Friday, May 31, 2013

design wall

Welcome to finish it up Friday! I've got no finish for today....but I did get up my design wall hung up. I'm very excited!
I've been without a design wall for several months (because our house was on the market) and boy did I miss it! It's so wonderful to have it back. I've noticed that I don't really use it for designing exactly, but it's more like a block storage apparatus. I sit and stare at it and let the ideas percolate. It also acts an ever changing wall of artwork. I LOVE it!!!

Making a design wall doesn't have to be a big project at all. I use a king size flannel sheet tacked up on the wall with push pins. Easy peasy...and inexpensive, too! This wall just the right measurement for the sheet. Perfection! It's over half full...which tells me I'd better get busy and get something (anything) finished! :)

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

settling in

School is out and summer vacation (heh) is here. We are trying to find our summer groove, which always takes awhile. As if that weren't enough, we are working very hard to settle into our house and make it feel like ours. We've made some's good to celebrate the progress rather than to focus on how much needs to be done.
Our living room was the first room to come together. I love the fireplace! Our IKEA bookshelves and leather chairs look pretty good in the space. This might be my favorite room in the house at the moment. The view out the window is pretty amazing.
It's like living in a tree house! It feels like we have our very own park in the back yard, too. I'm loving all the GREEN! It's quite different from just a few weeks ago. Spring has finally sprung! It took a long time this year, so we are enjoying every minute of it. The kids are loving their new big back yard! Consequently, so am I. :)
Our bedroom is set up, but it still needs artwork. And paint! On the foot board, my apple cake quilt. One of my very, very favorites! It's nice to have this one out and in use again. I love rotating quilts throughout the house.
We've actually hung things on some of the walls already. That must be a new record! On the left, ticker tape on canvas, 24" x 36" (tutorial here). I LOVE that piece! On the right, my snippets wall quilt. It's nice to have some color on the walls!
The sewing area is a complete disaster, so no photos on that front yet. I don't want that mess documented! I may need to seek outside help. It's completely overwhelming.
I have NOT had much time to sew and boy do I miss it! I managed to indulge in a little bit of scrap therapy yesterday. Somehow sewing little bits of color together has a way of soothing the frazzled nerves. I'm not sure why, but I'll take it!

Friday, May 24, 2013

pin cushions

Welcome to finish it up Friday! Anyone else utterly exhausted? ;0)
Because I am stubborn to the end, I actually eeked out a finish for today. I had these pin cushions almost done, so I hand stitched them closed this morning. Hurray for finishing something! I have 3 more like it to finish-just as soon as I find my big bag of walnut shells. I bet it'll be a few weeks before that happens! :)

(there is a tutorial here for making a mini whirlygiggle block if you'd like to make something similar.)

A few more BIG finishes that are happening today. It's my kids' last day of school AND we are selling our old house today. HUGE finishes, wouldn't you say? Both very good things! I'm excited for summer!

How about you? Any finishes to share today? If so, please link up! Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

catching up

Oh, mylanta! So much has been going on, I think a catch up post is in order.
Last week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we packed up our house in Wisconsin. We had movers (thanks to the company relo) to help us out, but it is still a ton of work! It was a little bit sad to see the contents of our house disassembled. On the other hand, it was kind of exciting to finally be at this point. It's been a long time coming!
There were plenty of quilts to move. It was fun to see so many piled up in one spot! Usually they are spread out here, there and everywhere. I had a hard time entrusting the quilts to the movers, so we opted to move them ourselves. They filled the trunk of the car. And that was just a portion of them. Yikes! 
After a few days (and very little sleep) we had the house completely empty. That requires much celebrating by the short people in the house. Lots of shouting, running in circles and twirling. It was fun to watch the kids enjoy the empty rooms and I made sure I let them. I was certain to take it all in. They've been through a lot with this move, too!
It was hard to say good bye to our house. I get so sentimental sometimes! After 4 houses you'd think I'd kind of be used to it. So many memories there and so many friends to say good bye to! It has been a great place to live.
EARLY Sunday morning, a day and a half later, I flew out to Pittsburgh. I had the opportunity to speak and teach at a guild there. Yes, right smack dab in the middle of the move. Why not?!?!? 
Actually, the timing was wonderful and I enjoyed my trip very much. It was a break from the reality of the move. Pittsburgh is a lovely city, the guild was wonderful and I was in good hands the entire time I was there! Many thanks to Sally and Diane for showing me around and keeping me company in the down times. It was a delight.

I did a trunk show on Monday night and a scrap management workshop on Tuesday for the guild. During class one of my students snuck an apple on my (borrowed) sewing apple for the teacher. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? Thanks Elizabeth! I'm so very thankful that I get to travel, speak and teach about quilting. It's pretty incredible that I am able to work doing something that I love to do!
For the trip I finally broke down and started using my scrap happy purse. It's been sitting around unused for months and this was the perfect opportunity to break it in. I loved the size of it. Great for everyday use AND for traveling. My iPad fit in it well, along with my normal purse contents and I still had room for a snack. My purse also made me recognizable at the airport. Can't ask for more than that! :)
I got home at 2am on Wednesday. At 10 am the moving truck arrived and they unloaded all of our stuff. We are now surrounded in a sea of boxes. Sheesh! We are glad to have all our things in one place again. Speaking of that, I best get unpacking. I've got lots to do! Gotta get it done so I can sew!

Friday, May 17, 2013

mini high five

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
It's amazing that I even have a finish to share today. Earlier in the week I was restless. I started at least 4 new projects. I couldn't seem to settle into one particular project-but I did manage to start and finish this mini high five quilt. (The original high five quilt can be found in Sunday Morning Quilts.) It was fun to revisit this pattern. Like all quilts, it took a few unintended turns-mostly with the color selection and placement-and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.
For the back I used this sweet Alexander Henry print that my friend Brianne shared with me. The stripey binding is something that my friend Terri designed herself and had printed by Spoonflower. She shared some with me last summer and this was the perfect project to use it on! I have limited supplies here at the house (not my complete stash), so the fact that this came together so beautifully feels like a bonus. I am so thankful for the generosity of my sewing friends! This mini makes me happy!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, May 10, 2013

bohemian garden quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
My bohemian garden quilt is done! I put the last few stitches in the binding yesterday afternoon. It was quite a journey from the first fabric pull to completion, but that's the fun part of quilting-watching it all come together. I had a lot of contributions and input from friends along the way. Might be part of the reason that it doesn't look like a typical Amanda quilt. :)
I used a moody olive green fabric on the back that changes color quite a bit in the light. Thanks to my friend (and former boss) Ellen for the backing fabric! It matches this quilt perfectly. You can get a tiny peek at one of my wonderful quilt holders in this photo, too. :)
I absolutely LOVE how the loopy quilting turned out. I was worried it would be too busy, but it adds so much! Cheryl picked out the green thread color during a Skype sew date we had a few weeks ago. Thanks Cheryl! It was the perfect choice!
My friend Brianne picked out (and gave me!) the binding fabric. Thanks Brianne! It's a wonderful finishing touch to this quilt. This fabric is from the Central Park line by Kate Spain. It's nice to have a geometric print on the edging. It kind of reminds me of a cobblestone path. I hand stitched down the binding on this one, and I think I enjoyed every second of it. It felt good to just sit and bind!
There were times during the process when I wasn't so fond of this quilt, (a lot of stitch ripping might have had SOMETHING to do with it. ha!) but I am quite pleased with the finished product. Many thanks to my friends who helped with and contributed to this quilt. It sure makes it special! It measures 60" x 80".
How about you? Do you have a finish to share? If so, please link up! Thanks a bunch for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

diamond pillow cover

First off, thanks for all the kind comments on our move and our new house! It's exciting and nervewracking all at once.
This pillow cover has been on my to-do list for a long time! I'm excited to finally have it finished. It will be headed to a friend who could use some cheering up. (Too bad I don't have a pillow form here to stuff inside for the photos!) I love the mix of springy solids-I used bits of a Robert Kaufman Kona pastel jelly roll-and ash grey solid from Connecting Threads. The design is my diamond pillow pattern.

An aside....I think the brick patio is going to make a regular appearance in the background of my photos. I LOVE it!
For the envelope back, I used scraps that Anna so generously shared with me. Thanks Anna! Yes, those were some pretty large scraps! I took a fair amount of time fiddling with the back pieces so they would look harmonious next to each other. They don't line up EXACTLY, but at least they don't jar the eye. That's all I can really ask for! I love that chevron excited that I have still have more scraps to play with.
I love straight line quilting small projects like this! Thankfully the Juki behaved for this straight line quilting stint. It's fun to have so much texture in a little space. And it's really fun to have a finish!

Monday, May 06, 2013

we're doing it!

We started moving over the weekend! This is the view from my new sewing space. I can't believe it!

Our phase of the weekend was "we're doing it!" Every time the reality of our situation sunk in, that was the phrase that came out of our mouths. It kept us chuckling, which is a good thing. Moving is a lot like work!

It was the kids' first day at their new school today. Lots of nerves for them this morning, but we left them in good hands. All went well, which is a huge relief!

My sewing space is pretty much a blank slate. I brought a limited amount of sewing stuff up here (so far), which means I have a limited amount of projects to tackle. It keeps that overwhelming feeling at bay. I'll take it!
At one point my husband said, "home is where the sewing machines are." It's true!!! He's smart, that guy! And funny, too!

I'm so glad I brought my bohemian garden quilt along. It was a last minute decision, but it was a good one. It's been wonderful to sit down and quilt something! I'm anxious for a finish.
The loops are looking so much better than the straight lines did. And the good news is, I didn't have to re-baste. Bonus!!!
We spent lots of time over the weekend exploring the yard and enjoying our new lake view. I have a feeling that we are going to love it here!
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Pam's quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

Not a lot of sewing time here this week...but I DID manage to stipple this quilt for my friend Pam. Isn't it beautiful???
I can not stress to you enough just how great she is at piecing. (And picking fabric!) So very inspiring! She did an amazing job and it was a delight to quilt this for her. Flat quilts are much easier to quilt. (Who knew? Ha!) Also, it would be nice if all quilts came pre-basted. What a treat!
Here's the back. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite side. It's so bright, happy and springy!
We could use some spring around here! This was my view from my front window yesterday.
My kids actually had a snow day-in May! And it's snowing again today. Oh, the fun never ends! :)
Ok, enough complaining about the weather. Please link up your finishes! Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!