Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday


I'm officially calling this my Stargate quilt.  I pieced and cut enough strips for all four circles.  It's looking really quite crazy at this point.  I'm starting to get a little worried at what I've created.  It is going to be one very unique (hopefully in a good way) quilt.

Sorry about the less than stellar photo.  My design wall is now located in the corner of our office and pictures are pretty tricky.  That handle you see belongs to our elliptical trainer--the one I had to step over to hang all these pieces on the wall and the same one I did not exercise on last night due to my sewing obsession.  It sits there quietly while I sew, reminding me that I am an exercise slacker.

I even sewed one circle.  The best thing is that it lays flat!  That's always my worry in sewing Dresdens.  I'm afraid that they will pucker and pop out.  I know I'm inconsistent in my sewing and cutting.  I just hope that I'm consistently inconsistent rather than inconsistently inconsistent.  I figure as long as I'm consistently inconsistent it will still all work out.

Diamonds--No Progress:

I've stalled on my quilting of this guy.  It's just patiently waiting to be finished up.  It will take at least two more quilting sessions though, and the last one made my arms and shoulders sore for a day.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Sewing and a Giveaway Winner!

I made some fun progress on my diamond quilt over the weekend.  I pieced the back on Saturday afternoon and finished about 1/3 of the quilting Sunday evening.  Overall, I'm happy with how the quilting is coming, although I've had a few issues.  This quilt just stretches in different ways than I'm used to.  That combined with linen makes a difficult combo to quilt.  I'm hoping the majority of the issues disappear in the wash.

Sunday evening, after I was already tired from quilting, I decided to pull out my fabric for Lily's Quilts QAL.  I knew better.  My little guy was sick all weekend and had already woken up once Sunday evening.  I was potentially in for a rough night with him, but I just kept sewing anyway.  I've been a little anxious to see how the idea in my head would actually work out in fabric.  Luckily, he did sleep the rest of the night and has perked up this morning.

First, I paper pieced these blocks,

 and then turned them into this:

This circle kind of reminds me of the 90's movie, Stargate.  I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I really like how it's coming together.

I'm certainly nervous about actually sewing all of these pieces into a dresden.  My current plan is to make enough dresden leaves for four circles.  We'll see how adventurous I'm feeling.  I used my fabric strips more quickly than I anticipated.  I'll have to cut some more.  I think it needs a bit more blue and green and well as some white or ash to break it up a bit.  That might be in the next batch.  I paper pieced this first batch, but realized 1/2 way through that it was pretty much unnecessary.  I won't be doing it that way for the next batch of strips. 

And, finally, thanks to all who entered the giveaway.  It's fun to "meet" new quilters out there.  I've been checking out new blogs in my freetime this weekend.

According to Mr. Random, our winner is:  #289

AMKreations said...

I'm a new follower! Thank you again for a lovely giveaway!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Swap Update

I received my second swap package over the weekend.  This time it was for the Urban Home Goods Swap.  Amber from One Shabby Chick put together the greatest little package for me.  She does wonderful work and everything looked perfect.  I so appreciate her time in putting these items together for me.

She made a pillow that I adore.   Doesn't it go great with my chair?  Speaking of color schemes, this is one of my current favorites. 

She also made a fab bag with the same fabric.  It's nice and roomy, perfect for a little shopping.

Finally, she put in a cute mug rug.

My final swap is the Doll Quilt Swap.  It's time to mail quilts.  Here are the last few pictures of my doll quilt all finished and ready to send.  I'm happy with how this guy turned out.  I think my swap partner will really like it.

The label is sewn into the quilt back as the center of this wonky log cabin.  I just had to add a little wonkiness to this quilt to represent my style a bit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Make sure to check out this post for my charm square giveaway.

I haven't participated in Lee's WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced for quite a while.  I just haven't had much to show because I wasn't working on any WIP.

After finishing my monochromatic quilt for the Project Modern Challenge, I decided to pull my Innocent Crush diamond quilt out of the box.   I have a love/hate relationship with this quilt.  I really love how it's coming out, but It's driving me crazy.  Diamonds aren't for the weak.  I have used my seam ripper on this quilt more than any other quilt I've ever made.  I am so close to finishing this top.  I'm looking forward to quilting it.  I think this quilt top will get diamonds out of my system for quite some time.  No new diamond projects.  I have about 7 more rows to sew together and a thin border to add.  Then it's officially done, and I can start thinking about the back.

My only other WIP is my HST quilt that has been sitting in the box for quite a while.  It will probably sit for another month or two.

I don't count my quilt for Lynne's quilt along since I haven't started sewing anything yet.  I have vowed to finished the diamond quilt top before I start anything else.  I need to get it off the wall.

Finally, not exactly a WIP, especially since I put it in the mail yesterday, but I wanted to share my block for Elizabeth's quilt for our bee.  Her quilt is going to look amazing with all of these blocks.  I'm half tempted to make one of my own. 

Head over to Freshly Pieced and check out the other blogs that linked up.  Have a great Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quilt Alongs and a giveaway--CLOSED

There are two new quilt alongs that popped up this past week that are quite tempting.

First off is Lee's Supernova quilt along over at Freshly Pieced.  I haven't committed to that one yet, but it would be fun.  I'm still debating.

Supernova Quilt-Along with Freshly Pieced

Second is Lynne's over at Lily's Quilts. I have decided to join up with this one, but am very undecided what my end quilt will look like. I've chosen fabrics, but haven't decided if I'll just do one square as a doll quilt size or possibly 2x2 squares as a throw.

Lily's Quilts QAL

I'm really branching out on this quilt for Lynne's quilt along.  I'm hoping it works out in the end.  I suppose that will make the difference between a doll size quilt or a throw.  If my idea ends up being horrible, it will probably be a doll quilt.

For an experiment I based my color choices on a swatch from Design Seeds.


Here is my fabric stack for the quilt along.  It was a lot of fun to pull these using my inspiration photo.  I'm hoping they all work together in the end.

I spent the twin's nap time yesterday cutting up all of these fabrics.  First I cut lots of strips.

While I cut, Miss C. "worked" in her house (AKA she colored and cut construction paper into tiny little pieces).

I also cut lots of charms.  I cut two stacks--one for my quilt and one for someone reading this blog.  This little stack includes about 75 charms.  I've included at least one charm from almost every fabric I used (some of my  scraps were too small to cut charms).  I've included two charms of most fabrics.
So, to win this little stack of charms, leave a comment for each of the following:

  1. Tell me your current favorite color combo.
  2. Become a follower.
  3. Blog about this little giveaway.
  4. Head over to Lily's Quilts and check out Lynne's quilt along (I promise she isn't paying me, I just love her site.  She does fabulous work).

Mr. Random will choose a winner Monday, March 21st.  Good luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My new favorite bag

It is so hard to find the perfect purse.  I have an orange one that I love, but it's impossible to find anything in there.  It has only two little side pockets, and everything just falls to the bottom in a mess.  It is officially "The Pit."  I have a black one that's pretty easy to find things in, but it's boring and black.  I have a brown messenger bag I love, but it's too small for my "mom-with-small-children" needs.  I decided it was time to make myself a new bag, and I fell in the love the grey and citron line from Ty Pennington. I thought it would make the perfect spring bag.  I used the quilting weight fabric and quite heavy interfacing for this project.

I was so thrilled when this all came together that I just about did a happy dance when I finished.  I designed this bag by pulling together my favorite aspects of my current bags as well as things from other bags I have seen.

I made this as a messenger style bag because I love the hands-free aspect.  With three kids who are always running different directions, I need something I don't have to hold onto.  It has about double the interior space of my brown messenger bag and fits almost everything I would need for a normal outing. The base is 13" x 4" and it's about 11" tall.

Notice how the pocket fabric pattern matches up with the bag fabric!  That was a little tricky, but totally worth it on the front and back pockets.  I love how the pockets just blend in.

The little pocket on the flap is for all those punch cards and business cards from my wallet.  They are easy to get to right here.  Since they are nice and flat, the flap was the perfect place for a card pocket.  I'm slowly getting better at adding zippers like this.

I added pleats to the base of these grey pockets to make space for larger things such as lotion, sunglasses, and antibacterial gel.  There is also a small zipper pocket above these grey pockets not visible in this picture.

I put a couple flat pockets on the other side for my cell phone and lip gloss.

The center divider pocket with a zipper was one of my favorite additions.  I pulled this idea from my black purse, but wanted it to be stiffer.  I used a fairly heavy interfacing on the outer fabric of both sides of the divider.  It currently holds Clorox wipes for nasty shopping carts.  It's also big enough for my little netbook.

One of my other favorite things I added to this bag was a little flap with a snap to hold my keys--no more digging at the bottom of the pit to find them.

I learned several things from designing this bag.  There are a few things I would change for next time, but overall I was surprisingly satisfied with how it came out.  I've made multiple bags before, and that experience certainly helped.  One of my favorite basic messenger bag tutorials I have used is from mmmcrafts.  I've made four bags for myself and others from this tutorial alone.  I used this tutorial as my base for this bag and then made changes from there. I also studied several bags from Amy Butler's Style Stitches book for ideas on how to actually construct this.

Now that I've made my mistakes on this bag and figured out what works and what doesn't, I sort of want to make another one.  You always need a few great bags to switch out, right?

I'm possibly, sort of, maybe, somewhat considering putting together a tutorial on this bag and doing it sew-along style in a number of different posts.  I'm just wondering how much interest there would be.  I'm not certain I'm up for it, and definitely not committed to all that work yet, but I'm thinking about it.  It's a nice diversion from quilting as I've been feeling a little burned out on quilting recently.  I love making bags and pillow covers because they can be finished up in just a few days.

My husband was a trooper on this project.  He put up with me for the past week while I obsessed over this and stayed up way too late finishing it Friday night.  He even gave me some kid-free time to work on it Friday afternoon.

On a side note, I hit 200 followers the other day.  I was pretty excited about that.  Stick around; we'll have a little giveaway to celebrate coming up soon.

Fresh Sewing Day @ Lily's Quilts

I'm linking up to Megan's Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations. Go check out the other great projects.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Change of Pace

I'm sitting on our front steps watching Miss C have a wonderful time playing with the neighbor kids in the sun on their bikes.   I'm so grateful for spring, especially considering we had 6" of snow on Monday, and it's 60 degrees today.  I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot more of this and a lot less quilting and sewing in the coming months.  Things will be slowing down around here.  I'm still around, but posting will be a bit irregular.  Just a little change of pace.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 7, 2011

For the love of color

Last week was a good sewing week, but I don't have anything to show for  it.  I worked all week on my monochromatic quilt for the Project Modern Challenge.  I finished piecing the front and back.  I won't be posting pics for more than a month.  I still need to baste and quilt it, but that requires a trip to Joann's for batting which may not happen today.  I am hoping to finish it up within the next week.

While I had a fun time putting my quilt together, and it was a great challenge to create interest using only one color, I don't think I'll make another monochromatic quilt again.  I missed color.  I realized how much I love color and how much it adds to my enjoyment of the quilting process.  I kept thinking how great various colors would look in my quilt.  I almost scrapped the idea to enter the challenge at all and start adding other colors.

I decided to see it through, but I have also committed to stop entering any contests.  This is my last one.  I no longer want to make quilts or projects for someone else to judge.  I want to make quilts for myself, family and friends.  I don't want to make projects just for someone else to vote on them or tell me if they think it's good or not.  Quilting is about creating and making something I love--not just making something because a judge will like it or others will vote for it.  I know many people feel differently and love the competition, but I just love creating things that look beautiful to me.

I came across a new site recently that has been a wonderful addition to the blogs I follow daily.  I love her posts and look forward to the inspiration in every single photo.  With each new post, I can't help but think, "That would make a great quilt!"  Here are a few favorites from the past few days.  Go check out Design Seeds!  You'll want to make a new quilt everyday to just use her color schemes.

Source: Design Seeds

Source: Design Seeds

Source: Design Seeds