Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sunny's Quilt

Do you have any of those friends who just have everything they could ever want or need? It makes birthday gifts really, really tough. That's my friend, Sunny. She's amazing, but has literally everything. I did hit it out of the park one year when I bought her a really, REALLY large kitchen mixing bowl. She wasn't able to find one, and so when I did, I bought it immediately. She really loves it. But, those type of gifts are tough to come by for her. So, this year, when I realized her birthday was coming up, I decided to make her a mini quilt. She can use it either as a table runner or hang it.

I picked colors to match her kitchen and great room, and I think the style will fit really well. She has a Southwestern theme going on. I used some Cotton and Steel, Cluck Cluck Sew (Oh Clementine line), and Kona solids in Charcoal and Snow. And, I was able to pull everything from my stash. Love that!

I picked a pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival, and it was really fun to put together. I really like paper piecing!

I was disappointed that when I put the blocks together, my corners didn't line up well. I was hurrying, but I figured since they were paper pieced, and therefore pretty accurate, they would line up better. It's not terribly noticeable, but it is too me. I know we all pick out the problems with our own projects.

And the fact that I only needed four blocks made for a quick project. And I really love how the blocks work together to form a secondary pattern.

I gave it a super narrow binding; it shows only about a quarter of an inch on the top. I was nervous to make a binding that narrow, but I didn't want to add any borders and also didn't want to cut my corners off. I'm pretty pleased with how it worked out.

I opted to do some straight line quilting because I'm just not very good at free motion and don't feel comfortable giving gifts with my poor quilting.

I had a deadline; another friend and I were going to take her to lunch on Saturday, and I finished it late Friday night. But, the birthday girl got sick, so we've had to postpone. Because we postponed, I got to take the quilt out on a field trip and got some better photos.

I'm hoping to deliver it soon!

Sunny's Mini quilt
completed April 2015
straight line quilting by me!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fabric Friday: April 24

We've had a great week of spring here. I took my girls up the canyon for a picnic this week, and we had a great time. I see a lot of picnics in our future this summer! My girls are a really fun age (5 and almost 3), and taking them for a simple trip up to a park in the canyon is a huge hit. 

This week, my bundle is a lot of my new stash. New, relatively...since I've been on a fabric diet lately as a way to save up for a Bernina. I really, really want a Bernina. Luckily, I won a Fat Quarter Shop contest a little while ago, so that helps me not feel too deprived... :-)

Top to Bottom: Mustang by Cotton and Steel, Color Theory by V and Co., Quattro by Studio M, Lazy Day by Lori Whitlock, and Homebody by Cotton and Steel.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cutting Strategies

So, I don't have the ideal sewing space. I know not many people do, so I'm certainly in good company! And I have dreams for making my sewing room into a more efficient studio, but that's not my first priority right now. Soon. But not now. And when it happens, I'll be getting a counter-height cutting station, for sure. See, I'm six feet tall, and while my cutting mat lives on my sewing desk, cutting for more than a few minutes gets to be pretty painful for me.

Which means that when I have a lot of cutting to do, I wait until I can relocate out to our counter-height dining table or kitchen counter. :-) Because that's actually quite a chore (making sure the counter/table is cleared and well-cleaned, keeping kids away from organized piles/rotary blades, clearing the counter/table of quilting supplies before dinner, etc), I tend to cut as much as I can and am prepared to cut.

Which means I spend a good three to four hours cutting when I do.

I'm not going to lie; it's a little obnoxious and far from ideal. But, one of the plus sides is that when I'm done, I usually have at least one quilt cut out and I don't have cut again for quite a while! :-)

I finished up my Swoon quilt top last weekend, and then realized that I was pretty much out of WIPs. I have a quilt being quilted, and two that need binding, but none in the piecing stage. And, seeing as how I need to cut my binding strips, that means cutting in general.

So, after church on Sunday, I busted out my supplies and got enough cut out to keep me busy this week. Not as much as I would have liked, but enough. Including a table runner for a friend who is having a birthday this week.

  • pieces for two Hazel Hedgehog blocks that will be pillows
  • two pillowcases (okay, that one barely counts...)
  • 15 binding strips
  • pieces for a table runner
How do you deal with your less than ideal sewing space?

Oh, and I'll be linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. :-)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fabric Friday: April 17

Happy Friday, everyone! I, unfortunately, haven't gotten much sewing done lately. I've been exhausted. I'm not really sure why, but my face has ached all week, so maybe that has something to do with it. I can't tell if it's sinus-y stuff or allergies... Anyway, doesn't really matter. I have gotten a little bit on my Swoon quilt done, and I'm hoping to finish that top up this weekend! Hooray!

I've also been busy trying to get things straightened out for an upcoming vacation that has crept up on us WAY too fast. I'm super excited, but now super stressed! :-)

Here's my fabric for this week. I really love the Cotton and Steel sun print--so cute!!

Top to bottom: Social Club by the Comstocks, Dining Car by Cotton and Steel, Sidewalks by October Afternoon, Moonlit by Cotton and Steel, Comma by Zen Chic, and Netorious by Cotton and Steel.

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fabric Friday: April 10

Friday! Already! This week has been spring break in my school district, but since I have a preschooler who only goes three days a week anyway, we didn't really feel it. Especially since I was very, VERY sick this past weekend, and actually sent the girls to my mom's on Sunday night so I could recover in peace on Monday. They, naturally, begged to stay another night, so I let them...and picked them up on Tuesday afternoon. It was super helpful, and I feel so blessed that my mom lives less than an hour away and is willing and able to watch my girls when my caring for them really wouldn't be doing either of us a service. Yay for moms who are close!

It was a 24-hour stomach thing, and I really felt much better Monday, but after vomiting your entire stomach contents, better is relative and I've still be very tired all week. Still, we did manage an outing finally yesterday, and went to the Springville art museum about 20 minutes away. We usually go to the art museum at BYU, and my girls love it. Which I love--they are learning museum manners early, and basics in art appreciation, which I hope will be useful when we eventually take them to Europe in a few years. Yes, even my fun outings often have ulterior motives... :-)

So, fabric. I'm actually really excited about this bundle. And I realized something...this Fabric Friday thing is a little dangerous. See, I pull fabric, and fall in love with the grouping, and then wish I had a project I could immediately start, and the to-do list of quilts grows longer and longer...I'm just not a quick enough sewist for all my projects!

Top to bottom: Hometown by Sweetwater, A Beautiful Thing by Zoe Pearn, Love by Amy Butler, Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry, Lazy Day by Lori Whitlock, and pb&j by Basic Grey.

I really love this bundle. I'm not sure what it is about the colors, but they just sing to me. I hope you find some fabric that sings for you!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fabric Friday: April 3

This has been a long week. And yet, so fast. So, so fast. And I'm so glad it's almost the weekend. It's General Conference weekend for our church, and it's pretty much awesome. Yes, it's like 8 hours of church crammed into one weekend, but you get to wear pajamas while you watch. And, it's so uplifting. We hear from the prophet and apostles and other church leaders, and it's a great weekend for focusing on family time and increased spirituality. If you're interested, tune in, it's available for live streaming on the internet.

This week, I've been working on my Swoon quilt. You can check out my Instagram feed to the right there--I've got five blocks done! I love seeing how they come together. Even though I imagined what they would look like as I planned, they all are turning out just a little different, and I love it.

Now. fabric! Right? I mean, that's really what brings us all together, right? A while back, I entered a contest on the Fat Quarter Shop blog for a bundle of Cotton and Steel fabric, and I won! It was for a remix of fabric, and I pinned some of my favorites that I thought worked really well together. Of course, it never really looks the same on the screen, and one fabric (from the Mesa line) that I thought was similarly colored just wasn't. I was a little disappointed that it didn't match the others like I thought it would, and I was a little concerned about how I would use it.

But, I found some fabric in my stash that worked! But then, I had a hard time figuring out a contrasting color. The cotton and steel fabric has two colors, but both colors are cool and close on the color wheel, so even picking a bundle with both colors didn't really have a lot of contrast.

I auditioned some contrasting colors, but just didn't love them. Then I remembered a blog post I read a while back about someone's experience at Quiltcon. I wish I could remember who it was, so I credit her, but she talked specifically about Carolyn Friedlander's workshop and how she had really struggled because she tended toward high contrast color combinations and Carolyn's are much lower in contrast. I decided to see how it would work as a low contrast bundle and added in some neutrals. And I like it!

From top to bottom: (my fat quarter doesn't have the info on the selvage, but it's by Sweetwater, and I think it's the Wishes line.), Mixed bag by Studio M, Wallflower by Allison Harris, Dottie by Cotton and Steel, Mesa by Cotton and Steel, Dottie by Cotton and Steel, Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry, (no name on the polka dot, but it's made by Riley Blake, and the solid is probably a Kona, but I'm not sure and I definitely don't have the color. I need more of it, though, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find it again! ;-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bookshelf Mini Quilt (Plus a tip for hanging mini quilts!)

I made a mini quilt.

All the Instagram swaps that have been going on have got me thinking about minis. A part of me really wanted to join in; but I wasn't sure my skills were up to it.

I really want to join a swap, and I guess I'm waiting for the perfect one to test the waters, to see if it's something for me.

In any case, I figured I should definitely make a mini for myself before I ever dreamed of trying to make one for someone else.

And so I did. I've been wanting to make a Paris-themed one, specifically with macarons. I felt it was fitting, you know? But I've been having a hard time drafting the plan for it. And then I saw a bookshelf inspired quilt, and decided that was what I needed. After all, I did major in English.

Elizabeth Dackson has a tutorial on her blog for a bookshelf mini, and I whipped it up. I added some embroidery, and deciding on a phrase was tough, but I like the one I picked. And, I tried some free motion quilting. I couldn't believe how tired it made my arms and shoulders! And, I did a dreadful job. Toward the end, it wasn't terrible. But still bad. I know I need practice. But, practice is hard to justify on precious fabrics. ;-)

I wasn't sure how to hang it, so I did some googling. I've done the corner triangle trick, and it works alright...but, this quilt is so much smaller, I didn't think I really needed a dowel. But, I also didn't want to use pushpins. Then, I found a pin on pinterest. Tami Levin of Lemon Tree Tales had used embroidery floss to cover rings and then stitched them onto the back of the quilt and used them as hangers. Brilliant! I didn't think I needed to cover the rings, since they're on the back, but went off in search of rings. And then I saw D-rings, and realized they would be even better because I could secure it more accurately, and more securely, since it would be stitched down in both corners of the D-ring.

I used Command hooks, and it seems like it's going to be a great solution. :-)

I don't actually love it. It's not as modern as I hoped; it looks pretty traditional, which isn't what I was going for. Don't get me wrong--I like it a lot! I'm just not super proud of it. It looks lonely, I don't have anything else on my sewing room walls. But, it looks better than it did! :-)