WIP: So Close!!!

First I want to apologize for the HORRIBLE picture quality! My Canon broke the other day and I’m stuck with using either my old Canon (which I gave to my son to play with so it’s not in great shape) or using my phone. My phone’s camera isn’t bad but it’s not how I want to get my pictures done. BOOOO!! And I’m not really ready to drop a lot of moola on a new one. But I will have to soon because I use it not only for the blog but also when we do trips and we have a camping trip coming up in a week. Ugh…
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Anywho, I got down to business last night and started wrapping up my Peaceful Planet quilt. I had to take over my son’s room because he has the most floor space and this thing feels HUGE! It’s only a twin sized quilt but this is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on so I’m a bit amazed and a teeny bit overwhelmed with the size of it all. Using his floor I laid out the back, the batting, and the top. I tried to lay it out as smoothly as possible but my sewing leaves something to be desired. I’m crossing my fingers that over time my sewing will improve and my quilt tops will be better for it!

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Snip snip!

After everything was lined up as best I could, I took the whole shebang back to my room and spread it out on the bed. We’ve got a Cal-King in there so it was a bit easier on my back to lean over that instead of kneeling on the floor. My husband is such a sweetheart. He could tell I was struggling with it lining up so he jumped in and took over the other end of the quilt and helped me out. That little extra tug from him totally made a difference. Now things were all ready for my machine!

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I swear my lighting is MUCH better than this!

I set out to stitch in the ditch around the border with a nice dark blue thread to seal the layers together. I’m kinda on a time crunch. This is a gift and the receiver is arriving tomorrow from Washington State so I’m hoping to be able to gift it in person rather than ship it via the USPS! So I kept it simple and just ran my little Kenmore around the edges. I swear, poor ol’ Shelby was smokin’ by the time I was done!

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Stupid flash!

After it was all sewn together I went back to my bed and laid it out flat again. It didn’t come out too bad! But I did have one corner where the material had shifted so it puckered up. I could have left it but I knew it would bug me forever if I did so I ripped out an entire seam (luckily along one of the shorter sides) and stitched it back up. Once again I trekked to the bed to lay it out and I saw an area where I could make another improvement. When I picked up the seam ripper to fix it, my husband implored that I held off and went to bed. He was right. I could pick the whole thing apart if I allowed myself to think on it so instead I went to bed to sleep on it, promising to fix everything tomorrow. All I have left to do today is fix that one seam and then attach the binding! In preparation for that step, I bought extra yellow material in case my binding turns out to be too short.
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On the side I pulled one of my UFO/WIPs from last week’s post and got some work done on it, too. This Forgotten Project would have been finished if I hadn’t lost the instructions. BOOOO!!! But I got two squares ripped apart and then sewn back together nicely and attached to the nice dark chocolate brown solid squares where the pears are meant to go. And I say “meant to go” because the instructions are no longer on the internet either. The site hosting it is long gone so I have no template for my pears. Grrr…

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Also, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my other squares to line up right and ended up with smaller dimensions than my originals. These things just won’t cut it! So I’m debating just chucking it all in, layering and binding what I have done and calling it a night! I’m good with that!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

WIP: Forgotten Projects

If you float around the blog-o-sphere and read quilting or sewing blogs, you’ve probably come across the acronym WIP. It stands for Work In Progress and it means exactly what it says. A WIP post is sharing a quilt or sewing project that you’ve been working on and it’s not done.

I find sharing projects that aren’t done and in the process of becoming something else a positive thing. It’s motivation to keep going. People share what they are working on and also share their stories. And knowing you aren’t alone in the sea of unending projects, is comforting.

But today I want to share a different kind of WIP. A project that is not only in progress but it has also fallen by the wayside. Those projects that got started, something got in the way of finishing them, and BOOM!!! Years later they are found in a pile of fabric with no idea HOW it got there.

In my new found motivation to sew and get things done around my crafty center, I decided to take advantage of the WIP Wednesday and dig through my stash to find those lost nuggets, unfinished, forgotten projects.

This first project is fairly recent, as in I remember starting it and I even wrote about it. It’s called the Fresh Pears Table Runner. It’s a simple pattern with a pear applique. I picked a Moda pack with some cream, red, and black fabrics and got pretty far into making the runner itself. I also had some nice mellow lime-olive green fabric to cut my pears out of.

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But then my brash self got too far ahead and messed it up during a Friday Night Sew-in.

Fright Night Sew-In: What Have I Done?!?

This project has been buried. I was so frustrated with the way it came out that I shoved it aside and haven’t looked at it in years. So I dug around and got lucky. It was all put together in a baggie, waiting for me to return!

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The only issue is that the instructions are no longer with it. And it was just printed on a simple piece of white paper so it could be anywhere. Or it could have bee tossed. The desk I was originally using for my quilting back then has been repurposed a few times over so I have NO CLUE where those instructions went to.

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Looking back at my original post, when the whole thing came together, there was a hitch in the center of the four squares. Turning it over, I could see why. The seams were all pressed in different directions and when the four corners came together, they made a jumbled heap of fabric that didn’t work together. Some were turned under, others were hitched in the opposite direction making the whole thing buckle. It wouldn’t lay flat no matter how hard I tried!!

So I pulled out my seam ripper and worked everything apart. I also noted that my hurried style had left this project in a few different stopping points. I had strips cut but not sewn together. I have squares of four strips ready along with pairs of squares already joined. Then I had scraps and raw pieces just floating around in the baggie.

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Such a mess!!! After pulling apart the one big square, I set about to press all the seams open and make life easier on myself. My next steps will be to finish sewing all the squares and then pressing the last seams open so that everything is ready to join up into bigger squares. And if I can find the instructions, I hope to have this project done before the year is over.

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Along with that forgotten project, I also found a batch of rows all sewn together. I knew it was a moda charm pack but couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Then I found it! It’s the Moda Lollipop kit.

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I have no clue what I was planning with this set but it would seem to be ripe for a nice patchwork quilt. One charm pack has been all sewn together in rows of four with two random pieces left over. I pressed the seams on this project and laid everything out to get a good bird’s eye view of the whole mess.

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Pretty cute, I’d say. I will need to do the same with the second charm pack to make it big enough. I’m thinking just a big messy patchwork quilt with a border, backing, and binding. Nothing too fancy. And maybe I won’t quilt the top but instead will tie it down.

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Lastly was this gem. It’s an eBay purchase with the best of intentions. From the emailed receipt attached to the baggie, it’s a Bear Claw pattern in red and black. This thing is an assorted mess. There are four bags of fabric in different states of completion: one completed square, some partials squares, bits and pieces of other soon to be made squares and then just random bits.

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Again, this was bought with the best of intentions in the heyday of my stash building and fabric buying. Had I started to work right away on this project, I bet it would have made more sense. But now, years later and in the chaotic state that it is in, I’m baffled. I mean, where does one even start with a project like this? I don’t even have instructions in hand so I’ll be left to searching the web for a general idea of what to do. Although, with one completed square, I can probably piece it together.

To say the least after my long winded post, I have a lot of work already in front of me. I’d say with patience and time, I could have a few projects finished before the end of the year without starting anything new. There is enough here to keep me busy for a long while!
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As if I wasn’t busy enough, I finished The Book Thief and I moved onto a new book in progress, A Vision in Velvet. LOVE this little series! It set in San Francisco (probably my favorite city) and it has magic and vintage clothing and mystery. All fun stuff to read!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

 

Friday Night Sew-In: What Have I Done!?

So, I decided to play along last Friday night and be apart of the monthly sew-in. I picked up an unfinished project and sat down with some old Friends episodes with the plan to sew the night away and get a lot of ground covered.

I cut and trimmed and sectioned together smaller strips to be made into a four strip half of a row. In the end, I would put two rows together to create a picket fence. It’s a small project, for beginners and newbies like me to get some experience with picket fences and a little applique.

Everything seemed to be going as planned. For a little while…

Then I went ahead and put together my first complete square and got this. Sigh…

From this angle it doesn’t seem so bad but from the side you’ll see what I’m sighing at.

See how it knots up in the center? Sigh…

As it would seem, I’m still very much a beginner. In sewing together so many swatches with pressed seams laying in opposition to each other, it would appear that I have sewn a large lump along my middle seam.

Luckily it’s an easy fix. I just tear the seams out and start over. And because I’m so anxious to move along and see some progress that looks remotely like the end result, I haven’t even sewn together all the individual squares to make up the larger picket fences. Double sigh…

The lesson for today: SLOW DOWN!

Take it step at a time and done’t get ahead of yourself.

Or you’ll end up with this…

A project with un-cut squares waiting patiently to be minced into long strips.

Strips cut but waiting to be sewn together.

Strips sewn together into a smaller aquare that are now waiting to be trimmed and added to another smaller square.

And squares sewn together to create rows.

Oh and one attempt at rows sewn together to create one large “finished” square.

I need to clean this mess up, organize what I’ve begun and start over.

 From scratch.

 

Handmade by Heidi

Friday Night Sew-In!

Handmade by Heidi

It’s been awhile (I missed May) but it’s another Friday Night Sew-In.

It’s the chance to join in with other crafty types around the web and get some sewing done.

Going to be sitting at my machine a bit tonight in the hopes of getting some much needed work done on my Fresh Pears table runner.

But first, a night time swim! The pool is heated and the nights are warmer plus I had an exercise class tonight and I could use the nice cool water.

Side Stitches: Fresh Pears Table Runner

We are a busy bunch around here. Between work and school, soccer and the gym, daily projects and just the day to day tasks around the house, I rarely find time to get out and be social.

Not that I mind too much. I’m a more introverted person as it is and since the birth of my son, I’ve happily found my little corner of the web and communicate through the means of social media. Oh, I get out too, but finding groups or people with the same interests as me in the short amount of time I can spare is tough. So I use the good old web and seek out online groups with similar interests. Like quilting!

Not long ago I joined Quilt With Us, a quilting community online. It’s pretty cool because you can join groups with different quilting interests, you have your own page and there are lots of people with different levels of experience. So far I’ve joined two groups, a Newbie Quilters group and a UFO group for unfinished projects.

I’d still love to find the time and the ability to join a quilting group that meets in person but that’s a dream for another day.

In one of my groups, we’ve started a project. It’s called the Fresh Pears table runner. Just a small project to get our feet wet in the areas of applique, piecing, binding and finishing a small project.

Start of a square

Here is the start of it.

Yesterday my son decided to throw a tantrum (the first one in a very long time) and it took him a good 45 minutes to calm down. So while he yelled and had his moment, I went into my little sewing corner and did some cutting and piecing.

Though it’s a casual group, there is a deadline for this project so that it’s not left hanging around. We are aiming for end of July though I’d like to see this project finished before mid May for me.

I’m using a Moda Full Circle charm pack for the piecing. And I bought enough to make more than one if I prefer. I plan to bind it with a dark chocolate solid and also use that for the backing. The pears to be appliqued are to be done on a tarragon colored solid. Not sure about it yet. The green might be too light. I may need a more earthy green against the darker tones.

We shall see!