Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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Modern InstaBee 2014

So I joined another bee.  I couldn’t resist.  Have you seen all the buzz about the Modern InstaBee on Instagram?  All the hives are going to do all the quilts in the Modern Bee book by Lindsay Connor.  Lindsay used to be in the IMQG-she moved away shortly after I joined so I never really got to know her.  But you know, you’ve got to support a fellow (former) guild member and her success.  I’m in Hive 9 and our motto is “hive 9 and feeling fine”.     Anyway, look at the adorable little button that Michelle made for our Hive–isn’t it the cutest!Hive 9

I wish I was remotely tech savvy enough to write html code; perhaps one day one of my children will be able to help me with it but so far, none of them claim to have any knowledge about such things.

So the first quilt we are doing is the Stacked Windmills quilt which you may have recently seen on this blog.  Sarah has asked for a scrappy version on low volume or text fabric.  This should be fun!  If you would like to follow all the hives along this year on Instagram, you can find their blocks using   #moderninstabee.

In other quilty things, I have decided that I have to finish “The Albatross” so that I can get on with everything that I want to create and accomplish this year for Endeavor 2014.  For those of you that don’t know, “The Albatross” is the name I have given my husband’s t-shirt quilt.  I’m making good progress (I guess) but I can only work on it in small doses before I start to go crazy thinking about all the other things that I want to sew.  Have you ever had that problem?  I want to love this quilt because I know it means so much to him but I don’t.  So check back later, I should have an Ugly Quilt Finish to show you soon, lol.


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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?


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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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Kona White, white clothes and white shoes

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

I avoid having and using all 3 of these things.  I don’t like buying anything white.  It will get dirty.  Whenever I do buy something white, it inevitably gets something on it by the end of the day and it’s not that I’m more careless or messier than the next person, but I can’t keep white things nice.  It doesn’t help that I live in the rust belt/limestone belt of the nation either.  Anyways, as any good phobic person, I try to stay away from bright white (except for my brief delusion that white kitchen cabinets would be divine with 3 kids).   I will buy  cream, Kona Snow, and off-white items though.   So imagine my dismay when the first block asked for by our Stash Bee hive mama, Heather,  called for a bright white background (ugh).  I can do this, I thought.  It’s just one block-I’ll do it real quick, ship it off and  everything will be fine….

The block is a paper pieced Kite/Mill and Stars block.  It’s really nice.  I unfortunately used a glue stick to keep the fabric on my paper and then scorched the glue when I was giving it a final press.  I’ve dabbed it with water but I can still see the scorched glue so I will be making a second block and not using glue this time–wish me luck or I’m going to have to go buy more white Kona.


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Starting the year out right

Project Endeavor 2014 is starting off well.  Of course, snowpocalypse is partially the reason I am getting so much done right now.  I finished my hubby’s pillow and my friend’s water bottle carrier (yes, they were late for Christmas but I finished them instead of putting them away for next Christmas).  First – the leg lamp pillow:

My version of the Leg Lamp pillow designed by Sarah Bailey of Sew What Sherlock.

My version of the Leg Lamp pillow designed by Sarah Bailey of Sew What Sherlock.

When I first saw that Sarah Bailey at Sew What Sherlock was designing a leg lamp pillow, I was giddy.  My husband has threatened to buy a leg lamp for years and now he has one that has my stamp of quilty approval.  I used Kona for everything except the shoe and garter belt which was a lacy print from Moda’s Little Black Dress.  I even added cheap nylon netting over the leg Kona like Sarah suggested.  This pattern is Awesome–go get her free pattern here.  As some of you may know by now, I kind of decide to do awesome things at the last minute (like this pillow) and then realize that I’m in over my head.  I only had a few paper piecing mishaps–not using a big enough fabric piece  here and there which I ended up patching in as another piece and mistakenly layering the netting in the wrong order when I sewed the leg –but I was able to get it all pieced in an evening.  (I added the “Fragile” to the side using scrapbook letter stencils to cut letters out of fabric which I glued on and then stitched around when I quilted the pillow.)  In fact, if I hadn’t completely forgotten to buy matching threads to quilt it, my husband may have actually received this pillow on Christmas Day.  Ok, maybe not because it did take me some time to figure out how to sew this zipper in the back of the pillow too–I found a great tutorial for that here.  I suggest that if you make this pattern into a pillow, put some sashing around the entire block so you can actually see the shoe.

The second project was a water bottle carrier that I made for a friend at work.  When I saw this boston terrier voile fabric by Kokka, I knew I had to buy it and make Staci something.  The easy answer would have been to make a cute voile scarf but Staci isn’t a scarf wearing kind of girl.  Staci has recently started volunteering with an animal rescue organization and devotes a lot of time on the weekend going to Pet Smart and trying to get abandoned pets with good families.  Staci is also a pretty thrifty person too so I know she takes her own water with her and since she’s kind of a germ freak, I know she’s not setting that bottle down just anywhere–thus, the perfect gift which she can use while volunteering and walking her own BT dog, Preston.  I used the pattern from Kathy Mack at Pink Chalk Fabrics which you can find here.  This pattern is super easy until you get to the part where you have to sew the circle in at the bottom–that was a bear.

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I have also finally finished piecing all my Skillbuilder blocks and have borders on all of them now.  I may be optimistic in thinking I can get that done by Jan. 19 since I still have 17 blocks to fmq, and borders to make/quilt for it and I am waiting for 4 more yards of background fabric  to get here ( don’t you hate it when you buy a unique color of Kona at JoAnn Fabrics and they don’t order another bolt just in case you run out?–perhaps I should re-think my aversion to using Kona white).  I’m not counting on the fabric getting here until next week since over half the state is still under lockdown due to the snow.  I’ll save the Skillbuilder for it’s own post since it pretty much consumed my entire year-but here’s a glance at the most recent fmq attempt–not great but at least it’s not full of eyelashes on the back.  I still need to tie in some threads and quilt the dotty fabric–I think Alyssa did pebbles but I think a nice feather would look good…

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.

Goodness, a week in and 2 finishes–Project Endeavor may be just what I needed.


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2014 Endeavor

Rather that go on lamenting about all that went wrong or did not get finished this year, I am going to forge on with my touchstone word for 2014:

Endeavor

This year, I will endeavor to BE more productive, healthier, wiser, happier, charitable, industrious, inspirational, etc.  I am going to put forth more effort on every front; I will Endeavor to finish projects, continue with projects, tackle new ideas and stop asking “what if”.

That begins with finishing the leg lamp pillow for my husband.  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my last minute efforts to finish a Christmas present and realize at 12:30 Christmas morning that I had not bought thread to quilt the pillow.  Since the roads are so terrible here today that I decided to turn back from my drive into work today, I plan on finishing that today.  I also hope to at least glue baste these letters onto a quilt that I have planned for my daughter:

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All perfect words of inspiration for a little girl (and even her mom).

I’m off to finish a pillow.


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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