Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vintage Goodness WIP


My husband has been fortunate enough to have known (at least) 3 of his GREATgrandparents. I also got to meet them, which was amazing! They have all passed away in recent years but Great Grandma Altic left this wonderful log cabin quilt top and I was lucky enough to snag it and finish it. I'm thinking it will be a Christmas gift, but I cannot say for whom lest they read my blog :-) Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for said recipients.

But about this quilt top: Its machine pieced from what I can tell... with a mixture of polyester, cotton, and linen prints, possibly saved up over the years. I have no clue when it was put together or how long it took. I need to find out those details so I can make a proper label for it giving credit to Great Grandma for her hard work. I adore bamboo batting so thats what I'm using, and its backed with 6 yards of Joel Dewberry Chestnut Hill fabric. I thought the dark blues would go well together. Just finished (spray) basting it last night and I haven't decided yet if I will stipple or straight line quilt this monster.... its about 95" x 100" which is HUGE to me. Stippling will take me forever, but I think will help interlock all those seams, some of which are starting to come apart. Right now, that's the direction I see this quilt going.

My poor little Janome is in the shop getting its annual physical and cleaning. I'm so lost without it! I guess it gives me time to straighten up my sewing stuff, and move all my fabric to my new sewing area. I think I'll start working on that tonight. I have a stack of cut fabric waiting to be turned into a baby boy quilt... and a few other stacks of fabric waiting to ALSO be turned into small quilts... I'm thinking some wonky quilts! I just sold my last quilt yesterday on Etsy so I need to restock to boot!

How is your list of Christmas-gifts-to-make coming along? I've got ONE gift finished (needs a label) and atleast 2 others in the works. I feel good about it this year, as last year I didn't give myself as much time to get everything done. Do tell...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ohio Sky Quilt Top

This was quite the process to cut, sew, cut again, square up, layout, sew, iron, pin, sew, iron... BUT I'm loving how it looks now! After seeing some AMAZING quilts by Ryan and Rita I thought I might like to try a Half Square Triangle quilt as I just happened to have a stack of 5" Amy Butler squares laying around. The name of this colorway is "Ohio Sky" and its fitting since I live in Ohio... and a few days out of the year, usually in summer, the sky is this light-aqua-ish blue. Thus, I'm naming it "Ohio Sky."

Taping a quilt top to the sliding glass door not only gives me a nice well-lit spot to take few shots, it makes for a nice silhouette of the seams... here's one of my favorites from Flickr.




Right now it measures about 41" square, which isn't quite big enough for the lap quilt I'm hoping for. So, I'll be adding sashing for sure, its just a matter of what KIND. The economical me says go with the solid Kona cotton while the perfectionist me says go with 1... or even 4 different prints to increase its size. What would you do? Or maybe a layer of Kona and a layer of print? This is slotted to be a Christmas gift so I've still got plenty of time to waiver back and forth.

Today I spent a good amount of time cutting fabric to create a baby boy quilt for my friend Jenny... she chose 3 fun prints, 2 of which are Heather Ross, so I think its going to turn out great no matter what happens. I plan on piecing the whole top tomorrow so I can take my sewing machine in for a yearly tune-up this week and have it back in time to quilt and bind it before her new baby arrives in mid-November. The repair shop said a week for the tune-up, which sounds like an eternity! How will I ever survive? Maybe a little trip to Joanns to choose some yarn for a crocheted baby blanket... since we'll know the gender on Monday!!! Girl, or boy, it'll take me an hour to choose that yarn!

Happy weekend... man today FLEW by! Maybe Sunday will slow down a bit for us. Cheers!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My New Sewing Space


(Birds in Window from ShaNickers on Etsy)

I really love my new sewing space in the basement! I'll also get to spend more time with Justin since our office is in the same room. I'm sure he'll get used to the hum of my sewing machine.
Fabric is still upstairs but will be moved to these shelves in the corner soon... making room for baby!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Now Showing...


... a belly! Well, at least a little bit! I'm 17 weeks along, and finally starting to look slightly pregnant. (Dang that pants don't do anything for me though!) I've been procrastinating on taking profile pics because I just haven't felt pregnant, and certainly not enough to take a photo. Now that I'm *almost* half way there, I guess its about time. Hazel seems to think I'm interesting, haha~

On a much more exciting note, next Monday we'll find out the gender of baby! Some think that it's boring and lame (even "bland") to find out the gender ahead of time, but I am SO EXCITED to learn if we're going to have a daughter or a son.. I just can't wait another 22 weeks! Then I can decide if I should go with my gut instinct, or my usual obsession. I tend to think one is more feminine than the other... although both gender neutral.

On a non-baby note, I'm almost done putting together my Half Square Triangle quilt! (A more creative name yet to be decided.) After I get done watching the latest episode of Desperate Housewives, its off to the basement to get-R-done! Pics to follow!

What exciting things are going on in your life? Sewing or otherwise? New shoes... new fall jacket... master that pumpkin recipe? Do share!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today is...


...my Birthday! And this lovely *just cut* fabric is going to be OUR quilt! Every 29 year old quilter needs her own quilt, right? To have and to hold, and to live on our couch... to cozy up under for the winter... and to admire its crinkly goodness. Yes, it's not much yet, but as soon as my sewing schedule lightens up, this baby is next! I'm following the lovely directions of Dana from Old Red Barn Co. and the Quilt-Along (directions start here) she held back in May/June. A tad late, but who cares.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

*Sew New to Me* Virtual Quilting Bee

I was recently invited to be part of a Virtual Quilting Bee... and I was so honored! Its called the "Sew New to Me VQB" and I just finished my first blocks for Heather, who has October. I've NEVER made a wonky log cabin block before, but I'm in love! Really fun to make, and turned out just fine:


This VQB is going to force me to stretch, shape, and refine my quilting muscles. I've got a million different quilts I'd LOVE to make, but alas, time never seems to permit. This quilting bee will allow me to learn different styles and designs, with just 1 or 2 blocks, instead of stressing over an entire quilt! Great idea, and I can't wait to see what November's block will bring. I am assigned to January (enough time before baby arrives) so I've been researching ideas and tutorials... here are a few links that I've found inspiring:

Sew Connected Quilting Group on Flickr


Quilting Bees 101 -- Block Tutorials & Examples

Be careful! The hours could slip by as you peruse these links!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - Fall 2009

Thanks to Amy of Park City Girl for hosting the Fall 2009 Bloggers' Quilt Festival! I've never been to a real live quilt festival but I hope to some day. Until then, this is the next best thing for sure! At this moment, I'm the 546th Quilt Entry, QUITE the collection! *Go* check out the other 545 quilts featured - you won't be disappointed!

My entry is this Amy Butler baby quilt I made this past spring for our friends that had a baby girl in July. Little Macey Autumn is now 3 months old and thoroughly enjoying her new quilt, I'm told.
My favorite part is the straight quilting, I think. It took a good bit of time, but well worth it, in my opinion! I learned a lot by creating this quilt... as it was just free style - no pattern, no directions... I just went for it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday Night Sewing =

a fun new bag for my new friend, Jenny~


She picked out this gorgeous Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner fabric and I used my go-to pattern from Portabellopixie. Even had some fabric left over to make a little zipper pouch to stash makeup, or other odds and ends. Jenny is also pregnant, due in about a month! Besides this bag, she's commissioned me to make a baby quilt for her new arrival, which is next on my list to start! She chose some really cool boy prints from Heather Ross, which I will have to show you soon. I think her quilt will be somewhere between this design, and this design. Once I start chopping up that fabric, there's no going back!

So what did you work on this past weekend? Start, finish, or a WIP? I've got WAY to many WIPs... not enough that are even CLOSE to being finished. Sew this is my life...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

All Squared Up


All my half square triangles are squared up to exactly 4.5"! Tedious, but will make for a more pleasant sewing experience, when I get the time to sew all these lovelies together. I think I'll be going with layout "C" per all the great comments I received. I really value your thoughts and ideas because Lord knows I'm not as creative as half ya'll!


Who makes a mean homemade (insert FOOD here) that most normal people order out for or buy pre-made? I make pizza from scratch most Sunday nights for dinner. Crust and all. Sometimes I use cast iron skillets to bake them in, sometimes I use a pizza stone. I let Justin decide :-)
Whats your specialty? Sushi, Pad Thai, veggie burgers? Mmm Sushi, I can't have sushi right now unfortunatley due to my condition. Blah.

**Here's my pizza recipe if you want to try it out**

CRUST

1 c. warm water (about 100 degrees F)
1 t. sugar
1 packet or 2 t. dry active yeast
2 Tablespoons EVOO
2 1/4 c. flour
1 t salt (optional)

In medium mixing bowl dissolve yeast & sugar in 1 cup warm water. After yeast raises ( i.e. layer of froth on top, about 5 minutes)
add salt, oil & flour.
Mix by hand until dough is completely mixed. Let dough rest for 5-10 minutes, covered with a towel. Kneed dough again then spread on pizza stone, pizza pan, or buttered iron skillet. Add all your favourite toppings...

Bake at 400 F until crust is slightly brown on top... and cheese is bubbly ;-)

Hints:
If water is too hot or too cold - the yeast will not rise - at all.
Grease metal pizza pan, or if using a pizza stone, sprinkle about 3 T corn meal on it so pizza doesn't stick.
Before spreading dough out on pan - drizzle the dough with a bit of EVOO so it doesn't stick to your fingers.

Always make final topping on pizza a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. YUM!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy 1 Year Etsyversary Hazelnut Designs!

One year ago today, I opened Hazelnut Designs and listed two crocheted baby blankets! I kind of cheated for my first sale because my sister bought the first thing. Thanks Carrie :-) Its now been a year, and I've learned so much, made a nice bit of cash, and can continue feeding my sewing/quilting/fabric addiction, thanks to Etsy!

Here is my latest baby blankie just posted tonight:


And here's the FIRST Item listed, one year ago today:


My photography skills have come around too, thanks to a homemade light box, a new Cannon Powershot SD790 IS camera (LOVE LOVE LOVE) and Photoshop. OK, and mucho trial and error. All in all, I really enjoy selling my goodies on Etsy, and hope to continue for... a long time.

Do you shop on Etsy? Do you sell on Etsy? Do you love it, hate it, or perfer some other Handmade site? I'm all ears! And Happy October to you - my b-day is this month, woohoo!