Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Finished! Halloween Quilt

My Halloween quilt is done!  I was able to get it quilted and the binding attached before our trip to Atlanta last weekend so that I could finish the binding in the car.  I love sewing binding on car trips.

The spider print in the middle came from a "fill a scrap bag" table at a local guild's quilt show I attended in March.  I was mostly looking for scraps to add to my Scrap Dance Tango quilt, but of course I could not pass up any I Spy/novelty fabrics that I came across.  The bats were a sale fabric I found shortly after that, and I thought the two would pair well together.

I quilted in diagonal grip using my "guide thingy" as wide as it would go.  I like this method, as it means I only have to mark a center line going each direction.  (See this post for details on the first time I used this contraption.) I used orange thread, and though I wasn't sure that was a good choice, I'm really happy with it now.  Ironically, I chose it partly to use up a spool of orange thread because I rarely use orange, but I ran out and had to buy more orange thread :)  Best laid plans, right?!

This was my June goal for OMG hosted by Heidi at Red Letter Quilts.  (I was goal-setter #59.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June: Bear's Paws for Marie

My Stashbee Queen Marie asked for Bear's Paws in plaids.  I have always loved Bear's Paws but had never made one, so I was excited.

I struggled with this block!  I'm not sure why.  I got the "paw" part sewed backwards many, many times and did a whole lot of ripping and re-sewing.  At one point, I was frustrated and muttering to myself and Husband heard, so he came in to where I was sewing.  He looked at the tutorial up on my screen and said, "That doesn't look too complicated."  Thanks, babe.  He gets a lot of amusement out of my lack of spacial skills!

But I did end up with a finished block, plus one extra paw.

I had a second extra paw, but it was so off that I destroyed it!  I cut off the claws and saved the center square to use in the Scrap Dance Tango.

Marie asked each of use to tell her about our first job and I'll share that info here as well: I did a lot of babysitting as a teenager and through college.  I started at 13 and got to be pretty well-known as a sitter in my greater neighborhood.  If that doesn't qualify as my first job, I started working at the local public library when I was a junior in high school.  I was a page in the reference/nonfiction area and mostly shelved books and fetched back issues of magazines.  I am now a librarian, so the job clearly served me well :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Finished! Snow's blocks into a quilt

When my friend Snow first started quilting, she did several block-of-the-months and other programs. There was one BOM that she got bored with, so she gave me the blocks.  There were 8 blocks total, 2 each of 4 different blocks

In addition to the blocks, she had some of the blue vehicle print and some of the stripes.  I was able to get just enough out of the vehicle print to alternate blocks.  Two of the vehicle blocks are pieced, but I don't think that it's super obvious.

I used the stripes for the binding and still have a little left.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  I did some straight straight line quilting on the diagonal, and I eyeballed it.  When I had it laid out on the dining room table, Husband looked at the quilting and remarked that I'm getting better.  I appreciated the praise, but explained that it might be because Snow pieced the blocks, so they were more likely to be accurate to begin with :)
Close-up of some of the blocks
 I was almost done with the binding when I last saw Snow, so she's seen the (almost) finished product and is pleased.  This will be going to Project Linus at the July meeting.

Close-up, with my photo assistant
 This was on my list of Quarter 2 goals for the globally hosted Finish Along.
2016 FAL

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016 New Quilt Blogger's Blog Hop

Welcome!  Today is the first day of the New Quilt Bloger's Blog Hop, 2016 edition.  This year's activities are hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl, and Stephanie of Late Night Quilter. The blog hop is a way for some of us fairly new to blogging to get to know each other and get creative and technical advice.

Tell us about you.

I'm Emily, and I've spent the last 10 years in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I have also lived in Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio, and Michigan.  I am a librarian at a community college.  My husband is extremely supportive of my quilting and I swear that if you give me 20 years, I will turn that man into a quilter!  Our son is 2 and loves trucks, penguins, and Elmo.

Why did you start your blog and where did your blog name come from?

I started the blog as a way to track my completed projects.  I used to keep a physical binder of photos with project information, but that became really hard to keep up with once my son was born.  I've always liked dogwoods because they are beautiful trees, and they also happen to be the state flower of the state where I was born (Virginia) and the state where I live (North Carolina).  I added the "Darling" because I felt it needed something else, and there was some family history of using darling for me because as a kid my favorite baseball player was Ron Darling.  You can read the longer version behind the name here.

When did you start quilting and who taught you?

I was an undergraduate at Kenyon College in Ohio, and one of the extracurricular activities there was a Craft Center.  I took a class my sophomore year (1997) from a woman named Elaine Hartley.  Her specialty was handwork and crazy quilting, but she taught us about rotary cutters and how to use a sewing machine.  I stayed in that class the rest of my time there and eventually was the student manager of the Craft Center.  I still have a pin Elaine made; it hangs so that I can see it from my sewing machine.

What do you sew on?

I got a Pfaff Ambition 1.0 "for Christmas & birthday" last year, but we actually brought it home in March of that year and I immediately started using it.  She needs a name.

Favorite Parts of Quilting?

Piecing the tops is probably my favorite part, followed closely by choosing designs and imagining projects in my head.  And petting completed quilts!

Least Favorite Parts?

Layering!  I mainly spray baste, out of laziness and the fact that I want that step done.  I'm also not fabulous at quilting, and I don't feel like my FMQ skills are getting any better, though I've come to like straight line designs more and more.

Favorite Completed Quilts?

My obsession for the last 3 years or so has been I Spy quilts.  The first that I finished is twin bed sized, and I did a little over half the piecing while I was pregnant.  It has 192 different I Spys and no 2 objects repeat. (This quilt predates the blog.)

Here is another of my favorite I Spy quilts.  This one was a baby gift for a coworker and the little girl's first birthday happens to be yesterday. Original blog post here.

I've been challenging myself to try new techniques, and one that I tackled last year was paper piecing.  I've done 3 projects so far, and this is my favorite.  Original blog post here.

I also did my first mystery quilt last year, Scrap Dance. Original blog post here.

How would you describe your quilting style?

I am not even close to a perfectionist when it comes to quilting.  I don't do show quilts for that reason.  If everything had to be perfect, I would not enjoy myself.  I don't consider myself a modern quilter but there are parts of the modern quilt aesthetic that I like.  I like I Spy/Novelty fabrics, batiks, purple, scrap quilts, trying new things when I'm in the mood, and have recently become enamored of solids.

Favorite Quilty Charity?

I have been an active member of the Charlotte chapter of Project Linus since January 2015 and have donated 23 quilts to date.

Blogging Tip? 

Don't be afraid to ask! Like a feature on someone's blog?  Ask how they did it!  I find quilters to be extremely generous in all sorts of ways, and what I have learned through this New Quilt Blogger experience so far is that we are all learning from each other.

Sewing Tip?

I cut my scraps down to set sizes that I know I use frequently.  That keeps my scrap bag at a manageable size and means that when I want to make something, pieces are already cut.

The Darling Dogwood Speed Trivia

1. Name: Emily
2. Sign: Sagittarius
3. Favorite Color: Purple
4. Favorite TV Show: Gilmore Girls & The West Wing
5. Favorite Number: 12
6. Favorite Vacation Spot: in the mountains (VA or NC)

My question for you:

If you had to make a monochromatic quilt right at this moment, what color would it be and why?

Thanks for stopping by!  Please check out some of the other bloggers spotlighted this week in the New Quilt Blogger's Blog Hop.  And this is just week 1 of 4, the fun continues through July 18th.
Miranda @ I Have Purple Hair

Snowflake Blocks

Last fall, Faith from Fresh Lemons was hosting a quilt along for her Snowflake quilt.  It was offered through Bernina's We All Sew blog, and was done in three parts over the course of three weeks.  I knew I couldn't even start it in that time frame, let alone finish it!  But I liked that the pieces were 2 1/2 inches wide; I had just finished my I Spy strip swap, so I had all these great I Spy strips.

I had been wanting to do a pink and gray quilt, so I picked out all the pink and gray I Spy strips and I set them up with some Kona Snow as my leader and ender project.  I just finished piecing all the blocks last week.  I have 20 predominantly pink blocks and 14 predominately gray blocks.

I'm not sure I like the original layout, so I've been playing around with some other options.  I don't have a design wall, so these are laid out on my dining room table.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3
I'm still deciding.  Most of my layouts require equal numbers of pink and gray blocks, so I might need to make a few more gray blocks.  For the moment, I've put these blocks away while I think on it. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

2016 New Quilt Bloggers

I am pleased to be a part of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers group.  To participate, you had to have been blogging less than 2 years.  I became active in January 2015, so that seemed perfect to me!  The first part was getting to know each other and critiques in small groups, and I have made some changes based on that valuable feedback.  There are still things I want to change, but with so little free time, it's hard to spend it fiddling on the computer instead of sewing!

There are about 55 of us in this year's group, and we are led by Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl, Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs and Stephanie from Late Night Quilter.

We've been divided into smaller groups; mine is led by Cheryl and we have the name Miss-Bee-Hivin'.  Member Amista designed our button.

Posts for the blog hop portion start this Monday and run for several weeks.  More information will be here as it is available.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June OMG

May was a productive month for me.  I had a few finish and significantly advanced several other projects.  June will be a different story.  My dad is here for a week, and my guest room and sewing space are one and the same, so that significantly impacts my sewing time.  My machine is scheduled for service, so that's another week of no sewing.  And we have 2 different trips planned for the month, one day trip and one long weekend.

So when it came time to set a June goal for Heidi's fantastic One Monthly Goal motivating linky, I knew I needed something realistic.  Last Friday, I played around and came up with this very simple top.

The spider print in the middle came from a "fill a scrap bag" table at a local guild's quilt show I attended in March.  I was mostly looking for scraps to add to my Scrap Dance Tango quilt, but of course I could not pass up any I Spy fabrics that I came across.  The bats were a sale fabric I found shortly after that, and I thought the two would pair well together.

I like to bind by hand when we travel in the car, so if I can get this quilted and the binding sewn on the first side, I should be home free.  My goal is to have a completed quilt for Porject Linus by the end of June.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Scrap Dance Tango Update

I've been doing the Scrap Dance Tango mystery quilt hosted by Carole at From My Carolina Home.  The mystery started in January, and I believe the next-to-last step will be posted this Friday.

Almost from the beginning, I've been woefully behind.  Step 1 included cutting fabrics and making half-square triangles.  For my chosen size, I need 1,100.  I am still not completely done with Step 1.

But I did finally complete Step 4.  These are Unit A, and will make up half the quilt.
This will not be the final layout.  It's still a mystery!
This quilt will be a Christmas gift for my dad, assuming I complete it in time.  He's visiting right now, so the pieces are hidden away.  Which means I will get even farther behind, but I at least feel like I am making progress!

I will be linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday once the linky is open. I'm having trouble with the button today, but you can find it here

Saturday, June 4, 2016

May: Catherine Wheel for Gina

May was Gina's turn to be Queen in my hive of the stash bee.  She designed a block that she & her husband call the Catherine Wheel.  Here is mine:
I like how the block looks, and I think that when combined, multiple scrappy blocks will look great.  It wasn't my favorite to piece, mostly because I don't usually choose blocks with tons of pieces in them.  But that's exactly why I joined the Stash Bee, to do blocks in styles that I wouldn't otherwise choose.

I didn't make a complete 2nd block, but I did make several components of another block and sent those along as well.

These will travel all the way to Wales, which is pretty cool!  Another awesome thing about the stash bee!

I realized as I was working on this block that my low volume stash was pretty, well, low.  Since a lot of the stash bee blocks are scrappy and many seem to call for low volume, I decided this called for a trip to the local quilt shop!  I picked 6 different low volumes and bought a half yard of each.  It also turns out that this quilt shop has a box of toys to occupy little ones--Munchkin found a great truck and had a glorious time while I ran around trying to select, get cut, and pay in the 15 minutes I promised Husband.