WIP Wednesday #3

I took a couple of weeks off from WIP Wednesday posts. I blame that darn Farmer's Wife Quilt Along (FWQAL). Swearing off new projects and then the next day picking up a project that will take me over a year is counterintuitive to say the least.

In other news, I've found 1 more project that was lazing around the house. I still fear what I'll find when I dig deeper into the studio. But, I don't have to worry about that now that I'm sifting through my stash for the FWQAL blocks.  The fabric piles are multiplying like bunnies.

Anyway, today is another edition of WIP Wednesday hosted at Lee's place.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New Projects

Fancy Block Friday--I think I might try my hand at this pattern.

FWQAL--8 out of 111 blocks done.
farmer's wife sampler, eight blocks


Currently in Progress

Tiny Houses May Mom's Bee Quilt--some sashing done, but no recent photo

Sew Buzzy Bee Quilt Top
top left corner

Easy Bee-ing Green Bee Quilt Top--a bunch of 1/4 blocks done this week.
working hard on my bee quilt

Dresden Quilt
all sewn up

Mom's Crazy Late Christmas Gift--new photos, coming soon.

Fandango Cooperative Quilt--gotta make the back.
fandango project wip

Henry's I Spy Quilt--I chose fabrics for the back.  Now I just need to find time to make the back. 
Henry's I spy wip

Finished This Week

Oliver's I Spy Quilt
Oliver's I Spy quilt

2 Bee Blocks and an Angel Block!
Angel Block for 3x6 caretaker block swap

block for Vanessa house block for innerpiece

Bee Blocks left to do = zero (which seems like a crazy number since I'm in 4 bees)

Languishing in the Pile

Hexie project that I just found in my bedroom (of all places).
I think I need to make this into a pillow soon.

Gift Quilt (no peeking)

Pink and Red Baby Quilt
red and pink wip

Henry's Growth Chart
Henry's growth chart wip

Hand Pieced Ball--why does this have to be so lumpy???  Does anyone have hints for how to get this less lumpy?
hand pieced ball wip

Dream On postage stamp quilt along--this one seems prettier in the photo than in person.
What does that tell you?
dream on postage stamp wip

Grand Ideas for sometime soon...

Voile and Bamboo Quilt for me and only me.--I really want to use it this summer.  Better start sewing it then, huh?

Baby Miles' Swimmy Quilt


New Projects: 2 sewing, 1 machine

Finished Projects: 1

Bee Blocks: 3 done, 0 left

Total Works: 7 (in progress) and 6 (languishing)

Have you given in to any of the new QAL's out there?  Tell me that I'm not alone.  But *don't* tell me which ones you joined.  My resistance level is poor...

Latest work in progress...

I found this beauty at an antique store in LaCrosse on my crafting weekend with Melissa (one third of the Knitting Sandwich).

i love her

The cords need some attention....

poor cords

Her name is Ruby, and I adore her.  
She doesn't have a foot pedal.  She has a knee lever instead, but I don't know how to use it.

I love the big wheel.

so pretty

I'm particularly in love with the bobbin case shape.  It makes sewing look like a dangerous sport.

bobbin case

This work in progress is a beauty, don't you think?


Recent Finishes

I Spy Quilt #2 (of four).  I finally got this quilt out to Henry's buddy, Oliver.  He's two and a half, so I doubt he'd have seen a post about it, but it still seemed like bad form to show off a quilt online before he got to open it.

Close up of some of the prints for the front.  I used Kona medium gray for the solid squares.

close up

I used an IKEA solid for the back and Connecting Threads solid for the binding.

back and binding

And the full quilt:

Oliver's I Spy quilt

Here is Henry's recent accomplishment.  I heard him working hard on this from the other room.  When he was sticking the pegs in the holes he said, "almohts," and then, "did it."  After awhile I went back in to the room to check out his handiwork. 

me:  "Tell me more about this, Henry." 
Henry:  "EYES!!!  eye, eye, eyes!"     

So true.

Henry's accomplishment

Fancy Block Friday

I'm posting my fancy block on time this week!!   (I'm even interrupting my crafting weekend with Melissa to do this post.)  I'm so pleased with how this block turned out that I want to shout from the rooftops.

Here is my sketch from Wednesday night:


And here is the block I finished just a half hour ago:

block for Vanessa

This is a bee block for a friend in the May Moms Bee.  She sent me cool colors plus red with the instructions to make a block to represent February.  I'm not big on hearts, but paper piecing letters was right up my alley.

Now I'm off to make a potholder for my mom.  Must craft as fast as I can before I get home to the toddler tomorrow.

P.S.: Melissa can attest to the amount of mistakes I made last night in trying to remember how to paper piece again.  There was quite a bit of mild cursing, also.

P.P.S: Amanda made her block on time, too.  I'll have to ask her if there was any cursing on her part.

popping in

I can't talk much.  I'm packing up some fabric selections (and a toothbrush, I guess) to meet up with a friend for two days.  I'm bringing Margene and she's bringing her knitting needles and we are meeting halfway between our homes for a crafting getaway.

But, before I decide if I have room with the fabric stash to pack some clean pants, I wanted to post my latest Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks.

farmer's wife sampler, block 34

farmer's wife sampler, block 73

farmer's wife sampler, block 71

Gotta run!  I'll be back on Friday or Saturday with my fancy block :)

Fancy Block #2

swingset block

Amanda and I are still practicing our paper piecing, improv piecing and block design skills.  But, I must admit that I made this block at Penny's workshop back in April.  (This week has been all about cleaning the house and preparing for Henry's birthday party.  The other night I was up until 2:30am frosting a three layer chocolate cake.)  But, back to the block....I drew up a picture for this in my sketchbook.  Then I split the design into two sections for paper piecing.  Then I added the border and lastly I added the whipped chain stitch embroidery for the chains on the swings.   I don't have a plan for this block right now, but making it was a lot of fun. Check out Amanda's fancy block for the week here.


The Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-long has taken ahold of me. Because the blocks are so small and because it was designed as a scrappy sampler, I feel freer when sifting through my stash and scraps. Any fabric that I like is fair game. That freedom is overwhelming at times. It can take me a long time and many trials to pick the right mix of fabrics for a block. But, I'm having a blast. This is my second post for the quilt-a-long and I made one extra block to catch up since I should have 6 finished blocks for week three.

farmer's wife sampler, block 16

farmer's wife sampler, block 20

farmer's wife sampler, block 21

I hope to have 3 more to show you next week so I can be all caught up.   Check out the flickr group to see more blocks from a ton of talented quilters.

Resolution Broken

On Wednesday, I pledged for the second week in a row to not join a new bee, swap or quilt-a-long.

Then, the exact same day, I saw the blog posts by Ayumi, Tamiko, and Lynne. I followed their links and learned more about the Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt-a-long group on flickr.  Angela and Amanda are hosting the QAL on their blogs and they are running the group on flickr.  I was immediately smitten. 

FWQAL button?

It all starts with this book. The author designed a sampler quilt based on letters written by farmers' wives in the 1920's. Forty-two letters are included in the book.  There are 111 six-inch blocks in the quilt. I can't say that the colors in the book inspired me, but seeing the new interpretations of these classic blocks really made my head spin.

So...later on Wednesday, some fabric fell into my etsy cart and I placed a hold on the book at the library. By Thursday I couldn't wait for the book a minute longer so I went out and bought it. On Friday I finished some other sewing on my table to make room while checking in with the quilt along flickr group at least eight times that day. And yesterday I finally sat down at my machine to sew some blocks. Whew!

farmer's wife sampler, block 4

farmer's wife sampler, block 2

For this quilt I'm just going to pull out all of my favorite yardage and all of my treasured scraps and I'll see how it turns out. Every square inch will be fabric that I love, so it has to turn out great, don't you think? (Like a fabric lover's I Spy?)

The plan is two blocks per week and the quilt along is in it's second week. These little squares can get addictive, though. You may see more than you care to as I plug along.

Now, you've all learned that I have no willpower when it comes to pretty quilting blocks.  What don't you have willpower against?

Fancy Block a day late

Remember that workshop I went to in April (that I might have gushed a bit about?).  Well, I've been in contact with the members of that retreat ever since and we've decided to start a new sewing challenge.  The goal is to use our block design / improv piecing / paper piecing skills on a regular basis.  You have to use the skills to keep them fresh in your mind because it is a totally different way of thinking about piecing.  Our goal is one block per week.  That's a steep order to add to some very busy sewing tables.  But, I typed it out loud now, and there is no going back.  

For my first week, I made an improv house block for Jenny in the  Sew Buzzy Bee.  She asked for blocks to represent each of our houses.  My actual house has two bay windows in front, so I started with the windows and built up from there.  My house has dark green siding on three sides and brick on the front.  All of my brick colored fabrics were just too dark, so I went with berry herringbone Joel Dewberry instead.  The print certainly has texture, even if it isn't really brick shaped.

house block for innerpiece

In retrospect I should have done more drawing with graph paper to come up with a window size and door size to fit on a 12.5" square.  If I had a 15 or 16" square, I could have the windows on either side of the door, and I could have fit the two dormers with windows on the second floor and maybe the chimney.  I've done a few house blocks lately, but they've been tiny and lacking detail, so this was definitely a challenge for me.  Next time I improv piece for this challenge, I hope to play with more crazy angles or some curves.  I also pledge to do a sketch. 

close up

Amanda at crazy mom quilts posted her block here.  I hope that Tara, Carmen and Audrey will join in soon, too.  The plan is to post on Fridays.  So, today is a Fancy Block Friday, just a day late.

Now I have to ask, how are you challenging yourself in your craft?

Bzzzzzzzzz Blocks

You got a sneak peek at a couple of these on my first WIP Wednesday post, 
but I just have to post all 6 of the 3x6 bee blocks together.

3x6 bee block for sunnyauh 3x6 bee block for fallingforpiece
3x6 for razberiswrl 3x6 for snail girl
3x6 block for Junco's Nest 3x6 bee block for modernbasics1

This pattern came from Erin at Two More Seconds. I love the tutorial for this block.  
Easy yet very satisfying results.

June Sew Buzzy

Here is my Sew Buzzy block for June.  Shayla asked for squished 9 patch blocks.

My last bee block today is my very, very favorite.  I'm afraid that the photo doesn't do it justice, but you'll have to trust me that it has the perfect mix of subtlety and "pop."  Lael in the Sew Easy Bee-ing Green Bee requested wonky star blocks for her picnic quilt.  I started with the idea of a star within a star and then decided that i wanted the outer star to be "chunky" to leave me more room to play with the inner star.  I am SO in love with this fabric combination.
You may see something like this pop up on the blog again.

June Easy Bee-ing Green Block

WIP Wednesday #2

Last week's exercise was very useful in helping me to dig out old projects and put a number on how big my "in progress" pile really was.

Well, now that I'm cleaning out the sewing space, I've found 3 more projects that are lollygagging around.  Really, it is like an archeological dig down there--layer, by layer.  I fear what some of the deepest projects look like....

Anyway, today is another edition of WIP Wednesday hosted at Lee's place.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New Projects
Super Secret Block (no peeking)

Currently in Progress

Friend One Gift Quilt (no peeking)--and SO CLOSE to being done.

Tiny Houses May Mom's Bee Quilt
tiny houses

Sew Buzzy Bee Quilt Top
top left corner


Dresden Quilt
all sewn up

Mom's Crazy Late Christmas Gift (no peeking)

Fandango Cooperative Quilt--forgot this last week
fandango project wip

Henry's I Spy Quilt--now in progress again
Henry's I spy wip

Finished This Week
5 Bee Blocks!!! -- but you have to wait until tomorrow to see them!

Bee Blocks left to do
1 block for Sew Buzzy Bee
1 block for May Mom's Bee

Languishing in the Pile

Friend Two Gift Quilt (no peeking)

Pink and Red Baby Quilt--new picture
red and pink wip

Henry's Growth Chart--new picture
Henry's growth chart wip

Hand Pieced Ball--totally forgot about this one.
hand pieced ball wip

Dream On postage stamp quilt along--another one that I totally forgot about.
dream on postage stamp wip

Grand Ideas for sometime soon...
Voile and Bamboo Quilt for me and only me.
Baby Miles' Swimmy Quilt

New Projects: 1
Finished Projects: 0
Bee Blocks: 5 done, 2 left
Total Works: 8 (in progress) and 5 (languishing)

Eight in progress?  I'm crazy.  I can see that now.  Thankfully, I stuck with my resolution to not sign up for any new swaps, bees or quilt alongs.

What will I uncover next in my piles in the sewing room?  Stay tuned to find out....