Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Birthday Gift

Even though the sewing is slow going here, when it came to my best friend's birthday, I just felt that this year, I wanted to make something for her. She lives half way across the country and I haven't actually seen her in 15 years. Travel is expensive and so we keep in touch on line and on the phone. And it's just like we were together yesterday, each time we talk. She has been such a great support for me these last few months and I really wanted to make something small, that showed how much I appreciated her friendship.

 So, since her birthday's in April and I had these lovely bright spring colors in my stash, I decided a single Swoon block that she could either hang up or use as a table topper, would be wonderful.
 The solids are Kona, but I am not sure what the print is. I won it last year some time in a fat quarter bundle. But I just love it. The quilting is one, big mum, starting in the center.

 The corners I decided to quilt a leaf in each one. I love the way it turned out. I think it finishes the corners so nicely.
The back is a small chunk of Sweetwater's wishes line I also had in my stash. Just the perfect size.
So, Happy Birthday to my friend. I hope you love it and have many more birthdays ahead.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

5-6 Years in the Making

In an effort to spur myself on to finish some long languishing WIPs, and because I knew that fatigue would also hold me back this year, I joined up with Adrianne at On the Windy Side for her quarterly Finish Along this year. In trotting out the WIPs, I found this one and I am delighted to be able to share it as finished.
 There is a story here. You knew there would be, right? The fabric is the very first pre-cut I ever bought. A Jelly Roll of Fig Tree Quilts Gypsy Rose. The soft, beautiful colors called to me at that time. I pulled the jelly roll apart and played with the strips. I grouped them in color family order. I counted them to see how many there were. There were 7 groups of 5 strips, with 5 leftover that were grouped by default. I sewed the groups together and measured, divided and cut them into squares and set them on point, a first for me too. I played with them on my design wall and finally settled on this arrangement and sewed them together. I bought a border fabric, since back then every quilt still had a border in my world. And the top was done.
 And I was stumped as to what to do next. It hung on my design wall for a while. And then, I gave up and took it down. I folded it and put it away and moved on to other quilts...for almost 6 years.
I began looking at some of my older, unquilted tops about a year or so ago. I began with the smaller ones, so still, this one waited. I finally pressed the wrinkles out and hung it on a hanger to keep it better. I was waiting for inspiration on how to finish it. I finally got it. I have started making notes when the inspiration hits, because I will surely forget later on. I started quilting it in the first quarter, after finally piecing a back. It's hard to tell here, but each square is quilted with a large Mum type flower.
 The half squares along the edges are a back and forth loop in each strip of the square and the border is a wavy sort of zigzag that I have done before.
 One of the hard things was choosing the binding. These colors are so soft, and have a tone to them that is very much a Fig Tree Quilts specialty, in my opinion. I had to work from stash, so I went through everything, looking for a more subdued option.
 And I found one, confirmed by my daughter when I sent her a photo of the two options I thought might work. This beautiful pale green Dear Stella Confetti Dots. I had exactly a half yard and only one little 1.5 inch strip is now left. I love it so much more than I even thought I would.
And the back? Here it is. A big chunk of an Amy Butler print in pale blue, and bright borders of Birds and Berries by Lauren and Jessie Jung pulled from a layer cake that has been hanging around for about 3 years. I have used bits of it before. Now that I see it again, I wish I had more of it.
 Just look at all that crinkly goodness just out of the dryer. My favorite part of every quilt I make.
And so now, a mere 6 years after I bought it, I love this finally finished quilt so much more than I would have thought. Is it time that does that? This beauty is going to live at my middle daughter's house. Being the only female in the house means she needs some feminine touches and this one fits the bill perfectly. A happy ending.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Quarter 2 Finish Along Goals

Can't believe it's time for the Q2 FAL goals. I did pretty good for Q1. I posted 7 goals and was able to finish 3. I feel good about that. A couple of the others moved forward a wee bit too. So here are my Q2 goals:
This poor little guy never even made it out of the cabinet. Gotta rectify that so I can figure out how to quilt it.

This one is all put together up to the first border. got to piece one more border and the top will be done.
 These are all put together. The bottom two will go on the back, which needs to be made still. Then I need to figure out how to quilt it.
This one, made about 5 years ago I have started quilting on. I hope to be able to finish it soon.

This guy is on the machine and I just started quilting it today. I have a kind of a plan so just dove right in.
And, for my biggest challenge, another Fair Isle quilt. This one in greys red and Kona snow. No green this time, or pink. I have until Christmas, but I know me so I am getting started now. Cutting the tons of pieces has commenced.
Well, that  should keep me busy this quarter. Linking up with Adrianne On the Windy Side.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Stash #36-Catch Up Day

I know I haven't posted a Sunday Stash since January. I may not be sewing very much right now, but I still get new fabric occasionally. I haven't really wanted to photograph and post. I just am not feeling it. Well this week, I am going to fix that. It was 80 degrees here the other day, so I took some of my new stash outside and took photos and here we are. This represents a couple of months of purchases.

 This is my March color bundle from Southern Fabrics. I joined up for the year to get some of the great color bundles. So far we have had red, green and yellow. I believe you can join at any time, and stop at any time throughout the year.
 And, since yellow is my favorite color, this is my favorite month. Look at all that sunshine!! I feel a rainbow quilt in the future.
 This pretty piece is from my LQS. It is Cori Dantini's new line and thos flowers are so cute. I have a couple of panels from one of her past lines that I haven't made up yet, and thought this might help me to come up with a plan.

 I got these on a great sale from Quilt In A Day. All were less than $5 a yard. I like to buy a yard or two to put in my backings stash when I get a great sale.
One of my all time favorites from Sara Jane's Children at Play.
 I bought these lovelies from Monaluna. I thought they were so cute and perfect for a baby quilt maybe. I just had to have some mermaids!
I have been wanting some of this forever. This is Rae Hoekstra's line. I don't know why I waited, but I didn't want to miss out. So I grabbed these from Hawthorne Threads, on sale.
When they got here, I discovered how good these two lines look together. The wheels are turning, my friends. Have a great Easter Sunday. Linking up with Molli Sparkles.

Friday, March 20, 2015

And Now, For Something Completely Different

So, I am sewing here. It is very off and on, based on my energy level and my desire to sew. When I get revved up about something, though, I can feel the ol' creative mojo and that excites me. Sometimes I am not sure where it is.

On the Sew Mama Sew blog, they are celebrating 6 weeks of softies. I love looking at softies, but making them, grand kids don't really need any more, so I have been just looking and resisting making any. Until I went to one of the featured artist pages and started noodling around. I found...Felt Food!!

My youngest grandson loves to play kitchen and has lots of plastic food and stuff, but this felt stuff is amazing. The creativity and detail of some of this is so cool and it's just so doggone much fun to make. So I decided to start making some and see how much I could do towards his birthday gift. He is getting some felt food. Here is what I have so far:
 Breakfast is the most important meal of the day...Bacon, eggs and strawberries.
My sesame seeded bun

 Hamburger, with grill lines as requested by my daughter. There is no end to the creativity on this stuff. Your imagination is the limit.
With a few side items.

Woven corn on the cob

A whole plate of side items

Enough to share with his brother

 Now i am working on some veggies. Gotta have balance in the diet. I have several more to make.
 And, again at my daughter's request, a doughnut with icing and sprinkles. He is apparently intrigued with these, even though he has never had a real one.
This was yesterday's food makings

And, the raw materials. I had some on hand to start with, from  Pearl Soho. I bought some at Michael's and then, I needed a few colors they didn't have so I ordered some larger pieces on line, made by National Nonwovens. If you have little ones, or just want a wee bit of fun, check it out and make some. Just Google "felt food" and you will be amazed at all the tutorials that come up. This has been the most fun week ever. Thanks, Sew Mama Sew for the great ideas.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Friday Finish...My Cat Weave Quilt

I am happy to say that I found the energy to get this cute little quilt finished over the last two weeks.
 The day was sunny so I went out in the yard and I found my little patch of Crocus was in bloom.
 There is nothing that says spring to me like the first crocus. We live down in a bit of a hollow, so the daffodils are not blooming down here yet. They are next.

 I love the way the weaving of the strips looks on this quilt. It is all Lizzy House Catnap fabrics. I adore Lizzy House fabrics. The white is Kona white.
 The quilting is stitched in the ditch for the woven strips and then hubby had the idea for the swirls in the white squares for contrast and interest.
 I used the rest of the half yard pieces for the backing. This quilt finished at about 49 inches square. The binding is also leftover strips from the weave. I went with the red and brown to frame it up.
 Some of the cutest fabric ever. I love this big print. I love the back of the quilt as much as the front.
I hope you have a great Friday the 13th and a wonderful weekend. Linking up to TGIFF at Quilt Matters.  
Also linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
This is one of my Quarter 1 finishes from this list. Linking up with Adrienne at On the Windy Side for the 2015 FAL.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What Makes Your Heart Sing?

My eldest daughter (the knitter) came over Saturday. She came to help me clean and organize my sewing room. Let me just tell you, if you are struggling to do this, enlist the help of someone who is not emotionally invested in your stuff. It really helps. When it came to keep or toss, she asked me, "Does it make your heart sing? If not, get rid of it." That was so very helpful to me. We filled a big black trash bag full of stuff. Here are the after pictures:
 Look how neat it all is! No clutter piles. We went through every pile of stuff and either found it a home or got rid of it. She asked me how long it's been since the ironing board was folded up. Haha!
 My cutting area hasn't been this clean in a long time. She made me move stuff that wasn't used for cutting, to de-clutter the surface.
 We moved all of the stuff that was just tossed over here due to pure laziness on my part. Any horizontal surface can be a victim of this with me.
 She dusted this area and removed some items to make it more useful to me.
 And with every area, she asked me "What is this for? What do you do here?" That's a great approach to organization people. I told her the narrow box with the safety pins needed to stay here. I toss pins in it as I quilt and the narrow box keeps it steady. The other end holds the feet for the machine. She kept it, but cleared out some bobbins, which now have their own small basket and found another one of my boxes to hold threads I am currently using, as well as my thread snipping scissors. I love this.
 And now, all my containers of threads live in this basket, which was formerly full of so many different things that made no sense at all.
And under here, some project boxes and my DMC floss. That's all that is there for now. It used to house 10 years of Quilters Newsletter Magazines. I am assigned the task of going through them to see if I want to keep any of them. I have special notebooks to put the ones I want to keep in. Truthfully, there are probably less than 12 issues that will stay. The rest will either be donated, given away, or recycled. I feel lighter already. If any of my readers are looking for a specific issue, let me know. These date from mid to late 1990's to early 2000's.

My final project for the big clean up is to go through all my scraps and organize them. I think this will be by color in the wire drawers I have. The small scraps will be filed in my bins. I can do this a bit at a time over the next couple of weeks as I feel able. Small projects.

This room is so clean, it makes my heart sing! And now I feel ready to be creative again. Thanks M. You make my heart sing too. :)