Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Finish - For the Love of Sewing!

The day has finally arrived... my 2014 Skill Builder quilt, For the Love of Sewing, is officially FINISHED!!!
The capitals and exclamation points are 100% warranted here... at least in my opinion. Not only did I meet my March Goal for ALYOF, I surpassed it by completing the borders and the binding too. For those of you keeping track, I was #124 on the Goal Setting Party.
I know you're distracted by all those lovely bolts in the background, but try to focus a little, dear reader! This quilt is 15 months of hard work... finally complete.
Yup, I actually embroidered the I ♥ Sewing in that hoop!
 The infamous rotary cutter block that confused more than a few people when I posted about it!
I can't believe how well the sashing came together... it was one of my biggest fears of this project, that and all those different FMQ motifs!
  Quilt roll à la Dominique! It shows off some of those colour snippets in the binding.
Couldn't resist playing with all the lovely props in the workshop!

The Deets
Title: For the Love of Sewing (Pile O Fabric's 2014 Skill Builder BOM)
Size: 56 by 51½ inches
Konas Used: Capri, Coral, Emerald, Medium Gray, Papaya, Pepper, Shadow, White
Quilting: Quilt as you go, Free motion using Gutterman (Colours 610, 390, 687, 110, 462, 10, 102, 20) 
Binding: Kona Shadow with pops of Capri, Coral, Emerald, Papaya, and Pepper, hand stitched with Aurifil 2600
Backing: Assorted Konas listed above
Favourite Part(s): Taking an on-line class and finishing it, learning and applying techniques that scared the scrap out of me
Read about the process: here(Aug), here(July), here(May), here(March), here(Feb), & here(Feb)

I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by Simply Pieced, as well as the March Finishes Party for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I'm three for three!
Now on to Technicolor Galaxy - the 2015 Skill Builder BOM!


P.S. Many thanks to the lovely Chris of Patch Halifax who allowed me to play with my quilt and camera in her shop on a sunny spring day! And to Alyssa from Pile O Fabric for creating such a wonderful on-line course. I learned so much!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Extra

People sometimes ask why I make things, such as when I opted to make GT's Geranium dress instead of heading off to the mall to buy her one. The truth is... I'm a maker. I like making stuff. I like to proudly say "I made it myself" when people comment on one of my projects.

But there's another reason... one I alluded to in my post about GT's dress. It's corny and dorky and sappy... not really adjectives I'd use to describe myself. But here it is.

There's extra love sewn in.

When there is someone in need of healing or comfort or a miracle or whatever, I want to make it better. I want to make them something - a little something, a big something, something. I think about that person all through making the item. I send them positive thoughts as I sew.

There's extra love sewn in.

And that's why I started a new project this week instead of tackling one more item on The List. It's not my story to tell, but a friend needs something... and a quilt is what I can give beyond words of support.

I cut a big 'ole pile of 5 inch squares in Kona Pearl Pink. Pink? Yes, pink. Remember - this one's not for me, dear reader.
 And I cracked into two Moda Charm Packs I had hanging around. I know, I know.... more pink.
To achieve good scrappy distribution, I used the Shake n' Bake method. Toss those squares in a bin with a lid and shake. (Insert Taylor Swift song here.)
This Charm Pack had me fooled with that pink & orange print on top. I found quite a few prints that were more my style in the pack.
 Slicing up the nine patches... scary but satisfying.
I love how quickly this pattern (Charm Pack Cherry - a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop) comes together. Before too long, the blocks were up on the design wall ready to be sewn together.
What? A WIP Wednesday Finish? Yup. Well, at least the top's finished. Which is good since I'd love for this quilt to get to it's forever home as soon as possible - with as much love sewn in as possible.
That's honestly how high the snow bank on the side of our driveway. The quilt's not huge, but even still! We're about done with winter in these parts...


P.S. I'm linking up today with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, as well as WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced . Pop on over and see what everyone's working on this week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Something that scares me...

Okay... I've said it before. Finally attaching the blocks from my 2014 Skill Builder quilt scares the scrap out of me. But I set it as my goal for ALYOF this month, and my overachiever self hates not to meet a goal that has been made public. So last Friday night, sh!t got real, yo.

I primed myself by laying out the entire quilt on my design wall. I stared it down for a few days... building up my courage.
I read the instructions (more than once) and watched the class video (more than once). Then I got down to it. Yes, that's two different kinds of glue hanging out on my ironing board. The instructions called for glue basting, so glue baste I did!
 And not too long after, this happened! My first sashing strip... and I didn't even have to rip anything out!
This is probably my favourite part of QAYG sashing... inserting that little strip of batting. I don't know why, but it brings me joy.
So much stitching... every ¼ inch of the sashing. We shan't discuss how many bobbins I had to wind. 
It's like finishing this quilt was all I could think about for 4 days. Obsessed. But finish it I did.
You all know I hate trimming a finished piece. I was tempted to leave the 3 inch border strips alone, but I had purposely not fully quilted them so I would be forced to trim. The lengths I go to to...
I capitalized on sleeping DT and kept on keeping on - to make my binding. I've followed the letter of the law on this quilt (figured I wasn't going to learn many new skills just doing things the way I've always done them), but I couldn't bring myself to glue baste the borders or the binding. Enough already. Pass me the Wonderclips.
Can you believe it? This bad boy is all ready to have the binding hand stitched. No, I haven't gone completely to the dark side, Dominique. I was tempted, just so I could finish this one ASAP. But a lot of time and effort has gone into this one. It's well worth the hand stitching.
Stay tuned for a Finish, dear readers! It's coming soon. And the photoshoot will likely feature snow... given that we got another 50+ cm dumped on us today!

I'm linking up today with Let's Bee Social with the lovely Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts, as well as WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced. Hope all my Nova Scotian quilty pals turned this Snow Day into a Sew Day.... and that they had their #stormfabric close at hand. ☺


Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Mother of All Sunday Stashes

Okay... I went a little overboard. Take a deep breath, dear readers. You are about to be overwhelmed by fabric-y goodness. Feel free to pet your screen (or come over for a visit, cuddle a twin, and pet it in person).

It all started when I decided I could no longer do without the new Kona colour card and that I deserved a little treat for all the long hours I've been working. LOL.
Don't worry... they're not all for me. I did a public service and ordered on behalf of some of my MMQG peeps. It's the length of my ironing board - Six pages of Kona-y goodness! If you're looking for one of your own, check out Fabric Spot (They're found, oddly enough, in the book section!)
And dang it all... didn't some Cotton & Steel fall into my virtual cart? Oops! Oooohhh... ViewFinders!
And then Sew Sisters had a flash sale... 20% off all yardage. AND I had a gift certificate. A deadly combination to be sure. I started out with a selection of Kona 2014 colours.
Malibu, Titanium, Heliotrope, Grasshopper, and Limelight. And then this caught my eye - a mini Hex'nMore ruler. Do I have a project in mind? Nope! ☺
And then some Ann Kelle prints fell into my virtual shopping basket. How does this keep happening? Those bunnies will make some very cute Easter clothes! And the unicorns? Well, they're unicorns. Enough said.
Flannel pirate jammie pants, anyone? I see some BBBP (Big Butt Baby Pants) in my future! BT is gonna love these!
 Ah... kiddie prints have such lovely selvages!
The second installment of my Christmas present from the Z's rolled in too! Another FQ bundle from Fridays Off Fabric Shop.
There's Adornit's Patchwork Arrow in White and Acorns Falling in Blue, as well as some Dear Stella Confetti Dots in Tomato. Don't you just love these Lewis & Irene Foxes in Red, Brown, and Grey?
And the lovely owner, Alanna, made a special effort to include some tasty selvages. Talk about special! Thanks, Alanna!
I think my fav of this bundle might be Patchwork Arrow's chevron-y-ness. Reminds me of a certain pillow I've been working on!

And then my actual birthday rolled around. And Patch Halifax had a SALE! I just happened to be there for a MMQG meeting. This print from Carol Friedlander's Doe line called to me!
As did this Cotton & Steel print on lawn. I've already made it into an infinity scarf! It didn't last 24 hours as yardage (or meterage... we are metric after all!)
Guess what else happens on one's birthday at my LQS? Double discount! Yup... this pile of Kona 2014 colours happened.
Top to bottom: Watermelon, Grellow, Niagra, Astral, Gumdrop, Geranium (and I picked up some Cabbage a couple days later!)

I've got two options here.
1) Blame everything on the Month of the Dark Lord (as February is known at my place of work). It's a dark, dark time and needs the acquisition of fabric to perk things up.

2) Own the fact that I bought myself a big ole pile of fabric-y goodness to celebrate my birthday month.

Either way, I am linking up this colossal treasure trove of fabrics with Sunday Stash hosted by the incomparable Molli Sparkles!
Molli Sparkles 
Yesterday when I stepped out into the March sunshine, it sure did feel like spring was here. We'll see if I need to keep self-medicating with fabric...


Saturday, March 07, 2015

ALYOF - March Goal

Ack! It's the last day of the first week of March! I have a mere 12 hours remaining to link-up with A Lovely Year of Finishes' March Goal Setting Party. I've been dithering... I want to chose a goal that challenges me, but not one that is so onerous that I fail to complete it. January and February's goals were both relativity small. Okay. I'm screwing up my courage and going for it.
I'm going to turn these in a finished quilt. You can read about some of these blocks here, here, & here. With last month's goal being to finish the last three, it seems only natural to keep on rolling. But I'm scared, people. It's been all well and good to FMQ these blocks as I made them, but now I have to wo-man up and put them together.
I'm scared. Check that off the list for today. Goal declared. Let's see what happens by month's end! I'm linking up with the March Goal Setting Party....


Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday Finish - Geranium Dress

Himself, DT, and I are planning to head to our favourite downtown hotel for Sunday Brunch this week-end. It's quite swanky. ☺ Of course, GT needed a dress for the occasion!
I used the Geranium Dress pattern from Made by Rae. She's the genius behind the Big Butt Baby Pants I made for DT a while back. Honestly, Rae is a gifted pattern maker. There are pages and pages of detailed instructions and clear, precise pictures. And I got it as a digital download. In mere minutes, you too can be making something lovely. No searching your LQS or the interwebs for a printed pattern.

I said it about the Big Butt Baby Pants, but it's worth saying again. These patterns are well worth the cost. For 10$, I got multisized patterns from 0-3 months to 5T. There are 2 skirt styles, 3 sleeve styles, and 3 neckline options. In one short cutting and sewing session, I had made the lined bodice (yup, that's Kona Bahama Blue peaking out) and patch pocket.
The only troubles I had were purely user interface issues. Like believing I can make .62 m of fabric stretch for a pattern that calls for a yard. Silly me. I opted not to cut the skirt piece and used my trusty cutting mat & rotary cutter to prepare the pattern pieces.
Since I HAD to pop over to my LQS to get more fabric (It's a Bird's Life by Heather Rosas), I went a little wild and bought the Dritz Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers. I thought these would be hard to install. Nope!
 SO much easier than buttons and pesky buttonholes. I may have a new addiction!
Someone said to me this week "Why don't you just buy her a dress?" 
Silly people. Don't they know that there's extra love sewn into this one?
I'd be linking up with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts only she's taking some time away from the 'ole social media. So, I'm popping over to TGIFF @ Quokka Quilts.  Now let's hope GT doesn't spit up on it before we even get to the hotel. ☺


P.S. This is not a sponsored post... I didn't have to be paid to say nice things about this pattern. I really feel that way!