Category Archives: Quilting Project

Vintage Quilt Revival: Catch Up

I am finally caught up with the Vintage Quilt Revival block-along that Sukie – Don’t you know who I am? is hosting. Whew! When finishing my Riley Blake Challenge I had to put all other projects aside, including these blocks. It’s amazing how far behind you can feel when committing to doing two blocks per week.  Glad I took some time and focused on getting these done!

Blocks for Week 3:

Dove at the Window

Dove at the Window

Art Square

Art Square

I had a very difficult time with Art Square.  I figured it would be the easiest, but ended up sewing with the wrong seam allowance (too scant) and when trimming I went into the 1/4″ seam allowance.  Which basically meant my points would be chopped off when putting the borders on the block.  I ripped it all apart, cut new HST’s and sewed it up again.  But this time I messed up the seam allowance the other way (not scant enough), and had to adjust that.  Thankfully I checked before sewing the entire square together.  It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me!

Blocks for Week 4:

Riviera

Riviera

Dakota Star

Dakota Star

Out of all the blocks made so far, I think Riviera is my favorite. Those points. I. Die.  I have never made such an almost-perfect block (yes, I actually am bragging a bit here).

Blocks for Week 5:

Rolling Square

Rolling Square

Red Cross

Red Cross

These are the blocks for this week.  I really pushed myself to use color combinations that I would not normally put together, not to mention colors that I would usually not choose to use.  These Modern Solids fabrics have really been amazing to work with.  There is a fairly limited selection of colors, and I am determined to get all the colors into this quilt.  These blocks really showcase this fabric, and this fabric really makes my blocks look amazing.

I had a friend stop by recently and I showed her the fabric.  She said that it looked great in pictures, but in person these fabrics are even more amazing.  I have to agree.  I am really sold on these fabrics, and if you have an opportunity to get your hands on some, or at least see (and feel) them in person, I would highly recommend doing so.  They’re really worth it! (Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to say any of this by Alissa or the manufacturer.  Nor has any fabric been given to me.  But I’m totally willing to accept both.  Ha!! Just kidding, Alissa!!!)

Linking up with Sukie!

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along


Skillbuilder BOM 2014

skill-builder-250-ad

Last year I participated in the Skill Builder BOM by Alyssa Lichner of Pile O’ Fabric.  I learned so much, and had so much fun creating the quilt last year, that when I discovered Alyssa was doing another Skill Builder BOM for 2014 I signed up right away!

Final Skill Builder Fabric Pull

Final Skill Builder Fabric Pull

Alyssa is a great teacher, and started us off with lessons in color theory, and choosing our own color scheme (if we wanted to do something different than the colors she chose for the BOM).  I enjoyed this process a lot.  I am trying to stretch myself in this area, since I am not very good with colors. I took the time to select the colors I liked, and then I printed the coloring sheet and spent quite a bit of time painstakingly coloring it in.

My coloring sheet looks a lot more vibrant in real life!

My coloring sheet looks a lot more vibrant in real life!

I wanted to get my MQG Riley Blake challenge project finished before doing any of my January BOM’s.  I decided yesterday that I had some time to get the two January blocks done, and still finish my challenge project on time.  I started making the blocks yesterday and finished today.

Ruler Block

Ruler Block

The ruler block was a lot of fun to make.  The Kona Charcoal fabric was not in my original plan for the ruler markings, but I wanted the ruler to actually look like a ruler.  I think adding the Charcoal was a good choice.  Although Mister asked me if I was making piano keys… Hmmmm.

Thread Spools Block

Thread Spools Block

I have a feeling this block is going to be my very favorite of the whole quilt.  I LOVE Aurifil thread, and I was so excited that Alyssa included a block that looks like Aurifil thread spools!  I sew exclusively with Aurifil, and sewed these blocks up with #2021 in 50 wt.  I chose the Kona Glacier to mimic the look of the Aurifil 40 wt green spool. I know its not the same color of green, but those Aurifil spools are unmistakable and I’m sure this block of spools won’t be confused with any other brand!  I enjoyed trying to make the variegated thread look, and the freedom to not have to sew the lines perfectly straight in order to mimic the winding of the thread on the spool.

Well, now that I’m caught up on the Skill Builder blocks, all I have left to do is my Sugar Block Club for January (almost finished!), and then I’ll get back to work on the Challenge quilt.  I’ll make January’s Bag of the Month in February sometime.

If you’re interested in participating in the Skill Builder BOM 2014, just click the button in the sidebar or at the top of this post.  Once you have signed up for the class, the content is there for you forever and you can work at your own pace!  It’s still early enough that you can catch up in a jiffy too!


The Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone QAL

The first quilt completed in 2013 ends up being the last post of 2013…

My finished Broken Herringbone quilt!

My finished Broken Herringbone quilt!

This is not going to be a reflective post about all the sewing I’ve done this past year. Rather, it’s more of a “I made this quilt in 2013, didn’t have time to write about it during the holiday season and I can’t bear to start 2014 with a leftover 2013 post”. Sad, but true.

Back of the Broken Herringbone Quilt

Back of the Broken Herringbone Quilt

Gotta start by saying that this was a VERY fun quilt to make!  I was on a particular schedule to get my usual BOM’s done this year, as well as complete the Tula Pink City Sampler QAL quilt long before Christmas time. However, the ever fabulous Molli Sparkles tempted me sorely to join his Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt Along.  And I did. I threw everything aside and that ended up blowing the Tula Pink City Sampler schedule to bits. As in, I am so far behind I won’t finish the quilt as the same time as every one else. Not even close. (They’re all on blocks 96 or so. I’m at 56. Uh…yeah.)

And you know what?  It was so worth it.  I’ll get the Tula Pink quilt done, and because I didn’t get it finished in time to be a Christmas gift I’ll be keeping it.  So… BONUS!  As far as the Broken Herringbone Quilt…. LOVE.

Not as complicated as it seems!

Not as complicated as it seems!

This looked like it would be a complicated quilt. After I did two blocks I had the pattern down pat. I started the quilt off with making a rainbow of quilt blocks. I had all the ROYGBIV colors in there. Since the quilt was for Mister, I asked him to help me lay out the finished blocks to his liking. After we found a decent layout he said, “You know, the green and yellow just aren’t working for me.” (Tim Gunn much?!) Then it was decided to throw out the orange and red blocks too.

You are SO not welcome in this quilt... But I have other quilty plans for you poor rejected blocks!

You are SO not welcome in this quilt… But I have other quilty plans for you poor rejected blocks!

So I was back at the sewing table creating more of the blocks Mister did like. At that point I realized I should probably throw out the red and pink blocks and just stick with the jewel-toned colors that were left. I replaced 9 of the 16 blocks. Despite the fact that I sewed half of the blocks all over again, I agree that Mister made a great decision to just stick with jewel colors.

More jewel-toned colors!!

The quilting on this was a simple stitch-in-the-ditch around all of the white lines. Which is actually NOT as simple as it looks with this pattern. Took me four days to finish, and boy was I ever so happy to be done with quilting this quilt.

Thank goodness for 9" harp space!  All those tight  turns were challenging.

Thank goodness for 9″ harp space! All those tight turns were challenging.

And that’s my last post for 2013! I feel better about being “caught up” now. I hope you all had a wonderful 2013, and that your 2014 is amazing!


Other Handmade Christmas Gifts

As I planned and created handmade Christmas gifts this year, I worried that they wouldn’t be good enough.  That they would come off as cheesy, ugly, or even not well-enough made.  A friend recently noted that I am a perfectionist about sewing [paraphrasing], and while that could be misconstrued as a negative comment I know that it wasn’t and it was spot on for me… If I can’t make it look perfect enough to NOT look cheesy, ugly or not well-made, then I don’t want to make it.

However, this year while I was creating gifts I had a lot of time to reflect on my issue with constantly trying to make things look perfect.  All the time I spent on choosing just the right fabrics, starching and ironing them, cutting the pieces out, running to the store to purchase the perfect interfacing and stabilizer (LOVE Soft and Stable, by the way), choosing just the right color of thread, the time spent sewing and unpicking errors then resewing… all that was done because I love and care for the people I made gifts for.

I suppose now is a good time to insert the Fedex Cozies Commercial which reminded me that I am totally in danger of becoming this person!

I gave myself a gift when I realized that it was okay if the people I made the gifts for didn’t care for them, or thought they were cheesy, ugly and not well-made. Mister was concerned about how I would feel if some recipients did not like the gift created for them, or appreciate the time and effort it took to make the gift.  I told him that did not matter to me.  They could throw them out if they wanted (but I didn’t want to know about that!), but in my heart I knew that my intent in creating the gift and the work I put in it was my way of showing people I deeply cared about them…and THAT was what was important.  Hopefully they would see that too, and if not, it was okay.

And that, my friends, freed me up from the stress of trying to make my gifts “so perfect that others couldn’t help but love them”. How hard can one person be on oneself?! Sheesh!

Having said that, these are the other gifts I made this year.  I embroidered a banner for my brother-in-law who makes his own cheese (delicious!).  I wanted to do so much more on this, but unfortunately ran out of time.

Mike's Cheese Factory It's yummy too!

Mike’s Cheese Factory
It’s yummy too!

I made composition notebook covers for five of Mister’s grandkids.  I was going to write a tutorial on how to make them, but I figured there are so many others out there who needs to reinvent THAT wheel?!  I did create these on my own, and actually had to make two test runs before sewing up the actual gifts. I got the measurements wrong by .5″ on the long side and .25″ on the short side the first time.  That was not fun in the midst of a time crunch.  Ha!

Composition Covers.   I really wanted to keep them all.

Composition Covers.
I really wanted to keep them all.

And, finally, I made a table runner for my sister-in-law, Jan.  When I was making the Broken Herringbone blocks for the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone QAL, she commented on a picture of the blue block something along the lines of those being her colors.  So, I had the idea to use that same pattern, but instead of cutting the blocks down to 12.5″, just keep going.  As I was making the runner I realized that the pattern would only go one direction (obviously), and decided to make two large rectangular blocks and sew them together so that the pattern would radiate outwards from the center.

Table runner based off of the Broken Herringbone Block

Table runner based off of the Broken Herringbone Block

Even with my lack of planning my handmade gifts well in advance, I truly loved sewing up these gifts and hope that those who received them will enjoy them. But, I am SO starting my Christmas sewing no later than July in 2014.  Seriously.

Happy Sewing!