Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday Month Spectacular!

I've been MIA from this blog  because of the January birthday extravaganza this month. There was so much love shared and so little time to write about it.

Here's a quick summary:

After ringing in the New Year with some of my favorite people on Earth, I set off to begin my quilting adventure. I met with my new guild in Orlando and had such a great time. It was a warm reception and I left there feeling so inspired by everyone's creativity. I can't wait to learn from these women.

Then, the birthday celebrations began in earnest with dinners chosen by the honored guest. Jos and I both picked Italian and Geeg picked steak! Yummy dinners were had by all. (On Geeg's birthday, we tried out a local steakhouse that I was always leery of trying because of its humble exterior. I can't believe I've lived in Sanford for over 10 years and didn't try it sooner. The meal was outstanding. The icing on this cake was it was completely paid for by a random stranger who didn't even know we were celebrating Geeg's 81st birthday! How sweet was that?)

Next, I headed to Miami to see my family there and had a wonderful and relaxing time away. I played with my nieces, took an afternoon nap, and spent time with my mom.My last night there was spent with my bff from high school, Lisa. We gossiped, watched reality TV, and slept really well. I came home feeling so blessed and rejuvenated.

In the end, I returned to a craft room full of new Christmas and birthday toys including gift cards, fabric, new rotary cutters, rulers, a rotating cutting board, a drawer organizer, and idle hands that needed to get back to sewing. I set to work organizing my space and putting away bulk fabric into vacuumed storage bags to make room for immediate projects. I plan to sort the quilting fabrics into separate piles by colors at some point.

So far, I completed and sent out blocks for my online Block of the Month group. I found all of the fabric I will be using for my skill builder BOM project. I'm so excited about this project because I will be creating the first quilt that I will be keeping for myself. I can't wait to start using the techniques described in this first lesson. It's going to be so bright and gay!
Tasting the Rainbow!
I also finished my next block for my local guild meeting in February. We were asked to create a green block with a neutral border. I didn't have much green to choose from in my collection but found some scraps from other projects that worked perfectly. I wanted to try my hand at a Bargello-style piece and really liked the resulting block. I will definitely use this technique again.
February's guild mtg piece

I'm looking forward to a very crafty year filled with lots of sewing and trying new things.
Don't worry, I will be sharing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January BOM

So I decided to try various online methods of creating blocks each month. My goal is not only to learn new techniques, but to also have 1 or 2 large quilts ready in time for the holidays as super duper presents.If I can make a new friend or two then that's a plus!

I found a guild that meets in the area and plan to attend their meeting on Wed to see if we mesh well. (I really love the ideas on their website!) I also joined a few Flickr groups for inspiration. I was invited to try a unique quilting bee that "adds borders" to your original 6" square you send in as you can. There are no time limits and you can keep a block at any time. So, I may not get back the piece I started which leaves me leery of this option.I do appreciate the lack of a time limit because things will get busy with work in the Spring and I may not have time to create on a consistent basis.

Since my mama says not to show up empty handed, I created the first block which was more versatile that I was expecting. (My first attempt was politely called "busy" so I scrapped it and started over with simpler prints that matched the colors requested: blue, purple, orange and white.Perhaps I can send in the blocks created to the border virtual bee to see if someone can transform them?)
First attempt: Not in love with this result.

On my second attempt, I created 2 blocks that look as nice as the sample shown on the guild site. I plan to bring one to the meeting and keep the other for my own 2013 quilt.
Second attempt: So happy with the result.

Border added to fit 12.5 x 12.5 size requested.
I am not sure what order or direction I will finish my personal block. There are a few ways it can piece together. I will post the final result when I officially decide if I like the X or the O pattern.

(I think another goal of mine should be to learn more about photography and lighting so my projects can be seen in a clear light.)