Thursday, February 11, 2016

Some Solid Consideration, Among Other Things

First, among other things:
I have spent some pleasant time cutting 1" strips in prep for the next round of my Sweet '16 Medallion:  4" Court House Steps blocks. I have gotten many wonderful pieces of fabric lately, and it is fun to just cut a few strips to use randomly :)
And my little stack is growing :)

Then, on a trip to the city last week, I added a .50 cent coffee cup to my "rotation", not too big, not too little, just right! Which I have been lately discovering, can be the hardest size to find!
And I bought a new to me purse! It has a zipper. It is sturdy.  It is black. It was just time.
And I was getting a bit desperate.  This one had to go, sorry! It will do for awhile anyway :)
I was also able to squeeze in a visit to an LQS, Spring Blossom Sewing, in Billings.
"Mini Mikes" from Michael Miller, and a sweet dot from Maywood Studios :)
Now for some Solid Consideration:
I also picked up a few more 1/2 yards of solids, as per my deliberate "grow my solids" plan! The purple I hope to use as a binding on my Dresden quilt. More on that soon! 
These are pretty nice looking pieces, no?  That is a really light pink in the middle :)
Do you see that?  I bought them at...Wal-Mart!
1 1/2 yds for $4.47! You see, they have begun stocking Waverly Solids. Did you know that?
By the numbers at least, they are the same as Bellas and Konas, 60x60 thread count. They are $2.97/yard. So for the price of my gas station coffee, I can have a 1/2 yd of some random solid! Yes please, I'll take 3! If I gotta drive 4 hours one way to Billings, I am coming home with some fabric!

I don't know how well you are able to see this, but on the left is a stack of  Waverly solids. On the right, 2 Konas on the bottom, 2 Bellas on the top. 
Honestly, at least 90% of my fabric purchases are made online. 
There are so many online shops that I have real loyalty to because they are who I see regularly, while I may visit a physical fabric shop, including Joanns and WalMart all of once or twice a quarter, if I am lucky!
 It is a treat to be in  a fabric shop, but time and number of stops is always an issue when the whole fam is always in on these big city "expotitions"!  And I have to admit, in the back of my mind I am always comparing their prices to my online friends...even with shipping, many online shops can't be beat by "locals".
But that is not always the point, is it? I want to buy fabric everywhere I can, lol! 
Which brings me back to Waverly Solids at WalMart.  They work up nicely, they look as good as any Bellas or Konas I have.
But in the end, one of the biggest reasons I have been buying my solids at WalMart?  
The prospect of "solids acquisition" completely sweetens the inevitable trip to WalMart and the chore that it is!  
So I throw this 'Solid Consideration" out there for anyone whose pocketbook may need a little  extra TLC. 
You don't have to broadcast to all of blogland where you got them if you don't want to, but at least you have a bright spot to look forward to in those acres and acres of WalMart!

I am not dissing "designer solids" at all, because I love them too(Love love Moda! Love love AG, and Kona!) This is just my awkward version of a PSA.  Sew, for what it may be worth, you're welcome :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to Greg!

Lack of pillow forms not withstanding, here they are!
Started the first day of this year, these two pillows have been a fun satisfying challenge with which to begin the quarter and the year!
I copied the quilting on the Modern Circle pillow as best I could from the original, using a matching brownish-grayish thread, lots of ditch-stitching.  It finished up right at 18 inches square. I had some fun with the envelope back :)
My adaptation of the Twisted Craze pieced up nicely, but when it came time to quilt it, small inaccuracies were not making for a nice quilted rather than continue on with so-so results, I unpicked Sunday afternoon the few lines of quilting I had done and simplified. I kept the stitching to the larger gray blocks and center, leaving the more intricate corners without stitching, which, as it turns out, is more in keeping with Greg's expressed blase over too much quilting (?!) on a cushion :)
This one measures right at 21 inches square. I had some more fun on this envelope back as well :)
While Greg has been "in the dark" about these cushions, he knows I have been busy on his account! I gave him some preliminary fabric choices for both cushions, first his current favorite, the Cotton and Steel/Melody Miller citrony green print. And later, he chose the burnt orange when presented with a small stack of options, which ironically did not include the orange. Chosen from a Lotta Jansdotter print in Follie. 
I have enjoyed quite a nice "Fabric Flow" from Greg over this past year as he has shopped for cushions I would make for him. So this is a start on my part!

Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law and number one "partner in fabric", Greg!!! 

Linking up with: 
Beth @ MainCrushMonday
Lorna @ Let's Bee Social
Amanda Jean@ Finish It Up Friday


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Birthday Pillow Progress!

So these 2 pillows are on my Q1 list, and I am happy to report I am making progress on them!
Lots of labeled pieces...lots of accurate piecing, hopefully!
The first one, Modern Circle Pillow by Alissa Haight-Carlton, was super exciting to see as it came together! The top finishes at 19" x 19".
I used up a few little strippy scraps for the envelope back, which is not yet attached.

I was able to pick up some more of the gray and a burnt orange for the second pillow last week.
just the basics, ma'am!
More strips, and lots more labels! I adapted this from a McCall's Quilting pattern, Twisted Craze by Tracee Doran, a wall hanging 48" square. I have down-sized it to a 21.25" square pillow.
A simple enough beginning, with fingers crossed I got all my math right! Each strip is 1.25" wide, for finished strips of .75", whew!
I was too head-down to take any other progress skill set was definitely put though the paces!
 I am thrilled with the result, and am calling this a singular success!  
This measures a precise 21 3/4"x 21 3/4" :)
I think they make for a striking pair, if I do say so myself :)
My Brother-in-law assures me he has pillow forms for 2 18" and 2 20" pillows so this will give him one of each, and we can come up with something together for the remaining forms later :) I am right on track for his early February birthday!

Feeling sneaky , and linking up with Lorna and Let's Bee Social!

Sew Fresh Quilts

See you there!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

First Finish Along Q1 Finish

Phew! What a mouthful!!!
I knew I put this at the top of my Q1 list for a reason!
Once I assembled the backing, this came together pretty quickly!
I used 2 yards of Flock, from Lark Cottons, and supplemented with a few leftovers from the original bundle of Tucker Prairie,
A perfect weekend to wrap this up, and to wrap up in general! 
Cold and snowy, the way January in Montana should be!

Prairie Point measures 51"x 65"
Simple straight lines for the quilting. All the "solid" colors in the binding.

There she be! I just love her!
She is my Main Crush this Monday with Beth@CookingUpQuilts!
Also linking up with Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts :)

Today I am getting out of the house to sew with friends at Roy again! Yay!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Q1 Finish Along 2016!

After missing out on a couple of the quarters of 2015, it is good to be back with several finish-able projects! Yay!

1.  "Prairie Point" I have the backing pieced and the batting in hand. There is a reason this is number one! I pieced this top last Fall, October/November...very excited to finish it up!

2.  Birthday Cushion for BIL Have had alleged cushions on the drawing board since his birthday last year. I am not waiting on our reunion for confabbing...have jumped in with what I know he will love! I worked on this New Years Day, and felt like a superstar doing it! Awesome free pattern by Alissa Haight-Carlton, Modern Circle Pillow. I just need to quilt this up and put the envelope back on it.

3.  2nd Birthday Cushion for BIL Twisted Craze free pattern from McCalls Quilting, by Tracee Doran I know he likes this one too..have done the math to downsize this pattern...if I am successful with this one too, I will be a legend in my own mind for sure *wink* I have the gray fabric, lack the the "light" fabric..thinking burnt orange
I think these will be quite complementary :) 
His birthday is in early February, wish me luck :)

4.  Great Grandmother's Dresdens 
I actually may finish this one. One of five tops I have made from 20 finished blocks from my Great Grandmother. Quilting is all but complete on the first just acquire and apply binding :)

5.  Ben's Quilt  
Peaks and Paddocks, free pattern on Moda Bake Shop, by Cindy Sharp. Have decided I need one more column of blocks before adding borders.  I will back this with fleece, so once the additional blocks are made and added, this ought to finish pretty quickly :)

6.  Flowering Snowball  This is running in the far outside position! But, 3 months can be a longish time, and just maybe I will finish it! I have the batting and wonderful Carolina Gingham backing in hand, so I think I would be remiss if I didn't include this one longshot :)

I am linking up this quarter with Leanne @ She Can Quilt :)

2016 FAL

Friday, January 8, 2016

First Week, First Finish!

What is it about the first week of January?
Snow falling, wood stacked up, wood stove panting, pencil scratching out lists and plans...the cutting mat out, ironing board up and sewing machine just a-humming!
We are talking rock star pattern (Modern Circle Pillow, by Alissa Haight-Carlton)!
...getting all the kinks out....
...full speed ahead....this all took place on the very first day of the year!
But when the arrival of my impetuous purchase of a Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids charm pack turned out to be a mini charm pack....well, it put a screeching halt to the pillow progress, and  let's just say it didn't sit around looking cute for very long! 
you know this is "fake" right? It was much tidier than this when it arrived ;)
Originally containing 75 mini charms...there are 18 missing from this little stack
As I laid out all the charms, enamored by their colors, only one quilt kept coming to mind... know the one....ahhhh....
Cool Waters
by the uber talented Jayne @ Twiggy & Opal
In the back of my mind I would probably have to admit that this quilt was, in fact, the real impetus behind that impromptu purchase! I have pretty seriously crushed on it since I first saw it!

But what was I to do with minis? about another "Reminder Mini", I wondered to myself? 
Oh yes, about one split second later the decision was made, then a little bit longer to figure the math for downsizing Jayne's charm pack shadow block tutorial.
When I first began picking charms and cutting 1" strips for the shadows and sashing, I was thinking "Cool Puddles" know, since it is smaller "waters"....but "puddles" doesn't sound very cool....
And well, Jayne I now present...
"Cool Jayne"
 my 2nd "reminder mini"

It came together so quickly, I can't even include it on my Q1 Finish Along list...because it is already finished! :)
It has 18 mini charms
is backed in this big wonderful "Falling Roses" by Tanya Whelan
bound in gray, and measures 14" x 21"
So, yay for the first week in January!
And for the first Finish It Up Friday of the new year!
truth: this hasn't landed permanently yet, it travels room to room with me...I can hardly bear to have it out of my sight!
I love it that much!
Thanks to Jayne for her super uber awesome "Cool Waters" to remake as a mini.
Cool Waters by Jayne