Or Get off the Pot

I said I would do it and then I went and did it! 🎉

IMG_7490sm

This week I was still moving a tad slow, but nowhere near last week’s level of sluggishness. And you know what? Despite the fact I was a little slow, I accomplished what I set out to do — and that’s not just quilting wise either! I got a bunch of stuff done.

I mean, that was basically my motto for the week: bind or get off the pot 😉

I finished the herringbone quilt and I think it came out very pretty. Not my very favorite I’ve ever made but damn I do love those cute little mitered corners:

IMG_7496sm

In between binding this baby I was frantically studying for a finance exam and anxiously waiting to find out if we were going to have to move out.

Well, the good news is that I made a B+ on the exam. The bad news is we have to be out of our house in a matter of days. I’m afraid I won’t be quilting much in the next couple of months ☹️

IMG_7499editsm

I’m realizing that this is the last quilt I’ll finish in our current home and feel incredibly sad. You know, when we moved in three years ago I didn’t like it at all. Everything was all wrong. It wasn’t home. It was someone else’s home with the wall colors they chose, the plants they planted in the garden, the fridge they used for their food. Their neighbors lived in the house next door.

IMG_7512editsm

Actually, okay, I flat out hated it. It was the first time we ever moved in my life and I felt like my entire world had basically been replaced by Mars. Life was so different here.

But gradually I got my footing in that strange new place. The grocery store was a longer drive to get to than back home, but we had a newfound cycling trail nearby. I lost my hometown’s fabric store but gained a real quilt shop. It was admittedly difficult to meet people but I did find a new quilting friend shortly after we moved. She has remained a close friend since then.

I was comforted by certain things. My own bed. Eating junk food that just so happens to taste the same no matter where you buy it. Throwing myself into hobbies like singing, writing and sewing. I made quilts. I sang in the shower. I stumbled groggily into the kitchen every morning to shovel some food in my mouth. And I did all those things in the new house.

One day I looked around and realized that the place I’d hated so much for so long had somehow become home.

IMG_7524editsm

Yesterday afternoon we hopped in the car and ran around looking at various houses. All I could think was how I’d do anything to just stay in our home. I wanted to stay in my room, my room with the purple walls I painted myself in an effort to make it mine (I was going for light gray but they dried pale purple. heh.). It was such an exercise in “You don’t know what you have until you lose it”.

Funnily enough, one thing that kept running through my mind was, “Will the new house have enough light for me to photograph my quilts?” You know you’re into photography and quilting when that’s actually a priority in moving.

IMG_7509editsm

I don’t know where we’ll go. I’m sure I’ll feel weird and wrong and maybe even horrible in our new house for a while. But time changes things. Life happens wherever it does, and I guess life is elsewhere now.

Advertisements

Binding Procrastination…

Okay, I know I posted last week that I was almost finished with Mr. Herringbone quilt. But…I planned on finishing it days ago and I’ve still yet to bind it. It took me forever to just make the binding, let alone actually bind the quilt. It was a bit like I was moving through a pool of Jello.

I did a semi-scrappy binding.

IMG_7285sm

This basically means that I meant to do a navy binding but halfway through ran out of navy. Minor setback, but life is full of those, so I just adapt and overcome.

I used some leftover pink fabric from the backing of another quilt. I think it worked out well, considering it uses up some stash.

I have to say that it wasn’t just quilting that I was moving slowly on. I barely did anything productive work wise as well last week. I think sometimes I get low energy and out of sync with myself. However. This week I feel a little better about things and I will definitely get it done!

Herringbone Quilt

So, remember a few weeks back when I did that boxes quilt with Gooseberry?

I somehow miscalculated the amount of fabric I needed from the jelly roll and ended up with much more strips leftover than I thought. For once, a miscalculation is good 🙂

IMG_7081sm

I’m trying to cut down on my stash of fabric so I immediately whipped up this fun and done quilt top with the leftover fabric right after I finished the boxes quilt top. Thing is, I didn’t realize how many finished tops and quilt sandwiches I would have by doing this! I had three quilts in the queue: boxes, Froot Loops and herringbone. And I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m more into piecing than actual quilting.

Now for some reason unknown to man, I decided that this year would be the year I finish every quilt I start. No matter what. Well, with my New Year’s resolution in mind, I’m “gently forcing” myself to finish it before I start on another. Heh. Over the past several days I did a pretty large meander on it.

IMG_7240s

And even though it’s a really old collection, I went with a floral/stripes print from Happy-Go-Lucky for the backing. I thought that the red roses went well with the reds, corals and pinks in Gooseberry. Almost like they were from the same collection. Plus, there wasn’t any grey in the top (nor yellow…hm…should have added that) and I thought it needed some neutral grey in it somewhere.

IMG_7246sm

Here it is, all folded up and delightfully messy looking. It called out to me to trim it.

IMG_7256sm

So I did.

IMG_7264sm
ah. that’s better.

Next up is binding time! I love binding because it means I’m almost finished and then I can wash it, and it gets that fun crinkly look from the shrinkage, and then it can be cuddled with because it’s finished and soft and warm from the dryer and lovely ❤

Stick a Fork in It

Because you can consider it done! The Froot Loops quilt, that is.

IMG_7104sm

I initially thought this quilt would take me a long time because I decided to try another free motion quilting pattern, one that was a little more involved than an allover meander. I thought a pebbles/circles design would go along well with the roundness of the Froot Loops. Surprisingly, it went faster than I thought and I was finished within a week!

Something about making the circles, one after another, all connected to each other was practically hypnotic. I sat down and just kept going.

IMG_7035sm
partially quilted

While I enjoyed making this quilt, I have come to the conclusion that I’m really a piecer at heart. It was obviously way faster to sandwich a couple pieces of fabric versus piecing an entire top and then sandwiching the quilt, but…eh. Didn’t do it for me. I found myself wishing I was working on a pieced top, to be honest.

IMG_7112sm

As much as I love the fabric itself, at one time I felt really blah about the quilt and I almost didn’t finish. I apparently get bored easily! Glad I finished it though and I do enjoy the finished quilt.

Here’s the back:

IMG_7095sm

I went with a solid sea foam green color, which matches one of the colors of the Froot Loops. I’ve only done a solid backing once before and I really wasn’t wild about it then, but wow! I’m loving how the quilting just pops out clearly on this solid back.

IMG_7094sm
I chose a coral/pink color for the binding. now this reminds me of a watermelon.

Oh, and I should mention I tried a new batting for this quilt. I usually use 100% cotton batting but I picked up some 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting for this. I found that it was a tad puffier than my usual batting but other than that it behaved generally the same. All in all, not bad.

IMG_7126sm

Fabric Ripping?!

Last Friday I took a trip to Savannah, Georgia! I go there regularly, since they have Joann, World Market, Whole Foods and a bunch of other places that I don’t have in my immediate area. It’s only about a 45 minute to an hour drive as long as traffic is good.

I normally stick to the areas where you have to drive to the stores but this time I decided to change some stuff up and see what was downtown. Of course, the first stop on the list of places to go was a quilt shop.

This particular quilt shop I went into is called Fabrika and was on the second floor, above…something, I can’t remember (oops). Anyway, I walked in and I was really excited to see that it was a modern quilt shop. In fact, what was the first thing I saw when I walked in?

IMG_20160115_152554edit

Seriously gorgeous, right?! The bolts were neatly lined up by color.

Sorry I didn’t take more pictures of the interior — I was too excited I guess. Anyway, walking past this shelf led to a bigger room that also had bolts of fabric lining the walls. There were tons of windows, letting the natural sunlight shine through. The walls were stark white, which I thought was a good idea since it was neutral and allowed the colors of the fabric to be seen without any weird tint or whatnot.

So I look around and get a few bolts of fabric. I tell the girl at the cutting table how much I’d like of each fabric and she goes, “Sure! I can do that for you!”

Then she did something that for real almost made me pee myself. She measures out some fabric from a bolt and makes a small cut at the bottom. Then she just grabs that fabric and rips it right down the middle 😮 I didn’t really know how to react so I’m like, “Uh…is that…like…accurate?” She assures me that it is and explains that high quality quilting fabric will rip straight down and it will then be “on grain”.

It did, indeed, look pretty darn accurate. I went home and researched a bit and found some interesting articles explaining it all, like here and here.

In short, fabric has threads going two ways: lengthwise (warp), which is parallel to the selvedge, and crosswise (weft), which goes from selvedge edge to selvedge edge. Fabric is “on grain” when the length of the fabric is folded in half and it lies perfectly flat.

I walked away with four lovely prints and some newfound knowledge.

IMG_7048sm
so cute!!

In addition to the practical advantages of fabric ripping, the ripped fabric sure does look all pretty.

IMG_7043sm

Froot Loops Quilt

IMG_6909

I am a dry cereal snacker. I will eat almost any cereal you can find in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. I don’t fuss around when it comes to cereal snack time either. No milk, no bowl, no spoon — it’s hand to box to mouth, baby. I’m like the cookie monster but instead of cookies, it’s cereal.

I promise this is all completely relevant to this quilting blog. See, I was at Joann sometime back in January and I saw this absolutely perfect fabric. It was — wait for it — a vintage-y Froot Loops pattern complete with Toucan Sam thrown in there!

Behold:

IMG_6861sm

I fell in love with it so fast that I couldn’t resist buying a couple of yards while I was there ❤

I mulled over it for a bit when I got home and decided I couldn’t bear to cut it up for a quilt (what if I accidentally cut off Toucan Sam’s head?), but I still wanted to have it for a quilt somehow. Backing? Nah. So I decided I would just sandwich it with some batting and backing and quilt it! Because why not?

It is, as of now, sandwiched and waiting for me to quilt it.

IMG_6916sm

A Finished Boxes Quilt

IMG_6888

I finished my gooseberry boxes quilt over the weekend! This may be one of the fastest quilts I’ve ever made. Part of its speediness was my motivation to get it done and I think the other part was that it wasn’t so big. It ended up 48 inches square, somewhere between a crib sized quilt and a lap quilt, which is a good size for me to curl up under since I’m a small person!

IMG_6870

Almost all of my previous quilts have either been hand quilted, straight lined quilted or done in a simple meandering pattern. This time I wanted to do something different and thought I’d try a new free motion quilting pattern.

First I thought about doing a brick wall type motif. I sat down and practiced on a mini quilt and then decided it was too involved for me to try to make all the rectangles. I then chose to try a “geometric meander” design (not sure how else to call it!). It’s basically meandering, but with straight lines and sharp corners instead of curves. I also overlapped a bunch of the lines instead of avoiding going over previous quilting, as I do with normal meandering.

IMG_6892

I really love how the straightness of the lines complements the crisp lines of the quilt top design.

One of the best things about trying out the straight lines meandering pattern was that I feel a lot more confident. I sort of panicked at the beginning because I had no idea what I was doing, but with a little practice it became as natural as curved meandering is. I think it came out pretty well for a first time attempt 🙂

IMG_6862
on a bed…where a quilt should be 😉

The Gooseberry Boxes Quilt

IMG_6696sm

This past week has been my last week before the spring semester starts and I really felt like I needed to do something fun. I went for weeks (okay, months if I’m being truthful) without quilting at all, so I decided to make a quilt.

Now, at first this seemed a little stupid as I’ve already got way too many unfinished quilts sitting sadly in the back of my closets. Normally I tell myself that life is too short to spend my time on something that I’m no longer interested in. But I have recognized that it is slightly hoarder-ish to continue to make and, well, hoard all those unfinished quilts.

This is why I was determined to finish this quilt before the end of the week. And I’m proud to say that I have finished the top completely and I even basted it! I just need to quilt it tomorrow and then bind it. Good thing since tomorrow is my last day of vacation.

IMG_6795sm

I am in love with this thing. I went with the fabric collection “Gooseberry”, which is so cheery and bright. It reminds me of Bonnie and Camille’s fabric collections. I hadn’t done this boxes pattern before but it came out beautifully on my first try. I was so excited to see how perfect the blocks came out too — seriously, just look at this:

IMG_6748sm

Ugh, such perfection. Can’t get over it. How was I even capable of making these?! Hardly any fraying too! Deserving of at least one show-and-tell with a crowd of people admiring their beauty, no? 😉

Sewing is just the best. I have no idea how I went for so long without quilting at all. Will update soon on how the quilting comes out ❤