Saturday, November 29, 2014

Off Course Done and Dusted

We took Off Course outside for her photo shoot yesterday. The binding is sewed on and she has been through the wash. I submitted her to QuitCon. Now, with all of you out there that have entered quilts, I wait. I don't like this part! haha I would be thrilled to have her hang at QuiltCon but I know the competition is stiff and if the quilt number Off Course was assigned is any indication of how many entries had been received up until yesterday afternoon - holy wow!! 714!!! I'm kinda not holding my breath on this one. . .

Speaking of waiting. The wait is over for Spin as to whether or not she got accepted into Road to CA. She did not. Disappointed? For about 10 seconds, yes. I was a little  surprised at how little the 'rejection' effected me! I guess my perspective helps. . . it's a crap shoot (literally!! LOL) and the process is subjective to those who are doing the jury process. What floats my boat may not float theirs. Wouldn't the land of quilts be a totally boring place if we all loved the same things?? I for one hope that never happens!

Here are some pictures of Off Course Done and dusted. . . OK a LOT of pictures LOL

Close up of quilting.

Another closeup of quilting....

And another. . . Yup that's my arm and hand LOL

And another for good measure :)

And another close up just because.
And a shot of the back :)
Quilt Stats: 58.5" x 68"

Fabric:The New Colourshott fabrics for the background, Vintage Silver (COTX28), Charcoal (COTX29), Black (COTX30); the blues are Banda (COTX16), Timor (COTX17) and Celebes (COTX18); and the pinks/purples are Lilac (COTX19), Sweet Pea (COTX20) and Dusk (COTX21). I have said it before and I will say it again - these new Colourshott fabrics are nothing short of amazingly awesome! Michael's customer service! Check out the Shotthrough blog for free patterns and lots of inspiration! You might see Off Course there. . . OK, you will if you go here!! How cool is that?? :D I used Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander in black for the back. Seriously LOVE this fabric for backings!!

Batting: I used a double bat of Quilter's Dream Wool and Quilter's Dream Select 100% Cotton. I have used this combo on several quilts - LOVE! Even though this quilt is pretty densely quilted, it is not stiff or hard. Gotta love that!!

Thread: Isocord for everything. . . colors? Not sure. . . Black for the back. I matched the colors for the front.  If you are interested in the color numbers, let me know, I'll stop being lazy and look them up! HA

Piecing technique: I did not paper piece this however I did draw up two different templates. One for the blue geese, one for the purple/pink. I cut the triangles for the geese and the 'wings' from the templates and then pieced them together. It actually worked well. The blocks finish at 9". For the negative space, I cut 9.5" wide strips and pieced them to the geese by rows and cut them to size as I went. Probably not the most efficient way of doing it. . . but then again we all know there are times I'm not known for my efficiency :D 

My biggest lesson learned in the process of making this quilt? Sometimes what seems like a complete total disaster in quilting turns out to be exactly as it should have been from the start! You can go here to read about my little melt down moment when I was quilting this quilt :)

So there you have it folks. Finally, a completely finished quilt! It seems like FOREVER since I had a finish! Oh yeah, it has (at least for me)!  I have an hour of quilting left on the MM Challenge quilt that is no longer going to be entered into the challenge. I'll do the big reveal of that quilt when it is finished (Monday at the latest because I am planning on going to start a new quilt tomorrow. . . WOOHOO! Since I made the decision not to enter the quilt - I'm liking it a little more! AND the quilting plan came together right after I wrote my last blog post about how this quilt killed my mojo!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Sew She Can for Show Off Saturday.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Miss me? :)

Crickets. . . there loud over in this little corner of the internets lately aren't they?? I decided I was going to put the pedal to the metal and get the MM Challenge quilt finished and hand sew that binding onto Off Course. In the process, I have been skimming blog posts of all of you wonderful quilters out there on my phone. Which means I'm not commenting much. . . And it also meant that I was insanely green with jealousy of all of the beautiful eye candy being finished out there and me sitting here. . . with this (I don't even know that I can come up with the right adjective right at the moment and most of them I am coming up with are probably not appropriate) quilt that I really intensely I'm going to give you my conclusion in case you get tired of reading this post half way through ;) I have decided this quilt is not going to be submitted for the challenge. It has stymied me for a month in terms of how to quilt it (and of course I thought I had that all figured out prior to finishing the top but NONE of what I had thought was 'perfect' came even close) and then when I had quilted the negative space, all of it had to be ripped out (4 days of ripping). It would.not.lay.flat. I might have it finished by the deadline, but I don't think it is going to rise to the level of being a quilt that should be submitted to a challenge. Honestly, I feel like a great burden has been lifted and I am now going to contemplate what I am going to make next. What I have learned so far in making this supposed 'challenge' quilt (Unlike AZ, it is cold and cloudy today - pictures are just not possible but I'll share updated pictures soon. . . it can't stay cloudy for long right??):

1. I need to think longer than 2 minutes before jumping into a challenge. . . It seems that I am not one that can take fabrics (more specifically colors - MM Cotton Couture fabrics are really fabulous to work with . . . just not these colors. . . I really and turn them into something 'spectacular.' I have made a couple of other quilts in which I used fabrics with which I was not happy. I hated the entire process of making those quilts. It seems to turn the entire process into a job. I don't have a job. There's a reason for that! haha 

2. I had not realized before (and maybe because my process is changing) that I start the process of making a quilt long before the fabric is purchased and the first cuts are made. I need to have a picture in my head. A plan of action. Even if it is going to be an improv quilt, I need some order to the chaos. Perfect examples are Spin and Off Course. The designs for both of those quilts came to me pretty much at the same time. I played around with blocks, techniques and colors (for almost a month) before I committed to making either of them. I think my days of seeing a new Jenny Doan video and running to the LQS for fabric to make it are likely going to be few and far between. And that is how I quilted for the first 9 months of my quilting journey. The tides seem to be turning. . . 

3. Putting pressure on myself to finish a quilt that has to be 'quilt show quality' does absolutely nothing for me but completely squash, stomp out, bury, completely destroy my sewing mojo. Pretty sure I'm not going to put myself through that again (any time soon... I admit, I'm impulsive it might happen again but if it does - could you please send me an email with a link to this post in it? lol)

4. When I don't sew. . . I find other ways to get my need to make things met :) I'll show you some of my crocheting makes at the end of this post. Oh, and lest you think that crochet might save you some money over quilting. . . I have officially found that this is NOT the case LOL 

Those are the biggest lessons so far with this nightmare challenge quilt. I am currently contemplating where this quilt will call home. . . in the mean time, I'm going to straight line quilt those stars, put a scrappy binding made up of the left over solids and call it good.enough.

OK, just so you have some pretty pictures to look at :) Here is what I have finished and started with my hook(s) :) 
This is a Minni Mouse beanie I made for a little girl's first birthday :) The ears and bows need to be repositioned. . . that will happen on Monday when I see her and mark the correct placement. I used this WONDERFUL basic beanie pattern for the beanie and this pattern for the ears and bow (with my own little changes thrown in ;)

Remember this mitten (go to bottom of post) I didn't like... so I ripped it out and made these - LOVE!!! :D Easy peasy made with this pattern. My only change was that I did not do back loop only, I used both loops - I wanted these babies to be dense :)

And last but certainly not least. . . LOVE this!! These are all of the colors, I'll do two rows of each color (as seen with the start of the second blue strip), then do three rows of each color, back to two rows and then one row. . . I might even add a border. . . I have never done a border in crochet before... we'll see :) The plan is for it to end up a very large throw. . . yes, I need to go back to the yarn store for more of the yarn. . . I am using this absolutely FABULOUS (and mindless - good for I'm too tired to sew times!) pattern. There is a link in the pattern to the tutorial - it is also awesome, highly recommend!
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sweet Progress

Few words, many pictures. . . really! Don't have time to write a long post (adult responsibilities are calling loudly and I have to get out of the studio!) but just quick, Off Course is squared, binding is sewn on the front and glued to the back. Let the hand sewing commence! I have had no issues so far - I'm going to say it again, if you are having 'binding issues' (of the quilty kind of course) watch Sharon Schamber's binding video. More steps and more work? Might seem like it but I can tell you this, it was WAY faster for me than having to take the binding off and put it back on ;) I even took a couple of snaps of the back! And finally a couple of pictures of some crocheting I have done out of necessity - cooler temps are here in the early morning hours. We take the pups out mountain biking every morning and I have been F R E E Z I N G. So I whipped up a cap, fingerless mittens and I'm working on a scarf :)

Enjoy the show!

Linking up with Connie for Linky Tuesday, Lee for WIP Wednesday, Lorna for Let's Bee Social, Kelly for NTT. Check out all of the inspiration found at these wonderful linky parties! Oh, and don't forget to vote for your favorite quilts over at the Bloggers Quilt Festival!! 

P.S. I think my sewing mojo is back! YAY :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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