Hello, Old Friend.

Working on the Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along got me thinking about another project that has been sitting in my closet for way too long:

Craftsy 2012 BOM

Back in the beginning of 2012,  I joined Craftsy’s free quilting Block-of-the-Month class.  It’s taught by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock.  Amy is a great teacher and just seems like an all around sweet human being.  She also manages to do this while raising 4 tiny adorable kids and looking fab.  She’s probably 15 years younger than I am, but I’d like to be her when I grow up anyway.

At the time I really knew ZERO about quilting.  I’d made some garments and bags – not all that well – but I’d never quilted.  I couldn’t really see the point of chopping up fabric only to sew it all back together.  I also detest just about everything “country” (apologies to Tim McGraw, Honey Boo Boo, and Civil War re-enacters everywhere).  I definitely saw quilting as brown calico and Little House on the Prairie (okay, I do love LHOTP, just not as home decor).

My attitude changed because I now lived in Korea, the magical land of inexpensive designer cotton broadcloth.  It was all so pretty and colorful and much of it was modern and fun and funky – and dirt cheap!  In the States 2 yards would set you back $16-24.  Here in Korea two yards is $6.  I couldn’t not quilt. I tried just making bags and pillows, but eventually I gave in and that free Craftsy class is why.  It took traditional blocks and put a modern spin on them.

I worked my way through 9 months of the year-long series, waiting eagerly for the first of the month when the next class would be posted, and then came October and curved piecing and well, that quilt is still not finished.  [Note: It’s a little-known fact that Drunkard’s Path quilt blocks are so called because you should not attempt them on fewer than 3 glasses of wine…].  I “squirreled”.  There were other, newer, easier projects calling my name.  It was too easy to procrastinate on that BOM quilt.

I’ve decided to get back to work on those 4 remaining blocks and get that quilt finished.  I  picked the colors because yellow is Bink’s favorite.  I’d like her to be able to snuggle up in it soon.

I’m off to the cutting mat.  Here are a few of my favorite finished blocks thus far:

PicMonkey Collage

Tea Time! – VQR Block 2

The second block in Week 1 of the Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along was super simple:

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This is the Classic Tea Leaf Block from p. 52.  Just some half square triangles and a few squares and voila – another pretty block.

This time I pressed all the seams open and the finished block is soooo much smoother.  I’ll definitely be pressing open from now on on this project.  A little more fiddly, but definitely worth it.

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These blocks are so much fun to make that I am really tempted to jump ahead to next week’s.  Or maybe even make two quilts at once and do the second in prints!  No, no, must go vacuum my house!

Vintage Quilt Revival Fun – Block 1

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Sukie from sukiedontyaknow.com has kicked off a block-along to celebrate a great new book – Vintage Quilt Revival. I already had my copy and this was just the motivation I needed to get started, Otherwise, I’d have looked wistfully at this pretty book and never really gotten down to business. Starting today, participants in the block-along make 2 blocks a week from the book for the next 11 weeks.

So my first step was to come up with the fabrics.  I love the layout and color scheme of the cover quilt, but I vowed not to buy new fabric for this project, so to the stash I went…

Classic Dot FQs from Connecting Threads  (clockwise from top): tomato, candy pink, coral reef, orangina, honeysuckle, sapling, jade peridot, sea breeze, ocean mist, violet, royal purple, gray & latte

Classic Dot FQs from Connecting Threads
(clockwise from top): tomato, candy pink, coral reef, orangina, honeysuckle, sapling, jade, peridot, sea breeze, ocean mist, violet, royal purple, gray & latte

I bought these around Black Friday when they were on sale (I think 40% off!)  because I can’t resist a good sale – or a rainbow.  I also dug out some basic white quilting fabric from the stash for the background.

The first block on the schedule this week is the Double Z from p. 18 and it was quick and fun – nothing but half square triangles.

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Of course, this is me, so I still managed to hit a snag or two.  There are a lot of seams in this block and I did my usual “press toward the dark side (Luke..I am your father…) but that made for some bumpy seams:

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I think it would have been wiser to press them open, so I ‘ll probably try that next time.

Speaking of next time….  It probably would have been a good idea to double check the quilt layout color scheme I’m sorta trying to emulate, because the color scheme listed in the block instructions goes with another colorway suggested in the book!  UGH!  Looks like the “next time”  might be soon.  Image 19

Yeah.  See that purple and blue block in the upper left corner?  Hmm… THAT was the color scheme I should have been using. The colors I used will still go somewhere in the rest of the quilt, but they weren’t supposed to go there.  I’m still debating leaving it and just doing the rest of them the right way or doing that one over.  I think I’ll get a few more blocks under my belt and then revisit this issue.

Next up: Tea Leaf (center row, second from left).

The Fuchsia Is Now

A pink palette from Sew Modern Fabrics

A pink palette from Sew Modern Fabrics

One of my very favorite blogs, Stitched in Color, and Sew Modern are having a pink mosaic contest. The challenge is to curate a group of 12 fabrics that say pink to you.  The winners get their collection in fat quarters.  I don’t usually buy a ton of pinks, but this challenge kind of had me wanting to buy them all.  Pink is just so darned happy.  I love the deep magenta and orchid shades the best, but that bunny on a Vespa is my absolute favorite!

Voting opens on the 24th and winners are announced on the 27th.

So help me, Mittens…

Miss Peanut got a new winter jacket this year and her matchy-matchy lovin’ momma just had to order her a cute owl hat and scarf and mittens that would coordinate with it.  There is a terrible guilt that you feel as a knitter ordering these items, mass-produced (Gasp!) and made in – dare we say it – acrylic yarn (Horrors!).  It sets you up for a whole winter of knitterly and non-knitterly friends saying “Did you make those? How cute,” only to eye you with disdain when you admit that the Children’s Place was having a bitchin’ sale, and well, the colors matched, and you’re really too busy to knit all those…

The disgust of your friends is minor, however, to your self-loathing when, a week into mitten season your second grader informs you that she has lost said cute acrylic owly mitten and that her left hand is now cold.  You should have known.  Didn’t she loose those cute matchy Gymboree gloves with the fingers knit like hand puppets that you bought to go with last year’s coat???  Perhaps next year you should just mail your credit card to the over-priced children’s garment industry and save the environmental impact of packaging and shipping the soon-to-be lost hand warmer.  Maybe they would be willing to just mail you just one mitten instead of two to start things off right?

Well, sigh, that left hand was not going to warm itself.  So into the stash and onto Ravelry I go to create these:

Mitten Collage

In a few hours from leftover (= FREE) yarn and the Pine Needle Mitten pattern, Peanut has not one, but TWO warm hands once more.

And, yes, they match the coat.

Long time no post!

Whew!  The holidays took a toll on my blogging attempts!  Not too much time for crafting and even less to write about it.  Now that the kids are back to school and the Christmas decorations are getting packed away, maybe I’ll get serious.  I suppose I’ll get down to business just in time to get ready to move this summer.  I am pretty excited about it.  I’m dreaming of a house where I don’t sew on an unheated glassed in back porch in 15 degree weather!  A finished basement never seemed so glamorous to me before!

I have made a few things (and actually remembered to photograph them, albeit poorly).  A few weeks before Christmas my good friend Gill had her second baby boy, a sweetie named Alex.  I managed to finish quilting and bind the Pixelated quilt that had been sitting waiting  to be finished for months just in the nick of time.

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I  also finished the December blocks for the Believe Circle of do. Good Stitches just in time to mail them on New Year’s Eve (hmm…do ya think I have a problem with deadlines??):

December Blocks

January’s blocks should be in progress, but they involve some serious paper piecing, which I haven’t done in awhile, and I need to get some orchid/magentaish fabric.  And I thought my stash was big enough :).

I also worked on this little friend to tuck into a Welcome to the World package for my newest niece, Lucy, who arrived on New Year’s Eve:

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She’s from a pattern you can purchase here.  Of course, my youngest who is 8, also had to have one, so I let Peanut pick the colors  for her own and then knit as fast as I could so she’d stop hovering over my shoulder.  I can’t seem to find the picture, but when I do I’ll add it.

I haven’t had the time to dive into the big sewing projects I need/want to finish.  I have a couple of quilt tops that have been sitting for months waiting to be quilted and several more that are nearly done.  I feel stuck for a couple of reasons: 1) It’s COLD on that back porch! 2)  I need floor space to sandwich and pin these and that is something this house really doesn’t have.  I have to rearrange furniture and roll up rugs in order to have enough space.  (For some reason, that annoys Handsome…) 3) The sewing table that Handsome has been working on for me at the wood shop for the last 2+ years isn’t finished and it’s hard to support a quilt while sewing on a round table.  The good news is that the Hubs stopped into the wood shop the other day and made a deal to pay the director to finish it!  Shhhh….we’ll never tell – as long as we finally get the darned thing!  Keep your fingers crossed!

So all those unfinished WIPs made me feel a little down, so I decided to finish something – anything – just to get out of the funk.  A while back I decided to test my hand at some “as you go” quilting in the hope of one day working up to making an Amy Butler Weekender bag like this one by Elizabeth Hartman.  I loved how she used quilting instead of needing tons of heavy interfacing and still ended up with a firmly structured bag.  So, with that aesthetic in mind I decided to start small with a little zippy bag which I finally finished up this week.

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This method uses a ton of thread, and of course I ended up with my little fussy cut motifs upside down, but at least I made a start on the Weekender and a finish on something.  I just love that pull tab with “Sweet” on it.  Yes, I know, I’m a dork.