Monday, 31 March 2014

ALYOF March Scrappy Success

I did it!  I sorted and cut.  And then cut and cut.  And then cut some more.  It took waaaaay longer than I expected but as of Thursday I cut up my last scrap and it felt so good.  Not only did I cut it all but I used a whole bunch of it as well.  But enough words, on to the pictures.  Just a month ago my scraps looked like this.

         Just a reminder of where I started!

And today it happily looks like this!

6.5" and 3.5" squares

2.5" x 6.5" strips

On the left, 2.5" squares, most of which have been sewn up into 16 patches for Bits and Pieces II.  On the right, 2.5" strips for scrappy bindings.  I use scrappy bindings in all my scrap quilts.

My scrappy strings (less than 2.5" wide) have all been used up in my scrappy strings quilt.

It's such a relief to have this done.  And now I feel like my scraps will actually get used instead of intimidating me with their mess.  As to whether they will stay this tidy, who knows.  I know I am motivated to deal with them after each project when they are small and manageable.  But I also know that when I need to complete projects on a deadline things get messy.

Linking up with ALYOF

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday Stash: Bite Sized

I have not been a big buyer of precuts so far in my sewing career.  But over the past six months I've collected a little stash of them.

I started with a charm pack of Botanics that snuck into my shopping basket (one of them anyway!) in the fall.

When I ordered fabric for Audrey's quilt in December, these mini charm packs were an inexpensive way to try out a few lines that appealed to me without adding to the shipping cost.  During my spree at the Intrepid Thread in February I added the Hello Petal and Color Me Happy charm packs.

I'll admit that I've been kind of stuck ever since.  What do you use precuts for?  Any favorite patterns that use charm packs?

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Finish: Hearts and Crosses

Guys, it's finished.  I'm so happy to be able to say that.  Clementine Cross has been a loooong time in the making, started in the late spring of last year.  My first thought upon finishing it was Thank God!  My second: This is a hot mess.

Now I am able to stad back and say that it doesn't look so bad in this picture.  And that is why you won't be getting any close ups LOL.  It finishes at 90" x 100" and is the largest quilt I've ever made (significantly).  I chain pieced the crosses and because the center bars are one piece there is some wonkiness to them.  But the worst is the quilting.

There is crazy puckering all over this puppy.  As I quilted the last few rows and bound it, I was able to reframe my thoughts.  Like I told one of my students, I simply began to look for what I had learned.

One, if I want crisp shapes, mindless chain piecing is not the best option.

Two, more basting pins.  Use as many as you think you need and then add more.

Three, If it's really important to have "perfect" quilting on a queen size quilt, send it out!

At the end of the day, I'm able to appreciate it.  My husband loves it and it keeps us warm :)  You can see the back here.

Next up, a finish that was quick and came together exactly like I envisioned.

I've really enjoyed watching Anne's quilt design a day over on Instagram (#qdad).  When I saw her hanging hearts, I knew immediately I wanted to make it.  I've been drooling over pixelated heart quilts pretty much since I started quilting.  So I grabbed my notebook, sketched up a mini and started cutting.

The pink squares are 1" finished.  I made my HSTs using 2.5" squares and trimmed down.  Everything in this mini is from my scraps which makes me incredible happy.  A shout out to Jenn for inspiring my quilting.  Straight lines on the diagonal :)  I used my Hera to mark the center line and then used my foot for spacing so they are around 5/8" apart.

The backing is more hearts, All My Love by Robert Kaufmann, that I picked up in a destash on Instagram.

These are finish one and two towards my next fabric splurge and I'm linking up with all the Friday Finish parties I can find :)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fabric Fast 2014: March Update

Well, technically I bought that splatter fabric in April.  Instagram did me in again!  This was posted by Lucie Summers and I immediately knew what I would use it for.  Since it's not something that would be available again, I scooped it up.  Tuesday I stopped by my local big box fabric shop to get some vinyl (2.50 for half a yard!) so I can finish this project.

As an additional update, I've decided to modify my fabricfast.  Over the last three months I've realized that the fabric I'm lusting over is completely different than most of the fabric in my stash.  Part of this is because I've been buying fabric with the thought of making quilts to sell.  Now that I'm going back to work, my quilting will be what I WANT to make and work with.  If it sells, great.  If not, at least I will love it.

BUT I still want to work through my stash and WIPs.  Many of those are projects and fabrics I love.  So the new plan is:  For every 6 projects I finish, I can buy one line of fabric.  Three of these finishes must be quilts. This is keeping me focused on finishing those projects that I have everything for and that are already in progress.

Linking up with Rebecca Lynne

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WIP Wednesday: Strings and Triangles

So on Monday I realized I hadn't blogged since March 7th!  And then Jess  mentioned that I've been missed.  Whaaaat?!  People notice when I don't blog?!  That's bizarre to me folks.  Anywho, I had some unexpected travel and some expected travel happen this month.  I also made the huuuuuge decision to go back to full time work outside the home after 5 years of being home.  Since my sewing time will become almost non existent when that happens I have been choosing sewing over blogging most days.  This is also why I haven't been responding to comments.  I hope you will forgive me!

During one of my expected travels, I went to Halifax to take part in sew in day with the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.  I tend to take way too many projects to days like this and this was no exception.  I brought three different projects but only focused on one and I am thrilled with my progress.

My original plan for this quilt was to make it 72" square.  But now my plan is to make blocks until I run out of scrap strings.  I'm hoping that will yield a 60" square.  Oh and the weird hole is where I had another project laid out on my wall :)

In other news, I've decided to take part in Paula's Triangle Along.  No, I don't actually need another active WIP but I've been planning on doing a grey and yellow triangle quilt ever since I received my bolts of Comma.  So participating in a QAL should increase the odds of this actually happening LOL.  I will most likely pull in other yellows and greys from my stash as I get started cutting but this is the groundwork.

Linking up with Lee and Paula 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday Finish: Best Friend Present

My youngest daughter has a best friend in daycare, Presley.  They are inseparable and talk non stop about each other at home.  It's a sad day when one or the other misses a day for some reason.  So it was very devastating to hear that Presley and her mom were moving across the country. This also meant that Alexis would miss celebrating Presley's birthday by one week.  But that didn't mean there couldn't be a gift to remind Presley of her best friend!

I followed this tutorial making a few modifications, including adding the monogram.  A matching crayon roll and a few coloring books will make it ideal for the airplane.  It took me longer than expected because there were a few parts of the tutorial I had to read through multiple times before I fully understood them.  I think future attempts will go more smoothly.  And there will definitely be future attempts because I love the outcome!

As for Alexis, she is adjusting well to the loss of her best friend.  Within a week she had a new bestie at school, although she asks about Presley nearly every day :(

Linking up with SewGiving for TGFF

PS: I've listed some pillows in the shop at sale prices

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

WIP Wednesday: More Fairy Tales

Still without my machine so I've been finding myself with loads of time to work on my cross stitch sampler. After falling desperately behind, my trip to California gave me plenty of time to catch up.  And I'm finding myself believing that I could actually be completely caught up by the end of March!

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

ALYOF March: Scraps!

My machine is away for maintenance.  This is the worst part of the year for me.  Going with sewing for 3 weeks is torture!  Fortunately it falls around tax season and I can occupy myself preparing all of my receipts for the accountant.  This year I had the added bonus of being in California for a week of that time.  But I'm still left with too many hours without sewing :(  Which makes it difficult to know what is a realistic goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  

Instead of aiming to finish a quilt top or sewing project, I am going to tackle my scraps.

This disaster is the pile that sits on my cutting table and gets in the way constantly.

And this is the rest of the scrap bins.  My goal for this month is to sort/organize/cut all of these scraps.  I have several projects planned to utilize them and if I can get them prepped I will be ready for some marathon sewing when my machine comes home.

Linking up with ALYOF and Messes and Mess Ups

Monday, 3 March 2014

Move It Monday

That's not a pretty number folks.  I knew that it would not be great.  My body does not respond well to air travel or to being out of my food and exercise routine.  When I saw this number my first thought was that I had two options.

1.  Give up completely.

2. Go to extremes.

I sat with those options for a few hours and then gave myself a mental slap upside the head.  Neither of those options are going to help me reach my ultimate goals.  Because, really, this is not about the 10 week challenge.  It's about changing some habits and making progress towards my goal weight.  So here I stand, four weeks from the end of my challenge with 14 pounds to lose.  The odds are not great.

But my best option overall is to simply make the best choices I can going forward.  To get back to tracking my food on My Fitness Pal.  To make an effort to be active each and every day.  To recommit to my water bottle.  I may not reach my challenge goal but if I do these things consistently (not even perfectly!) then in 4 weeks I will be further ahead than I am now.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Stash: How low can you go?

I don't own a lot of low volume prints.  I'm definitely drawn to bold colors and prints and those fill the majority of my stash.  But I love so many quilts that combine bold and low volume.  So when I was filling my cart at Pink Castle Fabrics this fall (one of many full carts this fall!)  I tossed in a scrappy low volume bundle.  And really couldn't be more thrilled that I did.

Look at all this goodness!!  Because they are fat 16ths, there aren't many selvedges.  I know the top right dots are Comma Period.  The hexagons next to that and the little triangles in the top left are Minimalista.  And the bottom right selvedge says Leah Duncan for Art Gallery (my research shows it comes from Tule).  If anyone can identify the others, I would love to know!  Especially the birds in a circle!

EDIT: You guys are amazing!  There are many more fabrics identified in the comments for anyone who is interested.

Linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash