January Quilting Update

Once a month I post an update on my quilting/sewing projects. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

Star Quilt
Finished on December 22nd, 2016!

Red, blue, and grey star sampler quilt

The big thing holding this quilt up was that I had quilted the first half then let it sit. This gave everything a little too much time to settle and I ended up with some puckering between the part I had quilted and the part I hadn’t. In December I helped a friend pin a quilt for her husband. Then she returned the favour and helped me unpin the half of this quilt that wasn’t finished, so we could repin it. I was nervous about repinning, but in the end it was the right decision. This was the first quilt I ever quilted (I quilted the first half before the digger quilt), so it has a few foldovers on the back. Luckily it is for my husband who doesn’t mind at all.

Back of star quilt. Pieced modern cross back

I did the last of the quilting in December, and then finished the binding over several days of TV watching before we headed out for our holiday. It now lives in my living room and is frequently snuggled by both my husband and son.

This quilt was started as a Bee quilt in January of 2013. Each of the members of the bee made one of the blocks (I actually didn’t make a single block for this quilt). When I made the label, I included the names of everyone who contributed a block.

Mystery Quilt
This quilt is for a very good friend of mine who is having a child. Until the quilt has been given this one remains a mystery! I don’t even want to include the quilt name, because it would be a bit of a hint as to what to expect. I will say it has a few fun fabrics, and it very bright. The top is finished and I know what fabric I’m using for the backing. I just need to pin baste it and decide on the thread colour I’ll use for the quilting.

Jungle Path Quilt
I’ve cut the short sashing pieces that go between the blocks for each row. I have a sewing date on the 21st where I hope to get each of the rows sewn together. Should have a few pictures of the progress for next month’s update.

Shoo Fly Quilt
No progress since I finished the top. This will be the status of this quilt for a few months, so I won’t include it on monthly updates until I prep it to quilt.

October Goals

In September my goals were:

  1. Pick a project to work on from now until NaNo and stick to it! 5k this month. – Nope.
  2. Finish my Shoo Fly quilt top. I mostly just have to sew the rows together. – DONE!
  3. Create three detailed characters for my NaNo Novel. – DONE!
  4. Write up a detailed outline for my NaNo Novel idea. – half done

For number one I picked my YA Urban Fantasy Project. It was the project that called to me for submission to my critique group, and I really didn’t need three projects on the go at the same time. I did get some of the novel polished up enough to submit it for critique group, but I didn’t get any new words written.

For number four I have about the first third of the novel outlined, a bunch of ideas for the middle, and a good handle on the end.

My goals for October are:

  1. Get a sewing/writing area set up in the Study.
  2. Finish my NaNo novel outline.
  3. Make my travellers notebook.
  4. Use my bullet journal for the entire month.

What are your goals for October? Did you get everything done you wanted to in September?

September Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

Shoo Fly QuiltShoo Fly Quilt

For the last few months I’ve been putting myself first when it comes to sewing. Any change I get I’m working on my Shoo Fly lapquilt for the couch. On September 9th I finished piecing together the quilt top! I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Next steps are to order the batting and get it quilted. Before I can start on the quilting though I need to finish quilting the Star Quilt. I would love to have both these lap quilts finished and on the couch by Christmas time. It’s doable if I can find the quilting time. Something which unfortunately can be difficult because of the larger block of time needed.

jungle path block quiltJungle Path Quilt

Several years ago a friend of mine organized a quilting bee. We had twelve members and each month, for a year, we made a block for one member’s quilt. The first year I got the blocks for the Star Quilt. The second year I asked everyone to make me a modified Jungle Path block. I resized the block to be a 14 inch square, so the quilt could be made into a twin without needing a crazy number of blocks. The final layout of the twin quilt is 4 by 5 blocks. I may also add a bit of a border, but I really want to quilt it myself which means I need to aim for a small twin size. My machine doesn’t have a particularly large harp, so smaller is easier.

This quilt is destined for my son’s bed and I would love to have it finished by winter, but with two lap quilts to quilt (and bind) I’m not sure if I’ll manage it. As you can see from the picture, the blocks are finished. I also have the sashing strips for between the blocks in each row cut and ready to go. If I can get this quilt top pieced before I start quilting the Shoo Fly quilt I might move it ahead in the line up.

Have you done any sewing lately? What craft projects do you have on the go?

September Goals

I was very late recapping my July goals, and never set any goals for August. It was nice to have a month off, but I’m ready to get back to work.

This month my goals are:

  1. Pick a project to work on from now until NaNo and stick to it! 5k this month. (I picked my YA Urban Fantasy Project)
  2. Finish my Shoo Fly quilt top. I mostly just have to sew the rows together.
  3. Create three detailed characters for my NaNo Novel.
  4. Write up a detailed outline for my NaNo Novel idea.

September is a busy month with the kid going back to school. I’m still working part time this year, so I’ll be picking him up each day. We’ll probably keep up our reading work for at least the month of September as well since the school often takes a while to get up to speed in the new year.

What are your goals for September? Do you have big plans for the month?

July Round Up

August has been so busy that I never got around to reviewing my July goals. In July my goals were:

  1. Win Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve set a goal of 10k. – Done!
  2. Use my writing spreadsheet. – Done!
  3. Sew at least two nights. – Done! I spent one night on my shoo fly quilt (all but one row is sewn up), and I spent an afternoon fixing two pairs of shorts for my son.
  4. Continue to find fun ways to work on spelling words with my son. – Done.

I wrote a lot more than I expected in July. I wrote over 31k last month which was a pleasant surprise. Most of it was on a fluffy fanfic piece I likely won’t do anything with, but it was still writing and all practice is good practice.

I didn’t set any goals for August, but I’m going to set some for September. I’m not sure what all of them will be, but I know I want to work on some specific writing skills. Likely I’ll work on getting a solid outline for my NaNo novel for this year. The last few years I’ve worked from no or minimal outlines. This year I’d like to go back to working from a detailed outline.

I also want to go back to character development. I’ve said before that right now it is probably my weakest point. It isn’t as bad when I’m writing fanfiction, so I think the first step is to get a better handle on my characters before I start writing then.

Did you set any goals for August or are you on vacation as well? Have you started planning for NaNo in November?

July Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

Shoo Fly QuiltGreen shoo fly quilt rowsThis month I decided to focus on getting my Shoo Fly quilt top finished up. Over two nights I’ve put together five of the six rows needed to complete the top. This quilt won’t have a border, so once the rows are done I just have to sew them together to call it done. I bought the backing fabric and the binding fabric for this one on my last trip to Avonport. Once I order the batting, (I’m going with warm and white since the dominant fabric is white), I’ll have everything I need to finish this quilt up.

Side angle of green shoo fly quilt

Star Quilt
I still haven’t made any progress on the Star Quilt. The good news, for my husband anyway, is that I have promised I will only have one quilt in the quilting phase from here on out. Will force me to quilt the Star before starting on the Shoo fly. I can’t promise I won’t be binding them at the same time though!

Do you limit the number of sewing projects you have on the go? Are you good about finishing one project before starting a new one?

July Goals

Usually I recap my goals from the previous month at the start of these posts… That isn’t going to happen this month. June was a write off. June is never to be mentioned again. Ya, it went THAT well.

Here are my goals for this month:

  1. Win Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve set a goal of 10k.
  2. Use my writing spreadsheet.
  3. Sew at least two nights. Probably on my shoo fly quilt, but I might make my son a pair of shorts.
  4. Continue to find fun ways to work on spelling words with my son.

I’ve also decided that regardless of how I do, I have to post my spreadsheet at the end of the month. My hope is that will be a little additional motivation to get some writing done this month. It would be pretty embarrassing to post an empty spreadsheet… right?

How did your June go? Do you have any big plans for July?

June Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

The Digger Quilt
I finished my first quilt! I still can’t believe I designed and made it myself.Finished digger quiltLast month I set myself the goal of finishing the digger quilt for my son. I had been putting it off for far too long. I did it! The quilt is labelled, bound, and beautiful. He snuggles with it pretty much whenever he watches TV. quilt binding and backingWhen I gave it to him I got a lovely song about how “Mommy is the best”, so I’m confident he likes it.

I didn’t have anything specific picked out for the backing, so I took my son with me to the fabric store. He found the Star Wars fabric and couldn’t be torn away. In the end we picked a 100% cotton flannel Star Wars print. I  like it a lot more than I thought I would. With a simple repeated pattern it was easy to seam (the seam is almost invisible), and it quilted beautifully. I didn’t manage to snag the back at all. My husband’s quilt is only half quilted and it already has two small snags on the back. I do wish I’d made the binding strips smaller. I went with a 2 1/4 inch width, but would have been fine with 2 inches.

The ShooGree shoo fly quilt Fly Quilt
I haven’t done any sewing on this one this month, but I’ve made progress.

This quilt will have 21 blocks, each made from a different fabric. Last week I decided on the final layout of the blocks. You can see the layout (and fabrics) in the blurry picture to the right. I always take a picture, so I have a reference when I start the final piecing of the top.

I also found time over the weekend to cut the spacing strips. They are in the white fabric and will go in all those places you can see the floor.

Star Quilt
My goal for June is to get two nights of quilting in on my husband’s star quilt. At my best guess it will take me 2-3 nights to finish the quilting. I would love to be onto the binding before the end of the month, but I haven’t even done the first night of quilting yet.

What have you been working on this month? Do you already have your next project planned out (I do!)?

May Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but I’ve decided that once a month I’m going to indulge my sewing side. In the middle of each month I’ll post an update on how my quilting/sewing is going. You can find the April Update here.

I’ve worked on three sewing projects this month. Below is an update on each.

Curtains
I hemmed my living room curtains! This is big news. We put the curtains up in 2006. I pinned them to the proper height, so they wouldn’t be all over the rad. This month I FINALLY hemmed them. It took me all of thirty minutes, I wish I had done it years ago.

Shoo Fly Quilt
My Shoo fly quilt now has all 21 blocks completed. My hope is that next month I’ll have a picture of the final layout to share with you. I always take a picture so I can use it as reference as I piece together a top.

The Digger Quilt
I set a goal of finishing this quilt (100%, nothing left to do) by the end of the month. At the beginning of the month I had a finished top, but that was it. I have since pinned it together, and, over two nights, I’ve quilted almost three quarters of it. You can see my progress in the, slightly fuzzy, picture below.
IMG_0245I am very happy with how it is turning out so far. I have only machine quilted half a quilt before this, so the skill is very new and still developing. My son, when he saw the first third of quilting, was very pleased. Once I have the quilting done, it will be time to buy the binding fabric and bind my first quilt.

Do you sew? Have you made big progress on any projects recently?

April Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but I’ve decided that once a month I’m going to indulge my sewing side. In the middle of each month I’ll post an update on how my quilting/sewing is going. I hope this will keep me accountable and working on my three four quilting projects. It might even force me to do the little projects like hemming my curtains. Today I have an update on two of my projects: the digger quilt for my son and the shoo fly quilt for me.

Digger Quiltdigger quilt top
I designed the digger quilt myself. I used triangles, squares, and rectangles to make the math simple. The top has been finished for ahem several years. I decided I REALLY need to finish it before my son is too old to want to snuggle with a digger. It is almost time to quilt this one. I bought the thread, bought the fabric, and washed the backing fabric. I should be able to get it quilted in 2-3 evening sessions without much trouble. I’m either doing a stipple or a loop pattern. My son wants me to draw what each look like before making his final decision.

Shoo Fly Quilt
The shoo fly quilt for me is still in early stages. Years ago I made a single nine patch block to go in a quilt for a friend’s baby. I had a lot of leftover green, teal, and aqua fabrics. Just under a fat quarter of 9 fabrics. I also had some stashed green and teal fabrics leftover from other projects. I thought it would be fun to do a green scrappy quilt of some kind. I looked at patterns for a long time. Finally I stumbled upon Two Little Banshees: Quilt for Jane. It’s a nice simple shoo fly block with an offset and I fell in love. For my quilt I’m using 21  (12 inch) shoo fly blocks to make a lap sized quilt. The finished measurements will be around 51 by 72 inches. I had hoped to have a picture of the blocks I’ve finished so far (16!), but yesterday life decided it wasn’t meant to be. Next month I’ll work harder to get a picture.

Do you sew? If you do, what projects do you have on the go right now?