June 26, 2011

Polka Party - it's got something for everyone! :)

Have you seen "New in town" with Renee Zellweger? Her company sends her to Minnesota and the first night at her secretary's house for dinner she gets in a fight with the union leader over music. The secretary's husband Harv finally chimes in - "What about polka, its got something for everyone!" Makes me laugh so much the way he says it... and that is what I think of everytime I'm working on this quilt because I've named it "Polka Party".... this sampler has something for everyone! :)

Enough of my rambling tho... for my weekend work and WIP update, I give you Polka Party Block 1 (last week) and Block 2 (this week):

This Skill Builder Sampler is a rather slow QAL but in my case, participating in 5+ QAL's, slow is good. I love these polka dots tho and I'm impatient to make more fun blocks with them but I guess I'll just go work on another QAL until I'm too tired to sew haha.

Also for your viewing pleasure, my now full collection of Ta Dots for this project - 22 FQs equaling 5.5 yards. Some are rather interesting in their brightness and color combination, but I think overall this quilt will put the  "fun" in funky haha.

Happy weekend everyone!
Linking up with:  sew many ways  {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations  

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Fresh Poppy Design

June 22, 2011

WIP Wednesday - QAL Progress Report

I've gotten myself a little in over my head on the QAL's and other projects this summer but hopefully I will be able to keep up. Most of them have started off slowly this month or are more of a "at your own speed" type of thing - aka the Farmer's Wife QAL - so I should be able to get them all completed on scheduled, where schedules exist.

Here is a quick run-down of my projects and at least my fabric choices since that is the stage I am at with most of these :)

1. Kaleidescope QAL:
Fabric Choice: Rainy Days and Mondays - with Moda Basics Gray as my solid
Progress: All fabric purchased, cutting instructions are released tomorrow

2. We Can Do It! - Skill Builder Sampler:
Fabric Choice: Ta Dot - Michael Miller - around 22 prints, plus white as needed

Block 1 Completed:

3. Embroidery 101 - Stitch & QAL:
Fabric Choice: Deciding between Miss Modd and Just Wing It!

Progress: Embroidery for block 1 released - I still need to pick my fabric, make the block, and start stitching! :)

4. A Zig & A Zag QAL:
Fabric Choice: QAL Leader made bundle + Kona Coal/Charcoal/White as the background color - still deciding

Progress: Need to choose a solid, cutting requirements already released

5. Rainbow Charm Swap:
Finally got my charms cut last night - mailing off tonight - deadline is this Saturday the 25th so I should be fine
I will be receiving 56 5" charm squares back - 2 of my own and 27 others in 7 various colors - 2 of each print

6. Garden  Fence Quilt:
Fabric Choice: Aviary 2 - Saffron + Kona Cotton & Linen Solids

Progress: Drooling over the pretty fabric - will start cutting after 4th of July weekend

7. Farmer's Wife QAL:
Fabric Choice: Maybe fat 1/8th bundle of Just Wing It? - Will decide for sure after the 4th of July weekend and get started then

Progress: Enjoying browsing the book and contemplating my fabric choices :) I will be making the 55 block smaller version of this sampler

8. Gift Exchange
I have until 1 week from today make and mail a lovely gift for my partner - not 100% sure yet what it will be but I have some cute ideas

Also working on my "ginormous secret project" which is soooooo close to being completed! I should be done by Friday night if all goes well and will be able to share pics over 4th of July weekend - stay tuned :)

Happy WIP Wednesday - Don't let your WIPs become UFOs! :)

Linking up with:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

June 20, 2011

Rawr :)

Rawr... Happy Monday :)

Mr. Dino hanging out with his new friend the Aardvark

June 19, 2011

New purse day - yay!

After working for a few hours on my "top secret project" this weekend,  decided to stop and make myself a new purse. You can never have too many right, and boy do I love new purse day! This one took 4-5 hours, due to the fight I always have with the fusible fleece.

Fortunately the fleece finally behaved and using a pattern from my local quilt shop and some "Its a Hoot by Momo" yardage from the same shop, I now have this:

There are so many fantastic things about this rather simply formed bag. I love the dual colors on the outside of the bag, especially the trim at the top of the pocket. The inside of the bag uses the bottom outer accent fabric, other than the large divided pocket which is in the main focus fabric.

Although the pattern called for 2 such pockets, divided however I wanted for pens, wallet, phone, etc. I decided to make a zipper pocket on the other side instead:

These zipper pockets really are so simply to make and they def. make the bag more useful and my wallet more secure. As I'd already followed the instructions and made two padded pieces for the inside pockets, I turned the other one into a quick and easy zipper wallet:

Purse and matching wallet will be available on Etsy in July - message me if you want to pre-claim it :) A pink option will be available then as well!

Genius right? haha. The other thing I love about this bag is that it has ties on the side which let it expand, as shown above. That way you either have a cute handbag, or a handy tote bag.

The pattern is fantastic all in all as far as the design but I would not say it was super well written. The cutting instructions did not reference which fabric you should be cutting, and some other steps were rather complicated in the description especially with the lack of pictures. Fortunately I've made enough bags that I was able to muddle through it as it was a rather simply design, just not well described. And although this beauty does not match anything I own, I will still put her to good use because she is simply fantastic :-D

Happy New Purse Day... and as most other people in the United States would say... Happy Father's Day! :)

***Here is the the link to the pattern, just found it online****

Linking up with:

sew many ways  {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations 
Fresh Poppy Design

June 17, 2011

Feature Fabric Friday & 1st QAL Block completed!

Welcome to another edition of Feature Fabric Friday - today we are all about dots - lots and lots of dots :)

The first specimen I have to share is a set of "egg dots" from Freebird by Moma for Moda Fabrics - I bought these when I first got into quilting last year and they are just waiting for the perfect project. 1 yard of each I believe. Just lovely :) 

My next collection falls under the  "lots and lots of dots" category so I thought I'd share it here as well as part of Feature Fabric Friday - but it will also be part of a 24 FQ set of "Ta Dot" by Michael Miller which I will be using for my "We Can Do it! Sampler" QAL:

Here are the first 9 prints for that QAL - aren't they just yummy? I have another 15 picked out and ordered and am o so excited to share them with you when they come. Funky and fresh and VERY colorful indeed!

And that leads me to my next big reveal.... (dramatic pause... haha)... My first QAL block!

Funky right? Love it! And before anyone points it out thinking I messed up, I MEANT to only use the yellow once. I wanted the starter block to stand out and be kind of random... and random it is. What do you think? Too modern/weird for your taste or right up your alley?

I am super excited to see what our second block of the month will be and can't wait to share it with you once its completed! The great thing about this QAL is that we only make 2 blocks a month, and although it will take us 12 months to complete, that gives me time for the other 4 QAL's I've signed up for haha.

Happy Sewing!!

June 16, 2011

Embroidery 101 Quilt A Long

I really need to stop reading posts about Quilt-A-Longs because every time I see one, I want to join it!

I've recently started dabbling in embroidery and I must say... I'm not that good haha. However I came across this Embroidery 101 Project and I must say I am rather intrigued. I love that not only do we learn basic stitches and make some cute patterns, we also make these into cute quilt blocks and turn it into a quilt-a-long at the same time.

Here is a sample of the block layout and what the stitched center would look like.
Click on the picture to go to Clover and Violet's post about this block and supplies needed.

First she captured my interest with the "Just Wing It" Fat Quarters but this picture of her Perle Cotton Thread choices def. hooked me. Aren't these just yummy?! Even if I didn't embroider I would want them sitting on my shelf haha.

I have a fat eighth bundle of "Just Wing It" which could be fun to use for this project, espec. since she already gave me the thread color numbers for it. Just not sure I want to get started tho... I'm scared that I will mess up my blocks with my awful embroidery skills. Hrmm... maybe I will wait and see how the lessons develop and work on practice muslin with normal embroidery thread and see what I think.

How about you - anyone else participating? How do you feel about embroidery mixed with quilting or just embroidery in general?

June 15, 2011

Garden Fence Pattern - WIP Planning

Have you been introduced to the Garden Fence Pattern? If not, let me gladly do so :)

The original pattern seems to be found here:

There is even a flikr group for people making quilts from this tutorial which is great for inspiration: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1712881@N21/

I love how easy these blocks are to assemble and what a fun pattern they create together. Of course I had to jump on the bandwagon!! I'm not allowed to start any new projects until July but I did pick out my fabric bundle for this project:

Aviary 2 mixed with Kona Linen & Cotton Solids - click picture for link to bundle on Marmalade Fabrics

I already had the Aviary 2 prints in FQs so I ordered just the solid FQs - which you can get from Marmalade as well on their own. I went for 1/2 a yard of the Aqua and Orange Kona Linen so I think I will have enough to make a nice sized Garden Fence quilt out of this set. The 3rd fabric from the top, Kona Cream, will be my sashing and block borders which I think will look great with all these wonderful colors.

**Just a note, that orange linen is not being manufactured anymore so if you want some, get it while you can!

Stay tuned for updates in early July as this joins my WIP list :)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

June 14, 2011

Farmer's Wife (Girlfriend) Quilt-a-long

fwqal button by Happy Zombie 

That's right, its ANOTHER quilt-a-long. Can we say addiction? Hrmm...
Regardless, this quilt-a-long seemed rather neat so I decided to order the book from my library and jump on the bandwagon. At some point I may buy the book, because it seems like one that I need to have in my stash. This project stems from the book:
This book is comprised of letters from farmer's wives entered into a magazine contest asking them if, based on their own personal experience, would they want their daughter to marry a farmer and why? Random, but rather interesting. You get to read around 40 of the letters submitted and apparently the 111 blocks in the book were inspired by these letters. The book gives you a CD with the templates for all 111 blocks and instructions to make them and some information about them.
... I have not read the whole book yet but it seems super interesting and as I'm always up for another quilt-a-long, I will definitely be joining. Sampler quilts are rather cool in my opinion and this will be the second sample quilt-a-long I am joining this summer. Good times! :-D
There is a 50 block lap quilt option which people are coining the "Farmer's Girlfriend" which I think I will be tackling - as the 100+ blocks in the other options are rather daunting and make for rather large quilts which I seem to already well represented in my WIP/UFO pile :)

Not sure about fabrics... will post on that later once I decide. It doesn't tell you how much you need so I need a good amount from my stash to make 50 - 6 inch pieced blocks (finished size) as well as the sashing, borders, etc. The great thing about this project is that its in a book and although tons of bloggers are working on it "together" - I can start and finish whenever I want, no pressure!

So here's to another quilt-a-long ... are you in too?

June 10, 2011

Feature Fabric Friday!

I really like seeing bloggers' favorite or new fabrics on their blogs so I have decided to start a "Feature Fabric Friday" series. Each Friday I will feature either fabric from my stash, or a new/coming soon fabric that I'm looking forward to.

Today's Feature Fabric Friday is a combination of linen and cotton fabric from Kokka featuring adorable characters with French captions:

As an animal lover, these little characters caught my eye and having a BA in French I loved the little captions on each one. I think my favorite is the school bus on linen, love how they are all hanging out and holding hands at the bus stop :)

 I'm not quite sure what to do with this collection tho! I have a 1/2 yard of all shown above, and a fat quarter of the first 3. I've also never combined linen and cotton before.

Any thoughts/suggestions on what fun things I could/should make out of this darling fabric?

June 8, 2011

WIP with Pips Continued!

My giant secret project is at a standstill until tomorrow so I've been enjoying a few days off from it. You can see the fruits of my quilt-free labor in the squirrel and turtle post from this past weekend :)
I wasn't much in the mood for sewing today so I decided to go ahead and cut out all the pieces to make 11 more of these Sherbet Pips blocks for my newest quilt project.

Lots and lots of cutting but at least when I next have time for my dear pips, I will be able to sew sew SEW! :)

It was very sad having to pack up all my nice little Pip pieces into a project box tho. I swear I'll come back to you in July... never fear! :)


Linking up with:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

June 7, 2011

Kaleidescope Quilt Along - Fabric Choice

Ok - I just can't do it! I can't cut up my Aviary 2 for this project. I know, I know, I'm a hoarder... haha. But really, I love all 3 colorways but I just don't see them mixing well together. And I'm sure I'm completely wrong, but I love this fabric so much, I can't cut it up without being sure, and I'm not sure, not at all.

SOoooooo... on to my second choice:

Rainy Days and Mondays! I've been hoarding this for a while and I think this could be the perfect project for my set. I don't have that yellow or grey print in the back... but I have 9 FQs and 5 - 1/2 yard cuts - making about 19 FQs total, so I'm only missing one for the quilt along. I have 3 other pieces of this fabric... the large umbrellas, but I don't want to cut those up so small so I will be using them on the back.

The white part of the kaleidescope pattern, in between all the pretty colored blocks, is going to be light grey on my quilt I think. I love the greys in the prints above and I love how the prints pull grey/pink/green together nicely so I think light grey will be the perfect alternative to white. I love white on quilts, but I use it too much already and I'm just worried it won't stay clean.

So there you have it... I've made my decision. Rainy Days and Mondays it is! :) .... now I just need to stick to that decision until we get cutting instructions on the 23rd haha.

Speaking of which, you still have time to join up - c'mon, you know you want to!! :)

June 5, 2011

And then there was a squirrel...

One day the crazy softie lady thought to herself... hey, why not draw a squirrel. And she did, and it was cute. Such a cute drawing, the crazy lady thought to herself, cannot remain on paper. It must be traced onto fleece! And it was, and it was even cuter. Such a cute little fleece creature, she then thought to herself, needs big shining eyes for personality and some stuffing to give it life. And it got eyes, and it was stuffed, and that is how the little squirrel came to be. The end :)

My poor unsuspecting dog lying in the background

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