Friday, September 27, 2013

13 Finishes in 2013 - September Goal Completed!

As I mentioned in this post, although I managed to create several quilt tops this month, my September goal for ALYOF was this bow tie quilt. 

I did manage to get the top laid out last week, but I was missing one block.  So frustrating.  Luckily, this week I was working on another project, and it called for 3-1/2 inch squares.  In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say, so I made one more bow tie block while I was at it.

Once the block was made, it was only a matter of a couple of hours to stitch the blocks and rows together and voila!  One quilt top!

Then, on Wednesday, I did a marathon sandwiching session.  I hate sandwiching.  Can I just say that?  Is hate too strong a word?  Abby says, "We don't say 'hate', Grandma."  Well, of course she's right, but nothing is being hurt by my "strong dislike" for this process.  Anyway, I do it and it gets done, so it's all good, right?

Once it was sandwiched, it was fun to actually sit down and quilt it.  I decided to try something totally new to me.  I did giant 8-petal daisies in the middle of each bow tie motif with herringbones across each of the bow ties themselves.  Once I got a rhythm going, it was pretty easy.  There is no standardization to this at all - the motifs only loosely resemble each other - but I kind of like it.

So, there's one more out of the WIP Basket and off the to-do list. 

Feels pretty good.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finally!! Some Citrus Quilty Pictures...

photo by Cindy Marvel
I had to beg my friend Cindy, who is the Secretary/Historian for our guild, for these photos since I was air-headed and didn't get pictures before I donated these quilts to Project Linus, but here are photos of two of the three citrus quilts which was my August goal for ALYOF.  Isn't she artistic?  Much more artistic than my hang the quilt on the fence photos, for sure.

I have to admit that I couldn't give all three of them up at once, and I STILL haven't taken pictures of the one I kept.  (I'm quilting the bow ties quilt today, though, so I'll add it to the growing list of photos I need to take.)

I really love the way the citrus colors work together in this quilt, and how the white background accents all the others.

I think overall that this one is my favorite.  I love the touches of blue - even though blue isn't technically a "citrus" color.  I love the way the blue makes the other colors pop.

I hope some child is snuggly and warm under these someday soon.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Thursday I taught the second session of the Weekender Bag class at Derrel's of Pensacola.  I've been having a lot of fun teaching, and I think the ladies are having fun too.  It is amazing to see how differently each person interprets the  same pattern and how each bag turns out.  Two of my students finished the exterior of their bags, and one is well on her way.  This one is Brenda's and I love it!  It's really fun - so bright and colorful.  You can tell that Brenda had a lot of fun with color on this one and I love how it turned out.  Hard to believe that when Brenda came to the first session she was unsure if the fabrics she brought would work together well.  Boy, do they ever!

Sandy did a whole cloth design using two almost-decorator weight fabrics.  Don't you love the big flowers?  And the fabric she chose for the piping and handles coordinates so well!

I chose to do my bag in blues using Castle Peeps as the focal point along with a lot of scraps from my blue drawer.  There's really a little bit of everything in here.  I only got the first side of my bag done, along with the lining, so it shouldn't take too long to finish.

L-R:  Me, Billie Nicholson, Jeannie Garrett (our hostess), Jeannie's mom's friend Diane, Vicky Garrett

 I came home from my day of sewing/teaching and packed for a 5am departure Friday morning for Time Out For Women in Columbia, SC.  Columbia is about 9 hours driving from Pensacola, and my friend Vicky's son and daughter-in-law live in Columbia, and had invited us to stay.  Chris and Jeannie (both of whom I taught in Primary, BTW) were wonderful hosts, and we had a delightful time.  Along with the three of us from Pensacola, Jeannie's mom and her friend also stayed at Chris and Jeannie's home, so it was a houseful, but oh-so-fun!  Even the weather cooperated, and we had glorious weather for the drive.

The Pensacola gang:  Billie Nicholson, me, and Vicky Garrett
We were indeed spiritually fed at TOFW.  The speakers were awesome (despite their own travel issues) and I left feeling a new resolve to do better and be better.  But in addition...  Well, need I say that we had a blast!

So it's been a bit busy, but very fun.  Now, back to reality!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


At the Emerald Coast MQG meeting on Saturday - our 2nd birthday, BTW - I was lucky enough to win the block lottery... 41 luscious wonky cross blocks in shades remiscent of days (and nights) at the beach, befitting our Emerald Coast heritage.  So, Sunday night, while WH was watching football, I decided to head into the sewing room and putter around.  I messed around with arrangements of these blocks on my design - um... - floor, pinned them in rows, stacked them all up and put them in a pile.

Since I wasn't really into the football game, I dug around in the WIP basket and decided to put together what I thought was my September goal for ALYOF - my bag of string blocks. 

Having those pinned in rows and piled up ready to sew, and knowing I was behind on my 13 in 2013 goals, I decided to get out the bentos and lay them out.  Done and done.

Football still taking over the den, I laid out my starflower quilt.  It took up the entire floor, and I even had to weave blocks around the legs of the ironing board, but I ended up with a layout I liked.  (It's gonna be awesome!!)

Then yesterday, starting about 8 am, I decided I was going to make it happen.  I sewed for about an hour and a half and the string blocks became a quilt top.  Easy peasy.

Another couple of hours, and the bentos became a quilt top.  I was cookin'. 

After a fun lunch date with my friend (and former co-worker) Shandra, and a nice long nap, I came back and put together the wonky cross quilt. This one was a bit more of a challenge since I had to make an extra block and fix a couple of size issues, but eventually it was done also...  And it was still light outside.  (I should have gone out immediately to take photos but it was getting dark and threatening rain, so these blurry, poorly lit I-phone shots are all I have at this moment - sorry.)

Ha!  Three quilt tops in one day!  I was pretty pumped so I decided to try putting the starflower quilt together - especially since I was afraid to pick it up, so it was still on the floor, being walked on, rolled on, and stepped over.  Amanda's directions are easy to follow and my first hexagon/star combo went together like a dream. 

So I decided to put the first two stars together.  Definitely NOT as hard as it looks.  Amanda's instructions are really quite good, and stars and hexies went together perfectly.  I ended up with the first row entirely together (which was good, because now I won't have to roll over blocks with my chair any more.)  And it was only 8 pm. A truly productive day. 

It wasn't until this morning that I realized that there was just one problem...  My goal for September was Bow Ties.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday in a Week of {Wonderful} Distractions...

I have to admit that I've been a little distracted this week, and that not much quilty progress has been made.  I had a rare and wonderful visit from my daughter and son-in-law and the grands, and so quilty things moved down the priority list a ways.  It was great to have them visit, if only for a short while, and in fact, I'm a little mopey today, now that they're gone.  I'm missing them terribly - especially the little people.  They were so fun!

Although we only live about 8 miles from the beach, I seldom go.  I can honestly say that I've spent more time at the beach (and seen more HUGE jellyfish!) in the last 5 days than probably in the last 5 years. 

Besides the beach, I got to spend some quality time with the grands.  Their daddy's birthday was Monday, so I babysat while mommy and daddy went out for a little adults-only birthday dinner.  We laughed and read lots of stories and had a blast.  Britton even went to sleep on Grandma's lap - funny how the beach wears them out.  And Britton thinks my rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is just hilarious.  Now THAT was pure joy!

I really meant to make some progress on my Starflower quilt, especially since the Starflower guru herself was here to give me an in-person tutorial, but I never did...

I did get some more of these made.  I have a total of 37 (out of 49) done.  I've developed a snazzy little chain piecing method that works for me and helps them go pretty fast...

And since we had a little after-the-kids-went-to-bed movie time, I worked on this project a little bit, and I feel like I have made a lot of progress.  I have this quilt top to the size I want it in width...  I think I have 2 rows to go in length until the top is finished.  Then I have to figure out how to quilt it.  Decisions...  Decisions...

My one finish for the week was The Woodland by the Lake II quilt I am making for my photography teacher.  I quilted it with Loops and Leaves, and I'm actually pretty excited about the quilting.

Loops and Leaves seemed appropriate for an outdoorsy sort of quilt, don't you think?

So that's it.  Maybe this week I'll get back in my groove.

But I'd rather be at the beach with the grands!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Bag Lady

It seems like I've been making lots of bags lately.  I've been told that you can never have too many bags, so maybe it's OK.  This bag is for my partner in the Sewing Room Swap, and is made from the Tinker Tote pattern from Craftsy.  I decided not to do the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method on this one, but used a Duck cloth interfacing instead.  It didn't have the substance I was looking for, so I took it apart and added a layer of headliner foam and put it back together.  Now I have a bag that will stand by itself.  And it's nice and soft - maybe you could use it for a pillow too!?  It was a bit plain, once it was done, so I added a big fabric flower to the tab.  That jazzed it up a bit, I think.  Classy, with just a touch of pizzaz.

To go along with the linen bag, I made my partner an iron cozy.  The pattern is available from Oh Fransson!  What a great idea!  I will have to make myself one so I can take my iron to guild meetings.  I also managed to get the pattern on sale, which always makes me smile...

And I'm playing in the Secret Tote Bag Swap again.  My partner want's a large bag...  What do you think?  She wants pockets, which I didn't put in this one, but maybe a bag insert with lots of pockets?  And I've been meaning to add a big button on the tab...  Maybe in pink?  Or yellow?  We'll call this semi-finished.

I also taught my first class at Derrels of Pensacola last week.  This is my sample bag.  The pattern is by Very Purple Person and I shamelessly stole borrowed the idea from a swap item I received from Joanne (JoJo33) in the Modern She Made swap.  I got so many complements on it, they asked me to teach a class. Like Joanne's gift, I did the two sides in different colors on my sample...

But not on the one I actually made in the class...  I only took my "red bin" with me (rather than lug several to the store, you know) - a fact which made Bob, the owner, laugh.  (But I have to admit that it's very convenient to have my scraps sorted by color now.)  And I'm teaching another class on September 10th if you wanna come...

The sample is all red and pink, with a bit of HR goodness in the fussy cut center.

One of my students actually finished the quilting on the outside of her bag as well.  It's so fun to see what other people come up with.

It's so pretty in these batiks.  Much more subdued, but gorgeous. Sadly, my other student left a bit early, and I didn't think to get a picture...

And I'm teaching a 2-day class on Weekender Bags at Derrels on September 12 & 19.   If you live near Pensacola and want to make the bag, head to Derrels website and sign up.

I made some other bags from the VPP pattern.  This one is in a whole cloth quilted style with Japanese character/texty lining.  The fabric is Rooftop Garden by Moda.  I love the big flower motifs and the contrast of colors in this piece.

This one is a flower print (for the life of me I can't remember what it is and apparently I didn't save the selvage?!) is one of the Michael Miller fairy prints and the other side is AMH Mixed Signals in Summer.

And this one is the fabric remaining from Abby's dress and AMH Mixed Signals in Summer.  I really love that pennant fabric.

These bags are available in my Etsy shoppe including a Custom Bag, where you choose the colors and/or fabrics.  Wouldn't they make a perfect gift?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Today is Wednesday, You Know What That Means...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It's Wednesday again, and once again I'm playing along with Freshly Pieced and WIP Wednesday.  It's been a bit of a frustrating week because my **BRAND NEW MACHINE** had to make a visit to the emergency room last week, and was gone **THE WHOLE WEEKEND**.  (Good thing my son came to visit so I wasn't quite as distressed at not having her home!)

Luckily I had finished this tote for my partner in the Sewing Room Swap before my machine broke.  All I had left was the flower on the tab, and I pulled out my trusty old Singer to run a little gathering stitch along the raw edge, then gathered and stitched it to the bag by hand while HS and I were watching BYU get beat by Virginia in the last few minutes of the game after a several really stupid play(s).  (NOTE TO QUARTERBACK:  When the field (and thus the ball) is that wet and slippery, and you're winning in the last 2 minutes of the game, don't try to pass...  Just keep the ball as controlled as possible and everything will be fine.)

Then I used Sally (Singer) to make this iron cozy for my Sewing Room Swap partner.  This pattern is such a great idea, and I was jazzed to find it on sale over the weekend in Oh Fransson!'s pattern shop.  Sweet!

As I reported the other day, I finished these three citrus quilts, which was totally fun.  I tried three different quilting motifs and just had a blast.  I hadn't ever done leaves before, but I'm thinking that might become one of my go-to favorites.

Woodland by the Lake II is sandwiched and ready to quilt, and might actually have gotten quilted if my machine hadn't broken.  It's on tap to get quilted very soon - hopefully this week.  I'm thinking a combination of loops and leaves for the quilting on this one.

And the faux string quilt is also sandwiched and ready to quilt.  I'm thinking of echo quilting hexagons in the white space, maybe with a flower motif in the middle of each one?! 

I haven't made much more progress on the Scrappy Trip...  I just need some time at the sewing machine to sew strips, then I can sit and watch TV while I'm seam ripping.

I actually worked on the GMFG a bit last night for the first time since Memorial Day Weekend.  After working on it for an hour or so, however, I was reminded of why I hadn't worked on it much this summer - the bigger it gets, the hotter it is.  Maybe it will cool off here in a month or so and I can get at least the top done by the end of the year.

And my Modern Maples needs to be sandwiched and quilted.  It's a Guild QAL, and the reveal is scheduled for a week from Saturday.  Better get busy on this guy.

I haven't done anything on the bookshelf quilt since I added the borders.  It needs to be sandwiched and quilted too, but no deadlines, so this one will probably wait awhile.

And I've made NO PROGRESS on these lovelies...  They're still sitting on the table where I left them.  I'm going to blame it on not having a machine all weekend...

And I've finished all the pinwheels and gotten the fabrics cut for the flying geese...  It's just a matter now of sitting down to do all 90-ish of them...

So, I think that's it.  Whew!  I think it's time to go take a nap!