Friday, May 31, 2013

Finish it Up Friday and not-so-scrappy advise

Since my last post it feels like I didn't get to quilt at all - but maybe that's just comparing to the pace of our recent Charity drive and the UFO Retreat.  Last Friday our MQG had a Sew Day and I was able to FMQ my "fairies"quilt using a shape inspired by the outer border. 
I also worked on the MoStash Bee octagonal orb block for Julie aka: Happy Vanilla Bean who blogs at JoieMaxtin. Hoping that it was delivered on schedule so that the calendar still said "May".  
Happy to say that I got to have a bit of a play date with my SIL and sewed the round table cloth for my son's place using the Joel Dewbery they really like. To go with it, I made coordinating linen napkins.
 The anticipation of our first grandchild is pretty exciting. Pondering baby girl quilts and handmades for nursery is super fun and has my head spinning with ideas.  Here's the baby wrap fabric I've decided on - similar to the Moby Wrap you can buy. Thank goodness for blog tutorials, I was able to find out how to make one with just a couple of clicks.

We have a cradle in our family that my boys used as well as my SIL's girls and soon our granddaughter will.  I love the classic style and took over a stack of fabric ideas for a new bedding set and this is what we came up with.
When I saw this palette by Adrianne aka Little Bluebell just after my pull I thought it was so similar that it must be fate - She always has great taste so I must be on the right track and made my own.
created at PlayCrafts
 The Art Gallery feather fabric will be the fussy cut bumper and the ombre the quilt (maybe a two-color bow tie).  I'm using restraint to keep from going scrappy busy.  I pulled the bicycle fabric to mix in and/or make a sheet to give a more juvenile look but am not sure - what do you think? I'd love your not-so-scrappy advise.

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

UFOs and the Mothership

As you  might have guessed - the UFO theme for last weekends BamQ Retreat was taken quite seriously.  Aliens were everywhere, on fabric, posters, tatoos, peering through the window (pretty sure I screamed) thanks Amanda.
And then there was the honor of the hat. Not only did you "get to" wear it each time you completed a UFO, but you got to embellish it too. I added an eye patch because sewing with one eye covered at 2am is a really smart thing to do- note the furry puppy dog ears in this shot:
My favorite part of the picture however is Angela photobombing a "cheers" from the hallway.
The pieced binding in orange and aqua made me smile.  The Scrappy Trip Along above and Heat Lightning below were completely finished with FMQ and binding too.  The jagged bolt like quilting was the most fun to do all weekend.  I used the machine binding for these charity quilts based on this tutorial at Cluck Cluck Sew.
edit: Linking "Bolts" up to 2013 FAL Q2 - goal mosaic found here.
The pillow in the first picture was from a Hawaiian needle turn appliqué class from about 10 years ago.  This pastel baby quilt topped that at 12 years I'm estimating and will be a gift or for charity. 
I tried doing a sandwich method rather than binding and wasn't too thrilled with the processes. I  was pleased however with the quilting in a flower/butterfly pattern and happy it's no longer trapped in a bucket and that soon a special baby will get to cuddle in it. 
That concludes the total finishes and now for the partials... I added the border to the fairies log cabin, 
sewed the final row of Fruit Salad and pieced the backing, 
made two more Jumbo xPlus blocks (shown on the righthand side)
basted and FMQ'd Row Robin, all 80 inches of it, ugh. The binding I had with me deservingly got a thumbs down so I'm going to use a fussy cut navy white chevron like Ruth did on her fabulous quilt.
The very last project I squeezed in was the Taffy pattern in Ride. Here are a few parts mocked up on the design wall.  I'm excited about the progress and it'll go fast because - to quote Alison's song about me "Karen likes big blocks"and can you guess to what tune?
I brought 5 items that didn't get touched, boo. My original post of goals can be found here.
Wow - this blog post makes it seem like a sweat shop retreat but trust me it was far from work, work work.  There was a ton of belly laughs to go around - especially in the self proclaimed "rowdy room". The festivities included  a conga line, demos, super swag, prizes (ugh - yeah, I won.. twice: I hope I get invited back!), a glorious massage, a Rail fence speed contest. We were NOT the fastest but if you squint the seams match up - 'cuz I forced 'em to! 
My friend and roommate Miriam won a prize for oldest UFO finishing up the quilt top she worked on at our retreat in November.  See how discretely she poses with the hat.
The weather and grounds were beautiful, the food delish and best of all the company. Thank you BamQ for letting me join in. You are a fun, generous,  talented bunch of Modern Quilters! Check out more pictures on flickr .
Before I sign off - I wanted to say how exciting it was to have South Bay Area MQG mentioned on The Modern Quilt Guild blog today.  Our 31 quilts in 31 days charity drive was featured so nicely.  I hope it's OK that I've always affectionately referred to them as "the mothership". 

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday at Better off Thread, Let's Get Acquainted at guest blog The Sewing Chic, TGIFF with Sew Hungry, Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts and to  Fabric Tuesday with Quilt Story  - and not just because she posted my xPlus blocks on the blog and called them gorgeous :)
Happy Quilting - Karen

Friday, May 17, 2013


SBAMQG in the NEWS by capitolaquilter
SBAMQG in the NEWS, a photo by capitolaquilter on Flickr. 
I'm so proud to be VP of our Modern Quilt Guild and part of  our recent 31 Quilts in 31 Days charity drive.  It's exciting to have a little bit of press to share with the world.  Here's a link to the online version

On the topic of being published, I wanted to give a shout out to two of my quilty friends for making the cover of a magazine! The ever so talented Pam Rocco has an amazing 4 page spread in Quilters Newsletter's special edition of Best Weekend Quilts and mentions SBAMQG and reading blogs in the article (I'm just gonna assume she meant mine LOL), a photo of Spine (a personal favorite) that hung in our small group display at the show and instructions for Floating X quilt along with a picture of my friend Carolyn are all featured. 

And then there's my virtual friend Linda from Portland who blogs at Surrounded by Scraps from F+F=AMS bee who I first "met" during the I heart the 80's swap so long ago. I'm always amazed how similar our taste is and love her work. You can find her yummy green and orange lock 'n' bolt quilt on the cover of Simple Quilts with directions on how to make it inside.   If you're shop hopping at Cool Cottons this weekend be sure to tell her hello from me! I only wish I was in Portland at Market like my lucky friend Anne of PlayCrafts who helped to set up the booth for Heather Ross - yeah, you got it, I know famous people!
For my Finish It Up Friday linky at Crazy Mom Quilts, I've got two jumbo xPlus blocks to share. I'm in love with the way they turned out.  You can get a sense of scale in this picture.

I'm hoping to be part of Blogger's Quilt Festival like I was HERE with Old Italian Block and HERE with Catalyst - but for now I'm off to pack for BamQ's retreat - have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BamQ Retreat Theme: UFO - a Dozen To Go

This Friday I leave for a weekend retreat with our sister guild BamQ being held at Presentation Center in Los Gatos and am so excited.  Their theme is UFO which could not be more perfect for me and my goal to scale down clutter as part of my sewing room redo.

I went through my two tubs and found 10 quilts; 6 are most likely for charity and the other 4 for me or my family.  Some are parts and pieces but a couple are already tops ready for FMQing.

In case I get burned out on finishing (having recently FMQ'd 7 charity quilts in a very short amount of time I know I do have my limits) I'm bringing 3 cutting/piecing projects: Taffy in Bike, my queen bee XPlus with fabric to make 4 more Jumbo sized blocks and a stack of old Crazy Bento swap blocks for an even Baker's Dozen.
It only made sense to include Rip Curl, my May ALYoF (a lovely year of finishes) and the other three  that are in my Q2FAL mosaic Row Robin, Fruit Salad and Bolts so that I can knock those off the list and be part of the ALYoF and Finish A-Long link party. 

I'm tabling all other WIPs for obvious reasons and don't really expect to get through everything. Choosing was like when you pack too many clothes for vacation because you're not sure what outfit you'll be in the mood to wear. 

Bird D9Patch 40"x50"
backing:Blue Swirls, binding:Brown
cut and resew 9Patch blocks add pieced brown/yellow border

Lavender butterflies  44"x53"
backing: ballerina flannel, binding: white diamond or envelope style without binding

Fairies Log cabin 40"x56"
backing: Dusty pink flannel, binding: geometric
32"x49" now, add geometric border

Pastel Sailboats  33"x38"
backing: Yellow flannel, binding: pastel green
add pastel green borders/piece batting

Rip Curl 58"x72"
backing: improv batik, binding: waves
make back-bamboo batting cut, ALYoF & Q2FAL goal

Bolts/Heat Lightning  43"x49"
backing: castle peeps, binding: orange/burgandy or pink stripe
already spray basted, Q2FAL goal

3x6/4x5 Fruit Salad 48"x60"
backing: large pink/orange floral, binding: purple/pink stripe
add row of 4 blocks Q2FAL goal

String Fever 40"x40"
backing: dots flannel, binding: envelope style-no binding
square up swap blocks, mix with floral for the top, Scrap Attack QAL goal

Row Robin 49"x80"
backing: aqua houses flannel, binding: nicey jane
from Around the Bend and Across the Pond, Q2FAL goal

Scrappy Trip Around the World 46"x54"
backing: bright yellow speckles, binding: aqua or multi (not sure which)
L shape orange and green border, piece flannel
There's a lot of thought and prep involved in going on a Retreat but I'm feeling pretty ready for it.  The only other one I've been on (post here)  I also chaired so this should be a breeze.

For those of you in Portland for Market - have a wonderful time. I'd love to be there with you - another thing on my bucket list.

I'm linking up for the first time to Show and Tell Tuesday at I Have to Say and Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story - it's fun to find new linky parties and browse around the blogs of all the people who participate.
It's been a month since I've linked up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and I've lost track of my tally but here's a shot at it:

Quilts for Boston blocks (2)
F+F2 Bee May xPlus Bee Blocks (2)
FMQ and bind Charcoal Coins quilt

Prepare for BamQ Retreat
Sewing Room Redo -sort scraps
Parsons Gray fabric 21st B'day - bought 4 yards

No Progress:
MoStash Orb for May
Japanese Jigsaw 21st B'day

Friday, May 10, 2013

Above and Beyond

I mentioned in this post about the lofty goal for our MQG's first ever Charity drive , 31 Quilts in 31 Days and showed you my progress here. I knew that I had dropped everything, put life on hold and pushed to pull off making from start to finish 4 quilts to donate but it wasn't until our meeting on Tuesday that I realized just how many others had done the same.  Not only did we collect 31 finished quilts for the children battling cancer, we ended up with 5 extra to auction at Saturday's benefit gala.
There was a lot of business to get to (including our future guild meeting location's move to Hart's Fabric) but before the meeting started we went out into the parking lot for the group shot above taken by Anne and then I snapped individual ones during show and tell.
Above are my 4 and below a few that others made. You can see them all on flickr.  
 There's actually one more that I collaborated on with Tina shown below. We raided her amazing stash, I cut, she sewed, I FMQ'd and bound it...  working together is so rewarding.   I'll call it another finish for the me this week. You can also read these touching blog posts from members Adrianne , Anne and Mariah.
Finally got around to making the Boston blocks and I'm really pleased to send them, especially my second one an on-point original design with a super fun center.
 I wish I could call my sewing room redo a finish abut no it's still a WIP. The shelves were full so now I'm creating other spaces for storage while trying not to clutter. The space above the shelf holds quite a bit by using the canvas shoe each horizontally.
I have slaved away at sorting scraps into colors. When I bragged to my husband about the progress he said "you moved fabric from big tubs to little tubs", ugh. Maybe he's just tired of our bed being taken over by the task, I know I am.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday. edit: Linking up "Bikes On Point" to 2013 FAL Q2

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 2013 Goals met and Goals set

April 2013 mosaic by capitolaquilter
April 2013 mosaic, a photo by capitolaquilter on Flickr.

Busy Busy

The month has come to an end and here's the mosaic of what I've been up to. 5 finished quilts, 2 bee blocks and a shelf full of nicely folded and sorted fabric stash.

I've been busy in April- obsessively so - with one workshop, two Sew Days and three guild meetings and lets not forget the complete redo of my quilting room. Only the bookshelf is completed - the rest is stuck in the "worse before better" stage.  

I met my April goal for ALYoF  it's Tweet Tweet Two in the upper right of my mosaic and #64 of 103 entered on the link up for prizes.  I've chosen to finish this quilt with a batik improv pieced back that needs made for my May goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes with Melissa of Sew BitterSweetDesigns and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts. They have wonderful sponsor - check it out. 

Are you a lazy sentimental control freak like me?

Palette Builder 2.0  

As you know, I'm a big fan of the Palette Builder at PlayCrafts - well, they've just release 2.0 with all kinds of exciting new features based on feedback.

If you're kind of a control freak - like me - you'll love the flexibility of the new version with the ability to move the color dots around the picture individually and if you're super lazy - like me - you'll appreciate the handy share button for flickr.  I also love the easy plus and minus buttons that add or subtract the number of swatches. If you're super sentimental - like me - it's a great excuse to take a trip down memory lane like I did with these old photos of my two boys when they were little.

More enhancements are on the horizon and they encourage input on what you'd like to see in the future.  Be sure to check it out and have fun playing around with it yourself HERE and read more details here.  Their flickr group is a fun resource for inspiration as well.

 I created this palette and chose these fabrics for my Quilts for Boston blocks.  One is done and the other on the design wall - they will be in the mosaic for May.

Linking up to Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day and Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.