Squares, Squares and more Squares

Over the Labor Day weekend, I was doing quite a bit of cutting and sewing. After my failed attempt at trying a Charm Square Swap (however have no fear, I continue to keep striving for it) as I had never done anything of the sort and spending countless hours looking around for the group either locally or on the internet for Bee or Block Swaps, or any type of Swap for that matter… I had finally found one to join!

About two months ago I joined the Rock’n Round Robin Group! I was pretty excited (still am) and in some ways, I am wanting next year to be here already! I know it will be here before I know it though. With that being said, the two months for the first Row to be sent out came around quicker than it should have (Sept. 1)! This particular Round Robin is for Batik fabric only. I have to admit, I have never been a fan of Batik fabric and always thought it was very ”ugly”. I have found myself in the selection process for fabrics very difficult (which is probably a huge part why I delayed this for so long) to select as I continued to not find anything that I liked (not even a little). This Round Robin has become the perfect project for me to really step outside of the box without having anything else to ”fall back onto” since it is strictly the requirements.

Fabric Selection for beginning row on my quilt for the round robin


When I finally forced myself to select the remaining fabrics, I somehow began enjoying them and appreciating them for the handmade design as well as their mix of coloring. While I still had not been sold entirely on it and was just having to go for it, each day I find myself enjoying these fabrics a bit more.

So I got to cutting this past weekend and I had a lot of cutting to do. 1600 2” squares to be exact (but who’s counting?). I cut all of my fabric into 2” strips x WOF to prep for them to be cut into 2” squares.

800 squares cut, 800 more to go

There are 3 groups conformed of 7 people, I am in group 2. We make one row that measures 12.5” x 84.5” and send our row on… and every two months it is sent on from the next person and so on. By next summer, I will have a quilt with my row (currently working on) in the center along with 6 other peoples rows added onto it and I will have made and been part of 6 others quilts with my row on theirs!

1600 – 2” squares

I have all of the squares cut and 1/3 of them sewn. I still have a lot to do as these are going to end up being 1.75” HST for a finished HST of 1.25” (tiny). So instead of rambling more here, I am going to get back to my chain piecing because then I have the grueling task of ”trimming to size”. I really think this is going to turn out quite beautiful and I will be more in love with Batiks than I was prior!

Sew Stitching Cute
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Late WIP Wednesday

I’m a little late on WIP Wednesday, although I did share a picture on my Instagram. It may not be Wednesday, but it is still a Work In Progress and there is no stopping on this one. Every free moment is being dedicated to it and I am almost excited to work on it. I spoke about this baby quilt a few weeks ago, introducing the layout and the process of selecting the layout.

All cut, squared and ready for chain piecing for HST

This fabric selected is absolutely gorgeous and precious, all for a new baby girl, named Emma entering the world in a few short months! I have been loving having this fabric between my fingers, it is absolutely so soft to the touch that it will be perfect for a little baby girl. The prints selected are:

Sunshine Rose – Pink
Sunshine Rose – Hanky Panky Pink
Rosey – Roses and Mums Green
Bella Solids – Weathered Teak
Kona Cotton – Peony

I decided to do my HST not on the bias, for the simple reason that this is a commission quilt; that means more nerves on how well the quilt turns out and me freaking out in my head. For this method of HST, I cut my squares at 6 1/2” (1. because I like extra room for triangles, more accident prone. 2. because I have a 6 1/2” square rule. 3. because I can). I then put two squares Right Sides Together and drew a line down one of the backs. I simply placed a pin to hold and not loose which squares are to be sewn together.

I then got to sewing down the line, using the line at my 1/4” seam allowance ON BOTH SIDES. I chain pieced all the way down one end and chain pieced down again on the other side. I never even broke the chain when I went down the 2nd time, made it much easier having one after the other trailing right behind!
The green-brown color is truly a nice pale chocolate brown – terrible lighting.
I then cut each square down the drawn line, between the two 1/4” seam allowances just made. You are then left with quite a few double sided triangles. 
Head to your ironing table, set your seam, open up your triangle and press down your seam again however you like your seams to be. I decided to go one direction for this, all towards the darker of the fabric it was matched with. You are then left with your HST! Now… to get to snipping those little corners AND re-cutting. The joys of accuracy and my OCD!

I’m not done with these, but I should be tonight. There is about an extra 1/4” extra over a 6” HST. I am trimming all with straight edges to 6”. Once it is done, it will be a Sew Stitching Cute Chevron baby quilt!

Reminder: 2014 Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June

Hey everyone! Just wanted to remind everyone that I am participating in the 2014 New Blog Hop with Plum and June; it kicked off last week with a great start and I have already began admiring more bloggers and quilters! I will have my opportunity for introducing myself on Wednesday, June 11 – be sure to remember and stop by!

In the mean time, I strongly encourage everyone to stop by the lovely other bloggers pages and check them out! I have been enjoying them all and will continue to enjoy them! They gained another follower by me!


Jana @ 
Jana Machado
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Afton @ Quilting Mod
Barbara @ Suzy Homemaker
Rebecca @ One Wee Bird

Quilt: Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow

A few weeks ago I had been thinking of an idea to make a quilt. I am not ready to share that specific idea yet for two reasons: #1 The final idea and actual product has not yet come together, and changes are bound to happen on newly thought ideas and #2, well… is because I am actually really excited about this project and want to wait to reveal the final quilt.

While I was thinking of the idea off and on for about a week, figuring out just what fabric to make use, if I would want to stay with solids or try print… maybe even a mixture of both? All the normal thoughts and questions you ask yourself before diving head first into it… or sometimes we dive in before we even know what we got ourselves into. The magic that happened here was that I had finally made up my mind design wise and how it would lay out. I did decide if I could, I was going to use a jelly roll. Once again, in the morning of my determination to create this quilt, MSQC came to the rescue. Right around 6 a.m. I had an e-mail of their daily deal. Low and behold, it was this lovely Modern Folkloric Jelly Roll on sale for almost 50% off! I knew it was fate.

You guessed right if you knew I ordered it right away. I was even more blown back when I received it just a few short days later… I was stunned at just how vibrant the simple colors were… for being just basic Black/Grey/White/Yellow, they really stood out. I have been overly impressed with this fabric.

 Fast forward two weeks. Now that I had the fabric in front of me, I had not been doing anything with it. Instead I had been working on other projects… even a fast immediate gratification project of finally making myself the Sewing Mat that I posted last week. I found myself wanting to be so certain, that last night I realized I would never begin if I didn’t even pick up the fabric to well, basically start.

Into the wee-hours of the night last night I began working up all of my measurements and my idea… laying it out on the floor and not my wall (I ended up working in the living room instead of my own space… how crazy am I?) and this is what I have ended up with so far.

Now that I have begun… I will be a “busy bee” and am really excited about creating it. I just hope it turns out as good as it does in my head! This will be hopefully my real first finished project that is Sew Stitching Cute!

Pushing my comfort zone

So yesterday I said I would share what else I worked on this past weekend. This isn’t terribly too much, as I did make that pillow cover on Sunday. Saturday I worked on a quilt I had been cutting pieces for.

A few weeks ago I saw an advertisement for this beautiful quilt on Craftsy and when I looked at it, I saw there other selections. I am not one who really wants to follow a specific pattern on a quilt other than the pattern of a block. I was falling more and more in love with the fabric and decided to go for the Atmospher fabric.

I received the kit early last week and right away, I fell in love with the fabric. The picture honestly does not do it justice with the gold metallic highlights in it. It really is beautiful, almost too beautiful to do anything with other than display (and after making it… I sadly wish I had done just that).

After cutting… on to sewing I went. I followed the pattern as it gave…

As I was laying it out, I did realize I made a mistake. The mistake being that because the center pieces should represent an ombre effect, the center where the ombre happened, for some reason I had sewn each piece on the opposite ends, so while the inside panels go light to dark, they do not represent the ombre effect it called for. This was my mistake, even though I did check twice… third time is a charm was not what I followed in this case. It may have turned out better had I done that.

You can’t tell in this picture of the lighter colors as I draped it on my clothes line in my backyard (yes, I love the clothes line and yes, I do have a dryer as well – the clothes line works great for photos. hehe). In the end, I am unfortunately not satisfied with this quilt and wish the pattern was different for this type of fabric… it almost deserved more elegance than what it got. The red fabric pattern is what only seemed to work for this… but I don’t think the others do. Overall though, it was fun to make and get some extra sewing in. I am more excited to finish this quilt and hope there is someone who will want/like it. I really wish I was happier with this quilt – I am hoping that once I quilt it and find the right backing that I will love it more. It could happen, and hopefully end up being Sew Stitching Cute!

In other quick awesome news… I did receive last Friday in the mail these AMAZING threads that were on sale for $1.95 a piece from Connecting Threads. I will probably never buy thread elsewhere unless it is an emergency! I do want to give metallics a shot though… and this quilt might just be the one to use them on. I will have to showcase how well this thread turns out on future quilts!

Their color selection is FABULOUS

Hexagon Flower Patch Quilt

There isn’t much to share today, other than what I did this past weekend; unfortunately I left the device in which my quilt pictures are on, at home. I will have to share that tomorrow. I have been wanting to share what I worked on a little over a month ago and have not yet finished.

I say this all of the time, and I will say it again – I love Missouri Star Quilt Co.! I love their story, their products and how personable they are overall. They are a huge reason, well, Jenny and her tutorials (but we all know it is team effort here) as to what helped me fall more and more in love with quilting, knowing that it is not as difficult as it has to be. Even though I am always up for the challenge.

I saw Missouri Star Quilt tutorial for their Out of Bounds Quilt and I knew I had to make one. I had just received all of that fabric from the lovely lady which I spoke about on my blog here and all I needed was the Hexagon tool. I did end up ordering that from who else than Missouri Star Quilt! While I awaited anxiously each day for it to arrive (and the mail man is lucky he had only my dog to deal with, not me at the door each day – we still have the mail man that walks to each house) I cut my fabric into 5 x 5 squares. It did finally arrive and I got right to work.

(LEFT) – The fabric I cut to make the hexagon Out of Bounds quilt
(RIGHT) Fabric selected by a co-worker buying her first home. I am slowly working on that one. 

I had the fabric laid out for about a week or so (flower fabric – left picture above), off and on I found myself lost because I was not settled with it in the end on how it would turn out. That or I was too chick pooped to go out of my comfort zone, always scared others won’t like it. In the end I don’t mind, as long as I do; but in the process, that is another story. I decided to lay my fabric out differently and this is what I came up with.

SIDETRACK: If anyone is wondering, I used a jelly roll (grey) and 5” squares. The easiest for hexagons is just buying the charm pack for that fabric… but with the ones I had I did not have that option. Either way, it is a pretty fast build.

After a few weeks of working on it off and on with putting it together (I go back and forth with projects or house work… I have to reward myself with sewing time or I will never come out of it) I was then not sure of what color to use for the border or for the back… or if I was going to use the same color border as the back… so on and so on. Anyone else experience those quilting dilemmas? One morning on the weekend I had went to the store and saw the most perfect red… I loved it so much that even if it did not match the red already in there, that I didn’t care. I got to work right away for the border, still questioning my decision, but decided to stick with it (and yes, the red did not quite match the more dominant red… but thankfully… I think it still works).

I have yet to quilt this lovely beauty, as this one will require drawing the lines of what I would like to do. That is on the agenda here soon, because I am anxious to complete this one.

Sew Stitching Cute
For the future, I will applique stems on them with a few leaves… maybe with a more cheery bright background color. Heck… I may end up doing it for this one in the end! Not sure yet. Any opinions?
Here is a sneak peak at what I worked on over the weekend – I wish the picture did the metallic’s justice. 

Scrap Pillow

So, as usual – this weekend had the list of the standard cleaning, laundry, dusting and so on. It never ends, does it? I woke up at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday morning (which is way too early, especially if you don’t have children) and I swear it is because my mind wants to see creation and my hands want to make it… out of bed I was. I did my normal morning routine and by 8 a.m. I was in front of the sewing machine. I found myself sitting there and thinking more of what I was going to do than actually doing it.

18 x 18

I looked around the house and I knew what I needed to be doing, but that is an entirely different story in itself. I finally decided that I was going to begin cleaning, and that I would reward myself with being able to do some sewing whenever I finished any house work – I almost gave myself my own chore list. First I needed to know what I was going to make. Within a few minutes, I remembered I had a pillow I had yet to make a cover for and I was finally going to do just that.

Once I switched laundry and loaded the dishwasher, then I could select the fabric; in which I ended up going with these colorful beauties. Then I did some more house work, I allowed myself to cut some of my pieces… this continues so on throughout the day. The pictures are in order as to what I did in each step… and some I forgot to take pictures (hence why a few blocks were missing out of the layout… I had just begun to sew them all together).

(Left) Front – (Back) Right

In the process of making it, I wasn’t too sure I was going in the direction I had originally intended or even wanted to… I was really even skeptical of the color choices I had selected to go with it. Even now with it sitting side-by-side with the front and back next to one another makes me scared. The colors are so vibrant and the picture scares me more than looking at it… as those little squares are pretty vibrant themselves. I wish I had more teal to tie into it, that seems to be what it needs. Does anyone else have suggestions of what they would have done or would try to any in the future?

I was determined to have it finished by the end of the night, which did end up resulting in not hand sewing the final side closed… I ended up doing an edge blanket stitch – which also would have worked around all edges because of the vintage fabric used. Once I did have it completely done… I actually tossed it on the couch, went across the room and stared at it, and quite honestly – I found myself smiling from ear-to-ear. I felt accomplished and I felt like I had achieved a big challenge within myself on my comfort zones. I almost had decided not to finish this and try something different another day. I am very happy I didn’t and stuck with it, because while it probably is not my first pick of normal ‘taste’.. I can’t help but feel happy when I look at all the bright colors and design starring back at you, and makes spring and the coming into summer almost feel like it is (I live in crazy Kansas weather…).

Front

Back

Here is the end result – please tell me what you think! I am trying to step outside of my box and comfort zone more!

Rotary Cutting Machine

As I am doing more and more quilts, designs and have my mind full of more things than I know what to do with, I am some who likes a clean, organized mess. It is an oxy moron, I know; however it is kind of like what my husband calls my “Megan Lingo”… I consistently use words that don’t describe the meaning of what I am trying to say, yet somehow when I say it, it makes sense. In either case, I am used to being qwerky. I like it.

Another small OCD thing about me is that I love odd numbers/placement and I look to always find the more sufficient way to do something without cutting corners. I found that I love yards of fabric but I love the use of Jelly Rolls because of their pre-cut form of 2 1/2” with all of the uses that it provides for almost any design of quilt. Cutting away strips and strips of fabric is timely and quite honestly, the other part of me dislikes the lines I put in my cutting mat, all over strips of fabric I need. I knew that there had to be something or some other way that was more efficient. I almost refused to cut any further fabric manually until I resolved this issue of mine.

Yes, I shop at Wal-Mart. Whenever I am there for any reason, I must stop by the sewing/fabric section even though I know everything that is there… you just never know. I had seen the Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine for $60 in Wal-Mart. Every time I am in the sewing/fabric section, I always pick the box up with the intent to go ahead and make the buy and give it a shot, at the worst I can return it, right? Each time, I put it back. I could not reason with myself the money when I had two viable hands to do it myself, yet I knew I wanted to produce more rather than spend most of my time cutting just the simple strips, I will cut everything else but the strips.

 

I needed help, and I needed back up… so I spoke to my husband about my issue and what I thought could be a possible resolution. I gave him all of my reasoning that I was giving myself on how I can justify spending the money. I have such a hard time reasoning to spend money on myself or for anything that I may want/need as I hate taking from others or other things. He did not hesitate once. He found some way to make it to where he was getting it for me, even if ‘just because’. He was going to be sure I got it. He is so patient and never once denies me of anything I may need on any hobby or dream I have. I explained to him my reasoning of why I felt it would help cut back time and I found that I still was trying to justify everything. He finally had to just tell me to quit rambosque (rambling) and get it. That was that. 
I still hadn’t gotten it about a week after that conversation and he never asked either, probably assuming I had already gotten it or ordered it. For some reason, I could not justify the $60 and would not allow myself. I decided to really search deep on the internet and to my beholding, I found it online with Wal-Mart but it was only $40!!! The bummer was now, all the reviews I read were horrible. The more and more I read, I was saddened. Yet I didn’t find another machine out there at a decent price for this nature. I saw other comments on other sites and everything was so up and down. I went to Simplicity’s site and saw them stating that many times it is not adjusted correctly and/or all the way even when some believe it is. I watched and searched for videos everywhere and decided… well – at the worst I will return it and no big deal. I am the ultimate optimist and hope that if anything, I can get it to work! :o) I did not waste another moment, ok that is half a lie – right before I submitted my order I made sure I was justifying myself. I ordered it and now it is on its way. I should get it some time next week and I intend to update on the status, maybe a short video of how it worked for me if I get a good one or get it to work. I’m going to for optimism and hopefully you’re cheering me on! Until then…