Monday, April 24, 2017

A weekend of sewing some epic patchwork

After a long week with a sick baby, all I wanted to do this weekend was sew. And thankfully, I was able to get in a good bit of good sewing time. I dug out the Anna Maria Horner charm patchwork quilt I started eons ago and started right back on it. I'm not even positive I've ever managed to blog about it! Let's fix that.



The plan for this quilt is simple - colorful, simple patchwork on point with my Anna Maria Horner fabric collection for my bed. When I initially did the math for this quilt, I tallied up that it was going to take around 1500 charm squares. I overcut, so I'd have plenty of wiggle room throughout. That wiggle room has been a good thing - and a bad thing. I've been indecisive, and re-worked things throughout. I spent a good bit of time sorting through my fabrics and laying things out. I actually spent a good bit of time laying out the rest of the quilt entirely, so that I won't have to again. I clipped everything together with wonder clips and labeled them by row number.


And when I finished all of those rows, I set to work sewing many of the rows that I'd already pieced together. I'm up to 14 of the 31 rows all pieced, so I'm almost the halfway point!



With this being an on-point quilt, it gets to be a royal pain to work on right in the middle, where it's positively at its widest. Being nearly at the middle of the project right now, that's pretty much where I'm at right now.  In fact, the quilt gets so wide that I've had to use my floor for a good bit of the layout! It sure would be nice to have a full wall as a design wall one day...


The last thing I tackled was sewing together the bottom corner of the quilt, because I knew it would be fast and would give me a small feeling of accomplishment after spending much of Sunday laying out fabric. So that's four more rows down, so technically that pushes me over the halfway point! Hooray for halfway!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Pink Sunshine Quilt

Signed, sealed, and delivered! I've finished off the Pink Sunshine quilt, and it's officially been delivered to the munchkin's math teacher, so it's safe to share, not that I think she's a blog reader :) I think she likes it, I sure hope hope she does. This super happy, mega scrappy quilt was a lot of fun to work on, using scraps of Lorelei's baby quilt  and other various pink fabrics floating around my sewing room.

Finished Pink Sunshine full shot

I kept the quilting fairly simple, just doing a modified stipple with pearl clamshells here and there, majorly because I don't get to free-motion as much as I'd like to these days and I wanted to keep it from being a big hairy deal...but my machine is definitely in need of a visit to the spa, so it was a little more dramatic than I would have liked. It's been almost two years since her last spa date, so it's time, I need to just get her over to the shop for her full cleaning and tune-up. It's important to do, even with a fully mechanical machine! While I can oil my machine and clean out a large part of my machine, there's still areas I can't get to and things that need maintenance that are beyond my skill set. I used Aurifil 3660, a fun variegated pink, to go with all the different shades of pink used in the quilt, and also shockingly because it's the only spool of pink Aurifil I own! I must remedy this at some point.

Front and back Pink Sunshine quilt

The binding might just be my favorite part. It's a print called Lovebug Grid in Pink, which I stumbled on at Stash Fabrics when hunting for pinks. Perfect fabric for binding this kind of adorable baby quilt.

Pink Sunshine binding in progress

It feels good to finish a quilt. It makes me want to sew even more. I think the next quilt I want to get back to is my Anna Maria Horner quilt for my bed or the Lizzy House book quilt that I think is also destined for my bed, or maybe the living room. My HST bed quilt desperately needs another quilt it can alternate with!!

Quilt Stats
Quilt Name: Pink Sunshine
Size: 36" x 40"
Pattern: None, improvised strip quilt using scraps and made scraps
Quilting: Modified stipple with pearl clamshells in Aurifil 2660
Binding: Lovebug Grid in Pink

Close up Pink Sunshine
Monday, April 10, 2017

I'd forgotten how much I need to sew

I'm still working away at the Pink Sunshine quilt, but I'm having a good time doing it. I've been sneaking into my sewing room when I can, when I'm done with work for the day, or when the kids are still in bed and I get up super early, putting in my headphones and just getting to work. I'd forgotten how important it is to feed my creative self, to fill my creative cup. I think this little project has made it super clear that I really need to make sure to remind myself about this, even when it's hard to steal time for sewing, that it's really good for me.


Happily inspired by my awesome co-worker, Amanda's recent monogram pillow, I decided to add a monogram block to the center of my Pink Sunshine baby quilt, which is quickly nearing completion (shocker!). I'd forgotten how quickly scrappy quilts can sometimes come together. I grabbed a few Carolyn Friedlander scraps to put together a "T" and inserted them into the scrappy stripes.


Such a happy quilt. It's hard not to be smiley while working on this quilt. I'm betting that by next week, it's entirely possible there will be a finished quilt for me to tell you about! Hooray!
Friday, April 7, 2017

Fresh Quilting: What's old is new again

I've heard zillions of quilters say there isn't anything new in quilting, and loads of times, I agree with them. But that's not to say that we can't make little tweaks or twists on tradition that sometimes make something fresh appear - and when I filmed last fall for the new PBS show Fresh Quilting, that's one of the things I did.

I love trying to put blocks together, mashing up two different classic blocks that I love, and two blocks that I love very much are the classic Carpenter's Star and the Patchwork Wheel, or Cheyenne, block. I fooled around over and over again with the components of these two blocks, and came up with a mashup that I presented on last week's new episode of Fresh Quilting, which if you're an MQG member you can watch online for free anytime on the MQG Community site. I'd like to introduce you to the Carpenter's Wheel!

in Liberty - ooh, la, la!

all solids, so fancy!

all Carolyn! love!

You can get your very own copy of the Carpenter's Wheel PDF pattern, from my Pattern Shop, and Craftsy, on sale this week for $3. It includes two different block sizes, 20" finished and 30" finished. This block is built with simple squares and half-square triangles and makes a great start for a medallion quilt, or a mini quilt of its' own! The pattern features tips and tricks on making eight half-square triangles at once, as well as loads of full-color illustrations to walk you through making the quilt block.

Carpenter's Wheel PDF download from my Pattern Shop
Carpenter's Wheel PDF download on Craftsy

I hope you enjoy it, and I can't wait to see what you stitch up!
Monday, April 3, 2017

Stitching up a little pink sunshine

My latest project is a baby quilt for one of the munchkin's teachers, who is having a baby girl pretty soon. Naturally, with a young baby girl myself, I've got no shortage of pink scraps, so I'm tackling a fun scrappy pink quilt for her, which is a lot of fun to work on in the spare minutes here and there that I can find to sew. Finding a groove to sewing while working full time with a baby has ben a challenge, to say the least.


I never did this with my son - he was a bit older when I started sewing, and I wasn't working, so it was a lot easier to find the time for crafting, but I'm just trying to make the best of it and take the time when I can find it. I'm making progress slowly but surely. Three blocks down. Six to go!


In other news, Lorelei is officially walking. Everywhere. She just got up and started walking, like it was no big deal. I figured that was what would happen, given how young she was when she first started trying. It's adorable to watch!



I hope you all have a wonderful week! What are you stitching up?
Monday, March 13, 2017

Coming out of my QuiltCon cocoon at last with a cross-stitch round up

I'm attempting shed my QuiltCon cocoon for the year this week, albeit with a nasty cold...all the while, working on building a new one for next year, but at least the crazy level of work is months from now. It's nice to have a bit of a breather at this point with work, at least a tiny one, for a few moments, but holy wow, there's so much to catch up with you all on.


Let's see, where to start...let's start today with cross-stitchy fun.

I've been cross-stitching like crazy. It's been an easy thing to pick up here and there between conference calls and Excel spreadsheets and mothering all that, and it's been the kind of craft I can manage to do without having to hide in my sewing room on the rare occasion that my husband is actually not traveling for work, so most of my crafting time the last few months has been the cross-stitching variety. Here's a few recent finishes...

pattern from Etsy here
gift for my friend Megan
stitched up on Rustic Flax linen from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss

pattern from Etsy here
gift for my friend Jen
stitched up on Rustic Flax linen from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss

pattern from Etsy here
gift for my friend Lee
stitched up on Aida cloth from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss

pattern from Etsy here
gift for my friend co-worker
stitched up on linen in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss


pattern from Etsy here
gift for my co-worker
stitched up on Aida cloth from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss


pattern from Etsy here
gift for my co-worker
stitched up on Aida cloth from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss


pattern from Etsy here
gift for my co-worker
stitched up on Aida cloth from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss


no pattern - I drew it up myself!
gift for my co-worker
stitched up on Carolyn Friedlander Euclid print in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss


And at least one still in progress...

pattern from Etsy here
will eventually hang in my house
stitched up on Rustic Flax linen from Snuggly Monkey in assorted Cosmo embroidery floss

I even taught my son to cross-stitch this weekend using a super cute kit I stumbled upon at Fancy Tiger that I cannot recommend enough - Cross Stitch Friends. He's seen me cross-stitch for a while, and this was just the project to hook him with!


Stay tuned for some QuiltCon treasures I purchased and some actual sewing soon! Woo hoo! Have a fantastic week everyone :)
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Playing with fabric is a little bit like therapy

The last few weeks have been like an insane rollercoaster - first way, way, way up with a great super fun visit to a wonderful friend, full of stitchiness, laughter, and way too many carbs, all to come crashing down with a family emergency that's absolutely consumed me over the last two weeks. Things are settling down now, but needless to say, I feel drained. Caring for others is a big part of my personality, but I often am guilty of doing it to my own detriment, and I'm definitely feeling that whole candle-burnt-at-both-ends thing right now. Here's hoping a couple of days that have some semblance of normalcy will start to make that feeling subside.

My first day of normalcy just happens to be MQG Sew Day, which was a fun coincidence, because it was an incredible reason to get into my sewing room during Lorelei's (all-too-short) naptime. While I've been mostly off social media the last two weeks, I've occasionally seen snippets here and there and one thing that I saw that stuck with me was Kate's adorable Tall Tales book block. Just had to make one, with one of my most favorite fabrics that I've been hoarding for eons.



I haven't decided what this will become yet - a pillow perhaps? a mini? we'll see - but it's a super simple paper pieced block that is way fun to stitch up.

I'll work on a fun sewing update from my sewing-with-friends post-Christmas trip later this week hopefully as life starts to return back to normal, and in the meantime, I'll leave you with a snap of the newly crowned one-year-old Lorelei. She's not walking yet, because she can't be bothered to walk when she's the world's fastest crawler, but she is babbling up a storm.


I hope you all are having a wonderful and mostly uneventful new year so far :)
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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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