Saturday, July 31, 2010

Musings

Well it's a thankfully slightly lazy Saturday morning and I'm sitting here watching my incredibly adorable daughter try to get to her laundry that needs to be folded. It's taunting me over there with my laundry. Oh and wouldn't you know it...just as I write this, my darling husband picked up my basket to fold my laundry. Sigh. It's good to know you married the right guy!

Anyway, I have a list of the things that I want to accomplish sewing wise this coming week and I will feel much more relaxed if I can do maybe half of them!

I want to work on the final project for Modern Swappers so I have that finished, packed up and ready to mail!

I want to print out the blocks for the 3 x 6 bee that I will be paper piecing (does anyone use anything other than paper piecing tearable backing for paper piecing?) and I would love to get at least one of them done. I'm planning on doing 7 because I'd like to do one for myself too. Trouble is, I haven't tried this pattern and I have no idea how long it's going to take.

I want to keep up with any bee fabric that comes in the mail...I think that I have at least two more coming...maybe 3!

I would love to start working on the ice cream dress for Caitlyn, but I have a feeling that is a dream somewhere in the future.

oh yeah and I really would like to make a little progress on the doll quilt to post so people don't think that I have forgotten about it!


That sounds like an awful lot...and my brother is in town until Tuesday living in my sewing room....hmmm...yeah...not so realistic.



But I did manage to work on my blocks for the Japanese bee. It's so fun to be part of this bee because I'm getting to see so many fabrics that normally people don't let you work with because they're so expensive. And I feel like I'm getting a lot of it out of my system. So while there are a few fabrics that I feel I must have, there are much less than I thought because I get to see them, work with them and send them back to their owners. For instance, this week I work with a couple of adorable small japanese prints, but the one fabric that I loved the most was the linen polka dot. In the end it always comes back to polka dots.



The goal for these blocks was to make square in square blocks or rectangle in square blocks etc. I ended up making three blocks just to use up all the fabric and try out some different layouts. The first two are pretty simple, but the fabric is so fun that I didn't want to do anything too busy...just let the fabric be the show.


Block #1 with those lovely polka dots!

August- Bee a Little Bit Japanese - Block #1


She had a very subdued palette that I was iffy about when I first saw it on the computer screen, but when I had the fabrics in hand I just fell in love with. Very soothing and relaxing.


Block #2 was a square in square and I got to use a whole bunch of the adorable blue fabric with all the little duckies! Unfortunately the picture looks fuzzy...but that's not really what happened. I took it in the morning when I was barely awake because my husband was taking the camera for the day and I was headed to the post office to mail these...anyway...the humidity here is very high and it hit the lens and I didn't catch it. Oh well


August- Bee a Little Bit Japanese - Block #2



Block #3 I was trying to do two rectangle in rectangle pieces put together for a single square, but I ran out of fabric and had to do some scrappy piecing which threw off the symmetry. Hopefully she still likes it. The picture here makes it look wonky (remember I was barely awake!) but it is perfectly square.


August- Bee a Little Bit Japanese - Block #3



But I was definitely happy when I put all three together. I think that they really blend well together and I can picture her quilt more easily now. It will be soothing and already makes me want to snuggle.


August- Bee a Little Bit Japanese - All three blocks together


So a little bit of sewing...hopefully with more to come soon. I need to get back into the pattern of life here that goes less interrupted.




Thursday, July 29, 2010

Super great fabric deals and one block done

I received my package from Fabric.com the other day with my fabulous deals of Westminster Fabric. I ended up with everything for only $2 a yard. I'm pretty happy with all my fabrics. Only one is different than I thought and for some reason I ordered 2 yards of it...go figure. But I figure at $2 a yard there really are no mistakes. ;)


I have some lovely prints by designer Dana and I think that I want to use the middle one to recover my ironing board.


Florals




I also got this lovely selection of bright fabrics including some super cute planet and spaceship fabrics which are great for little boys. It's always harder to find perfect little boy prints.


Brights



And then I got a great selection of Jay McCarrol fabrics. I especially love the greys. They are such great neutrals.


Jay McCarrol



And then I finally got to a little sewing. I've been so busy with life...agh...that I haven't been able to sew much yet. But I was able to make one block today. It doesn't look like too much but it's always surprising how much time even a simple block like this takes.

This block is another house for Gretchen who is kicking off Bee Modern Too with more of her houses for her quilt. I went with a wonky house this time but added some little neighbors to the block. I think that she is the drama queen of the neighborhood!


house block for gretchen



A detail of the interesting part!


detail of house block


I'm hoping tomorrow to work on the Japanese bee block. I have the fabric for that and I love to get the bee blocks out of the way as soon as possible. Then I need to get to major work on my swaps that are due at September. I feel bad because I've already got two of the blocks from the 3 x 6 bee and I haven't even started those blocks yet.



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm back.....!

Well life has been crazy lately and we're finally back home...to more crazy life. Today is my husband and mine's 8th wedding anniversary. Someone told me that 8 years is a new beginning and I love that. We've had some crazy life the last few years and a new beginning is an interesting idea. But if today was a judge of what we are in for, then baby hold on! It feels like more of the same! I was on the phone all day with different airlines trying to get my brother from our home town to our current home 1000 miles away (let's just say that I know a lot more about the airline business now!) and my poor husband has been overwhelmed taking care me while I take of my brother that he had a little fender bender with our brand new mini van. Happy 8 years to us. We know how to celebrate in style. LOL. I was just glad that I had not planned on getting any sewing done today because it would have been a lost cause.

But enough about lifestyles of the middle class and crazy....let's chat about all the yummy goodies that I got while I was out of town. It was killing me to be away from my sewing machine the whole time, but I tried to make up for it by looking at fabrics almost every day! I was a fairly good girl. Well... I wasn't too bad ;)


There were a few gorgeous fabrics that I ordered or picked up right before I left. I just want to eat them, they look so pretty. Some nicey jane, kona in aqua and lizzy house red letter day. Sigh. Adore.


fabric bliss



Then I have a total random conglomeration of fabric purchases from all over northern indiana. Good deals I couldn't pass up and little things here and there that I needed for this and that.

random fabric purchases


I mentioned these patterns that I purchased for fun and was so excited to see in an actual store! Yeah for quilt stores that carry cool patterns. I'll just add these to my ever increasing list of projects. (It's getting out of control)


my new patterns



I saw these cookies in starbucks and could not resist purchasing them. I don't even care what is in this box...all I know is that this is the cutest little box ever and clearly must be made into a quilt.


cutest box of cookies



I found these super fun iron on trims on major clearance at Joann's and couldn't resist. I'm going to make a belt out of the black shimmery one for a dress that I got on clearance because it was missing the belt. It was originally $20 a yard and I got it for $2 a yard. Yeah! super deal. and the others were just a quarter a yard. crazy! I'm still deciding if I want to add them to my doll quilt. It depends on how nuts I go.


iron on trim




And I scored with some of my favorite fabrics at 40% off because they were end of bolt deals. I couldn't pass them up. Especially since I just bought more of the green tulip fabric at full price the week before. Oh well. Now I have more and will perhaps make my little cutie a dress out of these.


Fabric Thyme!



I couldn't pass up this cute little bag from Joann's for holding all of my purchases. I figure since I am attending modern quilt guild meetings I'll be needing something to carry my projects back and forth. ;)


craft bag



Okay and remember the post office mailer I found that matched my fabric? Well I found more fabric at Joann's by the same designer in a super cute print! I just adore the bicycles!! All of the sudden I can spot these designs everywhere!


fabric by Dena from Joann's



And then what is a girl to do on a 16 hour car ride but a little hand sewing. I whipped out my new hexagon templates and cut a few pieces off of my new fabric purchases...and ta da! Hexagons that are too cute. I have no idea what these are for yet, but I always have projects coming up and I'm sure that I'll be able to use them soon.


hexagons - fun while traveling



That's probably enough for now. I had a whole bunch of fabric come today in the mail (remember, it's a sickness people...you can never have enough!) that I got from Fabric.com when they were having a blowout sale last week. I got all the fabric for $2 a yard. It's really just wrong not to buy good fabric at that price! ;) At least that's how I convinced myself that I needed a new collection of fabrics. I do have a plan for one of them...that's good, right?



And the winner of the giveaway is....

Thanks to everyone who entered the flying geese fabric giveaway! It was so fun to read everyone's comments. If you are at all unsure about how to make them or are intimidated by them, be sure to check out the flickr group. I've linked a bunch of very helpful tutorials on different methods for making them and you're sure to find one that makes the most sense to you. It's amazing how many different ways there are to make this one simple pattern! How I love geometry sometimes!!! Okay I love it a lot! But I'm a math geek.

Anyway, back to what you all are waiting for, the winner is:



Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...
I've always wanted to try a Flying Geese quilt. I'm a pretty new quilter, but I've been a little intimidated by them, because they look so...intricate. I may have to give it a shot here if you guys are saying they're easy!!


Congratulations Elizabeth! Please contact me so I can send you the fabric! And then you can give those flying geese a try!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On vacation, but can't help but check in!

Well we're back in the home town showing off the cute babe to the family, so I won't be able to update you all with any sewing progress...I'm already missing my machine. So I have to be content with hitting up all of the stores here and seeing what I can get!!!

Today I made it to what I would call "the local quilt store". Not a chain, carries lots of fabrics with a fair selection of designer prints...definitely a lot of moda. But I was able to get some things that I've been thinking about and not getting because I would order them online and it never seemed important enough to do that.

I picked up the Oliver and S Ice Cream dress pattern for the Ice Cream Social...even though I think that I am out of town for the whole official sew along! It looks super cute and it's fun to see all the different combinations people are using to make this dress or top.





Then I also found the pattern called Pretty in Pink which shows the techniques of some quilts I've been admiring on flickr for quite a while!!!  I didn't realize that she sold the pattern and I quickly snatched it up.  I can't wait to try this and see what I can do with this and some of her other patterns! It's from don'tlooknow and she has a bunch of other cute patterns on her website.






Let's see...then I got a package of 1.25" hexagon templates...so hopefully I can do a little hand sewing on the long car ride home!  Last time I did hexagons I made the templates myself, so hopefully this will eliminate a step and make the process slightly quicker.  It was a large pack, so I can make a whole bunch now. LOL.

And I scored some great end of bolt deals on some wild thyme fabric and amy butler fabric.  But really the bulk of my money was spent on the patterns...and I usually blow it all on the fabric!  So in some ways I was good, but in other ways...not so much.  Did I blow the budget again?  We'll have to see!


I'll keep you all updated as I find other fun things on my vacation...


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another giveaway! Flying Geese success!

*giveaway is now closed.  Thank you!*

Time for a little giveaway! I started a group on flickr a while ago with all kinds of flying geese inspirations and instructions. I just wanted to group everything together after I had researched a lot for a flying geese pattern. I had no idea there were so many techniques or how popular flying geese are. But 100 people have enjoyed the group enough to join me! And in celebration of that, I'm giving away some fabric!


flying geese give away


Just some fun fabrics to play with. I think the zig sags could make some amazing flying geese!

So what do you need to do? Just leave a comment saying your favorite thing about flying geese...or your least favorite! And while you're at it, go check out the group...there is some amazing work by so many quilters in that group!

I'm going out of town for a week, so the giveaway will be open until the 27th! Lots of time to enter. Hopefully I'll find lots of fun fabrics and patterns that I just "need" while I'm away! Shh...don't tell my husband. (although he says he now actually reads my blog LOL)

more doll quilt progress!

Well today I got some serious work done on my doll quilt. I don't know how I did it because I had visitors and watched the girl all day and went to dinner at someone's house...but I did. I think it's because I posted a progress picture in the middle of the day on flickr and got such positive feedback that it spurred me on to keep working the quilt. So I have finished the background of the quilt. Basically I did the whole colored side today which involved almost exclusively curved piecing. And if you've ever done curved piecing you know that it takes a bit more time than straight seams and is a little more tricky. But I was happy with the results after I redid my first attempt! LOL.


Background complete!


I squeezed in the unicorn and the "emerald city" and the mermaids...along with a little coven of witches on the dark side. Everything is from someone else's wonderful fabric and I'm just taking advantage of their great designs. I still have some major work to do on this including the rainbow and the tree. Plus there are lots of little details to add and of course actually quilting this.


detail of background


In this picture you can see some of the details more closely. I started one piece of applique with the "rocks" making a cliff dividing the unicorn from the pond. But it needs to be stitched down yet. I think that everything from here on out will be some sort of applique or embellishment. Oh and the quilting... Have to remember that this will actually be a quilt.


It's been interesting to work on this...moments of hate and moments of love. But that's pretty typical for almost anything I make. I'm pretty extreme about my creations. :) I haven't really tackled anything like this before and I'm still fairly convinced that my next doll quilt will be a complicated geometric pattern...because I'm very confident with that. But it's always good to stretch yourself. If you don't, then you never get any better. You have to take risks to have great rewards. (do I sound like a fortune cookie or what?)


Thanks to everyone who has left comments both here and on the pictures on flickr. You are all keeping me going when I get overwhelmed by this project. I wanted to respond to everyone, but like I said...I had a pretty busy day. But I read all the comments and love hearing what you all have to say!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Progress here and progress there

I've been working on some of my projects that are coming up...I got an email today saying that we're half way through the doll quilt swap already. Agh! Now I'm feeling the pressure. Ironically I was already working on the quilt when I got the email, but it still spurred me on. I feel like I am working hard but progress is slow. I'm figuring it all out as I go along and that is definitely out of my comfort zone. Next time I'm just doing some kind of really complicated geometric pattern...I'm better at that! Regardless, here's the progress that I've made.


Doll Quilt Progress


The quilting is going to make such a big difference on this and there is applique over things...those strange black strips are fence posts for example. So it's kind of hard to tell how well this is going to turn out.

Next I need to work on the colored side a bit and get the approximate place of all the pieces on that side. I have unicorns, mermaids, castles, trees, mushrooms, rainbows, and possibly little blue birds...there's a lot to do on that side and not much space to squeeze it all in. So I need to start placing things and see where I can fit it all.



I've also started working on some ideas for the 3 x 6 bee. I've picked out my block design and using everyone's color choices I started playing around with possible arrangements. I used my great markers to work things out. It's a start. The markers are obviously solid and I'll mainly be using prints, so that will change the look significantly...but it helps me get an idea of whether I like how I am thinking of using the colors. Some I like and others I think might need some rearrangement.



3 x 6 Bee blocks on paper


So I'm working away with lots of deadlines and trying not to get too stressed out....I also did some work on my giveaway quilt but nothing photo worthy...don't worry...it's on my plate as well!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Working hard to get ready for upcoming bees!

I've been a bit MIA the past couple of days because I was working hard to get ready for my Pretty in Pink bee and the Ravishing in Red bee. August is my month for pretty in pink and September is my month for Ravishing in Red. I'm going out of town next week and I needed to get the Pretty in Pink fabric out for sure. Of course I had to figure out if I had enough fabric, cut it up and then try out my chosen block and make sure that it all works! Sounds simple but it takes work.

This is what my group is doing for me!

Pretty in Pink Bee - August Block 1


Pretty in Pink Bee - August Block 1 - angle view



and another block:


Pretty in Pink Bee - August Block 2


Pretty in Pink Bee - August Block 2 - angle view



Two pretty quarter log cabin blocks all in pink fabrics. There are a number of older Amy Butler prints that I'm so happy to finally be using!


Pretty in Pink Bee - August Blocks 1 and 2


There are a few other fabrics in the mix, so it should be fun to see what everyone does. I'm going to make this for a quilt for a little special someone, but I can't say here in case someone I know IRL tells her. ;) It's a Christmas gift though....a number of the quilts that I'm making this year will be Christmas gifts this year.


I have a layout picked out right now, but it could easily change when I get all the blocks together and lay them out. No promises yet.



I also had to get my fabric ready for Ravishing in Red because one of the members is taking a lovely long vacation and I'm trying to get it to her before she goes so that I can get the block back in time because it is also for a Christmas gift. So again, I needed to figure out what I wanted to do, how much fabric I needed and get her fabric ready. It didn't really make sense to me to just get hers ready, so I went ahead and prepared all of the packages.

It turns out that I needed to break into my beautiful kona solids fat quarter pack already because I needed one of the blues for her package. And how did I know that? Why I used my beautiful new Kona solids card to match one of my fabrics and found what I needed...and low and behold it was one of the blues in that pack! It was hard to pull that fat quarter out, but I'm buying more for everyone else in the bee anyway and I'll replace it and make it look untouched again! LOL.


So lots of mailing, cutting up of fabric, writing out instructions, putting together packages...and just a little sewing.



And I did mention that I've started my next little giveaway quilt. I haven't forgotten about it. I just had to put it on hold while I got all my packages together. But here's what I've done so far!


First I decided on the background color...I looked at my scraps and thought about my applique and the colors of it and decided that I needed to use yellow! So out came the yellow scrap box and I had another lovely session of playing with scraps and laying them out!


A new one...just starting


That was all at 1:00 am and the next afternoon I did the free motion stitching in white around all the edges of the pieces. It's just a fun and free technique and goes very quickly!


free motion stitching of background completed!



detail of stitching



All ready for an applique....but what will it be?! I know....do you? ;)




Oh and on a serious note, I wanted to apologize to Crystal whose blocks I made for pretty in pink for July.

Pretty in Pink - July Blocks

I think that I came across as too unhappy about working on them and really the blocks are lovely. I do appreciate a simple block and I think that her quilt will be lovely. I was just in a crappy mood and unfortunately she caught the brunt of that. So I'm sorry for that. I can't wait to see what the whole quilt looks like! I don't want anyone to think that I don't enjoy all the opportunities that I have to work with other people. Every quilt is precious to its owner and I would never want someone to feel as though I wasn't proud to be part of making a quilt that is precious to them!



Saturday, July 10, 2010

check my out on the doll quilt swap blog!

hey all, you can check out my guest post on the doll quilt swap blog. I chose some of my top 5 all time favorite doll quilts made in the past and wrote about how they inspired me. It's fun to be on someone else's blog!

So come see!

http://dollquiltswap.blogspot.com/2010/07/tweedledee-designs-top-5.html


I have my sewing room back!

Well I have my sewing room back and it's all nice and tidy...for now! I'm making an effort to keep it that way and not get out all the projects that I have at one time.

As soon as I got it back in order, I set to work on some blocks for two of my bees. I like to get those out as quickly as possible because I'm in too many and it gets too confusing if I don't work on them as soon as I get them.

First I worked on my block for Ravishing in Red. I was inspired by another block that I saw, but sat down and drafted out how to make it my way and what dimensions I needed to make it a 12.5" block. I think that this block would be great making a whole quilt, turning the block in different directions to suit your purposes.

Here it is! (fabric choices were not mine, but I actually love the batik as a background because it hides all the seams so well!)


Ravishing in Red July Block



You can see all those different seams in this photo...looks like stained glass!


Ravishing in Red July Block in sunlight


I'm considering doing a tutorial for this block...would there be any interest? I looks deceptively simple...but there's definitely a method to putting this all together and getting nice flat seams.



Then I was off, working on the blocks requested for Pretty in Pink. This was a pretty simple block...for which I should be grateful and I'm sure that the finished quilt will be very pretty. But I have to admit, I was a little bored working on it....and I even added a bunch of my own fabrics so that I would enjoy it more. But I think that I was in a crappy mood while I was working on it..but it just felt like sewing for sewing's sake...it didn't push me creatively. Nonetheless, it should all be pretty and I got the fabric and made the blocks in the same day. So I really shouldn't complain...it didn't take up much of my life. LOL.


Pretty in Pink - July Block 2



Pretty in Pink - July Block 1



These were large blocks...almost 15" square.


Pretty in Pink - July Blocks




I also received my birthday fabric finally! The holidays delayed everything I'm sure. It felt like waiting forever! But really it was just a week.


First off, I got the beautiful fat quarter kona solids pack that I talked about before. It's soooo pretty. I'll have to find the perfect project for it!


Kona solids!



It had the cutest label with a "hello my name is..." tag on it!


Kona fat quarter stack



soooo pretty! I'm not taking it apart until I have to!


Poseidon Fat Quarter Kona Solid Collection



Then I got my other bunch of fabrics today! They were from fabric.com and they were having some good sales over the 4th and I couldn't pass up some of these fabrics!


First I added some lovely Anna Maria Horner Good folks to my collection!


yummy good folks



Then I couldn't resist some more castle peeps. I want to make a fabric book for my girlie and I think that these fabrics will be perfect for that!


more castle peeps



These swimming ladies made me smile and I had have them....much more whimsical than I usually choose, but they have a charm about them. I think that they might make it into some mini quilt at some point...they're fairly large in scale, so they need their own piece devoted to them! LOL


swimming ladies



Here's a collection of fabrics that I needed to have for one reason or another. Suffice it to say, they all make me happy. And I like to be happy!


Other fabric goodness



And I saved my favorite for last! I got some Ghastlies! Again, more whimsical than I usually choose, but I love it! They draw you in! I dare you not to get some of your very own. Some might even make an appearance in my doll quilt (this quilt is going to have every fabric that I'm interested in at this point! LOL). It's a fairly large scale print as well just to warn you though.


The Ghastlies




And I'll talk about it later, but I've started my next little quilt giveaway! If you go to my flickr pictures you'll see my progress so far, but I'll be sharing soon. I had to start it after working on those pink blocks that drained me and I needed to do something creative and spirit lifting. And of course I needed to do that at 1:00 am. I'm a night owl. ;)

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