Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Prince Has Come

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for the kind words and outpouring of love and support about my Grandpa. I am working on responding to everybody individually because it means so much to me that you took the time to stop and write such sweet comments. It really does, so thank you from the bottom of my heart <3

Before I started working so hot and heavy on his quilt, I managed to squeeze in a finish, the one goal I had for January, my Prince Charming quilt.

This one was a bit difficult for me. I had the silly idea to leave it in the funky shape it ended up in when I set the blocks on point, as opposed to adding some triangles and filling it in. I liked the shape, but binding those inside corners was a challenge!

Photographing it wasn't so easy either. It kept wanting to fold away from me as I was taking the picture

As you can see, my little helper is only so tall!

Prince Charming front

I carried the gradated pattern from the front onto the back. You can see the quilting really well here, it was about every inch or so, whatever the width of my even feed foot is.

Prince Charming back

I used leftover scraps to bind, also following the gradation. I reversed the colors though, indigo on coral...

indigo on coral

...and coral on indigo.

coral on indigo

This was a fun, although tedious at times, quilt to make and I love how colorful it is.

Prince Charming front

I can't decide how to use such an oddly shaped quilt though! I think I might put it along the back of my couch when I finally get a new set (soon!!)

Prince Charming closeup

I'm linking this up to A Lovely Year of Finishes (down to the wire on this one!)


This is also one of my 2013 Finish Along goals! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cancer Sucks

I don't even know how to start this post. Last week I received a phone call that changed my whole world. My Grandpa, my sweet, loving, wonderful Grandpa, passed away. I mentioned in my last post that he was going into the hospital for chemotherapy and how I was making a quilt as fast as I could to send to him for comfort. He got sick though and because of the chemo his body just couldn't fight it, he passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday morning. My whole family is at such a loss, he was truly a wonderful man and touched the lives of everybody who knew him. 

Scrappy Trip Along quilt

His quilt didn't make it to him. As fast and as hard as I worked on it, he just got sick so fast and then was gone. And I think it will be too painful to keep around. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but part of me feels like a failure for not having gotten it to him fast enough. But it's a beautiful quilt (if I may say so myself) and it needs to be enjoyed by someone. 

Massive trip backing

Fortunately, I happen to be in the middle of helping Val over at PinkPlease! with her Heroes Helping Heroes quilt. This is the second year that she has called for people to help her create a quilt to sell at the annual fundraising auction for the Heroes Foundation. From their website: The mission of the Heroes Foundation is to serve the cancer community through the funding of support, education, and awareness programs, as well as through the funding for medical and scientific research. 

Scrappy trip quilting detail

Last year, the quilt that we all made for the foundation raised $1,000!! 

quilted with 12wt Aurifil

I contacted Val and asked if I could send Grandpa's quilt for the auction along with the blocks I was making for her quilt. I explained to her the circumstances and told her that I felt like this was the best way to honor my Grandpa's memory. Val very graciously said yes!! 

Heroes Helping Heroes blocks
blocks for Val for this year's quilt

Tonight I will hug it tight and tomorrow it will be off, along with the blocks, to a cause that is helping to fight the very thing that took my Grandpa from us. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

So This Happened This Weekend

I spent some time cutting lots of strips

Then I started sewing said strips

Then I sewed a whole bunch more

Then I started cutting those strips again

Until they were all cut apart

Then I started ripping some seams

Until they were all ripped apart into new strip sets

Then a bit more sewing was to be had

Ok, a lot more sewing

Now before you start pointing fingers and laughing and calling me a sucker, you must know that I didn't exactly cave on this one. I was staying strong, fighting the good fight. I still kept this one way off of my radar. Then I found out that my Grandpa was in the hospital. Remember back in July when I asked for prayers for my Grandpa? Well, long story short is that he was actually not as bad off as the doctors thought he was. See, his has this blood condition that can lead to cancer. We thought it had back then and that it was so bad that we were going to lose him. Then his numbers changed and it turns out he didn't have it after all. Then they changed again and he does. The good news is that they believe it's treatable. So he is currently in the hospital, undergoing a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment. It's so aggressive that he has to stay in the hospital because his immune system will be pretty much non-existent. Well, all I hear about is how chemo patients are always cold, I don't want him to be cold. 

My hope is to make this and ship it off quickly so that he can be warm while he's undergoing treatment. And well, if I can't be there to hug him then I can at least send my hugs to him this way. I knew, from reading all of the other blog posts out there about this quilt, that it goes together fast. So that's what happened. And you know what? My Grandpa is quite the world traveler, so how fitting is it that the pattern for his quilt is called Trip Around the World? Kismet :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let's Do This Then!

Twice in the past week I have been invited into different groups for help and encouragement for finishing projects, probably because of my amount of UFOs and desire to actually finish them! They both have a great support system in place and link up parties to show off any progress you have made. 

Now, I have tried this before with the Just Three linkup and didn't do so well. Not because of the linkup itself (Love Ya Tracey!) but because apparently three goals in one month was just too much for me to try to do. I let myself get discouraged (with myself) at the end of each month because I didn't meet those goals.

So I'm going to try these other two and see how they pan out. One of them is one goal per month, and the other one is quarterly, you set the amount of goals yourself. 

First up is the A Lovely Year of Finishes group. 

One goal per month for this one and I'm going to pick the Prince Charming quilt.

Prince Charming quilt top

Man I cringe every time I look at this picture. I'm going to finish this bad boy up so that I don't keep subjecting you guys to this late night, washed out photo. 

Next up is the 2013 Finish Along hosted by my pal Leanne over at She Can Quilt.

I'm going to double dip with these link up parties and keep it simple. My goals for Quarter 1 are to:

Finish the Prince Charming Quilt-it needs to be quilted, trimmed and bound.

Finish the Weekender Bag-The lining and inside pockets need to be created and then sewn into place

Weekender outer shell

Finish the Castle Peeps Quilt-basted, needs to be quilted, trimmed and bound.

My Precious QAL completed top

That's it for Quarter 1, if I finish those three then I will be extremely happy. I'll set the goal for one per month and try to use those as my Lovely Year of Finishes goals too. If I can squeeze a different project in there for that, then even better!!

And I realized as I was writing this post that I didn't have to take a single new picture for it, which means you've seen these photos before (and more than once I know!). So maybe I will find a new project to start before I bore you guys to death! 

You can find the link up parties by clicking on the buttons below or over on the sidebar. Come join us!

she can quilt

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Taking Stock in the New Year

This is the post that I attempted to write yesterday, it being New Year's Day and all, but then this happened.

Banged up boy

And well, spending three hours in the emergency room kind of threw off my schedule a bit. He's ok by the way, he just bumped his noggin hard enough to need a few stitches.

So this is the post where I figure out where I am and what direction I need to go in order to accomplish a few goals. Be warned, this may get quite wordy and picture heavy. 

Looking back on 2012, I realized I accomplished a lot more than I thought I did. Sure, a lot of the projects were small ones.

2012 finishes

But I made a lot of gifts for a lot of people, hosted a quilt along, wrote and self published my first pattern and even managed to make a few things for myself. 

2012 finishes 2

And I remembered my word of the year and made it my mantra and kept the stress level way down. I'd call that quite a productive year indeed!

I took a good hard look at my projects the other day in an attempt to figure out where I was headed with them. I have a couple that have just been weighing me down and I finally just decided that they needed to go. 

These poor orphan blocks.


I can't bear to throw them away but I have no desire to do anything with them. I had an idea to sew them all together into one quilt and call it the orphan quilt, but I was only going to do that just for the sake of not wasting them. Instead, I offered them up for grabs in a small sewing group that I am a part of and my friend the Fabric Donkey will be taking them off of my hands. I know she will take good care of them.

The Farmer's Wife quilt.

Farmer's Wife

Yes, it has to go. I was enjoying the challenge of putting the blocks together. I template pieced all of them and it was like putting together a bunch of little puzzles. I had every intention of doing all 110 blocks in the book but lost steam halfway though. Then I started working on sashing them and got bored with that. They've been sitting for probably at least a good 6 months. They will be going to Bree, she will do them justice, I just know it.

Now for the keepers!

Prince Charming single wedding ring quilt. It's basted, ready to be quilted and finished.

Prince Charming quilt top

Castle Peeps quilt, also basted and ready to quilt.

My Precious QAL completed top

Cathedral Window Sampler. 

Cathedral Window Sampler final layout

Top is pieced, needs to be finished. I'm thinking it will be a wall hanging for the kids' room.

Creepy Raccoon house block for Allegory.

Creepy Raccoon

Al sent me a package with this little guy in it and asked me to make her a house block incorporating him somehow. That package was postmarked for the end of August. She said no hurry but I'm taking that meaning to new levels here!

Double Wedding Ring Quilt.


I still have that wonky, wavy block issue to sort out. Once I figure out where I went wrong in the piecing I bet I can get it done. Of course I would have to actually try to be able to do that instead of banishing it to a box.

Weekender Bag.

Weekender outer shell

I have an outer shell, I just need to figure out what I want to do for interior pockets and then finish it up.

Maple Leaf Rag quilt from Material Obsession 2. I have 100 crazy quilt pieces sewn to cut the kite shapes from, I need 128. I have used all scraps so far and hope to be able to finish it that way, though I may have to dive into my stash for some of the strips that I'll need.

Crazy quilt pieces for Maple Leaf Rag quilt

I do have quite a scrap strip assortment though, so maybe I'll get lucky and be able to use this up!

String scraps

Denim bed quilt. This poor thing has been banished to a closet, half finished. It is such tedious work! I need to make a real concentrated effort to finish it.

Hexagon project. This is my long term hand project and I will not rush it, not one bit. 

Hexi project

Christmas quilt. Top is pieced

Christmas quilt

Christmas stockings. I'm probably not even at the halfway point for these, which is why they got pushed aside. Hey, I have almost an entire year to make them now!


There we go, that's my whole list. I think it is anyway. I'm trying really hard to not add to it right now until I get something done but that Scrappy Trip Along sure has been calling my name, and hard. I've been putting in extra time with the Maple Leaf Rag in all attempts to ignore that calling for now.

Going into 2013 I'd like to set the bar for myself a little bit higher while still maintaining the level of stress free sewing that I have grown quite accustomed too. I have three main goals for the year.

1. Participate in a craft show. There is a Soft Shell Crab Festival every October in the little town I live in, it takes place a few blocks from my house. This year I want to set up a table. That gives me 10 whole months to make items to sell. In the meantime, I'm going to list said items in my etsy store and see if I can't sell some of them there as well. If it turns into a profitable enough venture, then I'll continue it! My intent isn't to get rich off of this plan. No, I just have a lot of fabric that needs to be used and  a lot of things that I want to make but don't have room to keep. I mean, we can only use so many quilts at a time, my walls won't hold every wall hanging I make for the rest of my life and I can only use so many purses, pouches, etc. But I still want to make this stuff! So if it keeps me sewing, which I love to do, and I make a little bit of money doing it, then it's a win/win situation in my eyes.

2. Write more patterns. I have ideas and I already have one that I've made a test quilt for. I just need to put them on paper and get them tested and out into the world. I've been working on finishing a few things before starting on these so that I don't add to the already huge UFO list. Which brings us to...

3. Finish my UFOs. I know this is on everybody's list and I'll probably have more projects that I start and don't finish that will carry over into next year, but I'd like to at least finish the ones that I am currently working on, with a couple of possible exceptions.

I'll be back soon with more things to share. I know there are quite a few pictures of projects on this post of things you guys haven't seen before. I think "be a better blogger" needs to be on my list of goals for this year too!