Progress!

17 11 2014

Night Sky Quilt Top

I finished putting the Night Sky quilt top together on Friday evening. By then, due to our shorter days, there was no light to take photos. I had some time before leaving for work today, so I quickly threw the quilt down onto the snow and ran back upstairs to take a photo over the balcony.

My neighbors must think I’m insane.

Granny Square Swap Top Start

In other news, I did manage some progress on the Granny Block top, using the swap blocks I’d received. I still have a lot more blocks to make, but I didn’t feel like digging through my stash last night for aquas, greens and greys. Instead, I dug out of my scrap bucket.

Because the blocks didn’t all trim down to the same size, I’m using the setting triangles to equalize them. The blocks are finishing at 12.5″.

I’m using greys and creams from the scrap bucket, or smaller yardage stash to do the setting – I don’t want to cut into larger pieces for this project until I’ve exhausted my supply of smaller pieces of fabric.

This is also the reason I haven’t yet pieced all of the blocks I need to make up the difference between what I have and what I need. I want to go through the scrap bucket first.

I have a lot of scraps, though.

Because I’ve been lazy, and not cutting them down immediately. Usually, I cut my scraps into 5″, 3″, and 2.5″ squares, and then into strips for quick strip-piecing.

I haven’t done that in a while, so I have a bucket full of pieces that need to be ironed and then cut down, and not just in the required colors. I’m going to buckle down over this evening and next, and focus on that.

And not just for this project. I like to have a scrap project or two going, to use up what I’m generating in scraps.

Yes, that means I started another project.

Another Scrappy Project

I’ve had this EQ7 project for ages, intended to use up the 5″ and 2.5″ squares that I have pre-cut. Since I’m going through my scraps anyway, and starching this batch of scraps (such a difference in how nicely it all cuts down!), I decided I ought to use up some of the solids yardage I have hanging around from deciding to NOT do a Dear Jane.

I bought 20 yards of an ecru colored solid, which I don’t regret. The fabric is a neutral color. I can use it in everything! I just need to use it.

Another Scrap Project

So, it’s become the background solid for blocks like this. Pictured above are actually two halves – I’m attempting to ensure that a fabric is not repeated in the same block. I’m also not letting myself fret too much over the inclusion of creams, and how they kind of disappear into the background fabric. It’s a scrap quilt!

I need to starch and iron a lot more yardage of this solid fabric, so I can start on the alternate blocks, which should use up a lot of what I have sitting around in scraps.

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Block Attack!

30 11 2013

I tackled my swap blocks last night and today, wanting to get them all out of the way. I’m only in the two block swaps for the moment: Fat Stash Bee and Granny Block Bee.

I’d received Svea P’s fabrics for her Fat Stash block very early this month – I just didn’t really have any drive to get them done. Bad me! So, I forced myself to start with her block, because hers was waiting the longest. Svea requested feathers from Anna Maria Horner’s pattern. I do have to admit that I really love the look of this pattern though I really kind of hate putting it together from templates.

Svea provided a lovely Essex linen for the background and Sketch in Chocolate for the spine of the feathers, and requested scrappy feathers. I have to admit that once I realized what she’d given me to work with, I was super excited. I’ve been wanting to try Essex linen in something, but was afraid to buy yardage in case I hated it. It was a pleasure to work with, and I loved the contrast in textures.

Svea provided enough linen to get through one feather block. I’d been hoping to squeeze enough out of her quarter yard to make two for her:

Feather 01
I sort of got carried away, and made several extra feather halves to contribute to the scrappiness of her quilt:

Feather Halves
Yeah, that was a lot of strip piecing there… Still, these are fun, and feathers might be making an appearance in a project soon.

From there, I moved onto Susan’s blocks for Fat Stash for December. She requested Windwill blocks, from a Moda Bake Shop pattern. I sort of ending up hating this pattern. It’s not that it’s not easy, because it is! It would just be a lot easier to do these blocks with Flying Geese subunits.

Susan requested blocks in “blues, greens, purples, grey, maybe some super mellow yellows”. Super easy for me to do, considering my stash:

Windmill 01
Windmill 02

Next up were Kelli’s blocks for Fat Stash for January. She’d sent her fabrics super early, to prevent any parcels from getting lost in the mail during the Christmas rush. Smart move! She sent us jelly roll strips of Seascapes by Deb Strain for Moda, and asked that we use a gray fabric for the background. She also asked us to follow piecing instructions for Origami Stars. There was enough fabric to do two blocks.

Origami Star 01
Origami Star 02

From there, I turned my attention to the Granny Block, which I was already caught up on. My thought was to see if December’s queens had posted their requests for this month. Then I realized that I was one of the queens for December. D’oh!

So, I quickly decided on my request for this month: chartreuse, aqua and gray blocks, with Kona White for the background. Then I made two blocks as an example:

Granny Block Bee 39
Granny Block Bee 40

So… that’s my last two days of sewing. I figure that’s a good way to wrap the end of November! Now, I’m off to make baked ziti and to celebrate kiddo’s sixth birthday!

That’s right! Six years ago today, Zebediah was born, at 11:50 PM. It’s been amazing to watch him grow and develop. I’m looking forward to many more birthdays to come!





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.





Slacking

30 09 2013

I’ve been slacking in the sewing department, something fierce. I just haven’t had the urge to sew, so I haven’t.

Buying fabric on the other hand… I’ve done a lot of that, and I really should take photos of this month’s purchases to shame myself into stopping. This retail therapy thing might be a little out of hand. Thank goodness we past the craziness of the start of the fall semester.

Anyway, I realized that it’s nearly the end of September, and that I needed to get moving on swap blocks, so I’m not behind for October. I’d been a little delayed, regardless, because I needed blues, desperately, and had placed an online order. Good thing I did, too, because one of the swap queens for October also requested blues.

Granny Block Bee 29

Granny Block Bee 30
Heather
requested the blue Granny blocks in September that sent me on my initial quest for blues. She wanted blues in lights, mediums and darks to be represented in each block.

Granny Block Bee 32

Granny Block Bee 31For October, Rachael requested blocks done in blue and green, inspired by Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane fabric line. As I said, I really needed those blues that I ordered.

Maple Leaf

Jacqueline requested Maple Leaf blocks to celebrate the changing of seasons into fall, and provided fat quarters of autumn-ish fabrics. I whipped up the above block with the fabric she provided.

I still owe one block for September, and at least one request for October to fill, now that the the queen for that month has sent her fabrics out. I’m hoping to get through those by the end of this week. We’ll see if I can keep my momentum up, now that I’ve actually sat in front of the sewing machine.





Some Sewing, Finally

15 09 2013

I’ve managed a little sewing today: some hand-quilting and a couple of swap blocks.

Hand Quilting

Every time I pick up this quilt to work on it, I keep telling myself to remember that it only takes about an hour per block. I could feasibly have this thing done in a month, if I just remember to work on it, a little at a time. I might take it back and forth to work, to quilt on the commute, but I don’t want it to get filthy.

Granny Block Bee 27

Granny Block Bee 28
Olivia
requested blocks in orange, grey and blue. The orange and grey were easy for me – the blue, not so much. While I do have some 2.5″ squares pre-cut in blue, it’s really just a few of each fabric. Coming up with enough for these blocks was actually something of a challenge. As I’ve said on this blog before, I just don’t buy blue.

Which means that I’m actually delayed in making the other two blocks for this month in the Granny Block Bee. The other September queen requested blues. *headdesk*

I placed an order with fabric.com today. At least I won’t be without blue anymore?





July Swap Blocks

22 07 2013

I’ve been avoiding projects that are already in progress. I know I need to work on them, but I’m just too lazy to remove hundreds of pins from a sandwich to add necessary inches to the backing. So, I hit a brief period of stagnation once again, with the exception of swap blocks.

Granny Bee Block 23

Granny Bee Block 24

Patricia was our sole queen for July in the Granny Block Bee, due to another member needing to leave. She requested Granny Blocks using the colors turquoise, yellow, green and gray. Shortly after I completed my blocks, Patricia, too, needed to leave the Bee. Since my blocks are done, I’m sending them anyway. Hopefully they’ll bring Patricia a little cheer while she deals with everything life has thrown at her recently.

Because Patricia dropped out early enough in July, our August queens in the Granny Block Bee stepped forward with their requests for the month. I’ve finished those blocks already:

Granny Bee Block 26

Granny Block Bee 25

Julianne requested blocks using aqua, teal, mustard, dark orange, chartreuse, navy blue and red, with medium/dark gray as the background. She was inspired the this Granny Square Quilt, which used Malka Dubrawsky fabrics. I dug into my stash, looking for more modern prints to match the inspiration quilt.

Granny Bee Block 27

Granny Block Bee 28

Sara requested yellow, yellow and more yellow! Nice and easy, as I finally got over my stagnation hump and started cutting blocks for a Granny Block top of my own (more on that later).

So that did it for the Granny Block Bee for June and August, which is really nice. I don’t have to worry about that swap next month, unless the September queens are asked to step forward. I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind if they do.

Next up are my blocks for the Fat Stash Bee. This has been a fun swap to be in. I’ve been challenged quite a bit with this swap, to think outside of my comfortable little box. This month I was challenged to work with text print fabrics, not once, but twice! The first time was for Jane, who’d requested wonky cross blocks, using a solid, or read-as-solid, red for the crosses.

Wonky Cross 01

Wonky Cross 02

Wonky Cross 03

Wonky Cross 04

I’ll be honest. I had two challenges here – wonky and text prints. I’ve never really gotten the whole text print thing – I didn’t even own any before this month.

Due to Jane’s distance from the rest of us, being in Australia, it was cheaper for her to order half yard cuts and have them shipping directly to us. She requested two to four blocks from each of us. I made four, because, well, it’s a text print, and I want Jane to get as much of that fabric back as possible. I will probably even send her the leftovers.

Speaking Stars 01

Speaking Stars 02

July’s request for the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap made me squee a little with giddiness, because I’m a total quilt dork 🙂 Janine asked me if she could use my templates for Swirling Sea of Stars – which just made me super excited to see what she wanted to do with it. I’m even more excited now that I’ve seen her take on it – her blocks are so very different from mine! Janine requested text prints, with white and cream solids for the web portion, and solids for the stars.

I had Kona White and Kona Snow on hand, so that was super easy. What I did not have were the text prints… eBay to the rescue! I bought a bundle of fat quarters of text prints. I used what I needed, and now have a bunch leftover. I have to figure out what to do with them. I’m seeing some swaps or give-aways in my future.

Linking up to Plum and June’s Let’s Get Acquainted Monday Link Up.





June Swap Blocks, Part 1

11 06 2013

June got off to a very strong start, in getting my swap blocks out of the way. Then, of course, distractions occurred, so I ended up behind, at least to my mental calendar.

As usual, I started off by producing the blocks for my Granny Block Bee, as those are super quick to go together. Lisa requested blocks to be made into a quilt for her daughter, to include shades of grey (including black) and coral. Grey isn’t a problem in my stash. Coral was… interesting. However, I did persevere, and found two fabrics that I thought worked well as coral. In her second block, I used a favorite plaid.

Granny Block Bee 17

Granny Block Bee 18
Also for the Granny Block Bee, Celine requested blocks with specific color combinations with a solid grey background fabric. I selected Green/Orange and Yellow/Aqua, and went about my blocks, happily:

Granny Block Bee 20

Granny Block Bee 19
Why, yes, those would be WHITE backgrounds.

*headdesk*

I managed to completely skip the word ‘grey’ the first time round. Ah, well. Round two:

Granny Block Bee 21

Granny Block Bee 21-001

That all ironed out, literally and figuratively, I moved on to my Fat Stash Bee block for the month of June. Shelia sent me a strawberry print, C3142 of Sweetcakes by Doodlebug Design Inc., for Riley Blake. She requested tea timed themed blocks. I went looking for a pattern, and Shelia had made a number of the available paper-piecing patterns out there as an illustration of what she was looking for. I didn’t want to overlap, and didn’t find much else out there, so I drew my own block up in EQ7:

The Jammy Dodger Block

I’m a Doctor Who fan, and was introduced to jammy dodgers through that television series. I had to include jammy dodgers in my block. It took me about two hours to draw the block in EQ7. Little did I know that this would be the QUICK part.

The Jammy Dodger Block
It took me about five hours of piecing to get this block together. And, silly me, I didn’t think about how many seams there would be in the jammy dodger leaning on its stacked brethren. I’m a little amazed that it’s laying as flat as it is. Thank goodness for irons and steam. I also managed to make a mistake in my own pattern, so the handle sits higher than I planned. However, NOT going back.

Still, I’ve still a bunch of Shelia’s fabric left over, so I’m thinking about making a second block for her. I purchased a PDF pattern, and just need to print it tomorrow.

That leaves only the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! block to make for the month of June. I also need to print the templates for that, and then I will be done for the month of June. Then, it’s back to scrappy stars!