Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sunny's Table Runner

While my blog and IG have been pretty quiet, I have gotten a bit of sewing done. Not a lot, but a bit. I've been wrapping up loose ends that have been started at various stages, and have even done a few more Sampler Shuffle blocks. But today, I'm going to share this table runner I just finished for my friend Sunny. I made her a table runner two years ago for her birthday, and she just loves it, which makes me so happy! There's nothing like having your handmade gifts appreciated and valued. But, she moved. Boo! She still uses the table runner, but not on her main dining table like she did when she lived here. She requested another one, and I can't say no to a friend like Sunny, so I set about choosing fabrics.

Her new house is in a snowbird town, and for years, that's how they treated it. They would winter there and summer here. But it got to be too much for them and they decided to permanently relocate. So, I've visited their house, but couldn't compare colors quite as I took over a stack of fabric in the colors she requested (lipstick red, black, and cream) to let her pick and all my reds were way wrong. So when I visited her new home a couple months later, I took my color card with me and she picked Kona Crimson. Not exactly lipstick red, but that's okay. ;-) She picked out a fabric I had that had black and gold, and since I didn't have enough of anything for the designs I was considering, I picked up a black and a cream that had gold in them.

I chose a drunkard's path design, and I think she'll really like it! When it came to quilting, I was lost. So I did some simple echo quilting in the crimson section. I kept it nice and simple. 

What's great about this layout is that precision isn't super important in the curved piecing--there aren't  any points to line up. And since it's a table runner, I only needed 24 blocks, so it went together pretty fast! I used templates in the size I needed from Angela Pingel's A Quilter's Mixology.

This is way not my style, the colors definitely aren't what I would pick, but I really hope she loves it. Sometimes, making a quilt for someone else means working with things you wouldn't ever pick for yourself.

Sunny's Runner
pieced and quilted by me
Completed July 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christmas in July

Last year, I started a Christmas quilt and I used a bunch of fabrics from my stash, including several lines from Kate Spain. I picked the Seaside quilt pattern from Vintage Quilt Revival. Have I mentioned how much I loved that book?

When I finished it, I started trying to figure out a backing. I had some Christmas flannel I'd purchased years ago, but it wasn't enough, and honestly, none of the larger cuts I had were enough. So, I needed to figure out a pieced back or buy a bunch of yardage...I'd spent a lot on fabric around that time and decided I'd better just use what I had. And then I realized that I could make another quilt top to use as the back...and I picked another one from Vintage Quilt Revival. The Star Bright quilt finished up at the same size, so I just needed to add two extra blocks and extend the side panels. It was a great way to use up more yardage I'd purchased, including a couple of yards of a Kate Spain print.

Of course, I started the first top back in August, but I didn't get around to starting the backing until October...and with Christmas gift sewing, there was no way I was going to get it done in time for Christmas. I finally got it to Abby Latimer for quilting in January.

And then when I got it back, I was in my first trimester so it sat...and sat...and is finally bound now in July. I probably shouldn't have recounted that long makes me sound so pathetic! But, it's more a matter of priorities, right? I've been sewing, but Christmas sewing wasn't my top priority in May, if you can believe it. But now that I'm trying to clear out my WIPs before the babies arrive, it finally made it back to the top of my list.

Anyway, a huge goal in making this quilt was to use up a bunch of my Christmas stash, and I was semi-successful...I still have a bunch, but I've gotten it a bit more under control. :-) Really, I've been trying to sew from my stash, not just use it up. I don't have a HUGE stash, but when I look at it, and see how many quilts I could make completely from my stash without buying more fabric, I feel like I really should use what I have before shopping when possible. After all, I bought it originally because I loved it! Of course, then I went out and bought a bunch of yardage of The Cookie Exchange by Sweetwater...I'm a sucker for Sweetwater Christmas fabric.

I love how this turned out. It's really different than my other two Christmas quilts, and I love it. I have plans to get a Sweetwater Christmas quilt made eventually...we'll see. Now that we'll have 4 kids instead of just 2, I'll need another Christmas quilt. :-)

Modern Christmas
completed July 2016
quilted by Abby Latimer

Friday, July 1, 2016

Starting the Sampler Shuffle

I got a funny hankering a couple weeks ago to make a sampler quilt. I know, weird, right? But, I guess I was feeling like I was missing the Saturday Sampler at my local shop (it's been several years since I've done it and sign ups for the next year just recently closed) and a part of me felt like it would be a good way to do some quilting while I'm so pregnant. I don't always have energy to do a whole lot, and a big quilt seems daunting (though I for sure have some on my list, even with fabrics picked out!). Plus...I was browsing through Camille Roskelley's blog and found her Farmer's Wife posts, and her blocks are just too dang cute! It makes me want to make one. Except, I've seen the Farmer's Wife book, and there are way too many templates for my taste. I'm a rotary gal. So I hemmed, and hawed...I have Elizabeth Hartman's sampler book, and I have Vintage Quilt Revival as well, both of which have sampler patterns. But, Elizabeth Hartman's is largely template based too, and I wasn't sure I was ready to jump into learning her method, and I just wasn't feeling the Vintage Quilt Revival one. I'm not sure why...I just wasn't. Then I remembered Moda's Sampler Shuffle from last year, and while I did download most of the patterns as they went live, Fat Quarter Shop still has their page up with all the downloads. Score! And aside from the two appliqué blocks, it was exactly what I wanted. Simple, traditional blocks. I'll replace the appliqué blocks with something else--maybe second blocks of a couple of the patterns or something, with the colors changed up.

Of course, I'm all optimistic about making myself a cute sampler from my scrap boxes, but let's be honest...I'll probably fizzle out before finishing...

But, I have gotten a few blocks made! I started with Block #1 because it's one of my favorite traditional blocks anyway, and number 1 seemed like a great place to start. It was designed by Pat Sloan, and I just love how the design works. 

Block 1

For my fabrics for this, I've got a whole bin full of scraps pulled, so hopefully that will be sufficient. I pulled scraps in magenta, navy blue, aqua, yellow, and gray.  I would love to not have to cut into any yardage until it's time to set the blocks! We'll see. Again, I'm getting a little ahead of myself, aren't I? After all, I don't even know how many more weeks I'll be able to sit behind the machine!

Block 2

I've made a total of 5 blocks so far, and I've gone in order. Not that it's necessary, since all the patterns have been published, but it does make it easier to decide which blocks to do!

Block 3

I'm pretty pleased with all of them so far except for block 4, which I might redo. I thought my idea was kinda cool, but it didn't turn out like I expected. Which is fine--you don't really know until you try, right?

Block 4

Block 5

Anyway, we'll see how this goes. I'm enjoying seeing them come together, but we'll have to see how many I get done!