Friday, March 31, 2017

Quilted Ornaments

Yes, it's the last day of March and the last thing on your mind is probably Christmas, but I have a holiday finish to share! One of the projects on my selfish sewing list for this year (and for this quarter of the Finish Along) were some micro-quilted holiday ornaments.

I got the inspiration to make these from Leanne over at the Devoted Quilter. She posted a tutorial during the holidays this past season and I knew that I wanted to make some for next year. While I think they'd make great little gifts, I plan on keeping these for myself. We have a 2nd Christmas tree that will only be decorated with handmade ornaments.

They were very fun to make and great practice with flow quilting which is something that I need to get better at, especially now that I have long arm machine. Making smooth transitions from one motif to another takes practice and this allows me to do it without getting overwhelmed. I'm hoping to make at least 4 more throughout the year to add to our tree by next December.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rope Coasters

A few weeks back, while I was waiting for my long arm machine to be set up, I cranked out these cute rope coasters using some leftover aqua and teal scraps so that they'd coordinate with my living room decor.

I didn't have any set expectations with these other than to have fun making them and play around with some of my scraps and decorative thread. Photographing them proved to be harder than making them - any sort of "creative" composition and you couldn't tell what they were. If I put a mug on them, then you couldn't see them. The photo above is boring but at least you can see them. I even managed to get 5 out of 6 to be the same size. (The top right one is smaller than all the rest. It was my original one that I made a few months back).

This little project was my goal for this month and I even made a few extra coasters so that I have a few in my sewing room now. It's also one of the projects that I wanted to get done this quarter for the 2017 Finish Along.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Boy And His Droid

It's a good thing that my son doesn't care much about timelines, otherwise he might have been annoyed to learn that his birthday gift was originally supposed to be his Christmas gift! Turning 7 was a big deal in our house and this past summer when he asked to decorate his room in a Star Wars theme I knew then that I wanted to make him a BB-8 quilt. It was a very easy paper piecing pattern that came together quickly but it was getting it quilted that took a long time (just because of life). Here was my plan for quilting:

The body of BB-8 was going to be one large concentric circle, his head was a small circuit board stipple. And as you can see in the photo above, the background was going to be a radiating straight-line swirl to create some movement. I think I was able to execute my vision fairly well, although it might be hard to see in some of these photos.

And finally, my favorite photo -- this was taken just after we brought him into his room, eyes closed of course, and he saw it for the first time. He had no idea that I had been making a quilt just for him.

It made my heart melt.  đź’—

This is one of my Q1 Finish Along projects that can be found here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Timing Sucks

Luckily, I'm not talking about any of the timing on my machines, rather the timing of my life in general. I got this brand, spankin' new long arm machine - wait -- I haven't blogged about it yet? Well, no, not really. Because I haven't been able to really use it yet BECAUSE IT'S SPRING BREAK. And there is my wonderful sense of timing.

My Handi Quilter Avanté

My machine got set up late Thursday afternoon and Friday was the first day of a 10-day holiday break (well, 6 days off of school with 2 weekends) where I'm with my 7-year-old 24/7. Yippee!  Don't get me wrong, I love my kid to death, but right now I'd much rather be in my sewing room with my new baby instead. But it will have to wait while we have playdates and plan trips to places like LegoLand, the library, and Ikea.

As you can see from the photo above, it was a bit of a snug fit to get it into my sewing room. While I was at QuiltCon my husband was emailing me floor plans to make sure my idea would even work. I opted for the 10-foot frame and on the left, you can see that 8-inches or so is tucked into the closet! I had the doors removed when we built the house. Before, I used to keep Ikea bookshelves in there with all of my fabric storage so it was just a matter of finding a new place to store my fabric.  But I did lose my large cutting table but I already have an idea of how to solve that problem.

Now I just need to come up with more time in the day to get some time to steal away and practice. Here is the scrap that the Handi Quilter rep loaded on my machine so that I could start practicing on. I wasted no time filling it up.

I'm hoping to get another large practice piece loaded up on frame so I can spend at least 15 minutes every evening playing after dinner.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Bee Blocks & Other Projects

Before heading off to Savannah last month I managed to sew up a few small things that I thought I would share. First up is a finish for the 2017 QAL. I had a really cheap eye mask that I’d been using and thought I would upgrade it with some fabric from my stash. The project took me all of 15 minutes if that. I recycled the elastic from the cheap mask since I already knew it was a good fit and I think ripping it out took longer than the actual sewing.

I thought it looked much cuter than the drab black one so imagine my surprise when I used it for the first time… and HATED it. I guess there’s a reason why they make those things with a silky type polyester (or nylon?). It just feels better on your eyes. Needless to say, I’ll be ripping the elastic out and putting it back in the cheap one when I get a spare moment. It’s funny that I saved it on a whim. Now I know why.

I was also able to whip up a quick house block for the Montréal Modern Quilt Guild in their charity effort in response to the mosque shootings in Québec City, #QuiltsforQC. I was able to drop it off at QuiltCon.

The last block I'm going to share with you is the block I finished yesterday - my March block for Stash Bee, which I absolutely love! Ophélie, our queen from Paris, selected colors that I never would have put together myself, but she has converted me.

Mustard yellow with dark pink and dark teal? And olive green?? Who knew... but I can't wait to see her quilt come together.

The next big thing for me is the setup of my new long arm tomorrow! That's why there's been very little sewing since I've had to completely overhaul my entire sewing room. More on that very soon!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

March - One Monthly Goal

Do you ever find it hard to get back into the habit of blogging when you've been away for a while? That's me right now. I'm really having to force myself to sit down at my computer. I missed setting a formal goal last month so I need to make sure that I do one for this month.

I'm still playing a bit of catch-up from QuiltCon and in case you missed the news I posted in my last update, I bought a long arm! What that means for me taking everything out of my room, including the bookshelves with all of my fabric, that are in the closet so that I can reconfigure the space to fit the 10-foot quilting frame. Given that task, I'm not setting any lofty sewing goals this month.

Here is one coaster that I've made so far with some of that rope I purchased. I've been using it in my sewing room and I absolutely love it.

So my goal is to make 3 more for our living room, 4 if I'm ambitious. That way I can keep this cutie right where it is. :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

QuiltCon Recap & Recovery

I was pretty absent here on the blog all last month and I feel like I'm playing a game of continual catch-up but my time spent at QuiltCon last weekend was just what I needed to recharge my creative battery.

I was fortunate enough to take 2 classes during my 3-day attendance. One was a color theory class with Lee Chappell Monroe and the other was a free-motion impact quilting class with Christina Cameli. I had so much fun in both classes and learned some new tips and tricks that I look forward to incorporating into my sewing.

I also spent some time manning our Quilts for Pulse exhibit. It was so wonderful to talk with so many people who contributed quilt blocks or entire quilts to our effort. I even managed to find several quilts for people in the almost 1700 that we had pictured!

A group photo of the members of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild who were in attendance at QuiltCon.
But the best thing about the weekend was being able to connect with so many of my online friends from all around the country. People that I've known online for the last 3 years or so, that I've come to call friends, even though we've never met in person... until now!



It was such an amazing, fun, and exhausting weekend! I came back home with lots of free goodies, a few small trinkets, and a long arm.