Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday - ALYOF - April Finish!

What's this, you say? Is it a WIP or a Finish? What the heck is going on here?! Well, my April goal for ALYOF was to make a start on my Skill Builder BOM 2015 - Technicolor Galaxy (for those of you who are interested, I was #105 on the Goal Setting Party). I achieved my goal/finish by making a WIP. How's that for some fancy quilt-y footwork? ☺
This pic shows where I am at the moment. I've definitely gotten started. Yup, that's Matthew & Mary gazing longingly at each other in the foreground. Have I mentioned that I have a bit of a Downton Abbey addiction?

Anyway. At our MMQG Sew In on Saturday, I got busy on these star points. Only to discover that I had miscut 1/3 of the pattern pieced. Insert unbridled cussing here.
Home I went to get my stack of Konas to re-cut the pieces. Grrr. Thank goodness I only live 8 minutes drive from where we sew. I did lose my plum parking spot though. Oh well. This was my first time piecing on stabilizer instead of paper. I think I really like the idea of NOT tearing paper off at the end of a project! 
Yesterday I stopped procrastinating à la Val and her taxes and got to work on making the bias tape needed to finish my glue basted seams on the Colour Wheel. I always wuss out when I have to cut bias strips and do it the more complicated way that I understand well. Not this time! I followed the detailed instructions and did this origami folding of a FQ...  
Go figure... it worked! Though I have far more bias strips than I need. I hate wasting fabric. At least it's just Kona White and not some precious, long-hoarded print.
This really is a nifty tool... makes me wonder what other projects need some bias tape. Someone please help me... I need to lay down until this feeling passes.
 Thought about making this tiny bias tape:
1) When the directions say to buy a particular product, just buy it. Never trust yourself when you say "Oh... this isn't the same, but I think it'll work." Nope. Just don't.
2) I am grateful for my swanky new iron. But yikes! It is HOT!
3) I have crossed off my "Do something that scares you" for today... and I might count this process for a few days' worth.
Ah... rainbow-y goodness. It's been fun selecting just the right prints for the secondary star points. I've been using lots from the fabric kit, as well as dipping into my stash. Those FQs from Fridays Off Fabric are coming in handy, as is that monster pile of Cotton & Steel Basics that I impulse bought last summer.
I'm pretty pleased with the selections for this side...
But I'm struggling with this side. I'm just not sure about that purple point mid-photo. Is the outside purple too light? Commentary welcome! And the blues... I need to make use of that 31% off sale at my LQS that ends next Monday.
All in all, I'm pleased at how much I got done this month. I'm not caught up.. but I made progress. It's not a race and I am enjoying playing with my fabrics to get things just right. Remember this....
For all the challenges, there's a lot of joy in this mega-project. Just seeing it hanging out on my design wall makes me smile!

I'm linking up today with a veritable grocery list of linkys. First up, there's the April Finishes Party for ALYOF at Fibre of All Sorts. Then my usual Wednesday shenanigans: Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced. If you're looking for guilt about not getting much sewing done inspiration, head on over to any of these linkys. So much to see!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Stash - Honestly...

This is getting ridiculous. Every week I could write a stash post. Every. Danged. Week. I'm not sewing as much as I used to and there's a lot of fabric in that stash already. Blah, blah, blah. You've heard it before.

Here's what they don't say. Buying fabric just feels good. so there.

Here's the Le Club bundle for April from Fridays Off Fabric Shop. I will also say that it appears her shipping rates have changed... for the better. Just sayin'.
On top there's Anna Maria Horner: Chamomile in Queen, Medallions her True Colors line (thanks to Ali W for giving me a heads up!), Banner Days in Magenta, and Family Unit in Powder. And then there's some Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Parrot and Alison Glass X in Magenta (I selvage!)

And I think I forgot to show you the bundle from March. Silly me. I got all caught up in a New Level of Crazy and the Mother of All Sunday Stashes.
Riley Blake's Girl Bikes in Blue,Snapshots Family in Blue, and Snapshots Home in Pink

Lewis & Irene's Hedgerow Flowers on Earth, Fairy on Duck Egg, and Wishes in the Breeze on Lilac. I'd never seen this designer before but now it's appeared at my LQS!

Some required notions arrived on my doorstep this week... Clover bias tape maker, Clover design sheets, and a clever little Add-a-Quarter ruler. Oh God... don't let me get addicted to clever rulers. The fabric is bad enough.
Since I needed another couple dollars of purchases to get free shipping. Damned free shipping. It gets me every time.
I am not as clever as Miss Val from Purple Boots and Pigtails. My improv letters turn out far too large. Paper piecing it is.

Then Aimee from Candy Coated Quilts showed up with her new curated Kona bundles at yesterday's MMQG Sew In. Ack! So good... from front to back, there's Nectarine, Creamsicle, Turquoise, Capri, and Sky. Yummo.
I'm sure I can stop any time I want to.

I'm linking up with the incomparable Aussie, Molli Sparkles! Sometimes he even writes me back when I leave comments. Squeeee! Like an actual famous bloggy person reads my wee comment.

Molli Sparkles

Now to go sew something!!!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Finish - As traditional as I probably get...

With the remains of this year's Snowmageddon leaving us, DT and I can finally get out with the super stroller and tour the 'hood. It's been so sunny that the kiddos have been squinting.. a lot... and their cheeks look pinkish. Enter this week's project...
Some very retro/traditional babywear - bonnets! I used a pattern and tutorial from Purl Bee. It's very easy and quick... I finished off one of these during one day's naptimes. And I had another partially cut out!
I went for the last of my Valori Wells Wrenly Wildfield print. Only scraps remain. Even though it has a lot more pink than I normally go for, I do love it! Good thing I still have lots of the Christmas version left!
So many pins... but they were needed to keep that curve from puckering. I just don't think my trusty Wonder Clips were up to the job! Love those little snippets!
Instead of using a bias tape maker for the bonnet strings, I opted to cut 1½ inch strips, fold them in half, and then press the raw edges in toward the pressed fold. It's the same technique I'd use for making a strap for a bag. And it allows me to break out the Wonder Clips. How long will it be before I break down and buy a rainbow pack? Someone should start a pool...
Once I finished the first bonnet, I just kept on going. It looked a little large for GT, so I whipped up a 3-6 month version. The pattern comes in five sizes: 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24 months. 
And then it was determined that this style could work for BT too. So I grabbed some Ann Kelle foxes and got to sewing again!
I can hardly wait to get them back out in the stroller! They pretty much win best dressed in the family on any given day anyway, but these will hopefully shield them from a little too much sun in the weeks to come!

I'm linking up today with TGIFF @ Things I Make, as well as Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Crayonz!

It's Thursday and DT are sleeping soundly! Time for another #TBT post!
Thankfully, this one was finished in the era of digital photography, so no new photoshoot was required. My backyard does NOT look this good at the moment! But never mind the yard, check out the jillions of crayons required to make that border!
I began this quilt in 2005 and finished it in 2011 at our first (and, to date, only) Q-Squared Retreat. It's a design by Australian textile artist, Jan Mullen (many thanks to Carla @ Granny Maud's Girl for identifying it for me!)
This was the first quilt that I FMQed on my current machine, a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0. I had been afraid to quilt it on my old machine because I loved the top so much and didn't want to mess it up! It was a tough go... those little crayons have a lot of seams. It was well before pressing seams open became the rage! I swirled my way around all those little crayons... it really makes them pop out from the black background.
Title: Crayonz
Pattern: Crayonz by Jan Mullen
Completed: July 2011
Size: 51 by 65 inches
Fabrics Used: All tone on tones... even the black background fabrics
Konas Used: just one.... there's a solid that looks rather like Kona Chartreuse
Quilting: FMQ swirls using Gutterman 10 (black)
Binding: Handstitched black (chosen to blend in, so as not to take away from the quilt top)

Backing: Black solid (likely Kona), constantly covered in batting threads!
Favourite Part(s): One of my first forays into improv cutting, if not improv piecing. It was so much fun to have all those wonky little crayons.

Come on, bloggy pals! Why not dig into that cupboard and pull out some pre-blog quilts that you're proud of! See you next Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Still Building Skills!

A sunny day playing in the studio saw me making lots of progress on the centre medallion of Technicolor Galaxy... last week's WIP! I suspect you're going to be seeing it on Wednesdays a lot for the next year or so!
Yup... that's glue. All these pieces are glue basted in place. You use very thin lines of white school glue, then iron it to dry and set the glue. The muslim foundation is pinned over the freezer paper template of the entire block.

 And complete! I love watching all these pieces come together!
Since I'm waiting on some tools to arrive in order to make the bias tape, this hung out on the design wall for a few days. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that I had somehow slipped and added too much red.
A little re-work and I'm much happier. Hopefully I can cover up the glue that shows on one of the purple pieces. Once my ultra fine glue tips arrive, this problem shouldn't happen anymore!
This week-end's MMQG Sew In will have me finally getting down to business on the 12 star point blocks! Bring on the foundation piecing!

I'm linking up today with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, as well as WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Finish - Extra Love Sewn In

What says happiness more than a Nova Scotian spring day? A cheerful finished quilt with Extra Love Sewn In perhaps?
It's quilted horizontally and vertically a ¼ inch on either side of each seam. I used a variety of pink threads... I love to use up partial spools this way. The quilting breaks up the 4½ inch squares and gives a little more interest to the Pearl Pink squares.
For the backing, I would have love to have used one of the prints in the top, but there aren't many stores in my area that sell Moda fabrics. Instead, I opted for a Timeless Treasures Hatch print... the pink's pretty close to ones on the top.
The binding is pieced. Again, I love working from my stash and using up bits of this and that. I used some of the backing fabric, along with three shades of Kona pink.
Such a beautiful day for a photo shoot! I couldn't resist a few more non-quilty pics. Because one can never have too many of cobbles...
 Or crashing waves...
 Or blue skies!
Back to the quilt!
The Deets 
Title: Extra Love Sewn In (Charm Pack Cherry from Fat Quarter Shop)
Fabric Used: Two Charm packs of Hubba Hubba by Me and My Sisters for Moda
Konas Used: Pearl Pink
Quilting: Straight line gridwork using various shades of pink (Gutterman 320, 300) 
Binding:  Pearl Pink, Peony, Camelia & backing fabric, hand stitched with Gutterman 300 
Favourite Part(s): Being able to make a gift that will bring comfort to a friend
Read more about the process here and here 

I'm linking up today with TGIFF over at Quilting in Amsterdam as well as with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts. Pop over and see what other bloggers have finished this week!


P.S. These pics were taken at beautiful White Point Beach Resort while Adrienne from Chezzetcook Modern Quilts and I were at Quilt Atlantic representing our fab little quilt guild and talking about modern quilts!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Gettin' 'er done...

It's the middle of April and not much has happened on my ALYOF goal for this month... until now!
Honestly, I hadn't even read Lesson #1 until this week. But now I have!
I even got down to the nitty gritty of unpacking that lovely box of treasures.... turns out I don't even need to buy muslin!
 I took all the prints and made a colour blob on my design wall... I just needed to look at it all.
  So much fabric-y goodness... and don't even get me started on the Konas!
Enough playing with fabric already... time to get to work. I had to choose fabrics for each segment of the colour wheel that makes up the centre medallion of the quilt. I was afraid that, where I had the kit, it would seem like colour by numbers. And I didn't want my quilt to look just like everyone else's.
Turns out, with all those fabric choices, it's not going to look exactly like anyone's! So much fun! Only 30 different fabrics in the medallion alone... yikes!
I learned a new trick... when you're playing with the value (light to dark) of your fabric and want to check if things are in balance, grab your phone and take a pic, then convert it to black and white. Can you spot the two fabrics I switched?
 All cut and ready to apply the freezer paper templates. Now that I've gotten started, I don't want to stop!
I guess I can officially say I've achieved my April goal. ☺ Don't worry. I'm not going that easy on myself!

In addition to getting started on Technicolor Galaxy, I whipped up some binding for Extra Love Sewn In. Don't you just love a pieced binding? Why don't I do this on everything? ☺
I'm linking up today with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, as well as Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts. Click on over and get inspired!