Thursday, January 5, 2012

To do this year...

(Present from my mom)

2012 is my first full year of quilting. It's going to be a busy year, too! Now that I'm done with my Christmas deadlines, I can move on to quilts I'm making for other people, mostly family members. I have a list going of who's getting a quilt and what fabric might work for them, but most importantly what type of pattern I want to use. I'm the only one in my close circle of family and friends who does any quilting and I want to make sure I match the quilt to the person as well as I can. I like to assume that they all appreciate receiving hand made things from me, and I don't want to turn them off for sure on quilting! :o)

My only problem comes with... well, everything. Since I'm just starting, I don't have a stash of fabric to work with. I'm buying fabric to match the recipient. Not too bad of a problem since the bottom line is I get to shop, but my mind works in over time all the time. Until I put my foot down (and drown it in cement to make sure it doesn't go anywhere) I tend to change my mind about patterns, or fabrics pretty easily. I think it's just so easy for me to be inspired by everything I see being done that my mind keeps wanting to up the ante with my choices. And that's really why I call it my "Craft Monster". It just doesn't know when to stop! Just when you think it's down for the count... BAM!!! It's up and running before you can be safely out of the way. *Sigh* I could have worse problems, I guess. :o)

I have a couple of quilts that are further along in the pattern/fabric process, so I'm going to start with those. I have one deadline: August 4th. I have some friends who are newly engaged so of course I want to make them a double wedding ring quilt. Wait, what?! You mean, and "advanced/experience needed" type of pattern?! With a deadline in less that 8 months?!!! Yeah, scratch that. I'm really fascinated with double wedding rings, I think they're gorgeous. BUT the curved piecing makes me nervous. My local quilt shop is offering their first double wedding ring quilt class at the end of March. It's two sessions and at the end I would have a baby sized quilt. Craft Monster tells me "No problem! That only leaves you 4 months to grow it to a queen size, quilt and bind it. You can do it!". What Craft Monster seems to neglect is that a) I'm a mother of two, a wife, and I work 40 hours a week. And two: I'm a beginner who wants to do other quilts, too! So rational Vio won.

I decided to go back to my very first idea which was a Triple Irish Chain in their wedding colors of lime, lemon and aqua. I'm going to do it with lots of different fabrics with a white background. I'll figure out the backing and binding when it gets closer. I even drew out a sketch to figure out how I want to lay out the colors. I think I like the top one better.

My niece's quilt is all finished... except for the binding. I was supposed to get it started last weekend, but I was just down in a funk. All I did was read my book club book (Moloka'i by Alan Brennert), fold some laundry, and finally play Lego Harry Potter on XBoX. BUT I told myself that I'm going to make myself happy this year, and right now, quilting makes me happy. So... back to binding I go! I even have the fabric! I just have to start cutting. Maybe this Friday I'll bust out one of the 3 seasons of "The Big Bang Theory" I got for Christmas and make a night of it. :o)
Next is my daughter's quilt. We went to the zoo for her birthday this summer and she became enamored with giraffes. Not regular giraffes, of course. PINK giraffes. Soon after, I found Zoology in Bloom by Michael Miller and an idea was born. (I just hope she still likes it when I'm finished with it.) I was inspired by AmandaJean's Star Quilt Along but because I want to feature the giraffes, I'll only be doing sawtooth stars with the setting blocks. I was originally going to use gray as the background, but I quickly realized that gray is not in the rainbow, and therefore not one of my daughter's favorite colors. :o) I switched to a bright pink, but I had put too much time and effort into the coloring... just imagine the gray is pink, and the pink is gray.
My poor nephew... he hasn't gotten a blanket from me!!! I was going to crochet him one when he was born, but I was just not happy with the yarn I chose. It didn't matter how many different patterns I tried, it just never materialized. He's now 4 and a half (oops!!!) so he's next on the list. His dad is REALLY into comic books and super heroes, which of course means that he is too. I found this fabric while perusing one of the online quilt shops and I just had to buy it.
It's kind of hard to imagine what to do with it! That big one is literally BIG. It's a super big scale. I thought of doing 12.5" squares of all 3 fabrics with a 4 patch in green, blue, red and yellow. The bottom two fabrics are kind of khaki colored, almost like old newspapers, so I thought I'd do some brown sashing to compliment.
BUT now I don't like the idea of brown next to the big scale print. :o( I saw Corrie from Quilt Taffy use the Kitchen Windows pattern by Elizabeth Hartman for her Ghastlie Blog Hop and I like the idea of keeping the scene "untouched". So now instead of trying to make my own pattern, I will do a couple of Kitchen Windows for the big print, with some solids and the other two fabrics filling in some of the other panes. I haven't done the math, but I hope it looks good.

The only way I could convince my husband to let me make a quilt for our bed was that he got to pick the fabric. He decided that if I made a quilt using Asian inspired quilts, it could go on our bed. I fell in love with Swoon by Camille Roskelley when I first saw it and I think it could look really good in Asian prints paired with some solids. I'll be making it 4 by 4 for our king sized bed.

I think this will be the only project that I'll be working on while I have other ones going on. I can make a block here and there. :o) I'm nervous that if I just start cutting into everything, nothing will get finished.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I do have one other non quilty thing. I promised my best friend a Birdie Sling last July. Yeah, she was kind of expecting it for her birthday. Oops. Well, at least I have 6 more months until it's due again! I still need the fleece interfacing, but I think they have the one I'm looking for at JoAnn's.
(Yes, that's barbed wire fabric. She chose it for the inside.)

And that's it! ("For now!" says Craft Monster) It's a lot, but at the same time, it's not. I just have to keep myself motivated and remember how happy it makes me. Oh, and since I'm not taking the double wedding ring class, I think I'm going to take the basic long arm class instead! The quilt shop offers rentals on their machine, after you take the class of course. I'm making a visit this weekend, and I'll have to ask how much it is to rent. I imagine it's way cheaper than sending out my quilts to be done by somebody else. :o) I just don't think my machine has a big enough arm to fit a queen/king sized quilt.

P.S. Maybe if I start blogging more often, about all my steps and the wanderings that Craft Monster does,  I won't have to write the great American novel every time I sit at the computer! Whew! Or it could be that I just talk way to much. :o)

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