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! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

SS: Rayon?


I'm a quilting cotton kind of girl. Linen and voile are a stretch for me. Rayon=total craziness. But I saw it, loved the print and thought, wouldn't that make a really fun shirt? Especially if I kind of sort of color-blocked it with a bright red solid? (Because I know sooooo much about manipulating shirt patterns and what not. Thankfully, there are patterns that do the work for me--thank you Deer and Doe Datura pattern.) But *sigh.* It's going into the closet to crown the ever-growing stack of fabric intended for me-apparel. But one day, oh, one day. I will have time. And the right pattern. And it will be glorious. To the peeps who have sewn with rayon--any tips for me?

Happy Sunday, Friends. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Improv-y Quilt Top


A week or so ago, I was digging through my stalled projects container, and I realized that almost all of my stalled projects were star blocks. I had this *brilliant* idea. Why not throw them all together in one improv-y quilt? Maybe make a few more star blocks and utilize some negative space. I'm a genius, right?

Then I made these triangles as practice for another project, and I figured I could throw them in too.

Except...


I almost immediately axed all of the star blocks in favor of triangle and strippy goodness. I pulled out some random fabric and my stack of white scraps and started piecing free form triangles. I added strips that I had lying around. I dug into my scrap bin and pulled out other pieces to fit.


And in the end, it looked nothing like I expected it to. There were no stars. There is a random strip of corduroy. But I kind of dig it anyway. Oh, sure, there are parts I don't like, and assembling it was practically a nightmare. I used a couple of guitar boxes as a make-shift design wall, and stuck things up with painter's tape. Then, I had to sew like a madwoman to get everything put together before my boys started yanking things off. The whites are from various peeps, so they are slightly different colors. But it's done. Best of all, I wanted to make three quilts for Project Linus this year, and this will make number three when it's complete, so that's very exciting.


The free form triangles are my favorite part. I had so much fun making them. It was also super amusing to see my super orderly husband take in this quilt. He loves everything to have symmetry and order, so this really threw him for a loop. He kept looking at it and couldn't find anything nice to say, which I thought was absolutely hilarious. I told him I was totally making him a quilt like this one, and it took him a beat before he realized I was joking. My poor husband. That man has to put up with all of my shenanigans.

I'd like to thank my middle child for taking an uncharacteristic nap so that I could finish this. The baby was sleeping too, and my oldest chose to put together some puzzles. (YES.) Of course, my kitchen had to sacrifice, and there are dishes waiting for me, but it was totally worth it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some triangles and selfish sewing and BACON

Rather than sleeping away entire days, my baby has decided to spend more time awake. While this is awesome because he's a super sweet chubby baby, it also means my crafting time has seen a decrease. There are blocks of days where I don't go anywhere near my sewing machine, and to a girl that used to sew on a daily basis, that's hard, friends. It probably doesn't help that I've once again gotten suckered into doing nanowrimo. I do this to myself EVERY YEAR. I tell myself, no, I don't have time, I can't possibly commit to it, and then what do I find myself doing November 1? WRITING.

That being said, I did manage to get in a few spurts of sewing/crafty love this week.


When I saw this triangle quilt on Film in the Fridge, I was immediately inspired. I have a bright stack of fabrics to make another quilt for my oldest to keep him snuggled and warm this winter while in the car. But I had very little inspiration. I thought I might do some random log cabins, but I wasn't feeling super excited about it. I am; however, feeling very excited about this triangle quilt. So I pulled out a stack of practice fabrics and started making test blocks.

But I don't know about this. I can already tell that I'm going to chop off some corners. Also, my strip of triangles is curving slightly to the left. I haven't decided yet if I'm willing to continue pursuing it or if I'm going to look for something else. It may snow as early as this weekend, so I better figure it out quick!


As I mentioned before, I am starting to audition fabrics for the background of my Tula Pink CS quilt. (I'm doing a rainbow version of Gridlock, similar to the quilt on the cover.) For your consideration, I give you 1. Cotton + Steel Dottie in Kerchief 2. Mirror Balls 3. Yarn-dyed Essex Linen in black 4. the Submarines print from Salt Water 5. print from Fox Field 6. same print from Fox Field but in a different colorway.

(Thanks to the lovelies that chimed in with fabric suggestions and links to where I can buy me some!) Any additional thoughts? Honestly, I'm leaning towards one of the top four. I'm just not feeling the Fox Field print. I love that submarines print, but I worry the color will be all wrong. Will the black be too distracting? Should I really go with 1 or 2? UGH.


And I squeezed in a bit of selfish sewing this week. I have been wanting to make myself a voile pillowcase for ages, but it always fell woefully low on the priority list. Well, I could have been making CS blocks of GW blocks or working on that baby quilt or working on that other baby quilt or holiday gifts...but I chose ME. And I'm glad I did because the whole thing felt like it took about five minutes using this tutorial, and now I have a pretty AMH pillowcase to stand up next to my husband's Marvel superheroes pillowcase. Of course, watching me sew a soft silky pillowcase made my two boys chime into a chorus of, "make me one, make me one!" but they'll just have to wait. (Still, it did a mama's heart good to know that they like it when I make them things.)


Finally, I'll leave you with a story. The baby was fussing, so I asked my middle son to get him a lovey. He came back with play bacon. I can't decide if he's a genius who understands the real import of bacon or...something else.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Menorah Table Runner.


Awhile back, fabric.com had this huge clearance sale, and I picked up a yard of fabric to make my sister cloth napkins for the holidays. Of course, then I had a ~6" strip leftover, and what am I going to do with menorah fabric? I thought to myself, why, I'll slap a strip of WOF solid on either side, quilt that bad boy and call it a table runner. Easiest gift ever, right? Like fifteen minutes of work, right? WRONG.


Or rather, it wasn't terribly hard, but it was terribly time consuming. Straight line quilting 1/4" apart over the entire runner took some time. I think by the time all was said and done, I easily spent at least three times as much time on this runner as I did on the napkins. (This pic is pre-binding.)


I do love the effect though. I placed masking tape across the surface at random angles, then used those as a basic guide. I think the quilting is what makes this runner awesome.


The solid was "pick a random solid that matches" and I really do love the blue. I chose to bind it in the same thing. The backing is a Kona gray. Steel or Coal, I think. My one grump about this runner is that the straight line quilting slightly warped the center stripe, so in certain spots, it looks a little wavy. (You can kind of see it in the second photo.) Hopefully, that won't be too noticeable to people other than me. My sister knows it's coming, and she's excited! It's a really early holiday gift, but since I wanted her to be able to use it during the holiday, well, that's the way it had to be!

The finished product is ~20" wide and ~42" long.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tula CS Block 76-80.

I've finished another round of Tula City Sampler blocks. I am so close to finishing the blocks, I can taste it! This specific group came about because I had twelve other things I should be sewing...but I didn't want to. My CS project came to my rescue!


Block 76. Salt Water, Birds and the Bees, and some Cotton + Steel Basics. This is very much out of my regular color zone, but I really really like this block.


Block 77. It goes without saying that I LOVE this block. There's some Acacia here, as well as two older lines of Tula's that I'm too lazy to look up right now.


Block 78. Near identical to Tula's version, but I liked Tula's version, so why not?


Block 79=some Prince Charming, Modkid (Heavens to Helsinki line, I think?) and some Kona Aqua. My raindrops piece was the perfect width but was a 1/4" too short, so I made the center stripe 1/4" longer to accommodate that.


Block 80. And this is probably my least favorite because brown and yellow? Hello. So not awesome. Also similar to Tula's. This one looks kinda wonky, but I promise, it's the photo.

I think I numbered all of those correctly, but I could be wrong. I do know they are 76-80. I'm auditioning potential background fabrics because I just don't think I can do white. Any suggestions? I'm making the rainbow Gridlock version, and it's going on my bed, so it has to be fabulous.

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