Friday, July 29, 2011

do. Good Stitches

I was tickled to find out recently that I am now an official member of the do. Good Stitches group!  This is a lovely group of quilters who make quilts monthly for various charities.  I've been assigned to the Inspire circle and I'm really excited to get started.

Click here to find out more about the group on Flickr.  You can see some of their finished projects there too.  This is a great group of quilters and I'm really excited to be a part of doing good!

do. Good Stitches {a Charity Bee}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

With two days off in a row, I had lots of time to sew, sew, sew.  This past weekend I worked on my Kaleidoscope QAL blocks.  I now have 2 whole rows done.  This is not my best photography but you can see how far I've gotten.  Can you tell which side of the room is all window?  And, my design wall is not large enough!

After washing my red fabric with one of those marvelous little Color Catchers, I finished cutting all the pieces for my Love in a Mist blocks for the Red & White Swap.  It took me over 2 hours last night to get one block pieced.  Oh my goodness, the seams are driving me insane.  I played around with the needle position on my machine in an effort to make a more accurate 1/4 inch seam, and I ended up moving it back to the middle where it started.  I read a really great tip about using the diagonal line on a ruler to square up HST's, and that has helped tremendously.  When I got the top third of the block done it measures 13.5 inches though!  I was apparently sewing more of a 1/8 inch seam so I ripped & re-sewed.  What a mess.  Here's block number one of nine.

It is far from perfect.  Hopefully they will get easier, and quicker.  At this point, I think I'll probably end up making 10 or 12 and choose the nicest ones to send along to the swap leader.  I love the block design though and I'm tickled with my fabrics.  I'm also kind of glad I'm challenging myself on this instead of doing a block with fewer or easier seams.  A girl should always be learning, shouldn't she?

I also finished 4 other zipper pouches for the Etsy shop.  I need to get them listed later today.

So much fun!  I also taught myself to crochet this weekend.  I did a small washcloth in double crochet, but I forgot to take a photo.  I wasn't following any pattern, and learned how to make scalloped edges.  Well it wasn't so much that I learned how but I stumbled across how to make scalloped edges because I wasn't counting right. ;) 

What are you working on?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sewin' During the Sew In

Did you have a good Friday night?  Mine was very productive, although it feels like I don't have much to show for it.  After dinner, I headed to the sewing room intending to finish a couple red & white Love In the Mist blocks for the HGTV board swap and I cut all the white parts for my nine blocks.  Then I pressed the red fabric I planned to use, but I decided it was not a nice enough quality for these blocks.  When I first got into sewing, I visited the sale section of G Street Fabrics several times and snatched up a few lengths of cotton at a great price.  Now that I've spent more time at the craft, I have learned about the different kinds and qualities of fabrics and some of my stash is just not up to snuff.  I have other red fabrics to use, but none are washed and that's required for this swap (if not for any red fabric project!), so I moved on to the next project. 

Here's my Kaleidoscope Quiltalong work in progress, which lives in this pretty box.  This past week I bought a very cheerful yellow Moda marble to try with my collection of Pop Garden, Bijoux and Nicey Jane.  Its a brighter yellow than I thought I wanted, but it seems to coordinate nicely with the shades in most of the prints.  I cut a few strips worth and was able to finally decide on my scheme, and then get four blocks pieced.  It definitely goes faster with chain piecing, but I was desperate for some instant gratification so I roughly planned these four blocks and went to town sewing.

Its starting to look like a Kaleidoscope!  I did some math and determined that I have enough fabric for a quilt that is 5 blocks by 6 blocks, and maybe even enough for one that is 7 by 9.  The Moda marble doesn't have any stock number on it, and I bought the end of the bolt at my LQS so I'm not sure if I can get more to match.  If I end up loving it, I think I'll try to make it as large as possible to fit on my bed.  I haven't done anything larger than a lap quilt, so that is a little scary but I can manage it.

Do you use a spray when you're pressing?  I bought this along with my cheerful yellow fabric, and I'm loving it.  It seems to put a nicer finish on the fabric than just steaming or spraying water, and gets the creases out better.  The citrus version smells yummy too!  Not too strong a smell though, and the scent dissipates quickly.  Love it!

Did you join the Friday Night Sew In?  What are you working on this weekend? 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Night Sew In!

T minus just a short time till the Friday Night Sew In!  I'm pysched.  Normally I work till 8pm or later on Fridays, but our store hours have changed for the summer (its good to be the boss!) and we close at 6pm.

Click on the button to go over to Handmade by Heidi and check in with everyone!

Handmade by Heidi

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Growing Inventory

Glass Frog Beaded Stitch Markers

My little Etsy shop is growing!  I've put together a few more sets of stitch markers for knitting and crochet (like these adorable little frogs), added to the fabric de-stash items and I've started making zippered pouches for knitting notions!

Zippered Notions Pouch

I love making these little pouches, and its a great way to enjoy using my fabric stash.  I'm in the process of finishing up a few more but I was anxious to get one up and on display.  Its tons of fun choosing the fabrics for the exterior and the lining, and then matching up a zipper.  Some are classic, some are unexpected.  My pouches are about 9 x 4, so they're a great size for dpns, for pens & pencils, cosmetics, a couple toys, electronics, you name it!  I've got one with my quilt binding clips and another with the mp3 player and its charger.  These are flat pouches, but my next project will be to create a sample with a gusset in the bottom to allow more room for bulky contents.  I could add a little strap and make them wristlets too.  Oh the possibilities!  My goal is to start a 'serger fund' with the proceeds of what I sell. 

Click on the Etsy widget at the top right to see more of my shop!

Friday, July 15, 2011

February's Love Birds

Luckily there are only self-imposed deadlines when it comes to my quilting.  Here's the February Birdie Stitches block.  The little birdies are just oozing love!

These are such fun designs.  I'm really enjoying each one, no matter how far behind I am.

What are you up to?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love In a Mist Sample

A little late for the Fourth of July, but here's my sample block for the HGTV discussion board swap.  The block is called Love in a Mist, which is a free block from the awesome site Quilters Cache.  (It also happens to be a lovely flower in the buttercup family, properly called Nigella damascena.  Its a gorgeous star blossom.)

Isn't she pretty?  The Swap Hostess had asked for star and star-like blocks and I thought this would be a fun one for me to try.  The final blocks will be only in red & white of course, but I thought my sample needn't be restricted.  One of the swap participants said she was doing sample blocks in a particular theme, and I thought that was a great idea.  I had originally thought to do my sample in 30's fabrics, but since I wanted to get started this past weekend the red, white & blue seemed appropriate.

I'm making progress getting my points tidier, but I still seem to foul up the seams.  Must drive slower over all those speedbumps!  What a messy back.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

It's our birthday, America and that's cause to celebrate!

This is one of my favorite stepping stones in my shop, and of course we're all out of them right now or I'd give you the link. ;)

I did a little more cutting for the Kaleidoscope QAL this morning, and then to switch gears I started a red, white & blue version of the block I'm going to do for the Red & White Block Swap on the HGTV discussion board.  I ran out of time before I had to head off to work, but hopefully I'll get the sample block finished up tonight.

Hope you are having a wonderful Independence weekend. Stay safe & happy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trouble starts with D

DWR that is!

As if I didn't have enough to do, lookie lookie!  The Plaid Scottie is hosting a Double Wedding Ring Quilt A Long.  Woo hoo!  I'd love to do the full quilt, but I think at a minimum I'll do four intersecting rings. 

Good thing I like a long to-do list!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Playing with my Kaleidoscope

Thunderstorms woke me up early this morning, so I found some extra time and got started cutting out my pieces for the Kaleidoscope QAL.  I've mentioned before that I'm not sure I've compiled the best collection of values in the fabrics I've chosen, but I think I'm slowly getting a handle on what I want to do.  Checking out the Flickr group, you can see there are several ways to go with this pattern.  I'm leaning towards the very planned style that uses 2 alternate color value blocks and creates a Cathedral Windows type effect, depending on where your eyes land on the quilt.  But then there's scrappy.  Or planned.  Or scrappy.  Or planned.  Well, you get the idea.  I'm definitely doing the larger size, which is 60 x 72 but I have more fabric than I need so I might even be willing to go bigger.  And that sounds both scary and exciting to me!

Anyway, I got a few fabrics ironed & cut this morning and I started playing on the design wall.  Here's a coordinated block in a color combo I like to think of as Raspberry Lemonade.  I love the Pop Garden Pineapple Brocade in these pieces because you get a completely different part of the overall design with every cut.

And here's a more scrappy look

And just for good measure, here they are side by side.

I still have no clue what I want to use for the 'solids' fabric in this quilt if I go with the scrappy look.  I might take a stack of pieces into the LQS and audition some yellows or pinks.