Wednesday 28 May 2014

WIP Wednesday: Not Enough Hours in the Day

I have lots of projects on the go this Wednesday. Having lots of projects is what allows me to get things done since sometimes I can't always work on just one thing because of little people restrictions. Pressing when you have a fussy baby is a no go, for example.

I managed to quilt the orange and navy Puddle Jumping quilt that I'm making for our neighbours. I meant to do something different- figure eights, for example- but muscle memory took over and it ended up being free motion big meandering loops. I still like it!
This is a shot of the back of the quilt where I have a strip of 3.5" squares down one side.
I made the binding for the Puddle Jumping quilt and went through all my scraps from my Sugar Block Club blocks and made a very scrappy binding for that quilt as well.
Scrappy on top, Art Gallery Squared Elements in Blueberry on the bottom
I washed, pressed and laid out the fabric for the Lua Sleepsack I'm going to make using a pattern I bought from Straight Grain. I decided not to get actually started until I have the buttons and zipper purchased.
The raindrop pattern is the outside and that blue pattern in the background will be the inside lining.

I got the binding sewn on the Puddle Jumping quilt (I really need a name for that quilt!) but haven't started hand sewing it on back yet.
Squared Elements works so well as binding
I've been working on finishing up this story pillow for my daughter's kindergarten teacher as part of her year-end gift. The last day isn't until the end of June but I wanted to be finished.
I added a border of Kona Artichoke to make the pillow larger  to fit the pillow form I have. I straight line quilted it between the colour changes.
I have pulled out the fabric stack I've been gathering together to make two double-sized quilts for two small brothers. My friend commissioned me to make these quilts and told me "dark grey." Other than that I have free reign. I can't wait to see how these will look!
Look for more posts about these quilts!
One of the quilts will be a plus pattern. I'm making them using 3.5" squares. I'll need a lot of them!
This is one of my favourite Denyse Schmidt prints. I don't always love her stuff but this eyelet is so yummy!
And I have pulled fabric and chosen a pattern for my friend's mother (whom I call my aunt) to make a quilt for my youngest daughter. She hand pieces everything! Ack! She made a quilt for my older daughter before I started quilting. I really want my youngest to have one from her as well!

The pattern is by Kate Henderson. THe fabrics are all from stash. I need to add some more navy but I am loving how this looks. The colour scheme is partially inspired by the Art Gallery fabric you see on the far right and partially by a dress my friend's daughter was wearing a month ago that I loved as quilty inspiration.

That's what I've been up to on this WIP Wednesday!


Saturday 24 May 2014

Aviatrix Medallion: A Tale of Peer Pressure

There are tons of medallion quilts that pop up across the quilting blogosphere and on Instagram. I admire the detail and then scroll on by. I have never been tempted to make a medallion quilt before- not ever.

Then Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson! posted her Aviatrix Medallion quilt and my mouth dropped open.

Here is a picture I took from her site:

This quilt speaks to me. It is all solids- Kona solids, actually. It has a mostly grey background. It is absolutely stunning and I knew I had to make it. The pattern was on sale when she first released it so I bought it knowing that some day I would get to it (probably not this year or even the next!).

Then that peer pressure came my way thanks to my friend C who posted on Instagram that she had pulled the fabrics for her Aviatrix Medallion. She challenged me to go next. And so, on Mother's Day when I had the house to myself for a few hours (thanks to my awesome hubby), I hauled out my Kona solids, my Kona colour card and the pattern and got to work pulling.
Part way through I realized I had a whole bin of Kona solids that were 1/2 yard cuts and weren't with my fat quarters so I started all over again. 
All these Kona solids in the bin had to be considered!
And when I was through I was happy. I chose many of the solids that she used in her quilt but not exactly (mostly because I didn't have several of them). I went with ones that I thought worked well. My only gap was the peachy range of fabrics. She uses Peach and Mango. I had neither (until I got my Kona Solids for May from Sew Sisters!). 
This stack of solids is now sitting next to my sewing table dining room table and calling to me.
I know this quilt will be very hard. My friend A has already made suggestions for paper piecing the centre rather than using the template because of all the bias edges. I want to love it when I'm through and so I don't want to settle on that darn Mango colour. I will find it before I start!


Friday 23 May 2014

May Kona Solids

My Sew Sisters Kona Fat Quarter club arrived! 
Inspiration photo

From left to right: Peach, Punch, Kale, Willow
I love the greens...very emerald in flavour. The deeper Willow is pretty delicious. The Punch looks great with the greens, I have to admit. 

To be clear, I really don't like peach. In this case, however, I really actually needed peach for a quilt I'm starting soon, so I was thrilled this was included. Now I need just one fat quarter of Kona Mango and I'll be set. That darn Mango is totally elusive. The only place I've been able to find it is Fat Quarter Shop and their shipping costs are crazy expensive. My go-to Sew Sisters doesn't have it. Neither does Fabric Spot which has zillions of solids. Grrrrrrr. I must find some! Thoughts?


Thursday 22 May 2014

Well I Don't Want to Run Out of Fabric...

Sometimes even when you're not supposed to be buying fabric, and even when you totally don't need anymore fabric something comes up and you need to buy fabric. You get me, right? 

Case in point: I was talking to my quilty friend C about how much I liked Tula Pink's new line Foxfield. She is a Tula nut. We quickly crafted the brilliant plan to buy a 1/2 yard bundle and then split it. I am madly in love with the bundle, let me tell you. I plan to use it for a Swoon quilt along with friends C, A and K this summer. I am going to use a grey background. This will be awesome.
How could you say no to this beautiful bundle?
And then the same quilty friend (wait, I'm now seeing a pattern) posted some pictures on Instagram of the Lizzy House Tone on Tone Pearl Bracelets she had ordered from Pink Castle Fabrics. I LOVE Pearl Bracelets and already had a fat quarter bundle from her original release. I saw the tone on tones and knew I needed them.
I keep petting these pretties. I can't wait to use them.
And since I was ordering from Pink Castle anyway, I threw in a bundle of these dots from Bonnie and Camille because if I was paying for shipping anyway...
These dots are so amazing.
So, keeping in mind that I had ordered all these fabrics, I also couldn't pass up the spring sale going on at my sort-of-local quilt shop The Hobby Horse. I mean, 30% off all fabrics in the store? I'm in.
This quilt was on display. It is in flannel. SO CUTE. So, of course, I bought the kit.

Flannel sock monkeys? I needed a metre of this. Obviously.
And since fabric was on sale I also bought some other basics. The Hobby Horse has much more old fashioned fabric than I would normally go for, but some classic dots in olive and these Michael Miller rainbow dots were speaking to me. I also got some of this white-on-white as the last bit of white for the white and red quilt I'm making my step-grandmother-in-law for Christmas.
Nice basics.

Quilt kit with backing fabric on the bottom. Super cute.
Of course now Pink Castle fabrics has a HUGE sale on and a bunch more fabric is coming my way, plus I may have preordered the Cotton + Steel basic blenders fat quarter bundle.

My name is Lynn. I have not bought fabric in twenty-four hours. I have a problem.


Sunday 18 May 2014

Puddle Jumping

I'm making a smaller version (six blocks) of the Puddle Jumping quilt from Camille Roskelley for our neighbours who are expecting a little boy in August. The day I found out they are expecting a boy I went shopping in my stash and pulled out this absolutely delicious combination of navy and orange. I LOVE it. I've been overgramming it on Instagram because I can't get enough of it!
Lizzy House, Squared Elements, Riley Blake, Lotta...a whole yummy combination
I quickly cut out all the pieces and, now that I had narrowed down the choices, was in love with my choices:
I love the modern and bright combination.
I then prepared each of the pieces for each block. Each block contains nine pieces, a centre four-patch, four on-point squares and four half and half white/print squares. I can't wait to share the result with you! Once you have the pieces made the quilt blocks come together so quickly!
I might have trouble letting this one go!
This baby quilt may end up being one of my favourites ever. Stay tuned!


Thursday 15 May 2014

Crayon Roll Up Addiction

With a new baby, sometimes I am "trapped" for a long time because the baby is asleep on me or eating or such and so I spend time scrolling about thinking about quilting and sewing more than I do actually quilting or sewing.

Pinterest is particularly addictive for me as a quilter, and I came across the cutest tutorial for a Crayon Roll Up from Kutz Paper Scissors that I wanted to jump on right away.

I've now made seven. Seriously, these are addictive and fast.
This is one of two destined for my daughter's teacher's sons.
My older daughter initially was not all that interested...until she saw a few finished ones and decided maybe she needed one after all. I promptly took her to my stash and told her to pick whatever she wanted. Suddenly she determined she needed two because there were too many choices! (I so, so understand).
Here are my daughter's roll ups. One for my purse and one for hers, so I'm told.
And I had to pull out some chevrons, spaceships and lions to put together these two rolls for my friend's two sons.
Here they are for two little brothers just waiting for me to add the crayons.
I've also made one for my sweet nephew, a friend's little girl who loves horses and for the neighbour's daughter as a "big sister" gift to accompany the quilt I'm making for her new baby brother when he arrives in August. I told you...these are addictive!

I've already stocked up on more ribbon so I can make more and I'm contemplating making one for each child in my daughter's senior kindergarten class as a year end gift but that might be crazy. Right? What do you think? 22 children and about 15 minutes per roll up...

Should I do it?


Wednesday 14 May 2014

Fabric Should be a Controlled Substance

A dear friend of mine is having me make two quilts (doubles!) for her two young sons. She gave me the palette- dark grey- and then pretty much free reign. I have been checking in on some major components (like the backing) but otherwise she has trusted me. And I guess she has fabric on the mind because she decided she wanted some pillows made for her living room. We went to one store (really to gossip more than shop for pillow fabric) and then had to book another date to get serious about the pillows.

My quilty friend A is very talented and will be making this friend the pillows (with hidden zippers and such things that are beyond me at this point). A recommended we try a place in Hamilton, Ontario on Ottawa Street called European textiles. I was expecting mainly home decor weight fabric but they actually have two stores almost side by side and one of them has loads of quilting fabric! And god, modern fabrics at that! Here is a glimpse of the store from the front.
All along that back wall, on the centre tables and the far right wall is tons of fabrics that are 100% cotton and quilting weight.
I wanted about 1000 fabrics but settled on one measly 1/2 metre of this awesome Riley Blake fabric I've been eyeing online.

Riley Blake Rocket Age Blast in Navy
I also bought a new pillow form for my nursery pillow that I was unhappy about. It is a big 26x26" pillow in goose down and it is huge and puffy and perfect! I'm so much happier with the pillow now that a quality insert is being used!

My friend chose some amazing fabrics. I won't post all the pictures, but I had to share this inspiration linen fabric she ended up falling in love with.
Honestly the limes, greys and turquoises are what I am drawn to and I was shocked by her bold but gorgeous choice!
She had so much fun fabric shopping and bought way more than she planned (enough for two complete sets of pillow covers plus enough for a giant pillow for her two young boys to flop on when reading). She is now talking about going fabric shopping again to have pillows made for her bed! She's addicted! I know the dangerous path to fabric obsession all too well, but I'm not going to discourage her, that's for sure. 

Are you addicted too?


Saturday 10 May 2014

April Kona

My April Kona Solid of the Month club fat quarters from Sew Sisters are bright and springy.
Inspiration photo. Thank goodness no purple and green- probably my least favourite colour combo!

From top to bottom: Cactus, Carrot, Eggshell and Buttercup
The Cactus is much brighter and more limey than the picture captures. I don't mind the Carrot and the other two are so pale and unobtrusive that I don't have strong feelings about them at all!

Getting these solids does remind me to get my butt in gear and choose the solids for the Oh Fransson! Aviatrix Medallion Quilt that my friend C challenged me to do. I don't plan on rushing with that one. It will be a long, precise process. Maybe I can have the top pieced by the end of this year?


Friday 9 May 2014

Dollhouses: A Finished Quilt

Friends of ours have six-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a two-year-old daughter (they're crazy, I know). When the twins came along I made them Jungle Jewel and Jungle Jam, bright, happy quilts for two sweet babies. When their older sister was born I had only just started quilting and so M didn't get a quilt from me. I knew I wanted to change that, so for her third birthday I made her this quilt, Dollhouses.

M's bedroom is pink and green (not my favourite colour combination, I have to say) so I pulled out what I had in my stash. A healthy stash means not having to go far when putting together a pull for a quilt! I had already decided on using Camille Roskelley's Dwell pattern from her book Simply Retro.

The pattern is quite brilliant in how you construct the houses and after doing the hardest work- all the cutting and arranging for each house- the piecing was fairly easy.

It is backed in a Robert Kaufman print called, I believe, Park and Ride. I bought it ages ago from Sew Sisters when it was on crazy discount. I think the houses on the front and the parks and trees on the back go so well together!

Here is Dollhouses (since M is a little doll):
All 16 houses
Back. I didn't try to piece it so that the pattern repeated because it is a very busy pattern and I didn't think I had enough. Next time I think I would try to piece it.
Art Gallery Squared Elements for the binding (in pink, of course)

I think this my favourite of the houses.
Or maybe this one.
I hope the sweet little mischief maker who will be getting this in October will love her new quilt!


Thursday 8 May 2014

Ready to Gift and Binding Complete

I finished up The Dark Side and even have it all wrapped and ready to go. Because it is destined for a nine-year-old I added in some Star Wars Lego. After all, I doubt most little boys are all that excited about quilts- even Star Wars quilts!
Quilt folded on the bottom and some Lego on top!
Also, after lots of fussy straight line quilting inside each of the houses, and lots and lots of small stipple quilting in Aurafil White in the borders and white portions of the blocks/quilt, I got the binding on my Dwell quilt. I used Squared Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics for the binding and I absolutely love how it works as binding. I may have to use it on another quilt in a different colour!
For the first time I estimated my length of binding really accurately. Hooray for me!
I'm trying to get in as much sewing as I can while the new baby is sleeping and while my senior kindergarten kiddo is in school or quiet time but I find I don't have enough time to satisfy my urge to quilt, quilt, quilt! For Mother's Day my husband plans to take my girls away for a bit so I can have some sewing time. He's the best and I can't wait!


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Sugar Block End is in Sight

With lots of perseverance and the help of my trusty seam ripper, I managed to complete the block that turned me totally off paper piecing from my Sugar Block Club last year. Though not perfect, I think it looks pretty darn good and from a distance you wouldn't notice the imperfections.
This orange looks very red in the picture, but trust me it is orange. My daughter told me she thought this block was pretty. I'm glad she likes it because I am never making it again.
And then, pleased with myself for finishing all my 2013 blocks, I laid them out to take a picture.
All...11 blocks??
That's right. Somehow I managed to forget a block and ended up with just 11 blocks. So I looked up which block I was missing. It turned out to be the Star of Wonder Block and...
Pretty block from Stitchery Dickory Dock. is paper pieced! I wanted to cry. And laugh. And shout. And drink wine. Instead, I calmly printed out the templates and spent the next few days working on the last block.
I really like how this shows the before and after of paper piecing. For a newbie it was hard to imagine at first, but as I've done a few now this trimming stage is the most rewarding.
The points weren't as finicky on this one and I was very, very careful with my pinning which is why, I think, this block was less frustrating than the other one.
Final block!
A few things I filed away for future paper piecing:
1. My quilty friend A recommended tiny pins for pinning the seams. She even bought me some. She was right, they helped.
2. My quilty friend C suggested I pin the block for precise lining up by looking at the front instead of the back. That helped a great deal!
3. My new machine is so awesome and I could more easily play with stitch length. On my machine a 1.4 stitch length ended up being perfect for the pre-perforating and piecing.
4. With time and experience comes greater skill. I think I also struggled less with this last block because I've been sewing for an extra year!

I'm glad I'm done, though I think this will remain a UFO for a bit still because I feel no inspiration to tackle the sashing. I know I am going to do a scrappy binding and use the famous IKEA nummer print on the back. This quilt will end up staying home...I picture it as a hanging-out-on-the-couch kind of quilt.

And I might do paper piecing again. But only for something really spectacular that I can't resist!


Thursday 1 May 2014

Wee One with His Wee Quilt

It never gets old...seeing a wee baby tucked under or playing on the quilt you made for him/her.
Baby K catching some shut eye under my Silly Spots quilt.
And here is a gratuitous cat-on-the-nursery-pillow shot. Because come on, that is one cute cat.
He thinks the pillow was made for him.