Wednesday, March 22, 2017

W.i.P. Wednesday: Retreat Recap

This weekend was the BostonMQG's annual retreat in Kennebunk Maine.  It just doesn't get any better than a weekend away with this awesomely talented group of women.  I always come home brimming with ideas and wishing I could spend a whole week.

My main goal was to finish piecing my Snake Trail top.  I got off to a slow start but eventually  worked out my issues and got my rows to go together.

 I played around with layouts and diverged a bit from Denyse Schmidt's original design.  By dinner time I had a flimsy together.

And since it's more fun to baste with friends I stayed up late to get this one ready to quilt.  No surprise I didn't actually pack enough thread for quilting but it's ready to go.

With that accomplished I wasn't really up for tackling my next project but Alexis generously shared a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton charm pack.  With no real plan in mind I just started making half and quarter square triangles.  I love the way these fabrics work together...  we'll see what this becomes,  hopefully a mini for our upcoming Quilt Show.

Now it's back to reality but I've got a quiet week so I'm hoping to keep my quilt mojo going!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Be a Mermaid

I was so excited when Heather Ross re-released Mendocino, one of my all time favorite fabric collections.  I had some of the original collection that I'd been hoarding but it always felt too precious to actually use.  With a new bundle in hand (thank you Hawthorne Threads!) and my Briar Rose addiction sated I pulled this assortment of prints and got cutting.

I started by fussy cutting the mermaids and then add rows of chevron "waves" above and below.  There are lots of ways to make a chevron but I prefer the rectangle approach - Crazy Mom Quilts has a great tutorial which I just adjusted for the center squares.

In no time at all I had a flimsy together.  I made the binding, pieced the back, basted it, bought more thread than I'd possibly need to quilt it...  and then it just sat.

Finally I grabbed this for something to do at quilt camp.  I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by the thought of quilting this, I finished it in one afternoon.  With the binding already made it was super fast and easy to square it up, slap on the binding, and tack it down during the Super Bowl - with the overtime I even had time to finish;-)

Now that it's done I couldn't love it more!!!  I wish I'd completely finished it while we were still at the beach so I could get pictures there but I'll have to settle for these...  maybe I'll do some more this summer.

And it's the perfect companion for this pillow!

Swimming along with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 43" x 52"
Fabrics: Mendocino by Heather Ross.  Michael Miller Cotton Couture Apricot
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Light Turquoise (2805).

Friday, March 3, 2017

Whale Cocktail

This project was inspired by the #QuiltconFromHome #dailychallenge: "Cut into your good stuff!"

I hate to play favorites when it comes to Lilly prints but Shrimp Cocktail is definitely at the top of the list.  Audrey's dress was long outgrown and had some glitter glue stains but it still seemed sacrilegious to cut it up.  With "permission" granted I started chopping.  Yeah, we're that family - deal with it!

I wanted to take advantage of the pocket trim, luckily the pockets were perfectly sized for the face pieces.  With those removed and trimmed I cut up the rest of the dress up and whipped up some blocks.  These go together really quickly and with some sashing added I was ready to get quilting.

I kept the quilting simple with Bernina Stitch #4 waves.  As easy as straight line quilting but so much fun.

I decided this would get more use as a pillow.  I found the perfect pink gingham in my stash for the back and some lime Essex linen for the binding.

And now it will always fit;-)  Chillin' with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 16" x 16"
Pattern:  Preppy the Whale by Elizabeth Hartman.
Fabrics: Lilly Pulitzer Shrimp Cocktail, Michael Miller Cotton Couture Soft White.  Lime Essex Linen for binding.
Batting: Warm and Natural.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

W.i.P. Wednesday: Preparation is Everything

Last week was school vacation week and while things didn't really go as planned it was nice to finally get some time in my studio.  In anticipation of 2 basketball games and a road trip to Maine I did a bunch of La Passacaglia prep.  I've been so stuck on fabric choices, especially for my last 2 large cogs, so it was nice to finally make some progress.

I also finally went back to my Snake Trail.  It's definitely fiddly to try to line up where the arcs intersect (though I think that would also be true with pieced blocks).  After working on this a while I decided this was a better retreat project so I finished cutting the squares and packed it up for this year's BostonMQG retreat.

Next up, pinning zippers.  I'm so sad that Laurena's longarm is closing but I managed to schedule a few appointments to finish things up before the end.

After being so responsible I just wanted to sew.  I've been thinking about this project for a long time but it was the #QuiltconFromHome #dailychallenge: "Cut into your good stuff!" that finally pushed me over the edge.  I chopped up one of Audrey's outgrown Lilly Pulitzer dresses to make these Preppy the Whale blocks...  so in love!!!

How have you been spending your sewing time lately?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Out of Season

Once I finished up this year's Valentine's pillow I moved on to the next thing.  Never mind that it's February, I needed something quick and easy and this Sugarplums flimsy was at the top of the UFO pile.

 Last summer in a fit of optimism inspired by the Christmas in July blog hop hosted by Confessions of a Fabric Addict I dug up these Candy Christmas charm packs from my stash and started playing.  With visions of sugarplums I paired them up with the pin dots for the sashing and corner stones.  Great minds think alike, Diary of a Quilter made an almost identical version using the same technique I used.  Amy's Quick Cornerstone tutorial is awesome so I won't bore you with the details.  Inspired again I hoped to get this basted and quilted in time for Christmas but I was thwarted by the batting and it went back in the UFO stack.

In between snowstorms I made a run to Joann's for a pillow form and decided to suck it up and buy batting there also.  I almost always use Quilter's Dream Orient in my quilts but settled for the Warm and Natural they carry.  And then, in a twinkling, I got this one basted and started quilting.

I stuck with my theme of keeping it simple and just quilted on the diagonal thru the squares.  By the time I'd finished Season 1 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend it was ready for a binding...

Stripes of course;-)  And I had to go with this Cookie Recipe fabric for the backing - so perfect.

Playing along with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 42" x 48"
Fabrics: Candy Christmas charm packs, Swiss Dots, and Cookie Recipe from Cozy Christmas all by Riley Blake.
Batting: Warm and Natural.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pretty in Pink

alidiza:Pretty in Pink Nicey Jane hearts pillow
So winter finally decided to make an appearance in New England.  Being trapped inside makes me a bit manic so I decided to combat my cabin fever with a little holiday making...

I fell in love with Cluck Cluck Sew's adorable Red Heart pillow so I grabbed my Nicey Jane stash and started cutting...

and got a jump start on the weekend with some piecing and a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend marathon (thanks, Alexis!).

These hearts go together really quickly.  I couldn't have done this if I'd tried...  sometimes the quilt gods like to show the love;-)


I followed Allison's lead and kept the quilting simple, just stitching along the sashing lines.  And of course you can never go wrong with a striped binding!

I'm still chipping away at my lifetime supply of zippers so I went with my go to zipper closure tutorial by to S.O.T.A.K. Handmade for the back.

alidiza:Pretty in Pink Nicey Jane hearts pillow
And now my foyer is pretty in pink!  Hope your Valentine's day is nicey ♥

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 18" x 18"
Pattern:  Adapted from Red Heart Pillow by Cluck Cluck Sew
Fabrics: Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey, FSDS Rose
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Baby Pink (2423).

Friday, February 10, 2017

We Sew Together

alidiza: Preppy Sew Together Bag
Back before Christmas my BQF proposed a swap, she'd make me a patchwork clock if I'd make her a Sew Together Bag.  Of course she's absolutely awesome and got mine done while I totally flaked out...  so typical!

With all my "obligation" sewing finally done this moved to the top of my todo list.  I planned to make something in purple and grey but when I started shopping my stash I ended up with this preppy assortment.  She gave me the green light so I packed it up and took it all to quilt camp last weekend.

For my first Sew Together I used canvas on the outside and quilted my appliqued motifs with batting.  For this one I was just using quilting cotton so I took quilary's advice and added Decor-bond to the outside body piece and Shape-flex (SF101) to the lining and side pieces.  I wish I'd quilted the exterior or used canvas again, I don't like the texture of this one as much.

I know the 4 zippers on this bag sound intimidating but it really does go together quickly and there are tons of blog tips on how to make it easier.  The best advice is just follow the Quilt Barn Sew-a-Long.  I did use Amanda Jean's zipper ends tutorial again but this time trimmed them to 8".  I really think this makes for a more polished looking bag.

Despite all the tips out there I still have the hardest time wrapping my brain around how to make the long zipper ends and I don't love the bulk having the seam allowances inside adds.  I'm hoping to think up a better approach if I ever make another one of these.

I love that this bag gives you the opportunity to use so many different fabrics and it's perfect for storing all your sewing toys.

Now I just need to find time for a trip to Portsmouth to deliver it:-)  Can't wait!!!

Sewing along with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.