Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mini Mania: Log Cabins

September has been busy at our house! We went to southern California for a week (and took our girls to Disneyland), and we celebrated my youngest's birthday and my birthday. Couple all those things with my oldest starting kindergarten, and, well, it's been hectic. I've still sewn a bit. But I don't have much to show for it. I got the paper pieced blocks sewn together for my Christmas Seaside quilt (pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival), I've been sewing my curved blocks together for my Arabian Nights quilt (pattern from A Quilter's Mixology), I bound a baby quilt my friend made for her new baby boy and then just didn't have the energy to bind, and I got my cherry mini bound. It doesn't feel very productive, and it wasn't, but it was productive enough. I need to remember I'm not in a race. I'm a mom first and foremost, and any time I get to sew is a bonus. One thing I've liked about the mini quilts I've been making lately is that they help me feel like I'm getting stuff done. :-) Always a good thing.

I also finished a mini for the Flickr Mini Mania Challenge group. With my busy month, I wasn't sure  I was going to be able to, and I struggled with figuring out a plan for a couple of weeks. Color schemes, layouts, log cabin vs. courthouse steps...but I finally came up with a plan that I was excited to try. I didn't know how I would lay it out, but I was excited to try log cabins in an ombre effect in a couple color ways, all with solids.

Luckily, they went together quickly, you gotta love chain piecing, right?, and I got them up on my design wall so they could sit for a few days while I played around with block placement. While I thought I would do more of a gradient thing, from yellow to blue with the colors lined up, I ended up going with a pattern that isn't terribly apparent at first glance, But I really like it. And I have to admit that I fell more in love with this mini the more I worked on it, and it's one I'm really excited about. I've even toyed with the idea of making a larger quilt. We'll see...

I also really like the quilting! I saw a sample quilt with some log cabins with diagonal straight lines and knew it was going to be perfect for my mini. Thread color was tricky, but I think the gray I picked worked really well.

Anyway, I'm pleased with it! And looking forward to next month. Hopefully I'll get to it...amid the Halloween costumes and a gift for my niece who is turning 8 in December (got to get started it doesn't get lost with all the Christmas prep). We'll see. We always see, don't we?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fabric Friday: September 18

This week has been dreary and rainy...which I personally love. I've lived in Utah almost all my life, and it's a desert, obviously, so rain is special. I love the sound of rain drops hitting the pavement, the sound of thunder in the distance, and the darkness in the afternoon when it should be light. I love the clean smell of rain when it smells fresh. I just really love rain.

So, I guess, since it's been dreary, it's fitting I picked a bundle of fabric based around a London print. Which, by the way, I don't think is a dreary place at all. But it is known for it's foggy, drizzly weather. I guess since I don't really think of London or rain as dreary, it makes sense that this bundle isn't dreary in the least either. :-)

Top to bottom: Passport (by 3 Sisters I think?), Dottie by Cotton and Steel, Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell, (Social Club, I think) by the Comstocks, Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille, and London Fog by Camelot.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Getting my curves on

It's been a while since I've posted an in-progress post, and it's not intentional, I just don't take a lot of photos while I craft. I have to really think about taking photos of finished products too, which I'm glad I'm doing this blog because it gets me to do it, but that's just to say that WIP posts aren't easy for me to whip out.

But--I've been working on a lot of different things. Mainly minis, to be honest, but I do have a couple of larger quilts in the works too, including one with curves from Angela Pingel's book, A Quilter's Mixology. I love this book, and I love her technique for sewing curves! It makes it pretty accessible.

The one thing that held me up, though, was all the cutting. So, I finally decided to just do it for 10-15 minutes at a time, and just knock it out slowly...and I actually finished earlier than expected.

I haven't made a ton of progress since getting everything cut out, but I really think I'm going to love this quilt. And slowing down while I've been piecing it together has been great.

I'm really enjoying the process. I think tougher blocks kind of make you do that--since you can't rush, you almost enjoy it more because you don't feel bad that it's not going to be finished by the end of the week (or month...)

Linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cherry Pie Mini Quilt

While I was shopping at a quilt shop that was closing, I picked up a copy of Fig Tree's Cherry Pie Mini Quilt. I really love the simplicity of it, and I quickly determined to make it. I pulled out fabrics from my scrap bins, and got them cut out. One of the best parts of a mini (for me...) is that there are generally not very many pieces to cut. Cutting is not my favorite part of quilting, though now that I have a better cutting table set up, it's not quite the arduous task it was.

I ended up making it during cherry season, though I failed to finish it before the cherries ended for the year (cherry season is only 3 weeks long, after all...). At least I'll have to remind me of what I have to look forward to next year!

The top went together really quickly. One thing I found confusing was the border cutting instructions. It looks square, but it's not to start with and the way she has you add borders on is very smart. However, they're not labeled on the diagram, so I ended up not cutting them in the beginning and waiting until it was time to sew them on, and then cut them to size. I believe the cutting instructions were accurate, but when I read through them, I just couldn't imagine how they could be correct.

I also made the mistake of not carefully sewing my stem pieces together, and had to unpick a few. I think she notes to do so carefully, but it was unclear as to why until I began to press them and discovered my error. Not a terrible mistake...and easily fixed.

And then the binding...I'm sure you notice the binding...which I did a terrible job on. I cut my strips more narrow than usual, but then didn't adjust my seam allowance enough, so I didn't have much to turn to the back. I hand bound it, in the car during a roadtrip, and the back truly looks horrible. Live and learn, right? Someday, I will be better at binding! :-)

Other than that minor hiccup, the pattern was a real joy to sew and I love the look of it. And it reminds me of Seattle, which we visited 3 years ago during July, and were treated to pounds and pounds of fresh cherries. Such great memories.