Random Roundup #19

I’m coming up on a bunch of self-imposed deadlines so I have a lot of different projects to share.

Baby Gifts:

I’ve been looking for cat-themed baby boy clothes or toys but they are all pink and girly.  That will not do at all for my (soon to be born) nephew.  His parents own cats and I wanted to play off of that for a sweet gift.  I designed a tag toy in the shape of a cat head and I think it turned out cute enough to be chewed on and pulled on and dragged around.  It’s got Minky on the back so it’s super soft as well.

Boo…….Basting:

I got a quilt basted and ready for quilting.  This quilt is destined as a wedding gift for my work bestie and needs to be complete before I leave town to meet my nephew.  The wedding is the weekend after I get back so I won’t have much time to finish it if I put it off any longer.  I dislike very much the process of quilt basting but it is a necessary evil to get to the awesome finished quilt.

Ring Bearer’s Pillow:

Her work shower is this week and she talked about commissioning me to make the Ring Bearer’s pillow but never actually got around to that.  So I have taken it upon myself to make one to gift at the shower.  I hope she is able to use it.  I cut up a headband to put on the back to help the young man hold it steady.  The headband has some grippy stuff on it so it should work well.

Stash Enhancement:

I’ve been loving the Aurifil thread that I got for Christmas and have been looking for a variegated set.  I was able to find one that Tula Pink curated where the majority of the threads are variegated.  What a fabulous selection of colors!While I was at it, I grabbed a few Charm Packs of my favorite lines (Blueberry Park and SunPrints 2017.)  They should work exceptionally well for the All the Colors Mini Quilt Swap that I’m participating in.I have to post my fabric selection by next week so it’s time to get moving on that swap.  That is once I finish the quilt for the wedding…….

Happy Sewing!

Stash Enhancement – Spring 2017

I haven’t made a big stash purchase in a while and gave in to a sale at a local quilt store that was having a number of bolts at $6 a yard.  A number of pretties went into my bag.  How gorgeous is that magenta from Fibs and Fables?  And those mushrooms are from the Hello Bear line by Art Gallery Fabrics.The trees are from the Happy Camper line from Riley Blake Designs.  Then Block Party by Sandy Gervais and the grey is from Alice by Angel Pingel.  It will make such a fabulous background for a variety of my future projects.  I picked up multiple yards of these.

They were also having a Fat Quarter bundle sale and, with my nephew on the way, I could not resist this car bundle.  The car fabric is from the Wheels 2 line by Riley Blake Designs, the orange is by Carolyn Friendlander, and the green is from a line called Mouse Camp.I also picked up some ‘not on sale’ fabrics as well – like these wonderful greys from Cotton + Steel.  How much do I love that metallic net?  So very, very much!Nephew inspired again – these School Days themed fabrics got added to my pile.  School Days by Riley Blake Designs and Dabble Dot from Michael Miller Fabrics.Unfortunately that did not end my little spree.  I’d been wanting to get the new Alison Glass Sunprints 2017 line and I was able to grab with a coupon on Alison’s site.  I love all the Sunprints lines but I onlay grabbed this one.  The bundle is so gorgeous!

It’s the perfect inspiration for the #allthecolorsswap on Instagram.  Planning has already begun in my head for my partner’s mini quilt……

Solid Savvy Mini Quilt Swap

My local guild, the Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild, hosted an in-guild mini Quilt Swap.  Back in February we secretly drew names for our partners and received their color requests.  The challenge was to use only solids and incorporate one of the characteristics of Modern Quilting. I am not much of a solids user and it is always a challenge for me to use them because I really like the movement that patterned fabric gives to a project.

My partner listed blue, aqua, orange, and rainbow as the preferred colors.  Negative Space and Alternate Gridwork were the characteristics that were listed as the favorites.  My partner is someone whose work I admire and love (Janet from @simplypieced.) She has a precise and clean look to her piecing and I wanted to make her something that she could love as much as I love a mini quilt of hers that I have hanging in my sewing room.

I’d been wanting to make a new flying geese pattern that was recently released and floating around Instagram.  It is the Geese in a Circle pattern by Alyin-Niyla.  I thought I could mix up the colors a bit and make them all shine.My favorite variation is the one on the top left but I just had a do it a bit differently.  I couldn’t keep with the norm and made it my own.   I took 2 sections and flipped them around so the two sizes flowed away from each other.  How cool would this look in a larger quilt flowing back and forth like that?  It could be awesome!  I didn’t like all that negative space.  I know, I know, that the challenge was to incorporate some negative space but I just couldn’t have as much as was there.  So, I added some bias strips to the corners.  I’d been staring at it for weeks with uncertainty and it didn’t come together until I added those strips.  That was the piece that I needed to move this to completion.The quilting had to follow the flow of those geese. It just had to.  I put a solid teal on the back and it really shows off the quilting.  The label is printed on fabric and raw edge appliquéd on with some improv corners.  I like how that turned out so I may use that technique a bit more.I quilted it with some new-to-me Aurifil thread.  I’m just starting to use the Aurifil and my machine appears to like it very much.  I got some thread packs for Christmas and dig into them each time to pick just the right neutral to use for the quilt.  I’m super happy with it.  I may need to grab some colored packs and play.  🙂

Now I get to show you what I got!  One of my favorite patterns ever made in my favorite colors.Meghan made this one for me and I absolutely love it!  It’s going to look so great on my wall.

A Splendid Sugar Buzz

I started the year cleaning up my sewing space.  This entailed putting fabric away and purging things that did not belong in that space.  Part of that purge were blocks from sewalongs or Block of the Month clubs that were at year’s end.

Sugar Block Club 2016:

I completed all months of the blocks for the 2016 Sugar Block Club.  I adore the color palette that I chose for this project.   Now I just have to figure out how I want to make them all into a quilt.How super cute is this  4-corner tree block?

The Splendid Sampler:

The sewalong was The Splendid Sampler headed up by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson and started January 1 of 2016. They released 2 blocks a week for 52 weeks.  I got as far as nine blocks made before other projects took precedence.  My plan was to start with red and grey and then move into all the colors of the rainbow for a fabulously colored quilt.  Looks as if I never moved out of the pink family.  So, I made it into a mini quilt that is perfect for the Valentine’s holiday next month.  It would also be great as a NICU preemie quilt.  I’ll figure out where it belongs soon.At least it is finished which left an open storage box for a new project and the interweb is buzzing about……

The Honey Pot Bee:

For 2017, I’ve decided to participate in The Honey Pot Bee put on by the fabulous Molli Sparkles.  It’s informal, self-reliant, and self-paced but in a group setting.  A ‘Wild Card’ Block was released before Christmas and I loved all the little trees that were popping up all over Instagram and Facebook.  I had to finally jump in and make my own.The blocks will be different sizes and styles and will make for some very interesting final quilts at the end.  This tree block is the small version and finished at 3 1/2 x 4 1/2.  I’m going to let the colors get chosen as the blocks are released.  First one is out tomorrow (Jan 3).

My sewing room cleanup also led to this fantastic fabric pull.  I don’t know what it’s going to become but I just love it!(t-b: Shot Cotton, Glamping, Just my Type, Rhoda Ruth, unlabeled maroon check, Good Natured, unlabeled by Hobby Lobby, Hilltop Foxes by Dear Stella)

Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!

Christmas Stash Enhancement

Christmas usually ends with more fabric and accessories being added to my stash.  This year was no exception. We’ll start off with the prettiest bundle ever!This Cotton + Steel Basics 40 piece fat quarter bundle is so versatile.  It’s even got metallic accents on some of the pieces.  And it’s super pretty and I love looking at it.  It will be put to great use throughout the next year.

The rest of my sewing presents included a bunch of notions:  blades, rulers, and other accessories that will be very useful.I also got a box of Aurifil thread from the Basics collection.  My Singer machine seems to like it better than what I normally use.  I’ll need to put that thought to the test soon.

A Project Bag:

Before all that gift getting happened, I put together this last minute gift for my mom.  A project bag for her cross-stitch or knitting projects.  I found the pattern here on Craftsy.  It’s a bit larger than I had anticipated – I made the Medium size – so I may also make her a few smaller ones for her upcoming birthday in February.Christmas was big success.  Especially on the ‘giving’ side of it, which is my favorite part.

New year is coming up with plenty of new projects on the horizon where all those new notions will be put to use.

Happy Sewing!  I’ll just leave you with this awesome sign I got from my mom.

Christmas Quilt UFO

I’ve had a Christmas quilt top hanging out in my sewing room for about 8 years.  When Mom was over on Thanksgiving she saw it hanging there and mentioned that she didn’t have a Christmas quilt.  So, I said ‘Do you like that one?’ And she said ‘Sure.’  Hello Christmas gift!

I pulled that Christmas one down off my quilt rack and tried to get it all ironed out and flat.  Now, I made the top when my skills were not quite as precise as they are now so the ironing did not work out as well as it should have.  We’ll come back to that problem later….

The quilt top is I-Spy style and bright and fun.  The pattern was a free insert in a quilting publication ad that I cannot find or remember exactly where it was from.  The squares are 2 1/2 inches, the snowballs are 6 1/2 inches.  I don’t recall the corner triangle size.As you can tell from the photo above, I echo quilted – all out with red thread – around each snowball which created great texture throughout.  I pieced the back with the original fabric that I had chosen and added some dog themed fabric just for my mommy.I’m super happy with my corners.  They are becoming more consistent as I finish more quilts.But, let’s talk about that massive pucker.  I made the error of not stitching all the same direction (side to side) before switching and stitching the other direction (top to bottom).  Now, I believe this was only an issue because I couldn’t get it ironed out as flat as it needed to be.  I basted it as taut as I could and started all my stitching in the center so I think that helped a little bit.  This is not the only area of puckering so I’m glad it’s for Mom as she will think it’s fabulous and won’t even see the puckers.  It’s a sweet and fun quilt and she’ll love it!It was good to see how far my piecing skills have come since I first pieced this and it was quite humbling as I moaned and groaned while quilting it before I finally decided to just let go of the frustration and try my best to work with the wonkiness of it.

Stash Enhancement:

I did a little pre-Christmas shopping and ended up with some great goodies.Paintbox Basics by Elizabeth Hartman – such great colors and fabulous prints!Vibrant and beautiful colors from the Macramé line from Cotton + Steel.

I hope your holiday sewing is going well.

Merry Christmas!

A ‘Doll’ Quilt 

You may remember this Geometric Unicorn block (pattern designed by Kristy of Quiet Play) that I made some time back for an Instagram swap that I participated in.I decided not to use this block in the swap as I thought it would be perfect for my favorite little girl.  Her mom and I went back and forth about what I could possibly make.  I was thinking a book/tote bag or mini quilt wall hanging.  She thought a mini quilt might be good to use as a quilt for Miss G’s dolls.  So, that’s the direction I decided to head into.

My first step was to border the block.  What could be better than a rainbow border of some type.  So, I started to piece 1 inch strips together to create that look.That looked so awesome that I continued adding borders.  Next thing I knew it took on a path of its own and I ended up with a human size quilt made for my doll of a girl. I used my favorite rainbow print (that JoAnns no longer has 🙁) to bring it all together.  The hot pink and grey borders match the pattern of the rainbow fabric perfectly so it had to be included.I backed it with part of a duvet cover that I had left over from the Quilts for Pulse quilt.  It just adds to the happiness of this piece!  Wavy quilting lines – tighter over the unicorn than in the borders – gives it great movement.I’m pretty sure she’ll love it. I love making stuff for this family.  They really appreciate the time and effort that goes into all crafts and are makers themselves.

This was actually a quick finish as I started with the finished block yesterday morning.  Guild meetings tend to put procrastination at bay and I busted my butt getting it finished.  I really wanted to complete it in time for this month’s Show and Tell as it would be the only time to show it to the group before it got packed up in a box and shipped across the country.  I had just enough time once I finished it to shower, dress, and get to the meeting right on time.

The December meeting always includes a Dirty Santa swap where you can steal a previously opened gift or choose one to open yourself.  The third owner is the keeper so all items can only be stolen twice.  I was lucky enough to have drawn a number in the middle of the pack so some gifts had already been opened and stolen.  I stole this fabulous pillow and was able to keep it since I was the third owner.  Then I got to spend the rest of the time watching everyone else’s stuff get stolen while I happily hid my treasure away.  I’ve been eyeing this pattern on Pinterest and been dying to make one.  Now I don’t have to!And this is the item that I made for the gift exchange.  A sweet appliqué Christmas tree pillow.Its backed in Minky so it’s super soft and cozy. It was actually the first item opened and was quickly stolen.  I’m glad it got such a good reception.  Now I need to make one to keep.Any special handmade gifts you’ve made or received recently?  I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Holiday Sewing!