Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays! All of that!

I have been a lousy blogger lately, but I'm resigned to changing that!  I have so many projects I'm excited to get working on this upcoming year!  I didn't accomplish everything I set out to in 2014, but I accomplished quite a lot and I'm very proud of what I did.  For a stay at home Mom who's focus is primarily on her children, and then next on her quilting - well I did a few things that's for sure!

How was your Christmas/Holiday?  Are you ready for 2015?  I am truly awed that the year has gone by so quickly...I do feel that "fresh slate" feeling this year.  I have been toying with a book proposal that is right now on hold because I cannot devote my full attention to it - and while I am still having fun dipping my toes in the show quilt waters...I feel like I'm sucking all of my limited free time into these very long intense projects.  Right now - with a little baby on the way - I'm nesting a bit.  I want some quick gratification quilts that I can quilt the daylights out of...and decorate our humble little home with.

I asked Santa for something this year and boy did he come through - he brought me an Accuquilt Go!  Woohoo!  Well - in this case Santa was Hubby and Hubby picked it up from a long distance sewing friend of mine who has more than one fabric cutter and was selling her Go! for almost half the retail with some additional dies.  I'm so glad he was able to get this!  What a deal she gave me and it was a bonus that it was from a trusted source.

I haven't had time to sit and play but the kiddos are going to Nana's today so I'm hoping to try and squeeze some me time in.  I have such high hopes for this gadget!!!  When I originally was thinking about the Go I was thinking in terms of appliqué...Patsy Thompson does some really incredible fusible with her fabric cutter (and has dies available that are Go compatible on her website by the way - on sale right now I might add!) and I have long been enamored with her creativity and bright color palate.  After research and talking with other Accuquilt owners I am finding SO many other uses for this little machine that I never had thought of!

I love love love making quilts but I hate hate hate cutting for them.  I can be a bit of an over achiever in the piecing arena and at times will over look quick pieced quilts as not enough of a challenge for me.  But with so much on my plate at the moment and not time to give to cutting quilts...I'm really looking forward to escaping some of the math and cutting.  I had no idea you could cut strips either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I mean - imagine, how often do you cut strips for quilts?  Like - 90 percent of all quilts start in strips...if you're paper piecing, cutting squares, strip piecing, cutting triangles, borders...imagine how much time you'd save if you had a stash of precut strips in different sizes?  A WHOLE LOT that's how much!  Or just knowing that you have a die in common strip sizes so you can quickly and accurately cut a strip...without a hump in it.  I know you have gotten the hump in your strips at the fold line - we all have!  I just love this thing.  I'm all about making life easier...and I'm also very interested in wasting less fabric

The dies that came with my machine bundle were the value die that comes with all Go's, a large half square triangle die, and a two and a half inch strip die.  Can you say - stash busting?  I have three large overflowing bins of scraps that I at one point attempted to whittle down into usable pieces following Bonnie Hunter's Scrap user system.  I love the way she stores her scraps - but honestly I got really bored really fast cutting all those little hunks of fabric!  I am guessing this will still take time even with dies...but if I can make it mindless enough that I can do it without doing any math, just matching up scraps to dies to make sure they fit...well I can imagine an hour every evening at my sewing table while the Hubby watches tv as I cut up scraps.  Woohee!

This hexie die was what I bought with a Jo Ann's gift card from my Brother in Law and his wife, and some Christmas money my parents gave me.  I desperately want the equilateral triangle die so I can pair it up with this one and make some pretty vintage stars.

I am having the greatest time thinking up uses for this machine and am feeling the "gotta have them all" urge!!!  I suspect there will be dies I'll use more than others but I'm so very excited at all the possibilities that lay ahead.

I think my biggest goal for 2015 is going to be to take it slow and make things that make me happy...even if they don't have a grand fantastic purpose.  I get the need to achieve things because I stay home and do not have a career outside of raising my children.  Quilting is where my accomplishments have been that the world can see...because not everyone sees or even appreciates the accomplishments of being a "just a mother".  Maybe I'm growing older - and not so much feeling the need for approval from the world!  :)  Or maybe I'm just satisfied with as far as I've come.  But for now - I just want to sew some pretty quilts.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and have an even better New Year!  We will be slowly cleaning up, recovering, and getting back into a routine.  I'm darn near finished with Denise's stockings...they will be done this week and I will get a move on Joyce's quilt.  Just wait until you see it!  It's a real stunner!  :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

More Art Ramblings and a New Quilt

Today is going to be a busy and hectic day, but I've resolved to take it easy over the holidays since there really isn't an "end" to my work over Christmas break.  Yesterday I stole some time away to work on something I've had rolling around in my mind for a while...

I sent this away for printing on fabric and this is an experiment (like 90% of my projects) so hopefully the fabric I ordered will be soft enough for quilting.  I really think I have some form of ADD.  My Dad laughs when I say this but I really struggle to push through a project of my own.  I don't so much have a hard time with client quilts - but when it comes to my own work it's always getting set aside.  Many of my quilts take years to make - and I need some quick gratification.  Not that this will be an easy piece by any means...for me it's very much improvisational so I really have no idea where I'm headed but I certainly feel relieved to get a little bit of creativity out!

I ordered a test swatch so these photos will be small - but I have no idea what the photo quality will be either so it will be a wait and see kind of thing.  Fingers crossed.  :)  I have some ideas for background and while this is not the layout, it is (a really poor photo of) the base quilt this will be appliquéd onto.

The green is going to be incorporated somehow but not in this large of a section.  I just want to pull some green out of the photo into the quilt - but again, I'll have to wait and see when the photo arrives if the green is even the right shade.  The traditional quilter in me is going crazy over those mismatched stripes and I'll have to do some fiddling so I can stand to look at them.  These will sit here until I figure out what I'm going to do with them - because honestly this is my starting point but I really have no idea.  I know I want to play with geometric quilting and am really feeling pop art right now.

Here's a shot below of my tight space back here - hence the poor picture!  With my growing baby belly I literally have inches between me and the wall!  LOL

This all developed from the rainbow selection I pulled out and showed off last post - as you can see NO RAINBOWS!  See how that works for me?  My ideas change day to day and rarely do I complete the "plan".  :)

Linking up with Nina today for Off the Wall Friday as I haven't participated in a while.  :)  I have SO MUCH TO do today so I really need to get going!!!!  :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Update: What's Been Going on in the Smith Kingdom :)

My report is going to be kind of random and boring today.  I did finish Cindy's quilt which I will be trimming and boxing up to be sent home today.  Here's a quick shot I took for Facebook...

I always love all over feathers on a scrappy quilt like this and she sent the prettiest backing that will really show off the quilting too.  Bonus!  :)

Other than that we've had a string of sickness in the house, that achy shaky flu has hit and hit the local schools even harder.  My middle daughter came home yesterday with a fever of 101 and is still trying to kick a high fever this morning so another day of nursing and caring for her.  Hopefully she feels better by tomorrow and we don't have to go into the Dr.

I'm working on a project with some pretty batiks - some of which my kind friend Marci sent me.  I don't really have time or a need to start a project right now but it was fun playing in the fabric yesterday.  :)

Trying to gear up for Christmas but I just can't seem to get into it this year.  I think because I'm so busy and backed up with work.  My tree is up, the lights are on but nothing else!  I have wrapped presents ready to go under it even but it's not quite ready!  LOL  I will get there - apparently Christmas comes and goes whether you're ready for it or not!

I hope all is well with my friends in blogland!  I'm hoping to sneak in some time to visit you all and see what you've been up to soon!  :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Pantograph's Available - Cloisonne and Oblique - and a SALE!

Look what is now available over on Urban Elementz website!  Cloisonne and Oblique!


Pssst...they are having a big 20% off of EVERYTHING sale right now!  :)  (Sale runs December 8th - 15th!)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monica's Christmas Quilt

I finally finished Monica's 12 Days of Christmas quilt!

I am so happy with how it turned out!  Next on the frame is Cindy's scrappy BOM!  :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Monica's Crazy Stitched Cross - Finished!

Well - if you follow me on Facebook then you know that while my long arm motor is running beautifully, the belt snapped!  Gah!  I think it's just one of those times - you know where everything goes hay wire?  Ahh!  Well, luckily I have very little left on the Christmas quilt and while I wait for a belt that should be here in a day or so, I'm going to finish up the quilt on my Juki this afternoon.

I had to walk away and look at something else for a bit so I finished this little quilt of Monica's this morning.  I think it turned out so pretty!  I still need to remove the blue markings but other than that it is finished...

Will be back hopefully this afternoon or this evening with photos of the Christmas quilt!  :)