Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP: The Something Else Edition

I have been working on my blacks and batik quilt all week long. All week. Much like the piecing, the quilting has been quite involved, and while I like (most) of what I've quilted, I have taken my trusty seam ripper to some quilting lines and pulled them up because they looked like junk they didn't match my idea for the quilt. I'm still doing a lot of echo quilting, but I think I'm going to have to take a different strategy on my foundation pieced block. I'm thinking more of a starburst design. We'll see. I'm saving it for last.

I did one round of echo quilting on my ribbon block. I am debating whether or not to do a second round (1/4" in from the existing lines) as well. (I can't wait to wash this bad boy and get all the white fuzz from the batting off of it!)

I really like the double echo quilted lines on this block.

However! I had to do something else! Had to! I switched out the black thread in Agatha for some white and started piecing. I've had my HSTs cut since the beginning of the month, but I finally churned out my August block yesterday. After my excitement for the July block, this one feels kind of meh to me. I think it's part design, part fabric picks, and part HST laziness and lack of meeting up at the corners.

I'm taking part in a Low Volume Swap, and I think the fabrics are going to be lovely! Since I usually stick with super bright quilts, I thought a low volume quilt would be an interesting opportunity to stretch myself. There are still some spots available, so if you'd like to join, there's a button in the right column that you can click for more information.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP: The Big Ol' Quilt Sandwich Edition

I made a big ol' quilt sandwich this week. This quilt is the largest I've pieced to this date, and when I sat down to pin baste it, I didn't consider that I would run out of safety pins. But yep. That's what happened. So I pinned the rest with straight pins, and I'm crossing my fingers and poking myself about fifty times every time I sew a line. I'm trying to work through sections with safety pins so that I can replace the straight pins with something a little more sturdy. (And less poky!)

I started quilting in the center with the friendship stars. I'm not used to working with this much negative space, so I'm trying to be creative in how I utilize all of that black. Cross your fingers for me, will you? And if you have any ideas--I'd love to hear them! I've echo quilted in the interior of the stars, and echo quilted the exterior, but I think my quilting lines will still be too far apart. (Keep in mind, Agatha isn't FMQ friendly.)

I did manage to cross another August goal from my list--my ironing board cover! For as much fretting as I did about getting it right, it was ridiculously easy. (And now it looks so nice and pretty!) Since it's only a tabletop board, It only used 1/2 yard of fabric, and I still have a bit left and am contemplating a pin cushion to accompany my hot pink tomato. 

I also picked out fabric (more 1001 Peeps!) for my first skirt and I've got a pattern/idea put together, meaning another August goal has been crossed off. (Fist pump!) Eleven days left to get through the remaining seven, but if I'm being honest, I think four of those seven will get pushed onto my September goal list. I really would like to finish quilting this quilt and get it sent off.

Most of the stuff I make is gifted to friends and family members, but I kept the above quilt, and at night, I like to curl it around me, even if it is a little too small to be a proper throw quilt. This morning, I came into the living room to see my oldest curled up while watching cartoons. It gave me warm mama squishy feelings, and now I'm stoked I decided to make him his own quilt for Christmas.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesdays. Have a great Wednesday, and take a looksie at the fun and creative projects posted there!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, August 17, 2012

quilt top finish.

With the bulk of my baby shower prep duties completed--the baby shower is tomorrow, hooray!--I worked on my quilt during naptime. Yep. The entire time. (And I may have put on a video for my oldest and spent the baby's morning nap sewing too.) I feel as though the last couple of weeks (and especially the last one) have left any and all free time to take care of phone calls and emails and work for my actual job and preparations and lists and spreadsheets and creating bingo boards and I'm sure I forgot something in that list because my brain is mush.

Friends? This mama needed a break for fun. Here's where I started. (Yep, I'm classy and use painter's tape in lieu of a formal design wall.

Here's a pretty quilt top!

And here's part of the backing that I finished up about thirty minutes ago. I still have about eighteen inches to piece and add to the top of this to make it long enough, but I am determined to piece this puppy using scraps from the front, and so help me, I will. Two-thirds of the remaining space will be covered by a panel of the yellow patterned batik, so really, I'm only looking at piecing a 1.5 foot square.

I had originally intended to use pinwheels in the corner and make a border similar to the border I did for Baby K's quilt, but after piecing my blocks, I decided to nix it because 1) the tie-dye on the border would be way too much, 2) the quilt is already quite large for a throw, and frankly, I'm already more than a little scared to quilt this thing, 3) I want to get this quilt done soon so I can mail it out, and 4) I'm tired, Friends, and have a lot of projects I really need to get started on. Like my Sequintastic September project. And birthday gifts. And the holidays! (Oh, the holidays!)

I need to pick up some batting tomorrow, and I'm going to use leftover black to bind it. I'm not entirely happy with the way the blocks lined up, but each block has a symbolic meaning, and they kind of have to be in that order.

Here's hoping I get this bad boy basted tomorrow, and then on to quilting. I have orange and purple and black thread, and I'm planning some wild (for me) quilting. I hope you have a lovely and relaxing weekend. Do you have any wild quilting plans in the works?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP: Friends edition

This week has been a pretty unproductive sewing week. It's been productive on the life side of things--doctor appointments scheduled, insurance set-up, new tires and oil change for the car, work deadlines, furniture purchasing off craigs list, trying to get my oldest in some sort of social activity--all equaling lots and lots of time on the phone listening to bad hold music. You see, our summer on the west coast has turned into a summer/fall/part-of-winter on the west coast, and while that means more time in this lovely, lovely weather, it also means more time setting up house. (I'm sure we'll get finished just in time to start packing for our return trip.)

That being said, I did finish up my remaining two 20" blocks for my batiks on black quilt. Ta-da!

This is the center of my first ever paper-pieced block.

Last block, with a set of Y-seams to go along with it. I tried an ombre effect  with the orange pinwheel, and I'm a little miffed that it didn't come out nicely in the photos. (Boo!)

All six together. What do you think? Will they be friends? (They had better be because I'm not making any more 20" blocks for awhile.)

Now! Friendship stars! Pinwheels! Sashing! (Oh my!) I'm 4 of 13 for my August goals. I better get a move on it!

Linking up with WIPs at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, August 11, 2012

adventures in paper piecing

Yes, Friends. That is my first paper pieced block. Ever. It's not perfect, but I am pretty proud of myself right now.

Flying Geese? Check.
Y-Seams? Check.
Paper piecing? Double-check.

This quilt is definitely stretching me.

Now, if only it would remove my extreme fear of zippers and making button holes, I'd be all set.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

another baby quilt finish.

Thank you, 2012 Olympics, for helping me get this quilt's binding done! Several lengthy sessions of gymnastics resulted in a finished quilt, now all washed and crinkly and ready to get dropped in the mail!

It sounds kind of crazy--and I'm sure I looked even crazier--but I snapped these photos in my apartment complex's laundry room. I had planned to take the photos around my apartment--possibly in the grass or lounging on a chair by the pool--but I pulled the quilt out of the dryer, and voila! I saw the wicker loveseat and knew. And in my photos, you can't even see the dudes just outside that window tearing rotten wood siding off of the building. Are those photo skillz or what?

It measures roughly 41" x 49", and I backed it in this lovely green batik I purchased at 50% off. (Woop woop!) You can see a hint of the quilting on the back (yep, that's black on green, a traditional lazy Audrey technique that involves using a contrasting thread to loudly announce any quilting wobbles) but I quilted 1/4" inside the sides of the whale squares, then stitched in the ditch to cross over to the whale square just below or just above, depending on what direction I was quilting. That probably doesn't make sense, but you can't see it well on the front, and the back doesn't tell you anything anyway, so you'll just have to trust that it looks rad.

I bound the whole thing up in a magenta solid that I think is Kona, but I can't swear to that. The black is Kona black, that I do know, and the whales I found at Hancock Fabrics.

This bad boy is headed off to a friend to celebrate the arrival of her fifth kidlet--a lovely baby girl! And I'm off to work on paper piecing! I couldn't quite work up the courage yesterday, but I've got all of my pieces of fabric cut and in a nice order, so maybe? Just maybe....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WIP: Frustrating Edition

Hi Friends! Welcome to another week of WIPs!

I'm still plugging away on my black and batiks lap quilt. I'm loving it, and I've conquered four blocks now, but this last block...oh vey! It took about twice as long as it should have, and grrrr.

Nothing about this block was particularly tricky--HSTs, nine patches, some stripes...all straight seams, and all stuff I've done before. I loved the complicated look of the block but the lack of complicated features. Still, I don't think I've ever used my seam ripper so much for one block, and if I had enough fabric to do it over, I would, but I don't, so I'm stuck making do with what I have. I will make this block again, but I will certainly do things differently next time.

This bad boy was my first set of Y-seams, and while my first Y-seam was less than amazing, the second one came together much easier. I probably should have referenced a tutorial or some form of instruction, but I looked at it, guessed what I needed to do, and did it. (There are probably much easier ways to accomplish this.)

And a star within a star because I love me my stars. One of the points in the center star is too close in value and hue to the background material, so it kind of fades, but I'm hoping to remedy that with some echo quilting or whatnot. I am totally planning to quilt this in black thread, BTW.

All four blocks together, and I've got two more to go! Each block is 20.5" unfinished. I've got a paper pieced block to tackle in the next day or so--yikes! My first time foundation piecing!--and one other block that should be the easiest of the bunch. Then, sashing, friendship stars, pinwheel border, etc., but I think all of that will be pretty easy to put together.

I finished a couple of small lovelies this week. A pillow for a pregnant friend--my back always killed me and demanded a pillow near the end of both pregnancies, and she's in her third trimester, so I'm trying to halt as much pain as possible...

...and cheerful bunting for her baby shower. It took me forever to complete this, mostly because I was trying to work up the effort to make my own bias tape, then saw how ridiculously cheap it was at the store and just bought some. Totally worth it. I love this bunting. I am very sad to see it go, especially since it looks so cheerful in my sewing room dining room...

...and Annabel's quilt, which I'm hoping to post about later this week!

What are you working on?

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, August 6, 2012

sequintastic september.

Hi Friends!

(Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop post here.)

I have decided to participate in a most interesting blog hop--a sequin blog hop, in fact. I know that might sound a little silly since I'm a quilter, and we primarily work with textiles, but I thought it would be an interesting way to push myself to learn something new--mainly, bead and sequin embroidery skillz. My amazing friend Sarah is hosting the hop, and I'm really excited to get to work on my project! I'm planning to use my stack of Summerlove FQs to make a mini, then add in some sequins to really spice it up! I even know exactly what kind of blocks I want to piece and where I plan to hang it in my house when I'm done, so really, the only hard thing (besides cutting into my stack of Summerlove) is to pick out what kind of sequins I want to use!

And, if the idea of working with sequins puts a buzz in your bonnet, by all means, sign up! Sarah is taking sign ups until August 20th. Sounds fun, right? I do understand if you've got much too much on your plate. In that case, go ogle Sarah's work because she's really quite good, and sometimes I hate her a little for being too awesome, know what I mean? But since we're friends, of course I would NEVER tell her that. (Hi Sarah!)

C'mon! This will be fun!

Friday, August 3, 2012

august goals.

I found having a quilty to-do list for July was a huge push to get things done. I finished four of my six goals, and I probably would have finished all six except I had two quilts pop up midway through the month that demanded immediate attention.

Oh! Here's my Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop Post if you're looking. 

Here is August's List:

  • Finish the blocks for Steph's quilt--20.5" blocks; 3 of 6 done.

  • Finish the binding for Baby A's quilt--75% done

  • Start cutting into my stack of Summerlove for a mini quilt--have idea sketched but need to decide fabric placement and make a list of cuts; add in a solid?

  • Pillow for a friend--I'm thinking basic patchwork in grays and whites
  • Do something with my wonky star blocks--maybe a mini-quilt for my end table?
  • At least 6 more picnic quilt blocks
  • Finish Marie blocks--12 of 20 done
  • Tote--have pattern picked out; need to pick up fabric

  • August block for HST BOM--HSTs assembled; need to trim and piece
  • Triangle mini quilt--idea sketched
  • Finish bunting for baby shower--need to attach triangles to bias tape
  • Ironing board cover--have all the supplies, just need to do it!
  • Pick out fabric and a pattern for my first apparel piece--a skirt! Hooray!
Okay, so I more than doubled last month's list. (Oops!) And I'll probably have other projects pop in randomly, so I don't intend to actually finish all of these, but it was nice to get them all written out so that I have a clear idea of my goals.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WIP: Edition of Few Words

Even in an edition of mostly photos, I am too verbose to eliminate words all together. If you missed my Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop post, please check out my tutorial for a fun baby quilt!

Baby A's Quilt--Almost Finished with Binding!

S' Quilt--Block 1 of 6 Done. 20.5" {Tutorial Used}

Business Card Holder--Needs Button! {Tutorial Used}

Other WIPs:
Marie Quilt - Blocks 12 of 20 Done.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Lily's Quilts

Linking up with Freshly Pieced and Lily's Quilts Small Blog Meet. Time to go devour the other quilting blogs' offerings!


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