Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Stash - Working My Way Back

It's time for Sunday Stash, and I made some decent progress this week. I'm still not into the black, but positive numbers are in sight. 

I finished the Sweet Hearts quilt, aka the crazy dreams quilt, aka the quilt I made for nobody before I bothered to make one for my husband quilt. Yeah, I'm getting some flak about that one. Before you sympathize with him too much, please bear in mind that I made this quilt for him...and before that, this one.

The Pit Boss had to go out of town for a few days this week and Grace was home sick, so I took advantage of the quiet evenings to bind this quilt and binge on The West Wing. Are you listening to The West Wing Weekly podcast? It's a must for fans and the interviews are fantastic! 

Fabric Used this Week: 2.5 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 5 yards
Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 9.5 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: -4.5 yards used

It's unlikely that I'll get to positive numbers this week since I'm headed to QuiltCon on Thursday, but that's okay. I can't wait to see some of you there! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WiP Wednesday - Quilt for a Cure - Operation Smiley

Saturday the WannaBees got together for a few hours. So many of us have gone back to work full time that it's been harder and harder to meet. Lately we've been trying to get together one Saturday morning a month.

I decided to pull some yellow and navy fabrics and cut out blocks for Operation Smiley. As much as I love this color combination, I didn't have a lot of choices that read mostly solid. These blocks are so quick and easy to put together!

Sunday we went to Athens to visit My Middle Child, and I got some hand quilting done in the car. This is a quilt made by a friend's mother, and I'm trying to finish it for her. The Pit Boss wonders why I will hand quilt someone else's quilt when I won't even hand quilt my own.  I guess it's because quilting is a gift of love!

I've also been working on the binding for the Sweet Hearts quilt. I still don't know who it's for, but I'm so happy with the way my FMQing turned out after class with Christa. I'll have to take pictures this weekend if the weather is good.

I'm playing around with my whiteboard, trying to decide the best way to keep track of everything. Between this and my design wall, it helps keep me on track so projects don't get buried in the piles.

What are you working on?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Stash - Two Steps Back

I haven't posted another Sunday Stash post since the first one, hoping that I would actually finish something. Unfortunately the only thing that is D for DONE is a mug rug, which counts for approximately 0.06 yards of fabric. 

I guess I really should count the squares I used for my class with Christa. (You know, my new BQF? That's Christa Watson for the rest of you.) I made twelve 12" x 12" -ish quilt sandwiches. Even though they are not completed projects, they are as done as they will ever be. Some have already been stuffed into my scrap bag/dog bed cover, and some I will save for reference. But they're done. I'm going to go ahead and count that as 2.5 yards. Honestly, I need all the help I can get.

The bad news, as far as my stash goes, is that I went to the Tiny Stitches Superbolt Sunday Sale. I mean, how can you not?

Do I get credit for the fact that they had these gorgeous gray and purple flannels and I didn't buy any? I want these so badly, and the only thing that stopped me from buying a whole bunch was the line for the cutting table.

I did buy some fabric for a planned project, as well as a black fat quarter for a swap I'm in. If I did the math right, it comes out to about 9 1/2 yards for that, this fat quarter bundle and layer cake. 

Fabric Used this Week: 2.56 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 2.56 yards
Fabric Added this Week: 9.5 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 9.5 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: -7 yards used

Here's hoping that I can get back to positive numbers by the end of February! How's your stash?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Going to Guild - Christa Watson

Monday was guild night and our speaker was the fabulous Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Not my best look, but I had been in a workshop all day!
FYI, my shirt was a gift from my mom.
It says "A Fat Quarter is not a Body Part."

Last Saturday Christa taught a workshop on machine quilting that I was able to join. I'm so glad there was a last minute opening and that I decided to cram one more thing into the weekend because it was totally worth it. 

We experimented with the walking foot using decorative stitches. I kept this piece for future reference.

We also practiced making spirals with the walking foot. This is much easier on a 12" square than a giant quilt, but I love how it looks.

Then we got into the free motion quilting. I decided to use some of my orphan blocks from the Modern Blocks Quilt Along as practice squares. This piece uses switchbacks and ribbon candy variations, which I found to be so much fun to quilt. These create gorgeous texture.

Christa is a fabulous teacher and speaker. She is so funny and talks about a hundred miles an hour, so you get a lot of information for your time. I also love that she brought so many quilts to show us, because there is nothing like seeing them all in person. The texture is amazing, especially on some of the really simple piecing. 

I bought both of Christa's books, and was so excited later when I peeked at what she wrote. I have a new BQF! We've already made plans to see each other again in just a couple of weeks. Okay, so we're both going to QuiltCon, but still! 

If you get the chance to take a class with Christa, do not miss it! I can't wait to practice what I've learned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WIP Wednesday - Dreams Dreams Dreams

Moving into my new studio led to the discovery of many UFOs, WIPs and PIGS. My goal for 2017 is to finish some stuff.

Having a design wall is amazingly helpful for seeing what I'm working on and what the next step is. Even if I only have a few minutes to sew, it's easy to pick a pair of blocks off the wall and stitch them together.

I was also lucky enough to score a free whiteboard that someone was giving away on my neighborhood message board. I've always wanted one, and now can make lists to my heart's content. I'm trying to figure out the best way to organize it, but I love crossing stuff out! (I have no earthly idea what YTF stands for. Any guesses?)

I've taken Jaye's fabulous advice to have some mindless sewing at the ready for those days when I'm just too far gone for math. Or pins. Or anything requiring accuracy. For a while it was some nine patches out of three charm packs of Sweet Hearts by Benartex. Now I've cut them up and reassembled them for a Disappearing Nine Patch.

Side note: I really need to get this quilt done so it will stop haunting me. I had a dream last week that I was frantically trying to finish it so that my son could take it to a friend's baby. Fun fact: this couple is not expecting and has never even mentioned having children in my presence. What is wrong with me? 

While I do that, I've pulled out my scrap bins and am working on the strata for Stripper's Knot, one of The Stitch TV Show's patterns.

I hope to clear my mind and my sewing room this year! What are you working on?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

State of the Stash

Happy New Year!

This seems like as good a time as any to reboot the blog and my quilting habits in general.

In 2016 I was thrilled to get a sewing space all to myself, thanks to a couple of kids moving to their college towns. Don't get me wrong; I'd give it up and take them back in a minute, but it is really nice to have all that room. Just the design wall is a game changer!

While moving into this new space, though, I found lots of UFOs, plenty of fabric that is, well, not to my taste anymore (to put it nicely) and some gadgets I'd completely forgotten about. My goal is to get rid of what I definitely won't use and finish up the rest.

I did manage to finish some projects last year. In addition to the quilt for my father-in-law, I also completed a Turning Twenty for My Middle Child's twentieth birthday. I'm not sure I mentioned it, but he transferred from University of Kentucky to University of Georgia this year, and it was so wonderful to be able to drive over to Athens to celebrate his birthday with him.

I also finished my Twilters in the Air quilt, which was made up of the Birds in the Air blocks that we swapped among the #twilters in honor of the release of Frances Dowell's novel, Birds in the Air. It was so fantastic to have so many of the Twilters attend our guild's quilt show to see Frances do a reading and to have Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show tape two episodes in front of our live quilt show audience. This quilt won third place for group quilts.

Alas, those were the only two quilts I finished this year, other than the mug rug above. I hope 2017 is better. To help achieve that goal, I hope to get back to blogging, which gives me some accountability, and to track my stash usage. I'm going to link up with Patchwork Times each Sunday and post my stats.

Let's wipe the slate clean and see how we do:

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 0 yards
Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 0 yards used

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Ready for Retreat

It's WIP Wednesday, and this week I am cutting and pressing in the hopes that I can make the most of my retreat time this weekend.

We're in the final countdown to the quilt show (29 days!), and I have some work to do since none of the three quilts I entered are finished. This one was literally just a pile of fat quarters.

I'm using my new Gypsy Quilter Gypsy Gripper, which I bought this summer. I do think it helps with accuracy and safety. I have never had any aches or pains from cutting, so I can't say if it prevents that.

My goal is to bring all the pieces precut and get the top and back finished over the weekend so I can turn it over to Lene to quilt.

Wish me luck! What are you working on?

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