Thursday, March 31, 2016

Finish A Long :: First Quarter Linky!

Woah.  Time flies when you're having fun!  Can you believe the first quarter of 2016 has drawn to a close?  You know what that means, right?  Time to show off your finishes!

2016 button 250 best

As you know, the 2016 FAL is a global phenomenon hosted by a community of international bloggers.  If you do not already know these amazing quilters, take some time to pop over to their blogs and say hello!

As you know, for each and every finish that you link up you will be eligible to win a prize from one of these fantastic sponsors.  There are some amazing offers here!  Holy.  Moly.

All week long, there will be tutorials posted as part of the FAL celebration. Here is the schedule so you can visit them all.  Look!  Mine is on the 2nd, so check back!
The 2016 Q1 linky is open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs.  We are all sharing the same linky, so you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on each blog.  As a refresher, the link-up "rules" are as folows:
  • Add one link for each Q1 finish. If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately. Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws.
  • Please use the 2016 FAL button or the hashtag #2016FAL
  • Please ensure that the photo or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original Q1 list so that we can verify your entry.
  • Please become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others and comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other. The 2016 FAL Facebook page is here and follow us on Instagram @finishlong and tag your photos #2106FAL.
  • Our hosts will also link their finishes to share in the community, but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.
This linky party will stay open from now thru April 7 - link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out. The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings. Give us a few days to dig through it all.  We are expecting LOTS of finishes, but we will absolutely let you know when we have it all sorted out. While you wait, start making your Q2 FAL list as you'll find that linky opening right here on April 8.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

String Stars Baby Quilt

There is a new small person joining my world in the next few months.  (Before you get excited, it's not me expecting!)  I want to make a baby quilt to be ready for their arrival.  Now, I do not know if we are expecting a small boy or girl, so this will have to be a unisex quilt.   In my head, you can never go wrong with scrappy stars - they're unisex, right?  This time around I am going to give string stars a go.

Using the tutorial by Corey on Coriander Quilts, I printed out 72 templates and started stitching.   I had cut a whole pile of 1 inch strings to stitch onto the paper templates, so these came together quite quickly.  It was very meditative and I loved seeing the fabrics I loved finding a space next to one another.  It is like being reunited with old friends.

After an IG poll, I have decided to use Essex Linen Medium Aqua as the background fabric.  The lavender cross hatch did indeed win the popular vote, but when I had a good look at it in real life I did not like it nearly as much as I did the linen.  You have to go with your gut, right? 

This will be the last I show you of this quilt until the baby arrives.  I need to keep a bit of surprise for when it is gifted.  Until then, know I am quietly stitching away, loving every bit of it.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fat Quarter Scarves

I wear a lot of scarves.  You see, my wardrobe is mostly block colored basics (tank, cardigan, jeans) so a scarf adds pattern, color variety and texture.  I have tried to make an infinity scarf in the past, but I always feel like it's too tight/choking me/eating my head.  Recently, Anna pointed out the Tea Rose Home tutorial where you can make a patchwork scarf of five fat quarters of quilting cotton.  I had to try it. 

When you look at the Tea Rose Home post, you'll see that her scarf is a bit shorter than one I would normally wear.  I tend to wrap it fully around my neck so the two ends dangle in front.  I decided, then to use six fat quarters to increase the length.  In the first scarf, I combined Mon Ami, Hearty Good Wishes and Reel Time (from the shop), focusing on bringing together mustard yellows and navy blues.  This seems to be a constant go-to color combo in my wardrobe.

I am quite pleased with how it came together.  It's very quick, very easy to stitch together and doesn't look too patchworky when you're wearing it in a twisted ring around your neck.  The length is good for me, so I am glad to have added that extra fat quarter.  

Feeling optimistic, I pulled whites, creams and grey fat quarters from Reel Time, Mon Ami and Modern Background Paper to compliment my ever growing grey cardigan collection.  Again, I was completely pleased with the result!  Love how the fabrics give color variety/values, but do not stand out individually.

Both scarves are a bit thick, bulky and warm as compared to a voile scarf.  In the Galway weather, that is entirely fine with me.  I don't see these as an addition to my summer holiday wardrobe.  (I don't really have one anyway, living in Ireland!)  I imagine that they will become softer with washing.

My only regret with these scarves is that I didn't have the little pom pom edges as described in the Tea Room tutorial.  They are completely fine as they are and I never would have thought of it until I saw that "extra" on her website.  Next time, my friends.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Retreat Sewing

To the retreat, I brought two projects that were small to me but would be big accomplishments if I could start (and finish!) either one of them.  Both projects have been sitting in little zip lock baggies on my quilting frame, waiting for me to have the time or interest to pick them up and get sewing.  To be honest, I liked them too much to just throw them out or give them away, but not enough to dedicate precious sewing time.  It was a sad state of affairs for these WIPs.  They were the first things into my suitcase...well before my toiletry bag!

First, my Swoon flying geese scraps.  I collected these little triangular cut offs as I made my Swoon quilt and had decided to create a coordinating cushion.  So, to get used to my featherweight I started chain stitching them together.  After trimming them to 2.5 inch HSTs, I stitched this scrappy star together.  It's quite large at 20 inches square, but I do really like it.  I like that it will compliment the Swoon, but isn't a replicate block.  Now to quilt her, make a back and finish her off!  

The second project was a massive bag of selvages that was taking up space in my sewing cabinet.  I have always liked the look of selvage projects, so I started collecting them.  However, I had not worked with selvages before, so I didn't have a great idea of how many I'd need to collect to make a block or two.  Well, my one zip lock bag made these pretty 10 inch square blocks.  I have about 1/2 of a bag left plus I was lucky enough to inherit another bag from my friend Fiona, so I will easily have near enough to make a quilt top, using this and this as my inspiration.  Making these blocks was so easy and immediately rewarding - a nice trip down memory lane revisiting my favorite prints.  Happy days!

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