Tuesday, March 13, 2018

candy cats quilt along - baby quilt

this quilt had a whole lot of different ideas before it became a reality.
i knew i wanted to use these bolder, primary colors but just couldn't decide on which animal to turn it in to.  why animals?  well, the momma of this fresh little one is quite an animal lover, so it only felt right.  i thought about foxes and i thought about bears, but neither one felt right.  then i saw a quilt along pop up on instagram and new it was perfect.  schnitzel and boo put together a quilt along using unicorn hart's candy cat pattern and that's when it hit me.  i had made her daughter a kitty quilt back in 2015 (daffodils & kitty cats), and so it was only fitting that baby brother had a cat quilt to call his own.
the candy cats block was just perfect, these wide eyed kitties and i had the perfect fabric already for it.  using a variety of reds, yellows, greens & oranges really popped out against the blue fabric.  i mixed the colors with one another creating a variety of kittens.
i used some pieces of red to pop against the blue when binding the quilt just to shake things up a little bit.  i did an all over free motion motif of a looser square (much like i did on my patchwork pumpkins quilt) which helped keep the kittens the main focus.  it was tricky this time, since the top thread blended so well in to the background.  i had to rely quite a bit on feeling, simply to find where my last stitch row was in order to not quilt too loosely or tightly to keep it as consistent as possible.
my mom was actually the one to suggest using the pete the cat fabric for the back of the quilt, and once the idea was in my head, i couldn't let it go.  pete is one of favorite stories to have in my preschool classroom, and whenever i have the chance i share this groovy kitty with my friends and their little ones.
it was nice to brush off my paper piecing skills for a bit, and what better way to do it than with cats?
once i got in the rhythm of it again, these cats came together quickly and oh so cutely.
as soon as it arrived to it's new home, i got to see some sweet photos of baby brother on his kitty quilt and big sister wrapped up like a burrito in hers.
i'd say that is a photo that can make any quilter happy as ever.
total quilts number: 108

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

half hexi smokey cat baby quilt

this poor little quilt got formulated, shopped for and prewashed back in the summer time, and then craziness hit.  jacob & sarah moved their wedding date, so that quilt had to be finished, and then i decided to make my pumpkin quilt in october (which didn't get finished until december) and so it sat.  my dear friend jessica had her second baby girl last year, and i decided she needed a kitty themed quilt.  growing up, she had a black cat named smokey, so when i found this adorable kitty fabric, i knew it was mean to be.   after months of sitting and waiting, these fabrics finally became a top in january at maker monday and got finished up just last month.  the inspiration for this quilt pattern came from one angelina showed us a few maker mondays prior, using hexagons & triangles in various ways to create different shapes and designs.  i had used triangles time and time again, so now it was time to give hexis a go, and i love it!
i may be in the midst of a fussy cut kick, but that peeking kitty was totally a happy accident!
i love that i was able to find this fabric in both colorways - the blue was perfect all alone, but the white just helped lighten things up a little bit with still having some crazy kitties in there.
i got about a yard and a half for the backing of this quilt, because these kitties were too cute to not have everywhere! i really want to buy some more just for myself to hoard. not sure the red will blend with my fussy cut sampler though... ha! i wanted the hexagons to be framed up, which looks awesome on the back as well. some portions also look a little lava lamp-esque... if that's a thing!
with this quilt officially posted, that makes it the first finish of 2018!
i had to go back and check my quilt count, because it had been that long... but this is the first out of (maybe) 20 quilts for the year.  random number goal, don't worry.  i don't actually have 20 quilts currently planned...  more like 10.  ha!
total quilts number: 107 quilts

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

fussy cut sampler - chapter 2

i feel like i've blinked, and now february is over!
totally failed at a mid-month check in, but at least now i'm here with the update for my fussy cut sampler quilt.  this month was all about striped fabric and incorporating it in to the blocks as well.  luckily, stripes also mean fabric that has a design organized in rows which allowed some of my themed prints to fit in quite nicely.  am i guilty of purchasing more fabric than technically needed?  absolutely.  but i'm finding that i have the prints for the fussy cut, but not so much the solid/blender parts.  when i first made the first block (the pluses) i had a totally different fabric in the bottom corner.  it said stripes, so i went with the one striped fabric i had.  i had a huge mental debate in my head, and ignored my gut feeling of the dinosaurs and went with the stripes...
i.  hated.  it.
that same week, while planning to prep the fabric for the rest of my blocks, i ripped it apart and resewed it to what it is now.  lesson learned for the month:  trust your gut instinct.   here's the whole collection for chapter 2 (technically blocks 5-8, but i keep writing them as 2.1-2.4)
i think blocks 2 & 3 for this month are my favorites.  that big cat ball fabric is a new one i purchased while on a mini field trip and has cat balls of all sizes.  they just crack me up!  probably because they look like mushu... one fat cat ball.
i also took a conscious effort to look in to getting some more yellow fabrics to blend in with that cray bold block from chapter one, and i'm really liking the balance between the blue, green & yellow with the grays and whites.  i have some pink fabric i'm a little afraid to use, since i don't know if it will totally overthrow the color scheme or just add a little punch in here and there.  if i use it (it's the same cat pink dots as the blue on block 4) i know there is some pink dinosaur fabric designed by dear stella that would fall in as well.  do i want to add pink?  even just a little pop here and there?  let me know what you think!
and since i didn't think to to do this last month,  here's chapter one's blocks all together, followed by chapter 2.
chapter 1
chapter 2
spoiler alert: i've got some new cat fabric i can't wait to use in chapter 3!

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!