Woot. I did it.

What was I waiting for? Why was I so afraid of free motion quilting?

I finally took the plunge.

Yes, this is the front. But those of you who preferred the sashing, don't despair....

....maybe *this* is the front! I didn't want to purchase any fabric for this project and I didn't have enough to back two quilts...so now I have a "reversible" quilt.

The FMQ wasn't bad at all *except*:
1. I kept reading how fatiguing it is...but it's hard to believe how tired my shoulders were!
2. Logically I understand why this would take so much thread. But I was still shocked that 8 bobbins weren't enough.

The key to the whole hand speed vs. machine speed ratio for me seems to be music. If I got too focused on quilting I would mess up, but if I was bopping around to upbeat music (put Michael Jackson into Pandora, you won't be sorry. MJ, Stevie, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and even Queen and the Beatles!!) I wouldn't get overly stressed about what I was doing. I think margaritas would have a similar effect. I will test this and let you know.

Speaking of messing up, I had one major faux pas.

HMMMM....Where'd that crease come from? I didn't baste well, most of my safety pins are tied up in half done quilts, and I didn't feel like hand basting. I paid for it (plus I think I should try starting in the middle instead of the edge, but I liked hiding the beginning of my quilting in the binding). I'm not pulling all the quilting out to fix this -- I'm leaving it as a badge of honor on my first FMQ quilt! More pictures coming when I finish the binding.

Also, I tried Angry Chicken's Iced Tea concentrate this week and I am in love. Super fast, super easy, and super good! This is one family bag of decaf black tea and two bags of blueberry tea. Yummy! I do a ratio of one glassful of ice, two thirds full of water and topped off with concentrate.

And lastly, I've been thinking about organizing a Christmas in August swap/modified round robin. I love Christmas fabrics, I love scrappy quilts...what could be better than putting them together?!? I thought each participant could make six (or 12?) scrappy Christmas blocks (maybe based on Oh, Fransson's scrappy starling tutorial) and send a block or two to each participant (more planning inserted here). Then we would each end up with 12 Christmas blocks in a variety of different fabrics without having to buy a ton of fabric. Then we would have plenty of time to assemble, quilt, and bind before the holidays! Would anyone be interested?


Poodles and Pop

I got a bug in my bonnet for a new skirt and dug the biggest piece of fabric I could find out of my stash. I had bought a pattern a few weeks ago that included a petticoat for a dress I have, and decided to take this costume poodle skirt and make it into work wear!

It took a lot of fabric, I had to piece the yardage I had to make it work.

I've also made a decision about my Old Red Barn Quilt-Along quilt, which you should see the results of later today or tomorrow!

I want to end with a little mourning for Michael Jackson. Michael was a big part of my childhood; "Thriller" was the first album I bought (I can still do the Vincent Price "rap" from start to finish), and I was also the proud owner of "Bad" on vinyl. When my college radio station did an 80s retrospective, they knew to come to me to borrow "HIStory."

He was a talented man, better equipped to deal with the stage than he was the rest of his life. I think of him as two people, the musician of the late 60s-early 90s, and the man who couldn't deal with celebrity, who also seemed to be trying to change himself into someone else.

This is the Michael Jackson I choose to remember, singing my favorite of all of his hits:


Help! I need somebody.....

....to love. Wait, I'm getting my Beatles and Queen mixed up. I *really* need some help deciding how to proceed with my Old Red Barn Quilt-Along blocks. Yes, I am still behind.

I attempted to lay out all the blocks today. Not easy to do with a nervous old golden retriever and an active almost-three-year-old. Forty-two 12.5" blocks make a big quilt! I think regardless of how I decide to assemble the blocks I am going to make two smaller lap quilts rather than one big quilt. But should I butt all the squares up against one another:

Or make 4 block squares and add sashings?


Also, Courtney and I have been eyeing this retro baseball-themed fabric for our baseball-themed swap -- and The Fabric Shopper is doing a giveaway. Wish me luck, and let me know if you see this in any online shops!


Cleveland Rocks!

We spent the weekend in Cleveland celebrating my dad's retirement (36 years teaching middle school). My dad is a huge Indians fan so we hit up a baseball game and spent the next day at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Jaxon wasn't thrilled by the game, too loud, and didn't "get" the hall of fame...but he sure enjoyed the waterfront!

I also delivered this custom order to my sister to give to a woman at work who just had a baby.

Now it's back to grading. I'll come up for air on Wednesday!


Strips for Quilt

Strips for Quilt
Originally uploaded by modernjax
I've joined Old Red Barn Co.'s Quilt-Along. I'm a week behind, but I chose all the fabric from my stash (nothing purchased) based on these Hawaiian prints a friend bought on a trip to the islands.

Also, I am guest blogging over at T Minus, T Plus, a fashion blog. I'll be featured every Friday in June!


Are we there yet?

It seems like this school year should have been over *weeks* ago, but we are still chugging along. This is the last week of classes, next week is finals week, and then it's grading time. *sigh*

I've been absolutely swamped, but I have stolen a few moments at the sewing machine. It seems the concept of making a large quilt in a week was a silly one (as I am now going on week 3), but I did make progress.

The backing:


Soon to be quilting! Be back soon!

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