Thursday

Winter Solstice Quilt - WIP

I just finished block #10 in the 182-day winter solstice mystery quilt challenge.

I purposely skipped blocks 8 and 9. Block 8 is a heart-in-a-heart-in-a-heart applique thing that I just do not like. I thought I would make it anyway, but I just cannot bring myself to do it.

Block 9 is this huge thing that has lots of half-square triangles. I tried to make it. I cut the pieces and made the half-square triangles and put the pieces on the design board. Just did not like that one either. At least I tried to make it.

It was a reminder as to how much I really hate mystery quilt projects. Maybe I will revisit these blocks after my disappointment fades. I am using a pretty fabric bundle where all the fabrics are well coordinated, but this is still not tickling my fancy. I have to stop with the mystery thing - that's all that's to it. I usually need to plan things out from beginning to end before committing to a quilt top - it's just who I am. I knew better from past experience but I talked myself into trying again.

I hate to sound so negative, but I'm not afraid to admit when something doesn't turn out as I wish. I see a charity quilt - so all is not lost.


Wednesday

Farm Girl Vintage - WIP

I'm moving right along with my Farm Girl Vintage quilt. I've finished all the blocks and started on the sashing. I'm trying to make sure I get lots of variety in my little cornerstones however there are so many, I'm certain I will have to repeat some.

The quilt is large enough that I had to put the blocks on the design board sideways in order to fit all the rows on the board. It's actually a nice way to trick my eye into looking at the color placement over the design on the blocks.

Today my girlfriend came over and we did some sewing together. It was fun to have a quilting partner to share ideas and just chat and sew. We've decided that we are going to do this on a regular basis. I am really excited to have the company.

I've had a lot fun making these blocks and feel very accomplished just for making every block in the collection. I still want to make the silo and the barn. I'm not that thrilled about the tractor block but I might change my mind about making that one once I get that far. Sometimes it's all about the challenge.




Thursday

My Little Helper

My kitty loves the vibration of my machine and he spends lots of time sitting on my sewing table.

Today he is especially needy. He just had to sit between me and my machine. He really didn't get in the way, he just stayed still and watched my hands move while he purred.

He is such a delight.

Tuesday

Happiness is . . .

Happiness is a Valentine's Day cupcake to share with my honey.


Saturday

Quilt Show Entries

The Winter Quilt Show in West Bend, Wisconsin is one of my favorite quilt shows. It doesn't hurt that it always falls on the weekend right before my birthday. My husband comes with me to the show and he enjoys buying me my birthday present from one of the vendors at the show.  It's a win-win for both of us; he gives me a gift he knows I will definitely enjoy and appreciate while making the decision of what to get very easy.

This year I decided to enter some of my quilts in the show. I've never done that before. I chose to enter 4 quilts in the show; my selvage quilt, my shoo-fly, modern battlefield, and pick-it fences quilts. I can't believe I took the plunge and actually entered a contest. I'm not all that confident with my work. I wrote up the paperwork necessary to enter them, added the proper quilt labels required by the show's committee and off we went today to the drop-off point.

I have no expectations as to how this will turn out but I am already glad I took that first step. Maybe this year, instead of my husband getting me a birthday present, I will get some more self confidence in my quilting...what a gift that would be!


Friday

I won a giveaway!

I love entering contests and giveaways provided by online quilters and quilt shops. I've been very very lucky. I've won fabric bundles, thread packs, patterns and even quilting tools. On December 29th I entered a giveaway from Bungalow Quilting and Yarn's Instagram account. Sadly, I don't go on Instagram as often as I should, especially since there's plenty of quilting inspiration there. Not to mention giveaways.

Last week I went on my Instagram account only to find out I won that giveaway from back in December. I immediately contacted Judy over at Bungalow Quilting and Yarn to give her my address. The prize was $90 worth of fabric called Adventures by Amy Ellis for Moda. The gift included a jelly roll, charm pack and layer cake of the same collection. The fabric is fabulous and I am thrilled. I hate to sound ungrateful but I have won a few batik fabric bundles in the past and I am really not a fan of batiks. So I shared those fabrics with my girlfriend who was thrilled. So I did pay those forward. But this fabric collection is right up my alley!

Thank you so very much, Judy for your generous giveaway.
Bungalow Quilting and Yarn

Tuesday

Farm Girl Vintage WIP

I started my Farm Girl Vintage quilt last week. I struggled with starting this project because of fabric selection. I just could not commit to a color plan. So I started just picking up scraps that I didn't care about and making blocks. It was horrible. I was so disappointed.

Out of the blue, I picked up a fat quarter that I just loved. It was part of a collection that I purchased over the course of the summer. Before I knew it, the color selections were getting easier and easier. And I had scraps that I could add in as well that I really liked. So I started over.

I am working through the book from the beginning. I'm making each block in order and working through my stash and scrap basket to make the blocks. They are so very fun. So far I've found this project as a great learning experience. First of all, I learned that I should always work with colors I love. That makes fabric selection easy. Secondly, I should try new things more often. In making these blocks I've tried new techniques and really enjoyed the process. I have to do that more often.

I am 27 blocks into the project and I am still learning new things. The last block I made, I don't like. I realized that even though I love the fabric, it's way too busy for the barn block. I will make another one and replace that one. I can't wait to turn to the next page in the book to see what I will get to try next.

Friday

Quick and Easy Fabric Baskets

I found the perfect basket for my current scrappy needs! I used the Quick and Easy Fabric Basket tutorial from the Simple as That blog. The tutorial can be found here. The baskets are large. They finish at 14" x 6" and they are 7" tall.

At first I thought I wanted smaller baskets; one in each primary color to throw my scraps of that same color inside. After I made one red/pink basket, I realized I did not want to dedicate the amount of time necessary to make at least 6 of those things. That doesn't mean I won't make one in each color eventually, just not all at once.

So I dug some cute twill fabric left over from a bean bag chair I made for my granddaughters. I decided that this would be good fabric to use in my basket experiment thinking that if I didn't like the finished project, I could pass it on to my granddaughters for their stuffed animals. But alas...they turned out to be just the right size!

Instead of using scrap batting to line the baskets, I used Pellon 809 craft fuse decor bond interfacing. It is very stiff and makes a nice interior that stands up to the twill. I was happy that I had enough fabric to make 2 matching baskets. The only change I made from the original instructions is instead of cutting 2 interior/exterior pieces 11" x 22", I cut 1 piece 21" x 22". So there was no bottom seam. Since I had such large pieces of fabric to work with, it seemed silly to cut them in half. So I saved myself the effort of the extra seam.

 I chose to use some of the decorative stitches on my machine to embellish the basket handles and the upper edge of the baskets. It was a lot of fun using the stitches and I will have to do more of that with future projects. Like maybe use some different weigh threads.

All my scraps worth keeping fit nicely in one basket and all the bigger project leftover pieces fit great in the other. I really really like the baskets. However, I do think I will make some more out of different fabrics...these would look cuter in my granddaughters' bedroom than in my sewing room.


Thursday

Fussy Foldover Basket

I followed the Fussy Foldover Basket tutorial from Mon Petit Lyons' blog. The baskets looked cute and I thought they might be the right size to hold my scraps. My plan is to find the right size basket then make a bunch of them in different colors. Each basket will hold the scraps that pertain to the color of said basket.

I changed a few things from the tutorial. I pieced the fabric for the outside of the basket instead of using 1 piece of fabric. I made the the pieces 12" x 10" instead of 10" square. Instead of using fusible fleece, I chose to use leftover batting and I quilted the batting to the outside pieces of the basket. The original basket also has a pocket on the outside and I chose to exclude it.

Once finished, I pulled all my pinks and reds from my scrap basket. I loaded them into their new home. I thought this basket would be the perfect size but it turns out that all my scraps don't quite fit. The basket finished 7" x 6" wide and 7" tall. When the basket rim is folded over, it's 6" tall. It is definitely a nice size, but too small for my plan. I had to leave out the bigger scraps, they just didn't fit.

I really liked making this basket and I will probably make more, just not for holding my scraps. The original tutorial can be found here.

Wednesday

What's on the design board?

This month I am starting fresh. I'm not sure how thing will go, there are many family birthdays that are celebrated this month so I'm not really sure about my sewing time. I think I will have to be very diligent in order to accomplish things.

I thought I would try something new so I got out my Farm Girl Vintage book and my scrap basket. I made a few sample blocks in order to plan out a color way for a sampler quilt. The blocks on my design board are the results of that process. I really don't know which block I like best. Do I use up some bright colors or do I go with the vintage softer colors? I am just not sure where this project is going. Maybe I should put away my scrap basket and start with new fabrics because I am not thrilled with any of these blocks.

I do love auditioning things on my design board though and I love looking back at my progress over the months. I feel very lucky today.
Farm Girl Vintage Sample Blocks

Saturday

Floating Squares Quilt - Completed

Home of the Brave Fabric
I finished sewing the binding on the Floating Squares quilt this morning. I used the same fabric for the binding as the backing. It made a nice contrast to all that green fabric on the front and blended in nicely on the back.

I used a pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. magazine. It was an easy-to-follow pattern, the only thing I would have done differently is that I should have paid closer attention to the finished size. It's a pretty small quilt. On the other hand, I probably would have run out of charm squares so it all worked out.

Friday

182 Day Solstice Quilt Challenge - Week 6

I just finished up block 6 of the 182 day solstice quilt challenge. Even though I like having this to look forward to each Wednesday, once the block for the week is finished, I sometimes wish I could move on to the next block. For me, that's the down side of a quilt-along. Isn't there a song that goes "the waiting is the hardest part" ? ha-ha! So I will have to move on to something else.

I have a few "something elses" that I could work on. I have one quilt top and backing done that needs to be sandwiched and machine quilted. I have two other quilt tops done. Both need backing before getting them ready for quilting. I have one quilt that I finished quilting and I sewed the binding on, I just need to hand-stitch the binding to the back. 

And that's it! Those are all my unfinished projects. It almost seems unreal that there are no other WIPs. Oh wait... I forgot about those two quilt tops that need applique. I think I forgot about those on purpose.
I guess I better get to work.