Friday, February 27, 2015

Fabric Friday: February 27

I can't believe February is all but over. I think part of that is that we have had an unseasonably warm winter here in Utah, so it has flown by. We haven't been stranded indoors, covered with a wretched inversion; it's been almost spring-like and we've spent lots of afternoons at the park.

I dropped off my daughters' two quilts to Abby Latimer to be quilted this week, and was able to pick up my Petal Pushers quilt. I'll get it bound and labeled and photographed soon, hopefully this weekend. I'm really excited to show it to you!

And for this week, I have a stack for Fabric Friday that I've been working on for a mini for my wall. I don't know when I'll actually get around to making it...I hope soon. the ideas I'm mulling over involve macarons. Which I think is fitting; I keep thinking it's a bit of a tragedy that I don't actually have a macaron quilt. :-)

The focal fabric is Mon Amie by Brejer. I'm not sure where I first saw this online, but once I did, I knew I had to have it. I didn't have plans, so I only bought a half-yard, and I ordered it online, and even though I'm sure the website included some sort of scaling information, I still had no idea how large the Eiffel Tower would be. Had I known, I might have ordered more because to really use it will require large pieces.

The other pieces, top to bottom, are Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter, Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille, (I'm missing the selvage on the coral one; it was a gift, so I really don't know. But, it really screamed Paris to me, so I have to include it here!), Little House by Annette Tatum, Social Club by Comstock, Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille, Desired Things by Robyn Pandolph, Blomster by Lotta Jansdotter, and Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille.

The scallops from Bonnie and Camille I think will be perfect for macarons...I just couldn't get over them! Same with the Desired Things light blue...just the right shape. And the lavender doesn't match any colors in the focal fabric, but it just felt right. It may or may not end up in the final quilt. The stack doesn't look as unified as others I've made where the emphasis is more on color, but most of the fabrics I've pulled are pretty darn close to colors from the focal fabric. As I pulled fabrics, I couldn't get over how varied the colors were, and I really was delighted that I had so many perfect colors in my stash.

I'm still designing the quilt; I haven't made a mini before, and I'm finding it different than I expected for some reason. But soon. Hopefully soon.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fabric Friday: February 20

I can't believe a whole week has passed. This has been a very crazy week for me, so I haven't gotten many photos taken. I did manage to get my Lucky quilt pieced and sashed together; all I have left is adding the outside border. Wahoo! I'm hoping to hear my Petal Pushers quilt is finished soon, and when I pick that up, I'll drop off these two. I do need to piece the backs, still, but that obviously shouldn't take too long. I'll be backing them with flannel, to make sure they are nice and soft for my girls.

Today's fabric bundle uses the fabrics I used for the pennants on the girls' playhouse. When I was selecting fabric for that, I wanted something really fun and primary-color based, but didn't want to use fabrics to close in color to the walls of the playhouse. Which meant the actual primary colors were out. I also didn't want to get to close to the sun fabrics since it would be so close, and I really wanted it to be vibrant. So, I picked an orange, purple, and brown. I was really just auditioning different fabrics out, and was surprised these ones worked so well! I loved that they all had different designs; I didn't want too many polka dots or anything too similar. And then as I have looked at the playhouse, I decided I really liked them together! So, a bundle was inspired.

From top to bottom: Mixed Bag by Studio M, Metro Living by Robert Kaufman (one of the playhouse fabrics), Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter (another playhouse fabric), (I think this purple is by V and Co.), One for the Boys by Zoe Pearn Designs (last playhouse fabric), and Basics by Alison Lindhardt.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fabric Friday: February 13

It's Friday again; wahoo!! I've been busy sewing my second daughter's quilt, and I just couldn't resist working on a pattern I came up with. I can honestly say I never expected to make patterns, so when this idea came to me, I was not only pretty excited, but anxious to try it out. And, I have to say, I have a newfound appreciation for pattern writers! I'm still working out kinks on the best way to put it together, but I think I'll probably make a tutorial for it. More on that later.

And, I have exciting news! Fat Quarter Shop hosted a Cotton + Steel Remix Giveaway on their blog. And thanks to voters, the remix I put together on Pinterest won! Thank you, thank you if you took the time to vote for me! I may or may not be stalking my mailman today...but, you can bet you'll see some fun things with Cotton + Steel coming up soon; I'm brainstorming lots of ideas now. And I think some of them will end up as sewing room needs some inspiration on the walls. :-)

But for now, it's time for Fabric Friday! This week, I have a bundle with red. I love red so much; but  I don't often use it in quilts. It just doesn't happen for some reason. I buy reds with great hopes, but they often just sit. This bundle was inspired by a fat quarter I got for Christmas. Our daughters are still very young (ages 5 and 2) but we still try to involve them in gift giving. So, for birthdays and Christmas, we help the children buy small gifts for each other and for us. My husband can often use help in picking gifts for I suggested that he let the girls pick out a fat quarter each for me. It's small, not expensive, and something I'd like more than, say, a cheap lotion with the Eiffel Tower on it from Walmart. Just sayin'. He was nervous, but I really didn't think it would be that hard. I mean, fabric. Just love, right? I showed him my stash and described what designer fabric was. I took him to a store I knew had a decent selection of designer fat quarters out and told him where to look for bolts of designer fabric so he'd have an idea of what to look for, and I told him to avoid the more traditional prints on the color wall. I tried to be encouraging without controlling. Really, I figured it would be fun to see what the girls would pick and to incorporate that into my stash.

I really didn't think it would be hard, I really didn't! And they aren't terrible, they really aren't, they just aren't really my style. Well, one is close enough. It's a grayish taupe polka dot. Not micro dot, but small.

And then this red...which I do really like...has suns on it, which is a motif I really like...but it's not really the same style as, oh...98% of my stash? So, my goal was to put together a bundle that used it, so I might be inspired to create with it. And really, the whole point was to get fabric that I wouldn't normally purchase myself, so it worked pretty well for that! :-)

Only problem is, I don't have many reds this deep. So, it's a small stack today. :-) I had a few yellows that would work with it, but I liked this one best, and then this gray was a great neutral with them.

So, top to bottom: Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille, Funky Fruit Daisy by The Henley Studio, and my red fat quarter doesn't have the designer info selvage. I know, I know, you were all dying to know what it was... ;-)

And, happy valentine's day tomorrow! If you haven't seen it yet, check out Simple Simon and Co.; she has a great new tradition she is introducing with her family this year. Love it! I actually really hate valentine's day, but this tradition just might make it tolerable. :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Work in Progress Wednesday

I have been working hard on my daughters' quilts. I finished the first, Spin Cycle by Allison Harris, a couple of weeks ago. And then I got started on the second, Lucky by Camille Roskelley. I elected to sew the HSTs together as sets of 4 to make it go quicker, but didn't realize how dreadful that many HSTs with biased edges would be! I starched them thoroughly, and they were pretty stiff, but still twisted just a little as I sewed even though I pinned and pinned. They worked out fine, but it was still just a little aggravating to sew, especially over the seams. And, I haven't been super excited to work on this one; I think after I finish these tops, I'm going to try to find a quicker finish project to work on to give myself a little bit of a break. These long-term projects can be exhausting.

But. I have a pile of squares and am ready to start laying out. I'm really glad; I'm trying to enjoy the process of quilting more, since I claim to love it and all, but I'm really excited for the big reveal, too. Coordinating quilts for the girls, and I'm going to try and make some simple pillowcases, and I'm thinking about some Hazel Hedgehog accent pillows. I think it'll be pretty cute. I haven't decided about curtains. :-)

I'm really hoping (and racing) to have the two quilt tops finished before Abby finishes quilting my Petal Pusher quilt (pattern from A Quilter's Mixology). I love dropping off when I pick up; it feels so efficient. :-)

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fabric Friday: February 6

This is a bundle I tried to put together last week, and just couldn't get it to work. I had most of it down, and it just wasn't quite right. But, I switched some things around, and now I'm quite pleased with it! Most of the bundles I've been pulling have been made up of blenders, and that's really what most of my stash is. Go figure, right? Now that I'm more active on Instagram, and seeing what lovely things people are doing with more novelty prints, I'm wanting to get more into my stash than I have, but it's hard. A lot of what my local quilt shops carry is very juvenile. C'est la vie. I think a pink would be really nice in this bundle, too, but I didn't have the right pink. Pinks are really hard, I think. I'm putting together quilts for my daughters' beds, and of course pink HAD to be in the main color, and they are really tricky.

The focal print in this bundle isn't a novelty print at all, but at least it has a few colors to go off of! From top to bottom: Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter, Wishes by Sweetwater (I think; no designer info on my fat quarter selvage), Best Day Ever by April Rosenthal, Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket, Netorious by Cotton + Steel, and Sidewalks by October Afternoon.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Quilts as Gifts

I've given very few quilts as gifts. I find it hard to give something so expensive and labor intensive away, to be honest. I need to be more giving, it's true. But, also, most of the quilts I make don't have an intended recipient necessarily, which makes it harder to give since it's something I made because I love it and wanted to. There have been a few, though. My sister has gotten a couple (see the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes quilts), and I also have given one to my cousin and one to my sister-in-law. I didn't take very good or many pictures of them because I wasn't planning on doing a blog when I made, iPhone pictures will have to do.

I made my first quilt gift (excluding my sister's since we are so close) for my cousin. Shortly before Thanksgiving in 2013, she was diagnosed with a rare and potentially untreatable form of cancer. She had miscarried, and afterward, was diagnosed with a placenta cancer. Because of the nature of the cancer, it was potentially untreatable, as it would spread throughout the body slowly, but without settling anywhere, making it impossible to treat with chemo. Or something like that. I may be wrong in my details, but the real point was that it was very likely untreatable. Right before the holidays. She has three children, and her oldest daughter was performing in the Nutcracker, so she was quite busy as it was, and then was dealing with the fatigue and stress of cancer.

It's folded in half, the borders really do go all the way around! :-)

My mom mentioned wanting to do something to show our support, and I instinctively suggested making her a quilt. I had heard that chemo can be very chilling, partially, no doubt, because you have to sit in a cold hospital room hooked up to an IV. So a quilt could be useful in that way, but also for snuggling with her three children (I made sure to back it with flannel). I contacted my favorite quilter, Abby Latimer, and set about making a quilt. My mom and I shared the cost, and she watched my girls while I pieced the top. We picked a simple, but fun pattern (based on this pin), and I finished it up in a day. My mom pieced the back and dropped it off at Abby's to be quilted. Abby was amazing and quilted it that night so we could pick it up the next day. By the way, she quilted it with the flirtatious pattern, which is my current favorite panto. It's amazing.

I bound it and my mom delivered it to my aunt, who was spending most every day with my cousin, helping and comforting and such. They have since expressed such gratitude I don't know why I don't give more quilts away. :-)

My cousin ended up being okay. The initial blood work, which took weeks to process, showed that she had the type that would be treatable, and after going through some treatment (no chemo, I think), she is currently in remission and feeling fairly healthy.

I was so glad to provide something of comfort during that difficult holiday season. Quilts are powerful things and I hope I can use my quilts for good more in the future.

I'll post my other gifted quilt later. In the meantime, though, I'd love to hear any stories about quilts you've gifted that have been special for you!

Katie's quilt
Completed December 2013