Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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A little bit of this and a little bit of that

My loops aren't even on every side but since this is really the first time I've done anything other than a stipple since June, I'm okay with that.

My loops aren’t even on every side but since this is really the first time I’ve done anything other than a stipple since June, I’m okay with that.

In addition to working on my bee block, I have been trying to get my SkillBuilder quilt completed.  I was hoping to get it done by the Jan. 19 deadline but I still have 16 blocks left to quilt and  borders and sashing to piece.  Although it is very tempting to just stipple everything so I can finish, this quit is more about the journey and actually learning skills so I am not going to rush it.  With that in mind, I went a little eclectic in my fmq of the em-dash block:

Pebble practice

Pebble practice

More pebbles

Loopy pebbles

Some loops which I obviously need to practice because they aren't symmetrical at all

Some loops which I obviously need to practice because they aren’t symmetrical at all and I haven’t tucked in my loose ends yet.

I thought I had taken a picture of the feather I did–half of it looks pretty good; I realized after doing one side of the feather that I needed to put the presser foot down (ooops) so there will be ripping.  I think I will try a flower in the peach.  The quilting is going so much better than it was in June–apparently working with the right tools (bobbin washers, thread holder, pink teflon thing, gloves, extension table) makes a big difference!  You should really check out the group on Flickr–there are some people that have  amazing talent.

Last weekend, I also made my first block of the Sew Kitschy BOM (designed by Kristy @ Quiet Play).  I used the orange and blue DS Quilts fabric that I have been collecting.    I think I need to buy some varied shades of solid orange and blue fabrics to break up some of the prints  as this turned out a little busier that I wanted it to be.

Potholder and oven mitt in DS Quilts fabric

Potholder and oven mitt in DS Quilts fabric

I was going to make it in aqua and red but realized that I have barely any red.  I have maybe 5 reds and none of them coordinate.  This is beyond incomprehensible — my favorite color is red.  How is it that I have not been buying red?  Obviously,  I NEED to make buying red fabric a high priority.  Any suggestions on some awesome red fabrics that I should purchase?


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I think I need a craftervention

(Revised.) While I have loved doing the Skillbuilder BOM, it’s always been looming over my head and I’ve felt like that’s all I’ve done all year (mystery quilt and baby quilt aside).  Plus,  I’ve been watching all these fabulous bee blocks everyone has been doing and I really want to do one so I signed up for next year’s Stash Bee.  Also, last week, my traditional guild decided that next year we will do a charm swap every month and make a block.

Cue the 3 BOM e-mails I’ve received in the past week.  I don’t know if I can resist.   First is the Sugar Cube Block 2014 by Amy Gibson .  I have to say that I  have loved seeing all the sugar cube blocks spread all over the internet this year.  Amy’s BOM for 2014 is going to be a mystery though I’m sure it will be super-cute.  I don’t think I’ve seen her do anything that wasn’t cute since I started following her.  Even her children are adorable.  Then there’s Kristy at Quiet Play.  Have you seen the paper- pieced quilt that she designed?  How cute is that?  It doesn’t even have to be a quilt – wouldn’t these be awesome potholders to hang on your kitchen wall!  Gah, the cuteness…. (Actually, I know that I’m going to definitely do Kristy’s –I have to – just look at how cute that Sew Kitschy button looks on my sidebar).  Finally, Alyssa over at Pile O’Fabric has another fab BOM planned for next year It’s a sewing theme – I don’t know about you but I have been coveting sewing themed blocks ever since the Sew Out Loud QAL 2 years ago   sew out loud quilt along.  Seriously, I know I can’t handle 5 blocks a month on top of the to-do list of quilts that I want to do but these all sound so great. Maybe I should just do Kristy’s and hope for a couple adorable potholders.

By the way, did I mention that I started a honey cowl; yep after 3 hours of knitting, I have exactly one row to show for it.  It has been relegated to the after Christmas (maybe) pile.  I’m also seriously tempted to use my blue and orange DS Quilts fabrics to participate in the APQ quilt-along that’s gearing up.  Uh yeah, about that craftervention.

Wow!  look at that progress….

Wow! look at that progress….

I did manage to catch up on 2 more blocks for the Skillbuilder BOM-only 2 more to go and I can do all the fmq that I haven’t done since the first set of blocks…

Confession by finished, I mean it's fused.  I wussed out on the piecelique and I'm just doing raw edge appliqué.

Confession -by finished, I mean it’s fused. I wussed out on the piecelique and I’m just doing raw edge appliqué.

So do you have an elf on the shelf or a variation thereof?  Our “elf” took selfies the other night while riding on the broken airplane in our office and made a slide show.  Lil Bee was thrilled to tell her friends about it.  What does your elf typically do during December?

Flying elf


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I have been doing stuff

Between all the dentist and orthodontist appts, and play week and sick kid week;), I have managed to do a little bit more on the SkillBuilder BOM.
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Not too happy with this one – it looks like I put a pink circle on a paper bag-well, they can’t all look fabulous.
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These are the Candyland blocks – I’m happy with these.
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A stash pull for an orange and blue quilt that I am obsessing about. I think it needs more blue and maybe another yellow. What do you think?


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Trying to catch up on my BOM blocks

I finally took a break from the Mystery Quilt or as I affectionately call it “Jinxed”.  I decided I was rushing and making too many mistakes.  As much as I would like to finish something, I want to be happy with it too so I’ve decided to catch up on my Skillbuilder blocks. –I’m a tad behind.

So here is the Shattered Chevron–it took me way longer than it should have.  That happens when you have to re-do just about every seam you sew.  The only part of this block that worked for me was making the HST’s 8 at a time–the only way to make HSTs IMHO.  I love the look of HSTs but trying to get my machine to sew over all those seams, that’s another story.  Surprise!  I made a mistake on this one too and I’m not fixing it.  I know that sounds like a poor attitude but I kind of like the triangle effect in the bottom row so I’m keeping it.

The "modified" Shattered Chevron from Pile O'Fabric's Skillbuilder BOM.

The “modified” Shattered Chevron from Pile O’Fabric’s Skillbuilder BOM.

So, you know how you look at the back of some people’s quilts and they have those perfectly pressed seams?  Mine never look like that–I pin, I press every seam and starch the heck out of it but still it’s not pretty.  What am I doing wrong?

Next up is the Broken Arrow block.  It’s an improv block so I’m sure that I will enjoy it a lot more.    Hopefully, it won’t take me as long to catch up on these next blocks.  I hope your sewing time has been more productive.


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More blocks for the SKillbuilder BOM (almost) finished and a recipe

They still need borders and fmq but I’m calling it a finish for now.  As noted in previous posts, my sewing machine and I have been butting heads when it comes to FMQ.  So, I am concentrating on the blocks for now and will get to the quilting once I’m caught up.  Yes, I’m still working myself up to tackle the EPP block again.  I like paper piecing but I’m definitely having issues  with having enough fabric for a 1/4 inch seam allowance for the finished block–does anyone else have this problem?  I’m going to have the fix the Geoswirl for just that reason–I needed a 1/4 inch around the entire block so added 2 strips but forgot to account for the fact that my biscuit strip needed to be longer.  I may just take those 2 strips off and make my border strips bigger to account for the 1/4 inch-I haven’t decided.

GeoswirlHere is the GeoSwitz

Not sure how I feel about this block.  I may have gone overboard with the orange!

Not sure how I feel about this block. I may have gone overboard with the orange!

So the next blocks that Alyssa is going to have us do are the broken chevrons and broken arrow.   The broken arrow looks fun; I think the chevrons will be time consuming but not so much as the woven chevron was.

So I promised a recipe.  I made these last night (I did not take a picture of it)–Oven baked onion rings.  They were delicious!  I sliced up a vidalia onion and dipped it in egg and the dredged it in a mixture of Parmesan cheese and some cajun spice.  I put them on a baking sheet coated with olive oil and baked them for 40 minutes at 450 (turning them over at 20 minutes).  The kids actually ate them.  I don’t know about you but that is a constant struggle at our house –finding something remotely healthy that all 3 kids like.  It was SO nice to have a peaceful dinner full of yummy remarks rather than whining (it almost made up for my day at work).  Another plus, this fit into the recent sugar reductions that I have made with my diet.  So far, I have gone 5 days with no sugar and/or sweeteners passing my lips.

This is completely off-topic but Janice Zeller Ryan’s post here about Instagram convinced me to give it another try.  I had it on my old phone but I felt at the time it was eating up my battery (may have just been my lousy phone) and I felt a little weird about some of the bloggers I was following (I felt like I was spying on them)-but hey, I guess if they want to put it out there for everyone, why should I feel uncomfortable about it.  So anyway, I’m giving it another try–I am sffquilter and most of my stuff will be quilty/sewing.  I put most of my family stuff on my personal Facebook page and a few things here on the blog that I want to document in more than a sentence.  So what are your thoughts about Instagram?


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My obsession with the Hexagon

Ever since I started quilting, I’ve had a bit of an obsession with the Hexagon.  At my first modern quilt guild meeting, I took hexagons to piece by machine.  I remember one of the guild members being very curious about my plans for my little hexagons that I had painstakingly cut out.  I think she was just a little disappointed when I shrugged my shoulders and said I was just experimenting with cheap fabric and if it didn’t work out, so be it.  My machine piecing then got as far as joining hexagons into pairs and then they sat for a very long while.  Eventually, I pulled them out and decided that I would hand piece them into flowers while I waited for my daughter at her play practices.

3 of ? hexies needed

3 of ? hexies needed

I’ve finished maybe five hexagon flowers and tried to make an unsuccessful pincushion out of two and put them aside again.  But this month, Alyssa’s blocks for the skill builder Block of the Month had hexagons which we were going to paper piece.  I tried the paper piecing and ended up going with a machine piecing hexagon tutorial that I found on the blog of Kati Spencer at From the Blue Chair.   All in all, it went fairly well.  It got easier as I went along.  I definitely think that it would be a lot easier if I was piecing hexagons that are bigger that 2.5 inches.  The hardest part was pressing all those seams flat.

Eight rows of hexies

The Hexagon Chevron

The Hexagon Chevron

It’s a little wrinkled in spots but I’m sure that will quilt out.

 

Next up is the paper pieced Diamond Carat.  Here’s the layout (at least I thought it was the layout, I definitely don’t want the sunset pink dots right next to each other, that will need to be moved)-

Don't you just love those Michael Miller Disco Ball dots?

Don’t you just love those Michael Miller Disco Ball dots?

Wish me luck-this may take a while!

 

Finally – some sewing

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2013-04-28_20-25-26_695

2013-04-28_20-25-10_470 I’ve finally managed to get in a little bit of sewing time.  I finished piecing my March blocks for the Skillbuilder BOM.  Even though I have yet to quilt these or the February blocks, I choose to think of myself as caught up now.  I’m currently trying to piece my hexagon chevron for the April blocks and once I get the April blocks done, I intend to have an FMQ party and do all the blocks and the baby quilt that I basted last weekend.  I may be a little over ambitious but it would be so great if I had a finish to take to my MQG meeting in 2 weeks.  In fact, it’s a requirement (not the guild’s but mine).  I haven’t been to a meeting this year because I felt a little silly going to meetings when I didn’t have a “finish” to show so I told myself that this year, I was only going to meetings if I had a finish to show.  (I do let myself go to my local quilt group’s monthly meeting though because I’m fine just showing a block that I completed there).  I haven’t quite figured out why I feel that way because it’s not like anyone has said you have to have a finish – it’s just another one of my weird expectation for myself , I guess.  Does anyone else feel like that?

I have also been trying to put together a flag to send in for Boston.  Since my husband has run in the Boston marathon before and really wanted to do so this year and the fact that I have a friend (from my Philly paralegal school days) that lives in Boston, I feel compelled to do something.  My husband even had friends that were in the race that had jus finished or close to finishing when the bomb went off so I know he was very affected by the event.  I had big plans for the flag until I realized just how little space there is in 6.5 inches across.  So I may do a couple and string them together.  The white paper is my template for a dove; I wanted to see if it would look okay before I went to get white fabric.  The dove is going to be from the Michael Miller mirror balls in white;; I think it has a nice luminosity to it.  I had originally planned to do two doves with a heart formed between them but I don’t think I can freehand 2 doves small enough that will look right.

Boston peace dove in progress

Boston peace dove in progress

Once I’m finished with the flag(s), I’ll start some blocks for the Boston Modern quilt guild’s call for blocks–probably just some simple improv piecing.


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Went a little overboard

After spending all last weekend starching, pressing and cutting my background and backing fabrics for the Skillbuilder BOM (that Alyssa at PileOFabric is hosting), I was anxious to dive into the first 2 blocks:  Soundwave and Magnum.  I’m always very concerned about my seams being a scant 1/4 inch so that my blocks are big enough. I even went so far to put a piece of moleskin down to mark where I thought my scant 1/4 inch should be since my quarter inch foot is a large 1/4 inch.  Well, I took it overboard this time because my scant 1/4 inch ended up being more like 1/8 inch.

Here's my oversized sound wave

Here’s my oversized sound wave

I ended up having to cut almost 1 and 1/2 strips off of my block in order to trim it down to 12.5  Here is the final Soundwave block (or rather my bar graph 😉 as my son called it).

So my outer strips are much skinnier now than the others.

So my outer strips are much skinnier now than the others.

I do like how my colors look together.  Not sure if I want to re-do this or not, I’m afraid I’ll run out of background fabric if I do it over.  I’ve already wasted some because I noticed that many of the long strips of background fabric that I cut for later use were not as wide at the ends of my strips as the middle so I had to re-cut them.  If I decide to re-do it, I need to decide soon because I had just enough backing fabric(hopefully we don’t need more at the end…) I’m sure that once it’s quilted, it won’t even be as obvious.  What do you think?

I enjoyed doing the Magnum much more.  I really enjoy it more when my strips can be whatever size I want and I can lay my strips at whatever angle I want–much less to worry about.

So fun to do!

So fun to do!

Looking forward to doing the FMQ next week!


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Holiday wrap-up

I made a scarf out of Sinister Swarm and Coral Coreopsis velveteen by Anna Marie Horner.  When I initially bought the Sinister Swarm fabric I had intended to put it in a quilt but then hated to cut it up so I searched for some velveteen to make an infinity scarf.  Well, I have now cut up all of the Sinister Swarm because I initially cut 2- 6 inch strips and then decided it wasn’t wide enough and went back and cut 2-9 inch strips.  (Oh well,  now it’s cut and I won’t have a problem putting it in a quilt.)  After I finished sewing it all together as an infinity scarf, I decided it was too long and bulky so I just made it a regular scarf.  I think I’m going to put non-quilt sewing to the side for a while because I’m just not as satisfied with the finished produce (unless it’s kid clothing).  I think in hind-sight, I probably should have used all voile fabrics and it wouldn’t have been as bulky.

Non -infinity scarf

Non -infinity scarf

Not the best picture, I know.

Not the best picture, I know.

My family got me some cool quilting books for Christmas:

I can't wait to do a project from one of these!

I can’t wait to do a project from one of these!

My husband even bought me fabric!  I had listed random fat quarters on my wish list thinking that he would take the kids and let them choose a couple fat quarters that they liked.  Instead he went out by himself and bought 2 fat quarter bundles–Little Black Dress by Moda and Town and Country by Dear Stella.  I haven’t decided what to do with them yet.  I was going to try and use them in Alyssa’s BOM but, I haven’t decided if the orange and gold tonal fabrics really gel with the pink/magenta fabrics I have chosen so far.

So I am working on starting my new year goals.  On Christmas Eve, I used a gift card I received from my office and signed up for a paper piecing class that was on sale–I’m looking forward to starting the videos.  Today I bought a free motion foot for my machine today so that I can start FMQ with Alyssa’s Skill Builder BOM.

I wanted to actually sew today but I should probably feed the kids first.  It’s amazing how little sewing I get done when I have time off of work–I had plans of sewing every day and it just hasn’t happened.

 


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2013 Goals

IMG_0265Perfect day for sewing and making goals for sewing.  I’m usually not much of a New Years resolution type but this year I made some.

1.  Be more positive (in my sewing and in my day to day life).    I pray every night to overlook the negative and focus on the positive.

2.  Learn to paper piece.

3.  Learn to FMQ.

4.  Start/finish my Swoon quilt.  I think I’m to the point now where I am not going to completely ruin my precious Ruby fabric so time to start cutting.

5.  Finish my Craftsy BOM.

6.  Participate in Alyssa’s Skill Builder BOM and stay on top of it and actively participate with the group.

7.  Get a Flickr account–(I’ve already done this–Woot! woot!)

8.  Blog more often–I’ve found it so enjoyable to share my finishes.

9.  Complete Lil Bee’s quilt.

10.  Finish Hubby’s T-shirt quilt (i really want this done so he’ll stop asking about it)

11.  Do a table runner for my MIL

12.  Make a quilt for my oldest daughter.

13.  Start the Mystery Quilt that I am doing with the Bag Ladies Quilters so that I am done with it by April.

14.  Complete some quilts out of the Modern Patchwork book I got for Christmas.  Elizabeth Hartman has an amazing talent in putting together fabrics/colors–I wish I could use the exact same fabrics she used.  I need to do some of the techniques in the Quilting Modern book too because it’s just as awesome and I haven’t tried anything yet.

15.  I would like to complete 12 quilts/projects this year.

16.  But most of all – remember to savor the time with my kids because they are growing so fast .

The kiddos 2012

The kiddos 2012