I’m a bit behind in posting these numbers, so this is a catch up from February I believe. I mentioned in an earlier post that I picked up some fabric during a GREAT sale Craftsy was running at the end of January. These are them and so far I am happy with the quality of the Lily & Loom fabrics.
I have been working on building up a collection of neutrals and definitely managed to bulk that up with this purchase, although you can see that I was also tempted by some saturated brights. And I couldn’t pass up the Amy Butler design roll — I’m working on an Amy Butler log cabin quilt for one of my sisters and thought it would be fun to make one for my other sister, too, just using different AB fabrics. This order was 21.5 yards total.
Then I happened to be reading a blog (I don’t remember whose, I’m sorry) and she mentioned that Erica’s was going out of business and the entire store’s inventory was on sale. I thought I’d check for some more neutrals and am really happy with my purchases.
Lots of great blacks and greys, plus that two prints from Blueberry Park in a beautiful berry color. This order added 13.75 yds to my stash. So. Definitely more in than out, but…
I did use up 4.5 yds in finishing the two baby quilts I mentioned in my last post. And I’m hard at work finishing up Bri’s quilt, too, so I’m excited to see that number slowly ticking up. It will take me a LONG time to use more than I’ve purchased, but I’ve also decided that except for unlikely quilt emergencies, I’m cut off from fabric purchases for the rest of the year. I have a little more time for making now and I really want to use my energy at the sewing machine, not in the store. ;)
Used this week: 4.52 yards
Used YTD: 9.08 yards
Added this week: 35.25 yards
Added YTD: 60 yards
Net Used Yards (Used YTD – Added YTD): –50.92 yards
Now that I’ve got a little momentum going, I thought I’d try posting a list as a way of motivating myself.
Bind cheater baby quilt.
Cut binding strips for nautical quilt
Bind nautical quilt (yes, it’s quilted!)
Cut border strips for Bri’s baby quilt
Piece big star blocks
Add borders to Bri’s baby quilt
Sandwich, baste and quilt Bri’s baby quilt
Sandwich, baste and quilt big star quilt
I’m not sure that this is totally realistic for one week, but these are the next tasks on my plate, so let’s see what I manage to finish! Hopefully there will be at least one or two items that I can check off of my Finish A Long list.
Immediately after I finished basting the nautical quilt, I started to get cold feet. I worried that my quilting would be terrible and I didn’t have any sense of how the new machine would work for quilting. It felt too risky to just start on the quilt. So first I quilted up an orphan block. Turns out, quilting on the new machine is a breeze. My skill still could stand to improve by about 1000%, but the machine is lovely and quiet and makes everything so much easier.
But then I got anxious about how wobbly my lines were. I thought I should just throw togeher a quick, larger whole cloth quilt sandwich to see what it’s like to push something of size through the machine — the block helped me see what the machine could do, but definitely didn’t give me any clues about maneauvering a bigger quilt. Luckily I had a large piece of a cheater patchwork print from an older MoMo line — Wonderland. I really love this fabric! But I didn’t ever know what I would do with it and now it’s found a purpose. I quickly sandwiched it and started quilting. It turns out that I had forgotten how heavy a quilt can be when it is thrown over your shoulder! I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but for me I feel like I have the most control if the quilt is feeding down into the machine. And rolled up and out of the way, not flopping about all over the table.
My takeaway is that if I’m hoping for perfection in my quilts, I am going to be disappointed everytime. But if I persevere and finish the darn thing, I will have a comfy bit of love that I can share with a treasured family member. What I’m saying is that my quilting is pretty uneven. And unlikely to improve dramatically over the next few quilts. But the reward of a finished project outweighs my irritation over it’s imperfections. And if I stick to my guns and really go for it, I can have three quilts to take with my in a couple of weeks when I go to meet my newest niece! One for each niece and nephew that is currently lacking a quilt from Aunt Laura. That’s something to strive for and worth getting over myself to do. <3
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, because even though it’s not bound it’s pretty darn close to being finished!
Yes! I’ve finally made progress on that nautical baby quilt! In the necessity it the mother of invention category, you can see that I ran out of blue flannel and so had to sub in some scraps in two (you can’t see the other one, but it’s there) corners of the quilt back. I’m not sure how much, if any, of this fabric will end up in the actual quilt, but I kind of like the unexpected pop. And it’s actually leftover flannel that I used to back my oldest nephew’s quilt, so if I end up giving this one to his brother, they will have a little something in common.
I managed to get the whole thing basted, too, and plan to start quilting today. So that’s pretty exciting. I did end up having to run to Walmart — well, I was running there for an unrelated pet emergency and while I was there… — and pick up more basting pins. I think I might be basting a bit too close together but I don’t know.
Before I start quilting, though, I need to spend some time figuring out how the walking foot on my new machine works and just get a feel for what quilting is like on that machine.
It feels really good to have time to work on these projects without feeling like I’m taking away from a thousand other things that urgently need to be completed. I have loved this second round of grad school but am REALLY looking forward to it’s end in a few months. The summer schedule is much lighter than spring and fall and I can already tell how much I appreciate having just one less thing on my plate.
I’m a big fan of the adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. No surprise, right? I’m constantly setting goals and then only meeting them partially or making them so wildly unrealistic that they just don’t happen at all. But. Eventually things do happen, so I’m going to just keep plugging away, setting goals and working towards them at whatever pace I manage. Having said that, my goals for this quarter of the 2018 Finish-A-Long are remarkably similar to last quarter. Although I have made some progresss — I still need to finish everything on that previous list, but I did get a little further along on those goals. I also added a couple of things to the list, just because! :) There’s no penalty for not finishing so why not include everything that seems like it could be a “maybe” right now?
Back, sandwich, quilt and bind the nautical baby quilt. Decide: will it go to my nephew after all or be donated?
Bri’s Quilt: needs borders, a back, sandwiched, quilted and bound. Then sent to my niece.
Wool & Wax Tote — cut, piece, use. I have waxed canvas for this as well, but it’s a big tarp that isn’t easily photographed right now.
Lined Drawstring Bags — make four more to bring total number of bags to 7.
Fat Quarter Friday — I saw this recent Cluck Cluck Sew pattern and knew it would be a great way to use up some of my stash. This quarter I want to make the Squares version using some of my Katie Jump Rope (the original!) fabric.
Bring the Basics Wallet — I got a new cell phone and while I do have to schlep a huge bag with me to a lot of places, I really prefer to be able to contain my things to a small clutch whenever possible. This wallet pattern looks like it fits the bill (lol).
Six items! As ever, what progress I do make will make me happy. But I’d sure like to get a few of these items done! Linking up with the 2018 Finish-A-Long here!
My OMG for April is the same as it was for February — get this quilt backed, sandwiched and quilted. April is kind of an intense month (finals and final projects), so I will be happy if I get the back pieced and the quilt sandwiched, but I’m adding in a stretch goal because I know that once it’s sandwiched I’ll probably want to just keep going!
I’m also adding a short list of other projects I want/need to work on this month:
Continue getting to know my new sewing machine.
Work on the Layer Cake Nine Patch I started last summer/fall.
Finish the top to Bri’s quilt.
Make something just for fun, and just because I want to!
I’m linking up to Elm Street Quilts and plan to make my 2nd quarter of goal setting more successful than the first!
Uh, the short version is basically that once February hit I got mired in school work and my sewing mojo pretty much vanished. The slightly longer version includes the fact that my sewing machine moved from being quaintly archaic to painfully frustrating to use. It’s always been really loud but suddenly seemed loud enough to be heard on the street. And there always been a sense that it was grinding through the work — in the way that older all metal machines do (or at least, all those I’ve sewn on) — but now it seemed like the grind was no longer business as usual but something a bit more laborious.
Probably it was time to take it into the shop for a tune-up, but…I’d also been contemplating a new machine for a while. My primary concern was that I’d unload $$$ on a machine and then never use it. With my husband’s encouragement, I overcame that hurdle and spent a lot of March looking online at machine reviews and trying out the different machines that friends own or that were available in local stores. I knew that I wanted a decent amount of space between the needle and the harp so that quilting would be easier, especially for the larger quilts I want to make. I was looking for something quiet as the “let’s pretend I work in a 19th century factory” noise level was definitely not cool. And while I’m not interested in thousands of stitch options, I did want more than just a straight stitch. And I still wanted to stay toward the lower-end of the budget.
In the end I purchased a Brother Innov-ís, the entry level model, from a local dealer. I really wanted to patronize a local store and I also wanted some hands-on experience before buying. I honestly thought I was just going to test the machine out on the day I went in, but I was so pleased with the machine and the price that I went ahead and brought the machine home that day (really just this past weekend!). I spent the weekend playing around and I’m still a bit intimidated by all the decorative stitches and haven’t done much more than scrape the surface of what I can do with the machine, I am sure, but I have been enjoying sewing in a way that I wasn’t able to the last couple of times I sat down with my old machine and that is worth it for sure! Also it’s quiet enough that I can use the machine in the early mornings before Michael wakes up (really, I can’t emphasize how LOUD my old machine was).
I don’t have any illusions that this machine will suddenly turn me into a remarkably accurate piecer or creative quilter, but I do feel like I can narrow down where my problems are a bit more easily since I’m not also trouble-shooting the machine at the same time. I do intend to have my old machine serviced and keep it as back-up — for all my complaints it’s really been a work-horse and since I’ve never actually had the machine serviced before I can’t really complain about its performance!