Friday, August 26, 2016

Maxaloones for Vanilla.

I sewed up another couple of pairs of Maxaloones this week, one for my soon-to-be-here daughter and one for my niece's upcoming birthday. They use a Lizzie House knit print and an Art Gallery knit solid--Strawberry Kiss, I think? I'm a big fan of this pattern. :)

Forgive my sassy son. He was so excited to see the pictures on my phone that it was *really* hard to get a picture of the back. And whether it be the softeness of these pants or that he really thinks they're cute, he's a big fan of them. These are project #8 from my Q3 FAL list, woo!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

30 Days of Quilt Design 6-10

I'm back with another set of five designs. I'm a third of the way there, woo!

#6 Untitled
I would definitely tweak the colors on this one. I like the idea of black and white in this scheme, but I don't know that I would choose the dots. Maybe the HSTs?

#7 Triangle Hit Parade

Of all the designs I've sketched so far, this is by far my favorite. I would totally make this, and in a scrappy fashion. It was inspired by a tissue box.

#8 Drunken Stagger

I'm trying to stick to my resolution to try new things, including at least one design with brown. This is...too much brown? And not very Audrey. But brown is under the belt, so we're all good on that front.

#9 Attack Triangles

Originally titled Attack of the Triangles, I've decided I like the title Attack Triangles better. Because YES. This one I'd do up in blue and white prints. And I don't think I'd lay it out exactly like this. More this sketch is to convey that I'd make a bunch of different size HSTs and HST blocks and throw them all together in a big whirl of awesome traditional quilting color palette fun.

#10 Vanilla's Quilt

This is the design plan I'm operating under for my daughter's quilt. You can see a hint of the navy blues I've picked, plus I'll be supplementing with scraps and other bits. I'm starting with a NY Beauty block in the center, each quadrant being navy, white, and one other color (yellow, orange, red, hot pink). Yellow is up first, and I've already attacked scraps. Now I need to look through stash. And I need to take a look through the other colors too. I'm finding I have little in the way of orange, and I should double-check red and hot pink too!

And those are designs 6-10. I'm still having a ton of fun with this challenge, though it is stretching me.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Sew-Together Bag (The First? The Last?)

OMG, I finished a Sew Together Bag. This bag pattern has been around for awhile, and I've seen probably a million gorgeous lovely versions, but this is the first one I've made. I had grand plans to sew some up as birthday or holiday gifts, starting first with my husband.

Last year, I made my husband a messenger bag. Since I was kinda making up things as I went along, I bought a bunch of fabric and crossed my fingers that I would have enough. (And oh, did I!) I've since made him a lunch bag from the same set of fabrics, and now this sew together bag. He uses both almost daily, which of course makes my heart squee. I don't think he'll be using this one as often, mostly because I constructed it for use as a toiletry bag. Probably 2-4 times a year, he goes on an epic trip for work--often internationally because he's a punk and gets to go cool places--and he needed a new toiletry bag. His birthday is next month, so I thought I'd cross this one off early and call it good.

And boy, am I glad that I did. I wouldn't call this pattern hard--it's just fiddly. Though I will say I pretty much followed this sew-along from The Quilt Barn and only referenced my pattern when absolutely necessary. I found the tons of pictures of the sew-along much easier to follow than the pattern itself.

Of course, my husband happened to walk into the house as I was assembling the final product, took one look at the bag and said, "Hey, that matches my bag!" And then he got excited. So I gave it to him early because he already knew it was for him even though I didn't say anything. And it was awesome because he just keep looking it over and over again, seemingly shocked that I could make something like this. Ha! Bag success!

My version is far from perfect. I love it and it's fine, but I guess I'd say some areas are a little sloppier than I'd like. And interfacing? OMG, I wanted to cry because my interfacing drama just seems to get worse the more I use that stuff.

The pockets may seem a little wild, but I knew my husband would appreciate the ninjas and craziness. Sometimes I feel like our lives are ninjas and craziness. It's fitting. And, added bonus, it used up weird random scraps.

I also am not super pleased with the placement of the lions. At this point, I only have a bit of lion fabric left, so I used what I had. But even when I expressed my disappointment to my husband, he pointed out that it looks like the lions are peeking out, and he said he liked it.

I kinda think he's the best. So here's a happy birthday present to my husband! I thought it would also be lovely to finish up the negroni shirt I've promised him, but I really REALLY need to start working on my daughter's quilt. In my defense, I had to order some fabric, but it's here now, and there are no excuses! Get to work, Audrey!

This is finish #7 from my Q3 FAL list. And with the weekend's fabric order arrival, I'll hopefully have the supplies I need to finish off or make good progress on a couple of the other items on that list. Conquering all sixteen is probably not a tangible goal, but I've never let that stop me in the past!

And I'm linking up with TGIFF over at Anja Quilts, which is super fun because she also finished a Sew Together Bag!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

SS: New Pretties.

These are the additions for this week. Three of my projects were stalled until this package arrived, so I am grateful it is here and I can get moving!

Art Gallery Solid Knits in Strawberry Kiss (top)
C+S XOXO in Night Owl (far left)
Raindrops in Navy from Elizabeth Hartman's Pacific
C+S XOXO in Shag Carpet
C+S XOXO in Plummy Silver
C+S Netorious in Cloud Silver

The Art Gallery Knit is already in the wash, and I may have already cut into the Plummy Silver and Cloud Silver XOXO. This is my second (or third?) order of the three fabrics on the right. I didn't think I was that big of a C+S basics line fan, but apparently I am a big ol' fangirl as this order (and my stash) show evidence. I think I have that XOXO print in five or six colors now? How did that even happen? A quick stash check reveals: five colors!

I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash, woo! (I'm kinda wishing I got some of those red raindrops from Pacific too.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

FF: Stash Bee 2016 Quilt, Woo!

I have another finish in the books, and none too soon. This quilt has been sitting around, basted, taunting me. Demanding attention. And I would have loved to give in to its demands, but I couldn't as I had NO IDEA how to quilt this bad boy. PS-Thanks to EVERYONE on IG who chimed in with ideas. It's part of what makes IG grand, and I am so thankful for a helpful, constructive community. (But we already know that quilters are the best sort of people.)

Brief introduction: this is a quilt using blocks from Stash Bee Hive 5. I'm not gonna lie, this is an impressive set of individuals. (I am totally not biased, even if I am the hive mama.) The block is called the Five Crosses, and if you're interested in making it, I wrote up a Five Crosses block tutorial because I couldn't find one anywhere!

Last week, I pulled my quilt sandwich down and spread it out in my kitchen. (It seemed like the perfect time--I had actually mopped my floors!) I marked it up with my hera marker. I considered FMQ. I added magenta painter's tape. I went through five or six ideas before rejecting them all. And what I kept coming back to was straight lines, two inches apart.

But it seemed boring. Not necessarily that it would look boring, but really boring to quilt up. So I opted to shake things up and did the straight lines in quarters, rotating the lines every time I moved on to a new quarter. (I used a combination of my hera marker and the guide on my walking foot.) I'm not sure you can see very well from the above photo of the quilt's center, but half of the lines are horizontal, and the other half are vertical.

After I quilted it, the quilt looked kinda crummy. Not gonna lie. It rippled a bit, which was distressing to say the least. And the back...well, you can kinda see what happened in the pic below.

The backing fabric misbehaved in the extreme. Although, my husband mentioned that he actually thinks the waviness of the back is super cool--I dunno, but whatevs. I will say that once I washed the quilt, it decided to get with the program, and now it lays flat, thank goodness. The washing machine seems to have kicked the ripple out of its ornery system. The back is what it is, but I can live with it.

The blocks I received were a mishmash of serious fun, and I sashed it up using a green Grunge fabric. The outer border is also Grunge--not sure which blue. And I bound it up using leftovers of the green Grunge and a bit of green and white stripe I had leftover from my recent Night Sky finish. I thought this would be a good option for machine binding, plus I used my zigzag stitch to finish it, which is always super fun.

I've been trying to take my quilts out and about and photograph them in fun places, but with the heat index hitting 105 and 109 degrees F, well, I haven't been much interested in leaving my house, especially not third-trimester preggo with three littles in tow. So I thought I would take some photos of this one around my house, leaving things much as they are. It is not uncommon to find trucks and duplos and random shoes strewn about the place. It's also not uncommon to find toddler feet on quilts as my two-year-old likes to dance all over them the moment they are laid on the ground.

I am super thankful to Hive 5 for helping me make such a fun quilt for my friend. I hope to mail it this week. She doesn't know it's coming! So it will be a total surprise, which will be fun. And I'm thankful to everyone that pitched in with suggestions and encouragement as I saw this one to the finish--including, but not limited to, my fabulous quilting sensei, K. Because everyone should have a quilting sensei. But you can't have mine. Because she's mine, and poor thing already has to deal with ME!

This is finish #6 from my Q3 FAL list. My pace has slowed a bit, but I'm still making progress, which is practically a miracle. Now, I really need to get tackling some of those other projects--like some sewing for my daughter who will be here lickety-split!

Monday, August 15, 2016

30 Days of Quilt Design #2-5

I finished my first five quilt designs for #30daysofquiltdesign. Friends, that's 1/6 of the way there. To be honest, I'm pretty impressed I made it this far, but when I got over freaking out and panicking and telling myself that this wasn't my thing and I couldn't do it, ummmm...I did it. I'm not saying these designs are going to win awards or I have it in my mind to start a pattern business, but I am pretty stoked about what came out. Best of all, I could TOTALLY see myself making some of these. Maybe next time I need a baby quilt, instead of strolling around the internet looking for inspiration, I'll *gasp* look in my own idea book.

Fair warning: I love hot pink. You'll see a lot of it. I also apparently like warm colors, though I am going to challenge myself to design at least ten quilts using a cooler palette. Also, at least one quilt with brown. (Bleh.) Also, my naming skillz leave something to be desired. But to be honest, I kinda like my names over a more professional sounding one anyway. Finally, if you follow me on instagram, you've already seen all of this business, but I did include some additional thoughts about each design here if you're so inclined to read on.

#2 Stripey-Stripe

I saw a wonky tumbler quilt somewhere on the internet, and I loved it. The tumblers were really tall and really skinny, which would most likely be a total pain in the tukhus to piece, but it was so dreamy. I don't know how I got from there to here. I also have no idea where the idea for a red strip came into play. I couldn't find a red crayon and wound up using a red-violet, which looks pink, and voila! There's my pink stripe. Which honestly, I like better, surprising no one.

#3 Mismatched Points

I thought I'd give the skinny tumbler idea a go again. But my tumblers looked liked triangles, and then I kinda liked them as triangles, and I was going to start with pink, but then the red fell out of the box--I shamelessly stole my kid's brand new crayons, don't tell him!--and I thought an ombre flame-y thing-y could be fun. I'd use solids on this quilt, though I might go scrappy LV for the white bits. Or maybe a cross ombre with baby yellow at the bottom that shifted to white? So. Many. Possibilities.

#4 Mustard Stain

I've been working on a shawl (you can see a peek at the top of this pic) and I thought it would be fun to make some sort of play on the lace pattern that it uses. For this one, I went so far as to haul out my Kona card and look at colors--I'd work with Kona White plus either Kona Curry or Kona Yarrow. I think I like Curry better, but the Yarrow is such a fun word to say and type.

#5 Highlighting the DP9

And numero five. When I first started quilting, I was in love with the DP9 block. Like, seriously in love. I even went so far as to cut up some fabric and make a test mini quilt to see how I liked it IRL. And friends, the combination of fabrics, the small size, and just something about it totally put me off DP9s, and I don't think I ever did anything else with them. But it's a great little block, and I thought my fifth design could be a super yummy bright scary neon version using Kona Highlight, Kona White, Kona Pomegranate (maybe--more research is needed here) and maybe Kona Coal? Oh, did I mention this would be huge? Like a 45" DP9 block? Because go big or go home, right?

And that's days 2-5, y'all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Epic 1001 Peeps Quilt.

This quilt is going to be epic, not because the design is crazy wild (like Tula Pink's Fandango quilt pattern--coming soon and OMG, I can't wait) or because it's a massive undertaking like a California King or involves complicated FMQ or handquilting or anything super wild. It will be none of those things.

This quilt is for my middle son, using fabric (1001 Peeps!) I bought four years ago just for him when he was a baby for this very moment in time. He's helping me pick fabrics and encouraging me (sometimes rather impatiently) to get work done. Mr. Lito has been bunking with his big brother for a couple of years, and he's about to move into his own big boy bed, meaning he needs his own big boy quilt. (My husband is in the process of building bunk beds--can we talk about how intense that is???) So, it will be sentimentally epic? Yeah, We'll go with that.

Rachel from Stitched in Color posted last week about 30 Day of Quilt Design, an idea where you instagram post quilt designs you've sketched out. And my first thought was, oh, I don't do that. Like, at all. It's not my thing. I see these QDAD posts, and they are super cool, but they are what other people do, not me. Moving on.

And then I started thinking, why isn't it my thing? Why don't I sketch out quilts, even if I will never ever (and might not even have the intention of) making them? What would happen if I tried? Thirty not-necessarily-consecutive days of sketching quilt ideas. Could I even do that?

The answer, friends, is I just don't know. It feels weird for me to confront graph paper without a specific need. I base my quilt ideas on what I'm feeling, what is currently interesting me, and what I think the recipient might like. If I throw out the recipient...well...I don't know. It feels weird. So, I may not get very far, but I'm hoping to stretch myself, if only a little.

The above picture is what I've sketched out for my son's quilt. It's not complicated, but I spent quite a bit of time thinking about sashing widths, total number of blocks, what would best fit his mattress, fabric requirements, what fabric I already have, etc., because that is how I design a quilt. The sketch was actually the last bit, and I'm still mulling over whether I'd like to add a narrower inner border--I'm leaning toward yes--but I think that will wait until I've pieced all of the blocks and sashed them, then laid them on the mattress to see what I think the quilt still needs. 

This is the start of my foray into 30 Days of Quilt Design. I'm going to be brave and do something that makes me feel uncomfortable. Eep!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Changing Plans.

As y'all probably know, I have a daughter on the way. (Have I talked about this enough? Can you tell I'm extremely excited?) Of course, I will be making Vanilla a quilt. It will feature what is probably a more-than-healthy amount of hot pink because OMG, I can, so I will. I've gone through multiple ideas. It seems like all of the baby quilts I've made this year have started with one idea and come out as something much different. And while that's more than a little frustrating at times--especially when I've already cut fabric!--each change was the right change.

Yesterday, I started cutting dresden wedges for Vanilla's quilt. I'd decided to use my ginormous Tula Pink stash, and I'd planned to use Tula's True Colors collection for the background fabrics. (I was undecided on the center circles, but I figured I'd have a bit of time to figure that out.) I had a sixteen FQ bundle of True Colors, was going to make 16 - 12.5" blocks, and the quilt was going to be epic.

Except, I knew it was the wrong idea about thirty seconds into the cutting. I had cut maybe six wedges before I realized this was not the quilt I wanted to make AT ALL. Not even a little bit. I cut a few more wedges. My OOP Tula Pink waste grew. I cringed at the thought of how much unusable OOP Tula this quilt would involve. And if it was the proper fit, I would do it in a heartbeat. But it's not. So I stopped cutting.

I used my wedges from yesterday, cut a few more from my scrap bins, and I pieced this dresden plate, which I'm more than a little in love with. When I get a spare moment, aka, never because I have three kids, I'll finish this up as a table runner for a spot in my front entryway that's been begging for some color. (I think this fits the bill, right?)

And as for Miss Vanilla, well, I can't get this quilt I started out of my head. This is the quilt I want to finish for Vanilla. I enjoyed making Fava's medallion quilt so very very much, and just the thought of sketching out future borders for this lovely fills me with glee. I'll most likely have to restart it from scratch--that's a long story I won't get into--so it won't look quite like this, but dare I will be better? OH, I THINK SO.

So that's where I stand on Vanilla's quilt. I reserve the right to change my mind again, if it's the right call. But I wonder--I can't be the only one that waffles between ideas. Are you the type that picks a plan and sticks to it? Or do you make decisions as you go?

I hope y'all have the MOST LOVELIEST of weekends.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Improv-y August Bee Block

For this month's Stash Bee block, I was assigned an improv-y/modern block for a sampler quilt in beachy colors. The color palette was interesting and something I hadn't seen before. It was also composed of a bunch of colors I don't regularly use! I searched through my stash and scrap bags, and culled this mountain of scraps.

Our queen bee had recommended 42 Quilts' Modern Monday series for inspiration, and inspired I was! It was actually difficult to nail down a design. At first, I leaned toward a wonky string block, but I didn't have long enough strings to work with, so I opted to go with block 61, though my interpretation is...a bit loose.

In my hunt for fabric, I discovered this square-in-a-square block. It included the infamous touch of rust, which had me stumped. (100 points to me for finding a way to sneak it in?? Oh, I think so.)

Remember that mountain of scraps from the first photo? Yeah, this is ALL that's left. Not even kidding. It makes me giddy to see all of that fabric being used. Hooray! I am always so nervous with improv requests, but then I get started, and it all comes together. It's even gotten to the point where I'm not stressed out when piecing them. (Thank goodness.) Of course, it helps that this is only a 15" finished block and not an entire quilt, but still! I'm happy to be stretched in my quilting hobby.

Happy Wednesday, Friends! My Wednesday is NOT super happy, but only because I thought I had enough border fabric, and I *actually* started attaching borders and got three on before I realized I need one more 3.5" strip, so it looks like I'll be ordering fabric. I SUPPOSE I'll have to add a few more things to my cart to justify shipping maybe some more knits and fun prints for Vanilla clothes? If I must. Oh, the sacrifices I make for you, quilting hobby!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Finished Night Sky Quilt.

Friends, I had crazy plans to take this quilt out in the wild and photograph it somewhere other than my home. But, as you haven't seen every angle available at my home yet, I suppose there is some novelty to my balcony. White railings! Old brick! The sheer fabulousness of it all! I jest, of course, but you know I'm not jesting when I talk about how glorious this quilt is. Friends, this is my first Night Sky quilt (pattern by Jaybird Quilts) and it is scrumptious.

I'm more than a little in love with Jaybird Quilts' patterns. Her Northern Lights pattern is still one of my all-time favorite quilt patterns, and I'm thrilled to have another of her patterns. I'm confident there will be more Night Sky quilts in the future. (I'm already dreaming of one with yummy navy background fabric and perhaps brilliant yellows, oranges, pink, and reds? (AKA, my favorite color scheme.)

While not the easiest quilt I've ever put together--can't beat plain patchwork for that, friends--it did come together with ease. What was really shocking to me was how nicely my angles lined up. It looks like I pinned with serious care and was super careful about every stitch, which we all know is not how this quilter typically operates.

I quilted it with a mixture of straight lines in the white section and some FMQ in the green portions, and it was bound off with a fun green and white stripe.

The back is a stars and planets print that I had chilling in my stash. My older boys are super upset that I am giving this quilt away. They could care less for the front, but HOW DARE I give away this super cool sparkly space print? THE HORROR. (Little do they know, I still have some in stash, and I'll eventually get around to making them something from it.)

For this quilt, I actually shook things up a bit and used a different thread on top that I did in my bobbin. Green and white for the top--blue on the bottom. I was nervous, especially for the white sections, but it worked like a charm.

This is the before-washing shot. If there is one negative to the quilt, it's a bit on the small size for an Audrey baby quilt, but its loveliness more than makes up for that. The entire time I was working on it, I remembered another fun baby quilt I made with a similar palette. There is something about kelly green and crisp white that moves me!

This is my fifth finish for the Q3 FAL, woo! Only eleventy million left to go! Friends, have a lovely Monday, and I hope your August is AMAZING.


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