Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along Week 1

If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ll notice it looks different starting with this post.  I have been wanting a cleaner look to the blog since starting it, but didn’t have time to figure out how to make colorful headers on a plain background.  Until yesterday.  Seems like I could have done this ages ago, now that I know how!  Hope it feels a little less cluttery to you now.

Last week‘s Sunday Stash post showed the bundle I chose for the Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along.  I picked up some Modern Solids 2 and I am telling you this fabric is wonderful to work with!  I decided to buy the lighter grey to use in place of the white called for in the blocks.  I’ll still be using the darker grey (Metallic) as sashing and other background where I think it’s appropriate.

VQR Tea Leaf

VQR Tea Leaf

I wasn’t going to start these blocks until after I finished my MQG Riley Blake Challenge project, but after some hang ups this week with that project I decided to take a much needed break and go ahead and get these blocks done.  Since it’s a 2-block per week block-along, I didn’t really want to get too far behind.  My other BOMs are okay to wait another week or so.

 

VQR Double Z

VQR Double Z

 

These were easy blocks to get done… Pretty much just HST’s.  I wish my mind had not been so busy elsewhere with other issues, and I had really paid attention to what I was making.  I ended up just following the instructions and actually cutting squares in half rather than just making HST’s the easy way by sewing down both sides of the line and then cutting them in half.  I also have also found that if I want a 3.5″ HST, I only need to cut a 4″ square and I won’t have a lot of fabric loss in the trimming.  I trimmed A LOT of fabric away doing it as instructed.  (Cutting 4.25″ squares in half, sewing a background and a color half together and then trimming to 3.5″.) 

Oh well, I suppose the easier “just follow the instructions” route was better, given that I’m dealing with a non-motivitated and refusing-to-speak-to-the-mean-mom teenager this week.

Linking up with Sukie!

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along


Sunday Stash #1

This is my very first Sunday Stash post!  I recently purchased quite a bit of fabric… Mostly because it was on sale or I needed it for some quilt project that is planned.  I also purchased some that I absolutely fell in love with.  I normally will wait until it goes on sale before doing so, but I was worried some of the recently released fabrics I bought would be sold out by the time my patience was up.  I’ll post that particular fabric next Sunday.

This Sunday is two different bundles.  The first is Modern Solids 2 by Alissa Haight Carlton.  Oh. Em. Geeeeeeee.  Gorgeousness abounds here!  Those colors just literally pop off my shelf!  I decided to participate in Sukie’s Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along, and thought that would be the perfect opportunity to try these new solids out.  I’m using the Metallic as the background, and this will be my first time venturing outside of my very safe “Kona Snow” background.  I think it’s going to be fantabulous! And… Yay for challenging myself to do something new!

I purchased just the colors in a bundle from ShopCucire, and Sew Modern was the only shop that had the amount of Metallic Yardage I wanted in Stock… 6 yards, and I’m hoping that will be enough to do the quilt top and possibly some of the backing.

Modern Solids 2

Modern Solids 2 scrumptiousness

The second bundle is the Around The Color Wheel bundle I got from Marmalade Fabrics for this month.  I’ve been wanting to see what the greys in Kona looked like, and since I’m using quite a bit of that shade in my quilting this year it was perfect timing.  Also, this is a great way to get a Kona stash for a great price… and Tammy has awesome customer service (she’s pretty awesome herself)!

Around The Color Wheel January Bundle

Around The Color Wheel January Bundle

Linking up with the ever fabulous and always inspirational, Molli Sparkles!

molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button

Happy Sunday, and Happy Sewing! ~Red


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!