Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Swaps

Hiyas!  Seriously hellacious week around here /sigh...  I wanted to write this during a lull in my desk shift today, but it was so freakin busy.  Oh well, I'm home now and can knock a post out pretty quickly.

I know I've mentioned this a lot, but I love swaps.  Right now I'm in two sewing swaps over at Flickr.  Both of my partners (or maybe it's just one partner  ::wink::) mentioned they like bright rainbow colors.  Both swaps are scrappy swaps.  So I dug through my scrap packs from Hawthorne threads and my overflowing scrap bins and came up with some great rainbow prints to use for each swap. 

First off, I've been waiting for my chance to participate in the Modern Scrappy Bits swap.  When I joined the group, a round was already in progress, so I had to wait until this round to join in.  The assignment is to make a mugrug, coasters or cup cozy for our partner.  Here are the fabrics I chose: 

I honestly can't tell you what all the fabrics are since some are from swaps, and others are from scrap packs.  I know the Magenta is Metro Living rings, Pink is FMF seeds, Green is FMF leaves, Navy is AMH feathers from field study, and the teal is an Art Gallery elements.  The gray is Bella of course :)

I had a vague idea of what I wanted to make, here's what it has turned into:

I have a leftover piece of the Bella to use for backing, but it's not quite big enough so I'm going to have to do a scrappy pieced back I think.  I haven't decided how I'm going to tackle the binding yet.

The next swap I'm working on is the Simple & Sweet Scrappy swap.  For this swap we have to make a pouch for our partner, and send 50 charm squares.  I decided to go with Jeni Baker's Half Square Triangle Pouch.  Again, I pulled a pile of rainbow scraps out of the scrap bins.  I wanted each HST to be a different color, so I had to choose 12 scraps for this one.

Since this swap isn't due until Aug. 30, I have some time to work on it.  So far I have one panel done.  I'm a little intimidated since this will be my first zipper pouch, so wish me luck :)

So what have you been working on?  I have some exciting (to me) news to share later this week :)  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Stash #3

Happy Sunday everyone.  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Personally, I don't think weekends are nearly long enough ;)  I spent a lovely sunny day out in my much neglected garden, and I have the dirt under my fingernails to prove it!  Usually I'm pretty on top of gardening but this spring/summer I've been somewhat ambivalent toward it.  I blame:

  1. Sewing!  
  2. Vacation in March/April which got me off to a late start
  3. The hope that we would be moving this summer 
Since we haven't had any success on the house hunting front, we've resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably won't be moving until fall at the earliest (if by some miracle we find something in the next couple months).  So I decided to start fall seeds today.  I got the grow lights cleaned up and set back up in the basement, and am waiting for my broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, chard and lettuce to pop up.

But you're here for eye-candy not garden chatter...  

I can't believe it's almost been a month since I went on a complete fabric binge with all the great 4th of July sales.  I took enough photos of new stash additions today to last me 4-5 weeks of Sunday Stash.  Yes, I've been meaning to post these for weeks, but things are a little crazy around here lately.

First up are some stash builders to fill some color holes in my stash

(L-R)  Bungle Jungle Crossword Puzzle Gray
Lizzy House Constellations Supernova in purple and Asterisk in Purple
Lucky Penny Bike Path in brown
Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow herringbone in grass
Carolyn Friedlander Architextures crosshatch in Plum
Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow herringbone in timber
With the exception of the crossword puzzle print (from Fat Quarter shop), these are all from Pink Castle Fabrics.  Can I just say, finding true indigo and plums in modern fabrics is super tricky.  There's not a lot out there, so I was happy to get my hands on the Asterisk and Architextures prints.  Also, is Architextures out of print?  I really should have purchased a bundle of the whole set when I had the chance, because it's super hard to find now :(

I'll share one more set today since I plan on cutting into it soon for a birthday present for a friend (my deadline is Sept. 1).  She loves Purples and Teals so I couldn't resist some Cuzco prints.

Top: Kate Spain Cuzco
Bottom: Bella Solids in Orchid; Lotta Jansdotter Glimma
This picture doesn't really do justice to these lovely fabrics.  I can't wait to cut into them!

We're going to be away next weekend, so I guess I should write up next week's Sunday Stash now and schedule it to post while we're away.  Even though I haven't been blogging much in the last couple weeks, I have been sewing quite a bit, so I have some more things to share :)  I generally blog at work (shhh, don't tell my boss!) so hopefully I have some desk downtime to I can whip up a few more posts.  Pics taken, I just need to find the time to write!

Linking up for Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Clashy Bright Mosaic Contest Entry

I love bright colors, and I love summer.  So when I saw that Rachel at Stitched in Color was holding another mosaic contest I had to join the fun this time.  The challenge is to create a "Clashy Bright" palette of fabrics based on Marmalade Fabrics stock.

My inspiration is a field of summer wildflowers.  I love the pops of color surrounded by harmonious greens.  Sadly, I found fabric choices to be a little limiting... I really wanted some more bright colors, like magenta, but I had to settle for a more subdued pink.

And here's my color selections.  The AMH fabric was a given based on the title of the fabric line :)  And I tried to select colors based around that fabric swatch.  If you'd like to join the fun, you can find Rachel's contest post here and it runs through July 18.  Happy Summer!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday: FMF tablerunner Quilting!

Welcome to the late edition of WIP Wednesday.  We had a dreary morning here in Western MD, but when I got home from work it had cleared up enough that I had some light to take some pictures.  I decided to strip piece the back of my FMF table runner in random widths from 1-4 inches.  I was able to get at least one strip of each print (and a few duplicates) on the back this way :)

After finishing sewing the back on Sunday, we watched "Call of the Wildman" (hilarious and awesome show!) and I basted this sucker together.  It's 76.5"x14"... If basting just a table runner was this much of a pain, I'm not looking forward to a full quilt!  Maybe I went overboard on the pins?

That blue stripe is painters tape so I can get my stitch lines relatively straight in the middle of the blocks where I can't just follow the seam to quilt.  Someone on the New Bloggers Blog hop mentioned using it to quilt (Sorry I can't remember who now!) and it works great :)

I'm just doing straight line stitching at random widths along the quilt.  It looks pretty, but I realized that my back isn't quite parallel with the front because the stitch lines run in a shallow diagonal along my back strips, whoops!  I was going to use red thread to quilt, but I am so glad I changed my mind and stuck with basic white... red probably isn't the color a beginner quilter wants to use to show all her quilting mistakes ::wink::

 I also love how the white looks across the darker fabrics :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedI hope to have the quilting done by tomorrow, then I need to run to Joann's and get some red thread to attach my binding.  Hopefully I'll have it finished up by the weekend!  What are you working on this week?  Linking up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sewing Space and Sunday Stash #2

If you're visiting from Ellison Lane's Studio Spotlight, this post is from July 7, 2013.  My sewing space hasn't changed at all in the last month (other than the fabric explosion on my DR table right now) so no need to take new pictures, right? :)

Happy Sunday evening.  I hope you all had a great weekend!  My parents came for dinner last night (dry rub  ribs with homemade BBQ sauce, and corn on the cob), but it was way to hot and humid to eat outside.  Soooo... I had to clean up my sewing and fabric explosion in the dining room so we would have space to eat.  I also didn't want BBQ sauce getting on my fabric of course.

I set the sewing equipment back up this morning, and I decided to snap some pictures while the dining room is relatively clean.  Please excuse any non-sewing related clutter, we live in a small house that was built in the 1940s and there is no pantry and very little cupboard space, so my dining room also holds overflow kitchen items.

I actually reconfigured a bit so I would have more room to maneuver around the machine.  The sewing machine used to be where the iron is in this picture, and the ironing board was set up right next to it.  We don't have AC in the house, so I also didn't want to be sitting next to a hot iron sewing anymore.

The little green bin holds my 2.5" squares that I use as leaders and enders... I don't know how I lived without using leaders and enders before, but it saves me so much thread and thread mess all around the machine.

The ironing board and cutting mat are a lot more convenient being right next to each other now.  I was working on cutting up FMF strips to back my table runner :)

This little secretary desk is the perfect fabric storage at the moment; the shelves are the perfect width to hold fabric folded using Jeni Baker's method.  I told myself once I filled up the top shelf I would stop buying fabric... psha... yeah right!

As you can see there's quite a bit of fabric stored in bins on either side.  The file bin on the right holds solids and non-quilting fabric like my bamboo velour (so soft!).  I also have some stacks of fabric I bought recently that haven't made it into the stash yet.  And a whole slew of scraps... I have no idea how I generate so many scraps considering I haven't finished anything sizable yet.  the two drawer bin to the left is actually headed to goodwill, but it was a convenient place to set some stuff that didn't have a good home.  I also have a great big flannel hoard upstairs in an empty dresser in our spare room too destined to be made into liners for Days for Girls.  The top drawer of the secretary holds my UFO's and it's full.  The bottom drawer has fabric dyeing supplies that I've been dying (haha unintentional pun) to play with.

If I post a close-up of the stash it counts for the Sunday Stash link-up right?  Oy I have lots more fabric on the way from taking advantage of the awesome 4th of July sales last week :p

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Bee Blocks

At the end of May I got an invitation from Rachel at Stitched in Color to join the Grace Circle of do.Good.Stitches.  I was really excited to be asked to take part in such a special project.  Quilts made in the Grace circle benefit My Very Own Blanket.  Unfortunately the circle decided to take a break from making a June quilt so I've been waiting impatiently to get started.

Our block for July is called Asterisk Flying Geese.  I've been slowly working on the blocks over the past week, and have had to spend a lot of quality time with my seam ripper trying to get everything on point.

I had a lovely stack of HST's but I'm terrible at taking in-process pictures!  They are made almost entirely of scraps, except for the neutrals which I had to cut from my stash.

I ended up finishing them right before bed last night.  I love the scrappy colorful-ness of the blocks and I think they are going to look fabulous all stitched together :)

I'm so excited for a day off tomorrow, hopefully I can get more xplus blocks sewn up now that my bee blocks for July are finished :)  What are you working on this week?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedLinking up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patchwork Please Teabag Pouch

I finally got a copy of Patchwork Please! by Ayumi Takahashi through my library... I put in a request for it over a month ago when I found out about the Zakka Along going on over at Flickr.  We didn't own a copy, so I had to request it through our interlibrary loan department and it took a while.  The book is chock full of adorable projects, hop on over to the Flickr group to check out what people have made so far.  I can't wait to make that pincushion on the front :)

I decided to start with the teabag pouch because I needed a "surprise" for a penpal swap I was participating in, and my partner said she liked tea.  I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Since I am totally on a FMF kick right now, I thought that using some of my scraps from my table runner would be a good start... but I needed a solid and more neutral fabric, and interfacing, so I needed to find time last week to run to Joann's.  It was Friday before I got a chance to go out there. 

I grabbed some Kona in Canary (I think) for the pocket lining, and some of the new light blue dots from DS's Blossom Reel line (I really need to get some of every print in that line!).  I also got some fusible medium weight apparel interfacing because that's what "felt" right... I know nothing about interfacing, so if someone has a good tutorial or guide to interfacing I'd appreciate a link :)

While I love the projects in this book, the instructions were really difficult to follow because there are NO diagrams.  I am a very visual person when it comes to instructions, so just having them only in text was hard for me.  I found myself reading each step several times before actually doing that step... and I still had to rip apart the pockets twice!  After getting the pockets attached, I just gave up reading the instructions and did what looked right.

You can see my little error at the top corner of the pockets because I snipped the wrong corners when turning them right-side out... whoops!

Honestly, I'm not even sure I did it correctly because I just kinda went with how I thought it was supposed to be done based on the pictures in the book.  Despite maybe not following the directions completely, I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  It's a super cute project, and sewed up really quickly once I actually got to sewing and not reading.

Sewing the button on was a little bit of a pain, maybe I was supposed to do that before I sewed the pieces together, but like I said, after attaching the pockets and fusing the interfacing, I didn't really follow the directions :p  I also top-stitched around it because I saw someone else did that and I liked how it looked :)