Monday, June 29, 2015

Welcome Garden Pillow

Hello!

I hope you are all handling Summer ok. Here in Seattle it is just so hot. I know, I know. It's only in the upper 80's and low 90's but for this Arizona girl, I am uncomfortably hot. It must be the humidity....

Anyway, with the advent of Summer comes the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop and Mom and I took full advantage of it last week. We visited 16 stores and I was continually amazed at how at each store there was always something new; fabric we had never seen, a different take on a quilting motif, fun little gadgets to make sewing and quilting easier. It was both overwhelming and inspiring to the imagination.

One of the great things about the Shop Hop is there is fabric made just for it and each participating quilt store makes a block; when you visit during Shop Hop, they give you all the pieces to make that block. Sometimes the fabric isn't my favorite but this year, it's kinda nice and I think will look lovely in Autumn.


I walked away with 16 block patterns, some fat quarters and the Farm Girl Vintage quilt book. I'm a  little in love with Lori Holt's book but I will get to that in another post!

In the midst of all this Shop Hopping, I was able to finish my Garden Welcome sign to completion! I started it last year and finished the cross stitch part back in September but with the move to the new house, I wasn't able to do anything with it. 

I decided to make a little happy pillow out of it with the idea if I ever wanted to frame it later, I probably could. 





The green fabric came from my stash and the mustard-y polka dot fabric is an older Moda fabric; someone had made napkins out of it, decided they didn't want it anymore and gave them to me and I put a couple to good use! 

What do you plan on finishing this week? I hope you are able to stay cool while doing it!

Happy Sewing!

Kate

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thoughts on my 2015 Goals at Six Months

Back in January I wrote about how I wanted to focus on improving my craft and to pay finer attention to details, especially finishing details. In many ways, I feel I have gotten better at taking my time (I tend to rush through things) and to enjoy the process.  Honestly, I think the denim quilt is awesome and I'm really proud of the quilting I did on the Daisy Chain. I think if I had rushed through both of those projects, they wouldn't have been so nice.

However, somewhere along the line my thought process became "I couldn't work on anything  except for the project at hand."  This was all well and good until three-quarters of the way through the Daisy Chain Quilt, I just hated it. All my energy was being focused on quilting straight lines and I was bored. But I didn't want to work on anything else less I put down the Daisy Chain quilt and not pick it up again for a year (or more!). So I forged ahead and made some small mistakes I might have caught if I had taken a day or two or a week off just to re-focus my energies and come back to the quilting with a fresh eye.

I also realized that living and dying by the Lottery isn't feasible in many ways. Last week I decided to make a pillowcase to match the Daisy Chain quilt; that was nowhere on The List and if I had put it there it could be months or years until it got picked!



Or what about on Mother's Day weekend, when my oldest daughter asked if we could make a rainbow pillow together. I told her to draw a concept pillow, had her pick out all the fabrics and then she sat on my lap while we sewed it together. I would have missed out on an awesome moment with her if I and said, "Sorry, honey, I'll put that on the list and you can hope it gets picked soon!" That would have been ridiculous!





Or even the Star Wars blanket I made for my son for his birthday (admittedly, it only took an hour)? He loves that blanket!



Or these cute pillowcases? I was so inspired by the picture on Instagram, I knew I had to make them immediately. And then again for my mom! And I'll probably make one for my sister as well! They are just too cute.



So what does this mean for my 2015 challenge?  Honestly, I'm going to keep it. I like the idea of not starting new projects until I have completed the ones I started but I do have to be easier on myself and allow for small projects to get done; I've found these small projects drive my creativity and challenge my skills. Plus, I've completed more than 10 projects so far this year. That's pretty good for me!

I'm gonna keep on plugging' away and I hope you are too!

Happy Sewing!

Kate

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wonky Stars

Well, hello! I've kinda had a big uptick in readership this past week thanks to Crazy Mom Quilts (btw, if you haven't checked out her site, go now. She makes some just amazing stuff and, without her knowledge, has really inspired me)!

If you are new here, welcome! I'm Kate. A little background: I started this site a few years ago in order to document all the projects I had going and to force myself to finish projects I had started and never finished. This past January, I challenged myself further by not allowing myself to work on anything new until I had completed all the projects I had either promised other people or I had started and never finished. After six months of that challenge, I have definite thoughts on how well it's going but I'm going to write about that in Thursday's post.

The next item that was chosen from The List, was to do something, anything, with these wonky stars. A few years ago I took my second quilting class and made this sampler quilt. The nice thing about this quilt was if your squares weren't perfect (and mine definitely weren't), you could adjust the sashing (the orange fabric) to make up for less than stellar cutting/sewing. As you can see, I used a lot of sashing in some areas.



These stars were originally supposed to go in the corners of the quilt but, for whatever reason, they never made it. I held onto them and figured I would do something with them and a few weeks ago I decided to start making my sewing area look nicer and thought I would hang these around me!




I quilted just inside and outside each star, made a little holder for a small dowel and practiced my hand binding technique.


Someone insisted on having her picture taken while I was taking pics of the stars. How could I say no?
I did learn, though, no matter the size of the project, using binding clips helps enormously. I think the binding would have come out much nicer on one of them if I had used my binding clips.







Here they are in all their glory! The walls in my sewing area are lined with real wood and it kind of feels like a cabin, so I feel like these stars fit right in with the decor! It's nice to have my handiwork on the walls as well. :)

Another project finished, which always feels nice! 


Next up: thoughts on my 2015 challenge to myself and adjusting my attitude! 

Happy Sewing!

Kate

Monday, June 1, 2015

Daisy Chain Comleted

Hello!

I know, I know. I haven't been around much. I have all the excuses in the world but mainly I have been sewing my little heart out and just didn't have the inspiration to blog.

I finished the Daisy Chain quilt and I am pretty happy with it. More than happy; I'm kind of sad to give it away but I know that my niece will enjoy it.


I decided against putting borders on it; I can't remember why I originally made that decision (sheer laziness?) but am ultimately glad I did. I also took a little bit of a risk in binding it in black. I think it gives it a nice framing effect.

Now, lots of photos!









The piecing and the quilting were done by me. If I was to do it again the only thing I would change would be to do a stitch in the ditch of the all the crosses in the middle but I do like how they kind of blend into the rest of the fabric. 

To date, this is probably one of the biggest quilts I have done and I'm proud of myself. 

I have finished quite a few other projects on The List but I will be sharing them over the next couple of weeks. I challenged myself in the past six weeks and have set up some goals for the summer but I will talk about that in later posts. 

What are you planning on getting done with summer? 

Have a great week of sewing!

Kate

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Quilts, Pillows, Seedlings and Vintage Sewing Machines!

Remember I wrote last time about how I was thinking of taking a break from the blog and the whole Lottery? Well, it seems as though I just needed a break from the Daisy Chain quilt. I got it all quilted and have buried the threads on the front but still need to bury threads in the back.

It has been sitting on my pink wingback for the past 10 days or so, unused, unloved and unfinished.


Just taking up space and a visual reminder of what I need to finish constantly in my face!


The back of the quilt looks super cool to me!

I really needed a break from the gargantuan task that was quilting this bad boy. During my little break I decided to make  a pillow for living room for summertime. I was inspired by @daisycottagequilting on Instagram. She posted a picture of a pillow she made and I was immediately smitten. I recreated it a couple of days after I saw hers.
My version
I had a 5" charm pack of "Fresh Flowers" by Deb Strain that has been calling my name since I bought it last summer. I knew when I saw Sharon's pillow I would be using that charm pack to make my own. The yellow gingham I bought at a thrift store (they were curtains) and the red border is "Vroom" by Avlyn Inc. I loved how my turned out! 

During my quilt break I also got real serious about my garden outside. I built an 8' x 6' raised garden (and am going to build another this week) and dug out all the garden fabric that was under where I wanted to place it. Here are some of the plants I will be putting out soon!

Cucumbers, zucchini, butternut squash!

I've realized that I am trying to live out my childhood fantasy of being Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now all I have to do is get my mom to make me a sunbonnet and I will be set!

I also may have made a tiny purchase:


I got this little guy from a thrift store (desk included) for only $18. Granted, who knows how much I am going to have to sink into it in order to get it work (Oh yes, I'm going to restore a sewing machine!) but it will make me so happy when I do! More info on the sewing machine later!

It's a new month and I hope to get a few things finished before Mom comes to visit next month and we head off to the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop. I am already planning our route!

What do you want to get finished this month??

Happy Sewing!

Kate

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