Q1 Finish-A-Long

Wow, this year already feels like it is flying by. I had fairly modest goals for Q1 because I like to have some freedom for random projects and because I really didn't have that many WIPs to finish up. So even though my goals weren't super ambitious it was good to have a reason to make sure that they all got completely finished up.
1.  I really enjoyed finishing my + and x quilt.  I just love all of the colors and craziness, not to mention that this has been sitting around longer than any other project I had started.
x and + side view
This quilt is listed in my etsy shop.  

2.I also finished my Scrappy Trip Along quilt.  This one is going to my nephew later this year.  I had fun using up some scraps and enjoyed the challenge of making a quilt without pink or purple. 
scrappy trip backing

3.  I also finished up our November quilt for the Wish Circle of Do Good Stitches.  Which is good since May is my month again to be quilter and that is going to be here before I know it :)
do good stitches November quilt, Wish circle
I recently added a tab up at the top of the page with my finished quilts so if you want to see all 8 of my finished quilts this year, you can click here

I am looking forward to setting some new goals for Q2 and am looking forward to spending some time this week reading all about what everyone else has been able to accomplish.

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8

$6 voile

If you missed the Sew Mama Sew sale, Pink Castle Fabrics has just listed a whole bunch of $6 voile. I may have bought some from both sales. Oops. I'm on vacation so it doesn't count, right?
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in the meantime (very off topic)

I put my sewing machine away on Saturday and haven't touched it since.  This is very rare for me.  I knew that I had several things to take care of before I leave town tomorrow and today is my 7th wedding anniversary so I wanted to get those things done before today.
Our anniversary has made me reflect a little on our journey together.  We have moved to LA, my husband graduated from law school at UCLA, I worked at a tedious job on campus to help pay for law school, and we have two beautiful children.
Along the way I started another journey when I bought a sewing machine for my birthday three years ago.  I was looking for a hobby other than watching TV.  I was looking for something outside of being a wife and being a mother that could fulfill me on a creative level.  I love being a wife and mother, but I needed something of my own. When I started sewing I didn't know how much I would love it or how therapeutic it would be in my life.

I also didn't know how quickly I could fill my house with fabric.  I spent some time this weekend organizing the dresser that I keep in my dining room.  I know that is a little unconventional, but we live in a 2 bedroom apartment and that doesn't leave a lot of space for fabric.

My husband bought me this dresser last year for Christmas and I don't know what I would do without it.  My machine is there on the right (uh oh, with a stack of fabric I bought from the Sew Mama Sew $6/yard sale that I haven't put away yet!).  I have my quilting books, thread, and miscellaneous mess all over the place.  The top drawer is full of notions, rotary cutters, scissors, etc.
The second drawer is filled with fabric.  Don't worry, this isn't even close to all that I have.  The bottom drawer is also full and so is a good portion of my closet floor.
The third drawer is where I keep my rulers, zippers, and sewing machine table.  

And here is the bottom drawer.  Apparently I took the photo sideways.
I love having this blog and I just wanted to take the opportunity to share some thoughts and a little bit about my sewing space.  Thank you so much for reading my posts and leaving comments.  I appreciate all of you!
18

finished maple leaf rag quilt

Ok, I know that I said that I was going to be sad when I finished with this quilt.  I was sad when I finished piecing the blocks; making the fabric combinations and then seeing them come together was a lot of fun.  But putting the blocks together to make the quilt top was a bit of a pain.

My husband and kids were both sick yesterday which resulted in them all taking a 3 hour nap so I was able to get it finished up.
finished maple leaf rag quilt
I am pleased with how well the points lined up (though they aren't all perfect, this quilt is so crazy they were good enough).  And I made my quilt top a little differently than the pattern described so I thought I would take a minute to explain what I did in case someone else wanted to do the same.

The pattern calls for you to foundation piece the top onto muslin triangles (if you haven't read the pattern these directions may make no sense).  I didn't have any muslin and that didn't sound like much fun so I didn't do it.  After I made all of my 120-something kite pieces, I started cutting strips for each ring of each octagon.  For the outer ring I cut eight pieces that were 1.5"x7", for the 2nd ring I cut eight pieces that were 1.5"x6", then 5", 4", 3.5", 3, and 2" for the other rings.  Then I would center them one on top of another to make a pyramid shape (does that make sense?).    

This way you only need 2 strips of 1.5"xWOF for the two outer rings.  It gives you plenty of wiggle room to trim it down to the right triangle shape.  When I had two pyramids pieced onto a kite, I used a right triangle shaped template (this is the same size as the muslin would have been) to trim it down.  It worked pretty well.
The quilt top is going to have to sit on the shelf until I get back from Utah next week.

Several people have commented asking if this helped get rid of scraps.  Yes and no.  The kites are great for using up scraps, but I did cut into yardage for some of the octagons which created more scraps.  I definitely have fewer scraps now I 'm just not sure how many fewer.  

I am considering hand quilting this one, is that crazy?  My hand quilting experience is pretty minimal, but I am backing this one with Chicopee corduroy and I think that the hand quilting would be a better fit.  Any tips?

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13

Boho Honeycomb Quilt

My latest Moda Bake Shop quilt has just been posted.  I used Boho by Urban Chiks and Moda's new honeycomb precut to make this quilt.                                                                                                                    

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12

wip wednesday


I am happily back to working on my Maple Leaf Rag.  If you have ever thought about making this quilt, go for it.  This is the most satisfying project that I have ever worked on and I am sad that I am almost done.

Sorry for the terrible phone photo.
All I have left is some half rings that go around the edges and along the bottom.

It had been my intention to use all different fabrics, but I notice last night that I have used 2 fabrics twice.  I am a little sad but not sad enough to fix it.  This quilt really makes me wish I had a nice big design wall!

My only other WIP is a bookshelf block that I am making for someone in my DGS circle that is for something other than DGS.  I will (hopefully) finish that one up today so I can get it in the mail.

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8

finished out to sea wonky star baby quilt

I really, really love Sarah Jane's Out to Sea fabric line.  It is probably one of my favorite collections ever.  So when I was contemplating a quilt for my sister's new baby (due in April) this was the obvious choice.

out to sea baby quilt
A wonky star quilt like this has been on my to-make list for a while. Each of the little squares was three inches which created blocks that are 8" unfinished. I was very heavily inspired by these beautiful quilts: here and here.  

My little assistant is sick and the weather outside was kind of yucky (cloudy + smoggy haze) so these pictures took quite a bit of bribery.
out to sea baby quilt
I had planned to use this pink map print for the entire backing but I didn't quite have enough.  My daughter declared that she needs a pillow made out of this print so I guess it's a good thing I have some leftover :)
out to sea baby quilt back
I am leaving next Tuesday to visit my family so I get to hand deliver this one.  That leaves me entire week to work on my Maple Leaf Rag quilt and hopefully finish the quilt top before I leave.  I am excited to pull it back out!

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18

out to sea baby quilt

We were very excited that my cozy posy triangle quilt returned home from QuiltCon yesterday.  This morning my daughter saw it sitting on the couch and ran right up and snuggled under it.
Moda included a bag of notions in the box.  It is so fun to get little treats like this, I especially love these cute little embroidery scissors.  They make such a satisfying "snip" sound.
This tag was still attached to the quilt.  It was pretty thrilling to see my name on the tag, I'm definitely keeping this :)
The last few days I have been working on another baby quilt (well, one of the days I added another row to my Maple Leaf Rag quilt, but I didn't get a photo).  My sister is expecting her third child next month and we are going to see her when we head to Utah for spring break so I need to get this finished up soon.
out to sea wonky star blocks
I pinned this quilt a while back and thought I would try out this design with Sarah Jane's Out to Sea fabric.  

And lastly, everyone has been talking about the end of Google Reader.  I have been trying out both Feedly and Bloglovin.  I think I prefer Feedly, but I am giving Bloglovin a try since it seems to be a popular choice.  

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10

lucky stars and bee blocks

I spent some time catching up on bee blocks yesterday.  First I did my ninja star for the Lucky Stars BOM.  This is the first time I have ever done foundation pieced triangles, but they came together pretty easily.  I love that gray posie FMF fabric so much.
March Lucky Stars block
And here it is with the January and February blocks.
Jan - Mar Lucky Stars Blocks
I also did my March blocks for the Wish Circle of Do Good Stitches.  Sonya chose a wonky star block with orange/coral, aqua, and lime and she wanted one with a light tan background and one with a light gray.  This was the only tan fabric I had so hopefully it is light enough.
DGS March Blocks
This was a good block since I am planning on making a wonky star baby quilt in the very near future. 

We've had some gorgeous finishes (and almost finishes) in our circle over the last few weeks, check these out if you haven't already seen them!

do. Good Stitches banner quilt

do.Good.Stiches

Now that's Pink! Quilt
5

another quilted tote

Every year the youth at my church hold an auction to help pay for a youth conference that they have during the summer.  All kinds of things get donated such as piano lessons, rides to the airport, homemade cookies, babysitting, etc.  Last year I donated this quilt.  I didn't have time to do a quilt this year, but I still wanted to contribute, so I decided to make a tote using Elizabeth Hartman's fantastic pattern.

I have made a couple of the tall totes for my daughter's teachers and a shrunk the pattern down to make a couple for my kids but I haven't made the wide version of the tote until now.

perfect quilted tote front
I used a square from an Echino cheater print for the center of each side and then used blues, greens, yellows, and neutrals from my scrap bin.
perfect quilted tote back
I didn't have enough Kona navy for the lining, so I used a Chicopee print for the lining and the navy solid for the pockets.
perfect quilted tote interior
I really enjoy this pattern because even though it takes a little bit of time to put together, it feels like I am making something different each time.  I just need to make one for myself now!
7

a peachy baby quilt

I will admit, I was nervous that this quilt was going to be a complete disaster.  My sister asked me to make a baby quilt for her best friend.  I was more than happy to do it, but then she told me the colors: peach, coral, and mint.  I bought a couple of Les Amis prints and some mint colored Lizzy House prints, and then was very lucky to get a remnant bundle from Amanda with more Les Amis prints.

My sister told me that her friend likes chevrons, which reminded me of this quilt that I made a while back.  I made it by modifying Allison's wonderful Scout pattern a little bit.  I decided to use this pattern again but this time I wanted to make my quilt a little wider to take advantage of the full width of my backing fabric.  To do this I cut my fabric strips at a wider angle.

peachy baby quilt

Of course it did not occur to me that this would also make my strips shorter so the quilt actually ended up 2 inches wider than it is long (44"x42").

My favorite part about the quilt is the backing.  I am in love with this print.

peachy baby quilt with back

I had a really hard time getting decent photos of this quilt.  The weather in LA has been crazy for the last few days and it was a very strange color outside when I took these.  
peachy baby quilt back
I quilted diagonal lines 2 inches apart at a 60 degree angle which created diamonds.  
peachy baby quilt closeup
While I am happy with the finished product, mint green is definitely not my favorite color :)
13

wip wednesday

This has been a hard week.  I have been working on a project that is much more traditional than I am used to and it was a little hard to keep the motivation going.  I will be sharing it sometime this month. While I am happy with the finished result, it is good to get back to my regular projects.

Sorry about the terrible cell phone photos.

Current WIPs:
  • Yesterday I made an extra DGS block for February to help out someone in my circle.  

  • And started on a quilt that my sister asked me to make for her best friend's new baby.  I was a little scared when she told me the colors she wanted - peach, coral, and mint.  I did not have a single fabric in my stash that was any of these colors.  I was super excited to buy a remnant bundle of Les Amis from the wonderful Amanda and thank goodness for Lizzy House for having a couple of mint colored prints.  This quilt top is almost done.  I'm still not sure how I feel about the colors.

  • Maple Leaf Rag quilt - I cut some fabric for some more rings on the quilt, but haven't had time to do anything with them.  
maple leaf rag quilt progress

Soon-to-be-started projects:
  • I am going to make a tote bag for at youth auction at my church.  I need to have that done in the next week.
  • Baby quilt for my sister's baby.  I am going to Utah for a visit at the end of the month so I need to finish that one up so I can take it with me.
9

superhero capes

My kids have been begging for superhero capes for several months.  My son still wears the cape that I made him for his Superman costume when he was 4 months old . . . so it was a little bit too small.

I let the kids pick out one solid fabric and one print fabric.  Harper picked a hot pink essex linen and Jonah picked Kona navy.  They both picked Ann Kelle prints for the lining (love her fabric!) so we got started on them yesterday afternoon.

I actually found the tutorial for these at Ann Kelle's website, so it was perfect that my kids picked her fabrics :)  I followed the tutorial except I made the edges at the bottom of the capes rounded.

They turned out a tad big, but they will grow into them.
superhero capes
I was happy that Jonah chose the whale print without any prompting from me. 
Jonah's cape
Harper loves green almost as much as she loves pink, so this print was perfect for her.  Can you tell she dressed herself today?
Harper's cape
And I was happy to put some fabric from my stash to good use - as sad as I am to see it used up, I need to make room for new fabric :)
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