Friday, March 28, 2014

New Projects

Last night I pulled out my 2.5" batik scrappy Trip around the world strips. I started making two blocks, but got tired and went to bed. I brought the rest to work today and sorted through them, putting them in groups of 6. I now have 29 block sets ready and need to find a few more to make another block. I'm excited to work on another quilt off my UFO/Bucket Lists.

Also at lunch today I cut out the beginning blocks of a BQ4 pattern. It's using up the scraps from Wanna Be a Cowgirl. I have some minkee I want to use for the back, so I need to get the top made and finished so I can move on with the leftovers. This will be the 5th quilt I have made with this fabric. It will probably go to Mikaela. I'm trying the BQ4 pattern as I'm trying to use the big scraps and I'll add in a solid brown and a pink/brown polka dot. It's fun to plan new projects. I'm hoping Mikaela will help me with these projects this weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Year of Lovely Finishes March Goal Met - SWOON

My Button
My March goal for A Year of Lovely Finishes was to finish Swoon - A project I have been working on since March of 2010. In my goal post I simply wanted to get Swoon quilted. It took me two trips to my dad's house, but I was able to get it quilted.

I used a wool batting and a creamy white Aurifil 2024 to quilt it. I used a wool batting and a extra wide white backing fabric.
It quilted up beautifully. I only had about a foot that the tension went askew when I changed the bobbin, but that was easily fixed. I put the binding on Sunday night and was able to work on the hand sewing on Monday and Tuesday during breaks at work.
I washed it up and it's all crinkly, just how wool batting is supposed to look. I am in love with this quilt! This goal was kind of a stretch for me since I was working on the last class for my masters degree, but I successfully finished both! I am so proud to have it done and plan to enter it in the quilt show in June.

Amazing Week of Finishes!

This has been an AMAZING WEEK!!! I truly am blessed by good fortune, friends, and support. I finished my last class for my Masters in Management in Proprietary Higher Education Management on Monday. My final grade was a 97.6%! That gives me an A, so I got a 4.0 while in my masters program! It doesn't really matter at this level, but I am so excited to be done and have done so well.
Last week I taught a class and saw a little Janome Jem Gold 2 on the used table. I inquired about it, the cost, etc. and figured it was the perfect machine for Mikaela. She wants to sew, but there are too many buttons for her to get into trouble with on the Bernina. I took it for a test drive Friday night and fell in love. It's perfect for her, but works for me too.
Saturday I surprised her with a trip to the Sewing Center to buy her first machine. She had so much fun picking out fabric, testing it, and looking around. Shaina was so professional and treated her so well. She had her sit up to the machine, try the buttons, and see if it was the right fit.

She got to pick out a drag blanket kit and 2 1/2 yard cuts of fabric.
Sunday we sewed this drag blanket together. It was super easy. She ran the foot pedal and pulled out the pins, while I guided it and she had her hands on mine. This is the kit I would have picked, but I let her pick it out and she picked this one. She has the same taste as me!
It is the perfect size for dragging around, taking to daycare, or sleeping with at night.
She even helped me thread the machine.

Then we made a little daycare bag. It's the perfect size for her and I winged it with her fabric and some from stash. I've cut out a few more to make for her friends. She sewed all the seams and helped turn it. It was so fun to spend all day Sunday sewing together. Now she's requested a stuffed animal. That's a bit out of my comfort zone.

This week I was busy making this table runner for a class sample. It's #Seaside by Jaybird Quilts. I used a charm pack instead of the 5 strips.

I used a wool batting for it to be puffy. It's going to be a bed runner.

This week I was able to get the binding on Swoon and get it washed and dryed in our new washer. It turned out so nicely! I'll keep it off the bed until after the quilt show in June though. I'm planning for it to be my first entry.
I also got the binding on my brother Ed's Crown Royal quilt. This project has been in the works since 2010 or so, so it feels great to have it done!

I also was able to quilt and bind the Star Light Star Bright quilt. It's a table topper for a co-workers wedding present. I again used a wool batting scrap for this one.
Star Light Star Bright
I feel like it's been a great week and I've accomplished so much. Now I'm not sure what to work on next! I have plenty of projects, but no deadlines, so I need to figure out what my April goals will be.

Needle and Thread Thursday

Quilty Bucket List

The Tilted Quilt
My quilty bucket list has slowly been going down. While there are a ton of quilts I want to make, my quilty bucket list includes only the most difficult/time consuming projects that I have just not taken on yet. These are the ones that intimidate or scare me. Not necessarily in the piecing, but in the fabric selection.
Storm at Sea
I have the pattern and template, but can't decide on the fabric. I think I want to do double hearts, but just haven't taken the time to figure it out in EQ6. I have this image pinned from the internet, because I love purple and I can see where the hearts are.
Storm At Sea
My awesome friend Jen B in WI designed this one for my cell phone case. I love it, but not sure this is the design I want.  Truly I am stuck on design/fabric, which is why I haven't started. I've had the book/template for over 4 years now.
Moneik Cell Phone 2
Winding Ways
This quilt intimidates me, but after seeing Jennifer Chivarini's fabric I fell in love with the design. I've been collecting batik fat quarters in lights and jewel tones for 3+ years to make a scrappy one. I've cut about 20 blocks out and pieced 4 so far. I'm fairly confident that one I start really working on it, it will get done soon. Still it's very intimidating to do scrappy for me.
Miniature Radiant Star
I really want to do the radiant star in a minature version. This was my first one and I love piecing them. I just really want to do a mini. Again color selection is the hardest part, plus without a deadline I really struggle to make time for these projects.
Star Quilt 2
Double Wedding Ring
My ultimate bucket list item is a Double Wedding Ring. I have the book and templates, but just can't decide on colors. Plus it's just a some day goal. I really don't think I'll have a problem with the piecing because I have my quarter inch figured out and can do curved seams with ease. It's just a matter of time.
Double Wedding Ring

I have a few other quilts I want to make, but just haven't found the time to do them.
Scrappy Trip Around The World - I have this one all cut out and in a box ready to go. It's going to be my first Bonnie Hunter quilt. Again, just hasn't been a priority yet.

Jewel Box - This one is cut out and ready to piece as well. Just haven't taken the time. We made our friend Regina one a few years ago and I fell in love with the scrappiness of it. I've been collecting the fabrics and they are all cut, but I just haven't started it.

Selvage Project - I have the selvages collected, even given a few bags away and still have plenty. I just haven't picked a pattern to make yet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

National Quilting Day & SLSB QAL

The Star Light Star Bright Quilt Along is coming to a close. This turned out to be one of my favorite quilt alongs. It was easy to keep up and with many sizes it was so easy to pick one that worked with my fabric. I simply love Melissa's designs and the way she organizes and follows through with her quilt a longs. They are so much fun and so useful! I made the 16" block as a wall hanging for a co-workers wedding. I initially had it looking like this. After reading through the directions again, I realized it was wrong. One night while Mikaela was reading to me in bed, I tore it out.
Last night I worked on sewing it back together. I actually ended up sewing the sides on wrong again and ripping again. I finally got it figured out and it looks great.
Star Light Star Bright QAL
Saturday Paul was going ice fishing, but it rained/snowed/ was super windy, so he came home. We did a bunch of weekend errands and then I went out to my dad's to quilt while the kids and Paul too naps. I finished up Swoon which was on the frame. It turned out AMAZING! I used a wool batting of my moms and a large backing, so no piecing. I also used a brand new spool of Aurifil white thread 2024. I was super excited with how well it blended and doesn't really stand out on the colored sections. I had no tension issues, which always makes me super happy.
A couple different angles. The quilt is 90" square, so it will fit nicely on our bed... after the quilt show. I am determined that this will be my first quilt show entry. Now someone needs to hold me to the deadline.
I had only been at my dad's for an hour and it's an hour each way to drive there, so I decided to load my brother Ed's Crown Royal quilt on the frame. I used another wide back and a purple Aurifil thread. It turned out amazing as well. I didn't have any problems with tension or stretching at all. I used a Hobbs Cotton Batting, again from my mom (the last one) booooo.
Ed's Crown Royal quilt is quilted.
I got to the last row of the CR blocks, in the middle of them and RAN OUT OF THREAD!!!! I was out in the middle of nowhere with less than a foot of quilting rows left. I was devastated. I hadn't even thought about my partially used spool not being enough. I contemplated, him hawed, and finally decided to look at my King Tut/Bottomline threads to see if one could possibly work. I finally went with the Dk Purple Bottomline as it was the closest to weight and color. It didn't quilt nearly as well, but it got the job done and I was a happy camper. So today I'll be checking to see if I can get another spool of that thread in town and if not, I'll be ordering one. I have at least one more quilt that NEEDS that color thread. Plus it's my favorite color, so it will not go to waste.
Spending National Quilting Day rejuvenated and invigorated me. I felt so much better after I had spent a few hours quilting. Now I have to spend a lot of time putting on the bindings. I spent most of Sunday working on my papers for my final class of my graduate degree. I wrote a 40 page paper, with 35 references, a 5 page reflection on my graduate school experience, and a PowerPoint overview. I completed all of them and turned them in Sunday night, even though they were not due until Monday night.
I have one week until the end of the term and just have to wait for grades to be posted! Wish me luck as I try to be patient. I'll be doing lots of sewing in the meantime.

Needle and Thread Thursday

Friday, March 14, 2014

Star Light Star Bright QAL & Finishes

This week has been super hectic, so not much sewing time. I did take a few minutes last night to sew with Mikaela before bed. We sewed the corner pieces together for the QAL. She was so excited to match them up for me.
Then I sewed the top together and whoops! I sewed the corners on wrong, so I'll be doing some ripping this weekend to correct the error. I love how it's turning out and I might even just get the quilting done this weekend if I get a chance.
Last weekend I spent Sat. at my dad's quilting and finished up my friend Jenn's quilt. It's for her son Wyatt and I love how the loops and stars add so much to the quilt. I was really pleased with it. I also loaded and started quilting Swoon, but ran out of time about 1/3 of the way through. I hope to get back to it later this month.

EPP Monthly Link Up

splish splash stash
This month has been crazy busy! I am in my last class to finish my masters degree and I'm trying to get everything done by Monday. Hopefully then I'll get back to more regular blogging/sewing/quilting. I have done a bit of English Paper Piecing in the last month, when it was cold. Now that it's warming up we're walking again, so not doing as much. I am doing a mystahhhhry quilt and have 2 of 7 blocks completed so far.
On Tuesday night I went with my dad to a concert series, where we had about 2 hours to wait, so I took some EPP with me. I got 4 of these rows done. This is the most progress I've made on this quilt in a year. I took a few more "rows" out to put together on the go. Maybe I'll get it done sooner that way.
I'm feeling good about my EPP work this month and hope to do more in the future.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes March Goal

My Button
This month I am having a hard time focusing. It could be a new boss at work and lots of changes taking place or that I am in the homestretch of my masters degree! I have less than 3 weeks until I am a graduate. I decided I would keep my goals for the month simple yet I do have a few things I want to get done. The Swoon quilt is my gift to myself since it will go on our bed and I'm splurging with a wool batting, so I am making it my March goal for a Year of Lovely Finishes. It needs to be quilted and I'm going to make it a priority to get out to my dad's house to quilt it.
Other goals include:
Finishing my Free Motion Sampler for class
Quilting my friend Jenn's son Wyatt's Quilt
Finishing Seaside Bed Runner Sample

I've already completed five projects so far for the month and I hope to do more, but I am not putting any pressure on myself since I want to finish my class strong. Once class is over and my job is a little more out, I'll be on the go!