Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Welcome, visitors from Freshly Pieced! I'm linking up with Lee for another WIP Wednesday.

New Projects

I got a bit more than half the HSTs done for Mumu. Now just waiting on a few yards of Kona Snow to complete the rest til the end of this post is finish 'em up!

Spring Sampler had a big week. After scouring through many, many pictures, I finally figured out a plan to fit all those orphan unique and special blocks together. And...(magic cape sweeps before the screen)...REVEAL!

I was so excited about making the Plan that I completely lost steam when it came to actually implementing the thing. I only managed to add borders onto three blocks and make one:

And then there was this one. Of which there are actually two. That I equally dislike. I know they're not that bad. They just irk me.

Not jiving with the Plan.
So I hacked 'em up into bits, muahahhaahah...

First idea...
...second idea...
Meh, either way, I'm not ready to commit. Just having fun playing with the pieces. The second makes me think of sunlight dripping through the clouds. Sigh, I love you, Springtime.

Finally, Paisley Sunrise is still being hand-quilted, much to my enjoyment.

Hey whose toes are those?


No Progress
Despite the much-appreciated and very nice feedback on my brother's quilt, I'm still letting the options marinate. My mom/quilting guru/expert on my brother is visiting next weekend (YAY!), so I have a feeling we'll tackle it together. Of course I'll let you know what happens :o) She's also bringing a very special quilt-y surprise, so stay tuned!

In the Queue
Swoon! What could be a better pattern for this giant block kick I'm on? I bought the pattern, picked out fabrics, and then didn't start because I'm trying to find a way to not follow the directions. More fabrics? Different size blocks (since I just figured out how difficult that is)?

Yes. Yes, I'm crazy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Cure for Stress clearly to start more projects.

Example of shock

Lately I've been stressing a bit over my WIPs. My friends will be shocked by this confession, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

So I had this awesome idea.

Maybe if I have more works in progress, I won't be compelled to obsess my way into artistic paralysis over each tiny design decision. Because I'll be distracted. Right?


To the Stash Cave! What am I hoarding it for? Let's cut into the prized pieces!

Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks in voile on Kona Snow

As I'm fondling this supersoft voile, Mr Awesome glances over (unperturbed by the weird quilting behavior) and says, "What are you making with those? A mumu?"

Quilt friends, my next project had a name.

The grand plan for Mumu

Cut, cut, cut...

, sew, sew...  with the help of my 1/4 inch foot (now that I finally figured out what it was)...

 ...and voila! Or should I say, voile!

I love it!

The blocks are huge! Which means I only have to make 9 of them!

Unfortunately, no staging was required for this photo.
Maybe the next WIP should be a new storage system (unlikely).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for a Works-in-Progress Wednesday post!

In Progress:

What started as a sampler to use up scraps quickly morphed into a an all-out study in green and yellow. I've now got 13-18 blocks, depending on how they're grouped, and I'm trying to figure out a way to put them into one cohesive unit. More on that here. (Warning: this post is a bit melodramatic. The soap opera that is my quilting life...)

Well, I'm happy to say I've made some major progress. First, I ditched the white background. It was a sheet I found at Goodwill. It's possibly the softest, weighty-est, coolest-to-the-touch sheet in the world...but it's a bitch to cut and sew, let me tell you. Lesson learned: stick to 100% cotton for piecing and save the crazy-cool finds for backing.

Lucky I just happened to have a bit of Kona Coal lying around...

Yes!! Much more like the rainy spring day I had envisioned when I was inspired to start the project. Which called for a new title: 'Lemons and Limes' becomes 'Spring.' (Whew, that's out of the way. I find titling quilts awkward. But I can't keep calling it 'that yellow and green one.')

I've been adding borders to my improv blocks to make them all 18" square. I can't decide if I'll add sashing as well, or if a few gray borders will be enough.

Brother Quilt
Obviously, this is for my brother (to commemorate high school graduation). As for titles, my husband suggested...wait for it.... 'Quilt-ageddan' or 'S'ain't Nothin' Like a Quilt' (the school's teams are the Saints). While I'm mulling those over...

I have all the blocks done, but I'm still playing around with the layout. So much yellow and purple intermingling is sort of a puzzle since it's outside my normal palette. I played around with these tradition layouts first:

What do you think? Does it work? I'm a little...bored by them. But maybe I should fight my tendency to eschew simplicity? There is something nice about big, bold, and simple.

Hmm. Next I tried out some modern layouts. I like them much better, but I'm not yet ready to commit to one.

So far this one is my favorite. Don't mind the living room furniture! :o)
Do you have a favorite?

Paisley Sunrise
I'm still plugging away at these liberated Amish cables. I like having a little hand-quilting around to drag into my lap on winter evenings, so I don't mind if this one takes a good long while.


New Projects
Since I only have three projects in the queue, I'm planning and plotting what I want to make next. Here's the short list:

Wonky Crosses
Liberated Churn Dash
Wonky Stars (probably my favorite block ever...why haven't I done this yet?)
HST Cross (aka Criss Cross)
Liberated/Wonky Nine-Patch

Probably the hardest part is choosing a color scheme for each one. I like a lot of things I've seen on Flickr, but I don't want to copy! Hmm hmm...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Building a Stash

Not a moustache. A fab-stash!

I've recently take the next step as a quilter and committed to building a stash. That I actually like. Yay! Since it's a little-talked-about part of the journey, I thought I'd share my story.

We live in a little apartment, so my "sewing room" is a small pair of tables in the living room, while my fabric lives in a cabinet in the bedroom. The beautiful cabinet was a wedding gift from the ever-supportive Mr Awesome (notice his Star Wars figures guarding my precious fabrics?).

Don't mind the dust. Jawas are terrible at cleaning ;o)

As for the drums...well, what's a wedding reception without a few djembes?

When my mom and mom-in-law first heard the word "quilt" escape my lips, they generously gave me some fabric from their own stashes, as well as some pieces from various grandmothers. At first, I collected everything I could get my hands on.

I had no idea what I was going to make, or what I liked. Plus there is something special about receiving scraps from the previous generations of crafters. I recognized "family fabrics"...bits and pieces my mom had left over from pajamas, doll clothes, and quilts that she made us over the years. Amazing how they can make you feel warm and cozy just looking at them.

Makes me think of Christmas at home!

My flower girl dress at my mom's wedding!
I can hear my sister groaning...this lined our bunk beds :o)
Some favorite doll clothes and quilts came from these sweet fabrics.

But I rarely dipped into the fabrics I had collected. Most of my projects felt too modern for what I had, or I didn't have enough coordinating pieces (and no solids, boo!), or I was just uninspired by what I saw before me. So I started buying fabric for individual projects...which is great when you know what you want to do. But I wanted a Bat Cave of fabric. Like, to the Bat Cave, let's make some magic, people!!

So I was whining about that one night, when as usual Mr Awesome proffers the perfect plan. Build a stash of my own from the ground up. As in, spend some money on yourself. As in, you're really passionate about quilting, so follow your bliss. Um, duh. But it took someone else saying it for me to realize it's true. (Am I the only quilter in the world who has to be convinced to buy more fabric??!)

I first discarded the fabric I think I'll never use (it's boxed up in a closet. You never know, right?). Surprisingly, it wasn't much. But what a change! Now my "family fabrics" are all clustered up and I love looking at them. I keep mulling over the perfect pattern to pull them all together.

Next I hit Etsy, and I hit it hard. I spent some serious bonding time with Fresh Modern Fabrics and Fresh Squeezed Fabrics. Oh, and Hancock's of Paducah. C'mon, we've all done it.

(Insert angelic music here.)

Solids were a must.

Kona FQ bundles in Poseidon, Blue Heaven, and Hot Spice.
Kona cotton in Coal, Med Gray, and Ash.
Kona cotton in Khaki, Sand, and Snow.

Why was I trying to make quilts without neutrals?!!

And then came the prints. Oh, the magnificent prints...I'll spare you, but these are some of my new favs:

Heirloom by Joel Dewberry, Kona Corn, and the last one I forgot.
Rainy Days and Mondays and Leaves from Spring Street by Carolyn Gavin
Splinters from Cut Out and Keep by Heather Moore, Heirloom by Joel Dewberry, and Wild Flowers from Far Far Away III by Heather Ross.
Ta-Dot by Michael Miller (plus that pink and brown one from somewhere else?)
Grand Revival from Dolce by Tanya Whelan
Various Kona teals, Sheherezade from 1001 Peeps by Lizzy House, more Ta-Dots

Quilt friends, as the mail comes in, I basically just sit there and stare at the beautifulness. I guess I should...go make something? :o) And I have a million plans. But for now, I'm content to just stare and dream about what these little lovelies are going to become.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ta- Daaaaa!!

After much (probably needless) hemming and hawing, I finished my first virtual quilt bee block!

I am loving all the greeeeeeen! Shelley wanted a confetti block, and I believe I have delivered. I just thought I'd measured it once more, just to see if I needed to trim and...



Even the chicken seemed alarmed. And yet, why am I surprised. My issues with measuring are epic. Gilga-measure. That would be me.

I think my Bernina came with some special foot for this? I should look into that?

Shelley was very kind and said it could be approximate since she will be adding a border anyway. I'm very happy to be in a gentle and friendly quilt bee! So it's off to the post office with this one :o) It's amazing to participate in a quilting community in a real, tanglible way. I'm already looking forward to next month!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Doubt, Ambiguity, and Chaos

After whipping up another little block for Lemons and Limes (the green and yellow scrappy sampler I've been working on), I thought I'd lay out the blocks I've been piling up and see what was what.

Okay, maybe there's pattern here (no pun intended), but the first sight of a heretofore unplanned layout totally terrifies me. Like, what is going on here?? Have I just been churning out orphan blocks? My mind races...maybe a couple dozen pillows?

Sigh. You know, the more I stare at it, the more it seems to make sense. Yet still it exhausts me. Ugh. Moving from details to the big picture is tough!

And then there's this debacle:

I finally finished up all 80 blocks for my brother's quilt. Then I laid them out in the pattern I'd planned. Wow. Quilt friends, the picture was so bad I'm not even going to show you. Sufficed to say, it was a whole lot of purple and gold. I tried a few different things, but now I'm hunting around for a solid that will help the colors not be so overwhelming. Maybe Kona Coal?

That's a whole lot of quilt top, people.

Here's hoping for some inspiration.