Saturday, February 28, 2015

February quilts- Tumblers and Cotton Candy

After I dug out from all the of the fabric and papers I brought home from Quiltcon, I decided I had time before the end of the month to finish up the Cotton Candy quilt. It is still snowing outside and more importantly about 19 out there, so I chose to take these pics inside!

This one is roughly 3 feet square, so it's baby quilt sized. I went with the scrappy binding again because the whole thing is scrappy. Using one fabric would work well too though, framing all the scrappiness in something unified.

The back is flannel--and I even remembered to add the label before I quilted it. Handstitching three labels in a row because I forgot was not so fun. I also learned how to do a better job sewing on the binding. All those tension problems showing up on the back disappeared when I slowed down and stopped trying to pull it through the machine.

I will likely add this quilt to etsy so if you're interested keep checking.

On Sunday I also finally figured out how I wanted to do a baby quilt I had been planning. And then I cut it out and finished it. Baby quilts are awesome for a quick finish, well, unless I decide to do something with a bunch of tiny pieces.
The front:

And back:

I ended up with quite a few leftover tumbler pieces, since I didn't want to figure out exactly how many I needed and also added and extra fabric at the end. That just means more scraps for another quilt!

Now I'm off to watch the snow fall and a bit of Spongebob with the kids, and maybe piece a few more trellis blocks. Snow cancellations have freed our Saturday up nicely!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

another birthday

Two years ago, about a week before my birthday I learned about a quilting convention called Quiltcon. It was going to be the first one, and it was going to be in a week. It wasn't going to work. So I kept an eye out for the next one. That was this year, still in Austin, and with an amazing group of lecturers and teachers--and it was still going to be my birthday week. I went for it and dragged two people along with me!

Like most shows of this kind, it was a mix of vendors, exhibits, lectures, and classes. Four days worth. I settled for one day. Maybe someday I will go back (it's annual now) and take some classes, stretching it out a bit.

While waiting for my first lecture, we checked out the charity quilts pieced together by Modern Quilt Guilds around the country.

Some favorites:

Since I was only going to be there one day, I picked some of the lectures to attend. The classes looked fun but would've taken half or all day. The lectures were varied but were all led by people in the industry. I took a few pictures but they all look like this:
This was Heather Givens, Denyse Schmidt, Mary Fons and Brenda Groelz. Looks like my camera needs glasses.

After that I was ready to go the vendors.
Alexia Marcelle Abegg of Cotton + Steel, making some flair buttons

This was our pile of fabric at lunch.
Which was at
a sweater and sandals--I wear this a lot

very yummy.

Next up, the quilt exhibits. This one was at the edge of a vendor booth, so I'm not sure if it was connected to it or one of the charity quilts.

I thought I was doing a good job of including the quilt tag with the quilt picture, so I could go back and attribute it correctly. But it's a bit blurry and all I can read is that it is part of the Spring Cotton Couture Fabric challenge. Thanks to the magic Instagram though, I found it. It's Totally Spring by Dora Cary.

This was part of a collection of quilts from the 1970s. Yes, this is ALL double knit. 

 I did better with this one and took a close up of the label. It was made by Dorie Schwarz and I even found a post about it on her blog Tumbling Blocks.

This one is by Sherri Lynn Wood, who has a book out soon about this kind of improv quilting.  It was actually released at the show but not sure if it was there the day I was.

This one was part of the exhibit of Do.Good. Stitches quilts. You can read more about them on the founder's page here. Because I can't read the blurry words next to the quilt.

Sunburst Quilt by Tara Faughnan

Can't read the name on the tag nor can I find the info on Instagram. The quilter is from Portland, Oregon.

This was one of the Gee's Bend quilts on exhibit.

At the Kona Cotton booth.

At this point we jumped back into my sister's car. My bag of fabric was hurting my arm and it was dinner time!

This corner was just crazy, with Juiceland: Where Drinks Come True, the dude with the sign telling us "you're perfect" and that the street was adopted by Atheist Longhorns. Wow.

My travel buddies:

Even made a stop at the Fiesta grocery store. Always go to the grocery store overseas, why not here too?

We made it home in time for my birthday day--and a wintery wind. Sigh. But at least I got to wear this big hat to help me warm a bit!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

from pie to cotton candy

Last Friday I was off work and told myself "today I will sew." But really what happened was baking, pretty much all day.

Some guys from my church are trying to raise money and I made a few things for the bake sale.

I had an extra crust and made a pie for my Valentine (which he shared).

I even had a little bit of crust leftover after all of that and made a little one for my son. My daughter got a tiny bit of dough so she could make something.

After all that, not a bit of time for sewing.
So the next day started with basketball.

I think at some point I sewed a bunch more white strips onto more pieces, making a bit more progress on that trellis quilt. I even had both kids in the room with me at one point, digging through my art supplies because apparently I have a magical cabinet of art supplies. Anyway, I was still not feeling like I was making much progress. There are a zillion blocks to make, which is probably why it was in a book for a quilting bee. Then everyone can make a little before they start dreading the thing.

I had been looking at this picture of a wonky star quilt and realized I had made these stars before for my Starburst quilt.
Pretty soon I had made a few stars as a "break," thinking I could make a couple a day and soon have another quilt made. That's what I've done. I think I have 5 stars finished. I hit a bit of a snag when I got to the pink though.
I dumped out some fabric from the pink scrap bin, made a couple of stars, and then started to clean up. I could not get all the pink scraps back into the bin. It had been jammed into the bin and was rebelling. The only way I know to get rid of a bunch of scraps fast is making a bunch of scrap slabs and forming that into a quilt. I looked at some creative ideas of doing that but ended up with the same old squares.
This is the top for the quilt, which will be called Cotton Candy. Mid-day is just not the best time to take a photograph in full sun! I ended up dividing the pinks into bright pink, pale pink, and a coral pink. I also added some low volume fabrics with pink and one square of light yellow scraps. Maybe I will get at least one quilt finished this month, after I come back from my trip. It is always helpful to take a break from a more methodical, detailed project to break the monotony a bit. Now I just need to make myself finish that Trellis quilt!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

warming up

This weekend was so much warmer and sunnier. Sunday afternoon I went outside, then came back in and grabbed my camera and the one kid who would go with me. I was so excited! I hadn't taken many pictures lately because I don't like standing outside in the cold fiddling with the camera, gloves off, then gloves back on. And everything is so brown. We headed over to the duck pond, which is still brown but at least has some lively geese and ducks.

This was her favorite goose.

I also made a bit more progress on my sewing projects since it was a slow weekend and was lovely sunny in my sewing room. It doesn't really feel like a lot of progress when I look at the piles but I'm getting there.

Although I have this much more fabric to piece together, I do have many more of the individual blocks up now.

I have finished three strips of this Crazy Strips quilt, which will end up looking like a zebra print. With a name on it in blue sparkle fabric as ordered. As I have calculated it should end up a twin size--that's my target.

As I was taking these pics, I noticed my daughter left me a little secret message. She's learning--it wasn't on the furniture this time!

Getting very excited about my upcoming road trip to Austin to Quiltcon (accidently typed "quiltcoon" the first time--that would be a CRAZY okie kinda conference) for my birthday weekend. It's making me want to sew and plan projects (and places to eat). The forecast there isn't as warm and sunny as I would like, but I'm sure I will get plenty of warm and sunny soon enough. And the conference is indoors so gorgeous weather would be a distraction, right?