Friday, December 12, 2014

FF: The Ranch Quilt Top.


Two hundred and eleven pieces later, this quilt top is finished. (I love it.)


It's made with a mix of Kona, Bella, and AMB solids. I've worked with both Bella and Kona solids in the past, but this was my first time working with AMB. They were...interesting. Not in a bad way! But they were definitely different from their Kona and Bella counterparts. AMB solids have a high thread count, and they worked fine with Agatha and my Aurifil thread, if I was making a project only using AMB solids, I would switch to a different needle. (For the record, I almost always use an 80/12 Schmetz needle.) I could definitely feel a difference when sewing through them.

Now I'm left with a conundrum...how do I quilt this bad boy?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Small Steps.

I am slowly checking things off of my Christmas to-do list. And, you know, only sixteen more days to get it all done. Because that makes me feel better! Sheesh. The other day, my oldest asked me if I'd make him a scarf. Oh, son. You know I will because I am helpless to say no when you ask me to make you something. BUT, it won't be until January. (At the earliest.)


My absolute must-do-before-Christmas task is completed. I needed to make another stocking for the baby. Last year, I made four stockings for my family, and even though a year had passed, I still hadn't forgotten about how annoying they were to make. The thought of making a fifth was super daunting. However! I had saved my template from last year--bravo, Audrey, you occasionally make smart calls--and I remembered that I needed to cut my cuff 1/4" smaller to ease it into the stocking. Thankfully, those two things saved me about a kajillion years of trouble, and this stocking came together with relative ease, proving once again that being prepared and knowing what you're doing can save so much time. The oldest boys decided that Fava's stocking should be yellow. Hopefully next year he doesn't protest and demand an orange or purple one.

I also needed a birthday gift for my BFF, so I sent her the largest size of the open wide zippy bag from Noodlehead. Of course, it was stuffed with goodness.


And here is the finished yellow stocking among its comrades. My sons demanded to have their stockings next to the baby's, so he's sandwiched. I love how much they love their brother. I had my husband hang another nail this weekend for his stocking, and now there are five, so envision a fifth red stocking next to the blue one, okay?

I've finished the top for the baby quilt that has to be done next month, and I'm working on other Christmas/birthday gifts. I'm not going to get everything done. I know that. But I'm trying! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Black Friday Scores.

YES.


Sketch, Joel Dewberry's Herringbone print, some Priory Square, and CATNAP. The Sketch is a much more vivid blue than I was after, but it's a nice stash addition. I've been longing for that herringbone print since it pretty much came out, and NOW I have some. How freakin' awesome is that Priory Square? And the cats...I'm really allergic to cats, so I don't typically like them because they make me feel like dying, but I am powerless when it comes to happy kitty faces on fabric. I should make curtains and use them to ward off the depression that winter inevitably tries to bring. I can't see myself getting grumpy when seeing snow out the window if those happy kitties tell me to turn my frown upside down, know what I mean?


And shot cottons. Oh, how I love me some shot cottons. These are Kaffe Fassett--Aegean, Blue Jean, Jade...I think? And they're for a special awesome project of awesome. Did you hear me? Of awesome! To be continued...

I actually ordered more fabric, but one of my orders was canceled because they didn't actually have the fabric they said they had on hand. I was sad. (Serious frowny face.) It was the background fabric for my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt, and since you have to buy something like twelve kajillion yards of it, I was so stoked to pick it up during the big sales. I'll be waiting until another sale, I suppose. But that's okay. It's not like I could actually do anything with it other than just stare at it for now.

Molli Sparkles

I'm linking up this week with Sunday Stash hosted by the super awesome Molli Sparkles.

Friday, December 5, 2014

FF: Plus Quilt


BAM! A quilt top. And because I love you, I ventured out in the freezing cold weather to photograph this bad boy rather than take the easy road and give you a yellowed-out photo on carpet that needs to be steam-cleaned. YOU'RE WELCOME. Don't you know I do all of these things for you?


This stack (plus a few others fabrics including Kona White) turned into plus blocks using this wonderful set of measurements from Rachel of Wooden Spoon Quilts. (Gotta love the people who allow me to skate by without doing the math.)


Sixteen blocks later, I assembled the top, which is now patiently waiting for me to find room in my schedule to get it quilted. Which, let's be honest, will probably be next year. Maybe by December 2015?

I feel like I should do some close-up photos or something to really show off the WOW factor, but honestly, this quilt isn't that exciting. The colors are rather demure for me, and, well, I feel kind of whatevs about the whole thing. Of course, this quilt will be snuggled by some adorable baby kidlet, and my heart will feel squishy knowing that I've been fortunate enough to contribute another quilt to the world, so all is right. But I am a little eager to move on to more colorful work, and there is plenty of that piled on my to-do list. Squishy cute baby kidlet, love this quilt more than I do, okay? (I'm glad we're in agreement.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Some Purpley Progress.

Wow. Is it Monday? I mean, really? Monday? December 1st? A glance at the calendar tells me it is, and to be honest, it's a bit hard to believe. The last week has been a bit of a blur. My in-laws arrived the Sunday before Thanksgiving, my husband had a deadline on Tuesday, meaning I didn't see him at all until Wednesday, when we left for a quick trip to Cincinnati. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, return trip, unpacking, Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, a bit of sleep, a sick baby, tacos and Pandemic with friends...it's been a full week.

But thankfully, not without a bit of sewing! I transformed this stack...


...into this. I had originally estimated 250+ pieces, but when I actually counted it, it turned out to only be 211. (Because 211 is no big deal at all.) The cutting would have taken about three years longer if my in-laws hadn't been keeping an eye on my kidlets, and let me just say it was awesome to work on this while my children were playing with other people. I've had to label the fabrics to keep them straight, but it should be okay. 


And I've started the piecing. Five rows down, twenty rows to go. I thought this project would be near impossible without a design wall, but it's actually not that bad at all. (Here's hoping I've cut all of the necessary pieces and haven't miscounted or anything.)


In October, my family and I did a bit of traveling. We stayed on a ranch for six days, and one afternoon, I was putting the baby down for a nap when I got a close look at the bed comforter. When the baby was asleep, I grabbed my pen and paper and sketched out a potential quilt idea, which I turned to when I needed a fun baby quilt that wasn't hot pink for my soon-to-be-here niece.

That being said, I was browsing Pink Castle's website a few days ago and found THIS. Alexia Abegg's Tile fabric from her Mesa line is different than my sketches and the bed comforter, certainly, but it was still a little freaky to find a pattern so similar.

I've got a quilt top finish to share with you Friday, and I should have some yummy Black Friday scores to share with you on Sunday. I just got an email telling me my fabric has shipped, squee!

Did y'all have a nice Thanksgiving? (Or, for those that don't celebrate Thanksgiving, a nice Thursday?) Is anyone else freaking out that Christmas is a mere 24 days away? Do you want to punch me now for even mentioning that?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SS: The Second Purple Quilt.

I don't work with purple a lot. I don't dislike the color, but I make a lot of boy quilts, and when I do make a girl quilt, c'mon. You know what color I'm going to be using. So when I found out my sister-in-law was expecting a girl...well, I had grand visions of a hot pink quilt. Specifically, I was planning to make an HST collection of awesomeness.

Except, the baby nursery is going to be purple and gray. Normally, when I make a baby quilt, I ask the recipient if there's anything they really dislike, and I make sure to work around that. But this is my sister-in-law, and the first girl baby on that side of the family. Purple and gray it is. (For the record, I'm sure she'd love any quilt I made for them. The choice to use purple is strictly my own.)


It won't be a miserable pursuit. How could it be with that delicious stack of Kona goodness? There are also a couple of American Made solids in there, which my LQS recently started carrying, so I'll be seeing how I like those. Did I write down which solids in particular I'm using? Of course not. That would have been responsible shopping. When I buy solids, I'm always so enamored with the fabric that I think of little else, and added to this trip, I was minding a four-year-old and informing him that if he didn't stop trying to touch that sewing machine, he would not be getting his promised hot cocoa.

When I do use purple, I kinda go overboard. I made my Purple-y Quilt early in my quilting tenure. I can only imagine how vastly different this one will look. I'm hoping to cut into this stack this week and get started piecing. I think I calculated that this baby quilt will have over 250 pieces, so there will be a lot of cutting!

Molli Sparkles

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles! It's the place to be.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

This Week.

Happy Saturday, Friends. I hope y'all are having a lovely week! My husband was on deadline all week, so I didn't see that much of him. It meant loads of quality time with my kidlets. And snow! Oh, you know how much I despise snow, and it had the audacity to make an appearance on Thursday. Seriously! Can you believe how rude? But today is Saturday, and the high is in the low 30s, which makes me grumbly, but there is no snow, so I'm embracing the goodness and trying to keep my spirits high.


I haven't had a chance yet to share this awesome new purse my friend Kim sewed up for me. She was sad because the raccoons are a different colorway from my raccoon dress, but I assured her I would wear them together anyway because how can you ignore the awesomeness? (To all of you who think these raccoons are creepy: I'm sorry. I love them so. We can still be friends, right?)


I spent what was possibly the last "warm" day of the year at a local apple orchard with my boys and a couple of friends. It was practically empty, possibly because it was Monday, right when it opened, and it was very very windy outside. Because that place is usually hopping with people, I had never actually made it inside the restaurant before, but we ventured in on this trip, and I spotted this super awesome diamond quilt hanging high on the wall. All those diamonds. Eep!


Both of my boys are in love with pattern blocks, so that's been happening this week, plus fort building, painting, playdough sessions, castle building, and train play. It has been a good week.


There has been a bit of sewing this week. I should be piecing the back of my improv quilt, but instead, I've been piecing cross blocks out of Autumn Woods and Bluebird Park. I have high hopes they'll play together well when all is said and done. I need to get this baby quilt and the improv quilt out of my life, and soon! I have ramped up work on my Tula Pink CS blocks, and I also need to start cutting and piecing another baby quilt together, and fast.


But first, I need to make a birthday present for my bestie. Out come the pink and purple scraps! 

Hope y'all have a lovely weekend! 

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