Tuesday 30 October 2012

Lesson Learned and How Do You Lose a Yard of Fabric?

While working away on a baby quilt for a little boy due in February, I decided that I was wasting too much thread and should tackle some leaders/enders. I have never used them before (save a couple of attempts to see what it was all about) so this was new to me.

Here is what I decided to use:

Aren't these mini charms adorable?
I have six mini charm packs of Bonnie and Camille's Vintage Modern, a fabric line I liked when I saw online but thought it might be a little too traditional for my taste until I ordered some Vintage Modern charm packs for a quilting friend and was immediately envious.

I didn't have much of a plan- just sew these 2.5" squares together. But then it happened. I started envisioning the quilt. And I made a 6 x 6 square of squares. It looked too big. Some I made a 4 x 4 block of squares. And I LOVED it. So much so that I started working on these blocks instead of what I was supposed to be working on!

I produced these:

And I love them. And I know what I am going to do with them (though I have a bunch more blocks to make before it will become something). But, lesson learned. If I start a new project, I get distracted from what I am supposed to be working on. Is that why some quilters I know have some many UFOs?

Also, when I went to get back to work on the baby boy quilt I was making I encountered a problem. I can't find the yard of fabric I plan to use for the border. Anywhere. And my stash isn't that big, people. I have looked through boxes and on shelves and under other partial quilts and by my ironing board. I put my husband to work looking. I cleaned and tidied and searched and searched. NO FABRIC. Where is it?? 

For now I am taking this as the universe telling me to get my butt in gear binding my friend's birthday quilt (due in 3 weeks) and stop making February quilts (especially when I still have Christmas things to finish!).

Have you ever lost fabric? Or been distracted by a new project?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Saturday 27 October 2012

It Feels Good to Make Progress!

I tackled the rest of the free motion quilting of my Christmas Exchange Quilt (I really need a name for it) and was absolutely thrilled with the results.

Also, I had just enough thread to finish the quilting I was doing on the border. That was a relief!

I trimmed up the edges:

And now I just need to get to the binding! There are two quilts ahead of it for binding, one a birthday present for a friend (so that is #1 priority because it is due November 17!) and one is my mom's Garden Lattice quilt which is just under 50% bound thanks to me plugging away at it this past week.

Doesn't it look pretty, folded up and ready for some binding? A folded quilt looks so inviting and makes me feel like I've accomplished something!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday 24 October 2012

WIP Wednesday: Some FMQ and a Backing

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This Wednesday I was able to work some more on my Christmas Exchange Quilt. I opted to use my walking foot to quilt straight lines close to the ditch. Note: not stitch-in-the-ditch because I'm terrible at it.

I used brown thread which isn't really floating my boat, but it was a matter of availability. After quilting all the straight lines I was feeling ho-hum. Then I started free motion quilting the border using a random stippling pattern in a teal fabric. This part of the quilting I loooooooooove. 

My neck was killing me after 45 minutes, so I decided to put that on hold for another day (plus I needed to change the bobbin anyway, so it was a good breaking point) and I got to work on the backing for my Dr. Seuss quilt. This is a Christmas gift intended for a special little boy, and I used a length of multi-coloured fabric with names of all the Seuss books all over it. 
(My cats were NOT being helpful).

I also picked up this variegated red thread to quilt Seuss:
I plan to use white thread on the back, and the red on the front in a random herringbone pattern like this one from Film in the Fridge:
Photo courtesy of Film in the Fridge
I am excited to be making progress as we near November. How did November sneak up on us like this?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Am I Cheating?

I am more than half way through the month of October and so far I have not given in to any of the many temptations to buy fabric. 

The closest to cheating that I plan to come this month is my Sew Sisters Kona Solids of the Month Club, a monthly delivery of four Kona solid fat quarters based on an inspiration photograph. I say it is not cheating because it is a club I was already subscribed to. My husband says it is cheating because the charge for the month appears in October, therefore it counts as buying fabric in October. What do you think?

One way or the other, my fabric arrived! 
This was the inspiration photograph:
A dark and spooky Halloween picture! I was thrilled to see that instead of the predictable orange and black, my solids were four shades of grey. I am in heaven! (I LOVE grey!).

Here are the fat quarters:

From left to right: Kona Black, Kona Charcoal, Kona Coal and Kona Iron.
I am absolutely in love with the Kona Charcoal. That would be the colour I would choose for a quilt for me, or perhaps for my husband. The Kona Iron is light and sweet and would be perfect in a baby quilt that had greys.

I am thrilled that I "cheated" but also looking forward to November so I can buy fabric!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Thursday 18 October 2012

Chevron Lust

For the month of October I am on a fabric fast. I can't buy any fabric. It is a self-imposed fast (though my husband is delighted) and there has already been tons of temptation (did you know that Pink Castle Fabrics is having a moving sale? 25% off everything with the code MOVING. I'm dying!).

Knowing that the fast was coming up, I ordered fabric on September 29. I knew it would arrive in October and perhaps help with the new fabric withdrawal (can you tell I have a problem?).

I had been drooling over the new Riley Blake Chevrons since they first started popping up around the blogosphere, and this was my excuse to order them.

Here is the delicious rainbow of fat quarters from Westwood Acres:

These are my favourites (no shock there!):

I already have 1000 ideas for these babies and I would not be shocked if some yardage ends up in my stash sometime soon (though not in October!).

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday 17 October 2012

WIP Wednesday: October 17

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
It is WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced, and it made me get my buns in gear to post updates on my WIPs!
The binding is on my mother's Garden Trellis quilt, a surprise for Christmas. I will now hand bind the back while watching TV over the next week or so.

The border is on my friend's son's Seuss quilt. I opted for the black and white text and I love it. I plan to make the backing this week.

For now the charm squares of Road Trip for a baby due in February to friends of ours is back in a stack. I think I am definitely going to cut a white strip to frame the squares before adding the navy metro fabric.

The thread is purchased for the Christmas gift exchange quilt. I need a speciality quilting store for the teal I wanted, so I am going to make due with brown on top and bottoms. I'm hoping it turns out well and I don't regret the decision.

The Christmas exchange quilt it all basted and rolled up, ready to be quilted.
And those are my WIPs for this Wednesday!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Thinking About a New Quilt

After Thanksgiving dinner, after the company had left and the dishwasher was running, I looked at my dining room table and knew what I needed to do. I needed to layout some ideas for a new quilt.

My table is expanded with two leaves, so it has a large surface to do the fabric play, and I didn't want to start hauling all my sewing stuff (machines, mat, etc) out of the basement where it was hidden from visitors. I work tomorrow, so I couldn't be up too late. And besides, I have pretty much decided on the fabric for one side of the new quilt, so why not jump in?

This quilt will be for our close friends' new addition coming February 2013. This is boy #3 at their house. I thought of my Riley Blake Rush Hour charm packs, which I've had squirrelled away since my fabric obsession really began (about a year ago). I also have some city print fabric that I bought at an awesome clearance sale. Let the planning begin!

First I had this layout- 5" squares followed by a 5" strip of city fabric, repeat.

But it looks too busy. And the cuteness of the fabrics is hidden by the busy pattern. So I tried this pattern, with the city fabric as a border:

Much cuter, no? I now have to reflect and let it sit for a little bit to see if I change my mind. Maybe a 2" strip of white between the squares and the city border? Hmmmmm.

I'm excited to be committed and get sewing!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Monday 8 October 2012

Garden Trellis Quilt is Quilted!

I took on the challenge of quilting yet again, and I was thrilled with the result. I read (on the many blogs I follow) that many people plan way in advance how they will quilt their quilts. That is definitely not me. In fact, other than choosing pink thread (and honestly, I had it on hand) and to quilt a big x down the centre of the quilt, I had no idea what I was going to do. When I started, however, it was like the quilt pattern spoke to me. I knew just what to do!

I used my walking foot to quilt diagonal straight lines through every other square, reversing and doing the diagonal lines on the opposite squares in different directions. You can really see how it looks on the back:
Backing of quilt. See the grid?

The quilting made this "X" through several centres. It looks great.

I also used FMQ to do the borders. I still do not have it down, and the back is always where it shows, but it looks really good on the front so I classify it as a success!
Low-skill attempt at FMQ
Now I need to trim and put on the borders and my mom's Christmas gift is done! I sure hope she loves it- I'm especially nervous about the very modern pieced backing (more my taste than hers). Fingers crossed!
Finished quilting!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Sunday 7 October 2012

The Basting Fairy Heard Me Complaining

I am taking advantage of every spare second this holiday long weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving, in case you were wondering) and tackling tasks that are not normally my favourite (basting being number one on that list). I complained about basting a couple of posts ago and I guess the basting fairy heard me. While tackling the basting of my mom's quilt (in a "I just want to get this done" mood), my 505 Basting Spray ran out. I had just finished basting the backing and the batting and pssssssssssst- can was done.

My husband was out grocery shopping for Thanksgiving at the time (he is the chef at our house) and I texted him to get me some, which he did (dear man). Success! A basted quilt!
Unbasted quilt. This is where I ran out of 505.
I was so annoyed with basting, however, that I decided to hop onto a project that has been sitting, neglected, for months. I recently bought a stack of flannelette to make double sided baby blankets. I picked all girly fabrics because the fabrics I naturally gravitate towards are boyish. Also, I bought the fabric before my nephew was born and I was betting on him being a girl. Not so!

I made this double sided super cozy blanket:

And I also pressed and folded all the remaining flannelette yardage that had been sitting in a clean but unorganized stack in my laundry room. All of these prints came from my local Fabricland, which when there is a member's sale has some decent fabrics. I guess it is the Canadian equivalent of a Jo-Ann's, but 20% of the size and no real quilting selection.

I do get the feeling, however, that a quilter's "To Do" list is never done.

Back to sewing I go!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Saturday 6 October 2012

Dr. Seuss WIP

I am making a quilt for my friend's son for Christmas. He is a Dr. Seuss nut (he is 3 1/2) and I wanted to make him a smallish quilt that he could cart around while doing three-year-old activities. 

I have now attached the rows (the pattern is from Cluck Cluck Sew- Road Trip Quilt) and this is what I have:

I really feel like this quilt has in-your-face colour. Even though the pattern doesn't call for a border I think something mainly white will help the eye rest. I planned to use the black and white Dr.Seuss text fabric but now I'm rethinking. I have a white-on-white alphabet fabric that might work as well. Would that be too stark?

I will think on it and dive in.

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Friday 5 October 2012

One Quilt Basted, Three to Go

I have been trying to prioritize Christmas gifts above I-want-to-play-with-fabric quilts but it means I have hit the dreaded basting stage. I hate basting. 505 Spray is awesome, so it really isn't that hard, but it is a lot of work for a sandwich. You know what I mean?

I am proud that I managed to baste this Christmas quilt (intended for a gift exchange at my mother-in-law's house). Next up- quilting. I think I will use brown on the bottom and teal on the top but I am not sure about pattern yet. I'm contemplating my options (and my low skill level) to figure something out. Fortunately I have not gone on a thread fast for October, so I can pick up what I need next time I am near a store that sells what I want.

Wish me luck tackling the quilting. It may be my worst skill!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday 3 October 2012

HST QAL: October Block (Feeling Rusty)

In the summer I came across an HST quilt along by Jeni of In Color Order. I caught up very quickly, making most of the blocks in a one month period. September took a long time to get here, and October seemed even longer! Finally October 1st arrived, and though it meant the start of my fabric fast, it also meant a new block of the month.

I also have a new iPhone (no, not the 5) which means that I now can play with Instagram. Hooray! I do not plan on using Instagram photos on this blog often, but I had to try it out.
I call it HST love.
This is what Jeni's block looks like:
Photo courtesy of In Color Order

And this is what my block looks like:
Why is the picture sideways? Because my computer was not cooperating. I tried every which way to rotate this photo and it didn't work. It has never happened before.
My pinning is obviously rusty because some of the piecing is horrendous, hence my blog post title. I made most of the other blocks close together while I was still sewing every day. Just like students who forget skills over the summer, my lack of sewing is causing my skill set to decrease. Sad but true. Obviously I need to find a way to sew more regularly!

Oh well, the block is still cute (and I have visions of an all HST chevron quilt in my future).

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Linking up with WIP Wednesdays at Freshly Pieced!