Sunday, April 10, 2016

Let's Have a Pinwheel Party!

For my birthday in December, my mother bought me a pack of charm squares in the Chic Neutrals line from Moda.  The purples and yellows really sang to me, and charms certainly lend themselves easily to various projects. The question was, what did *I* want to do with these squares? A quick review of MSQC's videos made me decide on pinwheels, especially because the cutting was easy.

Initial progress on 1/15/16

However, a new question presented itself after I got the rows together. With colors this vibrant, how in the world was I going to decide on a border? I didn't want to drown out any of these prints.

This is where having access to a good stash really saved me. I found a gray-on-gray floral in the fabrics I'd inherited with my machine, and my mother had some sunny yellow yardage. The effect was just right.

The quilt top with the two borders

Now at the same time as I was working on this, two important things were happening. Firstly, my aunt and uncle were expecting their firstborn child within the month. Secondly, a historic blizzard had come down on us. If ever there was a time to finish a quilt, this was it. I'd also finished up a Yellow Brick Road top, and I messaged my aunt to say that I'd like to offer a blanket as a gift for baby. Between the two, my aunt preferred the pinwheels.

The snow kept my office closed for several days, and as such, I was able to quilt and bind up the top with time to spare. It was a bit wonky, but as I've heard a hundred times, done is better than perfect.

 As a quick side note - I know I mentioned "Pinwheel Party" in the title of this blog post, but I can't for the life of me remember if I called this blanket "Pinwheel Party" or if I actually called it "Pinwheel Parade." What can I say? I like cute names for things.

My youngest cousin arrived within two weeks after her present was done, and my grandmother sent it in the mail for me.  My aunt was kind enough to provide a picture of baby girl using the blanket for her tummy time:

Picture of the recipient, with permission from her mother

I'll admit, seeing this made my heart sing. Pinwheels is not my first completed quilt, but I'll never know the child who received "Roman Holiday" from the Christmas quilt and teddy bear drive. Actually getting to see the quilt in use is an honest to goodness delight.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Quilts and Blogs and Schedules

Folks - I know that I'm not updating very regularly at the moment.  As with my quilting, my blogging is highly dependent on what else is going on in my life at the moment. In this case, my main job has picked up and is only now starting to slow down again.

I do appreciate every view and comment that comes my way, and I wish I could generate more content for my dedicated followers.  However, I'd rather have a few good posts than have a bunch of nonsense on my page.  When I make a post, I want it to be worth something to all of you to read it. Thanks, and I'll update when I can.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Paper Piecing

Let me preface this by saying that I would love to write a post about every single project that I do.  However, it's become clear that I don't have that kind of time right now in my schedule.  For a little while anyway, I'm going to focus my posts on the times I try new techniques, and today's blog is a perfect example.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Chickens, Chickens, All in a Row

At the same guild meeting where Halsey-Bear was turned in to the Salvation Army Drive, I took the chance to shop a bit.  Many members of the guild have little projects that they make, and I'd had my eye on one woman's chicken pincushions for several months.  For once, I had cash on me, and I picked out the chicken below. I keep her as a little token on my desk at work these days.

I decided her name was Audrey.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

But For Now Let's Get Away on a Roman Holiday

Every Christmas, the Guild participates in a quilt drive with the Salvation Army, where we each pair a small quilt with a teddy bear as a gift for a child in need. By the time the drive rolled around last year, I'd had my machine for eight months, so I figured now was the time to participate.  I'd wanted to learn how to quilt and bind a project anyhow, and the requested quilt size was small enough that I could likely wrangle the top within my little machine.   

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thoughts on Being a Scavenger

As a guild member, I get to peruse both a free and library table at our monthly meetings. I tend to stick to the free table so that I don't accidentally grab things that I'll forget to return at the next meeting. What can I say? I know myself.

The free table is its own little treasure trove. In any given month, you could find non-cotton fabrics, ribbons, magazines, threads...the list goes on. At first, I felt absurd gravitating to that side of the room on meeting breaks. I have money, right? Surely, I can buy patterns and notions and whatever I want?

When I think about it, it comes down to the age we live in.  Several other guild members have pointed out to me that I'm very lucky to come of age as a quilter in the Internet Era.  I get better access to classes, videos, and naturally, more free patterns than I could ever hope to use in a lifetime. Really, gleaning what I like from a non-virtual trove was the logical next step.

I still love my more formal resources, of course. I have plenty of purchased fabric and at least four quilting books, along with patterns and needles and the like. However, I can't deny the little thrill I get when I know I made something in slightly more economical fashion. I love this hobby, but it does add up.

Don't be afraid to scavenge, folks! You'll never know what you could find.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jelly Roll Race Quilt and Flag Quilt

After the little scrappy disaster that was my first quilt top, I took my mother's recommendation to stick to some classic or simple patterns, at least for a start.  These two projects were tops that lingered together for most of 2015, so I've included them in the same post.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Beginner's Mess - 3/29/2015

My first little project proved that no amount of theory will make up for actual practice. I'd watched videos, I'd helped Mom with layouts, I'd read plenty of books and patterns, and I knew my way around a rotary cutter. Surely I could whip up something quick and breezy, right?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How I Came to Quilting - a Brief Timeline

  • June 2011 - My mother and I were walking through the Annapolis Quilt Show, and I saw an absolutely gorgeous pattern for sale.  Mom hadn't sewn in some time, but seeing my interest, she said she'd be willing to haul out her machine and make a blanket for me out of the pattern in my preferred colors. I picked up fabrics in pink and blue strips.

  • Christmas 2011 - My "Bali Brickyard" quilt was presented to me as my main Christmas present.

  • Summer 2013 - I graduated from college and moved back home.  Job hunting was a grind, and I found my relaxation in helping Mom with projects, i.e. sorting scraps and assisting with layouts.

  • November 2013 - My mother and I went on Quilter's Quest for the DC region.  All of the shops were wonderful, but I was especially smitten with Jinny Byer's shop in Great Falls, VA.

  • February 2014 - I started my current job.  The pay was and is fantastic, but I knew I couldn't justify buying a machine of my own until I had a car.  Project assistance for my mother continued.

  • March 2015 - I was at a sew-in when someone asked the room "Does anyone want a free sewing machine?" My ears perked up and I asked, "Free? What's the catch?" The person explained to me that the Singer 2010 had belonged to her late mother and worked just fine, but was doing no good just sitting around gathering dust, and she wanted it to go to a good home where it would be used. I said yes, and after verifying that we had room at home to take it, I got to work.
The rest, as they say, is history!