Sunday, May 30, 2010

I couldn't resist........

Once I got a taste of Liberty loveliness with a big project in mind I just couldn't stop! The above photo is yardage from the UK shop Shaukat (which, by the way, shipped in just one and a half weeks from London to Seattle). I justified this purchase by telling myself there will be plenty left over to back and bind the quilt and hopefully enough for future uses or a patchwork dress for Lucia.

And here are some smaller pieces that also showed up last week, along with some charms from another bloggy friend. Thanks Chris! This is all almost to pretty to cut up, but it will be in the form of hexies along with the rest of my Liberty as soon as I can find some time.

And these are finished bee blocks for Rachel in the Bee-autiful Bee. Rachel cut into her delicious Munki Munki stash and sent each of us some coordinating fabrics with a "Munki in the Middle" theme. This quilt is going to be awesome. My bee month is August and I am pretty sure already what pattern and fabrics I'm going with. More on that later.

I am spending the weekend ripping out some quilting I was unhappy with on my Drunken Bohemian and contemplating trying out some hand quilting for the first time. I'm checking out some great tutorials from Aneela at comfortstitching and another from Anna Maria Horner. The New Wave Bohemian is enjoying it's first spin in the wash right now and getting ready to go to it's new home - but not before I get to snap it's picture! 
I hope you all have a nice extra day to your weekend and find some relaxing stitchy time. Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ugh. Basting Day.

Not my favorite part of the process. I actually sort of dread the quilt sandwich. The Bohemian Twins are my 8th and 9th quilts, and while I've been somewhat successful not completely bunching the back, it is still a struggle with lots of cursing and I think I did something to my back and shoulder by bending down doing all that bloody pining.

Does it ever get easier????

I was searching online for some pep-talks and tips that maybe I hadn't stumbled across before, and ran across this quote by the fabulous Rita (redpepperquilts) - "There is no joy in basting a quilt."

Thanks for making me feel a bit better with that gem, Rita! If an uber-talented professional like you still has troubles with this task, than I guess I don't feel like a total moron.

Now onto the quilting!

I took the evening off quilting last night to watch the series finale of Lost last night. I'm so sad it's over! Mark and I had some of his yet-to-be-released new Syrah, Lost Soul to mark the occasion. Maybe his best yet! No, the name of the wine has nothing to do with the show, it's just a play on words referring to Mark losing the bottom of his foot in a fork lift accident a few years ago. Eeek. 
And my short ribs turned out pretty darn well also. This recipe is extremely easy and tasty with leftovers for days.

Well, back to quilting. I am in a little bit over my head with some grand idea I had to quilt the circles with in my Drunken Bohemian. But practice makes perfect I suppose. Please wish me luck!

And thank you all so much for visiting my quilt festival quilt and all the lovely comments you left! I am seriously reconsidering tearing out all the quilting now. I think you're right - just a memento from my quilting beginning.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival!

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival! This is my first entry, and one of my favorite quilts - my Flea Market Fancy Wonky Log Cabins. It's only the fourth quilt I ever finished, completed in January.  This quilt lives on our living room sofa and I just love having all that FMF out of my stash and living with us. 
I quilted it on my old crappy sewing machine and now that I have my Bernina 440QE I plan to pull out the stitching and re-quilt as soon as I get brave enough!

Make sure you go to Amy's page for the quilt festival to check out all the beautiful creations!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Liberty Love

Oh Liberty of London Tana Lawn, can I count all the ways I love thee?

Not to be all cheesy, but I really can't tell you enough how smitten I am. I won't pretend I've been growing a huge stash of this for years and now I'm finally bringing myself to cut into it. Besides some yardage I acquired last year, I just started piecing my collection of some smaller cuts together for the quilt I started dreaming of, based on this gorgeous one by the ridiculously talented Aneela.
So this stuff is not cheap. OK, it's crazy expensive. My birthday was last month and my sweet mom  bought me an order of lots of different pieces from Etsy (Alicecaroline was the seller, she was great to work with but unfortunately her shop is closed now until August for her maternity leave). The rest I got through Ebay. 

Not that I needed to start any more projects, but I knew that if I didn't cut into right away I would just start hoarding it all. I really can't explain to you how luxurious and sturdy this fabric is. It is my perfect idea of weight and texture. I adore Anna Maria Horner's new Little Folks line for the same reason, but tana lawn doesn't have that same slipperiness the voile has that made it frustrating for me to work with.

So I started chopping up some charms, 

and I've made pretty good progress on these hexagons already - about 80 I think! I want this quilt to be big!!! I'm hand piecing so it will be pretty slow-going (who am I kidding, all my quilts are slow-going!) but I hope to finish it by summer's end. 

Last night was a lovely evening spent in bed; Lucy sleeping soundly, Mark on his way home from a NYC business trip, Norman at my feet, the new episode of Lost on the tube, a glass of our new red blend in my hand and surrounded by a growing mass of colorful, soft Liberty loveliness.

As if that wasn't good enough, Mark arrived home safely around midnight with a fun surprise for me from the best fabric shop I've never been to, Purl Soho. Some more Liberty to add into the quilt and some super kawaii Cinderella and Peter Pan prints to join my japanese fairytale collection. I have the best  husband ever.

Moral of the story: yes the Liberty is expensive, but so worth it. Besides Etsy and Ebay, True Up did a recent post of some sellers you can find it from. And if anyone is interested, I'm going to post some prints in the Designer Swappy on Flickr to trade for 5 inch charms. If you have any great sources for Liberty, especially stateside, please share!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Fever Projects

There is nothing quite like fresh cut peonies from your own backyard and enough daylight and the energy that goes along with it to bust out a few fun projects, is there?

Here is the fat goose mini quilt I turned into a cover for my Bernina.

I used a bunch a my favorite older fabrics and some new ones I've been dying to cut into. I had some yardage of these yummy Heather Ross dots I used for the back and binding and some button ribbon from an Anthropologie gift box to tie the sides with and here you go! It definitely brightens up the room now and Bernie is all cozy at night.

I also finally got around to making a new ironing board cover! The old one was pretty unforgivable how ugly it was. I used this tutorial and whipped it up during Lu's morning nap. I love this home dec weight print from Amy Butler's Nigella line and I had a bunch left over from my diaper bag.
(Those are all my cookbooks in the shelf behind it. If you're curious, a few of my favorites are Mario Batali's Babbo, Mustard's Napa Valley, New Thai Cuisine by Nathan Hyam, Baking with Julia, the Macrina Bakery -which I use incessantly - and the French Laundry - which really is just for looking at as I would hardly dare most of those recipes! Those are just a few.)

And I finally finished Jenni's Be-autiful Bee blocks. I can't wait to see her quilt all done. It will be a treasure. They're on there way and I hope you like 'em Jenni! 

Some of my favorite perennials are blooming right now so that means it's time to go blow my cash at the nursery on new flowers!

I think poppies are my all time favorite! What is yours?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Home Again

This was my view from my window all week......

and this is where I hung out all day.

Eating chile rellenos, guacamole and ceviche,

and drinking lots of margaritas and Champagne.

Hanging out with these guys.

Life is good.

Really good when you're still happy to be home after all that fun. (And happy to be in front of my sewing machine again!)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lucy's Big Day

I am totally wiped out after last night's festivities (and so is my big one year old girl!) and trying to finish packing for our trip to Mexico. We all had such a fabulous time with lots of tamales, guacamole, wine and cake! Now we're excited to get out of town tomorrow but I didn't want to leave without showing you a few scenes from the party.

Lots of friends to help open the multitude of lovely gifts....

But who needs all those presents when you can have a balloon?

If you're not down with Yo Gabba Gabba just don't even bother comin' around here!

Check out the audience for that first candle being wished upon!

We love you, sweet girl. Thank you so much for all the joy you bring. Happy First Birthday.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tying up loose ends...

Man do we ever have a lot going on around here this week. My baby girl is turning one tomorrow! I can hardly believe how fast a year goes by.

I finished her birthday dress last night. It's the Portabello Pixie pattern Claire I used for her Easter dress, but this time I used the Petal Knot version. It's so nice these patterns include four different dress designs. My LQS was carrying the new Meadowsweet line and I think it's just perfect for little girl dresses. Something about that strawberry print reminds me of the lawn furniture my grandmother had when I was a girl.

Lucy will probably have to wear a long sleeved onesie and leggings under it because our weather forecast is typical of Seattle in May - rainy. I just pray it stops by the evening because we are expecting around fifty friends and family over to our tiny house for the big Cinco de Mayo Birthday celebration! Luckily we have a big back yard and tents to set up. So needless to say I have been a bit busy getting everything ready for the party. But still trying to find a bit of time to squeeze in some sewing. We are leaving for Mexico on Friday morning so I will be without my machine for a whole week. I just packed her up (and my entire sewing mess in the kitchen!) and I miss her already!

I tried to finish a new sewing machine cover for her, but didn't make it too far. I was inspired to try the fat geese from Katy's tutorial in the new issue of Fat Quarterly. You have gotten your copy of this new ezine, haven't you? If not, you certainly owe yourself the treat!

And I'm so sorry Jenni, I'm really late on your bee blocks! Jenni chose the wonderful Katie Jump Rope line for her month in the Bee-autiful Bee and asked us all to embroider a little fairytale/woodland scene or animal. I got this awesome free pattern from Follow the White Bunny. Can you tell it's the Owl and the Pussycat? I'm still really intimdated by embroidery, which is probably why I procrastinated in starting these blocks! But this quilt is going to be so incredibly special.

I hope to share some photos of the big birthday bash with you before we fly off to beautiful Sayulita, Mexico. Off to clean and pack now!