Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer shorts

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I just finished another piece of clothing for myself! What what?!? I've been wanting to do this project for a year -- since the pattern first became super popular last summer -- and I'm glad I finally got around to it.
The shorts are from the free(!) City Gym Shorts tutorial on The Purl Bee's blog. The pattern and tutorial are both great, and the shorts fit exactly right. They went together pretty quickly, and I think would be even faster on a second pair now that I've "practiced" a few of the steps.
For the bias strips and back of the shorts, I used the same Robert Kaufman chambray from my recent skirt finish. The front is Sealing Wax in Peridot from Anna Maria Horner's True Colors collection, a personal favorite. The shorts ended up being a bit bolder than I expected, so they might end up being mostly sleep shorts, but I still love them.
Just FYI, the pattern includes both women's and kid's sizes, so check it out if you'd like to make a pair for yourself or a littlie! You can also find lots of other examples on Instagram (#citygymshorts). Oh, and I'm just under the wire to join this year's Shorts on the Line sewalong over on Imagine Gnats. Click on over for lots more cute ideas!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quilt prep: solid stashing

Any casual reader of this blog or follower on Instagram knows I am an Elizabeth Hartman super fan. I've made countless quilts, bags, and pouches from her patterns, I love her design aesthetic and use of color, and I respect and appreciate how well thought out and detailed her patterns always are. I'm in the midst of an ongoing quilt project from her latest book, Patchwork City, but two other quilts of hers have been high on my to-do list since they came out: Aviatrix Medallion and Allie Owl.
I'm never terribly confident in my fabric selections, so I dawdled for a long time trying to decide what I wanted to use for these two. Finally, I decided I loved the originals so much that I would probably regret trying to use anything else. Knowing the two patterns (which helpfully include the names of the colors Elizabeth used in her original quilts) used a similar palette and wanting to maximize my purchase, I created a new color "bundle" using most of the original colors from the Aviatrix Medallion quilt but making a few switches to account for differences between the two patterns and a few colors that were out of stock.
Isn't it gorgeous!? All of the solids were purchased from Stash Fabrics, an online store that is awesome enough to stock all 303 current Kona solids. They were also super helpful and labeled each color (I assume they always do this for solids; I didn't ask for it).
For others who might be interested (and my own future reference), I thought I'd list the colors I will be using. With only one exception (noted below), they are all Kona colors (from top to bottom in the picture above):
Wisteria (subbed for Violet in original pattern)
Blue Grass
Corn Yellow
Cotton Couture Tangerine (non-Kona color subbed for Kona Carrot)
Pomegranate (subbed for Valentine in original pattern)

*The gray solids are only included in the Aviatrix Medallion quilt.
**Glacier is actually just an extra color I ordered and will not be included in these quilts.

I'm so excited to finally get started on these quilts. Time to start cutting these beauties up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Making totes and stacks

We've had a busy week around here, which means it was a bit slow in the sewing corner. Most of my time was spent working on the perfect quilted tote I'm making for an STLMQG charity project. The outside panels are all pieced and quilted, but I hit a snag when the fabric I planned to use for the interior ended up not working. I don't have another one on hand that seems right, so I've got a trip to my LQS in store for this weekend.
In the meantime, I've been ogling these gorgeous fabrics I just got in from Stash Fabrics. The solids are for my planned Allie Owl and Aviatrix Medallion quilts (can't wait to finally get started!), and I picked up a few other fabrics I couldn't resist, most notably some fabulous Ex Libris prints. I can't wait to get some of that Art Theory print into a piece of wall art for our dining room.
And I started pulling a stack of Carolyn Friedlander prints for a project that's still forming. Not sure exactly where this is headed, but I sure do love her "rainbow" of colors (even in bad basement lighting).

The neverending (and usually growing) to do list:
Perfect quilted tote (STLMQG charity project tote)
Rhoda Ruth mini quilt
Patchwork City sampler quilt
Vintage Quilt Revival sampler project
Hazel Hedgehog quilt
Allie Owl quilt
The Kittens quilt
Wedding goodies (pillow, basket, vest)
Superhero cape for B 
Aviatrix Medallion quilt
Swoon quilt
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
Clothing for me! (City Gym Shorts, Washi Dress, Sailor Top Shirt, Sorbetto Top) 

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Everything's up to date in Kansas City

We'll soon be heading out on another road trip, so I guess it's about time that I posted about our last trip, a long Memorial Day weekend spent in Kansas City with the grandparents.
Though we've lived just a few hours away for the past six years, we'd never been to Kansas City, so it seemed like a good candidate for a weekend away. Matt's parents flew in from California and met us there, and it turned out to be the perfect spot. Our apartment was located about a half mile from KC's Plaza area, which was perfect for walking around, checking out the shops, and taking in some of the city's great fountains.
On our first afternoon, Matt, my father-in-law, and I visited the National World War I Museum and got a personal tour from the dad of one of our friends, who works there. The museum was really interesting and very well done, and I wish we could have spent more time there. It also afforded some beautiful views of the city.
On day two, we all headed to the Truman Presidential Library in nearby Independence. It was the first presidential library, and it shows its age a bit, but it was still well worth the visit. The inner garden where Truman and his wife and daughter are buried was really lovely. We also drove around downtown Independence a bit and stopped for ice cream at Clinton's Soda Fountain, where Truman had his first job.
That afternoon, we discovered the coolest children's bookstore and a delicious ice cream spot, both of which B loved, of course.
Saturday morning was all about B, and after a stop at a great coffee shop, we headed to Kaleidoscope, a fun kids' arts and crafts space hosted by Hallmark (which is headquartered in KC). While we were waiting for our group to go in, we also toured the Hallmark Visitor Center, which was surprisingly interesting. I liked this quilted tree, which was part of an ornaments display.
Then, we walked around the fountains in Crown Center and headed over to Union Station to check out the miniature train exhibit there. It's a beautiful building, and B loved watching the trains. There was even a whole train display made of Legos.
While B and the grandparents napped that afternoon, Matt and I headed to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, which was amazing. We were only able to do a short visit, and I hated to leave so soon. The contemporary art section was particularly enjoyable. I'm itching to make that last work into a quilt.
And more quilty inspiration from the World War I Museum and the Plaza!
After dropping off the grandparents on Sunday morning, we had a lovely lunch with some old friends from Houston who now live in KC, and then we had to make the obligatory Ikea stop on the way out of town. It was a wonderful weekend. Thanks, KC!