Friday, April 25, 2014

two quilt tops and some x and plus blocks

Here's my latest set of friendship x and plus blocks for Elizabeth of opquilt.com.


I made them while at retreat with the KCMQG a couple weekends ago. Carla of lollyquiltz did a lovely recap post on the  whole thing, if you hadn't already seen it you should go check it out. We all had such a great time. 


I had just gotten over the first trimester hump (that's right, I'm growing a baby!) which involved a lot of sleeping and laying around feeling useless. Bad headaches, too. But luckily no vomit so I think it went pretty well! Anyways I had lost my sewing mojo and this retreat gave me three whole days of it, which was fantastic. 


I finally assembled my 64 scrappy trip-along blocks into a quilt top, they'd only been sitting in a pile for a year. That's me on the right, the photo is blurry because I stole it off a friend on Instagram.


I also got my Acacia hst blocks put together. Although when I texted Jon the pic he replied "why is the bottom row upside down?" which made me laugh so hard because we'd all been lookin at it for hours and hadn't noticed. So I unpicked and put it back on the right way.

A big thanks to MO Star Quilt Company and the KCMQG for the amazing weekend, can't wait to do it again next year!

Friday, March 7, 2014

friendship x and plus swap, a Friday late!

We're supposed to blog about our swap blocks on the last Friday of every month, but I forgot and figure the first Friday is just as good! I'm a big fan of where Elizabeth (opquilt.com) and I have gotten so far.


I'm counting 38 blocks, which means we're just past the halfway mark. I keep trying to stay ahead of her but I'd better get busy because once spring semester ends and she's done with grading, she'll have them all finished in no time! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

dawn blossom in progress

I promised a dear IG friend months ago that I would test out a pattern for her when she finished drafting it. So that's what I'm up to! Started last weekend by pulling fabrics and starching, pressing, cutting... I got all the half square triangle and flying geese units sewn together and then let it sit for the week. 


So then this past weekend we were at Jon's parents' house and I pressed and trimmed the HSTs and geese, then sewed all the segments into blocks. At which point I debated on whether to go ahead with the table runner I had planned or turn it into a wall hanging instead. You see, the blocks turned out way bigger than I was imagining them in my head. Which is great, but also means the table runner will be way too big for our table, which is even smaller than the one it's pictured on below. 


So I think I'll end up doing the runner, but it will have to be sent down to my parents' house to live since they're the only ones with a table large enough to display it properly. I'm sure they'll be terribly disappointed, but parents were put here to make sacrifices for their children. 

More on this later when it's finished.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

sunday stash + birthday fun

Yesterday was my birthday so we stopped off at Missouri Star Quilt Company on our way to the inlaws' house. I only spent $17, can you believe it?! I have a LOT of fabric and don't really have room for more, but this shop in Hamilton, MO sure is fun to visit. They have a huge selection and beautiful antique quilts hanging all around.


Since 2013 was my year for stashing, I figure 2014 ought to be my year for slashing! With the #economyblockalong in full swing on Instagram, I started thinking about which hoarded fabric bundles I could use to play along. Any excuse to start something new, right?!


I posted this mosaic on IG and asked for feedback. Clockwise from top left: Dream On by Urban Chiks for Moda, Folk Modern by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka, some Civil War repros that I bought with Jon in mind (I love them, but he REALLY loves them) and Bake Sale by Lori Holt for Riley Blake. My goodness I got a lot of feedback! Surprisingly it was somewhat evenly split amongst the four.


Of course, after hemming and hawing and coming no closer to a decision, I ended up tucking those options back into my stash and pulling out my Flower Sugar by Lecien and the assortment of black and white prints I'd been building for an occasion such as this. 


So here's where I'm at, almost all the cutting done and can't wait to start playing with the pieces! I'm making a total of 64 12" blocks which will yield a 96" square quilt. Go big or go home!


In addition to the wee bit of fabric shopping, I received a 14" rotating cutting mat, a 24"x36" standard mat pictured previously (under all that glorious fabric) and this book by Denyse Schmidt which I've been lusting after for a while. The large mat will stay at my inlaws' house, since I'm always missing mine when we're here! 

All in all, it was a fabulous birthday and I feel super ├╝ber loved and spoiled! I guess getting older isn't so bad. Have a happy Sunday! :D

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

you know what's fun?

Fabric wrapped rope art! The kind where you take cotton clothesline rope, wrap it with those leftover fabric strips that are too thin to use but you just can't throw away, and sew together in coil fashion using a wide zig zag stitch. So easy, so useful, so fun!


I made several as last minute Christmas gifts last week and in all the mayhem didn't manage to take many photos! Blarg. I made a big basket with handles for my grandmother, it used 50ft of 3/8" rope, seen in progress below.


The wrapping with fabric part is a bit time consuming, so after a while I decided to play around with just the rope and some brightly colored thread. This worked great and was SO fast. Next time I'll try variegated thread an see how that looks.


I made some bowls and baskets in various sizes, including the one above filled with mini charm packs, which I kept for myself. I'm gearing up to make a table runner out of those 2.5" civil war repros, I've been having a thing for them lately.
 

I then switched gears to create a set of four coasters all cozied up in their own little carrying case. I think coaster sets may turn out to be a very quick and easy (and cheap!) handmade gifting staple in the the future. 


Also some batik wrapped trivets, because those are fun and easy and totally useful, too! Endless possibilities. I didn't have any trouble fitting the rope under my presser foot, but I did raise it up just a smidge by messing with the tension spring.

As far as rope goes, my first batch was from Westlake Ace Hardware, 50ft for about $8, which seemed steep. It has a poly core but it's mostly cotton and behaved beautifully when sewing. Then my husband got 100 ft lengths for $4 at Walmart, which felt like a steal! It doesn't look as nice unwrapped, but sews just as well. 

Also, Happy New Year! I'm too lazy to round up all my 2013 sewing projects into some kind of mosaic or video, I hope you don't mind. It was such a wonderful year for me, the best yet by far! Here's hoping this year is just as good or web better. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

a friday finish and some friendship blocks

Hi there! While many are catching up on sleep or tearing down their holiday decor, we're headed up to my gram's house for more Christmas festivities. I'm without a hand project for the car ride so I thought I'd blog instead.


First up, a finished quilt that was gifted to my in-laws for Christmas. Since I came into their lives nearly two years ago they've rarely seen me without fabric between my fingers. It's a common topic for teasing, I often hear things like "we always see you sewing, but where are all the quilts?" So last July I whipped up this quilt top according to Jeni Baker's Modern Plus tutorial, found at incolororder.com. I cut all the squares and determined a layout at home and then packed it up along with the featherweight and pieced it on the patio table with my husband's family all right there, none the wiser. 


It sat folded in a corner until a week ago when I decided it was crunch time! I pieced the back using the four yards of diagonal plaid from Michael Miller (bought on sale specifically for this purpose) and a little stripe of texty Sweetwater for a bit of flair. 


I free motion quilted it with a squiggly design on my mom's 1981 Riccar. The binding is a Denyse Schmidt print from one of her earlier DS Quilts lines at Joann's. I glue basted the binding, if you haven't tried it I highly recommend doing so! Sharon Schambers has a great YouTube video on it.


It was fun watching them open it up, I could tell they really love it! I even caught my MIL snapping photos of it in different positions on the couch. The best thing is I'll get to see it often as we visit my in-laws at least once a month. Yay! 


Ok now for my latest friendship x and plus swap blocks! Elizabeth and I are having so much fun with these and may even up our monthly goal of eight to something like ten or twelve! 


The scrappy look is really working for us so far! I'm really excited to eventually have a big quilt with such little pieces in it. And such a variety of fabrics. Love! 

Anyone can join in on the fun, just find a buddy, start swapping x and plus blocks, add photos to the flicker group and Instagram hashtag #friendshipxandplusswap and blog about your progress on the last Friday of every month!

Ok, about to lose cell signal, we're almost to gram's house out in the Iowan boonies! Hoping you all had a lovely Christmas and a wonderful weekend to follow. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

x and + friendship swap

Elizabeth of opquilt and I have been x and +ing along and I have to say I'm so pleased with how our "anything goes" scrappy approach is looking so far. Only five of these are my work, the others are from Elizabeth. She's making me look bad! 


These blocks aren't the quickest for me to put together but they certainly are fun. The key is to have a bunch of pieces all cut up and ready to go for when there's time to sew. That was my plan for the KCMQG sew day I went to a couple weeks ago, but instead I spent most of my time pressing and cutting! 

 

I borrowed a presser foot from the woman sitting behind me, also sewing x and + blocks on her featherweight. Turned out to be Carla of lollyquiltz! Go figure. I had no idea she was in the KC area. She and Susan of patchworknplay started the swap and it was so much fun working on the blocks with her. 


Right now Jon and I are in Phoenix, visiting my sister and her family. We packed light but I managed to bring a bazillion precut x and plus pieces just in case. Turns out there has been time to sew on my sister's machine, so my nieces and I have already made 12  blocks. Addie is keeping one to hang on her bedroom wall. It is so much fun to "corrupt" a future generation of quilters!


Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday (if you're in the states) and a great weekend coming up.
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