Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School = Back to Sewing!

Today was the first day of school for my little guy. He started kindergarten so that means buses and a full day without me having to go back and forth to get him during lunchtime (which was last year's scenario). Despite his nerves of starting a new school, he was pretty excited once he saw all the other kids waiting at the bus stop.

Once he was on the bus, I was excited to get back into my sewing room to catch up on some projects. First up, was my August assignment of making flying geese for the Midnight Mystery Quilt Along.

I got my geese all sewn (still need to clip the dog ears and trim them down to size) while watching the current season of Orange is the New Black,  and even went out to lunch with my husband. Overall, it was a wonderful day. And judging by the excitement of my son (and the blur of him running to greet me), I think he had a good day too.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Friday Finish

Despite all the things on my plate right now, I managed to finish up the borders on my niece's quilt top and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

I'm feeling really good about how well August is going so far. Just a few more smaller projects to finish up and maybe I can get to quilting this soon.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August Stashbee - Cathedral Windows

Ever since I started quilting 3 years ago, I always wanted to try making a cathedral window block. This was my lucky month since that was what we were asked to make. I was so excited and pleased with how deceptively simple they are to make, that I made 2.

Plus, check out this great tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on a different way to make them. If you go to the end (around 11:45) you'll see a gorgeous quilt made with 2.5" squares. I think this is the perfect way to use up scraps making it a bit bigger with 3 or 3.5" squares. And the bonus - it's a quilt as you go project!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August Is Heating Up

Yes, I live in Central Florida, so it's always hot but that's not what I mean.  August is a jam-packed month on our calendar. On the home front, we have a new car purchase, an upcoming Disney cruise, the start of kindergarten with all the back-to-school activities like supply shopping and meet-the-teacher events, and we have a trip planned to Holiday World in Santa Clause, Indiana.

On the sewing front, there's lots on my plate as well. I'm participating in the Meadow Mist Designs Midnight Mystery Quitl Along, and I have yet to even cut out my fabric which was our July task. I also have my August StashBee block that I need to tackle, something completely new to me and on my bucket list - a cathedral window! I can't wait to get started on that. I'm also excited to announce that I'll be participating in the 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop that will be kicking off on August 31st. I'll be designing a block using this gorgeous palette of Fabri-Quilt prairie cloth cotton solids:

I already have 2 blocks designed but need to test them out on practice fabrics first, and then write up the corresponding tutorials.

As you know, I've been working on my niece's quilt. I made a bit of progress in getting the top and bottom borders figured out but I'm still trying to work out the side borders.

Given all the other things on my plate, and knowing that I still have my little one at home until August 24th, this project is going to have to be put on the back burner so I can focus on the above mentioned projects that all have August deadlines.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Good Concepts & Poor Math Skills Don't Mix

{Alternate Post Title: Why I'll Never Be A Quilt Designer}

So I've been working on making my oldest niece a quilt. She'll be 15 in less than a week but I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. Her favorite color is pink and a while back I made an impulse buy of a layer cake by Stella called Flirt. I showed her a photo of the fabric and she loved it and we decided to pair it with solid gray. Coming up with a pattern proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. Every layer cake friendly pattern I found required more 10-inch squares than I had. This layer cake only comes with 18 squares. So I played around in EQ7 to figure out a layout that I liked and decided upon this:

After I constructed all of the blocks and decided on this layout I realized that I constructed too many with the gray corner in the wrong place. That was error #1. To correct it, I purchased 2 different fat quarters that I thought would coordinate well and made a few more blocks. But it was barely big enough for a baby blanket and I wanted it to be bigger. I had a slew of leftover half square triangles so I tried to figure out how I could incorporate those into the design.

Enter the border idea:

I decided to add a solid border and then a houndstooth border with all of the HSTs, with a solid square of gray in each of the corners. Of course, if I could actually do math, I would have realized that I made my gray border too small for that idea to work. So I found yet another fabric from my stash and made a few more HSTs so that they would go all the way around the border like this:

Enter my next math error - the gray border is too big for this new idea to work because I'm just a bit to short at the other end:


I've only pieced together one side of the houndstooth border. I'm going to piece together the opposite side with the exact same number of squares as well as a 3rd side to determine how many squares I'll need to connect both of the sides. I have a feeling I will end up trimming down the gray border to make all those blocks to work.

But there you have it in a nutshell - if I could do math, I might not be in this predicament. And it's also why you won't see me designing a full quilt with complicated borders.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Midnight Mystery Quilt Along

A year and a half ago, I decided to make a quilt for our master bedroom using a selection of 4 batik fabrics. I originally decided to go with a variation of the 2014 Star Light Star Bright quilt along hosted by Melissa from Happy Quilting (I opted for variation 4 in case you were curious). I drew up the pattern in EQ7, purchased fabrics, and it sat in a drawer and was never touched. I'm not sure what held me back but now that so much time has passed, I've decided to use these fabrics for the Midnight Mystery quilt along that Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is hosting.

As much as I wanted to keep the mystery alive, I really needed to know what I would be working with since I would be enlarging it to a queen size quilt. Cheryl was very accommodating in giving me a sneak peek at the finished project and I think it's going to be perfect. The fact that it required a minimum of 4 fabrics, all of which I had, and with enough yardage to make it work, it just feels right.

Here are my fabrics.

Our bedroom walls are currently a dark blue and we have dark brown hardwood floors with white curtains. I think these will be perfect. July's task is cutting out fabric. I'm a bit behind but I'm sure I can catch up.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Headbands, Headbands, Everywhere!

While I've not been able to do a lot of big sewing, I've been able to do a lot of little sewing in the way of headbands.  When I first saw this tutorial, I knew immediately that I wanted to make some. They use minimal amounts of fabric, are reversible, and are very comfortable!

I've also made one with reds and blacks, and a child sized one in purple and pink, but I forgot to photograph those before I gave them as gifts. The daisy print and the pink floral ones are both gifts. It should be no surprise that I've used my favorite Michael Miller Dimdots fabric in turqoise.

Yes, I'm honestly posting a close-up photo of me with no makeup (egad!)

But I have to say, that my favorite headband so far is this teal and gray paisley type print. I just love it.


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