Friday, October 28, 2011

My fabric stacks--and my to-do list--keep growing

I spent a bit of time playing with my fabrics recently and I ended up with quite a few fabric stacks that I think would each make an amazing quilt.  The top left is actually two stacks, so represented here are 7 quilts!  I have designs laid out for a few and am still contemplating the others.  The problem is, the design light bulb usually comes on sometime well after midnight when I am dead asleep.

The blue strips on the bottom are binding for one that is all but finished, and the red/blue/tan strips are backing pieces for the quilt I gave you a little peak at earlier this week.  The big pile on the bottom is the same as the second photo.  It's a "secret quilt," so you won't hear or see much more about that for several months.  {sorry!}  The others are just ideas at this point.

And, as if I needed my To Do list to grow, I'm also trying to come up with ideas for a quilt for my younger sister who is going to be graduating in December!  She said she likes either the 1920s and 1930s reproductions or Gray/Yellow combinations.  This is the first audition for a set of Gray/Yellow fabrics but I'm not 100% convinced yet {the yellow circles and aqua dots are already feeling a bit too loud}. I do like this combo, but it really needs to be perfect for her!

{These are not exact, but I did my best to list all of the fabrics below in case you are interested.  All were found in various Etsy shops.

Top Row: Amy Butler Midwest Modern Floating Buds in Gray; Heather Ross Far Far Away II Rose Garden Gray; Robert Kaufman Metro Ring Dots Marigold
Second Row: Alexander Henry Boule in Gray; Erin McMorris Weekends Go By Bike Gray; Random Home Decor Chevron Print
Third Row: Art Gallery Fabric Modern Affair Dim Fusion Yellow Leaf on Gray; Monoluna Beach Mod Medium Dot in Mineral; Joel Dewberry Heirloom Marbled Stripe
Fourth Row: Bonnie and Camille Ruby Dainty in Gray; Unknown Decorative Diamonds Fabric; Amy Butler Midwest Modern Optic Blossom in Linen


Monday, October 24, 2011

Freshcut Pillow Case

Several weeks ago Della informed me that she needed a "pah" before she could take a nap. It took me a few minutes to figure out what the heck a "pah" is, but I found out it's 2-year-old-speak for pillow.  The girl wanted a pillow in her crib.  Mommy and Daddy have pillows, so she wants one!

I made some pillow covers for her room last year, so I took one of the pillows and made a new cover that didn't have pom poms on it. {I have to admit that I'm a little scared she would try swallowing one of those!}

I had some fabric left over from making her quilt, so I put it to good use and made her a pillow case. I have to admit that I love it when she gets in bed at night snuggles up with her pretty pah.


Friday, October 21, 2011

A little peekaroo at the good blocks

OK, I showed you the messed up block, but I didn't get to show you my favorites, yet.

I would love to finish the entire quilt top this weekend, but more realistically I will be happy to finish the blocks and just start sewing the top together!

Happy FRIDAY and enjoy the weekend friends!


Observing my own curfew wouldn't be such a bad idea

Last night I was working on some blocks and had decided that after one hour I needed to be finished.  I knew I was already exhausted, and getting to bed early would be a good thing.  Of course 9PM came and went unnoticed and around 9:45 I was ironing my blocks when I noticed this one.

It is not supposed to look like that!  So tonight I'll be doing a little stitch ripping along with sewing more blocks. I'll also keep this picture as a reminder of why I should listen to myself when I say I need to go to bed early!

Also, I called my mom at 10PM asking her if the (cooked) chicken I had left out over the last two hours was still good.  Final decision was actually NO so tonight we are having a vegetarian dinner.  No one needs to know about that, though, OK?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pattern review: Kitchen windows quilt

Pattern: Kitchen Windows Quilt Pattern from The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman

Cutting:  I spent a good SIX HOURS cutting the fabrics for the quilt top.  This is mainly because I was fussy cutting quite a few of them.  It was worth it.

Piecing: I don't remember how long the actual piecing took, but I think I finished the top over the course of 3 weekends.  The piecing was really easy, and the instructions in the book make this possible for just about anyone.

Quilting: I used a long arm machine to quilt this one and just went with free motion quilting all over.

Binding: I used this machine binding tutorial combined with the instructions in the book for attaching the binding in less than a year!

Overall thoughts: I loved making this quilt!  Although it took me a long time to cut the fabrics, the instructions were impeccable and easy to follow.  The final outcome is obviously worth all the effort, and even my husband loves the quilt {he is my toughest critic, but it's all in love}!

I give Elizabeth Hartman a lot of credit. She has made quilting both appealing and accessible to a large audience.   I am already working on another pattern from this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good resource for quilting.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

100 Quilts for Kids Reader's Choice

Remember the Wonky Stars Quilt I made for 100 Quilts for Kids?  Well, Kate posted her Top 10 and mine is included in that list!  It's really weird to see my quilt up there, but I'm definitely thrilled.

Also, she's holding a vote for the Reader's Choice.  If you can take just a minute, go see all of the quilts she posted and vote for your favorite {even if it is not mine}!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making earrings

{{{For some reason I sang the title of this post to the tune of "Choppin Broccoli" 
Thank you, SNL, for that classic.}}}

So last week I decided I needed some new earrings. Because I have a total of two pairs--one set of pearl studs and one set of turquoise dangles Brandon's Granny gave me. I like them both, but I would be OK with some variety in this area.

Not being one to just go the simple route and purchase a pair or two, I used that money to buy myself a jewelry making starter kit.  I got three pairs of pliers, lots of silver findings, and some beads, all for the price of the two pairs of earrings I was looking at on Heartsy.  Go me!  {I will just pretend like the messy house is not a result of my insatiable need to be doing something a bit more creative.}

Oh and did I mention that there are loads of birthdays coming up in the next few months? And Christmas? So really, this gives me another option for gifts. Right?

Anyways, here is my favorite set.  Well, one of them with my eyeball.

Here's a close up.

I really enjoy making earrings but need a little help! If any of you have any good websites to buy supplies, get ideas, or can recommend a good book or other resources, I would totally appreciate it!  I totally know my around around the fabric la-la-land on the interwebs, but not jewelry!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP Wednesday New Fabric and Placemats

No, I did not go to the Sewing Summit, but I was Among Friends.  Sort of . One of the local quilt shops has a Fat Quarter sale every year.  Last year I found out just a few days after the sale.  This year, I was there! I gave myself a budget of $30 "fun money" for whatever I wanted {see the first photo}, plus I was looking for fabrics for "Diane's Quilt" {see picture and explanation below}.  If you're curious, I stuck under my budget, although there are a few fabrics not pictured. 

I met my friend Diane at work shortly after moving here five years ago.  Even after leaving that company, we remained friends, and she has invited my family over for dinner just for fun as well as when she feels sorry for us living so far from family like at Thanksgiving {she's Italian, and she cooks like she's Italian}!  When I was making plans for what to do with Della in case Chloe was born before my mom got here, Diane was the first person I thought of.  Sure enough, I had to call her at 1:30 one morning to have her take Della so we could head to the hospital and have a baby--nearly three weeks early! I have tried thinking of suitable ways to thank her, but unfortunately I am not rich! Then I though of a quilt. {duh.}  So, I'm making yet another Elizabeth Hartman quilt from The Practical Guide to Patchwork. I've already started cutting the fabric.

I also had a big finish.  Well, sort of.  Only big because I finally mailed it off...two weeks later.
My sister asked me to make some place mats for her new table, and I was happy to oblige.  You get to see one set now and the other later when I finish a tutorial ;)

So my stats:
Finishes since last post:
Three! {place mats, Wonky Stars baby quilt, Colette Ginger Skirt}

Works in Progress:
New Wave Quilt {needs to be bound}
Violet Top {needs to be hemmed}
Diane's Quilt {lots left}

I also have several others I want to work on, but realistically I need to wrap up my WIPs before I start anything else!

I am linking up with Lee...
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Sunday, October 9, 2011

1 Quilt for 1 Boy

I drove past St. Joe’s several times a week for at least two years before I realized that just a few hundred yards from the road lay a row of brick homes, each full of young boys who for various reasons lived there as orphans. The reality that there are that many orphans in this little city—and those are just the boys—kind of stunned me at first. Actually it still does. Part of me wants to hide from the reality; maybe if I cover my eyes it will just go away. The other part wants to take as many of those boys into my home as I can.

Right now I can do neither. But I can offer an incredibly small token of love to just one of those little ones, all the while sending prayers to the Father for each to be wrapped in love very soon. 

When I started this quilt, it was simply about playing with some of my fabric. Then I saw the 100 Quilts for Kids and I knew this needed to be for a baby boy. My church started a month-long Orphan Care push, and I quickly remembered the row of homes, in which a baby boy needs this blanket and some love.

My heart breaks with that reality but I rejoice in being able to use some of my passion for loving another--even if for just a few hours.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Freshcut by Heather Bailey is coming again!

I may be way behind the times on this, but I was browsing Hawthorne Threads and noticed "Freshcut by Heather Bailey" listed in the Coming Soon Section--right below Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy line. WHAT?!  In case you did not know, Freshcut is easily my all-time favorite line of fabric.

Oh, and it gets better.  There is going to be flannel.

I used what I could find of Freshcut to make Della's quilt last year and have been holding onto what is left, too afraid I'll want to use it for something else to cut into much more of it {except a pillow case for her bed I'll show you soon}.  Now I can use it all up knowing that in February there will be more!

And for those wondering what the heck I have been doing the last few weeks {you know besides working, trying to take care of my house and my hubby, and keeping up with two sweet girls...} my weekend To-Do list is topped by "Take Pictures of Finished Projects".  Because I actually do have finishes to show you!