Monday, March 7, 2011

a little bit of sewing

so you know me.... when the going gets tough, the tough get sewing.
and i needed some therapy this week so for the past 3 days, I caught up on my bees, worked on my samplers from the bees, and tried to fit in my collage for church that I need to do for the lenten season.... (more on that later... after 3+ hours invested in it, I ruined it and have to re-do it... so as my dad says, "moron that later")
Here's what my fingers and gears have been up to:
 This first one is a wonky square in square design that I did for Seams Perfect Bee - which is my all scraps bee... I love the color scheme that LeeAnn picked out.  Really not my typical shades and I loved working in it - very refreshing... like a summer swim...
Then I had to catch up on Yolanda's pineapple blocks for Bee Happy - Which were really hard work, but I think she's going to end up with an awesome quilt. Click here to see what is happening as she's putting the blocks together!
After that, it was the 12th and final month for Bee Happy's 1st year - and Janice requested scrappy styled wonky houses. These were SO much fun to make and I even busted out some of my long savored fabrics to add in there, because they were just what the blocks needed. She'd sent us a few pieces as inspiration and requested (in my block) that the mermaids and the goldfish ended up in the blocks somewhere. As I sewed, I had a lot of fun imagining a little world where the mermaids and goldfish were neighbors. We may need to be revisiting this idea for a certain little fairy freak we've got here in the house - I know her imagination would run wild with a wonky house fairy quilt... (if I just typed that, do I have to make it now?)

After all that happy sewing... I had a table filled with the most LOVELY scrap pile I'd seen in a while. So... well, I needed to sew up a few quilted bags, right? and I've never tried a mugrug (quilty coaster), so here's the first of three of those...

I literally was piecing tiny tiny pieces together and then making a piece, cutting that up and re-sewing it back together to get some fun results. ... you can see the tiny little scrap houses that ended up in my Coke rug...

I forgot to take photos (how could I?) of last weeks two quilts that went out for some dear little daughters to friends of mine - one as yet unborn (mommy is in the hospital on urgent bedrest at 27 weeks) and the other for a favorite neighborhood 2year old as she had her birthday. (I've also made G a little play quilt... it's nothing special, but since it's for him, he deserves his own post)

Oh yeah! and (last ones) ... here are some of the side projects for the bees... Each month in my bees, as I make a square to send off to someone else - I also make a "practice" square for myself - so that I can end the year with a sampler that represents my journey and learnings in the bee. Please don't ask me what I am going to do with all these quilts. I have no idea. So my Seams Perfect Bee Sampler is in red and white... which is fun... and my Bee Happy sampler -well, let's just say that I started with this "cool" idea that I was going to use the ugliest most hated fabrics in my collection... and see what I could come up with. Well... it's pretty ugly. I'm not going to show that one until I post about it later. Still, it was a fun experience, and a major creative challenge.
So here are my Seams Perfect red and white squares, along with a blue and white one that I made for a bee buddy who is assembling a quilt for charity for an auction.

yes. The answer is, I HAVE NEEDED TO DO THIS. As I always say, "My sewing machine is the ONLY thing in my life that I have control over." and so far, I think it's still cheaper than therapy... though that may be up for debate.

LAMQG solids challenge

Remember the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild challenge I mentioned? The generous folks at Robert Kaufman donated a ton of charm packs to the Modern Quilt Guilds and we were asked to make mini (crib sized) quilts using only the charm pack and one additional solid... I knew immediately what I was going to do!
I have always loved trees more than any other motif and this seemed like the perfect time to start trying to marry my collages with my sewing. It's something J has been encouraging me to do for a while.. But I didn't want to buy fabric for it, so I traded with some friends for sky blue solid and started my little project.
I'm so happy with how it came out! This is the first quilt where from start to finish, I was confident in what it was and would become. The first time where I finished and thought, "I nailed it!" hooray!
I get to show it to the guild this Thursday... I can't wait to see what everyone else has made... The LAMQG is filled with so many talented artists... I'm always blown away (I try to just be inspired and not to be intimidated!) by what they come up with...

Quilting in faith

I started this quilt a few months ago, wanting to make a playmat for G. (it's the starburst pattern from this blog - link later!)
But after piecing the squares, I realized it needed yellow as the sashing to make it look good and suddenly it was too girly. Then I made the top and found the lumpiest, most mistake filled top I've ever made. (bummer)
I posted it as a "quilt=fail" on flickr and got some encouragement from my friends there to try it anyways... So I added a thicker than normal batting, some bumpy knit as a backing, and I used spray baste (yay!) and as suggested, I quilted it to death.
The end result is a happy super cozy quilt. But not for G. It doesn't really seem like him at all.
As I was making it, I couldn't help but think about how convinced J and I are in our hearts that we've got a little girl coming to our family soon through foster care. It's something we are more and more sure of (in faith, no signs yet!) and this became a little bit of sewing by faith as I thought about where she might be now, what she is going through, what she needs prayer for...
And now this is sitting in our living room quilt basket, folded and waiting for a special little girl. It is a sunny reminder of our not yet complete family... A reminder to pray and keep hoping.



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