Friday, July 26, 2013

Where did July go???

July has been uber crazy and totally discombobulated. The result has been total chaos in the quilt studio.
I've been getting my daughter ready to move away next month to campus life and my dad has decided to list his house due to new health issues and he has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. All of this has lessened my time spent sewing and even more so lessened my time for blogging about it. 

I have made a few gains in progress though from time to time.  I have a new quilt top done for my daughter Randi's impending son, who finally has a name Brayden.  So I will need to find some time to getting back to the baby name quilt now that my grandson has a name. I haven't taken pictures of it but hopefully will get back to that project soon.

I also have only finished one BOM project for the month so am suddenly in serious arrears on that front also.

What I have been concentrating all my time and energy into is working on my Forest QAL project.  Julianna and Joanna challenged us to complete a project and post about it by August 31st.  I am ever the procrastinator and it took me a while to figure out my game plan for my blocks.  I have joined them all together and am creating a queen size quilt out of them.  I still have yet to EVER finish such a large project!!!

Julianna and Joanna explicitly say the project must be finished.  Well such a large project is more than I can possibly ever hope to machine quilt as it is my least favorite part of quilting.  I have the project designed and have it 3/4 done but a friend recently told me the long arm quilter I had decided to use has a 4 to 6 week back log.  I have been wanting to bite the bullet and have someone else do the quilting on my quilts for a while now but have been unsure how to locate a quilter I trust to machine quilt for me.

A few months ago I stumbled upon a new quilt shop in Vancouver called Fiddlesticks.  The owner is super nice and helped me pick out fabrics for a fat quarter swap I participated in a few months back.  She is the type of lady who likes to befriend her customers and although I usually like to look and find what I need on my own I found her help very useful.  Each time I have been in there she always has the long arm in use.  For me that translates into a lot of happy customers and I thought I would like to try her services.  So this last Monday I went into the store --- she was holding the door open for customers who were just leaving a class and I pranced on in. After looking around and not finding a fabric I ran out of --she asked if she could help.
I told her what I was looking for and explained I thought one of the fabrics behind the counter looked just perfect.  I let her know I was interested in her long arm services, too.  She was booking into Sept and even late Sept. I explained I would probably have to look elsewhere and she surprising asked when I needed it by and she said she could do that!!! WOW.  Even better ... a huge Double WOW because after all that she explained she was closed on Mondays but continued to talk to me another 15 - 20 minutes and looked at what I had in mind for my quilt top and sold me the fabric I wanted that was behind the counter.  How is that for customer service.  I totally recommend anyone in the area to stop into her Fiddlesticks store and say hi to Cheran you just will not find a friendlier quilt store in the Vancouver area. 

Here is a sneak peek at what I have been working on with my Forest QAL blocks:

I have 8 more blocks to make for the bottom rows and then am probably going to redo 3 or 4 other blocks that I have already put on the quilt but feel I must do so to be truly happy with the outcome.  Cheran says I can work on the quilt until August 10th and she will have it quilted and back to me by August 20th which will give me time to finish the binding and link the project to the Forest QAL finishes.  Hopefully I can get most of that done this weekend!  Wish me luck.

Happy Stitchin'

Monday, July 1, 2013

June Castle BOM blocks

 Time marches on so quickly...Ula Lenz has the July castle block available and I am really looking forward to getting it done and added to the castles.  Before I can do that I need to share what the June addition to the castle properties has brought to the gnomes and princesses.

The gnomes have some lovely new roofs emphasizing LOVE.

What appears to be red stairs is actually going to be a rooftop on a July castle building.

The princesses new block has a little deviance from this one.

When I started putting it together I forgot that the top of the roof was the roof and instead made it into a window for the orange building instead.  I was so excited to pick out a little owl to live there that I messed up the roof.  Oh well the grand-daughters will as excited to see an owl living there as I was!!!  I started this one with pastels in mind but I kind of like what the darker colors do to jazz up the castle. It was looking a little to washed out for my liking.

I also got July off to a quick start with my Craftsy block.  This month Laura had us making a Tumbling block which was another first for me.  One of the things that was a pleasant surprise to me was that she eliminated the Y seams by having us put it together in vertical rows by splitting one of the diamond shapes by replacing it with two triangles instead.

Laura warned us that one of the hardest things would be picking out three distinct values to make the light, medium and dark values.  I messed around with fabrics for a while and really wanted to use fabrics from my current stash as I am trying to use some fabrics I've had around for years and feel like it is time to use them in a project.  I think I could have done better with the blues in my stash but chose green just to add something different from the other colors that are predominant in the quilt top so far.  My dark and medium values are too close to each other to read as distinctly different from a distance even though up close they appear to be different shades. They probably needed to be at least three shades lighter than each other. Oh well, lessoned learned but I can live with it.

I laid them out in the general placement they will be in .  I will have to say this is one crazy layout with all the different sized blocks.  When I trimmed this one to size I decided I had better trim last months block down, too. Problem is it ended up a 1/4 inch bigger all around then it suppose to be because I refuse to cut it to her size and lose my perfect points on the Lemoyne Star.  I think when I put it into the quilt I will be able to reduce the border that Laura must be having us put around it and no one will know but me and you and I'm not going to tell and I am sure you won't be turning me into the quilt police either, right???

Thanks for stopping by and Keep Stitchin'
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