Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Make Your Own Shop Hop!

Today my quilty friends A and L  and I went on a little self made shop hop.  We had the luxury of a mid-week summer day off and so we hit the road.  Our first stop was a place called Elmwood Village.

This place looked great online.  A big space in an old heritage building with a showcase of fabrics that have a modern appeal - I was excited to go.  Unfortunately, when we got there, we found only the lower left part of the building was being used.  There wasn't much selection.  This place has so much potential.  Too bad.
Really, at the end of the day, this little guy was my favourite part of that shop.  This dog was hella cute!  Want!

From there we went to lunch and ran a couple errands and then headed to JoAnn's.  I had never been in one before but HELLO!  Not too too much in terms of fabrics I would want to buy but a ton of linings and interfacings and they had Queen-sized Warm and Natural Batting for $17.  That's super-crazy insane cheap.  Thanks to L, I got two!  I will go there again....and again....and again.

After that we headed back over to our side of the border and made it to Bee Modern Fabrics and Yarn.
I love this store.  Love.  There was all kinds of goodness in there that was right up my alley.  I could have dropped some serious money in here.  You know, if I hadn't just been fabric shopping last weekend.  :)

L and I each picked up 10 fat quarters apiece.  We then laughed about how our tastes, although both modern, we totally and completely different from one another.  It almost looked like we were trying to pick opposites!
L's fabric choices are in the top row, while mine are in the bottom.  
The final stop of the day was a place called Kindred Spirits in St. Catherines.  I didn't buy anything there.  They had some moda stuff that appealed to me a little but nothing screamed out for me to take it home.
I think it might have had something to do with the fact that we went here AFTER Bee Modern.  Oh well.  I had an awesome day with a couple friends.

Now, I get to do this:
Epic summer day.  :)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

This thing is gigantic

I think this might be the biggest quilt I've ever made.

Today, I started back in on getting some rows finished for the Space Dust quilt.  I thought a good goal would be trying to get in one more row than I had done yesterday.  At that point, this is what she looked like:

I like how angular it all is.
And then it was only mid-afternoon and I really had nothing else to I kept going.  By the time I went a smidge stir crazy after supper time, I had this much finished:

This means there are only two more rows to go!
Then, once I pulled this rookie maneuver, I realized the universe was telling me to go do something else for a while.  
Thats right, sewed on my piece and then promptly trimmed it right off again.  Sheesh.
 I was able to salvage the piece of fabric, but that was my last block of the day.  Maybe I can be finished the top by the end of the weekend?!?  Maybe!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Space dust...the beginning

Since I got all caught up on my BOMs, I decided it was time to get cracking on some stuff I want to have finished before the end of the summer.  Primary among these is the Space Dust quilt I'm making for my sister to take with her when she moves to the Netherlands.  I dug the crap-load of fabric (Lizzy House Constellations with coordinating Pearl Bracelets and solids) out of my closet and started with the plan.  I didn't initially realize how intense the plan would become.  I SHOULD have.  I mean cripes,  it is ME planning this thing after all!  Here's how it started...

This is what Tula's looks like
I looked up the fabric placement for Tula Pink's original design. Then, realizing that I was going for a more monochromatic look - I needed to adjust the photo.  So I took a shot in instagram and changed it to black and white.
This way, I can see how the tones are placed so I can get my placement right.
I then looked at the fabrics I had chosen for this project and laid them all out so I could see them.
So awesome and pretty and beautiful.  I want to have this for me!
And did the same thing with this photo - changed it to black and white so I could organize my fabrics by their tone rather than their colour.
Going to black and white totally changes your perception of the fabrics.
At this point, I could start mapping.  I compared (by making a two column chart) my fabrics from light to dark with the ones used in the original design.  Once I had done that, I could sub in my fabrics for the ones Tula used so that the tonal combination would remain similar.
This process required multi-media, pencils, diagrams and a crossword puzzle for distraction purposes.
I'm serious when I say that literally, HOURS later, I had mapped the thing out and translated my colour choices onto each of the paper templates.  There are...I think....46 of them.  46.  I wanted to die doing this...I could seriously screw myself over if I made a mistake.  

All finished!  Ready to cut my border and binding strips and start piecing!
I finally got to start sewing!  Its not too complicated from this point on.  I mean, it IS paper pieced but all the pieces are so huge and they are all either triangles or quadrangles, it goes pretty fast.
This is block A.  See?  Easy peasy.  and it looks pretty cool.
I got the first row done before I decided that maybe I should take a break and provide an update.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself!
Please excuse the weird picture - I used the panorama function on my iPhone.  
Now, I'm taking a for real break to head to the movies!  Yay!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Mmmm...Ice Cream

The block for this month's Sugar Block Club looks like a bunch of ice cream cones.  Not my original idea - but once Amy from Stitchery Dickory Dock made the connection on her blog post, its pretty much the only thing I can see.  Its actually kind of the reason I chose the fabric for the "cones" that I did.

A little lemon ice anyone?
I'm getting to the point in this block of the month series that I am having to go back and start using some of my fabrics for the second time.  I like the way these look together even though they aren't really matchy-matchy. that July is done, I think I have to start on my sister's graduation present quilt.  FINALLY!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Its official...well, 2 things are.

First, since I JUST finished the June Sugar Block - I am caught up on everything I was behind on!  WooHoo!

Second, as soon as you see the June Sugar Block, you will realize that I have too much time on my hands.
Yup.  That's right.  I fussy cut ALL of the pieces.  I'm a fussy-cutting machine.  I need a fussy-cutting intervention.  I can't seem to stop myself.  Clearly I need more important things to do.  Hmm....on second I don't.  Ha.

Friday, 5 July 2013

A June block means....

I'm all caught up!!!!  WooHoo!!!

...well...for the Lucky Stars BOM anyhow.  It's progress anyhow!

It wasn't that hard either.  I dunno if its because I'm on summer vacation now and I have less junk crowding the valuable usable space in my brain or if its because I'm no longer carb deprived (thanks to the end of the 90-day challenge!!!!) but this was relatively simple to get through from start to finish.

Step one: fabric selections
Even though there were also 16 templates for this block, I was able to get them all laid out pretty quickly and was then able to turn 16 pieces into 8 triangles that could be laid out in a fashion that showed me what the final block would look like.

Its working.....
And finally, a finish!  Yay!  All caught up!  I just have to make sure I get the July block done some time in the next 26 days and I get to STAY caught up.  Sweet!

Plus, the July block is relatively simple compared to these last two blocks so I'm looking forward to banging it out pretty quickly!

Yahoo!  Onto something else!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Holy Crap! Where have I been?

So I wandered into my sewing room the other day and then tried to remember when the last time was that I sat down and actually made/made progress on something was.  Uh....couldn't remember.  My sewing room was CLEAN.  Not gonna lie, that freaked me out a little.  Then, when I checked here, I realized I was over 20 days.  Yikes.  Time to dust off the old machine and start cranking some stuff out.  I have gigantic sewing plans this summer!  I'm already behind!

Anyhoo, one of the first things I feel like I need to do on my agenda is catch up on both the Sugar Block and Lucky Stars Blocks-of-the-Month.  There is really NO excuse for not finding the time to get one or two blocks done in a month, right!?!  My friend Anita gets homework of ten blocks a month for her Dear Jane quilt so I really have ZERO leg to stand on. 

So I dug out the files to start looking at where I was - Lucky Stars is up first.  I have to make May and June....and now July.  K, I found May and then realized why I had put it off.  Talk about daunting!  

In order to even PLAN this block I required multiple forms of media, writing utensils and a self-made map.  Ugh!  There were 16 templates for this one.  I was getting confused.
But once I had made the plan and selected the fabrics and cut out the pieces, I was all-in.  I even came up with the BRILLIANT idea of trying to fussy cut (and fussy lay - given the angles) the centres of the block so you can see the frog from Tula's Prince Charming collection.  

Fussy-cutting mixed with paper piecing makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a  flower-head pin.
Trying to get them all to come out in some semblance of similarity really tested my patience.  And given that I've been doing this 90-day eat clean challenge (no alcohol, limited caffeine, no sugar or salt), I have no patience to start with.  Trying to do this nearly drove me to drink.  I got so pissed I walked away from it for four hours to do something else.  The only thing that brought me back was the fact that this was Tula Pink's fabric (she retweeted and replied to me when I sent her this ya know!!!). 

So I persevered and finished it.  The frogs don't line up perfectly but damned close enough for me given how hard it was to get them to even come out in the same-ish spot on each piece of the template.  And you know what?  It's really pretty so the finished product seems totally worth it.  

Finished block for May!
Then, because I needed to do something to restore my mood, I found this on made me happy: