Stars-quilt March’17 update

I’ve been thinking of the monthly summaries I’ve been writing recently, and I am kind of feeling like dropping them. Basically, the only project I think worthy to report its state is the Stars-quilt, and mostly because it is a years-long running project. Truth is I have an analogue system based on paper and pen that works rather well, and looking back to the previous posts I find them rather heavy to read and not essential for the blog at all.

I’m not saying I won’t be back to some kind of report / summary / update of different projects, is just that the current one wasn’t working as I would like.

So, the Stars-quilt this month. It has seen little progress, perhaps I should set a fixed number of stars to be done each month?

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 27/84 (+3 from the last stats)

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On-going projects: February update

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(Each month I write a monthly summary about what’s going on behind the finishedblocks and projects shared on the everyday posts of the blog. That helps me in keeping track of the on-going projects and acts as a motivation guide).

February was marked by two unexpected trips that keep me away of the sewing room. On the other hand, they helped in advancing hand-sewn, portable projects.

All 100 blocks for The Splendid Sampler™ are finished! I can’t believe I’ve actually made it! Now I’m going to take a couple of weeks break to catch on other things and I’ll start revisiting those blocks that require so and start putting the sampler together. I already have decided on the setting, I just need to audit the fabric for it.

The 2016 BoM by Cotton&Color was planned to start being quilted on January. However, I couldn’t spend time on it. I don’t foresee any advance for it on March, even though I would like to have it, at least, basted.

I finished the blocks for the “Buttons” pattern by Me and My Sister Designs. I want to have the top finished by the end of March!

The Star-Sampler quilt along by Amanda of 3and3quarters is up-to-date.

– The Stars-quilt was the major beneficiary of my trips this month:

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 24/84 (+6 from the last stats)

I finished the first block for the Flower Festival quilt-along by Leah Day. I already posted about the piecing of this one, and I plan to post about the quilting part later this week. However, I couldn’t start the second one, so I’m thinking to skip directly to the March’s block and catch up with February’s as soon as possible.

I also couldn’t work on the Cotton&Color‘s Project of the Month pattern for February. I did however end January’s pouch. Post to come.

The Quilt Block Cookbook sew-along by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock is the neglected project this month. I couldn’t keep up with the weekly block, so I have like 6 weeks to catch up. But I did prioritize the Splendid Sampler blocks, so now I’ll try to find some time to sew along. I was having lots of fun playing with my fabric stash and I already have several ideas for the blocks.

And I wanted to finish the quilt from the course I did on Laura Heine‘s collage quilts, but it just didn’t happen. It’s taking priority this month, hope I can have it finished also before the end of it.

On a brighter side, I did finish two projects! My knitted top is finished and waiting to be blocked! And I was able to finish a long-running embroidery project. As always, each of them will get its on post on the blog.

Although I couldn’t stick to my original plan for February, looking back I realise I did some great progress on the Stars-quilt, and I was able to finish two projects! Not to mention, having 100 blocks finished…That’s how all of them look like together!

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On-going projects: January update

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Last year I started to write this kind of monthly summaries, and they did help in keeping track of everything and show what’s going on behind the finished blocks I normally share here.

That being said, this month has been really busy. I took a two-day course at Cotton&Color, started three new sew-alongs and tried to keep up with the ones currently running.

For the already running projects:

The Splendid Sampler™ is entering the final stage, with only 4 blocks left to be released. I have committed myself to finish it in time, that’s it, no blocks left to sew when the n.100 is released. However, I’m a little behind, with block n. 90 waiting. I now have a huge problem with how much fabric I’ve left, and the selection process isn’t easy at all. That’s the main reason block 90 is on hold; it requires big pieces and I don’t want to compromise prints that can be in handy for small piecing.

– The 2016 BoM by Cotton&Color. I was planing to start to quilt it this month. I just didn’t have time, and I’m still considering if it needs some more borders or an upgrade with appliqué. I hope I will have made an advance in February.

– The “Buttons” pattern by Me and My Sister Designs has almost all the blocks finished and ready to be put together in the final layout. I need to unpick a couple of them and start cutting the sashing fabric. Great progress on that one!

– There wasn’t a new release for the Star-Sampler quilt along by Amanda of 3and3quarters until yesterday, so it’s almost up-to-date.

The Stars-quilt is, as it’s becoming more usual, the neglected project. Little advance on this one since the last stats (November!!):

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 1
8/84 (+6 from the last stats)

For the new projects:

– I started the Flower Festival quilt-along by Leah Day, and this one has taken the big part of my sewing time during this month. Piecing the block wasn’t a big deal, but quilting it… another story! I made a couple of mock sandwiches to practice, and I’m really slow at quilting. In fact, it still isn’t finished. I plan a couple of blog posts about this one, so many new things learnt!

The first pattern for the project of the month by Cotton&Color is waiting on my ironing table. I have the fabric already selected, and I’m planing some hand-quilting on it.

The Quilt Block Cookbook sew-along by Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock is running and I was able to find time to piece the first two blocks, which I just love! I’m having lots of fun playing with fabric selection! However, I haven’t been unable to spend time on working on blocks 3 and 4. I ‘ll try to catch up as soon as The Splendid Sampler blocks are finished.

– The course I took was about Laura Heine‘s collage quilts. Lots of fun! I did finish my top and now I’m searching for the thread to quilt it (trying new things on this one!). I really hope to have it finished in February! At Cotton&Colour blog there’s a post about the course, with a little story about my quilt (the English version is just after the German text).

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And for the knitting, my top has seen lots of progress, and I’m moving the deadline for it from end-March to end-February.

Now that I have put all of that in writing, it confirms the feeling that I had since planning this year’s sewing: I need to start finishing things. I hope that with the end of The Splendid Sampler and having done all the warm-ups for the Festival Flower QAL I will start seeing things coming to an end! It’s not a bad feeling – I’m really happy of all the sewing I’ve done so far this month-, it’s just that I prefer to keep my focus on fewer projects rather that having so many running along!

… and that’s what I want to do in 2017!

After the 2016 goals’review post, it’s time to set new objectives for 2017. I find this kind of post/exercise really useful to keep track of all the things that are scattered, either on my sewing space or in my I-want-to-do-that-list.

My big goal for 2017 is to improve my quilting skills, using what I have (that’s, my little sewing machine).  The major part of my goals for this year involve quilting, and I need to face it as I have a growing number of pieced tops that don’t get finished because of my inexperience on that area.

Patchwork

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– Finishing already started projects. And by finishing I mean finishing blocks and quilting and binding. Finished.

  1. The Splendid Sampler™. That will be the huge project. Because putting this one together will be lots of work, not to speak of quilting it. And I don’t want it to become an UFO.

  2. The Star-Sampler quilt along by Amanda of 3and3quarters. This one has its own pace, which for me is just perfect. The quilt-along includes the quilting part, so that should help.

  3. The Sugar Plumb table-runner by Fresh Lemons Quilts, that’s already ready for quilting. For this one I’m setting a deadline inside the first trimester of 2017. I’m planning to quilt it by hand, after some thought about how I was going to finish it.

  4. The 2016 BoM by Cotton&Color. I’m planing to start quilting it mid-January.

  5. The “Buttons” pattern by Me and My Sister Designs. It’s advancing a lot since I converted it to a leader-and-ender project, and put the box besides my sewing machine.

  6. The Wild Jelly Roll n.3 pattern, also by Me and My Sister Designs. The main blocks are finished, I need to spend some time cutting the background and resuming it. For his one, I think it’s more realistic to set the goal at just finishing the top.

– Starting. I’m going to start at least four projects, but I have to say I have cut this list short after some though -specially, taking into account the “to-be-finished” list-.

  1. I’m going to join the Flower Festival quilt-along by Leah Day. I followed the video tutorials for her 2016 quilt-along, and I knew joining in would be perfect to me, if I was to learn how to FMQ. This is my main new project for 2017, as it should provide me the security I need to get to quilt!

  2. This year there won’t be a BoM by Cotton&Color. Instead, they are running a Project of the Month, which looks like it’s going to be lots of fun. Right now, mini projects seem more doable than a whole mystery quilt.

  3. Last year I purchased the Moda’s Frivol n. 2, that is intended to be a gift. So at some point I should have to start working on it.

  4. Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock is starting a sew-along based on her book, The Quilt Block Cookbook. As it happens I already have it, I thought it would be fun to follow, even I have so much to do right now… I will use fabric I already have and let’s see what turns out at the end!

  5. This year I would love to be able to join the annual Mistery quilt by Bonnie K. Hunter. This is the second year I’m following it without doing it (because I was honest to myself and realised I didn’t have time to do so!!). I think it’s just lots of fun!

  6. A couple of friends are expecting babies, so I think baby-quilts are in order, aren’t they?

– Following: the Stars-quilt. My early goal was to have it ready to quilt by September. I think it’s more realistic to set it to have all the stars with the background attached, and the final distribution decided.

Of course, with the permission of some ideas that might come up unexpectedly and those that I already have but for the sake of my sanity I have left out of the list. I really feel the need to start ending things, before starting new projects, otherwise I’m going to feel overwhelmed, and there’s no joy in that, isn’t it?

Knitting

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Well, I would have never thought I was to have that category. Four projects:

– Finish the top I’m currently making, to be finished before Spring.

– Knit a shawl with that bright yarn! Something not really complicated, I want it this Summer! I still have to find the right pattern, though.

– Knit a pair of mittens (I already have the materials) to learn how to knit in the round.

– Knit a pullover. The big knitting project, as I feel I’m jumping in a swimming pool without knowing how to swim: a pullover, with sleeves, neck and cables! I already have the materials, and I will work on it once I’ve finished the mittens.

Embroidery

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I will love to join some embroidery samplers I know are running, but I need to draw the line somewhere, and here it’s. I bought two kits to learn the Sashiko embroidery, and I already have a project that is waiting to be finished -this typical embroidery from Mallorca, begun years ago-, so these will be my embroidery projects for this year.

All that said, of course, the main objective is to enjoy all that comes with sewing. If something doesn’t get done, well, it would jump to next year’s list!

I look forward to sharing new adventures throughout this new year! Thank you for following along!

That’s what I did in 2016…

This 2016 goal-review post has been growing along the 2016: every time I accomplished something, or I thought of something, I would just open the 2016 goals’ post and made my comments. It’s has been a work-in-progress that helped to digest things, put perspective on them and not rush at the last moment just to “comply” with the “past-year-review-post”, leaving things behind and just adding things to embellish the list. I will do another post with my goals for 2017, so this one doesn’t end larger than it already is.

All my programming for this year fell behind with the arrival of The Splendid Sampler, which has been my -unexpected- central project for the whole year. Along it, the course with Me and My Sister Designs added a whole load of new projects, and, of course, I couldn’t resist to join some other things along the way.

That said, what have I accomplished from the original list?

– My long-standing UFO hasn’t been touched. At all. Total failure on that.

Find a pattern to put the collection Reel Time, by Zen Chic for Moda, into use. I have several ideas on that, based on some Splendid Sampler blocks and parallel projects offered by the designers. I have no rush to work on that, though.

Find a pattern for a charm pack. This is a request from a relative, who also chose the fabrics (Jelly Bean, by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda). It turned into two table-runners made with hour-glass blocks. And was finished in due date! I blogged about them here.

Find a pattern for a collection of white batiks (2 ½” strips set). Found! It will be the Wild Jelly roll n. 4 pattern, by Me and My Sister Designs. I need to find some extra coordinating fabric, that will mark when I’m going to work on it.

Find a pattern for a 2 ½” strips set (Matilda by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures Fabrics). I really love this fabric and I would like to make a bed-runner from it. On my to-do list since 2014. Searching…

Piece a table runner for my balcony table. For this I have the pattern and the fabric, in this order. Another complete failure. I will turn this into a leader-and-enders project, let’s see if by doing so I can get it done! But I pieced a table topper for it, the Frivol n.10! So it should count as done, shouldn’t it?

Join a BOM program. This is already done, now just waiting until the first block is released. So, better: finishing a BOM program. I joined four: the one I’ve already joined (Cotton&Color BOM), The Splendid Sampler™, the Stars-sampler by 3and3quarters quilt along, and the Sugar Plumb table-runner by Fresh Lemons Quilts. The Cotton&Color BoM is finished, and I’m proud I have the quilt put together and working in a consistent pace to have it finished and ready to quilt mid January. The Sugar Plumb table-runner is finished, and needs to be quilted. The other two are still running, and up-to-date.

Make a new pincushion for my sewing table. Done! It was made in early February, details here.

Sew a mini-quilt to hang in my sewing space. I did sew a mini-quilt, although not for me.

Do not let the Stars-quilt to become and UFO. It haven’t! I’m so glad of that… With all the other sewing going around here it is advancing at a really slow pace, but advancing.

– I should only buy fabric that works as stash-builder or that I absolutely love it. I bought fabric. Of course. Lots of. I made an spreadsheet to keep track of it, though. Helps to avoid buying new one and have a wide perspective of how the stash is doing!

And I have learned to knit! That was totally unexpected, but in a few months knitting has become a part of my crafty life, and I have lots of projects already burning in my mind! I have even opened an account on Ravelry (you can find me as latassatorta).

I’m really happy of all I have done this year, even there are some things that didn’t get accomplished. Moreover, I’m amazed for the people I have got to know, and the wonderful experiences I have had thanks to these amazing hobbies.

Happy New Year!

Ongoing projects: November update

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November has been a busy month, and I haven’t get done all that I had hoped to, mostly because I have begun new projects that weren’t on the original to-do list for this month.

– The Stars-quilt is progressing really slowly. I need to spend more time on this one if I want to have the top ready to be quilted for September next year.

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 12/84 (+5 from the last stats)

– My second knitting project, a top, is advancing at a particular pace: one step ahead, two behind. I’m working on the neck, and I think it’s the third time I’m knitting the same rows… (so much fun to be a beginner!).

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– I jumped in a sew along hosted at We All Sew, the Sugarplum table runner by Faith Jones (Fresh Lemons Quilts). I had been thinking about a new table runner for the Christmas season and I absolutely loved that one! Not that I hadn’t enough projects on my table… For this one, I’m using mostly fabric I already had, which feels just fantastic. At the moment I have to finish the second set of blocks and put the top together. And quilt it….

– The Buttons quilt from the Buttons and Thread pattern by Me and My Sister Designs has seen some progress. It looks like the only thing I needed to do was to have it near my sewing machine. I had it cut and ready to go as a leaders-and-enders project, but hadn’t work on it… until I moved the box from the shelves to the table. So happy about that!

– Christmas sewing: now I need to hurry on these if I want them delivered this year.

The Splendid Sampler is up-to-date (not the blogging part of it, though), as well as the Star-sampler by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters. Fortunately, this one has a relaxed release schedule, so I can easily keep up. And the BoM by Cotton&Color is coming to and end, and it looks like the assembling won’t be a piece of cake…

Ongoing projects: October

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It seems impossible that Christmas is only two months away… It may seem a lot of time, but it’s not when you’re planning sewing-gifts! October has flown by, and there has been some progress on some projects, an absolut halt in others. The Splendid Sampler™, the Cotton&Color BoM and the Star-sampler sew along are the main priorities right now, and my knitting projects have taken over my hand-sewing time.

Even though, I managed to do some progress on the Stars-quilt. Sewing the background pieces to the stars is slower than just putting the stars together:

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed:
7/84 (+7 from the last stats)

The Frivol n.10 quilt, featuring the Cookie Exchange collection by Sweetwater, for Moda Fabrics is finished and on a little retreat. Meanwhile I get it back and photographed, you can read about it and my adventures sewing it in a short Q&A at Cotton&Color’s blog.

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I finished my first knitting project, a scarf! I still have to block it, but I’m considering it finished -post and photos to come…-. And my second project is making good progress in a consistent pace. It’s a top I hope I will be wearing next spring…

The Wild Jelly Roll n. 3 pattern by Me and My Sister Designs is the neglected project of the month. Absolutely no progress on this one. And I don’t foresee any progress in the next few weeks…

Christmas sewing: I have a list of small projects to sew for Christmas… let’s see how many of them I can finish on time (no pressure there…)

The Splendid Sampler is (almost) up-to-date… I’m currently working on block 74, and block 75 is an embroidery one that will require some time.

On-going projects: September

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After a (short) break for holidays, it’s time to resume sewing! At the moment there are some few things running along with The Splendid Sampler™, and I thought of writing kind of a monthly update for them. Specially since noticing that the last update from the Stars-quilt was from June… Truth is it had become to a halt until I picked it in the middle of August, and I hope updating its statistics will help to maintain some regular work on it. 

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 431/504 (+186 from the last stats)
Stars completed: 0

The Wild Jelly Roll n. 3 pattern by Me and My Sister Designs has all the blocks pieced and ready to be put together. Now its time to do some more cutting and find a suitable layout before start sewing again.

– In July I started to work on the Frivol n.10, featuring the Cookie Exchange collection by Sweetwater, for Moda Fabrics. And at the moment all that’s left is to attach the binding. I hope to have it finished soon and give it a proper post.

– I’m working in two knitting projects, learning on the go after I felt rather comfortable with my first attempt… the yarn is for a top, which I hope I will have finished by next Spring.

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Besides all of them, I have 3 Splendid Sampler blocks to make… I will begin with the latest and squeeze the other two in between the new ones. And, of course, this month’s block from the Cotton&Color BoM… surely, if I don’t sew it won’t be because I’m short of projects!

My sewing goals for 2016

2016 is almost here and with the year change come the summaries – goals posts. This blog is too young for a summary (although I’m pretty happy with the sewing I’ve done this year), but for the sewing related goals… that’s another history! So, for this 2016, I plan / hope / would like to do:

– Firstly, I must end a long-standing UFO which is almost finished (I’m ashamed of how almost finished it is sitting in a box). Problem: once the top is finished, I don’t have any idea of how I’m going to quilt it. It’s too big for my sewing machine, and I don’t see it being hand-quilted.

The issue with the quilting part affects the major part of my ideas, as I don’t want to start something big enough to have trouble with it… But sooner or later I will have to face it, so…

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– Find a pattern to put the collection Reel Time, by Zen Chic for Moda, into use. I know it should be the other way around, first the pattern, then the fabric, but experience has showed me otherwise. This meaning: going to the shop and the fabric you like and have been looking for is no longer being sold. Problem is that I have a fat-eight bundle, and all the patterns I like (for the moment) call for fat-quarters. Either maths or keep searching… or wait for inspiration to come and create my own pattern (which would be absolutely fantastic!). And of course, piece it.

– Find a pattern (there will be more like this, sorry) for a charm pack. This is a request from a relative, who also chose the fabrics (Jelly Bean, by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda). I must admit that, even though I appreciate the quality of the design, it’s not my cup of tea. To make things a bit more difficult, it has to have specific dimensions. And ideally, should be finished around Summer.

– Find a pattern (I know, you must be starting to see a pattern right now in my goals) for a collection of white batiks (2 ½” strips set). Again, a request.

Find a pattern for a 2 ½” strips set (Matilda by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures Fabrics). I really love this fabric and I would like to make a bed-runner from it. On my to-do list since 2014.

– Piece a table runner for my balcony table. For this I have the pattern and the fabric, in this order.

– Join a BOM program. This is already done, now just waiting until the first block is released. So, better: finishing a BOM program.

– Make a new pincushion for my sewing table. I have the pattern, I can’t decide on the fabric.

– Sew a mini-quilt to hang in my sewing space. Some patterns to choose from, a little bit of an idea of the fabric I would use.

– Do not let the Stars-quilt to become and UFO. I don’t have any hurry to finish it, but I should keep doing a little every week. For this, blogging helps a lot.

I have more fabric unassigned to a specific project, but I must think of it as my little stash. I should only buy fabric that works as stash-builder or that I absolutely love it (which means, I’m going to buy everything I like and fit it in this category). And start breaking apart collections. Because, being realistic, I know I’m going to buy fabric this year.

And I have some other UFOs, but these need some rest for the moment. And two sets of already sewn HST, that also need some rest.

But most important: keep in mind that this is my hobby. I can get done what I can get done, and I should not get any stress from it. This is the true goal for 2016: enjoy sewing, but keeping it in its place in my everyday life. Just to make sure I will continue to enjoy it in 2017.

Happy New Year!