Dr Seuss baby quilt

I was sooooooo excited to finish this quilt – the first quilt I’ve actually finished in 2014, I apparently forgot to post it. Wooooooow … This one was ridiculously easy, but for some reason it took me freakin’ forever to do the binding. The entire quilt could easily be done in a single weekend, but I managed to drag it out for more than three months, because that’s how I roll.

Cat in the Hat baby quilt

Yes, that IS my son holding up the quilt while sitting in bed, because he was too lazy to stand up and hold it up for me. Fortunately, he has ridiculously long arms, so it worked. And I don’t have to apologize for his funny faces he makes while holding quilts as I take photos. LOL

This week, though I’m on vacation, I have yet to spend any real quality time in the studio. However, that should all change today, as my only plans for the day involve sewing, although I suspect that at some point, I will end up leaving the house; isn’t that what always happens? But my focus today isn’t another quilt – it’s t-shirts! I am tired of the baggy, ill-fitting t-shirts that are just not really my style that I keep finding in stores these days. I’m certainly no seamstress, and alterations terrify me, but I am really not impressed with the RTW clothing I’m finding lately. The t-shirt pattern I’ve chosen seems to be a fairly easy one, that has some fitting already. I’m sort of hoping I can get two of these shirts made, if not today, definitely this week.

If this goes well, I may be ordering tons of knit fabric to make some t-shirts. I have lots of ideas, including some embroidery and other embellishments.🙂

Studio Frustrations

Yesterday, I was working on my Wishes Block of the Month for March (yeah, I’m a little behind). As I was rotary cutting fabric, I had a little accident and … well … it’s not pretty. I did a pretty good number on my left pointer, I guess because I wasn’t paying attention. I’ve never done that before, and it’s a hard lesson to learn – even a “dull”-ish rotary blade is damn sharp! That meant that I had to stop work to get it cleaned up and bandaged, and then it was throbbing with pain. But after dinner, I decided to go back up and work on the block some more. That probably wasn’t my best idea.

I got all my pieces cut without further incident, and started sewing them together. I guess I still wasn’t paying really close attention, because I didn’t get all the pieces sewn together correctly. This is one of those blocks where you sew squares and rectangles together and then have to trim them to make half square triangle pieces. I got all four of these units put together, trimmed them, and ironed before I realized that I had sewn from the wrong corner. All those pieces were a wasted effort! Ugh! So I went back and recut them (obviously since they’d been trimmed they were of no use to me now) and marked and sewed, and cut the first one … it was sewn together wrong! This time, the fabric was sewn together WRONG sides together instead of RIGHT sides together. OMG!! Two of the squares were salvageable, one was correct and another one – WRONG. At that point, I just turned off the machine and got up and walked away. I was furious with myself for not paying better attention. /sigh

Today, I’ll go back and finish the block but it was a day for the history books. I’ve not been that frustrated about quilting in YEARS. I guess maybe my mind wasn’t really on what I was doing? But lesson learned – I really need to pay better attention to what I’m doing in the studio, and keep my mind on task.

March Update

It’s been a crazy month in the studio. First off, I bought a new machine, a Brother DreamCreator VM 5100 which I named George. He’s a beauty. I’m really happy with the stitch quality, and the extra space in the harp is just so great. That makes two machines that I now have with a harp that’s at least 11″ and I doubt that I can ever go back to a “regular” sized machine because they all seem so small.

Secondly, I am still working on the Green Eggs & Ham quilt, and there is progress. The top is completely put together, the quilt is sandwiched and I started the “quilting” late last week. I’m using George to put stars on the quilt, both in the blocks and on the sashing.

Star Overload

Quilting detail

Green Eggs and Hame 1

 

I’ve also started another quilt, one that cannot currently be discussed because it’s a gift for someone. I wasn’t really pleased with it at first, but I’ve worked out a better plan for it, so I’ll get that going this evening.

The great thing about having George and Ricco (my Janome 8900) is that I can have George putting stars on the GE&H quilt and I can piece on Ricco. I’m VERY happy with this set up, though Ricco needs to go into the shop for a cleaning. When that happens, I’ll use either the Viking #1+ or one of the other Brother machines I have. See, having multiple machines is a great thing, and progress doesn’t stop when one has to go to the shop!

A full day in studio

It has been ages since I’ve spent an entire day in the studio, but that’s exactly what I did yesterday. The menfolk were gone from the house, helping Chris’s brother move, so I decided to ignore the housework and spend some time working on the Dr Seuss quilt for my friend Julie.

Green Eggs and Ham Fabric

I woke up yesterday morning thinking about the quilt, so after grabbing some caffeine, I went straight back up to my room to get started – I had a vision and I couldn’t let it slip away from me. I had spent some time the day before cutting apart one set of panels and I’d sashed a few of them with 2.5″ Dr Seuss fabric strips. I finished all of that set of panels in the same manner – 2.5″ Dr Seuss printed fabric sashing, then I cut apart a second set of panels and sashed them using a Kona solid fabric in grass green. After that was done, I put everything up on the design wall to check layout.

Dr Seuss on Design Wall

 

Then I started sewing the panels and rows together.

Two rows of Dr Seuss Quilt

 

So far, I’m really pleased with this quilt. At first, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the green sashing, but I think it is perfect. I love how it gives the eye a place to rest from all the busy-ness of the Dr Seuss fabric, and I think once it’s done, it’s going to look really great.

It’s been years since I spent a full day in the studio, and not once did I worry about the housework that wasn’t getting done, or what Chris was doing, or whether or not I should be doing something else. It was absolutely fantabulous, and I have decided that at least once a month I’m going to schedule a day to spend in the studio. If the guys want to leave the house or whatever, that will make it even easier. But if they stay here, I’m still going to spend the day in the studio. I was impressed with how much I got done yesterday, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy spending the day quilting. 

I will get more done on the quilt today; I’m hoping to get the top put together even though I need to go in search of some fabric to act as a thin-ish interior border. It would be wonderful to get this quilt to the point where I can actually start on the quilting in the next week.

Wishes Block of the Month Quilt, January

Last night, I began cutting the pieces for the Wishes BOM Quilt‘s January block. Today, I finished the block. I decided to use the yellow, grey, white and black fabric I’ve been collecting.

Wishes BOM Quilt, January Block

Wishes BOM Quilt, January Block

To be honest, this is the most difficult block I’ve put together in a while. I quit quilting for a while, and then came back to the art in earnest last year. Most of what I’ve been making up until this point has been simple quilts, but I decided that I really need to expand my skill set, so when this BOM came up, I thought it was a great way to do just that. Although I’m not a big fan of sampler type quilts, I believe they are great skill builders, so I fully intend to complete several of them this year to give as gifts.

I’m really hoping, though, that the resulting left over fabrics from the cutting will be used at some point down the line in this quilt, because I have quite a lot left. If it doesn’t for some reason get used, I’m sure I can find something to do with it.

That's a lot of fabric to discard, so I'm hoping there's an opportunity to use it later in the year.

That’s a lot of fabric to discard, so I’m hoping there’s an opportunity to use it later in the year.

I’m pretty happy with the way this block turned out overall. I didn’t cut off any points, everything lined up fairly well, and it measures about right. Further, I really like the color combination on this one. Surely someone I know would enjoy receiving the quilt once it’s completed … right?

Backing

Last night I sat in my studio and contemplated the backing for the practice quilt, and I decided that I just don’t know what I want to do about it. I’m tempted to go buy a piece of solid fabric then piece a side strip to it using funky fat quarters. So, until I can decide what it is I need/want to do with the backing, I’m just going to leave practice quilt on the wall staring at me.

Tonight, my plans are to clean up my studio (which doubles as the master bedroom) and maybe start cutting a new quilt. I had originally thought to make the Craftsy 2012 BOM (Yes, the 2012 BOM), but now I’m leaning toward using the yellow, black, grey and white I’ve been collecting to make the Wishes Quilt from Fat Quarter Shop. On the other hand, I thought that the Wishes quilt would be great in some bright solids on a black background … I could do two, I suppose. Both quilts will be great skill-builders. The Wishes quilt is a BOM that’s current, so I’ll only be able to make a couple blocks right now, but that’s ok because I have another quilt I’m ready to start …

The first of the baby quilts I’ll be making for my daughter’s baby, due in July, is about to start being cut. I am going to pull out my QuiltCut to see if I can improving my cutting skills for the solid blocks – at this point, I think they will be six inch blocks. I’m looking forward to making this quilt!

Tomorrow, I will post photos of … well, something.😀  I am a bit surprised I haven’t finished anything so far this year, so maybe the baby quilt is a good place to get that ball rolling.😉