Friday, June 27, 2014

Custom Baby Girl Quilt Finished

It's finished!  Such a fun quilt to make for a friend.  I dug into all of my cute zoo/animal prints and had a bit of a hunt for the Alexander Henry 2D Zoo fabric.  It measures about 41" square.  I was very careful to line everything up; when I attached the rows, it doesn't come in a way that seams match each other and I was afraid it was going to get wonky if I wasn't careful.  

I thought I was hoarding when I bought 2 yards of the 2D Zoo, and I felt sheepish when I only used a 4.5" strip for the front.  But soon enough, I was glad I had a fun print big enough for the back of the quilt.

I used a simple honeycomb print from a long ago trip to Marden's.  I really was tempted to do a colorful stripe as binding, but decided it would be way too busy on the back.

Receiving this custom order was a real boost and now I am going to take a little sewing break to complete a somewhat dreaded task: updating the family photo albums.  Wish me luck!  Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Custom Baby Girl Quilt

A good friend from my high school days recently contacted me for a baby quilt commission.  So flattering and exciting!  Her instructions for me were simple: she likes a modern look, the intended recipient is having a girl and loves the color yellow, and she preferred the theme of zoo animals.

I decided to adapt a pattern I'd seen in older quilting magazine and I have to confess that the (simple) quilt math about did me in.  It's very similar to the quilt design I return to often, you just can't go wrong with cute prints and solids.  I scoured my stash for girly, bright prints and felt like I broke the rules a little by adding unicorns - but I think it works.  Hopefully I will share it's completion on Friday.  Linking up with WIP Wednesday, thanks for reading!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Prize for a Friend

Recently, I participated in the 6 Sisters Weight Loss Challenge with a few friends and my husband.  Nick and I both lost 13 lbs each (!) and my friend Janelle won the challenge for getting the most points in the competition (for following "rules" such as avoiding sugary treats, exercise, eating 3 veggies a day, etc).  I liked this "program" a lot: it was realistic and about making a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix.  

Since Janelle won, I owed Janelle a gift and I decided to make her a pillow (I know, I know - another pillow- but I've already given her a homemade bag, a baby quilt, etc.).  

The pillow is composed of 2 mini charm packs of the RK collection, Modern Bliss.  I received a bunch of mini charm packs as gifts a while ago and I am always trying to find ways to use them.  They're so convenient and eliminate my least favorite aspect of sewing (cutting) but I do find those jagged edges to be annoying, don't you?

I quilted the patchwork with a yellow/orange variegated thread,  employing diagonal lines.

I did a zippered back closure in the back using this pretty, but hard to use, Peacock Lane print.

Janelle is one of the nicest persons I have ever known - she's a good friend in MA that I miss terribly.  Making this for her was easy and a joy.  Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Random Tuesday: Thrifting, Fabrics, and Cross Stitch

I haven't done a "thrifting post" in a while.  Confession: I am a die-hard yard sale fanatic.  My parents raised six kids on one income and stretched their pennies by buying second-hand.  As I was growing up, I hated it.  But now I am converted and I have experienced the fun of finding various treasures while saving a lot of money.  I always look for sewing items but I try to be selective because I do not need to take home every ugly fat quarter I see.  The good things I find now and then include new pillow forms, polyester stuffing, zippers, the occasional quilt top, fun vintage fabric, and once I found an awesome vintage sewing machine

Anyway, I have started going to yard sales here in Colorado and it's been awesome.  This area is so dense with people (admittedly a negative in many ways) - and these people move A LOT (there are four military bases here)- so there are always moving sales and people eager to lighten their load.  

A few weeks ago, I picked up this vintage quilt top for $1.  It is quite well done and well preserved: no holes or open seams.  It's just a shame that the maker used such a busy fabric as sashing.

I've picked up a few odds and ends at different sales.  The apple/pear fabric was free.  The rest of the stuff, all together, was about $4.

Anyway, I am continuing to plug along at my Jacob's Ladder quilt but it's really tedious.  I finally did find that 2D Zoo fabric I was looking for on Etsy for only $7 per yard and free shipping.  The selvedge says "2003" - so no wonder it was hard to find!  I am still racking my brain on what pattern to choose to make my friend a sweet baby girl quilt with these fun zoo-themed prints.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

My sister is living with us until her job restarts with the school year in mid-August.  It's awesome having her around.  It's been a while since I've shown off some of her amazing cross stitch creations.  The "hip" piece is for a friend of hers that is a physician's assistant.  My kids are fighting over who gets the other piece.

 Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Favorite Quilt: City Sampler

Long time readers of my blog might be relieved to know that this will be the last post about the Tula Pink City Sampler!  It's quilted, it's bound, it's done.  I decided to blog about it via the current Sew Mama Sew My Favorite Quilt Series by answering some questions:

  • Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
I started this quilt (almost) exactly a year ago to participate in the Tula Pink City Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Sew Sweetness.  I used the book: Tula's Pink's City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks and made every block in the book.  It took me a while to decide what stash fabrics to use but I finally settled on a mix of Tula Pink's Prince Charming and Salt Water collections as well as lots of blenders from my stash.

Pictures in this post are taken at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Red Rock Canyon- we've been in touristy mood this past week with having my mom visit us this past week from NH.  

  • Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
Surprisingly for me, I kept pace with the City Sampler QAL and linked up my 3 blocks every week for several months.  Towards the end of the QAL, I was randomly chosen for some great prizes: thread, batting, a pattern, and a fabric store gift certificate.

  • What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
It serves as a momento of my last year living in the Boston area: it was the last major project I allowed myself to tackle before our major cross-country move to Colorado.  It also reminds me of my mom, because she kindly brought it to my favorite longarm rental place in Burlington, MA (Laurena's) and babysat the Statler stitching the "Modern Maze" pattern all over it.

  • What do you like best about the quilt?
I love the pattern of the quilt because I don't normally gravitate towards samplers but it definitely has a modern feel, which I love.  I am also proud that it came out well and was more challenging than the typical patterns quilts I choose to make.

  • How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
I really knew that an accurate 1/4" seam would be essential throughout making all of the blocks.  I also splurged on some "Best Press" to help make those tiny pieces behave.  The funny thing is that I think I got a little cocky about how well the blocks were coming together because when it was time to assemble them into the grid layout - I discovered that maybe my 1/4" seam hadn't improved as much as I thought it had.  It all came together though and I was pretty stubborn about not redoing any of the blocks.

  • If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
I am pretty jealous of the Marci Girl Designs version, made of one of my most favorite fabric collections: Constellations.  I could see myself making this quilt again for sure but I would definitely do something completely different (different fabrics, color scheme, layout, etc).

  • Where is the quilt now?
It's still on our wall, hanging on the curtain quilt rod we installed to ease photographing large quilts.  When I am tired of staring at it (the beauty of the sampler style and novelty fabrics is that there is always something different and interesting to look at), it will come down and go on my bed for a while.

  • Last notes on the quilt:
Here is a picture of the back- I put a bunch of the Salt Water and Prince Charming prints to form a scrappy back- something I never do but decided to try because  those prints don't coordinate with the rest of my stash very well.  There's also a rectangle of improvisationaly pieced scraps that I made but wasn't sure what to do with.  I bound the quilt in this Happy Go Lucky stripe.  The quilt measures 90" square.

Linking up with Sew Mama Sew, WIP Wednesday, Tula Tuesday, and Finish it up Friday.

Monday, June 09, 2014


The curtains in our new home are not great.  This picture is of our master bedroom curtains- they are sheer and afford no privacy. (Sorry for the poor photos!  I find it difficult to photograph something really bright in a dark room!).

I stalked for quite a while, waiting for this AMH linen "Ghost Wing" print to go on sale.  I bought some black-out drapery liner at Hobby Lobby.  I followed this tutorial to make "Lined Back Tab Curtain panels," and my mom and I knocked this project out in a few hours one evening last week.  We switched out the curtain rod from another room to better support the heavy panels.

Our family room desperately needs new curtains too, but after four months of living here, I am still stumped as to what fabric to buy for that project!  I will think of something soon hopefully.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Finish it up Friday: Penny Patch Completed!

A few weeks ago, we had a mini-vacation in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  My sister lives there- it's a college town (home of the Rams) 2 hours north of where I live in Colorado Springs.  We have never "gone away" with kids before- it was awesome and completely exhausting!  

We spent a little time on CSU campus, where they have giant cans of soup:

pianos outside the art museum:

We saw lots of wildlife at Estes National park:

and endured rain, snow, hail, and gorgeous sunshine (all within the span of a few hours) there:

The kids probably slept more in the car than they did in my sister's apartment:

One of the highlights was definitely being able to rent a Gammill at Jukebox Quilts, which is just across the street from the children's "Discovery museum."  It worked out perfectly: I spent the morning at Jukebox, while Nick took the kids to the museum.  When I was done, they came over and met the resident pet of the quilt shop (a German Shepherd that they fell in love with and still talk about) and admired the bright purple longarm (Charlotte later asked me, "Where's your purple sewing machine?" - I wish I had taken it home!):

I chose a simple pattern: a large figure-eight to go over the rows of my quilt:

and here she is, all completed:

I think it's a perfect finish for spring, and I love that the black and white fabrics temper the sweetness of the candy-like colors.  It measures about 90 x 108 and was completed using this series of tutorials at Stitched in Color.

I used a favorite City Weekend print for the back and a Timeless Treasures b&w stripe cut on the bias for the binding.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday and Sewjo Saturday.