Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week 8

I really have to stop working on my UFOs (not).  They are causing me to spend money and add to my stash.

I really had no idea how much more fabric a king-size quilt takes.  I was short on variety for black-on-white fabrics for my Easy Street once again, and I think everyone else in town must be too.  There was hardly anything available at my LQS, Hamels.  They are bringing more in because there are a lot of Easy Street and Lazy Sunday (Bonnie's newest mystery quilt in Quiltmaker magazine) going on, but I don't want to wait, I only have 15 Block A's left to do.  I told them they need to start a Bonnie Hunter club (or maybe I should!).
No finishes, but some good progress on some UFOs - I'll be doing updates on those this week, both here and on my UFO page.
Used since last report: 0 metres
Used Year to Date: 9 metres
Added this week: 8.75 metres
Added Year to Date: 35.25 metres
Net Used/Added for 2013: 26.25 metres
Now on to my purchases!
I got to IKEA this week, and check out their fabric selection.  I've browsed it before but didn't really look at it too close, but wow - I have really been missing something.

(image from IKEA website)
I got the backing for my daughter's Easy Street.  Because it was 150 cm wide (60"), I was able to get away with buying 6 metres - enough to piece a back 120" x 120", perfect for my king-size quilt.  The best part - only $2.99/metre for a total of $18 for the backing.
In addition to the black-on-whites, I picked up this cute little bundle of orange and yellow Fat 1/8's and a Fat Quarter of orange.
(You really have to pardon the poor colour of the pictures - it's a typically West Coast dreary winter day).
These are for my Vignette in Stitches quilt.  I started it 2 years ago, and I'm finally at the point of starting the applique centre.
I think you can figure out where I want to use the orange!  (Picture from designer Leanne Beasley's website, Leanne's House).  I have been subcribing to her magazine, Vignette, since it began and this was an 8-part mystery quilt.  Even though I eliminated a lot of the embroidery, it is still a slow work-in-progress.  I've never really blogged about it, so I plan a post on it later this week.
Her magazine has been a wonderful source of patterns and great tips. I've done embroidery on quilts before, but have never really been happy with the final result because the threads show through from the back, no matter how careful you are.  Leanne suggested using a very thin fusible fleece to back your block before embroidery, and the results are just beautiful. 

Recently I started using the Pilot Frixon pen to start marking my embroidery, and so far I am happy with the results.  It was a bit of a shock the first time I ironed on my fusible fleece after marking a block:
The heat of the iron makes the marks disappear!  No worries though - I pop it in the freezer for about an hour, and the marks reappear like magic.  I love this option because all I have to do is iron the piece to remove the marks later, and eventually it will wash out.
And one last thing, I have been bitten by the Bitty Block bug.  I have been loving the tiny (3.5") I've been seeing lately, and discovered this Flickr group, the Bitty Block Committee.  I thought I would try my hand at a Polaroid block (adapted from an original design by Little Miss Shabby) and they are so addictive, that I made 8 in less than half an hour.  If it hadn't already been midnite, I would have kept on going.  Most of the blocks shown on the Flickr group are original designs without patterns, I so wish I could draw.  I might have to recruit my daughter to make a few designs for me. 
Now I'm off to pop my block in the freezer, and settle down to watch the Oscar pre-shows while I work on another UFO, my Birdie Stitches Block 1.  Have a great night to all of you!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Making Baby Quilts

You'll notice on my sidebar I have a section called "Quilt-alongs - My Best Motivator".  For the most part, this works for me to stay on track with a project.  I have either finished or am very close to finish every one of those shown - but until today, I have never participated in Michelle's "Let's Make Baby Quilts"!
Lucky for me, her 'rules' are pretty relaxed - all I have to do is write a post (or share an old one) about something related to baby quilts.  Since my daughters and their friends are currently in the baby-making stage and my friends are becoming grammas, it doesn't hurt for me to have stash of finished quilts on hand.  I'm going to start by sharing one I made last summer,
for this little cutie! 

Brayden is the grandson of one of my best friends, with a wonderful story of how he came to be in her life.  His mother was given up for adoption by my friend (in the days of closed adoptions), and after several years of searching they reconnected, in time for my friend to be at her daughter's wedding and ultimately become Gramma! 
The design is my own, made from the leftovers of this:
and this:
Made from fat 1/8's, charm squares and a layer cake.  Baby quilts are a great way to use up the scraps.
Because of the way this quilt is constructed (pattern at the bottom of Melissa's Happy Quilting page here), I was left with a bunch of half-triangles that I could make into half-square triangles (HST) that were 5". 
I had enough to make 4 pinwheel blocks, measuring 9 1/2" square.  I cut my remaining layer cake pieces in half, so I had a rectangle that measured 5" x 10".  I started my design by placing the large pinwheels on my design wall, then filling in the spaces with the rectangles, and finally finishing with leftover charm squares, a couple of HSTs, and finally the smaller rectangles.
I quilted it with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting because I only had two days to make this from start to finish.  I backed it with Minkee, and turned it to the front for a simple binding.  It is plenty warm and about 40" square, perfect for a little boy who is living in the North-West Territories (akin to living in central Alaska!).
One more gratuitous baby shot:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week #7

Finally, some finishes:
Pattern:  Melissa Corry's Happy Quilting  - Her first Quilt-along done in Pure by Sweetwater (scroll to the bottom of the page).
I'm counting in the binding as well, because it WILL be done by tonight!  I'm trying something new.  I'm going to do a wider binding in the same Minkee as the back (chocolate brown). It should finish at 1" wide if it works.  Flimsy already counted, used this week - 2 metres of 60" wide Minkee for backing and binding (that should count for 3 ;o).
Quilted simply with in-the ditch lines on all the main straight lines, and a double 1/4" away from the seam on the diagonally, using brown on the printed edges and neutral on the natural (Bella Solid).
Another project from Melisa Corry, her latest Quilt-along, Starburst (use the same link above).  I opted to make just one block and make a pillow.  This is going to be a large one - the centre finishes at 24" and I'm putting a 2" flange around it!  Hopefully, it will be done next week.
Made with Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater, and Bella Solids Blue Raspberry and Feather.
Total used - 1 metre
And last but not least - another quilt-along - The Triple Zip-along!  Check my last post for more information and links - I upsized this one so my total fabric used was 3/4 metre.
Used since last report: 3.75 metres
Used Year to Date: 9 metres
Added this week: 1.5 metres
Added Year to Date: 26.5 metres
Net Used/Added for 2013: 17.5 metres
Because of the Triple Zip-along, I was forced to add 1.5 metres of fabric!  I found the cutest gingham with white daisies over top to make a sundress for my granddaughter.
And the Added column doesn't tell the true story - I have 22 yards coming from Hillbilly Handworks Facebook store Ozark Fabrics.  At $3.50 a yard, it was a great way to add to my stash.  Other than some Skelanimals for a quilt for my niece, I'm going to share the wealth with a friend and use them for some future I Spy and Bonnie Hunter scrap quilts.  I ain't counting it til it gets here though - hopefully I can bang out a big finish with my gigantic Easy Street (only 20 A blocks to go).

Friday, February 15, 2013

Triple-Zip-along - FAIL!

Of course, I waited to the last minute to finish my bag.  Up until last night, all I had done was cut my outer fabric.
And, of course, I didn't stick to the pattern - I wanted a bag big enough to hold a magazine (namely, Vignette by Leanne Beasley) and all the materials for my embroidery project (currently Vignette in Stitches out of the same magazine).
Well, so much for that idea!  I forgot I should have designed the bag to accomodate the size of opening I needed (and to account for the amount of bulk the fusible fleece adds).
So far so good, until I went to open the zippers!
It's hard to tell, but the top two open from the left, the bottom grey one from the right!
Everything else went great, from the inside pockets,

to fitting my embroidery hoop perfectly,
and I even had success with "organic" quilting lines (although I found it a lot harder to make wavy lines - I really had to force myself not to be straight - go figure, any other time they'd be wonky!)
So overall, I love the bag - it would have been better if I could fit my magazine in it, but it will fit smaller patterns fine.  My bag ended up being 9 1/2" tall by 11 1/2" wide - perfect to carry my large pieced blocks to embroider. The largest one measures 36 1/2"x 36 1/2", the next largest is 36 1/2" x 18 1/2"; I won't have to squish them up.
Here's one prepped for embroidery!
Thanks to Debbie, my neighbour to the south in Seattle, for finally getting me off my butt and doing this bag I've planned since I first saw the tutorial last summer.  I'm linking up to the Flickr group at  - you'll want to check out all the pouches - there is almost 200 to see!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Year of the Finished Project - Month 1 Report

I'm a little late for my first report (maybe I was subconciously hoping more projects would finish themselves LOL), but here goes!
My plans were to:
  1. Complete Easy Street quilt top
  2. Finish my Pure Happy Quilting Quilt-a-long Quilt
  3. Bind Sarah's Dragonfly Table Runner
  4. Piece Gramma quilt top
  5. Finish Just Takes Two Pillow Cover
I succeeded in completing 2 of the 5:
Delivered to my daughter, Sarah and in use!  Sarah pieced the top, and I did the applique and the binding.  More about this project here and here.
Gramma Quilt flimsy- between a lap size and twin size, it will be a perfect cuddle quilt or topper on the single bed I'm putting in the grandkids' room.  Check here for more info.
I made progess on the Easy Street quilt top (I won't bore you with the same pictures):
Extra pieces to make King size (50% more) - done
Corner Triangles - 4 - finished
Setting Triangles - 7 of 16
Block A - 1 of 25
Block B - 11 of 16
I hope to finish all the Block B's today.
I also started and finished one more little project for Zoey's room:
A little cushion for her rocking chair.  I also started a Scrappy Trip-along cushion cover to use up the last of the scraps (instructions here).
I also started 2 more new projects:
Starburst, another quilt-a-long project by Melissa of Happy Quilting
and Moth in a Window blocks (more here).
So my result for January was:
- 7 projects worked on
- 3 completed (2 UFOs and 1 new project)
- 2 UFOs not touched (involving machine quilting)
- 3 new projects started
Net: -1 UFO (cuz they are all UFOs in my house!)
I didn't meet my goals but discovered a few things about myself:
1. I hate switching up my setup to do machine quilting - perhaps I need to rethink how my sewing room is set up so I can have a permanent spot for it.
2. I get bored easily - increasing the size of the Easy Street quilt to King Size meant making half as many pieces again, so I was able to accomplish a second quilt top (the Gramma quilt) while I was piecing.  Also, making it King size takes a lot
3. I get distracted easily by new brainwaves (I call them brain farts), like making the rocking chair pillow or trying a new quilt-along.  I feel like the dog in the movie 'Up' - squirrel!
4. I can join quilt-alongs by making a smaller project - both of my projects are going to be pillow covers.
5. I have to have a leaders & enders project ready to go - hence the Moth in a Window project.
6. If I have things set up and ready to go, I make more progress.
7.  If I tell myself I just have to spend 15 minutes or a half-hour in the sewing room, I can get a lot accomplished instead of just surfing the net.
8. Netflix is great background noise - I watched all three available seasons of Drop Dead Diva, only to find out it's been canceled.  I hope it gets picked up by another network.
Moving forward, having a list of 5 projects is doable for me because it does leave me room for new little projects, so here is February's list:
  1. Complete Easy Street quilt top
  2. Finish my Pure Happy Quilting Quilt-a-long Quilt (and get a quilting corner set up)
  3. Finish Just Takes Two Pillow Cover
  4. Finish Starburst and Scrappy-Trip along
  5. Finish Red & White Just Takes Two Table Topper
Thanks, Lynne, for starting this linky party.  I feel like I will get some finishes this year, and learn more about myself in the process that will help me progress in the future!
Linked up to 2013YFP

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

UFO or NewFO?

Looking for a Leaders & Enders project to do, I took a look around the sweatshop:

(8 projects here)

(7 more here)
(parts of 2 projects from the boxes above)
(and God knows how many in here!)
And decided to start this instead!
(Moth in the Window block by Bonnie Hunter, found in Quiltmaker magazine, Nov/Dec 2011.  She has a great column in each issue, called Addicted to Scraps.)  I made these two blocks (and two more since) using parts of the shirts I got at the thrift store for 50c each. Two blocks take less than a Fat 1/8th of each fabric (less than one long-sleeve worth) - I have barely touched the pile.

Perhaps I should call it a NUFO (new unfinished object) - cuz clearly I have issues.  Oooo, Squirrel - look what I found while looking:
Fusible web so I can cut fabric with my Slice cutter (meaning I don't have to upgrade) - I don't even remember buying this, but now I want to try it. (No, Terri, No - slapping myself on the wrist.)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week #5

Nothing in, nothing out - but progress is being made!
Added this week: 0 metresAdded Year to Date: 25 metres
Used since last report: 0 metres
Used Year to Date: 5.25 metres
Net Used/Added for 2013: 19.75 metres
Still plugging away on Easy Street.  All my extra pieces for a king size quilt are made; as leaders and enders while I assembled blocks.  I need 16 Block B's - I'm halfway there!

Then I need 25 Block A's, and 8 more setting triangles.
I'm trying to decide on what I'm going to do for leaders and enders while I assemble the remaining blocks.  I need something mindless, but I also don't want to start a new project.  Which UFO will get pulled?  Stay tuned!

 (UFO picture from Jan 2011 - need to update this!)

Linking up to The Sunday Stash Report at Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara!