Monday, April 30, 2012

April Jelly Roll Party


I barely eeked out a finished top this month. I used the Daisy Chain pattern from Jelly Roll Quilts, and it went together crazy fast. I'm definitely flagging this pattern for future us, if I procrastinate on my jelly roll project until the 27th of the month again.

daisy chain in happy campers

I used Kona Khaki for the background and a Happy Campers jelly roll by American Jane. For the machine quilting, I think I'll try my hand at straight-line quilting on the diagonal. 

Did anyone else wrap up a jelly roll project this month? If so, just link up below. I'll draw a winner next Monday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Best Of My World Since Forever

A boring thing happened in my inspiration organization last year. I've been using delicious to manage my "Best Of" links for the past few years, and then when delicious migrated from yahoo to whomever happens to own them now, my links got all screwy, and I couldn't tell which links I had blogged about in my "best of" posts and which links I hadn't. So I did my usual thang. I ignored the problem until it drove me batty. Finally, last week I just decided to scrap all the links I had previously flagged as "best of" and start over.

I have a problem

Now that I've bored you all to death, here's the triumphant return of my Best Of posts...

  • Why I Sew - "I think there is something in all of us that wants to MAKE" - I read this post on the bus this morning and wanted to jump up and yell "AMEN", but I didn't. Because I'm not quite that uninhibited so early in the morning. So I sat tight and pretended to pump my fist. 
  • Drunkard's Path Tutorial Quilted - Be sure to check out both those links. They're both awesome. 'Nuff said. 
  • Free Hand Feathers - I'm on a bit of a feathery aspiration kick right now. This post definitely fanned the flames. 
  • DigiTech Quilting Patterns - If you're on the lookout for a pattern to quilt in your latest blocks, there's probably a likely candidate on this website somewhere. 

  • English Muffin Bread - English muffins are one of the only breads that I haven't successfully replicated at home. I'm eager to try this bread to see if the texture is similar to store-bought English muffins. 
  • Nutella French Toast with Strawberries - Just in case you need something to do with all those strawberries that are in season.
  • Green Pea Pesto Ravioli - For all the peas and parsley that are in season this spring.

  • (Home) Design Tips for Real People - A great collection of links/information. Be sure you have your cup of coffee/tea/booze ready to go before you click over to this one. 
  • 5 Signs You Are Decorating Out of Fear - This post was originally intended for home dec, but it definitely applies to quilting, working out, or pretty much anything else in life that involves putting on your big girl britches and getting to work. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Casting Off Again

I mentioned yesterday that I "finished" a couple of projects, meaning I decided I don't want to finish them. The first one is a scrap quilt I planned to make. I pulled 100 or so light-colored charm squares from my stash o' scraps, cut them in half so they'd be ready for an inverted 9-patch quilt, and then I left them to gather dust on my fabric shelf.

next scrap quilt 

Now, I'm just not feelin' the project anymore, so I'm saving this particular set of fabric for the DOQ guild's silent auction this summer.

The other project is a lone star quilt that I started a few years back to take some of the stress off of wedding planning. You know what else takes the stress off of wedding planning? Starting a bazillion projects but not finishing any of them.

ignored lone star

I used a couple of jelly rolls (Christmas Past by Minick and Simpson) that I got on a super-crazy sale at Fat Quarter Shop forever ago. I harbor serious doubts that someone would actually want this project in its current state. All the strips are in various states of pieced disarray, and I definitely can't guarantee that the cutting is accurate. I've briefly entertained the notion of ripping out all the seams and using the diamonds for an English paper piecing project. But that seems like an awful lot of work for fabric that I feel kinda meh about.

Has anyone else divested themselves of any WiPs lately? Did you find any suckers fellow quilters willing to take the disarrayed projects?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday - Back on the Wagon

We just wrapped up a fun looong weekend with my parents, who drove up this way to visit for a few days. We always love company, but we're also thankful to be easing back into our routine with all of its accompanying adult responsibilities (No, not those adult responsibilities! Minds out of the gutters, people!) - laundry, unloading the dishwasher, making dinner, getting up when the alarm goes off, etc.

I'm also taking stock of what kind of craftiness needs to be done in the next few days, and the answer is, well, a lot. I'm almost done quilting the mother in law's baby quilt. I just have half of the outer border left, along with some cleanup work - snipping threads, burying knots, etc.

Almost done quilting

My granny square quilt from last month is still jauntily thrown across my roll of batting.

Still a flimsy

But I've actually started my jelly roll quilt for April. You see all that fabric neatly cut and laid out on my cutting table? That's what forward progress looks like.

(slight) progress

Hopefully, I'll have a bit more substantial progress to show for next week. 
  • Projects Started: 1
  • Projects Finished: "2" - I didn't finish anything but I did remove a couple of projects off the WiP list that I'm just not feelin' anymore - a scrap quilt from my light charms and a lone star quilt that I started a couple of years ago from some super-discounted jelly rolls. More on the castoff projects later.
  • Boxes checked: 2 - for buying/gathering and cutting the fabric for my April jelly roll quilt
  • Total number of WiPs: 22

I'm linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday over at Lee's place - head on over to see what every one else has been working on this week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

March Jelly Roll Party Winner

Oops, sorry I forgot about announcing the winner of the March jelly roll party. This month's winner of the scrap bag is...


Sarah - your scraps will be en route to you later this week. Keep your eyes peeled!

Life seems to be a little sparse with quilting right now. We're busy on the weekends, trying to make sure our yard doesn't look like a scene out of this show, and work's really kicking into high gear until the end of our fiscal year in June. I'll try to keep you posted on any sewing progress that's made.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Slight Progress

Like I mentioned over the weekend, I have a few goals for the month of April, and I've managed to eek out a little bit of progress on all the goals.

Quilting "worksheets"

1) I've made the "quilting worksheets" for my Etchings quilt top. I traced the feather pattern a half-dozen or so times on to squares of tracing paper, then layered 4-5 additional sheets of tracing paper below it, and after that used my machine (unthreaded with a dull needle) to perforate the design on the other sheets of paper. I rinsed and repeated 5-6 more times to get enough worksheets to cover all my granny squares. Once I baste the quilt, I'll pin a worksheet on top of each block, stitch around the perforated lines, and then pull up the paper when I'm all done.

Carnival leaf quilting

2) Last night, I started quilting the Carnival quilt top for my mother-in-law. She told me to quilt it just like the quilt on the cover of the pattern, which The Angela Walters quilted. Intimidation anyone? So I started with the easy part and stitched the leafy design in the chunky pinwheels and then stitched in the ditch around the pinwheels. Is free motion ditch-stitching a humbling experience for anyone else?

Happy campers for daisy chain pattern 

3) Finally, I bought the background fabric for my April jelly roll quilt and pulled a potential piece of fabric from the stash for the binding. It kind of matches the Happy Campers fabric. More than anything the plaid reminds me of the flannel inside of sleeping bags. If that doesn't evoke memories of camping, I don't know what does.

Here's to hoping that the rest of the week is as focused as the past few days have been!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Just Three

It's that time of year.

You know, the first few months of the year are over, the novelty of New Years' resolutions is starting to wear thin, and fabric designers are starting to post sneak peeks of their new lines and new patterns that will debut at market in a few short weeks. It's tough to stay focused.

I perused my list of projects, started and finished, and realized that I'm most prone to starting new projects in the spring time than any other time of the year.

Maybe it's the pollen. Whatever it is, Tracey's party came along just in time.

Just 3 button 

Three projects/tasks a month. That's all.

This month, I'm hoping to:
1) Finish my Etchings granny square quilt
2) Quilt a Carnival quilt that the mother-in-law pieced
3) Make my jelly roll quilt for April. I'm planning to use the Daisy Chain pattern from Jelly Roll Quilts with a Happy Campers jelly roll. Here's a cute example of the pattern

What are you working on this month?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday - Checking Boxes

Even though I didn't completely finish my jelly roll quilt for March, I did manage to cross out a few boxes on my nutty WiP spreadsheet this past week.

As I mentioned earlier, I finished the top for my granny squares quilt. I had a craaaazy Friday night, holed up in the sewing room. I turned my stack of granny squares from last week
squared up granny squares

into the quilt top you see today.
granny squares quilt top

I also managed to finish up the blocks for my truant Habitat project that the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild started last fall. [Update: I followed the instructions for the Nittany block party version of Bonnie Hunter's original String-X tutorial.]

Habitat string-x blocks 

And I finished the blocks for my Martinique project that I started 2+ years ago. This project has been a bit trying. My original plan was to create one big quilt for the guest bed with alternating 9-patches and snowball blocks. The problem: I had a bad quilt math session, and the blocks ended up being about 1/2" off in size - the 9-patches were slightly larger than the snowballs.

quilting arithmetic fail

So I trimmed the snowballs up some

the perpetual disaster

added some sashing


and then this weekend, I decided that life is too short to keep futzing around with these blocks. Since I started this project a couple of years ago, I've made a quilt for the guest bed that matches fairly well.

from the other side

So I'm just going to leave the blocks as they are - 2 totally different sizes.

Martinique turning point 

They'll still be part of one quilt, but it won't be bed-sized. It will be a smaller reversible quilt, with the 9-patch blocks on one side and the snowballs on the other.

The decision has been made. I feel better now, don't you?

  • Projects started this week: 0
  • Projects "finished" this week: 1 - Finished is in quotes because I technically didn't finish anything. I just decided I wasn't going to make throw pillows from Martinique fabric, so I removed that row from the spreadsheet. 
  • Number of boxes I checked off: 4 - holla!
  • Total number of projects: 23

I'm linking up over at Lee's weekly WiP Wednesday feature at Freshly Pieced. Head over there to see what everyone else has been working on this week. 

Fashionably Late Doesn't Even Begin to Describe It


Let's pretend it's still March 31, shall we? I've posted a link party below for the monthly jelly roll party. It's slated to run for 7 days. I'll pick a winner from the entrants next Wednesday, April 11th,  to take home a new car this Moda scrap bag.

The fabrics look a little old-timey, but I think they go well with my quilt (top) from March.

granny squares quilt top in etchings 

 Just a quick recap of the rules:
1) The project must be some kind of strippy project, not necessarily an official jelly roll
2) You must have worked on the project at some point in the past month.
3) The project must be at least a top in the blog post that you link up.

Anyways, back to business, these granny squares take an awful lot of time to construct, eh? I spent the lion's share of my crafty time in March kicking myself for not strip-piecing granny square blocks like Katy did.

Oh well, piecing them this way allowed me to use up both a charm pack and a jelly roll's worth of fabric, so it's all good in the end.

I also spent a fair amount of time bemoaning the fact that the local shops were out of Kona Ivory and being cranky about ordering what I needed online, since I would pay just as much in shipping as I would for the actual fabric. So my Granny Square quilt is sashing-less.

granny square etchings quilt top

No matter how skinny I would have made the sashing, I just wouldn't have had enough fabric to sash everything. So instead, I have a nice healthy 4" (finished) border. And lots of mis-matched points. But if you imbibe enough and/or relax your eyes enough, those mismatched points fade away.

granny squares quilt top

I've bought my backing, prepped my quilting designs, and even mopped the living room floor in anticipation of basting. Now it's your turn. Did you finish any strippy quilts/tops in March?