Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sew Excited

Today I completed block 20 of the Pile 'O Fabric Skillbuilder 2013 series.  It was actually quite easy when compared to the hassle I had on block 19.  I really love how it turned out and am super stoked to have made it this far.  I did not keep up with the schedule for free motion quilting these but am hoping to make time for that in January 2014.  I also have to make the border for the quilt and can already tell this quilt will not only be a large one but a real beauty.

I love how they all look together and it seems to have a pretty even distribution of colors which for me is definitely a coincidence and a pleasant first.
Since I am wrapping up my 2013 BOM projects ( at least for the most part ) I think I can start planning my goals for 2014!!!  I am one of those that definitely likes to set goals and even a few resolutions for the upcoming year.  Road maps and game plans help me keep on the path I choose---at least for a while...

Keep Stitchin'

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Three very different Castles

I have finally assembled the three castles that I have been working on all year long and hope they don't join my ever growing UFO pile.  When I joined so many BOM's this last year I really didn't think the part out about them all becoming UFO's at the same time.  It only makes matters worse that all the new BOM's for the New Year are starting to reel me in hook, line, and sinker...YIKES!!!
Right about now I am seriously feeling the need to join the 2014 Lovely Year of Finishes and actually would be a fool not to.  I wish I wasn't such a chicken sh...It's not like the po po will arrest me if I don't complete my to do list.  I seriously need to read up on the consequences and consider the risks of failure vs the benefit factor. They don't even know where I live so my knee caps should be safe right???

In the meantime...I have made progress on my current year's BOM goals.  Here are the Three castles I have been doing from Ula Lenz's website this year.  She has yet to announce what 2014 will bring and I suppose that is good but I am so curious!!!

I love all three and they will make great wall hangings in 2014

I am currently working on the last of my 20 blocks in the Pile 'O Fabric Skillbuilder 2013 BOM.  Block 19 kicked my bootie and I am hoping number 20 will take it easy on me... It took me three attempts to get number 19 right.  I am surprised I stuck it out although I did give it a long rest between each try which is why I am still struggling to get this one done.  Block 19 was a paper pieced triangle and it had a very nasty Y seam in it.  The first block I picked apart so many times it got a hole in the center :(  In the second attempt the triangles never matched up and I refused to pick it apart.  For the third attempt, I decided to follow the directions ( I know, I know) but she had us use glue on the seams and I HATE unpicking the seams and paper off the glue. Nasty business...but in this case SEW necessary.  I forget what Alyssa called this block but I nick named mine Stargate because the fabrics I used look like space junk floating around the center triangle (Stargate).  Wish me luck on the last least send happy thoughts my way...Thanks!!!

Keep Stitchin'

Friday, December 20, 2013

A few ticks off the to-do list

I am busy prepping for Christmas and making progress slowly.  Hoping to get to baking all kinds of yummy delicious things once I can pull myself away from my sewing machine.  But I am getting some progress made in the sewing studio.

I made my first zipper pouches this week.  The first one I will have to show you after Christmas as I don't want the recipient to get a sneak peek of it but the second one I will show off now.  I must say I had to watch a you tube video to see how to use my zipper foot.  I have never used it before and couldn't figure out how the needle could possibly get to be on both sides of the foot.  I had no idea it had a sliding bar on the back that lets you slide the foot to the other side of the needle.  My zipper pouch is a little bigger than some but I wanted it large enough to stow some smash book supplies.  It even has a medium size smash book in it and some washi tape amongst other stickers and note cards.  The recipient is a teen on my Xmas list and I hope she loves it as much as I do.

I made another tote bag for an elderly lady at an assisted living facility nearby and filled it with yarn and crochet supplies, socks and candies.  I bought this panel this summer on sale and it was perfect for this tote.

and I remembered that pockets on the inside would come in handy...something I learned by forgetting to add them to mine.

I also am trying to finish up some block of the month projects.  I finished up my December block for the Quilt Doodle Doodle BOM. 
 After buying some more fabric to sash it together, I completed the top yesterday.  I didn't realize how big this would be finishing out at. 12 blocks laying loose all year didn't look like much but after sashing it is now 54 by 72 inches.  I am contemplating adding a wide white border to it but am not sure.  I think I  prefer the lap quilt size rather than a twin size quilt.
For now it is time to put on some Christmas carols and get to some of that baking I was talking about.  I hope your Christmas preparations are coming together, too.  Christmas is quickly approaching and the festivities will soon be here.
Keep Stitchin'

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Back in the saddle again

It seems like forever since I have had the opportunity to get some sewing done.  Thanksgiving was filled with family and cooking and cleaning.  I took the week off of work but it was filled to the brim with the holiday festivities and our youngest daughter was home from college so it was a pretty busy week here with no sewing.

I finally got the chance to do a little this weekend due to the fact it is too cold here to do much outside activities.  We had our first dusting of snow last week and this week may bring more as we slowly climb out of these low temperatures in the high teens. Unfortunately for us that may mean a period of freezing rain and that is the worse.  Let's hope that doesn't happen as our daughter is traveling home for the extended winter school break this week.  I am a terrible worry wart and don't need the added stress :)

I made my first ever Scrappy Trip Blocks this weekend.  I am taking part in the Scrappy Trip Bee hosted by Julie at 627HandWorks . She hosts them quarterly and sign ups for Round 4 are Feb 1st to the 6th.  You can sign up for as many or few rounds as you like depending on your needs and time.  They really go together pretty fast so I will be taking part for a while depending on how big a top I will be making out of them.  Each time you make six blocks ( one to keep for yourself  and five to send to hive members).  Everyone requests what colors they would like to see in their blocks.  So fun pulling fabrics to fit each one's style and preferences!

First up was for our beekeeper --- Sheila
Sheila requested fun and bright with a dark strip down the middle
I recently got the Tula Pink Raccoon and the lavender circles in a scrap pack from Hawthorne Threads and thought they filled the bill for fun.  Those raccoons are just too cute!!!  These scrap packs are on sale right now for $6.99 and contain close to two yards of fabric.  I was very pleased with the assortment I received and plan on buying more if the sale lasts long enough to make it to my next payday :) I think I have an addiction that needs professional help...please don't tell a sole though.. I kind of am enjoying this habit of adding to my stash every chance I can lately!!!

Next up was Emilee
Emilee requested low volume.  
A year ago I am not even sure I could have explained low volume...yet alone find it in my stash.  But thanks to my addiction (lol) I am now the proud owner of an ever growing stash of low volume.  I like to add for quite a while before I start to use it though---so I wasn't sure what to start out with.  I have yet to really make a low volume block of any sort.  I hope it isn't too obvious.  I have had these little mice for quite a while---long before low volume was a catch phrase and they were too cute not to include in this block...They did make it challenging to pull additional fabrics in though.  These scrappy bee blocks seem to have a bit of a learning curve on balancing a person's color wishes with the scrappy look.  I found that if I didn't watch it they can easily get too color coordinated and then look out of place when additional blocks are put next to them.  In Sheila's block above the overwhelming desire was to add another teal or lime color to the block but when looking at her other blocks---yellow seemed like the right choice.  I also found that I rather like the longest diagonal to kind of be the darker value---kind of hard to determine with low volume!!! Here is what I came up with.  I hope Emilee likes it.
Here the blue in the little mikes print seemed the darker value.  That's the funny thing about low volume---you would think all those brown mice would make it the darker block but to me it certainly looks like a white print---even with all those mice.  The red flowers don't even seem as dark as the blue down the center it went.

I then went for the block for Tracy
Tracy requested white and bright, happy fabrics

I have a lot of brights and had fun with this one. I bought the purple print with the white chairs a year ago and haven't found the right project for it yet.  This block was ideal for it.  White, bright and aren't those birds on the chair fun.  The tree of life print and the yellow chevron were also in the scrap packs I got from Hawthorne threads and I thought they added a fun element to this scrappy block. 

Then I have been putting off appliqueing a little something on these bibs I picked up at Ikea this Summer when my daughter was expecting a baby.  I thought I could finish them up and add them to a Xmas present for the little one.  Before long he will be eating and making messes and these will come in handy.  I wasn't sure what to put on them but am sure the deer will be a big hit with my grandson's mommy.

Feels good to finally tick a couple of to do's off the ever growing list!!!

Keep Stitchin'
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