Monday, March 20, 2017

Coast to Coast Traveling Bee Quilt 2

I was chatting with my super wise quilting sensei, K, this week about the pendulum swing of self-doubt. And I've got be honest, this week was a doozy of a swing.

This is Susan's quilt for the Coast to Coast Traveling Bee. The thing that stuck out to me on her list was a request for lots of movement. Susan made this gorgeous feather and flying geese ring, and then Alison contributed a glorious batch of ninja stars--ahem, I mean friendship stars!--and I was left pondering, what can I contribute? How can I make this quilt move?

I spent a lot a lot A LOT of time thinking about this. And in case that sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not trying to--this kind of thinking was super invigorating and pleasurable. I was trying to hunt down the perfect addition to this already stunning WIP, and it was fun!

I pulled a stack of rainbow, which was probably the easiest part of this. Early on, I thought half-dresdens might be nice, so I started piecing wedges and when it was obvious they were going to be stunning, I thankfully was a smart girl and pieced one extra for me! (I might already have plans for it.)

And then this idea for arrows formed in my mind, but how to fit them? Why, around the corners, of course! This pattern is by Sew What Sherlock, and I always enjoy how crisp the points turn out.

And when I had pieced all the dresdens and all the arrows, and all I really had to do was fit everything together, I had a major moment of self-doubt. I was convinced it was all terrible and all wrong and horrible and WRONG. I started thinking of other things I could do and would I possibly be able to make them happen before the mailing date? And I was tired because I had felt so sure that the plan I'd had was solid and perfect, and here it was, a massive failure and who's to say the next one wouldn't be quite so horrible? (Admittedly, I can be a *touch* melodramatic at times.)

Except, it wasn't. Not at all. The swing back to confidence started with a good talk with K, who assured me it was great. The photo I took to send to her gave me a different eye. It shrunk down the quilt, and I was able to weigh my concerns using its help. I appliqued down the wedges, and I decided they could stay. I started adding the arrows, still half-convinced they were going to have to go. And slowly, I finished piecing my portion of this quilt.

And friends, I think it looks pretty smokin' awesome! I'm hoping that the next time I face such a moment of self-doubt, I'm able to continue forward because maybe, just maybe, it'll turn out grand.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Baby E's Northern Lights Quilt

You could say I'm a fan of Jaybird Quilts' Northern Lights pattern. You could say that, and you would be right since this is my FOURTH time making this particular quilt! But this is the first time I got to make one for a girl, and I really enjoyed this fabric pull.

I had originally tossed around some other quilt pattern ideas, but I made a Northern Lights quilt for Baby E's cousin, so it seemed fitting that I make one for Baby E too.

And while this is my fourth time making this quilt pattern, it's the first time that I actually did something fun with the quilting, which is kinda shameful, but we'll ignore that. For the first three, I echo quilted the lightning bolts. For this one, I added some FMQ spiky stippling. I purposefully chose Kona Charcoal for the background so that the bobbin thread would be really noticeable and scrumptious.

And here's a better shot of the quilting. I also chose to bind this quilt in Kona Charcoal, which I think lends it a nice frame.

This is my fifth finish from my Q1 FAL list, and my first quilt finish. I have another baby quilt up next to finish, and then NO BABY QUILTS for awhile. Exciting!

Monday, February 27, 2017

H Pillow

I finished up this pillow last week (or maybe the week before that--yikes!) and I'm so happy with its cuteness!

A few years ago, I made an L pillow for one of my sons' friend's birthday. And apparently, Miss L's little sister was so enamored by the pillow that she kept asking when she would be getting her own H pillow.

Her mama contacted me to see if I could knock one of these out for her birthday, and how could I say no? It especially doesn't hurt that Miss H is a serious cutie patootie.

The construction wasn't terribly complicated. I cut a 14.5" square panel out of that fun chevron print I bought ages ago with plans to use it for my niece's quilt. It didn't work out with my plans for my niece, but this is a super awesome use of it! I basted it, and FMQ'd it all together. I almost never stipple, but this seemed like a fun time to use that particular FMQ pattern. After that, I cut out two H's, sewed them together, leaving a space along one of the sides, then turned it right side out. It needed a good press, then I topstitched it down to the panel, using a turquoise thread because I thought it would add a bit of flavor.

The back is an envelope closure, in keeping with the L pillow I made a few years ago.

I'm so excited to pop this in the mail for Miss H! Happy Monday, Friends. I hope your last few days of February are stellar!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Reyna Shawl Finish

I posted this in-progress blocking shot on instagram the other day. This is the Reyna Shawl by Noora Laivola, and it is a very late Christmas present for my Mama. When it was dry, I promptly unpinned it, admired it, tried it on, then packaged it up and posted it. It was supposed to arrive yesterday.

I have NO photos of it, and I am taking solace in the fact that I know I'm not the only one who has been so eager to gift something that they completely forget to snap a photo. In fact, I've done it before, and I'm 99% sure I'll do it again. Still, UGH. Nonetheless, it is finished, and it is the fourth finish off my Q1 FAL 2017 list.

We dropped off friends at the airport this morning after a lovely visit, but now, life must return to normal, and I have laundry, homeschooling, and kidlet affairs to juggle. What does your Tuesday look like?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Coast to Coast Traveling Bee Quilt 1

As I'm piecing these stars for Alison's quilt, my husband asks me why I'm working on a quilt for a person I don't like. And I reply, "Alison is awesome. Why would you think I don't like her?"

And then I start panicking. Does the quilt look like junk? Does he think I've made a mess of Alison's lovely medallion?

Thankfully, no. APPARENTLY, friendship stars look like ninja stars to him, and APPARENTLY he thinks I'm the sort of person to send people death threats in their quilt tops. What a punk. 

So I tell my husband that I'm calling him out on my blog for insinuating that I have violent tendencies, and he starts backtracking. "No!" he says. "Ninja stars are useful tools. You're using them in the quilt to show your friend you've got her back."


Here's the quilt as it stands right now, and I'm pretty excited about it! I'll drop it in the mail this week, and then I get to start work on Susan's!

Friday, February 3, 2017

FF: Northern Lights Quilt #4

You'd think after three iterations, I'd be done with the Northern Lights quilt pattern by Jaybird Quilts, but you would be wrong. I love this quilt pattern. I love each one I've made. And this new one *may* be my favorite one yet. It's the first one I've made for a girl, so the pink solids may have had something to do with it. I've yet to make a prints version--maybe next time?

Colors are: Kona Clementine, Kona Punch, Kona Cerise, Kona Crocus, Kona Purple, and to be honest, I can't remember what the blue is. Kona Caribbean, maybe? I *think* that's it.

The chain piecing began, and it was oh-so much fun working with this attack of color. YUM. I love me some bold, saturated fabric.

AND THESE SEAMS SLAY ME. (In a good way.) I finally FINALLY figured out how to line up the rows to almost always wind up with perfect or near perfect seams. In the past, I've guessed and usually had to rip out 8-10 connections to make them nicer. This time, I only had to rip out one. WOO!

And here's the finished top. I have the backing already, but I realized I don't have batting on hand. So that's ordered, and then hopefully I'll be basting this one and getting it quilted up lickety-split. This quilt is for a baby due in March, but she came really early, and I'd like to have it done soon! Until then, I really need to get moving on another baby quilt, this one for a baby due this month.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sew Together Bag for K

Just in case you haven't had enough Sew Together Bag goodness, here is another one for your viewing pleasure! I made this bag for my quilting sensei K, and I'm kinda in love with it. It is a sign of how much I value our friendship that I sent it along.

I tried to go more demure, but the Audrey in me kept coming out. Even though it's not pink, there is probably no mistaking who made this bag.

I made this one assembly-line style along with the one I made for my friend L, and let me tell you, I got to be a machine when it came to the zippers. This is some of my best zipper work, y'all. Just sayin'.

And the two bags side-by-side. I love both of them! And I'm glad to have two more under my belt. This is finish #3 from my Q1 FAL list, woo!


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