Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fifty State Challenge

In May of 2009, I took a trip to Florida to see some family.  I always try to get fabric where ever I go. I even managed to pick some up in another country.  (It was a little shop on a back street and I didn't speak the language, but we managed!)  So of course part of my prep for this trip was to find the local quilt stores.

It was then that inspiration struck!  I wanted to travel to all 50 states, buy fabric in each one, and put together a quilt representing my travels.

Obviously, the first state that I acquired was Florida.  (And as luck would have it, the store that I went to sold an exclusive fabric to represent the area!)  I don't remember the exact order I acquired the following states, but I do try to add a new state or two each year.

Hawaii, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maine, New Mexico (L-R)
South Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Vermont
North Carolina, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania

I am under no illusions that this will be a quick process.  After all, it's been five years and I only have 14 states.  In fact, I don't even have fabric from the state I live in yet!  But this quilt is all about the journey, and I'm looking forward to taking it.

What you could win!
Speaking of journeys, one year ago today I wrote my first blog post.  It's been an interesting ride and this process is definitely still growing and evolving.

And here's where I try something new...

When I was in Colorado picking up the most recent fabric for my 50 states challenge, I picked up a few fat quarters to give away to a reader of my blog.

My apologies to anyone who reads my blog from abroad, this particular giveaway is only open to those with US addresses.

In order to win, please tell me what your favorite brick and mortar quilt store is and what state it is in.  In addition, I must be able to contact you.  Please leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger.  Thanks!

I will pick the winner February Second.  Good luck!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Quilt Comes Home

As a quilter I expect to be a giver; I don't expect my quilts to come back to me.

This past week I had a quilt come home.

My grandma passed away last week after a good long run.  It was not unexpected, but it was still hard.  So today I dedicate this post to my grandma and "Raindrops and Roses".

It's ironic that this quilt got it's name from the song "My Favorite Things" because by the time I finished it, it definitely was not one of my favorite things.  I made the same cutting error on about 200 pieces, despite saying the correct measurement over and over.  Four and three quarters is not the same as four and three eighths, oddly enough!  And that was just the beginning...

I finished this quilt in 2008.  My quilting stitches are a lot smaller now than they were then.  And this is the only quilt that I have made that doesn't have borders! 

Despite my best efforts to get my Grandma to understand that quilts were made for using, I suspect this quilt ended up as a show piece of sorts.  I hope she enjoyed it anyway.

Linking up to Lets Bee Social.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Beginnings

Quite a few quilts were finished last year and I'm looking forward to being able to start a few new ones that have been waiting patiently for their turn.  So here's to starting off the new year with a brand new project! 

First up on the 2014 roster is a quilt for a couple of hiker friends getting married in September.  My goal is to just enjoy the process this year, after a record breaking year of finishes, and that means I don't want to be cramming for any deadlines!

First there was some cutting.  I started with only one leaf block.  I like to test new designs to make sure that I like how it looks and that I don't need pieces any bigger.

Then there was some sewing.

This will be a big quilt.  Each of the blocks are 14 inches.  There will only be 15 of each, though the exact layout is still under consideration.

I was a little worried about how some of the colors were playing together when I had my face 6 inches from them at the machine, but after letting them sit I think everything will work just fine.

One leaf block and two snowball blocks out on my design floor today.  I keep thinking I should make a design wall, but until then, my floor will have to do.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday and Let's Be Social.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Common Ground

One last look backwards before starting to create for the new year...

The last piece that I finished in 2013 was this wall hanging.  I'm very proud of this piece.  It was an interesting challenge to construct a quilt from a non-quilter's pattern and very meaningful to be able to make this for my niece.  In addition, it is the first piece that I managed to make mostly from my stash!

Common Ground
24 x 24"
Machine pieced, Hand quilted.

I may have attached the sleeve in a hotel room the evening before we flew out of town.  Excellent conditions to work on my first sleeve in at least eight years.  When I had to un-stitch part to fix it, that small little hotel room was not a very nice place to be.  I think my husband may be a saint.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Gifts - Round 1

I managed to finish quite a few projects for Christmas.  First up are some surprise finishes for my husband!  First I made him a throw pillow.

The front is a panel that I put small borders on in order to make it the right size.  The back is a simple envelope construction.

He suspected I was up to something, but I still managed to (mostly) surprise him.  I couldn't make so many people something hand made without making something for him!

Then I threw together some nerdy pillowcases!  The body fabric is all sorts of mathematical terms and figures.  I found this fabric just before Thanksgiving at The City Quilter in New York City when I had almost given up finding something suitable.

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.