Wednesday, September 28, 2011

31 Days of Un-Collections

Have you read about the 31 Days Series? It's a group of 8 bloggers who are blogging about one topic for 31 Days in October and inviting other bloggers to do the same.

I've always been drawn to the idea of a "posting challenge" (National Blog Posting Month in November and the like), but I've been completely intimidated by the idea at the same time. 31 (consecutive) Days of posting? From me, the queen of blog erraticism?

But this year, I'm embracing the challenge. I've been brainstorming ideas and themes to try and come up with a topic that:
1) challenges me to explore something new in quilting land or strengthens some of my existing quilt skillz, and
2) doesn't involve hours upon hours of time in front of the sewing machine and computer to create bloggable content because the dog still needs to be walked, the laundry still needs to be folded, the whole job thing, and my husband appreciates it when I talk to him face to face, rather than asking him to take dinner out of the oven via text msg when I'm sitting in the next room or maybe even on the couch beside him.

So without any further pre-amble (rambling), my theme for this year is...
31 Days of Un-Collections.

What To Expect:
Every day in October, I'll pick a color card from a site, like Design Seeds or PhotoCard Boutique, pick a group of fabric swatches to match from *different* fabric lines/collections, and pick a quilt pattern or block that I think would work well with the colors.

What I'm Hoping to Gain (Warning: Rambling Ahead):

It's no secret that I love myself a good fabric collection. I think the librarian in me absolutely cannot resist the siren song of a complete set of anything, and fabric is no exception. I have Moda pre-cuts coming out of my ears, and I have big and small plans to put them to work. Someday.

Lots of work ahead of me-e

But in the meantime, I'd like to get a little more comfortable with picking my own fabrics and breaking out of my comfort zone to explore life beyond Moda pre-cuts. (No offense to Moda, of course. Nothing can take away my love for a good charm pack.Obviously.)

The fun starts Saturday, October 1st. See you then!

Also, if you're in the market for some new blogs to follow, be sure to check out the original 31 Days bloggers' series (listed below) and the linkfests they're sponsoring. Folks are writing about any and everything in October. I'm so excited (and I just can't hide it) to get started!

Jen - 31 Days to Balancing Both Beauty and a Budget
Jessica – 31 Days of Memory Keeping
Melissa – 31 Days: Inspired Holidays
Sandy – 31 Days of Warm Connections
Darcy - 31 Days of Photo Tips
Emily - 31 Days to Change the World
Emily - 31 Days of the Little Things
Nester – 31 Days of Charming Imperfection

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Can See Friday From My House

I'm afraid there's only minimal quilting progress to report, hence the blog silence over the past couple of weeks. We're coming to that crazy time of the year for work, and my mental energy is completely zapped by the time I've fixed dinner. I'm also trying to get out and walk the dog a few miles every night since the heat's finally breaking.

Remember the hexagon project I mentioned in my last post? I've finished basting all the pieces I cut from the Central Park charm pack. I had my doubts about using this group of fabrics being suited for such small hexies, since so many large-scale prints are included, but I think the hexagons still turned out to be pretty stinkin' cute.


I'm planning to make lots more hexagons in coordinating solids, but first I have lots more paper templates to cut out. I know they sell those plastic templates at Joann's and fine quilt shops, but I'm cheap, yo. Since I have no deadline for this project, I'm content to take my time and cut out the templates from scratch paper when I have the time to sit down and watch TV.


(For those who are curious, I'm using the 1" hexagon templates linked from here. There are several other sizes available as well.)

I FINALLY finished all the nine-patch blocks for the Husbatron's NCSU mosaic quilt. It took waaaay longer than I thought it would to get to this point. (sidenote: I'm pretty sure I should make that the tagline for my blog.) But I'm a lot more optimistic about the project than I was a few days ago. I can see the bright light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm really excited to see the finished quilt.


To recap, there's nothing terribly exciting going around here - mainly work, yardwork, walks, and random spurts of sewing. The weekend forecast calls for lots o'rain this weekend, so I have big, big plans to make some headway on both the mosaic quilt and the mountain of laundry I've been dutifully ignoring.

I'm nothing if not wild and crazy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hunker Down and Crank One Out

In typical fashion, I've been dabbling in a little bit of this then a little bit of that over the past few weeks. No big finishes, but I am ticking off boxes on my massive WIP list.

I took 4 piles of blocks and turned them into quilt tops.

stacks of tops 

Then I pieced battings (Yes, BaTTings) for the tops from my batting scraps. I can now close my huge bin of batting scraps without having to sit on it. (Small victories, y'all)

stacks of batting 

After that, I made a backing from my stash and basted one of the tops, then added it to my stack of quilts to be quilted.

ready to quilt 

Just last week, the hexie bug bit me HARD, and I've been assembling the supplies I'll need for an ongoing handwork project and dabbling in that.

i succumbed to hexies 

Now, I need to ignore all those projects so I can hone in and focus on an anniversary project for the Husbatron. This month's our 2nd anniversary - the "cotton" anniversary. Of course, my chosen mode of cotton is a quilt. He's been asking for a quilt mosaic of the NCSU logo for the past year or two now. This is the perfect opportunity to stop procrastinating and finally fulfill his wish.

The fabric's been purchased
(an assortment of reds from Wish Upon a Quilt mixed in with some Kona White, Kona Ash, and a couple of blacks from my stash)

ready to be strip-pieced

the pattern's been drafted (graph paper to save the world!), and I've been diligently strip-piecing 9-patches.

ncsu 9-patch

What I really need is the precision focus I managed to muster for my TMQG Solids Challenge a couple of months ago. I'll try to post some progress pics over the next few weeks without divulging too much of the quilt to the Husbatron (my #1 Crooked Seams fan, right dear?).

In the meantime, here's what we're planning to eat this week...