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Monday, April 14, 2014

Making a list

Katy's opened up the 2nd quarter Finish-A-Long! I work best with deadlines, so I'm excited to give myself a boost of motivation with this link-up. Ironically enough, tomorrow is the deadline for posting our proposed finish list, and here I am, getting in right under the wire! So proof positive - deadlines work!
Finish Along 2014

Even as I write this list, I know I'm being over-ambitious. But if you know anything about me you know that is kind of my style. I have captured every single one of my started projects. Let's see how much I can get done in the next 3 months! It was a bit of a reality check to see how many there are. 

Small projects-

1. Monkey QFK-

This baby size quilt is destined for Quilts for Kids and it is so close... it's quilted so now all I need to do is put on binding!

2. Duck QFK-

This one is also destined for Quilts for Kids. Obviously it's not as close to finished but since it is a small project I think we can whip this out before the end of Q2.  I'm already thinking about how I want to put that maybe a modified Baptist's fan? Hrmmm, we'll see.

3. Turtle QFK-

Are we seeing a theme here? Top is pieced and needs to be basted.

4. Animal Baby quilt-

Pieces are cut and pinned, but I can't remember what the pattern was so I need to so some math before I can make real progress on this. Started this for a baby that is now 2 years old... yikes. I don't know yet if it will stay with me or be gifted.

5. Scrap-basket strip quilt-

I started this one as part of a block swap and have just sewn the last 20 6.5" blocks needed to get to this size. I don't know yet if it will stay with me or be gifted, but I do know that I want to try some free motion quilting on this one. Before I can do that though I'll need to pick out some backing and binding fabric. I pulled this black and white polka dot hoping I could calm down the crazy, what do you think?

6.  Halloween Table runner-

I ran low on the black fabric, got frustrated with thte borders being too small to piece and stalled out this project. I will just bite the bullet and seam rip off the offending black border. The nice thing about this is even if I don't get to it before the end of the 2nd quarter, I'll have time to still get it done for the holiday.

Big projects-

7. The maroon and orange one-

That's a pretty unexciting name for one that I like so much... what should I call it?? These blocks are sewn, squared, and ready to go! I need to start joining rows. I haven't done so yet because some of the white strips in the middle are varying in widths and it will take a little bit of finesse to get things lined up. Thankfully now that I have a design wall I can lay things out without crawling all over the floor. So, no excuses, let's get this one done this quarter! 

8. Sister's grad quilt-

This is basted and has been since February.  I need to conquer my fear of wrestling this bad boy under my domestic machine. Well, sister graduated last May so it's seriously overdue.

9.  Anniversary quilt-

This is the biggest, hardest and most sentimental project on my WIP list. I've got quite a few more blocks to piece to get it to the planned queen bed size, and they are time consuming. But the result is so worth it! Hoping to get this done this summer, get it to a long-armer and enjoy it for our 4th wedding anniversary in August. We'll see...

10. Rainbow Made in Cherry-

This one also needs a proper name. Started as part of a quilt-a-long (QAL), I ran short of some fabrics in the fuschia colorway, and set it aside. Two more points to go before I can piece the background.

11. Across the sea

This was my first QAL! I got to the point where I needed to add the last and had to pack up to move. That was 2 years ago. Oh I am a compulsive quilt staller... is there a support group out there for us?!

12. Sisters quilt-

My sister and I picked up fabric for us to make matching quilts (same colored strips, but different neutrals). I am still in love with the idea of us having different but similar quilts, that we work on together. Our strips our cut, but the sewing has yet to happen. Sorry about the terrible cell phone photo. Trust me when I say those prints are CUTE!

13. Mod mosiac bonus quilt
I'm piecing these improv blocks to use up scraps. Since this is a 'bonus' quilt I am not putting the pressure on to finish it this quarter.  I'll put it here though to keep me honest when I get tempted to start something new.

Sheesh! I better get cracking!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fabric, for $0 a yard!??

This set of string quilt blocks is on my design wall. 12" blocks, all from scraps and improv pieced.

And it didn't even put a dent in the scrap boxes....

It's destined to be donated to Quilts for Kids, but not before I practice some free motion quilting on it.

I am working hard to used what I have on hand, and to finish projects.

Just when my will power was waning, this happened:

I announced excitedly that fabric was on sale for $5/yd at one of my favorite online shops this morning. Hubby smiled, took my hand and walked me to the closet where my stash is housed. He pointed at the boxes, "fabric, $0 per yard".

Well played hubby, well played.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Busting scraps and winter blues

Sometimes a girl just needs to sew.

Sometimes, like when that girl is stressed or tired, she needs to sew and not care if her points match.

She needs to sew fast as fast as her machine can go until she runs out of bobbin thread.

On such a night, some improv modern mosaic blocks are the perfect solution.

Busting scraps,  stress, and the winter blues all at once, is just what this girl needed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Travelin' and Stashin'

When you travel out of town, out of state, or maybe even out of the country, do you make it a point to add local quilt stores to your itinerary?

Today, I DID!!

I'm in Oklahoma City this week for work. From the little of it I've seen, it's a great city. Have you been here?

I take a 6 am flight out tomorrow, but I discovered there are a few quilt stores in the area (thanks to the almighty google) I jetted out of my last meeting for the day and found my way over to Oklahoma Quiltworks.

I should have taken more photos of the shop, but as soon as I walked in I got sucked into the wall of pretties! You understand....Check out there website for a sneak peek. :)

 With only 10 minutes to explore before they closed I did a quick loop around the store and found some goodies!

I had a few low-volume fat quarters picked out but ultimately settled on 1/2 yard cuts of these three neutral-ish (that's the technical term for it, ha!) geometric prints by Moda. 

I also picked up this great pattern, by Allison Harris who blogs at Cluck Cluck Sew, which I'd pinned a while ago. It's not new, but the fact that I still like it 2 years later means we're destined to be together, right?
It's fun to see some your favorite online designers' and bloggers' patterns in person, don't you think??

The ladies who worked at Quiltworks in OKC were very sweet and the store is just wonderful. They had a TON of modern prints, some great reproductions, a nice variety of precuts. I wish I could have had more time there! Although, for the sake of my budget and the carry-on weight limit on the plane, it's probably for the best that I only had a few minutes to dash in and out.

I do wish now that I had gone ahead and bought those other fun low volume prints, but I was trying to exercise something that resembles self restraint. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to plan for a longer visit on my next trip into town.

Hear that boss? I'm pretty sure there are some really important meetings I need to attend out here.. *hint hint*

Maybe the fabric I picked up today will find their way into the Scout quilt, maybe not. I have to finish some other projects before I cut into anything new, so I have plenty of time to figure that out. For now they willl peek out at me from my stash, and will act as motivation to finish some WIPs!

Speaking of WIPS, I came across these blocks which are from the first round of the Mini Scrap Basket Swap. I think I'll turn them into a small lap quilt. It's good to see them in the day of light again! I'm sure that 5 more 12" blocks I need to finished this one out won't even put a dent in my scraps, but it'll be a good start!

Monday, February 17, 2014

"that girl" is back

Nobody likes "that girl"...

...the girl who doesn't return messages, who doesn't keep promises.

That is why it broke my heart 2 years ago when I had to very abruptly leave several online sewing groups.

I moved. I started a new job. I took on a second job. I travel frequently for work, and make the most of my time with my husband on the weekends, because for most of the week, we are seperated by 150+ miles.

Life happened, and I didnt handle it gracefully.
I had disapointed my friends in bees and swaps with unfinished blocks, and broken commitments.
I was that girl, and it broke my heart.

A lot has changed over the last two years. I've grown professionally and personally. I know more than before, what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are and I have committed to being more intentional with my time and energy.

A few things haven't changed though.

I still (and probably always will) love to create, to share ideas, to ask questions.

After 2 years of little to no involvement with the quilting community, I reached out to a local modern quilt guild. I was hesitant, because I didn't want to dive in head first only to disapoint my new friends. Here we are, 6 months later. I am so glad to be part of the local quilt guild and I am rediscovering the inspiration, the knowledge, and the support that makes the quilting community so special.

I'm back in front of my sewing machine.

I'm cautiously optimistic that I will some day, be able to participate in online swaps and bees, guilt free. I know I won't be that girl again.

But I think it I need to prove to myself, if nobody else, that I can see projects through to the end. To hold myself accountable.

This is a long and wordy post.. so if you've made it to the end, thank you for hearing me out.
It is theraputic to come out of the blog shadows. To start fresh.

Now it's time to face these blocks and myself. These have sat languishing in a closet to two years and they aren't going to finish themselves!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Two New Totes

I have two totes to share with you today!

The first is this simple reversible tote bag made using a {tutorial} from Skip to my Lou.
Swap Goodies for Lynn - Tote BagSwap Goodies for Lynn-Tote Bag (inside)
I made it for Lynn (fellow bee in the do Good Stitch's Wish Circle). She said she liked pink, blues and red, and I really like this combination! It was a good way to make a dent into my huge box of charm squares. Hope she likes it! 

It's been a while since I sewed something for myself. I think it was worth the wait....
I had to throw out my favorite purse a few weeks ago. I was using a big canvas tote as a temporary solution.
before tote
After two months of being annoyed that the straps were too long and everything sunk to a tangles mess in the bottom, I decided to give it a face lift.

Okay, maybe it was more than a facelift. It was a total reconstruction.
Finished Leaf Tote

I used the same basic construction/piecing from the Skip to my Lou tutorial.

I added a little hook for my keys, a pouch for my cell phone and divider in the center to hold pens and cards.
Finished Leaf Tote (inside)

It's my mona lisa.  Okay that might be a stretch, and it took a fair amount of trial and error, especially on the back pocket.
(see the blue 'extension' to the zipper ends? 
It wasn't a mistake, it was a creative opportunity... cough cough)
Finished Leaf Tote (back) ww
but it's all mine and it makes me smile!

Leaf Tote Label

Does anyone else get this excited about having an organized purse?? 

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mini Box Pouch (aka the webcam bag)

Some of you know that there have been some big life changes around here, not the least of which is that my hubby is working (and living) 170 miles away from me Monday-Friday.

We spent alot of time anxiously thinking about how this change would affect us and ultimately decided to try it for a year, so that we can each move closer to what we want to be,  professionally. 

We have "Skype dates" almost every night, so that we can see each other and talk to other about our day. Cute right? It's been a great tool for us.. there was just one problem.

Or webcams didn't come with a case, and we didn't want them to get dirty or broken during his travel or around the apartment.

Enter a sewing solution!

I found this great tutorial from Sew Like My Mom.

{photo source:}

Look at her cute bag!
Her pattern finishes at a useful sized cosmetic bag (9″ long, 5″ tall and 5″ wide).

I used the methods and construction techniques but I scaled it down, and used only cotton fabric (no vinyl).

I used a 7 inch zipper, scaled the exterior/interior pieces to 7" x 11.5" and cut out 1.25" squares.
It finished at a fun little size, apx. (4″ long, 3″ tall and 3″ wide).

I had hubby pick out his fabric and it was kind of adorable to watch him walk around the store looking for the perfect combination. He did pretty well, I think. Don't you agree?  

So... I kind of love our his & hers webcam bags. And I love that we we can keep in touch during our time apart without having to worry about scratched lenses or tangled cords.

But I'm dying to know... What do YOU think?
Have you modified or resized an already awesome tutorial? Or do you always play by the rules?