Fresh Sewing Day – February 2015 in Review

1 03 2015

February was a slow month for me. I’m still in the process of figuring out how my days will flow, with the ‘new’ old job. On one hand, I have more time to spend with my husband and son. On the other hand, I have more time to spend with my husband and son.

That might sound weird – I’m simply having a hard time separating out time for myself for sewing. I need to simply schedule this time, better use the ‘free’ time I have to myself, better define what is ‘my’ time.

February 2015 - Fresh Sewing Day1. Lone Star – Complete, 2. Home Treasure – 12″ Block, 3. This and That – 12″ Block, 4. Twin Sisters – 8″ Block, 5. Double X – 8″ Block, 6. Sugar Bowl – 8″ Block, 7. Road to Oklahoma – 6″ Block, 8. Mosaic No. 12 – 6″ Block, 9. Patch Me If You Can – 6″ Block, 10. Scrap Zig Zag – 6″ Block, 11. New Hexagon Rosette 1 – Restart AGAIN, 12. Embers – Front

What I did manage to accomplish, I’m pleased with.

As mentioned previously in this blog, I joined a single round robin for this year. My starter block for my quilt was a lone star block. My contributions for Blue Figs Quilt’s started block were a series of orange and yellow blocks in three sizes: 6″, 8″, and 12″ squares. She’s shooting for a very sunshine-y quilt. Finding fabrics in the right colors was not a hardship in my stash.

I also abandoned my efforts at hand sewing the hexagons for The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along. I just couldn’t stay awake while attempting to hand sew the thing. So, I gave up, and started over. I’m machine piecing it now. Obviously, this puts me further behind in keeping up, as I haven’t finished January’s rosette, and February and March’s instructions have released.

I met my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, by finally completing Embers. I’d had the top sitting since November of 2013, and was determined that I’d finish it for this month. I just met the goal – it took me forever to sit down and do the binding once I’d received the backing fabrics in the mail and did the quilting.

I’m looking forward to getting my butt in gear for the month of March – I’ve got a couple of things I’d like to finish, and some projects I’d like to start making progress on.


Last Finishes of 2013

1 01 2014

I’ll save my ‘holy crap – it’s 2014!’ post for tomorrow… Since I’ve been lax in posting over the last month, I wanted to share the last finishes of the year with you. I’m lucky enough to have a job in which I’m paid to be off on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. We spent a lot of that time hosting friends and family over, so I did a lot of cooking.

For Christmas, we didn’t host. Instead, we went to my mother-in-law’s home for dinner. I’d hosted Thanksgiving, so I didn’t really mind not preparing the massive meal. I think, though, next year, I will insist on hosting, if only because we have more space.

For New Year’s Eve, we hosted the third annual Nilbog New Year, at our home. No idea what Nilbog is? Watch Troll 2, which is possibly one of the worst movies made ever. Then follow it up with Best Worst Movie. Basically, hubby and I invite our friends over for a themed party, to watch Troll 2, and eat green colored foods. This year, we mixed things up a bit, and watched the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra as well. For food, I made French onion dip (adding green food coloring), spinach and artichoke dip, served sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas, and made shepherd’s pie. I dyed the mashed potatoes on top of the shepherd’s pie green, as well. We also made double-decker bologna sandwiches for the climax of the movie, which were a huge hit.

So, yeah, there was a lot of time in the kitchen, and a lot of time dedicated to cleaning up the house. Hubby also rearranged furniture before New Year’s Eve, freeing up some space in my sewing area. I took advantage of the free space and moved things about, to give us better flow. Once I finished that, though, I wanted, desperately, to have a new ironing board.

Now, I’ve resisted buying a new ironing board. A standard ironing board is pretty well useless for me, because it’s so narrow, and I just don’t iron clothing much any longer. Everything I buy is wash and wear.

At the same time, I’ve been sitting on a yard of aluminized fabric, meant for an ironing board cover for two years. Yup, TWO years. I bought it September of 2011, at the WI Quilt Expo.

I finally figured that two years was enough, so I roped hubby into accompanying me to Menard’s. There, I purchased a 2′ X 2′ square of plywood, a home-use staple gun, and 1/4″ staples. When I got it home, I laid two layers of batting on, followed by the aluminized fabric, and stapled it to the board. I probably should have stopped, and taken some in progress photos, for anyone who wants to make one themselves. Seriously, though, it’s super easy!

Ironing Board

After that, I decided that I should start making more stock for my eventual Etsy shop, so I made another couple of softies:

Mouse Softie 01
Mouse Softie 02

Zeb picked out the fabrics for this one – I left my fabric cabinet open and he insisted on these. All in all, not bad choices. I deviated a bit, and used brown safety eyes with black pupils, instead of solid black safety eyes. I think they work well here, with the softer, creamier color palette. The ears on this softie are a bit floppy, when following the instructions. I will likely add batting or interfacing to the next mouse, to keep them upright.

Monster Softie 01

Monster Softie 02
And this is where I get a lot of pleasure from making softies… Sometimes I end up with fabric that I just do not know what I’d do with. I do most of my patchwork in tone-on-tones, or small prints. Bold, graphic prints are fun for large blocks, or backings, but I only had about half a yard of this on hand. It was practically destined to be come a softie. Again, I used the brown safety eyes with the black pupils. I think they stand out better here, than if they’d been solid black.

Both of these softies are stuffed more firmly than my previous attempts – I love it. In order to accommodate that extra stuffing, I had to alter my construction methods a bit. It adds a bit to the finishing, in the way of hand-sewing, but I think it’s a trade-off worth making.

Linking to Lynne’s Fresh Sewing Day post.

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, November Edition

1 12 2013

I did a lot of sewing this month. Like, a crazy amount of sewing this month. My sewing mojo came back and made it clear that it was the boss around these parts.

Softies and doll clothes were a minor obsession… I’m pretty sure I’m going ahead with that Etsy shop. Of course, I’ve made this decision without sufficient time to prep for the holiday season, but that’s okay. I’ll take some time to build up some stock before launching the shop.

November Softie Makes1. Cat Softie, 2. Meet White, 3. Elephant Pajamas, 4. Floral Pajamas, 5. Softie Dress, 6. Doll Shorts X 4, 7. Doll Skirts X 2, 8. More Doll Clothes

I made two more softies toward the end of October, leading into November. Both were learning experiences, and I’ll be revising my construction methods to accommodate my desire for more fully stuffed limbs. I successfully figured out following the patterns for the softie pajamas and dress, making two sets of PJs and one dress. From there, I moved onto make five pairs of shorts from reclaimed denim fabric, from jeans that were destined to exit the house in the garbage. I got four pairs of gray shorts, and one pair of blue shorts. I also drafted my own pattern for a-line skirts to fit these softies. I was super excited to see that they came out exactly as I’d envisioned, which was a tremendous confidence boost. I got two gray skirts and one blue skirt from those same old jeans, and used fabrics from my quilting scraps to create the ruffled trim.

November Quilting Makes1. Swoon 10, 2. Granny Block Bee 35, 3. Granny Block Bee 36, 4. Granny Block Bee 37, 5. Granny Block Bee 38, 6. Swoon 11, 7. Swoon 12, 8. Swoon 13, 9. Swoon 14, 10. Swoon 15, 11. Swoon 16, 12. Swoon Top, 13. Feather 01, 14. Feather Halves, 15. Windmill 01, 16. Windmill 02, 17. Origami Star 01, 18. Origami Star 02, 19. Granny Block Bee 39, 20. Granny Block Bee 40

Quilt blocks were dominated this month. I finished up the last of the sixteen blocks I needed for my Swoon top, then sashed the blocks and finished the top. I got caught up on all of my swap blocks. I just have to package them to go out, and then I don’t have to worry. I’m completely caught up in the Granny Block Bee swap, and have worked ahead in the Fat Stash Bee.

I’m in round 14 of the Doll Quilt Swap, and am deciding on an idea for my swap partner. I think I’ve got it pinned down – I just need to draw it up in EQ7, and see if it works digitally the way it does in my head. From there, it’ll be an easy transition into fabric.

Fresh Sewing Day – November Edition

1 11 2013

Yeah, I finally got my tush in gear and started sewing. I got all of my swap blocks done for this month…

But it was only this past couple of weekends that I felt up to doing some sewing for myself. I’ll be honest. Real Job has sucked, a lot. I’m more and more stressed every day that I go to work lately. I keep hearing that my workload is going to lighten, but it’s not. I’m constantly running from task to task, meeting to meeting, and often multi-tasking no matter where I am.

So, frustration has been mounting, and it’s reflecting in my lack of output. I often just want to get home and go to sleep, rather than sew. I’m working on that once more – that time for myself is a sanity saver.

Month of October

1. Granny Block Bee 33, 2. Granny Block Bee 34, 3. Wonky Bento Box, 4. Wonky Bento Box 02, 5. Swoon 07, 6. Swoon 08, 7. Swoon 09

Swap blocks for this month were finished early – I’m down to two swaps. Kind of sad about that, but also kind of not. My Swoon blocks progress, but I really want to get this top done. I have nine of the blocks done, so now I’m over the halfway mark.

I have the whole weekend off, for the first time in six weeks – I’ve been working at the mall every Sunday, in addition to working Real Job, because they’ve needed the extra help. The extra money is nice, but I’m so excited to have 48 hours off.

My plan is to finish the Swoon top, and then to do as much hand-quilting as I can. My fingers will hate me, but I really want to have another hand-quilted piece to snuggle in during the winter months.

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, October Edition

1 10 2013

September was not much of a sewing month for me. I couldn’t get my mojo going – too much stress from the start of the fall semester. I did manage to get myself into gear at the eleventh hour to get a some swap blocks made though:

Month of September
1. Granny Block Bee 27, 2. Granny Block Bee 28, 3. Granny Block Bee 29, 4. Granny Block Bee 30, 5. Maple Leaf, 6. Granny Block Bee 31, 7. Granny Block Bee 32, 8. Log Cabin 01, 9. Log Cabin 02

Buying a lot of blue to stash this month was apparently a good idea. It’s been a hotly requested color. Now I have to resist the urge to buy as much chartreuse as I can lay my fingers on.

I also managed to skip right past a sort of milestone… I hit 300 posts on this blog. Mind you, I’ve gone and switched from one blogging platform to another, but it’s been 300 posts, all of which were transferred to WordPress. It’s funny. I never thought I have all that much to say – I suppose, though, that I do tend to have a lot to show you.

In other milestones, on 02 October 2013, I will have been married for nine years. I’ve spent eleven years with my husband, nearly six of which have been spent raising the funniest, sweetest, and most social little boy. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’re making it stick.

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, September Edition

1 09 2013

I didn’t manage to do a block a day, as I’d intended to do. I did an awful lot of working myself into exhaustion this month, had my annual “Holy F***! I’m drowning in Helpdesk tickets!!” panic attack, and have managed to answer an absurd number of emails and phone calls in my attempts to keep my Helpdesk to our customer service goals. Then, I’ve come home, written quite a bit in my fiction groups, and slept a lot.

This weekend hasn’t even been exempt from overworking myself – I just spent three hours answering emails. I could have left them, but my campus’ first day of classes is Tuesday. The idea of leaving my students to answer fifty or more emails on that day, without including emails coming in on that day alone, just chafes the wrong way. (Not that there is a right way for chafing…). I’ll be doing a bit more tomorrow – I normally run a report on Mondays, but I’m off for Labor Day, and it needs to be done for meetings on Tuesday.

I’m going to have a stupid number of hours in this week.

Anyway, on to the sewing!

Month of August1. Sunsets and White Beaches, 2. Swoon 01, 3. Swoon 02, 4. Swoon 03, 5. Swoon 04, 6. Swoon 05, 7. Swoon 06

In addition to having completed the top for Sunsets and White Beaches, I completed the backing. In retrospect, I almost wish I’d matched the repeat. Honestly, though, I’m freaking lazy after the month I’ve had, and done is better than anything else. The thing is sandwiched and ready for hand-quilting.

I also got through six Swoon blocks, one of which I will probably pitch, or pick apart and do-over, for better points and seams nesting properly. I re-organized my sewing area a bit, adding a table and a rolling stool to make my efforts much more ergonomic. I’ve also designed my very own quilt labels, for printing at Spoonflower. Once I have them in hand, I’ll share some photos of the actual labels. I figure it’s about time I actually document my quilting efforts and label the quilts so that my efforts aren’t lost.

I’ve purchased a crazy amount of fabric lately – retail therapy, and the desire to complete a couple of quilt designs that have been developing in my mind for a while. Not gonna share photos – I’ll shame myself out of going to the WI Quilt Expo this coming weekend. Speaking of – anyone else going?

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, August Edition

1 08 2013

I got a ton done this month, despite having essentially taken a sewing hiatus for the middle of the month. Really, I just wanted to piece something quick, and granny blocks have been calling my name since joining the Granny Block Bee.

Fresh Sewing Day 01, August

Fresh Sewing Day 02, August
My month was comprised by a handful of swap blocks, and a whole bunch of granny blocks, obviously. Not that I mind – I might have finally worked the granny block  obsession out of my system. I even managed to rustle up enough of each color so that no block repeats the same fabric in the outer ring.

Of course, I’m already thinking ahead to the next project, but I’m telling myself that I need to finish up some of the things that I’ve already got in progress. I need to get stuff out of the in-progress pile. Still, I really want to work with some paper-pieced stars next…

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, July Edition

1 07 2013

I feel rather like a slacker. I didn’t really sew at all for the entire second half of June. The exception was putting a backing together for a top, from which I have to rip out a seam that runs the entire length of the backing to add more width, and I did that yesterday. I can’t even mentally count it, because it’s not technically finished.

I did keep up with my swap obligations – YAY! Swaps are a favorite activity of mine. I’m really debating seeing if I can get into other swaps once these end – maybe a paper-piecing one, since I’ve developed some confidence in my block design skills after The Jammy Dodger Block.

Still, a lot of my attention has been devoted to some fiction writing groups that I participate in (because quilting is somehow not enough to keep me occupied). I’m hoping to ease back a bit after the middle of the month and really get back in my sewing groove. I think, really, it’s just got to come down to me truly scheduling my time.

Anyway, onto last month’s sewing 🙂

Fresh Sewing Day, July1. The Jammy Dodger Block, 2. The Jammy Dodger Block, 3. Elegant Teapot, 4. Apple Blossom Block 02, 5. Apple Leaves Block 01, 6. Granny Block Bee 17, 7. Granny Block Bee 18, 8. Granny Block Bee 19, 9. Granny Block Bee 20, 10. Granny Block Bee 21, 11. Granny Block Bee 21-001, 12. Scrappy Star 13, 13. Scrappy Star 14, 14. Scrappy Star 15, 15. Scrappy Star 16, 16. Scrappy Star 17, 17. Scrappy Star 18, 18. Scrappy Star 19, 19. Swirling Sea of Stars – In Progress 02, 20. Modern Mini

I want, desperately, to quilt up some of my larger tops. I’m running into the issue that even using FOUR tables, Charmed I’m Sure (for which the backing mentioned above was for) proved that the backing was to too big to pull taut, and there was a lot of puckering visible after I pulled it from the table set up. I may yet give it another go, but that would require unpinning an awful lot of pins, and then starting anew, this time with FIVE tables. Can you hear me crying yet?

I seriously need a house, so that I can put a longarm frame in the basement.

Lily's Quilts

Fresh Sewing Day, June Edition

1 06 2013

May was a crazy month… I wanted more sewing time, but it just didn’t happen. I kept up with my swaps, but I didn’t get the Swirling Sea of Stars top done, which was my big goal. Of course, it doesn’t help that the stupid thing just wants to get bigger. I’m going to need 49 blocks, for the size I want it to be, and that might change, if I have a ton of strings left over once I get there.

Fresh Sewing Day, June1. Scrappy Star 07, 2. Scrappy Star 08, 3. Scrappy Star 09, 4. Scrappy Star 10, 5. Scrappy Star 11, 6. Scrappy Star 12, 7. Granny Block Bee 13, 8. Granny Block Bee 14, 9. Granny Block Bee 15, 10. Granny Block Bee 16, 11. Christmas Wonky Log Cabin 02, 12. Christmas Wonky Log Cabin 01, 13. Winged Square 01, 14. Winged Square 02 Corrected, 15. Frankenstein Complete, 16. Frankenstein Backing

I did, however, get a quilt done this month! And I made progress on two more, so I might have more finishes to show off for June. Speaking of which, I’m going to go sew, while there’s daylight.

Lily's Quilts