Thursday, April 27, 2017

Baseball Shield for Baby

To say that we are a baseball loving family might be an understatement.  I was raised in the dugout at the little league field helping to score my brothers' baseball games while my Dad coached.  Some of my fondest childhood memories involve taking the train into Boston to see the Red Sox with my father.  Fever Pitch is my definition of the perfect movie. Well, you get the idea.

My son plays on a vintage base ball team, rules circa 1864.  The games are played on a field with corn stalks in the back (yes, they do have to go into the corn to field balls) and people bring blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy an afternoon of this gentleman's game (and there are women who play also!).  Watching these games is idyllic for any baseball fan.

You might recall I made my son a special uniform shield for his last big birthday.
Well, the creative mind in my household (my husband!) observed that our new grandson needed to have a shield to watch his father's games!

This bib was so much fun to make, I'm sure there will be more in the future!  Here is the tutorial I used.

My Tula Pink City Sampler has moved to the quilting stage.  This is an epic quilt and therefore warrants an epic quilting effort.  Even though I am using my Sweet Sixteen to FMQ it, given the size and weight of this beauty, quilting still equates to a workout.  And good news, my FitBit gives me steps while quilting!!  Win win!!

I finished my second knitting project.  The pattern is from the Craftsy class Knit Lab.  Nothing fancy but the right project for building knitting muscle memory.
My third project is a scarf with all kinds of increases and decreases.  Another long term project I suspect!

Off to "exercise" with my Tula Pink quilt!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Finished - A Quilt for My Grandson

The most incredible, amazing, wonderful thing happened!  I am now a grandmother! Levi is a healthy, beautiful and incredibly loved little boy.  It's really quite impossible to put into words what my heart is feeling about this little human being.  So, I won't try.  Instead I will speak in the language of quilting.
This little quilt was made for loving and quality belly time.  The pattern is Super Star by Kate Blakesley of SwimBikeQuilt.  

This was a fun one to quilt and I love how soft and squishy the flannel backing looks.

Please be patient with me, I may be a little distracted with baby sewing and snuggling for a while.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tidying Up Before Baby

With the grand-baby arriving soon, I am hesitant to start any new projects as I am quite sure I will be fully distracted by the new addition to our family and don't need to add to my list of WIP's!

When we had our home on the market in 2015, I went through a no sewing period to ensure the sewing room looked as neat as possible for showings, a very stressful period indeed.  I managed to sneak in and cut up some squares of peachy and low volume fabric.  That bag of squares sat around until a few weeks ago when I decided I needed to work with some brighter colors during this never ending winter.  Digging into my  scraps I cut more squares to yield a queen size quilt.

 To be honest, I am not sure about this quilt yet and that's really the first time I've felt this way after completing a quilt top.  I added some blue and mint green colors because why not.  

My goal is to make this a summer quilt for one of our guest bedrooms.  Quilting always makes things better so I am optimistic this will work out fine.

In really big news. my Tula Pink City Sampler has moved to the next is basted.  Unlike the quilt above, I have loved this quilt from Day One.

In my spare time, I'll be contemplating my quilting plan.  One can never accuse me of rushing to a finish!

I have to share with you my good luck!  I won this fabulous bundle of patterns, book and fabric from Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting as part of Amy's IGQuiltFest!  And the list of projects that I "must do" just keeps growing!

Sewing down my fabric stash has been a goal of mine and I have really tried to avoid buying fabric (except of course the necessary baby sewing fabric which doesn't count!).  The combination of this gorgeous collection by April Rosenthal (Sweet Marion) and a sale at the Fat Quarter Shop resulted in my purchase of this FQ bundle, the first time in a very long time I've purchased an entire collection.  So many of my favorite colors!

Sewing machine just dropped off for a tune up.  Hand sewing projects being organized.  Baby will be here soon.  All is good.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Window Treatments and Baby Sewing!

Just a quick post to assure you I have been sewing, maybe not quilts, but still sewing! You might (?!) remember that my first grandchild is about to arrive.  In an attempt to be a little helpful, I made a couple of faux roman shades for the nursery.
 They really do look great in the lovely nursery that the parents are preparing for their baby.
And then I had to make a few burp clothes and found a nice pattern for a perfect shape.

I tried three different backings...minky, cotton and fleece.  We'll find out what works best!
And we dog-sat this cutie for a few days so the future mom and dad could do some final home renovation before baby.
I've also been working on hemming a pile of panels for a kids' camp! I'm happy to help but looking forward to some quilt sewing!!
Wishing you a great weekend!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Finished - Shimmer Quilt!

In my slow progress to add quilts to my home decor, I finished a quilt for the family room!  The quilt is intended to accompany a bunch of pillows I made last year.
The fabrics are from a collection of dark blues, aqua, turquoise, mustard yellow fat quarters that I have been collecting. The room is wall to wall greige so some pops of color are needed.
After piecing the quilt top I was so fortunate to attend a class at QuiltCon with Angela Walters experimenting with different patterns. Coming home, I stared at this quilt top considering my normal course of an all-over quilting pattern and decided to take a different approach to FMQ'ing this one.

Circular feathers in the middle, diamond outlines, pebbles, orange peels and loops combined to make quilting this top so much fun.  A little slower than an all-over pattern but a lot more fun!

I quilted the colored sections in a soft minty green Aurifil  2845 and the pebbles in the white space with my go-to Aurifil 2021.

I love, love this backing fabric.  I had originally purchased it as the backing for my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt but found that it wasn't really the white background I wanted.  For the family room this greige color background will be perfect!!

The backing fabric is Story News Print by Carrie Bloomston.

The pattern is Shimmer by Cluck Cluck Sew and I loved making it!

Friday, March 10, 2017

A New Tote Bag for QuiltCon 2017

Of course I needed to make a new bag for this event!  As it turned out, when QuiltCon came around I still needed one crutch for getting around and a bag with a long strap for cross body wear was essential.
 The pattern is Anna Graham of Noodlehead's Gingham Tote Bag from her amazing book Handmade Style.

The fabric is an Essex linen and Yoga is For Everyone by Willow Creek.  I couldn't resist the subtle humor of this print!

Like all of Anna's patterns (and I have made many!), her instructions are clear and the finish is very polished looking.  I used iron on fleece for the body of the bag for stability as well as in the straps for extra padding.  In the future, I will not put the fleece in the handle as it made the straps a bit too thick for my sewing machine and four needles were sacrificed in the process!

I love the look of the leather straps and the metal zippers.

The tote bag worked just as I had hoped at QuiltCon, allowing me to carry a bag large enough for shopping (!) and navigate with the crutch!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

State #34 and QuiltCon!

We crossed off State #34 - Georgia! This is what our 50 State Challenge puzzle looks like now.
My husband and I just returned from QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia.  We had a wonderful time touring this beautiful city (and tasting the food!) between visits to the Convention Center.

By now you've seen pictures of many of the impressive quilts on social media.  I arrived at the show first thing on the opening day and was admiring the Best in Show quilt Bling when someone came up to me and asked if I would take pictures of her with the quilt.  It was the maker, Katherine Jones, just minutes after finding she had won Best in Show.  I took several pictures with her camera (and a few with mine) and listened to her story of how she made it.  Just one of the special moments for me at QuiltCon.
I took my time strolling amongst the impressive quilts, absorbing the talent and inspired by the stories.  Meeting some wonderful quilting friends was great fun.  This lovely pouch was given to me by the incredibly sweet Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty. Look at those teeny, tiny squares of gorgeous fabric!
I attended some great lectures and one class and even managed to squeeze in a little shopping.  This is what I dumped out of my suitcase back at home.

I demonstrated great restraint in my shopping, particularly fabric.  A few gems had to come home with me.  Gee, what do all these Japanese fabrics have in common?  On the left is from Studio Choco and the other pups are Trefle from Kokka Fabric in two color ways of course.  More fabric that will be "too special" to use.  Oops.

The city maps from Les Fleurs was long overdue to come home with me.

This prolonged recovery from surgery has reignited my interest in handwork including cross stitch, embroidery, even another attempt at knitting. I picked up these embroidery items from the French General booth.

I really love to free motion quilt and am continuing to improve my skills. In several of the FMQ'ing classes I have taken over the years, the use of stencils and pounce chalk has been suggested.  I'm not sure how good I am going to be at following the lines, but I did give in and purchase a starter package with some fun and more complex patterns to try.  I'll let you know how this goes!
I've heard so many wonderful things about these rulers, I brought one home!  This is the newest version that is not as wide as the original Stripology ruler but includes marking for squaring up blocks.
I'll end with one more quilt picture.  I laugh every time I see "My Cat is a Jerk"by Monica Solorio-Snow.

I've got a few more QuiltCon stories but this post is too long already!  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Baby Shower - Everything Else

Last week I shared the shower gifts for my future first grandchild.  This week is about all the other sewing projects that I finished for that day.

The future parents are going to be surprised at birth to learn the baby's gender.  They are working on a gender neutral gray nursery with pops of color.  A few weeks before the shower, I just happened to drag them down to my sewing room and got into a casual discussion about my Kona solid color chart.    "So what colors are you thinking about for accent colors for the nursery?" Using the colors they selected, I made some decorations for the shower.

First, a couple of buntings.  I cut 6.5" WOF and then to add a little sturdiness to the bunting, I ironed on a light interface to the back of one side of the 6.5" WOF and used a triangle ruler to cut out the flags.  After I quickly sewed up each side, my husband (who often gets dragged into my schemes) pinked the edges.  A quick sew into the fold of double bias tape and voila...buntings! One is plain, without lettering, and one welcomes the baby.  For the lettering I typed the words in a large font on word processing software and printed using a bold font.  With the light box I traced the letters in reverse onto Heat n Bond, cut and iron onto the flags and finished!

Then I made this little table runner.

I tried a new method for machine sewing down the binding.  I still prefer to hand sew binding, but for fast projects like this one and quilts where I know there'll be a lot of use and washing, machine binding makes sense to me.  For this I sewed the binding strip (2.5") on the front, wrapped it around the back and sewed right up to the edge on the front.

This caught the binding on the back most of the time and leaves a barely noticeable line of stitching on the front.  I think with a little practice this might be my go-to machine quilting method.

 Isn't that diaper cake made by the future mom's sister adorable?

Speaking of her sister, she is also expecting!  Her second child is due one month after my daughter-in-law!  I made her this little diaper bag that will hold a few diapers, wipes, ointment, etc. using this tutorial by Anna of Noodlehead fame.

For Christmas I made the girls zipper pouches with Gilmore Girls fabric.  Knowing that some of my daughter-in-laws friends would be at the shower, I used up a little bit more of that special fabric and made some Lil Cutie Pouches, also thanks to Anna's tutorial.
Time to start packing for QuiltCon!
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