Friday, November 29, 2013

Quick Quilt-a-long!

I have a very quick finish for you today! Remember this picture from the other day?


Well, I had these Botanics charm squares that my LQS got from Market, and had them all spread out on my design wall waiting until inspiration struck.

Then I saw that Megan was starting a Giant Starburst Quilt-a-long.

BAM. Inspiration.

Now I know that this is a MINI giant starburst, but the essence is the same...

So I busted into these little babies...


And literally less than two hours later, I had this wonderful little lovely. After the mini I made for the Schnitzel & Boo swap, I was kind of stoked to keep on with these little bits of instant(ish) gratification.

My (mini) Giant Starburst QAL!

I think I was successful :-)

I'm hoping to get some yardage of Botanics to use as backing and binding in the next few days, and this will quilt up pretty quickly, I think. :-)

Fabric: Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander
Pieced with Aurifil 2600 on my Bernina

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I haven't been so good with the blogging lately, but I've been productive! In just the last couple days, I've...

...rearranged some stuff in the studio - now my bolts aren't too high for me to reach!


...taken up knitting, thanks to an awesome Craftsy class. I used to knit, ages and ages ago, but it's been a looooong time. My mom was a sock knitter, and I'd love to be able to do that. But first I need to figure out the simple stuff. See how the edges started out all lumpy, and then I got the hang of it? Yay!

(PSA - if you wish you knew how your mom does something, makes a certain dish, or wish you knew random stories from her childhood, ask NOW. Believe me...)

...been distracted with some of this...

...finished the quilting on this quilt, now on to binding! I was hoping this one would be done before thanksgiving, but alas, that is not to be. But at least the binding is on now!

I also worked on some of my Skill Builder blocks, but haven't taken pictures yet. Save that for another day!

What have you been working on? Have you had project ADD like me lately?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nifty Gifty :-)

You may have heard that Kristi from Schnitzel and Boo is super awesome and organized a mini quilt swap! You may have seen a little sneak peek of what I made here, but I didn't want to give too much away until I got it in the mail and gave it a little time to get to the recipient.

I loved making this! It took me forever to decide what to do, but I decided that I should use this opportunity to try out new patterns and techniques. I've loved the Arkansas traveler block forever, and I would like to make a bed-sized quilt one day. I used the paper piecing tutorial from Lee at Freshly Pieced.


I used fabrics from my stash, and a good number of them were scraps from this project. (Which is still a WIP...) I backed it in some good ole pearl bracelets, and for the first time ever, I did circle quilting!

That was way harder than I thought. I think I started and picked out the middle swirling at least three times. Eventually, I figured it out. I used my walking foot for most of it and then went back in and backtracked to the center with FMQ. It's a little wobbly, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!


I forgot to put on a label, so before I finished quilting it I used one of the circles in the print as a label and wrote on it with a permanent fabric pen.


I also added some corner pockets so that she will be able to hang it with a rod if she wants to!


I put the binding on by machine, which I don't love (I much prefer hand binding!) but I'll be honest, I was a little pressed for time!

And in the tradition of Tales of Ineptitude, there were a few hiccups (taking out quilting notwithstanding). I chain piece binding as I put it together, and when I was putting this one together, I just grabbed for the next blue strip and sewed it on without paying too much attention. Oops. At least I got a good laugh at 3am. :-)


Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm on a roll

After I finished Good Morning Starshine, I got right on some other things. I did my Schnitzel and Boo mini, which I'll share later this week after it's had time to get to the recipient. And I also got started on quilting California Dreamin.

Do you ever get an idea, and then you have to execute it, like right NOW? That's how the quilting for this one came about. I had been looking at some ideas online, and sketching some out to see if I could get the shapes down so they were pretty uniform. Then after I finished the binding on my S&B mini, I decided what I wanted to do and started it immediately. In that first session, I got almost half of this quilt done!


I decided to do little branching leaves to go with the fall-ish theme of the quilt. I'm digging it so far!


This is also the largest project that I've ever free-motioned. I've done a couple wall hangings, a couple lap quilts, and a sewing machine cover. This is also the first time I've done a branching design, whereas before I've done more regulated, symmetrical patterns. Remember Georgia on my Mind and Tears?

Georgia On My Mind

 It's been easier than I thought, and makes me fell kind of silly for having three more tops set aside that have been waiting to be quilted. I just thought quilts this big would be harder! I guess it helps a LOT that I have a large-harp machine, but my set up could use some help. I've been thinking about ikea-hacking a drop-in table for some time now, and I might give it a shot sometime soon.

Have you had any experience jerry-rigging a quilting set-up?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finished Quilt, and bad pictures...

I was waiting to show ya'll this quilt today, since it's friday, but I also waited until the last minute yesterday afternoon to get pictures. It was also too cold to trudge outside, so I basically just climbed out from under the quilt, tossed on the couch and floor to take pictures, and then climbed back under it, lol.

So here is what we're left with. I'm really going to have to take some better pictures when the weather is better and it doesn't look so cold and depressing outside.

For more info about Good Morning Starshine, see this post.




I quilt this on my home machine (my love, a Bernina 750QE) with the walking foot and Aurifil 2600, the perfect gray. I did echoes around the stars, which gave it a radiating effect. I FMQ'd some echoing stars in the very middle, since it would have been way too much of a pain to turn that thing in the machine to use the walking foot.

I bound this quilt in the purple Acacia feather print, which is perfect for this. Really just perfect altogether, since I've already bought more... I hand stitched it using a variegated purple Aurifil thread (3840), which I adore, and it was perfect.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I've been up to...

I finished binding Good Morning Starshine! I'm just waiting on an opportunity to get some decent pictures to post on friday.

Other than that, I haven't actually done much in the studio. Not sewing anyway.

I stared a pull for a Christmas quilt! I'm very tempted by Rachel's penny patch-along that's going on right now. I'm not sure if I want to do that, or a Christmas scrappy trip a-la Katy Jones...



While I was pulling for Christmas, I decided that I want to rearrange my stash. I keep some of my fave designers in with my regular stash, in an attempt to *not* hoard, but then I realized that I can never remember what I already have. So I'm going to keep the precious collections together, and then keep the regular stash builders together. And I'll change it again a year or so after that, I'm sure.


I also (finally!) got moving on my swap project. I couldn't decide forever what to do for this. I hope it turns out ok!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A little progress

I finished quilting Good Morning Starshine the other day, and now I'm on to my favorite part. :-)

Good Morning Starshine progress

Seriously, hand stitching binding is one of the most therapeutic and relaxing things ever. No lie.

Other than that, there's not much going on over here.

What have you been up to?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekend Update

My weekend wasn't as productive as I'd like, but that's ok. Really, it was plenty productive, just not in the way I wanted.

I have an exam this week, so I spent about ten hours Sunday studying (today, technically - I haven't been to bed yet...). But I also took some time earlier this weekend to hang out with a friend and do some handwork while we were watching some Netflix.

FYI, this is what happens when you try to do EPP and watch scandal at the same time...


You might have seen that little oops if you follow me on Instagram...

So lots more studying this week, and then next week I'll be able to do some fun stuff in the studio. Until then, leukemias and cardiac function are all I'm going to be thinking about.


Have I mentioned that working 13 hour shifts and going to grad school at the same time sucks?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a safe and super fun Halloween! I actually had the evening off, so I was so stoked about handing out candy to the kids in the neighborhood. Last year I was working, and that was the first year I was in the house, so I didn't want to expect.

Yeah, not ONE trick or treater. Not a single one!

So I have some candy here, if you want some... A friend of mine and my roommate enjoyed some, though. :-)

Charlotte got dressed up to entertain the (nonexistent) kids, and may have held a little grudge after the fact. I don't think she was really having much fun...


After I gave up on the kids, and finished some homework, I worked on quilting for a little while.


I definitely didn't get anywhere close to finishing this for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, but that's ok. I'd rather take my time and enjoy the process than feel stressed and rushed to meet a self-imposed deadline. I've got enough stress from working full time and going to grad school to want any from quilting, which is supposed to be my happy place. So in the interest of keeping it my happy place, I'm not pushing myself too hard on this one. :-)