Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Spring 2014: Lava Lovin'

The Blogger's Quilt Festival snuck up on me this spring! Lots of things have been sneaking up on me this spring though, truth be told. At any rate, I'm looking forward to spending spare hours going through the many wonderful submissions.

I completed this baby quilt earlier this spring for a dear friend of mine. The excellent pattern is called Mod Pop (available here) but I've named my version "Lava Lovin'" because the "blobs" remind me of a lava lamp. Groovy baby, indeed.

Read my original post about the finish here.

Quilt Name: Lava Lovin' 
Pattern: Mod Pop by JuliePickles (great pattern, by the way--really clear and easy to follow)
Fabric: Pretty much everything in my stash that was green, orange, aqua, yellow, or navy; and the backing fabric is Patty Young's "Just My Type" in Retro Clover
Size: 42" x 49"

Thanks for visiting!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Baby Barrage, Part II: Baby Bloom

This is one of the most special quilts I have ever made. When I first saw the pattern, I knew I would make it for my niece one day. Problem was, at that point, I didn't have a niece. However, now I do! She was born a couple of weeks ago, and she is the cutest and sweetest baby ever. Of course. :)

The quilt pattern is "Bloom" by V & Co. The original quilt is larger, and has a white background. I didn't think so much white was a good idea for a baby quilt, so I used some Robert Kaufman Quilters Linen print in Silver or Platinum (can't remember which I ultimately chose!) I have a few notes on the pattern at the end of this post, because as written, it didn't work well for me.

(Sorry for the indoor pics. The weekend we visited her, there were 45 mph wind gusts every day. An outside photo shoot wasn't going to work well!)

I quilted the background (I did not quilt over the flowers) with a paisley design. I quilted the whole thing in about 3.5 to 4 hours, and my wrists were NOT happy with me about that decision the next day! But it looks so great, if I do say so myself... so it was worth it. :)

The backing is from Jenean Morrison's True Colors. It is such a neat, busy print! If you're new to FMQ, it's just the type of backing that will hide a multitude of sins, because you can barely see the quilting at all on the back of the quilt.

My niece, A, is not a huge fan of the quilt yet. But hopefully that will change. :)

Here's another picture of her, because she's cute. :) 

"Baby Bloom"
Pattern: "Bloom" by V & Co.
Fabric: "Simply Color" junior jelly roll, Robert Kaufman Quilters Linen print in Silver/Platinum
Backing: Diamonds in pink from True Colors
Quilting: FMQ paisley by me on my domestic machine
Finished size: 42" x 56"

A few notes on making the beautiful Bloom pattern:

Unfortunately, the method for turning petals outlined in the Bloom pattern did not work for me! Like, at all. I tried some practice petals, and the small ones in particular did not work out. The pattern calls for using a very, very thin fusible web, stitching it to the petal shape, then cutting a slit in it and turning the petal inside out. This... was a disaster! The fusible web (and I made sure to buy the one listed in the pattern) was too fragile to allow fabric to be pushed through it, and it invariably ended up shredding all the way to the edge, resulting in a sloppy, unevenly shaped petal.

What I ended up doing was tracing the petal template onto heat-proof template plastic, and then cutting out the petals with a 1/4" seam allowance. Then I "painted" starch onto the edges and used a mini iron to fold them over. After they cooled, I took the template out. As you can imagine, this was fairly time consuming. However, I did end up with petals that looked very nice and had smooth edges. I used Roxann's glue to lightly glue the petals in place before I stitched around them.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Fabric Tuesday!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Baby Barrage: Part 1 - Waiting for Hedwig

I've probably mentioned it in my last few posts, but my friends, apparently in the true spirit of Easter and spring, are popping out kiddos like rabbits. Consequently, I have two more baby quilts finished! I'll show the first one today, and the second one next week.

Apologies for the phone pics. Worst quilt blogger ever, I know.

This quilt's destination was North Carolina, for a friend whose wedding I was in last fall in Nantucket! (You can see her wedding quilt here.) I guess when you're making some major life changes, you may as well do them all at once, right? She is definitely the kind of person who can handle them all without missing a beat though!

Last fall, I won a mini charm pack of Boho by Urban Chiks at the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild meeting. Very cute, if not totally my style. But it is definitely the style of this friend! Problem is, what do you do with a mini charm pack? I know I'm not the only one with this problem, which is why I recommend the quilt pattern I used so highly.

The pattern is "Waiting" by Amanda Jean Nyberg, and you can purchase it on Craftsy. It's a quick and easy pattern, and the instructions are easy to follow. But best of all, it uses one mini charm pack--for a whole quilt! It's genius. I want to hug Amanda for coming up with that pattern.

I used Robert Kaufman's Essex Linen in Natural (I am pretty sure) for the background. This was a new one for me, but it was great to work with, and I think that it was just the right look for the Boho line and for my friend, who is a bit of the outdoorsy/Natural Mama type. (I don't know why linen seems "outdoorsy" or "natural" to me--maybe it's because I used the color "natural"?)

I'm not sure who determined that babies love owls, but they're on everything these days. Some diligent Facebook stalking determined that the owl theme had carried into this baby's nursery, so I took that as my cue for the back. I used Owlery by Michael Miller for the back, and I have to add that I'm super proud of how straight I got the backing on the quilt!

Now all this quilt needs is the baby, and that should happen in a few weeks!

The recipient sent me this photo of the quilt in its new home! Nailed it.

"Waiting for Hedwig"
Pattern: "Waiting" by Amanda Jean Nyberg
Size: 36" x 36"
Quilting: Organic wavy lines by me on my domestic machine
Fabrics: Boho mini charm pack, Essex Linen in Natural, Owlery by Michael Miller, Sweet Serenade by BasicGrey (posts), and Nicey Jane Welcome Road (binding)

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and Fabric Tuesday.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Finished Quilt: Lava Lovin'

Finished baby quilt 2 of 6 for this spring! This one was a bit of a handful, as it was my first time sewing curves!

 It wasn't nearly as bad as I feared, although the curved pieces are majorly prone to stretching, and I really warped a few of them (I used a pinless method--I'm a lazy quilter above all!) But it all came together really well in the end. After I completed the first block, I was really concerned about the color selection and it all just being too busy, but I think that all together, it works.

Hopefully it doesn't give the baby a seizure. I'd be the worst friend ever.

My friend is a very stylish interior designer, so I'm always very picky about selecting just the right fabrics and patterns for her (you can see the wedding quilt I made her here). I really love the backing fabric (Patty Young Retro Clover from Just My Type), and I think it works perfectly with this quilt.

I wish I'd quilted a line or two on the navy curves. But I was trying to finish it for the baby shower (didn't happen) and I never went back to add more quilting. Oh well. I used a disappearing pen to mark the center spirals and then FMQ'ed them. Spiral quilting is really cool, but I didn't love the idea of doing that much quilt turning with a walking foot!

This one has been delivered to the recipient, and just in time too! Baby is due on Tuesday, so hopefully this quilt will be put to use very, very soon! :)

Quilt Name: Lava Lovin' (the pattern reminds me of the blobs in a lava lamp!)
Pattern: Mod Pop by JuliePickles (great pattern, by the way--really clear and easy to follow)
Fabric: Pretty much everything in my stash that was green, orange, aqua, yellow, or navy
Size: 42" x 49"

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Sherman's Baby and Other Baby Things

I've finished up the first of about 2,183 baby quilts I need to make this spring. A slight exaggeration maybe, but not much of one. I guess the good news is that I won't have many to make this fall if everyone is popping out a kid this spring, right? :)

Anyway, I'm pretty in love with this simple little quilt. This was taken from Camille Roskelley's book Simply Retro and I love the idea of taking a single quilt block and making it large. Since the churn dash is one of the easiest blocks around, you can imagine how quick and easy it was to make one large one. And I definitely have Churn Dash/Sherman's March to the Sea blocks on the brain, as you may have noticed.

Since I am a bit of a Civil War buff and like that this block is also known as Sherman's March to the Sea, I've named this quilt "Sherman's Baby." Maybe they'll name their baby (girl) Sherman and really make this quilt work on every level.

Like everywhere else in the U.S., the weather is bitterly cold (like, 4 degrees), so you get these lovely indoor photos. I actually tried to take some photos on the balcony, but I couldn't get the tape to stick to the railing or the quilt, and my sliding screen door fell off from its track, so I decided I had expended enough energy on that losing ordeal.

As you can see, I straight-line quilted echoing the shape of the block. Pretty straightforward, but I think it works well with this design, and I like that there is still plenty of soft fabric for the baby to snuggle.

I'm on record saying I'm not a huge Denyse Schmidt fan, but I've been eyeing this aqua print from her collection at Joann's for some time, because, I must admit, I love it. I thought this yellow would go well with it too. I'm also really happy with the decision to use navy as the background color. It's a bit unorthodox for a baby girl quilt, but the parents aren't really into the "girlie girl" stuff, so I think this is just the ticket.

I backed it with a sweet ombre polka dot I found on the clearance rack at Field's Fabrics in Grand Rapids, MI (a great store, if you're ever in the area, and they have several locations!) I bound it with the same navy stripe I used on this quilt.

One baby quilt down, 2,182 left to go! :)

"Sherman's Baby"
39" x 39"(ish)
Fabric: Denyse Schmidt for Joann and Kona Navy
Backing: Ombre Dots by Riley Blake Designers
Quilting: straight line on a domestic machine

In other baby sewing news, my sister-in-law's baby shower was this past weekend, and I made a few little things for my niece. She is definitely getting a quilt, of course, but it isn't done yet. :)

So she got three little bibs, all in a row:

And a nursery banner. This was a last-minute decision to make, and I am kind of in love with it.

Linking up with Finish It Friday!

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Friday, January 24, 2014


This is a finish from last year, as I completed it in time for Christmas. It's rare that I finish gifts on deadline, so this quilt is special in more ways than one. :)

It's a simple churn dash block (did you know that this block is also called "Sherman's March to the Sea"? I think I prefer that. It's way more badass, and what is more badass than a quilt for your grandma?) made from two charm packs of "Happy Go Lucky" by Bonnie and Camille.

I love my grandma, as she's hilarious and a pretty positive person. I was lucky enough to grow up about 20 minutes from where she and my grandpa lived, so they were always a big part of my life. She loves to talk, and she was great company this summer as we helped my mom move. She's over 80, but still very active. Two and a half years ago, she came to New York with my mom to visit me for two weeks, which was great fun. She even braved New York City on that trip, though she was unimpressed with the metropolis and couldn't wait to leave and "get back to civilization." :) Once a farm girl, always a farm girl!

So I really wanted to make her a quilt, and thought that the traditional block and bright colors would be a great fit for her. It's a small-ish quilt (48" x 60" finished) but she's quite petite and it's the perfect lap quilt for her. When she saw the box for her at Christmas, she said "I hope this is what I'm hoping it is!" Luckily, what she was hoping it was was a quilt, or that would have been awkward. :)

48" x 60"
Fabric: Happy-Go-Lucky by Bonnie and Camille, and Kona White
Backing: Cosmos by Laura Gunn
Quilting: Dogwood pattern done by me on my domestic machine

"Did you say DOGwood?"

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Presenting: Ronquilt!

Finally, at long last, here it is: my favorite quilt I've ever made! Checking in at 1200 2.5" squares on the front and 45 hand-traced Pyramid of Greatness blocks on the back, this was definitely a labor of love. And boy do I love it. :)

Nope, not photoshopped. The state capitol has all 93 counties listed around the top, and there is a Pawnee county in Nebraska.

Last year, Happy Zombie hosted a "Ron Swanson Along" in homage to the great Ron Swanson of TV's Parks and Recreation and generously released this pattern into the internet wilds. It's been on my list ever since. I created the back based on Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness and I traced every one of the pyramid blocks to create what I hope will be a long-lasting effect. 

I did a basic meander in matching thread on Ron's face, and then I tried paisley quilting on the turquoise areas. I love, love, love how it turned out.

Once Ron was finished, I took him on a photo tour of Lincoln, Nebraska (again based on a similar idea from Happy Zombie.) I took things a step further and tried to mostly pick locations that emphasized Ron's personalities and tastes or funny moments from the show, and I think I succeeded pretty well.

"Your work is appreciated. Eat some corn."

"You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have."

"I have so many ideas. Some are simple like take down traffic lights and eliminate the post office. The bigger ones will be tougher, like 'bring all this crumbling to the ground.'"

"My dream is to have the parks system privatized and run entirely for profit by corporations like Chuck E. Cheese. They have an impeccable business model."

"I buy my burger ingredients at Food N Stuff, a discount food outlet equidistant from my home and my work. I came here for the same reason people go to the zoo... Nature is amazing."

You can see Ron's full photo tour here.

This is the first quilt I've made for myself, and boy is it a doozy. I might have to quit quilting--I mean, where does one go from here? :)

Linking up with Finish it Friday!

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