Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Little Folks Quilt = Love

Just over six months in the making, my Little Folks quilt is finally finished. And I am happy to say it has won it's place as my most favorite quilt ever. 

Many of you have listened to me moan on and on about the troubles this one gave me, from piecing to basting to quilting, but in the end it was soooo worth it. The buttery softness and weight makes it the perfect summer quilt and all I want to do is wrap myself up in it and wear it around the house like a robe!
Even Mark has deemed it his favorite and is lamenting that I didn't make it king sized so we could use it on our bed. Well, I'll be using on it on our bed, anyways!

In case you haven't read my last posts on this quilt, I pieced the half square triangles of the voile with Robert Kaufman's Ultra Sateen in white, with I think texturally is really great with the voile. Piecing this was a total pain for me, but please don't let that discourage you from quilting with the voile - I have seen other beautiful quilts made from it where the quilter didn't report the same troubles. I am still pretty new at all this. I also used voile as the backing, and tried three times in succession to re-sandwich and machine quilt, but the back kept bunching on me. After cussing out my machine I decided to go ahead and hand quilt all 70x70 inches of it, and I'm not sorry I did. It really only took me a little over a week and now it has such a lovely, vintage-y look. (I used embroidery thread in white by Cosmo that my LQS carries - I love this stuff!)

Here is a peek into my little corner of the universe, where I spend the majority of my time. I love my side of the bed! I will spend the warmer months on top of the duvet and under this lovely light quilt, trying to keep Mark from stealing it from me in the middle of the night.

Before I go I want to show you the pillow I made for my Pillow Talk Swap partner. I used Heather's super simple Cathedral Window tutorial. If you've been wanting to try them out but think they look intimidating, I will tell you they are very time consuming and you have to like your iron, but really they're quite easy to do! The pillow is on it's way partner, and I hope you love it because obviously it looks great with my quilt!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spiderweb Progress

It's coming along! Although I'm not sure what I was thinking when I came up with my final layout for a 96x96 inch quilt. It's going to be a monster, and I have no idea how I'm going to be able to quilt it myself, but I'm loving it already so I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

All the pinks and reds are done, and I'll be finishing up the oranges and moving onto the yellows tonight.

I'm not going to have any trouble completing my 60 Blocks of Summer with this baby! And summer actually did get here to Seattle today - finally! I'm off now to go enjoy a beautiful, warm sunset.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Inspired Friday

How could it not be with all this new loot? Mr. Mailman was nice to me this week. I went a little nuts but I just had to have all this stuff, right? Castle Peeps, some of Erin McMorris's new line Weekends (love the bikes), the first of my Far, Far Away 2 and some new solids and linens. I also lost my patience with the US printing of Material Obsession Two and ordered one from the UK. And after I saw these blocks Amy (badskirt) came up with, I just had to order the curved hexagon star template from Australia (it's Matilda's own, and I bought it here). And the best yet? I won a little contest Ryan (I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts) had over on his blog and he sent me a Moda Bella Solids color card and fat quarters in the sorbet colorway from Tufted Tweets!!! Thanks so much Ryan!

Why can't all quilting books be as cool as the Material Obsessions? Not every design is my style but there are some beautiful quilts and ideas in these pages. Jazz Hands is my favorite in the new book....

and it is taking all my will-power not to start cutting into these lovelies. I already have the quilt all planned in my head.

And here is block two for my Kerchief Girl quilt. I'll be working on brown kerchief girl tonight after dinner (Mark is grilling a Kobe New York and crab-stuffed salmon right now - YUM!)

So while all of you are out having a wild and crazy Friday night, I'll be humming away at the ol' sewing machine. I've been staying close to home lately, just the way I like it. Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WIP Wednesday, and another new quilt

I know. I can't believe I started another quilt. Mark looked at me like I was mad when I showed him my new test block. Not surprising as I was surrounded by piles and piles of fabric and triangles for my Spiderweb quilt, which I only began last week. 
Do any of you ever have a quilt that has been rolling around in your imagination for just too long and the urge to just dive in a cut is unstoppable? I guess I do often and this idea for what I'll call my "Kerchief Girl" quilt has been brewing for months. And when the baby is ready to be born, there is just no stopping it. So this is my first block of the twelve, maybe eighteen I have planned. More on this one later.

Here is my other all-consuming project, 

the Spiderweb. I'm using all three of Denyse Schmidt's fabric lines in this one. I've seen lots of beautiful quilts incorporating Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope together and I love the look. I wasn't too sure how I'd feel about adding in all the Hope Valley but I'm really loving it the combination so far. I'm planning this in a color wheel layout based on one of my most favorite quilts ever, Aneela's beautiful Watercolor Spiderweb. I just sat drooling into my coffee staring at that beauty and I knew I wanted to come up with my own quilt in a similar way.

Spiderwebs are fun! I sewed my first block all together this morning.

I'm also using up all my hand-stitching time (read: late nights in bed watching Frasier reruns while Mark is snoring) hand quilting all 72x72 square inches of my Little Folks quilt. My hand was forced to make this call after sandwiching this beast THREE times to try and get all the puckers out of the quilt. And it still bunched every time I tried machine quilting it. I'm blaming it all on the voile on this point. Spray adhesive may have solved the problem, but let's just say I'm trying not to inhale any contaminants right now:) Anyways, the hand quilting is going surprisingly fast and I'm already thrilled with the look of it. Just don't say I didn't warn you about backing a quilt with the voile! I've seen some people pull it off, but  I certainly don't have the answer. I am glad I did, though, because this is going to be the softest quilt ever.

Before I go, I wanted to tell you about a new flickr group I just joined, 60 Blocks of Summer. You have from today until September to make 60 blocks and track them in this group. I think it will be super fun to see everyone's progress and help to motivate me to finish all these quilts! You should hop on over and join too!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

*sigh of relief* Little Folks Top Done

I can't even begin to express to you how relieved I am to finally have this quilt top finished. I've been working on it since JANUARY! And when I say working, I mean working. Although there have been a few times when I have just had to throw up my hands and walk away from it or else I'm sure it would have wound up in the garbage can or better yet, the fireplace!
I was supposed to be on a strict fabric diet after the first of the year, but after seeing the entire collection of Little Folks voile in my LQS I was seduced by its buttery softness and beautiful prints. And obviously I'm a big sucker for anything Anna Maria Horner. I left the shop that day with a big bag of eighteen prints and an empty checking account! I wasn't really sure what I had planned for them except for a couple of baby blankets, but then I saw this quilt and inspiration struck.
So, I proceded to start chopping up squares and found a solid with the perfect texture to match the voile, white RK Ultra Sateen (which now seems to be extinct from online shops?). As soon as I started piecing the triangles, I knew I was in over my head. I had a little experience with half square triangles on regular quilting cotton, but the voile, maybe due to it's slippery nature or thin weight, was a serious pain in the arse to piece with such accuracy.

As frustrating as it was, and as imperfect as many of the points turned out, I had to keep my eye on the prize. And even with all it's faults I still know this quilt is definitely going to be one of my favorites. After Lucy gets to bed tonight I am going to get started on the sandwiching.

If you have been jonesing for some Little Folks for yourself, go check out my friend Chris's super generous giveaway today for some Little Folks charm packs!

And of course with the wrapping up of all these projects, I had to start some new ones, right?

Making a little progress on the Bird Quilt......

and I just couldn't deny the sirens call of the Spiderweb Quilt. Check out these awesome ones that got me started down that path here and here and here.

One more thing: I am so incredibly flattered to have been "featured" yesterday on Jodi's Pleasant Home blog. What an ego boost! Thanks so much Jodi!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Bohemian Fraternal Twins

I know there has been a lot of build up in revealing these two finished quilts to you - and thank you to all of you who have had to listen to all my moans and groans during this creative process! I am grateful to have received so much help and inspiration from all of my blog and flickr pals. They've been pretty much finished for awhile now but I needed some decent weather to take some photos to show you.

I'm still not happy with the pictures I took of the Drunken Bohemian, but here you go. It is definitely a wild and crazy quilt, but I think it is so much prettier and the colors are not as aggressive in real life. After all the hair pulling and headaches this one caused (see this post), I am thrilled with the end result.

My original plan for the quilting was an all-over stippling with spirals in all the full circles. Well, let's just say my free motion skills are not quite up to par yet to make perfect swirls. After the whole thing was done I ended up ripping out all the spirals (I'm really spending a lot of time with that seam ripper lately!) and decided to try my first hand quilting. I love the look of the stippling with the thicker texture of the hand quilted circles!

I sort of cheated for this post, as the hand quilting is going a little slowly, and I still need to finish a few of the outer circles. I bound the quilt with my favorite print of the Bohemian collection, chocolate brown with colorful paisleys.

The New Wave Bohemian came into being when I fell in love with Elizabeth's New Wave pattern, and decided to try for a double sided quilt. As it ended up, my measurements were off and backing the drunkard's path top with it would've resulted in either the front or the back being cut too short. So, two quilts were born.

This quilt has been gifted to our dear friends whose wedding we attended in Mexico last month. I was sad to see it go but I think they really love it so that makes me happy. To ensure that I would be able to part with it, I embroidered their name and wedding date and place on the back.
The sashing and backing are Kona cream which coordinates with the lighter prints. I did a simple line quilting to keep this one soft and cozy for the newly weds.

Here is the back of the Drunken Bohemian - just big leftover squares. I wasn't sure about this at first but now I love it.

And here are the twins in there last photo before being separated!

It feels good to have these all done. Now time to move on to the million other projects I have going!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bird Quilt Resurrected

First off I need to apologize for the crappy dark photos. It has been dreary and raining here in the Seattle area - which it often is this time of year - and I haven't been able to get any decent light to take pictures with in days and days. I have actually completed both of my Bohemian quilts but they deserve a nice sunny day for their photo shoot so I'm holding off until the skies open up and give us a break from the downpour and gloom.

I'm sure you all have seen Penny's quilt-as-you-go-along on her blog. Her finished quilt is so awesome! I was all raring to go on that one but I had too many other projects looming over me to justify bringing on something new. But as I was organizing my fabric area the other day I came across these blocks - my very first quilt blocks! A light bulb immediately went off (which doesn't happen too often these days, so when it does I pay attention!) and I thought this would be a great merging of projects.
I got out my seam ripper (which I seem to have a sick love/hate relationship with lately) and carefully took apart the few blocks I had already sewn up and re-pieced them in the quilt-as-you-go fashion! This is such a fun project, pulling from bird fabrics and the scrap bin. I don't have a lot of cream or white scraps as is used in the quilt along so I just opted to sash every other block in white to break up the scrappiness. Each block is a bit time-consuming but you just have to keep reminding yourself there will be no quilting in the end. Nine blocks down!

There are some great blocks and finished quilts in the quilt-as-you-go flickr group.

I am hoping this means that Lucy is finally taking an interest in Mama's sewing....

but she seems to like a more chaotic arrangement of the blocks more than my orderly one. Future modern quilter? One can only hope:)