We’ve Got Updates and Progress! Episode #77

Welcome back hobbyists and crafters! Today we update you on some of our current projects and the process we are making on a lot of our quilts and stitching.

My dad has made MAJOR progress with his Frank wall hanging. This is the second one after he ran into some issues with the first.

Mom’s failure is fertilizer quilt top is done and she’s using the smaller one to practice her free motion quilting. This weekend she’s picking up some backing fabric to finish this quilt for my sister in law.

Dori pulled out her Cat in the Garden appliqué project and wanted to get it finished except some important numbers are missing for the borders!

But we have a few resources we can use to get the measurements for the borders.

Her new stitching project is really coming along and she’s enjoying the process!

I’ve got a bunch of blocks done for my Puzzle Box quilt and it’s piecing together nicely.

And I’ve attached the binding to the friendship quilt so I’m nearing the end of this two year project!!

It went on smoothly to the back and I plan to hand bind the rest! Almost done!

And I got the good word that I’m in class with Libs Elliott to make her Watcher Skull quilt at QuiltCon 2018!!!

Now we’re just waiting and hoping that another spot opens up for my mom!

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WIP: The Puzzlebox Quilt

The last couple of weeks I’ve been very motivated to work on my quilts. It could be the regular podcast schedule we’ve been sticking to or meeting up with my good friend to quilt together each week. Either way, I’ve been cranking out blocks left and right.

I picked up my work on the puzzle box quilt and really went to town chain piecing like a fiend.

I took a look at the blocks and realized that I could piece most of the center pairs and not piece the whole block. Having my little thread cutter from Sunflower-Quilts really helped move this part of my process along very quickly.

It took a bit more work to organize things because originally I was completing a block each time I sat down to work and using up each color from the kit. Once I made the block, I could move on to the next color in the set. But since I switched to this new process, I only piece together a few pairs in each color and save the rest to be used later to complete the block.

It’s a good thing I like to be organized!

I am struggling a bit with the reds. They are so close in tone that I can’t quite tell them apart. We’ll see what happens as I move along through each color.

And even though I did a lot of great work on my own, getting together with my friend to quilt really motivates me to stick with it. In the span of time we worked together, I pieced a good chunk of blocks.

And I’ve been playing around with the layout on my design board. There is something fun about fiddling with how many different ways I can move these blocks around.

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2017 WIP List 

A big part of a quilter’s life is half-done projects, partially started quilts, and almost completed gifts. What can I say, it’s a BIG part of our culture.

It could be that new fabrics and patterns are coming out all the time and something new will catch our eye and we feel it call to us. Or may we can get a little bored with our current WIPs and just feel the need to start fresh, something different.

This year, after watching The Minimalist with my husband, I got the itch to pull out all my WIP and UFO quilts and make it a point to wrap them up. To keep myself accountable to this goal of mine, I’m listing these quilts here and I plan to revisit the list each month.

#1: The Friendship Quilt (for my husband)

This quilt goes WAY back. Like summer of 2015 WAY BACK. The kit was a gift to me from my parents. When I pulled it out and started cutting it, my husband liked the look of the batik fabrics and the earth colors. So I deemed it to be his.

I finished the top and bought the batting and backing for 25% from my local quilt shop, The Orange Quilt Bee. Then I decided to go with a free motion wood grain pattern for the quilting. That seemed like an awesome idea in the beginning and so far it’s looking beautiful but I ran into a few issues. Firstly, it’s going to take me FOREVER to quilt the full sized quilt on my own. I’m wishing now I would have picked a simpler pattern or sent it out to be done.

Then I found a fold in the backing that was too big to leave alone. I mean I could have just kept going but I wouldn’t have been happy leaving such a glaring mistake. So this quilt lingered for a LONG time just sitting there while I avoided the task of taking out the stitches to fix it. Finally, over winter break, I finally got around to fixing the problem and I’m ready to start quilting again.

This quilt is the furthest along in the process of getting finished.

#2: My CIRCA Quilt

I don’t know many quilters that quilt for themselves. So many of our projects are for others and we are often left to say goodbye to many of our beautiful finishes. Not this one…

This one is for me!

I love this CIRCA kit and I fell even more in love with it when I framed it in cream and black borders. It’s also been a long time in progress, another 2015 start. The top has been long done but I really stalled on the backing. I needed to sew together two red pieces and then frame them in the same black as the top. But, for some reason I just couldn’t get myself motivated to do any of that.

Again, over the winter break, I got the itch to start wrapping these projects up so I pulled this top out and finished piecing together the back. All I need now is my batting and to baste it together. The quilting on this will be simple, just simple squares and straight lines. Maybe even a little stitch in the ditch.

With the Friendship quilt being so complex, I’m happy to keep this quilting simple. and straight forward.

#3 Marvel Quilt (for Jake)

Oh man, this is a definite UFO. This project is for Jake and was started a long, long time ago. It’s going on 3 years now and it’s started and stopped me so many times. First, everything needed to be cut. There were NO pre-cuts for me to work with so I was stuck cutting everything myself.

Then, I decided to do my own block. Yeah, this decision is really holding me back because of the process of piecing together isn’t smooth and it’s time consuming. Had I gone with a block that had a pattern already created I may have moved faster to complete them but as it stands, I’m still making the blocks and I may soon run out of my sashing material. Yikes…

I have two rows completed and on my design wall but I have six more to go. I’m aiming for eight rows of six blocks, giving me a full sized quilt for my growing boy.

#4: Puzzle Box Quilt

Over the span of 2015, we made a lot of new friendships both online and off line. We also connected with other quilts that we happily learned from and shared with. In that time, we got to know Christa Watson, both as a friend and a fellow quilter. She puts out some amazing tutorials and information for quilting at home and I decided to join her website. In doing so I received a free pattern.

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Seeing the pattern and knowing that I had a jelly roll made for this pattern, I starting cutting for it. It’s a project that stays at my mom’s house so it rarely see the light of day. But it definitely needs to be put on this list so that it gets some much needed attention. I’m still cutting away at it and this year I plan to get further along!

Four projects, all at different points of finish. I’m quilting, basting, piecing, and cutting my little heart out with the intention of finishing some or all of these projects this year.

What are YOUR 2017 WIPs or UFOs?

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WIP: Playful Colors Quilt

This past Friday, I wrapped up my Old Yeller quilt! Yay! 12 years in the making and it’s finally complete!

So I’ve moved on to my next WIP, my Playful Colors Quilts. This was a random combination of squares from a Moda charm pack called Lollipop. It kinda kooky and reminds me a bit of the 70’s and early 80’s.

Like tossing some pick-up-sticks into the air and then playing a game with them, I literally have no plans for this pack. I just sewed them together, willy-nilly and let things organically work their way together.

I have sewn myself into a corner a little bit. Finding a way to bind it all together with a common fabric is a little tough. But I picked up a swatch of this yellow and red polka dotted fabric I had from another project and I tossed it next to my panels. Low and behold, it kinda works!

It’s a bit loud and might even be a bit obnoxious but this seems like a good match up. With the red in these squares being more rusty than vibrant, I think the mellow yellow hue with the red dots will work fine next to all of the squares.

I showed this to my mom when we got together to record our first Hobbies Up To Here podcast and she even agreed that it works. This was a big step for her as she tends to like more traditional colors and patterns. I was thankful for her eyes.

If you missed it, we’ve started a new podcast and renamed this here blog from In Stitches! to Hobbies Up To Here! Check out our first podcast and check back in for weekly updates!


Hobbies Up To Here: Episode #1

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

WIP: Jake’s Quilt

This is my first Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday and of course it’s during a time that WIP over at Freshly Pieced is on vacation. So even though there aren’t any links for it, I’m going to go ahead and post the progress I made on Jake’s quilt.

Because yes, quilter friends, I have made PROGRESS!!!

I started his quilt way back when… WAY WAY back when. Like 3 years ago. This quilt is a twin quilt to match my son’s old teddy bear quilt I made him for Christmas one year. In 2012 I started working on it again and got interrupted when my then boyfriend (now husband) proposed to me. So, for good reason, this quilt is still unfinished.

IMG_1152 The plan was to sew while my brother-in-law was visiting for some Bro-Time with the mister. Since they would be doing MenThings, I would spend some much needed quality time with my sewing machine and this quilt. Instead, I got a lot MORE time to sew because our son found himself in bed quite early. He got into a little trouble at camp so his consequence was an early bedtime. Ahhhhhh, the bliss of quiet time!

IMG_1153 My goal was to finish this quilt top and get it ready to start the binding on my next sewing night. I had 8 squares to finish and then the quilt layers would be finished!

IMG_1154 With all the extra time I had due to the little one’s early bed time, I was able to do just that! The quilt is now all pieced together, layered, and quilted down. I even got the chance to trim the edges. It’s not a perfect quilt. Personally, I love the colors and the vibrancy of this blanket but I see MANY MANY areas that need improving. It’s definitely been a learning experience putting this thing together and I’m glad that it’s not a gift for anyone outside our house. Hahahahha. My son, though, is thrilled to know his personal blanket is almost complete.

IMG_1156 From his time-out in bed I kept hearing him asking me what I was working on and how far along it was coming. When it was all done, I did step into his room and show it off. He was over the moon to see it all together. Now to make the binding and attach it in the coming days. The binding is going to be a beautiful yellow that will really play well with some of the yellow in the strips. I’m pretty happy with my progress. This is more than I’ve done in two years! And hopefully with WIP Wednesdays and a few Friday Sew-Ins, I’ll actually get the umph I need to complete this project so I can start another.

IMG_1157 Along with this quilted WIP, I’m also in the middle of a WIP book: The Book Thief. My sister suggested that we start a mini book club between my mom, her, and me.  This is our first book choice. We have a while to read it because we’re all pretty busy but once we’re all done, we’re going to get together and discuss over wine and brie! I’m really looking forward to the wine… I mean the time together with my mom and sister.

Until next time when hopefully I’ll be posting about my progress on the binding!