December 31, 2016

Moving Toward 2017

2017 theme: REFOCUS

Lately I have felt things are spinning out of control. I have too much going on, too many commitments, and too many things to do.  I cannot give all my commitments the care and attention they deserve, not to mention myself!

On the blog I have been rushing from project to project like it's a job.  Spending all my free time sewing to meet an unrealistic deadline I created for myself. The desire to maintain a constant flow of new material has me feeling a little burnt out. My parents always said I burn the candle at both ends. As much as I enjoy being busy, there also needs to be a balance. (Pretty sure I talk about finding balance every year around this time). This year I tend to refocus. Finding what matters most to me and putting those priorities first. 

As much as I love the sewing and the blogging community, this is one of the areas I plan on scaling WAY back. Instead of stressing to put out 9 mediocre posts a month, for 2017 I am planning on sharing to 2 or 3 posts a month. Thus giving more content and focus to my posts. All the work that goes into a blog post has been weighing me down. Hopefully, by sharing only the best of what is happening around here I can relieve some of the stress I put on myself. 

Almost every aspect of my life has been under scrutiny these last few weeks, do I want to keep doing this activity? do I need to move on? is this something that brings me joy? will this inspire me? So many things didn't make the cut and it feels good to walk away.  All the noise in my head is quieting. 

Here is to a focused year in 2017. What are some changes you all are making for the 2017 year? 

December 21, 2016

The Soap Trials

Short quilting interruption ... for SOAP!

One weekend in November my sister and I got some 10 pounds of melt and pour soap and got creative. Conveniently, Mom had expanded her herb garden this summer and we had a variety of dried herbs to add to our soap. We got goat, oatmeal, and shea butter for the bases.  The oatmeal is my favorite!

Favorite Recipe:

  • 1 pound oatmeal melt & pour soap
  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1/8 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • Pinch of dried lavender

To explain the 10 pounds of soap madness, we are planning on giving them away for Christmas gifts. In equal insanity, I have knit up too many wash cloths to complete the gift. (The string ends still need to be woven in, it's my least favorite part) Pictured is only a small portion of what has actually been completed!

Tomorrow is our last day of school before the holiday break, please pray for my survival!

December 16, 2016

Herringbone Quilt

Rachel @ Stitched in Color has been a long time inspiration. She was one of the first quilt blogs I followed, and is still blogging. Last year she updated her Herringbone Block Tutorial to use 2.5 inch strips and I have been dying to make one myself. Plus her color use of pinks, browns, and blues made my heart patter. Truth be told, all her color combinations make my heart patter! 

The tutorial is super easy to follow even though the block looks complicated! I did a few test runs before cutting and was impressed with the ease.

I have been working this pile of fabric for a while and finally settled. Les Fleurs was the final addition before the cutting began.  The darker colors provided a nice contrast to some of the pale fabrics. Some metallics also snuck in at the last minute! 

Here are my testers, this quilt has me quite excited.

December 12, 2016

ABC - 123

Back in my "The Simple Life" post I made the confession that pre-cuts are not my thing. After years of trying to make them work, they really just don't follow my personal style. I have been slowly trying to use up what I have stashed. Bit by bit these precuts are finally dwindling.

Next on the chopping block is ABC 123 by American Jane ... 

This might be one of my oldest jelly rolls on hand! The plan for these classic prints is the Jelly Roll Jam II, a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop. Linked to the PDF. It's simple and quick.  Using a full jelly roll creates a small lap quilt (48 inches by 57 inches), perfect for solo snuggling on the couch. The whole top took one afternoon to whip up.

Now I for the quilting, not sure if I should do something with straight lines or stipple all over? Thinking less quilting than more. The one thing I am sure about is a black binding. Those two random black prints need some company!

December 07, 2016

Tula Pink - 100 Block Sampler

In the spring a 100 blocks in a 100 days quilt along happened on Instagram. #100blocksin100days, check out their hashtag.  It's impressive. 

The idea was sew up Tula Pink's City Sampler quilt doing one block a day. Well, I missed the beginning of that bandwagon. Last week I finally made the leap, just as many people are finishing up.

Everyone who participated had such a cool spin on the sampler. Many blocks were downright gorgeous. It inspired me to borrow the book and get cutting. I have wanted to make a neutral quilt with shades of grey and a pop of blue for sometime. Fingers crossed, this pattern will look great in these colors.

CROSSES: No. 1 - 15

**Not all the blocks are photographed here.

So far the blocks read more blue and grey. I will be starting to phase out most of the blue and work more with grey/black for the next cutting round. 

P.S. Isn't that fabric second from the right just amazing! There are more ladies that demand a fussy cut. Anyone know the name, design, or anything about it? I would love to order more. 

December 03, 2016

So, Chelsea: Finished

It's done! And ... It's So, Chelsea! 

A while back I shared the start to this "So, Chelsea" quilt. The majority of the fabrics were selected by Amy Garro and my Grandma who both have given me quite the pile of "Chelsea" themed fabrics. These were then matched with some of my stash favorites and it all came together perfectly.

The pattern is Daydream from the book Striking Strip Quilts

  • Finished Size: 64 inches by 64 inches 
  • Pattern: Daydream 
  • Fabric: gifted fabric
  • Batting: 80/20 blend
  • Thread: Connecting Threads - Lavender
  • Quilting: straight lines