Little Chick Basket

My husband’s parents raise chickens.  My daughter and her grandma have been exchanging pictures for a few months now.  My daughter draws her pictures and my mother-in-law send pictures of her real chickens.  I thought I might make something “chicken” related for the two of them.  And then I saw the darling new collection, Locally Grown, from Creative Thursday.  And I love the little chicks fabric!

Little Chick Basket

I’ve also been wanting to try the Fabric Basket tutorial by Ayumi over at Pink Penguin.  It is fantastic.  Really easy to follow and the baskets are ADORABLE!  :-)

So, I made the little one for my daughter (her little kitty seems to have a new home), and I plan to make the bigger one for my mother-in-law.

Bently Found a Home

Doctor Who

A great many of my friends are HUGE Dr. Who fans.  I’d seen a random episode here and there, but the hubs and I finally decided to give it a try.  We watched the first season of the 2005 series and started with the ninth doctor, whom we LOVE.  We finished season one and enjoyed ourselves.  But we had a hard time adjusting to the tenth doctor (I know, he’s beloved), so we’ve been slower to get into season two.  However, a love for all things Dr. Who has nestled its way into my heart.  :-)

Recently I happened upon a fantastic tutorial over at Dog Under My Desk.  And so I gave it a go.  :-)

I was really excited to work on this and didn’t want to wait to order purse findings, so I used what I found at Michael’s, which wasn’t the best, but it’s working out okay.  And I ended up putting the zipper on the opposite side.  But overall it was a fun project. :-)  I bought her Essential Wristlet pattern and found many of her tips very helpful.

I have size issues.  I almost always imagine cyberworld “things” smaller or bigger than they are in real life, even when I have real-life measurements.  This is a decent size wristlet – almost more like a purse than a wallet, which is cool.  There is even a little pocket on the inside.  And, as I expected, I’ve already received requests from friends.  Next time I will try very hard to straighten my wonky stitching.  :-)

Pantone’s Color of the Year

You’ve probably already heard, but in case you haven’t, Pantone’s color of the year is Emerald.

So I bought a swatch.  It seemed to match Pure Elements Emerald quite well.  :-)

Then I learned of a quilt challenge on flickr, and I thought it might be fun.  Especially since I had some Pure Elements Emerald on hand.  I had been wanting to make a design with HSTs and initially thought I would just have a random design – with little pops of purple thrown in.  But my need for order won, and I ended up with a pinwheel design.  It finished at 24.5″ x 24.5″.  I’m happy with the results. :-)

Updated 3/17/13: My dear husband took some outside pics for me:

It snowed all day here (we received another 8″ or so, sigh), so I wasn’t able to get an outdoor picture.  So instead I got to use my fun penguin tape. :-)

And a “photo shoot” is not complete without a little photobombing from the wee ones…

And here is a close up of the quilting (and the back).  I quilted straight lines echoing the diagonals.

Hopefully I can get a shot with better lighting tomorrow.  It’s suppose to warm up to 50 this weekend, which is crazy after a snowstorm.  Maybe Spring will finally arrive. :-)

 

FMQ

I’ve been slowly practicing my FMQ skills.  Slowly.  I find the prospect intimidating even though I have a very helpful BSR foot on my Bernina.  Yesterday, after coming home from my guild meeting, I decided I was going to finish a quilt I’ve had as a WIP for awhile.  I finished the quilt over a year ago, basted it several months ago, and finally decided to just go for it.

The stitches have multiple lengths and there are a few places the stitching caught on my foot.  Sometimes I found a great rhythm and felt very confident.  Other times I couldn’t figure out how to get the blasted thing through my machine.

But, I did it.  And overall I am pleased.  This is not a quilt that has any major plans.  I expect it will be nostalgic for me.  I finished the piecing on my old machine, while I was still practicing my quarter inch seam. Nostalgic. :-)  

I really love the look of straight line quilting, but I am looking forward to expanding my skill set for times when I want to do something else.  And, I am really loving the texture the quilting has now added to this quilt.  So, I am somewhat reluctantly looking forward to practicing more and trying again on another quilt in the future.  Maybe the somewhat distant future, maybe sooner…  We’ll see. :-)

The pattern is Full House, and I used Bliss by Bonnie and Camille.  (I love their stuff!)  I’m hoping to bind it over the weekend.  The fabric is so bright and cheery!

Madrona Road Challenge

Our guild is participating in the Madrona Road Challenge, and I was fortunate to be one of the participants from our guild.  I had a lot of ideas and wanted to do something a little outside of my wheelhouse.  I finally settled on doing a different design for each block.  I generally like things ordered and balanced, so this was a fun exercise for me.  I drew a sketch and started cutting.  I wasn’t even sure I would have enough fabric to finish, but I decided to just kind of go for it.

Some of the blocks turned out really well and I had to re-do a few of the blocks.  But in the end, I am pretty happy with the results.  I added a Kona blue color to two of the blocks.  (I ran out of fabric after the do-overs, and I wanted to add a little more contrast/variety.)  At first I thought I would keep the blocks all together:

But I wasn’t in love with it, so I decided to kind of “float” them in Kona White.  I was happier with that look.  I love the clean, crispness of white.  The backing and binding fabric were Madrona Road prints from my stash.  I really love this collection!

I quilted with straight lines, one inch apart.  I washed it last night, and I love the crinkly goodness.  I added the corner pieces at the last minute – I have seen this idea before and really liked it.  The quilt ended up about 37″ x 37″.

The back is one of my favorite prints from the collection.  :-)  And a close-up of the quilting, pre-washing:

New Fabric

After about a month away from sewing, I finally got back to it last week!  :-)

I was very excited to receive my first recent fabric purchase.  I’ve been coveting this print (Ledger, Architextures, Carolyn Friedlander) for awhile, and I am so excited about finally purchasing some. :-)

I have also purchased a charm pack of Noteworthy, but I have not yet received it.  Our mail has been somewhat delayed by Nemo, the crazy blizzard that left over two feet of snow at our doorstep.  We’re a little stir crazy here, eager to get back to “normal.”  Although my husband has had three snow days, so it’s been nice having him home. :-)

A Lovely Year of Finishes – January

After being absent for most of two months, we are finally getting back into our schedule.  But, January and February look to be pretty busy for us.  I fear I will not have as much time for sewing as I would like.  I came across A Lovely Year of Finishes, hosted by Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts, and I thought I’d participate so I can try to stay focused on one finish each month (at least for the beginning of the year).

For January, I am hoping to finish my chevron quilt top.  I’d love to make further progress on it, but my main goal is to finish sewing the top.  The blocks are all finished, and I’ve even sewn several rows together.  But it’s one of those projects I keep pushing aside for others.  I am eager to see it finished, so hopefully this will keep me from setting it aside, again. :)

100 Day Hustle Finish

Today marks the end of the 100 Day Hustle!  The time flew by, and now it’s time for a new list. :-)  I didn’t accomplish much during the second half of the hustle, but I’ve been enjoying a great deal of time with family, which has been a blessing!

Quilts

Finished Halloween QuiltHalloween Quilt - The Back
Out to Sea Quilt

Values Quilt

Jellybean - The Simple Life

  • Family Tree Quilt – No further progress here.  
Family Tree Quilt Top
  • Etchings Quilt – Still no progress, although I thought about it several times, if that counts. 😉
Close-Up
  • Chevron Quilt – No Progress
Chevron Quilt
  • Christmas Quilt – I made no progress on this quilt, unfortunately.  So we’ll look forward to working on it next year. :-)
Countdown to Christmas
  • Secret Santa Quilt – I made a little more progress on this quilt – not enough for pictures yet though.

 

Other Fun Projects

  • Pincushion – one for my VERY FIRST SWAP through Threadbias.  – Finished 10/3
Pincushion!
Circle of Geese Pincushion - Mama Said Sew
Superhero MasksMarvel Comics Drawstring Bag
  • Stuffed Owls for my Grandma and Aunt. – Finished 11/16/12
  • Purse for my mom. –  Finished 11/23/12
  • Pillow (for friends) – Started this and hope to finish before the end of January.
  • Present for my littlest nephew. – No progress here either.
  • Simply Modern Bee blocks for November and DecemberFinished
  • Cellphone Case – for my dear husband – Finished 10/5/12
  • Pencil Case for my nephew. – My nephew was no longer interested in this project, especially after he received his super hero masks. :-)
I found the hustle experience to be very helpful.  Although I am easily distracted, having a list and posting about the projects helped me stay focused.  :-)  I am looking forward to finishing the unfinished and starting new sewing and quilting adventures in the new year.
Many blessings to everyone as we reflect on 2012 and look forward to a new beginning in 2013!

Wonky Gingerbread House

I decided I wanted to make some ornaments this year.  We decked our tree this week, and it is pretty sparse.  In fact, almost all of the ornaments we have on it are the ones from my husband’s childhood.  He has such a great time telling the kiddos the stories behind them, and I am so glad we can share that heritage with our kids.  But, I also want to make new memories with the kiddos.  So, I am going to make some homemade ornaments this year.

And, one of my favorite crafters – Plushka – is offering a few ornament tutorials on her site.  So much fun. :-)  I decided I would try my hand at her Wonky Gingerbread House.

It’s probably a little embarrassing to admit that this took me more hours than I hoped it would.  But I am pleased with the results.  :-)  And – I’m not keeping this one.  It is being sent to family in Texas.  So – I will just have to make another for me.  And maybe it will take less hours the second time around.  I am a slow hand stitcher.  Really slow.  But I enjoy it nonetheless.

Initially I thought I would make a few ornaments this year.  But now I am thinking maybe I’ll just make one.  We’ll see.

P.S.  And now that I’m seeing the picture, I am realizing that my gingerbread house isn’t entirely authentic in black.  Ah well.  Maybe I’ll just call it a Christmas house.  :)