Number 200!

This is my 200th post! Woot Woot!

To celebrate, I’m going to be posting some free downloads. You’ll find my Unbe-weevil-ble quilt pattern, and a file to print to cut your own 1/2″ hexie paper templates. I’ll be adding my layouts for the Squid and Dragon Hexie quilts soon too – kind of exciting to be able to give back a little!

Timing is on my mind as I feel I’m going very slowly on the Jellyfish Hexie Quilt… I’ve started sewing rows together from the bottom up. I’m sewing about 25 hexies together a day, so I am making some progress.

Missing rows are currently being stitched together – bottom right rows completed.

I figure it will take about 3 months to sew the rows and another 2-3 months to sew the rows to each other. Fingers crossed to finish this year! Here’s my layout sheet – you can see I make really good use of it for note-taking, counts, and a little math. I used a piece of cardstock for the dragon quilt… much better than regular paper.

Jellyfish Pattern – all marked up, and a row of stitched hexies.

Help me celebrate my big 200 by leaving me a comment. (comments make my day!)
I’d love to know if you have done English Paper Piecing before, and if so – what was your first project… and how long did it take you to finish?
If you’ve never tried EPP, what would you make if you did?

A First Time For Everything!

I just did something I’ve thought of doing for a LONG time. I published a pattern!

Last week I posted my unbe-weevil-ble quilt on Threadbias (a super awesome crafty community site) and received quite a few positive comments.  Also a few requests for a pattern.

I’ve always put this off because it’s so hard for me to explain how I do things… I just do them. It’s why I don’t make good management material… it’s always easier for me to do things myself than to delegate. Anyway, I sat down yesterday and put together a quilt pattern that is hopefully easy to follow!  Here is a link to the pattern.

https://www.threadbias.com/patterns/interwoven-unbe-weevil-ble-quilt
This also marks the first time I’ve done anything related to quilting that has to do with money.  I’ve been pretty direct with my sewing as something I only do for myself and my own happiness, I never want money or financial stress to affect my sewing or creative process. However, right now I can use any additional income to help with house and health stuff, so why not… right?
That said, I’m still going to do things as I like… I’m just going to share my design process a bit more in the future.  If you happen to try this pattern, I would be thrilled with any feedback. I’m going in blind as I’ve never used a pattern I didn’t make, so I really don’t know how they are usually laid out. I don’t mind critiques – they help me grow and make better things in the future!

A New Year

A little late for a new year’s blog, but still… HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I can hardly believe it’s 2014. I feel like I’m in a Sci-Fi novel, except it’s kind of boring. The plot is old and the politics are always the same. And where are the jet-paks and house-cleaning robots?

All joking aside, I’m happy to start a new year with new goals and new quilty friends!

This year, my main focus is my health and pain control. I’ve been working with a PT and a massage therapist to try to twist my back back to where it should be (scoliosis) and take the pressure off my hips (sciatica, pulled psoas, inguinal strain) and give relief to my knees and ankles. It just means I have to make sure to do daily exercises, and work back up to long walks and eventually back to the gym. My diet is a constant consideration, and if I focus on a paleo plan, I think my abdominal issues will be better too. I can do it!

Another goal I have is making 6 quilts this year.  I know some people can crank out a quilt in a couple days, but I’m a very slow seamstress, and I don’t have that much free time for sewing. After a few weeks of work, here is the “unbe-weevil-ble” quilt as of today: 

Unbe-weevil-ble quilt blocks on floor for layout

I have them all laid out on the floor, and am going to figure out the best way to fit them together and which side to make the top, and how much of a border to add around the sides and top.  Each of the (9) blocks are 24″ square.  I was able to get a lot done at the PMQG All Day Sew last Saturday – it’s always inspirational to see what others are making, and that’s good when you need to plow through some big blocks!

Unbe-weevil-ble quilt blocks

I’m all about the process of this quilt.  Been trying to get my 1/4″ seams perfected on my machine, it’s a bit tough… but I’m into the challenge. The circles got better with each block, but most of them look a little fractured, and I kinda like it. Following a pattern was hard for me, and I spent a lot of time taking seams out because I sewed something upsidedown or backwards.

Sewing area – block patterns to the right

Blogging is also big on my “goals” list this year. Going to try to blog at least once a week – and hopefully share fun stuff like a quilt-along or something…

Beyond that, there are goals we have for our business, which include a big website update and basic organization. We are also thinking of mixing some screen printing with some quilting this year, and that should be fun!

And there will always be the new house with a long project list. Once I get our taxes done this year, I’m hoping to get a return and be able to fix our fence so we can get a new dog (or two).  I can’t tell you how hard this winter has been without a warm cuddly creature to snuggle with, however… I DO really like how clean the house stays without the constant in and out of a dog, so I guess I can deal for a little while longer. So if you see some strange woman on the street careening towards your dog for some affection… yeah, that’ll be me.

Unbe-Weevil-ble

My husband just came up with the name of my new quilt.  He’s calling it “Unbeweevilble”.  Totally cute and I love it.

I was able to cut enough for the whole quilt from my stash!! No shopping required which was super great for me this time of year. Here are my 9 quilt block piles:

pieces cut… ready to sew!

Here are the quarter blocks:

And here is a finished block:

First finished block

And maybe you can see why this quilt was so aptly named… every so often there’s a piece with weevils on it!

weevils!

Here is the full quilt pattern… what do you think?  For me, this is a practice quilt to work on my cutting and quarter inch sewing to make good points in the quilt. I personally need ALOT of work in this department, so this is a fun challenge. 

Self-made Interwoven Pattern.

Each block is 24″x24″ so it will be a larger quilt when finished.  This is good, I love a big quilt… and with beetles!!  The circles are interesting… I thought I could paper piece them until I realized you can’t really paper piece curves.  So, a little change and a lot of curved piecing in this one.
I’m very happy to be sewing in the new house. It’s warm and cozy and I am extremely thankful everyday. This quilt will be oozing with positive energy once I’m done with it. Even if my points are not perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰  
Happy Solstice Everybody!

December Cold

It’s been pretty cold here in the Northwest, we just came out of a cold snap where we were in the 20’s for about a week.

I have a low immune system, and once I get sick, it can last for a long time. Unfortunately, I caught a head cold last week. Lasted for a few days, then I felt better and I was inspired and designed a new quilt… even picked fabrics for it!

Of course, I over-exerted myself and got sick again. The coughing is the worst, every cough hurts my back so I’m taking a lot of advil these days.

Today I’m feeling good enough to cut some pieces for the new quilt.  I’m calling it “Interwoven”. Even though I designed the pattern, I’m terrible at following patterns… so this is a challenge for me. Challenges are good – right?

This one is pretty basic. It will be made up of 36 blocks – all straight lines with a couple paper-pieced squares. It’s always interesting making up a pattern, I always wonder what tricks I can use to make it sew up quicker and easier.  Yes. I know I can go online and search millions of ideas and patterns that have already been done… and maybe even find one like mine. However, I really like starting from the beginning and working through solutions on my own.

Another challenge with this quilt is fabric choices.  I’m not allowing myself to buy anymore fabric until I get at least 2 quilts made from my existing stash. After moving, I realized I have a lot of fabric… and I just don’t have the space to collect too much at a time.  Because of this, my quilt colors were chosen for me based on what I had.

I still have the background fabrics to cut… then I’m off to the machine to get all these little goodies pieced together. Here’s to hoping my cold is over… I’m anxious to sew!!