Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday

It's been a while since I've done a WIP Wednesday post... sadly there hasn't really been much in-progress until this month.  My main project goal for Mid-Atlantic Mod was to work on my Briar Rose Sawtooth Stars quilt for my niece.  She will be 3 in June so I want to have it finished for her birthday.
--apologies I always seem to start off with crappy IG pics!--

I tried to get the majority of my fabrics cut so that I would be able to sew, sew, sew at the retreat, but at 2am on Wednesday before I left for lancaster I realized that wasn't going to happen.  As I was cutting I realized I was going to need more solids as well.

Since I knew I needed 4 flying geese per star, I sewed up a few test blocks using the no-waste-flying-geese method.  The article even had cutting instructions for common block sizes, so I didn't even have to do quilt math for a 6 inch finished geese!

pretty stacks of solids :)
Between more cutting, and socializing, I only managed to get a few blocks done on the first day of the retreat.  I got down to business and sewed more Friday and Saturday and ended up with 18 blocks by the end of the retreat.... not too shabby considering all the other things I got up to :)

I've been sewing them piecemeal here and there as I have time.  I need 35 blocks total and plan to do a skinny border of Essex Linen in Flax to bring it up to twin size.  I'm not sure how I want to quilt it, but maybe I can get up the guts to try a loopy FMQ meander...

Linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  What is on your sewing table?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Mod

So I am just now unpacking and catching-up from an amazing weekend at Mid-Atlantic Mod.  Yup, it's been a week since I returned but I have been scrambling at work from those two extra days of being off.  I did take my nice camera, but I was having so much fun that all I managed to take was IG pics on my Nexus (sorry!)

Mid-Atlantic Mod was a joint venture put together by Andrew from the Philadelphia MQG, Jess from Central Jersey MQG, and Katie from the DCMQG, and wow did they do a fantastic job!  65 quilters from the Mid-Atlantic region got together at the Doubletree in Lancaster PA for a 4 day quilting extravaganza :)

These are just the projects I packed.  I had a laundry basket with interfacing, an ironing board, ott light and other stuff... PLUS my clothes, lol!
After packing up way too much stuff, I headed off to Lancaster.  It's a really convenient, straight shoot via Rt. 30 and took a little over 2 hours because of traffic congestion in York, PA.  Since this was my first quilting retreat I had no idea how much I could realistically get accomplished.  I guess I overestimated since I figured I could get a TON of sewing done without having to worry about dishes/laundry/vacuuming/work, etc. etc.

It was so great getting to meet other quilters whom I had only known through the online community that I ended up socializing the majority of Thursday and only managed to get two of my Briar Rose blocks constructed (more on that on Wednesday!).

Shopping for Kona solids at Burkholders.  Photo from @jtlevitt 
I got a little bit more done on Friday... especially SHOPPING!  Jess S., Jess L., Rachel and I took a trip to Burkholder's which was about a 40 minute drive (you can see more pics of our trip on Jess's post linked at the bottom of this post).  Burkholder's was giving Mid-Atlantic Mod attendees a generous 25% discount so I walked out of there with quite a bit of fabrics, some out-of-print and hard-to-find.

Sassy Tassel Pop Shop
When we arrived back at the Doubletree, the proprietor of the Sassy Tassel in downtown Lancaster had set up an amazing pop shop in the ballroom.  She had some great out of print fabrics: Tula's Parisville, AMH Innocent Crush, DS Hopevalley... /swoon.  The Sassy Tassel was also offering an awesome 25% off, AND buy 4 get on free on all pre-cuts.  Needless to say, I bought more fabric :p

Fabric Haul from Burkholder's and the Sassy Tassel.  Check out all those OOP beauties!
Kona: Cloud, Alegria, School Bus, Camellia, Sour Apple, Cerise, Kale
I really went to Burkholder's for solids, which I legitimately needed for my Briar Rose blocks.  But as you can see I came home with way more.  But at such great deals and so many OOP fabrics, who could resist?!?!

Saturday, I took two workshops: Piecing Gentle Curves with Andrew, and Modern Log Cabins with Jess L.

Piecing Gentle Curves fabric pull and results
Modern Log Cabin Block
I really don't have definite plans for these blocks yet, but it was nice to break out of my comfort zone and try new techniques.  One thing I discovered that I do really love working with solids so I'll have to be sure to keep stashing them!

Besides working on the Briar Rose quilt for my niece, I wanted to make a divided basket for a friend who just had a baby (to match the quilt I made for her).

Silly me, I decided to start the divided basket around midnight on Saturday... it's definitely hard to follow directions after a few beers and an exciting day.  I did end up finishing it on Sunday morning but unfortunately didn't get to stop by and see my friend after the retreat as planned... it came in handy for toting my fabric haul home though!

All-in-all it was such an amazing experience to meet people that were previously bloggy friends, and to make many many new friends.  Hopefully I can start attending DCMQG meetings regularly even though it's a not terribly close to my house.  The entire weekend was so inspiring, even if it wasn't terribly productive.  I will hopefully be able to return next year, and hope you'll join us too!!!

Things to remember for next year:

  • participate in a few of the activities
  • a cushion for the hotel chair with a fancy cover of course
  • shoes with more arch support
  • veggie snacks 
  • more travel handmade items :)

Kickass SWAG!
There are so many things that I didn't cover in this post, so you should check out some other great Mid-Atlantic Mod recaps!  And the #midatlanticmod hashtag on Instagram :)
Jess @ Quilty Habit
Rachel @ Like to Sew (part 1) (part 2)
Miki @ Sparrow Quilts
Linda @ I Finally Have Time

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes: Aeroplane Bag March Finish

My Button Well ladies and gents, I finished myself a piece for #travelhandmade.  In the eleventh hour last night I was finished... too bad I finished it too late on March 31 to take satisfactory pictures and post to the link-up.

March really was just a whirlwind of activity... Lots of Master Gardener stuff gearing up... where the heck did the month go???  Lucky for me, the weather was super crummy and I had two glorious days of pretty much nothing to do except sew this past weekend.

Part of my goal this month was to make myself an Aeroplane Bag by SewSweetness so I would have something to tote my sewing machine with me to Mid Atlantic Mod.

I am so pleased with how it turned out!  And, with the exception of the AMH Dowry print and interfacings, I had all of the other fabrics on-hand.

Since I sew mainly at night, it's difficult for me to get good "in-progress" pictures, but I did end up posting a lot of my progress on my instagram

I pulled the fabric on our very rainy and gloomy Sunday afternoon, and started cutting around 4:30.  I kept sewing until around 11pm and got both outer and lining panels completed.  On Monday night after work I attached the zipper and finished the entire bag around 10pm.  So from start to finish the bag took me about 11 hours (including breaks)... not too shabby.

I still consider myself a "confident beginner" when it comes to projects, especially non-quilting projects.  This bag was definitely a challenge for me, but I wouldn't say that it was difficult, it just forced me to try new things (zippers still intimidate me).  I will definitely purchase more of Sara's patterns in the future.  Her instructions are amazing and made the whole process much easier.  The splitting zipper made installation  a breeze and also helped ease the assembly process.  I did end up having to do some hand stitching around the zipper ends, but I think that's more because of my lack of experience than anything else.

As I mentioned before, the outer main fabric is Anna Maria Horner Dowry "Postage Due" in Berry.  This is the only fabric that I purchased for this project.  The straps and bottom fabric are made from Anna Maria Horner Field Study "Fine Feathered" in Denim, and the yard I had in the stash is sadly now reduced to scraps because I made a booboo cutting the first time.

The lining is Kona Kale which coordinates pretty well with the green on the main print.  I was originally going to use a different Dowry print for the pocket lining, but settled on the cute navy dots from DS Quilts Blossom Reel collection at Joann's.

Since I chose to make the large size, it fits my sewing machine perfectly, with spare room on the the sides for my extension table, cord and foot pedal.  I may use some of the leftover Peltex to make a more stable bottom just to support the weight of the machine.  I don't think this is absolutely necessary, the bag construction is sturdy, I'm just not as confident in my bag-making abilities to trust my seams, lol.

I purchased this pattern and all fabrics with my own funds and did not get compensated in any way for this post.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes: March Goal

My ButtonDoes anyone else feel like February went by way too quickly?  Between work, bad weather, and being sick all last week... I really don't feel like I got much done (except buy lots of fabric... but that's a story for a different post, lol).  I have to say, I'm glad it's March, because Mid-Atlantic Mod is only a month away!!!  This will be my first quilting retreat and I'm really looking forward to having 4 solid days of quality time with my machine and other quilters :)

I am a little embarrassed that I call myself a quilter and I don't have any travel handmade products to take along with me to the retreat.  So my March Goal is to make myself an Aeroplane Bag to tote my sewing machine, and maybe a little caddy for my supplies.

I really should make it out of fabric that I already have, buuuuuut... I want it to be more durable so I'm thinking I'd like to use Charley Harper and Bark and Branch canvases.

blocks in various stages of completion
I would also like to finish my Scrapper's Delight quilt.  I have a lot of the blocks made, or in progress, so I'm close to having a finished top.  I can't say for whom I am trying to finish, because I'm not sure if she reads my blog or not... but I would like to give a little lap quilt for her office.  

Since 72x72" is way larger than a lap size, I decided to copy s.o.t.a.k. Handmade's idea and increase the block size to 15.5" (which will produce a 60x60" quilt instead).

With all the colors and pretty scraps, I can't wait to see it together.  I just hope it's not too busy for it's intended recipient :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Scrap-bee-licious March Queen Bee

I am SO EXCITED to be Queen bee for the Scrap-Bee-Licious Bee this month :)  The hive is composed of 13 amazing ladies, and you should check out beautiful work!

Ashley @ Wasn't Quilt in a Day (IG)
Gwendellyn @ the Rainbow Revolts (IG)
Cath @ Wombat Quilts (IG)
Alyce @ Wonderland by Alyce (IG)
Nicole @ Modern Handcraft (IG)
Rachel @ Lets Begin Sewing (IG)
Nanette @ Yeah I Made That
Robin Sue @ Robin Sue Quilts
Stephanie H. @ Simple Sewendipity
Stephanie A. @ Quarter Incher (IG)
Michelle @ Factotum of Arts (IG)
Laura @ Little and Lots (IG)

So now that you've gone and checked out all of these talented ladies' blogs (and hit follow!), on to my March Block choice.  If you're like me, you have bins literally overflowing with scraps.  That's the whole point of this Bee right?  Hopefully this block will eliminate your smallish squares :)

Holy Scraps, Batman!
This month, I'd like two 12.5" Star Value Blocks by Melissa at Happy Quilting.  I've been eyeing this block for a while and was glad that nobody in the bee has picked it yet :)  Before you look at the tutorial, and get mad at me for asking you sew SO MANY tiny 2" squares, just look how pretty the blocks turn out ::wink::  Also, you can check out this post to see how the blocks will come together

For color selection, the scrappier the better!  Try to choose as much variety in fabrics and colors as you can.  The only change I'd like to make to Melissa's Tutorial, is that I would like black or charcoal instead of gray squares.  That way you can mix the lighter grays in with the Low Volume squares.  I made both of these blocks with scraps that were laying on my dining room table, I didn't even dip into the scrap bins!  I also ended up cutting down charm squares from swaps for the Low Volume and Dark pieces to make things a little easier.  

Cutting Instructions per Block (There is a great chart on the tutorial page, but I'll put it here for easy access):
  • For the Star quadrants: choose 8 colors (preferably different prints) -- from the first print cut 1 2" square, from the second print cut 1 2.5" square.  Repeat for each color for a total of 8 squares of each size.
  • For the Diamond Pieces: choose 4 more prints (any color, or multi-color) -- cut 1 2.5" square from each
  • From a mixture of Low Volume scraps -- cut 16 2" squares, and 16 2.5" squares
  • From Black or Charcoal scraps -- cut 12 2.5" squares
Helpful hint: Chain-piece these suckers! lol

If you need any scraps for variety let me know, as you can see, I have more than I know what to do with.  Also, I know the block looks like a pain, but it's really not.  The tutorial has some great tips and tricks for making assembly easy.  Thanks gals, you rock!  I can't wait to see what you come up with :)

Friday, February 14, 2014


Happy Valentines day Lovlies!  I was hoping to post this last week but we didn't have power... no power = no internet = no blogging = sadface :(

Have I mentioned how much I love swaps?  Well I am a glutton for swapping, so I had to participate in the Sew Sew Modern #4 Swap over on Flickr.  Check out the Flickr pool to see all the amazing goodies that have been swapped :)

I can't reveal who my partner was for this round, because she hasn't received yet (the snow + ice + no power made me a few days late sending).

This was my initial fabric pull (sorry IG pic).  I wanted my patchwork to mirror the Pennant print from KOI.  When I started cutting, I decided to take out the Salt Water print because it didn't look great cut into tiny 2.5" triangles, it was a little too olive drab to fit in with the other prints.  I also ended up adding two other KOI prints for variety.

In-progress (also from IG). I ended up staggaring the rows to try to mirror the inspiration fabric :)  And I went with a scrappy low volume background.  The flying geese are 1.5x5.5" attached to another 1.5x5.5" strip of low volume.

And here's the finished pillow.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Especially since I just cut and sewed, with no pre-planning.  It still ended up square!

I did an off center chevron following the point of one of the geese.  The lines are 1" apart done in a hot pink Gutterman thread.  I also zig-zag stitched the binding on, because inevitably I miss a few spots on the back when machine binding with a straight stitch.

I finished off the back with the Pennant print and did a simple envelope closure (I'm too much of a chicken to try an invisible zipper!)

For the "small item" I took my scraps and made some scrappy coasters, they're so cute :)

And what swap would be complete without some extras :)  I included a lil' twister ruler and a cute ball of variegated Perle cotton.  Since it's headed overseas I wasn't sure what the restrictions were on sending food, so I opted not to send any candy along this time.

I hope you like it partner!  I had a great time making it for you!!!

Linking up with Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mommy Plus One Quilt

I am so excited to share with you not only my first finish of 2014, but my first quilt finish ever!

My best friend, Laura is expecting a little girl March 4 and as soon as she told us she was pregnant, I knew I had to make the little one a quilt :)  The great thing is, with all the snow days we had in the beginning of January, I was able to finish it before her shower.

Laura originally told me that she wanted pink and purple as her color scheme, but when I started laying out the pluses it looked too two-dimensional with only two colors.  So I took a cue from the Erin McMorris fabric (lower right in the above pic) and pulled some peach into the quilt.

I tried to lay out the fabrics so that they were pretty evenly distributed between the different colors and shades.

I quilted it with a Pumpkin Seed walking foot design which took about 2 days, but mostly because I wasn't very comfortable with wrangling a quilt under my machine and it took me a few passes to get the hang of it.

It's backed with lavender Minky (you can also see the quilting better on the solid side) -- which is sooooooo soft!  I think I just might back all my quilts in Minky!

The binding is a Riley Blake polka dot that matched the Minky.  I machine attached it using the tutorial from CluckCluckSew.

There are a lot of firsts in this quilt for me, and I am so proud of it.  It has definitely given me the confidence to have a great (ahem lovely) year of finishes this year.  I hope baby girl gets lots of use out of it and that she loves it as much as I do!

Her mama was very happy with it :)

Quilt Specs:
36" x 53" finished dimensions (3.5" finished squares)
fabrics from a variety of designers including Riley Blake, Violet Craft, Heather Ross, Erin McMorris
backed in Minky
stitched and quilted with Gutterman thread

My Button

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes! and TGIFF!