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 :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moody Blue - A Finished Quilt

After a nice visit home to Colorado, I'm back and ready to share my latest finished quilt, Moody Blue.

It feels very good to have this finished, and to be able to give it to my mom. I realized I bought this top five years ago, last weekend. Which officially makes this quilt my longest running project.
 Now that it's finished, I am really happy with the quilting. I don't think I'll try such a dense design, on such a large quilt, for a while. It took a long time. You can read more about it here and here.

I decided on a plain, navy blue binding, and an embroidered label (my first time doing a label this way, and I love it). You can see from the photo, my parents' deck was a little dusty.

View from my parents' front porch--The Twin Peaks in the background (Longs Peak and Mt Meeker)

I was very worried about washing this quilt, but luckily had a strip of blocks leftover. I was able to do a test wash last weekend to make sure the quilt was safe to wash. It was made of "mystery fabric" so I wasn't sure. Surprisingly, All Small and Mighty was better for the fabric than the "quilt soap" I won at last months' guild meeting.

It was wonderful to spend some time at home, and I got to see my favorite dogs. They enjoyed my photo shoot.

I'm glad quilts are machine washable, because these two enjoyed walking all over it.

I have many projects to finish between now and the New Year, I hope I stay motivated for the next few weeks--I think that vacation was just what I needed to motivate me to finish (and post about) a few of the other things I've been working on.

I'll link this week with Nini and The Sea, Quilt StoryMy Quilt Infatuation, and Crazy Mom Quilts

Happy Monday!