Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

21 Quilts

161 Books Read

108 Cups of Starbucks

28 spools of thread finished

4 Quilts on display at the BMQG exhibit at the  Lowell Quilt Festival (and the chance to meet Mary & Marianne Fons)

3 Fabulous days on retreat with the BMQG

1 Dream weekend with the incredibly talented Angela Walters.
Table Top Swap Napkins

 It's been a great year but I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

This Is It...

My final finish of 2012!  It's hard to believe but this isn't my oldest UFO.  This was the project for a workshop I took with the unbelievably amazing Elly Sienkiewicz 12 years ago.  Elly is known as the "Queen of Applique" and started the renaissance for Baltimore Album style quilts back in the 80s, not surprising for a fellow Wellesley alum;-)  The workshop was a fabulous 2 day getaway at Heartbeat Quilts in Hyannis.  I found out after I signed up that I was pregnant so this was the perfect pre-baby escape, never mind I spent most of the weekend hanging out with someone expecting her first grandchild!

I got the embroidery done, all those french knots, and most of the cherries appliqued but those leaves... eventually this got buried as I moved on to other things.  Last summer I pulled this out when I needed some handwork and finally finished the applique.  Then this summer I was really determined to get it quilted.  Easy-peasy, I hand-quilted around the appliques on our trips back and forth to Maine and promptly forgot about it again.

When I was trying to catalog my WIPs for the BMQG challenge I remembered this and managed to find it stuffed in the bottom of a tote bag.  All it needed was the binding sewn on and the binding was already made!!!  20 minutes later I was ready to watch some trashy TV and tack down that binding!  Easiest finish ever;-)

My favorite part is the tablecloth.  Elly's had a sawtooth border which she just "eyeballed".  For me quilting is about precision, I don't eyeball anything.  I'd already cut the first sawtooth so I had to figure out a way to handle this gracefully when it hit me, fringe!!!

I'm not sure what to do with this now that it's finished... it's not really my style but I'm sure it will make a lovely gift;-)

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

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 21" x21".
Fabrics: All by Elly Sienkiewicz for P&B.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Mettler Natural (4) 40/3 Quilting weight.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Warm & Cozy

As I've mentioned we always try to make handmade teacher gifts.  My original plan was to make holiday napkins but as the days got busier I realized making 16 napkins (a set of 4 for each teacher) wasn't going to happen.  On to Plan B...

Holiday cup cozies!  These are so quick and easy to make and great for keeping track of your drink.  Last summer Marden's had Insul-Bright on sale for $2.99 a yard. 2 yards sounded reasonable... I think I have enough to make 500 more cozies;-)

Inspired by the hot cocoa print, I made these with some Basic Grey Figgy Pudding scraps.

And I just LOVE these Jingle penguins by the adorable Ann Kelle.
Truth be told, I have a drinking problem... I never go anywhere without a travel cup of tea. Hot or iced, I've got a cup for that and of course they all need cozies.  These were so cute I had to make a few extras for me.  Why not, I've got the supplies;-) 

Check out all the other fun stuff going on this week at Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday: Merry Christmas to Me!

I've been wanting one of these for the longest time so when I saw the pink one I knew it was time!  My good friend, Amy Friend, sells these at her etsy shop During Quiet Time.  Her super sweet husband makes these by hand and they are absolutely amazing. 

This is not the flimsy little seam ripper you get at Joann's! The handle is absolutely smooth and fits comfortably in your hand. The cutting edge is very sharp and easily cuts through your stitches. It almost makes unsewing fun!  Trust me, I speak from experience...  I was trying to get these napkins finished for holiday teachers' gifts.  It's not looking good:-( 

These are one of a kind so you can't have the pink one but rumor has it there will be even more fabulous patterns coming out after Christmas.  Be sure to follow During Quiet Time to stay in the know!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, December 14, 2012

Urban Windows

I've talked so much about making this quilt already that I'm not sure what's left to say...  I started out strong making this Urban Windows quilt by the amazing Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful last June.  I pieced the entire top in a week, mostly because the Quick Curve Ruler makes it sooo easy!  Unfortunately from there it was out of sight out of mind!

Six months later the new longarm machine with a Statler stitcher was in place at Quilter's Way and I figured this was the perfect project to try it out and finish this up.  Of course the first time I went in to quilt it I realized my back was too small:-(  I've still got the original back which I'm planning to turn in to the front of another quilt...  hopefully it won't take me another 6 months to finish that one up;-) 

I used an interlocking square pattern, I love the straight lines with the curved piecing!!!  I'm not sure if I'll use the Statler again.  For me, quilting is more about the process than the finished process so manning the machine doesn't do much for me but it does do a really awesome job with the quilting.  I could never do something so perfect myself!

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 61" x 78".
Fabrics: Grey Prints from Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy, Kona Snow, RJR Goldenrod and FSDS Red.
Pattern:  Urban Windows by the amazing Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Aurifil Fern #2900

See more fabulousness on Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

ZigZag Kindle Cozy Tutorial

I LOVE books and was pretty skeptical when the Kindle first came out.  Then a good friend of mine let me play with hers on vacation and I was instantly converted.  It's crystal clear even in bright sunlight, I can literally never run out of books to read, and it's always the same size & weight so it fits perfectly in my purse!  My only complaint was my pretty pink leather case was getting scratched up in my purse... obviously it needed a cozy!  Probably as a result of my rave reviews Kindles are the go to gift in my family this year and I had the perfect companion gift, cozies for everyone.  In the spirit of the holidays I'm sharing so you can make your own:-)

This measures 8 1/2" x 6" and was made to accommodate my Kindle with the cover on.  This also nicely fits Android tablets.  Measure your device and make any sizing adjustments before starting.

Cut the following:
(8) 2" squares print for zigzag
(8) 2" squares solid for zigzag
(1) 9" x 2 1/2" solid
(1) 9" x 7" solid
(1) 9" x 3 1/2" print for flap
(1) 9" x 14" print for inside lining
(1) 10" x 15" batting scrap
Stick-on Velcro Dots (if desired)

Seam allowance 1/4"

Make (16) 1 1/2" HSTs begin by drawing a line diagonally on the wrong side of each of the (8) solid 2" squares.

Layer each solid square with a printed square, right sides together.  Sew 1/4" from both sides of drawn line.  Cut on the drawn line and press towards the solid.  Trim HSTs to 1 1/2".

Sew the HSTs together in (2) rows of (8) to make a zigzag pattern.

Sew 2 1/2" solid strip to 1 side of zigzag band and 7" solid strip to other side of zigzag band.  Sew 3 1/2" flap to 7" solid strip as shown.

Layer outside of cozy with batting and quilt as desired.  I echoed the zigzag across the entire panel.

Trim batting to edges of panel.  Layer inside lining with quilted outside panel, right sides together.  Stitch around rectangle leaving a small hole for turning.  Clip corners and turn cozy right side out.

Fold bottom of cozy up to create pouch leaving 2 1/2" at the top.  Topstitch along sides and top being sure to close hole left for turning.  If desired add stick-on velcro dots to flap.  

Add your Kindle and you're ready to go!

For more fun holiday tutorials check out Pink Chalk fabrics!

Friday, December 7, 2012

To Infinity and Beyond

We're very big on handmade gifts around here and this year Audrey wanted to make infinity scarves for her teachers.  How could I say no, even when she snagged the last of my Coral Loulouthi Velveteen

She also managed to find this coral Carolina Chambray in my stash.  I can't believe how perfectly these go together!

For the second one she used some of the new Robert Kaufman corduroy paired with Kiwi voile.  It's a great weight, a little more drape than the velveteen but still warm enough for winter.

There are a million tutorials out there to make your own, these are loosely based on Anna Maria Horner's Figuring the 8.  I'm still not ready to turn her loose with the rotary cutter but she did all the pinning and sewing herself.

I was hoping she'd make one for me also but no such luck;-)  I had to make this one for myself, this time Marine Loulouthi Velveteen and some slubbed silk.  These are so quick and easy I have no doubt we'll be making more!!!

Linking up to the always spectacular Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday: Fitting It All In!

What, you were expecting to see some sewing?!?  This Sunday is our 10th annual holiday cookie decorating party so this week is all about making the cookies:-)

Of course there's still some sewing going on...  After my first failed attempt, I finally "quilted" my Urban Windows quilt.  I say "quilted" because I was actually using the new Statler Stitcher at Quilter's Way.  I read a book supervised while the computer did the hard part:-)

I did manage to get the binding attached at the BMQG holiday meeting/sew-in.  5 hours of sewing time and that's pretty much all I accomplished...  too much fun socializing;-) 

Back to my lonesome I did get started on my holiday gifts...  you know how I love a zigzag!!!  Hopefully next week I'll actually manage to finish some things:-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just Three for December

It's that time again...  It is so good for me to sit down at the beginning of the month and think about what I want to accomplish.  Just having this little list stuck on my bulletin board keeps me on track!

I do have to admit I was sandbagging a bit in November...

I committed to making a pincushion for the BMQG swap.  Let's face it, I'd pretty much lose all my quilt cred if I couldn't pull that one together;-)  As it was I made mine the night before it was due.  It was like college allover again!

I also wanted to get an entry in to the Tula Pink Sew Along at Sew Sweetness but going with a pillow cover made this considerably easier to accomplish.  I still LOVE it!!!

I also was hoping to quilt my Victory Garden quilt but I knew that was a stretch.  My only chance was if I got in lots of sewing time Thanksgiving weekend.  While I did get to do some sewing I never touched this and I'm sad to say it isn't going to get done before Christmas.  With the holidays rapidly approaching I've turned my focus to holiday sewing so here are my three for this month...

1. Finally finish this holiday table runner.  This Bento Box runner has been basted and ready to quilt since last Christmas.  It's time:-)

2. Someone special is getting a Kindle for Christmas so I want to make them a cozy like mine.  If all goes according to plan there will be a tutorial also:-)

3. Make holiday teachers gifts.  It's a tradition and I like the message it sends to my kids.  Audrey already has big plans for her teachers.

traceyjay quilts