Tuesday, March 31, 2015

stars of spring

Spring is officially here. Flowers are budding everywhere and we are all sneezing. We've already had tornadoes. It also means soccer pictures mixed in with the quilts.

This one was a fast attempt to take a picture of my daughter making a goal. What I ended up with was a picture of 3 of the 4 players wearing an 8 during that quarter.

My son's game was later in the day in Elk City. It was much sunnier, and hotter, so I only took one picture of him. My husband says this is his Big Foot pose.

I have finished a quilt top, so I sort of have my two finishes for the month. It is for a friend having a baby later this summer, so there is no hurry and have a couple of others that must get done soon. I used a lot of scraps for the stars and the whites. I brought it out and realized I could not see the differences at all in the whites in my house, not like I could hanging it up in daylight. This is patterned after this quilt featured on Wombat Quilts, although I did not cut down the blocks as she did. I made two pink stars also, but pulled those out after I found out it would be for a boy.

I also got a bit off fabric in the mail yesterday, which was a great surprise. I had ordered it but forgot it was on the way.
I ordered my first fabric just for the recipes.

She arranged the others then wanted a picture.

The others.

Some of them were added to this collection, which will eventually be a quilt for our guest room. After I finish those May quilts. And whatever else I start in the meantime.

I'm off to take some boys to soccer practice, and maybe draw a little while I wait. Maybe.

Friday, March 20, 2015

March quilt #1 - Bouquet

A month or so ago one of my friends asked me to make a quilt for her daughter. Her birthday is in May, one of several "due" that month, so I started thinking about it early.

As I started working on the one with the larger prints, it seemed the perfect fit and since it ended up bigger, it will be a double birthday present for mom AND daughter. As I mentioned before, this is a pattern is called Rosewater by Sarah Fielke. Mine is a bit more vibrant than what I imagine with the word rosewater, so I went with "Bouquet."

The starter print was the floral on the right hand side in row three in this picture from Momo's Just Wing It collection. Apparently I like pink and orange together because I already had ALL of these fabrics just waiting for me to pick them. It was finally their turn!

I even had enough of the binding fabric, which is rare. I think it is a DSQuilts fabric from JoAnn but I'm not totally sure. Oh, and that broken darning foot. Well I borrowed one from my friend since it was taking forever for the one I ordered to arrive. It broke too. And my order got cancelled. And then I learned on the internet that people break theirs on purpose because of the ridiculous amount of noise it makes. I tried the broken one and it worked fine (but Crystal, I've ordered you a new one!). So strange. Too bad I didn't try my original broken one (which I threw away the day before I made all these "exciting" discoveries).

I also was able to use fabric I had on hand for the backing. I ended up with a couple of Sarah Jane prints and pink butterfly one I bought for one of my daughter's birthday parties. 

So up next is a commissioned quilt with this stack:

I will start it next week (although I did cut that first fabric on the top already). It requires cutting around a curved template so I will give myself a bit of a break--and wait until I have some alone time on my days off. I may do a few more of the wonky scrappy stars over the weekend but it's supposed to be sunny so I'm not making any big plans. Saturday is supposedly National Quilt Day though, so seems like I should do SOMETHING quilty then.
I really don't know who makes up these things.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

a bit of a break

This week has been spring break for my kids and got to start a little earlier than usual since they were out of school on Friday for Parent/Teacher conferences. Unfortunately my son was sick that day (got his sister's bug from the week before I guess) but that meant a slow day for all of us. On Saturday my daughter decided it was time for some girl time. We ate some lunch together and then headed out for a hike. I decided to go to Sutton Urban Wilderness park rather than our usual duck pond or campus routes. I forgot it had rained most of the day before (we were inside), making it a bit muddy but not terrible.

 We loved the green grassy path!

She loved this old tree even more. I was starting to wonder if we were going to go home ever. And she's already made plans to take her brother back, just as soon as it stops being muddy. Red mud is just not so cool.

A little shelter we found there

She was making notes on how to to get back to the tree spot.

Yesterday we spent a little time at the library checking out some bugs. They are both about too old for this event but the bugs get them every time.

And now, to really make them both super happy, they get to spend the morning at work with me. Not sure that this will be a photo worthy event for them but it should build some character. Or something like that.

Monday, March 9, 2015

shop upkeep

As promised, I've added the Cotton Candy quilt to my etsy shop. While I was adding that one, I decided to add a couple more baby quilts I had stacked in the pile. So if you are in need of a baby quilt for the upcoming spring babies, check out these and the others listed there.

Needing one but don't see one that is quite what you need? Email me. I know I don't have many for boys right now but can make one if you need it.

Also, if you are near me and want to buy, let me know and we can skip the whole shipping part. I love hand deliveries, because then I get to see the smiles (although the texts of joy I got from a friend today over the quilt she got in the mail today were also pretty awesome).

Friday, March 6, 2015

broken foot

Last Friday I made a very ambitious but necessary list of chores I needed to do. It included those two quilts I finished but also the usual housecleaning chores. I finished most that day but got to "clean up sewing room" on Saturday. I try to do this each time I finish quilts to get everything back where it needs to go so it looks like a room I want to go to, not run from!

While putting away the fabric, including some of the fabric I bought at Quiltcon, I noticed a fabric I have had for a long time and decided it was time to figure out what to do with it. It was a large scale pattern from MoMo's Just Wing It collection and I wanted to be able to keep it big. I pulled some of my quilt books. I use these things like I use cookbooks. Sometimes I look through them and find something I want to try. Other times I have a fabric or an idea and want ideas of how to use it. Maybe someday I will have enough experience to design my own creations but for now I'm learning these recipes and how they work.

After digging for a bit, I found the Rosewater pattern in Sarah Fielke's Hand Quilted with Love. I have done enough quilts to tweak things a bit, like making the pieces 6" wide instead of 6 1/2" so that I could get more out of the fabrics, all of which were 18" wide. I still did something wrong (I think) because I ended up with a lot more of the blocks, but that allowed me to add another row to make up for those lost inches.

So in between some snow time:

and a school program:

and work (not pictured because I was WORKING), I got this laid out.
I think I shifted it around a bit more after this picture, and then added in the white stripes between each of these rows. That helped calm it down.

And because guests were coming to sleep on that guest bed, and I had a few snow days, the top is now pieced and it is halfway quilted.

I'm quilting it with these little flowers. I was finally getting really good at them this afternoon and then remembered I needed to put the label on the back. I pulled off the foot, put the standard sewing foot on for the label, then took it back off. As I grabbed the darning (free motion) foot, I noticed a piece of metal falling off. It was broken. My daughter was home with me taking a nap (sick day) so I couldn't hop in the car to go get a new one. This saved me some gas money though because with a quick search on the internet I discovered I wouldn't have found one at a local store.

So this quilt is on hold for a week or so, until I borrow the foot from a friend or get my new one in the mail. Thankfully I can use standard presser foot if I want to start a new one, or make a few more scrappy stars.
Otherwise I might clean the room again and start another unplanned new quilt!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February quilts- Tumblers and Cotton Candy

After I dug out from all the of the fabric and papers I brought home from Quiltcon, I decided I had time before the end of the month to finish up the Cotton Candy quilt. It is still snowing outside and more importantly about 19 out there, so I chose to take these pics inside!

This one is roughly 3 feet square, so it's baby quilt sized. I went with the scrappy binding again because the whole thing is scrappy. Using one fabric would work well too though, framing all the scrappiness in something unified.

The back is flannel--and I even remembered to add the label before I quilted it. Handstitching three labels in a row because I forgot was not so fun. I also learned how to do a better job sewing on the binding. All those tension problems showing up on the back disappeared when I slowed down and stopped trying to pull it through the machine.

I will likely add this quilt to etsy so if you're interested keep checking.

On Sunday I also finally figured out how I wanted to do a baby quilt I had been planning. And then I cut it out and finished it. Baby quilts are awesome for a quick finish, well, unless I decide to do something with a bunch of tiny pieces.
The front:

And back:

I ended up with quite a few leftover tumbler pieces, since I didn't want to figure out exactly how many I needed and also added and extra fabric at the end. That just means more scraps for another quilt!

Now I'm off to watch the snow fall and a bit of Spongebob with the kids, and maybe piece a few more trellis blocks. Snow cancellations have freed our Saturday up nicely!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

another birthday

Two years ago, about a week before my birthday I learned about a quilting convention called Quiltcon. It was going to be the first one, and it was going to be in a week. It wasn't going to work. So I kept an eye out for the next one. That was this year, still in Austin, and with an amazing group of lecturers and teachers--and it was still going to be my birthday week. I went for it and dragged two people along with me!

Like most shows of this kind, it was a mix of vendors, exhibits, lectures, and classes. Four days worth. I settled for one day. Maybe someday I will go back (it's annual now) and take some classes, stretching it out a bit.

While waiting for my first lecture, we checked out the charity quilts pieced together by Modern Quilt Guilds around the country.

Some favorites:

Since I was only going to be there one day, I picked some of the lectures to attend. The classes looked fun but would've taken half or all day. The lectures were varied but were all led by people in the industry. I took a few pictures but they all look like this:
This was Heather Givens, Denyse Schmidt, Mary Fons and Brenda Groelz. Looks like my camera needs glasses.

After that I was ready to go the vendors.
Alexia Marcelle Abegg of Cotton + Steel, making some flair buttons

This was our pile of fabric at lunch.
Which was at
a sweater and sandals--I wear this a lot

very yummy.

Next up, the quilt exhibits. This one was at the edge of a vendor booth, so I'm not sure if it was connected to it or one of the charity quilts.

I thought I was doing a good job of including the quilt tag with the quilt picture, so I could go back and attribute it correctly. But it's a bit blurry and all I can read is that it is part of the Spring Cotton Couture Fabric challenge. Thanks to the magic Instagram though, I found it. It's Totally Spring by Dora Cary.

This was part of a collection of quilts from the 1970s. Yes, this is ALL double knit. 

 I did better with this one and took a close up of the label. It was made by Dorie Schwarz and I even found a post about it on her blog Tumbling Blocks.

This one is by Sherri Lynn Wood, who has a book out soon about this kind of improv quilting.  It was actually released at the show but not sure if it was there the day I was.

This one was part of the exhibit of Do.Good. Stitches quilts. You can read more about them on the founder's page here. Because I can't read the blurry words next to the quilt.

Sunburst Quilt by Tara Faughnan

Can't read the name on the tag nor can I find the info on Instagram. The quilter is from Portland, Oregon.

This was one of the Gee's Bend quilts on exhibit.

At the Kona Cotton booth.

At this point we jumped back into my sister's car. My bag of fabric was hurting my arm and it was dinner time!

This corner was just crazy, with Juiceland: Where Drinks Come True, the dude with the sign telling us "you're perfect" and that the street was adopted by Atheist Longhorns. Wow.

My travel buddies:

Even made a stop at the Fiesta grocery store. Always go to the grocery store overseas, why not here too?

We made it home in time for my birthday day--and a wintery wind. Sigh. But at least I got to wear this big hat to help me warm a bit!