Friday, December 26, 2014

Holiday Sewing

Happy holidays! We had a good Christmas here; I hope you are having a good holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.

I have been busy with sewing and life and not making time for blogging. Here's the start of some blog catch up.

I made potholder/kitchen towel sets for my sisters this year. I have 5 siblings and we have a rotation of which sibling we give to each year. Last year I didn't make a handmade item for my younger sister, so this year I made potholders and patchwork towels for both of them.
chicken kitchen set 
Chicken potholders and matching towels for my sister who owns chickens. The chicken block tutorial is here. I use one layer of heat resistant batting and one layer of cotton batting for my potholders.
pink orange kitchen set 
Pink and orange scrappy set for my other sister. I decided to use decorative stitches to sew the binding down on these potholders and it didn't end up looking as good as the straight stitch I usually do.

mom's pillow 
And a half square triangle pillow I made for my mom. I have a similar pillow on my couch and Mom really liked it when she visited this past summer. I had this one languishing in a UFO state and decided to finish it up and send it to her. I'm interested in experimenting more with value and HSTs one of these days.

A couple weeks ago, we had the holiday party for Seattle MQG. I made this SEW quilt.
sew miniquilt
This is my first try at trapunto. It was really easy and you should try it! I sometimes avoid trying new things and I'm glad I finally tried this technique because it was really no big deal. I can make up a mini tutorial on it if anybody is interested. 
zip pouches from seamqg party
And this is the gift I received. These beautiful nesting zip pouches were made by Ruth (I don't know her last name or have a blog or IG link for her, sorry!) It was fun when I opened the gift to unzip the big pouch and find the second one, and then to unzip that one and find the small one.

The other thing I wanted to share is the beginning of the Christmas stockings I'm making for myself and my husband.
stocking patchwork
Four years ago, I wrote up a tutorial for scrappy stockings on the Sew We Quilt (formerly Stash Manicure) blog. I had made these quilted stockings for my 3 kids but my husband and I have been using flannel stockings (with glitter on our names) that my mom made in 1996 when we got engaged 2 days before Christmas. I'm finally making matching stockings for us, even though Christmas is over for this year. The pattern I uploaded in 2010 is on Scribd and it was free to download at the time, but now you have to either pay money or upload a document in order to download something. I uploaded my heart block tutorial (I'll share here soon) and was able to download my pattern. I think I will put the stocking pattern on Craftsy as a free download and hope to show more progress on these stockings in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival--Rainbow Scrap Quilt

Hi quilters! I was hoping to have my rhino quilt #2 finished in time for this edition of Blogger's Quilt Festival, but it didn't work out. I've completed most of the free motion quilting, but started having pain in my wrist a couple weeks ago and decided to rest it instead of push through and finish the quilt and make things worse. It feels a lot better now, so I'll probably work on finishing the rhino up soon.

I decided to share my Rainbow Scrap Quilt for Blogger's Quilt Festival. This quilt is a little heavier than some of my others, probably due to all the seam allowances as well as using a heavier batting than I normally choose. So now that the weather is back to the gloomy/rainy/dark season, I'm happy to have a bright and extra warm quilt to cuddle under. The kids like it a lot, too.

rainbow scrap quilt

Here's a close up of the flower quilting:

flower fmq

You can read more about this quilt here.

Thanks so much to Amy, as always, for hosting Bloggers' Quilt Festival! Stop by Amy's Creative Side to see all the quilts!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Project progress

So, I've been working on a few things since my last post.

My rhino quilt is all basted and folded neatly on the big chair. Here's what I did for the back:

And the backing where I cut the backing fabric out behind the big rhino applique:
Cut out the background from behind the big rhino applique. #rhinoquilt Time to baste. 

Here's an evening (poor light) basting shot:
All pinned. #rhinoquilt 

After I got the rhino all ready to quilt, I didn't want to start quilting yet, and I decided to make a couple blocks for my #apqquiltalong project. I ended up making 4 this past week. I really like this one:
 Took 56 minutes to sew. #apqquiltalong
For now, I'm planning on making (at least) 2 blocks a week until I get all 20 of them done. I have 7 so far.

I also finished round 13 on my hand pieced trip around the world. Pink henna garden fabric, so sweet.
trip around world 14 

Finally, just wanted to share my tutorial on Louise's Sew Ready to Play series. Her blog is I'm Feelin' Crafty and it was fun to make a project to share with her readers. I made a Uno card case so we can keep our new Uno cards from getting all bent and lost. See my tutorial here

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Create Handmade Gifts for All Winners

Hi! Today I've got the winners of the Create Handmade Gifts for All blog tour.

The winner of last year's Quilting Arts Gifts magazine is commenter number 34, June. And number 30, Gina, is entered to win the Grand prize--the messenger bag pictured on the cover of Create Handmade Gifts for All.

I've emailed the winners and Candy, and she will be holding the drawing for the Grand Prize soon.

I'll be back soon to share rhino quilt progress. Have a great Thursday!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Create Handmade Gifts for All--Blog Hop and Giveaway

Hi there! I'm super happy to share my friend Candy's new e-book, Create Handmade Gifts for All, with you all today. Candy blogs at Candied Fabrics, where she shares her amazing creations showcasing her beautiful hand dyed fabrics and free-motion sketch stitching and quilting. Candy also creates patterns and online dyeing courses, and keeps busy teaching university biology and selling her wares at art fairs as well. Candy is an inspiration (a hard working one!) and I really love her unique design and color sense.

Handmade Gifts Cover

The e-book contains patterns for 18 different gifts--bags and accessories, home decor, and holiday ornaments/decor--just in time to start thinking about handmade holiday gifts if you are a thinking-ahead type of person. One of my favorite projects in this collection is the convertible tote bag:

The bag can be used as pictured here, or the strap can be adjusted and the top flap folded up, to give you more room in the bag if you need it.

And now for the giveaways! Please leave one comment per person, telling me about your favorite handmade gift to give or receive. I have comment moderation enabled so your comment won't show up until after I approve it.

One commenter will win a copy of last year's Quilting Arts Gifts magazine.
And one other commenter will be entered to win the Grand Prize, the messenger bag that is featured on the cover of the e-book. Comments will be open until 9/24 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, and I'll draw the winners and post them that evening.
Check out all the other stops on the blog hop for more chances to win. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Works in progress

I've been working on my hand pieced trip around the world, slowly but steadily. I have half of the 12th round finished and the next 3 rows are planned out (pink, turquoise, red dot). It's a good project to do while watching Netflix and fun to see it grow, even though it's slower now.

trip around the world round 12 

And I'm back to working on my rhino quilt again. I put it away a few weeks ago with the rhino hand basted to the background. Yesterday and today I machine stitched it in place and started removing the red basting threads (the edges of the rhino were also hand basted under, before stitching it to the background.)
rhino process 

Other than that, I've been busy getting the kids into school and getting all settled in with our routines. I need to go buy another compass for high school geometry and somebody needs new shoes this week, too. I went to high school curriculum night last week, and get to go tonight and tomorrow to hear what to expect this year from the elementary teachers. 

Hope you're having a good September!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Trip Around the World

A few weeks ago, I saw Jan's blog post about her trip around the world quilt, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I went back to her blog and saw that she posted again about her project, which led me to the Brigitte Giblin Quilts facebook page and eventually to me joining Brigitte's second Trip Around the World challenge group. The challenge is to hand sew a trip around the world quilt, using squares that are cut 2", with a "red spot" fabric for the center and then certain other rows. It took me a little while to get a hold of 1/2 yard of a good red dot fabric, but I did, and here's what I have so far:

trip around the world 8

It is getting a little more challenging as the rows get longer, and I'm a little scared about the length of the later rows (from looking at some of the photos from the first challenge group, I'm guessing it might end up with 27 "trips" around the center maybe.) But it's a good project to keep my hands busy while I watch a show and it has been really fun choosing the different fabrics for each row as I go. 

If you're interested in seeing more of the challenge photos, the hashtag for the challenge is #bgtawc. I love seeing all the different versions of this quilt.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Modern Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt--Entomology

Today's the deadline for the latest Modern Quilt Guild challenge, and I got my quilt finished and posted in the MQG forums early this afternoon. I had a hard time getting the colors to show up right in my photos, so I'm including pictures taken both outside and inside.

It's titled Entomology.


I made three paper pieced moths using the challenge fabric for the wings and a gray solid for the bodies. I designed the moth pattern, just to see if I could, inspired by an old scientific insect drawing that a friend pinned on Pinterest. This blog post on Shape Moth was very helpful for figuring out how to draw the pattern in EQ7. Sewing the moth blocks was pretty labor intensive, but by the last one I had figured out some tricks to speed things up and make sure everything fit together correctly.

moth quilt detail

The antennae were embroidered with embroidery floss in a basic chain stitch. I decided to hand quilt the moths with perle cotton, and then machine quilted the background. I got about 6 pokes that drew blood while hand quilting over the last couple days, but didn't get any on the quilt!

moth quilt detail

This quilt was kind of an exercise in using what I had on hand. I had thought about buying a light gray fabric for the background, but still had a large chunk of the aqua solid (Kona ice frappe), so I decided to use it even though I've used that same fabric in my last three mini quilts. Same with the quilting thread--ideally I would have used a slightly lighter aqua thread for the machine quilting, but I used what I already had and I think it turned out fine.

Here's the back:
Entomology back

And one more photo of the front, outside (on the shadier side of the backyard) this time:

I'm really glad I was able to participate in this challenge. I learned a lot and might even try making more paper pieced insects someday. Thanks a bunch to the Modern Quilt Guild and Michael Miller for providing the challenge fabrics!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vacation fun

We've had a busy couple of weeks! The 4th of July was really fun, starting with meeting up with some old friends from Kansas for breakfast.

egg and rainbow dash 
The food was very, very good. The kids' menus had eggs to color on the back and the kids had a lot of fun with that. This one is Rainbow Dash.

Later on, we had friends over for dinner and visiting, ending with watching our city's fireworks show. It was pretty good!

Then we got up at 4:30 a.m. the next morning and got on an airplane to California. We stayed with my sister-in-law at her (very kind and gracious) mom's house for a few days and then went to San Diego to a family reunion where we celebrated my grandpa's upcoming 90th birthday. I also got to spend time with a very good friend that I hadn't seen since 2008.

We went and watched the sunset one night. It was so pretty. And much earlier than where we live.

We saw airplanes and a Ripley's Believe it or Not exhibit at the Air and Space Museum.

And Lego Doctor Who, when we ate at the mall food court. Bowties are cool.
lego doctor 

I made quilted zipper pouches and brought them for my sisters and SILs that I saw on the trip. I need to make one of these for myself, soon!
zippy pouches 

And I made bibs for two cousins who are expecting their first babies.
quilted bibs

It was so good to get reacquainted with siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, and everyone else. These feet belong to a really cute and sweet 2 year old niece. I came home feeling exhausted but also full of so much love for my whole family. I'm so glad we were able to spend time with all our loved ones.
 cute feet

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kitchenaid Miniquilt

My oldest is finishing up 8th grade in the next few days, and his cooking teacher has been one of the bright lights of his middle school experience. My boy took cooking in 6th and 7th grades, and TAed for the cooking teacher for two trimesters this year. I decided to make her a mini-quilt using the Kitchenaid mixer pattern by Erin from Why Not Sew. (I've had this pattern pinned for ages and this was just about the perfect situation to finally sew it up.)

mixer quilting progress 
I decided to go with hand quilting, and I think I'm going to do a bit more quilting in the mixing bowl, and I'll probably finish off with a gray binding. I hope the cooking teacher will like it!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fox-Geese Miniquilts

A few weeks ago, I signed up to participate in the mini quilt swap held over at Schnitzel & Boo. Everyone participating filled out a questionnaire about things we like in our mini quilts :) and then a few days later I got my assigned partner. It's a secret swap in that the makers know who they are making for, but nobody knows who is making the quilt they will receive. It's fun because there are two assigned hashtags (#makeaquiltmakeafriend and #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap) and lots of gorgeous pictures are being posted at instagram (and in the flickr group) while people are designing, deciding, and making their projects and extra goodies.

Here's my progress so far:
foxgeese mini1 
The adorable fox pattern is from Sonja at Artisania. It was a little tricky with all the angles, and I had to unpick a few times, but it worked out in the end. I have had flying geese on my mind for a while, so I decided to add a row of them on one side of the fox block. And then bordered it with a greenish aqua from a solids layer cake I have in my stash.

And... I'm making a twin quilt to keep. I've done this once before in a swap, and there's one I made for a swap that I still want to replicate for myself because it turned out so cute. So here's the second fox-geese quilt:

foxgeese mini2 
The geese blocks are a little darker, and I gave this one a gray border.

Next up is embroidering eyes while I watch a show, and then layering and quilting. I don't know how I'll quilt them yet. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival--Simple Squares AMH Quilt

I finished up just in time to enter into the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I hope you've been enjoying all the quilts this week! Thanks so much to Amy for hosting the festival again! 

 finished AMH quilt 
(my quilt holder is getting so tall...)
This quilt is for one of my oldest friends, Shawndra, who I met in 9th grade soon after I moved to Provo. It's not my typical palette of colors but when we talked about what she wanted in a quilt, she said I could do whatever I wanted. And the saturated colors, mostly from the Anna Maria Horner Dowry line, remind me of her.

 AMH quilt back 
The back is pieced with a mix of leftovers from the front, a trailing rose fabric from another Anna Maria Horner line, and the blue and yellow damask was supposed to be included in the quilt top but it didn't quite match. I think it fits well on the back though.

The binding is a dark purple with a section of Tula Pink dot fabric.

 AMH free motion quilting detail 

I free motion quilted an allover swirl pattern. The quilting took 2 hours and 39 minutes and 3 1/2 bobbins.

This quilt is made from my free Simple Squares pattern; it's the 4th quilt I've made with this pattern. It's a good one for large scale prints and goes together quickly.

Here are links to my previous Blogger's Quilt Festival entries:
Scrappy Trips
Summer Stars
Spring Promise
Matching Quilt
Rainbow 9-Patch
NICU Charity Quilt

Turtle Quilt 
4-patch Baby Quilt

Thanks again to Amy, and don't forget to go check out all the quilts!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Finished Star Quilt

Here's the star quilt after I quilted it and my friend Jenn R. did the binding:
finished star quilt
(Photo taken at the church, with my phone.) The organization we made the quilt for is the VA Puget Sound Fisher House. It's a place that serves veteran and active duty military families when they have a loved one in the hospital. The young women from church made enough blocks for a second quilt, and our church group donated quite a bit of other household items as well to help the Fisher House out. It was great to learn more about this organization and I'm sure we will make more quilts for them in the future.

I've also been buckling down on another quilt from my Simple Squares pattern. I'm making this one for a good friend, and hoping/planning to get it finished this week, in time to enter into the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Here's the top before I put the borders on:
Borders aren't my favorite. But I got them done, and the back made, and the quilting is almost 75% done so far. I'm doing big free motion quilted swirls; here's a section of the back:
So I have more quilting and then binding in my near future. 

One more chose Lee B. as the winner of my Giveaway Day potholders. I'll be starting on them very soon, thanks for being patient, Lee!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Giveaway day!

Hi friends! Thanks so much to the folks at Sew, Mama, Sew for hosting Giveaway day for us, twice each year! This time I decided to make some selvage potholders for my giveaway--you choose the colors you want.

I made this set for our guild swap last fall, and then I couldn't attend, so I ended up keeping them for myself:

selvage potholders

They have one layer of insulated potholder batting and one layer of warm and white batting. To enter, leave a comment that includes what colors you would choose. (Rainbow is an option.) One comment per person, please, and I have comment moderation enabled so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately.

*The giveaway will be open until Friday, May 16, at 5 p.m. pacific time.
*I'll email the winner when I close the comments.
*I'll ship the potholders next week.
*Giveaway is open to all (including international).

Don't forget to visit Sew, Mama, Sew and check out all the amazing giveaways this week!

edit: the giveaway is now closed and the winner was #90, Lee. Thanks for entering!

Friday, April 25, 2014

What I'm working on

A while back, my friend Kris and I talked about making charity quilts with other women from church, and this morning I finished up our group's first quilt top.

rwb star quilt top 
(Oh flickr why do you keep changing stuff?! I keep thinking I have the new setup figured out and then they change it again...)

I'm not actually sure where we are donating the quilt so I'll update on that when I know. We had 5 people contribute blocks to this quilt and hope more will join us next time!

I also started swapping x+ blocks with my Seattle MQG friend Tracey. I started making x+ blocks last year for myself, but I want them all scrappy and unique and I lost the energy to keep going with making just one of each block. I'm so glad Tracey agreed to swap with me!

March x+ blocks 
Our colors for March were yellow, pink, turquoise, purple, and green. We each made doubles of four blocks and then swapped, so we each ended up with 8 different blocks. We're using the badskirt tutorial for these, fyi.

Tracey chose navy blue, red, orange, turquoise/aqua, and grey for our April colors. I have half of my blocks done and need to get going on the other two sets.

I have been working on a quilt for a friend and thinking about working on my rhino quilt #2. I'm planning on doing a little sewing project with the preschool kids too. What have you been working on lately?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rhino Quilt

So, I made a rhinoceros quilt.

It was a gift for my brother. (He likes it, by the way.)

I pieced the rhino using 2.5" squares cut from a Kona New Classic roll-up. The background is made of 12 cream neutral pieces (6 different fabrics). The rhino is machine appliqued to the background.
I machine quilted the rhino with swirls and variegated thread, and the background with a fairly open stipple and off-white thread. There are some detail lines hand stitched on the ear, eye, legs, and tail, but they don't show up very well.

rhino back
For the back, I pieced together the rest of the Kona strips in relatively rainbow order, and then put that rainbow in between a blue solid fabric from Connecting Threads and a tan fabric I got from a giveaway at guild meeting a while ago. The binding is an eggplant purple solid from Connecting Threads.

Here's a close-up of the quilting:
rhino back2

I started this quilt back in the summer and had a different (crazier) plan before I decided on the random color placement. I was hoping to finish it for a Christmas gift and then my sewing machine had to go to the shop for most of December. I thought I might be able to get it done for my brother's birthday in February, but I didn't. I did finally finish it and send it, but before I did, I decided I liked it so much that I needed to make another one to keep. I'll show you my progress so far in a couple days.

I would love to hear about the craziest quilt you've ever made!