Monday, May 30, 2016

Festive Whirligig Table Runner

As the end of May approaches, my list of deadline finishes decreases. I'm happy to check this off my list of finishes. It's the Whirligig table runner pattern by Cora's Quilts.  It measures 43" x 15" and is just adorable (even if it's too long for my small table).

It's a gift for my cousin who is getting married this weekend. When trying to decide on a project to make I asked her mom to do some stealth research for me. Her kitchen dishes are going to be a mix of Fiesta Ware in these colors:

I decided the gray would be for the accent cornerstones but that left me needing a 4th color for the whirligigs so I added in the lighter turquoise color. This project has a few firsts for me. It's the first time I used just solids. Well, it's not 100% solid colors since the lemongrass fabric has a slight texture to it, but it was the perfect shade so I used it anyway. It's also the first time I used a flanged binding. I learned this little trick from Lorna over at Sew Fresh Quilts. Her tutorial is perfect. I also love that I was able to use one of my cute little labels on the back.

This project was on my 2nd quarter list for the 2016 Finish Along and my One Monthly Goal for May.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May Is For Makers

By now I'm sure you've heard about the May Is For Makers movement that Lindsey at LRStitched started. Supporting independent artisans is important to the advancement of creativity. Lindsey pointed out that we take for granted so much of what is free on the internet and, as a result, it has skewed our perception of what something is worth. Her proposal was to support an independent pattern maker each week in the month of May.

I've enjoyed seeing what everyone else has purchased throughout the month and I thought I'd share what I've added to my sewing room. I'm a little behind but I've made 2 purchases so far:

1)  Terrazzo Paper Pieced Pattern by Lee of Freshly Pieced.

2) Acrylic Rulers from Kelly Cline. I've been wanting to try using rulers with my DSM and I discovered these thanks to Stephanie at Late Night Quilter, who also purchased them as part of May is for Makers.

Not sure what my other purchases will be yet, but it's fun looking at all the wonderful offerings!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I can't remember the last time I posted a work in progress photo, on a Wednesday no less! Here is the table runner that I've been working on. I just finished piecing the top today. It needs to be trimmed to a rectangle and I'm considering adding a bit of a white border around it. I plan on trying a new binding on this one - the flanged binding that Lorna, from Sew Fresh Quilts, uses, and I think having the white border will help that pop a bit.

The colors in this photo aren't very accurate. The blues look good but that lemongrass color is definitely off. But I really like how this is turning out.  Linking up to any of these parties.

Friday, May 20, 2016

My First Swap

I like making quilts and wallhangings for others but swaps have always intimidated me. They seem to have a higher expectation than just a gift, at least that's my perception. When my local guild decided to partner with the Vegas MQG for a mini swap I knew it was time for me to take the leap. This was a mystery swap so I was given the quilter's name and a few likes/dislikes and that was it. Not a whole lot to go on so I stalked her instagram feed and her blog. This is what I came up with.

The colors in this photo are a bit off but I had forgotten to take a good photo of it until I was already at my guild meeting handing it over. The quilts will be mailed out on June 1st.  I liked the idea of a paper pieced medallion center and even paper pieced the tiny pinwheels. I quilted it using white Aurifil and variegated King Tut threads. It measures 17" square. I hope my swap partner likes it!

This project is also one of my 2nd quarter finishes for the 2016 Finish Along.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May Stash Bee

We're almost halfway through the Stash Bee year.  Here is my May block that will be heading across the pond to Gina in Wales.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Need to Diet

The time has finally come -- I need to go on a fabric diet. I've been quilting for about 4 years now and my stash has grown to the point where I need to start using more of the fabrics I have on hand. Since January I've had quite a few fabric acquisitions --

Our local MQG had a fabric auction which is where I got most of the yardage, all of which is a yard or more (some are 5 yards worth!) The 2 small bundles were gifts from Benartex for promoting their new Emagazine, the middle bundle is a Pepper Cory Brushstrokes fat quarter bundle that I purchased through Massdrop, and the Fat Quarter Shop package is the Sherbert Grunge Basics Grey Bundle that I won from Melissa Corry at Happy Quilting.

The photo above doesn't include the yardage that was still in transit that arrived just this week:

On top of my 4 (or is it 5? correction -- it's 8!) layer cakes, 2 jelly rolls, and another unopened fat quarter bundle, I need to stop buying fabric and start sewing with it. So unless the fabric is needed for backing a quilt, there will be no more fabric purchases until further notice.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bloglovin' Experiment #1

After doing some more research, I've decided to make a few changes to my blog to see if I can fix the problem I'm having with my images appearing blurry on bloglovin'. I'm using a photo from my blog that I've used before that I know showed up crystal clear on bloglovin' before. I'm re-uploading it just to be consistent with what I'd do with a new post. This is going to be test #1 in which I've changed a setting in blogspot. I'm not sure how quickly bloglovin' updates their feed so I'll just have to wait and see.

I'll post an update at the end of this post to note whether or not it worked.

Here's my Holiday Wreath Tutorial

UPDATE: I'm cautiously optimistic that my experiment worked! And it was a very simple fix for anyone else who might be having the same problem.  Go to your Other settings in your Blogger dashboard. Under the Site Feed settings make sure that the Allow Blog Feed setting is FULL. This allows readers, like Bloglovin', to access the entire post.

I don't know the code specifics but my guess is that if you have it on one of the other settings something gets altered with the image pixels. I noticed that when I inspected the code from the bloglovin' site the images were all squished - yes, a technical term :)

What I still don't understand is how that setting got changed in the first place. I never touched that setting and it was set to "short." Whatever the case, I'm hoping this issue is solved.

The Bloglovin' Blur

I like Bloglovin' as my blog reader of choice but I've been having issues with it since February. All of my photos in the Bloglovin' feed for my website are blurry and I have no idea why. And it's only affecting blog posts after February 1st (see my Bloglovin' feed here).

Blurry images on posts after February 1, 2016

When I contacted Bloglovin' support last month they told me that blogspot had changed something in their system that is causing this. But it doesn't make sense. I'm an author on 3 different blogs - Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, Stash Bee, and Red Delicious Life - all of which are blogspot blogs and my personal one is the only one affected. I've tried changing various settings but so far nothing has worked. All of my photos used to be resized to 600 pixels before being uploaded to blogspot so I've even tried keeping them full sized and letting the website resize them but that hasn't worked either.

Clear images on posts earlier than February 1, 2016

In a creative field such as quilting, photos are what draw in a reader and those that read my blog via Bloglovin' aren't seeing my posts as they should. I'm going to contact Bloglovin' about it again but wondering if anyone else is having this issue? Anyone?

Sunday, May 08, 2016

A Mother's Day Project

Mother's Day is always somewhat bittersweet for me. Yes, I'm a mom and it's my "special" day but it's also a huge reminder that I don't have my own mom with me anymore. And some years, like this one, it's a double-whammy with her birthday falling on the same day. She would have been 74 years old today. I lost her to cancer 9 years ago. It seems fitting the charity sewing project that my local guild is focusing on this month is Hearts for Hope, a small heart shaped pillow designed for women with breast cancer who have undergone some sort of breast surgery. It's often very painful to have a car seat belt on comfortably after a breast surgery so these pillows are placed onto the shoulder (via the adjustable strap) and provide a cushioning between the surgery site and the seatbelt.

While it may not seem like much, the 30 minutes it took me to put it together made me feel closer to my mom today.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

OMG: A Wedding Table Runner

May is an extremely busy month for me. It's also the last full month before school is out which means that my somewhat exclusive sewing time will be coming to an end until mid-August. So that means I need to buckle down. I have 3 projects that need to be done by June 1st but here is the one that is getting assigned as my One Monthly Goal:

These fabrics, along with a few others possibly, will be turned into a table runner for my cousin's wedding gift.  I'm planning on using the Whirligig pattern from Cora's Quilts. I start cutting into this tomorrow.