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!