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!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Slow Growth

Not much to report, just a little slow growth of the Jellyfish!
Friday will mark one month that I've been connecting the rows of hexies together, still have a bit before hitting the center mark, so if all goes well, I should have the top done sometime in October.

What are you working on this week?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Competing For Attention

I just found time to sew, and these two projects are competing for my attention.
Binding or hexies...?


Binding wins!

I don't know how people do this... I mean working on more than one project at a time. Making choices is so difficult for me. Usually, I just work on one thing at a time, but I can't wait for my hexie quilt to be done, so now I'm juggling and trying to divide my sewing time evenly. It's harder than I thought to divide my attention.

Good thing I'm almost done with the unbe-weevil-ble quilt, after it's done, I can focus on the jellyfish for a bit and plan out my next machine-pieced quilt.

On a side note, in this world today, there is too much hate, too much greed, too much polluting, too much disease, too much violence, too much inequity, too much despair, too much war and death to bother with specifics. I've been meditating on peace daily and I wish peace to you and every other human out there.
((((universal hugs)))))

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Being Productive

I got a little bug up my butt to finish my "Unbe-weevil-ble" quilt last weekend, and I was super productive by focusing on it as if it were a job. I gave myself two days to finish the quilt back, and I got it done!  Here it is on the floor, taking up even more space in our living room.

You can see the Jellyfish sitting up on a design board on a table above the quilt back I'm working on. That top area is all stitched up, I'm ready for the next row of hexies - I'll be bringing it to the PMQG meeting tonight, along with the stuffed round blue guy I stole from my daughter to use as a work surface.

I had yet to baste a quilt in my new house. Figuring out how to baste that big quilt proved to take a bit of time in problem solving. I ended up sticking with spray baste, which is my favorite basting method, and just laying out bed sheets to catch any runaway spray. I did it on our basement floor which is carpeted and padded, so I couldn't tack it down... but it still worked!

Started working on the quilting yesterday - it will take a little time, I'm just doing (somewhat) straight line quilting at an angle - I think it will look good, and I can do it on my Singer! Unfortunately, I will NOT be able to finish this quilt for the meeting tonight... next month!