Sunday, January 31, 2016

February Goal: 4x7 Challenge

Howdy y'all! It's nearly impossible to believe that it's already February, but here we are on the first! I don't have many plans for this month as I'm still playing things by ear with my back. One thing I for sure want to take part in is Berry Barn Designs 4x7 challenge. There are only 2 guidelines to this challenge: Sew daily and sew some for yourself. I have plans for other things, but I want to make it a goal to work on my EPP hexies a little every day. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them all, but my brain needs needle and thread now more than ever.
The jar is almost full now, I'm just too tired to take a picture. :P
I'm hoping to get back to my machine this week to work on a present for Mr. LBC's birthday, but we'll wait and see. What about you guys? Any goals for this coming month?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Life Throws a Curveball

Short and sweet today, ya'll. I had planned on having my Orange Peels basted and quilting started, but the universe had other plans. Remember that twinge in my back I mentioned last week? Well, that grew into ripping-my-face-off-I-think-I'm-dying pain by yesterday (I'm wearing my drama queen dunce cap after re-reading that line). I went into work, my boss took one look at me and handed me a worker's comp paper. Thing is, no doctors around here will see you until you've gone to the emergency room. I hate going to the emergency room for things that I don't consider emergencies, but I suffered through a day of work before heading to the ER. Long story short, they said it's only a strained back. I'm supposed to follow up with my doctor soon, especially if things worsen. I've had 2 of the worsening symptoms today, but I'm trying to stay optimistic that things are just getting a little worse before they get better.

So as you can imagine, crawling in the floor for basting isn't happening right now. Instead, I grabbed my bag (which I just filled with my favorite fabrics out of the stash and EPP supplies a couple of days ago) and did some EPP while I took Mr. LBC to the doctor (it's a neverending cycle, I swear.) I've made about half a jar of hexies and despite the pain, they make me smile. If these hands couldn't stay busy, I'm not sure what I'd do for sanity right now!

Have a happy week y'all, hoping yours is going better than mine!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Friday, January 22, 2016

Snow Covered City Blocks: A Finish

Happy Friday, y'all! It's been a while, but I actually have a finish to share on a Friday! Like most of the east coast, I've been getting pulverized with snow today.
The view from my living room window earlier in the day. I wish I had stuck a ruler in the snow!

I've shoveled the patio and walk 3 or 4 times already today and it's still coming down out there. Thankfully, I didn't have to go into work today so I had time to put the finishing touches on City Blocks!

I even managed to hop outside and get a few pictures outside before it got dark! I didn't have much room to work (I shoveled and got the quilt outside, only to find that it was nearly covered again!) I tried to hang City Blocks on the fence, but ended up just putting it on the massive pile of snow I made. Elvis enjoyed running through it a little before I took these pictures. :)
 Dat quilting though! I wish I had a way to photograph it better, but this is as good as I could do!

And of course, I had to add a label! I thought about making something special, but in the end, I decided to just go simple.

So glad to have this one finished! This one is surprisingly liked around the house; it's already been cuddled with! Linking up with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts!
This is one of my goals for the 2016 Finish Along - First Quarter!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday: It's The Quilting That Never Ends

Howdy y'all, happy Wednesday! I hope everybody is staying warm; if it's anything like my town, it has been absolutely freezing lately. We finally got our first 'real' snow of the season that stuck, with a crazy forecast for the weekend (18 inches of snow in KY? What is that madness?!). I've been splitting my evenings between huddling on the couch for warmth, mature adult leisure activities playing Lego Marvel Heroes with Mr. LBC, and quilting City Blocks. I have quilted. And quilted. And quilted. Oh, and quilted some more.


If I ever start talking about pebbling large scale again, virtually smack the fire out of me and remind me of this. Remind me of how I've quilted for nearly a month and this SOB still isn't done. (If you haven't noticed, I might have been muttering bad words at this quilt for a while. Lol). And with such dense quilting, this most likely won't be a cuddler, but a hanger. So in that future sewing room that doesn't exist yet, I'll have to reserve some wall space for this because with all the time I've put in, it's going to be appreciated, dangit! :)
LBC just couldn't resist. :)
I've nearly finished quilting though! I've got one more teal section left to go, which is a walk in the park compared to the pebble sections. I wanted to finish it tonight, but I tweaked my back at work yesterday and it's been giving me fits. So it will have to sit for another night before the quilting is finally done!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and NTT!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Quilting Question: Balancing Life with Quilting

When I was younger, I always thought, "If something is important, you just make time to do it." I was full of infinite wisdom in high school, can't you tell? Hahaha. Although I still believe that's true, things aren't as simple as I thought they would be. There are 12 hour work days, dinners that need cooked, laundry that needs folded...the list goes on and on (and I don't even have kids!). When I entered the 'real world', I had my first dose of learning how to decide what was most important. As I adjusted, I learned that you can't peruse Pinterest for a couple of hours and expect to get all those fun projects done the same evening, not with everything else that must be done! But I also learned that a support system is key to maximizing my time. So the question I pose to you is, how does your quilty support look? Are you battling to have a few minutes each day, or does your family know that you have an allotted time to sew? Do you have an in-person quilting group that you meet with? Or are your only quilting friends through blogging or Instagram? What are some tips or strategies you have that help you keep your quilty life balanced with the rest of your life?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Throwback and Looking Forward

Howdy y'all, I've got a double post for you today! First up, I have an oldie but goodie to share for Throwback Thursday over at A Quarter Inch From the Edge. This is a continuation of 'quilts I made the kiddos for Christmas'. This one is the third I will have shared, called the Garrett quilt for my little cousin that received it. He is quite the pirate, so I knew right away that it had to involve pirates and all things ocean.

This one is quite busy also (this was before I learned about using neutrals and blenders to keep things calmed down), but it's just so fun! And I remember I loved doing this FMQ. I was shooting for ocean waves and I feel like this simple and quick design was spot on.

And I love this backing fabric! I randomly find bits of it in my scrap bins and it always makes me smile. :)

I've been a scrappy binder since the beginning! Those bits of red really pop!

After looking back, it only seems fitting to look forward now! I'm sure many of you are getting sick of reading everybody's goals and resolutions for the coming year, but I'm here to add another! (I'm actually one of those people who loves reading those posts, anybody else like that?) One thing I wanted to do this year was be more active with goal setting, so here's what I have planned for the next 3 months thanks to the Finish-A-Long link up, which you can see here!

My biggest goal is to get City Blocks completely finished - quilted, bound, and labeled! I've already started quilting it, so this one is on its way to being completed.

Next up is my Orange Peels! I just ordered some fabric for a backing thanks to a gift certificate I won on a linky party. I also snagged some Aurifil thread to try out, which excites me to no end! My plans for the Orange Peels is the same as City Blocks - completely finish her up!

My final goal was a bit harder because I wasn't totally sure where I wanted to go after these 2 WIP's, but I think I know what I want to do. I've got my Scrap Vortex blocks back up on the design wall and I want to do something fun with them. I don't want to make an entire quilt out of just scrappy blocks (not yet at least!), but I do want to make a quilt top out of the ones I have. So my goal is to get them pieced into a top, then finished up like all the rest!
I've made more since this picture was taken, but forgot to take a picture!
Three quilts in three months is quite ambitious for me, but I'm shooting for the moon since there isn't a penalty for not completing all my goals in the time limit. After all, if there is something left to do, there's always next quarter to wrap things up! :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WIP Wednesday: If All Else Fails, Quilt the Crap Out of It

Happy Hump Day, y'all! Wednesday is upon us and I have a sneak peek at my current work in progress. If you have been around here much, you know that City Blocks has been nagging at my mind for a while. I had been throwing around quilting ideas for months with no success. Nothing seemed right. Then I ran across a pattern that has several names, though the two I like are 'boxy stipple' and (my personal favorite) 'the robot'. It works so well in those big sections of solid teal!

But how to quilt those improv areas? I sat at my machine for quite a while, swapping out thread colors repeatedly, lining things up, then balking because it just didn't feel right. I was so afraid of messing things up! Finally, I just had to give up the notion that I would find a perfect quilting pattern. Instead, I went on the flip side and decided to quilt the crap out of this thing. The only areas that won't be quilted are those little sections of color in the improv areas! I've been learning pebbles as I fill in the white areas with loooooooottttssssss of pebbles! It's fun and the texture is out of this world so far!

It's taking a while to get such dense quilting done, but I'm enjoying it. :) Hope y'all have an awesome day!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First Finish of the New Year: Orange Peel Quilt Top!

Happy Friday Saturday, y'all! I've got my first finish of the New Year to share! The Orange Peels are now a top/flimsy and off the design wall! Yipee! I wanted it to be bigger but I'm happy with the cozy lap size that I've ended up with.

 I've learned a lot after piecing this, but the biggest thing I want to remember is to make my background squares bigger next time and trim them down once the applique is done. You can see on quite a few blocks that points were chopped off (or dangerously close to it!) and as I was piecing, I realized my error. Despite that, I'm still loving it. :)
I still need to iron this one before I do anything else. It was just too late to bother with that by the time I finished! Lol
I'm just proud of myself for hand sewing all those orange peels, I never thought I would hand sew much of anything when I first started sewing! I machine pieced the squares together though because my sanity could not take that much hand sewing. Lol. I have plans to machine quilt it, it's just a matter of getting some backing material, which may take some time. In the mean time, I'm most likely going to be working on City Blocks! I've been mulling over quilting ideas and while I baste,
I'm sure the right one will snuggle with my brain. :)
Low Volume + Scrappy makes my heart smile
Also, I know I link up to her a lot, but the ever-fabulous Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge has deemed her year, The Year of the Stash. Many have followed up with her (here for example), making their own rules and guidelines for the coming year to keep our fabric stashes from expanding further. Although I feel my stash is pretty small, I'm joining in for the practical aspect that Jenn highlights in her manifesto. New fabric can be purchased, but it needs to be purchased with purpose, not just on a whim. I don't typically buy fabric willy-nilly anymore due to the money aspect, but I want to join along to put it in writing that my fabric purchases this year must have a plan/job in mind before they come into my home.

I hope everybody had a safe New Year! Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by! :)