To-Do Tuesday: 2-25-14

To Do Tuesday button

Another To-Do Tuesday is upon us! Thank you to all of you who linked up last week!  I enjoyed reading the projects you had planned.  How did it go?  Were you able to tackle a project or two? Or even your whole list?

This week was okay for me.  One of you mentioned that my list was ambitious.  I think that was actually an understatement!  I was able to get most of my list done, but not the whole thing.  Most of the week was spent catching up on my Vintage Quilt Revival blocks. I ended up re-doing one block, twice. I also put the borders on all of the blocks completed so far and trimmed them up to correct size.  That last part was NOT on my To-Do list, and I spent an entire day doing that rather than focusing on projects on my list.

These 3.5" blocks took longer to make than I anticipated.

These 3.5″ blocks took longer to make than I anticipated.

I started my Stitches block for the 2014 Skill Builder BOM block today.  It was a lot more labor intensive than I anticipated.  I had hoped to finish the entire block today, but I only got 1/3 of it completed!  I might have been able to finish it this week had I not done extra work on the Vintage blocks, but I don’t regret that decision.  I remind myself that these lists are simply a way to have noted all of the current work I have to do, so as not to get overwhelmed.  If I have to rearrange or move them around, that’s okay… so long as I don’t keep putting them off on purpose.  I like to get to the end of the week with the whole list crossed off, but that’s not always going to happen.  Especially when I underestimate the time it takes to complete projects! (ALL. THE. TIME.)

1/3rd of the Stitches block  is finished! (sorry for the blurry pic)

1/3rd of the Stitches block is finished!
(sorry for the blurry pic)

Okay, enough blathering, let’s get on with the list for this week!

  • Finish Skillbuilder BOM 2014 Block #3 “Stitches” Done Feb 26th
  • Quilt Skillbuilder BOM 2014 “Ruler” and “Spools” blocks Done Mar 1st
  • Make Week 6 Vintage Quilt Revival blocks Done Mar 2nd
  • Write up Sugar Block Club blog post Done Mar 2nd
  • Write up the March 2nd Sunday Stash post Done Mar 1st
  • Make January Bag of the Month (put off until March)
  • Make February Bag of the Month (put off until March)

Now it’s your turn!  Write up your post and link up here! I can’t wait to read how you did with your list this past week, and what you have planned for the upcoming week!

Rules:

  1. Link up your To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky (below).
  2. Try to visit at least one to two other blogs and leave a nice comment!
  3. Please feel free to grab the blog button to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday!

That’s it!  Now let’s get sewing… or whatever there is to do on your list!

Red's Needles & Threads
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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


Sunday Stash #6: February Fabric Club Bundles

I have two fabric “subscriptions” that I get every month.  There are quite a few monthly fabric clubs you can join, and I did quite a bit of research and calculating before deciding on two and subscribing to them.  One club to build up my printed stash, and one to build up my solid (Kona) stash.

Citrus

Citrus

The printed fabric club I chose is the Rainbow Must-Stash from The Intrepid Thread (of course!).   I chose the 6 half-yard half-stash bundle.  This month was a beautiful rainbow of a new stash builder Julie got into the shop called “Citrus”.  So bright and cheerful… I just love it!

WM Marmalade Fabrics February half yd Kona bundle

Around The Color Wheel: Kona Solids HY bundle
I just realized I didn’t photograph this with the Kona Snow that was included in the bundle. Oops!

The solid fabric club I chose is the Around The Color Wheel half-yard Kona bundle by Marmalade Fabrics.  I have been able to build up my solids using this club, and this month I was able to add white/neutrals to my stash.  I have only been using Kona Snow as my go-to background fabric, so it was nice to get a few of the other whites to see how I like them.  It also turned out to be perfect timing, because two of my hive-mates in the Modern Insta-Bee have asked for Kona White to be their background color.  I also love how Tammy labels each fabric piece.  I have also learned to keep track of those labels.

(Someone here very possibly might have just ordered 3 yards of Caribbean Kona because that was the label on one side of a particular piece of half-yard fabric, and then discovered that what they actually wanted to order was 3 yards of Capri Kona… whose label happened to be on the other side of the particular piece of half-yard fabric.)  

Around The Color Wheel Low Volume FQ bundle

Around The Color Wheel
Low Volume FQ bundle

This month Tammy inadvertently sent me the Around The Color Wheel Low Volume fat quarter bundle.  Since I don’t have a lot of low volume fabrics in my stash, this was a really fortunate accident.  Mainly because I just love these fabrics, but also because a third hive-mate is asking for a low volume background for her block.  Again with the great timing from Tammy!!

The one thing I love about these clubs is that every time I’ve gotten my fabric in, I’ve always had a need for one or more of the pieces of fabric included in the bundles.  Plus, I’m guaranteed happy mail at least twice a month!

I’m linking up with the ever fabulous and always inspirational, Molli Sparkles Mila + Cuatro

molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button


My first self-designed quilt: The Riley Blake Challenge

"Follow The Riley Blake Road"  Designed, sewed & Quilted by Christine Slaughter

“Follow The Riley Blake Road”
Designed, pieced & quilted by Christine Slaughter

Last year The Modern Quilt Guild announced The Riley Blake Fabric Challenge. It took me a couple of weeks to decide if I wanted to sign up.  I had never done anything like this before, only having made quilts with other people’s patterns, or with Block-of-the-Months. Finally, I decided that it was time to stretch myself as a quilter.  A MODERN quilter.

In the Individual Group on The Modern Quilt Guild community, a question was recently asked about how we each go about our design process. This post is an explanation of my process in creating my challenge quilt.

First of all, I procrastinated on this quilt for two months.  I think that’s probably the best way to start a project, no?!  Sheesh!  In my defense, I had a crap-ton of Christmas sewing to get done before I could get started.  Although, I did have this project constantly swirling around my mind.  In January, I sat down with some graph paper and started to fill in squares.  That seems to be the only way I can visualize quilts.  Also, the squares are EVEN on all sides, and my math-challenged brain appreciates the simple math of “each square is either 1 or 2-inch squares”.  In this case, I chose one inch squares. Then, I grabbed my colored pencils and started filling in the rectangles I drew.

Old Skool. Graph Paper, Pencils & eraser.

Old Skool. Graph paper and pencils.

I liked what I came up with, with the exception of the odd ball rectangles in the top-left and bottom-right corners.  When I looked at the paper as a whole, I realized I basically created a Percent sign (%).  Not. Happening. After erasing the offending “percent” parts of the design, I decided I needed to see the pattern better… without all the lines or the erased areas.  Call it OCD if you like.  I spent the better part of an evening on Libre OfficeCalc (Ubuntu’s version of Excel) recreating what I drew on graph paper.  Then I typed out ALL the pieces that needed to be cut from each grid square.

No eraser marks!

No eraser marks!

After cutting and piecing the quilt top, I needed to design the back of the quilt.  I didn’t have enough of the aqua chevrons to keep the fabric in the same direction, so I decided to cut it into 10.5″ squares and rotate the chevrons every-other-square.  I pulled out my trusty graph paper, drew and colored in the design, and listed the pieces to be cut.  Annnndddd…. at about 75% of the way through cutting out the squares, I realized that I had cut them to FINISHED size: 10″ instead of 10.5″.  ARGH!! I grabbed the graph paper and decided to add in a 3″ white vertical stripe and 3″ white horizontal stripe to make up the difference in lost inches.  I think it broke up the all of the aqua in the back of the quilt and made a nice design element! *Whew*

Again with the graph paper & pencils.  Also, not all mistakes are bad!

Again with the graph paper & pencils. Also, not all mistakes are bad!

 

The completed back with the not-planned-for white stripes.  Love this "mistake"!

The completed back with the not-planned-for white stripes. Love this “mistake”!

After creating the back and basting the quilt, I needed to decide how to actually QUILT it.  I figured all that white space would be a perfect area to create a negative of the colored rectangles.  So, I grabbed the computer, went back to the Libre OfficeCalc worksheet, and started outlining rectangles.  It was a perfect way for me to see how the quilt design would look overall.

WM Riley Blake screenshot

Next came the task of actually marking the quilt.  I realized that I probably should have noted in the boxes how many inches each rectangle was.  Since each square is one inch, I just started writing the numbers in the boxes on a printout of the worksheet.  I didn’t print grid lines, so I definitely needed the extra help in noting how big to mark the rectangles pattern to be quilted.  Also, marking with a yellow chalk pencil on white fabric sucks.  Especially when it’s time to quilt.  So. Hard. To. See.  I didn’t want to use a FriXion pen, because they have a tendency to not disappear all the way. It was a struggle getting this one quilted… But it got done!

Inches and Inches... and more Inches!

Inches and Inches… and more Inches!

WM Marking quilt

Looks nice and bright here… Yeah, not really.

The quilting took me about a day and a half to do, then the binding was another day’s work.  I got the challenge submitted with about 5 days to spare… Probably a record for me.  As I was quilting it I kept thinking, “Follow The Riley Blake Road”.  I had kicked around several names for the quilt, but after hours of that phrase being repeated in my head, I knew that had to be the name.

I completely enjoyed this challenge.  And, for me, it WAS a challenge.  Big thanks to The Modern Quilt Guild and Riley Blake for the fabric and the opportunity to participate!  The top 10 finalists were posted today, and they are FABULOUS!  If you’d like to see them, you can find the post HERE.  Congratulations to the finalists… your work is awesome!