Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Blocks on the Brain

I guess you could call me block head this week...I'm all about the blocks.  Last week Pat Sloan introduced to us Katja Marek the January 2018 Aurifil BOM designer and her block Dresden Dreaming.  At first glace of this block I froze...English Paper Piecing.  I've never tried EPP before.  With the craziness of work right now, I really didn't feel mentally prepared to try.  Luckily for me, I came to and read on.   Pat suggested a different way of making the block using applique.  This seemed easier.  I also realized it could help with my EPP dilemma with the October 2017 block.

This is my version of Aurifil's October designer, Helen Stubbings and her Hugs 'n Kisses block.    I love how both turned out and it sure does feel good to have all of the 2017 blocks complete.

And this is my failed attempt at a color wheel with all the blocks...it ended up more like a color sideways tear drop?  The wind was blowing horribly and rain was not far away.  There was no time to grab a ladder, so I just started pinning...but I think you get what I was getting at.  I'm sure they will look better in a quilt lay out.  Dear Pat Sloan, I'm like a kid at Christmas.  I can't wait for the layout!

David, Sandra, Anja and I have still been plugging away with our social sewing experiment, of texting and making the Sewcial Bee Sampler Blocks.  This week we completed blocks 8 and 9.  Just like the kid at Christmas thing...I'm dying to stitch these blocks up with the dark blue Moda Grunge sashing fabric.  To scratch my sewing itch and prevent myself from sewing ahead, I laid them out to give myself (and you) a preview...I'm in love.

I also took some time to catch up on Cindy at Stitchin At Home's Medallion Quilt.  I thought I was several blocks behind, but once my tote was pulled out I found I was caught up all but this block, the Cross Point Block.  Me actually caught up, trust me I was surprised too.

Speaking of blocks...New Kids on the Block...no, no...New Kids on the Quilty Block.  I'm super excited to announce that on Thursday February 1st we will be announcing the sign ups for the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop being co-hosted by myself, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts, Sandra at mmm!quilts and Jen at Dizzy Quilter.

If you have been blogging for more than 2 months and less than 3 years, I hope you will check in with one of us on Thursday to find out how to sign up.  If you have any questions, please ask.  If you have been blogging for more than 3 years please pass the word along to your friends.  Mark your calendars for the hop dates, not only will you meet a batch of new quilt bloggers, but there will be lots of prizes from our amazing sponsors.  See you on Thursday!

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Linky Tuesday and BOM Away.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

UFO Busting #4

We are four weeks into this UFO adventure and I would just like to say how proud I am of all of us.  We have already seen some finishes and definitely have made major progress.  Let's stop and give ourselves a pat on the back.

This week I was able to finish piecing together a baby quilt made from left over bits from another quilt.

I want to quilt this up so badly, but for now it must join the pile of to be quilted.  I would like to work on the companion quilt to this quilt and finish it up as well.  These quilts will have a special story, but I can't share it quite yet.  But I declare they will be finished this year!

Remember David's Not Turning Twenty Quilt I shared last week?  After much back and forth in my head I have finally started quilting on it.

I am quilting each of the pieced sections separately with the woodgrain motif.  I'm hoping it will give it a wooden plank look.  At least that is what I'm telling myself.  Hopefully, with in the next two weeks I will be sharing it with you as a finish.

These bits and pieces will become the January 2018 Aurifil BOM block designed by Katja Marek.  I will be making my block similar in construction to the way Pat Sloan made her block.  So why I am showing you this in my UFO post?  Technically it is a new project.  One, it's a new project distracting me from my old ones and two, I hope that the same technique will work with the October Aurifil block I still need to make from last year.  Fingers crossed that it does, then all I need is Pat's setting instructions and I am good to go.

Did you see this quilt last week by Anja at Anja Quilts?  She was finally able to finish up her Wayward Transparency Quilt, just in time for Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirls linky party (If you hadn't heard the party has been extended until February 7th).  I love those simple straight lines and those yummy green fabrics!  Congratulations on your finish, Anja!!  

Now it's your turn?  What have you been up too?  Are you stuck and don't know how to finish something?  Do you have a UFO finish to celebrate.  Or are you pouting in the corner because you got distracted or frustrated?  Link up and share with us.  Feel free to grab my button below and let people know, you do believe UFO's are real...you have a shelf full of them!

UFO Busting

And on a completely different note.  For those that like to follow David and his quilting adventures, he recently checked into his blog and wrote what he's been up too.  His blogging due to time is hit or miss.  I try to mention him and his quilting from time to time here.  You can find him over at Dave The Quilt Engineer.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

UFO Busting #3

Some weeks you crush things other weeks you don't.  This week was feeling like a "you don't" week.  I'm going through major withdraw.  The struggle is real right now.  My eye is twitching and I'm having trouble not throwing caution to the wind and start every new quilt along I read about.  This is harder than I thought it would be.

I have made the decision to start Pat Sloan's 2018 mystery BOM, Let's Go Camping, (though I probably wont' start till March).  My guild will be sewing on this one as a group as the year progresses, so it would be extremely unsocial not to join in, right?   

This past weekend, while the snow fell, I spent some time doing some social sewing working on the Sewcial Bee Sampler by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland.  I probably should have bowed out from sewing because for what ever reason, I was in a cranky sewing mood.  It all started with block 6.

My block in Paradiso is on the right and David's in Bee Creative is on the left.  See any difference?  Mine is sewn together wrong.  I was so frustrated with my border strips being kind of wavy that I didn't even notice I turned my blocks wrong.  For now it stays as is.

Next up, block 7.  This is where Tish has a small melt down and starts dinner.  I pre-cut all my blocks back in July.  When I pulled out the pattern and fabrics, I couldn't remember what was what and of course me being me, planned to construct the block a bit different than the pattern.  This only added to the problem.  Super Dave was flying through his block like a hero.  While I pouted over the Instantpot in the kitchen, Dave to the rescue, was able to figure out my fabrics and with a few additional cuts, I was back in business.

This week I worked on a WIP in the form of the 2017 Aurifil BOM.  I tackled the December block by Amanda Murphy called Tightrope.  I was extra careful sewing all those little 1" white strips.  This quilt is still lingering on my WIP list.  I still have the October block to finish and I'm waiting on Pat Sloan's quilt layout.  I've also decided to participate in the 2018 BOM.  I love the small challenge that comes with piecing some of the blocks.  Plus I don't think I could call myself a good thread girlfriend, if I didn't participate in the Aurifil QAL.

As I leader/ender project while working on all these blocks, I started another kind of WIP project.  I unearthed a pile of strip sets, left over from making blocks several years ago.  I'm glad a hung on to them.  I started making little 16 patch blocks for a baby quilt.

Here they are in phase 2 of construction.  The fabric line was Moda Flirt by Sandy Garvis.  

This is going to be adorable!  I have sashing fabric already pulled.  I'm hoping to stumble onto some border fabric this weekend.  I know a local shop that did still have it.  Below is my tentative plan.

So that's about it for what I've been up to.  Ron's Quilt aka Not Turning Twenty quilt is still looming over my head.  I'm determined to start quilting on it this weekend.  David was nice enough to remind me that he did not piece this quilt 6 months ago like I originally stated.

It was exactly a YEAR ago.  Oops...time flies.

I wanted to highlight a finish from last week's linky party.  

I absolutely love this Cars quilt made by Marti at Marti's DIY!  It has very cool detachable garages for the cars that can be removed in a flash making it perfect for snuggling as well.  If you missed it from last week, please hop over to Marti's and read about it here.  I would have had hours of fun with is quilt when I was a kid.  I loved cars as much as my dolls.

I also wanted to point out Julie at Pink Doxies post from last week for a few reasons.  Number one...

This!  It is a challenge project she is working on and will be posting about on the 1st of February.  What you see above, is one of four mandalas she created using ice dying.  It as been waiting for a while for her to come up with a project for it.  Let me tell you, I have personally, with my own little Tisha eyes, viewed these mandalas and I LOVE them!  I can't wait to see exactly where these little beauties are headed.  And two, the post talks about her finding quilting/life balance and staying energized.  Both are subjects we discuss when we talk on the phone.  I also like to think of her as my QAL Sponsor....she is helping me to not lose focus and abandon this UFO quest I am on.  She keeps me from binging in QAL's.  Quilter's problems, right??  Make sure you hop over and check out Julie's post here.

Now it's your turn?  What have you been up too?  Are the squirrels and quilting gremlins calling you?  Are you stuck and don't know how to finish something?  Do you have a UFO finish to celebrate.  Or are you pouting in the corner because you got distracted or frustrated?  Link up and share with us.  Feel free to grab my button below.  We are all in this big boat together.

UFO Busting

Saturday, January 13, 2018

UFO Busting #2

Every time I start thinking about this UFO party, I think of that scene from the Will Smith movie Independence Day where the people are standing on top of a building with signs welcoming the UFO and then that beam comes down and well it just doesn't end well.  I promise this is not that kind of party.  This is the kind where we break out old projects, ditched works in progress and celebrate working on them or support each other during those times of "I just can't do this."  It happens, we've all been there.

This week I'm celebrating crossing something off my needs finished list.  My version of Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl's Wayward Transparency!!!

Sorry, this is just a teaser shot.  If you want to see/read more of my crazy quilting adventure with this quilt you can read more about it here.

From my quilt kit list, the Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt designed by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell is progressing right a long.  I mentioned before that Sandra at mmm!quilts and I are using the QAL as a social sewing experiment and sewing the blocks at the same time while texting with each other.  We are happy to report we have been joined by two more quilters.  Anja from Anja Quilts and Dave the Quilt Engineer.  Since we were only 3 blocks in both were able to catch up quickly.  Thanks to the magic if iMessage we are all able to group chat together.

These are my 5 blocks using Moda Paradiso.  I have a lovely dark blue Grunge I will be using for the sashing.

I am in love with David's blocks.  He is using Moda Bee Creative.  I think that's quite appropriate for the Sewcial Bee Sampler.  Don't you?

This is just a picture to show my fellow sampler mates that indeed my blocks are not pre sewn.  They are safely cut and in baggies till we are ready to stitch them.  Although, I will be honest and say that the thought to sew them all up ahead of time did cross my mind.  I'm just excited to sew these.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that stopped by and commented or linked up to the first UFO Busting party.  I hope you will continue to visit and as always we welcome new friends to come play.

Incase you missed it, Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life finished a beautiful Vintage Tumbler Mini Quilt.  A project that had been hovering over her for a little bit of time.

Congrats, Wendy!  A UFO finish sure feels good.  Visit Wendy and read about her finish here.

Now it's your turn?  What have you been up too?  Have you finally stared down your list of projects that need tackled?  Are you stuck and don't know how to finish something?  Do you have a UFO finish to celebrate.  Or are you crying because you got distracted again?  Link up, share with us and feel free to grab my button below.  We are all in this big boat together.

UFO Busting

Friday, January 12, 2018

Wayward Transparency--A Finish

Wayward is finished!  I can cross something off that very long list of things to do in 2018.  I've been following along with Yvonne's at Quilting Jetgirl's Wayward Transparency QAL.  Making the four blocks was super easy.  Deciding on a layout, definitely the hardest part.  There were so many super cool layouts depending on how you turned the four blocks.  Ultimately, I landed on this one.

I really loved the square shape that was formed in the middle of the quilt.  I thought this layout would provide me with some great shapes to add cool quilting too.  I'm a big fan of what I like to call ghost quilting.  Essentially creating shapes or adding visual elements to a quilt using thread, that are not part of the piecing.  Or, "hey that triangle wasn't there when it was just a pieced quilt!"  That might not be the best description, but I think you get what I mean.

Two of my quilting goals for this quilt was to add some curves just for fun and subtly add balance to the design without taking away from its asymmetrical design.  Kinda sounds like a paradox; adding balance but not. 

The pieced design has some wonderful square elements that you can see with the lines I added to the diagram above.  I wanted to continue or extend the diamond shape in the center and accentuate the squares shapes already in the quilt.

Here is my original starting plan.  There were some things I knew I wanted to add, but I wasn't sure on specifics, like the lines in the top right and bottom left corners.  I knew I wanted to add something to add balance, the quilt just had not told me what yet.

Threads where the next big decision.  I needed to choose shades that would complement my quilting designs and fabrics.

For my dark and medium blues I chose Aurifil #2775 Steel Blue and #2784 Dark Navy.  Both the Dark Navy and Steel blue melted beautifully into the dark and medium prints, but when I wanted to provide a bit of contrast, the Dark Navy worked perfectly on the medium blue.

For the quilting on the light blue fabric I chose two different threads.  Aurifil #2215 Robins Egg and (are you sitting down) Superior Thread Omni in Silver.  The Robins Egg was almost a perfect match for the light blue fabric and the Silver added a nice subtle contrast.  My hopes where that the motifs stitched with the silver thread would stand out just ever so slightly more than the ones stitched with the light blue.  Why did I used the Superior when everyone knows I'm a Aurifil girl?  My boyfriend is still Aurifil, but he told me it was okay to go to dinner with my best guy friend...I mean I invited him too!  No, I had purchased a cone of Superior thread a while back and since the color was perfect for the project I decided to give it a go.  Also, please don't tell Dave about my thread "boyfriends."

I started my quilting journey in the center of the quilt, quilting the orange peels in the small border I created.  I could easily use my seam lines as quilting points.  I filled in the triangle area created by the peels with dense quilting to allow the peels to pop more.

A second orange peel "border" was created.  Both of these where stitched using the silver thread.

This is a close up of the on point squares I quilted into this section.  Dense quilting was again my friend, allowing those squares to pop off the quilt.

For the large corner triangles, I went with simple dot-to-dot quilting.

I mimicked the quilting in the corner triangles in the opposite corners, creating ghost shapes.

When it came to the background, I was a bit stuck on what to do.  I originally thought about pebbling.  It's a wonderful texture and because the way the background is broken up, wouldn't take long to quilt.  But what is just as yummy as pebbles?

Quarter inch straight lines. 

So that basically covers my quilting train of thought as this quilt came together.  Now I will leave you with some quilt shots.  All of our snow melted for a day or two!

Some quilts want to be made just because they want to be quilted.  This quilt was that for me.  Yvonne's design was a blast to make and I had even more fun quilting it.  I love a quilt that gives me wonderful shapes to play with.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with, so I'm hopping over to Quilting Jetgirl to link up and see all the beautiful quilts.

Don't forget tomorrow is another addition of the UFO Busting linky party here in Wonderland.  I hope I see you there.

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