Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 Finish-Along ~ 1st Quarter Results

Here are my results for the 1st Quarter of the 2014 Finish-Along.  (See my original post here.)

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

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!  :)  NO PROGRESS  :(  It's going on my Quarter 2 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.  FINISHED!  Blogged here.

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!  FINISHED!  Blogged here.

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.  FINISHED!  Blogged here.

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.   NO PROGRESS.

Pretty happy with 4 out of 6!  Linking up with Katy at The Littlest Thistle.

At a standstill

With family in from the cold north this week, and hubby and I heading out of town as soon as they leave, that's where my sewing projects are ~ at a standstill.

In the basket are the pieces for my Star Light Star Bright quilt  (Block 2 is on the design board) and the 2-1/2" squares that I'm using for my Goodnight Irene quilt (they make a great "leaders and enders" project!).

As much as I love having company and traveling, I'll be happy when I can get back to sewing with my little Grace.  :)


Monday, March 24, 2014

Quilt tech and some new rulers

I read a blog post today by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts in which she talked about this resource which will really come in handy when we're looking for solids to match the fabrics we're working with.  It's called Palette Builder by Play Crafts and all you have to do is load an image of your fabrics and it will give you a list of matching Kona solids.

 So I immediately had to try it out with a photo of my Star Light Star Bright quilt fabrics.  It gave me this:

How cool is that?!  I think it did a pretty good job of matching colors.

And speaking of my Star Light Star Bright quilt, I finally finished the first block ~ all in all, I'm pretty happy with how all my points and corners turned out!

Over the weekend, about 50-some of us from the Naples Quilters Guild took a bus trip to the Sewing & Quilting Expo in Lakeland, FL.  It's the first time I've been ~ and, even though I really wasn't interested in some of the sewing, beading & embroidery vendors, there were a lot of quilt-related vendors and demos that I WAS interested in.

I've heard so much about Bloc Loc Rulers and I was able to see up close and personal how great they actually worked.  They are a little pricey, but I figured if they save me some time (and aggravation!) they were totally worth it.  (Besides, no shipping cost at the show = bonus!)  I bought two ~ the 5-1/2" Half Square Triangle Ruler and the Strip Set Ruler (great for strip piecing).  I've already tried out the HST ruler and it's quick, easy and fun to work with.  :)  (I'm putting the Flying Geese Ruler on my wish list ~ it also does square in a square blocks!)

That's it for my weekend ~ we've got a busy couple of weeks coming up, company coming on Thursday and a short trip out of town, so I'm heading for my pillow a little early.

Linking up with Marelize for Anything Goes Mondays and Alyce for Sew Cute Tuesday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ugggh ...

I have to take a break from this Star Light Star Bright block and take a deep breath.  Remember when I said Tuesday that "me likey" the way it was turning out?  

Well that was before I started sewing all the pieces together.  Let's just say I'm distressed trying to get all those points to fit they way they should.  The center star isn't too bad, but the side sections?  ~  Way off.

I tried so hard to make sure I pinned them together just so ~ hoping they'd turn out OK.   Which they didn't.  I'm just wondering if I was off on my 1/4" mark from when I sewed the flying geese? 

So I'm torn between taking them apart to try again or just saying the heck with it.  The thought of doing eight more blocks and having them turn out the same does not make me happy.  :(

UPDATE:  I did manage to fix them a little ~ ripped out some seams and redid them.  I took my time on the rest of it and it totally paid off!  I'm happy now.  I finished the first block ~ only eight more to go ~ :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Star Light Star Bright progress and I've Got Mail!

I made some more progress on the Star Light Star Bright quilt ~ managed to get all the 2-1/2" squares sorted and marked to make all the half-square triangles.  Each of the rows represent the HSTs for one block.

I finished sewing and trimming one stack and laid out all the pieces of the first block to see how it's going to turn out ~ me likey!!

I received the best mail EVER today ~ FIVE charm packs that I won in a giveaway!  Big THANK YOU to Lee at Freshly Pieced and Stefanie from Cotton Bliss (Love her shop!!)

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and WIP Wednesday.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A finish, a start, and a gorgeous giveaway

I have to say I'm still thrilled to have finished my In From The Cold quilt ~ and even though it hasn't been cold I've been snuggling under it while watching TV this week.

I've been working on my Star Light Star Bright quilt this week and I've managed to get all my flying geese done ~ the final set still need some trimming.  I can't wait to see how this turns out ~ I've seen some gorgeous fabric combos on their Flickr board!

I stumbled across a giveaway this morning that I'm drooling over at Maureen Cracknell Handmade ~ Intrepid Thread is giving away this gorgeous bundle:

Love the colors in this Tile Pile fat quarter bundle of Petal Pinwheels by Michael Miller!

Linking up with Quilt Matters for TGIFF and Fort Worth Fabric Studio for Fabric Frenzy Friday!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A finish to start the week!

My In From The Cold quilt is finished!  That makes finish #4 in the first quarter of my 2014 Finish-Along  I almost wish the weather was colder so I could snuggle under it ~ I said almost.  Be careful what you wish for ...

Linking up with Anything Goes Mondays and Sew Cute Tuesday.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Some weekend progress

Lots of progress made so far this weekend ~ quilting is done!

I love the way you can see all the little mugs on the back when the light shines through :)

I chose the red snowflake fabric for the binding.

Keeping that little roll of binding on a spindle really makes life easier.

I'm half-way through hand stitching the binding to the back ~ hopefully I can finish it tonight!

What's next on the agenda?  

I picked up a FQ Frenzy Denim & Daisies bundle from Sew Lux a while back, so I decided to use it for the Star Light Star Bright Quilt-Along posted by Melissa Corry at Happy Quilting.  I know I'm late getting into this, but I love the pattern, so I'm going for it anyway!  I cut the print pieces today.

Feelin' pretty productive!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday

One Big WIP for me this week.  Yesterday, I started quilting the border of my In From The Cold quilt.  I hadn't decided what to do with it  ~ but just before I got out of bed that morning I thought of cross-hatching it (not sure if that's what that design is called) and I liked that idea.  Sooo ~ I actually got out my Frixion pen and started marking the diagonal lines around the border.

My dilemma then was ~ do I do each line separately? or go back and forth?  If I did them separately, I'd have to bury all those threads afterwards.  If I did them back and forth, I'd be fighting with the quilt as I turned it in opposite directions.  (I can't imagine how people do those bed-size quilts on their domestic machines!)

I opted for the back and forth method and, like I said before, it's a good thing I'm keeping this one because I can really see my stitches as I travel to the next line and it bugs me, but it's not being judged and that's a good thing!  I may even just do the diagonals in one direction instead of cross-hatching it because I'm already tired of flipping the quilt around.  :)  We'll see ...

(what it looks like so far from the back)

This morning I started putting together a Shir-Crazy Wristlet that was ordered from my shop.  I used a couple of the same fabrics as the Aragon Bag I made last year.

I finished it and mailed it out this afternoon.  

I have an awesome friend, Cindy Nichols, who loves to do pottery ~ she made me this little sign out of clay and I have it hanging on the wall in my sewing space.  I wrapped a length of selvage to cover the wire.  I absolutely love it!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's a good feeling!

I was BEYOND excited to find out that my first quilt (FIRST, mind you!) won an Honorable Mention at the Naples Quilters Guild annual quilt show yesterday!  Definitely doing the happy dance!!

This was the first quilt show I've ever attended, much less submitted a quilt to, so I took a few LOTS of photos.  I won't bore you with them all, but these are my favorites.  Warning - picture heavy post ahead!

I don't know how the judges pick out their favorites ~ there are SO many to choose from.  And so many categories!  I'm humbled to be in such exquisite company.  :)

I'm about 2/3 done with the serpentine quilting for the center of my In From The Cold quilt ~ 

I like it, but I'm glad I'm keeping this one for myself!  There are a few kinks and the spacing isn't the best ~ but I like it!  I hadn't intended to quilt through the mugs, but it was a pain starting and stopping and I like the texture it gives them.  Thanks to those who helped me decide.  :)  That's what I love about blogworld ~ lots of great feedback!