Monday, January 30, 2012

Slash the Stash--January Edition

So how did everyone do in January?  Any stash projects? Although I wasn't perfect in my resolve to not buy fabric.  I did pretty good.  I bought three yards of Kona for my Brrr quilt.  I also bought a few I-spy FQs to swap charms.  No "stash building" this month.  I felt pretty good about that since my primary goal this year is to work mainly from my stash.

I did finish two projects entirely from my stash in January. 

How about you?  Link up any project made mostly from your stash during January. This doesn't have to be a quilt, just a project. It doesn't even have to be finished. Just share what you are working on from your stash. Add the Slash the Stash button into any old post, create a new post or just add it to your sidebar.  Feel free to add any stash projects to my flickr group as well.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sew Saturday and a weekend of bee blocks

We had a Sew Saturday for Modern Quilt Guild this weekend which is always a great time.  I never get as much done as I plan on, but it's great to have a few free hours to sew, chat, and eat with friends.

Amy made great progress on Hello Kitty.  

Brooke brought her little girl to the party.  We start them young in our quilt guild.

I sewed two bee blocks during our sewing time.  I made this block for Lee from Freshly Pieced using her tutorial.  She asked for beachy tones.  I am really liking the color scheme.

I also finished up this 18" carpenter block for Cherie from Sew and So Quilts using her tutorial.

Finally, Sunday afternoon when all was moderately quiet around here, I made this bee block for Rachel using this tutorial from Parfait Cafe.  This was a pretty tricky block and took a lot of focus.  It was a great challenge.  I don't know that I would have chosen to make it otherwise.  That's the great thing about bees. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday 1.25.12

My biggest accomplishment this past week was finishing up my chevron quilt.  It's already getting quite a bit of use.

I have a big chunk of my Brrr quilt pieced, but still have a ways to go on that one.  That might be a project for our local Modern Quilt Guild sewing Saturday this weekend.  No pictures on that one until it's finished though.

My color quilt is coming along and makes me so happy.  I'm working on designing with the purples right now.  I have all of the yellows and oranges pieced at this point.  I think the final size will be around 70" square.  While laying in bed last night the perfect idea hit me for the back on this quilt.  I'm excited to get started on that part as well.

Finally, Slash the Stash is ready to go.  I have our first link-up party set for next week.  Just link up any project you've made during the month using mostly stash fabrics.  Add this button to an existing or new post or your sidebar and link up to show everyone what you've created using what you already have.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scrappy Chevron Quilt

First off, thanks so much to all of you for your comments and advice on my last post about teaching my daughter to sew.  We had a busy weekend, and I didn't have a chance to respond to all your comments like I usually try to, but I appreciated the input.  My daughter is 4 1/2.  I never really considered teaching her to sew at this point on my machine, but hearing all your stories about teaching young children to sew on real machine was very encouraging.  I actually have two machines--my starter Singer machine I rarely use (but still works perfectly), and my much bigger Brother machine I now use.  The Singer is the one I plan to let her use as she gets older, but my Brother has speed control so I'll probably teach her on that one.  I'll let you all know how it goes once we get started on this new project.

Onto the chevrons.

I love the look of all the chevron quilts I've been seeing.  There are a couple block tutorials out there as well.  The only thing I didn't like about the blocks is the choppy feeling when the base of the block was squared off.  I wanted the quilt made from a continuous chevron.

With a little trial and error, I came up with this quilt. The chevron strips are cut at a 30 degree angle and pieced continuously.  The final quilt is about 56"x70".  I pieced each individual strip in about three angled sections, squared the sides, then sewed the angled ends together.

It's backed with minky fabric and so nice and soft.  This is my fourth minky quilt I've made.  I've learned every minky is different.  I found out it's harder when you are moving the quilt against the grain.  It feels sticky no matter what.  I used my heavy quilt gloves (leather gardening gloves) to handle this quilt.  They are bulky, but give me better grip.  I did a large loopy pattern to quilt this.  I was hoping it wouldn't mess up the nice paisley design on the minky, but after quilting you can barely see the paisley pattern.  

As always, I love the colors! It's already a favorite cuddle quilt and lives in our front room.

Linking up to Canoe Ridge Creations.
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worst impulse toy purchase EVER

It looks innocent and cute...

But believe me it causes little girls to cry and almost makes moms swear.

We were at the store, and this was sitting on the clearance table for $9.  Miss C looked at it and turned to me and said, "Oh mom, it's a sewing machine just for me."  Her big brown eyes looked up at me sweetly.  "Could we get it please?  Then I can sew just like you."  What's a mom to do?!  We bought it, and she was soooo excited.

Then the horror began.  It just didn't work.  Now for $9 I wasn't expecting a Bernina, but it just didn't work.  We couldn't get it to sew for more than one inch.  Then it would jam up.  The needle would get unthreaded, it's next to impossible to thread.  She would cry because it didn't work and she was so frustrated.  I wanted to throw the thing at the wall.

Finally, much to her dismay, I told her we were returning it to the store.  She was sad about it for a whole day until she finally accepted the sewing machine's fate.  She loved the idea of sewing, and I want to encourage that in her little soul.

Now, I'm asking all of you for advice.  Are there any reasonably child-safe sewing machines out there that aren't cheap crap?  I would love to buy her something that is usable, but safe (AKA with the full needle guard).  And to clarify, of course this would be with full supervision.  I don't intend to leave her alone with a working sewing machine.  Everything I seem to find online is junk.  I haven't visited a sewing store yet to ask about products, but would love to hear any success stories.

The machine was returned today.  I now have my $9 back, but I have a sad little girl who misses her pink sewing machine.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Back at Sewing Summit, I won some 1" Thangles from Amanda over at Hey Porkchop! during her mini quilts class.  They sat unused until just about two weeks ago when I finally decided to break them out.

First they were this:

Then they became this:

Totally unintentional, but I love how the design is reflected in the Coke can.

I used all my favorite Art Gallery Pure Elements colors.  The current size for this little guy is 15.5" x 16.5"  Can I tell you how excited I was when I measured and realized my seams were right on?!  I'm unsure how I want to finish this up.  It could be part of a quilt, a pillow, a wall quilt.  I've even thought about framing it.  I pretty much love it.  My arrangement was totally inspired by this fabulous quilt from Sew Katie Did.

I'm not sure I'd use Thangles for bigger HSTs, but they definitely made life a bit easier when making these tiny little guys.

Thanks Amanda for the pack of Thangles!  I had a lot of fun trying them out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday 1.18.12

Slash the Stash:

I loved reading everyone's ideas last week for the stash group, but Jessica wins with Slash the Stash.  It just seemed perfect.  So here's the deal.  On the last day of the month, we'll do a link up party.  Just link to any stash project you've made during the month.  The majority of the fabrics must be from your stash.  I'll create a button that you can add to the end of a blog post. These don't have to be scrappy projects just stash.

I really dove into my stash fabrics the past few weeks.  I realized how much I love the fabrics I have.  I've had a lot of fun coming up with projects to use what I have on hand.  I have more WIPs and project ideas in my head than ever before.  Our two local quilt shops I usually frequent are both having 30% off sales this weekend.  I admit my first thought when I saw the sale info was "Oooh, nice!"  Then I remembered I don't need anything.  I'm not super tempted.  Well, maybe just a bit....

So onto those WIPs

DS Quilt:
I'm halfway through piecing these blocks.  It's nice, easy sewing when I'm not in the mood for something super technical.

Brrr Quilt:
I haven't started piecing, but everything is cut.

Strings Quilt:
I started piecing the blocks together.  I have rows almost complete.  Just need to iron and sew the rows together, and I'll have a finished quilt top.  Then to start the back.

Scrappy Aqua, Orange, Yellow and Grey Quilt:
Remember this box from a few weeks ago?

I really got going on it and finished the top and got it basted.  I used some minky I had on hand for the back.  I'm starting to really love minky quilts.  This is only my second one for us, but my kids love the bee quilt I backed in minky.
I also realized I really need to find a new favorite color combo.  I think I've overdone this one.

Toy Bags:
Here are pieces for five toy bags in a few sizes using Jeni's pattern, all cut and ready to sew.  I've had this fabric on hand for a very long time.  I made Little Dude a quilt from it, but the rest sat in the box way too long.  I'm looking forward to having a few bags to help contain the toy mess.

Heather Ross Quilt:
Okay, so this quilt is in the very beginning stages of creation.  I won a fun 1/2 yard bundle of Heather Ross fabrics from Kim at My Go Go Life a while back.  I wanted to pair them with some other HR prints and create a fun quilt.  I asked my friend Leigh if she had a few scraps I could use.  This is what she brought for me!  Leigh is the biggest HR fan I know.  These are her scraps.  I'm floored and so excited to get started, especially with such a great collection.

Finally, my last WIP I'll share in this post is my most recent bee block.  This is for Lynne at Lily's Quilts, using her own tutorial for the Lynnebobsquarepants block.  I was a little unsure of how it would look with the charcoal fabric she selected as the background.  I don't usually do dark like this, but I really like it.  I might have to give charcoal a try again soon.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progress--Color Quilt

Slowly making progress.  I think I need a bigger design wall.  Designing this quilt is taking quite a while.  Every time I walk into the room, I see squares that aren't quite right and keep moving things around.  I have some new holes to fill.  I'll have to pull a few fabrics from my stash to fill these.  I also need to find some darker pinks to better blend the pinks into the reds.  I'm loving it so far.  It's going to be well worth the effort.

It's been a day of the sickies around here.  Miss C has been sick and droopy all weekend.  She even passed up chocolate cake on Sunday and went to lay on the couch instead.  Today is looking a bit better, but the kiddos all spent quite a bit of time vegging on the couch watching Dora this morning.  I think the ibuprofen I gave her earlier is kicking in.  She's off the couch and, she and her sister are currently having a tea party.  She keeps calling her sister "young lady" in a wacky voice.  She is also calling me "young lady mama" and told me I look lovely today--a wonderful compliment considering I didn't even bother putting on makeup this morning.

The one and only good thing about sick kiddos is having a bit of downtime while they get their couch time.  I cut fabric this morning for my Brrr quilt!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it comes together just how I picture it in my head.  I might start sewing it tonight unless I decide sleep is a priority.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Stash Busters Group
I've been mulling over an idea for a week or so.  I'm thinking of starting up a "support group" for all of us who are attempting to sew from the stash this year.  Nothing too big, just a link-up party once of month with all those great stash busting projects.  No competition, just enjoying using all those fabrics we already have on hand that we've all been hording saving for a rainy day.  I've seen so many bloggers mention the desire to use the stash this year.  I'm considering name ideas for our little group. Any suggestions?

Color Wheel Charm Ideas
For all of you who participated in any of the color wheel swaps, I hope you are using them.  I'd love to feature your projects.  I know lots of you are debating exactly what to do with that stack of colorful greatness.  It's always fun to see what others are up to. 

I have cut all of mine into 2.5" squares.  This is my progress so far.  I'll be sharing more of my design process as I get a few more colors up on the design wall.  For those who haven't had a chance to participate in a swap, I'll be hosting another one in a couple months.

This guy was up on the design wall for a week or so, but came down so I could start working on my color quilt.  I'll pull it out one of these days and sew all those blocks together.  I'm really loving this different design for the strings blocks.

My first try with Thangles.  This project is just for fun.  I'm still not sure what it will become.  I just wanted to give them a try.

Finally, not a sewing project, but I wanted to share a picture of a super cute Christmas present I received from my sweet aunt.  I haven't opened it yet, but I'm sure the jam is amazing.  I'll have to carefully scoop it out and wash the jar so I can use it to store something sewing related.  I love it!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

100 Days of Quilts, #2

I'm a bit late on this one, but I wanted to share that my color wheel quilt was featured yesterday over at the 100 Days of Quilts on the Modern Quilt Guild.  I'm so flattered that they included two of my quilts in the festival of modern quilting.  There have been so many great quilts so far.  I can't wait to see what's to come.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bubble Baby Quilt--Finished

Well, I have officially finished my first quilt of the year.  Believe it or not, I started and finished this little guy in 2012.  It was a super quick finish.  This is also my first official stash-buster quilt.  Everything was from my stash.  I bought the Sunkissed fabric last summer for another project that I never made.  I had 1/4 yard cuts of 5 different fabrics, and a 1/2 yard of a 6th fabric, which I also used for the binding.

I have wanted to do a quilt like this for a long time, but I have a serious dislike of applique.  It's really the very last thing I want to do when it comes to quilting.  I don't like the extra thickness from using Wonder-Under or something similar.  I'm also not interested in starching each piece a million times to use that method.  I know there are multiple methods, but none of them appealed to me so this design never happened...until now.

See, last time I was spray-basting a quilt, I thought, "I wonder if this would work for applique."  I decided to give it a try on a baby quilt for a friend.  I used a piece of Kona snow about 45" x WOF for the quilt top, spray basted my quilt as usual, then sprayed the individual circles and just smacked them on top of the quilt in a random arrangement.  I laid out several circles at a time and sprayed them in a group over a few layers of paper towels.

Then I quilted it like crazy with a pebble quilting design.  I made sure I was about 1/4" from the edges of all the circles.  After washing they frayed quite nicely.

The back is pieced with the fabric I had left after cutting the circles as well as a couple Kona solids I found in the stash.  I didn't originally plan to put circles on the back too, but as I was piecing I found a flaw in the very center of one of my Kona fabrics.  I just plopped a couple circles on top of it.  I added a few extra so it didn't look lonely.

Pros of using 505 for applique:

  • Super Quick & Easy--no ironing, no starching, no zig-zag stitching around the edges


  • I sprayed the circles pretty lightly.  They started lifting off as I moved my quilt around.  I think it would have been better had I sprayed them more heavily.  The edges of the circles got caught on my darning foot several times.  I had to be more careful than usual.  

Overall it was totally worth it.  I don't think I'd do it on anything larger than a baby quilt, but I like applique just a little more today than I did last week.

The baby for this little quilt is due in about a month.  I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012--The year of the stash

Recently, I spent quite a bit of time organizing my stash.  I realized I have A LOT of fabric.  I've also realized it's actually quite overwhelming, but then I just buy more.  I do love buying fabric.

I have lots of things I'd like to improve on in the coming year, but I'd really like to kick the fabric-buying addiction. I'm planning to sew almost exclusively from my stash in 2012.  I have a few exceptions.  I will allow myself to buy whites and other solids as needed for sashings, but not for entire quilts.  I can also buy batting as needed. I am buying Flea Market Fancy.  In fact, I've already pre-ordered through Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics.  That's my one big huge exception.  I already have plans for it. I'm also thinking seriously about de-stashing some fabric.  We'll see what becomes of that one. 

It's not like I'll be lacking in projects.  Here's what I currently have planned or in the works:

Box #1:  Color Wheel Charm Swap project--I'm cutting all of these into 2.5" squares to make a wonky star quilt.  I thought about making the stars with the full 5" charms, but I like the smaller stars so much more.  And besides, as my husband says, "I don't have a plane to catch."  I have time to work on this one.  Strike that, I've already changed my mind since writing this post a few days ago.  Now I'm not sure, but something will happen with this box this year.  Between three charm swaps and some I've cut from my own stash, I have over 400 charms.

Box #2:  Cutting into my DS fabric.  This will be a simple square-in-square quilt set on point.  

Of course, a fun quilt will come from this stack in the next month or two.  I'm still thinking on this one.

I won this stack of Sew Cherry at Sewing Summit and would really like to use it this year.

Box #3:  Strips cut and ready for a fun and different strip quilt.  

Box #4:  About 20 strings blocks from my local quilt bee buddies. Since taking this picture, I've made 10 more 12x12 blocks for the quilt.  I have enough scraps to make several more.  I'm thinking I'll work on 6 more blocks at make the quilt 6x6 blocks.

I won this in a Fat Quarterly contest months ago.  It needs to be a quilt for my kiddos.  

I bought this at Quilt Market last spring.  I still love it.  It needs to be a quilt.

I received these from Ryan Walsh in the Secret Santa Swap.  I'm thinking a Market bag or two.

Bought these a while ago on a whim and a 30% off sale.  I'm not sure what they need to become, but they are so stinkin cute.

Bought these months ago.  They need to be a quilt or a couple more market bags.  

Here's to a stash-purging year!

I'll be posting my stash purging projects throughout the year.  Just two days ago, I cut out a new baby quilt for a friend, pulling everything from my stash.  It felt great using some fabrics I bought for another project, but never used.  I've notice several other bloggers committing to stash-purging as well.  Good luck to all of us!  I'm sure we'll need it.  There are just too many tempting new fabrics out there.  We'll see how strong my resolve is.