Saturday, August 31, 2013

purple pouches

My daughter needs a pencil case for school and we decided that I should sew one up for her. I should probably mention that she LOVES purple. As if it weren't obvious. (Lucky me.)
This was my first attempt. I finished it late last night and was a little disappointed. It's a make up bag, not a pencil pouch, for crying out loud. She insisted that it was great, but I just couldn't stop there. I'm a bit of a perfectionist.
I attempted another one this afternoon. And, hey! It actually looks like a pencil pouch! Now she has two purple pouches to fill with who knows what. She's pleased as punch! I love that she appreciates hand made things so much. It's wonderful.

These are made from scraps, so I'm counting them as #8 and #9 for my 101 scrap project challenge. Woo-hoo! I'm hopeful that I'll be able to whip up a few more projects before the weekend is through.

Are you sewing this Labor Day weekend, too? If you are, I'd love to hear what you are making!

Friday, August 30, 2013

the 'A squared' quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
It's the last week of summer vacation here. Lots going on, and I still managed to finish quilting and binding this quilt. (Just barely, though!) I'm calling this one 'A squared'. Several of the scraps came from Anna and several of the blocks came from my scrap baskets. I love this color scheme so very much. It screams summer, doesn't it?
The squares are 4" finished. I just love plain patchwork. It's a classic and it's such a fun way to play with color and print.
I used this fun piece of Lucy's crab shack fabric surrounded by a large lime green border (to make it large enough) for the back. It turned out to be a great compliment to the front. I love fitting pieces and parts from my stash together like a puzzle. It's so satisfying to make it work.
I did lots of loopy quilting on this one. Two lines of quilting per row of patchwork. Again, no marking, I just eyeballed it. I had lots of practice from this quilt, so it went pretty smoothly.
I used Hobbs 80/20 batting inside. Lightweight and a little lofty, but it washes up so nicely. (I haven't had a chance to wash this one yet, though.)
I used a Kaffe polka dot fabric for binding. I'm loving that cerise color these days.
The quilt is my favorite lap size...60" x 72".
This is scrap project #7 out of 101.
Hold on to your hats, folks. I am cruising.

Now it's your turn. Please link up your finishes! Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

twister quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

After all the work I did on various WIPs this week, I still managed to produce a finish!
This quilt is made from 12 different Soho solids from Timeless Treasures. I cut the blocks at my former LQS using the Accuquilt Studio cutter. (Thanks, Ellen!) It made quick work of the cutting, and the best part is that the die cuts off the tails of the triangles. That means no trimming is required after piecing. What a time saver! The triangles finish at 6".
I LOVE these colors together! For the back I pieced leftover strips and added a whole lot of pink Kona cotton. The quilting shows up nicely on the back. It reminds me of an embossed tin ceiling. It's a little risky to piece a backing, then straight line quilt. If things are off kilter from front to back, it's going to show. Thankfully things worked out pretty well. Phew!
I also love how the quilting forms a star around the triangle points on the front. I quilted this on my Janome with my walking foot with straight lines about 1/2" from the seams. It's so nice to use the patchwork as a guide rather than marking lines.
For the binding I branched out from the all solids theme and added a polka dot. I couldn't help it! The color was a perfect match. I thought twice about it, but I'm very happy with the choice in the end.
As for the name, my daughter gets credit. She calls it the twister quilt, because apparently the quilt can double as a twister game board (of sorts) in a pinch. I love that my kids are a little resourceful. :) Turns out the quilt looks pretty dandy on her bed, too! (Not sure that it will end up there, but it works for a pretty photo at least.) The quilt measures 60" x 84".

Another finish to share...

Remember this quilt? It's in the new issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine! The quilt is back home safe and sound and its fun to see the quilt in print.
Alright. Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

drowning in WIPs

So, in the past week I've worked on no less than 7 different quilts.
Madness!!! Wouldn't you say?
Here's a peek....

 (these are blocks for 3 different quilts)

Sometimes I wish I was a one project at a time girl.
But that would probably get boring, right?

Friday, August 16, 2013

sweet and low

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
Last weekend at camp I finished my low volume slab quilt. She's a pretty little thing that I'm calling sweet and low. Many thanks to my friend Brianne for coming up with the clever name! The top is all scraps. My favorite! It took over a week to piece the top, which felt like for-ever! But, there are tons of tiny pieces in it, so I guess that makes sense.
For the backing I used some of my treasured Katie Jump Rope fabric. You know that I must love the quilt top to use some of my out of print (hoarded) fabric. The bottom strip of fabric is a print I picked up at Loom when I was in Pittsburgh in May. I love to shop for fabric when I travel. It is THE perfect souvenir (if you ask me).
I auditioned a ton of different fabrics for the binding and this one was the winner. It came from my sweet friend Katherine years ago. I'm delighted to have found the perfect project to use it in. It's the perfect finishing touch! (Thanks a bunch, Katherine!)
Looking at this photo, it's apparent that I love polka dots. No new news there! :P
For the quilting I just stippled it. If I were to do it again, I would straight line quilt it in a herringbone pattern. Oh, well. Delayed inspiration happens sometimes. Maybe for my next one!
The finished quilt measures 46" x 53". I'm not a fan of having my photo all over my blog, but it was suggested that I need to make an appearance here once in awhile. This one is for you, Melissa! :)

I'm counting this as scrap project #6.

How about you? Do you have a finish to share? If so, please link up! Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

out of my box quilt

Over the weekend I finished the binding on the "out of my box" quilt. I'm learning that having binding (or any type of hand stitching) is a wonderful thing at retreat. It is a nice break from stitching on a machine all day.
This quilt is made from 9 slabs, then it is pieced together in a rather traditional way with sashing and cornerstones. I love the mix of the two. The sashing adds order to the quilt and even though the black and white polka dot is busy, I think it works beautifully!
The orchid colored corner stones are one of my favorite parts of this quilt. They aren't very large, but they still pack a punch. I had enough scraps of fabric to cut 12 squares, but I needed 16 total.
So, I found a print that was similar in color and added 4 blocks in an alternate fabric and placed one in each corner. When you use scraps sometimes you have to get a little creative, but I love how it pushes you to find an alternate solution. The quilt is more interesting because of it.
The spiral quilting makes this quilt, doesn't it? I plan to do much more of it! I've gotten several questions about how it's done and I plan to write up what I've learned from my experience so far. But I'll save that for a separate post.
I am SO glad that I used a solid on the back so the quilting really has a chance to show off. It makes me think that making a 2 sided whole cloth quilt with just the spiral quilting would be a great idea! (Add it to the list, right?) I used a 70 weight aqua thread from Connecting Threads. Ocean mist is the actual name of it, and it's one of my favorites. It comes in a 3300 yard cone, so it lasts a long time! I LOVE that!
The quilt measures 43" square. Small for me, but a nice size to use as a class sample when I travel.  
This is scrap project #5. Only 96 more to go!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

camp stitch a lot

Camp stitch a lot was a blast! Brenda did a great job at organizing the retreat and I am so happy that I got to be a part of it! I didn't take nearly enough photos, but that was because I was too busy taking it all in. That's a good sign, right?
I taught a slab class at camp. Each and every person did a fantastic job at building their slabs. There was no shortage of scraps to be sewn up, which was awesome! I loved seeing the different color schemes emerge.
Rossie taught a reverse applique method that I absolutely loved. It played well with slabs I had already pieced, so I combined the two. Adding red and white polka dots never hurts.
Jacquie taught a slice and insert class. I loved using 1" strips for piecing. They finish at 1/2", which is such a great size. Of course I had to add a strip of scraps in the piece because I LOVE tiny scraps! Did you know that?
Dan taught a curves class and I struggled with it quite a bit. Not so much with the curves, but because I used colors SO very far from my comfort zone. It took me a long time to get it to this point, where I actually kind of like it. I'm certainly not giving up on this piece. I will continue to persevere! I should have just stayed in my comfort zone and went with some great colors like he did in his class sample. I love that quilt!

It was a treat to see quilts in real life that I had only seen on line. Rossie made this one back in 2009. I remember reading about it on her blog when she made it. Seeing it in real life was fantastic, because photos just don't do a quilt justice. Rossie's outfits matched her quilts all weekend and I may have teased her about it. Just a little bit.
Dan brought his fabulous and famous dinosaur quilt. It is an AMAZING quilt. There are really no words to describe it. I'm pondering how I can use this technique to make a quilt and make it mine. So much potential in a single idea.

Friday afternoon the weather was gorgeous so we took a few of my quilts out on the lawn and worked on our bindings. It was every bit idyllic as it looks. Perfection.

Of course I had to do a little shopping at Pink Castle Fabrics. Don't be fooled, this isn't all of it. :)

Many thanks to Brenda for hosting such a great weekend!

Friday, August 09, 2013

almost finished

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I've kicked some quilting tail even though I have been traveling a lot this week. I still can't believe that I got these two quilted and the binding attached before I headed to Camp Stitch A Lot. It was just under the wire, of course! It's quite likely that by the time this post publishes that these bindings will be done! I hope to have these complete and ready to share early next week. Sorry for the teaser, but I didn't want to skip finish it up Friday this week! (There are not enough hours in the day!!!)

How about you? Do you have a finish to share? If so, please link up! Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

a new dress

My sweet friend Linda (whom I've known for almost 16 years) made this dress for my daughter. She had an idea that she wanted to try and I'm delighted that my daughter was the recipient. It turned out beautifully!
That woman has some seriously amazing sewing skills! The finishes inside and out are spectacular. It fits her perfectly.
We had fun with a little photo shoot. Turns out hydrangeas make a nice back drop and they prove to be a good distraction from the camera, too.
Thanks so much, Linda! We absolutely love it! I'm so glad that my daughter can wear beautifully hand made clothing without having to do all the work. Because we all know that I'd rather sew her a mountain of quilts!

Monday, August 05, 2013

spiral quilting

I did some spiral quilting over the weekend.
I really, really like it!
I used my Janome with a walking foot to make the spiral. It would have been easier to free motion the center and then switch to a walking foot. It took 3 tries to get the center spiral looking good! Oh, well. At least I know what to do next time! :)
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, August 02, 2013

a low volume quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I've been working on this little quilt top all week long. It's got a ton of tiny little pieces in it and it was pieced improvisationally. I usually break up the piecing between several different projects, but this one has a self-imposed deadline, so I had to power though. I was so happy to put the last several seams in it early this morning.
It's not very big...only 46" x 53", but every one of those seams were totally worth it! (I love low volume.) I'm looking forward to quilting it this weekend.
How about you? Do you have a finish to share? Please link up your finishes and thanks for joining me! Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

really random Thursday

I received an email the other day from Sally who used the Ben bread recipe (with a few tweaks) to make a prize winning loaf of bread at her Village England!!! How cool is that?
Speaking of Ben bread....when we moved, I discovered that I didn't bring the recipe along. I had accidentally left it taped inside the cupboard door in our previous house. I was so disappointed until I realized that I had blogged the recipe. (What a relief! Blogging is so handy sometimes!) I've since copied it and taped it inside the cupboard door in our new house. :) It's definitely a keeper!

(By the way, I'm curious. Do you have a favorite recipe taped on the inside of your cupboard door? Our previous house came with the recipe for rice krispie treats taped inside the cupboard. That always made me chuckle.)
This summer is flying by, as it always does, but we are soaking up every minute of it! We've been doing a lot of fishing and we have caught some pretty big fish out of the lake. My older son is HOOKED. (I may be, too! I learned how to fillet fish. On my 38th birthday. Out of necessity. Never thought I would be doing that!)
I LOVE the look on my daughter's face in this photo. We were all a little bit shocked that she caught such a big bass on her little pole. She was ecstatic.

My kids joined in the quilting fun this week. It's just too hard to resist, apparently.
My 10 year old has become quite good at sewing a 1/4" seam. SO much better than last summer. It's not like he was practicing or anything, he's just become much more coordinated and careful in the past year. I may have to put him to work!
Here is the start of his slab quilt. He's planning to make it big enough to use on his bed. I've been helping him cut some pieces and I've been squaring things up, but I'm trying to let him pick most of the fabrics and the arrangement. I do suggest and steer him along a bit (because I just can't help it!). For the most part he's doing the bulk of it and he's doing a great job!
This is my oldest child's quilt. He started last year (or maybe 2 years ago?) with the purple block. He drew up a sketch and came up with a great plan to make it into a larger quilt. It's going to be fabulous! He's using the Go! baby to cut the pieces, which is so much safer than rotary cutting! He's eager to get sewing.
Here's the start of my daughter's quilt. She is designing her second abstract quilt (and already talking about the next few in the series)! You can see her first one here. This should be fun to sew up. (I'm serious!) She's so creative and I love seeing her run with an idea. If she had her way, she'd design all day! I'm totally going to have her iron all these pieces while I sew.
This is the state of my scrap basket these days. Before retreat a few weeks ago I dumped the majority of them in here. It's just a tad full, huh? I've got a lot of sewing to do!
Last but not least, we've been picking our fill of raspberries. We have a large patch in the back yard that have been producing like crazy. What a treat!

I'm linking up with Cindy for really random Thursday.

Happy August to you!