Sunday, February 26, 2022

Sunday Night Stash Report - MidAtlantic Quilt Festival Edition

I was pretty good at the Festival and only bought for specific projects. I'm not counting wool felt kits because those aren't part of the quilting, and I only got two of them, plus that brown piece to finish the kit I already had at home. Mostly I bought patterns I can use existing stash for (guest appearance by Chester the quilt in this photo):

  • Used this Week: 2.25 yards
    • 2.25 for son's Secret Lab curtain
  • Used year to Date: 94.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 3 yards
    • 1.5 various embroidered bits from the booth (top row in photo)
    • 0.75 for a Half Moon Modern Charm Pack (bottom row in photo)
    • 0.75 various batiks for farm project (fabric in bottom right, pattern in middle right just above)
  • Added Year to Date: 65.25 yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 29.25 yard
    • YTD Used for Charity: 38.5 yards (41% of total used)

Not-So-Live from the MidAtlantic Quilt Festival!

Maybe you heard around the quilty podosphere that there was a meet-up in Virginia this week? Here's some pictures to satisfy those of you who couldn't make it (and the other attendees will also be sharing some photos I'm sure):

Top, from left to right: Frances and Sandy. Bottom, from left to right: Me (Pam), AJ, and Tanesha.
Tanesha and I at lunch:
Sandy and Frances listening during the podcast we recorded:
AJ, also listening intently:
These, along with the listeners who gathered with us, are all just as wonderful as they sound on the podcasts. We all agreed after so much social interaction we were going to head back to our respective beds and collapse. Except I finagled my way into dinner with Sandy and Frances, and then came back to my parents' house and collapsed into bed.

Sandy has the recording, and is driving home today. I think she'll get it posted this week.  Thanks to everyone who showed up, and I hope everyone who couldn't make it got lots of good sewing done!

Friday, February 24, 2022

HtbaS: Episode 68

It's the panicky last-minute-before-travel episode! I talk about finishing my son's room makeover, felted wool projects, and getting ready for the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.

Thursday, February 23, 2022

Extreme Room Makeover: Racetrack Edition

Rather than beat around the bush, I'll start off with the coolest part of my son's "new" room:
Nerf gun rack!
The Nerf gun rack! It's the first thing you see when you walk into his room. It's made from pegboard painted to match the wall, with 4" pegs dipped into Plasti-Dip to give a little more grippy-ness.  For those interested in the construction, this is what the back looks like:
It's backed with a frame of 1x2's, screwed in from the front. Very simple to do, and then mounted to the wall into the studs with screws.  Here's a close-up of one section of the finished piece:
The bandolier made from my dad's old fatigues is hanging on the far left.  I also got some baskets to fit into the pegboard to hold the smaller items.  Anywho, if you look at the first picture, you'll see the closet door just to the right. But it's no ordinary closet!

It should be no surprise that we have secret labs at my house. I made that using a tension rod and a yard and a half of fabric, and fused the letters onto the fabric.

And now, we'll circle the room counter-clockwise. Curtains! My son said his favorite number was 96. I have no idea why.  The fabric on the valance is racing helmets and checkered flags.
And here's the rest of the elements: tire wall clock, posters, etc.

Small Project Finishes

I promised pictures of this geranium basket felted wool table mat, so here it is! It's about 18" across. Not sure where I'll put it yet.

And here's how you can ID me at the MidAtlantic Quilt Festival (or any other quilt festival, honestly, since I usually take this bag to quilt shows):
 Check out my new tag! Not really a name tag since it doesn't have my name on it, but it's a... tag line tag?

Sunday Night Stash Report: 2/19 (Oops)

I awoke at 2:40 this morning to the panicky thought that I hadn't done a Sunday night stash report last week. Oops.
  • Used this Week: 11.75 yards
    • 11.75 for Blue Swoon
  • Used year to Date: 92.25 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • Woohoo! I will probably be breaking that streak at the quilt festival this weekend
  • Added Year to Date: 62.25 yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 30 yard
    • YTD Used for Charity: 38.5 yards (42% of total used)

Monday, February 20, 2022

On Growth.

I've been thinking about my growth as a quilter a lot lately, and Jaye's (very thoughtful) comment on the last episode spurred me to actually sit down and write about it.  My mom recently sent me a picture of the first quilt I made for them, which was maybe 8 years ago. I honestly can't remember whether I made it before or after my oldest was born, but here it is:
It's lap-sized. I bought a FQ assortment of Hawaiian print fabrics, cut them into squares, sashed them (inaccurately, I'm sure), used poly batting, and just straight line quilted (without a walking foot) in the sashing. I believe I called the sashing "lattice" at the time. I can name about 99 problems with this quilt. Inelegant layout? Complete lack of a consistent and accurate 1/4" seam? Lack of quilting? Check. Check. Check.

Compare that quilt with Iz, from last year, also in Hawaiian print for my mom.
Interesting layout? Consistent and accurate piecing? Imaginative quilting? Check. Check. Check. Still, I look at it and can name around 25 problems with it.

I'm a tad hard on myself sometimes, is what I'm saying. But I can also acknowledge growth. Technical growth, anyway. I'm still working on that artsy-fartsy part of myself that brings things like color. Here's another early quilt of mine to demonstrate:
This is prayer quilt for the church group I used to work with. We worked with donated fabrics for 90% of our needs, and in this case a man had lost his wife to cancer and was left to raise their five daughters on their own. I suggested using 5 different pinks in the quilt to represent the five girls. Because the pink at the center of the blocks was rather more red than pink, I put the lace strips over it to "cut it" a bit. It's an okay quilt given the limitations we were working with, but I feel like I can name 5 things wrong with the color here and they are all shades of pink.

And then my color growth with the Blue Swoon quilt:
It's... better. I say that with a hesitancy that comes from a place of insecurity about my color skills (and not begging for nice comments, because you guys have already said such nice things about it already - thank you!).

I feel like I need to force myself to do an insanely scrappy quilt just to push all sorts of colors together and make myself get over my aversion to things not matching exactly.  Here is where we pause to listen to my parents, husband, every school teacher I ever had, and anyone who's ever seen me work on a jigsaw puzzle laugh their fool heads off with the idea that I will ever be a laid back person who can just "let things go".

I'm very good about setting/accomplishing goals around increasing my technical skills (paper piecing, trapunto, FMQ, etc.). What I need to do is balance that with it growing my "softer skills" like design, color, and art quilting skills in composition.

It's likely that my nerdy inner-self that craves structure is going to wield a spreadsheet and a protractor and beat down the inner artsy-fartsy hippie. That's probably why I don't wear more scarves, too.

Friday, February 17, 2022

Blue Swoon: FINISHED!

Blue Swoon is finished!

I used the lime green Swiss dot print from the Ruby line for the binding.
Random close-up of the center (this blue is the same as the backing fabric):
And here's the back, with some seriously bright sunlight coming through:

HtbaS: Episode 67

I talk about finishing the Blue Swoon quilt, making over my son's room, prepping projects for travel, getting philosophical about quilting, and the meet-up at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival on 2/25/12!

Thursday, February 16, 2022

Meet Me at the Waterfall! Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

Borrowed from Sandy...

You've been hearing us talk about it--the details have finally been worked out! Join Sandy of Quilting...for the Rest of Us, me, Frances of Off-Kilter Quilt, AJ of The Quilting Pot, and Tanesha of Crafty Garden Mom podcasts, and a whole bunch of our listeners at the Waterfall Meet-up at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia!

Make your way to the indoor waterfall in the main lobby of the convention center starting around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 25th. We'll gather there, wait until a few minutes after noon in case there are folks in morning classes, and then possibly move to another nearby location depending on how many people we have with us and what's available. (We've got some tentative locations on hold but it's hard to know what will work best until we see how many people we're talking about.)

I know all of us podcasters are anxious to meet each other and our listeners face-to-face! So, meet at the waterfall!
Extra bonus: if you see other women wandering around the show that look like different versions of me, that's probably my mom, sister, and niece! I'm going to try to make a thing for me to wear so you'll know it's me- for reference, I'm the one on the left in the picture of me & Frances. I may not have glasses on - might be having a contact lens day.

Hugs accepted, btw. I figure if I put that out there up front, it'll be less awkward! Then again, who am I kidding? I will probably still snag your hair on a button or something.

Monday, February 13, 2022

Blue Swoon - Finish All the Blocks!

In a swirl of last-minute activity before wrestling control of the remote last night for the coin toss of whether to watch Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead, I finished up the last of the Blue Swoon blocks:

Block 7

Block 8 (after a misplaced substitute of Kona White for what (in the light of day) is obviously Kona Snow): 

Block 9

And two potential layouts...
Layout One - "Corners":
Layout 2 - "The V":
Anyone have strong opinions about either layout (either for or against?)

Sunday, February 12, 2022

Sunday Night Stash Report: Extreme Room Makeover Edition

Although I've been sewing Swoon blocks like mad this week, they don't count towards the "done" pile until the quilt is finished, so it's mostly my son's room makeover projects in the finish count tonight.
  • Used this Week: 6 yards
    • 1.25 yards - Valance for son's room
    • 3.5 yards - Curtains for son's room
    • 1.25 yards - pillowcase for son's room
  • Used year to Date: 80.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 3.5 yards
    • 1.5 yard checkerboard home dec (curtains)
    • 1 yard racing helmets (valance/pillowcase)
    • 1 yard black home dec (curtains/memo board)
  • Added Year to Date: 62.25 yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 18.25 yard
    • YTD Used for Charity: 38.5 yards (48% of total used)

Saturday, February 11, 2022

Blue Swoon Blocks 5 & 6 and A Buffalo Quilting Tip

Here's the next two blocks (there's a third I didn't finish until after the sun went down so no photo yet):

Love this stripey one, although I was unconvinced of the fabric at the time I bought it. It was the one blue FQ that I bought for this quilt. I'm glad my guild mates talked me into it.
This one is a little more sedate, but that's needed to offset the craziness of some of the blocks like the one above.
And a small buffalo quilting tip that relates to flying geese:
Instead of "throwing away" the triangles trimmed off the flying geese unit (one of the reasons I don't like making flying geese like this), take a few minutes and stitch another line 1/2" away from the original diagonal. Trim in between the two stitch lines.

Once you press, you've got an extra HST! If you do this for every flying fees unit in the 9-patch Swoon quilt, you've got an extra 144 HSTs that finish around 2". You can make a 12x12 layout for a nice medallion that measures 24" square.

Friday, February 10, 2022

Blue Swoon - Blocks 3 & 4

Since I worked until midnight last night for a meeting this morning, my boss cleared me taking some time off this afternoon. As a result, I finished block 4! Block 3 got done a couple days ago.

Here's block 3:
I didn't crop out my bear claw slippers. That's not a real bear in the photo. Unless my life is like Mission Impossible II: Face Ripping Off Extravaganza, and in reality I'm a bear who quilts who wore a human suit to meet Frances for breakfast.

Possibly I worked too late and need caffeine. Anywhoodle, here's block 4, made with Terrible Quilt leftovers for the solid blue and a grey print from the Ruby line:

HtbaS: Episode 66

I talk about some cat drama (the first 5 minutes), sewing the Swoon blocks, some "free to a good home" items on my website, and the most recent Saturday Sampler blocks.

Thursday, February 9, 2022

Blue Swoon - Block 2

Here's the second Swoon block for the blue version. This blue fabric is what I purchased for the backing, so I had a smidge leftover to eek out enough cuts to make a block.

Monday, February 6, 2022

First Blue Swoon Block

I finally finished my first Swoon block! All of the blocks will have some shade of brightish blue and either a gray or lime green alternate.
It took some doing (and re-pressing) to get my seams to nest and there is a ton of bulk. It's also taking some doing on my OCD-ish part to forgive the plaid in weird places and directions of the lime green print going all wonky. It'll all quilt out, right? :)

Saturday Sampler Blocks - Feb 2012

Saturday Sampler time!  First up the second block for Memories of Provence:
Can't even tell I had drunk two margaritas before piecing this, because my points are still there!

And here's Grandma's Garden (with bonus Zoom drive-by):
I used Rhonda's suggestion for this quote and put "Don't 'should' yourself". The only problem with this is three layers of fusible under the stem pieces where they come together. It's making the corner curl up a bit.

Sunday, February 5, 2022

Sunday Night Stash Report: Super Bolt Sunday Edition

I knew I'd be adding fabric this week because of the Super Bolt Sunday sale, and I'm happy with myself for only getting two pieces of fabric that didn't have a specific purpose. The rest is allocated to make twin size quilts for the Wellspring Living house where the girls live while being rehabilitated from being trafficked, a Good Mews project, or for a specific project already in the plan, like the purple Swoon quilt.
  • Used this Week: 19.25 yards
    • 1.75 to make the Hello Kitty wallhanging
    • 17.5 yards to make pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer (for charity)
  • Used year to Date: 74.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 32 yards (Super Bolt Sunday Sale - I averaged $4.25 a yard for the fabric I bought!)
    • 2 yard yellow grunge (for stash)
    • 4 yards rainbow batik (for stash)
    • 1 1/4 Tan on White (for Wellspring House charity quilts)
    • 3 1/4 tan check (for Wellspring House charity quilts)
    • 4 yards green floral (for Wellspring House charity quilts)
    • 8 1/2 tan on white graphic (for stash/Wellspring House charity quilts)
    • 6 yards tan pawprint fabric (to be used for Good Mews in some way - quilt or nap mats)
    • 1 yard white on white (for purple Swoon quilt)
    • 1 3/4 various purple and white FQs (for purple Swoon quilt)
  • Added Year to Date: 58.75 yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 15.75 yards (yay! still in the green thanks to ConKerr pillow cases!)
    • YTD Used for Charity: 38.5 yards (52% of total used)

Friday, February 3, 2022

HtbaS: Episode 65

I talk about making more pillowcases, finishing Ted and Furever Homes and re-decorating my daughter's room. Quick chat about the meet-up at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, and the Super Bowl Sew In on 2/5/12.

Because I'm near my bandwidth limit, there may be a problem downloading this episode until February 7, when the bandwidth limit resets. You should be able to click the play button above to listen without even during this time.

Follow the SBSI conversation on tweetchat!

Wednesday, February 1, 2022

Making an Applique Wallhanging from Coloring Pages

With my daughter's room redecoration, she wanted a Hello Kitty picture over her bed. I'm okay with posters, but wanted to make something a little fancier, so I started poking around for Hello Kitty pictures I could adapt to a quilted wallhanging. The good news is that Hello Kitty has very simple lines, and there are a plethora of coloring pictures available.

The first thing I did was find a picture I wanted to use. I just Googled "Hello Kitty coloring pages" and scrolled the Google image search until I found one I liked.
A word about copyright: Sanrio owns the Hello Kitty image. Since I am making this for personal use, and will not be selling or seeking to profit from it, I felt it was okay to use this image. If you want to do something similar for yourself to sell, you have to use public domain images.

I do my "graphics" work in Microsoft Powerpoint. It's not a graphics program, but it does give you the ability to print a single page as a poster; i.e. - it blows the image up from a single page to fit 2 x 2 pages.  And since I've used Powerpoint since Moses was an undergrad (as they say at Georgia Tech), it's relatively easy for me. There are better graphics programs that also have this same enlarge feature, so adjust your work accordingly.

Once I blew up the image and printed it out, I had to tape it together and figure out what colors I want.
Here is when you can have your assistant of choice help color (such as the child you might be making this for). I chose to do it myself, lightly coloring in with colored pencils so I'd know which fabrics I needed to pull from my stash. Once that's colored in, I traced all the individual shapes onto a paper backed fusible. Now, tracing the image like this means that when I fuse the pieces on, they will be in a mirror image. Since my image is fairly symmetric, this doesn't bother me. It's most important to reverse images when tracing letters.

Here are my chosen fabrics with the cut out, traced pieces of paper backed fusible:
After fusing all the applique pieces to the fabrics, I trimmed them carefully on the outline and sorted them by location, i.e. - all the flower parts went together, all the kitty pieces, and all the bushes/house pieces go together.

I chose to fuse together those groups of pieces into large applique shapes using an applique pressing sheet. You can fuse them onto the background individually, but I feel like doing the groups gives me a little more control.  Here's I've laid out all the kitty pieces onto the sheet after peeling off the paper backs:
The benefit of using a coloring page is that the black lines are really thick and easy to see through the pressing sheet. If you're lines aren't that thick, you can use a lightbox, or what I call a "redneck lightbox" (holding it up to the window). Press these pieces to fuse them together, and then peel the whole thing off the pressing sheet.

Once I got all the pieces fused into groups, I then fused them onto the background piece (I pieced together a piece of green for the grass background with a piece of mottled sky blue to make the total background piece). I knew I wanted to use the zig-zag stitch to secure the pieces, and I decided to let that double as part of the quilting so I didn't stitch any of the pieces down at this point.  The one exception is the bubbles, which I created using a double layer of tulle and an overlay of fusible vinyl. Those I stitched down before sandwiching the quilt.

I added a small inner border, and then an outer border of simple squares.  Sandwiched with cotton batting, basted, and voila! I was ready to quilt.  I zig-zagged the outlines of all the applique pieces, and then FMQed the rest.  Here's a close-up of the center (I used the flash to show the sheen of the bubbles, but that made the rest of it super bright):
And here's what the whole thing looks like from afar, hanging over my daughter's bed:

Extreme Room Makeover: Square Edition

If you follow my tweets (and even if you don't, it's a good place to see what's going on with the podcast and you don't have to sign up for anything just to see them), you'll know that I spent last weekend redecorating my daughter's room. Normally I would be sewing up a storm, but it was time for a room update since the periwinkle paint color is one I picked for a guest room before she was born.  She loves all things "cats" (wonder where she gets that from?), so she requested a Hello Kitty room, and that it be painted yellow.

Here's a before shot (I think she's 3 years old here, on the throes of a Dora the Explorer phase given the wall stickers and Dora dress):
The bed quilt I made for her once she got that bed, which is a full-sized antique bed we got from my husband's aunt.  The quilt on the wall is her "baby" quilt, which I finished when she was two.

Here's what that same shot looks like now, after the re-do:
That bed quilt I bought for $8 at a yard sale. It's awesome and snuggly.  That's not a body hiding under the quilt - it's the (VERY LARGE) collection of stuffed animals she sleeps with now. The wallhanging is one I just finished earlier today, and I'll be posting a tutorial on how to make an applique wallhanging from a coloring page (and better pictures of it).  Also, for those interested, the bed normally has boring finials on top of the posts, but I found these dragonflies as part of a landscape lighting set and thought they'd be perfect for a little girl's room.

Here baby quilt is now hanging to the left of the bed:
Here baby quilt has little applique elements from her baby clothes.  I still have plans to do some sort of fun garland to dress up the Ikea LACK shelf over it. 

And here's the curtains I made for her room (right side of the bed). I couldn't find Hello Kitty fabric to make the curtains, so I went with just pink cat fabric for the top, and a bright pink with white Swiss dots for the bottom.  The Hello Kitty "dangles" I found in the party section, and they hang from her memo board.
If you turn a little more to the right, here's the chair I recovered for her (same fabric as the memo board). I also made the Hello Kitty pillow by blowing up a coloring page I found online and using it as a pattern.
And finally, here's the dresser, showing the baby quilt in reflection. The clock was the thing that started the Hello Kitty mania; it was a birthday present from my in-laws.
You can see that the yellow of the walls appears in varying brightnesses - that's a hazard of taking pictures on two different days! We've got a couple other elements coming in - the garland, a poster, and I have plans for a little embroidery project to hang in there as well - but she's still happy with it.