Springy Granny Squares

We have had some wonderful weather in Indianapolis the last week or so.  Flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding, and my allergies are starting to flair up.  Spring is coming.  To celebrate I wanted to create a baby quilt using small florals.  The fabric was part of a mystery box I bought a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t in love with the fabric at first.  Once I chopped it into 2.5″ squares, it became more my style.

Dipping into my solid scraps I found some coordinating colors with the small florals.  The background is a white on white circle print from JoAnn’s.  I usually keep 1-2 yards on hand for backgrounds if needed.  Last week I paired everything up to make 20 blocks while watching TV.  Everyday I sewed a few blocks and by Sunday they were finished.

I was able to sneak in some early morning sewing while everyone was still asleep.  Remember all that natural light in my sewing room from this post?  The sun was just peering from behind the clouds and the room was flooded with sunshine.  It’s my favorite time of day to work in there.

 

After finishing all 20 blocks I wanted to start on a layout.  Obligatory quilter’s feet in photo coming right up.

 

Do you like how my socks tell me which feet to put them on?  Makes me giggle.

I should have thrown in some other prints, there are many yellow and blue blocks.  Egh, we will call it a design element.  The binding will be a minty small polka dot.

 

This week I hope to piece the top and start auditioning backings.  There are a few options:

  • Pieced backing with coordinating fabrics
  • Vintage sheet
  • Solid color backing (mint or yellow)

Look on Facebook or Instagram for options later this week.


Linking up with:

Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation

March 2017 Action Items

The word goal sounds rigid.  Now I understand why people would cringe and lock up when setting goals when I was health coaching.  My goal for January wasn’t realistic.  I was still adjusting to a new job, new location and new routine.  February was about feeling the groove and making tweaks.  Now I can focus on adding more in and having action items.

Action items sound better instead of goals.  I want to turn my focus towards my health and fitness as spring begins to make it’s arrival.  Being healthy helps me be a better wife and mom.  Healthy also doesn’t have to mean weighing a certain amount.  Rather, it means being comfortable in my skin, having the ability to go run 4 miles no problem, and not feeling exhausted after a work day.  That is my definition and would love to hear yours in the comments.

It’s been roughly two months since I started my new job.  As a family we have adjusted schedules and routines to make it work.  Most mornings I’m at work by 7:30-7:45.  It’s early, but gives me time in the afternoon to exercise and still get P.  The time is there to meet my goal as well as the motivation.  Now here comes the accountability.

My goal for March is to exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

Look for #healthysewist tags on Instagram to keep up with my accountability.  There should be a minimum of 15 on there this month.  March has 5 weeks and I will start from today.  Hopefully there will be some long runs to hit this bridge on the Monon Trail.

The job change has done wonders for my stress level.  Sorry old coworkers if you’re reading this, but it’s true.  I don’t feel that I have to sew everyday as a way to cope with the pressure or to get a mental break.  My evenings and weekends are spent with the family.  Sewing has become this bonus activity to enrich my life, not balance it.  It’s a shift I didn’t anticipate.

During March I want to continue to work through some older projects and ideas that have been sitting around.  Starting in April I hope to turn my focus towards some other projects. I think you guys will like that series.

 

My First Attempt at Free Motion Quilting

Free motion quilting (FMQ) has been a goal for years.  Much like zippers, it scares me.  Maybe it’s the idea of learning something new?  Could it be that I’m concerned it will look like my free hand drawings…awful.
With wonderful support of my IMQG friends I successfully quilted a small quilt with FMQ.
At the retreat I came prepared with my darning foot and an ancient WIP, it’s been around since 2011.  What I didn’t expect was how nervous I would feel.  With sweaty palms and a racing heart I pushed the pedal and started guiding my fabric.  Loops, I can do loops, yeah, let’s do that was my thought process.
Okay we’ve made a few, they look decent.  Even better the back looks good, the tension is correct.
Then I started to question myself and I slowed down.  Stitches started skipping and the frustration mounted.  UGH!  “I knew I couldn’t do this” began to creep into my mindset.  After stopping, breathing, and adjusting the fabric, I tried again.  I kept the seam ripper nearby for the number of errors that occurred.
 
Here is what I learned:
  • My machine likes to go fast.
  • Trust my gut and just keep moving the fabric.
  • If needed, stop and adjust everything.
The back may be my favorite part of this quilt.
I have a project in the works to try FMQ again.  This time will be at home.  I’m sure I will be texting my friends before for moral support and possibly having some wine to help me relax.
Love that drape
Quilt details:
Fabric:  Botanica and coordinating Kona Solids from Fabric.com
Pieced by various members of IMQG ~2011
Style:  Improv log cabins

Quilt by Committee – V&Co HST Quilt

V&Co HST offset quilt by quiltytherapy, #modernquilt, #V&co, #HSTquilt #halfsquaretriangles, #babyquilt
You either love or hate half square triangles.  I happen to fall into the love category.  They are versatile and a quick way to make a block.  Last summer I dug into my V&Co stash and decided I needed to make a quilt.  There were a number of charm packs I was hoarding that blended together perfectly.
First step was to separate out the high and low volume prints.  Also any fabrics that I felt didn’t jam with everything else.  Randomly combine high and low volume prints and bust out a ton of half square triangles.  After pressing them and admiring the colors I quickly threw them back into a basket.  That basket just sat until my recent IMQG retreat.
It was on the to do list.  Bust through this older WIP, get it done.  I had considered doing a traditional layout, but that seemed boring.
This is where quilt by committee took over.  I started laying out the blocks and the comments started flying.  A few versions were tried and no one was really feeling them.
Holly spoke up and said, “Hey, can I try something?”  Absolutely.  Rachael chimed in and these two were off.  They started a layout and I quickly started sorting the blocks by color.  Within 15-30 minutes we had a gorgeous top ready to be pieced.
Discussions on the quilting went on longer than the layout process.  Should it be free motion quilted?  Straight lines?  What will look the best?  It was decided that this strong geometric quilt should have straight lines to avoid the quilting distracting from the layout.  Simple straight lines, I can do that.
For the backing I chose a zig zag print from a coordinating line that is perfection on the back.  I had just enough in the width to make it work.  The binding in turn was 2.5 inch double fold to help cover more on the back.
This quilt turned out fabulously.  Do you like it?  Love it?  You can find it here in my Etsy shop.
V&Co HST offset quilt by quiltytherapy, #modernquilt, #V&co, #HSTquilt #halfsquaretriangles, #babyquilt

Link up with Crazy Mom Quilts 

Scrappy Solids String Quilt

 Solids Scrappy String Quilt by quiltytherapy #stringquilt #solidsquilt #scrapquilt #babyquilt
Last winter I had the wonderful idea to make 100 8 inch string blocks with my solid scraps.  Totally feasible and a great way to use up my cloth grocery bag bursting at the seams of scraps.  In reality I made 42 and am happy with that.  That large bag stuffed with solid scraps.  Still overflowing, but slightly more manageable.
That bag of scraps has so many colors and shades hiding in it.  By block 35 I was getting worried the blocks started to look too much alike.  I was gravitating towards certain colors.  This is supposed to be random and scrappy.  42 was the right number to stop at and make a baby quilt to have on hand.
With a string quilt, turn your stitch length way down.  No, a little lower.  When you rip the paper off it can loosen stitches and even pull some.  UGH, it did happen with this quilt.  My hope after washing and drying the quilt is that everything will shrink a bit and those stitches will tighten.
For quilting, I wanted something a bit dense to help adjust for some errors.  Straight lines criss cross over the quilt gives texture and hides most flaws in the crinkles.  At the retreat I machine bound this quilt but wasn’t happy with the overall look.  Last week I ripped out the stitches and hand sewed the binding to the back.  Now I’m much more pleased with the finished quilt.
I tend to wash quilts by themselves to help avoid colors running onto other items.  With this quilt I tossed it in with some towels and fleece blankets.  I really wanted this to tumble in the dryer.  Look at that crinkle?
The backing was pulled from my box of destash fabrics.  There was just enough to make the back between the two.  This older WIP used up scraps and some fabrics on the back I was ready to part with.
After trimming the quilt of all the little strings, I like this quilt more.  During the retreat there were some not so nice words while quilting.  What do you think?

Link ups!

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Scraptastic Tuesday

Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat

It was an amazing weekend full of laughs and of course some sewing thrown in.  These are my people, they get me. Many of us had been commenting how much we were looking forward to the weekend.  It did not disappoint.
In addition to our own projects, we played games and shared laughs.  So many laughs.  We played two tense rounds of Left, Right, Center for fat quarters.  Quilters are ruthless despite what some may think.  Game one was intense and Lisa walked away the winner.  Game two things got serious.  Fat quarters were quickly getting throw into center.  One of my rolls included a C going directly into my wine glass on the floor.  Of course it did.
I was out of fat quarters but some were still floating around me.   Within a couple of rolls I was back in and suddenly I won.  I won!  So many lovely fat quarters for me to enjoy.  I almost cried I was so happy and surprised.
This weekend was really a chance for me to get through some WIPs that have been lingering.  I wanted to cross some stuff off my self-inflicted to do list.
Solids String Quilt
Good thing no one took video or recorded our conversations this weekend.  Lots of cursing and general dislike for the process with this quilt.  I will dig more into it later this week.  It was the first project I tackled and felt good to get this scrappy quilt done and bound on the first night.  Scrappy string quilts are on trend right now.
Botanica Bee Quilt
Talk about an old WIP.  Back in 2011 the guild held a bee.  I picked large log cabins using this lovely Botanica fabric.  Most of the fabric I had left was destashed last year, but I kept a couple of pieces in case I ever finished this.
My big goal for the weekend was to try free motion quilting for the first time.  Without Darcie and Rachael pushing me out of comfort zone, I wouldn’t have tried it.  Being true to my word from our goals meeting in January, I decided this was the quilt.  It’s smaller and not on the bias like the string quilt.  I wanted to tackle this first thing Saturday morning.
Holy camoly.  I was a sweaty nervous mess to take my first few stitches.  After a few hiccups I got the hang of moving the quilt around and the speed of my machine that worked the best.   More practice is necessary but the overall process went well.  I have another WIP almost ready to keep up my practice.
Note:  my arms, shoulders and back were SORE from it.  Something I didn’t expect.
V&Co HST Quilt
Quilt by committee is a wonderful benefit of retreat weekend.  I had all of these HSTs but really unsure the layout I wanted.  As I started to lay it out, others jumped in with suggestions.  This wonderful layout was the winning choice.
Blush Charm Quilt
Let’s go back in time again to another overnight sewing adventure from 2011.  IMQG traveled to one a member’s house for a night of sewing and games.  I started a charm quilt with lots of white from the Moda Blush line.  It’s been a bag ever since in my WIP cabinet.  No more.  The top and back are both done.  It’s ready to be basted and quilted.
A couple of people brought their scrap bins for everyone to dig around in.  We were like vultures if I’m being honest.  It was fun to pull out scraps from their projects and envision them in your stash.  Lisa even ironed and color sorted her scraps.  Too much work for me but her scraps were to enticing like that.  I snagged a few to help round out upcoming projects.
There are about 3-4 more projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  They are newer ideas and I chose instead to focus on older items.  Look for upcoming series…Busting through old WIPs.
So many wonderful projects were worked on by everyone.  It’s invigorating to be around other like minded people for a weekend and accomplishing so much.  We sprawled our projects across the banister to get a better look at what we had done.  I am lucky to know many wonderful and talented sewists.
Does your guild host a retreat?  Have you ever gone away to just sew and hang out with friends?  I definitely recommend it.