April 7, 2015

Q1 2015 Finish Along Check in {Progress}

Did you participate in the Finish-Along for First Quarter?
I'm usually very driven and finish most, if not all of the goals I set out to do.
This time, not so much.

The projects that I did finish include the following:

Beach House Mini - this was a challenge for the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild where I did my first matched binding. I love the result and will do this again on a future project.

Mug Rug - this was a swap that I joined that not only included a mug rug, but also a Starbucks "You are Here" mug, which I collect. This is the mug rug I made for my partner, in her three favorite colors, along with a New Orleans mug.

In this round, I got Phoenix mug - along with some great goodies! Yeah!
2015-03 YAH Mug Rug Swap - Received

That's it! Well actually, I did 2 birthday club projects but I forgot to take pictures so I won't get credit for them.  One was a set of placemats and another was one of those cute hexagon quilts. I made a mini for a friend of mine, for her sewing room.

Stay tuned in Quarter 2 as I try to finish up Quarter 1, and the new goals for quarter 2!
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

March 24, 2015

Pattern Test: StarGazing

I tested this for Diane of fromblankpages and this pattern is the Cadillac version.

One, it is available in 6", 12" 18" and 24".  Yes, that 24" is a whopper and the size I tested. I wanted to also use this as a pillow cover, but am not sure if it will make the cut. I think my color choices were perhaps a bit off.

Enough about color and back to the pattern! All of the following is included with this pattern: links to paper piecing and color and design as well as cutting templates, coloring pages, design and color inspiration.

Let's talk about cutting templates.  I usually think they are a waste and I don't need them.
But you know that feeling, in the pit of your stomach, when you flip over a piece of fabric and it isn't quite (big, long, tall) enough - ugh!  hate that. Well, cutting templates eliminate that completely. Yes, you have some fabric waste, but that is better than having to rip out a seam with a 1.5 stitch length - you hear me?

Another advantage to her cutting templates is that she has exact instructions on how to orient the cutting templates with your fabric if directional.

What I am trying to say is that I appreciate that the cutting templates were included in this pattern. Not all pattern authors include that component.

If you want one, go check out her etsy store here!

March 23, 2015

Beach House Mini | Challenge

I belong to the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild and our challenge for February included mini-charm squares, generously provided by Moda {Thank you United Notions!}.

We had a lot of latitude, make a mini quilt which doesn't exceed 24 x 24.  Gah! It was so hard for me.  Why? Well, The squares were too small to do HST's,  every pattern I looked at was quite a bit larger than 24" square and my mind just wasn't in this.  I had these laid out in so many configurations - really I thought an idea would just come to me and presto - it would be awesome. It didn't happen that way.

My favorite part of the quilting is the yellow (variegated orange/yellow thread) through the red and orange.  In the first picture you can see it better, but I love how it blends and pops at the same time.

Working in Finance I utilize graphs and charts frequently so I attempted to make this into a chart, but it seems like a big fail to me.  When I look at it I see no creativity, especially compared to the awesomeness that a bunch of ladies in my guild showed up with.  Look at all these varieties!

yeah, mine is basic basic basic. How could sewing little squares together be so difficult?

Well, I had to turn this into a positive. When I showed it at our meeting, it wasn't bound yet (call me a slacker, I deserve it) so after the meeting I was determined to finish this and make a positive out of it.  Binding! My favorite part - I love binding (by hand) so, I challenged myself to match the binding to the design.  See? Bet you didn't notice it earlier or did you? The blue around the red and orange and the orange (my special stash of pezzy print) around the blue and green. What do you think of that?

The bottom is 1/8" off, but I'm ok with that. I really like this look of matched binding and I hope to use it in the future..

March 22, 2015

Starbucks Mug Rug and Mug Swap

This is the mug rug that I made for my {secret} partner in the Spring Round of the Starbucks Mug Rug and Mug Swap.  

You swap a Starbucks You are Here Mug, along with a mug rug.  My partner really wanted a New Orleans mug, which I happen to have an extra of, so...she's getting it! I will say, although the swap was on both Flickr and Instagram, I much prefer Flickr.  I know the app is less than desirable, but my partner had a private IG account.  Really? How am I supposed to stalk you with a private IG?

Lesson learned - no IG swaps for me. If it isn't Flickr, I'm not doing it.  Another reason for that is because I feel like the IG swaps are a bit more willy-nilly, yes, such a technical definition.  It's just that on IG I think they go for volume and not necessarily a good match.  I'm in quite a few private swaps with girls I admire and respect and who appreciate the time it takes to make something, but this has a different flavor.

Oh well, I made a mug rug in her favorite colors, and I hope it is well received!
It feels good to move another project to the completed list.

February 24, 2015

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

It's back - Modern She Made - Round 5

This is a swap that Lori and I started in 2012 and it is still going! This is a private swap, hosted on Flickr, and the projects these ladies create are amazing! This round, you must incorporate the specified shape, which is a diamond, in the creation/construction of your project. If you are on Flickr, have a stellar swap history and can't resist - then go sign up!

You must have created a mosaic, which is quite helpful to your partner, so she can make something you will love forever (at least that is what we are hoping anyway). Then you fill out a questionnare to to help the swap mamas match you up with someone special. We'll come back to that in a bit.

Mail dates are in May so you have a solid two months + to make something fantastic!

The swap mamas this round are pros so things will run very smoothly. Tiffany, of This Crafty Fox and Marika, of Marika Makes along with me will be hosting this. Swap mamas match up partners, make sure everyone is on track, answer questions, and generally make sure all is well.

Join us!

February 1, 2015

Fresh Sewing Day | February

January was busy, and we've already moved on to February. The older I get the faster time flies. My biggest finish was a football quilt. I came across a quilt that looked like a football in a magazine a year or so ago, and thought to myself - I can do that.

I don't have any Illustrator programs or electronic quilt programs. I just used Excel, but in this case, it was sufficient.

University of Nebraska is where I went to college so I am very proud of this one as it will make a home with me. I had pondered giving this away for a raffle, but I love it too much.

This quilt will be special to me because I created my own pattern and it turned out. Have you ever written a pattern and then made a quilt? It is a great feeling of accomplishment.

Fresh Sewing Day

January 18, 2015

The first of 2015

This is my first completion of the year! I have signed up for a paper piecing bee where we make 3/4 blocks for each person, for 6 months, as well as read a book or watch a movie. The book/movie for January is "The Giver". I haven't made time to get the movie yet, but I will!

These blocks are a fantastic way to use up scraps and are going to Tiffany. They were fun to make and I think this quilt will be beautiful!

January 16, 2015

Christmas Swap 2014

There are a handful of us quilty/crafty/sewing gals that participated in a swap for Christmas and I hit the jackpot!

Last year I mentioned that I really wanted a sew-together bag, but was afraid to sew it myself because all those zippers!

Well well well, I got one - and the special touches are so perfectly suited to my style.

The colors are fabulous and the outside is a minimal design with a pop of color, in this case a granny square and a tea wallet too (I LOVE tea). As I opened each zipper another treat was hidden. I was like a kid at Christmas. Some washi tape and a jumbo bag of chewy sprees too - yippee!

Thank you Lyanna - it's perfect and you are awesome. That is all.

January 6, 2015

Q1 2015 | Finish Along

I love the Finish-A-long! Something about publically putting out there what I want to accomplish really does make me get it done! Other than the pillow swap (which may be delayed to later in the year so it won't count), I have started all of these - yikes! That's a lot of projects. I'm looking forward to all of them for various reasons so stay tuned for many finishes.

How has your new year started? Do you have any UFO projects you are looking to finish up? What about the sew your stash movement? I am on a fabric diet myself...we'll see how long that lasts, but I really do want to not purchase any more - I'm running out of room. Happy New Year!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

January 5, 2015

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to another stop on the Around the World Blog Hop!

I was asked to join in by Lori of Lori Hartman Designs. We have hosted swaps together as well as helped along young chapters of our respective Modern Quilt Guilds. She is uber creative and you should swing by to see what she has been working on lately.

What am I working on:

This being the new year, I have some grand plans. About half a dozen UFO's that I would really love to finish as well as a Husker t-shirt quilt and a very personal quilt for one of my dearest friends. And, because I can't say no to my great sewing circle, I am signed up for a paper piecing bee (3 blocks a month), a traveling quilt, a pillow swap and birthday club. Quarter 1 will be busy. I love it!

Here is a progress shot of those paper pieced blocks I was telling you about. They will have a low volume background and this quilt will be stunning!

Why do you create:

I love making things for other people and also for myself. The process of selecting fabrics, contemplating designs, auditioning fabrics and then seeing a finished product fills me with great satisfaction. Additionally, when you make something for someone and they love it, it just warms my heart.

This is a great time to introduce you to Lyanna of Blue Striped Room. We met a couple of years ago at a Sewing Retreat and I am in awe of how productive she is while being a mom to five kids. Head on over to see her recent projects which include a cargo bag and a sew-together bag, along with lots of quilts for Christmas gifts.
Here is a great shot of her holiday finishes - gorgeous!

Wishing you a productive week!