Thursday, April 30, 2015

Paper Forest and Dala Horse

Awhile back my mother-in-law bought me a Carol Doak book because she knew I'm nuts for paper piecing. Among the awesomeness, there are patterns for many types of trees and houses!

 I decided that I would sew up a bunch and make a journal cover for a composition notebook (ya know, the black and while marbled ones everyone used in school). I made a little forest, with a little house in the woods and it will fit in perfectly with this month's Le Challenge which is "WOOD".

These are about 4.5 inches when finished so it would take a whole forest to make a quilt! The little house in the bottom picture is my favorite. He came out so cute!

I am not so happy with the way the binding came out. I used prepackaged bias tape and I couldn't get it to behave. If I got it so that it looked good, the journal wouldn't fit in the cover. When the journal fit, it looked twisted and lumpy. I finally decided that I would quit messing with it because I was just getting more and more mad about it.
So I will leave well enough alone because it will never be perfect. Which is a shame, because beautiful paper piecing got ruined by me trying to mock up a pattern. Oh well! I can always make a whole village full of houses and trees :)

I also made the monthly block for the "Not so Last Minute Christmas Quilt Along". This guy is a Dala Horse which is a Scandinavian Christmas symbol. The paper piecing was easy enough, but I had a terrible time piecing all of the pieces together! I couldn't get them sewn in an order so that I wouldn't leave Y seams. But he didn't turn out that bad :)
This is also Thursday, so I am thankful to have the time and ability to sew because it is what is soothing for me. Next Thursday I have surgery on my right hand and it might be awhile before I can sew. So this Thursday, I will delight in sewing! I'm going to soak it all up just in case I wont be able to soon.

Linking up with:

Le Challenge
A Quilting Chick - Not So Last Minute Christmas QAL

Monday, April 27, 2015

3 finishes today! Woo!

I was very ambitious today! Mostly because I got word of a farmers market that is going to happen in the little village I live in. They need crafts as well as plant stuff and I thought that would be so much fun. The only problem is that I don't have nearly enough stuff to stock a stall. The market meets every other Wednesday from May to Oct. so I would need enough stuff to keep me going through then. They also want people to commit to the whole season up front, with $15 a day...that's $180, I don't think I can sell enough to get that back. But she said she would put me on a "temp list" of people who would be willing to jump in to sell when one of the regulars can't do it.
But I still need stock, so I started sewing to get some ideas...
First, I finished my newest nursing home quilt. This was also my April goal for ALYOF as well as for my Q2 FAL See whenever I am missing my mom, I donate a quilt to the nursing home where she spent the last of her days. She taught me how to sew, and she was always big into donating to charity so this is the perfect way to remember her.
I took all of my scrap jars and made a bunch of 8.5 in blocks then sashed them together. Since they are from all my different scrap colors, they are rainbowish (black and brown are in the mix too). My mom moved here to VA almost a year before she died when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She wanted to live the last year of her life with me and my daughter so she left CA, the only home she knew to move 2500 miles away. Well, it doesn't rain much in So. Cal so you don't see many rainbows and when you do they are a very big deal. While here, she was very much impressed with the rain, the thunder and especially the rainbows! So here is the rainbow quilt. I'm calling it "The View from the East"

For the back I used some really bright fabrics, the brightest I could find in fact, in the idea that it might cheer up the nursing home residents. Finished measurements are 52" x 48" Also! This being improvisationally pieced, will fit in with the theme "Spontaneous" for the off season of Project Quilting :)

For my second finish I made a birthday present for my cousin. She is in college and she is obsessed with British boy bands :D So I made her this Union Jack composition book cover. She is a history major, so maybe she will use it to take notes in British History class or something. I paper pieced it, and it is not "correct" like I needed to invert some lines or something to make it look authentic, but meh! Close enough! I doubt she will be flying it into a naval battle or anything :P

This was a busy morning! and it all started because I wanted to sew some things to sell, and so far, nothing to contribute to stock! So I decided to quickly throw together a little girl's dress. This is made from froggie fabric and I was aiming for size 6-7 but it is a little big. I had my kid that is that size try it on and it was too big ("Moooooom, it's too loose! You can see my little girl boobs!" LOL). So, maybe a size 8? I made it so that the front looks just like the back so I put a applique star on the left strap. It's an ugly thing, but I threw it together in an hour, so I wasn't expecting something amazing. Now, I just need to make some more...and other stuff too...

Linking up with:
Spontaneous Project Quilting Challenge
Link a Finish Friday

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
Fort Worth Fabric Studio
My Button

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crystal Star Blocks for the QCQAL#2

I'm so happy with these guys! They look so jolly :P
When I first finished I wasn't too happy about the yellow, thinking that I should have used something darker, maybe a burnt orange. But now that I look at it, I like it just fine :D

This might be a lucid post...we'll see!

I just got out of carpal tunnel surgery and have to wait before I go home. I came through alright and so far there isn't much pain but there is WiFi here and I have my kindle, so let's give this post a shot.

I created a flimsy for the Marsala Challenge. I'm calling it "Stars and Pickles Forever". I really must say, how much I have enjoyed sewing with this color. Also depending on the source, there's a lot of variation in the color "marsala". I have seen it defined as anything between light mauve to a deep brick red. Now I find myself picking out marsala colors a lot.
I also wanted a challenge (it seems, but we can pretend I did it on purpose LOL) so I chose the hardest quilt block ever "pickle dish". I chose this block because it kinda looks like a "double wedding ring" but is paper pieced. The first block took me three sittings over three days to complete it! Three days for a block is super-redonk. So I only completed 4 of them before I moved on to other blocks. The last one I did in one sitting and I'm not sure the total time but it was between 4-6 hours...for 1 block LOL
It might seem like I'm bitching but actually it was really fun. The toothy bits along the rings, were all different pinks, reds and oranges that I have in my scraps.
For the star blocks I use the middle from the pickle dish block. But instead of paper piecing, I just made a pattern from the background fabric. I think it came out nice and those only took an hour to do. The background is from Waverley Fabrics and has a retro paint splatter design. The middle of the stars and pickle dish blocks is an ombra fabric that is the same as the solid blocks in the center and edges, that's my marsala ombra fabric.
The top is 45"x45". I'm not going to finish it right now, probably not until my hands heal enough to struggle with fmq.
So, I bet you want to see it
Stars and Pickles Forever!

Close up of the center design

Each of the pickle dish blocks have scrappy orange/pink/reds. I can't decide if they look like mouths with sharp teeth or eyes with eyelashes

Linking up with:
2015 Pantone Challenge
Sew Fresh Quilts
Thankful Thursdays
My Quilt Infatuation
A Quilting Life
Show Off Saturday

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's been a bit since I've posted!

I went back to work for 2 weeks before I am to have hand surgery and it really cuts into a person's free time!
So yes, I will have hand surgery this Thursday on Lefty and 2 weeks later on Righty. This is for carpal tunnel syndrome which has been getting bad enough that I needed to do something about it.

How am I going to sew?!?

 It's the thing that keeps me sane when I'm off work. Lefty wont be that bad but I'm right handed so that will eliminate a lot of what I can do. Oh well, gunna quit whinging and show you what I have been working on...

First up was the QCQAL2: Row 3. Boy that's a mouthful! Otherwise known as

Rocky Mountain Puzzle

This is the really 1st asymmetrical block I have made. Not counting improv piecing and the like, but of the traditional blocks. Keeping with my Halloween/Autumn theme I have skeletons and harvest scenes with solid orange. The centers I really should have fussycut but they were small enough I thought it didn't matter--oh well. I know now to fussycut even if I think it wont matter!

Another thing I completed this week is the zebra for Mystery Block #5. I love this little guy! The stripes were a challenge, but totally worth it. This is my favorite paper piecing block so far of the lot!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What is the Hardest Quilt Block You Ever Made?

Last week I was smitten by a pattern for a block called "Pickle Dish". It seemed exactly like something I wanted to do. It has curves and paper piecing, it can be planned and scrappy at the same time. It looked like a wedding ring quilt that I could paper piece part of, so I was sold!
I started by tracing the paper pieced arc onto some tracing paper, I need 48 blocks worth (for a full size quilt) so I got to it! And soon realized that I would be there tracing for weeks until I got enough. Each block requires 8 arcs. The pattern is for 4, so I needed to trace the page twice just to get one block. I stopped after 6 pages because I was bored and wanted to get to the good part--the sewing! I figured I will just trace more when I get those done...
So, I got to cutting...
What a pain! I started with the center piece and cut out around 20 of them before I lost steam. I wanted to get to sewing, no more cutting! So I cut out the other fabrics I needed to make just one block so I could satisfy my sudden sewing lust :P
This is the first block
I will intersperse solid blocks of the fabric behind it (maybe) so save myself from working on this for years. It took 3 sittings to get this one block done, and as you can see, I still couldn't get the top and bottom lined up right. I'm going to make the paper pieced "teeth" black with scrappy orange or pink fabrics.
So I did some math: at this rate I will have this quilt completed in around 2 years if I work on nothing else! LOL
How daunting! I'd quilt but I already cut a lot so this might be on my WIP list for a long time :)
The upshot is that I will get better and faster at making the blocks as I go, well that's the plan at least.

So that makes me think, is this the hardest block there is?
There have to be blocks just as hard, has anyone had any experience with some real doozies?
Linking up with:
Scraptastic Tuesday

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Busy Day Today!

I woke up today and started sewing...and I just kept right along doing it too!
Today I finished, a pillow a bag and 6 quilt blocks for 2 different quilts . So, lemme show you what I did.
As soon as I woke up, I got on the 'net and I saw a tutorial for a 9 patch from Sew Can She. And I thought that would be fun to do with made fabric. I could put it in my scrap quilt that I am going to make for the nursing home.

So these were the 2 blocks that I came up with.Problem is that the other made fabric blocks are larger than these.Oh well! I'll put a border around them. Since the whole thing is going to be a scrappy jumble, kinda like the Ugly Quilt, I don't think it will matter too much.
So with that finished I saw the next thing on my list is to make a pillow out of the Syndrome block I made for the Stretch Your Skills Tutorials. I am going to donate it to the library for their summer reading problem. The theme is superheroes and they are going to watch The Incredibles one week. I figure that it can be a weekly prize or something.
After that, next on my list were my Block Lotto blocks. These were also made with made fabric but just the centers were made from crumbs all sewn together, so they are less chaotic than my 9 patches. I really like the fabric that I used for the points on the stars. It's a blue/green that I only found 1 FQ of at Joann's.

Last project of the night! I made a bag that was inspired by one I found on I changed a few things on the block that I had made for the Sew Sweet Simplicity sew-a-long and I embroidered a Eastern Bluebird on it. I also wrote its scientific name Sialia sialis next to it :) I didn't chance much on the block, but the major thing was that the original called for a snowball for the center block, but I was afraid the bird wouldn't fit, so it is just a square instead. I was inspired to embroider this a few months ago when on one of the coldest days of the winter I saw an Eastern Bluebird hanging out and thought he must be cold! (These guys are year 'round residents here)

Linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hippo and April Goals!

First of all...
This was the mystery #4 block from Janeen at Quilt Art Designs. I'm too late put add it to the linky but I'm proud of it anyway :D

Second my goals for ALYOF and Q2

For the ALYOF, I want to put together some blocks I made into a quilt. They were made using "made" fabric

I want to take these and make something to give to the nursing home. I know these are bad pictures but there are actually 5 different blocks, they just look joined. Also there is an offseason challenge for Project Quilting and the theme is "Spontaneous"! Perfect, huh?
I have been messing around, making fabric out of my scraps recently and that's good because this month's Block Lotto has made fabric stars! I love it! That is how I spend my soothing me time when I don't want to follow a pattern or anything, I will just play with my scraps.

So for my Q2 goals, they will be:
  1. Nursing home quilt (see above)
  2. I want to finish a quilt from the DaySail Jellyroll I won. I sewed all the strips together but I think I am going to cut them like a Bargello or rail fence...Anyway I want to finish it
  3. I need to make a baby quilt for my co-worker. Her baby is due in June, but she thinks that she will have the baby early because she is so big! I have made a small flimsy and I have more fabric that I will add to it.
    I feel like I am missing something but I will stick to 3, one for each month
  4. AHA! I know what I was missing, I need to make a pillow out of Syndrome

Linking up with:
FPP Fridays!
2015 Finish-Along