Friday, January 31, 2014

January - the Starting Month

Even though I only finished three things, January was a pretty decent month. I got a lot done on a lot of projects, I finished off a really hard training program with a really good PR, and oh...


It's mid-March - a little further out than we were hoping, but it gives us plenty of time to book flights, plan the trip, and, um, clean out the poor kid's room. He still won't come home after this court date - there's another waiting period before we go back to Korea - but this is final end game stuff. No later than April before we're finally a complete family.

So, anyway. Finishes.

Heart Table Runner / Rain Run Half Marathon

Finished and/or Quilted Tops
{Don't be too impressed. FPF was already pieced a long time ago, and CPS just needed borders. Of course, R2OK was started and finished to binding, so nevermind - go ahead and be impressed.

Worked On
{CC has a very personal vendetta against the Cat Tails. She is intent on destroying them. The rows are mostly stitched together, though, despite her best efforts.}

{And Road to Oklahoma up there.}


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flirt Marks the Spot - Finished!

There is nothing that I don't love about this finish.

I love the pattern, from McCall's Quilting Magazine. When I saw it, I immediately envisioned it in Sandy Gervais' Valentine line. Because of course.

I immediately envision most patterns in SG's Valentine lines. Doesn't everyone?

I knew I wanted to quilt it with daisies, but I've not yet tried flowers. So I used a pantograph - Hearts and Daisies. It was easy to follow and I definitely gained a lot of muscle memory for flowers!

I tried to keep it slow and not loop when I changed directions - something I struggle with when I move faster. I love how it came out.

I pulled the three white-on-white strips out of the jelly roll, with the assumption that they wouldn't place nice in the pattern. {Entirely true.} They became binding along with the leftover background Kona {which isn't white...that's about all I remember. It's bone or parchment or snow or sleet or cream or milk or...}

The border fabric isn't SG. I walked into one of my LQSes, spotted this immediately, then wandered around the whole store because, really, the first thing? There has to be something better. There wasn't. It's Amanda Murphy's Bella.

The backing is - don't tell the quilt police - a full size flannel flat sheet from Target. Yes, I prewashed it, and yes, it has a looser weave than pretty much any flannel I've bought from Joann's or a quilt store, so I wasn't worried about it on the machine. 

And it's big enough without piecing and it's adorable little dots and it matches quite well and I still have the pillowcases and fitted sheet that I can hand over to my mother-in-law to make jammie pants with.

Label stitched on, but not yet labeled.

Have I mentioned I love it?

{And so do the cats.}


Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekly Progress - Tape(r)

Tape and taper contributed a lot to this week.

On my quilty finishes, I tried out batting tape. Usually I franken-batt with a zig zag stitch, but I wanted to try the tape to see if it was faster/better. Also because I just had to get that little triangle in place.

Verdict: eh. No faster. Feels like it's holding just as "strong." Kind of a pain to wrestle batting on the ironing board vs. through the sewing machine. {Note: I do have CC trying to claw her way up anything draped over the ironing board. YMMV.}

The taper led to an epic finish - knocking nearly ten minutes off my personal record.

And the taper also led to lots being done in the sewing room, since I was full of nervous energy and couldn't run it off.


Working on the binding!

{Those are bow ties...not butts.}
Don't even have binding for it yet. I took it to my long arm rental time as a backup, if-I-still-have-time thing. And then Flirt didn't happen, so I had time. Which makes me sad! Somehow I totally misjudged my backing for Flirt, so I couldn't quilt it. Planning on getting a new back and going back tomorrow! And maybe getting some binding for Frenzy. Eh.

Obviously I finished piecing Road to OK - that was a biggie.

After that was done, I worked on borders for Central Park Sudoku.

And a churn dash of the week - this leftover from Big Blue, my largest quilt ever, was an obvious finish for the month of dark blues.

And here's the four blues together!

{Don't mind the feet. The feet wouldn't move. Neither would CC.}
Then I pulled out another UFO, Cat Tails, pieced together the last few cats, and worked on the layout. It exceeds my design wall by a bit, but I think I have a plan worked out.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Owl Always Love You - Finished!

Pardon me - there's going to be some owl puns in this post.

It'll be a hoot.

I promise.

This is the Simply Stripes baby quilt by Amy Smart. And whoooo knew? It definitely lives up to its name - I whipped it together in a couple hours.

I fudged the measurements a little - my fat quarters weren't quite 22" so my blocks ended up 10" finished. I shrank the stripes a smidge, too - mine were 5.25/2/1.5/3.25" unfinished.

Best part of this tutorial? Very few seams to match {just in the rowing} and no bulky seams to press. I took the time and alternated pressing within each row {normally I just do all row one to the left, all row two to the right, and onwards.} Then I spun the block seams, and v-owl-a, no bulk anywhere!

Quilted it with big, easy loops. Because I'm lazy I wanted to echo the loops in the fabric. And it's a baby quilt - it should be soft and loose.

New this year - I'm labeling quilts. It only took me five years to get to the point that I want people to know they're mine. Lyn {from What a Hoot...I swear, that's not a pun!} pinned a whole bunch of cute labels, and I was inspired to do a little more. So there's little owls poking their heads out.

And yes, I know there's nothing written on the label. I added that after pictures, rather than trying to edit out the info.

The fabric is a FQ set that I won from the Fabric Spot during the Finish-Owl-long last year. Riley Blake - Life in the Jungle

I didn't think owls hung out in jungles with toucans and hedgehogs, but what do I know?

CC, of course, helped bind.

The backing is an orange chevron flann-owl from Joann's. Binding is more of the FQs. I used up almost all of the eight-piece set to make this.

And now it is off to a baby shower this weekend!

After one measly half marathon, that is.

Owl be seeing you!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Progress - Finishing Machine

What do you do when you used to devote hours to running and now you're firmly in your taper?

A lot of sewing.

This coming week will be even more productive in the sewing room, with a whole three miles to run and no strength or cross training. Oh, and a measly little half marathon at the end of the week.


Pieced the inside and started on the borders. Are those borders? When you're continuing part of a design into the first border, does it really count?

These are my very oldest scraps - my mother made dresses out of this material when I was in middle school. Let's just go with over twenty years old. I wore the dress to a handbell concert in Washington DC, and fell off the stage at the Old Post Office. Ah, memories.

Fat Quarter Stars
It's hard to come back to a project like this when you can't remember where you're at. I don't remember if I'm done with the online quilt along, where my list of the 9" stars is, I made this star. At some point before next month, I'll try to figure out where the heck I am with this project!

Quilt Doodle BOM
And then I started a new BOM. Technically, it's a row-of-the-month hosted by Quilt Doodle, but she said it's winter-themed, so I'm hoping to make one block a month for a January-ish wall hanging for my mother. The blocks are 10" and the wall hangings are supposed to be about 30x40", so it should work out.

Obviously Mr. Snowman will be getting button eyes.

And Celtic Solstice is still a leader/ender project. I went back and forth on turning the chevrons to make a star, and not piecing the second block until I was really sure. But after seeing other people post their various versions, I'm sure I want the star. So here it is!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Hearts Table Runner - Finished!

I got a little tired of not having a finish, so I...went ahead and finished something. Genius, I tell you.

I pieced this table runner mumblety-something years ago. Right before Christmas, I pulled out all the various table runners and pillows and other little things I've been avoiding quilting for no good reason, slapped them all on a big piece of muslin, and quilted away.

Quilted with loops and butts hearts.

FINALLY, this week, I cut them apart and set about binding.

I used this tutorial on single fold binding, although I cut my binding to 1.5", which is a more useful size for scraps.

I used this tutorial on binding the non-90ยบ angles. It came out...well, it looks good from the front. Not quite on the back. But it's a table runner, so...

CC helped bind.

A lot.

Yes, she is a demon spawn who is after her pound of flesh. OW. She's lucky she's cute.

And now to get a picture of it on the kitchen table Halo battlefield? Sigh.


scraps and white Kona

I'm not sure what pattern I used, since it was mumblety-something years ago, but this one is pretty close.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekly Progress - Tops and Stops

Well, I survived my hardest week of training in, um, probably forever. I've never done a running plan with a 12-mile long run. Longest I've ever run pre-race was just shy of 11, and that didn't include a week of heavy duty sprints and tempo runs beforehand. Ow.

But now I am tapering and foam rolling and icing and treating my legs like princesses. Princess who take Epsom salt baths instead of bubble baths, that is.

And sewing! I've done some of that, too!

Stalled out when I realized I didn't calculate my yardage right. And did I mention I bought this fabric last summer in Sun Valley? Oops. I called the store, emailed with the very nice owner and I think the right fabric is on it's way. Otherwise...

But hey - look! I got my design wall off the floor!

...and the countdown to CC pulling it down begins.

This is one of my very first fabric purchases, some eleven years ago. It was supposed to become a pillow, I think. Instead, it became a doll dress last year, and then relegated to the scrap bin.

Ever walk into a quilt store, spot the perfect border print immediately, then wander around for thirty minutes because really, the first one can't possibly be the best one?

Yeah. The first one was the best one.

Another project in the bag for long-arming!

And once Flirt was done and I hit a dead end on Road, I went back to whipping up HSTs for in between my sprints. Because I'm fun like that. Almost all the chevrons are triangled-up now.

Hmmm, I may have more tops done by the end of the month than I have time to quilt them...

And finally, Celtic Solstice has been relegated to leader/ender status. Four 54-40 blocks are done, and there's various pieces of each step scattered about the sewing room.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Finish Along - Quarter One

Ahh, it's that time of year again. Time to look at my list of projects and realize how woefully behind I am, and how I manage to add projects without finishing any first. At least since it's the new year, I can give the list a good scrubbing?

Chevron Baby Quilt - piecing
Matching PJ set - ordered
Vera Bradley Stars Quilt - ordered
Witch Table Runner - ordered
Wedding Quilt #1 - blocks have been signed! Waiting for them to be sent back.
Christmas Tree Skirt/Stockings - due Dec. 2014

Awaiting Binding
Anyone else tired of this picture? Yeah, I really need to cut these apart and slap some binding on them! At least the Valentine's Day ones.

Christmas Stars
Heart Table Runner
Frolicking Pinwheels 1
Ornament Table Runner
Postage Stamp Table Runner
Sunkissed Pillow

To Be Quilted
Four Patch Frenzy 1
Leftover Bunting Quilt
Pink Hunter's Star
Christmas Sampler
Baby Owls

Partially Pieced
 Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2013
Four Patch Frenzy 2
Frolicking Pinwheels 2
Log Cabin Shoes
Polaroid Quilt
Saturday Sampler 2012
St. Paul's Cross
Strip XOs
Woven Snowmen
Cat Flying Geese
Toy Story 1
Toy Story 2

Just Needs Borders
Central Park Sudoku
Chunky Log Cabin

Summer Drinks
Flirt Marks the Spot

Notice that Flirt moved? Yay, I'm four seams away from finishing this one!

Block of the Month/Week
{as in, I will be piecing it throughout the year with no hurry to finish}
Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2014
{as in, I already own the fabric & pattern}
Cardinal Charm Tesselation
Coffee panels and yardage
Lone Star
Pez Schnibble
Voila Pumpkin Kit
Bonnie & Camile Spin City
Trip Around the World
California Girl Double Hourglass
Hello Luscious Avignon Picnic
Mason Jar quilt
Homespun + Jeans
Star Wars Pixelated
Monkey Jelly Roll

In addition to the NewFO challenge - which most of these fall under - Vrooman's Quilts is hosting a "Let's Book It" monthly linky. Several of these fall under both categories!

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
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
A ridiculous number of pants that need hems or elastic repaired
Ironing board cover

Finish-Along @ The Littlest Thistle

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekly Progress - HSTs

Somehow I got stuck trimming down bunches of HSTs this week. And I bounced around on a couple different projects - product of not being in the sewing room for a couple weeks. You'd think I'd chose something that doesn't involve so much trimming!

The final layout for Celtic Solstice has been revealed! And I'm changing it. I prefer the stars from the chevrons this way over the boxes in the original design.

CC is delightful, as always.

More HSTs in the Road to Oklahoma {Washington style} quilt. All the four patches are made, all the HST are sewn but not trimmed. I'm working through it a block at a time, trying to get all the seams turned the right way so that everything nests up nicely.

And look, I got a design wall! Just need a place to hang it up. So that CC can tear it down.

AND {obviously I missed sewing over the holidays} I finished off the baby owls top early last week. Backing is purchased, binding is prepped...and the baby shower isn't for a couple weeks! I just have to schedule some longarm time once I have a couple more things to quilt.

AND {I know, right?} I decided on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge for this year. I'm going with sweet and simple churn dashes and showcasing some of my favorite scraps. This is the border from my Layer Cake Quilt Along which was made with one of my all-time favorite lines.

AND {seriously} since I had the blue bin out, I cut out the squares for the chevron baby quilt. Then I cut some Kona Bone. Then I sewed them. Then I ran sprints, and in between each mile repeat, I cut them apart and trimmed.

Now I have this! And the knowledge that I can run four miles at sprint pace. With a breather in between.

And because I'm not allowed to work on the new without a bit of the old, I'm slowly sewing together Flirt. There's a LOT of seams to be matched up, so I can only handle two or so in a row. But I should be done this week and then it's time to decide on a border!