Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In Progress...

{hand stitching} binding :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Edited to say: I'm linking up to the H2H linky party over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I'm still stitching the binding, but expect to put this in the mail on Monday.  A broken washing machine, kids' sports, etc all got in the way this week, but that's life, right?  Anyway, I will be posting about the finish Monday or Tuesday, so stop by then to see it :) 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dorothy gets FMQed

Hey everybody, it's TGIFF time!!!

I've got my finish, how about you? :)

This top has been pieced for awhile, so the big news here is the quilting.  {can't you hear Dorthy singing Over the Rainbow?}

I did an all over meander for the inner portion of the quilt, but in the boarders...

I tried a free motion baptist fan! It's my first attempt, and wobbly as all get out, but it was a fun design to try.  I was fighting my machine's very limited throat space - for the larger arcs I had to stop and roll/unroll the quilt once or twice per arc.  But I've got what I've got, and for a first try I don't think this is too bad :)

I backed the quilt with Toto :)

I didn't measure the finished quilt, but it is a good lap size.  We will be using it for picnics.
The weatherman is calling for sunny skies this weekend - I think the boys & I need to break in our new picnic blanket :)

Ok, now it's your turn! I can't wait to see your fabulous finishes, so link 'em up!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Save the Date & fabric

Some days, you are lucky I just type at you instead of talking to you :) 
I have a nasty head cold that is making me sound like Darth Vader when I breathe.  A very sneezey Darth Vader, hehe

Want to see my free Japanese fabric? 

These are all remnants, long skinny strips, leftover from making home dec iteams.  The lady who makes the home dec iteams saw the sign welcoming quilters to the retreat I was at, and left off garbage bags full of these remnants for the quilters to take :)

I'm hosting TGIFF this Friday!  What do you say, meet me back here to link up your finishes?  I'm quilting a top to show you.  In between perfecting my Darth Vader impersonation :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Festival Time!

Amy's Creative Side

Hello Everyone! I'm squeaking in my entry to the Blogger's Quilt Festival at the last minute! :)

This is a quilt that, frankly, I've blogged to death.  I really feel like I should apologise to my regular followers for blogging it again but hey, I did take it out for new photos at least  :) 

Drunkard's Path QAL

I made this quilt as part of the DPQAL, which ended long before my top was complete. 

I started quilting 9 years ago, and this is the first {non-mini, snuggle under} quilt I've made for me.  And I love it.  There was one attempt to snatch away this quilt, but I don't think anyone else will be making that mistake....

This quilt taught me a lot about my how I like to quilt - my process.  Prior to my DP, I planned out all the details, bought fabric, and got to work.  Then I'd get really, really bored.  Lots of WIPs were born this way.  I've realized that the problem with this method is that all the creative decisions are made first, then all that is left is mostly non-creative work.

My Drunkard's Path quilt started when I bought 6 half yard cuts of Happy Mochi Yum Yum without a plan.  When the DPQAL started I knew I wanted to join in, but couldn't buy all new fabric for it at that moment, so I turned to my stash {I seriously love my stash!}.  I bought an equivalent amount of Kona Coal, and cut as many pieces from each fabric as I could, without being concerned about the size of the quilt I would end up with.

It wasn't until I had pieced the quarter circle units that I started playing around with layouts {did I mention this is my first curved seam quilt?} and chose to make print and grey circles.

Look at these great stripes that could have been - someday I will come back to this design :)

In the end, I went with the checkerboard look.  I had four blocks leftover, which I had every intention of using on the back with some quilting cotton.  But when I was shopping at Joanns, I saw a great grey plaid flannel, and since I just have to stroke every fabric I see, I did.  The bolt went into my cart so I could stroke it while I finished shopping for what I was there for in the first place.  I had every intention of putting it back.  Then to my surprise, the bolt just jumped up on the cutting table with my other fabric!  Obviously, it was meant to be :)

Ok, all that to say I learned that I like to take a relaxed, figure-it-out-as-I-go & stay-open-to-new-design-directions approach to quilting.  And in the end, I'm much happier with the finished quilt. 

Here is a quick run-down of the details:
fabrics are Happy Mochi Yum Yum {which should always be said to the rhythm of the conga dance} & Kona Coal
66" square-ish
backing is a grey flannel from Joanns
that's my Mom modeling for me!
and those four extra blocks are going to be a pillow.  Unless they decide to be something else...

Friday, May 18, 2012

just a little bit more...

Hi! Happy Friday! {I am sooo glad its Friday!!!}

Ok, now that I've got that out of the way,  I have just a couple more pictures to show you from my retreat.

On the last day, they have a show & tell

Pardon the table in the way, but this is a quilt top my Mom made at the retreat.  Isn't it pretty?  I kept dropping hints that this quilt would like living with me, but my Mom did a good job of ignoring me :)   That boarder fabric is soooo much prettier in person than in the photo.  Apparently it is also prettier when it is on Mom's sewing table {where I first fell in love with it} than on the bolt, too, because Mom claims she bought it with me standing next to her, and I never paid it any attention at all.  She is probably right. {just don't tell her I said so}

My crabby zig zags are so long, they took up a table and a half! The blocks aren't sewn together, though, so seam allowances will shrink it up some.  I'm making my quilt bigger than Amanda Jean's directions call for.  That's my basic philosophy on quilts.  Always make it bigger.  :)

 A sweet older lady stopped to admire my crabs and asked how big my quilt is going to be.  I said I don't know.  Because I don't.  {Why do people find that strange?}  I'm making a zig zag for each fabric in the line, plus some repeats of the bottle caps, plaid, and orange crabs.  Wouldn't it be funny if it ended up wider than long?  :) 

There is a small quilt shop set up at the retreat, also.  They stock all sorts of notions, patterns, books, fabric by the yard or FQ.  I was determined to resist. 

The perle cotton was my downfall :)

Two shades of grey, orange, and yellow came home with me - I want to try hand quilting with them.
I also came home with free fabric, but I haven't taken pictures yet, so I'll show you that later.  Have a fabulous, stitchy, weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm back!

Did you miss me?  hehe, I didn't make a fuss about when I was leaving for quilt retreat, because it just didn't seem wise to advertise that my house would be empty.  I left Thursday morning and returned Sunday afternoon, and I've been running around playing catch-up ever since :) 

Oh, I almost forgot, Happy Mother's Day! {ok, so I'm a little late...}

So, about that retreat :)  I went to Purity Spring Resort in NH. My Mom and two of my Aunts stayed for the full week {I'm so jealous!} and I joined them Thursday.  They saved me a good seat by the windows, so I gave them some pink penguin fabric baskets to help keep the tables organised :)

There are directions for a couple mystery quilts made available to attendees, but I just sewed on my own projects. 'Cause I need another WIP like I need a hole in the head. {some of you know what I'm talking about, right?}

(If you aren't familiar with mystery quilts, basically you get fabric requirements in advance and follow the directions without knowing what the finished design will be until you are done - I'm too much of a control freak to find that fun :) }

The views were spectacular

There were Canadian Geese with babies, beaver, heron, and Loons in the lake.  At night we could hear the loons calling if we left our windows open.  There is a small flower garden by the dining room windows that attracts butterflies and a feeder for the hummingbirds, which is a nice treat for me because I can kill any plant in record time.  Anything in my yard has to be a hardy survivor :)

There were canoes & kayaks, a swimming pool, a massage therapist...

and so much food I don't think I ate for two days after I got home!  Between fabulous meals they keep you well supplied with coffee, tea, and pastries etc.

{do I sound like an infomercial yet? I promise I'm not being paid to promote this place - they really are just awesome}

And yeah, some quilting happened, too :)

I cut into my Going Coastal {love love love this fabric!} using Amanda Jean's Zigzag quilt pattern

I've got more to show & tell, but I'll save it for another post.  Meanwhile, my crabs and I are heading over to WIP Wednesday to see what everyone else is doing...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Awhile ago I joined this QAL - The Skill Builder Sampler - see, the button is still over there on my sidebar.  I had alot of fun making each block and learning lots of great quilty stuff, until I fell behind. 

Have you read this post by The Happy Zombie?  It's about sewing what makes you happy.  When I read it, I had one of those 'Ah-ha!' moments.  And I realized it was ok with me not to finish the Skill Builder QAL, even though I had been enjoying it and I still read each new post, because I don't enjoy that behind-the-eight-ball feeling of trying to catch up.  (if you don't mind playing catch up, I do recomend you check it out - you will learn tons!)

So what to do with the blocks I had already made?  Well, I put them together with setting blocks and a small boarder to add some size.

{i'm sorry for the bad rainy day inside pictures, but that sun just refuses to shine}

I needed one more block, so I made this pinwheel.  It is based on one I found in a Thimbleberries book of my Mom's {and can I just say it is awesome to have a Mom who quilts - I get to raid her stash of fabrics & books & thread!}   The block in the book (I can't remember which book) finished 4" too small, so I drafted it the size I needed.

I had just enough of this pretty pink on blue floral to squeek out a boarder, and I'm so glad I did because it makes the top.  Really, I didn't like this top at all until the boarder was put on.

If you want to see more about the other blocks, click on 'skill builder sampler' in the label cloud in my sidebar, and you should be able to see those posts.

This quilt is the one I will be donating for Hands2Help.  Blocks I already had being made into a quilt instead of collecting dust, and that quilt going to a good cause - I think that's a win-win :)
almost forgot - i'm linking up to WIP Wednesday, because who doesn't love a good linky party?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

making my family album

Ok, so April ended awhile ago, and I haven't gone back to my sewing list to see how I did.  I'm not going to do a full rundown today either, but I'll show you a little of what I've been sewing. {mostly I've been doing a little here & a little there, and none of it is very photo worthy yet}

I made the three album blocks that I put on my list.  Yes, I know there is only one in the picture, but I mailed the other two to my Grandparents for signing before I remembered to take pictures of them, so you are just going to have to take my word for it that I did make them :)

I decided to make a family album quilt after reading a book from my local library about antique album quilts, so it seemed appropriate to make mine in reproduction fabrics.  Here is a close up of the block's main fabric:

I sent my boys to a quilt shop with their Dad to pick out the fabric I will be using for the sashing on this quilt.  Even though my sons completely shocked me with the fabric they chose, I love that they played such an important part in making this quilt {all the main block fabrics are now being chosen to coordinate with the sashing fabric they chose - so really, they chose my color palate or me}

I had expected them to chose a navy blue or red, something that appealed to a little boy, but they really tried to find something I would like.  And since in their minds all girls like pink, they chose this mauve-ish fabric.

happy sewing, everybody! :)