Finished Neptune!

Finished Neptune!

Neptune is finished finished finished! I’m so very pleased with this quilt. I’ve seen my sewing skills improve over the course of making it – things like accurate piecing, matching points and corners, and general confidence.

Back of Neptune

Every time I get in bed, the corner flips back to reveal the happy frolicking kitties on the Lizzy House fabric, and I smile. I think it is very important to smile before you go to bed; this kitty fabric was therefore a very wise decision.

Neptune on the bed

Yes, to get this shot, I was standing on top of our dresser, holding the camera as far back as I could. I wish it were just a smidge longer on the the sides, as I’m a complete blanket hog, but I love it, it is done, and it really brightens up our room. My husband, he of beige and navy bedding, walked in while I was taking this, took a long look, and then told me that I make him less boring. That’s winning, I suppose.

And I finished my Lovely Year of Finishes goal!

My Button

Stats
Size: 72″ × 90″
Pattern: Sugar Block Club 2013, Traveling Star, assorted blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival
Quilting: All over stipple on my Juki
Fabric: Kona Poseidon bundle + a few extra Kona solids in pink, purple, blue, and yellow for the front and Lizzy House Catnap on the back

North Star

After finishing those nice green socks, I busted a move on the Neptune sampler quilt. I finished the last block, North Star.

February 2013 Sugar Block

Then got down to making the 30 plain blocks that sit between fancy blocks (my husband calls them “button” blocks – I think he’s been playing too much Minecraft). They’re done and now I’m trimming everything to be 12.5″ square. I’m hoping to finish the top this weekend!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

To Finish In March

I’ve been wanting to participate in A Lovely Year of Finishes at Fiber of All Sorts for a couple of months now, but my ducks just haven’t seemed to get neatly in a row. January was a month of alternating travel and sickness, February was All Olympics and knitting (tune in this weekend to see a sock FO!), but March will be the month I finish my Quilt of Poseidon. If I end up calling it that. It’s a mashup of 12″ squares from the 2013 Sugar Block Club, Vintage Quilt Revival, and I think a couple of other sources, laid out using the Sampler Quilt On-Point pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival.

So that’s the plan. Here’s a small, dark, blurry phone shot of the progress:

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According to the running document I keep of my projects, I’ve completed 19/20 blocks. I have fabric and paper piecing templates cut for that last block (the pesky February Block from the Sugar Block Club, for those of you keeping a running tally) and I have the fabric for the simple repeating blocks, the binding, and the back, which will be the delicious Kitty Dreams and Butterflies prints from Lizzy House’s Catnap.

Catnap fabric!

Delicious. Also, my husband picked it out all by himself, and who am I to argue with that level of fabric selecting genius?

I will finish this in March. I will, I will, I will. I want this on our bed by the time the snow melts!

Linking up with the March Goal Setting Party!
A Lovely Year of Finishes

Blue Cross Block

I’ve finished one more Poseidon block! This is Red Cross (well, Blue Cross) from Vintage Quilt Revival. It’s paper pieced, and while the component blocks went together easily, putting the block together was more difficult for me. I repicked it several times trying to get the points to match closer, and finally decided that it was Just Fine.

Red Cross Block

With this one done, I only have three more blocks to finish! And one of those, Geometric Star, is half pieced. I need to cut fabric for the other two (Dakota Star and the February Sugar Block I’m going to remake) and cut fabric for the alternating plain blocks, but this is coming along! I want to have it done by spring to freshen up our bedroom.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

First WIP Wednesday of 2014!

Oh hello, first WIP Wednesday of the new year! I’m looking forward to busting through some WIPs this year, now that I am sewing on this:

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My very clever husband suggested a new sewing machine for Christmas, which I thought was a brilliant idea. My new Juki TL-2010Q sews like a dream, and I whipped out a throw-sized top from all those Constellations triangles I cut! I don’t have a whole photo of this finished top yet, but here’s a glimpse.

Constellations quilt top

I also finished all the blocks for the 2013 Sugar Block. Here’s November, sewn on my old Kenmore:

Sugar Block: November

And December, sewn on the new machine:

Sugar Block: December

I’m still not exactly precise when paper piecing, but that will come with time. I’m planning on sewing a few more blocks for this quilt, mostly from Vintage Quilt Revival – it is such a great reference! But before that, I have three quilts ready for basting and quilting, hopefully starting tomorrow! I’m hoping that 2014 shapes up to be a productive year and I hope it is for you as well!

As usual, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Lucky Star

I finished one more Sugar Block for my Quilt of Neptune this week! Here’s October’s block, Lucky Star.

October Sugar Block

I am a little behind on these, as I need to finish November’s (Friday?) and cut and finish December’s. I’m planning on adding a whole bunch of other blocks to make this a queen-sized quilt for our bed. Or maybe I’ll ponderAmy’s inspiring layout post yesterday and come up with a whole new layout!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Arkansas Traveler

Monday night, while the cold autumn wind was blowing in our 4th floor windows, I took a long look at my workspace. Stuff was piled everywhere: fabric, bits of thread, pens and markers, an errant skein of yarn, patterns, and my QAYG stocking project. I tidied up the space, took a long look at the QAYG project, and decided I’d rather cut fabric than futz with my walking foot.

A couple hours later, while humming along with Mary Poppins, I had some nice tidy stacks of squares and HSTs.

Squares and HSTs for August Sugar Block

This stack will be for September’s Sugar Block, Come Fly With Me.

Poseidon FQs for September Sugar Block

I even completed this lovely block, Arkansas Traveler. It will be part of my Sugar Block Quilt, but the tutorial, by Lee at Freshly Pieced, is part of the Summer Sampler Series

Arkansas Traveler Block

I’ve been plowing my way through Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. They’re pretty fun – a modern twist on Greek/Roman mythology. I used to love ancient myths as a kid, so I’m getting a kick out of seeing familiar characters and tropes revamped in a modern setting. The main character is a son of Poseidon (and gets called that several times each book by various baddies). And I’m making a quilt from a Kona Poseidon bundle (with a few other solids). I think I’m going to call the finished quilt the Quilt of Poseidon.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

A Sock and a Block

I am ashamed. Ashamed to admit that this poor blue sock languished for over six months on my needles. I’d work a row here or there, it remained a scant few inches long until last weekend. C and I were up in the Waterville Valley region of NH for a tiny bit of hiking and a reunion with friends. I brought the sock, thinking that maybe I’d work a row or two and then I’d get distracted, as the knitting mojo traded places with its friend, quilting mojo.

But between being in the car for four hours plus some really excellent So You Think You Can Dance episodes, I made some great progress! The sock pattern is Squid Socks by Nikki Burns, which has been on my queue for a coon’s age. The pattern has some long swathes of just knitting and purling, but they’re just long enough that it is difficult to remember which row I’m actually on. But I think I’m in the swing of things now.

One Blue Sock

I did get a little sewing done also! Here’s March’s Sugar Block, titled Forget Me Not.

March Sugar Block

I have one more block, the July block whose name I forget, cut and ready to sew as well – I’ll post a picture later this week/month! Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Another Sugar Block and Some Bread

I finished another sweet Sugar Block over the past few days! This one is called Sunny Days, which is an entirely appropriate title for both the block and the weather we had last weekend (but not today; today was remarkably foggy and grey). Anyway, the block!

April Sugar Block

My husband looked when he got home this morning, muzzy and goofy from working a full and very busy night, and said something about how he liked how balanced it was, how the yellow triangles direct and point the eye to the center of the block, and I thought something about how the points aren’t anywhere near matching up. But it is bright and cheery and I’ve started in on the March block, so that is forward motion.

Last weekend, husband, friend Aimee and I went to visit Emily (of Relishments fame) and her husband Brian in the Berkshires. It was a lovely weekend, full of board games and good food and lovely green rolling hills. We made Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah (Emily’s post) from Smitten Kitchen (recipe).  It was delicious, made the house smell like Fig Newtons, and got gobbled up rather quickly.  I’ve been thinking about challah (holla!) and combinations thereof since then.  Husband, in the car on the way home, had the idea to smear Nutella in the challah logs, instead of fruit, and I had to give it a try last night.

Nutella Challah

Nutella challah, sliced

The result?  Sadly disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, the texture and flavor of the bread is fantastic, and there’s a lovely magic about yeast doughs and the braiding thereof. But the Nutella got gritty and lost some of its flavor while cooking. Something about tempering chocolate and chemistry? Oh well, it is still pretty good, probably better when toasted and consumed with butter. But then again, what isn’t?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Four Sugar Blocks

When my husband and I got married and moved in together, I had a dream to make a giant quilt for our bed.  Right now, we have comforters from his bachelor days, which are serviceable, practical, and warm.  But they are definitely Man Bedding – old, a bit dingy, and in uninteresting colors.  I love how our bedroom is coming together with matching furniture (a first in my life, I think), paintings and photos on the walls, but I think the bedding could use an upgrade.

I joined Amy’s Sugar Block Club at the end of last year.  I got the fabric I needed (a Kona Poseidon bundle and pops of yellow, hot pink, and purple Kona) and planned out the additional blocks I wanted for the top, to make it square, to fit on the bed.  And then months passed.

A couple weeks ago I got out the Poseidon stack to make my To Boston with Love flag, which reminded me how nice it was and how nice it would be to begin working on the blocks.  The stack sat on my ironing board for a few more days, until  my husband noticed it and inquired about its use.  I told him the plan, and showed him a couple blocks.  He took a long look at it, and then pronounced that it would be very nice.

So I started cutting, and sewed up four blocks in a week.  Clockwise from top right: May, January, February, and June.

Sugar Blocks so far

I made February’s North Star block first because I thought it would be the easiest.  Unfortunately, my templates didn’t print to the right size and the colors don’t coordinate and pop like I wanted.  So at some point, I’m going to pick new colors and reprint the templates correctly and remake that one.

Sugar Block: February

The other three came together better, especially since I am now checking that I have the correct size component blocks before I sew everything together.

Sugar Block: January

Sugar Block: May

Sugar Block: June

I’m enjoying seeing this come together.  Somehow I can’t believe that it will be January before it is on our bed!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced