Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Lots of binding needed to be made in preparation for the completion of three quilts.  I have two appointments for renting longarm time within the next week.  I am excited to complete three WIPs but a bit concerned about the callous/blister that is developing on one of my fingers due to all of the hand sewing I have been doing.....  Hand-tacking all this binding is not going to help but that's okay.

I have been digging into scraps for my hexagon/string WIP - so excited to start some of these blocks soon!
I won a giveaway recently from Sheree's Alchemy.  She picked maybe 10 winners and had less than 30 entries - so that definitely helps to explain my luck.  I picked the weekender bag pattern (it will probably be a while before I summon the courage to attempt that one!) and that very sweet linen strawberry fabric.  She added the other pattern as a surprise - so generous!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Donkey Crawl Quilt Completed

There's something about the weekend that always makes my sewing time so much more productive than the average weekday.  It's all thanks to my husband - he really is such an attentive dad and never minds taking over with the kids so that I can accmplish some things.  People often ask me, "How do you get so much quilting done?"  One of the main reasons is that I have a husband who knows I need a break and he supports me. 
I finished this fun and simple quilt that I am going to call "Donkey Crawl."  It is a pattern called, "Cub Crawl," from the book: Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters.  I am always in favor of simple quilts for kids and this design is so quick to put together that it lends itself to lots of free motion quilting practice. 

I did a different FMQ design in each solid frame for the donkey and boot blocks.  Even though I am not a huge fan of solids, I definitely appreciate their appeal for quilting- so much of quilting designs get lost in prints. 

If you want to try the Cub Crawl pattern, be warned that there is an error - it has you cut enough solid strips for 16 blocks when you are only using 14.  Grr....

I debated and debated on whether to use one of my favorite Laurie Wisbrun prints for the back: Urban Circus in pink and green BUT after observing my obsessive indecision, Nick told me I should go ahead and use something I was less attached to.  The whole "precious" fabric thing is real!  Anyway, I used this fun Alexander Henry print for the back:
I am on a roll with finishing all of these WIPs- but I am aching to start some new things!  In about one more week, I am going to let myself dive into some new projects.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I was almost sad to finish up the 20 rosette's for my Little Apples quilt - I really do enjoy working with hexagons. 

But the best thing about finishing one hand-sewing project is that I had an excuse to start another: I have been eyeing this Kawaii Winter Wonderland Countdown cross-stitch project for a while now.  Seeing all of my sister's success at cross-stitch made me want to join the fun.

I am really enjoying practicing some new free-motion quilting on the donkey quilt:

And I finally got a decent photo of this recently completed WIP.  This panel had caught my eye last spring and I cut into it pretty quickly- but I ended up having a fair amount of issues with completing this wall-hanging.  One problem was that I had not off-set one of the panels enough, later I ended up having to rebaste it after another debacle.  It kind of held my good basting safety pins hostage for a while because I was just not motivated to quilt it.  I am pretty happy with how it came out after all that!
My only issue now is, what do I do with it?  It's a little too adolescent for my living room.  Do any of my readers know of a place I could donate this to? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bits and pieces

My Dimples "Mega-Bundle" arrived very quickly.  Thanks to Andover Fabrics for being so generous!  I don't know if I will ever win a contest again - so this is pretty exciting to receive my favorite thing of all time - lots and lots of fabric! The possibilities!  There are 135 fat quarters- nearly 34 yards. The Dimples collection is basically a "textured basic" stash builder - not quite a solid and very versatile.

I have lots of new projects I am excited to start but I am finally "in the mood" to finish up some long-standing UFO's (in the spirit of the BMQG UFO challenge).  The Krackle quilt was an old project, I recently basted my Hushabye sampler top, I finished this (but can't seem to find a good opportunity to photograph it), and yesterday I put together this pink and green top:

I got stalled with this project nearly a year ago because I got frustrated with the linear nature of the Jack and Jenny prints - don't get me wrong, the fabrics are adorable!  But my problem was that I was trying to incorporate them into the strip design of this quilt and I didn't like how slanted the prints looked when you cut them selvage to selvage.  I didn't care for the way you had to cut off bits and pieces of the donkeys and boots and how crooked it looked....  So this weekend, I decided to scrap the strips I had cut and just focus on doing fussy-cutting of the fabrics for the framed squares.   I love how it turned out and I am sure I can finish this in time for Charlotte's first birthday.  The donkey/boot fabrics came out right around when she was born and I was so close to buying the boyish versions because I was sure that I was having a second son - it's a good thing I waited and I remember feeling especially thrilled to have a real reason to buy the pink versions. 

My son is still attached to his store-bought Carter's blanket gifted at his baby shower.  (Yes, he's asleep on the floor because this is how he's been napping lately - it's a long story):

But Charlotte is showing a gradual affinity for the quilts that I have made her.  How sweet is this picture?  This is definitely an image that explains why I quilt - no explanation necessary. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Krackle Quilt Completed

Good news - two winners were chosen for the "Your Andover" contest and I was one of them.  I will blog my winnings when I receive them (as requested).  Thanks to everyone for spreading the word and for their support.
You might have heard of a winter storm called Nemo that visited the Northeast part of the U.S. last weekend.  Thankfully, we didn't lose power and I ended up having quite a bit of time on my hands to sew.  I finally finished a long-standing WIP - the Krackle quilt using a layer cake from the Moda Lucy's Crab Shack collection. 

I am pretty happy with how it came out and have decided I will do a bigger version with stash fabrics.  I just have to find the patience to cut approximately 138 ten-inch squares (which then has to be cut up into 6 triangles per square!).  Cutting is my least favorite part of quilting - so it will take a while to get that done.  But seriously - I wouldn't think of undertaking so much cutting if I didn't think it would be worth it.  I am the kind of quilter who enjoys really simple quilts and this is the kind of pattern that looks complicated and difficult but it really isn't.  The pattern is designed by Aneela Hooey and you can find it in her etsy shop here

I backed the quilt with some backing I had had in my stash for a while - it's a Momo Freebird print.  I had done a lot of basic stippling lately, so I decided to mix it up a little and do some swirls and double loops.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Your Andover contest ends tomorrow

 I will never be a politician, but I feel like I have been on a campaign this past week.  This whole "Your Andover" contest is fueled by popularity.  When notified of making it to the finals, I was told to get my "friends and family" to vote for me - most of whom don't even know what Pinterest is or even have an account.  That is why I haven't shutup about it on this blog and I am calling in lots of favors with quilters and bloggers alike.  I kind of hate the whole process but I am playing the game.  So, if you haven't already, please vote for my quilt here (you can "like" it once and "repin" as often as you want) and if you really want to do me a huge favor - please mention it on FB, Twitter, your blog, etc.  So many of you already have gotten the word out and I truly appreciate it.  This torture, win or lose, will be finally over tomorrow - 11 AM EST. 

A Quilt for a New Baby Boy

I have a good friend named Jen who recently had a baby boy.  She was actually at my house the day before she went into labor - this also happened with her second born.  Apparently pregnant women need to visit me if they want to have their babies soon....  Anyway, she is a quilter too - so the pressure was on to create something fun and unique for her newest child. 
After completing a major patchwork square quilt recently - I knew I had to do something different than simple squares, but I wanted to still go simple.  My brain has been really fried lately with not getting enough sleep, being housebound with sick children, and feeling the post-holiday, mid-winter blues....  Enter the strip quilt:

No, it's not entirely strips - but it's still a pretty easy pattern to slap together.  I used a Robert Kaufman juvenile print entitled: Mixed Menagerie from Pink Light Design by Elissa Hudson- as my focus print.  I also used one of my most favorite boy fabrics- Numbers in Citrus from the RK Modern Robin Zingone collection.  (Sorry to get all label-y here, but these are two fun fabrics for boys that aren't too nursery or gimmicky- so I figure it would be nice for people to know what they are!).  The other fabrics are from my stash.
Here's a picture of the back (I had accidently cut too many strips for the front - so the pieced back is a little more "detailed" than I normally go - only because I am lazy like that):

I did a little bit of straight line quilting and a bit of stippling to put the quilt together.  I tried spray basting for the first time with this quilt and it went well.

I still have at least two more baby boy quilts I want to make soon and I am not sorry to have them on my "to do" list - it's a lot of fun!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Cross Stitch Fun

Greetings from the Boston area where we are receiving 2+ feet of snow and counting, here's a view from our back door:
Thanks to everyone for voting for me in the "Your Andover" contest.  Thanks to the generosity of many people in spreading the word, my numbers have been climbing.  I am pretty excited.  If you haven't yet, you can vote here on Pinterest.
This post is to brag about my sister and her recent success with cross-stitch.  I have been trying to get her to sew for ages because I love it but she's more of the book-worm, athletic type.  When she was home over Christmas break, I showed her some fun cross stitch patterns that I thought might appeal to her.  She agreed to try this Harry Potter pattern found on etsy: 

The seller had a 3 for 1 deal, so she chose their companion patterns as well:

She soon started finding other pattern sources and whipped this up for a good friend of hers that just became a physician's assistant:

This one is for my daughter, Charlotte (I love it!):

As you can tell, she has really taken off with this new hobby.  I have promised to give her a bunch of my over-abundance of embroidery floss when I get around to organizing it.  I also gave her a standing offer that I would happily convert her creations into  mini quilts or pillow covers if she so desired. 

This little hobby is a great fit for her because she has a bit of an addiction to tv shows on dvd and ESPN - a way to relax after long days of being a school psychologist.  It's a pretty cozy fit to be able to do a little hand-sewing in front of the tv, wouldn't you agree?

Lastly, I figured I would give a shout-out to my mom who just finished this cross-stitch- a project that took years.  There's no way I would ever attempt anything so intricate:

Monday, February 04, 2013

"Your Andover" Finalist Competition..... Shameless Self Promotion

I received exciting news a few weeks ago when I won the weekly "Your Andover" contest after I had submitted a picture of the Lizzy House rainbow quilt I made a month or so ago.  The prize included a package of 6 charm packs (Lucky Penny, Constellations, and Asbury), a shopping bag, and 8 Savanna Bop FQ's.  It totally made my week! 

Today I received the very exciting news that I am now a finalist in the competition!  The grand prize is a $500 gift certificate towards Andover fabrics and a 135 FQ bundle of their Dimples collection.  This totally made my day - especially because it's been a rough one filled with caring for a sick baby who caught a really nasty bug.  Anyway - I could daydream for hours on what I would make with all those yummy Andover fabrics - I mean - I have a little boy who still wears his Buzz Lightyear costume everyday (only when at home of course) and I know it would be so fun to make something fun for him out of the lunar fabrics from Lizzy House's Constellations line! 

Anyway - I would really love it if you would take a minute and vote for me by liking and repinning my photo at this link on pinterest.  The photo with the most likes and re-pins wins!  Please, if you feel so inclined, spread the word.

I'll be back soon with a finished project - I can't show it's progress just yet because it's a surprise for a blog reader/friend.