Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP: Little Hints Edition

Hi Friends! Wow. This Wednesday feels like it came awfully quickly!

I spent my weekend cutting, piecing, pressing, and trimming HSTs. Hours of HST love, peeps. Hours.

I'm not as far along as I'd like, but considering I'm working with nearly 300 HST units, I'm trying not to get too hung up over it.

There are loads more, and I'm trying to get them all pieced together before one of my kidlets runs into the spare room and wrecks the design I've laid out. 

Before the flood of HSTs, I was hard at work on holiday gifts, which I can't exactly share because that spoils the surprise! However, my friend K suggested I share some "teaser" shots, so here you are. I really enjoyed quilting the piece on the top left. I tried some different quilting patterns, though the boxy section I've shown a hint of is by far my favorite. More drawstring bags, and yes, zippers! The tutorial I used for the zippers talked about how easy they are to sew with, blahblahblah. That was not the case for me. I've kind of got the hang of them now, but I still hate them. Stupid zippers.

The bottom right isn't a holiday gift, but it is a secret until Friday!

And my one finish, which isn't sewing related, but I still threw it in. It is for the holidays, but since my mom asked me to make it for her and picked out the yarn, I'm not too worried about spoiling the surprise. I made her a nearly identical scarf when I first started knitting about five years ago, and it's seen some wear and tear, so she asked for a new one. It was interesting picking up my knitting needles after the long absence! I just did a straight knit stitch as I never was one to get too fancy about my knitting.

Tomorrow I'll be back with an October wrap-up and November goals, and Friday I'll have my surprise, so be sure to check back! I'm linking up today with Lee at Freshly Pieced, and I am planning to take a well deserved break from those HSTs to swoon over all of the other lovelies that have linked up.

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It was hard to choose which quilt to enter for the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. I've finished a few projects this year, but when it comes down to it, I decided to go with the black and batiks quilt I made for a friend of mine.

Black and Batiks Quilt--Finished September 2012
There are certain people in this world who are absolutely lovely inside and out. I have a friend who is always encouraging, always positive, and walks out what life deals her with grace and poise. Life recently handed her a horrific situation, and instead of succumbing to what would be well-deserved grief and negativity, she has remained bright and brilliant. I watch her and hope that if I am ever in her shoes, I will handle the situation with the same confidence and grace.

Impromptu Design Wall
When I found out about the situation, I knew I wanted to make her a quilt. (Confession: sometimes when I get super stressed out, I literally hide under my covers. I wanted to afford her the same opportunity, just in case she needed it.) And I wanted it to be the best, most lovely quilt I had made to date. My inspiration was to make the quilt look like a southwestern sunset, so if the fabrics look like they are glowing...well...that was intentional.

My First Foundation Pieced Block EVER.
I learned a lot of new-for-me techniques with this quilt. I learned how to foundation piece, sew Y-seams, and wrangle a large throw quilt through my home machine. I learned how challenging the quilting negative space can be. And pin basting this baby? Oh, don't even get me started! I pieced the back entirely from scraps from the front, so it looks a little crazy. (Sorry, I didn't get many shots of the finished product due to the fact that I gave it to my friend a few hours after I completed it.)

Y-seams and I are now dear friends.
The quilting is mostly echo quilting around the lines of the blocks. I echo quilted around the central friendship stars and did some additional straight line quilting to better stabilize the negative space.

Each block was planned and very intentional, from the two state blocks to the hope blocks. This is seriously the hardest quilt I've made to date, mostly because it involved learning new skills and techniques, but I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt, especially knowing who the recipient would be. Knowing that she loves it...well, that just makes my heart sing!

Quilt Measurements: 52" x 62"
Special Techniques used: foundation piecing
Quilted by me 
Best category – throw quilt, home machine quilted

Friday, October 26, 2012

HST Weekend.

HSTs queued and awaiting pressing and trimming.

More triangles in the queue. These are the baby size.

Finished triangles! Only 1/3 of the needed quantity. Le Sigh.

My weekend plans, right here, ladies and gents!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hello, Deer!

Have you heard about the Squeeze Your Own Bundle competition that Fresh Squeezed Fabrics is having? Well, it sounded like loads of fun, so I thought I'd join in. And this is my proposed bundle, Hello, Deer!

From top left:
Enchanted Wonderland in Creamsicle from Oh, Deer
Fizzy Dot in Red from FMF
Ruby Sublime in Sherbet from Ruby
Essex Linen in Medium Lime
Dot in Bright Sky from Oh, Deer
Whimsy Stripes in Meadow from Momo's Oh, Deer
Dotted Leaf in Red from Chicopee
Mini Dot in Sunspray from Bella

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP: Walk the Line Edition

Hello, Friends!

I wish I had all sorts of lovely photos to show you, but with holiday gift making in full swing, much of what I've made I just can't show you yet! (Four gifts down, a kajillion more to go!)

I've finished all twenty of my Marie blocks, and I'm working on attaching the columns. Once finished with that, I've got the rows to lay out and sew up, and then the top will be finished. (Woo!)

I've also been doing a lot of straight line quilting. My shoulders ache slightly from all of the turning, and now I better understand the value of a knee lift!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced.

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, October 21, 2012

PIQF: The Loot

I definitely picked up some fun stuff at the PIQF. There were 150+ vendors, and let me tell you, it was difficult to behave myself!

I picked up some half-yards of three kona solids for a holiday gift project. (Red, Aqua and Black.)

Five fat quarters of these lovely filler prints. (I love that this shop ties their FQs with coordinating ribbon!)

A half-yard of Anna Maria Horner's Sinister Swarm (best fabric title ever?) and some of this lovely voile. The girl running the booth showed me her voile skirt, and I decided I need one too. I picked up the AMH to make a coordinating sash or pocket. (I haven't made up my mind yet.) It was also my first purchase of AMH fabric. (No, seriously.)

And a half-yard of this lovely text print! (Memoir from Madrona Road. Yum!)

Add in two new blades for my rotary cutter (at half price, woo!) and that's my loot from the PIQF. Totally wicked! 

I'm linking up to Fiona at Finding Fifth's Sunday Stash, which is being hosted by Gemma at Pretty Bobbins.

Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PIQF: Mostly Modern

Okay, one last set of photos from the Pacific International Quilt Festival!

The Dead Sea by Gisha Wogier

Those wonky log cabins are a little over two inches wide. This quilt was intense in a good way! (International Entry for the World Quilt Competition-Israel)

Reflection II by Kathleen Burford

You can't see it very well, but down the center of this quilt is some amazing beadwork. (Winner, Best Use of Color, International Entry to the World Quilt Competition from New Zealand)

Close-up of Reborn by Vicki Thompson
I couldn't get far enough back to take a photo of the entire quilt, and Friends, that is a shame because this quilt was absolutely amazing. 

Wine Country by Jan Soules from New Quilts of Northern California

Clamshell Mounds by Arlene Kukua

This bad boy was hand-quilted and hand-pieced. And at 79" x 92", that's kind of a big deal!

I'm so glad I got to attend the PIQF this year and see all of these lovelies in person! They are so much lovelier than their photos. Later this week, I'll post on the squishy goodness I picked up while I was there!

And if you'd like to see still more photos, check out these two sites.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

PIQF: Japan!

I'm crazy about Japan! There's something about the art and the culture that have always gripped me, and it was awesome to see quilts by Japanese quilters and quilt inspired by Japanese culture and life. One major theme throughout a good portion of work was Japan's recovery from the recent earthquake and its destruction of the area. I'm not really used to seeing "themes" or deep symbols in quilts, so it was really fascinating to see how quilters wove those concepts into their art. 

From the Life Exhibit by Yoshiko Katagiri

From the Life Exhibit by Yoshiko Katagiri
Katagiri had several quilts on display. They are meant as a reflection on things after the earthquake in Japan. I regret I didn't copy down the exact titles of both of these quilts. 

Camella the Snow by Kazue Tsukayama
This quilt was amazing in person, and it's even more amazing as everything is hand-quilted and hand-appliqued. (Entry in the World Quilt Competition.)

Recovery in Japan after the Earthquake and Tsunami (Disposal of Debris) by Reiko Akamatsu
Again, this bad boy was hand-quilted and hand-appliqued, and it was also hand pieced! I loved the idea of using a kimono in remembrance of all of the beautiful family kimonos lost in the tragedy. (Entry in the World Quilt Competition.)

Not Quite a Senbazuru by Michelle Yaras

I loved the three-dimensional qualities of this quilt! I also love origami cranes, so this quilt was right up my alley. (Part of the 100th Anniversary of the Gift of the Cherry Trees.)

I have one more post of mostly modern quilts. Maybe tomorrow? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pacific International Quilt Fest 2012

Hi Friends! This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the 21st Pacific International Quilt Fest.

And it was awesome! Four days of workshops, a huge quilt show, and rows and rows of vendors? Yes, thank you very much. My only regret is that I only got to enjoy it for a few hours on Saturday, but with the kidlets, more time wasn't an option. I am thankful I got to attend at all! I trucked through the exhibits with my finger on my take-a-photo button, at the ready to take photos of any quilts that caught my eye--and that didn't have a line of peeps waiting to take photos.

This was only the second time I've been to a quilt show, and my first show was a significantly smaller affair. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you. I had to be quick, so some are a little fuzzy, but I think their sheer awesomeness will be obvious. I have several I'd like to share with you, so I figure over the next few days I'll do a few posts highlighting some of my favorites.

A Parliament of Owls by Carol Goddu

Ice Storm by Stacy Hurt

Mermaid Magic by Donna Blum

Close-up of Mermaid Magic by Donna Blum
I had to take a photo of this for my friend Andrea as she's a big mermaid fan.

I included the sign that accompanied it because I had no idea how else to explain the awesomeness of this. 

What Next? by Kathleen McCabe

Close-up of What's Next by Kathleen McCabe
This quilt was ah-mazing. The bottom is a close-up of some of the applique and reverse applique. Those squares were tiny, and I can't imagine how difficult it was to select the right fabrics to make this work. There were several quilts done with applique featuring humans and furry friends alike, but this one just blew me away. Loved it!

There are more quilts to come. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Stash

This week, I got some squishy fabric in the mail! (You've gotta love squishy mail, right?) And I knew, before even opening it, that it was my Tula fabric, and my heart soared with excitement!

As usual, Tula did not disappoint me. I had seen the trees print from The Birds and The Bees several times in pictures, and I knew I loved it, but wasn't sure which color to purchase it in, and would I really like the white the most? And I do. Oh goodness! The pale blues and purples are absolutely divine and so well coordinated. To go with it is the smaller scale purple print. That's a yard and a half and a yard respectively, and I'm excited to find some time to cut into it. (Time? Not likely.)

The bottom print is Joel Dewberry's Herringbone in Maple. (I think it's Maple.) I picked it up on sale because I thought it would be an excellent addition to my low volume quilt. Now I'm wondering if I should've purchased more...but isn't that always the way it is?

Today, I'm linking up with Fiona at Finding Fifth's Sunday Stash. It'll be my first time, but posting photos of pretty fabric that arrived? How can I say no?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP: Lots of Work Edition.


I feel like I've gotten quite a bit done over the last week, but it's been spread across a wide variety of random October projects.

I finished my 100 Quilts for Kids quilt, and not a moment too soon.

I also finished my wonky star table runner...

...and my October block for the HST BOM.

I also finished my Andrea mini. (Four items from my October goals list! Woo!)

As for the WIPs: 

I did some cutting and piecing for my triangle mini quilt. I had a different plan for this, but when actually piecing, I had an idea to utilize the triangles like this instead, and I really really like it. It means I have to completely re-imagine the rest of the quilt, but I still have plans to use my charcoal fabric. I think I'll just be changing the dimensions around. (Hopefully.)

I have a project on my knitting needles, and it's been awhile since I've done any knitting. I was very excited to cast on, and then, very quickly, I remembered how boring knitting can be, especially when you're doing straight knit stitch. However, I fidget a lot, especially while watching TV, and since I didn't have any hand-stitching, my knitting needles kept my hands busy during Monday Night Football.

I finished four drawstring bags, but I have fabric set aside for at least three more.

I really would like to finish my Marie blocks in this next week. Then, I think I'll need to lay out the entire quilt again and see if I still like the arrangement before I start sewing the row.

Then, of course, there's my Tula project, the next block for AVM HST BOF and holiday gifts! Also, I'm planning the third annual Soup Week over on my personal blog, and believe it or not, it takes a lot of work to figure out recipes, make them, take photos, and format recipes for blog posts. Yikes! But it's oh-so much fun. If you like soup, I hope you'll join me the first week of November.

The large amount of things I accomplished this week seriously pales in comparison with my to-do list, but I suppose I'll take it and be merry! I'm linking up with WIP Wednesdays over at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, October 5, 2012

my tula love made me do it.

I do not need anything further on my plate right now. I really don't. But I saw the words "Tula Pink" and "Sew-along" and I couldn't help myself. How can I miss out on a Tula Pink Sew-along? The answer, my friends, is that I can't. It's like my cake problem. I just can't say no, especially to red velvet.

I may have ordered some Tula fabric yesterday. Okay, I did. (*Squee* Birds and the Bees coming my way!) I have until November 12th, which is plenty of time, right? Right. 

Until then, the plan is to get some mad sewing done on my Marie quilt. Also, I'm going to try try try to ignore the triangle problem that is overtaking my sewing space. Marie is a twinge wasteful, and I'm salvaging the triangle waste, but seriously. There are so. many. triangles.

This is some of them. And they are going to have to wait their proper turn. Though I kind of like the happy feeling it gives my dining room, so maybe I don't mind.

Are any of you participating in the Tula Sew-Along?


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