In Progress

WIP Wednesday – Quilting to take the edge off!

I have had an uppy-downy year at work.  It has felt like the universe being aribitrarily jerky and rude “through no fault of my own” at times. I am trying to own my fate now. Wipe away my tears, dust off my knees, and fight back against the sometimes overwhelming feeling of sadness and lack of self confidence.  Starting over can be very hard. But I am making progress.

Quilty progress is a whole other beast. Sewing is what I want to be doing with all my time – and often gives me great satisfaction when I can’t find it at work. I can’t spend all my time sewing, life doesn’t work that way. So when I do find time to sew, I want to make progress. The list of things I want to sew is waay waay bigger than my completed projects. So I am LASER focusing on wrapping up some WIPs / committments so that I can get to the other things. With mixed success. I still am starting new projects. Sigh. But those new projects are finally being outpaced by my completions. And Q3 has been awesome for completing projects. Here is the to-do list and the progress I made:

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Irish Chain Interrupted sent off for quilting, then bound – Still waiting to have enough funds to do this, may just need to quilt it myself.
Pirate Economy Block baby quilt (for Project Linus) – Done!
Space Age Tiny Squares twin baby quilts – Done! and Done!
Pastel Rainbow baby quilt – Done!

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Teal Star baby quilt
Fronhoffer Lines wall hanging – Done!
Blue Bird Park baby quilt (for Project Linus) – Done!

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Radiant Splendor baby quilt (for Project Linus)

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Aqua & Red Carpenter’s Star baby quilt (for Project Linus)

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Aqua & Red Sampler baby quilt (for Project Linus)
Warm Colors Carpenter’s Star baby quilt (for Project Linus) – Done

Alexandra’s quilt – no picture currently available – but it is only 3 blocks right now, so not that impressive – just hoping I can find those 3 blocks!

In addition to working on my WIPs, I inadvertently added some new projects. I swear, it was inadvertent. So now some are new WIPs, and some of them are completed.
Kitchen Curtains – Done!
Minecraft Diamond Sword quilt – Done!
Blue Pixelated baby quilt (for Project Linus) – Done!
Liberty Chevron pillow cover – Done!
Bright Soccer Balls baby gift (Uh, too unattractive to photograph right now – definitely an “in-progress” work)

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One completed Hexagon placemat – 6 to go… These are made using the Jaybird Quilts rulers. Much more fun and easy than I thought. About this time last year I made the Science Fair quilt. Which was lovely but way beyond my abilities at the time. But after working on these for placemats, I could even see making a whole quilt out of fancy hexagons again.

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Heather Bailey Arrow Tails quilt – Isn’t that fabric GORGEOUS???
Noodlehead 241 Tote – Done!

To “score” myself… I went from 13 WIPs to 8 WIPs. That isn’t the worse. Even better is the number of completed projects – 12 completed projects – including two of my most dreaded WIPs (Blue Bird Park and Pirate Economy Block for Project Linus). I still can’t believe those are completed. And I am *almost* caught up on my charity quilt making – 8 done, 4 to go for the year. I have made a month-by-month to-do list. And am really, really, really going to try to not start on any new projects. Really truly.

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Not About Quilting or Sewing

An administrative blog in which I brag about how “honest” and “vulnerable” I am. With a selfie. UNFOLLOW!

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A bit of administrative housekeeping. ‘Cause I know that is what you read blogs for!

Two blogs will become one – this one. This blog will be mostly about quilting, because that is mostly what I am about. But will also be about all of my petit adventures – my home, my rants, my cooking, my stepmoming, my desire to passively-aggressively tell the world to stop giving me diet tips. Those loyal readers, those who love me enough to be interested in it all and read one or both blogs – first, THANK YOU – I love thinking of you when I write these shabbily-edited diatribes. Second, there is only one blog right now – just this one. If you want to read everything except the quilting stuff, set your rss feeder to the category “not about quilting or sewing”. Although I promise to make the quilting blog entries a little less cutesy and sterile.

Here is the caveat (and I know this sounds like I am climbing up my own a-hole) if you know me, you know I am too honest about myself, too vulnerable. Well, I like that about myself. And the only hope of any of this writing being any good at all means I need to write honestly. If you love that about me, please read and follow and comment. If you know me in “real life” and are reading this blog to see me be weak or too judge, please don’t. I can’t stop you, but please don’t. If you don’t know me personally and want to see me be weak or to judge me, Welcome! (Ok enough of that shit. Feel free to roll your eyes at me A LOT because I basically just wrote “Don’t be hatin’cause I am honest, ya’ll”)

And now commenting is free and open. For years I was scared someone would tell me I was rubbish publicly in one of the comments. But that has never happened, and doubt it will.

Fabric, Ta Da Done

Liberty Chevron Pillow

Along with the awesome mini quilt I received in the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap, I received some beautiful Liberty fabric.  I love it so much, and immediately wanted to make something out of it.  I got 75% of the piecing done, realized I was ONE HST short, and lost steam.  And it sat in my to-do pile since then.  It was on my August WIP list, so I powered through the last day in August.  Not really enjoying the process, but wanting to have another checkmark.

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I might not have loved the process, but I LOVE the result.  This is a sweet little pillow (14″ square), and I love, love, love the Liberty chevrons.

I quilted it in-the-ditch along the chevron lines. Simple.  I like simple quilting.

And I did a simple pillowcase back, in a salmon broadcloth from JoAnn.  I was going to use something more luxurious, but I had (and still have) so much of this fabric.  And it is the perfect salmon color to coordinate with the bright florals.  So I made piece with having some of my most valuable fabrics (Liberty prints) in the same project as some of my most inexpensive fabric (JoAnn broadcloth).

It now sits on my sewing chair – a testimony to doneness!  🙂  Woot.

Color Crush, Fabric, Ta Da Done

241 Tote: Love and Hate and Purple

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Oh, 241 tote – you temptress.  When I first saw the swoon block, a drum beat started in my head that I *had* to make it.  The same drum beat started when I first saw a picture of the 241 tote – not so much that I wanted to make it, but I wanted to own it.  I knew that my bag making skills would be total crap.  So I admired 241s from afar.  Beautiful, but beyond my brief.

And then Rita.  Oh, Rita.  Her photographs, her designs, her choice of fabric.  I would definitely jump off a bridge if Rita told me to.  She made some 241 totes and I swooned.  And so I bought the pattern, secured a time when my mom could help me, and started praying to the bag gods (Hermes?).

When it came to the fabric I wanted to use, that was a whole new challenge.  My personal home decorating quilt style is bright, bold.  If I was single, my house would be decorated in the tones of unicorn vomit and all the quilts I would make would be PINK! PINK! PINK!  I am allowed full crazy reign over our bedroom, and limited crazy reign over in almost every other room. There is a lot of color in our house.

My personal wardrobe is completely different.  In a style forged in the fire of obesity, unkind comments, personal lack of confidence, whacking hormones, and hating discomfort, I have a wardrobe that is almost solely dark colors and soft, thin fabrics.  In over 30+ years of dressing rooms and fashion misery, I know what I like.  It may not be what other people may like, and they most likely wish for me an injection of color and skirts.  But those people don’t have to live in my brain, and my skin, and my clothes.  I do.  I know what makes me happy and I know what makes me uncomfortable.

And so the answer is this dark storm.

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Grey, black, purple, and black. And grey. And purple.

So when I started thinking about my 241 tote, I really wanted to use the navy arrows fabric from Cotton and Steel.  But then I wouldn’t have anything to carry it with.  And so I decided on purple and grey.  It definitely is on the bold side of my personal style.  I think I love it – but I also think it may be too cutesy.

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Definitely a weekend bag.  Grrr… not sure.  Here are some notes:

1. I sort of ignored the fabric suggestions.  I didn’t have easy access to pretty canvas or home dec fabric – so used linen and quilting cotton for everything.  I think it will be ok.

2. I scoured Pinterest to find 241 totes that spoke to me and found this one

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I followed the tutorial roughly to create the braid pattern and added fusible fleece and did some in-the-ditch quilting.  Fusible fleece helped stabilize the panel, but it is so yucky feeling.  But not a problem now that it is on the inside of the bag.

3. I made pockets!  And made as much scrappy as I could.

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4. Purple is a funny color – it can be brown, pink, grey, blue.  I decided to just go for it and use all the purples.  And most of the greys.  I think it works.  And looks awesome with my custom chucks and charm bracelet.

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5. This was a giant challenge for me.  Having very limited experience making anything but quilts, I learned a lot.  And had help from my mom.  There are some flaws, but all that I can live with.  I sewed in the zipper three separate times before I knew I could live with it.  My lifesavers on this project:  glue basting and a walking foot.  And letting go of the need to be perfect and have everything come easily to me.  hashtag life lesson.

Thank you for reading my 241 reveal / rant!  I still have an itch to make one with the cotton + steel arrows.  Maybe I’ll make it and go crazy and buy a couple dark blue t-shirts.  Crazy, I know.

Happy weekend…

Project Linus, Ta Da Done

Blue Pixelated Baby Quilt

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This started out as a gift, and ended up as a Project Linus quilt.  The reverse of what usually happens.  This is a free pattern from the KC Project Linus group.  They have so many awesome, free, easy-to-make patterns.  I loved working in all blues, and the design is easy and fun – biq squares trailing up to small squares.  I think it would be fun to redesign this one to use precuts… I think it would be pretty easy.

To keep things slightly interesting, I used bright orange binding.

And I quilted this one in a 2.5″ grid.  Simple and effective, and I think works well with the design.

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I used a print I had a lot of for a very long time for the backing.  Not sure what the original intent was for this fabric, but I am happy, happy, happy to be able to use a lot of it up.  That is the BEST feeling!

Commissions, Ta Da Done

Minecraft Diamond Sword Quilt

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This was a special request of a friend at work for her daughter who loves Minecraft.  Definitely not a quilt I was looking forward to, all solids is not really my thing, and these colors are not girly.  Plus I had to design the pattern, being somewhat difficult since I have never played minecraft.  It ended up being a couple long weekends, and ended up being more fun than I expected.  This was the sort of quilt that you just start and try to move through as quickly as possible because you want to make it for the person who will get it.  A labor of love for the recipient, rather than the quilt.

Each pixel is a 3×3 square.  But I made some strips to reduce the number of squares.  So there are some 3×6 and 3×9 rectangles in there.  I became acquainted with my hera marker and did a 3×3 quilted grid.  I am happy with this quilt, and also happy that I don’t have to make another.  But the proof is in the pudding of this adorable picture of my friend’s daughter loving her quilt.  So worth it.

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I still have my notes for this quilt, so if anybody wants a rough pattern, let me know and I can write it up pretty quickly.

—-Update 10/6/2014—–

This is the cutting list and layout diagram.  The quilt finishes at 54″ square.  The cutting dimensions are unfinished, assuming a 1/4″ seam throughout.

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Not Quilting, Ta Da Done

Patchwork Kitchen Curtains – Vintage-y Goodness!

I live in an old house.  Old houses can be great if you love character.  I do love character.  Old houses can be not so great if you aren’t able to spend a lot of money on repairs.  I don’t have a lot of money to spend on repairs.  DH has made some great progress on fixing up this old wreck we call home.  Organizing or completing several plumbing and electrical projects that have made the house a lot more liveable.  One of the last few essential projects is fixing a portion of our kitchen ceiling.  We have opted to fix this ourselves, and DH has been a champ.  Being an old house, nothing is easy.  But I am close to having a kitchen without a section of ceiling that I had to conceal with doo-da crap on top of our cabinets.  I don’t have a budget to redecorate, and not sure I would want to.  I love the collected cottage-y eclectic look of our kitchen.  But I now can do some editing now that the bones of the kitchen will be better.

imageSo I decided to make some new curtains. And I love love love love love love love.  DH hung them for me as a surprise for me when I got home from work.

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Like most of my house, the kitchen is a cacophony of color, so I used a cacophony of color in the curtains.  I got a charm pack (Everything But the Kitchen Sink – hahaha) and layer cake (American Jane) from the reproduction Missouri Star Quilt Co store.  (I am *so* lucky to have this quilting store empire only an hourish away from my house.)  I combined these with a few scraps and stash that I had.  I love all of the prints in these curtains – very, very happy-making.

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I had lots and lots of this little rose fabric – more English country cottage than 30s reproduction fabric, but I think it plays well.  I bound the bottom with this adorable Moda Essential Dots – which I think gives the curtains some visual and actual heft.

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I couldn’t find the types of rings I wanted, so I sewed ribbon loops into the buttonholes at the top.  (Me and my buttonhole foot now are BFFs).

I used the valances that my mom helped me make for my stepdaughter’s room as inspiration.  I am very, very proud of myself for figuring out the right size and how to construct these.  It is slow, but I can see my skills improving.  If I had it to do all over again, I would make sure I could find the rings I wanted before I made the buttonholes, and I would have used a heavier interfacing on the patchwork fronts (you will be able to see daylight through these valances), but overall I am very happy.