Wednesday, July 31, 2013

City Sampler Blocks 19-30

I am still working on getting decent pictures of my latest finish, so today I am going to share the catch-up round of the City Sampler blocks I recently completed.  These are so fun to make.  I am finding that using the Best Press spray starch is very helpful (thank you to whoever gifted that to me earlier this year!).  I am also finding that choosing the fabrics for each block can take just as long, if not longer, as sewing up the blocks themselves.  Here they are, blocks 19-30:











And here's a snapshot of all of them together:

I think making twelve blocks at a time is working well for me.  It's enough to keep me interested and engaged but by the last one, I am ready to focus on other things.  It will be fun to get back to it at the end of next month.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Baaccckk......

I've truly missed blogging over these past several weeks but I had a lot of deadlines to meet and I didn't want to pop in with one of those posts where I said something like, "Yes, I am sewing but I can't show you anything yet, so here's a picture of my kids fingerpainting." 
I had a birthday, my sister stitched this up for me:

 I received some fabric and a few crafty books

These two really have been keeping me busy.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever sew again!

Summer brings its distractions too, my parents live only 25 minutes away and we have been swimming every chance we get.  I also was addicted to this book and really got sucked into Burn Notice Season 6 (not my typical kind of choice for TV viewing - but it's good!).

Oh wait... I said I didn't want to do a non-crafty post.  I actually have been doing A LOT of sewing - I have completed 3 larger sized quilts, from start to finish, within the past month or so.  I'm kind of tired. 

Here's the first project that started with blocks like this:

84 crazy nine patch blocks, plus 5 yards of a large scale print, equal this:

It's a very simple, easy quilt to make and based on a design I did a while ago.  It is a perfect pattern to feature that large scale fabric that you just can't cut into tiny pieces. 

I backed it with one of my most favorite Amy Butler prints from her Daisy Chain line and bound it in a small green dot from my stash.  Laurena was kind enough to squeeze me in at her longarm studio at the last minute - I did a quick wavy line design with occasional swirls. 

This quilt was going to be published in a magazine, but just when I thought everything was settled, I learned that it would not be featured after all.  It was definitely disappointing news to learn but I am chalking it up to a "first world problem" and I have moved onto the next project.....  drum roll please.....  I have finished my oldest UFO!!!!  I will share that in my next post. 

Friday, July 05, 2013

Fabric Friday: Liberty and Quilt Backings

I hope my stateside readers had a great 4th of July.  I have a mean sunburn after yesterday's festivities.  I made sure to douse my kids in sunscreen but forgot to do my own! 
In the spirit of "liberty" - how about a little Bloomsbury Gardens eye candy for today's post?  My sister is visiting from Colorado and brought back these goodies for me.  They were only $7 per yard from one of my most favorite (albeit distant!) fabric stores: Fancy Tiger in Denver.  Access to such awesome, affordable fabric is good enough reason to move across the country, no?

I also have quilt backings on my mind.  I finally had an excuse to buy a bunch of one of my most favorite Amy Butler fabrics: Mosaic in River from the Daisy Chain collection.  I got 4.5 yards on etsy for $5 per yard from an etsy seller.  I always find myself buying large scale designer prints for quilt backings instead of using solids or piecing chunks of fabric together that are leftovers from piecing the quilt top.  Why I do this:
  • I prefer the look of a print on the back to a solid and usually find that I can purchase a print on clearance for far cheaper than buying yardage of a solid.  I keep my eye out for steals as well as other sales and generally aim to spend no more than $5.50 per yard.  Kona is 5.49 per yard at the most affordable site that I know of- so if I can do better than that, I do!
  • I think pieced quilt backs look awesome - but usually by the time that I get to the part of making the back - I just want to be done.  Additionally, I usually like the fabrics I have used for the front and I don't want to use them all up by putting them on the back.

I would love to hear the strategies my readers have for quilt backings.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 01, 2013

City Sampler, Blocks 7-18

So, less than 24 hours after writing yesterday's post, this happened:
I just could. not. stop.  Luckily my kids cooperated and took naps at the same time and I did stay up a bit late.  But now I am all caught up!  I find it helps a lot to cut several blocks at a time and I am finding I really enjoy sifting through the fabrics to decide on new color combinations.  I needed a break from a few projects that require me to come up with measurements and using my own creativity for the design- sometimes it's nice to just get lost in a pattern and follow someone else's directions.  Without further ramblings, here they are, in numerical order:
Block 7:
Block 8:
Block 9:

Block 10:
Block 11:

Block 12:
Block 13:

Block 14:
Block 15:

Block 16:

Block 17, (the hardest one for me, so far):

Block 18:

This has been a fun project so far - I am really enjoying it.  It's not too late to join this QAL - I essentially completed 4 weeks worth of blocks in a day!  Not that I am recommending procrastination.......