31 August 2012

Zip it!

Just a quick post on the completed secret swap item.  The zipper install was well... much ado about nothing.  I referenced a few zippered pouch tutorials and things went off without a hitch.  I think I mainly used this tutorial at Swim, Bike, Quilt! and this tutorial at Skip to My Lou.  And of course, this tutorial from Diary of a Flutter.Kat.

My partner expressed a fondness for Flea Market Fancy, bright colors, linen and pouches.  I hope I'm not too far off the mark:

It's roughly 12" square- large enough to hold an embroidery hoop and some hand-stitching necessities.

Since this first zip pouch was a cakewalk, I'm feeling the need to make one for myself.  Plus, I've got some essex linen and a quite a few HST's leftover from this project... 

29 August 2012

WIP-ing right along

As the week creeps towards the Labor Day holiday (and therefore the end of the month), my thoughts turn to monthly bee and swap commitments.  I've worked on a few ahead of time, but there are a couple of (really) tardy items.  Yep- there will still be that mad scramble to finish a few things, but at least I can count them all on one hand this time!

I had started my Love Circle Swap item a little over a week ago, but I needed to purchase more Essex linen to keep things moving along.  My partner wanted bright colors and listed stars among her likes.  I started with the Reverse Rainbow Star tutorial from Kat of Diary of a Flutter.Kat, made a few minor adjustments (all I did was make use of hourglass blocks and omit a row and a column, really) and voila:

All that's left is sewing everything above into a pouch.  My unnatural fear of installing zippers has had me poring over zippered pouch tutorials the past couple of days.  Hopefully, I've armed myself with enough knowledge to tackle the zipper without making a mess of things. 

In my previous post, I set a rather lofty goal of piecing eight A-Z Quilt-Along blocks at Sew Day over the weekend.  Even with pre-cutting the fabric, I only got through four in four hours:  Irish Chain, Jack in the Box, Memory and Louisiana. 

I skipped right over "K"- hadn't even picked a block, so now a little backtracking is required.  In fact, that's my strategy for being current for the next guild meeting.  I'll piece the "W" and "X" blocks and go backwards from there. 

Finally, I pieced blocks #3 and 4 for the Vintage Holiday Quilt-Along.  These blocks are pleasantly easy to make.   

Now that Pure Elements in Mystic Grey is finally in my hands, Martina's Poetica quilt will be added back into the ever-growing WIP rotation.  There may even be a progress report on it next Wednesday!

Linking up to W.I.P Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


24 August 2012

Weekend Sewing

The first week of school has positively flown by!  Other than the Urgent Care visit, it's been a quiet week.  I was sorely tempted to do lots of sewing during down time, but housekeeping duties called.

Included in this was a little stash organization (again).  I realize that, though my stash is nowhere near as bountiful as many other quilters, there are still some things lurking in my stash that I probably will never use.  It's amazing how much my tastes have changed in the past year. 

Housekeeping aside, I made a bit of progress on my Love Circle swap project.

Progress came to a screeching halt when I miscalculated and cut the side strips the wrong length.  The Essex linen was leftover from a previous project, and the mistake necessitates a fabric-buying trip (!).

I also jumped right into the Vintage Holiday Quilt Along.  Blocks #1 and #2 are finished:

Block #2 was originally made with Kona Clover and Medium Gray parallelograms.  It felt dull, so I remade the block with Kona Snow and Spruce (I think).  Much better!

In other sewing news, I'm reviving my A-Z Quilt-Along project.  I left off several months ago after finishing my H block, and the rest of the group have zipped along to V.  I am fourteen blocks behind!  Make that sixteen blocks- W and X are due at the next BA Modern quilt guild meeting.  My plan is to spend the rest of the afternoon/evening prepping fabric for blocks I-P.  I hope to piece eight of the sixteen blocks at the guild's Sew Day tomorrow and, time permitting, make some headway on my swap project.

Have a great weekend!

22 August 2012

Of sandcastles and pencil erasers

The end of summer snuck up on this unwitting household.  Too late to plan a weekend getaway before the beginning of the school year, we took the kids for a day of sun and fun at Seacliff Beach.  Note to self:  Next time, find a spot upwind of the concrete ship and it's many fine-feathered inhabitants.

With the "big kids" back in school this week, Kieran and I had some quality time together.  I also planned to spend some quality time with my Singer 301 while Kieran napped.  I was foiled yesterday, as Kieran decided to stick a pencil eraser in his right nostril.  My husband and I tried to dislodge the thing, working under the assumption that it was a wadded up piece of paper.  We finally took him to Urgent Care, where we were surprised to see said eraser.

I managed to piece this little stack of 2.5" hourglass blocks before the eraser-in-nostril incident.  They're part of a secret swap project for the Love Circle at do. Good Stitches.   

I also did a bit of stitching on the binding of a charity quilt, but stopped when I had trouble focusing my eyes on the needle tip.  A trip to the optometrist confirmed my suspicions: my aging eyes are going to need bifocals soon.  For now, I can get away with a pair of reading glasses while wearing my contact lenses.

Before I go, look at this stack of goodness arrived on my doorstep yesterday!

Now that the almost-3-year-old knows not to stick foreign objects up his nose, I hope to cut into these lovelies today for the Vintage Holiday Quilt-Along hosted by Heidi at Fabric Mutt.  I took my color scheme from Shiny Brites.  I chose Dear Stella Linework in grey for the sashing- going for a silvery tinsel effect.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

15 August 2012

W.I.P. It Good

Over the weekend my husband and I celebrated our 9-year anniversary.  We decided to take a trip to Napa, sans children.  After a relaxing weekend (in which I imbibed a little too much wine on an empty stomach and paid dearly for it), we returned home to the Bay Area at the tail end of a heat wave.  Missing the comforts of an air-conditioned hotel room, I nevertheless sat down to do a little sewing.

In my previous post, I was in the midst of receiving converging corners blocks from the ladies of the do. Good Stitches Love Circle.  All blocks arrived by the end of last week, and here they are sewn up together:

I played around with the block layout on the living room floor for so long that my husband finally suggested that I just pick them randomly from a pile.  Into a pile they went!  With the exception of a tiny bit of rearranging to break up all of the red-centered blocks, the random block setting worked pretty well.  My task this week is to piece the back and choose and prepare the binding fabric.

I also finished up some polaroid blocks for the *Picture Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap.  Using a tutorial by capitola quilter, this group is making the blocks without the background fabric.  I literally spent more time pulling the fabric from my stash than I did sewing these blocks.  The fussy-cut centers had been waiting for days for their white borders.  I'm ashamed at leaving these to the last minute when they were so quick and easy to do.

Though I finished the blocks to send in, I'm counting these as a WIP since I haven't made any yet to keep for myself.  Thank goodness I'm not so organized that I put the fabric away after I was done!

Completing these blocks inspires me to pick up a WIP that started off strong but got lost in the shuffle.

Poetica blocks

My poor girl says she's been waiting for her Poetica quilt for ages.  But what feels like ages to a 9-year old is a small pocket of time in the eyes if a quilter (it's only been 3 months since I started her quilt).  Anyway, after playing around a little with the block layout, Martina and I felt the top looked too busy.  She smartly decided she wants sashing between the blocks.  This is great as it gives me a little more time to work on sewing up the rest of the blocks while we wait for the fabric.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

02 August 2012

The mail carrier loves me!

At least it feels like she does.  July was my first-ever month to play hostess for do. Good Stitches, and blocks have been rolling in (along with a few more fabric de-stash swaps).  I was a little nervous about taking on quilting duties for the Love Circle - the ladies in the group are so talented and the quilts made thus far are spectacular.  But it's always good to challenge oneself, and so I volunteered to be July's quilter.

do. Good Stitches July color inspiration

The palette I chose was inspired by summer- nautical colors of blue, yellow, red and pops of gray on a white background.

The block is Film in the Fridge's Converging Corners.  This is a great take on the log cabin block, and I absolutely love the design once all blocks are sewn together (check out Ashley's finished quilt here).

I've just finished my own Converging Corners blocks (with an extra for Jess- because I'm a sucker for donation block requests).  I realized from making these blocks that my stash is pretty light on the reds.  Hmmm... I may need to fix that deficit.

Just waiting for a few more Converging Corners blocks to arrive, then it's nose to the grindstone!