Thursday, October 29, 2015

Brass ring baby quilt: A finish!

Yay, I have a new quilt to show, and I love it! Meet the Brass Ring baby quilt!
The pattern was based on the Brass Ring pillow from Sew Organized for the Busy Girl (I can't get enough of that book!), just upsized for a baby quilt, as Heidi suggests in the book. Using quarter-yard prints I had in my stash, I started with 9" squares and got to work making lots of HSTs, combining the orange, green, and teal prints with all kinds of low volume prints.
The fun color scheme for the front was pulled from the sweet animal fabric that I used for the backing. The backing is an old Zoe Pearn print that I bought when B was still a baby, and I've been waiting for the right opportunity to use it ever since. It's just so sweet.
For the binding, I found this Ann Kelle dot in my stash, which perfectly matched the colors in the quilt, and then pulled in an orange chevron to stretch the backing up to size. I machine stitched the binding and added one of my labels, as usual.
It's hard to tell in the pictures, but I quilted it using white thread, essentially outlining and echoing the middle octagon shape. I love using simple quilting that emphasizes the design, and I think this one worked out really well.
The quilt was shipped to its new owner earlier in the week, and I sure hope she loves it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Starting something new

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I started several new projects at a sewing retreat this weekend and have continued to expand on them since coming home. Both of these still have a ways to go and a lot of tweaking and designing to be done, but I'm excited to see them out of my head and onto fabric. The first project, which I'm calling my Convergence quilt, is a mini composed of tiny, little triangles. The main part is all assembled and pressed, but I'm planning to add a border and then lots of fun quilting.
The second project is a play on a star quilt, and I'm so excited about it. I love the idea I designed, and I really hope the final quilt comes out as well as I'm imagining. Also, I love, love, love this Cotton + Steel Sprinkle fabric I'm using for the background.
Finally, the sweet ladies who own the fabric store where I work part time brought back some goodies for me from Quilt Market, and I'm going to have to find some time to break into these pretties very soon.

The neverending to do list:
Brass Ring baby quilt 
B's Halloween costume
Convergence quilt
Fading Star quilt
September Emerge Circle quilt
Catenary mini quilt
Jewelry travel pouch
Patchwork City sampler quilt 
Allie Owl quilt
Menagerie quilt
Hazel Hedgehog quilt
The Kittens quilt
Aviatrix Medallion quilt
Swoon quilt
Spiced Chai quilt (from Vintage Quilt Revival)
Sunset Tiles quilt (from Scraps Inc.)

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sew Me St. Louis 2015

This past weekend, I happily got to join about 45 other members of the St. Louis MQG at our second annual retreat, Sew Me St. Louis, and it couldn't have come at a better time because I have so many projects going right now, several with deadlines.
The few nights before, I worked on getting all of my projects packed and ready to go. The problem with sewing retreats is that I usually pack way too many projects, so when I get there, I'm overwhelmed with choices and end up wasting too much time getting started. This time, I had three things on the agenda. I started by finishing up my Brass Ring quilt (more on that later this week). It was basted, and I'd made the binding, so I got to work on some simple quilting, bound it, and was done.
Then, I moved on to what turned out to be the big project of the weekend. I started on a quilt composed of way too many of these tiny triangles. I'd cut out the first batch ahead of time, but then they need to be pieced, pressed, and trimmed.
And then came the indecision, as I started trying out layouts but wasn't pleased with anything I tried. It turned out that I really couldn't make my original idea work, and I needed more triangles. Cue sad face. So, it was back to cutting, piecing, pressing, and trimming.
Finally, I got closer to something I thought might work (not quite this, but close).
After piecing all of the rows together, I decided to save the final pressing for when I got back home and instead moved on to project #3, which is a play on a snowflake/star quilt. I'm not working from patterns for any of these quilts, so it took a while to get all the math worked out, but I managed to get the first block mostly done before it was time to go.
It was a huge help to get so much done over the weekend, and I'm starting to feel better about those looming deadlines. And, of course, I had a wonderful time chatting and laughing with my guild buddies. It's such a wonderful group of ladies (and one gent)! And to top it all off, I won the jackpot of door prizes -- this big box of Aurifil thread in colors inspired by Vanessa Christensen's new line. So pretty! I love weekends like that.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Austin House

Twice a year, Amy of Amy's Creative Side hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I participated a few years back and thought it just might be time to do it again. This year, I'm entering my beloved Austin House quilt into the Small Quilt Category.
You can find all the quilt details in the original blog post from this summer, but the pattern is by Carolyn Friedlander, and I mostly used her fabrics for the quilt as well. This quilt was made as a wall hanging for my mid-century-modern-loving husband.
This was such a fun project, and I'm really excited to work on some more of Carolyn's patterns (like this fun Shirts pattern, which I bought at a recent workshop I took with her). I'm also currently working on a Catenary quilt as a hand-sewing project.
You can click on over to Amy's blog to see all of the entries (in lots of categories), and next week, you can check back in to vote on your favorites. Have fun!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Must be fall (apple and pumpkin picking 2015)

Apple picking was not an option growing up in Texas, so it's an activity we latched onto from almost the start of our time in St. Louis (see past posts: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). It's fun to look back at the past blog posts and see how our lives have changed: we went with a big group of friends the first year, I was pregnant the next, and then you can see B grow each year. It's a fun little marker.
We had a crazy September, so it took us a while to get around to it this year, but we finally managed to find time last weekend. We headed to the same farm we visited last year, a great local farm that's not too crowded but has all the fall fun you could want.
The one problem with waiting until late in the season was that we were left with pretty slim pickings in the apple orchard. We had to borrow an apple pole to get the few left at the tops of the trees, which meant it wasn't quite as fun for B, since he couldn't just grab them off the trees. Next year, we definitely need to shoot for September or earlier in October.
We had much better luck in the pumpkin patch, and B picked out more pumpkins than we could really carry. That boy loves himself a pumpkin.
We finished the trip with some fresh apple cider donuts, so I'd say it was a pretty good day. Happy fall!