Thursday, February 27, 2014

We Built A House!

Not much quilting has been going on in the last few weeks. Besides everyone in the house getting a cold we managed to close on our house last week. What used to be this just a few month ago...

is now this...

We officially move in next week so until that time I'll be spending my time moving boxes, painting, hanging curtains, and moving more boxes. Then I'll get to set up my new sewing studio. See you in a few weeks!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chalk Quilting

We've had some beautiful sunny weather this week - sorry for those who are entrenched in snow right now - it's just one of the advantages to living in Florida. With the warmer temps my son has been wanting to spend his time outside and asked to "draw on the floor" (translation: draw on the sidewalk with chalk). Of course, I couldn't just sit back and watch. He wanted me to draw too. So what did I do? Started doodling free motion quilting designs of course! It's hard to get a smooth rhythm using fat sidewalk chalk but I still feel like I got some fun practice in.

Besides, I don't think anyone else on the block is going to have cool designs like this on their driveway!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Block Blunder

Since I'm still mulling over how to quilt my tree skirt, I thought I would lay out all of those pinwheel blocks I made and start putting that quilt top together.

I definitely need to focus on how the light and dark of the pinwheels interact with one another. When I switch it to black and white, you can see what I mean:

I need to find a balance between the lighter and darker pinwheels. I also discovered that I have 10 blocks where the pinwheels go in the wrong direction (those are not pictured above). See what I mean?

When I put them side by side, I'll have white against white instead of white against color. So, I've got a date with Jack the (seam) Ripper to fix those and then see if I can come up with a balanced layout.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Silence is Golden

Except when it comes to blogging and the sound of my sewing machine. I was happy to unplug for a few days while my family took a Disney cruise to the Bahamas. Nothing like a little break from reality to recharge your batteries.

I haven't done much sewing in the last week other than to piece together the blocks for my tree skirt. Hence, nothing to really blog about. I was able to baste my quilt sandwich this evening so I'm excited to start quilting it later this week. I'm actually considering an all-over pattern of loops instead of custom quilting each section. That will be something completely new for me. I'm having a hard time deciding what to do at this point.

One last share of my Brown Bear quilt. I gave it to my son's teacher when we picked my son up from school to drive to the cruise. Happiness is... an adorable quilt.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

WIP Wednesday

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Never thought I'd be singing that in February, but I cut and pieced the blocks for the Christmas tree skirt that I designed this past weekend. Here it is on my design wall.

Please ignore the mismatched half-square triangles in the corners. I didn't have enough of the red fabric for the full sized squares but it really didn't matter since those scraps will be cut off once I quilt it. You can see my EQ7 rendering in the lower right hand corner that shows the octagon shape. I'd love to get it sewn and quilted sometime next week but there's a lot going on right now so I'm not going to hold my breath.

linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

My Design Indecisiveness

The more I play around in EQ7, the more comfortable I get. Granted, there are several things about the software that just aren't very intuitive or user-friendly but once you know the little quirks it's not that bad. In the post I made when I first got EQ7, I had made a few observations that turned out to be false. No, they don't have a block that is just a half square triangle - there's really no need when it takes all of 5 seconds to draw and save one. And yes, you can have the same block in your sketchbook with different color variations. That's one of those things that wasn't obvious. You can only see one variation in the sketchbook but there's a little arrow button that allows you to scroll through the different ones that you've created. I stumbled upon that little tidbit last night.

Okay, enough about EQ7 and on to the decision I'm having difficulty with. I created a Christmas tree skirt last month. Here was my original design:

In the center there were lots of little blocks and it didn't seem the best way to piece this project together. After looking at it for a minute, I realized if I rotated it I could piece this together with a lot fewer mini-blocks. I also scanned the actual fabrics that I'm going to use which makes it so much easier to visual the finished project. Now here's my dilemma. Below are 2 slightly different variations. Notice that there are 4 additional small gold squares in option 2. I think I'm leaning more toward option 1 because I like showing off the Christmas trees in that white print fabric. What do you think? Option 1 or option 2?

Option 1

Option 2

Project Goals - January Recap

Happy February everyone! At the end of every month I plan to post an update on how I'm doing on the projects that I want to complete by the end of 2014. Feel free to skip these - it's more of a way to keep myself accountable and probably pretty boring for anyone else!

Okay, here goes:

  1. New Quilt: Brown Bear themed baby quilt for my son's preschool teacher (needs to be done in by March) --> Finished!
  2. UFO: need to finish my Accuracy Quilt --> backing is done, now I need to baste & quilt it.
  3. Software: Learn how to confidently use EQ7. I've been playing with it since it showed up a few days ago but there is definitely a learning curve. --> Found various tutorials online that I've been watching but still have a lot more to learn. Have also played around making a custom quilt layout. Practice, practice, practice!
  4. New Quilt: A queen sized quilt for our new master bedroom, using batik fabrics. I was originally going to use the Star Surround pattern that Melissa from Happy Quilting developed for her 2013 QAL but then she posted about her 2014 QAL called Star Light Star Bright with different variations and I fell in love with variation 4! After input from her readers, the majority voted for variation #1 but I'm still going to make variation #4 (with her permission of course!) --> Created design in EQ7 to get overall yardage requirements. Have 3 of the 4 fabrics needed, but still need to find that last fabric.
  5. New Project: A Christmas tree skirt for next year, based on my earlier post here.  --> Transferred the paper design into EQ7, but realized I made it much more complicated than it needed to be so I redid it as a custom quilt. Now I just need to decide between 2 slightly different layouts.
  6. New Project: A quilted Advent Calendar for next Christmas --> Not started
  7. New Quilt: A large lap quilt with all the half square triangles I made back in October. I still have another charm pack to make so depending upon what layout I select, it might be bigger! --> All HSTs sewn into pinwheel blocks. Need to add sashings and cornerstones for a lap size quilt.
  8. New Project: 2014 Sewalong: log cabin mini blocks project --> finished already!
  9. New Project: A fish extender for our upcoming cruise on the Disney Dream.
  10. New Project: solid color quilt or project --> after seeing all of the beautiful creations in the Wake Up to Kona Blog Hop, I just have to make something as well. I just love how free motion quilting really pops when using just solid colors.
I think that's plenty of things to keep me busy!