Saturday, February 28, 2015

4 X 7 Sewing Challenge Final Update

In my earlier post I said I would write about this tomorrow, but I changed my mind. Today is the last day of the 4 X 7 Sewing Challenge and I really want to thank Sarah of Berry Barn Designs for leading this challenge. At the beginning of the month I said I wanted to get at least 30 blocks done and I'm happy to say I completed 84. Wow that is a lot of blocks!!! With the blocks I received from my bee mates, those done in January and those done this month I am up to 147 completed blocks or just a smidgen over 50% done.

This week I did lots of purple and blue blocks, not sure why, but here are some of my favorites. In total I did 30 blocks this week. I've gotten much faster as the month has gone along. I have also cut a lot more backgrounds and even more crosses this week. Here are some of my favorites from this week.

Now I tried to sew, cut or iron at least 30 minutes every day. Some days I did more, but some days I did just the 30 minutes. I will be honest and say I know that two days I didn't do anything.  But overall it was a great experience and I am so glad to be half done. I started a spreadsheet to track my progress, but also to make sure that I didn't get too much of any one color. I was surprised to see that purple wasn't my highest amount, and neither was pink, which are probably my favorite colors. I have done more blue blocks than any color, but that is followed closely by pink then purple.  Here is a graph of how the colors layout.

I don't want a lot of brown/black blocks, but I think I need to add a few more and I really need to beef up my yellow, green, red and orange. So I have a ways to go, but overall I'm in good shape. Some blocks I had to pick a color, but they really could fall into several buckets. I just want to make sure it has a balanced feel.

It was fun to take some time for selfish sewing, but at the same time it was hard for me, because I wanted to work on projects for others as well.  So I think in March I'm going to try and focus on sewing at least 30 minutes a day, just not focusing on do so selfishly. I'm headed over to Sarah's blog to do my last link up for this challenge.  :)

A Lovely Year of Finishes: February Finished

It was a short month but I still got lots of things done. I'm very content with where I ended up for the month. But I'm always hoping for more, guess I'm just a little greedy.  So let's see what I did get done.

My first goal was the blocks for Callie and Beau's signature quilt. All of the blocks are cut, 70% are sewn and 50% are trimmed and ready to go. I'm so happy with them, they are bright and cheerful and I think they will be very happy with the results. I'm going to trim the pomegranate ones tonight and hopefully get the coral ones done on Monday/Tuesday. I still want to tape the white edges with painters tape so people don't sign in the seam allowance, but that will be easy enough.

The second goal was to complete all of my bee blocks for this month and they all went into the mail on Thursday. So they weren't early, but they weren't late either. I did union jack flags for Carla for the Compass Quilters Bee, and I struggled a little at first but was able to figure it out and get three for her.  I also sent her the one that was a little short, in case she could use it. And I was able to use some of my bluebonnet fabric since the blocks were red, white and blue.

I also got Meghan's fish blocks done for Stash Bee. I made them and then realized I sewed them wrong and messed them up when I was trying to fix them, so I just cut new ones and these look much better.

And lastly for my Bee Hive queen Barbara I made a Tic Tac Toe block.  Her color choices of dark purple, light purple and white were awesome, because I love those colors.  I had an issue with the points on my test block, but I asked for advice from the group and it really helped.

I did finish quilting the memory quilt on the frame and started piecing the next one.  I need to focus more on those and will do so in March.  I've just done a little more selfish sewing this month.  Still can't show them, because I want them to be a surprise.

I didn't make my last goal at all, nope not anything. But it will get done at some point.

I did do lots of selfish sewing and got lots of my cross blocks done, and you can see them in my post tomorrow.  For a short month a lot was accomplished, and I'm happy about it.  For today I'm linking up with  Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs and Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday #11

Ok everyone it is time for me to recognize things I'm thankful for this week. I like the idea of picking 5 things, whether they be big or small. It helps me keep the right focus.  So here is my list for this week.

1. Good Customer Service. In this day of crabby checkout people, anonymous online ordering, and general it is all about me mentality, it is nice when you receive really good customer service. I order from Fat Quarter Shop because I always get quick shipping, and they have some really good sales. This week they had an awesome sale on fat quarter bundles by Art Gallery. The bundles were 16 fat quarters of mixed Art Gallery lines in the colorways of Ruby, Harvest and Blue for $21.99 per bundle.  Since I'm always looking for different fabrics for my cross quilt and I love Art Gallery fabrics, I ordered one of each bundle. With the bad weather this week it took TWO days to arrive, yeah I know I'm spoiled. And the fabrics are beautiful, but as I was folding them so they could go into my bins, I noticed a couple of them had flaws. These flaws were not the fault of Fat Quarter Shop, they would have happened when the fabric was woven. I started not to even tell them, because the prices had been so good, but I thought I would reach out and ask. I photographed the flaws and sent an email to them. They responded quickly and with several options for me, which I thought were more than gracious. I love that they took such good care of me as their customer, and I am thankful that good customer service still exists.

2. Progress. I am so thankful that I am making progress on not one, not two but three different projects. So far this week I've completed 15 blocks for my cross quilt, started on 15 more, and cut out more background fabric.I have also sewn and trimmed on Callie and Beau's signature blocks and have finished the primrose, red and goldfish blocks. I have also started piecing the second top of the memory quilts. And to top it all off I've finished my bee blocks for this month and they should go in the mail today.  Here are the signature blocks that I've finished.

3. Warm Quilts. We don't get really long cold weather here in Texas, but we do get the occasional ice/snow day. This week we had a couple and I was so happy to have extra quilts to use.  I keep the temperature at the house fairly cool in the winter, so I can snuggle under a quilt, but this week I slept under two most of the time and for a while I used three.  It was so warm and comfy it was hard to leave the bed. I also liked that I got to put my hard work to good use.  I'm thankful for each quilt that was piled on top of me and this is still one of my favorites and I used it this week.

4. Old TV Shows. I like to have something going in the background as I sew/quilt.  Sometimes I play music, others I have Netflix going.  I will listen to the same shows over and over, because I'm doing it more for noise than really watching.  But last week I found the old Dick Van Dyke show on Netflix and have really been enjoying playing them.  The series originally ran from 1961-1966, and yet it is still funny today.  Yes there are things that are very dated in it, but cast was really great and the comedy was funny without being crude or vulgar. I'm very thankful that I have the opportunity to view these classics again. If you've never watched the show I think you can see episodes on youtube or I know you can see them on Netflix.

5. All The People I Follow.  Yes I'm thankful for all the people I follow on Instagram and with Bloglovin for posting such great pictures from QuiltCon. I wasn't able to attend, but it was so wonderful to see all the quilts, and even better was to get other's people's takes on them. There were some that I loved, others that weren't my taste, but for those of us who were stuck at home, it was fun to what was happening. So I want to thank all of those that posted, and I'm thankful for them as well (a double dose of thanks).

So that is my list for the week.  I hope each of you have lots of reasons to be thankful. I'm linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for Thankful Thursday.