Pixie Baskets, Mini Candlemats, Oh My!

It has been a fun and productive week here in my little piece of the world. The quilt cave has been humming, and I am satisfied with the work I’ve done.

What was I up to? Well . . .

I made this.

IMG_3767Tankini Table Runner from Atkinson Designs

And this

IMG_3776This wonky little piece is made from the leftover cuts from the Sashed Half Hexi quilt below. Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet.

Then I made this.

IMG_3779#pixiebasket from tutorial by @fabricmutt

I finished my February woolie BOM from River’s Edge Antiques and Quilt Loft.

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I finished the top of my mini Sashed Half Hexi.

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I am finally a little more satisfied with my crayon work from last week’s Creativity Challenge. I’m still working on this week’s challenge — a smash journal.

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I took my batik quilt to my longarmer. I am very excited about what she is going to do with it!

I’m still working on my elephants — over halfway completed! Yippee!

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And I had a few good times over coffee with friends.

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I need to give the hubs credit for his effort this week. We have one little hallway that needed painting, so he had it on his list to get done this week. (The painting has to happen before the closet doors can be put in.) He removed the vent cover in the hallway and left the area for a few seconds. In the meantime, our cat ventured into the hallway and — you guessed it — hopped into the duct and took a tour to who knows where for the next 30-45 mins. I did alot of talking into a hole in the wall while cracking open a can of tuna. I am happy to say the little twerp found his way back and out of the hole (with my help, I have the scratches to prove it). It added an interesting twist to an otherwise quiet evening. Why did this happen? Well, the hubs saw I was quilting and didn’t want to bug me. He thought he could sneak away and back before the cat discovered the hole. But seriously though, y’gotta love the guy!

All in all, it’s been a happy, creative week!

Happy Stitching, everyone!

Wendy

Buy the Bold

Most of the quilts I’ve made in the past, if they were going to stay with me, are in colors that are earthy, deep and somewhat intense. Country colors – browns, rusts, deep dark reds, gold, dark teal, etc. The colors in my home welcome these colors; everything blends and plays together well. It creates a home that, to me, is warm and comforting.

One thing I have finally admitted to myself, however, is that I love bright, intense, bold colors. I visit quilt stores and find myself drawn to the bright and bold fabric. For the longest time I have talked myself out of buying any because it didn’t fit with my fabric stash (or my home colors!) and therefore it would be a waste of money. How in the world would I use it unless it was for a very specific purpose — like a gift for someone else? I can’t just buy it because I like it . . . can I??

Older and wiser, maybe? Willing to branch out a little more? Whatever happened, one day I just got over it and began to buy the bold if I wanted to. I have a small precious stash of bold now, waiting to see what I will do with it. This intimidates me a little bit. I feel responsible to do something amazing now with all this color. I debate about whether I should cut into it or just stare at it. Cuz it’s pretty. And colorful. And what if I do something awful with it? I still have a few issues, y’think?

So when the Sashed Half Hexi quilt tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company dropped into my inbox this week, I didn’t hesitate long (start another new project? really?) before I grabbed a bold, bright jellyroll and got to work. I get so excited working with these colors! And the fact that they are batiks doesn’t hurt either. I find myself wanting to shut myself in my quilt cave, ignore everyone, and just work on this quilt. I should probably be a little more concerned about that than I truly am . . .

I have the 5″ half hexi template from MSQC rather than the full size used in the tutorial, so I just adapted to the smaller template using a jellyroll and 1″ black strips. This quilt goes together fast and quick.

Because I want a  small wallhanging size, I didn’t use all of the jellyroll strips. I just picked out the ones I wanted. The cutting is quick because the 5″ template is the same width as the strip. You can layer the strips, make two quick cuts and you are ready to roll. I made 12 blocks altogether for my quilt. Sewing goes quickly, as you’ll see in the tutorial.

Here’s my progress so far.

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All that’s left is the sashing and the borders. I had hoped to have that done by now, but I had to come out of my quilt cave and do other things.

How will I finish the quilt? Well, I probably should free motion quilt this one myself, really. Fellow quilter and blogger Lori East is challenging herself to hone her skill at FMQing. She’s an inspiration to me as I am reminded that I need to do the same. I don’t mind doing the practice squares and they actually don’t turn out too bad because I relax and it doesn’t matter because they are just practice. It’s the thought of FMQing an actual quilt (with the possibility of wrecking it) that terrifies me. Maybe just buying the bold is good enough for now?

And when the quilt is finished? Will it stay with me? I haven’t decided yet.

Meanwhile, my quieter yet still excited side is working on the free February BOM woolie from River’s Edge Antiques and Quilt Loft. (Click on “Our Friends” on their web page if you’re interested in jumping in.) It’s a fun project to work on while I’m watching a show (except Continuum — flashback, flashforward — how am I supposed to keep up with that while I blanketstitch??).

My crayon idea for Prairie Moon Quilts Creativity Challenge didn’t work, so I need to take another run at it. Remember melting crayons between waxed paper? Well, I was going to do a tweak of that. It was going to be awesome, and I was going to use it to create a cool landscape idea. Alas, it looked more like I had been visited by the microbe gang, with a bunch of wimpy little squiggles on white paper. Back to the coloring board I go!

And, of course, there are my elephants! I’ll give you an update on them next week.

Happy stitching!

Wendy

 

Small Progress

This week flew by and I feel I have little to show for it as far as quilting. It’s not that I haven’t been quilting, but the major quilt project I’m working on is still in the process of getting the fabrics coordinated rather than being sewn together. Other little projects got some attention, however, as you’ll see below.

I have been working on my Year of Cultivating Creativity challenge for the week. The challenge this week was to illustrate one object four ways. This has perplexed me for some reason. In the end, I decided on a simple little bird because it’s an easy object to draw. However, I think I made it too simple. So far I’ve done three. I have an idea for the fourth, so we’ll see how it turns out. I doodled one bird, used colored pencil and marker on another, made a woolie.

See what I mean? Just not too exciting. It was surprising at how frustrated I became with this. I had ideas in my head, but couldn’t get them on paper. It was a good practice, and one I may revisit at some point. Next week’s challenge involves crayons. I’m already excited!

My elephants are parading along nicely. Current count completed: 12. Only 14 to go!

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I’m also working on the free February mystery block of the month from River’s Edge Antiques & Quilt Loft. I should have something to show you on that next week.

I’m hoping for a day of productive quilting today. How about you?

Happy stitching!

Wendy

Scrap Happy

With the snowstorm on Tuesday, we had a change of pace for a few days with snow keeping us indoors. My view out of my kitchen window has changed a bit, and our front door has a whole new look, droopy poinsettia and all! Today the sun is shining and the snow is beautiful. IMG_3704

Over the weekend I decided to have some fun and do some quilting that stretched me a bit. So I got out my scrap pieces and just started to sew. No pattern, no rules, nothing. Just sew. Because I’m so geared to be matchy-matchy, I actually made myself close my eyes and grab a piece of fabric from my stash to use. That was my only rule — that I had to use the piece I picked out. It was an interesting exercise. There were a few times when I really wanted a different piece! Once I had been stitching for a bit, I started to wonder what I was going to do with this block that was emerging. An idea popped into my head, so I went with it. That idea led to another.

So far I have ended up with this. I’m trying not to be too critical of my work and just let it be. It’s a work-in-progress until I get more inspiration. Honestly though, I haven’t had so much fun in my quilt cave in a long time!  FullSizeRender (3)

All that creative flow, however, led to a creative mess in my quilt cave, so I had no choice but to do some cleaning. I have a teensy (10 x 10) quilt cave, so it gets easily overwhelmed when I hop from one project to another. It became an even bigger mess as I cleaned, but in the end I had done some rearranging and tossing. It is a much happier space now. I have room to work!

Last week I joined this fun challenge through Prairie Moon Quilts. I’m a little late into it, so I’m starting with the coloring challenge. I’ve enjoyed this as a change from my appliqué projects in the evening. Here’s the two pages I’ve finished so far.

I thought the coloring page with the heart and its saying was appropriate for Valentine’s Day just around the corner. There are days when my words don’t land as softly as I would like in the hearts of my family members, so this is a good reminder for me. The other coloring page is a nod to my Swedish heritage. I have Dala horses of each these colors. It was a fun page to color.

What projects are you working on? Leave a comment and let me know what you are up to. Whatever it is, I hope you are thoroughly enjoying it.

Keep that needle threaded!

Wendy