December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011

Today is the last day of 2011 and what a fast 365 days it has been. I am enjoying the blog to share my projects and am thankful for my few readers. Best Wishes to you and your families for a wonderful New Year! 2012 here we come!

December 25, 2011

It's Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Merry Christmas!
From Bread Boy and Ro-Ro.

December 24, 2011

Almost My Turn

It is almost my turn. I am like a kid in a candy store who just can't wait! January is my month in my Modern 99 Bee.  There are 12 of us gals who are using the book Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers. We are to select a block from this book, send out fabric and instructions to our fellow bee members and "wha-laa" - we get blocks back!

I have learned from experience to always do a test block before sending out.  Earlier this year I had to do an orange peel block and that was hard, frustrating, irritating and just a bad project for me.  I am not sure the hostess had tested it first. Anyway, I digress. So....last weekend I worked on my test block.

Lately I am intrigued by the yellow and gray combinations that I see popping up, but I am not sure that I love them, just am not sure.  So...I like them enough to do one quilt, but with a bit of a pop, and my pop is purple! The purple I am using is Kona Mulberry and it is vivid, most of the reason I selected it.

The block I selected is called "Mondarin" and using all stash fabrics (except for the magenta purple I have on order) I was able to get all the fabrics ready for my 11 bee mates!

Here are some progress shots and my finished block.  I would like to incorporate the purple into the sashing somehow but I have a month or so to think about it.  Perhaps when I have all the blocks I can get a better visual and make a good choice.

December 22, 2011

The Dreaded Dresden

A Dresden plate block, here we go.  One of my bee hive members requested this block this month and having never done one I wasn't sure about it.  Well, it's awesome!  Yes it takes a bit of time but the result is wonderful (and it was a bonus that she was using the Sugar Pop line from Liz Scott, that I adore).  I did it step by step with the tutorial and it is safely packaged and headed back to Australia by now. I'm not afraid of a Dresden plate block anymore and I look forward to more!

December 20, 2011

Finally Finished!

This is the first quilt I made after my initial quilt class.  I had it done last year, except for the binding, which I cut too short so I just stared at it in the sewing room while I did other things.  Well, it was an easy fix to mark off the list so one day I got tired of looking at it and just finished it, not to mention it is a Christmas quilt and well, it IS the season!
I used this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop by Karrie Lynne using a couple of jelly rolls.  Tell me what you think!

December 19, 2011

Love that Mug Rug

So last week we had our December meeting of the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild (FWMGQ) and we had a mug rug swap!  I was a bit apprehensive because mug rugs mean binding and that isn't my strong suit but it wasn't that bad. I found a tutorial that made it a bit easier for me - whew! I decided to make this a dual purpose mug rug, one side that would be Christmas-y (I know that isn't a word, but you know what I mean - right?)
And then for the other side I decided to do something, well modern and fresh and not Christmas-y at all. Now I am sorry for the photo on this one.  The chairs were upside down when I took the photo so I had to rotate it for display and it looks a little funky. 

My number was the first one drawn when we started so I had my hands on quite a few of them, fell in and out of love with a good many of them, but am super excited with the one I ended up with.  It was made by the talented (and recently published) Melanie of Texas Freckles. Isn't that hand quilting just adorable? Thank you Melanie!

December 9, 2011

Even More for the Stash

And yet some MORE fabric with no project attached to it.  I just liked it! The colors are bright and pretty and girly and that, is good enough for me.  Funny thing, when I put this away, I found I already purchased a yard of the pink one (4th down from the top) already. I must REALLY like it.

December 7, 2011

More for the Stash

When buying these, I had not a thing in mind, and I still don't but I like the fabric. That should be a good enough reason to purchase fabric right? I sure think so. Additionally, everyone seems to be talking about this Echo Fabric so I am just going to sit tight until the "perfect" project comes up and says "use me".

December 5, 2011

Stash Addition

Hello! I have been busy shopping. The "pre" Black Friday sales, the Black Friday sales and then of course the Cyber Monday sales. Now that they are arriving I have been checking orders received off of the list, making sure everything is included and putting the new fabrics away in the the respective bin (mostly sorted by color). Here are a few photos of some of the new arrivals!

November 21, 2011

Bento Boxes

Here is a little peek of the start of my Bento Box blocks for a swap due in January.  I love how you can be completely random with these but I must say, I really enjoy piecing.

I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2011

Deal of a Lifetime

Have you ever had a deal of a lifetime? Well I believe that I just happened into one.  A woman had purchased this machine with the intent of retiring with it and making all kinds of wonderful goodness.

But alas, the Bernina 830 came out and her heart was set on the new one.  This machine is only a couple of years old and well maintained and I just couldn't pass it up.

 I have been trying out the buttons and features and was so excited to take one of the first owner's classes that I was ready to go to class on November 8.  The class isn't being held until December 8th. Whoops - good thing I have an understanding boss who let me change my vacation time.

There are so many features I have no idea I have but it will be such fun discovering them.  My most anticipated feature is the embroidery package. I can make monograms and do quilt labels and personalized tea towels and the list goes on.  Do you have an embroidery machine or a sewing machine with am embroidery feature? What project do you most enjoy?

November 17, 2011

November NuBees Blocks

These are my blocks for November NuBees.  I picked this block for the University of Illinois quilt. Andrea is making a surprise quilt for a big U of I fan and I wanted the fabric to really show up.  This block took longer than I expected to make but not bad for my first friendship star! Making those HST's took a while but I discovered the sew it all around and make 4 cuts method instead of draw the line, sew twice, cut and only get 2 HST's.

November 16, 2011

The Flannel Quilt

My niece lives in a cold climate and needs a warm quilt so I am almost done with this one for her.  I used lavender, gray, yellow and white.  Last week an evening was spent using applique to affix her name and make it personal.  Flannel is a different sort of material for me.  It seems to stretch a bunch.  Before embarking on my first ever flannel project, here are the popular tips I collected from various websites and I believe they served me well.

When working with flannel:

  • pre-wash fabric in hot water (to minimize shrinking)
  • use magic sizing, not starch
  • press all seams open
  • use a 1/2" seam allowance
  • begin the project with a new needle

November 14, 2011

Spider Web Block

This was my first time working with batik fabrics and some of them are really bright. In my mind, they were always a bit dark and not cheery but I was wrong.  This block took a bit longer than I expected but I finished it up so that I can mail it to the owner.  One more item removed from the unfinished list - yeah!

November 12, 2011

Adding to the Stash

You really can't have too much fabric, so in the spirit of keep my stash robust I ordered more. Actually, what started this is my NuBees swap.  One of the girls is making a University of Illinois quilt so I wanted to surprise her by ordering some true U of I fabric for her block.  Since I was ordering college fabric, I just couldn't pass up the chance to get some more Husker fabric and low and behold - a new print has come out (top left). I had never seen it before and of course didn't want my Husker stash to be missing any print so I ordered some up!  This was my first time ordering from Bear Paw but I was pleased with the transaction and love my new fabric! Eventually I think I will make a Big 10 Quilt, but deciding on the best pattern has proved challenging for me. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

November 3, 2011

What is Behind that Label?

Last Friday she came home with me and I can't wait to take her out and discover all that she does. Last weekend I ran out of time.  I was so busy vacuuming baseboards and into the cleaning grove that all I got to do was unzip the bag, look and zip it back up.  This weekend though.....we are going to spend some quality time together.  Check back for more details on the deal of a lifetime.

October 30, 2011

The Big Winter Stitching List

FairyFace Designs
Isn't that a great name? I just love it to pieces. Sarah over at Fairy Face Designs has created a link-up so we can all share our ongoing project lists with one another! comes mine.

1) Summer Splendor Quilt
I have all the fabric, 2 copies of the pattern (one to write on and one to keep nice and pretty) and my list of color selections.

2) Train Quilt
There is no intended recipient of this quilt as of yet. I had some train fabric in my stash and I enjoyed making the Sock Monkey Quilt so the plan is to use the same pattern, but with a train theme.

3) Christmas Quilt (from 2010)
I made this quilt last year (it was my first) and I cut the binding too short, so....I need to add some more and do it right but I just dread it, so it just sits, waiting for attention.  The sad thing is this could be crossed off of the list in less than 20 minutes because I have already hand sewed the binding down, except in the spot of the "short" binding.

4) Fall Bee
October was my month for a Fall Bee so I am looking forward to putting these blocks together and quilting with a leaf design of some sort, at least that is my plan today for the quilting, of course I reserve the right to change my mind.

5) The Colorful Sampler Quilt
NuBees is a swap I have been in the past three months and I requested rainbow blocks so I need to figure out how to put these together, with or without sashing, and if it will be a gift or a keeper.
6) Let it Snow
This is a quilt I was really excited to start and I bought a whole stack of fat quarters and diligently cut them up over the course of two weekends.  Then I started to cut the Kona snow fabric and lost all interest.  The finished size is 96 x 96 so there is a lot of Kona snow to cut.  Since the fabric is already cut up in the dimensions of this specific pattern, I really do need to finish it and I thought for sure by Christmas 2011 this one would be completed.  Nope, not happening this year.
7) Sports Quilts
I would like to make something with the Dallas Cowboy fabric for DH and I am holding the Husker fabric for something wonderful (I just don't know what yet).
8) The Terrain Layer Cake plus extra yardage is for this pattern from Moda Bake Shop.
9) Winter quilt for Sam
This is a winter quilt for my niece Sam.  She has a purple room so I am whipping this together real quick with the use of a borrowed serger and I hope to finish sometime this week, even though I just started yesterday. 
10) Fleece Blankets
These are my gifts of choice for children of my close friends this year.  I hope to finish these up by Thanksgiving, I have 7 to make.
11) Bedroom Quilt
I was in love with brown and blue for a good long time, but now I am not so not sure what will happen with this.  I had started a wonky log cabin to make for our bedroom but lost interest along the way.  I really do love the fabrics - but this might be reallocated to a gift or a "in the car" quilt.

October 29, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival :: Fall 2011

Welcome to any first time visitors!

Wow! As I was recently blog hopping (one of my most favorite ways to spend time) I wondered upon the Bloggers' Quilt Festival which is a virtual quilt show coinciding with the International Quilt Show in Houston, Texas.  I am participating with my most recently finished quilt. Click on over and you will see a few hundred (or more) quilts.  Grab a beverage and get ready to browse - you'll be there a while.  Enjoy!
The Details

Why : This quilt was made to match the colors in the family room.  Funny story, I wanted cherry apple red and gray.  The red paint was easy to pick out and it looks fabulous but the gray, well....not so much. As it turns out I didn't realize that I should really take the paint chip outside in the sun before buying 10 gallons of it and asking DH to paint the whole room.  Once it was finished it wasn't a steely gray but more of a cornflower blue and he wasn't going to redo it so, I decided to make a quilt to match. As a new quilter, my quilts up to this point are to be admired.  I take pictures of them, hang them on the back of the easy chair for a week or two, roll them up and put them away but I don't really USE them.  I wanted this to be a quilt that got used, and snuggled in and not so special or nice that it was just a showpiece.
The Lesson : I learned that I much prefer to do ALL the cutting first and then the sewing another day.  I don't mind cutting but piecing is more fun for me when I just grab the fabric and step on the pedal!

What I Love :  I chose this pattern from Modern Basics by Amy Ellis because it was modern and simple.  In fact, I almost love the back more than the front.  The red speaks to me and I think it is fantastic with just a little splash of the gray and blue.  I would love for you to leave a comment and tell me which side you like better, the front or the back and why.
Fabrics: As I am a Kona girl, this is made with just three colors, Kona Ash, Kona Dresden Blue and Kona Red.  On the back, there is one square of Kona Tomato - can you find it?  

A special thanks to Amy for putting together this Blogger's Festival so we can oohh and ahhh over some fantastic quilts, special thanks to the generous sponsors for offering prizes and thanks to YOU for reading this post!

October 27, 2011

Countdown to Christmas - Wonky Star

This is a wonky star for one of the swaps I am in this year.  She sent out everything already cut and this block was moving right along, looking excellent until.....I realized that I cut at 4.5" and not 5" as she had requested.

I emailed the hostess and we got it all squared away but she is going to get a little bonus in her package as my way to say I am sorry.  When I purchased it at the LQS, the woman cutting asked me what I was going to do with the fabric and I had to tell her the truth.  "I'm not going to do a thing with it.  This is apology fabric since the block isn't the correct dimension".  She found it comical and I hope that Dawn just smiles and can use it in a future project.

October 25, 2011

Yellow & Gray for Hexagons

Greetings!  This is the fabric that I have selected for my Hexagon Swap.  We are sending in 25 6x6 squares of gray and 25 squares of yellow.  They will be cut into hexagons and then swapped out and returned.  Who knows what I will end up making but it's exciting to think about a new shape and a new color selection. Do you have any ideas on hexagon projects?

October 22, 2011

Weekend Projects

What are you up to this weekend? I am going to be cutting fabric for not one but TWO charm swaps that I just couldn't say no to this week. One is for for black, white and grey charm squares that I have absolutely no idea what project they will be incorporated into and the other, hexagons! If you tuned in earlier this week to the Spiked Wheel post you will see my first ever attempt at a block with hexagons. Well, attempt number two is coming soon!  This second swap is where we send in yellow and gray squares (6x6) and they will be cut into hexagons and swapped with folks all over the county.  Whatever will I do with them? Well make a quilt of course! 

And just to give you sneak peak, here is just a little glimpse of a simple but modern quilt that I intend to finish the binding on this weekend.  Enjoy your weekend!!

October 21, 2011

Boxed Squares

This is the second quilt I have ever made and my favorite to date. I used a Sugar Pop layer cake designed by by Liz Scott. The pattern came from KarrieLynne on Moda Bake Shop.  This one was fun to make and it went by quickly as I made the quilt top in one weekend. The print is really busy (which I love) so I added some sashing to calm it down just a little bit.

October 19, 2011

Spiked Wheel

Whew! This was my first time working with pentagons.  Sheryl requested we make a Spiked Wheel for her this month in my Travelling Circles Bee.  I was nervous but this block was actually pretty fun.  She provided us with a tutorial, precut pentagon templates and precut squares which were quite helpful! The challenge for me was what to do after I had sewn the pentagons together and how to get the big circle lined up. She had a great little trick (folding) to make this so easy.  We selected the middle from our stash with an explanation to her why we decided on the fabric we did.  This is in the mail on the way home to Australia.  Hope you like it Sheryl!