Friday, January 30, 2015

In a Flurry

Better late than never...  I finished up this cute little Christmas quilt.  After almost no snow this winter we suddenly got six inches of snow last weekend, the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot.  I cashed in some of my birthday chips to enlist my DH as a quilt stand.  Good thing, it hasn't stopped snowing since and now we'd be buried under a snow drift!

I started this quilt right before we left for Christmas vacation.  I was in desperate need of some mindless sewing after all the deadlines and fussiness of my holiday sewing.  I sported this collection of Kate Spain holiday charm packs in my stash and got sewing.

I didn't want to deal with anything complicated and wanted to use up as many charms as possible.  I just randomly grabbed pairs of charms, sewed them together and then stuck them on the wall.  Without getting too thinky about it I just kept sewing pairs together into bigger units until I had strips of 12 blocks which seemed like a good throw size.

To stretch things and give all the prints some breathing room I alternated with solid white squares on the odd rows.  I love the almost gingham effect it adds with minimal effort!

For the quilting I just went with straight lines a 1/4" from the seams.  It was a bit tedious but was helped along by the final season of The Closer.

And there's my first finished quilt of 2015...  just in time for Christmas:-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts and making my first check on the 2015 Finish Along with On the Windy Side.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 58" x 76"
Fabrics: Solstice, Flurry, and 12 Days of Christmas charm packs by Kate Spain, FSDS Mist.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Light Beige (2310).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

W.i.P Wednesday: The One With ALL the Snow!

Winter was off to such a great start with so little snow...  I didn't realize Mother Nature was just saving it up.  In the span of a week we've gone from bare ground to almost 4 FEET of snow:-(  The upside is I've had lots of time to spend in my studio...  I crank up the heat, queue up Netflix, and quilt, quilt, quilt:-)  I'm trying to use the time to finish up those lingering WiPs...  I lawn mowered away at Plus One and just need to get the binding on.

Of course I did have to sneak in something new...  a good friend of mine is pregnant so I wanted to make a baby quilt for her.  She's decorating her nursery in purple...  the one color I have almost nothing of in my stash!  I thought I was going to have a real excuse to go fabric shopping but then I found this fabulous Jennifer Paganelli print hidden in my massive Sis Boom collection:-)

I wanted to keep it simple so I went with a disappearing 9 patch.  Since I was was using yardage I could strip piece the blocks so they went together really quickly.  It's so weird to cut up a perfectly good block you've just made!

It's another snow day while we try to dig out so my plan is to baste this and get back to quilting:-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Quilting along with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Little General Pillow Cover

I added this pillow to my French General collection this week.  I was supposed to be finishing my Plus One quilt but got a bit distracted by the last of my Rouenneries scraps...

I'm really happy with my first attempt at orange peel quilting.  It's a fun design and definitely kicks it up a notch from just quilting the grid.

I wasn't willing to brave the cold to get a zipper for the closure so I just did an envelope back.  The flange to match the piping looks like a design decision but was really because I didn't have quite enough fabric:-)

With more cold and snow in the forecast I should have plenty of time to finish up Plus One also...  unless I think of something else to do.

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow cover is 21" x 21"
Fabrics: Rouenneries & Rouenneries Deux by French General.  Essex Yarn Dyed in Flax.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Ermine (2312).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: Just in Case

This year the Boston MQG is donating ConKerr Cancer pillowcases.  I still had a bin of novelty fabrics that haven't made it on to my shelves so this seemed like a great chance to destash.  I pulled out all these juvenile prints that I bought when my kids were little, paired them up with contrasting fabrics, and started cutting.  By the end of Wolf of Wall Street I had 18 pillowcases cut and ready to be sewn AND an empty bin:-)

Once these are cut they are so quick to sew together.  I love the burrito technique, it's almost like magic!  There are literally 3 seams to sew and in the end no raw edges.

I've got the stack sitting beside my machine where I can slip a few in between projects.  Two done so far...  we'll see how many I can get done before Saturday's meeting.  This is an on-going charity project so join the fun and bring your pillowcases to any monthly meeting.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Sewing along with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Finish Along: Tackling the Tower

Delving into my UFO pile is like an archaeological dig...  I can't believe how old some of these are!!!  I've gotten much better about finishing what I start but there are a few stragglers that have been hanging around for an embarrassingly long time.  Since prizes and camaraderie are always a good incentive for getting things done I'm joining the Finish Along at On the Windy Side.  If I say it I have to do it, right?  Here's the list for what I'd like to finish in Q1...

1. Kate Spain Christmas Quilt:  I started this right before I left on vacation as some mindless charm square sewing.  I could easily let this linger in the WiP Pile until next Christmas but I went on a basting kick this week so there's no reason not to get this quilted and finished now.

2. A Walk In the Park:  This is ready for quilting and I even know how I want to quilt it.  It's a bit larger than I usually quilt on my domestic machine so I've been waffling on doing this at home vs. the longarm.  Time to decide and be done.

3. Plus One:  Another one finished and just moldering in the To Be Quilted pile...

4. Toes In The Sand:  I like this quilt well enough but I don't feel mine has anything special that sets it apart from what anyone else did with this BOM.  I have 2 people willing to take it off my hands so I should really finish it up and send it on its way.

5. Enchanted:  I want to do fancy free motion in the solid negative spaces of this one.  It's really just a matter of picking out patterns to go in each section, FMQ always goes faster than I think it will.

6. Keeping It Together and 7. Urban Window:  There are just no excuses for these 2.  I just need to schedule time on the longarm and whip them out.  Neither one is going to take very long and the bindings are ready and waiting.

8. Frenchie:  This is soooo old...  I whipped this up for one of Audrey's friends who was moving away and then never got around to quilting it.  It's basted and ready to quilt as soon as I master these Fleur-de-lis for the borders.

9. Beatrix Potter:  I love this quilt (and I would never do something like this again) so there's no reason for it to have spent over a decade in the WiP pile waiting to be hand quilted.  Oh wait, I need some handwork... all that's stopping me from getting started is a trip to the fabric store for some thread;-)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
Join the fun at On the Windy Side!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: Quilting ADD

It's been really cold here in New England this week so I've been spending a lot of time in my studio where I can crank the heat up and pretend I'm still on vacation:-)  I went on a basting kick and basted 3 quilts so there should be a lot of quilting going on... but instead I got distracted:-)  It all started when I finally pieced together a back and basted this Plus One flimsy I made last winter.

It was sitting with the very last of my French General scraps and I started thinking how nice it would be to have a pillow to go with all the rest of my Rouenneries decor...  next thing I knew I'd pieced together this top.

It was really just an excuse to try my hand at Orange Peel quilting.  I did mine as a serpentine similar to this technique by I'm a Ginger Monkey but I found it easier to use my free motion foot rather than my walking foot.

Some of my circles are better than others;-)  Every time I think I'm in the groove I hit a seam and it throws me off.  Next time I'll try Oh, Fransson!'s approach and see if I get better results.

Now to make a back and add the binding and I'll be ready for tonight's Hand Sewing Happy Hour at Quilter's Way:-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Still sewing with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: Making Plans for 2015

It's hard to believe but today is the first day I've set foot in my studio since December 18th when we left to spend the holidays in Florida with my family.  It was a wonderful vacation and I deliberately left all my sewing behind which left me plenty of time and energy to dream of all the things I'm going to do in the New Year.  Today's first order of business was to come up with a plan for 2015...

Finish It:  So many of my quilts fail to make the transition from flimsy to finished quilt.  It's so easy to get stalled on piecing together a back, basting, and the challenge of figuring out how to quilt this...  I've got 2 tops that still need backs, 6 tops with backs ready to go, and 5 already basted with no excuse for not getting them quilted.  I doubt I'll finish them all and there are sure to be some new additions to the UFO pile but it should be easy enough to knock off most of these.

Cover It:  10 years ago I made slip covers for these fabulous white couches a friend gave us after Goodwill refused to take them.  They've held up well through the kids younger years but they're starting to show their age.  One of my top priorities for this year is to make a new set of slip covers to spruce up our family room.

Start My Next "Epic" Project:  I have to admit I've been a bit bereft since I finished hand quilting the Friendship Star quilt for my friend.  It was my go to project, always packed and ready to grab when I had nothing else to do...  I'm in love with all these Milliefiori quilts I've seen on Pinterest but I'm having trouble finding the book so I may just make another Hexy MF quilt, this time for me.

Destash:  Finally getting all my fabrics folded made more room and everything is neat and tidy.  I still have 4 full bins (solids, Halloween, Christmas and Novelty) that haven't made it on my shelves.  I also haven't figured out what to do with all my fat quarters.  My goal is to have everything shelved by the end of the year so look for some sales to make room.

Use It or Lose It:  I came up with this idea for using precuts last year but it quickly fell by the wayside.   I did manage to make a slight dent using 6 precut collections but there are still plenty left.  This year I'm going to aim for making a precut quilt quarterly.  I'm also making a new rule: no more buying precuts:-)

Get Published:  There's a certain amount of prestige to having a pattern published in a magazine.  I haven't decided how to accomplish this yet but since I do design a fair number of my own projects it seems like a logical next step.

I can't wait to get started!!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Kicking off the new year with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)