Category Archives: WIPs

More from the Farm

Farmer's Wife 1930s

The process of making these fiddly little Farmer’s Wife blocks is so much fun. I spent a couple of hours last week (watching The Americans on Amazon) pairing up fabrics for the next 30 blocks on my list. That bit was just as enjoyable as actually finishing the blocks.

The method I’ve figured out so far involves:

1. Pairing up fabrics with the same feel as the ones in the book

2. Add a sticky note with block name and number to the chosen fabrics

3. Use Marti Michell conversion guides to cut the pieces from her templates for each block and lay out the pieces on a small design board

4. Sew, press, and photograph! Post on blog and Instagram, of course! It’s much more fun when you share your progress and poke around the various quilt-along hashtags to see the blocks others are making.

Farmer's Wife 1930s

I added some more fabric since I posted last week, bringing my fabrics used up to six collections:

Bread N Butter by American Jane

Lighthearted by Ayumi Mills

Morningside Farm by Darlene Zimmerman

Retro 30s Child Smile from Lecien

30s Playtime Basics by Chloe’s Closet (I absolutely adore this entire line but have restricted myself to a few fat quarters I picked up at my LQS – Urban Spools)

Milk, Sugar & Flower by Elea Lutz (I’m adding some scraps as I finish cutting out my Star Blossoms quilt. This line will be sparse in the final quilt.)

90-Sara80-Patricia

79-Patience76-Nancy

69-MrsKeller

Some of my blocks have ended up a bit too large and I’ve lost my points – like the Mrs. Keller block above. I suppose I need to square up some of the components and be especially careful with the blocks that have so many pieces. I wonder if others who are using their own templates from the book are having this issue or if this is an issue with the Marti Michell templates? Or an issue with me?!

I’m collecting my blocks under a single hashtag if you’d like to see them all together (If you are also making this quilt, please do the same! I love seeing different quilters’ blocks all gathered in one spot.) Click {here} to see mine.

Springing Forward

Well, it’s about a million years since I last blogged. Whenever I look around and realize what day or month it is, I think “I can’t believe it’s the first of March already!” and look, here we are on the first of March and it’s practically spring. Life really does go by so very quickly.  I spent a good chunk of February extremely under the weather and now I’m making up for lost time.

I’ve been cutting out blocks to get going on my Star Blossoms quilt. I could not dig up the matching background fabric for the first and only block I made last year so I’m really starting over completely. Just plain, easy white Bella Solids 9900-98, my go-to white.

Star Blossoms QuiltThe fabric is Milk Sugar Flower by Elea Lutz. The cutest ever. Pink and mint and orange and red and aqua!

I’m also working on my Farmer’s Wife 1930s blocks! I bought the book for the first one and made zero blocks. This go round I bought the Marti Michell templates (which is quite an investment). The acrylic templates make the process much easier, at least for me. I hate making templates from template plastic. Marti’s templates all have those trimmed corners which make the blocks go together so smoothly, even with the tiniest pieces.

Farmer's Wife 1930s

FM1930s-01-AddieFM1930s-08-Aunt

FM1930s-10-Ava

So far three fabric collections have made it into my FW basket – Bread N Butter by American Jane, Lighthearted by Ayumi Mills, and Morningside Farm by Darlene Zimmerman. There’s plenty of fabric there but I may add a few fun FQs here and there as I go.  I absolutely love making these blocks and I think after I’ve finished the 99 (!!!) for the 1930s book, I’ll go back and do the original Farmer’s Wife.

Happy early spring to you all…

End of Year Reckoning

WIP OrganizationThat sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it? 2015 is rapidly winding down and this week feels like a good time to take inventory of my works in progress (WIPs). I think I skipped this entirely last year and things have gotten out of control. I’m preparing to overhaul and organize my sewing room so I will have to face these piles and bins one way or another. WIP Organization

My full list is {here} but it’s way….way…way too long. I have it broken down into categories which supposedly helps me stay motivated to finish things. I’m laughing as I type that.  My plan is to work on nothing but these categories for the entire first quarter of 2016.  There’s plenty here to keep me busy for the entire year but I have to indulge my desire for NEW projects as some point. Feed the fabric beast, you know.

PIECING – ALMOST COMPLETE: Just needs a few more blocks/sashing/etc.

COMPLETED TOP: Time to baste!

QUILTING & BINDING: Self-Explanatory

 

 

WIP Organization

There are so many finished quilt tops that it’s really ridiculous. I made myself a simple printable to organize those so I can do some shopping for bindings and backings while the end of year sales are happening. It’s very likely that I have a lot in my stash I can use. (Why is that so hard to do?!?!?!)

You can download the printable for yourself {here}. The font I’ve used for the form fields is A Gentle Touch which you can download for free. If you don’t have it installed on your computer, it will default to a basic font.

See you all in 2016!

XYZ

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Earlier this year I started Moda’s “Spell It With Fabric” quilt. You can download the free patterns for each letter {here}. Instead of beginning at the beginning with ABC, I started at the end with XYZ. I figured this was a good way to force myself to actually finish it, It worked! Well, almost. I still have to make the borders.

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I’m using Sweet by Urban Chiks, which is a darling 1930s-inspired line. The colors are soft and so feminine and candy-like. It’s an older line (2009ish) so very hard to find now (one of the benefits of hoarding fabric.)

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I finished the letters and filler blocks this weekend at a retreat.  My plan is to continue the scrappy look with the borders, though I am a bit nervous how they will look since they are uneven borders meant to square up the quilt. We shall see…

VMQ-alphabet-quilt-4{

The filler blocks are a combination of Lori Holt’s crops and sunflower block patterns. These patterns are both in her {Farm Girl Vintage} book. I adore adore adore that entire book. Filled with cuteness.

Temptation Procrastination

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There’s something that seems to be common among most creative people/makers that I know. None of us can resist the siren’s call of new fabric and new quilt patterns and quilt-alongs. It causes us to throw aside everything we had planned on making to start something wonderfully new. I call that temptation procrastination.

Temptation procrastination is the reason I have 15 completed quilt tops, 2 quilted quilts awaiting binding, and 3 basted and partly quilted quilts languishing in baskets in my sewing room. Let’s not even get into my WIPs that are just cut fabric and various quilt blocks. I can’t count that high.

Is there are cure for this ailment? I think throwing some money at my problem and sending a few quilt tops off to longarmers is a good start.  Then I’ll need a few good shows on the DVR to hack away at that binding and some audio books to keep me company during basting and quilting the rest of that sad, neglected pile. I may not leave my house for the remainder of the year…

Tell me, are you a one-at-time kind of quilter? What are your secrets? I must know.

GTSB: Making Progress

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I am nearly done with section 1 of my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt! I’ve mostly worked on this quilt in the summers when visiting my parents at their lake house since it doesn’t require a sewing machine (and I don’t usually have room to pack one). Though, now that I have been working on it with my rotary cutter and sewing machine, I’m making a lot more progress.

VMQ-gtsb-section1-01-3
(These propeller blocks are actually from section 4, but another one that pieces up so much more quickly on the machine than by hand.) One thing about sewing by hand that I’ve noticed – my seams are not as tight as a machine-sewn block and they tend to come apart at the edges. I’ve had to do quite a bit of re-sewing on the very last 1/4″ of several seams once I squared up the blocks.

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Orange and pink are one of my favorite combinations! One thing I’m really enjoying about this quilt is using up little bits of precious out-of-print fabric (like that rust, orange, and pink dot by Heather Ross from a very old Munki Munki line).

More Heather Ross cuteness – those chickens are going to be sprinkled throughout this quilt.

So here’s a snapshot of my blocks so far:

Pattern-May2015

My plan is to finish that last block in section 1 and then move on to the machine-friendly blocks in the rest of the quilt.  That will take a big chunk out of what is left to make!

My Small World QAL – Fabrics + Plans

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Welcome to the My Small World Quilt-Along! I am in love with this pattern – like all of Jen Kingwell’s designs, it is unique and adorable. It combines a lot of traditional block designs and techniques, including a bit of embroidery. It’s meant as a wall quilt, finishing at around 33″ x 52″.  I’m going to make mine larger by expanding the background so it finishes around 88″ x 64″ – a better size for a twin bed or throw.

VMQ-my-small-world-QAL-01

A quilt like this just wants to be scrappy and I’m happy to oblige. I pulled 14 fat quarters from my stash as a starting point and I’ll add scraps to fill in as a I go. I noticed while reading through the pattern that there are a lot of 2 1/2″ and 4 1/2″ pieces, which are great for Moda candy (2 1/2″ squares) and charm squares (5″ square) so I’m working some of those in from my stash, as well. My only rule is no pink or purple (at least not as a main color in the print).

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I’ve also rounded up a selection of low volume prints from my scrap bin. I suspect I’ll end up having to purchase a few more once the main part of the quilt is complete. Low volumes are hard to come by and I’ve been using them up quite a bit in recent projects.

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My plan is to cut all the background bits first since those are rotary cut. I went through the pattern and made a tally of all the necessary pieces of each size. Then I’ll make my templates for the rest of the pieces and jump in with section one.

If you are joining us on this quilt-along journey, be sure to take a look at the erratum from QuiltMania for section 1. You can download that {here}.

And also pop by to visit my co-hosts! The hastag #mysmallworldQAL is already filling up with wonderful inspiration on Instagram.

Cindy of  Live a Colorful life  {@liveacolorfullife}
Megan of Lucy and Norman {@lucyandnorman}
John of Quilt Dad {@j_q_adams}
Danielle of Mes Petits Elefants {@petitselefants}
Kerry of verykerryberry {@verykerryberry}

What I’m Sewing

It feels like I never get to sew these days but when I look back at my Instagram photos, I’ve gotten quite a few things done. This first quilt that’s ready for binding has been sitting at the longarmer (Urban Spools) for a YEAR. Good thing she’s a friend! Her quilting is amazing and perfectly enhances the piecing. I just need a few Downton Abbeys on the DVR and I’ll have this thing bound in no time. That teaser photo makes it look rather Mardi Gras themed but it’s actually quite a bold color palette. (I started with this stack of Bella Solids.)

City-AviationI also finished a quilt top that’s been on several retreats with me and been the cause of at least two orders from Fat Quarter Shop (replenishing that peacock sashing).  I had a dozen more blocks to cut out and I just decided that it was good as is and sewed what I had together. It’s going in the closet with all the other finished tops where hopefully my quilting Fairy Godmother will finish it with a swish of her wand.Framed

This quilt top is made from American Jane’s latest line Fresh Air. I just love everything Sandy Klop designs. It’s so cheerful. I used the Layer Player pattern from the Moda Bake Shop and honestly whipped this one up in a couple of days. It’s that easy (even with baby and toddler at my feet!). Fresh-AirI also managed to sew the last two borders on my Marmalade Jubilee quilt, which some of you may recognize as the one I used in my Learn to Quilt series. It’s next on my list for basting and quilting so I can finally get to the embarrassingly overdue lesson on binding. MarmaladeThat’s what I’m sewing!

Hand Piecing = Slow Progress

I haven’t been doing much sewing lately but I did take my Green Tea and Sweet Beans project on a trip to my parents’ lake house a few weeks ago. Since it’s made for hand sewing,  GTSB is the perfect quilt for those times when I don’t want to or can’t bring a sewing machine.

2014-03-15_1394919001The arm of a sofa is the perfect work surface – add in a TV tray or a little end table and you’ve got it made. Don’t forget the coffee!

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Garden Path block in progress above. Lots of y-seams but fun to sew. See one of my completed Garden Path blocks {here}.2014-03-18_13951034422014-03-19_1395247434 My GTSB quilt is primarily from a kit that I bought at QuiltCon. It’s been over a year now that I’ve been working on the quilt (in very small segments of time) and I’ve sadly realized that I don’t like many of the kit fabrics….at least not together. Only one or two of the prints in these blocks is from the kit. It’s a good thing I have so many scraps to add in so the final quilt will be to my taste.2014-03-19_1395247527 2014-03-19_1395247605See the rest of my blocks {here}.

Gypsy Wife BOM

This is the first block of the month (BOM) that I’ve actually (mostly not really) kept up with and I’m really enjoying it. BOMs tend to cost you more than just buying the materials and pattern outright but part of the fun is getting a new mini project in the mail each month. Plus just working one or two blocks a month makes it easier to keep up with. Supposedly.

(P.S. The colors are way over-saturated in that photo. The fabrics in the BOM aren’t really that bright or even quite those hues.)

Gypsy Wife is another wonderful pattern from Jen Kingwell. Like many of her patterns it started as a unique BOM at Amitie Textiles in Australia. It’s now available stateside as a pattern booklet (a far cheaper alternative than a BOM from Australia!!!)

Here are my completed blocks so far:

Gypsy Wife BOM

There are lots of fabrics and fabric combinations I wouldn’t have picked but I know the end result will be fantastic (Jen Kingwell can pretty much do no wrong fabric-wise). There’s only been one print so far that I hate too much to use:

Gypsy Wife BOM

Would you have used it? I know that every time I looked at the quilt I’d see that one fabric and it would make me crazy. It’s just too weird and sorta 70s in a bad way. Most of the fabrics are Japanese and/or very difficult to come by in the US (I tell myself that every month to justify what the BOM costs…it doesn’t seem like all that much each month but when you add up the total for the quilt it’s pretty shocking. But maybe all quilts are that high and I’ve just been in denial because I never see the materials broken down quite like that?)

Month 7 just arrived in the mail late last week as I was in the throes of a hideous cold but now I’m feeling up to finishing it (and months 5 and 6, as well!). It’s good to be back doing some normal things after spending way too much time with my TV and sofa last week.