June 28, 2014

Spell it!

This summer is all about getting my sewing projects under control, there was 20 projects at the start of summer! (ok, there are still 20 because this one is not finished, yet) The goal is to diminish that number down to 5, at max by the start of school. Wish me luck there! 

The Spell it with Moda quilt started as a blog hop back around February/March and the top got finished in April then sat around for a period of time. I knew I wanted a certain Ikea fabric for the back so I eventually made a trip down to scoop up some of their number fabric. It goes perfectly with the front. I also wanted to hand stitch this quilt, so this one was ambitious. This week I got caught up on my shows and did lots of hand-stitching. It was the perfect way to spend the first week of summer. Now I just need to get this quilt bound so it can be crossed off my WIP list.  

Yesterday, I also found time to hike Mount. Cardigan in New Hampshire, it was an easy summit with great views from the top.  Here are some views, the guide book says you can view Vermont and Canada. I have no sense of direction so I have no idea where I am looking.

These rock sculptures lined the whole trail from bottom to top. They were cool to look at, but I had an uncontrollable urge to nock them over, of course I controlled that urge.  It reminded me when my father and I would make huge lego towers. We would see how tall we could make them, then knock them over sending legos all over the living room.

Sew long for now, 
Patch & Chels

June 24, 2014

Road to ... Oh Damn!

First week of summer vacation!! Although, in my head I had grand plans of being a couch potato that wasn't the case.  For some reason, it's just not in me to sit around all day. I didn't make any progress on my modern maples quilt, those blocks are still laid out on the floor awaiting their turn.

Today I finished a project from forever ago (ok, forever as in 2 months ago).  The pattern is really called, Road to ... Oh Damn the link to the pattern is included if you would like to see how it's done :)  I didn't make any mistakes (that I know of!) This was all part of my de-scrap goal from April.  After the Jelly Roll Race quilt, I pulled material for 2 more quilts, one is still just a flimsy finish.  Here are some images of the top so far.

A little confession time: now I am up to 7 quilts that need to be basted, and 20 projects going on simultaneously! Guess we already know what my summer plans will include, getting these WIPs finished and/or under control!  All these projects are making my head spin.

Anyone else have plans this summer? Quilt plans? Vacation plans? Let's hear them! 

Sew long for now, 
Patch & Chels

June 21, 2014

Modern Maples Update

Many of you have made such nice comments about the modern maples fabric pull from the other day (it was also in my blog hop post). This week I carved out some time from classroom packing and end of year activities to sew up some modern maple blocks. Once again I used my 500 Quilt Blocks books :) 

The blocks are a simple 9 patch with some HST, super easy and super quick. Here are some of the blocks completed, and laid out (of course, these are my favorites from the stack)

The goal is to get this one finished tomorrow.  Although, I am feeling the need to veg out in front of some mindless television.  It's a shame to work hard on the first day of summer! 

Sew long for now, 
Patch & Chels

June 17, 2014

Papa's Teddy Bear

For this Father's Day I wanted to make my Dad something special. His father (my Papa) passed away last summer and this is his first Father's Day without him. His late wife gave me a few of his cotton shirts to make a quilt. For Dad I used a sleeve from one shirt to make a teddy bear for him. (All the plaid is from the shirt).

My Aunt Gina and I got together a couple weekends ago to each make a bear. She made one out of her late father-in-law's flannel pajamas. It's funny that we were following the same pattern and both bears came out very different. We used this tutorial from How Joyful. This pattern comes with a disclaimer that it's not for beginners! I wouldn't say I am a beginner sewer, but this was my first plush animal. Considering the three dimensional learning curve, it wasn't too bad. Sewing around the mouth was most challenging. I made a few "oops" for example on his foot below, not all the linen caught. I added some big stitches to hide some of my mistakes and add a little extra detail. Overall he turned out better than expected :) 

Here is his little butt tattoo, I just left it Dad, as it was to my Dad with material from his Dad. I thought by not being specific it would have more meaning. 

My father is very manly, plaid flannel, work boots, multiple tractors man. I never know what to get him (other than chocolate chip cookies) he has everything! When I asked my Mom if he would even like a bear, before cutting into this sacred material, she said he would like it. He did like his bear!  Not his typical type of gift, but was appreciated. Hopefully Papa is looking down and also appreciates the gesture, he wasn't a man of many words so I will never know.  

Sew long for now, 
Patch & Chels

June 13, 2014

Be ... a Teacher

For June the Sugar Block Club theme is, be ... a teacher.  Well, check. That I do daily, well for one more week then a break until summer school starts. Although the call was for people to go out of their comfort zone to teach a new skill to someone, I just really like teaching. No matter the skill or topic. Now I have one week to try teaching something out of my normal! 

Here is the color pull for June's block. This one came together easy and was fun to make. No stressful paper piecing or uncomfortable techniques out of my realm of ability. Although it looks super complicated, that is a deception!

All the blocks are looking so pretty together. I have enjoyed laying them out each month to see how the group changes with the addition of each block. Halfway done :)

Today is also my birthday ... Friday the 13th, this hasn't happened since I graduated high school. Hopefully my superstition doesn't get the best of me today!  Last night my roommate made me a giraffe cake and I got together with some peeps.  The evidence is below, pretty cute right?

Sew long for now, 

June 10, 2014

New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

If you're new ... welcome, if not, awesome to have you back! Normally, I am not one to gush about who I am and all my personal facts. Although, I do sneak in information about things outside of my quilting life here and there. This will be the first real intro to me and my blog. Hope you brought your reading stamina as this will probably become my longest post ... ever.

1. Improv Quilt    2. Jelly Roll Race     3. Weathervane     4. Pile of Quilt Tops

So, a little background on me. I'm Chelsea, a quilter, teacher, crafter, organizer, and sometimes baker. My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was in high school. As a graduation present we made a quilt together for college. (I still have the quilt, slightly tattered but intact!). She is my "go to" person when my quilting endeavors fail. Thus far she has been able to get me out of any mess I get myself into. Here is a picture of us from our quilt challenge last year. It's fun having a quilting mentor be family!

Honey Bun Challenge 2013

My blog name comes from my obsession with all things giraffes. My favorite stuffed giraffe from forever ago is named Patch.  As I was sitting at the computer stumped to find a blog name he was staring at me, so it became Patch the Giraffe.  

Current Projects: 

1.  Farmer's Wife    2. Sugar Block Club      3. Fabric pull for Modern Maples Quilt

Spell it with Moda 


Random Factoids:
  • Favorite part of sewing - picking out fabrics/designing
  • Least favorite part of sewing - basting
  • Favorite quilting notion - a good tutorial
  • Dream vacation spot - visiting Rebecca at One Wee Bird
  • Favorite author - Dennis Lehane 
  • Favorite quote - "It is, what it is"
  • Favorite animal - GIRAFFE.  Did you know giraffe's have no vocal cords? They don't make sounds! 

Blogging Tip: Be you and let your passion show through :)

Quilting Tip:  Sometimes it's faster to go slower.  (insert WHAT?!?)  Many times when I am rushing or trying to go fast to get something done quick I make a TON of mistakes. Then have to waste time with the seam ripper or starting over.  Sometimes going at a good speed and double checking my work is actually faster and more productive even if it feels like I am going "slow".  

Question:  I am looking to upgrade my sewing machine this year.  Any suggestions?  The whole quest thus far has been overwhelming!  Also looking for honest feedback from people who own the machine, I tend to be bamboozled by flashy ads. 

Here is a list of my peeps also participating in today's hop!  All the names are linked so head over and check them out :) 

Carole @ Fresh Off The Frame

Camelia @ Camelia Elliott

Nurdan @ Hug a Bit Quilts

Lori @ Sew Psychd

Kitty @ Night Quilter

Christina @ Wips and Tuts

Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller

Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

Thanks for sticking with me on this very, very long post!  Also thanks to Beth who arranged the blog hop for us newbies.  It's been a blast so far :)

Sew long for now, 

June 09, 2014

Thimble Blossoms Medley

Over the weekend I started making two Swoon blocks, "just because."  I had no plan in mind and just did, because well, I have always wanted to make a Swoon quilt.  Reality is there are so many  Thimble Blossom quilts that I just love and want to make, yet haven't found the time.  Here is my solution ... create a medley or sampler of my favorites.  Then I get to make all the pretty blocks, and there is only one quilt to show for it all :) Win, win.  

I make a plan finding the sizes of all my favorite blocks and laid it all out on graph paper.  Many of the blocks had to get scaled down to fit.  One of the blocks is Spool.  These are smaller than the original, but still just cute.  I then planned the quilt in sections to make it more manageable. 

The blocks above were inspired by the quilt pattern Playground found in the Retro Simplify book, and the blocks below from the pattern Round & Round.  These blocks are also scaled down to fill between the larger blocks.  With all the crazy sized blocks these now fit in nicely.

Two of the larger sections are now finished and I am on my way.  There are in total 6 sections, that makes me 1/3rd done :)  Stay tuned for more!.  I have my next section cut and ready.  

Sew long for now, 

June 06, 2014

Improv Disaster

Pardon my wordiness ... but here goes!

My improv experience started with a bucket of cool colored scraps about a year ago.  I sewed and cut, sewed and cut until I have a stack of random sized triangles all of random sizes and shapes.  That was the easy part.  For some triangles I put a pale pink border around the triangle, others got one side or no sides in pink.  Then I thought to myself, how am I going to piece all these random sizes?!   No right angles!  Clearly, I didn't think long.  All these triangles went into a project bucket and were long forgotten.  (Sorry no photos, that was B.B.  Before Blog).

Over my February vacation (phew it's already been a few months!), amidst a cleaning and organizing spree of my sewing space I found these triangles.  They quickly got placed in the quilt queue.  A couple weeks ago, I finally laid them all out again and became immediately overwhelmed.  The whole experience of them gave me a headache.  I found a pale blue, lavender, a white print, and some solid cream fabric to start making the background.  One would think with all the soothing colors, this would relax me a bit, oh no it didn't!  As the sewing continued the pieces got bigger and bigger.  At this point I still have no idea how all these random pieces are going to come together!    Once again I looked at all the blocks laid out, then freaked out!  Finally, I was desperate.  I got out my 6.5 inch square and created 48 perfect little squares out of the mess of random angles and crazy.  Ahhh, sanity.  

The whole thing was a great learning experience.  I have a huge appreciation to those beautiful improv quilts people post.  I also learned to let go of some of the control, and go with the flow when quilting.  My brain fought me the WHOLE time and eventually won (this time)!

Any professional improvers have any advice on how to piece a quilt that is laid out a certain way?  The whole idea of creative negative space, didn't work for me.  I need a simple technique that won't cause me to stress out or cut perfect squares?!?!

Sew Strong, 

June 04, 2014

New Bloggers Blog Hop

This week is the start of the New Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum & June.  Some amazing people are partaking in the hop this year.  We have already had time to get acquainted with other bloggers in the hop and I have been so impressed thus far!  Check out some of the links below, I have found so much inspiration and new blogs to follow, I hope you find the same :)

Michelle @ Michelle Bartholomew

Jana @ Jana Machado

Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl

Afton @ Quilting Mod

Barbara @ Suzy Homemaker

Mary @ See Mary Quilt

Rebecca @ One Wee Bird

Terri @ Childlike Fascination 

You have to agree, these blogs fantastic!  Great job everyone ... I am scheduled for next week.  See you then :)

Sew long for now, 

June 02, 2014

Soon to be the 4th

Right after Memorial Day, is my second favorite holiday, the Fourth of July!  I have to admit I am a sucker for everything Patriotic.  It also got me thinking.  Why don't I have a patriotic quilt to go with this great holiday?  Seems silly being a quilter and all.

After this epiphany of wisdom, I started pulling a variety of red, white, and blues to use for the top.  I have made this JULY STAR BLOCK many other times by Cluck Cluck Sew.  I am also going to incorporate some FIREWORKS blocks by Thimble Blossoms, whats the fourth without fireworks?

So far I have a dream, some fabric, and a plan.  I should be good to go now!  Off to the cutting mat I go.

Sew long for now,