Saturday, December 28, 2013

A year in review?

Wow. It should be hard to believe that I've only blogged once this year, but it's not. I have a tendency to drop things after I get really intense about them. I haven't dropped quilting, just blogging about it. :o) I'd also like to blame Instagram. It's just so easy!

So this year has been interesting. I'm glad it's coming to an end because it means we get to move on from the now and hopefully see our lives more established. My husband and I have finally gotten back to a great employment groove that we fell out of two years ago. Tubby and Poops are both in school now, we even have a dog! Things can only get better from here. Also in the horizon: our 10 year wedding anniversary for which we are planning a week long trip to Hawaii!!! Yup, things are really looking up.

Since I fell out of the blogging groove, technology has advanced beyond me. I never thought I'd be one of those parents relying on their children to keep them up to date on computers, etc. but I feel Poops may soon know more than me! So for now, we'll have to make do with pictures from my phone and from Flickr.

I finished Tubby's #scrappytripalong back in March? April? That was finish #1. It's been very well loved indeed. I still love looking at it. I almost hope he'll give it back to me. That probably means I'll have to make another one in the near future. Finish #2 was Poop's Zoology quilt I've been promising since her 5th birthday trip to the zoo (she turned 7 this year). Poops asked for diamonds and flowers in her quilt (doesn't everybody want that?). I experimented with free motion flowers from Angela Walter's book and some straight line quilting in the setting blocks. I'm really proud of the end result. It's a bit TOO pink but I only used 4 fabrics in the whole quilt which is a current record for me.

Finish #2.5 was my King Sized Swoon. I've finished the quilt top but will have to send it out to be quilted. at 110" square, it's a bit much for me to handle. It doesn't look like all the other fresh faced Swoon quilts out there, but I like the end result. I kind of wish I had focused more on a color palette instead on only focusing on fulfilling my husband's request for Asian inspired prints. Oh well, you live and you learn. Now that Christmas is over, I can refocus my money towards batting, backing fabric and the quilter's fees! I hope to finish it in the next couple of months.

King sized Swoon by VioEleven11
King sized Swoon, a photo by VioEleven11 on Flickr.
A close up of the border made of leftover hst.

On my to do list for 2014:
*A kaleidoscope quilt inspired by a quilt along Don't Call me Betsy hosted a while ago. I've been in love with Happy-Go-Lucky by Bonnie and Camille and I went with that type of palette. I haven't cut into it yet. Soon.
*My mom will be getting a Pineapple Blossom quilt using the Poseidon bundle from Kona. I've cut that one out (no pictures yet), but Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together threw me for a loop this year.
*Also Christmas related: I realized I want a Christmas quilt. Of course realizing this a week before Christmas doesn't help. Plus I really love the placemats I made in 2011. I wish I had more Flurry. My plan for this year is to start collecting prints and do the "Christmas in July" sewing thing. I'm not sure yet what pattern I'll use. Dresden plates, scrappy trips, and double wedding rings all fit the bill. Also Round and Round by Thimbleblossoms. We'll see.
*Speaking of double wedding rings, they're something I've been wanting to try since the very beginning. I'm coveting April Showers by Bonnie and Camille. I've enjoyed most of their other collections, but this is the first line where I don't want to replace any print or colorway. I have a gift certificate that will help me pay for at least half of a fat quarter bundle. Ideally, I'll use it to make myself a double wedding ring quilt. I've been known to change my mind on patterns, so we'll see what I actually end up using it on. The other thing with double wedding rings is all the different ways to make it! Paper piecing intimidates me (more than the curved piecing), templates seem the safe way to go, and the easiest seems to be the Quick Curve ruler. Another hurdle I'll cross when the time comes.
I don't think that's a bad list at all! Of course, my girlfriend's have started getting married, so I'm sure a baby quilt or two is in my future. And you know me and quilty peer pressure... It's going to be a great year!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Finally quilting again.

I blame it on peer pressure. I'm really easy to overwhelm and really easy to be talked into doing things. I hadn't touched my sewing machine since late July, but Instagram and Flickr and "everyone is doing it" are really great motivators. I love that all my favorite bloggers were doing the #scrappyquiltalong using the scrappy trip around the world tutorial from so I convinced myself that I should do it, too. The blocks are really easy and even thought I thought I didn't like scrappy quilts, I figured I should give it a try. Most of the fabric I used was leftover from my previous quilts. I used up some fat quarters that I bought just so I could have them if/when I needed them. I did do a bit more shopping, though, to round out the colors so it wouldn't just be pink everywhere.

I knew I needed to service my machine, but I went ahead with my piecing. I think I got about 2 blocks in before I felt and heard my little Brother start to give out. My husband got it for me from a big box store 2 Christmases ago and I guess they are not meant for heavy duty usage. Yup, I broke it. It was going to cost almost $200 before taxes to fix so I left it alone. What happens when you can't do something? You want to do it even more! My local sewing machine retailer had lots of options, even a few sales, but I was going to have to wait until we got our tax refund to make a purchase. Boo hoo! I think I waited 5 days. I tried another branch of the same retailer and I was about to walk out empty handed when the sales lady mentioned that the Babylock Grace (that was already about $300 off regular price) was available for financing. Oh, it will cost me a week's work of tip money a month for 12 months? AND I can take it home today with no money down?! SOLD! I can be very easily persuaded sometimes, have I mentioned this yet?

So, newly armed with a Grace sewing machine, a 4 year old who sometimes naps and 2 weekdays off a week from work, I launched into my #scrappytripalong. (I never made a new name for it. I feel it fits). Most of the bloggers and more experienced quilters had finished their quilt back in January when the whole fever started. It took me into March to finish it, but I think that's my fastest finish yet! I even quilted it all in one day. It turns out I'm not a great free motion quilter, but practice makes perfect. I'm also a bit impatient and need to slow down so I can get the kind of result I'm expecting. Since Tubby experienced this project first hand, he asked for this quilt to be his. I was just making it to be making it, and I didn't have a quilt planned for him yet, so I was very happy to gift it to him.
It is about 60" by 72". I used a numbers fabric from Ikea plus a scrappy border on the sides to make it wide enough for the backing. I quilted it with a swirly pattern and bound it with a gray chevron fabric from Simply Color by V and Co. for Moda.
And now some of the pictures:

Now that I've caught the Fever again, I'm making sure that I spend at least a little bit of time each week working on a project. I still have 8 Swoon blocks to make for our King sized bed. I also have Poops' pink and gray Zoology quilt for which I've made maybe 4 saw tooth stars. AND I bought a Poseidon fat quarter bundle for my mom's quilt which I'm 97% sure will be a Pineapple Blossom quilt from

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

D&B Quilt

 I have finished and gifted my D&B quilt. Yay for me!! Okay, so I finished it  a month and a half ago, but I finally get to blog about it. :o) Since that was my one focus with a deadline, as soon as I finished it, I took a break. I haven't even looked at my sewing machine, area or fabric since July 28th. I feel a little guilty, but it goes away pretty quickly. I do get an inspiration bug every Wednesday when I read WIP Wednesday posts over at Freshly Pieced but then the world takes over again and I don't do anything about  it. But enough about that, let's focus on what I actually DID!

My 6'2" husband is back there somewhere.

Quilt label: The first verse of "Crazy Love" which was their first dance song.

The back is Moda 108" wide Dotty. This is a close up of the quilting. Just straight lines following the pattern.

On my King size bed. There is no overhang, but I'm alright with that. It's not for my bed. ;o)

Close up quilting on the front. I believe this is after I washed it. Most of the lines really are relatively straight. I promise.
Thankfully B loved it. She says it went on their bed right after the bridal shower. I didn't get to see it, so I'll believe her. For now. :o) I love this couple and I am very selfishly glad that they have something that could be an heirloom from the start of their marriage. And I made it. :o) No shame, I know. My camera has been acting up so I didn't get the very best pictures of us, but I'm trying to learn to just go with the flow and post pictures even if they do not look super professional.
Ready for the bachelorette party.

Rehearsal dinner night. 
 Did I mention my kids were the Flower Girl and Ring Bear? That's right: Ring Bear. My 4 year old was so excited that he was going to go down the aisle scaring people. "Rowr!!" It took me a little bit to get what he was talking about. Too cute. Check them out at: and

Unfortunate smile when you're waiting too long. And a couple of celebratory drinks in. ;o)

See? I can smile better.

We couldn't stay the whole night at the wedding because we traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico the next day. And of course, my lovely Babycakes was not packed at all. All in all, it was a pretty eventful summer. I managed to get two whole quilts finished, I have 2 in the works and the fabric for a third. I need to get my sewing machine serviced (a first for me!) and then I will get back in the swing of things. Babycakes would like to have our Swoon quilt finished before the end of the year.... isn't that sweet? He's delusional! Well, maybe not completely. We'll see.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Super Heroes Quilt

Super Heroes Quilt by VioEleven11

Super Heroes Quilt, a photo by VioEleven11 on Flickr.
I have a finish! I've been a little lazy about sewing lately, but with my nephew's birthday coming up, I put my butt into gear. I will admit that I missed finishing in time for the birthday party, but only by a week! I hope he likes it.

I used 4 prints of Retro Marvel Super Heroes by. Camelot Cottons, 2 other Marvel prints I found at JoAnn's (I forget who made them), Kona white for the sashing, black solid for the back with a scrapy quadrant and Kona Rich Red for the binding.
Because the scale of the prints is so large, I cut my squares at 12" and some rectangles at 12" by 24" to give it the look of a comic book. I didn't want the sashing to be too thin so I cut it at 3". I'm not sure that I like it so wide, though. It probably would have been fine if it finished at 2". I believe the end result is about 72" by 86". Not standard, but I'm okay with that.

Now I have no excuse for not focusing on my D&B quilt. I have it basted and I've sewn a 1/4" border on. I need to get to quilting! I officially have less than 4 weeks to finish BUT I have a week and a half of vacation starting on the 4th. I can do it!!! :o)

Monday, April 30, 2012

D&B quilt top is finished!!!

D&B on my king size bed. Please ignore everything that is NOT a quilt top. :o)

I finished! Whoo hoo!! This is only my second quilt top EVER to finish, and I am so happy with it. I had a bit of some personal drama with my design, but it worked out in the end,. It measures about 77" by 87". I wanted to add a border of multi colored 2.5" squares, but I think that would take away from the whole look of it. There is no rule that every quilt needs to be a standard size, so I'm sticking with what I have. I think I'll back it with Moda's 108" wide lime dottie fabric and bind it in a teal. The original plan was for me to take a long arm quilting class at my LQS, but I slacked too much. Then I thought about sending it out to be quilted, but I decided to attempt it myself on my little Brother (is my machine supposed to have a name?) so that I can be proud to say I made it all myself. I'm so excited for this finish that I ALMOST told the bride about it!! :o)

 Close up of D&B

 I've been very distracted this month. I discovered Bollywood movies. They're my type of movie! I love singing and dancing and cheesy love stories. It doesn't hurt that I've found some very hunky actors. ;o) The only downside is that I don't speak Hindi so I have to read the subtitles which basically leaves me stuck to the TV for up to 3 hours per movie. I managed to pull myself away enough to squeeze in To Kill a Mockingbird for book club and piece together the D&B quilt top over a couple of weekends. I had to keep reminding myself that it's just a bunch of quarter inch seams and I only have 3 months left to finish. I didn't touch anything Swoon related even one bit. I'm trying to feel bad about it, but I don't. :o) I think that's ok. I'll get to it. And now to finish!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Swoon half way point.

Swoon half way point. by VioEleven11
Swoon half way point., a photo by VioEleven11 on Flickr.

I'm still Swooning, just at a much slower pace that I meant to. I've finished 8 of my planned 16 blocks and my random colors are starting to grow on me. The last 3 blocks I did had deeper solids and I think they really balanced out the pale and super bright ones I had. The only one I'm not overly fond of is #7 which is teal and gray. I loved the combination without the background. I didn't pay attention to how closely the two grays match up, and since that combo is one I have half yards of, there will be at least one other block like it. Oh well, maybe that one will grow on me too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Formerly known as...

I admit defeat. My first quilting defeat, that is. I was really excited about my Triple Irish Chain wedding quilt for two close friends that are getting married this summer. And then I started laying out my fabric and it all crashed down on me. :o(   I believe that I DID pick out nice colors which I believe are close to their wedding colors/favorite colors.
But the truth is I DIDN'T pick the correct shades (tones?) of said colors for Irish Chain layouts. I wanted to do scrappy but keep the colors in the same place i.e. yellow always in the center followed by green then blue. But there's not real darker color than the rest so it all just jumbles together and does not look like I wanted it to.
 First try: yellows in the center.

Second try: blues in the center.

Of course I realized this AFTER cutting all my fabric into 2 1/2" strips. What to do? I thought maybe there was enough difference between the yellow and green to scale it down to a Double Irish Chain. No go. :o(

My scraps are just too different and at the same time, not different enough. Who does that?! Maybe I psyched myself out by not being able to see it all in the grand scheme of things. I know that I didn't like a single block, though, and that was enough for me. I thought about doing a rail fence with all 3 colors blending into each other, but again the colors are not conducive to that layout.

So after over thinking it all twice and out loud to my very patient husband, I decided to go for a rail fence stair step type of quilt inspired by Red Pepper Quilts. I'm going to make mine bigger with 3 strips of color and a wider white so I believe it will be a 10.5" square.

I am so over the hill with this layout now! Well, as long as I don't start over thinking things again. I sure hope not because I started piecing my strips yesterday. I'd like to do a thin white border followed by a scrappy 2 1/2" square border, probably doing a blue, yellow, green pattern again. So I've renamed the quilt (for now) as the D&B quilt. It's way shorter than "Triple Irish Chain Quilt". :o)

In other news, I managed to piece two Swoon blocks this week. It felt awesome to get back into it. I may try to piece the rest two at a time as well, just so that it doesn't take me all year to finish it. I'm not too thrilled about the over all colors. I probably should have focused more on the colors of the whole quilt rather than the theme. Oh well. It's just going on my bed. Nobody will ever know. Unless they read this blog. OR look at my flickr photostream. :o)