Favorite Things This Week

Target

When Target announced they were phasing out Merona and Mossimo, I was a little sad.  What if the new brands don’t fit as well?  What if I don’t like the style.  Those worries have been wiped away with my most recent purchases.  After working from home for over four years, I realized my sweater selection was low.  I lived in hoodies and sweats most of the time.   A New Day is my new jam.

I wanted a sweater to wear with skirts and skinny pants.  Seriously, I’m going to order more of this in various colors.  It’s soft and drapes perfectly on me.  I see gold in now in stock.  HMMM.

Having a large knit cardigan was also on my wishlist.  I picked this one up last weekend and now want to wear it everyday.

Target has had some great sales on items I was stocking up on for Christmas gifts.  I can’t share with you right now, but after Christmas I will.

Supporting Local

Our part of Indianapolis is seeing revitalization with new businesses and neighborhoods support those businesses.  Last week, the shops near our house hosted a Sip N Shop to kick off the holiday season.  So glad my husband and I were able to enjoy a quick date, do some shopping, and explore new to us businesses.  Most of P’s Christmas shopping was done at Mass Ave Toys.  We snuck in a drink across the way and had a delicious macaroon.  

We did some more shopping and stumbled across a hidden gem.  Nicole Taylor’s Pasta offers a chef’s table meal.  We talked with the chef for a while and then I went home to research it.  Turns out they are booked throughout 2018.  Maybe someone I know has a reservation and will invite us later.  Who wouldn’t want to sit here and eat a meal crafted just for your party?

Chef’s table

AIDS Memorial Quilt

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display at Indiana University this week.  While I was not able to make it to see in person, their Facebook page did a great job showcasing the quilt.  It’s been 30 years since the quilt was created.  The Washington Post looks at the impact it still has here.

Check out the Indiana Daily Student’s article here.

Sewing & Quilting

Add another project to my list of potentials, Christmas pajamas.  Melly Sews makes it look easy, see here.

Cup of Jo featured some stunning baby quilts on her blog.  She even featured some handmade ones here.

Clearing out clutter

Two adults, one small human, and two dogs create quite a bit of clutter.  Let’s not even mention all the stuff we have jammed into our small house.  Lately, it’s become too much, and I feel like we are bursting at the seams.  This week I have started tackling clutter and taking donations to Goodwill.  We have great spaces in our home and I wonder if we are using them the best.

P helped me put my fabric stash into a cabinet in our back room.  Now I need to finish cleaning back there and taking stuff to the garage or donating.  The room has more cabinets on the wall now and has become a catch all.  My plan over the next week is to really clean it out and organize the space better.

This is from March 2013.

Once that is done, I can tackle the sewing room.  It’s a disaster as well.  It’s the first thing people see when they walk into our house.  Sometimes I’m embarrassed, other times I don’t care since there really isn’t another space in the house.

Biggest project for these next couple of days is scraps.  I have two of those tubs pictured above stuffed with scraps.  With guild meeting on Sunday I hope to bring the tubs to the meeting and see some go.  P’s art teacher may be getting a giant donation too, who knows.

I do see some trips to Dollar Tree and Ikea in my future to make the most of the space we have.  What are your go to stores for storage ideas?  Plus, more purging to come.

 

Impacts of Clutter

I have come across some articles lately that talk about the impact of clutter on your overall health.  What are you thoughts?

Impact on mental here, read here

Effects on productivity, read here

Being disorganized is one thing, I can operate in that.  Too much clutter really slows me down, it puts added pressure on my that isn’t healthy.  Not to mention, it’s overwhelming.  My sewing space right now is full of clutter.  Projects, ideas, scraps, etc all thrown together.  No more, it’s time to tackle and clear up some mental space to allow for more creativity.


I started the weekly favorites to share a little more about me.  Sewing and quilting may seem boring to most people.  There is so much more to my life that these posts are a glimpse into all the other things that encompass my weeks.  The post may contain affiliate links.  If you may a purchase from a link, I may receive a small compensation.  

Tiny Scrap Quilt – Update 1

There could be multiple updates on this project since I’m just not feeling the overall design.  Over the weekend I was prepared to add white around the blocks that I had already pieced.  I was going to buzz right through them and then add a gray border.

Well I buzzed right through them and then went to press the seams.  Reality set in.

The truth is I hate that white border now.  I was only able to add to two sides and after pressing I stopped.  The white is drowning out all the color in the tiny blocks.  I wanted it to create a frame.

For now I have not ripped off the white strips, but it is very tempting.  Another idea is floating around in my head that I may try.

Creating with no pattern

Since I like to freehand create quilts and let them develop organically, this happens quite frequently.  Typically, I can work through the design and be happy with the results.  When a quilt has no pattern, I get to stretch myself creatively.  Improvising challenges me to work through the creative process.  It can be frustrating to hit many roadblocks, but I’m not going to put out a quilt that I’m not pleased with.

Further ideas

I have been contemplating the next steps for a couple of days.  One design that I keep envisioning is more simple.  Rather than frame the little squares in white, let’s skip that portion and just frame in gray.  From there I would float the framed squares around the quilt.  Maybe this needs to be bigger than a baby size to play with scale more.  Check back next week to see where I have taken this project.

 

I’m open to suggestions if you have any input.


Tiny Scrap Quilt intro 

Tiny Scrap Quilt – A New WIP

Scrap management is topic of discussion for quilters.  The smallest scrap I keep is 1.5 inch square.  Some keep smaller and create wonderful pieces with these micro scraps.  I just can’t fathom keeping them smaller than 1.5 inch square.

A request for a baby girl quilt came in recently.  The customer asked for girly after I had found my forgotten stash of Amy Butler Cameo and some other scraps.  These will do the job.  However, they are 1.5 inch square scraps.  Where do I go with these?

Right now, I’m not entirely sure what the overall design will end up being.  The fabric and some coordinating solids will guide me in this process.  Do you remember this quilt?  As I’m designing I keep seeing something like this.

Hello Luscious Baby Girl Quilt used 2.5 inch squares as the center of the blocks.  My Amy Butler Cameo scraps seem so tiny in comparison, see below.

Hoping this weekend to have some time to figure out the design.  For now I have a little stack of squares ready for something great.  I’m open to feedback and ideas too.

Nautical Themed Baby Boy Quilt

I’m truly at a loss for words to talk about this quilt.  All I want to do is play this video when I think about it.  This song will probably get stuck in your head.

Apparently, that is a dark song.  I was just thinking more of the Sail Away with me part.  A customer asked for a nautical themed baby quilt.  The vision of the quilt immediately came to me.  Deep in my scraps were some leftover triangles from a previous quilt in red, gray and navy.

Design

My vision had these triangles looking like pendants or flags along with a minimal design.  The design challenge came when trying to find the right background fabric.  I wanted a light blue polka dot on white and just couldn’t find what I truly wanted.  Do you ever have that challenge?  Luckily, I did find a print that worked with my vision.

Laying out the fabrics beside the coordinating prints was really helpful.  Plus, the ladies at the quilt store gave me some valuable feedback.  The polka dot is great, but it would drown out the white prints sprinkled in.  The lighter blue print still showed off the navy and the white prints.  Done!  Designing the rest of the top was pretty easy.

The backing is a Lotta Jansdotter print I stocked up on a few months ago.  Doesn’t it look like fish scales?

 

Adding the sailboat was the customer’s idea and it really pulls simple quilt together.  I was able to complete the top, put the sailboat on, press the back, baste the quilt, and start quilting quickly with this project.  For the quilting I went with waves.  I marked the quilt on the edges every couple of inches.  This trick really helped keep my wavy lines straight across the quilt.  Then I filled in more lines along the way.

The texture the wavy lines created is perfect.  For the binding, I went with the remainder of the top print.  Doesn’t provide a frame of the quilt, but gives and infinity edge.

My smaller Brother machine decided to have electrical issues right before making this quilt.  The sailboat is just sewn on with straight stitches, I would have preferred zig zag.  The quilt is currently at it’s new home enjoying snuggles.

 

Favorite Things This Week

This week we dive into Halloween, new goals, new projects, the Holidays, and something fun at the end.

Do you still have a sugar buzz from all the Halloween candy?  Most of our candy has been put up in a cabinet, out of sight from little eyes.  He’s sneaky and will try to just admire it.  Then, a sucker or something else will somehow come unwrapped.  How did that happen?  Kid, I know your tricks to get treats.

Halloween

Wow!  Lots of fun for P this Halloween.  He wanted to be Dracula.  Not a scary Dracula either, just more like P in a cape Dracula.  Success!

Bonus points go to hubby for P’s Halloween attire.  It was cold before trick or treating, so hubby grabbed this adorable sweater and velvet jacket.  The sweater was handmade by hubby’s grandma for him when he was a little boy.  Still has the tag in from grandma.  My mother in law had held on this velvet coat too that was hubby’s.  How adorable is P in this combination?

With P being Dracula I found a headband with a little witch hat on it to use during trick or treating.  It was just right.  Even wore it to get in some exercise before all the festivities.  Hey, I’m not going to reach my goals if I’m not putting in the time, even on Halloween.

 

Goals for November

For a while I was setting and sharing my monthly action items.  While I have gotten out of the habit of sharing, I have still been focusing on action items each month.  As the holiday season starts to set in, it’s important to hold myself accountable, so I don’t get lost in the busyness that arises.

  • Get in 30-60 minutes of physical activity daily.  This helps keep me balanced and focused.
  • Aim for eight hours of sleep per night.  I’m a teeny bit cranky when I don’t get enough sleep.
  • Take the stairs at work when I’m not walking with someone.  It’s a great booster throughout a day full of sitting.
  • Say no.  Especially to things that will stress me out.
  • Say yes to the things that will bring joy.
  • Put things on the calendar to avoid conflicts.  This also helps with planning for meals and exercise.

Halloween Quilts

While P has one Halloween quilt already, I’m pondering making a second.  Who doesn’t need two Halloween quilts.  Below are some inspirational ideas.

Daydreams of Quilts – Jack O’ Heart quilt 

In Color Order – Halloween Nine Patch Quilt

Makin’ Projiks – Halloween Quilt

Priscillas – Halloween Quilts (it’s their first quilt)

The Crafty Quilter – An Elegant Halloween Quilt

Christmas Projects

Already thinking and planning ahead for Christmas.  Decorations won’t come out until closer to Thanksgiving at our house, so I have some time to prep.  Are there any projects you are wanting to make for Christmas?  Here are a couple that I may work in and have P help me create.

 

via Crafts by Courtney

 

 

Check back this weekend for a new finished baby quilt.  If you need a good laugh, check this out.  Do you have a favorite Julia Roberts movie?  I’m torn between Steel Magnolias or Knotting Hill.


I started the weekly favorites to share a little more about me.  Sewing and quilting may seem boring to most people.  There is so much more to my life that these posts are a glimpse into all the other things that encompass my weeks.  The post may contain affiliate links.  If you may a purchase from a link, I may receive a small compensation.  

 

Woodland Strings Baby Boy Quilt

Woodland animals have been a trend for some time in nursery decor.  Amazingly, this is the first baby quilt I have made with that theme.  My husband says it doesn’t look like woodland creatures and I’m okay with that.  It’s there, but you have to look closely.

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Inspiration

Scrap packs from Crimson Tate were purchased months ago.  When my client suggested outdoors and animal for a boy, these fabrics immediately came to mind.  I had envisioned a string quilt when I first picked up the bundles and the idea had not faded.

Posing on Point by MyTeaandBrie was quilt design inspiration.  While I didn’t use her tutorial, I use more of the general layout.  Note:  the mailing list request is for My Tea & Brie, not my site.

Beyond Patchwork: String Piecing Tutorial

 

Piecing

I pressed and starched all my fabrics before cutting.

For my blocks I cut the following string sizes:

Center white strip:  2 inches

Grey strip:  3 inches

Other fabrics 1.5 or 2 inches in width

Ready to chain piece this batch

Chain piecing the blocks made it pretty easy to bust the top out.  I worked in 30 minute chunks then took a break.  Tip:  keep the iron nearby to make chain piecing more efficient.

Layout

In laying out the quilt top I was not overly picky about where things went.  An effort was made to keep too many colors from the same square.  Overall, it turned out great.

After completing the top, it was time to rip off all the little papers from the back.  My mother-in-law was in town for Fall Break.  I asked if she wanted to help and she joined in.  It was great to have someone help out, this part was going to take forever and I was on a deadline.  If I could get it to the client by X date, they could hand deliver.  Well, I had to get this sucker quilted and bound quickly to make that happen.

Quilting, Backing, and Binding

A couple of backing options were auditioned but this black and white dot ultimately won.  Doesn’t it play well with the front?

In the effort to meet my looming deadline, free motion quilting with loops won for quilting.  Seriously the quilting took an hour.  My mother-in-law and husband were watching something while I knocked this out.  They were surprised when I entered the room with the quilted piece.  I was pretty proud of myself.

However, while I was quilting, I found an error in my quilt.  Can you spot it?  If you’re a quilter probably, but most didn’t notice it.  There was a frantic post to my guild’s page and texts to a couple of friends.  The consensus was it’s a design element.  Ha!  If I wasn’t almost done with the quilting when my eye caught it I would have fixed it.  Sometimes you have to let the little things go and accept them.  It wasn’t the way I envisioned the quilt turning out, but it works.

Deep in my stash was the gray houndstooth flannel.  The piece I had was just enough to bind the quilt.  Everything to make this quilt was scraps or stash fabric which is a positive in my book.  Makes working against that looming deadline even better.

After thoughts

Pretty sure I want to remake this quilt in a bigger size to keep.  The colors are lovely, I am digging the jade.  Despite a tight deadline, the quilt made it to CA in time to be hand delivered.  The precipitant loved it.  Making a baby quilt that doesn’t scream baby is always nice too.

If you like the quilt, save it Pinterest for future reference.  I have it under Scrap Busting Projects.

 


Link Ups

Crazy Mom Quilts

Needle and Thread Thursday