Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May already?

I can't believe May is almost over.  I have been so busy I haven't even blogged since April.  I only completed 1/5 of my April goals, so I am working on the same goals for May.  I haven't even had much time to turn on the sewing machine.

Sometimes life takes you in a different direction.  I started a Facebook page to promote my new fabrics and interesting color combinations.  You can view my page by either searching for "Patchwork Playground" in the search box.  You don't even need a Facebook account to do this.  If you would like to see my stuff on your news feed, simply click the like button.  I have started vending at some local quilt retreats.  I really enjoy getting out and meeting new people and helping people pick great fabrics.  I mostly sell Moda fabrics and pre-cuts, but I carry a few bolts from other companies.

I am going to try to keep up with both pages, but when life gets busy, it is much easier to do a Facebook post than type a blog entry.

I did manage to make a few boxy bags to showcase some of my fabrics.  The pattern is Mallory's Big Box from This 'n That.  I wanted to showcase some of my more modern fabrics with traditional ones in the first box.

The second box was to showoff some fun fabrics.  I love the asterisks for the lining.  It was the perfect choice.

If I will try to post more regularly in the summer, but if you are looking for me, you can stop over to Facebook also.  


Until next time, keep on stitching!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April Goals and March achievements

Where have I been?  It was spring break for my kids and we did our first road trip.  I will post more about this later in the week after I get caught up a bit.

How did I do with my March goals.  I quilted several customer quilts, I bound all my January projects, and I am continuing to work on cutting and organizing my scraps.    I made a few more blocks for my blue quilt, but I still have more to go.  I also did not start my t-shirt quilt yet (yes, I know....I am dragging my feet on this one).

April Goals will remain similar to previous months- 
  1. Quilt 2 customer quilts 
  2. Quilt one of my quilts from the UFO parade (it is feeling so great to finish these)
  3. Work on the t-shirt quilt (really I am going to do it this month)
  4. Continue to cut and organize scraps
  5. Make and attach a hanging sleeve for the green log cabin quilt that I finished
Having been on vacation, I haven't been in the studio for more than 10 days.  I am looking forward to a little sewing time in the near future.  I am missing my fabric fondling.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Focus

Normally I like to do a post on what I finished during the week, but I haven't had time to turn my machine on until today.

I am just smitten with the Quick Curve Ruler.  I used the ruler to make these pumpkins.  I wanted to try another pattern to see if it was easy also.  I looked through the book, then I settled on one of the free patterns from Jenny's blog.  Way back when, our quilt group was going to give the poinsettia pattern a try but never did.

I can say that it was really simple too!  The hardest part with these blocks is trimming them up.  It really isn't hard, but I can never figure out which way to put the ruler on the block.  It seems really silly, but I swear I have to turn the ruler 4 or 5 times before I get it right.  Being a leftie, I am sometimes challenged in the rightie world.  This is not my normal color range, but I am enjoying playing with the softer colors.  This is likely to become another pillow.  It will finish at 20"

Do you see those little bits of color behind the block?  You need to look really close.....

 I couldn't tease you and then not show.  These are the new bolts that just arrived.

 I have been tied up most of the week with serving shift dinners for my family. Delaney at 5:00, Gavin at 6:00, Mason and Estelle at 6:30 and be at the play at 7:00. That makes for a crazy evening!

My son, Gavin is one of the brothers in the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I am proud of him for his hard work in learning all the steps and the songs. He is doing a great job.

My host daughter is not in the play, but the other 2 exchange students are.  This is their first experience being on stage and they are doing an excellent job (especially since English is not their first language)

The beauty on the left is from the Czech Republic, and the one on the right is from Germany.

Tonight is the last performance so I will be going to support them.  Delaney is in the choir and is doing a great job.  All the sets are really amazing.

Saturday is a wrestling day, but maybe Sunday I can have some sewing moments.

Monday, March 16, 2015

DWM - Something New to show

I had hoped to work on my blue/brown/green strip stack quilt this weekend, but I still didn't have my 1/4" foot.  I don't like to work on a quilt with more than one machine, so I went with a different project.  I bound two quilts and passed them along to a friend for hand work (thank you, thank you)

This isn't actually new, it is on the UFO list from last year.  It is the canned pears pattern from Fig Tree.  Beware that if you make it larger, your columns will be different lengths.  I put it away last year because I didn't want to deal with how to make them even last year.  It is now in one piece and I have the tiny 4 patches for the checkerboard done also.  It feels great to have this one down to the borders.  Since I made it bigger, I need to figure out what size to make the inner border so that the pieced border will fit.  Time to turn on my math brain again.

My group also played with the quick curve ruler.  I don't live in the Southern Hemisphere, so it is a little out of season.  Several people from the group made pumpkins.  Mine are the tall skinny ones in the middle of the bottom and the fat ones on the lower left.  A few of Ellen's beads also made it into the photo along with pumpkins from the other members.
I really enjoyed using the ruler and I can see me making more projects.  The instructions were easy to understand and the curves were easy to sew.  I love how all the pumpkins turned out so differently.  

I hope to do a little quilting this week and maybe sew a few more strip stack blocks.  My new feet for my machine arrived on Saturday.  Life is too short to spend it looking for lost items (especially ones that can be replaced so easily).

It won't be long and my flowers should be popping up from the long winter rest.

Stop over to Judy's to see what others are working on.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bring it on Mr. Winter!

I know almost everyone is sick of snow, but I say "Bring it on!"  Another snow day today = more quilting time for me!  I quilted a UFO, and that wasn't even on my goal list.

I actually finished another quilt from the UFO mountain.  I may have even finished mine before some others in the group (like Ellen).  This has never happened before.  These are the blocks from the Lewis and Clark sampler that I taught many years ago.  I added the alternate blocks and set it on point.  I will take some better pictures once the weather isn't so gloomy.  

I mentioned in yesterdays post that I have been doing a fair amount of running for my kids.  Along with show choir, I get to watch my son wrestle.  It is a really hard sport for me to watch.  I am told that I make quite the funny facial expressions.  I don't think bodies are supposed to bend like they do in wrestling.  This is my son getting a pin last night.  I am quite certain my neck would be broken if I twisted it like that.  

Is it too much to ask for a fog delay tomorrow?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday - How can that be?

and...how can it be March already?

I have nothing new to show on my design wall.  It looks exactly the same as in my last post.  I have wrestling and show choir going on.

My DH had a problem with materials on a job so he switched gears and put the flooring in the boys room.  It went very well until the very end.  We are one board X 21" short.  That is the way projects always work out at my house.  We had to go buy another box of flooring for that 4" X 21" piece.  UGH!

Since the flooring was essentially done, that pushed me to get the paining finished.  I had the base coat of taupe on the walls, but I didn't get the stripes or the accent wall complete.  I looked at several tutorials on stripes, and I am pleased with how well they turned out.  I also managed to get the accent wall painted (sorry about the turned photo).  It is the dark blue.  The best part is both boys like the colors and the flooring.  Once we get them moved back into their room, we can work on the last bedroom that needs attention.  

I quilted 2 customer this weekend.  I quilted both of them with the pantograph popcorn.  I think it is the perfect choice of pattern.  It is funny that I received two different quilts with basically the same colors.  It made the thread choice really easy!

It feels good to check something off my March goal list so early in the month.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Monthly Recap and March Goals

Judy reminded me yesterday that she needed a little inspiration on my blog.  I haven't posted because I haven't really done much sewing lately (besides at the retreat).  I had hoped to make a little more progress on my projects this month.  I was 2 out of 5 for my goals this month.  I am going to focus on the positives

I finished one quilt from the UFO parade.  I managed to get it quilted.  I have no idea what that shadow in the middle of the quilt is, but trust me I do not have a big stain on the quilt.
I did play with the blue scraps.  I also added a little brown and green.  This quilt will be 5 blocks long.  I am about 1/3 the way done with the blocks.  I have lots of pieces ready to put together.  

I am moving my other 3 goals that I did not complete to March.  
  1. Quilt 2 customer quilts (they are ready to go!)
  2. Bind my projects from January- binding is picked and ready to be made.
  3. Work on the t-shirt quilt
  4. Finish the blocks for the blue quilt
  5. Continue to work on my scrap-cut-a-thon.  I have 6 of the bakery trays lined with scraps. Instead of using these trays for projects, they have been filled with scraps.  It's time to cut them up and get them ready to sew.

It's hard to believe, but I have made a lot of progress in cutting my scraps this month.  In the process, I think I have cutting stations in almost every room of the house.  I don't think my family (mostly my husband) is a huge fan of my big messes.  Feel free to grab a scrap bag and cut along with me.

I have learned one thing about my scrap storage system.  I don't mix brights with other colors (country or reproduction) in projects.  I now have a bin for brights.  It is easier to merge these brights with the more muted colors if I need to than to sort them out.  I generally don't make a bright quilt with only one color, so I am going to let all my brights live happily together.

I am not cutting for a specific project, however, I have another pixelated project planned and also kitting together greens and neutrals for a Carolina Chain.  I love this quilt set on point.  It is a great scrap quilt as it takes 6" (3X 2" squares) or 11" (2X 2" square and a 2X3 1/2")  of fabric.  Since I just finished my log cabin quilt with 2" strips, and my blue/brown/green quilt is with 2" strips...I have plenty of leftover pieces.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I had a retreat last weekend so I made some progress.  I finished my Valentine's pillow.  It was started and finished in the same year.  So far I am really happy with how my pillow form turned out.  I anxious to see how well the fluff of it holds up.  Those poly filled pillow forms from Joann's just don't keep their shape.  My family can flatten them in no time.

I put the bindings on two log cabin quilts and sent them home with a friend for hand stitching.  It is good to not have them on the final step.

I made several more blocks for my February blue project.  I admit that these are taking longer than I thought, but I am enjoying working with the scraps.  It feels great to use some of my fabrics that I have been accumulating.  I actually had to dip into my fat quarters from more of the dark blues.  I have about 1/3 of the blocks done.  I am making this for a gentleman that has been helping our family out.  I think it has a masculine feel.

Despite the weather conditions, we had a great turn out for the retreat.  It was nice to hear so much chatter and socialization.

Stop over to Judy's to see what others are working on this week.

This week I hope to make 10 more blocks and quilt one quilt.  Stop back on Wednesday to see if I am making any progress.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mid-Week progress (WIP Wednesday)

I have continued to work on my blue scrap project this week.  I cut all the dark-ish blue from the blue scrap drawer.  It still won't close without force.  I was nearly certain I had plenty of pieces cut.  When I sewed them all I had enough pieces for this many blocks.  This pattern is a size modified quilt from the book Stripology.
I calculated that  I need at least 36 blocks (9 across and 4 down).  A large part of these will be half blocks, but they will take the same number of pieces.

I didn't have nearly as many pieces as I thought, so I dug a little deeper.    
I went through my 2" strip drawer and pulled out a lot more strips.  Then I started thinking about my log cabin quilt in the country colors and I remembered I had lots of left over country color 2" pieces.  That led me to dig through a few other containers with leftover pieces.  

I was a little nervous how the scrappy background would work, but I think it adds a lot of warmth and charm.It also uses a lot of pieces that I have laying around.

In looking at my blocks on the design wall, I think I need to add more brown.  After I made my sample blocks  (upper left) I decided I wanted more blue and less of the brown in green.  Now that I have a lot of blocks made, I think I need to add more of the brown.  

I am enjoying my new projects and playing with my (and other people's) scraps.

So I am back to ironing and cutting more pieces from this mess.  I don't think this will be enough pieces, so I plan to sort through some more fabric in my fat quarter containers.

In the process of looking for more scraps,  I was able to empty so more containers- quite a few actually.  Most of these contained the leftover parts of quilts that are now ready to quilt.  It is pretty exciting for me to see empty containers in my studio.  The snap lock container is the perfect height for fat quarters, however, it didn't work for me.  I just have too many (yes, it was painful to admit that).  I have sworn off fat quarters for the next several years unless I need them for a specific project.  I moved my fat quarters to a bigger container where I hope to start using them.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I had hoped for a little more progress in my studio this weekend, but I decided I better get painting in the boys room.  They selected a great taupe color for the main walls.  Nothing can be that simple, so they want stripes.  I love the background color so much that I bought extra so I can do some painting at the cabin.

I did manage to tackle my mountain of batting scraps.  I wish I had taken a picture of what I started with.  I was shocked at how much I had when I dug it out of every nook and cranny that I had tucked it into.  I ended up getting everything shredded and stuffed into pillows that I made.  I was pleasantly surprised on how much stuffing it took to fill my 25" pillows.  I was able to get 3 pillow forms made.  I hope my batting keeps my pillows nice and firm.  I think I finally have my batting scraps under control an organized.  The red tub has a some poly stuffing and the rest of the batting scraps are labeled and have size tags attached.

On my goal list for February was to play with blue scraps.  Deb keeps teasing me by showing her blue and brown quilt.  I decided I would play with my blue scraps and make a similar quilt.  I am adding a little green to my color scheme.  I am glad I made a sample block because my math brain was not turned on correctly when I cut out the first block.  Most of my blue scraps were either 2 1/4" or 2", so I wanted to use 2" bricks.  I was able to re-figure the block and make it correctly the second time around.  The incorrect block (the one on the top) will be a perfect addition to the quilt backing so it won't go to waste.  I am wondering how many blue scrap projects I will need to do before the drawer shuts without a lot of force.

I have quite a ways to go on my February goals, so I need to get busy.  I need to get my projects organized for my retreat this weekend so I can utilize my sewing time.  Ahhh therapy!

Stop over at Patchwork Times to see what others are working on this week.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exciting Finishes

I am excited that these 4 projects that I started in January did not make it to the UFO list.  I am predicting that they may even get finished in the same year they were started in.  At my house, that doesn't happen very often!

Thank you Mr. Snowman!  I am enjoying my vacation days where I am stuck at home.  Now if I could just get a chef and a house cleaner to be snowed in with me too.

I have blogged about this pixelated heart a couple of times.  It was so much fun to make.  When I went to quilt this, I browsed all my pins on quilting ideas.  I was really inspired by this
quilting design.  I adapted hearts pull it all together.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I went with a light pink thread on this project.  It will be made into a pillow (hopefully before Valentines day.

This is the first of the 4 projects I quilted.  I didn't have any medium pink, so I used a fuchsia thread.  I don't really like the way it looks, but I am not going to change it.  I don't sew with pink very often, so it was no surprise that I don't have a lot of pink threads in my collection.

Next up for quilting is this quilt that I put together last February.  I hope to have a mountain of things to bind at my group's February retreat!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Design Wall Monday

Mostly my wall is empty, but I put up the next piecing project that I hope to work on this week.  I have a considerable number of UFOs ready to quilt, so I hope to work on that this week too.

My Swoon blocks have made it out of the box this week.  I had this idea to sash them with something other than the background color in hopes to make them not quite so pink.  I just put random squares on the design wall to see how it would look.  I am not thrilled with it, but maybe this will spark another idea.

I managed to quilt one of my Valentine's runners yesterday,  I did a simple freehand design of hearts on it.  I wanted a little bit lighter thread, but I didn't have it.

1 Red project quilted, 3 more to go.  

I am linking up with Judy for Design Wall Monday. Stop over and see what others are working on this week.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hello February!

I always seem so motivated after Christmas is over and I do the UFO parade.  Perhaps it is because all those projects are no longer hidden in the cracks and crevices of my studio.  They hit me square across the face and stare at me.  With the amount of UFOs I have, it is more like a brick in the face.

I did well on my January goals.  I have the 4 red projects ready to quilt with the backings made.  I quilted 3 UFOs from the list (2 nested churn dash blocks, country log cabin quilt, and my green log cabin quilt).  I put together 2 charity quilts and the backings (not on the goal list).  I have my blues organized for February, but I haven't picked a project for them yet.

It's time to put my list in writing for February.

  1. Start a commissioned t-shirt quilt
  2. Quilt 2 customer quilts
  3. Finish one UFO from the parade
  4. Play with my blue scraps
  5. Bind the projects that were completed in January

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday.

I am still moving slow and steady.  Limp, Limp... I am able to put a little more weight on my ankle every day.

I was able to get the border on this quilt and I am working on piecing the backing from the leftovers.  There comes a point and time when I don't want to look at certain fabrics anymore!  This is when I get really creative and find a way to use them up on the back.

Hopefully I can get the backing finished this week and be able to stand long enough to quilt this weekend.

Yeah another flimsy!  It looks like I need to look at the UFO parade for something else to work on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slow Moving

Since my ankle incident, I am slow moving.  I can only stand for short periods of time and my movements aren't very fluid.  I didn't have a project all cut out and ready to sew besides this charity quilt.  Tina came over on Sunday to be my pressing slave.  She was so patient with my lack of speed.  I was able to get the rows all sewn together and ready for borders.

I have made further progress today by cutting the borders and positioning them so I can get them sewn together.  Perhaps I will have a flimsy by Friday.  This was a charity kit that I made up years ago from scraps that I had on hand.  It goes together really quickly and it is a fun design.  I think I would like to make a larger version and omit the borders.  With the borders, this is a perfect lap size quilt.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Unexpected Event

I had lots of quilting planned for this weekend until I experienced an expected event.  It was certainly an act of gracefulness.  While taking a walk I rolled my ankle on a section of sidewalk that had been partially removed.  I experienced quite a roll as I tumbled to the ground.  I now have a beautiful elephant ankle that is all sorts of pretty colors.  Yesterday was spent icing and elevating.

I managed to put together a quilt top for charity.  These blocks have lived with me for many years.  It was a group project where everyone brought in a fat quarter of his/her ugliest fabric.  We swapped these fabrics and everyone made the same block (or mostly the same).  It was a great way to experiment with color.  Many used the Joen Wolfrum Color Tool  .  I made several blocks because I thought it was a great exercise.  Besides - I didn't want any of the fabric I received to remain in my stash.

I had enough blocks, that I sorted them,  The first 12 blocks were mostly dark and country fabrics,  I had the perfect sashing and border fabric in my stash.  Can you spot which fabrics were deemed the ugly fabric in the blocks.

 This is the second set of blocks.  I don't have them together yet, but I plan to put this set together without sashing and make a baby quilt version.

I plan to get these together this week and work on a few more UFOs.

Does anyone recognize the block they made?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Finishes

It's pretty exciting for me, but I have some finishes to report (due solely to the school cancellation).  I have also been sneaking little bits of time in the evening in the studio.  After some major cleaning and putting things away, I can find my sewing surfaces.

I quilted my curvy log cabin this week (I love the cute photo bomb).  I did a simple all over feather design.  When I got to the bottom, I realized I had some leftover backing.

Since I just updated my UFO parade, I was able to find the perfect projects to use up the backing.  These were intended to be pillows, so it really didn't matter what the backing fabric was.  They are my 24" nested churn dash blocks.  I love this pattern so much.  I can see making it into a bed quilt easily.  I may use one block for a pillow and the other for a wall hanging.  I really haven't decided yet.

This would be my first finish(s) of the year.

I have a busy weekend of painting and helping with household repairs, but I hope to sneak in a little more sewing time.

Monday, January 19, 2015

In the Studio again

I had a fabulous weekend in the studio.  I spent most of the weekend cleaning so there was a path.  I can now walk around all obstacles!  Finishing more UFOs will certainly give me more space.

I had to find my cutting table so I could start working my January plan.  On the list was to finish the 4 red projects I started- 3 table runners and a pillow.  I have them all put together, I just need to get them quilted and bound.  These projects made a big dent in my little bits of fabric.  I plan to make more of them from the Stripology book this year.  These projects did NOT make a dent in my red/pink scraps.  It looks like I have more red/pink projects in my future.

I even found some great backing fabrics finish them off.  The fabric on the heart will be the backing to the pillow.

I plan to get these quilted with something quick this weekend.

I looked through my blue scraps (not nearly as many as I thought) and picked a project.  

I still need to quilt one UFO this month.  I have plenty to pick from here.

I hope to squeeze in some more studio time this week along with helping my hubby work on projects.

Stop over to Patchwork Times to see what others are working on this week.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The January Plan

The UFO parade helped to "organize" my massive amount of projects under way.  For January I have a few goals (yes, I know the month is more than half over)
  1. finish the red/pink projects that I started (4 to be exact)
  2. Quilt one UFO from the list.
  3. Start to organize my blue scraps and pick some projects for February to start.  
That seem pretty reasonable.  I am trying to limit myself to smaller projects so I can complete them easier.  This worked pretty well last year.  I need some new things to keep the old things fun and interesting.

Because post without pictures are just boring, I will show you pictures of my half done red/pink projects (heart pillow, 3 runners).  Both the runner patterns are from the Stripology book.  The back ground is a white with little pink dots from the hello Petal Collection of fabric.  It is a great background.

Friday, January 16, 2015

UFO parade (Part 3)

Partially Pieced

Most of these are the ones that were "left behind" last year.  There are a few new ones, but most of these are old ones that I neglected to work on.  These are the ones that take up the most space because there are still a lot of parts to keep track of.

1.  a few postage stamp blocks.  I am in no hurry to finish this one.

2.  Raggy brick quilt.  I couldn't find the project to take a new photo.  I know it is in my studio somewhere.

3.  These didn't move out of the container either  Since all the blocks are already quilted, this would be a quick finish.

4.  This is Bonnie's tobacco road pattern with the pieces larger.  I hope to get this into at least flimsy stage.

 5.  This is Bonnie's quilt Easy Street.  I cut the pieces in 2014 and I started piecing the blocks.  I love the colors so I hope to finish it in 2015.

6.  This is canned pears from Fig tree.  I love this quilt.  I have the columns done...but...If you go larger, the columns aren't the same size.  I just need to figure this out and piece the checkerboard border.


7.  This is another project I intend to work on this year.  I did get it out to make calculations on what I needed to do to finish.   I wanted to use it for leader-enders but my foot has an edge guide.  I can't sew corner to corner with this on.

 8 and 9.  Lots of Christmas sampler blocks.  Lots and lots.

10.  This is an oldie.  I am not sure if I will ever finish it.  I no longer have a relationship with the person I started to make the quilt for.  This certainly put out the fire to finish it.

11.  This is Roll, Roll Cotton Bowl (another Bonnie mystery).  All the units are done, but I haven't started assembly.

12.  This is the Orca Bay mystery from Bonnie.  I only have the triangle string blocks to finish.  My sister assembled hers in 2014 and it is amazing.  I will make some progress on this quilt in 2015, but probably not a finish.

13.  Ellen advised me to pitch this version of swoon, but I think it will be a colorful picnic blanket.  I didn't intend for it to be so pink, but WOW!  I have plenty of pink for the sashing as the pattern is written.  I am wondering if I should use scraps of other colors to tone it down.

14. I have 2 nested churn dash blocks (love that pattern by the way)
15.  I have a LOT of Farmer's Wife blocks.
16.  Grand Illusion Mystery from Bonnie 2014- I have decided to go with the solid sashing. The checkerboard wasn't working for me.  Perhaps it was just the colors I chose.  I may go with 2 1/2" sashing strips with a 4 patch in the middle.  I haven't auditioned it yet.

 17. Love these country scrappy blocks.  I have tons and tons of them finished.  I am not sure why I never put them together.

 18.  These blocks from the ugly fabric challenge have not been finished into a quilt either.  I love how differently they all look.

 19 and 20.  This wall hanging is put together, but I am leaving this on the post with all the blocks because she has a brother that is not put together.

  21.  This is the current project on my design wall.  It is Jaybird Quilts Hugs and Kisses pattern.  I made it with a Christmas jelly roll and a few extra scraps.  I hope to get the block together so I can take it down off the wall.

I hope this is the end of the parade.  I have found some other quilts ("additions") and I edited Part 1 and Part 2.  I have to admit I was a little depressed when the total list climbed over 50.  In an effort to keep my studio organized, I increased my goal of finishes for the year.

The happy part of this story- there are only a few quilts on the partially pieced list that I started last year.  That means fewer stalled projects!!  I may not have gotten them all quilted, but at least they are put together.

I hope you enjoyed my colorful quilt parade.  Hopefully I will have a few less to report next year.