WiP Wednesday and Some Context

I tend not to share too too much of my personal life; here or on Instagram (I'm seriously so active over there, and I love having more people to follow!!), but things here aren't so rosy. I feel like it's important to mention, because crafting has a huge amount of artistry to it, and I've learned through various art classes about how important the artist's point of view is to the finished product. Looking at something with no context can be alienating, or confusing, but when you know who the artist was, and what their vision was, it becomes clear and has more resonance (Duchamp's Fountain is always cited as a big example of this, if you're curious). Anyway, all this just means that I feel knowing my situation right now will put my current work into context.

Thank you block made in my "blog colors" ♥
Basically, it's been a much different summer than I thought it would be - my husband lost his job right at the beginning of June, and he's starting his first day at a new job today. We had planned to visit his family in Nebraska, at least, as well as a trip to San Diego & Disneyland, maybe even visiting my family up in northern CA...well, instead we've been staying at home, going to the library, lots of Netflix, and I've been crafting, crafting, crafting.

Currently binding this!! I love carrying it around the house with me.
It's by no means a bad thing; in fact, it's exactly how we spent last summer, so at this point it's old hat. The stress never really goes away with financial difficulty hanging over you, though, and that wears on me. It's been a year of bad luck! I'm so grateful that I was inspired to pick up sewing again, I don't know how I would've gotten by for the past few months without it to distract me.

Some of my fabric choices/buys recently
I like looking somewhat critically at my creative process, because I like seeing my usual tendencies and then being surprised by some of the choices that I make. It's nice to surprise yourself sometimes! Anyway, I've thought often over the past few months that I love pink, but I don't use it as much as I would've expected myself to. I partially blamed my fabric stash for not being diverse enough, but that's definitely not an excuse anymore!! I've bought a lot of pink recently, which seems natural considering how stressed and worried and unstable things have been here; it's a color that gives me so much peace. Do you have a color that does that? I think how cute the color pink is to me makes it feel like everything's going to be okay. There's still cute things! It's all right! Haha ♥

Pink Lone Star!
I've recently started acting pretty impulsively off of inspirations (which feels great, btw!) and this is the project that started it - a lone star!! It's been, quite honestly, hellish to put together so far; I've hated every part of the process, but I love all the fabrics and I love how pink and cheery it is. I haven't decided on a bg fabric for it yet, but once I do, this thing is going straight up on my wall! I used this Better Off Thread tutorial to make it, and Aneela Hoey's lone star was my direct (and unignorable!) inspiration for putting it together. Once it's done, I'll make a post about it...I had to change so many measurements from the tutorial to make it work!

Marcelle Medallion!!
I've been wanting to start this Marcelle Medallion business ever since I first saw a glimpse of it...how can you not?? I haven't seen any other border quilts I've been quite as taken by ♥ I paper pieced the center medallion, and am currently having a battle with cornerstone borders. Does anyone have any tricks for getting them super precise?? I was considering sewing them almost like binding, so I can make the second corner align perfectly (does that make sense?). I'm currently putting off cutting out 70+ 2.5" triangles...haha...ha... Tedious work aside, I adore how this looks so far. It's just what I wanted it to look like, when I didn't even know which fabrics I'd be using. I just knew I wanted to feature pink in the center heavily; I've noticed on the finished quilts that the center dictates the tone of the rest of the quilt. I definitely want a pink theme throughout!!

Just realized how many WIP's I have in this post...better link up to WiP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for sticking around for my rambling - I know it's a bit self-indulgent, but I think having a blog in the first place is a bit self-indulgent, so it's all okay in the end ♥ I hope providing some context helped you to view my current projects in a slightly different way c: Have a great Wednesday!!

2013 New Blogger Blog Hop ♥ Week 8

Week 8?? The end of July?? How quickly time flies! I feel like I've done so much since the beginning of June, but it also seems like just a couple weeks ago that I first signed up for the hop. I hope everyone's had the same great experience that I have! I'm so glad for everyone that's stopped by from the hop, it's really overwhelming how supportive everyone's been ♥ Just the encouragement a beginner needs to gain a bit of confidence!

Vicki @ A Quilter's Mission
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elizabeth @ In The Boondocks
Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Sonia @ Fabric & Flowers
Em @ Sewing by Moonlight 
Elise @ Lovelea Designs
Jenny @ A Note To Follow Sew
Emily @ Sew E.T.

I'm impressed at how patient this group is - I don't know if I could've waited the full two months for my post :) There's some really lovely work in this group, I'm so impressed!! Definitely worth the wait ♥♥

Thank you to everyone who participated!! I loved getting to know everyone and found some really amazing blogs that I never would've found otherwise - I love those unexpected treasures. I'm definitely a bit sad that it's over, but thank goodness the lovely bloggers at Little and Lots and Wasn't Quilt in a Day put together a Scrappy Bee for us! I'm soo happy to be participating in quilting "events"...doing swaps, going to guild meetings, now a bee?! I've been really lucky to get involved with such a great group of people so early on! I can't wait until that Flickr pool starts filling ♥

Hey, have a good rest of the week out there! Our a/c was broken overnight, give us strength...it should be back to 100% tomorrow morning, but whew let me tell you, midday in Tucson is not when you want your a/c to go out!!

2013 New Blogger Blog Hop ♥ Week 7

Week 7! Getting so close to the end now; I'll miss all the new weekly inspiration ♥ Let's be honest though, it's too hot for preamble - pictures, pictures!

Karen @ Little Birdie Quilting Studio
Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures
Katie @ Snuggle Up With A Dish From Karma 
Alison @ Making Happyness
Ella and Nesta @ Ella & Nesta's Little Room
Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Nicole @ Modern Handcraft
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya
Kelsey and Amanda @ Everyday Fray

Nine lovely blogs to visit this week! I love all the personality I saw ♥

How's the summer treating you out there? I'm wilting here in the desert...too delicate for all this sunshine, apparently! I've been dreaming of moving somewhere more green and rainy for a while, it sounds so tempting in this weather. Keep cool while you're quilting out there!!

A Finish! ♥ First Mug Rug

This is a post full of firsts!

I've never finished a quilting project before, so this single project includes the first time I: made a dresden plate, sewed a circle, appliqued, quilted, and bound. Considering all of this, I am incredibly, incredibly proud of it! I made it for a swap with the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild and the Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild, and let me tell you...it was somewhat emotional to have to send this away! 

I had so much fun making it, too. I've had my eye on dresden plates for a while now, and especially after picking up a vintage cushion with the cutest dresden plate...well, it was just sitting around my sewing room haunting me! I decided to just jump into it and try it for the mug rug ♥

Lots of fabrics used here! I only used my scrap bag for the front of the mug rug. Since the dresden plate is so tiny (each blade was about 2" long, and the finished plate is approx 6" in diameter), I could afford to use some really good ones! A lot of scraps from Sew Me a Song, some Flea Market Fancy, a touch of Tula Pink. I didn't have much of a color scheme, just went with something balanced but eclectic and scrappy!

Top-stitching isn't particularly a skill of mine, I've learned...but to be fair, I don't have any feet for my machine but basic ones. Which one is it that helps with top-stitching? I could really use it, haha! I hope whoever receives it is okay with some, ah, handmade imperfections...They lend it charm, right? :D

I forgot to take a picture of the backing after it was finished, apparently, so here is pre-binding (and a little bit of my shirt in there too, whoops). Fabrics - I used a pink sketch, a Robert Kaufman chevron (not sure which one!), some PKM and Aneela Hoey Sew Sketchy.

The patchwork half is made of 1" squares, using the fabrics as the dresden. The border is more Aneela Hoey, and for the binding, I used a leftover jelly roll strip I had from my Posy project ♥ I thought it was such a sweet way to frame it up!

I posted my original sketch on Instagram, so you can see how my vision changed a bit - originally, I thought the dresden plate would finish smaller, so it would make sense to have a little bit more going on. As it was, it ended up bigger, so I simplified it to this! 

I hope you've enjoyed looking at it as much as I did making it, I consider this a project that has been such a formative experience and I love it! ♥♥ In fact, I loved it so much that I had to make one of my own...

 I'd love to see any of your projects that felt like they were a big accomplishment or a turning point of some kind in your journey! Those projects are always so special ♥

Better Off Thread

2013 New Blogger Blog Hop ♥ Week 6

Week Six, can you believe it?? I can't believe there's only two more weeks! I can't believe I'm caught up! Disbelief all around, I guess :) Here are this week's hoppers!

Karen @ Karen, {Novice} Quilter
Anne @ PlayCrafts
Rachel @ Let's Begin Sewing...
Jan @ Sew And Sow Farm
Anna @ Quilting Along The Grain
Cath @ Wombat Quilts
Sarah @ {No} Hats In The House
Christen @ Love by Hand
Julie @ 627handworks

Nine this week! They all have some beautiful things to look at, go leave some comments and have fun meeting some new bloggers! ♥

I know there hasn't been a ton of new content here in the last week or so - I actually have a lot to show! Just need to get around to getting pictures, isn't that always the struggle?? I'll have a photography day soon and then I'll be able to show a couple finishes~~ hooray! Happy Thursday, by the way - are you awaiting anything good in the mail? A couple books and my basting spray I've been waiting for should be coming today! Stalking mailbox will commence in 3...2...

2013 New Blogger Blog Hop ♥ Week 5

Hello hello again, another catch up post! Week 5 was the first of July's bloggers, whoo, second month of blog hop! I must say, my bloglovin has swelled to epic proportions. I'm fairly sure I've been falling behind on this aspect because I've been reading so much and getting so inspired! I must thank everybody for participating, if only for how much spark it's given me ♥ I hope I've returned the favor a little bit!

Let's look at the pretty pictures for this week, shall we~

Friday, July 5
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Alyce @ Wonderland By Alyce
Anna @ The Crooked Banana
Rachel @ Sew Happily Ever After 
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher
Shayla @ Sassafras Lane Designs
Caroline @ Carolines Craftiness
Lisa @ Hilltop House Creative Works

Another week, another round of lovely introductions! I'm glad I'll be caught up soon, all of these wonderful bloggers deserve some love ♥♥♥

2013 New Blogger Blog Hop ♥ Week 4

It may seem like you're traveling to the past, but fear not! It's merely me trying to catch up c: Week 4 was the week that I posted in, June 28, so I'm obviously a little behind. I've been so focused on using up my creative energy over here that I've neglected the slightly more tedious business - it happens to everybody a little bit, right? Summertime always feels like a time for self-reflection and a little bit of selfishness, but we do have duties to our fellow bloggers ♥

So! Here are the other lovely posters from week 4!

Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Jessica @ Stitched In Thyme
Amira @ Little Mushroom Cap
Kathy @ Kayak Quilting
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Paula @ The Sassy Quilter
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

I very much enjoyed this week's posters, and think they make a very lovely mosaic, don't you? If you haven't been over to their blogs, what are you waiting for? You're just as behind as I am!!

2013 Finish-a-Long

Like many other crafters, I've got a project list that seems like it'll take years to finish - and I only started in January! It's just too tempting not to try something new when I see it :) Anyway, also like many other crafters, I've decided to take part in the upcoming third quarter of the Finish a Long! I do have some projects I'd love a little extra motivation to finish...let's see what they are:

First up, and most obviously, Posy!

I've only just now gotten to order some basting spray, and it should be here next Thursday. I hope to finish the backing by then, and have a quilting plan roughly drawn up, so once I receive it I can go to town! Anyone have any suggestions on how to quilt a basketweave pattern, by the way? I was thinking maybe just 1/4 lines away from each seam, but that might make it too busy? I'd welcome any ideas ♥

I really want to finish this as well; my summer sampler desserts. Just need to fix up that last block, then sash it & sew it! I want a summer wall hanging before the end of summer!

I probably won't be able to front the cash for batting & backing for this monster for a while, so I'm not entirely sure I can finish it completely...I'd love to have a finished top, though, and at least a start on the backing. I'll be working my hardest for a finish, though!! Especially by September.

Dug up a couple more old projects that I would adore to see completed:

Quilted handbag (this thing has some really cool construction, I want it finished so I can use it and show it off!!)

And I have two versions of the same wallet pattern, want to finish these up as well! I have tons of handbag and wallet patterns that I bought in December, but I haven't finished (or even started, really), any of them! Embarrassing, haha. Again, these should be doable by September ♥

And not a quilting finish, but a cross stitching one - I remember thinking this would be done within the week I started it! Two months later...you know how it goes, right? I don't have much left at all, but it's just on such tiny aida, and I have so many tiny gray stitches to undo at the bottom. Ugh!!

Anyway, there's the list! I have lots of projects I'll be working on otherwise - I'm trying to do smaller sewing projects right now so I can have more finished items around the house! I have a few cushions in the works, probably a needlebook and pincushion, a couple of mug rugs or a table runner...plus I have an exciting finished project to show! I haven't uploaded pictures yet, so you'll see it soon ♥

Oh, oh, New Blogger Blog Hop! I've been falling behind terribly, I really have been barely touching my computer lately. Comments and mosaics for each week are still forthcoming, and I'll be sure to link to your post directly so introductions will be easy to find ♥

Have a great weekend everyone! I hope the monsoon continues over here, it's been a break from the stifling heat at least!