Saturday, February 28, 2015

Layered

This week I whipped up this little Layers of Charm quilt from Fat Quarter Shop.  I've been feeling a bit stuck creatively and usually just sewing something gets my creative juices flowing.

I pulled out all my layer cakes and decided this was a good way to finally use this Daisy Cottage layer cake I bought at Quilt Market ages ago.  This layer cake didn't have the standard 40 squares so in the end I pulled 16 to make a smaller sized quilt.  I shopped my stash and decided this grey print from Fox Field would be perfect for the 5" squares.

I did NOT want this taking up residence in my UFO pile so I immediately basted it and used it to practice my FMQ.  I went with a loopy meander, a nice fast pattern that doesn't eat thread:-)

This quilt was made 100% from things I already had in my studio.  For the back I pulled this little bird print Audrey had used to make pajama bottoms from my stash.  I had just enough of it and I love the whimsy it adds.

Since I was on a roll I used this tip from Riddle & Whimsy for making bonus HSTs from the side triangles and put them together into a pillow cover.

Several of my friends participated in this blog hop so check it out to see more lovely examples of this quick and easy pattern.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 38" x 38"
Pattern:  Layers of Charm by Fat Quarter Shop
Fabrics: Riley Blake Daisy Cottage Layer Cake, Baby Geo from Fox Field by Tula Pink.  Backing Timeless Treasures Bon Voyage.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: Aurifil in Peachy Pink (2435).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: Sewing Along

With school vacation week I haven't had quite as much time as my quilt studio as usual but I still managed to sneak in a bit of sewing...

Most of the week we spent skiing in New Hampshire so I had plenty of time in the car to finally start hand quilting my Beatrix Potter alphabet quilt.  Given the amount of time it took to cross stitch each of these blocks the quilting is flying by!

Once we were back I needed something quick and easy and after seeing all the awesome examples of the Fat Quarter Shop's latest free pattern Layers of Charm I decided this would be a perfect project.  I grabbed this Riley Blake layer cake I got at Quilt Market and used some Tula Pink Fox Field to cut my own charm squares.  I took the advice of Riddle and Whimsy and made bonus triangles so I can have a matching pillow too.

And after being trapped inside due to mountains of snow and freezing cold and having watched every 80s movie available on Netflix Audrey was finally persuaded to come quilt with me.  She's a huge fan of Futurama so when I showed her this awesome Bender graffiti mini quilt made by the fabulously awesome Caro of SplitYarn she relented.  I'm still not ready to turn her loose with the rotary cutter so I did all the cutting but she did the rest herself.  Of course if you watch the show I'm sure you can guess her response when I asked if she'd been bitten by the quilting bug;-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Checking in with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tote-ally Preppy

This is school vacation week here so I needed a small project to keep me busy between snow storms and adventures with the kids.  We've got 9 FEET of snow on the ground so I'm dreaming of warmer days.  Digging through my stash I spotted these Navy and Chartreuse Essex linens and before you could say "too preppy for words" I whipped up a couple of Preppy the Whale blocks.

I didn't want to make another whole quilt but figured these would be perfect as pockets for a tote bag.  As usual I started with my go to pattern, the Summer Madras Tote by Noodlehead.  I added strips to the sides, top and bottom of the whale block to enlarge it to 9"x17" and made the lining piece an inch better to use a fold-over edge rather than bias tape.

Instead of making straps I kept the nautical vibe going with grommets and rope...  and an added bonus of a bit of stress relief:-)

I also got fancy on the inside and added a pocket and key fob.

Now if Spring ever gets here I'm ready!!!

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Be Mine

When the BMQG announced they were looking for volunteers for their BOM I immediately knew I wanted Febraury.  My Be Mine block was inspired by my Hugs & Kisses table runner.  The awesome thing about this block is that it is made entirely of a single component so while it seems like it has a lot of pieces it goes together quickly and is perfect for chain piecing.  Since I had to scale this block down I wanted to make a test block to check my measurements.  It seemed like a perfect excuse to make another Valentine's Day pillow to add to my collection.

The full tutorial for making the block is available on the BMQG blog.  Since an 8" block is a bit small for a pillow I added a 2 1/2" border, perfect for more of my beloved heart paisley FMQ.

In the interest of time and so I didn't have to go out in a blizzard to get a zipper I did a simple envelope closure back with this fabulous Sis Boom print.  Then I realized I didn't have a 12" pillow form so out in the snow I went...  story of my life!

Hope your Valentine's Day is sweet!

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow cover is 12" x 12"
Fabrics: S'mores by Me & My Sister, XOXO Navy Cotton + Steel Basics, Kona Snow.  Backing: Midnight Melody from Sis Boom's Beauty Queen Collection.  Binding: Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: Aurifil  50wt Light Beige (2310)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: Be My Valentine

I'm generally not one for swaps.  I find it way too stressful trying to make something for someone I don't know.  I almost passed when the lovely Tulsa Tiff invited me to join her Valentine swap but since I was on vacation and feeling relaxed and my kids had already told me they would NOT be doing photo Valentines this year it seemed like a good idea.  Then I read the fine print and realized I'd signed up to make 24 Valentines.  Ugh!!!

I spent a fair amount of time procrastiquilting which bothered absolutely no one but finally with the deadline looming it was time to buckle down and make it happen.  Of course once I actually started I really enjoyed making these.

My original idea was to make fabric postcards but then I saw these adorable thank you cards made by Rachel at Stitched In Color.  Now it seems like everyone is making these!!!  I started by running the cards through the printer to print my message on the inside and then sewed my various designs on to the front.  It's a little weird sewing through paper but using a longer stitch length and a jeans needle worked pretty well.

 It was a great opportunity to use up scraps from some of my recent projects...  more French General anyone?

I used various compositions for each card...  3 of anything seems to be my limit:-)

The best part really has been receiving Valentine's from all around the world.  It's like being back in grade school:-)  Each one is unique and it reminds me how lucky I am to be part of the fabulous community of makers!  Will you be giving hand made Valentine's this year?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Sharing the love with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ooh, La, La

While I was on my French General kick this month I started to think about what to do with this basket of onions from our CSA share.  Scrounging around in my kitchen tonight on our four thousandth snow day I was struck by inspiration...  French Onion Soup!  Here's my recipe if you'd like to make your own:

French Onion Soup 
1 stick of butter
1 lb. onions, peeled and corsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 bottle red wine
2 quarts of beef broth
french baguette, cubed and toasted
8 oz. grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese

I was a little concerned about peeling all these onions but if you just drop them in boiling water for 2 minutes then put them in an ice bath you can cut off the end and pop the skins right off.  Once you've removed all the skins coarsely chop the onions.  Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, sugar, thyme and bay leaf to the pan and let the onions caramelize for about 30 minutes.  

Add the worcestershire sauce, wine, and beef broth.  Reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put the soup in oven safe bowls and top with croutons and grated cheese.  Broil it until the cheese is all nice and melty.

Yum...  the perfect meal for a cold, snowy, New England night!!!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Twofer

I busted my first UFO of the year!!!  I put together this top last winter during my plus quilt phase.  Most of the fabrics are what was left of a Rouenneries Deux jelly roll with some scraps thrown in for good measure.

My original plan was for crosshatching but once I finished the first side I decided I was done happy with it.  It's a more modern ascetic;-)  Jacquie Gering has some great tips for straight-line quilting on her blog.  It was too cold for a trip to the hardware store for 1 1/2" wide tape but next time I go I'm going to stock up...  only marking every other row would definitely speed up the process!

I used 28wt. Aurifil thread to make the the straight line quilting a bit bolder.  I love the extra texture it adds to the simple design.

I was a little discouraged with this one after my binding debacle but look how perfectly these stripes lined up on the back!

I got a bit distracted while I was trying to finish this and ended up also making a pillow cover with the last of my French General scraps.  And now I have two for the price of one;-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 46" x 46"
Fabrics: Rouenneries & Rouenneries Deux by French General.  Assorted scraps.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 28 wt. (grey spool) Aurifil in Light Beige (2310).