Monday, March 31, 2014

March Gypsy Wife Blocks

Apparently I've been slacking in the posting department. Despite a healthy number of posts this month, I've forgotten a couple of key things. March GW blocks! And a huge stack of fabric I got in the mail recently! So today we'll do GW, and Sunday we'll do a stash post.

There. That was easy. I don't think I entirely dig the orange, and I reserve the right to rip that one apart at a later date, but I'm waiting to see more blocks together. And I love love love my Pershing block. Shot cottons for the win!

I'm linking up with the GW QAL March link-up hosted by Ashley at Wasn't Quilt in a Day.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Plan.

I had the serious pleasure of seeing Jacquie Gering speak this week. Not only are her quilts super yum, and she's a great, entertaining speaker--as a mother of boys, I loved her stories about her sons and how they impact her quilting--but she was also just super freakin' nice. Oh, and she uses IKEA fabrics as backing on occasion, so I will forever love her for that. My friend John invited me to be his guest at the lecture--thanks, John!--and OMG. She was fabulous.

And now, Friends, I've got a new quilt on the brain. Ideas are bursting out everywhere, and I'm just worried it won't look as cool in real life as in my head. We shall see.

But I thought you might like to see some of the quilts Gering showed as part of her trunk show. I can't possibly remember all of their names or the back story for them, and they look MUCH cooler in real life. My iPhone + the room's lighting didn't combine for the best of pics. But I think you'll still be able to see how cool they are. I also took a ton more photos, but these were some of my favorites:

I had picked up a copy of Quilting with a Modern Slant at the library earlier on the day of the lecture, I had flipped through it that afternoon. So it was totally awesome to see Jacquie Gering in the book, and it was awesome to see her quilt on the back cover of the book, but let me tell you, it was SUPER awesome to see the quilt in person. (There's a close-up of the quilting a bit up.)

I loved this quilt. I loved the quilting. Loved it ALL. (Close-up of the yum matchstick quilting above.)

Gering was so amazing to see speak, and I'm thrilled I had the opportunity. I'm definitely taking inspiration from her lecture and her work, and we'll see where this new quilt idea takes me! Hope y'all had an awesome week too!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WIP: FQB Business.

This week is all about FQB business. Mostly because a TON of houseguests are about to descend on my home, and I'm not sure when I'll get a moment at my sewing machine, so it seemed wise to get some stuff done now. (You know, instead of actually clean for said houseguests.)

I started cutting some 60 degree diamonds for an Arkansas Traveler block. Bias edges make me squirmy, so I had to take a deep breath before starting, but it was totally worth it.

I'm missing the paper piecing templates, but imagine solid white around these bad boys.

And a Weathervane block, because apparently I can't get enough of it. This block made me really nervous too, but for a totally different reason. I just wasn't feeling the colors. And it's definitely a busy block, no avoiding that conclusion, but I really like it when all is said and done.

I finished these up last week, but I keep forgetting to post a pic of them. I had originally started these when I made a pair for my niece, and since I'm trying to finish up a ton of outstanding projects, I'm glad I got these finished. If you're digging a pair, the tutorial is here.

I still have a bunting to sew for my kidlets' party on Saturday, but I'm totally procrastinating it because I don't wanna do it! But motherly duty will eventually kick me in the pants, and I'll churn it out. Hopefully not in the wee hours of the morning. Alright! I really have to start cleaning! I hope you're having a great Wednesday! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

FQB: Allison's Quilt

Hi Friends! It's time for another round of the Fierce Quilters Bee.

Last round, I had the serious pleasure of working on Anna's quilt. These are four of the improv strips that I made, which give you a pretty good idea of the palette. The style=total improv awesomeness. (There was other stuff too, but I really enjoyed making these strips, even if it was a crazy wild experiment for me!)

But this round, I'll be working on something a bit more traditional. (And I say a bit because the fabrics are total modern yum.) Think 12" finished blocks with sashing and cornerstones. But AWESOME 12" finished blocks with sashing and cornerstones.

This is the stack of delicious that I will be working with. I KNOW. Total yum fest.

And here are the blocks already made by Allison and Anna.

This lovely is my favorite of the bunch. I pretty much swoon every time I catch sight of it.

I know I've said it before, but I seriously love that everyone has such different fabric palettes and design ideas. I already have a huge list of ideas for Allison that I'm going to have to pare down somehow. (But how??) I'm thinking a mix of traditionally pieced and paper pieced blocks because why not?

And this is my first contribution. Greek Cross for the win! I'm hoping to churn out a ton of blocks this week for this particular quilt, but some of that is going to depend on whether I get some paper piecing templates printed out. And there are a lot of HSTs in my future. Good thing I've gotten over my love-hate relationship with them and we can co-exist and be because they are sooooo wonderful.

Wow. Never EVER thought I'd be saying that about HSTs. What are your quilty plans for this week?

Friday, March 21, 2014

FF: Sisters' 10--Finally.

I started this quilt with the Sisters' 10 BOM at Gen X Quilters in January of last year, and it wasn't until this week that I finally managed to find time to sew on the binding!

As I was showing my husband the January quilt blocks, he commented on how much he really liked them, and it was decided then and there that this quilt would be for him. But did I run into trouble with this one. I had all of my blocks finished on time, but I hadn't ordered enough gray solid to complete the top. By the time I got around to ordering more, I couldn't remember what it was! I tried a number of different grays and a number of different fabric shops, and I couldn't find a match. And my husband is all about symmetry. Improv and whatnot makes him nervous, so I knew I couldn't throw in another gray at this point. Kona Coal was a close match, but not the right tone of gray, and finally, I took a chance and ordered a swatch of Kona Steel. Bam. Right color.

I agonized with how to quilt that center section. FMQ? Some sort of geometrical straight line goodness? I decided to make the quilt with straight lines around the center section, and lo and behold, when I started marking, I immediately thought of flying geese flying down the center of the quilt. It turned out more like chevrons, but I like it. I did straight line quilting, 3" apart on the diagonal, for the remainder of the quilt in a matching gray thread.

The back was one of the easier parts. I found that luchador fabric in the clearance section at Pink Castle, and I thought it was hilarious. One of my husband's favorite movies is Nacho Libre, and he's constantly quoting it and making jokes. (When he wrestles with our boys, he actually busts out a modified "anaconda squeeze" move.) But, I didn't want to back the entire thing in that fabric if he wouldn't like it, especially since the top is not quite so silly, so I asked my husband. Between my seeing it, and my asking him, someone bought up a ton of that print, leaving only a yard available for me. I bought it anyway because it needed to be on the back of the quilt, and I like to think that out there somewhere, someone else has a serious quilt with a crazy luchador back. To round it out, I've used some FQs and half yards from stash, some Avengers fabric, and some ninja fabric too. I told you, it's eclectic.

Thanks to several of you lovelies for chiming in on the binding. I did go lime, which seemed the overwhelmingly popular choice. But then I realized, when I bought the FQ bundle of Center City for the top, it included that lime solid without any info about it. How would I match it? Well, I took a chance and bought a solid at random, hoping it wouldn't be too noticeable. Pink Chalk has this awesome feature on their blog where they take fabric lines and pick out solids to match with it, and they recommended Free Spirit solids in Chartreuse with Center City. It matches perfectly, which is just awesome.

And that's the super long story of how this quilt came to be. I guess fourteen months in the making lends itself to a longer story. I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts. See you over there!

Oh, and this is my third and final finish from my FAL Q1 list, woo! You can see my original list here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A New Boy Quilt.

I have to make another boy quilt. Actually, this is one of those moments where I should say, I get to make another boy quilt, especially since the recipient is very near and dear to my heart, and I haven't even met him. Friends, I found out I was pregnant late last fall, and yesterday, I found out the little bean is a boy bean, who we'll be calling Fava Bean until we have a proper name for him. I tried to think up a witty and charming way to tell you this, but preggo brain has fully set in, and I'm functioning on joy and elation and very little sleep. (And I can't even have coffee to deal with it, nor do I want it because of heartburn.) 

This baby *has* to have an amazing quilt. I had just started quilting when I was pregnant with my second son, and I didn't feel like I had the skill set, the inspiration, and the right idea to make him a baby quilt. That sounds crazy, I know, but I knew that a super awesome amazing baby quilt was in the works for him, so it's not like he was quiltless. But this baby? There is no excuse not to make him a quilt. How many baby quilts have I made? Sixteen! Including one of my all time favorite quilts, my niece's quilt. My own new kidlet deserves some of my work.

But now, what to make him? (No, really. What do I make him????) Above truck fabric is merely a prop; it's being used for my older two kidlets. I considered using one of my all time favorite fabrics, my dancing monkeys fabric, with a bunch of yummy solids using this tutorial. But I dunno. I can't decide how I'd connect the blocks, and do I really love that idea a whole bunch? Or am I just making it work?

Then, I saw THIS QUILT at {no} hats in the house, and since I'm seriously smitten with it, I'm considering making something like it. Except, not white, because while I LOVE how fierce the white looks on Sarah's version, white and my children are not friends. (True story: my youngest had peanut butter on his hands the other day, and he used my husband's not yet bound quilt to wipe them off. The poor man hasn't even gotten to use his quilt yet because I'm slacking on getting it done, and the quilt has already been inaugurated with PB smears.)

Life has gotten interesting these past few months, but I'm excited about it. It feels very very full! There has been lots of organization in trying to make our house ready for another kid, and I've been trying to simplify and reduce, as well as get done a ton of outstanding projects because who knows what will happen come late summer! Thanks for letting me share this with you! And if you have any amazing boy quilt ideas or good fabric lines, let me know. I'm really not set on anything just yet.

Friday, March 14, 2014

FF: Another Pillow Post.

I don't really think of myself as a girl who sews with themes, but man, I really do tend to group things together. This week has been the pillow week. It's also been birthday sewing week. (And also the fabric cutting week because OMG, do I have some quilts to get done.)

I actually finished this one last week, but it was certainly down to the wire. Our neighbor turned four, and I decided to make her a pillow for her birthday. (Bet you can't guess what her favorite color is.) I finished this literally a couple of hours before we gifted it, and sadly, it almost bit the dust when I made the foolish error of allowing my oldest to carry it to their house. He nearly dropped it in the muddy melty snowy gunk that is currently lining my street. Thankfully, my husband was a peach and caught it. I used heat n' bond for the first time, which was good practice for some applique t-shirts I'll be making this weekend.

My BFF will be here for a visit in just a few weeks, and I've made her a pillowcase for her stay. Just to clarify, I do not do this for all of my houseguests. In fact, I don't do this for any of them. I suppose you have to reach BFF status to get this sort of treatment.

And the first of my kidlets' birthday pillowcases. My youngest's birthday is next week--hence the weekend job of applique t-shirts--and I'm pretty sure this is the most last minute I've ever been. I realized yesterday that we've yet to buy his birthday gift. We've yet to even decide what we're getting him. Yikes. In my defense, I have been planning him a rocking birthday party, complete with two sets of out of town houseguests, but the actual birthday. Wow. Do better, Audrey. Do better.

Also, note to self. Don't pull out the pillowcase IN FRONT OF the recipient before he gets it. What is wrong with me? What was I thinking? I'm not a novice to this kind of thing! I know better! But in my muddled Friday state of mind, I thought it would be a good idea to snap a few photos in front of him. Of course, he promptly started freaking out and screaming "CONCRETE TRUCK!!!!" which I'm guessing means he likes the pillow, but still. No need to do that again.

One more pillow to go for my oldest's birthday, and I'm done. WOO. 

I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by M-R at Quilt Matters. I'm pretty sure you should too.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

SS: K's Visit Edition.

I'm linking up late to the party today because one of my favoritest people came for a visit. My quilting sensei, K! And to make things even more awesome, the temps are finally starting to rise above freezing, and everything teamed up to make this weekend super awesome. (Yay!)

And, because I miss K's invaluable quilting advice and assistance, I immediately dragged her to the fabric store to help me pick out a fabric that would make friends with my January Stash Bee blocks. 

I think this will do nicely. I had expected a massive search for it, but we walked in, and within two or three bolts, had located this one. Not bad, not bad.

I heard a rumor that IKEA was discontinuing their super popular large scale text fabric. (Thanks for the warning, Sarah!) While I think this is a ridiculous idea--why would they do that???--I happened to visit Chicago last week and made a trip to pick up some yardage. I only cut three yards, mostly because I was trying to show restraint, but I figure I'll get two baby quilt backings out of it, so that's good, right?

And because I have two littles with birthdays in the very near future, some truck fabric was in order. I'll be making them pillowcases for their beds. This set is for Banzo.

And this set is for Lito. I'll also be appliqueing them some t-shirt goodness and making some other party decor. Oh, the trucks. (So many trucks.)

These are my spoils for the week. I'm linking up with Sunday Stash, this week hosted by Alisa at A Stitch in Between!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WIP: Sisters' 10 Quilting Edition.

I finished my blocks in early October. I finished my quilt top in early December. I'd hoped to have the quilt finished by Christmas, but here we are, early March, and I've just finished the quilting. But no complaints! I'm just thrilled to be done jerking that thing lovingly feeding this glorious quilt through my machine.

The quilting on this 78" square quilt started off easily enough.

More quilt got shoved into the throat space.

Then more quilt.(Yes, that's a peek at the ninjas on the back. The back is...a little eclectic.)

Until done.

I used a gray Mettler thread for the quilting lines. I debated going with a lime in the negative space down the center diagonal, but a lack of the right thread color had been my excuse for not finishing this quilt for a long time, and I didn't want anything else keeping me from getting this done.

Now, to bind. Thoughts? I'm thinking about using a delicious lime solid, and I also thought about using more of the background fabric. My husband (the quilt's recipient) thinks lime or green. But what do you think?

I'm linking up today with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced featuring Stephanie from Quarter Incher!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tula Tuesday #1.

Okay, by now y'all must know I'm a super huge Tula freak. And I had these big plans to finish my City Sampler right along with the rest of the super cool QAL kids who finished their quilts for the end of January reveal.

But I didn't make it. Folks, I got tired. At block #57. There was too much Christmas and holiday and craziness and other shenanigans. (That's only 1 through 51 up above.)

When I saw Samantha busting out some awesome TP City Sampler blocks, how could I resist opening up my book and seeing where I'd left off? For the record, block #58 is the easiest block I've tackled yet, and I'm a little embarrassed that it was my stopping point. I started making blocks. Slowly. But I'll get this bad boy done eventually, hopefully by next year's end of January. (And then I'll have my own reveal because WHY NOT.)

And Samantha is hosting a Tula Tuesday link party. Still my beating heart. You KNOW I have to participate in that. So here are blocks 58-63:

I told you. Easiest block ever.

And this is where I veered off and decided that not every block had to have Tula in it. And then I made three Tula-less blocks in a row, mostly because I just couldn't make my Tula stash work for me. At first, I started to get frustrated and put the book down again, but realized, if this project isn't making me happy, then honestly, what am I doing working on it? So Tula-less blocks it is, and I had fun making them, which is the most important.

And that's it for this link-up. When it gets warmer--which will probably be *never* knowing how this winter has treated me--I will get a shot with all of them together, but for now, this'll work.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

SS: CloudStarBerry.

I'm titling this edition CloudStarBerry. Because why not?

See? Cloud 9 Fabrics, Star Wars, Kona Berry. It makes total sense.

I apparently missed the memo that said Cloud 9 was designing fabrics for Joann's. When my friend picked out that bolt of Sunnyside in gray, I about cried because it was so freakin' gorgeous. (And then I saw the price tag and about cried at that, but it was 30% off plus an additional 20%, so it was a lot more manageable.) And Kona Berry in the remnant bin, YES, PLEASE.

My BFF is coming to visit me in April, which I think will be great fun. I saw her in January when I visited home, but this will be her first time coming to visit me out in the midwest, and I'm super stoked. I'm also begging the weather to get its act together and behave. I'm ordering tulips, lovely temperatures and walking weather, and that's non-negotiable. Said BFF is a huge Star Wars fan, so when I saw this print also lurking in the remnant bin, it had to be purchased. There's just enough to make her a pillowcase, and I'm hoping a bit leftover to make a drawstring bag in which to gift it. I love this pillowcase tutorial, and I'm actually thinking of using a bit of the Kona berry for the accent strip. Plus navy for the cuff.

Molli Sparkles

Today, I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sunday Stash because it's just a good idea.


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