Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday {8.31.11}

Holy crap, it's the last day of August! Didn't August just start??? It is not helping that I feel like I've lost the past week since me and the kiddo have been sick. It's been a rough week, luckily, my baby is a champ :) After a couple pretty unproductive days due to said sickness, I made a comeback and I think I may actually finish everything on my list before leaving Friday. Next week I don't expect to accomplish a whole lot since I am losing Friday - Tuesday with travel and such, but I think next week all I want to do is Farmer's Wife blocks...and maybe put a quilt top together.

So what did I do this week?


Birthday Gifts

I completed all the gifts for my mom and sister! It was a pretty big job and I don't want to completely reveal everything yet since who knows if they read this, but next week I can tell what everything is. I am so glad these are done!


I did 3 blocks this past week and I am so close to 1/3 done! We'll see if I can ramp it up and have it done for my birthday in January :)


Nothing new this week.

Still going:


I am done all 9 blocks!!! Now I just need to decide how to arrange them and do some sashing! Hopefully next week and if not, definitely the week after. And then maybe I should get some batting and a back or something silly like that :-P

Skill Builder Sampler - I am a bit behind on this, but I am hoping to make the 9th block before I leave. We'll see.

And I think that's it. I am going to rework my overall list next week I think and figure out what's next. I have a bunch of things I want to do but I'm not sure what I want to do next. I'll worry about it later. For now I am going to spend all my free time today making Farmer's Wife blocks. And maybe packing. Probably not though. I'd much rather sew :) Happy Wednesday!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, August 26, 2011

Farmer's Wife - Week 6

This week, I managed to finish 3 blocks (that number just keeps shrinking haha!). I now have 33/111 done! They are looking really good. I think I am aiming to finish this by my birthday (mid January) because I am getting really anxious to have this beauty to snuggle under this winter. We'll see how it goes, it is still a low pressure project and I am not to clear on exactly what the next few months hold if I'm honest. It's a rough goal at this point. After next week I am hoping to get back to making more each week. And I figured out that once I do 4 more I'll be 1/3 of the way done!! So maybe next week if I can manage it....I don't know, one of the basket ones is next and I am a bit scared of the handle....

Anyway, blocks from this week:

#22 - Corn & Beans
It was time for another rainbow one. And when I decide which to do rainbow, I look for blocks with pieces divisible by 6 so I can have the same number of each color. I like this a lot, but I do kinda wish I'd focused more on the light/dark for the colors since this does go pretty far from the look of the original. It's okay though since it's so pretty :) The points are also far from perfect, but I'm dealing with it.

#99 - W.C.T.U.
I love the greens in this one! And those tiny points!

#21 - Contrary Wife
There is not quite as much contrast between the solid yellow and the patterned yellow as I might like, but it is quite a nice block.

And here are these 3 together:

It was also time for a new group shot since I now have 5 of each color + 3 rainbow blocks, but the weather was being uncooperative so I had to settle for a living room shot. Sorry it's not great (a bit hard to see the yellow....bad lighting....), but as I get more blocks it is harder to fight wind and such. It turns out I don't so much like chasing quilt blocks down the street! So here they are.

And now I'm off to continue the conquering of my crafty to-do list. If I am lucky, I will finish my swoon blocks today and then start making some gifts this weekend. We'll see. One week to get it all done! I already can't wait to be back from our weekend trip for labor day so things can settle down again, is that bad?? At any rate, happy weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday {8.24.11}

Is this week really half over? Already? Man, I feel like it just started. Oh well. After a marathon of sewing yesterday (thank you honey for taking the baby!) I actually feel almost accomplished. If I could learn to stop answering the phone and the door, I'd be set. Why does everyone suddenly want to talk to me when I have time to sew? I still have a lot on my list to do this week, but it's a start.



This has actually been on my list for over a year I think...I've even had the fabric. I just didn't feel inclined to make them. But I finally got tired of them sitting on my list taunting me. It is a pattern I found on Martha Stewart. They were really quick and easy; I don't know why I avoided them for so long. And I really like them. And finally they are crossed off the list!

Skill Builder Block 8

Clearly we are working on flying geese and I really like this block. And this method of making them was pretty much awesome. I had no idea. So check it out here if you are interested in flying geese and you are behind the times like me :)


I am up to 30 blocks! I really like this set of 4. Especially the purple one.


Birthday gift for mom
I have some vague ideas and ordered some supplies that should be here this week. Next week, birthday gifts are my focus. I have to get them done by Friday so time is tight.

Birthday gift for sister
I have the pattern I am using and half of the supplies. I can't wait! I just need to make a Joanns run and get going on it.

Still Going:


This is my big accomplishment for the week! I finished another 3 blocks. Only 3 more to go which I am hoping to do this week/weekend. I dislike it less with each new block. I like this set more anyway. And I think once it is all finished and quilted I will even kinda like it. Hopefully my parents will too!

Skill builder sampler
Farmer's wife

So that's that. I am hoping I can get the gift-age done by next Friday, but we shall see. Today is my break to make FW blocks and then hopefully the remainder of the week will be swoon blocks and by this weekend I can start the gifts. Things never go to plan, but I can hope!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Digging my way out

After kind of a blah weekend, I am finally getting back to things. My parents visited and we had a really good time, but I made the mistake of asking my mom what she wanted me to make for her birthday (2 weeks away) and she kept coming up with pretty big things that I couldn't possibly get done by then. It got me pretty overwhelmed considering how big my list already was. And because of them being here and then a morning trip to a quilt shop tent sale, I really didn't get any time to sit down and work on anything. Usually during the little ones first nap is my sewing zen time, so I've been feeling a little out of sorts.

So, instead of my nice peaceful crusing along with no real deadlines any time soon, I now have quite a bit of work to do for my moms birthday and my sisters birthday isn't long after so I am getting ready to make her gift too. *sigh* They are things I want to make, but I was still enjoying my more relaxed pace. So I am just working my way through, trying to figure out how to get it all done. Of course, naptime seems to have gotten shorter so that isn't helping my productivity....

Anyway, I just needed to get that out. I am slowly working on some swoon blocks, still hoping to get the blocks done by the end of next week, but we shall see. Once I get the last few pieces I need, operation birthday gifts will commence. And then I'd really like to clear some things off my long-standing project list. That means a bit less quilting, but hopefully some smaller things that will go quick. And now I shall leave you with a picture of pretty much the only thing I've gotten done in days.

See you tomorrow for the official wip list!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Farmer's Wife - Week 5

Really, 5 weeks already?? Time is just flying by and I am now over 1/4 of the way through the blocks for this quilt!! I have 30/111 done and it just keeps looking better! This week I got to start out with 2 easy blocks and then 2 blocks with lots of pieces. It was a nice balance.

On to this weeks blocks!

#72 - Railroad
I like this block a lot. Simple, but good impact. I think if I run out of fabric I will just get solids and add solids of each color in.

#111 - Wrench
This cracks me up because it is a churn dash, but I suppose the difference is that this is all one fabric and the other has 2 fabrics.

#38 - Four Winds
First of all, 64 piece in a 6" square? Really?? Insane! Second, I don't love my fabric choices since the center pinwheel blends in but oh well.

#100 - Weathervane
I love this. Probably partly because I love purple. But mostly because it's a cool design.

And the 4 together

So there you have it. I managed to sneak these in this week so we'll see what happens this weekend. I believe this weekend may involved a trip to a quilt shop :) Whether or not any actual sewing gets done is another matter.....Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP Wednesday {8.17.11}

Seems like it was a pretty productive week! Which is good since for the next few days I won't have time to do much sewing since my parents are visiting. I am in the process of figuring out what is next on my list, so we'll see where I go from here.


Summer Sampler Series!!

It's finished and I am so, so happy with it. I can't believe I finally sucked it up and tried to FMQ, but I'm really glad I did.

Carpenter's Wheel

I don't know what to do with it now, but it's done. And really it's not too bad for a first FMQ attempt.

Composition book cover

This was just a great idea and it makes me happy every time I look at it :)

Skill Builder Sampler - Block #7

A virginia star block. I am happy with it although I kinda wish I had picked different colors.


Blocks 23-26 for me. I love making these little guys.

Still Going:


Nothing done for it this week. It is next on the list though. I want to get all the blocks done by the end of the month and ideally the top together.

Skill Builder Sampler


I haven't started anything new, except for the composition book cover that I also finished. I am hoping to tackle a couple small projects soon, but I haven't quite decided which ones. I also have the beginnings of a design for a duvet cover for my sister, but I'm working that out still.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Sampler Series: the final product!

I can finally say I've reached one of my long-standing {quilting} goals. I sucked it up and learned to free-motion quilt! I've been quilting for 2 years and this has been a goal for most of that time. I made one other attempt a while back, and it went badly. Very badly. So I put it on the back burner and decided not to worry about it. This summer I decided it was time. I have learned a lot in the past year and have become a much better quilter and I felt I was ready. Scared, but ready. I know I've mentioned it before, but the summer sampler series quilt was one that I made specifically with free-motion quilting it in mind since I had no recipient in mind so I was less worried about messing it up. I wanted to practice on something smaller first though, which is why I made the carpenter's wheel block.

I finished that up pretty quickly and it went alright. Not great. There are some definitely tension problems on the back, but at least I was able to fix them (for the most part) on the sampler quilt. It came out pretty well. I wrapped the backing around for binding and machine stitched it down. I don't really know what to do with it now that it's done, but I suppose that is neither here nor there.

After a bit of practice I was ready to tackle the quilt. I used gray thread to go with the sashing and it worked out well. It stands out a bit on the white, but I thought white on the gray would have stood out more. I just did an all over meandering stipple and although it is far from perfect, I am really proud of it. I got a few puckers of fabric that are pretty bad, a couple on the edges of the front and a couple in different places on the back, but especially now that it is washed and so beautifully crinkled, it isn't as noticeable.

I am really glad I chose the gray sashing, I think it tones it down a bit and makes each block a work of art, which I think is appropriate considering the amount of work that went into them. The back and the binding are both scrappy. I didn't feel like going to the store to find anything so I worked with what I had and I am really happy with it. It is so strange to have allover quilting instead of something the follows or doesn't intrude on the design, but I love it a little :)

This quilt was such a great learning experience for me. I feel like my piecing improved and I learned some new skills making the blocks (paper piecing!) and I tried some new blocks that I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to try on my own. To top it off I had my first successful free-motion quilting experience. I am so proud of this quilt so for now it is going to hang out in the living room where my little lady can roll around on it (she loves my quilts and lays her head on them and rolls all the time. It is hilarious. It also makes me want to make her more things since she obviously loves them :) I'm a sucker.). I am already figuring out what quilt I can make next to practice some more quilting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

a prettier notebook

You know how sometimes you see a project that you just have to make and it magically jumps to the top of the list? Or doesn't even make it on the list because it is done so fast? Even though it is a really really long list of things just begging to be made? I am sure I am not alone here. It totally happened to me when I saw this post over at Stitched In Color. This is also when I found out that composition notebooks filled with graph paper existed. According to my sister I am the only one that didn't know. Clearly I am out of touch haha. It got me thinking about how I need another graph paper notebook (please ignore the other 2....they each have different purposes). And a pretty cover, well that's just necessary :)

It turns out I got a staples brand notebook for $.99 so that was pretty awesome, and then I set about trying to figure out what kind of cover I would like. Obviously it has to make me happy all the time and be very inspiring and all that. And I had been wanting to make something with gray + rainbow colors because, well, I would say that is about as happy as it gets. And then it hit me. And then I tried to talk myself out of it because 35 HST blocks on something so small seemed crazy. And then I couldn't get it out of my head. So I made it.

And I love it. I just want to look at it all day! The scraps I used, well I'm almost embarrassed that I kept such small oddly shaped pieces (the leftovers from the bunting in the babes room), but obviously now I feel okay about it. I will say though, that I didn't even have big enough pieces to make the 3" squares I needed and ended up actually using FW templates to make my HSTs. But it was so worth it. I decided at the end to cut what I had left into 2" squares (that is correct, I didn't even have big enough pieces to get more than one 2.5" square out of each so I cut them smaller) so now I can make another one with those or something. I think I actually need to go through my scrap bin and cut all the small/weird shaped pieces into nice little squares that I could actually do something with.



inside flap

Anyway, that is my happy little notebook cover. I look forward to many happy years together :)

I am also done my summer sampler (yay!!!) and am just waiting for it to be all washed and dried all pretty-like so I can get some pictures (if it stops raining long enough). I must say my first FMQ experience went rather well and I am quite proud of myself. More on that tomorrow :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Farmer's Wife - Week 4

Steadily I am decreasing the number of blocks per week. This week, only 4! I am almost 1/4 of the way through already (woah!) and I have a beautiful rainbow of blocks to show for it. 26 blocks done; 4 of each color and 2 rainbow which is just about the proportion I was going for, so that's good.

The first two blocks I did this week seemed to take forever to get done and I'm not entirely sure why, but the second pair made up for it and came together quickly and easily.

#17 - Cats & Mice
This turned out pretty nice. I am really liking this orange. On a random note, I don't know why blogger turned my picture, but I am tired of fighting with it. Good thing it doesn't matter with this block :)

#107 - Windblown Square
For some reason, this one kept giving me problems. I attached one set of squares the wrong way and had to rip them out and for some reason, there is one set of points that doesn't quite line up and it bothers me. Like the fabric puckered or something. Oh well. It's alright, it still looks good and I just love the fabrics and the movement of the block.

#56 - Maple Leaf
Not my favorite block design, but it looks nice. And red polka dots make anything good.

#69 - Practical Orchard

All 4 together now:

And I finally found a less windy day to go take a picture of all the blocks together so far. I opted for the rainbow arrangement this time.

I don't know how I'll arrange them in the quilt, but I have a little time until I have to make that call. Depending on how many blocks I do every week haha. I also had a brainstorm about sashing for this one, and as of right now, I am leaning strongly toward doing a black sashing with a fairly small and not overwhelming white pattern on it. I saw this the other day and I really like it and I think something similar would work well in black for this. I haven't really had time yet to look for anything, but that's where I think I'm headed. I think the black would pull it together and a white pattern would keep it from being too harsh. And I think the sashing finishes at only 1" so it's pretty narrow. Then the cornerstones would be white I think....or rainbow if I'm feeling crazy. Thoughts?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Skill Builder Sampler: Month 2

We have reached the end of the second month of the Skill Builder Sampler. We made some good blocks this month and I thought it was about time for a round up of the 3.

First up, we made block #4, Pinwheels. Little pinwheels are just so stinking cute. It was pretty easy although I won't claim that my points all line up perfectly. It is close and it looks good. And oh man, those little birdie heads peeking out, kills me. Makes me smile every time :)

Block #5 was Arizona, a star block. Lots of little half square triangles. I was happy to find a nice place to use my stripe fabric since I haven't used much of it so far. I love it in the middle, I think it really pulls it together.

Finally, we ended the month with #6, Bow ties. I had never made a bow tie block before. It was pretty simple and it is a cute pattern. I can see how it would be really cool for a whole quilt.

I love them so far. I can't wait to move on to some flying geese blocks (which I believe are next) since they are something I definitely need to practice. This quilt along is just so much fun! We are now 1/6 of the way done!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday {8.10.11}

It feels like it's been a busy week. Now, whether or not it was a productive week is up for discussion, but that's okay. Things feel a little more settled right now which is nice, and I'm sure it won't last so I'm soaking it up. Anyway, on to the list!


Summer Sampler Series

The top is done! I love it! Now I just have to piece a back and get brave enough to try to FMQ it.

Another 6 blocks done. Hopefully today I will be making another batch :) Have I mentioned that I love these little blocks??


Wall hanging/Mini Quilt

Started and the top is finished. I like it a lot. It is the carpenters wheel block and I got the pattern and the fabrics while quilt shop hopping last fall. It is destined to become my first FMQ practice. Hopefully it will still be pretty when I am done.

Still going:

Summer Sampler
Yes the top is done, but I still need backing, quilting, binding.


I finally made some progress and got 2 more blocks done and the rest cut out! I really don't love it, but hopefully my parents will....the blue background is just a bit much for me. I just hope I don't make the whole thing and they hate it.

Skill Builder Sampler & FWQAL - obviously these will be on the still going list for a while.

I have a bunch of little projects I would like to get done too, but I haven't started anything at all yet. First I want to focus on getting the summer sampler together and basted at least and then maybe I'll tackle some small things. I also really want to plan out my christmas gift making so that I am on top of that. I hate when it just sneaks up on me. Alright, that's all, happy Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced