Saturday, December 31, 2016

100 Blocks, 1 Million Tears

Sometimes being a newbie in this quilty world is a challenge. Most of the posts I see on blogs, Instagram, Facebook look nearly perfect all the time. Beautifully pressed fabric, perfect fabric selections and combinations, and professional looking pictures. It is hard not to compare what is happening in my sewing room to what I see others create. And in my sewing room it is definitely not perfection. I'm still learning. Try, fail, try, fail, try, fail. It is okay with me, but sometimes I do feel discouraged.

Today's example involves sewing 6.5" strips onto the edges of my 100 Days 100 Blocks Tula Pink City Sampler. Easy, right? Not for this gal. You would think making 100 6.5" blocks in 100 days would be the hard part. Nope, not for me. The boarder sashing really is giving me a run for my money.

Being that it is New Year's Eve, I'm going to try and keep my glass half full. Despite my frustration, mistakes always provide lessons!!! My sashing was bunching. A little google search informed me that I needed measure the sashing to the exact length of the quilt, pin, and then sew (not just sew a big strip with the intent of cutting off the excess like I did at first). I wanted to do this right so I removed all four boarders to start again. Try #1 with an exactly measured and pinned sashing piece was another fail. I sewed on the block side vs. the sashing side and I guess the seams stretched and the sashing ended up too short. Try #2 used a lot of pins and sewed on the sash side vs. the block side. Still not as perfect as I would like but I think it will do!!! 

And what do you know, they are all on now and it looks pretty darn good. My goal for New Year's Day is to baste it so I can start quilting on Monday. The 100 Blocks Finished deadline will be here soon. Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Quilty Dreams for 2017

I started quilting in early 2016 (total newbie!!!) so I completely missed purchasing the 2016 Quilter's Planner. Thankfully this summer I was lucky enough to win one for 2017 as part of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Sewcial Network hosted by Yvonne AKA Quilting Jet Girl and graciously donated by Stephanie AKA Late Night Quilter owner of The Quilter's Planner. I was so excited to win and grateful for such an amazing prize!

My planner arrived a few weeks ago but I haven't had much time to look at it since I am feverishly working to finish up holiday gifts for my family and friends. Still, I can’t help thinking ahead to what I will sew in the new year. Thankfully Yvonne AKA Quilting Jet Girl is hosting the 2017 Planning Party, which gave me one more excuse to dream a little more deliberately!

2017 Planning Party

As a new quilter I really have one goal: keep making and learn as I go. I really just want to piece, quilt, and connect with and be inspired by other makers. There just isn't enough time and I admittedly overcommitted to quilt alongs and samplers in 2016. I vowed to be less of a joiner in 2017. But I'm already on board with more than I probably should be. And it's okay, I'll do as much as I can manage and have fun as I go!

I just signed up for The Bee Hive Quilts hosted by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts. This is my first ever sewing bee/swap. It just seemed like a fun way to ease into exchanging blocks with other quilters and the choice of blocks was just irresistible. I'm just now meeting my swarm and I think it is going to be a lot of fun!

The Bee Hive

And speaking of Blossom Heart Quilts, she also just announced her 2017 Sampler Quilt Along and it involves paper piecing, which I absolutely I love!!! So I might just need to do that one too. 

Milky Way Sampler at Blossom Heart Quilts

And Molli Sparkles is hosting The Honey Pot Bee where a group of wonderfully talented makers will be Queens and help people like me, a Princess, discover block tutorials and patterns. Molli said everyone gets a tiara, so I'm definitely in!

And last, but certainly not least, the 52 Weeks with the Quilter's Planner hosted by Gnome Angel. After completing the 100 Days 100 Blocks she hosted I'm hoping I can handle one block per week. And have you seen the blocks in the Quilter's Planner. They look amazing!

If that wasn't enough to keep me busy for awhile, my Mom has a birthday coming up and of course I want to make a quilt for her. And I want to continue and finish my 100 Days 100 Blocks Quilt. And finish the Summer Sampler. And keep sewing on my Modern Makers Club blocks. Along with a few (dozen) other quilts I have started, dreamed of starting, bought fabric for, etc. And I'm sure there are a bazillion other things I have yet to discover that I want to do. I am not even going to mention the dress/skirt/pants patterns I have and want to try. There will NEVER be enough time, but at least I will always have something to keep me busy!

And one more goal. I want to blog more. Maybe throw my name in for the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers? Guess we'll see....

What are your creative plans for 2017? I'd love to hear about them. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Spoiler Alert - September Stash Builder Box

Spoiler alert!!!

I've been getting the Stash Builder box since it started. I was impressed by the mission -- 20% of every box purchased is used to buy supplies for their Heart Builders program, which makes quilts for kids in need. I was also impressed by other "kind" things they have done. One month they were generous enough to give me one box for free so I could "pay it forward" to one of my friends. This company just embodies so many things that I value, especially you get what you give. 

I have been happy with all of the fabrics I have received so far. They even let subscribers help pick some of the prints which is fun! There is always a pencil with a fun saying, and accessories that are useful like thread. There are patterns too. All around it has been a great box and I'm glad to be a subscriber. 

I'm even more excited about an upcoming change: the boxes will now have a full three yards of fabric! I must say that I often wish I had more than a fat quarter. This will give you a lot of options to work with, especially if it is a fabric you really love. 

Now, here it is, the September box!

Can you see the aqua peeking out from the bottom. I have been using it in my 100 Days 100 Blocks and I'm thrilled to get more. Plus I have a few other fabrics that will blend in so well with this!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2016 - Rebel Quilt

Because I've only finished a few quilts, my options for entries to the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side are limited. And let's be honest, there are some world class entries from some very well known quilters/bloggers. I'm brand new to this, so I'm not entering my quilts with the expectation of wining. I'm doing it to have fun and be part of the quilting community. So I decided I might as well enter a second quilt. 

This is my Rebel Quilt by from the pattern by Libs Elliot. I use it everyday and I love it. If you want to learn more about it you can take a look at my previous post here. This one fit in a few categories, so I'm just going to enter it into the decided to enter it into the Large Quilt Category

A little bit of a closer look (with feet of course). I quilted this on my domestic machine. I love the simple straight line quilting.

And here it is on a fence. 

I have really enjoyed looking at all of the entries and finding new inspiration! Thanks to Amy for hosting the festival, and thank you for stopping by to take a look!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talk to me about: thread (with a mini finish!)

This weekend I finished basting this quilt top and I'm ready to get started on the quilting. Pattern is from Missouri Star Tutorial inspired by Amy Smart's version of the pattern. Fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed in Flax and Fruta y Flor by Verna-Mosquera.

The problem: what thread do I use on the back? I'm so new to sewing I don't have many different thread colors. And I live in a place where my options to buy thread are limited. With this particular backing, which is pink with strawberries, there is no way I can find a match to the pink without ordering online. And I'm just not willing to spend a bunch of money ordering different shades of pink hoping I'll find a match and never using the rest

I did find a red that matches the strawberries on the backing. I'm a little nervous about using it because let's be honest it will show all of my mistakes. And there will be many, because I'm still a total newbie and I think this quilt may be too much for my modest machine to handle. 

So last night I used some scraps left over from the top of the quilt and backing to make a mini. I thought this would be a great way to test the red thread on the back. Here is the front with a nice neutral thread that matches the linen: 

And here is the back, with the red thread.

So quilters, I think I'm just going to go for it and use the red. I love red, so why not? But what would you do in this situation? What color would you use? If you have limited options for buying thread where you live how do you manage it? 

Thanks so much for stopping by, can't wait to hear your input. Even if you think the red is an awful idea tell me, I can handle it!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2016 - Sedimental Quilt

If you are here, chances are you have heard about the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy's Creative Side. Or follow me on Instagram @carriebeecreates.

I found Amy on Instagram around the time her #IGQuiltfest was happening. This was right around the time started diving into all of the quilty fun that happens on Instagram. Anyway, flash forward and she is hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Follow the link to see all of the fun!

If it isn't completely obvious by now, I'm still a quilting beginner with almost zero blog content. Still, I love grabbing any chance I can to connect with other quilters and find other people to inspire me. So, why not take this chance to connect with other makers and enter one of my quilts!

I have finished three quilts and one that *might* be considered a mini, so I don't have many options to choose from for my entry(s). However, when I saw that there was a ROYGBIV category I knew this is exactly where my most recent finish belonged!

When I first decided I wanted to try my hand a quilting I had no idea where the journey would take me. Right around that time Craftsy was having a sale and a kit seemed like as good of a place as any to start. So I purchased the Sedimental Pattern. Who doesn't love a rainbow? So I bought it, and then other projects took me off in different directions. When I decided I might want to use some of these Tula Pink fabrics for my attempt at #100days100blocks I decided it was time to get going on this quilt so I could use the scraps!!!! 

So I started cutting and sewing and sewing and sewing. To make this amazing rainbow I needed a lot of pieces! And after a lot of sewing, I had a finished top!

Now for the fun part: quilting! The rainbow loving kid I made this quilt for requested pink thread. Couldn't really say no to that! I didn't realize the thread was polyester until after I had begun sewing. I've been using cotton but so far this thread seems like it is doing its job just fine. I couldn't believe how bright it looked in my machine!

Being a relatively new quilter I love doing the whole quilt myself. And I love the simplicity of quilting with straight lines. And it seemed like a great option for this quilt anyway. So I set off to sew line after line after line after line.

Here's an in-progress shot. I've got to include at least one with my feet, right? I'm rocking the polish!

It is difficult to get a picture that captures the pink thread well, but here are a few close ups.

Finally done with all those lines, it was time to bind. This is the binding that came with the kit, I wasn't sure what color of thread to use honestly. I went to my LQS but the options are pretty limited. So I just decided to stick with pink!

And now for the finish!!!! I decided to make the red on the "top" even though that was not how it was written in the pattern because otherwise the flower prints would have been upside down. It really works either way. (Also notice I wasn't great about watering the yard this year, I'd rather be sewing!!!)

I love quilts on a fence. Here you can see the pink back peeking out! It is definitely getting used daily.

So there it is, my entry for the ROYGBIV category for the Blogger's Quilt Festival! My third and most recently finished quilt.

Thank you so much for checking out this post. If you have a second let me know you were here by leaving a comment! And if you entered the Festival let me know so I can see your quilts!

Basic Info

Sedimental (purchased kit from Craftsy)

True Colors by Tula Pink

Warm and Natural

Aurifil 50wt Grey for piecing, and Gutermann 100% Polyester Bright Pink (Color 320)

Everything sewn/quilted on my very modest but hardworking Janome Magnolia 7330.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

First Full Sized Finish - Rebel Quilt!

I wish I could describe how excited I am to have finished this quilt! After having become a tiny bit obsessed with sewing and piecing and having 50 million or so projects in progress to show for it, it is so rewarding to finally have a quilt that is finished and can actually be used.

I'm so glad this was my first official finish. I love this pattern, am happy with my color choices, and it is a good size at 72" x 72" (not to big or small).

I found this pattern to be very well written and easy to follow. As a newbie I have purchased a few patterns that I felt lacked the detail I need to follow it easily without some trial and error and doing some reading between the lines to figure things out. Not this one. It included every step I needed. I highly recommend this pattern and plan to make some of her other patterns in the future. In fact, I have my eye on this free Liberty code quilt pattern and even have a few Liberty prints on the way to start my collection.
I am also really happy I went with the black Indah Batik for binding and backing. It has a really nice weight to it and I love the print.

Basic Info

Rebel Quilt by Libs Elliot

Kona Cotton Silver and Black
Cotton + Steel Silver
Me + You Indah Batiks

Warm and Natural

Aurifil 50wt Grey 2615 and Black (Backing)

Everything sewn/quilted on my very modest but hardworking Janome Magnolia 7330.

And finally, the obligatory cat on quilt photo.

Summer Solstice Quilt Along

So excited to be participating in Melissa Corry's Summer Solstice Quilt Along!

I love this pattern and that she has broken it down into manageable pieces. I've been trying my hand at picking my own fabrics, but for this project I just had to have one of the bundles put together by The Intrepid Thread. I thought the combo of fabrics was amazing, and her customer service was stellar, with super fast shipping too! I have ordered from her again since, I'm happy to have found her shop through this QAL. 

Plus I get to learn a new technique: no waste flying geese! I'm so excited about this because they were so easy and worked great. Love being able to try something new. 

Favorite tool for this project: The Quick Quarter II. My 1/4" foot is not really that useful so this helps me be so much more accurate. Someday when I have a better machine this might not be needed, but for now it is a lifesaver!

And here they are. It took longer than I thought it would, but it helped me create a good plan for how to tackle the next step. Which is many, many, many half square triangles! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First Time Around the Block

Guess what? I finished my first quilt!!!!

I didn't think this would be the first quilt I finished but I was motivated by Pat Sloan's Triangle Challenge. I picked these fabrics up at my Local Quilt Shop. I live in a small town and selection is limited so I buy most of my fabrics online. But these fabrics caught my eye and I kept thinking about them so I went back and here they are. I liked the fabric enough to buy it but it isn't my absolute favorite. I think that was perfect for the first quilt because I was okay with all of the mistakes I made.

I am finding quilting is excellent therapy for perfectionism. I am approaching everything as a learning experience even if I don't get things just the way I want them. I do know that in just a short period of time my skills have gotten better and it is super fun.

Here are some of the things I learned making this quilt:

The awl was so helpful in sewing the binding. It kept the fabric where I needed it to be. So helpful.

I now understand why people have multiple machines. My machine was tied up for the week and I'm too lazy to keep changing the thread and the foot. So I haven't been able to work on anything else. This is actually a benefit in some ways since it motivated me to get things done. But I would like to be able to move between things so I can have more variety. Anyone care to bet on how long it is before I buy a second machine?

Working with fabrics that I liked but didn't love was perfect for a first quilt. I was motivated enough to finish but didn't care too much about mistakes. Great way to start out!

I now know why I don't see too many quilts with backgrounds. Don't get me wrong I love it but oh the lint and cat hair is not going away!!!!

Resources used:

Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Sew Triangles

Cluck Cluck Sew Machine Binding Tutorial