Look What I Found!!!

It’s been my theme lately: fabric discovery! I’ve been weeding through my boxes of fabric, unearthing old UFO/WIP bits and pieces I like to call Forgotten Projects. I’ve found bundles of fabric I completely forgot I had and discovered whole kits of jelly rolls and precut fabrics. It’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks! Like Christmas or my birthday everyday!

Then I found the ultimate Forgotten Project: my very first attempt at quilting.

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Ok now, let me set the stage. My mom bought me my sewing machine (whom I lovingly call Shelby) when I was 9. Sewing was interesting but not a hobby I wanted to take up so young. I’d seen my mom sew and quilt but wasn’t ready to attempt it myself. So that sewing machine sat until I was in college. My sophomore year at SFSU I dug up ol’ Shelby and drove her from my home in southern California to my new apartment in San Francisco. There I helped my roommate cover some ugly ol’ couches we were given to decorate our apartment with.

And then nothing…

Shelby moved with me from apartment to apartment, collecting dust in closets or on shelves. I rarely used her until after we graduated and moved into our own places. My friend was now married and I was ready to live without roommates. It was during this time that my mom gifted me a Pooh Bear fat quarter set and a book about making a simple quilt. Those fat quarters became the baby quilt I made a while ago. That’s when it started. My friend and I both fell deeply in love with fabric and the colors upon colors and patterns to choose from. Our initial attempts at quilting were pretty pathetic. Nothing cut right and everything was crocked!

I remember being SOOOOO frustrated! I would look in these books my mom would send me, drooling over the intricate patterns and beautiful fabrics. Then I would attempt to make my own quilt and it would never turn out right!

When I discovered I was pregnant with my son, I moved home from San Francisco to start our lives with my family. I was taking on the job as a single mom so I would have little time to quilt. Shelby once again found a home on my shelf and there she waited till I was ready again.

Since that time, my original attempt at quilting was stocked away to be forgotten about. I haven’t seen this thing in a decade and then some! But just a few days ago I discovered it in the bottom of a basket. Seeing it for the first time in year, I had a few reactions.

Firstly, I was impressed with my attempt at a smaller more intricate design for my first quilt. Lately I’ve stuck to strips and squares because I know I’ll finish them! I’m not up to the task of cutting smaller bits and making them into bigger bits…yet. I will someday, just not right this moment.

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Secondly, the colors! Oh my goodness are they bright on their own but man are they blinding together! I think this was a fat quarter kit I grabbed up and figured they’d look good together because they were the same colorful palette just in different colors. Blimey…

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Also, it looks like I made the same mistake in each of the squares. I can’t actually tell what the pattern is supposed to be BUT I think there is a corner on each square that is flubbed. I can’t be sure but something doesn’t look right.

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And lastly, it’s a mess. Very all over the place with the cutting and the stitching. I can’t really make heads or tails of it but there it is, in all it’s Technicolor glory.

But I must say, I kinda love it. Maybe it’s like your first child, the one that puts you through your paces and teaches you how to parent. It’s the one that you look back on and see ALL your mistakes but you still adore it to pieces.

This quilt is technically my first although it’s only being completed now. And, although it’s messy and kinda ugly and not nearly big enough to be a full sized quilt, I love it!

I went out last week and picked up some fabrics to complete this little project. I figured with all the color black would be a good backing to it so I picked up a clean Kona black. I couldn’t help but grab up some rainbow polka dots to kinda tie in all the colors.

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I also grabbed a couple of yards of this mellow yellow that was on sale for like $2 a yard. When she said that I about had a heart attack and flew at the chance to have more! I could also use a good solid in my stash!

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So now to work on putting the colors together and making something out of this ugly yet loveable mess. It’s my new work in progress!

 

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday Musings: Change

Have you ever bit into your lip so hard that it takes forever to heal because you keep biting it over and over again? Last weekend I was talking to some friends at a BBQ we had at our house. Out of nowhere, I munched into my bottom lip and the damn thing bruised! It hurt so bad and after that, every time I thought it was going away, I’d bite it again. Ugh… I’ve resorted to using Orajel to keep the pain away and help it heal. I’m so annoyed with myself for biting it over and over again!

Anywho, Happy Monday and for those state side, Happy Labor Day! I’m off on a camping trip this weekend so this post was written ahead of time. Figured I could write about a few things going on in our life that’s not quilting.

Team mom duties are in full swing! We’ve collected money from most of the parents and our banner is underway. We are the Star Destroyers! A very boy name, if you ask me. Our thoughts were to make the banner a galaxy theme with stars being hit with soccer ball meteors.

bannerKinda like this! Only…better. But that’s our idea so far. And instead of little lines we’ll have crimson flames as they crash into the golden starts. Cute, no? I’m in charge of the backdrop so I’ll be sewing the seams to slip over the pipes that make up the frame. I’ve got some left over fabric from the Peaceful Planet quilt I finished last week that will go great as a background!

This is going to be a BIG month for us. I’ve touched on the subject a bit but haven’t really divulged details yet but now that it’s official I can: I’m leaving my job of 7 years at the family business to return to teaching!! This is a huge deal. I got my credential years ago but never got to have a classroom of my own. I was a substitute from day-to-day and then took some long term jobs that never went anywhere. After months of trying to get interviews and having to return each school year as a substitute all while raising my son on my own, I got the opportunity to take a spot at my family business. A long time employee was retiring and a spot was opening up. I needed the security and insurance for my then toddler son and decided to give up my dream of being a teacher.

Choosing to have my son was a hard decision but it was the right one for me. But choosing to leave teaching was even harder because I didn’t know if I’d ever get the chance to come back. I got lucky when my husband and I reunited after 15 years apart (we were childhood sweethearts) that we both had the same hopes and dreams for our future. I mentioned that teaching would be something I’d like to do again. And we agreed that it would be wonderful for me to use my credential I worked so hard for. Well, after 7 years, I decided to apply to work as a substitute teach and I got accepted!!!

It’s only a small step towards my dreams but it’s better than missing this chance by being too scared to try.

So this means A LOT will be changing. My schedule, our finances, even our need for a sitter will diminish. But I’ll be freer to get our son to practice and be home on his days off. Dinner will be made each night instead of prepping all on one day and then reheating leftovers. Lots will change, both good and not so good.

I also got some good news. I mentioned in a few posts back that my little Canon PowerShot broke. The lens won’t retract and it won’t reset itself. I was so frustrated I wanted to chuck it and just get a new one. BUUUUTTTT, those cameras ain’t cheap! Instead I did some research and found that certain serial numbers of the S100 series have an issue with faulty wiring to the lens. So I put in an email to Canon and got a prompt response. Mine has one of the faulty serial numbers. They are going to send me a packing ticket to have it sent in for a full check-up and repair. I’m so thrilled that this may solve the problem and I’ll get my camera back!!

Well, that’s it for Monday. Hope everyone’s week has started off well and that the weekend as relaxing/exciting/fun! Can’t wait to share any pictures from our trip!

Fifth Quilt: The Peaceful Planet

On August 12th I started the Peaceful Planet Quilt with the intention of giving it as a gift to my niece for her birthday. She was to visit from Washington as a birthday gift from her mom and my plan was to have it done by then.

Everything came together pretty smoothly. I used a simple jelly-roll to sew together all the strips and made a long quilt top with simple borders and a yellow binding. The colors were all green and blue and soft with a very serene nature theme to it.

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I ALMOST made my goal! I was super close to finishing it when she arrived for her visit, then I hit a snag. I was using a needle that wasn’t conducive to sewing through so many layers. This was something I had no clue about! But Lisa over at Lisa in Port Hope popped by and left me a wonderful comment and a link to give me some insight into needles. I had NO CLUE about needle size and the different types! Talk about learning something new everyday, this was news to me.

I ended up finishing my quilt binding with whatever needle I had left and just took it slow to make sure I didn’t snap this one because I have no others left. And you can bet your sweet tushies that I’ll be buying new ones but this time with more information and knowledge about the types of needles I need!

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This quilt got finished up pretty late in the evening but I can’t express how happy I was to have it done and in record time! This one was finished in 3 weeks, rather than 3 months. Or even 3 years! I tend to let projects languish and hang around while I move onto other things. Because this blanket was meant as a gift and I’ve been on a kick with the finishing of things, I really had the spark to get things done.

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I’m super excited to send this gift up to Spokane to my sweet niece who got to see the almost finished project and loved it even then. It couldn’t go to a more loving and sweet girl! And I told her, when things get tough, she can wrap herself up in it and think peaceful thoughts and remember her trip to California!

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The finished product!

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Ok so now to think over this whole process and find a few good points and some learning points.

The good:

  • Sticking with a project from beginning to completion and finishing in record time.
  • The quilt top itself is beautiful and the colors are well organized.
  • Love the color combination of the light blues and greens bordered by the darker star fabric and bound with the clean yellow.
  • The forethought of making extra binding which saved me time.
  • Sticking with a simple top and not trying to get all fancy.
  • Taking my time, not rushing through the steps, and not jumping ahead.
  • PRESSING! I really did make it a point to press the seams opens and to take the time to press in between steps.

The Bad:

  • Basting. I need to improve this area because I rush through it and then things get all wonky.
  • Measuring. I still skip this step in places and that caused some unsightly issues with the back of the quilt.
  • Using the correct needle size! This is new to me and now that I have some stuff to read about it, I’m going to bone up and learn how to choose my needles.
  • Alignment. Instead of aligning the strips from the center and then squaring things off, I lined up one side and the whole thing kinda went crooked. If I had lined up the strips from the centers and pieced them together, I think I would have had a straight top.
  • Quilting. I didn’t do enough to anchor the layers together. Next time I’ll make more of a effort to tie down or quilt the top better.
  • Binding. This is still an issue for me. It’s so 50/50. Sometimes it goes well and I adore my mitered corners, and other times I suck at it. This time? It sucked!


Crazy Mom Quilts

WIP: And Now We Bind

This weekend we had some out of town guests from Washington State. The house was in a major state of disarray as we bumbled along making room for two more bodies in our little condo. One of our guests was my niece who turned 10 just the week before. This trip to California was her gift and we were excited to have her.

I was super excited because the Peaceful Planet quilt was for her! And the whole thing was coming together smoothly, until last Wednesday when I put the layers together and the whole things went wonky. Not only that but my camera broke too. I made it work anyways and promised myself to finish it in time for her to take it home.

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While I was fighting with the damn layers, I was pleased to find that I had enough binding and wouldn’t have to make more! I can’t explain how much this made my day! Not that binding is a pain to make but it was one step I wouldn’t have to take because it was already done. And from what I could tell, the colors were going to work out really well.

That was Wednesday and as of today I’m stuck. Yes stuck. As I worked on the binding and started to wrap up this monstrous quilt (my first full sized quilt) I broke my needle! The damn thing just snapped! So I rooted around and found a few machine needles and popped one in. Within a few minutes that needle had an issue too! I couldn’t figure out why my machine was hitching up so badly until I looked closely at the very tip of the needle and found that it was bent at an angle! Just the very tip of the needle had bent, nothing else was wrong with it but it was catching the fabric as it went through the layers. What a bummer!

So that was needle #2. I moved onto #3 and crossed my finger that it would be the last one and then this thing would be finished because my niece and son were about to go to bed and I wanted to gift it to her. NOPE! I used that needle for a bit until SNAP!!! It broke, too.

I have a feeling it’s due to the weight of the whole blanket pulling against the needle and just snapping it right off. I’m down to one needle left but I think I’ll need to stock up on more if I want this thing finished.

Sadly, my niece left Monday and without the blanket. I did present it to her and explained to my sister-in-law the issue I had but I promised to finish it soon and to send it to her ASAP! She seemed thrilled to be getting her own blanket and I can’t wait to wrap this project up, pack it into a box and ship it off to her.

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WIP: So Close!!!

First I want to apologize for the HORRIBLE picture quality! My Canon broke the other day and I’m stuck with using either my old Canon (which I gave to my son to play with so it’s not in great shape) or using my phone. My phone’s camera isn’t bad but it’s not how I want to get my pictures done. BOOOO!! And I’m not really ready to drop a lot of moola on a new one. But I will have to soon because I use it not only for the blog but also when we do trips and we have a camping trip coming up in a week. Ugh…
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Anywho, I got down to business last night and started wrapping up my Peaceful Planet quilt. I had to take over my son’s room because he has the most floor space and this thing feels HUGE! It’s only a twin sized quilt but this is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on so I’m a bit amazed and a teeny bit overwhelmed with the size of it all. Using his floor I laid out the back, the batting, and the top. I tried to lay it out as smoothly as possible but my sewing leaves something to be desired. I’m crossing my fingers that over time my sewing will improve and my quilt tops will be better for it!

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Snip snip!

After everything was lined up as best I could, I took the whole shebang back to my room and spread it out on the bed. We’ve got a Cal-King in there so it was a bit easier on my back to lean over that instead of kneeling on the floor. My husband is such a sweetheart. He could tell I was struggling with it lining up so he jumped in and took over the other end of the quilt and helped me out. That little extra tug from him totally made a difference. Now things were all ready for my machine!

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I swear my lighting is MUCH better than this!

I set out to stitch in the ditch around the border with a nice dark blue thread to seal the layers together. I’m kinda on a time crunch. This is a gift and the receiver is arriving tomorrow from Washington State so I’m hoping to be able to gift it in person rather than ship it via the USPS! So I kept it simple and just ran my little Kenmore around the edges. I swear, poor ol’ Shelby was smokin’ by the time I was done!

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Stupid flash!

After it was all sewn together I went back to my bed and laid it out flat again. It didn’t come out too bad! But I did have one corner where the material had shifted so it puckered up. I could have left it but I knew it would bug me forever if I did so I ripped out an entire seam (luckily along one of the shorter sides) and stitched it back up. Once again I trekked to the bed to lay it out and I saw an area where I could make another improvement. When I picked up the seam ripper to fix it, my husband implored that I held off and went to bed. He was right. I could pick the whole thing apart if I allowed myself to think on it so instead I went to bed to sleep on it, promising to fix everything tomorrow. All I have left to do today is fix that one seam and then attach the binding! In preparation for that step, I bought extra yellow material in case my binding turns out to be too short.
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On the side I pulled one of my UFO/WIPs from last week’s post and got some work done on it, too. This Forgotten Project would have been finished if I hadn’t lost the instructions. BOOOO!!! But I got two squares ripped apart and then sewn back together nicely and attached to the nice dark chocolate brown solid squares where the pears are meant to go. And I say “meant to go” because the instructions are no longer on the internet either. The site hosting it is long gone so I have no template for my pears. Grrr…

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Also, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my other squares to line up right and ended up with smaller dimensions than my originals. These things just won’t cut it! So I’m debating just chucking it all in, layering and binding what I have done and calling it a night! I’m good with that!

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Avengers ASSEMBLE!

I’ve been on a quilting roll lately, finishing up older projects or starting new ones and sticking with it till they are done. So much so I actually allowed myself some fabric shopping for a future project.

After my son’s quilt was done, my husband pointed out that a) it was too small and b) it was a little on the babyish side. He said it with the sincerest of tones and I didn’t even take it personally. I saw what he meant. What started as a quilt for a little guy ended up a quilt for a much taller and older guy. A little man who is into Transformers and comic books.

My husband suggested I look into fabric that would suit my son’s interests currently. I agreed. He deserved a quilt that not only fit him but also his age. After thinking on it some time and knowing Joann’s has a sale going right now, I convinced my son to hoof it over to the store and show him what they had. I had already scoped out the character fabrics for my own possible project. I spotted the Batman fabric for myself but I knew my son would LOVE the Avengers when he saw them.

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My son ogled and ahhhhhed all the different Avengers fabrics they had in stock. Along with these, they also had Spiderman, Superman, and even Star Wars. In the end we picked up these two Marvel fabrics, one with the characters in action and the other a handful of comic book covers. I’m seeing a quilt with windows of fussy cut squares, bordered by the red, and blue with the yellow as the binding. My son loved the idea of having a blanket he could read!

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A few aisles down I found this great fabric with the thought bubbles and all the action words used by many of our fearless heroes. How great is this? I bought enough of this for the back of the fabric although I’m not set in my ways. I definitely have room to wiggle in while I set down how I want it to look. For now this is what I have in mind.

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Don’t Mind The Horrible Rendering

I bet there is a name to this pattern that I don’t know. I just like that it looks like the superheroes are framed in action!

Now I have all the bits I need to start and even some black if I need to add to anything, but I won’t begin this quilt any time time soon! I plan to finished a few other projects first and then maybe take a bit of a break to go through my crafting room and reorganize. With all the projects I’ve got going right now, things are a bit messy and I’ve got team-mom duties that start this week so my time will really be divided until Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, here we are dressed as the Avengers a couple of years back. Not only is our little guy a comic book fan, so are we.

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This reminds me, it’s time to start thinking of our costumes for this year. Hummm…..
Fresh Poppy Design

Monday Musings: Team Mom Duties!

My son is a very active kid. He needs something to do or he drives us nutty. We’ve been very fortunate that not only does he LOVE soccer but he’s also very good at it. So, every season we sign him up if he’s interested (and he always is).

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Fall 2012

 

This year is no different. We tried baseball in Spring and that was a no-go. Too slow and just not a sport he was strong in. But we finished out the season and celebrated together with all the players. He had a good time even if it turned out not to be a sport he was interested in.

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Now in Fall, we are signed up for soccer. YAY SOCCER! We’re big soccer fans. My husband and I both played as kids and I even coached a season. As an adult I played in college on a woman’s team. Soccer is in our blood.

The only difference this year is that I’ve signed up as a co-team mom. Oi vey…

Ok so it was totally my choice. I saw an email come through asking for help. Without a team parent at the first meeting, we wouldn’t be able to pick up our uniforms. So I signed up. Luckily, for me, another mom had done the same thing so I’m going at this alone.

Once I got past the shock that I had gone and tied myself up with duties for the team when I already feel overwhelmed with work and home stuff and being a mom/wife full time, I got down to planning things out and getting myself ready to be the face and the voice of my parents and players.

Then came the meet-up with my partner in crime. I was nervous, as would anyone be meeting a new person the first time. But I was doubly nervous because I knew we’d need to work together so I could only hope that the other team mom and I would get along. And we did!!! We hit it right off when we both noted we wanted to hand make the banner (YEHAW!) and when she arrived at my house, we both worked together really well. It was a better meeting than I could have imagined. I have a feeling this season will go smoothly with both of us co-piloting this whole endeavor!

Now for the team banner. This year our region is asking for handmade banner as opposed to the vinyl banners that have been populating our fields. Nothing wrong with them, honestly. They can look really cool. But it costs a good penny for a team to get a banner made (between $85-$100). So they are pricey. Plus, this year our directors have planned a whole opening day with a banner parade and games and food, like a big field day. So the new request is for more authentic handmade banners.

Guess what? I just happen to be handy with a machine and hot glue!!! YAY FOR CRAFTINESS!!!

While my initial reaction was “What have I done?!?!” to signing up, I’m now starting to look forward to it!

Alright, today is a big day. I mentioned on my little tote bag post that I’ve applied to return to teaching as a substitute after working for 7 years in the office of my family business. After filling in TONS of paperwork, getting a TB test and the results, tracking down forms and fingerprint scans, I turned in my applications. Then I waited… And waited. I took over 4 weeks to hear anything back. But as of last week, I received an invite to come in for an interview. Crossing fingers I do well (I think I am better in person than on paper).

Honestly, I can’t say how I’m feeling about all this. Leaving my job to start teaching again has been a dream for years. But now that the option is here, I’m terrified. For now I’m taking it a moment at a time and dealing with the feelings that come with all the change.

I’ve got a few projects in the works right now. I did a Friday Night Sew-In last week and made some big progress on my Peaceful Planet quilt. I’ve unearthed a lot of UFOs/WIPs that I can work through! So I’m not hurting for something to do!

Happy Monday all! Come on back through the week and see what I’ve got cooking’ up. See you all around the web this week!

Friday Night Sew-In: The Peaceful Planet Continues!

Me: Hey mister, I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Husband: Yeah, what about?

Me: On Friday night, I’m participating in a web-wide sew-in so I’m going to be focused on that quilt I started. Just wanted to let you know so you can make plans if you want.

Husband: Like game time?!

Me: Sure!

Husband: (texting quietly)

Me: Or maybe see the guys?

Husband: Ha! I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I’ll go out and have a wild time and get wasted!!!!

Me: Uh huh, yeah. Sure. You do that…

On Monday, the mister had an appointment at my office to do some computer work. He’s does most of the IT work at my company so I get the pleasure of seeing him once in a while. It’s awesome too when it falls near lunch because then we get a lunch date which is one of my favorite things, besides just seeing him, cuz you know, I kinda like him :)

I took advantage of the time together to let him know I’d be holed up in my sewing corner sewing like a mad woman on Friday night so that way he could make plans and not feel ignored. Hahahha, I get so wrapped up when I sew that it can feel like I’m not paying any attention to anyone else so when I know I’m going to be playing along with the Friday Night Sew-In, I give a week’s notice, just to be polite!

This week has been crazy! First was Tuesday! The little man got picked up by his Nana from camp and I met up with her after dinner for a long 5 mile hilly run that turned into only a 3.93 mile run. But hey, I got out there! Then Wednesday I met with the other co-team mom for our sons’ soccer team. I’m not sure why I signed up to do this with all that I already have planned for fall but it seemed like a good idea at the time. After that, we raced to the salon to give my little man a trim. He’s been on a long hair kick lately but I knew we’d need to trim it and make it neat for school and soccer pictures.

Then Thursday hit and we were rushing again. This time to a dinner cruise out of Newport Beach for a business engagement. Like I mentioned, my husband is in the IT field so we have lots of contacts as both clients and vendors. In this case, we were shmozing with a vendor. It’s nice to be shmozed! But this weekday night-out meant I had to leave work early, rush home, pop on a dress and we had to get my parents to pick up the little man after camp. Whew… The planning it took to get us through Thursday was overwhelming.

By Friday night we were all tired and just ready to be home to rest. The little one was not himself but he still got up with me this morning and road his bike 4.5 miles while I ran. Pretty proud of him. It was at the halfway point that he told me he wasn’t feeling well and had a sore throat. So back home we went and all of our plans for today have been cancelled. The plan now is to rest and take it easy.

Last night, I got to get down to business putting together the top of my peaceful plant quilt. All the strips had been sewn together and pressed, now it was time to put them all together to make the completed top. While I worked, I watched Pride and Prejudice. I like having movies playing in the background while I sew, it makes the time fly by.

 

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Getting Started!

I worked in a dark/light pattern attaching the green to the dark blue and the light strip to the medium blue. It came together quickly and the only thing that stopped me was a break here or there to rest my hands or to rethread the bobbin. I was having some tension issues that were really annoying. I’ve got to look up some videos on how to set the tension and fix it when it goes funky.

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Coming along!

In the end I watched the whole movie and got the whole top done! I stretched it out and found it was a bit too long so I ripped out the bottom 4 strips. I was about to leave it as it was but it just felt odd having it soooooo long. Not that it took away from the blanket but I didn’t feel that it added anything either.

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Goodbye!

That dark celestial fabric I toyed with ended up working out perfectly!!! I’m so happy with it already and I’ve only done two borders. When I went back to Joann’s, they had a different celestial fabric that was even better. It wasn’t as dark and also had some swirly designs I felt went well with the circles and dots on a lot of the strips. It tied in better, I believe but still had that deep, rich blue to frame the strips in.

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At the end of my movie, I had the whole top sewn together and two borders attached. Now, I just need to add the longer side borders and press it all down. Soon I’ll be ready to baste it together and quilt the top. I’m not sure what I’ll do. With my small machine I usually just create long lines and follow the seams of the pattern on top. I may just sew from right to left or follow the border around and sew a big rectangle. We’ll see!

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Handmade by Heidi

WIP: Forgotten Projects

If you float around the blog-o-sphere and read quilting or sewing blogs, you’ve probably come across the acronym WIP. It stands for Work In Progress and it means exactly what it says. A WIP post is sharing a quilt or sewing project that you’ve been working on and it’s not done.

I find sharing projects that aren’t done and in the process of becoming something else a positive thing. It’s motivation to keep going. People share what they are working on and also share their stories. And knowing you aren’t alone in the sea of unending projects, is comforting.

But today I want to share a different kind of WIP. A project that is not only in progress but it has also fallen by the wayside. Those projects that got started, something got in the way of finishing them, and BOOM!!! Years later they are found in a pile of fabric with no idea HOW it got there.

In my new found motivation to sew and get things done around my crafty center, I decided to take advantage of the WIP Wednesday and dig through my stash to find those lost nuggets, unfinished, forgotten projects.

This first project is fairly recent, as in I remember starting it and I even wrote about it. It’s called the Fresh Pears Table Runner. It’s a simple pattern with a pear applique. I picked a Moda pack with some cream, red, and black fabrics and got pretty far into making the runner itself. I also had some nice mellow lime-olive green fabric to cut my pears out of.

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But then my brash self got too far ahead and messed it up during a Friday Night Sew-in.

Fright Night Sew-In: What Have I Done?!?

This project has been buried. I was so frustrated with the way it came out that I shoved it aside and haven’t looked at it in years. So I dug around and got lucky. It was all put together in a baggie, waiting for me to return!

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The only issue is that the instructions are no longer with it. And it was just printed on a simple piece of white paper so it could be anywhere. Or it could have bee tossed. The desk I was originally using for my quilting back then has been repurposed a few times over so I have NO CLUE where those instructions went to.

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Looking back at my original post, when the whole thing came together, there was a hitch in the center of the four squares. Turning it over, I could see why. The seams were all pressed in different directions and when the four corners came together, they made a jumbled heap of fabric that didn’t work together. Some were turned under, others were hitched in the opposite direction making the whole thing buckle. It wouldn’t lay flat no matter how hard I tried!!

So I pulled out my seam ripper and worked everything apart. I also noted that my hurried style had left this project in a few different stopping points. I had strips cut but not sewn together. I have squares of four strips ready along with pairs of squares already joined. Then I had scraps and raw pieces just floating around in the baggie.

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Such a mess!!! After pulling apart the one big square, I set about to press all the seams open and make life easier on myself. My next steps will be to finish sewing all the squares and then pressing the last seams open so that everything is ready to join up into bigger squares. And if I can find the instructions, I hope to have this project done before the year is over.

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Along with that forgotten project, I also found a batch of rows all sewn together. I knew it was a moda charm pack but couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Then I found it! It’s the Moda Lollipop kit.

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I have no clue what I was planning with this set but it would seem to be ripe for a nice patchwork quilt. One charm pack has been all sewn together in rows of four with two random pieces left over. I pressed the seams on this project and laid everything out to get a good bird’s eye view of the whole mess.

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Pretty cute, I’d say. I will need to do the same with the second charm pack to make it big enough. I’m thinking just a big messy patchwork quilt with a border, backing, and binding. Nothing too fancy. And maybe I won’t quilt the top but instead will tie it down.

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Lastly was this gem. It’s an eBay purchase with the best of intentions. From the emailed receipt attached to the baggie, it’s a Bear Claw pattern in red and black. This thing is an assorted mess. There are four bags of fabric in different states of completion: one completed square, some partials squares, bits and pieces of other soon to be made squares and then just random bits.

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Again, this was bought with the best of intentions in the heyday of my stash building and fabric buying. Had I started to work right away on this project, I bet it would have made more sense. But now, years later and in the chaotic state that it is in, I’m baffled. I mean, where does one even start with a project like this? I don’t even have instructions in hand so I’ll be left to searching the web for a general idea of what to do. Although, with one completed square, I can probably piece it together.

To say the least after my long winded post, I have a lot of work already in front of me. I’d say with patience and time, I could have a few projects finished before the end of the year without starting anything new. There is enough here to keep me busy for a long while!
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As if I wasn’t busy enough, I finished The Book Thief and I moved onto a new book in progress, A Vision in Velvet. LOVE this little series! It set in San Francisco (probably my favorite city) and it has magic and vintage clothing and mystery. All fun stuff to read!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

 

Just Starting: The Peaceful Planet Quilt

I’m a sucker for greens and blues. There is something about the combo that brings to mind earth and nature and peacefulness.

After searching through a few boxes of unknown fabric stored away in my closet, I found these adorable jelly rolls called Peaceful Planet.

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Without having seen the tag, I could have guessed that name in a heart beat! The theme is very calm with some dark blue fabric sporting a nature theme with animals, the earth, some peace signs and plants. The mid-toned and lighter strips have these soft swirling designs, very circular. It has this dreamy, peaceful sense about it which is making me slow down and put this quilt together in a way that goes against my brash, overeager tendencies.
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When I quilt, I tend to skip steps, rush through areas I don’t like (hello, pressing and cutting!!), and I rarely do things in a orderly fashion. This all leads me to getting frustrated, losing focus, then I end up losing interest which ends up getting my projects pushed to the side where they languish for months and months.

For some reason, this pack is so soothing and calming that I’m finding myself slowing down and taking the time to do things right, a trait I’m lacking in. I plan to sew together all the strips in pairs and then move onto pressing all the seams then combine the pairs. Step by step without skipping forward! Usually, by now, I’m chomping at the bit to jump ahead, combine the sets and then cut my squares. Not this time! This time around I’m taking a cue from the name of this jelly roll and peacefully working on one step at a time.

It could also be that I plan to gift this quilt and I have about two weeks to get it finished so I want things done right the first time and pacing myself will give me better results. Also, I don’t want to burn out! I’ve been enjoying this round of quilting and blogging about it but, per my usual hobby lifespans, I get REALLY REALLY into something and obsess about it till I soak it all up and pass out from too much of a good thing. It’s all or nothing for me and this means projects get left behind for years after I lose interest. Not this time. This time I’m pacing myself, sewing here or there (no marathon sewing sessions) and I’m making time for my other hobbies like reading and writing and running. A little bit of time of each every day.

Hopefully this will mean that this quilt will be finished on time and with less mistakes and it won’t be a one and done situation. I don’t want to finish this thing and stop quilting out of disinterest.

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Luckily, there is some yellow in these strips that works well with the yellows binding I made for my son’s quilt so I can use that. Saves me a little time when it comes time to bind it. Hopefully I will have enough!

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After sewing together the strips into pairs, I spent all day Saturday pressing the seams of every project I had going. I got about 90% of these strips done and was able to lay them out in a pattern to see how I wanted this quilt to go.

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So far, I think this is how it will look best. A strip quilt with a border to make it a bit wider. Simple yet effective!

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I also kicked around some thoughts about the back of the quilt. I have this deep blue galaxy material I threw next to it and the yellow binding I have already made. The blue definitely works with the deep blue in that one strip but I can’t tell if the gold flecks will clash with that bright yellow binding or if it will come together and tie everything in. For now, it’s just a thought.

Come back for updates on the progress of this, my fifth quilt!
Fresh Poppy Design