Friday, February 28, 2014

FQB: Anna's Quilt.

Business first: I owe y'all a Gypsy Wife Quilt Pattern winner! JoyceLM was the lucky peep to win this go around, and Joyce, I've contacted you for your mailing address. Thanks everyone for participating and helping me to celebrate my second blogiversary!

On to quilt goodness: I've finished up my work in the Fierce Quilters Bee for Anna's quilt, and I'm super stoked. I really really think her quilt is going to be stunning when it's done, eep!

This is what I started with: a yummy stack of fabric, and a delicious set of blocks that Anna made. Since it's still early in the process--I'm the first to work on Anna's--instead of using the blocks Anna sent, I chose make a bunch of new stuff. 

I made four stripes, each featuring one of the four main colors. The purple stripe is my fave, even though I had meant to do one thing and something else entirely different came out.

Then came some random stripe-y color thingie. (Very technical term there.)

And finally, a friendship stars wreath because I love friendship stars.

I really enjoyed working on this quilt. It's a color palette I've never personally explored, using a semi-improv-y style which is always an adventure for me, working with someone else's ideas and fabric, and it was a totally awesome experience. I can't wait to start work on the next round!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP: More GW Blocks.

Sooo...I'm pretty sure March is going to kick my derriere, and it seemed prudent to get a head start on my Gypsy Wife blocks for March. Yesterday I made my Pershing block and one of the month's six filler blocks, and man, that Pershing block made me stop and think. Fabric choices, fabric placement, getting the corners lined up, trying not to stretch the triangles, eep! But I really like the way it turned out. I'm pretty sure it's my fave block so far! (Not that I have a huge bundle to choose from, but still.)

(Speaking of the Gypsy Wife quilt, if you're interested in a copy of the pattern, why not enter my giveaway contest? It ends this Friday.) 

It's been a quiet quilty week here. Other than a start on my March GW blocks, I sewed up another strip for Anna's quilt. The gray is mostly Kona Coal, but I threw in a couple pieces of Kona Charcoal for funsies. Surprisingly, it showed up really well in this photograph, but the contrast isn't as bright in lesser light. The strip measures roughly 3" x 15". I've got a coral strip left, plus an additional section that I'm actually taking the time to draw up on graph paper. I know. Graph paper? That's just crazy talk coming from me. But the nebulous idea in my head should probably be committed to paper before I start blindly cutting.

It's not much, but it's this week's product! What have you been up to? I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

SS: Gypsy Wife & Giveaway

Friends, I have so much awesomeness to tell you about. First, my Gypsy Wife quilt pattern and fabric arrived last week, and I've even made my February blocks for the QAL. (Also, can I just say that Modern Quilter is maybe my new favorite online fabric etsy store? I ordered Monday around lunch and had my fabric and pattern less than 48 hours later. How does that even happen?)

Then, as if *that* wasn't enough, February=blogiversary in the HPQ world, and that means awesomeness. (It also means a giveaway, but we'll chat about that in a minute.) It's kind of hard to believe that it's been two years since I started doing this, but then I remember the quilts I was making two years ago and the loads of quilting goodness that has happened in that space, and it feels like at least ten years. I'm so happy that in two years, I've met so many awesome people, made some super cool bloggy friends, and been able to participate in this truly amazing community. Thanks for sharing it with me, and thanks for being awesome readers!

To say thank you, I'd like to give each and every one of you a kajillion dollars, but since that's not in my budget, I'll have to settle for giving away a copy of the Gypsy Wife quilt pattern because I love love love that quilt and thought you might too. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment, and it can be about whatever, really, but if you need a topic, tell me about your favorite crafty thing you've ever made. Ever. No pressure. For me, it's my baby niece's quilt. Or my raccoon dress. I go back and forth. Followers (old and new) get a second entry because you HPQ followers are amazing, lovely people and you deserve something for putting up with my shenanigans. I am a post office whiz, and international shipping rates aren't enough to put me off, so don't let your mailing address hold you back, got it?

If you are a no-reply blogger, or you aren't sure, make sure to include an email address in your comment. If I don't have a way to contact you, I'll have to pick someone else, and that would be really really sad! Frowny face! :(

I'll close the drawing on my actual blogiversary (or a close approximation since I started on February 29th). The winner will be chosen randomly. Finally, the spoils of this giveaway are provided by me because I heart you all so much! Good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Thanks for playing along!

I'm linking up today with Sunday Stash, hosted by Mila + Cuatro.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP: Lots and lots of blocks.

This week, I have lots and lots and lots of blocks. (LOTS.) Between bee blocks and the Gypsy Wife QAL and trying to get back on board with my City Sampler blocks, whoa. I've been flitting from different fabric palettes like nobody's business, and my work area looks like an explosion of fabric--which in my opinion, is never a bad thing, but it does get in the way of forward motion on occasion. Today I need to regroup and clean off my table, otherwise I'll be adding the wrong fabrics to the wrong projects, which isn't the design strategy I'm going for.

I've finished my GW blocks for February. Yum, yum. AMH was the right choice for sure. (Linking up with the February GW QAL Link-up at Riddle and Whimsy!)

I've polished off blocks 58-60 for my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt, and I'm excited to do more.

This dresden is in the mail today for Stash Bee, and seriously, I think this block tried to break my spirit. (But I prevailed and conquered it! Ha!) Envision: two fabric store visits, a borrowed sewing machine, dirty fabric, and no previous applique experience. Woo! And my husband was precious and suggested I make an entire quilt of these bad boys. No, thank you. I'm good with the one.

And I've finished off some of my work on Anna's quilt and feel decently happy with these blocks to give more than just a peek. I'm only about halfway done (maybe) with my portion of the quilt, but I'm having a lot of fun putting it together.

Finally, here are the blocks I've received so far from my month in Stash Bee. I think this quilt is going to be really awesome when it's done! The plan is to sash it with funky colored cornerstones, then add 1-2 borders. I don't usually do a lot of borders, and I'd rather not sash the blocks because I love them side by side like this, but I need to get the quilt a bit bigger, and I'm not keen on making more blocks. So alternative plan it is!

Hooray for lots of blocks! I'm linking up today with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. As you can see, I've got a lot of work in progress! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Cozie of Awesome.

Friends, sometimes you don't realize you need something until you have it in your possession. I didn't realize I absolutely needed a coffee cozie until I had this one, and now I don't know how I lived without it. Do you see how awesome this bad boy is? It looks good, even with an ugly Dixie cup as model.

This is the lovely work of Natasha from Rickrack and Ribbons. She posted a pic recently of a scrappy heart wreath she made--YUM. I was the lucky duck who won a giveaway she hosted recently, and I was oh-so pleased because OMG do you see that adorable cozie? Don't you know it absolutely screams my name? Down to the rickrack and the super cute button on the back. It's already been getting a lot of use. And if you're finding yourself full of envy, never fear. Natasha makes these, and you can find them in her store.

It's not exactly a stash addition, but it is a lovely that arrived in my mailbox this week. Thank you so much, Natasha! I really love my new cozie!

Friday, February 14, 2014

FF: K's Mini Quilt.

I started up work again on my City Sampler quilt this week. I thought I had finished through #60, but in fact, I stopped at #58. And would you look at #58? It's maybe the easiest block in the entire book. It took about two seconds to finish.

But I've only posted that pic because this post is about my friend K's belated Christmas gift, and I don't want even the slightest hint of what it is to reach her blog feed. (She's been instructed to stay far away from my blog today.) Here's what I really want to show you: 

It's ridiculously late for a Christmas gift, but it's done, and that's what matters, right? Oh, and I kind of think it's awesome. But I'm happy to give it away because it's going to one of my favorite people, K! (In case you're new around these parts, K taught me how to quilt over two years ago, and that poor girl has since had to put up with my almost out of control obsession. Because of this, she deserves all things pretty. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if the reason for her move last fall wasn't entirely because of the new job....)

But back to the mini: Oh, NY Beauty blocks. How I love you.

Not when I'm putting you together, of course. I absolutely hate you when I'm piecing you. But when you're all said and done? Oh la la. YES. 

The background is Kona Nightfall, which is a really yummy dark blue. The rest are a smorgasbord of prints, including fabric from my very first quilt. I echo quilted the interior triangles as well as the outer triangles using four different thread colors to match the four different triangle colors. (See what I did there? Yeppers. I'm super clever and creative.)

And the back, using a print from Lizzie House's Constellations line. I had been hoarding this print, but how could I not share it with a friend, especially when I knew it would be perfect. We'll be having a visit from K's husband this weekend, and I'll be sending it back with him, so K will have it soon enough. (I really hope she likes it!)

I'm linking up today with TGIFF, hosted by M-R at Quilt Matters and Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. This is also a finish from my 2014 Q1 FAL list. You can see my original list here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WIP: Bee Stuff Edition.

I have the privilege of being in two super awesome (and very different) bees this year. Stash Bee, with a dresden block request for February, and Fierce Quilters Bee, with know, I don't even really know how to explain it except to say that yesterday, I pulled out a bunch of fabric and just started piecing.

First up, a red and aqua dresden request on a gray background for Ashley. I quickly discovered how depleted both my red and my aqua stash are. I managed to scrape together a decent stack, then got to business cutting and piecing wedges.

I had never pieced a dresden block before, so it was really cool to learn the process.

But even with all my scraping, I'll be popping out to my LQS sometime soon to pick up some fabric for the center. And then comes the tricky part--Agatha doesn't have a zigzag stitch, so I'll be needing to find a friend who will be a dear and let me come use their machine to do the actual applique. (I really need to get one of those dirt cheap sewing machines, just for the zigzag.)

And a bit of a hint of Anna's quilt in progress. This is taken at night, and I pinky promise the fabrics play well together. Well, with the exception of that light gray, but that's getting ripped out today to be replaced with something much more yum. This block (segment? slab?) is almost done, and I'm hoping to move on to some triangle work or maybe some paper piecing today.

I'm linking up today with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gypsy Wife Pattern.

I tried to hold out, I really did. I told myself I didn't need a QAL this year, I have enough going on with two very different bees and the other projects I need to finish. I also have a couple of non-quilting, non-crafty projects that will be soaking up a substantial amount of time this year. (More on those soon.)

But even with all of the very good reasons why I shouldn't start another complicated quilt, I couldn't help myself. This morning, I bought Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife quilt pattern, which I have been ogling since I first saw it on Lily's Quilts several months ago.

I'll be making mine with AMH fabrics because the moment I saw this quilt, I knew I wanted to make it with AMH. (I'm using my fave prints from Dowry and the entire True Colors collection. Fat Eighths, I love you.) And I am super duper excited, even if I do not have time for this. At all. I will be sort of participating in the QAL, but I told myself that I don't have to finish it with everyone else. I want to really enjoy the making of this quilt instead of trying to fly through it.

So let's talk. Are any of y'all joining in the Gypsy Wife? What fabrics are you using? Are you participating in the QAL?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

SS: Last of the Tula.

Friends, this week, I received my last Tula swap package, at least with this fun group. We went for eighteen rounds--well, I didn't go for all eighteen, but I think I participated in at least ten--and my Tula drawer is now overflowing with all sorts of yummy Tula deliciousness. This particular stack represents two rounds and has some Nest, Prince Charming, Parisville, Nightshade, Full Moon Forest, Flutterbye, Plume, Hushabye, and even some Neptune. (So pretty much all of Tula's archived collections.) I now have a piece of every Tula collection, even if only a 10" square.

I'm sad I won't have these packages to look forward to anymore, but I'm really thankful I could participate. It really helped my City Sampler blocks take shape, and while I took a bit of a break from my sampler when I hit block 60, I'm eager to start up again soon. But maybe not this month because this month looks scary. And now I have new additions to pull from, including some reds!

I'm linking up today with Sunday Stash, and while Molli is off in Japan (lucky duck), the linky party is being hosted by Kate Quilts. I'll see you there!

Friday, February 7, 2014

FF: It's Done Edition.

It's done, and this quilt is fine, it really is, but I'm really not excited about it, and I almost felt guilty dropping it off for Project Linus earlier this week. (Why am I gifting a quilt I'm not excited about????) But then the lady receiving it oohed and ahhed and seemed quite pleased and thankful. Someone is excited about it, and that's the point.

I used this tutorial from Moda Bakeshop, and I originally saw it on Diary of a Madfabriholic. I like both of their quilts. I just don't like mine very much.

Backing shot. I do love this backing, and I'm thankful I picked up just enough on clearance. It is possible that I didn't have enough Kona Coal for the background fabric, and I may have cut a few inches off the quilt's width, which I was bummed about, until I realized that it meant my quilt was perfect size to use a solid piece of fabric on the back. And then I was stoked. And pretended it was intentional. No pieced back, thank goodness.

I am fairly happy with the binding. I machine bound this one, as I just needed to get on with my life, but also because I really do need the practice. I'm learning machine binding can be very good--especially for kids quilts--and I'm not going to get any better without practice.

And folded up. I used a charm pack of Noteworthy as my base, then added a few other fabrics from stash because I didn't have quite enough. Background is Kona Coal, and the binding is from Flea Market Fancy. The backing is from 2wenty thr3e. For my first finish of 2014, I'm a little sad that I don't love it, but it's done, it's donated, and I've moved on to other interests, which may include actually starting to piece K's quilt, which let me tell you, is practically a miracle.

Edit: I think the problem with this quilt is that I had a different end result pictured in my head. And the quilt didn't turn out that way, and that's okay. I learned stuff with this quilt--oh, did I learn stuff--and I take that as a win, no matter what the finished product looks like. And I'm sure some little one will love having a new quilt to snuggle, and that's why I made this quilt, so that mission was 100% achieved. I'll be back next week with a finish that I'm totally in love with.

I'm linking up today with TGIFF, hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. This is also a finish off my 2014 Q1 FAL list. You can see my original list here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

FQB: Starting Point.

A few months back, I was asked to join the Fierce Quilters Bee and a group of five other lovelies. The idea was that we'd start our own quilt, pack it up with a stack of fabric, and mail it to the next person on the list. That person would make additions to the quilt top, utilizing both the included fabric and their own stash, and send it on to the next person. The last person would finish up the top and mail it back to its owner. (This is very similar to the Traveling Quilts for those of you familiar with it.)

I sent along my NY beauty medallion, and the other members have graciously agreed to make me a medallion quilt because they are awesome.

And I recently received Anna's quilt in the mail. This is the fabric stack she sent. Isn't it super yum? All that Tula! And I've never worked with this color palette before, so I'm super eager and excited to get started. In fact, when she first started posting pics of the blocks she was churning out, I started getting ideas for what I wanted to contribute.

And this is what she sent along. Some patchwork, flying geese, five-pointed stars, and that delicious herringbone block. (Pretty sure that's my favorite.) I think one of the coolest aspects of this bee is that all of the members have picked completely different color palettes, completely different starting points, and I'll get to work on a very different quilt each round. Hooray for the awesomeness!

When I finish my contributions for Anna's quilt, I'll post some photos of what I've added, but until then, it has to be a surprise. I've got a lot on my plate for February (Stash Bee block, which will be my first dresden ever; K's mini, which I WILL finish; work on Anna's quilt; and quilting my dear husband's quilt) but I'm excited to get it all done. First stop: my LQS. I need to drop off what might be my most hated quilt ever for Project Linus--it's not really that bad, I just hate it something fierce, and you'll see pics on Friday--pick up thread to quilt N's quilt, and maybe peruse their fabrics to see if anything needs to be in Anna's quilt.


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