Wednesday, December 29, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I had a wonderful time with my family this Christmas, but I have to admit I'm happy to be moving on to the new year!  We have an exciting, yet busy year coming up and I'm ready to start it! 

I love the approach of the new year.  After the chaos that can be Christmas you have a week of calm to reflect on the past year and to look forward and make plans for the new one.  With that in mind I have decided to start 2011 off fresh as far as quilting projects go.  I have decided to not plan too far in advance and just work on the projects that I have and try to finish them before starting something new.  We'll see how long that lasts:)

While I am ready to leave the holidays behind me, I do have one lingering project I would like to finish this week so that I can say I made something for Christmas!  I started working on a small table runner based on the one I saw here earlier this month.  I am just using one charm pack of "12 Days of Christmas" by Kate Spain for the front and will use a print from the line for the back.  Mine won't be as big as the one Jennifer made, but I have a small dining room table, so it will be perfect for us! 

Here are a couple of the blocks in progress:

My most exciting work in progress:

I've started working on the Dr. Seuss quilt!  I love it!  I can't say enough good stuff about the Happy Hour pattern.  It has been so easy to put together!  The most time consuming part has been cutting out the blocks, but that could be because I am fussy cutting out the characters.  I can't wait to finish this one!

Here are a couple close ups of my favorite blocks:


I am going to take advantage of the rest of naptime to try to finish a few more blocks!  Hope everyone else had productive weeks!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quilting goals for 2011

I have spent the past week working on a list of projects and goals I want to accomplish in 2011.  Making this list has been very theraputic for me since I have completely lost steam since the Christmas season started.  Getting everything written down on paper really made me feel organized and re-energized for 2011!!

**Disclaimer**--I know that I am being a little over confident with my list of projects.  I am having a baby in March, and I think anyone with children will agree that newborns can be a bit of a time-suck!!  I will be lucky to finish half of this list, but Elizabeth set up a little linky, and what can I say?  I'm a joiner!!

1.  I have three quilts leftover that I really wanted to finish up this year.  My top priority quilt that I plan to start working on as soon as Christmas is over is the Dr. Seuss quilt for baby #2.  Instead of Christmas quilts, the red, white, and blue quilt and blue and brown quilt will become birthday quilts.  I blogged about the three of these here.

2. My Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt: As usual this project went immediately to the back burner once other projects became more interesting for me.  I am in no hurry to finish it, but I did think it was important to list it so that it isn't completely forgotten.  I think this will be a good project to work on after baby gets here.
Blogged about here.

3. For the past year I have been collecting blue and gray fabrics for a quilt for our bed.  I want to use a modified version of Denyse's What a Bunch of Squares.  The fabrics I want to use are a combination of a few Art Gallery, Riley Blake, and Michael Miller prints.  I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

4.  I also want to make something with my collection of Hope Valley fabrics.  I fell in love with the line as soon as I saw it and when it was available I went out and bought all of it.  Unfortunately, it has sat on the shelf ever since (except of course when I would take it down to pet it).  I am not sure what pattern I want to use, but I definitely want to try to do something this year!  Maybe a dresden plate?  That might be a little too ambitious...

Here is my beautiful collection in all its glory with some Kona Medium Gray I am thinking about using with it.

5.  I also want to make a quilt with my collection of Nicey Jane that I have been collecting since it came out.  I am thinking about using Amy Butler's Sexy Hexy pattern.  We'll see though...all those templates look time consuming...

I will probably have to do a little more collecting before I can officially start this husband will be thrilled!!

6.  I have two cousins that will be celebrating their three year anniversaries this coming year and I still haven't completed their wedding quilts!  If I don't hurry up I will be making quilts for their children before I have finished their wedding quilts!  I collected fabrics based on the colors for their weddings: one peacock colors and one autumn colors (but no orange, black or purple).  Here are the stacks of fabric below I am still deciding the designs I want to use.

7.  The last one I am listing is for my little man.  He has almost outgrown the baby quilt I made for him, so I would like to finally make the airplane quilt I wanted to make for him before he was born.  I will make it bigger though, so it will fit on his toddler bed.  I am going to use an adorable Michael Miller print with some Kona solids.  I want to use this tutorial to make paintbox blocks.

Those are the specific projects I am hoping to make happen next year.  I am sure some will be dropped from the list and others will be added, but I have renewed my interest and determination to get things accomplished this year!  Somewhere in the middle of all of these I want to make the Urban Lattice quilt, and I have two Bliss jelly rolls that are calling my name!  There is just never enough time to finish it all...

My goals are pretty simple:

1.  I want to practice, practice, practice my machine quilting.  I am getting more comfortable, but I still need a lot of work.

2.  I want to use up my old stash that I have had for over ten years, but it isn't really my style anymore.  I think I will try to use it for some charity quilts.  It is all good quality quilt store fabric it's just no longer my cup of tea.

3.  I learned my lesson this year about putting off Christmas projects until November.  I hope to start working on Christmas projects at the latest this summer.  I would love to make stockings for the four of us, a tree skirt, pillows, and a quilt.

4.  The most important goal I have for this year is to enjoy my hobby.  I don't want to get so caught up in finishing something by a certain time that I don't enjoy the process.  After all this is a hobby, not a job...

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else is planning for next year!!  Sorry for such a long post!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday (early) and a finish

I am a little early for the WIP Wednesday, but I thought I would take advantage of a quiet moment at the computer.  I don't have much to contribute this week because we have been so busy with all of our Christmas activities.  We've been so busy baking, visiting the National Christmas Tree,

and decorating our family tree

that sewing has taken a back seat.  It has been worth it though!  This is Hurst's second Christmas, but this year is much more fun than last year!  He is able to participate a little bit, and last year he was too little to do anything really, but nap.  This weekend we are taking him to see Santa and we are hoping he won't cry.  I have taken him on a couple of "test runs" to the mall to let him see Santa before he sits on his lap.  I hope this does the trick!

I was able to finish the baseball quilt this week just in time for the December 15th deadline.  Oh well, it might be last minute, but it is on time!  I finished up the scrappy binding earlier this evening and now all I have to do is figure out how to get it to Kate to be sent with the rest of the Guild's contributions!

I hope a little boy in the area gets some comfort and warmth from this quilt.  This was such a nice project in which to participate.  I hope to be able to do more with the DC guild in the new year!

I have decided to not stress myself out about the two quilts I wanted to make as Christmas presents.  The people they are going to will love them just as much on their birthdays as they would have for Christmas.  I only have ten days left, so they probably wouldn't be finished anyway!  I am going to continue working on my tree skirt and hope it's completed by Christmas, and then I think I am going to take a little sewing break and spend time with my family.  I hope everyone had very productive weeks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I have made really good progress this week.  I finally finished my Hushabye quilt and all three of us have enjoyed using it while sitting on our couch in our chilly basement.  I think next year I will have to make one that is a little more masculine for the boys!!  See this blog post for finished pics.

I am so close to finishing the baseball quilt and I am so proud of it!  I think I might be a new convert to FMQ, I love it!  It still isn't perfect, but it was much easier this time around and I finished quilting it in one nap time!  I think my next project I might try stippling and see how that goes, but this time around I played it safe and just did more of my wavy lines.  After Hurst goes to bed tonight I will finish the binding and I'm ready to move on to the next project.

I have decided to add a couple of new projects to the mix this week.  For years we have wrapped the trunk of our Christmas tree in a green blanket and I have decided this year that we need a tree skirt.  A quilted tree skirt of course!  I am planning on using this tutorial.  I feel in love with it last year as soon as I saw it, but with a newborn it just wasn't possible.  This year I'm going for it!  I am also thinking about making stockings for us too!  We will see how much I actually accomplish.  My major "W.I.Ps" for the rest of the week have to be laundry and housework, but this weekend I hope to spend a lot of time with my sewing machine.

Hope everyone else had productive weeks!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hushabye is finished!

I am so happy to have finally finished this!  I am so proud of it, and I'm mostly thrilled because I get to keep it!

Here it is, made from almost 6 charm packs.  Simple, but pretty!

Please pardon my little helper!  He gets very excited when Mommy gets the camera out!

Here's the back, pieced together from the leftover charm squares and white tone-on-tone fabric I have had in my stash for years!  It feels so good to use that up!

I wanted to do something a little different for the back, so pieced the strip a little off-center and I'm glad I did.  I think it gives the quilt a little more character!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as I did!  Now back to the grind...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

I feel like a broken record with my W.I.P.'s.  I am still working on the same two quilts, the Hushabye and the baseball quilts.  I was able to make progress on both, but neither is finished.  I didn't have a lot of time to sew this past weekend due to traveling and visiting with family.  I'm not complaining of course because it was great to spend time with both my side of the family and the family I married, I just wasn't very productive.

The Hushabye quilt is coming along nicely.  I have attached the binding and just need to hand sew it to the back and then I'm finished.  I am so happy to be so close to finishing this one!  It is so pretty!

I am hoping to post a finished photo of this by the weekend.  It is going to be cold here so I'll need it!!

There is good news and bad news for the baseball quilt.

The good news, there is a finished top,

A pieced back,

Both of which are pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!!

The bad news:

What is with all these stinkin' loops on the back of my quilt!!  I decided to do "easy" organic straight line quilting for this one in order to meet the quickly approaching deadline for 100 Quilts for Christmas, but I keep messing up!!  I am so frustrated!!  The quilting on the front is perfect, the only problem is the loops on the back!!  I have tried adjusting the tension and cleaning the machine of dust, but nothing is working.  If anyone has any suggestions I could really use some help.  I have decided to FMQ this so that it will be finished in time (I never thought I would write that sentence).  Even though I have decided to change quilting methods I really am open to any advice.  I am so looking forward to the time when this quilting thing is a little easier!  While my piecing still isn't perfect I do feel comfortable doing it.  I used to have a problem with binding, but I seem to have worked through that process.  Quilting is always such a problem for me.  I know I need to practice, but I just get so frustrated!!

The only other update I can mention is I have started cutting out the red, white and blue quilt I am making for a Christmas gift.  I am hoping to get some serious sewing time in this weekend, but we'll see.  I also need to decorate for Christmas.  Hope everyone else had a very productive week!!