Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sports I Spy

My son (currently age 4 1/2) intermittently gets interested in my sewing.  Sometimes he'll ask to sew with me and he'll sit on my lap for a few minutes.  I decided to pull a group of I Spy squares specifically for when he wants to sew with me.  This took us probably 4 months of really occasional sewing to get pieced, then waited for me to quilt & bind. 


Side note: I've been calling my son "Munchkin" on the blog and that now seems too young.  I've been wanting to age up his nickname.  He loves fire trucks and fire fire fighters and he frequently calls himself a Fire Monkey.  So he will now be known as Fire Monkey.

I told him to "be goofy"
Fire Monkey determined which squares to put together, 2 at a time.  Sometimes he sits on my lap, sometimes he helps feed the fabric, and sometimes he gets on the floor and watches me put my foot on the pedal.  We did most of the sewing in short sessions, as his attention span for most things is not very long.

I personally don't like things to fall heavily into society's ideas of properly gendered themes, but that gets trickier when I'm making quilts for Project Linus.  I have been told that some places won't give a quilt to a boy if it has even a tiny bit of pink on it.  Since I know my chapter frequently gets quits that are pink and/or flowery, I try to make quilts that fall into sterotypically boy areas.  For this quilt, I picked any I Spy square even remotely related to sports.


This was #16 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish AlongThis is also my list of UFOs to complete for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Gail of Quilting Gail.


We turned it in to Charlotte chapter of Project Linus tonight. I was worried he'd be upset that he wasn't keeping this but he has not been.  Fire Monkey and I talked about how this quilt would go to a kid who needs a quilt.  His next quilt, though, will be for him to keep.

Yes, his eyes are closed on purpose.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Savanna

In January 2013, I was reading class descriptions from my local quilt shop when I came across one that said, "Scared of curves?  This is the class for you!"  Well, I was scared of curves and I had seen the class sample, so I figured it was a good chance to conquer my fear.  I bought the pattern and the specialty ruler it required and did all the pre-work (cutting) for the class.

I ended up being the only person who enrolled in the class.  The instructor decided not to cancel on me and moved the class to her home where she had a studio in her bonus room.  She walked me through using the "curves for squares" ruler and sewing the curves.  I didn't enjoy it, but I didn't run screaming, either. I got maybe 20 blocks done.  (Keep in mind each block has only one seam.)

When I got home that night, I put the bin with the project under the guest bed and didn't touch it again for years.  Literally years.  I was pregnant when I took the class and I had other sewing that I cared more about getting done before the baby came.  And I still didn't like sewing curves.


Well, it is now long past time to finish this.  I had no desire to make any more blocks, so I laid out what I had in as pleasing an arrangement as I could.  I added a border to make it a slightly better size for Project Linus and I'm calling it done.  I do not consider my fear of curves conquered, but at least this is finished and I don't have to think about it under the bed taunting me any more.  I am not sorry to see the last of this project!

Oh, and I am happy to note that I played binding chicken and won!  This is how much binding I had left:


Funny side note: I haven't looked at the actual pattern in a while, so I've been calling it Savannah because I live half a day's drive from Savannah, Georgia.  But the pattern is actually called "Savanna," presumably after the animal prints used in the pattern's cover version.

This is on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.  Finishing Savanna was my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for the link-up hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts. (Goal setter #107)
Elm Street Quilts


This was #2 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along









Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Coral, Queen of the Sea

A few years ago, I bought the panel for Coral, Queen of the Sea by Stacy Iest Hsu.  The panel included a Coral Doll, doll-sized quilt, doll-sized pillow, Mr. Bubbles the seahorse friend, a doll skirt and a doll mermaid tail.  I stored the panel away hoping that a child in my life would go through a mermaid phase.

That's a lot of projects in one panel!

Fast-forward to early June when I was texting with my sister-in-law about my niece's current preferences.  She's super into mermaids!  Great timing, because we already had a July trip to visit her planned.  I dug out the panel and was thrilled to find that it was as cute as I remembered.

Noodle loves Coral and had a great time putting her to bed. 


I typically don't make 3-demensional projects.  This one was too cute not to buy, and I'm really happy with the end product, but I didn't enjoy some parts of the process.  The blanket was easy.  (I even quilted it for real instead of using the turn-it-inside-out-and-tie-it method in the directions.)  The pillow and Mr. Bubbles the seahorse friend were easy.  The doll was a little tricky, especially turning her limbs right-side out.  And the skirt and mermaid fin, well, I'm not sure I did those correctly.  I totally cheated and used ribbon instead of the printed ties for the closures.  Overall, while this is not my favorite kind of project, how can I be sorry about the extra fussy parts when this is the end result?



This was #7 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along



 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Q3 Goals

Q3 Goals: 2018

I can't believe half the year is over!  We're now into the third quarter of the Finish Along. I really love the Finish Along community and motivation.  Here are my projects for this quarter.  As always, I'm listing way more projects than I will actually complete because I never know what I will be in the mood to work on.

General Projects and Gifts

1. Rin
I did the Rin-Along last year and completed a block.  Now I need to turn it into something.



2. Savannah
I took this class in 2013 and hated the curves, so it sat untouched for 5 1/2 years.  It's finally a top and just needs to be completed.  I'm ready to put this one behind me! 
3. Magical Forest
I need to assemble my blocks from Stash Bee 2017--I'm making a magical forest!

4. April's Baby Quilt
My coworker April is expecting a baby girl in August.  I have the top completed.

5. Elephants
Last year, I made elephant blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I took the pink elephants out for their own quilt, so this is a more traditional rainbow.  Two of my closest friends from college are expecting their second child in September and I really want to give them a rainbow made of elephants.



6. Devin's baby quilt
My good friend Devin, also a college buddy, is expecting his second child soon.  I plan to make an I-Spy quilt to match older sister's. 

7. Coral Queen of the Sea
I bought a panel to make the doll and accessories a few summers ago and now my niece is way into mermaids, so I finally have a reason to sew them up!  I've got the pillow and Mr. Bubbles done, just need to finish the rest.

Mini Quilts & Pillows
Pillow Menagerie
I am slowly making us a menagerie of animal throw pillows four our couch, as I got rid of the big cushions that came with the couch because they were so big it was annoying.  The following are pillows I have patterns and fabric for, and I've spent time getting the pattern pieces enlarged and color coded.
8. Lion--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play
9. Giraffe--pattern is from the zoo animals collection by Kristy @ Quiet Play

10. Dandelion
This has been my hand-sewing project on trips and I finished the embroidery!  Now I just need to turn it into a finished project.


11. Vintage holiday
Another hand sewing project.  I have the applique completed but I'm not sure how to bind it.  I'm thinking a faced binding, but I'm not sure how to do that, especially with felt.



Project Linus

12. Dog Gone Cute
I made a Dog Gone Cute block for one of the women in a quilting bee, and I liked the block so much I made a second for me. I am slowly making my way through all of Lorna's amazing dog blocks.

13. Snowmen
I liked the Snowman block by Sherry of Powered by Quilting so much that I'm doing a whole quilt of snowmen!  I've made 5 blocks and I want to make 4 more and then have fun with different embellishments.

14. Canyon
This one got stalled out due to running out of fabric.  I have what I need now, but I just realized I forgot to take a picture; it's called Canyon because it features Kate Spain's Canyon line.

15. Color block I Spy
A UFO I forgot about, this is a top that needs to be turned into a finished quilt.

16. Sports I Spy
When my son wants to sew with me, I pull out a bag of sports-themed I Spy squares and we chain piece until he gets bored. It's in rows now, ready to be assembled. 

17. Postage Plus Leaders & Enders
I've been using 2 1/2" squares as leaders and enders and will put them together using the Postage Plus pattern from the book by Cheryl & Paige.

18. Scrap Dance Square Dance

19. Patriotic Stars, part 2
These were my bee blocks from April.  Most of them were turned into a door decoration, but I still have a few blocks left to turn into a donation quilt.


 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July Goal -- OMG

It's been a few months since I linked up to One Monthly Goal hosted by Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  I like the motivation, so I'm back for July!

I have a long-term UFO that I'd like to finally get done.  Several years ago, I took a class for a pattern called Savanna that was popular in my area.  It featured curved piecing, something I was intimidated by.  I took the class but didn't touch the project after that.  The class was in January 2013.


Knowing I had no desire to continue the curved piecing, I dug out the blocks that were already completed and tried to turn them into a design that made sense.  Getting this completed to donate to Project Linus is my goal for July.

May & June recaps

I know, we're almost a full week into July.  But I never recapped May, so I planned to do May & June at the same time.  And at this point, what's one more week late?

Inspired by Kate at Life in Pieces, I've been tracking days that I spent at least 15 minutes sewing.  In May, I got sewing time 28 out of 31 days for 90 %.  In June, I got sewing time 24 out of 30 days for 80%.  My year-to-date total is 147 days (out of 181) for a total of 81%.

I'm also tracking yardage used (calculated when a project is finished) and yardage bought.  In May, I used 4 yards.  In June, I used 5.3 yards.  My year-to-date yardage used is 40.9 yards.

I did, however, make fabric purchases in both May and June.  In May, I bought 6.75 yards and in June I bought 8.8 yards.  My yardage bought for the year is 28.3  That's more than I intended, though almost all of that is for specific, intended projects that will likely be finished by the end of the year.  Some of the June fabric purchases were specifically for the Eye-Spy Swap hosted by Val

I finished two projects each for May and June.  May's projects were Scottie Dogs and Elephants in the Garden, both donation quilts for Project Linus.



In June, my finishes were a baby quilt for my friend Amy's daughter and a patriotic door quilt for me made of bee blocks from Bee Inspired.



Saturday, June 30, 2018

Baby Quilt for Amy

My friend and former co-worker Amy had her first baby this spring, a sweet girl named Mirah.  Amy moved out of the area so I didn't have any in-person clues to use to chose fabrics. 


In November 2016, I was the lucky winner of a prize package from Julie of The Crafty Quilter from her monthly "Hello 2016, Good-bye UFO" link-up that month.  My prize was a bundle of The Cottage Garden by Riley Blake.  I really liked the bird print in my bundle and thought Amy would, too.  I added one fabric from my stash and used the pattern "Cherish" by Villa Rosa Designs.

It looks like the added fabric is solid white, but there are gray bursts that didn't photograph well
This was a great easy pattern that sewed up quite quickly; I will absolutely use it again!  It did end up a little longer than I like for a baby quilt, so I took one row out.  

I used a dark green leaf print for the back.  I didn't have quite enough.  While I was looking for something else, I found a group of 3 1/2" wide scraps left from cutting up a batch of dog fabrics given to me by my friend Snow.  Amy is a huge dog person, so the minute I saw those scraps, I knew they would solve my problem.  I cut the dark green into random pieces and put strips of the scraps in the middle. 


Most of the fabrics in the bundle were half yard cuts, so I had enough to make a second quilt top.  I added in one more fabric from my stash.  I have a coworker who is expecting in August; the sister quilt will go to her baby girl. 


I really like how the quilts have some pink but aren't overwhelmingly pink.  I really loved working with these fabrics and am so grateful to Julie for the prize.


This was #5 on my list of Q2 goals for the Finish Along.  At that point, I had picked out the pattern but was thinking about a different focus fabric.  As soon as I remembered this prize bundle, I knew it was the right fabric for this project.