Thursday, December 17, 2015

Neutral Experiment Part One

The first set of blocks for my neutral quilt.  One third of the way there!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Woodland Sampler - July

I finished another month on my woodland cross-stitch.  More than half the year is done now!

The flowers ended up slightly different from the pattern.  I chose a pale pink floss for the flower heads instead of using white, and I redesigned one of them.  I don't know what happened to my ability to count while working on this block, but I sure need to be more careful in the future!

In addition, I went back and changed April's antlers.  I am much happier with Mr. Jackalope now!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Something New

After putting the last stitch into my Atoms and Oranges quilt, I dove right into the next project already sitting on my to-do list.  (A very strange occurrence!)  Working with only calm tones is a bit of a challenge for me, but I want to see what I can do completely outside of my normal rainbow color range!

Test block\Block one: Success!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Atoms and Oranges - A Finish!

When approaching the end of Atoms and Oranges, I wasn't sure how I wanted to set up the last few circles for quilting.  I've had mixed results clearing my fabric of various types of chalk and pencil marks; especially the colored marks, which I would have needed to use on the white sashing.  I thought about how I had used masking tape to line up the corners of the diamonds and wondered whether I might be able to do something similar here.  And then it hit me: what is a lint roller except a big wide piece of masking tape?

So I carefully peeled a sheet off of a lint roller, lightly traced my circle onto the back of it (trying to avoid sticking it to my cutting mat), cut the sheet along my traced line (occasionally stopping to remove tape from my scissors), and stuck that bad boy right at the first sashing crossroads.  It worked like a charm!

With this little trick in my pocket I cruised right through the last bit of quilting, and am now pleased to present a finished Atoms and Oranges!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Atoms and Oranges - Quilting Progress

The edges are near on my Atoms and Oranges quilt.  I finished the hooped part this morning, and that's the "center" finished.  All that remains are the last three inches around the outside.

The deadline is coming up quick, so it's time to engage the thrusters!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Friendship Rounds

All of the pretty fabrics cut last week have been stitched into a small Round by Round block.  These little friendship stars are now winging their way into four new sewing rooms and I'll get to see them again in April!  I can't wait to see what they grow into!

Block is 12.25" unfinished.

Despite trying so hard to be accurate with my seam allowances, the middle of the block finished up larger than it was supposed to.  It was refactored easily enough by making the long grey rectangles on the top and bottom a little longer.  I was dis-inclined to take all of those seams apart and try to rescale the block!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Whose Feathers are Falling?

This week, in addition to continuing my slow and steady work on Atoms and Oranges, I've been cutting fabric for a new 12 inch block.  I've been wanting to do a round robin for some time, and when I tried out the local quilt guild in September and they were doing sign-ups for a round robin...  It seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I jumped right in.

With a plan in mind, I first snuck a small square out of some colorful bubbles that I've been saving.  Then I searched my stash for a good background fabric.  I liked these feathers so much that I'm hoping someone out there can help me identify it.  (Because of course the piece I have didn't have a printed selvage!)  I think it would go well in the large bubble quilt I have planned, if it's still available.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Diamonds and Dashes

I've been adding stitching close to the ditch on the Atoms and Oranges churn dashes.  Six large diamonds will be formed where four blocks come together, and these areas will recieve more quilting when all the straight lines are done.  For now I'm just enjoying the secondary pattern they make.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Quilting Begins...

When last I posted, this quilt was bound for borders.  Then I laid out some fabrics... and then laid out some more fabrics... but this stubborn quilt vetoed every last one.  So finally I let it have it's way and I pinned it up without adding any borders.

Needle and thread were set to it almost immediately.  I've missed having a handwork project very much!

Thread: Gutterman - Peacock (7534)

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lab Walls - Complete!

All of the cute little labs are now protected.  One more round of borders to go!  I'm thinking that a couple inches of atoms all the way around should finish this off nicely.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Scientists at work!

Twelve little scientists are newly installed in their labs, and already hard at work!  Next up will be installing a little sashing for privacy.  Wouldn't want their research getting contaminated!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Georgia and Gen Con

Traveling for most of July didn't leave me with much time to sew, but it did help me grab a couple of new states to add to my 50 states collection!  I added the big flowers on the left from Georgia and the puzzle pieces on the right from Indiana.

It proved rather difficult to get to a fabric store in Indiana, as my husband and I were in Indianapolis for Gen Con.  Gen Con was attended by over 61,000 people this year.  That meant we were were trying to secure resources like cars and hotel rooms at the same time as a lot of other people, and our reservations kept being given away to someone else!

But we persevered and, despite all of the scheduling snafus, thoroughly enjoyed our trip.

Even though Gen Con is a gaming convention, most of the events I signed up for were crafty!  I started with a couple of classes on knitting and embroidery, then moved on to some more unusual classes like ribbon embroidery and scale chain-mail.  The chain mail class was by far my favorite, and has a high probability of turning into another hobby!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Maine Quilt Show

This past week I saved up all my quilting time in order to go the the Maine quilt show in Augusta!

Five new greens!
It was a great time!  There were so many gorgeous quilts to peruse and vendors around all four sides of this huge room.  I did a decent job of avoiding all the pretty temptation though.  Only three pieces of fabric came home with me that weren't for a project already in progress!

In addition to a mountain panel, a bouquet of batik flowers, and some small smiling whales... I added five new evergreen fat quarters to my growing Christmas collection.  This set will eventually attract some tan and gold to become my very first holiday wall hanging!

But the real reason I went to the show was because the Gammill dealer for the region was there (and Augusta is a lot closer than the closest showroom!)  My interest in a long arm has been growing and it's time to find opportunities to try some of the brands I am considering.

The table was set a little low for me, so I had a little trouble seeing my stitches past the top of the machine at first.  Then they stopped the computerized head on the other half of the table, which gave me some space to play in, I slowed down (and crouched a little) and I was able to guide the machine into stitching a vine that I'm pretty proud of!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Atoms and Oranges - First Look

July has been crazy!  I've been here, there, and everywhere it seems.  But ever so slowly I've been stitching along, and now I have all the pieces needed to make my twelve blocks (some trimming required).

First row trimmed... and flipped apparently!

Of course the second I had enough pieces made, I had to peek at a block!  Perfect!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fussy Cutting Critters

I put the rainbows aside after finishing the second round of blocks in order to start work on the Scientist baby quilt.  I've been calling this one Atoms and Oranges.  (I may be a dork, but I think it's cute!)

First I cut out some squares and marked them for HST creation.

Then I set to fussy cutting pieces from the Lab Animal fabric.

I made a frame out of a small piece of cardboard to help me find the blocks I wanted.  Then I applied a little masking tape to keep the frame right where it belonged, and before I knew it, I had 11 cute little critters (and 1 block of lab equipment) to build my quilt!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rainbow Sneak Peak

I worked on making blocks this week, adding a few stitches every morning before work.  That was a nice way to start the day! And when the last block was made, I couldn't resist laying the blocks out to peek at how it's going to look.  I love how it's turning out!

In other news, I could really use a design wall, because this is the most I could get a picture of!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Rainbow Work and a Fabric Pull

There has been progress on several different fronts this week.  The remaining fabric for the second round of rainbow blocks has been cut, and the pile of finished blocks is slowly growing again.

There is a new baby quilt taking shape here as well.  I had a pretty good selection in my stash, but there were still a few fabrics that needed to be purchased: some flannel for the back and a white for sashing.

Flannel was easy to find and the colors in this piece match so closely to the focus fabric that you'd think they were produced together!  On the other hand, it seems white on whites are hard to find around here.  It took three fabric stores to find a place that carried any, but it all worked out well in the end.

I'm really looking forward to getting started on this quilt.  It's been a while since I've had a good hand quilting project in the works, and that's a shame!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Woodland Sampler - June

I finished June's little bug!

And with the last stitch placed to close June's jar, there are none of the smaller square sections left.

Throughout this process I've been struggling with how the light floss colors look on this oatmeal Aida.  Next I have to decide whether July's flowers should stay white or pick up some sort of hue.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Woodland Sampler - Back in Business!

After almost twelve months of waiting, my Frosted Pumpkin Woodland Sampler is finally seeing some new love.  It's nice to have a portable project to work on when life gets crazy!

Stealing a few minutes of stitching in the car!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Progress Through Purchases

I went to visit a new quilt store last weekend and came home with fabrics for setting my rainbow cabins.  The brown dot will be used for setting triangles to put the blocks on point, and the two darker browns are for borders.  This is going to end up a pretty large quilt when it all comes together.

I wanted to have a fresh start for the second round of blocks, so next I worked on remaking the puckered blocks from the first round.  The block on the right still has the original stitching.  The tan fabric is puckered along the inner seam and is pretty wavy overall.  The block on the left has been re-sewn and lies a whole lot flatter.  Success!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Getting (Re)started

I finished the first round of my rainbow quarter cabins and am slowly working on cutting the fabric for round two.  Two blocks per color was not enough...

I'm also planning to unstitch the first four blocks (those in the purple family) because, when soaked, the brown didn't shrink evenly with the tan.  Since the first blocks were together when the (accidental) soaking started, they're now pretty wrinkled compared to the later blocks and I'd like to fix that if I can.

In other news, I felt the need to play around a bit yesterday and pulled out the triangle remnants from my Maple Rose quilt.  This offset diamond layout was my favorite thus far but, since they're only 3" blocks, the design is still pretty small.  I'll have to some up with something to make it bigger!  Challenge accepted.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Field Of Hearts - A Finish!

This year has proven difficult for blogging, but I'm still lurking around and I finally have a finished picture of my Field of Hearts quilt to share!  The last stitch was put into this quilt in mid-March - just in time to send it across state lines with a dear friend visiting from it's final destination.  Thank goodness I didn't have to trust it to UPS!

Field Of Hearts - 59x72

110 pieced hearts went into the quilt top and many more loopy hearts were added when it was quilted.  I tried to squeeze in all the love and good wishes I could fit on this one.  I hope to have a received report any day now, but I'm sure she's going to love it!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Rainbow and binding

I started off with some hand stitching this weekend.  The first stage of the binding on Field of Hearts is done and I'm now working on doing the second stage by hand.  My mother-in-law had given me some wonder clips for Christmas, and I'm loving them!  I'm almost through the first long side.  Deadline: Friday!

I also tried some layouts for a few blocks I've been working on slowly here and there.  These blocks were from a mystery weekend where I never even got to the mystery!  To give you an indication of how long they've been waiting, my mother's quilt is already stitched up and gifted.

First I tried laying them out similar to how my mother laid hers out.  With my rainbow colors, I didn't think that was going to work.  So after a little playing around I came up with the layout below, and I really like it!

It's looking like I'm going to need to make another set of blocks for each of the colors.  It's going to be way too small otherwise!  That's perfectly fine with me though.  I'm loving the relaxed nature of being able to walk through my sewing room and put two blocks together whenever I have a few minutes.  No deadlines, no rush... just playing with pretty color.   Isn't that how life is supposed to be?

Linking up with Design Wall Monday, MOP Monday, and Let's Bee Social

Monday, March 2, 2015

Basically Patrick Suds

And we're back.  I haven't been waiting all this time for a replacement iron, never fear!

I was invited to hang some photography in a public space for the month of March, so my sewing room had to remain closed while I pulled it all together.  There was much framing and matting and running around this past month... but my pictures are all up now and just waiting for people to come in.  It is an amazing opportunity.  And it was also a lot more work than I ever expected.

So this weekend was the first time I've been able to get back in the sewing room since the end of January and I made good use of my time - washing and ironing (and petting) some fabric.

Now I swear that I don't bleed all my fabric, though I'm sure it looks like I do from my blog, but in the course of all the fabric washing I've been doing recently I did have some issues.  Some of the fabrics must have been damp next to each other in the washer for too long because the orange, red, and pink suds fabrics came out looking like a toddler had drawn all over them with a pen!

I tried applying some Dawn and water, to no avail.  However, with the liberal application of Shout stain remover and another trip through the washing machine, I was able to remove most of the dark marks!

Good as New!
And now all the colors of my suds line are washed and just waiting to be made into something delightful!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sewing Room Shut Down

In the course of putting together my scrappy hearts quilt another iron bit the dust!  I've only had this iron for five months and already it was building up black deposits on the soleplate and spitting from the steam holes.

My attempts to clean the soleplate were unsuccessful and I wasn't thrilled about dancing around with a leaking problem, given how my last iron died, so I called customer service to request a replacement.  Unfortunately, the process required me to mail in the plug from this iron, so my sewing room will be shut down for a few weeks.

In the meantime, today brings my second year of blogging to a close and I would like to celebrate by sending some fabric and notions to one lucky reader!  There's no picture, because I don't have one yet, but I hope you'll play anyway!

In order to win, please leave a comment telling me what pattern you would use to make a quilt from a fat quarter bundle.  A winner will be drawn one week from today.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Field of Hearts - Binding Options

My Field of Hearts top is finished!

I was trying very hard to have this quilt completely finished by this weekend so that I could hand deliver it, but unfortunately that didn't end up being possible.  This pattern was too complex for my timeline to have worked out, but I do think this turned out the perfect quilt for the situation.

Next up is a decision about the binding.  The block purple color is being tested along the top, and one of the blues used for hearts is laid out along the side.

The finished size of this top is 59.5 x 73.  My throw quilts these days tend to finish around 66 x 84 inches and I was thinking that this quilt was a little on the small side.  Then I measured another throw quilt that I had made in 2008 and it was only 54 x 60!  Very interesting how our perceptions can change over time.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Scrappy Hearts - Building Blocks

I had been hoping to have the "Field of Hearts" top finished for today, but I'm not quite that far along.  However, I did finish making all 110 hearts of varying colors and have started making them into blocks!

Since scrappy quilting isn't my forte and I wanted to do all these fabrics justice, I used a random sequence generator to distribute the hearts.  It was a quicker and easier process than trying to do "random" on my own (don't laugh!), which was just what I needed.  It's working out nicely, I think!

The first four blocks, at night.

I also acquired and pre-washed a very pretty purple batik fabric for the back.  I didn't have anything in my stash that worked well.  Apparently my stash could use a purple infusion!

Backing fabric with a pile of hearts coming through the machine!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Scrappy Hearts - In Progress

19 hearts down, 91 to go!
Last week I got busy with my rotary cutter and prepped all the heart pieces for Field of Hearts.  I cut my blues with an eye towards minimizing waste so it went a lot slower than my usual method; cutting strips by WOF and cross-cutting!

That done, I continued on and made four patches.

Then I was out of town for the weekend and didn't sew, but I've since gotten started on turning my four patches into hearts.  I will need 110 hearts to make the quilt size I have planned. 30 of them will be the light purple and 80 will be the dark.

My layout is going to feel quite a bit different than the original pattern.  The designer made all of her hearts with very similar background colors, whereas I have pulled two fairly different purples and will have more of a block and sashing look.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and WiP Wednesday.