Wednesday, June 27, 2012

W.i.P Wednesday: Break's Over

It was nice to take a little time off from sewing and think about what I want to accomplish.  I also cleaned up my sewing studio... it turns out in addition to the 5 projects I'm currently working on I have 17 UFOs.  This one I pieced over a year ago.  It's just a simple baby quilt that got rid of some scraps, used up a leftover piece of batting, and was intended for practicing straight line quilting.  I started doing the straight lines but wasn't happy with how it was turning out so I ripped it out and tossed it back in the pile.  Since then I've gotten plenty of practice with straight line quilting and now I want to expand my FMQ repertoire, specifically with these loopy flowers by the fabulous Oh Fransson!.  After lots of practice I decided to go for it...

I'm loving how this is coming out.  I find the key is to remember to make my first petal wide at the base and the rest will fall in to line.  I also find it useful to lay out my quilt and put an office dot where I want to place the center of the next flower.   

Now I just have to decide the fate of the remaining 16;-).

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

W.i.P Wednesday: Ready for vacation!

Three quilt tops in three days, it's been a crazy week!!!  Obviously I was on a deadline and it's top secret so I can't show any pictures but I can tell you it probably involves this lovely stack of Ann Kelle fabrics. 

Of course as soon as I completed the last of my sewing "obligations" Audrey was ready to make something...

We made new cell phone cases using the terrific iPhone Pouch tutorial by my friend, Amy Friend, at Made During Quiet Time.  Audrey's phone is already pink so she snagged this Jennifer Paganelli stripe and used Kona cactus for the lining.

Since it's National Wear Your Lilly Day I dipped into my carefully hoarded stash for this adorable Lilly Pulitzer Bubba Shrimp print.  The "shrimp cocktails" crack me up.  For the lining I used some of that Ann Kelle Remix that's been hanging out in my studio.  I love that chevron print and the pink matches perfectly! 

We're heading back to Maine tonight to take advantage of this heatwave so I need some handwork to keep me busy.  I finished all the applique on this Elly Sienkiewicz block last summer so I'm determined to finish quilting it this summer and find it a good home: ) 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thank You Teachers!

I might have been a tad ambitious with my teacher gifts this year.  Shocking, right!  This year I decided to make tote bags which wouldn't have been so bad except I needed to make 4 of them. 

I volunteer in the school library so I had planned to make our fabulous librarian a bookshelf wall hanging but when I saw this amazing idea I knew what I was going to do for my teacher gifts...

I started with this one using some leftover Punctuation scraps from the Family Traditions quilt I made with Dexter's class last year.

As I was digging through my scrap bin I found some Dr. Seuss fabric leftover from my valance and realized it would be perfect!!! I call them Bag 1 and Bag 2:-)  The "bookshelves" are quilted panels that I sewed on as pockets. 

Dex even helped out by fussy cutting all the book titles for me. 

After 3 bookshelf totes I was a little over these and I'd run out of black so I decided to switch gears for my final bag.  This teacher had loved the Amy Butler Love Roses on the back of my Chain Reaction quilt and I had some leftover so I used this fabulous Market Tote tutorial by Bijou Lovely.  I wish I'd read this before I made all my other bags!  I love the way her technique for using a double layer on the bottom makes these bags stand up.  I will definitely be doing this for all my bags in the future...  I hate floppy bags!  These were a great stash buster and I'll definitely be making some more... just not any time soon;-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Urban Windows in Suburbia

You're probably not surprised to hear that I spend a lot of time hanging out at my LQS, Quilter's Way.  Usually I stop by to show off my latest creation, pickup whatever I can't finish my current project without and maybe buy more fabric;-)  Recently they asked if I'd be interested in making a sample for the shop...  of course I said yes!

They'd put together this collection of fabrics which is available as a kit online and at the store.  It's not something I would probably have picked to do myself, especially since I rarely follow patterns and I've never done machine pieced curves but it was fun to try something out of my comfort zone. 
The pattern is Urban Windows by the amazing Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful.  In addition to being an unbelievable quilter Jenny writes clear, easy to follow patterns with great illustrations.  The Quick Curve Ruler made quick work of cutting out the curved pieces.  Because it's a gentle curve and you're working with bias you don't even have to pin when sewing the curves.  Just taking it slow it was easy to sew all the curved pieces together.  It's also forgiving because you trim down your finished blocks. 
From there it was just a matter of assembling all the blocks and adding the sashing.

I'm not sure when I'll have time to quilt this but until then it's hanging in the shop by so stop by and check it out if you're in the area: )

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

W.i.P Wednesday: Tick Tock

With the last day of school rapidly approaching (T-8 and counting) I've been kicking it in to high gear trying to get things done...

All those squares on my design wall last week are now a finished top. I need to pull together some more squares to piece the back but I'm really just stalling while I figure out which of my friends I can shanghai into helping me baste this: )

Of course having a finished top means it's time to start something new...

And it's time to make teacher gifts.  Audrey wanted to make beach bags for her teachers.  I think it was just an excuse to get me to buy her more Amy Butler fabric!  I did the cutting but she did everything else herself. 

Hers are done but mine are still in the planning stage...  I still have 8 days, right!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, June 1, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

A good friend of mine was looking at one of my quilts and commented, "I love your attention to detail." which I'm pretty sure was a very nice way of saying "you are completely compulsive".  It's true, I am one of those obsessively organzied control freaks.  For me quilting is all about matched points and precision piecing.  This quilt has none of that!  There are a few tucks where I forced the Xs together, the quilting can best be described as "organic", and it's not quite square because I accidentally trimed one corner a 1/4" short in my excitement to finish it up.  And I'm OK with that. 

Becuase this quilt was made for this...

and this:-)  It's for chilly mornings at the lake and late night reading sessions.  I complained a lot about all that quilting but it gives it so much texture.  This is a quilt you can't help but cuddle up with. 

I ♥ this quilt and despite all it's flaws it definitely ranks as one of my all time favorite quilts I've made. I suspect it will be well loved for years to come and that's just perfect!

Finished quilt is 55" x 64".

Pattern is Chain Reaction by Lee, the wonderful hostess of W.i.P Wednesday at freshly pieced published in the March/April 2012 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.

Fabrics:  Bella bleached white, Kate Spain's Verna jellyroll, scraps from stash including Hope Valley, Carmen, Nicey Jane, Sweetwater Pure, California Girl, Joel Dewberry...  The back is from Kate Spain Good Fortune and Amy Butler Love.  Binding is more Verna.  My favorite, Dream Orient batting.