Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Morning Stash

This little guy has been keeping me away from the sewing machine. I also haven't sewed as much lately because my sister Emily had been visiting for a while recently. It was a perfect distraction for me to have her around, as my husband has been MIA studying for the Massachusetts bar. We spent a lot of time at our parent's house in NH (we only live 30 mins away) going swimming. When Gregory took his naps, Emily and I would watch Law and Order while I made these hexagonal flowers. I have decided I might want to put a medium shade of gray between all of the flowers but I am still not sure......

A few of my friends received an email when I discovered this picture on flickr (it's a picture of a woman with a tattoo design modeled after a Tula Pink fabric). Now I am not a big fan of tattoo's to begin with - - but I had to investigate more: who is Tula Pink and why would you want one of her fabric designs permanently on your body? I already had a FQ bundle of Plume from a giveaway that I won.... I went to see what her other fabric collections were like. Let me just say that she does have a very unique style and I am excited to see what her next collection will be like for Free Spirit. I became obsessed with her collection, Hushabye, and shockingly found a whole fat quarter bundle at a local very traditional/thimbleberries type of shop. The mustached lady gave me a great discount and I used my birthday money. I also just completed a fabric swap for some of the elusive Full Moon Forest (the other FMF, haha) and I while I don't think I would go ga-ga for all of her collections, I think I can say that I am officially a Tula Pink fan now!
I always have stacks of fabric on my nightstand - I love how they look folded all together. Plume is on the left, Hushabye is on the right. (Is it terrible that they are crowding out a little framed picture of my baby? aackkkk.....)

I wanted to share two of my most favorite fabrics I have ever received from my online fabric swap group: a Japanese fabric of Snow White (I am dying over the little apples and 7 dwarves) and the sneaker print. Way too adorable!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July NEMQG Meeting

I promised I would share more about our most recent NEMQG meeting.

A few weeks before the meeting, several of us met to try out bleaching fabrics - and here are some of the best results with strips/pieces of fabric showing what they looked before. My favorite is the AMH cathedral print - it is definitely better after being bleached. Monet showed us a quick and easy way to make flying geese blocks:
And then we all showed our doll quilts to each other, here is the one Monet made for Rhea:

Rebecca made this one for Pippa:
Meaghan received this one from Rhea:
Katie made this one for Lisa:

Here is the extra special back that Katie made for the quilt:

Meaghan made this one for Katie - it was the only exchange that actually got to occur in person:

Here's a picture of mine, that was given to Kelley:

And finally, the one that Lisa made for me:

Overall, it was a great meeting! Can't wait till August 7 when we meet again!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Flowers and My Birthday

There are a lot of flowers popping up in our house lately...... These are the beginnings of the appliqued border on my Pop Garden quilt:
And my birthday was on Thursday - this is what happened to the cake right after I had iced it. It still tasted yummy!

This is an "action shot" - right before the pile of presents fell on top of Gregory.

I really got spoiled for my birthday and it made up for having to be on a "fabric diet." A friend recently told me that she hoped I wasn't "starving" on this diet.... I should've told her that when it comes to fabric, I could be considered "morbidly obese."
My friends and family got a lot of help when I gave them ideas for what I wanted. Especially with Nick being consummed in studying for the bar, I made it easy for him and actually ordered a lot of the presents myself. Of course, there were still a few surprises.
The collection of Tufted Tweets, does not disappoint. The colors are very bright and gorgeous and the images on the fabric are so crisp. I thought that I might not like the one with the couches, but they are all awesome.

On my birthday, Nick and I went on a little date in the morning and went to the Fabric Corner. Using my 40% off coupon, I got a yard of the Echino print you can see in the picture (the 3rd one). I hate that I have such expensive taste in fabric, but 40% off makes it very affordable. I plan to make myself a new bag.
I was really excited to receive just over 1 yd of the out-of-print chocolate Joel Dewberry woodgrain fabric. The possibilities!

All of this fabric in this next picture is Japanese and I think I could just roll around in it. It is SO soft and cute. The one on the far left is "Mary Poppins Boo" - a fabric I have been dying for! And all of the little elephants! They are so tiny and are a perfect addition to practically any project.
And finally, I convinced my sister to order some fabric for me from a recent amazing sale at fabric.com All of this yardage averaged out to $3.70 per yard! Plus free shipping! I even got several yards of Kona Cotton Snow- this will help me complete a lot of projects considering that I have A LOT of prints and hardly any neutrals.

When you order fabric online, it's almost guaranteed that you will receive at least one thing that you weren't expecting or that you didn't like. That would be this print:

It's just too large scale for me and way too baby-ish. But I am sure I will find a way to use it anyhow.
So it's okay to be spoiled once in a while, right? It seriously was an amazing birthday filled with a date with Nick, swimming with my sister and Gregory, and lots and lots of fabric. What more could anyone ask for?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap - Revealed

So I already showed you part of the back, but here it is in full: This is a close-up of the African wax print fabric I used, a design that I composed the whole quilt around.
I learned how to do English paper piecing with hexagons - totally addictive!

I have been working on this doll quilt for about 2 months, for the NEMQG doll quilt swap. I had the privilege of assigning partners - thus I got to choose who I would make my quilt for. I decided to choose Kelley. In scanning her blog, I learned that she is in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. Having lived in Africa twice, I have quite a bit of African fabric. I thought that the heart print was a very sweet and appropriate choice for this quilt. The colors are bright and kind of crazy - but no color pallette in Africa is very subdued, especially when it comes to fabric for garments.
The heart print is made in Nigeria. The green and black print is also from Africa. The colors are so dense in these fabrics, it is difficult to tell the front of the fabric from the back. I chose the dominants colors within the design to compose the rest of the quilt. It is purposely wonky. I think one of my favorite parts was making the hexagons. I really hope Kelley likes this!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I usually don't like to have more than one project going on at a time, but I decided that I really need a good "hand sewing" project for when I watch a movie, have a long car ride, etc. Call me crazy, but I think I am going to do a Grandmother's Hexagon quilt. It's something I have always wanted to have and I am going into this while constantly telling myself, "This project is going to last a decade."

I am excited about the prospect of doing it in modern fabrics but I want to still make it "timeless." In other words, I don't want a lot of trendy fabrics that I might get tired of later. Do you ever over think your fabric choices for projects? I know that I do.

This evening I brought Gregory into his room and let him play while I rummaged through my fabric (it's all stored in his room). The flowers will look like the one you can see completed in the picture. I am thinking about choosing fabrics with no more than 2 colors (not counting white) and trying to stay away from real primary colors (bright red, kelly green, etc.). I love a scrappy look and want to use what I already have. Any thoughts?
P.S. I want to have a solid color throughout the whole quilt- hugging all of the flowers. Mint green? Is it supposed to be yellow? Should I go with my favorite shade of pink?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Doll Quilt Received!

I have so much to post regarding our latest NEMQG meeting we had on Saturday. It was a busy meeting - I learned a lot, ate some great cake, and took lots of pictures. It was a lot of fun! I will be posting about the meeting periodically within the next week.

Literally five minutes before I left my house for the meeting, the mailman delivered my doll quilt that I received from Lisa! I was so excited to open the package and find this:

I am so jealous that Lisa knows how to stipple so well. We really need to do a class on this for our guild!
I have never received a gift from another quilter - so this is just awesome. It is now hanging up in my bedroom, very near my other mini quilt (Girl in a swing). Do you think my husband would mind if I decorated every available wall space with mini quilts? He's already used to seeing fabric and half-finished sewing projects everywhere.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Sunday "nap" project....

This is an extremely simple rail fence quilt.... the real show-stopper is going to be when I complete the border.... think lots of applique and ric-rac.
Happy sewing!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Busy week!

The fabric diet has also helped me rediscover fabrics that I LOVE but haven't made the time to get to, like my all-time favorite collection, Heather Bailey's Pop Garden. I am doing a very easy quilt from a Quick Quilts magazine right now and I am loving the yummy colors: And it's made me try to do projects I can easily do from my stash. This quilt is from the beautiful blog: Comfort Stitching, girl on a swing mini quilt. It's one of those projects that has been on my mental "to-do" list for quite some time and this past week I completed it in only 3 days.

The hardest part was "drawing" the picture with the black thread stitching. She recommends free-motion embroidery stitching, but I wasn't that brave. I sewed it while using the feed-dogs of my sewing machine.

I did wonky line quilting with a pieced back.
One of the best parts about this quilt was that I had the binding already made from when I made this quilt. I only had had a fat quarter and it wasn't enough for the quilt (not surprising but so frustrating!). But it ended up being a happy mistake because it matched this quilt perfectly.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Sewing on the 4th

Oddly enough, I had 4th of July plans on everyday except Sunday. After church, everyone needed a nap except myself (surprisingly). I happily picked through fabrics until I came up with this combination: I originally was going to just do all Nicey Jane fabrics, but it is so much more fun to do a combination from different designers.

All in one afternoon, I made these blocks, for Oh Frannsson's 9 Patch Lattice Quilt.
Here's the problem in finishing it- I do not have 3 yards of any solid for sashing or backing. I rarely buy solids and never in a very large quantity - I am too obsessed with all of the designer prints that get produced once and go out of print too fast. There is always decent plain greys, whites, blues, etc.... I may make my sister get me a "boring" (in her opinion) present for my birthday. This fabric diet is no fun but necessary.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Thrifty Finds....

One of the secrets to being a good patron of yard sales is to go to as many yard sales as you can. By doing this, you increase your chances of finding some great stuff and beating other people to it. The fabric in this first picture is one of those finds that I am SO happy to have found - and it was bought at a yard sale that I almost didn't get out of the car to go to. See, when you are in a rush - you sometimes do "drive-bys" because it's not really worth it to even get out of your car to look at someone's used candles, empty baby wipe cases, or empty CD cases..... Anyway, I bought these beauties for $1 - not pictured are all the other, more plain, cuts of fabric that came in the bundle. I absolutely adore the print on the left - so 70's! I also got a large stack of vintage children's patterns. These books were bought a few weeks ago from a lady who was a bit snobbish when I told her about modern quilting... but we'll forgive her because she sold me these great books (plus a few other great sewing notions). I love quilting books- but I have to restrain myself sometimes because I am running out of room for all of this sewing stuff. Anyway, I am most excited about the book on the far right - it's all about how to do massive rotary cutting of 200 different classic quilt blocks. Have you ever seen those drool-worthy quilt books that have pages and pages of different quilt blocks - but you have to put it down in dismay - when you realize that it is instructing you to make templates and cut out every little piece individually? Yuck! I will let you know how I like using it - as I have been constantly thinking about making traditional blocks out of modern fabrics.