Sunday, March 6, 2011

March Madness

Well, my crafting/creating mojo has left me for a little while.  I think that's what's been contributing to my finishitis.

Finishitis (n)
A common ailment afflicting many creative-types resulting in many partially completed projects with nary a DONE in sight. Not to be confused with its cousins Finishitupitis and Startitis
Finishitupitis (n)
A strange compulsion to finish partially completed projects. This is quite a rare ailment in the crafting world. If you ever catch this, enjoy it as long as you can
Startitis (n)
This ailment drives a person to start new projects as fast as they can, often without finishing their current project. It often leads to cases of Finishitis
In the wake of this persistent strain of Finishitis, I've decided that March is for creating without obligations. I'm going to go where ever the muse takes me, not worry about those pesky UFOs screaming for attention or if anything started actually gets finished.  I'm just going to see where the muse takes me.

So far, I'm a little surprised where it's taken me...

First it lead me to <gasp> my February UFO Challenge project where I did the sewing for the vines and the applique.

Now it's lead me to this cross-stitch kit that I've had sitting the cupboard for quite some time.  To me the image already looks obvious, unlike the Nun and the Penguin.  Though, since I know what it's going to end up looking like I'm a little biased.  What does it look like to you?

Anyone care to join me in this March Madness?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dear Jane

Here are a few more Dear Jane blocks that I've been working on.  With this set, it brings my grand total up to 161 blocks.  That means that there are only 8! blocks left for the centre.  Wow, I can't believe I'm in the single digits!

Of course, after that, it's onto the triangles... :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

UFO Challenge

Let's just say that I'm meeting the spirit of the UFO challenge if not the intent.

This is a little quilt that I started last year.  Looking back, I really can't figure out why I stopped.  I must have put it aside (in the middle of appliqueing the flowers no less!) and gotten distracted.  But here it is all nicely finished and soon to go to it's new home.  (I have just the place on the wall for it)

Now, I've got a debate, should I attempt to finish the February UFO or should I just jump ahead onto March?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bookmark Love

I was lucky enough to receive this bookmark as a gift from my SSCS partner Dawnie in 2009!

I'd always eyed the lovely embroidery that so many people were doing and this little bookmark was just the kick in the pants I needed to actually do it.  So, last year I took an embroidery class and actually finished the project.  <gasp!>  Guess I really did like embroidery. :)  Fast forward another 6 months and I've finished the bookmark!

I love it!  Thank-you so much Dawnie!

(And I'm off to scout out the *next* project....)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Building Blocks - Line Diagrams

Over the years of doing Nearly Insane, I've had a few questions asking me how I figure out what to cut.  I chose not to provide dimensions for the blocks I was doing since that would mean you didn't need to buy the book and I figure that violates the copy right.  So, instead I'm doing a tutorial on how I figure it out.

I've started out with a 6" finished block (that means 6 1/2" unfinished).  Sorry, no fancy PDF download. When the line drawings are thick like you see here, I take my measurements from the centre of the line.  Though, as long as your consistent, it won't matter.  Centre is just easiest for me since I don't have to pay attention to the orientation of the block then.

The Centre of this block (picture below) is a 3" finished (3 1/2" unfinished) square made up of 9 squares that are each 1" finished.

Element A - The 4 1" finished white squares.  For a plain square or rectangle what you need to do is take the finished measurements and add 1/2".  So, since these ones finish at 1", I cut each square 1 1/2" x 1 1/2".

Element B - The 4 1" finished half-square triangles.  These are blue and white in the picture below.  To make half-square triangles, you take the finished measurement of the base (in this case 1") and add 1" to the measurement.  So, for these ones I cut 2 squares white and 2 squares blue, each measuring 2" square.  Then I made them following the tutorial for half-square triangles.

Element C - The centre 1" finished quarter-square triangle.  To make quarter square triangles, you take the finished measurement of the hypotenuse (in this case 1") and add 1 1/2" to the measurement.  So, for this one I cut a blue and a yellow square, each measuring 2 1/2".  Then I cut each square diagonally to make 4 triangles.  Got rid of 2 blue and 2 yellow triangles and used the rest to make up the centre.

Next I moved onto the outside.

Elements H & I - These are the flying geese that finish at 1 1/2" by 3".  For these I used the fast flying geese method.  The base, larger square (swirly pink & yellow fabric in the picture below) made by taking the finished measurement of the base (in this case 3") and adding 1 1/4".  So for this block I cut one square of the swirly fabric 4 1/4" square.  The smaller outer triangles are made by cutting 4 squares.  For these squares you take the finished measurement of the height (in this case 1 1/2") and add 7/8".  So for this block I made 4 squares that are 2 3/8" by 2 3/8"

Just for demonstration purposes I used both methods to make the square-in-a-square blocks.  Normally I wouldn't do that, I just did it to show you how I work out the measurements for each type.

Elements F & G - For the upper two corners I used the squares method of making the square-in-a-square blocks.  For the centre square - Element F (blue in the picture below), you take the finished measurement of the whole square and add 1/2".  So, since this block finishes at 1 1/2" by 1 1/2", I cut a blue 2" square.  The smaller outer triangles - Element G (yellow in the picture below) are also cut as squares, 4 for each element.  To do this, you take the finished measurement of the triangle base ('B' in the square-in-a-square tutorial) and add 1/2".  So, for this one I cut 4 yellow squares, each 1 1/4" by 1 1/4".

Elements D & E - For the lower two corners I used the triangles method of making the square-in-a-square blocks.  For the centre square - Element D (blue in the picture below), you take the finished measurement of the centre square and add 1/2".  So, since Element D finishes at 1 1/8", I cut a blue square 1 5/8" by 1 5/8".  The smaller outer triangles - Element E (yellow in the picture below) are triangles.  To do this you take the finished measurement of the triangle base ('B' in the square-in-a-square tutorial) and add 1".  So, for this block I cut two yellow squares, each 1 3/4" by 1 3/4" and then cut each square in half diagonally to make 4 triangles.

And that is how you figure out what you need to cut from fabric when you're faced with a line diagram for a pattern.  The first couple of times I did this, I was double checking and second guessing everything.  After I made a few blocks, I started recognizing these elements more and more and can now do most of them in my head (greatly speeding up the cutting process).

And, since I couldn't resist, here is the finished block!

I hope this tutorial helps everyone faced with line diagrams (Like you are with Nearly Insane, or Dear Jane, or ....).  If you have any questions or anything is confusing, please let me know.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cherries Jubilee

Wow, another finish!

This was also started quite some time ago.  Made from the Cherries Jubilee charm pack.  (I think I started it when I first got the charm pack, so that gives you an idea of its age).

This was another quick fun one to make that is destined for the quilt wall.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not a Boy Quilt

I guess focusing only works for so long...

I have a finish to report!  (Though not UFO #3 or the bookmark either)

I started this quilt many many years ago.  I had originally picked pink, blue and yellow fabric so it could be a unisex baby quilt.  Obviously it didn't turn out that way.  Oh well, it's a cute quilt anyways and will be a lovely quilt for a little girl.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear Jane

Focusing works!

I've managed to put the blocks together for Nearly Insane and am continuing on with the zig-zag border shown last week.  I have no picture since it's now grown too large to stay up on the design wall, so I'll just tease you with reports until I finish the top...

I also managed to get these 4 Dear Jane blocks completed.

Now I'm off to tackle the bookmark and UFO #3!

Monday, January 10, 2011


May Britt and Hanne have been doing focus projects for quite some time now and every time I've seen it, I've thought it was a great idea.  This time, I decided to play along as well.  The Christmas projects finishes really showed me what I can do if I focus.  I finished as many projects for Christmas as I did in the other 11 months of the year!

Anyways, this is what I'm wanting to focus on first...

The pink and white squares in the upper left are more Dear Jane blocks.  The red and white zig-zag is 208! blocks for the Nearly Insane border.  The fabric in the lower left hand corner is for my guild's schnibbles of the month that we're doing this year.  Next is a bookmark that Dawnie kindly gave me last year for Christmas, after a few technical difficulties, I think I'm finally on my way.  Finally, the in lower right hand corner is UFO #3, from Patchwork Penguin's UFO challenge.

We'll see how long this new focus lasts. :)