Friday, January 31, 2014

Sugar Block Club

Ever since I took Amy Gibson's 2012 Block of the Month on Craftsy, I have become a huge fan of hers!  This was the first block of the month I've ever done and I learned so much.  Hello, curved piecing, UGH, but I DID IT!  I have put the whole top together with white sashing, but I can't seem to find a pic, so here's one of all the blocks before the sashing!  It's also been basted and quilted along the sashing, but I'm still in the process of quilting the rest of the blocks using Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting a Sampler.  I had this grandiose plan to try my hand at FMQ on my first BOM.  Well, this quilt it a lot bigger than I realized and wasn't the smartest FIRST FMQ attempt on my old Bernina with a 6ish inch throat space!  Needless to say, it's STILL in a bag.....waiting..... :)

But, I digress!  Amy Gibson's blog, Stichery Dickory Dock, is super cute and she's such a good teacher!  I love her spirit (I feel she's my sister in Christ) and her heart for teaching!  So, I signed up for her Sugar Block Club this year.  What I especially like this year is it's more than just the quilting and yummy recipe, but about "BE"ing!  I'm striving to BE a stronger Christan, a better wife, a giving friend, a growing quilter, a servant, a learner..... 
Intention Definition
This first month was about being INTENTIONAL and I do have to say I have very much been more intentional about my prayer life this year!  I have to be honest, in the past, when I've said I'll pray for something or someone, I sometimes forget!  Yikes!  Well, this year, I've been more honest with myself, when I say I'm praying for someone, I NEED TO DO IT, and I have!  Not only is this growing my bonds with others but my relationship with God has been on fire!  It's amazing how powerful prayer is and how FAITHFUL God is!  I don't think I really knew how much God had His hand on my life until I had a more active prayer life and actually saw answered prayers on a daily basis!  God is Good, ALL THE TIME!

Based on that theme, January's block was called "Intention."  I'm using Kate Spain's Cuzco line for this BOM and am so excited to see how it all turns out!  H.E.L.L.O, gorgeous fabric!  It just makes me smile!  And here's my first block....


Sew Kitschy

Quiet Play is hosting an ADORABLE paper pieced Block of the Month, Sew Kitschy!  Isn't is "sew" cute???

AND.... each month the block is free in her craftsy pattern store until the 1st of the next month!  So, go download it by the end of the month and join in!!!

January's Block was the super fun oven mitt set.  It was an easier block in this set, but it was nice to start off with the less complicated ones! 

It's also been fun to see what fabrics everyone is using on Quiet Play's Flickr page.  I am totally smitten with the red and aqua retro feel of her original pattern, so I'm very unoriginal in my fabric selections!  I love it though!

February's Block is the Cookie Jar and I can't wait to put it together and show y'all the finished quilt!  Remember, go download the oven mitt and cookie jar pattern!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes- January Finish Party

I completed my January project goal!  As you may remember, I wanted to finish my Christmas tree skirt that coordinated with my advent calendar using the Winter's Lane line.  Well, I did it!  YAY for staying on track and completing it with 6 days to spare!

As you can see, I still had a lot to do to complete it!
  • Another border of small squares
  • Backing and batting
  • Basting
  • Free motion quilting
  • Binding which included some bias binding around the center
I am just starting out with free motion quilting and while I'd LOOOOVE a new machine with a larger throat space and stitch regulator (Bernina 750QE anyone???  Honey, are you reading this???) I know the best way to get good at FMQ is practice, practice, practice.  This is the 3rd quilting project I've FMQ on my Bernina 1090 (Yes, that's only 6ish" of throat space) and I definitely can see myself improving!  I did some stippling in grey throughout the colored squares, some white pebbles/chain of pearls along the thin white border and some wavy lines radiating from the center.  I'm pretty happy with it!  I've also never done a bias binding before, but it turned out pretty good.
So, there you have it!  My January project finished for A Lovely Year of Finishes!  Now onto choosing my February goal! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Feathers Quilt A Long

So, I've been busy quilting the past few weeks!  I've started a lot (and I mean A LOT) of quilt alongs and block of the months!  I guess I love a schedule!  They also make big quilts, especially the complicated ones, not as intimidating.  The first one I'm sharing is a pattern by Alison Glass.

I just love Alison Glass' patterns and fabric!  I fell in love with the Feathers pattern at the Houston International Quilt Festival that I went to with my mom last fall!  The geometric pattern with bright colors really popped.  It also spoke to my heart since I have 2 sweet birds!  :)  So, when I saw there was a quilt along using this pattern, I knew I HAD to join in!

For Christmas, my mom got me the Michael Miller's Happy Tones fat quarter bundle that I wanted to use for the Feathers pattern.  (On a side note, she used Missouri Star Quilt Co and had the best experience with them.  The invoice slip they sent with the bundle was hilarious and we just had to read it out to the whole family as we were still opening Christmas gifts!  It really made us both excited to do business with them again!)
Aren't those bright colors so fun!
The quilt along is broken down in phases.  It makes it less daunting, for sure.  Here's the planning phase with a block map of how I decided to lay out my colors.

Then we jumped right into quilting 2 sets of blocks a week!  We should be finished with all the blocks near the end of February and get a couple of weeks to complete the rest of the quilt!

Blocks A & B

Blocks C & D
Blocks E & F
I have to say, I'm not sure I would have completed this quilt if I hadn't been doing this quilt along.  Not that it is a difficult pattern (the directions are great and I LOVE how it's turning out), but it's definitely time consuming!  I usually do big block quilts that go together quickly and really wanted to grow this year by challenging myself!  I guess that's why I've joined so many groups.  I am hoping to improve my skills, learn new techniques, and meet new folks in the quilty world!  I doesn't hurt that I'm going to have several beautiful quilts at the end of it all, either!

Feathers Quilt Along Block Map

Here's my Feathers QAL vision!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lovely Year of Finishes

One of my goals in 2014 is to finish up my UFOs (unfinished objects).  I don't have a lot of them as I am pretty good at finishing my sewing projects (mostly b/c they are gifts with a due date)!  But, the more I'm quilting, the more my UFO pile is growing.  It's usually b/c something went horribly wrong (I forgot to tape pattern pieces together before I cut the fabric out and didn't realize until after stabilizer, grommets, yada, yada, yada, were already on) and I don't want to spend the time thinking and calculating how to fix my boo boos!  Or, the less frustrating reason, I have finished piecing several quilt tops and I need to quilt and bind them.

To help me with my UFOs, I am joining up with Lovely Year of Finishes to complete at least one project a month!  Yes, that means FINISHING them, quilting, binding, labels and all!  I completed 35+ projects last year, so hopefully this will keep me on track to complete just as many, if not more!

My January project is a Christmas tree skirt that I started last month that is still on my project wall!  It coordinates with the advent calendar I made using Kate & Birdies Winter's Lane fabric line.  I love the warm colors that are wintery without being too Christmas-y.  The calendar has pockets for daily Bible verses and a little treat.  We really enjoyed reading the Christmas story as husband and wife throughout December! 
While showing off my advent calendar, my sister encouraged me to make a coordinating Christmas tree skirt.  As you can see, it needs borders, backing, quilting, the center circle cut, and bias binding!  This is the perfect project for this month b/c I'd love to get it in my Christmas decoration boxes before they are hidden away until later this year.
I'll post pics by the end of the month (I gotta enter those door prizes, you know!)  The harder goal for me is to continue blogging and linking up all these projects!  The biggest reason why I wanted to start blogging is to have a "proof" of my quilts and crafty things.  I have a terrible memory so I'd love something visual to look back on down the road!