Saturday, May 5, 2018

One Monthly Goal - May 2018

May is here and it's time to set my goal for the One Monthly Goal hosted by Elm Street Quilts. I am so glad I found One Monthly Goal this year, so far begin able to set a realistic goal has been helpful for keeping me on track with getting things done. 

"Any goal that involves a step in the process of making with thread, fabric or yarn is a valid goal."

May 2018 Goal: Quilt and bind Baby Quilt Top using blocks from the Quilter's Planner 2018 Block of the Month Sampler Sew-Along.

I have started quilting the top and in MUST be done in May because baby is due this month. I need to get sewing!!! 

I also need HELP picking binding. Please tell me how you decide? Do you use the backing or pull out a print from the top? Something totally different? What tips or tricks do you have for picking it? I really have no inspiration for the binding on this quilt so I would love any help I can get in figuring it out!


Sunday, April 29, 2018

One Monthly Goal April 2018 Finish!

April flew by! Time to report back on April's One Monthly Goal hosted by Elm Street Quilts

My goal for April was to finish a baby quilt top using blocks from the Quilter's Planner 2018 Block of the Month Sampler Sew-Along. I am excited to report that I reached this goal and now have a finished top!!! It is always windy at our house so getting pictures of a quilt top can be very difficult. Even with a helper it was difficult! Still, you get the idea. It is done!

I wrote about sizing in my last post. I added a border so I think it is close to 60 x 60 (need to go measure again to be sure). Now it looks huge to me but I'm hoping this makes it something that can be used for years to come. 

I really appreciated all the input I received regarding the backing. In the end I chose the Dear Stella Supernova Solar System Navy Fabric. I did not attempt to match up the print on the back so the seam is obvious, but I decided I was okay with this. I still think it will look good and one of my girls said she really loved it so that gives it major points in my book. 

And of course I can't forget a #quiltsandshoe picture!

Any guesses on what my May goal will be? You'll find out soon!

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - April Finish Link-up

Sunday, April 22, 2018

2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Hello everyone, and welcome to this stop on the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. I'm glad you're here! Please stick around until the end of this post so you can learn more about a giveaway from the generous Blog Hop sponsors!

My name is Carrie, which you might have figured out from the title of my blog. I'm relatively new to quilting and blogging so I'm excited to be joining this year's New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop to improve my blogging and make new connections in the quilting community. 

It has been an honor to learn from the other bloggers participating in this year's hop. Most of them have way more experience with both blogging and quilting than I do, so I've learned so much from everyone that is participating and my In Stitches "hive." I'd especially like to thank our hive leader Sandra from Musings of a Menopausal Melon - mmm! quilts who went above and beyond to mentor and encourage me! 

How I Got Here
About two years ago I bought a modest sewing machine on a whim. I always thought I would give quilting a try. Someday. I thought there was no way I would have time to learn how to quilt at this point in my life. Well, I turned on the machine and haven't stopped sewing since! I had no sewing experience, so I just started to learn by doing. One of the things I love most about the quilting community is that people are not stingy with what they know and share it with others so they can learn too. Because of this I was able to learn so much through the vast array of tutorials, tips, tricks and techniques shared by other quilters without ever leaving my sewing room!!!

Right when I started sewing I discovered The Splendid Sampler. It was WAY beyond my skills and abilities at the time, but the patterns were free with great tutorials and a huge community to learn from. My approach was simple: I would sew a block. Then I would sew it again. Sometimes multiple times over and over again until I felt like I "got it." Then I would move on to the next block. I learned so many things and improved my skills with every stitch!

Another benefit was that it helped me quickly refine and understand my quilting interests. It didn't take long to learn that I LOVE piecing but I'm not super excited about appliqué or embroidery. At least not right now. To each their own!!! I was so grateful this sampler helped me try different things and hone my interests! 

Even though I know what interests me, I would say I'm still a long ways away from pinpointing my "style." I'm drawn to modern quilts and I learn more about "me" with every block I make and project I complete. I have sewn quite a few blocks, but only completed a few quilts. I am still too new with too few finishes under my belt to really say I "know" my style. And that is what I LOVE about quilting: I get to keep learning and growing all the time and my style and interests are constantly evolving. With that in mind, I'm sharing a few of my finishes and a bit about what I learned through the process of making them.

Favorite Finish: Tula Pink City Sampler / 100 Days 100 Blocks
I can say without a doubt my favorite finish so far is my first 100 Days 100 Blocks quilt made using Tula Pink's City Sampler book. This quilt has been on my bed since the day it was finished, and it is hands down my most meaningful finish to date. There was something so wonderful about the first go around of this sew-along hosted by GnomeAngel. Maybe it was the fact that I was just starting my quilting journey and it allowed me to make meaningful connections with so many wonderful people that I still connect with (mostly on Instagram). I have yet to participate in another quilt along where the sense of community and connection was as strong for me. Not only do I love this quilt but I loved the whole experience of making it!!! So much so that I also participated a second time (100 days 100 blocks 2017). I had a great time, but it just wasn't the same. But I do have an idea for another quilt using this pattern so I may just have to join round number three (100 Days 100 Blocks 2018) this summer!

First Full Finish: Rebel Quilt
It was so exciting when I finished a quilt I could actually use!!! I love the Rebel Quilt pattern, it was extremely well written and easy for a newbie to follow. I also loved learning about the process Libs Elliott used to create it. And while I do love the colors I used, by making it I realized that I'm not a fan of batiks. Again, to each their own! As usual, making this quilt helped me hone my interests just a little bit more. I also love this photo of my girls looking at it. 

Favorite Gift: Sedimental Quilt
Right around the time I decided to start quilting, I found the Sedimental Quilt and couldn't resist the rainbow! I put it away in favor of other projects, but when I decided I might want to use some of the Tula Pink scraps for my 100 Days 100 Blocks quilt I figured it was time to get it done. I always knew this would be for my daughter that loves ALL the colors. She picked the pink backing and also requested pink thread for the quilting. Couldn't really say no to that and I love how it turned out! She actually hasn't used it much, which is okay with me because I do! I also used a picture of it to make our "In Stitches" hive logo!

Honorable Mention: Long Time Gone Top
It's not finished yet but it needs to be on the list! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this top that I made as part of the Long Time Gone Quilt-Along! I used mostly Anna Maria Horner fabric with some Allison Glass, Cotton & Steel, Tula Pink, Lizzy House, and various low volumes. I just LOVE working with small pieces and this was my first time making "Y" seams, so tried something new! I will admit that I NEVER thought I would finish the pineapple blocks. They took so much time! But somehow I did finish them all and even within the quilt-along timeframe. This probably isn't a color palate I would normally be drawn to but I still love how it turned out. 

My Favorite Things
As I was looking back through my photos to include with this post I was reminded of how much I love quilting AND shoes. So of course I love taking pictures of these things together. And you can always tell what season it is based on my footwear, and whether or not the kids and cats are "helping" me take the pictures. Maybe I need to rename my blog or start a quilt and shoe club! My new hashtag is #quiltsandshoes!


Keep Hopping!  

This is week two of the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and there is a group of amazing bloggers you should also go check out this week! Follow the links below to find them!

But before you leave....

You can see one of my "quilting tips" is to always learn! Push yourself to try new things and learn from the experience of others. So now I would love to learn from you! 

If you could give a new quilter and/or blogger one piece of advice what would it be? 
What was your biggest quilting "lesson" or your favorite tip or trick? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it.

Giveaway Time!
And now for the giveaway!!! There are some fabulous sponsors for the Blog Hop who have offered up some amazing giveaways! I am a part of the "In Stitches" hive, and you can read all about the Blog Hop details and enter the giveaway on my hive leader's blog Sandra - Musings of a Menopausal Melon - mmm! quilts. And check out the other co-hosts too to learn more about them and all the New Quilt Bloggers. Beth at Cooking Up QuiltsJen at Dizzy Quilter, and Tish at Tish n’ Wonderland

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, hope you come back again!!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Finish A Long: Q2 Proposed Finishes

It's hard to believe it is already time to link up proposed finishes for Quarter 2 of the 2018 Finish-A-Long! I love the Finish-A-Long because it allows you to set goals but there is no penalty if you don't finish your full list. Motivation with a little flexibility!

"A finish is defined as a completely finished project, e.g. a quilt, quilted and bound, a bag that's fully lined and functional, or a jumper that one could wear out in public."

So I will list A BUNCH of my UFOs that have some significant level of progress or that I really want to finish (someday). I KNOW that I won't get these all done in Q2 but it gives me some flexibility to shift focus based on my ever changing interests and I love having a running list that I can just keep adding to and subtracting from each quarter. 

Obviously I'm good at starting things but not finish them. I will make it my goal to have at least one full finish from this list in Q2!

Baby Quilt: Almost done. Will finish by mid-May for sure because Baby will be here by the end of May. Just need to finish piecing top, baste, and quilt.

100 Days 100 Blocks 2017: Need to finish quilting/binding. It is a lot of lines on a big quilt on my small machine. Time consuming for sure! Since there is a finish along for this starting this month I will probably push this one up the priority list.

Garden Snail: Top in progress. I think I need three more snails then I will be able to finish the top, quilt and bind.

Lepidoptera: Top in progress. Only one block of 19 done. Lots of work left to do. 

Wayward Transparency: Top done. Need to back, quilt and bind.

Missouri Star: Quilting partially done. 

Long Time Gone: Need to back, quilt, and bind.

Sew all the Curves: Need to finish top, back, quilt, and bind.

Alpine: Need to finish top, back, quilt, and bind.

52 Weeks with the Quilters Planner (2017): Need to figure how sashing, finish top, back, quilt, and bind.

We are All Queen Bee Blocks: Need to figure out size/sashing, finish top, back, quilt, and bind.

She's A Fish - Mini Quilt:  Halfway done. Would love to finish this someday!  

I think that is more than enough for now!!!

Linking up with 2018 Q2 FAL Project List.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Helpful Tools: Counter Height Cutting Table

One day I was scrolling Instagram and saw a photo on @patterndrop with @swimbikequilt standing at her cutting table. I investigated more and she has a blog post called New Cutting Table/Favorite Things where she talks about the table and how great it was. Needless to say it didn't take much for me to start dreaming about a taller cutting table. 

I will treat myself to many "needs" and "wants" but when I have something that works okay I also feel like I shouldn't spend money because I'm able to make do. When I stated quilting I pulled out an old drafting table to use for cutting. It worked great. It was a good size and not too low, but low enough that leaning over it caused me more than a few neck and back aches. 

So I decided I would give myself permission to follow the lead of @swimbikequilt and get an Ikea table with adjustable legs. Here is the final result!

As you can see I chose the bamboo top. The reason: it fit my space and cost $9 to ship vs. the $50 shipping cost for the lower cost but heavier tables. So I got this nice top at essentially the same prices as some of the other options. It is longer and narrower than my old table but it fits my space a lot better. I added the shelves underneath for additional storage. Since the window is there I might need to use this space for something else so my fabric doesn't fade, but for the purposes of this post I liked the look of the fabric and colors there. 

I'm so grateful that other quilters share their experiences so I can learn from them. I would have kept hunched over my table if I hadn't seen this photo on Instagram. The money I'll save in chiropractic costs will definitely pay for the table! I've only used it a few times but it is so helpful. 

Let me know if you have any other helpful tools I should try!