OMG: One Monthly February Goal

It’s time for One Monthly Goal again…

RedLetterQuilts


Well, I haven’t talked about my January goal, but I did succeed in finishing it! I just need to take it outside and get some decent pictures. And then I need to baste and quilt it.

Choosing thread colours...

Here’s an Instagram shot of me comparing thread colours to the finished top!

But for now, a new goal:

A baby quilt for a friend whose baby is almost 6 months now! If I put it off too much longer, I’m going to have to make a toddler quilt instead and that’ll slow me down in a different way!

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The plan is to take these Lizzy House fabrics from her Constellations line and add to them some white Kona cotton to…. make a wonky cross quilt. Maybe. Or a wonky hashtag quilt. Or maybe… I don’t know. Something. A quilt, anyway! I really need to make a plan!

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I just want to get the top made this month and then maybe in March I’ll tackle actually quilting the thing. But just to get the top, that would be so much better than where I’m at right now! Let’s hope I can make a plan soon!

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Quarter One Finish-Along

So it’s been quite a while since I participated in the Finish-a-long and I’ve decided to try something different from the last go around. Last year, I listed a huge number of things on my list in hopes that it would give me lots of options to work on and therefore I’d be bound to get something done on some or even any of them. In reality, I think it just left things too open and let me do the parts that I’m already super comfortable with (ie. stitching things together), while ignoring the parts that challenge me the most or that would just get the project over and done with. This time I’m going to give myself a really limited group of projects – just four – in hopes that in stead of doing a small amount of a bunch of different things, I might actually do all of the things for at least a couple items on my list.

So here’s the goals:

1. Midnight Mystery Quilt-a-long Quilt

Q1 FAL projects

This quilt top is my goal for the January OMG – One Monthly Goal – group, but for OMG I just need to finish the top; for the finish-along, I have to get the entire quilt finished! This photo was taken long enough ago that I’ve got units made of all the different components and I only need to put the units together into blocks and then the blocks together into a top and then get it basted and quilted.

2. Confetti Go Lucky quilt

Q1 FAL projects

This is a quilt made using the Confetti pattern by V&Co. and the Happy Go Lucky line of fabric from Bonnie & Camille, hence the name. I’ve finished quilting about 1/4 of this one.

3. Black and White Cushions

Q1 FAL projects

This should be one of the easiest things on any list I might come up with – I just need to make 2-3 pillows (~ 16-in) for friend who just bought her own house. She’s going to want boring black and white, hence this pile, though this isn’t a complete pile of possible fabrics. It is a start though.

4. Constellations Baby Quilt

Q1 FAL projects

And finally, a baby quilt for a little boy who is going to be too big for a baby quilt, soon. I’ve got a pattern picked out that just uses layer cake squares, so I’m hoping to get to this one soon!

And that’s my list for the first quarter of the year. I really, really hope to get them all completed!

One Monthly Goal – January

So A Lovely Year of Finishes has closed up shop after a few years of monthly goal-setting, but Heidi at Red Letter Quilts has started up a replacement, OMG, aka One Monthly Goal.

RedLetterQuilts

I’ve always liked the idea of these monthly challenges, though I’ve always been pretty bad on the follow-through, so I’m going to try to follow along with Heidi’s new version now!

Fabrics cut for Meadow Mist Designs 2015 Mystery Quilt

My goal is to get caught back up with the Meadow Mist Designs Midnight Mystery Quilt.

I’m a little further along than this picture show, but I have to catch up on the sewing from October, November, December, and now January! Yikes!

WIP Wednesday: Rainbow Text Mini

I’m on vacation from work this week, so I’ve been trying to spend my time working on a mini that’s due to be sent out by August 31. It’s for a swap that requires us to use at least two text prints… I’m using quite a few more than that.

A mini I'm working on for an Instagram swap

I rotated through at least a half dozen options before finally settling on this pattern, Glam Garlands by Elizabeth Hartman from her book Modern Patchwork. My partner seems to be a fan of rainbows, so I dug deep into my collection of text prints to create (most of) a rainbow.

A mini I'm working on for an Instagram swap

I’ve got it all basted and have spent the last 4 hours not quilting it, even though I could probably be (nearly) done by now if I’d just get going on it. I’m a little torn about how to quilt it though – I had been thinking about long lines down the length designed maybe to look like crepe paper garlands or something like that. But then I wondered if that was too boring and thought about maybe emphasizing the garlands by stitching in the ditch round them and then densely quilting the background with pebbles or stippling, so that it sits back and the garlands pop out. I really just need to make a decision because I’m planning to be out of town for three days and it needs to be finished before that so that I’m not rushed in the last day before it needs to be sent.

Anyway, it’s my birthday this week, so it’s time for a giveaway. Basically the winner – who can be from anywhere – can choose from one of two prizes.

The first prize I haven’t really put it together yet, but I’m going to make a scrap bundle of text prints:

Fabrics for a mini I've been working on

This scrap bundle might include bits of all of these fabrics (or it might not – some of them I don’t have enough left to call them scraps really) as well as some of the rest of my giant collection of text fabrics.

And the second prize will be a charm pack of all the prints from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabrics.

Both prizes will contain similar amounts of fabric – I’ll aim to have them both approximately the same weight. To enter, follow the prompts on Rafflecopter:

(Deleting the Rafflecopter link.)

(Ugh. I clearly didn’t edit that well. Forgive the misspelling. And make sure you follow the prompt – I will be checking!)

Edited to Add: I can’t figure out how to make this work on WordPress. They do NOT like script based HTML. So let’s skip that.

Same deal, just with me using Random.org to figure out a winner! Please leave a comment below telling me which of the two prizes you’d rather win. That’s it! I’ll be accepting entries until 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 1st and will draw the winner the next day when I’m home from work. Anyone anywhere around the world can enter.

Also, please don’t enter this giveaway into any giveaway aggregate services. I’m happy for anyone at all to enter, but I’d rather it be organically found by followers and people who’ve also linked up via one of the below Wednesday Link-ups.

Linking up with all the Wednesday link ups – check the sidebar for additional links to Work in Progress Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Orphan Block Adoption

NOTE: This giveaway/orphan block adoption is now over and the winners have been contacted! Here’s hoping they’re all able to make beautiful things about of these unwanted projects!

Do any of you have old works-in-progress or works-not-in-progress that you don’t love and that don’t make you want to make anything? Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework is hosting a link up for sending those old unwanteds out into the world where they might be used and loved. I’ve got three.

I will send out the BLOCKS for free, but if you want the extra fabric (where it exists), I’d ask that you pay shipping (or rather, the portion of shipping above what I’d pay if it weren’t included). And you have to understand that I’m in Canada and shipping rates here are often ridiculous. If you ask, I can let you know approximately what it will be. Try to remember that even if it seems high… You’re getting a bunch of free blocks and fabric,.. so it’s probably not that expensive after all. (Don’t worry. I won’t hold you to it, if you’d rather not pay shipping in the end.)

Here’s the thing. I would like it if these blocks were turned into quilts or whatever for charity, but it’s not a requirement. The real requirement is that you’ll use them and hopefully love them. I’m going to keep this adoption post open until Saturday, June 13. If you’re interested in any of the three things I’m posting, let me know by number which you would like to have. If there is more than one person interested in any of them, I’ll draw names for each project.

1. Amy Butler Midwest Modern Sampler

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Fair to say these blocks have spent a few years in a ziplock bag waiting for me to do something, anything, with them; sorry about the wrinkles! There are 12 of the blocks, all of them different, using three different prints, plus the pale pink background.

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I think I need to try this photos again later when the sun comes around the side of the house because they look awfully dreary, don’t they?

I believe I had planned originally to do 20 or 30 blocks and there is quite a bit of fabric left if you have thoughts in a similar direction. (This is the part where you’d pay to shipping, if you’re interested in the extra fabric.)

The print on top right was never used in the quilt blocks – it always seemed too big to cut up. It might work if you wanted to expand the size by alternating blocks with “plain” squares and using this instead of a solid? There’s 1 metre of it. There is approximately half a metre of the floral print to the left, plus assorted off-cut scraps. There is a 12″ x WOF strip of the dotted fabric, and 15″ + 6.5″ x WOF of the stripe. The darker pink wasn’t used in the blocks, but it’s a good match and I think I’d intended to use it for sashing or cornerstones or something to do with a border perhaps. It doesn’t need to be included, but it’s a 1 metre cut. And then finally, I’ve got a huge quantity of the pale pink, about 3 yards. It’s an Amy Butler solid. Again, if you just wanted some rather than all, I’d be happy to cut it down for you.

2. Orange and Green Batik Sampler

I started this sampler at the same time as the last one. They both were part of Crystal of Sonnet of the Moon‘s 2009 Modify Tradition sampler and I didn’t wind up loving either of them very much. (No knock on Crystal – I loved her blocks way way more than mine!) For this one I have 9 blocks, plus a 10th with a different yellow background that I thought made it look too much like my grandma’s kitchen.

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These blocks used a mix of solid gold, orange, and brown plus the orange and green batik for the main fabrics and then a very pale yellow for the background.

If you’d like to pay to have some or all of the extra fabric shipped out, this is what I’ve got left. Of the batik, there is 24″ x WOF. There is about 10″ x WOF of the gold, 14″ x WOF of the pale yellow, 31″ x WOF of the orange, and about 31″ x WOF of the brown. Plus scraps of all.

3. Pink Bento Boxes

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This was originally intended to be a charity quilt that would have been auctioned off at my work for the Breast Cancer Foundation in Canada, but my work has changed the way it does charities and so it isn’t going to work for that any longer. I didn’t photograph it, but if you most solemnly swear to me that it will be used for charity, then I will include a metre or two (whatever I’ve got) of fabric with pink breast cancer ribbons on it, no additional charge. (But seriously, only if it’s for charity.)

There are 16 blocks and they were made by a variety of women across Canada and the US. The particular problem with that is that they’re varying in quality a bit – both in terms of their workmanship and their fabric.

So yes. Check out the other Adoption options at Cynthia’s Orphan Adoption Event. And remember all of this.

1. This post will be open for offers until June 13.
2. If you would like any or all of the things above, leave a comment telling me which, by name or by number.
3. I will draw names if there is more than one person who wants something.
4. I will pay shipping for the blocks only.
5. If you would like some or all of the additional fabric (to be worked out later, once a winner has been chosen), you will have to pay the remainder of the shipping costs. Shipping from Canada is expensive, but our dollar is weak right now, so try to remember a Canadian dollar isn’t going to cost you a full American dollar (or whatever – maybe you’re from a country with a weaker dollar than Canada, though, in which case you should keep that in mind too).
6. If you pay for shipping extra fabric, please remember that YOU are responsible for the cost to send money through PayPal, not me.

2015 Finish-A-Long Quarter 2

Finish Along Quarter 1 Dreams

So for Quarter 1 of the finish-along, I had 9 items on my list – the seven in this picture, plus a bonus two, which were Jelly Roll Race quilts made using Sunrise and Sunset Robert Kaufman jelly rolls. Here’s where everything is at:

1. Brown and Green Quilt – Finished!

2. Hexagon quilt (Confetti-go-lucky) – Didn’t touch it all quarter.

3. Jelly Roll baby quilt – Didn’t start it.

4. Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt – Finished!

5. Bunny Cross-stitch Mini – Didn’t touch it.

6. Deer Economy Square Mini – Didn’t touch it.

7. Botanics Patchwork Quilt – Didn’t touch it.

8,9. Not pictured in the mosaic above, two jelly roll race quilts – Started on the Sunrise version, shown below.

April Goal - A Lovely Year of Finishes

I don’t know if you’ve ever made a jelly roll race quilt, but you sew together all the strips end to end, then basically fold that super long strip in half and sew it together down the length, and then keep on doing it until it’s longer than it is wide, proportionately. In this photo I’ve got all the strips sewn together, but since then I’ve trimmed off the extra triangles of fabric, pressed everything flat, and gotten started on sewing the strip together for the first join. It is so so so so so boring to sew.

So anyway, my goals for quarter two aren’t too different from quarter one. But I am taking a couple projects off the list – the jelly roll baby quilt and the sunset jelly roll race quilt – because I haven’t started either of them and I’m hoping to finish some of the things I’ve started – but I’m also adding a couple things. The Vintage quilt is one I’ve recently begun cutting out and the others are all swap projects that are due in the next couple months. I may as well add them here since they are things I need to finish!

1. Hexagon quilt – Need to finish quilting it, then trim and bind it.
2. Bunny Cross-Stitch – Figure out a setting to make it into a mini, then sew, baste, quilt, and bind.
3. Deer Economy Square Pot Holders – Figure out how to finish it, get three more made, sew, baste, quilt, bind.
4. Botanics Patchwork Quilt – Baste, quilt, and bind.
5. Sunrise Jelly Roll Quilt – Sew, baste, quilt, and bind.
6. Vintage Quilt – Finish cutting, sew, baste, quilt, and bind.
7. Berry Swap Mini and Dumpling Pouch – Cut, sew, etc.
8. Lizzy House Mini Swap – Cut, sew, baste, quilt, bind.
9. Cotton + Steel Mini Swap – Cut, sew, baste, quilt, bind.

Quarter II Finish Along Mosaic

The photos for the last four aren’t exactly very revealing of anything. The Vintage quilt is cut out a little further than in that photo (which also contains the book photo of Camille Roskelley’s finished quilt). The Berry Swap photo is just a paper-pieced strawberry I found on Instagram. I forgot the maker’s name! (Which is awful! Usually I save the photos for mosaics with the name intact so that I can doublecheck – I don’t know why I didn’t this time!) I don’t have any real intentions of paper piecing a strawberry for my dumpling pouch, I just haven’t quite… worked it out yet, so that’s a placeholder image for sure. The Lizzy House and C+S photos are just fabrics that may wind up involved somehow. Or may not. We’ll see where those projects go…

A Lovely Year of Finishes: March Goal

Okay, so my goal from last month is now my goal for this month. To finish – quilted and bound – my pink and coral windmill quilt. I did get it all basted and I even started quilting it, but I got hung up somewhere along the way because I didn’t like how it was looking… and I unpicked four blocks worth of quilting. (Which was not that much, but still felt like A LOT.)

practise not perfection

The thing was, I was trying to do very large spirals, so that I could do one per quarter block, which is a 4-inch square space. And while it wasn’t a bad idea in theory, it’s actually pretty tough to make a spiral that big! Not just to make one that big, but to make one that big that looks good! I was ending up with a lot of squarish bits on my spirals and jerks because I had to move my hands too far to get the outer ring the right size. (It’s different when you spiral out from the centre, that’s not as tough – you just have to maintain a consistent space between quilting lines, but this is a the kind of spiral where you spiral in and then spiral back out in the empty spaces.) And it was leaving too much of a gap in the centre of the block, so out it came.

Quilting Swirls

This time I’m doing a more organic spiral, trying to fill in the spaces with different size spirals that fill at approximately the same scale. I’m not that good at it – there are bits where I forget to leave room to spiral out and so have lines nearly touching that shouldn’t at all, and then there are some bits where there’s a solid inch between quilting lines. But this is practise and I’ll never get better if I don’t just practise.

Quilting Swirls

I’m still having a pretty hard time with regulating the speed of my hands and speed of my machine… so I’ve got some giant stitches (along the lines of 1/4-inch length) and some very, very tiny ones. I have a tendancy to jerk just a little bit when I first start quilting again after I’ve paused to reposition my hands. And sometimes I panic while trying to decide where to quilt next. I’m trying to work in a fairly logical progression around the quilt (working out from the centre, essentially spiralling around that centre block), but I think just figuring out where to go next might be the hardest thing about free motion quilting.

Quilting Swirls

Seeing this quilt in the machine in the sunshine is kind of making me like this quilt again, which hasn’t always been the case. I’m bouncing back and forth with this one. I bet when it’s done I’ll like it better than I ever thought I would.

If you can see that dangling thread in this photo, that’s because I had to stop here when the bobbin thread ran out. I didn’t feel like picking back my stitches last night (so that I’d have enough thread to buy), so that’s on tap for tonight, if I ever make it off the computer and into the sewing room. But before I go, I wanted to show you some of the more amusing (to me) parts of my quilting set-up.

I sew on a cheapie kitchen table which is taller than standard with shorter than standard kitchen chairs. With the machine on the table, it’s a bit like trying to quilt with my elbows at my ears, so this is my height solution:

Quilting set-up

That would be an Ikea neck support pillow, which was too stiff for sleeping, but is remarkably comfortable for sitting on while sewing, topping a double stack of quilting books (my bum is big – one stack of books isn’t going to cut it, comfort-wise). I don’t always quilt with the pillow on top of the book pile, because it sometimes feels a bit too much like I’m hovering over everything.

Quilting set-up

These books are pushed way too far back on the chair, normally they’re up closer to the edge of the chair so that I can sit on them more comfortably. They add a nice 4 inches or so of height! Some of the books in this stack… it’s the most use they’ll ever see. But the two up top – Sunday Morning Quilts and Shape by Shape – are two of my favourite books in my quilting collection. I’m sorry author-ladies: the fact that I park my ass on your books is not a reflection of my opinion at all! It’s just an added dimension of usefulness in a pair of already magnificent books.

Quilting set-up

Since I’m lifted so far up from the floor, I also need to lift my foot-pedal up from the floor – I’m a short person, so I can’t stretch down to the floor all that comfortably. The plastic box is a rather old piece of Tupperware that I probably inadvertently stole from my mom about 15 years ago. I’ve got it turned the long way now so that there’s more space to rest my foot, but that’s the basic set-up.

The things we do for our hobbies.

The Pink and Orange Quilt

So I’m kind of at a boring stage in the making of things… by which I mean I’m putting the top of a quilt together, but it’s not really much fun to show because it’s kind of neither here nor there right now.

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Right now the sort of… central body of the quilt is in three parts. That’s two of them, pinned together and ready to be sewn. It’s been sitting on my table for a couple days because it’s been so cold and miserable that I haven’t felt like sewing (and have only felt like taking hot baths and/or sleeping and/or cooking warming things like stew and Cuban Smashed Potatoes), but I’m determined to get at least that centre part sewn together by Thursday afternoon.

I really need to press that again, but that Best Press is actually not scent free and smells so bad that I hate using it. (I feel like my lungs are full of the stuff every time I use it, even if I only use it very, very lightly.)

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And here is the other third of the blocks of this quilt, along with the borders, which are as thick as the blocks are themselves! It’s going to have a… non-standard setting, in a way, which lead to the exceptionally wide (for me) borders. I don’t love big borders… I never know how to quilt them. But I think I’m just going to do the same all over quilt job, borders, blocks and all. This isn’t really a quilt that I think I’m going to love – when I see individual blocks I like them and I basically like all the fabrics involved and I like the block pattern that I chose, but I find the colours overwhelming when they’re all laid out together pink! coral! orange! floral! – so I’m thinking of it as good practise and I’m going to use it to practise quilting spirals. Just a pretty basic spiral type thing. I need to watch some more Craftsy classes and find one of the ones where Leah Day shows how she does them.

Anyway, here I am talking about it:

You won’t learn anything from that video that I haven’t already told you, at least I don’t think so, but I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be more interesting(ish?) in person?

A Lovely Year of Finishes: February Goal

So before I get to my goal for February for ALYoF, I need to wrap up my giveaway from my January goal – the brown and lime hashtag quilt.

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My winner (via Random.org) of 42 charm squares (cut from my scraps! and a close match to my hashtag quilt!) was Leanne Parsons of Devoted Quilter. I had to laugh a little about that because Leanne was the host of Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday in that week and she popped over to thank me for linking up. Leanne is apparently from Newfoundland, one of only 2 provinces in Canada that I haven’t visited! (The other being PEI. Sorry island provinces! One day I’ll get there!) I lived in Nova Scotia for 2 years (ten years ago… ack!) and kick myself for not having travelled more when I was in the approximate neighbourhood!

Anyway, February Goal!

My February goal is to finish up this windmill quilt using the January blogger bundle from Fabric Spark, curated by Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches.

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I’ve got just 12 blocks left to finish and all they need is to have their last seam stitched up! After that I need to cut my borders, plan my layout and get the top put together. I’m not working this weekend (in theory! I’ve had a supremely frustrating work week, having stayed 11 hours on two days and now I’ll be going in for at least 4 hours on a sixth day – but I’m going to go in early this evening so that I can come home and sleep before it’s too stupid late and then at least I’ll still have Saturday and Sunday during the day for myself).

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I had planned to use one of the fabrics from the top (actually, that floral print in the finished block above) for the border, but Fabric Spark didn’t have quite enough left, so I wound up choosing the honeycomb fabric, which combined the pinks and oranges that were prevalent throughout the bundle. I’m hoping it won’t be too white for a large border, but if it is…. oh well. This quilt is getting done using what I’ve got one way or another! The large scale print below the honeycomb print is going to be the backing fabric, though I’m hoping to break up the backing a little bit with a narrow row of pieced scraps – I’m going to use as much of that original bundle of fabric as I possibly can! And finally, that Denyse Schmidt print on the bottom was meant to be the binding. When I ordered it, I had forgotten that it’s an off-white print, rather than a pure white one, so I’m not sure if I’ll wind up using it. I LOVE that print, but I don’t want it to look like a dirty line around the edge of my quilt (which, let’s not forget is being bordered with that very white heavy honeycomb!) so it might get swapped out for something whiter or something blacker. We’ll see what I’ve got in my stash.

For once I even have a quilting plan! And because I enjoy this quilt but don’t love it in some devastating way where I can’t bear to ruin it with crappy quilting, I’m even going to try something new. This quilt isn’t meant for anyone and I think it’s always easier to be a bit free with things when it’s kind of…. meaningless in a way. If that makes sense?