Friday 26 June 2015

Nautical: A Finished Quilt

One of my co-workers is expecting a very surprise delivery in August- a little boy. She was told she was unable to conceive children and then was surprised by her daughter's appearance eight years ago. Now here comes baby #2!

Her nursery brief was "navy, grey and white with a little accent of red." Now that I could manage! I opted to use my go-to tumbler quilt pattern because I thought it suited her style and is quite easy. All the fabric came from my stash (many even from my scraps) which felt good.

Here is Nautical:
You can see that I opted for random navy and grey squares and a white border. The hint of red is in the binding which I think adds a nice little surprise pop of contrast.

I did something completely out of my comfort zone for the backing. I free-form pieced a log cabin type of block out of the scraps from the front, framed it in a red-on-red Pearl Bracelet and then did the rest in Kona White. I totally dig it.

This was so out of my comfort zone. I don't know if I would make these exact choices again but for spontaneous piecing with scraps I think it turned out pretty well.

I used my walking foot to straight-line quilt on either side of each seam line. This included lots of stopping and turning the quilt to get the echo on the tumbler pattern. I love that it creates this interesting look on the back of the quilt amidst all that white.

There are some favourite fabrics in there and it was especially hard to cut into my April Rhodes Arizona print but I think it is the standout pattern in this quilt.
White may not seem super practical for a new baby but this mom, I am certain, will love it. She insists on everything being pristine. Good luck with baby two, Mama!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday 12 June 2015

Thank You Ann: A Finished Quilt

My daughter is nearing the end of grade one. She had a wonderful year. Her development has been remarkable, particularly her reading and math skills. This was, in large part, due to her experienced, calm teacher, Ms. Locke.

This quilt is her year-end teacher gift to thank her for months of caring for, guiding, supporting and teaching my child.

Here is Thank You Ann:
This scrappy rainbow was born mostly from a rainbow bundle I ordered from Pink Castle Fabrics ages back. Some also came from my stash to give me the right variation of each colour.

I quilted vertically through all the blocks along the seam line (but not quite in the ditch) and then did rows of diagonal straight-line quilting going in each direction. I like that it emphasizes the geometry of the quilt. Do you like the little Lizzy House kitty peeking out from that one mustard-y print?

The back is all one print.

It is an Art Gallery print that I ordered a long time ago from Sew Sisters based on a picture on the screen and then didn't end up liking at all for the original purpose. I am content with this use for this print.
Quilt label written by my daughter. I like the extra authenticity of the backwards "2".
I hope this lap-sized quilt is appreciated and used often by her teacher and that it helps her to remember my saucy little girl!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday 10 June 2015

In Which The Reason for My Insanity is Explained

This is a picture post that summarizes why I make so many baby quilts.
Aria and Tristan

Aria and Tristan (don't mess with Aria)



Hudson (I was assured that the unhappy face was because he is hungry and not because he doesn't like his quilt)

So, yeah. 
Pretty clear, if you ask me.

Monday 8 June 2015

Thrown for a Loop AKA Plan B

My neighbours are expecting a fifth little boy in August and OF COURSE I am making them a quilt. The dad is an airplane mechanic and so I was delighted when I did a pull for a quilt using this adorable Ann Kelle fabric with planes. I love the bright blues and the pops of orange and yellow and lime green. I chose a Greek Cross block to use and was so excited to get to this project.
This pull makes me so happy!
But. But then I ran into the expectant mom and she dropped some not-so-subtle hints about the colour and theme of her nursery. Soft green walls, blue and green decor and an animal theme because the baby's name will be Noah.

Oh poop. So I did another pull and came up with this:
The Kona colours are: Spring, Asparagus, Seafoam, Lake and Stratosphere.
The thing was, I was just not feeling it. And I didn't know what to do. Should I make two quilts? That seems overly ambitious considering the long list I already have. Should I make a double-sided quilt? Except the sides don't really compliment each other. Do I make the quilt I want to make and ignore the mom's hints? That seems wrong too.

I couldn't quite figure out why I was so much less enthused about the new pull. Then I thought if I resorted the pull to make it closer to what I might have wanted to see then maybe it will speak to me more. This is Pull #2 of Plan B:
Kept the Ann Kelle turtles and owls, the sheep and those awesome Laurie Wisbrun special order lions. Changed out the greens, keeping Asparagus but adding in Leprechaun. Now I'm liking it A LOT more.
The next step to take it to choose a pattern. My Greek Cross plan will not work with these fabrics because they're so much larger scale that the other pull. I'll spend some time on Pinterest and see what speaks to me. This quilt is probably destined to be my first at the new house anyway, so I do have some time. I think the challenge of doing my quilt fabric pull from a stack of Rubbermaid bins instead of my usual shelves is part of the problem.

I'm going to keep the other pull aside for another quilt in the future (this was my husband's suggestion). 

Any suggestions for this green/blue quilt? A fairly simple pattern that allows these prints to shine? I'm loathe to make the same pattern I've been using lately.

Friday 5 June 2015

Sweet Blossom: A Finished Quilt

We have recently had the fortunate of gaining two couples as new friends and the one couple, K & J, are expecting their first child, a little girl, this summer. As soon as her husband learned that I quilted he immediately asked if he could order one to surprise his wife. I turned him down, of course, because I don't do commissions but also because I had already started a quilt for her weeks earlier when I found out she was expecting. Tee hee.

Then the wife discovered I quilt and saw two I had made for mutual friends and begged me to make her one. Again, I was mean and said no. Meanwhile her quilt top was already at home, sitting on my ironing board.

It was so pleased to be able to surprise them with this quilt, made in the same colours as her nursery. This is Sweet Blossom, made mostly with Brambleberry Ridge and, lacking originality, using the same pattern I used for Sunset in the Woods. So sue me.
It is very hard to capture the true colours on this quilt. The purple is so soft and light and the greys are also very soft so the whole thing looks washed out in photographs.

The gold in the fabric adds this subtle shimmer that I love.

The back is mostly a grey I've had in my stash for years with a strip of mini Pearl Bracelets in a light lilac and a strip of Carolyn Friedlander Architextures white on white print.

I did free motion stippling in Aurafil white all over. It was not my best work- I think I'm a bit rusty from months off from FMQ practice- but it looks pretty from afar! It is bound in my favourite Art Gallery Squared Elements fabric.

I'm glad I could do something nice for this couple and still stick with my "no commissions" rule!

Linking up to Finish It Up Fridays with Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday 3 June 2015

WIP Wednesday: Getting Close to Having to Shut Down

At the end of the month I am moving to a new house which is very exciting, especially because in my new home I will have my own dedicated sewing room. Hooray for not having to disassemble all my work every time we have people over for dinner!

With that in mind I am in a serious time crunch to get sewing done before all my fabric and my machine are packed away to get moved. 

I am very happy with my progress on my daughter's teacher's thank you quilt. This is a picture of the quilt top and I already have the backing on, it is quilted and I am just working away on hand stitching the binding. It came together very quickly I think, in part, because of my meticulous planning.
A scrappy Moda Love star quilt for my daughter's Grade One teacher.
And it wouldn't be sewing time at my house if there wasn't a baby quilt (or five) on the go!
I also have been working on this teal, turquoise and navy kitty quilt. It has to be gender neutral because the mom and dad weren't able to find out if they're expecting a boy or girl. Both are kitty crazy, though, so I think this will work just fine.
I also had one of those quilter's moments where an idea was in my head and I had to do the fabric pull because it was haunting me. My husband's aunt turns 65 in two years (!) and she begged me to make her a quilt. I know I have lots of time. In fact, maybe even too much time. But she said she wanted browns (not my favourite) and then I found this Lewis & Irene fabric that I really liked and then I couldn't get the darn quilt out of my head!

Here is my pull for that quilt (Lewis&Irene inspiration fabric on top):

Some precious Lotta, some Allison Glass, some Cotton+Steel- really this pull now is quite lovely so I'm looking forward to making it!
After the teacher's quilt and the teal kitty quilt, however, I am back to the grey, white and navy baby quilt for a co-worker.

How many quilts do you think I can sew under my deadline?

Linking Up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Monday 1 June 2015

Polaroid Power

Jenn over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge is a prolific sewer and we have become bloggy long-distance friends. She was putting together a Polaroid quilt for her baby son and suggested we make and swap some blocks. I have always wanted to make one, with the idea of it being for my own youngest daughter, so I jumped on the chance (though the quilt itself is down the list for now). 

We used a tutorial for making the blocks that made the whole thing really quite easy, though the fussy cutting was the most fun AND the most tedious part of it.
The fussy cut blocks are 2.5" squares and what you see here is 1" strips on either side waiting to be trimmed and pressed.
We were supposed to make 10 and swap but I had some much fun that I made just a few more for Jenn. 
Jenn's blocks to be sent in the mail.
It is hard to choose a favourite but these are three that I particularly loved:
Laurie Wisbrun llamas wearing hats.
This sweet little boy (for my own blocks I cut out the little girl from this print!)
This adorable snake in a jar.
Then I waited (not so) patiently for my blocks to arrive. And I was not disappointed! Look at my haul! (Jenn went overboard for me, too, so I guess I'm not the only one!).
I think my favourite is that awesome Octopus on the pink background. LOVE.
Then Jenn contacted me to say she was doing a Polaroid swap at her guild and one of the participants was unable to make 10 blocks for someone else because she had just had a baby. She wanted to know if I would mind making 10 more to send out to the swap person so she could still get some new ones. Challenge accepted! So I whipped up some more blocks (and, honestly, loved some of these so much I had to make some for Jenn and send her a few more, like those Lizzy House dinosaurs).
I slipped some different ones in here for this swap person including an Ann Kelle which Jenn and I had said we would not use for each other since we both have lots in our stash.

Now I'm waiting for 10 more to arrive on my doorstop from my new swap partner. So. Much. Fun. I really must get into some sort of Modern Bee because making these for someone else and receiving my own was awesome!