July Sugar Block Club – BOM

I am LATE with this block, but I’m happy to have gotten it done in July!

We were traveling early in the month for a few weddings, but I got one last week off work before I started back to work to catch up on all my blocks.

So here it is! The Sugar Block Club July Block.

This turned out to be a cool block, and I wound up liking it much more as I put it together and finished it.  It was paper pieced, and it was fun to do such a large paper pieced block as opposed to all the teeny-tiny Splendid Sampler blocks.

This was my fabric pull for the block.  I was looking for some nice contrast between sections in the block.

fabric pull

As there were a lot of fabrics in this block I thought that making a plan before staring to cut and sew would be a good idea.

paper piecing templates

I didn’t color in all of the sections, but made enough notes in each section to make it clear to me which fabric went where.

I then started piecing, working on the A triangles first and the B triangles second.  Some of the sections were very thin, but overall it was pretty straightforward to piece.  Big pieces, and not too many of them.

sewing

After the paper piecing it was a lot of seam matching to get all of the sections together.

And then ta da!  The finished block:

July Sugar BOM

I think it’s really pretty cool!  I had been struggling with how to use the grey triangle fabric, and I think it worked out really well here.  I also like how the two different yellow and two different blue fabrics contrast and set each other off.

July is winding down and I’ll have another Sugar Block to do shortly.  I’m sure it will be another great block to play with!

2016 Mid Year Review

I’ve been thinking about going back to the list of 2016 goals I published earlier this year and check-in on how I’m doing against them.  This past Saturday I was really pleased to read Yvonne’s (Quilting Jet Girl) mid-year review post for two reasons.  The first was that it was a very interesting, well thought-out post.  I appreciated how her goals were focused at two levels – shorter term and big picture – and I found her goal setting and commentary very thought provoking.  I think I will follow her lead and structure my goals in this format next year.  The second was that she started a mid-year review link up party.  So no excuses for me now…I have a link-up to join!

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My goals this year were pretty short-term and what I’d call ‘tactical’ – things I wanted to get done.  Some skills I wanted to improve, but mostly projects I wanted to tackle.  As I head in to the second half of the year, I’m thinking of a few more skill-building and big picture goals I’d like to add.

The original list:

1.  Start this blog.  Figure out how to link up to things and add buttons.

I’ve done pretty well here.  I got the blog going, have learned how to do lots of things, including link-ups and buttons, and more importantly, have learned to figure out how to do things on my own.  I am proud that I saw that someone else had a Instagram feed on their blog, thought, ‘hey, that’s cool!’, went out and searched for methods to do it, and got it added.  I also joined the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop which has been great, both in community building and for my learning process.

For the second half of the year I have 2 goals with my blog.  First is to keep it up – I’m just starting back to work after about 3 months off, and I’m worried about finding time to sew and blog.  Second is to think about a tip I recently read on Mary Fons’ blog Paper Girl about blogging.  She said that your blog needs to serve people.  It needs to help in some way, and that a blog is not a diary.  This made me stop and think a bit.  What am I trying to do with this blog?  I’m not sure, and at this point I’m certainly not trying to change the world, but I thought it was an interesting point to keep in mind as I go forward.

2.  Improve my Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I’ve been doing FMQ for some time, but have kind of fallen into a rut of stippling and swirls. I have two or three smaller quilts I can use to practice, plus practice sandwiches, and maybe I’ll try a few mini quilts.

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One of the quilts for machine quilting practice
The second quilt I'll be using for machine quilting practice
The second quilt I’ll be using for machine quilting practice

I’ve done reasonably well here.  I quilted both Chemistry (above) and Do the Math, from the Facets QAL.  I did a lot of practice on small pieces that became zippy pouches.  I also took a free Angela Walters Craftsy class that was great, and used some of those concepts to finish another quilt (more on that one later).  Finally, I took a great long arm class at my local Bernina dealer.  I’ll also post more about this class later, but it was a great day, and I learned as much about designing quilting for a quilt as I did about using the long arm.  Good progress here, but this will be a continued source of focus for me.

3.  I joined a few quilt alongs – the Stitchery Dickory Dock’s Sugar Block Club 3.0 BOM that my Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild is doing, Christa Watson’s Facets QAL, and The Splendid Sampler. These should be fun, educational, and push me outside my normal boundaries.

I’ve done really well here, and really enjoyed these projects.  Plus I am all caught up on all of them as I head back to work.  I did join another QAL – Moda’s Bee-utiful QAL – but I haven’t been able to get any of those blocks done yet.  No more new QALs/BOMs for me until I finish the 3 remaining ones that I am in.

4.  I have an awesome hand-dyed houses quilt that I need to finish…I’m holding on to it for a little while until I improve my FMQ!  I want to do something with big swirls.

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Maggie was inspecting the quilt with her pink alligator.

 

Boo.  I have basted Row Houses, but no quilting yet.  It is stuck in a limbo state due to either my procrastination and/or my discontent with my skill at the swirls I want to add.

5.  Use my stash! I bought a few new things for these quilt alongs, but I really want to focus on using up what I have. I’m trying to do the whole Splendid Sampler from my stash.

Sort of a mixed bag here.  I’ve done a good job of only using my stash for the Splendid Sampler, and I went through my stash and got rid of a big bin of stuff I know I won’t use.  But I still have a lot of stuff, and I did break down and buy more.  BUT NOW!  NO MORE FABRIC BUYING!  I SWEAR!  haha

6.   Work on a few other pet projects – I need to make some little zippered bags for some friends, and I’m really digging the Plus quilts that She Can Quilt makes – so I think I’ll tackle those too.

Another mixed bag – I got a bunch of zippered bags done, but no progress on the plus quilt.

Adds for the second half of 2016:

  1.  Design.  I had a great time doing my hexies challenge quilt and loved how it came together.  I have two opportunities for design in front of me – planning what I want to do with my Blueberry Park fabric, and I entered the Cloud 9 block design challenge (part of the New Bloggers group).  I need to find a good mix of designing something that is unique but not taking forever to make decisions and get going.
  2. Think more about whether I want to buy a long arm.  I took that class and boy, I was terrible at it.  But I think it is something I want to do and will eventually help me enjoy the whole quilting process more.
  3. Think more about what I’m trying to do with all this quilting and blogging.  Really, there are only so many quilts I need.  Am I doing this just for myself?  Do I want to get into designing and selling patterns?  Do I want to sell my quilts?

Thanks again to Yvonne for hosting the link up and inspiring me to pause and reflect on the first half of 2016!

Liking up with Quilting Jet Girl’s Mid-Year Review.

Q3 FAL Goals – Brown Paws Quilting

Half of the year gone!  Whew!  It is time to set goals for Q3.

1.  My quilt from my ABQ MQG challenge and my Victoria Findlay Wolfe class.  Most of the quilting is done for this one, so on to binding and making the label.

2.  Red and White stars – I made this quilt top forever ago and recently found it hiding away.  I just used it this week in my first long arm class, so I should be able to get it bound and finished quickly.2.

3.  My green and black accented squares quilt.

4.  Quilt that darn row houses!

5.  Make my Blueberry Park fat quarters or charm packs into something cool.

6.  I started the Moda Bee-utilful QAL, and that wraps up in August.  I haven’t even started the blocks yet, and they are all embroidery, so getting this one done will be a stretch.

7.  Finish the Hawaiian sampler.

I should get at least 2 finishes, if not 3.  All seven will definitely be a stretch!

2016 button 250 best 150

 

Linking up with the Q3 FAL page.

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