Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stop, just... stop.

Did you know it's already May?  Well, it will be tomorrow anyway.  May.  I suppose that means I need to set a goal for May for a lovely year of finishes.

In the interest of continuing to finish Unfinished Projects, I'm planning to finish this sucker.  I have backing.  I have batting.  It will be quilted!

Also, a few months ago (yeah, I'm slow and late) I was the lucky winner of a giveaway from Dee's Doodles.  I was the recipient of a needle book, pin cushion and some great pieces of fabric. 

I love the needle book and really appreciate the giveaway.  Thanks again!

Now, as to the rest of my quilting?  Yeah.  I've made some progress on the triangles and that's really it.  I'm just not feeling it.

I'm not feeling much of anything lately.  The good news is I've received and accepted an offer for a new job.  I'm looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.  It took me a week to decide to accept the offer because it's in a bit of a backward path for me and it required much thinking about the direction I want to go.  And I may regret it.  But whatever, there it is.

What I do regret is the lack of time and energy I've had for quilting.  Drinking beer and watching Murder She Wrote and Bones is far, far, FAR less productive. 

So here's hoping that now that I have a resolution and a small break between jobs, I find my quilting motivation again and get moving on quilting AND my blog.

Thanks for sticking with me. :)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ah, spring

Well, there it is, my April ALYOF goal - finished.  Isn't it wonderfully springy?

I'm really happy with the choice of blue for the background.

I love how all of the colors look against the blue - the oranges, pinks and greens look especially fantastic.

What I don't love so much?  Those two pinks left of middle that are the same and ended up side by side. 

All in all, I'm happy with this quilt though.

Linking up for
A Lovely Year of FinishesFresh Poppy Design

Friday, April 19, 2013

I am a bad bad bad blogger

I have to apologize here.  I've been meaning to post.  I really have been. I've also been meaning to quilt. And go to the gym, but that isn't why you're here, right?

Last weekend I actually finished my plus quilt top.

I don't have pictures of the actual finished quilt top yet.

It's partly because I'm too busy.  Tuesday afternoon, I had a job interview downtown after work.  By the time I got home, my husband and I had time to run my car to the shop for a service, have dinner and go to bed.  Wednesday I was at a training session (downtown again) and had to drop laptops off at one of our offices before going home, having dinner and going to bed early.  Yesterday I had a dentist appointment after work and the in-laws arrived for the weekend.  And tonight I have my second interview (hooray) with the same company, my inlaws visiting and an implementation to do for work from 10-11pm.  Which is better than the 2am time I had last time.

It's partly because I slept wrong one night and had some serious shoulder/neck pain.

And it's partly because even if it's still daylight out when I get home, it's overcast or snowing or melting and everything is mud.  I really want a good picture of this quilt top.

But I'll tell you about it.

The original pattern is from Fons and Porter's Easy Quilts (Fall 2012).

That was the ultimate destination.  It used a jelly roll and white yardage.  I had a bali pop (watermelon) and really wanted to use it and I thought this was perfect, but I couldn't find a white batik that I liked with the watermelon.  I tried grey.  I tried cream.  Everything I tried looked wrong except a rich blue and a green.  I decided to go with the blue.

I added blocks to use up more of the jelly roll

Then decided I'd rather set it on point for a lattice effect.  And it looks great

You know what?  I think I'll just make sure I get some good pictures of it this weekend.

In other news, I recently asked a friend what color she'd like for a quilt.  Her answer?  Anything but blue - she hates blue.  At first I thought that would be easy.  I don't use a lot of blue, right?

I'm wrong.  Every quilt that I currently have on the go either has a bit of blue in it or is mainly blue.  I have a stack of Pure by Sweetwater - in blue.  I have the quilt above which is solidly blue.  I had a stack of fabric for a churn dash quilt - in brown, tan, blue and green.  Two of my last 3 quilt finishes - blue.  Three out of my five finished quilt tops waiting to be quilted?  Blue.

I think this means I get to buy fabric!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Progress feels great, it really does.


None.  Sad.

Finished Quilt Tops

1.  Batik Squares - no progress
2. Snowballs (or fire and ice balls) - no progress
3.  Strawberry fields postage stamps - no progress
4. Halloween wall hanging - no progress.

The Rest

1.  Flying Geese - No progress.
2.  Pinwheel sampler - Sashing complete, needs an outer border and I'm debating adding some tiny pinwheels to it.

3.  Daisy Doodles - Need to add borders - had a last minute substitution for the inner border

4.  Spring flowers - No progress.
5.  Stash busting triangles - No progress
6.  Stash Busting wedges - No progress.

7.  Stash busting hourglasses - Started work on this and I have about 60 of the hourglasses complete.  Then I was reading the pattern and learned I misread when I cut my squares.  I have 332.  That's how many medium fabrics I needed.  I need another 332 squares (light/dark).  I'm going to aim for a total of 664 trying to get a good mix of values, but I'm not going to go crazy trying to get the right number of light/dark and medium.
8.  Batik plus sign quilt -Most of the blocks are complete now.  Just need to be trimmed and sewn up.

9.  Man's 1/2 square triangle quilt for Victoria's Quilts.

I really love how this quilt turned out.  I got all crazy and laid it out on the floor at Mom and Dad's making sure all the puppies were right side up.  I even got a little nutty keeping colors on the same diagonal.  I just have 4 rows to add, I ran out of time at the end of the retreat and couldn't finish it up.  I'll finish it next week at the group's meeting.


10.  String quilt.  A lady at the retreat brought in a bin of her scraps and strings.  I went through and picked out everything that looks remotely interesting, combined them with mine and I've started on this.  Sorry for the bad lighting.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday

Fresh Poppy DesignWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 8, 2013

Some pictures from the retreat

The retreat was great once again and I'm already signed up for next year.  Seriously, some of these ladies make amazing quilts.  I am not claiming these quilts as mine, they are made by other attendees of the retreat.

Jelly Roll race quilt with a great geese inset

This last one was amazing in person, it's too bad the lighting was soo poor.  The applique, the gorgeous color, everything about this was amazing.

And finally, I got a picture of the one shop at the show.  I took a picture of the other, but unfortunately she was in a bit of a darker corner and it didn't turn out at all. 

I bought a Comma jelly roll from this shop.

And traveled to the shop in town (the other booth) who was offering 20% off to retreat attendees.  I went a little crazy.

On the left is a fantastic art gallery fabric.  I ended up with 2 meters of it because I loved it so much.  Next was a great creamy tan with a small dot, I took the last of the bolt - about 2.5 meters.  .75 of a meter of the black and white for a border fabric and half of a meter of the cupcake fabric because it was all kinds of awesome.

So much for the stash diet.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quilt retreat preparation and tea

In my last post, someone commented on the Fireside S'mores tea.  I bought it on a whim as my favorite tea place (teaopia) was closing.  It actually has tiny little toasted marshmallows in it.  I really like it, but most of the time I pick the marshmallows out and eat them on their own because melting them in a cup of tea seems such a waste.  I don't know that it tastes like a s'more, but it is good.

This was how my box of goodies looked after I packed it last night.  That's since changed because I can't help but add things to my list of projects I might work on.  I should be packing a suitcase.  I'm not, yet.  Nope, just more projects.

I have so little to do on this one it seems a shame to leave it at home, really.  Sashing and posts and I've got a complete top, right?

Stack of squares for the hourglass block.  This is going to be heavily yellow, I can't wait.

This dizzying quilt only needs one last row to complete it.  That last row is done except for one block.  Again, shame to leave it at home, no?  I mean, I might be able to finish these at Mom and Dad's tomorrow night, right?

I don't think I've mentioned this, but I'm on a bit of a stash diet.  I have a LOT since I bought about 41 yards off a friend who was cleaning out her stash at fire sale kind of prices.  Which spurred a lot of this "OMG, I NEED TO USE MY STASH!" planning I've been doing.  And the mass slicing up of fabric into things like 2.5" strips.

But at the retreat, there will be two local quilt shops with stuff to buy.  Plus I know my mother will drag me to the shop in town and it'd be wrong to leave without buying something wouldn't it?  So I think I need to add cash to my list of things to get on the way out of town after work.  Dinner, fuel, cash, then off I go.

And finally preparation for some fun and games (Note my clever use of 2.5" strips from my stash?).  Strip poker - two games are planned.  For one we were requested to bring four black and white strips.  The other game, four strips in primary colors.  Since all of my yellows are chopped up for hourglass blocks, I was left with red. Cross your fingers for me.  I just can't decide which game I want to win.  Probably black and white.  It would make an interesting postage stamp quilt, no?

Also, fabric won in things like raffles, door prizes, and strip poker does not count against my stash diet.  It's like Grandma always said about angel food cake - there are no calories, it's just air!

Can you tell I'm excited about this retreat?  It's only my third one ever, but I really hope to be somewhat productive. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quilt Retreat and WIPs

It's Wednesday which means it's time to review my works in progress.  It also means the day the freeway was shut down for a fatality accident and fuel spill, the day it snowed again, the day I forgot my security badge, couldn't find my house key AND got to work to find the ladies washroom out of order. 

BUT, my WIP review is making me feel better.

Plus, this weekend I get to go to a quilt retreat.  A whole weekend of nothing but sewing.  I think I'm being overly optimistic with my plans, but I've often come up short on projects at other quilt retreats so I'm planning big this time.


1. Batik wall hanging - Love this quilt so much you get to see yet another picture of it.  Or two.

Finished Quilt Tops

1.  Batik Squares 
2. Snowballs (or fire and ice balls)
3.  Strawberry fields postage stamps
4. Halloween wall hanging

The Rest

1.  Flying Geese - Found all the bits for this and packed it up for Quilt Retreat.
2.  Pinwheel sampler - Cut sashing strips, packed for Quilt Retreat. 
3.  Daisy Doodles - Messed up cutting one of the strip sets so I'm short a row on one of the nine-patch blocks.  I do have fabric left to complete this.  All the rest of the rows are complete and sewn together.  This is 95% complete.
4.  Log cabin table runner FINISHED!
4.  Spring flowers - No progress.
5.  Stash busting triangles - All of the triangles are cut and it's packed for the quilt retreat.

6.  Stash Busting wedges - No progress.

7.  Stash busting hourglasses - All of the squares are cut, paired up and marked for sewing half square triangles.  Packed and ready to go to the Quilt Retreat.

8.  Batik plus sign quilt - Stitched together another block on the weekend using it as a leader/ender project.  It's my April goal so it's packed in the box for the quilt retreat.

9.  Man's 1/2 square triangle quilt for Victoria's Quilts.  I joined a local group yesterday and I'm kind of excited to be working with them and making quilts for cancer patients.  This is also going to the quilt retreat with me.

More gratuitous shots of my new favorite quilt:

Gah, look at the color in those batiks!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Welcome to my 100th post!

Huh.  This is post number 100.  I think it's great that it's about a finish from my quilting weekend.

I sat down to finish one of my WIPs.  It's a pretty recent WIP - I started to use up some batik scraps.

This quilt has some of my absolute favorite fabrics.

Each log cabin was meant to be pieced as a whole and then cut into four.  Using scraps though, I often didn't have big enough pieces to do that.  So I pieced each 6" blog individually so they don't all match - I actually like this about it.

Would you believe I don't like pink?

The only fabric I bought specifically for this quilt are the large white piece on the back (also inner border and binding), the dark piece (backing and a couple blocks) and the blue from the sashing and borders.

Quilted with straight lines using a green and pink variegated thread from Sulky (and my LQS).

I can't even lie, I've been carrying this around the house like Linus from the Peanuts.  I took it up to my bedroom when I went to bed last night just so I could look at it again.

Currently, we are debating whether the front or the back is better.  It's definitely one of my better pieced backs, asymmetric, colourful and it uses the big chunk of the light fabric which I kind of fell in love with in the matter of a few days (hours).

I don't know what it is, but I have a serious soft spot for batiks.  You should see the ones Mom brought back from Hawai'i.

I wish this weren't so small.  I have no idea what I'll do with it so maybe it'll just end up hanging on the wall in my quilting room.  But first it'll go to the quilt retreat with me this weekend.

Linked on

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, April 1, 2013

A lovely year of finishes - April goal.

I'm struggling with my April goal for the Lovely Year of Finishes.  I've been finishing up so many UFOs, but this month I find myself with a much smaller and more recent stack of flimsies.  So now I need to consider whether I consider finishing up those or put the priority on my ever growing stack of WIPs that I'm piecing.

I've been preparing for an upcoming quilt retreat and what I have prepared doesn't match what I thought my goal would be so now I really need to consider direction and unpacking my little IKEA box.

Do I set a super simple goal like adding the sashing to my pinwheel sampler?  Or something more complex like starting and finishing the hourglass quilt on top there?  Or quilt another flimsy and get those off the list?

Direction. I don't have any.

To avoid repacking my box of crap, I think I've made a decision.  I'm going to finish up my batik plus signs with the blue background.

This one here.  Nice, simple and all ready in a bag in the box.  And so very springy.  There is my April goal.

Can't wait to see what everyone else gets finished this month.

Linking up for:
A Lovely Year of Finishes