Sewing Fiend

16 11 2013

I’ve done a lot of sewing lately, especially today. I woke up at four o’clock this morning, for some weird reason, and then decided that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep again. So, I started sewing.

However, before we get to today’s sewing… Last week Saturday was Stitch ‘N’ Bitch. I brought softies to show, but also finished a softie dress:

Softie Dress

I love the fabric that I used in the skirt!

I also got most of the way through a Swoon block, but finished it up at home. I realized today, that each one of these blocks is taking almost an entire bobbin of thread.

Swoon 10

Yes, I’m being picky when I cut the center square. As much as possible, I’m fussy cutting.

Today, I completed two more Swoon blocks:

Swoon 11

Swoon 12

This puts me at twelve Swoon blocks. I now only need four more to have enough for my top. I’m seriously considering pushing through and trying to finish the top this weekend. The only trouble is that these blocks take freaking forever. There’s a lot of subunits to put together before I even get to piecing the block itself.

Once I’d hit that point, I decided I needed a break from Swoon blocks. I also remembered that it’s the middle of November, and that I need to make my swap blocks for this month. I completed the Granny Bee blocks for this month:

Granny Block Bee 35
Granny Block Bee 36

Suzy requested her blocks to be any color, as long as they were a solid. Easy enough, because I still had solids leftover from the The Farmer’s Wife Sampler.

Granny Block Bee 37

Granny Block Bee 38

Jodie requested blocks in two small prints, with the fabrics to be in high contrast. I might yet remake the green and pink one. Converting the photo to gray scale tells me there’s a value difference, but it’s not what I’d call high contrast.

We’ll see how I feel after I’ve taken a nap. As I write this, it’s 8:23 PM, and I’ve been up for sixteen hours. I don’t mind, and could probably make it a little longer, but I’m definitely drowsy. In fact, that nap sounds amazing! Here’s to that nap, and to getting a quilt top done this weekend.

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More Scrappy Stars

15 05 2013

I did manage to make some progress on the scrappy stars at Stitch ‘N’ Bitch on Saturday. I got a decent start on sixteen quadrants, or four stars. In order to add some variety to the string pool, I decided that whenever I cut from my yardage for another purpose, I need to cut a few strings for these blocks. It was a good call – I had very little in the way of lighter strings that weren’t a variation of acid green.

Gee, what do I buy a lot of? Yeah, acid green. Oh, and bright orange. And, weirdly, lately – pink. I’m not understanding that one, though it might be the prevalence of strong, fuschia-leaning pinks in the market right now. I’m very much about the stronger, purer tones.

Last night, I sat down and completed the sixteen quadrants, after having taken kiddo to the park for two hours. So, despite him not being the only one tired, I took advantage of his solid slumber and communed with Bessie. I finished up the quadrants, and got a solid start on sewing them together. Finally, it hit about 2:00 AM, and I had to admit defeat and head to bed myself.

The alarm went off at 6:00 AM this morning, and I decided to finish assembling those stars this morning. I managed to finish just as I had to leave for work, so I have four more scrappy star blocks, bringing me to twelve!

Scrappy Star 11

Scrappy Star 10

Scrappy Star 09

Scrappy Star 12





Making Progress

15 04 2013

It’s only been a little over a week since I was here last, but it feels a lot longer. Probably because I actually did very little in the way of sewing in those intervening eight days. And probably because I spent a god-awful lot of that time cutting scraps down.

I cannot find the right words with which to convey just how utterly sick of scrap management I am at this point.

Cutting Fool

So. Many. Freaking. Scraps.

Unfortunately, my current and next quilt top projects require scraps. Frankenstein needs an constant influx of incy wincy scraps, or that project goes nowhere. And I’m pretty sure that I’m giving Frankenstein away as a baby quilt, which means there’s a built in deadline. And Swirling Sea of Stars demands as many strings as I can produce. Expect to see some progress on that particular project soon – Stitched in Color is hosting String Fever, another scrap attack quilt along. No, I don’t really need to sign up for another quilt along, but it’ll give me the ‘oomph’ to get moving where I might otherwise not do so. Check out my sidebar for the linky.

All Together Now

Stitch ‘N’ Bitch was this past Saturday. I made seven more blocks for Frankenstein. I, once again, had enough incy wincy scraps to move forward with this project. That made eight loose blocks, as I’d had one hanging about. This brings me to 31 of the 40 scrappy blocks I need for this top. I can already foresee needing to dive into the scrap basket and managing the last of my scraps. No, really, I can almost see the bottom of my last scrap basket.

It’s kind of liberating, yet terrifying. Liberating, because I will no longer look at my fabric storage and see bins of crumbled scraps to which I only add. Terrifying because I will have thousands of pre-cut squares just ready and waiting for projects.

Obviously, I have ideas.

Even more obviously, I won’t be touching those ideas any time soon.

Quilting Up

I began quilting A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Lime and Cherry Baskets about a month ago. Then I took it off the table because I needed to make swap blocks. The sandwich didn’t make it back to the table until yesterday. I’m now nearly done with the outline stitching in each of the individual blocks. I have some straight line quilting to do, and then I will be using this top to practice my FMQ in the huge swaths of white background. I hate to delegate this top to a practice piece, but I look at it, and see how much progress I’ve made in the last few years, in accuracy and skill, and A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Lime and Cherry Baskets just doesn’t live up to my expectations of myself at this point in time.

But that’s all right. I’ll use this top to be a learning experience for myself, and find a good home for it in the near future. FMQ still remains high on my list of skills to master, and I have to have something to practice on ūüėČ





The Streak Continues

12 01 2013

Today was Bitch ‘n’ Stitch… A couple of regular attendees were recovering from the flu, making for a fairly quiet day. I buckled down with my sewing machine and made considerable progress on the Test Your Skills Sampler

Test Your Skills Sampler

Those of you who have followed my quilting exploits are now sporting quizzical expressions. “Huh? I thought you’ve been there, done that?”

Not so much, unfortunately. I set the project to the side, as I have with so many projects, and became distracted by other projects that were temporarily more shiny. Once I picked it up again, I discovered that my original fabric selections:

Final Fabric Selections

… wouldn’t quite work. That green print, the one third from the left? I don’t have quite enough of it. and I honestly never really liked the maroon print, though I wanted that color in this top.

So, I started looking for substitutes. I spent an absurd amount of time online looking for fabrics that matched my mental vision. I ended up being obsessed with strongly geometric and angular  tone-on-tone prints:

TYSS Fabric Choices

I went from a bare minimum of fabrics, to a wealth of choices. I’m horribly, desperately in love with these fabrics. I think I might have nearly the perfect storm of tone-on-tone prints here. Funnily enough (or not, if you know my buying habits), not one of these prints is the focus print of a fabric line. They are all the blenders of their respective lines.

From left, prints 1 – 4 are Mackinaw Island by Bernatex. Prints 5 and 6 are Simply Color, by Vanessa Christenson for Moda. Prints 7 and 8 are Blossom by Whistler Studio for Windham Fabrics. Prints 9 – 11 are City Girl by Kitty Yoshida for Benartex.

I think perhaps the only thing I am missing, from this selection, is a black print to add some needed depth. I have some prints in my stash that I think will work, but I need to locate them and audition them.

At any rate, I began piecing today, and kept on piecing:

Snowball & Nine Patch

Filler Blocks III

Filler Blocks I

Filler Blocks II

In addition to Bullseye…

Bullseye

…I’m actually further along with this sampler than I was previously. I’m also feeling driven to finish this, since I love the fabrics so much. We’ll see how much further along I get this weekend. I actually have a Sunday off, and I’m thinking about quilting up a top.





October Stitch ‘N’ Bitch

17 10 2012

October’s Stitch ‘N’ Bitch happened on the thirteenth this month – the weather was pretty ‘meh’, and there was just a small group of us this month.

This actually worked out well for me – I got three blocks done for the Botanical BOM:

Centennial TreeCentennial Tree

I was initially a little intimidated by this block, but then I stopped and really looked at it, breaking it down into its components. This is actually a really easy block to put together. It’s just the lower right hand corner that makes it look complicated.

Corn and BeansCorn and Beans

I love the yellow print I used in this block and the next. I’ll be more than a little sad when it’s all gone…

I’ve made a lot of sampler blocks lately (hello Farmer’s Wife), but I’ve rarely had to make blocks that are duplicated from project to project. Corn and Beans in a duplicate, though this is a slightly different variation from the one used in the Farmer’s Wife.

Jack in the PulpitJack in the Pulpit

This was a super easy block to put together – I haven’t trimmed it down yet, but I’m not going to worry about it just yet.

These three blocks put me at nine – my quilt plan needs seventeen blocks… Yay, halfway there! Now just to increase my production speed. I’m going to have to get lots of batting in the near future…