Friday, November 4, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I was so excited to see that it's time for another Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side! Last time I was literally the last one to enter (procrastinate much?) but this time there are still a few hours left to enter! haha
I finished this quilt just in time for my friend's wedding in October. One of my favorite parts of quilting is putting together a palette of prints. For this quilt I just wanted to use a pattern that would really feature the fabrics in a simple and classic way.

My friend's house is filled with a lot of earth tones and is very cozy. This is not my normal color scheme but I LOVE how it came out. What I did not love so much? Machine piecing hexagons! It was sooo time consuming, but so worth it in the end.

I also tried pebble quilting for the first time on a large quilt which was also very time consuming, but definitely the right choice for this quilt. This was a labor of love and I hope they love it forever!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Some people say quilting and alcohol don't mix...

I disagree! First of all, people say you shouldn't use the "heavy machinery" of a sewing machine while drinking wine, but it's worked for me for years. :) Anyway, that's not what this post is about. 4th of July weekend I had a long drive back to Seattle from Spokane and did some research ahead of time about where to shop for fabric along the way. Awesomely, the tiny center of Ritzville, WA has a quilt shop/liquor store combo. I had no need for booze at that point, but it was kind of a funny and unique thing. And I was so happy to find fabric there that is tough to find for a great price to boot. So, here's to you, Wildflowers Quit Shop Liquor Store. Cheers!

Flying geese top done!

I felt really happy to get this top done in the last week. I have a little ritual about showing off finished quilt tops that I couldn't do, so showing it off in blogland will have to do. I don't typically love a flying geese block, but I think the scale and the prints themselves, on the white background, give it a more fun and fresh feel.

I also realized that it's a little too big for my full sized bed, but would be great for a queen! I'm still thinking about how I'll quilt it. I'd take suggestions.... :)

I love to lay out

Awhile back we had a quiet night at the SMQG sew-in and I took advantage of the balcony to lay out some quilty stuff. Everyone said, wow you've been productive, but since then I have pieced these together and haven't done much else. It's been a tough month and I'm looking forward to some therapeutic blogging following some therapeutic quilting following all the therapeutic fabric shopping I have been doing. hah.

I love these big chunks of pips mixed in with some of my fave coordinating prints!

This strip of herringbone-esque blocks was kind of a headache. It was one of the few times where it didn't feel quite right and instead of giving up on it I ripped stuff out, redid it and came out with a much happier product. I'm having some doubts about my original intention for this, but for now I have a very colorful strip of fabric. :) Let me say, if I didn't love my solids collection so much I probably would have just scrapped this. haha.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I finished all my flying geese blocks and I'm loving how they came out. A year ago I never would have thought I would make this quilt or be so excited about it! I started squaring them up - just a teeny bit off each side, and then decided I would go insane trimming 128 blocks. So I'm just going to do my best and piece them together on the fly (no pun intended). Next challenge - the layout. This is going to be a big quilt!

And these are my herringbone blocks. I'm having a hard time with the layout and just hit a point where I couldn't look at them any longer. So they are packed away for now until I hit that rare patient moment when I'll take them out and sew them all up.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Flying geese blocks

As I've probably said before, one of my favorite things to do is create stacks of fabric from my stash. I get a lot of joy out of it - for the 30 minutes before I start panicking about what to make with it. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of the quilts out there in the blogosphere. It can seem like the line between "being inspired by" and "copying" is thin so when I see something I like, it sort of just feels like it's just another thing that I CAN'T make now. So anyway, I decided to make a traditional block with fabrics that I love. I started making these flying geese blocks using this tutorial with a larger scale block.

Here are a few, and I have many many more to go. The unfinished size is about 11.5X6. I found out (for once not the hard way) that directional prints don't really work with this method. Because the original square ends up being cut in quarters diagonally, none of the prints would end up going in the same direction. That kind of thing bothers me, so half my original stack is now out. Oh well.

I also think I'm going to limit the color palette to blues and greens, but I could change my mind... :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This mini quilt is one that I had no special thoughts or feelings about when I started. I was just playing around with some paper piecing and tried this "lattice" type square with some Amy Butler Lotus scraps I had on hand. I didn't even really like the fabrics all together that much when I started out. In the end, this is hanging in my living room and is probably one of my most complimented pieces of work. I thought it would be a good entry for Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival!

I love how the quilting came out - concentric squares, done with my walking foot. Some squares aren't perfect, but in the end, I like it that way.

It's funny how you can start off with low expectations and end up very pleasantly surprised - I guess the opposite has been true before too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

(Still) feeling thankful

Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if I didn't sew. As solitary as it can be - good thing to keep you busy and creative when you're lonely - it has also allowed me to connect with so many new people in both cities I have lived in. Last week was my birthday and I was pretty homesick, but later in the week I had some friends over for food and drinks and I got totally spoiled! As much as I miss home, I am thankful to have these people in my life (and others who couldn't make it too!) They treated me with some fabric goodies too - such a nice surprise!

I was seriously not expecting gifts, but how nice! Katie made me a zip pouch and gave me hexie papers, Noelle gave me a pattern, fabric and hardware to make a curvy pouch, Season gave me this cute poster (perfect for my sewing area), and Rendy did some fabric shopping so we now have matching sets of fat quarters! All really thoughtful and creative gifts for a quilter!

My table NEVER looks this pretty! I have such generous friends!

Here's Season, Katie, me, Rendy and Noelle. What a good looking group! Thanks for helping to make my birthday special ladies!

Boston Modern Quilt Guild retreat

So, yes, I live in Seattle now, but I came to love my old quilt guild so much that when I moved I decided to stay connected. The guild retreat seemed like the perfect time to make a trip home. We had a blast together - sewing, eating, drinking, and buying way too much fabric. I came home with over 10 yards of new fabric (including a backing, so I don't feel that bad about it!) By the end I got so sick of fabric shopping - I never thought that would be possible!

Here's what I was working on while I was there. I wasn't feeling very inspired, but this was a fun block to make. Saturday we stayed up until 3am sewing. It took me days to recover from the lack of sleep.

Here are some other pictures from our girls' weekend (to non-quilters that sounds a lot more normal and fun than a quilting retreat. haha):

Laurie's giant dresden plate quilt she made from fabrics she got in Uganda a few years back.

It was the royal wedding weekend, so playing royal wedding with the 11 yards of batting Monet bought (for the imprecise measurement and charge of 5 yards) seemed appropriate.

Monet gave Rebecca a bath in the scrap pile.

Rachel finished up this awesome quilt she made. I love her style and fabric selections.

This quilt is so simple yet packs a big punch.

A few of us at the beach in Kennebunkport, ME. I was so happy to reunite with my old friends (and see the sun again!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Denyse Schmidt fabric

After seeing other posts pop up about Denyse Schmidt's line for Joann's, I thought I'd go check it out for myself. The store near me only had a few of the prints, but I fell in love with this one and bought a yard to make a tote. I used this tutorial, but adjusted it to be a bit smaller. It's still pretty big for a shoulder bag, which I love.

I have had this red print in my stash for awhile and have been waiting for the perfect project. I love how they go together!

Sometimes it just feels so good to start and finish a project in the same day!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mini Quilt Sunday

I'm not sure I've ever posted twice in one day, but I made this mini quilt today and had to share. In a book of graphic patterns I took out from the library I saw a painting that inspired this quilt. I was planning to make a pillow out of this, but decided in the end that it will hold up better being up on the wall. Plus it goes really well next to my green couch. :)

I have also been thinking about doing something similar and experimenting with fabric paint/stencils. The background is osnaburg, which was the main neutral in this quilt. I love the texture of it.

This was my first time doing free motion on my new machine and it didn't come out that great. Apparently Janome sells another foot that's better for this, but it's sold separately. After today I think that will be well worth it.

I bound it with one of the herringbone prints from the Modern Meadow line and LOVE how that looks as a binding! Uh oh... :)

Fabric influx

Wow. The fabric diet is OVER. I came home to two packages on my door step - Pips have arrived from Fat Quarter Shop and I got some great goodies from Sew Fresh Fabrics too!

Yesterday a few friends from my guild and I hopped on the ferry to Bainbridge Island for a trip to Pink Chalk Fabrics!!! They don't have a store front, but we were able to visit, do some shopping, see Kathy's FABULOUS space and dig through some amazing scraps! I was in solids heaven - I wish I got a picture, but I just stared endlessly at a wall of konas and free spirit designer solids. YUM!

I love to support a local shop - so I did what I had to do... :) This yellow print from Aviary 2 is gorgeous, and I got some kona stone, buttercup, charcoal, cerise, berry and slate to go with.

And I got to take home these scraps I got from the solids pile.

No this pile is not all the new fabric I bought this week (although that does take up a considerable portion of it) but this is what I'm calling the "overstock" (i.e. fabric that will not fit in my drawers. Better get sewing! :)

And lastly a BIG thanks to Kathy for hosting our group. We all had a great time!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My bee month has arrived!

After months of agony, I decided to follow this block as inspiration for my bee month. Some may have noticed I love solids and I wanted to use the blue Erin McMorris fabric in the middle as my starting point. It is one of my favorite prints of all time and I have hardly ever even used a bit of it! I gathered some coordinating prints and a bunch of solids, cut it all up and sent it out.

Maybe this was backwards order, but I felt rushed to get the fabric out and didn't make my own version of the block until afterward. I don't LOVE my first attempt but I really like this free way of piecing. As I went along, I decided some things didn't look right, so I just sliced it apart, tested out different arrangements and kept on.

It's as pretty fun way to do it and also takes out the need to piece teeny tiny squares and get the same effect. I cannot get this last picture to upload right side up - bah! I hope my fellow bee-ers enjoy making it too!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Project Modern challenge

Nothing like the last minute, I finished my Project Modern challenge quilt, got some rainy day pictures (what a shock) and submitted it! This round's challenge was to make a monochromatic quilt. I'm pretty happy with how this came out, and can't wait to wash and dry it.

I used a Kona fat quarter bundle I got for Christmas and added in pops of an Anna Maria Horner print from the Innocent Crush line. I also used Innocent Crush for the binding. I did my binding a little differently this time and machine stitched it on. I have mixed feelings about machine binding, but I did love how quickly it worked up! I quilted it with diagonal lines in alternating light and dark purple thread and did some hand stitching around one diamond to balance out the placement of the printed diamonds.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spiderweb Bee Block

I have been working on April's block for the Boston Modern Quilt Guild bee (I just need to sew these triangles together now). Next month is the last month - and is also MY month, so I'm a little stressed about getting that sorted out and sent out. I never knew how much pressure this could be, but maybe it gets better as you do more of them.

I always thought the spiderweb block was intimidating skill-wise, but Monet has an awesome tutorial on her blog that is really straightforward and her fabric choices are impeccable. They really bring this block to life! I added a few prints from my stash in and I hope she likes them! She supplied much of the fabric - including the Kona Cerise for the background - YUM!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Butterfly bee block

I sketched this block out quite awhile ago, then realized I did the math wrong and the block was going to be too small (after cutting a bunch of the fabric out). Yesterday I went back to it after being pretty discourage, realized I had actually done the math RIGHT (ugh!), and finished it up. The finished block is 12.5" square. As I was working on this I realized I tend to do bee blocks with lots and lots of seams and little pieces!

The background is an off-white muslin.

Aimee sent really nice Art Gallery fabric for this month's bee and just requested that it be a butterfly block that is not appliqued. I hope she likes it - someone I showed this to took awhile to see the butterfly... Maybe different fabric choices, values, etc. would have been better. Next time!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Finally - diamond quilt top done!

I was so happy to finish up my diamonds quilt top today at the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild sew-in! It's always nice to see those ladies and catch up on the past few weeks, but this time I was also pretty productive! A few other women finished up tops today too, so that was exciting!

I was trying to figure out where to trim off the tips of the diamonds on the border and it was suggested to me to leave some extra until after it's all quilted. Smart women! It measures about 46X53 and will make a great lap quilt. I still haven't decided on how I'm going to quilt it... I'll take suggestions! :)

Ara Jane finished this quilt top for her baby! I love her color choices and her random approach for piecing these half square triangles. It turned out great!

Thanks for looking!