Monday, February 6, 2017

In the kitchen

Still feeling in the Christmas spirit? At least these have some pink and red in them, so you can pretend they're for Valentine's. :) I'd been meaning to make a new Christmas table runner for our dining room for I don't know how long, so back in December, I finally decided it had to be finished, and I'd hoarded these Cotton + Steel tumblers for far too long.
Considering just how cute those glasses are on their own and knowing I had a million other projects on my list, I decided to keep it uber simple by just doing a whole-cloth runner.
I always like my runners to be double sided, so I went with these super cute winter foxes (Cool Foxes in Aqua from the Polar Pals collection) for the other side. I only had a fat quarter, so I made up the difference with a red and white dot from my stash. Simple diagonal quilting, plus a Dear Stella red netting, which made the perfect binding for both sides, and I was done.
They make for a wintery side that's not overtly Christmasy, and they've been staring up at us since New Year's.
For part of my sister's Christmas gift, I decided to make her an apron to go with some kitchen utensils she'd requested. I used this fabulous tutorial from Purl Soho. The main part of the apron is Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Peacock, and the fun little pocket is Sushi's Antiques from Sarah Watts's From Porto With Love collection. I used webbing for the straps. It's simple but cute and super functional. I predict there will be one of these for me (and, I suspect, the hubs) in my future.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pixie baskets

When I started debating what to make for B's teachers for Christmas, my mind wandered back to the Pixie Basket tutorial from Fabric Mutt, which I'd pinned and then longed to make ever since. So I sorted through my scrap basket and got to work ... on eight of them.
Thankfully, these go together pretty quickly, and I simplified a few of them by not including the contrasting band at the top. His teachers wound up with three apple-themed baskets, which I filled with chocolate truffles.
After making those, I decided the baskets would be handy for all sort of things, so I made three more for our guild's annual Christmas raffle. I filled them with mini charm packs and a few fat eighths.
And, of course, I couldn't not make one for myself. Mine now holds all of my wonder clips and is so handy. Finally, I made one for B to hold some treasures. This Ann Kelle sheep fabric reminded me of one of B's favorite cartoons, Shaun the Sheep, so I couldn't resist.
I highly recommend the tutorial, which, like all of Heidi's works, is so well written. These cuties are great for all kinds of things, and I suspect I'll have more making in my future.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February do.Good Stitches blocks

February is my next month as quilter for the Emerge Circle of do.Good Stitches, and gosh darn it, I wanted to do something cute and fun, so I decided to give into the strawberry block cuteness that's been floating around IG for a while.
The pink and red color scheme also seemed perfect for Valentine's, and it's a great scrappy block, so hopefully my bee mates will enjoy it. We are following this great tutorial by Skyberries Handmade, but I changed up the dimensions to make a larger block.
Bee mates, follow the Skyberries Handmade tutorial to make just one block (yay!) using the following dimensions instead of the dimensions in the tutorial:
17 - 3" squares
3 - 3.5" squares

2 - 3.5" squares from print A
2 - 3.5" squares from print B
2 - 3" squares from print C (or one 5.5 x 3" rectangle if you don't want to piece it)

4 - 3" squares
5 - 3.5" squares

Your final block will measure 13 x 18". Use a range of pink, red, or both prints for the berry
(no dull tones, please -- we want cheery strawberries!); white or low-volume prints for the background; and three different green prints for the leaves (prints A and B) and stem (print C).
Use the 3.5" squares to make your HSTs, which you will trim to 3" and then proceed with piecing. Please press your seams open. Have fun!

Monday, January 30, 2017

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch

I know it's the next to last day of January, but we're gonna back up a bit to some of the Christmas sewing I did this year because who doesn't want a little extra Christmas, amirite?
This particular sewing was all for my little guy, the world's biggest Dr. Seuss fan (see here, here, and here for past evidence). Despite being scared of the actual Grinch cartoon (I know, I know), he loves anything with the Grinch on it, so when this Grinch Advent calendar panel (from Robert Kaufman) arrived at the fabric store where I work, he jumped on it the moment he saw it.
Miraculously, I actually managed to finish it by December 1st, and we kept up with moving the Grinch along all month. We always travel for the holidays, and a few days before we left, he commented that we were going to have to have someone come over to the house to move the Grinch while we were gone. Ha! You can imagine how excited he was when we told him we could take the calendar with us. I think this one will be a favorite for a while.
I used a candy-cane print from my stash for the binding. Since this calendar hangs on the wall, I wasn't too worried about the backing, so I pieced it together using a bit of another Grinch print I had, along with a red and white herringbone print.
Then, about a week before Christmas, we wandered into Joanns for some notion, and of course they had the Christmas fabrics right up front, so B insisted on looking to see if they had any Grinch fabric (because, obviously, we needed more). I actually bet him that they wouldn't, a bet I obviously lost. I simply couldn't turn him down when he asked if I'd make him a Grinch quilt, though I warned him that I wouldn't be able to do it until after Christmas because there just wasn't time. He agreed, and the fabric came home with us.
True to my word, it was the first project I undertook when we returned home, and I took it easy on myself by just making a simple wholecloth quilt. The flannel I used for the backing had been hanging out in my stash for a while, and this seemed like the perfect use, combined with a black and white dot and a green Cotton + Steel Dottie print for the binding. For the quilting, I went with a simple diamond crosshatch in red thread.
B's slept with it every night since I finished it, which makes for one happy mama.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January do.Good Stitches blocks

For January's blocks for the Emerge circle of do.Good Stitches, Allison was inspired by this awesome log cabin quilt and asked us to create blocks that would come together to form a similar look: two log-cabin blocks (strips any size we wanted), one with roughly 50% white, off-white,and/or cream fabrics and 50% blue and green fabrics (with a tiny bit of yellow if we wanted) and a second block that was 90-95% white, off-white, and/or cream and just a bit of color. Hope she likes where I went!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tessellation quilt: A finish!

Back in October, I revealed the Tessellation quilt I finished for RJR Fabrics' What Shade Are You? Blog Hop, and now I'm finally getting around to posting all of the details here.
I love working with solids, so I jumped at the chance to try out RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids for the first time. I’m a big fan of Cotton + Steel fabrics (a division of RJR), so I expected the Cotton Supreme Solids to be the same great quality, and they did not disappoint. The colors are so vivid, the fabric has a beautiful hand, and they were truly a pleasure to work with.
In fact, the hardest part was deciding which colors to choose. When the Cotton Supreme Solids color card arrived, I couldn’t seem to narrow down the options. They were all too good! So I shifted to choosing my pattern, which turned out to be a no-brainer. I had wanted to make the Tessellation quilt (pattern by Nydia Kehnle and Alison Glass) since I first saw it, and I knew it would look so good made up in solids, so it seemed like the perfect choice. The pattern calls for 25 fabrics, so I started with the blues and teals (my favorites) and then expanded to the cool pinks and purples to round out my selection. I chose the following Cotton Supreme Solid colors for my quilt top: Fairy Princess, Candyland, Charlotte, Rio, Rhododendron, Pink Orchid, Bougainvillea, Hydrangea, Amethyst, Caviar, Hyacinth, Periwinkle, Cloud 9, Carolina, Lancaster Sky, Anemone, Electric Blue, Robins Egg, Riviera, Turks & Caicos, Horizon, Bora Bora, Schooner, Proud as a Peacock, and Celeste.
Additionally, I used Geo Drops in Teal (from Rashida Coleman Hale’s Raindrops collection for Cotton + Steel) for the backing. I love how the hexie drops mimic the triangular shapes on the front of the quilt.
The quilt is composed of five triangle designs, and it was so fun to start playing with the colors to see how different combinations would work in each piece. I spent many a night with rows of paper-pieced sections laid across my work table and floor, shuffling and rearranging.
When it came time to quilt it, I struggled with choosing just one thread color, so instead I chose 16! The obvious alternative, right? I quilted diagonal lines in a triangle shape roughly one inch apart, changing my thread color every three to four lines. There are 15 thread colors on the front, reflecting the range of blues, teals, purples, and pinks in the solid fabrics, and one color on the back, chosen to match the color of the hexies in the backing print. I wish I could capture the colors in the quilting better in the pictures. They really are so fun in person.
I’m so pleased with the final quilt in all of its saturated solid glory. The movement across the blocks makes me think of a sparkly geode or shattered glass, and it has such great visual interest, keeping your eye bouncing from one section to the next. This was definitely a perfect solids project, and it was a joy to get to work with these lovely fabrics.
If you're looking to branch out from the usual solid suspects (Kona, Moda Bella), I'd highly recommend giving RJR's Cotton Supreme Solids a try. They have a similar feel to Konas (a little heavier than Bellas), and the colors are bold and saturated.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Design Star Round 4: Voting open!

Hello, my lovies! It's been a few weeks, but I'm excited to tell you that voting is now open for Round 4 of the Stash Fabric Design Star contest, and yours truly has a bundle in the running! The theme for this round was "wanderlust." Here's the write-up I did for mine:

As I was sitting at my computer with a cold, wet rain falling down the window, all I could think was, "I need to be on a beach." This soothing bundle was inspired by dreams of warm sand between my toes, a cool blue-green ocean in front of me, a soft wind on my cheek, and pops of bright bougainvilleas around the corner. Oh, and a tasty drink in my hand, too.
Sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? Anyway, this is the last round before the finals, and I'd so appreciate your vote! You're just voting for ONE bundle this time, so it really counts. Thanks so much for all of your support!

Oh, and Beth's already put together some real life versions of our bundles, in case you're interested in purchasing one. Here's mine:
Super cute, huh? She had to sub out a few fabrics from my mosaic because one sold out and one's still a pre-order (so not yet available), but I think it looks great. You can find it right here.