Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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Stash swap

So this year the local guild that belong to decided to do a monthly blind swap of 12 -3.5 inch squares.  Every month, we get a random bag of 12 squares from someone else and by the end of the year, we will have a finished quilt.  These are the charms I received in December:

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IMG_0518Did I mention that this exchange was with my traditional guild?  No pearl bracelets here:).  (Of course, I didn’t give out any mirror ball dots or AMH squares either.  I chose a traditional looking charm pack  from my stash and cut 12 blocks down to 3.5 inches).  I’m hoping this exercise helps me grow.  Some of the quilts that I find most beautiful have some odd fabric pairings.  I decided to pair the red and blue squares with a scrappy selection of tan/cream and white fabrics and make HSTs for now:

IMG_0517That lower right fabric is Osnaburg (a linen looking cotton).  I have seen some beautiful quilts made by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen using Osnaburg so I have been stalking JoAnn’s  for months and finally found some.  Have you ever tried it in your quilts?

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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A little bit of everything going on here

The kids have been busy and with the holidays and Christmas shopping, I just haven’t done much sewing lately.  Of course, when I have sewn, it’s been to make an ornament for the local MQG’s ornament swap (and yes, I stressed myself out about it just like the pincushion but this time I finally settled and turned something in.)  I decided to make a little house because I’ve seen so many cute ones online.

House for IMQG ornament swap

House for local MQG ornament swap

Back of my ornament with a snowman.

Back of my ornament with a snowman.

Here are the other ornament attempts that I made.

1.   A bird which I apparently needed to make more 3D to get the effect I was going for…

IMG_02312.  A Froebel Star–there is a tutorial on Betz White‘s blog that does a pretty good job of explaining how to do this but I also had to look up a you tube video to figure out how to continue around the star.  Mine didn’t turn out as nice as the one Betz White did; I’m not sure if it was because some of the fabrics were Kona and it was just too thick or if it all boiled down to the fact that I didn’t have a bodkin and didn’t want to dig around for tweezers.  Anyways, 2 other ladies did these stars and they looked fabulous.

Froebel star attempt

Froebel star attempt

So anyways, that is why I went with the house.  Of course, I am now going to have to make another house because Lil Bee was really counting on keeping the one I gave away:)  Lil Bee is my biggest cheerleader.

The ornament I received was this cute little tree.  Funny thing, it was a blind draw and Rachel ended up with the ornament that I made.

Little Christmas tree that Rachel made--so cute!

Little Christmas tree that Rachel made–so cute!

Other than ornament sewing, I finally completed one of the March blocks from the Craftsy BOM.  Yeah, I’m a bit behind.  I think it’s because the blocks have  a modern feel and the fabric I decided to use was a fat quarter bundle my mother gave me when I first started quilting and it’s pretty traditional.  I love the colors but I’m just not feeling it with these blocks; I even went to Crimson Tate and had her help me punch it up with some more modern fabrics–maybe I just need to put more of them in the blocks.

Craftsy BOM -March block 1(completed in December...)

Craftsy BOM -March block 1(completed in December…)

That’s all the sewing I’ve done lately.  I’ve decided to make pillows for my nieces and nephews on my husband’s side for Christmas because, I like to live on the edge sometimes.  It’s only four pillows and I’m going to do something simple like the Chevron block from the Craftsy BOM.  Of course, I was hoping that I would be able to use my Walk in the Woods fabric for my 7-year-old niece but she’s apparently a Bieber fan so I’m going to have to do purple for both my nieces.  (I’m just going to have to make that Walk in the Woods into a blanket for me, I guess).

The last project that I’ve been working on is re-finishing this chair.

A chair for my sewing room, finally!

A chair for my sewing room, finally!

It’s only taken 4 coats of cream paint.   I put on the fourth tonight and decided that was it.  I can’t wait to recover the seat and get it in my sewing room.  I actually found this chair at a local antique store for $15–pretty good deal considering that everything at Goodwill cost more and was less sturdy.

Happy Holidays!  My next post will be of my pillows for the nieces and nephews.


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Who knew?

I signed up to partake in the National Pincushion Swap that the Modern Quilt Guild organized in honor of QuiltCon.  I was very excited about doing it but a little wary of the “modern aesthetic” reference in the guidelines.  That “modern aesthetic” guideline has plagued every decision I’ve made in my attempts to make a FABULOUS pincushion.  I mean really, I don’t want to be the dork that just makes a wonky cross block because I’ve seen what some people have done.  Someone posted a beautiful cathedral windows cushion so I knew I didn’t want to do that since it had already been done (and ahem, a bit out of my technical/patience level).

I saw a cute little turtle pincushion pattern that also doubled as a sewing caddy for needles, spool of thread and small scissors–I was never able to actually download the pattern though.  I finally decided that it wasn’t modern.  Next I decided I should do something with a hexagon.  Thus the below attempts–which I decided just weren’t up to par.

Scrappy hexagons

Cute but just not pincushion worthy

I then decided I wanted to do something with linen.  I’ve ever sewn with linen before but I’ve heard it’s slippery.  My machine did not like sewing this fabric–not sure if it was just bad quality or the inherent nature of linen but it was a struggle to just get what you see below.  I was thinking of trying a cute little house out of linen–I may give it another go–we shall see.

Linen with stripe block

Just ho hum – not worth the effort it took to get it completed.

You can probably see where this is going.  I next decided that I would just sew put a block together and be done with it.  The green and blue one was completed and it was okay…if it was for me.  Next, I decided to just sew 2 of my hexagon flowers together and stuff it–the problem with that was the sand was too fine and I didn’t want to put a muslin insert inside to hold the sand so I tried stuffing it with rice but there were still little areas in the corners of the hexagons where the rice was falling out.  Next, I got the bright idea that I should use the Anna Marie Horner feather pattern for a pincushion.  I didn’t want it as big though so I reduced it to 25% of its size and ended up with such tiny pieces that my machine just would not sew together and I doubted that I could get my hand stitches small enough for those pieces.  Thus, 8 hours later, I left for my guild meeting –without a pincushion –resigned that I would not do one.

Hexagon flower

the rice leaked out of these..

Green and blue pieced block
this might have worked if I had had some cute fussy cut owl fabric left from Mr. H’s quilt

Dresdens

this might have worked if I had time to plan it out

Feather block

Failed attempt at miniature Anna Marie Horner feather block. I had to cut the tip off of the feather because my machine had shredded it up.

So anyways, my fellow guild members had some amazing pincushions (as I had expected) so I was glad that I didn’t bring my pathetic attempts.  I was informed though that I still had until November 10 to submit a pincushion if I needed more time.  If I do so, it will have to be even more fabulous than I had previously planned (I mean whenever you turn in the assignment after everyone else, you have to step up your game, right).  So do I make another attempt or forget it?


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Sometimes it’s best to just walk away

The robot star quilt and I were having quite a battle when it came to the actual machine quilting.  (The next quilt is definitely going to be hand quilted).  I finally had to set it aside for a week and forget about it.  I was just getting stressed over it and I don’t sew to be stressed out–I sew to rid myself of stress.  I have enough stressors in life without my hobby becoming one too.  I finally came back to it.  I even learned by myself how to do continuous bias binding and once I figured it out, it seemed very easy.

So time for the final reveal of the quilt–I would have liked to do a little more quilting to make it crinkly but it wasn’t to be this time.

Robot Star quilt based on Jeni Baker's Vintage Star pattern.

Back of the Robot Star Quilt

And the label –since the green fabric on the front has robots, I put a robot on my t-shirt in the label.

Robot Star Quilt Label

Pattern:  Vintage Star Tutorial by Jeni Baker of In Color Order

Thread:  Varigated yellow, blue, and green threads by Guttermann and an orange thread by Guttermann

Fabrics: Blue Kona, Caleb Gray’s Robot Factory, Betz White’s Stitch(the chevron stripe), Robert Kaufman Stripe and some assorted fat quarters that didn’t have a selvage.

Binding:  Robert Kaufman stripe.

Now I’m off to work on a pincushion for the Modern Quilt Guild’s national pincushion swap,


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That’s me the eternal optimist…

I must be delusional to think that I can whip something easy up quickly.  I seem to do this to myself every other project.  (I apparently read too many sewing blogs where everything turns out beautiful.)

I started quilting the robot star quilt–it’s not going well.  Here it is basted

Basted robot star

So far so good.

It went downhill after that.  I spent 2 hours machine quilting with a cream-colored thread.  I had originally envisioned doing something different in each triangle and doing some echo quilting in the blue Kona sections.  It was horrid.  I’m fine if I use my presser foot as my guide but when I try to use the seam guide to quilt in wider swaths, things just go askew.

Horrid quilting 1  So I spent 4 hours and ripping out the unfortunate quilting and posted it on my local modern quilt guild’s site to ask for suggestions since these women are super talented and everything I’ve seen them do is exceptional.  So many wonderful suggestions–most involving FMQ (cue scary music) which I’ve never attempted.  I do need to try FMQ but I’m not ready to do that on a baby quilt that I want to give as a gift soon (–um like last week soon).  At the rate I’m going, I should have just hand quilted it.  I would have had better control at least.

So last night, I went back to the drawing board.  I’ve got 3 echo lines done inside the star with a blue variegated thread–I’m ripping out the inner outline because I just couldn’t keep my seam guide where I wanted it.  Once I get that line of thread ripped out, I guess I’ll draw all my lines on and go back to using my presser foot as my guide since that’s what works for me.  On the upside, I’ve finally figured out how to pull my top thread to the top so that I don’t get a big nest on the back.:)

I did an embroidered label for this quilt too and it’s ready to go as soon as the quilting is done.

The label-I put a robot on my t-shirt for this one.

I’m still trying to decide what to do for the binding.  I toyed with the idea of doing continuous prairie points around the entire quilt but I think maybe I should do that another time after I practice it on something little first (seeing as how the quilting has delayed me).  Which fabric would you choose for the binding?  I pretty much have plenty of each except for the orange  argyle and the brown with blue dots.  I have a lot of the striped fabric (an organic cotton from Robert Kaufman that I got on sale at Crimson Tate)–this fabric is so soft -perfect for a baby quilt.

Well, off to seam ripping…