Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bit by Bit

So, progress is being made. I finished the 50 Shades of Red swap miniature. My own true love, bless his heart, says it looks like an alien: "I can see its eyes."

I got the binding done on the Everlasting Tree miniature quilt.

I finished binding the AccuQuilt GO! Fall Medley hexagon hotpads.

And I got a good start on a Blocks Be Gone! project -- as in, I had blocks that have been sitting around for years because they seemed too good to throw away, but I didn't like them enough to finish the quilt. So, this last week, the goal was to make them GO AWAY. I'll have more to show in a few days, but here's part of the process. Using the GO! circle die and making hotpads.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Progress is Good

So, here's my first take on the Shades of Red Miniature quilt swap. I decided it was a little too traditional for my partner, so this one is going to stay home with me. I love it, so I don't mind. This center piecing will finish at 7" square. I still need to decide on borders.

After deciding the one above was too traditional, I aimed for a lot more contemporary.

I think that solid red is going to be the border. I like how it lets all the attention go to the center piecing. This foundation is the 13-Square foundation from Miniatures in Minutes. The center piecing finishes at 6 1/2".  The design is a wee variation on the hearts project I put on the website -- this little guy:

It never ceases to amaze me what a difference fabric makes. That more traditional heart went to a swap partner, too. I really need to make one of these little heart minis for me! Though I also have a larger version done in batiks on a 17 by 17 grid.

And just because I was off the web for a while, I didn't show this little guy from a summer swap. The general guideline was that it be six inches or under. My partner requested neutrals with just a pop of color. So, here's another variation on the 13-square foundation (though I only used 11 by 11 in order to make it fit)-- this time based on a Trip Around the World. I called it "Color My World."


And a little close-up:

Whew. The next few days it's all about finishing little quilts. I am SO happy to be back in the sewing room!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Ready, Set, GO!

So, 2016 was a challenge in so many ways. I enter 2017 with a sewing room that needs a lot of organization but is, thank you very much, functional. I also limp in after some surgery that's knocked me back several months worth. So it goes. That said, I'm ready to get back up and doing.

A year back I was doing my own personal challenge, the GO! Sew Challenge. I felt like I wasn't using my Accuquilt GO! enough, so I decided that every week I would work on a project that used it in some way. Sometimes it felt intimidating figuring out what I was going to do, but I actually really liked how it kept me moving. So, in that spirit, that's how I'm starting out the new year.

I have two big sewing intentions to begin with -- one, another GO! Sew Challenge, and two, working on finishing up some of the backlog of projects in process.

Week 1. I've pulled out a project I worked on earlier this year -- it uses the Hexagon and Fall Medley dies to create hot pads. I just need to add binding to one of the hot pads and I'll be done.

I think they're pretty darn cute.

I need to make a shades of red quilt for a mini quilt swap and the GO! is great for cutting out triangles trimmed just the way I need for the paper foundations. These will finish at 1 inch square.

Here's a broader view of the quilt in process:

And in the spirit of finishing, I also finally got to quilting the red and white everlasting tree quilt. Now it just needs binding.

So, here it is. A good start, I think.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Am I Blue?

There's a lot of blue going on around here.

There's more denim rag circles.

And then with the French General added.

I love that combination, the red, grey, and tan of the French General against the blue denim. But yikes, that quilt project seems to be one I can only work on in small doses! (It's so heavy and hard to maneuver once I'm joining rows).

Plus some more crochet.

Dishcloths. Because, why not?

And a little coffee mug cozy and coaster. (I've got no excuse).

A couple of new GO! dies showed up at the house yesterday. Perhaps I can find something fun to do with them this week?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Christmas in July

Now that I have a sewing space to work in again (finally!), I'm getting done some of the little Christmas gifts I like to get started on during summer break. Well, first there was a birthday gift for a little girl -- pretty in pink!

And I've been making up some more to have ready for the end of the semester. I love these little bags with the vinyl windows. Such a brilliant idea! So useful! I can never remember what I put in a bag, being able to see it without opening it up? Genius. Kudos to whoever thought of it.

And another more somber one.

Is that manly?  From the back?

And I haven't completely ignored the AccuQuilt GO! either -- some Xmas hotpads for the newlyweds.  Notice the owls in love?  Awwwww!

It's been so long since I've had a sewing space, I'm out of practice. I'm starting to warm up though. I've got plans.

Truth is, I always have plans, more plans than conclusions, truth be told. I'm telling myself there's a good amount of fun to be had in dreaming, too.  It's my story and I'm sticking by it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GO! Squares

Isn't it nice to use up little bits, the leftovers of this and that?  I find it SO satisfying!

Our department administrative staff has been getting hammered with challenges this summer. They are the best staff ever, and they seem to have an apparently endless store of patience while they deal with faculty and students. I thought a little cheering on was in order.

First, I made up some little fabric baskets.

I used the Pink Penguin fabric basket pattern -- one of my favorite patterns.

Because baskets alone are not near gratitude enough, I actually filled them with chocolate before passing them on.  I work on the principle that chocolate always makes things better.

I used the GO! two inch square die and Pellon's fusible grid. (I did a blog post years ago showing how I use the die and the grid.  You can find it here if you are interested). I also had some leftover blue charms, so I made up another couple little things.

Another basket  and a zipper case. I love vinyl windows -- so useful! Kind of a pain in the neck to sew, but I love the result.

And then, I've still been crocheting up a wee storm -- making up chalkboard wipes for the wedding (which is right around the corner!) -- I am a sucker for little projects.

Of course, my quilts in process collection would be a lot smaller if I was as big a fan of finishing large projects as I am of finishing the small. I'm putting that bit of truth into the "oh, well" column -- as Popeye would say, I am who I am. If I haven't managed to become a more perfect version of myself by now, it's just not going to happen. On the list of sins, I'm saying unfinished quilt projects is small potatoes. I still want to work at finishing them, but I've decided to give up feeling guilty about them.

Am I the only one? How do you justify that unfinished pile?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

About That Sewing Room

Oh, remember when I was so happy about the redo on the sewing room? Such a sad tale it is. The room looked great -- but smelled BAD. Nasty and chemical and potent enough the room was unusable. And it continued to smell bad, as we continued to try and air it out.  For months. We were convinced it was the new flooring. We eventually pulled out the flooring and . . . wait . . .  what? . . .  the room still smells?! Which left the only new element in the room as the paint. And after some research which suggested paint can go bad and, no, you can't just paint over it, my sewing room now looks like this:

Yup. We're removing the dry wall. (That's the royal "we" -- my own true love gets to tackle this one.)

This is what that corner looked like back when I was setting up the room after the redo:

Such a sad story.

But speaking of my own true love, he knows my being without a sewing room for the last five months has been wearing on me. He ever so generously offered to sacrifice out his game area (big board games) to allow me a place to set up while we continue to try and rescue the sewing room. So we did yet another shuffle on the sewing piles scattered around the downstairs and I now have this:

Yes! A working sewing space again!  Bring it on!

I finished the signature quilt for a friend.

(Those are hubby's gnarly feet down there!)

The GO! dies really came in handy on this one. I used the signature die for the signature patches, the 3" finished half-square triangle die to square the signatures, and the 2" strip die for the framing.

And I'm back to working on the GO! Rag Circle denim quilt.

So, that's where I'm at for the moment. I'd love to get back to my GO! Sew Challenge, but there are some other holdups still in the way.  Meanwhile, I may not be on my personal challenge time, but the GO! is back to getting a workout.

Yeah for sewing rooms! Thanks, honey! (So very many reasons to love that big-hearted guy.)

I'm also getting some crochet in for our son's upcoming wedding: washcloths for the showers and wipe cloths for chalk boards.  Aren't those colors bright and happy?

One of the things that pleases me is that, apparently, I have no ambition when it comes to crochet. With quilting I was all about learning new techniques and playing around to see how I could tweak them (which is how I came up with the variation on Fold and Sew that makes the miniature quilts). But with crochet? Nope. It seems I am perfectly happy to make washcloth after washcloth. I really like having this little side hobby where I feel absolutely no pressure to grow at all.  It's a relief.

Sometimes easy, mindless, and unchallenged is exactly where I want and need to be!