January 31, 2012

Outsourcing your quilting - thoughts?

Hey crafty ladies, I have an opinion question for you that I would love to hear some feedback on.

Have any of you ever had your quilts professionally quilted on a longarm machine by someone else? Did you use someone local or send it off in the mail to someone you found online?

I have received recommendations from my local quilt shop of local longarm quilters who cost around 1-2 cents / square inch, which is very reasonable. That would save me the cost and fear of shipping off my quilts. However, regardless of the reasonable price, that would mean that most of my quilts would be $50-$75 each to get them quilted. Is it really worth so much money?

What do you think?

I would love to take a class and rent longarm space at a local shop but the only one within an hour from me is actually selling their machine and even last year were not taking new renters. Just getting a little bored with my straight line quilting options and I am really bad at FMQ and would not even attempt that on any quilt I've made so far. I definitely have plans to practice it on smaller projects and get better, but I don't know that I'd ever want to attempt FMQ on my small machine on a queen sized quilt, yikes.

Thanks for your feedback in advance, can't wait to hear about your opinions/experiences!

ps. Please let's not turn this into a debate about whether you should "do all your own work" - that is not what I am looking for and definitely do not want any contention on my blog.

January 28, 2012

New WIPs for Swaps to show you!!

I know I just wrote a post about not starting new things, but these were things I already joined so it is ok, or so I will tell myself haha. I am doing a good job of using the lovely fabric I have and only buying more for swaps when it is really necessary so hopefully that holds out haha.

So - on with the show!

Here are the 4 x 5 Bee Q 3 & 4 and 3 x 6 Bee Q 4 blocks I have received so far - waiting on 2 more. They are so pretty - love having them up on my design wall!  (speaking of which - ignore the polka dot flannel, that is my design wall down in the bottom right corner... with my only pieces of Mendocino stuck up these so I can admire them daily, hehe.)

4 x 5 Bee Q3 & 4; 3 x 6 Bee Q4

Next is a sneak peek of my pincushions for my pincushion swap. I joined a year long bee and every other month we do a little swap, and every non-swap month is a block making month for our hive members - super fun! February is a swap month and I would love to show you the rest but my partner will know immediately that these are for her so I have to keep it a secret 2 more weeks until I can mail them out :)

... I will admit, it is kind of a small silly swap, but I wanted to do it so :-p haha.

Pincushion Swap - Sneakie Peekie

Next is something I am super excited about - the For the Love of Solids Swap - Round 2

My partner seems to like pink and blue so here are the colors I picked out for her initially:

FTLOS Kona Palette

I got a lot of "down with the pink!" feedback - and in the end I decided to not mix the 2 groups. We have to make a big item and smaller item so I will make her smaller item pink and grey since it is her favorite color. However I decided to stick with blues for her big item because it seemed like she liked those colors on her mosaic and I really liked the way they fit into this design - by Jaybird Quilts:

FTLOS Finished Top

I started cutting fabric for this after lunch today and just finished it up - with lots of breaks in between. So fun to get a top done start to finish like that! It was supposed to be a mini quilt but ended up 25.25 x 25.5 - a little big but beautiful if I do say so myself ;-) I really hope my partner likes it or I will gladly hang it in my own sewing room! Now I just have to figure out a fun way to quilt it, hrmmmmm...

That is all for today - hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

January 27, 2012

UFOs and WIPs - to finish in 2012

I joined a fun flikr group to get motivated to work on my UFOs, you can find it here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/projectufo/pool/with/6770349523/

Seeing everyone else's mosaics was a good reminder to me of these 2012 crafty goals that I made only a few weeks ago but have not done anything about! http://www.thiscraftyfox.blogspot.com/2012/01/hello-2012-here-is-what-i-expect-from.html

So - in an effort to get organized and motivated, here are my UFOs and current WIPs I want to get done this year:

UFOs and Current WIPS

The top 4 are finished quilt tops that need to get quilted - trying to do one each quarter in the hopes that I will be able to do them without too much stress. First up is my pink stripey quilt in the top left corner - basted and just waiting for me to get going!

The next 2 are QALs that I started and never finished, followed by my hubby's quilt, my sherbet pips quilt, and an hourglass quilt for our bed. Lots to work on if I get sick of quilting!

A few little projects that I have started recently made their way onto this list because I need to wait to purchase more supplies but don't want to forget about them and let them become UFOs.

On top of all of this, I have 2 Christmas presents still to start/finish, 2 swaps and a year long bee I am participating in. Busy busy but maybe seeing all of these great projects will remind me to work on them and not start anything new haha.

That is another goal I am making right now too - to stop buying fabric for new projects and finish up old ones. I am not allow myself to start anything new for myself until something on this list gets finished!

Wish me luck - and good luck to you on your WIPs and UFOs, may your piles grow smaller, not larger! :)

January 25, 2012

Kumari Garden Destash! - SWAPPED

**UPDATE*** This has been swapped - thanks!

Lately I have been trying to clean up my sewing area and am doing a little inventory on my stash. I am finding some fabrics and lines that I like but do not love, and am ready to part with. I will be posting them now and then to see if they can find a new home.

Here is the first one - maybe more to come in the next few weeks as I do some more clean up:

Kumari Garden FQ Bundle - you will receive 27 unique fat quarters out of the 29 prints shown below -
$45 + $5 shipping - that comes to $1.72/FQ for this lovely line!

Comment or email me if you are interested or have a better offer - also willing to trade if the deal is right :)

Back to more cleaning, plotting and scheming... hoping to have more projects to show you this weekend!

January 23, 2012

Meet Titus - the manly pink elephant

I am pleased to introduce you to my new friend Titus - the manly pink elephant - isn't he so cute!! :)

Meet Titus

Why is he male and pink? I have no idea - he just seemed like a male to me inspite of his brightness and flowery ears ;-)

This is my first dimensional (read: not flat) softie. 
I used a pattern - Simplicity #2921 which was a pain in my butt; but after a lot of yelling and shaking the fabric in anger, and help from my mom when she could stop laughing at me, he turned out pretty awesome. If I am to be completely honest, it was def. more my impatience and mistakes than the pattern being annoying - I am just used to online tutorials with more steps and pictures.

He definitely needs a snuggly friend in green - but for the safety of that elephant and my own sanity, I will wait a bit to try making one again. ;-)

Why is he named Titus? Elphant Titus... Elephantitis... hehe...

Linking up with: {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

January 17, 2012

3 x 6 Bee blocks done - woo hoo!

I was able to finish up my 3 x 6 bee blocks this weekend while crafting with my mom. So glad those are all done - between my 3 x 6 and 4 x 5 bee I made 11 of these blocks - 9 of those were made in the past 2 weeks, yikes! Def. will not overload my schedule like that again!

3 x 6 Bee - Hive 2 - Finished!

Mailing everything out today - the 4 x 5 bee blocks are still on time but these 3 x 6 bee blocks were due yesterday - a holiday - so I don't really care that they are 1 day late. I am sure my group will survive :)

And speaking of Bees and swaps... here is what I have going on this quarter which is new:

1. 4 x 5 Bee - Q1 of 2012 - still waiting on group assignment

2. Bee Modern - 12 month bee where we only make 2 blocks every other month and on the "off" months there is a small swap - March is my month so I will be picking a block and colors soon! Maybe will post my options on here to get some opinions :)

3. For the love of solids swap - enjoyed this so much last year, had to sign up again! Waiting for my partner assignment so I can get to plotting! We have to make 1 big item and then send another item - either store bought or hand made. Last year I sent a pillow, mug rug, and stuffed squirrel... will see what my partner wants this year.

4. And I saved the best for last.... Pillow Talk Swap Round 7!! This is seriously one of the best flikr swaps and I am SO glad that I randomly noticed yesterday morning that they were taking applications for this new round because spots filled up SO FAST! There may be a couple left but they will go soon so jump on it if you missed the announcement too!

I think #1 is due in April, # 3 middle/end of March, #4 I am not sure what the dates are, and #2 I won't have to make any blocks until May since I am Queen Bee for March so I should really be ok with this schedule. Looking forward to showing you all my new projects for these Bee's & Swaps!

Linking up with:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

January 8, 2012

Experimenting with Melody Miller

Have you seen the Ruby Star collections from Melody Miller? They are very.... interesting and unique I would say. Not for everyone but I've found myself interested in them from the beginning. I finally broke down and bought some of the Ruby Star Rising - old collection, and the Ruby Star Shining - new collection. I was VERY modest in my purchase since it is rather expensive fabric, and this is what I've come up with so far:

Ruby Star Rising - Bee

I think I like this block better on point, but that means it will be very large once the setting triangles are added. I was thinking this will be a fun Spring pillow, but as I don't have any concrete designs for it yet, it will remain as such for a while. Let me know if you have any thoughts/suggestions - would love to hear them!

I will say that I was a bit disappointed in my 1/2 yard cut of the above fabric tho - for that much fabric and money, I only had 1 full bee and some bee wings sticking out on the bottom of my cut - plus the rest of the geometric shapes taking up the space. A little frustrating because this piece here is all I will use after spending 10$ but o well... you live and learn.  One expensive little bee :-p

Ruby Star Shining

I was REALLY pleased with the prints above - the clocks are 2 of 4 repeating patterns and the typewriter is a repeating pattern of its own on another print. I broke down and bought a 1/2 yard of each - could not resist and they look so fun together!

My Orange Essex linen went perfectly with this linen blend fabric as far as texture and color. I am thinking of doing that darker blue from the center around the outside of the 2 side pieces, and then the lighter aqua blue around the center piece and making them all the same size with those borders. I may do a final orange border around the whole thing and have a nice big rectangle pillow to snuggle. That is the plan for now anyway... it is also leaning towards being a gift pillow for a certain someone but I'll have to decide when it is finished.

I really should be working on my 3 x 6 Bee blocks but I couldn't resist playing a little this weekend :)
Hope your weekend is lovely too!

Linking up with:

Fresh Poppy Design & WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Flikr 4 x 5 Bee blocks (4th quarter - 2011)

With the deadline QUICKLY approaching (Saturday - ack!) , I finally finished my bee blocks for the Flikr 4 x 5 Bee (4th Quarter - 2011 - Group 1):

4 x 5 Bee (4th Quarter) 2011 - made by me

I think the purple/orange one and the grey/aqua ones are my favorites.

The 3 x 6 Flikr Bee has the same deadline and so I pulled fabric for 3 of my 6 blocks for that bee this morning. I WILL be on time - I have NEVER been late on a Bee or Swap deadline and I do not plan on starting 2012 that way :) So... get ready to see 6 more blocks popping up this week!

Linking up with:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

January 2, 2012

Hello 2012 - here is what I expect from you :)

Hello 2012!!!!!

What is so exciting about 2012 you ask? Well... I am not yet sure but I guess I have 12 months to find out! HOWEVER, I do expect great things in the way of actually FINISHING projects this year. Shocking, I know, but I do believe it CAN and WILL be done!

I was thinking of logging all my goals for the year or breaking it down by quarters, but to be honest I have SOOOOOO many WIPs and UFOs waiting for me, it would take up a lot of time to find and log them all, and that is precious time in which I could be crafting!

So, I think I will list out some goals for the month at the beginning of each month, and see how I do:

1. Big goal - finish WIP #1 - Soiree Stripe Quilt Top:

I am not 100% sure but I do believe this quilt top may have been finished in 2010 and basted in 2011, ridiculous, I know! This was the first quilt top I made for myself, after make a few for friends and family when I started sewing Summer 2010 and I REALLY want to snuggle this lovely beast!

So... Soiree - you have a date with the sewing machine this month and you WILL be quilted by the end of the month and finished by Valentine's Day at the latest - I promise you :)

3 x 6 and 4 x 5 Bees for Q4 2011 - 2 blocks down, 9 to go - must be done by Jan. 15th - yikes!

I have fabric set aside for a few others, hoping to get to at least one today. I have never missed a deadline on any of my bees or swaps yet and I refuse to let my 2012 start in the negative. I will I will I WILL get the other 9 blocks completed and all mailed on time!

3. Christmas presents for my mom! - This should probably be #1 but I am too lazy to move it haha
We spent Christmas in Germany visiting my in-laws and a week there visiting my husband's family and friends. My mom was super busy at the end of  December finishing up her Master's in Nursing (yay - she is awesome!) so we decided to have our Christmas celebration this Saturday - Jan. 7th.

We got back from Germany yesterday evening and have been doing a lot of chilling since then BUT I was able to finish 2 of my mom's Christmas presents today so I am feeling rather accomplished. There is an awesome purse I am trying to make her but I've had so many troubles finding the right interfacing, I am not sure it will get done on time. 2 out of 3 isn't bad tho and I might see if I can make a few little things to go along with the ones I already have done.

So I guess goal #3 is get that crazy dome purse for my mom finished by the end of the month - by Jan. 14th for our Mother/Daughter craft weekend if possible.

And as that is already a lot ... I will leave my January goals be and go back to sewing!

Happy January everyone, I hope you have a great start to the year!