Hop, Skip and a Jump!

So as mentioned previously, I am part of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers. The focus of this group is for seasoned bloggers to provide technical advice and support to us newbie bloggers. Part of the support is participating in my first blog hop and the Sew Fabulous Hive!

It’s fun for me to have new visitors to Chopping Block Quilts, its fun for the visitors because you get to discover some amazing new quilting blogs and are eligible to enter to win a slew of amazing prizes from our fabulous hosts!

Super Quick & Random facts about me:

On the Line, Ready to Play

On the Line, Ready to Play Ultimate Frisbee

Name: Carrie
From: Arizona
Currently Resides In: Costa Rica (the Central Valley near some Volcanoes, not the beach)
Husband: 1, married 6mo or 2.5mo depending on which wedding you count
Puppies: Bernadette Shiva Garbage Disposal (9mo), IsaDora Paulina Gozer Sombra (7.5mo)
Scared of: Balloons, Needles/Knives/Blood (I got 4 stitches from a rotary cutter accident in college)
Began Quilting: 2002

My First Quilt made in 2003, loved by Dora today

My First Quilt made in 2003, loved by Dora today

Check this out if you really want to know more quick facts and my quilting history.

Blogging Tip:
Get involved! Whether your goal is to increase readership, get sponsors or simply have a better blog, the quilt blogging community can help. I joined the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers on a whim and fairly last minute. While the technical aspect appealed to me most, I have been overwhelmed with the new followers, generosity of advice, and support related to all aspects of blogging and quilting.

As part of being more involved in the quilting community, I am starting my first Quilt Along on the Midnight Mystery Quilt from Meadow Mist Designs. Fabric has been selected (and I am toying with the idea of making a second colorway).

Midnight Mystery Quilt Fabric.  Print from 2012 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin

Midnight Mystery Quilt Fabric Selection.
Print from 2012 Palmer Collection by Anna Griffin

I am anxiously awaiting the release of the first block in July. There is still time for new members to join this QAL and I encourage you to do so!

Meadow Mist Designs Mystery Quilt

Quilting Tip:
While quilting is fairly popular in Costa Rica, most of my quilting supplies have come from my stash in Arizona lugged down on various trips. Batting is included in said supplies. A few years ago I learned about the proper way to join pieces of batting from the Encyclopedia of Quilting (I just don’t remember if it was this one or this one)

To reduce bulk, you overlay the batting by a few inches and then cut along the overlap in a wave like pattern. The pieces are then joined together using a flat stitch.

Joining batting pieces

Joining batting pieces

The result when quilted is batting that does not have bulky seams where it overlaps. I must apologize for not having better photos but I am now inspired to create my first tutorial! Check back soon!

Confession:
I love musicals. Live, in movies, and on TV. Disney, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more. They are my go-to background noise when sewing. I can’t help but sing along.

Often times I wish life were more like a musical. I can make a song out of almost any situation. Usually they take the tune of some popular song with original lyrics. Sometimes they are awesome, sometimes they are awful. My brother can do the same, although he keeps his talent hidden. I think we learned it from our father as children. It makes life a little more joyful.

Hop! on over to the other members of my Sew Fabulous Hive this week:
Erin @ Twin Mom Quilts
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Adrian @ Quilting Fabulous

New Blogger Series
Skip! to our wonderful hosts:
Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter (our Hive “Queen Bee”)
Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Terri Ann @ Childlike Fascination

Jump! at the chance of winning some great prizes this week (and in the upcoming weeks). See our “Queen Bees” above for giveaway entry details!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Gallery

Back to the Start

“No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back”- Turkish Proverb

I started on my final Farm Fresh baby quilt about 2 weeks ago.  Inspired by this updated chevron design by Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio I began making 96 HST with the remaining pieces of Farm Fresh by October Moon for Riley Blake that I had.

Blocks were pieced and trimmed.

First block pieced and trimmed

First block pieced and trimmed

Arranged with the help of my husband.

Initial layout

Initial layout- sorry for the blurry phone picture!

Then sewn together incorrectly.  I thought about ripping it out and fixing it, but then decided to press on thinking it was “design” intervention.  Our newest addition, Dora, seemed to think it was fine.

Dora approved, even if it was sewn together wrong

Dora approved, even if the top was sewn together wrong

After using what batting I had and assembling it into a patchwork (making it work), basting begun.

Patchwork batting

Patchwork batting

Basting

Basting

One chevron quilted and I was done for the day.

Thinking overnight about it, I decided was not thrilled with the overall look of the top. The color balance, the patchwork look of some chevrons but not all.

Turning back from the wrong path

Turning back from the wrong path

So I am settling in with my seam ripper, Harry Potter, and copious amounts of coffee and taking it all apart and going back practically to the beginning.

I have figured out a much better HST design and will be busy sewing it all back together tomorrow while the hubs is in class.

Linking up with:

Michelle’s Romantic Triangle: Let’s Make Baby Quilts!

New Year, New (and old) Projects

About the time I made my last post, my boyfriend Victor proposed. We decided on a VERY short engagement and started planning for a end-of-year wedding.  I also had to return to Arizona for a few weeks to get all of the needed documents for our wedding.

A few highlights from our Costa Rican wedding

A few highlights from our Costa Rican wedding

We got married on December 27 in Santa Ana, Costa Rica (just outside of the capitol, San Jose) and started the new year off as newlyweds.  The wedding was perfect for us. Relaxed and intimate with family, friends, good food and good wine.

Her favorite things: Munching on bones, playing with Palm bark, licking things, a siestas on the couch.

Berna’s favorite things: Munching on bones, playing with palm bark, licking things, and siestas on the couch.

I should also mention we adopted a boxer puppy, Bernadette (aka Berna), during this time as well. She has been awesome and a handful; as the last time I “took care” of a puppy was when I was about 7 years old. Thankfully we move next week from our apartment to a house with a yard  where she will have plenty of space to grow.

So I must apologize  for my absence over the last 2 months, but things have been a bit hectic around here.

That being said, I have been anxious to get back to creating and crafting.  I am horrible at making resolutions like “I will sew, crochet or craft for Xhrs every week”.

Instead I have decided to share with you my list of projects I am aiming to complete in 2015 (in general order of urgency/importance)

VINO wine cork wall-art (2014 UFO)
Spot On” crochet instructions (requested)
What the Hex” quilt (2014 UFO)
Crochet baskets for closet organization
University of Arizona t-shirt quilt (2007 UFO)
Wedding Quilt for cousins (new)
Batik Lone Star Quilt (new)
Quick Curve Ruler Quilt (new)
Christmas Stockings & Tree Skirt (new)

There of course will be other random projects thrown in there (mainly making dog toys for Berna) and planning for an Arizona wedding reception in the Spring.

Here’s to a creative 2015!!

Gallery

What the Hex!


Like all quilters and crafters, I have a stash of fabrics and supplies that are just waiting for the perfect project.

Most of my fabric bundles come from a store called Tuesday Morning. It is one of those stores that is a last ditch effort by retailers to sell unpopular items (think a Ross version of TJ Maxx).  Luckily, they have a little craft section at Tuesday Morning that has hidden sewing and crochet/knitting treasures.  I have found many a fat quarter bundle for about $8 or so here, and they are decent fabric collections (albeit about 3-4 years old, but still good quality).

The first discovery I made was the Farm Fresh collection by  Riley Blake designs called Farm Fresh that I have used to make 2 baby quilts for friends & family.  When I am in AZ, I try to duck in every few weeks or so to see what they have to offer.

Farm Fresh by Riley Blake Bundle

Farm Fresh by Riley Blake

 

A few years ago I bought two bright and cheery packs of an aqua & green fabric collection (sadly no name on this set…) that I have been dying to use in a quilt. Only problem was figuring out exactly how I wanted to use them.  In comes the inspiration from Jay Bird Quilts and their hexagon quilt pattern.

Teal and Aqua Fabric Collection

Aqua and Teal Charm Pack

So with very little pre-planning and quite a bit of improvisation, I have begun to work on this twin size quilt as an “art exchange” with my friend Rommy in return for one of her oil paintings.

Setting up the cut

No fancy tools here to make the cut

Moving along

Moving down the line

Pieces Ready to Go

Ready to be assembled

I will admit, due to my lack of pre-planning (and not looking at all steps of the quilt-a-long), I have made this quilt a bit more difficult in terms of piecing the top together.

Half-Hexes ready to go

Should of stopped and planned here to sew along rows instead of having to later do Y-Seams….

IMG_20140730_185355_nopm_

First one done- many more to go. The more I do, the better they look.

There is a great explanation and demonstration on how to sew the Y-Seam in the Craftsy 2013 Block of the Month class online (for free!!). This is my first time tackling the dreaded Y-seam, so piecing the top has been slow going but I hope to have something finished to show in the next few weeks!