Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

This is what my sewing machine looked like on Friday afternoon. I am finally working on blocks for my sister's quilt. I pulled the fabrics a few months ago and could not think of a quilt design. I finally settled on a "Timeless Treasure" free pattern that had been sent to me in the mail - a very simple block style. There are over 100 blocks to make the size quilt she needs, so this isn't going to be completed too quickly! I wrote in my last post that I was going to slow down - I kind of wore myself out by making four softies, a charity quilt top, a bee block, and an entire quilt - all in about one week. Consequently, there was too much not getting done in my home and I want to maintain some sort of balance for the sake of my family and my own sanity. (Lately Gregory has been skipping some naps - so my free time has been limited anyways!) I find it difficult to not just sew whenever I have a free moment - but life's responsibilies come calling and you can only ignore a dirty floor for so long. It's always a juggling act for sure.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gryffindor Satchel

Last week I went on a trip with my mother and sister to Orlando. We went to the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" and several Disney theme parks. Our whole family enjoys the Harry Potter series but we are not fanatics. After this post, however, you might believe at least one of us is a little nuts for the series.

My sister Emily bought a few things at the Harry Potter section of the theme park and asked if we could make a bag before she returned to CO. Upon completion, I was happy to remind her that she could definitely state she had made her bag because she really did at least 50% of the work. She did all the cutting, seam ripping, ironing, hand sewing, etc.

She bought duck cloth from Joann's - which is pretty sturdy stuff - I broke two sewing machine needles while making it.

The ribbon on the strap used to be a lanyard which is supposed to be used for pinning a bunch of theme park pins on it.

We found this cute owl button that looked nice outside the cell phone pocket.

I couldn't resist a corny picture with Gregory's Harry Potter doll.

I am attempting to make myself slow down on sewing for a little while - I have some home organizational projects in mind that just need to get done! We'll see how it goes......

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dresden Plate Mini Quilt

Remember when a few weeks ago, I said I was going to take a break from sewing? Well, I lied. I made this the day I wrote that post - I had realized I needed a birthday gift for a friend and here you have it. I have been wanting to try and make a Dresden plate for FOREVER and I definitely think I am hooked. I keep thinking about all sorts of fabric I have that would look great in this design......

Friday, October 22, 2010

Freshcut Charm Square Quilt

This former UFO had been sitting in my closet simply waiting for a binding. I am sending it to a friend who just had a baby girl. Believe it or not, I still have some Freshcut fabric I need to use up. It was the first "modern" collection I had ever discovered and I went a bit overboard.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

9 Patch Lattice Quilt Complete!

I finished this quilt a few weeks ago. It was my first attempt at free motion quilting. It was originally intended for Gregory's birthday but now I guess I will save it for a different occastion.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yard Sale Find

A few weekends ago, I came home with a vintage patchwork quilt. I was really unsure of whether I should buy it. (Nick told Gregory, "Your mommy likes to make quilts but then she goes and buys them.") But I just couldn't leave there in a crumpled heap on the owner's driveway - it didn't hurt that they only wanted $20 for it either. The owner explained that her husband's grandmother had made the top many years ago and about 15 years ago, she had backed it and hand quilted it. The handwork is well done and I love the scrappy look.
It is rather large, you can get a better idea from this picture on how big it is (picture taken just as it fell to the ground).

Even though I love bright, modern colors - I really like older quilts too. I used to browse for old quilt tops on ebay a lot - it's fun to see what is out there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Horizons Charity Project

Several months ago the NEMQG was asked to make a Boston- themed sports team quilt for a charitable organization. I was quite skeptical about our ability to combine "novelty," "sports themed," and "Boston celtics"- all with a modern style. We used Oh Frannsson's Mix Tape pattern and several members sent me blocks. I was in charge of putting the quilt together and here's how it came out: This results, truthfully, are a bit disappointing. If you look closely - you can notice that the border is really messed up. Somehow, all the rows came out very unevenly and I had to improvise by squeezing two borders in and leaving one out. I need to confess that I put this together very quickly and my 1/4" seams with the sashing may have not been as consistent as they should have been. I also made the mistake of not squaring up all the blocks - slight variations in sizing (due to ironing, seam allowance, etc) may have also made putting this together accurately an impossible task.
I am sending it off to Shelly to longarm quilt it so that it can be ready for the November deadline. Thanks to everyone who sent me blocks - it really is appreciated! We really did have great participation on this project.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Birthday Part II

Blogger drove me nuts on Saturday night - so I ended up leaving out two pictures I had wanted to include.
I love the look of the whales all together: Right before his birthday, I knew I wanted to make him a bib or two. He wore the "#1" bib while he ate his birthday cake.
Amidst all the craziness of making items for Gregory's birthday, I also managed to finish up a few "UFO's" (Unfinished Objects). (The Chelmsford Quilt Guild has challenged us to finish up those projects this year, offering prizes in April - which was part of my motivation). Needless to say, I am pretty tired from doing so much sewing. I have scheduled several posts for the next two weeks but I am going to take a little break from sewing while I have my sister in town.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I had to edit this post to add a quick note: I was very shocked and excited to see that Laurie Wisbrun herself highlighted my Elephant pj's made from her fabric: check it out here.

My mom and I took Gregory to the Topsfield fair and spent most of the time in the petting zoo. They did have an arts and crafts building, but the quilts were hung from a very high ceiling- so I didn't even bother trying to take pictures. In the 4-H building, however, I spotted this beauty created by a talented teenager. If I had discovered modern fabrics when I was in high school- my stash really would be out of control at this point! Checkout this link on the New England Modern Quilt Blog to see my post about our October meeting.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Gregory's Handmade Birthday Presents

My baby turned one today! I feel so grateful for the happiness he has brought to our lives. This child is OBSESSED with these store bought blankets. He received the blue one from a friend at his baby shower and became quickly attached to it. It wasn't long before I decided getting an identical one might be wise. He gets really excited when he gets to drag both of them around.
In an effort to convert him to one of the quilts I have made, I backed his birthday quilt with a "soft and cuddly" fabric from Joann's. The quilt pattern is "Simply Modern Baby Quilt" by Elizabeth Hartman.

I just really love this whale fabric - it's "Urban Zoologie" by Ann Kelle and it became my jumping point for all of his presents.

I didn't get any really great pictures of him wearing his new p.j.'s - but they did come out well and I plan on having him wear them frequently!

Finally, I ended up making him four whale softies. I bought the pattern from a seller on etsy and after making the first one, I decided they were easy enough for me to make a few more with other nautical fabrics:

We had a great day today with lovely weather, a trip to the park, and chocolate cake. What more could anyone ask for?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Deerfield Fair 2010

Last year I missed the Deerfield Fair because I was basically too pregnant to move.... I was NOT going to miss it this year. Here's a few pictures of the quilts on display there:

This one was my fave:
The reverse applique on this leaf quilt was quite impressive!

This Muppet quilt looked very cute - at least the parts of it that I could see. I didn't really understand why they crammed so much on top of some pieces.

Here's Nick and Gregory by the "display" of fire trucks:

Here's Gregory and I at the display of the biggest pumpkins. The one directly behind us was over 1,000 lbs.

I enjoyed the fair but the crowds were out of control - trying to push a stroller around was no easy task. I also felt like more space and attention should've been given to crafters, 4-H, etc. rather than all the vendors and rides. I really like the "old fashioned" elements of a state fair and could pass on the over-emphasis on the commercialism of the event.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sew-In - Brookline Library

Last Thursday I braved Boston traffic and drove to the Brookline library to meet with my friends from NEMQG. I got there an hour later than I wanted to due to Gregory being sick with a cold and my husband being stuck in traffic.... Not long after I finally arrived to our little get together, an elderly gentleman came into our room. He was hard of hearing and obviously a bit confused. It wasn't long before he helped ourselves to our cake: I had to take a picture. Monet, Rebecca, and I were all able to give our bee blocks to Jill, here they are all together. I think they look awesome and Jill doesn't even have to add sashing, if she doesn't want to.