This one has been in progress since my friend found out she was having a boy and close the colors/theme for her nursery. Well that little boy is about 18 months old now and I’m finally getting around to quilting this adorable little quilt! And it’s just a simple zigzag so I don’t know why I haven’t done it earlier. My justification is that now he will really be able to use it as a small child instead of just laying on it as a baby. Yeah, that sounds good. Right?
I started quilting it on Monday night, despite being tired. I had to fight off the urge to just veg on the couch and get upstairs to get it started. Now that it’s in progress I want to finish it up ASAP! I’m using my Big Mama Janome 1600P which only does a straight stitch and with the walking foot is perfect for this project!
My goal is to get the quilting finished and binding and washing done (oh don’t forget the label) in time to deliver it to mommy and boy by the time my kid turns 4 because they will be at his party in March.
OK, I’ve put it out into the world so now the obliger in me has to get it done!
I typically stay away from any project that has a time line even if it’s just a quilt along hosted on Instagram or a blog. Trying to actually make a quilt block every week is so difficult in my busy life. But since my mother in law gave me the amazing My Small World quilt pattern by Jen Kingwell for Christmas and Nicole announced that she was hosting a QAL part 2 I decided to do it. She was very clear that this is a low key thing and work at your own pace (which for me could mean I’ll be lucky to finish this small quilt before my 4 year old graduates for high school).
Because it’s primarily an Instagram QAL I’ve shared my thoughts in a few posts and I’m tagging them with #mysmallworldqal2 but I’m going to share them here as well, just for the heck of it. At some point I’ll figure out how to feed my IG into my blog but until then, here is my set of initial thoughts about my preparation that I shared on IG.
I got the FPP templates printed (to get foundation paper piece templates, check out this post on Sew What Sherlock’s blog), I’ve read all the blog posts from round one of the QAL, I’ve gathered some low volumes for the sky and I’ve decided to use my favorite fabric in the world, my Amy Butler hoard for the fun parts.
I’ve already learned that
a) the printed pattern (not from the magazine) does not seem go in order of the sections
b) the FPP templates were roughly printed to follow the sections so I cut all the templates out and grouped them then labeled them with what page they are on (that’s the plastic baggies in the picture) This will help me know how many to make.
c) The number of FPP templates does not exactly align with what the pattern requires but that’s no biggie I can always print more.
d) Also I really need more low volumes so if anyone wants to do a trade, let me know.
Finally I’ve decided to embrace the wabi-sabi nature of how I piece and not sweat the small stuff. If pieces don’t line up, I’ll just add some to make it work. This isn’t for a show, it’s not for being judged it’s just for me to enjoy and learn something and finish something! This wasn’t on my original ufo list but hopefully it stays on my WIP list instead.
I’ll be sharing some more insights that I find along the way (at least two more posts coming soon) so if you want to get them, be sure to sign up for email posts or add me to bloglovin.
My Savor Each Stitch Book Bee group had another meeting last Saturday. I hadn’t really made much progress on my little project other than the hand stitching of the middle section of the background. Luckily, Friday was a holiday from work for me (and the boy could still go to daycare) so I was able to relax and really savor the stitches! I decided to machine stitch the sections on either side of the center (both for the contrasted look and for the sake of time). This was a fun way to explore lines which is the subject of the first chapter.
Originally I was going to use some other fabrics for the circles (or squircles, because they are cut from squares) but I decided that since I’m most likely going to hang this project somewhere in my cubicle and look at it often, I should use fabric that I love to look at, so I decided to pull some of my Amy Butler stash. Luckily the circles are quite small so I used the scraps I had on hand. The next chapter in the book is about Contrast and I originally interpreted that as the colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel, which is why I pulled blues and reds. Red is not a color that I usually use in my projects and it’s a little outside of what Amy Butler typically uses in her designs (we’re both water signs I think because we both love greens and blues, in fact her birthday is in the same month as mine!)
After my discussion with the other bee participants, I feel I need to explore contrast a little more in a different project, but this one has been fun and I think I may try to mount it on a frame instead of just doing a facing. I like the idea of making it literally 3 dimensional to enhance the texture of the hand stitching.
One thing I did learn was that if you put Steam a Seam on the back of something that you plan to hand stitch, you should leave a small area around the edge without the interfacing because it was difficult to hand stitch the pieces once they were steamed on the quilt. And yes, they are hand stitched around the edge.
Don’t forget you can quickly see more pictures of my progress for this bee if you look up the tag #savoreachstitchbee on Instagram.
So that’s my WIP for the week. What are you all up to?
When I saw this book, Savor Each Stitch, by Carolyn Friedlander, I knew it was a book I wanted to get. I hesitated because, well, I keep telling myself I’m not going to buy anymore quilting books (maybe 2016 will be a no buy zone for quilting books!) but in the end I decided it would be a great book to use in a Book Bee. Now, you may be wondering, “What the heck is a book bee?” Or at least I know my husband was wondering that. I mean, you guys love to quilt, why would you want to go and just talk about the idea of quilting? Of course, explaining things to him is not always the easiest task (still can’t explain why we like to cut up fabric just to sew it back together, or why we need patterns in the first place if we want our quilts to be original). I invited members of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild and anyone else who was interested to meet me at Panera Bread on the first Saturday of the month from 1-3ish for food and conversation about this book.
Last Saturday was our first meeting and even though we had a small group, I think it’s going to be a fun challenge to work on projects that focus on the concepts of design that Carolyn features in her book Savor Each Stitch.
Our first meeting focused on the first chapter of the book about Lines. We talked about what project we want to make as our focus during this book bee. I already knew I wanted to make Aerial Grove (or some variation of it) but it’s not very “line oriented” except as we looked at it, we noticed, the background is quilted with straight lines that hint to the rows of orange trees (or at least I think they do).
I went home from our meeting inspired to start pulling out fabrics and get started! So, I’ve added yet another project to my WIPs BUT this time I have a schedule. We have to bring something to the next meeting in April and I am determined that I’ll have my background quilted and have started putting the circles on the top. In fact, my background is already pieced and basted for me to quilt!
If you have this book and want to join us virtually, please let me know! We’d love to have you along for the journey!
That’s my Wednesday Update, how is your day going?
Happy New Year! I found some major sewmentum over the new year holiday. I had four days off in a row and my toddler is actually getting to a point where he will play with his cars or trains or other vehicle with wheels for almost an hour at a time! Pretty impressive for a not yet 3 year old (I know some adults who have shorter attention spans.) So while he was otherwise engrossed, I was making log cabin blocks like a mad woman! I made 24 blocks of various sizes between 12/24 and 01/04. I roughly squared them up and jogged upstairs to put them on my “real” design wall (I had been pinning them to my curtain downstairs because I sew downstairs for the moment). Here is a rough layout that I came up with (don’t faint because I included a picture in blog post):
So that’s my first WIP (work in progress) of 2015. I hope to add some grey sashing in the areas that are blank at the moment. I still want the blocks to look like they are floating. And I haven’t decided if I want to use all the same grey or various shades. Since the greys in the blocks are different it makes sense to use different shades. And get this, I used ONLY scraps for this quilt! I didn’t buy any fabric, I just pulled out my aqua/blue scraps and my grey scraps. I even have a small pile left over which I’m sure I’ll use on the back or something. I was really surprised to see how many blocks I could get out of just two colors of my scraps. Oh and each block has an orange center because Amanda from What the Bobbin and I swapped some fabric and her box included some precut orange squares. I realized they would be the perfect starting point that would pull the blocks together. So thanks Amanda! Of all the folks on the Scrappy Log Cabin QAL tag on IG, I think my blocks are pretty wonky and crazy but I totally love them and seeing them all up on the design wall reminded me why I love quilting. It’s such a feeling of satisfaction to see something like this come together. And I really didn’t have a real plan when I started (the best part to me!) I just pulled my scraps and knew I wanted to do log cabins with them. No worrying about the pattern or if I had enough fabric or how big the blocks should be. I just sat down and sewed.
I do have a confession though: Originally I was going to make all the blocks roughly 8.5″ and see how many I could get. Then, after I finished up 12 blocks I thought “Wow, this is BORING!” so I decided to mix it up. I took one of the 2.5″ orange center squares and cut it into quarters, that meant my starting square was 1.25″!! Then I had to decide, was I going to try to make those little blocks bigger or just leave them small? Well, small sounded good to me. But guess what? That was taking FOREVER! So I decided to start some other blocks with 2.5″ squares and make them BIG, or as big as my cutting mat which is about 12″ So that’s why I ended up with several different size blocks.
To anyone out there who has made an entire quilt out of the same block cut the same way over and over, I applaud you! I don’t think I have the patience to do that. (We’ll see how far I get on my Tangello quilt since it’s all paper pieced triangles).
Well, that’s my current WIP. My next confession: I have a STACK of WIPs I plan to finish this year. Some of them are being sent off to other members in my guild who want to help with binding or quilting and those will be donated. The rest, those are all up to me to finish (two of them are HAND QUILTING!) Here is that stack:
Be sure to follow me on IG to see my progress with these WIPs. And check back next week, hopefully you’ll see some progress on my Log Cabin QAL quilt!
I have several WIPs of course, but this is one that I’m so happy to have completed! These are bee blocks for the November Blue Bee of Sew. Quilt.Give. This is the second month I’ve been able to participate and these wonky cross blocks were super fun! The best part about this bee is that all the quilts will be donated to a deserving group. I love being able to experiment with new blocks and know that my contribution will help keep someone warm. I still have several other blocks to make for my HMQG 4×5 bee and even one for a super secret bee project! This Saturday is the monthly meeting for the Houston Modern Quilt Guild so I feel like I need to hurry up and finish up some WIPs so I have something to share at Sew and Tell! I feel like the guild is the main reason I actually finished anything at all. That and being able to post it to Flickr, Instagram or Facebook, I sort of thrive on social quilting media, but really, nothing can replace actually seeing people in real life (IRL). Maybe on Friday I’ll have something to share for Finally Finished Friday (which I just made up by the way).
Are you working on anything right now? Has everyone started holiday projects?