Sunday, January 31, 2016

My Stash--A Christmas Story

With all of his time off at Christmas and everyone else at work, hubby created little blocks out of wrapping paper.

I must admit that it feels a bit weird to be writing about my makes me feel a bit exposed and naked.  Why is that??  Am I ashamed of my fabric stash??  Honestly, my stash isn't very big and is made up of crazy different fabrics.   Up until this point I haven't paid much attention to designers or fabric lines.  Instead I purchased random things that made me happy.  I'll pair something that was just released with fabric that has been on a shelf for several years, as long as I think they belong together.

I have to say I'm a lucky girl, my husband supports my quilting addiction and shenanigans.

Even he himself over the years has started playing around with quilt design.  He loves to graph out blocks and have me enter them in EQ7 to see what his creations look like.  (I haven't talked him into actually constructing a quilt...he'll wear down eventually.)   And when it come to the subject of fabric and what goes together, he definitely has his own opinion.

A few years ago at Christmas time, he decided to go out on a limb and order me charm packs.  He likes to choose things that make me step out of my comfort zone, but I think that's a good thing.  Since the charm packs went over so well, he's carried on the tradition.

Holiday In Kashmir was a quilt born from charm packs he purchased.

So this is a post about fabric I didn't buy....

The first set of fat quarters has a funny story behind them.  One of my favorite televisions shows from my childhood was Mamas Family.  My friend John and I had a favorite episode we dubbed, Gooseberry Jam (its actual name Rashomama).  So enters two bundles of Moda's Gooseberry by Lella Boutique and a bundle of solids that match nicely.  Oh, and lets not forget my favorite...Aurifil thread.

Oddly enough, my husband has a weird love affair with batiks.  In his world, almost all quilts are made from batiks.  Based on these purchases I also wonder if he's having a love affair with Judy and Judel Niemeyer. (If he is, it's ok as long as I keep getting fabric...I can turn my head)

Some Hoffman Bali Batiks also managed to make their way into the mix.

As well as Multi Good Vibrations...and who doesn't need good vibrations?

When I was putting away this fabric, I ran into 3 small layer cakes he had purchased last year that I had completely forgot about.

Now the only question is what to use all this fabric for.  I'm 100% open to suggestions.  At this moment in time I'm clueless.  A few ideas might be bubbling in the back of my head.  Sandra (my good friend over at mmm quilts), maybe Swoon??  One thing is for sure...he will not let me forget they are there and needing loved.  

For the most part, I don't foresee my stash growing too much this year.  My allotted quilting space just won't allow it, unless I start voting people out of the house.  Hmmmm.

Today I'm linking up with Sunday Stash.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Midnight Mystery Tops Complete

Confession...I've actually been crushing on both of these quilt tops for about a week.  The weather has been so stinky around here, either raining or snowing that I haven't been able to trek outside for a photo shoot.  It's so hard to get a good picture inside of our house.

I did pop outside yesterday thinking maybe, just maybe...

If you look to the left of the building you can see one of the clothesline posts.
but no, the snow was still flying and the walk to the clothes line just seemed to far in over 2 feet of snow.  So I headed back inside for a little bit more sewing and family time.

But today!  Oh, today the snow finally stopped and the sun came out.  So I bundled up, pulled on my boots and headed back outside.  I wish I had pictures of me hiking across the yard.  At a whole barely 5' tall, my legs are not very long, so moving through the packed down snow wasn't the easiest thing ever.  I fell a few times, but the nice thing was, I didn't have far to fall and the landing was soft.

My snow trail
So on to the goodies....when Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs announced her Midnight Mystery Quilt I knew I had to play along.  This first top was actually my second color way.  After picking the fabrics for the first top, I couldn't shake the idea of a colorway of dark colors.  It was called MIDNIGHT Mystery after all.

I have to admit this is my favorite of the two.  I just love the gray fabric with the silver metallics.

Now for colorway the time I got it hung and me back into place, someone decided to be a jokester and turn the wind on...funny.

Here she is blowing in the breeze.  The holes in the snow behind her are from the deer wondering through the neighborhood in the night.

And one more less animated picture.

Remember it's never too late to get in on the fun.  All the instructions for Cheryl's mystery quilt can be found here.  The next step for these little tops is to be quilted...join the list little quilt tops...bwhahaha!  I actually have something in mind for them, so that bumps them up on the list.  But don't tell them, I hate to get their hopes up.

And speaking of the deer...

this was taken right outside my living room window.  It's not much bigger than my pit bulls or pibbles (thank you, Sandra, my new favorite term for the boys).  Food is scarce and they are desperate for anything, even my rhododendron bush with growling dog on the other side of the window.

Today I'm linking up at Let's Bee Social, and Main Crush Monday.

Happy Blog-aversary To Me

One year ago today, I would not have been able to fathom writing about today.  On January 23rd of 2015 I finally found the nerve to spread my wings and enter the world of quilt blogging.  It seemed like the perfect way to connect with other quilters and grow in the art form that I love.  When I wrote my first post Down the Rabbit Hole about my version of Pat Sloan's Globetrotting Quilt I had no idea if anyone at all would take the time to read it...other than a few of my friends, humoring my crazy venture(thank you Jackie, Stacie and Lori).

Then I discovered the 2015 New Quilters Blog Hop and my prayers were answered.  Finally, I found the advice I needed to truly reach out to others that share the same quilty passion.  I can never thank, Cheryl (Meadow Mist Designs), Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl), Stephanie (Late Night Quilter) and Terry Ann (Childlike Fascination) for hosting that event.  It has lead to many friendships that I will always treasure.  Fingers crossed I will be meeting up with one of those friends in the spring.

It's been a year of finding my voice and what I love about quilting.  I've tried new things and look forward to the many more new things to come.  My friends, you inspire me and make me want to continue growing.  So thank you for being there and also for doing what you do.  

I think maybe cabin fever has set in from all the snow...

and I should go before my sewing machine starts talking to me.  I promise next time we will be back to quiltly goodness.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stash Sorting

Things are looking pretty fluffy and white in my neck of the woods.  Everyone in the area is preparing for the upcoming snowstorm due to hit tomorrow afternoon.  Hopefully, it will not be as bad as they are predicting, but what ever the case it never hurts to be prepared.  My evening will be filled with some baking so that we have small things that require no heat to eat.  Because we are in a mountainous region, it is very common for snow covered tress to take out power lines and it is better to be safe than sorry.

I have been doing more blog reading than writing as of lately.  Jenn over at A Quarter Inch From the Edge has inspired me to take a good look at my fabric stash.  She is encouraging all of us to take a good look at what we have acquired and has declared 2016 The Year of the Stash.

We had been talking back and forth through email and I told her I do try to make use of the fabric I have hoarded collected.  But that got me I really make the best use or is it a half-hearted attempt that ends up in me buying more fabric?  I made my confession to her that I try to use my stash, but maybe if I followed her advice and sorted it by colors I could do better.

I love fat quarters.  Who doesn't??  But I always buy them in groups with good intentions of turning them into something.  What is that they say about the road to hell and good intentions?

These fat quarters came to mind.  The ones on the left were purchased with the hope of making a mini quilt (2 years ago).  The ones on the right were suppose to be a Jacob's Ladder quilt (purchased 3 years ago).  They all lived together in a tote, going absolutely nowhere.  Maybe if I separated them, I could also diminish the guilt of using, say the blue fat quarters, for something else.  Then I wouldn't have to stare at the sad little yellow pieces wondering why they are being skipped over.  Kind of like when you separate a litter of puppies.

So I pleaded with my daughter to drag my totes from the back room, put on my jammies, turned on some Netflix and prepared to sort.

I only left behind two totes.  One with left over Miss Kate fabrics the other 1930's reproductions.   As you can see from the pictures, everything is just thrown in.  They actually use to be in a folded neat order, but quite frankly who has time for that? (okay, lots of people, just not me)

Tote by tote, I created piles of yellow, orange, blue and so forth.  What was surprising to me is the colors I thought I had a ton of turned out to be some of my smallest piles.  Purple being the color I lacked the most.

It's not a huge stash of fabric, but it's mine.  My biggest fear at this point was that I wouldn't be able to make the fabric fit back into the totes they came out of.  Blues took up a whole container.  Reds, pinks and oranges in the next.  Followed by grays, black and yellow.  Greens, white and purple.  And an extremely large tote of browns and tan/neutrals.  I had no idea the last grouping would be the largest.  Of course this does not include precuts.  They hangout somewhere completely different.

Princess Caroline of the Fuzzy Butts thought fabric sorting was the BEST THING EVER!  Or at least the empty tote part.

Everything made it safely back to the bookshelf, but dang it if I didn't find a tote full of fat quarters that we forgot to pull.  Maybe I will try again this weekend.  I'm still not 100% happy with how I'm storing my stash, though I think by color grouping I will use it more.  So if anyone has a better idea, I'm all ears.

One last thing...I have you heard about the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party over at Sew Fresh Quilts?

  Lorna has put together another fabulous sew along, this time with ugly (though I think they are darling, probably why I needed to hire a stylist) little Christmas sweaters.  Now with my stash sorted and the weather looking more and more like Christmas everyday, I am ready to get my sew-a-long on!  Hope you will consider joining in, Lorna's sew-a-longs are the bomb.

If no one hears from me in the next few days, please consider sending out some search and rescue sled dogs or even a St. Bernard with a barrel of whiskey.  If you could convince him to bring wine...even better!  Stay warm my friends!!  Thank God for quilts.

Today I'm linking up with Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Barn Quilts With Babs

Over the next few weeks, I may share a few posts pertaining to family things from around the holiday time.  This is one of those posts.  Right before Christmas, my friend Courtney, you know the one that gave me my Scraptastic Award, sent me a message that her mom wanted to make a barn quilt for her quilter aunt (Courtney's aunt with the do die for studio) for Christmas.  My immediate response was that is awesome and let me know if she would like some help.  Courtney's mom, we shall call her Bab's, said she would love to have my help, especially since Courtney would not be able to come in to help.

They emailed me a picture of the block she wanted to create and I went to work figuring out the math.  I suggested that the quilt be painted on a 36" square.  That way we could work with whole numbers and not those nasty little fractions.

Bab's had a good friend helped her nail together some boards and cut it to the correct size.  She primed the square before my arrival.  

Before we started marking the wooden square, it was time to pick a color pallet for the Millstone block.  Babs had this great little basket filled with all sorts of different paints.  I asked her how in the world she got all of them and where did they come from??  Apparently, you can get small paint samples mixed at your local Lowes (I did not know this).  She and her mother use to collect coupons in magazines for them and when they were out she would pick some up.  How cool is that?

She had the colors she wanted to use picked out.

I suggested that we do a sample paint swatch to make sure she was happy with her color selections.  We grabbed an unused paint stirrer and tested the colors beside each other.

After confirming that she was happy with all of the colors and that there was enough contrast between them, it was time to mark the block and get started.  Out with the trusty pencil and yard stick.

After all of the lines had been carefully marked it was time to start applying paint.  We decided to start in the middle and work our way out, marking our lines carefully with painters tape.

After two coats of paint...

and the magic of a hair drier we successfully added the first color.  The paint actually dried much quicker than we thought it would.  But now was the moment of truth, did it dry enough to pull away without smearing so that we could put more down?  If not, the project was going to take much longer than we thought.

It had!  We moved on to the background color around the outside of the block to give the middle of the pinwheel more time to dry.

So onward we went, adding the pink section next and then the blue.  Once we made sure everything was dry, we stopped to admire our work.  Not too bad.  We contemplated stopping and leaving it as is.  We both kind of liked that white.  So we decided to break for lunch (a lovely pepper soup, grilled cheese and gingerbread cookies) to let the blue dry a bit more.

After our bellies where full, it was time to cover up the white with the background color.  Really I think we just wanted to paint some more.

Once everything was dried and the tape was removed we could start touching up a few places that needed filling in or spots that dripped.  All in all, this project went pretty dag gone smooth from start to finish.  The whole project took us around 4 hours to complete.  We even discussed the possibility of making barn quilts to sell we had so much fun.  

It t'was a Christmas of barn quilts.  

Making this larger painted version of a quilt block was definitely a huge contrast to making the mini barn quilts I completed around Thanksgiving. 

Read more about these mini barn quilts here.
For now, my barn quilt craze is over, though I don't know that I will stay away from them for too long.  What's your experience with barn quilts?  Have you ever made one, big or small?  Do you smile when you see them on the side of building?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Today I'm linking up with Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop!, and Let's Bee Social.
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