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Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Wrap-Up

January has been such a busy and fun sewing month.  To recap, I will start with the most recent.. 

In my last post, I wrote about participating in a pattern test/group quilt called "Taking Names"..  I decided to go with all scrappy for mine, as the scrappy look is one of my all time favorites.  Today I made seven more blocks, for a total of ten so far..



We only need to make 12 of our own to join with the ones we get back in order to have enough for a twin size quilt, but I might keep going and go bigger.. queen maybe.. What do you think?  



I also whipped up a couple of pin wheels today using this tutorial, for this appeal for blocks to make a quilt for a sweet little girl.. click here for the story, if you might have time to make a pin wheel block or two by Valentine's Day.



I used a couple of charm squares of chevrons, and a couple out of my rainbow charm pack from Mad About Patchwork.

Also this month I finished cutting out this project.. and hope to work a lot on it during February's Drop and Give Me Twenty.. we'll see how that goes..



I joined my first ever Block of the Month, make that two.. Riley Blake Mystery BOM, and the Sugar Block Club..




Finished my Rainy Days and Mondays quilt top..



..and last but not least.. I finished Jumbo Jack.  Which is probably my biggest accomplishment to date.. Although, I only sewed up one side of the binding in January.. most of it was done in 2012, but it is still a January finish.





Linking up with Lynne (the mastermind behind the Jack Attack QAL) over at Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day.  Have a great weekend!

xoxo

p.s. also linked up at confessions of a fabric addict, see vanessa craft, ladybird lane, six sisters' stuff, the weekly creative,tater tots and jello, osie moats
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday~Kickin' Stash and Taking Names

While the Rainy Days quilt top is resting (still a little burned out on machine quilting after Jumbo Jack..), I decided to work on not one, but TWO new projects.

You might remember Beth's (EvaPaige Quilt Design) group quilt/pattern test, "Kickin' Stash", from last year. (still my most viewed post EVER!) Well, she is doing it again this year, except this time she is "Taking Names". :)  Kicking Stash and Taking Names! ;)

Look at these blocks I worked on tonight.  They go together so fast!  



Each of the participants had to choose a background color (I chose a minty solid) and cut several strips..



..bag and label them...



 ..then, our background fabric strips will be sent out to the other participants, along with our chosen focus color(s) info.. I chose scrappy.. and in the end, we will all receive enough blocks (along with making 12 of our own) to make a twin size quilt!  Fun, fun. :)

Above are the three blocks I made tonight in no time at all.  And I am using scraps from here..



Feels good to use some of them up.  And fun to use some Rainy Days and Mondays scraps, too.

I see lots of Taking Names blocks in my future.  I love the minty solid for the background since it reminds me of all of the scrappy vintage quilts that my grandmothers and great-grandmothers made.  

The other UFO-ish WIP that I've been working on is the Impromptu pattern, Circa 1934 layer cake that I started cutting out last summer I think.. but never finished cutting out the background.  UGH.  Now I know why.  It's a huge quilt, 90x90 and calls for 6.5 yards of background fabric..  strips and strips and strips.. eight different sizes of strips.




I thought I'd never finish!  I love the pattern though, and would like to finish this big beast by next Christmas for a gift to my bro. and SIL.







Staying busy with these two things, along with helping my son with his "100 days of school" project, where he has to collect 100 of something (or something he already has, etc) and find a way to bring it/display it on the 100th day of school.. 

We decided to collect 100 leaves from our yard.. (I also caught him with his little scissors snipping at my houseplants..gasp!) ;) Turns out Elmers glue doesn't work with leaves, so I had to break out the hot glue gun and help him.. 


He drew the trunk and branches and I hot glued them on for him.. or I should say completely burnt the finger print off of my left pointer finger! Ouch.  But look at his cute tree.. he drew a face on it, gave it arms and hands and it's holding a balloon with the number 100 on it.  And artfully signed. *swoon* Kindergarten is so fun!



Gonna link up with WIP Wednesday. Thanks for dropping in!

xoxo
Sunday, January 27, 2013

St. Patrick's Door Wreath

A few weeks ago, I was surfing through a craft link-up and ran across a Valentine Wreath over at Irish Italian Blessings using socks.  I thought it was a neat idea.  Well, since there is just one little boy in our house, who is obsessed with St. Patrick's Day this year and has little interest in Valentine's Day so far, I thought it'd be fun to try to do in green.  So a few days later I walk into Target, and there are St. Patrick's Day socks in the dollar aisle!  In January! Perfect! It was a sign.

So I picked some up, and off I went to JoAnns to pick up a few other cheap things to put on our wreath, and Voila! Might be a little early to be planning for St. Patrick's Day, but I figure it'll be here before we know it.




The hardest part of making it was cutting through the wreath.. I tried a couple of different ways which failed and settled on the hedge clippers.



**Note to self: Next time, buy one of those smooth foam wreaths that you can cut through with a sharp knife.  This will also help protect your knuckles from all of the scrapes they will get from sliding the socks in place and it will all go much smoother.**




I also might leave out the black socks if I did it again.. but, there was no way I was taking them all off to get the black ones out.  They kept snagging on the wreath..

Our supplies:



Socks, wreath, package of foam shamrock shapes, grosgrain ribbon, and a couple of wire door hangers with some bells on them.



It maybe took all of an hour to make.  Oh, and I am SOOO NOT good at making those cool swanky bows that some people are really good at.  Maybe the grosgrain ribbon wasn't the best choice.  I just happen to love grosgrain ribbon for some reason.  I should really learn to make bows.  But it doesn't look too bad.




The book that inspired my son's interest in St. Patrick's Day (which he received at his school Christmas book exchange) is all about two kids who set traps to catch a leprechaun, so he can tell them where the gold is..


..so guess what we'll be doing?  Yep, making traps and trying to catch a leprechaun.  A. is soo excited.  (I may or may not have found a tiny Lego-leprechaun, that may or may not show up in one of the traps we set holding a note that points to a tiny amount of chocolate gold coins.) :) I would never have thought that St. Patrick's Day would be one of those holidays that we would be looking forward to with excitement, but.. we are. ;) A. is excited to make the leprechaun traps, too.  In a few weeks, we'll recycle some cans or boxes and start our trap-making.

For now, our wreath is inside, but after Valentine's Day is over, it will be hanging here on the door.




I found this website, Irish Blessings, Sayings, and other stuff @ BrownieLocks.com, where I found this:

Bless you and yours,
As well as the cottage you live in.
May the roof overhead be well thatched, 
And those inside be well matched.

Have a great week!


xoxo

p.s. Is there NOTHING in this house that my son won't turn into a toy?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

FNSI Results~A Completed Quilt Top!

My Rainy Days quilt top finally came together, with the help of a few hours of sewing yesterday afternoon/evening for Friday Night Sew-In.  I have had this fabric for soo long, I think it was the first FQ pack I ever bought, and I couldn't bear to cut it up for the longest time. I wish it was sunny for the photo, but overcast today. I guess that's appropriate for this quilt top, actually. 



I waffled back and forth for ages on which pattern to use, because I didn't want to cut up those umbrellas too much.  I finally chose a free download, Celebrate, from the Riley Blake site.  But to show the umbrellas more, I decided to enlarge the pattern which made for some challenging math. Glad that's over!  

It was so easy and fun to sew with the fabric because it's my favorite, and well.. it is so cheery and colorful.



Once the diamonds were done, I had to decide about what to do with the border.  No border.. scrappy border.. solid (one fabric)border like the pattern...  I tried pinning up a couple of different ideas.. 



Then I very scientifically went about sewing up a border.  



Scrappy strips.  And in the end I'm glad I went with the scrappy strips.  I really like it.  Now I need to choose a backing.  Hmm..

Indoor photo..you can see my hub's shadowy arm behind it. :)



Hope you all had a great FNSI and have a great weekend!
xoxo

linked at: project inspire,tgiff,confessions of a fabric addict,crazy mom quilts,do something crafty friday,the weekly creative,artsy-corner,make it pretty monday,submarine sunday
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rain Dance Progress and New Fabric/Pattern Fun

Last weekend, over the three day weekend, we went to my inlaws' in Santa Rosa, and stopped in Sonoma at my most FAVORITE quilt shop EVER, Broadway Quilts.  I couldn't help it, the car just veered into the parking lot on our way through town. :)

And OH MY GOODNESS, look what I found!  I have to hurry and finish a UFO so I won't feel guilty about this..

This Kate Spain pattern/project sheet was only $1.99 (Honey Honey).. I had to, right?  And then I fell in love with these prints.. most of them from the same line, Capri, but I picked out three additional FQ's.






I particularly love that inset bee block.  And I'm drooling on the yellows and grays.  I need a couple more with aqua though, I think.  Oh I can't WAIT.  But I'm NOT going to start something else until I finish something..

Namely.. this one.  I have one more row sewn on, so here is my progress so far. Onto some more sashing tonight.




The diamonds are rather beastly, but it's still fun to work on because I love the fabric so much!  I think it will be worth it in the end, and I'm getting better with the diamonds.  I guess I'll never get better without practice.  This is lots of practice!

Other future plans include maybe an apron with this little nugget, also found at BQ.



..and a St. Patrick's Day wreath (since my little Mr. is obsessed with St. Patrick's Day-that might be its own post).  Using some socks, yes, socks.. very cheap ones.. :)



and a basic wreath.. 



..a cheap, kid friendly, and hopefully fun project that he can help me with.

Looking forward to tomorrow night's Friday Night Sew-In!
  

Happy Thursday!
xo

*linking up to really random thursday at live a colorful life, show off fridays at pieceful life and new to me at celtic thistle
Friday, January 18, 2013

BOM Anyone?

2013 will be the year of the Block of the Month.  Up until now, I hadn't ever tried a BOM, but I decided to jump on board with this Riley Blake one when I saw the video instructions pop up in my email.  You can find the video on Riley Blake's website for their Mystery Block of the Month.

I decided since it was a RB BOM, I would use some RB fabric.  Remember Reubenita the Donkey?  Made with Summer Song?  Well, I am making these Mystery BOMs out of the same FQ pack.  

January's block is chevrons.  My block turned out kind of scrappy/choppy looking since I used dots and stripes, but I'm happy with it.




I also joined the Sugar Block Club over at Stitchery Dickory Dock, another BOM.  This one also comes with a sweet recipe included every month.

I was at a loss for what fabric to use when I decided that I would just use some more Summer Song, and in the end, maybe I can merge the two sets of blocks to make a sampler quilt.



So I set out to make the Sugar Block Club block for January, and after I got it cut out, I wasn't thinking that I was going to like it, but in the end, I'm happy with it, too.  I did use some yellow scraps in these two blocks, though.  I'm thinking I will have enough Summer Song to do both BOMs, and if I have to I can add in some scrap solids or prints if needed.  Here's the first SBC block, called "Snow Blossom".. mine's not very snowy, though.. more springy. :)



I'll have fun watching both of these stacks of blocks grow until I can put them into a quilt top.



Have a great weekend, we're off tonight to watch the Monster Jams (six year old boy's dream!), I think the Scooby Doo truck is even going to be there..

And off to Santa Rosa tomorrow for the weekend.  Dare I stop at Broadway Quilts?  My mind says yes, my piggy bank says NO! Maybe we should stick to the Jelly Belly Factory tour, or the Charles Schulz Charlie Brown Museum. Those things would be fun and cost less money and fun for the entire family.. :)

Happy Weekend!
xo
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WIP Wednesday~Rain Dance

I've been working on my Rainy Days and Mondays project this week that I decided to name "Rain Dance" I'm on a quest to finish a UFO from last year.  But tonight, I realized that maybe it should be called "Rain Storm".  I have spent the evening calculating, cutting, figuring out I was wrong, and recutting.  Ugh.  But, I've figured out a strategy that's working for me.  Finally! Although some of the pieces still don't seem straight.  The small diamonds in the sashing are dots from the fabric line, and the setting triangles are from the same polka dot yardage that I used for my Swoon background.



The problems started when I enlarged the original pattern pieces at a copy shop.  120%? 125%?  I couldn't remember.  Which wouldn't be a big deal unless I needed to cut rectangles to slash corner to corner to get the correct size setting triangles for the edges.  (These diamond quilts are more complicated than I realized!) Enter the calculator, ruler, etc.  Cut the rectangles too big, etc.  *sigh*  So finally I just ended up using my diamond pattern piece and folding it in half and tracing it to trim down my "how-did-this-happen" pieces that, after all of my careful calculating and double checking, were the wrong size. And Bingo.  It worked.  

And I was finally able to start setting some rows together.  This is my make shift design wall, a piece of batting hanging on some shelving. 



The other rows are patiently awaiting their sashing so they can be sewn on, too.








Though the diamonds are frustrating, it's coming together quicker than I thought it would.  Once I put all of the rows up with the portion I had already sewn together, I almost decided that it would look better with all white sashing.



But that would require a lot of ripping out, and besides, I have all of these cut out. So I'm just going with the original plan. 



This is the pattern..



It's a free download.  I don't know what I'm going to do with the border yet.  I might make a scrappy border using all of the leftover fabrics from the RD&M FQ pack.

Well, off to bed as tomorrow is my helping parent day at kindergarten. Gonna link up with WIP Wednesday, Fabric Tuesday
and Freemotion by the River.

Hope you're having a good week so far!

OH! I almost forgot declare my intentions to "Drop and Give Me Twenty" for the month of February.  A pledge to quilt 20 minutes a day Feb. 1 ~ Feb. 28, over at my friend Beth's blog.  The button is up there in my side bar.  If you want to go link up and join, there  are tons and tons of prizes this year! 

xo
Kelli

Monday, January 14, 2013

Manic Monday/Dog Park, Sewing, Giveaways, BOMs

Exciting things are happening here in 2013..

First, the sewing, then some newsy things.  On my design wall (er, carpet) today is a UFO. :)  After Jumbo Jack, I was dying to start something new, but I'm glad I didn't.  I've missed this one. The Rainy Days and Mondays quilt.  Having fun sewing some of the diamonds together.  I can't get enough of this fabric with all of the dots and the umbrellas.  I kind of hoarded it for a while.




Here they are laid out in the floor, trying to figure out the placement.



Such a cheery line of fabric.


Onto the newsy things. 

One of my sponsors, Skye Reve Fabrics is having a super-huge, so-many-prizes-you'll-pass-out giveaway right now.  When you're done here, you'll want to head over there to their blog.  The link is right there in my sidebar below the button.  And.. most especially if you're the mom of a little girl, or know any little girls that are special to you, you'll want to enter.. so many cute prizes! Even a $100 gift cert. to Skye Reve!

Second, my friend Lisa at Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam brought to my attention a Block of the Month for 2013 over at Stitchery Dickory Dock.  And get this.. it's only $7.95 for the entire year. How cool and affordable is that?  It's called the Sugar Block Club.
2013 Sugar Block Club

Third, I just found out this morning about Riley Blake's Mystery Block of the Month for 2013 that is FREE. :)  And, there is an instructional video on their blog. :) The first block is chevrons..so cute!

Last but not least, we hit the dog park this weekend for some Buster fun!

And discovered that he will now do some of the things on the agility course without his leash on!





There was some playing with other dogs, too.. until one of them got feisty with him, and we brought him to a tree to settle down.. but the dog still wouldn't leave him alone!



So we took him back into the agility area.  All of the barking scared A.  Who spent the rest of the time here. With his faithful guardian. :)



Time for a family photo. 




Thanks for dropping in.  Happy Monday!
xo

p.s. linking up with my friend Jen for Monday Mischief, and  Design Wall Monday
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