The home stretch

This past week, I found I had no drive to sew. It wasn’t due to stress from work or kids, I just didn’t want to. Chatting with my best friend, we realized neither of us enjoy daily sewing as an activity. We both just want to sew when we feel like it and not sew when we don’t want to. It was a good realization  to come to.

When I did feel the urge, I accomplished  a few things.

Early but I tackled the March Sister Sampler block. For these, the last curves, I opted for twin blocks. My bf and I are swapping at the end so it is neat to have identical blocks.

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I am done with curves for a bit. I don’t hate them but they are a bit more mental space than I want.

I started hand tying 1928 quilt.

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And have since  pulled the ties. My baste was just too loose on the back. I need to go visit a friend who has space for me to lay this out.

I also got a fun package for Berry Barn Designs for Week 2 of the 47 sewing challenge.

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I am undecided on the adult coloring trend but I could see some being embroidery patterns. The mini charm will be fun to use once I figure out a project.

My son turns 5 in March. His two best friends are February birthdays, so we often do something with the three amigos. This year, we goofed off at a movie studio, experimented with dry ice and had a volcano cake.

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Jello lava was supposed to spew out but the cake absorbed it. Next time, I would line the center cone or use a cup. The dry ice did make it look cool.

The son is also still Tim Kubart obsessed. I think meeting Tim made him even more so. We got him a counting piggy bank to keep track of his quarters  for Tim.  He has no clue how much he needs to bring Tim out but at least he is saving his coins (and mine).

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He has more in there than the tally now. The irony was after he put his coins in, he turned on Sprout and Tim was doing one of those “The More You Know” segments on savings.  😒

A little slump

The sewjo  was low this week so I focused on relearning foundation  paper piecing. I had subscribed to Elizabeth Dackson ‘ s Foundation  Paper Piecing class on Craftsy  2 years ago when doing the skillbuilder. This week I used  my sewing time to rewatch  the classes.

This prepared me to tackle a coffee meter project I had on my wishlist. It still isn’t exactly as well done as I hoped but  getting better.

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We also had a family road  trip to Ohio so I took my hexies for a ride. The tackle box is still rocking as my hexie organizer.

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The road trip was to see Tim Kubart in concert. My son is Tim’s  superfan. He dressed as Tim for Halloween and pretty much listens to his cds daily. Back in September, we took Birdie to meet her favorite  author so this was the sibling trade off.

As the parent who listens to Tim the most, I have to admit I am not over it yet. His music is fun and not obnoxious. Tim has also been super gracious with C. Getting  to meet Tim was the greatest day C has had.

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Here is hoping next week has more sewjo.

Making time

Weekday sewing may not happen often, but weekends seem to my best crafting time. Once I get in the groove, things just get done.

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I love the background fabric. It was a Mardens find and has gold shimmer. I didn’t make the Rey part of this quilt. She hasn’t grabbed me as a character.

I successfully completed a foundation paper pieced project. It printed quite a few inches smaller than it should have, but that just added some challenge.
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I also practiced some free motion quilting. The project became a machine cover for my daughter’s machine.
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Best laid plans

I had great plans for week 2 of the 4×7 sewing challenge. To really challenge myself, I planned to work on foundation paper piecing. I had learned it during the Pile o’ Fabric 2014 Skillbuilder. I found it tricky so actually skipped doing one block as paper piecing. This week, my plan was to work on the Serenity block. I had the fabric ready and everything….

But my plans didn’t factor in my son experiencing a complication from his recent tonsil/adenoid surgery. It was serious enough to require an ambulance ride and overnight hospital stay.  Doc said it was a rare (around 3% ) complication but he is fine now. He is unable to return to school till Monday, so instead of sewing this week, my time has been committed to being nurse mom.

Hopefully this weekend, I can tackle the block like my original plan. I did find time to sort out fabrics to make a BB-8 block and the backing for 1928 arrived.  I plan to hand-tie 1928 so basting it may be on the weekend plans.

I am also working out a quilt idea for the blocks I am making this month. I don’t intend to make enough for individual quilts and I have no need for wall hangings. Inspired by the Birds on a Line quilt that features orphan blocks, I plan to do the same with these blocks. My idea is to place “frames” around each block and make it look like a picture wall. I need to finish making up the blocks this month, but it will be a fun quirky way to use the blocks. I will also get some solid practice with miter corners. I plan to follow Saltwater Quilts tutorial for these.

Fingers crossed our weekend is quiet and uneventful…

 

Sunday Craftermorn

The kids love the children musician, Tim Kubart, who has a song called “Sunday Crafternoon”. That song describes weekends at our house though this weekend we had a “craftermorn”.

I sewed up the Button Blocks for Sister Sampler. My best friend and I both are Doctor Who fans, so this block honors that. I loved finally getting to use the green chairs print and using up Mary Fons Small Wonder.


The pink block is for my friend and blue mine. I did my block first which explains why her block flows a bit better. Mine is busy but it does reflect my life at this point in time. Going a million directions and never really taking a break.

The highlight was finishing an embroidery I started two summers ago along the shore of Lake Huron.

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Ahh the memories… but now a nice inspiration for my sewing space. I practiced free motion quilting and even used a decorative stitch for the binding. Now to find a small hanger to stitch it to.

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So happy to make myself time for this. For week 2, I have decided to tackle some foundation paper piecing. I have a block in mind so let’s see if I can do it..

Linking up to Berry Barn Design’s 4×7 sewing challenge.

4×7 challenge – week 1

Berry Barn Designs has this great goal of committing time to sew just for ourselves.  She calls it the 4×7 challenge. Last year, I joined late but got some projects done.  For me, all sewing is for myself, even when the end project is gifted.  I allude to my work life but it is hectic, challenging and stressful at times. My sewing time is my stress reliever. It is a chance to work by my own rules on my own schedule. I do find that when I don’t commit time for the creative outlet, my stress level is heightened.

Anyway, this is the end of week 1. I admit I didn’t sew every day. My son had his tonsil and adenoids out on Tuesday plus I had a major meeting with top management on Friday. But, I did fit in a couple evenings to sew and try something I had been wanting to do.

First was the middle of Betsy Dackson’s Mini Medallion. I can’t resist Love Patchwork & Quilting but rarely actually make something from it. So this week was about finally doing that.20160205_205840.jpg

I am trying to work from my stash as much as possible. The print is a neat Dutch inspired print that has been waiting for the right use. From here, I am not feeling the border of crosses and Xs. I am letting the next step brew to see where this goes, but it felt good doing it.

The next block was also inspired by Love Patchwork & Quilting.  I took an applique block pattern and made it pieced. You can’t tell from my camera phone shots, but I was a photographer years ago.

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This block makes me soooooo happy. I am now contemplating making more based on cameras in my collection. (Did I mention a fairly large vintage camera collection?) I would love to make a Brownie inspired block!

The vintage top is free of newspaper so it found itself in the bathtub the other night. The top had such a musty smell I knew I couldn’t quilt it unless it was cleaned. No photos but the water was a awful rusty brown color. No color bled onto other blocks and no seams let go. It does smell better. Now just waiting on the backing to arrive!

The final just for me was a fabric splurge from Mary Fons’ Small Wonder. I just love the small prints. At least one has already been pulled out to use in this month’s Sister Sampler block! The backing for vintage is also coming from this line, but I ordered it after this splurge!

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It wasn’t every day of sewing, but I made time for creating and designing. Hoping that week 2 has more time for sewing!

Finding my sewjo

Work and life really got in the way of my sewjo last year, but in December, it came back with an apparent vengenance. From December 31st to January 31st, I started 7 projects and finished 5 of them. One unfinished is a year long sewalong and the other is prepped for a February finish.

Let’s recap…

I love paper planners and require one every year. I snagged one of the Quilter’s Planners during the campaign and simply had to make a cover for it. I am a wicked coffee fiend and had made the coffee cup block last year from Lori Holt’s book.

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I then made an adorable baby quilt from a panel, but somehow don’t have a photo. Oops! It has already been gifted so maybe one day I will get an action shot.

I made two lap quilts and had them quilted by a local long armer. With both, she just nailed it with the quilting. These were quick and fun projects. Darth Vader is my husband’s and the Doctor Who was gifted to a dear friend.

 

Another friend’s new baby was gifted a wholecloth quilt featuring the most adorable vintage prints and a flannel Doctor Who backing.

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My best friend and I are jointly doing the Sister Sampler Sewalong featuring blocks from Gen X Quilter‘s book Sister Sampler Quilts. We each make two sister blocks a month and will be swapping at the end of the project. This first block involved curves and lots of swear words from me. But stubborn persistance won out.

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And finally, I took of the newspaper from the 1928 Rocky Road quilt top I obtained about 18 mos ago. It was a long internal debate about leaving it as is versus finishing it. The winner was finishing but first I had to remove the newspaper. I was careful and kept all the scraps in a box. Dating is pretty solid between February and March 1928!

Backing print has been ordered so quilting should begin soon.. Maybe it will be a February 1928 to February 2016 project!

Also hoping the sewjo sticks around.

 

A spring splurge

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A quick trip into Maine meant shopping at Marden’s.  I hit two of the stores for fabric, Olfa tools and peanut butter M&Ms. The two piles to the left are for my best friend. I don’t have plans for all the prints so picked up half yards of most to use as fillers.

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The kids are spending the week with their grandparents so today was spent chain piecing the blocks for flower power.  I might just get lucky and finish the top while the kids are gone.

Sewjo

The sewjo just hasn’t been there lately between parenting and work. I have the projects lined up, just not the motivation to do them.

I did teach my friends to make a quilt top last weekend.  Next time they are over, we will do quilting and binding.

I did find some motivation to knock out the summer in the park top. My daughter wants to give this to her school aide.

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I envision circle or spiral quilting on this which I simply haven’t mastered on my machine.  I think it will go off to the long armer for the quilting.

The squares have a lot of wonky line ups but it really works for this. The wonky gives a whimsy that seems perfect from a kid.

Hoping the sewjo comes back soon. I am going to start on flower power which has been lined up and ready to go for a few months now.