Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week #33 Wrap Up: What We Worked On

Why do I quilt?
I think hobbies and interests fall into three categories: things you make, things you do, things you collect. I've always been a maker. And more specifically a crafter. I find a joy in making beautiful things and in giving beautiful handmade gifts. Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, quilting is something that is mine. Blogging, too. At times when stress and anxiety feel overwhelming, sewing centers me. Even when I can't seem to motivate myself or decide what to work on, getting in front of the sewing machine and focusing on my work excites me. Additionally, I enjoy sharing my work and inspiring others in their creative endeavors. And I just love being part of the online quilting community!

Thank you!
G and I had a great time on 52 Quilters this week. Most of the action was over on Instagram, but I wanted to share some of our projects with you here in case you're a blog reader and not an IG follower. A great big thanks to Chris, and to all of you, for having us this week. Thank you so much for being part of this awesome community. I can be found regularly on Sarah Goer Quilts and @sarahmgoer on IG.

Sarah's Wrap Up
I've completed two mystery quilts years ago from a local shop hop and really love watching the design emerge as I work through each step. I was bummed that I didn't have time to commit to a new project when Cheryl ran her first mystery quilt on her blog and I'm so excited to have dived in to her latest, the 2015/2016 Midnight Mystery Quilt. We're only in the third month and directions are released monthly (a nice, slow pace) so there's lots of time to join in. She has a great Facebook group where people are sharing their progress as well. This month we made flying geese. Here are mine.

I decided to use this week on 52 Quilters as an excuse to start sewing a new project. This one has been a long time coming, from slowly accumulating a fabric pull, to cutting out the fabric for the first two blocks. This week I finally made my first 24" Swoon block. I want to ignore all my household responsibilities and make the rest right now! ;-) One down, eight to go.

I also made a swoon block mini (16") for the Halloween Mini Swap on IG. This is the first swap I've hosted and we are in the shipping window. It's been a ton of fun to see what everyone has come up with (though also a ton of work to organize the 75 swappers). I decided to host the swap so that I would finally use some of the plethora of Halloween fabric in my stash. I struggled a little for a final plan since I have a lot of loud, wild prints that didn't seem to be going together so well. And my partner indicated that she likes black, white, orange and grey so I was trying to avoid my more colorful choices (like those including purples and greens). I settled on the feature fabric and thought I'd do a big section of it in the middle with something around as a border, but I just couldn't get excited about that. Then I thought, "Swoon!" and started fussy cutting squares of the feature fabric to use. This was the first swoon block (pattern by Thimble Blossoms) I pieced and I'm so glad I finally put my pattern to use! I hope my partner loves it. I also made her the Halloween sock mug rug, using Tartan Kiwi's Odd Socks pattern.

My other mini swap due soon is the Text Me Mini Swap. I've been collecting black and white text prints for some time, but right about the start of the swap there was a beautiful rainbow text fabric bundle for sale. I couldn't resist. I like to use swaps to push myself to try something new. I had not ever made a Dresden block and decided it was high time to change that. This is the mini that will be sent off to my partner soon. I have a very similar replica waiting to be quilted that I will keep for myself. This is the first mini I've made that I'll be hanging on my own wall since the one I made for a quilt guild challenge in 2004!

I made some progress on my August bee blocks. These are bits for the Do. Good Stitches Promise Circle. Heather of Modern Parti Quilts chose and designed our block for this month. She put the tutorial up on her blog. I wasn't interested in fussy measuring and marking, so I whipped up some paper piecing patterns in EQ7 (the first time I was able to do something efficiently with the program -- I just haven't invested the necessary time to learn it well yet). A broken rotary cutter slowed me down, but I still have a bit of August left to get these done.

G's Wrap Up
We showed off how G got started sewing. He has attended a Montessori school for the last two years of pre-K (he starts his Kindergarten year there this week) where he learned to hand sew. Before learning to machine piece, he did three projects at school: sewing on plastic canvas, stitching on burlap, and the stuffed bear.

I showed you G's first two quilts in our first post this week. His third quilt will be a gift for his dad, to go on his wall at work. I gave G a book of basic blocks to flip through and he decided on the House on a Hill block, modified to only have one chimney. He chose all the fabrics from our stash. All of the piecing was done my G. I helped with pressing, though now he has learned how to finger press seams open so he helped with that this time. The finished block will be 12" x 12".

G has been asking to learn how to free motion quilt. He really wanted to do it on his second quilt, but together we decided it would be more timely to do walking foot straight line quilting, so he could give the belated gift sooner. He's decided that he will quilt the House on a Hill mini with free motion quilting, so it was time to learn. Today was his first practice. Here's the result.

Lastly from G, here are a few final thoughts quotes from him:

"I like making all my sewing stuff and I hope you saw all of them. I actually like making quilts."

"The best part of quilting is threading the needle."

"The hardest part of quilting is that you don't push or pull on the fabric except for in free motion quilting."

"The easiest part of quilting is putting your foot down on the pedal."

Thanks again for following along with us this week! What a fabulous way to spend our last week of summer!

Post by Sarah & G - Quilters #33 & #34: 

Sarah lives in San Jose, California and started blogging and more actively quilting at the beginning of 2014. She loves bold, saturated color and geometric patterns. Sarah is currently trying to finish up old WIPs while also participating in multiple mini quilt swaps and quilting bees. You can follow her on Instagram @sarahmgoer or on her blog Sarah Goer Quilts

G is 5 years old and started quilting when he was 4 1/2. After doing some hand sewing projects at school, he learned how to use the sewing machine at home to piece and quilt his projects. He said that making a quilt "made [his] life better." When he's not quilting, he loves building legos and playing baseball. 

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