Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend happenings

I don't know about you, but I was not ready for the weekend to be over. E and I drove down to Galveston (just about an hour away) to visit with his family. They rented a beach house for the weekend, and it was wonderful to see them all.

We returned home Saturday afternoon, and I spent most of the day in the sewing room. I finished a big project, and then Jill came over for another little sewing adventure. She wanted to make some bibs for a good friend. This friend is adopting a baby in the upcoming weeks, and Jill really wanted to give her a handmade gift.

Jill made this!

Here's her first bib, in an adorable Laurie Wisbrun print. We used a template found here. We made pizza, too, using my favorite dough recipe!

Sunday, I woke up early, got some errands done, and finished bee blocks for Sara, wonky houses.

Wonky house blocks for Sara

I don't know why, but house blocks always intimidate me. I think the finished quilt will be very fun!

After making some tortilla soup to enjoy this week, I quilted a little project I finished a few weeks ago and Olias promptly tested it for me.

Official quilt tester

This will be a baby gift for someone in the next few months.

Finishing a Duckie sock

I finished the evening with some knitting and a little Mad Men. I was able to finish this first sock, and I'm determined to cast on the second very soon. Pattern and yarn info here.

So, how was YOUR weekend?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FO: Modernista Mini

The other night, I finished my mini quilt for the Modernista swap. I am in love.

FO: Modernista Mini

This might be the most proud I've ever been of an FO. Hopefully, my partner will be proud to hang it on her wall. I used Tamiko's paper-piecing template to make three blocks. Fabrics used are from Half Moon Modern, Lizzy House's Hello Pilgrim (the blue stripe), Flea Market Fancy gray seeds, the ever-awesome elephants from Daiwabo, Pezzy Prints, and Anthology orange orbs. Using a text print (that I can't identify at the moment-anyone know the name of it?), I pieced together a top.

The back

It's backed with another Flea Market Fancy print, and I quilted a fun pattern using orange Gutermann thread.


The quilting is my favorite part. It's bound in an orange solid (tangerine, I think!).

I'll be sending this, along with the pincushion organizer to my partner very soon.

ETA: Dan helped determine that the text print to be Tiny Type from Michele D'Amore's Word Play collection for Benartex. Thanks, Dan!

Monday, July 23, 2012

FOs: For Jessica

Thanks for all your kind words on the wedding photos! I didn't realize I hadn't shared them, but it was fun to look through them again and pick some favorites. I hope you all had fun weekends! E & I went to Austin to visit friends, so it feels like the weekend just flew by.

While I was at the retreat, Jessica mentioned she didn't have a pincushion. This fact, paired with the happy mini she gifted me last year (see below), encouraged me to make her a little gift.

A surprise from Jessica
Isn't the mini lovely?

So, I was tempted to make her a giant, MEGA pincushion, like the one I just made for the Modernista swap, but instead, I used the pincushion organizer pattern from Zakka Style, gifted to each of us at the retreat!

FO: Zakka Style Pincushion

The pincushion is much tinier than the other one I made, but it's so cute! Fabrics used are Dear Stella stars and Essex linen in natural for the cushion. The stamps you see were borrowed from my pal, Amy.

FO: Zakka Style Sewing Kit

Inside, I paired the Dear Stella stars with a favorite Maya print, Maria.

In case Jessica didn't like the organizer, I sweetened the gift with a patchwork basket, made from Ayumi's tutorial.

FO: Patchwork Basket for Jessica

This is my second time to make her patchwork basket, and this time, I just omitted the the exterior patchwork. The basket includes a Moda canvas tape measure print, Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow for the handles and It's a Hoot for the interior.

Both of these patterns are highly recommended for fast and fun gifts!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wedding Pics, Part One

Even though it's been three months since the wedding (wow, really?), I still haven't edited all of the pictures. I also haven't finished my thank you notes, which I really, REALLY need to do. soon.
But let's not focus on the negative.
Instead, here's a few snippets of the best day.

Jacey and Elliott

The venue, Treebeard's

Wedding favors
Handmade napkins

The cutest kid ever, now my nephew

Yellow shoes and flowers, turquoise sash and earrings (earrings made by Amanda!)

Cupcakes instead of cake
Cupcakes: banana, strawberry shortcake and marbled

So, there's a little peak into the day. I'll share more details with part two. The comment we heard over and over from guests is how relaxed and simple the day was, which is exactly what we hoped for.

Wishing you love, friends!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Favorites and a winner

Friday Favorites

1. half circles, 2. House block (Lynne), 3. Stencil Quilt Workshop, 4. in the yard, 5. Because it's pretty, 6. Bee Blocks! 4 done, 2 to go!, 7. improv chevron quilt, 8. day 287a, 9. For Skirting the Issue

A few of my favorites this week.

winner of the Groove quilt pattern, courtesy of Pile O' Fabric is Gill, #13!

Gill plans to make the quilt in greens and oranges. There were a lot of great color combinations mentioned. I can't wait to see this quilt pop up in all different colors! Thanks for participating. Have a great weekend, friends!

I'll have a few wedding pictures and a boatload of FOs to share soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summery patchwork

Converging Corners Blocks

In the Love do.Good Stitches circle this month, Deborah asked us to use this Film in the Fridge tutorial. It was lots of fun to make these log cabin blocks, and the colors Deborah picked are so summery.

I also recently bought Ayumi's new pattern on superbuzzy. This is a new block of the month project, called the Super Penguin Quilt-Along. How happy is that?? The first block is adorable, and I started working on my first popsicle last week. Have you seen Tamiko's amazing version? Gah. It kills me!

I decided to start out slowly with the easiest of the popsicles, the watermelon version. Perhaps you, also, were not aware there was such a thing, but Ayumi tells me that it's a tasty treat in Japan, and there are "seeds", which are chocolate-covered rice puffs. Yum!

A mistake - rectified

I pieced the watermelon popsicle with just one problem. You can see my mistake at the bottom points of the triangle. I was sure I'd have to start over, before I realized that the seam allowance would cover up those little boo-boos.

Progress: Watermelon popsicle

See? All gone! I'm almost finished with this little patchwork piece, and a good thing, too, since it's a gift. I should be able to share it next week.
Fabrics used: Lizzy House Jewels (from Outfoxed), Michael Miller Mini Mike's Random Pencil Check in green, Urban Cowgirl (the brown print) and the off-white is a Circa 1934 solid. I used Kona Pond for the border. Oh, and one more day to enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

FO: Go Anywhere Bag

It's not often that fabric gets cut immediately upon arrival, but when I received this stack from Stash Fabric, I knew I wanted to use them together, and fast.

I bought Anna's Go Anywhere Bag pattern when it was released (almost a year ago, wow!), and decided to give it a try this weekend.

If you've never used one of Anna's patterns, let me say that they are very easy to follow! I've tried both her envelope and gathered clutch patterns previously.

I used a variety of prints to make this bag.

FO: Go Anywhere Bag

For the main exterior fabric, I used Laura Gunn's Painter's Canvas in Mermaid. Painter's Canvas is definitely one of my favorite blenders. I just love the texture of those brushstrokes! The front pocket is from Khristian A. Howell's Desert Daydreams. And you can see I used the Riley Blake Ombre Dots for the straps.

FO: Go Anywhere bag (back)

I also used them for the back pocket. Yep, those dots don't disappoint! I love their scale, and of course, their ombre-ness (Yeah, I just made up a word).

I decided to use two different lining prints, one for pockets, one for the main portion.

Pocket Lining

For the pockets, Jenean Morrison's Grand Hotel Mezzanine print in Sand. This is a great basic print!


The main lining is Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley, in Barnwood.

Have you ever installed a magnetic snap? They are so easy, and so fun!

This bag definitely feels summery to me!
I love Holly's version, too! It's so sophisticated!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Totally Groovy QAL + Giveaway!

Mondays are rough, so how about a little giveaway to get this week going? Alyssa at Pile O' Fabric asked me to share her new quilt-along with you! Groove, by Carolina Patchworks is intriguing; it really draws me in!
The curves do seem a little scary, but Emily tells us it is much easier than it looks! I'm really interested to see what kinds of fabric combinations people come up with. I think it might be neat to do all solids with one print! Alyssa has some tutorials planned, as well as advice on fabric selection and piecing curves. You are welcome to make this quilt any way you see fit, so if you prefer to use prints then go for it!
You can expect to see posts from the likes of amazing quilters like Emily Cier, Jacquie Gering, Amanda Woodruff, and Kate Conklin. We will also be getting some Groovy Quilting tips from the FMQ queen, Angela Walters. This will be a fantastic learning experience, and a great opportunity to meet some new quilting friends!
It all starts August 2nd - Planning and Choosing your Fabric (Alyssa's arranged a 20% discount on Kona Cotton at Fat Quarter Shop!) Then, on October 25th - there will be Grand Prize Winners from the linky party. You can get all of the dates and deadlines over at Alyssa's blog!

Carolina Patchworks will be offering all QAL Participants a discount on her pattern.
20% off 2 or more of Emily's patterns code: TOTALLYGROOVY
15% off Groove Paper Pattern code: GROOVEPAPER
15% off Groove PDF Pattern code: GROOVEPDF
Fat Quarter Shop is offering all QAL Participants a 20% Discount on all KONA cotton from now till August 30th using code: Sewing101

Pile O' Fabric is having a giveaway for a Totally Groovy Quilt Package! Everything you need to join the fun $75 to The Fat Quarter Shop to get your fabric and a Groove Quilt Pattern to Quilt Along! This giveaway ends July 31st. Totally Groovy Button If you’d like to let people know what fun you are up to or invite your friends to join here is a button!
Pile O' Fabric

If you'd like to win a copy of the pattern, just leave a comment describing a fabric combination you might like to try with this quilt. I think a palette of blues might be lovely and fluid, or using a text print for one might be a stunner!
One entry per person, please. Leave a comment by Thursday evening and I'll pick a winner randomly.

Thanks for entering, and please do visit Pile O' Fabric for more details!

Comments are now closed. Thank you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FO: Haven's Edge Wiksten

It happens to all of us. You finish something, and then a month later, you realize you still haven't taken a proper photo or shared it with your friends.

You may remember my first finished Wiksten tank, which I love on the hanger, but it's not very flattering to wear. That makes me sad, but it's flattening in some places and widening in others. I haven't given up on it yet, but this is why you haven't seen a modeled shot.

Shortly after I finished the first, though, I cut into some Tina Given's voile from her Haven's Edge collection.

I'm happier than I look in this photo. Promise.

This version fits much better. It drapes, it's flattering, and so comfortable. I'm glad I had the foresight to make sure those shapes were vertical rather than horizontal, or this one might be in that same widening category. I intend to give this pattern another go, and I'd like to add sleeves like this awesome version.

In the photo, you can also see some of the lovely mini quilts I've acquired from friends. From left to right, the Love one is from Tammy, The feather is from Amanda, the super scrappy is from Sara, the green one is from Shapemoth in the FTLOS swap, and the one on the end is from Jessica.

Unrelated (and possibly enabling), but have you seen these Riley Blake Ombre Dots?

Stash Enhancements

I picked up this half yard in Orange (along with a few other stash enhancements, ahem!) from Stash Fabric. I really like the scale of these dots! I may have to acquire a few other colors... Speaking of dots, I'm pretty crazy about the new Tula Pink Birds and the Bees dots, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Happy Stack of Fabrics

Pulling fabrics

Lots of lovely fabrics and a partial Bella cat

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Coasters from Casey!

Coasters from Casey

Casey and I decided to do a swap, and she made me these super fun crocheted coasters! I love them so much. They are so colorful and happy. Thank you, Casey!

I haven't fulfilled my end of the bargain, but I'm working on it! I'll share Casey's gift when she receives it, in the next few weeks.

Little swaps like this make my day!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another WIP

Good morning friends!

I hope you had a wonderfully productive weekend. I had a great weekend with family, so not much crafting got done. I worked on my Duckies sock in the car yesterday, and sewed last night (I made a gift for a friend!), which I'll share soon.

There were a couple of things I forgot to mention here.

Last month, some of my guild mates invited me to join them on a quick project.

Ironing table

We covered TV tables with batting and fabric to make portable ironing boards! I used a favorite Echino print and I love looking at it everyday! You can find these tables at Target, and you need less than a fat quarter of fabric, batting scraps, and a staple gun.

I also wanted to share a fun project I started on the retreat. Several months ago, I purchased some foundation muslin from Brenda. Using scraps, I sewed my first of many Prairie Braids.

Prarie Braid

Pink Castle doesn't have this any more, but you can find it here. It's called Foundation by the Yard, by Benartex. It's really fun and simple to use, and is used similarly to foundation paper piecing. You don't have to remove the muslin after piecing, though, so it's faster. I intend to make several braids and use them together in a quilt. I'll share more braids as they're completed.

I hope your Monday treats you well! ETA: Prairie braid panels still in Brenda's shop!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fun Fourth Things

I enjoyed my holiday yesterday, but it was definitely hard to go back to work today. I spent the morning with Safieh, made delicious dinner and ice cream, spent time with E, and worked on some English paper piecing.

Pineapple mint salsa

I made Jerk Chicken and Pineapple Mint Salsa from this favorite book

This book is wonderful. This is the second chicken recipe I've made, and there is also a section of sides, and recipes for the leftovers.
I also made peach ice cream, from my other favorite cookbook. Tasty!

WIP: 1934 Star Blossom

I started basting these shapes Tuesday night, and here is my progress as of last night. Moving right along! This is part of Rachel's Handstitched Class, and you can find the lovely design here.

I plan to use the next few days to keep enjoying this paper piecing, and make some embroidery progress.

WIP: Modern Medallion

So far, so good!

WIP: Plucky Duckies

I also intend to keep enjoying this sock knitting that started spontaneously last week. This is Plucky Sport in Barn Door, using Sam's Duckies pattern.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How did I do?

Back in April, I joined Rhonda's Finish-A-Long. Although I didn't get everything on the list completed, I had several projects to submit in her link party. Here is the list I made.

Swoon blocks done

I didn't finish Swoon (but the top is complete, so maybe it will be a July finish), I didn't make the Iris shorts, and I didn't participate in Kelly's My Precious QAL. Other than that, success!

Progress: Modern Medallion

Also, I finally started the embroidery on my Modern Medallion quilt. I'm a little behind, but I'm hoping to get most of this section done in the next few days.

Monday, July 2, 2012

FO: Pincushion Organizer

I'm pretending today is Thursday, since here in America, Wednesday is the 4th of July. So, I have two two-day workweeks. Kind of weird, but I'm embracing it. I used my Sunday wisely, and was able to be in my sewing room for a lot of the day.

What do you think, partner?

I started and finished this fun pincushion organizer for the Modernista swap. I used Elizabeth Hartman's pattern, posted on Sew Mama Sew. The pattern is very straightforward, and the only trouble I had was handsewing the closure in a pretty way. Luckily, the seam is hidden in use. The pattern uses just under three fat quarters, and a small piece of felt. The cushion is very substantial, as it is filled with rice.

Fabrics used are all from the stash. The interior of the scrap bag is a Ruby Sundae Stripe, the exterior, is of course Mono Pez in navy, and the pocket panel fabric is from Leah Duncan's Maya.

Hopefully, my partner likes it! She's been quiet in the group, so I'm going with my gut. I'm still deciding what to make for my second item, but I've still got all month to figure that out.

Here's hoping your Monday (or Thursday!) is a happy one!

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