Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sew Thinky Thursday: A new linky party.

Feel free to grab this button to use on your blog post and/or sidebar!
The button was made by the lovely Shruti!

I've been thinking about starting this linky party for a long while. There are so many sewing and quilting related subjects that I'd love to take the time to think about. I love to talk things out but I'm fairly sure most of this doesn't matter to my husband - so maybe my bloggy friends would like to come along for the ride? After all you'll understand what I'm saying when I talk about sewing stuff! 

So I present you the first edition of Sew Thinky Thursday! A place to think about your sewing life, and share with other bloggers. 

This will be your place for some thoughtful blog reading. Each Thursday I'll post a different question regarding sewing and quilting, then I'll write my response to that question. I'll have the linky tool at the bottom of the post so that you can link up a post sharing your response.

There are no wrong answers here. Many of these questions are open ended  personal stories. I'll leave the linky party open for a few days so that everyone has a chance to write up their post. My hope is that by having this linkup on Thursday we'll be able to stop in over the weekend to read each other's responses! 

This week we'll start off simple. Here's our question:

When did you start sewing? Tell us a bit about your sewing history. When did you realize you were really hooked? 

Here's my answer:
I started sewing when I was young. At maybe seven years old I received a little "creativity for kids" quilt kit set. It came with some charm squares and a couple needles for hand sewing. I don't recall there being any real instructions, but I do remember cutting those squares into quarters so I'd have more of them (the fear of running out of fabric started early). In the end I was always too afraid of screwing up and wasting the fabric that I never really made anything with it.

At about 11 years old my Aunt Kathy gave me a secondhand sewing machine - my White machine. I learned to sew on it and sewed faux fur stuffed animals. If you can sew faux fur you can sew anything!

Throughout the rest of my jr high, high school, and college years I sewed periodically. I made odd projects such as self designed (poorly designed) purses and clothes (the tie purse I made out of my best friend's dad's old ties... lol), and one t-shirt quilt (backed with fleece!).

I didn't become serious about sewing until I had my daughter. When Allie was a few months old I wanted to make her a quilt. I'm not sure why. But I spent those late night nursing sessions combing the Internet for every tip and trick. I found people modern designer fabrics (finally some beautiful quality fabric!), and bloggers like Elizabeth Hartman, SewMamaSew, Anna Maria Horner, etc. I breezed through that first quilt and started planning my second.

I knew I was really hooked on quilting when that first package came in the mail - two yards of luxurious Anna Maria Horner Chocolate Lollipop fabric. I made the cutest dress for Allie out of that fabric, and she wore that dress once a week until she grew out of it (it still hangs on display in her closet). The designs I saw in Anna's fabrics were reminiscent of the pages upon pages of doodles from every notebook I've ever owned. It was the best of all worlds, beautiful colors, fabulous designs, and the freedom to make whatever I wanted. I was in love.

I'm still in love. :) A few years and dozen quilts later and I still get excited looking at that first little quilt, and that little ruffly dress.

Now's your chance to link up and share your thoughts too!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Five things about me...

With QuiltCon just around the corner there's a linky party going on to show our actual faces! lol. I know from my experience at Sewing Summit, that it's really odd when you're chatting with someone and suddenly realize you have followed their blog for ages but didn't recognize them!

So in attempt to not have that happen as much - here's my face. My hair is growing out so it's wild and does it's own thing most of the time.

Now for five things you don't know about me:
1) I met my husband in a piazza in Rome, Italy. Pretty freaking awesome really - I mean we can always leave out the part about how drunk we were when we tell the grandkids. lol.
2) I have a degree in Catholic Theology - and wanted to double major in Theology and Math... but I knew I'd never be hired to teach theology if I had a degree in Math (math teachers are harder to come by) ... so I dropped the math. I enjoy doing quilt math.
3) I totally want 10 kids. Really really. I think it's about time I had some twins.
4) I got a C in high school biology because I refused to respond to my older sister's name... I ignored the teacher after reminding him a dozen times that I had my own name.
5) I shaved my head to raise money for childhood cancer research (about 10 months ago). The organization I shaved with (St Baldrick's) is funding research that may one day cure my niece's cancer.

If you're going to QuiltCon let me know - maybe we can meet up! Oh and add your link to the linky party so we can see your pretty face!

WIP Wednesday

Doll Quilt Swap 13 Progress!
Unfortunately it hasn't been as productive of a week as I'd like. We had some issues with our furnace last weekend which left me hiding under quilts rather than piecing them! Thankfully that's all fixed now, so I see some real progress soon! 

This week I've made a little more progress on my weekender - I just have two more outer pieces to piece/quilt. I'm ready to get this one together!

Florida star - minus the HST's on the corners. Pattern found here (and reduced 50%)

I've also made some progress on my Doll Quilt Swap quilt. I've pieced another block and a half. I'm really having fun with the paper piecing. I'm thinking maybe one more intricate paper pieced block, or maybe a mini swoon block? We'll see. I'm really sad that my EPP block is missing (along with my hand sewing kit eek!). So that one may not be included unless it turns up soon!

I did start and finish my Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road challenge quilt. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and It'll look nice on my sewing room wall. :) You can read the whole story here.

The biggest thing being checked off my list this week  - prepping for my first week of my new linky party! 

I'm starting a linky party titled "Sew Thinky Thursday." My goal is to get the blogging community thinking and talking. Each Thursday I'll post a conversation topic related to sewing. These are all things that I'd love to chat forever about, but it would likely bore my husband to death if I did. So instead I'll chat with you guys! Here's how it'll work:

I'll post the question a week in advance, and you can then blog your response anytime throughout that week. Stop by my blog every Thursday to join the linky and to read the responses of everyone else. 

This week's question (linking up tomorrow!) is: 
When did you start sewing? Tell us a bit about your sewing history. When did you realize you were really hooked? 

So go ahead and think about it - and stop by to link up tomorrow!

Finally the sad list of things I haven't worked on at all this week:
  1. Michelle's Quilt - no progress, but the batting arrived this morning. So quilting soon! (still waiting for the thread!)
  2. {Modern} Robin - no progress. 
  3. Bubble Quilt - no progress.
  4. Sabrina's Quilt - no progress.
  5. Harry Potter Patronus/Dementor Mini - no progress.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quilting friends are the best!

Fabric gifts from friends

This is a recurring theme here on my blog: the kindness of friends. Quilting friends really are the best - who else knows exactly what you love without asking? And who else jumps at the chance to brighten your day with some fabric? 

Yesterday I got an envelope in the mail - filled with the yummiest voile - just because, from my bloggy friend Shruti! Can I tell you how crazy awesome that is? It's awesome. This voile is perfection! :) 

It's completely adorable that she sent along a spool of cording for a sewing project for Allie too! 

Also adorable? The note that Sew Mama Sew sent along. While ordering Shruti wrote a little note for them to pass on to me, in the comments section of the order page. :) That made my day. Too cute!

Thanks Shruti! I promise to make something fabulous with them!

Monday, January 28, 2013


A couple nights ago I worked on my Madrona Road Challenge Quilt.

Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge
My guild is participating in the Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge - each guild was sent a packet of fabrics to be passed out to anyone wishing to participate. We each got a set of several fat eighths to work with. We were allowed to add solids and any other fabrics in the Madrona Road line.

Our guild had chatted about what guidelines we should follow for this, in the end we decided that our challenge projects could be anything, as long as we tried something new. Pretty general right - I actually suggested this rule; I like a challenge!

To be truthful I wasn't that excited about the fabrics when we received them... the ones we received were from the blue colorway and I was feeling much more inspired by the citrus (pink and orange) colorway.

I worked my lukewarmness toward the fabric colors into my challenge - First off I wanted to add some solids to change the feel of the colors. So I added some greys and two different purples. The purples played really well with the blues and the yellows.

Time keeping!
The next part of my challenge was a time challenge. I decided to set my timer for one hour. For that hour I'd do some free piecing work. Whatever piecing I had at the end of that hour was what I'd use for my quilt (my goal was a mini quilt for my wall). This was really exciting!

I set my timer and got working. It was slow at first, I just didn't know where to start, and in turn I spent nearly 20 minutes fiddling around with some piecing that ended up on the back. After that I really found the flow of things. I did a bit of a curved piecing, a bit of fussy cut, and some HST's. I really love how it turned out! The words "Sweet Dreams" jumped out at me while I was piecing, and in a way those words began to shape a theme of dreaminess in this quilt.

I also knew that I wanted to add some words to the binding. I didn't let myself think too much about this, and by going with my gut I ended up with the phrase "Sometimes unraveling again." It seemed to fit my mood. 

Words in the binding! 
In a world where I work with fabric every day I can easily identify with words like "unraveling." Sometimes it's easiest to use sewing terminology to express things going on in other parts of my life (see also "improvisational driving," and the hierarchy of cars in relation to sewing machine models). On a more serious note though, sometimes it feels like our dreams are unraveling, even though they never really do.

I contemplate my own dreams a lot while sewing. It's a time to let my mind wander in my otherwise busy life. My dreams have always included having kids, having a family, and that dynamic that comes with having lots of kids around. Well that hasn't been the case so much. I have a daughter, and she's amazing, but it's so sad to see her growing with out siblings. And each month I unravel a bit more. Sometimes more than others. It gets to the point where I try to be ok with it. I turn my creative energy into making quilts instead of babies.

My signature, three prairie points.
I'm still working on the ability to live in the now, trying not to worry about what the future will bring. I'm trying to live in the present and enjoy what I have, without worrying if I'll ever have the rest of my dream. It's not easy, it's uncomfortable to push past. I guess I could take this all the way around and say that I'm learning, just like this self imposed one hour piecing challenge - it was hard to do, it was uncomfortable and outside of my norm.

Well I didn't expect a guild challenge to pull all of that out of me. But there you have it. Madrona Road Challenge Quilt.

Quilt Title: Unraveling
Dimensions: 13" x 14"
Fabrics: Madrona Road and various solids from my stash (I think they're all Moda Bella Solids)
Time spent piecing: 1 hour
Total time: about 3 hours

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's a good thing I'm a quilter...

Ali's Quilt - not my Allie

Our quilts have been getting a lot of use the past few days. Our furnace has been acting up in our apartment. For the past three days it's been the same: the house gets cold in the evening (58 degrees eek), we call the landlord in the morning (who calls the repair guy), the repair guy comes and "fixes" it,  we have approxamately 1.5 hours of warmth (65 degrees max), then it goes back to cold. 


Last night I slept with three quilts. Brrr!

I'm hopeful that this will be resolved tomorrow. I hope for my landlord's sake that it doesn't involve replacing the furnace, but I really don't know a thing about these sorts of things. Too bad my parents didn't visit this weekend - my dad knows his way around household things like that. He'd know what to look for (and probably how to fix it).  Instead we're at the mercy of the repair man (and his two hour appointment windows). 

On the bright side, I just went looking for a generic looking pic of a quilt of mine and I came across the one I posted here. Totally cute and a quilt that I often forget about since I made it in a week and then immediately gave it away. It was one of my first quilts.  Read more about that here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Local Quilt Shop Day!

Have you heard? It's Local Quilt Shop Day! I've seen these fliers up all over facebook all week, and even though it doesn't seem that any of my local shops are "participating" so to say, I still think it's a great idea. (Edit: Fabrics Etc 2 is participating - at least they're on the list up there.)

In the world of modern sewing it's easy to just order our fabric online, find the shop with the cheapest prices, and the largest selection. That's great, but if we all do that all the time we'll put all our local people out of business! I sure hope that never happens in my area!

So today is a day to shop. :) I know I won't be able to make it out to my shops today, but I would love to see this issue talked about. I want to see our local shops thrive. So go out and shop! Chat with your local shop owners, and bring a friend! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday - The Weekender Update!

(haha does it show what sort of week I've had already, that it's only Monday and I'm screwing up my days? I thought I was posting a little early - on Tuesday night... nope.)

quilt as you go
Amy Butler Weekender QAYG Detail
I've been plugging away at piecing and quilting the outside panels of my Amy Butler Weekender. So far the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method of piecing and quilting is going nicely but slowly. I am considering piecing the final two panels (the ones behind the big outside pockets), then quilting each side down as one piece.

quilt as you go
Large front pockets and small side pockets.
I have all the outside pockets pieced and quilted, and one of the top pieces quilted. I also have the handles and the piping prepared. I'm really loving the way it's looking so far. The colors are really fun.

amy butler weekender patchwork
Wonky star in AMH Bohemian!
I'm a little nervous about assembling this bag, but I think it'll be ok. I'm sure I'll get frustrated at points. lol. Right now I'm really excited to start assembling it all!

tiny sawtooth star
4" sawtooth star & 3.5" zig zag
I've also made a little bit of progress on my Doll Quilt Swap quilt. I pieced a tiny sawtooth star (4" finished), and a strip of HST zig zags. These will be only a couple of the elements of this quilt. I need to get piecing! I'm planning on some micro paper piecing too! I hope my partner loves it as much as I do!

I haven't worked on much else this week. So here's the list of no progress:

  1. Michelle's Quilt - no progress, but the batting arrived this morning. So quilting soon! (still waiting for the thread!)
  2. {Modern} Robin - no progress. 
  3. Bubble Quilt - no progress.
  4. Sabrina's Quilt - no progress.
  5. Harry Potter Patronus/Dementor Mini - no progress.
By the way, if you missed it last week - here's my BIG finish. My Bella Quilt is finished, blogged, and delivered to it's new owner! It's by far my favorite quilt I've ever made! 

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Big Reveal: Aunt Kathy's Bella Quilt!

hand drawn paper piecing
Bella Quilt for Kathy
Some time ago I posted a poll on my facebook page. This poll was for my family and close friends, asking them if I were to make them a quilt, how involved in the process they would like to be. My aunt Kathy asked to be surprised. So surprised she was!

hand drawn paper piecing
"bricks" border, close up.

To give you a little bit of back story, when I was about 10 years old my Aunt Kathy went through a phase of quilting - yes a phase (she used to hop from one craft to another before settling down to polymer clay). During the year that that phase lasted she made quilts for her kids, as well as all the nieces and nephews. I still have the beautiful rail fence quilt she made me that year! When the quilting phase passed Aunt Kathy gifted me her sewing machine, I was about 10 or 11 years old, and that was my first sewing machine. 

hand drawn paper piecing
Delicious binding!
Anyone who knows my story knows that I fell for sewing right away, starting by sewing faux fur stuffed animals, then self designed purses, and a few random articles of clothing. I used Aunt Kathy's old White machine for several years (I still have it and it's still working). 

Much more than giving me a sewing machine Aunt Kathy gave me a desire for creativity. She was always crafting, and selling her creations at craft shows. It was at her house that I really saw that creating is a way of life and not just a hobby. Beyond that, Aunt Kathy gave so much of herself to us that I don't really have words to explain it. I hope that I can be that kind of aunt to my nieces  We always knew she was there, and she took care of us in a special "aunt" kind of way. 

hand drawn paper piecing

So obviously she needed a quilt. :)

I've been working on this quilt for about a year, under the tag "Bella Quilt." It was originally inspired by my obsession with these giant paper pieced patterns. The book and paper patterns there were inspired by the intricate tile and mosaic floors in Italy. I did in fact purchase the Bella Bella Quilts paper patterns, but I was not very excited about how cookie cutter the quilt would be (I don't like to follow patterns, I like to make the decisions). 

By March of last year I'd created the NY Beauty block for the center (the only piecing in this quilt that was not hand drawn by me), and I'd decided to stray from the Bella Bella style but didn't completely know how I was going to do it. I had hand drawn the paper patterns for that first round of flying geese and pieced it up to that point. I was fortunate enough to be at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's spring retreat with Robbi Eklow -- and in chatting with her (late late at night), and looking at her quilts I decided that I should have some of the round borders flowing off the edge of the quilt. Robbi explained that it would make the borders come together a bit easier since they wouldn't have to be perfectly circular. Thanks for the inspiration Robbi! 

hand drawn paper piecing
Close up!
I gradually pieced the remainder of the round borders. Each one designed and drawn by hand by me (using sheets of freezer paper). It was a bit challenging, and fear of screwing up all that complex work that kept me from finishing it up right away. 

From the center out, here is a description of the round borders:

  • NY Beauty (paper pieced, pattern found online)
  • Circular Flying Geese (paper pieced, hand drawn)
  • Pebble raw edge applique (segments of the arc drawn out by hand, the circle fabrics were fused with Wonder Under, then die cut using an Accuquilt Studio cutter, then the circles were fused down and free motion quilted into place)
  • Teal and white bricks (strip pieced units which were then cut with a template, then paper pieced into arcs)
  • Large black and white border (paper pattern pieces drawn by hand, cut from yardage)
  • Large flying geese (paper pieced, hand drawn, then appliqued into place using feather weight fusible interfacing to enclose the edges, then top stitched into place on the last border)
hand drawn paper piecing
The crazy backing!
I used all the leftover scraps for the backing, and stippled the entire quilt with a few random hearts included.

prayers in the quilt binding
Prayers in binding.
The final step in making this quilt was writing the prayers in the binding. I inscribe my quilts with prayers to the recipient in the seam allowance of the binding. The prayers aren't visible once the binding is finished, but Aunt Kathy will always know that she's wrapped in love and prayers. 

hand drawn paper piecing
Pretty binding, pretty backing!
As I mentioned above, Aunt Kathy requested that this quilt be a surprise. So she didn't have any part in the decision making process. I asked my uncle, her husband for suggestions of what colors to use (without skipping a beat he said "black and white" because of Aunt Kathy's favorite signature jewelry pieces she makes). I also drew a lot of inspiration from her pinterest boards. I even had my own sneaky board where I'd hoard all these ideas. 

hand drawn paper piecing
Crazy paper pieced curved borders!
Last weekend we went back home to visit family, and I was able to give Aunt Kathy her quilt in person.  It was a pretty awesome experience since she was surprised! I feel really lucky to have an aunt like Aunt Kathy, and it was a lot of fun making this quilt for her!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A little sneak peek at my Weekender Bag

It's a pretty poor quality picture, but this pocket panel took about 2 hours to piece and quilt! Whew! I'm loving it so far though!! More of this to come!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday - and some additional short term goals.

Before I get into my WIP list, I'm going to post some short term goals for myself as a way to keep myself on track and accountable.

Goals for the next week or two:

  1. This week I want to send out some emails regarding sponsorship for my blog. It's been a couple months since I've done this. (If you have any suggestions of shops who might be willing to sponsor me that'd be great!). It takes a lot for me to put myself out there like this - for every yes there are ton of no's. It will be worth it though. My goal is to spend less out of pocket on the zillion quilts and projects that I make. Will work for fabric.
  2. I need to make some solid progress on my Doll Quilt Swap project. I've got so many great ideas that I just can't leave until the last minute. I'd love to have this quilt finished by QuiltCon.
  3. I want to baste Michelle's Quilt. I'm guessing there will be points while I'm working on my Weekender that I'll need a break - that's when I'll quilt this one. :) Michelle visits in a couple weeks and it'd be amazing to have it all quilted up and ready for her to snuggle with!

The WIP list:

Bella Quilt Finished!

  1. Bella Quilt AKA Aunt Kathy's Quilt!!!! IT's FINISHED!!!!!!! I got it done just in time to deliver it to her in person! I'll be writing a full post on this soon. I need to let it marinate in my head first so that I can do it justice. This was the most complex and amazing quilt I've ever made.
  2. The Yellow Quilt. Somehow just writing it down on that list last week made me drag out the binding fabric and put it together! It's done, finished, and awesomely soft. Again, I'll be blogging about this one soon. 
Some Progress:

Fabrics for my Amy Butler Weekender
  1. Weekender - I've cut the duck cloth, batting, and the lining. Tonight I finished the straps and made the piping. So far easy peasy. Really. I'm sure the hard part will be assembling all the thick pieces!
  2. DQS13 - Doll Quilt Swap. I've made a decision about the English paper pieced block, and I started on the HST zig zag that will run through the quilt. The HST's are all finished so I just need to sew them together to make the zig zag. 

No progress:

  1. Michelle's Quilt - no progress, but the batting arrived this morning. So quilting soon! (still waiting for the thread!)
  2. {Modern} Robin - no progress. 
  3. Bubble Quilt - no progress.
  4. Sabrina's Quilt - no progress.
  5. Harry Potter Patronus/Dementor Mini - no progress.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I have no desire to make a rag quilt.

I don't want to hem those pants either.

And I have no desire to sew a new jacket for your dog (yes he is cute).


Is there an easier way to say this? I'm not sure. When people assume I am interested in those types of sewing my mind wants to launch into a discussion about art vs craft or sewing being my creative outlet vs just something to do. The average person doesn't want to discuss this. They just thought that I sew so I wouldn't mind sewing whatever needed to be sewn. 

Here are my thoughts. I have a really strong desire to create. I want to make something. If I'm not able to sew for a few days then I find myself doodling a lot, or planning out my next quilt in a sketch book. I'll use that time to gather inspiration online using flickr and pinterest. Etc. If I'm too busy to quilt it doesn't just go to the back burner - it runs through my head in every moment of down time. I want to create.

I don't really enjoy repeating things a zillion times. Some artists / quilters do. They enjoy it. I don't. I like to use a minimal few quilt blocks, or add some element that makes it a real challenge (shrinking the blocks to a tiny size, blowing the blocks up to a huge size, adding curves or drafting by hand, etc). I don't love repetition. I want to be completely IN the moment. I like to be focused, considering all my options for the next step, considering possible design elements to change or add. I like to be mentally present for each stitch.

This way of quilting defines my quilts. My quilting is as much about the process as it is about the finished product. I like to enjoy the process, challenge myself, and learn new things. 

The desire for a creative outlet also inspires me to write about my quilting. My mind wanders while I sew, I think about the possibilities of each step. I think about what makes me decide to use this block or that fabric. I also think about inspiration sources that I'm drawing from (online, from work my guild friends have made, architecture  etc). I like to document that - sometimes you'll see blog posts from me that have a ton of links. These are things that I'm considering and drawing from as I work. I've always kept a journal in one way or another. This is my catalog ideas.

So no. I don't want to make an easy quilt. Or make something just to get it done. I want to pour my heart into it, and savor every moment. (So go ahead and buy your dog a cute jacket at PetCo). 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday - the one where I'm truthful with myself.

Quilts in progress:

Michelle's Quilt
(1) Michelle's Quilt (finished around 65" square)
The top and back are both pieced. The binding is cut and prepared too. I'm waiting for Michelle to send the batting and Aurifil tread along. I'm planning on quilting this one with large strings of words, hearts, and stipples.

{Modern} Robin quilt top.

(2) {Modern} Robin Quilt (finished size 65" x 88")
The top is finished; I need to buy batting, and piece the back. I finally purchased the last bit of backing fabric, which arrived yesterday. I plan to quilt this fabulously... considering some long arm work if I can manage that.

(3) Roseann's "Tiny Scrappy Fun" (finished around 65" x 88)
The main panel of patchwork is finished. I need to buy fabric for the last wide border, fabric for the backing, and batting.

(4) Bubble Quilt (finished around 48" x 52")
This will (maybe) be a Pellon project, it matches the pillow I made for my first Pellon project. I have the piecing done, but need to finish putting it all together to finish the quilt top. I don't have fabric for the backing, or batting. I intend to quilt this with straight lines.

(5) Sabrina's Quilt (finished around 48" x 53")
The strip of patchwork is finished, but I need to order some Charcoal for the sashing. I also need batting and backing fabric. I'm intending to test out my friend Marla's long arm on this quilt - doing some echo work and fun free motion stuff.

(6) Bella Quilt - Secret! (finished around 70" x 88")
I'm so close to finishing this one! I quilted it last night, and the binding is already cut and prepared. I just need to square it up tonight and attach the binding! Whew - the most technically challenging quilt I've ever made!
Doll Quilt Swap 13
(7) DQS 13 - Doll Quilt Swap 13
I need to get my butt into gear on this one. It needs to be mailed out by mid February and I've barely started on my crazy piecing plans! At least I have an idea sketch and fabrics pulled.

(8) Ahem... The Yellow Quilt
LOL... yes, that quilt, you know the one. My kid took it and has used it off and on for MONTHS - without binding. I haven't even cut the binding. It needs to be washed and I can't do so until I bind it. Oops.

Small projects:
(1) Patchwork Amy Butler Weekender!
Yes I am going to drink the kool-aid and make one of these. QuiltCon is as good of excuse as any to make myself a fabulous bag! I have my fabrics picked out, and most of the supplies gathered. I'm itching to get started, which is good since QuiltCon is coming up quickly!

(2) Coffee Cozies
I need to sew buttons on these guys before this weekend's family gathering.

Harry Potter Quilt
(3) Harry Potter Dementor / Patronus Mini Quilt.
Yeah, this was one of those "I can start and finish it today" projects... It has been neglected due to my tight timeline for the Bella Quilt. Further distraction, I just managed to wander upon the Harry Potter Wikipedia page.

Small projects finished but need to be mailed:

Shruti's gift.
(1)Shruti's gift - Happy Birthday!! :)
This one has been a long time coming, I made it months ago when she re-did my blog layout for me... but I keep getting stuck because I'd like to send some extras. I mean it's not often that I mail things to India, so I think I should send some goodies. I have a couple in mind now (Kraft Mac N Cheese!) so this should be out the door shortly.

(2) EEE Swap stuff.
We've decided to push off our swap date to when we see each other at QuiltCon. I'm finished with my stuff... but wrapped up Elaine's gift before taking proper pics of it... so I guess I should unwrap and photograph. I'm excited about these gifts - they were really fun to make, and I really enjoyed the challenge of chosing fabrics / designs specific for two of my closest sewing friends!

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gearing up for the Weekender Bag!

As you probably already know, I'm heading to QuiltCon in a few weeks (eek! It's coming up soon)! So of course I need to travel in style. I'm about to get started on my very own weekender bag!

The fabric on the far left is for the lining. The grey polka dots will be for the piping and handles.

It's been dubbed the "holy grail" of bag patterns, and I think I want to make one simply for the challenge. I'm sure without this trip it would take me ages to decide to actually dive in and try it out. 

With the trip coming up, my best sewing friend Emily and I have decided to give it a try! We're going to to the panels pieced and quilt as you go - like Elizabeth Hartman's. Elizabeth breaks down how she assembled hers in that link there. She uses duck cloth and a layer of cotton batting. 

Emily and I have gathered our materials and started to pull fabrics. I can't officially start on this project until I finish the quilt that needs to be done - by friday! I've been working full speed on this quilt, but I did take a little break from it the other night to pull fabrics for my weekender! 

My colors will be based off of the following Kona colors: Berry, Aqua, Lagoon, and Bright Pink. I only have one of those three colors in my stash - so I'll need to take a trip to the store for them... I think I can get them all locally. I also have a couple fabrics that I saw on my last fabric shopping trip... I'll need to head back to The Needle Shop for them... it's nice having store credit there. I even broke down and bought some Echino last time!

So wish us luck! Hopefully this project goes smoothly and we have fabulous bags to show for it! :) 

You can check out my Weekender gallery on Pinterest. I've listed possible fabrics to add, as well as tutorials for tips etc. If you've made a weekender and have any major tips, please let me know! :) 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

{Sew} Beautiful Bee - Wrap-up

2012 Bee blocks made by me! 

On a sad note, Lindesy's quilt is the last quilt of mine working in collaboration with the {Sew} Beautiful Bee. We are disbanding, which will be really sad for me. I'm biased, but our bee has been the best online bee ever! We've been together for two years, and it has been a real joy. I've had the opportunity to get to know these lovely talented ladies. I'm still not sure how I lucked into a bee with such wonderful talented people! 

The thing about our bee is that we share a common theme of favorite fabrics, and a desire to try new things, all the while keeping an open mind. I've learned a lot from being in this bee, and I've also made some great friendships and even future industry connections (these ladies are on their way to the top!). 

We're planning on having a private swap sometime next summer, but until then I wish them the best of luck to them. Keep your eyes open for their fabulous work - I'm sure you already follow all of their blogs! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sewing on a strict deadline...

Do you guys do this to yourselves? 

paper pieced flying geese arcs
Paper pieced arcs of flying geese.
I've been working on a quilt for ages. It's the most complex quilt I've ever made. I thought I'd have it done by Christmas, but things got away from me. I pushed it back a bit, but now I've committed to finishing this before a family get together in a week and a half nine days! Whoa it's only nine days away! lol.

Last night I spent a lot of time figuring out the last bit of piecing - and decided to applique the last round of flying geese down instead of piecing a gigantic curve twice (while maintaining those perfect points!) So now I need to schedule my time to ensure I'll finish - goal setting time!

Tonight I'm going to work on backing the flying geese to turn the edges to applique.

My goal tomorrow is to acquire the final bits of Kona Ash (why is Ash so elusive?) for the final corner. I'll also applique those flying geese to the quilt top tomorrow.

By the end of the weekend my goal is to have the backing pieced (and any additional fabric needed for that purchased). 

Here's hoping I can pull this off! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Goals

Pulling fabrics for my Weekender!

  • Begin a weekly blog topic linky party. (Name yet to be decided) Open ended questions related to sewing - things that I'd love to chat about but rarely get the chance.
  • Continue blog hops. Happy Little Pouch Hop will be annual, and if you're starting a blog hop and need some guest posters drop me a line. :) I love playing along with blog hops!
  • Continue swaps: DQS and personal side swaps
  • Look into teaching and/or making quilt samples for local fabric shops. 
  • Register as a small business and sell some box pouches.
  • Publish a quilt pattern, preferably one that's very "me"
  • Upgrade to a pro flickr account. (I'm putting it on here so I can cross it off... I've been putting that off for a long time).
  • Push myself to not feel confined by the size of a finished quilt. Some quilters feel so free to make whatever size (even if it turns out to be a small small throw quilt). I get stuck on my 65" x 75" approximation. 
  • Get published in a magazine.
  • Play around with some less "me" color palates. Looking back at the Bella Parade mosaics makes me want to use some new palates. 
Projects to finish this year: 
                {Modern} Robin quilt
                Weekender bag to take to QuiltCon
                 Bella Quilt (eeek this one has to be finished next week!)