Monday, April 30, 2012

Becoming a Quilt-a-Long Junkie

So, what's one more quilt-a-long? Yep, I did it. I joined the Patchwork Prism quilt-a-long which is based on a pattern designed by Anna Marie Horner for Janome. No matter that I'm fully involved in two other quilt-a-longs. There's always room for more. There are many, many reasons for joining this one...
   - Anna Marie Horner - What can I say...I'm a big fan.
   - Janome - My sewing machine is a Janome and I just love it.
   - It's a stash buster, which is high on my list this year.
   - It's a color challenge.
   - I'm going to make it a charm challenge too, meaning that no fabric can repeat in the quilt.
   - There are some super cool prizes to be awarded at the end of this quilt-a-long.

My color muscle needs a bit of exercise and this quilt-a-long is just the thing to do it. You can learn all about it by clicking on the button over there on the right side. And one more reason I'm participating is the on-going quest to clean and organize my sewing room. Fabric selection is supposed to be completed by May 8. Here's what has happened in my sewing room so far.

All of my blues are refolded and sorted. Above that are all of my Kaffe Fassett scraps, again all refolded and sorted by color. I intend to use many of these in this new project. And just to give you a bit of perspective, here's a picture that shows what the neighbor cubbies look like:

Don't worry, I'm not abandoning my other cherished quilt-a-longs. In fact, I have officially completed half of the blocks for the New Your Beauty quilt along.

It's okay. I've accepted it. I am a Quilt-A-Long Junkie.

Monday, April 23, 2012

New York Beauty QAL Progress

Four more pretty blocks to share from the New York Beauty Quilt Along. I started timing myself to see just how long each of these little boogers was taking.

It takes at least 30 minutes for me to choose fabric for a block, then another 1 1/2 hours for piecing time. So, being the kind of girl I am, I decided to change the order of the blocks.

The quilt along sort of goes back and forth between an easier, then a more challenging block. Since I want to make progress at super-human speed, I'm going to start with the simplest block and work up to the hard ones. That should at least make me feel like I'm making faster progress, for a while.

I am very pleased with most of my color choices, even though every now and then I get the tiniest urge to supplement the stash with a little something new. Resistance is far.

Here's how they look on my design wall most of the time. I can keep up with my progress better when they are all neat and orderly.

But sometimes, I just have to play with them a bit. That's when I get really excited about where this project is going. This one is definitely going to be a keeper.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break and Some New York Beauty

My sewing room looks like this because my younger two kids are out of school all week. Since I just started a new job in January, it is a bit soon for me to take time off. They are in good hands, though. Dad is taking a spring break with them. There is a list of possible activities hanging on the refrigerator, and there has already been some progress on the list.

Adam has wanted to spend the night under my cutting table ever since it was installed, so I cleaned everything out from under it this weekend. Even though it is a large 4 foot x 6 foot space, it wasn't quite as fun as he was thinking. Both boys are getting on up there in size so tiny spaces end up being a bit more cramped than they imagined. There were a few hard head clunks and I didn't give them enough covers to stay warm through the night (it was hot when they went to bed). It was an adventure for both boys and I don't think I'll hear that request again. Check that one off the list.

Today when I went home for lunch, I was told that the trampoline "almost broke" because of all the crazy jumping. The beginnings of a bird house were under construction in the driveway, too. I think they are going to have a fun week.

I've been making small steps of progress on my New York Beauty blocks. The quilt along just started week six which means I should have 24 blocks by the end of the week. I have finished eleven and plan to focus on this project all week long.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Ugly Fat Quarter

 This is what happens when I don't listen at our guild meeting. At the meeting two months ago, someone said, "We're going to do an ugly fat quarter exchange," and that's when I stopped listening. I don't have many fat quarters that haven't been cut into, and I certainly don't have any ugly ones, at least they aren't ugly to me. So right then and there, I decided that I would not participate in this activity.

Fast forward a month to our next meeting. "Everyone who brought an ugly fat quarter, or one you aren't sure how to use, turn it in." Wait. It didn't have to be ugly? It could have been one that I wasn't sure what to make with it? Okay, I'm intrigued, but I didn't bring one so I'm still not participating. And then it happened. "If you didn't bring a fat quarter, but want to participate, several people brought extras." Quilters are so generous. I don't move or raise my hand. I didn't plan to participate so there's really no need to jump in now.

Then Holley hands me a fat quarter. It's beautiful. It has a white background, bright colors, and birds. I want to keep it. I don't want to trade it. I don't want to participate. But others saw her give it to me, so now I have to play. I reluctantly go to the table to turn in my beautiful-not-ugly-in-any-way fat quarter and then I hear someone say, "You will receive a different fat quarter from the one you turn in. You won't know who it belongs to. You are to take the fat quarter you receive, make something with it, and bring it to the next meeting."

This is fabulous. Some wonderful person is going to make something for me out of my beautiful-not-ugly-in-any-way-with-birds-on-it fat quarter. And it gets better. The fat quarter that I received is a fabric from a collection that I have many pieces of in scrap form that I didn't know what to do with. A double win!

So this fabric, from Sandy Gervais' Red, White, and Bold collection by Moda, became a festive table topper. I've wanted to make one of these ever since I saw it in the book On the Run by Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures. There will be a matching set of six coasters, too. The specific piece that started this project is the cream print with red and blue flowers.

I can't wait to see what the beautiful fat quarter so generously given to me becomes. Our next meeting is this Saturday. I will most definitely be listening.
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