Saturday, January 28, 2012

do.Good Boats

I went to the doctor on Friday for a routine baby check up and things are under way. Even though I'm not due until February 18th, I could go at any time! So I wanted to get my 'commitment' sewing out of the way this weekend so I don't have to worry about it.

We had a couple people leave our Bliss group at do.Good Stitches and some new join in. One of which i our Bee Mama Chris who assigned our February blocks. We are doing boat blocks of our choosing. The only requirements are the unfinished size at 10.5 inches and the background fabric of white. She requested a patchwork sail if possible. Our inspirations were this and this.

This was totally out of my comfort zone to just make up something. So for my first block I found a paper piecing pattern for a boat here. And then used a blanket stitch in aqua on my machine to attach it to the 10.5 inch block.

I decided the second one should be totally different since I guess all the blocks will be different! So I totally made the second one up as I went along. 

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out (despite the blurry photo!). I hope you like them Chris!! I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday 1/25/12

First off, I have to admit there was not a lot of sewing done this week. I was cleaning and prepping the nursery and had a lot of my scrapbooking stuff stashed there. I found a whole stack of photos that I never did anything with.

Since I've started quilting I now use regular photo albums that have space to write in rather than scrap booking.  These photos somehow were in the middle time wise of all the photos in my albums. So I couldn't put them in the photo albums chronologically. They would however fit in my scrapbooks. So I hauled everything out and actually did a whole bunch of pages (about 20!).

I have to say, I think quilting has helped with my scrapbooking. I was much more confident with my color choices and design decisions. And since I was only going to use what I had on hand it was much easier to put together pages. I also think I had a little of the stash/hoard problems with paper that I now have with fabric. And it felt good to let go of that and just use anything!

Yesterday, I finally got to put it all away and get back out the sewing machine. I was definitely itching to sew! I started with another attempt at free motion quilting. After all the tips and tricks I was given after my last post and visiting The Free Motion Quilting Project I was ready to try again.

The pink thread was what I started with and I still had tension issues. Thankfully the bobbin ran out because I wound up re-threading with Aurifil and had much better success. I had to put my tension all the way to 10, but it looks much better. Here's the close up.

Still need to work on my movement, but at least part of the battle has been helped.

So before I put away my sewing things early in the week I did get a few things done. I started laying out my Kitchen Windows quilt.  I'm excited to get this one put together!

I also got done 8 of my Dresdens done for the Scrappy Plate Club. I think I've decided to back them with Moda White and then use this raspberry color as the sashing. Thoughts?? The centers will be pulled from the fabrics in the plates I think.

And I also joined a small I Spy swap being hosted by Kati. We each send in charms from 4 fabrics. These are my initial four. I've got some others pulled in anyone is unhappy with these!

I think that is everything I got done this week. I'm looking forward to pulling out my other projects today.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday with Freshly Pieced. Head over and add your projects to the list.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Charity Quilt finish.

After about a week, I finally got this quilt outside for some photos. They still aren't the best, I need to rig something to hang these finished on! Another thing for the 'honey-do' list. But here it is, my finished Sliced Coins Charity quilt.

I've been wanting to make this one for a while. I got some of these yellow/gray/black fat quarters during a fat quarter swap. They are really cool, but not my usual style. So I decided it would become a charity quilt.

When Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy announced her sliced coins quilt along I thought these would be perfect for it. Although at the time I think I had too many projects going on so it got put to the side for later.

One modification I had to make was that I didn't have enough gray sashing for the top and bottom. I set aside that gray months ago and I guess it wasn't the full measurement needed? And really, this quilt is 66" by 62" so it's already pretty large. I didn't want to run the risk of trying to figure out which grey it was and having the dye lots match.

The back is made up of scraps and a different grey I had lying around.

And I did the binding by machine again. I'm really loving this method. When you sew it down like this, you can feel where the binding is sewn down on the opposite side. You can use that to line everything up and make sure the front looks as good as the back! I used my Aurifil thread this time and I didn't get any jumping on my zig zags like I did here. That was definitely a thread/machine compatibility issue.

This quilt is off to Project Linus.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 66" x 62"
Pattern: Sliced Coins
Fabrics: various stash fabrics, Kona med grey (?)
Quilted: by me
Finished: 1/12/12

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

Another edition with crappy photos. Sorry guys. If only the sun would come out.  Here's what's going on this week.

Finished: Charity quilt. Again, waiting on the sun to take some real photos of this before I send it off. I'll do a full post with all details when I get those photos.

In progress: Made some more center strips for my X Blocks. I'll have to lay this one out soon and see how big it is.

Got a bunch more scrappy hourglasses finished. These have made a good leader and ender project. And I need a bigger container for these! They are only 3.5" finished so I am going to need a LOT of them.

Which reminds me, where do people get those giant zippie bags? Every once in a while I get one in a swap or bee and I always wonder where they come from. I know my grocery store doesn't have anything bigger than gallon size.

I started putting together my dresdens for the Bunny Hill Scrappy Plate Club.  Instead of going scrappy, I used this color palate from Design Seeds and pulled a bunch of FQ's. I realized my scraps were basically too small for this.

But because there are so many colors in this one, I think the Dresdens look pretty scrappy anyway! I also wish I had chosen some brighter colors. These are feeling a little dull to me. But, I've cut all the wedges so I'll keep going on this one.

And I finally started cutting my Kitchen Windows quilt. I'm way more excited about these colors! I've been hanging on to that Sanctuary fabric for a long time.

backing for Double wedding ring.

total WIP: 7

Head over to Freshly Pieced to link up your WIP's with me.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bee blocks and Labels

Oh, I am so excited about this I just had to share. I ordered my first set of fabric sew on labels, the small kind for little projects. They came and they are just fantastic if I do say so myself.  A big thank you to Nicke for the referral.

Aren't they cute? If you want to get your own, I got them here. Of course I realize now that my labels are very all over the place. My quilt labels have my personal info and these have no contact info. I need to get some continuity!

I spent some time this week getting Bee Blocks done. I don't know what's going on with my do.Good Stitches group. We haven't gotten any direction for January.  Hopefully we don't go too late into the month.

But I did get my blocks for Sew Modern  from Jessica. She's putting together a quilt with large and small HST's. I got one of each block and I think they are going to look so cool all put together.

Hope you like them Jessica!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Unexpected fun with Ty Pennington!

One of my quilts was featured on Ty Pennington's blog today! He pulled it as one of his favorites from the MQG Flickr group! I'm so excited and flattered. I think my whole month has been made!  You can check it out here. Mine is the 4th one down, the blue giant windmill. He pulled some great quilts, including one from my fellow PMQG member Andrew. Ahh, quilty eyecandy. :)

Free Motion Quilting - Attempt #1

Of all the different components of making a quilt, the actual quilting is really my least favorite part. In fact, I think that might be why I like making large quilts. Then I can justify sending them out and having someone else quilt them for me! I generally do straight line quilting just to get it done fast. On the rare special occasion, I'll do some shape tracing on a quilt like this one. I have taken a free motion quilt class locally, but can't seem to find my notes from class (typical).

So I decided to join in on Sew Cal Gal's FMQ Challenge 2012. With one exercise per month this should hopefully get me to practice FMQ. And maybe if I get good at it I won't hate it??

So the first tutorial was posted here and I got my scraps of batting and fabric together to make my quilt sandwich. I practiced my leaf shape.

It doesn't look too horrible from far away. Just a little wobbly, definitely in need of some repetitive practice. Shall we take a closer look though???

WTH people!? Tension issues? Of course the tutorial doesn't mention much about threads and tension. She uses King Tut and AMC. I have neither of those in my stock and wasn't planning to buy special threads for this. I guess I should google and see what weights those threads are?  I used Gutterman and my usual 90/14 needle.

Here was the nightmare on the back... if you can see past the crazy fabric.

I stopped and put back on a regular foot and ran a basting stitch around the outside. That seemed to help shore up the tension a little better and I was able to finish up like this.

Still, you can see the loop from beneath is definitely more on top than it should be. Adjusting my tension didn't help. I'm remembering now that with my bobbin, I should be putting the thread through the "finger hole". I'll do that next time.

Anyone have suggestions? Those who are good with FMQ - what do supplies do you use? Do you change tension? Anyone else joining in on this challenge?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A cover for my iPod Touch

For Christmas I was able to get a replacement for my lost iPod Touch (don't ask, I can lose anything and probably have).  So with all the larger projects I've started lately I thought it would be fun to do something small and make a cover for the new iPod.

I found this tutorial at Dog Named Banjo and it worked wonderfully! It was also nice and quick. I got this done in an hour or less I believe.

I modified her pattern a little since I didn't have velcro and I have a million buttons. So far the button has been working great. (please ignore my scratched windowsill - the previous owners of our house had a dog)

My only problem with the tutorial is that it is super snug. You can see my iPod just fits in there. I had already bought a hard protective case for it because I also drop everything I own and it doesn't fit with the case on it.

So I'm thinking I might make another one and just add an inch to the width of the fabrics.

 Especially if I start working out again. Then I definitely need the hard case! How about you, how do you protect your electronics?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday 2012 edition

It's been a while since I've done a WIP Wednesday and I've missed it. I'm definitely a list person. At any given time I have at least 3 lists going. So it definitely helps me to list out all my works in progress. Here's what's I'm currently working on:

Finished tops:

Double Wedding Ring - no photos yet. I have to decide how or who will quilt this one.

This is a charity quilt I'm making. I'll post more about it later. I just finished the top and need hubby to help me spray baste it.  The belly is way too big for pin basting right now!

In progress:

I've been making these with my Color Wheel Charm Swap charms. I decided to play with the color values rather than the rainbow aspect. Although we'll see. I haven't started laying them out yet. The rainbow may still come into play.

My Sew Modern Bee blocks arrived for this month and I've got them all laid out. Starting to sew. This month most of the work is already done, it's just assembly. So I figure I'll get them out and done quickly.

 And as I posted about the other day, I'm working on making more of these X string blocks. These were my Sew Modern Bee blocks. They are only about 6 inches so I need quite a few of them. I haven't decided how big this will be.

And the scrappy hourglass blocks are always in progress. They are really  little so I'm definitely going to need  a lot of them. I'm not sure this will be done in time for the Scrap Attack Quilt Along.

These fabrics have been sitting aside for a long time. That's a FQ stack of Sanctuary and some additional prints and solids I've chosen to go with it. And I've been wanting to make Elizabeth Hartman's Kitchen Windows pattern. I'm hoping to get to cut into those today.

I pulled some fabrics for the Bunny Hill Plate Club based on this Design Seeds color inspiration. I need to look at them a while before I start cutting them though and fine tune my choices. They were all straight from stash so I'm excited to use up some stash!

Finally on my list with no photos is a case for my new iPod Touch. I found this great tutorial that I hope to follow. I've pulled some Neptune (surprise) and I'll let you know how the tutorial goes!

I think that's everything. At least I hope so. That gives me 9 total WIPs at the moment. I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced. Go add your WIP's to the linky party.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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