Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday (4/25/12)

I have been absent from the weekly WIP linky lately... but it's time to catch up!


I gotta share some major fabric loot with you. I haven't bought fabric in a while (times are tough and I've been trying to keep all my projects stash friendly) but I did score these pretties for $2/ yard!!
It's okay to hate me.. I would.
 
In my defense they are going to be cut into charms for swaps. That makes it okay, right?

I've been sewing up a storm over the last few weeks, but feel like i don't have much to show for it.
Maybe I do? Let's take a look.

Bee Blocks for March & April count as progress, even though they aren't for me, right?

April was my host month for the Gone Quiltin' Bee, so I am now getting wonderful blocks back from my bees. The quilt will be going to my sister, for her college graduation. I know she doesn't read this so I'm safe talking about it :)  It will be a blue and yellow version (her school colors) of the quilt pattern by Nancy Rink (pattern in Quilt magazine June/July 2011 page 45).

Sample Bee Simple Block


I also made some major headway on my Made in Cherry Quilt - 4 more points down, 3 to go. 
I just have one problem, it has no name.. Made in Color? eh.. Color Wheel Cherry?  not feeling it.

pretty points
Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Design drama

I love sewing. I really do. I'm a very textile person, and this craft satisfies my need to touch stuff, in a way that is both legal and not as creepy as some alternatives. just saying. When I buy clothes - i actually feel it before I consider anything else. Scratchy sweaters? not for me!
but I digress....

I have realized lately though, that as much as I love the hum of working on my sewing machine, I really much prefer the design process.

Picking a pattern (or even designing one), auditioning fabrics, the digital mockups...

I think I spend more time on this than the actual sewing a lot of the time. 
Do you have that experience too?

It's part of why I seem to have so many WIPS at a give time - some are in the design stage, some are in the cutting stage, several are in the piecing stage..

It annoys me, but that seems to be my system...

so why not just roll with it?

I'm starting to think about my design for  the Modern She Made Swap, and came up with these options...

modern she made possible design sketches

Modern She Made- Color Palettes
I can tell you now that if I go with this design, it will morph, change and vary from design concept to a different product. I never seem to stick to my 'plan.' I think that's okay though, when you end up loving the outcome, does it matter how you get there?

Do you sew to satisfy your need for design, 
or would you rather skip the doodles and just get to stitchin'?


Thinkin' and Linkin' with Rebecca Lynn today...


Thursday Think Tank

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Liebster Blog Award (and some good blog karma)

Yesterday I got an email that Lori from  adventures in fabricland had bestowed a little award on my little blog.
It's called the Liebster Blog Award. Liebster is a German word, which from my understanding means darling, beloved, or sweetheart. 
I was so honored that she thought of me!  I was curious about the original source of the award, and here is what I found out:
"The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favourite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient can then pass it on to five more blogs of note. A way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs you enjoy."

Perhaps my favorite description of it was as "the award is for those smaller blogs just starting out on their quest to become world super-powers..." from http://www.dollybakes.co.uk
HAHA! Well, becoming a world super power is nowhere on my to do list, but I do appreciate the kindness and support of my fellow crafters and sewers. You are an amazing group of people.

Now, apparently the 'rules' of the award are the following:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. 
  5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.
Simple enough right? Well I immediately thought of  1 person who I would love to nominate for it, but it turns out they had 200+  followers. And they should! After all, if I like them, I am sure tons of other people can see how cool they are. 
So I am going to be a little rebel and bestow on them an 'honorary' Liebster - because nobody seems to know who started this thing, I don't think the Liebster police will come after for giving this 'bigger' blog a little love.  and because they are super cool so you should check them out. and because i can. so there. ;)
Don't let her blog name fool you, in addition to being a very talented quilter, she is perhaps one of the sweetest, most genuine and organized Bee Mamas out there.
Fortunately there were a few others who popped  into my head who did fit the criteria, 
so to them I bestow 'legit' Leibster awards. I did some blog stalking and I don't think they have gotten this before, but if they have, that's okay. Just means they rock and totally should be reminded of it ;)
  
2.  Sana @ Sana Saroti
Sana blogs from Berlin Germany but I feel like she could be a neighbor - she is kind and quick with a cute joke or comment, a total kindred spirit. She and I have been a few swaps together too, I just wished we lived closer!

3.  Allegory @ {sew} allegorical
Like Sana, this girl has a knack for making me laugh when I read her blog. If you haven't 'met' her yet, stop reading and get over there now. seriously. why are you still reading? You back from your visit? I told you you'd like her ;) She is quirky and spirited quilter - we share a certain soft spot in our hearts for ugly fabric. and it makes me smile.
4. Katie @ there & back  
I know Katie from a few swaps and bees. She's super talented! Check out her mad skillz here ;) Be prepared to stay a while - the chick's got talent!
Now, Mary says she follows these rules:  1) Do what you love; 2) Finish stuff; 3) Don't aim for perfection; 4) Enjoy the process; 5) Don't take it too seriously.  Need I say more? If her blog doesn't fill your appetite for quilting eye candy, her flickr photostream is here.

So thanks again to Lori for thinking of me. 
And a big blog hug to all of you who take a little time out of your day to see what I'm too. 
I have loved getting to know you all and continue to look forward to getting inspired by you and sharing our stories of crafting chaos  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My house has a trampoline.

That's a lie. I have never owned a trampoline.

My April Stash Bee block has one though, and it makes me smile.

Stash Bee April 2012 House block 
I have to say that  this block was sort of experimental for me.  Stephanie asked us for "house" blocks and specified the size, and colors for the sky and grass. She gave us full creative reign on style and technique.

First I decided it was about time to face my intense, irrational fear of curves and put a nice rolling hill in there. Not bad for a curve newbie right?
 Please excuse the terrible I-sew-at-night-with-no-natural-light-cell-phone-quality photo. 

The last block I did was heavy on the piecing, so I decided to do some raw edge applique for this one. 
I'm always curious about other people's design process, so if you are curious, 
here is how I approached this block:

I found a simple house clipart image that I liked via a google image search. I right clicked, and saved the image to my computer.


I used Microsoft Word to scale it up to size and make it mirror image and traced each part onto the paper side of Heat n Bond.

Then I played around with the original image to test out a few color schemes.

Once I decided on my 'paint' scheme I dug through my scrap stash... and built a house!

I decided the lawn looked sad and empty so I added a trampoline. 


The other 'new to me' technique that I tried was using tear-away, self adhesive stabilizer behind the trampoline (where I had to stitch the 'legs').

House Block Details
It definitely won't be the last time I use that stuff! I was yanking pretty hard on it to do the free motion stitching on these smaller parts and didn't have any of the stretching/tension issues that I usually have.

So, overall it took me several hours (5? 6?) to complete from start to finish, mostly because I had to start and stop a few times. Over all though it was a very easy block, and I am really happy with the results.
If I didn't think it would take me a decade to finish, I would love to do a whole town's worth of little house blocks.


Stash Bee April 2012 House block
Block stats: 12.5 " square, background pieced, house/trees/trampoline are raw edge applique
Fabric: sky is Kona Bluebell, grass is Kona Green Tea, assorted stash scraps
Based on this clipart image: Coloring Pages

So how'd I do Stephanie? Does my house meet your building specs? ;)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The tree that almost killed me.

Okay so I am being dramatic. At no point during the construction of Tara's block was  my life actually in danger. My sanity on the other hand, was another story.  I'll spare you the details but March was basically a full month of crazy.

I thought I'd managed to get all of my bee blocks done, but this one fell through the cracks. Fortunately, Sunni is a great Bee Mama and she noticed the omission.  So, better late than never, here is my fun little pieced tree for Tara.  I wasn't working off a diagram or pattern, so I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the angles for this one, but it was nothing a little time with a seam ripper couldn't resolve.


uggghhh how i loathe thee seam ripper 

I  think it was worth the trouble. This is, truly and honestly, my favorite bee block to date. I hope it's recipient will find it (and an extra little surprise) worth the wait.  And thanks again to Sunni for reminding me to make it!!
Stash Bee March 2012 - Improv Pieced Tree

Friday, April 6, 2012

Nuetral and Solids Swap - Sign Ups Now Live!

UPDATE: 
The 28 guaranteed spots are now full. But go ahead and sign up to be put on our waiting list - if we reach 56 by April 15th, we can double our variety!! Spread the word!
__________________________
It's official! 
I present to you...


Each person will purchase 2 yards of fabric (1 yard neutral, 1 yard solid) and cut them into 5" charm squares. 1 yard = 56 charms.  (I recommend buying 1.25 yards- never hurts to have a little extra in case you make a cutting mistake.) 

The first 28 people to sign up will be guaranteed a spot (you must fill out the form, comments will not count). After that I will start a waiting list and if we reach 56 by April 15th , we will do 56 participants. 
This will be open to U.S. swappers only this round. Sorry! This is my first swap, so cross your fingers, if it goes well I will do a second round and open it to international swappers!
Wanna Sign up?  HERE is the form.  


 Wondering what sort of fabulous fabrics we'll get back?

Here are some examples of fabrics that would be great 'neutrals'



Here's some 'solid' eye candy ;)



Are you wondering what you can do with this lovelies? Here's what I am inspired by:

1. Improv circles pillow by stitchindye on Flickr 2. PTS7 in progress! by BlueElephantStitches on Flickr 3. Solids Swap package finished by Sarah @ FairyFace Designs on Flickr 4. the big orange wall quilt by Spotted Stone Studio {Krista} on Flickr 5. gelato circles by alobsiger on Flickr 6. YIP 365.230:: Windmill mini by stitchindye on Flickr
Aren't you drooling? I am!


Can't resist? Secure your spot in the swap HERE

___
Here are the particulars

Mailing deadline will be May 25th 2012. This gives you little more than a month, since lots of families are traveling for Easter and Spring Breaks.


 Fabric requirements (as written by the wonderful :
  1. Choose a fabric that has a small print suitable for an 5" charms. Scale of the print is very important as smaller works better in this case. A larger print has a larger repeat and you want each charm to have enough of the print showcased on each piece.
  2. Fabric should be designer label, 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabric.  No Hancocks, Joanns or Michael's fabrics. For a fabric swap, the fun is receiving quality fabric that you might not be able to pick up around the corner.  *The exception to this is Kona Cotton Solids which can be purchased from Joanns, just check the end of the bolt to make sure it says Kona Cotton.
  3. Fabric must be new and unwashed and must come from a smoke free environment.
  4. Before mailing, cut your fabric into 5" x 5" charm squares.  Press your fabric before cutting. 1 yard = 56 charm squares (5" x 5".)  Here's a great tutorial on how to cut fabric into charms by Elizabeth Hartman.
  5. Put your fabric in a ziplock bag and include an index card with your name and email address. 
  6. Upload pictures of your fabric to the swap Flickr group and include the name of the fabric, designer, etc. This ensures that there are no duplicate fabrics chosen and allows everyone to find out more about the fabrics in case they would like to order more once they have received their charms. 

    

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Charm Swap: Neutral and Solids Charm Swap!

Update:  THIS SWAP IS NOW FULL! 
---------------
I love charm swaps, recently there have been some awesome rainbow charm swaps. 
Now though, my stash is so very low on neutrals and solids.

Turns out I'm not the only one.  
Since I'm feeling up for an adventure and there was a great response to the idea. I present to you...


Sign Ups will go live on this blog 12 noon EST on Friday, April 6th, 2012.

The first 28 people to sign up will be guaranteed a spot (you must fill out the form, comments will not count). After that I will start a waiting list and if we reach 56 by April 15th , we will do 56 participants. 
This will be open to U.S. swappers only this round. Sorry! This is my first swap, so cross your fingers, if it goes well I will do a second round and open it to international swappers!
Mailing deadline will be May 25th 2012. This gives you little more than a month, since lots of families are traveling for Easter and Spring Breaks.

 Fabric requirements (as written by the wonderful :
  1.  Each person will purchase 2 yards of fabric (1 yard neutral, 1 yard solid) and cut them into 5" charm squares. 1 yard = 56 charms.  (I recommend buying 1.25 yards- never hurts to have a little extra in case you make a cutting mistake.) 
  2. Choose a fabric that has a small print suitable for an 5" charms. Scale of the print is very important as smaller works better in this case. A larger print has a larger repeat and you want each charm to have enough of the print showcased on each piece.
  3. Fabric should be designer label, 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabric.  No Hancocks, Joanns or Michael's fabrics. For a fabric swap, the fun is receiving quality fabric that you might not be able to pick up around the corner.  *The exception to this is Kona Cotton Solids which can be purchased from Joanns, just check the end of the bolt to make sure it says Kona Cotton.
  4. Fabric must be new and unwashed and must come from a smoke free environment.
  5. Before mailing, cut your fabric into 5" x 5" charm squares.  Press your fabric before cutting. 1 yard = 56 charm squares (5" x 5".)  Here's a great tutorial on how to cut fabric into charms by Elizabeth Hartman.
  6. Put your fabric in a ziplock bag and include an index card with your name and email address. 
  7. Upload pictures of your fabric to the swap Flickr group and include the name of the fabric, designer, etc. This ensures that there are no duplicate fabrics chosen and allows everyone to find out more about the fabrics in case they would like to order more once they have received their charms.
    Still interested? Awesome! I'd love to have ya!
Check back here for the SIGN UP FORM, after NOON on Friday April 6th!

Neutral and Solid swap. weigh in!

Hey lovelies!

I am loving all of these rainbow swaps! I know you are too.

I am totally lacking coordinating solids though, and neutrals. This made me think.

I don't see many swaps for these, but they can be really useful and striking. See?


Solids Swap package finished by Sarah @ FairyFace Designs
pouches by Sarah @ fairyface designs

YIP 365.230 :: Windmill mini by stitchindye
wall hanging by malka at stitchindye

SO, since I'm feeling spunky and up for an adventure, I am thinking of hosting a swap 
(similar to the usual 28 or 56 person format).

Would this be something you'd like? No commitment here, just gauging interest.