Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stash Splurge

Over the last few weeks I've scored some good online deals and as a result have increased my stash. I know of others that have gone on fabric diets but I like to think that I'm cautious enough that I won't ever have to resort to those measures. But I'm really excited about what I've picked up.

Couldn't pass up a charm pack of Into the Woods - I just love the mix of pinks, reds, and aquas. Next up are 3 layer cakes.

My favorite purchase of the lot is Somerset by Fig Tree & Company. I have so many ideas on what I want to do with this that it will be hard to choose a specific pattern. The layer cake in the middle is The Cottage Garden by the Quilted Fish. What drew me to that fabric line was the triangle prints and the text prints. The last layer cake was a true impulse buy. It's Flirt by Dear Stella. I don't have a lot of pinks in my stash but I really liked the combination of the pinks and reds with the varying shades of gray. There are also polka dots and I'm a pushover for those!

The other 2 fabrics are for my pinwheel quilt.

The green fabric is for a 5 inch border all the way around. It's the Lady Edith small branches fabric from the Downton Abbey line. The floral paisley is Rosemont Malabar Ivory and is a wide back fabric for the back of the quilt. I was on the fence about this particular fabric but I know that the recipient for this quilt will love it.

Now I just need to finish up my holiday sewing so I can get to using these. Nothing like the lure of new fabrics to motivate me!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Mayhem & A Sewing Challenge

Wow, it's been almost a month since I've posted. How did that happen? Well, I know exactly how it happened. It's called the holiday season and it's in full swing in our house. The few weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving break were filled with crafting, holiday sewing, volunteering, and easing my way into the workforce.

In the next week or so, I'll be posting some of the other projects that I've been working on but first I wanted to share with you the challenge that I've undertaken. A friend of my husband reached out to me a few weeks ago wondering if I could make a Christmas stocking. She had a special one for her daughter but couldn't seem to find one that matched for her younger son. Here's the picture that she sent me.

Basically 2 pockets and a large stocking. Should be easy, right? Famous last words. In theory it should have been pretty easy but let's be honest - it's me. But I was still up for the challenge.

My first hurdle - finding piping to match. You'd think that with it being the holidays that red and white satin twisted cording should be available somewhere. Ahh, sadly no but after 3 days of searching I was able find a suitable substitute online. I've never worked with cording before and for this particular one I learned (the hard way) that when you cut it, it starts to unravel! Oops.

Next hurdle was the lettering. It's funny really, that when I was shopping for a sewing machine when I decided to start quilting, I was convinced that I didn't want an embroidery machine because I'd never use it. Let's see, this is now the 4th project that I've done with intricate lettering. Still not sure I could justify the added cost, but it sure would make lettering a LOT easier. The letters seemed simple in the original photo. It wasn't until I received the original stocking that I saw they were done in a teeny-tiny satin stitch. It took a lot of time - almost 4 hours if you include my first failed attempt that needed to be ripped out. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the pockets.  My pockets are the ones on the left.

All I have left to do now is put the stocking together once more cording arrives which will hopefully be by this weekend so I can get it finished and shipped to the recipient. I think the hardest thing now will be to figure out what to charge. It's always hard putting a price on your time.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Some Toy Story Sewing

So I had a secret project that I was working on a few weeks ago that I am finally able to share. My friend had planned a surprise Disney cruise for her boyfriend's 30th birthday and wanted to participate in the "Fish Extender" gift exchange. The FE gift exchange is organized by those attending the same Disney cruise as you who want to make/buy fun gifts and leave them as little surprises outside your state room cabin. You hang a bag on the brass fish that is just outside your cabin which is why they call it a fish extender.

I made one for my family when we went on our 2nd Disney cruise last May. We'll be using it again for our upcoming holiday cruise in December.

My friend Kara loves all things Toy Story and wanted to make her fish extender with Buzz and Jessie pockets. With a little bit of fabric, 2 dog costumes, and a lot of creativity, we came up with this:

The most labor intensive part of this project was the names. I don't have an embroidery machine so the letters are all done free-hand. I found a font that I liked, printed it out on paper, traced it in pencil onto fabric, and then started stitching. The 2 names took about 3 and a half hours. The alien was a pre-made patch so that was just sewn on afterwards.

Overall, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. They are on their cruise as I type this so I hope they're having fun and getting lots of fun goodies.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lilacs & Lavender

It's such a great feeling to finish a quilt that's been in the making for over a year now. I started this quilt in July 2013, just 2 weeks before moving to Florida. I finished piecing the top in October 2013 and it only took me a year to get it quilted. Okay, that's not exactly true, but it did take me a few months to improv piece the backing.  Jump ahead to September of this year when I finally pulled this project out of the closet and basted it but then let it sit for another 2 weeks before figuring out how to quilt it. So happy it's finally done. Introducing Lilacs & Lavender:

Had some weird shadows and light in this location.

I chose this name not only because of all of the purples, but it also represents my mom and me. She loved lilacs (and passed that love on to me) and I love fresh lavender. It makes me sad that Florida heat and humidity prevent me from planting either in our yard.

The colors in this photo are pretty accurate.

As I quilted this, I made the decision to NOT quilt in any of the white areas, except for a few echo outlines of the white squares. I stitched in the ditch around all of the white sashing and white triangles. I know this might sound odd, but I wanted the white to pop off the quilt. Most people want the individual blocks to pop, but me, I have to go against the grain.

I was really paranoid about washing this quilt given some of the dark blues and deep purples. After I completed quilting it, I realized that my white extension table was tinted purple from the backing fabric so I was positive that it was going to bleed all over the nice white sashing when I washed it so I used 7 color catchers. Turns out I was paranoid for no reason. All 7 color catchers came out of the washer without any color on them. Go figure. Better safe than sorry. Looking forward to cuddling up with this on the couch.

Linking up to these link parties.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hi-ho! Kermit the Frog Here!

It's not easy being green but my son sure did his best. This was my easiest costume so far and one of the cutest. All it took was a trip to the consignment shop to find a green pair of pants, a green sweatshirt (the fact that Kermit was on the front was purely coincidental), a foam ball for the eyes, and some green mesh.

He had a blast trick-or-treating and we had perfect weather, in the low 70's. My son thought this electric pumpkin was very cool.

Now that Halloween is done, it's time to get into full-blown holiday mode around here. I just love autumn!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry: Triangles on Parade

Can't believe how fast this year has gone and that the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side, is already here. I didn't think I would be entering anything this year but I'm just so proud of my Triangles on Parade quilt that I decided to enter it into the Modern Quilts category. I had such a fun time working on this quilt. I love how the unusual layout and white rows really gives it a modern look. Plus the quilting in the white really makes the negative space triangles really pop.

I hope you like it too. You can read more this quilt here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Worker Bees Needed!

Looking for a fun online bee to join for next year? Why not join the 2015 Stash Bee! Stash Bee consists of multiple hives, each containing 11 hive members and running for 11 months (January-November). All hive members create blocks from their own fabric stash and are not required to buy specific fabric to complete the block. This is a bee that is open to all levels of quilters and is international friendly with each hive having a few non-US members.

 You can find out more info at the Stash Bee website or click here to sign up. Sounds like a lot of fun and I hope you'll consider joining too. Who knows, we might end up in the same hive!


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