Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Baby quilt week

Lately, I've been up to my arms in baby quilts. No, I don't have happy news to tell. But friends and people all around me are having baby after baby, and they all need quilts, don't they?

Two weeks ago, my dear friends Kathleen and Eric had their second child, a baby girl named Ariana. They are some of my oldest friends (we all met while living in Des Moines 17 years ago!), and I couldn't be happier for them.
I still had the girly half of my City Weekend by Oliver + S charm pack left over (the other half became this), so I thought it would make the perfect quilt for Ariana.

I have to admit, at first I was not so sure about all the colors together and I left out the pink squares. But then it was kind of boring. I added the pink to the mix and now I really like it! I hope to finish this one by the end of the week, I just have to wait for my batting to arrive. I totally ran out of batting last week...

The other baby quilt I'm making right now is for my mother in law. She's the principal of an elementary school, and one of her teachers is having a baby in a few weeks. So she commissioned me to make her a gift. At first, I went with this design:

But when I showed it to her, I could tell from her reaction that she did not like it too much, even if she didn't say so. So I started something else with the same fabric.

I'm pretty sure she'll like this. I used crazy mom quilts' whirlygiggle tutorial. But in case you are wondering, yes, the direction in the middle row is opposite to the others. And yes, that's intentional. I quite like this variation. The only thing I don't like so far is the color composition. With the white as solid, it looks a bit bland. I will add some red to the mix to make it more pop.

After missing out last week, I'm linking up with Lee from freshly pieced again this week. She even has a giveaway this week, so head on over!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sparkle, baby, sparkle!

I think I made my BFF very happy this weekend. She came to visit for three days, and we started the weekend off with some shopping, we went out for dinner yesterday evening, we had time for coffee and lots of chats and laughter. But I guess what made her really happy was her birthday present.

Her birthday is on January 31st, but we agreed I would give it to her in person. That gave me a little more time and I really needed it! I sewed on the last of the binding yesterday afternoon, with her sitting next to me...

The last time she came to visit in December, she fell in love with this quilt. I told her I would give her one for her birthday and let her pick some fabric from my stash. She especially liked that brown Amy Butler print, the flowers from Momo's Wonderland line and the greenish print from Tula Pink's Parisville. For the neutral, she wanted to have Kona Ash. I added some more fabric to the mix and wanted to get to work when I came across Elisabeth Hartmann's sparkle punch quilt. Lucky me that she posted a tutorial! I new right away this was the right pattern for my project.

The only thing that I did differently is the back, but that was more of an accident.

I had ordered enough fabric to make the back as in the tutorial, but then I needed some red for another project and cut into the one intended for this quilt. So I ended up with not enough and had to improvise.

I just did some wonky stars with the red and all the patterned fabric from the front. The solids I used are Kona Dark Violet, Peridot, Aqua and Cardinal and also bound it in Cardinal. It's funny, when I gave the quilt to my friend, I had the impression she liked the back almost better than the front! I forgot to measure the whole thing, but it's a generous lap size.  She told me this morning when she left that tonight, all she wants to do is cuddle up with the quilt on her couch and watch a movie. Not a bad way to start the week, no? (besides spending the evening in front of your sewing machine, of course!)

I'm linking up with  the Febuary Finishes Linky Party and with Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Home decoration

Hello on this very snowy Wednesday. We had about 10 inches this morning already and it's still snowing! Quite a new experience for my boys, this is their first winter with snow and they love to be pulled on the sled.

It's been a slow week for me sewing wise. My studio looks like a tornado went through, and I'm a bit too lazy to clean up. Instead, I just pull new stuff off the shelves and make it even messier. Not good at all!  I did not do any quilting related sewing at all this past week...

I did however manage to make two little projects. I finished a new bag for myself (more on that here):

And I almost finished a project that's been in my head ever since we moved in our place last August.  My boys share a bedroom. It's actually the biggest room in our place besides the living room. Seriously, it's huge, like 250 square feet huge. I feel like the whole room is a work in progress, we are decorating it bit by bit. Yesterday, I got my act together and made some bunting. And the boys love it. And I do, too.

It's so easy to do this! I used some double folded bias tape in red and lots of fabric from my stash. I just cut out diamonds, folded them in the middle and sewed them in between the bias tape. I cut the fabric with my pinking shears to give them a nice zigzag edge.

The room immediately looked more put together when I put it up. I still need to do one more to span into the last corner, but I ran out of bias tape. Three packs were not enough...

But now I have to head on over to freshly pieced and see what everyone else has been up to...

Monday, February 13, 2012

All bagged up

Happy Monday everyone! I'm happy to start off this week with a finished object. I haven't really sewed a lot lately, I was just not feeling it. My kids have taken a fancy to waking up at 5 am every morning for the last two weeks, so I've been a bit tired in the evenings.

This bag took me almost a week to finish, I've been that slow! However, it is done now and I'm pleased with it. Very pleased with it, since it's for myself. I've had eight fat quarters of the Drawing Room line by Anna Maria Horner, and I did not know what to do with it. Until it hit me that I don't really own a roomy bag. So I pulled out Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing and got to work. The pattern is called the Everything Tote, I believe.

I even went all fancy with my seams and did some decorative stitching on them. I used denim thread, because it is extra strong and I think the color goes perfectly with the fabric.

Instead of the small, single pocket inside, I added a large panel and made three pockets all together for keys, sunglasses, diapers and wipes and stuff. The lining fabric I still bought in San Diego. There was this great store for rugs and home decor fabric. Huge selection of fabric, and they usually ran around six bucks a yard! Too bad that store is far away now...

I'll be linking up with Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations for sew modern Moday today!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Seam ripper edition

Welcome to WIP Wednesday: Seam ripper edition. My seam ripper definitely got a good workout yesterday. Last week I ventured on a mission to reduce the contents of these boxes:

And what started out with this:

became this:

and then this:

Yep, I ripped it all apart again. As I said last week, I really needed to work on my accuracy with this block. And it just does not look good when the seams don't match up in this quilt. I had it up on my design wall and looked and looked at it and it just kept bothering me. So I bit the bullet and just redid it. I also realized a few things along the way. Normally, I'm a press the seams open kinda girl. But with this block, it is much easier to just press them to the side. And it also helps to trim the blocks into an accurate square before joining them together...

So now I have this:

It's still not 100% right, but I'm getting there. There's something off in the upper right block, but I think I can live with it and hopefully it'll blend in once it'll be quilted (like in a 100 years with the pace I'm going right now, haha!)

But I also had a bit of success this past week, I finished the top for my sparkle punch quilt. This one has to be done in two weeks, I'll see my BFF then and give it to here. Hopefully she'll like it...

I'm linking up with Lee from freshly pieced again this week, take a moment to check out all the lovely links over there!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Scrap Attack

Hello again to another WIP Wednesday. I now decided to give those posts additional titles, or else I'll be totally confused after a while. And since I was mostly working with scraps last week...

After finishing my string quilt, I realized just how many scraps I actually have. So another project was in order. I wanted to try my hand at something a bit more difficult this time. This is what I decided to try:

A wheel of fortune! I really like the look of it, but boy, it is difficult! The cutting alone is a nightmare, and as you can see from my scribbles in the upper left corner of the block, it's confusing (at least to me).

I also need to work on my accuracy, ahem...
But it's fun and nice to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. I guess this will be a slow work in progress, as in "one block per week".

The other thing I tried was a spider web block. I did something wrong with that as well, since it kind of bunches in the middle.

And then there was some progress on my sparkle punch quilt. I finished all the blocks now and I'm ready to piece the top together. This will be my next finish, I hope!

Like always, I'm linking up with Lee from freshly pieced for WIP Wednesday!