Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dare To Dresden And a Giveaway

I love Dresden Plate quilt blocks.  I've made different variations of them over the years, but when I saw the Dare to Dresden Blog Hop with Madame Samm and Christine as our cheerleader I knew immediately which Dresden I wanted to try.

Click photo for close up

I think it was about a year ago that I saw this type of Dresden done.  I started out with 2-inch strips for the middle block which ended up being a 15-inch block, and then I downsized the strips to 1-1/2 inches for the surrounding Dresdens (12-inch blocks).

Click photo for close up

 I'm very happy with the way they turned out.  I was just going to stipple quilt it, but after I got the top pieced I decided I want to do some cross hatching.  I had won the fat quarter pack that I used for the blocks and don't have enough for the backing, so I will need to order that.  For some reason I just can't have a quilt that doesn't have a pretty backing too.

Click photo for close up
I used this Olfa circle cutter to cut my middle circles and it works like a dream.  I thought one of you might enjoy trying this great tool too so I have one to give away.  Just leave me a comment letting me know what project you would like to cut circles from fabric for.  As always, you can have a second chance to win just by leaving another comment letting me know you are a follower or have just become one.  I do ask that you are very careful when using this tool as it is VERY sharp.  I will draw for the winner on February 1.

Here are the rest of the blog hop participants for today...

January 28th, 2013
Meadowbrook (you are here)
Rosemary B @ “that Other Blog”

Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Horizons Have Broadened...

And it has only taken 24 simple stars to do it.  I think sometimes I get stuck in a rut, and if I would just step out of the box and take a chance with something I could learn so much!  These stars have made me realize, although I've always known it, they have just reinforced can take the same pattern, no matter how simple, and completely change it just by changing the fabrics.

After finishing these, I had one last block to make during my Friday night sewing....

It is a lovely block, and one that I would have regularly never thought twice about, but after all these other blocks with their prints, this one almost seems bland.  :)  Now I'm sure it will go perfectly with all the rest when I start putting the quilt together, but how odd that I should think twice about this block when only a short time ago I was questioning all the prints.

It was a great night for the FNSI.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is It A Bad Thing...

If I get up extra early to sew a star?  I should have probably exercised, but starting the day sewing just seemed more fun today.  I will make sure that after work I will get that exercising in!

I never would have put these fabrics together, ever, on my own choosing, but it has peaked my interest to the point that I am getting up early to sew them together just to see what I'm going to have next.  I have more blocks cut and ready to sew for the FNSI tonight.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday Fun

I've still been working on those stars.  It seems I can't just do one a day, I always think I need to do more.  There is just something about seeing what these fabric combinations are going to look like.

I don't know, but that pink is looking awfully bright to me.  I'm sure all will be fine once I get all 85 blocks put together.

Only 26 more stars to make.

This project needs to get cut and sewn together quickly (completed by Sunday).  The decision needs to be made as to whether I like the way they are grouped together or not.  I am excited to get working on it though.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stars, Summer Day, Hexagons, and Stash Report

It is so cold outside that we decided hibernation was in order today.  Even the dog doesn't like it out there.  Football, laundry, and sewing seemed to be the agenda for the day.  I made three stars yesterday and three today.

I know I never would have made these fabric choices had I gone to a quilt store to pick them out.  Had I even chosen a few of them, I would have never put these together.  And although I would have never made these choices, I love them.  It is making me step outside of my box and try something different.  The best part is each of these BOM blocks are in a different bag and I cannot see what is in them until I take that month's blocks out.  It is so fun to see what fabrics are in there and how they go together.  I find it interesting that the ones I am really not excited about when I first start working with them are usually the ones I like the best.

The second strip sets are sewn on my Summer Day blocks, and I am ready to start putting this quilt together.

I started drawing out my hexagons and will work on marking the embroidery as I go.  Since I need over 70 embroidered hexagons and I only have so much material left, I want to make sure I have enough fabric for all the connecting hexagons.  I am realizing that not only does it take time to do the embroidery, it takes quite a bit of time just to mark the hexagons, but it will be so worth it when they are finished!

Stash Report

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 2.5 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 7.75 yards
Net Used for 2013: -5.25 yards

Nothing added, nothing finished this week.  I think I am doing well keeping it under 10 yards purchased. :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Friday, January 18, 2013

I Love Stars

Even though this Stars and Sprigs project is a huge one, breaking it down into smaller "projects" is really making it not seem so overwhelming.  As a matter of fact, I am now wondering why I did not just do the work each month and this quilt would already be finished, but I guess I am one of those people who likes to peak ahead, see what is coming, and kind of plan my sewing.

I was only going to do one block, but then it was so much fun to see the fabrics together that I had to do two and then three.  I quit at three because I just wouldn't want to finish too early (I'm kidding).  I did look at the applique block fabrics too, and I think I am going to start at least cutting those blocks out soon.

It is fun to see them together...and sometimes it is nice not to have to make fabric choices, especially when every fabric is a different fabric.  Most of these fabrics are not ones I would have chosen on my own, but I am enjoying using them.  I guess I can call that "expanding my horizons."

My Summer Day Schnibbles keeps looking at me begging to be sewn together.  Maybe, just maybe there will be some extra time this weekend.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm Missing Making a Block A Day

Although I am enjoying being plenty rested everyday, I am missing making a block a day.  It was fun to have a goal each evening and then watching as it progressed.  As I was sifting through my 366 blocks again the other day I realized that I need to be doing something, even if only for a few minutes each day.   So my new goal is to make one project a month using some of those 366 blocks and then work on another block of the month everyday.  I have a few BOMs that are all ready to go (meaning I have ALL the kits for the whole quilt), and if I do one or two blocks a day the quilt should be completely pieced in a short period of time.

I am going to start with my Stars and Sprigs quilt.  These are the pieced blocks for the first month.  I was also supposed to do three applique blocks a month.  I haven't decided yet if I am going to finish all the piecing and then do the applique or if I am going to do them at the same time.  I haven't quite decided yet if I am going to machine applique, blanket stitch, or hand applique those blocks.  There are a lot of leaves so once I start doing it one way, there is no going back.

My goal is to have this completed April 1 (which just happens to be April Fool's Day).  When I say completed, I mean totally finished and ready to use.  I'm not going to stress out if I don't complete it by then, but I am going to make a decent effort.  I have 84 days to finish 82 more blocks and some very busy borders.  Now to get to work.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Think I Have a Thing For Pink

I've suddenly realized that everything I have been working on lately is very pink.  I tend to stay away from that color as no one else in my house cares for that color at all.  But, since I've decided to expand my horizons this year I've started making my pink quilts.  Besides, February is a pink month anyway.

I can't remember when I started this Schnibbles by Carrie Nelson called Summer Day.  At the beginning of the weekend I just had a big pile of flying geese.  Now I have only the other side strips to add and I can start putting it all together.  Hopefully by next week I will have a finished top ready to quilt.

Stash Report

Used this Week: 2.5 yards
Used year to Date: 2.5 yards
Added this Week: 4.75 yards
Added Year to Date: 7.75 yards
Net Used for 2013: -5.25 yards

We had a basketball tournament in a town with a really fun quilt shop this weekend.  When there are over 5,000 bolts of fabric it is kind of hard to leave all of it behind.  BUT, I do have a project for all of these (not just one) and I'm fairly certain most all of it will be in my used count soon.  Have you seen Pat Sloan's blog posting on counting your WIPs (works in progress) and UFO's (unfinished objects)?  I think I'm going to do some counting and sorting this week to see just what I have and what I need to finish.  I'm pretty sure I have some projects that will be taking a trip elsewhere to make room for the new.  You can check out Design Wall Monday to see some more WIPs.  :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In Your Words

Finally it is my day to participate in the In Your Words Blog Hop.  I was really intrigued with the idea of using words or a word in a quilt.  What word would I use, how would I use it, and would anyone truly understand what I was trying to say.  Funny the thoughts that run through the mind when doing something like this, and interesting how you can stretch yourself trying to accomplish the goal.

I chose the word bloom.  I have always loved the saying "Bloom where you are planted," and for me that would be a good thought, but I wanted to just use the word bloom.  I tend to stand back and watch from the side lines, quietly enjoying what others do, and not allowing myself to try for fear of failing.  This year I want to bloom.  I want to try all those things that I've stood and watched pass me by.  I want to try new things and maybe fail, or better yet, possibly succeed.  If there is one thing I've learned, it is that life is short, and standing and watching it pass by isn't the best way to stretch your horizons, accomplish goals, or reach finish lines.  So this year, this wall flower is going to bloom.  (You can see a larger photo by clicking on the picture).

Thank you Madame Samm and Linda for all your work on this blog hop. I thoroughly enjoyed working on my project.  You can visit the rest of the blogs for today here:

Friday, January 11
Jane's Fabrics (Jane R.)
Jane's Quilting (Jane C.)
Nuts 4 Redwork (Heide W.)
Bits and Pieces (Martha R.)
Life in Every Breath (Jennifer B.)
Quilting Lines (Patricia L.)
Meadowbrook  (Kristen K.)
Count It All Joy!  (Denise P.)
Sophie Junction (Sophie W.)

Thanks for visiting!!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I pieced three more blocks, and I just had to see what they were going to look like together.  They are on carpeting here which is darker, but I'm really starting to get excited.  It looks crooked, which it is, because I didn't leave space for all the connecting hexies.  Once I get those all embroidered it will go together perfectly.  It is almost like putting puzzle pieces together.

One good thing about taking a photo is seeing that there are too many of the dark pink flowers in a row. I have 28 blocks finished with 7 to go, plus all the connecting hexies.  I did realize that I didn't make enough green and yellow flowers so I have to make seven more of both.  I do have enough fabric for them which is a relief because I'm very doubtful I could find this fabric anywhere.  I'm off to make some more flowers.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, January 7, 2013

Design Wall Monday And Stash Report

I think I remember saying something a couple of days ago about there maybe being an addiction problem with hexies.  :)  I set a goal this weekend to have 15 started "blocks" so that I would be half way done.  I figured I could spend my waiting time this week embroidering the center and connecting hexies and then hopefully have some time next weekend to finish a few more blocks.  I kind of got on a roll and I have 25 blocks now with only 10 to go.  I do have another project with a deadline due on Friday so most of my sewing time will be spent on that this week.

I don't know if there is any stage of a hexagon quilt that isn't exciting.  I am definitely motivated to keep working on it. :)

Stash Report

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 3 yards
Added Year to Date: 3 yards
Net Used for 2013: 0.00 yards

I made a trip to a new quilt store this weekend to purchase some Cosmo thread and fabric for my Friday project.  I did add 3 yards, but it is all cut up and ready to be sewn into this project so I am not feeling too bad about it.  They only had 3 of the 20 colors of Cosmo I needed so it would have been a wasted trip had I not found the fabric.  It seems I always find a way to justify a fabric purchase. :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hexies Everywhere

Tonight I was bound and determined I needed to see how the embroidered middle hexagon would look in the block.

This is the first of many I need to embroider.  I haven't decided yet if I am going to use the same floss colors on all of them or use a combination of colors, maybe making all the center ones similar, and then changing up the connector hexies.  There are a total of 35 blocks to make, and I've got 30 to go. :) Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Name Is Kristen And I'm Addicted To....

Hexies....oh my goodness, it seems I forgot how much fun it is to sew these together all by hand.  :)  I woke up this morning thinking about the color combinations and placement.  Before work I had all the different flower colors stacked in piles across my living room floor.  As soon as I was finished working I had a stack of them all ready to be sewn together.  I finally had to say enough for today.  Why, why, why did I not think of this before?  And why did I let these flowers just sit for so very long?

I had to finally quit after getting three blocks together.  The best part about doing it this way is that I can spin the blocks to move colors to different spots before I add in the embroidered hexies.  I plan on doing a final color placement, numbering each block so I know how many embroidery ones are needed, and then I can piece them all together.  Ohhh the excitement...okay, so I do have a life, but this really is fun. :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Remember these?

I have had these sitting in a spot where I can see them most of the time.  I let them sit because I haven't embroidered all the little hexies that go in between each of the blocks.  Tonight I decided that I should just see what would happen if I would start sewing them into the blocks, but leave the spaces for the embroidered hexies.   I am so glad I did this as I can work with the color placement of the flowers and then change them around before I have the blocks completed (one of the blocks has a hexie that is a connector so if it is attached it can't really be spun around if needed).

Sometimes I let something little like those center hexies hinder my finishing something.  It did not take long at all to get to this point. and once I know how I want the blocks to go it should take no time at all to get them all put together.  Isn't it silly how a person can let one little thing keep them from seeing the whole picture.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Morsel and A Star

I seriously spent the majority of the day trying to figure out where to start for this year.  I finally decided rather than starting something just to be starting it, I'm going to keep looking for what I really want to work on and keep laying all those blocks out looking for a good way to put some together.

I wanted to participate in the Schnibble's parade again and had looked at the Morsel pattern more than a few times.  What I ended up doing is using the techniques, but none of the measurements used in the pattern.  I had a few honey bun strips left over from a project I had done a few years ago and I thought they would make a perfect Morsel.  I quilted it, added my ribbon and stuffed it.  I realized in the photo the green strip in the middle actually looks like a decorator fabric, but it isn't, it is just the pattern on the  fabric.  I am going to leave this by my stitching spot so I can put my pins in it rather than the couch.

Here it is with the journal cover I made a few years back.  I think I should actually start using the journal too, maybe using it to draw out quilt layouts for all those blocks. ;)

And then because old habits die hard I had to make a block.  I only need to make 39 more of these for a quilt (there are also 40 applique blocks in the quilt).  They sew together so quickly that I almost made two...and at one a night, they will all be finished by the middle of February.  Each block is made out of different fabrics so no two will be the same.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen