Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bella's Quilt

So, I made this quilt last week. As soon as I saw this tutorial at MLE Knits I knew that I would soon be making one. It is one of those quilt designs that looks more complicated than it actually is. And when Emily said that it was super-quick to make, she had me sold. I actually made this quilt in 24 hours, from choosing fabrics to attaching the binding. And yes, my kids were fed and bathed during that time! Mostly. I didn't start this quilt with the intention of finishing so quickly, but once I saw how fast it was going I decided to challenge myself to finish it in a day. So, from the end of naptime on Thursday until just before everyone woke up on Friday afternoon, this quilt was done.  


I love this stripey Nicey Jane print. I have had it a long time but couldn't seem to find the right project for it until now. I was also happy to discover that I had enough of this sweet Riley Blake dot to make the whole backing. That really helped speed things up! For the quilting, I just did random wavy lines with my walking foot. I started out using ivory thread, but ran out about halfway through then switched to a light pink.


This quilt is going to one of my college friends who is just about to have her first child. The baby's nursery is done in bright aquas and pinks, so I tried to choose some complementary prints from my stash.
 I have also been trying to branch out a little and use more colorful backgrounds. It seems like many of the vintage quilts I see and love have colorful backgrounds. For this quilt I used Kona Pearl Pink. I like it, but it is pretty pale and almost has that look of white that's been washed with red. An accidental pink, if you will. But, it is growing on me and I plan to keep trying new shades instead of my trusty Kona Snow. 
What is your go-to background shade?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chicopee Herringbone:: BQF Spring 2013

This is one of those quilts that I can honestly say I enjoyed every aspect of making it. 

Herringbone, on rail

About this time last year, I joined a group of ladies on Flickr called Always Bee Learning. The focus of this bee was to challenge ourselves to try new sewing techniques or blocks.  I loved trying all the new blocks everyone used for their months, but when it was time for me to be the "queen" I really had no idea what to suggest. I'm not generally a fan of anything too intricate or fussy so I was worried that my choice of this Herringbone block from Bijou Lovely would be a little boring for my bee mates.Thankfully they all seemed eager to try this block, so I sent out my packets of Chicopee and away we went. In no time I had received their blocks and got to work piecing the top. 


I had already decided that this would be a lap quilt just for me, so I added several more blocks to bring it up to a good snuggling size. Since these blocks create a bit of waste when trimming, I also asked my friends to make a small improv block with some of the scraps to use on the back. 

Herringbone, back

After getting the top completed, I was really excited to finish this quilt and nearly decided to just use yardage to make a simple backing instead of piecing together the scraps, but in the end I am very glad that I did. This Paisley print is one of my favorites from the line, so I knew I wanted it for the backing. I also like how the black Ladder Dot  frames the crazy scrappiness. 

Herringbone, by window

For the quilting, I simply followed the vertical zigzag of the blocks with random spacing between the quilting lines, using a light aqua Gutermann thread.  I also used the black Ladder Dot print for the binding.

Quilt Stats:
Dimensions: approximately 60"x72"
Pattern: Herringbone blocks, tutorial by Bijou Lovely
Fabric: Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt
Piecing: myself and the talented ladies of Always Bee Learning
Quilting: myself, on my domestic machine

 My previous Quilt Festival Entries:
Fall 2012: Jill's Quilt
Spring 2012: Baby Isabelle's quilt
Fall 2011: Carrie's Kaleidoscope

Special thanks goes to Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side who organizes this fabulous festival twice a year and to all the amazing sponsors. I can't wait until the kids go to bed tonight so I can sit back and gaze at all the quilts!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Random Thursday

Random tidbits from my life lately:

Pretty excited that he can spike his own hair.

We just got home from the end-of-preschool picnic for this kid. Roger was working so I had to take Max and Jill with me. Generally, our kids are very well-behaved but Max decided that today would be the day to have the most outrageous fit in the history of mankind. So all the preschool parents got to witness me dragging my two-year old back to the car while carrying my infant. Fun. Then, when Carson got in the car at pickup time, he handed me a note that he was supposed to give me a few days ago. It said "no siblings allowed at the picnic." So yeah, I'm that mom now. Hopefully the teachers will forget over the summer!

Happy Mothers Day to me! One raised garden bed coming right up! 

On Mother's Day, my guys built me a raised bed for my garden. It is still too wet here to till my real garden, so I'm hoping to get a few things planted in there in the next few days. I usually plant way more than what that 6'x12' bed will hold, but eventually I want to convert all my gardening to raised beds. 

Started this at the end of yesterday's nap. Hoping to finish it by the end of today's. 

So, I made this quilt last week. It is still sitting on my table waiting to be washed, but I may just go ahead and take some pictures of it since the to-be-washed pile is enormous and underwear takes priority over quilts.

Just finished cleaning the boys' stinky bathroom. Keep cleaning or back to work on these?

I also started on these stars a few days ago but they're going pretty slowly since the weather has finally decided to be nice. But, it is supposed to be stormy this afternoon so maybe I'll make a little progress. 

And for some random recipes we've really been enjoying around here lately...

Just made Mediterranean Orzo Salad from Iowa Girl Eats. Not sure if I can wait until dinner.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad from Iowa Girl Eats
Honey and Chipotle Vinaigrette from A Farmgirl's Dabbles
Tex-Mex Enchilada Casserole from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Latest Bee Blocks

I have never been one of those people who can wait until the last minute to make their bee blocks. Most of the time, I kind of look at them as a fun break from whatever other projects I might be working on. And since the majority of my other sewing doesn't have deadlines, it isn't a big deal for me to put it aside and make a few blocks. My real problem with bee blocks is getting them to the post office!
That Stash Bee, April

April was Valerie's month in That Stash Bee. She is making a quilt for her best friend who recently lost her young son, and asked us to make either star blocks or word blocks in rainbow colors. I love every minute of making this block and am so glad that Valerie included our group in the making of this quilt.
Depression blocks 

May is Cathy's month in that same bee, and she chose these Depression blocks. Cathy asked us to use black and white TV for our inspiration, and it was fun to get to use some of my black prints that I haven't used yet. 

At last...Basket Weave Star for Mary #alwaysbeelearning 

For April in our Always Bee Learning group, Mary sent us an eclectic mix of scraps and asked us to make these Basketweave Braid Star Blocks. I really like these blocks and have been wanting to make one, but for some reason, the day I chose to sew this must not have been my day to sew. I seriously must have used my seam ripper at least 15 times. There was even one point where I noticed that my fabric had gotten folded over and caught in the seam and as I was starting to take it apart I realized that the fabric was upside down, too. Needless to say, I was a little relieved when this one was finished!

Polaroid block for @aquilterstable #alwaysbeelearning

Debbie was the May Queen in Always Bee Learning, and being the genius that she is, had us assemble these 18" Polaroid Blocks using the little photo blocks she received in her swap. She is going to have a very fun quilt when she gets these blocks together!

Card Tricks for Buttons and Butterflies 

And finally, Heidi is the quilter for May in our Imagine Circle of DGS. She chose to have us make Card Trick blocks using her own tutorial and these fun, bright colors. 

I am just waiting on a couple of more blocks to come in for our April DGS quilt, then I can get that started! What are you working on?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Constellations Baby Quilt

I remember back in the day before I was on Instagram, I would read posts from the cool bloggers that said how they had completely forgotten to blog about a finished project because they'd already posted a picture on IG. Then I would roll my eyes and think, "Silly blogger!" because really, how do you forget to blog about something like that? 

I think we all know where this is headed. This little quilt came out of the dryer a few weeks ago, but only a couple of days ago did I realize that I hadn't blogged about it. I guess you could say that is one bad thing about Instagram, but really, that is also why I love it so much. Sometimes I just don't have time or the right words to write up a whole blog post, but I like the connection to my friends that flashing up a quick picture on IG gives me. Alright, enough about that, here's the quilt:

Constellations on deck 
I tried to get some pictures earlier in the week, but the sun was too bright anytime that I had the chance. Then yesterday morning, with rain on the horizon, I ran outside to get a couple of quick shots before I completely forgot. 

Constellations corner 
 When I ordered this fat-eighth bundle of Constellations from Westwood Acres, I really didn't have a plan for it. I love star quilts, but honestly don't enjoy making them all that much and you know I'm a big fan of simple patchwork, so this was an easy way to get both. Mostly 6" squares with three wonky Kona Ash stars. In hindsight, I wish I had chosen another color for the stars so that they stood out a little more. I'm really not sure where I first got the idea for this type of design and Pinterest is having issues right now so I can't look back and find anything. Vanessa Christianson of V and Co. has a tutorial for her Reverse Hopscotch quilt that is a similar design. My friend Katie recently finished her own super-cute version of it using Les Amis.

Constellations, back
For the backing, I just pieced together some of my scraps along with Kona Azure, more Ash, and an unknown yellow-green solid. The binding is Kona Jade Green. After seeing the spiral quilting that Hadley and Fiona had done, I decided to give it a shot and loved it! I am sure this is not the only time you will see me using this. After a trip through the washer and dryer, the finished quilt measures around 41"x47".

I'm really not sure where this little guy is headed, so for now he is folded up and stashed in my cabinet. Do you always have a destination for your quilts? I usually try to, but not this time. Surely someone I know will be having a baby soon, though!