Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wip Wednesday: More Sampler Catching Up

With the hexagon quilt top finished I'm back in the groove with Leila's Skill Builder Sampler.  I loved this months' blocks of irregular shapes and think I totally rocked it!  However, I went back to catch up and did the string block and it's a fail.  I guess you can't win 'em all, right?  I'm hoping to be caught up in two weeks.  I have eleven blocks left to catch up and I've already done 19 of the 30 she has currently posted.  I think I can manage and I'm excited to stretch my sewing skills!

 I read on someone's blog, sorry I read too many to remember who, that they were a monogamous quilter and that is SO SO me.  I hate having more than one quilt going on at once.  This sampler is really stretching my comfort zone in more than one way.  Anyway, here's my progress for the week...

Block #28 - Tumbler - I had no idea that making a template for this block would be so easy to make and easy to use.  I have an Accuquilt Go! die for the bigger size but not one for the smaller.  It was on my list of wants but now I don't think I do because this was so fast and easy I don't think I'd really need/use it.  It was a fun block to make and it lined up really nicely.  It looks crisp and fresh and I'd love to make a whole quilt out of this one in the future!

Block #29 - Apple Cores -I made an apple core quilt last year for my nephew - see it here - and I'm already in love with this pattern.  I used my Go! die and it was so fast and easy.  The corners went together with little effort and it was quick to cut out.  I love the colors of this block too!  I can't imagine trying to do this block without the Go! though, it looks like it'd be wretched!

Block #30 - Equilateral Triangles - Excuse the bad lighting.  Most of the time I can't work on my quilts/blog until after the kids have gone to bed and by then the lighting is horrible.  However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt block!  I adore the colors and how fun and easy it was.  Once again I made my own template and it was a breeze!  Leila suggested taping the template to the ruler for ease of use and it made the cutting step wiz by.  I will surely be making another one of these in the future!

Block #13 - String Quilt Block - FAIL!  I've seen lots of people do these scrappy and now I know why!  It's so hard to get them all to line up perfectly without shifting or stretching while you are sewing, removing the paper backing, or pressing!  I love the colors and how I arranged them but I don't know if I could get past how they don't line up!  I tried and came close but decided that this one is not one of my favorites and I may have to attempt it again to say that I have this skill.  At least the fabric looks great!

I'm linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.  Go on over and check out what other fabulous woman have been doing this week...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WiP Wednesday: Shelves and Hexagon Finish

 It's Wednesday again, man this week sure flew by for me!  I finished the Hexagon Quilt in just two weeks!  I went on an overnight trip with my hubby and four kids, and we bought some shelving for my craft room which really is a work in progress...

Here's the before shot of my craft room.  It's a nice space.  About 7' by 12'.  I've got two tables, a little chest of drawers and my ironing board that typically live in there.  You can see how I utterly lack storage space so everything kind of got heaped up on my two tables leaving little or no room to work... until today!

Our anniversary is on Monday (celebrating eight happily married years) and my sweet Aaron got me shelving.  I'm so excited I can't stand it!  I've wanted this for so long!  About five years ago this started out as my craft room.  It has severed several purposes over the years and has returned to be my craft room.  In the beginning it had some shelves but they weren't stable or nearly long or deep enough so we ended up taking them down and repurposing them elsewhere.  Now I have perfectly long and deep shelves to hold all my wonderful things and look at that workspace now!!

Here's my sewing table.  The white fabric is the outer boarder to my Hexagon quilt that I just finished today.  It's AMAZING how much easier it is to sew with space around my machine!  Before I had about four inches to the right of it, six to the back, three to the front, and eight inches deep on the left to the end of the table.  It was a nightmare!  Trying to maneuver a quilt around that was so difficult.  Not anymore!  That boarder was so easy to sew on and I didn't have to worry about knocking stuff of as I sewed along.

This is my paper-crafting table.  Mostly I do scrapbooks.  I love how everything is in reach here but off of the table and out of the way.  I have enough room to spread out like crazy.  It makes me want to scrapbook next instead of the quilt I have lined up.  Maybe I do a little of both this week.

Here's the quilt top all finished up for the Hexagon Quilt (pattern here).  I adore this quilt!  It was not as difficult as it appears.  It more or less lines up perfectly everywhere and where it doesn't you have to really get up in there to see it.  My little girl LOVES it and wants to sleep with it now but it has to be bound and quilted.  I can't believe I finished it in just two weeks!  I didn't even work on it every day either.  I probably put six days of free time (a few hours each day) into the quilt and voila!
I'm linking up (as always) with Lee and Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.  Hop on over and see what other fabulous crafty people have been up to this week.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Hexagon Progress

My daughter encouraged (read: nagged incessantly) me to work on her quilt a lot this week and thus I got a lot done.  Also because of her insistence it was the only thing I worked on this week and thus encompasses the whole of my WIP Wednesday post.  The pattern is called Hexagon Park and I found it over at Moda Bake Shop (LOVE!).  I knew I had to make it and when I found this fabric Cape Ann by Oliver + S I knew I HAD to have it for my little girl.  The fabric fits her to a T and I love each and every print in the line, which is rare.

Anyway, here are my photos from my work this week.  To read about the beginning of this quilt check out the post from last week.

I've discovered a love for chain piecing.  I've done it a few times before, not really though.  I was moved to change while working on some recent quilt blocks and now I can't get enough and do it all the time.  I'm amazed at the thread it saves if nothing else.  You really can't tell the scale from this picture but each piece is about five inches along the shortest side.  The whole chain is over twice as tall as I am and I'm six feet tall (amazon, I know).  My thread was on its last round on the spool and I was certain I couldn't finish the chain but I did and then sewed the trim to the other side of the chain too before the thread ran out.  AMAZING!  I'm sure it's faster too but for me this time it was all about the thread.

Here's the layout of the quilt, it's so stinkin' cute!  This is just the main center part.  There is are two white boarders and one pieced boarder I have to add still.  My three year-old is just going to love this thing to death.  I had to play around with the blocks to get just the right arrangement and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  It's more or less balanced while still looking random.  You'll notice that the hexagons are cut in half for this quilt.  I've done a regular hexagon quilt before see this post and this way is SO much easier!  I kind of feel like I'm cheating though.  I worry about the strangest things!

I sewed together 6 of 12 rows for the center of the quilt top.  It's coming together so nicely and after I figured it out in the first row my seams are lining up great.  I'm just so happy with how well it's turning out!  I finished all this by Saturday and I only started cutting on Wednesday.  Not bad for four days work I'd say.  I haven't worked on it since what with Easter and then other crazy things around the house.  It's calling my name though and I hope to finish the top this week.
No progress:
• A Walk in the Woods Quilt
• Skill Builder Sampler
• Never-ending Afghan

This week's stats:
Completed projects - 0
New projects - 0
Currently in progress - 5

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 9, 2012

One Thing, One Week Challenge: Finished and Then Some!

 Amy over at Amy's Creative Side does something called a One Thing, One Week Challenge.  When it's going on Monday you pick what you want to accomplish that week and write it down as a comment.  When the next Monday rolls around if you finished you can link up and get a chance to win some fancy fabric.  I've always attempted participation in the past but I've overestimated what I could accomplish and was never able to link up.  This week a suppose I underestimated but that's okay!  I got a lot done and I'm so happy with my progress.  Not only did I finish my goal of three Wonky Blocks for my Skill Builder Sampler but I also finished a huge chunk of the quilt for my adorable three year-old princess.

Without further ado here's my fancy finishes...

Block #25 Wonky Log Cabin- I love how it turned out!  It's so fun, fast, and easy!  I think I will made this block again maybe even for a whole quilt.

Block #26 Wonky Star - I was nervous about this one because I was worried I wouldn't do the triangles right and it would either look like I just couldn't sew straight or be so wonky that you couldn't tell it was a star.  I think it turned out well though.

Block #27 Wonky Fan - This block gave me the most trouble and while I love it I don't know that I'll be attempting one again any time soon.  I had to take in some of the seams after the top half was already sewn down because it wouldn't lie flat.  I suppose that would have been solved if I had just pinned like I was told but in all honesty I despise pinning and I thought I could get away with it.  I did pin the green center though and it turned out much better.  I guess I must follow the rules.

I chose the Wonky Blocks as my goal this week because Leila over at Sewn was having a giveaway and if I finished by Friday I would be entered for a chance to win this amazing fabric.  I was in love and I had to go for it.  Miracle of miracles I won!  I literally jumped up and down when she told me and made a little scene but what can I say I rarely win stuff.  Isn't it just adorable fabric!!

So in addition to the Wonky Blocks I also got half the center portion of my little girls quilt done.  I cut into it on Wednesday and I am already this far!  I'm amazed with how cute it is and how fast it's going together.

If you're interested follow the link at the top and check out other people's goals and finishes for this week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Try New Things

It's that time again, WIP Wednesday, my favorite day to post.  I've been very adventurous this week trying new things that I didn't think I could ever do.  Leila over at the Sewn has been doing Wonky Blocks for this month in the sampler.  At first I was terrified of them because I'm quite the perfectionist and I didn't think I could do them without breaking out in a sweat but I loved it!  Who knew?  They were so fast and easy and it was encouraged to not have your corners line up.  I also did another block toward my catch-up efforts.

Here are the Sampler blocks...

Block #10 - Ohio Star Quilt Block - I really like the way this one turned out.  I still need some work on my QST but I'm improving and that what the Skill Builder Sampler is all about right?  I knew how to trim better this time around because I actually read the directions (imagine that).  Before I just trimmed on two sides, that does not create an even QST.  Now I know.

Here's my previous attempt at Block #10.  I know I keep saying it but I really like the colors in the new blocks better.  They seem to flow and coordinate nicely.

Block #25 - Wonky Log Cabin Quilt Block - It would appear that I like to tilt the ruler to the left when making my wonkiness. My little girl helped me pick the fabric and the order for this block.  It was so fun to work with her on a project but she kept telling me after each seam that I needed to stop and work on a quilt for her now.  We're all about taking turns here.

Block #26 - Wonky Star Quilt Block - I've seen many of this block with a slight wonk to it but I wanted to be sure that people could tell that it was meant to be crooked and not that I just can't sew.  I think I managed it.  This block reminds me of a sun as drawn by a toddler.  I love it!

Block #27 - Wonky Fan Quilt Block - I had some issues making this one wonky enough.  Then when I got a good enough wonk it wouldn't lay right.  I had to flip it over and take it in a few times.  It still has a little bit of a wrinkle to it but overall it's good enough I think.

My three year-old finally convinced me to get started on her quilt.  I was tired of having it in the "no progress" section on my WIP posts.  Last night I opened up the layer cake, the first one I've ever opened, and sorted out the blocks.  It was fun to see and play with them all.

Months ago I decided on the Hexagon Park pattern found over at the Moda Bake Shop.  It was love at first sight and I knew I had to have this quilt in my life (corny, I know).  It's what inspired me to make quilts for each of my kids to go on their beds.  I have four children who sleep in a twin bed each but we only have two twin blankets.  They are getting a little big to be sleeping under their baby quilts so it seems like the perfect time to get started.  Anyway, back to this quilt.  I cut out 60 trapezoids that will end up making 30 hexagons.  It took me about two hours of cutting but it wasn't difficult just time consuming.  The jar is full of the triangles I cut off from the layer cakes.  They are not in there for freshness but to keep away from little hands as I'll need them later in the quilt.  It has the added bonus of looking pretty.

No progress:
• A Walk in the Woods Quilt

This week's stats:
Completed projects - 0
New projects - 0
Currently in progress - 5

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced