Thursday, October 31, 2013

End of Month Report - October

Last month, I learned the basic of long-arm quilting. This month, I put that skill to use...a lot!


I also finished off two Halloween costumes, Yoda...

and a Minecraft creeper...
{More on this one soon.}

I got 90% of the wedding guests to sign my sister's quilt squares appropriately.

Pieced and appliqued this rainbow boat quilt. Will be quilting it next week. {It's my NewFO!}

In life news, not much happened beyond my sister's wedding. We are still waiting for EP approval from Korea. The Dude was home sick for two days, and sweetly shared it with me. I've been running sporadically and hesitating on signing up for the Seattle half marathon.

Oh, and there's this.

Her name is Cookies and Cream, aka CC. She is a pain in the butt sweet little kitten. When she's tired. Which isn't often. The Dude is in love. {Tycho is not.}


Friday, October 25, 2013

Swoon - Finished!

I started it way, way back in September 2011.

Along the way, I made friends with Heather and Debbie, both WiP Wednesday linkers who were Swooning. They both finished a million years ago.

Later, I joined the Swoon-along. Most of those people finished...a million years ago.

So, after a million years...give or take a few...

My Swoon.

{The husband did not understand "spread your arms wider!" Or "don't step on my quilt or you can sleep under it on the guest bed!"}

The fabric is Sandy Gervais' fall line from 2011, Grand Finale, with a bit of fall leaves from Fall-gyle, some scraps of SG's Lollipop, and unknown orange-y fall print {sorry, I don't save selvages from a million years ago.} The background is Dimples. The border is also Grand Finale, and the binding is SG's Awesome.

The layout includes three 24" blocks, four 16" blocks, and eleven 8" blocks. 

Regular readers know I've been slightly giddy about renting long arm time, but sticking with safe pantos. Not for my Swoon. 

No, I was going to freehand my Swoon. Loops and the occasional butts leaves.

Lesson learned: I looped the sashing first {across the left bottom corner} and I shouldn't have - it restricted my movement too much and doesn't blend nicely.

And I had to do something SPECIAL on the big blocks - loops and swooshes and more swooshing and more loops. {Is it just me, or is it dang near impossible to get a good shot of quilting?}

It is not perfect quilting, but it's a pretty giant leap forward for me.

And then there's the back...

See, I hate a pieced back. I do them sometimes, but my preference is also a nice, clean, solid stretch of fabric. I don't mind other people's pieced backs...just not on mine.

But for some reason, this idea got stuck in my head. Probably after reading the list of Sandy Gervais' past lines and realizing that with the names known, it was do-able.

That's ten years of SG fall lines, from 2003-2012.


Not only was I able to find a bit of everything, but most places didn't even seem to realize these were OOP and were selling them as clearance!

So, there you {finally} have it. She measures about 82x82" and is going on the queen guest bed. {Um, after everyone puts away their laundry.}


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weekly Progress - The Wedding

This is a few days late because I am still hungover was traveling, doing laundry, and all the other stuff that comes with a weekend away at an awesome wedding.

The wedding {including my quilt squares} went off without a hitch, but pictures are delayed due to some computer issues. And the stuff taken with my phone is not worthy of posting. And since I'm having a zillion errors as I try to write this, let's just save the wedding for later, mmkay?

 {How Charming - Quilt in a Day}

Okay, Yoda was finished last week, but Yoda on a hanger isn't near as adorable as Yoda on a little boy who isn't taking it off.

Like it he does.

In Progress
Two panels of the Creeper costume. Still a little unsure on how this will work, but I'm plowing ahead anyway.

{Swoon - Thimbleblossoms}

Is that a quilted Swoon? Why yes, yes it is. Stay tuned!


Friday, October 18, 2013

How Charming - Twin Boy Versions - Finished!

Hey, it's a repeat of last week! Only a little different.

Honestly, I can't say enough good things about this pattern. It's EASY, it makes efficient use of fabric, and it looks good. I could easily bust into my Christmas and Halloween stashes to make a couple more versions.

I really love that these are the exact same quilts {Meadow Friends/Deb Strain and Grow With Me/Deb Strain & Daughters, plus a couple random charms because I can't count} but since I used a bright aqua for one background and muted green for the other, they look like different quilts.

Since these are long-armed-quilts #3 & 4, I wanted to expand my expertise. {Ha!} So my mentor picked out a slightly harder panto, while telling me I'm really ready to let go of the tracing. {Ha!}

My swirls at the bottom were much more controlled and nicer looking. And I do feel like I developed some muscle memory...even though I did get lost along the panto a couple times.

And back! Don't you just want to TOUCH that?

These are going to my husband's cousin, who just had {duh} twin boys.

They measure 46" square.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekly Progress - Ahead of Schedule

It's feels so nice to write these and actually have significant progress to share! This coming week is D-Day - wedding weekend - so there will be less progress. 

But I had a couple things that needed to go with us to the wedding, so I got them crossed off the list this week. As in, it's Monday and everything that needs to go with me on Thursday is already done. Yes. Be amazed.


Yoda robe for my cousin's son. I used this tutorial and it took less than 45 minutes. Probably because I used fleece and didn't hem a darn thing. He already has the rest of the costume. {Whew. No idea how to sew Yoda's ears!}

Almost Finished!
Twin Boys How Charming - quilted together on the same backing, now cut apart and ready for binding.


{Need a design wall so I'm not laying things out over a car rug.}

Rainbow Boats - which probably needs a better name... Rainbow is cut out and pinned down. I actually used a Hotwheels track to define the curve, in an unlikely assist. It's going to the wedding so the customer can look it over before I fuse anything down.

Slowly but surely, the creeper costume is coming together. Right now it's the leader/ender project.

I even started cleaning up the sewing room and putting away some of the stuff that piled up from working on too many projects at once. Yeah. This is disturbing me, too.

If I finish my projects for the week {bind How Charming x2, piece Swoon back, find cotton candy} AND pack, I might just reward myself by cutting into my husband's old flight suit for a messenger bag. Wait, how is it a reward to do something I'm terrified to do?


Friday, October 11, 2013

How Charming - Girl Version - Finished!

Oh, yeah, guess who's rocketing through the finishes now that she has access to a long-arm?

I made this one to test out my counting skills before making the twin boy versions of it.

{And I still counted wrong. Oh well.}

It's a really easy pattern - I put it together in under two hours, including trimming.

I used two charm packs of Meadow Friends {Deb Strain} and one pack of Grow With Me {Deb Strain & Daughters} - pulling all the girl fabrics, obviously.

The pink solid and purple dots are from JoAnn. The backing is from Golden D'Or in Dallas, and has been sitting in my stash for a few years. The binding is also something from the scrap bin - no idea on the origin.

And despite binding H is for Henry first, this was my very first long-arm quilting. {With a panto.} Just loops and hearts, but they are pretty good! I'm trying to build up muscle memory before venturing into freehand. {Totally not because I'm terrified of freehand.}


I linked the top to 100 Quilts for Kids a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was going to Project Linus, but I found Blessings Under the Bridge in my local community, and they are currently doing a blanket drive, so it's going there.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekly Progress - Bits and Pieces

I had a lot of little progress on a variety of projects this week - trying to balance projects that need to get done in the near future. But since I'm crossing things off the list rapidly, I think it's working okay. For now. Until I realize I can't find the top of my cutting table again.


Worked on:
Pieced all the rows. Now to put them together...eventually...when I have time...

Pieced all the blocks for the twin boy versions, started assembling.

The second set of blocks - I used the same charm packs but changed the outside of the on-point blocks. They both have quilting scheduled for Wednesday, so I need to get a move on the assembly!

Creeper Costume - started piecing the strip sets

All the blocks prepped for my sister's wedding quilt! Which she doesn't want called the boring "wedding quilt #1." Any suggestions?

Rainbow Boats - pieced the boats/background. The top will be filled with an applique sun and rainbow, but I needed the bottom done for scale. I've got my fusible web ready for sketching in between piecing the twin quilts.

The girl How Charming quilt is quilted, but not yet bound.

And finally, finished the baby blue scrap blocks, and cut/pieced scraps from Henry's quilt immediately. This month is grey/black, which is my sashing, so I will probably going to ignore the assigned color and catch up on the months I'm behind.

What's not on the list? St. Paul's Cross. Ugh. I know, I already failed at four blocks a week. I'm trying to get a few deadline things done before my sister's wedding, so it got pushed to the back burner. Hopefully I'll get back to it soon and not wait another two years!


Friday, October 4, 2013

H is for Henry - Finished!

So this finish makes me giddy.

Henry, the son of a good friend, thinks his name is "Hank the Crank," so he really needs this reminder.

His mom {who runs Bumps'n'Roo} picked the pattern and fabric {all from the Curiosities and Mischief line.}

Things that make me giddy - my applique didn't come out half bad. I took the advice of Lynn from What A Hoot and used newsprint paper as a stabilizer  and watched Connecting Thread's video to see how to turn corners. I didn't always turn perfectly, but there's a lot more good ones than bad ones.


Okay, so it's a panto on a long arm and I can trace a line with a giant machine, stitch regulator, and a laser pointer. But I did it!

I did chicken out on filling the "holes" in the panto with freehand...but I'll get there. I also chickened out on not panto-ing the middle section, but the quilting is light enough that it doesn't distract from the letters.

I don't love the backing, but it's a nice soft flannel, so it'll be snuggly. 

Oh, look, I can still get a wind shot in Washington!

The original pattern stopped at the second red border - a tiny 28" quilt. My friend intended the yellow/orange to be the backing, but I used it as another border to bring it up to a normal size - 38x40."


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Finish Along - Fourth Quarter Goals

Since the third quarter wasn't very productive on the finishing thing {because of the little, insignificant, moving-halfway-across-the-country thing}, I'm posting this early and getting moving on the list.

Once again, this is a repost of my neverending UFO list, with a few specific items highlighted as must-dos in this quarter.

Family T-Shirt Quilt #2 - in progress {my only finish last quarter!}
Chevron Baby Quilt - cutting
Matching PJ set - ordered
Gobble Gobble Mini - ordered
Pillow Shams - ordered
Vera Bradley Stars Quilt - ordered
Witch Table Runner - ordered
H is for Henry - binding
Squadron T-Shirt Quilt - ordered
How Charming Twin Boy Quilts - ordered
Rainbow Boat Quilt - piecing, due Nov. 15
Wedding Quilt #1 - cutting
Wedding Quilt #2 - ordered, due Jan. 15

I'm kind of freaking giddy about how awesome this came out. Like, I can't describe how much. It's a level of professionalism that I never felt my quilts had, because I couldn't free-motion quilt at home and my straight lines were...boring. And usually not very good, with puckers and all. All the sudden, I feel like I'm making REAL quilts.

And kids, this is just a panto. Wait until I get the nerve to really quilt something. I'm studying up all the free-motioning quilting blogs and practicing doodling with my elbow off the table. {I'd go get some of the books from the base library, but the government shut down. Libraries are non-essential.}

And oh, there will be a finished post tomorrow. Because when you're this giddy about a quilt, you get the binding on that.very.night.

Halloween Costumes
Creeper for the Dude
Yoda robe for my cousin's kid

To Be Quilted
Layer Cake Quilt Along
Christmas Stars
Four Patch Frenzy 1
Frolicking Pinwheels 1
Heart Table Runner
Leftover Bunting Quilt
Nine Patch Snowballs
Ornament Table Runner
Pink Hunter's Star
Postage Stamp Table Runner
Sunkissed Pillow

How Charming Girl {actually already quilted, but out of binding fabric}

Swoon will be my Blogger's Quilt Festival quilt this fall. I started piecing the backing, and scheduled some rental quilting time after my sister's wedding. This is happening!

Partially Pieced
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2012
Cat Tails
Four Patch Frenzy 2
Fat Quarter Stars
Frolicking Pinwheels 2
Log Cabin Shoes
Polaroid Quilt
Saturday Sampler 2012
St. Paul's Cross

Strip XOs
Woven Snowmen
Flirt Marks the Spot
Cat Flying Geese
Toy Story 1
Toy Story 2

Okay, I missed her birthday and the submission of her doctoral dissertation. But I still have Christmas, right? Or her dissertation defense?

Just Needs Borders
Central Park Sudoku
Chunky Log Cabin
Summer Drinks

Planned {as in, I already own the fabric}
Cardinal Charm Tesselation
Coffee panels and yardage
Lone Star
Pez Schnibble
Voila Pumpkin Kit
Bonnie & Camille Spin City
Monkey Jelly Roll
Trip Around the World
California Girl Double Hourglass
Hello Luscious Avignon Picnic
Mason Jar quilt
Homespun + Jeans
Star Wars Pixelated

Scrap Project {as in, scraps that are partially pieced in some way and enough to make a mini or pillow, or there's enough that I can get another entire quilt out of it and am therefore unwilling to separate them...}
Civil War Scraps
HST Joy Scraps
HST Swoon Scraps
Winnie the Pooh Scraps
Sew Cherry HST Scraps
Fairy Scraps
Saturday Sampler '11 Scraps
Pink Hunter Star Scraps
Blue Hunter Star Scraps
Steelers Scraps

Small Project {already in some stage of production}
OU/OSU Bunting
Crayon Rolls
Car Organizer

Red Suede Purse

She Can Quilt Finish-Along