Friday, April 30, 2010

Bloom and Grow Skirt

I love the Bloom and Grow line by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake, especially the Brown Large Bloom print. I went to my local fabric shop and picked up a couple yards to make myself a new summer skirt.

Here it is in the works. I've got the base of the skirt put together. Tonight I'll be putting in the zipper and adding some trim at the bottom. I'll post pictures of the finished product tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Make Life Baby Quilt

When I bought the fabric for the Life Is What You Make It quilt, I bought a couple extra charm packs. I only used eight or so squares on the back so I had several squares left over. I put them to use tonight on this baby quilt.

I'm using this quilt to practice my free motion quilting so I didn't want to spend a ton of time on the quilt top, but I also didn't want it to be basic 5" squares in rows and columns.

I started by pairing and piecing four squares together in a variety of colors and prints.

Then I cut each set of four squares once on the diagonal.

And then paired each with a different cut half.

I used 64 squares, laid out like so (with my daughter's help).

See how the new square sets make an X?

I added a two-inch border of green on green dots around the perimeter of the quilt to increase the size.

It's about 38" square.

The backing will be the white paisley print since I had just the right amount left over from the other quilt.

I haven't decided what fabric to use for the binding yet. I don't have enough of Make Life, so I may just pick a nice solid from Joann's when I get to that point.

This is the first baby-sized quilt I've done (except for the rag quilts I made a couple months ago), and I love how quickly it came together. All pieced in one night? That's my kind of project.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A birthday Buttercup bag

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. When she saw one of the Buttercup bags I made, she asked if I would make one for her for her birthday. I already had ordered some Jessica Jones fabric for her when she asked me to take her to the fabric store and help her pick some out, so I had to let the birthday cat out of the bag. I thought she would pick the neutral stacks (she's a neutral clothing/muted tones kind of girl). Little did I know she would pick the blue leaflet fabric that I made my first Buttercup bag out of.

She likes to carry a lot of things in her bags, or at least have enough room to carry several items if she chooses to (she's not unknown to carry a book or two around with her), so I enlarged the pattern two inches on all sides. This time, I made the inside pockets match the outer fabric so you get a little bit of color when you peek inside.

I'm really liking how quickly these bags are coming together now that I've made a few.

Marnie's birthday dinner is tonight and the bag is all wrapped up and ready to go. I hope she likes it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springing to finish

I made a to-do list a while back. It really helped me to feel like I had some sort of order amid all the chaos that can sometimes be my life. As an extension of making that list (I love lists, by the way), I joined Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studios in her Spring to Finish Challenge.

The idea is to complete all those unfinished projects (or UFOs as she calls them) you've got lying around by May 31st. I think it's a great idea because I can apply it not only to sewing/quilting, but also to my house projects. Of course, the bulk of what I'm attempting to complete will be sewing related, but I also have a few organizational things in mind for around the house. And since the mister is planning on taking a few days off in the next little while, we'll be all set to get some things done together.

So, whether you're into quilting or not, I hope you'll consider joining us in this challenge.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Playing Catch-up

After my back went out last week, I didn't get the chance to do very much sewing. But, I certainly made up for it the other night. I've been nursing this terrible sinus headache/earache/toothache over the last few days and was so sick of it that I just needed to get something done to get my mind off how much my head was killing me.

So, I made block #4 in the Jelly Roll Quilt Along (ignore the lack of pressing).

Click the photo to see the full image on Flickr, along with the other participants' blocks.

Block 4

And I made the Buttercup bag for Terre. I was pleased that it only took me two hours instead of four like the last time.

She ordered the floral print from Joann's and had it sent to me since she lives about five hours away. It's a really soft cotton. I interfaced the lining pieces with the curtain that I've used on all the other bags I've made to give it extra strength. Because the fabric was thinner quilting cotton, I was able to add the decorative piece where the buttons are sewn.

After finishing those two things, I got nearly 1/3 of the way through quilting my Life Is What You Make It quilt. I didn't want to do straight line quilting so I played around with some of the decorative stitches on my machine and decided on a wavy line that runs the width of the quilt. I think it's going to look great once it's bound, washed, and scrunched up. Photos to come when it's finished.

I also went to my first quilt guild meeting on Thursday. It was really fun to meet some of the girls whose blogs I frequent and admire their talent. Some day I'll be as good as them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More on Life Is What You Make It Quilt

I spent the evening last night piecing the back of my Life Is What You Make It quilt. After that was finished, I cut the batting and basted the quilt. I shouldn't have cut my nails yesterday made closing those pins extra hard (not to mention ouchy). I haven't decided how I'm going to quilt it yet, but I hope to get some of it done before the quilt guild meeting on Thursday night so I have something to show off.

Instead of separating the two backing fabrics with the row of charms 2/3 of the way up, I opted to just split it half since the fabric width was pretty much perfect. (If I can find a way to make things easier, I will.) And even though the fabrics are different colors, I think the white paisley print is busy enough to balance out the green dots.

I also cut out another Buttercup bag for my good friend, Terre. Don't you love the fabric she picked out?

Joann's has been having some great fabric sales this month. I went the other day and picked up a few more half-yard cuts for a new quilt that I haven't planned out yet (surprise, surprise).

I also got the backing fabric for my Swirling Stars quilt. This pattern will look great with some free motion quilting (if I get the hang of it before I get around to finishing that quilt).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Virtual Quilting Bees

I joined my first online quilting bee when I started participating in the Jelly Roll Quilt Along. I found this site today, Quilting Bee Blocks, that explains all about virtual quilting bees. It's a little late in the game, but they are offering some great giveaways for their grand opening! If you want to learn about virtual quilting bees or find some new ones to join, head on over and check it out. (You can also click on their button on my sidebar.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fabric-Related Birthday Goodies

I celebrated my 28th birthday on Wednesday. I had to work. The mister had to work. It felt like a regular day. But then I tracked a package I had ordered the previous week and it was scheduled to be delivered on my birthday. Hip, hip! I ordered some yardage and a turnover of Figgy Pudding to add to my small stash.

I didn't learn about Figgy Pudding as early as the rest of you so I've been searching high and low for shops that still have some of it left.

I'm using Momo's Odyssea for the Jellyroll Quilt Along with Moose on the Porch Quilts. I bought solid Kona cotton in green, brown, and cream for the backing, sashing, and binding. When I ordered the Figgy Pudding, I decided to buy an extra yard of some Odyssea to supplement the quilt somewhere when we're done with all the blocks.

Yesterday, I stopped by my sister's house and was as giddy as a schoolgirl when I opened her gift. There was a new quilt book with really fun quilts for kids;

a quilt journal,

complete with blank pages for sketching

and graph paper for layouts;

some blackboard material for making chalkboard pillows for my two kiddos;

a scrapbook page for inspiration on a family tree quilt (we tossed around a lot of ideas for putting that one together);

and last, but certainly not least, a 24-piece fat quarter pack to make this kite quilt from my new book!

There's some Blush, Bloom & Grow, and others that I don't know the names of.




Thanks, Hawl! You made my day!

The only downside of my birthday was that my back went out and I haven't been able to stitch an inch since Sunday! I'm dying to make some more progress on my Life Is What You Make It quilt as well as finish off the blocks for my Swirling Stars quilt.


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