Monday, July 29, 2013

Beach Vacation

I'm learning quickly that taking a week off from the blogging world can be a bit overwhelming when trying to catch back up.  I stayed away from everyone's blog, including my own, but I didn't stay away from my sewing machine.  I took it with me on vacation and did a little sewing, but I mostly just enjoyed the time with my family and friends.

Here's my sewing nook on the breakfast table.

I was able to finish one Arkansas Traveler block...mainly to see what a finished block looked like.  I spent the rest of my sewing time finishing the diamonds for the blocks.

I plan on sewing up a storm this week to make up for some lost time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Getting Groovy with Paper Piecing

I've started prepping for a new quilt.  I'm making another baby quilt for a sister of a friend and since I'm fairly certain she does not follow my blog, I'm going to post the progress of the quilt.  I have been admiring all the paper piecing I've seen since I've joined the cyber quilting community.  I haven't tried paper piecing yet, but I figured it's about time.

I selected the Arkansas Traveler's block, which is one my eye is drawn to every time I see it.  Here's an example of the block from Freshly Pieced's Summer Sampler

I've also selected the Carnaby Street fabric line by Pat Bravo.  Here is a fun pic showing some of the fabrics in the collection from Art Gallery Fabrics.

I have the instructions printed out from Freshly Pieced and all my templates printed (all 80 of them).  All my fabric is washed, ironed and ready to go.  I started cutting last night, but I'm no where near finished yet.  I should have it all cut tonight...hopefully.  Wish me luck!

UPDATE (7/19/2013):  Life has been busy!  I have all my patterned fabric cut and the templates cut out.  I'm just lacking the white fabric, which WILL be cut tonight.  I'm ready to get this show on the road!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Featured on Quilt Story!

Hey, everyone!  My Batman quilt has been featured on the Quilt Story Blog!

 Go on over and check it out using this link below.  This is truly an honor.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Modern Lone Star

For the longest time, I have been admiring Janice's Scrappy Lone Star Quilt from the blog Better Off Thread.  When I saw a tutorial existed from Janice herself, I knew another quilt was in my future.  I just had to bide my time and wait for the perfect recipient.  When MC, the mom-to-be of the recent baby shower decor post, announced her pregnancy at a lovely girls night out, I knew I had found the person. 

Now I was faced with all the important questions of making a quilt.  What fabric should I use?  Should I center the lone star or take the modern route and slice it in half and move it to the side of the quilt?  I took the easy way out and asked the mom-to-be.  I had two different fabric collections I was looking at and I let her choose based on the images on my phone (which is a really lousy way to look at fabric by the way).  She ended up choosing Angela Walter's Texture collection, which is the collection I was leaning towards as well.  I also asked her if she wanted something more traditional or modern.  She chose modern, so I was done with all the major decisions.

I printed off the tutorial and followed the instructions to a tee until it came time to completely piece the front.  I made the whole lone star and sliced it into 2 unequal halves.  Can I just say slicing a piecing project with 45 degree angles was not the easiest thing to do.  I didn't want to screw it up and have to do it all over again.  I also didn't want to discard the smaller of the sliced pieces, so I figured out a way to incorporate it into the front.  It's my version of the scrappy lone star quilt and I'm really proud that I was able to piece it all together in a slightly new way.

The back of the quilt uses the panel from the Texture fabric collection and the teal accent color that surrounds the star for the baby's initial.  I was a little bummed that I didn't meet the requirements for the Make It Right Challenge, but I had already finished the quilt before the challenge was publicized.  The winners are posted here and there are some really great projects.  I honestly don't think I would have stood a chance.

The quilting was a bit challenging because I was meeting up two similar quilting patterns in the middle and I had to make them look like I was doing it on purpose without any hiccups.  This is the first time I took my straight-line quilting to a new level and it turned out better than I could have hoped for.  I'm really pleased with the finished product.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shower Crafts - A non-quilting post.

This past week, my time has been dedicated to creating decorations for a baby shower coming up this weekend.  Since I know there is a chance the mom-to-be is reading this, I won't go into all the details of the shower decor prep, but I will show what I've been working on.  I took on the tasks of creating a wreath for the front door and the bunting to be hung inside.

I don't know what I was thinking when I volunteered for the wreath because I really don't have a lot of experience making one, but I came up with a way to use my strengths.  I was searching on Pinterest recently for fabric wall decor.  I need to spruce up the walls of my sewing room (363 days of the year), which is also my formal dining room (2 days of the year).  I wanted something that could function no matter the layout of the furniture on any given day , so fabric art sounded like the way to go.  Of course, fabric hoops are some of the first images that pop-up and the thought occurred to me that I could make a fabric hoop into a wreath.  So, I did.

I ended up buying an 18-inch fabric hoop, a wooden letter, and yellow yarn.  I used fabric I already had on hand and went to town.  I stretched out the fabric on the hoop, centered the letter on the fabric, tied the letter down in a few places, and started sewing the letter to the fabric loop by loop.  It took awhile to completely sew the yarn around the letter, but I really like the 3-D element the wooden letter gives versus just having a flat letter sewn on the front.

The other nice thing about this wreath is the versatility.  This can be hung on the front door, or it can become decor for the nursery itself (or stuffed in a closet somewhere completely forgotten).  Either way, this wreath will serve its function at the shower and can be used afterwards however the mom-to-be sees fit.

I also started making the bunting.  I had full intentions of making this out of paper, but the yellow chevron was just too enticing to pass on and I had a nice coupon to use.  The mom-to-be is also quite the crafty person, so I thought she would appreciate the little extra effort in creating fabric bunting versus the paper version.

I'm still debating on the color of binding I should use to sew them together, but I'm going to let the other ladies decorating decide.  It should be a fun week of prep.

Also, here's a sneak-peak at the mom-to-be's quilt. 

I know...I'm such a tease.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Quilt-Along Complete!

I decided to follow along with Kelly Young's Quilt-Along at My Quilt Infatuation at the beginning of the summer and have finished my quilt.  It's always a great feeling to have a finished project.  This quilt is a perfect lap quilt that I'm gifting myself.  This is the first quilt I've made that I'm keeping.  I feel a little guilty keeping this one, but since the person I have to answer to is myself, I'm letting that feeling go.  I'm just going to enjoy having this one in my home.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I hate to play favorites, but this next quilt is probably my favorite quilt that I've made so far.  Don't get me wrong, I love the other quilts.  I don't usually make something that I don't like, but this one took a piece of my heart with it when I gave it to the mom-to-be at her baby shower.  I should have asked for visitation rights, or to quilt-sit when they go out of town...I'm being ridiculous...sort of.

When I found out the mom was pregnant and having a little boy, I contacted the dad through a mutual friend on what they were doing in the nursery.  You see, the dad does all the decorating...ALL the decorating.  He's a very talented graphic designer that has an eye for fashion and color, but he's also a big kid at heart.  When it came to this baby boy's nursery, the dad knew exactly what he wanted to do and was very specific when it came to colors (robin's egg blue, stop sign red and charcoal grey) and theme (classic Batman).  I received these two attachments:

The first is one of the prints used in the room and the second is a diagram of the different batman symbols used since the character's creation.  The dad ended up using this diagram to create an art piece above the crib, which looks awesome.  The diagram was also my inspiration for the quilt.  When I think of Batman, one of the first things that comes to mind is the bat signal.  I liked the cityscape at the bottom of the diagram and wanted to use that design somehow in the quilt.  I ended up drawing up a sketch on graph paper of a simple cityscape with the bat signal in the air.  The idea of recreating the drawing as a quilt was a bit daunting, but I was determined. 

When it came to piecing the front, I decided to machine-piece the buildings separately and then applique them onto the background fabric by hand.  Before the buildings could be attached, I had to put the spotlight and bat signal in the sky.  I ended up picking the bat-signal I associated with Batman as the call-sign.  This took a lot of trial and error to get everything exactly where I wanted it.  Once the bat signal and the buildings were in place, I put windows on the buildings to help bring the buildings to life.  Mixing the red and blue for the windows helps bring in the nursery colors on top of the charcoal grey.  I machine-quilted the quilt with horizontal lines.  I knew I needed to keep the lines fairly close together to help secure the large appliqued pieces of fabric.  I hand appliqued the initial onto the back of the quilt as a finishing touch.

This quilt was so much fun to design and make.  I sincerely hope the baby boy will love his quilt as much as I do.

This post was featured on July 15, 2013.
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