23. December 2015 · Comments Off on 2016 Planning Party · Categories: Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , ,

Hiya.  I’m back.  October was a super busy month with my son’s birthday party then Halloween.  Then of course the holidays crept up and some crazy person realized they had suggested handmade Christmas a year ago (ahem, cough, darting eyes) and hadn’t prepared.

Whoops.

The funny thing about blogging is, once you get out of the habit . . . you get out of the habit.  And I’m definitely out of the habit.  The funnier thing?   I’m okay with that.  I started this blog almost four years ago with a focus on food and photography that morphed into food satire (go ahead, scratch your head over this, you know you want to) that morphed into stopping cold turkey for awhile that morphed into quilting.  How’s that for consistency?  At first the purpose of my blog was mainly to give this brand new SAHM something to do, a way into an online community that could provide me with a little social interaction (babies don’t hold conversations very well, who knew?) and a little purpose beyond changing diapers.

It did that.  I made a few great friends that I still have too!  But . . . it took way too much of my time.  Even now as my blogging has decreased from three times a week at the beginning to a few times a month to hey, how have you been the last quarter I would still rather be doing something else.  Like sewing.  I’m sure you ALL understand that feeling.  That brings up the question, what do I want for my blog?  For me?

In light of that, I’m hopping onto a linky party by Quilting Jetgirl.  Ironically my first bullet point will be not to worry about linky parties anymore.  Don’t lecture.

So here we go.  My (quilting) goals for 2016.

2016planningparty1

Goal 1:  Don’t stress about this blog.  Blog when I want to.  Blog about what I want to.  Do not hold myself to any ridiculous standard of posting schedules that conform purely to dates and times other blogs have link up parties.  What is the purpose of link ups you ask?  It’s pretty simple . . . to bring people to your blog.  I’ve decided not to care about this.  When I switched the focus here to quilting, it was mainly because my mother urged me to keep a record of everything I make.  I still think that is the very best plan for me.  I still love photography and photographing my makes (though it is frustrating for me that that the only free time I have to do this is my daughters nap time which is my least favorite time of day for photography – I’m an early evening kinda gal.)

I just told you what I want for this blog.  But what DON’T I want?  I’m not looking to be famous.  I don’t want a million readers and sponsors and companies sending me freebies that will just eat more into the little free time I have.  I don’t want to create tutorials and teach others (yet) because I have way too much to learn myself.  I don’t want to write and publish quilt patterns.  I don’t want a book or a line of fabric (okay maybe I do want this one . . . it’ll be all bunnies, nothing but bunnies, bunnies as far as the eye can see!).

The other day I woke up early and didn’t feel like sewing or cleaning, which is what I normally do in the wee hours of the morning.  So I lay in bed, listened to my husband snore, and browsed my own blog.  I realized I am quite proud of the space I created here.  I’m proud of its diversity and ability to remind me of things I had forgotten.

Goal 2:  Finally get a sewing table.  I sew on the dining room table BUT we have a guest room that almost never gets used for guests (I already keep my sewing supplies in there).  Of course the one time someone wants to stay is right after I’ve just laid out 120 quilt blocks on the bed aka my design wall.  Figures.  My husband says we can talk about converting the guest room completely to my sewing room at some point.  In the meantime I have a corner carved out and really want to finally get a table.  It needs to be a certain size and dimension and of course I’m the crazy person who took apart my grandmothers old dining room table in the hopes of repurposing the wood into my sewing table.  I’m complicated.  I know.

Here’s my future sewing corner.  Hopefully.

L-Table

Goal 3:  Be on Instagram less.  I check Instagram way too often and really want to be more intentional about this.  More mindful.  I’d love to detox from it every weekend and I’d really love to give it up completely for lent next year.  I think this will help me focus on my makes rather than others’ makes.  I’ve already made some nice friends there though so I do really love the Instagram community.

Goal 4:  Make a lap quilt.  I’ve made lots of mini’s and mini mini’s and baby quilts . . .

Minis small

but nothing I can snuggle under.  I really want to change this.  I have a Modernized Disappearing Nine Patch laid out on the guest bed.  It fills the entire top of the bed so it’s going to be big.  I may pay a long armer to quilt this for me.  Maybe Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl or Cassandra from Not So Dramatic Life?  I think they both offer these services.  I don’t know anyone local and would rather pay shipping charges to have someone I trust quilt my very first large quilt for me.

Modern D9Patch

Goal 5:  Finish my WIP’s or send them packing.  Probably to mom’s house.  WIP’s make me twitchy.  And my tastes have changed drastically in the past year as I become more ingrained in the quilting world.  I either want to finish my WIP’s or give them up entirely.  I’ve already sent one project to mom and she’s currently completing a lap quilt for me to give to my Mother-in-Law for next Mother’s Day.  I have a few long term scrap projects (a Wanta Fanta quilt for one) I want to start but I NEED to get the other WIP’s in check before I start more.

Goal 6:  Buy less fabric.  Learn to WANT less fabric.  I’ve spent the last 5 months not buying fabric other than for projects involving birthdays or gifts.  I started this partially because there was a chance my husband would be needing back surgery and our insurance deductible is pretty high.  So not buying fabric seemed like a logical choice.  I also find myself getting a little anxious over all the new fabric lines that are constantly being released.  This is part of my issue with Instagram.  I see all the fabric everyone raves about and all the stash reports and all the amazing stuff being made with all the amazing fabric and it’s an overwhelming feeling for me.  I don’t like it.  I want to be the kind of person that is grateful and thankful for what I have and not be continually wanting more more more.  I think I am going to set a monthly budget for myself for my sewing hobby and I’m hoping this will help keep fabric purchases in check and help me be more intentional about what I buy.  Also I have realized that I don’t need half yards of every fabric in a line I like.  Fat quarters or even fat eighths are sufficient to whet my whistle and larger yardage can be saved for pieces I truly love or basics like the Grunge line from Moda.  My husband does NOT need back surgery, by the way (woot and woot) and his back is doing pretty well these days.  Prayers do work it seems.  Because we pray for this alllllll the time.

Goal 7:  Start saving for a new sewing machine.  This is a long term plan.  I’d like a Janome Memory Craft 6300.  Renee at Quilts of a Feather has one.  Jessica at Quilty Habit has one.  My mom has one.  I have no desire to jump down the sewing machine research rabbit hole.  Recommendations by these ladies are plenty good enough for me.  My hope is to have a new machine when my daughter enters preschool so I have almost two years to save the money.  I think I can do it.

Goal 8:  Say NO.  To myself.  To others.  I see this a lot in quilt goals.  A lot a lot.  Which means it’s doubly important.  It also means I think you get it and I don’t need to elaborate too much.  I always told my mom growing up that quilters are TOO nice.  I still think this is true and sometimes to the detriment of their own goals and desires.  There is a line between doing for others (which I want to do – see Goal 10) and doing for yourself.  I’m planning on finding it.

Goal 9:  Take regular planned sewing breaks.  I actually find this helps me refocus.  Gives me a chance to work on projects around the home like painting the dining room (I did this last month) or reorganizing the kitchen pantries (this is my January project), to sleep in if I want to (I’m an early morning quilter – early like 5 am) and to appreciate sewing again.  I think a 2-3 week break every 3 months should do it.

Goal 10:  Do for others.  I’ve made a few nice friends already and I hope to make more.  I’d like to be an encourager to these women who have encouraged me.  I’d like to send cards through the mail telling them how great they are.  I’d like to mail random fat quarters to internet friends for no reason other than to surprise them and brighten their day.  I’d like to do a few small giveaways on Instagram to pay it forward.

Goal 11:  Learn the scant quarter inch seam allowance.  I use a quarter inch piecing foot so my seams are consistent. Consistent is good but my seams are always just over a quarter inch.  When you add this up over an entire quilt top it can amount to quite a bit lost.  I’d like to correct this.  To have a 12 inch block come out to 12 inches.  Exactly 12 inches.

Goal 12:  Explore art quilts more.  I’ve always thought my sewing path would lead me to making art quilts.  I still do.  I want to let go of that sewing which makes me unhappy (I’m talking to you half square triangle), find my creative spark again and CREATE!

Goal 13:  Give myself a break.  Relax.  This one is self explanatory.

Goal 14:  Figure out quilt labels.

I’m sure there is more but like WIP’s, too long of a goal list might make me twitchy as well.

See ya later alligator.  (I really hope one of you just said after while crocodile).

– Joanna

Linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for 2016 Planning Party

I’ve been at this computer too long as it is so I’m not going back and spell checking.  So ignore any misspellings mmmm k? Thanks.

Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

27. May 2015 · Comments Off on WIP – Rainbow Bed Runner Take 2 · Categories: Quilting, Sewing, Work In Progress · Tags: , ,

I’ve made decent progress on the Rainbow Bed Runner.  Not so decent progress on painting my kitchen though.  Oh well.

First up, I fixed the snag with a little Heat ‘n Bond and a scrap of Moda Grunge fabric.

Snag Repair RW

I roughly trimmed up the top.

Then I laid out the backing fabric.  So pretty.  Cut it down to size.

Backing RW

Cut a piece of batting.

Cutting Down RW

Here’s what I used.

Batting RW

Ironed the top and the back and the batting (yeah, I iron the batting).  This is my least favorite part. I hate ironing.  And it’s the worst in quilting because you aren’t even supposed to iron, you’re supposed to “press” . . . ironing is torture enough, but then you can’t even move the iron side to side to speed things up?  Ugh.  Double ugh.

Iron RW

Basted.  On the carpet.  Then had to take it all apart and baste again on the dining room table.  I know you need a hard surface or you get puckers, but I was lazy.  So I had to do it twice.  Lesson learned, self.  Lesson learned.

I used 505 Spray and Fix and then a few pins.

Basting RW

Quilted.

Quilting RW

Quilted some more.  I used a variegated thread from Superior Threads.  It was a thicker weight than I’m used to.  I’ll try to get a better shot of the thread when it’s all done and I take this puppy out on a proper photo shoot.

Quilting 2 RW

Trimmed everything down to 21 x 78.5 inches.  Towards the ends the top had more of a bow to it than I had originally noticed.  Not terrible for the second top I ever pieced together though.

Bowed RW

Pretty, pretty back.  This fabric was the right choice.  For sure.

Quilting Back RW

The next time you see this bed runner in a post, it’ll be bound and photographed.  Probably up in a tree.

But will my kitchen be painted?  Probably not.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.

WIP Wednesday

LinkyBees

20. May 2015 · Comments Off on WIP – Rainbow Bed Runner · Categories: Flimsy Finish, Quilting, Sewing, Work In Progress · Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s interesting to me that in the quilting world a “finish” can mean many things.  I finished cutting up fabric.  I finished piecing the top.  I finished quilting but I still need to bind.  I actually finished the whole quilt and caboodle.

A pieced top is called a flimsy.  So technically today’s share is not only a WIP (work in progress) but also a flimsy finish.  That does present a problem for me as to where to link up this post.  Do I link it up with a work in progress link?  Or a finish link?  Not both, because I am just not that much of a risk taker.  Go ahead and insert laughter here.  Or at least a chuckle.  A harrumpf maybe?

Since I pieced this top a gazillion years ago (okay maybe one and a half . . . two tops) I’m going with work in progress.  Because it has suddenly bugged me that it’s not actually finished.

Bench RW

Also my husband recently commented that for all the fabric I buy, I don’t have much to show for it.  That’s the problem with quilters – one, they tend to give things away and two, they tend to have a bazillion works in progress.  And when you’ve been focused on quilting for a mere six months like me (plus have two small kids in tow) . . . well, you don’t have much around the house to stare at.

So I’m working on this so we have something stare at.  Because it’s a bed runner.  And they really aren’t useful other than to stare at.  Unfortunately I have this bed runner ear marked for the guest room.  A room in which my husband never ever enters.  So really, he still isn’t going to have anything to stare at when I’m done.

This fabric was purchased as a jelly roll strip from JoAnn’s (back before I became a total designer fabric snob.)  My intent simply was to learn to sew in a straight line.  It was the second top I’ve ever sewn together.  I had no clue I was supposed to be sewing a quarter inch seam allowance or that maybe I should have cut the selvage edge off first (meh, I can do that later so no bigs really.)

Back RW

There’s also a snag, which I knew about before sewing, but as this was a precut roll and I had a color pattern in mind I decided to leave it be and deal with it later.  I’ll just iron some sort of stabilizer to the back and it’ll be fine, especially with the amount of use it’ll be getting.

Snag RW

It’s cheap fabric.  And rainbows are a bit overdone in the quilt world.  But I think it’s pretty.  And the lines really are pretty straight.  Well before I discovered the quarter inch seam presser foot too.

In a Tree RW

If you are new here I should warn you I put things in trees to photograph.

Falling Off RW

Then they tend to fall off.

This is less annoying with fabric than cookies though.

But really annoying in the snow.

Anyway.

Rail RW

I’m hoping to work on quilting this soon.  I’ve already picked up the backing fabric – a super cool large scale print called Big City that’s going to be perfect!  I might even like the back better so I may be flipping the bed runner over on occasion to mix things up.

Rebel.  Me.

I’m working on prepping and painting my kitchen and dining room right now, but hopefully I can get this project quilted and bound in the next few weeks.  Then I’d like to focus on a paper pieced block of the month wall hanging that I’m a month and three quarters behind on.  Oh and I have a half square triangle baby quilt to finish up as well and a toddler bed plus quilt and a modern disappearing nine patch.  But what do I mean by finish?  You’ll just have to wait and find out on that one.

Oh, the drama here at Midwestern Bite.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.

WIP Wednesday

LinkyBees

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...