Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bee Inspired - Ooops March is Late

This year I joined my first ever quilt bee.  I am so lucky to have joined a group that is so friendly and forgiving.  :)  Because, oops, it is only April and I am already behind.  I know that is a huge Bee no-no, but I am going to chalk it up as a learning experience and get things straightened out by the end of this month and be back on track.

The April block was for Kate from Smiles From Kate.  Her blocks were gnomes and trees and they were made with a method I hadn't tried before.  I have to admit, I was really intimidated for some strange reason.  They didn't seem hard, on the contrary, they were blocks with a lot of forgiveness and leniency built in.  I guess it was just where I was emotionally and mentally that made me so scared to start them.  I did talk with her and get permission to take my time with them.  I didn't want to make blocks that I wasn't happy with or enjoying, so that is what I did.  I took my time.

With a good kick in the pants some prompting by my quilty friend Janice, who is also participating, I finally tackled the blocks this last weekend.  And of course, she was right...there was nothing to be scared of.  They were easy and fun.

I think I have mentioned it before, but I have a serious lack of low volume fabric in my stash.  I think I will have to keep a look out for some good pieces the next time I hit up the fabric store.  I did have some light greys on hand, and she mentioned grey in her colors so I went with it.  If it is not Ok, I am hoping she will tell me so I can make another block *hint hint Kate*

I guess that is what doing a Bee is all about.  Stepping outside your norm and trying new things.  New methods, new colors, new styles, new deadlines.  Hahaha.  I don't have my turn until September, but I think I already know what I am going to do.  I'll have to get that ready WAY ahead of time so I don't have to stress about it.

On an entirely different topic.  I have been struggling with my batting lately.  I have always used Warm and Natural cotton batting.  The last two quilts I have made have dark colored solids and they are picking up every single loose fiber there is.  It is so hard to clean up after.  Or take decent photos of for that matter.  Does anyone else have this problem?  How do you handle it?  What is your go-to batting?

Linking up with:
Linky Party Tuesday with Free Motion by the River

Monday, April 10, 2017

Freefall QAL - I see leaves!

I have finally got my quilting mojo back!  Yeahoo!!
My shoulder feels fine and I spent the whole weekend with my machine and Doctor Who.  :)
It was fabulous.

I spent Friday night and Saturday working on my FreeFall leaves for the QAL over at mmmquilts.
I decided to make all of my small leaves the same color.

I started to put together my leaf points and could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong.  The paperless paper piecing method was new to me, so I continued to try...and fail.

I was so frustrated.  So, I went to bed then just as I was on the verge of sleep I thought to myself, "did I even measure the template I printed out?"  I woke up Saturday morning with newfound energy and went straight to my cut-out paper template.  Sure enough, I had printed it the wrong size, by about a 1/4 inch.  Sigh.  So, I threw my leaf points and my other cut points into the scrap bin and followed Sandra's instructions to draw my own (I didn't have a printer at home to print another template and I wasn't about to wait another week).   Easy Peasy!  The points went together like a dream!

Then onto the HSTs:

You gotta love the trimmings!

Putting the blocks together went so smooth.  I kept expecting to have to do some seam ripping to get some of those points nice, but they were all perfectly acceptable.  Some not quite perfect, but pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  :)

The color is off on this photo a bit, but I thought it was pretty anyways.

I am so excited to get the next set of instructions.  This is coming together so nicely.  You can view the progress of everyone else following along on the Linkup on Sandra's blog HERE.

In addition to the Linkup on mmmquilts, I'll be linking up with:
Linky Tuesday with Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday with My Quilt Infatuation

Monday, April 3, 2017

When will the break be over?

I know that we all take breaks from time to time.  From work, from blogging, even from *gasp* quilting.  It seems these last few weeks have been my time to break from blogging and quilting at the same time.  That may or may not have to do with my blog being about quilting.  :)

I have been doing a little bit of blog reading and commenting and as I get inspired by all of you I think to myself, "Today's the day, I am going to be back at my machine and I am going to be SO creative and successful!"  Then when I get home, I just can't bring myself to do it.  Part of it could be the near constant pain in my shoulder that has me exhausted by noon. (Trying a new treatment on Tuesday, so wish me luck there!)  And part of it could be that I have been working on things for other people too much.

I know I have mentioned my dear grandmother before and how she was a very important influence on my crafty life.  One of the last conversations we had was about quilting.  She told me that if it ever seems like work and not fun, then I wasn't doing it right (I am paraphrasing there).  I think that I fell into that trap a little farther than is comfortable for me.  I like doing things for other people, but I had too many deadlines on big projects and started feeling pressured to work on those.  Hence, not wanting to work on anything at all.  I have a feeling that I am not alone in this.

I have one more project to finish up for someone else, then I think that I am going to focus on things only for me for awhile.  My pattern writing mostly.  I really want to get some new patterns out there and I really want to try to get a pattern published in a magazine.  If you have any advice on that front, please let me know.

One of the things I have finished lately is my flimsy for the Meadow Mystery quilt with Cheryl at MeadowMist Designs. It was my first ever mystery quilt and I had a heck of a time choosing fabrics without knowing what the quilt would look like.  I am pretty pleased with it though and think I am going to use this quilt to try some new quilting designs on.  The muslin I used for the background just screams for some intricate designs.  Don't you think?

A closeup of the pretty brown fabric. It is hard to see the detail from farther away.

You can see more of the variation of the dark brown here.  Also, look at all those spaces wanting to be quilted!

And the completed top.  I think I have enough of the fabric to piece together for the back.  Not sure which one I'll use for binding yet.

To help improve my mood, Spring has decided to show up in Portland finally.  :)  I saw 3 little baby geese yesterday and then this is what it looks like all over the place:

Happy Quilting Everyone!
I'll be linking up to my usual places.