So for those who don’t know, I periodically make videos where I talk about the things I’m working on or the things that I’ve finished. I share these videos with a group of ladies (mostly from the US, though we’ve had people in Australia and still have people who post intermittently from South Africa and England) at Talk to Me Tuesday. A lot of us are quilters and some do crochet or knitting or various other crafts and it’s a nice way to share things – even if it is a bit unnerving putting my face (and perpetual “but, um, anyway”) out into the world. This has been a really off year for me for posting and it’s been around 2 months between videos (usually I manage closer to one a month, maybe every other week), but here’s my newest, in which I show a couple finishes (not yet posted here!) and a couple things that I’m working on.
So it’s me again… after a long break. Something about the new year makes me want to try blogging again, even though I often find it inexplicably too hard. (It takes toooooooooo long etc.) And then simultaneously I find myself annoyed that I can’t put more information into my Instagram posts without overloading the format. (I mean, IG is NOT built for blog length posts.)
Anyway, another thing about the new year is how it makes you want to get on top of things, makes you want to tackle problems head on. So naturally I’m doing a few finish-my-projects type challenges. One of them is All People Quilt‘s APQ Resolutions challenge, in which you make a numbered list of 12 projects you want to make headway on and then each month they give you a number, which is the project you then try to tackle. The other is the Finish-A-Long, which is hosted by a number of bloggers. I have intermittently participated in both in the past, but nearly always forget to actually link up with my finishes (when I have them…), but hey! No harm in trying again!
Because I only know which APQResolutions projects I’ll be working on in the month I will be working on it, it’s not very practical to combine those projects into the Finish-a-long projects…. unless I just load all 12 projects in each quarter and tackle them as they come up. So that’s what I’m going to do! These are mostly dreadful photos, but here are… well, 13 projects I hope to tackle in the next quarter (and the rest of the year).
1. Blue Nine Patch Quilt — Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
2. Blue Orange Big Block Quilt – Need to make the backing larger, then to baste, quilt and bind.
3. Carolyn Friedlander Patchwork Quilt – Need to quilt and bind.
4. Cat Baby Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
5. Christmas Figs Starfish Quilt – Need to add borders and then baste, quilt, and bind.
6. Mermaid Baby Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
7. Midnight Mystery – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.. (I might add borders to this one, haven’t decided.)
8. Moda Love Baby Quilt – Need to add borders and then baste, quilt, and bind.
9. Modern Block of the Month Baby Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
10. Pink/Black Bear Claw Quilt – Need to make 3 more blocks, then baste, quilt, and bind.
11. Quarter Section Quilt – Need to finish piecing the top, then baste, quilt, and bind.
12. St Louis Sixteen Patch Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
Finally, 13. South East West Quilt – This is a pattern I’m testing for Schneider House Quilt Studio. I need to finish piecing the blocks, then to baste, quilt, and bind.
My real goal this year is just to finish more and a lot of that is just tackling the quilting. I actually enjoy quilting, but it is time consuming and doesn’t leave me a lot of time for piecing (I need a second machine! and a second table! and space to put it in!), which I also enjoy. I also really despise basting, so I tend to put it off. But an unfinished quilt is not a quilt and if I want to call myself a quilter,… I should probably make some quilts.
So to that end: my January project for APQResolutions is #3, the Carolyn Friedlander Random Patchwork.
I pieced this top in 2016 and then never did anything with it, but it’s basted now and ready to be quilted. I just need to decide how exactly I’m going to quilt it. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing sort of… orange peel quilting in the white squares and then doing something more complex in the coloured squares. Or the opposite maybe. But I don’t know… I’m paralysed by indecision, sometimes.
My other current project is #13 South East West. I am pattern testing for the designer and won’t be showing too many pictures of it while it’s in progress, but at the moment I’m getting my last few HSTs completed so that I can start piecing the blocks. I’m hoping to have the top done by Monday, but we will see how it goes!
So last year I decided not to participate in so many swaps, and so I didn’t, but then I missed doing it. It’s fun doing swaps… you get to try things you might never otherwise try and you have the benefit of quick finishes so you’re not adding another WIP to the pile (which, of course, is my usual MO). So when I ran across a quilted postcard swap on Instagram, I had to join!
This swap was run by Patty of Elm Street Quilts and had some fun and easy requirements. All we did was give a prompt word and then we made our cards based on the prompt that our recipient requested… however we wanted to interpret that prompt.
With this project I decided to try out trapunto and doubled up my batting under the round bits. It doesn’t show so well in any of the photos I took, but there is a huge amount of puff. I had planned originally to use a different shade of yellow in each of six squares, but got distracted by the idea of improv piecing and so landed on this look instead. To be honest, I’m not sure if I like it as much as I’d hoped I would, but I don’t dislike it either. It just sort of makes me go, hmm.
So, can you guess what prompt I received?
Well… it was ‘Summer’ but I immediately thought of sun and sunshine..
It’s just been nothing but snow, snow, and more snow this year. I’m desperate for some summer sun.
Funny thing… my prompt word was ‘Glow’ and I was sent some summer sun by Mommaneen on Instagram:
Also, there will be a postcard parade at Patty’s blog, Elm Street Quilts, on April 7, so do go check it out! I really should have held this post until then!
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
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
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
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
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!
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!
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!
My goodness I’ve been bad about blogging. What I’m going to show you today was in the mail more than a week ago and has already arrived with its new recipient! I participated in another dumpling pouch swap on Flickr/IG, this one with a berry theme. (I’ve previously done a strawberry themed one, which I seem not to have posted about, and also a Christmas one, which you can see near the bottom of this post.)
I was torn for a really long time about what to make for my partner, but I decided to try to make something that kind of… looked like a strawberry. Leaves on the bottom, red all through the top. Here’s the bottom:
Not one of my smoother moves. I forgot how much of the green would get swallowed up by seam allowance, and so not too much is peeking through!
Even if I’d shot the photo head on, at dumpling pouch height rather than from above, you still only see about 1/4-inch of the tallest green bit! Oops.
I’m not too upset about it though because I love red (and so did the lady I sent it to) and I love the fabrics I used. I set out mostly to use solids, but I wanted a little extra bit of prints in there too, so my rule with those was that they couldn’t be white on red, but had to be kind of red-on-red prints in some way. I used a Liberty of London print for the lining – it’s not berry related, but the colour was just perfect and it’s one of the very few Liberty prints that I really love.
I wanted to send along something else, so I also made her this potholder, using this gorgeous strawberry girl print that I’d bought a year or so ago on Etsy. I just used some of the extra strips and bits of red that I’d already had cut for the dumpling and kind of cut off the excess bits of linen from around the print. It’s pretty clear I went into it with no plan at all and I quilted it at the same time as I sewed on each strip, so there’s no visible quilting on the front. The binding was actually leftover binding from sometime else I’d made once upon a time (I can’t remember what.. I’m at a loss as to what I might have bound in red!), which was pretty convenient!
Here’s the back. I was all about using scrap fabric with this, so I fished this gorgeous Laura Gunn print out of my scrap bins. The colours all seemed to work, although in the long run it doesn’t match the binding terribly well. I’m not quite sure why I decided to make this into a pot holder (with insulated batting and everything) rather than making a mini quilt to hang, but it made sense at the time.. Pretty much as soon as I was finished though I’d wished I hadn’t put in the insulating stuff because it’s too pretty to put a pot of spaghetti sauce (or whatever, really) on!
And then finally, on the day I was sending this away, I happened to pick up a magazine that came with the materials to make a cross-stitch pendant necklace and a cross-stitch… brooch (I think…). I decided to bang out one last little thing to tuck in, chopped the chain for the pendant down to a little keyring size and stitched that up. I was aiming for something slightly berryish, but I thought it was too plain and added in the blue crosses, which turn it all into something much more abstract. I thought it was kind of cute (if maybe probably definitely useless) so in it went.
I also sent some other bits and pieces, but I didn’t photograph them first. Here’s a photo which I stole from Jan, who received this package:
So I sent a couple roles of baker’s twine in red and green, a strawberry flavoured lipgloss, raspberry balsamic ganache chocolates, fufu berry Jones Soda candies, and a bit of strawberry related fabric. The fabrics aren’t especially visible because of the way I wrapped them up, but there is about a Fat Eighth each of that jam jar print, a print with tiny little blue strawberries, and a Heather Ross strawberry print, which was the one with the white background and kind of orange berries. I had just a single strip of the pink background version, so I wrapped it around the little stack and pinned it closed to keep them in a nice little bundle.
I really hope Jan loves everything I’ve sent her – it was a fun package to put together. (And I got to taste test some delicious chocolates while in pursuit of a berry flavoured chocolate to include… There’s never any complaints from me about chocolate.)
Well, I’m just barely squeaking these ones in for September, but I just finished up my last Square in Square blocks for the month… So so so many square in square blocks in this quilt!
Seven more for September:
I keep thinking I should put all my blocks up on the wall and see how the colours are coming out because I haven’t been planning anything. But maybe they’ll turn out okay without planning. I keep hoping that’ll be the secret to a good scrappy look.
Also not planned?
Chopping off Bicycle Girl’s head.
The other two blocks for September were two Puss in the Corner blocks.
Like Hydee Ann at Splish Splash Stash – Hydee Ann is running the linky for this month and has some great tips for sewing up those million and one square in square blocks – I’ve got to wonder where the heck that block name came from. Maybe I should have found a cat fabric to put in the middle. (But then it would have had to be a tiny little cat because that centre square is only an inch, finished.)
Anyway, that’s September in blocks… And only two more months worth of blocks left to go, then it’s time to start putting it all together.
As mentioned, this month’s linky is being held by Hydee Ann and the prize will be a gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop, so if you’re sewing along, don’t forget to stop by and link up! (I know it’s the end of September, but it looks like she just wrote her post today too, so hopefully that means the actual link-up will run this week!)
So I’m still ticking along with the Gypsy Wife Quiltalong. Sort of… I’m still months behind on my low volume version, but I am all caught up with the brights version. First up, a block I forgot to photograph last month. Not the most exciting block in the world, which could be why I forgot it…
And then all my August blocks. Which are more of the not-very exciting same.
Yawn. Eight square in square blocks, and then the central block is made up for four incomplete square in square blocks. Not so very exciting. But there’s a lot of square in square blocks to go into this quilt, so I guess it’s a good thing any time we get to knock a pile of them off the list. Maybe next month will be more interesting?
I’d really like to get back into things with the low volume version, but I think it might be left on the back burner a while. I’ve got a lot of other things I want to keep working on. Quilts to quilts, swap projects to swap, etc.
If you’re sewing along with us, come link up with Rachel at Farm Gal Designs. The prize this month is a Fat Eighth bundle of Netorious from Cotton + Steel basics and a hexagons pack of Figures from Zen Chic.
In other news, I’m out of town for the weekend, but when I’m back, I hope to get more comments answered from my birthday giveaway post. I forgot my cell phone at home, so I’ve only got internet access while I’m at the hotel (and we’re not here for too much longer). Yesterday the Tyrrell Museum and the HooDoos and Horseshoe Canyon, today… I don’t know. Atlas Coal Mine, anyway, but we’ll probably head back to Calgary before it gets too late. (I’ve been reminded this trip that my dad is getting old – we hiked down to the bottom of Horseshoe Canyon and back up and for the first time in my life, he needed more breaks than me.)
Edited to add: The winner of the July Gypsy Wife Quiltalong giveaway was Crafty Kat, who is doing a very lovely blue and orange and grey version of the quilt that I’m really liking a lot! Go check out her blocks, they look pretty amazing!
So I’ve been AWOL for a while now, but not for reasons of not crafting (though a couple of weeks of too hot weather did put a bit of a damper on my desire to sew this month), just for reasons of not feeling like updating. I guess I needed a break! I could probably spend most of August just catching up on things I’ve been not writing about since April, but instead I’ll knock out three months worth of Gypsy Wife blocks right now. (Well, my brights version, anyway. I’m still three months behind on my low volume version…)
I’m pretty much in love with my Hope from Hartford block. I rarely love florals and I don’t even really love the one I used, but I love how it looks in this block. I loved how it looked with that teal Je Vous en Prie fabric and even though I don’t love the background fabric for the block, I think it’ll all work out in the end anyway; that background is hardly going to stand out in the face of all the bright and crazy mish-mash of prints and colours that this quilt is going to use. There’s a lot of blue Anna Maria Horner fabric going on in this little collection – you can always tell what’s near the top of the scrap pile with these blocks! – but there’s even more Heather Bailey, which I had been cutting into at the time for a different project that I’ve stalled on.
I count another four Heather Bailey prints in this collection of blocks – definitely the scraps on top of the pile… I went a bit less crazy with my Crazy Anne block than was recommended and just maintained the same four prints around the outside of the block, rather than swapping in something different for each quadrant. This is another one where I was really pleased with the final look – I was so afraid of those half-rectangle triangles, but they came out almost perfectly (maybe 2-3 millimetres short). I’m not sure I love all these bordered square in square blocks, but I’m trying to remind myself that most of them will kind of disappear into the quilt and won’t be so noticeably off or awful.
I felt like I went too pink/purple and blue in the two previous months, so I tried to be really conscious about using other colours in this month’s blocks. But jeez… what was I thinking putting that same dark red-orange on the outside of two different blocks? These blocks won’t be too close together in the quilt (they’re in sections 2 and 8), but if they seem like too much, then I’ll probably pull off the straight borders and swap in something else (although that particular block features the only time I’ve sewn with that Corsage print and actually had a pair of scissors not get half-swallowed up in a seam allowance). Also, you’ll note, I stuck ANOTHER square of that blue Anna Maria Horner print into a square-in-square block. I’m definitely going to have to make sure those blocks all wind up spread out.
Normally I post a photo of my design wall with all my blocks up on it, but I’ve run out of design wall space, so they’re not up there at all. I think I’m going to take down my low volume blocks and start grouping all these brights blocks into sections on the design wall. I know some people are also working on this by section, rather than by the blocks Michelle set out for the month and if you’re having a hard time figuring out what goes where, I’ve made a spreadsheet that breaks down which blocks go into which section. (I took all the data from my previous spreadsheet, which breaks down which blocks we’re making each month. There may be mistakes in either or both documents, but please let me know if you find one!)
Now for the fun bit! Please link up your July blocks (Star block, three Square in Square blocks, and one bordered Square in Square block) and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift certificate provided by our lovely sponsor Fat Quarter Shop. (A name will be chosen by Random.org on August 1st, but the linky closes late on July 31st.)
If you are working ahead to put your quilt together in sections, just pull together photos of the July blocks and you can still enter to win:
Because I’m a WordPress blog, you’ll go away to another site to enter the linky. Best of luck!