Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Indian Summer kind of plan...

...hopefully one that works.

I've been a bit reckless with my Indian Summer fabrics, just hacking away with no real plan. And hating everything that came out. I soon realized that if i want to actually have enough fabric left to make myself a quilt i would need a plan. A good plan. Cause the last plan didn't work so well. Remember the flying geese that ran out of the background fabric?

 And i'm pretty positive i didn't even blog about the giant swoon block that was going to be part of this quilt... It would seem that math wasn't my strong suit in school. It was all kinds of wrong.

So after seeing some particularly fantastic medallion quilts floating around, i decided that's what i was going to make. But what to start with? I didn't feel that any type of star was going to cut it for the middle. That being said, it wasn't until after i actually made my middle that i thought a type of sunburst block would have been perfect, drat. Oh well.

I needed my center starting point to be small enough that i could use my geese for the second border. Hmmm, i loved the way my Sister's Liberty Kaleidoscope pillow turned out and i thought it had potential for a great starting point. But something in the back of my head was telling me that this was starting to sound familiar... like maybe someone had already done this before...

Enter Red Pepper Rita and her perfect quilts! If we could all just click here for a second! Dang! She totally hijacked my idea, right out of my head! And made it first... and with a lot more precision, i might add. 

So i thought i would just use my own Kaleidoscope pattern in a slightly bigger size, easy enough.
 I even had a stack of 6 inch origami paper that i could use for the patterns, perfect! No need to waste printer ink on a pattern that i could make myself, and i wouldn't have to spend all that time cutting out the pattern pieces!

So after drawing one i came to the conclusion that it's not a waste of printer ink at all and really how much time does it really take to cut out pieces?
As you can see from my drawing above there was no way that my points were going to line up the same for every 6 inch block. So i picked up Rita's free Kaleidoscope pattern from her Craftsy opened it in photoshop and arranged it so i could print two blocks on a single sheet, why waste paper right!

So after deciding on a start with nine kaleidoscope blocks, i went ahead and did this!

I love it! Though i still wish i had more of the Stella Dots in sterling. The Washi Waves are a little more cream then i would like but i think it still works! I love my little corner stones? blocks? whatever they're called.

I fussy cut four tiny foxes for the center of each economy block... The center squares are just under an inch and a half finished and the whole economy block is 3.5 inches unfinished. I love this type of block, and see a lot more of them in my future. And if you hadn't noticed lately, i can't stop paper piecing! I love it, when it's not frustrating me to no end that is.

So moving along, i need to pick my next simple border. I'm thinking a small band of this print...

Sorry for the wonky pic, see what i mean about having wonk when i don't need it!

I considered another band of the washi waves but i would like to darken it up a bit. This print has a bit of a basket weave kind of look from afar that i think works nicely. Only not as wide as what i have here, maybe  an inch finished? The washi border is 1 3/4 inched finished. Thoughts?

The next border is going to be a doozy. (toss off spell check, doozy is in fact a word!) I'm doing a full border of Anna Maria Horner's feather blocks. Have you seen the size of them! About 18 inches! Here's a piece of the pattern next to my center.

Um... how awesome is this going to be! Now the feathers themselves aren't quite as big. That's a bit of the background, but it is the final size. And you can also see that i have Sew What Sherlock's arrow up there. I believe it will be making it's way around the feathers. After of course another skinny plain border. What i'm wondering is what to use for the feathers as background fabric. I desperately wish i had more of the sodding dots! But i'm also wondering what they would look like with just a plain Kona PFD? Let the feathers really stand out. I think i'll make one up.

After that... not really sure. So far with my finished center and chevrons it's twenty one and a quarter, add two inches for both sides of the next border, thirty six  for both sides of the feather border, probably another three? maybe for the following borders and four for the arrows... come on math don't fail me now!
Sixty six and a quarter? So there will need to be a few more borders. I'd like to get it up to at least 90 inches. This sucker is going on my bed! Someday :)

Well, i have the house to myself and some feathers to make...
High fives for finishing the start of my Indian Summer quilt!
xo snips

Linking up with Kristy's Paper Piecing Party,  i foresee a lot of my posts linking up here!
As well as Finish it Friday, which one of these days i will link up before the list reaches triple digits!!

A little edit here Saturday afternoon... i went ahead and made a feather with the Kona PFD and i love it. But i think it may be to big for the center yet...

Sorry for the instagram pic... but what do you think? It's way too big isn't it? I'm wondering if i should have a bigger border in between the two. Maybe something an inch or so larger than the chevrons?  Bulk up the center some more before adding in the feathers, which will ultimately mean more feathers, but they're awesome so i'm cool with that!! But what border next?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Finding my inner wonk!

Or at least trying to find it... though i'm pretty sure i may have been born without wonk. 
Witness exhibit A...

My August block for my bee. Wonky log cabins with lots of bright colour is what was requested. And 14" but not squared up... mine is at least 15" at the smallest and obviously not squared, and it's driving me nuts that i have to mail this with all those woobly bits! I struggled with this one trying to keep five sides, it somehow always reverted back to four. I can't say this is a block i would have ever made had i not been in this bee. But i guess that's part of the fun in joining a bee right!

I also tackled my block for July as well. 

Barb had asked for "a less “scrappy” block. Think lines, maybe curves, maybe negative space and lots of colours!"  Curves are my "arch"nemesis (haha!, get it? arch? ha!... sorry... i think i may have heat stroke),  which is why i chose this block, not because i have heat stroke, but because it would push me out of my comfort zone. 

And did it ever! Again a fourteen incher was requested and because i had no idea what i was doing when i started, despite having this tutorial to work from, i began with a 17 inch square. I figured if it all went to pot i could maybe cut down and still be able to end with a 14" block. 
 My plan worked!... the block is about 15 inches, which means that there is still enough wiggle room for Barb to square up, (and cut off that little green bit on the right hand side.) 

The photo is making it look really puckery (spell check is trying to tell me that's not a real word... pfff, whatever. Don't tell me what to do spell check!! You're not the boss of me!) Sorry where was i? Oh yeah, i did starch but some of the areas i just can't get to lay flat. I hope it will work out in the end, maybe the quilting will hide the pouffy (is too a real word!) spots, fingers crossed.

I also have been spending some time with this guy.

Who was quite a bit more fiddly than Leia, but still doable for a newbie like me! That being said i have a hot date with my seam ripper later... the seam under his eyes shifted while i was sewing and things aren't lining up the way i would like.

See the shift? I'm probably being too fussy but since this is going to be a quilt for us i will spend eternity looking at that mismatched seam and wishing i had of fixed it. But i do love him!

I also love this guy!

He also needs some finishing work in the form of embroidery, he goes into the pile with Leia!

And two last little things that i love...

High fives for water gun fights!
xo snips

Linky linky loo list: (seriously people...i have no idea what my deal is today, it has to be the heat!)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, I have no face.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited i am about Kristy's new patterns! I volunteered to test out the Princess Leia pattern and let me tell ya, so easy to do! I knocked this one out while Max was down for his morning nap. I obviously still need to embroider her face on, i'll try to get to that tonight. I desperately want to try some of the other ones that Kristy has been making up, forewarning, there's going to be a lot of Lego Star Wars quilt blocks coming up in the future!

I also found time to give this little arrow pattern from Sew What Sherlock a try. 

 I bought it on Craftsy a while back and just hadn't given it a go. While i'm not entirely happy with the result i can assure you it's my ineptitude and not the pattern. I somehow made the center shaft more narrow than the other two ends and it looks a bit silly. I will definietley be trying this one again though, i feel  it will be making it's way into my Indian Summer quilt... you know, when i figure out what kind of pattern i want to use for it!

That's all folks, first day of summer and all that so more of this going on than sewing!

Linking up for Finish it up Friday and the Paper Piecing Party with all the cool kids!
High fives for the summer!! Have a great weekend!
xo snips

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

That's right peeps, only 188 more days until Christmas!! Are you ready? I've done 90 percent of my Christmas shopping and the recipes are being pulled for the 85 different types of cookies and sweets i will be making. 

Hahaha, can you imagine? I'm lucky if i get the tree decorated before the big day! 
This year though i will have my Starry Christmas quilt finished in time to use for the holidays. 

With the boys gone for the day today i thought i'd tackle some more stars. I started with January's Lucky Stars BOM and it turned out quite well if i do say so myself!

I also enjoyed the fact that this one only had four fabrics meeting in the center! 

For my next trick i tried the Caldonia block from Julie at 627 Handworks. I love this one, probably my favourite so far, and one that i would love to eventually use as a whole quilt!

And here's a shot of everything i have so far on my fancy design wall.

Okay so that one with the blue and red Tula print is a bit obnoxious, i may need to use it on the back, or maybe if i make a few small stars using that print and scatter them around it won't stand out as much.

I'm just randomly making blocks that i like until i think i have enough. I still want to add a Swoon to the mix and i have a few from Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars that i want to try. And probably some more from the Lucky Stars BOM... As for putting them all together, i think i may do something like this.

So yeah, i guess that's it for today... I'll be linking up over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
And Needle and Thread Thursday with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation
High fives for getting a jump on Christmas!... and we'll all just pretend that i didn't actually start this quilt for Christmas last year.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Monday!

Not much to share today... I stitched up my February block for Luck Stars BOM. I'm not doing them in any order, nor am i sticking to one size. For the March block i went with the 6" size, but i love the Tula Pink print i used for the background of this one so i went for the full 12" so i could enjoy more of it!

sorry for the terrible instagram photo

I'm happy with this one... despite breaking a needle sewing through that middle section. Twelve layers of fabric! I admit i was going a little too fast, but in my defense i was using my Mom's machine and that thing is crazy fast! To see it with the March block i made you wouldn't think they were destined for the same quilt, and truth be told i'm not sure the march block is going to make the Christmas quilt cut. We'll see :)

And on a totally unrelated note...

A good mom lets you lick the beaters, a great mom turns them off first :)

Yesterday the boys helped me whip up a batch of Black Forest Cupcakes for their wonderful Dad and mine!


High fives for chocolate and cherries! (and cool whip, mmmm)
xo snips

Friday, June 14, 2013

Oh my Lucky Stars!!

So, if you all remember yesterdays post, you'll know that i'm looking to make some stars for Sammy's pillow. So after perusing the interwebs last night i decided to,
1. Buy this pattern from Kristy... not for Sammy's pillow, just cause it's awesome and i want to make one to match my Christmas quilt.
2. Borrow this book from my public library in hopes of finding something that will look good in a small size, to use for Sammy's pillow.
3. Join Don't Call Me Betsy's Lucky Stars BOM Club, mainly because these one's are so awesome, but also because i'm looking for stars.

So today i started here...

The fabrics i pulled are from my Christmas quilt stack... not very Christmasy, i know... to see the rest of the fabrics (which are definitely Christmasy, well wintery at least) click here.
I spent a bit of extra time labeling all the pieces with the proper fabric choices, so i wouldn't have a repeat of yesterday when i pieced the wrong fabric in the wrong place.

Then this happened...

The top right is the correct one, the other three i somehow managed to sew the pieces down on the wrong side of the seam allowance... but after a quick fix, i had these...

And after they all were stitched together...

It's not perfect, and i'm stiil working to get everything to line up, something isn't quite right with that bottom right quarter. But i like it! If it was for anyone but myself i'd probably take the quarters apart and try to line them up again but because i'm keeping it, it's fine! I'll be putting it into the stack that will eventually be my Starry Christmas Quilt!

And in other news. Remember the little quick and easy stroller quilt i was making for a little boy's first birthday gift... the one out of flannel receiving blankets? I totally forgot to post pics of the finish!

I went ahead and tried a wrap around binding instead of the traditional binding, it went okay, i think regular binding is easier, but that could be because i'm used to doing it.

It's backed in two Kaufman flannels that are way softer than the receiving blankets i made the front with! Seriously soft people. Like i want to make myself a whole cloth quilt with them and live in it forever!

We went to the birthday party last Sunday and the blanket was a hit!... with the adults at least. All the kids preferred the Radio Flyer!

My little Max testing the radio flyer before we have to give it away!

High fives for the weekend!
xo snips

Linking up with the party peeps over at crazy mom quilts, Finish it Up Fridays!
And what!! another PPP link up over at Quiet Play... 2 in one week, i'm awesome... spread the word.

Does anyone get my humor?, sometimes i wonder if people just think i'm conceded and/or possibly crazy...
... at least that's what the voices in my head are wondering... well two of them anyways, the rest haven't reached a consensus yet ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A bit of paper piecing and some Nursery Versery...

I've been doing a bit of paper piecing here and there and while i definitely enjoy it, i just don't seem to be able to find any spare time for it. I need to take the time more often, i find it quite relaxing...

You know, when i'm not cursing to myself for cutting a piece to small, or ripping stitches out because i used the wrong colour, or missed the mark, or stitched two pieces together wrong... ah good times! 
No really i do find it relaxing, i just can't put my finger on why... 

 Anyhoo, i've been making a pillow for Sam with no real plans for what it's going to look like in the end. I just wanted a rocket and his name, after that, who knows?! The rocket's been finished for a bit now and i just got around to putting together his name.

This isn't necessarily the placement, i just wanted them both in the shot

The letters are from Kristy of Quiet Play, though i did trim down the sides of the patterns, (the pattern will make square blocks when finished) i wanted the letters a bit closer together.
I tackled the S first and it came out a little wonky but hey i'm still new to this! I haven't trimed down the  side of the M yet, but i think i'll wait until i figure out where his name is going to go. 
I'm thinking some little paper pieced stars would finish this off nicely... thoughts?

In and amongst the paper piecing disaster that was my sewing table today i did finish up the yellow and grey blocks using the Itsy Bitsy Spider print from Heather Ross's Nursery Versery collection. My plan here was to make a mini quilt for the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge over at Ellison Lane. So working with what i think is my favorite block from Tula Pink's City Sampler book, block 80, i came up with this.

Wow! Have you seen a block as busy as this... the HR print just gets lost in the surrounding prints. And also not really suited to a mini. I have enough of the Nursery Versery to make seven more blocks, which could turn this into a baby quilt with some generous sashing...
 I think i should of perhaps put some solids into the mix. Which is what i'm thinking i'm going to do. Break out the seam ripper! I really must stop hacking into my fabrics with no plan... from now on Mr. Happy Rotary Cutter is on lock down until i prove i have a well executed plan of attack. Charts and graphs will be needed! (Things look more professional with charts and graphs right?) Or maybe even a quick sketch on one of my thousands of graph pads. Hey maybe it's time i learn how to use that fancy quilt design tool thingy on Threadbias! Are any of you on Threadbias? I'm new and don't know what i'm doing... If anyone wants to find me over there i'm snips! I also just realized that i seem to be rambling on quite a bit here. This would be the pint i had at the pub with my supper. Drat i had a beer!, i should be trying my FMQ! Gotta go!

High fives for everyone!! Because you're all Awesome!
xo snips

Linking up with Kristy for her Paper Piecing Party!
And with Kelly and her new linky party - Needle and Thread Thursday!
Pop over to both for some awesome sewing action!!

p.s. i won't be entering anything into the Mini Quilt Challenge... 
                                                         ...unless i can finish up Sammy's pillow, hmmm.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday - the scattered edition...

No real focus here today peeps... I've been doing a bit of everything. Spent some of my day trying to get the quilting finished up on the Sidewalk Blocks quilt.

My original plan for the quilting was quickly put to rest by my complete and utter lack of FMQ skills. I must at some point just make a quilt sandwich with cheapy fabrics and spend some time just practicing. I had planned on using this tutorial, looked easy enough... maybe for someone that doesn't have a lead foot! At one point, (i think it was after my second attempt) the Mr. came upstairs from his studio to find out what was making me laugh so hard. I wish i had taken a photo of the FMQ... it was hysterical!  I made three valiant attempts and called it quits! Straight lines it is! Well, straightish... 

I started with all the horizontal sashing and just went... no quilt guide, no lining the edge of my foot with the seams, hell, i didn't even use my walking foot! I just went! Now i'm going back and quilting between all the sashing.  I'm leaving the in between quilting a little more spread out than what i did within the sashing, for now anyways. I may decide to go back and make the whole thing more dense but i want to wait and see first.

I was hoping to be a little further along but my quilting was thwarted by a one year old that likes to grab.

I don't normally attempt any quilting while Max is up, usually i wait until nap time. But he was playing in his room and i thought if i could just get some of it done... Well he came out and kept grabbing the side of the quilt and i should have stopped then and put it away. He finally grabbed and pulled, resulting in the stitches you see above. I'm just glad that my foot listened to my brain when it said stop! Otherwise there would have been a whole lot more stitches to unpick!

So when i realized that quilting wasn't going to happen i pulled another project on the go...

The Super Tote Test! And couldn't stay focused on it long enough to actually make significant progress.. Front pocket quilted and straps sewn... blah, not feeling it today.

Moving right along, that's right, i pulled out another project to work on.

Some more paper piecing fun! Will hopefully have something to share tomorrow! I make no promises ;)

So, after a little of that i grabbed a stack that i had put together last week and started cutting.

Everything is cut now and the chain piecing has commenced. Fingers crossed that this one get's finished for Friday!

 One at a time or as many as possible? How do you like to work!
Linking up for Wip Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced! 

High fives for having a day with absolutely no focus!
xo snips


Friday, June 7, 2013

23 RTT!

So yeah, that's what i'm naming this quilt.

For those that don't get it, the fabric line is called 2wenty Thr3e, and the pattern used is called Road To Tennessee - 23 RTT, get it?! We can all agree now that i suck at naming quilts!

This was a commissioned project and i'm so glad i was able to make it! I desperately wanted this fabric when i saw it but couldn't think of any reason to justify the purchase. Thank you so much to the lovely lady who commissioned this! We shall refer to her as ACM, (i can't really say anymore, the quilt is a gift and it has yet to be given... the recipient of the gift could possibly be reading.)  I have loved working with this little stack of lovelies!

Is anyone surprised with the back of this one?... super simple, just how i like it! I used the Kodachrome pattern in pavement and floated in a strip of Admit One in pavement.

The quilting was kept to a minimum, a half inch outside each horizontal seam. I love the pattern it's made on the back and i think i'll do the same only vertically on the other Road to Tennessee quilt i have on the go. Maybe a little more quilted though.

The binding is Fox Trot in clementine, this print is perfect for bindings! And  it looks awesome with the grey!

The entire quilt finished up at 56x74.5 and was made with just the 23 line and Kona PFD for the little blocks and border. I also added two little labels to from the Multi Photo Booth print, one as a request from ACM and the other as a label for my name.

And i guess that's it! Now that the firm deadlines are done with, well i still have that little stroller quilt to just finish up for Sunday... but that's it, time to have some fun! Perhaps using some of this...

High fives for a quilt finish! Albeit, another that is not on my FAL list.
xo snips

click here for more awesomeness over at crazy mom quilts - finish it up friday!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Really? I haven't posted in a week?!

Hmm. I mean i have been busy, but really? A whole week, hmm. A little catch up first is in order then on to the WIP's, feel free to skip ahead, i won't be offended :)

Sammy has been practicing his name and was quite proud of this one, (as was i, i dashed it for him and he traced it...)

He also decided that being three was too old to have a guard rail on his bed...

So while i was stripping the bed for laundry, he (with my help) removed the rail. He also decided that he didn't need a night light anymore. So since Saturday he's slept in the dark without the guard rail. He did however fall out once, but really, his bed is a foot off the floor. I went in and he was wrapped in his quilt sitting on the floor. I helped him get back into bed and he fell right back to sleep. And there's been no more incidents! 

We spent our day Sunday having a picnic followed by an airshow. Which Sammy loved and Max slept through, (for the most part).

Max napped for the first portion, then they brought out the big guns...

Two words people, Sonic Boom! And it was all downhill! Max was not a happy camper. So, much to Sammy's dismay, we had to leave.

I also managed to squeeze in some time to finish this top up over the weekend!

And was hoping to get some time this week to put together a back for it using only stash fabrics. So far no luck. My time has been spent on this,

I'm on a deadline for this one so i needed to get a move on it. Ideally i would like a more dense quilting on it, but i'm kinda loving how it looks as is...

It's hard to see but if you click on the photo it will get a little bigger and you may get a better look.

The problem i need your help with lies in the border. Along the sides i've quilted around the white diamonds into the border, but i'm not sure how to deal with the top and bottom boarders.

Here's a closeup of the top. I've used my Hera marker to continue the white diamonds into the border but i just don't know what to do. All the quilting has been about a half inch around the seams in horizontal rows, so do i quilt a half inch above the top seam and into the border? The thread i'm using is an off white, and is a lot more noticeable on the white fabric than on the prints. Here's an amazing Photoshop i did showing how this would look.

Now, now people, don't be jealous of my amazeballs Photoshop skills, you too can be this good with a little practice!
The white line is my existing quilting and the black would be where the next row would go. Will it look strange with a random line of quilting up there? Then i though about stitching in the ditch and just going up into the border for the diamond tops.

Man!, my Photoshop skills just astound me!

But then would it look strange with the straight parts being more narrow than the rest of the quilting? Or should i just call it a day and leave the top and bottoms empty? What would you do?
Am i over thinking this too much? I probably am...

I think i may need some sleep :)
Linking up as always over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

High fives!
xo snips

And just cause they're so cute...