October Bee Pieceful Blocks

October 23, 2009

Poinsettia Block

Poinsettia Block

Morning Star Block

Morning Star Block

I mailed these out on Monday to this month’s bee, Kim.  She sent us Christmas fabric and asked for “traditional” blocks.  I looked around online and settled on these two patterns, Morning Star and Poinsettia.   I think I have finally gotten over my mental block about this virtual quilting bee – I think you are able to see the  vast improvement I’ve made over August and September’s blocks.  The seams and points all line up (almost) :).  But where they don’t it is not that obvious.  I like how I arranged the fabrics, and for the first time in this bee, I was happy to send these out.  Hopefully I will be able to keep it up.  Next month’s fabric is going to be sent soon, and she wants string piecing, something else I have not tried yet.  I want to get it done as quickly as possible, so I can send it back before I move.

I am moving!  I finally found a new apartment that has almost everything I wanted, and its only about 1/4 mile from where I am living now!  I finally got lucky, I had almost given up because I had been looking since May. It is a duplex in a neat little neighborhood called Cottage Home, and has a really cool loft area that I am going to make my sewing room.  I can’t wait to move in and get settled.  Moving Day is only a few weeks away.  I’m moving on Friday the 13th!

After next month’s quilt block, I only have one more project I need to get done before the move.  It’s the Poky Puppy quilt my mom wanted me to make for her.   I will have to post about that later.

on point

October 16, 2009

I just wanted to share this.  Its one piece of a block I am doing for this month’s bee.  The points match!  I’m glad I am getting better at this.  Lets see if this block will be the one where all the seams line up for once.

Bee Pieceful October Block

October 6, 2009

I also managed to get my block done for my virtual quilting bee.  This month’s bee wanted stars, any way we wanted to do them, as long as they were stars.  I decided to do a maverick star, because after the disaster of trying to do triangles in last months block (which I still feel horrible about), I thought this would be the best way for me to do something that would turn out halfway decent.

my wonky star

my wonky star

As you can see I still messed up matching a seam in the upper left hand corner.  But it is still definitely better than my last one, so I will give myself credit for that.  It’s just so hard when everyone else can do these beautiful and complex blocks, and I’m struggling in the proverbial kiddie pool.  I had been watching the bees before I decided to join ones, and the blocks I saw in the pools made me feel like it was something I could do to improve my skills but within a group of people who were entry level to intermediate ability.  Somehow I ended up in a group of super-quilters.  I feel so bad, because even if this block is an improvement for me, and looks pretty ok, I go to add it in the pool and look at what everyone else has done…I hate being the weakest link.  Maybe next time around, I’ll find a group that makes me feel less inadequate.

woodland mixtape - finally complete

I am so glad I finally finished this quilt!  I will be relieved when it finally makes it to its new home on Sunday, when I attend my cousin’s wedding.  He and his fiance better like it!  I want to thank Joann at  Select Sewing Service for letting me come to the store the past two weekends to finish this thing. She taught me lots of helpful tricks and was so kind and understanding to allow me to come in and use their equipment when I was in a panic when my machine broke.   I am so glad I bought my machine at a brick and mortar store!

I’m happy with the decision to add the border, it was just a little too minimal for me without it.  I decided to name it woodland mixtape.  I even made sure I put a label on it, at my cousin’s request.  For a guy, my cousin had pretty exact specifications!  I always forget to add the label on most of my quilts.  I should make an effort to include them.  Maybe if I got that printable fabric, I wouldn’t be so lazy about making labels.

the whole front view

the whole front view

So now that’s done, I can move on to stuff that I WANT to do…

Oops, I remembered my mom’s Poky Little Puppy Golden books lap quilt request first. 😦 Hopefully it will be easier to make than this one was.  I’m just going to freestyle a design that I can use the fabric panel on.  It has each page of the book printed on it to make a soft book.  They are 8″ each, so I wanted to cut them out and use them in blocks for this quilt.  The rest I still need to figure out.  I’ll work on that now and get everything cut out before I get my machine back, so when I do I can start working on piecing right away.

Hope my sewing machine is fixed soon!  I’d like to get my Christmas project done before December 1!

the worst month

September 25, 2009

The icing on the cake happened last weekend, as I was trying to quilt for my cousin’s wedding gift- which I am now calling the-quilt-which-must-not-be-named –  and get it finished already, I was just chugging along, albeit totally unenthusiastically, when for whatever reason, the needle broke.   This has never happened before while quilting, so I don’t know what happened.  I replaced the broken needle, rethread and start again…

My machine isn’t sewing right.   At. All.  I am getting the dreaded “rat’s nest” on the underneath of the fabric.  The needle is going through the fabric, but is not leaving any stitches in it.  W.T.F.

So I take it in to the shop I bought it at to get fixed, and apparently everyone in Indianapolis has brought their machine at the same time to be repaired, and they tell me even with a rush on it, its still going to be 2-3 weeks.

Great!  The wedding is 10/11.  And I didn’t do the block for Bee Pieceful this month yet either.  It’s the 25th.

There has been a lot going on outside of my sewing life as well that has been severely frustrating, stressful, disappointing or all of the above and I’m just done with it.  I’m so tired of everything having to be an uphill climb.

Christmas fabric

September 11, 2009

michael millers funky Christmas

michael miller's funky Christmas

Part of me thinks it is way too early to think about Christmas, but really, if you plan on making something for the holidays, you pretty much need to start doing it now so it will be done in time to actually be used as decorations for the holidays.  I’m planning on doing an advent calendar and tree skirt.  Hopefully I am not trying to be too ambitious!  I’m sure there’s some Christmas gifts that I will want to make too.

The top is done!

September 10, 2009

I like the border on this mixtape quilt, I think it helps. I thought the 8 solid border was a little large.

I like the border on this mixtape quilt, I think it helps. I thought the 8" solid border was a little large.

I am so glad this top is done.  I added a border because it didn’t seem big enough.  I have lost my quilting motivation I think.  It has been so hard to get myself to work on this thing!  I still need to sandwich and quilt and bind.  I hope my motivation comes back soon!  I hate when normally fun things start feeling like a chore.

deer valley project update

September 1, 2009

I finally got the sashing on this thing, it has really been a nightmare putting it together.  I don’t know why but every row had to be ripped out and resewn at least once.  One of them took like 4 or 5 tries.  It was like every time I sewed a row on, no matter how carefully I lined things up and pinned, it came out crooked.   I was super irritated.  I still need to put the borders on, hopefully that will be a little easier.  At least after all that trouble, I finally got the vertical sashing looking straight, but it was the least enjoyable quilt top I have put together so far because I hate having to do things over, but since my pride would not let me have crooked vertical rows, I had to do it!  I hope this isn’t a bad omen that the quilting part is going to give me trouble too!

audrey’s finished quilt

August 31, 2009

finished top

I finally am able to post about this quilt I finished about 3 weeks ago.  I finished it the night before I was going to see the recipient so it was dark.  I waited to take a picture of it until I got to my parents house.  I had forgotten my camera so I used theirs.  I didn’t upload them right away, and when I left that Sunday, I forgot I had to do it.   So the next weekend I had to go up to my parents’ again for another event, and that time, no one could find the camera.  It turns out that my mom left it in my aunt’s car.  So, THIS weekend, I had to meet my mom up in Lafayette to switch cars (my car got a flat the last time I was up there and so I had been driving my mom’s car so I could get back to indianapolis and go to work while it was getting fixed).  She finally remembered the camera, so now I am able to share these pictures with you.

I think this is my favorite quilt that I have made so far.  It came together pretty quickly, and I had a good time quilting it.  I even tried to quilt Audrey’s name into the quilt.  Its hard to see in the picture, but you can read it in person.  It looks like 3rd grade cursive! But I am sure I’ll get a steadier hand the more I practice.

Im probably the only one who can read it in this picture!

I'm probably the only one who can read it in this picture!

This is also the first quilt that I have gotten tons of comments on, so it must have made quite an impression on people.  I gave it to Audrey at my cousin’s bridal shower because I wasn’t able to go to her 1st birthday party.  So now I have a waitlist of people in my family who want me to do a quilt for them!  It makes me happy though, I’m doing something people appreciate.  That makes me feel good.

...and the back

deer valley project

August 25, 2009

keeping blocks in order

keeping blocks in order

This is the start to the wedding gift for my cousin who requested something “maroon”.  I’m using the persimmon colorway of Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley line and Oh Fransson’s mixtape quilt tutorial.  I am really like how this arrangement really shows off the fabrics.  I am using a neutral (not white!) sashing, and I think it really brings everything together.  I’m excited to finish this top.  Its outside my normal color choices, so it has been a fun challenge trying to get it all to work.  I pinned the blocks up to keep them in order, and also to give me some perspective, it really helps!  My “design wall” is actually just my living room wall, between the couch and my sewing area.  I need a bigger place to live so my sewing stuff can have its own room!