Thursday, January 31, 2013

My New Project for January -- Gavin's Quilt

You may remember that in this post I decided that I'm going to participate in the 2013 NewFO Challenge.  I'm not only planning to complete UFO's this year, but I'm also going to start (and hopefully, but not necessarily complete) twelve new projects this year - that's one a month.  

My January project is a quilt for grandson Gavin.  For years he has been completely into all things mythological.  I bought a book of paper-pieced mythology creatures, "Spellbinding Quilts" by Maaike Bakker. 

He studied it a while and then sketched out the quilt he wanted me to make.  He even told me what colors he would like used for each creature and the background.  

This isn't the first quilt Gavin has designed for me, but more about that another time!  

I had to get Hubby to help me with the math so I could get the pattern pieces enlarged.  This, in case you've wondered, is what $73 worth of enlarged paper-piecing patterns looks like!  

Oh!  I was shocked that I was required to sign a waiver before I could get these copies.  It seems I was violating the book's copyright by making more than one copy of each pattern.  The quilts in the book have multiple dragons and knights and castles, so you must have multiple copies to make any of the quilts.  Plus, the copies you make get stitched through and then torn off into tiny little pieces.  I am totally into obeying copyright laws.  I never knowingly violate them.  But I cannot figure this one out.

Well, then the fun began!  Manipulating fabric for normal paper piecing is bad enough, but when you enlarge the pattern 270%..... makes for all kinds of wonderful wackiness!

The B I G Centaur came together well, but I have to admit that it took me two solid days of sewing to get that part finished.  

Thankfully, I noticed a couple of spots where I had used background fabric in the wrong place and was able to make corrections before stitching the components together. 

On to the owls.  They were even more work since each individual owl has 31 pieces in it.  Yikes!

I think it took a little more than another day of sewing to construct all four owls.  

So, this is what Gavin's new quilt is looking like so far.

He's pretty excited about it, and even though I absolutely HATE to paper-piece, I'm thrilled with how it looks so far.  I do have the four Hippogrifs for the corners almost ready, and I think the towers for the side panels should be a little more simple than the previous pieces.  I had hoped to have the entire top ready this month, but life (and being sick!) got in the way. 

I am linking up to Barbara's NewFO Linky party.  Can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Heart My Local Quilt Shops!

I am really grateful for the two quilt shops I have found here in Huntsville.  Since today is "Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day" I thought I should visit each of them and show my appreciation by spending a few dollars.  And I did!

I stopped by Quilter's Combo in Madison and had a nice visit with Cat while I chose a few things for a project I am working on.

They always have such pretty class samples there.

And Sophia is there to brighten things up, too!

I bought a few greens, knowing full well that green is the best stocked color in my stash, a little bit of a rich Gee's Bend brown, and a piece of black and white for my Quilted Village quilt.  

Then I stopped by Patches and Stitches in Huntsville for a few minutes and a few purchases.

They have a beautiful display of fat quarters.

I don't think there is anything more appealing than the gorgeous colors in a fabric store!

I bought another piece of black and white, a neutral and one purple fat quarter. It's a start on building up that purple stash!

I hope you had the opportunity to get by your Local Quilt Shop and help boost the economy a little.  I would not want to run a business of my own, so I am especially thankful for the shop owners who are there when I "need" fabric or supplies!

Friday, January 18, 2013

More House Blocks

This week I finished two more blocks for my Quilted Village Quilt.

I am really enjoying choosing the bright colors and adding the embroidery.  I have 8 of the 12 blocks completed so I am hopeful that this will not end up on my UFO list at the end of the year!  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Purple --- Finally!

When I posted in November about my Quilted Village Block of the Month I took a little flack from two friends of mine (Dar and Gloria to be specific) because I had not made any purple houses yet.   I definitely planned on making one eventually so I thought that maybe I'd better do it sooner rather than later.   I mean I really can't handle that kind of pressure!  I pulled out my purples the other day and discovered that this is my entire stash of purples - 

The solid piece on the left is about a yard, and all the rest are just scraps. 

I did manage to get one house made from purples.....

.....but I can see that I need to do some serious purple stash building before long.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Save the Thimble!

After 80 years Hasbro has announced that they are going to "modernize" the board game experience for players of Monopoly by replacing one of their tokens with a more up-to-date marker.  Fans can log onto Facebook ( or Twitter (with the hashtag #token vote) to vote.  

The thimble has always been my token of choice, and if someone else selected it first I felt as if I might as well just close my eyes and grab one of the others.  It really didn't matter if I couldn't have my favorite!  

I am appealing to my fellow quilters.  Help save the thimble!!!  Vote today!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stir Crazy!

When we moved to our new home I decided to make bedspreads for our guest room.  I don't remember the last time I made something especially for our home.  Like a lot of quilters I give away almost everything I make!  I decided to use the "Stir Crazy" pattern from the booklet "Strip Therapy 2,"  and I bought some batik strips and background fabric so I could get started.   Just as a side note here -- whenever you purchase pre-cut quilt pieces make sure you measure them.  I learned the hard way, they are hardly precise.

The fabric I chose for the background actually ended up being in the package of strips.....

 I had to replace it with something else.  That wasn't too difficult.  There are zillions of beautiful batiks out there from which to choose!

I began working on this project at a retreat I went to in November, where I only ended up making four blocks!  I guess I needed to visit with friends more than I needed to get something done!

Sewing strip sets together is one of the most boring parts of sewing.

After getting the strip sets finished and sub-cutting them I finally got to sew actual blocks together!

I am an "iron the seams open" kind of girl.


The bedspreads were finished and mailed off to my friend Angela for quilting less than 2 months after I started.  I must be feeling motivated.  

I am so happy with the way these spreads are turning out that I am thinking about making something else just for us.  Maybe a throw for the living room or a king-size spread for our room.  The question is........stash?? or shopping??

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Took The Process Pledge!

I have taken the process pledge.  The idea is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes, but share our works as they progress and talk about our inspirations.  The entire process, from original idea, to materials, to individual blocks, even drafting the layout, can be shared, not just photos of the finished product.  
You can find more details about taking the pledge at Rossie's blog or by clicking on the button in the sidebar.