Saturday, October 1, 2011


Yes, it is October. I managed to do at least one thing that I really wanted to do last month. Boy, NaSewMo was a complete fail for me this year. I just had too many non-sewing things going on. Partnered with the other smaller item sewing obligations I had, it was just impossible for me.
Yay, I finished Dulcie's quilt top--which is one good step in the right direction! There are just over 50 prints in the background. I wish I had used more. Luckily, the eye tends to follow the diagonal line instead of moving up and down. I finished this on the 29th. It was a complete skin-of-my-teeth photo finish to squeeze it into September at all. Not all the seams match, but it doesn't really matter. My girl loves it, and so do I :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NaSewMo Week 2-3

I went on vacation and it was totally awesome and relaxing. I haven't stitched a thing in like 1.5 weeks. I have to finish up my obligations to Hive 21 for the 3x6, and then I'm set! I opted not to join the October NuBee round so that I can start working on Christmas presents and that sort of stuff. My daughter's birthday is in November and the DH is hinting none too subtle that he wants to throw a big party for her. If that ends up being the case, I should have started Christmas last month given all the planning that takes, LOL!

Seriously, I think I may have to reschedule my NaSewMo this year ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Unproductive Week

I'm honestly surprised how much busier I am this year than I was last year. Sewing wise, this has been a very unproductive week. I managed to sew all my rows (10) and pair them together for my daughter's quilt. I had hoped to have them sewn together (aka finished!) today, but that didn't happen. Instead, I spent 7 hours muddling my way through TWO blocks for the NuBee block swap. Granted it wasn't 7 continuous hours, but whenever I had time to sew, I opted to work on that. I think my energies are off when it's coming to sewing. Everything is seeming a tad more tedious than it should be. I am disappointed that I didn't reach my Week 1 goal for NaSewMo. At least I did manage to finish those 2 blocks and I cut for a 3rd. I need to finish all my blocks by Thursday afternoon since that's when I'll be going out-of-town for a long weekend.

Monday, September 5, 2011

NaSewMo - Week 1

I finished sewing my do.Good stitches blocks today.I had to remake one of the blocks because when I measured it today, it was nearly a .25" shy on one side. I also started on my Hive 21 blocks for 3x6. I did one practice block and it was a failure. Well, not complete failure. I just forgot to change a fabric placement and so it didn't work like it should have. And with it laid out, it wasn't quite what I wanted--even if the colors had been in the right places.

I have a small, but growing, collection of blocks that don't belong to anything. Either they were the wrong size and had to be cut down, or they just weren't what I wanted. Here is a sample of the most recent additions:I decided today that I'm going to cobble them all together and make a truly scrappy patchwork. I don't know how long it will take to save up enough pieces. I know I have a few more blocks hidden away. Or I might just use this selection as a base. I'm finding I really like the bright aqua/teal, pink, yellow, green combination.

I know I probably should have started NaSewMo's first week *last* week since the 1-3rd was then, but I had too many things going on with the power coming back on the evening of the 1st and what not. I'm still boggling of the sheer amount of laundry my little family managed to produce in 5-6 days. I never noticed before since I wash a load sometimes every day to keep the DH in clean scrubs. Now that I'm more (or less) caught up on household obligations, I find my eyes turning toward the sewing machine. It is my goal to complete my daughter's quilt top. I am still divided on the thread situation, so I won't be quilting it just yet. Not that it matters since I have 2 other quilt tops ready to have that treatment already.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September = NaSewMo

It's NaSewMo, again! I cannot believe it's been a year already. I decided this year, I am going to work on completing my 'in-progress' projects and maybe one or two small ones. While my power was out, I worked on my daughter's quilt. Not sewing, but the layout (I had luckily finished block construction the night of Hurricane Irene), and here they are:

I wish, hindsight being what it is, that I had just done the scrappy purple for the bows. I think it would make the first option look better, instead of like a scrappy snowball. Even so, I think both arrangements are handsome. Since I couldn't really decide, I showed the pictures to my daughter and asked her to choose her favorite. Without a second of hesitation, she chose the second layout. I think that, when it comes to bowties, the angled bow looks nice with the solid bow/scrappy background and the joined/latice version looks nicer with a patterned fabric for the bow.

Now that I had my layout, now I needed my thread. I had ordered some real-thread color cards. They arrived while I had no power. I admit, I was very taken with the idea of varigated thread before I had even started the quilt. That's what prompted me ordering the color cards. I wanted to find a nice one to coordinate. Superior threads recomment using a 50 wt thread for the bobbin, so I ordered the Masterpiece color card, too (only the one with the applicable colors, though).

But since I do a lot of ordering on-line, I splurged and bought a Mettler silk-finish real thread color card, too. I'm a recent (as in last month) convert to piecing with cotton instead of polyester. I haven't been quilting long, and really, it didn't seem like it mattered. Now I know differently. It helps that my borrowed machine loves Mettler (I'd heard people say things like that about thread before and never got it. And then I did.).I love color cards. I have a folder of bookmarked sites. I'm gradually building a collection. I already have one for Kaufman's Kona Cotton and Moda's Bella solids. It seemed kind of 'duh' that I finally got around to buying a thread card, too.

Back to the quilt. I can't decide if I really want varigated thread or not. The color I want is King Tut's Egyptian Princess.As you can see, it's a tone-on-tone varigated with color change every inch, but it's subtle. I wonder, if it's so subtle with all the patterns I have in the background is it worth it? You'll only see it on the bow ties, and that might not even stand out. Which makes me ask myself: do I even want it to stand out? I don't want to be so in love with an idea that I can't see the forest for the trees. I think I've spent more time debating the thread than sewing at this point. Honestly, I don't know that I'll have a solution anytime soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bow Tied

After reading something on someone's blog (I can't remember whose), I did something that seriously needed to be done. I gave myself permission to use fabric from my stash. My daughter is transitioning (hopefully) to her toddler bed, and I wanted to make it special (and therefore more likely to happen?) by making her a quilt and matching pillow or sham. At first, I started looking for new fabric. I have a modest stash: less than some, more than others. The thing is this: I rarely use the fabric I've already bought. That was one of the reasons I joined some block swap bees. One reason being that I could be more social that way. The other being I'd actually *have* to cut fabric.

It's funny really. Up until I joined the 3x6 bee, I only had ONE gallon ziploc of scraps. And it wasn't even full. In the last 6 months I have filled up THREE more bags. I finally understand why people have scrapbuster projects!

Anyhow, I've been wanting to make a bowtie quilt for a long time. I dug in my stash and found all my girly pinks and purples--since that's totally my girl's style.Initially, my planning was to make a scrappy pink background with scrappy purple bow ties. Then I started to worry that with all the patterns that the bow ties wouldn't stand out. I thought I had the perfect solution. I had previously bought 3 or so yards of Moda's Bella Solid in Hyacinth. It's a kind of blue-y pink-y purple. I would use *that* for the bow ties.

I figured I was all set, and I started to cut. I really wasn't sure what kind of bow tie quilt I wanted to make: did I want to turn the bows to be more like a lattice (which I love) or angle all the bows and keep them individual (not as fond of but still like)? I decided I'd make it simple by doing a step-by-step assembly line and just see what happened (not good planning, at all).

I spent 3 days (about 4-5 hours a day. I really want an Accucut cutter now) cutting squares. It wasn't without casualties. My poor 4.5 square. I hit it no less than 8 times--on each side! Needless to say, my blade was shot, too. I had forgotten how wonderful a sharp blade feels. For those who have forgotten, too: It's HEAVENLY and as effortless as a hot blade on butter.
I spent another 2 days chain stitching all the squares and pressing them.
And then I took a break and spent 2 more days stitching the remaining solid square to the print. And then I took another break. I don't think I've ever been so reluctant to sew, LOL. Usually, when I get a project, I try and slam it out as fast as possible. I think I made my Nana's quilt in 3 days from start to finish. Last night, I finally started making the actual bow tie blocks. I've made about 20 6.5" sq blocks. I have like 60 more to go. Only time will tell if I do any more tonight!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lull and Other Things

Everything has gotten pretty calm on the home front. I finished my do.Good stitches blocks a few days (or so) ago. I have 2 blocks left from Hive #5 for 3x6 and all 6 left for Hive #21. I hope to finish Hive #5 today. It's very rainy today and it'll be cheery to play with my fabric. I still have no clue what I want to do for my Hive#21 block. Tomorrow the registration for the September round of NuBee Block Swap opens. I really love this swap. It's USA based (for the time being) and has a month-long duration (so you make 5 blocks in 30-31 days).

Speaking of things to do on a rainy day--Crafty Fox of West Wood Acres has a new tutorial and it looks really neat (and fun!). It's called Taffy Go Round, and it's a decorative pillow cover pattern. I haven't made nearly as many decorative covers, and this gives me an excuse to make one! She has it up on Leona's Quilting Adventure (who is also the host of the uber-fun Mug Rug Swap Adventure) and they are having a giveaway to go along with it! I highly encourage y'all to go over and give it a gander :)Link