Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIP Wednesday #62

Hiya, Wednesday! It's been lovely outside this week (thank goodness!), but somehow I still managed to get a lot of sewing done. Must be because I mostly sew around midnight...

First up, the quilted heart pillow! This cutie is a gift for my grandmother. You can read all about it in this post.
Last night, I finished up one of the divided baskets (from the excellent Noodlehead pattern) that's been on my to do list. I've been itching to make one ever since I finished the first one, so it was fun to finally get this one together.
This one will serve as B's Easter basket, so I kept it simple, omitting both the outside pocket and the inside divider. I worried that removing the inside divider would make it a bit floppy, but it still stands up well on its own and should work well. The birds and dots are Ann Kelle, and the stripe is an unidentified piece from my stash.
In progress:
I'm still making headway on the Kitchen Window quilt! After a little encouragement last week, I decided to go all in and try to FMQ it (my first time!). It was a little rough at the start, but I'm starting to catch on, and it's look pretty good, as long as you don't look too close.
It helps that I found Elizabeth Dackson's (of Don't Call Me Betsy) new Craftsy class, "Start Free-Motion Quilting." I've never done a Craftsy class before because they're a bit pricey, and I wasn't sure it was worth it. After stalking this one for a few days, Craftsy was nice enough to inform me it was on sale, so I signed up.
I'm on the fourth episode, but so far, I've been really impressed. I'd highly recommend it if you're starting out with FMQ. Elizabeth has already given lots of information and tips that I've never heard elsewhere, and I'm feeling much more confident about my FMQ already. Check it out!

On the "to do" list: 
Kitchen Window quilt
One more divided basket for gift set
Quilted heart pillow
Mystery HST quilt
Charger pouch for the hubs
Car travel pouch for B (this, this, or this)
T-shirt quilt 
New tie for B (with a tutorial, finally!)
Superhero cape for B
Re-covering the downstairs chair
New pillows for the downstairs chairs
A mug rug for me
Ironing board cover
Reusable snack bags
Living room quilt
Washi dress/tunic

This week, I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ethereal pastels mosaic

To celebrate the start of spring, Rachel over at Stitched in Color is running a contest to design a mosaic of fabrics that represent your idea of "ethereal pastels." Inspired by all of the mosaics that have already been submitted, I couldn't resist putting together one of my own.
The fabrics are pulled from Lark Cottons' website and, for me, represent the cheerful beauty of the start of spring, the winter gloom breaking and colorful flowers just starting to spring from the ground. If you're in need of a little color inspiration, check out the other mosaics on Rachel's post. Happy spring!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring stirrings

Yesterday, it finally started to feel like spring around here, and I'm hoping it plans to stick around. We made the most of the fabulous weather by staying outside pretty much all day. Matt even squeezed in some yard work during B's nap, but most of the day was all about fun stuff.
After church, we headed to the botanical gardens, where it was opening weekend for the children's garden.
In between climbing over every inch of the tree house, we planted a spinach plant, colored dried gourds, and met the resident fox family.
Not to mention practiced our balance-beam skills
And no trip to the gardens is complete without a visit to the sheep. B LOVES these sheep, especially the little ones.
After his nap, B played out in the yard with Matt while I took care of a little house cleaning, and then he and I headed to the park while Matt grilled dinner.
We came home to fajitas and margaritas (B missed out on those), a perfect end to a great day.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A cheerful little pillow

A few days ago, I took a mini break from quilting my Kitchen Window quilt and finished a little project I'd been dreaming about for a few days — a cheery, sunny, little heart pillow.

The pillow is for my grandmother, who, as I wrote back in October, is currently battling cancer for the fourth time. She's recently been through a particularly rough patch of complications, which led to surgery and now a (hopefully) brief stay in an assisted living home, and I really wanted to send her something to cheer her up and let her know we were thinking about her.
The assembly for the pillow was based on this tutorial. I used several pink, coral, and orange fabric scraps for the front patchwork and surrounded them with a cream solid (maybe Kona bone?). I used quilt as you go to attach the patchwork to a piece of batting but then decided not to do any other quilting other than the applique around the heart, just to keep it simple. The back is a coordinating madras print from Hancock's that has made several previous appearances on the blog (here, here, and here at least).
The pillow, which I wanted to be just a little decorative item, measures about 10" square. It's filled with poly-fill and machine-stitched closed. I was planning to mail it off last week but then received a request from my mom for another item for Grams, so I plan to finish that up and then send them off together, hopefully just in time for arrival back at home. I hope they bring a little spring cheer into a gloomy situation.