Tuesday, May 29, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Another week has passed by, and I've actually had a lot of progress!  The backing fabric for the Reunion cushions arrived last week so I was finally able to assemble them.  The tops had already been pieced and quilted, so the final assembly went really fast.  As usual, I used this tutorial for a basic cushion cover.

Last week I mentioned for the love designs, in particular the Frankie pattern which I had started cutting for.  The quilt is only comprised of two different blocks, and chain piecing them together was a breeze.  The top isn't quite done, but all of the blocks are finished and probably half of them are sewn into sections.  Here's a peek of one of the sections, which incidentally is hanging sideways!  The fabric is Freebird by Momo for Moda, with Kona Ash as a background colour and a little Sweetwater Reunion thrown in (lower left).

Lastly this week is this sweet little hexagon flower.  This is for Chelsea, who is hosting this month in the bee I am participating in.  She already has a hexagon quilt in the works and has requested each bee member to reach into our own scraps and make her a few flowers to add to her top.  I made a whole ton of hexagons last summer on our road trip to Disneyland and haven't made any since, but I seemed to remember how and these came together in a few evenings.  I still have a few more flowers in the works for Chelsea.

I still have quilt tops waiting to be quilted, but I don't feel like re-hashing that every week!  So for now, I'll leave you with this photo showing my new sewing spot!  I used to be tucked in a corner of our living room, which was fine, but my ironing board is generally on the other side of the room and I was walking back and forth constantly so we rearranged things so that my machine could be in front of the window.  I love it!  So much more light, fresh air, ahhhhhh. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

'Reunion' pillows

Our living room cushions were in serious need of a re-do, and this is what I came up with {click photo for a larger view}:

It was a lot of fun coming up with ideas for each pillow!  Obviously I used the same fabric for all ~ Sweetwater Reunion paired with Kona Coal ~ then tried some designs that I'd never tried before for the pillow fronts.  Clockwise from top left, the inspirations {I say inspirations because none of these were exactly following a pattern or tutorial} for them are the following: Snowball blocks, Jenelle's 'Hello Spring Cushion', Stack & Whack Wonky Blocks, & Dresden Plate tutorial / Krista's pattern.

It feels so good to get these done, and better than just getting them done is having these lovelies on our couch!  Ahhh, much nicer.  :)

P.S.  Anyone else missing all the action in the past few weeks, between the Blogger's Quilt Festival and the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day???  It's awfully quiet in my inbox these days!

Linking up with:
Sew Darn Crafty @ Sew Many Ways 
Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story
Sew Modern Monday @ Canoe Ridge

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A new-to-me designer, and some WIP's

Before I get to my works in progress this week, I wanted to let everyone know about a quilt pattern designer that I just found out about via Toni's quilt festival post.  I'd like to direct you to for the love designs ~ Lu has a wonderful pattern collection with fun and unique designs, and as far as I can tell, for the most part her patterns are beginner, and pre-cut, friendly.  I couldn't resist, and purchased "Frankie", "Nina", and "Brody"P.S.  Lu is offering her full collection of patterns for Giveaway Day, go here to enter until Friday May 25/12.  {all photos used with permission}

Alright, now on to my W.I.P's this week.  I have one finish since last week; my Fast Forward quilt.  It had been a completed top for quite some time now so it feels good to cross it off to list.

I started a new project today as well, in fact it is the Frankie quilt pattern shown above.  I'm using these lovely almost FQ's that I won on Jess' blog a little while back, and will need to supplement with a few solids or see if I can find some coordinating prints as I don't have quite enough fabric.  I spent a lot of time cutting today while my youngest guy was home sick, and a little bit of time sewing this evening.

I still have two tops waiting to be quilted ~ the Pure strip tube quilt, and the scrappy postage stamp quilt.  No progress on either this week.  In addition to those, my Sweetwater Reunion cushion covers are still not finished because my backing fabric is taking its time getting here!

Have a great rest of the week everyone!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Fast Forward

One project off the "to be quilted" pile!  This is the 'Fast Forward' quilt, named by my son Levi.  :)  It is entirely constructed out of half square triangles, made from scraps.  

Finished size: 33" x 40"

I used scraps from many projects for this quilt, and just for fun I took note of just how many.  The list includes  Swoon, Chrysalis, Sparkle, this chair cushion, Modern Quarters, Owen's quilt, my mom's apron, my Little House mini, and a few others!  Full of project memories, but this one is going to go to our local hospital foundation, to be handed out in the NICU.

I quilted it on my home machine with a bit of an organic wavy vertical line design, using Aurifil 50wt cotton thread.  Very happy with the results, and I will do this sort of wavy line quilting again for sure.

The quilt is backed with this super sweet print from the Genevieve line by Henry Glass Fabrics.  Just perfect for a tiny baby.

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Sew Mama Sew} Giveaway Day!

Comments are now closed, and the winner is #112, Alison! 

First, I'd like to say 'welcome' to anyone who is visiting my blog for the first time via Sew Mama Sew.  I hope you'll stay and have a look around! 

My giveaway today is for 3/4yd of "Man's Best Friend" by Leanne Anderson for Henry Glass Fabrics.  This is a 100% cotton quilting fabric that has not been pre-washed and is coming from a smoke free, pet free home.  Also in the giveaway is one 1200yd spool of Connecting Threads Essential 100% cotton thread in the colour "Slate".  Both items will go to one winner.

In order to enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave one comment letting me know what your favourite thread is.  Just 'cause I'm curious!  International entries welcome.  This giveaway will be closed for entries on Friday, May 25th at 5pm PST, and I will use a random number generator to choose the winner.  

**I will notify the winner by email so please be sure that an email address is in your comment OR is accessible through your profile.**

Good luck!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival ~ spring 2012

Amy's Creative Side

Thank you for stopping by my blog!  This is my second time participating in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, and I look forward to checking out many of the links this time around as well.  Last spring, I jumped into the world of making bed quilts.  First up were quilts for my two boys' beds. After those were finished, I knew I wanted to make a queen size quilt for our bed as well but was having a hard time choosing a design.  That was when Camille Roskelley's "Swoon" quilt pattern came on the scene and I was smitten with it as soon as I saw it popping up on blogs.  

I also fell in love with the Hometown fabric line, by Sweetwater for Moda.  I love the colours in the line, the varied designs - tiny floral, dots, whimsical flowers - and knew that I wanted to use this fabric for our quilt.

The making of this quilt was not without its bumps, including a few cutting mistakes (oops!), sewing machine troubles, and the general awkwardness of quilting a queen size quilt on a home machine, but in the end it all managed to come together.  Phew!

I chose a simple vertical straight line quilting design.  It's subtle, and nothing fancy, but I think it totally works and allows the large blocks and the colours of the fabrics to really shine, and honestly I think it was all I could manage on a queen size quilt!

Using the leftover HSTs from the flying geese units in this quilt, I put together some throw cushions for the bed, and then veeeeeery recently I made new pillowcases for our pillows and finally the ensemble is complete.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Two day without internet, and I have felt so lost!  But, it's sorted out, was an easy fix, so onwards and upwards, right?  I've done very little sewing since last Wednesday, but I do have a finished quilt top to share.

I finally added borders to the postage stamp patchwork this week.  After much deliberation, I went with regular old cream for the borders and I'm so happy with it, and once finished it will have a solid green binding, similar to Kona Grass.

And since we all like wind shots, this is what was REALLY happening when I was trying to take these photos:

In progress:
  • Fast Forward quilt top - needs to be basted, quilted & bound
  • Sweetwater Pure quilt top - ditto to above
  • Reunion pillow covers - waiting for backing fabric to arrive in the mail
  • put something together for Giveaway Day @ Sew Mama Sew - May 21st
  • start thinking about Blogger's Quilt Festival entry

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Swoon Ensemble ~ finally complete!

Remember Swoon?  I finished the quilt back in November, the cushions (these two, and this one) not long after, but I've never shared a picture of it all put together because I still wanted to replace our old pillow cases.  Well, I finally got it together, ordered some Hometown Preppy Plaid fabric from this etsy shop, and made us some new pillow cases.

I used this tutorial from Film in the Fridge to make the pillow cases.  They really were very easy, and finished nicely with French seams to hide all unfinished edges on the inside.

I will certainly use this pattern again (not that I have need to make pillow cases on a regular basis!) but when I do, the one thing I would change is that I would not leave the selvedge edges on.  She recommends leaving them on, just to add a bit more width, but I found, at least with this fabric, that the selvedges were really tight and uneven and I ended up pretty much trimming them off before the final assembly anyways.  Other than that, no complaints about the pattern!

It feels great to finally get this ensemble together.  I even went out and bought us some new pillows.  :)  {p.s. see the dark red pillow peeking out from behind?  We each use two pillows, and these red pillow cases were exactly the right colour so I bought the pair today, and they are the worst made pillow cases ever!  Unfinished edges on the inside, a very odd thread colour choice, and pretty weak seams.  Maybe the fact that they were $2.97 for the pair should have been a clue!  But the colour is perfect so I'll live with it for now}

Have any of you finished a languishing project lately?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

W.I.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

My sewing time this week has mostly been spent finishing up these pillow tops.  I sandwiched them with really thin batting & muslin backs, then proceeded to add some pretty basic straight line quilting on each.  I really like how they turned out, and now I have to wait for the Reunion Sally's Skirt that I ordered to arrive, which I will use for finishing the backs of the pillow covers.  Can't wait to get these on the couch!

Next up, the postage stamp quilt that I've been working on for quite a while.  The patchwork portion has been done for a few months but I've been deliberating about borders and binding, here and here.  All those bright flashy colours, and in the end I decided to go with this:

I feel almost like I chickened out with this choice of an off-white background and medium green binding (these aren't Kona solids, but greatly resemble 'Snow' and 'Grass'), but I'm not a super flashy person, the patchwork itself is fairly flashy to being with (the photo doesn't do it justice), and well, my gut was telling me to go neutral on the borders so that's what I'll do.  

Upcoming/no progress:
Have a great week everyone!

Fugly Fabric Party

Charm About You

** Edited to add:  all of my fuglies are on their way to new homes!  Thanks everyone for stopping by and scooping these up so quickly.  Pop on over to Lucy's blog as I'm sure there's still some more fabric to be had, and check back there throughout the week as more people enter their links. **

Check out Lucy's blog by clicking the above button for more info on this party and to see what other quilters are offering up.  Some of mine are seriously ugly....sorry! I don't want to swap any of these, I just want to give them away, so if you see something you want (or all of it!), comment to claim it and I'll send it off to you. Here we go....

100% cotton flannel, approx.  29" x 15"  GONE

100% cotton flannel, 44" x 8"   GONE

100% cotton flannel, 19" x 35"  GONE

100% cotton, 14" x width of fabric  GONE

100% cotton, two pieces, 22" x 13" and 16" x 7"  GONE
100% cotton, 26.5" x 10"  GONE

27" x 35" piece of Minkee fabric    GONE

leftover strips from Sweetwater Pure jelly roll   GONE

Friday, May 4, 2012

The "Reunion" continues.....and a few ponderings

On Wednesday I shared the first two pillow tops that I completed over the last week for our living room, using Sweetwater Reunion.  These have been so much fun to make.  They're small, so pretty quick, and I've been trying to pick out block designs that I don't normally do.  Well, call me over-eager, but #3 and #4 are finished now too:

This one was completely and totally inspired by Jenelle's Hello Spring! Cushion.  I did not totally follow her pattern, for one thing my pillow is going to be a different finished size than hers, but I just looooved the opposing columns of flying geese and thought it might work pretty well with the Reunion fabrics.  This was the first time I have used the "no waste" method of making flying geese, and thanks to Jenelle's directions and photos it was all very clear and they came together easily. 

This is my first ever dresden plate, and while a little bit finicky it was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be!  I have Krista's (poppyprint) new Dresden Plate Pillow pattern, and was so eager to give it a try that I couldn't wait to buy a special ruler!  I found this tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman which included a printable template, and just went for it.  The finished size of the plate, and the finished dimensions of my pillow form do not allow for the flying geese borders in Krista's pattern, but I will definitely re-visit that idea in the future.

Now for my ponderings.....do you ever get bored with your projects?  The above blocks were a lot of fun to make and I tried some new things, and I really liked it!  Not that any of them were particularly difficult but sometimes I wonder if I don't challenge my skills enough in my projects.  Generally I love how my projects turn out in the end, but I certainly do not always love the process.  I'm starting to wonder if I just need to challenge myself a bit more.  Now, that said, I do love the whole modern quilting thing and know that the idea of modern quilting to some extent is simplicity....I'm thinking there must be a balance here somewhere.  Modern/simple/challenging - is it possible???

Talk to me!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day / W.i.P. Wednesday

It's time to re-cap the month of April, and look ahead to new projects as well as reviewing works in progress.  Today I'll be linking up with Fresh Sewing Day @ Lily's Quilts, as well as W.i.P. Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.

First off, my finishes from this past month:

Needless to say, two of the above aren't actually "finished", as in quilted and bound.  I have a backing fabric purchased for "Fast Forward" and I have my binding strips ready for the "Pure" quilt, so a little progress in the right direction on each one!

Something I'm very excited about and have made some progress on this week is new covers for our living room throw cushions.  They're the ones that came with our couches 13 years ago, and they need a bit of a make-over.  I'm using Sweetwater Reunion and Kona Coal, and have two out of four 'tops' finished.  I am using a different block design for each one, but with the common fabric to unify them.

First time trying a snowball block, using this tutorial - it was easy, though a little bit finicky using 1-1/4" squares for the corners.

Stack 'n Whack Wonky Blocks from Kati's tutorial.  SUPER fun and quick - I started with 9" squares to make these four blocks, which finished at 6-3/4" each, then framed with Kona Coal.  Now to decide what to do for the last 2 cushions!

Check out this awesome Lego sewing machine my son Levi made for me:

The inspiration for this was from Miss Sews-it-all, and my son made mine just by looking at her photos.  He took quite a while to build it, and was soooo pleased with himself and of course I'm pretty pleased as well.  :)  I won't be able to keep it forever because eventually these pieces will be needed, but for now it is sitting next to my sewing machine.

Upcoming/continuing projects:
  • complete living room cushions
  • finally make pillowcases for our bed to match Swoon, using Hometown Preppy Plaid which I found on etsy for a good price
  • finish postage stamp quilt - still haven't chosen a border colour, but just got a flyer from my local fabric store and they are having a sale on solids for $6/meter so I'm going to check it out.  They don't have a huge selection but at least I'll be able to see the colours in person.
  • pull out some fabrics for the Fugly Fabric Party, starting May 8th at Charm About You
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Lily's Quilts