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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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.

IMG_0508

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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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!

 


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Paper piecing rockstar..er, at least working on it

Paper piecing

So this weekend, I decided to tackle that Schoenrock cross so that I could at least make one for the QAL that Leila from Where the Orchids Grow is hosting.  I listened to most of Lesson 1 on my Strip Paper Piecing class with Peggy Martin on Craftsy and instead of easing into paper piecing with the Polka Dot Twist block, I felt I was ready to tackle the Schoenrock Cross.  I always like a challenge.  It didn’t go too bad.  It took me about 6 hours but I did have to rip the seams out of 4 of the triangles (one twice).  Admittedly, it wasn’t too wise for me to use fabric that should be fussy cut because I didn’t get those little girls and foxes completely in any of the strips and my birds that I did fussy cut were an afterthought (you may notice they aren’t centered either).  That aside, I’m happy with how it turned out for my first attempt.

Sadly, I was hoping that I would be able to do 9 blocks of this and make a baby quilt but I don’t think my 1/2 yard cuts of Walk in the Woods is going to stretch that far if I have to worry about where I cut my strips.  So it looks like I will just be doing a some type of strip quilt/simple block design for the baby quilt and using some other fabric for more Schoenrock Cross blocks.  Here is my finished block:

My Schoenrock Cross

My Schoenrock Cross

Isn’t that white embroidered dot cool?  I love it in the block–my machine however did not; since I don’t have a way to lessen the pressure on my presser foot, I was lifting it up every time I sewed over one of the embroidered dots (sigh, just another reason that I need a new sewing machine).  One day…..Anyhow, you should definitely go to the Flickr group that is set up for the Schoenrock QAL -there are some amazing blocks over there–beautiful use of fabric.

So I think I have conquered my fear of paper piecing; now I just have to get over my fear of wasting fabric.  I can see where the strip piecing probably saves on fabric as opposed to traditional paper piecing but I still ended up with a lot of odd shaped triangles (that I am saving but I don’t know that they are useable for something sewn).

Incidentally, the Craftsy class on paper piecing by Peggy Martin is awesome–I bought it during the pre-Christmas sale and it has 6 different paper-pieced quilt lessons in it.