Paper Piecing

Man, this whole journey of paper piecing has been incredibly eye-opening for me. Before my English paper pieced Skill Builder BOM, I assumed that I would just abhor the process of paper piecing. By hand, it seemed like it would take too long, who cares that it's mobile? And foundation paper piecing seemed like more trouble than it was worth. Welp, I was completely off on both counts! EPP is so fun for the fact that I can take it anywhere (and how on earth can hexagons be so cool and cute??), and foundation paper piecing is incredibly useful for people such as, ah, myself, who have difficulties with proper seam allowances and whatnot. For any beginners who are put off by either, I encourage you to go forth and try it! It's been so much fun to learn these techniques and enjoy the fruits of my labor ♥

With that being said, here are the next two blocks in the Summer Sampler Sew Along series from Ellison Lane Quilts:

Vanilla Milkshake! I wanted to use a vintage-y sort of print for the glass, this one was absolutely perfect - picked it up from SAS a few days ago. I need to do a post on them really soon!

Summer Sampler!

Recently, my quilting journey has taken me into the brand new world of paper piecing! It's been quite exciting, most especially because I thought I would hate both English paper piecing and foundation paper piecing, and it turns out I actually adore them both. I love working with hexagons and doing a bit of hand-sewing, and I also love the cutie things you can make with foundation piecing ♥ To help with my learning, I've joined the Summer Sampler Sew Along over at Ellison Lane Quilts! I put off a lot of the blocks until this past weekend, but once I started working I fell in love~. Here are my blocks:

Popsicles! I love the cherries, got them from a fabric grab bag at a local thrift store. I also got some cross stitch Aida cloth for $1, I should go back there...

Farmer's Wife!

One of the very first quilting blogs that I started reading was Hey Porkchop, so her Farmer's Wife blocks were the first quilting inspiration I had. I was fixated on getting that book so I could make beautiful traditional blocks with my modern taste in fabrics! I got it on sale a month or so ago and I've been slowly working on the blocks. I'm taking my time, to be sure of my fabric choices and so I don't feel stressed about the massive number of blocks. I probably won't make all of them, but as many as I find aesthetically pleasing, haha! By the way, I do recommend this book if you have an interest in American history and traditional quilt blocks - I've vastly enjoyed reading the letters as much as I've enjoyed putting together the blocks. The only frustration I had is that the CD that it comes with only has one template per pdf; a massive waste of paper. Someone compiled them to only take up 15 pages, which I've uploaded for your convenience here. It's a hard pdf to get a hold of, so I figure the more uploads floating around, the better ♥ Anyway, here's my progress so far (more Instagram pics...I hope you don't mind!):

Block 1, Attic Windows:

This. Block. Now, as you have probably gleaned, there is a story behind this...first I cut the Turtle Bay fabric reversed (I wanted the scenes to "match", so you can see the rain on the upper left and the boy with the umbrella on the lower right), so instead of re-cutting I decided to mirror the block. Simple, right? Well, I didn't realize that the quadrilaterals would need to be mirrored as well. Hence, one of them was mis-cut (because I accidentally did mirror one of them when I was tracing...), and of course since I was using a charm square that I have no others of, and no other fabric would do, apparently, I re-sewed the charm square together to re-cut the quadrilateral. Then I proceeded to cut it wrong, AGAIN. Thus a repeat of the process. I finally have it coming together when for some reason, the triangles don't align with the middle of the block at. All. AT ALL. You can see, I lost a bit more than a 1/4 inch off the sides! I haven't had the heart to fix it yet, but I'll just hand stitch a little flap there so it has its seam allowance. The thing is that I love these fabrics and the layout, I just wish construction went less...messy.

Think About It

Today I'd like to give a shout-out to the women who aren't mothers. To those who take care of their significant other, or their pets, or, most importantly, themselves. You are just as valued and meaningful and exceptional. All women deserve to be respected and admired, regardless of their inclination to be a mother.

So have a day to yourselves, and enjoy it thoroughly. You deserve nothing less.

Budget Quilting, Part One: The Tools

This post is actually what made me want to start a blog. I've been mulling over this topic of "budget" quilting for a while now, and it's something that I haven't seen talked about on the numerous blogs I follow.

First, an overview of my quilting so far - I started in January of this year, during a time when my husband was unemployed, we had numerous bills, and we were tentatively planning a move out of the city. In other words, a terrible, terrible time to take up an expensive hobby that seems to require a lot of tools. It is now May, my husband has gainful employment, we made the move, but we still have next to no extra money. I feel like this whole process has helped me to become very resourceful, and has made an enormous impact on the quilts that I am making and plan on making - my whole quilt style, essentially. I realized as I was writing this post it was becoming unwieldy, so I feel like this will end up being a three parter, just a heads up!

The first block that I made was a scrappy trip-along block. The only tool I bought was a 9"x3" quilting ruler, and I found a fabric store local to Arizona that has giant piles of cotton fabric scraps for $4/yard. I had a pair of great fabric scissors from when I attended college for fashion design, so I just used those, drew some lines, cut them out, sewed it...yikes.