Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Catching Up On May

The Merry Month of May is almost over and there has not been ANY quilting done so far this month!!  As noted on my previous post, I had just gotten my sewing machine back from being serviced when the month began and my focus shifted to being immersed in community and school events which will still be finishing up this week.  It turns out I wasn't prepared for how much all this would knock me off my normal quilting rhythm and schedule.  I even missed being able to go to a local guild quilt show that's held annually in early May!  When the lion's share of my involvement ended last week, I had hoped to spend the Memorial Day weekend having one giant Quilt-A-Thon.  Instead I spent it mostly running around with the hubby (who was finishing up his week of vacation) trying to get the last few things I needed for the spring planting of the flower boxes on my terrace. 

So with that big job now done, I feel like maybe I can finally get back to the quilting!  But before all that, I was fortunate that there are ways to stay involved with quilting when one can't get to the machine.  Thanks to the internet, when one can't sew, one CAN surf!!  Of course the problem with that is this can happen....

That's just why I've avoided joining Pinterest up until now!  Actually, I haven't needed it because there is so much other stuff on the web to occupy me.  The first thing that kept me immersed in all things quilting was the release at the beginning of the month of the latest issue in the Quiltmaker Magazine's "100 Blocks" series.  They are up to Volume 11!  Once again there are a lot of great blocks by new and returning designers.  Each time a new issue comes out, the Quiltmaker staff hold a week long blog tour to preview some of the blocks during which copies of the magazine, fabric and pattern prizes are up for grabs.  I was lucky enough to win one on Day 3 of the tour! 

This generous prize package was courtesy of Quiltmaker, Timeless Treasures fabrics and pattern designers Desiree Habicht of Desiree's Designs, mother/daughter design duo Kristy and Shayla Wolf of Sassafrass Lane Designs and Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods.  All of  these designers have blocks in the issue (Blocks #1005,  #1019,  #1020 and #1028, respectively) so check them out if you've already got a copy of the issue.  Needless to say, this was a great way to start off the month and made up for not being able to sew!

My original plans for the  month had also included getting some important quilt stitching done.  Something I had hoped to get to help with that was some new templates for free motion quilting.  After my experiences back in March stitching Baptist Fans using cardboard templates, I had taken a look at the options that are around for making them with acrylic rulers made for FMQing on domestic machines.  The ones that seemed best suited for the task for me are the "Circles On Quilts" templates by the Australian company Westalee Design.  After watching their video, I ordered them.

I look forward to trying these out on at least one of the Kaye England Civil War Sampler quilts that are still waiting to be quilted up.  I also have in mind an idea to do a quilt with decoratively quilted circles in the future.  If you want to order these or any of the other Westalee templates, they now have a stateside supplier, Sew Steady, so shipping is now only a few states rather than half a world away!

Ever since I started quilting, it seems I manage to "kill" an iron each year!  I had picked up my latest one when we did our warehouse club shopping at the beginning of the month. 

The bonus is that it coordinates perfectly with my current ironing board cover!  The downside?  I was planning to make a new cover when I finish some spring re-decorating of my dining room/Quilt Studio.  Well, for now it's a perfect match.  However also on the iron front, I finally got to order the SteamFast travel iron which Craftsy had on  sale recently for a great price.  I've read a lot of good things about this little iron.  Not only will it be great for travel use but I'm looking forward to being able to use it right at my sewing table when I use my Omnigrid Fold-Away Portable Cutting & Pressing Station something which has been awkward to do with a standard size iron.

Finally in these last few weeks of the month I've been able to spend the time between meetings and events or while traveling to meetings and events, looking at all of the wonderful entries in the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.
 Hosted by Martingale author Amy Ellis, this is always a great chance to see what other quilters around the world are making and to discover new blogs to follow.  You also get the opportunity to play Quilt Show Judge and vote on your favorites.  There's still some time to vote so if you haven't done so already, head on over and take a look!!  If you are seeing this post after the festival has ended, know that while it's too late vote on your favorites, Amy leaves the links up to view all the wonderful entries so you always have a chance to see what you've missed!
With the volunteer commitments winding down, the holiday over and DH and the boys going back to work and school, I hope to have a little quiet time to try to get in at least some stitching work before the month completely ends and I need to do my next "Get It Done!" report.  Hope your month has been more productive than mine!!

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