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.

 

Fabric Budget UPDATE

As we wind down February, the budget is still in place. There are been a few purchases for my stash which leave my budget pretty low on funds at the moment.

One of my friends was purging her Lotta Jansdotter Echo stash. Ummm, yes please, all of it. Got an amazing deal on one of my all time favorite fabric lines.

A quilt shop near me is restructuring. Not going out of business, just changing things up. They have been doing an inventory reduction sale. I ventured out on the first night, wading through the crowd, and finding just a few items to add. I’m tempted to go back now that the entire store is 50% off. I’m very conflicted. Honestly, there is nothing that I NEED. Is there really anything I WANT? Doubtful.

Okay, I went after writing the above. I did find some fabrics to use. They were down to $3/yard. How could I resist?

All this for $37

The $100 fabric budget did wonders for changing my whole thought process on fabric buying. Old me would have probably spent too much money at that sale and sit on the fabric for four years. Instead I truly looked for things that I will use. That blue fabric will be backings for boy baby quilts. Black and white polka dot could go with anything. The floral prints are for pillow for the living room. Need to brighten that up this spring.

IMQG hosted their February meeting at The Sewing Speakeasy.  These charm packs called out to me with their saturated colors. An idea is already in mind for what to make. I’m going old school and creating a disappearing nine patch. If you are new to my blog, it used to be my go to pattern for a baby quilt. I haven’t made one in almost three years.

I envision something fun and bright once the top is created. Grey thread in FMQ. Maybe a vintage sheet on the back too. Speaking of vintage sheets, I was able to pass some on to another quilter at the meeting. Felt good to get rid of some sheets that I have had for a while. My husband was confused at first.

“You love vintage sheets,” he stated. “Yes, hubby I do. If I really wanted to do something with these, I would have by now,” was my reply. “Fair,” he responded.

My Sewing Space

 

It’s cleaned up and more organized.

Welcome everyone to my sewing space.  This has been my space for the last four years.  You can read about the transitions we made here.  The tiny human kicked me out of the second bedroom that I was using when he arrived.  We have a lovely enclosed front porch with HUGE windows.  Loads of natural light flood the room when sewing during the day.  We recently added a larger light to make night time sewing easier on my eyes.

Ignore all those neglected scraps just sitting there in tubs.  It’s better than the trash bag they were in.

Add tackling these tubs to the to-do list.

Knowing that I was going to share this room publicly was a great motivator to clean and organize it a bit.  Most of the time my ironing board is up and off to the side.  My stash of yardage is tucked away in our back room in drawer system.  It’s not a perfect system.  However, it lets me focus on projects that I’m working on.

The extra side table isn’t really for cutting, rather it makes it easy to watch Netflix while I sew.  I can devour a whole series if I’m working on a big project.  #netflixandsew

That table looks a little bare.  I should grab some wine and start a project.  Thanks for joining me on the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop.  Be sure to visit everyone on the blog hop below.

 

Jen Frost, Faith and Fabric
Raylee Bielenberg, Sunflower Stitcheries & Quilting
Emily Carroll, toothpaste and orange cat
Sherry Smedley, adventures in life
Emma Wengier, Emkie Designs
Anne Beier, Hudson Valley Quilts
Cindy Pieters, Stichin At Home
Amanda Hilldore, Fabric Engineer

Ivette, Gotham Quilts 

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