Monday, January 30, 2012

Baby Boy Plus Quilt Completed

I finished this quilt over the weekend. I am quite happy with how it came out and I am already envisioning an adult-sized "plus" quilt to make someday. I have gravitated towards using reds in my quilts quite a bit within the past year. Fabrics I used include Daiwabo Tiny Tip Top, Meet the Gang, Sherbet Pips, Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet, Momo Half Moon Modern, and Tufted Tweets.

I backed the quilt in red minkee. It was not an easy process to put a real binding on the whole thing - that was my least favorite part of the whole process. I am going to try a different method with the girly quilt and maybe do a tutorial - there isn't a lot out there online on how to back a quilt with the minkee-like fabrics.

I really didn't have a lot of black and white fabrics to use for this - while I don't use a lot of black in my quilts - this did make me realize that it could be good to have a few more options in my stash.

I did straight line quilting on the quilt- I definitely didn't want to do a bunch of busy free motion stitching that would take away from the graphic appeal of the fabrics I had chosen.

I am really closing in on completing all of my baby projects. I am dying to cut into some fabric stacks I have been playing with and start a quilt (or two). I am not going to deny that even though I am SO ready for this baby to come - I still get nervous about the transition to a family of four and the unavoidable depletion of my sewing time.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Car Seat Cover Completed

I completed a reversible car seat cover. I skimmed a few online tutorials but didn't feel the need to follow any of them very closely - it's just a rectangle with velcro straps. I added a layer of flannel between the quilting cottons to give it some weight and perhaps aid in a future use as a playmat. I like this side the best - the blood orange color on the tree blossoms is gorgeous and the Park Slope leaf dot couldn't match it any better. I may have made this on the bigger side - but what else is new?

The fabrics don't really match the apple green of the car sear - but it doesn't bother me.

This Heirloom print is probably one of my most favorite fabrics - it's so graphic and appeals to my penchant for monochromatic prints.

Thanks for visiting :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

WIP Friday

This is the beginning of a unisex car seat cover - I am planning to make it reversible. I thought about making two (one for a girl, one for a boy) - but that is just too much work and the clock is ticking. Several months ago, I made a sleep sack and stupidly added a few pink fabrics. Now I do have to make another one that is more boyish. I found this Robert Kaufman flannel (far left) in my stash and some other coordinating prints. I would've preferred to have a geometric, non-themed flannel to work with but I am trying to use what I have instead of buying more. Oh, and those brown prints in the picture? That selection pretty much accounts for my entire stash of browns - I guess it's not really a go-to color for me! I couldn't resist a few cuts of the new Aunt Edna for the DS collection at Joann's. Those corporate monsters raised the price to $12.99 per yard! With a coupon and a sale - I bought a bit for $7.28 per yard. I agree with a lot of the chatter online about the price hike - if they are going to charge quilt store prices- they ought to provide quilt store service (e.g. no 1 hour lines at the cutting table, use a rotary cutter instead of a hack saw, employ people who have actually sewed, etc. etc.). I do love this line though - it's extra soft and goes perfectly with Hope Valley.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Here We Go" Diaper Bag

I finally finished a diaper bag I started over the weekend. Thankfully, my son has returned to sleeping at night and taking his naps - so I am feeling much better and sewing like a maniac.

I have wanted to make the "Here We Go" bag from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings book for ages. Finding the best combination of 3 different fabrics proved to be the hardest part - I had the Viewfinders and Echino - but could not find another print to use as the handles, accent strip, and interior. I even bought 2.5 yds of a golden yellow polka dot that I thought would work (luckily it was on sale) - that is now added to my stash. Finally, over the holidays - I came across a red home dec pin dot print from the 2007 Denyse Schmidt County Fair collection. I bought it with the intention to use it in a Multi-Tasker tote, but was happy to learn it would go well with this project. I altered the pattern a bit by not including a divider (I've made one before for this diaper bag and found it very cumbersome to put together as well as not very useful in general), adding a key fob/tag, and skipping the bias tape option of finishing the bag. I am happy I made those alterations - much less work and it looks fine.

This bag uses a lot of that very stiff interfacing- Peltex. I love how it gives the bag such a sturdy shape. It will be interesting to see how it lasts over time.

I am planning to make a matching changing pad/diaper case soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Giveaway Winner and Weekend Accomplishments

Thanks to all those who entered the Quilter's Way giveaway. The random number generator chose #3: Rosa - who said she loves "Ruby." The most popular response for everyone's favorite collection from 2011 was Windham's Echo.


My son finally graced us with two uninterrupted nights of sleep over the weekend, so I finally found some energy to work on a few projects. Here they are on my design wall: The plus quilt was a dream to make - one evening of cutting and arranging, another evening to put it together. It was so quick and I love the way it looks. My only regret is adding that "Swell" bird print - I realized too late that it is very "off white" while my other white prints are very bright.

To the side of the plus quilt is a quick beginning of a table topper I needed to make in preparation for the weekend's BMQG meeting. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the meeting due to the snowstorm on Saturday.

I also started a diaper bag that I hope to finish today. "Nesting" via sewing projects is a lot of fun.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog Tour: Last Stop for the Quilter's Way Kit Designer

Thanks to Quilter's Way for allowing me to participate in their Kit Designer blog tour. In case you were unaware, some of my friends from the BMQG have participated in this event earlier in the week: Alice, Jen, Aimee, and Pippa. We were all asked to review a new tool on the Quilter's Way website, Kit Designer, which allows you to design a custom quilt kit using templates and images of fabric from the shop's inventory.

I was immediately drawn to the Snow Stacks pattern and had fun adding fabrics from Lark, Modernology, Taza, Children at Play, Mod, and Kona and Designer Solids. You all know that I am trying to branch out from creating quilts solely out of one collection - so this is a great way to see how a bunch of prints work together that are not normally grouped together.

I have to say that I was impressed with the ease of the Kit Designer. I have had more trouble figuring out how to use a gift card code online than I did in designing a twin-sized quilt with this online tool. The only real trouble I had was in trying to figure out how to embed the image of what I had created into this blog post - but the link is here. I am not the most computer literate person, so I don't blame the QW software for my confusion!

I am pleased to host a Quilter's Way sponsored giveaway: four fat quarters of Amy Butler's Lark collection. I wasn't too sure if I liked Lark when I saw previews of it last year - but I can honestly say that it is one of my most favorite collections from 2011.
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite collection is from 2011. International entries are welcome, no-reply blogger comments will be deleted. A winner will be chosen randomly on January 23. Good luck!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Thanks for all the love on my spiderweb quilt and encouragement to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this pregnancy. Gregory is continuing his torturous nocturnal shenanigans - BUT - instead of napping when he naps - yesterday, I decided to put together the spiderweb top. I am finding that if I nap during the day, I can't sleep at night - no matter what happens! I am so happy with how it came out and I am proud that I finally kept to having it be a reasonable size - a newborn does not need a twin sized quilt! Now I am ready to start my plan for a boy quilt. I sketched out my plan last night on some graph paper and referenced my friend Meaghan's tutorial. I have never done a "plus quilt" before but I am excited. I am using the fabrics I had pulled a while ago- post seen here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pink Spiderweb

I have had these triangle spiderweb pieces on my design wall for at least a week but no energy to blog about them. I am six weeks from my due date and admit to counting down the days at this point! Being pregnant is no picnic when you have an energetic 2 year old who has decided to keep an erratic sleep schedule lately as well as dealing with gestational diabetes. Denying a pregnant woman occasional indulgence in harmless cravings - like cereal, chocolate, and bread..... it's just not fair! (And lets face it - I never crave steamed broccoli or scrambled eggs - which is basically what I have been living on since October.)

Anyway - this is my second attempt at making a small baby girl quilt - I used a Sherbet Pips dot as the background and scraps from my stash to make it: I love the spiderweb block, I have only made one before (for a bee). I am predicting that maybe it will become my "dresden of 2012".......

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reflections and Predictions for 2012

I have a WIP to share soon, but I am forcing myself to relax more this week. Suffice it to say that being 8 months pregnant has never been less fun :(

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to participate in the Sew Mama Sew "Reflections and Predictions" series:

Looking back at the 2011 sewing scene, what trends stand out in your mind?

The popularity of solids gained momentum this past year. Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton solids have some serious competition now - finding the perfect shade of blue, for example, has never been so easy. The rise in cotton costs this year has resulted in solids being priced the same or almost the same as designer prints - a fact I find very annoying.

Speaking of the rising cost of cotton, I have also noticed that the popularity of different fabric substrates (voile, velveteen, sateen, etc.) are cropping up everywhere. I am amazed that some people are more than happy $20 per yard for special Japanese imports, organic fabrics, etc. A lot of these special designs have very clever, unique, and beautiful designs and I think people are willing to overlook the high cost because of this.

What were some of your favorite things related to sewing this past year?

I have loved renting time on a long-arm quilting machine. I truly enjoy it! I also wore holes into the fingers of these machine quilting gloves on my home machine - couldn't do FMQ without them!

What did you make that your most proud of?

The king size quilt, "My African Heart," is quite an accomplishment for me. It was inspired by Sarah Fielke's design (seen on the cover of her first book) but I really feel a lot of ownership of the design and concept despite borrowing the idea. The quilt reminds me of a special/crazy time in my life and I am glad to have such a momento of my four months volunteering in Uganda.

What sewn projects have you seen this year that you absolutely love?

The Hexy MF quilt from I'm a Ginger Monkey is simply breathtaking and may make me commit to a better plan for a large hexie quilt. There have been a lot of scrappy rainbow quilts that I love too. Finally, I am smitten with this WIP from Lucy and Norman: Maple Leaf.

Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from last year to recommend?

I really like Quilting From Little Things and Modern Log Cabin Quilting.

Are there any trends your're over and done with?

Cheesy motifs for boy fabrics including pirates, robots, skulls, forest animals, etc. It's just a personal thing but I probably won't ever do a bee for exchanging blocks again. Again, it's a personal thing - but I am going to try to shy away from precuts and making quilts solely out of one collection - I prefer a more eclectic look.

What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?

I barely joined Pinterest and I am finding that I enjoy organizing my links that used to clog up my "favorites" bar. I will admit to spending more time on facebook this year and I guess I am more of a "lurker" than a "poster." I don't even know what Twitter is. Instead of spending lots of time on social media, I tend to use my computer time reading others blogs.

Do you have a favorite fabric collection or print from 2011?

Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi is awesome. I have yet to touch the pieces I own - but I already want more. The best print that I want to make curtains out of is this one. I don't own any, but the Loulouthi voiles and velveteens are gorgeous too.

I am also excited about these Japanese fabrics from Kayo Horaguchi. True Up has a post here
and I think my favorite print is this one.

Oh! I am also in love with Denyse Schmidt's Joann's collection Daisy Mae. I have a big stack that coordinates with some African fabric that I can't wait to dive into.

What do you predict for the sewing industry in 2012?

More owls - even though everyone is tired of them. More fabric designers being "discovered" via avenues like Spoonflower. More reprints of old favorites - I have heard rumors of Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner doing this eventually.

What are my goals for 2012? Any big or life changing projects?

I am trying to be realistic about what I can accomplish in 2012 with a new baby coming at the end of February. I would love to devote more time to smaller projects - specifically items to decorate/use in my home. I am also PSYCHED that the BMQG has been invited to display quilts in a gallery during the Lowell Quilt Festival- this is huge for our group!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Wheels Quilt

I decided to make one of Gregory's friends a quilt last week. The little boy is obsessed with all things cars, so this Anne Kelle fabric from her Ready, Set, Go! fabric was perfect. I followed the same design concept I completed over a year ago for Gregory's whale blanket. I used Elizabeth Hartman's pattern. This quilt was a quick project - it only took me about 3 days. I used Kona solids from my stash.

I backed the quilt in an orange shot cotton:
I used scraps from the top to make a scrappy binding:

I couldn't resist including this goofy picture of my husband who also doubles as my resident "quilt holder."

This quilt is the first finish of 2012.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Storytime Quilt

After finishing a gift for a friend's son (will post as soon as I get the chance to take a picture) - I can finally focus on sewing for my baby that is due in 8 weeks. We didn't find out the gender - so I am planning to make a girl quilt and a boy quilt.

Here is my first attempt at doing a girly quilt. It is a shameless imitation of this lovely quilt from the blog A Quilt Is Nice. Finding 47 unique character prints in my stash was a bit of a challenge! But I think I did okay.

My two favorites are the frogs playing holding hands and the 7 dwarfs surrounding Snow White.

I am concerned that this quilt top came out too big and I am unsure if I want to commit to having this quilt be the first quilt for the (potential?) daughter I may be carrying. I really want to start out with a small quilt, backed in something soft, that the baby might attach to.... I am going to have to think on this and I am already planning a second girl option.

The ironic thing is that I think I might be having a boy - the only reason why I started on the girl quilt first is because it is easier than the plan I have for a boy quilt and I felt like doing something quick and easy.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Last Finishes of 2011

I finished the "Stamps" yellow and purple quilts for my friend who is having twins. I am very happy with how they came out. I can't wait to give them to her next week. The purple one is my favorite:

They measure 44" x 44".

She requested a soft backing fabric, so I found this light pink starry "soft and comfy" fabric at Joann's. It wasn't as stretchy as the traditional minkee and wasn't too bad to work with.

I am working on a few more baby quilts now - after making so many large ones last year - it's nice to work on some projects that don't take months and months!