Thursday, February 14, 2013

Finished Pixelated Heart Quilt

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In my WIP tracking post, I briefly mentioned this pixelated heart quilt and that I was making it before I knew what I was doing. You see, I had seen Amanda’s version of Jolene’s heart quilt a couple weeks ago and I just absolutely fell in love with it. Then I saw my friend Kara’s version on Instagram and wanted to make my own that much more. I’m not much of a fan of hearts, but I really loved Amanda’s quilt top. I loved it so much that I couldn’t stop thinking about it that Friday. (Do you ever do that?) When I got home from work, I pulled fabrics and then started cutting squares that night.

I didn’t think I would have enough low volume prints to use as the background, so I opted to reverse the design. After cutting all my charms, though, I saw that I easily would have had plenty of low volume prints to do it the original way. Oh well. I guess I made it my own.

Pixelated Heart Quilt

This is not my typical color scheme at all. It has a deep, jewel-tone feel to me and usually I’m drawn to brights. So this was a fun step-outside-my-comfort-zone project that I actually really ended up liking when it was all finished.

For the back, I used several fat quarters of Michael Miller cotton couture solids in purples and pinks that I won in the Fall for Solids Challenge. This was the perfect use for them as I rarely use pink and purple in my quilts. I threw in a few more pink fat quarters and other scraps as well to fill in the holes.

Pixelated Heart Quilt

I made a scrappy binding out of some red, purple, and pink Free Spirit blenders that were also in the Fall for Solids prize pack.

As for the quilting, I think there are four different thread colors in this one: red, burgundy, purple, and white. I used the reds and purple in the background and white in the heart. I quilted the quilt in meandering loops.

The quilt measures about 66 inches square and has been a nice couch quilt that we’ve been enjoying this past week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

First Finished Baby Quilt of 2013

My sweet nephew was born at the end of November. Since I started quilting, I’ve enjoyed making quilts for the new babies who’ve joined our family. I typically try to get the quilt made by the time each baby is born, but since Micah’s mom and dad wanted to be surprised by his gender at birth, I didn’t get this quilt finished before he was born. In fact, after he was born, Christmas gift sewing was in full swing so sweet little Micah had to wait a couple months before getting his quilt.

My sister-in-law told me she likes chevrons right now. So I decided to follow Leigh’s tutorial for making chevron blocks out of flying geese. After playing around with the layout a bit, I decided I wanted something a little different. Here’s what I came up with.

Micah's Quilt

I used a variety of prints from several fabric lines. I used the two Riley Blake Wheels prints that I had leftover from these two quilts as my focus fabric and then pulled other prints that I think go well with Wheels. I used Kona Coal for the background fabric.

On the back, I used my last piece of the Wheels collection along with some Alphabet Soup, Hope Valley, Blush, and that orange print. (I’m not sure what line it’s from. It was one of the fat quarters that came in the Pink Castle Fabrics’ Stash Stack Club.) The binding is Ovals in aqua from Half Moon Modern.

Micah's Quilt

I quilted loops in the gray background only, which was fun and really helps the colors pop.

Micah's Quilt

This baby quilt measures about 36 inches square and will be gifted to Micah on Sunday.

Friday, February 8, 2013

WIP Tracking: February Update

We’re about six weeks into 2013 and I thought it’d be fun to check in and talk a little about how my WIP tracking is going.

I’m happy to report that I’ve finished FIVE quilts this year. Five quilts in six weeks! I have to admit that this spreadsheet is probably the sole reason I have been so productive this year and how I’ve been almost 100% good at sticking to my goals (that pixelated heart quilt snuck in there before I knew what I was doing – more on that later). The nerd in me gets really excited to cross each item off my list. It really is quite motivating.

Another thing that I think has helped me this year is creating more of a balance in my life. As a full-time working mother of three little ones, it’s difficult to find/make time for myself. I used to try to eke out sewing time anytime I could get it, which unfortunately meant I wasn’t always focusing on the other things in my life that need attention. I read an article several months ago about multi-tasking and how it can make you less efficient. The article really struck a chord with me. I’ve found myself trying to do 50 things at once and it’s no wonder why I stress out so easily. While multi-tasking has its benefits, it often tends to deprive my mind of the ability to put all my brain-power into one thing and really “be present.” So, I’ve made a few small changes this year.
  1. I no longer try to sew on the weekends. I choose to “be present” with my family as our time all together is so rare and precious. I may sew a little bit Sunday nights after my kids are asleep.
  2. I only sew when my kids have gone to bed for the night. I choose to “be present” for my kids when I get home from work. Some days, that means I sew from 7:30 to 11. Other nights, I sew from 7:30 to 8:30.
  3. I don’t sew at all on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Mondays and Wednesdays are my longer days at work, so I don’t even try to get in any sewing time. Those days are busy enough.
  4. I don’t sew on the nights when my husband is home. I choose to “be present” with him and enjoy our time together.
Basically, I only sew Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, with maybe the occasional Sunday night thrown in for good measure.

At first, it was hard to decide not to sew this day or that day, but over time, I’ve found it easier to not even plan on sewing during the times I mentioned above because then I’m not disappointed if it doesn’t work out. It also makes me a lot more productive during the sewing time that I do have. I make a plan of attack for each sewing session and spend less time trying to figure out what I’m in the mood to work on. Plus, other tasks don’t get delayed because I’m trying to finish just one more thing… (Dinner and bedtime were often delayed because I didn’t stop when I should have.)
Overall, I’m really pleased with how 2013 is shaping up to be. I’m well on my way to finishing the projects I started over the last two years. (Pretty much six to go!)
On the fabric-buying front, I’ve been really good with my use the stash goal. I’ve made a few purchases, but most were using gift cards, and they were for projects for which I needed more of a specific fabric to finish it up.
If any of you have started tracking your WIPs, I’d love to hear about it. Any tips that work for you that you’d like to share?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finished 1001 Peeps Supernova Quilt

In 2011, the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild formed a little quilting bee with some of its members. August was my month and I asked the girls to make me blocks for a Supernova quilt.

I had been saving some fat quarters of the blue and purple colorways from Lizzy House's 1001 Peeps collection. I love how the colors work together in this quilt.

Finished 1001 Peeps Supernova

My friend, Barbie, quilted this quilt for me. I asked her to do randomly wavy lines and I love how it turned out!

I used the castle turrets print to add mitered borders around the blocks. These were a first for me, so there's room for improvement, but they didn't turn out half bad.

Finished 1001 Peeps Supernova Quilt View 2

I had several various sized cuts of a few of the prints in the line that I had bought on sale at Hawthorne Threads. Pink Castle Fabrics has some of the prints on sale right now too. I pieced them in random width strips for the backing.

Finished 1001 Peeps Supernova

For the binding, I used the blue illuminated and turret prints.

Quilt Stats
Measurements: 70x88 before washing
Fabric: Lizzy House's 1001 Peeps and Kona Snow
Pattern: Slightly modified from Lee's Supernova Quilt-along
Quilting: Random wavy lines by Barbie Mills


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