Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Circle of Geese Quilt {A Finish} + cute little faces

May I introduce Circle of Geese!  Its been done for a few months but I'm slow to blog these days.  Anyhow, Itsn't she lovely?  All of the circles you see are paper pieced by me and the lovely ladies of the 2014 CMQ bee. I LOVE how it turned out even though I didn't (at first) care for any of the layouts I tried.  I kept the "background" low-volume and only used my favorite (hoarded) subtle prints and even some linen for good measure.

I did three different quilting designs on the various blocks and it totally stretched my FMQ skills.  Raindrop quilting on the plain squares, FMQ echo-ing on the circle of geese blocks, then twisted rope FMQ on either end of borders. I auditioned a bunch of different designs but in the end liked how the twisted rope turned out.  Mine is rather large in scale but I think it suits just fine.

Quilt Stats:
56" x 68"
Each block is 12" finished
Circle of Geese block Pattern by Sometimes Crafter (Free!)
Quilted by me
Scrappy binding, of course
Target Threshold flat sheet for the backing. Yippee!

A little label to remember who what where when and why.

This quilt is already in use in my household, and makes an excellent tumbling mat according to my two year olds. 

Ok fine.  You twisted my arm.
Here they are.  Adorable, are they not?!  Fussy, stubborn, irrational, but definitely adorable.

And Eli started Kindergarten yesterday.  How can this be?! (I rather love it.)

Thanks for stopping by! 
If I can get my act together I want to get back to blogging… just not sure if there's a market for "Look what I made/did/finished" other than Instagram and Facebook groups.  Hmmm


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Another Plus Quilt for Baby {Finished}

Its true, I've been hooked on plus quilts lately.  My previous post was also a plus quilt but in more masculine colors.  This one, on the other hand, is quite girly and for my little niece! It matches her big sisters quilt since they share the nursery.

Its crazy how bold and modern a standard old patchwork quilt can become when you arrange the blocks just so… 

For the back my goal was to use up the bicycle print - as I've owned it for ages and was ready to clear it from my stash.  Good news - I succeeded. 

A little custom label for sweet baby.

Some straight line quilting...

And some big chevron binding...

Make for one cozy quilt!
All fabric from my stash (woohoo!)
Each block is 5.5" 
Quilt measures 44" x 55"
Quilted by me
Bound with Riley Blake Chevron in Grey, by machine. 

Is it just me or is it baby season?  I've got two new nephews scheduled to appear this spring and summer - yay! Baby quilt all around! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, February 2, 2015

A Plus Quilt for Baby {Finished}

I've had a plus quilt on my list for ages it seems - and I finally had an excellent reason to make a baby sized one!  I'm going to be an Aunt (again!) My sweet SIL is due in May and it's a boy!  I stealthily let her know I'd be happy to make little guys crib quilt and she told me the nursery colors are navy and grey, with a bit of green.  Well then, thats one of my favorite combos at the moment so I was happy to oblige.  

I started with this fabric pull from my stash and googled "plus quilt" and up came a bazillion links and images.  So I did a rough sketch and decided on 8 rows by 10 columns of 6" squares.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy as my 4 year old said, the other day.  He's a goofball if there ever was one.

This quilt was literally pieced in ONE day… meaning 90 minutes in the afternoon and an hour after kidlets were in bed.  Fastest piecing ever and nesting seams equals no pinning rows together! Yes.  Oh yes.
How to quilt it was a whole other story, but I eventually settled on big loopy rows to keep it soft and drapey.  And medium grey thread since thats what I had on hand.  

The binding is all Kona Medium Grey with a corner pieced in of green Katie Jump Rope; aka KJR for us Denyse Schmidt addicts. ;-)  I adore a pieced binding, if you know me at all, so I had to work it in.  

Flannel is my new favorite backing fabric thanks to genXquilters so I perused Etsy and settled on this fun Navy text flannel from Robert Kaufman.  L.O.V.E. it!  So soft and very masculine. Adding nine inches of Riley Blake chevron to each end finished off the back nicely.  Glad I had that on hand.

Have you ever had a project in mind for YEARS and then finally make it happen and you were glad you did?  Well I've been hoarding black and white fabrics for a while now, and while editing this batch of photos I decided to switch on the b&w… The snow stays the same but I really love the look of a black and white quilt!  I think I may go for it this year! 

I digress.
Quilt details:
45"x 55"
Cream Rose Cotton Batting
quilted by Me

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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!