Thursday, November 20, 2014

Alternative Grunge

Last winter I purchased a mini charm pack of BasicGrey's Aspen Frost and a half yard of a coordinating cut while I was waiting for Hubs to finish the Southern Cross cross bike race in Dalohnega, GA. It's a 50+ mile cross country trek pedaling on a cross bike so I had time to visit some local fabric shops and check out the down town. My purchase was made at The Common Thread. Its a very nice little shop stuffed full of goodies.

Dahlonega is a North Georgia biking hot spot. This was taken in October while we were there for  the Six Gap Century.
My plan was to make a pillow but when I sat down a few days ago I shifted gear to a table runner. I've never made a table runner but I have a number of them because my MIL loves to make them for all the kids. I really enjoy using them so decided to add another one to the mix.

When I pulled out my little pack of Aspen Frost it dawned on me that it was a Basic Grey collection and it includes a selection of Grunge. Hmmm, I just won some Basic Grey Persimmon from Mad About Patchwork and while researching that collection I realized it included Grunge as well. Guess what, I have five pieces of Grunge!

So, this seems like a good time to share one of my early projects and the story of my Grunge collection.

It all started at an adorable shop called Wild Child Arts in Watkinsville, GA. I found it while visiting the local Ducati store with Hubs. What can I say, he has a thing for anything with two wheels.

I had just discovered that modern quilting existed and this was the first quilt store I had visited that fit the bill. I drove up there the next month for a meeting and they were finishing up a Weeks Ringle project that night. I hurried around the store for fabric and the grunge seemed to fit the project at first glance. Well, it was supposed to be a transparent quilt and I did not have the time to analyze the concept but I thought a patterned solid would look good even if I didn't get the right effect.

The shop only had five colors and I skipped the purple and went with the white, green, light blue and cranberry versions. Then I ironed, cut the pieces and sat down at my machine to try my hand at curved piecing. I finished three sections in class and did the other at home. It all went so fast that precision was thrown out the window.

So here is my creation.

It's a bit off and my first attempt at circular quilting is rough but I still like it and it hangs above a dresser in my bedroom.

I purchased an additional orange Grunge piece on line for binding as well as a piece of Juggling Summer because it was so perfect for the back. Looks like I planned it, but I didn't.

I really need to work on my photography skills.
Unfortunately, I never got a chance to go back and sew with that wonderful group of ladies again. My leisure time disappeared when I was suddenly plunged into officer manager duty at our business. Our office manager had been in the process of slowly transitioning herself out and me in while working part-time at her new job when she was unexpectedly called into full-time duty at the new place. I could no longer fit that two hour drive into my schedule just to sew. I am not even sure if Wild Child Arts is still open. I hope so but I can't find their we site any longer.

See all the blue sashing around the Aspen Frost squares, that is from my Grunge stash left over from my trip to Wild Child. The cranberry and green are also in the Aspen Frost collection and I have included them too. I think the whites are the same but I didn't use any on the front of the runner. I may include it on the back.

The orange and white Grunge work with my Persimmon collection so I am saving them to use in another project. It's crazy how all five colors have suddenly found a purpose.

Here is a stack of three upcoming projects that all should be started and at least one finished before Christmas. I am putting the table runner aside to work on my Persimmon Project now.

I have been busy making gifts so my I can't share most of my finishes but I will leave you with this little experimental block.

My local modern guild is requesting 6 1/2 inch blocks for a project and this is now in their hands. I was on my elliptical the other day spinning and watching the news when a commercial aired for a bank I was unfamiliar with. Their logo was superimposed over the picture at the end and it inspired this experimental block. I sketched out the basic design and would like to translate it into a larger piece. We will see if that ever happens.

Thanks for visiting!

Special Alert!!!
Maureen Cracknell is giving away a bundle of Carolyn Friedlander's Doe on her blog today!
This fabulous bundle is supplied by her sponsor, Fabric Spark.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quilty "Thank You" Times Two

My first "Thank You" goes out to Pam at Mad About Patchwork for the Birthday Bundle of Basic Gray's Persimmon Giveaway. I was the big winner! Oh yeah!

It was pretty fitting since we share the same birth year, my sister's name is Pam, I used to live on Persimmon Street and I grew up in Washington State about 30 miles from Oregon. That last one is a bit of a stretch but as soon as I read the the word "MarionBerry" I thought of my home state. When I read the rest of what Pam wrote I realized why.

So here are all the pretties:

I know exactly what Im going to do with this bundle but it's a big secret for now. Shhhh...

My second Quilty "Thank You" goes out to my Mother-in-law who sent my still un-quilted First Quilt back home with my Hubs. He and Son #1 were up in PA for his Dad's birthday. I couldn't go because I was scheduled for jury duty. Which, by the way, I got out of because I am blessed to live in a low crime county and we were all excused! 

The quilt came home because my SIL is swamped with kid activities. She is in the thick of it with two teens and one preteen and she is an avid quilter who already has a collection of tops waiting for their ride on her long arm. Maybe I was a bit presumptuous when I sent it up for her to quilt even if my intension was for it to be donated. Guess I should have asked first.

Well, I am so glad it is back. I had regrets shortly after it left my hands since I immediately caught the quilting addiction and developed the skill to handle it myself. Plus, I didn't have any photos to share on my blog. Now I do, so, here she is along with the pillow sham I made for practice.

She's all pinned and marked from 1995. I do think I will add some more pins before I tackle her. Plus, I need to pick out the old stitches. The ones you see look good but there are some folds that didn't make the photo.

She is a Twin Nine Patch set On point in big box fabric but not as ugly as I remembered. She will still be donated and hopefully someone will fall in love and take her home to snuggle.

You might remember that our HVAC unit died while we still had hot weather. I decided not to plan any large projects for a bit because it is so hot wrestling with fabric. I have been working on smalls and have several under my belt. Here are a couple of recent projects:

First up, a name tag sample for my traditional guild. I am on the membership committee and we are to make tags for new members. I made it for myself to use for both my guilds so it wouldn't go to waste if it didn't make the traditional guild cut. I used this tutorial from Monkey Beans. I think it is adorable but it took three tries. The pattern faces to the right even if her sample doesn't. I had one of the pieces on backwards in my first try to make it face left. Didn't notice the mistake until I had added more pieces and trimmed. I started over and that's when I realized my mistake was the result of me trying to force flip the pattern. I traced the pieces on the other side of the paper and all went well the third time.

I used some scraps of Bluebird Park and even included a bit of birdie selvage since my Hubs favorite nicknames for me is Mommie Bird.

Here's the back humming bird. She's orange, my favorite.

Another secret project. 

We had our new furnace installed last week and I am itching to start tackling some Bigs again. That Persimmon bundle is victim number one!

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up with:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Six Gap Century Valley Ride

I'm not a fanatic like my Hubs but I do enjoy a good bike ride. So, when it comes to organized and charity rides I tend to do the wimp version while he goes out for all the miles and vert he can pack in. I have done one century (100 miles) and several metric-centuries (62 miles) but I usually go for the 30ish mile ride. That's what I did for the Six Gap Century. They call it the valley ride but I still call it a climb.

Six Gap starts in the beautiful city of Dahlonega in the North Georgia Mountains. They make it a two day festival with a street fair and Criterium on Saturday and the ride is on Sunday. It was held the last weekend of September. (I'm a month behind recording this ride)

I'm a bit heavier and not as fit as last year but my STRAVA did give me personal bests on two sections. Overall I was a few minutes slower and the competition must have been stiffer this year because I finished further back in the official ride standings than I expected for those extra minutes.

It was an absolutely perfect day for a mountain ride. I didn't have to wear or pack any extra clothing because it was warm enough for short sleeves when I started.

I did get a few extra miles in because we had to park a mile and half away from the ride venue. So, after I went through the finish line I still had that mile and a half, uphill and in traffic to go before I was back at the truck.

This is what my computer read but STRAVA put me at 37.9 miles with 3,937ft vertical gain.

Here's my new T-shirt. I really need to make this one wearable, since it is so cute and I love the colors. I'd like to get in shape for Three Gap but there are just too many quilting and sewing projects calling my name.

Hubs had a great ride and met his goal! That was great because it meant I didn't have a long wait for my spaghetti dinner. Which was even nastier than what they served last year. I have decided to skip the meal next year because it is just so over the top bad.

My next post will be more fabric centric than this post. I guess you could say about this one...

"I visited Pedal Sew Lightly and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!"

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October & November Finishes and a New Goal

It feels good to have this one finished and finally properly photographed. I have to say, it turned out much better than I expected. Giving up that fat quarter of Tula Pink was definitely worth it to give this quilt some life. The quilting gave it a nice cozy scrunch and I hope it brings comfort to its owner.

The Wedding quilt is also done and will be mailed to the young couple today. Here's the front...

The mesh bag I made for my son will have a different purpose than the one I originally intended. It will not be keeping his riding gloves safe from his other laundry but it will be protecting Nico's socks from the dorm laundry gremlins.  When I presented it to Son #1 he loved it but said his buddy, Nico, had been complaining about a rash of missing socks and he felt he needed it more so asked me to give it to Nico instead. I love Nico so how could I say no! Besides, it gives me an excuse to whip out another bag for my son. I love a good excuse to sew!

This is all you get of this one since it is a gift. Most of you will realize what it is. And yes, it is upside down in this photo. I shared the fabric selection in my last post. I deleted the floral back and just went with more purple. You know, more purple will always make a room more perfect, just ask my grand-niece.

Next up some completely new and never before shared finishes.

This one took days to finish when it should have been a one or two sitting project. I was fresh off a two-try-sewing-fail and my confidence was low for whipping out semi-self-designed projects. 

I have a collection of T-shirts from bike rides I have done and I never wear them because I despise wearing men's T-shirts. I have had grand plans to up-cycle some of the cuter designs but have been putting it off for years. Well, I got a particularly cute one from my last ride (which I will share later) and the motivation was high. I pulled out a couple of dud T-shrirts to try my hand and they were both failures. On try #1 I underestimated the stretch in the ride shirt versus my favorite Old Navy Perfect T. It came out too small even though it lays out larger than the inspiration piece. For try #2 I didn't cut down the shoulder area enough and I had a serger blade oopsie around the bust, but I did get the tummy right. Two fails and I was down on my skills. 

Next up was a much needed cover to protect my sewing machine. After searching I found great inspiration and made a list of some things to avoid and strive for in my cover construction but I did not find the right cover for me. That meant I would have to design my own without a pattern or tutorial. Was I up to the task? 

So, after popping out an adorable panel using Elizabeth Hartman's Mod Mosaic Tutorial, I must have measured my Juki hundreds of times from all angles. I drew up some sketches and pretty much only attempted a step in the process per day. I needed time to sit back, make sure it was still working and carefully plan out my next move.  It would have been so much easier if I could have found a tutorial that fit my mental picture.

So here it is. Its stands so nicely. Looks like I went with the proper interfacing.

The back.

To notch or not to notch. That was a question I asked for about 24 hours. Not just to myself, but to others. I'm glad I went with notch.

I used some orange commercial bias tape I had on hand. I like it. I finished the remainder of the binding in the same gray as the body so as not to compete with the mosaic. Another choice I'm happy with.

For the handle I added a piece of canvas tape from a fabric bundle. 

It is so nice to have my machine protected from all the dust and dog hair!

Since that went so well, I decided to wing it without a pattern for another little project.

This is a gift for a friend of #2 Son who just turned 21. He's in the Air Force and stationed here at Fort Gordon. I have been sharing our plastic grocery bags with him since the first day we met. He uses them in his dorm trash can. I made him this bag tube in patriotic colors to store his stash of bags. I used a quilt-as-you-go technique and it turned out smashing too!

I think I may be recovered from my T-shirt up-cycle disasters.

My goals for November: (Linked with A Fibre of All Sorts and A BitterSweet Design's A Lovely Year of Finishes)

1. Make 5 name tags for new guild members. Goal - ALYoF
2. Start on a Christmas Quilt using my new Quick Curve Ruler that I just received from Mass Drop.
3. Make another mesh bag for Son #1.
4. Make a Christmas pillow with the Mini Charm Pack I purchased while Hubs was riding in The Southern Cross.
5. Design and maybe make a cover for my HuskyLock 905.
6. Make a few Christmas presents. 

Linking up with:
Anything Goes Monday by Stitch by Stitch, Hosted by Till We Quilt Again.
Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday