Friday, January 31, 2014

Doll Quilt Swap 14 - and new traditions.

It's 8:00 on Friday morning. Friday. One of my only days to sleep in. Well, those days are over I guess. Allie and I have started a new tradition. Friday morning I wake up BEFORE her (ugh). And once she's up I make breakfast and coffee. She sits next to me watching cartoons (It's The Magic School Bus today), and I sit next to her and catch up on email stuff - for just a few minutes. So far it's working and she's happier. I guess maybe Friday's can be my one morning to write a blog post? 

I'm still working hard at work and working hard at home to find a couple nights a week to dive into my sewing. It's not an easy thing - I miss my 3am sewing sessions! 

The past few weeks I've been pushing myself to finish my Doll Quilt Swap mini. Today is the due date for it and I just finished on Weds!! My swap partner had very simple requests (one sentence). After a bit of stalking her flickr I realized that her style is pretty similar to mine. She likes Anna Maria Horner and Tula Pink, she likes saturated colors and low volume texty backgrounds. With that I got started sketching. 

My sketches were all over the place but ultimately I went with this layout because I wanted to sew these blocks. I've been looking for an excuse to try these arrows. 

I used some favorite fabrics and I'm a little surprised that I managed to use so much of that Sweetwater newsprint fabric (it's OOP and I love it). I knew my partner would love it too though, so it's worth it!

Now for the details. The cross stitch blocks were made following Alyssa / Pile O' Fabric's tutorial. They finished at 2". The arrows were pieced freely (no pattern, just playing around) they finished at 3.5" x 16". The total quilt measures 16" x 21". 

I'm mailing this little quilt to my partner today and I sure hope she loves it!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Economy Block Along

Have you all seen the cute economy blocks / square in square blocks popping up all over (instagram #economyblockalong)? A couple weeks ago I jumped in and made 12 of them. Mine are 5" finished blocks pieced according to the tutorial on Rita / Red Pepper Quilts' blog.

I cut all the pieces ahead of time and then chain pieced them all at once. It was a fun little project, but now I need to decide on a color for a large (off center?) border around them so they'll finish as as mini quilt for my wall. I'm considering Moda Bella Strawberry. I think the colors pop with it... and I have some on hand. It seems like whenever I buy yardage of solids I use them immediately in EVERY project until they're all gone. That's not a problem right now, since I recently bought yardage of Kona Curry and Bella Strawberry. These are my favorite two solids and they seem to go pretty well together I think. 

I'll certainly have to come back to this little economy quilt top sometime soon - I have a couple serious quilt deadlines to work around right now so this one is on the back burner for a little while. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Doll Quilt Swap 14 - Finally a bit of progress!

We're nearing the end of the 14th round of the Doll Quilt Swap on flickr. I can't believe it! I was working thinking that the final mail date was Feb 14, not Jan 31! Oops! 

This week I really buckled down and settled on a sketch. I picked out my fabric and now today I found a bit of time to sew! I have completed 7 cross stitch blocks (the tutorial for these can be found at Pile O' Fabric). The blocks finish at just 2 1/2" and that makes me happy! I'm going to work on some free pieced arrows to add to this... and I'm adding FMQ text too. I sure hope my partner loves it because I love it a lot already!

I'm hoping to have some time next week to keep working on this. I'm really inspired by so much of the work I'm seeing in the DQS group right now. It's just the inspiration I need to push through the rest of this dreary and COLD winter. I'm ready for some sunshine!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quilting and Henna...

Here's some pretty henna work my sister did on me over Christmas break. I love the graphic nature of henna - so bold! It's wearable art without the permanence of a tattoo! Oh and admiring henna while cuddled under a made-by-me quilt (my mom's) makes it even more awesome!

I hope you're all finding quilty inspiration all over the place!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meet the Modern Quilter: I'm on Quilty Again!

Check it out - that's me, a Modern Quilter. I really had a blast filming with Quilty; Mary Fons is seriously awesome. I hope to tape more Quilty episodes soon! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas and Christmas Presents Made.

It was such a busy Christmas season that I didn't get a chance to do much sewing. Most of my Christmas gifts were either done way ahead of time (at camp stitchalot), or done quickly at night. But I still managed to get a few done.

Most importantly I finished all four pencil pouches for Allie's teachers. I'm not sure if I've shared it here, but we moved this summer in order for Allie to go to a better school. It was absolutely worth the hellish move. She has four teachers who work with her every day (and many more who are there throughout the week) - who make her days great. She's getting the support she needs here, and there's no handmade gift that would say thank you enough for that!

Next up - the zippy I made for Pellon last month ended up going to my Mom. It was really hard to part with this one, but I know that I didn't need it, and she'll use it. I am hoping she uses it regularly enough that I get to see it when she comes to visit! 

Potholders! Did I mention that several people in my family have moved recently? My sister and her family moved at the end of the summer too. She's the baker of the family and needed some new potholders. So she was the lucky recipient of the potholders I made at Camp Stitchalot. These were made under the guidance of Debbie / Esch House Quilts, and they're fabulously thick! I know they'll get used!

Finally here's the one quilt gift of the season. This one is for my cousin Jordan's new baby who should be born any day now. I talked about this quilt here. Hopefully the quilt gets lots of use - that's what they are for!! 

Additionally I made several oilcloth box pouches, pencil pouches, etc. Somehow I didn't even take pictures of these. :) I also made a few custom ordered pouches this year - they were a lot of fun and it's great to have a bit of extra cash in the quilting budget! Thanks to those who supported me by allowing me to make some gifts for them!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Quit Goals

Flying geese - for MINE! AMH Love.
Here are my goals for 2014. I've done this in the past as a way to hold myself accountable to my own goals. My ultimate goal is to become viable, to make enough money to keep buying pretty fabric and make pretty quilts. I'm hoping to share my skills, and share my life. I want to show others how amazing this quilting thing is! So here it goes, my 2014 goals.

  • Have enough confidence to take opportunities and send out applications. I won't be able to achieve my goals without first putting myself out there! 
  • Finish Maja's Flowers (quilt) and produce a pattern for it. Allow myself to let someone else quilt it (Nikki!). 
  • Teach a quilting class & lecture at a guild.
  • Publish a few things in magazines.
  • Decide what to do about blog sponsorship. I think I'd rather be paid in fabric. I hate the business end of this it's so draining.
  • Keep Swapping (DQS!!)
  • Make a quilt for Dan & Missy (their wedding is SOON!)
  • Quilts to finish this year:
  • Buy more fabric. 
  • Make pretty things!