Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week in Progress # 17

Happy Wednesday everyone! Well it is extra happy Wednesday for me. It is my last late start Wednesday (aka staff meeting/prep day) of the school year. I am hoping to get my cumulative files done in the morning so I do have to stay late.

Completed Projects:

Report cards done! Over 3000 words written in the comment section!

Ok enough life, back to quilting.

Twist on Tradition May bee block-1.jpg

I finished my bee blocks for the month of May yeah I know pushing that whole deadline thing. At least this time they were done before the month ended.

May Block Scrap Bee_.jpg

I also reorganized my fabric.

New Projects:
June Bee block for me. I asked for the modified bento box block tutorial from Film on the Fridge blog

Ongoing Projects:
Orange/blue commissioned quilt. I spent some time cutting this week and playing with fabric.

Work in progress May-1.jpg

Completed tops awaiting quilting:
You would think I could get to these already.

Posh Quilt 

Loves Road

I didn't do anything with these:

Doll Quilt for the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild Challenge.

Storm at Sea Doll Quilt in progress

I just need to finishing binding it. I made a silly mistake in binding it and I just haven't fixed it yet. My mom also feels I need to block it, but you know it really isn't that important to me. The challenge is over and I am not even sure if I am keeping it or sending it on some little girl to play with :). 

UFOs -

Scrappy Bear

Halloween Quilt

Peace Purse - fabric back into stash!

Christmas Hexagon table runner and pillows.

This week's stats:
New projects: 1
Completed projects :  3
Currently in progress - 7
These are looking better. I want to get done 6 works in progress.

Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, May 30, 2011

Grand plans for sewing fall short

This was a 4 day weekend for me. Friday was a furlough day. Then of course the weekend. Plus Memorial day.

My thoughts were: Friday = report cards/clean/organize sew, Saturday = pick up husband from San Francisco Airport have fun there, Sunday = Hangout with Hubby/regular weekend stuff/work project/Sewing, Monday = Sewing/finishing up laundry/work project.

Well, that didn't happen. I did get a little of everything, but I really fell short on accomplishing any of my goals.
Here is my one finish for the weekend.

Twist on Tradition May bee block-1.jpg

This is how my weekend really went. Husband came home early (yippy). I didn't have to pick him up since there was a flight change.

Friday = hung out with hubby, started the laundry, visited the husbands family, went fabric shopping, worked on report cards late into the night (typed over 3,000 words in the comment section).

Saturday = kinda cleaned, organized my fabric, vacuumed


Sunday = normal weekend stuff, husband reminded me I better work on my work project, cut lots and lots of fabric for bees and other projects. Feet got tried. Took a bath.

Work in progress May-5.jpg

Monday =  Thought about cutting more fabric. Ironed (fabric of course). Decided to really cleaned, whole house clean except for vacuum. Finished two bee blocks. Went to celebration dinner (sis-in-laws boyfriend got a promotion), had family over.

Work in progress May-1.jpg

And here we are again at my only finish for the weekend.

Twist on Tradition May bee block-3.jpg

This one was done earlier in the week

Twist on Tradition May bee block-2.jpg

These will be out in the mail tomorrow and hopefully so will the other bee block I had planned on finishing.

Linking to:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations
Sew Happy Geek

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fabric Organization

Once upon a time I had organized my office/sewing room. I had two places I where I was keeping my fabric.

The first place was in this old ikea dresser.

The second was in the closet in my husbands office. You can see UFOs, neutrals yardage, and scraps (yes that bottom one is all scraps).

Then the ikea dresser broke. The bottom of the drawers fell out due to the weight of the fabric. Well that and the fact that it was an old cheap ikea dresser, that had already seen its best of days. So, I added all my fabric to the closet and those three boxes you see up top.

Well, a couple months passed, and the fabric became a disaster. I couldn't even really get to it because it was too heavy for me to get down from the shelf and I didn't like being separated from my pretty fabric.

At this point I wish I had remember to take a picture of my before boxes to share with you. Lets just say it was bad. Really bad. Like so bad that I just spent the last 2.5 hours organizing my fabric.

I looked and looked on craig's list, ikea, online, and every where I could think of for a cheap inexpensive dresser. I just wasn't happy with anything I could find and the price I could find them for. Plus, I don't really have room for a dresser now that I added this darling sewing table.

So, in the end this is what I came up with.

I put my fat quarters to yard sized piece of fabrics all color coded in the two top shelves and then I organized all my scraps to match the colors above. So the first drawer set has: white, tans, browns, blacks, and grays in the first drawer, the second drawer has reds, oranges, and yellows, and the bottom drawer has scraps that fall into all those color categories. I am hoping this will help me use my scraps better and not feel like it is a chore to try and find scraps for my scrap-bee blocks group.

The three big boxes in the corner have my neutrals (more than a yard pieces), backing fabric and UFOs. I will probably ended up labeling this summer, but maybe not.

The only other thing I am going to do, is have my husband put blocks under the legs; to raise the table to a good height to turn it into my cutting table. I usually use the kitchen island, but I am only 5'6 (on a good day) and 37 inches is a little too high for me. I am going to have him make this 35ish inches.

Oh yeah, and if you are worried about this two naughty dogs getting to my stuff. Then you will have to read again at some later date to find out what happened and why I am not worried about them getting it.

And no I didn't get rid of them. Although, after my story you may think I am crazy for not doing so.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Value pictures

I have had a lot of comments about my value pictures from the last post. So I thought I would share some more info on. First off, it wasn't my idea :) I have heard/seen around before.

 Once upon a time, I used to take black and white photos with that strange film stuff, I really haven't done anything with black and white since I stopped working/teaching at my college photo lab One of the tools you used to get good prints is value. We used to make these cool value strips by exposing our paper to light at different increments of time.
This is the first one I ever did, not the best, but the quickest one to find
Basically, the goal of a value it to make sure you have from the lightest to the darkest represented in your work. Doesn't mean you need one of each value, just that you have a good representation. If it is too light, you get a washed out effect, if it is too dark it is hard to distinguish between different things. Now if you are going for washed out pale beachy effect, that is one thing. Or if you are going for a midnight look that is another. However, most of the time you really to have lots of value.

Since I made many of these teaching at the photo lab I kind of have the image of one ingrained in my brain and I use it when I am thinking about values in quilts. So, I had actually never done the picture thing before. I had thought about doing it many times and never got around to it. I kept thinking I would have to take the fabric home and take a picture and covert it to black and white and so on. Ok, I was making excuses.
However, after seeing Leila post for her skill builder sampler that I have joined, I decided why not try it next time I pick fabric for a quilt. It probably helped that I decided to pick up new fabric a couple days later or I probably would have forgotten about it again.

Now, I am not one of those big process as describe above kind of girls.  So to do this I didn't get out any fancy camera. All I did was grab my phone, take it out at the my LQS, lay down my bolts of fabric and snap the pictures. Then I changed them to black in white on the phone and checked my colors. As you can see from above something was missing. So I grab some more bolts,  dropped them on top and took another picture.

I kept doing this until I was happy with my color choices. It is really simple and just takes a couple seconds. You should really try it some day.

These ones I did take home

This is still done with the camera on my droid phone

You can take some pictures right there as you are shopping, or try it with your stash at home. You don't need anything fancy. Most cameras have a black and white function or an setting for editing your picture to black and white right there on the camera. So you don't even have to go to your computer, just get your camera out. Oh yeah, and remember to ignore anyone who looks at your like you are crazy, they are the ones that are missing out on a great way to see value. *Technical Edit here, I know a lot of phones have the black and white option with the camera. However, I just found out that for iPhones you have to download an app for black and white photos (sorry iphone users, luckily there are free apps for that). 

It really is a great idea and thanks Leila for reminding me of it. You really should check out her skill builder.

BWS tips button

It doesn't start  until in June but I am sure she will have some great tips to help us get better at quilting or just to remind us of somethings we forgot that we already knew but haven't been doing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Work in Progress Week 16

Is it really Wednesday already?

Completed Projects:

Complete something two weeks in a row. Ha! Not me. I mean I should of, I could of, but nah!

Nearly Completed Projects:

I just need to finishing binding it. I made a silly mistake in binding it and I just haven't fixed it yet. 

My second nearly completed project. One of my May Bee Blocks for a Twist on Tradition. I actually planned this one out. She asked for a 4 X 4 block so I go out my The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters
The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: 4050 Pieced Blocks for Quilters

And I picked this one:

I made the 1/2 square triangles.

Then I laid them out 

When I put them into the block I noticed it was pinwheels. How had I not see that before. Interesting. 

Then I had to get ready to meet my brother for lunch and rolled up and there it has been sitting for three days. 
New Projects:

I was asked to make a quilt for a local quilt/sewing machine shop. I know me right. Amazing! She actually asked me a while ago, but I just didn't have time and she was still getting new fabric in. So yesterday, I had a very bad horrible no good day. 

What is a quilter to do on one of those days? Well of course shop for fabric. So I went to her shop and decided now is the time to make her something. Or possibly she reminded me when I have time I said I would make her something for her shop. Or a little off both. 

I wasn't happy with any of the patterns, but I have one of the books she is currently selling. So I offered to make a quilt out of  Simplify.

Simplify with Camille Roskelley: Quilts for the Modern Home (Stash Books)

I know I have talked about this book before, but it really does make me happy. 

Here are the fabrics I choose. 

Don't ask, I am on an orange and blue kick right now. 

Then I made it black and white to check my values. 

I noticed there wasn't any dark so I added this. 

Checked the values again. 

Looking good but I feel like it is missing something. I will have to figure it out before I start cutting. Maybe something from my own stash will help. Or maybe the dark is too dark. Maybe I need to put them in a better order. 

Oh look I forgotten I added more. Now lets try black and white.

I think it looks a lot better. Oh yeah there will be a solid with this either off-white, cream, or white. 

Hmm... Any ideas, about what is missing or what needs to be taken away? 

Ongoing Projects:

May blocks for bees (counts for two projects). I looked at fabric for one of them and decided on the design for the other. I just never made it to the cutting and then sewing part. 

Completed tops awaiting quilting:

Posh Quilt - backing check, batting check, time to quilt it - nope

Loves Road

I didn't do anything with these:

UFOs -

Scrappy Bear

Halloween Quilt

* Peace Purse - I was hoping to make this for a co-worker. Not going to happen removing from list adding fabric back into stash!

Wait I have been leaving off one... 

Christmas Hexagon table runner and pillows. 

This week's stats:
New projects: 1
Completed projects :  ha
Currently in progress - 9 
Linking up to:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wonderful things all around

Sometimes it is just time to stop and smell the roses.

Or in some cases admire the lilies that just opened up.

Or the geraniums that are so pink and cute.

And of course no trip around the yard is complete without admiring the dogs. 

Or noticing that the grass really needs to be cut. Or the your rose need to be pruned and that you really should replace the one that died. 

But there are always  more beautiful/wonderful things to admire/enjoy than worry about what isn't great.

Such as this little lily that will open up to the world tomorrow or the next day.

And the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day that is happen tomorrow. 

I wanted to participate, but forgot to sign up on time.

However, in exactly one month from today it will be my birthday and it is a big decade one, so I will probably have share that birthday celebration with you all or the giveaway gods will be angered with me. I am sure they already are for me winning last time and not signing up for giveaway day this time, but maybe my promise for the birthday celebration will appease them and I might win a giveaway :)

Have fun tomorrow on all of those giveaways and don't forget to take a moment to admire all the wonderful/beautiful things in this world; including the generosity of others.