Thursday, January 31, 2013


I really need to stop staying up all night sewing.... 25 blocks done though!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

X-Plus progress

I'm making good strides on my xplus along quilt. As of tonight I'm about halfway through the top. I decided to stick with my initial instinct about the color scheme when a friend told me it looked like Lily Pulitzer ;-) I used 30+ fabrics and cut everything out before i started piecing, and sorted the blocks out so that there wouldn't be any fabric repeats in the blocks. I used paper plates to keep everything organized. Here are some Instagram pics that I took yesterday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First finish of 2013?

This quilt is my first official finish of 2013! It was kind of a big one, too. Not really, it is a smallish lap quilt, but my Mom started it for my sister before she died. I tried to finish it for Christmas, but it didn't happen, but I was able to finish it in time for my sister's birthday this past weekend.

My mom pieced the top, basted it, and started quilting it. She didn't get far with the quilting, so I finished that and then bound it. The problem with the quilting (the reason it took me longer than I expected) was because my Mom was using a template to quilt it, which I couldn't find. So I made my own. I traced some of the quilting that she had already done onto template plastic and cut it out with an exacto knife. There were lots of starts and stops. I don't like that. But it was good, a very cathartic experience.

Of course, I didn't take a picture of the finished product before I gave it to my sister, but you get the idea...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stash organization

In the midst of making the first few x-plus along blocks, I realized that I have no idea most of the time what my fabric 'inventory' is. This is the first truly scrappy quilt I've done, and I wanted to see what I had to work with. Which, of course, led to me reorganizing my stash.

I've seen a couple of tutorials about how to make mini bolts out of foam core, so I gave that a try. I essentially just used an exacto knife to cut them up after measuring and marking how big I wanted them to be. The ones I made are 10x7 I think.

I used the mini bolts to store yardage, and anything less than a yard I folded up. I put everything back on the shelf in color order, so I could see quickly what all I've got to wrk with. (That's when I realized I needed to stock up on yellow. Like a lot. )

The third shelf is collections that I want to keep together, and solids I haven't figured out where to put yet.

The boxes on the lower shelves hold pulls for projects that I'm currently working on, as well as some home dec fabrics.

The whole shebang is really pretty, if I do say so myself... I love being able to see my stash, it gets me really excited to make pretty things :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Call me converted?

One of the new things that I've tried lately is switching some things up with my pressing. I'm a tried and true to-the-side presser, but with the Skill Builder BOM this past week I tried pressing seams open. I've done it before, but not with a lot of success. Burned fingers, taking twice as long, etc. And pressing is one thing about quilting that I'm less than enthusiastic about, so I've always tried to just get it done as quickly as possible.

So pressing seams open was not something that I was excited about. By alas, I actually surprised myself. It was kinda fun, I didn't burn myself (yet), and it really didn't take as long as I thought. And the seams are so pretty!

Here are some comparisons of a block I did a couple weeks ago (seams pressed to the side), and one this past week (seams open). So pretty!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jumping on the bandwagon...

The xplusalong phenom that has been all over Instagram is kind of rocking my world. I resisted the scrappy trip along, but I succumbed to the allure of the xplusalong block. I was organizing my stash over the weekend (more on that later), and discovered that I have a LOT of pink. So I decided to use some of it to do a couple of these blocks. I tried to be cool like Holly at Bijou Lovely and cut all my fabric beforehand, but that backfired. I realized I didn't have enough yellow for the background, so right now I only have enough different prints for about five blocks.

The color scheme is a little too strawberry shortcake for me at the moment, I think it might get a little overwhelming if the whole quilt looks like this, so I'm rethinking the colors.

Here is the first block, which was way fun to make. I'm stoked about getting back in the studio to crank some more of these out!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Skill Builder BOM #1

I worked on the first two blocks of the Skill Builder BOM from Pile O' Fabric over the weekend.

The way she is running the BOM is pretty impressive, with videos and PDFs and very detailed instructions. The only thing I noticed that I didn't love is that she could have condensed her steps some, and that I think she made some of the processes a little more difficult than necessary. I suppose the thoroughness (is that a word?) can be a nice feature for those who are newer to quilting, though. I have a hard time being tied to instructions, so I kind of just used them as 'guidelines'...

Of course, though, I neglected to take any pictures of the process. She has great pictures of everything in her posts, though. You will have to get by with just my finished blocks and a gratuitous pile of scraps.

Friday, January 18, 2013


It snowed! I typically hate snow. I don't have the kind of job where snow = no work, and every year for the last several I have ended up being stuck driving on the freeway during heavy snow, before plowing or salting have happened. So there is a little bit of a negative association there. But it snowed here last night - not much, thankfully - and the roads were cleared before I had to go anywhere this time. So I appreciated it a little bit more this time :-) Still doesn't need to happen too often, though...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stash-tastic Sunday

I worked a lot this past week, so there isn't anything productive to show you. I did manage to finish quilting a secret project this afternoon, but no pictures of that yet.

Here are some pretties instead...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sisters' Ten #1

So the first quilt top of 2013 has officially commenced! I started the Sisters' Ten BOM from Gen X Quilters yesterday afternoon. I've never done a BOM before, and I think it's going to be way fun.

The first block went well, it just took me longer than I expected. I don't usually follow directions or patterns when I'm quilting, I usually just make it up as I go along, so that was a little different. 

Picking out fabrics out of the stack.

Final pull, all crisp and freshly cut. I realized that I needed a large print for the center block, and I pulled the two I ended up using out of my stash. I think they worked out really well! I'm not sure how I'm going to feel about the blue background of this square once a few more are done; I wasn't planning on using any blue anywhere else in the quilt, and I think it might stick out like a sore thumb. We'll see, I guess!

Half square triangles.

Final product!!

Sisters Ten BOM block #1

Sisters Ten BOM block #1, the second

Monday, January 7, 2013

...I lied

So yesterday I was all like "I haven't bought fabric in ages" etc.

I apparently couldn't handle it. I went to my LQS just to look. Riiiight. Like that's realistic.

I ended up getting some more FQs for the two BOMs I'm doing, and I think the depth of those stacks has improved. I like how it's turning out.

Did you know they have Kona at Joann's?!? See those two bolts up there? Yeah, that happened.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stash-tastic Sunday

Believe it or not, I actually haven't bought any fabric lately. I know, I must be ill. But it's ok, really. Since I've started really using my new sewing room, and pulling out fabrics that have been hidden away for a long time, my stash seems to be growing at an excelerated rate.

One of my goals for this year is to become more comfortable with cutting into well loved hoarded fabrics. I mean, I have a full fat quarter set of Good Fortune that I'm waiting for the 'perfect' project for.

I've put together a couple of color stories that I'm thinking about using for the BOMs for this year, or Swoon. They are still getting rearranged, and I think they both need a little more depth, but we'll see what happens. I'll probably throw some solids in there too, since solids are my jam.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What's in store

So I'm not a big 'resolution-er'. It's too much pressure. Instead, I think of my yearly goals in terms of a to do list. Much more manageable, more methodical I suppose.

So here is my To Do list for 2013. far.

In the sewing room:
Finish my grandfather's quilt
Sister's Ten BOM at Gen X Quilters

Gen X Quilters Sisters' Ten BOM

Skill Builder BOM at Pile O' Fabric

Pile O' Fabric

Finish blue wall hanging
Arkansas traveler quilt
Start my Mom's quilt
Hexie quilt
Stop being a pansy about cutting into hoarded fabric!

In the abode:
Paint the kitchen and cabinets
Paint the living room/dining room
Start the landscaping process... Maybe cut down the ugly tree out front?
Do something pretty to the sunroom... And start living out there a little

This is obviously just a rough list. It will probably change over the course of the year, but the idea is to be productive and learn new skills and all that good stuff.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Good Riddance 2012

So I know I'm a little late with the new year post, but I've been a little slow on the uptake with everything lately...

Anyway, I've been in a little bit of a funk the last couple of weeks, and I haven't actually sewn anything in a while. The holidays were pretty tough to take this year. This was the first Christmas since my Mom died, and the whole family was feeling her absence very acutely. My family is pretty close, and it was definitely a blessing that we were all able to be together to support each other, but there was (and is) definitely a gaping hole in all of our lives.

2012 was definitely the worst year of my life. I feel like I've been on auto-pilot for months... You know when you're driving sometimes and all of a sudden you realize you're two blocks from home and don't remember how you got there? That's how 2012 was for me. I look around and see friends who have had babies and changed jobs and bought houses, and it makes me realize how much time has passed since I've been "checked out" of life.

I want 2013 to be different. I want to wake up and live more intentionally. I'm looking forward to more good days than bad, and reconnecting with what is going on around me.

I want to grow into the "new normal", and I want to be able to revel in the memories of my Mom without being thrown into a tailspin.

And it wouldn't hurt if I spent some time in the sewing room... ;-)