Monday, December 30, 2013

Hello Moon Blocks 11 & 12

I had a fun finishing up the November and December Hello Moon blocks this week:-)
The pattern is by April Mae Designs.
The November owl is available for free download here (limited time only).

During the year, I was secretly wishing and waiting for the cow (over the moon) block. I am not sure why I was so determined to have one, purple at that, but here is my own December block:

I squared up all 12 blocks to 6.5", and they are queued up for design wall space...

Fun, fun, right?

Linking up with Lyn at What a Hoot for BOM's Away:-)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Craft it Forward in 2014

Christmas reminds us all that handcrafted gifts are often the most sentimental and endearing.
This season, I've done a great job avoiding the computer, in favor of baking and sewing! I don't know about you, but I am still in Holiday Mode and plan to do a bit more of each today!
Overall though, I didn't make many Christmas gifts this year...
And now I hope to redeem myself:-) 
I will sew gifts for the first FIVE readers who would like to participate with Craft it Forward in 2014!
Here is how I got involved last spring:
I signed up to Craft it Forward with Amy at Crafty Shenanigans . I love following Amy, she works on a nice mix of stylish quilts, and somehow she manages to finish an on-going flow of smaller projects as well: bags, pillows, swap items, etc...  One of my favorites this year is her Wonkyville project, a quilt she is compiling of house and tree blocks - all of them made and collected from quilter's around the globe. Such a great idea! Anyway, I was thrilled with the prospect of sompin artsy from Amy, and she did not disappoint! Last week, this kitchy tea towel arrived via Royal Air Mail:-)
If you would like to participate in Craft it Forward in 2014, never-fear, you are given nine months to make the five gifts! Here is how it works:

1. Leave a comment! If you wish, you can include your favorite fabric type or color. Batiks, florals, brights, vintage, warm, cool.... or perhaps whether you know a cat who enjoys catnip...
2. I will email-reply, and request your address via email only.
3. Within the next nine months, you will receive a handmade goodie from me.
4. At that time, you publish a similar post and start Crafting it Forward!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Looking Ahead: 2014 New FOs

Time to share several new projects I would like to tackle in 2014!
First up, I have hoarded five yards of this fantastic double-gauze for some time. Recently, I picked up a couple threads to try my hand at big-stitch quilting. I plan to quilt some large circles.
This next one may look more like a UFO, but because this is the way I inherited it, it qualifies for the NewFO list! It is new-to-me, from an estate sale, and it came with a lot of cut rectangles, the French Braid book, and two long rows like this already pieced. I know exactly who I want to make this for, just not exactly what. I am actually leaning toward a table setting.
I hope is to tackle some of my scrappy collections in 2014.
I have a high turnover of fabric. Acquiring fabric is a passion, & selling it on Etsy has only further enabled my addiction! I have quite a few 'collections' I continuously add to. A strip or square is cut from most every fabric I touch, and added to one stack or another! This stack is over 4" tall, all 2.5" squares for a baby girl quilt. I know I will love this quilt and I hope to piece it this year.
...this next pic is actually the same stack, but what a great photo to share with Barb:-)
I can't wait to dig into this next collection! I started it more recently, with a mini charm of Ticklish.
It's a summery stack and perhaps I will work on it then.
Somehow I will use those 5" pieces with it...
Here is a short stack of 2.5"ers - all geometric cools for a baby boy quilt. I need to add to this next year. I haven't decided if I will add those warm colors though...

Barb, over at Cat Patches, provides quilter's a place to link up & unabashedly add new quilting projects each month. Do you have any new projects stirring for 2014?
NewFO is one of my favorite linkups to participate in! It is very freeing to realize that starting new projects does not mean less will be finished. Oh, Contraire, participating in Barb's linkup in 2013 worked for me to actually produce more!

UFO's are high on my priority list to tackle next year, therefore I capped my allowance of Newbies to only four today. I am set to share some Unfinished 'Objects' on my New Year's Post!

For now, I will set thoughts of 2014 aside and focus on enjoying Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

EPP Hexagon Block Update

The Completion of Flower Number 22

I am playing a bit of blogland catch-up today! It has not been easy to divide my time lately, so I am quite proud that I managed to complete a flower this month. Now I am qualified to link up to Hydee's In Hand EPP Party!

EPP or otherwise, this is actually the only block I have actually finished in some time so I will also share with Lyn for BOMsAway Linkup!

Here is a first-time OOPS:
I wonder if anyone else has ever done this?
I whip stitched two patches together - wrong sides together.
It was late at night, and I didn't even notice til morning. I thought of Hydee, and I knew that I would have to share this blunder with ya'll:
Can you see the stitching?
Actually, it is not very visible to the naked eye, but I can feel it, and the seam does not have the same indent as the others. Of course I didn't even consider taking it out. I use a super tiny whip stitch!

Way-back-when, before I knew anything much about sewing, I began my 1st flower, using a teeny-tiny whip stitch. Since I have made so many in this manner, I can's seem to let myself loosen up a bit. I know that no one will know the difference if the stitching varies, but I just keep whip stitching the same old way...
With 20 - 25 stitches per inch. Hmmm, I wonder what kind of thoughts that provokes?
Maybe, "No wonder it has taken her so long!!"
Actually, I have no idea what the 'norm' is, or the recommended rate.
And now I am very curious, and I hope you will share, what is your average stitch length for EPP?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Giveaway Wrap Up!

Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day Week had us all clicking away on the computer, am I right?

Today is the day I get to Wrap Up and post the Carpenter's Star Pillow Kit!
It is posting to Germany,
and although she is probably still sleeping,
email notification has been sent to...

(Friday the 13th was lucky for some!)

Lia's Handmades! Congratulations! Your number has been drawn by my RandomMan (Ty!).

This sweet comment was left for me:
#61 - Such a great giveaway, love the colours and fabrics you picked for the kits! Thanks for the chance to win :)

Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and enter the giveaway!

Remember to thank Sew Mama Sew, the genius behind the giveaway!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Carpenter's Pillow Kit Giveaway!

Oh Glorious Happy Giveaway Day in Quilting Blogland! Sooo many of the blogs I follow are offering generous giveaways today, I am having a hard time staying focused on the computer this morning! Tempestuous offers of fabrics are dangling about, and handmade's as well keep me jumping from one site to the next.

I began surfing, and leaving comments, and my excitement grew at the opportunity to WIN! Then I remembered the joy of GIVING & I decided I must head on over to Sew Mama Sew and CRASH THIS PARTY!

If you are new to my blog, welcome and thank you for the visit! I use this space to post about progress on projects once or twice a week. I blog to share with family and friends, and because I love meeting other quilter's online, especially funny quilter's (funny funny I mean, although funny odd is OK too). I enjoy being a part of the online community of quilting that has allowed quilter's to collaborate internationally. My part may be small, but I somehow feel we are contributing to history, a sort of New Age of quilting. I also find blogging helps me to accomplish more quilting!

My giveaway today is a kit I put together made of fabrics from my stash. I made these kits for my new Etsy Fabric Shop. I haven't finished quilting mine to show you, but here is a pieced square with the exact fabrics included...
The kit includes pre-cut fabric and a pattern to complete two Carpenter's Wheel blocks. I also did a tutorial for this block here.

Here is a photo of the first pillow kits I made, these with all vintage fabrics and finished quilting.

Anyone (with contact info) is eligible to win by commenting on this post prior to 5PM PST Friday, December 13th!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Strip Piecing Improv Style!

A NewFO for Thursday Threads!
Although I am still technically restricted to UFO's only, I justified a new quilt start this week since I have been saving blue & yellow scraps for several years with mom in mind. Even though it was only a bin of yellow and blue bricks, in my mind that IS an unfinished quilt...

I pulled out the little border mom gave me a while back, a sample of her room décor, and right away I found the yellow and blue a bit unsettling next to her sample. No wonder this project had not actually begun yet...
Quickly, this turned into a NewFO!
I attempted to pull fabric that will work with the pattern...

It was a bit of a challenge to keep the focus on the blue and yellow that mom requested, and to make them work with the new color additions I made. The fact that mom is colorblind further complicates decisions. This is not the first time I have wished I could see her perspective of things! Growing up, turquoise was her favorite color, so I brought in the aqua colors, and navy is a color she often wears so I deepened the blue. The riskiest part is the coral, (a color I have been collecting a bit this past year and am anxious to use!), I am not sure how this will sit with her. I thought it risky & decided to go ahead and share this quilt online, sacrificing the surprise factor for her actual opinion :-)

Once I selected a bunch of fabric, I set to work making strip sets that are approximately 13-14" wide.

Making sure strip-sets will have similar finished widths is easy. One can randomly sew strips together 'til the target width is reached, OR,
if you love to control your 'scrappy' quilts you can do like I did:

1. Cut various widths 1"-2.5" or so, and laid them out in an order that pleases you.
2. Measure the total width across as they are lying, edge to edge.
3. Count the number of seams you have to sew. (ex: 12)
4. Divide this number in half. (ex: 6")
5. Subtract this number from total width across step1, and you have your finished width after sewing.

After sewing a bunch of strip-sets, I used the grid on my cutting table and marked the pattern line I wanted, right on the table with a permanent marker. Then I traced it on paper and cut it out.
I wrapped a strip set over the template, flipped it and removed the paper.
This way I could play with my options before cutting.

So many possibilities for strip sets!


Wonder what mom will think of these huge blocks? They come out about 26", so the quilt will have two blocks (columns) across and three rows. I will probably set them wonky (askew with white sashing), making them more like 30" blocks, to adjust the dimensions.
Linking up with gratitude to the hosts:
Kelly, at My Quilt Infatuation for Thursday Threads
Barbara at Cat Patches, for November NewFO's!

I am so fortunate to have such a busy quilt shop in my neighborhood!
Quiltique is featured today on the Moda Cutting Table!
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