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WIP Wednesday – keeping up with the quilt alongs

Last night, I promised myself some quilting time after I was done teaching my four hour evening class. By the time I went to bed around 3, I felt like I had been hit by a truck.

Star Quilt Along choice oneYou might remember this fabric that I picked out for the Star Surround Quilt Along. I was excited to get it cut last night, but then, my heart was crushed a little when I found out that a fat quarter of the black and white fabric wasn’t going to be nearly enough to give me what I needed to make the quilt. Since I promised myself to pull everything for this one from my stash, I then set off auditioning potential fabrics.

star surround fabricsThis isn’t the best picture, but this is what I came up with. I decided that the center star will be the yellow and gray. The surround will be black with the white texture, and the background will be red. I’m not quite as excited about these color choices, but I think the quilt will still turn out fine. I did find some fun red and white fabric that has strong potential to become the back of the quilt.

I also had to get to work cutting out my block pieces for Megan’s Star, this month’s Modern Quilt Along block. Again, disappointment set in because I wanted to make this block into a full 40X40 baby quilt, but after I fell in love with the fabrics that I was putting together, I discovered that I don’t have nearly enough to make a 40×40 block. Let me tell you, I did sooooo much math and  even hunted down a  geometry calculators online only to discover that I was going to make the original sized block after all. Sigh…math for nothing.

Megan's star fabricsI don’t like making blocks just to make them, so I’m trying to figure out what I’ll do with this block. Right now, I’m leaning towards adding some borders to it, so it can become a small pillow for a rocker in a nursery or a little kiddo’s bed. I’m open to suggestions. I guess I’ll have to see what the assembled block looks like before I know for sure what I want to do.

And, now since the feeling of being hit by a truck was only partially due to fabric woes and math calculations, I’m off to take a nap. I managed to pick up a nasty summer head cold, and I’m hoping that sleep will help cure it because ideally I’d wake up refreshed and ready to bust out a rough draft of my syllabus for this semester — one of my least favorite tasks of teaching.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Work in Progress Wednesday – spools and pearls

Just a quick check in tonight. I like work in progress Wednesday in the quilt blogging world; it makes me want to push to do something.

I’ve been working on my two quilt alongs this week. Remember the placemats with the flying geese from last month’s modern block quilt along? Whew! They were tough. This month’s spools are progressing more quickly, and I don’t think I’ve ripped out any stitches yet. Each of the seven spools need one more piece sewn onto them. Then, I’ll trim up the blocks and piece them together for a table runner. I need some advice from fellow quilters out there. What type of batting do you use for your table runners? I use 100% cotton in my baby quilts. I love the drape it gives the quilt, and I don’t mind that they crinkle up a bit when washed. I’m not sure I want the crinkle in a modern table runner though. Should I use a polyester batting instead? Or, should I use a cotton/poly blend? Please weigh in with your success or horror stories on batting choice.

Here are the two spool blocks that I’ll be alternating.

spool of thread progressMaybe some of you recognize the fabric from the Micro Mod fabric line from Cloud 9. It’s the fabric that I was so excited to win from Katie over at Swim Bike Quilt when she completed her micro mod sew along project.

spool of thread 2 progressAnd, I’m also working on the String of Pearls Quilt Along at Christa Quilts. She’s such a kind guide, always reminding participants to move at their own pace and have fun. But, I don’t want to be behind!

string of pearls progressI’m not quite sure why I’m freaking out. I have to put black sashing on the last two sides of the squares, trim them up, and strip piece together the background fabric and get it cut. But, Christa isn’t even going to release the next phase of the quilt along until July 3rd. Plus, my quilt is going to be way smaller than hers. I reduced it down to make it baby sized. Until I do a little more quilting, I don’t trust myself to be able to manage a very big quilt yet. So, I keep them short and sweet.

So, that’s what’s going on around here. My other work in progress was going to be priming some night stands and accent tables for the front porch tonight. But, it’s 11:30, so it’s probably best not to dive into that project just now. Maybe curling up with Agatha Christie for a little bit would be a better idea.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Splashy bathroom

After the dog’s little hot chocolate adventure in the guest bedroom the other night, I figured it was about time to get in there to do some cleaning. The room became a bit of a dumping ground over the course of the past year, and I have guests coming in May, so now I have an incentive to get everything tidied up. In the process of cluttering the space, I put some wall hangings in the room that were ultimately destined for the bathroom.

Now, I cleaned the hot chocolate coating off this inspirational piece and put it above the towel bar where I’ll see it every morning.

pic above towel bar

It pains me to admit, but the adorable umbrella wall hanging is something that I bought with my grandma’s birthday money. That’s not the painful part. The painful part is that it was last year’s birthday, and it’s taken me this long to get the art on the wall so I can enjoy it. In my defense, when I first spotted the umbrellas I wasn’t sure where I was going to use them, but they were $17, and I just couldn’t pass them up. Now, they’ve wound up revolutionizing my decor plans for the bathroom. The quote above them is a vinyl decal that I picked up at Kohl’s, also eons ago. Now I’m on the hunt for some cute fabric, maybe with an umbrella motif or maybe just in fun primary colors because a bathroom this cute needs some curtains. Here’s a belated thank you to my grandma too! Thanks for helping make the room where I get ready in the morning cheerful.

umbrella on bathroom wall

I also did a little organizing of the quilt fabric. I remembered that I had a garment hanging rack still in the box in the basement, and I was getting frustrated that piles of fabric were invading my workspace (currently on the dining room table). So, I put two and two together and decided it would be a good idea to assemble the hanging rack, put the jumble of hangers in my closet to good use, and hang up my quilt fabric until I’m ready to use it. The assembly directions for the rack might be the best assembly directions I’ve ever seen. They literally say, “Please do not allow children or husbands to hang from or ride on garment rack.”

storing quilt fabrics

I also did a little quilting over the weekend. I have the diamonds all laid out for my Scrappy Lone Star quilt.

WIP scrapppy lone star diamonds

I sewed two of the diamonds together. On the first one, I ripped out the seams many, many times because I couldn’t get the points to line up. They are still just a smidgen off, which makes me a little crazy.

WIP scrappy lone star first set of pointsBy the second diamond, I think I was getting a little better at lining up the points, and I also didn’t have to rip out nearly as many seams. I hope to come across a better method to line up points like this, but for now, I actually sew a few stitches by the point and then pull the project out of the machine to make sure the points are aligned. Then, I do the same for the other intersection. Once I have both sets of points lined up and tacked, I sew the entire seam. The tutorial that I am using gives directions about how to pin the points for sewing, but I couldn’t figure out how to follow those directions without sewing over the pins. I figure at any rate, the intersections of the quilt should be nicely reinforced.

WIP scrappy lone star second set of pointsI’ve still got a little practicing to do, but I’ve still got two diamonds and then the feat of putting everything together, so there are plenty of opportunities left to practice.

New faces…favorite places, and more fabric

I started the morning mucking around campus in gale force winds and cold dreary rain to gather up the materials  needed to set up a Communication program table for student preview day. Much muttering to myself and and an ugly time of putting my mangled umbrella to rights ensued.

There you have it. I’m not perfect. Rain makes me cranky…and I don’t like mornings.

Fortunately, it wasn’t too hard to do an attitude check once the students started rolling in. I met one of our incoming students who already has her fall classes lined up. From the little bit of time  that I got to spend with her, I’m glad that she chose LBC as her destination in the fall. And, I also got to meet a spunky high school sophomore and introduce her to the program for the very first time. So. much. fun. Her face lit up as she discovered elements of the program that might be a good fit for her, and when I told her that every January our Worship and Performing Arts department puts on a musical, her excitement level was rivaling that scene in Willy Wonka when everyone is finding the golden tickets. Sometimes it’s fun to momentarily see life again as a high school student with the vast map of life laid open and a seemingly endless number of roads to explore.

I got to leave work earlier than expected, which of all days was fortunate timing since I’d promised myself a trip to the PA Fabric Outlet tonight. On Wednesday a 50% off select calicoes coupon arrived, requiring the use of all my self control not to jump straight in the car to ride out there. I spent $86 on fabric, but before you judge me too harshly, let me just say that I got over 30 yards of fabric for that price. I’m not going to show all of it, just three highlights.

Navy diamondsFinding this fabric on the sale table for $2.50 wound up being my most exciting find of the day. A few weeks ago, I found this fabric in another store and knew that I wanted it to make a camera bag for myself at some point in time, but I didn’t buy it. I even liked it enough that I mentioned it to my mom later. Sometimes delaying gratification pays off since this is that fabric. Isn’t it going to make such an adorable camera bag? It’s hard to tell in the picture, but the tiny squares are actually dark navy. I bought what was left on the bolt, so I’ll have way more than I need for a camera bag; I’m envisioning some goldenrod and navy solid fabrics blended with this into one very preppy quilt.

Purple Gimme DiamondsFor my birthday, my sister got me the Gimme Diamonds Pattern by Four Paws Quilts, which is a fun pattern to show off bold prints. There were some nice purple fabrics on the sale table, and I cruised around the rest of the store to pick up 3 more fabrics to blend into the quilt. I need at least nine main fabrics for the quilt, and I was thinking purple and gray while I was in the store, but I got home and saw a yellow fabric that I have that maybe I’d want to use instead. So now I’m torn between sophisticated purple and gray or a bold purple and yellow. Hm…

backing for vintage girl quiltThis next fabric is a little bold for me, but I picked it up on the sale table thinking I’d use it in a baby quilt someday. However, I got home and realized that the colors match the fabrics for one of the first quilt projects that I’m going to attack this summer (if not sooner). Now I don’t have to go hunt down the backing fabric for the quilt.

I’ve been holding off on that project because the fabric gets cut selvage to selvage, which will be infinitely easier once I ditch my 16×22 rotary mat without marked grids in favor of the 24×36 inch mat that I’m going to buy with my grandma’s birthday money. I’m so stinking excited to buy that cutting mat. It goes on sale this Sunday. No more counting the grid squared over and over to get my bearings.

And, lest you think that I’m starting to become a fabric hoarder who’s never going to actually make more quilts, I need to post these pictures. Here’s a reminder of the fabric.

teal and yellow quiltI’m going to be using it to make a Scrappy Lone Star Quilt and a Daisy Baby Quilt because I like the colors that much. And, this week I’ve settled into a nice rhythm of pulling up a sermon on the Roku in the living room and listening to it while I cut fabric in the dining room. (Shout out for Andy Stanley’s recent Breathing Room series). After two sermons, I’ve gotten this far on cutting out the fabric. During tonight’s sermon, I plan on cutting out the brown sashing for the Daisy Baby Quilt. Once that’s done, I’ll have materials ready to piece together.

scrappy lone star and daisy baby cuts

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