Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

Another year gone.  I decided to make some collages of my projects this year as a way to look back with them all in one place.

This year saw four quilts finished.  My Farmer's Wife quilt (top left) won 1st place at the county fair and 2nd place at the State Fair.  The Momo Baby quilt (bottom right) will be for sale when I get my shop going over the next couple of months.  Two of these were on the UFO list.
I also completed five quilt tops that are patiently awaiting quilting.  Three were UFOs at the beginning of the year.

The Gypsy Wife Quilt Along - tonight I'm working on putting the top together. 

Clothing.  Still working on figuring out my body and the best way to sew for it, but I did better for the kids. 
 And a catchall of randomness.  I built a new sewing table (needs blogging), made doll beds for my cousins (but have no finished pictures!), and made an assortment of other things.  Overall, I had a pretty doggone productive year considering I work full-time.  Here's to a crazy 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tova #2

The second in the parade of Christmas gifts is this Wiksten Tova top for my sister.  She is in England getting her masters in Museum Studies at University College London, so I had to send this one across the pond. I was afraid it wouldn't arrive in time, but she got her package on Christmas Eve.  What perfect timing. 
I don't have a picture of her in it yet.  It's a straight size XS like her last one (grey birds) and is made from Cotton + Steel fabric.  She says she feels like a painter in it.  I'll say the easing of the sleeves was fantastic this time around.  I tried to take my time and do a good job but of course forgot to put a tag in it. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Baci's Quilt

Today is project  number one in the parade of Christmas presents and year-end finishes.  This was a UFO - the guest room quilt - that had been in the works since at least 2012, if not before. 
The HSTs were all sewn, and all that was left was to piece the top.  Several rows were sewn in September, and then it sat.  At the beginning of December, the top was completed and quilted in utilitarian style, 1/4" on either side of all seams. 
Being very pink and not really my style now, I changed the quilt from a full-size model to a lap quilt and sent it to my husband's Baci (grandma) for a Christmas present. 
She is delighted with it and very protective of it.  And I'm glad to have a UFO done and quilt gifted. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gypsy Wife QAL - November Blocks

It's been a month again.  This fall the kids had viruses, a sinus infection, I had a sinus infection, then a crazy Thanksgiving with a power outage, etc.  I lost my sewing mojo a bit. 

But, I've found it again, and I managed to finish up my Gypsy Wife blocks on November 30.  Then I had to wait until this weekend to photograph them with some actual sunlight! 

Here they are, the last of the blocks for the Gypsy Wife quilt. 

I love these half square triangle blocks.  I made the first one and then had the wild idea to rainbowtize the second one.  I love it even more.  

December is all about strips and assembling.  That is going to have to wait until after Christmas for me, but hopefully by New Years Eve I'll be rocking out a quilt top!

Linking up this month at No Hats!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Pillow

I made this pillow back on October 17th - a little sewing here and there throughout the day and it was done.  It's a shameless copy of the orange and black pillow on Cluck Cluck Sew - it was too cute not to!  Her pillow is more about the colors, while mine is a bit more busy and includes my tiny stash of Halloween fabrics.  But people . . . I loves it!
And, I discovered the golden hour.  I want to bathe in these pictures.  Is that weird?
I couldn't pick just one, or two, or three. 
It only took 91 pictures to get five good ones . . .
The back is Riley Blake Witch Hazel.  I wish I had a bolt of it.
It's going to be sad to pack away the pillow cover in a few days.  Maybe I'll have to make a Thanksgiving pillow next?

-18" pillow cover
- Zipper closure
- Made up of half square triangles

 Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gypsy Wife QAL - October Blocks

We're almost done!!!  Just a few more blocks (and a bunch of strips) to go in the Gypsy Wife Quilt-Along.  The October blocks were a bit challenging from a fabric selection standpoint.  I'm trying to use different combos but make sure the colors are spread out evenly.

Here are the "big" blocks.
Nurses Cross - not perfect in the center but I still like it.
Old Maid's Puzzle (I made the half square triangle blocks and then realized those are for next month so had to go back and do these).
And the filler blocks.
Next month are the last few blocks, and then it's assembly time.  It's always nice to have this QAL as a break from other projects each month.  It's the first QAL I've actually done along with everyone (not finding it after the fact), and I've enjoyed it so much that I'm already trying to figure out quilt-alongs for next year. 

Linking up with the QAL at iamacraftykat!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Staple Dress

Here's my most recent effort at sewing something for myself: the April Rhodes Staple Dress.
I bought it as part of Perfect Pattern Parcel this summer, but it sat basted since the beginning of August.  I'm not sure why, as it was quick to sew up.
I did some finagling with the sizing, cutting a size L on top with a size XS neckline, grading out to size XL in the hips (I am currently a RTW size medium on top and size 14 on the bottom).  My fabric seemed like it would work fine, but as I sewed it up I realized it has a bit too much body.  I want to try again with a slinkier fabric, maybe taking in the top part more and eliminating the pockets.  I think if I lost a few pounds (as I need to do) the full/flow-y cut would suit my pear-shaped figure better.

Here's a detail of the shirring, which went pretty well for my first time.  
And the pockets.
Even though it didn't turn out quite the way it looked in my head, I wore the dress in public today and didn't get any strange looks.  :)  That's a win in my book.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gypsy Wife Quilt Along - September Blocks

Another  month down in the Gypsy Wife quilt along!
I finished the two Puss in the Corner blocks months ago when I was working ahead.  Love these.
And the square in square fillers were completed this weekend.  Still sewing on the coffee table.  I really need to carve out a little time to finish my new sewing table.  I need to get it back in order for the "sewing season." 
Happy quilting!

Linking up to the September Gypsy Wife QAL here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fancy Fox Quilt Top

A couple weeks ago I rewarded myself for finishing a project (I can't even remember what it was) by letting myself make one Fancy Fox block.  I bought the pattern by Elizabeth Hartman back when it first came out, and it had been patiently waiting . . . well, one block wasn't enough.

I may or may not have become a bit obsessed.
42 foxes were sewn in a week.

And the top was completed by the end of week two.

That's some kind of record for me.

Now I have to piece the back, and then it joins the pile of quilts to be quilted . . . if I ever get my new sewing machine table built. 

 Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gypsy Wife Quilt Along - August LinkUp!

Update: I'm spending the evening watching my beloved Hokies play, but I had to drop in for a quick update during halftime to announce that the GWQAL winner for July is Jeanie!  I hope you enjoy your goodies!

Greetings!  This month is my turn to host the Gypsy Wife Quilt-Along link party!  If you’re just tuning in, we are making the fabulous Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingwell following the schedule put together by Michelle at Factotum of Arts.  Our Flickr group is here.

I’ve been loving every minute of this quilt-along.  I know that hasn’t been the case with everyone – the pattern could be written more clearly, and there have been some understandable frustrations along the way.  But take heart; we are on the downhill slope now!

My big tip for this quilt?  Press seams open (most of the time) and starch!  I love starch (or Magic Sizing) and wish I had discovered it a long time ago.  

Hopefully this month’s blocks were a little easier on everyone.  No tricky math this time.  I’ll admit I was lazy and eyeballed the diagonals.  If I had been a good child I would have marked my diagonals before stitching.  Meh. 

The main block was Indian Hatchet.  I meant to take pictures as I sewed, but the basement quilt cave has sucky lighting (and some nights I just don’t have the extra energy after wrestling my boys to bed).  

The other blocks were eight more 3-inch (finished) square in a square blocks.  We should be pros at these now, no?  It would have been smart to center those big polka dots.  Next time.  I'm too impatient to think of things like that when the fabric's flying.
And now to the linky and prizes.  This month’s giveaway is provided by two of our own.  
Julie from 627 Handworks is donating a Fat Eighth bundle of Cotton + Steel Basics (Netorious print), and Michelle at Factotum of Arts is donating a Hexagon pack of Figures by Zen Chic for Moda.  

Now link up those August blocks (all nine)!  You can either link to your blog post or, if you don’t have a blog, link up a picture of your blocks from Flickr.  The giveaway will stay open through 11:55pm on September 1st, and I'll randomly select a winner.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Willow & Co. Mulberry Tunic

The summer round of Kids Clothes Week came around a few weeks ago.  I had great intentions but just couldn't make it happen.  But I did work on some clothes for my boys.  Here is one of the items I've finished - the Willow & Co. Mulberry Tunic.

I made the smallest size (18m) for Will.  He generally wears 18m ready-to-wear clothing, but this is still a little big on him.  At least he'll be able to wear it through the fall. 

The fabric is some quilting cotton from my stash.  I think it originally came from Walmart (you know, those rare ones that still have fabric departments).  The buttons are from a thrifted mens' shirt. 

The pattern was a pretty easy sew.  The only part I had trouble with was the turned cuffs, and I think that was partially because I was tired.  Once I realized how to flip the cuffs, everything was fine. 

There's another Mulberry Tunic in the works for Sam, but who knows when that'll get finished.  My sewing room is a huge mess right now - I've been sewing on folding tables for years but am finally working on getting a proper table. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

Hooray!  After 11 months of piecing (on and off, not every day) and 50 hours of quilting (spread over three months), my Farmer’s Wife quilt is finished!


Do you know how hard it is to photograph a quilt this big?  Bad wind!

Signature at the bottom.

Approximately 93” x 103”
3 boxes of basting pins
50 hours of quilting
39.5 bobbins of quilting thread
Quilted with Juki TL2010Q
Began: January 2012
Completed: July 21, 2014

After marking the entire quilt with Crayola washable markers in varying colors, there were only two blocks with this yellow fabric that didn't get it all out.  And I'm sure a little spot attention will get it all the way out.  There are other blocks with the same fabric that had no issues, and plenty of other blocks with the blue marker.

 I frickin' love the feather border.  It was worth the marking and the work.

To be honest, after all the work, finishing the quilt was a bit anticlimactic.  I just put the last stitch in and put her in the washer.  Weird.  I guess sometimes a mammoth project will do that to you.  It was almost relief that it was done, but I did enjoy almost every part of this quilt.  **It probably doesn’t help that I entered the quilt in our county fair and am considering entering it in the state fair, so I haven’t actually put it on our bed yet.**

Each block is quilted differently.

I loved piecing the top because the blocks were all different – I never got bored.  I loved marking and basting once I finally decided to quilt it myself.  I loved the actual quilting because I couldn’t believe I was actually free motion quilting a queen/king sized quilt on my domestic machine and it looked decent!  And I love that I can look at this quilt on my bed every day as a reminder that I am awesome. 

And that’s not bragging.  The quilting (and even the piecing) is nowhere near perfect, but it is the best I have done to date.  I am going to be proud of that.  I tend to be self-deprecating and uncomfortable with praise, but I think we quilters need to remind ourselves that we have a special craft.  Not everyone can or wants to do this.  We are awesome for making quilts.  

**She won first place in her class at the county fair!  Admittedly there weren't many quilts, but I was proud to get a blue.  Now to decide on entering the state fair.  Possibly submit to a "real" quilt show???**


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