December do Good Stitches

My blocks for the Promise circle of do Good Stitches were made using Sew Katie Did's magic numbers tutorial. I really love the look of her finished quilt. I'm not really big on scrappy quilts but there is something about hers that appeals to me. 
Putting the block together went super fast once I had all the fabrics cut out.

Looking forward to saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013. I need to get caught up on projects I started this year and since I don't have to work tomorrow I'll see what I can accomplish...first up will be the half square triangle QAL I slacked off on right around August. 

Getting caught up

It's about time I get my act together and take stock of the projects I've completed in the last month.
The crickets on this blog are getting much too loud.

 First up is my favorite finish...a really cute bubble dress
Bubble dress made using
StraightGrain's tutorial & pattern

My Christmas presents this year were MUCH less ambitious than last year. 
I ended up making little pouches for almost everyone and the men got homemade beef jerky and the ladies got pedicure kits, with fancy nail polish. 

Box pouch, using Kaelin's tutorial on Craftionary's blog
 The below puffy pouch called for a flex frame for the opening and I didn't have any time to order a flex frame though so I had to make do with velcro and wasn't really thrilled with the results, probably because it was self adhesive velcro & not sew in. I was in a time crunch and had to get going so sticky velcro it was.
Puffy pouch using Pink Penguin's tutorial
In the comments of the puffy pouch someone mentioned using a cut up metal tape measure in place of the flex frame so I googled it and found a great tutorial for the following three pouches.

Snappy bag using Just Another Hang Up's  tutorial
A little something from Ian, Rudolph & Santa handprints...just painted his hand with acrylic paint & pressed, then filled in the details with  paintbrush...hopefully the paint won't wash off...or stick to hot pans. Cute, fun & pretty fast. :)

October do Good Stitches blocks

Ugh. I have not been feeling all that well lately which really cuts into my sewing time. Nothing like a head cold to sap the energy right out of you.
I've finally been able to breath through my nose again and finished up my October blocks (3 weeks late) for the Promise circle of do Good Stitches.

More half-square triangles (hst)!

Funnily enough this block design is one I pinned on Pinterest several months ago. It was fun to try it out. 2 1/2" HST are too small for me to use on a large scale way I'm making an entire quilt outta these. :)

Just in the nick of time

I completed my third quarter 3x6 Bee Blocks.

Another paper piecing block that I found on A designer block named Allana. Luckily it they went together pretty quickly. The most time consuming part is always picking out the fabrics.
Got them out in the mail the day of the deadline. Nothing like squeaking by....I seem to do that a lot.

Groovy Crib quilt top done!

or maybe the title of this post should be attack of the photo bomber.

So apparently the floor is not the ideal place for photo taking. So I just put it up on my 'design wall' (batting thumbtacked to the wall).

I really liked working on this. The curves were a little tricky and I ended up using my Retro Flowers templates instead of the cardstock templates I cut out from the pattern. I also did a log cabin approach to the piecing instead of how the pattern was written. I really loved putting it together, so much fun. This is the first quilt I've made using all solids and it's so satisfying piecing cause it's so crisp and clean. 
I'm looking forward to quilting it...I think I'm actually going to try and do it myself on my itty bitty sewing machine *gasp* We shall see. 
Now on to the king size. ;)...first I have to get my 3x6 Quilt Bee blocks completed though. 

September doGood Stitches Blocks

For September's Promise circle do Good Stitches block we needed to make low volume with a pop of color wonky log cabins. Whew, say that five times fast. 
This is the first time I've made a wonky block, they're tricky little devils to do. It's really hard to get a wonky appearance. I didn't have much in the way of low volume fabrics so I just used the softest tones I could in the colors that the quilter, Megan, requested. 

Not too shabby. 

SewIntertwined Quilt top 99% done

Whew. This one was a doozy. Getting the center square lined up with the other intertwining blocks was quite tricky. I had to remake the center square three times before it was the right size to match up with the other blocks which was really frustrating. Once I got the center square connected it went much more smoothly and I actually got a little choked up when I was pressing out the final seam. It turned out so well! I still haven't sewn down the center dresden yet and I'll probably wait to do that when I quilt it....not quite sure when that will be. 

Sew Intertwined...almost there

I just finished up the intertwining blocks for the Sew Intertwined QAL and they look SO cool!

Here they are all laid out....

I'm very glad I didn't sew the dresden plate down since the center square corners are not matching up with the intertwining blocks. That should 'hopefully' be an easy fix. I wish I'd chosen a slightly softer blue for the solid though because it seems to take away from the prints a bit. Not too big of a deal though. Perhaps I can tone it down a bit with the quilting once it's time for that. I'm really excited to finish this one up.

A little QAL progress

I finished up all 20 of the HST & four patch blocks for the Sew Intertwined quilt and am really pleased with how they look all laid out. 

I made a couple of test blocks for the intertwining blocks. The lovely ladies hosting the QAL provided two different ways of putting the blocks together. Paper piecing or traditional. 
Test blocks
Traditional on left, paper piecing on right
Initially I was planning on doing the paper piecing method since I really like the precision you can get with paper piecing. However after doing one test block I felt that it was going to be too time consuming. 
I made up a second block using the traditional method and really liked how quickly it came together. So that'll be the route I go. 

I also sewed up one of the curves for the Totally Groovy quilt. It's a liiiittle bit wonky. 

Not terrible for first try but not terrific,  definitely worth a little more practice.


I really hadn't planned on joining the Totally Groovy QAL when I first learned about it. I'd already joined the SewIntertwined QAL and figured I didn't really need to join another but I just couldn't get this one out of my head.

Pile O' Fabric

Until recently I was a Stampin Up demonstrator and I use their color coach quite frequently. One of their color combos combined primrose petal, summer starfruit & basic grey. I really really liked it but I couldn't think of who I would gift it to or even where I would use it in my house since it's so different than anything I've chosen before. I decided to go with another color palette that I've used extensively of teal, smokey blue, olive green & gray to make a king size quilt for our bed. I really couldn't get that deep pink, yellow & charcoal color scheme out of my head though so I decided to make two quilts. One king size and one crib quilt. 

Crib quilt colors
Kona Curry, Deep Rose, & Coal

King quilt colors
Kona Coal, Teal Blue, Dusty Blue, Olive & Snow

Really looking forward to cutting into this and seeing how they both turn out. 

Sew Intertwined Progress

I am SO pleased with how my Dresdan plate came out. It was surprisingly easy to put together.
I haven't sewn the plate to the background yet or chosen the middle circle because I wanted to have the entire quilt laid out to determine what would look best. 

My first HST & four patch block also came together without mishap. Woo Hoo. Two for two so far...lets hope the success continues.

One down, only 19 more to go.

Here a QAL, There a QAL

Apparently I have no self control. I've joined two Quilt-a-longs. Not one, but two. Occurring at the same time. I just REALLY wanted to do both. 

Sew Intertwined QAL

The Sew Intertwined QAL started first and I had just ordered fabric from Tula Pink's new Bird's & the Bees collection which is going to look SO awesome with the design of the quilt. This quilt has a little bit of everything. A Dresden plate, which I've been wanting to try since March when I received a Dresden ruler for my birthday. Some easy half-square triangles & four patches to easily breeze through (famous last words) and these REALLY cool intertwining lattice like blocks that we're going to learn how to do traditional piecing or paper piecing...I'm pretty sure I'll be going the paper piecing route since I'm not that fabulous of a piecer and I'd prefer not to have to take a million attempts (slight exaggeration) to end up with a block I'm pleased with.  

Pile O' Fabric

When I first learned about the Totally Groovy QAL I wasn't really going to join in since I'd just started the Sew Intertwined one, but then the hostess posted a coloring sheet to help in choosing colors. I am such a sucker for planning things. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE planning things (my follow through needs some work). Then there was a discount for the pattern and then a discount for Kona solids at FatQuarterShop and before I knew it I joined the group, ordered fabric and am now really excited to get started. I even spent half a Saturday coming up with a slightly different way of piecing it to eliminate a lot of the seams. See? Planning. It's a sickness really.

My very first do Good Stitches blocks

I am VERY excited to be a part of do. Good Stitches {a Charity Bee}. I am a member of the Promise circle. Each month my circle mates and I will work together to create a quilt that will then be donated to Threading Hope.

These blocks were made using this tutorial.

I have to admit these blocks were a little tricky to get the points just right on. I made about 4 blocks before I realized that I needed to press the seams in different directions in order for them to line up nicely.
I'm constantly amazed that what I figure is going to be a simple block ends up taking me several attempts to get it just right. Picky much? Little bit.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the completed quilt!

A Zakka Tote

I decided to make another gift using a pattern from the wonderful book, Zakka Style. My first project using it turned out lovely and I was eager to try something else.  

I decided to go with the Zigzag Tote, the first project in the book. It didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd hoped because I was in a hurry to get it completed and I did a really dismal job at the quarter square triangles. So I whipped out some half-square triangles (of which I have gotten LOTS of practice on) and came up with this: 

Close up of quilting


I used Essex linen/cotton in Coral and a Moda Flora print left over from this quilt.  The inside was a Jennifer Paganelli print and a scrap for the pocket.  I did adjust the straps so that they were a little shorter and wider. Overall it's a really awesome bag that went together in just two days, even with the mistakes on the quarter-square triangles. I would really love to make this bag again using the double row of zigzags that are shown in the book...maybe next year I'll have to join a quarter-square triangle block of the month in order to get my skills perfected in that arena. Something new to learn, definitely open to that. 

This bag is already on its way to its new owner, my sister-in-law. I did add a note letting her know that if the color scheme wasn't to her taste I'd be more than happy to make another. It's awfully pink. Not in a bad way, just a lot of it. 

Quilting for Kids

I can't remember how I came across this group, Quilting for Kids,  recently but I'm really excited to have completed my first quilt block for them. 
This particular block is going to be part of a quilt that will be donated to a girl at Cross Bridge Ranch in Texas.  The ranch provides a place for girls in foster care away from their homes while they await placement in foster homes.

Looking forward to making lots more! 

My foray into long arm quilting

One of my goals of the year was to quilt one of my own quilts. I'm not that enthusiastic about quilting on my own sewing machine though. The idea of wrangling a big quilt through a tiny machine just doesn't hold much appeal. I really like the idea of long arm quilting. Having the nice large expanse all laid out is pretty cool. Seems much easier. So I whipped up a quilt in a couple days, something really simple but with divided sections so I could try a different design in each section.

I practice on paper and a dry erase board almost everyday and also on our back patio with chalk whenever my little guy wants to play outside.

I was feeling really prepared as I went for my first session. Then I started quilting.

I am definitely not ready to quit my day job.

I was pretty frustrated at the end. The designs I'd spent so much time practicing on paper were just not happening on the long arm machine. I'm not entirely sure why. I'm thinking maybe I was trying to go to fast in order to keep with a good rhythm and not concentrating on the design I was trying to accomplish. Also, I think my thread choice fabric combo wasn't the best. I always like the look of thread that blends in with the quilt but it made it nearly impossible to see what I was doing on the darker patterned fabrics. Seeing the sashing was fine, but the blue sections were ridiculous.
I'm not ready to give up though. This was a really good learning experience and I think I'm going to try a pantograph on my next attempt to see if following a pattern will help me get a good rhythm and a feel for how a design needs to be stitched.

June & July HST blocks

I'm a little behind with the half-square triangle blocks but at least I've got June & July completed before August rolled around.


I'm finding with HST that how you press the seams really really makes a difference in how the finished block comes out. It's a little tricky though because you sort of have to plan it out from when you first create the HST. So depending on how energetic I'm feeling the outcome of the block can either be really great or sort of okay.

Boy's Shorts for Hopeful Threads

One of my favorite pattern creators, Bonnie, from Fishstick Designs created an adorable pattern for a set of boys shorts to help out a charity, Hopeful Threads, to provide shorts for little boys in Cambodia.
My little guys needed some shorts too so for every pair I make him, I'm going to try to make a pair to send to Hopeful Threads. I do realize I'm at the end of the month and may not make it, but I do have several pairs all cut out and started....

and I've even got TWO pairs completed. They are identical except for the tag on the inside.

My goal will be to complete the 3 remaining pairs that are already cut out sewn and ready to go by July 31st...and maybe add one more to make it even. We'll see. ;)

Quarter Two 3x6 Quilt Bee Saga

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since my last post. I've actually been sewing quite a bit in the last month just slacking on the picture taking/blogging part. Hope to remedy that now. 

So I signed up for another quarter of the 3x6 Quilt Bee swap on Flicker. I missed getting signed up for paper-piecing so I signed up for a star block. 
I checked out one of those 'quilt block idea' books from the library. The one where they show you all these neat quilt block ideas and then let you figure out on your own how to accomplish it. 
Apparently I need some major work in that arena. I chose the block below: 

Love how it turned out, but it came in too small. The quilt blocks for the bee have to be 12 1/2" square and this one was under 12". So I tried a little math and came up with this one:
Too big. Like 14 or 15 inches. I literally started this darn think 6 different times. I'd get to a different part on each and realize my math was off. I couldn't get this dang thing to work for the life of me.
So time is running out and I decide to move on and try something else. Something someone else came up with.
Found this great website and this really awesome block, Jeri's Star.
Really lovely, but a little time-consuming and came out at 12" even, not 12 1/2". I was not even remotely interested in trying to make it 1/2" bigger. I'd had enough math that didn't work on the first block.
So the search began for another block. I bought a book at my local quilt shop and also checked out another book from my library. I combined elements from both books for a variety of far too complicated reasons and came up with my final design choice:

Made a total of 6 and frantically sent them off barely meeting the deadline.

I really need to stop being so flipping nit-picky about the design (and the fabric, good lord the fabric) I choose. My life would probably be so much simpler. Ah well. One project completed, several dozen left to go. :)