Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Goals for August

Oops...make that Goals for September (already?!)

Haven't put any of my sewing goals in writing recently.  And yet, setting goals really is helpful for my internal compass, which tends to get knocked about by all the ideas floating around--the shop, the blogiverse, my friends, the Facebook.

External Deadlines

1.  Memento Stocking for the family of a U.S. Marine
Fabric auditions for another Memento Stocking
2.  Make step-outs for teaching Circles BOM (for September and October classes).
3.  Finish sample(s) for September's class in Oregon
This kimono is goin' places!
4.  Make step-outs for paper-pieced kimono class
5.  Make step-outs for memento stocking class

But I really, really wanna do these, too

6.  Finish flimsy of black & white BOM
Thirteen blocks = fussy setting
7.  Betsy bag
8.  Make 2 more Circle blocks for BOM samples
Latest circle: Grandmother's fan, on a muslin foundation

BONUS Points - as if!

9.  Cinch sack
10.  Pillowcase for a certain niece
11.  Hem Sweetie's pants (she is so patient with me!)
12.  Asian BOM fan sample block

Whew! Setting my aim high again, with no hope of actually finishing them all.  However, it is super important for this list to exist.  In fact, as I was writing up the list and sorting out the "must do" from the "wanna do", I realized that I have been plotting and scheming on the wanna list for the past few days.  Chomping at the bit, as it were.  Tally ho!  

I am teaching three sewing classes in September--those are some motivating deadlines.  Best to remember where my stitching energy should get put in order to not come out looking like an amateur in that regard.  

Do you make lists?  Are they helpful?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Few Forgotten Finishes

Over the past couple months, I have finished a few small projects. No big fanfare. But I feel compelled to at least mark them: this blog is my place to keep track of and celebrate my worthy accomplishments, no matter how small.

A tissue-box couch, made as a gift. The ribbon and box-pleated trim was from stash (yay!) but the train fabric was purchased with a specific person in mind. Unfortunately, this was a gift that never found its way...

Altar cloths for the college chapel.  These guys were on my "hem me" pile for the longest time. So glad to get them done and off to be used.

Another Memento Stocking, this one made from one of my mom's t-shirts (University of Washington--go Huskies!) and a pair of her pajamas (cows; very typically Mom). I will be teaching this technique at a shop in September.

That's it. Little bits getting done a smidge at a time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Guild Blocks (Done Early)

Quilt guild meets this Saturday, and I've had my blocks done for over a week. Go me!

First up: this block is called Another Star, and instructions can be found here at the Quilter's Cache website.

Flying geese and HST's
While Marcia Hohn's instructions for this block are just fine, I chose to construct mine a different way. 

I noticed that there were four flying geese units (one is outlined in red) and eight HST units (four of them are marked with asterisks).

My favorite flying geese method, when making 4 gooses, is the no-waste technique, which you can find demonstrated very aptly at McCall's Quilting University.  So that's what I did there.

And I tried out a HST method that I read about in a magazine.  [The math: double the finished size of your HST block and add 1-3/4"] 

Put two identical squares right sides together, with the lighter color on top, and mark along both diagonals.  Sew 1/4" away from each diagonal, on both sides of the drawn lines (4 lines of stitching).  Then carefully cut the square in quarters and along each diagonal.  When ironed open, you will have eight identical HST units.

The second block was actually more challenging, as it is constructed along the diagonal, and there's lots of bias edges to be aware of.  I'm just happy with the skull fabric hanging out in the black-and-white mix.

And happy to be done early--for once.  What deadlines have you beaten lately?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wordy wallhanging: a finish

So long I have been working on my wordy wallhanging.  So many great ideas to put into it.  And long has it languished...

It's been sitting around waiting for the quilting for ages. I even found a fabulous inspiration

Quilt sample seen at Something to Crow About
They look like paisleys!!!  And, since one of the words in the finished project is to be paisley, what better quilting pattern to use?

 When I was last working on it (November 2012) I was thinking about using some scalloping around the edges.  I consulted the internet for directions on how to go about making a scalloped edge; here's what I made use of:

Okay, so what actually got me past my I still can't do FMQ so I can't get this finished storyline?  An external deadline!  This has worked so well for me in the past (most notably with getting items done in time for County Fair) that when the President's Challenge was announced for my quilt guild, I knew that could spur me to finish.

Red, white and blue.  Hmm... there appear to be some colors missing.

Minimum 30 by 30 inches.  Again... not there yet.

And then there was the pesky direct object: what exactly are we supposed to be feeling about here?

Bunting!  And faux gingham (pieced from stash fabrics only).  I seriously contemplated changing the final word to
I was worried about "being political" by asking how one feels about AMERICA.  But really: (1) it's an election year, so everyone in the U.S. is feeling something about America right now; (2) the challenge was red white & blue--if that doesn't say America, I don't know what does.

And there you have it: a finish!  It's on public display with the rest of the guild entries at a lovely library in Oakland.  Yay for deadlines that push me over my self-imposed blockages!!

What's been holding you back from finishing a project?