Friday, February 28, 2014

February - Short but Successful

There might have only been 28 days in February, but I packed them full of starts and finishes and blocks.

Of course, it helped that my husband was gone for half of the month, and the Dude doesn't mind if I serve him chicken quesadillas...every night. Plus I had a race at the end of January, so there was a lot of laziness recovery instead of exercise.


Finished Tops
Chunky Log Cabin - I finished quilting the blocks, but ran out of time on the borders. Almost done!

Reverse Hearts - finished the top this week, pieced the backing, and it's ready to be quilted next!


Spin Cycle - I don't know why I can't take a decent shot of these. Believe me, they are really far more lovely than the color implies. This is my official NewFO - Hearts and Vera and the wall hangings were also new, but this one is for ME.

Cat Tails - sadly, stalled out when I ran out of the background fabric. Worse, no one around here carries it. Worst, I have the selvage but there's a million 1867s! So I'm mailing my scraps and selvages to Ladyfingers in the hopes that they can mail back the right stuff.

Celtic Solstice - slowly chugging along. You know how it is - sew, sew side side dog blue! You have 1/9th of a block. After you trim the dog ears. Still, it is progressing.


Our court date in Korea was changed. It's now a week later, which sucks, but we will be home for the Dude's birthday, so it's worth it. Pulling together all the final details/paperwork and trying not to panic!

The Dude took sixth place in his Pinewood Derby with his Minecraft squid car. Designed it himself! It was more of an artistic design than a speed design, so we're he's pretty happy finishing that high.

I'm easing back into half marathon training - I have four in 34 days starting in May, so my basic plan is the sprints/tempo runs of the FIRST plan {which I used to get my PR in January} with long runs over nine miles every weekend.

Not much to say about the cats. CC is still a terrible wee beastie. Tycho and I are still barely tolerant.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vera Bradley Quilt - Finished!

So, a while ago, I was asked to make a quilt with Vera Bradley fabrics. I was a little apprehensive - all I knew about VB was the ugly pre-quilted purses - what if the fabric was horrendous to look at work with?

Luckily, it wasn't! A few of the fabrics were a bit closer to home-dec weight, but most of the others had a great hand. The one on the top left {and second row, last on right} was a napkin and was especially soft and delicate. And nothing was pre-quilted. Whew.

And even though it's way more paisley than I would ever want, the colors are quite lovely.

Of course, sewers might recognize some of the info on the selvage!

{Also note the cat hair! It's nice to receive fabric already coated in cat hair, especially given CC's love for this quilt.}

She originally asked for my Twinkle Twinkle design, but there just wasn't enough fabric to do it - I'd have to cut the pieces down to 3.5" and most of the designs were far bigger than that. The fabrics were remnants {or napkins} so there wasn't much to work with.

Suzanne did some Googling and picked this design - Strawberry Fields from Material Obsession. Which....I own! I guess it was meant to be! I scaled the blocks to fit the fabrics we had {and seriously - I had 35" of the star points and needed 33"! No miscutting allowed!}

I love the economy blocks - I used the same elephant print in the second square of all of them to tie it all together. And this green-dominant block is my very favorite - that's why it got center square!

I went way out of my comfort zone - after plenty of paper practice - and quilted an all-over freehand paisley design. It came out way, way better than I thought. {Wait, should I be admitting that on a customer quilt?}

It's not perfect - sometimes I forgot that I was supposed to be "traveling" and ended up going in tight circles - but for the most part, it's exactly better than I envisioned it.

Which is good because the backing shows off every single loop, vividly!

{And how perfect is that backing against the binding? She did that from memory!}

Label is a simple corner label - as usual, not filled out yet. But this time because we're still trying to come up with a name.

Vera - after binge-watching Downton Abbey, I don't have a good association with that name. But then, Firefly...this is my very favorite gun... Suzanne briefly called it "My Blue Heaven." I suggested a Beatles name because of the original Strawberry Fields...but there's not really a blue Beatles song. There's a Blue Album, on which Strawberry Fields appears...

Eventually it will have a name on the label, though!

This quilt was well-loved by the cats - which is good because it's a lap quilt and Suzanne has a lap cat who is very dedicated to his job.

This is his "don't tell CC where I am" look.

Oops, too late.

Ahh, mine to snuggle.

I tried some staged shots...and decided I'm just not that good at staged shots. Should the lamp be there? I can't tell if it's distracting. I can read tutorials all day on lighting {in fact, thanks to Lori's advice, I opened and shut the blinds in the bedroom until I figured out which one was causing the dapples on the end of the quilt} but I just can't "see" a good shot. Oh well.

Quilt Details
Fabric: Vera Bradley remnants, Kona Silver
Backing: Joann's Cozy Flannel, Aquarius
Binding: Vera Bradley
Size: 65" square
Pattern: Strawberry Fields by Sarah Fielke


Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekly Progress - TV Binges

This week, I watched every episode of Downton Abbey and Sherlock.

Oh, right, quilts.

Um, thanks to the binging of DA and Sherlock, I finished off two quilts this week.

{Oh, and actually watching DA did nothing to cure me of my desire for the fabric. I even want Edith's colorway now. Oh, Edith. And watching Sherlock did nothing to cure me of my desire for Benedict Cumberbatch. Though who needs a cure for that? Yum.}

QUILTS. Um, yes. That's what this post is about.


Vera Bradley - just a sneak peek. The binding is on, and I'm busy burying the quilting tails. Full post on Friday.

Weekly Churn Dash - a favorite pink scrap from Bad Romance. Look, it's an adorable birdie in the top left HST!

And all four of the pinks.

And I looked through my notes on last year's RSC, decided on the number of blocks I want, and made the remaining pinks. 

Mostly because I knew I needed more beige Dimples to set this one, and I need it for Cat Tails, and I need it for something else but I need to find my notes on that after I remember what THAT is, so I can put in one order. 

Finishing old projects sucks when you can't find your notes.

Almost finished piecing the top for Reverse Hearts.

And since I'm almost done with Hearts, and I finished a commissioned quilt and a baby quilt and a UFO this month... {Oh, yeah, I pieced the back for Chunky Log Cabin and I'm quilting it today. Freehand feathers within the zig-zags. I'm terrified!}

Anyway, with all those finishes, it was time to start something fun for me. This is Spin Cycle by Cluck Cluck Sew and it's wonderful. The instructions are clear, it goes together rather quickly, and the blocks are adorable. Mine is from hoarded Bonnie and Camille fabrics.

Oh, and it's prettier than the picture. These were all taken late afternoon during a snowfall, so the lighting was terrible. But the snow is pretty!

And I organized my batting - very big chunks, chunks, strips, skinny strips, and a bag of too-small bits. The skinny strips are being chopped into rag quilt size. The scraps are going to be scissored into pillow stuffing size.

But when you share the sewing room with the playroom, and you clear the floor of project boxes and batting scraps, something else begins to take over...


Friday, February 21, 2014

Four Patch Frenzy - Finished!

Wonder why you never saw this quilt on the blog until recently? I pieced it on a whim about a year ago to test out a design in my head.

{Someday I will find a spot to take pictures that doesn't include my neighbor's very attractive chain link fence.}

And it was not a success, so I didn't share it.

{Oh, hey, look - it's my neighbor's trampoline!}

I mean, it's a nice quilt. Big blocks to showcase some nice large prints. Very easy to piece, as it's just a variety of four patches. I made it in less than a day.

{Ironically, there was snow on the ground this morning, so I could have gotten a shot without dead grass in it.}

But see the chain of little pour patches? Right, not so much. They could be a chain. They should be a chain. But since I didn't think much about color placement, they just kind of blend in.

So, lesson learned. And I'll take out my coloring book graph paper and try again. Well, after I finish the second one, because I went gung-ho on the cutting. Oops.

Fabric is A Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey, although I think the red is Little Apples? The binding is Sherbet Pips, and the backing is an adorable bow flannel from Joann's. Perfectly matched - which, of course, means now I can't find it anywhere to have it for the second quilt.

I do think my quilting is adorable. A variation on my usual loops - they're little bowties! And most of them don't look like butts!

45" square


Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekly Progress - BOMs and UFOs

This week was a mixture of finishing and some block work. I'm still trying to settle on a good day to do my monthly BOMs...first Monday seems obvious, just hasn't happened the first couple of months.

This is the 13th 12" block for the Fat Quarter Stars. I made the hourglasses before and decided not to use them because there wasn't any of the background fabric. I'm still not sure...but it's a block. And I found my list, so I can go ahead with the 9" blocks while I ponder this one.

Quilt Doodle Row-Along - I shrank the house block down to 10" to fit my plan. I think it will need a button wreath of some sort on the door!

And my weekly churn dash - it's really much brighter than the photograph! This was used as part of a dress for my niece, and it's just a very cheerful pink.


The wind was disagreeable for getting a good picture, but the Vera Bradley quilt is pieced. I'm backing-hunting and quilting this week!

And since I was on a roll, I put the borders on the Chunky Log Cabin. When I finished the top, I swore I was going to keep going until it was November...2012... But I already have the backing, so this time, I swear, it's high on the quilting list.

I prepped the binding for Four Patch Frenzy, so that will get done this week.

And finally, the Reverse Heart project. It's been a leader/ender, so progress is slow, but slicing willy-nilly through my pink scraps has been fun.

I also stole back a storage table from the office and emptied two boxes of UFOs. Sure, technically it's just moving them from one holding place to another, but it's open wire bins. I can see them a lot better {and feel guilty} and they're separated out into their levels of done-ness. And I don't have to go digging through boxes trying to decide what to do next. So hopefully that will help move some projects to the done pile in the near future.