Tag Archives: city sampler

It’s Tula Top Time!

I think I might have mentioned that I finished my Tula Pink City Sampler top two weekends back?

Yup. I totally did.

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I spent a Sunday holed up in my sewing room, with the new season of House of Cards. (It took 4.5 episodes to get the top finished up.)

I was driven to find a way to get the entire thing on my design wall- and in doing so, I rearranged some furniture. Pros: WAY more space on design wall, room for a new cube shelf for even more yarn storage. Cons: I think I liked the way it looked before a wee bit better. But the trade off for more space is worth it. I’ll take pics once I have the yarn re-stored.

I wanted to show this to you all as soon as it was done. But I have been really struggling with getting a decent photo. A queen sized top if hard to show off…

I did take it for a test run on our bed.

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It’s just the right size!

And the background fabric really is perfect. I love it so much. Such a happy feeling when a project works out…

I took the quilt out to the front yard and enlisted family to hold it up for some photos. But it is so big, I couldn’t dodge the sun…

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Not a great photo at all. I’m consoling myself with the idea that, once this is quilted and bound, I will find some way to get photos that do it justice. Of course, first I have to figure out what to do for the back. I have a decent bit of the Anna Maria Horner Dowry print that I used as a focus fabric leftover. Also some of the Carolyn Friedlander backing. And some yardage of SOME of the Tula prints in the top… And I picked up a pile of tonal deep purple Pearl Bracelets for the binding.

Just over a year from start to completed top. Here’s hoping it’s on my bed by the end of 2015…

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

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The Beginning of the End

I’ve been away a wee bit, but unlike seemingly everyone else in the quilt world, not at Quilt Con… Rather, I was in DC (my old stomping grounds for 7th-12th grades) for a funeral. My great aunt passed away; she lived a long and good life, and was ready to go, so while I am so very very sad, I am also happy that she met her end on her own terms, at home, at relative peace. I left the husband at home with both kids. They all traded cooties which I seem to have missed. Hopefully. Then I flew back into town just hours after my MIL flew in for a visit… So the last 10 days or so have been simply insane.

I *did* manage to get to a fab yarn shop while back East- Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA. I treated myself to a luscious skein of locally hand dyed sock yarn that is part cashmere. And my god, it was SO cold while we were there, I was debating trying to whip up new socks in one day. Instead, I kept going on my packed project- a slightly less squishy pair of socks. Mom and I decided to make the most happiness out of this sad trip, and so aside from getting to spend wonderful time with family, we also went to my mom’s fave museum, our favorite restaurant, and the National Portrait Gallery so I could visit one of my loves…

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All of this also meant that I hadn’t sewed in a bit. BUT! I did finally pick a background fabric for my City Sampler:

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Carolyn Friedlander, Architextures, Crosshatch in black- thanks for all the advice and suggestions; they were very helpful!

I ordered it not having seen it in real life, and so my fingers were very very crossed.

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It arrived last Tuesday. Phew! I love it with my colors…

But of course, now came the hardest part- picking a layout for my blocks. Because I was worried that the grey blocks would retreat into the background fabric, and because many of the pink blocks used the same fabrics over and over (oops!), I decided a rainbow-esque layout was out of the question. Instead, I needed to mix them all up. So, I sorted the blocks into piles arranged by dominant color, totally cleared my design wall, and got down to business.

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Slowly, slowly, a layout began to grow. I don’t know how long I spent arranging and rearranging, but I came up for lunch 😉 There was a lot of stepping back across the room, and sitting in my sewing chair, just looking. I really tried to achieve a good balance. Finally, I ended up here:

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(PS Did I mention that my design wall is just barely too short to put up all 10 rows by 10 rows? SO annoying. So that top row is crammed up there, folded in half…)

I was worried that the greens pop too much, but not much to be done about that now. I got to cutting, and got all my background strips ready to go. And then…

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It’s a terrible cell phone photo, but I am in LOVE.  Love. The dark but not too dark crosshatch fabric makes all the blocks pop. You can really see the colors, and the piecing. And the many raccoons, squirrels, and foxes I fussy cut throughout the thing. I got through 7 of the 10 rows before I needed a break- plus, time to watch the Oscars. (How on Earth could NPH be so dull??) There will be a 2.5″ strip of sashing between each row, but I wanted to get each individual row pieced before I started joining them all together. That will hopefully happen this upcoming Sunday. I was briefly hopeful we might get a snow day on Monday- and then I’d be showing you a finished top today- but no such luck. Instead I slogged through a 2 hour carpool from hell since none of our kids’ schools were on delayed start- thank goodness the school where I work was, or I would have been so very very late.

Here’s hoping that I DO have a finished top to show you by next week… I’m so excited to get this one done.

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

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My Kingdom for Another Yard

So, back in 2013, I made 2 sets of Sugar Block Club blocks- one for me and one for my mom. You’ve seen how my mom’s ended up. But what about mine? Here’s where we left off in Jan 2014.

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Left to right, top to bottom, that is January to December. And please please join me in pretending that you can’t see how much smaller that final block turned out. Ugh. It was paper-pieced, and I checked the printer twice, so, no idea how that happened.

I love these together, and am not thrilled with a few of them individually. I wasn’t sure how to set them, so like my mom’s, they sat around for a year. And then I decided to make another set, and make the top bed sized. We don’t need another purple throw sized quilt around this joint, and I want to keep it.

So this past week, I pulled out the patterns, and the secret stash of fabric I had leftover from the original blocks, and got to work. This time, I tried to make more darker/higher contrast blocks.

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This is what I got done this week- half a year’s worth. But then I had to stop.

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Why? Because this is all the background fabric I have left. I grossly underestimated the leftover pile. I had enough of all the prints to make it through another 12 blocks, but apparently only enough shiny lavender background fabric to make it through 6. The worst part is that I don’t know when I bought this fabric (aside from “over 3 years ago”), I don’t know where I got it, and I don’t know the manufacturer because the selvedge is plain. So when I say I am out of background fabric, I am totally out of background fabric.

Here are all 18 together.

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So now I have the added challenge of deciding how on earth to set 18 blocks. I have varying amounts of all the other fabrics left. And you can sort of see the striped Kaffe Fasset woven below the quilt- I had it pulled aside to do something with this quilt, but what? I’m truly hoping it won’t take me another year to decide…

MEANWHILE… I have a new idea for background fabric for my Tula blocks. After spending the last week looking at layout options, I realized I am really attached to the simple king sized grid layout from the book. With that in mind, I went back to the drawing board, and came up with 2 fabrics from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line. What do you think of either of these?

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To refresh your memory, here are the blocks…

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I feel like the darker version could really make the blocks pop, without being TOO dark… And the idea to a slightly textured solid is very appealing to me. What do you think?

And if anyone happens to recognize that solid lavender shot through with silver sparkles, speak up!

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Tula Tuesday: They’re ALL Done!

Yup, you read that right. All 100 blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler- DONE!

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(I know, that looks odd- but my design wall was too short for 10×10, so it’s currently 11×9 + 1…)

blocks 97-100

That right there is the final four. FINAL. I’m still kind of reeling… they’re all done.

All done.

So now comes the hard part- deciding on a setting, and a background fabric. I’m kind of leaning toward the simple but chic Gridlock layout in the book- it finishes at king size, which makes me happy. And I’m leaning toward a nice deep but bright purple shot cotton for the sashing:

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It’s a Kaffe Fasset shot cotton- Thunder. But will that be too much purple? Because a soft grey might also work? Or a teal-y blue green? Or… please, tell me what you’d do. Please? I do really like the idea of a shot cotton- I love the dimensionality they provide. I have enough of the AMH dowry focus fabric that I could use it as binding, which I think will bring it all together.

To refresh your memories, here’s a closer look at all 100 blocks.

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 76-100

Wow that’s a lot of blocks…

Thank you all for joining me on this journey- for the feedback, the encouragement, and the kind words along the way. I can’t wait to show you what comes next! Once I decide what that will be…

Linking up with… Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric TuesdayWIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

 

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Tula Tuesday, Finally… and Almost Finally.

Annnnd… I’m back! Back to the blog. Back to my Tula blocks. Hooray! Over the last few weekends, I made 11 blocks. Blocks 85-96, the final section of the book. (I also binge watched the first 2 seasons of Black Mirror– wow! Love it!)

blocks 85-96

I put them all into a mosaic (in numerical order) to keep this from being the most photo heavy post ever. I thought about splitting them into 2 weeks of posts, but what the hell… here they all are.

Some quick highlights- the deer head fabric in #85 is a new fave- just purchased and already beloved. The bunny peeking out of #86 makes me smile. The constellations in #87 are hard not to hoard. #88 and the fox are one of my faves in the entire quilt. #89 uses that Acacia print I love so much, and own in 3 colors. #90 sneaks in some Parisville (Hi, Audrey and Jane!) #91- more Parisville, and polka dots to boot. Cotton+Steel and some neon polka dots make #92 happy. More fabulous Moonshine in #93. The AMH focus fabric and purples again in #94, and #95 is purple again, with a Birds and Bees print.

Phew.

All 96 blocks are squeezed onto my design wall. They barely fit, and 97-100 won’t. Or they will, but I’ll have to move everything over a few inches and {squish} it all.

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That one block over to the left is a reject, the only one. I may put it into the back. It may end up in some orphan pile. Who knows…

The last 4 blocks are going to be bittersweet. This has been such a fun journey. But it’s too soon to get all maudlin- I’ll save that for next week. Instead, I have to stress out over my final 4 sets of fabric choices. Four final chances to balance out my colors. Four last favorites to feature. Only 4? How do I pick? It’s kind of like picking between my kids, but there’s only two of them. I think I need one more pink block, and maybe another green? And a grey (without the pink neon dot in it)? I don’t need any more purple, but I don’t have a ton with dark purple in them. I think there’s enough blue? Suggestions welcome!

Yikes!

Look for me this Sunday, sitting in a pile of fabric on the floor of the sewing room, mumbling to myself and freaking out. And if I can get through that, maybe I’ll be back next week with 100 blocks.

Meanwhile, I’m linking up with Fabric TuesdaySew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Tula Tuesday: 84 and 85

Two more down…

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Apparently this week I was feeling pink and grey…

Block 84: soft grey and the neon pink dots that I love.

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Block 85: pinks and my AMH focus fabric. Not as successful as i hoped- the original Tula print in the sample block is so perfect, with the circles, but I don’t own any of it… I should have fussy cut the medallions that you see in the upper left corner. But I didn’t think to.

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Probably would have been a good block to sneak in some more little animals, but that didn’t occur to me until later. Meanwhile, with these two blocks, I finished the next to last section of the book! 15 blocks to go (plus all those baby quilts I need to make…) The last section is the “random” one- and I think I’ll find some great ways to work in more novelty pieces. Hooray!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 76-85

Did you have any Tula progress this week? If so link up below…

I’ll be linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Tula Tuesday: blocks 81-83

Thank goodness I finished these…

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…before I did THIS:

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Ooops. Sunday morning I slipped in our kitchen and (mildly) sprained my ankle. For real. I know. It’s ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. It’s not too bad, and should heal fairly quickly.

As opposed to our poor house. All of your good thoughts, prayers, and happy vibes worked. The insurance inspector came out on Friday as planned, and DID declare our roof a total loss. So rather than dealing with spot repairs at our own expense, we will be getting an entire new roof for barely more $$, one that will be under a nice fresh warranty. We also need at least 6 windows completely replaced, a few more screens, all the gutters, a lot of the house repainted, and all new patio furniture. Oh, and my 2 garden gnomes also have hail holes! The inspector even put them on the claim. We’re now waiting to hear back from the insurance company about how much they’ll authorize for all that work. The hardest part is going to be finding a roofer to do the work- they are ALL backed up. We know at least our 4 closest neighbors need new roofs as well. Maybe we can get a group rate…

Meanwhile, the blocks.

Block 81: raccoons in tiny pieces.

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I love it.

Block 82: deep blue with some fox field horses.

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I love how I accidentally made that one horse look like it has the longest body ever…

Block 83: parisville and polkadots.

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Looks like I was on a serious purple kick this week. (Shocker.)

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 75-83

Ta-da! Are you working on any Tula? Share it here:

 

I’ll be linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, and WIP Wednesday. And stay tuned- I was tagged by Lucymade to take part in the Around the World Blog Hop. I’m running behind- the post was part of my Sunday plan- but I’ll get to it ASAP, I promise!

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Tula Tuesday: Blocks 76-80

And… September’s goal, done!

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Had to wait until after the epic hail storm to get photos. Wow oh wow, did our neighborhood take a beating. Neighbors have so much damage- next door even had paint stripped right off their house! On top of the damage we noticed yesterday, today we found paint damage, screen damage, and holes punched straight through the vinyl frames of some windows! Yikes. Waiting to hear when the storm crew from the insurance company will be able to come assess the damage. Please, please, send trashed roof vibes. It would solve so many of our other house problems…

Okay, back to the blocks!

Block 76- deep blue-greens and a yummy Amy Butler.

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Block 77: purples and a Heather Ross fave

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Block 78: my AMH focus fabric and a pretty green blender.

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Block 79: (easiest one in the whole book?) I busted out some Tula Nightshade, and purple solids…

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Block 80: Tula, polka dots, and a cotton & steel. Yum.

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So, yup, I’m caught up! 80 down, 20 to go. I had to make the final mosaic!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 76-80

 

Feels good to be back on track. Now I just have to balance October’s 10 blocks with the 4 baby quilts I committed to make before November. Yikes!

Meanwhile, I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Sew Cute Tuesday. And if you happen to have any Tula progress you’d like to share, link up below!

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Tula Tuesday: Blocks 71-75

This weekend I played catch-up!

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5 more blocks down, and I’m 3/4 of the way done with the entire book! Hopefully by this weekend I can finish through 80, and get myself back on my 10/month schedule.

Meanwhile, here’s a brief view of my progress.

Block 71: raccoons!

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Block 72: polk dots and neons…

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Block 73: turquoise and squirrel!

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Block 74: grey and the floral green that photographs way more yellow than it really is.

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Block 75: pinks and my fave focus fabric yet again.

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I am supremely pleased to be able to report that I am feeling better. For real! I had the energy to do fun things with my family- like the Botanic Gardens Corn Maze and a pre season NHL game. In fact, on Sunday afternoon I started feeling achy, and realized I had gone the entire day with NO ibuprofen until 3pm! And I hadn’t missed it. This is very very exciting. I feel like I am slowly reclaiming my life. If only I felt that way about my house.

As always, here’s my progress to date. Next week I’ll have to start a new collage!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75

Meanwhile, I’d love to see any Tula progress you’ve made. Link up below.

And I’ll be linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social. Hope to see you there!

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Tula Tuesday: Blocks 67-70 (finally!)

I sewed.

For real!

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I finished my August Tula blocks, halfway through September. SO glad I finished the triangle section before I got sick! Would have sucked to come back to those!

Brief sam-post-gallbladder-update for those who are interested. If you just want the quilt blocks, skip down 2 paragraphs, no hard feelings. I am finally, a month post-surgery, starting to feel like myself again. My pain level around one incision stayed pretty high for longer than expected, and the verdict was eventually that the sutures were pressing directly on a nerve. No wonder I hurt so much! One of the sutures was forcing its way out of my body- a shockingly common and, to me, truly disgusting, post surgery occurrence- and after the surgical nurse fixed it, my pain level dropped instantly. Meanwhile, I had yet another blood pressure scare, which was, after more tests, determined to be stress based.

Stress, you say? About that. Aside from the lingering pain, there’s the slight matter of the house. There was some major miscommunication with the contractors. They were all set to start repairing the insides of our home that have sustained water damage from the leaking roof. So all set that they sent movers to take apart our home. After promising that the kitchen wouldn’t be touched, they accidentally packed up the entire thing, and moved the fridge, microwave, toaster oven, table, and chairs to the living room. Awesome. The next day they informed us that they weren’t able to test our roof for leaks due to liability reasons, and if they proceeded with the repairs without the test, the repairs wouldn’t be under warranty.  WTF? We had asked them to do that test 8 times, but they didn’t say nope, never, until after they ripped apart our house. Awesomer. There was so much hail in Colorado this summer that roofers are backed up for weeks, and it took hours of calls to find one who could do the test sooner than 2 weeks out. And then? We failed the test. So our house is ripped up, our roof could still leak in heavy rain, and insurance doesn’t cover the roof repair. I can’t imagine why my blood pressure is through the roof, can you??

I did finally squeeze in some sewing during all of this. First, I had to cut hundreds of white 4.5″ squares. Because at Annie’s school, 2 teachers, and one teacher’s wife, are pregnant. Because I need a deadline like I need a hole in my head my roof, I contacted the art teacher and offered to work with her to help the kids make a quilt for each of the 3 babies. 2 are due the first week of November, one in mid-December. The kids are going to dye the squares, and I’ll piece them together. The school is tiny- 60ish kids from 6th-12th grade- and I’m looking forward to helping them with this project.

After the cutting, came the sewing. 2 episodes of OITNB later, I had four blocks, and had finally finished my August goal.

Block 67: I busted out one of my fave ever Heather Ross prints. I found an extra yard of it stashed in the guest room (when we had to move Henry in during the dry-out of his room), so that’s a positive.

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Purple, grey, and pretty.

Block 68: my fave feature print and some happy green solids.

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Block 69: teeny tiny pieces, and squirrels. I love the squirrels. (Top photo’s color is a better representation.)

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And finally, Block 70: purple! My fave Tula Acacia print. Happiness! (Bottom photo is a better color representation.)

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Next up, the squares section of the book. Squares I can handle 🙂

As always, here’s my work to date:

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51 thru 70

 

Just in case anyone is still out there, and also made it all the way to the end, and also wants to share their own Tula progress, here’s the linkup:

 

Meanwhile, here’s hoping I’m back to blogging and commenting and reading more regularly. Hope you are all doing better than me and my house!

PS Now that I have some actual work to share, I’m linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and WIP Wednesday

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