Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Kelly - Week 3

I finally found a place in my craft room where I can get pretty close to the right colors in photos.  When my husband and I designed the space, we put in a "wrapping station," which is basically a cabinet with a small counter on top.  He did a lovely job finishing a butcher block top... isn't it beautiful?  But it has a direct light above it - so if I put my project on the cabinet and stand on a chair to take a picture from above, I have tons of light on my project...  this is as close as I'm going to get to replicating the colors, I think.

That doesn't mean they won't occasionally be blurry, though.  Oops.

The Alyssa - Week 3

Now that I've seen each block in its pieces, I can't wait to get started assembling them!  This weekend brings a birthday and a Big Football Game, so I'm not sure how much sewing I'll get done - but even a little will be wildly exciting.

The Laura - Week 3

Oh my gosh.  I am so excited about this week's assignment!  I've never really done traditional blocks before, so flying geese fit into the category of "intimidating simply because I've never tried them."

This method was so easy!  Thank you so much, Melissa, for your clear instructions...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Laura: Week 2

Laura's not actually going to be part of the what-I-thought-was-a-triple-shower.  Oh well.  She's an accountant who can't get away in March, so we'll have her shower later.  I'm still going to persevere and see if I can't get all three quilts done before the deadline.  In case something has to slide, though, the quilting and binding of her quilt might just wait until AFTER the shower for the other girls.

The Alyssa: Week 2

Alyssa is one of the sweetest girls I know...  I'm so happy for her!  I was twelve when she was born, and babysat for her as a newborn - it's kind of hard to imagine that she's going to be a Mrs. in a few short months, but she's grown into a lovely woman.  Her color palette expands a bit, but it's still fairly muted.

The Kelly: Week 2

Phew.  Not much to say...  but it's finished.  I am loving the muted neutrals that Kelly's palette called for!  There's just a touch of lavender, teal and celery (not nearly as bright as the iPhone photo in fake light makes it appear!)

It might be kind of late on a Sunday night...

But gosh darn it, I finished!  Sheesh - trimming 192 half square triangles kind of took all day.  I'm really looking forward to sewing again!  Although I am dangerously close to running out of white thread.  Since that's pretty much the only thread I use, I usually have plenty of it on hand...  but three quilts simultaneously is using it up faster than usual!

I am thinking about going outside my box a bit and quilting these in either a taupe or a light gray thread.  Since the majority of the quilt is going to be white, this would be really outside my comfort zone, as I don't like my free motion quilting to be a focus...  but since all the girls are really into muted color schemes, adding a bit more neutral might help.  And I don't really think I've got the time to be switching thread colors when I get to the stars!  Since the color choice for the sashing is still up in the air (I'm debating using different colors for each quilt), the thread colors will come later.

But I digress.  The point of this post is to heave a great sigh of relief that I made it before the deadline!

Want to see the only way that I'm staying organized these days?  I cut bits off the selvage of all my colors and made a chart...  It is so helpful!!

One hundred ninety-two

Do you know how many half square triangles are in three Starburst quilts?  192!  That's a lot...  They still need to be ironed open and then trimmed, but here they are so far!

And purely for kicks - here's a picture of the way my craft room floor looked when I was cutting these apart:

Isn't my helper sweet?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Keep on sewing, keep on sewing...

I'm plugging away at my three Starbursts - I hope to be done today (phew, that would be fantastic) with this week's assignment, but I have been having a great time watching the photos come into flickr.

I finished my pouch for the Sweet Pouch Swap.  It might be hard to package this one up, since I'm so pleased with the way it turned out!  Now I just need to gather up some sweets and possibly sew up a little extra something to stuff into the pouch as well.  I'll make sure to take lots of pictures so I can post once my recipient has received it.

As a result, I'm contemplating a little "non-Starburst"sewing, and think that I'll probably join in the Triple Zip Along.

It would be fun to make a pouch for me!

I complete my January block for the Sugar Block Club, and am so pleased with the results! I handed a stack of fat quarters to my husband and asked him to pick 4, and to tell me where they went.  This is a project for the family, after all!  My plan is to do two blocks a month, but that is put on hold until the Starbursts are done...  until then, I just want to get my monthly assignment done.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to make a Monday special...

LOL.  It's Monday.  But it's a great day.  Why, you ask?

Well - I'm headed to the craft room to start working on this week's assignment for the Starburst-a-long, but mostly because I woke up to this:

Bea Quilter just announced that I won a whole FQ bundle of Mystique!  That's 22 gorgeous FQs that are just begging to be made into something fabulous...  So while I'm sewing up a zillion HSTs, I will be thinking of ways to use up this gorgeousness.

Thanks, Bea!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Laura: Week 1

(Note: I am making three separate Starburst quilts, and Melissa graciously allowed me to count them separately towards the giveaways.)

Laura is marrying into the family, and she's just the sweetest thing you could imagine!  Her style is still mostly "fresh out of college" but she has a gray couch and loves zebra print.  Just wait until you see the backing fabric that's on order!

Now these colors actually are fairly close to reality.  Punches of color, lots of neutrals...  those blues are much more muted, though.

The Alyssa: Week 1

(Note: I am making three separate Starburst quilts, and Melissa graciously allowed me to count them separately towards the giveaways.)

Alyssa's decorating style is "just out of college eclectic with a tendency towards earthy neutrals."  LOL.  So here's what I have for her:

I played a bit more with color here, but ugh, you can't tell.  It looks like a crayon box exploded.  I need to work on my photos, that's for sure.

The Kelly: Week 1

(Note: I am making three separate Starburst quilts, and Melissa graciously allowed me to count them separately towards the giveaways.)

First up...  The Kelly.  Her decorating style was described to me as "Restoration Hardware," so I was thinking muted colors, lots of neutrals.  After much debate, here's the cut pieces:

There's espresso, biscuit, celery, and a bunch of other colors in there (12, as I chose to not repeat any fabrics).  There is definitely NO orange, regardless of the way the coloring on this picture appears...  LOL.  And no pink, either.

Quilt A Long Progress: Cutting

Okay, right after I pulled those gorgeous fabrics for the Starburst Quilt, I was told of a triple bridal shower at the beginning of March.  TRIPLE!?  Okay!  I've got three cousins getting married this year, and my aunts decided to just combine it all into one fun day...  So.  Without further ado, let me introduce you to the craziest idea I've had in a while:


That's right.  That's 12 24" blocks.  This from a mom who really doesn't make much time for sewing.  Seven weeks.  It can be done!  That's my stretching crazy exercise for the next couple months...  finish three quilts by the first weekend in March, as well as hand stitching on the binding - I have resorted to machine stitching before, but I just vastly prefer hand stitching.  But three 57" square quilts is going to be a lot of hand stitching...

So - I recieved permission from Melissa over at Happy Quilting to count each quilt separately in the giveaways, so I'm going to blog each quilt separately every week...   The Alyssa, The Kelly and The Laura.

I've finished cutting all the colors, and now I'm working on a ridiculously large number of white pieces to be cut...  321 to be exact.  There were 216 colored squares!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ah... Fabric.

So - fabric.  Every quilter's favorite thing.

Here's the fabrics I've chosen for the Starburst Quilt-A-Long:
I've never done an all-solids quilt...  So exciting!! There's three browns, a gray, three blues, two greens and three purples.  I had "peacock" and "under the sea" in my head when I was pulling colors.  I shouldn't have put the darkest two colors on the outside of the pile - you can barely see them!  That's one reason I'm doing this blog; I'm learning so much with every post!  I'm practically a professional blog-reader, but definitely an amateur post-er.

Here's my fabric for the Sugar Block Club:

And ugh - that is the worst picture ever!  I tried a few times, but the colors are just completely wrong.  Hopefully when I take pictures of the blocks, there will be a clearer sense of the colors.  The fabrics are gorgeous - limiting myself every month to just a couple fabrics is going to be hard!

I've also signed up for the Sweet Pouch Swap, and received my assignment.  I'm totally intimidated!  Sewing for a "self professed perfectionist" is difficult, but I have some gorgeous fabrics pulled, and I'm going to try doing some new things for me...  I might be intimidated, but I fully intend on rising to the challenge!  Watch here for some sneak peeks coming up...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Final decision on schoolroom quilts...

Ok, the schoolroom decisions are almost finished, and then I can assemble the tops!!

Oh.... so difficult.  I'm leaning towards the zigzag.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Schoolroom Quilt - or is that Quilts?

So I finished sewing my half-square-triangles for the schoolroom quilt, then realized that two layer cakes make a whole heck of a lot of really big HSTs.  168 that are 6 3/4" big.  That's a lot of fabric...  in fact, it's enough to make TWO fronts!  I had bought some gorgeous Cuzco fabric to use as the center of the "X marks the spot" blocks, so I think one quilt is going to be six large stars with Cuzco in the center...  but which star should we do?  With the color around the Cuzco, or the white?

And then with the remaining gazillion blocks, which of the four following layouts should I go with?

The two zigzag quilts..  one has the color going up and down, while the other has the color moving left to right.  Either one of those, of course, could be with either zigzag pattern.  Then there's the diamonds. I was aiming for a "warm/cool" contrast here, but I think you lose that in the left picture.  It doesn't help that the point of the colors is to be the whole spectrum.  That means that a lot of my purples (supposed to be cool) have red in them, which is warm...  etc.  I like the diamonds on the right quite a bit.  But do I like it better than both of the zigzags?  Would I like the diamond on the right even better if all the colors were just mixed together and it was "color vs white" as opposed to "color vs white and warm vs cool?"

Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Sucked In

So I currently have the Sugar Block Club quilt planned and the schoolroom quilt started.  My resolution to be in the middle of only quilt at a time was being tested, but I could excuse the Sugar Block quilt as a Block of the Month, so it didn't really count, right?

But then today, this popped up in my Google Reader:

Right.  Have you seen this quilt?  I don't want to post her pictures here without permission, but go over and check it out.  So gorgeous!  Reminiscent of Swoon...  I'm going to be making this one.  Which means that I have to hurry up with my schoolroom quilt, because Starburst is getting cut out next week.

And THIS is how quilters get sucked into making as many quilts as possible!

I am justifying this one because most of the fabric was already in my stash.  I just had to get a couple more fat quarters to round it out...  Can't wait for them to arrive so I can post pics.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I am supposed to be cleaning the house - there's about 20 women coming over tonight for a party.  But oh, no, I'm sitting here in front of the computer with a baby sleeping on my chest.  I love this feeling.  So in order to make the time at least somewhat productive, I thought I'd share with you the picture of some progress that I made the other day:

After discussion with my family, we've settled on the "X Marks the Spot" plan for the quilt.  However, since I am using layer cakes for the HSTs, I had to do my own math to figure out how much fabric was necessary for the center squares.  Instead of just doing it the easy way and sewing some HSTs together and measuring the results, I tried to do the math in my head.  Heck, I didn't even write down the numbers or use a calculator.  To no one's surprise, I'm pretty sure I ordered about half of the planned center fabric that I needed.  So I will either use a bit in the middle of each square, or come up with a new plan.

So for my "Just Three," here's my progress:

1. Schoolroom quilt - waiting for more fabrics
2. Sugar Block Club - haven't started.  Waiting for more fabrics, but that's no excuse since I have enough to make the block.
3. Blog finished quilts - haven't done this yet!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 2013 - Just Three

Okay - I've never tried this before, but I'm going to try traceyjay's Just Three this year.  Basically, you set three goals a month, and evaluate at the end of the month

1.  Finish top of school room quilt.  Not sure if it's going to be a chevron or a variation of X Marks the Spot, but it's going to involve the "4 half-square-triangles from 2 layer cakes" method.  I've already started making the HSTs from one Kona White layer cake and a layer cake from a rainbow layer cake swap from last year.

2. Get my Sugar Block Club block completed.  Perfectly.  Probably make two, so that I can get a decent sized quilt out of the year.

3. Blog five to six completed quilts - I aim to be done documenting past quilts in a couple of months.

4. Lose thirty pounds.

Just kidding!  There you have it - my inaugural "Just Three" post...

A New Year, A New Start

Okay. It's 2013. To be more precise, it's 1-3-13. Time to set some new goals, resolutions and start afresh... My craft room is stocked, organized and calling out to me to go spend some quality time with it, but instead I'm going to tackle an aspect of quilting that I'm rather pathetic at: documentation. I would love to have a record of all my quilts, especially as I have a tendency to give them away without taking pictures of them! I will never have a perfect record, but if I can take steps now to make it easier, I will do so. It's also time to step back and make some 2013 quilting goals and resolutions. Here we go!

1. Step out of my comfort zone and be consistent with the Sugar Block Club - my first BOM. I will tackle new and intimidating techniques, using peer pressure to help me power through. Seriously, though, I want a beautiful quilt for my living room at the end of the year, made carefully throughout the year. I am aiming for more precision than I typically achieve, and a sampler quilt is a great chance to stretch my comfort zone. Remember this contest? Well, I won it, and that bundle has been sitting in my craft room waiting for the perfect opportunity. I supplemented it with some additional fabrics (can't wait for them to arrive!) and will take a picture of all the fabrics when I have a complete set.

2. Achieve a better "scant 1/4 inch" seam. I think I sew a bit too big... the Sugar Block Club will help me with that, since I've never really made traditional blocks before.

3. Other than the Sugar Block Club quilt, only have one project going at a time. I was really good about this last year, and while I stalled for a while in the middle of the year (ahem, pregnancy!), I don't have a pile of WIPs. I know myself, and once I break that rule, I will have a giant pile of WIPs overtaking my space. Must. Maintain. Discipline.

4. Spend more time sewing than on Pinterest. What good does it do to pin hundreds of possible quilts and projects, and then never actually go sew? Blogging and keeping track of my quilts is fine... because that's not creating a giant wish list that will never actually come to fruition!

4b. Sew for at least 15 minutes a week. I know that for some of you, that would read "do something other than sewing for 15 minutes a week," but I have a tendency to get sucked into the computer and never make it downstairs to the craft room when I have a chance.

I think that's enough... If I can keep those 5 resolutions all year, I'll be thrilled!