Thursday, April 10, 2014

Half Square Triangle Heaven

I cannot believe how fast time is flying!  By the way, I will stop making commitments to be on my blog more often as that is obviously turning out to be an epic fail.  There is plenty going on here lately but more importantly, I do believe that Spring will finally hit the Midwest.  Which is long overdue!  It's been a bad winter for many..warm weather may make me forget about our horrible winter though :)

OK, so where I left off last time was a promise that I would have something different to show in my sewing room and I do!  I am still thrilled with this change-up

I have been saving my pennies for a change in my cutting table for a while now and finally couldn't stop myself from getting this.  I saw a picture of this table in action on a blog more than a year ago, and couldn't get it out of my head.  The height is correct, the finish works for our home and the storage, dude!!?  LOVE at first sight :)

I found the table here and although it took a few sessions for my husband and I to assemble this, and without any arguments or injuries I might add, it took me no time to launch onto organization!  I was a maniac for a few days going through my stash, cutting up scraps for future quilts and organizing.  I adore this table!!  

Just after this addition to my sewing room, I got hooked on another quiltalong.  I kept seeing great pictures on Instagram of the #layercakesamplerqal, also here and found no resistance to joining in on the fun!  


The assembly of the half square triangles according to our QAL leader, Amanda is a different way than I've tried before and I love it!  These blocks are quite large, at 16" finished and with 20 blocks the finished quilt will surely be wrap-upable and cuddle worthy.  
I am using up a bunch of different solids that I've had languishing in my stash and wanted to use up, matching them with some new low volume fat quarters I've been getting from westwood acres low volume club.  I am having a blast with these blocks, they all look so different!


I have 12 of the 14 blocks done with 13-16 on schedule for this weekend to get all caught up!  Pretty excited to see how this one turns out!

Oh, and of course part of my time has been taken with my Stella as well


She is now 8 months old and with the nicer weather we have been walking quite a bit and enjoying the dog park.  She has been pretty amazing so far and I am completely attached to her, more so daily if that is possible!  She still needs to learn how to quilt (relaxing in my sewing room) yet but she has taken over much of the house.

I hope you are having a little Spring or warm weather where you are!  I'll be back with more QAL progress soon - and I know for sure I will as I cannot wait to put this one together.

xx Karen  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stuff going on

Instagram has a way of making me think that I am capturing progress, getting excellent feedback and documenting a history of what I do.  The quick pics and short descriptions do help me considerably and seeing so much inspiration in the palm of my hand is amazing to say the least.

The short descriptions and quips are not enough and I need to remember that I enjoy reading blogs as well as my blog and writing things out a little and chatting with my fellow bloggers and followers!  There has been a lot of stuff going on over here besides Stella ~ although she does take up some time

We do love the dog park and we totally require daily cuddling
I need to get my good camera out, but these pics from my phone give you the idea. :)  She is a good dog and relatively easy but a bit of a handful too.  I am so thankful for her!  
In sewing news, I joined in on the Flickr Mug Rug Revival swap because I love making small projects and honestly, my husband likes them and was getting tired of the ones I got in swaps before!  They are handy to have around but we do need to rotate I guess :)  

But before I could come up with a design for the mug rug I made for my partner I had to dig into this cute pattern by Noodlehead and Carolyn Friedlander called the social tote ~

I learned a couple of tricks and really enjoyed assembling this project!  It was a little mind bending but the divided sections are perfect for hand-sewing or storing/corralling a bunch of stuff

The fabrics were from a kit for the tote that I got at a quilt shop and I think they work perfectly.  SO, now that I had my hand sewing tote I could do some hand sewing right?

The theme for the mug rug swap is green or spring and so I raided my 2.5 x 2.5 scrap bucket for some green and before I knew it I had plenty put together for a green mug rug! 


I didn't mean to make it oval but my cutting was off for a rectangle so I went with it!  I hope my partner likes it!  Along with that piece, all of my blocks came in from my moderninstabee group and I couldn't wait to assemble the top
 I scored on the last yardage last year from pinkcastlefabrics.com the Annie's Seed Catalog white on white print...sigh...my all time favorite print/texty fabric!!  The blocks were just calling out that they needed that for sashing and a border


The blocks came from Missouri, Maine, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, California plus mine added up to a pretty great quilt top I think!  I am really enjoying this bee and not only because I was the first queen!  I already sent off the block for March's queen ~
 It is really fun to try new block styles!  Just love the book for inspiration too.  Now, next big thing over here is a pending change for my cutting table that I hope works well for my space.  I'll share progress next time (hopefully!) and an influx of fabrics that have been showing up here lately too!  Wish me luck!


Have a great week!  xx K

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Bee and a sewing buddy

Will winter ever end ya think?  The sub-zero, piles of snow and dreary skies just.won't.stop here in the Midwest.  I think we are due for an early Spring...but a predicted 6-8 inches of new snow today isn't making me feel Spring like.  

In better news I joined in on the ModernInstabee2014 via Instagram.  There are 13 hives of 12 -  ya, that's right - 156 of us!  Crazy good.  For this bee (I'm in hive 6) as queen bee for our month we pick a block from the book Modern Bee - 13 quilts to make with Friends and by the end of the year we have 12 quilts or one for each in the hive!  I really love about every single quilt in the book. Each design is from fellow-bloggers who participated in a bee.  The bee turned into a book!

As the hives were forming I was getting ready for a trip to Florida and during our time away I found out that I am queen bee for February!  YIKES - I had to figure out which block I wanted and in what colors so that we could begin our bee by 2/10.  This was just after our week away but I did it!  I picked my block and colors - here is the test block I made ~
This is the stacked windmills block from the book.  I asked the girls to use orange, green and turquoise with yellow sides.  The pictures on Instagram from my fellow hive 6'ers are so fun to see!  I cannot wait to get the blocks and put the top together.  More importantly I can't wait for March and the next block!  I recommend this book as it is full of great stash-busting blocks with great design.  

The weekend after our return from Florida and all the bee hive activity had us driving 300 miles each way to pick up my valentine gift.  You see, sometimes that is what you do when you fall in love with a face like this


I have been a little worn out so excuse the phone picture but this is our newest family member Stella!  (said like in the movie Streetcar Named Desire of course).  She is just over 6 months old and after less that 48 hours in her new home she is learning quite a lot! 

Like how to be a quilter
She seems to love 'em :)  Now - hopefully I can get a full nights sleep with this little one soon.

You have a great week!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Do you WIP?

After spending much of my time on my electronic devices over the past few years following quilter blogs, Flickr and most recently Instagram, I have come to understand the grief over WIPs.  Some even hold major blog events (with prizes!) to address these WIPs and it is so lovely to see all the WIPs turn into FWA (Finished Works of Art) - maybe a new bloggy acronym?  Haha

I am of the unusual set in quilt blog world in that I typically don't have WIPs hanging around.  This is not because I'm not interested in starting new projects one bit.  I think I'm just too anal and I also have a tendency to attribute feelings to unfinished projects...like thinking they are scoffing at me as though I'll never finish them.  Today there does remain one WIP in my closet and that is the Farmers Wife Quilt I started in what seems a century ago.  But more on that later, much later.

This past summer on vacation I found quilt shops to go to in which I picked up a pattern, fabrics and even a specialized ruler to make Hexie Garden by Atkinson Designs.  In this quilt I used retro-ish fabrics which is typically not my first choice but I think I may have fallen for these! 


The picture of the unfinished top above is from pictures dated September - where it was nice and sunny...this is (or was) my only WIP besides aforementioned Farmers Wife - but I needed to find a deal on backing fabric to finish it ~


Making good use of my recent quilt back purchases I set out to finish this quilt and though I had high hopes of some far more intricate quilting, when I sat down to quilt it a rather lazy large meander came out.  In hindsight I am glad for this as it doesn't take over from the hexies and after a wash this quilt is so soft!

One thing I am thankful for when I get to finishing tops is when I proceed with putting together the binding as I did with this one - so, a lovely evening last weekend hand stitching binding had this one done quickly. :)

Before I finished this quilt though I made a secret pillow cover for the XFactor pillow swap as well - this is what I submitted for round 8 ~


The theme this round was log cabin with text and I had a blast making this arranging blocks here and there to finally arrive at the above pattern!!  I am sending this off to my secret partner as this swap is based on your entry and voting - which results in the selection of recipient.  A very fun swap!  I can't wait to see which one I get!

On a final note but far from least interesting I received a goodie package from Shay at Quilting in My Pyjamas.  I sent her some flour sack dishtowels and she sent me so many goodies that I think she got the short end of the deal!  
First off I adore this bag with the drawstring top - it has been planted on my sewing table since I got it along with an array of fabulousness such as ~
My husband was immediately excited about the Vegemite
These colorful linen fabrics are so amazing!  I need to find a travel bag or something to make with these detailed prints - just love them, especially the pelicans.  Thank you dear Shay - I'm eating chocolate with my coffee this morning thanks to you too :)  

I hope you are all having a great week!  xo K

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tone it Down Done

Hi.  I finished quilting and binding my APQ Tone it Down quilt over the weekend!  I ended up spending several hours quilting it


I couldn't wait to share the finish for a nice sunshiney day, so I am settling for overcast.  I decided to FMQ loose clusters of flowers and loops 


I had thought my flowers would look a little more like daisies but that didn't happen, so I just went with what evolved. :)  

This loose flower/loop pattern was very fun to while away the hours of my Saturday but I have to say it took a much longer time to FMQ this than I thought.  It also ate a whole lot of thread - it ate up 4 total prewound bobbins with about 100 yards of thread each!  I'm happy with how this one turned out!  Right after I finished it I dug through my stash and found a couple of options for binding.  I posted a couple choices on Instagram and the one I went with won out in casual voting


I have had this red bird text print for something like 6 years!  So glad I kept it for this quilt.  I spent Sunday morning binding and ta-da

It was very cold when I snapped these pics, the sacrifice for a little better light!  And here the snow pic~

This quilt finished at approximately 74" x 74" as I went with 16 versus 20 blocks in the QAL.  I love this quilt so much and it was so fun to sew.  It's in the wash right now so it'll get crinkly goodness.

I highly recommend this pattern from the February issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.  The QAL details are here.  Stay warm!  xo K

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Feeling finishy

I did it, I finished my APQ quilt top and love it but now I want to see it finished!!  It's a good thing the weather is semi-cooperating to make it even easier for me to sew.  We had several inches of snow yesterday and wind so it got a little drifty

Yes, I'm looking forward to Spring!  

Here, an attempt at an inside winter-y pic that isn't as clear as I'd hoped, but you can see my APQ QAL Tone it Down quilt top complete at least



I opted to make 16 of the QAL pattern total 20 for my quilt.  The blocks are a good size and with the sashing it measures approximately 74" x 74".

Here are close ups of a couple blocks too


I love all the little pieces of low volume texty prints that pop up in the blocks!  For this top, I used up SO many little fabric scraps that I was hoarding of low volume and texty fabrics that my stash is empty of low volume text!  It is both a good feeling and a feeling of loss as so many are out of print now...guess I need some texty fabric shopping therapy :)  The dots I used for the sashing on the blocks were a fat quarter set of (Dear Stella?) polka dot on white fabrics which I think pulled all the fabrics together.  

Since I simply need to finish this quilt and another, I took advantage of a local shop going out of business (sadly) and went in search of quilt backs.  I walked out with 22 yards!!  I just had to throw in some mackerel printed fabric too


I am leaning towards this one for the back of my APQ quilt ~


This texty goodness is from Timeless Treasures.  So - to summarize, I have my finished top, the backing fabric and even enough batting so I will be finishing this soon!  Have a great day!  xo K

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Whoa - where did December go?

Hi!  How are you doing?  Can you believe it's the New Year?  

It's 2014 and I am surprised since my December sort of whizzed by.  Most certainly this occurs for many people but 2013 capped off with a month that seemed a blur to me.  Besides the typical holiday planning and readiness, my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary and I also have a birthday in December.  On top of that, I had several days of vacation to use up due to my own lack of vacation planning in which I semi-vacationed and semi-worked.

The month started with a week away immediately after serving Thanksgiving dinner to 13.  It was a great time and I remembered that my husband is really fun to hang out with when we get time together :)  Once back, reality hit when we still had holiday shopping to do.  That was fairly easily handled since it is easy to order gift cards online sporting a tan.

Unfortunately my last minute holiday success which included getting holiday cards in the mail was abruptly followed by a sudden farewell to my girl
I am still reeling from the loss of this gorgeous one.  She led a full 12+ year long life but it has been too, too quiet. 

After the chaos of holiday gatherings I found I still had days to use up before 12/31 so I mixed partial work and time off by sewing.  I joined in on the All People Quilt-along called Tone it Down from the February American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  This is a very fun quilt with pops of color and it is allowing me to use up all the bits of low volume and texty prints that I have in my stash.


This is a very fun block to make~


One block turned into 12 pretty quickly

Right now I have 16 blocks done, I cut up the very last pieces of low volume I had for the 9 patch corner stones and sashing strips.  I will hopefully post a finished top next time!  I do plan on posting a bit more regularly - promise! 

I hope everyone has a great start to 2014!  xx K