Friday, January 31, 2014

January Goal: Complete!

Whew! I finished my niece's quilt top for my A Lovely Year of Finishes January goal. At this rate, she'll definitely have it before she starts walking. :)
This is my own design; I had made quilts for Rachel's two older sisters using a FQ bundle and wanted to create something for her that used the scraps I had left. I supplemented with solids/tonals in the same colors and came up with this patchwork pennant. My favorite part? A few of the pennants are double-sided and only stitched down at the top so they "flap." (You can kind of see it in the photo below--the green pennant off to the right.)

I am planning to quilt this one myself (the first niece or nephew quilt I will have done that for) because I have a plan, and because the quilt is nicely broken off into sections. I'm going to do the orange peel design in the fourpatches and echo quilt around the pennants. Wish me luck! 

Here's a question, though--would you zig zag the pennants down (not the flapping ones, but the rest), or just straight stitch close to the edges? I'm leaning toward zig zagging because this quilt will get a lot of use and I feel like the edges of the pennants would hold up better. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Word Challenge: Balance

Victoria over at 15 Minutes Play issued a challenge early in January--choose a word for the year and make a small quilt with that word on it. It's been fun seeing what everyone has chosen and how they've made their projects! You can see them all here.

I'm not much for picking a word for the year, or for New Year's resolutions, for that matter, but the opportunity to made a word quilt sounded like a lot of fun. 
I chose "balance" for my word because I'm always striving to keep the various aspects of my life--my kids and husband, my job, my family and friends, my sewing time, etc.--balanced. Not necessarily succeeding, but striving! :) Having a visual reminder of this will be nice--helping me to make sure that sewing gets enough time in my life (All to often it gets pushed to "tomorrow," much like exercise. Funny how I can always find time for a bowl of ice cream, though!)

I have a box full of leftover strips and random pieces conveniently located under my sewing table, so I pulled exclusively (and pretty blindly!) from that. I wanted to create a busy, uneven stripe look. I tried hard not to care about what colors went next to each other. 

I went from here: 
Where it sat on my design wall for a week--should I add a border? What color? Should it be pieced? Did I have time to play around with borders? Was that a crash and a cry from the kids' room, and should I check it out, or stay in my studio and assume everything is fine? Did my email just ping? Ten more work emails to deal with before we leave on vacation tomorrow. (Are you starting to see why I chose the word I did?!)

This morning, with the end of the month deadline looming, I jumped in. Cheery gold letters, because I want balance to be a happy thing, not a threat. Tilted stacked letters, because it adds humor to the idea of achieving balance. Gold thread straight quilting lines because I do love straight line quilting, and I'm often too chicken to use bright colors on bigger quilts--perfect to try it here. 
And the binding and flange? Proof that I'm learning balance. I participated in the Challenge, found my 15 minutes to play on several days to make it happen, but didn't make myself crazy by trying to figure out a border. At the same time, I couldn't just leave it with no border and only binding, so I added in the flange. Hooray for compromise! (With 5 year old and 2.5 year old boys at home who seem to constantly bicker, perhaps that should be my word next year...) 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January ALYOF Goal

Time for a new year and a fresh start! My first A Lovely Year of Finishes goal for 2014 is to finish my new niece Rachel's quilt top. I'd originally hoped to finish this as my December goal, but life got in the way and it didn't happen. (Sound familiar?)

Here's where I started December:

And here's where I am now:
I've got enough two-patches made to create the side borders, so I'm well on my way to completing this quilt top.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 A Lovely Year of Finishes Recap

Well, I ended the year 11 for 12 for my A Lovely Year of Finishes goals.
December just didn't happen (but the good news is...I know what my goal for January 2014 is!).

Here's a look at my 2013 finishes, in collage format:

January: Stockings for my boys (what a treat to have them ready to go this Christmas!)
March: Piece quilt top for belated wedding gift (it's been quilted and delivered!)
April: Piece quilt top for new nephew (it's been quilted and delivered!)
November: Piece my chevron tree skirt (it'll be under the tree next year!)

Whew! What a great motivator for the year. 
Thanks to Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa from Sew BitterSweet Designs for hosting this link party all year long!