Sunday, December 29, 2013

Handmade holiday, part 1

I really enjoy making gifts for people. I may fret and stress a little bit about what to do and how it's going to look, but the feeling I get when I give something handmade that I've spent time, blood and tears over, is what keeps my booty in the chair by the sewing machine.

Although, I have a dirty little secret this year: I haven't finished making my handmade gifts for Christmas yet! And I might not have started on a couple of them, yet, either. I know, right?! Please don't spread that around; it might ruin my reputation :)

Since a couple of them are in progress, I'll just share what I've gotten finished so far! This is the year to finish up some projects, and these placemats were just begging to be finished. The pattern is from a magazine, and the fabrics are all from Joann's. I love how cheerful and summery they look together, and hope the person I'm giving these to will use them to eat outside in the summer.

I did straight-line quilting on both styles of placemats, and I think the one that is more densely quilted is my favorite. I just want to keep running my hand over the texture of it!

I machine-sewed the binding on. I think I still prefer to hand-sew the binding on to the back, but machine-sewing it just goes so much faster! I made a set of four and hope that she actually gets some use out of them!


The backing print is my favorite!

 In other news, here's my progress on my Holiday Frost quilt:

It's all cut out, but that's about it!  Maybe next year, it will be done by the time the holidays come around again!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Round and round update

Hi all! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! I sure did and I even got some time to make some progress on a couple of projects that are in the works - yay me!

The first one is based off of this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. I wanted to make boy #1 a quilt and went crazy getting fabric from the Meadow Friends line from Moda. Then I sat and stared at the fabric, trying to decide what pattern would be just the right pattern for my dear boy. In the end, I thought this pattern looked as busy and energetic as he is, so I hacked and whacked my way through my stack of fabric. And let it sit. For months. I think I still wasn't in love with the fabric and the pattern combo yet.


Then one day, I was inspired and sewed everything all together. And then I sat back, and thought, what is missing? The quilt wasn't as big as I was thinking it would be, but I didn't want to add any more circle-in-a-square blocks (mostly because I didn't want to make anymore), so I talked with a friend about adding a border and still couldn't decide what to do with it!

In the end, I decided, what the heck, and added a border. And so, here it is, in all its pieced and bordered glory :)

The fabric is mostly Meadow Friends, with a few other prints thrown in to add visual interest. The backing will be a lime-green minkee fabric from Joann's and I plan on basting the heck out of it this weekend to get it ready for quilting. I only started it a year and a half ago, so what's the hurry, right? :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

What to do, what to do?

Ho, ho, ho! Hee, hee, hee! Ha, ha ha! I think that's my laugh quota for the whole week, right there!
So, all kidding aside, I have a bit of a quandary. There have been lots of pregnant gals in my office this year (seven total) and I've made a little something for each of them, like burp cloths or receiving blankets; the most recent pregnancy and the one person out of those folks that I actually consider a friend, I made a quilt for her (Brooklyn's Quilt).

Well, here is the quandary: another person that is in the same group of friends, but not someone who I personally consider a friend, is expecting and due in February and I am totally on the fence about making a quilt for her baby. Making a quilt is time-consuming, and with my life right now, time is a luxury that I run short of. I'm not sure I like this person enough to make a baby quilt for her, but because we all have lunch together about once a week, I would feel weird if I didn't do it. But I have no drive whatsoever to start anything for her. I haven't even made a baby quilt for my most recent addition to the family (I know, bad quilter!); I've just been making things for other people.

Now is the time to start on it, because I only am able to quilt late at night or during part of the weekend.

Maybe the answer is that I make one for her, but use a really easy pattern and scraps, so at least I'm not investing as much time and money into it. Maybe the answer is that I make my own baby a quilt first, then whirl one up for her, so that my family is taken care of before hers.

This is her third child, and I didn't know her until after she had had her other two, so I haven't made anything for her before.

 Any pearls of wisdom out there?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blue Hawai'i

Yay! She's alive! And, yay! She has a completed quilt to show! Double yay! Mayhap I've been starting on the spiked eggnog a little too early today! Things have been a smidge busy around here lately, and rather than post pictures of something that is in progress, which would take up more time, I thought, why not wait until I have something done? Then it will be like a mini-present for anyone that actually reads this!

And so, I have for your viewing pleasure, the Hawai'i quilt! Long story short, a family member of mine grew up in Hawai'i and has since moved to a very cold place and has been having some mobility problems due to arthritis. And, I just happened to come across a layer cake of rainbow print batiks, and wham! A quilt was born!

I used this pattern from Moda Bakeshop (love this site!). I got all of my cutting done at once, then sewed in my spare time on it for about a week; the top came together really quickly. I then spent a night basting it and quilted it over a weekend. Then I machine-bound both sides of the binding, just to have it done quicker. I used Red Pepper Quilt's tutorial on binding (found here) and I love the method she uses to join the beginning and ending strips of binding together.


I think my favorite part of this quilt is the back. The front is lovely, but the back is what seems the most colorful and tropical. If I got it in the mail, I would make sure the back is what would be draped over the couch for everyone to see. :)

 I'm so glad to have this done before the holidays start. Last year at this time, I think I was still piecing a quilt I was going to give my mom and I definitely remember quilting the darn thing on my machine for three days before Christmas! I feel so accomplished, I think I need to take a break to bask in my victory :)


I quilted it with an allover swirly flower pattern. It was my first time quilting flowers and I definitely improved by the time I got all done! I am totally going to do this pattern for more quilts in the future!


Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halloween Tablerunner

What to say about Halloween? I love the holiday and it makes me happy when Halloween decorations start hitting the stores in the month of July!

I had a couple of hours to myself recently and whipped this tablerunner out, with two days to spare before the holiday!

Love the bright colors of this tablerunner, especially with the neon green inner border and binding.

 I quilted it in an all-over swirly pattern just to get this quilted and on the table for enjoyment before Halloween, otherwise it would end up in my I-might-get-to-it-before-next-Halloween-pile (not that I have something like that).

I even had my hubster make two giant spiders to put on the roof! This picture was before the massive spiderweb was put around it. We also put an orange spotlight on it, so it looked large and looming at night!

I just cut out my next project and started piecing it, so hopefully I will have pictures of that work-in-progress up here soon!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Brooklyn's bridge

Hi there! Hope your Tuesday is going fantastic! I finally had some time to just sit and sew recently and it was heaven!

There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment to boost your spirits.

And so, here is Brooklyn's Bridge. I used a pattern from this book and made the throw size version, which just used 30-2 1/2" strips, exactly what I had for this line of fabric!

It is going to be a baby blanket for a friend who named her daughter-to-be Brooklyn and the latticing on it kind of reminded me of city bridge over water, hence the name "Brooklyn's Bridge".

Did you see the headstone in the background?

 I quilted it in an allover curlique, and it was the first time I had tried quilting that pattern. I need more practice at it, but I loved how fast the quilting went!

The backing is an ivory minkee fabric, which will be so cozy to snuggle under when rocking a cranky baby back to sleep in the middle of the night!

I might have taken this out on a test snuggle on the couch the other night...maybe :)

I also did my first real attempt at machine binding. I machine bound a quilt last year, but I didn't know what in the heck I was doing and it was two days before Christmas for a Christmas gift, so I just kind of guessed at how to do it in order to get it done. Needless to say, it wasn't very pretty, but it was done.

This time, I followed this tutorial, posted by Red Pepper Quilts, and had much better results. There are a couple things I need to work on, but overall, I was happy and came out with a nifty tip on matching the ends of the binding together!

The baby shower is this weekend, and it is so nice knowing I have a gift all ready to go, all snuggly and handmade, and super-sweet!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Holiday Frost

'Tis the season! Or soon enough, anyway, to start stressing me out. To explain, I have a love/hate relationship with the holiday season. I love the bright, shiny, sparkly bit of it along with the message of spreading compassion and love to our fellow man, love that part of it. But the part of finding the right gift, or decorating the whole house, or even being out near any shopping center during this time of year, makes me start to hyperventilate.

Time to stock up on chocolate and Diet Dr. Pepper to get me through the holidays!! :)

Now, on to the fabric! I don't have any holiday quilts in my house. Nada, zip, none. There is one sad, lonely little harvest-themed tablerunner, but that's it. This year, I wanted to change that and have been searching for just the right holiday fabric that conveys the holiday message, but could be left out into January as decor. And found it, I have!

Presenting Holiday Frost by Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass Fabrics:

I love the simple color palette: gray, white, red, and a smidgen of green (very small, I think it's only on one fabric in the collection).

This print is my favorite, so I got it for the back! There's enough variety of different reindeer to keep it interesting.

And, to make it simple, I actually got this as a quilt kit. The one I'm making is on the right side.

I don't know when I will be able to get this done, but, by golly, it will be done this year! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hexie love!

I went to a local quilt show a couple months back and two things happened: one, I didn't buy any fabric there (shocking news); and two, I came home with a kit for paper piecing hexies (it included this book, plus everything needed to make the projects in the book).  It may not be anything of note to you, but to me, it was a big deal, because ever since I  started quilting, I have adamantly said "No handsewing, of any sort." Why do that by hand when I can do it with my snazzy machine?



Then, the road trip happened.


And my little quilting world grew a little bigger with the addition of, and love of, paper piecing sweet little hexies.

The fabric is Sunnyside by Kate Spain for Moda and I bought a mini charm pack on a whim and it was just the right size for 1" hexies. I got through the whole pack and was looking around for more fabric, but alas, I didn't bring any with me :(

These are so much fun! And so very convenient to bring along with you if you need to go somewhere and wait for a bit and want to get some sewing done in the meantime.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Whew! What a crazy few weeks it has been! We took a trip to one of my favorite places:

Mukilteo Beach, WA

And had the in-laws in town for a week. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws, but after a couple of days of visitors, I get itchy to have my house back to its normal routine and state of messiness. We did get a chance to see a bunch of these, though:

Then, there was a recovery weekend to recover from all of our festivities, so needless to say, not much sewing has been going on. But, I have managed to sneak in a few minutes here and there (literally 20 mins. in between chores) to do some cutting and sewing on this sweet piece:


I'm not sure who it's for or where it's going, but it was a nice break from sewing something that had a deadline attached to it. The colors are so soft and soothing that I'm thinking it might be a great baby blanket for a girl...or it might look even nicer draped over my sofa :)

I should have pictures of the completed top on here soon, but until then, have a fabulous day!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ruby Girl

This week I have been racing to hand sew the binding on this adorable baby quilt that I'm calling "Ruby Girl".

 The fabric is all from Bonnie and Camille's line for Moda called "Ruby".  The white fabric I found at JoAnn's.


 I have been hanging on to a charm pack of this for forever and couldn't find a project special enough to warrant using the pack - I just love the line so much! Then, a good friend of mine announced she was having a baby girl, and voila! Ruby Girl came into being.


I just did half-square triangles (HST's) and added a four-inch border all the way around to add some size. I then quilted in straight lines 1/4" from the horizontal and vertical seams. I thought about adding some quilting on the border, but liked the simplicity without any quilting. Then, I spent this week hand sewing the binding on whenever I had a few free minutes of time.


I'm really happy with it and almost wish I had a girl to give this to. Then I look at my sweet boys and reach for the fabric with the bugs on it... :) 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Fabric

Just for kicks and giggles, I thought I'd share some fun finds from my local quilt store! I don't have a set color palette that I always work with, mostly because I am still trying to find my little niche in the quilting world, but even these Kaffe Fassett shot cotton fabrics were a stretch for me.

(Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons in Solids and Stripes)

I've seen them in the store when I go to browse, but wasn't really impressed with them until I saw this quilt, which for some reason, I totally adore!

(Left to right: Exotic Stripe in Midnight, Broad Stripe in Watermelon, Narrow Stripe in Heliotrope, Exotic Stripe in Purple, Alternating Stripe in Grass, Exotic Stripe in Earth, and Roman Stripe in Dusk)

Then, when I was grouping them for pictures, I had a thought that these might be cute when used for baby boy blankets. I don't have any plans for these right now, but every now and then, I go find them, feel how soft they are, play with arrangements, and then put them back until I am confident enough to actually sew with them. Or maybe I will just keep collecting them... :)

(Top to bottom: Clementine, Blueberry, Spruce, Lichen, Galvanized)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Post Numero Uno...

Out of the four quilts that I have started this year, I finally have one that is completely done! The rest are either waiting to be quilted or are needing some binding attached, which means quality time on the couch watching True Blood or MasterChef :).

This quilt started because I wanted to start a new quilt, but I didn't have anyone in mind to give it to and it wasn't necessarily in the colors that I would pick out to make something for myself. I was just wandering around JoAnn's one day, they were having a sale on fat quarters and I got enough to make this quilt with this pattern and in a weekend, I got it cut out and sewn together and...set it aside for months. Because it didn't have a home, I just let it sit.

Then there was a death in the family and I felt in my heart that this quilt was meant to be sent to the widower and his daughter as a sort of comfort measure. So I quilted it in one weekend and spent a marathon night on the couch handsewing the binding on. I call it my "spa" quilt and it will be on it's way to a new home tomorrow.

I'm so happy this drifting quilt now has a new home!