Excited about my first quarter finishes, I am eager to make my second quarter list and start crossing them off! I thought I was going to have a longer list, but honestly I have six projects this time, just like last quarter, the main difference is less small projects and more quilts. I think I can do it! So here we go!
1. Small Project - Autumn Sampler, pattern by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I only have black and white floss left to add in and then I will be done. Well of course I want to mat and frame it as well. I am so close to done I can taste it!
2. Small Project - Two large handbags for a friend that I promised like 2.5 years ago. Yep they have just been sitting there, cut out and waiting for me to stitch them up. This is the quarter that I will finish this project!
1. Quilt (Large Project) - Triangle Quilt Along, the rows are sewn, just need to finish the top, trim it, baste and quilt. It is small, so it should go rather quickly.
2. Quilt (Large Project) - City Sampler, it is basted and just awaiting quilting. I have already wound 10 bobbins, so I just have to sit down and start! I know how I will quilt the blocks, but NO idea of how to quilt the stripes....
3. Quilt (Large Project) - Radiant Orchid, I ordered the backing yesterday. So I need to construct the back, baste and quilt. I'm not sure how this one will be quilted, any suggestions?
4. Quilt (Large Project) - Bloom Bloom Pow, I have the backing done and the white batting. Just need to baste and quilt it. Also not sure how to quilt this one, seriously leave me some suggestions!
A total of six project, two small and four large. I can do it! Interested in joining along? You still have time, click on the 2014 Finish Along picture below for all the details and more information!
I don't think I've done a Finish Along wrap up post, and be it that this is the first year that I really feel like I am truly trying to cross things off my list, I feel a wrap up is a good thing to keep me motivated and excited to move on to the second quarter! I finished 4 of my 6 goals and am really excited about that.
The four projects above are my finished projects from my First Quarter list. Click on the names below to take you to the finished reveal blog post on each. The projects above are: Open Wide Pouches, Rebecca Bag, Riley Blake Challenge and lastly my Latticework Quilt. Three small and one large. Below are the two projects that I didn't finish and their current status.
My king sized City Sampler Quilt. At the beginning of the quarter, I had the 100 blocks sewn. Since then I have put the quilt top together and basted the quilt. It sits now awaiting quilting, I just didn't get a chance to tackle this one, but it will be on my next quarter list as it is a May birthday present for someone special and I want to have it done.
Last but not least is my Autumn Sampler cross stitch. I am so close to finishing this one, SO CLOSE! I literally only have the black and white floss left to add in. I am estimating about 2 more hours and I will be done. About mid month I was ready to pack it away until Fall, but I kept working on it and when I took this photo Friday evening I realized how close to finished I really am. So I am going to stick with it, finish it, frame it, and get it ready to hang on the wall once Autumn comes around this year. So yes, this one will continue over to the Second Quarter as well.
I am really pleased with my progress and my list next time will be a tad bit longer, because I really want to work on getting some WIP's finished! So how was your First Quarter?
Linking up to Sewjo Saturday hosted by My Go-Go Life. The Autumn Sampler above is pretty much the only thing I really worked on this week. Mostly in the car rider line and a little bit at night. I sure hope my next week is more productive!
Happy Monday! I thought I would pop in quickly to share a few things going on in my world.
My husband took the kids to my Sister-in-law's house this weekend, thus freeing me up for a few hours. My mom was also visiting and helped me to tackle basting my KING SIZED City Sampler quilt. Yeah, I was majorly dreading this project, as it measures a whopping 104" x 104" but with the help of my mom, it really wasn't so bad. Actually it went really smoothly and her help was very much appreciated! I am estimating that over 500 safety pins went into this one, roughly every 6" or so. Whew, so glad to have that task over with and very excited to start quilting this one!
I received some super exciting news on Saturday, that I was chosen as the Second Place winner in the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along hosted by Craft Buds! I couldn't be more thrilled and excited, I'm still so pumped up! I wanted to thank Craft Buds, all of the awesome judges and lastly all of the amazing sponsors of the quilt along. Hop over to Craft Buds and show all of the other participants some love, because there was some amazing entries in this contest, they all deserve praise.
Lastly, after doing some figuring and traveling confusion from my husband (don't ask.) Austin, Texas is only a 6 hour drive from my house, making QuiltCon totally doable! I actually plan to travel via Amtrak (kinda excited about that alone!) So yes, I'll be there, QuiltCon 2015! Hope to meet you there!
The Two in One Tote, two challenges, one tote! It all started last year when I joined the Modern Quilt Guild as an individual member. How exciting to be able to have that opportunity, I was and am thrilled. The first thing that I loved about being a member was that now I could participate in the fabric challenges that I had seen so many groups participating in. So here is the very first, The Riley Blake Challenge. The guild sent all those who signed up 6 fat eighths of Riley Blake fabric and we could make whatever we wanted, just so long as it was quilted. We could add any solids, or any Riley Blake fabrics.
Right from the start I new I wanted to make a beach bag. We need a new one desperately. The old one was skin chaffing and just all around terrible. Even though I knew I wanted to make a tote, I really had no idea on what to do with the fabric, or how far the fat eighths would really go on a large tote. So there the fabric sat for quite some time, and then the Guild extended the competition and therefore my fabric sat even longer. At the beginning of the year, while blog surfing I came across a blog post from Craft Buds announcing theMosaic Tiles Quilt Along. Oh, now there is an idea. So I ordered the book, Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner, and once it arrived, a plan was formed.
The Mosaic Tiles block is a 11.5" x 11.5" block, and I roughly figured that if I made four blocks, that would be right around the right size for my tote (or one side of it at least.) The Riley Blake Challenge included the dark gray solid, so I added in two coordinating shades of gray and set to making the blocks. I purposely arranged the layout, the grays in diagonal lines, and then the prints just random. Once I had the four blocks completed and sewn together, I attached the panel to fusible fleece and quilted with a medium gray 1/4" away from the seams with my walking foot.
I loved it, the only problem was that I didn't have enough fabric, solid or print to have a matching second side. So now what? I started with taking the prints that I had left and cutting out 18 - 4.5" x 4.5" squares, leaving only a 3" x 9" piece of fabric left. I randomly sewed these together, creating a small panel the same width as the front, but quite a bit shy of being tall enough. I pondered for a while and thought of my intended purpose of the bag, a beach bag and decided to try a modern applique beach wave. Any why not add in a little ombre too? I dug through my stash found 3 coordinating blues, and drew up a wave template. I didn't want to use raw edge applique, so I put two layers of the dark blue together, traced my template and sewed on the line in a short 1.5 stitch. I then cut with my pinking shears close to the seam, cut a few notches, then turned the fabric. After fidgeting with it a bit, I then Ironed the HECK out of it and created a smooth-ish wave that contained no raw edges on the exterior. I then machine stitched this wave on top of the patchwork panel about 1/8" away from the edge. Now that the hard part was done, I added the two blue solids and now I had a second finished panel. I also fused this side to fusible fleece and then was faced with how to quilt it.
I knew that I didn't want to repeat the straight line quilting, and wanted a totally different look for this side. I decided that the patchwork colorful part reminded me of the umbrellas and people on the beach, so I free motion quilted the circle "umbrellas" on the "beach." Then I knew I had to echo the waves onto the beach a bit and of course in the water. I used my walking foot to quilt the waves, which I guess? was the most accurate way to do it? Maybe if I was super skilled I could have free motion quilted it, but I don't that at this point my skills are quite that good. The only problem I ran into during this whole process was when I had to free motion quilt the circles. The first and second round went fine, but when I made the third and fourth loop of stitching the fabric really pulled in and distorted, creating a "bubble" of sorts in the center of the circle. I know that the problem was probably caused because I didn't have enough layers and was only quilting through cotton and fleece. I ironed the HECK out of that section, but in the end, it definitely has texture.
Now that my quilting was complete, I found a matching gray solid for the lining, and started to assemble the bag. I stitched the sides and bottom. Created a gusset, and was overall pleased with the size and shape. it really was just right. Just big enough to hold several beach towels, a few toys and such, but not too big. When it came time to sew the lining and the bag together, at the last moment I decided to add piping to the top edge, just to add a little extra touch. I am really glad that I did, it really separates the exterior from the interior. This bag is pretty floppy, does not stand on its own, but that is exactly what I wanted, because when it is time to travel and store it, I can just roll it up and tuck it out of the way!
The plan all along was to have rope handles, I mean you can't have a beach bag without rope handles, right? So once the bag was all sewn, I installed 4 silver grommets that had a 1/2" hole opening. Now I just needed to go to the local hardware store for some rope. I ended up buying a 3/8" natural sisal. It slipped perfectly through the grommets, I tied knots on each end and it was just the right size. Now I complained earlier about my old beach bag chaffing our skin, so of course I couldn't have the rope raw against our bare shoulders. I looked at the scraps I had left, took the 3" x 9" pieces, cut it down to 2.5" x 9" and created lined tubes that slipped onto the rope, nice and slim little handle covers. My bag was now complete! It measures 20.5" wide, 18" tall and an 8" gusset, and a 12" handle drop. It is LARGE!
I really enjoyed the process, the finished tote and being able to participate in two challenges, simultaneously. Thank you Riley Blake for providing the fabric, and for the Modern Quilt Guild to host this challenge. Also, thank you toCraft Buds for hosting the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, because honestly, that side of the tote is my favorite, and in my opinion the most modern!
I almost forgot, but this is also my first finish in the first quarter of the 2014 Finish Along hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle!
I am happy to be joining along in the third year of the Finish Along, this year being hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle. This year I am setting smaller goals for myself and am going to work hard at getting them completed in a timely manner. Honestly I am tired of carrying things over and over again. Each quarter I will pick 2 quilts to finish (Ideally one that is already a top and one that is needing to be put together,) 2-3 smaller projects (things that can be completed in a day or two) and an optional extra project. The optional extra project is one that I don't care if I finish it during the quarter, but if I do get it done, then great for me, otherwise, I'm not stressing that one. I am also putting a lot of thought into the list and being very deliberate with my choices, because honestly I have over 20+ works in progress and I know that I can not get them all done in this one year. That being said, here is my list, and hopefully by the end of the quarter, all of these will be completed!
1. Small Project - First up are two medium sized open wide pouches (tutorial by Noodlehead,) you can see the patchwork exteriors above. Other than the exterior being pieced and having the rest of the supplies, these need to be put together.
2. Small Project - The Riley Blake Modern Quilt Guild Challenge, I have begun piecing, and know that this will become an over-sized beach bag. This one has a deadline of mid February, so I better get to it!
3. Small Project - Construct another Rebecca Bag, as per requested by my mother. I have the fabric cut out, the supplies have been bought (as of yesterday) and it is awaiting construction. Since I have made this pattern before, I imagine it will go together quickly.
1. Quilt (Large Project) - Finish my City Sampler quilt. I have all 100 blocks sewn. I have ordered my sashing fabrics and my backing fabric. As soon as my sashing fabrics arrive, I will buckle down and get this quilt top sewn up by the end of the month. Then in the following two months focus on getting it quilted. Shown above are an assorted 18 blocks that I photographed last year and never got around to blogging about.
2. Quilt (Large Project) - My Lattice Work quilt is basted and simply waiting to be quilted.
Optional Project - Finish up my Autumn Sampler. I have been steadily stitching on this one, pretty much every day for the last few months I can actually see the finish line, but don't know how long it will take to honestly finish it. If I do, great, if not, that is ok too, because I LOVE working on this.
A total of six project, three small, two large and one optional. I can do it! Interested in joining along? You still have time, click on the 2014 Finish Along picture below for all the details and more information!
The Funk, do you ever get it? Not the James Brown kind of good Funk, but the Funk mood, that depressive state that pretty much makes it impossible to really accomplish anything. Do you ever get that? Well I do, and I had it bad last year. Yep, pretty much the whole year. I'm not going to say I was full blown depressed, I just had a Funk I couldn't shake and as soon as I was rid of it, it came back full force. I can honestly say that social media makes this Funk way worse, the constant, "Am I good enough?" "Am I accomplishing enough?" "What do I want from life?" Followed by the thoughts of, "Why do I feel this way, I am very blessed, have a great husband, great kids, all that I need and more. What is wrong with me?" Ughhh....just keeping it real folks.
So why am I bringing up the Funk? New Years, the reflection and goals that go along with it. Yuck. The week after Christmas I was all good, happy thoughts and positivity. Then New Years Eve happened. Oh good grief, now I have to think about how I didn't meet my goals, didn't accomplish 2% of what I wanted to, overall failure. Is this the truth? Not really. I made a ton of stuff last year, I raised my two children, I kept up a house. But why the feeling of failure. I hate it, I don't want to feel that way, but I just can't help it. Then my husband asked my what my goals or dreams were for the New Year. Stressful that question is. Do I really want to set myself up for failure again? I started listing all the things I wanted to accomplish this year, and the list was INSANE. Like 10 years worth of projects and goals. Why do I do this to myself. I'm not Super Woman and I don't want to be.
Here is an example. Last year at this time, I blogged about my goals for the year, the long list of works in progress and how this was going to be the year of getting them all done. You can see the mosaic below. 15 quilts. 15 quilts in one year, most of them just blocks, by that math I would have to finish a quilt every 24 days. That is IMPOSSIBLE for me. Why did I set that goal? Optimism is one thing, but this is something else.
What was the reality? The four quilts below and technically the one in the bottom left is just basted, not yet quilted. The one on the bottom right is finished, but I have yet to photograph it. So in all honesty I only "finished" 2 of the 15.
So what went awry? What happened? I know that I sewed a lot, made a ton of things, but why only four finishes from that original list? Distractions, boredom, impatience, maybe a touch of ADD? Yes, that is it, it has to be, oh and the Funk. Proof? Look at the mosaic below. These nine quilts were started in 2013. I finished four of them, but only blogged about two of those. The other five are still waiting to be finished. So yes, I accomplished a lot in 2013, and let us not even mention the tons and tons of little projects that were started and finished too. Great, I accomplished a lot, but the problem is that now I have 17 unfinished quilts. More than the start of last year, uh oh I'm drowning. Let me do the math, 365 days, 17 quilts, now I have 21 days for each one. It is simply not possible, for me at least. So what now?
Here is the dilemma I have been pondering for the past three days, while I stew in the Funk and wallow in it. When you step back from "the problem" it is easy to see that it really isn't a problem at all, but I still couldn't shake the Funk. I spent the majority of today laying around in my pajamas and being lazy. Well that certainly wasn't helping the situation at all. So instead of being a total loaf, I decided to try and catch up on some of my Sunday newspapers that were laying around collecting dust. While reading I came across the Dear Abby (Jeanne Phillips) article that was published on New Year's Day. She wanted to share her most requested list of New Year's resolutions that were adapted by her mother (Pauline Phillips) from the original credo of Al-Anon. Wow it struck such a powerful cord with me and the Funk was lifted. If you don't mind I'll post a bit of it here, because it was much longer:
Just for today: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.
Just for today: I will accept what is. I will face reality. i will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.
Just for today: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.
It was just what I needed today, a little message from God (and Dear Abby) to set me right on my path again. Does this mean that I won't set any goals this year? No, just realistic ones. I hope you join me on my journey and for those of you who don't have a perfect list of finished projects and accomplishments, I hope this helps you to realize that it doesn't have to be perfect, life is messy and you only have to live one day at a time.
Happy New Year!
Popping in today for a brief post. First I wanted to mention that my One Block Wonder Quilt was the "Viewer's Choice" winner over at Quilter in the Closet. Once the quilt-along was over, Jen opened up voting on all of the entered quilts, and I am thrilled to say that mine was the most voted for. Thanks so much to all of you that voted, it really means a lot to me, especially since there were so many fabulous entries. Now I just have to decide how to use my gift certificate to The Intrepid Thread! Woo Hoo!
I have been steadily working on my Autumn Sampler (pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.) As you can see I jump around quite a bit and not one block is "finished" yet, but that is fine with me, I just pick a spot that I want to stitch and just start stitching! I have been enjoying this so much, SO MUCH! I stitched while we were on vacation, I stitch in the car rider line, I stitch in the evening. I bet I already have 20+ hours on this baby, which is kinda insane if you think about it, but I really have just been stitching along and loving every minute of it!
Lastly, I had a little story to share. My husband and I always joke around about what we want our tombstones to say (I know this is morbid) mostly or always joke things. For example, I want mine to say: "I told you I was sick." See funny, the idea of bringing laughter to others in a cemetery long after I'm gone cracks me up. So back to the point. On a long car ride, where I was steady stitching on the above, the following conversation takes place:
Husband: "Your tombstone is going to say, "I came, I sewed, I made a lot of crap, I died."
My Response: And underneath that it will say, "Life Well Lived!"
And I think that about sums it up folks, love others, do what you love, life well lived! That is all I have to share today, so go out and have a great day!
Last quarter of the year! WHAT? I'm doing it up HUGE! My list is huge, my goals are huge and going to try so hard to get these projects done! Oh and please excuse some of the poor quality photos, they are works in progress and the photos were taken in substandard conditions! HA! Here is my list in order of how I would like/need to get them finished:
1. Emerald Cut Quilt - This one has been quilted and the binding is sewn on, I just need to hand sew the binding closed. I almost finished this one for the third quarter, but didn't quite make it. Will wrap this one up soon.
2. Solar System Quilt - I put this panel quilt together early last month and basted it. I plan to hand quilt this one with pearl cotton. This one is a Christmas present, so I need to get cracking!
3. One Block Wonder Quilt - Here it is on the design wall. Since this shot, I have sewn it into rows, and it now awaits me to sew the rows together. Once the rows are together I will add a border or two. Then I just have to baste and quilt.
4. Open Wide Zipper Pouches - Early last month I whipped up these patchwork panels and plan to turn them into two Open Wide Zippered Pouches (pattern by Noodlehead.) These need to be finished before Christmas also!
5. Modified Rebecca Bag - My mom has requested a purse after seeing my Rebecca Bag that I made for Craft Book Month. It is cut out and awaiting me to buy a zipper and then whip it up!
6. Mango Quilt Block - Plan to turn this into a mini quilt of some sort. Interested in making your own? Find the tutorial over at A Quilter's Table HERE.
7. Dogwood Blossom Quilt - I think I have 12 of the 20 blocks finished. Eight more blocks then piece the top into a twin sized quilt. I also have to figure out the backing of this one.
8. Christmas Strings Quilt - I actually hope to work on this one during the holidays, I just can't seem to get motivated to work on a Christmas Quilt during other points in the year. I have a good idea of how I want to piece this quilt top and am excited to work on it in December. This will be a lap quilt.
9. Latticework Quilt - I took the time to baste this one about a month ago. It sits waiting for me to quilt it!
10. Sister's Ten Quilt - I have been following along with this year long quilt along, but just haven't shown off many of the blocks. I have 6 more blocks to construct (fabric is already cut) and then to assemble the quilt top! I think this one will be king sized, so I may have to send it off to be quilted.
11. Autumn Sampler Cross Stitch - Started this one kinda randomly last week, wanting an evening and car ride project. I am almost finished with this one block, only 24 more to go! Since we don't have much "fall" in Louisiana, I don't mind working on this through the winter, the temps will finally be fall like then!
12. City Sampler Quilt - Why not go crazy and say that I will finish up my City Sampler Quilt! I have roughly 30 blocks left to make and then to assemble the top, and of course quilt it. The odds of this, the last project on my list getting done is pretty crazy, but hey why not dream big!
There it was, my big crazy 12 project list. Honestly, if I get around 5 done, I'll be happy with that. This will be the last to-do list of the year, and I have to thank Leanne for hosting the Finish-A-Long this year and motivating so many of us to get those projects finished!
I am proud of this one, a rather simple design, where I find I tend to make things ever so complicated and have a hard time with just letting a simple design stand on its own. That is what this one is, a simple design, featuring a collection of sweet gender neutral baby fabrics, Critter Patch designed by Alyssa Thomas. This virtual quilt is 45" x 45", features an 8" block, a skinny 1/2" solid border and then a 2" border around the whole thing the finish it up I designed this quilt using the Quilt Design Tool found at Threadbias. Every contest they have held so far, I have entered, this being the third one. I just love playing around with the design tool and creating these virtual quilts.
Voting is now open to anyone with a Threadbias (free) account. So...if you have an account, I would love for you to take a minute, hop over and have a look at the entries, I believe there are around 30. If you should feel inclined I will shamelessly ask for you to vote for mine! Or...whichever one you like best! You can find the entries and more information HERE, just be sure to click on the green button that says "View Entries" and it will take you to all the gorgeous baby quilts. There really are some clever designs. Voting is open until next Monday, October 14th.
Once upon a time I found myself at JoAnn Fabrics. I originally went there to purchase Juliana Horner's new fabric line Rosette. Once I was there I decided that the fabrics did really read "me." They are beautiful, but honestly just not my style, but since I was there, it wouldn't hurt to look around, right? After spending some time browsing the bolts, I ran across that gorgeous yellow print above. Then I discovered the other two coordinating prints. They are all by Denyse Schmidt and are part of her DS Quilts line for JoAnn Fabrics. Though, I do believe that two are from one line and one is from another, they all coordinate beautifully. So I bought 3/4 yard of each (why that weird amount, who knows?) and headed home. There the fabrics sat for a few weeks.
In the meantime I enrolled in Stitched in Color's Penny Sampler Class. The very first project of the class is a pillow that featured a Dogwood Blossom applique on it. Originally I had no intention of making it, but once I remembered I had bought these fabrics (and bought enough yardage) I knew it would make a beautiful pillow. So here it is! Just as pretty as I envisioned!
The background was free motion quilted in a simple stipple pattern using white thread on both the front and the back panels. Then the applique was added on top.and features "the sketch stitch technique" that Rachel teaches in the class. And yes, it is my new favorite thing to do and just perfect for applique blocks. It really seals the edges of the applique and I KNOW that there won't be any raveling and no chance that it will come off in the future. So awesome. I used navy blue thread for the sketch stitch because those little dots on the blue fabric are actually dark blue.
I know that it appears like I followed directions to a "T" with this pillow, but alas I did not. I don't think I am capable of following directions exactly like I am told. The one thing I changed with this pillow was the applique technique that I used. Basically in Rachel's class she teaches two applique techniques. One for light colored fabric on top of dark fabric (where see through would be a problem) and the other for darker fabrics on top that won't show see through. Because of the larger white flowers on the yellow print, you could see through to the blue fabric. I didn't want to use the correct method because that would have entailed a trip to the store for missing supplies, and I really didn't want to go to the store. So I figured out a way around it, and it worked GREAT for this pillow project.
I have a bolt of Pellon 50, which is a sew-in interfacing (it is NOT fusible.) It is slightly see through (so I could trace the template onto it) and it is fairly stiff, around the stiffness of a cereal box, but thinner. So I traced the template and cut out four petals from the interfacing. I then took the yellow fabric and carefully ironed it around the interfacing template, once I was done ironing, the interfacing stayed inside, making a sandwich of sorts (finished edge fabric on top, interfacing in the center and the raw edges wrapped around to the back of the shape.) I then pinned the four petals to the background and stitched them on using the sketch stitch. It worked out so well, no see through and the petals are slightly stiffer so they stand out a bit from the background. This worked perfectly for a pillow, but this is not a technique I would use for a quilt, as it would just be too stiff for a quilt.
The only real mistake that I made was that I cut the pillow to the exact dimensions and then quilted it with the stipple pattern, well I didn't take into account that this quilting technique caused the fabric to "draw up and shrink a bit." The finished pillow was supposed to measure 15" x 15" and would accept a 16" x 16" pillow form (so that it would look nice and plump.) Well my finished pillow measured 14" x 14" and I JAMMED a 16" x 16" pillow form into it, so you can obviously see from the back view that it is overstuffed big time. The front looks ok, but the back is lumpy. I am hoping over time that it "settles in" a bit better. We shall see...
I machine stitched on the binding and voila, it is a finished pillow that is now proudly displayed on my sofa next to the only type of indoor dog we shall ever have! It certainly brightens the sofa and I just love this first project of the Penny Sampler Class!