Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cracker Scraps Backing

Are you all tired of this quilt yet? I feel like I've been working on it forever...between designing it, cutting up fabrics for a bee, getting back blocks from two different bees, sewing the top together, wanting to make it a king size, changing my mind and keeping it a queen size....

Cracker Scraps - Queen Sized



What? I'm keeping it a queen size?!

Yep. I couldn't quite see this one on our king size bed....it just doesn't seem enough like my husband. Plus all of the white. To know my husband is to know that the white just wouldn't be that way for too long. ;) But...it will be PERFECT for the guest room! That's exactly where you can get away with putting a lighter colored quilt because there isn't the same kind of daily wear and tear. And I wanted to make a quilt for that room but I thought it was ages down the road.



Cracker Scraps



AND I'm still going to send it off to be quilted by a long arm quilter...Krista in fact! I'm super excited because now I can do the design on it that I want and I don't have to make it husband friendly. ;)



When you send a quilt to a long arm quilter, they typically need the back just a little bit larger than I would normally make for my own quilting purposes because of how they need to load it into the machine. So I dove into my stash and pulled a bunch of fabrics that coordinated with the front.



Cracker Scraps Back




I had a strip of blocks already sewn together that I used as the center for the backing. And then I went to town with other fabric strips on either side. I'm a little bit in love with it.



DSC05643





I love that this will basically end up as a two sided quilt if I want. Maybe I'll have the whiter side on for the spring and summer and the darker for fall and winter. Oh I'm getting excited!



Cracker Scraps Back





And talk about a stash buster! I love that all of these fabrics finally have a happy home. A lot of them are ones that were languishing in my stash....overlooked for fancier, brighter, chattier fabrics (you know...the ones that speak to me). Or they were fabrics that I thought I would love when I bought them online and then never quite found the right place for them. Each of these fabrics has its own story. But they all have the same ending: They make one fabulous back!



Cracker Scraps Backing





So next time you see it, hopefully it will be complete. I need to pick out a binding still, but that can wait. For now, I gleefully send off a project to Krista and let her do her magic. I feel like I'm playing chutes and ladders and I just got the ladder that takes you from the beginning of the game almost to the end!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Curves Class Winner!

Hey all! We have a lucky winner for Rachel's Curve class.





And that is shelitha2 who doesn't like when her curves don't line up. Well my dear, I'm sure Rachel will help you out with that!!

Congratulations!


Shelitha please contact me as I cannot seem to find an email for you!!

Thanks for all who entered, and remember you can still sign up for Rachel's class for another few days. And I'm pretty sure that she will be running it again if you can't swing it right now for whatever reason.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Project UFO

*okay...I started a group on flickr...you can find it HERE.  Blog button is at the bottom of the post!*

UFOs. You know. You know what I mean. They're there. Floating above you and telling you "work on me. work on me." Yep...they can be slightly creepy...a little out of date...a blast from your past.



There are a lot of resolutions out there in blog land right now...a heck of a lot of them include using up your current stash. Well last year I did the whole "let's not buy any fabric for 8 weeks" thing and many of you played along with me. I gotta say...I'm sort of past that. Trust me I want to use up my stash. But I know from experience that going cold turkey isn't the way for me. Small indulgences make me a happier person. And trust me...you want me to be happy.



So my resolution for this year has not necessarily been slash the stash or scrap my scraps (though it's great when that happens). No. I've decided that what is really hanging over my head is not my fabric stash (which actually makes me pretty happy most of the time) but rather the unfinished projects that are dragging me down. Those darn UFOs. They can give me a guilt trip like no amount of beautiful fabric can....because they've been started. Heck, most of them are almost finished! But distractions come, deadlines loom, and those projects get put on the back burner. Sometimes they are there for so long I know that I am really not interested in spending my time finishing them.



so here it is: Project UFO


Project UFO




I'm not necessarily even putting this out there for anyone to join me (though I'd love if you did!). My goal for this year...certainly the first six months of the year is to go through my UFOs and attack them. Brutally. Yep. Brutally. I think some of those projects need some tough love. Not everything I've started really needs to be finished. And while it is hard to get rid of things, that is exactly part of my plan. And I've already begun!



This pile of green, grey and white bee blocks had been acquired over the last couple of years through various swaps and bees. I even made some. But I needed to let them go. I don't have enough for a quilt myself. I don't have the time for them. But most importantly I don't have a vision for them and they deserve that.


Free to a good home! - Taken!  Yay!




I was holding out on them waiting for a time to get to them. But tough love people. I was not going to be the one to give them the happy home they need. Thankfully Melissa snatched them and is thrilled to be getting them! I know she'll do right by them.



So that is my first venture into Project UFO. I have more planned because frankly there are just too many projects started around here that are not being finished in a timely manner. Unless I plan to spend years on something I don't want to be doing that. I might put a six month time limit on things. Eeek! Tough love. Tough love. I can do it. Finish it, pass it on, or toss it. That's what you'll be seeing. I need life to be a little simpler and nothing like a cute graphic to help me do that. ;)


If you like the idea of Project UFO, let me know. I can make up a blog button...we can do the whole linky party thing...whatever. But I'll be using my cheesy graphic to help motivate me to handle those UFOs.
UPDATE: Here's the button! Just grab the code underneath it and post that in a HTML widget on your blog. Easy peasy!


Cut To Pieces
<div align="center"><a href="http://cuttopieces.blogspot.com/2012/01/project-ufo.html" title="Cut To Pieces"><img src="http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s316/pingpong4614/ufo-2.jpg" alt="Cut To Pieces" style="border:none;" /></a></div>






I want to believe. (ten points for whoever gets that quote!)



Monday, January 23, 2012

Simply Charmed Blog Hop

Life is a little crazy right now, so I'm trying to get my ducks in a row. One of the fun things that I will be participating in soon is Melissa's Simply Charmed Blog Hop.


She's gotten together a great group of people for this holiday inspired swap and I'm honored to be included. Here's the schedule!

February 1 - Melissa from Happy Quilting 
February 2 - Heather from Quilt Story
February 3 - Melissa from Lilac Lane
February 6 - Angela from Cut to Pieces  (that's me!)
February 7 - Amy from Diary of a Quilter
February 8 - Natalia from Piece N Quilt
February 9 - Jessica from Twin Fibers
February 10 - Katie from Swim, Bike, Quilt
February 11 - Jane from Want It, Need It, Quilt
February 13 - Corey from Little Miss Shabby

February 14 - Happy Valentines Day and the Grand Prize Winner Announcement!!!!




We've each been given a single charm pack of Always and Forever by Deb Strain.  I can't wait to show you what I've made.  I'm already using it! ;)








And Melissa has lined up tons of giveaways!  So there should be lots of fun had by all!


Thanks to the generosity of our amazing sponsors, there will be a giveaway along with each of the 10 tutorials.    So when the time comes, make sure to enter at each of the contributors tutorial post for your chance to win some major fabric cash.



Fat Quarter Shop has graciously sponsored the fabric used in making the tutorials
They will also be sponsoring the Grand Prize of  a $200.00 Gift Certificate to 1 lucky reader.

Burgundy Buttons has graciously sponsored three $25.00 Gift Certificates for 3 lucky readers.


 The Intrepid Thread has graciously sponsored three $25.00 Gift Certificates for 3 lucky readers.

       The Green Fairy has graciously sponsored three $25.00 Gift Certificates for 3 lucky readers.


So be sure to tune in here and there and everywhere for your chance to play along, see some great tutorials, and maybe win some fabulous prizes.  


Melissa has also set up a flickr group for sharing your creations.  You can find it HERE










Saturday, January 21, 2012

Want to Learn Curves?

*the giveaway is now closed*

Do you want to learn to sew curved seams? Are they your nemesis? Or are you looking for that one trick that will help you feel more comfortable? Well, I have a treat for you. One of you is going to win a FREE Premium Level spot in Rachel, Stitched in Color's, new online class on sewing with curves!

Just look at her pictures of some of the enticing projects she's going to be doing to get you comfortable with your curves.



Improv curves!

Rainbow Road project

(photo courtesy of Stitched in Color)






I adore this pattern of hers! Genius!

Scallop Quilt project
(photo courtesy of Stitched in Color)




Oh there are so many fun projects she has in store! You can read all about her upcoming class (it starts February 1st) HERE on her blog. That link will tell you how you can sign up now too if you are too impatient to wait to see if you win the giveaway. ;) There are a lot of levels of the class that you can sign up for.



Her description of the class from her blog:

"Let me hold your hand through this 5-week course which caters to both the beginner and intermediate curves sewist. Weeks 1-4 we'll cover Basic Curves, Improv Curves, Precise Curves and Advanced Improv Curves with full, detailed photo tutorials and many downloadable templates. Each week you can choose from 3 very different projects for one that really fits your experience and interests. Week 5 we'll celebrate with full on quilts. "



I don't know about you but it sounds like fun fun fun to me! Just access to her patterns would be reason enough for me to join.




So to enter for your chance at a Premium Level Class Admittance for Rachel's Class you can:

1. Leave me a comment on your favorite/least favorite thing about sewing curves. Anything!

2. Share about the giveaway! Let's help Rachel get her class going! She's doing this all so that she can home school her kids! So blog, tweet, facebook, tell your neighbor, sister, dog...uhm...well maybe you have a talented dog...what do I know? Then leave a comment here telling me that you shared about the giveaway.


So that's two chances to win one fabulous spot in Rachel's class. Let's all be curvy together!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Battle of the Swoon

Take that swoon pattern. I told you that I would whip you into submission. I will not be conquered by the insanity that is the swoon.



Uhm...yeah. That may or may not be the pep talk that I gave myself before tackling the swoon pattern again. You might recall that a week or so ago I attempted this pattern with pretty disastrous results. Well at least useless results.


Swoon - Fail




But tackle that pattern I did. In fact, I would say I attacked that pattern. It was a mental game...the swoon pattern versus me. We were both fighting strong. After losing round one to the swoon, I was determined for round two to go to me.



And it did!



Swoon!





Practically perfect in every way. Not that I'm a perfectionist. nope. who? me?



Swooning




I'm using more of Laurie Wisbrun's new line Brr as the focus fabrics of these blocks and mixing in some other coordinates from wherever. The reality is that I rarely sew from one line of fabric. So I wanted to treat her line just like every other one I have. Mix and match! And aren't the polar bears super cute as the center?



Swoon detail





So at this point, swoon pattern : 1 , Angela : 1. Giddy with my success I wanted to attempt block #2 (of 4 because no way am I making 9 of these!). And I decided to up the ante. Introduce...directional print. I can do this. No pattern is too hard for me. I will not be broken....oh yeah...pep talk again....



I emerged triumphant but pretty tattered from my experience on this block.



Swoon - Block 2




Oh yes. It looks good now....but those directional prints tricked me. I made a whole new slew of mistakes on this one. Pieces were cut to the right size, the directions were going the right way. Block was FINISHED. And then... what? that doesn't look right! Those THREE pieces are all pointing the wrong way. I didn't do the right pattern. *Introduce seam ripper* Oh and did I mention that it's already past 1 in the morning. Oh the witching hour....



Polar Swoon





But no block will get the best of me...I am better...I am stronger...I need sleep... pep talk again.


And by some miracle I managed to get those pieces out, switch them with each other, and sew them back in. And the block is now right where it should be. Phew!



Swooning along





So we stand equal on that one I think. So now it is Swoon : 2, Angela : 2. At least I have the pretty blocks to show my winnings. The swoon block only has part of my sanity...and who can it show that too? ;)




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homeowners!

We did it! After a little delay last week with some paperwork, we have finally closed on our new home here in Indiana. We are officially mortgage holding home owners again. And guess what?! I'm going to have a sewing room again!!



Here's the built in cabinetry that is already in my room. I'm thinking of painting it my favorite shade of blue. Gasp! Do I dare? I think I do. Yep. I think I do.


New sewing room



The room has hardwood floors and beautiful wood paneling that I think I'll be keeping intact, so I want to brighten up the space and make it a room that I LONG to go into.


The whole house needs some updating but it's beautiful and we're thrilled to have it. I can't wait to share more pictures (don't worry...I definitely will) but for now just rejoice with me. Our year of fun in 2012 has begun 17 days in with the purchase of a new home!







Scrap Pack Winner!

Mr Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner of the scrap pack from Pink Castle Fabrics is.....




Who is...!


"Andrea Beth said...5

My husband and I walk around downtown and play a photo ABC game. We get exercise and have fun trying to be creative. We obviously start with A and look for things that start with A, a sign with an A word, etc, and then take a picture of it. It's a way to remember the date and see more of the city."



I love this idea!!  Thanks Andrea.  And congrats on the win.  Enjoy the fabric.

Our year of fun continues as my husband and I are off to close on our new home in 20 minutes!  Agh!  I can't wait to show it off as we work on it.


Monday, January 16, 2012

One, two, three Reindeer down

I have so many projects running simultaneously it's crazy. So I seem to be hopping around a lot from one item to another. But it's my goal this year to really finish every project that I start in a timely manner. No more almost finished projects or blocks hanging around. If I start it, then I will finish it or scrap it.


So that being said, I'm ALMOST finished with my reindeer embroidery project. If you've been following along, you'll remember that I decided to tackle hand embroidery for the first time with a set of playful reindeer. (For info on where to find the pattern etc, check out this previous post)


I've finally decided, with the help of my husband...really...he helped!...that I would make these into a set of three wall hangings that I will be able to hang in the staircase of my new house next year! And I've finished one!



Reindeer Embroidery Wall hanging




Each wall hanging has three embroidery blocks stacked in a single column. I just did a simple straight line quilting that would hold the wall hanging together but not detract from the embroidery. I think that there is enough going on without adding a bunch of quilting to this.



Comet binding and backing




Backed with a star red fabric (just something I had enough yardage of to back all three wall hangings) and bound with a couple of spring green fabrics, the wall hanging is finally coming together.



Reindeer Embroidery Wall hanging




I still want to add a couple of grommets to the top but I'll do that to all three at the end to make sure I do it in the same place on all of them. That way I can hang them easily from one nail. Score. And I love the fabrics I used for the sashing too...I love Sweetwater fabrics and they had the perfect reindeer fabric out in their Christmas line this year. It was begging to be with these embroideries. Actually I realized that throughout these wall hangings I used fabric from FOUR different collections by Sweetwater: Sunkissed, Countdown to Christmas, Family Reunion, and Hometown. I had to laugh at myself for that.


On Dasher!






So one, two, three reindeer down...and six more to go! They are just waiting to be quilted and bound!


The others are waiting





Saturday, January 14, 2012

Work in Progress...

Here's what I'm working on today: Cracker Scraps!



Cracker Scraps




I thought I was all done making blocks for this quilt but I'm going to make it even bigger!! I have official husband permission to make this a quilt for OUR bed. And I'm going to send it out to be long arm quilted since it will be so big.



Cracker Scraps





Off to watch my beloved Saints play!

What are you all doing this weekend?



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Epic FAIL

Okay, before I get to my failure, I wanted to remind you that I have a giveaway going on for a scrap bundle of fabrics from Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics. You can find it in my previous post here. And fun of all funs, Rachel and Kaelin are both hosting giveaways for Brenda as well. So you can hop over to their blogs and enter to win the scrap packs they are giving away too. They're different from mine, so in theory one very happy person could win all three! lol



On to my failure. Oh yes. They happen. Boy do they happen.


I have decided to join in on Katy's Swoon Along. I couldn't resist the lure of the Swoon pattern any longer and I have all this fun Brrr fabric that I wanted to use. So I decided to make a "baby" swoon which is only four blocks instead of nine. Each block is going to have a fussy cut polar bear. Cute right? I thought it would be great for a baby quilt!







I started in on my first block, warned with the knowledge that the piecing was tricky and there was lots of it. Directional prints could give you fits and some people were having trouble getting all of the pieces they needed out of the required fat quarter if their fat quarter had been a bit skimpy. I carefully cut and sewed and pressed every last seam open.


Only to find that I had COMPLETELY misread the sewing instructions and it was too late to fix things. They had already been trimmed and cut. I was doing some pretty fancy sewing to follow the directions that I had unwittingly made up too.



Swoon - Fail




If you are swooning along, you'll understand when I say that I was sewing the flying geese together the same way that the half square triangles were sewn. Resulting in lovely flying geese and half square triangle blocks...but ones that are completely useless for this pattern.


I know the picture almost makes it look okay, but trust me...none of those pieces would be able to be sewn together. Seriously.  They are off by a 1/2"!



And the kicker? I managed to work with a directional print on this pattern and get all the pieces to run in the same direction! Success! on my epic failure.



It took me the whole evening to end up with the mess that will not be a swoon block. Disheartening to say the least. It was late and I was ready to throw in the sewing towel...give up the blog, sell off my fabric, the works. But in the sanity that is morning, I can share this with you all to let you see the frustrations that come with cutting up tiny pieces of fabric and sewing them back together.



I'm determined to make lemon aid from my lemons here and come up with a beautiful block from the pieces that I have that will fit together. It will not swoon...but maybe it will swag!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Scrap Pack Giveaway! - Sponsored by Pink Castle Fabrics

*the giveaway is now closed*

Brenda over at Pink Castle Fabrics is offering up a scrap pack for giveaway! I snatched up the one I loved the most before others *cough Kaelin cough* could get to it. It's yummy! Pezzy Prints, Arcade Prints, and some Half Moon Modern.






I love this pack! There are so many great fabrics in there. And these "Scraps" total up to about 3.5 yards of fabric. So uhm yeah...you can do a lot with these. And Brenda even has an idea for what you can do with them. She's hosting a quilt along aptly titled Bust Yo! Scraps



It looks like fun!




She's also got a 15% off code for her shop, BUST15, for those who want to pick up something in particular. Go wild people. I want to live vicariously through you.



So, if you would like a chance to win the scrap pack just leave me a comment here. I'd love ideas for how to have fun. Remember, my husband and I have declared the year 2012 to be the year of fun. His birthday is tomorrow and it would be awesome to do something fun for that, but I'm open to all kinds of ideas!





Saturday, January 7, 2012

Polar Bears and Little Girls

Sleepover Pajamas in Brr!



I was oh so lucky a few weeks ago to receive a message from fabric designer Laurie Wisbrun (of Tufted Tweets fame!) asking me if I would like a chance to work with her newest line Brrr! Twist my arm....I GUESS I could do something. ;) Uhm. Yeah. I jumped at the chance.



( fabric photos courtesy of Laurie Wisbrun)
Brrr!



Brrr!





It was like a little Christmas present to me when the fabric arrived. But I knew right away that I needed to make something for my little gal. And even though I was already making her a pair of pajamas, this fabric was just begging to be made into some pajamas as well. So out came the Oliver & S Sleepover pajama pants pattern again.



Polar bears in the snow




I took the girlie out on a warm winter day when the snow was starting to melt and let her play a little. Remember, she's super cooperative for pictures right now. ;) Eating a little snow helped keep her distracted.



just a little hike




I thought it would be too much to make a whole top in the polar bear fabric (isn't it the cutest!), so I opted to do an applique on a simple white t shirt. I've actually never done that before and I've been wanting to try it for a long time. I made sure to use a jersey needle because I was working on a knit...I was too lazy to find my tear away stabilizer (I honestly don't even know if I have it where I'm currently living) but it still worked pretty well. I would like to try this technique with the stabilizer though because I think it would be even better.



Do you see the snow?




Here's a little tip for the applique. I knew that I was putting the cut fabric onto a white t shirt and appliqueing it with white thread. So when I cut out the polar bear, which is also on white fabric, I left a little edge of white around the bear...maybe an 1/8" of white. That way that applique blends more seamlessly into the t shirt and the polar bear isn't covered in thread itself.




My girl loves to eat snow!





I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for playing with Laurie's fabulous fabrics (due out in June I think!) and I'll share those as I do them. But I wanted to show off my cute girl and her new fab pjs. Oh she's sweet!



My baby




What do you all think of Laurie's fabric line? I love that it's wintery and not Christmasy.

Stay tuned because we will be having a giveaway of a fat quarter bundle of Brrr! (but I have another fun giveaway to do first!) So a couple of fun giveaways on the horizon.




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