Monday, January 19, 2015

A New Year - Some New BOMs!

January. A new year. Resolutions. New Projects. NEW BOMs!

OK, so given the fact that I have so many ongoing BOM, it's crazy for me to think about starting any new ones, right?  But there are soooo many gorgeous quilts out there just waiting to be created. I am powerless to resist.

At this point there are three BOMs that I have committed to. There may be more later, but right now there are three. 

One of them I have already started on - it's The New Hexagon Millefiori Quilt Along hosted by Katja Marek of Katja's Quilt Shoppe in British Colombia, Canada. I had been drooling over several different millefiori type quilts on Pinterest and had even bought a book. Then as if by magic, the quilting spirits knowing I wanted to do one of these, a notice appeared on FB about the quilt along. So I ordered the book and precut paper pieces and picked up some Kaffe Fassett fabric. Within a few days I had my first hexagon pieced.

This quilt is meant to be hand pieced using the English Paper Piecing method. Each 3 inch hexagon is pieced in a different way. Katja's recommendation is to use a fabric glue stick to baste the fabric down around the shape. I've always thread basted in the past, but being the curious sort I am, I decided to try the glue stick. It is much faster and I really like it so far.

So, now I had this great center Hexie done and I'm having a lot of trouble choosing fabric for the first round that works well with the center. After hours of playing with swatches of fabric and my magic mirrors, I gave up on my first center and decided to start over. A trip to a LQS resulted in some Alexander Henry fabric I had been considering earlier as well as some cute coordinating bits. 

Have you ever fussy cut  pieces for EPP? I use a plastic template with registration marks drawn in so that I am sure I am cutting the exact same area of fabric. If you are curious about fussy cutting, this is a great tutorial. It's a bit time consuming in terms of prep work, but it gives you great results - not reflectional symmetry, but rotational symmetry.

New fabric is cut, paper pieces for all 38 hexies are basted, and center and round 1 are done for Rosette 1. If you're on FB, check out The New Hexagon - Millefiori Quilt-Along to see photos of everyone's rosettes. It's awesome! 

While I'm on vacation in Arizona visiting my Mom, I'll be hand piecing the hexies together and I'll post a picture of the finished Rosette.

Happy Hexies!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Few Last "Present" BOMs

OK, before I move on to the BOMs I want to do in the future (or the ones I plan on starting tomorrow LOL), there are 2 last "current" ones I should write about. 

The first one is the Sedona Star, a Sarah Vedeler design I wrote about in my last posting. Sedona Star was The Quilt Show BOM for 2012. This quilt is built from the inside out. It is not a simple quilt. It requires precision cutting and piecing. The techniques featured are foundation paper piecing, applique, sewing set-in circles, and using the Accuquilt-GO! cutter to cut some of the applique shapes.

In January I started enthusiastically - I ordered the fabric for this classy, rich color-way of muted blues, tans, browns, and reds, started downloading the instructions, bought the special foundation piecing / stabilizer product - Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff Poly (a special product that you don't have to remove from the quilt - wash it and it turns into batting), and began working on the blocks. 

The first few months went smoothly. The foundation piecing was right on. The Accuquilt-GO! worked perfectly cutting the 12 circles in the center medallion. The appliques star points were perfect. Then it came time to set in the center circle into the circle of star points. Uh-Oh. The diameter of the center section was 3/8 inch too small. I wasn't sure what to do. So I decided to sit on it for a bit - perfectly logical, right?

Unfortunately "a bit" turned into several months and by the time I figured out how I was going to fix my problem, the BOM for 2012 was finished and the instructions were no longer available for download. An email message from Sarah Vedeler indicated I could buy what was once a free pattern (to TQS members) for $60. So, I fixed my problem (resew some seams with a smaller seam allowance) and waited a bit more until Mea Bernina offered Sedona Star as a BOM. 

So now I own the pattern and have a few partners in crime - a small group of ladies who are working on Sedona Star too. I have all the Month 3 foundation pieced stars completed and have done one of Month 4. I still have to set the stars into the background fabric, but I'll wait and do that after all 9 stars are done (end Month 5).
Whew! Sedona Star is not a piece of cake, but it sure will be gorgeous when I'm done!

The final "present" but not current BOM is another Quilt Show project - A to Z with Ewe and Me, designed by Janet Stone. I really like the whimsy of this quilt. It's obvious that Janet gets her inspiration for alphabet samplers from her cross stitch past. I hate to admit it but I only have "A" done. I've got lots to do on this one, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Well, that is all the past and present BOMs. 2015 is here, so there are surely some "future" BOMs coming soon.
Here's to a New Year, old and new BOMs, and long time (not old) and new stitching friends!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A very productive BOM day!

What is a typical sewing day for you? For me, last Sunday was a super productive sewing day and it happened to include multiple BOMs! I wish I could say it was typical in terms of productivity, but I don't usually get quite so much done. It was typical in one huge way - variety.

"Typical" usually means multiple projects going at once, often at very different phases (design, cutting, piecing, quilting, finishing), and in very different colors and fabric styles. One thing I have learned about myself is that I get bored easily if I have to do too much of the same thing - same blocks, same fabric, same whatever. So I like to keep it varied. Sunday was a really varied day!

As you know I've got several embroidery BOMs going, so yesterday I made 2 tiles for the last Month 10 block for feathered star. I'm only 1 tile away from finishing all the star blocks. Then I will only have border blocks left to do - talk about boring, all 48 of them are exactly the same block with just one piece of fabric changing from block to block. Oh well, at least its bright, bold, happy fabric.

While my Bernina 830 was busy embroidering the feathered star (I'm needed for thread changes and adding pieces of fabric now and then, but mostly the machine takes care of it), I was working on last year's JayBird Quilts' BOM Toes in the Sand. Each month there are 2 blocks using the same pattern but with different fabric. So I got 2 blocks (Month 7 checked off my checklist) done and started cutting the pieces for the Month 8 blocks.

Then in the afternoon I scooted down to the shop for some sewing on the Sedona Star (more details in a later post). My friend Peggy is teaching the Sedona Star at Mea and I join in when I can. Class was cancelled yesterday due to the holidays, but Peggy was working on the shop sample, so I joined her and worked on the Month 4 paper pieced stars. I got one of three done!

As you know, sewing is fun, but designing and thinking about quilting is almost as, if not more, fun. In January I'm going to start a new BOM (details available in a later post) so I've been perusing Pinterest and other sites for ideas about color choices for the new
BOM. I found a FQ bundle of PB&J on Etsy and ordered it so I could potentially use some for this new BOM. Craftsy was having a year end sale, so I also ordered a few FQ bundles from them too.

Overall it was a productive day and I got lots of creative itches scratched (I'm sure there is a better metaphor than that but I used up all my creativity!).

Happy Productive Creativity to You!