Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ogee QAL has started!

This week's assignment is to work on our fabric choices. Lesly is kind enough to share with us her mistakes from her last go-round so we don't make the same ones.

I am attempting to avoid directional fabrics, because, well... let's face it. They never go the same direction. Something's always turned. Just me? Oh.

I also want to make sure the fabrics have enough definition between them so the blocks don't all blend together.

Thoughts on this set? I realize it's not terribly bold, but it's for a very special person and these colors are right up her alley. They remind me of a summer afternoon, sitting together on her back porch and just chatting. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday #24

So, with the gift quilts done and behind me, guess what's back on the top of my list?

Bee blocks and the Supernova!!

These bee blocks are for Erin for the Christmas Bee. She requested two blocks, of any kind, something pictorial would be nice. "Use your imagination" she said.

She sent this adorable fabric with these cute little people on it (Riley Blake Colorful Christmas if you're curious). Once I saw it I had a few ideas pop right into my head. 

I came up with this little house. I still need to add a door, but can't decide what fabric to use. Any ideas?

The other block I made was this dresden plate. I actually enjoy making these and having a dresden ruler sure does make things easier.

I've got the Supernova basted and ready to quilt, whoo hoo!

I might actually make the May 12th deadline. I'm just waiting on the thread I ordered to come in and I can get started quilting. It sure is taking it's sweet time though. It's been a week and they haven't even shipped yet!

And since I had the living room floor scrubbed clean and all of the kids either napping or outside playing, I went ahead and basted my backing for my Naked Bed Challenge quilt.

I know, I know, MORE blue!! This one is going to be awesome though. And it was my hubby's idea! I'm going to do a ticker tape/quilt as you go method for this one which is why the back needed basted already. If that thread doesn't come in soon, I may have to start on this one!

Projects on hold

It's a Hoot String Quilt-I want to get this one back out but I need the design wall for the Ogee/Curlicue Quilt Along.

My sneak peek project-I might move this one back up while I'm waiting on that thread. It's so close to being finished!
On the Road to Spring Quilt Along-It's ready to be quilted, I had to put this one aside for now while I finish up some other things.

Lollipop bento box quilt

Strawberry Lemonade snowball quilt

Strawberry Lemonade ritzy cracker quilt

Dill Blossoms hexagon quilt

New Projects

Ogee/Curlicue Quilt Along-Still waiting for it to start up, need to pick fabrics.
Bella Parade-Just waiting for it to start up.

You can find out more about these by clicking on the buttons on the sidebar

I'm linking up, go check out everybody else's progress!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gift quilts-Done and Done!

I actually made my deadline of last Friday and finished those gift quilts, yay! Just in the nick of time too. I needed to send them to Texas with my mom, who was leaving Saturday morning. I pulled them out of the dryer at about 5:00 pm Friday night, whew!

So here's the story...

My little sister is getting married to this awesome guy

Look at how cute they are!

Kevin was accepted into our family right away. We even joked that if they ever split up, that we would get him in the divorce. We always got quite the dirty look from her when we said that.

So, our family is from SC. None of us were born here, but we were all raised here and she definitely calls SC home. 

Kevin is from Texas. And like all Texans, he's proud of that state of his. 

So, Crystal wanted to leave the small town life and went to Texas to live with our older brother (who was sent there when he joined the Army). It was a classic case of boy meets girl, girl moves back home, boy follows....

So they spent some time here, some time there, some more time here and then finally decided to settle there. They loved both places so much but decided Texas was just the right place to be. 

Then After about 5 years of dating he finally popped the question! 

They are getting married this Friday and I knew right away that I wanted to make them a quilt for a wedding gift. But what? I was having a hard time deciding and thought I had it narrowed down until her and I spoke on the phone one day. She mentioned this quilt I had made, it was a commissioned job for a friend.

She told me she loved it and to put it on her shopping list for quilts she wants me to make for her.

A light bulb went off! 

So in the spirit of a girl who is SC born but a Texan in spirit, and a boy who is Texas born and a South Carolinian in spirit, I came up with these....

I decided to stay true to the flag of each state for these. My biggest dilemma was whether I should make a bedsize one that was reversible, or two throws. The two throws won. I didn't want them to have to fight over which one they displayed ;)

Crystal and Kevin, I wish you all the love and happiness in the world. Crystal, you are the best sister a girl could ask for and Kevin, I am proud to call you my Brother-in-Law. 

Congrats guys!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Making Monkeys.. And Other Applique'd Animals

One of my specialties is in children's quilts. I suppose that comes from making dozens upon dozens last year, for my local children's hospital. I love the bright colors, and the easy ways you can personalize quilts through applique. Some examples of appliques that enhance a basic pattern are my favorite monkey and a butterfly:

So how do you go about adding appliques like these to a simple design? Easy! It is much like the steps outlined in the memory tree pillow tutorial, with a little bit of detailed stitching added in.

First, you need inspiration. For the case of this baby quilt, it was found in this lion fabric. Frequently, I'll simply do a google search for something like "Monkey hanging from tree", and include key words like "clip art" or "cartoon". This seems to pull up better images to go from.

 To start, you'll need fused cotton in the colors of your applique. Get out the wonder under and iron it on!
 Next, you'll start drawing your shapes onto the paper-backing of the wonder under.

Once you have all your shapes cut out, you'll peel the paper backing off and place them on the quilt as you see fit. Make sure the side with the interfacing is DOWN... peeling interfaced fabric off your iron is no fun!

After you iron your applique shape into place, you'll start to baste. Do not baste the back to the batting, you only need to baste the front to the batting at this point. We're going to be doing some stitching details, and you really don't want that showing through to the back. Choose your basting method - pin, thread, spray, doesn't matter... just don't attach the backing!

Next, we need to trace out the areas we'll be filling in with detail stitching. Use your original image as a reference for this, and just use a plain ol' #2 pencil to sketch out where your details need to go! In my case, that involves whiskers, a mouth, and some feathering in the mane.

Bust out the darning foot!
This part is much like attaching the leaves in the memory tree pillow tutorial. A slow, steady hand is key - just take your time! Follow the lines that you've drawn on with pencil, making sure to stop and lift your foot before moving to the next detail. Don't forget to outline the general shapes, as well - a circle around the face, and trace the outside edge of the mane!

Once you've finished, snip all the connecting threads and step back to admire your work:

Now, we baste the back on, quilt the rest as desired, and viola! A specialized quilt with a motif you can't buy in stores.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Last week was quite an exciting week for me

I won TWO giveaways, how lucky was I? 
My heart skipped a beat and then about jumped out of my chest when I saw that I won the first one. I was in total shock, I never win anything!

Bec at Chasing Cottons is having a Quilt Class 101 and her first post was filled with awesome prizes, 11 total! I thought to myself "11 winners, I might actually have a chance at this one"

I entered at the last second, turns out I was the very last to comment, #780

And would you believe my number was one that got picked!? 

I won a $50 voucher to the Fat Quarter Shop, whoo hoo!!

Wanna see what I got?

This colorful pile right here

I have some quilt ideas floating around in my head and needed some coordinating solids for the prints I've already picked up, I can't wait to play with them.

And can I just say how much I love how nice and neat they package fabric?

It's always a pleasure getting orders from them.

Then, on Wednesday night, I got an email from Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts that said I won HER giveaway!

I asked her if she was joking because I couldn't believe I could have possibly won two giveaways in one week, that's just insane!

Here's the loot I snagged from her

I was so excited to win this one because I love all things Tula Pink but I joined the quilting game way too late to snag any Neptune.

There was also a fat quarter of dots from Heather Ross’s Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries collection, and the beautiful sampler of fabrics that were donated by designer Marcia Derse. There are 50 2"x2" squares in that little pack! I already have a plan for some of them :)

I'm going to have lots of fun with this one!

You know what this means though? It means I'll probably never win another giveaway ever! 

Let's hope that's not the case :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sneakin' and Peekin'

Have I ever mentioned that I'm an applique fiend? I might have. Anyhow, a tute is on the horizon... using your free-motion foot to create some seriously fabulouso animal appliques!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday #23

I had a busy week, lots of progress and a few finishes even, go me!

Let's start with the finishes...

Postage Stamp Quilt Along with Rachel at P.S. I Quilt

It's done, it's done, it's finally done!

I almost didn't do this quilt along, then I saw Fresh Flowers by Deb Strain and thought that the rainbow effect would be lovely in this pattern

I had grand plans for the back, it took a little bit of time to carry them through. I knew what I wanted but couldn't decide on colors right away.

 (sorry about that crooked picture, the line I hang these on is crooked and I forgot to tilt the camera!)

Then this precious little bird...I saw it on the Birdie Stitches Block of the Month and pictured it with a rainbow colored belly. I had to incorporate it into a project somehow and was so happy to find the perfect one.

I quilted it with loopy loops, first time I've done that. I thought it gave it a nice whimsical feel.

Moose got to be the first to test drive it

I also finished up a couple of more bee blocks.

These are for Stephanie for the Christmas Bee. She requested Mod Mosaic so that's what she's getting!

In Progress

Supernova Quilt Along with Lee at Freshly Pieced-The top is put together and I have a plan for my backing. I need to pick up some more of the solid to carry it out. This is going on hold for about a week while I work on some deadlines.

It's a Hoot String Quilt-It's still sitting in the bag, this one is also put on temporary hold while I finish these deadlines

My sneak peek project-Also on temporary hold

Gift quilts-These are the deadline projects, I have to have them finished by Friday! All I have left to do is hand sew the binding down.

Bee Blocks for Erin-I started cutting and have a plan, just need the time.

Projects on hold

On the Road to Spring Quilt Along-It's ready to be quilted, I had to put this one aside for now while I finish up some other things.

Lollipop bento box quilt

Strawberry Lemonade snowball quilt

Strawberry Lemonade ritzy cracker quilt

Dill Blossoms hexagon quilt

New Projects

Ogee/Curlicue Quilt Along
Naked Bed Challenge
Bella Parade

You can find out more about these by clicking on the buttons on the sidebar

I'm linking up, go check out everybody else's progress!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Giveaway To Die For!

A quick post to alert all those quilty, and heck, even those who are not...

Jonquils & Ladybugs has a great giveaway going right now... she's offering up a completed quilt made from the fabulous Castle Peeps line!

For reals. Not only is that gorgeous fabric, she already did the work.. and quilters, you know how much work and love goes into every quilt.

So scoot on over and sign up for your chance, it's over on the 22nd!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday Finishes

Ok, so technically it's Saturday, but it was still Friday when I started working on this post and it's still Friday on the west coast, so I'm running with it.

I've been promising some finishes so here they are!

First up is a quilt for my youngest son, Moose.

A good friend of mine sent me a "Quilt Block A Day" calendar and this pattern was in it.

I love piecing my backings, I think it gives the quilt character. I also pieced the binding, but you can't see it very well in the picture.

The funniest thing happened when I went to quilt it. I started to free motion stipple it, and I kept popping my thread. No matter what I did, the thread would just keep popping. So I put the dual feed foot on the machine and did random straight line stitching. No problems at all with it. I figured the quilt was trying to tell me something.

Next up is a quilt for my oldest, Monkey. Poor kid, first born and last to get a quilt. He waited very patiently though, I must say. Pattern is Charming Stars found on Moda Bake Shop. He picked the pattern and the fabrics. He did a great job I think!

I also pieced this backing. For the binding, I had a striped fabric that I really loved and somehow, somewhere, I messed up my math and didn't have enough. I had to piece what was left which was one corner of the quilt. Monkey said "That's ok Mom, it gives it character". Love that kid!

I tried free motioning stars on this one and was very pleased with how they turned out.

Next up is my Tortoiseshell Quilt Along finish, I can't believe I forgot to show it off!

I did some embroidery work on this one

I also finished up the Amy Butler bag. Pattern is Sweet Harmony Handbag

The pattern was fairly easy and straightforward. There was a lot of prep work involved. The hardest part was sewing through all the layers and trying to shove the bag under the sewing machine to topstitch. It's so stiff from all of the fusible fleece and interfacing that bending it wasn't easy!

Here's the inside, I put in one zipper pocket and one long pocket to slip my checkbook in (the pencil is there to give my camera something to focus on)

I had to alter the pocket a bit. My phone is pretty wide so I couldn't put the pleat in the pocket like the pattern says. I like having a special place for my phone though!

This is a very sturdy bag and overall I'm very pleased with it. 

One last thing...

...a bee block for Melissa for the 12 Month Quilting Bee. This is the first virtual quilting bee I've joined and I'm having lots of fun. Melissa asked for a Mod Mosaic block, here's my take.

This was the first time I've ever made one of these. My brain had a hard time with the wonky-ness of it but I'm pleased with the final result. 

I've been keeping busy, hopefully I'll have some more finishes to show you soon!