Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Forest Abstractions Stag

I think this guy is a keeper, I am pretty proud of him.  I am not much of a paper-piecer- all of those amazing creations people create just blow me away.  I've been doing paper piecing with the Union Jack blocks- but those are straight lines and squares- this stag is all about angles.  I also had a significant struggle towards the end that was due to a minor pattern error and poor copies of the pattern.  (If you are planning to do this quilt- shoot me an email and I will be happy to share some advice related to the troubles I encountered).   But he's done and I am thrilled.  He's going to be the centerpiece of my DYO Sampler and it's really motivated me to make more and more blocks for that quilt.  I think AMH feathers are next.

I was drawn to this pattern because I think the design is so striking.  I also think it's a nice personal nod to my move to Colorado- we see deer all. the. time.  Once a fawn and a local cat took a nap for hours near each other in our backyard!  I think they like our yard because we are the only house on our street without a dog (don't get me started about the dog mania that exists in this state!)

I probably won't be posting as frequently within the next few months because I am going to start working on gifts for the holidays.  This space won't be totally silent- when I have something I can share- I will definitely be here.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Year of the Dear and Union Jack Progress

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the love I received on Friday's post!

I've been waiting a while to splurge on the Forest Abstractions pattern.  I'm not interested in making the whole quilt but I knew I wanted to have that huge stag in my DYO Sampler quilt.  I finally bought it when Pink Castle Fabrics issued a code for 30% off everything in their store.  

I needed a big cut of Kona for the background and the only thing I had on hand that would work was this 2 yard piece of Kona Turquoise I had stashed with the intention of making another Giant Star quilt.  I would've liked to use something lighter so that I could justify using more brights to create the deer- but I am happy with how the head has come out.  It's such a weird color combo: dark brown, grey, gold, yellow, and green- but I like it.  I also have to say that I love having a light box to help me with paper piecing- it's something I never would've splurged on at the store- which makes it the most epic $10 yard sale find ever!!!!!

It's definitely time to share the progress on my giant Union Jack blocks.  I used the very last of this gorgeous Heirloom print to go with the bees:

I've shared these last two in a previous post:

As you can see, the first four blocks coordinate quite well but I didn't do a good job using gold and purple in any other blocks.  I think this guy will eventually become a cushion cover for an England-loving friend:

I won't be updating progress on this Jacob's Ladder quilt too much but wanted to share that I am steadily hand quilting it with some gorgeous DMC variegated perle cotton.  It's relaxing to do in front of the TV and feels quicker than cross stitch.  I would love to have it all completed by the end of the year.

So I am finally on Instagram with the username dresdenlane.  I still intend to blog regularly here- I enjoy all of the elements of blogging too much to walk away.  I am not exactly sure how I am going to interact on IG- it'll be a bit of a process to work that out.  If you are active on IG- please comment with or email me your username so that I can follow you.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finish it up Friday: Novelty Fabric Finishes

Sorry if my regular readers are sick of seeing me make this dress (#7) but the Rollerskate dress is just too cute, easy, and perfect for fun/modern fabrics.

It's no secret that I love Lizzy House fabrics and her style of fabrics is a perfect compromise between my daughter and I.  If Charlotte had her way, everything she wore would be plastered with licensed characters.  If I had my way- she'd only wear Anna Maria Horner and other bright florals....

I also used another fun novelty fabric  and other stash favorites to make a Sew-Together bag for a friend.  I wish I had the stamina to make these for all of my friends who sew- it's just the perfect bag for all your little tools and notions!

I still need to make one for myself but it will happen eventually.  I am going to finally start ordering my zippers on etsy (zipit?) and stop paying the high prices at Joann's.  

So what about you- do you like using novelty fabrics?  Are they hard to resist or do you stick to basics/blenders and more "grown up" fabrics?

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Curves

On Monday, I found myself with a little extra sewing time thanks to the federal holiday.  I finished another Union Jack block but decided to treat myself to something different.  I finally settled on adding another block to my DYO Sampler quilt I started over the summer.  I pulled out the pattern, Lots of Dots, and tackled a block.  This is my result and I am pretty happy with it.  I've done curves in bags and toys but never for a quilt.  I like the result a lot.  This block took a lot of time because you have to cut out every piece with scissors and a template.  The process of making the sampler quilt is pretty awesome: I can try out different blocks easily and decide if I want to commit to a larger project.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Red Letter Day Halloween Quilt

I was amazed to be able to complete my Red Letter Day Halloween quilt in time for the Halloween/fall season.  I really rushed to get this done because I had the opportunity to rent a longarm a few weekends ago.  

I used combinations of Halloween novelty prints from my stash as well as blenders.  It was really tempting to use just Halloween prints- if only to use them up- but I decided the combination of normal quilting cottons were fun to use among the quirky pumpkins, ghosts, and cats.

I wasn't very creative in finding a spooky location for the photo shoot of this quilt.  My area of Colorado definitely doesn't have those old-timey graveyards like my New England home.  We took the family to the Garden of the Gods recently- so I nabbed a photo there before the sun really started to set:

So I wish I could say that I purposely left out the reversed RLD block that the pattern calls for (examples, here, here, and here)- I had this grand vision of hand quilted spiders from the beginning....  Um, no.  The truth is that I started making the blocks and completely forgot about the reversed block- and didn't think of it until all nine blocks were made.  After the quilt came off of the longarm- the lady at the rental place advised me to quilt something in those big empty squares- so that's when I realized hand quilted spiders would be perfect among the computerized spiderwebs that occupied each block:

Sadly, the intended recipient of this quilt (my 5 year old son) has completely rejected this quilt and refuses to use it- he's being very vague about it but I think it's the spiders that bother him.  My husband also had to point out that the spiders should have eight legs.  Did you notice?

I sound negative about this quilt- but I am really fine with it- it's not my most favorite thing I've ever made but like it and I had fun making it.  I still have a boatload of Halloween fabrics- so maybe I will take another shot at making another Halloween quilt again someday.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Union Jack

Shortly after writing Monday's post about being in a "sewing funk," I went ahead and forced myself to sew- sometimes when you don't feel like doing something- you should just do it and eventually your mood will change.

I splurged on a copy of the magazine Love of Patchwork and Quilting a while ago because I loved the cover quilt as well as the large paper pieced Union Jack pattern the issue had.  I thought it would fun to break up some of my bundles and pair bright and colorful large scale prints with complementary blenders from my stash.

Here's my start so far: and AMH Pretty Potent floral with a Hat Box print- these two fabrics were meant to be together.

I think it's becoming obvious that I am enjoying pairing plumb/purple with yellow/mustard:


My next combination was a JD Bungalow print with a Heather Bailey True Colors blender.

These blocks are taking about two hours to make- maybe a little less.  They are huge- measuring 17" x 25."  I don't have a particular obsession with England- I just think it's a fun block that showcases large prints very well.  Now if someone would come out with a paper pieced South African flag block- I would be all over that.  Maybe I will make one myself someday :)

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sewing Funk

Recently I have finished a dress and a quilt that I still need to blog.  I also made some bibs for a friend expecting a girl: 

I have to admit that I am a bit in a crafty funk lately- I am not sure what to start next and lately I've favored watching Disney movies with my son over starting anything new....  I really rushed through my last few finishes and it was stressful- I think I burnt myself out.  I've also fallen into the bad habit of browsing online fabric stores and filling up shopping carts- without finalizing anything- but surely wasting my precious sewing time.

What do you do when you can't decide what to start next?  Am I the only one who can focus too much on the very fun part of acquiring more materials instead of diving in with what I already have?  I'd love to hear your thoughts- it isn't often that I don't just dive into the next project with happiness and enthusiasm.