Officially finished, here she is, Emerald Cut. What started as part of the 2013 Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by a.squared.w, almost nine months later is a finished quilt. Originally I had no intention of entering the challenge, and then one day while daydreaming an idea hit that I just had to pursue. An emerald quilt block made out of emerald fabrics. I quickly ordered a bunch of emerald prints and a few solids, most of which were Art Gallery prints, with a touch of Lizzy House and Joel Dewberry. Then I began to draft the pattern, made some templates, whipped up a test block and the rest is history. Actually the test block turned out perfect and is in the quilt (the one with the horizontal placement.)
Once I had six blocks, I decided for a simple modern layout and sticking with the "Jewel" theme chose a nice Jewel tone shot cotton for the background (which I think is called Prune.) I used three prints to make the backing, the top and middle prints are Anna Maria Horner, and the bottom an Art Gallery Print. Once I had my top and back, and some 100% cotton batting, I was ready to baste. I pin basted this quilt and there she sat for quite a while.
I wasn't sure what color thread to use or what quilting pattern I wanted to try. After growing tired of "thinking about it" I went to the store and picked a lovely emerald colored thread that I felt would stand out on the shot cotton background, but blend into the blocks themselves. Then I had to decide on quilting. I can't remember how I came up with this idea, but i knew I wanted to somehow incorporate "sparkles" into the quilting. I wanted those emeralds to twinkle and shine! Be it that I wanted my quilt to have a modern feel, I chose a very organic straight line quilting that stopped and "sparkled" every now and then with no real pattern. The lines are roughly 5/8" to 3/4" apart and the sparkles or stars are just randomly placed. I aimed to have more sparkles on the actual jewels themselves with a few random ones extending just beyond the jewels onto the background fabric.
You can see from the photo above and below that I was very organic with these lines, they wiggled all over the place! The quilting process was fun and easy, no big problems and was relatively quick too. I want to say that I quilted this one in roughly two days here and there, starting and stopping a ton. Which is a nice feature of this type of quilting. You can stop after each line if you want too.
I'm not going to lie, this quilt wasn't even close to square (or rectangle!) Once I was done quilting, i laid her on the floor and she was seriously wonky. I spent a good amount of time trimming the edges and making her as square as possible, and by the eye, it looks square, so I guess that is what matters most. Who cares that the top edge measures 1/2" longer than the bottom edge!
Emerald Cut is bound in Art Gallery Oval Elements in Eggplant. Honestly the binding is my favorite part of this quilt, I just love that I used a print for the binding, but it blends in so well you hardly notice. I love it! Though I have been favoring machine stitching the binding, I finished this one by hand. I felt this quilt was more a piece of art and since it will be a wall hanging, I wanted it bound nice and properly. Finished, Emerald Cut measures 34" x 50." A special thanks to my mom who helped me with the photographs this weekend! She wins the whitest sneakers award for sure!
The Emerald Cut quilt was the first project listed on my fourth quarter finish-a-long list. I am happy to say that I met this goal and can link up over at She Can Quilt. Thank you so much Leanne for hosting a great year of the Finish-A-Long!
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!
This is a first for me y'all. I made these blocks this morning, picked fabrics, cut them out, sewed them together, ironed them, took pictures and blogged about them all in one day, or better yet, one morning! I think in the three or so years I have been blogging, I have never done that, shared a project the same day it was made. So woohoo for me....I guess, or maybe that is just pathetic. Oh well. Anyways I'm rambling....
Here are my week three blocks in the Quilty Fun Sew Along. Two simple super scrappy Courthouse Step blocks. No wonder I could get it all done in one morning, these blocks are SO EASY and fun, I love log cabin blocks. You can see all three weeks worth of blocks below. So scrappy and pretty, this is going to be a cool quilt.
Oh and before I forget, thanks everyone for the well wishes last week, I am slowly feeling better and happy to say that I do believe I am on the mend!
I've been sick this week and it seems like every time I am sick, I just lay around and dream up new projects. I guess because I can't really work on current ones, it is easy to dream and read online and then before you know it, order a book, some fabric and now that dream project is a reality. Then you find yourself on the floor surrounded by a pile of used Kleenex and mounds and mounds of fabric scraps.
After pulling out an insane amount of fabrics, you then stare at them forever and try to decide which ones don't belong. So you edit and edit and then you have a neat little stack of color sorted fabrics that at least in your mind match and look nice together.
The fabrics sit there for a day or two, so you add some of the edited ones back in, take them back out, back and forth until you say, "Enough!"
You then have to take pictures of all these pretty little mounds of fabric. Everyone does that right?
You wait patiently for that book and fabric you ordered earlier in the week to arrive. Thankfully I ordered from The Fat Quarter Shop, so I didn't have to wait long. If I order something from them on Monday, I have it in my hot little hands by Wednesday, so that is pretty awesome.
The book arrives and you devour it within the first hour and then realize you will actually have to get your sick butt off the couch if you actually want to get started.
The two prints below are the ones I ordered, 50% off (AWESOME) and will be the two outer borders on the finished quilt. Love those two little love birds on the red print.
Now I have to decide what fabrics to use for the first block, but since I already have such neat little stacks, the decision is pretty easy. Cutting took about 30 minutes, and then after about 1.5 hours of piecing, I end up with these super cute apples. Eek...love them!
Then I move on to the next block, these ninja looking stars. Also quick to cut out, a little more time consuming as far as piecing, but only because my machine tends to chew up the little pieces. Then I am finished and officially "caught up" in this sew along! But alas, still sick. So maybe I'll go dream up another new project... or maybe I should just sleep.
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!
It all started with a single cut of fabric, 5 yards to be exact. It was cut, lined up, cut up some more and then pieced together. A whole lot of 60 degree triangles, actually 684 triangles. Stitched into 114 hexagon blocks. They were then stuck onto a design wall, admired for a bit, then sewn into rows, 22 rows. Then those 22 rows were sewn together, and TA DA! I have a quilt top, one I am so happy with!
My mom helped me take photos this weekend. The wind was blowing, thus the "action shots," but you get the idea. I oriented the quilt this way on purpose. I imagine the top is the sky, slowly fading into the colors of the land, since the bottom half is more color heavy. I love how you can't really see butterflies and only color and some really great movement. The top measures 53" x 67," much bigger than I originally anticipated, but with a pattern like this you don't really know what your finished size will be, it all depends on how many of those hexagon blocks that you use. I was able to use all of them, yep all 114. It just worked out right, easily too, they just fell into place and the math just worked out. I was pleasantly pleased not to have any left overs and I get to admire every single block that I created.
The photo above is REALLY what the quilt looks like, in full sun, wrinkles and all. BUT, it really shows the TRUE colors the best, thus this is why I included the photo in the post. The colors are really rich and vibrant. So pretty. The other photos were taken in the shade, which explains the fact that the wrinkles just fade away and it looks perfectly flat and awesome, but the colors are just ever so dull compared to the photo above. Just being honest!
I had to include the back shot. Just look at all those seams, all those triangles. It looks really neat like this. It isn't that neat in real life, but it sure looks it here. I love it!
This quilt top is my entry into the One Block Wonder Quilt Along hosted by Jen at Quilter in the Closet. Thank you Jen for introducing me to such a cool technique and hosting such a great quilt along!
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!
Happily leaving the "triangles" chapter behind and moving onto "stripes." Much easier, much more enjoyable. These are the blocks for last week and this week. I really like block #59, don't really like block #60. There is probably one in every bunch that I like a lot, and one that I don't, I'm sure just the nature of the beast. Running low on the blue solids for this quilt, so it will be time to do some shopping soon! That is always fun! Have a good weekend folks!
Wondering what all of this is about? Here are the details:
Book: City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink
Quilt Along: Hosted by Sara over at Sew Sweetness
Flickr Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/citysamplerquiltalong/
Blocks: 6.5" x 6.5" Featuring the fabric line Constellations by Lizzy House.
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.
A finish! Actually I have had this one done for a bit, just waiting on the opportunity to get decent photos of it and yesterday was the day! This table runner was started as part of the Dancing Stars Quilt Along hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side. All the fabrics were from my stash, the stars were part of a Liberty charm swap I participated in last year and the blue and green solids were scraps from my stash, and boy did I have just enough scraps to make the required amount of stars. All of the stars were paper pieced and I decided to have three of them with the text background, just for a bit of variety. I also used that same print for the binding, sorry I don't know what that print is, but I do love it.
Once the top was put together, I basted it with pins, used a piece of scrap batting and I had a yard of another text print for the backing. Then I had to decide on how to quilt this one. There is sat for quite some time, which usually happens with me, I get stumped on the quilting process. Then it came to me, a chevron pattern! So using the block layout as the basis for the scale of the chevron, I started quilting the design 1" apart. I hated it. I kept going in hopes that it would grow on me, and it didn't. I felt like the spacing and where the lines fell on the blocks looked horrible and like a mistake. So now what? Rip it all out, live with it? Ughhh...
After some consideration, and really not wanting to unpick all those stitches, I decided to go back and quilt in between each line, thus making the quilted lines 1/2" apart. Yeah! This did the trick, all those flaws seemed to disappear, the texture was great and the pattern was oh so much clearer. I was thrilled that it worked out and you can see the pattern plain as day on the back of this table runner, see below.
The piece of fabric I used for the backing wasn't quite the right length, so I had to piece it, so technically there are two seams below, can you find them? I think the seams blend in so well, the print and the quilting just hide the seams so perfectly, you really have to look for them.
I used my new favorite technique, machine stitched binding. Oh so fast and oh so neat and tidy. My corners turned out pretty well, or at least good enough for me and I didn't have to redo any parts of it. This technique works so well for me and if you are curious about the technique yourself, you can find out how, HERE.
This project was on my Third Quarter Finish Along list (hosted by Leanne at She Can Quilt.) I am happy to say that I finished it and now it is ready to gift. The only problem is, whom to gift it to?