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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Good progress (and a link party)

Another good week with good progress!!


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 1 block done + several designed and ready to go (see below)
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - last block done! (see below)
  3. SYS2015 future projects - a great finished object (see below)
  4. Embroidery calendar - started cutting several scraps for the backs!
  5. Color of the Year challenge- no progress
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. New project - J wall hanging - gathered fabric
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - more blocks done (see below)
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - 1 block done (see below)
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - printed 1 pattern, picked fabric!
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
  11. Memory quilt 2 - no progress.
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I shared this fabric box made with Syndrome block earlier this week in this post.
But seriously, how can I not repost this fun sequence of picture I took of my sewing budding using the scraps box as new place to hide?? She is too cute, sorry for reposting!! ;)
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The variation of week 7 of Project of Doom 2015 was to cool to miss! So I had fun making this block with scraps of green for the plant, and fun prints for the book. The block will go to Jennifer for Linus.


Another block, designed by Jennifer, is my last block for my wall hanging Tea towel challenge/PPV!!
Now only two pieced border are missing and then it will be done!!
Pattern by Jennifer @ Sewhooked
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Speaking about charity quilts, I am working on collecting animal blocks and while I was struggling finding patterns that I liked, a light bulb turned on in my brain: many Disney/Cartoon characters are animals and FiS is full of those patterns!! DUH :)
In my defense I should say that I consider cartoon characters just people of different sizes and colors ;) so that's why I didn't realize I could use some patterns from FiS for my animal quilts ;)
Anyway... these are the first two I picked: a fish (YES, I know!!! she is not just a fish!!! she is Dory!!) and a sheep (because the year of the sheep just started) :)


Pattern by Lilja
Pattern by Jessica

As usual, I was allowed to use only one main fabric and the rest had to be from my scraps bin... which is why the green background is variegated and pieced :) but it worked out great I think!!
--
And finally a new block for my SK project is ready.
Opening line of "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon",
You can find the pattern on my The SK Project page.
--
And now what are YOU going to link?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 8

Who says that Mookas are only round? I tried out several different shapes and had a lot of fun!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SYS 2015 - First month giveaway ending soon (and my FO)


Hello everyone!!

Finally I am ready to share the finished project I made with the wonderful block that Janeen designed for the series (You can find the pattern for Syndrome from the Incredibles and the tutorial on the SYS2015 page!)

So what did I use the block for? A fabric box!!


A fabric box for all my scraps, because, let's face it, I have a "scraps syndrome" ;)

For the box I used this tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman (found on sewmamasew).
I just followed the general instructions, adapting the box to use 12 inches blocks some new and some old. I used some orphan blocks from the inside and those resulted as wonderful quilting practice pieces! I used 5 blocks for the outside, and 5 for the inside! This is the perfect way of using up blocks that you don't care about too much... or use completely different styles for the two sides so that you have a reversible box that can decorate your sewing room in different ways according to your mood or the season!!


Of course that big fabric box has already put to good use (full of my plastic bags of scraps divided by colors) and it is a great incentive to use them up. Now that the cheerful box is in a prominent place in my sewing room, scraps are at more easy reach and that makes me want to use them more!!

Syndrome block, designed by Janeen @ quiltartdesigns. (available here)
Letter blocks, designed by Jennifer @ sewhooked (available here)

So if you are not into the "pillow" finish of the Syndrome block, why don't you give the fabric box finish a try? Oh, the tutorial calls for heavy interface, but I didn't have any so I used some fusible fleece and normal batting: the box is not so rigid, but it keeps it shape anyway :) probably it's not stackable, but I was not planning to make more than one box, at least for now!

Oh, and the fabric box may have additional uses... as you can see below
(click on the picture to read what Pumpkin thinks about it ;) )

--
You have one more week to link up your block and finished project for a chance to win the prize offered by Janeen (one of her e-books of your choice)! These wonderful collections contain from 10 to 16 patterns of a certain theme of blocks: there are animals, stars, Christmas, Halloween, etc.!

I will draw a random winner on March 4th between all the entries in the link party. Janeen will then email the PDF after the winner pick the pattern collection she or he likes!

Remember that in this link party only projects belonging to the SYS2015 series should be added 
(I reserve the right to delete any non compliant link). 
This link party will be open all year long and you can add as many finished projects as you want! 
The same link party will be shown on the SYS2015 page.
Each link will give you a chance to win one of the monthly prizes.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Back at full speed (and a link party)

Finally I am back at full speed! Cold weather and working from home means more sewing time ;)


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 1 block done + 1 block in final layout (see below)
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - no progress
  3. SYS2015 future projects - one finished project, one project with progress (cannot share)
  4. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  5. Color of the Year challenge- main block done (cannot share yet)
    (this will be my March project for a Lovely Year of Finishes)
  6. New project - J wall hanging - printed patterns
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - more blocks done (see below)
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - 6/15 blocks done
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
  11. Memory quilt 2 - another couple done! (see below).
--
Esther (ipatchandquilt) designed a very cute and fun Easter set of patterns and asked if someone wanted to help her test them. Since there are animals in the set I immediately jumped in because they will be perfect for my "animal blocks charity quilts" project.


Pattern tested for Esther (ipatchandquilt).
Aren't they cute?
And it seems like everyone is coming up with cute animal blocks recently so I feel obliged to try them all! Janeen (quiltartdesigns) released a Mystery PP block last week... and I have to admit, while I was intrigued by the mystery, I wanted to figure out what was the block before sewing it up :)
Just because this year, my goal is not to have any (or very few) orphan blocks done without a project to use them. So my thinking is: if it's an animal, I will do it... and sure it was!!
This is my version of the cute giraffe!
Pattern by Janeen, available at this link
Don't you think the super scrappy effect looks amazing? I absolutely love it!! :)
(Linking up this block at Oh Scrap!)

And of course there was another animal block waiting for me at quietplay:
Pattern by Kristy, available at this link
I used a pink background because pink is February color for the RSC15 (Linking up at soscrappy)

I really love how all those animals look different! You can see the different style of each designer in every block! I think the final quilts will be great with all those fun characters!!
--
With all that paper piecing I needed a little break. So I decided to test the second of my "Valentine's couple" blocks which is a pixellated kind of block.
Guybrush was 90% done (I designed it for a challenge last summer) but I added a section at the bottom to make the block the same size as Elaine. I absolutely love how they look, even if they have different background fabric (I used what I had!)

The pattern is available in my Free patterns page
--
And finally a new block for my SK project is ready.
Opening line of "The Green Mile", plus I used the quote for my first SK book to build the first book of the quilt :) the brown lines are quilting lines... I think I like the wood background and the overall look of the book


You can find the pattern on my The SK Project page.
--
And now what are YOU going to link?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 7

Again a circle string... apparently more practice does NOT make my circles more circles... oh well!
(top) Week 7 - 52 tangles in 2015 - designed by Jane Monk, drawing by Alid@ (TweLoQ)
(bottom) Valentine's card inspired by all the tangling I have been doing lately ;)

If you also like to make these kind of tangles, feel free to drop a comment below or join the FB group! I would love to see your work!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SYS 2015 - Anyone wants to join the party?


Hello everyone!!

Two weeks ago the wonderful Janeen shared her block and a very helpful tutorial for a fun Fandom block: Syndrome from the Incredibles! You can find the pattern and the tutorial on the SYS2015 page!

Last week I shared my block and I was planning to have my finished object finished by today but life gets in the way sometimes :) I made good progress but it's not ready yet... I hope to show it off next week.

In the meantime, we had just one person (the wonderful Jan) that linked her finished project in the link up below... is there anyone out there working on this project? Do you know that there is a wonderful prize waiting for you on March 4th? so what are you waiting for!! :)

The prize is offered by Janeen and is one of her e-books of your choice! These wonderful collections contain from 10 to 16 patterns of a certain theme of blocks: there are animals, stars, Christmas, Halloween, etc.!
I will draw a random winner on March 4th between all the entries in the link party. Janeen will then email the PDF after the winner pick the pattern collection she or he likes!
And what are YOU making? Let's get the party started!!

Remember that in this link party only projects belonging to the SYS2015 series should be added 
(I reserve the right to delete any non compliant link). 
This link party will be open all year long and you can add as many finished projects as you want! 
The same link party will be shown on the SYS2015 page.
Each link will give you a chance to win one of the monthly prizes.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Progress, even if not much (and a link party)

This week it was better than the previous one... not full speed, but better than before! :)
And what do I do when I have an already long list of projects? I add some more ;)


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 1 block done (see below)
  2. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - 1 block done (see below)
  3. SYS2015 future projects - almost finished a couple of projects (cannot share)
  4. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  5. Color of the Year challenge- no progress
  6. New project - J wall hanging - designed but it is a secret
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - some blocks tested for Esther
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - 6/15 blocks done
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
  11. Memory quilt 2 - designed more patterns, 1 block done (see below)
--
My first quilt was "The Sword in the Stone" quilt that I designed, pieced and quilted by myself for myself a couple of years ago. Since then I made several other quilts and projects for others, but nothing else for me. So I decided that I need another "memory quilt" because that cartoon was not the only one I loved when I was a kid ;)

So to honor Valentine's day and start this project, yesterday I released 4 patterns (one tested) of couples of my favorite cartoons/anime/games (click here if you want to see them). I will add also blocks for some other characters but the couples make a good starting point!

The first one that I made is the amazing couple of  Lupin and Fujiko (From Lupin The Third)

Pattern available in the Free patterns page

I am very pleased about how it turned out! it's pretty big (20'' square) and the batik used for Fujiko hair make it very realistic (lesson learned from the Syndrome block done for SYS2015).

This is a long term project without a final layout, but it's good sometimes to focus on something to reward myself :)

--
Esther (ipatchandquilt) designed a very cute and fun Easter set of patterns and asked if someone wanted to help her test them. Since there are animals in the set I immediately jumped in because they will be perfect for my "animal blocks charity quilts" project.

This is my chicks block:
Pattern tested for Esther (ipatchandquilt).

I found only one big problem with these guys: they are highly addictive ;)
I was planning to make one, but then I saw that she included left and right so I decided to make two... then I realized that with three the block would be square so I ended up with three (and then I forced myself to stop ;) ).
The pattern is very easy and just very cute! I think that the two facing each other would be perfect for a Valentine's mug :).
--
And another block for my PPV-TeaTowel challenge wall hanging is done! Only one more square, 2 pieced borders and the top will be done! I plan to have it completed by the end of March... let's see how it goes!
Pattern by Jennifer @ Sewhooked.com
--
And finally a new block for my SK project is ready.
Opening line of "Dolores Claiborne":

You can find the pattern on my The SK Project page.
--
And now what are YOU going to link?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A tribute to Valentine: couples from my past

I have been planning to make a memory quilt for myself with all the cartoons I used to love.
I already made myself The Sword in the Stone quilt (you can see it here), but that was not the only thing I liked during my childhood!! :)

And now Valentine is here... and many of my favorite cartoons/games/anime had couples in them so what is the best way to celebrate Valentine's day? Sharing patterns of those couples with all of you!! :)

At the beginning of January I asked on the Fandom In Stitches Facebook Group a question about which one to test first because, honestly, those blocks are pretty big and complex so I wouldn't have time to test them all ;)

These were the votes (I didn't share the actual names of the couples, just hits, because mysteries are always fun):
  1. A thief and a famme fatale (18 votes)
  2. A pirate and a governor (10 votes)
  3. A detective and a thief (7 votes)
  4. A servant and a commander (3 votes)
Below you find all the patterns (the first tested) and the funny thing is that they were ranked in increasing order of complexity (which is great, because I tested the easiest one first) ! :)

1. Lupin and Fujiko
Pattern (COL, B&W)

2. Guybrush and Elaine
Pattern (COL)
3. Matthew and Sheila
Pattern (COL, B&W)
4. Andre and Lady Oscar
Pattern (COL, B&W)

I am not sure if those cartoons/games/anime were popular in US or other parts of the world... for sure they were popular in my home in the 80's :)

Looking forward to make all the other ones (plus many supporting characters).

Have a nice Valentine's day everybody!!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 6

Again a circle string... well practice is making my circles look more like circles!



If you also like to make these kind of tangles, feel free to drop a comment below or join the FB group! I would love to see your work!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SYS 2015 - Foundation Paper Piecing - Get the party started!


Last week the wonderful Janeen shared her block and a very helpful tutorial for a fun Fandom block: Syndrome from the Incredibles!
You can find the pattern and the tutorial on the SYS2015 page!

This is my block!

Pattern by Janeen @ quiltartdesign, for the SYS 2015 series.

These are the lessons I learned from this project:
- I don't like working with pinks (or light solids in general) because they cause a translucent effect that make the seam on the other side see through the block. However I think that the problem is only "temporary" because when you quilt it on white batting, the translucent effect is much much less visible... but it's something I am going to consider for the future! Using pink scraps however was perfect as the color of the month for Feb at RSC15 is pink ;) (linking up at Oh, Scrap!).
- I should remember to join sections together putting the piece with more seams on top... the side of the mouth ended up inside the seam the first time and it's quite skinny still... I should be more careful if I want better results. Again, not a big problem, but a valuable lesson!! :)
- batiks are great for the hair! They give a very interesting effect without too much effort! I already used this lesson in a block that you will see in few days... the final result it's just wonderful!! :)

I already have biiiiig plans in motion about how to use this block: because remember, the goal of SYS2015 is to use these skills to make Finished Objects... and even if the pillow Janeen proposes as finish is great, my sewing space needs another object that this block will be perfect for... more details about it next week ;)

And what are YOU making? Let's get the party started!!

Remember that in this link party only projects belonging to the SYS2015 series should be added 
(I reserve the right to delete any non compliant link). 
This link party will be open all year long and you can add as many finished projects as you want! 
The same link party will be shown on the SYS2015 page.
Each link will give you a chance to win one of the monthly prizes.

For this month in order to be eligible for prizes, you are asked to make the main project (Syndrome block in this case). For additional entries, you can link others blocks made from the "other resources" links, but those must be finished objects, not just pieced blocks. Pillows, quilts, table runners, coasters, etc. Each type of additional object will count as one additional entries: so if you make 10 different coasters they will count as one entry for the prize.
So basically:
1. Syndrome block (one mandatory entry)
2. Syndrome finished pillow/object (one optional entry)
3. Any other finished object with a FPP blocks (one entry for each kind of object)

This month the prize is offered by Janeen and is one of her e-books of your choice! These wonderful collections contain from 10 to 16 patterns of a certain theme of blocks: there are animals, stars, Christmas, Halloween, etc.!
I will draw a random winner on March 4th between all the entries in the link party. Janeen will then email the PDF after the winner pick the pattern collection she or he likes!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ups and downs (and a link party)

Do you have those weeks where nothing seems to flow? This was one of those for me.


The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - no progress
  2. the Valentine's blocks - block done (cannot share)
  3. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - no progress
  4. Secret projects - no progress
  5. New project! Embroidery calendar - no progress
  6. Color of the Year challenge- no progress
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - 3 blocks done (see below)
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done, no pattern picked for the bag, no idea how many blocks I will need
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - 6/15 blocks done
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
--
The week started with a paper rejected for no reasons, administrative people not communicating essential pieces of information to me, swaps not running, people dropping out from previous commitments, etc... nothing really major, but I felt like nothing was headed in the right direction!
Like I was not very well aligned with the positive flow of the universe.

Because of that I decided to take a break from all my projects (even the one that have deadlines) and try to channel my energy in something that would give me positive energies and probably will bring back to me some good karma from the universe! So I completely focused on the Animal blocks that I am collecting for future charity quilts!

I made 2 elephants from the Elephant parade @ sewfreshquilts, and a cow by Sandi @ piecemealquilts.


My rule for these blocks is to use the scraps (even the tiny ones) and I am allowed to take only one other fabric from my stash (if absolutely necessary).
Obviously I couldn't resist and I had to use the red fabric with golden elephants for the elephants :).
I am really pleased with all the blocks because they are very me (scrappy, colorful, unconventional, full of prints). And I think they succeeded in bringing me back some good energy from the universe!

On the up side, this past Wed the first tutorial of the SYS2015 series was announced!
Did you checked it out? It's a wonderful block and I will share my progress on that next Wed.

--
And now what are YOU going to link?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Tangle Thursday - Week 5

The tangle journey continues! Back with a circle string and with my wonky attempt to get a circle without tools ;), but I like the final result even with the wonkiness and the imperfections! :)


I also joined Jane's new FB group and I am really impressed by the tangles I see there! I will post mine too because I decided that I don't care how less cool mine look, it's still good to put myself out there and try to get better!

If you also like to make these kind of tangles, feel free to drop a comment below or join the FB group! I would love to see your work!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

SYS 2015 - Tutorial 1, Foundation Paper Piecing

Finally the first week of our series is here!!


The first project is a cute pillow, designed by the amazing Janeen (quiltartdesigns.blogspot.com)


The pdf (link below) contains detailed step by step instructions on how to make Syndrome's block and how to assemble the pillow. Make sure to read the entire tutorial before start sewing because there are several tips and tricks that may help you along the way!
The tutorial also contains links to other resources for paper piecing and pointers for where to find more paper piecing patterns.


Next week the link up for SYS2015 will be open: so be ready to link your amazing projects!

All the information about the series (as well as all the previously published patterns) will be available at
the SYS 2015 page.

If you have any question about the series, don't hesitate to contact me via email or adding a comment here on my blog (and if you want an answer, make sure you are not a no-reply blogger!).

So now let's go and Stretch Our Skills!!! :)

Until next time
Happy sewing!!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

How I keep my fabric organized, weekly updates (and a link party)

So much to share this week!! This month I have been on a roll!



The Ongoing List:
  1. the SK project - 3 blocks done!! (see below)
  2. the Valentine's blocks - one block almost done (cannot share)
  3. Tea Towel challenge and PPV BOM - no progress
  4. Black and White pillow - done!! (see below)
  5. Secret projects - last 2 small blocks done (see below)
  6. New project! Embroidery calendar - just downloaded all the files, ready to start!
  7. Color of the Year challenge- 36/36 small blocks done, cannot share, 1 big block missing.
    The deadline for this project is mid April! So the project is back on my Ongoing List ;)
The EverythingElse List:
  1. Animal blocks for charity quilts - no progress
  2. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - no progress
  3. Reversible sewing machine cover - 4/8 blocks done
  4. College Days Blog Hop blocks for tote/grocery bag - 1 block done, no pattern picked for the bag, no idea how many blocks I will need
  5. Alice in Wonderland quilt - 6/15 blocks done
  6. As You Wish - 8/16 blocks done
  7. Happy Halloween wall hanging - 13/32 blocks done
  8. Crazy optical illusion - 1 "row" done
  9. D wall hanging - collected some fabric and some ideas
  10. B quilt - to be designed
--
I finished the pillow for the Free motion quilt Challenge (January) (I choose to use option 2 and 3).
I described what I did for the heart side in a previous post. I then quilted just half of the Yin Yang block with meander patterns and that's it!
Size: 15'' x 20''

This pillow has been filled with fabric scraps (crumbles) and batting scraps... and since I think this method works great (at least for me) I wanted to share how I organize my fabric in general (because I don't throw away even a single itty bitty piece... not even threads ;) ).
So this is my process:

(click on the image to make it bigger)

--
I am still working on secret projects (that I cannot share), but these few "additional" blocks can be shared since they are not going to reveal too much :)
In a couple of weeks I will show you the finished project! I really like it and I hope you are going to like it too!! :)

--
And finally 3 new blocks for my SK project are ready.
Opening lines of "The Talisman", "Wizard and Glass" and "Song of Susannah"


You can find the patterns on my The SK Project page.
--
And now what are YOU going to link?
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