Thursday, June 16, 2011

WiP Wednesday

I have many different projects that could be considered works in progress. These include projects that I have already started to sew, have cut fabric for, or have purchased fabric for. Then there's a whole list of projects in my head that I'd like to do relatively soon. And of course the "someday" list, something like a quilting/sewing bucket list.

Right now I have three or four "main" wips.

Although I haven't blogged about it yet, the desire to make this quilt for my mother in law is what caused me to take my first/only quilt class, which led to me falling in love with sewing, making quilts, and collecting fabric.

The creation of this quilt left behind A LOT of scraps, to the point that I would probably refer to it more as "a surplus of remaining fabric." So quite a while ago I chopped most of the scraps in to 3 1/2" squares and planned to make a square that featured 3 1/2" squares around two sides of a 6 1/2" square.

My mother in law really likes lighthouses, and my inlaws have a cabin on Lake Superior, so I decided to make the 6 1/2" square a consistent lighthouse fabric. I did find and buy one fabric at Hancock Fabrics, but ultimately it looked so cheap that I couldn't force myself to include it in a quilt I'm going to put a lot of work in to.

For months I kept my eye out for lighthouse fabric, mostly online as there's no LQS here. I haven't found anything I could say I even like. Mostly just prints I don't hate. Hardly an endorsement.

Several weeks ago I started seeing more patriotic fabrics online and in a couple stores I was able to visit. Then while at The Fabric Patch in Ironwood, MI I was able to see some of the Red Rooster Quilts of Valor fabrics in person. Everything clicked! My surplus of scraps quilt shall not be lighthouses, but patriotic.

I got several prints there, and picked up a couple more yesterday at My Favorite Quilt Shop, including the Marcus Bros Quilts of Valor multi-colored stars fabric I've been lusting over online.

The original plan was to make four squares a day, and I did really well for the first three days, but I haven't made any since then. I'm hoping to get more things organized and really crack down on these next week. Maybe I'll even get some time in on Sunday.

The other project that has been taking me away from the fireworks quilt is this spooky Halloween tree, my interpretation of a pattern in Boo Davis' book, Dare to be Square.

I am using Boo to You by Riley Blake scraps that I have left over from making the boys' 13 Days of Halloween hanging pockets (also a blog post for another day). I really love how this is turning out. With a white tree and Laura Gunn Painters Canvas in Gray for a background, I think this one will look a bit spooky. This will be a great quilt for our spare bedroom, and it is also a test to see how well I can enlarge the pattern for another quilt I will be making this fall. I feel like progress has been really slow on this, but I have been consistently plugging along. Part of that feeling is probably my impatience to see this one done. I'm really excited!

My other wip is the The Farmer's Wife Quilt Along, hosted by Amanda and Angela. I thought I had several Anna Maria Horner Chocolate Drop fat quarters that I had picked up at a clearance/reduction sale at Herrschner's about a year ago. This fabric has been burning a hole in my brain, as I tried to figure what the heck to use it for. When I started seeing posts about the FWQAL, I saw that many people intended to use modern fabrics, mostly scraps. I haven't been quilting/sewing very long, and I don't have a deep enough scrap bin. But I do have a lot of fabric!

I dug out the Chocolate Lollipop fabric, and it turns out I have half yards. This is great! Considering the estimated 8-10 yards needed for this quilt, I should have plenty, especially since I plan to add solids in too (mostly white, a fabric I rarely use, but I think will calm down the wildness of some of these prints). An added bonus - the Herrschner's sale didn't have much left this year by the time I got to go - but they did have some Chocolate Lollipop fabric for $1/yd! I bought a bunch and now I have a great chunk of backing for this quilt.

I haven't sewed anything for the QAL yet, which puts me about four weeks behind. With two squares a week, that "only" puts me 8 behind, so I'm hoping that, if I haven't caught up by early July, that will be the time to do so. Someone, please inform my boys and get them to understand this.

I do have eight hsts that I made on the spur of a moment one night when I was learning to use Thangles. I'm planning to use those in one of my first squares for the QAL.

Well, that's my first post for WiP Wednesday.

Phew! I've been wanting to do that for awhile. I hope you enjoyed and stuck with my through all those words and pictures. I'll get better at writing more efficiently the more I do this (hopefully)!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced

(Okay, I want to...still trying to get the button to work...)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Road Trip "Out East"

This morning the boys and I jumped in our car and spent the day on the Eastern side of the state. We visited two of our favorite families, ate lots of good food, spent time outside on a beautiful day, and made it home safe (and only about three hours later than I had originally planned).

I even worked in a quick stop at a new (to me) quilt shop. My Favorite Quilt Shop is a cute little place tucked in a building with a few other shops.

The shop has a lot of great fabric, but I didn't have a lot of browsing time, or capability (I had the baby in my arms). Luckily, the fabric I wanted (patriotic) was right by the door. And while I was waiting for my turn to get my fabric cut, I found some more Origins fabric by Basic Grey for Moda. I have several yards already, and a specific pattern to make with that yardage.  The fabric was purchased for our spare room (and to be the winter quilt), so I want to make a quilt for the pack and play out of the same fabric, and maybe a little table runner/place mat or two for the dresser or credenza. But that may get to look a bit crazy.

As exciting as finally getting the rest of the patriotic fabric I need (fingers crossed, I may get this quilt done in time to use for our yearly excursion to the fireworks!), I found out that My Favorite Quilt Shop rents their long-arm, and for only $25/hour!

A few weeks ago I whipped together a simple quilt top out of my favorite purple fabrics (accidentally named "Put a Purple Bird on It" by a friend) in the hope that I would soon find a long-arm to rent. I'm planning to keep the quilt for myself , so it will be a good quilt to use for the first go at long-arm quilting.

Now I just have to find time in my schedule to get back there!