A Wave!

First off, allow me to drown you in pictures!

The best part? This is only about half of what I accomplished over Spring Break! Yay for so much free time! As I reach the end of my Senior year, it is becoming more and more rare, but I will relish what I’ve got!

Much love,

Sparkle Jane

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Seeing Double Stars

I’ve been sewing quite a bit this week due top a much lighter homework load, and I’ve gotta say, it’s nice. It’s a little odd to be able to sneak away to the basement to sew without feeling guilty about my homework humming upstairs. Yay for completion!

Anyway, as always, my main focus in my crafting this past week was the Texas Stars quilt. Only ten months to go, give or take a little. (P.s. If you know of any good 8 or 6 inch stars, I could use them) I have completed 12 of the big blocks by my last count, 7 to go. Summer needs to come  a bit faster so I can devote more time to this quilt, or it is not going to be finished, arg!

I have also managed to work on one of my big counted cross-stitch pieces this week in-between all of my play practice sessions. I am taking a small break on the donation bears since I have just about bear-ed myself out. I will try and remember to take a picture of the cross-stitch so you can all see it. For now, I do have pictures of my new block.

 

Happy Spring Break, and happy quilting!

Sparkle Jane

Quarter-End Crazy

As many of you know, I am a senior in High School. We have been drawing to the end of our third quarter, which means most teachers are stressed, grumpy, and giving too much homework. Ugh.

Needless to say, I have procrastinated several pieces of English homework in favor of working on Texas Stars. I have no regrets, quilting keeps me sane. (no worries, the homework is all done now)

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I have gotten two blocks done since I last posted, and this is the one I am most pleased with. The rope fabric is the cutest stuff, and the block gave me no trouble while assembling it, which is certainly endearing in my book.

The next block is a simpler color scheme, but I find it pleasing. I like rich blues and golds. It did lose favorite points however, mostly due to the fact that as I was sewing the half-square triangles, I got turned around and sewed some of the wrong colors together, and in the process of trying to fix it ran out of bobbin thread. Not only was the bobbin on the machine empty, but my store of pre-wound ones was also gone! I had to bring operations to a full halt until I had more bobbins again, and by then I felt rather silly. Rarely have I been so (sew, haha) defeated by an inanimate object.

Do any of you ever feel your sewing is winning?

Much love,

Sparkle

Sunflower Happiness

Have you ever had a piece of fabric that simply did not want to match ANYTHING? It happens to me rather too often (unfortunately that is entirely my fault however). I love quirky, unusual, and oddly color prints, which normally causes me to need to dig through fabric for far too long in search of the perfect thing. Some days I love the hunt, some days it drives me crazy. Friday was definitely a this-is-driving-me-crazy day when it came to color selection. It should not have been difficult, the colors are not that unusual, but I had to ponder over it for ages. Ugh.

That being said, I enjoyed this block, and once it was all together I loved the colors.

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A long struggle later, it looks fairly nice I think. I need to stop making brown based blocks though. The base fabric for the quilt is bright, and while it has brown, that is not its predominant color. I need to get out of the dark color groove.

Much love,

Sparkle Jane

My Straight Pins Betrayed Me…

My whole life as a quilter I have always trusted straight pins to keep my seams together and lined up. I think that’s a basic point of trust for most people who sew, but more on that later.

I’ve continued work on bears during my free time at play practice, (yay for hand sewing) and I’m making great progress. Currently we only have one that’s actually stuffed; all the others (about 20 by now I think) I’ve just done all the hand sewing on and not stuffed yet because previously I had no way to store them. I now have  abunch of paper boxes so we should have more stuffed soon.

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Back to the straight pin treachery. Generally, I pin all my corners and edges because, you know, I like things to line up (said with much frustration).  But when I was working on block number 6, something when terribly wrong, and my first couple seams turned out totally…wrong. Just no. So therefore, I did the next two seams WITHOUT the straight pins, and they were great. WHAT IS THIS WORLD?

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So that is my mournful story. I’m sure you can see what I mean.

Happy stitching (without straight pins),

Sparkle Jane

And Then There Were Five

I’m not sure if I got really motivated or was just feeling the vibe, but I sewed a TON last night and got a great deal accomplished on both the Texas Stars quilt and the Charity Bears. I’m really loving how much I’m learning through all this. Both of these projects are teaching me so much, and it’s honestly wonderful to be able to spend a Sunday evening quilting with my mom. First, lets look at block #4. This one was a little bit of a pain because I decided I wanted to piece it differently than the instructions called for (perilous waters) and while it worked fine it took a lot of thinking on the part of both me and my mother. Now that it’s all finished, it seems to be strongly reminiscent of a pineapple; at least in my opinion.

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Block #5 was MUCH easier than block #4. I had this adorably quirky brown stone-ish print that I have been having a terrible time in deciding what to do with it, and this particular block style offered the space necessary to really show it off. My difficulty came because every time I looked at it, I contemplated putting it with other brown, which felt like it would detract from the print and be entirely too drab. The deep (but solid) blue made it pop nicely I think.

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So that’s my weekend! Oh, and amidst all that piecing, I also had a school dance. I have to admit, I like being a girl who can do both. As my mom always says “useful and decorative!”

Happy sewing my friend! More coming soon.

Love, Sparkle Jane

Quarter Square Triangles

There are some things in this life that you mean to learn, but don’t, and the day you finally do, you wonder how you ever lived without them. So, I am happy to report, I have learned how to make quarter-square triangles. How did I live without these? They look so cool…Anyway, if you can’t tell, I really like quarter-square triangles now. I love how simple they are. I find them satisfying to make (also, I use the speed piecing technique, which just makes them better).

So, that’s the third finished 12″ block that I’ve made for Texas stars. Wait? What 3?????

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Yep, three. I was a slacker and forgot to post the second block. So I’ll do that thing now.

I am pleased with the progress. I have to say, it’s taking a lot of conscious thought to make the quilt properly masculine and not-flowery. I’m not accustomed to making quilts in that sort of style, at all, but we all need to stretch ourselves, right?

Sparkle Jane