Friday, February 28, 2014

Top That!

I finished this hat a while ago but the only thing harder than taking pictures of quilts in the winter is taking pictures of yourself...  the planets finally aligned so that I could bribe recruit a photographer when it wasn't snowing/raining/dark.  The pattern is Griffith Park by the adorable Meghan Dougherty.  It's the perfect complement to my favorite Anna Maria Horner Coreopsis infinity scarf.

I picked up this Road to China Light to take on vacation...  knitting is a bit more portable than quilting.  It's amazing how much you can get done on a 3 hours flight.  The charted color-work pattern was easy to follow and the double thickness of yarn makes it so warm...  definitely what I needed this winter!  I absolutely adore this yarn... it is so soft and snugly!!!

I decided to try a provisional cast on using this tutorial at  It was a little tricky to get the hang off but it came out beautifully!

I'm still not very good at getting the sizing right.  The issue isn't that I'm not knitting to gauge, it's just that my head is too small.  If I did it again I'd skip a few rounds between 32-37 where the contrast stripe moves to the 3 stitch clusters.  I've never blocked a hat before but the knitting police require it and I was hoping it would shrink down a bit.  My kids thought it was hysterical to see a balloon wearing my hat and it did make everything meld together nicely.

Joining the fun at Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: Headed for Shore

We're in the homestretch of our Toes in the Sand BOM at Quilter's Way.  Block 11 is almost identical to Block 5 so there are no construction challenges this month.

It helps to press your seam allowances away from the center triangle.  When you attach your side triangles sew them with the center block up.  You will see an X where your seam lines cross.  Sew directly through the middle of that X and your  points will be perfect!
Joining the fun at W.i.P. Wednesday

Friday, February 21, 2014

Everyday Making

Growing Home's Flirt Skirt has been my go to pattern but ever since taking a class with the lovely Liesl Gibson at the Philly Sew Down I've wanted to try her Everyday Skirt pattern.  The designs are fairly similar but Liesl's is a bit more polished.

I picked up this adorable Herringbone Chambray at Gather Here last weekend and paired it with this amazing Liberty print I picked up on my NYC fabric crawl at Purl Soho.  I bought the downloadable pattern from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  It was a bit annoying having to print 33 pages and tape them together but I probably spent more time complaining about it than actually doing it and the instant gratification factor is huge.  It was snowing again so driving to Quilter's Way wasn't going to happen.

The pattern is clearly written and easy to follow.  I made the size Large but cut the hem line at X-Small.  I'm only 5' 2" so this was the perfect length!

I love the pockets though adding the side panels requires more fabric.  I'm on the fence about the double row of elastic in the back.  I definitely prefer the gathered waist band in the front but next time will probably just use a single piece of 1 1/2" elastic.

The Chambray is lighter than I expected.  It just looks heavier to me but it has the drape of linen which made it perfect for this skirt.  I really wanted to wear this to Gather Here's 3rd year in business party so I paired it with my Lilly Wellies and a sweater but I think it'll get a lot more wear come summer when I can pair it with flip flops and a T;-)

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

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: More of the Same

Another snow day/sew day...

Another use for this Sweetwater Pure jellyroll...

Another plus quilt in the works...

Another link up to W.i.P. Wednesday... What's new with you?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Makers Gonna Make!

This weekend the fabulous folks at Gather Here hosted another party, this time to celebrate three awesome years of making.  I feel so lucky to be part of such an incredibly creative community... and they really do have the most amazing collection of fabrics & yarns.

The S'mores bar lived up to the hype!!!  Fabric and toasted coconut marshmallows... heaven;-)  I think I'm going to be taking a trip to Lowell in the very near future so I can try the raspberry.

Throw in brunch with some of my favorite quilty peeps and it was an absolutely perfect day!!!

Congratulations to lucky comment # 8, sfredette, the winner of my French General scraps in my Use It Or Lose It challenge.  I can't wait to see what you make with them!!!  This month I'll be making with this Central Park layer cake.  Check back next month for the chance to win what's left.

What are you going to make?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Surrounded by Love

Despite everyone's best efforts I didn't finish my Hugs and Kisses table runner in time for Valentine's Day...  the incredibly awesome Virginia of gather here literally offered me the shirt off her back, OK, the dress out of her window, to use as a backing but it just wasn't meant to be.  Since I couldn't let the occasion pass without making something to commemorate it I decided to whip up a pillow during yesterday's snow day/sew day.  Like all my really good ideas, this one started with my good friend Aimee...  she did something similar and after seeing hers, and an adorable reverse applique bag shared by one of our new members at the BostonMQG February meeting I knew what I wanted to do!

I'm really trying to use up my pre-cuts so I grabbed these adorable Surrounded by Love mini-charms to make the patchwork panel.

Once I quilted the panel on to batting I cut a heart out of linen and used reverse applique to layer it on top.

From there I added some hand quilting with perl cotton.  Big stitch quilting goes so fast!!!

I didn't have any zippers on hand so I went with an envelope finish and used this adorable polka dot I had in my stash to bind it.

Shown with: All You Need is Love, Have a Heart Argyle and Chocolate Valentine 
Obviously I needed another Valentine pillow cover... but when you're here you really are Surrounded by Love;-)

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

Quilt Stats:
Finished pillow cover is 16" x 16"
Fabrics: Surrounded by Love by Deb Strain for Moda, Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman
Thread: Aruifil 2021, Valdani purl cotton, size 12 in Magenta(50)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Plus One

I couldn't resist one last French General project!!!  This was what was left on my design wall after I made Add It Up.  I loved the negative space and decided I had one more Rouenneries quilt left in me:-)

This was actually a bit harder to construct .  The "easy" approach is just to make 2 1/2" blocks with the background fabric and sew everything together that way.  I didn't want to do that so there was math involved to calculate the size of the background pieces.  It worked out pretty well and I only had to do one partial seam to get it all together.

And now I can add this to my "to be quilted" pile:-)

As promised, the rest is up for grabs.  Get your French General fix here...  There's about 5 yards yardage plus scraps, leftover jellyroll and honeybun strips and more.  Leave me a comment on this post by midnight Sunday, February 16th and I'll pick a winner on Monday.

Check out who else is sewing at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hard Pressed

Do you love your iron?  I've been using a Black & Decker Classic since my Rowenta had a melt-down.  I like it because it's heavy which is ideal for pressing but the steam holes are too big and tend to catch on small pieces which drives me nuts!

This month Quilter's Way is offering an Iron Throw Down.  You can stop by anytime before Friday, February 14th to test the Oliso TG1600 ProSmart and the Reliable V200 Sensor Velocity.  Vote for your favorite and save 20%.

Today I went in for a test drive with my wrinkled table runner that spent the weekend crumpled up in my tote bag.  Both irons did a great job getting the creases out and both have small steam holes which didn't catch when I tried pressing some small pieced blocks.  The Oliso has taken the quilting world by storm with it's pop up design.  I've tried them here and at the Philly Sew Down and just haven't felt the love but everyone tells me it just takes getting used to.  I also liked the Reliable but found the steam buttons to be too low on the handle so every time I picked it up I accidentally got a blast of steam.

I'm still on the fence which I prefer but have until Friday to decide...  What's your favorite iron?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: The one where it snowed... again!

If you follow me on Instagram you might remember I started working on these on our last snow day...  here we are again except now we're only a little more than a week away from Valentine's Day.

These blocks are perfect for mindlessly chain piecing your way through a Veronica Mars marathon.  The new movie will be out March 14th so now is the perfect time to catch up!

Everything is made with the same block, they're just arranged differently to make an X versus an O.

  I don't have a very good track record for finishing things on time (2 Halloween quilts and a Modern Maples currently sitting in my UFO pile waiting for the occasion to rollback around).  With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching I decided a table runner was the way to go.  The top is done so if I can just find the perfect backing at Gather Here on Friday maybe I can get this one done on time:-)

Check out who else had a snow day/sew day at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)