Monday, December 24, 2012

{Merry Christmas!)

Wishing you all the joy and happiness this Glorious Season brings!  Merry Christmas!

 {Eli was supposed to do this shot, but he refused so Aunt Carla stepped in to show him how its done.}

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

{Quick Quilted Gems}

All of my handmade Christmas gifts are finished and wrapped up (or already gifted) so I'm working on some NO-STRESS projects!  Nada deadlines just sew when I can and enjoy the process!  It really feels good!
I've been a huge fan of handmade stockings lately and figured our expanding family could use a fresh batch as well!  I whipped up this one last night (in 2 hours - next one should be even faster!) using this easy and free pattern/tutorial by Imagine Gnats.  I did my initial search on Pinterest and found this list of stocking tutorials via the SEWN Blog so feel free to peruse around... SO MANY great ideas!

But the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method is one of my favorites so this particular pattern sucked me in!  
(This stocking is for Baby Girl A)

The outer fabric is quilted directly onto batting, then you add a lining at the end - so easy!
I even broke out my colored pencils and chose slightly different color schemes for each of us - I know - so organized of me :-)  I hope to show you all five finished stockings in the near future!  Now that we have an actual fireplace with mantle - I love decorating for Christmas!

And... a little mug rug love!
My mom is one of my biggest cheerleaders - and she asked me to whip up two mug rugs for her friends.  I thought this the perfect use of these little (as in 2.5" finished!) paper pieced squares found here.   I love the star pattern they make - look closely to find it!

The quilting took about 2 minutes per mug rug:  wavy-straight lines.  I love the effect!
Each mug rug measures about 8" square, perfect for coffee and a muffin!  I hope my moms gals love them!

What sewing endeavors are you working on? Deadlines met? Or just some no-stress fun sewing?  


Sunday, December 16, 2012

{A Contemplation of Baby Girl Quilts}

Inevitably, two baby girl quilts need to be created in the next couple of months so I've started perusing my fabric stash and after much pulling and putting back of fabric, I I think I might like this menagerie of greens, pinks, purples, aquas... and a bit of grey and navy thrown in for the heck of it.  What do you think?  A little too crazy?  I'm not opposed to starting over either...  Oh, and the main big flower print is an Alexander Henry print called "stone flower" circa 2009.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Quilt Camp {rewind}

I was lucky enough to attend Quilt Camp last weekend in Pleasant Lake, MI at the Hankard Inn B&B - and I must say, it was better than I imagined!  The accommodations were warm and cozy, the food was delicious, and new quilty friends were everywhere!

 My four table-mates were awesome:  Kara, Angela, Faith, and Amanda
We may have spent slightly more time talking than sewing, but that's ok!  We all got a good amount of projects finished too!
 Jeni was one of the teachers at Camp and assisted us all in making a fun little drawstring bag! Mine is going to hold crochet projects - love it!

Our finishes!  See - productivity did abound for most of us!

Faith taught paper piecing and I must say - learning first hand is MUCH easier than reading about it online or seeing it on YouTube. 
 I started out with a stack of templates (not the original project I was going to make with these templates, but no worries!) coordinating fabric scraps, and a neutral linen solid.
 Bing. Bang. Boom.
And you end up with:

 This cute little 2.5" block!  I'm making a few Christmas gifts, mug rugs, to be exact that my mom wants to give to friends.  I'm a big fan of paper piecing now, but this particular block has VERY heavy seams to press open, 12 layers actually.  Other than that - I'm in love!
I also spent a portion of my time working on a Christmas Table Runner for my Kitchen!  Just a bunch of HSTs arranged according to this block pattern by Don't Call me Betsy.  It was super fun and easy to make!  I'm not a fan of actual Christmas fabric so I just used a bunch of red and green prints from my stash.  Looks Christmas-y to me!

 Once again, I let the practical side get the best of me and I did the backing in all green so it can be used during other times of the year too!  Green is one of the colors in my kitchen - shocking, I know! 

 There was one other project I worked on at Quilt Camp but I cannot divulge that information - sorry - Its almost Christmas gifting time!

So over all I had a blast sewing and creating for a solid 3 days and didn't wipe one toddler bottom, answer to "Mommy!" or do one load of dishes.  It was heavenly....  Pure bliss.
I hear Brenda and the girls are planning another Quilt Camp for this coming May - I cannot go but I highly encourage you to look into attending if you live anywhere within driving distance of Michigan - if you're looking to learn new techniques and socialize with other quilty gals.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

{WIP Wed + a fav}

 My first attempt at paper piecing!
And I haven't even started sewing yet!  Just trying to lay it out... and I'm still about 50 squares short which reminds me to print out more. (done!)
I have a surprisingly sad supply of red fabrics so when I head to my fav little LQS tomorrow, more red is in order!  This really is a fun pattern once you see it finished - by LRStitched.

I hope to get a good chunk of these squares whipped up at Quilt Camp this weekend, yay!

 A pack of 8 Chisel tip Sharpie markers snuck into my grocery cart the other day while shopping - best purchase I've made in a while!   I've always loved writing utensils... plus I LOVE the modern colors.  Its the little things, right?!
   Well done, Sharpie!  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

{Introducing} Seaside Improv

 Seaside Improv is done!  And just in the nick of time to submit to QuiltCon! Yipeee!  *Just* finished the online entry deal with only a few hours to spare!  I guess we'll hear by the end of December who has made the cut.  I'm only entrant #633 so I wouldn't be surprised if mine isn't chosen for the show.  I'm sure all the other 632 quilts are more amazing than my little exercise in improvisation!

 For the quilting I did a random (and sparse) cross-hatch design.   I'm happy with how it turned out considering I tried some wavy quilting and had to rip it out due to how horrible it looked!  I think the straight quilting is modern, and fits the design perfectly.  

The binding is 95% Kona Cotton in Coal grey, but I added about 12" worth of scraps from the top, just for a bit of interest.  After all, this is an improv quilt, right?! 

 I wimped out on doing a pieced backing and pulled this vintage bed sheet from my fabric stash.  I found it at a garage sale this summer for a buck or two.  I know its the epitome of NOT modern, but the colors worked, and I rather liked the juxtaposition of super modern and super... vintage!  Who really scrutinizes the back of a quilt anyhow?  Hopefully not the judges at QuiltCon!

{Seaside Improv Stats}
Size: 61" x 85"
Design: by the seat of my pants, although each "block" is 21" long
Fabric: all sorts, from my stash
Quilting: straight line in a random cross-hatch design
Binding: by machine
 Will reside: in my living room, unless someone buys it at QuiltCon!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 30, 2012

For the Record + Quilt Camp!

Since I did this with my last pregnancy... why not with this fun pregnancy?!

Here's me, 20 weeks along - looking like 30 weeks!

But for good reason!
I'm feeling the girls kick and squirm frequently now, I feel loads better than I did in the 1st trimester... and I'm hoping to do some baby girl sewing soon!  Soon being after Christmas, most likely.  But you never know - I may knock out a few Christmas gifts at Quilt Camp and be free to do girly projects before Christmas.  Man That would be awesome!

So who's going to Quilt Camp in Michigan Dec 7-9?  I'll be there, as will my carpool partner, Amanda!  Yay!  I'm getting pretty pumped to meet some of my favorite Modern Quilting girls, who will also be teaching classes:  Jeni, Faith, Heather, and Brenda!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

{binding time!}

Oh so close to having this quilt done before the Quilt Con Quilt Show deadline! 
It will be finished before I go to bed tonight... and some quick photos tomorrow... that ought to do it!  I do regret not doing hand binding, but too late now!  Hopefully the judges don't frown upon machine binding - with straight cut and straight sewn fabric!  Eeek!!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

{weekend ramblings including twin Girls}

That's right - twin GIRLS!  We found out Wednesday evening that we'll be having two little pink bundles of joy.  We're both kind of floored at this discovery as there are three sets of twin boys on husbands side - who would have thought I'd break the trend!  So most of Eli's clothes will sit and wait for future boy cousins... and a more feminine set of (double the) clothing will need to be procured. Thank goodness our town has a Once Upon a Child! (a baby/kids clothing consignment store.)

Anyhow - moving on to slightly less exciting news - new fabric additions!
I was able to snag these DS Quilts "quarters" from Jo-Anns which is a whole yard of fabric but with 4 separate prints... aka 4 fat quarters!  Genius, right?  Denyse's fabric is about the only fabric I'll buy at Jo-Anns save for Kona solids... on sale plus my VIP card makes for a sweet price!  No, no plans for them yet - but my wheels are turning already.

I was in Amish Country (Berlin, OH to be specific) last weekend with friends and I snagged this fun vintage pillow case at a thrift store.  Right now I'm just trying to collect enough to make a Giant Vintage Star Quilt... at this rate I'll have enough vintage bedding in about 10 years!

  Last but not least, I was able to participate in a fabulous I Love Kona Charm Swap thanks to Pile O'Fabric via Flickr!  I sent Alyssa 2 yards worth of 5" charm squares in my assigned shades of green and voila! a few weeks later I receive this fun stack of charms - in a plethora of colors!  She even listed each color in the pack on a nifty little cheat sheet.  I think this swap is held a few times a year so you may be able to jump in a round.  I'm sure this stack will last me for quite some time - although a HST quilt could definitely be in my future.  A very colorful one!  

We also had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday - including two big dinners in one day!  Christmas decorating has begun (mainly the fireplace mantle) and next weekend we'll go chop down our annual tree.  

I'm this (---) close to finishing my entry for QuiltCon - must. finish. by. FRIDAY! 
I'll post another progress photo later this week hopefully with binding in the works!  

How was your Holiday (or plain ol' week?)  Any Christmas sewing in the works?  


Friday, November 9, 2012

Seaside Improv Quilt Top + a {W}all

Hallelujah its done!  Well, the top, that is.
I'm only slightly baffled how to quilt it.  It reminds me of the sea (or any body of water aside from a reservoir... which is all we have around here!) So I was thinking of doing some sparse wavy quilting.  I want to keep it modern, and low key, which would also keep it super soft.  If not waves, maybe some shallow zig-zag (chevron) quilting along these lines? 

Give me your best quilting suggestion - this is the worst part of making a quilt for me - deciding how to actually QUILT the thing!  Maybe if my machine was a bit more... big quilt friendly... I wouldn't be so hesitant.  Someday I'll have a big-a** machine like this or this or this.  I'm pretty sure these machines cost more than my current car, but that's ok.  My little Janome Magnolia 7330 (kinda looks like a toy next to these mega-machines) mostly does the trick.

Due to the random and improvisational piecing I think it would appropriate for me to enter it in the Improvisation category at QuiltCon

As for binding - probably Kona Coal which is dark grey.  I typically love a super scrappy binding but maybe an all-solid frame for this quilt would be appropriate.  I won't cross that bridge till I come to it.  Hopefully in the next week or two.. time is ticking for Nov 30th deadline!

And I'm linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced!  This is one WIP I cannot wait to finish!

Now that we've been in our "new" home for almost a year - I've finally got the entry way almost decorated, half way.  I'm still lacking a bench to sit on while putting on/taking off shoes but that's a conundrum I can solve soon, even if I have to set up a folding chair.  Oh wait, I did put out a folding chair!  Haha - whatever.  I have no shame.

BUT these fun Double-U's are a great start to decorating the big wall, no?  Our last name starts with W, so why not? The small tin one and bigger Orange one are from Etsy... the teal one from Hobby Lobby (I know, right!!) and the cool fleur de lis W is from an awesome upcycle shop in Tampa FL.  My older sister has a similar one in her house in Tampa!  Each one is slightly different and made from salvaged vintage tin ceilig and nailed on to a hand-shaped W.  Love it!  I want to add more W's as I find them... over the years.

And Eli had to be in one, as usual.  Silly kid.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Weekend!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

{WIP for QuiltCon}

 If you haven't heard - the modern quilting community will be taking over Austin, TX this coming February!  Its called QuiltCon and I SO WISH I could go!  Thanks to the pending arrival of twins in March or April - I'm going n.o.w.h.e.r.e fast.  But why not at least enter a quilt or two into the juried show - and my fingers will be crossed to win some loot, or even cash!  Just have to decide on a category for this WIP (a large lap-size quilt, I think it will be), which I think I can finish by the deadline on November 30th.  Eeek! Only three weeks away!

As usual, Eli wanted in on the picture-taking action... so here he is.  Ornery as usual!

What WIPs are you working on and how long has it been a work-in-progress?
I've had this fabric set aside for about year, and just in the last few weeks stitched them together!  

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Lots to Celebrate Give-away - {Part 2}

It's time for another giveaway!  For all sorts of reasons I'm saying THANK YOU and celebrating with three baby themed  give aways!

 Up for grabs is TWO gorgeous Black Walnut wooden teethers by Bolamo Design Studio on Etsy.  The talented shop owner, Jaclyn, is a personal quilty friend of mine, and she loves to hand-dye fabric, collect all sorts of vintage goodies, and of course, sew and quilt! 

 Baby girl owns a pile of quilts made by her momma!  Too cute, no?

These teethers are finished with a food-grade non-toxic gloss that makes it super smooth for babies 
tender gums, and of course no danger of splinters! 
If you're having a baby, had a baby recently, or KNOW someone expecting any time soon - you'll want to be sure to enter to win one!  And TWO winners will chosen! 

 Jac is new to Etsy and the quilty blogosphere so show her some love! She is also generously offering 10% off everything in her shop!  
Just use the code:  YAY4TWINS  upon checkout.

Now here's how to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your FAV item in Jaclyn's shop, easy enough!

bonus entry:

2. Becoming a follower of the Bolamo Design Studio blog then come back here and leave a comment saying so.

International Entries Welcome!

Comments are now closed - and the two winners are #16....

Tanya said...
"I like the elephant teether. I have a 7 month old trying to cut her first teeth. Thanks for the chance to win."

and #20

Sara Amerine said...
The teething toys and the vintage quilt are my favorite.

Congrats to you both! I'm sending you an email momentarily!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

{a wonky table runner conversion}

Another first for me:
a quilted table runner!

I know I know... "you've been quilting and sewing for HOW MANY years, woman?!"

 Five years after learning to sew and quilt, after a new house, a "new thrifted" proper kitchen table I finally feel like our eating space deserves a little handmade love.

Cute turtle!

See the paint chip up there?  It was a Challenge given by my Columbus MQG.  We each blindly chose a paint chip and then the instructions were to create something QUILTED and WONKY using at least 2 of the colors on the paint chip, and we could add up to 2 more colors (I think.) I wasn't quite sure I liked the bright orange colors but by adding aqua it all turned out ok - and I even won the prize for "wonkiest design!"  Funny eh? My good friend Jac was another winner with her gorgeous Wonky Hippo Quilt!  "Viewers Favorite!" Adorable no?
 And then I got thinking...'s almost November! I need something Harvest-y on my table!  So I glanced through my stash and pulled out 1/2yd of this gorgeous fabric from Anna Maria Horner and deemed it Autumn-worthy and used it to back the wonky table runner. 
 Binding was a bit tricky so I used the tangerine/aqua scraps to go with the wonky side...  And after my Quilt Guild meeting, I came home and added a SECOND binding on top which went with the more muted colors of the backing, which I knew would be the "top" at least until after Thanksgiving.

For the harvest-y binding I made it slightly wider at 2.5" and used a longer stitch length to attached it to the wonky side... then hand-stitched it to the front so it can be easily ripped off later... come spring!

See the two layers of binding there?  Unconventional, but it works for me!
Why not make a double-duty table runner? Sort of like a reversible bag, or double-sided jacket!  
A Christmas table runner is coming near the top of my to-do list but non-Christmas fabric in green and red, most likely, will be used... and I'll be sure to use a fun backing that can be used for non-holiday seasons too!  

Now off to work on a minimalist quilt for QuiltCon! Not that I can attend, for good reason, but I'll be there in spirit, and hopefully two quilts! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{a handmade pumpkin patch}

Who knew that a couple of hours with a crafty friend could yield such adorable Harvest decorations?  
The tutorial I used is from ps i quilt and it was soooo easy and fast to follow!  We whipped up 8 pumpkins in just two hours... my friend will be gifting the small ones to her sons preschool teachers - genius!  And so cute for a teachers desk!

 My fireplace mantle is slowly starting to look ready for Autumn - although its going to be 80 degrees today!  Ick!  I'm so ready for chilly weather!