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)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
So that is my mournful story. I’m sure you can see what I mean.
Happy stitching (without straight pins),
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.
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.
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
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?????
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?
Yesterday my mom and I settled into the sewing room, and I have officially finished my first 12 inch block of the Texas Stars quilt.
I’m starting out small and simple. It’s been a while since I last did more intricate piecing, so for right now I’m taking baby steps. I love this block though. The bright buttery yellow and the deep red really pop together nicely.
Just as a reminder, I need star blocks!!!! The sizes I’m looking for are: 12″, 8″, 6″, and 4″ blocks. Anything star like would be great. Also, if you have any tips or tricks for the best way to piece things, that would be great. I’m definitely in the learning stage here.
As some of you know, my mom and I made 52 quilts in 2015 to donate to the hospital that preformed life saving heart surgery on me when I was twelve. It was an amazing experience, and it was so heartwarming to see the gratitude of the doctors and the people who received them.
Because that experience has so stuck with me, a pile of leftover fabric joining our household had an immediate and obvious use (p.s. It’s not actually for quilts).
One of my friends that attends a different high school made teddy bears for a class service project, and they were beyond adorable. I mean, just look at it!
While the teddy bears originally seemed like an excellent idea, his school group quickly discovered that they had purchased about 20 times more fabric than they needed for 10 bears (as I’m sure is obvious from the previous picture, they’re really not very big and they had gotten more than 10 yards of fleece), and somehow it was decided that the leftover fabric was coming to live at my house.
Hey, no complaints here. I’ll always take it.
So, our new project is…TEDDY BEARS!!!!
Thankfully, the bears only take 1-2 hours as opposed to the quilts that took 10+, which will allow me to do a lot more even with my packed schedule. I’m super excited. If any of you want to pitch in, I’d love the help, and I can send you a pattern with some basic instructions. Depending on how many get made, I’d love to donate to the hospital the helped me, our local police station, and potentially a couple of shelters and other hospitals in the area.
“One of the greatest accomplishments in this word would be that of lifting human hearts. Blessed are they that are kind and considerate of the feelings of other people.”
-Richard L. Evans