20 December 2014

Recap and Regroup

Oh hi there. Long time no blog. My non-quilty life has been busy the last 6 months or so. Here's a quick recap of non-quilty things:

      May - moved into new house, got engaged
      June - got a puppy
      July - went to New Mexico for a week, lab moved to new building, shop hop with my mom
      August - submitted journal article, TAing 2 classes & taking 1, finished and gifted Swoon quilt
      September - sister stayed with us for 3 weeks while she was on rotation
      October - other sister moved to Australia, Halloween, made some placemats
      November - cat died, went to science conference, got 2 kittens to fill hole in heart, Thanksgiving
      December - final exams, writing grant proposal, getting serious about wedding plans, Christmas

Unsurprisingly, I haven't sewn much since moving. I do intend to make a quick post about the finish of the Swoon quilt and also my placemats. Fair warning, I'm a little overly proud of these placemats ^_^

My list of quilty project for the new year is lengthening on a seemingly daily basis. This year I'm going to try my hand at quilt kits, which is something I have never done before. I have such an inability to even follow a pattern exactly (see Swoon quilt) that it will be interesting to see if I can reign myself in and make a quilt from a kit. I did a little Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping so I already have a couple kits in hand. I also have a few patterns that I've collected this year and am planning to make in 2015. I also did my first ever shop hop with my mom this summer and have a couple of treasures from that adventure that I've been plotting and planning with.

So here it is, the Quilty Plan 2015:

Paris Flea Market Find Quilt Kit in Red - I ordered this on Black Friday sale from Connecting Threads and it will be for a friend of mine getting married in June (the week before me!). This is an incredibly simple pattern so I don't anticipate any difficulty whipping it up. I might add a few extra reds from my stash to spice it up a bit...

Hexagon Quilt - I bought a set of those honeycombs (precut hexagons) that Moda makes while on shop hop and I am planning to do a baby blanket with them. Potentially, this quilt will go to my Danish friend who is having her first baby in April.

True Colors Quilt Kit - I bought this on sale at Craftsy and it will be for another friend getting married at the beginning of May. I'm planning on potentially modifying this one to make it a little bigger since the pattern size is only a large twin or maybe full not really a queen. It's a little difficult to modify though because of the way the print on the fabric is used to make the pattern also with the whole "a kit only comes with so much fabric" thing. It just seemed so her when I saw it that I didn't think I could possibly design something better/more fitting. Luckily, if I make this first I should still be able to get more of the fabric so modification would be possible. In any case, this kit will definitely be an adventure.

Wishes QAL - I downloaded all the pattern parts for this but didn't participate in the QAL (obviously). I have a fat quarter bundle of ocean colored solids that I've ear marked for this project. It will be interesting for me as I've never really done a sampler and I don't think I've ever made any of these blocks. It also has a lot of triangles which are sort of not my forte. There's a pretty good chance that I'll donate this one, which was kind of the point of the QAL!

Fair Isle QAL - Again, I bought this pattern but did not participate in the QAL. My plan is to give this one to my in-laws next Christmas. I have no idea what sort of color scheme I'm going to use as I love the original, the QAL version, and the ones in the link up. Maybe I'll have to make 2...

Christmas Accessories - My fiancé and I need stockings. He said he wants either Pac-man or a dinosaur fighting a penguin, so we'll see what I can do. We also don't have a tree skirt so it might be nice to try my hand at that.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Good Luck with your own Quilty Plan 2015!

26 June 2014


Not a lot of sewing has been going on as of late. I blame this little guy. Meet Echo, the shepherd/husky/??? mix. According to the vet, he's a be huge (vet thinks 80+ pounds, my guess was at least 60)

At the shelter, 8 weeks old

First day at home, 9.5 weeks old

Got himself stuck on this chair

Just being cute ^_^

Bath time! 12 weeks old

06 May 2014

Goals, Gnomes, and Life

Making strip sets (there are 17 different ones)

For my May ALYoF goal I am going to finish piecing the Trinity Celtic Knot quilt that I bought fabric for over a year ago. This quilt is for a wedding in August and I want it professionally quilted so I pretty much need to get it done in the next 1-2 weeks. Yikes.

This brings me to my second point: gnomes. I have somehow gained the favor of an ironing gnome. One day I walked into my room prepared to iron some strip sets for the wedding quilt only to discover that they were freshly pressed (seams open and everything!) and sitting on my desk. I then got to go straight to sewing all my completed strip sets into little nine patches (225 total nine patches in 33 different arrangements). A few days later the ironing gnome returned and ironed nine patches for me while I was busy making more.

Maybe the gnome will return and iron these too...

Finally, my non-quilty life has had some exciting goings-on. Last weekend, my boyfriend and I more or less moved to our new house. We both still have some stuff at our respective places, but all the animals and furniture have made it to the new house.

This room is going to be my sewing room/future guest bedroom

Closet in the new sewing room, basically the reason I claimed that room ^_^

Currently, my sewing machine, ironing board, general sewing supplies, cutting mats, batting, and fabric stash have all made it into this room. However, my table that the sewing machine sits on is still in my old room. This is a problem since we don't have any sort of kitchen or dining room table. I may be awkwardly sewing on the floor this week…


Check out these linkies! They're full of interesting thingamabobs!

16 April 2014

WIP Wednesday: Swooning

This week I finally had the chance to put in some sewing time and now my Swoon quilt is nearing completion!

This is the layout I decided on

As per usual, I couldn't quite follow the pattern and decided to set the center block on point. I was lucky because this resulted in a block exactly 10 inches bigger than the regular blocks so I didn't have any crazy complicated calculating to do for the sashing. 

Admiral totally would have helped with the quilty math, probably...

I don't have a picture of it yet, but I do have the top all together, minus some ironing. Hopefully by the end of the week I can go get a backing and some binding. I have no idea what I'm going to do for binding, or quilting for that matter! I do know that there is no way I'm going to quilt this 86" monstrosity on my little baby sewing machine and wobbly table... 

So I've already booked a weekend visiting my parents to use my mom's sewing room. She's got one of those tables with a recessed shelf for the machine and she has an embroidery machine so I can cheat with the fancy quilt patterns that look like I did them all free-motion style, but actually it was just the machine. In case you couldn't tell, I'm both excited and jealous. 

05 April 2014

ALYoF April Goal

I think my April goal is going to have to be finishing this Swoon quilt since my lab mate that I'm making it for is getting married in May. Time's a tickin'!

It's coming along nicely so far...

I actually got a little time to sew this week so I've finished putting together all the side panels and only have two seams left on all the corner bits. As I hoped, the chain piecing is working quite nicely and if it weren't for all the ironing and starching I might have all the blocks together already.

Here's to a productive April everyone! *cheers*

27 March 2014

No Tears in Science

I finally finished my Texas Tear Drops QAL from last year. Woo hoo!

Here it is in my lab, being all science-y ^_^

The finished size is slightly smaller than the pattern size of 70x70" because I put a thinner border on the outside. I did bind with the same material as the border (those cute molecules), which is totally new for me. I usually like dark bindings to be a frame or whatever, but in this case, I think the fading edge thing is pretty cool.

Here's a close-up of the binding, backing, and quilting.

For the quilting, I did an all over square stipple. Most people in the QAL seemed to do something that only went around the drops (which is what I did for the small version). Whatever, I like to be different. I used the same variegated blue from the appliqué on the front and black for the back. You can't see the quilting on the back at all except for where it crosses the little filler strip of not black. The last bit of quilting is a loopy bit in the thin blue border.

And here it is in its new home on the bed

Linking up to the ALYoF March Finishes party. Here's a link to the original ALYoF March goal post.

12 March 2014

WIP Wednesday: Pieces

The most productive thing I've done this week is put together about two-thirds of this puzzle. I stayed home sick on Monday and, when not sleeping/having crazy fever dreams/eating cheerios, worked on building the mountain and the sky.

Now all that's left is the purple part...

As for quilting, I started cutting the pieces for a new project: a Swoon Quilt.

The plan, so far

I've seen a bajillion of these guys all over the place (and generally like them), so I decided that my labmate is getting a Swoon for his wedding. I used these two seeds pictures for the color selection.

The fabric pairings and probable block locations

So far, I've cut the colored pieces for all 9 blocks, but I haven't started cutting the background pieces yet. It seems like once all the pieces are cut everything will go together pretty quickly. Of course, this assumes my stacks don't get out of order when chain piecing...

all organized and ready to go!

05 March 2014

WIP Wednesday - March ALYoF Goal

For March, I want to finish my Texas Tear Drops QAL quilt, the full size version. During the actual QAL I made a mini version of the quilt as a gift for my host in Korea (she totally loved it, by the way). By the end of the QAL I had all my full size blocks ironed and had settled on a layout, but they weren't appliquéd.

quilting in progress

Since late August/early September this quilt has been sitting in a bag waiting to be basted and finished. I even pre-made the binding and settled on a quilting motif (square stippling). Now that it's been sitting in a closet for 6 months I figured it is time to resurrect this quilt and finish it. Luckily, I am already making solid progress and will hopefully have another successful month of quilting.

I'm fortunate to have plenty of feline support on this endeavor...

Good luck to everyone else on your Lovely Finishes!

and WIPs!

21 February 2014

ALYoF February Finish: Orderly Chaos

Today I have a finish that has been quite long in the making: my February ALYoF goal. It's a small, scrappy quilt that I'm calling Orderly Chaos. The pattern is just alternating disappearing nine patches and HSTs with a few charm squares thrown in to make it a little bigger.

Ta Da!

The finished size is about 45x60" and, in keeping with the scrappy theme, I used a scrappy binding of grays and blue. The quilting is 3 spirals that I meant to look like ripples in a pond. I used my prize from the MSBHQAL: a pack of Aurifil threads! So one spiral is yellow, one green, and one blue with the variegated blue for the bobbin.

My threads on my glorious new ironing board that my mom gave me for Christmas

The only thing that I purchased for this quilt was this blue homespun for the back. I even pieced together some batting so this project was a real scrap-buster.

You can really see the ripple effect from the back

This blanket has been dubbed the "couch blanket" by my boyfriend, but I'm sticking with Orderly Chaos.

And here it is, chillin in its new home on my boyfriend's couch with his Manhattan pillow for company

Original Goal Setting Post Here

12 February 2014

WIP Wednesday - Getting It Done

The last few days have seen some intense quilty productivity. I also haven't seen my boyfriend in 2 days. Coincidence? I think not...

Regardless, I am totally on track to finish my February ALYoF goal. All that's left is the binding!

I really suck at joining binding ends, so I didn't finish it before I went to bed last night

Go over to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced to see some cool quilts in progress!

05 February 2014

ALYoF - February Goal

Since I failed so miserably at finishing January's ALYoF goal, I'm going to try, once again, to finish this scrappy quilt for February.

Starting the second spiral

I did finally have some time to work on quilting this week. I am currently undoing part of the second spiral because it got kind of bunched where it was getting close to the first spiral. I'm not sure how exactly that happened, but whatever. The third spiral will be centered on the right side probably two or three rows in (or at least that's the current plan).


29 January 2014

Not happening

So a few weeks a go I was all excited about the whole ALYoF thing and made (what I thought was) a reasonable goal for January: quilt and bind a lap size quilt. The top was already done, the backing was purchased, the quilting was planned, the thread was selected, and the whole thing is only like 45"x60" so I figured with 27 days remaining in January I could not fail.

And then I went on vacation for a week. And then I tried to catch up in lab to make-up for the vacation time I took. And then the semester started and I suddenly had homework and teaching to do. Now there are only 2ish days left in January and my progress is abysmal.

I'm pleased with the result, just not the speed

I will be beyond surprised if this is done by Friday. I hope the other ALYoFers are having better luck than me!

04 January 2014

2014 A Lovely Year of Finishes January Goal

This year, I want to do some goal setting for my quilting. I have number of unfinished projects and I have two wedding quilts to make this year so a little push will be good for me. I was thinking about doing the Finish-A-Long which is quarterly goal setting, but I think choosing one thing a month will help me set more realistic goals. We'll see. Plus, I kind of like the ALYoF button better...

So for January, I want to finish my first scrap blanket. I have the top done but haven't pieced together my backing or done any of the quilting/binding. I know what I'm going to do for quilting (three overlapping spirals) but I don't have anything for binding. 

This is the top all laid out on my floor

03 January 2014

Done and Done - Fly South v1 and v2

It is the first Friday of 2014 and I have a finish! This is actually a pretty old start but there was a bit of a hoopla with quilting. Anyway, my finishes for today are both from the pattern I got as a Christmas present last year (called Fly South). I ended up making two lap sized quilts instead of the originally intended one. The first is the baby geese version (you can read about the horrible saga of this quilt here, here, and here) and the second is the tricolor version.

I was surprised to find that I didn't lose very many points from the top of the triangles but I did chop off a bunch of the side points, especially in the tricolor. I guess I wasn't paying attention when trimming and cut the sides unevenly.

Baby Geese Fly South

Fly South v2


  • Geese: Bookish by Jenni Calo for Connecting Threads FQ bundle and some other coordinating pinks, browns, and greens  
  • Background: off-white/cream/gray-ish color called sandstone
  • Backing: Baby Geese has a book novelty print and v2 has a green leafy print
  • Binding: for Baby Geese I made a scrappy binding using strips from the blue geese fabric and for the tricolor I did another magic binding using a brown polka dot and solid light pink
Batting: the tricolor got the leftover piece of Quilter's Dream Request from Little Peeks and Baby Geese got the Quilter's Dream Wool remnants from Lost at Sea.
Quilting: I did parallel diagonal wavy lines using a piece of masking tape as a template for the first diagonal and then just following it free motion style.
Size: these guys are pretty small measuring in at only about 40"x50"(V2 has slightly different proportions making it look much taller and narrower even though they're only 1-2" different)
New Techniques: piecing batting, scrappy binding, and, of course, flying geese!

The quilting for these two was interesting. I really liked the idea of parallel wavy lines but I did not realize how insanely time consuming it would be. It took literally an entire day to do the tricolor geese and it's only lap sized! I almost decided to do something else for Baby Geese but the final result of the wavy lines was pretty fetching. So, despite a few rough starts, I did eventually wavy line quilt both of these. As expected, the wavy lines sort of draw your eye away from the misaligned points, which is nice. The bad thing about this design is that mistakes propagate because of the echoing.

Reading Closet Success!

Both of these quilts are already in their permanent homes. Baby geese now lives in my reading closet (which is why I chose the library fabric for it). The Tricolor Geese went to my sister and is living on the back of her couch.

Linking to TGIFF at Quokka Quilts and Finish It Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts