Thursday, August 29, 2013

Better Than The Sum of The Parts

I am on a roll with zip bags.   I don't know why, but Julie's tutorial just made it seem so easy, and it really was. 

This one was made from 5" squares, so it is four times the size if the originals.

I used a stack of squares that I rescued from a very poorly pieced lap quilt top I bought in a bunch of stuff at a church sale. The squares were cut perfectly, but the seams were the wonkiest ever, so I 'unsewed' them. The fabrics were not ones I would likely purchase, but my goal was to use it to practice some "dot-to-dot" quilting from Angela Walter's Craftsy class. 

The squares were a great size for the designs that Angela teaches, and now that I finished it, I don't even notice the individual fabrics. They just all kind of become a color pattern. 
After I filled it, it began to take on a box shape, so I am thinking about possibly adding a snap to the ends so that it would stay that way.  

One change I made with this bag is that I quilted the lining to the pieced shell so the seams inside are raw edged.  I don't think that will matter, though, as this size will more likely be used for closet or shelf storage.

I plan to make a couple more of these bags. I think they will be good fmq practice and since they zip, they will keep the dust out of whatever is inside. 

How  do you use 'ugly' fabrics?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stash Update - Week 34

There was lots of quilt related activity this week and even a tiny bit of fabric used in a finish.

I finished the top for our guild challenge. The reveal is next month, so I have a couple of weeks to get it quilted and bound. I will wait to show you until it is finished. It is not really too exciting, but I did try a new technique, so that is a plus.

After putting the top together, I really wanted something with more immediate gratification, so I used Julie's  Moda Bakeshop tutorial to make this little zip pouch.   I used a mini charm pack from QuiltCon and a fat eighth from my stash for the lining.   I practiced some free motion feathers in the quilting.

It was so fun, I used some extra squares from the challenge quilt to do another one!  I used an orange peel pattern for the quilting in this one.

But, the big news is week was the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild fall retreat on Saturday!  We sewed from 9am to 8pm with short breaks for lunch and dinner. So much inspiring fun!  

I worked on some string blocks for a Quilts of Valor project, organized by Alycia at Alycia Quilts. I finished 20 and they are packed and ready to send to her on Monday!

I also worked on my Penguin and Fish blocks. I finished all the ones I originally stitched, but I purchased a few more this summer and I am going to add a couple more before I stitch them onto a quilt top. 

It was loads of fun to sew with friends and so inspiring to see what everyone was working on!  I didn't sign up for last year's one day retreat and I remember thinking that it seemed like a lot of trouble to pack up all my projects so that I could sew somewhere else for a day when I have such a great sewing space at home.   

Now I know it is totally worth it!  It requires project organization and commitment to work on what you take and that means progress on long neglected WIPs!

Used this week-  3 yards for foundation and strings in the QOV blocks and a half yard in each of the two zip pouches.   Next week I hope I can report the challenge  quilt and make a bigger dent!

Fabric added this week - 0 yards
Fabric added YTD - 75 yards
Fabric used this week -4 yards
Fabric used YTD - 64 yards
Net Stash change -+11 yards

I am linking up here, just to stay on track!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stash Update - Week 33

Blogger tells me that it's been 76 days since I started this post, so I guess it's been that long since I finished any projects.  It feels good to have something to report today!

This week, I finished the 'Eye Spy' quilt and so I can report the 2.5 yards for the front, and 2 yards for the back and binding.  I used Carla's tutorial which adds a lot of energy to the block arrangement.

I pieced the backing from some of the leftover layer cake pieces and some remnants from JoAnn. It was wide enough to cut binding strips from what I trimmed off after I quilted it.   I makes a very scrappy effect!  I like it a lot better, now that it is finished.

I have also been  working on a guild challenge today, so I hope I have another finish before too long! 
Fabric added this week - 8.5yards
Fabric added YTD - 75 yards
Fabric used this week -4.5 yards
Fabric used YTD - 60 yards
Net Stash change -+15 yards 

I am linking up here to try to stay on track!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sewing Something!

I finally got back to the sewing machine!  

Craftsy sent me an email with a screaming deal discount  (75% off!) on a class of my choice.  I guess they do that if you haven't signed in for a long time.  Their strategy worked, and I am glad because I had been wanting to enroll in Leah Day's class "Free Motion Quilting a Sampler". 

It was my intention to take the class and use it as a guide to quilt the top I made in the "2012 BOM" class, but I had resolved not to enroll in any more classes until I finished all the ones I had already paid for. 

 I couldn't pass up the deal, though...

After watching a few lessons, I was really itching get started, but first I had to get some organization reinstated in the sewing room. I made good enough progress to have a modicum of workspace, even though I still have loads to tame. 

I basted my eye spy quilt first, because it is smaller and because I had a back all ready to go.  I didn't really have a quilting plan in mind, but I didn't want to stipple or pebble, because they both bore me to tears and it is hard to stay consistent. I decided to try Leah's 'echo shell' which is kind of a Baptist Fan variation and do an all over design. 

I will just say that I made every error possible.   It is not a quilt I am emotionally invested in, though. It was intended to be a charity quilt from the get-go and it will be a good quilt for dragging around, making a tent or spilling things on. 

Of course, I got a bit better as I made my way through the quilt and I identified some areas for improving my set up, so I am feeling pretty good over all.   I am  finished with the quilting.  If I can finish up the binding today,  I might have some stash usage to report this week.

Which is good, because I added some this week   I just couldn't pass up Heather Ross' "Briar Rose". And, I bought a fat eighth stack of "Bluebird Park" a new Moda line that is super cute.  That makes about 8.5 yards I need to work off!

I better get to it!