Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Homecoming Week and the MUM

Homecoming week at my son's school was September 29 - October 4th.  It's a lot of fun for the kids because each day is a theme day and they get to dress up (and not wear their uniforms!)  Then of course Friday afternoon is the big pep rally and then the football game that night - which we won!!  YAY Go Cru!

So, the reason I didn't get any blogging done the last 2 weeks of September was because for about a week I was working on my son's Homecoming date's mum.  Then I had to take a few days to rest from all that work.  LOL  These mums are seriously important to the kids.  So that means they are also important to the moms.  They are time consuming to make - unless you're the lady at Hobby Lobby who can pop out 3-4 a day - and they are actually very expensive.  All the little bits and bobs that you have to buy end up being pricey and for some reason I always overbuy and end up with a box of stuff for next year.  You can end up spending anywhere from $70 to several hundreds of dollars.  So as you can see, this is a HUGE crafting project.
For anyone who isn't aware of the Texas Homecoming Mum traditions, you can read last years blog post here.

I have lots of pictures to show of this years mum so I'll just get to it.

 My son's date's name is Hailey and that is a music note in the center of the mum flower.  Hailey plays clarinet in the band so I had several band themed doodads.

 Fuzzy picture :(
 The following pictures are of the mum that Hailey game my son Ben.  Yes, in Texas the boys wear mums too.  They are attached to garters which are worn on the arm.

 This is a seriously good mum.  See the little Crusaders in the flower.  That is so cool.  I'm going to copy some of the ideas from this mum next year.

Btw, their football team is now 6 and 0 which is so great!  I've got my finger's crossed that they make it to the playoffs.
Thanks for reading my super long, picture heavy Homecoming mum blog post.  And now for your viewing pleasure, a picture of Hailey and Ben before departing for the dance.

Look at her gorgeous hair!  She looked like a princess.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Stash - New Fabric

I was at my local LQS today for our monthly Saturday Sampler and low and behold, what did I see?  Some Tula Pink fabric looking at me!

I live in a very traditional quilting area of the state and although my favorite LQS does carry lots of lovely modern prints, she also carries lots of Civil War reproduction, traditional prints and western prints.  But she is trying to carry more modern goodies and today she had just gotten in some of Tula's new Moonshine collection as well as a few of Anna Maria Horner's Potent line.

So, of course, some of it had to come home with me even though I'm suppose to be on a fabric diet until after the Houston Quilt Festival.

And then I found this:

Windham fabrics presents "Paint" by Carrie Bloomston.  This particular print is called Newsprint.  I love it.  I bought a yard but I think I'm going to go back for more.  She also had it in the purple and I think I'll have to pick up a bit of that.

Then I came home and took a nap.  It was raining here all day and very dark, so I was practically forced to take a nap :)

Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lovely Year of FInishes Goal for October

Yay!  I didn't forget this time.  

This month my ALYOF goal is to complete the quilt top that I alluded to in my previous post.  I have every block cut out and the pathworks that go in each block are made.  I just need to sew the borders around the patchwork.
And then I will have this:
Keep your fingers crossed that it will look like the picture in my head.

Have a great day!
*linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes at Sew Bittersweet Designs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WIP Wednesday - My Inspired Project

One of the first modern quilting books that I ever purchased was Quilting Modern by Jackie Gering and Katie Pedersen.  The first quilt that jumped out at me in the book and begged to be made was the Fiesta Wall quilt.  I've wanted to make it for the past 2 years.  And I've had the fabric purchased to make it for the past 2 years.  :)

Lately, it's been calling to me again and I decided that I wanted to get it made in time to enter it into Quiltcon (deadline is the end of November).  So I pulled out my fabrics a few days ago and started thinking about the quilt.  I still love the quilt in the book but lately I've been wanting to design my own quilts more and more.  Or at least take inspiration from the pattern but put my own spin on it.  So, I got out my colored pencils and my graph paper and drew up a plan.

And that's my WIP for this week.  I'm working on my Fiesta quilt (possible name change is in the works).

I read a lot of blogs and try to stay up on what's going on in the online quilting community.  By doing so, it can sometimes be easy to go with the flow and just like what's trendy at the moment.  Lately I'm getting better at stopping myself, pulling back and thinking about the things that I really like and dislike.  How am I a modern quilter? How do my likes and dislikes make me one?
Well, I love patchwork, I love scrappy, I love minimalism or negative space - but not too much, I love traditional quilt blocks, I love traditional quilt blocks that have been made modern, I love modern quilt blocks, I LOVE paper piecing, I love sampler quilts, I love the colors blue, green and purple - the cool side of the color wheel, I love gray and black and some shades of chocolate brown - but not too much and I love color combos that are opposite each other on the color wheel.  

What do I dislike?  I dislike traditional borders and sashings with the little corner blocks, I dislike low volume, I dislike too much minimalism, I dislike some shades of brown, I dislike repro/vintagey fabrics, I dislike Civil War fabrics, I dislike solids that are too dusty and I'm sure there is more that I dislike.
**NOTE:  This is my personal opinion about the things listed.  I realize not everyone carries my opinion and that's what makes the world so great. 
After thinking about what I like and dislike for some time, I drew up my plan for my *Fiesta* quilt.  It has some of the things I love in it such as patchwork, minimalism (but not too much), and cool colors.  We'll see how it goes.  I really need to finish up some WIP's around here.  They're starting to take over the place.

Wow!  This post was just suppose to be about my WIP and it got all preachy.  Sorry about that.  Please don't take offense if I have disliked something you love. 

**Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation**

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Putting the Dottie Away ALYOF

My goal for ALYOF for August was to complete the 24 quarter circles that I needed to make my 6 Dottie place mats (this was a project that we were doing with a class in our local guild).  I actually did get my goal in on time but I didn't get a blog post done in time so it doesn't count.  I also didn't get my goal for September posted.  Ack!

What happened?  Was it the start of school?  The really hot weather?  The end of summer?
I don't know.  Just disorganization I guess.  We'll go with that anyway.

So here are my completed Dottie quarter circles.  I've put them all together in the pictures so you can see that they really are all there.
 So, I've finished my goal for August but now I'm going to put the dotties away for awhile.  I have so many projects that I need to get finished by Christmas or the end of the year that I just don't want to have these dotties dragging me down.  That's right.  I've lost my dottie mojo.

If I weren't so far into the project, I'd scrap it altogether.
But I love all the different fabrics that I used.  After all, it is all MY fabric - from my stash that is.  I know how I want to complete the place mats and I do plan on taking this back up.  I don't want it to be a never completed UFO.
But for now they're going in the box.

If I had remembered to post my goal for September, it would have been to get my Halloween table runner quilted.  I know how I want it quilted and I've already basted it and it's sitting on my sewing machine table.  I just need to start.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Michael Miller Modern Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt

Wow.  Say that 3 times fast.  My Michael Miller Modern................
Just kidding.

Ok, now for the big reveal.  My very favorite quilt that I've ever made of all time.  My butterfly quilt.  I call it "Butterfly Release" because my intention was for it to look as though the butterflies had just been released from a box and they were flying up.
 In the MQG challenges, the fabric company sponsoring the challenge sends out a fat eighth of about 6 or so fabrics to each guild member who signed up for the challenge.  In this challenge, the fabric line was called Petal Pinwheels and it was very springy and happy.  There was one solid - in my case the dark orange.  This fabric is sweet and happy and reminded me of spring.  What do you see in spring?  Butterflies.  

I love butterflies.  They are beautiful, carefree and whimsical creatures.  They are also the symbol for Fibromyalgia and for Auto-Immune disorders both of which I have.

A butterfly closeup:
The rules of the challenge are that the project has to be quilted, you can use any solid fabrics but if you use prints, they must be Michael Miller.
Since I knew I wanted to do a butterfly, I started looking through all my paper piecing books for a pattern.  I wanted it to be very detailed.  I found this pattern in my favorite paper piecing book.  It's by Linda Causee and is called 365 Foundation Quilt Blocks.  There are 97 pieces of fabric in EACH butterfly.  Each butterfly has 5 sections - 4 wings and the center section.  I loved doing these butterflies.
The background fabric is white in Kona cotton and you can also see an off white looking fabric that I used which is the white on white Mirror Ball Dots fabric from Michael Miller.  I love the Mirror Ball Dot collection.  I still have some of each color and I use it sparingly.  I'm going to look for more at Quilt Festival this fall.
I quilted this quilt on my home machine.  I did an echo stitch around each butterfly in white Aurifil thread 50wt.  Some have two echo shapes.  Then I did a random loopy stitch on the remaining of the quilt with a yellow variegated Aurifil thread # 3910 in 50wt.
I started quilting on my Brother which is the machine that I usually use for FMQ.  It started giving me fits and I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  It straight stitches just fine.  I googled the problem and found many solutions, all of which I tried.  None helped.  Finally, I switched over to my little Janome and it quilted beautifully - or at least as beautifully as it can be when I free motion quilt.
Some of the stitching that I did when I was still trying to use the Brother, needs to be redone.  I want to enter this quilt in our local quilt show next spring, so I'll have to fix that.
This big brown butterfly is my least favorite.  I was trying to match the brown/tan color in one of the prints but this solid just came out too flat. 
The quilt back.  You can see the butterfly outlines on the back if you squint. :)  I used all the fabric that I had left from what I was sent plus I added some solids that coordinated with them.  The bird print by Violet Craft in tangerine was just added because I like it.

And of course my label.  I got my husband to write this one because his handwriting is better than mine. 

More pictures!
Hey, that FMQ looks pretty good!
Last pretty picture.  I'm not a very good picture stager.  I need to take a Craftsy class on that.  
My Butterfly quilt measures approximately 45 x 53.
Nice huh?
Side note:  I did not win the Michael Miller MQG challenge :(  They are already having another one using his solid couture line but it is finishing up around Christmas and I just didn't think I'd make it in time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday - A Charlie Brown Christmas

My WIP this week is the Charlie Brown guilt I'm working on for my husband.  I bought the Charlie Brown Christmas Story as a panel from fabric.com (I think).  You can also get the Halloween episode.
Anyway, my husband loves Charlie Brown and since he decorates his office form Halloween, Christmas, etc, I showed him this panel and asked him if he wanted me to make it into a quilt for his office wall.  He was very enthusiastic.

When I got my panel, it had been cut wrong.  The end of the story was at the top and the beginning in the middle, etc.  So I had to cut all the blocks apart.

Here is what I have so far:
 I've used solids and prints to outline each block.  The solid green is Kona Kiwi and the solid red is Kona Poppy Red.

"My own dog, gone commercial!"
"This little tree needs me."

  "I killed it!"

"Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!  Hark, the Herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King!"

This is going to be simple.  I plan to use white sashing to connect all the squares.  I'd like to spell out "Christmas time is here" at the top in paper pieced letters.  I know Kelbysews has some that she sells on etsy and I think that's the way I'm going to go.  It won't be the same font but that's ok.

Then the top will be finished and the back will be simple.  I have some fat quarters of this fabric and I'll probably just put them together with the solid fabric.

I hope you've enjoyed my WIP.  Thanks for reading!

*Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced*