Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Small World section two

In case you were worried that I had replaced my passion for sewing and quilting with a love for weaving, I wanted to prove otherwise! I've been working on My Small World quilt some more, and just finished up section two...
My favorite thing about making this quilt is riffing through my stash and finding fun fabrics to fussy cut for each section. Like the guitar playing horse inside the yellow house....
Little Red Riding hood made her appearance in this section too. And a double decker bus in London, to remind me of the trip Hubby and I took there for our 25th anniversary in 2012.
I'm waiting to sew all of the finished sections together, but I couldn't resist laying sections one and two side by side for a photo shoot....
The riot of color makes me so happy! What have you been working on?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

exploring a new hobby

I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. It's one of those big ones (for me the ones that end in five are the big ones. don't ask me why but those bother me more than the zeros). Anyways, there was something I had been wanting for a long time and hubby decided to buy it for me. This box arrived the other day......
I thought I'd spend the weekend assembling but I couldn't stop myself, I tore right into the box....
This was inside! It's a rigid heddle table loom, 25 inches wide, and a stand to put it on.
By the end of the day I had the loom assembled and after watching multiple you tube videos and a Craftsy class I had purchased, I began to warp my loom....
when hubby came home I recruited him to help me finish the warping
Next thing I knew, he had assembled the stand for me and I was ready to weave! 

You can see how big it is. My new loom is 25 inches wide! I wanted one plenty big to accommodate future projects. For now I settled on a narrow scarf. I thought I'd get it started yesterday and spend a few days on it...
my edges were a little rough at first but otherwise I felt good about it. It got smoother as I got the hang of it. My friend Kathie, whose weaving I have admired for years, encouraged me. I really meant to stop but next thing I knew....
I had a scarf! It isn't perfect and it's not very soft (I chose cheap acrylic yarn for my first project) but it really isn't too bad! My poor sewing machine is crying out to me for attention. I'm going to need to find some kind of balance. But for now, I am so excited about weaving and I wanted to share with you!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Small World

Last summer, when everyone was making My Small World quilts (by Jen Kingwell) I searched high and low for the magazine with the pattern in it. No luck. When Jen released the pattern separately in the fall I jumped on it and bought one right away! Shortly after, Nicole  (aka @Saphre1964 on Instagram) announced that she would be leading a quilt along in the new year, and I jumped right on board!

Yesterday I finished up section one of My Small World....
I am having a BLAST making this quilt! Digging through my stash & adding fussy cut bits & bobs here & there has been so much fun. Here are some close ups of parts of section one....
 a ballet studio in honor of my girls! A baker with a gluten free birthday cake in honor of my upcoming birthday, Goldilocks & Mama bear on the top floor of the Happiness Hotel and festive bunting in the window.

And this colorful party on the bottom....
 I love the puppy parking his fancy car in the garage. Oh and look closely in that little red house.....
It's the big bad wolf! I pointed a big arrow right at him so he can't hide and cause trouble.

I can't wait to continue on this fun journey and plan to share more with you along the way. Check out the hashtag #mysmallworldqal2 on instagram for more happy inspiration.

Monday, January 18, 2016

English Paper Pieced Arrow Pillow

Please tell me I'm not the only person who lays awake in the middle of the night designing things in her head. One night, earlier this month, the design in my head was so insistent that I had to get out of bed at 3AM & sketch it up on graph paper so I could go back to sleep! After some tweaking along the way, the end result were this English paper pieced arrow and bonus heart...
When I showed it to Lynn at Stitched With Love where I teach, she asked if I would make it into a pillow for the shop and create a pattern. Of course I would!
Kits for the pillow, all made of grunge fabrics just like mine, are now available at the shop. The finished cover fits a 16 inch pillow form. Oh, and that little heart....
I appliqued it onto the back of the pillow.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My first 2016 finish-a-long finish

Remember this stack of fat quarters I posted the other day in my finish-a-long post? Well, with a few changes, it's become my first finish from my list for the quarter!
I had pinned my friend Debbie's tutorial for a sweet baby quilt several months ago & I knew this was the time I wanted to use it.
It went together in no time & I do think it's the sweetest little baby quilt I've ever made! The baby to be has an aqua and gray nursery, a no brainer for me! And the gender of the baby is still a mystery, so I choose gender neutral prints.
One of my favorite things about this quilt is the rounded corners. I did a simple crosshatch quilting on my domestic machine and bound the quilt in bias cut, aqua solid.
The brushed cotton I put on the back matches the binding perfectly and makes for a soft, snuggly finished quilt.
It feels good to check something off my first quarter list already!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long first quarter list

This year I decided to join in the 2016 Finish-A-Long to help me keep on track with big projects. You can read all about it over at A Quilter's Table. Debbie is one of several hosts this year and I'll be linking up with her.

So here's my first quarter list, projects I WILL finish up before the end of March:

1. Christmas jelly roll race

This has been sitting on my shelf for years. It was a Christmas strip swap we did several years ago. I pieced it using the jelly roll race method, hated it, folded it up, moved it to a new house..... something needs to be done! I've already started its transformation and this one WILL be done soon!

2. Bee block quilt
This one is coming together nicely. I want it on my bed by the end of the quarter. Along with at least one coordinating pillow from blocks received after these were pieced.

3. baby quilt
currently just a fabric pull, but I have a plan. Baby will arrive next month so I need to get on this!

4. Trust quilt
5. Explore quilt

the two word quilts I am missing in my series need to get done, so I can hang the whole series in my studio. Trust was my 2011 word and Explore is my new 2016 word. These exist only in my head so far!

I have lots more I'm working on, some challenges & gifts...... but I also have a four day quilt retreat in February so I plan to get lots done this quarter! Fingers crossed......

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Paint chip challenge

Last month at our McKinney Modern Quilt Guild meeting, we each selected three random paint chips from a paper bag and pledged to make something before the next meeting. Last night we shared our completed projects and, despite some odd color combos, the results were beautiful! Here are the colors I selected...

Not a bad assortment, but the values are all the same. I knew if I used only those three I would have very little contrast. I added in a white grunge so my colors would pop.
And here's my finished mini! It's a pattern from Love Patchwork and Quilting that had caught my eye. Great fun to put together. I did some simple straight line quilting on my machine.  A fun challenge to begin the new year! Last night we received a new challenge and I can't wait to dive in!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

my word of the year

I had a hard time choosing a word of the year for 2016. I had a list of potential words that I actually began months ago, but none of them felt exactly right. I seriously considered the word "enchantment" inspired by the book Big Magic, but then I thought "holy cow, that's a long word! How am I going to get that on a quilt?" LOL. 

Once I found my word, though, I never looked back. I knew it was exactly right for me at this time in this place....
There are so many directions I can go with the word Explore! I plan to explore my relationship with God, where He wants me and what He wants me to be doing to serve Him. I plan to explore new hobbies, because, honestly, who doesn't need another hobby or two??? I want to explore new books, new authors and new ideas. And who knows what else will come along for me to explore? If there's one thing I've learned in the six years that I've been choosing a word of the year, it's that my word rarely leads me where I expect it to! So, I'm trying hard to be open minded.

The first thing I always do once I've settled on a word is to find myself a new necklace to keep my word ever-present throughout the year. I found this beautiful necklace in Sherry's Etsy shop. 
Even with the business of the holidays, Sherry shipped this off to me right away and I had it in my hands (and around my neck!) within a week! The workmanship is exquisite and Sherry was a joy to work with. You really should go check out her awesome shop (and no, no one paid me to say that!)

Next up, a new vision board and then.... who knows where this will lead me? I'll keep you posted. Have you chosen a word for the new year?