Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year In Review

11 quilts... 6 out of the UFO pile but 5 new ones added.

7 quilted pillow covers

3 bags

2 new tutorials

458  La Passacaglia pieces assembled.  I am loving this epic project from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.

13 box cushions with piping and zippers to slipcover my 2 couches and window seat.

4 fabulous days of sewing at the Boston MQG retreat

1 epic quilt fail.  Sometimes things go terribly awry!

5 fabulous and fun new techniques learned during my day with the adorable Vanessa Chistenson of V & Co.

1 inspirational afternoon with the amazing Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio

33 Spools of thread - no wonder I was constantly running to Quilter's Way for a thread emergency:-)

147 books read.  Top picks: The Kind Worth Killing, Ready Player One, The Martian.

I have to admit I'm kind of impressed with myself.  As usual, it feels like I didn't accomplish much but looking back I actually got a lot done especially when you consider I also worked 7 months this year.  I can't wait to see what's in store for 2016!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Quilt Fail

I couldn't resist trying to squeeze in one last holiday project...  I had plenty of scraps left from my various Kate Spain Christmas collections to make this Christmas Baubles mini quilt by Jen Daly Quilts for the Moda Bake Shop.  I'm not sure I agree with the Easy classification on this pattern.  It's not so much that there are any difficult techniques and Jen's instructions are clearly written and illustrated but sewing 88 1 1/8" squares to the corners to make 22 snowball blocks is not for the faint of heart.

Alidiza: Christmas Baubles Flimsy
Also, 1 1/8" inch sashing?  That's just annoying!  I would definitely suggest that you not cut the 1 1/2" strips that go across the top of each ornament grouping until after you've assembled them.  My units all ran a 1/4" longer than the designated length.  I could have eased them in to the smaller length but it seemed better to cut the sashing to fit since they were consistently off.

Alidiza: Christmas Baubles Quilting
If I did it again I would increase the size of the sashing between the ornaments to 1 1/4" and I would add a bit more white space around the tree.  I left off the pieced border and got right to quilting this.  I copied Jen and did straight lines to emphasize the tree shape.  On the bottom I did free form lines to look like snow drifts and I stole the idea to quilt snowflakes along the top from the awesome BettyCrockerAss.

Everything was going fine until I tossed it in my bag to tack the binding during the day's inevitable wait times.  Also in my bag was my almost empty travel mug of tea.  At some point the bag got tipped enough that my tea dregs leaked out onto my quilt.  There were some choice words used when I got home and saw what had happened.  I immediately turned to social media for help and got tons of sympathy and suggestions for removing tea stains.  I tried:

  • Soaking in Oxyclean
  • Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • Vinegar
  • Wisk
  • Blotting it with Color Catchers
  • Oxy MaxForce
  • Resolve
  • Zout
  • Lemon Juice and Salt
  • Spot Stop
  • Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda
Alidiza: Christmas Baubles Tea Stained
I'd say the lemon juice and salt seemed to be the most effective but it's hard to say for sure given everything I tried.  In the end while I was able to fade the stains they are too obvious for me to want to use this.  I'm also a bit concerned about the integrity of the fabric after all the chemical treatments.  I will say that these Moda dark reds (which I didn't prewash) didn't seem to bleed a bit.  So have I learned the lesson quilts and tea don't mix?  Probably not but maybe Santa will bring me a travel mug with a top that closes:-)

With Christmas rapidly approaching it's a good thing the rest of my holiday making has gone smoothly though I will admit to some last minute applique on our flight down last night:-)  Have you finished all your holiday projects?  

Monday, December 21, 2015

'Tis the Season

Alidiza: Kate Spain Christmas Swoon Pillow
Another better late than never post, when pulling out our holiday decorations I found this fun Kate Spain Christmas quilt I finished in January.  It's perfect for Christmas but really needed something to go with it.  I dug out the remaining scraps and decided a Swoon pillow would be the perfect accompaniment.

I love this block by the adorable Camille of Thimble Blossoms, it's complicated enough to look fabulous standalone yet is easy to assemble.  I did a little math to resize it to 16" and got to work.

Once I had it pieced together I decided I wanted to quilt it with 1/4" spaced lines.  I started with an X through the middle and then quilted each quarter.  It was a bit tedious but it goes faster the closer you get to the center and it was a great way to relax after all the holiday craziness.

Alidiza: Kate Spain Christmas Swoon Pillow
Once the quilting was finished I went with a simple envelope closure for the back and a bound edge.  In no time it was ready for service on our couch.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas:-)

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 20" x 20"
Fabrics: Solstice, Flurry scraps by Kate Spain, FSDS Mist.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Natural White (2021).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Not Too Late

How has a month passed since I last blogged?  This is such a busy time of year and between Thanksgiving and our annual holiday cookie decorating party it's been hard to find time to sew... and when I did find time to sew I didn't manage to find time to blog about it... but since I did make some really cute stuff I want to share and catch you up on what I've been making.

Alidiza: Linen & Liberty Hexie Open Wide Pouch
The Boston MQG has been keeping us busy the last few months.  In November we had a zipper bag swap.  I dug in to my precious stack of Liberty prints accumulated from the Westwood Acres bundle of the month club and paired it with Essex Linen (Nautical & Navy).  If you don't recognize it, this is the awesome Open Wide Zippered Pouch by Noodlehead.

Alidiza: Linen & Liberty Hexie Open Wide Pouch
My original plan was to copy the marvelous CheleNGeorge and make a Modern Hexie bag but since I waited until the last minute I had to scale back on my grandiose plan.  I did still manage to add the little hexie pull tab.  It's all in the details!

In December we had our annual holiday gathering hosted by the fabulous Parsley is the New Black.  For my Yankee Swap gift I jumped on the adult coloring book trend and made this art portfolio filled with colored pencils and the Tula Pink coloring book.

Alidiza: Washi Art Portfolio
Most of the fabrics are Cotton + Steel but I snuck in a bit of Lizzy House and Bonnie & Camille from my stash.  The pattern is loosely based on this awesome Art Journal Tutorial by LBG Studio.  I will definitely be making another one of these for myself:-)

Technically it's no longer Friday but there's just enough time to sneak this in for this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.  How are you coming with your holiday making?