Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bee Block Round-Up

Happy Sunday!

I've had a very productive January so far, and have been able to finish up a lot of my goals for the 2015 FAL (more on those soon, weather permitting).

I also finished my bee blocks for this month over the weekend, while binge-watching the entire first season of Outlander on Xfinity (I'm already on the 5ht or 6th book, and I love it!)

The first blocks I made were for Nela, our swap mama for Stash Bee, hive 6. Nela requested swamp angel blocks, in complementary colors.

I also finished up Christina's blocks for our New Quilt Bloggers bee. These two were the most challenging bee blocks I've had so far--they each had 20 flying geese in them! I love how they look though, and I love her inspiration. I can't wait to see this one finished, maybe one day (when I feel like making flying geese again) I'll make some more of these blocks, I think they look great together. If you're interested, she has a tutorial on her blog.

Cheryl (our Queen bee for February) requested a super-sized scrappy tiles block, from her own pattern. This one was a lot of fun to make--and it was super quick. I love mixing up my blue scraps to get the perfect arrangement. I've been into scrappy blocks lately, so this was right up my alley. This block was 24 x 24, so she'll end up with a bed sized quilt.


I love being in bees and swaps, but it is always a relief when I finish my blocks and send them off (it's also exciting to finish some ahead of time!).

I am hoping for better weather next weekend, so I can take photos of some of my bigger finishes in the daylight. It's still dark when I get home from work--I am ready for spring time! (but dreading the rainy hurricane season...there is no pleasing me, ha!)

Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Colorado Beauty - Finished and Posted!

Woohoo!! I finally uploaded all of the pictures I took in December, and I now have a finish to share.

I finished my Colorful Colorado/Colorado Beauty quilt just in time for Christmas, and took these on the way to the post office. (I haven't actually settled on a name)

I wrote about my process, and design for this quilt here.

It was quite windy, and my husband is a little bit short, so it was touch to get a good photo of the quilt this way. If you look at it this way (which is sideways if you look at my original plan) you can see the Twin Peaks in the blue HSTs. I grew up in Longmont, so Long's Peak and Mt Meeker are the most noticeable part of the horizon.

This was a decent sized quilt, so it was hard to get a good horizontal photo of it. I hope you can see from these pictures the "map" of Colorado, with the desert, mountains and plains. I am so proud of this quilt, and I really love how it turned out. I'm glad it went to a good home, but I am thinking about making another similar quilt.

I did straight line quilting, 1/4 inch from all of the borders between the background and the different colors. The lines are about 4-5 inches apart. I wanted to do less quilting on this one, as I wanted it to stay nice and soft.

I did a small amount of hand quilting, just in the center Colorado Beauty block (or Denver on my map).

I used an orange Juliana Horner print for most of the back. I also used up most of my extra scrappy blocks. You can't really tell in the pictures, but I did a scrappy binding, with solid navy, green and yellow.

This one was a little hard to let go of, but I'm glad it went to a good home where it will be loved :)

This was a great quilt to finish 2014 with--I feel like it was a great way to combine a lot of the things I love into a special quilt for a good friend, and my favorite place. I got to use a lot of my scraps (I'm shocked by how many I've accumulated in the last 9 months!). I also think it's a good representation of me as a quilter. I really enjoyed the process here--playing with scraps, and coming up with an original design, and I am so happy with the result. It turned out much better than I had pictured it. I can't believe how far I've come since my first quilt back in April!

This week I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Finish along - Quarter 1

As part of my New Year's resolutions, I really wanted to clear away the clutter, and finish up my WIPs. My goal for the new year is to finish most of my WIPs early on (I don't have many!) and leave the rest of the year for newer projects.

Luckily, a few of them are so close to being done...and I should have a few done in the next week or two (I hope!).

I am joining the Finish Along with Adrianne at On the Windy Side, in hopes that a link up and potential prizes will motivate me to finish some of the things hanging over my head.

1. My first project is finishing my modern maples quilt. This is from my New Quilt Bloggers bee. As of today, it is quilted and the binding is sewn on the front. I just need to sew the binding down to the back, bury some threads, and wash it. It's backed in flannel, and I cannot wait to cuddle under this one on the couch. South Florida winters are short! It has dropped to 60 degrees at night here--for me that's cold enough to need a flannel quilt.

2. My supernova friendship swap quilt. I'm so close to finishing the hand quilting. I am trying to finish this one in the next week or two. I think the final link-up is at the end of the month. Also, I just really want to have it done, it's so bright, and will be my new "sofa quilt."

3. My carpenter's wheel quilt. This one needs two more borders (just solid). I received the backing fabric this week, so I'm hoping to baste it soon, and get started on the quilting. This one will be going on my bed, so I really want to finish it soon!

4. A beach tote, for my mom and sister. They're stopping by in Ft Lauderdale before leaving on a cruise in a couple weeks. I hope to have this finished by then, so they can take it with them. I have the fabric ready, and a plan. I just need to cut and sew.

5. My 2nd Moneta. I made one last summer, and bought the fabric to make two more. They never got made. I want to make at least one in Q1. I chose springtime fabrics, so I want them to be ready for spring.

6. My AMH Art Student Tote. I got this pattern, and the Priory Square fabric for Christmas. I am hoping to improve my bag making skills a bit, and finish this one. I love the size of this bag, and know I'll get a ton of use out of it.

7. Rainbow wall hanging (based off of the Fiesta Wall Hanging in Quilting Modern). I am making this one for my local modern quilting group's exhibit in the Broward Quilt Expo in March. I have started piecing it, but need to have it finished by mid-February. Luckily, it's small.

8. Flying geese quilt for my brother. I am trying to make an improv style flying geese quilt for my brother using my 'manliest' fabrics. I haven't pieced anything, and have only cut a bit. This one is a huge stretch for Q1.

9. My AMH Feather Pillows. I made a few extra blocks when making bee blocks for Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. The plan is to re-do a couple of my sofa cushion covers with these. This is a small project, so I may just save it for mid-March, when I'm feeling like a loser for not finishing anything (ha!). Luckily, this one could be finished in an evening or two.

I think this is enough to keep me busy, and I'm hoping that I will make a dent in these projects (or finish them!). Most are either small projects, or nearly finished projects, so I'm optimistic!

Wish me luck!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday, January 2, 2015

Winter Trees: A Finished Mini

I can't believe it's January 2nd, and I already have a finished quilt:

I made this as part of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. I was inspired by these blocks I made for Jill @ Pie Lady Quilts for our online bee. These improv trees were so much fun to make, and I thought it would be fun to make a quilt using the same block. 

My partner seemed to like nature inspired quilts, and blues/greens, so I thought these would be perfect for their quilt. Along with the improv trees, I made some blocks with birch style trees to break things up a bit (inspired my Crazy Mom Quilts)
I decided to quilt this with wonky square/spirals.

I love how the yellow tree stands out! I called it winter trees because the blues and newsprint made me think of winter. Also, there are no leaves on the trees, which seems wintery to me.

For the binding I just used solid blue, I can't remember which shade this is...and just a tiny bit of Kona Grass. For the back, I used a leftover Juliana Horner print from the backing of another quilt. I know it doesn't match, but my partner likes orange...and it's going on a wall :)

This is my first swap, and my first mini. I'm really happy with how it turned out--I hope my partner loves it too! I also had fun trying something new (thanks Jill!). I'm also looking forward to seeing what I get in the mail later this month!
Hope everyone had a very Happy New Year!
Because it's Friday, I'm linking with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Quilty Resolutions for 2015

Happy almost New Year!

Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl is hosting a linky party to share your quilty resolutions for 2015. I thought this would be a good chance to reflect a little bit, and make some new goals for 2015.

15 Quilty Resolutions for 2015

1. Make what I want to. Quilting and sewing are my hobby, and my way to unwind after work. I want to make sure I'm valuing my time, and work on projects that make me happy.

2. Play more. My favorite projects have been those I've done while just experimenting and playing around. That's what makes me happiest. I like the lack of structure in my creative play time :)

3. Use the fabric I love (while I still love it). I'm worried about turning into a fabric hoarder! my goal this year it to use the fabrics I've been collecting, and not hoard them--there is always going to be more fabric. I also know my tastes will change, so I may as well use it up, before I stop liking it.

4. Learn to make more bags and clothes. I have a few bag and clothing patterns that I really want to try. I love making quilts, but it is good to try different things. I would love to expand my handmade wardrobe.

5. Make some things for the apartment. I've been promising my husband a new tea cosy and oven mitts for the longest time. I'm sure I could make them in just an afternoon, I just need to sit down and do it.

6. Finish the quilt for my bedroom. This was the reason I learned to quilt--I wanted a new duvet. Every time I start a new project, my husband asks when I'm going to make our quilt. This one is high on my to-do list.

7. Try new things and work outside of my comfort zone. This one is still pretty easy for me--I only started quilting in April, but I do want to keep learning new things and challenging myself. My favorite projects have been those which have stretched my abilities, and made me try new things.

on that note....

8. Learn to FMQ. I will learn, or at least try to learn, to FMQ this year. Even if I only try it on teeny tiny mug rugs and potholders, I'm going to do it.  

9. Finish more things. I do not like having WIPs, they keep me awake at night. I feel much, much happier when I have fewer than 3 projects on the go. My WIP pile stresses me out. I hope to get a handle on them very soon.

10. Be involved. One of my favorite things about quilting is the quilting/blogging/instagram community. Not only do I love the bees and swaps I've been involved in, but I love having the quilting support community (and people who are interested in talking about quilting and sewing!)

I think that's enough for me for now. I've had a great sewing year this year, I've had a lot of fun and I've learned a lot. I can't wait to see what next year brings!

And because I think this needs a quilty picture, here is my favorite, not yet blogged about, quilt from this year:

It was a windy day here in Hollywood

How about you? What are your resolutions for next year? Be sure to head over to Yvonne's linky party to see what everyone else is up to.

Have a very happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Latest Adventures in Bag Making

Hello again blogging friends.

I hope everyone has enjoyed a nice holiday season. I can't believe my 4 day weekend is already over, and I'm back to work tomorrow. I didn't do much holiday sewing, and it's been pretty quiet around here, so I've gotten a lot of sewing done (I've also eaten a lot of chocolate and cheese).

Now that I've gotten more experience under my belt, I've decided I want to try making bags. My first bag attempt was earlier this fall. I made Noodlehead's Cargo Duffle to use as my new carry-on/overnight bag.

I really love this bag. It's the perfect size and shape for me to use as a weekend bag or a carry-on -- not too big, not too small. I'm able to hold two changes of clothes, and my makeup bag for a long weekend. As a carry-on I can fit a jacket, my tablet, a snack and my EPP supplies. The front pockets are very handy for smaller things, like my phone or wallet.
I would highly recommend this free tutorial, it was great for a beginner like me. I think her patterns are very clear and easy to understand. Now that I know a little more about bag making, I think I would add a few extra pockets to the inside if I made it again.
I also learned to make a boxy pouch last week. This one was a pattern I got from an older issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting.

I was able to make this one in about an hour and a half--which is pretty quick for me. Now that I've done one, I think I could make the next in less than an hour. I ended up using this one as a Secret Santa gift at work, and filled it with chocolate. Pouches are very useful though, I'm sure I'll go back to this pattern again!

Now that I'm getting the hang of inserting zippers, I think I'm ready to make something a little more complicated. I got a couple of patterns for Christmas, and I'm anxious to open them and make things. Do any of you have a favorite bag or pouch pattern that you'd recommend?

Happy Sunday!

This week I'll link up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Colorado Beauty

Since we got back from our Colorado Thanksgiving break, I've been working to finish my very exciting Colorado quilt top. I am very excited to finish and gift this one! I hope it's done in time for Christmas.

I wanted to make a Colorado inspired quilt, and thought it would be a little boring to make a pixelated quilt in the shape of Colorado (a rectangle). I got a lot of inspiration from pinterest, and decided to do a quilt that looked a little like a map of Colorado, with the desert, mountains and plains.

I started by making these improve/scrappy squares in different color groups. Red was for the western desert/red rocks, purple & blue for the mountains, and green & orange for the plains. I haven't been quilting for long, so I was very surprised at how many scraps I had from the last 6 months..


I turned all of those squares into HSTs and started playing on my design wall. My plan was to have a star where Denver was, and have the rest of the HSTs arranged randomly on the rest of the quilt.

While I was playing, I realized I had made a Colorado Beauty block in the center. I decided to keep it--it went perfectly with my theme :) and I drew up the plan for the entire top.

To plan the top, I printed out a map of Colorado and drew a grid on it. Then marked off my center block (the Colorado Beauty block) in the Denver area. The rest of the HSTs just framed it.

I finished up the top and basted the quilt today:

It was hard to get a good picture in my living room, but I'm really excited about this one.

This quilt represents a lot of firsts for me--my first scrappy quilt and my first roygbiv quilt. I am also in love with the design! I love the colors, the layout, and how this represents Colorful Colorado so well. I am already planning another one for myself, though I don't think I'll do all of the scrappy squares. I need a good rainbow bundle.  

I'll leave you with one more photo of Colorado before I go:

The Flatirons in Boulder
 Happy Sunday!

This week I'll link up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced,  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

And before I forget, I've also joined instagram (kateyates8). I've been posting a lot more of my WIP posts there, because I'm a lazy blogger :)