Thursday, March 31, 2011

How is it that 2011 is already a quarter over?

We are three full months into 2011 - how did that happen?  How is it that time flies so fast these days?  I don't remember thinking that time went by quickly as a kid, but as an adult, especially one with a young child, it seems like time disappears amazingly fast.

Back in December, I drew up a crazy list of quilty goals for myself because...well, I'm just that kind of person.  I like to have goals, I like to have lists, it seemed like a perfect marriage.  I hosted a linky for others to join in, and I was super excited to see that I'm not the only one who likes to make lists like this.  It is time to check in - even if you didn't link up back in December, feel free to join in with your own list and the progress you've made so far.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how I'm doing on my list.  When it comes to lists, I either wind up doing one of two things - I either totally "live" the list, checking it frequently, reminding myself of the goals, or I completely forget about it and don't accomplish anything on it.  I haven't looked at this list since December, so I'm super pleased to see that I'm actually making good progress so far...here's the list, complete with updates on my progress...

1. Bee quilts - total of 3 of them - Well, I've gotten to the be the queen bee in {Sew} Beautiful, and I have all of my blocks from the group, but need to make more to full up the quilt.  I've got my 6 blocks from the 3x6 Bee, but haven't decided quite how I'll use them just yet.  My turn to be the queen bee for String Me Along is in May, but I haven't decided on a pattern just yet.

2. Matching twin quilts for my new niece and nephew - Done!  The Sliced Coins Quilt Along grew from this particular item on my list, and I'm super proud of how these quilts turned out.


3. King size Single Girl - Almost done with this.  Stuck at the moment, thanks to the lack of available rental long arm quilting machines in my area.  Argh.  Supposedly, one of the nearby shops will be getting one in before the summer starts, so here's hoping.


4. Elizabeth Hartman's Kitchen Window quilt - I kind of forgot about this one.  I'm not sure what kind of fabrics I had in mind here, but I think I might have been thinking about a quilt for my sister with this one.

5. Spiderweb quilt - I decided to enlist the help of the amazing girls in the {Sew} Beautiful Bee on this one.  Their blocks are gorgeous - I just need to make some more of them (okay, 18 of them) to finish up this quilt.

What's on my wall today


6. Cathedral Windows pillow for my living room - I did make a cathedral windows pillow for my Urban Home Goods swap partner, but I haven't tackled one for my living room yet.


7. Zig Zag quilt - I love zig zag quilts...but I kind of forgot that I intended to make one.  I'm thinking that I might really like to use of some gorgeous Aviary 2 for this...

8. Postage stamp quilt - Yet another forgotten item!  I do definitely want to make a quilt like this, but I've got to find the right fabrics for it.  And the right recipient!

9. Yellow dresden plate or wonky sun pillow for my mom's birthday - Done!  I wound up going a completely different direction, when my friend Lee wrote an amazing pillow tutorial over at Fat Quarterly, but I did indeed do this one.


10. Margaret's Hope Chest charity quilt - Just finished this one off, getting it off in the mail tomorrow.  I'm so happy with how this one turned out, and I can't wait to work on another quilt like it!


How are you doing with your goals?  What are you waiting for?  It's check-in time!!  Link up below :)  This linky will be open until April 10th.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WiP Wednesday #20

How did it get to be Wednesday again already??  Where has the week gone?  I suppose that's what happens when you're busy figuring out how to make cookies without butter or margarine still taste good and look like cookies (still working that!).  Hop on over to Freshly Pieced to see what everyone else has in the works!

Finished this week
Drunk Love MHC quilt

In progress
Supernova QAL - All caught up on cutting and trying to wait patiently for some piecing instructions tomorrow!

Prints cut and ready to roll for Supernova QAL

Spiderweb bee quilt - Actually making some progress here.  I've got all of the center kites made, all of the papers are cut out, now I just have to sew.  A lot.  One 1/4 block done, just another 71 to go.


Lily's Quilts QAL-inspired color wheel doll quilt - I'm getting all kinds of indecisive about this one now that I've decided who I'm going to make it for.  I've got some leftover papers from making my spiderweb papers, and I was kind of thinking that I might add another inspiration here - Lee's pillow tute - and make a scrappy, stringy kind of version, but still a color wheel.  Hopefully I can get decisive real soon here!

Bottled Rainbows QAL - All of the blocks are made now, just need to back them all with batting and put some more blocks together.  I've got five all put together now, another 11 to go!  I highly recommend this little quilt-along, it's a lot of fun and a great way to use up even those teensy tiny scraps you never thought you'd use but couldn't bear to part with!


Bookshelf mini quilt tute - I've gotten as far as picking fabrics, now I just need to get started.  Most of the math is all ready to go, thanks to my first bookshelf mini.


Quilt tops awaiting quilting
King Size Single Girl

New
April do.Good.Stitches blocks - This month's pair of blocks are inspired by the below, made by the fantastic Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey, as a swap item for one of our circle's quilters.  See the diamond pattern made by the white blocks?  Our blocks will make that same pattern, many times over.

urban home goods swap
Photo by Katy/I'm a Ginger Monkey

Super secret new quilt project - I've been busy with my sketchbook this week.  I'm not really sure what's going to come of it just yet, but I am going to keep it under wraps for the moment.  I can say this much - I'm super excited about what I've sketched so far!!



WiP Wednesday #20 Recap
Finished this week: 1
Last week's total: 7
New this week: 2
This week's total: 8

Reminder - Tomorrow is the official end of the first quarter of 2011.  I know, the year's flying by.  I'll be posting a progress report of sorts based on the lofty list of quilty goals I made for myself at the end of last year.  If you linked up your own list last year, or if you want to join in this time around, hop back over here tomorrow to link up.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Drunk Love Quilt - Finished!

There are no words to tell you how much this quilt excites me.  For starters, one of the first modern quilts I ever saw and loved was a drunk love quilt by Denyse Schmidt that I saw in a Martha Stewart Living magazine.  Secondly, this quilt is going to a wonderful home.  I'm donating this quilt via Margaret's Hope Chest's Wrapped in Hope program to a young woman turning 18 next month.  Her name is Kayla and her father is currently in prison.  A part of me hopes that this quilt will be with her through her adventures in young adulthood and that it brings her not only some hope, but some warmth and love.



I used a bunch of different fabric lines for this project - there's some Park Slope by Erin McMorris, lots of June Bug by Alexander Henry, some Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, a little bit of Wild Garden by Dan Bennett, a Dandelion fabric from Flora & Fauna by Patty Young , my favorite pink stripe from Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, and some Weekends by Erin McMorris as well.  I really enjoy sewing this way, putting a bunch of random, disparate fabrics together and making them work harmoniously.



I quilted this quilt using a meandering stipple, my go-to quilting style, especially for large quilts like this one.  I contemplated straight line quilting this one with random, slightly wonky lines, but I wasn't sure how it would look so I stuck with my old standby.  I'm pleased with how the quilting really lets the fabrics and the block design shine.


I bound this quilt with a solid Kona Peony pink, opting to stay as simple as possible for the binding.  I machine-bound this quilt, both front and back, and it came together quite beautifully.


Quilt Stats:
Size: 60" x 75"
Fabrics: Park Slope by Erin McMorris, June Bug by Alexander Henry, Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler, Wild Garden by Dan Bennett, Flora & Fauna by Patty Young, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, Weekends by Erin McMorris, and Kona Peony for binding
Quilting: All-over meandering stipple in white thread


I'm sharing this over at Canoe Ridge Creation's {Sew} Modern Monday and QuiltStory's Fabric Tuesday this week.  If you want to see some of the best finished projects the quilting blogosphere has to offer, hop on over and check out these great linkies!
Friday, March 25, 2011

Radio silence = progress

I've been quiet, I know.  When I saw Angela's post about what's on her design wall, coupled with a few comments and emails I've gotten this week about my lack of posts, I thought I should check in so you guys all know what I'm up to.  I'm not slacking, I swear!  The opposite, really.

I've made some progress in two ways - potty training the munchkin and sewing!  Knock on wood, the potty training that started up again last Friday is still going, and going super well.  It's been an awesome week, and I feel really proud of how it's going.  While the potty training's been going well, naptimes have been a super challenge the last few days.  Fortunately, today, the munchkin is finally asleep.  I think he's finally reached the point of exhaustion!

What's on my wall today

As far as sewing goes, I've got half of binding sewn down on my MHC drunk love quilt.  I'm excited to finish this one off, but I'm going to finish the binding on the machine, I think.  I always worry about how well my own stitching will hold up after lots and lots of washings.  At least with the quilts I make for family, I know I can fix them if I need to, but in sending this off to a wonderful young woman having her 18th birthday, I really want to make sure I'm sending something well-made and durable, so that's the plan for the weekend.


My other plan for the weekend is to sew a few more spiderweb blocks to go with my bee blocks.  I did some math earlier today, and it's looking like I'm going to need to make 18 of my own to make this quilt as big as I would like for it to be...so...I've got my work cut out for me :)

I've also gotten three more Bottled Rainbows blocks done, bringing the grand total up to 5.  I really love these blocks.  Just looking at them makes me happy.  I'm really curious to see how this whole quilt-as-you-go style will look when it's all done and bound and everything, but so far, it's been really enjoyable to do.

Turqoise finished bottled rainbows block


My fabrics are all cut up for Lee's QAL, and I'm itching for the sewing instructions already.  Is it Thursday again yet?  :)

Prints cut and ready to roll for Supernova QAL


So, no worries, I'm still here, still sewing, just making slow progress on too many different things.  What are you sewing this weekend?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WiP Wednesday #19

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means - time for a project roundup!  After FNSI last week and some good quality sewing time this week, I've made some serious progress, and managed to start up a few new projects at the same time.  Hop on over to Freshly Pieced to see what everyone else has in the works!

Finished this week:
Make Mine Modern mini-quilt


Birdie Stitches March block

Birdie Stitches March - done!


Still going (and feeling a little bit like the Energizer Bunny because these some are feeling never-ending!):
MHC drunk love quilt - Done quilting!   If only I could say the same about my binding.  It's slow going, because I've got so many other piecing projects in the work that are way more fun at the moment.  No worries, I'll finish this one by the end of the weekend, I'm sure, which will still be early.  I've got my binding cut and sewn together, but I need to spend some quality time with the iron here.  I wound up stippling this quilt, nothing too unique, but I think it lets the crazy piecing in the blocks really shine through.


Single Girl quilt - The quilt top is totally finished now, now if only I could find a local long-arm machine to rent!  They're apparently super-difficult to come by in my area, argh.  One local shop will have a machine ready for rental starting in May, so that's my best hope at the moment...sadly, this quilt's going to wind up in the UFO pile for a little while. :(  I couldn't resist tossing the quilt top on my bed to for a sneak peek of what it might look like when it's done!

DSCN1528


Supernova QAL - I've got all my fabrics and ready to roll.  I'm really excited about getting started on this one!

Spiderweb bee quilt - I've gotten a few more blocks in the mail from the awesome girls in the {Sew} Beautiful bee, but I still haven't managed to make another block of my own.  I fully intend to rectify that this week now that I've received five gorgeous blocks from my bee girls!

Monochromatic challenge quilt - Alas, this sketch is collecting dust at the moment.  I'm still really excited about the idea I had here, but so far, I've had too many other time-sensitive things to finish to get this one going in time.  I suspect this quilt will get a new lease on life later this year...maybe as another quilt-along...or my first real pattern...I'm writing this project off my list now, as a DOA project...

New:
Lily's Quilts QAL-inspired color wheel doll quilt - I've gotten as far as picking some fabrics for this one, which will be a rainbow doll quilt for my sewing room.  I'm inspired by Lily's QAL, as well as something I saw Jenny make last fall, so I'll be doing my own twist here.  I'm still torn between whether or not I want to go all-solid or throw some prints in yet, but I'm definitely going for a color wheel rainbow.


Bottled Rainbows QAL - I worked up two blocks this week, and it was a ton of fun, going through my scraps and remembering the projects they all spawned from.  I really love how this is coming together so far!  And so far, I'm a big fan of quilt as you go quilting!


Bookshelf mini quilt tute - Looks like I'll be making another bookshelf mini quilt, and writing a tute to go with it.  Thanks for all of the super sweet comments about this little finish, they definitely made my day!   I've already been surfing the super amazing Design Seeds blog for some color ideas...

WiP Wednesday #19 Recap
Last week's total: 7
Finished: 2
DOA: 1
New: 3
This week's total: 7
Monday, March 21, 2011

Bookshelf mini quilt - finished!

I've officially finished off my bookshelf mini-quilt for my Make Mine Modern swap partner.  I really love how this turned out, after being terribly unsure of whether or not this would be any good for not.  I think my partner will really like it.  I like this little mini-quilt so much that I'm thinking of making another one, since I have a good number of selvages hanging around and quite a few friends and family who love books.  Would you guys be interested in a little tutorial?

Better shot - Finished MMM bookshelf mini-quilt


This mini-quilt was shamelessly inspired by a quilt block I spotted on Flickr a while back, made by the wonderful Amber of One Shabby Chick for the super awesome Ringo Pie bee.  I loved what she did, and favorited it for a rainy day.  Fast forward a while to my partner assignment in Make Mine Modern, and I knew that I wanted to do this mini-quilt for my partner.  I had a lot of fun working on this one, sketching it out and figuring out how to make it as awesome in reality as it seemed in my head.


The book titles, with one exception, are all selvages, which I added some simple double-sided fusible web to, and then adhered them in place after stitching the book fabrics all together in a layout that was pleasing to me.  The one book title that is not a selvage comes from Sweetwater's Make Life collection.  I tell you, Sweetwater makes the best fabrics currently that use text.  I especially love their fresh Sweetwater collection, the colors are so cheery and some of the text fabrics are just gorgeous.  But, I digress...


The binding on this little mini-quilt comes from AMH's Innocent Crush collection.  I love the varying sizes of the stripes.  I'm a big fan of striped binding, and I really like how it works here.



I also love the back of this quilt.  This fabric is a completely random find I stumbled upon at Fabricworm, from Victoria & Albert's Grand Tour collection.  The whole collection is a series of reproduction prints from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and some of them (like this one) are just so stunning!  And just so you know, the painter's tape on the back?  Totally not some kind of weird artistic thing, I was just covering up my partner's name :)


I added the embroidery at the bottom after I finished the rest of the top and thought it needed something extra.  After an hour of digging through quotes about reading, I stumbled on this one and felt it was just the sentiment I was going for, and it wasn't fifty words long, so it was perfect.  My embroidery skills still need a bit of work, but I like how the embroidery turned out.


All I need to do now for this swap is find the right box to start packaging up all of the goodies in.  I simply cannot wait to get this swap mailed out and see what my partner thinks.  Stay tuned!

I'm linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations.  Pop on over to see some other recent modern finishes!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

I'm also linking up with Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory!
Saturday, March 19, 2011

FNSI #1 Results

My Friday Night Sew-In didn't exactly go as planned...there was some serious potty training progress tonight that kept me from getting started until around 8 o'clock, but I had a pretty good couple of hours with some good progress to show off, and now I'm tired and need to head to bed.  I've got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, visiting my mother to help her with computer troubles, and need to call it a night.

I did some prep work during naptime to make FNSI go a little smoother - I managed to baste both my Make Mine Modern mini-quilt and the MHC drunk love quilt.  I used spray baste for both, and my back seriously thanked me for it.  I can't get over how much easier and faster spray basting is.  I still used a handful of pins on the edges of the MHC quilt, since it's bigger, just to make sure it didn't slip.  I also wound a bunch of bobbins so I'd be ready to roll tonight.

Locked and loaded, ready to sew!


I started out on my Birdie Stitches block, which was a breeze to complete.  It seems like with each month, I get a little bit more proficient at embroidery and it goes by more quickly.  This one is awfully cute!

Birdie Stitches March - done!


Next, I quilted my bookshelf mini-quilt for the Make Mine Modern swap.  I really love how this one is looking at this point.  I'm

MMM quilting in progress


The last project I got started on was quilting my MHC quilt.  I can tell it's going to take a few sessions, much as I dislike the idea of several sessions.  The fabrics are very busy, and it's taking a lot of focus to stipple without overlapping the stitching.  Instead of going all over the place, like I usually do, I'm trying to actually stick to staying inside one block at a time, to make it easier to follow.  I like how the stippling is looking so far.  I'm two rows into it so far, with 10 blocks quilted. Only 20 left to go!

MHC quilting in progress


So, three bobbins emptied tonight.  A bit less than I expected, but I'm still happy with how my first Friday Night Sew-In turned out!  Have a great weekend!

Empty, empty
Friday, March 18, 2011

TGI-FNSI - Thank goodness it's Friday Night Sew-In!


It's Friday, and it's Friday Night Sew-In (FNSI).  I'm seriously looking forward to this.  I've got quite the laundry list of projects to choose from tonight.  There's...

the drunk love quilt for Margaret's Hope Chest, which needs quilting and binding

Close-up of finished MHC quilt top

my king-size Single Girl, who needs basting, quilting and binding

Hurray!

my MMM swap mini-quilt, which needs at least quilting and binding - I'm not sure I'm done embellishing the top yet - I might add another border to it...

MMM Mini-quilt in progress

March Birdie Stitches block, which needs stitching

Birdie Stitches - March block in progress

So, there's definitely no shortage of things to sew tonight, I just need to decide which one to run with.  
Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here's the mail...it never fails...

My son loves singing the Blue's Clues mail song, and whenever I have a good mail day, I just can't help myself, I start singing it on my own.  I've had some awesome things in my mailbox lately and I just have to share...

I won an awesome half-yard bundle from The Sewing Summit's blog, in Alexander Henry's Larkspur.  Not sure what I'll use it for just yet, but I love the saturated, bright colors in this collection.  I got a bonus FQ from Freebird with this package, which was an awesome surprise!


I've gotten a few swap packages in the mail.  I love swaps, it's like Christmas in my mailbox.  And it's always a surprise, which is the best part.  My swap partner, Amy, for the Spicing Up the Kitchen swap did a fantastic job for me, and even made a runner loosely based on my Sliced Coins quilt along.  My other awesome goodies included a coffee mug, a mug rug, and a potholder to match the runner.


For the Urban Home Goods swap, I got seriously spoiled.  My partner, Corrie, sent me a gorgeous notebook, along with a sweet mug rug and a mini-quilt for my sewing room.  I just love the darling little mug rug, with the pennant style, I've loved some of the pennant style things I've seen on Flickr, and I'm excited to have my very own piece.




And finally, I got another Pips precut to round out my collection, although when the package came in, I was severely concerned about whether or not they made it in one piece.


Fortunately, the Pips were A-OK, despite the fumble from the postal service.  This seems to be happening more often lately with my packages, but thankfully, most of the places I shop are wrapping fabric in plastic to ensure that it's not damaged during shipping.


Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!
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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy six year old boy and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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