Friday, December 26, 2014

Wonky Logcabin Quilt - Gifted

Have you ever finished a large quilt or sewing project and the leftover fabric just stares you down saying "Turn me into something too!" Well it didn't take much thinking to decide on a way to use up my Vice Versa Quilt scraps.  

I have an amazing neighbor, Linda, along with her family, who helps our family in countless ways from watching my girls while I go to Preschool pickup and borrowing tools, to bringing over little treats for the kids, to count a few.  And lets not forget that gorgeous Antique dresser now living in our playroom!
They are amazing people and I could think of no better way to show them our gratitude than to make them a quilt! 

Its lap size, about 48"x 56" and perfect for keeping cozy while watching tv or going to a High School football game.  I drew up this Improv Wonky on-point design after shooting down three or four others ideas that didn't quite tickle my fancy. The "cursive L" is a favorite go-to quilting designs that always goes fast, and gives a nice soft drape to any quilt.   

As always, a scrappy binding finishes it off for a little fun.  I hope their family enjoys this quilt for years to come!

What quilts or quilted items did you gift this year?  I'd love to see pics too if you have a link! Just post them in the comments!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a healthy one too! 
My entire family of five is sick in one form or another, since last weekend, but we're all turning for the better, fingers crossed!  Thank goodness for on-call Pediatricians and pharmacies that are open on Sunday mornings.  Sigh.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Vice Versa Quilt {A Finish}

*Beware: this is a picture post!*
My Vice Versa Quilt is done! J'ai fini! Ganz getan! It has already been used in multiple forts, cuddled under, and napped under.  Which is exactly what I had hoped for!

I started this quilt way back in January with Gen X Quilters (aka AnneMarie) as part of her  Block of the Month 2014. Each month we made two blocks, really, two identical blocks but the inverse of each other.  If you look closely, you'll see pairs of blocks, but each pair contains an opposite - thus the name "Vice Versa." Clever eh?   I love how the blocks are set On Point which is unexpected and Modern!

Some months were more challenging than others.  I proclaimed 2014 to be my year of Selfish Sewing so this quilt was my one main goal, and I think I hit my two block goal every month.  It was gratifying to know I'd have a finished quilt by the end of the year, since my current world is very kid-centric.  Some quilters finish one quilt a week.  Not I....oh not I.

The wavy line quilting can be seen best in this photo, I think. I had the privilege of using a HQ Sweet Sixteen mid-arm quilting machine at Sewtopia last month. I had it completely quilted in about two and a half hours.  UH-mazing.  The quilting lines are fairly spread out (and running on the diagonal to match the theme) which leaves it soft, drapey, and not stiff. This was also my first time using Pellon's Cotton & Bamboo blend batting.  Its pure white, soft, and I'd definitely use it again.  Very easy to quilt and I'm confident the white batting will stay inconspicuous behind the white fabric of the blocks.
All piecing was done with Aurifil 50wt thread, my favorite!  It leaves seams nice and flat after pressing - its a nice fine thread.

Anyhow - isn't this a lovely location for a quilt shoot? This building is the "Arts & Crafts Building." LOVE those giant quilt blocks decorating the side!
Funny Story:
I was leaving a friend's house and decided to take the road-less-traveled in order to find a nice field or old barn for a few photos.  I stumbled upon the County Fair Grounds and proceeded to drive around, as it wasn't gated off.  I mosey around and find the horse area of the grounds and a lovely row of white stalls and a wooden fence.  I proceed to drape the quilt across the fence and a lady yells at me "That blanket is going to scare the horse coming up the lane! Pretty blanket, though!"  I turn and see a horse pulling one of those little chariot looking race harness get-ups about a hundred yards away and so I grab my blanket and camera then make a quick getaway to another part of the Grounds. 
(I know nothing about horses or their tendency to be averse to bright blankets, ahem, er, Quilts.)  The lady yelling at me convinced me right quick though.
Cannot believe she called it a blanket. Sigh.

The back is pieced from leftover blocks and fabric. All the solid purple is FLANNEL and I am so glad I did it!  I went for the good stuff by Robert Kaufman and its so soft and cozy.  It was rather a bit of a search to find the right jewel toned purple instead of lavender or lilac! Thank you Robert Kaufman for making solid flannel in somethings besides baby pastels! And it quilted up just fine.

I used all Kona Cotton Solids for my blocks, and the light grey background is actually a subtle crosshatch print called Widescreen by Carolyn Frielander. I love a scrappy binding so again I used my extra Kona Solids in no particular color order.  I did machine bind it for extra longevity - its going to go through a lot of wear and tear in my home so why not just plan on it.  

And... to my backyard for some full shots of this quilt:

We had two sizes to choose from - either lap size or twin size.  I went big, and I'm so glad I did!  
74" by 74" 

See that little bit of cursive in the quilting?  It says "SLC" (for "Salt Lake City") as a little memento for my Sewtopia trip. 

 AnneMarie even created special labels we could add to our quilts, so perty!

Ok, I just like folded-with-binding-showing quilt photos. Humor me.

If you want to see the journey of this quilt from fabric stack to finished quilt, look here.

 So there we have it! I'm so glad I chose to participate in this BOM!  All the blocks were "new to me" and lots of skill building went on! Sometimes I tend to go the Easy route - and this quilt made me stretch my quilting muscles for sure.  
If you've never done one,  AnneMarie happens to be starting her 2015 BOM and its even more amazing than this layout, if you ask me.  It's called Moccasin and it is stinking gorgeous.   Go check it out. Really, go!

I'm looking forward to a new year and new projects! Now that I own a serger... maybe some handmade clothing... hmmm.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Recap of Sewtopia - Salt Lake City

(Disclaimer: This is a long post - for me - but if you wondered what all the fuss about Sewtopia was about - read on!)

My first vacation in over two years, and I chose Sewtopia in Salt Lake City as my destination! One of my local quilty friends, AnneMarie, and I travelled together to Salt Lake City and we had so much fun! The two hour time change was not particularly fun as we were wide awake by 6a (Mountain Time) but hey, then there was time to workout before breakfast.  Fine, I only worked out once and it almost killed me, but I was up at 6a none the less.

Shall we begin?

I'm an Ohio girl through and through so these mountains were just spectacular.  Although sitting over the wing kind of cramped my camera.

Here's the view from our room at the Hilton. A bit of smog, but hey, the Mountains more than make up for it.  I was fascinated by "The Great Salt Lake" (and I'm a nerd) so I looked it up on Wikipedia.  Its a rather odd landscape, at least from the plane, with almost no vegetation around the lake. No fish, just brine shrimp, aka Sea Monkeys!  Who would have thunk?

This conference room at the Hotel was setup with over 70 sewing stations and new Bernina sewing machines, if you didn't care to bring your own! It was so fun playing with a nice new machine, and so tempting to buy one!  Which I did not… due to the luggage factor… and the cash factor.  But I wanted to!  They stitched like butter.  

Lots of coffee and sewing!  There was a "Starbucks" in the lobby… but they closed every day at 4p so I don't know if thats legit or not.  Its certainly not where I'm from! haha

All of us Sewtopians put together a Cotton & Steel selvedge string block for a Charity Quilt… selvedges were provided - pretty, no?!

The first full day in SLC we had the option of going on a Fabric Shop Hop - yes please!  We hit up 3 different shops, including one in an adorable little area called Gardner Village which consisted of mostly 100 year old cabins and cottages.  This little yarn shop was to die for!  I think I could live here…. Plus me living there would give me the opportunity to learn to knit properly! 

Just seeing these photos again is making me drool.  Sigh****

This shop, Pine Needles, was hands down my favorite!  So much modern, gorgeous fabric I scarcely knew where to start!  I did end up with the new Amy Butler True Colors (Wallflowers!) and a few half yards of cross-hatch.  Its a good thing I packed light, and used a BIG suitcase!  If I were to own a fabric shop - it would be Just. Like. Pine Needles.  

I planned ahead and brought my finished Vice Versa Quilt top with me, along with a finished backing.  Sewtopia provided SO MANY extras like Pellon batting, notions, Aurifil thread, HQ Sweet Sixteen mid-arm machines… I could go on and on.  So I was able to spray baste my VV quilt with super soft Pellon Bamboo/Cotton batting, and in 30 minutes flat I was ready to start quilting! 
Well I finished basting it five minutes before the Shop Hop departure so I had to wait to start quilting it until the evening… and decided on a nice organic wavy line quilting in the meantime!

This was my first time using a Mid-Arm, and let me tell you - it was fun!  I timed myself at about two and a half hours for a 74"x74" quilt. Not bad, I'd say.  It would have taken me DAYS to wrestle that thing thru my little Janome at home.  Again, they had two Sweet Sixteens that were FREE to use while at the event!

While finishing the quilting I decided to add a little "SLC" quilting so I could remember where I finished my VV quilt.  It will be, after all, used in my home, by my family, so why not?

So in about 24 hours time, I basted, quilted, and (machine) bound the entire thing.  Yay for productivity!  Thanks Lori and Megan for holding it up while I took a few pics. 

And the back.  I used up as many scraps as I could.  Flat sheets are usually my M.O. for backing  quilt but this one called for special treatment. 
(A full post devoted to my newly finished VV Quilt coming soon, with proper photos and all.)

I'm so blessed to have such a great friend, who happens to make amazing quilts and patterns!  Thanks AnneMarie for designing this quilt!  Its amazing and I know our family will use and love it for ages!  The label is even in place, woot!

Here is our little group of table-mates: Megan, Lori, me, and AnneMarie.  On our last evening we found the (not quite illustrious as the RED Iguana) Blue Iguana restaurant and had an absolutely wonderful meal and even better conversation.  

Great friends new and old. 

All of the design walls were covered with AMAZING blocks and I had to get my two little circle of geese blocks up there too - but I LOVE the Preppy the Whale pattern along with the Hedgehogs(by Elizabeth Hartman.)  So I did complete two other blocks during the two days.  Which I'm happy with… as now I can put my entire Circle of Geese quilt top together!

New additions to my stash, plus some Knit, crochet trim, and Yuzu Flatter spray.  Its the same scent as we used at Sewtopia… I'm such a sap. 

And last but not least - the Swag Bag!  And this isn't all of it!  Amy Newbold, the Head Honcho of Sewtopia, did an absolutely fabulous job of putting the event together, getting sponsors, collecting prizes, promoting the Michael Miller challenge, arranging yummy meals, and making sure we all had an all-around fantastic time. Thank you, Amy, for all your efforts!  Have you thought of doing this full time?! 

In closing, if you EVER get the opportunity to attend a future Sewtopia - do it!!!
The next one is in Chicago (albeit Sold Out, I believe) and next fall in Portland, OR! 
Sewing, friends, and time away - what could be better?

Phew, longest post in history!  If you made it this far, congratulations!
In the next few days I'll show my finished Vice Versa quilt, properly displayed on a white rail fence.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mummy Bars for a Fall Party!

Thank you, Pinterest, for giving me an easy, almost mess free FUN fall treat to make for Eli's class. {No, Eli did not help me, this was a post-bedtime project for Mommy only!}

A bag of assorted Googalie Eyes, 10 Hershey Bars, and a roll of white crepe paper {The trick is to fold the crepe paper in HALF, the long way.} Plus a glue gun and scotch tape. Easy. So Easy.  
I hope Eli's class loves them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vice Versa Quilt Top - Complete!

I can't believe it!  I have a finished Vice Versa Quilt top!  Ten months, sixteen blocks, six Kona colors, and a few yards of Widescreen in grey and its done!  

Gen X Quilters Vice Versa BOM (block of the month) info can be found here - and its never too late to start!  And… AnneMarie just revealed she'll be heading up another BOM next year, named Moccasin, and an entire kit is available to purchase - so no anxiety on choosing fabrics! Seriously, you need to check it out!  A gorgeous quilt, to be sure!

And… a few more shots of this top: 

Measures 75" x 75"
I plan on quilting it at Sewtopia (Salt Lake City, UT!) as they'll have some HQ Sweet Sixteen mid-arm quilting machines available to use!  Not to mention a free batting station sponsored by Pellon, Bernina sewing machines threaded with AURIFIL 50wt thread, and even a discount on Moo cards that we get to pick up at the event.  Excited does not cover it, for me! So many extra goodies I never expected!

I've got to say, I'm really looking forward to it!  This little getaway will be my first time away from my sweet little 18mo old girls. A day hasn't gone by in the last year and a half where I wasn't known as "Mama!"   I think it will be good for my heart, mind, and soul to be reminded of who I am outside of motherhood.  And a nap. any. darn. time. I. want. 
Yes, please.  

But will I miss these little faces?  I am sure of it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Giant Star Baby Boy Quilt - Finished!

I was itching to make a quilt that was quick, gorgeous, and fun.  I've always admired the Vintage Giant Star from In Color Order so after browsing the color options I opted for four colors and decidedly masculine prints. All from my stash, too.  Shocking, I know!

Each block is 12" square, as I just did some quick math (and a colored pencil sketch) to make it come out to a crib size quilt.  Fabrics include all my favorites!
Lotta Jansdotter Bella in Turquoise

I love the black and white loopy binding (Ed Emberly Happy Drawing) machine stitched for extra strength.  Everyone has their own method for machine binding but I stitch it to the back first, then wrap around to the front and stitch it down.  No pins.  Just a long stitch and folding it over as I go.  The stitching shows on the back just a bit, but I like the sturdy construction especially for a baby quilt that will be washed a LOT. 

And without realizing that the binding and quilting were both loopy...
Some large Loopy quilting finished it off just right, softening up all those 90 and 45 degree angles.  Also, for a baby quilt, I couldn't resist black and white zig-zags for the backing.
You'll go cross-eyed if you stare at it for too long, but wittle infants will love it! haha

The background is Carolyn Friedlander "Widescreen" which I've been using for a lot of quilts lately… even as backing since its 108" wide!  The light grey crosshatch reads as a solid but still gives some interest and texture when you see it up close. 

This baby boy quilt measures 51" x 55" and is for sale in my Etsy shop!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yummy Little Apples Quilt

After working on this quilt on and off (mostly off) for 18 months… its done!  The pattern is from Jaybird Quilts, called "Yummy."  This is the perfect pattern for a jelly roll, as its all 2.5" strips with a narrow strip in between.  So lots of strip piecing and it comes together rather quick and easy!  Being the OCD type that I am, I laid out each of the six sections before sewing rows together as two of the same print CANNOT be next to each other!  I know, I've got issues.

A few years ago I bought my first Jelly Roll.  Oh, I found one still for sale!  The fabric collection is "Little Apples" by Aneela Hoey of Comfortstitching.. I had no clue what to actually do with said jelly roll, so while in a Quilt Shop near Cincinnati, I stumbled upon this Yummy pattern that would whip up quickly and use my one lone roll. I made the twin size which required more than the 42 strips so I added six or seven other Modern fabrics and voila, it all works together quite nicely.

They solid grey is Kona in Coal, if you were wondering.  One of my go-to greys, for sure.
I quilted it in an all-over large meandering style on my little Janome, and it worked quite well! To hold the weight of the quilt, since it is rather large, I setup my ironing board to the left of my sewing table with the top flush, and whenever the majority of the quilt was to my left, it was resting comfortable on the ironing board, so as to not hang down and pull the whole thing down while quilting was in progress.  Worked like a charm, too!

Piecing the backing is not my idea of fun, so I usually try to find one large piece of fabric to do the job.  Widescreen by Carolyn Frielander is soft, grey, and a lovely crosshatch design… and measures in at 108" wide!!!  Perfect!  Sold!  And no piecing required.  

The pattern recommends a solid colored binding to match the outer sashing.  I couldn't NOT add one little scrappy piece to break the rules, er, I mean, to add interest.  

I rather enjoyed following an actual pattern instead of flying by the seat of my pants.  I should do that more often.  

Quilt Stats:

Size: twin, 70" x 90" 
Fabric: Little Apples plus a handful of other designers
Sashing and binding: Kona in Coal grey
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 
Pieced: by me
Quilted: by me

 * Available for purchase in my Etsy shop *

Thanks for stopping by!