Friday, October 31, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Penny Patch

My second entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival is this queen sized Penny Patch quilt I completed earlier this year.  It measures 90" x 108."

I've really challenged myself recently with trying new techniques: intense paper piecing, curves, precise piecing for a 100 block sampler, etc.  Doing all those new things has been a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, I really love basic patchwork.  This quilt works for me because I really appreciate the colors, the use of black, and the simplicity.  I am glad I made it so big, as I've enjoyed using it on my bed frequently.

Linking up Amy's Creative Side for the Large Quilt Category in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Mini

Before all of the Halloween craziness and fun begins, I wanted to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  For me, 2014 has been the "year of the pillow."  I've made quite a few for gifts, a giveaway, and several for my own family to enjoy.

This pillow is 24" square and the hexagons are English paper pieced and appliqued to the front.  I chose lots of bright colored fabrics from my stash to compose the flowers.

The pillow is made of one of my favorite black and white prints from Summersville.

Linking up at Amy's Creative Side for this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival in the mini category:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Forest Abstractions Stag

I think this guy is a keeper, I am pretty proud of him.  I am not much of a paper-piecer- all of those amazing creations people create just blow me away.  I've been doing paper piecing with the Union Jack blocks- but those are straight lines and squares- this stag is all about angles.  I also had a significant struggle towards the end that was due to a minor pattern error and poor copies of the pattern.  (If you are planning to do this quilt- shoot me an email and I will be happy to share some advice related to the troubles I encountered).   But he's done and I am thrilled.  He's going to be the centerpiece of my DYO Sampler and it's really motivated me to make more and more blocks for that quilt.  I think AMH feathers are next.

I was drawn to this pattern because I think the design is so striking.  I also think it's a nice personal nod to my move to Colorado- we see deer all. the. time.  Once a fawn and a local cat took a nap for hours near each other in our backyard!  I think they like our yard because we are the only house on our street without a dog (don't get me started about the dog mania that exists in this state!)

I probably won't be posting as frequently within the next few months because I am going to start working on gifts for the holidays.  This space won't be totally silent- when I have something I can share- I will definitely be here.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Year of the Dear and Union Jack Progress

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the love I received on Friday's post!

I've been waiting a while to splurge on the Forest Abstractions pattern.  I'm not interested in making the whole quilt but I knew I wanted to have that huge stag in my DYO Sampler quilt.  I finally bought it when Pink Castle Fabrics issued a code for 30% off everything in their store.  

I needed a big cut of Kona for the background and the only thing I had on hand that would work was this 2 yard piece of Kona Turquoise I had stashed with the intention of making another Giant Star quilt.  I would've liked to use something lighter so that I could justify using more brights to create the deer- but I am happy with how the head has come out.  It's such a weird color combo: dark brown, grey, gold, yellow, and green- but I like it.  I also have to say that I love having a light box to help me with paper piecing- it's something I never would've splurged on at the store- which makes it the most epic $10 yard sale find ever!!!!!

It's definitely time to share the progress on my giant Union Jack blocks.  I used the very last of this gorgeous Heirloom print to go with the bees:

I've shared these last two in a previous post:

As you can see, the first four blocks coordinate quite well but I didn't do a good job using gold and purple in any other blocks.  I think this guy will eventually become a cushion cover for an England-loving friend:

I won't be updating progress on this Jacob's Ladder quilt too much but wanted to share that I am steadily hand quilting it with some gorgeous DMC variegated perle cotton.  It's relaxing to do in front of the TV and feels quicker than cross stitch.  I would love to have it all completed by the end of the year.

So I am finally on Instagram with the username dresdenlane.  I still intend to blog regularly here- I enjoy all of the elements of blogging too much to walk away.  I am not exactly sure how I am going to interact on IG- it'll be a bit of a process to work that out.  If you are active on IG- please comment with or email me your username so that I can follow you.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finish it up Friday: Novelty Fabric Finishes

Sorry if my regular readers are sick of seeing me make this dress (#7) but the Rollerskate dress is just too cute, easy, and perfect for fun/modern fabrics.

It's no secret that I love Lizzy House fabrics and her style of fabrics is a perfect compromise between my daughter and I.  If Charlotte had her way, everything she wore would be plastered with licensed characters.  If I had my way- she'd only wear Anna Maria Horner and other bright florals....

I also used another fun novelty fabric  and other stash favorites to make a Sew-Together bag for a friend.  I wish I had the stamina to make these for all of my friends who sew- it's just the perfect bag for all your little tools and notions!

I still need to make one for myself but it will happen eventually.  I am going to finally start ordering my zippers on etsy (zipit?) and stop paying the high prices at Joann's.

So what about you- do you like using novelty fabrics?  Are they hard to resist or do you stick to basics/blenders and more "grown up" fabrics?

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Purse Palooza at Sew Sweetness.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Curves

On Monday, I found myself with a little extra sewing time thanks to the federal holiday.  I finished another Union Jack block but decided to treat myself to something different.  I finally settled on adding another block to my DYO Sampler quilt I started over the summer.  I pulled out the pattern, Lots of Dots, and tackled a block.  This is my result and I am pretty happy with it.  I've done curves in bags and toys but never for a quilt.  I like the result a lot.  This block took a lot of time because you have to cut out every piece with scissors and a template.  The process of making the sampler quilt is pretty awesome: I can try out different blocks easily and decide if I want to commit to a larger project.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Red Letter Day Halloween Quilt

I was amazed to be able to complete my Red Letter Day Halloween quilt in time for the Halloween/fall season.  I really rushed to get this done because I had the opportunity to rent a longarm a few weekends ago.  

I used combinations of Halloween novelty prints from my stash as well as blenders.  It was really tempting to use just Halloween prints- if only to use them up- but I decided the combination of normal quilting cottons were fun to use among the quirky pumpkins, ghosts, and cats.

I wasn't very creative in finding a spooky location for the photo shoot of this quilt.  My area of Colorado definitely doesn't have those old-timey graveyards like my New England home.  We took the family to the Garden of the Gods recently- so I nabbed a photo there before the sun really started to set:

So I wish I could say that I purposely left out the reversed RLD block that the pattern calls for (examples, here, here, and here)- I had this grand vision of hand quilted spiders from the beginning....  Um, no.  The truth is that I started making the blocks and completely forgot about the reversed block- and didn't think of it until all nine blocks were made.  After the quilt came off of the longarm- the lady at the rental place advised me to quilt something in those big empty squares- so that's when I realized hand quilted spiders would be perfect among the computerized spiderwebs that occupied each block:

Sadly, the intended recipient of this quilt (my 5 year old son) has completely rejected this quilt and refuses to use it- he's being very vague about it but I think it's the spiders that bother him.  My husband also had to point out that the spiders should have eight legs.  Did you notice?

I sound negative about this quilt- but I am really fine with it- it's not my most favorite thing I've ever made but like it and I had fun making it.  I still have a boatload of Halloween fabrics- so maybe I will take another shot at making another Halloween quilt again someday.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Union Jack

Shortly after writing Monday's post about being in a "sewing funk," I went ahead and forced myself to sew- sometimes when you don't feel like doing something- you should just do it and eventually your mood will change.

I splurged on a copy of the magazine Love of Patchwork and Quilting a while ago because I loved the cover quilt as well as the large paper pieced Union Jack pattern the issue had.  I thought it would fun to break up some of my bundles and pair bright and colorful large scale prints with complementary blenders from my stash.

Here's my start so far: and AMH Pretty Potent floral with a Hat Box print- these two fabrics were meant to be together.

I think it's becoming obvious that I am enjoying pairing plumb/purple with yellow/mustard:


My next combination was a JD Bungalow print with a Heather Bailey True Colors blender.

These blocks are taking about two hours to make- maybe a little less.  They are huge- measuring 17" x 25."  I don't have a particular obsession with England- I just think it's a fun block that showcases large prints very well.  Now if someone would come out with a paper pieced South African flag block- I would be all over that.  Maybe I will make one myself someday :)

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sewing Funk

Recently I have finished a dress and a quilt that I still need to blog.  I also made some bibs for a friend expecting a girl: 

I have to admit that I am a bit in a crafty funk lately- I am not sure what to start next and lately I've favored watching Disney movies with my son over starting anything new....  I really rushed through my last few finishes and it was stressful- I think I burnt myself out.  I've also fallen into the bad habit of browsing online fabric stores and filling up shopping carts- without finalizing anything- but surely wasting my precious sewing time.

What do you do when you can't decide what to start next?  Am I the only one who can focus too much on the very fun part of acquiring more materials instead of diving in with what I already have?  I'd love to hear your thoughts- it isn't often that I don't just dive into the next project with happiness and enthusiasm.