Postage Stamp Quilt-Along Update

I’m a little behind on my post this week. I was stressed out about it because I thought I’d solved all my technology problems from the past few weeks. I was wrong. I think technology hates my blog. I was so mad the other day that I almost swore off blogging. But my husband helped put things into perspective: “No one is wailing and smashing their computer because you haven’t posted in time. They’ll see it when they see it.” Oh, Alex, you keep me grounded in reality. My response was, “Well, they *should* be.”
But, I’m still here, and (dare I say it??) think most of my tech problems are solved.

I’m excited to say I have already completed my February Postage Stamp Challenge! I solemnly vowed to sew all of quadrant 1 into sets of 4.

Sewing is done.

And ironing is done.

It was pretty awesome to iron these out. I started getting a feel for how things are going to look!

There were some sad ones. Several are like the one below, where the seams just don’t quite match. I didn’t have any tragically off-kilter ones, but I’m a little concerned about how it might throw things off. Of course, I’m worrying too much about it..

And I found a fabric I sewed on backwards. It’s the orange in the upper right. I *almost* took it apart to flip it, but I realized that it just doesnt matter and that I may like the backside better anyway.
And then there’s this bad boy… He’s more than a little snaggle-toothed. I am going to see if this block can be salvaged, but I suspect I will have to take it apart and maybe replace a couple of the squares. It might be for the best, all those lines going in different directions make me a little nauseated and anxious lol.

But overall, I was really pleased with how they look. I definitely have some favorites! The one below just makes me really happy for some reason.

A few produced some color combos I’d never really considered. In the future, I may look to these for inspiration:

I really liked this one with the frog.

I definitely have a weakness for aqua, red, and black together. All my favorite blocks turned out to contain green/aqua, red/orange, and black and white!

Now I’m going through and squaring up all my blocks. Does using a rotary cutter make everyone’s elbows burn, or am I doing something wrong??

Bring on March’s challenge, Mary!! I’m ready!

 

Don’t be an idiot (like me…) Part 2

I have a feeling you guys are going to get sick of seeing these squares! Especially since, to the untrained eye, it looks like nothing is happening with them.

While it *is* in fact slow-going… it’s at least going. If you’ll pay special attention to the bag in the upper right corner, you can see it’s well organized while the other bags are in complete disarray. I’ve sewn all those squares into duos and have IRONED THEM. (I never iron anything. Unless I really really really really REALLY have to. And this time I really really really really REALLY had to.)

Which brings me to my point.

I am not at all an expert on fabric. I’m learning a bit at a time, especially as I follow other bloggers. When Mary at The Curious Quilter said there should be no homespuns included in the swap, I literally had to Google it. Now I know what a homespun is (or I at least have a clearer picture), and I went through my swapping fabric and pulled out all the probable homespuns.

But I’d already learned a valuable lesson during my ironing sessions. When I was ironing out my duos, some of my fabrics MELTED. Yes. They just shriveled up into a crunchy mess. So, my assumption is that some of those fabrics were synthetics. I am systematically having to go through my bags of squares and pull out the offenders and test the suspects. I am really excited that I get to personally touch all 3000+ squares at least 20 times each. (Sarcasm.)

So, don’t be an idiot like me. Learn your fabrics. Know what you’re using. And if you’re in doubt, test before you cut, sort, and sew.

So, you fellow swappers out there, I am sorry if you get my fabric!!! I am definitely trying to do this right, and I can assure you that you will not have anything that I *think* is a homespun, and you will not have anything that will melt!


Here’s a sad little shot of some of my swapping squares. I have so many duplicates, it’s not even funny. I am making sure that each set is without duplicates, but I have the potential to create LOTS of sets. 🙂

Postage Stamp Quilt – 2012 Charm Swap!

This lame photo does not express how excited I am about The Curious Quilter’s Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap! But you can see that I am digging out my scraps and gearing up to participate!
 
If you have been tiptoeing around the idea of creating a postage stamp quilt, now is the time. Mary is hosting multiple swaps all throughout 2012. This will give you access to lots of different fabrics without having to go a huntin’ for them. And this is a real blessing, because these quilts have THOUSANDS (well, like 1-5 thousand, depending on your size.) of teeny tiny squares. I’ve been using a lot of duplicates, and that’s making it quite a bit harder on me than if I’d been patient and collected unique squares!
 
And I’ve discovered through Mary’s swap that I am not even in the craziest group of us crazies! Some of the folks out there are making these quilts out of ONE INCH SQUARES. I know, I’m astonished too!! But I decided to help them out and I’m using my teentiest, most tossable scraps to make them some squares. 
 
So head on over to The Curious Quilter, get a little info, and sign up to join the swap!! You might even get some of that fancy schmancy strawberry fabric* for your project! 
 
*Fancy schmancy strawberry fabric is pictured above, in all its glory.

Mailbox Magic

Yesterday, I came home from a play date with my friend Stephanie, to a mailbox full of happiness!

First of all, I got my first copy of Parents Magazine. Who doesn’t love magazines, especially when you get a year’s subscription for $3? And I got a disc from Netflix to replace a broken DVD, which I’d been waiting on for almost a week.
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But the best thing of all was from The Curious Quilter!!!

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A tiny, wonderful package of tiny, wonderful 2 inch squares for my postage stamp quilt!

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I sat down right at the door and started playing with my new present 🙂 There were so many really awesome clippings, but I wanted to show off a few of my favorites!

Ok, geekery abounds in this house, so this could not have been a more perfect addition to my quilt 🙂

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I just loved this little polar bear!

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And I love gnomes!!! When we owned our own house, I wanted a garden gnome so much! But grumpy Alex told me no. I’ll wear him down at the next place 😉 Or who knows, gnomes have a way of just wandering in and making themselves at home…

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This square is just the sweetest!

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I really liked this one, especially since Mary calls these 2 inch treasures.

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How awesome is this set?? I had wanted to sneak some skulls into my quilt, but I didn’t think I wanted so many as to go buy a length of fabric. Two is the perfect amount 🙂 And I LOVE that star fabric.

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So after grouping those 4 together, I started thinking about other groupings. There were lots of little animals, which made me want to do a Critter Quilt for Dex. I LOVED the bee square, but felt really guilty about wanting to keep it because I know Dexter LOVES bees too. (We LOVE a lot in this house lol. We’re not very neutral people!)  But maybe I’ll trade him the polar bear for the bees…

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And then I have to decide if animal print is a fun girly addition to my quilt, or if it ultimately belongs in the Critter Quilt.

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And then I came across this “square”… made up of 2 tiny triangles. I’m saving that one. Because I’ve got a lot of scraps that are too small to make 2 inch squares, and I feel a Tiny Triangle Quilt may be in my future…

WIP: Postage Stamp Quilt (Cutting and Calculating!)

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Isn’t this project supposed to be a scrap-buster? What am I doing bringing new fabrics into this house??

I cleaned out my tiny scraps and had only 450 of my proposed 4096 squares. And I get a little impatient sometimes, and do impulsive things. I went to Joann’s looking for Thomas fabric for a birthday gift. I didn’t find any Thomas the Train, but I did find LOTS of fabrics that would look great in my postage stamp quilt.

My rationality: I planned on getting a few fat quarters. But it occurred to be me that 4 fat quarters would come out to $8. so, why shouldn’t I just get lots of 1/8 and 1/16 cuts of lots of fabrics for the same price? Yes, this is very sound logic indeed.

But it turned out to be a great choice. For $5.50 I got 13 different fabrics (just over 1.25 yards) as opposed to 4 for $8 (1 yard).

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I loved all the fabrics I chose, but I was really excited about a few. This green fabric was around 60% off because it was a St. Patrick’s Day print. Awesome!!!

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Novelty fabrics were 30% off so I threw in some mushrooms and owls! (BTW, somewhere along the line, I decided this quilt is definitely for me. I’m apparently not interested in sharing a “Big Hug”.)

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I fussy-cut the owls, which is something I’ve always wanted to do! But, as they were almost 2 inches tall, they’ll still get a little cut off at the edges.

So I’ve been cutting up a storm, between other projects, “cleaning” (ha!), and going to birthday parties (2 this weekend). And I’ve now reached 1104 pieces. Proof:

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I’m doing my calculations right on the box, lest I lose them and become desperate and frustrated later. It’s a lot of gibberish, but I know what it means. For now… (Update: I took down the picture of my “calculations” because something was way off.)

My quilt will be roughly 74”x90”, modeled after a quilt that I already use all the time. I’m currently planning to do 1/4 seams, because that’s what I normally do when sewing, unless a clothing pattern calls for something different. So that means my finished squares will be 1.5” instead of 1”. After all my calculations, I will need 2296.875 squares… as you can see, my calculations still need to be tweaked 🙂 (Update: I have done some crazy-bad calculating it seems… As Mary says on her blog, you should have 64 squares per 12” block. For some reason I came to the conclusion that she was using 1/2” seams, but she is also using 1/4” seams. NEVER TRUST MY MATH 😛 ) But I’m excited to have a semi-functional plan!