Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017: January Recap

I realized I haven't posted anything from what I've been up to for January.

I did set myself some creative/crafty goals:

1.  5 Fluff tems per month (minimum)
2.  5 Mirabel items per month (minimum)
3.  Try something new (new pattern, block, something)
4.  Make a quilt top

1-3 will be something I do every month.  Number 4 is something I'd like to be able to do but I'm willing to admit that sometimes that one just might not work out (because some tops are time consuming, etc).  And I want to not just make the tops but finish them (by years end) so I won't be making 12 tops this year.  Right now my quilting goals are set at three/four finished quilts.  One is a top I already have done, two are tops I want to make, and one is a baby gift.  I think that's a reasonable goal for the year.

But anyway, what did I get up to for January?

First, Fluff and Mirabel:

That there is a dozen seahorses.  Six for each cause.  It got these done early and am already working on February's items (that will be at the end of the post).

For the "try something new" I suppose I have THREE things for the month (just got lucky).  In no particular order:

Pussy hat!  Had to get my Women's March on and when I realized I had left over pink fleece (from making the jigglypuff doll) I figured why not?  It took just about an hour start to finish (and by start that means getting the fabric from the craft room and cutting out the pattern).  Pattern is HERE.

Then, I also tested two patterns for Sweetbriar Sisters.  (really, get on their pattern tester list, it's good stuff).

Hmm, is that an egg?

It's unzipping. .. what's inside?

Welcome to the world!  Come on out.

Zipper egg and little bird.

The zipper egg was kind of a pain in the ass to make.  Not a total pain in the ass but more of a pain then I thought it would be and it's not going to work out as something I can "mass produce" for charity (too labor intensive).  BUT, it's not the fault of the pattern.  The pattern made it easy to do and I got very good results from my first go around.

The only real "problem" with the pattern is the bird just barely fits in the egg.  They noted they could resize the bird but honestly I'd prefer they make the egg larger.  The bird is a good size.  Small but not so small it's hard to work with.

Close up of the bird.  His beak is a little crooked but still within "acceptable to donate to charity" range.  BUT. . .I might just keep him and his egg since the egg was such a bother I think of it like my reward.

How cute is that fabric?  Feather print for the win!

What else. . .what else. . .OH, quilting. .

The top I'm working on is a cat face block (check out Stash Bee blog for a ton of fun blocks. .. that's where this one came to my attention).  As of this writing, the top is NOT done.  All the blocks (like pictured) are done and I have 30.  So a nice even number to use for a quilt (5 across, 6 down).  I need to put sashing strips between each to make the rows and then I think I'm going to do a type of "quilt as you go" technique to finish the top and the whole damn quilt at one time.

I've made a "strip as you go" quilt before (where you sew strips down to the backing/batting so the quilt top is sewn together right onto the batting and backing in one go) and I think this method will work for this quilt.  I made a tester (from two spare faces) to check my hypothesis.

(enlarged that bad boy a lot)

Don't mind how wonky it is, I was not trying for perfection (and if you look close you'll see the one of the side sashes is sewn on wrong side up!).  I started by sewing down the top sashing (sized to the width of the cat face block).  Then I sewed the first cat face block on (face down on the sandwich, then flip it right side up). then the middle sashing (I pieced together scraps!), then the next face, and finally the bottom sashing.  Then I put on the side sashings, trimmed the batting and rolled the backing fabric to the front for binding.  For just being a tester piece, it turned out well (meaning it worked like I wanted it to).  I think I'm going to just go balls out and try making the quilt this way.  Worst case scenario, it will be a train wreck.  BUT, it will count as a "try something new" so it won't be a total loss, right?

So I just need to finish up this top (hopefully as a full quilt) and then I'll move on to either another top for myself or the baby quilt I need to make (by May/June).

What's am I up to now?

February's charity sewing is already in full swing.  It's snails!  I think there are 14 or 16 or something like that (I forget now exactly how many).  OH, and for March I'm going to add a third charity to the mix (more on that another time, gotta get those snails done first. . .I'm so bad at having tons of projects started at once so I have to stay focused or nothing will get done).

AND. . .I haven't stopped painting.  Now, I only paint 3 ish hours a week (for 6 weeks or so at a time. . .like a school semester) so I'm not really whipping out the finished canvases.  I did finally finish the chameleon set (which I gifted to my mother, who requested a painting. . .any painting. . .for Christmas. . .I'd never force my paintings on anyone, they aren't really that great in general. . .total rookie stuff).

ANYWAY, this is the canvas I'm working on now.

Octopus!  This is how it looks RIGHT NOW.  But I have painting tonight, so maybe. . .just maybe. . it'll be almost done after that (it's very close now. . .I'm trying to not go for "perfection" with my paintings so I can enjoy getting more actually FINISHED. . .this one is at the point where I'm starting to think about what my next canvas will be, so that means it's almost done).

(shout out to my hubby who's photobombing there in the background. . .woot! hey hubby!)

I'm aiming to make February as productive as January and I'm off to a good start!