Thursday, January 17, 2013

WiP: In Which I Work on Five Different Projects

I've been really busy this week!  I keep getting really inspired to do something and work on it hard and fast, then get hit with the bug for something else.  I've also been staying up waaaaaay too late.

First up: Scrappy Trip-a-long quilts are popping up all over blog land and flickr.  They are really great, but I haven't had any desire to make an entire quilt.  I did decide, however, to use the concept for my Madrona Road MQG challenge project.  I say project because I don't know yet if it will be a pillow, mini quilt, or a bag.  I'm leaning toward bag.

To get the look I want, I made four blocks, but modified three of them slightly so I wouldn't end up with the same fabrics next to each other.  I also did it smaller--these squares finish at 1" instead of 2".

Mini trip around the world!  So easy and fast to do--I'm pretty sure I did this all in one night.

Our local MQG has the additional rule in the challenge that we have to use triangles.  I made a bunch of flying geese using this tutorial from Melissa.  It was really easy to do, and no waste!  Gotta love it.  These little guys will finish at 1" x 2" once they are sewn into the border.  I'd like to get this done by the end of the month to enter the challenge.

Second:  In September while we were in California, I picked up these lovely fabrics at my absolute favorite quilt shop.   I LOVE the owners.  They always remember us, even though we only go once a year when we visit my husband's Grandma.  The original plan for these was to make a Groove Quilt but I ended up changing my mind.  Instead I'm doing a variation on the Mod Pop pattern.   I borrowed an Accuquilt GO! Baby cutter from Brooke, and a drunkard's path die, and cut all of these out during nap time this week.

These colors speak to me.  They are just so luscious!   They are Kaffe Fassett for Liberty, and just so rich.  I also got some Kona to coordinate.  I think these two are mulberry and hyacinth.

I learned how to sew curves with rules, which means slowly and with a lot of pins, so I pinned a ton of these.  It took forever.  I used three pins, which I actually found wasn't enough. When I went to sew the I had to add two more to each one.  I think I just might have to try the pinless method on my other ones and see how that goes.  I think I sewed 17 of these so far.  I'd like to have this done by mid-April.

 Third project for the week:  The Starburst Quilt Along with Melissa.  I haven't done a quilt along before, and the thought of doing a little each week sounds great to me.  I'm doing the 40" blocks, but will be making four separate quilts with one block each rather than one large quilt with four blocks.  To make them big enough I'll be adding some borders to each block, and they'll finish up at around 60" x 70".  This photo shows the fabrics for one block, as well as the borders that will go with that block.  I'm using Apple of My Eye for this project.
 I managed to get all of my fat quarters cut during nap time on Tuesday, but I still need to cut my background fabric, which is Kona white.

Third project for the week:  Brooke asked me to quilt her gorgeous Supernova quilt.  She wanted random wavy lines.  I love how the quilting turned out.  I didn't take any pictures of the whole quilt, largely because we still have 6+ inches of snow on the ground outside from Winter Storm Gandolf.
 The fabric on this one is mostly 1001 Peeps by Lizzy House.

And my final project: Organizing my studio.  Ugh.  Creativity is messy.  I am not always very creative (I have my moments), but I am often messy.  This is a "before" shot.  I don't have any "after" shots yet because this is still in progress as well.  All sewing is now on hold until this is done.

My studio isn't big enough to fit a real longarm machine, so my husband agreed to let me switch rooms and use our downstairs family room instead of the extra bedroom.  We only use that room for toys right now, and our piano is in there, but there isn't really any other major furniture that would need to be moved.  The only problem is that with my current situation, I can close the door and no one can see my mess.  My husband is afraid to open it and go in there, in fact.  In the family room, it will be open and anyone who goes downstairs will see it.  So the deal is that I have to keep it clean.  I'm a little nervous about that.  To prove that I can do it, I have to keep my current studio clean for a month before I can get the longarm.  Can I do it?  I HOPE SO!  Actually, yes.  I can.  I'm thinking of this as a lifestyle change rather than a resolution of sorts.

Yes, this is kind of juvenile that I have to keep my room clean for a month, but I'm really hoping that I can make it a lifestyle change.  I'm always amazed to see pictures of tidy sewing spaces brimming with inspiration, and yet clean.  I'd like to be like that.  It will be a learning process.

Part of my problem is that I have too much stuff and not enough places for it.  Rather than getting more storage, I'm taking an honest look at my stash, and I'm dumping a lot of it.  Not actually dumping it, but I'm offering for friends to come take what they want, then I'm going to donate the rest to the sewing class in the junior high where I used to teach.
I started collecting this in high school, and so much of it isn't quilt shop quality fabric, I know I just won't want to use it in quilts any more.  I know the difference now, I didn't then.  My tastes have also changed.  In addition, I'm realizing that I have so many ideas in my head that don't involve all of this stuff that I'll be plenty busy with those, not to mention the fact that once I get my new longarm machine I want to practice until I have mad quilting skills like Judi and Jenny.  I just don't think there will be time to be a mom to my sweet little kids, make the quilts I want to make, master longarm quilting, and bust through this stash that I don't love.  So it's time to part ways.  The pile is actually about twice as big now as when I took this picture.

I'm going back and forth between being so excited to get rid of this stuff, and wanting to rush and cram everything back into drawers.  Still, it will be so nice to have a home for everything.  It feels better already, even though it actually looks much worse than normal right now.

Lately I've been thinking about goals and what it really takes to achieve our goals and dreams.  If I really want something, am I willing to put in the effort to attain it?  Often it is so easy for me to wimp out, or not follow through and I end up shortchanging myself.  This time I'm going to do better.

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


  1. Oh my word, you are one busy woman! I love all your projects! I need to clean my sewing room, too, but it's more fun to just push things aside and keep sewing! Maybe I'll try to be good like you and get 'er cleaned up. Maybe. :)

  2. I really like your trip around the world! It came out great.

  3. Barbie,
    I love your blog, I am a follower! It was great to meet you
    today at Guild. Good luck with your projects.

  4. Wow! You have so much going on! Your wave quilting is gorgeous!

  5. Amazing Trip around the world - I am going to try and finish my challenge piece today.

    Love the colors in your Mod Pop quilt - I look forward to seeing it finished.

    Your Apple of My Eye are a little bit of eye candy! They look fab.

    Once again lovely wavy lines on Brook's Quilt.

    My sewing room looks like yours except thay I have paperwork all over the floor that needs tending too! Good luck with the clean up - and keeping it that way.

    Did I miss much at the meeting?

  6. That is a lot of very pretty stuff! Apple of My Eye is just a gorgeous collection - I made a quilt with it last summer, and it was hard to give away - really hard! Going to go and have a luck at the giant block QAL now, you've piqued my interest :)

  7. Oh, I know! You could take a picture of your clean room every day and post it on Facebook. Motivation and accountability.


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