Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Do First: May

Do First Lists and Links:
I have been out of the loop in the blog world; there are so many new ideas, blog hops, and linky groups added since I left to jump start motherhood!  One of these lovely blogs I found about a week ago at a quarter to midnight!  My baby girl may be sleeping but I cannot seem to shut my brain off.  So I went blog hopping in my own fashion where I randomly click from blog to blog until I find something that catches my eye.  Which brought me to Lawson and Lotti's monthly DO FIRST post and linky parties.  Oh how I do love a good list!  So this month is going to be a short one because of the move.  Oh how I wish I could plan to finish all the projects I shared with you on last Monday's Post.

Must Do:

1.  Pack My Fabric

2.  Pack My tools

3.  Finish Cowboy Table Topper

Might Do:

1.  Colour My World Challenge-April Yellow

2.  Get my crafting area unpacked

3.  Make a Design Wall

What do you have planned for the month?  What do you want to finish or start?  Make your own list and link up for fun!  I have found that posting to WIP Wednesdays and TGIFF for my projects has kept me a bit accountable in the past when I was actively crafting and blogging.  I am trying to live up to the Process Pledge by showing more of my projects while they are in formation mode.  I love the input and I have been given fantastic ideas that I would not have thought of for a project and would have missed out on great learning opportunities had I not shown my projects unfinished and developing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Finishes 17: "I've Been Working on the Railroad..."

Close-up of pinwheel blocks

It'ss getting late and I wasn't sure if I would be able to get this post up before the day ends!  I wish I could say it is because I was busy sewing or cuddling, but instead, I got distracted by watching TV shows on the computer.  Well on to my bit in tonight's show.  I was only able to get one quilt top completed with a matching square for the signature block on the back!  

The quilt top without the yellow border

The quilt top with the yellow border

Close-up of the pinwheel blocks next to the yellow border.

Brown striped fabric along with the signature block for the back.

The upper half of my face.
You will be seeing a lot more quilt tops completed over the summer months.  However it may be a while until I can show you completed quilts (with stuffing, quilting and binding).  My machine is quite weary and cannot handle much more than piecing so hopefully the tops can be counted as finishes for Fridays until I can get a new machine that can handle quilting with me.  It does great with piecing until we get to the part where I want to quilt stitch the top!  Then there is problems with the bobbin, tension, needles, the operator...so I think this is best for now.  I think I have made up my mind to use a dark purple print for the border on the newest of my Jacob's Ladder quilts (See Post from Monday). What do you think?  Should I go with another color?

Linking up this week to:
TGIFF hosted this week by Christine @Quilt Monster In My Closet
Finish It Up Friday hosted by Amanda Jean@Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We're Not Robots: Word Verification

Twice every year, Sew Mama Sew, does an amazing job posting hundreds of blogs for Give-Away-Day.  Last Spring it was my first time ever entering into the frey.  I was flat on my back with meningitis, not able to move, so the 3 day obsession to enter as many blog contests as I could kept my mind off things.  This December however it was my first time giving something away.  Between being 8 months pregnant and trying to manage my own blog comments, I could barely enter into contests because of word verifications (WV)!  On the second day I started skipping all those blogs that had them.  It wasn't worth winning if I had to spend 10 minutes per blog trying to read the nasty words.  I hate WV's with a passion, so when I was messaged to let me know that I had it on my own site I tried to find out how to end it.

Recently, as I got back into blogging and stalking my old favorite sites, I saw Lucy's post (and her fantastic button) and I am proud to say that they have been removed from my blog now!  Hopefully, it will make things go smoother for my giveaway this spring and I hope that you will consider taking them off your own blog!  Click on the button and it will take you to directions on how that can be done.  If you encounter a blog site that still uses WV's, ask them nicely to consider removing them.  Thank you again Lucy (From Charm About You)!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Table Topper Blog Hop: Mini-Quilt

 There is the sound of faint music and creaking from the livingroom as I write this post from the bedroom.  Baby Girl is happily sleeping in her swing (thus the subtle creak) after a volley of cute smiles and hysterics intermittently as she still is recovering from her 2-month check-up (and shots).  Thankfully she is quite an easy-going and delightful child who normally coos, smiles, and sleeps through the night (a good 7 to 11 hours a stretch)!  I cannot believe how much there is to do daily to care for her and how much all other things seem to fade away in light of that.

Unfortunately last week I had a horrifying thing happen:  I realized that I had not checked email for quite a few days.  Once something that I checked about a dozen times a day now seems to never come to mind.  My eyes bulged out of my head as the numbers climbed ever higher as the messages were downloaded to my computer (378 messages)  including a few comments wondering where my mini-quilt post was!  Oh No!  I am very sorry to be late to the party but thankfully Mdm. Samm has allowed me admittance to blog hop. Now that I have a few plump black birds to eat, I shall get on with sharing my mini-quilt!

I really enjoyed making this mini-quilt as it gave me something to do while I had been waiting to have Baby Girl!  From the moment Madame Samm, at Sew We Quilt, started talking about this last year I felt like this was something I really wanted to do (plus I had been looking for a reason to buy a table-topper stand).  The colours chosen were in mind of the originally plan of posting in the month of February with the colors of Red, white, and Pink.  To be honest I did not have any Valentine's Day decorations so I plan to bring this out next year, and hopefully be inspired to make some other items to go along side of it.

I went with the Biblical "Fruits of the Spirit" using the terms I have on a set silver bracelets I wear.  I took some "crums" of left over bits and sewed them together to make a "fabric" of sorts, traced the "love" backwards on the back of the fusible paper for the word Love in the middle (I used the left over "fabric" to make the red coasters for the Colour My World Challenge).

I am rather new in the department of FMQ stitches, but I wanted so much to capture Leah Day's Heart Stitch around the letters.  Have you tried any particular FMQ stitches that you like to use?  I normally just use the generic "meander" stitch myself.

Here is a shot of the back of the mini-Quilt.  I added a bit of fabric on the back to make a place to slip onto the Stand, but I also like the idea that I have seen through this Blog Hop of adding it with clothing pins.

Thank you all for stopping by my Blog as part of the Table Topper Blog Hop.  For those who who stopped by random or by following me, please meander over to Sew We Quilt to check out all of the projects that are a part of the Blog Hop!

Click on over to the others on today's spot on the blog hop:

Monday, April 23, 2012

SR/WIP-2012-W17: "Just Keep Swimming..."

"Just keep swimming, swimming..." are the words uttered by my animated counterpart in Finding Nemo.  We are becoming obsessed in our household with all things fish-like as we are long-term planning for a salt-water fish tank.  It takes some serious research to make sure our future little Nemo & Nemoettes will survive our fish parenting!  In Texas it already hotter than well, (pick a metaphor) anything.  Baby Girl was not too thrilled with my idea of introducing her to the freezing cold swimming pool a little over a week ago, but she did enjoy a little shade-bathing with a friend.  I am debating if her quilt should have fishes on it...I can't seem to decide what her quilt will look like or what colors will be chosen!
 Poppy Mini-quilt-
In my timely fashion I am now finally figuring out how I want to make this mini-quilt for my friend's baby girl (who was born last June!), perhaps for her 1st birthday?  Its a really cute pattern from Erin R called Dimensional Poppy she shared last year on her blog.
Left overs-
I am being tempted to do something with these left over bits from a quilt I made 2 years ago.  I am thinking of making a table runner, perhaps add some appliqued flowers, what do you think I should do?
Colorful Chain Quilt-
I started this Quilt last year to make a signature quilt for a friend and her husband who was battling cancer and going through the gambit of tests, radiation, and surviving.  Almost 6 months after he is in remission and here the blocks still sit.  This is one of those projects that I really feel bad about, because I messed up.
 Fruits of The Spirit Quilt-
These blocks were going to be placemats once upon a time, but the more I play around with these not-so-quick random 4-patches, the more I realize that they might make a better quilt.  I am now in planning stage, trying to figure out where to place the words and if I should add something spiffy for the border!
Mystery Blocks
I was given a bag with these blocks in them along with a paper bag full of fabric...What should I make?
Black/Blue Churn Dash Quilt
These are the only blocks I got assembled last year when I signed up to do a Churn Dash swap at a quilt store about an hour from my current living place.  I think there are enough here to make a baby Quilt.  I have the pieces cut to make 15 blocks of 6 other colors, but I am not going to count those in my WIP's until I can figure out what I want to do with them.

Double Pinwheel Quilt-
It was my goal to get this top completed by the end of the weekend, but that's a fail.  I was happy to get this far, but I do have to replace one of the blocks because somehow I goofed on the seams making it almost 3/4" smaller both ways.  I did dig up the fabric I had squirreled away for the sash and the backing fabric, but I am back to debating if I should add a border fabric as well. I will see what you think once I get the sashing added, hopefully this week.
Jacob's Ladder Quilt #1-
If you cannot tell by now, this has to be one of my favorite blocks!  I love all the things one can do by rearranging the blocks, switching up colors and making a plethora of different quilts from one block!  While I procrastinating about evening up my double-pinwheel blocks, I threw this one together so fast I barely binked.  I have a baby shower to attend on Saturday and I couldn't remember where I packed the quilt that I made last year for it.  I did find it today so I am going to add the baby's name to that one and continue to debate what color fabric I should use for the borders and back on this one!  Let me know if you have any ideas since I cannot make up my mind.  I may just share pictures of my fabric choices and put it to a vote later in the week (I would add in some close-ups for that, don't you worry).

Blocks and Patches Quilts-
These blocks started out from a project bag I got cut up this past fall while I was on bedrest to make a Jacob's Ladder Quilt.  Obviously I changed things up a bit.  I am having a blast playing with different color combinations and I think I have enough blocks to make two 40"X 40" baby quilts once I add borders, perhaps bigger if I add sashing between the blocks.  It's a very simple design, but I am hoping once I am done it will look more modern than my usual baby quilt.  I am facinated by how one can completely change a quilt just by replacing one fabric or using it in differing amounts such as my two Jacob's Ladder quilts from last year (I told you its my favorite block).

Cowboy Table Topper-
I am not ready to talk about this disaster, but soon I will share...

Advent Calender-
In the same condition as the past couple months unfortunately...I have to mark the top for stitching and there is currently no room to set up my large cutting table to make sure the lines are straight.  This project has no chance for completion until after we move.

Added to all this I am packing up everything I can live without for the next 4-6 weeks.  Some people say that one should pack their kitchen up last, but most likely it will be my project piles that get the last bit of tape.  Or I may just carry them over in a bag and make sure they are out when we move.  I think I can live without real plates a little longer than I can last without sewing!  Afterall, I would only have to wash them then <laughter> and that might take away from quilting!  I put baby girl in her swing right next to me so she can see me sewing in the morning.  The sound of my humming machine lulls her to sleep for morning nap as well.  Well, hopefully I will be able to get one of these tops done by Friday in time for TGIFF or whatever other finishing group I get linked up with  Check back Wednesday for my Participation in the Table Topper Blog Hop from Sew We Quilt!

Linking up this week to: