Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Stash: HOLY MOLEY!

Howdy y'all! I hope you guys had a fabulous Christmas, I know I did. :) Fate smiled upon me and let my patients be healthy enough to not need me over the holiday, so I had Christmas Eve evening and all of Christmas Day off to spend with family. I was extra blessed this year, thanks to my parents and in-laws. One particular present had me squealing and dancing when I opened it, much to the confusion of just about everybody in the room. My parents got me a fat quarter bundle of Alison Glass fabric!! :D
Rainbow yumminess
When they asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I sent them a few links to some fabric I had been drooling over, one of them being this bundle of Alison Glass. I figured it would get passed over due to the price, but I put it in the list anyway with a note that fat quarters would be awesome, but fat eighths would be more practical due to price. My parents weren't feeling too practical it seems. LOL
I love the cool colors in this print.
I feel like I took this picture 10 different ways and all of them sucked. Apologies for the continued troubles with camera/pictures. :P
I see so many pretty projects in this fabric. I plan to use every last scrap! :) Thanks for stopping by y'all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

No Clever Title: Notebook Covers

This year for Christmas, I definitely set my sights lower. Although I love Christmas, I came into the season a bit more...down than usual. My husband has been out of work for 8 and a half months, so we decided to not do Christmas for ourselves this year. We deemed Elvis our Christmas present and left it at that. Underneath out tree is bare. It's a bit disheartening, but is a great reminder that Christmas isn't just about presents!

Love those whales! I'm thinking I'll fussy cut some of them from the scraps into some hexies.
As usual, I wanted to make sure the kids in the family at least got something from us since it's harder for a small child to understand. Last year I made them all quilts, but I knew that wasn't in the cards this year. Instead, I've made them little baggies with some candy and stickers, as well as a notebook with a special cover. I just bought composition notebooks from the dollar store and used fabric from my stash (some of it was fat quarters that had been on clearance, so double win!). I thought about trying to personalize them, but honestly, I just didn't have it in me. I wrote a little note on the inner flap that it was made with love and left it at that.

It's a little tough to tell, but those flaps are wrong side out!
I think these covers are quite darling, I hope the kids like them as well! I used this tutorial that I found on Pinterest. The only issue I had was getting the inner flaps to face the right direction; I think two of mine had backwards flaps, but I left them since they didn't look too terrible.

For the moment, I think I'm not sewing until after Christmas. I've been doing some cross stitch which has been surprisingly fun. :) I'm also doodling some ideas as they pop into my head and planning the coming year. I already posted my goals post, now is just for me to decide how to get those goals accomplished! If I don't post again by Christmas, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Goals: A Very Wordy Post

Howdy y'all! It's hard to believe it's nearly Christmas, where has the time gone?! I was going to save this post until after Christmas, but my work schedule is crazy (I work the 22nd through the 31st without a day off). I've been in reflection mode for a while, especially about my quilting and this blog, and I finally compiled a list of things I want to remember throughout the coming year. Even better, Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl made an end of the year linky party to share your resolutions on! There's also the chance to win some awesome prizes, so check it out!

I'm sure I'll think of some more things that I want to do, but these are at the top of my list this year!
  • Make a quilt to give away. Now that I'm becoming more confident in my quiltmaking, I want to use it to give back. I have a stack of solids that I won a little while back and I plan to use them. If you follow Quilting Jetgirl, you probably saw her sampler quilts that she made using the same solids! I'm planning on using her free block tutorial as a basis for mine.  
  • Try new things, with the main one being CURVES. I've been meaning to tackle curves for a while, but I keep putting it off for one reason or another. I've got a pattern in mind by SLOstudio that is supposed to be good for introducing yourself to sewing curves, so I'm determined to tackle them and at least see if they're something I want to keep trying.  I'd also like to attempt some paper piecing as well.
  • I've had a pixel quilt on my mind for as nearly as long as I've had this blog. Candy Coated Quilts is actually the blog that really brought it to mind because I saw it from planning through finish. Again, I kept putting it off because it intimidated me, but after finishing the Legend of Zelda baby quilt for my boss, I feel like it's within my reach now. I've been doing some of the mathy/planning stuff, so I'm nearly ready to get that show on the road! 
  • Finish some WIPs! City Blocks is still folded neatly on my fabric shelf with the fabric for backing close by. I've been wrestling with quilting ideas for months and I think it's time to just jump in and get it done. I also have my Orange Peels! I'm really close to having enough peels for a top I think, so I'll hopefully get that one pieced soon. I want to get those guys done so I can snuggle under them!  
  • A quilt for Mr. LBC. He hasn't asked for one or hinted at wanting one; typically, he'll just steal whichever one I'm not using! :) I would really like to make him something special though. I've been tossing ideas around, mainly featuring A LOT of applique, but I'm not sold on anything yet. 
  • Label, label, label! I've started this the past few months, so I've got a bit of a head start! I plan to label anything that comes out of my sewing room, whether it be a quilt, pouch, mini, etc. I really like labeling now that I started it, so this is something I'll be happy to continue. :)
  • More consistency with blogging. When I first started blogging, I tried to post something 2-3 times per week and, honestly, it drove me crazy! I work 40+ hours a week and had other responsibilities that made it where I couldn't generate enough content for that many posts for very long and it made me feel like a failure. Although I don't want to get back to that sort of expectation, I would like to get more of a schedule or rhythm so that I don't go from posting 3 times in one week to being silent for nearly 3 weeks. My hope is to post at least 1 time per week, with a over achiever goal of posting twice per week. 
  • Along with consistency with blogging, I'd like to clean up and update my blog a little bit. I am far from a computer whiz, but I plan to learn some and attempt to personalize my blog a bit, as well and make it easier to find things in my archives. 
I have other plans and goals as well, such as being more active and being more organized with my time, but these are my main focus in the sewing side of my life. What about you guys? What do you have planned to try/accomplish in the coming year? I'd love to hear!

I'm sure I'll be back before then, but just in case I'm not, have a very Merry Christmas, my quilty friends! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Don't Let the Cat Out of the Bag: A Pouch for Secret Santa

Howdy y'all! I told you I wasn't done with my crazy sewing yet! This post is less impressive than my quilt finish (if I had the time, I'd sew myself a trophy! LOL), but I am proud of it for different reasons.
Literally all the pens in my pocket plus my label making pen. Not enough energy to come up with good props. Lol.

My work hosts a Christmas party every year and part of the festivities is a Secret Santa gift exchange! I love surprises and giving gifts, so Secret Santa is right up my alley! To make it easier, everybody is supposed to list a few things they like to help out the person who draws their name. This year, the person I drew wasn't working the day we wrote down the clues, so all I had to work on was 'Cats'. Yes, that's right. Cats.

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur...happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr...

I decided on a pouch as a starting point fairly quickly. I've only made one pouch before, but I found this uber cute flannel with cats on it and before I knew it, I had the flannel and a zipper at the checkout of Jo Ann's. I found a basic tutorial here, but I definitely pulled from Svetlana's tutorial that I used in my first pouch. My first pouch (made wayyyyy back here) was a bit rough in construction, but it helped me think about how I wanted to improve. I knew I wanted to add zipper tabs (I used this tutorial as a guide and found it quite helpful) and I wanted to clean up the close on the lining. All those orange peel blocks paid off because I used the same ladder stitch to make that invisible finish! :)
I've never been prouder of stitches I can't even see!
I also added a neat-o little label on the inside. For some reason, it made my bag feel fancier, even if the label was hand written. :) When I set my two pouches side-by-side, I couldn't help but be proud of the improvement I saw. I don't like to brag, but I really feel like I'm growing in my sewing and quilting. It really made my day when my Mom was talking about my quilting and she talked about the differences she could see. I know she was comparing a quilt I made her in Janurary versus Missed Punchline finished recently, which was for her mother. And thing is, until she pointed it out, I hadn't noticed the differences!
One of a kind, LBCQ original!
Sorry for the rambling, but I know you guys will understand where I'm coming from! Hope you guys have an awesome week. If you're working on Christmas sewing, what are you making? How close are you to meeting your deadline?

Happy Sewing, y'all! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Finish it Up...Sunday? - Link Pixel Quilt

You read that right, y'all! I have a finish to share! I bought supplies one week ago and I managed to cut, piece, baste, quilt, bind, and label within that week, combined with a 41.5 hour work week, an evening of Christmas candy making, and a half day of Christmas shopping. I feel like Super Woman...kidding, I'm exhausted. Lol.

If you missed out on my first post, this baby quilt was a commission for my boss who wanted it before Christmas. This wouldn't have been difficult except she ordered it after the beginning of December. But no matter, a pixelated Link character was decided on and off I went! My boss also wanted the triforce (the 3 triangle symbol) in the quilt somehow, but I couldn't find room on the top for it. A little brainstorming led to the triforce taking over the back instead thanks to Heat N' Bond!
My Heat N' Bond gave me fits for this quilt, I'm not sure what was up with it. :P
I actually really liked getting to do a pixel quilt. I have big plans for a pixel quilt in the future and this was a great way to practice. I'm happy with my improvement in matching seams; I used to be terrible at it and I'm beginning to match more often than not now! Besides matching seams, the biggest challenge was how to quilt it. I feel like pixel quilts are all about the piecing and the picture it makes, so I didn't want the quilting to distract from that. I ended up opting for straight line quilting on the diagonal and I'm pleased with it.
I would have preferred a light gray thread, but beggars can't be choosers (especially on a deadline!)
I also added a label, which is a habit I'm glad I'm picking up. My boss only requested the baby's name and birthdate, opting out of a special message. I also included my blog name. I almost put my actual name, but I figured if the quilt isn't for family, it's made by LBCQ. What about you? Do you label quilts? And if so, do you use your real name or a brand/blog name?
As I said in the beginning, I'm wiped after making this quilt. I was up late more than one night (my latest was 1:30 am!) but I'm proud of what I've created. This is getting taken to work with me tomorrow for delivery! You'd think I'd be ready for a break now, but the sewing chaos has just begun! Be expecting more updates this week!

Thanks for stopping by y'all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday: The 'What Was I Thinking' Commission

Happy Wednesday y'all, though it's nearly gone by now! I've been working away all day, most of it at the clinic, then running errands with Mr. LBC, then upstairs to my sewing machine and this project when we got home. I started this on Sunday and basically every spare minute has been devoted to working on this. "Why?" you may be asking, when I've never been one to rush like this (except with the Supernova!). That's because I'm crazy! Hahaha
Who doesn't love an LBC glamour shot? LOL
My boss asked if I could make a baby quilt for somebody in her family before Christmas. It was already after Thanksgiving but I foolishly said YES! The parents of baby are big Legend of Zelda fans, so my boss requested something along those lines. She liked the pixel quilts she saw on Pinterest, so I found a design we both liked and started crunching numbers. I'm not a fan of math, but at least quilty math leads to sewing!

I bought a delicious stack of solids at Jo Ann's. Sadly, I couldn't get all Kona like I wanted, but time was of the essence and I needed fabric NOW! I started cutting 2.5 inch squares when I got home and laid them out on the floor since my design wall is occupied at the moment. What a battle it's been keeping Elvis and LBC out of the craft room and off the squares! Lol. I just finished sewing all the individual rows tonight, so next is ironing all those seams open and then sewing all the rows together into a top.
Being supervised. Lol. I was being as quiet as I could so I could lay out squares in peace. ;)
I'm sure plenty of people have thought of this, but I felt so smart when I came up with this idea for transporting squares from my 'design floor' to my sewing machine. I used an old cookie sheet, ruined by an old roommate but I couldn't bare to toss it out. I found it among my craft stuff not long before starting this project! I just put a row at a time on the cookie sheet and worked my way through them like words on a page, top left to right, moving down the pan. They helped me keep my chain pieced bits straight as I worked.

One row at a time fit perfectly on this little pan!
And the pan fit quite nicely beside my sewing machine!
Though I'm enjoying making this quilt, I can tell I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to meet such a tight deadline. I need to smack my optimistic side next time! Lol.
For those of you thinking LBC is an angel, this is the face he made when I told him to get off the squares. Lol. I came in to find piles of squares strung across the room the next morning and LBC sitting in his chair looking smug. Hahaha

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and NTT!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Pretty in Pink

It's the time of the month again, y'all! That's right, it's Throwback Thursday over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge! This month is Christmas themed and though I don't have a Christmas quilt, I have a quilt that was a Christmas present to share!

Until I was 16 years old, I was the baby of the family. Then along came Ms. Ella, a cousin! What a learning experience it was for me to suddenly be sharing the spotlight with a little baby. Moody teenage me got jealous pretty often, though I never admitted to anybody. Growing up some changed that though and I love this little girl to bits. :)
It's hard to tell, but those pink-on-pink polka dots are glittery! :D
I shared before that for last Christmas, I got the hairbrained idea to make all the kids in the family a quilt for Christmas. Ms. Layla's was shared a little while back here, and this was the second one. When I asked Ella's mom for her favorite color, it was an overwhelming PINK! Pink makes me nauseous, but I took one for the team and came home with a stack of pink fabric and got cracking. Although Ella is still pretty young (still in single digits), I wanted this one to be a little bit grown up so that it would be fitting for years.

I love the pieced backing and the quilting. I straight lined around the patchwork sections, then did the big zigzagging through the white areas. I'm not sure why I chose that but I have to pat my past-self on the back for that one! Lol. I didn't mark or anything, so it's certainly not perfect. But I worked harder on this quilting than any of the others and it worked out. :) Also like Ms. Layla's quilt, I appliqued Ella's name on it to give it a personal touch. This was before I started labeling my quilts, so I guess my brain wanted it to be labeled somehow!

I absolutely love this pattern, there's so many possibilities! I think I saw something similar to this on Pinterest originally, but I didn't have a specific pattern to follow. I just decided on the size of square I wanted and built up from there.

Thanks for reading y'all! Have an awesome Thursday and don't forget to check out TBT at Jenn's blog, there's always lots of fun entries to check out and there's a chance to win a prize!