Wednesday, January 31, 2018

fussy cut sampler - chapter 1

i'm sitting here, mostly in disbelief that today is the last day of january!
i don't have any mega finished projects to share, but i do have my first four blocks from the fussy cut sampler i am participating in.  my first 3 blocks are pretty subtle, but block number 4 is quite a change in color.  originally i was going with just blues & greens as well as gray as a neutral, but i felt like it needed a little punch of a third color in there.  so what better color to pair with blue & green but some yellow?  i may have gone a little intense with this one, but i intend to also include some yellow throughout as well - especially since some of the dinosaurs have yellow in it as well.
i'll admit, i've been doing a lot of sporadic shopping for these and so i have a LOT of fabrics to mix in... or not... but since i love these colors, it is all good!  anyways, without further delay, here are january's blocks.
the next chapter starts in a week, and i'm excited to see what happens with those blocks.
i know stripes are involved!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

january so far

i figured it would probably be a good idea to do an update post of sorts mid month, since i don't have any finished projects to share yet... and that some of my plans have already changed a bit!  nothing too drastic, just that things have switched around here and there.
we had our first smqg meeting this past weekend, and got off to a great start for the new year!  talked a lot about what we might want to hear about and played an ice breaker game where we asked someone a question in relation to quilting.  someone asked me how my stash is organized, and i was glad i was able to say that it actually is at the moment!  a week or so, i would have been saying that there was fabric in piles all over my floor by color.  which was 100% true.  there was NO floor to be seen on 2/3 of the floor around my bed because of fabric.
speaking of smqg, we also had our first block party this past wednesday!  darryl (who is also on the guild board) hosted at his home, made us soup & salad and we chatted a lot and made him some half square triangles for his project.  a solid 3 hours of sewing and chatting was a wonderful way to spend a wednesday evening.
my fussy cut block of the month is coming along quite well, and i currently have 3/4 of the blocks for the chapter done.  i find myself buying more fabric that fits my theme quicker than i actually use it.  oops.  but with my colors being blues, greens & yellows, i know they'll get used at some point in my quilting life.  i did the makelight year of colour analysis for my instagram account, and the biggest dot on my "map" was of course, a shade of blue.  i'll probably be working on my 4th block next saturday, since that seems to be when things fall in to place for working on fussy cutting.
now my stashbusting and sew alongs currently go hand in hand.
i had thought about joining the elizabeth hartman all the animals sew along with gnome angel, but it slipped to not being my first priority.  some other things came up that i cannot quite share just yet (good secrets, i promise) and so the fancy foxes weren't on my list of must do right now.  instead, i've (crazily) jumped in to schnitzel & boo's candy cats quilt along on instagram.  she's using the candy cat pattern by unicornharts for this super fun sew along.  there are prizes, which also perked my ears!  how am i stashbusting for this, you ask?  all my cat parts i already had.  the only thing i've purchased is the background fabric, because i wanted that to be consistent.  my plan is to make 16 of these cats and have a 4x4 grid.  it has an intended home, but i don't want that secret to get out until it is time :)  here's a peek at my first 3 kitties!
i'm using greens, oranges, reds & yellows for the cats with this denim-ish blue looking fabric for the surrounding.  hopefully, none of my colors will repeat (if my method of the ear color becomes the next cat's body color works)  my mom suggested pete the cat fabric for the back of the quilt, which the more i look at these cats, the more i think it is a great fit!
want to join in the fun?
you can get the pattern here: candy cat on craftsy
p.s. it's FREE
so far, i feel pretty confident in what i've gotten done so far (i also have a quilt basted to be quilted... i really need to get on that...) and what i have yet to come.  so far, no over sized queen size quilt projects on the brain for this year, which is a good feeling!  but then again, there wasn't one for last year either, then my cousin moved his wedding date up.
i'll check in again soon with my fussy cut blocks before month 2's class begins, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

welcome to 2018

2017 was a very successful year when it came to reaching my goals for the year!
i took a lot of classes at meissners with angelina mckenna, jenny lyon, and natalia bonner about different quilting techniques on my janome as well as the long arm machine.
i've been a certified long arm quilter for just over a year now, as well as a member of the sacramento modern quilt guild since last january!  it has been great taking these first few steps in to the local quilting "scene" and i hope to continue that more this year.  with no plans to go to quiltcon this year, i do have a few plans for how i'll be involved in the local quilting community.
in order to get more involved this year, i've accepted the position of vp of communications for the sacramento modern quilt guild!  i'm really excited to get to know more of those that have been involved with the board in previous years and really learn more about it all.
maker monday-
every third monday of the month, i've been attending "maker monday" at meissners, which was something i stumbled across after hearing a few talk about it.  generally, it is the same group of ladies, coming together to hang out, snack & sew for a few hours.  last month, we had an extra long holiday sew day, complete with a full meal of grilled meat, veggies, potatoes and cornbread.  even though we work on our own projects with the occasional sew along, its fun to just hang out, chat and sew with others and inspire each other.
fussy cut block of the month-
this year i'll be participating in a block of the month class that will be a new experience for me.  fussy cutting hasn't really been something that i'd thought to do, but once angelina completed her own fussy cut sampler quilt last year and lisa having done her english paper piecing la passacalia quilt parts, i was intrigued.  then, it became part of the calendar of classes and i was on board.  i attended the info session and then january kicked off the first class, and i've currently got 2 of the 4 blocks done!  a gal named ashley, who is in smqg with me, is also in the class, and i felt like we had a good time chatting and helping each other out with our first few blocks.  i'm looking forward to this adventure, and seeing how the end result comes out.  the photo on top is a peek at the blocks so far!
block party-
the current vp of our quilt guild sent out an invite for a monthly "block party" at his home once a month to get together, chat and sew.  i'm not one to gather people i don't really know, so being invited to this was a great ice breaker for me.  each month, one of us gets to pick the block and color scheme for what is being made.  i haven't quite decided what to do for my month yet, but i'm looking forward to trying something new.

other things this year
stash busting-
i mean, for real... i need to make this a thing!
over winter break, i made 25 pillowcases and donated them to uc davis children's hospital for the children's surgery center.  it felt great to do something good for kids in need as well as free up some space in my fabric storage.  i found i had some very random things in there, and while i did have to purchase a few "filler" fabrics, i was able to free up about 15 of the comic book boards i had in my cabinet.  i spent new year's eve putting together a quilt top i had in block form and donated it already to my parent's church, so here's to hoping i can get a one or two done a month!  it will definitely help my spending (and helping my rent payments!)
i've tried a few so far with my month of me projects, and had a good time chatting about what i was doing.  it is weird to watch and hear myself, that's for sure!  either way, i'm hoping to try a few more about what i'm doing, and maybe even talk about some specific topics.  this could just be a phase, but i won't know until i give it a good go!
sew alongs-
i do enjoy the occasional sew along, and hope to participate in a few this year.  i saw that gnome angel is hosting the "elizabeth hartman all the animals" sew along, and it seems like the perfect one to join in on at first.  i still have plans to make one of the kittens quilt, and possibly even another fancy foxes quilt!

a little bit of rambling, but here's to another eventful year of quilts, sewing and all around socializing!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

year in review - 2017

where oh where has this year gone by?
this year has been a year of learning a lot of new things including long arm quilting and free motioning on my own janome.  i've begun adventures in vlogging, joined a quilt guild and also found a group that meets monthly to hang out and sew with.  i've been a certified renter on the long arm machines at meissner and also took a class from a national quilting instructor.
now, it's time to recap the projects that have been completed this year!  i've also decided to notate which ones were quilted on the long arm as well, just for kicks.  so any project link that is followed with an asterisks means it was quilted on the long arm!
finished projects
bronco diamonds baby quilt
star wars strip quilt
olaf panel quilt*
feelin' blue fancy fox quilt*
tiger lily swoon 16 baby quilt
garden snails quilt*
musical charm (and 10!) squares quilt 2.0*
musical himalayan pink quilt
blue and gray baby elephant quilt
pink, gray and white stripes quilt
old fashioned cars pow wow quilt
twin dogs in sweater quilt*
teal, burgundy & orange boardwalk quilt*
black, white and red comfy quilt
himalayan pink quilt for mom
alaskan batik quilt*
patchwork pumpkin quilt*
civil war hazel hedgehog quilt*
18 quilts done for this year, can you believe it?
9 of those quilted on the long arm!
(actually i quilted 10, since i did one at my grandma's request with a meander.  i only have the photo on my instagram though... oops!)
granted, i have two tops done waiting to be quilted that i will *hopefully* get done soon and a few more quilt plans are already bouncing around in my head ready to come to life.
all about me november was successful, finishing two quilt tops all for me!
i also had some great adventures this year:
colorado for spring break
alaska in the summer
new apartment adventure in october
fall out boy concert in november

what will 2018 have in store?
you'll have to wait to find out!
one year long project will be announced soon, and perhaps i'll figure a few more things out real soon :)
happy last day of 2017!

Friday, December 29, 2017

civil war hazel hedgehog quilt

this particular project kind of started off as a joke idea.  my grandma had recently given me scraps from a quilt she made for herself, and i just sort of stared at them.  they weren't anything i would have EVER picked out for myself, or for anyone else really.  they were all from the civil war reprints style of fabrics which as a whole (such as in the quilt she made for herself) look great.  i remember talking to my mom and lisa at different times about it, knowing that usually when i've gotten scraps from my grandma i've made different elizabeth hartman patterns.  i had tossed the idea out about the hedgehogs out off the top of my head, since i had already purchased the pattern and once it was out there, the idea stuck.  hedgehogs felt like the right kind of animal to blend with the civil war prints and it was now about to happen.  i initially thought that i would donate the quilt, but then i thought about the unknown of would this quilt really be appreciated?  i'm sure it would have without a doubt, but at the same time i wanted to know who the recipient would be.  the more i thought about it, the more sure i became about this being a quilt to go to my aunt for her birthday.
i chose a purple grunge to go with these guys, since there were a few purple prints in the mix.  my favorite hedgehog combo happened to be one of the purple ones (shown above) and the deeper purple just helped them pop a bit more.  the pantograph used was my first experience with points, which was definitely a test in itself.  overall, they still look like hedgehog spike points!
originally i had a tan backing for these guys, since the faces all had the lighter shades in there.  it just wasn't feeling right, so i went out to fair oaks and found this great purple flowery fabric to use instead and i love it so much more!  i used the same grunge for the binding as i did the background fabric, which gave it a nice solid front.  ugh... they're just so cute!
my aunt opened this on christmas eve and got a good laugh out of the hedgehogs.  my grandma noticed it was her fabric scraps as well, which helped tie it all together and make it that much more meaningful.  after all the baby quilts my aunt has asked me to make for her, it is about time she got something to keep for herself! 
will i make more hedgehogs for other projects?  probably.  they've got a lot of bits and pieces, but they're so cute!  i've also got more civil war scraps, so we'll see what comes together next :)
quilt number: 106
pattern: hazel hedgehog by elizabeth hartman
there is a version 2 of this pattern as well with a larger hedgehog option (hazel hedgehog II)
maybe i'll try that one sometime as well!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

patchwork pumpkin quilt

when i first saw this quilt pattern pop up on instagram, i knew it was one that i would want to do someday.  it got put in to the back of my brain just as that, a "someday" quilt.  some point in the fall, while wandering the aisles of joann's, i found this perfectly perfect grumpy cat halloween fabric and i instantly knew something had to happen with that. i bought a LOT of it, knowing it would make a perfect quilt back, but the perfect pattern had left my brain.  then, after scrolling around the internet, the pumpkin quilt crossed my feed again, and in an instant i knew this was the quilt to make!
i hopped around the local quilt shops to find the perfect oranges for this project.  i didn't want any "wimpy" oranges so to speak, so it took a good amount of hunting around.  it required 10, but my first hunt left me with 9 good oranges and one odd one out.  so back to the hunt i went!  i was shopping for this quilt while beverley's was in it's "summer liquidation" sale (aka we're going out of business but not telling anyone.  insert heartbreak here) which was when i found this fantastic gray background.  it is hard to tell here, but in person it has some metallic lines in it, which makes it feel oh so fancy!
this binding definitely made my heart happy as well.  little gray stars seemed oh so cute.  initially, i wanted to quilt to be more "fall-ish" but i gave that up real quick when i put a halloween print fabric on the back.  don't get me wrong, it is very likely going to come out the first day it feels like fall weather outside and stay out until i feel ready to switch to a christmas quilt.
i took the plunge on this quilt as well, making it my first free motion quilted project!  i didn't go in to it planning to quilt it as densely as i did, but i am so happy with how it turned out.  i picked a motif i felt very comfortable with and that i knew it would be easy to fill in any bigger gaps with if i needed to go back in.  i used a gray thread on the front, and a coordinating purple for the back.
this quilt started as an october project, rolled in to a november finish, and then became completely finished in december.  even though it was done past it's seasonal time frame, i'm so glad to say it is done and that it is mine all mine!  i can't wait to pull it out next fall to display in our apartment.  and i still have a lot of this backing to make matching things!  halloween grumpy cat pillowcases might just happen!
quilt number: 105
pattern: pumpkins by cluck cluck sew

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

alaskan batik lap quilt

this quilt started in 2016 in an "i want fabric as my souvenir" sort of way.
i went to alaska (specifically anchorage area) for the first time to visit friends (amy and luke) of mine and after days of being touristy, i left with a bundle of fat quarters (plus a few extras) but no specific plans.  after being loaned a batik quilt book from my grandma and seeing a pattern she had used before (since that tends to happen) i knew what my vision would be.  i went back to alaska in june of this year (but failed to post any pictures on here... oops!) and picked up fabric for the borders, sashing, binding & backing.  then, it sat... and sat... and sat some more until last month where i got the ball rolling and made this quilt all for me!
many of the fabrics feature animals seen in alaska, such as whales, fish, moose, and husky dogs.  my favorite would have to be the adorable sea otter fabric!  on my last trip there, we actually saw an otter out in the bay while luke took us out on his boat.  the whale fabric made for a perfect border with the bold blues and greens and stumbling upon this bubble batik for the sashing could not be any more perfect!  i aligned the borders around the quilt so that it would look like they were swimming around in the same counterclockwise direction.
i used the same pantograph as i did on jacob & sarah's wedding quilt (titled macrame from urban elementz) since i felt like it would blend well with the whales and also have a sort of "wave" like visual to it.  stopping at the points of this pattern is getting easier, that's for sure!  originally, i hoped to find more blue otters for the backing, but this purple colorway of it was just as pretty.  my math was off, so this chunk that was initially purchased as the sashing filled the extra length needed just perfectly.  no regrets!
while these photos are great place markers, i cannot wait to take this back to alaska and get some photos up there with it.  i do have some unused fat quarters as well (like a random red raven one!) that i might use to make a smaller version of this quilt... or maybe even a same sized one.  who knows?  i had so much fun exploring alaska with amy, who knows my appreciation of all things fabric and was willing to take me places to plan to create this quilt!  hopefully next time the weather will be a bit nicer for us, and we'll get to do some fun hikes as well!  luke is convinced i want to go fishing... which maybe... just maybe! i'll agree to.
quilt shops visited in alaska
the quilt tree and yarn branch - anchorage
sylvia's quilt depot - wasilla
just sew - palmer
quilt number: 104
pattern book: quilt batik! by cheryl brown