Friday, March 30, 2012

The BIG Finish of 2012! ( far...)

(I hope there are more finishes in 2012!)

Even though Tucker (Kelly's son) was born on time, my baby quilt for him was not. I have loads of excuses...

But what matters most is that it. is. FINISHED!!

Sea Glass Quilt ~ Front

For the front, I used the Traveler Quilt pattern from the Oliver+S Little Things to Sew book. It is a very simple pattern, although I would like to announce to the world that I believe the fabric suggestions are grossly over estimated. With that said, though, I am making this pattern again. :)

I stepped out of my quilting cotton comfort zone, and used Essex Linen in white, because Kelly loves linen. Kelly also loves blues and greens, so I used solids and prints from my stash (actually, the abandoned "Bottled Rainbows" quilt provided most of them!). I spent a little time in limbo because I didn't order enough of the Essex Linen, and you would think I was asking for fabric made from moon dust the way the fabric stores in Colorado acted when I asked if they carried it! Sheesh!

Once I got the rest of the linen, I commenced to spending hours upon hours with my brow furrowed as I tried to figure out how to piece the back. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use the bits and pieces to make something truly modern, and I settled on the "Confetti" pattern from Block Party. I felt like I was Alexander the Great trying to solve the Gordian Knot! (here's an in-progress picture)

Oy. Good thing I love the back so much. It would really stink if didn't! I bet I spent at least 3 times as much time on the back as I did on the front. Here's the finished back:

Sea Glass Quilt ~ Back

(I took the quilt to the park the other day to take pictures, and as my oldest was holding it up, a friend surprised us all by sliding under it. I really love this shot!)

I was inspired to quilt it in waves thanks to the early doorstep arrival of Modern Minimal, by Alissa Haight Carlton. It was perfect for a lot of reasons, and I'm so glad I did the waves!

Sea Glass Quilt ~ Back

I used variegated green thread for one wave, and variegated blue thread for the echoing wave, and finished the quilting at the Front Range MQG (fantabulously awesome) retreat in late February. Unfortunately, I had some tension issues with the quilting that caused some tension issues with my attitude, and so the quilt sat.

And it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat and it sat. (who can tell me what that's from?)  :o)

I had to rip out and redo quite a few sections of the blue quilting, and I didn't like the way I was having to bury the thread tails. Finally, oh finally, I found this YouTube video showing a stinkin' brilliant way to hide thread tails, and I do believe my life has been forever changed. Amen.

I (machine) bound it in Maude Asbury's Calypso Ovals in Cool, which I am completely in love with and want to wallpaper my whole house with. Even though it's an oval, if you cut it right, it reads, and thus binds, as a stripe.

Oh Happy Day!

It was really challenging for me to not share pictures as I blogged about the process of the quilt. I'm fairly sure Kelly knew the quilt was coming to her, but I didn't want her to know what it looked like until she got it in her hot little hands.

But in her hands it is, even though not-so-little Tucker Man is (oh my goodness, Kelly!) 8 weeks old already. It isn't perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but Kelly knows to apply my "friend" rule when it comes to hand-made projects.  (My "friend" rule is that a real friend doesn't notice the imperfections, and if she does, she doesn't ever mention them to anyone!)

Kelly, I'm glad you love it. That's all that matters. It was made for you. I mean Tucker. :o)

(I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for "finish it up Friday" and I will remove it forever from my "{WiP} Wednesdays" posts! Hallelujah!)

(I'm also linking up with Canoe Ridge Creations for "Sew Modern Monday". It's nice to finish something!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{Made} Progress ~ 12/52

(12 weeks already? Man, time flies!)

As you can see in the title, I have actually MADE some PROGRESS this week! Unfortunately, not as much as I would like, but, hey, progress is progress!

I had one BIG finish, but can't show you any pictures, yet.

Well, okay. I'll show you one. You knew I was binding the Sea Glass quilt with Maude Asbury's Calypso Ovals in Blue, right? I love, love, love that, if you do it right, it reads as a stripe. In order to see what I'm talking about, though, you'll have to take your eyes off that gorgeous little girl of mine and look to the left a bit. :)

I'll show you more pictures next week. Of the quilt, and of both my girls! There was a lot of fun and frolicking when I was taking pictures of the quilt. :)

Here. I can show you this, though, too. It's the Sea Glass quilt all wrapped and ready to be mailed.

Oh Happy Day!

I'm working, working, working on a few things that I MUST get DONE this week.

Still Cooking
  1. The Harrison Quilts ~ even more progress, though not finished.
  2. Car Seat Privacy Cover ~ I've got the pattern, I've got the flannel, now I just need to make it.
  3. Bee Blocks ~  Back to 10, although 4 are really small and simple. I also have 4 Mod Mosaic blocks to do. And we all know that "simple" and "mod mosaic" do NOT go in the same sentence.
  4. Mod Mosaic Bee ~ March ~ For Leah
  5. Receiving Blankets for Juice ~ Umm...I got the serger out. That's a step in the right direction, isn't it? It actually takes longer to trim the flannel to size than it does to make the blankets, I've just been spending my time doing things for other people. And since we induce in less than 2 weeks, I need to get done with that nonsense and get stuff made for my own baby! :)
  6. Juice ~ Speaking of's a picture I took this morning. I'm 37 1/2 weeks along. 
Juice Man ~ 37.5 weeks

We are going to start our Easter preparations around here, and I decided that Mookie is old enough to understand the real meaning of Easter and the Resurrection. I found this "plan" (it's not really a tutorial), and we prepped the egg carton yesterday and today. Mookie is pretty excited about it. :o)

Resurrection Eggs

Mookie learned about mosiacs in school last week, and so we covered the top of the egg carton with a mosaic. (We've only made upwards of 309 mosaics since last Tuesday.)  (Seriously. Between her construciton paper mosaics, and my fabric mosaics, I'm about mosaiced out!)

Resurrection Eggs 2012

And, of course, there is QUITE a bit of prep-work to be done around the house before the Juiceman arrives on April 9th. So much. It's overwhelming, really, considering what I want/need to be doing (sewing), what my body wants/needs to be doing (resting), what my girls want/need me to be doing (playing), and what the households wants/needs me to be doing (feeding them, cleaning up after them, getting the baby's space ready).

The rest of my list will remain "on the back burner" until life settles down again after the baby is born.  Dave's mom is coming to stay with us for a bit, and she arrives next Thursday, so that will be really helpful.

I hope you have a very productive, crafty week...and I hope the same for me. :o)

I am, of course, linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her {WiP} Wednesday Link-up Party. :)  Have a great week, and I hope you're more productive than me!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 11/52

I swear, the Earth must be rotating around the sun faster than normal, or something, because time is just flying by!! It's so hard to believe that it's already been a week!

I finished Julie's quilt today, and washed it and took it to her. It is far from perfect, but that's okay. It is supposed to comfort her, and I think it will.

Here is the front:
Julie's Quilt ~ The Front

Here is the back:

Julie's Quilt ~ The Back

And here is the label:

Julie's Quilt ~ The Label

When I took it to her, she was genuinely amazed. She even said "How do you MAKE things like this?"  Which, I must say, I was very glad to hear, because if she doesn't even understand how a quilt is constructed, she will NEVER see all the mistakes and goof-ups!! Woo. :o)  She was really glad to have it, though.

Oh, and I had to laugh at her because I told her the print was designed by Ty Pennington, and she whipped her head up and said "What? Why would he do that?" She and I are clearly living on separate planets! :o)  I really thought the Ty Pennington fabric would be the perfect choice for her because we have always shared a mutual...ummm...shall we say admiration for his particular brand of eye-candy??  Mmm-hmmm...

I also finished the pin cushion I had to make for the FRMQG Pin Cushion Swap. And...I can't find the camera with pictures of it!  I used this tutorial, and tried my darndest to make a similarly adorable prickly pear cactus pin cushion...and it looked more like an alien. And it weebled and wobbled in the pot. I had to use some styrofoam and some sand paper to make it look halfway right! And, as luck would have it, Randi won it!  She said it was cute, but she's RANDI, for pete's sake! And she had to get my wobbly alien cactus? Maybe her daughter will claim it and I won't feel so bad. :o) 

I'll put the picture in as soon as I find that camera! I'm certain one of my darlingest of daughters has relocated it for me. :o)

So, what's actually a WiP for me this week??  Haha!! What ISN'T?!?!

  1. Sea Glass quilt ~ serge edge, bind, wash, MAIL.
  2. Bee Blocks ~ I've got quite a few that I need to work on. Quite a few.
  3. Receiving Blankets/Burp Cloths ~ For myself and others. Now that I'm done with Julie's quilt, I can bust out the serger and get these things done!
  4. The Harrison Quilts ~ yeah. Hide thread tails, bind the mama's, and hand them over. MUST do this before the baby comes!!
  5. Car Seat Privacy Canopy ~ I've got the fabric, now I just need to make the time to do it.

I'm sorry this post is so boring, and not filled with colorful photos, but if I could just find that other camera... :o)

I'm very late for the link-up, but I'm gonna do it anyways, and hopefully get over there tomorrow to leave some comments on the other lovely WiPs linked up. Go to Lee's Freshly Pieced WiP post to see what everyone else is in the middle of this week.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 10/52

I kinda fell off the wagon this week.

The "do what you've got on your list already" wagon, that is. :)

I found out on Thursday that a very dear friend of mine is having a laparoscopic hysterectomy on Tuesday of next week, and will have about a week of recovery time. She is such a dear friend, and she has had YEARS and YEARS of ridiculous bleeding. And cramps. It's been awful. So I decided that she needs something to cuddle with when she gets out of the hospital. I didn't want to have to spend much on fabric, so, after much deliberation, I decided to use some of the Ty Pennington Impressions fabric that my friend, Ramona, sent me, and make a simple quilt.

Since I'm all kinds of hi-tek, here's a picture of the Excel mock-up I did. :)

Julie's Quilt Design

I wanted to use Kona Periwinkle for the light blue, and Jade for the green, but I wasn't able to find the Periwinkle locally, so I had to use a Moda Marbles fabric. It's not my favorite, but it works. I'm not trying to win any awards with this quilt, and Julie doesn't know the difference between Kona and Symphony, and a solid vs a batik vs a "marble". I just want her to have something that she can be comforted by when she is MOST uncomfortable, you know?

So here's what I've done so far...I put the light blue border around the Ty fabric.

(1) I need 30 blocks bordered in the blue, so I took as many short-cuts as I could. At this point, I had a banner of all 30 blocks with a border on 3 sides:

Block Banner ~ Julie's Quilt

(2) My favorite short cut is what I call "ladder piecing". It's not quite chain piecing, and not quite strip piecing, so it's ladder piecing! :)  Once I got the border strips on one side of the block, I just loaded it up again, and sewed a strip on the other side, then pressed and trimmed. It worked out GREAT!!

Ladder Piecing on Julie's Quilt

(3) All the blocks are bordered, and I've got to sew the Jade sashing on now. And figure out what to back it with. I was hoping to find some navy flannel, but didn't like what I could find locally. And I don't want to order online since I need to get this D.O.N.E. :)

Bordered Blocks ~ Julie's Quilt

And here is my only real finish for this week:
One bee block. For the FRMQG Adventure Swap Bee. I made for Jessica this month, and she wanted a disappearing 9 patch in pinks, grays and whites, with a touch of greens or blues.

Speaking of bee blocks, RoRo left a comment last week asking what bee blocks are, but doesn't have an email address on her comment, so RoRo, I promise to explain it tomorrow!  Promise!! :) Come back, okay?

OH...and I buried all my thread tails on my Sea glass quilt!! I used THIS fabulous tutorial. It's SO brilliant. I didn't break a thread, or a needle, or any skin. Miraculous. During one nap time I finished what would have taken 10 times as long. I'm SO glad that's done! Everyone should try her technique to bury thread tails. :)

So, on the actual {WiP} list...

Before Saturday, I need to:
  1. Make a pin cushion for our FRMQG swap. I have the tutorial and all the supplies, and I'm super excited because it's not on Pinterest, so I know mine will be the only one like it! :)
  2. Finish the top and back of Julie's quilt, then baste it and quilt it. Then, if possible, serge the edge and attach the binding. (hahahaha!!)
  3. Serge the edge and get the binding attached to the Sea glass quilt.
  4. Get ready for the FRMQG meeting. It'll be my last meeting for a couple of months, and I'm already missing my quilty friends. :-(

And Friday is my birthday, and I'm not sure what Dave has planned, so what I get done by tomorrow is what I get done. (scared!)  Gotta run!

Check out what others are doing at Lee's Freshly Pieced {WiP} Wednesday link-up.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{WiP} Wednesday ~ 9/52

First, does anyone know why I wanted gray flannel? I clearly remember thinking that I doubted Joann's had gray flannel, and now Pink Chalk Fabrics is having a sale on flannels, and there's a gorgeous Robert Kaufman flannel for $4.38/yd, and I need to buy it, but can't, for the life of me, remember why!  Rats!  I know I can just buy it, but if I knew what I needed it for, I'd know how much to buy!

Oh, pregnancy brain, why do you hate me?

Hmph. This will torment me until I figure it out...

I have a few finishes from this last week, but, sadly, not the cursed Sea glass quilt. That has also tormented me this week.

First, my February blocks for Laura in the Mod Mosaic Bee. She said "scrappy". Any kind of "scrappy". So I got out the three bags of scraps that haven't been sorted into colors, yet, and went to town! I wasn't entirely improvisational since I didn't want the same, or similar, fabric, next to each other, but I went scrappy, that's for sure! :)

Mod Mosaic Bee block ~ February 2012

I also finished another mod mosaic block for another project, but I learned 2 things about taking photos of quilt projects. (1) It's often best to not take pictures outside on a windy, Colorado winter day, and (2) always double-check that you got an actual photo of the actual block before you mail it off. It was gorgeous, though. :)


And, we finally get to reveal a secret baby bee quilt that we made for Kelly. Here's the final quilt:

And it's backed with flannel from Sarah Jane's Children at Play line, which you can see behind the label: 

 So glad Tucker likes it, Kelly! :)

OH!!!! I just figured it out!! Why I wanted the gray flannel! Sweet!  (sigh of relief)

I won this pattern for a car seat privacy canopy from Georgia Leigh Designs, and was thinking that I should use the Maude Asbury Calypso Ovals in Cool for the top, and use gray flannel for the back!  Wanna see the lovely Ovals in Cool again? Here:

Isn't it just the best boy fabric ever in the history of boy fabric?

Okay, then. Now back to our previously scheduled WiP posting... :o)

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

Still Cooking
  1. The Harrison Quilts ~ even more progress, though not finished.
  2. Car Seat Privacy Cover ~ I've got the pattern, now I just need to order the flannel. I really need to make this a priority over the next 5 weeks.
  3. Bee Blocks ~  Back to 10, although 4 are really small and simple.
  4. Sea glass Quilt ~I'm still stuck on my tension issues. I kinda stalled out last week with it because I can't figure out how to bury the thread tails (from all my stops and starts) without breaking the thread, or my needle, or the skin on my thumb, or my quilter's spirit! Sometimes I feel like the biggest doofus burger, and I'm afraid that Alissa and Latifah will kick me out of the MQG if they find out what a big doofus burger I really am!  But once I get past that, then it's just trimming the edges, and binding. Quick, right? :o) Hah!
  5. Receiving Blankets for Juice ~ Mama's got to get busy making some blankets for her boy, doesn't she? They won't take long, I'm just waiting to finish burying the threads on the Sea glass quilt to get out my serger. (I've discovered that serging the edges of the quilt before attaching the binding is incredibly helpful!)
  6. Baby Gifts for others ~ mostly stalled. Two friends had their babies last week, but somehow I'm still at 13.The storks are sure busy this year!
  7. Juice ~ daily progress. As I've reported before, he is measuring fine, moving fine, growing fine, and expected to arrive on April 9th.
  8. Mod Mosaic Quilt ~ stalled, not a priority, moving it to the back burner.
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. Secret Projects ~ stalled. I finished 2, but somehow, 2 more made it to the list! 8 still to go.
  5. Swoon Quilt ~ stalled, although, at the retreat, I did figure out how I want to lay it out and what solid I want to use. Now I just need to figure out how much I need, and order it so it's here whenever I want to take it out and start on it.
  6. Juice's Quilt ~ stalled. Maybe I'll back it with some RK Flannel that I should buy from Pink Chalk today. :)
  7. T-Shirt Quilts ~ stalled. Since I'm doing this with/for other people, I'm waiting on them to make it urgent.
  8. Sprout's Goodnight Moon Quilt ~ stalled, her birthday is in May, so maybe I'll finish it then.
The Truth Project
Remember a long, long time ago (January), I told you I was going to cut back on my spending and be more financially responsible, and I listed the things I could and couldn't do/buy, and I told you I would tell you how I was doing so I could be more vulnerable transparent and you could help keep me honest?  :o)

Well, here's how I'm doing: In the "Can Buy" department, I've done really well...except for the eating out once a week part. That's just tough for me...pregnant or not! Some weeks I do really well, and others I don't. :o) It's the "Can't Buy" department that has made me stumble.  I haven't bought any fabric just to stash, although that has been HARD!!! There's SO much gorgeous stuff out there right now! I did buy some blank cards (on clearance, no less!), and some sippy cups (sigh).  Huh. Well, I guess that's it. Not so bad, really.

I know I gave myself one Mulligan per month, and I've lost track of those (mostly with the eating out), but it's March, and I've been doing this for 2 months now, and I feel like I'm starting to see a difference. Sorta. Sometimes. I think I need to start looking at my grocery store purchases next.

So, that's me. I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for her {WiP} Wednesday Link-up Party. :)  Have a great week, and I hope you're more productive than me!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced