Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Disney Cruise Gifts

I was so happy to get my sewing room set up and I wish I've spent more time in it but I've had to split my focus the last few weeks. In addition to the triangle quilt I'm making I've been a busy crafter making gifts for our upcoming cruise on the Disney Magic.  We're participating in the fish extender gift exchange. For those who've never sailed on a Disney cruise - outside each stateroom is a brass fish clip that is a way for cruise personnel to leave notes and information. I don't know where it started but guests started extending their fish by hanging pockets so that little trinkets can be left inside. Think of it as a glorified secret santa exchange.

I decided to make handmade coasters for each of the families participating in the exchange. That's a lot of coasters! All I can say is thank goodness we don't have to board a plane in order to get to the ship because these things weigh a ton!

Next up, I need to make our fish extender for outside our stateroom.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mind the Tips, and Other Lessons Learned

I've learned quite a few things while participating in the Sassy Quilter's triangle quilt along. If you've ever been reluctant to sew with triangles, I highly recommend following along. Paula's tutorials and tips are very detailed oriented and easy to follow. Of course I still had some blunders along the way, but that's to be expected. So here's what I've learned so far:

1. Mind the Tips - the tips of the triangles, that is. Paula was very clear on why you snip off the tip of one end on each triangle but I still managed to incorrectly piece together at least 6 pairs of triangles (almost an entire row). If those blunted ends are not at the top and bottom, it's impossible to accurately attach the next triangles.

2. My camera phone has been invaluable in remembering the placement of each triangle. Because these rows are 18 triangles long, I have them laid out on the bed in our guest room. I then have to transfer half a row at a time to be sewn up. Also, when sewing these together it's easy to get them flipped around so it just made sense to photograph each row and refer back to it.

3. No matter how much I try, I just can't keep my cat Oliver from wanting to help me, as evidenced in the picture above.

4. Dealing with triangles (and pieces cut on the bias) aren't as scary as I thought, you just need to use some care and a lot of Best Press.

5. Even with an entire room dedicated to sewing, I still need to use the guest bedroom for overflow. Here's some of the completed rows laid out:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

If I Have to Cut Out Another Triangle...

... I think I'll go crazy. Oh wait, I'm already there. I got a late start on cutting because I realized that my large ruler didn't have the 60 degree marks on it. I ordered one online last Friday with free 2 day shipping but due to an unexpected delay while in transit it didn't arrive until yesterday. Needless to say, I've been doing a marathon cutting session today. And I still have a few more triangles to cut out because one of my fat quarters (the solid orange I added) was stained when I unfolded it. I'll have to return it tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Triangle Quilt Along

Last month I added a new goal to my list of projects for the year, a triangle quilt. Paula at the Sassy Quilter is hosting this quilt along and this is the first week's assignment - to select fabrics. Here's what I've chosen - a selection of fat quarters from Bonnie & Camille's Happy Go Lucky to go with a solid navy fabric. I'm probably going to add at least one other solid color, most likely the lime green color and possibly an orange but I just haven't made it to the fabric shop.

Ignore the wrinkled blue fabric  :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Digging Myself Out

Well, we moved into our new house 2 weeks ago and I've been digging myself out from all of the boxes and chaos ever since. Some people aren't bothered by boxes but not me. I'm way too OCD to live amidst boxes and random piles of "stuff." That sort of thing will keep me awake at night so I'd rather just tackle it so I can get on with my life. Of course my sewing room was the last one on my list of priorities, not for a lack of desire to sew but rather I knew I wouldn't be able to concentrate on sewing until all of the common areas of the house were comfortable. I spent Friday afternoon getting my sewing room functional while my son was napping. Here's a little peek:

I took this picture using a panorama app with my phone - my cat kept walking around so it looks like there's 2 cats in the room. The table on the right that is cut off in the picture is my cutting table. I think the room layout is going to work out well. I still need to hang some curtains (especially because of the afternoon sunlight), put up my design wall, and eventually paint but I'm not sure what color just yet. We still have a LOT of painting to do throughout the entire house but that will come in time. I can only handle painting in small doses. The master bedroom, my son's bedroom, and my husband's office was more than enough for me to do for a while.

I think I'm finally ready to start sewing. Now, if only my son wasn't on spring break for the next week, I'd actually have time!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Project Goals - February Recap

I can't believe March is here already. Lot's going on around here, and not much of it is quilting. This week is going to be very busy with moving to our new home and our little guy turning 4 years old! So amidst all the packing and trips between the houses I'll be baking a cake and cupcakes to celebrate.

Here's what I got done in February. Good progress on the tree skirt and I added another project.

  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. --> Been too busy and haven't played around with it in the last month.
  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!) --> Still need to find my last fabric.
  5. New Project: A Christmas tree skirt for next year, based on my earlier post here.  --> Pieced, basted, and have started quilting it.
  6. New Project: A quilted Advent Calendar for next Christmas --> Not started yet.
  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! --> Realized that I sewed 10 blocks backwards so I'm ripping those out and putting them back together. Have 7 more to correct and then I can start assembling my quilt top.
  8. 2014 Sewalong: log cabin mini blocks project --> finished!
  9. New Project: A fish extender for our upcoming cruise on the Disney Dream --> not started yet.
  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.
  11. New Project: I just fell in love with the triangle quilt that Paula from the Sassy Quilter made earlier this year and since she's hosting a Triangle QAL, I'm hoping to join if I can get settled quickly enough from our upcoming move.

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!
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