Friday, July 29, 2011

FWQAL week 2

As I mentioned Wednesday, I have gone a little nuts with the FW squares. Here I am with my second batch of 8, leaving me a mere 2 squares behind those who began the first week. Honestly, I don't know if I'll be able to do only 2 per week, I love them that much. My plan is to pick a day every week and work on them and however many I get done in the time I have will be it for the week. It could be 2, it could be 8. We shall see!

As far as blocks, a lot of this batch were pretty simple. For some reason, I don't love as many of them though. It's okay, they all look good together and that's what really counts.

#58 - Mother's Dream
This is of the ones that I switched the colors from what they were in the book. That would have had the lightest color (white for me) where the light purple is and that would have been the background. It might have been cooler that way, I don't know, but I like this and I figured light purple/dark purple is more like the tan/brown combo anyway.

#77 - Seasons
Love that green fabric.

#1 - Attic Windows
I was glad to need pieces big enough that you can see the large floral pattern at least a little :)

#30 - End of Day
The first rainbow block I did. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first, but the more I see it, the more I like it. I really like it with the other blocks too. I can't wait to throw some more rainbow blocks in!

#53 - Jackknife
I love this one. Bright and happy and the design is so cool.

#64 - Peace & Plenty
I like this design a lot. I like that depending on how I look at it I either see the pinwheel in the center or the little hour glasses.

#20 - Churn Dash
This one I actually like better not on point, but I think that's because I'm used to seeing it that way.

#86 - Squash Blossoms
This was probably the most difficult in this group and possibly my least favorite so far. I don't even know why the points aren't right on the small triangles on either side. I don't know if it's the fabric choices or what, but I just don't love it. Oh well. I also think it's kinda funny how each piece pretty much has one polka dot :)

Here are these 8 all together

And here are the 16 I have so far. It's going to be such a happy quilt :)

I don't know what I am going to do about laying them out (and photographing them) all together once I get too many more. There is no space in the house really and outside is a bit difficult, fighting with the breeze and all. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. If only I had space for a design wall....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday {7.27.11}

Man, I have no idea what day it is. I actually almost missed Wednesday! I don't know whether to blame the summer or my child....

Anyway, I am pretty much down to working on sampler quilts for this week and probably next week before I pick some other things back up. Let's see what got done.


Christmas in July!

Finally done and safely tucked away until the holiday season :)

Skill Builder Sampler - Block 5

The Arizona block. I liked this one, but I am seriously glad we are moving on to a new skill this week :) Stinking HSTs....

Summer Sampler Series - Blocks 4-7

I finished last weeks blocks and technically the one from Monday but obviously that is not in this picture. Hopefully today I will tackle the new one so that when I get back next week I will only have 1 to catch up on plus the ones for the final week (is it really almost over already??).


So I posted the other day about the first 8 blocks that I did and actually in a clear fit of insanity, I did another 8 on Monday. I was just having such a good time and there were a bunch of easy ones....I just love this. Seriously, I find it so relaxing to just sit down and get lost in the letters and make blocks. The templates actually make my life easier since I don't have to worry about math or anything, just cut and lay it out and sew it. Of course I still have to photograph them (once I get some sunshine...) and upload and all that, so hopefully tomorrow will be a nice day so I can share pictures of the next 8. I can't believe I am almost caught up with everyone else!

Still Going:

Let's be honest, everything listed above is still going and the only thing not listed is my swoon quilt which I will start again on after I am caught up on my samplers again next week.

I have also started nothing new for once. It is a peaceful week :) I am actually resisting the urge to make more FW blocks, but we'll see.

starting count: 5
completed: 1
new: 0
total: 4

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Sampler Series - Week 2

Here we are, halfway through this quilt along! This week we started to get into some more difficult things like paper piecing, and it has been fun.

Block #4 - Flower Garden Path

I actually spent all week avoiding this block because I didn't feel like making more half square triangles and I wasn't sure how I wanted to do the colors. It turns out this is one of my favorite blocks. I just love it! Having one color per quadrant looks awesome and my points are all there and things line up near perfectly. I am still sick of half square triangles though...

Block #5 - Star

This was the first paper pieced block. I did a bit of paper piecing for the urban lattice quilt, but this was a slightly more complicated design. I actually meant to have the green and blue as the background diamond but somewhere along the way I reversed it. I think it worked out for the best though, I really like it this way.

Block #6 - Arkansas Traveler

a.k.a. pure evil. This block and I were not friends. We now tolerate each other, mostly because I have finished torturing it and it looks so stinking pretty, but we had a rough day yesterday. To begin with, I didn't love cutting out the diamonds, I had a hard time getting my ruler to cooperate so I actually did the first one and then cut a cardboard template to use for the rest. That made things a bit better. Then I went to sew the diamonds together and the center seam was totally off. Like woah. So out came the seam ripper (it really takes a lot for me to rip out a seam). So I got those together and the second part was paper piecing the background which wasn't bad. Then we came to the final step where I was sewing the two completed halves together and let me tell you, that thing was a beast! It was so thick in the middle I seriously broke the thread 8-10 times and actually had my needle snap. It was bad. But I pushed through and finished it and I am happy with the result.

And this is how my quilt is shaping up. I love the bright happy colors!

I can't wait to see all 12 blocks together. This week I am trying to stay on top of the blocks since I am supposed to go to my sisters graduation party this weekend and consequently can't sew. I don't want to fall too behind!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Farmer's Wife Journey Begins

And so it has begun! I finally got to start on the much anticipated Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt! I have decided I am making the queen sized quilt and making one of each block. As of right now, I am done 8 blocks (we won't talk about how there are still 103 to go...) and I am loving it. I had a seriously difficult time tearing myself away to work on my other sampler quilts.

To start with, I am using a rainbow of fabrics. It is actually two fabric bundles, one of fat quarters from and the other of 1/4 yards from Sew Fresh Fabrics on Etsy. We are considering it a late mothers day gift since I had to return the original gift. I don't really expect this to get me all the way through, but it is a good start and each block really doesn't use much fabric, especially since I am doing white in each. I have decided that each block will be one color + white and I'll try to do a roughly even number of each color plus some rainbow blocks that have them all in it. I am trying to keep the color values roughly the same as the book and replacing the lightest color with white and trying to get enough contrast out of the other fabrics. Ideally out of each 6 blocks there will be one of each color depending on which fabrics work for what.

I thought about going in numerical order like so many others seem to be doing, but I ultimately decided to go in the order that the blocks are in the letters. I love reading them and then making the corresponding blocks. Somehow it gets me in the right frame of mind. And I have discovered something very important: I kind of love using the templates! I don't know why, but they are like magic to me, just making everything fit so perfectly together. I don't even mind cutting out the pieces! It's funny because I was so dreading them.

On to the blocks!

#26 - Cut Glass Dish
This was the first block I did and I didn't use templates, I did the math and rotary cut it. It came out well although I wish I'd used a more red fabric instead of the apples.

#54 - Kitchen Woodbox
Simple. Lovely.

#24 - Country Path
I love the way this came out, especially the little fussy cut people. Obviously that top corner square is a little wonky, but oh well. It will be fine when I sew it into the quilt.

#79 - Silver Lane
This came out really cool. I wish the pieces for the pinwheel in the center didn't have so much white so it stood out more, but it still works.

#34 - Flock
I love that it kind of looks like fish kissing :)

#46 - Hill & Valley
Love that orange fabric!

#18 - Century of Progress
This is one I was definitely scared of, but it really wasn't bad at all. The templates make it all seem so easy and much less threatening.

#51 - Hovering Birds
This is probably my favorite so far! This is one I thought about switching the white and color and reversing it from the book, but I'm glad I didn't.

And here they are all together, the first 8 blocks:

This is going to be a very happy quilt :)

All of these sampler QALs are turning out to be great for me. Already I can tell that my piecing is getting so much more accurate and I find things lining up better and points where they are supposed to be. Not always, but more often than not at this point and that is a huge improvement for me. I love having one block to focus on at a time and them all being different so I don't become bored or impatient like I tend to when I am making 30 of the same block sometimes. I am really looking forward to continuing these. We'll see how many FW blocks I end up making per week. I am pretty much going with whatever I feel like and aiming to make at least 2. For tons of eye candy, check out the flickr group if you haven't already :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Christmas in July

I am happy to report that this christmas quilt is finished! It seemed like it was never going to happen since I started collecting fabric in October of 2009. But here it is, washed and dried and everything, and I love it!

It started with the snowman and ornament fabrics that I just had to have and I figured I would decide what to do with them later. Just about a year later I had decided on a quilt and collected some more. I don't even know what most of it is, just things I liked at one of the LQS.

Anyway, I decided on HSTs and did half of them cream/green and half of them cream/red. Half are patterned, half are solids and I matched a print with a solid for each. I don't know why and really it made my design options more limited, but there you have it. Obviously, when I laid it out I decided on a stripe pattern which I think works really well although I do wish I had more variety in the red and green fabrics.

I didn't actually measure or trim my HSTs, I just started with 6" squares and as long as they were all the same size I figured it didn't matter. Pre-washing I believe it was roughly 61"x71" and it shrunk a few inches. I must say I am pretty proud of my trangles and the fact that they {almost} all have points.

For the quilting I just followed the diagonals on either side. I did use red thread on the red, and green on the green and such which if you look close looks a little funny on the back, but I think it's fine, especially since the back is so busy. The back is a fabric from Connecting Threads that looks like fair isle knitting, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but it looks really cool. I thought about piecing a back, but I was feeling a bit lazy :)

I think this quilt is destined to be a Christmas gift. Which I may give at thanksgiving so that it can be used for the Christmas season. I am generally against Christmas themed gifts for the holiday, but I think it will be okay for this. We'll see if it is well received.

Also, I started my farmers wife and I love it! I think I say that about everything, but it's always true :) I can't get enough, I have done 8 blocks already, I just need to get all the pictures together and labeled and all that. Maybe tomorrow! And even though I really just want to keep making farmers wife blocks (those little things are so stinking addictive!), I am going to work the next couple days to be caught up with the summer sampler and the skill builder sampler.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday {7.20.11}

Hm, I don't feel like I got much done this week, but maybe when I see it all in list form I'll feel better about it :)


Skill Builder Sampler - challenge block and block 4

I love this QAL! The colors I am using just make me happy and I love all the different blocks. My challenge block is log cabins making a cross (I have seen these all over and love them and wanted to try it). I even managed to keep my directional prints the right way! I love it and figure if nothing else, I will use it on the back.

Block 4 is pinwheels and although I wasn't sure I would like it that much, I love it now that it's done. I also think I found the perfect sashing for this quilt so I need to figure out how much of that I need and order it even though I won't need it for a long time.

Summer Sampler Series - blocks 1-3

Star of Virginia, Greek Cross and Mosaic Block. I am loving the way these summery colors are coming together.

Table Covering

Is it a table cloth if it doesn't hang over the sides? Either way, I made this out of an Amy Butler laminate and bound it with some olive green pre-made binding. I love how it looks, the problem is that it is not washable really aside from a wipe down, and my kid is messy. Really messy. So we'll see how long it lasts. It already looks kinda nasty around the binding.....

Still Going:

Christmas in July

I am in the last stage of sewing down the binding. One more good movie and it should be done, maybe tonight. I got a little distracted by a book the past few days which is why it's not done....


I haven't worked on it and don't plan to for another couple weeks once the summer sampler is done.

Farmers Wife QAL

Rainbow style! I finally have the templates cut out (it was a pretty big undertaking and used far too many naptimes)! I plan to start today and hopefully do the first couple of blocks. My fabrics are all washed and ready to go and I am sooo excited. I decided I am going to go in order that the blocks are with the letters instead of just going in numerical order. It should be interesting. I am a little scared by the templates and how small some of these pieces are going to get, but hopefully it will go well.


Summer Sampler

The 4th block was posted Monday and the 5th today. I may just wait until the end of the week and do all 3 together again. I kinda liked it that way and it helps me balance the colors I think.

That's it I think. I do feel better! All those individual blocks remind me that I was actually pretty productive (and those stinking templates sucked up a lot of time). I am just working on a lot of quilting things right now before I dive back into some things I need to make for the little one and the house and such. At least those other things usually go a lot quicker so I feel more productive; it helps me get through the more long term projects.

starting count: 6
completed: 3
new: 1
total: 4

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Sampler Series

Have you seen the summer sampler series going on at Swim, Bike, Quilt, Fresh Lemons Quilts, and Freshly Pieced? I gave in. There are some really cool blocks. And once I thought of a color combo I liked, it was all over and I just couldn't help myself. One trip to Joann's later and I had a nice stack of fabric to play with (I am a sucker for $0.99 fat quarters).

My justification for making this quilt: I plan to use it to practice free motion quilting. I keep wanting to do that, but it is harder when a recipient is already picked out and I get too scared to try it for fear of them not liking it. I just know it is going to take some work to get good at it and I really need something fairly large to practice on. And this should end up about baby size, so it should be perfect.

Enough justification and on to the blocks! So far there have been 3 blocks posted (another is coming today). First up, the Star of Virginia block:

I decided to go with just 2 colors since I couldn't figure out how to include all 4 and keep it balanced. It was a fairly easy block, but I had never made flying geese this way, I've always used rectangles and squares. It didn't come out perfect, they points don't all meet exactly like they are supposed to, but it looks pretty good.

Next up was the Greek Cross:

I figured since the first used 2 colors, this would use the other 2 and round it out. I like it a lot actually. It is a really cool block that I think I would like to use for a whole quilt at some point.

Finally was a Mosaic block:

I didn't know how much I liked this design, but once it was all together I loved it! I love the colors together. And even thought it was all HSTs and involved a lot of tedious trimming, it came out really well. I don't usually trim my HSTs (I prefer to do the 7/8 thing so they are exact) but I've had to for a bunch of blocks recently. Not surprisingly, they do come out a lot nicer, but I don't know if I could handle it for a whole quilt.

I am loving the bright summery colors! It is going to be a really sweet quilt, and I am thinking some medium-dark gray sashing will really make it.

One thing I really like about all these samplers, there is so much less pressure when you are only doing one block, so you can really focus on it and make it perfect knowing that you only have to do it once. At least that's how I feel about it. I am really looking forward to the next 3 blocks. They should be getting harder this week I think so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Skill Builder Sampler: Month 1

The first month of the Skill Builder Sampler, hosted by Lelia of Sewn, is finished. And I am all caught up on my blocks!

First up was a log cabin or courthouse steps block. After making an entire quilt of log cabins, I opted to make the courthouse steps since I have never made one before. I love how it came out, and the fussy cut snail in the center just makes me happy :)

The second block was a nine patch. I actually wasn't thrilled with this block, but it came out okay. If I did it again I would probably make sure my tan fabrics were more similar and not so light/dark to make those lines a bit more obvious. As long as it looks good with the other blocks it's all good.

Third was a churn dash, another block I had never made before. I struggled with fabric choices but in the end, I am really happy with my choices. I love the floral background and solid design instead of the other way around. And I even like the more subdued colors, which is weird since I generally tend to gravitate toward more bright, saturated colors.

Finally, a challenge was issued for the final week. We had to break out the graph paper and design a block. It took me all week to land on something that I liked. Everything I drew ended up involving a whole block of HSTs which I was just not feeling after the christmas quilt I just finished. In the end I went for super simple and started messing with the idea of some smaller log cabins. I ended up with a cross block, which I had been wanting to try. I even managed to keep the directional prints the right direction! Two of the log cabins are reversed so that I could keep the longer pieces in the middle.

And here they are all together. I think they go together really nicely and I've used each of my 12 fabrics at least once.

I love it so far and I can't wait to see what blocks are next. Only 33 more blocks to go! This is definitely a fun project :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday {7.13.11}

Another week gone by. I've made some good progress on things, but most of them aren't quite completed. That's what this is all about though!


Tote bag

It turned out so well. Better than expected really. The "M" really makes it :)

SBS Block 3

Definitely more subdued in color than the other two, but I like it. I had never made a churn dash block before so it was kinda cool. This quilt should be so interesting, I just love it.

Still Going:

Christmas Quilt

Not a great picture, but it's all I could get before my camera died

No longer pinwheels. I laid it out and didn't like it so after playing around with it, I decided on stripes :) I love it. I am so super glad I went with the stripes. The top is pieced and quilting is underway. Hopefully I will have it all quilted and the binding attached by this weekend and I can curl up with a couple good movies and bind this sucker! Maybe I'll have to name it Christmas in July.


I just couldn't wait anymore and had to test out a block to see what it looks like. First of all, I love love love the swoon pattern. It's great. The big block is awesome and has such an impact and it is really not that difficult. As for the colors/fabric, I don't mind the blue as much as I thought I would, but I am concerned that a few of the blocks have a similar blue as one of the colors and I just hope it doesn't get lost in the background too much. We'll see. I'll probably hold off on making more until I am done my christmas quilt, and then this will be my main project. Since ideally I want it done by the end of August. We'll see.


Nada. This will probably be ignored for a while.

Skill Builder Sampler

I am debating whether I want to do the challenge block for this week. I am thinking yes if I can figure out what to do. Maybe I'll get to work on that today at some point.


Table cloth

Inspired by this. Made with this. I just have to stop being lazy and get more binding....I didn't realize it was more than 3 yards around and I haven't felt like going back to Joann's yet. It is still on the table though, even with only 3/4 of the binding around ha. Maybe today or tomorrow I will get going and finish it.

Farmers Wife

I got sucked in! It's not my fault! I tried to resist, but they are so pretty (thank you flickr group)! And I just had visions of rainbow/white dancing in my head, I couldn't stop thinking about how cool it would be! So I got the book, the fabric is on its way (!!!) and I just need to print the templates and get started :) I can't wait!!! Seriously, so excited.

I also really want to do the summer sampler series, but I can't decide on fabric and I might have enough samplers in my life right now haha. We'll see what the other blocks posted this week are and I'll decide then.

starting count: 5
completed: 1
new: 2
total: 6

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced