Wednesday, March 25, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: In Stitches

This year I got perfect weather for driving up to Kennebunk for the Boston MQG's annual retreat.  As usual I planned way more than I could ever accomplish but for me the weekend is really more about spending time with an incredibly talented group of amazing artists.

I kicked off the weekend assembling these blades in to Dresden plates.  Perfect mindless piecing that doesn't get in the way of conversation.

I was getting pretty bored with these towards the end but I pushed through so now I have 16 plates ready for a background.  

The competition was fierce in the zipper challenge but I scored this awesome Zipit zipper and Cotton + Steel linen prize pack.  I'm loving my newest Noodlehead Open Wide Zip Pouch!

Saturday morning I basted my Central Park quilt that I pieced last year on retreat, another task that goes much faster with company.  Maybe I'll finally quilt it at next year's retreat:-)

From there I switched back to piecing with these snowball blocks.  I seem to be better at starting projects on retreat but hopefully I can ride the inspiration high and finish these up.

And as an added bonus my fabulous friend Aimee brought her serger AND serged the bottom of my new maxi Lilly dress so it's hemmed and ready for Spring (if it ever arrives).  It doesn't get any better than this!!!


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: Next Stop, Kennebunk!

My bags are packed and I'm ready to leave tomorrow morning for this year's Boston MQG retreat.   Even though it's never happened I'm always worried I'll run out of things to do with all my sewing time so I've been stockpiling projects to take with me...

My Dresden blades are all turned and pressed and ready to stitch into plates.  

A very good friend asked if I would make her a Preppy the Whale mini for her nursery so I've got these fabrics pulled for that.

And I'm going to try to turn this Sunkissed layer cake into the Strawberry Fields quilt from Material Obsession.  Thank goodness I made a test block so I realized there are mistakes in the pattern and I didn't have enough fabric for all of my points before I cut all my fabrics!

Past experience has taught me that drinking and piecing can be dangerous so after 5 o'clock I can switch over to basting and quilting this Central Park flimsy I started last year at retreat.

And I grabbed some of this awesome Cotton + Steel linen for the zipper challenge.  Hopefully I'll have enough to stay busy for 4 days:-)

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


Monday, March 16, 2015

3.14.15

Now that it's finally warming up a bit here in New England and the snow is starting to melt I'm ready to start entertaining again.  Since π Day fell on a Saturday this year it seemed like the perfect excuse for a party:-)

I was worried we were going to be dessert heavy but thanks to Pinterest it actually wasn't too difficult to round up an assortment of savory round treats.  In addition to the Baked Brie my husband whipped up these fabulous pork πs to accompany my mini quiches and tomato, mozzarella stacks for appetizers.

Great minds think alike...  friends brought this yummy cheddar topped Shepherd's π with bacon.

Which paired nicely with Chicken Potpie and Spanakopita.

And to wrap things up: Apple π, Cookie Dough π and my favorite, Key Lime π.

If you decide to host your own π day celebration I suggest making as much in advance as possible.  Making 7 different πs in one day was exhausting!  To keep your pie crusts from getting soggy you can prepare all the fillings in advance and then just add them to the crust when you are ready to bake.  I relied heavily on store bought crusts but since homemade crust needs at least a day to chill you could easily pre-make those also.  What's your favorite pie?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

W.i.P. Wednesday: And So It Begins...

I've been looking for an epic new handwork project since I finished quilting this Friendship Star quilt so when I started seeing all these awesome La Passacaglia projects popping up I knew what I was going to do.  I had some birthday money left so I went wild and picked up everything I'd need from Paper Pieces.  Just starting this quilt is an investment!

After making Christy's Garden I knew the acrylic templates were a must have.  I sized down to the 1/4" from the "Standard" 3/8"...  definitely the way to go, and even then you can trim things down a bit.  These pieces are sooo tiny you really don't need any extra bulk.

Like a lot of people I'm pulling heavily from my Tula Pink stash.  She has so many fun motifs that work well when fussy cut but I'm also trying to mix things up a bit.  The first couple of rings went pretty quickly...

But now I'm on the ring of stars.  10 stars, 5 tiny little arms on each...  this may take awhile:-)  Luckily Quilter's Way is hosting a Hand Sewing Happy Hour to keep me motivated.  Sewing with friends is always more fun!

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

W.i.P Wednesday: Winter Blues

Like pretty much everyone in the Northeast I am totally sick of winter and while I'm still trying to tackle the UFO tower I decided something new was definitely in order.  Looking at my stash I realized I have a lot of blue fabrics.  I love the color blue but I very rarely quilt with it.  I started with this Timeless Treasures Quilt for a Cure bundle and then kept pulling everything that looked like fine china.  I must have been collecting these at one point, I've got a ton of them!

Sticking with the china theme I decided to use then for a Dresden plate.  I cut my strips at 6 1/2" and used the Easy Dresden ruler.  From there it was an afternoon of blissfully mindless chain piecing across the tops to make the points.

I may have gotten a bit carried away with the cutting;-)  I 'm enlisting slave labor my willing children to flip all these.  There are a ton of tutorials out there for making this block but I especially liked this turning tip from Bungalow Bay Quilts for getting your point centered.

I 've sewn together my first plate.  I still haven't settled on a layout but I'll just keep sewing until I figure it out. 

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

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:-)