Friday, September 19, 2014

Jellyfish Hexie Top Finished!

I finished the top!!!! Happy dance!

I waited to post pics until I had showed this to my guild last night - I was really excited to show it in person - the PMQG is the best group ever! I'm very happy with how it turned out, the colors are vibrant and the background works. My favorite parts are the "bubbles" in the background... and how it looks almost glow-in-the-dark in some areas... and so many friends donated scraps for this quilt. Every time I look at it, I'm reminded of the extremely sweet people in my life.

This was started January 14, 2014 - today is September 19th... so nine months of work so far. There are 2373 1/2" hexies in this piece, and I used (re-used) papers from Paperpieces.com Now it's time to think about quilting. So much to ponder...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Office Redo

It's been a little over a year since we moved into our new place, and I got a bug up my bum to redo my whole office space... which is also my sewing room. In our last house I had two separate areas, but now it's all in one room.

I feel I need to do this to clear space, so when I'm working, I don't feel overwhelmed with too much messy-ness going on around me.  I'm not done yet (not by far!) but here are some photos of what I'm working on:

In this picture, you can see my sewing machine, and cutting table in the corner, the new shelves my husband just put up (near the ceiling) and the new curtains for the sliding glass door. My computer is to the right. I still need a curtain for the window too.
Office SouthWest Corner
This view shows my office area, it's mostly in the closet, soon to get a curtain. The other closet will hold fabric, as well as the shelves shown in the middle. The big file cabinet is the hardest piece of the puzzle - it doesn't really fit anywhere, so I'm leaving it float in the middle of the room. When these closets get covered by curtains, it will help A LOT!
Office West
Here you can see my soon-to-be design wall, the board is resting on the floor, but that's going up today! Then I get to start filling it all up with stuff (mostly fabric!)  I'm hoping this layout will be inspiring to me when I get it finished.
Office North
OH... and by the way:
This is all I have left to sew onto the Jellyfish!! That and the half-hexies down the two long sides to make the edge straight... then I'm done with the top!!!! I'm so excited. I will be bringing this to show and tell at the next PMQG meeting... even though it's not quilted yet. I think people might be more interested to see the stitching on the backside before I quilt it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Quick Quilt Top

I just finished a quilt top... YAY! It was a pretty quick one to put together, it was the 'braces' block I started last week. 
Braces Block
I figured out how to put the block together and timed myself through every step. So far, this quilt has taken a total of 677 minutes - that's a little over 11 hours. This includes layout and design time, and fabric cutting. For me, that seems pretty fast! It's interesting to keep track of time spent - it really enables a quilt to have value.

This one turned out pretty good - some of my points are a little off... but I think that will always be a work in progress. Right now it's 48" x 60" and I'm trying to decide if I want to add a border to make it a little bigger. I like big quilts, even though they are a pain to quilt on my machine. 
Braces Quilt Top
I'm loving this so far - I've never been much of a pink person, but I love it in quilts for some reason. This Kaffe Fassett print is pretty awesome - I love super saturated color, and who doesn't love dots? 
...and now I have another quilt-back to ponder!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Starting Something New!

Time to break out a new pattern from my idea list. The plan is to follow up on the block I did for a GenQ Magazine block builder challenge they had in June. The name of my block is "braces" because that's what I see when I put a few of them together.
It took about 4 hours to figure out how to put the block together, how I wanted to piece the blocks within the quilt, as well as pick and cut my fabrics.
Cut fabrics for Braces Pattern
After reading this blog post by Molli Sparkles about the value of quilts, and talking to other quilters, I've decided it's important to keep better track of my time spent when sewing AND designing. It's really important to know the value of your work - even if you decide to give it away... it's important the receiver has an idea of what it's worth. As craftspeople, designers, and artists - we as quilters need to become educators as well. Here is another great blogpost from Sam Hunter on great comebacks to those who still don't understand the value in what we do... my favorite is: 
“Can I get a quilt as a donation? It will be great exposure for you.”Did you know you can die of exposure?
So... based with these inspirational thoughts, I pulled out a timer and have it next to my machine - I'm all ready to chainpiece away until I get all my blocks made - I'm so curious to see how long it will take! I've always just guesstimated my time, it will be good to have an accurate account.

By the way, I'm still stitching my rows together on the Jellyfish - this is progress as of 8.23.14, I've gotten a few more rows done since. There is an All-Day-Sew for PMQG next Saturday, and I'm trying to work it so I can maybe finish it there! It would be super cool to finish with friends around, but I'm not going to get my hopes up yet - there is still a bit to do before the finish line.
Jellyfish Progress 8.23.14

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quilt Finish

It's always exciting to finish a quilt... and I finally did it! The unbe-weevil-ble quilt is finished and I was able to show it at the PMQG meeting last Thursday. I received many compliments which always makes a finish feel super fine.  I didn't get a photo from the meeting, but I wrangled my daughter and her friend to hold the quilt for me...  here it is:

unbe-weevil-ble quilt front

see the weevils?

unbe-weevil-ble back

I almost like the back better than the front... funny how it works that way sometimes!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Time To Label!

Woo Hoo - I have a quilt finish to report! Finally finished the quilting and binding of the Unbe-weevil-ble quilt and it feels so good. Since I've been working on hexie quilts, my machine pieced quilts are far and few between - so I'm thrilled to have one done this year!

Tomorrow night is our PMQG guild meeting, and I'll be showing it there - maybe I'll get a nice pic of the whole quilt (wink-wink-nudge-nudge, my photographic friends) that I can post on Friday. For now... all you get to see is my super cool label that my husband printed for me!

Unbe-weevil-ble quilt label
Yeah... being married to a screen printer definitely has it's perks! Time to get stitching.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Living Life

With so many terrible news stories, it's hard to live life happily these days. It affects everyone to some degree - and mostly folks just fuel the hate.  I just want to send a bunch of love to every mother out there who has lost a son or daughter in the last few months. Whether in the Gaza strip or in Ferguson MO., no mother should have to bury their child due to the anger of others.

So I'm trying to find and give thanks to all the good things in my life. One of the best things is having friends to talk to, and in the PMQG, I am lucky to have many friends.  I'm trying to channel some of my frustrations to motivate me in my sewing. Thinking of mothers, I've decided to make a quilt for the new Providence NICU center. Our guild is collecting premie quilts for them, and Sam Hunter gave me a layer cake of some beautiful batiks at our last sew day (so sweet!) so I'm using that fabric to make this charity quilt.

It feels great to sew on my machine again... it's been a while since most of my time is spent with hexies. It's also great to free-motion-quilt again, although free motion quilting on my machine just makes me desire a new machine.

Here is what it looks like so far:

It's an attempt at improve piecing, but my mind was elsewhere, so I'm still unsure if I really like it or not. I'm FMQ'ing straight lines with a few circles... they kinda look like buttons to me.  I plan to quilt it more densely, this is just a progress shot. Hopefully the quilting will pull this whole quilt together for me... and that the receiver will like it.

That's it for now, go hug your kiddos and spread the love not the hate!