Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sunday Stash #5

I broke a promise to myself and went fabric shopping while I was in Boise. 

Don't tell the hubby...but I found some great stuff! 

I visited a little shop on Chinden Road called Quilt Expressions. I wasn't a quilter when I lived there, so it was kind of a fun new find. They have a ton of stuff. If you're ever in town - I recommend stopping by. 

They had a couple people quilting on long-arm machines on one side of the building while I was there. I stopped to admire in awe for a while, before I remembered there were shelves upon shelves of glorious fabric that needed some attention. 

They had some individual fat quarters arranged by color. I picked a few of my favorites in blue, orange, and gray.  



Michael Miller - Stitch Square 
Art Gallery - Floral Elements
Happy Go Lucky - Penny Dot
Legacy - Geneology 


Scrumptious - Bias Stripe
- Something Moda - not sure what...
Lotta Jansdotter - Moira


Happy Go Lucky - Skip
Squared Elements - Gray
- No selvedge so I'm really not sure...
Urban Mod - Pointelle 


There were also a couple lovely bins of discounted fabric (likely bolt ends). Each of these is between 1 and 1.5 yrds. Not sure what I'll do with these yet, but they were just so pretty! (If you have any good ideas, feel free to speak up!) 


Robert Kaufman - Playday - Screen Print
Mama Said Sew - Text Words Dictionary
Henry Glass - Deck the Halls dot
Scrumptious Dot - Aqua
Dear Stella - Sari

And guess what? I ran into an old acquaintance while I was there - my sophomore English teacher from high school. And she remembered my name. Seriously?! I recognized her too, but couldn't remember how. Sophomore year was over 10 years ago...amazing!! I am terrible with names, so I really admire that talent in others. 

I'd say the shopping trip was a success! Pretty new fabric and ran into an old friend. :)  

I hope, before long, to have enough variety in my stash that it will be workable, and then maybe get up the courage to join a quilting bee. Any suggestions for a relatively new quilter? I've looked into a couple, but I'm open to your ideas. 

Linking up with Molli Sparkles

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yellow Brick Road Finish!

Hey guys! Did you miss me? I missed you!! 

I spent a week in Idaho visiting my mom. It was lovely to be just the two of us girls (well the four of us if you count the dogs). I really enjoyed it. Until I caught the nasty head cold that's been going around. Ugh. That took me out of commission for a while. 


(I think the dogs were concerned...)

But now I'm back, and guess what?!

Yellow Brick Road is officially finished!!!



I LOVE this quilt. It was started last October during a quilting class, which taught me a lot. I feel like - from beginning to end - this quilt is more technically sound than my previous two. I also found the process to be more enjoyable and less frustrating than the others. I seriously learned so much! 



I have to admit, when my instructor suggested I use minky instead of cotton as backing...I was terrified. I had never sewn with minky. I imagined it to be super slippery, and worried it might get stuck in the feed dogs. 

All my worry was for naught. It was so much easier than I had imagined. 


Seriously. If I can do it, anyone can. 

I did some research first, of course. Fabric.com's blog has some very helpful pointers here. Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew has some tips here as well. As suggested by Allison, I decided to go with a double-sided minky, purchased here during a sale. 



Overall, I think the combination of basting spray, pins, and a walking foot helped a lot. I did have a couple spots where the quilt top felt a bit baggy and bunched while quilting, resulting in some waviness and occasionally small pleats. Also, I found the minky to be a fair amount heavier than quilting cotton, and had to fight more drag while quilting.

I left the batting out of this project, to help with the weight, which I think was good. And the double-sided minky provides a decent amount of "fluff." This quilt doesn't feel too thin or too light, by any means. 



I had some uneven stitches (partially due to the heaviness of the quilt with the minky, and partially due to my malfunctioning walking foot). They were hardly noticeable, so I left them. The small amounts of waviness and pleating that occurred during quilting, has mostly disappeared in the crinkle of the cotton after washing.  

I am really subscribing to the idea that every project is about learning to quilt than learning to use my seam ripper. This quilt is likely full of beginner mistakes, BUT I have decided that, in general, small and non-fatal mistakes stay put. 


So, all in all - I'm really very happy with this quilt! It doesn't hurt that, in a couple months, I'll be mailing it to my sister in North Carolina for her birthday (shh...don't tell her it's a secret...). 

It almost feels like sending her this handmade quilt is the perfect way of sending her a long-distance hug. 



I think Sadie wanted a handmade hug too. 



Or maybe she just wanted to play...



Okay - gotta go! If I don't throw that ball for her soon, she's going to get pretty bossy! 

Quilt stats:
size: 60" x 80"
pattern: Yellow Brick Road
fabric: Modern Meadow and Quilter's Linen in Chartreuse 
backing: double sided minky in navy
quilting: me
binding: Herringbone in Pond 

Linking up to: Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFFLink-A-Finish Friday, and A Picture...A Moment

Thursday, February 6, 2014

February ALYOF Goal

Okay, so I just found out about the "A Lovely Year of Finishes" linky party. 

My Button

I know...I've been living under a rock or something! 

Anyway, I thought this would be an excellent way to help focus my sewing project attention. I have been just a bit ADD with my projects lately, and I'm getting to the point of WIP overload. 

This way I can set a goal for something to be my primary focus for the month - something that I will be more likely to finish. 

February's goal?

This was seriously a hard one...

I have so many...too many...great options. 



I've decided...I mean, I think I've decided...that my ALYOF finish this month should be my Barn Door quilt. Mostly because Yellow Brick Road is so close to done, that it doesn't feel like it should count. It will likely get finished as well, so that will just be icing on the cake!

What do you think? 

Did I make the right choice?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunday Stash #4

So my beautiful, amazing sister-in-law is at minimum 10x the quilter and seamstress that I am...bare minimum. 

I have known for a while that she works at a local quilting/sewing store in Idaho Falls. I didn't know, until recently, that said "local quilting/sewing store" was The Ribbon Retreat. I also didn't realize it has such a great online shop!

I happened across a link in another sewing blog, and then remembered the name from my SIL. After checking out their website, I realized they have so much great stuff - particularly some precuts of older, harder to find fabric lines. Also, my particular favorite, these cute fat quarter bundles called "Little Fatties."  These little bundles turned out to be the perfect way to add a few pieces of my favorite fabric lines to my stash, without breaking my budget. They also offer something most online fabric shops won't - the ability to buy single fat quarters of any fabric at a reasonable price.  

(100% my own opinion, without sponsorship.

They have weekly deals and sales. Here's what I picked up during a sale a couple weeks ago:

These "Little Fatties" bundles are by far my favorites. They're just so cute! 

I grabbed some Sunnyside: 

Blythe: 

and Scrumptious:

All pretty great stash builders to add to my collection, or to use in a project together, combined with other stash fabrics to make it unique. 

PB&J Layer Cake:

I have been coveting PB&J for a while, but it was just enough before my quilting days as to be generally unavailable. I was quick to grab this up - I may go back for a bit of yardage for binding or something, depending on what project this ends up in. 

Some FQs on clearance: 

- 2 Simply Color prints in eggplant
- More Blythe
- Indie Chic (I think this one only cost me $1.50!)

A couple charm packs of Marmalade:

Bonnie & Camille are probably my favorite fabric designers!! Again - Marmalade was a bit before my time, and I have been coveting it since we were first introduced in one of Camille's Craftsy classes. SO excited to have some to work with!! 

The cutest thing about this purchase - I left a little note at checkout for my SIL just saying "Hi!" When my package arrived, there was a little handwritten note from her on my receipt. 



Happy Sewing!! :)

Linking up with Molli. 


Molli Sparkles

Monday, January 27, 2014

Late Sunday Stash

I'm a little late to the party this week, but my weekend was SO worth it. 

We traveled to Idaho for a much-needed visit with family. I have to say, I was seriously hoping for some time out of the winter inversion

           Image credit: mountaintownnews.net

To my dismay, we encountered inversion almost all the way from Burley to Boise - although the inversion in Boise seems more gray than brown and sits a little higher above the city than the smog here. It was also still bitterly cold. 

Ah well. The bright, cheerful faces of our loved ones more than made up for the lack of sunshine!! 


This stash post is a catch-up from some purchases made during end-of-the-year sales. The Etsy shop at LimaSews was having some pretty great deals. 

Here's what I picked up. 


From left to right: 
- Camp Modern - Flight (Mahogany)  An organic cotton with a slightly heavier weight. It is the most lovely, saturated eggplanty-red color. I love it!
- Pearl Bracelet - HiHo Silver
- Color Me Retro - Dulcette Lobelia


- Chicopee - Shirt Stripe (Red)
- Koi - Smile and Wave (Water)
- Bungalow - Hive (Maize)


- Poetica - Rhythmic Gray
- 2wenty Thr3e - Cameras (Pavement) 


More organic cotton: 
- EIKO - Birds and Blossoms (Dark)
- EIKO - Playing Koi (Dark) 
            Both had appeared more blue online - in person they are much more gray. 

I had originally purchased these to use in my Barn Door quilt - but (one of the dangers of fabric shopping online) they didn't all match together very well when they arrived. I decided to make them some of my first stash collection that hasn't been already designed into a project. 

Linking up with Molli Sarah. 

Molli Sparkles

Thursday, January 23, 2014

WIP Thursday: Progress!

I think I'm having a sewing time-management breakthrough!! 

I have always been a terrible procrastinator, especially during my high school and college days. Just ask my mom

My motto was, "The only difference between a bad student and a good one is that the good student is more skilled at procrastinating." 

I still sometimes live by that motto. It's certainly how I had been managing my sewing projects. I usually don't feel motivated to make any progress on big projects until I'm under the wire...

Lately, I've been trying a different approach. I try to sew a little bit (an hour or two) every day. I can't always make that happen, but most days I can accomplish a couple small things - pinning squares together to prep for chain piecing, trimming my half-square triangles, etc. Over the last week or two, I am beginning to reap the benefits of that slow and steady progress. 

I'm definitely feeling more successful. Wanna see?!

My Barn Door Quilt is coming along!



The lighting is a little bit off - I promise my walls are not pink... I didn't have time to take any photos until after our Cub Scout activity tonight, and the sun had gone down.  

This picture is probably the closest to the true coloring of the quilt: 


I am loving working with Dowry. It is such beautiful fabric! I worry that this quilt might be just a little...or a LOT busy.  I'm hoping once it's bigger, the tone difference between the dark and light fabrics will help calm things down a bit. If not, I will still like it. 

I even took some time the other night to get working (finally) on my Lighthouse baby quilt for a friend at work.


I managed to get most of the A sections chain pieced. Next will be pressing and trimming. It's going well so far. I'm not sure paper piecing is my thing, but we'll see how I feel after I make a little more progress. 

Linking up with Lee. 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Working in COLOR!

Guys! 

I'm working in color again!! 


I've been working on my linen & lace tree skirt project for the last month. Since you haven't seen a finished post, I'm sure you can tell...I didn't finish it in time for Christmas. I knew I wouldn't, so I'm just chalking it up to being super on top of things for Christmas 2014. Ha. 


All of the blocks for the tree skirt are finished, so I took a quick break to put some time into my Barn Door quilt for Sarah's quilt along


It is SO nice to be working in color again! Of course, working with AMH means working with lots of it. While both of the blue fabrics "read" blue to me, each have 16 colors on the selvage! I'd say I'm making up for my time spent in a world of beige and ivory. 

Also, after spending a month with linen, moving back to quilting cotton is kind of an adjustment. The cotton feels thin and slippery compared to the linen. It's rather nice to have less bulky seams, though.  :) 

And did you notice the lovely new iron in the pic above?? It was my Christmas present this year!



She's a beauty! I have been working with a gross old Sunbeam, whose only redeeming factor is that it never shut off. Ever. Unfortunately it also ran so hot the plastic above the heat plate was starting to brown. Ick. 

I'm happy to have this lovely new Reliable. I'm hoping it's just that, reliable. It's nice and heavy so that, even with my bent old ironing board, it achieves nicely pressed seams without much effort. I had to put all my weight behind the Sunbeam, and would still have only moderately pressed seams before. The only downfall I've noticed so far with the Reliable, is that it is true to the 7 min timer. After 7 minutes, it turns itself off, even if I'm using it. Thankfully it beeps first, so I can hop over and turn it back on before it cools down. It also heats fairly quickly.  


In other news, I managed to injure my neck this week. I can hardly move - which makes sewing a bit of a challenge. 

I bet you're wondering how I injured myself?

I'll give you some guesses: 

1 - I was enjoying the fresh powder on our beautiful Utah slopes and managed to fall just wrong on my neck. (Falling...that sounds like me, right?)

Alta Ski Resort

2 - I took up professional wrestling, but Mr. Stone Cold was a bit much for my 5' 5.75" frame.
(yes, the extra 0.75" is necessary and important to me...)



3 - I was doing my hair. 

I know, I know...you all think I'm an amazing skier and a tremendous wrestler...but it was actually #3. 

EMBARRASSING!! 

**Imagine the phase with the same sing-song tone as Agent Wilde's "LIPSTICK TASER" from Despicable Me 2**



For real. Embarrassing.

I was pulling my hair back into my typical, wet, I-don't-want-to-do-my-hair-today bun before work, and somehow kinked my neck just wrong. At that moment, I probably looked about like Gru does in that picture above. I'm certain my facial expression was pretty close. And now I can't move. 

Maybe in a few days I'll feel more like myself again. 

In the meantime, if you catch me around town, I'll be waddling slightly to keep it still and turning my entire body to look at things. 


Linking up with Sarah and Lee. 

Sarah Quilts
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced