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. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Holy Y-seams Batman!!

So, I'm a member of a small swap within my local quilt guild.  Back in May, a few of us went up into Gold Country for a weekend of sewing, eating and fabric shopping (not necessarily in that order).  And, while we were there, RuthKathleen, Sheetal and I decided that we would start a round robin.  That we decided was also a bee.  And that it would be named after Kathleen's dog.  Thus, the Round Boo Bee was born (did I mention that this idea and name came to us at about 11 PM after a day of sewing and shopping?).

I started off with Kathleen's center block.  After finishing my Mendocino herringbone, I decided that I wanted to do that with Kathleen's quilt.  In fact, her center reminded me of a compass center, so I liked that the herringbone would add additional arrows to her quilt.  I even intended to add 60 degree triangles as cornerstones, so that the arrow affect would be pronounced.  So, I started sewing lines of parallelograms together.  Once I had two lines as long as I was tall (which I figured was more than enough), I decided to start adding on.  Well, then, I decided that I didn't like the cornerstone idea. I had planned the herringbone to be just enough to go around the edges of the original block.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOO... Long story short, I did my first (and second) Y-seams to fix as much as I could to make the block look as close to right as I could make it.  That, and I screamed obscenities at my sewing machine for not cooperating (thus the title of the post--it was the cleanest thing I said to my machine all day).  Here is the final result:

Now that I have it finished (and the y-seams are done for the day), I think I need a glass of wine and some downtime sewing.

Kathleen, I hope you like it!  Because, if you don't, the hubby has stated that he will take it.  ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finished improv chevron (featuring Heather Ross's Mendocino)

Hey everyone!  Just dropping by to show off my latest finish.  I took today off from work (I had some doctor's appointments to take care of) and spent some free time finishing up the one project on my plate that does not have a timeline (figures, huh?).  Here it is:

 It finished about 32 x 32.  I decided that the best way to show off the sparse Mendocino was to stitch in the ditch for the quilting.  It was my first try at herringbone quilting and I think it went well.  Here's the back:

The quilting shows up really well against the solids.  I decided not to go with a stark white thread, and instead picked up some Gutterman in a pale pink (it matched the pink in the quilt).  I think it turned out really well with the triangle stripe across the back.

This quilt with be shown off at the next quilt guild meeting (because, let's face, I want to show it off) and then tucked away for the future  The hubby and I decided that this would be for our little-one-of-the-future.  So, we'll hang on to it for our first daughter (or effeminate son--points to anyone who gets the show reference).  I think we've also decided that if, for some reason, we don't have a little girl, then we'll definitely keep it in the family (I'm thinking my brother or my brother-in-law and his wife).  I love it too much to not get visiting rights!

Linked up to Kelly's My Precious QAL

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Baby quilt madness!

Remember the wonky plus blocks from last week???

Just finished a baby quilt top from those about 20 minutes ago.  This one is about 32 x 32 (and some of the pieces on the ends are all flippy, despite vigorous ironing... Hmmm).  The fabric is Wonderland by Momo, generously 'donated' by Ruth.  This one is (hopefully) going to a local NICU, via my quilt guild charity girls.  I loved my first venture into wonky piecing, but I'm also glad that this top will be going to a good cause.

I've also finished one more baby quilt top.  This one isn't for charity--It's for my cousin's daughter, born on the last day of July

Her name is AddiKate and she is ADORABLE. Her nursery is pink and lime green, so I'm thinking that the Plume will fit right in.  Made from a charm pack, it's a disappearing 9-patch block.  I love the secondary windmill pattern from the square placement, and may have to revisit this for a few more charity quilts for my quilt guild.

Now back to piecing the back for my Mendocino herringbone quilt!


Back is finished.  The one thing I didn't like about the herringbone quilt was that there were spare triangles from changing directions.  I decided that I would piece them together and see if I could use them all.  Here's the result

The first thing that the hubby said was that it was off-center.  My poor physicist hubby couldn't see that it was EXACTLY as I had wanted it.  One day, he will understand.  Maybe. :P

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I think I will call this quilt "Adrienne, this is your fault!"

It's 35 x 33 before borders (which I think it needs, as it is really busy).  I've already explained to the hubby that this one stays here for our future little ones.  He told me he was glad it was unisex.  Silly hubby...

Busy times

Hey everyone!  I've been busy these past couple of weeks, just trying to enjoy new quilting experiences and *gasp* cut into precious fabrics that I've been hoarding.  Aka, the little bits of Mendocino that I've been gathering from here and there.  And Wonderland.

But, before I show what I'm working on there, here's what I finished the past couple of weeks...

This beauty is called London Lattice.  Yes, it's more Parisville, but I named it London Lattice for two reasons.  One, I was watching the Olympics (and the qualifiers) while this quilt top was coming together.  Two, it will be going to London to live with my aunt and uncle.  They have generously offered their home to my hubby and I for a week to see England (and Scotland!) and we wanted a good hostess gift for them, since they will be giving up their week to us.  Next stop is Sarah in NY to quilt it up for us.

This top is proof that I just can't leave my new fabrics alone.  This is a plus quilt a la Jeni's plus quilt tutorial.  I used my half-yard stack of Tula Pink The Birds and the Bees in the Mist palate to make this top (plus an extra half-yard from the green colorway).  I'm still debating on the quilting of this one (straight-line to emphasize the fabric?  FMQ to practice my skills?)

This is a bee block made for the lovely Kelly in my Gone Quiltin' Bee.  My hubby loved it so much that it became a project for me to make one for him...

Meet our birdhouse.  And, before you question his tastes, his favorite color is purple.  Yes, purple.  So, he loves this pillow.  And me?  I love that I got to try some new quilting techniques from Angela Walter's new book.  Aside--This is an AMAZING book.  I feel like I have learned so much from her techniques and tips that I have to recommend it to any quilter who feels like their FMQ is in a rut.

So, now what?  I'm working with some new fabrics and techniques that I learned yesterday at my quilt guild meeting.  We had a... workshop, for lack of a better word, on improv piecing.  Before I go any further, understand that improv is my nemesis.  Seriously.  I am the product of two engineers.  I fully subscribe to the model that tab A and slot B should go together seamlessly.  But, I digress.  I went to the improv workshop with an open mind and a huge bag of scraps (why waste good fabric?).  And, I had a great time.  I went slightly wonky.  Which was a huge step for me.  Case in point...

My blocks from the workshop.  Before I go any further, I have to mention Ruth.  She is the most wonderfully evil person ever.  When we were setting up our machines for the workshop, she noticed me looking through her scraps and offered to let me play (in my defense, I offered the same to her).  BAD MISTAKE.  She had about 1/2 of a jelly roll of Wonderland in her scrap basket.  So, I took it to play with.  I figured Wonderland and wonky went together.  I don't quite know what I'm going to do with these blocks, but I'm having fun playing.

The other interesting (and useful) thing that I took from the workshop came from Adrienne.  She demo-ed improv herringbone blocks.  I've been debating doing some herringbone and hearing her technique (for people who don't like improv) really opened my mind.  To do her herringbone, she put all of her quilt pieces in a bag and randomly drew them out.  As long as they didn't have a same fabric, she just sewed them up.  Very liberating.  Here's what I have so far:

Originally, I was thinking of a pillow, but, looking at it now, I may have been thinking too big.  So, now it's looking like either a wall hanging or a baby blanket.  TBD...

I better get back to it before I'm pulled away to make dinner for the hubby.  :D