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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Step #1

One day I had no desire to sew, but I was tired of looking at this.  Ick.

Ta-Da.  I could actually use the cutting area.  I took a photo, it isn't often I can actually use a whole counters worth of surface.  

Continuing my sewing quest to try new ventures, my first cathedral window AND my first pincushion.  I did enjoy making the cathedral window part (however, spelling cathedral correctly remains a challenge).  I may make more, but a blocks worth, I don't think I can make a quilts worth of these babies.

My local QG has a challenge based on the Twelve by Twelve groups display we saw in Houston.  Our group chose colors to use as our themes and the first color is yellow..  These are my inspirations.  

My idea is a sliver in my mind and I'm hoping it grows as I start to cut, pin, and sew.  And I can only do this once, so I better love the results.  I'm cutting up a piece of Mickey Lawler fabric, that I am sure cost me a pretty penny back in 2005.  That was the stamp on the side of the piece, Mickey Lawler 2005.  It can be used now, I have successfully hoarded it long enough.  She probably doesn't even have fabric left from 2005.

12" square is really a tiny space to fit a whole idea.  I'm thinking this will be a dress ala Cinderella.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Geese are flying

Per my usual, I have overcommitted February to the hilt.  On top of the Mouthy Stitches Pouch swap (which I finished, and on time!), I am in the FTLOS2 swap.  Now, I will admit that when the first round was going on I saw the photos on blogs and flickr - and I wanted in!  There were such exciting ideas happening in the group.  When round 2 opened up, I might not have been first in line, but I tried.  

My partner assignment shows these color choices, and I'm thinking of a table runner for her with the Kona Ash as a background.  The greens pop right out from the Ash.  

This block has become one of my favs.  It is getting easier to make, but takes no less time and no less amount of fabrics the more I make, which is irritating.  I am trying my hand at the smaller size, which, yay!  used scraps from the larger block.  More work to be done, and I'm not ready to post the progress on flickr yet, but if she comes across here, so be it!  I have another block to make and I have an idea for improv piecing to round out the perfect paper piecing.  

These geese are for ANOTHER project.  I loves the black background, and I made a reverse flying goose trying to see if I can make a flow.  It isn't working yet.
And just to prove I never say no to anything - I'm also in the Ring of Flying Geese swap, for which I have to make 8 blocks.  I have 2 made so far, but not photos.  So, actually there are more geese flying around my room that what I show here!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mouthy Stitches

These are the fabrics I pulled for the Super Secret Swap Mouthy Stitches on Flickr.  My partner had a few birds in her inspirational mosaic - which I would show, but then she'll know this is for her.  I love Joel Dewberry's Aviary collections, so I'm hoping she will too.  I joined this swap in my attempt this year to broaden my sewing adventures.  I've never inserted a zipper before, which I felt was my biggest hurdle.  

This will be my first attempt ever at a zip pouch for this swap.  I figured I'll just make 2 to begin with, #1 which will have all the mistakes, and #2 to be perfect.

So far so good, I fussy cut a bird for the centers.  

Fronts quilted.  I followed a fantastic tutorial on this blog, I followed all her directions, they were well written with photos.  After making the first one, I did make a few changes to the second, only minor differences.

Ta-Da!  Inserting the zipper was a bit confusing, it never looked right until the whole pouch was complete, but I trudged on figuring it would work out in the end.  I only broke 3 needles on the zippers, 2 on the first zipper and 1 on the second.  I'm sure by the time I do another, I'll forget all the tips and still be at 3 broken needles.  This is the second pouch which will be gifted to my partner in Mouthy Stitches.

The inside pockets.  One of the items I changed for the second pouch, I made the lining just 1/8" smaller on each side for a nicer fit inside the pouch.  

The back of the gifting pouch.  I embroidered little bird prints, also something I don't normally do - it involves the dreaded hand sewing.  The embroidery is on black linen.  

The back of the rejected pouch, which is only being rejected as far as my purse.  I decided the handle was a bit too long on the first one, so I  shortened  it by just 1" on the gift pouch, now it fits nicely over my wrist and hopefully hers too.  

Not a bad pair for a first timer.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Getting there takes time

Months ago, and it feels as if that was a lifetime ago, I started this quilt for our Aunt & Uncle.  They are the same age as myself and my husband.  Their son, our nephew, tragically lost his life in a terrible accident in August 2011.  

My husband asked me to make a quilt for his Aunt & Uncle from the clothing of his nephew.  As much I knew it would feel good to do something for them, it was one of the most difficult things I've done, and the quilt blocks languished.  The above blocks sat this way on my design board for the last 4 months.  And the clothing has sat in one form or another on the floor in my sewing studio.  I could no more move the clothing than I could take down the blocks from the design wall.  

I couldn't work on them, nor could I take them down, I just sort of ignored them.  As they sat, sometimes my husband would ask if I had progressed, but he did not push.  Others that knew would ask, and I could say nothing, just that I couldn't yet.  And as happens, one day this week, I decided no more.  I will finish.  That night I made these 4 blocks.  Last summer when I started, all I did was sew and cry, sew and cry.  This time, there was no crying, just determination to finish.  

Now, the blocks are sewn together in blocks of 2, the sashings are attached and tonight before I go to bed the next border will be on.  And even though I know that I have commitments to other quilters in the form of blocks and swaps, I will not be doing anything else until this is done.  My heart wants this quilt to be home.  So, please be patient with me, I will return to my regular schedule soon.

I had cut these pieces originally for the sashing and decided they were too busy, but they are going in the last border.  Jesse worked on cars, it was his passion and this fabric is fitting of a mechanic.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How much wood could a woodchuck....

Or - How many Bee blocks can a Bee Mate complete back to back?  Ok, technically #6 I finished on Sunday, but semantics, right?  I had enough I thought I would make a pretty mosaic~
1.  This is for Leona in our first month of Design Camp, thinking outside the box. I had too much fun making this block!  I had to stop myself from going overboard with the strips.  It was a simple concept for the block, 5" charm squares in solids.  And I'm so glad I received the browns.  I love it!

2 & 3.  For Karen in Honey Bees, simple window blocks, she provided excellent directions!  We used Kate Spain charm squares, beautiful!

4 & 5.  Confetti blocks are for Corrie in the group Sew Bee It, I came in as a replacement for someone in this group, and I'm so glad I was invited!  

6.  February block for Sarah who blogs over at SoSarahSews, she has a quilt featured this week on the blog Quilt Story, it is a sweet friendship quilt.  We used our own scraps and black Kona for the background.

7 &8.  For Gina in my Block Party Bee, we are using blocks from the book Block Party - The Modern Quilting Bee, I have a great group of bee mates in this group!  Gina chose the Roman Stripes block and used Christmas fabrics. 

9.  Keeping track of where all these blocks need to end up!

I still have 1 January item to make, and it is giving me mental diarrhea!  Not because the block is ugly, it's all me!  I have never made a hexie block before and I'm afraid I'm going to screw it up.  I tried to clear some other mental clutter by getting these blocks done, so I can take some mental pepto and focus, focus, focus.  


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day / Small Blog Meet

What did you do in January?  I did a check, and I feel like it was a good productive month.  Even though the month was full of construction in the house and I sometimes felt like there were 50 people in here at a time and the place would never be clean again.  It still isn't, but at least the construction is complete and I have a fresh faced bathroom.  Still going through wiping off EVERY surface in the house.  

1.  String Blocks for String Block Swap
2.  Bee block for Aqua & Orange Bee
3.  Japanese X Block for Threadheads Bee
4.  Toy Sack for my nephew
5.  Oilcloth iPad cover (for me!)
6. Proto-type pillow cover (my first!)
7.  Christmas Box Blocks for Sew Bee It
8.  My block for 4X5 Modern Quilt Bee
9.  Finished Quilt Tropical Paradise

There were a few more Bee blocks not included in this, the mosaic was just taking too long, and I also made Bow Tie blocks for the Bow Tie swap, but I didn't take a photo.  I took a break after January from the 4X5 and NuBees block exchange, to concentrate on a couple of new swaps involving Pincushions and Modern Fabric swappers.  After those I'll get back to the block exchanges.  It is my month in Jan for a group, in February and in March.  I'm working on getting the rest of those together.  Looks like a busy February too.  

This is where I should insert a button from Lilly's Quilts where you can see what other bloggers have been up to in January.  I can't quite figure out the button, but the link will take you there.