Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Juggling Projects

Do you feel like there is not enough time to make all the things?

It is a constant struggle for me. I wish I could sew, sew, sew all day long!

I won't bore you with my to-do list, my w.i.p. list, or my sewing bucket list, but I will share with you my "what I'm working on now" list.

Right now, I'm juggling two projects.

The first one has me seeing rainbows. I'm revisiting the color wheel quilt that I made for my partner in the Doll Quilt swap, Round 14.

DQS14_Color Wheel

Since making that quilt, I've had some people ask if I were going to write a pattern for it. I started working on it a while ago, but am doubling my efforts to finish it up. This past week has been about testing different versions. Hopefully, I'll have more to share with you soon.

Color Wheel_Beauty

The other project is my Kaleidoscope quilt. It's more than a year old and ready to be done! Progress is slow as these blocks are paper pieced and that takes some time. But so as not to shame myself after making a public goal, I'm pushing to meet the January deadline. Plus, I really want to wrap myself in this quilt!

Kaleidoscope_paper piecing

In the meantime, if anyone has any answers to finding more sewing time, please share. I'm listening.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Modern Petals Revisited

My kaleidoscope blocks are waiting patiently while I attend to other things. One of those things has been a commissioned quilt based on the Modern Petals table runner I published in the Winter 2014 issue of Modern Patchwork.

Modern Petals_Modern Patchwork_Winter 2014

A client saw the table runner and asked that I make one to fit a narrow wall in her home. I said, "Yes," and got to work making a larger version, customized to fit the wall.

Modern Petals

I did the quilting differently than the first time around, quilting more densely in the background and filling the petals with a wide straight line spiral. Since the background quilting is so dense, it flattens the background, which makes the petals puff up a bit. It's a nice contrast.

Modern Petals_back

This weekend I finished it and sent it off to its new home (the quilt tag is by Gutentags).

Commissioned_Modern Petals_Folded

I hope it is everything my client imagined it to be. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Since one of my goals for 2015 is to tackle my stack of works in progress, I thought I'd play along with A Lovely Year of Finishes hosted by Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew Bittersweet Designs.

My Button

I would love to turn this stack of blocks that I started last January into a quilt. I got some help making blocks from bee mates in the That Stash Bee.

Kaleidoscope stack

The block is Kaleidoscope and the pattern for a 12" block can be found on Quilter's Cache

Kaleidoscope

I'm aiming to make a throw quilt of pink and orange goodness.

Kaleidoscope blocks

These pretty blocks will have to wait for a moment while I stitch to meet a couple of deadlines, but I'm hoping that January will be the month I finish this quilt. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reviewing 2014, Planning 2015

Happy New Year to you!

How was 2014 for you? It went by for me in a blur!

I made a few quilts.

2014 Quilts

1. IG Mini Quilt Swap Sampler_quilting, 2. Sunset_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014_2, 3. RJR Blog Hop_Bolt, 4. Playing cards quilt_Finished, 5. Connect the Dots Table Runner_Closeup2, 6. Anna Maria Horner Flannel Quilt_Finished, 7. Charity quilt_hanging, 8. Birds in the Air Quilt, 9. Boxed Radiance, 10. Rocky Stars, 11. Treasure Boxes2, 12. Blue Patches, 13. DQS14_Color Wheel, 14. Blue Orchid_3, 15. Sparkle_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014_2

And a few other things...

2014 Small Makes

1. Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch1, 2. Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch2, 3. Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch3, 4. Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch4, 5. Drawstring bag, 6. Churn Dash Pincushion, 7. Needlebook, 8. Perfect Quilted Tote, 9. Easter Dresses3, 10. DQS14Pouch, 11. Farm Pillow, 12. Diaper pouch, 13. Fabric Journal Cover, 14. Anna Maria Horner Infinity Scarf2, 15. Hello Kitty Pajamas_2 pairs

2014 was a good year. A couple of my quilts were published in magazines and I had a couple accepted to QuiltCon 2015. I participated in a few swaps, challenges, and blog hops, which got me out of my comfort zone as I made things I would not have otherwise. And I made several zippered pouches, banishing my fear of the zipper.

I'm hoping that 2015 will be even better. Here's what I'm planning:
  • Straight line quilting: I love the simplicity of straight lines and the geometric designs that are possible with them. Now, if only I could master making them on my long arm machine!
  • Metal zippers: I'm ready to step up my zipper game with metal zippers. They look so cool. I can't wait to stitch with a few. I see more bags and pouches in the future.
  • UFOs: I think they are multiplying in my closet when I'm not looking. I want to end 2015 with fewer UFOs than I started with.
  • Scrap attack: The scraps are growing right along with the UFOs. I think at least one or two scrap quilts are in order. 
What about you? What are you planning for 2015?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Handmade Holiday Gifts

This holiday I went full force with the handmade gifting.

And then I made four infinity scarves. Here is one of them. I used Anna Maria Horner velveteen and voile. I learned through trial and error on the first scarf that glue basting makes these two fabrics come together easily!

Anna Maria Horner Infinity Scarf

Anna Maria Horner Infinity Scarf2

Then I made two sets of Christmas pajamas for my girls using a Hello Kitty flannel. I kept them simple leaving off the piping, pockets and monogram suggested by the pattern since I was short on time. They are a little big, but hopefully that means they will still fit next Christmas. The pajamas look so cozy. I may have to make a pair for myself with some Anna Maria Horner flannel I've been hoarding!

Hello Kitty Pajamas_2 pairs

The last thing I made was this fabric journal cover. It was the quickest and easiest gift to make. It came together in less than 15 minutes. I used a tutorial from Stitched In Color. I did a whole cloth version using an Echino print. 

Fabric Journal Cover

Here is the inside of the journal cover. I finished the seams with my serger.

Fabric Journal Cover_Inside

Now that my holiday stitching is done, I'm ready to get back to quilting!

Linking to Fresh Sewing Day

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Few Noodlehead Pouches

Are you feeling the holiday crunch?!? If you're like me, you've got a mile long to-do list and a clock that keeps on ticking!

I have an ambitious goal of making several handcrafted gifts for teachers, friends and family.

I started by making pouches for a few people. I'm using the tutorial for the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch. It comes in three sizes. I decided to make the medium size, not too small and not too big.

I made the first one with Riley Blake text fabric from the Cottage Garden collection by The Quilted Fish on the top and Essex linen on the bottom. I added a bit of red hand stitching in the middle and a red zipper.

Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch1

The second one uses more Essex linen on the bottom and an Amy Butler Lotus print on the top.

Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch3

The third pouch keeps the black, red, and white theme going. This time I used canvas on the bottom for an extra sturdy pouch.

Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch2

I got a bit fancy with this one and added an inside pocket. It was super easy to make and a great place to tuck in a gift card.

Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch_pocket

And then just for fun - and for me! - I made a mini patchwork version of the pouch using 2.5" squares of Anna Maria Horner's True Colors collection and a denim weave from Moda. I have no idea what I'll use it for, but I'm sure something will come along that will be just the right size.

Noodlehead_Open_wide_zippered_pouch4

As I've been making these pouches, I've been experimenting with the amount and kind of interfacing. I like a pouch that's more sturdy than less. A combination of medium weight interfacing with a layer of canvas seems to work best for me.

The other thing that worked well for me as I made these pouches was using my walking foot to sew the entire pouch, even when putting on the zipper. I found that the walking foot helps to feed the layers through evenly.

Now to fill up these pouches with goodies! I'm thinking gift cards and chocolates.

How about you? What are you stitching up for the holidays?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

And the Rainbow Goes to...

Thank you to everyone who shared what inspires you in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day drawing sponsored by RJR Fabrics. One lucky winner gets this rainbow stack from the Basically Patrick collection by Patrick Lose.

Basically Patrick rainbow stack

Random.Org says that out of 609 entries, the bundle goes to 266. 

Entry #266 comes from Carrie who writes:

 tlcala4meDecember 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM
I'm inspired by the older women in our modern quilt guild that you would never suspect are so richly skilled until you see their handiwork. And I'm inspired by the young generation of mom-bloggers who create with little ones under their feet, and then blog to share it with the rest of us. I'm inspired by the visual feast that can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. And I'm inspired by young woman in our local community who have no network yet of fellow creative souls, but simply add to whatever they find to make fabric and clothes their own.

So beautifully said, Carrie!

Please join me in congratulating Carrie!