Thursday, January 26, 2012

Swooning and Swirling

I finished my first block for the Swoonalong! I'm sure you've heard of the Swoon quilt pattern and the quilt-along held in honor of it by now. Just in case you haven't, check out the Flickr group and see the eye candy being cranked out by all 600 plus members!
Instead of going for the traditional two-print block of the pattern, I decided to follow the lead of Erin and Katy and go for scraptacular!!! Yes, it's colorful and a bit wild, but that's just the way I like it. All the lovely prints are from the Pam Kitty Morning line I mentioned last week. 

Now that I've pulled off block number one, it's on to quilting up my Grellow and Blue Drunk Love interpretation. I'm quilting this one in swirls, which is a little out of my comfort zone but so far I'm liking the effect. Finished quilt coming soon.

And taking it's place on the design wall is my big old scrap giant once again. Less than three rows to go! I'm going to try to finish this one soon because it has a date with a very awesome long armer. I think this quilt also needs a name. Any thoughts?

Today also brought some happy mail - a stack of Aneela Hoey's new line, A Walk in the Woods. I'm not quite sure yet what these are destined to become, but once I saw them I knew they'd be mine. Probably a sweet new quilt for Olivia.

So I guess after all this long while I'm finally back in full-tilt quilt mode. It feels good. What are you working on this week?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tumbler in the Snow!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that I got to take these photos of my finished quilt in the beautiful snow! All of Western Washington is getting dumped on today and the whole region has come to a halt. But it's beautiful here and we're staying warm and cozy. I only had to step out a few feet in the backyard to get these shots - our house backs up to a green belt. I have a feeling we'll be seeing lots of my finished quilts hanging over this little wooden fence (secretly it was one of the big selling points of the house for me, I'm such a nerd).

I started this quilt back in September before we moved when I was in need of a simple project to relieve me from my Maple Leaf Rag quilt. It's full of all my favorite fabrics in a brown, cream, tan, red and blue color palette, even some precious ones I only had little scraps of left. I love how the tumbler pattern just shows them off with enough variation from simple squares.

I backed it with a Robert Kaufman print I found on the $5 flat fold table at my LQS, and bound it by hand with a Lecien gingham check while catching up on my new favorite show, Downton Abbey (isn't it everyone's new favorite?)

So that's it! I love it, and it's a fine little throw size at about 55x60, but I do wish I would've made it just a hair bigger. Oh well. It just feels good to finally have a new finished quilt.

And look what showed up this morning! Thirty fat quarters of Pam Kitty Morning's gorgeous new fabric line! I am in love with the sweet retro colors and prints in this line and have a feeling we'll be seeing lots of genius from this talented designer. I'd been lusting after this stack since I had first seen it, and when Katy announced she would be starting a quilt-along for the beautiful Swoon pattern I knew the two would be a marriage made in heaven. Don't you think?

Time to get cutting! I hear this quilt has a lot of little pieces!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Day Sewing

Yesterday we got our first snowfall of the season. And it was a LOT by Seattle standards. We got a full seven inches at our house, with more on the way! It's especially beautiful here at our new house surrounded by all the woods. So we spent a lovely day playing outside, eating beef bourguignon and creamy polenta, drinking hot cocoa, and because Mark was home all day that meant he could occupy Lucy and give me some extra sewing time.

I finally made Jeni's Drawstring Bag! If you haven't checked out her tutorial, you should. It's simple and precise and quick. The only mod I made was to make the exterior fabric from patchwork. This one is for a friend, but I loved it so much I cut the same squares up to sew one for myself too.

I was also able to finish quilting my tumbler quilt last night! I'll be binding it today, and I'm very excited to take this finished quilt out and photograph it in the snow!

We were a little bit ill-prepared gear-wise for the snow, but Lucy had a ball anyways and Mark is out getting supplies right now including new mittens, snow pants and a sled. We're due for another 5 to 8 inches over the next day or two. It's starting to come down again now right as I type!

Even Norman loves the snow!

If you look closely you can see our first snowman in the yard. I think a whole snow family is on the agenda for today.

Have a great week everyone and stay warm! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Attacking the Pile!!

The pile of WIPs, that is! It's a new year and a fresh start, and as much as I'd like to start a brand new project NOW it feels pretty good to try and finish up some ones that have been set aside for far too long. I won't be making any lofty crafty goals this year as I don't think I accomplished even one that I made for 2011, but I do feel my sewing mojo is back in place and that's a good thing.

First WIP up is my Grellow and Blue Drunk Love interpretation. I started this one almost an entire year ago, declared it would be a king-size for our bed, finished half of it and got sidelined by my pregnancy with Olivia. As we all know, I spent the remainder of 2012 playing with babies and moving and next to zero sewing was accomplished. Well, NO MORE! I finished the last block for this baby yesterday and I will finish the top by tonight come hell or high water! Sure, it's turned into a much smaller 70x70 but that's good enough for me. I have other plans for our bed quilt. So, if you don't see a finished version of this quilt soon, please give me a swift kick in the arse  gentle reminder to get it done!

Next is this simple Loulouthi flannel quilt top I sewed up right before the holiday madness began. I've been a little unsure of how to finish it, and frankly a little frightened to baste it since I'm going to use some slippery-as-an-eel voile for the backing. But it's going to be super cozy so hopefully I'll find motivation soon. I'd really like to hand-quilt this one, but not sure I can make the time commitment. We'll see.

And now that the design wall is open again, it's time to get crackin' on the old Maple Leaf Rag again! I forget how many blocks I have sewn already, but it's nearing the finish line so I hope to get the rest done very soon. I love, love, love this one already and I'm very excited to have it become my first professionally quilted quilt.

There is still a lot going on in knitting-land over here. Not a day goes by that I don't knit at least a few rows on something, and usually a lot more. I've definitely become a knitter for life. There's a little group of us doing an informal sock-along on Twitter, and I was going to bow out until I decided maybe it was just what I needed to get going again on this long-forgotten sock:

Meet Miss Marlene. She's beautiful, but she's a nasty one. Though I think if I ever manage to finish the pair they will be well worth the headache. The yarn is from a Seattle local dyer, Hazel Knits, and it is lovely stuff.

I've also joined a Sweater knit-along on Ravelry, and I'm hoping to finish a sweater a month this year. Sounds ambitious, but I have three partially finished ones (four if you count another for Lucia) and the group is a great learning and motivational tool. I've still got away to go but I made some good progress  on my Coastal Hoodie while sick in bed last week (the whole family got mowed over by some disgusting virus, but we're all much better now). The stripes are lots of fun and the madelinetosh merino/cashmere sport yarn is sheer pleasure to knit with. I'm not looking forward to weaving in all these loose ends but I have high hopes that this one is going to be a daily wardrobe staple.

So that's what's going on around here. I'm hoping to get on track again with blogging so I hope to see you all again here really soon with lots of projects to share!