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!