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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Finish Along 2015 & 2016 Quarter 1

Hello again! I am so excited to embark on a 3rd year in the Finish Along. This has given me such a gentle but consistent motivation to get my projects planned at least and I've gotten more completed.

In Q4 of 2015 I had a list of 9 projects to complete, but with travel and little sewing time, I didn't finish much.
1. Finish Birthday quilt.  - Finished!
2. Dusseldorf pouches - Finished and gifted!
3. Paper airplane pouches - not done
4. Quilt for mom - not yet done
5. Quilt for friend's new baby - can't even quite remember which baby this was for lol
6. Quilt the stinking bee quilt that has been hanging around all year - not sure where this is in my sewing jungle.
7. Make something from my toppling stack of Lotta Jansdotter fat quarters - not yet done
8. Christmas table runner - not done
9. Fairy pillow (using PP pattern from Tartan Kiwi) - not done
It was a pleasure having Adrianne from On the Windy Side as host and cheerleader for the 2015 Finish Along!

Bring on 2016! I have 8 quilts in various stages of completion, from a pile of blocks to flimsy tops that I would love to finish this year, but I'll have to work them in 1 at a time. My quilting goals for 2016 include working on my blog photography and having more scheduled sewing time and FINISHING things! Finish Finish Finish!

Speaking of which, here is my Finish Along Quarter 1 list:

1. Commission - comfort quilt for girlfriend
2. Baby quilt for nephew due in March
3. 2 gift place mats for niece and nephew 
4. Succulents wall hanging (Love & Patchwork Mag Issue 19)
5. Playhouses Doll Quilt (Fat Quarterly Issue Issue 9) - partner project for me & little Bean
6. Purple Zippered pouch birthday gift

Wish me luck and I'll be following along with everyone ~ #2016FAL and follow @finishalong on Instagram!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 - Year in Review

Happy New Year!

Although I don't think I made a formal announcement, I decided last January that this would the year of saying, "NO." It was a difficult decision, but I did not participate in any swaps or bees for the entire year, even though Instagram tempted me many times! In past years I have felt like I was doing a lot of sewing and not having much to show for it in my own home. It is very nice to have quilts made by talented ladies from all over the world hanging on my walls, but I wanted to concentrate on my own projects in 2015. As an added motivation, I did participate in the 2015 Finish Along. I must admit that I did pretty poorly with completing my lists, but I did get more sewing done and even had the chance to teach at a quilting retreat, participate in a new Bloggers hop and had a quilt block published!

Preppy Stroller Quilt
Catvent Knitting Bag
Graceful Dancer Mini Messenger Bag

1 hr basket
Noodlehead divided basket

ballerina pillowcase
Stash Bee
Dad's Birthday Quilt
Swoosh pouch

Confetti Stars Improv

1 hour teacher baskets
Treasure Map Block Design
Tidal Pool test block for Molli Sparkles
Kitchen Placemats
Drawstring Ballerina tote with zippered shoe pouch
Birch Trees for Patchwork in the Peaks
Radschlager pouch
Flying circle of geese wreath wall hanging
Star Plus quilt for Jamie

Looking forward to lots more sewing and being super organized (with the help of the Quilter's Planner of course) in 2016!!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Last bits of sewing 2015 - Star Plus Birthday/Christmas Quilt

Squeaking in just in time for Christmas - tada! My son's birthday quilt was finally finished and put in the washer at about 1 a.m. on Christmas Eve. Ok fine, technically it was Christmas morning. I even had to sneak down and get it out of the dryer around 8 a.m., stuff it into a gift bag and ram it under the tree before he woke up. Luckily, he is very easy to sneak by early in the morning.  His favorite colors are green and orange, so I started out early in the summer with an improv green triangle idea set in a navy background, but I never got farther than one column completed. I've had this set of Simple Marks Summer charm packs for quite awhile without a specific project in mind. These charms, with the addition of Kona white, ash and steel were a great combination for him. This also gave me another opportunity to play with and learn more about EQ7.

blocks finished about 17.5"
fun with basting!

looks pretty good on my own bed - tempting!

All finished!

Quilt Stats:
Fabric: (3) Simple Marks Summer charm packs
             Kona white, steel & ash yardage
Blocks - 17.5" unfinished
Binding - Kona steel, leaf and ash
Finished quilt - 70" x 70"
Inspiration:  Chandelier Quilt along at WeAllSew.com. My hst's and pluses are of equal height & width - measurements, cutting instructions and finished block/quilt sizes from quilt-along were not used.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last bits of sewing 2015 - Flying circle of geese wreath


In an effort to dust off my sewing machine and get myself in the Christmas spirit early in Dec, I decided to try a circle of geese block from Piece by Number - something I've wanted to do for quite awhile!

This pattern was super easy to follow - even for a beginner like me and as a bonus, I was able to use up some Christmas charms from my stash.

I thought about some kind of table covering at first, but it seemed like such a cute little wreath, I went ahead and called it finished after adding some quilting and a printed ribbon.

This went to another friend (via a heated game of Dirty Santa) who has since moved back to America and I'm so glad she took a little something from me with her ;).

Incidentally, I found a really helpful tutorial for adding a hanging loop to a wall quilt. It's genius! Check it out at Winding Bobbins. It's perfect for using a lightweight ribbon to a small wall quilt.


Last bits of sewing 2015 - Radschlager gift pouch

Hello again! It's been quite awhile, as usual, but I've had some adventures over the past couple of months. In addition to an awesome trip to Turkey with great friends, my husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in the Maldives. What a trip! I can't say enough good things about that place, and I hope I get to return someday very soon. All that traveling has left me without a lot of time (or willpower) for quilting, but I managed to get a couple of things finished.

First up, as a going away gift for a girlfriend, I wanted something to commemorate her time in Dusseldorf. A few months ago, sweet Kristy from Quiet Play helped me with a paper pieced design for the Dusseldorf symbol - the Radschlager. This joyful, cartwheeling child image can be found all over the city, including manhole covers, street signs, in bakery windows and even in chocolate!
Cartwheeling children in Dusseldorf in 1900 
Manhole Cover - Dusseldorf

 I decided just to freestyle a pouch with no big plan in mind besides using hot pink (my friend's fave color.) In my first attempt, the image finished at 6" and the pouch is about 9" x 7".
The patchwork back
 I thought it was ok, but I wanted to try it slightly smaller, so I reduced the pattern to finish at 4" and switched the colors, so the background was hot pink and the Radschlager was silver.

I ultimately ended up going with this second one, but I forgot to take a picture of the finished pouch! Whoops! I used denim for the background and back  and in my "freestyling" ended up with an obnoxiously huge pouch. It may be big enough to carry a small dog. Still, I embroidered her name on it and wrapped that sucker up in time for her going away party. I'll have to remember to ask her for a picture of it! Miss you, Renee! Now I just hope she doesn't see this post and wish she'd gotten the first pouch lol.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tidal Pool Tutorial

Hello everyone!

This past week I, along with 75 of my closest friends, had an opportunity to test a new pattern for Mollie Sparkles called Tidal Pool. It's a really cool block and I love the variations I've seen in sea colors, but I decided to use fabrics that would match the bee quilt I've been trying to finish forever. It goes together pretty quickly if you use non-directional fabric - whoops!
Tidal Pool Block
1. Lizzy House, 1001 Peeps in Jewel Purple
2. Clippings in Spackle from the Paint Collection by Carrie Bloomston

He has also made a variation of the block here. I think it would be fun to use a text print and have the "leaking" color in white and then go to a solid grey background. Maybe I'll do that for my next try!

I think 25 bee blocks is finally enough to sew this quilt together! It has been in progress for at least 3 years. To sash or not to sash...

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Quilter's Planner

Hello Everyone!  Do you remember that Treasure Hunt block I designed for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop? It will be one of 52 featured in The Quilter's Planner 2016! Stephanie Palmer (Late Night Quilter) has created an incredible tool to help us get organized!

Stephanie is self-publishing this book through Indiegogo and has already tripled her initial goal! 

What’s Inside:
  • Monthly calendars
  • Weekly calendars
  • Project planning pages
  • Swatch saver
  • Graph paper
  • Free motion quilting practice pages
  • Goal-setting prompts
  • 8 full quilt patterns from amazing designers (Cheryl Brickey (Meadowmist Designs), Yvonne Fuchs (Quilting Jetgirl), Amy Garro (13 Spools), Lee Heinrich (Freshly Pieced), Mandy Leins (Mandalei Quilts), Pat Sloan (Pat Sloan), Kitty Wilkin (Night Quilter) and me).
  • 52 original quilt block designs from awesome quilt bloggers
  • Gorgeous artwork pull-outs by the talented Kelsey Boes from Lovely and Enough
  • Reference section for quilting calculations and common construction techniques

The cost is just $35 and there are discounts if you get one for yourself and one for a friend!  I hope you will support Stephanie - I'm off to order mine! 

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