Friday, September 12, 2014


Dave & I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this week.  What could be better than to commemorate the event with a quilted table runner:-)

I made the top during yet another snow storm last winter.  The plan was to have it done in time for Valentine's Day but as usual it got dropped while I figured out a plan for the back and quilting.  I decided August was time to tackle the UFO pile so I pulled this out and got to it.

I love the texture the quilting gives it.  I went with my usual heart paisley in the center section.  It seemed like an endless expanse of white but it actually went pretty quickly.  Doing the stitch in the ditch around the letters actually took much longer.  It's easy to do but there are lots of starts and stops and turns.  I finished it off with more paisley in the outer border.

The quilting really shows up on the back!  I finally dug in to my Jennifer Paganelli stash...  it's the perfect complement to all these pinks and reds.

I was really on a roll and I had a couple of extra blocks so I whipped up some matching coasters.  Love these!!!

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

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 28" x 57"
Fabrics: Spot On by Robert Kaufman, Bella Solids Bleached White.  Backing: Midnight Melody from Sis Boom's Beauty Queen Collection.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: Aurifil  50wt Ivory (2021)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Get Out of Town!

Are you ready for the Weekend?  This is the first weekend in a looong time that we'll be staying put so it seemed like a good time to finally take pictures of my patchwork version of Amy Butler's Weekender.

I started by fussy cutting my main panel pieces from the awesome Melody Miller Ruby Star Sparkle.  It's hard to see but following Oh, Fransson!'s fabulous Quilted Weekender tips I did FMQ around the stars and quilted along the argyle lines.  I cut the straps at 5" wide to make them a little easier on the shoulders.

I went crazy on the pockets pulling lots of my favorite fabrics from my scrap pile and trying out different quilting designs on each section.

The lining is Garden linen by Ellen Luckett Baker.  For this one I decided to add a gathered pocket.  I cut the pocket using the Large Pocket template but then kept the sides straight rather than angling in.  I find the pocket very useful but it pulls the sides of the bag in a bit.  If I try this again I'll use a longer piece of elastic.

For those of you keeping count this is my 3rd (and possibly last) Weekender.  I've already shared lessons learned from my Where in the World Weekender and Nauti Weekender but here are a few more that pertain specifically to the patchwork version.
  • Quilt, quilt, quilt!  Because you're not using Peltex this bag is going to be slouchier than the original version.  The denser the quilting the more structure your bag will have.  
  • Make copies of your pattern pieces and either tape two together or trace them on to a bigger piece so you have a full-sized versions of the main panel and pocket pieces to use when trimming down your patchwork.  
  • Once you've cut your quilted pieces to size zig zag around the edges to hold everything in place while you're assembling the bag.
  • This is one of the best examples of crowd sourcing in the quilting world.  So many people have shared their tips and modifications for making this bag.  If you're thinking of making one you owe it to yourself to read up on Pinterest or Flickr.  Warning, if you weren't planning to make one you'll feel compelled to once you see all the awesome ones out there.

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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: Back to Sewing

My machine is back from it's spa vacation, tuned up and ready to sew.  My kids are back in school.  Obviously it's time to start something new!

When I dropped my machine off to get serviced all I could think of was "Can't sew!" which instantly made me want to make ALL the things:-)  After an epic fail trying to start a new knitting project I turned to Pinterest and spotted Stitched in Color's adorable Penny Patch quilt.  She ran a QAL last fall and has some fabulous tips.  Even if you aren't a beginner you owe it to yourself to read her notes on choosing fabrics and quilting.  I'm still in the throws of my nautical obsession so I started by grabbing what's left of the Out to Sea bundle I used to make my Sailing the Seven Seas pillow.  I pulled all the motif prints to fussy cut.  Where I could I made them 6 1/2" blocks but some are bigger and I'll figure out how to work them in later.

From there I shopped my stash for coordinates, cut those in 2" strips and 3 1/2" squares, and then started matching up my strips and making 4 patches.

I played with the color combinations.  Some are monochromatic while others use contrasting colors.  I did learn early that you have to be very careful when using directional prints if you want things to line up properly.  That said, these go together quickly and easily...  the perfect project to kick off sewing season!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Getting back to the fun with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

W.i.P It Wednesday: Banish Boredom

I've been getting a lot more sewing time than I expected this summer but it tends to come in short intervals.  Since it's easier to use these windows of time to move things along than to plan something new I decided that in August I'd focus on tackling my UFO pile.

 I made this top during my Plus Quilt obsession and quilted the center section while on retreat but then dropped it in the pile when I got back.

The amazing Alexis shared her tip for using varying widths of painters tape for marking straight lines at our July Boston MQG meeting.  The key is to use the edge of your presser foot against the tape rather than sewing along the tape.  Quilting all those straight lines in the negative space can get tedious but it's perfect for dropping in and sewing a line or two when I've got 15 minutes to spare.

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nauti Weekender

Back in May I started this version of Amy Butler's Weekender for the class I taught at Quilter's Way.  I had this fabulous Dear Stella Anchors Away  and matching striped canvas in my stash which is perfect for my current addiction to all things nautical.  I finished this up and have been using it ever since.  It's the perfect size for a quick getaway!  

When I made my Where in the World Weekender I followed the pattern exactly but this time I tried a few things that made life easier.  For the zipper panel I used Decor-Bond rather than 3 layers of ShapeFlex.  Life's too short for all that cutting and ironing:-)  I also go smart and when I taped my zipper down I moved the tape to the outer edge of the zipper.  It's still stuck in place but I didn't have to worry about sewing through the tape.  

For the inside I used this fun ikat I also found in my stash.  I used the awesome tutorial at U-Handbag to add a zippered pocket.  I added ShapeFlex to the lining pieces to give the bag more structure.

I also copied the side pockets from the outside on the inside.  They are perfect for stashing flip flops and I always need more pockets!  

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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Murray the Whale

I started this quilt as a test run pattern testing Oh, Fransson!'s new Preppy the Whale.  Since it was obviously inspired by the Vineyard Vines logo I was hoping for a trip to Martha's Vineyard for the photo shoot but had to settle for a day in Gloucester:-)  

I thought I might hand quilt this but then we had a rainy day in Maine and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try machine quilting with Aurifil 12wt.  Based on Angela at Cut to Pieces' tips I used coordinating 50wt thread in the bobbin, increased my stitch length to 4, and used a 90/14 quilting needle.  It took a little adjusting to get the tension correct but once I had it right it looked fabulous.  I love the extra definition it adds!

I was planning to use pink for the binding but my peanut gallery insisted on kelly green which of course I already had in my stash.  It was definitely the right call, it perfectly frames the quilt and looks fabulous with the Riley Blake large gingham backing I picked up at Marden's.

The pattern will be available Monday, August 4th and Elizabeth is hosting a giveaway this weekend so hop over here to enter to win a copy of the pattern and her knew Kona charm packs.  Thanks again Elizabeth for letting my test this pattern!!!

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

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 42" x 52"
Pattern: Based on Preppy the Whale by the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!
Fabrics: Kona Nautical and Carnation, Bella Solids White.  Binding: Bella Solids Kelly.  Backing: Riley Blake large gingham in Navy
Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool
Thread: Aurifil  50wt and 12wt in White (2024) and Very Dark Navy (2785)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Alidiza's Atelier: Where I Sew

I'm so lucky to have a large dedicated studio space with lots of natural light.  I love this giant design wall my husband built for me.  It's insulation board covered with batting and flannel and then framed.  Most cotton fabrics will stick to the batting so I can easily re-position things without pinning.  He also made my cutting table by adding legs to our old kitchen island top after we remodeled.

My sewing table was "rescued" from a dumpster and is perfectly situated for watching TV and gazing lovingly at my stash while I sew:-)

My stash has been getting a bit out of control and having everything stored in Sterlite bins wasn't really working anymore so for Mother's Day I asked for new shelving to store my fabric.  We took a trip to IKEA and Dave and Audrey spent the weekend assembling my new Billy bookcases and Lillhรถjden chair.

Of course once I started looking around at all the awesome IKEA hacks I had to get fancy.  Using the advice at Maillardville Manor we added strips of molding to join the bookcases together and then added a shelf on top to bridge the gap in the corner and get the look of built-ins.

Since then I've been working on fancy folding all of my fabric.  Is anyone surprised that I have an entire bookcase just for pink?  Eventually I hope to have it all nicely folded but for now it's enough to have it visible and accessible.  It's like having my own fabric store stocked with all my favorite fabrics:-)  I've also got plans to recover the loveseat...  I'm thinking pink!

Get more sewing studio inspiration at Pink Chalk's Where I Sew Month!