Chickadee Stitches

DAGMT: the continuing saga…. February 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chickadeestitches @ 4:34 am

My first pieced quilting effort!

My first pieced quilting effort!

I can’t believe it’s been since February 4 since I wrote last (and thanks to everyone who shared a kind word after my last post). Things have improved a lot over the last couple of weeks. But I’ve had to prioritize: packing the seemingly never ending school lunches, dropping and doing my 20, working on my friend’s apron, taking care of a leak in the master bath resulting in an ugly hole in the main floor ceiling, needing to read my book for book club next week (not started yet, but downloaded onto kobo), taking a girls weekend to a cottage with a hot tub (a definite priority), catching a cold that knocked me out for a day and a half….well, I just didn’t make the time to blog.

So, what have I done since February 4 with my quilting commitment? Lets start with the easy stuff: I downloaded and watched a couple of Craftsy lessons–one on quilt backs, another on free motion quilting (almost finished that one) and re-watched Amy Gibson do her binding thing about 10 more times. Have I mentioned that I love Craftsy? And Amy? Well I do. Just sayin’.

Re the binding issue: I actually finished my placemat, the one that was giving me trouble–I bound it during the girl’s weekend. Hey, it’s okay, I needed to de-prune after so many hours in the hot tub anyway:) I finished piecing 3 more placemats, quilted and attached the binding to 2 more. I still need to finish hand sewing the binding to these two. I got: Actual. Sharp. Needles. Yesterday. Yeah. Actual Sharp Needles. That’s a big deal. A really great big deal:) So this should help make that little task less horrible.

I got my Salt Air fat quarters in the mail AND finally found a 12.5 inch square. I hunted sewing supply stores online and in person since about the first of January and hadn’t been able to find the 12.5 inch square. My better half heard me talking about not being able to get one and he says, ‘Uh, I think they might have those at Michael’s…’ I can only assume he knows this because he was shopping for me at Christmas…..Anyway, I went to Michael’s and got my square. My guy is a genius.

So, armed with the square and the Salt Air bundle, tonight I spent 2.5 hours making my first block from Amy’s block of the month for 2012. I started with June, a modern 9-patch greek cross. It’s lovely, it’s gorgeous….but it’s not exactly lined up the way I want it, and it’s about a quarter inch too skinny on one side. I haven’t decided what I will do with it, whether I’ll cut it down a bit and use it as a placemat or if I’ll rip it apart and start over. Regardless, I was very pleased with how it looked. I love the Salt Air.saltair


Okay, so the next few days have to be better, right? February 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chickadeestitches @ 1:37 am

February 3.  Day 3 of DaGMT.  I’ve got so many UFOs completed and out of the way.  I’m feeling so productive and invigorated…er, well, no.  Not really.

I actually have nothing accomplished, though not for lack of trying.  I have been waiting anxiously for my fabric to arrive so I can start my quilt.  I’ve ordered it from the other side of the country, and it’s on its way, but they took over two weeks to just get it in the mail.

February 1:  I sit down to do my very first 20 minutes of DaGMT sans fabric.  No problem, I say:  I’ll cut out the templates and have them ready in advance.  I’m going to cut these babies out and make enough copies for the project.  Yeah, sure.  I realize, not too far in, that my printer has not printed them to size.  I’m under by just over a quarter of an inch on everything.  I realize I’m going to have to print these out on a different printer, likely not till Monday.

No problem, I’m not discouraged.  I have been working on little placemats so I finish the quilting on one of them that I had started a few days earlier.

February 2:  A couple of girls are going to come over.  We haven’t been together for at least 8 or 9 months and we’re going to catch up while crafting.  They arrive, we talk, eat yummy food, go up into my sewing room, and talk some more.  The only ‘crafting’ that’s done is me showing them my drawers of fabric and explaining how I made double fold bias tape.

After they left, I reviewed a couple of tutorials for making binding for the above mentioned placemat and picked out my fabric, sewed it together, folded it and shut everything down for the night.  Not too productive.

February 3:  I look up instructions for attaching binding.  I watch twice.  I stalwartly enter my sewing room, knowing I’m going to finish this placement.  Today.  Yeah.  Today.

I square up the placemat, and I follow the instructions for binding.  I get down to where I need to attach the two ends, ie, the critical point and out of curiosity, I take a look at the mitred corners the tutorials showed me how to make.  I fold over the binding, and…well, I CAN’T fold over the binding.  I’ve sewn it wrong.  I’ve sewn it down so it won’t fold over on all but one corner.  Wow.  I also realize that I haven’t made my binding wide enough by about a half an inch.  I rip it out, think about choosing another binding fabric, but decide to walk away while I haven’t sewn anything to my fingers or something.

Tomorrow will be better, yeah?


Getting ready for DaGMT January 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chickadeestitches @ 7:36 pm

I’m scurrying around like mad trying to get a sewing project done prior to February arriving.  I have a wonderful friend who has a side business as a henna artist (she goes by the name of “Ottawa Henna Lady”).  She is amazing, and I wanted to make her a fantastic apron to protect her clothes and provide her with pockets for cash, henna cones, cell phone, etc.

I design my own aprons, but I really wanted something that had a full collar to help take any strain off her neck as she was working.  Since I’d never created or even sewed something like that, I though it would be safest to go with a tried and true design.  I found an absolutely adorable design called the ‘Retro Chic’ apron by Sugar Pie Chic.

Anyway, I’m having to change a number of things in the pattern to make it work for her.  Firstly, I wanted this to be double sided so that if she has a spill she can quickly switch it up and start fresh.  Secondly, she needs a lot more pocket space, so I’m adjusting the pockets in the front to be long and a deeper.  However, I’m also wanting to add inseam pockets as well so she doesn’t have to worry about losing anything.  Thirdly, I’m not able to find the giant and jumbo rick rack the pattern calls for, so I have created a contrasting double-fold bias tape that I’m hoping will do the trick.

I want to make it all work so she ends up with the most fantastic apron ever.  Wish me luck.  Last time I checked, I only have 4.5 days before DaGMT starts.  She deserves to have this apron before March!


DaGMT January 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — chickadeestitches @ 5:58 pm

I came across this wonderful idea as I was perusing the “Mad About Patchwork” blog–It’s called the ‘Drop and Give Me Twenty’ (DaGMT).  The DaGMT has been launched by “Quilting Hottie Haven” and is meant to encourage well-meaning/would-be quilters to commit to quilting/sewing/fabric choosing/pressing, etc for a certain amount of time for each day in February 2013.  Its hoped that with this time unfinished projects can become finished projects; unstarted projects can become started projects and (what I’m hoping for most) unlearned techniques can become part of a regular quilting repertoire.

I am a novice quilter.  I made my first (and only) quilt in November 2012–a simple rag quilt.  I’ve since joined the Craftsy Block of the Month Club (the 2012 version with Amy Gibson) and have ordered the fabric to start it.  I loved Amy so much, I immediately signed up for her own 2013 Block of the Month “Sugar Block Club”.

With this in mind, I commit to spending at least 20 minutes a day in February 2013 to conduct quilting-related activities in order to start and complete the quilt top for the sampler quilt Amy Gibson teaches on Craftsy.

My first quilt:  "Ooh La La" by Pillow and Maxfield for Michael Miller

My first quilt: “Ooh La La” by Pillow and Maxfield for Michael Miller

Wish me luck.  February is going to be CRAZY busy.  But I think I’m going to love it.