Wednesday 26 June 2013

Lily Garden: A Finished Quilt

This past Christmas I gifted a quilt to my mom and my grandmother, then 88, was very jealous. I decided that for her 89th birthday this past June 5th I would surprise her with a quilt of her own.

This quilt, Lily Garden (my grandmother's name is Lily), has been a nightmare. I should have known better than to use fabric I didn't love. I was using it because it came in my Fat Quarter Blogger Bundle of the Month Club and I didn't know what else I would use that combination to create. I have since become much more relaxed about "breaking up the set" when getting a blogger bundle, and this quilt is why.

It also had constant issues. I made up the pattern/layout and then hated it and changed my mind. The thread kept breaking when I was quilting it. The thread kept breaking when I was trying to hand sew the binding on the back (I gave up and went machine). is done! It is on the way to Grandma's house (through the woods and past the Big Bad Wolf?) next weekend with my mom.

I hope she loves it! (And trust me, at 89 if my Grandma doesn't like it, she'll be sure to tell me).
Scrappy binding of small, flowery prints from my stash that I wouldn't probably use otherwise.

Lily Garden: front

Perhaps it looks nicer horizontal?

Backing: Two prints from my stash (origin unknown) and lots of my absolute favourite Kona solid: Artichoke 
Detail of both prints and quilting on reverse of quilt
Bundled and ready to head to Grandma's
Phew! I'm glad this one is done. Remind me to only quilt with fabrics I love from now on, okay?


Linking up to Finish it Up Fridays over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday 24 June 2013

Thank You Kate: A Finished Quilt

My daughter, a precocious and happy four-year-old, is finishing her first year of school this week. She will be a Junior Kindergarten graduate. I can hardly believe it! She loved school and she loved her teacher, Kate. I decided to make a quilt as a year-end teacher gift and forgot about the fact that I am a teacher and June is crazy and how did I think I would have time to make a quilt?

I did finish (in the nick of time) but the quilt is smaller than I would have liked. Ideally it would have been a much more generous lap-sized quilt but I had to go with what I could finish, and this was the size (more of a smallish lap). I imagine (or wish) that she will use it curled up on the couch reading a good book. It is what I would do with it!

Here is Thank You Kate:
Backing: a print from Good Fortune by Kate Spain and a strip of a Kona Solid (not sure which one right came in my Pink Chalk solids box)
The binding is Lilac Pearl Bracelets. The quilting is very simple- the forgiving S stitch on my machine with long stitch length.
The front and back look awesome together.
Used: Two charm packs of Kona White, two charm packs of Kate Spain's Good Fortune. Design: My own. It involved cutting all the charm squares in half and then reattaching them, then turning each block to get the pattern.
A close up of the pattern.
Yes, it is a bit small, but I think it is very pretty and I hope it conveys to the teacher how appreciative I am for her efforts in ensuring my daughter had a great first year of school.


Linking up to Finish It Up Fridays over at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Saturday 22 June 2013

June Kona Solids Bundle and Teacher Quilt Progress

 My Sew Sisters Kona Solids Fat Quarter Bundle of the Month was based on this drool-worthy picture:

Doesn't it make you want some berry cheesecake?

From left to right: Crimson, Berry, Eggplant, Raisin
The colours are more distinct in this photo than they are in real life. The Raisin is really brown, actually, which I didn't pick up just by looking at the tiny swatch on my Kona Colour Card. It reminds me why I love this club.

Also, I have (by necessity) made progress on my daughter's teacher's quilt. I'm going with Thank You Kate for the name of the quilt, and I will post pictures of the finished quilt in a separate post. I wanted to comment on my first-time experience with this:
I have read about it on pretty much every blog I follow but it was not readily available at my LQS.  When I went on a little shop hop in the region with some quilty friends, we went to a speciality thread and notions store (Triangle Sewing) and I picked up a bunch of Aurafil to try. I love it. It goes through my machine like a dream and creates almost no thread dust. I wasn't too adventurous with the quilting of this quilt due to my time limitations, but I can't wait to try FMQing with Aurafil in my future!

I picked some Lilac Pearl Bracelets from my stash for the binding and had just the right amount. Phew! After a marathon of hand sewing the binding I can't believe I'm done in time!
Is there anything Pearl Bracelets can't do?
It is already packaged and ready to go for the teacher on Thursday. I hope she loves it!


Friday 21 June 2013

Kona Solid May Bundle

I completely forgot to post about my May Sew Sisters Kona Solids of the Month.
The inspiration photograph

From left to right: Grass Green, Tan, Bison, Chocolate.
I think the Grass Green is sort of horrible- too vibrant for anything I might choose. The chocolate is quite nice, though. 

My June bundle came too. I'll post about that soon. Five more days of work until vacation...and six days (well, really five) until I have to have my daughter's teacher's quilt done. Ach! 


Tuesday 18 June 2013

So Did I Make It?

I committed to doing the #7daysofsewing challenge put forward by Crooked Seams. Did I make it? No, not quite. But I did go from not sewing at all for 12 days to sewing five times in one week. My husband was out of the country for work so I had less free time than usual, and Sunday was Father's Day so we were really busy with that. I still think five days is pretty impressive!

Here are my Instagram captures of the work I was doing:
I finished piecing all of the rows for this quilt (with a less than two week deadline now)

I machine-bound my grandmother's quilt.

I pressed all the rows for the teacher quilt.

I started actually sewing rows together for the teacher quilt. The pictures for this for the two days I did this don't look too different, so I am only sharing one.
I think I needed that little bit of extra incentive to sew, and I am glad I tried #7daysofsewing. Now I need to get my butt in gear to get this teacher quilt done for next Thursday!


Monday 10 June 2013


My work life is incredibly busy right now, and while colleagues in similar roles seem to winding down I have a very hectic schedule from now until the end of June. In addition, my husband has been travelling (and will be travelling) multiple times this month out of the country for work so things are even more crazy at home. With this going on, my chances to sew have been few and far between.

Then I read a blog post by Crooked Seams. She was lamenting that she had gone nine days without sewing and made a commitment to sew something- even if for only 5 minutes- every day for seven days. She will be using Instagram to share her progress (she is @crookedseams) and the hashtag #7daysofsewing. Her message really resonated with me. Sewing calms me. It soothes me and lowers my stress. And because of my ridiculous sewing to do list not sewing seems to be increasing my stress level. Surely I can sew at least five minutes each day? I'm jumping on board!

Day One was yesterday, Sunday, and I managed to sew for about 30 minutes which allowed me to finish piecing all of the rows for my daughter's kindergarten teacher's year-end quilt. That was a relief. Today I am hoping to press those rows, and start on the machine binding for my grandmother's birthday quilt. Wish me luck!


Saturday 1 June 2013

Dragging Myself to the Finish Line

My grandmother's birthday is June 5, and I knew I wanted to make her a quilt because she was very jealous of the one I made for my mom for Christmas. I chose a fat quarter bundle I received as part of my Fat Quarter Blogger's Bundle of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop because the fabrics were much more traditional than my usual taste and I thought they might suit my grandmother.

This quilt has been nothing but a headache. I think working with fabrics I don't really like means I enjoy the process less. I have been forcing myself through the completion of the quilt and now I'm finally at binding stage. I put the binding on by machine, went to start hand binding the back and *snap* a broken thread. I tried again. *snap*

This quilt is a nightmare!

I've decided to machine-stitch the stupid binding on just to get the darn thing done before I toss it out the window!

I sure hope my Grandma appreciates her quilt because this is by far my least favourite one to make to date!