Finally Catching Up

20 02 2014

I promised this post a¬† bit ago, but then everyone in my house started falling ill. I’m sick for the second time in two weeks, but I don’t want to miss more work, because I have so much to do!

Sewing has been slow, mostly because sitting up without being feverish or dizzy has been a challenge ūüėõ

I did manage a few things last month, though…

I made up a mini-quilt, for Doll Quilt Swap 14:

Sweet Little Dream House
Paper-pieced, obviously. Those log cabin blocks finish at 2″ each, and the house was a 6″ block. My partner was amber_crawley, and I sent along a bunch of charm squares from my scraps stash. I didn’t think to photograph that.

I tried some new things with this mini-quilt: double layer of batting for some loft, and free motion quilting on my home machine. I used the Fabulous Fabric Glide (mentioned in my last post), and it made a huge difference! I’m excited to try FMQ with the Fabulous Fabric Glide and my new SewSlip.

I even remembered to piece in a label:

DQS14 Back
You can see how shaky the FMQ is from the backside, but I’m still pleased that it worked as well as it did.

I also managed to finished something that had been languishing a couple of months:

Plastic Bag Dispenser
Yeah, it’s a quilted plastic bag dispenser. I got really tired of the bag of bags we had, and how nasty it looked hanging in our hall, so I whipped up what was essentially a mini-quilt from my three-inch square scraps, added some fabric I hated to make the elasticized ends and handle, threw on a button, and was done. It could have been one of those ‘done in a day’ things, but I stopped before I put the handle and button on.

It sat for three months, just waiting for that handle and button.

Yes, I do know how sad that is.

Since I was sort of on a roll with finishing things, I decided that I’m not starting anything new until I wrap up all the WIPs I have all around my sewing area. The quilt tops count, too. I will probably spend the next year doing nothing but revisiting projects, but that’s all right.

As part of my new found resolution, I got out the paper-piecing foundations for Swirling Sea of Stars, and started working on blocks. I only actually finished one, but that’s okay. I’ve at least six in progress. They’re not really that slow to come together. I’m just trying to vary the prints used in each star.

Scrappy Star 20
So, one down, and I don’t know how many more to go. I’m going until it’s the ‘right’ size, whatever that is, or I run out of scraps. I’m thinking that it’ll get to the right size first.

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Scrappy Star Madness

8 06 2013

I spent Stitch ‘n’ Bitch today working on Swirling Sea of Stars. I was determined to see what it would look like, should I start putting rows together – so I put rows together. I had 16 blocks made today when I went in. When I finished today, I had 17 blocks done, and one more started. I also had put rows 1 and 2 together, getting a good start on the top.

I got home, and got ready to document my progress, when I realized that I’d managed to skip taking photos of several of the completed blocks… My last posted Scrappy Star to Flicker was #12. So I went back and got caught up on documentation.

Scrappy Star 13#13

Scrappy Star 14#14

Scrappy Star 15#15

Scrappy Star 16#16

Scrappy Star 17#17

Sadly (for myself) I actually had to refer to Flickr to determine which blocks I’d already taken pics of, and then do a lot of editing. Because, you know, they were already stitched into the top in progress.

Swirling Sea of Stars - In Progress 01

Swirling Sea of Stars - In Progress 02

Hubby came home and looked at this project, and made note of the fact that it’s very ‘loud’. I apparently don’t have a ‘color volume control’ in this hobby.





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





Swirling Sea of Stars

24 03 2013

Spinning Spider Web

I know! Another quilt design, and yet one more intended to help me do away with my scraps and stash. I have to admit that this particular idea has been swimming around in my brain for about six months, gestating until it was ready to spring forth fully formed, like Athena from the cranium of Zeus.

In cleaning my sewing space and reorganizing my fabric stash, I came across fabrics that had been purchased with the intention of becoming an Ironworks quilt. I generally try to make each pattern that Sandi makes public, because I think she’s awesomely creative with designing quilts, and because her designs allow me to try new things. Such was the intent with Ironworks – a purely solid quilt, something that I haven’t yet done.

It’s been a while, though, since I bought these fabrics, and I find that I’d really rather not make Ironworks, at least for now. Rather, I’m very much of a mind to continue the pursuit of eliminating my scraps and using what I have on hand.

The design above allows me to do both of these things. Approximately two yards of each solid will be needed, which is what I have on hand. Another 1.25 yards will be needed for the binding, according to EQ7. This too, is easily accomplished. Five fabrics were purchased for Ironworks, and four of them will be used in the body of the quilt top. I’ll simply use the fifth fabric for binding.

For the sake of accuracy, I’ll paper-piece these. I’ll also use these as a leaders and enders project, to keep from getting burned out on these, as I have with the scrappy blocks for Frankenstein.





Weekend Recap

2 10 2011

I’ve been a good little worker bee this last couple of days.

I picked my fabrics for the Test Your Skills Sampler. I designed my quilt top for the Modern Quilt Guild Kona Solids Only Challenge.

I even got some actual sewing in. I made the four 3″ nine patch blocks for TYSS, and half the large snowball/nine-patch block. I have to re-do the snowballs – my piecing was somehow inaccurate, and they didn’t match seams correctly with the nine-patch blocks. I’m anal enough that it just wasn’t acceptable, so I threw the boo-boos in the scrap basket. Since they’re just nine patches, I didn’t bother to photograph them. When I get a little further into the TYSS, I’ll post photos.

#071 Puss in the Corner
#071 Puss in the Corner

More fussy cutting, and that awesome Walmart fabric makes another appearance. Sadly, I even got anal retentive about how I cut the dots.

#093 Swallow
#093 Swallow

I deliberately went with lower contrast fabrics with this block. I have a lot of very dark, and a couple of very light, blocks. I need some middle ground to help keep the eye moving over the (eventual) quilt top.

Both prints are Walmart fabrics, and I’m still having some fun playing with fussy-cutting. I’ve determined that I would NEVER do it for a large quilt, but one off/sampler blocks, I’m okay with fussy-cutting.

I’ve also gone and pre-cut the fabric for another fix or six Farmer’s Wife blocks, so I’ll be ready for another round of sewing. I went through the book, did the quilt-y math and scribbled my own rotary cutting directions onto each page. I’ve also gone and denoted those that I feel need paper-piecing. In addition to those, I’ve found that there are a number of five by five grid blocks which would require me to cut things at 1/5 of an inch. The very idea makes my head hurt, so I’m going to be figuring out if I want to substitute blocks.

string_blocks

I have a ton of scraps, a good portion of which I reduced to strips about a year ago. My sampler projects aren’t helping the scrap situation much. Okay, not at all. I’ve been generating scraps far faster than I’ve been using them. I determined that it was time to start working on my strip quilt.

Sometime into one of the more recent batches of Farmer’s Wife blocks, I realized that I should just use the string blocks as my leader/ender project. *facepalm* Why didn’t I think of this before? These blocks would have gone so much faster!

Two days, nine blocks, one design and a bunch of pre-cutting done. It’s been a good weekend.