Friday, March 23, 2018

Go Sew

I always seem to lose my sewjo in the beginning of the year but the one thing that never fails to get it back is the annual BostonMQG retreat.  I am continually inspired by this insanely creative group of women!

My first priority was to make the Dresden Plate centers for the quilt I started on retreat in 2015.  Sewing white on white circles is definitely an activity best performed while fresh and sober.  Before dinner I was able to get all of these made and the binding for this quilt done.  I've finished hand quilting around the plates so I can almost see the finish line for this one.

Poor planning on my part, I usually like to bring a mix of different things to work on but this was the year of the HST.  3 different projects made using 3 different techniques.  I'm using the rest of these china blue fabrics and white linen to make broken dishes blocks.  This 8 at a time method for making HSTs is perfect for these blocks.

Saturday under threat of being shunned I made an ocean waves block for our latest charity quilt.  I am now addicted to Eva Paige's genius technique for accordion sewn scrappy HSTs.  Seriously, this will change your life!!!

With my social status in the guild ensured I moved onto another project...  the guild HST challenge.  I finally broke into my long hoarded stack of Tana Lawns I've amassed with the help of Westwood Acres Liberty Club.  Paired with a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton this top is as light as a feather.

Before retreat was done I was able to finish this Spoolish flimsy.  Now to get it basted and quilted.

Sometime's the hardest part of getting started is just deciding what to do but with so many projects almost at the finish line I'm excited to get back to my studio and finish these up.

Off to sew with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hopping in to Spring

I've really been struggling this year to find my sewing mojo.  This seems to be a recurring problem so I took my own advice and cleaned up my studio, hung out with my quilt peeps and checked the calendar.  In the process I found a stack of luscious Liberty fabrics, realized Easter is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and drooled over Rebecca's amazing Down the Rabbit Hole (which is even more amazing in person!!!) until inspiration struck.

This is really just a rip-off of my Reindeer pillow.  I found a bunny coloring page I liked on Google and printed it on a wash-away applique sheet which I then fused to the wrong side of my liberty fabric.

I used Aurifil 12wt for my top thread and 50wt in the bobbin to buttonhole stitch around the bunny.  I love the bold look of the heavier weight thread and it almost looks hand sewn...  as if my stitches would ever be so perfect;-)

I also used the Aurifil 12wt to make a little pom pom tail.  I used an extra long piece to tie the center and then just punched that through my pillow and knotted it on the back to hold the pom pom in place.  It's certainly not as fluffy as a wool one would be since the cotton doesn't bloom but it matched perfectly and works for me.

Luckily I finished this up before Quinn buried us in snow and knocked out our power.  Nothing fires up your Sewjo like NOT being able to sew.  Dreaming of spring with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 18" x 18"
Fabrics: Liberty of London from stash.  ChambrayYarn Dyed Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman.
Thread: Aurifil in Peachy Pink (2435) 12wt for top thread, 50wt in bobbin.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Olympic Sewing

There hasn't been much sewing going on here lately but that all changed the minute the opening ceremonies launched.  I am a total Olympic junkie but of course I can just sit and watch TV without something to work on.  I kicked things off with this Dresden Plate quilt.

The great thing about big stitch quilting is it goes so fast!  By the time Sean White was cruising down the half pipe to his 3rd gold medal I was done.  The next step is to add the centers.  I plan to use my favorite fusible interface method to make the circles and then machine quilt them on to the quilt.

With that done I switched back to my La Passacaglia...  let's hear it for those rings:-) 

Do you have a handwork project going for the Olympics?

Cheering along with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Clean Start

I'm off to a slow start this year but my machine is back from it's spa visit to Daley by the Yard and I've cleaned up my studio so now I'm ready to get sewing...

I'm pretty excited to say I knocked 5 quilts out of the UFO pile last year but these 5 are still lingering there waiting to be quilted and I added my City Sampler quilt to that pile.

Top of my list is to finish my City Sampler from last year's #100Days100Blocks challenge.  I finished the top last January, basted it the end of March and have left it sit ever since...

I am making progress on Blue Plate Special, I've quilted down all the Dresden plates but I need to add the centers and finish hand quilting around about half the plates.  Like all my hand quilting projects this one will get dragged all over the place this year but with cheer & gymnastics seasons in full swing I should have plenty of time handwork time.

In the WIP pile I'm *this* close to be being done with this Scrappy Trip Around the world flimsy I was making for my parents 50th wedding anniversary last September...  maybe I'll hold it until they get to 51 just to be sure;-)

And I'm still chipping away at my La Passacaglia.  Only 13 more rosettes to complete and about half of them are in progress.  I've really been stuck on my last large rosette and it's making it difficult to complete the bottom quadrant.  I was recently reminded that done is better than perfect so I've decided to go with my original plan and unlock even more of my precious Neptune from the vault to complete it.  My advice if you're just starting on this is to make the 4 large rosettes first and then fill in around them.

I don't have a lot of ideas yet for new projects.  I will be making a necktie memory quilt for one of my dearest friends.  This week's snow day was perfect for getting started on deconstruction.

I've also committed myself to entering at least 1 quilt for Quiltcon this year.  I haven't entered anything since Follow Me wasn't selected but I feel this is a push I need to grow as an artist.  Beyond that I just want to make pretty things and try to put a dent in my stash.  What have you got planned for 2018?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

That's a Wrap

2017 by the numbers...

11 Quilts

11 Pillows

1st pair of handmade shoes

7th BostonMQG Retreat

Yards of bias tape with Latifah Saafir

Instagram Best 9

150 Books Read: Top Picks - Little Fires Everywhere and Scythe.  It wasn't a great year for books but if you haven't read 2015 pick Ready Player One do it now before the movie comes out in March.

It's been a busy year.  I always feel like I haven't accomplished much but looking back I've done pretty well.  I can't wait to see what 2018 brings!  Wishing you all the best for the new year!!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Glam Clam

One last finish to share before the end of the year... after my sewing drought I came back with a vengeance thanks to all to my amazing quilty friends:-)  It started when they convinced me to join them at Latifah Saafir's workshop for the BostonMQG.

I was hoping for her Glam Clam Workshop but instead we ran her Bias Tape Applique class.  In getting ready for it I decided I should at least try using her Clammy ruler before I went so I could ask her any questions that came up.  Of course I immediately dug into my Mendocino stash.

I needn't have worried, it went together as easily as advertised and in no time I had a pillow cover pieced together.

For the quilting I just echoed along the tops of the clams - simplicity at it's finest!  I bought the 12" Clammy ruler so it's just a matter of time before I have a quilt as well.

And now I can add it to my collection.  Wrapping things up with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 20" x 20"
Pattern: Glam Clam by Latifah Saafir
Fabrics: Mendocino by Heather Ross.  Timeless Treasures Crosshatch
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Light Turquoise (2805).

Friday, December 22, 2017

'Tis the Season to Make

Now that I've delivered all my holiday makes I can share them here...

For the BostonMQG Yankee Swap I took a tip from Bolt To Beauty and made a Cotton + Steel Pixie Basket to hold an Aurifil thread pack. As billed this is a quick and easy pattern but anything this basket is TINY and thus fiddly to make.  I think if I was going to make a lot of these I'd try to make the accent piece as a facing so I don't have to birth it.

But since I was on a roll I made another one, this time slightly taller, for our hostess with the mostest, Rebecca.  This is perfect for holding cocktail napkins and I love this retro Holiday Party print by Michael Miller!

I also exchanged gifts with my coworkers at the library.  For the fashionista of the bunch I made this easy infinity scarf with the Amy Sinibaldi's Paperie library print, Stamped and some voile from my stash.  If you've never made one before Online Fabric Store has a great video.

For my fellow sewist I dipped into my hoard of Jennifer Paganelli Flower Power to make this amazing Embroidery Scissor Wrist Cuff by Feeling Stitchy. I added a piece of template plastic between the batting and the back of the pocket to keep from stabbing myself when I stick a needle in it.
I'll definitely be making another one of these for me!

And you can never go wrong with a Noodlehead Gathered Clutch!  I dipped into my precious stash of Far, Far, Away to make this one and stuffed it with some special treats.

With these done I dropped off my machine for it's annual spa treatment but I've got plenty of La Passacaglia pieces prepped to keep me busy.  Have you finished your holiday making?

Ready for some holiday cheer with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.