Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Luckily, Hurricane Irene was very mild for the area I live in - but I prepared for the worst- I even decided to go hang out at my parent's from Saturday afternoon until yesterday. The power flickered and that was it. During Gregory's naps I took advantage of my parent's cable and DVR and watched/listened to several episodes of "What Not to Wear" and "Law and Order." It really helped to get me through the very monotonous task of sewing the dresden plates onto the background squares: When I got home last night, I finished the last of these Children at Play blocks. I have to say that I like the fussy cut squares of these prints - but I find that these styles of prints limit my creativity a bit- I am much more used to using prints and color rather than trying to fuss with little character/novelty images.

I am off to Louisville on Friday to reunite with my hubby and visit his parents with Gregory. We were going to squeeze a visit of Paducah in - but there just isn't enough time. But you better believe I hope to squeeze a quick visit to a quilt store that I heard is excellent. I am really excited to be with Nick again and finally allow Gregory to see his grandparents- as it has been over a year now since we last all got together!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mosaic Top Done!

You all might be sick of this quilt by now but unfortunately, at least one more post is coming (when I finally finish it!). I would love to hear opinions on whether I should add a few borders. I am thinking: 1st a small white border, followed two gray and purple borders that are a little thicker than the white (maybe 3 inches each?).

P.S. Thanks for all the empathizing and supportive comments regarding the Hushabye sampler that I hated. I'd never written a post like that because usually I like what I make. I am going to finish it - but not for a while - it's time to focus on other things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hushabye Sampler Top Finished

I don't know if I should share how negatively I feel about this quilt top. When I told my mom all of my complaints - she suggested I just throw it away - it was her reaction to my vitriole. I don't hate it enough to literally put it in the trash but it's been a serious struggle from the beginning. Here are some of my reasons for loathing this project:

#67. The fabric requirements for the pattern required that I buy certain amounts for the sashing and backing which both ended up being WAY too much fabric. The fabric I had to buy doesn't really go with the rest of my stash - so it's a waste. #88. I cut up two yards of the pink Hushabye owl print that ended up being a waste because my rows and columns of sashed blocks wouldn't fit properly around the panel I had cut. (Totally my fault!!!!)

#92. I hate doing sashing for quilts - it's not as easy as it looks and I rarely can do it right.

#102. I had my doubts about using the saturated brown prints in some of the blocks - and then I went ahead and clustered them all together - which makes it even worse.

#111. I liked Hushabye, but now I can't bear to look at it anymore. I am hanging onto some of my yardage of the owl prints - but the rest is being destashed on etsy.

I totally understand the wisdom of "finishing what you start." But I once read some advice on flickr to a woman who wasn't sure if she should finish up a hand pieced hexagon quilt that she hated. The comment said something to the effect of, "Sometimes we spend too much time and money on projects we aren't enjoying and it's often better to just move on and spend our efforts on things we are excited about/enjoy more."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dresden Progress

Last week I finished up all of my dresden plates for the Dotty for Dresden quilt. There are 30, as I am adding a full column to the pattern in order to make the quilt queen sized. I am really pleased with how they came out. I put the pieces together randomly - just trying not to have same colors touching and having no fabrics repeated within the plate.

Friday night, I started another quilt:

All of my WIP's are kind of overwhelming me right now! This weekend I have been trying to put together the top of the Hushabye sampler quilt.... I would much rather work with the above projects but I will get to them as soon as possible.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

World Quilt Show 2011

The World Quilt Show in Manchester, NH did not disappoint. The quilts on display were very diverse - there was something there for everyone! I love how they have quilts from all over the world - Japan, South Africa, England, Germany, etc.

I will be brief in my narration of the few pictures I show here:

I liked this one because it uses African prints - I am always looking for ideas on how to use my Uganda fabric stash! The work of Linda Schmidt was on display and it was nothing short of jaw-droppingly beautiful. I should've taken more pictures of her work, but these next two were some of my favorites:

This quilt was from Germany and I was mainly inspired by the unique color pallette.

This floral quilt was a collaborative effort from a guild in Capetown, South Africa. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous!

There were so many vendors at the show, it was a bit overwhelming. I was very interested in "Dusty's Vintage" - a small company in MA that sells vintage tablecloths, buttons, trims, and fabrics. I bought two cuts from the 1950's - the purple and red paisley and a lavendar/green floral feedsack - a full yard of each. I am sure it's rare to find such old and pretty fabric in such pristine condition. These fabrics are sitting on a backdrop of a new Denyse Schmidt Sugar Creek print - Whimsy Bouquet - I am going to use it to back my dresden quilt. After I got home from the show - I took my son to Nashua to hunt some down - I was a woman on a mission!

I also got this horrifying novelty print at the World Quilt Show, my son really loves motorcycles. PJ pants are in order I think.

Maybe saying he's "obsessed" is a better term......

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Goodbye Gift

I have been saving the selvedges (sp?) from my fabrics for maybe two years now. I don't really know why - I guess I started to see projects that use them now and then and I figured, "I may want these someday." I have come very close, on multiple occasions, to throwing them away - it just has added more clutter to my overflowing fabric stash. But there are some awesome projects that use them - there's even a whole flickr group dedicated to it and someone even made a whole dress out of them! Amy, from Made During Quiet Time, recently joined our Boston Modern Quilt Guild and she has an awesome tutorial on how to make a very cute armrest pincushion. I thought it would be a perfect going away gift for Monet:

Working with the selvedges was fun - I am now glad that I saved them. When choosing which ones to use - I simply looked for ones with lots of lettering or circle/colored dots.

I would recommend, when working with selvedges- when sewing them onto the background square - use a square a little larger than the measurement of what you want to end up with. I found that all of my sewing made the piece a bit wonky and I had to cut it to size at the end and some of the edges didn't end up having the "support" of the background square. The only alteration I did to Amy's tutorial was adding a flannel bag of rice into the pincushion in order to make it have more weight.

I gave this small gift to Monet at the end of our afternoon at the World Quilt Show. I will post about the show tomorrow. Right now I am feeling a little overstimulated by being at the show most of the day (SO many beautiful quilts and SO many vendors!) but I also feel a little overwhelmed. Monet was the founder and leader of our guild and has worked tirelessly to create a very meaningful organization and she also has been a wonderful, true friend. I am going to miss her terribly as she heads off to law school. Her departure not only means that I won't get to see her much but it also signals the transition for me to go from being vice president to president. I love the guild and I am excited to continue working as an officer - but of course it is a little intimidating! I have to say that I am more than grateful to Monet for providing a wonderful foundation to a group that I hope will thrive for many more years.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strips and Bricks Top Completed

The night before my SIL came to town- I hurriedly tried to put this top together so that I wouldn't have the rows lying all over the place. I put in the movie "Catch Me if You Can" and was done by 10:30 pm. I was also in a rush because I thought I might want to bring it to Marden's to choose a backing - but I realized I had something in my stash that will do. I have to say that I am really happy with how it turned out. I am kind of surprised by its large size, even though I planned it that way- 90" x 92". The reason why I wanted to make this quilt is because I wanted an excuse to use some of the gray and black fabrics that I own and love. But I don't think I would ever be content to make something without much color - so that is why I added some blue and red prints (my favorite colors). I kind of like to think of it as a black and white photo with some color added to it.

Fabrics I used include Half Moon by Moda, Henna Garden, Cathedral by AMH, gray Wishing flowers, Daiwabo gray elephants, Pearl Bracelet, Avalon bikes, Ribbon Flowers from KJR, Cherry Wallflower, etc. The neutrals I used were Kona Snow, White, Ash, and Bone. The pattern was inspired from Strips and Bricks by Malka Dubrasky.

It may be a while before I get the opportunity to baste and quilt this beast but hopefully I can show its' completion soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gregory's Birdie Quilt

Melissa made this sweet quilt for Gregory. It is a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I love the color choices and bird- theme. His room actually has somewhat of a bird theme - I made him a bird mobile and his nursery art is a series of prints from this etsy seller: Barkingbirdart.

Anyway, I love the prints she used - some Red Letter Day, Flea Markte Fancy, and some Tina Givens. The back is a perfect choice- a flannel with little birds on it!

I have to say that it means a lot that she made this for Gregory. People often think that I don't want anything handmade because I sew a lot - but if anything, I have an appreciation for how much time and work goes into something like this! I love it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lowell Quilt Festival 2011

My SIL, Melissa, is visiting from Texas this week. Although she is really busy with work and school, she does enjoy sewing and has made a few quilts in the past couple of years. She brought Gregory a quilt she made and he loves it- I will post that tomorrow.

Anyway, some of our activities so far have centered around sewing. Today we went to the Lowell Quilt show. I was excited to show her a quilt made by a fellow Boston Modern guild member: Jen Boucher. I am so happy for Jen! I have seen quite a lot of progress on this quilt and to see her win a blue ribbon for the Best Wall Quilt is simply AWESOME! You can see more of Jen's work on her blog: A Quilting Jewel. (Incidentally, this quilt has hundreds and hundreds of crystals on it!) Of course, I had to take a picture of this interesting use of hexagons:

This quilt was my favorite - probably since I seem to have a thing for trees. I wrote down the name of the pattern and I am going to try to find it and do this someday in modern fabrics.

I have been doing a little sewing while Melissa is here. I whipped together my first dresden plate in about 10 minutes. I am telling you - once you have the "prep work" of making all of the fan blades, these things fly out of your machine in no time.

Melissa also requested that we make a trip to Marden's in Maine while she's here. We went straight from the airport! I was really thrilled with what I got:

The Maryoshka doll piece is made by Hallmark (who knew they made fabric?!), the woodgrain is a Timeless treasure print, and the red print is a perfect backing for the girl quilt I am planning for my friend. The two KJR finds were from Lowell show today - I was ecstatic to find them because they are literally both my most favorite prints from that collection and I had very little!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Strips and Bricks

I am hoping to finish off the 10 rows I need for this quilt tonight: The color pallette/fabric choices feel very different than what I usually do - especially given my heavy use of neutrals. I am not sure how I feel about this project yet but I am optimistic. I am also enjoying the ease of it - sometimes you need a quick project. For the next 4 weeks me and Gregory are flying solo. Nick left today for a job training in Ohio. A few years ago, when he was in law school, he left for 3 months - but this separation feels more painful. It's probably due to the fact that we have a child now - I have to be a single parent for a little while and Nick feels the guilt of being away from our son. I know there are lots of spouses who have to separate for a lot longer than a month - so I will keep my complaining to a minimum. The one good thing about this, I am hoping, is that I think I might get more sewing done!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fabric Friday and WIP

Yesterday Nick took Gregory to the park and I finished my last two blocks for my bee quilt (contributions came from the Boston Modern Quilt Guild and Hip to Bee Square flickr bee). I am waiting on one last block. Yesterday I finally decided to write a person in the bee who I had not received a block from- and it turns out that the package had been misplaced and she hadn't mailed it yet. Phew! I had seen her picture of what she made and I am so relieved it wasn't lost!

I love the way this quilt is looking but I am surprised at how "small" the quilt looks after having accrued blocks from two bees and making several blocks myself. Hopefully I can show you the completed top soon.

I finally spent most of my birthday money on some Joel Dewberry Heirloom. The blog world seems to really be falling hard for the Citrine pallette (orange, aqua, yellow) but I am very happy with my choice of Sapphire. If you have any suggestions for a good pattern that showcases large scale prints - let me know.

A good friend of mine is having her second baby girl in December. I want to make her a quilt and invited myself to her house with a huge bag full of fabric choices. She has a background in interior design and before I knew it - she pulled apart some of my little "themed" packets/collections and made this: a red, pink, green pallette with a hint of orange. I love it!

I told her I needed to add more, so these are the fabrics I put together on the bottom row: What do you think? I do think it needs some editing still.

I am thinking about using this brand-new sheet as sashing for the quilt. Normally I am against using anything but normal Kona - but this sheet has a nice and soft texture and has a subtle chevron pattern in it. I know that using a cheap sheet is discouraged - but this sheet is 250 thread count, 100% cotton. Any thoughts?

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