Thursday, April 20, 2017

Missing the U Finish

Well the finishes are few and far between around here these days. Over the past few weeks, the little bit of sewing time I've had, I spent quilting house quilts for #QuiltsforQc. But this past week, I decided to do a little bit of selfish sewing and finished my Missing the U quilt!

I had so much fun making this quilt - the slab blocks are made entirely with my scraps, no fat quarter was cut in the making of this quilt! And would you believe this barely made a dent in my scrap bins.

I finished piecing the top back on March 14 and I had it hanging in my sewing room while I worked on other projects, trying to figure out how I wanted to quilt it.  I could have gone with an allover meander or some straight lines or maybe even some wavy lines. In the end though, I decided to invest a little bit more time and quilt a bunch of different designs - one for each colour.

I started with some "flower power" in the pink section...

Some paisleys in the red section...

Fun swirls in the orange blocks:

I tried my new quilt ruler and specialty foot for the green section along with some back and forth lines and pebbles...

One of my favourite designs for the blue blocks... wood grain

And finally, a soft meander in the purple parts:

I love all that texture...

For the binding, I went with Kona Charcoal.

It hasn't been washed yet, but I can't wait to see what happens after it goes in the dryer and crinkles up a bit.

Quilt Stats:
  • Pattern:  Missing the U by Cheryl Arkison from the book Sunday Morning Quilts
  • Size: 75" x 90”
  • Fabrics: A rainbow of scraps
  • Thread: Pieced with Aurifil #2600 in 50 wt and quilted with Aurifil #2479 (pink) 50 wt, #2230 (red) 50 wt, #2150 (orange) 40 wt, #2845 (green) 40 wt, #2720 (blue) 50 wt and #2520 (purple) 40 wt.
  • Recipient:  I haven't decided yet :-)
I will be linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and at Charly and Ben's Crafty Corner for TGIFF.

This is also project number 3 on my Q2 list for the 2017 FAL

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Meet the 2017 FAL Hosts: Ella

For the month of April, the FAL host spotlighted is Ella from Throw a Wench in the Works.  Enjoy!

Hi, I'm Ella, here at throwawenchintheworks. *waves hello* Welcome to a Meet the Maker Finish-A-Long instalment, featuring me!

If you're new to the my blog, let me tell you a bit about me. I'm a teacher in Atlanta. (Still trying to wrap my head around the recent bridge collapse on I-85.) I've moved around a lot in my life, but I think Atlanta is home now. (I do miss the fall in Upstate NY, but I don't miss the winters.) I love Atlanta. It's extremely diverse. I love the blend of big city and neighborhoods. I love The Center for Puppetry Arts (and its huge Henson collection).


I love the Botanical Gardens.


I LOVE Dragoncon!


I live here with my husband (commonly referred to by me as The Pirate...because Pirates are awesome), a smooshy senior cocker spaniel (who has ruined me for all other dogs and who I need to clone into an army of lovey dogs), and a slightly evil tuxedo kitty (think Brain from "Pinky and the Brain").

Obligatory animal pictures:
IMG_0282      IMG_0298

(Sorry, the tongue is a bit disturbing, but I still find her forcible grooming, usually limited to his floofy hair, HILARIOUS.)

I'm new to hosting the Finish-a-Long, but I've been a long time participant (and long time overachieving list maker). I started blogging back in 2011. A bit of trivia about my blog name. I'm also a bellydancer (although my knee issue has me a bit sidelined right now), hence the wench part. I tend to throw myself into things whole-heartedly, but I'm also a, um, the wench in the works. I didn't think about how often folks would read it as "wrench" and have trouble finding my blog. Ah well.

Ironically, I used to teach photography and now most of my pictures tend to be taken in my poorly lit living room at odd hours of the night. I *can* take better pictures; I *should* take better pictures; I'm just mostly working on things in the night-time. I apologize for that.

I started blogging the summer I decided to officially learn how to quilt. I've been sewing and knitting since I was little. (My mom taught me how to sew, by hand and by machine. My aunt taught me to knit when I was in third grade.) I made a quilt for my dorm room in college, but I don't count it as a quilt that was completely mine because my mom hand tied it. It didn't survive many washings.

I don't actually have most of my first quilts any more from back in 2011.
When I started sewing again back in 2011, after many years of hiatus, I was initially obsessed with disappearing nine patches. I gave most of them away. The one below went to a friend going through chemo.
batik quilt

In my first foray into non disappearing 9 patch quilts, I made a HORRIBLE quilt. I used crappy fabric that did NOT stand up to being washed, which was probably also a product of my seams being totally inconsistent. Ahem, I was in a horrible Hawaiian shirt theme for the quilts.

Rockin Robin completed top!

It was part of a Row Robin that was launched online. I loved the community that I found there. Folks were supportive and kind. That led to swaps and lots of groups on Flickr. (Remember when Flickr was awesome? *Sigh.*) I did a ton of block swaps, even ran the 4x6 for a while. I admit, I have not been blogging as much as I did in the past. Now, I tend to spend time over on Instagram, but the online community is still HUGELY important to me.

I felt like, as I had with the bellydance community, I found a "tribe" to which I belonged.  I had space to learn, people were so generous with their knowledge, and I could let my geek flag fly.  I got to meet folks in real life from my first do.good.stitches group visiting Atlanta, Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, Sewtopia here in Atlanta, Sisters in Oregon, and many years of The Stash Bash.  I'm kind of a spazz and feel incredibly awkward in big social groups.  Going to new places feels like a big deal.  (If you ever meet me, this won't necessarily feel true.  I TALK A LOT.  I TALK MORE when I'm nervous.)  I feel lucky to have met so many awesome, amazing women who remain important to me.  

Charity is still a fundamental part of my sewing.  I run the Serenity Circle as part of do.good.stitches.  My circle makes quilts for hospice.  I do this to honor my grandmother.  She was a maker her whole life, making dresses for mission work, mittens in the winter, newborn items for hospitals.  When she died, I saw how much the crochet blanket a stranger made impacted my mother.  I'd love to do that for someone I will never meet with my quilts, to give some comfort in a really difficult time.  I try to make as many as I can each year.  

I've started doing a kindness project this year.  I was feeling overwhelmed by how mean the world was seeming.  I was constantly stressed.  Sewing helped me deal with that.  So far, I made over 40 infinity scarves to give to women I know to let them know they are amazing and loved and seen.  My next project is pincushions.  This lets me do at least something small to impact others, to spread a bit of love.

I've grown a lot as a quilter in the last 7 years.  I still have a long way to go.  (I still mostly straight-line.  FMQ is still my nemesis.)  I'm still addicted to QALs.  I seem to have to have AT LEAST a dozen things spinning at a time.  I can't seem to walk away from a challenge.  I have only put 2 quilts in shows (the poppy below and the hexy garden).  I'm trying to get braver about that.  Quilting is still my least favorite part.  I want to learn how to use a long arm this year.  Goals!

Here are some of my favorite finishes:

batik challengeBubbles

quilt show!Zelda quilt

Death Star

I have another mahoosive finish-a-long list for Quarter 2 (I'm a card carrying member of Archie the Wonder Dog's #ridiculouslylongFAList)!  

Here are a couple of WIPs that I will hopefully complete this quarter:

sugar skull topViolet Craft lion

I'm looking forward to cheerleading this year. Y'all are amazing!  Thank you to the phenomenal women of the Finish-A-Long for letting me join in the fun.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Stash Report - March 2017

I started to get back into it in March after a really, really busy month at work in February.  March was still pretty busy but I did get some stuff done in the sewing room.

First up, I completed my Meadow Mystery quilt and sent it to my friend from Louisville, Kentucky. You can read all about here.

I used up a total of 10 yards for this quilt.

I also finished a #quiltsforqc this month. I used blocks submitted by the wonderful quilting community to piece the top and then used up some of my stash to back and bind it.  The blog post for this finish is here.

Used up 4 yards for the backing and binding of this quilt.

With 14 yards of fabric used this month, you might think I would have a negative balance year-to-date, but the fact of the matter is, I also did quite a bit of shopping this month.

The MMQG fat quarter bundle from Mad About Patchwork (+ 2.5 yards)
Wander half yard bundle (+ 3 yards)

Backings (+ 16 yards)
And I also purchased 3 yards of Kona Black to finish a quilt top for #quiltsforqc.

Stash Report YTD:

  • 6 scrappy projects (no change)
  • + 6.75 yards

Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 FAL Q2 List

Well, Q1 wasn't a huge success for me - only one finish (my mom's bed runner).  I shouldn't be surprised though, the first quarter of the year is crazy busy at work and this year was no different.

For Q2, because I know I'll be very busy finishing #quiltsforqc, I will keep my list fairly short.  And you might recognize most of them from the Q1 list.  :-)

1. Metro Challenge

The deadline for this guild challenge changed to May so I'm still hopeful I might actually get this one done in time.  I made no progress on it at all last quarter so it's still a pile of fabric and a drawing at this point.

2. City Sampler

This is another one I wasn't able to touch during Q1 so it's going back on the list.

3. Missing the U

This was on my Q1 list, but I did make progress!  In fact, I have a completed top, backing and the whole thing is now basted.  All that's left is the quilting and I have a plan...  I think!  :-)

And that's it for Q2.

How about you? Did you get your list done? Did you link up?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017 FAL Q2: Proposed Finishes

It's time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q2 of the FAL. I truly hope you are facing a new quarter with a brand new list - because you finished so many UFOs in Q1!
The FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director
For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list. Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions. Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q2 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):  
As you may recall from last year, there was a return of tutorial week at the end of each quarter, between the opening of the link for finishes and the day that link closes. Are you enjoying this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! This will take place each quarter. Each host works hard to put these together so I hope you are visiting their blogs to encourage them. If you have a tutorial that you would like to share, please let me or another host know. It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is now considered a UFO, and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project. It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ2yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

The 2017 Q2 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs.

If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it. We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too. 

When creating your list there is one thing to remember....No deductions for not completing something so ..... Aim High! Nothing to lose!!! Well Now..... Get those lists together and get linked up. The Q2 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, April 8, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.