April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday - little projects

Helllllllllooooooooooo..... and happy Wednesday everyone! That is right - 2 more days til Friday, yay!

Here are a few little project I've been working on lately - just experimenting with a few ideas I found on Flikr:

Help! - setting triangles?
Firefly block - inspired by: this awesome girl's mini-quilt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55243381@N04/6926925989/

Grey? Too light?
Postage Stamp Block - need to fix the grey tho, want to go darker
Inspired by House of A La Mode: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35939871@N05/6338713108/in/gallery-58229916@N06-72157628894181847

The Owl Experiment
Reverse Applique and Porthole Method Reverse Applique - Idea take from here:


Which was originally inspired from Lu Summers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lusummers/4745030343/in/set-72157623830606179


It has been fun trying out so new blocks and methods. Love flikr and all the wonderful inspiration and ideas to be found there!

April 14, 2012

New Blocks - on a roll today!

Somehow I had such a productive day today! I went to a baby shower, did my homework, made 3 quilt blocks, and used the elliptical for an hour - what an awesome Saturday! No cleaning got done and that was on the list... but o well... I can blame that on the homework, not the fun stuff, right? hehe

Here are some blocks I was working on today - all 3 are for my "Orange, Aqua, Grey" quilt which will be made 50% from bee blocks I received last year.

First Granny Square Block
Granny Square Block

Mendocino Long Log Cabin Block
Long Log Cabin Block - using my 1st piece of Mendocino I received as an "extra" in a swap last year!

HR Dogs - Joseph's Block
Orange Joseph's Block - Love those HR puppies!
I want to make a quilt just like this - with a swoon block in the center and my bee blocks all around it:

October 2011 Grace Purple & Grey Star Quilt
Picture from Colleenamarena on Flikr
I think it might end up being too small if I do this tho. I could add a border.. or I could add another row on each side and another column on each side... we shall see. I still need to make the swoon block and 5 or 6 more just to make one as big as above, so I have some time to think about it. 

Hope you all had a productive or at least enjoyable Saturday too!

Finish-a-long Quarter 2

It is second quarter of 2012 people! Time to get a move on those UFOs and WIPs if you don't want to be stuck with them at Christmas this year still :)

Here is what I hope to accomplish this quarter:

2nd Quarter UFOs 2012

1. I get to pick up Pinkie tomorrow - o buddy I am so excited to see her all quilted up! Need to get the binding on her and she will be DONE - this is one of the longest UFOs I've had - since 2010 when I started quilting - my very first beginning! She was for me and only for me so she kept getting pushed back for millions of other project but this month is HER month and she WILL get finished! :)

2. Puppy pillow - I am not letting this WIP turn into a UFO - it is getting finished and snuggled this quarter darn it!

3. Quilt for my hubby - 5 rows are done but I ran out of fabric. Picking up more tomorrow so hopefully will get the top finished by the end of April and will def. get this done this Quarter - wish me luck!

4. This was supposed to be a Christmas present for a friend... yea, a little late on that. I'd like to get it done before "Christmas in July" so this is going on Q2's list.

What is on your plate for this Quarter?? WIPs or UFOs?

I also have the Modern She Made Me swap item but I haven't even started that and have NO idea what I am going to make so I can't even put it on the list yet lol.

Linking up with the Finish-a-long 2012 - Quarter 2:

2012 Finish-A-Long

April 13, 2012

Progress Report Friday - yay!

I was too slow for WIP Wednesday so I am going to make up "Progress Report Friday" and act like it is a real thing haha.

I am participating in the "My Precious QAL" on flikr - where basically we are challenged to use "the precious" (insert gollum's voice from Lord of the Rings here) from our stash and MAKE SOMETHING from it... instead of continue to be the fabulous hoarders we all are!

I had to start small because this is a very scary thing, so I made a pillow cover out of my HR dogs on yellow:

 I started off matching pink fabrics to the puppies - because a lot of them had something pink next to them like a bow or sweater or ball. I REALLY like the way these turned out and it was fun cutting the dog pieces in different shapes instead of doing them all square.

I happened to have the perfect shade of Kona curry to match the dog blocks and decided a fun 9 patch pillow cover would be just the thing to highlight these puppies and show off the fun colors. I probably never would have put pink and mustard yellow together but I really like them!

I am thinking about some thick straightline quilting in the yellow parts but I can't quite come up with a design or idea... I was thinking horizontal strips 1/4" apart on the top and bottom squares and then vertical ones on the left and right... but I can't decide if that is too boring. Any ideas?

I had to set this aside to work on my husband's quilt this week and I was able to get 5 rows done on it so far before I ran out of fabric. I haven't decided how many rows long it will be but atleast I finally got the width figured out so that is good. I am picking up matching fabric this weekend from my mom because I accidentally sent it to her house - so hopefully I can keep working on this next week.

I really like the way it is coming together and more importantly, my husband really likes it. He loves argyle :) He really wanted a brown border around it and I found a shade of Moda brown that is closer than the Kona Browns - not perfect but still a good match. Once I have the top made I will do a border around the whole thing and then a fun white/blue print binding. He hasn't decided what he wants for the back yet so that will remain a mystery for now... even to me haha.

Not a ton of projects to show but I'm happy with these 2 and glad I was able to get SOMETHING other than homework done this week.

Happy Friday everyone!!

Slowing the growth of my stash... help please! lol

Last night I decided to go through my stash and pull out piles of fabrics that I either don't love so much anymore, have no idea what to do with, or I like but won't be using anytime soon - and I put them all in a big plastic tub. I then took all of my favorites - "My Precious" - as our flikr group would say, and put them on the shelf so I can see them and remind myself of all the awesome fabric lines I have gathered and need to use.

The first thing I noticed is this... I have WAY too much fabric! I know, I know - what a blasphemous thing to say but it is so true! When it is all piled up on a shelf I don't notice how much there really is but when I started pulling out pile after pile and realizing how many full lines I do have - yikes - I was a little embarassed!

I will show some stash pics later maybe just to share my favorites but for now I need help on keeping that giant stash from growing at an alarming rate lol - which it has been for the past 2 years I've been sewing. (So embarassed to have so much fabric and I honestly have only been sewing for less than TWO YEARS... ahhhhh I am insane and addicted lol).

So - here are the lines that I REALLY want for the next 3 months - just ignoring the ones that would be "nice to have" in bits and pieces and telling myself NO until there is a month where I don't want a whole line.

April - Summersville - how can I not love this? - the problem is I definitely don't have any fabric money for April so this will just have to go on hold :( I am thinking I don't need a quilt out of this tho - maybe some FQs for smaller projects like fabric baskets or something later on tho?

Are you super excited about this line? Do you know what you will do with it? Please... tell me I don't need the whole thing... make me feel better about this (bad bad!) decision to wait on it haha.

May - Lucy's Crab Shack by Sweetwater

If I am honest with myself, I WANT this ENTIRE line to make an awesome summer quilt! However, after discussing it with hubby and my budget, that just can't be :( So... I am thinking maybe a charm pack so I get a little bit of all the prints, and then maybe FQs of the plaid and polka dots because they will work so well with other projects. Such a hard decision to make... did I make the right one? Ahhh I am so weak lol. honestly as much as I love this line, I need to learn that I don't need to buy EVERY line and I need to learn to mix and match, which I think will work well with the plaids and polka dots.

June - Brr! by Laurie Wisbrun

Out of all 3 months, this is by far my favorite. I will be getting enough of the blue/red to make a quilt for sure and then some FQs to make into other fun projects. Love love LOVE this fabric line and out of the 3, this one is definitely the top priority.

There are other lines coming out this summer that I am super excited about, including one mentioned by Heather Ross that is supposed to come out at May Market. Knowing there are other lines I will want, I need to curb my wish list for the next 3 months - as much as it pains me.

How do you cut back on your fabric buying and convince yourself to either buy less or wait? I have gotten really bad at getting layer cakes of Moda ones I like, F8 or FQ bundles of ones I LOVE, and ending up with SO much fabric that I will never be able to use it all! This needs to stop... I need to get better... and I would love your tips and advice on how you decide what fabric to buy and convince yourself to pass up on other lines even if you like them.

... thank you, self-help group, your words of wisdom are appreciated. My name is Tiffany and I am addicted to fabric. "Hi Tiffany" says the group... ;-)

April 11, 2012

Vintage Singer - o buddy! :)

I went down to Havre de Grace, MD with a couple friends last weekend and while antiquing (is that a verb? haha) I found this great vintage Singer! It is a bit worn and not functional because the cord has been cut, but I am really enjoying having it as a decoration in my home.

This was such a great find - it was originally $75 and was marked down to $35 and came with the wooden top case. The case is a little beat up too, but I can still see the "Singer" embossing on the front which is cool. I will try to take better pictures of the 2 together - we just have no room in our apartment to display them together right now!

I kind of love the fact that the decals are worn and it definitely looks like it has had a lot of use - it was well-loved and I am happy to give it a home for retirement :)

I did send some pictures and questions to a guy that has a blog about repairing vintage Singers so who knows - maybe she can come out of retirement yet! If not tho, she will be loved by me just as much as if she was functional.

Do you have a vintage Singer from family or that you've found somewhere? I think they are so cool :)

April 5, 2012

Just 3 Challenge - April

TraceyJay Quilts is starting something called Just 3

traceyjay quilts

Basically this is her plan:

So I'm giving myself three goals.

Each month, I will write down three goals, and at the end of the month, I will reflect, report, and re-evaluate for the next month.

I think this is a great idea and something I was kind of trying to do but maybe more structure and linking up will help me stick to it!

So here are my 3 goals for April:

1. Finish this quilt top for my husband
This is a realstic goal because I have all of the blocks made, they just need sewn into rows and then I need to decide if I am making it bigger or adding a border. 3 weeks left - I think I can manage it.

2. Pick a pattern and Fabric for me "Pretty Little Pouch Swap - Swapping with myself" project from this post
The actual swap mail day is 2 weeks from Friday - April 20th - but I am not pushing myself to meet that goal. I have too much homework and other things going on so I will be happy if I at least have a plan and fabric choice by the end of the month.

3. Find all of the pieces, pattern, and material to the purse I started for my mom so I can get that finished by Mother's Day. Putting this on here so I will force myself to go look and get working on it!! I am very intimidated by this pattern and I altered it to be smaller so I have no idea if it will work out... so I've been ignoring it for a few months and lost it in several boxes lol. I REALLY want to make this for her for Mother's Day tho, since it was supposed to be a Christmas present and that obviously didn't happen :-p

So there you have it, my 3 goals for this month. 3 weeks left to meet them and A LOT of life stuff going on between now and then that will make this a challenge.

What are your 3? Check out TraceyJay Quilts and link up to share your 3 goals for April as well!

April 4, 2012

Interesting Sewing Summit Fact and some eye candy :)

Interesting update from The Sewing Summit - taken directly from their blog:

So. Sewing Summit 2012 is officially sold out. Yes, our tickets went on sale at 9:00 am this morning, by 9:01 there were 100 tickets sold. Throughout the rest of the day, I watched the registration stats like a hawk and incredulously, about 10 hours later, I realized that we were going to sell out & I needed to take the registration link off our website.

10 hours - isn't that insane? I emailed them last week and they said they were expecting to sell out in Summer at the earliest - even tho last year they sold out only a few weeks before the conference and even offered "one-day" passes for locals. I was expecting them to sell out at the end of the week since the first 100 tickets went so fast but they surpased even my estimates - so awesome!

They are starting a wait list while they consider the possibility opening it up to more people, I really love what she says here tho:

When Sewing Summit was formed, we always had in mind a smaller, niche, approximately 250 person event where people could genuinely connect & you weren’t just cattle-called through big ballrooms & halls. I want to provide a place where you can do that – and it’s a delicate balance.

I agree - a lot of the classes at big sewing conferences or shows make you feel very anonymous and you don't have a chance to get to know more than 1 or 2 people, and that only if you are lucky and they feel chatty. I love that they are trying to accomodate as many as people as possible, but at the same time keep it small enough to give everyone that personal "get to know people from the online community and share" experience - which is one of the main reasons for this conference.

If you didn't get a ticket - definitely check out the link to their blog I provided above and sign up for the waiting list - you never know, you might just get lucky! And if not - plan, save, and sign on REALLY early for next year lol. They are seriously going to have to do a lottery or something next year - they will probably sell out within 2 hours in 2013 at this rate!

And to give you something fun to look at instead of just a big long ramble about Sewing Summit - here is a picture of my newest favorite fabric - a FQ that is going to be AGONIZING for me to cut up eventually lol.

I spent too much on this FQ but I am so glad I chose this color - it is simply fantastic! Seriously if the house is burning down and I already have the hubby, dog, and other essentials out of the house - this is the piece of fabric I am grabbing to save from my stash - thank goodness it lives in the same box with all of my other Heather Ross! lol
If you could only save 1 FQ from your stash - what would it be?
Happy Wednesday - 2 more days til Friday!

Sugar Pop is home!! ... and a WIP for my husband

Here is the post I've been meaning to write for over a week+ now... Sugar Pop is home from the quilter!!

Michelle did a fantastic job and I love everything about this quilt :)

Not the best picture but you get the idea ;-)

Love love love this quilting! She used light pink thread which blends so well

Love how the quilting blends so well on the border and on the white sections too

Close-up of back, quilting, and binding

Too much flash here but atleast you can see the quilting on the back really well!

My first quilt all for me and ready to be snuggled!

And this my friends is by far my favorite picture of this quilt...

Someone already stole my quilt!

Awww, isn't that sweet? :) Apparently I need to get his quilt finished so I can have mine back haha.

To be fair, I was the one that put the quilt on him so he could help me decide on batting for his quilt, but apparently it was just so warm and comfy he dozed off :)

This quilt is made from the Moda line "Sugar Pop" and I think it is such a great Spring/Summer quilt. It is the perfect weight for naps on the couch, although when it is chillier in our apartment I do wish it had flannel on the back just because I like to snuggle fuzzy things :)

This is the first quilt I am keeping for myself - every other one I've made and finished has been gifted to a family member or friend - which I love doing but it is REALLY nice having one of my own to snuggle after almost 2 years! This is also the first quilt I've had quilted by a longarm quilter and I absolutely love the result. She has a second quilt of mine right now which will be for our bed and I have every confidence in her that it will turn out as beautifully as this one!

And because this is Work in Progress Wednesday - here is my newest WIP:

This is what I call the Argyle Argyle quilt - my hubby picked out the fabric and pattern and this will be a quilt just for him for the warm summer months when our other blankets are too warm or heavy. I finished all of the blocks last weekend during General Conference and then got them all sewed into pairs (bottom left) last night. I haven't decided yet if I should get more fabric and make it a little bigger, or if I should put a brown border around the whole thing - which was hubby's suggestion. It is his quilt so I'm definitely taking his suggestions into consideration... but I'm just not sure how I feel about a border and matching up that brown to a Kona brown doesn't really work. We shall see... I still need to sew the blocks into rows first and see how big it ends up. Hoping to get this top finished by the end of the month and the quilt finished by the end of May, just in time for summer and warm weather (read: sweltering heat in our apartment because we only have a wall unit in the living room, ahhhhhhhhhh).

Hope everyone is having a lovely week and success with their WIPs!

April 3, 2012

Sewing Summit - Registered and SO excited!!

That is right people - I am signed up for Sewing Summit! I was at work for 5 hours before registration started and o buddy was it so hard to wait! The site kicked me out 3 times, seems like they were having some system problems, but I got in with the $50 off coupon and registered within the first 3 minutes.
I had a friend who tried to register with the coupon about 5 min after registration started and it wouldn't let her - those tickets were already sold out. 5 MINUTES - are you kidding me? That is so fast! And according to Facebook, it wasn't just a 50 ticket rush, there are lots of tickets selling out fast at regular price. I will be interested to see how long it takes them to sell out completely - last year they were selling right close to the conference beginning.

It is so cool to see that there are so many people who are so excited about this sewing and blogger conference... love being part of this online community and I am SO excited to get to meet some of my idols as well as blogging/email friends in person!

Just a note to those who cannot go this year, do not despair! It will be around for a while I have a feeling and at some point the time will be right for you to go too! I was super bummed to not go last year and it is only due to some finangling of the budget and lots of savings that I can go this year. It is hard to miss out but this conference is just going to get better and better so start saving and hopefully start planning for next year!!

April 2, 2012

Mendocino - an obsession and a question - what do do with it now?

Funny story about Heather Ross' Mendocino Line...
When I started sewing in 2010 I saw this fabric online and thought it was super pretty. I asked my husband tho what he thought because it seemed more expensive than regular fabric and after all, it was mermaids. He said nah, I shouldn't get it... so I didn't. Really, what grown woman needs 1/2 naked mermaid fabric right?

A year+ later I finally understood more about designers, OOP and HTF fabric, the joy that is Heather Ross. I started developing a taste for quirky modern and bright prints and low and behold... I fell in love with that "expensive mermaid fabric" all over again. Ofcourse by then it was too late to get it at a reasonable price - which I really think it might have still been in 2010 or at least better than 2012 prices anyway! And so the obsessing began...

I have been REALLY fortunate to have found some fantastic swapping partners in the last few months and especially lately who've been super generous in parting with some of their Mendocino pieces and scraps. I have also shamfully paid a ridiculous amount on Etsy for a few pieces as well lol - I'm not proud of it but I'll admit my folly ;-) Thanks to all of the above - here is my current Mendocino stash with the light pink kelp on the way as well:

I have enough to make a quilt, and hopefully some other fun things like using scraps for bags, pillows, etc. I am torn about what type of quilt to make tho and thought I'd throw it out there for discussion if anyone has an opinion.

I saw this Kitchen Windows pattern in a book and thought it would be perfect to showcase small pieces of Mendocino or any other line for that matter:

FFA2 Kitchen Windows Quilt Progress
By Pitter Pitter Stitch on Flikr - awesome quilt with FFA2!
But the more I see JeniB's log cabin quilt made out of Mendocino and lots of coordinating scraps... I am torn! If you haven't seen her quilt yet - definitely go check it out - it is beautiful! I can't share on here but here is a link to the flikr albumn: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenib/sets/72157626012298807/

I wouldn't want to copy Jeni completely - I was thinking actually of maybe using a random shape for the center like a hexagon or diamond or something different like that. I absolutely love the pillow I got in the PTS6 with the hexagon center and I think this would be a sweet quilt - but I do love Jeni's idea of splitting them into single color blocks (with varying shades):

Or is there some other super awesome quilt pattern I haven't seen yet that you might suggest for such beautiful fabric? I don't want to be hasty in my choice... I will have one Mendocino quilt and one only... to snuggle and love for years to come... or until I have a little girl one day who steals it from me lol.

You know... looking at the Kitchen Window quilt above really makes me want to use my FFA2 stash for the samse type of quilt lol... this is why I never get anything accomplished and just hoard fabric... too many possibilities! But I guess that is the joy and beauty of sewing and quilting!

Modern She Made Swap

Sneaky sneak Diane posted on her blog yesterday about this new swap on Flikr called - Modern She Made

I immediately had to go check it out because:
1. I am addicted to swaps and am not in any right now
2. Diane has good taste in swaps!
And really that was all the reason I needed haha.
Here is a bit of information about the swap:

Signups will end on Friday April 6th unless they reach 100 participants first. They are already 25% full so you should go check it out ASAP if you are interested! 
This swap focuses on making 1 big item - which I love - and you can choose from things like a pillow cover, mini quilt, bag, sewing machine cover, etc.
The one main rule for this swap is - you must include a circle somewhere.
Either the item is shaped in a circle, the piecing/applique includes a circle shape, the quilting is in a circle, etc. Sounds fun right? Yea... I was hooked from the moment I checked out their flikr page.

Here is my inspiration mosaic - I know it is evil of me to share this because it will probably get more of you hooked but I just can't help myself lol:

Modern She Made Swap Inspiration

I got a bit of sewing done this weekend and have lots of things to share with you - just need to remember to take some pictures! Maybe tonight... stay tuned for the unveiling of my Sugar Pop quilt!