Monday, January 27, 2014

A Kitty Finish

These past two weeks have been a big zero when it comes to anything fabric related (including this blog).  It started out as a trip to Michigan for a late family Christmas get-together, then back home to unpack and repack for another 4-day trip out of town ~ and after those two round-trip flights, I got sick.  What, really?  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.

So last night I started feeling halfway human and finally finished stitching the binding on my Cat Quilt.  I love the scrappy binding and I'm really happy with the way it turned out ~ and it's my first finish for the 2014 Finish-A-Long!

I went with the Aurifil 2600 (lt grey) for the front and 2810 (turquoise) for the back.  Warm and White batting.

Linking up with Fresh Squeezed Fabrics for Show and Tell Tuesday and Riddle and Whimsy for TGIFF.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Finish-A-Long

OK ~ Here's my list for the 1st Quarter of the 2014 Finish-A-Long hosted by Katy at  The Littlest Thistle.

A couple of things were moved from last year:

1 - This table runner I was trying to finish before the Jan. 8th deadline ~ which of course didn't happen. :(

2 - Verona Hourglass quilt.  I finished piecing the top in February.  The backing is ready and I've made the binding ~ so why has it taken me so long to finish?  Originally, it was the fear of doing the actual quilting ~ I've wanted to do free-motion quilting on this one and it terrified me.  I have since taken a FMQ class and I've been practicing, so maybe I can do it this quarter!  :)

Now for the new things on the list:

3 - My In From the Cold quilt.  I LOVED putting this together!  I'm gathering ideas on how to quilt this one ~ so I'm excited to get it done.

4 -  Cat Quilt.  This one was fun to do as well.  I've begun the quilting and prepared the binding, so I'm sure I'll finish this quarter!

5 - I decided to jump into the "2014 It's a New Year Sewalong" at Sew Can She.  So far I've only got my fabrics ready, but I'm heading up north for a week or so, so I haven't really done much else!  Looking forward to learning how to make log cabin blocks.

6 - I'd also really like to finish up the Tula Pink "City Sampler" Sew Along hosted by Sara at Sew Sweetness.  I think I'm up to block 70, so I still have 30 blocks to go.  

I think that's it for now!  Linking up with Katy at The Littlest Thistle.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday ~ The quilting frustrations of a newbie quilter

I managed to get both the Charm School tablerunner and the Cat Quilt spray-basted and ready for quilting yesterday morning.  I really wanted to see my kitties quilted, so I auditioned different threads on the black and white fabrics to see what I liked best ~ the light grey Aurifil thread won the toss.

I really wanted to quilt it like the original in a checkerboard pattern, so that's how I started.  I did two diagonal rows in one direction and one in the opposite direction.  Well ~ after staring at those lines ~ both the stitches looked painfully uneven and the lines were crooked.  And with the light grey on the black fabric background, it was just glaring at me and I decided that the straight lines just would not do.

Soooo ~ I added some wavy lines next to the straight lines and TA-DA!  They might not have been perfect, but they looked SO much better and the unevenness (is that a word?) of the stitches wasn't nearly as noticeable.

Needless to say, I spent last night watching Moonrise Kingdom (which I loved ~ very quirky) and ripping out two rows of straight stitching.  Today, I managed to finish the wavy lines in one direction and, while not perfect, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out!  I did leave the one straight line to use as a guide for the next batch of wavy lines, but that will be ripped out eventually and replaced with the last wave.

Linking up at Freshly Pieced and My Quilt Infatuation.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Trying to catch up ...

It dawned on me this weekend that I might be able to catch up on one more finish for the 2013 Finish-A-Long that I signed up for with Leanne of she can quilt.

When I made my list, I had made two blocks in a class for a table runner out of the Back To Charm School book by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene.  So I dug it out on Saturday thinking "I can do this!"  

It actually went together pretty quickly (for me) and I finished making the top by Sunday night.  (I was really happy with the way the little center squares lined up!)  However, I forgot to line up the little strips in blocks, but I won't beat myself up too bad.  :)

I went and shopped for backing and binding and now it's all sitting there patiently while I finish up Christmas shopping for the grandkids and getting ready for my Michigan trip on Friday.  (and yes, I know it's way past Christmas, but did you see the price of airfare in December?!)  Digging out all my snuggies ~ BRRRR!

So it's all good ~ I'll just add it (again) to my 1st quarter 2014 Finish-A-Long which is moving over to The Littlest Thistle.

Linking up with Marelize at Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Monday!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year's Day!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve!  Ours was pretty quiet ~ we found a new Mexican restaurant we hadn't tried before, Mr. Tequila's in Naples, and they had the coolest decor ~ loved the chairs!

And the chips were as colorful as the decor.  :)  The food was delicious ~ so we'll definitely be back!!

We had dinner fairly early (I guess that's why it was so empty), then drove to Downtown Naples and wandered around there for a bit.  Best ice cream on 5th Avenue S?  We decided it was the Bear Claw ice cream at Regina's!

We also had to go to Kilwin's to buy a couple of dark chocolate covered Oreos to take home.  Yummm!  (sorry no picture ~ we ate them!)

Anyway, today I managed to finish the quilt back for the Cat Quilt-Along.  

I've pretty much decided to use invisible thread for the top, mainly because I couldn't decide on a thread color that would blend in with both the black background and white/colored kitty faces.  :)  I was a little leery at first, but I found a great post on Quilter's Review that really helped set my mind at ease.  We'll see how it turns out.  I'll use either a grey or turquoise thread for the back.

I was blog-surfing this morning and decided I'm going to jump in and join the 2014 "It's a New Year Sewalong" over at Sew Can She!  I've never made a log cabin block before, so it'll be a chance to learn something new.  I've been wanting a cover for my sewing machine, so I think this will work perfectly for that! 

It feels good to be into a new year ~ I'm excited to continue on my quilting journey and looking forward to whatever the next year brings!


A little New Year's Eve progress

I can't believe it's 2014 already ~ I feel like this year just flew by!  I blame part of that on the quilting bug that hit me this year ~ I've been so inspired by all the quilting blogs I've found and all those creative, amazing quilters I've come to "know" online.  It's definitely because of them that I've become so addicted to this craft!

I did make a lot of progress on the Cat Quilt yesterday ~
I decided to add a couple of scrappy strips to the top and bottom to make it a little longer ~ I like it!

I also decided to make a scrappy binding!  Hope to get it quilted and bound in the next few days ~ I'd say that's a good goal to start the new year!

Linking up with Kelly for Needle & Thread Thursday!