(No) Power Play

A big ol’ strong storm came through late Saturday night and left my neighborhood without power for about 36 hours.  What do you do when you are without power and had planned to sew for the majority of the weekend?  You hand stitch!  I’d been working on a hand sewing project for a few years.  I don’t pick it up very often so this gave me the perfect opportunity to try to finish it up. The fabric is a mini charm pack from the Mixed Bag line.  I made the hexies almost 2 years ago on the way to my brother’s wedding and I had a grand plan to use them in a Text Mini Quilt Swap that I had participated in.  That plan changed for the better so I still had the hexies in my stash.  Then I just decided to make them into a large hexie flower.  They have been slowly making their way into that shape.  I have one more length of thread to use in order to finish up this large flower.  My plan is to make a pillow for my couch by adding it as an appliqué to a cool looking background – which I have yet to decide on.  I’m thinking some sort of light grey or text print.  I must raid my stash and see what pops out at me.My mom lives nearby and had power so I packed up my old reliable sewing machine and some fabric to cut for a new baby quilt that I have in mind. I pulled this cute selection of car prints and blenders that I think work really well with the main prints.  I don’t have a selection of white blenders in my stash so this cute grey one should work really well.I did not make any progress other than transporting these supplies back and forth from my house to hers a few times.  But, I love this fabric pull and will definitely do something with it.

Giving Thanks!

I’m thankful that my Mom lives close enough so that I could bring some of my fridge and freezer stuff over for her to store for me.

I’m thankful that my home has great insulation and stayed cool enough so I could still hang out with the cats and sleep there without the power being on.

I’m thankful to learn that I have a gas water heater so I was able to shower and wash up with hot water.

I’m thankful that I did not have a ton of perishable food in my fridge or freezer as I now don’t have as much to replace.  I took only the super important stuff to my mom’s – you know, like ice cream and steak.

I’m thankful that I had the means to get out and purchase some other power and lighting supplies that I could operate with batteries.

I’m thankful for the extra work put in by my local electric company, on a holiday weekend, to get extra crews in from other states to get the power restored – there were 140,000 without power on Sunday morning with full restoration not promised for at least a week.

I need to get my machine humming now that the power is back on.  I have a different baby quilt laid out on my design floor (which I did not transport to my mom’s) and I need to start working on that.  It’s the top I was planning on sewing together this weekend.

Time to get back to it.  Happy Sewing!

Marriage Medallion

It’s quite an challenge to make a quilt as a wedding gift.  It’s really a marriage between both partners tastes and styles and you may not know the tastes and styles of both people.  I made this quilt for my work bestie and her family. It’s really a love story where 2 individuals become a family of three as the groom has also bonded strongly with her son.  It was beautiful to watch this relationship grow from a blind date about 2 years ago (that she was apprehensive about going on) to a marriage full of love and respect.

Some of you may remember that, after a Plan A fail, I pulled an old work-in-progress out of its hiding place and changed directions on it.  I took the previously made piece and made it the center of a medallion style quilt.I added a skinny border then some improv strip blocks, another skinny border and some large Raspberry Kiss blocks.  The cutting dimensions for the large size Raspberry Kiss block can be found here.  I then added some large appliquéd corner blocks to finish it off.  She had purchased an art print that has a tree with leaves that the guests can sign with well wishes.  I tried to use that theme on these large corner blocks.  Each corner block is different but all contain a selection of large and small orange peel pieces.I love the quilting effect on the Raspberry Kiss blocks.  I did skinny lines in the plus section and then just outlined the large square.  I tried to quilt each section a little differently.  Stitch-in-the-ditch for the center then straight lines in the sashing, wavy lines on the improv strips then more straight lines in the sashing, and ending with diagonal lines for the corners going into the side blocks.  I love the way the whole thing came out and the cool crinkly effect once washed was perfect!I found a fabric in my stash that was perfect for the backing and definitely more her style.  I also made a envelope block that was released as part of the Honey Pot Bee and used that as my label.  I added a solid green binding to contain it all.I’m considering this my year of finishing old projects. Now onto the next one before I get distracted by something new and shiny…..

Happy Sewing!

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!

Varsity Victory

The final pre-birth quilt for my nephew is done!  I love how this came together.  I had a few Charm Packs of the Varsity line by Sweetwater and found a free pattern online that I liked.  The pattern is the Royal Squares Quilt by Quilts by Emily.  I’m so glad I picked this pattern as it turned out so incredibly fabulous!The background is Lazy Stripe in gunmetal by Tula Pink and it framed everything perfectly!  I had to adjust the number of squares and piecing technique because I was using Charm Packs and not yardage or Jelly Rolls.  I used 2 Charm Packs and have one block leftover.  I used my very favorite text fabric from The Chalk Line in grey for the corners.  Here come all the pictures….Enjoy!The backing is a navy blue duvet cover that I cut apart and it is bound in navy and gold which are the colors of my brother’s alma mater.

It’s not long now that I’ll be able to welcome this little one into the world and I cannot wait!

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.

Orphan Block Rescue

A friend of mine is getting married in a few months and I’ve been contemplating a quilt or some quilty gift for her.  Her wedding colors are champagne and blush and I’m not sure what to do with that as my color palette is a bit more vibrant.  I found a pattern I liked and pulled some low volume fabrics then dug in my stash for a small pop of color.  I found a deep coral floral colored fabric that I thought would work.  I was wrong……..The low volumes got lost so I thought maybe I should switch it up and reverse the color placement – low volume background, high contrast star parts.  Slightly better but just barely…….still not what was floating around in my head.

Now What?

As those blocks headed for the orphan block pile I came across an old project that I had started but got disenchanted by.  The colors might be a bit brighter than she would prefer but I think it could work.  I had all the fabrics wrapped up with the blocks so I didn’t have to dig any further for those.I bordered it with a thin white strip, gave it a super good press, and decided to move in a medallion type style.  The first surround contains different width strips placed both vertically and horizontally – slightly random placement of each colored strip with the floral fabric always in the center.Next up are some large Raspberry Kiss blocks – pattern was adapted from the original tutorial by Wooden Spoon Quilts.  I thought the smaller blocks would not work nearly as well for the next surround so I was glad to find a larger size to use.I had to scrap the Raspberry Kiss blocks with the deep magenta on the corners.  It was just way to bright for the rest of this quilt.  But I was able to use them to cut the side squares for the centers.  I love it when fabric does not go to waste.

I’ve got a bit more of these and some filler blocks to make to get the next section finished.  Then I’ll have to decide on the next row.  My mind is already churning……..