Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of Month Report - December

Another month with a pile of finishes. It's interesting how much access to a longarm has changed things around here. I think I just seriously dislike getting on my knees to baste.

{Wow. I have a huge variety of camera angle shots.}

Christmas Stars / table runners and pillow covers / Frolicking Pinwheels

I haven't cut any of these apart yet, or started binding/pillow-envelope-ing, but I will. Soon.

Finished a pillow cover with my Swoon HST leftovers.

Finished off a top for a baby shower gift for the end of the month. It'll be quilted once the kiddo goes back to school. And I already have the backing and binding prepped!

I'm counting this as my NewFO - Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter. I'm not using scraps - I pulled my favorite blue from my stash and bought some excellent complimentary fabrics.

Oh yes, she's Bountiful in her gifts: Sassy, Lovely, a bit Grunge-y, somewhat of a Coquette...

And I picked the border fabric already and it will all fit together perfectly. But the name on that will have to wait until the mystery reveal!

Okay, so...some big news. Our Emigration Permit for the Little Man was approved, AND our paperwork was submitted to court!! After quite a long wait, we are finally in the end game - we have a 3-4 week wait for a court date to be assigned, which will be about 5-8 weeks out from there. But not necessarily, so we are tidying things up in a hurry here.

{I need to start his foster mom's quilt! And his!!}

The Dude is doing well - still obsessed with Doctor Who and Minecraft. We got matching shirts for Christmas...which we wore for the Christmas show. He rocks the multiplication tables.

{CC thinks Nerf darts are the best Christmas present ever!}

We had a good Christmas, enjoyed the in-laws, got most of the presents we wanted. CC is still a pain in the butt...just bigger now. If she grows into her tail, Tycho's going to be in trouble.

I pounded the pavement hard this month, logging 70 running miles - plus bike cross training and body torture conditioning classes. I'm doing this training plan, and I'm pretty confident in hitting my goal pace. 

And I registered for Half Fanatics! I qualified back in March, but Lori and I wanted consecutive numbers. So as soon as she finally qualified, we registered as #5871 and #5872. Yeah, we're dorks.

And that's about it for December. 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekly Progress - And a Happy New Year!

I'm continuing the trend of not much work over the holidays - while my mother-in-law polished off 4.5 pairs of flannel jammie pants at my machine. And she put all the scraps in my bins! Guess who's getting a flannel rag quilt next Christmas?

This Christmas, she got a Kindle, so I whipped together a case for her. She left a big bag of batik fat quarters and scraps here after Rainbow Sherbet, so it was pretty easy to pick out three fabrics from there and pull it together. I just cut an outside and lining to fit, with an added outside pocket for her glasses and stylus. And many layers of heavy duty interfacing.

I might buy a pack of hair elastics and replace the button-y-thing-y next time she's here...I don't love the white elastic.

And I know her initials are crooked...dang embroidery hoop slipped.

{I have got to do something about the lack of design WALL soon!}

I laid out the blocks for the baby owl quilt in a mostly-symmetrical-but-looks-random pattern. All ready to become rows sometime this week!

And I mostly kept up with Celtic Solstice. I'm worried that my yellow {an ombre stripe} is too pale in places, and now that it's against the neutral...I'm still worried. We'll see how it looks overall.

I also worked on cutting pieces for Ripples and Reflection. It will be my BOM for the year, so my goal for January is to get all the fabrics cut and organized.

Oh, and you know how I mentioned eleven projects in my NewFOs for 2014, with one spot open for whatever pops up during the year? Um, yeah... Mother-in-law and I went to Bear Paw Quilting, and I was utterly smitten by the Downton Abbey fabrics. I don't even watch the show! 

I bought this pattern, which is done up all pretty in DA fabrics, but I think I'm going to change it a smidge, and try it out on my Pat Bravo stash. Then if I'm very good...maybe I'll get some DA.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekly Progress - Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

There's been little progress here - not because of the holidays, but because my mother-in-law showed up with a suitcase full of flannel. Every time I go to my machine to sew a quick round of Celtic HST, she's there making jammie pants!

I did convince her to make me a pair out of snowflake flannel I've had for about five years, so it works out.

So anyway, this is all the sewing I've done in the past week. The four patches for this week are super easy, since I'm using yardage. Lots of quick strip sewing, then cutting down while watching Christmas movies with the family.

Loopy Ewe wasn't finished this week, but I finally got the finished post up this week.

And my useful in-laws have been helping with little things like getting my thread holder up on the wall, and entertaining the munchkin so I can straighten up. Maybe by the end of the break I'll have a sewing room in decent shape!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

NewFO 2014

I love a good excuse to start a new quilt, despite the long list of lingering projects. The NewFO link-up lets me justify it. Totally.

Of course, looking back through 2013 NewFOs is a little depressing. Of my original list of six, I started exactly one. And that was in January.

Six of my NewFOs this year were commissioned quilts. Which is awesome, but doesn't do much for my actual FIZ problem.

In February, I did start a completely new quilt {Flirt} with completely new fabric. And my NewFO for December {Celtic Solstice} is also mostly entirely new fabric. Again, not much help in the FIZ department.

So, selecting again from the FIZ...

Road to Oklahoma for my son's foster mother

Monkeys Sleepin' in the Bed for my son - sort of like this one from Moda Bake Shop, but jelly roll strips for the main quilt and just one sleeping monkey. I can't for the life of me find where I originally saw it, though!

Double Hourglass with California Girl - which I saw at the Buggy Barn quilt show!

Spin Cycle with my Bonnie and Camille stash - I added a few fat quarters and a nice background print to the pile over the past year

The wreath quilt on the cover of this magazine

A patriotic Lone Star

Spin City Schnibbles with Pez - I made a test block, but I still count it as a NewFO because it was just one block and it's not even sewn together completely...still...a year later...

Hello Luscious Avignon Picnic

Cardinal Charm Saturday

That's eleven, which leaves me with just one available spot for something completely new. Which means maybe I'll move some stuff from FIZ to UFO this year. And oh, that's a list for another day.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Loopy Ewe Quilt - Finished!

My last Christmas finish! And it was a super fast one. 

And I waited forever for some snow to photograph it against, but the Northwest refused to oblige. Until tomorrow, but the box is already on its way to my sister. Boo, weather. {But at least I'm done with all my shopping and shipping, and can enjoy the snow with sangria cookies at home.}


My sister spotted Lewe the Ewe at one of my LQS when she was here in early November. We did some Googling and found the holiday panel, and quickly figured how many borders would whip it into lap size.

Two 2" and one 8", in case you're wondering.

While the quilt itself is simple, the quilting is a little more detailed. I used a Quick Swipe and stencil to add a few holly and berries...

...and a couple little snowflakes amid the usual loops. It was good practice!

The back is more Lewe, in flannel. I was accused of being too OCD when I pointed out that the sheep are sideways. {But it's WRONG.}

And that's my first bias binding! Love that candy cane stripe.

Gratuitous kitten picture! CC valiantly defended the quilt against the evil hands and their minions, the pins.

...or so.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekly Progress - Christmas is Done!

...but it's only done because I decided not to make doll dresses.

...because the one I did make turned out a bit short.

...Vivian would not be allowed at school in this dress!

I decided it was better to clean the house and prep sangria make cookies rather than continuing to fight with dresses that I'm just not very good at. 

Maybe next year I'll start sooner. Maybe next year I'll get to take the class on it. Maybe. But next year!

So, that puts me at done for Christmas sewing and nearly done shopping! Woo!

So, other than fight with doll dresses, last week, I...

Worked on the Celtic Solstice Mystery quilt, including figuring out to how make 32 HST at one time. 

I also finally picked my neutral fabric, so I need to catch up on a few block pieces. {And tucked the first choice into the project bag with my Bonnie and Camille stash. It fit in quite nicely there.}

And took a big piece of muslin and quilted every pillow cover, wall hanging, and table runner I could find.

That leaves me with plenty to bind over Christmas, when/if I get a chance. My only other goal is to stay somewhat caught up to the mystery quilt. That way I can trim HSTs when I get the chance, and keep the sewing room relatively clean throughout the break.

Wait, keep implies it already is clean, doesn't it?


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nine Patch Snowballs - Finished!

Here's one with a boring name. 

Very descriptive. Very boring.

It came from a kit from one of my LQSes in Oklahoma. It's a three-yard pattern from Fabric Cafe, which I promptly ignored, because snowballs are much more awesome than plain old blocks.

I finished the top last summer...yeah, 2012. It languished on the to-be-quilted pile for a while. I finally got a backing last month, and plopped it on the long arm a couple weeks ago.

Ooh, pretty loops on a minkee back!

My new bestest blog buddy once said "doing these loopy swirly things is like doing donuts with a Ferrari" - but hey, we're both still learning.

{Look how I got that perfectly fussy cut rose in this shot. Totally planned.}

Fabric is Sew Cherry by Lori Holt.

48" square


Monday, December 9, 2013

Giveaway Day!

Giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Lyn, who loves snicker doodles and has an adorable kitty, too. Good taste.

So... If you're new, welcome! If you're not, uh, welcome anyway!

Recently, I learned how to longarm quilt, and I thought I'd talk a little about the process. {Don't worry. There's a point to this.}

I rent time on a Gammill machine, using Superior Threads. They sell batting at an excellent price. It's nice, because not only am I clearing out a lot of UFOs - I also have access to a ton of thread and other things without having to keep them in my sewing room.

My first couple of quilts were done with pantographs. {H is for Henry, How Charming Girl, How Charming Twin Boys} Then I ventured cautiously into freehand. {Swoon, Gobble Gobble, Rainbow Boats, Squadron T-shirt}

And then, with Loopy Ewe, I knew I wanted to do something a little more detailed, but I also knew I wasn't to the point where I could freehand anything more than a star.

Enter, the Quick Swipe.

The longarm place has a ton of stencils. I found some holly and berries, swiped some chalk over it, and voila - a complicated-looking design scattered randomly across the quilt.

So, my giveaway is a Quick Swipe and chalk set.

To enter, leave a comment with your favorite Christmas cookie. I'm training for a half marathon, so I get to eat all the carbs I want this holiday season. Links to the recipe are encouraged.

Other important things:
I'll ship internationally.
Leave an email if you're no-reply. Or just don't be no-reply.
Giveaway ends 12/13 at 5 p.m. PST.

And in gratuitous kitten pictures, the longarm place sells zippers, so you can pin the backing at home and zip on immediately when you get there. This is actually very difficult in my house.

More giveaways at Sew Mama Sew!

Weekly Progress - Pile o' Finished Quilts

Before you get too used to all this production, my husband was out of town last week, and the Dude doesn't care if we have chicken quesadillas for dinner. Every night.

So, we start with a stack of bound quilts. Squadron T-shirt quilt has already been posted about, and then there's Loopy Ewe and the Nine Patch Snowball. Posts coming soon. Imagine that, I have to play catch up on finished posts!

And then I made the blocks for a baby shower gift, using this pattern and a stack of FQs that I won from Fabric Spot during the Finish-Along last quarter. And the baby shower isn't even until the end of January!

And then I bit the bullet and picked up some yardage to go with my Lovely blue for the Celtic Solstice mystery. I think the neutral is too bright, though.

These are my blocks so far, since I haven't cut into the neutral. Yes, I am doing the second step as HST instead. I calculated it out and there's less waste this way, even with the extra seam.

And in gratuitous kitten pictures, we put up the Christmas tree. It went about as well as you'd expect.

Today I'm prepping my quilting for this week - all the table runners, wall hangings, pillow covers, and potholders I can find, all slapped down on a big piece of muslin and batting scraps.

And then a day of doll dresses and I'll be done for December!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Squadron T-Shirt Quilt - Finished!

There was actually an internal debate this week, because I finished not one - not two - but three quilts! I ended up choosing this one because I could stand to do it in phone photos, and the husband still hasn't returned with my camera.

Phone pics, at nearly-dusk, in sub-zero temps. You lucky people, you.

Just another t-shirt quilt, for the same person I did the first running t-shirt quilt for last year. This one is for her husband, who is a fighter jet pilot. I do not know which one. Viper? Got me.

He was also a missileer, and his two scarves were incorporated as well. Fun fact: I had to ask my husband which direction the red scarf went. He said the missiles faced up. I said, "There's missiles on it?" I make a terrible military wife.

I quilted with loops and stars - simple and not distracting from the shirts. Freehand! And I only got lost in the middle of one star.

CC helped.

A lot.

Let's see, the front border and binding is Robert Kaufman, the backing is dark blue minkee. No idea on the gold border.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekly Progress - Finishes and Starts

Okay, since this is my third post in as many days, there's some repeating info here. Bear with me!

Oh, and my dear husband went off on a trip with the good camera, so this is alllllllll phone photos. Just like Instagram, except not!

Squadron T-Shirt Quilt - borders on, backing is prepped, quilting is Wednesday!

My first time making bias binding for Loopy Ewe, which was quilted last week. It's a little harder {I'm doing it the Bonnie Hunter way} but the angled stripe is so worth it!

And speaking of Bonnie Hunter, I'm still debating the new mystery quilt. I loved watching Skorca develop...but I had a terrible time with the bias edges from all those scraps and string blocks. The borders were a bear to put on, and the quilting has been a nightmare...I'm seriously considering pulling out all the stitching and starting again on the long arm.

So I thought, maybe a selection of fat quarters, but my FQs aren't very color coordinated. Or the ones that are, are 5-8 fat quarters total, not the 8+ needed for each color.

Or yardage, but I don't buy yardage in large amounts. One yard cuts I've got, but those are usually larger prints that don't do well being cut into teeny little squares.

So... I browsed Design Seeds for a color scheme. I kept coming back to the same colors - teal and coral. Only, I don't have any teal or coral.

But wait!

I have this. My very favorite Sandy Gervais print. {It's more lovely than the phone photo makes you think. Really. And see what I did there?}

And I have 2.5 yards - enough to back a baby quilt, but nothing else.

Doesn't it deserve it's very own quilt?

And I spy coral and yellow, just begging for some accent fabric.

And it is Cyber Monday and I've been doing a great job shopping for everyone else...


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Monthly Goals - December

It's Christmas sewing crunch time! Woo! Deadlines!

I did pretty well on my November goal list - Rainbow Boats and the Gobble Gobble wall hanging were finished and mailed off. The Squadron T-Shirt is pieced to borders. 

St. Paul's Cross...uh...okay, so my friend said she's graduating in May, so...new goal!

For December, obviously Christmas stuff needs to be done ASAP.

1) Bind the Loopy Ewe - and for the first time ever, make bias binding.

2) Finish the Squadron T-Shirt Quilt - scheduled for quilting this week, so it should be out the door by the end of the week.

3) Doll dresses - I have four nieces. Enough said.

4) Road to OK/WA Quilt - I have really missed watching a quilt develop from piecing blocks. This is a gift for my son's Korean foster mother, so it's about time to get it started. {Yay!}