A Lovely Year of Finishes-March

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If you read my last post, you know I missed my February goal. But that’s ok! It’s a new month and I can set a new goal. And what’s more, I did get an awful lot of work done on the Sparkle Punch quilt. Even if I didn’t meet the goal, I made lots of progress on it.

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Look at all those finished wonky stars!

My goal for March is to get my poor brother a pair of pajama pants made. I meant to have them done as a Christmas present. Every time I sit down to do them, I get intimidated and put it off because I’ve never sewn a piece of clothing before. I do already have everything I need to make them though, so that’s one step done.

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Anybody got any tips on getting over your clothes sewing fears?

I didn’t make my February goal

:( But I have been productive! Even if I haven’t been blogging :) Whoops! I’ve been sewing plenty, which means I’m not blogging plenty. I really thought I’d be able to get the Sparkle Punch top together, but I missed my goal. When I realized I wasn’t going to get my top pieced in time, I used that as an excuse to start a couple of other projects. I’m sure you know how that goes.

Aviary 2 Pillow Shams

But as of now, they’re finished projects, so yay! I made a set of pillow shams for our bed. There they are in action. I have to say, I was iffy about the pops of orange in the beginning, but it’s really growing on me. I have no other orange accents though, and I kind of think I should now.

Aviary 2 Pillow Shams

I used an awesome tutorial that Maureen Cracknell (love her!) did for Art Gallery’s Fat Quarter Gang. I followed the tutorial to the letter, and it’s absolutely perfect. The shams fit my pillows perfectly and they were just so much fun to make.

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I did switch up one of the panels. For one sham, I used the bird print in blue, then for the other I used it in the cream colorway. Keeps everything from being too matchy matchy.

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They have a simple envelope back. The tutorial called for using your chosen fat quarters for the back, but I decided that since no one would ever see the back, there was no point in using pretty fabric for that. So I used the same muslin I used to back the front quilted portion. Turned out great!

Bunting pillow

And I made another pillow for the sofa. I’ve been meaning to do sofa pillows forever. I’ve had the fabric picked out forever. I just needed the pillow forms and they went on sale this past week at my local Hancock, so I got a couple. I wanted to do a simple design of half square triangles and I decided I like this layout best. It looks a little like bunting, don’t ya think?

my rug

That’s the rug I was coordinating the pillow with, and I just don’t think it could’ve been more perfect.

Linked at Plum and June for the Monday Link Up and at Better Off Thread for Sew Cute Tuesday. Go check out what everyone else is up to!

A quilt finish

Yay! Productivity! I worked all day and most of the night on both Thursday and Friday, and now I have a finished quilt and have been snuggling under it as much as I possibly can.

Plus Quilt

Since it’s dark and cold out, I’m using Instagram pictures. (UPDATED WITH BETTER PHOTOS!) I just started using Instagram and I’m digging it so far. It’s one of those things that just took me a while to jump on the bandwagon for. I’m LC1386 if you want to follow me, and if you want to leave your username in the comments, I’ll be happy to follow you! My feed is pretty sad right now, since I just started :)

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For the quilting on this, I used a blue variegated thread and I really like how it turned out. I echoed the seam lines by about a quarter inch on either side, and it made for a soft quilt.

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I’m just absolutely thrilled with how it turned out. I was fretful during quilting, because I was scared my not perfectly straight lines would stick out too much, but they really don’t. Not all my seams match, so I had to compensate for that when I was quilting, since I couldn’t just follow the seam line. It doesn’t look too terribly wonky though. And even if it does, whatever. I love this thing. I couldn’t part with it even if I wanted to. I was iffy on my fabric choices until just after I took it out of the dryer. Then I was instantly in love.

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I found some 1001 Peeps on sale at my local quilt shop, so that’s what I chose for the back. My husband’s response? “It has nothing to do with the front.” Which I guess is true. I’ll just twiddle my thumbs til the quilt police get here ;) I do really like the back too. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I actually needed more like a yard and a half of the lower right and top left fabrics in order to turn them in the right direction. I wouldn’t have had enough fabric for the back if I’d turned them upright, so I just said fuck it and used them sideways. It bothers me none.

Check out what everyone else is up to at Weekend Doings this week for Plum and June‘s Monday Link Up and at Better Off Thread for Sew Cute Tuesday.

WiP Wednesday

It’s been kinda quiet around here. I had a weird week last week, and did a bunch of stuff that I don’t normally do, and it left me very little sewing time. But this week, I’ve been pretty darn productive. Unfortunately, the weather won’t cooperate long enough for me to take any decent photos of anything. If it’s sunny out, there’s also a gale force wind to go with it. If it’s still out, it’s either pouring down rain or completely cloudy.

Here’s what I’ve got going on currently:

Basted plus quilt

I got my backing for the Plus Quilt pieced on Sunday, and as of 30 minutes ago, it’s basted and ready for quilting. I have the back ache to prove it. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m 60 if pin basting hurts me this bad at almost 27. I think I may wait to quilt it til I’ve got all my stars pieced. I don’t know yet. Speaking of stars…

Pile 'o stars

Here’s a pile o stars for my Sparkle Punch. These stars are all done, save some pressing and trimming. I’ve found the key to not hating pressing. AUDIOBOOKS. I’ve been listening to the Lord of the Rings trilogy while pressing, and I’m three quarters of the way through The Two Towers now. I find myself sewing stuff so I can go press and listen to it. I’ve hit new levels of nerd-dom. On the February goal front, I think I’m doing pretty well. I’m most of the way through all my star making and I’m 100% positive I’ll hit my February goal of getting this top pieced.

Rain or Shine block

Of course I’ve started a new project. It’s the Rain or Shine quilt from Elizabeth Hartman’s book The Practical Guide to Patchwork. I’m super loving this project. The blocks are fun to put together, and not nearly as complicated as they look. Joining the 92 seams in the middle is pretty painless, which I was surprised about. I got sick of seeing red and aqua all over the damn place all the time. BUT IT LOOKS SO GOOD. Which is why everyone and their mother has made a red and aqua quilt and why every fabric designer has come out with a red and aqua collection. It’s just a really great combination. So I’m making my Rain or Shine in red and aqua and I think it’s going to be just darling. My reds are reading orange in this poorly lit photo, but all my reds are true reds. When the block is finished, it will have a navy yo yo covering the very middle where all those seams meet. I’m not going to make yo yo’s til I’ve got all the blocks pieced. This is one of twenty.

Go see what everyone else is up to at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday!

A Lovely Year of Finishes-February

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My February goal is to get the Sparkle Punch pieced. I started the Plus Quilt and Sparkle Punch around the same time, and thus put them down around the same time, for Christmas sewing. These little wonky stars got a bit tedious, but the finished product is so cool that I’m definitely going to finish it.

Sparkle Punch

I’m really loving the gray background as well. This is the first time I’ve ever used any neutral but white for a background. I think it makes the colors pop nicely. Right now, I’ve got 20 of 80 whole stars pieced, but none of the fractional stars. With a few days concentrated effort, I can whip out the rest of those stars. Then in another few days I can get all 9000 of them sewn together. There aren’t really 9000 pieces, I’m just exaggerating for comedic effect.

Linked at Fiber of All Sorts for A Lovely Year of Finishes February Goal Setting.

First (BIG) finish of 2013

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I’ve finished a couple of things for January. Some blocks here, a mini quilt there. But getting this top together was my major project for the month, and I’m happy to say I did it! I took an unexpected trip home to my parents’ house, which was really awesome. But it also meant that I lost a week of sewing time, which is why it’s 7:48 PM on January 31st, and I’m just now posting my A Lovely Year of Finishes post. But I met my goal on time, even if it was right on the wire.

Plus Quilt

I’m just so thrilled with how this top turned out. Most of my corners match! I’m not 100%, but it’s definitely an improvement from the last time I sewed a bunch of squares together. I pinned the living crap out of it. I also ironed the crap out of it. Y’all. The pressing. It kills me. But it’s so worth it. Everything is so much easier to deal with when you press. I mean, I’ll never like doing it, but I’d never dream of not doing it.

Houndstooth Plus

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos. I usually try to take as many pictures as I can outside in daylight. But it was after dark when I finished and I had a deadline, so gross pictures it is. I had thought last week that it was possible that I’d finish up the top in time to have it quilted by today. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I’m hoping to have it all quilted and bound and ready for snuggling by the end of next week. I’m planning on just echoing the seam lines, and of course I have no idea what color thread to use. Any suggestions?

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The top is 63.5×72.5, so it’s a pretty decent size. I’m just really in love with it. Now on to basting, quilting, and binding! Go check out everyone else’s finishes at Sew Bitter Sweet and Fibre of All Sorts (the linky parties are exactly the same on both blogs)

Also linked at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday, and Plum and June‘s Monday Link Up.

Question: who doesn’t love a fat stack of new fabric?

Answer: your husband.

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I’m only kidding. To my extremely indulgent husband’s credit, he has never once said a cross word about the amount of money I’ve spent on this insane hobby, or the amount of fabric I have. I’m not counting “Wow, you have a lot of fabric,” as cross words, because he’s said that quite a few times. I got two fat quarter bundles from Hawthorne Threads recently. (Hawthorne Threads is awesome, by the way. Great prices and fast shipping. I think their fabric tastes jive with mine, because I love everything they carry.) Apparently I’m on a Joel Dewberry kick. Aviary 2 and Modern Meadow have been out quite a while, but I just got my hands on them. I cannot get enough of the herringbone prints.

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I’m always surprised by what fabrics my husband likes. He preferred the above Aviary 2 bundle to the Modern Meadow bundle, which shocked the crap out of me. I don’t normally get his opinion on fabric purchases, but I was buying fabric for pillow shams for our bedroom, so I thought it might be nice if I got some of his input. The Aviary 2 will end up being pillow shams that I hope to start on at some point next week, after the plus quilt is finished.

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I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the Modern Meadow bundle yet. Well, except get it out and pet it a little bit. According to the Mr. that plaid is “shaaaaaaarp.” :) I’m kind of kicking around the idea of using it for the Starburst quilt along (which I haven’t started yet, because I haven’t ordered background fabric. I swear I’m going to soon!)

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My plan for today is to get my Plus Quilt top all finished up. I’ve got half of it (12 of the 24 rows) together. Now to press and sew together the other 12 rows. Blergh. Pressing.