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Goal: Knit 5,000 yards of stash sock yarn
Knit on, soldier girl

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Entries in kcmqg (7)


Let's go back to November.

When I get out my camera, I get it OUT. This morning I took a heap of pictures of finished projects both new and old. Let's start back in November.

Before the Kandinsky challenge, the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild did the Habitat challenge. Habitat is the name of Jay McCarroll's latest fabric line, and we were each given a set of fat eighths with which to make a quilt. We could add any solid or more of his fabric to our quilts.

I wanted to showcase the fabric, but since I found it a little garish, I wanted to use it sparingly. I also kept thinking about bubbles.

I started with the mustard fabric in one piece. I drew an arc (with pencil), then cut out circles using my circle cutter. I reverse-appliqued the prints using my machine. I glued them on so they would stay in place until I stitched.

Inspired by my Zentangling, I echo-quilted around all the circles. Next time, I would make the lines a little closer together. I drew them with chalk line, which got messy and sometimes confused me, too. Air soluable marker next time?


For the back, I used a print from Habitat (but in a different colorway).

This had a name, but for the life of me I can't remember it. It's mostly Henry's - it's a little bigger than crib-sized, and it's good for playing in the yard. And throwing up on.


Summer of Stash

I have a lot of fabric. I have A LOT of yarn (at last tally, 48.57 miles). I also have a baby. Babies are expensive. Do you know how much this kid eats? A lot. More than you would think a 20-lb person could eat.

I don't need new fabric or yarn. I have plenty of projects half-done and tens more in the queue. I also have much less free time than I used to, so I can't blow through projects the way I would like.

It's time for a Summer of Stash. From May 1 - September 30, I'll be working soley from my stash, with the following exceptions:

  1. Backing fabrics. I don't buy my backing when I buy the fabrics for my top, because I want to see the mostly-finished product before I decide on how to truly complete things.
  2. The Pink Chalk Fabrics Solids of the Month club. I'm a member, and I love it. I get eight half-yards of a solid color story each month. I feel this is a good, solid investment into my sewing future. Also, it's not super expensive.
  3. Gifts.

I worked at Quilt Market over the weekend, guarding escalators and making sure people didn't bring their beverages into the exhibit hall. I had a chance to purchase fabric at the end of Sample Spree (which was...insane), but I decided not to. First of all, it felt weird, because I wasn't a shop owner or anything. Second, I'm no longer interested in buying fabric without a specific project in mind (even if it's really cute puppies). Third -- SUMMER OF STASH!

The KCMQG and the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild hosted a huge meet-up on Saturday night. I manned the prize table with Jenny, and we spent a goodly amount of time admiring all of the big door prizes. I had my eye on the Quilt Con color pack, but I knew I didn't have a chance at winning anything. There were 300 people there!

And then I saw the look on Mary Anne's face and I knew I had won something.

Image borrowed from Michael Miller Fabrics.I won all three of those Michael Miller Cotton Coture fat quarter packs, a total of about 15 yards. It was ridiculously amazing, and I jumped into the air like I was on "The A-Team." I'd never seen these before. They're so soft and luscious, and I'm going to spend some time just admiring them and dreaming of what they're going to become. Something for me, of course, but what?

Summer of Stash, indeed.


I don't know how these things happen.

I like being a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild not only for the snacks, but also for the opportunity to try things I normally wouldn't even consider.

Take Wassily Kandinsky, for example. He was a Russian painter linked to the Bauhaus movement. I like art as much as the next girl, but my tastes don't necessarily line up with his. But when Carla announced that our next guild challenge would be a quilt inspired by one of Kandinsky's paintings, I could't resist.

I chose "From Cool Depths:"

I thought about this painting for months. I really, really liked it, and it was very different from the rest of the paintings we could select. I knew that I didn't want to make a replica of the painting, and I wasn't in love with the color story. I did, however, love the title. So I started thinking about things that come from cool depths. My first thought was a volcano, which really comes from hot depths. That made me think of an explosion, which made me think of a supernova, which made me think of the creation of the universe.

Which led to this:

It's so hard to take a good picture of this quilt because you really don't get the full effect unless you're a little distance away. It's small - about 24" x 24". I call it "In the Beginning."

For scale (and a little distance):

 I've wanted to do something pixelated for a long time. I started with 2.5" squares on my design wall, a little square of each solid in my stash, and I quickly came to two conclusions. 1. These were big and wouldn't blend the way I wanted them to. 2. I was going to need to cut more squares.

But I didn't want to cut more squares. Instead, I cut my 2.5" squares into fourths, leaving me with four 1.25" squares of each color. At our retreat, I watched Shea make anawesome tiled pillowcase, and realized when I got home that it was the perfect method for getting all of my little squares in order.

My original vision was just the colored blocks, but I quickly realized that an unfinished 1.25" square becomes just 0.75" finished, so a thick border it was. I quilted with some light blue thread to give it some more movement.

All of our challenge quilts on are display this week at the Machine Quilting Show in Overland Park, KS. If you can't make it, check out Carla's pictures. There is a ridiculous amount of talent in that room.


Taunting the spirits that make this child sleep.

Must blog quickly. If sleeping baby knows I'm Getting Things Done, he will immediately wake and demand to eat everything in the house. (We were actually going to the zoo today. I haven't been there since the day after I moved here almost nine years ago. On that day, I got heatstroke and threw up seven times. I am not really a fan of the KC Zoo, for obvious reasons. ANYWAY. Not going to the zoo because he is blissfully, gloriously napping.)

I have been quilting! Last weekend, I ran away from home to Lawrence, KS for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild's first retreat. It was awesome. Awesome friends, lots of kettlecorn, and plenty of time to sew. I began work on two, count 'em 1-2, Seeing Squares quilts (one for H, one for us), and as I was sitting a mere five feet away from the pattern's creator, I was able to also spend some time making her feel guilty about the eleventy billion seams that had to be pressed. Actually, she felt so guilty on her own that she volunteered to do some pressing for me. Do not go to a quilt retreat without Shea by your side, because she loves pressing. I hate pressing. We are a good match. While she whipped out project after project (and pressed for me!), I trucked along on my squares. Now, you should know that I'm pretty partial to doing stupid things, and doing two of these quilts at once may qualify. But I have a feeling that once I finish one, I will be tired and won't want to finish the other. So I'm looking at these two quilts as one quilt with two separate panels. And, uh, colorways.

Also, do not go to a quilt retreat without Jenny, because she will laugh at your dumb jokes and offer to cut out letters with teeny scissors because she can see the look of sheer panic on your face. Also, she is the best roommate ever because she let me have the room cold and stayed up late to talk in the dark like we were 12. I love my kid, but one of the best things about having him was becoming friends with Jenny.

It was seriously the best weekend I've had in a long time, and it's all due to the fabulous company. There were 24 of us -- some people I already knew, some I didn't, and I made a lot of new friends.

I didn't finish anything, though. And that's okay, because I really wasn't expecting to. So I came home and...

Immediately started something else.

More about this soon, I hope. It's kind of a surprise/for a guild challenge, and it no longer looks like this. It looks a lot, a lot smaller.

(Baby is awake! Nice timing, kid.)


I made a mug rug. A month ago.

I am no good with the blogging lately, and I'm blaming that on my general urge to lie in a prone position when Henry is asleep. Which isn't nearly enough during the day. Also, I'm crap at taking pictures of things. But I'd rather show you crappy pictures than no pictures at all, so I will try to be better.

We did a mug rug swap at March's Modern Quilt Guild meeting, and it was so much fun (even though I didn't make my mug rug until the day before). I haven't taken a photo of the mug rug I received, but it involves donut fabric, so it's clearly much loved around here. I keep it on my desk even when it's not in use because it just makes me smile every time I see it.

Here's the mug rug I made:

Our only guidelines were to make something improv, meaning no pattern. I'm not hugely confident in my improving skills, and I didn't really know what I wanted to do until the last minute. I took a bunch of purple scraps out of my scrap bin and just started piecing things together. Once I had some bigger chunks, I fit them together like a puzzle.

I'm particularly proud of the quilting - I've never done anything like this before. I used my walking foot so the lines would be straight, but that involved a lot of stopping and turning to get the right angles. Next time, I think I'll try using my free motion foot.

With Sophie la Giraffe, for scale.Justin originally made fun of me when I told him I was making a mug rug (for the unintiated, a mug rug is like a coaster, but with room for a cookie or muffin, too), but after he saw my finished product, he was a wee bit jealous. Would he ever use one? No. I pick my battles.