30 January 2014

Ruby Red Dot Block of the Month - January

I joined a block of the month at my local quilt shop Park Bench Quilt Shop called Ruby Red Dot by Sheri Howard.  This quilt is an applique BOM and goes for the whole year.  This pattern has a traditional look but the shop has decided to use Kaffe Fassett Fabric, which I love so I just had to join.  I will try to get a list of the fabric when I pop into the shop at the beginning of the next month to pick up the next installment.  


This is the first quilt that I am using the same fabric as everyone else and it still is not setting right with me, I am weird this way.  I love choosing my fabric and feel like that is how you make a quilt your own.  The fabric that comes with the BOM is the same fabric that the quilt shop used to make their sample.  The layout is not really my style so to give this the me touch I will change the layout and get rid of some aspects that don't suit me.   My husband is still shocked that I am doing this quilt but I think of it as a challenge. 

I have done a bit of applique last year in my Skill Builder quilt but with leave in template paper.  For this quilt I am using freezer paper and invisible zig-zag stitch to attach pieces to background.  I found this great book over at Connecting Threads called The Modern Applique Workbook by Jenifer Dick.  I really like the look of the quilts in her book and have already added a few to my list. 


January has begun with the first two blocks, Stalina and Leticia.  Each block is 12.5" square. The background is a white sketch fabric.  



The only problem that I had with these blocks was I forgot to remove the freezer paper before stitching.  So I had to do some unpicking without unraveling the blocks.  So frustrating but it is all good now and I will remember for next time. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  

Cheers, 

Abby




28 January 2014

Other January Finishes

I really feel like I have had a very productive January, feels good.  So this month I also completed two customer projects.  The first one was a pair of curtains for the lady that I made the memory quilts for last year.   Not a quilt but I need to pay off my long arm machine so I don't shy away from paying gigs. :) Plus curtains don't really take that much time.  The panels are about 44"x61".  


I lined them with fleece from Joann's to keep the cold Michigan winters out.  Fleece is not the easiest to work with as it has to much stretchy but I managed and my customer loved them so it is a win win.  

I made this table runner for my mom for a bridal shower gift.  My mom bought most of the fabric and I just complimented it with some Kona Chocolate and a fat quarter of dot fabric for the binding.  This measures about 17" x 45".  I just picked a simple log cabin block as I only had a few days to whip it up and used the rest of the strips from the log cabin to create the back. 




Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby  






26 January 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes - January Complete

This year I joined up with A Lovely Year of Finishes hosted by Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs to try and get on top of my many projects.  So far it is working but it is only the first month hope I can keep it up.  I originally posted back on January 1st my goal for the month here.    I am happy to report that I have finished my goal for the month and not at 11.59pm on the 31st.  How good is that?

Since my quilt was one of my first sampler quilts that I did back in 2012 I wanted to quilt each block individually so I could practice my long arming skills.  The hardest part was choosing what to quilt, I think that is going to be my problem for every quilt.  I tired to do different designs in each block and the boarders and sashing I did a combination of swirls, s curves and pebbles. 

The quilt finished up to be 44 3/4" by 58 3/4 so just a tiny lap quilt or wall hanging. 

Yes, I braved the cold Michigan morning to get a picture.  When I went out it was not snowing as soon as I started taken pictures it started to snow again.  I took pictures inside but I just did not like them at all. 


I am not sure if I like the back very much or maybe that is just how they all look and that might be why no one shares the backs.  I like to document both sides as most of the time I create originally backs for my quilts.  I used left over fabric to create the back. 

Here are some close up shots of the quilting, it seems hard to see in the first photo. 



My background fabric is Kona Snow and Michael Miller Contour Cotton in Grey.  I think the yellow is Kona Zucchini and the purple is a RJR solid but I can't remember for sure as this was done all before I began blogging and keeping track of things like that.  The print fabric is a Michael Miller design called Citron Grey Soleil Floral.  I used it for the binding and in the blocks.   

Now to go pick out the goal for February, so many things to choose from. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  

Linking up with the Finish Party for Lovely Year of Finishes

Cheers, 
Abby 



SewSheCan Sewalong Finish

I finished my little mini log cabin block project for the sew along with Caroline of SewCanShe.  I posted my fabric selection and a test block back in this post




I ended up making three more of the blocks with the green fabric and an all tan block.  Then I set it aside as I did not know what I was going to do with it.  I had the blocks up on my design wall and played with layout and started adding the yellow fabric in.  This is what I ended up with.  The four yellow blocks are more of a rectangle block as I used a 1"x 2" piece of hedgehog fabric for the centers.  

The green boarder is darker in the picture then it really is but it was a snowy day and the sun had not come out yet.  

Here are some close up shots of the quilting. 





This mini finished up 17"x18".

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby

24 January 2014

Globetrotter Quilt Along - Washington DC Block

This is turning into a very busy month for me and I love it. I really like all the quilt alongs online.  It is the closest thing I have to sewing friends.  Pat Sloan announced at the beginning of the year that she was going to host a free mystery quilt along called Globetrotting.  I have never done a mystery quilt before so I was a bit intrigued.  I have so many plans for this year and am not sure if I really have time for another quilt but if I am not busy then I feel like I am wasting time, so of course I joined. 

Here is my selection of fabric that I plan on using for this quilt. Yes all of it was from my stash.  To bad I add to the stash faster then I take away. 



The first block is called Washington DC.  I love how my block turned out!  I think this is the first time all of my points have worked out.  I would like to thank glue and stash for greatly improving my piecing.  


Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 

Abby


21 January 2014

Star Light Star Bright Quilt Along

I am joining Star Light Star Bright Quilt Along over with Melissa at Happy Quilting. I have done two of Melissa's quilt alongs last year and her patterns are so easy to follow. I have already decided on my fabric.  I am going to go with Kona Navy for my background, then a selection of pinks and blues from my stash.  


 I have already worked out what sort of layout I am going to use.  I always like to make things a bit different so I will be making 5 blocks for this quilt and if I did my math correctly it will be about 90" square.  I am so excited! 

Can't wait till we get the cutting instructions on the February 5th.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 

18 January 2014

The Library Project Quilt Along

Adrienne at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts is running a Quilt Along called The Library Project where we use all the lovely books, patterns or magazines that we have on our shelves. Everyone gets to choose what they want to work on and Adrienne is suggesting we choose at least 4 projects if we can manage. I have selected six projects and have made some of them over lap some of my goals of things I want to accomplish for the year. Two for one deal, I love it!

I went through my library of crafty goodness and here is my selection for the year:

1. Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman

I going to make the Rapid City quilt with a few modifications as I think I will be making it a bit bigger then the pattern.
I think this pattern will be good to use my scrap bin on so I will be using the black/white/grey scraps.  For the background I will be using Kona Rich Red.  


2. The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman 



Going to make the Valentine quilt. 

I am going to use my stash of strips that I have in my scrap bin clean up.  I am sure there is enough.  I will be making changes on the size with this one to and my strips are going to be all different sizes.  

3.  Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky



Windows Sewing Machine Cover

I need a sewing cover for my domestic machine and it has been on my to do list for many years so 2014 is the year to check it off.  I will be using my squares that I have cut from my scrap bin clean up and I think I will set them in some nice linen.  The bins should be in order by the end of the year at this rate. YEAH!

4. Itty Bitty Prim Pinwheels by Primitive Gatherings




I won the pattern and charm pack last year from Hopeful Threads / Bittersweet Designs when I made up two quilts for the ICU at the children's hospital.  This should make a cute little mini quilt. 

5. Itty Bitty Feathered Star by Cindi Edgerton



I picked this pattern up last year after my LQS came back from Quilt Market.  I will be just making one of the stars a good mini quilt.  I am going to use Batiks for this project. 

6.  Quilting Modern By Jacquie Gerig & Katie Pedersen




I am going to use this quilt as my Pantone Challenge entry since I really can make it my own.  I pulled a selection of purples, blues and maybe use the yellow not sure yet. 

I think this is a good bunch to work on for the year.  I could of kept going but I am sure I have already over extended myself. I think now I might have all my goal bases covered with the A Lovely Year of Finishes, Finish Along and now the Library Project.  The trick will be can I actually finish all of this.  Here's to a productive year. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  


Cheers, 

Abby

17 January 2014

Crafty Traveler Sew Along

One of my goals for this year is to improve my bag making skills.  I have a lot of goals this year just to warn you.  I feel like it is the only way I am going to keep myself on track. I already ordered Big City Bags by Sara Lawson I think it will be here by then end of the week. Yeah! 

Then in my Bloglovin feed the other day I see that Jennifer at Ellison Lane is hosting a Crafty Traveler Series with lots of travel related goodies; bags, pouches, etc.  Jennifer is starting off the series with a Sew Along with her new tutorial for a Crafty Traveler Tote.  

She has given the fabric requirements and cutting instructions.  Here is the fabric that I have chose for my bag.  


I am so excited to finally be using my Tula Pink fabric.  The raccoons are so cool!  I will be using Navy Essex Linen for the sides and handles of the bag.  The orange will be for the pockets and the lining will be the blue circle fabric. 

Now I just need to finish cutting out so I will be ready when Jennifer gives the next steps. 

Check back to see how it turns out. 

Thank for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 

15 January 2014

January Lucky Star BOM

We are half way through January already and I finished my Lucky Stars January block.  Must be a good sign and hopefully I can stay on track.  Even slicing my finger with a rotary cutter has not slowed down my sewing.  Thank god it was on my left hand otherwise it might be another story.  

So for my January block Sparkling Star I enlarged the 12" block by 200% and I thought it would come out to 24" block. It did not but  23" is close.   This is the largest paper piecing that I have ever done.  



Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  

Cheers, 
Abby

12 January 2014

Skill Builder BOM 2013 Finish up

I did include this quilt as a finish for 2013 since I did get the top done and in my book that is a finish. I tired to finish this up before the New Year but I did not like the backs of my blocks. So I designed a back for it but ran out of the grey tonal background fabric.  I am excited that I was able to find some more at the Joann's a few towns over. 

Here is what my back looks like before I added on the boarders. I love the quilting but just did not think the backing fabric out fully. Oh well sometimes it is like that.  

I will stitch in the joining fabric area to attach it to the new backing that I am made for this quilt. I glued in 1/2" stripes of batting between the blocks on the fabric that connected the blocks together.  

For the borders I did not follow Alyssa's instructions exactly, just because I like mine to be a bit different that's just how I am some times. I also used my longarm to quilt the boarders just to save some time.  I do like how the whole thing has turned out.  I made a scrappy binding from all the fabric I used on the top.  

Front

Back
My long arm does not have channel locks to keep the wheels in place to do straight line quilting but i used these orange quilter clamps. That I found at Create for Less website. 
I clamped wheels on both sides of the machine.  It works OK  but I think the vibration from quilting moves them a bit.  I did straight line quilting on the joining fabric between blocks and then where I joined the boarders together to attach the back to the front. 

Here is some close-up shots of my boarder quilting. 



I was not going to add more batting to this quilt but I just was in the routine of loading the quilt and well this one ended up with double batting.  It is very warm and heavy.  The finished size is 78" x 92".

Skill Builder 2013 was such a great quilt along and I am so glad that I joined in.  Alyssa did such a wonderful job with the tutorials and videos. I have learned some many new things this year.  It is still available on her web page pileofabric.com.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby

10 January 2014

Finish Along 2014 Quarter 1

This year is all about finishing up projects that I have started plus doing lots of new stuff.  I thought it would be fun and a good way to stay to task by blogging about my goals and  this post I will be linking up with the 2014 Finish Along over at The Littlest Thistle.  This Finish Along is done quarterly so I am going to select a group of things to complete in three months. 

I am already linking one of my un-quilted quilt top up with A Lovely Year of Finishes over on Bittersweet Designs so I will make these goals not include that.  So this should be a very productive quarter if I can reach all my goals. 

Here are my first quarter goals: 

1.) I want to quilt and bind my Hemispheres pattern tester quilt I made last year Aria Lane. I even have the back already to go for this one.



2.) I want to quilt and bind my Frames pattern tester quilt I made last year Aria Lane. I even have the back already to go for this one too.



3.) I want to quilt and bind my quilt from a pattern called Annie by Valori Wells.  This one is from 2012 before I started blogging and I will also need to make a back for this one.  



4.) I would like to create a quilt top with the 24 blocks from the Dancing Stars quilt along that I did last year and then got to busy to finish up. I have already sketched out a plan so putting together should not be to much trouble. 

So I think 4 goals will be a good start for the year and I think very doable.  I better get sewing. 

Thank you for stopping by for a visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 

SewCanShe Sewalong

I joined into my first sew along for 2014.  Caroline at SewCanShe is hosting a little log cabin block sewalong.  She hosted a couple last year that were so much fun to see what everyone came up with.  

I pulled some fabric from my stash and decided to go with green, yellow and brown.  Very muted compared to what fabric I have been sewing with lately.  


Here is my first block.  This is going to be so cute.  I am hoping to do a wall hanging size quilt for behind my espresso maker.  The blocks are suppose to be 4.5" square, mine are coming up a bit short at 4.25" so I will have to figure out what I did wrong.  


Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers,
Abby

04 January 2014

Lucky Stars BOM 2014

I think last year I got a bit addicted to Block of the Month and Quilt-Alongs.  They are so much fun, but I think I will have to slow down this year if I am going to get anything else done.   I really have a thing for paper piece blocks so I joined the Lucky Stars BOM again. How could I resist?  I was so happy with how my blocks turned out last year.  This year I am going to use Brown, Cream, Orange and Green for my color way. 


I completed the practice block Blazing Star and am very happy with my fabric selection. 

Last year I did both the 6" & 12" blocks each month but this year I am going to mix it up and some of the months I will do 6", some 12" and some of them I will enlarge to make 24" blocks.  Well that is what I am hoping for.  I have a layout in my head for this quilt but just have to see if I can pull it all together.  The practice block is 12".  I also might make a couple of the size of each block if I find I need more to fill the quilt out.  I love making big cozy quilts; little ones are really no use in my house.  

I plan on making January's block as a 24" so hope to have it completed in the next day or so to share. 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Linking up today with Kristy @ Quiet Play's Paper Piecing Party

Cheers, 
Abby


01 January 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes - January Goal

This year I decided to join A Lovely Year of Finishes just to help keep myself on track for making my quilt tops into quilts.  So for January my goal is to quilt and bind my Sew Mama Sew Modern Block of the Month from 2012. 



It was really hard to choose as I have so many that I need to quilt but I thought I would start small and go from there.  I still need to work out a back for this but hopefully I will be able to get it done in a month. 

Thank you for stopping by. 

Cheers, 
Abby


2013 - A Year in Review

Can't believe another year is coming to an end. I thought it would do a recap my year.  

I published my first pattern this year over on Craftsy, I only sold 4 patterns but I am glad that I took the plunge and created a pattern; very good learning experience. I improved my sewing skills and have fallen in love with paper piecing this year. 


I just finished my last quilt top for the year Skill Builder BOM 2013.  I still need to make a new back for it as I am not have with the selection of backing fabric I used.  I will show more on this when in the New Year when I have completed the backing and binding. 


I completed 5 quilts, 2 Memory Quilts and 6 tops.  I hope to have those 6 tops turned into quilts in 2014.  I also created a queen size quilt of my long arm practice for my pups to snuggle in while I am sewing. 



I made 22 small quilt / wall hangings / placemats and 1 block for Pat Sloan's Birthday Quilt. 



I also made my first duffel bag this year, which turned into 4 duffel bags.  They were so easy to put together.  I also made 3 zipper pouches, 1 tablet sleeve, 8 reversible totes, one 241 Tote and one quilted totes. 


I made covers for 3 tablet hard cases, a peg bag, a bunch of hair boys / lanyards for a girl scout troop, a pair of curtains, a dog toy, 3 quilted pillow covers and an origami tree. 


I have already started planning what I want to accomplish next year and it is already very long (I like to aim high) so I am hoping for a super productive 2014.  So far I have only committed to Lucky Stars BOM 2014, Star Light Star Bright Quilt-along over at Happy Quilting with Melissa and a BOM from my LQS but I am sure that will change as the year progresses.  

I am hoping to greatly improve my long arm skills that by end of year.  I would like to be able to start taking customers quilts.   Only problem is that there are many long arm quilters in my area of Michigan but many of them are computerized or pantograph quilters.  I hope to be able to offer something more unique that enhances the quilts beauty.  Hopefully this will work out.  

I also plan on doing more of my own things as I have so many ideas floating around in my head that it keeps me awake at times.  So I want to try creating what is stuck in my head.   Maybe even publish another quilt pattern. 

I will also be quilting up all my tops that are just sitting on the shelf.  Not sure what I am going to do with all of them.  I think a few of them I might have to see if I can sell. I need someway to pay off my long arm. :) 

I can't believe that at the end of January I will have been blogging for one year.   So excited for the New Year.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.  Have a safe New Year.

Cheers, 

Abby