Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 8/52

Happy Leap Day!

Happy WiP Day!

I can't believe how quickly the days (and nights) go by. Whoosh. Another week is gone, and I don't have much to report.

It was a great week, of course. We had our guild retreat last weekend, so there was a lot of prep-work for that, and then a couple of days recuperating, of course. :o)  There wasn't a whole heckuva lot I had to do to prepare for others coming to the retreat, it was more preparing all my stuff that I wanted to take. (And then eliminating what I knew I wouldn't accomplish, but still taking WAY too much!)  :o)  In hindsight, I wish I had taken a picture of the myriad stuff I took! It was pretty ridiculous. Haha!

Here's a shot of the lovely, talented, vivacious Amy of Stitchery Dickory Dock, at registration.


And here is the group on Sunday morning. We had 18 attend, but only 17 made it into the early morning photo. :o)


I'm not sure when I actually put my sewing machine on the table, but I think it was about 9:00 on Friday night! Late start, eh?

The first thing I worked on was my Sea Glass quilt. And I quilted, and I quilted, and I quilted. Now, keeping in mind that I am S.L.O.W., and that I wanted to socialize a bit, and that I can't really sit still long enough to sew 3 rows at one time, I finished quilting it sometime on Saturday. Productive, I know. :o)

Then I took off my walking foot, and went to fold up the quilt, and I saw a bunch of tension issue blobs on the backside.

Tension issues cause tension issues!! Amen?  Wow. I was SO disappointed!!!  The tension issues aren't horrid, but I have been working on that thing for SO much longer than I thought I would be that I just folded it up and put it a.w.a.y.  Harumph.

And I started working on bee blocks.

The first one I finished as Amy's for our in-guild bee. It's a sweet little 5-sided wonky log cabin, using this tutorial from Aneela Hoey.

FRMQG Adventure Block Swap ~ For Amy G

(the fussy cut deer is from Toyland by Bored, Inc. from Robert Kaufman, and it's a couple of years old)

Next I tackled our Fabric Dance block for our group quilts for Firehouse Quilts of Colorado.

The "fabric dance" was a little swap activity we did as a group. Those who wanted to participate brought in a fat quarter, and the dancers stood around in a circle...or maybe they sat, I had to leave for about an hour, so I missed the actual dance. They brought their rotary cutter, and in the first round, they cut their fq in half and passed it to the next person. Then in the second round, they cut the newly acquired half into half again, and passed it to the next person, then they cut the second acquired half and cut it into half, and passed that. Et...cetera. :o) So, at the end of the dance, everyone had a handful of scraps from the majority of those who participated (apparently, the fabrics didn't make it all the way around, but, again, I wasn't there!) When I got back from my errands (the bank and Starbucks and home to give Dave my key to the car since he couldn't find his...), I discovered a colorful pile of scraps on my machine.

This is the block I made.

And this is a picture of 9 of the blocks that were made at the retreat. We are hoping to make 2 quilts. The Firehouse Quilts are made for whenever the firemen respond to a call involving a child. The firemen like to give the child a quilt or a blanket or something comforting, and Firehouse Quilts is the charity our guild is going to focus on this year, so we're starting off right. :)


I also worked on my granny squares for the {Faith} Circle of the do.Good Stitches bee. I finished the second one at home. I haven't trimmed it yet, but you know what it looks like. :o)

{Faith} Circle do.Good Stitches ~ February 2012 blocks

I worked on some other blocks, but didn't get anything else finished. I am totally impressed at how much other people accomplished, though. Amanda made 3 quilt tops - start to finish. And they weren't tiny, either! She was a MACHINE!!  Granted, she lives in a teeny, tiny apartment and doesn't get a lot of time (or space) to sew, so she made the most of it, but still! And then Andrea completed an entire quilt, from cutting to binding. It was a "bargello" quilt, too!  Sheesh!  The other stunner was Traci making 6 stinkin' adorable dresses for her (stinkin' adorable) daughter.

I'm glad that everyone else accomplished so much... :o)

When I got home, I was completely shattered, as you can imagine, but I still wanted to sew!  I took all of Monday off, and only started sewing on Tuesday. Since I am working on some Mod Mosaic blocks, I wanted to try stand-up sewing, so I set up a little sewing station on my kitchen island.

It has its advantages, but I don't know if I'm going to be one to sew standing up all the time. It's great for lots of little piecing, lots of pressing, lots of trimming, but it's also hard on a pregnant woman's back. :o)

Speaking of pregnant women...
(A) I had another friend announce her pregnancy this week, and one friend had her baby, so with one up and one down, we're still at 14 pregnant women in my immediate circle. And one will be induced on Friday, so I need to finish her receiving blanket! (Get on it, Melissa!!)
(B) I had an ultrasound yesterday, and Mr JuiceMan is growing nicely, right on track. If he doesn't come sooner, we'll induce on April 9th. I'm pretty freaked out by the fact that in less than 6 weeks, I will be holding a baby boy.  I'm ready to not be pregnant, but not ready to have a newborn! :o)  I know you know what I mean.

That's it for today. As I always say, hopefully next week, I'll have more to show you! :o)  I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced. (She's also got a giveaway this week!)

Hope you have a great, and crafty, week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 7/52

I feel like Alexander the Great trying to solve the riddle of the Gordian Knot!

The back of my Sea Glass quilt has been quite perplexing and puzzling and brain-draining. It's finished now, but I still can't show you a picture. :-/  It took as much of my energy as I expected it to, but since it looks exactly how I wanted it to, the fact that it nearly destroyed my last 3 brain cells is okay. :o)

I basted it, with a little help, yesterday. When I got out the roll of batting, Sprout immediately started rolling back and forth on it. She had SO much fun!

Helping Mama

Now my dilemma is how to quilt it! I had the perfect idea in my head all along, and then, lo and behold, Alissa's new book Modern Minimal landed on my doorstep, and she inspired me to quilt it a different way! Shoot! Now I have to make a decision!! :o)  One way is all horizontal, but not tightly quilted (every 2-3" maybe?), and the other way has horizontal and vertical quilting. Both go with the quilt design, and I think the first one would be easier, but I just don't know if it's better, since there isn't any vertical quilting. I'd hate for this thing to fall apart after a few years of love!

And I'm super excited about the binding. I chose this, which I love!  It's Maude Asbury's Ovals in Cool.

It's just dreamy. The hand, the colors, the design. If you haven't petted this, yet, you totally should. If I could move past my infatuation with the fabric, I might consider using it to actually decorate the baby's room with it!! :o)  And that's saying a lot because I'm not much of a decorator!

Our Front Range MQG Retreat is this weekend, and I'm planning on getting it bound and finished while I'm there. I've only got about 18 projects that I hope to get done over the weekend.

Here are the other things I'm planning on doing at the retreat:
  1. Sleep.
  2. Finish the Harrison Quilts
  3. Complete all 10 of my bee blocks for February, and start on March, if I can.
  4. Sleep.
  5. Make some Mod Mosaic blocks for myself.
  6. Not clean up after myself, or anyone else all weekend.
  7. Make some serious progress on the Swoon quilt for my uncle. I need to get my pieces cut before I go so I don't waste all my time at the retreat cutting, but I'm not quite sure when that will happen. :o)
  8. Eat really yummy food I didn't have to make.
  9. Maybe make a pin cushion for our FRMQG swap for March. There are some darling pin cushions out there!
  10. Sleep some more.
I think that's enough for that list, don't you? :o)

And, hopefully, next week, I'll be able to show you some pictures of things I actually made! I mean, I guess we can say I made Sprout, up there, and she's pretty darn cute, and she is definitely  a "work in progress" (amen?), but you know what I mean. :o)

I hope you have a great week! Now go over to Lee's and check out what other people have accomplished and are working on this week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 6/52


This hasn't been the greatest week for me - emotionally, physically, I don't have much to show for my very limited efforts. I wish I did, but I think the about the only WiP I made any progress on is Juice. He's growing and healthy and active and that's all good, it's just that pretty much every other element in my life has taken a hit this week.

That's not entirely true. We celebrated our first birthday as the Front Range MQG on Saturday, so there was a lot that went into the preparations for the wonderful meeting, and then it's a whole day (we have a meeting in the morning, then a sew in the afternoon), and I think I just over did it. Last week was a busy week anyways, then the meet-and-sew on Saturday, and then Sunday I was tired, and Monday I was tired (and my fibroid was overactive) and Tuesday I was tired (and my fibroid was active), and all of that just doesn't make for much time to sew!!

I can show you this, though. Oh, wait. I was going to show you pictures of the swaddling blankets and burp cloths I made for Kelly, but I just realized that I sent them without taking any pictures! I'm a dork! I was so focused on keeping them a secret that I am keeping them a total secret! Doh!

Eh, you've all seen flannel swaddling blankets and burp cloths. I was just kind of excited to be able to show you a FINISH!!!  :o)  Thank you, by the way, to all of you that said the "lettuce edge" (i.e., wavy edge) to the blankets was attractive and not an unhappy accident. I appreciate it!

One thing (not sewing related, though), that I did accomplish this week was making Valentine's for my oldest daughter's preschool class. They were very specific that we couldn't bring anything edible since some kids have allergies, so I went with the oh-so-popular-on-Pinterest heart-shaped crayon idea. (I used the tutorial from Chef Messy, but there are tons out there.)

Here's a picture of the girls watching the crayons melt. They, of course, did not stick around for the entire process.

Heart Crayons ~ Melting

Here are the crayons after they came out of the oven:

Heart Crayon ~ Melted

Here is Mookie writing each one. All. By. Herself. Holy shemozzle, my blood pressure was sky-high during this! I know how to clean Sharpie off, that's not what was stressful, it was the whole process of her
Oy! Girlfriend was proud of herself, though, and that's more important, I know. :)

Mookie and the Sharpie (=Mama's high BP)

And here's a picture of Miss Proud-of-Herself with a finished Valentine:
Heart Crayon ~ finished

 So, yeah. There's a finish for the week! And, believe you me, it took nearly all week!!

Here's what's on the menu for this week, though:

Still Cooking
  1. The Harrison Quilts ~ even more progress, though not finished.
  2. Christmas Cards ~ no progress. I think I might just put these away and call it a failure.
  3. Bee Blocks ~  Back to 9. Being in 4 bees kinda stinks right about now. :)
  4. Seaglass Quilt ~ I'm making some VERY slow progress on the back. I keep wanting to work on it, but bedtime keeps happening. Or dinner needs to be made. It'll happen, I know it will.   I was very disappointed to not be able to show it on Saturday at our meeting since I fully expect to be finished with it and it be gone by the next meeting, but that's what Flickr is for, right? :)

    Here. Here's a picture of a print out of a picture of the back that I need to work on:
    (it's purposely a crappy photo because I want to keep it a secret) :o)

  5. Baby Gifts ~ making progress! Some gifts done (Kelly received her receiving blankets last week! Yay!). I was down to 12 friends pregnant, but then another friend made known how fruitful her uterus is, so we're back to 13. It is IN the water, folks. 
  6. Juice ~ daily progress. I'm getting larger and more uncomfortable every day. I'm not very excited about the fact that he's taking my breath away, and he's not even born yet!
  7. Mod Mosaic Quilt ~ I haven't done anything on it this week, but the FRMQG retreat is coming up, and I plan to Mod Mosaic my way through that weekend.
On The Back Burner
  1. Fruit Strip Quilt ~ stalled.
  2. Mod Mosaic Blocks ~ stalled.
  3. Puppet Theater Backdrop ~ stalled. The girls think it's superfab without it, so why bother?
  4. MQG Showcase Quilt ~ stalled...and I'm not actually sure it's going to go anywhere. Which is a real disappointment because I really wanted to do it and submit it for the MQG showcase, but I just don't know how realistic it is to finish it by March 2nd without completely abandoning all my other responsibilities and commitments.
  5. Secret Projects ~ stalled, sigh, 8 still to go.
  6. Maternity Skirts ~ I'm taking these off. There's no point in even thinking about making them.
  7. Quilt-alongs ~ stalled, but I had a great conversation with some of the gals coming to the FRMQG retreat, and we're going to have our own little Shhhhwoon-Along at the retreat. Yay!
  8. Juice's Quilt ~ stalled.
  9. T-Shirt Quilts ~ stalled. Since I'm doing this with/for other people, I'm waiting on them to make it urgent.
  10. Sprout's Goodnight Moon Quilt ~ stalled, her birthday is in May, so maybe I'll finish it then.

I've also kinda tried to stay away from the computer this last week, trying to spend my upright-and-on-a-machine time to the sewing machine, so if you left me a comment last week, I apologize for not responding! I totally meant to! :-(  I love that you commented! Rilly, I do!

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her regular WiP Wednesday feature. Check out what other people have accomplished this week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday - 5/52

Not the greatest week in the "Done" department, but not as bad as the past few, at least! :)


  1. Bee Happy Blocks - January - Janice sent pieces of Hope Valley and asked us to make one block with (non-wonky) triangles, and one block with a circle of Hope Valley set into a white circle. Here's what I made. The triangles are loosely based on something I saw called a Friendship Block, and the circle is loosely based on Denyse Schmidt's Pie In The Sky quilt block:

  2. Swaddling Blankets - I got a small stack of swaddling/receiving blankets finished for Kelly once I got my serger back (hooray!), but there is a steep learning curve with that thing! It's a totally different kind of animal than a regular sewing machine! Sheesh! So, there were some hiccups, and some re-doing, and, well, they're done. Kelly also had her baby on time, so I'm way behind now. I was totally counting on that boy being a week late like her other kids. :)

    Interestingly, I found that if I did a regular 4-thread chain stitch (below, on the left), the edge laid flat, but I didn't really like it. It wasn't decorative enough. So I did a 3-thread rolled hem (below on the right), with a contrasting thread, and I like it much better. 

  3. But look, the edge is wavy. Hmph. So much to learn. :-)
Still Cooking
  1. The Harrison Quilts ~ some progress, though not finished.
  2. Christmas Cards ~ no progress.
  3. Bee Blocks ~ 2 down, 8 to go! :) Heck, probably 9 or 10 by now, I've lost track.
  4. Seaglass Quilt ~ I'm still stuck on the back. It'll happen, I know it will. 
  5. Baby Gifts ~ making progress! Some gifts done, and I remembered another friend who is pregnant, so for about 2 days, I had 13 friends who are pregnant. Then Kelly had her adorable little Tucker Man, and I'm back to 12. :)
  6. Juice ~ progressing nicely, I guess. No status change...which is a really really good thing at 30 weeks!
  7. Mod Mosaic Quilt ~ As a member of the Flickr Mod Mosaic bee, I got to be first, and I went with monochromatic blocks so I can make a (say it with me) spectrum quilt. Take a gander at this bad boy, and try to curb your jealousy:
    Mod Mosaic Bee Blocks Received as of Feb 2

On The Back Burner
  1. Fruit Strip Quilt ~ stalled.
  2. Mod Mosaic Blocks ~ stalled.
  3. Puppet Theater Backdrop ~ stalled. The girls think it's superfab without it, so why bother?
  4. MQG Showcase Quilt ~ stalled, but there needs to be!! I need to move this one up!
  5. Secret Projects ~ stalled, sigh, 8 still to go.
  6. Maternity Skirts ~ heck, at this rate, I might as well just leave them alone and wear them after I have the baby!
  7. Quilt-alongs ~ stalled.
  8. Juice's Quilt ~ stalled.
  9. T-Shirt Quilts ~ stalled. Since I'm doing this with/for other people, I'm waiting on them to make it urgent.
  10. Sprout's Goodnight Moon Quilt ~ stalled, her birthday is in May, so maybe I'll finish it then.

Lots and lots to do this week! Hopefully I'll get more done. I'd really love to be able to show the Seaglass quilt at my MQG meeting on Saturday.

I hope you have a great, and productive, week!

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her regular WiP Wednesday feature. Check out what other people have accomplished this week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Taking It For Granite

I discovered something yesterday.

And it relates to a very important discovery I made Wednesday morning.

In a box marked "batting", I found nearly 25 yards of flannel prints. Yes I have a problem. I realize this, but that isn't the point. The point is, rather than having to buy flannel to make receiving blankets for the 13 people I know that are pregnant (I realized I forgot another friend! Gah!), I can just go "shopping" in my stash!

Hello happy wallet, eh?! :)

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, I guess, most of it is definitely girlie. In general, I think that cute flannel for boys is just hard to find anyways, and also, I've got two little girls, and most of my friends were having girls, so my eyes went to the girlie flannel. Good then, not necessarily bad now, because of my 13 friends that are pregnant, half are having girls, so I'm good. I think I may still need to buy some boy flannel, but I know I'm saving money right now.

Which is nice.

Anyway. After that discovery, I chose a few prints and washed them. I always prewash flannel. I don't always prewash my quilting cotton. Flannel shrinks. Not good. Prewash. Good.

Now, as hard as I try to prevent it, there are inevitably wrinkles in the flannel. And those wrinkles run deep, you know? I kind of hate to have to iron out the wrinkles in flannel, but it seems like something I just can't avoid. :-/

Back to Line 1 -- I discovered something yesterday.

My (granite) kitchen island is PERFECT for ironing flannel. PERFECT!!!

It's just the right height, it is muuuuuch wider than my ironing board, I don't have to worry about the flannel sticking to the board, I don't have to worry about stray threads from other fabric sticking to the flannel, I get to be near my children when they don't want to play upstairs near my ironing board...the list goes on and on.

I ironed the piece on the left, and you can see how different it is compared to the piece on the right, that I didn't iron, yet.  It's not, you know, scientific, or anything, but to me, it's a pretty significant difference. Especially since some of my cuts of flannel are 2 yards. Ironing 2 yards of sticky flannel on an ironing board is aaaaggggoooonnnnyyy. Ironing 2 yards of flannel on my island is eeeeaaaassssyyyy. Zip, zip, zip.

Now, if only I could find a cutting mat that fit the island exactly...THAT would be a dream come true. :)

In other news, I finished my bee blocks for Janice (for the Bee Happy bee). She sent us Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley and asked us to make on block with triangles, no wonky allowed, and one block with a set-in circle, where the innards of the circle could be any design we wanted.

I looked and looked at block designs with triangles, and kept coming back to the simple ones. I saw what someone called a friendship block, so I went with it, modifying it a bit. And for the inside of the circle, I decided to go with a loosely inspired version of Denyse Schmidt's Pie In The Sky pattern. The setting-in was challenging, and I was really sure it would come out all warped and gross and, well, just wrong.

But it turned out with very microscopic warps, and Janice is pleased with both, so that's a win.

Bee Happy Bee Blocks ~ January for Janice

OH...and in other, exciting news...I get to pick up my serger today!! They figured out how to make the knocking stop, and get the rocking started! I'm so excited. I'm not sure, yet, what the problem was, but I've prepped a bit so, hopefully I can crank out some things tonight and tomorrow.

THAT would make me happy as this has been a low-sew week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday 4/52

Wednesday to Wednesday goes fast!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

(I linked up with Lee at Freshly Pieced again. There are some really great things being created all over, and linked up there.)

I had some success this week with a (sshhh!) new project. 

I decided on Thursday, or was it Friday, to take out a serger that had been given to me, and see if I could figure out how to make it work. Keep in mind that I'd never even plugged it in! I had it serviced, so I knew it worked...I just didn't know HOW! :o)  But I was determined.  And I had my friends on Facebook to help me. 

Friday I learned that even though it was serviced, and worked in the shop, it didn't work at home. It's a 5-thread serger, and when I took it back to the shop on Saturday, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with the 5th thread over there - the chain-looper. One theory is that the thread is just, plain, old. Another is that there is a problem with that looper. I decided I didn't need to chain loop anything, so I bought 4 cones of new thread, and tested it out there in the shop, and was PLEASED!! With myself. With them. With the serger. With my new list of possibilities (like I need more projects??)...pleased.

I took it home, cut out some fabric for a possible baby gift idea I can (a) whip out like butter, and (b) save a ton of money on, and proceeded to serge my way to glory. 

Oh, that serger was a-rockin'!  And started knockin'. :-(  At precisely 3:50, and the repair shop closes at 4:00. On the other side of town. :-(  And it stopped working altogether. My serger went belly up, and took my motivation with it! Saturday at 4:00pm. 

And I haven't seen my motivation since.  I took my serger in Monday morning to see if they can get the timing back to sync, and I'm sure hoping they can! I want it back! It's only been sitting in my closet collecting dust for over a year, but I'm desperate to have it back rightnow!!

Still Cooking
  1. The Harrison Quilts ~ some progress, though not finished.
  2. Christmas Cards ~ no progress.
  3. Bee Blocks ~ I've only got, like 10 to make...hah!  Here's one, though, for Janice in the Bee Happy Bee. She asked for one block with triangles of any sort (just not wonky), and one with circles. I haven't started that one yet since I haven't seen my mojo in a while.
    Friendship Star for Janice ~Bee Happy January 2012
  4. Unnamed Quilt ~ I actually have a name for it (Seaglass), and have finished the top, and even know what I'm going to do for the back, but I can't share any of it with you. It's stalled because while I am excited about the back, I am also intimidated. I shouldn't be. I know this. But I am. :o)  I'm silly. 
  5. Baby Gifts ~ stalled, although I am making preparational progress. I just can't make actual progress until I find out the fate of my serger.  I actually know of 11 other people that are pregnant right now. Oh, dang! 12! My neighbor! Shoot. I have GOT to get on the ball with this!!
  6. Juice ~ He's growing nicely. I had an ultrasound yesterday, and he is measuring right on track, maybe even a little big (gasp!). And his current estimated weight is a hefty 3.4 pounds. But if you think that from this point the baby gains about 1/2 pound a week, and I've got 9-10 weeks left, that puts him between 7.5 and 8 pounds! Yipes! I won't know what to do with a baby that big! Both my girls weighed 6 1/2 pounds at birth. :o)
On The Back Burner
  1. Fruit Strip Quilt ~ stalled.
  2. Mod Mosaic Blocks ~ stalled.
  3. Puppet Theater Backdrop ~ stalled. The girls think it's superfab without it, so why bother?
  4. MQG Showcase Quilt ~ stalled, but there needs to be!! I need to move this one up!
  5. Secret Projects ~ stalled, sigh, 8 still to go.
  6. Maternity Skirts ~ heck, at this rate, I might as well just leave them alone and wear them after I have the baby!
  7. Quilt-alongs ~ stalled.
  8. Juice's Quilt ~ stalled.
  9. T-Shirt Quilts ~ stalled. Since I'm doing this with/for other people, I'm waiting on them to make it urgent.
  10. Sprout's Goodnight Moon Quilt ~ stalled, her birthday is in May, so maybe I'll finish it then.

So, yeah. I need to find that dadgum pile of motivation and get. to. work!!! I need to get some finishes under my belt!!

I hope you have a great week, and get more done than I am! :o)