Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm happy to finally have something to show.

No doubt, I did finish my 4x5 Modern Bee Blocks , ahead of schedule, so go look at those.   They even got mailed and some have started to arrive.  (If you're coming here from Freshly Pieced- that lime, aqua and green Oregon star block is destined for me! ) I'm more proud of myself than I probably should be about the finish, but, I'm a wait to the last minute kind of person.  Which is why, I'm more happy to share this WIP.  It's a- CHRISTMAS present- started before Halloween!   The plan is to have both of these done before Thanksgiving.  I am more than a little freaked about learning how to embroider the names.  I do have a very good friend with a fancy smancy embroidery machine, but I'm thinking I should do them by hand.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Favorite tutorials?

So, about the panels.  This Sarah Jane fabric is my first official fabric crush.  It took over a year, but it was love at first sight.  When I saw this panel quilt on her blog, I just had to have it.  I'm sure you know, but it's Children's Play by Sarah Jane, and it's produced by Michael Miller.

My projects:
  • Spiderweb quilt (no progress)
  • Diamond Rainbow Quilt- this one is driving me crazy. The corner seams are getting caught in my feed dogs.  I think maybe I should re-iron all these little boogers and try again.  Maybe it's an issue with my machine.  I dunno.  
  • Wonky Shot Cottons Log Cabin (no progress)
  • Secret Christmas Present (got the  fabric waiting on the bee blocks)
  • My husband reminded me of a flannel D9P I started last year, and well- forgot!
  • Cream Dolls square quilt- October is my month in my Simple Modern Quilt Bee, and I sent Sarah Jane fabrics and asked for some pieced blocks.  Wait with bated breath for those to start showing up on my blog.
Coming Soon:
  • Garden Fence quilt using Children's Play On the Go fabrics.  I'm looking for solids to match the aqua and orange if you happen to know of any.  Sashing will be Kona snow.
  • Houndstooth quilt-  I've got fabric for it.  I just need to sit down and do it.
ASAP list:
  • Deadline for the 2nd round of the Bow Tie Swap is coming up.  I'd planned on making 40, but I might just be happy with 10.  They don't take long to make, but I have a busy few days.  Homeschooling is going great, but it's time intensive.  Mommy time is pretty rare. I'm lucky that I can pawn my kids off to my parents on the weekend, then I sew sew sew.  I've convinced myself that I'd be a pretty decent quilt blogger- if only.  I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.  I'd be lieing, if I hadn't thought- more than once- how much quilting I could get if she were in a brick and mortar school.  
  • Learn to embroider.

Monday, September 26, 2011

4x5 Modern Quilt Bee- a finish

I finished my bee blocks, with time to spare.  They went into the mail this morning.  I ended up making these HSTs the long way.  Overall, I'm pleased with how they turned out.  I had started out with a plan to make the Lucky Pieces block because I liked the X look to it.  As I sketched out the color scheme, I noticed it was also a lot like the Starflower (Ellison Lane Starflower), so I kinda mix-mashed the two and this is what I came up with:  Lucky X, Starpieces?, X flower?

August Bee Blocks

This month Jill sent us some Munki to her blocks.  I have a side swap going on with her, so that's why there are three blocks.  I haven't quite joined in on the Munki madness, but I can see the appeal!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Brought to you by the letter S (or is it the no. 5?).

Red letter quilt along. "s" by stayathomelibrarian

So, I love letter making. Additionally,  I love bloggers that love letter making. Lynne, over at the Patchery Managerie is hosting a "Red Letter Quilt Along". I decided to jump in and do my own sampler quilt.  I have a kabillion I-spy squares, but they're mostly cut in 4 inch squares, which isn't conducive to letter making in the first place. There are other places- such as the scale of the print.

I'm not a big fan of the letter S.  It doubles as the number 5 and I just don't like that.  I'm a black and white kinda lady, and the duplicitous nature of this letter/number just rubs me the wrong way.  I mean to say, I can't get on board with it.   Sure, pieced in a word, you know it says SPAWN (if you were to quilt the word spawn)- and not 5PAWN, or maybe you wouldn't.  I tried Lynne's way of putting a little background color on the top bar, but I also added a little curved part in the middle.  It could use some more curvy parts, and I put in- and took out several curvy parts before settling on this one.  I think it looks less like a 5 thank other esses I have made- but I'm resolute that there is a "better" way.

The t is my favorite letter, not because it is simple, but because I like to do the double letter- as in Attie in a previous post.  So, I guess the "tt" are my favorite letters.   After spending more time that I care to admit looking through charm squares for a "t-word",  I can almost probably deduce that this will not be an I-Spy Word Play quilt.  Almost.

T is for tape measure.

Red letter quilt "t" by stayathomelibrarian

And in other letter making updates, I finished another Word Play block. The "a" is another one of the letters that serves a dual purpose.  Plop it on its head, and you have the letter "e".  Looking at this "a", it might do better as an "e", but there it is, stuck as an "a".  Not only is the "a" huge, but the block is too.  It's 7 inches tall and over 18 inches wide.

Jordan by stayathomelibrarian

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday #3

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I love Sarah Jane Fabrics.  Really.  Seriously.  Well, I like all her stuff.  I recently pre-ordered 2 copies of her soon to be released Christmas book.  As soon as I saw the Family Tree Panel quilt, I wanted to make 2 of my own.  I got the panels in from Pink Castle Fabrics last week, along with some other fabric from the line.  Brenda doesn't carry the entire line, so I'm waiting on a package from Hawthorne Threads so I can get started on these. A friend of mine from church has a fancy smancy embroidery machine that I'll use once I have the top finished.  Sarah Jane's embroidery patterns make me wish I could embroider- and maybe- one day.  Just not now.  I hesitate, but I do have a small complaint about the Children Play line.  I had hoped that Aqua Balloons would be my favorite print, but when I got it in hand, the hair of the red-headed girl, along with some coloring on her legs is shifted a bit on the print.  I haven't seen any other complaints on line about this print.  Maybe I'm the only one disappointed?

These quilts will be Christmas presents for Ada and Willa, so I hope to have the completed before Thanksgiving.  There isn't a lot of piecing in this one, so hopefully they will be quickly made.

Also New this week:  I'm waiting on (can you believe the mail man came while I was typing this!) I just got  some Munki fabric for my Simple Modern Quilt Bee in order to make some super cute blocks for a Flickr Buddy.

Still in Progress:

-I'm still working in my Rainbow Diamond  quilt.  I got another two blocks completed last night, bringing my total to four.  My three year old did hinder my progress.  I had the blocks clipped together with a binder clip.  She took half a dozen of them apart and started matching the prints.  Good thing the placement is random.
Deadline for this quilt is ASAP.  I want to do at least two blocks a night so I can go ahead and get this one out of the way.

-Bow Tie quilt.  I got the bow ties from my Bow Tie swap in.  I decided just to make these into a little quilt and donate it.   When I get closer to completing it, I'm going to request a kit from Quilt for Kids and send both of them in together.

-Surprise quilt- I'm working additionally on a Word Quilt that I won't share here until after it's given to its recipient.  This is a bee quilt.

Shelved Projects:

-My Shot Cottons Baby quilt has stalled.  I know that I could get the top finished rather quickly, but I think the "wonk" in the sashing isn't quite right, so who knows when I'll start on this one again.

-Spider Web quilt.  I've put a bug in the ear of someone who hosts swaps to do a "strings" swap.  If I had more than one follower, I'd do it on my own, but I don't like rejection.  If no one participated, I'd be sad. I do probably have enough scraps now that I could make a few blocks, but I really want a variety in there.

Priority: -I have one more word block to finish up for the Word Play Bee. I was a little "lettered out".  This block was originally slated to be done by another member who dropped out, but I hate to think that there is quilt out there just waiting on me to finish my piecing.

Deadlines to Watch: 4x5 Modern quilt bee.  I decided long ago which block I wanted to do.  My test block was 1/2 inch too short, but I'm confident I can fix that issue.  It seems that most of the other hives have a lot of the same colors going on.  I'm grateful there is a such an eclectic mix of colors in my hive, but it does make it a little harder when gathering fabrics.

Looking Forward:

I so have a Christmas quilt in the back of my mind for Micah, (my 19 month old son) using- of course, part of the Sarah Jane line.  I'm thinking of doing some square in square blocks to focus on the Aqua On the Go print.  I'm collecting fabric for it, but I want to get more projects completed before adding this in for processing.

Simple Modern Quilt Bee- Next month is my month, and I'm sending Cream Dolls and some of the other Children at Play fabric and see what awesomeness that these ladies can come up with.  The finished quilt will be for Willa.

August Bee Blocks

I love the Simple Modern Quilt Bee.  So many of the blocks have required some really creative thinking.  They've sent fabric, and said- "make".  This month was no different.  The queen bee for this month is having a Day of the Dead wedding, and asked for like inspired quilt blocks.  She sent several fabrics with the most beautiful skull prints and simply asked for blocks.  She provided a inspiration mosaic.  In that mosaic was a picture of her wedding cake topper.

Day of the Dead Wedding Cake Topper Scottish bride and Groom by claylindo
Day of the Dead Wedding Cake Topper Scottish bride and Groom, a photo by claylindo on Flickr.

It was the wedding cake topper that finally provided my inspiration.  Yes, it's a lot like last months bee block, but I do like it.  I hope she does too!

I've never mentioned it, but I started my own bee a couple of months ago.  I call it the "Word Play" bee.  We make words!  Here were my words for this month, names for a grandparent quilt.

Issac by stayathomelibrarian
Issac, a photo by stayathomelibrarian on Flickr.

Attie by stayathomelibrarian
Attie, a photo by stayathomelibrarian on Flickr.

Unfortunately, I did have one member drop out due to personal reasons, and because felt that, as a newbie, that she didn't have the skill to construct the blocks. I decided to just make her blocks for her every month. I'm getting really good at it, even if I do say so myself.  This was the make-up July block.

playful by stayathomelibrarian
playful, a photo by stayathomelibrarian on Flickr.

This is the block I made in July.  The color is a bit lot off, thanks to my iPhone photography. The blue is the same color!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Diamond Rainbow

I had a very quiet Labor Day.  Sunday after church, my husband took the kids to my parents house.  They spent the night and it was very quiet around here for over 24 hours.  I should've cleaned, or prepared for our week in homeschool.  Instead, I made HSTs. There was laundry being washed and dried meanwhile, so as to not completely ignore my household duties. I made lots and lots of HSTs from the charms I received through the swap over at Ellison Lane Quilts.   On Monday, Penelope and I watched Voyager reruns and worked on the layout of my Diamond Rainbow quilt.  She might not look it, but she had strong opinions about where squares should- more specifically shouldn't- be placed.  At one point, I took note that she was no longer "helping" me, and I got worried that she'd crawled into the dryer with the last load (confession: I have anxiety issues).  Unable and unwilling to go check the dryer (I hadn't heard any thunking, but there was a comforter in there, surely that would muffle the sound),  I stood calling frantically for her.  She came- eventually- blinking her tired eyes from behind the couch and resigned to continue her role as creative director.

I have a plan for this project, and the specifics is in the thread and quilting.  I decided that I wanted to use an Auriful variegated thread in the quilting on black fabric in order to create a dramatic effect.  While I was making the HSTs, I really did doubt the use of black, especially when I put the orange and black squares together and immediately had visions of Halloween.  But, I forged ahead.  When I got the first squared laid out, my plan was reaffirmed.  I love it.

The block is pretty simple:

Those blue corner squares aren't the same, just very- very similar.

But I think it creates a really dramatic diamond effect:

Being the slacker quilt blogger that I am, it didn't occur to me to take photos until the sun was setting and I was post-it-noting my blocks to put them away. This is a side view of most of  the quilt. There are a total of 24 blocks in the top, although there are just 18 here.  Each of the 5 piles is a block + the completed block- 24 blocks.  As you can probably tell, the charms are randomly placed.  I took care to make sure none of the prints were repeated in any of the blocks, but that was it. In looking through my pictures this morning, I did notice that there was probably too many purple squares in one block, or in the case of the above block- fabrics too similar in the same block, but I do like the overall layout. I believe that there could probably be a great value quilt in there somewhere, or a more dramatic use of the color wheel, but my creativity had expired on this one.  I have four blocks reserved for a strip across the back.  I'm going to have to figure out how to make the front and back rows even so as to not mess up the quilting.  How do quilters do that? I'm thinking of tieing the squares together in order to guarantee they are even, and them quilting it.  I'm excited to get this one done.  I started it with a specific recipient in mind, but being a new quilter, I've never completed a quilt for myself.  This just might stay with me.

Funny story about quilting with kids.  I have these squares on a card table.  Each pile of squares is clipped with a binder quilt.  While putting my 18 month old down for a nap, my 3.5 year old took half a dozen of them apart and started matching the squares.  I got to her before she took all of them apart, but, *big heavy sigh