Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shop Hop

As I set out for the Wasatch Front Shop Hop and the Scenic By-Ways Shop Hop in mid-June, I had good intentions to hit most of the stores within 45 minutes of my house. After the first stop, however, I hit a big rock and blew out a tire. The mister was at the park with our kiddos, but since I was close to home when it happened, he was able to come to my rescue. He offered to let me take the other car and he would just stay home with the kids, but I didn't want him stuck there all day. Instead, I went to another shop during my daughter's nap and then hit one more on the way to my quilt guild meeting that night. I wanted to visit more of the stores, especially the ones that I hadn't been to before. However, I think hitting that rock was a blessing in disguise because I had a fairly good haul just from the three shops I stopped at. Who knows how much money I would have spent had I visited more.

I'm trying to branch out from just buying fabric in collections. My goal of visiting these shops was to find fabrics that I liked to start building my stash outside of fabric lines. I broke down and bought some Summer Song by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake, but the majority of the items I purchased were random.

Some Summer Song and Bloom and Grow

Summer Song and Meadowsweet

Nicey Jane dots


Summer Song

Do you remember my submission for Natalia's Ugly Quilt Contest? Well, I ordered this rocket fabric for the backing so if I totally hate the quilt top when it's all finished, I can at least use ths back side on my son's bed.

And since this Heather Bailey fabric was on sale at Fat Quarter Shop when I bought the rocket fabric, I grabbed some of this for the New Wave quilt I'll be making one of these days.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Starting Jessica's Freebird Picnic Quilt and Making Progress on Not Quite Nutty as a Fruitcake

Whoa, that was a lengthy title.

My sister-in-law commissioned me to make a quilt for her bed. She picked the design and the fabric and I set to work on it Wednesday night. The pattern requires a jelly roll of the desired fabric and a neutral jelly roll to yield a square quilt. Because I'm making a twin size quilt, I bought an additional charm pack of each type of fabric so I can add an extra row of the design. My SIL chose the fabric for the backing (also to be used as a 4 inch border around the perimeter of the design) and the binding fabric.

I started off cutting the Freebird charm pack in half, giving me ~80 2 1/2 x 5 inch rectangles.

I then took the Moda Bella Solids Snow charm pack and sewed a rectangle to either side of the charm square.

The next step will be cutting the new units down to two 4 1/2 inch squares. This will give me the subunits needed to start creating the layout. After that, I can follow the tutorial by sewing each Freebird jelly roll strip to a Snow strip along the long edge and then cutting the new pairs into 4 1/2 inch squares again.

I love when fabric looks even better in person than when you see it online. I liked Freebird when I first saw it, but some of the prints that I was only so-so on looked so cute in real life, like these butterflies...

and these grande dots.


Since I like to work on multiple projects at a time, I'm making a disappearing nine-patch quilt to gift. I started this one back in May when I started Frolic Around the House and Peekaboo Blush. These blocks have been sitting around for a few weeks. I used three charm packs, sewn into 12 nine-patch blocks. I had enough charm squares to make 14 blocks, but I only want 12 for this quilt. After sewing the nine-patches, I cut them in half vertically and horizontally to get the start of the disapearring nine-patch.

I played around with layouts for a while, but settled on this symmetrical, formal design because I think it will suit the recipient the best. There will be 12 of these new blocks and they'll each be separated by sashing of Moda Bella Solids in Milk.

Since the last two quilts I made were done in a short timeframe, I'm hoping I can whip these babies out pretty fast as well. I guess we'll see. I feel obligated to get Jessica her quilt as soon as possible since it's not something just for me to use around the house. It all depends on the mister's work schedule since I usually sew on the nights when he's working late.

I'm also REALLY wanting to make new throw pillows for my living room. Kati brought two of her recent pillows to our quilt guild meeting last week and I seriously was drooling over them. One more thing to add to my to-do list.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finished Frolic Around the House

Here's my finished Frolic Around the House quilt, a housewarming gift for my in-laws. I was able to get this one done in record time, two weeks!

When Frolic first came out, I didn't love it. But then, Natalia brought the quilt she designed for Moda Bake Shop to one of our Modern Quilt Guild meetings a couple months ago and I loved the browns, greens, and blues in the line and decided to try it out.

When I took the quilt over to my in-laws' house last week, my mother-in-law loved the bright colors and the patterns in the fabric.

This green print is my favorite in the line.

I love how bright and cheery the quilt turned out. Totally fitting for the time of year. And I'm finding that my aesthetic is leaning toward the more simplistic style and design of quilts. Maybe that's why I loved this quilt more than Peekaboo Blush.

Now that I've finished these two quilts, I'm gearing up to start my sister-in-law's quilt. It's a completely different design and process from what I've done in the past (not that that's saying much since I've only finished about five quilts so far). I'm excited to try something new. Along with that, I need to start this bag for my good friend and finish a quilt I started with the last two (a surprise gift for someone special).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finished Peekaboo Blush

Before my week off, I finished this quilt, Peekaboo Blush. I've heard of a few people going through the quilting process in stages - piecing several quilts at once, then basting them all at once, quilting them all at once, and binding them all at once. I decided to give it a try and it paid off. This quilt took me just over three weeks, start to finish. I think I'll continue with this method from now on.

When I started this quilt, I thought I would end up totally loving it. Not quite. I like it, but it's not my favorite. It's really girly and I'm not a girly girl. It's currently hanging on the quilt stand in my living room. The stand only has spots for three quilts and it's currently full. I think I may have to come up with another quilt display solution.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm still here

The mister and I took the week off work to get some home improvement projects done around the house. I haven't done any sewing, but I have been getting lots of ideas. I even wrote up a to-do list of quilt designs I want to try and assigned fabric from my stash to each project. My sister-in-law asked me to make this quilt for her for her bed and the last of the fabric arrived in the mail today (Freebird by Momo). That's one of the next projects I'll be starting. Anyway, I'm off to finish folding laundry and catch up on The Bachelorette (sad, I know - but don't judge me). I'll be back next week. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thoughts on headboards

I was looking through pictures the other day and stopped at these.

The mister is not a big fan of our headboard. When we're settling into bed at night, he says it's not comfortable for his arm to rest against the headboard when we're spooning. I really liked the headboard, but now that we have our spring quilt on the bed, it doesn't really seem to go in with the rest of the room.

So, have you heard of CSN Stores? I was looking around on their (many) sites yesterday and found that they have some pretty cute headboards. I really like this one and this one, but I think the mister would have the same problem with these as he does with our current headboard. So, maybe we'll have to look into getting something like this or this. I love the florals and I think either would go great with the colors in the quilt and with the orange accent wall.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Call for sewing advice!

My son in a Swaddlebees cloth diaper when he was 11 months old.

We are a cloth diapering family. I had never intended on cloth diapering my kids, but when my oldest was 10 months old, I read a post from an old high school friend on her reasons for using cloth diapers. What she said really struck a chord with me and the mister and I set out to learn all we could about modern cloth diapers.

After much research, we felt like pocket diapers would be the best fit for our family. I bought a sampler of different brands to see what I liked. Ultimately, we settled on BumGenius and used those on his little tushy until he quite literally outgrew them. When his little sister was born, we bought a handful of newborn Kissaluvs fitted diapers to try right after she was born. Unfortunately, I didn't feel comfortable with them and couldn't get them to not leak (I'm sure I didn't put the cover on right). So we returned them and ordered more BumGenius since we liked them so much for her brother.

Cloth diapers
My daughter in a Kissaluvs fitted diaper when she was 2 months old.

Here's where the call for sewing advice comes in. I really want to try my hand at making some pocket cloth diapers. But, I'm a little wary that they won't work as well as the BumGenius diapers have. I know there are moms out there who make their own diapers and I know they've worked for their kiddos. Do any of you know of any good patterns or tutorials out there for making good (read leak-proof) cloth diapers? I prefer pocket diapers, but if you know of any other patterns, let me know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Playing It Safe

Now that I've worked on a few quilts, I'm really feeling the urge to branch out with my quilting process. Or part of it, at least. I love precuts and have been making the majority of my quilts out of them. (Let's be honest, not having to cut as much fabric makes me happy.) But, I'm starting to feel that I'm limiting myself by choosing fabrics from a single collection. In my quilt guild meeting a couple months back, Kati talked about wanting to start picking fabrics from several lines instead of buying pre-coordinating fabrics from a single line. I am totally there with her right now.

I have a lot of fabrics in my stash that are from the same collection and there's this strange part of me that thinks I need to leave them in their own collective units. I like the idea of building a stash based on colors, gradually building until I have enough to use in a quilt, but I get hung up on the idea that unless I see the fabric in person, I won't get a true feel for how it looks. (I guess that would be a good thing though since I've been spending WAY too much money ordering fabric online.) The safe part of me likes knowing that I can order fabrics from a collection and know that they'll work out just fine for whatever I have in mind. But, that's the safe thing, the comfortable thing to do. I really want to start getting away from that.

Any suggestions on other ways I could go about breaking out of this safety shell?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Block 6

So I'm learning that I'm still a rookie when it comes to fancy piecing, or rather any bit of small piece piecing. I also think it's hard for me to envision what the final blocks in this quilt-along are going to look like, making it hard to pick out fabrics. I really liked the pattern for this block, but now that it's put together with the fabrics I chose, I'm not in love with it. Hopefully, once the quilt is all done, the blocks that I'm not super fond of will blend together and I won't really notice them.

Click the image to see it on Flickr.

Block 6

See block 7 below.

Block 7

I had a hard time piecing this one. I think I unpicked those angled pieces about ten times. When I work on projects like this quilt-along, I'm really forced to stretch out of my comfort zone. I guess that's a good thing in the long run, but it can be frustrating. To me unpicking is a sign that I failed somewhere. Good thing I can put my perfectionist mindset aside with these blocks. Otherwise, I'd never get any of them done.

Click the image to view it on Flickr.

Block 7

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jandi's Giveaway

Jandi in Stitches is in my quilt guild, but I haven't met her yet. She has a lot of fun ideas on her blog, plus she works at a local fabric shop. Oh heaven! I was looking at her blog today and she's helping out a new blogger (and pattern designer) with a giveaway. Head on over and check it out.

Frolic Around the House

I started three quilts this past week. Ambitious, I know. I only intended to start two, one at my family quilting bee and another for a gift down the road. I was looking through my stash and noticed a Frolic layer cake that I didn't have any plans for so I thought I would use it for another quilt to be gifted. I pieced this top on Friday night. I'm calling it Frolic Around the House.

This was another fast piecing. As with the Make Life baby quilt, I didn't want to place each 10 inch square side-by-side, but I still wanted it to come together quickly, so I broke it up with some white sashing. I headed to Joann's Saturday morning and found some good quality goldenrod colored fabric with a fun design. Thanks to my 50% off coupon and the Memorial Day 10% off your total purchase sale, I got five yards at a steal. Since I used up the layer cake on the front, the back isn't pieced. (I'm deciding this is the way to go when you want the backing to come together easy peasy.) I'll be using the same fabric for the binding. The quilt measures about 60 by 70 inches.

I basted this quilt on the same day as Peekaboo Blush on my mom's hard floors. I had read on a few different blogs that they thought it was easier to baste several quilts at once so I thought I'd give it a try. It was great! I'm definitely going to do it this way from now on. I'm also going to practice free-motion quilting on this one. Hopefully it turns out well, even though I know the recipient won't care either way. There's just something about wanting things to be perfect when I'm giving a handmade gift to someone.

I'll post photos of both this quilt and Peekaboo Blush when they're finished. I'm excited to be getting more quilts under my belt.


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