Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Churn Dash - 15" Finished.

Hi Friends! I really appreciate the response I got yesterday on my call for churn dash blocks. Hooray! I've decided to go with a 15" finished churn dash in hopes of getting 16 blocks for a 60" square quilt.  White background fabric (any kind is fine, but I'm using Kona White) and some sort of bright fabric to make a churn dash like this one:

(We had a brief spot of sunny weather, but as you can see, we are back to crummy overcast yuck.)

I know the churn dash is a pretty standard block, but here is a refresher course just in case. However! Before you start cutting your fabric based on the linked tutorial, those measurements are for a 12" block. To make a 15" finished block, you'll need:

Fabric A (aka, white background fabric)
  • 5.5" square (1)
  • 6" square (2)
  • 3" x 5.5" rectangle (4)
Fabric B (aka, bright happy fabric)
  • 6" square (2)
  • 3" x 5.5" rectangle (4)
That's it! Easy peasy, right? Thanks again to everyone who is sending me a block, and I'll be sure to post progress shots as I get the blocks sewn together.

And because I couldn't wait to get started on something for the Washington, IL quilt call, I started piecing this top yesterday and finished it during nap time today. I saw a version of this quilt on Diary of a Madfabriholic, and I knew I wanted to make a version sometime. I didn't expect I'd be making one so soon! It's a Moda Bakeshop Tutorial by Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt, and I used one pack of Sweetwater's Noteworthy with Kona Coal for the background. I feel like the Coal is a bit too dark, but I had a bunch on hand, and that's how things work in this casa.

This top came together in no time! I didn't get too scrappy with my stripes. Katie had recommended cutting the pieces into different lengths, but I was trying to conserve as much fabric (and time) as possible, so I cut a handful of strips into 2.5" squares and intermixed them with the 2.5" x 5" pieces. The one charm pack almost got me through the entire quilt, though I did have to throw a few random pieces of fabric in at the end--one at the top that is really noticeable, oops! Even still, I'm pleased with the quilt top. Now, sandwich, quilt, bind, then done!  That's take like...two minutes, right? Right.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quilt Love for Washington, IL.

Hi Lovelies. Some of you may know that I live in the midwest, and recently, over 80 tornadoes hit the area. I'm okay, and my family is okay. Our house suffered no damage. In fact, the storm system that caused the tornadoes slid right past us, leaving us with rain, severe winds, and loss of power in some areas, but my community is fortunate to have our homes and our lives. (Thank God.)

I know that the holidays are a really busy time when it comes to sewing, preparation, Thanksgiving meals, and everything else that is on our plates, but every time I see footage of the shoot, I'm devastated by the fact that 1) these people's lives will never be the same again, and 2) their holidays definitely won't look the way they'd expected.

This morning, Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts posted about a way to help that she heard about from Quilt Crazie. There is a local quilt shop in Washington, IL called Peddler's Way that will be taking quilt, pillowcase, and finished pillow donations. They've also included a list of other donations that would be helpful. (I started crying when I saw underwear and socks, I can't even IMAGINE not having those.)

I'm not sure I can put together an entire quilt from scratch, and at first I figured I would just make a couple of pillowcases, but *then* I had this thought that if I made a few blocks, and a handful of you all sent me a block or two, I could get a top pieced and a quilt put together quickly. I'd put a label on the back including everyone's names and where they're from so that the recipient knows that people are thinking about them from all over. Would y'all let me know in the comments if you're interested in sending a block or two my way? Be sure to leave your email address if you're a no-reply blogger. I would like them ideally by December 9th, with the hope that I can get the top pieced and in the mail by the following Monday. (Ambitious? Yes. But this cause is kind of worth it.) As for block details, I'm leaning towards a churn dash because who doesn't love a churn dash? If I can get 16 blocks, we'll do a 15" version. If I can get 25 blocks, we'll do a 12" version. I'd like a finished quilt of 60" x 60". (Or dare I say, even bigger than that? Or enough blocks for two? EEP! I'm getting ahead of myself.)

If you know of anyone else who might like to jump on board, please pass on the information from Quilt Crazie. You all are fabulous, and I'm so grateful to be a part of such a giving online community. Oh! And thank you!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

SS: Lucha Libre Edition.

Friends, oh Friends. Today is an amazing Sunday Stash Update, and I'll be linking up with Fiona at Finding Fifth.

I have a few lovelies for you today, and something that is not lovely, per se, but totally awesome nonetheless.

Some Lizzy House 1001 Peeps. I absolutely love this line, and I have one of the other purple prints for an eventual dress for me. I thought this print would make an awesome border around the bottom of the skirt.

Summersault. It was on sale for $4/yard, so I may have scooped up four yards. I've loved this print since it first came out, but didn't have a plan for it, so I never bought any. But at $4/yard, I don't have to have a plan. I'll use it for backing, or more likely, another dress for me. (I want a dress for every day of the week. Good plan, right?)

And the piece de resistance, this Lucha Libre print from Alexander Henry. I know, right? Awesomeness. I never thought I would actually buy anything like this, but my husband absolutely adores the movie Nacho Libre, and now that I have the top of his quilt finished (I'll show you Friday), it's time to get a backing pieced and get this bad boy sandwiched and quilted. I only managed to get a yard because some other Lucha Libre crazy peeps snatched up the rest, but I think a yard of this is enough for greatness.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Post-Op Patient.

My patient survived the surgery. If you missed my initial post, I made my youngest son a quilt. Two weeks later, there were two nasty (unexplained) holes in the top that thankfully didn't extend to the batting or the backing fabric. Here are the before pics:

I was more than a little grumpy. 

After reading a bunch of lovely and sweet comments, I decided to machine sew patches over the holes, hoping that the quilt's scrappy nature would allow them to blend it, or at the very least, not look absolutely terrible.

Following one suggestion, I decided to machine-sew the patches down instead of handstitching them. My youngest is rough and tumble, and hand-sewn patches just aren't going to last long. 

I don't usually pre-wash my fabric unless I'm using it for garments, but I had a feeling if I used unwashed fabric patches, it was opening up a door for shrinkage and worse problems, so I rooted around through my scrap drawer and managed to find that leaf print from my second quilt when I still pre-washed, and a navy scrap from Marie's backing, which was pre-washed by my long-armer because she was worried about bleeding.

And to be honest, I don't hate them as I was expecting to. In fact, my husband really liked the look of them and suggested I sew them all over the top. (I informed him that I was pretty sure this wasn't an isolated incident, and I would probably be performing future quilt surgery, so more patches are inevitable.)

I'm not as crazy about the back, mostly because I really liked the look of the diagonal lines, and those rectangles kind of wreck that for me, but it could have been worse. Handsewing the patches would have eliminated this problem, but again, the longevity of the machine-sewn patches outweighs the aesthetics. Let's hope there isn't any more quilt surgery in my near future!

Thanks again for all of your help and lovely comments. They definitely helped in the decision process, but also to make my heart feel better.

Friday, November 22, 2013

FF: Advent Goodness.

Hello Lovelies! With winter and dreary weather ahead, I am happy for the loveliness of the quilt blog community. Even if it looks yucky outside--which trust me, it looks yucky outside--I can look at the pretties that my friends have made and check out other quilters' finishes and be surrounded with beauty, even if it is only virtual. So thank you for being a part of that and being a part of my quilt blog!

Sorry to get all mushy there, but it had to be said! And while you may not have visited to hear me wax on about the importance of loveliness, never fear! I do have a finish for you today, and I'm pretty pleased with it, even if the yucky outside doesn't lend a hand to my very amateur photography skillz.

Bam! Advent calendar. I made a really really ugly one last year, which I didn't even use--no, you cannot see a picture of it--and I couldn't bear the thought of that being my only option again this year. I've been looking at advent calendar tutorials since the summer, and when I found one at Skip to My Lou, I knew it was the one for me. The tutorial was really easy to follow, the entire thing was easy to sew, and the most annoying thing about it was cutting all of the fabric and making the color combinations! (Which means, not that annoying at all.)

There is still work to be done, but finishing this a week before Thanksgiving gives me room for that. I wish I had room to spread the envelopes out more, but there just isn't a good place in my house for this. I'm not thrilled with the hanging utensils, but I knew I needed to get an eyeball on what this looked like before I committed to nails, and I'm glad I did. I need to spray paint the mish-mash of clothespins that I picked up for $1.25. I think I still have some chocolate brown paint lurking around somewhere...if not, I'm thinking hot pink, which probably surprises no one. Do I add numbers? There is no way I'm appliqueing them, and I'm trying to decide if it's worth hunting down the numbers (or a similar idea) that Cindy used. Or, I could not, and it wouldn't be too terribly hard to figure out what was what. And because it's less work, I'm leaning towards not. (Lazy, lazy, I know.) Conclusion = there is work to be done.

Now...to decide. To make stockings? Or not to make stockings? I really really think I should. But that means a lot of work and...*sigh.* It never ends, does it?

I'm linking up today with TGIFF at Never Too Hot to Stitch and Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. See you there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Quilt Surgery.

Today, I will be performing quilt surgery. Since I have never done this before, I'm a little nervous. Here is what I'm up against:

We arrived home from the grocery store this morning, only to discover these nasty holes in my son's new quilt. How did those even happen? I'm not sure, but I will say I'm super grumpy about them. I think the hole in the pink fabric could be contained, but the other? Not so much. I worry that I'm going to have to patch it.

Thoughts? Have you ever performed quilt surgery? Thank goodness this quilt is super scrappy, and the patch won't look too out of place, but still! I *just* finished this quilt.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

FF: Marie in All Her Glory Edition.

The title should actually be Marie in All Her Glory, aka, welcome to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday! My name is Audrey, and I'm happy you're joining me today for TGIFF. And I'm super excited to look at all of your finishes!

Today is probably my favorite Finished Friday to date. It's also my biggest, eep! Here is Marie!

Tula Pink's Prince Charming line came out around the time I started quilting, and I remember seeing those frogs everywhere and wondering what the fuss was all about. They were frogs, for goodness' sake! Then, I stumbled across some of Tula's Parisville line, and I about died. It. Was. Amazing. That started my Tula Pink obsession, and now, I love me those frogs! (It's kinda weird how that turned around, but whatevsies.)

I gathered the courage to commit to a queen size quilt in June 2012, cut the fabric in July 2012, finished piecing the top in March 2013, and sewed the last stitch of binding this week! There are lots of details in my eight kajillion Marie posts, but I'll give you a quick run down here: the pattern is Snowglobes by Tula Pink. The fabric is primarily Parisville by Tula Pink, with a bit of Prince Charming, and two additional prints to round it out. The background fabric is Bella Solids in Jade. I used a wide backing, Bella Solids in navy, and I bound this quilt using Kona in burgundy.

I knew quilting this quilt on Agatha was going to be unrealistic, and since I wanted this quilt on my bed eventually, I saved my pennies, then sent her off to a longarmer, which was a totally awesome experience. (I ran into a friend of mine when I visited home over the summer, and we got to talking about quilting, and she mentioned that her daughter was a longarm quilter. It was meant to be.) I knew I wanted feathers all over the top, and Sarah didn't disappoint. They are glorious!

I just can't help myself when it comes to pictures. This quilt is just so magical!

Thanks for indulging me. I always dreamed I'd have a handmade quilt on my bed, and that day is here! It's really been a fun journey, and yep, I can definitely say I've learned a lot.

Please please please link up your beautiful finishes below, and be sure to check out some of the others listed and spread some comment love. Makes sure you link back to this page, and that's it! Easy peasy! 

Handmade Holidays

Are y'all following the Handmade Holidays series at Sew Mama Sew? It is serious awesomesauce, and I've already bookmarked a handful of tutorials. (Rocking Shoelaces, anyone?)

If you have been following, you may already know this, but my Sewing Tool Organizer Tutorial was up on Tuesday's Handmade Holidays post. Woo! If you're looking for something to make, but you aren't sure what, I'd definitely recommend this series. Yesterday, I discovered the awesomeness that is Wild Olive, and I'm sure before the month is out that I will be following several more blogs and considering several other projects! Yikes! Maybe this is a bad idea...NO! Except, it's a really really good one. Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP: Wrap It UP.

I'm a little overwhelmed here at Casa HPQ. With the holidays far enough away that I feel like procrastinating, but close enough that I really really can't, I'm feeling pulled in different directions.

Sister's 10 blocks. I've added bits of the sashing, but I still have a long way to go. When this is done, it'll be for my patient husband who has been watching me piece these blocks since January! Poor man. He really should have his quilt soon.

Fabric baskets. Oh, the fabric baskets! (I sent a twin of this one to my partner in round 2 of the Fabric Basket Swap.) I made twice as many flying geese as I needed, so I suppose I had to have a basket too.

The boys' floor cushions are slowly coming to be. (My youngest is trying to help.) Every time I look at this, I think of the Cleveland Browns, which was unintentional, let me assure you.

And I'm slowly getting my advent calendar done! I've told myself I have to sew four pockets every day, and I have eight done. Yikes! Still a lot to do! I'm using this tutorial and template, and I'm really happy with what I have so far.

That's Casa HPQ this week. Please tell me I'm not the only one starting to freak out about Christmas! I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. And now, in my bit of down time, I'm off to look at everyone else's lovelies!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sewing Space.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a print from Regina Lord of Creative Kismet. CK is one of the first creative blogs I followed, and her saturated color palette has always wooed me. I love love love her work. Like, I want to pick up a paintbrush and paint, which is kind of weird since I'm a fabric girl. But I also know that Regina has spent years working on her art and exploring different techniques and mediums, and me picking up a paintbrush is not going to automatically yield such glorious results, so I'll stick with fabric, thankyouverymuch.

But that's all beside the point. When I received my lovely print (thank you!) I knew I had to get it up in my sewing nook, and while I was at it, why not include some other fun things that would make me happy? Regina's work is the third from the left and reads, "Daydream Believer."

It's a happy spot. I seriously recommend checking out Regina's work at Creative Kismet or visiting her etsy shop because she is ridiculously talented and awesomeness. Though if you buy this print and put it in your sewing nook, I will call you a copycat. And if you hang it up next to a picture of me and my quilting sensei, K, well, probably don't tell me. I don't think I could handle that.

Hanging up these pretties inspired me to clean up my sewing area--which was getting a little intense--and snap a photo. The last photo I showed y'all was some time ago, and I've moved to a different, larger nook of the room since. The light isn't so good here, but sometimes in the morning, if the sun is up, I get a beautiful bit of light, and I've been enjoying that recently.

I'll be back on Wednesday with a WIP post since it's been awhile, and don't forget--and this is oh so important--COME BACK on Friday as I'm hosting TGIFF, and I'll have a super big (literally, it's super big) finish to share with you, and of course I want to see yours too!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

SS: Holiday Edition.

Hi Friends! Holiday gift making has descended upon my house, and I've been cutting and piecing and planning like craziness. I know it will be worth it, but after spending an hour and a half at fabric stores the other day and only getting a portion of my supply list, I'm a little tired.

An hour and a half, ladies and gents. For that short stack. Okay, okay, I spent part of that hour and a half helping a friend pick fabric, and her cart had at least 15 bolts in it, so 25 fabric picks in 1.5 hours isn't terrible, right?

Cars. I'm making my sons floor cushions, and I knew I wanted car fabric that didn't annoy me. These are okay.

This stack is from the new ModKid line developed exclusively for Joann's. I'm actually using these three fabrics to make three different gifts, and I'm hoping hoping hoping I'll have a bit left over for me. I especially love that bottom print.

More from ModKid, but in the pink colorway this time. (I had to sneak in some pink somewhere, right?) Another gift, and again, I hope there is a little left for me! I really loved the floral print from this line, but it has a primarily white background, and white is impractical for what I'm making, so pretty vibrant geometric prints it is!

I took a brief glance at the dwindling bolts of Julianna Horner's first line, but I couldn't think of anyone who would absolutely love them like I do, and as I certainly don't need any more fabric, I behaved.

I'm linking up today with Sunday Stash #88 hosted by Fiona at Finding Fifth. You're going to link up too, right? Right.

Friday, November 8, 2013

FF: Baby Kenna's Quilt.

Remember this quilt? I made it a friend. This is finish four of six for my 2013 Q4 FAL list.

My husband has two very close friends that he's known for ages, and I love those dudes like older brothers. (Seriously. I call them both "Older Brother.") And both of them have pregnant wives who are due in the next few months. (And they're both having boys!) So what better to do than make them matching quilts? My moments of genius are sometimes too big to contain, what can I say? I have visions of the babies hanging out together on their baby quilts. Two cute babies! On two cute matching quilts! Squee!

I used Kona solids for the front, and the back is a jungle print from Imaginarium. It's a super fun print, and I'm glad I got enough for a quilt backing. I didn't get a photograph of this, but I topstitched around my label before handsewing it to the back. I'm so glad I did. It kept its shape a lot better, and also, I think it gives it a more polished look. I'll be doing that with my labels in the future. I bound this quilt in Kona black.

As for quilting, I mirrored the first quilt and did a double echo. I really do love this. Added bonus to making this quilt a second time is that I pieced it faster, and I was more accurate where my seams met up. Woo!

And here they are, folded up together. They use the same pattern and even some of the same kona solids, but the different bindings and backings make them look really different. The pattern is Northern Lights by Jaybird Quilts, and I'll definitely use it again in the future, especially when I need a fun and fast baby quilt!

I'll be dropping them in the mail sometime this week, and I'm excited for my "older brothers" to receive them. I haven't told either one that I was making them quilts, so they'll hopefully be super surprised and excited! And since they live about a mile away from each other, they should receive them on the same day. (Awesomeness!)

Today I'm linking up with TGIFF hosted by Quokka Quilts and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Woo! (And do you know who is hosting TGIFF next week? Yes! That would be me! So make sure you come back next week to link up your super awesome finish!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Finishing Marie.

A few weeks ago, I sent off my precious Marie quilt top to a longarm quilter. It was my first time working with a longarm quilter, and you can bet I was all sorts of nervous! Had I prepared my top well enough? Was my craftmanship up to par? Was it all going to be okay?

I'm happy to report that it was MORE than okay.

The quilter (Sarah) and I talked about feathers. Since this quilt uses Tula Pink's Parisville line, I wanted the quilting to be decadent and full of feathers. Mission accomplished.

I still swoon whenever I see the quilting lines. Like, I can't believe this is going to be on my bed, and soon!

Here is a view of the back. I went with Bella Solids wide backing in navy because I wanted the quilting to really show up on the back. SO delicious. Sarah suggested using a double layer of cotton batting to make sure it would be extra warm for the winter months. Um, yes please!

I'm working on binding, and it's slow going, but I know it will be worth it when I'm done! I should have an absolutely amazing finish to show you, and soon! Squee!


Friends, you know I love my Agatha something fierce. She is beautiful and fantastic and lovely and wonderful and she sews through anything. I've pieced and finished twenty-four quilts on her in two years, not to mention countless smaller projects, two skirts, and two dresses. She is a machine, and I'm so thankful that I have the privilege of sewing on an old school Singer that belonged to my husband's grandmother.

However. She does have one flaw. No zigzag stitch. I've sewed on newer machines, and they do have lovely lovely features that Agatha doesn't have. Having never experienced those luxuries, I know I could do without them, but friends. I need a zigzag stitch. (And I wouldn't mind the knee lift, the working bobbin winder, the decorative stitches, the automated front, the kajillion foot attachments, and the list goes on, and on, and on.)

And did you know that there is a giveaway at Amy's Creative Side as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival in which a Baby Lock Melody is up for grabs? I checked. It's zigzag compatible. While the odds are crazy, maybe, just maybe, I'll have my zigzagging machine at last! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

FF: Lito's Quilt.

My youngest son is a year and a half old. It's a little embarrassing that I had yet to make him anything quilty-wise, and with the cold weather storming in--seriously, it snowed last week--I decided I needed to finish his quilt for the car. Today, I'm introducing to you my finally finished scrappy log cabins, aka, my third finish from my Q4 2013 FAL list!

I kind of love this quilt.

Okay. I really love this quilt.

This quilt started with an alphabet panel, and I cut that up and made log cabins framed in whites and light grays. Then, came the scrappy prints! I pulled out all of my scraps, and if it was the necessary length, I sewed it on. So this quilt is super random.

The blocks themselves were a pain to put together. I have learned that improv-y stuff just stresses me out much too much, and instead of being fun and liberating, it almost induces panic attacks. So glad to be done. I'm glad I stuck it out and finished, but it'll be awhile before I pick up another project like this.

The quilting, on the other hand, was super easy. I did a cross grid with lines six inches apart. Minimal quilting, but I like it.

For the backing, I used a red Sketch flannel. I didn't know they made Sketch in flannel, but it is oh-so soft and cuddly. Since I could only fit twenty-five letters on the front, I included the last letter, "V", on the back. The binding is an orange DS Quilts print that I found on mucho sale at Joann's a few weeks ago.

I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by M-R at Quilt Matters and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. See you there!


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