Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Quilty Christmas

My sister got a quilt this year for Christmas. It started out as silent auction prize for her fundraiser. But when the silent auction didn't happen (and I had already bought the fabric) I decided to make this her Christmas present.

It looks more complicated than it really is. It's actually a super easy layer cake pattern.

I quilted it myself on the diagonal about every 3 inches in a cream thread. I'm happy with how it turned out. :)

I made the tag on Spoonflower before the auction was cancelled. But I figured it could still go on the quilt since there's no auction-related details on it. I found the little heart tags at my local quilt shop and thought they were too cute. They say "P.S. I love you"

All in all I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. And she likes it too, so that's all that matters. :)

Quilt info:
Pattern - Double Sliced Layer Cake
Fabric - Sweet Serenade by BasicGrey for Moda fabrics (layer cake and backing)
              Serene (NOBU-86 in black) by Nobu Fujiyama for Kona Bay fabrics (binding)

Friday, October 31, 2014

My first quilt patch. Bonus: Happy Nevada Day!

I had to patch a quilt yesterday. Can you see it?
A little about now?
Did you spot it already?
Of course, being the one who fixed it I can spot it every time. But my hope is that with the busyness of the print it's not noticeable to anyone else unless it's pointed out or they get a closer look.

The hole is actually pretty small  so I originally thought I could just darn it with matching thread. Well both my machine and hand attempts failed, so I settled on a patch. The first patch was too big and went over the seam, making it very noticeable. So I unpicked my stitches for the umpteenth time and started again. After fiddling with getting it the right size and with the right angles, I was able to sew it on with tiny stitches. I went around it twice to make sure it would stay.

Funny thing is that the patch ended up in the shape of Nevada, my home state, and today is Nevada Day (happy 150th!). This is also the memory quilt for my second son, who was miscarried in Nevada. Coincidence? There's no such thing. God orchestrates it all and that little hole with that patch was meant to be there from the beginning. Now, regardless of where I live in the world I will always have a little piece of Nevada with me, to remind me of my home and my son.

Happy Nevada Day to my fellow Nevadans!

P.S. It's pronounced "Ne-vadd-a" not "Ne-vah-da." We natives are quite sensitive over that. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fair Isle Quilt Along: Cutting

I finally finished cutting for my Fair Isle quilt! I broke it up over 3 days so it wouldn't be so bad. Now that the cutting is finished I'm looking forward to piecing.

When I first saw this pattern I fell in love but I thought it would look even better in just two colors. My little vision was reinforced when I saw this fabric:

source: Winter Essentials II by Studio E Fabrics

But that meant sitting down and doing some math, which is not my strong point. I was a little worried but I decided to give it a shot. Well, I'm happy to say my math worked out!

I'm excited to see it come together. Stay tuned! :)

My fabrics:
Quilter's Linen in Silver by Robert Kaufman
Raphael Snow in Pearl by STOF Fabrics

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Works in Progress

 The charity quilt for my sister is almost done. The silent auction fell through so this is now a Christmas present. Just need to put it all together.

 I started this in 2012. Every year at Thanksgiving everyone writes what they are thankful for and then I embroider over their words. I've been behind since the start but I'm hoping to get it finished (or at least very close to it) by this Thanksgiving. This is a forever project as I hope to continue it every year.

I'm making another Snow Blossoms quilt, this time for my mom. It's been promised ages ago but I'm just now starting it. I don't think it will be ready in time for Christmas (this one will have photos too) but hopefully soon after. I don't think she will mind. :)

I bought this pattern the day it was released and I can't wait to get started. I already have my background fabric, Robert Kaufman's Quilter's Linen in Silver (buy it now while it's still on sale!). Just looking for a good price on the other fabric and then I can start cutting. I want to have this one done by at least spring. ;)

My little sewing corner is a complete disaster and it's not evidence of me sewing either. ;) But I definitely will have to give it a good tidy up before I start sewing again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Work in Progress: Charity Quilt

So this is the charity quilt I've been working on. It doesn't look like much but all the blocks are done and now I'm just sewing them into rows.

This quilt is for my sister who is a singer. She was invited to sing in Austria and is planning on fundraising. I offered to sew up a quilt for her silent auction. I wanted something quick and simple using a precut.

I chose the Double Sliced Layer Cake pattern and I'm using a layer cake of Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey for Moda.

This pattern is super easy and quick. If I had uninterrupted free time I'm sure it would be done within a day or two but since I don't...well, it's taking a lot longer. :) I hope to have the top done soon and then I plan on quilting it myself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Great Granny Along: Crochet Hook

I am so far behind on this! I ended up having to put this on the back burner so I could get a quilt done for charity. I did end up getting this sewn together the week after it was due (just didn't get a photo until now!) but I haven't gotten to anything else. Once this charity quilt is done I hope to get back to this quilt.

Here are the two blocks together hanging on the wall by my sewing desk:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pinwheel Sampler: Finished!

My pinwheel sampler is finished! There's quite a story behind it but first, the photos.

 This quilt has been a long time in the making. It all started when we lost our sweet baby to a miscarriage on April 3, 2012. It was extremely difficult, and still is, but the worst part was that I didn't have anything tangible from him. We lost him very early in the pregnancy, way before I could start nesting, and we didn't even announce it to the family. So I was very alone in my grief, aside from my husband.

About a year later I made up my mind to make a quilt in memory of him. My firstborn got a quilt and I wanted to continue the tradition. So the spring/summer of 2013 I walked into my local quilt shop and picked out 10 fat quarters in a general blue-green-orange theme. No real direction, just picked out what I liked in those colors. They sat in my stash for a long time. It took awhile to find a pattern and once I did, it took awhile to get started. When January 2014 rolled around I made a small list of just 3 quilts that I wanted to finish this year. This was one of them.

I ended up pulling 2 out of the original 10 fat quarters and went out and bought a few more quarter yards to add more orange and some navy. Once I started I tried not to stop. There were a few times where I just let unfinished blocks sit for a few weeks but I set a goal to get it done and shipped to Abby by summer. I met that goal and now I have this pretty quilt to snuggle in whenever I feel the need.
 Abby Latimer did my quilting again. She is my go-to longarm quilter. She is so wonderful to work with! After looking through all her patterns I didn't find anything I like. Last year when I finally decided on a pinwheel sampler I fell in love with the cloud panto. I've been dreaming of pinwheels and clouds ever since. Abby didn't have that pattern on her list but she was so sweet and bought it to use specifically on this quilt. I'm so grateful she did that!

 I used Spoonflower to print this tag. I ended up needing tags for 3 other quilts so I printed all 4 at the same time. Each of the tags is 3.5" square when finished (4" unfinished) and they fit perfectly on their 8" x 8" sample. I used the option of Kona for the base fabric.

The tag reads:
In memory of Joseph
April 3, 2012
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.
Psalm 116:15
With love always, mama
 My name, 2014 ~ quilted by Abby Latimer

The quilt has already been washed to get that perfect crinkle and it's been loved on nearly every day since. This quilt has been a labor of love and I am so happy to finally have something to snuggle whenever I think of my sweet angel.

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Pinwheel Sampler by Rachel Griffith (found here)
Size: 54" x 54"
Batting: 80/20 Hobbs 
Fabrics:  Top: Mix of green, blue and orange from various designers
               Backing: Grey Crosshatch Quilter's Flannel from Joann's Fabric (similar)
Quilting: One Cloudy Day by Abby Latimer
Tag: Created by me, printed by Spoonflower

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Great Granny Along: Yarn Basket

I finished up my yarn basket last night and I'm happy to say it's made entirely of scraps! :) Although I will confess that I made a trip to the fabric store the other day and got a few quarter yards. But this quilt is for my sister who loves green and I needed more green in my stash. That's a good excuse, right? ;)

There's still time to join in with the fun. Click on over to get the companion PDF and start sewing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Granny Sew Along

I'm so excited to start the Great Granny Sew Along! I've been wanting to do a sew along (and actually sew along, not doing it months later) for a while now. I've loved the granny square blocks since I first laid eyes on them. They are so cute! When Lori announced on her blog the sew along and I saw her finished quilt I knew I wanted to make one. My sister crochets, so I think this will be a great gift for her. :)

Lori's finished quilt top
If you want to sew along with me and everyone else check out the following links:

Bee in my Bonnet*
Jolly Jabber*
Great Granny Sew Along info page
*Check out these links for yardage requirements

I also included the sew along button to the right for easy access.

You need a copy of Lori's newest book to sew along
 It runs for 5 weeks and I'm going to do my very best to keep up with it. I'm digging into my stash and scrap bins for this one. I'm hoping that I won't have to buy any fabric (except for backing and maybe borders).

Check back to see my progress. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vintage Love

I just have to share my new vintage treasures.

I found this circa 1958 Singer 403A at my local Savers a few weeks back. It came with the wrong power cord and foot pedal, and was very dirty. But the price couldn't be beat.

 Yes, seriously it was $7.99!! I had to take her home. She's missing a few parts but a quick search online brought me to a few websites with replacements. I was able to clean up her exterior with good old fashioned rubbing alcohol but I haven't gotten to the inner workings yet. Truth be told, I'm a little intimidated. But I plan on doing the best I can to get her running again and if worse comes to worse, I'll take her to a professional.

I found this beauty about a week ago at the same Savers. I knew right away what it was when I saw it and thought it would be perfect for my little Singer.

Check it out! The front drops down for free arm exposure. How neat is that? I've never seen a cabinet like this before. I was able to find two others (here & here) with the exact same cabinet online, and one with a very similar cabinet. But there's no markings on it anywhere, so I have no idea who made it and what machine it was originally designed for. (Update 3/17/15: this desk was designed by Singer for their Athena 2000 model back in 1976!)
 There's a bit of repair work to be done on some of the trim and there's a piece missing on the top (it's supposed to conceal the machine when not in use) but other than that it's a great little work table.

 And of course the price can't be beat! :) Funny thing is that the day I bought it they were running a half off sale on grey ticket items. I had no idea when I took it to the register, so I paid $7.50 for it! I can't wait to get it fixed and painted. It's going to be so nice having this extra storage and a spot for my 403A.

After I brought home the sewing machine, I began researching this particular little Singer. Come to find out, it's a really great little work horse! Seriously, Google it and there's a few blogs with the history and reviews of it. It's really an amazing little machine that was one of the first to have a lot of the features we see on machines from today.

Like I said there's a few websites that sell replacement parts for it but on eBay I found this box with the manual and a ton of accessories.
It came with 8 CAM discs and a ton of presser feet. I scored this auction for $15.50 plus shipping. So far, my most expensive purchase but so worth it. I look forward to getting this machine up and running to try out all the presser feet and CAM discs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grandpa's Shirts Turned Pillowcases

Remember Grandpa's quilt? Well, I still had quite a few whole shirts leftover and some of my mother-in-law's siblings who wanted a little something of their father's too. I decided on making pillowcases for the siblings (since more quilts would be a bit much for me) and came upon this inspiration on Pinterest.
click here for tutorial
It was a really quick and easy project, and I ended up making 7 pillowcases total. I still had 3 corners of the white handkerchief used in the quilt plus my mother-in-law gave me another blue handkerchief, so all 7 pillowcases had a corner of a handkerchief sewn into the front pockets.

All 7 of the pillowcases

All of them got the same tag as the quilt

3 of them used scraps from the quilt backing

Stuffed with an 18" square pillow form
She flew to Iowa for spring break and delivered the pillowcases to her brothers and sisters. They all loved them, which makes my heart so happy. I think at this point I only have a few shirt fronts left since the backs were used to make the quilt. So I may make a few more of these pillowcases using the quilt backing scraps for the back piece. And then all the remaining shirt pieces will end up being cut into squares for future projects. But for now everyone has a little piece of Grandpa so there's no rush to whip up another big project any time soon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Farmer's Wife: The Plan

So I've been admiring Farmer's Wife quilts for some time now but never felt confident enough in my piecing to even think about doing it. I finally got the motivation to start on it, however I'm still not happy with my piecing skills. But this will be a learning experience for me, and since there is no set deadline there's no pressure. I'm thinking this will probably take a year or longer to complete (I'm making a queen size quilt) and I plan to make a block or two in my down time, whenever that occurs.

I decided to use use Fig Tree's fabric collections, specifically Mirabelle, Honeysweet, Tapestry and Butterscotch & Rose, plus their coordinating cream solid. I think these fabrics are so calming and since this quilt will eventually be in our bedroom, calming is a good thing. :)

I already know that I will probably paper piece (my first attempt!) a few of the more complicated blocks, and I'll probably rotary cut a few of the simpler blocks, but I still want to use the templates too. So I will definitely be stretching my amateur skills on this quilt.

We'll see how this goes, I'm hoping my piecing skills improve as I go along. Will definitely keep you posted. :)

Pinwheel Sampler Top

I got my pinwheel sampler top finished this past Saturday. Despite cutting off a few points, I am happy with how it turned out.

I already got the binding cut and ready to go, but I'm still undecided on the backing. I'm thinking either a solid or tone-on-tone grey, so the quilting will stand out. I plan visiting the fabric store this week and then it's off to Abby for quilting. I can't wait until it's finished and I can snuggle with it. :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

{WIP} Final Pinwheels

I finished up the final 4 pinwheels last night for my pinwheel sampler.

Block 7
Block 8

I saw another pinwheel sampler that put block #7 in the four corners and I liked how it looked. But instead of making 4 of the same block I switched up the pinwheels for block #8. The borders are the same size as block 7 except the outer-most white border. I ended up making the pinwheels too small so I made the white outer border 0.5" bigger to compensate. Other than that it turned out great!

Now all that is left is to sash it and pick out the backing, then it's off to the quilters! :)