Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May is for Makers: Weeks 1 and 2

Back at the end of April, Lindsey Rhodes of LR Stitched put out a call to fellow makers to support and celebrate other makers through a campaign she called May is for Makers. The idea is to purchase a pattern from an indie designer each week in May to remind us how important it is to support one another and our creative work, as well as to show respect for the work of others, recognizing its value through our dollars.

I try to purchase patterns from indie designers as much as I can, so this idea immediately appealed to me, and my first two purchases are (quite literally) in the bag. For the first week, I purchased the Marigold dress and peplum pattern from Blank Slate Patterns.
Photo courtesy of Blank Slate Patterns

I love everything about this design and had just the right material waiting in my stash to try out the peplum version. I'm so close to finishing it up!
For the second week, I went for the Apple Core Mini Quilt (and the Clementine add-on pattern) from Pen + Paper Patterns. I loved this cute little mini the minute I saw it pop up in their IG feed a few months back, so it felt good to finally give in and grab it up. I don't have specific plans for it yet, but I'm thinking it would make one cute baby quilt.
Photo courtesy of Pen + Paper Patterns

I hope you'll join me in making May (and every month, really) for makers. For more info, check out Lindsey's blog post or the #mayisformakers hashtag on IG, where many people are posting about their purchases as well.
May Is For Makers | LRstitched.com

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ebb coasters

After I finished my Ebb pillows last month, I knew I couldn't leave my old living room coasters alone. They just weren't happy enough to go with the fun new pillows. So I grabbed the same stack of fabrics again and got to work!
These are just as cheerful and happy as their matching pillows, and I smile every time I see them on the coffee table. My four year old also said he loved them, which is high praise indeed.
I love to make coasters because they're so quick and easy to make, and they're a fast way to add some color to a room. For these, I cut one rectangle of each fabric measuring 6" x 5.5". I then cut off a 2" piece from the 6" length and paired these pieces with the leftover bigger pieces of another color. I pieced them, matched the resulting squares up with their opposite square, and finished the coaster assembly. I can't decide which side I like more.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A rainbow of hexies

The march to re-cover some of our old pillows continues over here, and today I've got my first finished hexie project! You may recall I started sewing these hexies last fall (after I discovered just how addicting they are), but then they got set to the side for a rainy day.
A few weeks back, that day arrived. After playing around with several layouts and background fabrics, I finally decided on a good 'ol rainbow (when is that ever not the right choice?) and even had to make a few extra hexies to fill in some color gaps.
The fabrics are all from Elizabeth Hartman's first two collections, Rhoda Ruth and Pacific. I love the bright, saturated colors and how well these lines play together. Those little bunnies and foxes peeking out are my favorites.
I followed the Modern Hexies tutorial from Modern Handcraft to glue baste and quilt my hexies to the background, and I love the result. The quilting pattern is so simple but really makes the hexies "pop." I created an envelope enclosure for the back of the pillow using the navy raindrop print from Pacific, along with a fun teal arrow and heart print from Cloud 9.
Now that this one's done, I gotta get back to those Tucker Prairie hexies. I think they might be destined for a new table runner, but only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day weekend

First off, happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! I hope you all had a wonderful day. My weekend was a great combination of "me" time and sweet time with my boys. On Saturday, I spent a very productive day at the STLMQG sew-in. I brought two projects with me that didn't need a lot of thinking or prep, which was the perfect formula for a sew-in. I started off working on a Dr. Seuss blanket for my son, who's been begging me to make something with all the DS fabrics he's accumulated over the past months.
I kept it pretty simple, using big blocks of bright primary colors to fill in between the DS fabrics. I finished the top at the sew-in and then wrapped up the rest of it when I got home that night (I'll have some finished pics as soon as the sun comes back out). After finishing the top, I moved on to a quilt for me, bravely cutting into my hoarded Rhoda Ruth and Pacific fabrics. I'm so excited to see this one come together!
And working with all those big HSTs led me to a little Mother's Day gift for myself, a 12.5" square ruler. How did I ever live without one of these things?! I'm not a big ruler person and try to stick to the basics, but this one is amazingly useful, and I'm so excited to have it in my inventory now.
After church on Sunday, we had a whole family day that started with our annual trip to pick strawberries at a local farm.
It was a gorgeous day, and we managed to gather a pretty big haul without breaking a sweat. I see lots of jam making in my near future.
They were also having a small strawberry "festival" at the farm, so B got to enjoy a few kiddie rides and a bounce house, which was pretty much day made for him.
When we got home, I managed to finish planting most of our garden for the year (which was great, since we have lots of rain in store this week) while the hubby made dinner (fajitas and margaritas, my favorite). We've got lots of tomatoes, herbs, and peppers, plus asparagus, eggplant, watermelon, zucchini, corn, squash, kale, chard, and lettuces. (In case you're wondering how we got all that to fit, we use pots for the herbs and lettuces, and there's another smaller bed up by the house.) Now, that's a good weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2016

May do.Good Stitches blocks

Trying to stay on top of my duties, I knocked out my May blocks for the do.Good Stitches Emerge Circle. Amanda asked for two blocks from Lee Heinrich’s Chandelier Quilt, which she made for the Bernina blog. Here is a link for the directions.
You can find the block instructions in this post. We just made the "starter" blocks (steps 2-14), so I'm interested to see how Amanda's going to put them all together. She requested we use Kona Glacier for the background (where the tutorial uses solid white). For the rest of the block, she asked us to use one bright yellow fabric and one bright green fabric. I went with a bright yellow dot and a lime green crosshatch left over from making this basket forever ago.

It should definitely be a sunny, summery quilt!

Friday, April 29, 2016

TopHop 2016: The beginning

A few weeks ago, I popped in with a little sneak peek of a project I was working on, promising to show more by the end of the week. Well, I finished the project on time, but the blog post fell off my radar (as they so often do). But its time has finally come!
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. So, a couple months back, Kristy, a sewing friend and President of the St. Louis MQG, reached out to me and a few other friends to see if we were interested in starting a traveling quilt bee. I enthusiastically jumped on and immediately started debating what I wanted to do.
We started with a color pull, and though I tossed around a number of options, in the end, I decided to stick with some of my very favorites: a selection of blues, teals, and navy, along with lots of low volume. This quilt will be just for me, and while my house and closet may be filled with these colors, I don't really use them all that much in my quilting (at least not all together, and with the obvious exception of my Fading Star quilt), so I decided to fully embrace it and go for something that would be all me.
The next task was to choose a theme and design the central block. The idea is that every member designs their central block, and then it gets passed to the next person, who will add on a new block or section (depending on the design), and then pass it on to the third person, who will add on some more, and so on. In the end, each of us will get back a finished quilt top to which all of the members have contributed. Such a fun idea. I decided my theme would be "Angled." Any angle would do -- think triangles, hexies, arrows, "x" blocks, etc. -- but no curves in sight.
For my starter block, I decided to do a paper-pieced kaleidoscope block with a fun play on fabric placement. The idea and design were heavily inspired by minis by @keystonecharmquilts and @kelcieo. So, from the sneak peek you saw a few weeks ago, I kept building and building.
And then, boom!

I'll admit I'm kind of obsessed with this block. It turned out exactly as I envisioned and is just so fun, plus I think it provides a good example to my beemates of my aesthetic and where I'd like this quilt to head. I'm so excited to see what they do with it!

In addition, we could ask for some sort of signature block from each of our beemates, and I requested that they each make an envelope block using Carolyn Friedlander's pattern. The envelopes are supposed to be in their own "signature" colors or fabrics, and then they can add their name or initials however they want. I made an example in my favorite teal and citron colors. I used a super pale gray thread to embroider my initials, but I suspect I'll redo it in a more visible color when I get it back. Finally, I couldn't resist putting together a little color card, mainly because I had a lot of tiny scraps and couldn't bear to throw them all away. (I also kept a pile to make into cards. I may have a fabric-hoarding problem.)

For the first round, I got my friend Krista's quilt! I've already decided what I want to do with it and am itching to get started. Let TopHop 2016 begin!