Friday, July 29, 2011

Farmer's Friday - Almost Midnight Edition

Things have been a bit crazy for me around here. But even with all the chaos I was determined to get one block done.

We'll ignore the fact that I sewed it twice.

Stupid triangles.


Not perfect. But better.

Here's a omg-its-midnight-and-there's-no-good-light shot of my blocks so far:

I took 10 pictures....that one came out the best. Sadface!

Someday I'll catch up...

 I'll leave you all with a pic of some Halloween fabric I found in Hancock's...I've almost convinced myself I'm going to go buy it.

When will I ever see that combination on fabric again?! Even if I don't use it I will be able to say "I've got a wiener dog...in a witch hat...on a broomstick. Oh and there's skulls. Pumpkins. And Polka dots."
Win.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WiP Wednesday - Oh hai Batman!

I made a deal with myself y'all. I would not under any circumstances sit down to do this WiP Wednesday post until I had Batman Bags...

I'm really surprised that it's not midnight right now...Seriously.

Roundup:


New:
I'm so proud. I didn't commit to anything new this week. There were a couple of things I thought about but I know I need to clear things out. 


Ongoing:
Hexalong: Fabric choices a go-go. I might throw some ideas up on Flickr to see what the group things.

The ugly chicken project: I have an idea! I'm drawing up hexie templates this afternoon. I just need to decide on size.


KQAL: I've got the batting for this. I still need to re-piece the top and make the back for it. But the end is near!


ZZQAL: The next step went up! And it's cutting so I'll have that banged out within the next couple of days.

FWQAL:



Made some more progress. I'm still terribly behind. But that really isn't phasing me. I know that there will be weeks where I'll do three or four blocks and that'll catch me up quick. I love this QAL more and more each week. 


Mother's Keeper: Are you really surprised to find that it is still just a quilt top? Ug.


On hold:
Bottled Rainbows: This is coming off the hold list soon. If not next week then the week after.

Non-Quilt Projects:
Batman Bags: Holy finished bags, Batman! Yes *bags* with an 's'. I figured since I was sitting down to do one I can just do two. That way I've got a backup.

Really nothing fancy since they're for my guy. I can't tell you how glad I am to have these done.

WiPs: 6
Completed: 1


Even though I've got a lot of projects at a standstill this still feels like a week of progress for me.
Get on over to Lee's and link it up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Thought Process

I think I might have an idea y'all.

It came about in a completely roundabout fashion...but it just might work.

Remember that chicken fabric? And the other random chicken fabrics that keep appearing in my life?

Here's a pic again to remind you of the fabric that started the chicken chaos:

....Chickens chickens everywhere. I think I've somehow acquired 4 more pieces of chicken fabric after I got those first ones. I'll have to check.

Anywho...throughout the course of the day I was thinking about what to do for that contest at my LQS. I hate not having solid ideas. 

Then I was talking to a friend about how awesome my mom is because she sent me a box of charm squares from her stash.
And in it I found a square with bees on it. I love that square. No reason why. Just instant love.

Two hours later I was thinking about starting hexies soon and gathering more fabric for it because I want to make a queen size.

Which led to me realizing an hour later that a hexie quilt looks like a honeycomb (not the most original idea..I know..) and maybe I'd also like to make a hexie quilt that had random bee hexies in it.

*Then* an hour later it hit me that chicken wire looks hexie-like to me. And I can do a quilt-as-you-go hexie wall hanging incorporating all those chicken fabrics. 

Yeah. Yeah? 

The only thing I'm unsure about now is that red fabric. My first instinct would be to change it to a green fabric that would look like grass. But that just doesn't seem crazy enough for me. 

At least it's an idea. 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Machine!!

I have a short shift at work tonight so I was planning on doing some sewing today.

Then my phone rang. Normally I ignore it except that the name of one of my LQS was flashing...

And my machine is ready!

So I'm off to the shop. Which I guess isn't exactly "local" seeing as how it's 45 minutes away. But my machine is worth that drive.

So...No sewing today. (I really need to just decide on some hexie fabric so I have that project to take with me for breaks at work). But I get my baby back.

That's still a win to me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Farmer's Friday

I got brave. I sat down and had a lil' talk with the temporary machine (which I named George)

George agreed to be nice to some FWQAL blocks.

Kinda.

One of the blocks is kinda crooked 'cause George ate a couple of corners. So I decided to do the blocks a lil' out of order for this week and not chance my luck with more than two (and certainly not try #7).

Block #6 and #8.


#6 is obviously going to need some trimming (thanks George....) but I am insanely proud of #8. 

Progress feels good. I love these blocks. I'm itching to do more but George needs a time-out. 

In other news I got goodies in the mail. 

I won a scrap pack from Sew Fresh Fabrics at Lily's Quilts. This pack is amazing. That picture is maybe 1/4 of everything in it. Every time I glance at the stack I see a new piece of fabric to fall in love with. I certainly think I can start Bottled Rainbows now. Some of this might also end up in her Hexalong ;)
Thank you Lynne!


I also got a box full of scraps from a sweet sweet person over on Craftster who was moving and didn't want to tote scraps with her. I've barely opened the box....
Oh hello chicken fabric....

I'm really trying not to take this as some sort of sign.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WiP Wednesday - Triangles are not my friend.

Honestly, I kinda sorta don't even want to count this week. My loaner machine is a beast and there's triangles everywhere.
But I for one have always liked when my artistic/creative friends have shown me the disastrous parts of the process. So I'm doing that here. Because I like you guys.

Roundup:


New:
Hexalong I'm still driving myself crazy over fabric choices over here.

Ongoing:
The ugly chicken project: I got nothin'. I taped the fabric up on my wall to taunt inspire me. It's not working.

ZZQAL: I'm caught up. Yay! I posted pictures for it last week

FWQAL: The shop still has my machine. And there's a million tiny triangles on my desk that I don't trust to the loaner...I'm afraid of this machine, y'all. I can be a big girl and admit that. It's loud and clunky and I think there's a monster in it. 


KQAL: I got brave and tried to catch up. It went....not so well...

I went from "a little off" to "umm...crap" to "Ahhhhhh!". The "ahhhh!" is the part near the top of this picture. I've got to get up the nerve to become friends with the seam ripper again. 

Mother's Keeper: Still waiting to be sandwiched. 

On hold:
Bottled Rainbows: I need to just jump into this. I would like something finished before breaking out this fabric. (Although that didn't stop me from doing the Hexalong...but still....)

Non-quilt projects:
Batman Bags: I'm still convinced Batman killed my machine

WiPs: 7
Completed: 0

Head on over to Lee's and link it up! 

I certainly hope that y'all's week wasn't as failboat as mine ;) 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hexalong - Fabric Choices

Oh man...I'm jumping in big here. But that's kinda my style.

There's a Hexalong going on over at Lily's Quilts. It's hosted by Lynne and Gayle.

I've been watching hexies pop up on my blogroll and my flickr and my twitter for a good two weeks now. They've worked their way into a corner of my brain and taken up residence. Which is funny really...

Story time!

Almost ten years ago, nineteen year old me was going to college in Minnesota. Quilting was something that my mother did. I was imagining myself a painter at the time but I'd still sew garments on my machine. One of my friends learned that she was going to have a baby. So I glanced through magazines at the bookstore and saw a cute little I Spy Quilt done in hexagons. I jumped into it.....
Bad idea.

I built this blanket so backwards. I was machine stitching them...in rows...then trying to sew the rows together. It was lumpy. It mixed cotton fabrics with poly/cotton fabrics. By the end I was so frustrated that I tied it together instead of quilting and bound it with blanket ribbon that I got at Wal-Mart.

I swore of hexagons and quilting.

And now here I am.....
Five WiP quilts.
And adding a hexalong to the mix.

I'm excited. Actually excited. It's crazy to think that new quilting projects can make me so insanely happy. And I don't lose that momentum through the project. Every piece, every step...it's awesome!

I am agonizing over fabric for this hexalong.

I thought about I Heart
But I'm really just digging on the robots and not so much the flowers.

Next I considered 1001 Peeps until I realized that this line would be absolutely perfect for a pattern that is in my stack of To-Do projects.

Maybe Far Far Away...
Picture from Heather Ross' website

Except that my craft budget is in limbo until I learn how much my machine is going to cost me. Plus I want something brighter....

I just don't know! I really don't. 

I'm half tempted to Hodge Podge it. Some robots, the one piece of Heather Ross fabric I have in my stash, some Peeps.
I'm just wondering if I can find twenty-some pieces of fabric that work together...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Farmer's Friday

Does cutting count as progress?

'Cause if it does...I'm golden.

Remember that broken machine?
Here..I'll give you a pic again..
With the reverse lever broken like that my machine will not sew a stitch. It does not move. It's mad. And it's been at the repair shop almost a week.

I checked on it this morning. Hoping that I could get it back and still do some blocks this afternoon. I have a Pfaff. It was the only brand of sewing machine that anyone thought existed in Minnesota. I went to college in Minnesota and bought this machine my second year. I love him. I think I'm the only one that loves him...the shop has no Pfaff parts. So I've got to wait for a new lever because some chunk of mine broke off in the back. Grrrrr.

So...yeah...Farmer's Wife blocks....
I prepped for three!

Prepare yourself for a horrid cellphone pic (because it's 9pm and I just got back from the grocery store...and Oz stole the camera cable again. So tomorrow I have to find it). 
That's a lot of triangles.

I do have a loner machine but it's kind of a jerk. It's much more accustomed to sewing garments...that are made out of leather and canvas. It tries to eat small cotton triangles like some crazy monster.

It also tried to stab me. No joke. 

I'm rather frustrated that I didn't sew any Farmer's Wife blocks this week. I love this project. 

More catch-up for me to do next week, yeah? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WiP Wednesday - With a still broken machine

I miss my machine. He needs a name. I don't know why I think it's a boy...just feels right.

Roundup:


New:

I'm still haunted by the chicken fabric. Here's a new pic with the other fabric I need to use with it:


Ongoing:

FWQAL: Up to four blocks still. Woo. I'm still surprised about how in love with this long-term project I am. I'm finding myself frustrated when I don't get a chance to work on it. Still planning on making updates on Fridays.

KQAL: 
A basket of all my prints. Joined and ironed. (I was forced to iron the night the machine broke in order to still be accomplishing something. I think my machine and my iron are planning...)
Still behind on this. I should have my blocks put together this week. I'm really not used to my loner machine yet, though.


ZZQAL: 

Look at those pretty strips. Yummy. Can't wait for the next step on this one. Who would have thought I'd like a rainbow quilt?


Mother's Keeper: Still need to piece the back. I caught an amazing sale on batting though so the second I get that back together I'll be working through this.

On Hold: 
Bottled Rainbows


Non-Quilt Projects:
Batman Bags: I don't even want to talk about it. This is the most doom filled project I've ever done. You know what I said right before my machine broke? "Oh man..it's still early..30 more triangles and I'll sew some bags today." *machine dies*
Maybe it wasn't triangles that killed my machine. But Batman....

WiPs: 6
Finished: 0


You guys know the drill. Head over to Lee's and link it up. It'll give you the chance to totally show everyone how you're better than finishing things than me. ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stupid Triangles and Not So Cute Chicken Fabric

Triangles broke my machine.

Maybe this is what I get for sewing at midnight, but I do a lot of my sewing at midnight. Everything is quiet and no one is up to call me or ask me to do something other than sew.

I was trying to catch up with the KQAL. And I got my stack down to about 50 before I was about to go to bed. "Just five more," I said, trying to be kind to morning-me that would sit down to sew again.


"No. No more. EVER!," said my machine who clearly hates triangles. 
We'll see how much it costs me to get it fixed. I hope it doesn't take long. I do have a backup machine but it's clunky. I usually use it for garment construction when I'm using canvas/leather. It likes to eat cotton. 

In other news, I've been staring at this chicken fabric for a week now:

It is nothing that I would have picked up on my own but it's the required fabric for a contest at my LQS. I have no idea what to do with it. Seriously. 
My dreams are haunted by perky country chickens. 

I think I need help...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Farmer's Friday

Oh man, it's still Friday right?

I've been losing track of days. It happens when I stay up late. I've found myself cutting Farmer's Wife pieces at about two in the morning for two nights in a row now. It's peaceful. Just me and my Halloween fabric.

Oh..and Oz....

He normally only goes after my fleece. Or felt. In fact I've designated a red piece of felt as Oz's felt. It's always on top of the stack and it's always the one he lays on while I sew.
Every single time I get my box of Halloweens down he jumps in it and tries to dig to the bottom. I got proof this time.

I'll blame him for not having as many blocks done as I want.

We're going to call this 3.5 since I haven't appliqued the handle on the basket. I've since moved it to my nightstand so that I'll remember to do it this weekend.

It's really not a bad start. This is a long QAL and I'll be caught up soon enough.

The more blocks I put together the more I start to believe that using Halloween fabric wasn't such a crazy idea after all...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WiP Wednesday -'I didn't make the Batman Bags' edition

It's Wednesday again!

This one is bursting with some major progress on one project to the almost complete exclusion of all others. Huzzah? Maybe?

Roundup:


New:


Farmer's Wife QAL: As mentioned on Friday, I joined up with the FWQAL. I'm slightly sad to say that my catch-up attempts this weekend were some epic fail.
I did one block.
One.

It's something right?

I'll have more blocks done by Friday. I might do one tonight. I obviously need to trim that one. The bottom is a lil crooked. Stupid triangles...just line up.

Ongoing:


ZZQAL: 
That is an overflowing basket of strips that need to be ironed. But I caught up! Except for that ironing part. I have the most busted ass ironing situation right now. I'd take a picture...but I'd fear you'd all laugh at me. It's so jacked that I burn myself. Constantly. Someday we'll move and I'll buy a grownup ironing board. 

KQAL: 
Uh...yeah...
I'm noticing a trend here. Where I work on one QAL and ignore the other. So they're getting alternating weeks. But you see that...I have put it right next to my sewing machine. There is no way I can ignore it. Unless I put it into the *Corner of Abandoned-but-I'm-Still-Promising-To-Do-Them Projects* (which will be highlighted below).

Mother's Keeper:
I pieced this whole top this weekend. It went much much better than I expected. With some sewing machine issues that we're just not going to discuss....because they were all my fault.
Close-up teaser pic as proof:

On hold:
Bottled Rainbows

Non-Quilt Projects:
Right then. You know those Batman bags I mentioned last week?
And that Corner that I mentioned above?

The fabric was sitting on top of the Top Hat. I pulled it down for the pic...then immediately put it back in its corner.
That Top Hat has needed some glue for...oh I don't know...5 months now? And that's a felting project that I want to do in the tupperware. But felting is annoying. And it's not fabric.

My darling even asked about the bags this week. As I was working on my mom's quilt.
Clearly, I didn't do them. I'm blaming the holiday weekend. Or the iron. That iron just causes trouble for everyone.

Seeing as how I told him that I'd have them done by June and it was July, my sweetheart decided it would only be fair to not let me have any ice cream. 
Totally uncalled for.

It's alright tho'. I'm going to Whipstich. Which is right next to the best panini store in the whole wide world. And I'm gonna send him a picture.

Then maybe come home and sew some Batman bags.

WiPs: 5
Finished: 0

Friday, July 1, 2011

What's in the box? Is that....? Oh yes it is.

I did it. On top of the two QAL that I have right now. And the Bottled Rainbows. And the quilt for my mother. And the two patterns that I dreamed of and I’m trying to design (Do you see why I don’t write to-do lists? They could cause a panic attack…or waste a lot of paper). And the contest that I signed up for today. (I think I have a complex where I feel unproductive if I’m not working on five things at once. I should seriously look that up).

I signed up for the Farmer's Wife QAL.

I couldn’t help it. The day I heard about it I went to Joann’s to get some fabrics for KQAL. All of my fabrics were on sale so I had an still unused 40% coupon. Of course I wanted to find something. Can’t just walk out of the store. That poor coupon would feel unloved.

On a whim, I browsed the book wall. I don’t know what the book wall looks like at your Joann’s but at mine…it’s a war zone. Books are on top of each other, sideways, in piles on the ground…there’s no “quick” browsing over there. I looked for about 5 minutes. Then I gave up. And was just going to get another ruler. As I turned to leave the section, I tripped over the book.

It was the Farmer’s Wife Quilt Book.

Clearly…this was a sign. So I bought it. Then I spent that night flipping through it trying to decide if I just wanted to pull from scraps as I’d seen people in the group..or….what….

This…is where the box comes in.
Let’s take a peek.


Is that? Could it be? Oh..yes….yes it is.




That is a twelve pound box of Halloween fabric. Since I was in college I’ve been collecting pieces of Halloween fabric. I honestly didn’t think I had that much. It all ended up in some Rubbermaid container at my mother’s house. I had her send it to me…and I’ve been pulling pieces out in joy for days.
I have never found a project good enough to justify my precious precious Halloween fabric.
Until now.

I am making my entire Farmer’s Wife quilt in Halloween fabrics. Straight from my stash….and the occasional FQ I pick up like the two I grabbed at the shop today. I can't resist buying Halloween fabric. 

I know that I’m 10 blocks behind but I’ve got a long weekend and I’m honestly hoping that I can catch up.
I’ve been thinking about this quilt all day. I printed out the templates before work. Then in a moment of brilliance went to get them laminated. They wanted $3 a page…at 15 pages…..My brain screamed “That’s at least 4 yards of fabric!”

One trip to Wal-Mart and $5.76 later, I’ve got a DIY method.


So tonight I’ll be laminating my templates. Because 1) I never found that damn template plastic. And 2) I figure these templates are going to get a lot of use between myself and my mother. I can’t stand the idea of printing them and cutting them out and transferring to plastic…or freezer paper…or cardboard. Too much paper cutting! So I realized I could just laminate the paper. Lasting templates.

Hopefully…

I'll be making progress reports every Friday on here. I just like the idea of Farmer Fridays. 

So that, my dears, is what was in the box. An absolutely insane project.

How can any girl go wrong with 111 blocks made out of Halloween fabric tho'?


Linking this up to Lily's Quilts because it's a FWQAL edition of Fresh Sewing. And I did spend an insane amount of time in June deciding on this fabric for my FWQAL.

Fat Quarter Friday - July

It’s Fat Quarter Friday. Which means I’ll be running down to my local quilt shop to get some great deals on fabric.

In honor of my favorite day of every month (seriously $1.75 per FQ, I’m in love)I thought that I’d transfer that schedule over into my blog. This means the first Friday of every month I’ll be making a post that features our favorite quilting currency.

That’s about as defined as I want to make it right now. Some FQ Fridays will feature giveaways while others (like today) will just show FQ Friendly projects. I’m working on some of my own designs and tutorials as well. So far, that’s all I’ve come up with. Anything y’all would like to see?

July’s FQ Friday isn’t a quilt but it’s super cute. I normally avoid purses like the plague. I have owned one and that one was a gift. I think my southern guilt allowed me to carry it for about a month before I threw it in the closet. Yet I was recently involved in a fabric swap and this pattern was featured on my recipient’s wist.
Something told me that I should make it. Even though it was a purse. I’m extremely glad I did.



This pattern was extremely FQ friendly. I pulled both of those out of my stash. After cutting I still had pieces left over for the scrap bag. 
The only thing I needed from the store was a magnetic snap closure. With my handy dandy 40% coupon I spent $2 making this bag.

Made by Rae has detailed instructions including step by step pictures so I'm just going to jump to pictures of my finished bag. 



Who would have thought that a purse would be a fun afternoon project? I'm certainly not saying that I'm going to start carrying one around myself but as gifts go I see myself making this bag again in the future. 

That's it for the first FQ Friday. It's a short one but there is that sale at the quilt store for me to get to...

And don't worry...I haven't forgotten about the box. That post is coming up this evening.