Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What a Fantastic Sewing Weekend!

Since it was a three-day weekend, I had the opportunity to spend 4-6 hours every day in my sewing room -YAY!

Friday I got this amazing full kit for Wind in the Whiskers in the mail from Nancy's Notions!  I've wanted this quilt so bad ever since I first saw it last summer, and I picked it up on clearance!  I'll have to work out some kind of schedule to keep me on track for this. 

Thursday evening I went to the AccuQuilt Club class at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe. The project was a pillow using the Half Hexagon Die.  I decided to use the scraps from my Quilting 101 Christmas quilt so I could make a matching pillow.

I got all my pieces cut out during class and figured out my layout - and I even managed to get the first two rows sewn together. The pillow uses the middle size hexi.

I also cut some of the smaller hexi's as long as I was it it.  Saturday I played with them and made two little pin cushions - they just need to be stuffed. 

And Sunday I put the rest of the pillow together!  I'm so happy to have a class project completed the same week I took the class!!

I had a helper on my lap while I was attempting to work on this! 

I also worked on two Bench Pillows from the Kimberbell Pillow-of-the-Month Club this weekend.

Saturday I finished the top of the Be My Valentine pillow. (I signed up for the darker colorway)

And I got the center section done of the Winter Whimsy pillow, which I finished up on Sunday.   This pattern was free when you signed up for the 6 month club, so it didn't come with the fabric. I used scraps for the hats and noses and picked out new fabric for the rest of the pillow. I LOVE batiks, and used two of them in the boarders. Even though I don't care much for the color blue, I really love this snowflake pattern, and the touches of purple are really pretty.

I even got the pillow insert finished on Monday!


Now I just need to quilt the tops and put the backs on!

I took some time out to cut 96 1/2 square triangles with my AccuQuilt to make a cover for my serger (kitties keep trying to un-thread it!) to use as Leaders and Enders.  I got more than half of them sewn together this weekend!

I also spent some time working on my Snowglobe Mantle - and I finished part 3!!  Now I just have the beads to add and it'll be finished!!
By the way, this is the view under my Q- snaps! LOL

It was a great weekend - and I'm already looking forward to the next three-day weekend to see how much more I can get done!!

I hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 WIPocalypse Begins!

Because I have SOOOOO many WIPs/UFOs and I just started blogging again, I thought joining in on the 2014 WIPocalypse would be great motivation to keep me on track. 

As far a a brief introduction, I learned to cross-stitch from my mother when I was in the 7th grade - that was...a long time ago!  I  have a problem with starting new things before I finish what I'm working on (look shiny!).  I had someone in a stitching group a long time ago who called me a "project slut", and she was right!

Over the years I also learned how to bead, knit, spin, and most recently QUILT!  I have the same "project slut" problem with those pursuits as well!

This year DH and I will celebrate out 25th wedding anniversary (yes, I was young).  We are kitty parents and currently have nine babies.  Six of them are recent additions.  In May of last year we discovered a kitten born to a feral momma who had a litter the year before under our deck.  DH was able to catch her, and we tamed her and fell in love.  That's Elora.  Over the next couple of months, we discovered she had three sisters (they all look very much alike!), and 8 nieces/nephews born to two older sisters from the momma's first litter that we didn't attempt to catch (our bad!).  All last summer we caught and tamed kittens (12 of them!), and got two of the momma's trapped, fixed and released.  The third momma unfortunately disappeared when we took her kittens.  We were able to adopt out half of the kittens, but ended up keeping the rest.  Luckily we have a large, multi-level house and everyone gets along.

So, back to the task at hand. Wednesday evening I pulled out a few WIPs to focus on this year. I know I'll probably add more as the year goes on, but I wanted to start with these six.

My current WIP is my Bent Creek Snowglobe Mantle that I started on Boxing Day. I've already stitched parts 1 and 2, and I hope to have this finished by the end of the month.  It's so much fun to stitch!  
I have a couple more zipper/zippie kits in my stash and they are great for when you want to work on something fun, fast, and not too challenging.

I'd also like to finish this one by Little House Needlework's called Forest Snowfall sometime this winter.  I started it in December and put it aside for my new Bent Creek kit. (Photo bomb brought to you by Willow!)

Next on my list is this 17th Century English Stuart Garden by Liz Turner Diehl.  I don't remember when I started it, it has to be more than 5 years ago, but it was almost finished and I got bogged down in the detached button hole leaves!  I just need to buck up and do it. I could probably finish it in a day or two. 
I have three more of these garden kits in my stash. My original thought was that I could frame them the same and hang them together - I should probably start another one as soon as I get this finished.

Next up was also on my WIP/UFO list last year, and I got some fairly good progress!  It's Little House Needlework's The Family Sampler. I was at a bit of a loss about what to do with the "family" section. I started it when the chart was first released in 2010, and at the time we had 5 kitties. By the time I picked this back up again last December, we had lost two of them. I brought it out Wednesday evening and talked to DH about it and we jointly decided it will become our 25th Anniversary sampler and I'll put all 9 of our current babies on here. I aim to get this finished by our anniversary in April. 

Here's where I started last year (I took this pic mid-January, and I had several weeks worth of work on it, which is why there is stitching in the rolled up part).

And here is where I am now - the people/animals are skipped, but there really isn't much left to do!

Also on my list from last year is The Drawn Thread Sanctuary. I started this about 9 years ago. The Drawn Thread is one of my most favorite designers to stitch, and I always enjoy myself when I pick this back up to work on.

Here's where it was at the beginning of last year.

 And here's where it is now.

This Blackbird Designs Easter Parade was also on last year's list, but I didn't get any stitches in it. It's on 40 count - what was I thinking? LOL

 It will be lovely when it's done, but definitely requires a bit more concentration.

Added to my list this year is Prairie Moon Thine is the Trick and the Treat. If I remember correctly, this is also on 40 count. I started this soon after the chart was released.
That gives me a bit to work on!  I'd also like to finish up one of my old Round Robin's - I have quite a few to choose from. I've set a goal to stitch for a least 15 minutes EVERY day. So far I've been able to stick with that, even if it means I go to bed just a bit later. 

I've always loved the saying 'Til needle, thread and fabric meet, I cannot count my day complete, and even just a tiny bit of stitching helps make me feel better!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quilt UFO Club

My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe is hosting a UFO Club this year, and I of course had to join. The sign up sheet had room for 9 UFO's and I easily filled it up!

Here is the list I turned in Saturday:

1 - Snowman Mystery (Let it Snow) - dates back to December 2011 - needed quilting, binding and embellishments - finished Sunday, January 12th!!

2 - Valentine Mystery (Let Me Call You Tweetheart) - dates back to January 2012 - needs kits 3 and 4 finished, boarders, quilting, binding, embellishments

3 - Spring Mystery (One Sweet Spring) - dates back to March 2012 - needs appliques sewn down on kit 3, kits 4 and 5 finished, blocks sewn together, boarders, quilting, binding, embellishments

4 - 4th of July Mystery (Sweet Land of Liberty) - dates back to May 2012 - needs blocks sewn together, boarders, quilting, binding embellishments

5 - Summer Mystery (One Splendid Summer) - dates back to summer 2013 - not started - in fact, I had completely forgotten I had this one!  But I'm counting it as a UFO because I should have kept up with this mystery quilt while it was going on!

6 - Halloween Mystery (Home is Where the Haunt Is) - dates back to August 2011 - this was the first mystery quilt the Shoppe offered, and the first quilt I ever started!  Needs back pieced (this is the only one with a pieced back) quilting, binding and embellishments

7 - Thanksgiving Mystery (In All Things Give Thanks) - dates back to October 2012 - again, this one isn't even started yet

8 - Christmas Mystery (Tis the Season to Be Giving) - dates back to November 2011- needs top/bottom boarders, quilting, binding, embellishments

9 - Quilting 101 Throw - dates back to Fall 2011 - this was from a class I took at the Shoppe and was quilted by our instructor.  Needs trimming and binding. It's bigger than I remembered!

My plan is to get these done as the holidays/seasons come up. If I miss one, I'll move to the next quilt and go back later. 

So, my first success - my Snowman quilt is finished and actually ON THE WALL!!

I took Friday off and got the quilting done and binding attached

Saturday I turned and hand sewed the binding down and Sunday I put on the embellishments and hung it up!  I'm tickled pink to have one of my mystery quilts done, and I really hope I can keep the momentum up to finish the rest!

A special note about the quilting design I used in the outer boarder - it's from the Free Motion Quilting Project and is called Tangle of Lights.  I thought it looked like snowflakes and I love it in the boarder!  

Next up - the Valentine quilt!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Weekly (and Yearly?) Update

I was able to finish my Do One Thing Each Day embroidery on Friday and Wednesday I picked up a frame. Hopefully I can get it finished and on the wall this weekend.

I also signed up for 2014 WIPocolypse yesterday. I need to actually go through my WIP's (and UFO's) to see what I want to focus on this year.  The last time I actually did an inventory of my projects that had at least 1 stitch in them, I had over 50!

Looking back though the photos I took of projects I finished in 2013, I was pleasantly surprised that I DID get some things done.

Working backwards from the most recent:

After giving this quilt top to my Step-Mom last Christmas (2012), I finally got it quilted!  I was terrified to quilt with the snuggle fabric she wanted on the back, but once it was mounted, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I'm a VERY beginning long-arm quilter, and I it took me a year to get up the courage.

The top is from the Eleanor Burns Baby Lock retreat I went to in Provo last year.  It was pieced using a serger, which was kind of fun, and REALLY fast! The pattern is Fabric Frenzy.

All in all, I think it turned out OK, and I loved the texture the quilting gave on the back!

For my Dad for Christmas, I made this Bent Creek Santa Globe that I've had in my stash for years.  One of my friends stitched a different snowglobe and had it framed as a shadow box, which I thought was such a cool idea, so I did the same.  I LOVE how it turned out!

I stitched this at a mini-retreat in mid-November with some close friends - I was able to get it done in a 24-hour period, and I loved stitching it, so much so that I asked for the kit for Snowglobe Mantle for Christmas, which is my current WIP.

The second day of the retreat, I stitched this Lizzy Kate piece, again from deep within my stash.  This little guy looks like Korben - DH wants me to add white around the eye, so I still need to do that, then decide if I want to frame it or make an ornie.

In early November, I got to take a class from Lori Holt at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe.  The project was this cute, scrappy sewing machine cover from her new book Quilty Fun.  It contains 90 different fabrics from my scrap bin (OK, I also had to break into a charm pack).  I was happy to finish it in a month, and not have it languish in my WIP pile.

Also from a Lori Holt class at the same shop (this one a few years ago), I was able to finally finish this appliqué piece, Sew She Did.  I changed the colors to better match my sewing room, and I love it!

Sometime in the fall (I don't remember exactly when), I finished this wonderful piece from Rosewood Manor called Halloween Quilt Sampler.  I started it in September 2012, so just a little over a year to stitch, which with my track record is still pretty good!

I went on a Quilt Retreat in September and was able to get two projects done start to finish.

The first was this cute wool pumpkin.  These kits were given to us a favors at the retreat by the wonderful ladies that organized it.  I started it immediately because I love to do wool applique!   I don't remember the pattern name because I passed it on to a friend.

And the second was my Hippy Hippy Shake Shake quilt top by Abby Lane Quilts. 
I've had this kit for several years - it was one of the first quilt kits I bought.  It'll look great in my sewing room once I get it quilted. 

In August, I took a few days off work to play in my sewing room and got two projects completed. 

The first one was a kit from Pine Needes for this adorable Cherry Pie Pin Cushion. I enjoyed stitching it and would really like to make more in the series. 

The other piece was started in May or June of 2012 (I think).  It was a kit from My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe. I love making yo-yo's and had so much fun with this.

And finally, last spring, I finished this Sweetheart Tree C is for Kitty-Cat. I already have a frame for it, I just need to actually frame it!

I also quilted two charity quilts made by guild members - they were great practice!  

I really hope that this year I can get more time on my machine and become a more confident quilter!

Here's to hoping 2014 sees even more finishes!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's been almost four years since I posted to this blog. I've really missed documenting my crafty pursuits, especially being able to go back and see that I've actually accomplished something!

For 2014, I hope to get some WIP's and UFO's finished, but for today, I wanted a special new start.

I saw this stitched up at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe last week, and I knew it would be the perfect piece to stitch on New Year's Day.

I made great progress while watching a couple of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers movies, and I really wanted to finish this in one day, but my sewing room was calling to me....

I started this Snowman Mystery Quilt by Kimberbell two years ago!  When I pulled it out last week, I found I was almost half way done, so I finished up the blocks in two sewing sessions and today put them all together and added the boarders and snowflakes.  I'm SO happy to have this top done!!  My goal is to quilt it this weekend and get it on the wall - I already have a quilt hanger up, and not one of my six mystery quilts is finished.

Something else I always keep meaning to do, but never got around to, is sewing blocks as "Leaders & Enders".  I quickly cut some of my scraps (that white is the rest of the fat quarter I used for the embroidery above) with my new Acuquilt, and by the end of my sewing session, I had 18 HST!.  I think I'm hooked!

All in all, I think it was a pretty productive start to the New Year!