Monday, March 30, 2015

A very Seussical Easter basket

Even though my sewing to-do list is a mile long, sometimes you just need a break for a quick project. In between working on my Into the Woods quilt this weekend, I decided to make B a quick little Easter basket to use next weekend.
I made him one last year, which we still use for storage in the playroom, but it didn't work particularly well as a carrying basket because of the placement of the handles. I've been wanting to make the Reversible Box Tote pattern from Very Shannon for a long time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
The pattern is very well written and went together super fast. I sized it down a bit because the original size would have been pretty huge for my little guy to carry around. I printed the original pattern and then cut an inch off the side of the pattern piece and a half inch off the bottom of the pattern piece before using it to cut my fabrics. I didn't change the handle. The final bag is roughly 7.5" tall (not including the handle) and 11" wide. I interfaced it using fusible fleece because it was the sturdiest thing I had on hand. It seemed to work fine, though I'm sure it'll lose a little body with use.
The outside fabric is ABC by Dr. Seuss (because B is WAY into Dr. Seuss), and I think the inside is the small zig-zag stripe from Ann Kelle's Remix.
We're all ready for next weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Back in the game

Eek! I can't believe my last WIP Wednesday post was from before QuiltCon. That seems like so long ago! I was a little slow to get back into sewing after QC, in part because I was waiting for my new machine to arrive, then spring break came and yada, yada, yada... Anyway, now I'm back in the game and excited about new projects! Last week, I finished my Sorbet baby quilt, which I just love. You can see lots more pics and get all the info in this post.
Then, I promptly started on my own version of the Hi(bear)nate quilt, which I'm calling my Into the Woods baby quilt. I'm basically following the original design but using smaller triangles and probably smaller borders, not to mention a mix of my own fabrics.
The triangles are going together quickly, and I'm loving where this is heading.
After this one's finished up, I'm planning to get back to my Patchwork City and paper-piecing blocks from QuiltCon and start turning them into projects.

The neverending (and usually growing) to do list: 
QuiltCon zipper pouches (zippy arrows and colorful hexies) 
Sorbet baby quilt
Into the Woods baby quilt
Vintage Quilt Revival sampler project
Patchwork City sampler quilt
STLMQG charity project tote
Hazel the Hedgehog quilt
Doll quilt and pouch set
Superhero cape for B
Sorbetto shirt 
Mini quilt for the Cotton + Steel mini quilt swap
Aviatrix Medallion quilt
Swoon quilt
Quilt for guest bed (maybe the Spiced Chai quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival??)
Sunset Tiles quilt (from Scraps Inc.)
T-shirt quilt
Sewing circle tote
Re-cover the downstairs chair
Ironing board cover
Washi dress/tunic
I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sorbet baby quilt: A finish!

Last week, I finally managed to finish up the Sorbet baby quilt, and our gorgeous spring weather this weekend let me get a few good pics, so here she is!
This one took a surprisingly long time to get together, not because it was difficult but just because I couldn't seem to find enough time. It didn't help that QuiltCon and spring break fell in the middle of everything, plus the sewing down time I had waiting for my new sewing machine to arrive after QC. Anyway, she's done now, and I love her!
The colors were pulled from the backing fabric, which is this darling print from Wee Wander. So cute and perfect for a little girl. Most of the fabrics were from my stash, a mix of pinks, coral, and aquas, along with a lot of low volume.
The quilt is based on the Sorbet Mini Quilt from Vintage Quilt Revival, but I bumped up the number and size of the squares to make it bigger. I used a total of 100 HSTs (from original squares measuring 4.5"), and the quilt finished at about 36" square.
This was the first quilt I quilted on my new Janome Skyline, and it was awesome. Such a different experience! I didn't even realize how big a difference this new machine was going to make, but now I'm not sure I could ever go back. I love her!
I used white thread to quilt wavy lines on the diagonal, cutting through the middle and along the outside edge of each HST. This was all done using my walking foot, and it was so fast and easy! I'd seen several other bloggers use a similar technique, but they all had Berninas, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it on my Janome. Not a problem. In case you're interested, the settings on my Skyline are Mode 2, Stitch 1, Stitch Width 7.0, and Stitch Length 3.0 (screenshot below).
This was also the first quilt on which I used my new labels! I won these from a giveaway on Fresh Lemons Quilts a few months back. They are from Custom Labels 4U, and they work great. I don't care for the look of flat labels sewn to the backing of a quilt, but these little guys tuck nicely into the binding, which is just about right for me.
For the binding, I used a light gray print with a white swirl. I wanted it to be a bit darker than the low volumes so it created a border, but I didn't want it to stand out too much. It's hard to see in these photos, but I also inserted a small strip of the light aqua solid. It was all bound my machine using my normal method (attach the binding to the front of the quilt, pull the binding around to the back and pin or clip it in place, then stitch in the ditch on the front of the quilt right alongside the binding to catch it on the back). Works like a charm.
She will soon be off to her new home, and I'm pretty sad to let this one go. She's brought a lot of cheer to my sewing room over the last few weeks. I think I'm going to have to find another project for this color combination soon.

Monday, March 2, 2015

QuiltCon recap, Part 3: The quilts

To wrap up my QuiltCon recap (you can read the first two posts here and here), it's time to get to the quilts. The quilt show was huge and amazing, and I could have spent (and, well, did spend) hours just wandering through it. Before we get to the main show, first a few quilty booth shots from two of my favorite booths. These are from the Robert Kaufman/Kona solids booth. The first quilt is by Elizabeth Hartman.
And Cotton and Steel, who had the absolute cutest booth. I should have taken more pics, but I couldn't resist their little fireplace Christmas scene and the tattoo booth. Love!
Okay, on to the show. There were so many amazing quilts in the show, and though I spent hours perusing them and went back on multiple occasions, I'm pretty sure I didn't see them all. They were laid out in a sort of strange pod pattern, so it was easy to overlook ones in spots you thought you'd already covered, and reading others' recap posts, I keep coming across pics and being like "Wait! I don't remember that one!" So, drats. But even if I didn't see every last one, I saw some great stuff. Here are some of my favorites (also, I'm terrible and didn't write down the creators of all of these lovelies. I've noted the creator below if I remembered/already knew, but feel free to comment with attributions, and I'll update the post):
(left) Nydia Kennley
(all three above) Rebecca Bryan (Are you sensing I like rainbow?)
 These were both guild quilts for the QuiltCon charity quilt project.
Pretty awesome, right? And this barely scratches the surface. If you want to see more, there are lots of other blogger recap posts out there, and the MQG has also done several recap posts on their blog (here, here, here, and here). For a different take, I also enjoyed Lee's post over on Freshly Pieced, in which she talked more about the designs in the show and how "modern" was interpreted in the selection. I'm almost overwhelmed with inspiration and can't wait to start putting it into action. Time to start sewing!