Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Stalled

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

I'm stalled.

On Black Friday, Mom and Gracie and I visited Tiny Stitches in Marietta to shop the sale and spend some of the awesome gift certificates I had received. I fell in love with some gorgeous flannels, and decided to whip up a quilt for my father-in-law. I made him a quilt for his 60th birthday, but it's a wall hanging. He is frequently cold, so I wanted to make him something cozy.

These navy and gold and white flannels were perfect. I knew I could piece a quick Disappearing Nine Patch in no time flat and, hopefully, have Lene quilt it for me in time for Christmas.

And then I stalled. This happens so often and is the reason for my many UFOs. (We won't go into how many. Ahem.) The top is finished and, though maybe a little muddier palette than I originally imagined, looks great. The flannels are so soft and warm. Lene had time in her schedule. So what stopped me?

Piecing the back.

Now that the top is done, I've done some calculations and realized I don't have enough fabric for the back. I don't know if the fabric shrunk that much when I pre-washed it or if my 6:30 AM Black Friday brain did bad math, but there's just not enough.

I have some extra squares of the other flannels that I could piece in, but I'm completely stuck trying to wrap my brain around the best way to do it.

I'll bet that for each of my UFOs I could name one stumbling block that brought work completely to a halt on a perfectly good quilt. I just need to sit down and sketch it out so that this one isn't added to the pile!

What causes you to stall? How do you get over it?

***Edited to add: I had this entire post written and set to automatically post when I read this AWESOME solution by Diane Knott over at Butterfly Threads last night. It's like she read my mind. Thank you Diane!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Royal Squares or Christmas Wishes

Happy 2016

I'm so happy to be blogging again and hope not to disappear on you again. More on that later, but first I wanted to show you my latest finished quilt!

I started it on retreat back in August when none of the projects I had brought with me were going well. I found this antique jelly roll of Legacy by Howard Marcus that I had picked up at Sweet Home Quilt Shop back in 2009.

A quick search found this perfect pattern for free over on Craftsy - it's called Royal Squares by Emily McClendon. I didn't have a suitable background fabric with me and contemplated a run to the fabric store, but one of my retreat mates generously offered me two yards of this fantastic white-on-white dandelion print that she had just picked up. I was able to get almost all of the blocks together on retreat before I ran out of white - it turns out the the two yards was almost certainly only one and a half. A search for more ensued, and luckily we were able to find enough for me to finish the quilt and replace the two yards from my friend's stash.

Several people asked what the quilt would be for, and I honestly didn't know. It occurred to me that the quilt might make a nice Christmas gift for My Middle Child's girlfriend. They've been dating for over two years now, and we absolutely love her.

When searching for the back I stumbled across another dandelion print in Minky that was perfect. I wouldn't have to piece the back, and the quilt would be so cozy. I decided not to add batting, and to quilt it in this gorgeous, pale blue thread from Aurifil called Mint Ice (2800). I just did a random meander with some loops and hearts thrown in. It's not my best quilting ever, but it sinks into the Minky so beautifully and crinkled up exactly how I was hoping.

I wasn't sure how to bind the quilt. When I made Gracie's Minky quilt, I used satin blanket binding which, quite frankly, was a huge pain. While searching for possible solutions I ran across this tutorial by Pam of Hip to Be a Square Podcast way back from her episode 4! I still had a few questions after reading the tutorial, so I re-listened to the episode. It was so fun to hear Pam and Zapper again! But Pam's method worked perfectly, even though I wanted a much more narrow binding than she used.

Although it wasn't finished by Christmas, it is done while the kids are still home for Christmas break. I'm calling that a win. I am calling the quilt "Christmas Wishes" and hope that all of this sweet girl's wishes come true.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Houseworks Holiday Plan - Week 10 - Cooking Spaces Week></a><br />
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It's Week 10!  I've completely abandoned my schedule for the last couple of weeks. It's been busy at work and busy at home - which adds up to a house desperately in need of a deep cleaning, dogs who need grooming, bills that need paying, and a sewing machine with a layer of dust.

Weeks 8 and 9 received some nominal attention yesterday, so now it's time to forgive and forget. Moving forward: this week is supposed to be a deep clean of the kitchen and cooking spaces. We are a little ahead on this since we purged the pantry and cabinets back on Week 4 (when we were supposed to be cleaning the master bedroom, which is still not pretty).

We definitely need to do the safety check; the smoke detectors were recently replaced, but now is a good time to stock up on cold & flu supplies. No one wants to have to make a midnight run to the drug store when one of us is sick!

We don't host Thanksgiving, but I am perusing recipes for what to bring to each house. I'm also using Punchbowl to send the invitation to my MiL's.

I haven't checked in with you in awhile, so let me know how it's going, what one thing you've done better than last year, or what challenges you are facing.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Happy Birthday Nana!

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's post is very late and not a project. It's a nod to the woman who most influenced my interest in sewing, my Nana.

Nana was my maternal grandmother. Nana would have turned 100 years old tomorrow, on Halloween. She was born at home in a little house in Glasco, New York, the oldest of thirteen brothers and sisters. She married my grandfather - a younger man! - in 1939 when she was 25 years old, practically an old maid in those days. Their marriage lasted 66 years until she had to say goodbye to him in 2005.

She was a first generation Italian-American who worked in a sweat shop making women's clothes for most of her life. Nana sewed on a Singer sewing machine that went so fast it scared me, but which never sewed quite fast enough for her. She was used to the speed and power of a commercial machine.

Because of her skill and experience, there was no more particular judge of the quality of commercial garments. I remember her looking at the inside seam of a dress and shaking her head at the way a pattern didn't line up perfectly or how poorly a garment was finished. Although she never turned this critical eye on my work, I was always nervous when showing her something I made.

She made many things for me in my life: doll clothes, a red plaid poncho (it was the '70s!), a yellow bathrobe that Grace once wore for the 100th day of school (she was supposed to dress up like a 100 year old lady), and so much more.

Nana was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; she was a seamstress and an excellent cook; she always had her hair done and wouldn't dare wear a skirt without a slip. She was feminine and modest, but also honest and direct. I'll never forget the time I heard her use the F word.

But mostly I hear her voice in my head when I'm working, urging me to do my best and even rip out a seam or two that could be better. I'm proud to carry on the legacy of needle and thread, and to pass it along to my own daughter.

I am so thankful that I had her in my life long enough to have known her as an adult, and for my children to remember her.

Happy 100th birthday, Nana! I miss you so much!

Do you have an old mature holiday craft to share with us this week?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Houseworks Holiday Plan - Week 7></a><br />
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It's Week 7!

How did you do last week with your wardrobe? After the quilt show closed Sunday night, I spent the rest of the week catching up and didn't make much progress with my extra stuff, but now I'm ready to get back to it.

This week we're focusing on the master bathroom and the linen closets. I don't keep many extra linens around, but I do know that my guest bath towels are about ready to be replaced. I'll also be keeping an eye out for a new dining room table cloth. The one I have isn't that bad yet, but I'm to the point where I'll replace it if I find a bargain.

My master bath is due for a deep cleaning. Once again, our room is the one that gets put off until last. It will be nice to have drawers and cabinets clean and organized.

I'm trying to get my shopping done for the California side of the family. They are the only ones whose gifts I mail every year, and shipping early saves a lot of money and stress!

What have you checked off your list that makes you happiest so far? What is nagging you to still be done?

Friday, October 10, 2014

FAL Q4 Goals - Just a Formality

Finish Along 2014

I'm linking up my list for Q4 of the Finish Along, but at this point I accept that it's only a formality.

The only item on my list will be the Spider Web quilt (again!), and I know there's virtually no chance I'll get it done by December 31. That's because I have a super secret project that HAS TO be done by Christmas. That project can't go on my list because I haven't even found fabric I'm happy with.

So here's the picture of my lonely UFO, which will still be a UFO in 2015.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Home Sweet Home

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's project is another quilt my mom made. This one was for a guild challenge a few years ago, and the requirement was that it have a home on it somewhere. Mom decided to let Gracie draw different types of homes, and then applique blocks from the drawings.

These turned out so cute! One was a birdhouse.

One was a dog house, featuring a beagle in memory of our sweet Divot.

One was a tree house.

One was a teepee. This quilt is not very big, but holds so many memories of Gracie and Mom's crafty escapades. Mom gave it to Grace, and I'm sure she will treasure it even more when she is older.

I'm sure you have an undocumented quilt in your house that needs its own blog post, so link up!

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