Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm a baaaaad blogger

...But with good reason!  You see, in a bout of viral hallucinations (or so I like to think), I decided that I was going to make my Christmas presents for about 4 people on my list.  3 weeks later, I'm finished, but with much more gray hair than I started with.  Since these haven't been given yet (except for 1), I'm not posting names of recipients--just quilt specs.

 The finished stack of quilts.  I was so happy to be done!  I finished after a particularly vigorous sew day, which involved finishing the top quilt and basting the middle one.  I wish I'd known about basting on a table before then!  I've been doing it on Berber carpet!

The top one does not yet have a 'good photo', but I did get a WIP picture of it. It finished at 64 x 72, a good throw size.  I raided my stash of green fabrics (yeah, it's kinda my favorite color) and added a warm, honey colored Kona (I think it's literally called Honey).  I was inspired by this quilt, but wanted mine in greens.  I have the pieces cut for a second one, but, it will have to wait until after Christmas this year!  I'll add more about this one when I've had the chance to get some photos of it with its recipient. :)

This one was a bee quilt that I (finally) finished.  I started with some of the Ty Pennington Impressions 2011 fabric and was aided by the fine ladies of the Modern Minx Bee.  The quilt was originally intended to be bed-sized, but I completely ran out of steam.  Besides, at 72 x 72, it makes a good snuggly couch sized quilt for two.

 I chose a navy blue backing for the quilt and shipped it off to Sarah to help (because it was getting to be crunch time at that point).  I love the visible Baptist fan quilting on the solid back, but I think my favorite part is the binding.  I chose the Bella plaid in Teal from Lotta Jansdotter's newest line to bind the quilt.  The hubby wanted navy, but I love the way that the teal popped.  I also think it brings out the teal in the quilt.

The final quilt started as a Tula Pink SAL quilt top, and finished as a birthday present for my brother. He already knows about it, as he was sad after Alabama lost to Texas A&M and I wanted to cheer him up.  The front is black and white (both Kona), with a Kona Crimson (I think) on the back.

I straight line quilted along the striped blocks and through the solids to make this feel very masculine (because my brother would never use it if it was feminine).  My favorite part on this one is also the binding.  I used an Alabama licensed broadcloth that I stashed months ago.  It's a little nod to my alma mater and his.  He's already told me that he is looking forward to watching the National Championship with this blanket in January.

Now, I've also done a bit of work for bees (but I'm very behind on some!).  This was for the Round Boo Bee and it was my turn to make for Ruth.  I love this shatter pattern (and so does she), but, because I'm me and imperfect, I couldn't get my center fabrics to come to a perfect point.  So, I raw-edge appliqued the donkey onto the imperfect center, et voila!  Donkey 'Splosion.  The donkey was on double gauze, so, in all cases, he was definitely an ass.  :D  But, I think it turned out well overall.

I'll be back soon, hopefully, with a year-end round-up and possibly a new quilt top to match this:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bama blues...

So, if you don't know me personally (as many of you do not), you may not realize that I am one of the biggest Alabama fans in California.  Seriously.  I suspect that my neighbors think the hubby is hurting me when I watch Alabama football.  But, I digress... Needless to say, with Alabama losing its first game today, I'm a little disappointed.  It happens.  But, I have a few other things to make me smile.

Remember this top?

I got it back from Sarah about a week ago and quickly sewed it up into this:

It's so interesting.  When I finished the top, I was kinda 'meh' about it.  It was pretty, but I couldn't decide if it was me or not.  I sent it off to Sarah and requested a feather quilting pattern that she already had.  When I got it back, I fell completely and totally in love with it.  Seriously.  The past two weekends, my husband has noticed it in our guest room (its supposed home), on our couch, on our bed and hanging off of our balcony (I needed pictures!).

The pattern in Sparkling Cider by All Washed Up.  Now, for the throw pattern, it's supposed to be 64 x 80.  I decided that, to use as many fabric patterns as possible, I would add an additional row to my quilt to make it 80 x 80.  It is the perfect queen coverlet or full/double sized bed quilt.

The back, in my opinion, is equally fabulous:

I had one extra piece of fabric that I felt was too light for the front of the quilt.  So, I sewed it up with a pink solid and decided to feature it on the back.  The birds (in the far left corner) were so cool to me that I wanted to sew them into the back. Unfortunately, I used my last yard of the fabric!  I didn't realize it until it was way too late (i.e.--with my quilter), so I'll have to find another piece for future use.

The binding (which, for some reason I don't have a picture of) is the famed Anna Maria Horner pastry line voile.  Now that I've sewn with voile, I know to hand sew the binding on the front (I'm a huge fan of machine sewn bindings) and to starch the heck out of it before sewing it onto the back.

I'll be back tomorrow with another finished quilt top, but I'm going to link this one up to the Tula Pink QAL tonight.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Washi Baby quilt

Remember the baby quilt I shared with you recently?

Last weekend, at the BAMQG sew day, I finished this cute quilt up.  Since I sewed up the original top a couple of months ago, it has gotten its name (Thanks to Julie!)--It's the Washi Baby Quilt!  Julie (and a few other members of the guild) felt that the quilt looked like I'd randomly placed washi tape on the grey squares.  This was my first foray into wonky piecing, which was quite the challenge for my very linear mind.  I used spare jelly roll strips (Thanks Ruth!) with a grey solid that I had brought from home, just because I didn't want to learn wonky piecing on good fabric. :)

Here's the finished product.   I thought for quite a while on how to quilt this, and finally settled on my favorite spiral quilting.  With the Wonderland fabric, the spiral appeared to fit well.

For the back, I chose two pieces of patterned fabric from the line, with a grey stripe between them. Another Wonderland print for the binding finishes out the quilt.

This one, as stated before, is headed for the local NICU, where I hope it brightens a family's day when they are struggling.

I'm linking this one up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, because it's been one of my favorite finishes for the year.

Blogger's Quilt Festival Stats:

  • Quilt Measurements-- 32 inches x 32 inches
  • Special Techniques used, if any--Slice and insert piecing, spiral quilting
Quilted by…--ME!

  • Best category--Favorite baby quilt, favorite home machine quilted quilt

Friday, October 19, 2012

PIQF and happenings

So, as some of you know, I'm in the SF Bay area.  And, every fall, the second weekend of October, there is an AMAZING quilt show known as the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  The quilts are good, the classes are good, but... If you know me, you know that I totally go for the shopping.  Last year, I purchased a few little things, but wasn't too keen on anything.  This year, I knew differently.  I initially told myself that I'd only buy what I needed.  That lasted about 10 minutes once I got into the marketplace.  Then, I set a financial limit, and that one seemed to stick.  Wanna see what I got?  Of course you do.

This was actually the last thing I purchased, but the shop owner was amazing.  She was based out of Mesa, AZ and she knew her Tula.  When she found out I knew my Tula as well, she pulled out all of her fat quarters and half-yards and started pulling out Hushabye and Flutterby for me.  She was SO nice!  If you ever go to Mesa, AZ (and are a card carrying member of the Tula Troops), go visit her shop--Elkhorn Quilts.  She put this kit together and, honestly, I didn't want the Prince Charming line until I saw it.  I found the backing at another booth for half price, so that was a fantastic find too!

Here are some of my other Tula finds from other booths at the festival.  I was shocked by what I could find! I mean, Nest and Flutterby have been out of print for years, but I could walk up and purchase them for less than $3 for a FQ.  Etsy can't even beat that!

And, in case you wanted a close up of the far right of the picture...

Yup, those are the famed Flutterby ladybugs.  They are so sweet!

These two babies were hiding in a booth in the back corner of the marketplace (literally!).  Since I completely missed out on FFA1 and FFA2, I had to have them.  I mean, let's face it--

How can you resist this face?

The next place I visited had these cute bags for purchasing customers.  I can't resist a good polka dot, and red...?  Forget it!  Don't worry though, I did buy something worth having.

My bestie and I have been obsessing over this quilt since it hit Pinterest this summer.  When I saw the kit, I knew I had to have it.  Admittedly, it was pricier than I expected, but... Love is love, right?

Well, after I spent so much at the festival... I decided to go find one of the new local shops in town that I discovered at the festival.  Because that's how I roll. I picked the store with Nest and Flutterby FQs and off I went last Saturday.  I'm refusing to divulge my secret store, because, let's face it, what I found was AMAZING.

These were all fun finds on the shelves.  Let's be honest--I would've never guessed I would or could find Neptune on the shelves anywhere, but there it was!  These weren't even the real find either...

YUP!  Full Moon Forest!  I almost fell over when I found these on the shelf.  I mean, it came out in 2007, so what were the odds?!  I did buy out one of the fabrics (the aqua trees), but the rest still had at least 2-3 yards on the bolts.  I was (and still am!) so stoked!

Lest you think all I did was buy fabric last weekend (which I did, but that's not the point), I also have a finish to share.  Remember this stack?

This weekend, it became something awesome!

Have any of you been following the Tula Pink sew-along hosted by Sarah at Sew Sweetness?  My friend Lorelei introduced me to it.  It has been so fun watching everyone's creations and it gave me the push to finish the Sparkling Cider Plume top that I had envisioned.  Apologies for the poor picture quality, but I can't get another at this time--it's already en route to Sarah for a quilting treatment!  It's 80 x 80, so just a bit too big for my wussy machine, but I do love it!  The back is almost as amazing, but its big reveal will have to wait until I finish the quilt up.  I just got some Anna Marie Horner pastry line voile for the binding, so I'm super excited to get it together!

Will blog more soon--I'm working on a ton of projects for Christmas and will post them soon!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's October already!?

 Hey everyone! I know it's been pretty quiet around here this month.  Here is a small reason why:

The Hubby and I spent about 10 days in England and Scotland, visiting some of my relatives.  We had an amazing time.  London was so welcoming and SO pretty.  We just felt very at home there.  We got to see all of the major sights (except for the British museum--neither of us were interested) and even got to ride the London Eye on a clear day.  And, as a first anniversary present, I bought my hubby tickets to go to Scotland for a day to see Edinburgh.  He was so happy and so excited.  It was such a fun getaway, but I lost a lot of my sewing time (since I tend to work on Saturday and Sunday and we went over two weekends).

Before we left, though, I did do some travel sewing:

I made a travel cosmetic bag, two pouches for my purse (one for my cords and cables, one for my passport and British currency) and a couple of folding pouches.  If I recall correctly, the cosmetic bag is by Anna at Noodlehead (wide-mouth pouch) and the folding pouches were by Jeni at InColorOrder.  It was my first time using zippers and interfacing, so I had to go to familiar fabric to make life easier on me. :)  I do love the folding pouch from Anna Marie Horner's Field Study--It's almost a clutch purse!  I think I picked the wrong interfacing for it, but it makes me smile.

The only other project I have for the month is from the Round Boo Bee.  This time, I had Sheetal's quilt top and fabric:

This is how the quilt top looked when I received it.  Here is how it looks now:

The first thing I noticed was that Sheetal had included a LOT of Denyse Schmidt fabric.  So, I started with a neutral ring of the seed pods from FMF, to provide some separation from Kathleen's ring and mine.  Then,  I found some... Well, splatter, for lack of a better word, fabric for the next ring.  Boy was that stuff slippery!  I found it while I was in England and it just screamed to be put in this quilt.  It was dark gray with neon splatters on it.  I was just shy, so there are itty bitty cornerstones for that ring.  Then, I included another neutral ring with Kona Charcoal.  For the final ring, I decided to alternate warm and cool 60 degree triangles to create some visual interest.  As per Sheetal's request, I included some Mirror Ball cornerstones in a neutral fabric.  While this was a challenge for me (as it's not something I would normally do or want to do), I feel like the whole composition is coming together very nicely.  I really hope Sheetal likes this!

Okay, I still have bee blocks, challenge quilts and dinner (oops!) to complete, so I better go!  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Comings and goings

Just a couple of things to share today.  First is my current throw for the couch (and it is perfect for football season):

I made it from Tula Pink's new fabric line (the birds and the bees) using Jeni's plus quilt tutorial.  The fabric is just so bright and vibrant, in particular the blues and purples.  I was afraid that the colors would blend and nothing would stand out, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I did choose to go against traditional thought, and used a high-loft poly batting for the quilt.  I don't know about everyone else, but, to me, nothing compares to a big, thick, puffy quilt.  They seem warmer to me and they look better!  But, that's my opinion. :)

The backing is from the same line, but a different colorway (swallow skies in storm, I believe).  For the quilting, I decided that I wanted to showcase the fabrics.  So, I stitched in a ditch along the seams.  The binding is the Ladder Dots in fuchsia from Denyse Schmidt's new line Chicopea.  I love how it pulls out the purples in the quilt.

Unfortunately, I discovered something not-so-good about myself while completing this quilt.  I have an old injury to my shoulder from my student internships and... Well, my walking foot and my shoulder do not get along when they have to work together for extended periods.  I've been definitely more sore and crackly (my words) since I finished this quilt last weekend.

I did decide to test out my shoulder this week (which wasn't long enough to let everything recover) and made some bee blocks for one of my beemates from the Modern Minx bee

This is little box, big box from modern blocks.  My beemate, Jo, requested bright solids and I think these fit the bill. :)

The only other thing I'm really working on right now is a potential long-term project.  It all started with a challenge from Ruth and the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild to make a whole cloth quilt.  This is a real challenge for me, because I'm still relatively new to free motion quilting.  But I decided to give myself a challenge.

I picked two Essex linens (natural and aqua) and decided to use variegated blue thread to pebble quilt.  This is the front, where the color is immediately visible.  I'm definitely liking this, but... 


I'm loving the back.  Where the color is immediately visible on the front, the back is all texture.  It's incredible (I may be a bit biased).  So far, I'm on bobbin number 4 and have finished a 6-7 x 36 inch piece of the possible baby sized quilt.  I'm just hoping I don't run out of the thread!

Not too much quilting/sewing today.  I'm heading to the hubby's cousin's house to celebrate Labor day.  Hope everyone has a good Labor Day weekend! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gifts Galore

Admittedly, I am one of the greediest quilters ever.  I start quilts, then decide that I love them too much to give them away.  Thus the abundance of quilts in my home at this point.  I decided that, this month, that was going to change. 

This is the London lattice quilt. From the beginning, I kept telling myself that this wasn't my quilt--it was my aunt and uncle's quilt and it was going to London.  It did work.  Despite being some of my favorite fabrics (Parisville, by Tula Pink), it will be packed up today and mailed to London tomorrow, as a thank you to my aunt and uncle for letting us stay with them in England next month.  My aunt, who has lived in Florida the majority of her life, keeps telling me how cold she is all of the time.  I'm hoping that means that the quilt will get lots of love from her and her two kitties.

The quilting is by Sarah Russett in an 'almost-paisley' pattern.  I love the crinkly texture of the quilt and am definitely planning on using the pattern again on a quilt for the hubby and I.  The back is a damask dot and the eyedrops in blue complete the quilt.

The next finished gift is for my cousin Tyler, his wife Nina, and their new baby girl.  It makes me smile.

I just love Tula Pink's fabrics.  Mostly because they are works of art.  From far away, you see one thing--Up close is a completely different picture. The back is the lime swan print (I found a store with lots of Plume in stock and bought a yard just for this). I quilted this up a while ago in a wave pattern and bound it with some of the pink fleur-de-lis.  I'm hoping Miss Addi gets a lot of play and tummy time on this. :)

My final gift is for an unknown recipient.  Y'all have seen this one before.

This is going to be going to the local NICU for a premie.  I'm really hoping that its bright and colorful nature will bring smiles to everyone that encounters it.  Here's the back:

I love the gray strip across the back.  I had a completely different idea for the back (replicating the chopsticks texture of the front), but not enough fabric to make it happen.  I think this back is better.

Now, I'm not completely selfless.  I have been working on two other projects for myself.  First of all, I had this idea for myself as a companion for the herringbone baby quilt.  I cut it out and put it together last weekend:

I love the pluses in the corners.  When I made them, I tried to make sure that the centers of the pluses held important images (such as a full mermaid or an octopus).  The blue is actually not a solid (as my friend Sheetal thought)--it's a Denyse Schmidt for Joann's dot fabric.  I liked that it looked like bubbles.  I'm waiting for Julie to get the Out To Sea prints to finish this one up.  I'm liking the idea of the ships or raspberry waves for the back.

The other thing I'm working on this weekend is my plus quilt.  I got the bug to finish this one in time for football season to start.  No, my team colors are not blue or purple.  No, the mascot is not a squirrel.  I just want a new quilt to cuddle under for the start of the season.  I'm doing straight-line, stitch in the ditch quilting, so that the fabric can really shine in the quilt.

I have to call out my hubby in this post.  Not because he is my faithful quilt model (he is--Thanks hon!).  Nope.  It's because of the regard for my quilts.  I don't know if you noticed the pile in this picture.  It's there. He held up the quilts and then dropped them when I was done with the camera.

One day, I will teach him respect for the fabric. :)