Monthly Archives: April 2014

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 29 and 30

It’s the final Tuesday of April, and I made my 10 block/month goal again 🙂 3 months in, 30 blocks down. Did you have any Tula progress this week? Link up below!

This week was 29 and 30, and I love them both!

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In 29, I busted out the Acacia raccoons. I love that little guy just peeking out… And the other 2 prints are Anna Maria Horner- the feathers recent and the dots from long, long ago. While moving all my fabric to the new room, I found an awful lot of vintage AMH tucked away (both Bohemian and Chocolate Lollipop). I hear those are going for big bucks these days, maybe I should destash some?  Hmmm. It goes against all my hoarder instincts, but it would help the budget…

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In 30, I used the AMH feathers again- I LOVE that print and I think I have it in orange as well. I threw in the OTHER AMH I love, the focus fabric, and used the dark purple polka dots for a border. I think the fabrics worked so well together…

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3 months down, 30 done, and overall, a very happy me. I think next month I’ll need some more deep blues and greens… Stay tuned!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-30

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday,  Let’s Bee Social, and WIP Wednesday

 

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

Bjorks

Whoo! My new sewing room is nearly done. Nearly but not quite. Not quite good enough for photos yet, but nearly good enough to use.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d take a moment to show you some lovely hand knit socks I finished back in March. For the 4th(!) year in a row, I’m taking part in the Cookie A Sock Club. Every other month, I get an amazing shipment of mystery yarn along with 2 exclusive sock patterns from the fabulous Cookie A. I LOVE her sock designs, and the amazing exclusive yarns she gets for the club, and have had so much fun knitting the last 3 years of club socks. The first shipment of 2014 arrived in February, and I wasn’t let down!

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The yarn, Plucky Feet by The Plucky Knitter in colorway Goin’ Steady is a hot hot hot pink- I love it, and it just happens to go wonderfully with my Color Craving shawl!

I chose what seemed to me the simpler of the two patterns, Bjork, mostly because the other one had a lot of stockinette, and I have found that I don’t love the way socks like that feel. The socks were fun and fast, and I actually finished them over a month ago- oops! I meant to blog them… I did. I’ve worn them several times already, even on my Boston trip 🙂

They look good, if I do say so myself.

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Notes: no mods per se, but I did knit them an inch longer than the pattern called for as I prefer a longer sock. I made size L, and had no issues with running out of yarn even with the added length.

And because I simply can’t resist, I’m going to once again post the photo of me with The Yarn Harlot– with her holding my Bjork #1, which I bound off during her reading.

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Whee! As soon as I finish the shawl on my needles right now (which is a gift for my mom, and slightly over halfway done) I’ll be casting on the April socks.

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Filed under CookieA, Knitting, Socks

Epic Modern Crosses

For April’s A Lovely Year of Finishes goal, I was realistic. I knew I would be moving my sewing room this month, and between that and our vacation, I lost over 2 weeks of the month. So I decided that my goal would be to finish the Modern Cross top that I started THREE years ago, and then restarted a few months back. Even though it was a minimal amount of actual sewing, it was an EPIC finish.

Epic.

So epic that I stopped to photograph the final inches of the final seam.

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These modern cross blocks look lovely, but I didn’t enjoy the process. I think I may have mentioned that a time or twelve. Too much trimming!  And too many blocks- when I decided to make it bed size, I went from 60 blocks to 100. Because I went up to king size, even though our bed is a queen. Two reasons: we’d really like to trade up to a king one day, and, I am a blanket hog- with an oversized quilt, my poor husband stands a much better chance of keeping covered at night… But 100 blocks is a lot- especially when I was trying not to duplicate any fabrics. (I did duplicate a few, but not as many as you might think. Maybe 5?)

I actually finished piecing this on the 13th, but it was so huge that I needed helpers to photograph it, and good weather…which I finally got tonight!

Are you ready for the grand reveal of my 3 year top?

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Can you see my helper peeking out in the 2nd photo?

Here’s my other awesome helper…

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Rich is 5’9″, and even on a step stool, he couldn’t get this monster all the way up off the ground!

I also gave it a test run on the bed.

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Myrtle and I both approve…

And I feel amazing. It’s done. A weight is off my chest. The blocks are no longer sitting on top of my bookcase mocking me.

Of course, now I have to figure out how to quilt it. Or rather, to baste it. This is the biggest thing I have ever made! I have a stash of wonderful blue, purple, and green buttons- one for the center of each cross- but aside from wanting to do that, I have NO idea how to finish this giant thing. Wish me luck?

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes April Finish post at Sew BitterSweet Designs.

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Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog

And Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

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Filed under Finish It Up Friday, Modern Cross, Quilts, Year of Lovely Finishes

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 27 and 28

Double apologies for a late AND slightly dull post. First things first- got any Tula to share today? Link up below!

Meanwhile! I’m running behind because I am deep in the mess that is my sewing room move. Each step has taken about twice as long as planned, but, I’m getting there! All the furniture is set up, and I’ve been loading my shiny new Expedit shelves with fabric. The process has been so messy, I’ve taken no “during” photos to share with you all, but I’m looking forward to some “after” photos soon…

This week was blocks 27 and 28- not the most exciting in the book!

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Clearly I’m on a purple kick at the moment…

27- super simple- I went with the focus fabric and a lighter purple than I’ve yet used.

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28- simple again- but I broke out a shiny purple sateen that I hadn’t used yet, and I like it…

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Okay, back to refolding and shelving all my fabric in its new home…It’s amazing what treasures I’ve been discovering!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-28

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Quilts and Color at the MFA Boston- go, go now!

Finally! After a crazy week following my office’s annual fundraiser dinner, I took a week of from work- a week that had been scheduled BEFORE I took this job, and a week I was lucky enough to keep even after the job switch… Then I got back to work, with probably the most on my plate that I had seen since I started the job, and had to get it all done by Friday, 4/11- because my office is completely shut down for Passover. Why do you care about all this detail? You don’t- but it is my excuse for not getting these photos posted faster. Now that I have 7 work days off, I am working on my sewing room change up AND finally delivering promised blog content…

Our trip back home to Boston was amazing. We saw old friends (and their kids!), and lots of family, and many of our favorite places. But one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me was a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, to see the brand spanking new Quilts and Color exhibit. (As an aside, the main reason I picked my undergrad college was to be nearly next door to the MFA, I love it that much…) (Another aside, the flags in the photo are a half mast in honor of the two Boston firefighters who were killed in that horrible fire shortly before our visit back…)

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We were very lucky- the exhibit actually opened the day AFTER we flew home, but my MIL is a member, which meant we got in a week early (and for free)!

The exhibit is from the collection of a pair of collectors- Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy, who sought out antique quilts that spoke about color in unique ways. Rather than being divided by time period or style, the quilts are arranged and display by use of color. That alone was fantastic- a different approach to looking at quilts. Each section had a fabulous intro, as well as a piece of corresponding modern art.

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It’s always wonderful to see quilts appreciated as “real” art, not described as folk art or craft. Not that those things are bad at all, but those words lead to assumptions by viewers. Seeing all these quilts, made by women both known and named, and anonymous, hung on the walls of a respected museum and treated the same as a Vermeer or a Picasso, changes the conversation in a wonderful way. Quilts as art, carefully thought out and created art… not news to us, but still news to some.

The exhibit contained quilts ranging from Baltimore Albums full of exquisite appliqué to a full range of log cabins and from hexies to economy blocks and so much more. The fabric choices were deliberate, and fashionable, and also sometimes astonishingly hard to work with- sateen, anyone? Most were quilted with painstaking detail, but a few were tied. Each quilt was chosen and curated with extreme care, as each is a stellar example of one of the many design and color principles highlighted by the exhibit.

I purchased the use of the interactive guide, and I highly recommend it. Not only is it an audio guide, it actually has images and video as well. It walks you in great detail through either 16 or 18 (I forget…) of the 50+ quilts. The info contained is well worth the $5! (Though I’m going to give a shout out to the Denver Art Museum, and the fact that their special exhibit tickets have included the audio guides at no extra cost for quite some time…)

I’m going to put a sampling of photos from the exhibit below, without many words. If you want to see ALL the many many photos I took, click here to visit them on Flickr. Also, please be kind about photo quality- it was amazing that we were allowed to photograph ANYTHING in the exhibit, but of course, flash was forbidden. So some are blurry or grainy… but still full of beauty!

And now, without further ado, the photos…
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(The other awesome thing? Since we went on Thursday afternoon, a few days before the exhibit was open to the general public, it was nearly empty. We got as close as we could to all these masterpieces, and it was wonderful. I did get so caught up in one quilt that as I backed up to take in the entire piece, I walked smack into another museum visitor. He was very understanding…)

And of course, no museum trip is complete without a stop in the gift shop, just ask my kids. But this was the most amazing exhibit shop ever!

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It was kind of like they raided my real bookshelf, along with my fantasy bookshelf, to get this amazing selection of offerings. Rachel– you’re there!  And so many more authors I love, some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet. So many books on those shelves that have inspired me…

All in all, the exhibit is amazing and a must-see for any quilter or quilt lover. If you are in or near Boston, it is worth the price of admission- plus an interactive guide!

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Filed under Quilts, Travel

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 25 and 26

It’s Tuesday and once again that means it’s Tuladay. Make any City Sampler blocks recently? Link up below. (BTW, because I’m on wordpress and not self hosted, you have to click the button below to get to the linkup. Ugh, I know…)

 

I’ve started the great sewing room move, and as you might guess, it’s taking longer than expected. The playroom was in worse shape than I realized. The cleanup phase is still going on, but, on the bright side, my living room is full of toys the kids agreed can go. The other bright side is that since we didn’t dismantle the current sewing area yet, I kept to my Tula schedule with blocks 25 and 26.

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In 25 I finally busted out some adorable skull fabric that’s been in my stash for ages. The colors are a perfect match for this project.

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Honestly, this is not my fave block so far. Out of 100, there have to be some that just don’t do it for you. And 25 is one of those for me…

In 26, I went back to my feature fabric, along with lovely blues and greys…

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More than 25% of the way to my goal! Whoo!

Here’s hoping your tula week was wonderful, too…

tula blocks 1 thru 25 tula blocks 26

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

Sunday Stash: All Tula All The Time

This lovely fabric became mine right before we left on vacation…

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A bundle of lovely, lovely Tula Pinks. From top to bottom: Acacia Raccoon in Blueberry, Salt Water Sea Debris in Aqua, Fox Field Pony Play in Dusk, Fox Field Happy Dot, and Fox Field Foxtrot (my favorite fabric in years and years…)

I dithered around when Quilt Home was having their Tula sale, and by the time I decided to place an order, half the fabrics I wanted were sold out. Bad for me, better for my budget. The top 4 fabrics came from Quilt Home, and the bottom, the fabulous amazing signature Fox Field Foxtrot print, came from a local store.

And I only got one yard of it.

Because I hadn’t been into this shop in ages- they carry delicious modern fabrics by all the designers I love, but I remembered them as a bit pricey. And I remembered right- $12.99 a yard for the Tula! Ouch. They had the whole line, but I couldn’t afford any more at the moment! Sigh.

Meanwhile, I have this excellent pile of Tulas to go into many projects, but especially my City Sampler blocks.

Hope you had a wonderful stash week! Linking up with Sunday Stash.

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Filed under Stash Enhancement, Sunday Stash

Wordless Wednesday*: One Day at the MFA

One Day at the MFA

 

*more and better photos and a write up of the Quilts and Color exhibit coming soon, I promise!

 

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Tula Tuesday: Blocks 21 through 24

First off, let me apologize for missing last week’s Tula Tuesday. I had blocks 21 and 22 done, and I even got them photographed right before we left for the airport, BUT… we were so crazy busy on our vacation that the few bits of downtime we had, I was too tired to type a post!

So this week I’m home, and I’m all kinds of exhausted, but at least it’s a happy exhausted. Oh, Boston, I love you so much. I miss you so much. We moved away 14 years ago, but every time I go back, I feel at home within 15 minutes. We had a wonderful week, saw family and friends, and hit so many museums and historical sights. I’ve got loads of photos to show you… but that’s for later. Today is for Tula!

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Blocks 21 and 22 (top) were all about the purple.

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Block 21 may be the simplest one in the entire book. I’ll get back to you on that after 76 more blocks 😉

IMG_6529 IMG_6546Block 22 is all Tula fabric- and I finally got a chance to use some of my squirrels from the Birds and the Bees. I love love love those squirrels!

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Block 23 allowed me to bust out my brand new Tula Fox Field print. This may be my favorite fabric of all time, and I only have a yard of it. Ack! The colors were made for me, and the animals are awesome. (I meant to show you this stuff in a Sunday Stash, but that aforementioned vacation got in the way.)

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Block 24 wasn’t as successful as I planned- it looked way cooler in my head. I still like it, it just isn’t what I imagined… I have the stripy Tula print used in the block- I used it in 22- and also 15- and so I did’t want to use it again. But man, does it look cool in the original…

So here’s my progress to date:

blocks 1 thru 24

By next week, I’ll need to start a new collage!

What about you? Any new Tula blocks in your world? If so, link up below!

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

A Lovely Year of Finishes: April Goal

I’m setting a modest goal for myself for April’s Lovely Year of Finishes challenge.

I missed the first 7 days of the month, in terms of sewing and blogging, due to a wonderful vacation*… No complaints at all here, but, that’s 25% of the month! Also,  I have some big big plans for the middle of the month: setting up my new sewing room. There’s IKEA furniture to be assembled, and walls to be painted, and STUFF to be moved. Who knows if I’ll get any sewing done at all…

So, without further ado, my realistic if not exciting goal for April 2014 is to finish the Modern Cross top that I finally returned to last month…

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One half of the king sized quilt is together already, one is on my design wall.

By the end of April, it will be one complete quilt top, darn it, and I will have a shiny new sewing room in which to plot the rest of my year’s finishes…

Linking up just under the wire for this month…

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* tune in later this week to be wowed by posts about that wonderful vacation… or, you know, don’t 😉

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Filed under Modern Cross, Quilts, Year of Lovely Finishes