March 30/30 Sewing Challenge and A Lovely Year of Finishes

So, Sarah at Berry Barn Designs is running this 30/30 Sewing Challenge, which is a challenge to spend at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days sewing. I’ve seen this kind of challenge before and I’ve thought about joining them before, but I typically run into problems when I work night shifts – I’m basically a zombie for those three days and spend a lot of time sitting or lying around not doing much. I don’t like it, but it’s really hard to change your schedule that much for just three days and then to switch back to the day shift again immediately. But I’m going to try it anyway. I’m not sure what I’ll get done – I don’t think I’ve ever dedicated that much of my time to sewing (typically I do most of my sewing on my weekends off and then spend most of the day at it) – so I’m going to have a few different projects I’d like to work on, but I expect this will evolve a little as time goes by.

1. 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge...

I haven’t started this one and you can probably guess from all that thread that it’s going to be a lot of hand-work involved. This is due Mid-March, so this is going to be top of my pile and also my Lovely Year of Finishes project for March. (I didn’t even start on my February goal – the entire month was pretty much a loss as far as crafting goes.) I don’t want to give away too much with this project, so you probably won’t see more than this until it’s actually finished and ready to submit.

2. The Acacia Quilt

Super Simple Acacia Patchwork Quilt

I need to piece the backing for this and then get it basted and quilted. I was going to tie it, but the more I think about it, the more I want to quilt it instead. And kind of free motiony. Even though that scares me. But this is a quilt for me, so I shouldn’t be so scared of making mistakes – I don’t need to let anyone see it up close! Also, getting this done will fill one of my 2014 goals of actually making something from a Craftsy class! (It was a free Craftsy class, but it still counts. And eventually I’ll work on something from one of my paid classes. I’m thinking about one the quilts from Camille Roskelley’s Pre-cut Piecing Made Simple.

3. Continue on with the Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong


I think it’s just every two weeks that these blocks are released, so it’s not a huge time commitment for March, but I’m just going to put it up here. I don’t want to crap out on (yet another) quiltalong/block of the month type project. I’ve had this layer cake of Basic Grey’s Eva fabric sitting around for a very, very long time, so it’s nice to finally settle on a use for it. (I’m using Moda Bella yardage for the white and… I don’t really like it. You can see a lot more slubs in the fabric than in Kona cotton and it feels and looks thinner.)

4. Mini Quilt Made from Spare Stash Bee block

Smallish Badly Sewn Swoon block

This was my first attempt at the Dutch Rose/Swoon block for my Hive #12 Bee-mate at Stash Bee. It doesn’t show so much in this photo, but it’s slightly too small in some areas, slightly too large in others, has an unbelievable amount of wrinkles (seriously, if you lay it out flat on a table, you can slid your finger under some of the units without it making a noticeable difference elsewhere). It was a mess and so I had to remake it for the Bee, but now I have this big 16-inch quilt block, so I think I’m going to use it as a free motion quilting experiment. It’s a mess, so I shouldn’t get too upset if I mess it up further, right? I want to try just a basic stipple with it, something I’ve never really done successfully, but I’ve only tried on really small samples, so maybe having something a bit bigger to work on will be useful.

I could probably come up with other things, but I’ll leave it here! It’s definitely enough to get started with. I think I’ll probably expand my definition of this particular challenge to include all the parts of crafting – by which I really mean to say that I’m going to include basting, because that’s going to take a lot of time and I probably won’t want to do that AND 30 minutes of sewing in the same day, unless I happen to do it on a weekend day off – but I like to play fast and loose with rules like that. (Much like I’m playing fast and loose with the Fabriholic Anonymous rules by very seriously contemplating trading fabric for giftcards instead of selling the fabric directly because giftcards I can spend on fabric and cash I can’t…..) (Talk me out of this one, won’t you?)

By the by, sorry for all the Instagram photos. I couldn’t find my proper camera this morning, so I IGed everything instead. I had to do a little creative editing with a couple of them to try to get the colours the right shades, but I don’t think I’ve been terribly successful. Oh well.

Speaking of Instagram, you can follow me there @clumsykristel. And I’m hoping to post a daily update there on my 30 in 30 goals along (of course) with my weekly updates for the challenge.


26 thoughts on “March 30/30 Sewing Challenge and A Lovely Year of Finishes”

  1. I’m so glad you’re joining me for the challenge, Kristel! And you can count *anything* at all sewing/quilting/crafting related for your thirty each day – I picked small projects sewing-wise, but if I spend thirty minutes laying out one of the patterns one day, then I’m counting it. Gotta take the “me” time when you can get it! (Also, glad to see I’m not the only one just getting into their Pantone project… I just started mine yesterday! So I have that and a few twin quilts and Stash Bee to tackle alongside my “selfish” sewing – it’ll be a busy month for sure : )

    1. I didn’t have any ideas for the Pantone thing until quite late – it’s not a colour I’m super fond of so nothing was firing in my brain until I stumbled across the threads, which I love. My idea is pretty simple, so I just need to get working on it already πŸ˜€

      Which hive are you in for Stash Bee? I’m in Hive 12 and our March person hasn’t posted yet. I’m interested to see what’s coming next..

  2. I am think I will join in as well to help me cut out some of the TV and vegging I have been doing of late when I get home from work πŸ™‚

    1. Haha.. yeah, I can get that. Sometimes I think I spend more time reading blogs than I do actually sewing, so maybe this challenge will help with that at least a bit.

  3. The picture of your purple threads brought me over from Melissa’s blog to see what your lovely finish would be. I look forward to seeing what you are stitching!

    1. Haha… yeah, the one thing I was least forthcoming about πŸ˜€ The threads, if you’re interested, came from Colour Complements — it’s a sampler pack, which is a nice way to get a nice variety of stuff. (My thread collection is very small and pretty focussed on crewel wool and embroidery floss.)

  4. Once I find another job, I think I’ll try the 30 minutes everyday sewing! I had a comment from someone once, who suggested they used baskets/containers for their sewing that were up to different steps — so there’d be things to piece in one, and things to iron in another etc. I kind of liked that idea because sometimes I actually feel like pressing things, or just piecing, or even just cutting, so knowing where to go and what to grab might help with a 30 minute goal.

    I’ve been using Bella Solids as my ‘solid’ of choice’ — I bought a whole bunch of them over a year ago when I first decided I needed solids in my stash and I figured because I like Moda, that Bella Solids should be the way to go. But lately, since I’m a little “better” at sewing/fabric selection I just haven’t been liking them! I was using them for my Tula City Sampler blocks and I found they were thin and frayed so easily when cut into small pieces and I’ve been noticing the see-throughness of them too. I think I’ll start replacing them with other solids as I need them. I have a Riley Blake solid that has a really nice sheen to it, and I’d love to try Art Gallery, though since Kona seems more common I’ll probably switch to that to make it easier!

    1. Yeah, I’m surprised by the difference in quality from the moda print fabrics – I’ve got tons of those and have never noticed any weirdness about them, but this solid, meh. I mostly use Kona cottons, which are nice. The nicest ones are the Art Gallery ones and the Michael Miller Cotton Couture – they’re amazing to work with. They both feel like regular Art Gallery fabrics.

    1. Are you following along with the schedule Michelle came up with (here)? There are only… 7 or 8 blocks this month (I forget which!). All those square in a square blocks are spread out over the course of the year, so you don’t have to worry about piecing them all now! (Because yeah, there’s about a million of those!) But yeah, I definitely need to leave time to work on those, especially if I keep up with making two versions! (I’m should probably post about my second version…)

    1. Thank you! Purple has never been a particular favourite of mine, but this challenge is definitely making me embrace it (and loosening me up a bit to the whole thing :D).

  5. a busy month for you! I love the swoon block, but if you’re not happy with it, definitely practice your FMQ on it. The purple threads are lovely

    1. If it weren’t so wrinkly, I’d love it to bits πŸ˜€ Swoon is such a pretty block, but yeah… that one did not treat me well!

      On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 6:25 AM, Work-in-Progress Girl wrote:


  6. I knew that was Swoon! envying your corners! Can’t wait to see the rest! hopping over from the 30/30 linkies~

    1. Thanks! Most of my Swoon block came together okay, but some of it was a nightmare! It’s certainly a bit of work, putting that one together, isn’t it?

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