Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fighting Like Girls-WIP Wednesday

Jenn here-


This year started out emotionally difficult for myself, but nothing like what my dear friend Emily is going through. Her father died two years ago, her mother last year (car accident), she's had 6 or so miscarriages in the past year and half and just two weeks ago, she was diagnosed with stage 3b (or 4, depending on pathology) ovarian cancer.

And...she's the most amazing person I have ever met!! She's a writer, a marriage and family therapist (day job), and works with the deaf community.

So what do quilters do when their close friends are in trouble? They quilt! I've been wanting to learn paper piecing for about two years now. I even paid money for Don't Call Me Betsy's Lucky Stars BOM club (which is beautiful)...for BOTH years and never stitched a paper stitch.

Until now. I suppose cancer calls for some paper piecing.

My first block, see that giant pucker? What the...?
I had Carolyn Friedlander's 'Savor Every Stitch' book in my Amazon cart for a while, just not sure if I should click that check out button. But when I happened upon the Facing East quilt along on Instagram #facingeastqal (hosted by citystitches), I was sold! The pattern is absolutely perfect for Emily, even if I have to learn how to paper piece.


It's so easy!! Why I waited so long is beyond me! I have a few more blocks to do, then I'll be done.

But, now I'm not sure how to proceed. Do you tear the paper off before you put the blocks together? Or after? Or does it even matter? And holy schnikes Batman, that's a lot of fabric waste! Do you keep those scraps for later paper piecing? I've never been too much of a scrap keeper, but this hurts my heart a little. And if you keep the paper on, do you just tape it to your design wall? Cause it ain't stickin' with all that paper on back. And does paper piecing take longer than traditional piecing, or am  I just slow?? There seems to be a lot of extra steps, like folding paper, and extra cutting. Just me??



Anyway, I've got plans to incorporate the "color" for ovarian cancer, which is TEAL. Which I have a lot of. I mean...A. LOT.


I gotta put the rest aside, and get back to sewing, gotta be quick on this one :/ But thankfully the way the cancer presented itself (hard rocks) it may have saved her life.
You can get to know Emily and her sweet husband (a playwright for Broadway and UncommonGoods) via her blog. You won't regret it. And if you'd like to donate to help with the medical expenses (which would be AWESOME and I'd love you forever), that's  here.

Baby Zoey's Quilt
Vintage Happy Churn Dash
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced when she gets back from vacation....

Friday, May 16, 2014

Quilt By Numbers Mini Swap



When I found out my guild was swapping minis, I was nervous!  I've never made a quilt for a quilter before, let alone a famous-ish quilter like Sukie or From The Blue Chair.  There's some heavy hitters in the SLMQG!

***EDIT- I 'm entering this in the blogger's quilt festival, just for fun!  I feel so excited and proud that my skills have improved enough that I feel like I have something to contribute.  (Even if the back is a mess, haha!)  Check out all the other entries at Amy's Creative Side.
AmysCreativeSide.com

I really stretched myself while making this mini.  I'm not sure I did the process the "right" way, I'm not even sure there is a "right" way!  I've never appliqu├ęd before, so I was making it up as I went along.  For example, when and how do I applique this thing?  I opted to quilt, then applique, which resulted in an ugly back:








And also am I ever, EVER, E . V . E . R . going to get the hang of machine binding?






I got to bring home this adorable hashtaggy mini from Creative Quilt Girl:




If you're interested, here's a photo essay on how to make your very own Paint By Numbers quilt in 427 tedious steps:










Voila!

XOXO- Pinspot

Linking up with Finish it up Friday

Friday, May 2, 2014

A lesson in applique
I have appliqued a few things in my life.  I've never had a lesson or read how to do it.  So I really have no idea what I'm doing.  The Girls camp leader, my friend Brandi, asked me if I would help her with the girls camp flag.  She brought it over and laid it on the table.  The girls had used a marker to trace the flower petals and had left little spots of marker on the edges.  They also had done a 12-13 yr. job of cutting, shockingly!  I thought it really needed to be appliqued on for it to look half way decent, so I volunteered.  At this point it was just the lotus flower and leaf.  Totally doable.  I told my friend to take it home and clean up the marker and straighten the edges and iron on the flower with light weight wonder under.  She laughed and said, " I don't have an ironing board".  YOU DON'T HAVE AN IRONING BOARD?  How does this happen?  Brandi is a beautiful, well put together woman, she always looks fabulous.  I iron my outfit EVERY DAY!  So I asked her why she never looks wrinkled. She says she has this setting on her dryer, wrinkle shield with steam.  She says its amazing.  And she sends her husbands shirts to the dry cleaner.  I think, I have a new dryer, I wonder if it has a "with steam" button.  Sure enough.  Life changing, I tell you, life changing!
I told Brandi to watch a youtube video on wonder under and she would be able to accomplish this task.  She later thanks me for turning her on to the amazing world of youtube.
The Lotus flower turned out awesome and ended up being very easy to applique.  I dropped it off at her house and she asks if I think it would be ok if she paints the words on.  I gasped in horror!  This work of art ruined with PAINT!  No way.  So Brandi cut out the letters, stuck them on with wonder under and brought the flag back over for me to applique.  Much harder job,  more time consuming, but I learned a lot.
The moral of the story:  if someone asks you if you sew say no and run for the hills!
Not really, I love it and I really love helping my friends!
Have a happy day my lovelies!
Jenni



A pouch

 For Relief Society this week we are having a birthday party and have been asked to bring a wrapped gift under $5.  It is supposed to represent something you love, or is your favorite.  Since I LOVE the pouch Mindy gave me for Christmas I thought I would make one as my gift.  This pouch shows many things I love.  Fabric, sewing, quilting and a little bit of See's candy.  I tried to copy Pretty By Hand but was not successful.  My fabric matching skills need work.  Can you tell which square does not belong?  I should have put the squares up on my design wall for a day or two before I sewed them together.  Oh well, live and learn!


I have an update.  My friend Lisa was the first to choose a present.  She saw me bring mine in and consequently chose it.  She was thrilled!  It was fun to see this little pouch go to someone that will appreciate and use it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A WIP Quadry

Granted this isn't too "difficult" a situation, but still, who hasn't been in a state of uncertainty, or perplexed at just how they should go about quilted a finished, basted top? Of course, before the era of the Juki (let's now refer to it as Juki-bc...uh oh, I hope that's not blasphemous, maybe we should go with preFMQ...?) I would've just straight-line stitched it. I straight-line stitched everything (ok, I did hand quilt on occasion). And I loved it! But now? Well the whole world is open to free motion possibility!! Oh, the days before possibility! So, how would you quilt this? Pearle cotton on the negative space echoing the geese? Straight-line? Loops? Someone be brilliant and help me out :) I'll love you forever, I promise. Okay, I probably like you for always. 

Yeah, it's been folded for almost a week....


This quilt should probably have it's own day in the sun, except it's been so windy for so long (that whole "sweeping down the plains" thing), that this morning was the only calm moment to take a decent (and I use the term decent loosely) picture. You may remember this fabric from this post almost HOLY CRA... *sigh* like a year ago. In good news, I revamped it and it's done :) yaaay


Can you see the spot where I totally forgot to quilt??

Guess what?! I found a local MODERN quilt shop in Tulsa!! It's called the Owl and Drum and is close enough to my son's physical therapy place that I may end up spending hundreds of dollars there... So good and bad. While exploring the first time, I picked up most of these fabrics, then added a few from my stash. 

 And then that became this. 
And I'm not sure I love it.... 
Thanks to the encouragement of a couple of instagramers (mine is @jennrperkins) I'll be adding some aqua blocks to mellow out the yellow. Which is screaming hello to you. The yseams have been something awful, and I still have 43 blocks to go. Now is when I wish I knew how to paper piece, had this pattern in paper piecing, and my printer worked. But, since I don't have/know any of that, it's good, old tradition for me. 


Thanks for coming this way-
Jenn