Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fireflies Block for QAL & Snuggly Layer Cake Throw

I have sewn the last stitch on the Snuggly Layer Cake Throw! I used the tutorial from Moda Bake Shop. I had previously only done a rag quilt, so I had zero experience with quilting at a larger scale or binding a quilt. I chose this pattern because I wanted something I could do rather quickly and that I wouldn't be completely devastated over if I made a few mistakes. The quilt top came together super quickly and would be perfect for a quick gift. I used a Domestic Bliss layer cake and wine-colored Minky. I am so grateful I found The Minky Boutique, because I shopped all around town and could not find anything but the standard pink, blue and purple. I did struggle feeding the Minky through at sometimes. I should have gone slower and basted more extensively. The struggle was worth it though! It is so soft and comfy!

I really enjoyed hand sewing the binding, which surprised me because I thought I would hate that part! It might be because I am not on speaking terms with my sewing machine right now.* I needed my space! These video tutorials really helped me with the binding: How to Hand Sew a Binding to Back of a Quilt by The Crafty Gemini and How to Bind a Quilt by Connecting Threads. It feels so good to have a finished project! There are a million imperfections in this quilt, but that makes it all the more snuggly and lovable. I plan on spending a lot of time with it and the recliner today! Domestic Bliss indeed!

I also finished Block # 6 for the Sew. Happy. Geek. Quilt Along. I need to fix the right side, but overall I am so happy with the color combo on this one! My biggest struggle has been slowing down, especially when cutting. When I worked in advertising, everything needed to be done as quickly as possible and usually with as little notice as possible. Speed is not rewarded in sewing! The upper right hand block is a quarter inch to short, which is going to cause big problems when I  go to put it all together. Craftsmanship problems aside, I do love this QAL! I have learned so much and it has really broken me out of my comfort zone. I can't wait to see the finished product. Six more blocks to go!

I am truckin' along on the robot quilt. Strip piecing is a dream! I would of course pick a pattern that was all corners, after complaining I struggled getting my corners to meet. From the advice from non-pinners in my last post, I figured out that it was my pinning that was causing the problem. I was shifting everything when I took out the pins. I'm not quite comfortable without pins yet, but with smaller pins that seem to hold the fabric tighter and waiting until the very last minute to remove the pins, my corners have improved exponentially. I cannot wait to see the robot start to peek out! I have to take a break on it this weekend, because the husband is back home. Between his nosiness and my ability to last five seconds in an interrogation, I can't work on it when he is here!

I seriously need to do some smaller projects after this one. I have no idea how I got caught up in all these quilts!

*While quilting the Snuggly Layer Cake Throw, my sewing machine went on strike. The take-up lever got completely stuck! I got brave and opened it up and it turns out there was thread wrapped around the gears. I removed all the thread and it seemed to be functioning normally. I was seriously amazed at myself, but before I could even put my application in at the sewing machine repair shop it started sounding alarms every twenty stitches. Dreams of being a sewing machine repairperson dashed! It seems to be working normally after it rested overnight, but I don't trust it just yet! Hopefully it was just a one time thing, because it was just repaired two months ago.
Linking with: Small Blog Meet

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Crimson Cross

After much starting and (a lot of) stopping, I finished my Crimson Cross quilt top! I got the pattern from Little Bits Quilting Bee by Kathreen Ricketson. I used 2 layer cakes and a honey bun from Fig Tree Quilts Butterscotch & Roses collection. I picked the pattern because it seemed easy enough for me to start out on and it gave me a good opportunity to practice 1/4" seams. I probably should have considered the size, because 72 blocks of straight lines got a little monotonous after a while. It didn't look like so much from the stack above, but it took me all day to piece it! A lot of that was because I had issues keeping my rows matched up, but once I switched to smaller pins I had less trouble. Any advice on that topic would be appreciated!   This project is now going to enter quilting limbo, while I decide what to do with it!

I've been so busy finishing the blocks and top for the above quilt, so my To-Do list looks almost the same as last week!
  1. Snuggly Layer Cake Quilt - I want to finish quilting & binding this by Friday.
  2. Robot Quilt - This is for Valentine's Day, so high priority! I got the blue jelly rolls to speed up the process, but I still need to go the store and get the colors for the robot.
  3. Sew. Happy. Quilt. QAL Fireflies block.
  4. Put my January HST block back together.
I really need to start finishing projects before I start a new ones!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 3 - Star Block & Finished Sewing Table

This is the third week of the Sew. Happy. Quilt.  QAL. I am so proud of myself for keeping up so far! This is the Template Star Quilt Block. I have to admit that I put this one off until the weekend because the term "advanced beginner" freaked me out a little bit, but once again the instructions were easy to follow. I love the encouragement at the end of each one! After I finish a block, I also find myself saying, "She's right! I do totally rock! :D!"  This block also came together really quickly. I might end up redoing it with a solid, because it is so busy. I'll wait to see how it all looks at the end though!

We finished my sewing/craft table this weekend! I have been needing something taller to work at, because I already have horrible sitting posture and my back has been hurting when I am cutting/sewing at the folding table.  We are lucky enough to have a spare bedroom, so we made it 4'x6'. Before & after time!

At first my husband was going to build it from scratch, but I knew it would probably end up in garage limbo for months and I would really like to park in there sometimes! We decided to go with premade bookshelves and actually came out cheaper. The four Ikea Billy Bookshelves, medium-density fiber board and the wood for the opening brace ended up costing around $200.  I was worried about the height (41") which I thought was a couple inches higher than necessary, but it has actually been the perfect height for me. I finished the rest of my 84 Crimson Cross blocks with no pain. Yay! My husband doesn't know this yet, but I lined the bookshelves with wallpaper (Allen Roth Spanish Tile). I have been dying to line a bookshelf because of Pinterest and this was my chance!

I also had a good week, because I had some kind of crazy lucky streak and won two giveaways. I won a $25 gift certificate to ErinCondren.com from Danny at Mommy For Reals (I purchased the Life Planner in Multi Trellis) and a fat eighth bundle of Good Fortune by Kate Spain from Kaye at Miss Print. I'll have to post pictures when I get everything in, but I had to share my anticipation! ErinCondren.com documents ever step of the printing process and since I am the girl that stalks UPS tracking information on an hourly basis, I am also the girl who is causing a huge bump in ErinCondren.com's traffic numbers while checking my order status on an hourly basis lol

On the schedule for this week
1) Sew together the Crimson Cross top
2) Quilt and Bind the Snuggly Layer Cake Quilt
3) Start the robot quilt for my husband's Valentines Day present! He will be out of town this week, so it is perfect timing!
4) Transfer all the blogs I follow to this account. This will be a good task for when I am procrastinating the other three goals.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 2 - Friendship Star & QST Pinwheel Blocks

This has been such a busy weekend! Since my back has been hurting from bending over a kid's sized folding table and I had a tragic mod podge incident on the carpet*, my husband decided I needed a bigger table. We got about 90% finished before his saw broke. I hope he can find one from a coworker, because I am antsy and real uncomfortable stuffed in a corner right now! I also got a chance to work on my Blogger template and was real excited to find a purpose for Stanyan, a font I bought 5 years ago for absolutely no other reason except that it was pretty. :)

My blocks for Sew.Happy.Quilt QAL! It has been so great for my first quilt-along! The instructions are so easy to follow, even for a beginner like me. These are my favorite blocks so far, even though the second one gave me a lot of trouble. First mistake: I accidentally sewed the white and yellow triangle in the wrong order on one of the blocks. I really missed my undo button at that point! Second Mistake: I put the whole thing together and I ended up with three points...and one flat thing! The block I ended up is actually a mixture of my first attempt and my second attempt. Lesson learned: Never sew after 11pm. I was measuring 4 times and still coming out with the wrong cut! I do love the yellow and gray next to each other. It has really made me rethink my color combination on a couple of the other blocks. Once again, I cannot wait until the next tutorial! The tutorial for these two blocks is here.

I went shopping around the local fabric stores this week to try to find wine-colored minky. I think I actually prefer shopping online, but I did score these 6 half-yards of Amy Butler Lotus for $12 at ThreadArt.  They specialize in embroidery, but they had some fabric too. I have no plans for the bundle but...TWELVE DOLLARS! I told my husband about this fabric purchase. :)

  These are my works in progress for the week.
  1. Snuggly Layer Cake Throw in Domestic Bliss- I'm waiting for my backing fabric on this one.
  2. I joined the HST Block of the Month at In Color Order to get more practice on HST blocks. It is currently in pieces (two blocks I messed up during trimming).

*I did manage to get the half bottle of mod podge out of the carpet, but not before I knocked a hole in the wall with the vacuum. Ay ay ay! I probably should have named this blog "The Accident Prone Crafter."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle and Progress!

Against my better judgment (I usually cannot be trusted alone at Fat Quarter Shop),  I created a submission for Quokka Quilts  Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle Contest. I am proud to say I made it through the process without purchasing any fabric! I had actually spent an embarrassing amount of time making an entry last week, but it ended up being almost an exact replica of another entry so I scrapped it. I was sad to ditch my Floral Folio based one, but I love the whimsy of Parade Day.  I think bright colors look so nice on dark gray. This was so fun to make! I have been relying on ready-made bundles while I am learning, but it was fun to be creative and make my own. I want to buy all this yardage now :D

Peacock Lane Gray Parade Day by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics
Whimsy Teal Box Lattice by Heather Mulder Peterson for Henry Glass Fabrics
Froggin' Yellow Water Vines by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks Fabrics
Domestic Bliss Teal Lattice by Liz Scott for Moda Fabrics
Little One Organic Light Green Tonal Rattles by Katie Hennagir for Robert Kaufman Fabric
Sweet on NYC Grey Swirl by Katie Plitt for Timeless Treasures Fabrics
Treasures and Tidbits Red Circle Dots by Piece O' Cake Designs for Robert Kaufman Fabric
Knock Knock Red Diamond Grid by Dana Brooks of Lazy Daisy Cottage for Henry Glass Fabrics
Citron Gray Gray Bird Swing by Michael Miller Fabrics
Lemon Grove Silver Starburst Light Ground by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures Fabrics
Whimsy Olive Embellished Diamond by Heather Mulder Peterson for Henry Glass Fabrics
Early Birds Lemon Curlicue Yardage by Jane Sassaman for Free Spirit Fabrics
Bella Solids Gray Yardage by Moda Fabrics
Bella Solids Teal Yardage by Moda Fabrics
Bella Solids Bleached White  by Moda Fabrics

I also made progress on Crimson Cross quilt (from Little Bits Quilting Bee by Kathreen Ricketson). As soon as I finish the 6 blocks in the lower left, I will be about 33% done with the blocks. I had gotten all the materials ready while my sewing machine was in the shop in late November, but by the time I got the machine back I was off to newer and shinier projects! I am glad that I started back on it, because I just love the look of this fabric. I am using Butterscotch & Roses for this project. I love the feminine pattern and the cozy colors!

Hopefully today will be productive. It is such a nice, rainy day here in Houston, TX. Perfect weather for completing some more blocks!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Week 1 - Woven Block & Snowball Block

These are the first quilt blocks for the Sew. Happy. Quilt. QAL and my first real quilt blocks ever! I still have some precision issues, but I do see improvement (compared to my stocking project). I think my main problem is I get so excited to see the finished product my accuracy takes a dive! I had a lot of fun doing these blocks, especially the snowball block. I can't wait until the next tutorial!

Pincushion Organizer

I found this Sew Mama Sew tutorial for a Pincushion Organizer through fellow Sew Happy Geek QALer Kelsey Sews. It was perfect timing, because I really need to organize my sewing area. I have everything set up on a folding table and I am constantly losing my seam ripper and getting thread everywhere! This should really help. It is not completely finished, because I forgot the Polyester Fiberfill step! I will be fixing that tonight.

Edited: Finished, completely this time!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Finished Projects of 2011

I just started sewing consistently at the second half of 2011, so there aren't a lot of completed projects. I have a lot of unfinished ones and a few disasters stored away in my spare bedroom! Here are some of my successful projects:

  1. Basic Scarves with the Knifty Knitter - I was so thankful to find this YouTube tutorial by starnstv. The Knifty Knitter had been sitting in my closet for 5 years, because I had a difficult time understanding the written instructions that were included! I loved working with Red Heart's plush yarn, which is now unfortunately discontinued. Luckily, due to my hoarding tendencies, I stockpiled it! For the dark gray scarf, I used Andes Alpaca yarn from Yarn Bee. It is so soft!
  2. Fat Quarter Friendly Poochie Bags - I used The Happy Zombie's free pattern to make my Christmas gift bags this year. It was super easy to follow.
  3. Drawstring Gift Pouch - I am currently taking the Freckled Nest's Home Ec Course and this is the first project. I was hoping this course breaks me of some of my bad habits and it seems to be working. My hand embroidery could use a lot of work though! Luckily, the ribbon covers that disaster!
  4. Christmas Stockings - This was one of my favorite projects this year, because I have always wanted a quilted stocking! I have always used the dollar store felt kind. I used Prudent Baby's stocking template along with Cluck Cluck Sew's Lined Stocking with Cuff tutorial. I was pretty unsure of myself on that second step, but it was actually pretty easy to follow if you don't get ahead of yourself.
  5. Photobucket

  6. Table Runner - I followed the instructions in Sewing in No Time by Emma Hardy. I was so excited to use Gallery Fiori by Karen Tusinski. I am crazy about it and bought the entire red palette!
  7. Nook Cover - I got this pattern from BirdfulStitches. It is definitely not perfect, but I did learn a lot from this project and I hope to do it again now that I have more projects under my belt.
  8. My First Quilt - My husband was out of the country and I was bored, so I decided to try my hand at a rag quilt! I bought this kit from beffie48. I have officially caught the quilting bug! I haven't made a quilt since because I have been focusing on other projects, but I hope to complete several quilts in 2012

2012 Goals

My goals for 2012 (sewing and non-sewing):
  1. Complete a quilt top for the Sew. Happy. Quilt. QAL at Sew Happy Geek. I am trying to work up the courage to cut my first block right now!
  2. Complete my Crimson Cross quilt (from Little Bits Quilting Bee by Kathreen Ricketson). Blocks are in progress.
  3. Complete the Mod Sampler Quilt-Along at Oh, Fransson!
  4. Finish the Freckled Nest's Home Ec Course.
  5. Read 50 books.
  6. Keep my email under control! I spent all day December 31 cleaning out 7000 emails, mostly commercial emails. Hopefully I have been reformed!
My main goal for this blog is to document my progress at these goals and to keep track of the projects I have completed. I have been bad at keeping a personal portfolio in the past and have lost many design projects because of it. I want to get better at keeping track at what I have done.
    Copyright © From Pixels to Patchwork 2012. All text and images on this blog are property of From Pixels to Patchwork unless otherwise noted. If you link or share anything from this site, please credit me. Thank you!