I think I can, I think I can

Deadline, shmeadline. I can do this!

Sugar Snow in blue

Sugar Snow in blue

Each of the participants in this retirement gift project got their blocks to me with plenty of time to get them stitched up with the solid background fabric. I have to say I was pretty impressed with the quality of the blocks, considering the wide range of sewing experience in the group. A couple blocks ended up with the locations of the green & white fabrics swapped, and a couple others have the pinwheel turning in the opposite direction, but without those little differences it wouldn’t look like the collaborative effort that it is. 🙂 I delivered it to the long-armer yesterday morning. By the time I get it back I may have to do an all-night binding session in order to be ready to gift it at the party next week, but let’s hope not. If I pretend that I possess time-management skills and have my binding ready to go before I pick it up, I’ll be golden. 😉

Once I delivered that to the quilter, I began cutting out the pieces for my MIL’s quilt. I’m using Julie Herman‘s Lotus pattern, as I think it will appeal to my MIL and show off the contrast in her “true red and deep teal” color scheme. Plus it’s just a beautiful pattern.

The first jewel shapes. The Daylilies fabric had been in my stash for awhile, just waiting for the perfect project.

The first jewel shapes. The Daylilies fabric had been in my stash for awhile, just waiting for the perfect project.

By next week I should have a finish, and (I hope) some significant progress on this quilt to share. Her birthday is at the end of August, so I’m setting myself another deadline.

Joining the link-up at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.WIP Wednesday

 

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My First Hexies

If any of you has read me more than once, you may be getting sick of the Soy Amado blocks. But as one commenter pointed out, they are addictive. Plus, I still haven’t managed to demolish my scrap pile the way I’d hoped. AND they are a really, really great way to experiment with new techniques. This week I decided to tackle hexagons. I know, I am late to this party. No one really seems to be doing them right now, but I was busy with other projects last year when everyone else was making hexies, so here I am. 😀

At first I was feeling unsure, so I chickened out and made a wonky-hexy-cabin.001Then I got irritated with myself–I stitched more complicated seams back in my garment-sewing days, why am I hesitant about this? So I joined three and appliqued them on a background. And I was right to be irritated with me. The prints may make it hard to see, but that Y-seam looks fabulous, and lays perfectly flat.004I shouldn’t have been so cocky. The first attempt at an entire block was only mostly successful.005The poor bunnies are puckered, and I have no idea what I was thinking when it came to the off-centered-ness of it all. If I wanted to let myself off the hook, I would say that I didn’t realize the hexagons weren’t quite exactly the same size, as they came from different sources. Some were swag from Portland SewDown, some were from a Simply Style Honeycomb pre-cut, and some I cut from scraps using the template that came with the pre-cuts. But I shouldn’t let myself off the hook, because pretty much every hexagon tutorial I’ve seen mentions how much easier this is if you are careful with your cutting. And since that applies to pretty much everything quilty, I know better!

Well, I learned from my mistake, with this lovely result:006I feel good enough about this to think I may actually tackle a larger hexagon project. (That is, after all, why I bought the Honeycomb in the first place, so it’s time to follow through!)

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.WIP Wednesday

Collecting Pretty

I’d been “good” the last several months. By that I mean I’d only purchased fabric intended with specific, already-planned projects, as opposed to purchasing fabric for the pure joy of buying something pretty for my collection of pretty.  😉

Then Fat Quarter Shop sent me an email bemoaning how long it had been since my last order with them, and enticed me with a 20% discount on my next order. I’d compare them to a crack dealer, but I doubt crack dealers offer discounts. So, my latest additions to that collection of pretty arrived yesterday. I love, love, LOVE the tonal Pearl Bracelets. Maybe even more than the originals. I will definitely be buying additional yardage of several of these.

Pearl Bracelets Tonals Fat Quarter Bundle

Pearl Bracelets Tonals Fat Quarter Bundle

FQS has several of the originals on sale. Yay! (They were running out fast, though, so hurry your buns up if you wanna’ snag some for yourself.) I was also hoping for more of the gold color I used in a quilt I blogged about here, but they are out. Boooo.

The original Pearl Bracelets in green and kelly green.

The original Pearl Bracelets in green and kelly green.

I am a tiny bit disappointed with two of these last three selections. Based on photographs I’ve seen, I expected the blues in the Innocent Charm and Feathered Coral prints to be more saturated. They are still beautiful fabrics and I will have no trouble using them, they just don’t live up to my expectations of the color. Not so with the Sea Foam. Exactly what I thought it would be–gorgeous!

Chic Flora Innocent Charm in acai, Drift Sea Foam in blue, and Drift Feathered Coral in night.

Chic Flora Innocent Charm in acai, Drift Sea Foam in blue, and Drift Feathered Coral in night.

I don’t blame FQS for this. Every photo I’ve seen of these fabrics–from a variety of sources–had given me the same impression. And it isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this kind of minor disappointment. It just reinforces the fact that, as someone who prefers saturated color, I really need to see the fabric in person at least once before I buy online. I’m lucky that this area has so many good fabric stores so that I get to choose between the convenience of shopping online and the experience of seeing/touching in a brick-and-mortar shop. I know some of you don’t have that luxury.

However you buy your fabric, I hope you love it or can at least find a good way to use it. 🙂

Linking up to Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Quilts From the Attic.molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button

The White Rabbit

No time for writing today. Otherwise I’ll be chanting, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” on my way to work. Instead you get pictures of a bunch more blocks for Soy Amado. I’m at nearly 50 now. I thought I was somewhere between 20 and 30. 🙂 Most of these were created out of swag from Portland SewDown, with some bits of old and new thrown in to bring them up to size.

This is my favorite of the batch so far.

This is my favorite of the batch so far.

001 002 003 004 005 007 008

These little greenies just need their borders.

These little greenies just need their borders.

The only other thing I’m up to today is cutting block pieces for that retirement quilt I mentioned the other day. Another co-worker has volunteered to stitch one up, so less work for me. Yay!

Solid blue = Robert Kaufman Pure Organic Solids. Also here are a little Violet Craft (Waterfront Park), Joel Dewberry (Heirloom), Robert Kaufman (Fusions--this is several years old), and Bonnie Benn Stratton (Garden Botanica--this one is VERY old, but the color was right).

Solid blue = Robert Kaufman Pure Organic Solids. Also here are a little Violet Craft (Waterfront Park), Joel Dewberry (Heirloom), Robert Kaufman (Fusions–this is several years old), and Bonnie Benn Stratton (Garden Botanica–this one is VERY old, but the color was right).

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.WIP Wednesday

Poor, Neglected Blog

I was so excited to start doing this! And excited to be doing this once I started! And then life and stuff kept me away. Even from my sewing machine! *Sniffle.*

This month, however, I MUST sew. I am spearheading an effort to make a quilt for one of the managers at work who is retiring at the end of June. We selected the Sugar Snow pattern from “Vintage Quilt Revival” because it’s so pretty and because I felt it would be forgiving if blocks aren’t exactly the anticipated dimensions. We’ve changed up the color scheme, as our manager’s favorite colors are blue and green, but here is the first completed block.

At 24.5" x 24.5", this will be the largest of the pieced blocks in this quilt.

At 24.5″ x 24.5″, this will be the largest of the pieced blocks in this quilt.

It went together super-fast: under two hours from the first cut. I expect the rest to go even faster since a) I know what I’m doing now, and b) the rest of the blocks are much smaller. I’ve given materials and instructions to two coworkers, and I’m getting together with two more this coming weekend. We hope to crank out the remaining blocks (there really aren’t many–another reason this pattern was a good choice for a collaborative project), then I will stitch everything together next week. Quilting will happen the week after that. The recipient’s last work day will be June 30th. Sounds do-able, right?

Since my last post, I’ve finished these blocks for Soy Amado.

Leftovers from a baby quilt I made about six years ago.

Leftovers from a baby quilt I made about six years ago.

I just love those little duck faces!

I just love those little duck faces!

More animal print scraps from a wedding gift last year. I LOVE the versatility of half-square triangles.

More animal print scraps from a wedding gift last year. I LOVE the versatility of half-square triangles.

The quilting on these blocks is a combination of this and this from Leah Day.

The quilting on these blocks is a combination of this and this from Leah Day.

This started as four stray charm squares and two bits of jelly roll.

This started as four stray charm squares and two bits of jelly roll.

You have to look closely to see my quilting on this one, but I am pretty happy with these little flowers.

You have to look closely to see my quilting on this one, but I am pretty happy with these little flowers.

It's about 15 years old now, but I still love this uber-colorful butterfly print.

It’s about 15 years old now, but I still love this uber-colorful butterfly print.

This was a great way to use up a bunch of little bits of scraps.

This was a great way to use up a bunch of little bits of scraps.

When turned this way, these blocks remind me of rock layers. The quilting is based on Leah Day's Square Spiral.

This quilting is based on Leah Day’s Square Spiral.

Probably the most exciting thing to happen for me since my last post is that I actually received my very first quilted gift. It is so gorgeous! It came from my sister, Tina. I take credit for getting her hooked on quilting, as I gifted her with my very first completed quilt. I had to wait 15 years, but this beauty is what I got in return!

Isn't it incredible!?

Isn’t it incredible!?

I got the better end of the bargain, by far, as her skills are far more advanced at this point than mine were “back in the day.” Granted, some of these are bee blocks. She and her bee mates made most of the quilts from Elizabeth Hartman‘s “Modern Patchwork.” But I recognize a lot of the fabrics from Tina’s past projects, and as her big sis I’m pretty familiar with her taste and style, so I suspect that many of these are hers. I do know some of the bee blocks wound up on the back, either because she ended up with too many of that color, or the maker misunderstood Tina’s instructions/preferences. In spite of being “rejects” from the front, I think they are pretty fabulous. I also love that Tina changed the block layout to create the secondary diamond pattern.

Can you believe these are the discards!?

Can you believe these are the discards!?

I’ll leave you with more shots of some individual blocks, and one more of the whole.

The quilting thread is a variegated pink, orange, and purple.

The quilting thread is a variegated pink, orange, and purple.

Fish!

Fish!

"My" colors.

“My” colors.

Given how much this block stands out, the maker either completely misunderstood my sister's request, or was so motivated by these bright fabrics that she ignored them. Either way, it's one of my favorites.  :)

Given how much this block stands out, the maker either completely misunderstood my sister’s request, or was so motivated by these bright fabrics that she ignored them. Either way, it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

I simply love the way Tina created this "string of smaller diamonds" effect.

I simply love the way Tina created this “string of smaller diamonds” effect.

Gotta love a rainbow!

Gotta love a rainbow!