Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas Rollin' in July


Did anyone work on strippy projects this month? I've had my pedal to the metal the past few days and finished a strippy top just in time for the end of the month.

I started out with a bucket of Christmas-y strips (Joy by Kate Spain for Moda), and then I made a stack of 28 basic (8.5") string blocks.
joyous strings

From there, I made 56 half-square triangle units, using Kona Snow as the background. IMG_3216

Easy. Peasy. Add in some sashing, a cheeseball, and a crazy relative, and BOOM, it's Christmas in July.


If you managed to wrastle any of your strips into submission with a project this month, grab the button for your blog post (in the right sidebar), and link up below! The party ends on August 6 at 10pm.


One lucky stripper will receive a Boutique jelly roll by Chez Moi.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Last Week, This Week

Last week, I didn't get much quilting/sewing done. I also didn't get much of anything else done. 

I didn't clean my house. 

I didn't make any fancy dinners, although the husbatron (aka the resident dishwasher) would testify that I still managed to dirty up a fair number of dishes in the process of dinner prep. 

I didn't do much reading for work or work email after hours.

I didn't do any yard work. 

And my Google Reader's at 1000+ unread posts, so I clearly haven't been keeping up with any category of blogs. 

I'm not quite sure what I did last week, actually. It's all a lazy summer blur.
Summer Scene

This week can be different. This week, I can finish a quilt. I can re-paint the half-bathroom. I can clear the weeds out of the front bed. I can clean the house top to bottom, including washing the slipcovers. I can paint some of the mismatched trim in the house.

I probably won't do all that, but I can, because I'm starting the week with noble intentions and fresh potential. And that's one reason to appreciate the beginning of each week.

With good reason, Mondays have a bad rap. When the alarm goes off on Monday morning, its piercing shrieks seem cruel and unusual after a relaxing weekend. But Mondays are also full of opportunity.

Last week is gone. Feeling remorseful over what didn't get done last week is a waste of time.

But this week, this week is wide open with possibilities.

Sorry to go all touchy-feely on you. I had to get it out of my system. Getting down to the brass tax of things...


This week, I hope to:
  • finish quilting my Bliss quilt (y'all, I'm so close I can almost taste it)
  • make cherry turnovers for the husbatron (inspirational recipes here, here, and here)
  • spray paint some picture frames to hang in the sewing room
Do you have any big or small plans for the week? 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Are You Gettin' Strippy With It This Summer?

At the end of last year, I took a hard look at my stash of jelly rolls and strips and decided it was time to start putting them to work.


Since January, I've been making a jelly roll quilt every month or so-ish. Here's a sampling of some of the quilts/quilt tops I've managed to finish thus far.

jelly roll mosaic - mine

While I could feel smug that I've managed to keep up, for the most part, what I'm really proud of is how many other strippy quilts folks have made and linked up so far this year. Here's a sample of the projects people have been quilting this year:

jelly roll mosaic - others

So what about you? Have you been working on any strippy quilts lately? If you've worked on one sometime this month, I'm hosting a linky party at the end of the month where you can grab the code for the button (see the right sidebar), link up the blog post about your strippy work, and share your projects. AND you'll also be entered to win a free jelly roll of this awesome fabric. So keep an eye out for the post!

Boutique by Chez Moi

Wanna play along but you haven't started a strippy project? No fear! There are a few strippy projects that come together lickety-split:

For instance, the "jelly roll race" quilt, as seen here and tutorialized here

And the Strip Tube quilt, similar to the one I made for my H2H project a few months back that was tutorialized here

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stickin' a Fork in the TMQG Swap Blocks

After making batches of a few of our homemade staples (yogurt, granola) and getting some dinner in the crockpot, I hunkered down on Saturday and cranked out a good many of the blocks I needed to make for the TMQG block swap, due Sunday. Why yes, I am the goddess of the last minute. Thank you for noticing ;)

I did my best to group together "like requests," so I didn't have to switch from one piecing mode to another. 

I started with Terry's block, who provided some Kaffe and Kona White and asked for frame in frame style blocks.
to terry from megan

From there, I moved on to John, who asked for multiple frames within a larger 15" block.
to john from megan

After that came lunch and a brief foray into the world of paper-piecing. After a few failed practice blocks, I eventually decided that 24 hours before a deadline is not the ideal time to try new things for other people's projects, unless they've specifically requested a new-to-me technique. Can I get a witness?

Next came Sara, who asked for a block with movement and suggested flying geese as a possibility. I seized her suggestion with a vengeance, since I can make flying geese like no one's business.
to sara from megan

After that, I worked with Kate's fabric, who also suggested geese and even had a bird in one of her fabrics, so I decided to fussy cut around that.
to kate from megan

Then came Colleen's block, which needed to have a wonky star in there somewhere, without making just a plain ol' wonky star. After making these itty bitty square in square for both Colleen's and John's blocks, I think I'm hooked. I'm plotting ways to incorporate them in a charm pack quilt.
  to colleen from megan

For my final block of the night, I made a wonky quarter log cabin block for Maret, using John's tutorial as a basis for the construction. to maret from megan

At that point, I called it a night for sewing, and went downstairs for dinner and a movie, so that the Husbatron would remember what I looked like, in all my pajama-wearing, unshowered glory. That's right. I wore my PJs all day on Saturday. What of it?

Then on Sunday, I finished the final block for Amanda, who requested a chicken block. After the previous day's failed paper piecing attempts, I was thrilled to find a patchwork pattern for a chicken. to amanda ann from megan

And with that, I was done! My other blocks for this swap are described here.

I'm linking up to Amy's One Thing One Week Challenge for this week! Hooray for getting stuff done!

Amy's Creative Side

Also, I almost forgot, the winner of the Nature's Notebook scrap bag is....

Natures notebook scrap

Heyyomamma (who has the most awesome blog name I've seen in awhile)! Send me an email with your address, and I'll get the goods in the mail to you!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Jelly Rollin' in the Summer

For June, instead of starting a brand new jelly roll project, I decided I'd try and finish one of the jelly roll WiPs I've already started this year. I gravitated towards the granny square quilt I made largely from Etchings fabric back in March. I didn't quite finish, but I definitely came close enough that I'm willing to call it an accomplishment. 


I spent my "sewing" time the last few days pulling out the tracing paper templates that I used for machine quilting the feather patterns. It's definitely not the sexiest part of the quilting process, but it must be done. 

Now I've come to the binding, the next step in the decision-making process has me in a bit of a pickle:

Border closeup 

  1. What fabrics should I use? Use up the leftover 2.5" strips I didn't use for the granny squares? Or save those for another Etchings project and buy something different to round out this project? (There are about 18 leftover strips, so plenty enough for a scrappy string project or a quick 9-patch/Irish chain quilt.)
  2. If I decide to buy something different, what color to choose? Red? Light blue? Charcoal gray? I used a DS Quilts fabric for the backing with some red and light blue, so while the colors technically match, the flavor of the front of the quilt vs. the back is a bit different. The print on the back is reminiscent of fun summer times with flip flops and picnic baskets, while the front more reminds me of high tea in the wintertime, where you ought not forget to stick your pinky in the air and cross your legs at the ankles thankyouverymuch. So the binding fabric needs to be a bit bipolar to work with both sides of the quilt, y'know?

As I ponder that, I'm plowing ahead with my July plans. I decided that I'm not going to start a brand spankin' new project in July either. Sorry if you're here to see new projects! all day! every day! Right now, I'm riding a wave of WiP productivity, and I hate to lose my momentum. 

Back in May, John hooked up TMQG for realz with a bunch of scraps from Kate Spain's new Christmas line, Joy. I've been gradually making some basic string blocks as I have the time and inclination. So far, I'm up to 15 blocks.

joyous strings

Originally, my goal was to keep making these blocks until I run out of strings. Well, I started doing some rough math in my head, and if I keep up my current rate of string to finished block usage, I will have a quilt approximately large enough to cover half of a basketball court. Oh, and I wouldn't finish making these blocks until sometime in 2015. So I'm scaling back my grand ambitions and limiting myself to 50 or so string blocks. I might have to scale back the scaled back plans a bit more as the month goes on. We'll see.

For the first time in 4-eva, I'm linking up to WiP Wednesday. Here's a link to my nutty WiP spreadsheet for anyone who's interested in my overall WiP progress - I'm holding strong at 23 projects in progress.

  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced