Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall Retreat

It is a beautiful fall weekend in Wisconsin.  The trees are changing color, the temperatures are falling, but still comfortable and no snow has fallen from the sky!!

I spent this weekend at a crafting retreat in Whitewater with friends.  This is my 3rd year participating with this group and it was loads of fun!  Each year we pick a theme to coordinate our meals and this year was Books and Movies'. We had a horror dinner, murder mystery
dinner (I coordinated that one), a romantic comedy lunch and a western lunch.  Costumes are encouraged!  The mystery dinner was LOL funny and I totally want to do another one.

The help-- Gardner, Butler, Cook

Me as the Butler

The cast: bookish aunt, hot shot grandson, wild child granddaughter, Lady Sutbury, gardener

Kristin the Kid!

I did get some sewing done, too!  Not quite as much as I wanted, but productive none the less!

I started a new generous sized couch quilt that intend to give for Christmas (if I can complete it by then!).  The pattern is Marcie's Maze and I'll call my version Maize Maze.  I started with a fat quarter bundle that I bought at Quilt Expo and supplemented it with some additional fabrics from the same colorway and added a mustard fabric for the sashing.  The pattern is written for a jelly roll, so I had to be creative with my cutting and assembly methods, because I am using fat quarters.  Keeps me on my toes!  So far, I have all of the blocks complete and sewn into rows. Just need to add sashing and sew the rows together.  Not bad!  I'm very happy with the way it is turning out.  =)

And I took a bit of time to get all of my Elephant Parade rows sewn together-- HOORAY!!  Just a few more strips on the sides and the top will be done.  I can't wait to quilt it up and call it finished.  If you look close, you will see new eyeballs on the frog and turtle.  Those little buggers were part of the reason this was not moving forward.  Without a zig zag stitch machine at home, it needed to wait for a time I could use somebody else's machine.

All in all, this was a great weekend!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Block Tote...issues! =(

My fellow Mad Mod Member, Trina, asked for pattern testers for her new tote bag pattern.  The timing was right and I volunteered.  The concept is to use an orphan block as the decoration, but I don't really have any! Instead, I spent half of my Saturday morning looking through books and pinterest to get block inspiration.  There were a few things that looked appealing, but I ended up deciding on making a block from some leftover bonus half square triangles.  These are from 'Quietude'- a baby quilt a co-worker commissioned.

I did the math and thought the block would be 10.5" The pattern calls for a 12" block, so I would add some coping strips and call it good.  I did the math wrong!!  I think this error was a sign and I should have found other things to do.  Like clean my house!!  The block was well over 12"!!  Ay carumba!!!  

Back to the drawing board...  One thing that I found while looking for an interesting block was the nested churn dash.  It's super cool!!  So, I paid the $2 to buy the block pattern from Quilt Jane (why not let her do all the math?  Clearly I"m not having a day for that)

All afternoon, I felt worse and worse, but kept plugging away... Note to self- If you aren't feeling well and aren't thinking clearly--STOP.  Look at the yellow!!!  I didn't see the MASSIVE errors until this morning!!  I can't live with that, so I will make corrections (or start over?).  What did I do?  I think I was referencing the wrong measurements for the half square triangle?  or didn't trim it up?  What a mess.   This poor little block tote-- I haven't even started the tote part!! =(

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Slow and steady wins the race?

Things are busier than ever and my free time is so minimal.  I have been able to sneak a few bits of sewing in here and there.  

I really want to finish up the Elephant Parade, but it's crawling along.  I re-made the blue flowers from the old style to the new one.  The scale seemed 'off' and I'm pleased with the results!  I have a few sashing strips sewn on (not pictured here).  The frog and turtle eyes are next up and then I can hopefully have a completed top.

A few years ago, I started making string blocks of green, blue and purple as a way to use up some scraps. The plan is to put them into a twin sized quilt and donate it to Project Linus.  Yesterday I had a mess of green scraps on my cutting table (in addition to orange and pink!!)

It seemed like a good opportunity to sew up some green string blocks!  I made four yesterday, which brings the running total to 12 blue, 12 green and 8 purple. (not the latest group photo and the new blocks are much more vibrant than in this photo!)

Why were my scraps laying out on the cutting table?  Because I emptied the scrap containers to bring for Show and Tell at my guild meeting.  

Why?  Because Amanda Jean was the speaker!!!  Woot!!! So.Much.Fun!!!  I'm a mega fan of her style and it was a fantastic talk and trunk show!  She signed my copy of her book and I treated myself to a few copies of her patterns. 

The last thing I have to share is a cute little basket I made following a tutorial from Hearts and Bees.  It went together very quickly and I'm hoping to make more!