Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's a Scrappy Trip-along!

I didn't really mean to do it, but I started a new quilt this week. I have a zillion WIPs I should finish, but the stress of the holidays and the big finish of my Swoon and Field Study quilts made me cave. And I've been longing to start another super scrappy quilt. This design has been on the front of my back burner for almost a year now after seeing this one and this one and this one.

As soon as I began, I was possessed. These blocks are addictive! And apparently contagious, too - suddenly everyone is making a Scrappy Trip Around the World! Katy, Rita, Lindsay and Brenda are all making one - Brenda has even started a Flickr group. There are also rumors that Amber, Ashley, Heather, Laura, Dana and too many more to name are joining in! I'll be posting my pics on Instagram too. I'm lucyandnorman there if you'd like to follow me.

This is what a finished block looks like. You just need 2.5 by 16 inch strips, six per block. Put them together, and they look like this-

I used the tutorial over here. It's easy, a ton of fun and so satisfying to use up all this scrappage and stashage.

Obviously I'm going as scrappy as possible but specific color combinations are pretty too if this is too wild for you. But I've got a stash to bust so scrappy it is for me.

I hope to see you over on Flickr and IG. And Happy New Year to all - let's send 2012 out with a scrappy bang!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Belle Swoon

Is it really almost Christmas???? This year has gone by entirely too quickly. I haven't accomplished near the amount of quilting I would've liked but I did finally finish my Swoon! Though the only reason that happened was because it needed to be done in time to gift for Christmas. I'm taking a risk posting it in case the recipients are lurking around my blog, but I'm just too excited not to share it with you now!

Of course you've seen a million finished Swoons by now and there is nothing terribly unique about this one, but it did turn out beautifully if I do say so myself. I used an old collection from Amy Butler called Belle that I had buried deep within my stash. 

I think the large-scale prints and bright colors play well with the Swoon block.

And I know you are all wondering about the absolutely gorgeous quilting, right? This was done by none other than the fabulously talented Krista Withers. Krista's work is breathtakingly inspirational. We decided on a simple baptist fan pattern for this one just like the original Swoon. I will be bribing Krista soon to do some free-style on my hopefully soon to be finished Colorwheel Spiderweb. 

So that's my Swoon! It will be a bit difficult to part with but I know I can still visit it. I hope you are all able to find a bit of time to relax during this hectic season - I know I'll be glad when all of my ninth hour crafting is done. I guess I had better get back to that. I'll have my finished Field Study Diamond quilt to show you soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

the big swoon and a big baby

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been working on a Swoon for the better part of the year, but as usual I forget to share over here. So here it is, all nine blocks ready to be sashed for a queen size quilt top.

I used an old, out of print Amy Butler collection, Belle, and I think these bright, vibrant large-scale patterns work really well in the Swoon.

One of my favorite blocks.

These will be all ready to be sent over to the wonderfully talented Krista Withers, who has agreed to long-arm it for me. I'm pretty excited.

This will be a gift - for whom I cannot say in case there are spies lurking. It would be hard to part with but I know how loved and appreciated it will be, and besides, I'll still get to visit it. I promise to post some pictures as soon as it's done in all it's quilted glory

We've been busy around here with pre-school, Halloween, winery stuff and seemingly endless bouts of viruses and flus. Oh, and this girl FINALLY decided to walk!!! Only took her sixteen and a half months!

New little jacket knit by Mama. Using some luscious Plucky Knitter Bulky. The pattern is Tiered Baby + Toddler Jacket. I even made some Liberty of London buttons for it from my favorite print Tatum.

Here she comes!

Here we are - Princess Leia in a janky wig, pretty little Cinderella and an uncooperative cupcake.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

autumn sweaters

One of my favorite things about fall is breaking out all the comfy cozy sweaters. Now that I know how to knit my own it's just that much better.

My newest finish is the Solstice Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald knit up in some lovely Plucky Knitter Rustic. This was such an enjoyable knit and I think this one will get lots of wear on cool, crisp days like this. You can find a link to the pattern and more of my own thoughts on my Ravelry page.

This one I actually started LAST October but just finished a few weeks ago. Let's just say it wasn't the most pleasurable knitting experience, but in the end I'm glad it's finished and I didn't torch it the way I had fantasized about so many times during the knitting process. The pattern is called Coastal Hoodie and I used one of my favorite yarn bases, madelinetosh merino cashmere nylon sport weight. 

I am loving the finished sweater so I guess all of the headaches were worth it. It's soft and squishy and perfect for throwing over a tee and jeans. Not the greatest photos, but you get the idea.

Are you knitting anything fun right now?  I have another sweater or two on the needles but right now I've got the urge to cast on every hat, cowl and pair of mitts I see!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the weekender goes to sewing summit

I'm home now from an absolutely fabulous weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah at the second (annual?) Sewing Summit. It was a tremendous experience to finally be able to meet so many kindred sewing spirits in the flesh. So many great classes were offered, I got in lots of knitting time and my first "me" trip  away from my family was a great success. Olivia and Lucy missed me but they were good girls for their papa and I'm pretty sure he missed me too. My mom helped out a lot too so I even got to come home to a clean house with fresh folded laundry. Ahhhhhhhh.

In case you hadn't been bombarded with my spamming of this bag on Instagram or seen me parading it shamelessly around Sewing Summit, I wanted to share my Weekender. I am really quite proud of it. It was of course completely inspired by Elizabeth's magnificent quilt-as-you-go version, which I coveted the moment I lay eyes on it. I'd had the pattern by Amy Butler in my stash for years but had heard all sorts of nasty things about it's difficulty so I avoided it like the plague. But as Sewing Summit approached I started feeling a little lame for not making anything handmade to travel with. Then I saw Amber's awesome version and I decided to take the plunge.

I won't lie. It really was hard. Now that it's done and I love every bit of it, I'm so happy I decided to go through with it. It served me well on the trip and now I think it's going to be the perfect knitting tote, with lots of room for a sweater WIP as well as needles and notions. 

I followed Elizabeth's modifications of using cotton duck and batting instead of all that scary interfacing. The only thing I did differently was to sew together simple patchwork panels and straight-line quilt it all together. That's the simple and fun part. Attaching the piping and zipper wasn't so bad either, even for someone with zipper-phobia like me. But when it came time to sew it all together - that's when the expletives came out. I think I broke about ten needles? I also didn't love the lining assembly.  It seemed like too much extra fabric and other Weekender veterans seemed to have the same issues when we compared notes. But all in all I feel like it was a sort of sewing rite of passage and a completely satisfying project that will get lots of use and love.

The moral of this story is that if you've been contemplating making a Weekender but haven't yet - do it.
And if you're thinking about going to Sewing Summit next year? Do that too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

a new quilt for a big-girl bed

First of all, I just wanted to thank you all for the kind comments on my Scrap Hoover quilt. It is getting tons of love at our house.

My newest finish (I finished it weeks ago, alas the lazy-blogger syndrome is still in effect) is the first quilt I've ever made that will go on an actual bed. Lucy has been in her own big-girl bed for a few months now and loving it.  Of course I had to mark the occasion with a special quilt just for her. When I saw Amber's Crazy Nine Patch, I fell in love and knew it would be the perfect pattern.

This was such a fun and satisfying top to piece. The tutorial can be found on Elizabeth's blog - easy breezy. I just chose lots of prints from my stash in bright, sunny colors that coordinated with the sheet set I bought for the bed and matched my girl's spunky personality.  For the quilting I used a flower design from Angela Walter's awesome book. 

The backing is a plaid from the DS Quilts collection, and the binding is a sweet Aunt Grace lavender dot.

Lucy and all of her friends love the quilt.

I'm posting and running today! Gotta get on that travel-handmade Sewing Summit fun - only a few weeks away!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the full monty

Enough teaser photos, already! My Scrap Hoover is finally bound and photographed! This quilt is my biggest and most proud finish yet so please bear with me during this heavily-pictured post. And as a side note, if you've never seen the film The Full Monty, you should. Anyways, back to the quilt.

I started this way back when sometime last year after I received my copy of Material Obsession 2. I fell hard straight away for Sarah Fielke's pattern Maple Leaf Rag and knew it would be mandatory for  my overflowing scrap bucket.

This was a very long-term project, but the piecing was so much fun it kept it interesting. Every time I worked on it I loved digging up new combinations. It's essentially a spiderweb pattern with crazy-pieced background pieces as opposed to the usual solid negative space. The beauty of this is that you can use every tiny, weirdly shaped scrap in your bin. Something about finding a home for trash-bin worthy miniscule scrap of a favorite fabric was quite thrilling.

Lucy approves of the quilt too.

I will say that the piecing of this top is most imperfect, but adds to the charm I think. Lots of bulky seams made accuracy difficult so I just had to squelch my inner perfectionist on this one.

The most special thing about this quilt for me is that it has because it's a made from all scraps of previous projects it has become a journal of everything I've done up to this point in my sewing career. I love seeing the bits and bobs left over from Lucy and Olivia's baby quilts, or a small piece of a fabric I no longer have in my stash.

The backing is one of my favorite prints from Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi line called Summer Totem. And that drop-dead gorgeous quilting? I can't take credit for that. This was done by none other than the fabulously-talented Angela Walters. Angela's work is even more stunning in person and makes me aspire to be a better FMQer.

Finally the weather has cooled down enough so I could finish hand-sewing the binding down. This is another AMH print I'd been hoarding from her Chocolate Lollipop range.

So that's it! I hope this quilt will become a family heirloom to be loved by my children and grand-children. 
I hope you all are enjoying these last few days of summer. I'm a little excited for fall and all of the wool sweaters and cozy quilts that come with it :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

works in progress.......monday

I'm going to have three big finished quilts (and a new sweater) to show you soon!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

sometimes I forget to blog.

Well, it would seem that I forget to blog almost all of the time lately. Sorry for that. I love this space and sharing with you all, but I guess these little people are keeping me so busy that this is taking a backseat for now. Thanks for still popping in to see what I've been up to.

So what have I been up to? I've been squeezing in sewing when it feels right. Besides working on a quilt for Lucia's new big-girl bed, which I'll share soon, I finished this Summersville Strings quilt top. Wow, string quilts are a ton of work, and frankly this one burnt me out for awhile, but I love all the juicy, summer-y colors in this one and I promise to baste and quilt soon so I can share the whole thing! 

I also had to drag this one out of hibernation. This is my Ode to Denyse Schmidt color wheel spiderweb. I started this one over two years ago, but being a king size it just gets a little daunting and gets pushed aside again. And yes, I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided to go for a king. It's not likely my husband is going to let me use this for our bed quilt ;)

And while the sewing is a bit slow-going, I've still been knitting like crazy. I finished my Urban last month,

More details on my Ravelry page, here.

And yesterday I just finished blocking my new and most favorite knit yet, Raiun. It's the perfect basic little cardi in a lovely neutral color. It seemed to take forever, but well worth it I think.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer! I'll see you soon(ish), hopefully with my completed Scrap Hoover to show off!

Monday, July 9, 2012

be still my beating heart

Remember this quilt? My Scrap Hoover? It is back from it's spa treatment at the studio of none other than the stellar Angela Walters.

It is beautiful and I can hardly wait to show you the whole thing. But first I must bind, bind, bind. Full reveal soon.

I hope you all are well. In other happy news, it seems my sewing mojo is returning :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

reunited and it feels so good

I'm not sure what's going on with me but sewing has still been sporadic at best lately. But I'm staying busy and happy so I guess that's what counts. I do have a project to share with you, though! It's an oldie but a goodie - my newly quilted Flea Market Fancy Wonky Log Cabin quilt.

You've seen this before, right? So why am I showing it to you again? Well, this one has spent the last two years in hibernation while until I finished the very tedious job of unpicking all of the horrendous quilting. I made this quilt at the very beginning of my sewing career, before I had any idea of what I was doing. I jumped right in to my precious FMF stash and started slicing and dicing. I still love the piecing of this quilt top but when it came time to do the actual quilting it was a mess. I free-motioned it on an old cheapo Brother and let me tell you, the stitched were ugly and uneven. After I got my Bernina 44QE and quilted my first project I couldn't even stand the sight of this one, so the ripper came out. Little did I know what a job I was in for!

Anyways, I thought this would be useful information to share with any of you who have a quilt lying around that you love but detest the quilting on. Unpicking a million little stitched was not the most fun I've ever had, but the end result was worth it.

I left the binding and backing in place and just pinned every so often as the stitched came out. When I was finally all done, I FMQed the original stipple but this time with pretty, even stitches in the correct tension. After a spin in the washer and dryer, VOILA! All the little holes from the original quilting disappeared and the makeover was complete! 

This one is back in regular snuggling rotation.

In other news, someone just turned one year old! Check out the cake moustache! Olivia is getting sweeter every day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Delancey Cardigan

If you follow me on Instagram or Flickr, chances are you've already seen my newest finished knit, but I wanted to show it off here on the blog too. It's the Delancey Cardigan, and I think it's my favorite sweater to date.

I knit this as my entry for the big MadMay madelinetosh knit-along on Ravelry. What a fun pattern to knit! The construction is really interesting so I chugged right through it. I'm so happy with the fit.

I used the DK Twist base in the colors Ink, Oceana and Ultramarine Violet. It's still cold here in Seattle so it's already getting lots of wear.

I'm very grateful for my knitting right now. I seem to have misplaced my sewing mojo so it's nice to have another productive hobby to fall back on. Knitting is portable and just so much easier to work on when my girls are awake. I miss my sewing machine but for now rolling around in my stash will just have to suffice.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Instagram May

Wow! I've been a really bad blogger! I don't know how entire weeks and projects go by without me even taking a moment to share them, but that's how it's been lately. I suspect it's because I've been using Instagram to take my photos with lately since getting time to use my real camera in good light has been alluding me. Instagram is such a fun app but the photos are pretty low resolution so I don't like to use them here. But there has been a lot going on I haven't shown you so please forgive this one post of some IG photos from the last month (and if you haven't joined Instagram yet, you should. There is a great community of crafty folks having a lot of fun over there).

May has been busy! We celebrated Lucia's 3rd birthday with a huge bash at our house, and then left the next day for a road trip to wine country in Walla Walla, Washington, where we are soon to open a second tasting room for Mark Ryan Winery. Fun times! I got some knitting done and I've been attacking the sewing machine ever since we got home too.

There's been garment sewing going on! I'm starting to feel more confident in this area. So far I've made two Wiksten tanks, this one from the Liberty of London Umbel print to go with the Wispy Cardigan I knit last summer,

and the Liberty Fairford print to go with my newly finished sweater,

Audrey in Jade!

What a great pattern. You can find more info and notes over on my Ravelry page if you're interested.

And I can't believe I haven't shown off the Wiksten Tova top I finished earlier in the year. The fabric is a lovely, soft Nani Iro double gauze.

I'm really loving this whole DIY wardrobe kick. Next up is Megan Nielsen's Darling Ranges dress.

There's been sewing going on too, when I get the chance. I was lucky enough to get an early bundle of Thomas Knauer's super cute new Savannah Bop line to play with, and finished this baby quilt top. I'll get some real photos up as soon as I finish the whole quilt.

I also had to jump at the new Summersville line, of course - 

A brand new quilt coming soon:)