Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday night sew-in results

I'm going to have to do this more often! Maybe every Thursday, I'll do a bunch of cutting in preparation and then Friday nights, plan to sew. I was able to get my two blocks done for the Thread Head quilt-along and while doing them, using Bonnie Hunter's leaders and enders method, I had a star block done before I knew it! Woohoo!

For the Thread Head quilt-along, my fabrics are mostly from the Howard Marcus lines, but I wanted to introduce some other colors to it, so I grabbed from my stash this time.
My 9-patches also have Howard Marcus in them but for the star points and backgrounds, I'm using up scraps of solids and a Moda scrap bag that is all Kansas Troubles. This is my first Moda scrap bag I've got b/c at my local quilt store, they don't carry them, so I had to order it. I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. I can easily get 2.5" wide strips from them, which is just what I needed. I'm definitely going to order more of these this fact, prices on-line seem much better than where I live, even factoring in the shipping costs, so think I'll be doing more of that.
Anyways, Friday night is a good time to sew for me. My son is at his JiuJitsu class so it's a bit quieter around here with just one little one running around.
So how did you do last night? Please leave me a note and I'll be sure to drop by.
Hope you have a great sewing weekend!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Night Sew-in

So tonight will be my first time taking part in the Friday Night Sew-in! Thanks, Deanna for posting about it! I've wanted to do this for quite some time. Just click on the button in my sidebar that's like below (sorry, I don't know how to link a pic within a post yet) and it will give you all the details.

These are my plans work on block 13 of the Thread Head quilt-along. I have the pieces all cut out, ready to go. This is the most recent one Joanne has posted. Just felt like doing it even though I still have a number of others to do before this one.

Then while doing it, I'm hoping to piece some of these star blocks using Bonnie Hunter's leaders and enders method as well as her Sister's Choice pattern ( links are in my side bar). I saw this quilt over at Myra's PhD challenge and loved it! And it just so happens that I have a bunch of 9-patches that were to be a quilt but I felt they looked ugly together. I'm hoping by making them into scrappy stars, that I'll like it better and be able to make a half ways decent quilt with them.
So far, I've cut up a pile of random lights for the background. Not sure yet about the points...whether to do just dark shades of tan and brown or go scrappy, and add in dark blues, red and greens as well. Guess we'll see tonite...

So that's the plan. But then it could all go out the window as one never knows with a two year old running around, what will happen!
Anyone else sewing tonite?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thank You, Shelly!!

Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts hosted a fun 2010 Final Countdown challenge and I was lucky enough to be a winner in it. Just look at the wonderful goodies she sent me! The sign is just too cute! I'll find a special spot for it in my 'now cleaned up sewing space' thanks to the challenge. I love the pattern too, which I'll just have to do sometime. And the fabric is so 'me'...just my colors.

Thank you so much, Shelly! What a wonderful surprise to receive. It really made my day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thread Head quilt-along

Block 6 for the Thread Head quilt along...if you're on the fence about joining in on this quilt-along, it's not too late. Joanne gives lots of options too, if you want to make something smaller. I love the blocks and her directions are great. I really love that she gives sizes of the pieces as you put it together. This really helps me, as I can trim things up as I go along since I'm still perfecting my seam allowance.

Block 7:

And I recently discovered a great idea regarding leaders and enders when sewing. You can read about it here. Since I first started quilting a couple of years ago, I'd done exactly what Bonnie describes, using those bits at the beginning and end of chain piecing. Well while doing the above blocks, I decided why not try Bonnie's method and work on my setting blocks for the Hazel Ilene quilt that should have been done by now. And wha-la, before I knew it, I had my setting blocks all done!! I love it! What a great idea! I will definitely be using this method more. Just takes a bit of planning ahead, but so worth it. Give it a try, if you don't already use this method!
That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by! Happy stitching everyone and have a great day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

on a roll here...

Shelly's challenge really got me thinking about my work space. Figure if I'm more organized this year, then hopefully I can be more productive. So the pic below shows what my sewing space had looked like. See the far unit? It's an entertainment unit that was 3/8" too small in the opening for our tv. Well it just so happened that my husband got a fancy little tool this Christmas that allowed him to cut out the hole that was needed and the tv now fits! So out went all my batting and fabrics that were in there and the unit got moved elsewhere in the room.Wonderful that the tv is concealed now behind doors, but what to do now with all my stuff?
And Shelly's final challenge was to:
Deal with a bunch of scrap

Well, I had this big tub of fabrics that was bugging me as I could never find anything in it. Wonder why?!

I recalled seeing a post of Leah's method of fabric storage found here
{BTW, that crockpot beer cooked roast recipe mentioned is awesome and a great way to get a kid to eat meat, because you tell him it's cooked in beer, lol!}
Anyways, back to my task. So I thought why not try hanging the fabrics? Certainly doesn't look as wonderful as Leah's, but it's okay. I already had the shelf there. It does take up alot of space versus just piling it on a shelf though. But I'll try it for now. Most of this fabric has been given to me, so the process of folding it over my ruler and hanging it, allowed me to see just exactly how much of each I have. And now I have one big empty tub!
Below the fabric, yes it's a coffee table that I'm not sure where to put right now so it goes there for now.
Then I piled up my small totes on it. Hopefully I'll organize them better, now that they are in easy reach and not tucked away somewhere.

And so here is what I have now, with the tv unit gone. Think I like it.

And I even cleared off my desk of all Christmas sewing projects and am ready to get back at it. Feels great! Thank you, Shelly, for the challenge!
{ps: just incase you enlarge this pic and wonder what the heck that picture is on the wall? well it's a finger painting picture my son did when he was about two; it makes me smile so I keep it up}

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Final Countdown

Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts has a great New Year's challenge going on. I believe she's giving us to the 5th to get'er done before she draws for prizes, so hurry on over and check it out!
The first challenge to help us start the year off right, is to:

Find your oldest UFO and do something about it.
Mine is this here poor dolly, stuck away for at least 5 years in this box.
Why? I wasn't happy with my sewing of the neckline. Also, I wanted to repurpose some velour that was a clothing item of mine, and make an outfit and I was stuck on the pattern. And I wasn't sure how to do the hair.
What to do about it? I would like to finish it. Actually it's perfect timing to do so because my daughter's third birthday is coming up and it would be nice to give to her. Since she's not exactly gentle with her toys these days, I won't worry as much about the sewing. And you can see another cross stitch face in there, waiting to become a doll, so maybe I could get two done for her. And since I started this project, I've learned a great way to do doll hair, making a crochet cap first then pulling the yarns through that. So it's on my desk now at least, with plans to finish.

My other old UFO that is more quilting related, is this quilt. I was hoping to make it for my son. It was from a tutorial provided by Crazymomquilts.
Why did it get put aside?
I was using scraps and the white wasn't a nice quality, likely a poly/cotton blend. And I really didn't have that many blue scraps to work with.
What to do about it?
Think I'd like to finish it. Problem though is I still don't have many blue scraps that are cotton. So it will take awhile to get some. I now have a nice two-tone white though, that I put in the pic below so think I'll re-do the white blocks using it. So to keep me working on it, think I'll keep a bin handy just to toss in blue scraps when I have them.

Now onto Shelly's second challenge. It's to:

Clear off a flat surface in your sewing area

Okay, this is embarrassing for sure, but I'm hoping others get messy spots too. It's complete with toys, items to repair, Christmas cards, embroidery floss, etc. Yes Shelly, flat surfaces just seem to attract 'stuff' in my house too. So I went to work on it.

And here it is now. I liked my stationary on the top shelf and the jars of buttons there were handy, so I kept them. I was trying to use the dresser unit for cutting, but that didn't seem to work out, as I prefer my large table for that. So now it holds my books and current projects. Note, the bin with the doll to remind me to work on it, and the wicker basket holds my Hazel Ilene Diary quilt that I really need to finish up soon.
So I think it's much better now. And this has lead to further organizing which I'll post about tomorrow. Hopefully I get to the third challenge too, but if not, this has been a great way to kick off 2011! Thanks Shelly for doing this!