I’m Back, Neighbor.

Several unplanned life events disrupted my sewing schedule so it’s been a couple of months, but finally, I’m back. After crapping out of The Splendid Sampler sew-along (too many hand-embroidered blocks) I found something a little more to my liking… the Moda Be My Neighbor 2016 event. This one is super-cute and it’s mostly machine piecing, so I jumped in with glee.

Here’s my first block.

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Most of my fabric is still packed up in the shed because I had to clean out my sewing room when my oldest daughter moved back home. One of those life events I mentioned. It’s ok though. Really. I love my daughter. (sniff, sniff) Anyhow, I had to run to the store and buy some. Darn it! Since I’m quite a ways from the local quilting store, I just grabbed a few things from Walmart. Don’t judge me. It was an emergency situation. I actually love the colors, and the red brick is especially adorable.

Sometimes you need a new challenge to rediscover your joy in quilting, and this project has done that for me. I can’t wait to do next week’s block. In the meantime, I’m going to get back to my Brother Dream Fabric Frame and finish quilting the orphan block quilt I started.

Mahalo y’all for stopping by.

 

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Don’t You Want to Pinch Their Cheeks?

I love the entire quilting process. Well, maybe not the cutting-out part. But the rest of it, I adore. My absolute favorite part, however, is the design stage. This evening, I’ve been playing around with a new concept that will employ some piecing, some appliqué, and a little freehand machine embroidery.

These chubby critters would be fun for a scrap quilt, but I’m planning to use a cute mustache print I picked up at Joann about a year ago. At least for the first iteration. It should be easy to find some coordinating prints.

I realize the mustache craze has come and gone, but that’s ok. I’m always a little behind the times, and I really want to use this fabric. I’m trying to be a good girl and pull mostly from my stash this year. Hahahahaha…

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So far, I’ve come up with birds, a whale, a cat, a bunny and a frog. I’m thinking these would make fabulous journal covers too. Hmmm…

I’ll post more as the project evolves. Mahalo, y’all, for stopping by.

The Beauty of Rejects, Leftovers and Foibles

Meet Annie, the Quilt

When I entered the quilting sisterhood, I did so with boundless enthusiasm and a charming naivety. It was cute how I assumed I would start a quilt, I would finish it in short order, it would be fabulous, and THEN I would move on to the next project. It would be as easy as – say – washing your hair. Lather, rinse, repeat… Hahahahahahaha.

It wasn’t long before I experienced the agonies of poor color choices, unrefined techniques and simple boredom. “Orphan block” and “UFO” became part of my personal quilting lexicon.

First there was the highly ambitious sampler quilt that exceeded my ability at the time. Some of the blocks turned out great. Some, not so much. I finally gave up in a fit of frustration. For years, I would pull the stack of blocks out periodically, shake my head, and put them back onto the shelf.

My most recent failed endeavor was the Splendid Sampler. A great project I joined with much anticipation. Five blocks in, I realized it wasn’t for me. Still, I made a few adorable blocks. I couldn’t throw them away. Onto the orphan stack they went.

There were MANY samples, mistakes and leftovers along the way. My orphan pile would likely have continued to grow, but I recently bought a Brother Dream Fabric Frame and I’m dying to try it out. Lord knows I won’t start with any of my real quilt tops, so I thought it would be a great idea to sew all my orphans together to make a practice quilt. I told myself, “It’s already ugly, so it won’t matter if you screw up the quilting.” Brilliant, right?

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As the idea gathered steam in my head, I began to research Orphan Block Quilts and found a wealth of resources. Books have been written. There are entire blogs dedicated to them. They are called by many names: Everything But the Kitchen Sink Quilts, Scatterbrained Quilts, etc. Some of them are really ugly. Some are more beautiful than my “pretty” quilts. I’m going for a semi-organized look with the black and pink polka dot sashing. I’m very excited about trying out machine quilting, but, surprisingly, I’m almost as excited about finishing this “ugly” quilt top.

Have you ever made an Orphan Block Quilt? Tell me all about it, and I’ll let you know how mine turns out.

I Need a Bigger Bed…

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Current Work in Progress – Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory is coming along nicely, except for one thing. It’s too big to lay out on my queen-sized bed. In fact, there’s not a space in my house big enough to lay out the entire quilt. When finished, it will measure a whopping 96″ square. I don’t know what I’m going to do. For now, I’ll just keep sewing.

I have completed seven of the 16 sections. Only 1,296 small squares left to sew – sooooo – I better leave you and get back to work.