In February I was queen for the Bee Hive Swarm and in those hives you choose from blocks that have been chosen as a part of the Bee Hive Swarm that Alyce set up last year. I didn't sign up last year because the blocks weren't out yet but these are some pretty fun blocks overall. Thinking of hubby, He likes the cathedral window and orange peel look and when he saw the Wanta Fanta block, he asked if I could use purple and grey. I thought about other blocks that I had seen and came up with the idea of my revamp and showed him my sample block. 
I put forth the changes to the hive and blocks came trickling in and the more of them that I saw the more I realized that this was the right choice and I was really happy that the ladies had sent some scraps along with the blocks, because I was going to need many more of these to make a queen size quilt for our bed.
I was lucky enough that in March I was queen again for the Stash Bee Hive 6 -- I put forth the same challenge and loved watching all the blocks come rolling in. Several of the ladies made a few blocks and that was awesome. I had also asked again for any purple or low volume / grey scraps if they felt inclined to send extras. 
Quilt math meant that I needed a total of 56 blocks for a queen -- I knew that the hives would make 21 blocks needed for the hive, plus my sample block which meant that I needed to make 34 more blocks for the quilt -- now you see why I was so grateful for the extra blocks and the extra scraps. This really meant that the quilt would maintain a scrappy feel and blocks that I made would blend in with the others because it was everyone's fabrics. After all the hive blocks arrived I had 35 with the few extras that I had already been making, so I set out to complete the others. 
To me this quilt is a real eye catcher every time I put groupings of the blocks up -- whether it's (nearly) 12
OR the first 30
and that really helped motivate me to finish assembly quickly. 
While at Stash Bash I got the rest of the blocks put together 
I really love this project and got straight onto the assembly 

This is the first 56 blocks (I thought this was the completed top)

Once I got her home I laid her out on the bed and then decided that making it a square would be better and least likely to impact share-ability on our bed, so that meant making another 8 blocks. I did get an offer from a lady that I had made an extra block for to make a few for me so this really helped. 

Here they are all assembled into a top and ready for quilting.
I may have had to get the selfie stick out for this photo and perch myself on the ledge in our stair well. 

I made the choice to send this one to the long armer because I know it's going to be around for a while. This is only the 2nd quilt I have ever sent out and I choose to go with Charlene @The Cotton Farm Fabrics because she's great and it just so happened that she was doing an awesome discount this month. 

This was another project that I was eager to bind once it came home so I had the binding all prepped and ready to go. I toyed with scrappy binding or something framing like a dark grey but I found this tucked away in my stash. 

Due to it's huge nature, when it got home I took a couple of photos of it on my bed (prebinding turn) to show the ladies how it was going to look -- and i was super eager to see for myself. This quilt finished at 8 feet square so it has an overhand of 18 inches on each side and at the foot plus a turndown at the top. 
You know who made himself right at home -- surveying his newest quilt and making sure it meets his delicate needs. 

Now that it's bound it was time for fun pictures outdoors. 

Hive mates really came through for me this year -- being hive queen early in the year probably has the added advantage that no one is burnt out yet but I did have two awesome groups of ladies making blocks. they pulled it together even though the blocks were a little bit of a challenge. (My tip for bee blocks that are paper pieced -- make sure printing is set at 100% and not fit to page, this cleared up several issues a few people had right away.) 
This is my 12th finish in the 2nd quarter. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tula Pink City Sampler -- The completion

Last month I had all my blocks completed and the sashing ready for assembly and I took this project with me to Stash Bash, where I completed the top

and then I had a great win fall and won quilting services from my amazing friend Kira and was then gifted batting by another of my awesome friends.

This quilt has been a lot of work and I will admit that I was anxious to have it so far away being quilted but I knew that Kira would do something awesome with this opportunity because she's an awesome lady. 

She sent me a few sneak peaks and posted a few teasers on instagram. 

Then it was time to wait for my quilt to come back home to me so that I could get an idea of how great it really was, I even made binding in preparation (and you all know that is not my favorite part of quilting). 
The quilt arrived on Thursday and it was late by the time I got home so good pictures would have to wait till the weekend when I had extra hands to help me and plenty of daylight. 
The cats have already laid claim to this one. 
Here she is out in the sun. 
Here's a better picture of the quilting -- I can't wait till I was h it and get to see all the crinkles. (Haven't washed it yet because of the ongoing problem I have been hearing about the freefall backing fadeing -- better safe than sorry right) 
And one more of the little prince in his quilt fortress 

This is my 11th finish of the 2nd quarter