Monday, April 20, 2015

Picnic in Serenade = Flimsy

It is unseasonably cold out today with a brisk wind and snowflakes falling intermittently so there will be no outdoor pictures taken. I'm afraid this flimsy might fly over the trees and right into our lake! Even Elsa is unhappy as she was enjoying spending her afternoons on the porch last week as we had temperatures in the 60's and low 70's.

 So here is Picnic in Serenade on my design wall instead.
This is one of those patterns that I fell in love with at first sight and I ordered the book because of the cover quilt called Picnic. It's very satisfying to see it come together after I started it 2 years ago as one of my UFO Reward projects (during 2013 I was able to start a new project after I finished 10 UFOs). I have three of Kim Brackett's books and think they are all great.
When I was finishing the blocks this winter I posted about my discovery of this Folded Corner Clipper. Not only do I love it for block construction...but it also made my joins of the angles go together smoothly when I sewed the blocks together. I didn't even pin between the block seams!
I just kept a careful eye to make sure my seam allowances were laying the right way and trusted Mr. Juki to do the rest. This tool is a keeper.
The fabrics are from Kate Spain's line called Serenade and it is an eclectic mix of patterns as well as an unusual mix of colors. I think they are well suited for this happy looking pattern. For now this top will go on a hanger and wait it's turn for quilting... and I'm ready to load up something new on my design wall which is always exciting.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

RSC15 Catch-Up Day

The RSC15 color for April is purple which has so many delicious shades in my opinion. In fact, purple has been my favorite color for most of my life (minus the last 15 years when yellow took over). It is my favorite color to wear hands down too. Sewing with purple is always a pleasure!

I think my 5 purple bowtie blocks show off the glory that is purple nicely.
Since I'm playing catch-up with March I also have made 5 yellow blocks from my scraps to add to the mix. I think I used up my bright yellows in January when I was framing my blue crumb blocks with yellows but I think these blocks will play nice with the other colors and not steal the show like bright yellow tends to.
Here's a pic of all of the 2015 colors we've had so far mixed together. I am LOVING these blocks!
Next up is catching up on my blocks for RSC14 which I hope to do this week. It would be a step in the right direction to start May being current with this challenge.

I'm linking up to ScrapHappy Saturday@soscrappy and can't wait to see what everyone else has been making with purple.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hello Quilting Room!

I was going to do a WIP Wednesday post yesterday but didn't get my act together so I'll try again today with more of a PIP post - Plans In Progress - starting with my design wall.
Someone in the house has decided that this wall is great fun to jump up on. A furry little someone who looks rather angelic at the moment...
Elsa has had a big day so far. There were two rabbits dining on grass near our family room windows for about an hour this morning and she was going crazy hopping from window to futon to chair to the other window watching. Then my cleaning friend arrived and Elsa likes to supervise her work (except when the vacuum is running). She is so crashed that she gave a little "mewp" when she heard the camera click but that was it.
My cutting table is a big old mess and is item #1 on my To-Do List once this post is published. You can see the missing strips for Picnic in Serenade which will go back on the design wall and then I will get those strips assembled into a flimsy (item #2). 

I've pulled out the baggie containing my Faded Memories 4 patches and will be putting them up on the design wall to play around with layouts (item #3). I had forgotten the cute woven fabrics paired up with the regular cotton charms. Aren't they fun? I'm such a fan of 3 Sisters fabric lines.
Purple is the color for RSC15 in April so I'll pulled my purple scraps to make my bowtie blocks (item #4). Lots of busy prints here so I might need to cut into a few FQs this month. And, since I didn't get to my yellows in March I'll be doing those as well.

Somewhere along the line I read/heard about having books spiral bound for ease of use and I finally did it. And wow how I love it! I took these books to Office Max last week and paid just $4.29 a book... let's just say I've already started a stack of my most used quilt books for my next trip. The "Art Doodle Love" book was a birthday gift to myself but the binding was so tight I couldn't open it all the way to write in. They also add a clear protective sheet to protect the cover which you can't see in my picture and you can choose between white, black or clear for the coil. 

If you look back to the pic of my cutting table above you can see the acrylic recipe holder I use to hold my book for my current project open. It works fine, but if I leave it in there too long the book ends up getting bent out of shape. I'm one to forget the measurements or get a block sub unit flipped the wrong way so I'm constantly checking my books. Sometimes the simple things make me very happy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Q2 Finish Along Goals

After a fair amount of thought I've come to the conclusion (or should I say hope!) that pulling some fresh projects from my UFO Collection into the mix will get me going again this quarter. So I'm going to put some of the flimsies back onto hangers and pull out some UFOs that are in the piecing stage since that is my favorite stage of making a quilt.
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
I'm also going for the smaller projects in my Collection as you will see. I'm all about building momentum this quarter you might say.

"New" UFOs:

1. Kisses & Hugs - need to finish the paper pieced blocks, assemble into a top, quilt and bind.
2. Bouncing Balls II - need to finish the paper pieced blocks, assemble into a top, quilt and bind.
3. Faded Memories - I've had this stack of four patches forever... I'm thinking a table topper perhaps? 
4. Watercolor Wall Hanging - it needs an appliqued flower and finishing so I can hang it up!
5. My Favorite Chair - I'm going to frame this embroidered piece from one of Madame Samm's Blog Hops with fabric for either a pillow or a wall hanging.
"Old" UFOs:

1. Crossroads #1
 2. Crossroads #2
 3. Crossroads #3
That adds up to 8 UFOs ready for some finishing action in Q2... now all I need to do is park myself in my Quilting Room and get to it.  
Pretty much!

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Goals

I feel like April is going to be a turning point month for me. Our weather is still crappy and I've got UFOs to finish... it's that simple. I just need to get started.
I'm picking Crossroads #1 as my finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I see that purple is the RSC15 color of the month which is one of my favorite colors. No excuses. I've listed the rest of my goals for the month on my sidebar.

I returned from my trip east to see the kids on Saturday, had my typical post trip lazy day yesterday and am getting back on task today. I'm looking forward to watching the Final Four game tonight and getting into my Quilting Room tomorrow. Let's sew!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Heading Out

I fly out tonight to spend a week visiting my kids (lucky me!) and I'm hoping for a taste of spring along the way. There is nothing quilty to report on... just wanted to make a quick post before I go. The later part of March hasn't been very productive in my Quilting Room but I have been keeping busy with other projects and watching March Madness.

It is hard to believe that April is just around the corner already, especially with the snow flurries we've had over the last 2 days. I'm feeling a little out of FOCUS and hope to come back after Easter ready to find that routine I'm still searching for. Sometimes I find that time away provides me with a fresh perspective. There is something about a change in environment that refocuses what is most important in day to day life. While I love to travel I always look forward to coming home too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Hello Fauxbonichi

Once in a while I come across something that makes me drop everything and think "How I have not seen this before?". For the last few weeks I have been feeling, for lack of a perfect word, restless. Not unhappy, not frustrated, not overwhelmed... just an under-it-all sense of something missing. Last week for my birthday I gave myself an art journal book, a grown up coloring book and a watercolor kit looking for some inspiration. I spent a morning making a collage journal cover out of an old file folder, pages from a Connecting Threads magazine and Mod Podge just because I wanted to play.

The inside has pockets made from folding the edges back and gluing them down. Nothing fancy... just fun!
Sunday night I was watching some videos on YouTube when THIS popped into my suggested viewing list. I had no idea what a Fauxbonichi was but I clicked on it and about halfway in I was hooked. As in joining her Facebook group, finding a notebook to use and staying up until 2:30 AM watching more videos, reading blog posts and watching that same video again (and again!).

First thing Monday morning I added washi tape around the edges of my journal cover for reinforcement and threaded some elastic to hold my Moleskine large size cahier notebook in place inside. And I decided that as a part of doing my daily pages I would add an item to my cover each day until it feels "done". Then I will give it a couple more coats of Mod Podge to seal it. Of course I chose one of my Elsa look-alike stickers!
Then I turned my attention to the inside. Basically this will be my play journal with a quote, a sketch/doodle, a journal prompt, a gratitude section and what ever I feel like doing with the large section on the left. So far I'm playing with some stamps, washi tape and my colored pen & marker collection. I tend to buy this stuff with great intentions but let it sit unused so I'm challenging myself to let loose and have fun with this book.
I laid out a weeks worth of pages so I can just open it up and get to it. I look forward to seeing how my pages evolve as I start to change things up over time.
Here's what my cover looks like as of today and my page in progress is below. Tonight or tomorrow morning I'll fill in the rest. I'm going to be backing each page with scrapbook paper to cover any marker or stamping that bleeds through. I'll be able to do extra journaling or collage some items there as well.

I used to keep diaries and at various times I've kept a journal. I have a sense that my life right now is at a point where I have the most ME time I might ever have again. The kids are out east, my husband is 3-4 years away from retiring and my parents are (knock on wood) healthy. I have a bad habit of pushing things off until "Someday". I also have been feeling very nostalgic since the kids moved away and would like to capture some memories of our lives. Someday seems to be NOW, especially as the days fly by. So this is my start and I'm loving it!