Monday, March 3, 2014

Quilty Bucket List

The Tilted Quilt is doing a great set of posts about Quilty Bucket Lists. There are so many different types of quilts I pin and want to do but am scared of for some reason. This is a great way to truly write down and prioritize what you want to accomplish in the coming months and years of this journey.

The Tilted Quilt

1. A pixel quilt of my dog Marta

There is this great picture of my dog Marta that I want to turn into a pixel quilt.

Marta Pixel

I have even graphed it out and done the math and everything for it. I just recently got a Kona color card, so now I don't have an excuse, I can pick the colors, order them, and finally do it!
Marta Pixel Graph
2. A quilt that utilizes all of my families vintage embroidered linens.

I have inherited TONS of gorgeous hand embroidered linens that I want to turn into a quilt. There are so many beautiful ways of incorporating these pieces. I think I will collect vintage sheets and frame them up sort of like the quilt below from HenHouse.

From HenHouse

3. A selvage quilt

I have been collecting selvages for about two years now and am even now starting to get selvage donations from fellow guild members! Thanks Chris! I want to put them all together like the quilt below, they look so awesome and cute and... I just really want to do that. But I need more selvages! Maybe in a couple more years I can conquer this challenge!

From Selvage Blog

4. Open my Etsy shop

I have had my Etsy shop prepped and ready to go for months now. I have even made inventory to put in it. The problem is that I am nervous that people won;t like my things and won't buy them. I know not everyone will like them and that's fine, but there's something that is just so vulnerable about putting your things up for sale. I will get there, hopefully by summer. I just redesigned the blog to fit with the Etsy shop style, and am working on business cards... One day, I just need to take the plunge and try!

5. Release my own quilt pattern

I have several ideas in mind and people have asked for patterns of quilts I have designed so I need to just do it. This also is slightly dependent on the opening of my Etsy shop in the undetermined future, so one step at a time. I am practicing with tutorials to try out the steps and clarity of instructions. In the next 6 months, I would like to actually do a legit pattern and will be looking for pattern testers as well once that day comes. So be on the look out!

P.S. This is not my pattern, this is from Empty Bobbin Sewing. I like the styling of the pattern, and I would like to style my pattern covers in a similar fashion

From Empty Bobbin Sewing

So those are my top 5 Quilty Bucket List items for the next 6 months. I would love to hear what are some of your Quilty Bucket List items?


Monday, February 24, 2014

Scrap Management Workshop Dilemma

The Minneapolis MQG had a workshop this month with Amanda Jean Nyberg, who blogs over at crazy mom quilts, and is the co-author of Sunday Morning Quilts. I have usually been pretty good at using scraps but several projects in the book enticed me and I wanted to see how Amanda used color in her quilts. I can piece in a scrappy way, but the beautiful mix of color never happens in real life like it does in my head. :(

Amanda had us start with sorting our scraps by color. I already had a color sorting system in place so I got to skip straight to the piecing part. In the past I have done several charm swaps where I recievied some adorable novelty prints, but the problem is that it is was very hard for me to use those prints because they had so many colors in them and none of them matched. I asked Amanda for her opinion on what to do with them and she suggested that rather than cut them up, use them as the center block with scrappy color complementing log cabin/courthouse step piecing surrounding them.

Red/Teal/Black Scrapbusting Block
Colorful Dot Scrapbusting Block
Chinese Scrapbusting Block

I took a charm square, picked 3-5 colors from that print, and used those colors to determine what scraps to use for the outer strips. Each square was unique and worked for that center print. I was scared that they would not look good together, and almost backed out about 4 squares in. As I kept going and kept adding different values, prints, colors, my little collection started looking more scrappy and sort of put together.

Scrap Workshop 2014 Completed Blocks

I currently have 13 blocks but am going to be making at least 3 more. I have enough to make it a 5x5 if I really wanted to, we will see.... Most of the blocks are between 14"-16" and so in some way I will need to either square them all or add extra borders/sashing to get them into an actual top. I think I might opt for scrappy sashing-like piecing to even out the rows. This is where I need your opinion.

Joining Options:
1. Square up blocks and piece blocks together without sashing and/or border?
2. Square up blocks and use scrappy sashing/border? (How scrappy, like 2.5" squares scrappy or 2" strip scrappy?)
3. Square up blocks and use solid sashing/border?
4. Other ideas?

I am stalling on making the rest because I don't know where it is going. I know that's a bad excuse but it's hard for me to just make blocks to make blocks, I like to know what the finish line looks like, so please help me figure out what that is so I can continue!

As always my furries wanted to help take the pictures, so I have to include the outtakes as well. :)

Pets with Scrapbusting Blocks
Marlow on Scrapbusting Blocks

Thanks in advance for your help!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, Sew Fresh Quilts, Blossom Heart Quilts!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day February 2014

I didn't get too much fully completed in January but I got a lot of things to the point of almost done. :) I have several quilt tops that just need the blocks sewn together. I also have a quilt top that is ready to be quilted, the back just needs to be completed. I also started the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt Along. And as always I did some bee blocks.

Knee Socks in ProgressSolid Rectangles in ProgressTarget Quilt Top FinishedHand Pieced Quilt Along BastedMinneapolis MQG Mystery Quilt Along Step 1 January 2014Harmony. do. good. stitches. - January 2014 Block 1

I will do a full post on the Target quilt above, but I just finished the top and want to get some more up close pictures for that post before you see it!

Thanks for joining and Happy Fresh Sewing Day!

Lily's Quilts


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Almost Done!

I have been working on my Hand Pieced Quilt Along quilt for about a year now. I have loved working on this project and have done it completely by hand, even the cutting. I wanted to see what it was like to quilt back in the day and about how long it would take. I worked on and off on this quilt but so far have probably put about 70 hours into it.

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Basted

I finished up the top this week and got it basted last night. For the quilting, I am planning on doing a baptist fan type pattern, hand quilted of course.

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Basted Close Up

While I was trying to take pictures my little buddy was trying to help, as always. :)

Hand Pieced Quilt Along Basted Marlow Helping

If you are interested in doing this quilt along yourself, you can find the instructions here. I really have enjoyed this project, the blocks were the perfect size to take along, do on the bus, etc. I definitely see more hand pieced items in the future.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

FMQ Practice Pot Cozy

I have been practicing my Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I still feel like I have a long way to go but man I have come a long way. I think the turning point for me was doing a large charity quilt that was just made of 12 inch blocks, and trying a new quilting design in each block. This helped me practice moving in different ways, curves, diagonals, sharp corners, etc. I also was able to find several designs that really clicked with me. I decided to practice these on a larger scale with several quilts, made lots of mistakes, and that is how I have gotten to where I am today.

I found myself not being as precise as I should be because I knew something that little wouldn't show after I washed the quilt. I knew that to take myself to the next level that I would need to practice that fine motor skill so I decided to make a pot cozy with some orphan blocks that I had.

I had accidentally made these two birds backwards for a bee I was in but I loved them so I surrounded them in bright coordinating solids and spruced them up with some quilting around the edges.

Here is the front:

FMQ Pot Cozy Front

Here is the back:

FMQ Pot Cozy Back

And here are some close ups of the quilting that I did on the edges:

FMQ Pot Cozy Lime
FMQ Pot Cozy Blue
FMQ Pot Cozy Blue Swirl

This one is my favorite. :)

FMQ Pot Cozy Yellow

Pebbling can use some work on this side.

FMQ Pot Cozy Green Paisley

I would like to play with these two on a bigger scale:

FMQ Pot Cozy Orange
FMQ Pot Cozy Green

I had a strip left over and Alex kept asking for a bookmark so I made the leftover strip into a bookmark. A THICK bookmark. Hey, it's the thought that counts. I also sent some Banana Bread to make up for the unuseable bookmark. :)

Alex's Package, FMQ Bookmark

I'm glad with the progress I have made but I still have a long way to go. Don't we all?


Linking up to: Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Lazy Math

When I was a kid and into my teenage years I was good at math and I liked it. Until I hit Calculus. Ugh. Everything up to Algebra was cool, which is good, because quilting math is Geometry and then sometimes Algebra, which means I can do it.

When I started quilting at the age of 9, my mom and I would come up with designs on graph paper, do the math for them, and then create them. No patterns, just math. This is how I continued to design my quilts up until 2011 when I discovered quilting on the internet, blogs, tutorials, etc. I considered myself a purist, that I only made quilts from my original design, did the math myself, etc. The problem was that there were so many awesome projects that I wanted to try that already had the math done, which sounded nice, so I started working on projects that required no math on my end.

Now that it is 3 years later, when I think of a new design and want to sit down and do the math for it I get lazy, and then try to find a project that is similar so I can use the math provided and then customize it to my liking. I know that I am just getting lazy, so one of the things I want to work on this year is to get back to my math side of quilting. I want to be able to do my own designs and become confident in my design skills again.

I am so excited that Electric Quilt for Mac is coming out soon and I think that will help me be able to produce my designs on a large scale with a consistent methodology.

Until then, I will start working on my patterns manually and see what I can come up with.

While I am at it I will show you the bee blocks from Nov, Dec, and Jan!! I haven't posted them in awhile and that way you will also have some pictures. :)


November was my month, so here are most of the blocks together.

BeeJeebers November 2013 Blocks

December Block

BeeJeebers December 2013 Block

January was also my month and I continued what I chose for the Simply Solids Bee, here is a group of them together.

Simply Solids Bee 2013 Blocks Together

Harmony. do. good. stitches.


Harmony. do. Good. Stitches - November 2013 Block 1
Harmony. do. Good. Stitches. November 2013 Block 2


Harmony. do. good. stitches. - January 2014 Block 1
Harmony. do. good. stitches. - January 2014 Block 2

And Simply Solids was the solid rectangles above and then the same block for January because the next person in the group loved the idea so much she also decided to do bright rectangles.


Friday, December 20, 2013

What Makes Me Happy.

This is what I do. I make things. I make things from fabric, from scraps, from food, from random things you would never think of making things out of and I make it work. I have been a maker since the beginning.

I wish I had a picture of my childhood home, I can't believe I don't, but right beside my home was our landlord's junk yard. :) Not pretty but hey it wasn't our house so we didn't really have a choice. Most of the stuff there was crap, junk, not worth even a dime and half rusted away. But to me, this junk yard was a gold mine as a kid. I would scour the heaps of junk and find little wire baskets or a half broken chair and bring them home and fix them or rerig them as other objects and put them in my tree house. (It was more of a tree that I put boards in to sit in and then would place other random items like a broken propeller on a rope as a doorbell type tree house.)

NOT my tree house. :)

Needless to say, I have been doing this since the beginning of my time and I love it. I hate buying things, half because I'm cheap, half because I know I can make something similar or better and that what I would make would be unique and therefore way more special than a cool widget from a big box store.

All of this being said, at work the other day I went to a panel talk about a book called The Happiness Project. I haven't read the book but from what I heard, it sort of goes like this: "As tons of women juggle work and home some try to live up to what happiness should be, they fall short, and that's because they aren't actually recognizing what makes them happy as an individual, but trying to attain this happiness definition that the world has created and that definition might make most people happy, but not you."

One of the ladies on the panel put it perfectly. "Happiness is that state in which you are in when you look up at the clock and several hours just passed and you had no clue." This feeling might be accomplished with your family, your friends, your hobbies, etc. but being able to be in that happy place is very precious and a lot of people struggle to get there or don't have time to really spend in their happy place.

I am lucky to have several happy places.

1. Quilting
The first one is obviously quilting. Most of you can relate, if we didn't love it would we go away for several days at a time with other quilty ladies and just quilt to our hearts desire? No. This is probably the biggest area in my life that I can "lose" time, as in not realize that 5 hours just passed. Whether it is on the machine or hand quilting/piecing, I love to be able to have projects in each stage to work on that way if I get bored with one project I can bounce to another and never lose my quilty vigor. While I go through ups and downs in how much time I have to quilt or what types of projects I am wanting to work on, this is one of the only parts of my life that I keep coming back to and that hasn't fizzled out like so many other interests or hobbies in my life. I think quilting is here to stay.

2. Reading
I love reading because I love to learn. I read mostly non-fiction, or historical fiction, but sometimes delve into a popular set like The Hunger Games, which was AWESOME. I have a horrible memory but even if I can remember 5% of what I read, that's more than I knew before I started the book. The only thing I don't like about reading is that other than extra mind power, there's nothing at the end to show for it, aka no "making." But I am a sucker for books. My local library has quarterly book sales for $0.25 books, and oh man, do I get a little crazy. A dream of mine one day is to have a library in my home full of wonderful books. I always knew that my favorite princess was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, not only because she was the only Disney princess with brown hair, but she loved to read, just like me.

3. Snuggling/napping with my people/animals
This is one of those simple things in life but it is awesome and it is free and it makes me happy. I love snuggling. I do. I love curling up on the couch or in the bed with quilts and people/animals and watching a movie and falling asleep. I remember I told Alex once that I could go to the Olympics for napping and he responded with, "no you couldn't, you would be disqualified for performance enhancing animals." I love that warm heavy feeling of a dog or cat or person that is asleep and resting on you or vice versa. Just that time of being okay doing nothing, just happy being with you at this one moment type thing. I love it. :) (Queue the butterflies and rainbows now.)

With all that being said I am lucky to be able to do all three of these on a regular basis and have learned that no matter how busy I am, that I can always make time for one of these to put me in my happy place.

I'd like to know what your happy place is, everyone is different, what is yours?