My Long Hiatus …

I have so much to post about but life has totally gotten in the way lately.  Time to try to catch you guys up to speed with my life and my sewing!

Remember the colorful solids I was playing with a while back?  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set had Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.  Last time I checked in, I had sewn them all up into a bunch of HST and hourglass blocks.

Well, those blocks turned in to not one but two different quilt tops!Baby Quilt 1

Baby Quilt 2

I had to get them both quilted up and bound really quickly too because they were for something really important.  Everything was happening so fast that I wasn’t even able to get photos of one of them outdoors!  My kitchen floor around midnight had to do!Baby Quilt 3

Baby Quilt 5

Baby Quilt 6

I really love the look of the black and white striped binding!

Baby Quilt 4

Baby Quilt 7

Now what was the rush you ask?  Well – these baby quilts were used to announce to both my mom and my husband’s mom that they are going to be grandmas!  That’s right – I’m pregnant and we’ll be having our first child (a baby girl) in June!

Baby Quilt 8

I couldn’t wait to tell them so both quilts were finished and gifted within a week of me and my husband learning the news ourselves!  Both of our moms loved their quilts and started crying as they read the label on the back!

Baby Quilt 10“Grandma’s First Quilt”
Quilt Stats:
Size: 42″ x 42″
Pattern: HSTs or Hourglass blocks
Type of Quilting: Straight line on my home machine
Date Finished: October 2014

So that is why I haven’t been posting as much lately.  Pregnancy fatigue and getting ready to grow our family has been stealing a lot of my time and, while I’ve still fit some sewing in, I haven’t found time to actually post about.  But hopefully I can get back on track here soon!

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Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

Despite the fact that I’ve got a couple of WIPs that I really need to finish, I’ve recently gotten started on a new project.  I’m working on two different baby quilts now that are going to be a matching set.

On a recent trip to my LQS, I bought a variety of cotton solids in a rainbow of colors.  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set has Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.

Textured Fabrics - 1

I tried to find fabrics that would pretty true to the “standard” colors of the rainbow.  I was basically envisioning opening an 8-count box of crayons and trying to match what the colorful crayons would look like.

Textured Fabrics - 2

Since I’m pairing these colorful solids with Kona white for the background, my LQS recommended that I pre-wash everything.  They said my colorful solids would shrink at a different rate than the background.  So I bought some pinking shears and embarked on my first pre-washing ever.  And I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of having to pre-wash.  Between trimming with the pinking shears and cutting off the frayed edges after washing, you lose a good bit of fabric.  And it takes a lot more work!

Textured Fabrics - 5

But I finally got everything pre-washed and re-ironed and could actually start cutting into it.  I cut out 120 squares (1/2 colored and 1/2 white) so that I can make 60 half square triangles and 60 hourglass blocks.

I know everyone seems to rave about shot cottons but so far I’m not a huge fan of working with these colorful fabrics.  I’ve had a lot more issues with fraying as I cut than I’ve ever had before with Kona solids.  I tried starching the fabrics and that didn’t seem to help either (if anything, it might have been worse after starching).  But I did successfully get everything cut!

Textured Fabrics - 3

And now I’ve been doing a ton of chain piecing and sewing everything together.  Luckily, both HST and hourglass blocks make for easy chain-piecing.  I love how all the colors look all stacked together!

Textured Fabrics - 4

I can’t wait to start getting everything laid out and see these quilts come together!

More Skill Builder Blocks

I got a little bit behind on my Skill Builder BOM blocks while I was busy with other projects but I finished up two more blocks in the last few days and got all caught back up.

First up is the Machine Stitches block.

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Man were there tons of tiny seams in this block!  Just check out what the back looks like (is it bad that I think it is almost as neat looking as the front?)!

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The second block is the Chevron Star and Churn Dash block.

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I think it is kind of fun that this super modern quilt is still incorporating a couple of very traditional blocks.

Here’s how the quilt is coming along so far:

Composite of Completed Blocks

Now I just need to get caught up on the quilting of my blocks (I’ll admit – I haven’t started that yet!)!

Delightful Stars Quilt-Along

I have one more quilt-along I decided to do this year.  I’m joining in on the Delightful Stars Quilt-Along hosted by Michele Foster who blogs over at the Quilting Gallery.

Delightful Stars Quilt-Along

The quilt is a combination of traditionally pieced and paper pieced star blocks.  I haven’t made any star blocks before nor have I done paper piecing so I thought this quilt would be a good way to expose me to some new things.  There is a new block posted every Tuesday (with a few breaks thrown in so people can catch up if they fall behind).

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I chose to do this quilt using only Kona solids but in a variety of colors so there isn’t really a distinct color scheme I’m going for.

DSC_1573I’ve decided that I’m using the following Kona solids in this project:

Ash (for the background), Chartreuse, Tangerine, Oasis, Bluegrass, Crocus Purple, Corn Yellow, Royal, Candy Blue, and Berry

I may add a couple more shades if I feel it is needed as I go along but as you can see, it is definitely a rainbow sort of look.

So far there have been 4 blocks posted and I finished them all up during my snow days last week.  I’m really happy with how they are looking so far!

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DSC_1576  DSC_1577

One thing I’ve really liked is that Michele posts instructions on how to cut your fabric for making the HSTs and/or flying geese using both traditional methods or using the Easy Start and Geese Ruler.  I bought this ruler at her suggestion and it has been so nice to use!  It minimizes fabric waste, allows you to cut your pieces from strips, and even makes the notched points where needed to make piecing easier and more accurate.  This will definitely be a great tool to have in the future!

Someone else in the quilt-along suggested creating a composite on the coloring sheets as we finish blocks in order to keep track of of how things are looking and the balance of colors around the quilt.

Composite of My Blocks

Everything seems to be going together well so far!

Thread Spools Block

I’ve now finished my second block for the Skill Builder BOM 2014 hosted by Pile O’ Fabric.  This block was of three spools of variegated thread.

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To give the appearance of of the changing colors of the variegated thread, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought just 1/8 yard of 3 different other Kona pinks that I thought coordinated well with the Kona Pomegranate that I already had.  I ended up getting Kona Baby Pink, Kona Carnation, and Kona Bright Pink.

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I’m loving how these blocks look together!

Pile O’ Fabric Skill Builder BOM 2014

In addition to the Stash Bee that I already shared with you, I’ve also decided to join Pile O’ Fabric‘s Skill Builder BOM 2014.

How could I resist this awesome sewing themed quilt?!?  I thought it was just too fun not to make!

I wanted to stick with solid fabrics as I’ve never made a quilt with solids before and I really liked the bright, saturated colors used in the pattern.  I decided to stick with a similar color scheme too but I did pick a few different shades than the pattern.

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I’m using the following Kona Solid fabrics for this quilt:

  • Kona Pomegranate
  • Kona Sunny
  • Kona Cypress
  • Kona Turquoise
  • Kona Storm
  • Kona Shale
  • Kona Shadow
  • Kona White

I got started on the first couple of blocks yesterday since I was off work for MLK day.  I finished the ruler and I love how it turned out!

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I have all the pieces for the spools of thread cut and I’ve started piecing them together so hopefully I’ll have another completed block to share with you soon!

We’re just getting started so it isn’t too late to join the fun!