Friday, July 31, 2015

Finish It Up Friday: City Blocks Top Complete!


Happy Friday, friends! Another week is coming to a close and I can't wait for a weekend off. I managed to get this little booger finished up this week! I'll be honest, I'm glad to see this one done. Though these blocks were fun, they were time consuming and started feeling finicky. When a project stops being fun, I know it's time to wrap things up because I quilt for fun, not because I have to.
I ended up picking a seam on one of the columns to change the layout from 4 squares high to 3 squares high. Rather than make a 3x4 quilt and have to make quite a few more of those blocks, I decided on a nine-patch layout that wouldn't need anymore blocks. And you know, I'm super glad I did. It's not as big as I wanted, but the square layout has its charms. I like the few odd bits of white in the sashing as well, that was a good idea on SewKatieDid's part!

I'm not sure when I'll have a backing for this one, so for now it's on the 'to-quilt' pile which will hopefully be joined by another top soon! Thanks for stoppin' by y'all, have an awesome weekend! Linking up with NTT and Finish it Up Friday!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Sixteen Patches Piling Up

There are actually 9 of them, but my compulsive side couldn't put two reds beside each other. :P

Happy Hump Day y'all! I've had a pretty productive week on the sewing front! I've been snagging 20 or so minutes each day, an awesome way to make progress when you can't sit down for a long time. And even better, these 16-patches come together super fast! Chain piecing and an assembly line set up made for some productive sewing time, not to mention it's pretty relaxing too. :)
I'm still planning on alternating a 16-patch with a block of neutral, so this top should come together easy-peasy! These blocks finish at 12.5 inches square, so this will grow fast!
Plaids and gingham...lots of plaid and gingham
Thanks to everybody for your kind words last week also. :) I've stayed busy, made time for sewing, and found some fun workouts to do. I've got a finish to share on Friday, but I couldn't resist sharing a sneak peek! ;) Linking up with WIP Wednesday!
  
I need to give this a good pressing before I do anything else, it's all wrinkly! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Circumstances

The last thing I need to be doing is starting a new quilt, but certain circumstances are a cause for exceptions, right? My City Blocks top is sitting on my design wall still, barely any progress being made since my last post. And yet, I didn't want to sit at my machine and work on it. Instead, I had the urge to just sit in the floor with my rotary cutter and mat, cutting out simple squares. So that's exactly what I did.

I've rewritten this post I don't know how many times, trying to figure how I want to say what I want. I try to not get too personal or ramble too much because this is a quilt blog and, let's face it, you're here to see the quilting. But life happens. You blink and it's been nearly a week since your last post and you've done next to nothing. All the craziness and curveballs of life just keep piling up until you're not quite sure which was is up and you feel guilty for not covering all your bases, both in real life and in blog land. It took me until this morning to realize something though. It's okay.

These fabrics are not my cup of tea at all. When they were donated to me, I actually cringed a little where I'm so engrossed with happy, bright, modern fabrics right now. But I know somebody who matches these fabrics perfectly. Our relationship has been rocky but circumstances have called for a truce (at least on my side). Changes in their health have scared me and confused me for more than a year...enough to drive me to actually want to sit in the floor and cut fabric (second only to basting on my least favorite sewing steps right now.) And with all of this fear and confusion, I did the only thing I really know to do: I started planning a quilt. I'm hoping to pick up some neutrals this week and get started on it soon. 

I tried to keep this as short as possible, so thank you for bearing with me. I'm planning on working on City Blocks for at least a little while today, so hopefully there will be some fun progress to share soon. Have a wonderful Tuesday y'all, thanks for stoppin' by.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday: City Blocks Quilt Top Progress

Howdy y'all, hope your Wednesday is going well! I spent all day helping my Dad remodel a bathroom, so I'm worn out. But I do have some quick progress to share, even if it isn't as much as I'd like!

 I've got one column stitched together and almost have the second one ready to stitch together. I'm so close yet so far away from getting this top together. I've been piddling around with some other stuff as well, I'll be posting about it soon! I'm getting back to work on it after posting this, can't wait! Have a good one y'all!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Checking In: A Little Finish

Shew, is it almost Friday again? This week has been incredibly busy so I completely missed out on WIP Wednesday! I managed to get a little sewing done here and there on this little project. My Mom's birthday was on the seventh, so I was able to pull together a little decoration for her when she goes camping.

Some of my best and favorite childhood memories were with my parents on camping trips. We went from tent camping to having a pop-up camper. I thought it was so much fun to help crank it up while we were setting up! Hahaha. As my brother and I got a little older, they graduated up to the fifth wheel camper they have today. By then, it was my parents and I, plus our little Jack Russell. No better way to camp than in the comfort of that trailer in my opinion. ;)

I'm not even sure how I received this; it had my name on it, but I didn't recognize the company at all!
So when I was flipping through a random fabric catalog when I had a few spare minutes, it isn't surprising that I stopped to look over this wall hanging a little closer. The kit was definitely out of my budget, but I figured I could figure something out in time for Mom's birthday.

I just used Heat n' Bond and freehanded the shapes onto it. I ironed all the shapes onto the background before layering it with some batting and sewing around the edges and details of the camper. I hand stitched around the little dogs with black thread along the outline (a great way to hide my uneven stitches!). I knew it had to have dogs on it, seeing how our Jack and their newest addition, a rambunctious little mixed breed pup, are their camping companions now.

I did some big hand quilting around the name and I like the homey feel it gives things. Machine stitching would have been nicer and neater, but it wouldn't have the same feel, you know?

I fit in all in the embroidery hoop and cleaned up the back a little bit before snapping some pictures and taking it with me to work. I ran by after I got off and I'm happy to say she really seemed to like it! She was already excited to hang it in the camper. :)

Linking up with NTT and Finish It Up Friday!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Story Time: Before the Little Black Cat

Back before my senior year of high school, I went to a summer program at a college in my state. It was supposed to be for 'the best and the brightest' students in the state; one thing was for certain, I felt like a complete idiot compared to the geniuses that showed up. Every student there was assigned a major and a minor to do for the five week program. And fate is funny sometimes because my minor was...you guessed it, Quilting. It was taught by a little man with a scruffy mustache who did not fit the quilter stereotype. He taught us some basics about the machines and cut us loose with the goal of making a quilt. With our time frame and resources, he wanted a mini quilt size at the very least.

I was stoked to learn more sewing than the meager skills I picked up in Home Economics earlier in school. Funny thing is, I was the worst in the class. The teacher scared me away from the rotary cutter with stories of cut fingers. My machine was constantly acting up and not sewing right, getting jammed and just being a pain in the butt. A guy in the class who was deemed the Machine Mechanic was constantly fixing it for me! My little quilt is absolutely awful and probably the smallest in the class because I struggled so much. All in all, it was a good thing we weren't assigned grades in this program because I most certainly would have failed.

My little quilt got tossed on my bookshelf at home and forgotten about, collecting dust. (As a side note, I still have it! And yes, it still sits on my bookshelf after all this time.) Four years later, I was gifted a sewing machine by my future mother-in-law after I saw something on Pinterest I wanted to try and make. It was my husband's great-grandmother's old Kenmore sewing machine and, thankfully, still had the manual and all the parts included. I set up a card table in my parent's living room, plugged everything in, and opened the manual. The rest is history. :)

I don't know what was different. I don't know what changed. I'm just thankful I wasn't afraid to try again after being so bad! I had actually forgotten the experience completely until today. I was in the car with my husband and was letting my mind wander. Next thing I knew, I was regaling the tale of how bad I was at sewing back then. "Isn't it ironic that I went from being the absolute worst to sewing for fun?" We got a good laugh out of it, but I will admit it gave me some warm fuzzies. Now I cut almost everything with a rotary cutter. I know how to work my sewing machine better than any other piece of technology I have. I'm actually proud of my quilts and love sharing them with others. It's always a good reminder to know that failing once doesn't mean you'll always fail. It just means you need to try again.

Happy Fourth of July, y'all! Hope you've had a safe and patriotic day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Progress, Progress, Progress!

Happy Hump Day y'all, hope your day is going well! Today is the first day in forever that it hasn't rained (yet!), so I'm loving this sunshine even if I'm stuck inside at work all day. I've made some serious progress over the last week that I'm so excited to share!

First up is my newest quilt start. I've been toying with a name, which is always the hardest part for me to decide. I think these blocks look like a street map of a downtown area, so I was toying with something like 'City Blocks'. Any suggestions for names are welcome, leave them in the comments below! :)

Also, I managed to save the embarrassing block that was my first attempt at this new technique. It's far from perfect, like all the others, but I think it looks so much better than what it was. I'm so glad all the effort wasn't wasted!

There are four smaller blocks to each bigger block and I have two bigger blocks done so far. Just chuggin' along... :)


Next up is scrap vortex blocks! I worked on these a couple days this week and manage to get some bigger slabs put together! I've said it before, but these are such a blast to work on, I love it. I dug even further into my fabric and came up with some more cute novelty prints (that octopus had to be included at least once!).



Overall, I've had a blast sewing this week. I've barely used my seam ripper and I've been getting off work early enough to actually get settled in and sew before it's time to head to bed. Hopefully the rest of the week keeps playing the same tune!

Linking up with NTT after I get off work this evening!