Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bee Inspired - Ooops March is Late

This year I joined my first ever quilt bee.  I am so lucky to have joined a group that is so friendly and forgiving.  :)  Because, oops, it is only April and I am already behind.  I know that is a huge Bee no-no, but I am going to chalk it up as a learning experience and get things straightened out by the end of this month and be back on track.

The April block was for Kate from Smiles From Kate.  Her blocks were gnomes and trees and they were made with a method I hadn't tried before.  I have to admit, I was really intimidated for some strange reason.  They didn't seem hard, on the contrary, they were blocks with a lot of forgiveness and leniency built in.  I guess it was just where I was emotionally and mentally that made me so scared to start them.  I did talk with her and get permission to take my time with them.  I didn't want to make blocks that I wasn't happy with or enjoying, so that is what I did.  I took my time.

With a good kick in the pants some prompting by my quilty friend Janice, who is also participating, I finally tackled the blocks this last weekend.  And of course, she was right...there was nothing to be scared of.  They were easy and fun.


I think I have mentioned it before, but I have a serious lack of low volume fabric in my stash.  I think I will have to keep a look out for some good pieces the next time I hit up the fabric store.  I did have some light greys on hand, and she mentioned grey in her colors so I went with it.  If it is not Ok, I am hoping she will tell me so I can make another block *hint hint Kate*


I guess that is what doing a Bee is all about.  Stepping outside your norm and trying new things.  New methods, new colors, new styles, new deadlines.  Hahaha.  I don't have my turn until September, but I think I already know what I am going to do.  I'll have to get that ready WAY ahead of time so I don't have to stress about it.




On an entirely different topic.  I have been struggling with my batting lately.  I have always used Warm and Natural cotton batting.  The last two quilts I have made have dark colored solids and they are picking up every single loose fiber there is.  It is so hard to clean up after.  Or take decent photos of for that matter.  Does anyone else have this problem?  How do you handle it?  What is your go-to batting?

Linking up with:
Linky Party Tuesday with Free Motion by the River


Monday, April 10, 2017

Freefall QAL - I see leaves!

I have finally got my quilting mojo back!  Yeahoo!!
My shoulder feels fine and I spent the whole weekend with my machine and Doctor Who.  :)
It was fabulous.

I spent Friday night and Saturday working on my FreeFall leaves for the QAL over at mmmquilts.
I decided to make all of my small leaves the same color.


I started to put together my leaf points and could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong.  The paperless paper piecing method was new to me, so I continued to try...and fail.


I was so frustrated.  So, I went to bed then just as I was on the verge of sleep I thought to myself, "did I even measure the template I printed out?"  I woke up Saturday morning with newfound energy and went straight to my cut-out paper template.  Sure enough, I had printed it the wrong size, by about a 1/4 inch.  Sigh.  So, I threw my leaf points and my other cut points into the scrap bin and followed Sandra's instructions to draw my own (I didn't have a printer at home to print another template and I wasn't about to wait another week).   Easy Peasy!  The points went together like a dream!


Then onto the HSTs:


You gotta love the trimmings!

Putting the blocks together went so smooth.  I kept expecting to have to do some seam ripping to get some of those points nice, but they were all perfectly acceptable.  Some not quite perfect, but pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  :)


The color is off on this photo a bit, but I thought it was pretty anyways.

I am so excited to get the next set of instructions.  This is coming together so nicely.  You can view the progress of everyone else following along on the Linkup on Sandra's blog HERE.


In addition to the Linkup on mmmquilts, I'll be linking up with:
Linky Tuesday with Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday with My Quilt Infatuation


Monday, April 3, 2017

When will the break be over?

I know that we all take breaks from time to time.  From work, from blogging, even from *gasp* quilting.  It seems these last few weeks have been my time to break from blogging and quilting at the same time.  That may or may not have to do with my blog being about quilting.  :)

I have been doing a little bit of blog reading and commenting and as I get inspired by all of you I think to myself, "Today's the day, I am going to be back at my machine and I am going to be SO creative and successful!"  Then when I get home, I just can't bring myself to do it.  Part of it could be the near constant pain in my shoulder that has me exhausted by noon. (Trying a new treatment on Tuesday, so wish me luck there!)  And part of it could be that I have been working on things for other people too much.

I know I have mentioned my dear grandmother before and how she was a very important influence on my crafty life.  One of the last conversations we had was about quilting.  She told me that if it ever seems like work and not fun, then I wasn't doing it right (I am paraphrasing there).  I think that I fell into that trap a little farther than is comfortable for me.  I like doing things for other people, but I had too many deadlines on big projects and started feeling pressured to work on those.  Hence, not wanting to work on anything at all.  I have a feeling that I am not alone in this.

I have one more project to finish up for someone else, then I think that I am going to focus on things only for me for awhile.  My pattern writing mostly.  I really want to get some new patterns out there and I really want to try to get a pattern published in a magazine.  If you have any advice on that front, please let me know.

One of the things I have finished lately is my flimsy for the Meadow Mystery quilt with Cheryl at MeadowMist Designs. It was my first ever mystery quilt and I had a heck of a time choosing fabrics without knowing what the quilt would look like.  I am pretty pleased with it though and think I am going to use this quilt to try some new quilting designs on.  The muslin I used for the background just screams for some intricate designs.  Don't you think?

A closeup of the pretty brown fabric. It is hard to see the detail from farther away.

You can see more of the variation of the dark brown here.  Also, look at all those spaces wanting to be quilted!

And the completed top.  I think I have enough of the fabric to piece together for the back.  Not sure which one I'll use for binding yet.

To help improve my mood, Spring has decided to show up in Portland finally.  :)  I saw 3 little baby geese yesterday and then this is what it looks like all over the place:



Happy Quilting Everyone!
I'll be linking up to my usual places.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

T-shirts and Winners

I swear, I am still here.  :)
I just haven't had anything to share recently and don't even have any photos to share.  I think that is probably the main reason for the lack of posts.  I love a post with pretty photos and to be honest with you, I just haven't been in the mood.

The project I have been working on lately is a fun T-shirt quilt for a friend, but I don't know if I will share the full image because it has her name on some jerseys and other personal items.  I tell you what though....making one of these memory T-shirt quilts is really, really hard.  Not because of the sewing portion, but because of the cutting.  Some of these shirts were years old and she had stored them and carried them with her since childhood.  They were IMPORTANT memories and I went and cut them all up.  She wanted something useful made out of them.  She asked me to cut them up.  But, boy was it scary and it took me months to make that first cut.

I am happy to say that it turned out wonderfully and I can't wait to give it to her next week.

Onto the winner for my "Quilter's Laundry Day" Jen & Jan's Mini Blog Hop post!  I had 99 comments on that post and I was almost wanting to wait another day to see if I could get 1 more comment to round out the number, but I promised to do the drawing and I was anxious to pick someone.

I always like these little goodie bags to be a surprise.  The winner was comment number 44.  That comment was made by Bernie of Needle and Foot Once I receive confirmation that it has been received, I will add a photo.  Congratulations Bernie!  I hope you enjoy your little prize.  :)


I promise to start taking some photos and posting more often.  The sun shining more often will help on that front a lot.  I have some fun projects coming up and they will be a lot of fun to share.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

QAL Wrap up and Winners

Holy Smokes you guys!  The Jen and Jan Mini QAL & Blog Hop was a huge success!  I know I haven't had a chance to respond to each of your comments but they were all so nice and I thank you for stopping by and commenting.

There was such a creative group of quilters involved in this QAL!  If you haven't visited all of the bloggers on the hop, you can check them out HERE.

Janice and I decided to give away 2 prizes to the blog hop participants.  One for US only and one for International only.  We drew the names today and your winners are:

Sharon @ Yellow Cat Quilt Designs ($25 Fat Quarter Shop gift card)
and
Leanne @ Lizzie the Quilter (Craftsy Class certificate)

Congrats!

You still have some time to enter the giveaway from my blog by commenting on THIS post before March 23rd.


So, tell me... What would like to see for our next Mini QAL?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Jen & Jan's Mini QAL & Blog Hop

It's Blog Hop Day!!
*Can you see me doing my happy dance?*
I have been so anxious for this day to finally come.  I have been getting little sneak peeks of everyone's mini quilts, but no more than peeks and the wait has been killing me!

A few weeks ago, Janice from Color, Creating, and Quilting and I threw out the invitation to join us in making a pattern I wrote with the help of Janice and Kate from Smiles From Kate.  We had an overwhelming response.  So many people wanted to join the blog hop that we had to separate it into two days!  WOW!!! Seriously folks, I cannot express how much this thrilled me.
If you want to make this mini and missed out on joining the hop, you can still download the pattern for free in my Craftsy shop. Or view the tutorial.

In addition to the testing, I made a completed block to share as well.  This mini has so many opportunities for personalization beyond the fabric choices.  I chose to practice a little planned quilting.  (Is there an actual term for this? ) I usually do an all over stitch of one kind or another and I decided this quilt was the one where I started to change that.

The quilting can be seen much better on the back of the quilt.  I love the polka dots.  

You can't see it here, but I attempted pebbles on the road.  It's a good thing you can't see them.  They were HARD to do!




We had two fabulous sponsors for this hop.  Fat Quarter Shop and Craftsy.  Both were generous enough to supply gift certificates to a couple of our blog hop participants!  We will be drawing the winners from the hop participants later this week.

                                       

In addition to those two prizes, I will be sending a ***surprise goodie bag*** to one lucky reader.  Just leave a comment below and I will randomly draw a winner.  The last day for entry would be Thursday, March 23rd.

Now.....Finally.... What you all have been waiting for...
The list of blog participants for both days.  Make sure you stop by a few (if not all of them) and show them your love.  From the sneak peeks I have seen, you will not be disappointed in the creativity and talent of these bloggers!

March 10 

Jen Rosin A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Diann at Little Penguin Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!


March 11

Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Sola at Alice Samuels Quilt Co
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tami at Sew Much for Free Time
Suzy Webster at Adventurous Applique & Quilting
Tish Stemple at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps
Mary Macotte at Fleur de Lis Quilts

I think I can speak for Janice as well and say that this has been such an awesome experience for the both of us and we can't wait to do it again!

Monday, February 27, 2017

February Muggamo!

February is almost done and I have yet to share with you my super cute mug rug for the month.
Jen over at Patterns by Jen is sharing a new Mug Rug pattern every month.  Fun little projects that go together so quickly and are a great gift for friends (or yourself :) ).  You can find January's tutorial and February's tutorial Here and Here.

I know exactly who I am gifting this one to.  Now if I could only remember to put it in the mail...

I don't fussy cut very often, but this Love just wanted to be part of the February Muggamo!

I made an attempt at little tiny quilted hearts.  Some good, some not great, but still cute if you ask me.

The little swirls were very hard to do from the front because the thread matched the fabric.


Not your traditional Valentine colors, but I like it and see myself making this mug rug will all kinds of fussy cut bits.  

Linking up with the usual--all on my sidebar.




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ScrappyFinish

Lately it seems that I have been doing so much and so little at the same time.
I have been pattern testing for others and finishing up a few new patterns for myself.  And in between that, I have been trying to get some of the WIPs off my list to make some room and feel some sense of accomplishment.  AND I have been desperately trying to bring some organization and order to all of my sewing storage chaos.  The boxes and piles of fabric are surrounding me.

My sewing space is a corner of my bedroom, this includes storage and table and chair. I feel so overwhelmed with all of it.  I don't want to get rid of it, but in its current state, it is so uninspiring.
I am half tempted to say that I don't need a living room (we don't even use it really) and move all of my sewing out there with the beautiful daylight from the sliding glass door and the long walls.  It's an option I suppose.  How do those of you with limited space deal?  Is your sewing space in a state of constant moving?

I did manage a couple of finishes amidst all this chaos though.  The first is my February block for our Bee Inspired group.  It was a super fun block to make and you can read all about my block HERE. Everyone else posts about their blocks too, so don't forget to keep reading.

My finished block.

I also finally finished a scrap quilt that I started a couple of years ago on a Sew Saturday with my aunt.  She finished hers a long time ago, but I found that I was never able to work on it for too long.  It sat basted and ready for quilting for quite awhile and when I finally started quilting it, that was when my old machine went kaput.  But, I am happy to say that this last weekend I finally put that last binding stitch on it and it is my new cozy, scrappy, travel with me quilt.  It is going to be that one that I just toss in the car when I head to the beach, or go camping, or just need a quilt to cuddle with on the couch.  


I really wanted to get some good outdoor photos of this one, to capture the bright colors, but it is still dark by time I get home and rainy and muddy to boot, so I'll have to settle for some slightly dark indoor shots this time.  As I was driving to work this morning I really, really wished I could just pull over on the side of the road, call in late to work and take my quilt photos here:


It was so creepy-beautiful!  Imagine a colorful quilt hanging from one of those branches.


It's a dark photo, but it will be the quilt's natural habitat.  :)

This is one of those quilts that has a huge layout mistake in it, but I didn't notice until I had it all laid out and basted.  I decided it gave it character.  


I almost forgot to use my labels this time, but luckily I remembered before I finished the binding and was able to add it in there.  I love these labels!  If you are interested, I ordered them from Finer Ribbon.  Here.

Linking up to:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Jen & Jan's Mini QAL - Quilter's Laundry Day Tutorial


We are doing another Blog Hop - QAL!
Janice from Color, Creating and Quilting and I are doing another Mini Quilt Blog Hop and Quilt Along.  Last time, we did a Shadow Block Mini Quilt: HERE and HERE.

This time around, we have created the cutest little pattern for you.  We have called it Quilter's Laundry Day.  It is a quick finish that you can personalize so many ways.

AND we have prizes!!
(keep reading to find out what...)

This is going to be a long post with the tutorial included, so I will get right to it.
  • Day of the Hop - Friday, March 10th
  • To participate in the Blog Hop, where you share your version of Quilter's Laundry Day, please let us know in a comment or email. (adreamandastitch (at) gmail (dot) com). We will need your name, email, and blog or Instagram.  Please let us know if you want to participate before Friday, March 3rd so we have time to get the hop together.
  • Here is the link to the PDF pattern:  Quilter's Laundry Day
  • Grab a button.
  • Have Fun!



Fabric Requirements and Cutting:  
*all measurements in inches*
SKY:   (1)7.5x8.5, (1)3.5x5, (1)1.5x6.5, (2)3.5x1.5, (1)3.5 sq, (1)10.5x2.5
GRASS:   (1)2.5 sq, (1)2.5x5, (1)1.5x4.5, (1)3 sq, (1)1.5x2.5, (1)2.5x9.5
POST:   (2)1x5.5
HOUSE:   (5)2.5x1.5, (1)1.5x6.5, (2)1.5x3.5, (1)2.5x6.5
ROOF:   (1)3.5x6.5
CHIMNEY:   (1)3.5x1.5
WINDOW:   (1)2.5 sq (2)2.5x1.5
DOOR:   (1)3.5x2.5
ROAD:   (1)3 sq, (1)2.5 sq, (1)2.5x16.5 (can change to 1.5x16.5  if you prefer a narrow road or excluded.  2.5 height makes block 16.5x16.5)

(1) 4.5 sq *edit*(unfinished)   MINI QUILT. Can be any pieced block or cut piece of fabric.
One of many websites that I found some super great blocks at:  

Recommendations:  I starched all the fabric as I worked on this to keep the smaller pieces easy to work with.  Use your preferred method. I also pressed in the direction that seemed most natural.  Either to the dark fabric or away from the bulk of the seams.  I like to press open in most cases, but again, this works with your preferred method.

Section A:
     ·         Make 4.5 Mini Quilt
     ·         Sew 1.5x4.5 GRASS to bottom of  Mini Quilt
     ·         Set aside
The pattern for my mini quilt can be found HERE. 

  •      Sew 3.5x5 SKY to 2.5x5 GRASS on long(5”) edge.


  •      Cut (2) 1.5x5.5 strips from unit (2x5.5 remains)
  •      Sew POST strips to both 5.5 sides of 2x5.5 unit

  •   Cut unit in half creating (2) 1.5x5.5 strips

  •      Sew SKY/GRASS strip to POST side of unit.  
    •       Making sure SKY & GRASS line up.  
    •       Make 2.
      ·      With wider SKY/GRASS section facing out, sew SKY/GRASS/POST units to either side of MINI QUILT

      ·         Sew 8.5x7.5 SKY to top of unit



      ·        Set aside Section A

Section B:
            B.1:
·         Sew a 3.5x1.5 SKY strip to each 3.5 side of CHIMNEY 3.5x1.5 strip. Draw diagonal on wrong side of unit


·         Place SKY/CHIMNEY unit right sides together on left side of  3.5x6.5 ROOF rectangle, making sure strips start horizontal and end up vertical when folded back and diagonal line goes top-right to bottom left



·         Sew along diagonal and trim off excess seam allowance


·         Draw diagonal on 3.5sq SKY
·         Place on right side of unit and sew along diagonal. Trim excess seam allowance


·         Sew 1.5x6.5 SKY to top of unit

B.2:
·         Working left to right, 2.5 sides together
o   Sew 1.5x2.5 HOUSE to 2.5sq WINDOW, then 1.5x2.5 HOUSE, then 1.5x2.5 WINDOW, then1.5x2.5 HOUSE


·         Sew 1.5x6.5 HOUSE to top
·         Sew unit B.2 to bottom of unit B.1
B.3:
·         Sew a 1.5x2.5 HOUSE to each 2.5 side of 1.5x2.5 WINDOW
·         Sew 1.5x3.5 HOUSE to bottom


·         Sew 3.5x1.5 HOUSE to right side of 2.5x3.5 DOOR
o   Sew DOOR side to right of HOUSE/WINDOW unit
·         Sew 2.5x6.5 HOUSE to top of unit
·         Sew unit B.3 to bottom of unit B.2
B.4:
·         Sew 10.5x2.5 SKY to 2.5 sq GRASS
·         Sew unit with GRASS on bottom to right side of other B unit



·         Sew entire Section B to right side of Section A
Section C:
·         Draw diagonal on wrong side of 3 sq ROAD. Place right sides together with 3 sq. GRASS. Sew ¼  seam on both sides of line to make 2 HST. Press open. Trim to 2.5 sq.


·         Sew 2.5 sq ROAD in between the two HSTs with ROAD side of HST against ROAD square.  Points going up to center.



·         Sew 1.5 x2.5 GRASS to right side of pieced block
·         Sew 2.5 x9.5 GRASS to left side of pieced block
·         Add last 16.5 ROAD strip to bottom of pieced block.  See options in cutting instructions.

·         Sew Section C to bottom of block



And there you have it!  There is lots of space for embellishments of your choice.  Fancy 
quilting, applique, let your imagination run wild.
I sure had fun making this pattern and I hope you all do too.  

We have two very generous sponsors for this Blog Hop.  Participants will have a chance to
win one of two prizes.  A $25 gift card from Fat Quarter Shop or a Free Class Certificate 
from Craftsy.  We will draw the winners after the hop (March 10th).