WiP Wednesday

Love LIVES Here.  The Love Lives Here quilt top is finally all pieced.  Of course my sewing machine started fritzing out with the final two blocks last night.  But, little berNina didn’t give up, and neither did I!  I’m so proud to have all of these blocks pieced because this is the quilt that started this journey.  I remember showing my grandmother this pattern and she said, “Oh, honey.”  Now, I understand why.  240 flying geese later, I don’t think I’ll make another one for a while.  My seams don’t all match up, and I don’t know how the final piecing of the rows will line up, but I do know that this quilt will always be special.  Who knows when I’ll finally quilt this monster, because I don’t know where I can baste it.

Now for some pictures! (Sorry for the lighting, I finished pretty late last night.)

Love Lives Here

This quilt is 30 blocks of the Cathedral Window block that was design by Lee over at Freshly Pieced.  Which makes today’s WiP Wednesday even more fun because I’m linking up to her blog!  I truly love the quilting blogosphere and all the resources that are out there!  It should be 60″ x 72″ when finished – perfect for a large snugglin’ quilt.  I still haven’t decided how I want to quilt the top, but I want to wait until I’m a little more confident with my quilting skills so that I can really make this special.

Here are some of my favorite blocks:

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I simply adore the birdies.

Thanks for stopping by, friends.  Happy quilting and an even happier WiP Wednesday!

WIP

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WiP Wednesday

I have a problem.  I’m pretty sure this problem is prevalent in the quilting/crafting community.  F.A.D.D.  Fabric Attention Deficit Disorder.  I can’t stop looking at fabric, buying fabric, getting inspired by other quilts, and wanting to start new ones.  After I made my huge mistake this weekend and messed up all of my flying geese, I was back at square one.  So, of course that meant start new projects.  Because that makes sense.

Therefore, today’s WiP is a bit scatter brained.  Aren’t they all?

I still have to make my flying geese, but I have them all cut, pinned, and marked.

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And I’m turning this stack of mistakes:

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Into these cute little guys:

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And, now, for my new quilt.  I’ve been completely inspired by Blue Elephant Stitches Granny Square quilt tutorial.  There’s a special little girl I know who’s turning two this summer and I wanted to make her something extra girly – I’m calling this Girly Explosion.  My friend said to just call it Estrogen.  Basically, I’ve thrown together any girly fabric I can find.

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Her summer birthday gives me plenty of time to find more scraps and colorways to finish this baby.  Which is good because in going through my fabrics to make the blocks, I have realized that I have a desperate need for quality yellows, oranges, and purples.  Good thing I’m going to the quilt store tomorrow…

Hi, my name is Ashley and I have F.A.D.D.

So, here’s the help I need from you.  If I’m making this quilt for a two year old, what size should it be finished?  I’d like her to use it for a while, but I realize it probably won’t need to go to college with her…  I’d appreciate any/all suggestions!

It’s funny, everyone that has seen this layout likes a different block.  Even the ones that I’m not digging as much have supporters.  Here’s my favorite:

ImageI can’t get over these colors together.

Next week I hope that I have the last of these blocks finished.  8 more to go…

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Happy WiP Wednesday and Happy quilting, friends!  Thanks for stopping by!

Learn from Your Mistakes

As a teacher I constantly tell my students to learn from their mistakes.  Not to give up.  To keep on trying.  Which still didn’t keep me from hitting my head when I made a big mistake on Sunday.

As a teacher I also tell my students to read the directions.  I mean, how hard can it be to read the directions?  It drives me insane when they don’t read the directions.  Which didn’t keep me from skipping the directions on Sunday.

There I was with all of the pieces left for the remaining 8 blocks of my Love Lives Here quilt cut and ready to piece.  I knew I needed to make all of the flying geese first because the blocks would come together faster.  Each block requires 8 flying geese, which requires what seems like 1 million little squares.

I also teach my students to use hyperbole in their writing.  At least I practice one thing I preach.

So, after piecing all of the flying geese, and ignoring a faint notion to check with my pattern because I had already made 5 million of them before… I had them cut and ready to iron…

ImageSee, at least a million:

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And then, I opened one.

And realized it was FAR from perfect.

An ugly ducking, not a flying goose.

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All because I didn’t read the directions.

Honestly, who doesn’t read directions?!

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So, now I’m back to cutting.

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In short, like I always tell my students: Read the directions.

Oh, and check your work as you go.

Pretty sure I tell them that, too.

Garden State Adventures

Living in a new state can be fun and exciting.  After graduating college, I’ve called D.C, Northern Virginia, and now New Jersey home.  I’ve gotten to change, grow, and meet amazing people.  However, sometimes you miss your people.  Those people who knew you before you knew how to properly brush and style your hair.  Those people who loved you when you wore the wrong jeans and had glitter eye shadow.

I always treasure when my people take time to come visit, not only because I love sharing my new home with them, but because it is good for my soul.  This weekend my best friend Maggie came to visit the Garden State for the first time, and I’m pretty sure she loved it.  Basically because we just kept feeding her.  New Jersey knows food.

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The best thing about having your best friend in town is that you can clean your apartment, but not make up your bed. I realized this morning on the way to the airport that I hadn’t made it once.  That is a true friend.

We spent the weekend exploring Princeton, Montclair, and the homestead.  I can’t claim creative genius for the following photos because my hands were snug in my pockets, but Maggie has a clever eye.

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I did risk freezing fingers for this quilting inspiration:

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Another perk of having your best friend visit is that they capture ridiculously cute pictures of you with your husband:

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So much better than our standard, arm-out, self portraits!

Like any true friend, after sushi, wine, the diner, and bagels, I made her go to a quilt meeting at my favorite quilting store: Rock Paper Scissors.  Basically, she is the best.  Ever.  I had been looking forward to the Newbie Quilters meeting and she not only documented our fun with photos, but she cut out the remaining blocks that I have been procrastinating for the Love Lives Here quilt.  Seriously, I love her.

Here I am hard at work cutting out the surprise baby quilt:

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She also got to meet Courtney, my quilt-making-teacher-partner-in-crime who’s working on her first quilt:

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And learned to cut out ridiculously tiny and perfect squares:

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I can’t say how good Maggie’s visit was for my sanity, but there is nothing sweeter than sitting on your couch eating gummy bears and watching shows with your best friend.  My only regret was that I haven’t made her a quilt yet!  One day…

Here is the finished baby quilt top made with Bella by Lotta Jansdotter. I was too exhausted to lay it out on the design wall.  I couldn’t move from the living room carpet.  That’s when you know you’ve had an exciting weekend.

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Now, I just get to sew this baby together and learn to actually quilt and bind the finished product!  I think this will be the first finished product I make!

I hope your weekend was as crafty, loving, and full of good food as mine.  Now, don’t you want to come visit?

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Work in Progress Wednesday!

It’s finally Wednesday.  Which means we’re halfway to Friday!  I have quite a few quilty goals for this weekend, including, most importantly, teaching a friend to piece a baby quilt.  I am beyond excited.

But, until then, it’s still Wednesday, and I do have some works in progress.

WIP

Even though these are the January block for the Sister’s Ten BOM, I finished them on February 2nd.  Honestly, this is still impressive for this Queen of Procrastination.  AND, I plan on doing the February blocks this weekend – say, What?  Ahead of schedule?  Me?

Here are the two Grandmother Frame  blocks I’ve made:

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I am loving the way Amy Butler’s Lark fabric collection in Dreamer (below) is playing out in these blocks.  I think I might be obsessed with Amy Butler.  I am.

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Other than that, the only progress I’ve made on the Love Lives Here quilt is cutting the last 9 blocks.  Which is work, but it still looks like this:

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I. must. finish. this. soon.

Like, by Sunday.  (Lofty goal there, go-getter.)

And, onto some exciting news.  I’m getting fabric.  FREE FABRIC.  Thanks to Caroline over at Sew Can She I have a $50.00 gift card to Fat Quarter Shop.  Now the problem is choosing.  How does one choose?  I’ll end up choosing way more – but still saving money, right?

Right now I’m sitting on buying the new line from Ty Pennington (because I love him) and this line is insanely gorgeous.  Check out his Fall Impressions line:

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And, while we’re at it – here’s a Work in Progress – in my brain!  I want to make a giant chevron quilt with this fabric:

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That way I can see the fabrics in huge chunks – because I’m obsessed.

So, not a lot of progress this week, but a lot of ideas going on.  Including researching even more to make…  Go. buy. this. book. now.

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Happy Quilting and go check out the other gorgeous projects over at Freshly Pieced!

Work in Progress Wednesday!

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I’m so excited because today’s WiP Wednesday post is partially a Work Done post!  While it’s not quilted, the Herringbone quilt top is done and that counts in my book.  Amen?  Amen.

I made the Sew Can She deadline (for the Herringbone block challenge) last night 30 minutes before the cut-off for the competition.  I like to to live on the edge, people.  There were so many great entries for this challenge, and I certainly don’t expect to win, but I did win.  I have a quilt.  One of those “everybody is a winner” moments.  Those never really exist, but they do in the quilting world!

The Herringbone Quilt: By the Numbers

  • 30 blocks
  • 5 ft x 6 ft (unquilted)
  • 3 Jelly Rolls
  • 420 Strips of Cuzco by Kate Spain fabric
  • 11 Days
  • 14 x too many repeats of the Indigo Girls’ CD
  • 3 nights of dirty dishes on the counter

Without further ado, the Herringbone quilt top is done!

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Now I have quite a few bags of scrappy triangles to sew together for the back of this quilt from all of the extra cuts offs of each block…

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I got all sappy on Instagram last night finishing this quilt …

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Yep, I took a photo of the last seam.  Yes, I did do that…

So, what next?  Why my original first quilt, of course!  Now that the Herringbone quilt is done, the Love Lives Here quilt is back up on the design wall.

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Only 9 more blocks to go…

And, of course, I’ve started another project.  The Sister’s Ten Modern Block of the Month sew-along.  Supposedly I should have two blocks done by the end of January.  I’m thinking February 1st is just fine!

Supplying the Quilt Room

So, as a novice quilter I’m still figuring many things out – like sewing straight lines, getting all of my seams to match, and well, actually quilting and binding a quilt.  While other bloggers are like, “Look the amazing quilt I designed and got published in three quilting magazines!” I’m like, “Hey, 8 out of 9 seams match! Yessss!”

Baby steps, friends, baby steps.

However, there is one thing I do know how to do.  Supply a quilting room.  Because I read allllll of those quilting blogs I just mentioned before I got started and blew a hefty amount of Christmas money.  Of course, it would have been helpful if it had all been in one place… and now it is!

[Granted, I could buy so much more, but after two quilting stores, Ikea, Target, and Walmart I feel like this definitely works for the beginning quilter… and beyond.]

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  1. A table.  A very, very large table.  As in, I could have gone larger.  (Desk – Ikea)
  2. A sewing machine – I went with a Bernina, and I’m more than happy with it.  Except for when I almost cry with fear every time I change the needle, clean the machine, etc. etc.
  3. A Design Wall.  I saw many great ideas on Pinterest (of course) for this quilting room staple, such as, felt or flannel sheets.  I decided to go with a plastic table cloth from target, turned to the reverse side for that white cottony feel.  The fabric instantly clings to it and it really motivates me to keep going.  Slight problem.  I need a larger design wall.  I’m thinking about getting another larger one to put in the hallway.  Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  (Thanks, hubs!)
  4. Lamp.  Seriously, you do need the light.  Large and obnoxious poppies are optional.
  5. TRASH CAN.  This is seriously a must have.  After a few days of getting up every time you have a pile of scraps or thread, to walk to the kitchen trash can, you’ll be making a target run again, too.
  6. A chair cushion.  Just do it.  You’ll thank me later.  Best purchase I’ve made.Image
  7. Rulers.  Acrylic rulers that show 1, 1/4, 1/2, and 1/8 marks.  Also, it’s nice to know fractional parts.  One benefit of being a fourth grade teacher.
  8. Rotary cuter.  Amazing.  Saves your life.  Must have.  Can’t imagine cutting fabric with scissors.  Mom, how did you make your quilts?!
  9. That pin cushion thing.  You might need more than one.  I already do.Image
  10. Mason Jars.  Lots and lots of mason jars.
  11. Bobbins.  Multiple.  More than I have.
  12. Thread.  Again, more than I have.
  13. Scrap fabric for starters and enders when you are chain piecing.
  14. Scissors.  All sizes.  An assortment of colors is also preferred.
  15. Paintbrush – duh, to clean your sewing machine.  Lint gets all up in that thing!
  16. A Quilt Calendar is optional.  But, if your husband is awesome like mine, he’ll buy it for your desk to keep you inspired all year long.Image
  17. Quilt magazines.  Quilt books.  Quilt patterns.  You can never have enough.
  18. Binding is never easy.  That magazine LIES.
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  20. Fabric.  Again, more than I have.  But, this is a sneak peak into my next two quilts!  It’s almost hard to think about cutting into these gorgeous fabrics.  Nah, I can’t wait!
  21. I made them into mini-fabric bolts using comic book protectors.  Thank you, Pinterest!Image
  22. An iron.  I just bought my first iron 2 weeks ago.  I’m 27 years old.  Additionally, my husband had to help me open the board because I didn’t know how.  This might be my least favorite part of quilting, but it’s a crucial step that can’t be skipped.  You.have.to.have.an.iron.  Get it, girl (or boy!)Image
  23. And, art supplies.  This makes my heart happy!Image
  24. To bring out the inner quilt designer in you.  I have pencils, colored pencils, markers, etc.Image
  25. And, finally, a graph paper journal.  Where else are you going to store all those awesome designs you create?

So, there you have it.  The essentials of a functioning Quilt Room.  Take a piece, or take it all.  Start small, or follow my motto: Go big, or go home!

Happy Quilting!

Seamed Sew Easy…

While driving home from NC after Thanksgiving, I had many hours to kill in the car.  My husband is quite entertaining, but 10+ hours requires additional support.  I pulled out my trusty iPhone and landed on Pinterest.  I don’t know what inspired me, but I searched for quilts.

And my world shifted.

I had never seen so many modern, colorful, and unique quilts.  Immediately I called up my grandmothers and mother to enlist them in my newly formed goal: become a quilter.  It was decided – over Christmas break I would buy the fabric, tools, and sewing machine to start my first quilt.

But, I had four weeks to go.  With that time I managed to overwhelm all of my Pinterest friends with quilt after quilt, as I pinned my dream creations, researched every quilt blog and book I could find, and visited 5 fabric stores with my husband.  (Yes, I conned him with various dinners, lunches, and stops at Dunkin Donuts.)  One night, on a whim, we stopped at a fabric store before dinner and I found THE fabric.

Love Lives Here

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I couldn’t wait until Christmas.  I bought it then and there and chose the quilt I wanted to make (not stopping to think about difficulty level, of course…)

The Cathedral Window by Lee over at Freshly Piecedcathedralwindow

Her design was exactly what I needed to show of the fabrics I had found.

So one sewing machine, three rulers, a rotary cuter, cutting mat, pins, and one sewing lesson later, I was on my way to making my first quilt.

The pile of fabric has been ironed, cut, pinned, sewed, and it is slowly transforming.

It went from this:

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To this moment of pride over my first completed block…

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Which I absolutely adore because of the broken up birdie…

To this…

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To this…

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I finally feel like I’m making a quilt.

This blog may not teach you tips or tricks, because I’m a novice in every quilting skill, but I hope my new found love for quilting will inspire you to create.