Monday, December 31, 2018

Best of 2018 and Plans for 2019

I can't believe I made it to Day 31 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.  I didn't think I'd have enough content (and time) to blog every day in the month of December.

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs is hosting her annual "Best of" linky party.  It's a great opportunity to look back on what we've accomplished over the past year.

1.  Highest Views - My Wonton quilt had 857 views.  I love the patterns and rulers from Jaybird Quilts.

2.  Second Highest Views - My Ebony Top 751 views.  I've purchased some new patterns and fabric to make more clothing in 2019.

3.  Most Proud - I rarely participate in challenges where you actually submit your project.  But two Michael Miller challenges were due at the same time and used the same fabric -- Modern Guild Challenge and Sewtopia Challenge -- so I created Rainbow Star

4.  Challenges - I love being in my comfort zone, but I know we have to challenge ourselves in order to grow and learn.  In 2018, I participated in Project Quilting where you created a project in one week.  There are six challenges, and I did all six of them!  I plan to participate again in 2019.

5.  Book Blog Hops - I was fortunate and grateful to have been asked to participate in two book blog hops in 2018.  I made the Celestial pattern from Modern Plus Sign Quilts book.  And I made Catch a Falling Star from the Stash Statement book.

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl is hosing her annual Planning Party.  Last year, I set these goals -- didn't achieve them all, but I had a fun year.  I didn't get all my fabric organized, but I have made progress by building shelves in the closet in my sewing room.

My plans for 2019 are:
  • continue to organize my sewing room
  • continue to clear up outstanding WIPs
  • continue to challenge myself by trying new things

Here's to a creative 2019 for all of us.  Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Modern Plus Sampler QAL Update

The December instructions for the Modern Plus Sampler QAL were relatively easy.

This is a great QAL, hosted by Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs and Paige @ Quilted Blooms.  I highly recommend the book Modern Plus Sign Quilts (Canadians can purchase at Chapters Indigo).

I decided to use the Crafted Applique method by Lara @ Buzzin Bumble.  Once I prepared my fabric pieces, it didn't take long to sew them in place.  This is Kona Tiger Lily on a white tone-on-tone.  Both blocks are 14 inches.

I had a stupid moment while prepping the second block.  I was about to cut fabric for the circle and for the white plus.  Then I realized that I was supposed to cut the plus from the middle of the circle so the white background would show through.  So much easier.  LOL

Gutermann thread #400 was the perfect match.

Last month, I played catch up and finished all my blocks.  So I'm all up to date and ready for the January instsructions that will be released on Thursday.

✔ Day 30 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Finished Quilt Top

The results of sewing all day long...a finished quilt top.  This is my version of the Freefall Spring QAL hosted by Sandra @ Musings of a Menopausal Melon.

I pieced six blocks with the light background.  I pieced the eight blocks on green background back in April 2017.

And then I made six blocks with mixed backgrounds.

I realized that I didn't have enough paper piecing templates, but was too lazy to print more.  So I tried the technique of sewing along the folded line rather than through the paper.  Genius!!!  No paper to remove.  I will definitely try this again.

And I screwed up when I was making the template for the large point.  I was supposed to add seam allowance to the 7.5-inch block, but somehow, I only added a quarter inch, rather than a half inch.  I didn't realize my error until it was pieced.  I didn't want to waste any fabric, so I was creative in piecing the blocks together.

Ta da!  A finished quilt top, around 40 inches square.

I want to cross this off my WIP list, so I think this will get a simple all-over stipple, that I hope to get done over the next couple of days.  I haven't decided on thread colour yet.  I used the remaining batik fabric to make a pieced back, so no scraps to add to my pile.

✔ Day 29 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Friday, December 28, 2018

TGIFF - Fireburst Mystery QAL

It took some time, but I finally quilted the two quilt tops for the Fireburst Mystery QAL hosted by Tish @ Tish's Adventure in Wonderland.

This is the smaller version that I made while testing the pattern for Tish.  I used Kona Snow for the background.  The colours didn't come through very well -- the colours are gold and green.

I quilted straight lines radiating out from the centre square.

I used Aurifil #5001 Ocher Yellow for the quilting.  I didn't expect it to blend in so well with the background fabric.

Even with an indoor photo, I couldn't get the colours to show accurately.  Spring and daylight, where are you????

I'll share the larger version I made during the QAL next week.

If you have a finish this week, consider sharing it at:

Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday @ Lisa in Port Hope
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict 
Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Brag About Your Beauties @ From Bolt to Beauty

✔ Day 28 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Freefall Spring QAL Update

I've made it to Day 27 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.  Four more blog posts, and I will have made it the entire 31 days!

I had some trouble with paper piecing last night for the Freefall Spring QAL hosted by Sandra @ Musings of a Menopausal Melon.  I was cranky that I sewed the same seam three times and still didn't have it right.  But things happen for a reason...I was using the wrong background colour.  LOL

The first eight blocks have a green background, and the next six blocks have a beige background.  So I focused and managed to piece the leaf tips tonight.

I pieced one of the leaf blocks but decided to call it quits before it got too late and I started making mistakes again.

We're expecting snow, freezing rain, and rain tomorrow, so I intend to sew most of the day.  I'm hoping the roads are not too bad so I can go down and see my nieces.  They are delaying their drive back home until Saturday because of the weather.  If you head over to my Instagram, you'll see photos of the girls.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

WIP Wednesday - Freefall Spring QAL

This is the oldest WIP in my sewing room.  Sandra @ Musings of a Menopausal Melon hosted the Freefall Spring QAL back in 2017.  For some reason, I got behind and then never got around to finishing the blocks.  I only made it to Step 2 -- the first eight blocks.

Here are two of the blocks I made back in April 2017.  I thought it was a great project to use some batik fat quarters I had in my stash.

When I pulled out the project box, I had all the fabric pieces cut.  They just need to be sewn.  And I discovered/remembered that paper piecing is involved.  Perhaps that's why I didn't finish the QAL.

After I sewed the first seam three times (and it's still not sewn), I decided to give up for the day.

I laid out all pieces for all the blocks to make sure I had everything in place.

I'll work on the blocks tomorrow after I've had a good night's sleep.  Even though I am capable of paper piecing, it is still a challenge for me, and I need to be in the right frame of mind.  I'm hoping to get all the blocks made and pieced before the end of the year.

Linking up with:

Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
WIP Wednesday @ The Needle and Thread Network
Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss @ The Inquiring Quilter

✔ Day 26 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Monday, December 24, 2018

How Many Sewing Machines Are Too Many???

As we take time to spend with family and friends and reflect on the past year, it's a time to be grateful for all that we have.  I am blessed.  And somehow my mind turned to the many sewing machines that I have.  I have a total of eight sewing machines...oops....

My go-to sewing machine is a Singer I purchased in 1990 (I think).  She's a sturdy workhorse.  My only complaint is that she doesn't like free motion quilting.  If I could find a used one, I'd buy it to have a back up.

The machine I next use the most is my longarm -- it's not really a longarm, but I don't know what else to call it.  I have a Pfaff Grand Quilter mounted on a frame.  This has allowed me to free-motion quilt without stress.

And then I treated myself to a Singer Featherweight (1947).  I purchased this at an estate sale.  I almost didn't get it.  A gentleman was looking at it but didn't like that it didn't have a case nor the price.  The moment his hand left the machine, I slapped mine on it.  And I got $25 off the price!!

And then I got greedy and bought a second Featherweight.  This one is from 1957.  I haven't sewn on her yet.  I'd love to have one from 1968 (my year of birth) and a white one.

I purchased a used serger.  I'm registered to take a class at my LQS in the new year so I can learn how to use it properly.

I also have my grandmother's Singer Treadle.  I haven't gotten around to getting her cleaned up, but I believe it still works.

And I have two Singers that I rescued from yard sales.  I purchased this one for $10, but I need to purchase a cord and foot pedal.  Since I don't need another working machine, I'm not in a rush to get this working -- about $150 to buy the parts.

I got this one at yard sale for $15.  It's a Singer Touch and Sew that uses cams.  I was intrigued so I bought her home.  I haven't used this one yet.

Now it's time to head to my parents to spend Christmas Eve.  My brother and his daughters will be joining us on Boxing Day. 

✔ Day 24 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Quilts for Lorenzo

As Christmas approaches, I thought I would share all the quilts I have made for my nephew.  At 19 years, he's no longer little -- and he's over 6 feet tall.

But as I was looking through my records, I couldn't find photos of all the quilts I've made, so there will have to be a second post someday.

This is the first quilt I ever made.  I took a class at my LQS.  It was a flannel rail fence, tied not quilted.

I remember a hockey quilt, in flannel I think.  I wonder if Lorenzo still has it.  I'll have to get him to pull out all his quilts.  I know there were more than what I'm sharing.

I made a bugs-in-jars quilt.  This was one of my early attempts at free-motion quilting.

And a sports quilt.  He played hockey, basketball, and baseball.  Luckily, hockey only lasted a couple of years.  Even though I only went to a few hockey games, I did not enjoy the cold rink or cranky parents screaming at kids and referees.

This pattern is called Jack's Delight -- Lorenzo's nickname is Jack.

This was a basketball kit.

All my shopping is done, and all the gifts are wrapped.  So I think I will spend some time sewing tonight.

✔ Day 23 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Organized Sewing Room

On Day 22 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge, I have better storage in my sewing room.  I am so happy I finally got around to dealing with the mess that is my sewing room.

I removed everything (and boy was it a lot of stuff) from the closet in my sewing room.  It was jammed full from top to bottom.

A friend built some shelves for me.  After discussion, he felt that it was better to install an adjustable shelving system.  That way, the height of the shelves can be adjusted.  And if the room reverts to a bedroom in the future, it would be easy to remove the shelves.  He installed three 48-inch uprights ($20.32 each from Home Depot).

He installed 12 brackets (four on each of the three uprights) ($7.84 each from  Home Depot, for a total of $94.08).

The four shelves cost $9.87 from Home Depot (total of $39.48).  It is so much better than I imagined!

It's definitely not fully organized, but I've got all the stuff off my cutting tables. And it's easier to see all my WIPs (in scrapbook boxes).  There's still a lot more work to do to finish organizing the entire room, but this is a great start.  I need to get a few more containers to keep things neat and tidy.

My friend only charged me for the materials -- $194.52 plus 15% tax = $223.70.  Money well spent.

The room almost seems larger because there's not so much clutter on the tables.