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