Saturday, November 30, 2013

November finish.

Here I am, once again squeaking in at the last minute. Well, it's done! I ended up choosing a different fabric scheme, but I love how it turned out! I'll update with more details and better photos soon. Goodnight for now!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: November goal

My sewing machine is lonely.

It's been nearly two weeks since I put the final stitches in Master W's quilt and I haven't been able to drag myself back to my sewing table.

I have nothing planned. There's not a single project in progress. And when I look at my fabric my mind draws a blank.

If I could just start something – anything – I think I'd be over the biggest hurdle.

So this month, I'm sticking to a teeny, tiny goal: make a Christmas gift for Miss C.'s first grade teacher. Miss C. has asked for a zippy pouch for her teacher, using a brightly-colored, not-quite-finished block that I'd abandoned from an earlier project.

Sounds good to me. Let's get sewing.

You can find this post over at the A Lovely Year of Finishes link-up, hosted by Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Master W.'s quilt (a.k.a. The Traffic Cone Quilt)

We celebrated a birthday at our house this weekend. Master W. is now a big 4-year-old boy. 

We had a family party at our house, complete with chocolate cake and enough new trains, Legos and cars to keep the Master busy for quite some time. 

Mommy's gift was tucked behind the rest, folded up neatly and ready for snuggling. The Traffic Cone Quilt was finally finished and ready for its new home on Master W.'s bed. My little guy loves to hide under blankets and quilts, often dragging them around the house with his head covered and a small set of eyes peeping out. This little guy was made for quilts.

After all the gifts had been opened, the cake had been eaten and the kids were building a new Lego set with their uncles, I snuck off to the back of the house to put Master W.'s new quilt on his bed.

As I smoothed it out over the bed, I thought about all of the love that went into the making of this quilt. I spent hours – months, in fact – carefully choosing fabric, designing the block, cutting and assembling all 72 blocks (freezer paper piecing), quilting and then finishing the binding by hand. To finally see it laying on his bed – finished – was incredible. 

And then watching his face light up at bedtime when he was finally able to snuggle up underneath it... that, my friends, was amazing

I'm linking this quilt up in a few places today: 
Quilt details:
  • Hand-designed the traffic cone block
  • Freezer paper pieced all 72 blocks
  • Used the quilt as you go method (QAYG) to quilt each block before assembling the top
  • Stitched in the ditch to quilt the back to the top
  • Hand-finished the binding
  • Finished size is for a twin bed (72" x 90")
The fabrics I used for the traffic cones:
  • Timeless Treasures Blue Mod Cars
  • Sweet on NYC White Taxi Cabs
  • City Streets Olive Busy Downtown
  • City Streets Orange Tossed Wind-Up Cars
  • Michael Miller White Dig It
  • Ten Little Things Orange Trucks
  • City Centre Light Blue City Grid
  • City Centre Red Stacked Cars
  • Cone Zone Green Construction Zone
The fabrics I used for the background, backing and binding:
  • Kona Steel
  • Out N' About Green Highway Signs by Caleb Gray (see below)
  • Timeless Treasures Sketch in Cherry

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: October goal

It's that time again... Another month has come and gone and I'm working toward another finish for the A Lovely Year of Finishes link-up, hosted by Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs.

I'm really excited about this month, because I can finally say that I'm ready to finish Master W.'s quilt. His fourth birthday is coming up at the end of this month and I can't wait to give him his special quilt. 

All I have left to do is finish hand-stitching the binding. And with only evenings to work on it, I'd better get stitching!

Monday, September 30, 2013

September finish.

Back at the beginning of the month, I let it slip in my goal post for A Lovely Year of Finishes, hosted by Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs, that I was considering making a push to finish Master W.'s quilt in time for his fourth birthday at the end of October. To be honest, with all those blocks to quilt I just wasn't sure I could do it.

But then Lucy left me the perfect encouraging note in the comments and it gave me the motivation I needed to challenge myself to finish it in time for the big day.
So, instead of just reaching my goal of getting 3/4 of the top finish (quilting and assembly included), I managed to finish the top, choose and order the backing and binding, and pin-baste the quilt sandwich!

Don't you just love this backing fabric? It's Out N' About Green Highway Signs by Caleb Gray. I knew as soon as I spotted it at Fat Quarter Shop that I'd found the perfect complement to my traffic cone blocks.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Apple picking.

Today I watched my kids run through an apple orchard.

I relished the sounds of their laughter, the soft grass crunching underfoot, and the gentle rustling of the leaves on the apple trees. I could smell the spicy scent of apple pies baking in the ovens of the bakeshop just down the hill from where we stood. And there wasn't another soul in sight. Just our little group of friends gathering apples in our buckets.
It wasn't until I got home that I realized just how much I miss rural life. I've been away too long. How I wish I could snap my fingers and transport my little family to life in the country and experience that sense of freedom once again.

These are the days that I keep close in my heart. I have a feeling I'll be dreaming about that little wish for good long while. And maybe someday we'll find a way to make that dream come true.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Keeping the Lego horde at bay.

Anyone whose has a child who loves Legos*, knows where this post is going.

What started out as a few of Hubby's old sets has in a few short years morphed into an entire cupboard of Lego sets. Space ships. Planes. Trucks. Houses. We have a lot of Legos.

Believe it or not, the photo you see below represents what used to be a really good Lego organization system. I know it looks messy, but when we first introduced Miss C. to the magic of Legos, she was about four years old and all she wanted to do was assemble the sets using the instructions over and over again. So we bagged up each set and stored it in its original box. Everything stayed nice and neat (or at least organized).
And then Master W. grew out of toddlerhood and wanted to play with Legos too. His first Lego love was the green garbage truck. He played with it non-stop and for a long time was content to play with the assembled cars, trucks and space ships as-is. 

But in the last few months something has changed. Master W.'s love of the Lego is still going strong, only now he likes to smash disassemble them and leave the little pieces everywhere. Putting all of those loose pieces back with their original sets was becoming impossible... they all started to look the same. And there were so many of them!

Something had to change. I knew we needed a new system, but I couldn't bring myself to simple throw all of the pieces into a big bin. That would only lead to dumping... and really, who wants to clean that up?

So I start combing the web for Lego storage ideas. My favorite was the lady who used a metal tool chest to sort the pieces by color and type. We checked the prices on metal tool chests... let's just say they were way beyond my tiny budget. Yikes!

I switched to Plan B: If all else fails, check JoAnn's. 
Score! Using my trusty 40% off coupons, I was able to pick up three ArtBin storage containers with moveable dividers for $12 each. My budget was $43 (all proceeds from selling some toys and clothes the kids had outgrown).

I spent a few nights sorting our Legos out by color and I'm in love with the results. Amazingly, the kids have kept it very well organized. They can find the pieces they need, which I think has led to more creative creations, and everything is much easier to put away.

And while I still find some Legos on the floor (ouch!), it's much better than it used to be.

*Yes, yes, I know they're technically called Lego Bricks and one should never, ever refer to the as Legos. But I grew up with three brothers who loved Legos... and that's what we called them... and darn it, old habits die hard. I just can't bring myself to call them Lego Bricks. Sorry, Lego.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: September goal

Talk about waiting until the last minute! There's just over an hour left in the link-up for this month's goal setting party for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs, and I'm just barely sneaking in with my post.

I'm almost halfway finished with Master W.'s traffic cone quilt top. Normally, I'd tell myself that I could finish the rest of the top in a month, but I've got a birthday gift to make as well so I'm going to keep this month's goal modest and work toward getting the top 3/4 of the way finished (that includes quilting and assembling the blocks into rows).
Of course, I'll be crossing my fingers that I can actually finish the rest of the top by the end of the month. Master W.'s birthday is coming up at the end of October and I'm thinking the quilt would make an awesome birthday present from Mommy.

We'll see!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August finish.

I must admit I was feeling rather ambitious when I came up with this month's goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, hosted by Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs.

To start I had six blocks left to make, which isn't too bad. I finished them up in two nights. Then I had to arrange them into the final quilt top design (which took an entire evening) and start quilting (another evening). Oh, and toss in other miscellaneous to-do items to get Miss C. ready to go back to school and August was a rather busy month!

All in all, I'm super excited about how this quilt is shaping up. Laying out all the blocks really made my original idea come to life. The quilting design I chose is a simple one – alternating straight lines – which I think will be perfect for my little boy's room.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fugly Fabric Party

Lucy at Charm About You is hosting another Fugly Fabric Party!

This time I have a nice pile of brown scraps up for grabs (yes, that's a single small piece of Mendocino you see in there!). Some are large, others are long and a few are tiny. A few may have been pre-washed.

I'd like to swap for it, so please leave me a comment if you're interested. I'm open to swapping for scraps or even a single piece of fabric, but would prefer to stay away from batiks, browns, animal prints or civil war prints. I love color and and open to all sorts of possibilities.

Just let me know if you're interested and have something you'd like to swap!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop: Lunch notes at Pen Pals & Picture Books

Today is the last day of the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop!

Hop on over to Pen Pals & Picture Books where Whitney will be dishing up some awesome lunch note ideas. This is such a great way to jazz up your kids' lunches!

Trust me when I say you're sure to fall in love with the awesomeness that is Pen Pals and Picture Books. Whitney and Robyn always crack me up with their posts, and they're book recommendations are spot on.

Want to read the rest of the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop posts? Here's who hosted lunch each day:

Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Michelle at needle and nest (That's me!)
Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Melissa at Julia's Bookbag
Friday, Aug. 23 – Whitney at Pen Pals and Picture Books

Thanks for hopping along with us. I hope you found some great ideas for making a Happy Happy Lunch Box!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Studio Spotlight at Ellison Lane

Have you heard about the Studio Spotlight series that Jennifer was hosting over at Ellison Lane? She rounded up the best of the best studio spaces, giving readers lots of fab ideas for improving our own little sewing areas.

And now she's hosting a link-up for readers to showcase their own sewing spaces for a chance to win some awesome prizes. So here's a peek at mine:

My sewing spaces can be found in our playroom (an unused family room), just off the kitchen. It's small, but I have a space for everything and it's right in the middle of where we spend all of our time as a family. 

As you can see in the photo above, I've commandeered an old microwave cart for current project storage. The drawer is filled with rulers, a cutting mat and a few other quilting goodies. Most everything around here has to do double-duty, so you'll see that my table doubles as a sewing table and after-school backpack storage while that awesome Disneyland attraction poster also serves as a sort of project bulletin board. 

Below, you'll see what Miss C. and were working on this afternoon: her doll quilt. She picked out all of the prints from a scrappy pack of squares that I won from Carpe Lanam's Sew Mama Sew giveaway in May. I love that she loves to sew with me.

Do you have a sewing space, big or small, that you'd like to enter into the link-up? There's still time left! Hop on over to Ellison Lane to enter! 

Happy Happy Lunch Box: Quick and easy lunch goodies at Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes

We're halfway through the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop and we've already covered a lot of ground!

Today's post can be found over at Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes, where Danzel is going to be giving us the lowdown on prepping quick and easy lunch goodies. Kids don't seem to have much time for lunch these days, so they can't be slowed down by frustrating packaging. No one wants to miss out on playtime after lunch, right?

And while you're over there, be sure to take a peek around the rest of Danzel's blog. I love how her blog has a decided vintage feel to it, which I absolutely love. You'll find all sorts of cool books, old movies and fun kid stuff in her posts. There are little treasures hidden everywhere!

Want to follow along with the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop? Here's who'll be hosting lunch each day:

Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Michelle at needle and nest (That's me!)
Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Melissa at Julia's Bookbag

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Happy Lunch Box: Bento goodies at Julia's Bookbag

I hope you're enjoying the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop!

Today's post can be found over at Julia's Bookbag, where Melissa is showing us how to incorporate Japanese bento goodies into your lunch-making routine.

And while you're there soaking up all that bento cuteness, I highly recommend taking a few moments to check out the rest of Melissa's blog. This lady is seriously funny. Plus she shares all the best recipes. And she's like a walking librarian when it comes to finding the best children's books.

So go on then. You're going to love it. I promise!

Want to follow along with the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop? Here's who'll be hosting lunch each day:

Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Michelle at needle and nest (That's me!)
Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Melissa at Julia's Bookbag

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Happy Lunch Box: Packing for picky eaters.

Yesterday I let you in on my geeky little secret: I love packing school lunches.

Today, I'm going to let you in on another one: my sweet little girl is a picky eater. Always has been. And yet I still love making a lunch for her every day.

At this point, you're probably thinking I'm a bit delusional. Either my kid isn't truly a picky eater or I'm crazy. 

Miss C. is a picky eater, though she's come a long way in the last few years. She went from being a toddler who would only eat a handful of foods to a 6-year-old who politely tries everything I ask her to taste, but still doesn't actually "like" most of it. She's still pretty particular, but we've come a long way in our journey to expand her food horizons.

As to the crazy part... well, maybe I am a little crazy. I have three simple rules that I follow when it comes to school lunches, and I swear they take a lot of the stress out of packing lunch for a picky eater:
  1. Pack your child's lunch the night before. I've tried packing Miss C.'s lunch in the morning before school... and with three kids buzzing around me like bees (one of whom is in my arms at all times) I can hardly think straight. This does not lend itself to good lunch choices. Trust me. Putting lunch together the night before gives you some quiet time to hunt through the fridge and pantry for what your little one is most likely to eat.
  2. Never fight food battles at lunch. I always pack things that I know Miss C. will eat, while trying to keep a nice balance of fruit, protein, healthy fats and starches in her lunch. I never, ever pack something that she doesn't like or is even on the fence about because I know it won't get eaten. Does your kid like off-the-wall leftovers, dips, strange fruits or goofy veggies? If it gets them to eat a healthy lunch, pack it!
  3. Make lunchtime fun. You'll be learning more about this later this week in some of our other posts so I won't touch on it too much here. But I do make liberal use of Japanese bento boxes, food cutters and cute little animal picks to make Miss C.'s lunch look more exciting. 
So what exactly do I pack in Miss C.'s lunch? Here's a handy-dandy list of some of the typical things I like to put in her Happy Happy Lunch Box:
  • Apples with peanut butter dip (she's not a huge apple fan, but loves them with peanut butter)
  • Fruit and yogurt
  • Granola and yogurt
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Carrots and peanut butter
  • Cheese and cracker stacks
  • Cheese roll-ups (just melted cheese and a tortilla)
  • PB&J roll-ups (just peanut butter, jelly and a tortilla)
  • Flavored cream cheese cracker sandwiches
  • Sliced fruit (whatever is in season that Miss C. likes)
  • Sandwiches (pb&j, hummus and cheese, salami and cheese, ham and cheese, etc.)
  • Leftover mac-n-cheese
  • Leftover beans and rice
  • Mini burrito (usually left over from dinner)
  • Olives
  • Apple slices covered in peanut butter and raisins
  • Graham cracker and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Bagel sandwiches
  • Cheese cubes
  • Ants On a Log (this one is untested in our house, but I'm going to give it a go this year after an after-school snack test run)
A few things to note:

We only use natural (read: unsweetened) peanut butter. I consider it to be a healthy fat and good source of protein, so it makes its way into her lunch several times a week.

Everything is fair game. If she likes what we had for dinner that night, I'll ask her if she'd like to have it in her lunch the next day. Sometimes, I'll have a bit of cream cheese left from morning bagels and I'll put it on her sandwich for a spread. Olives from taco night often make their way into her lunch as well. Does your kid love pizza? Put a slice in his lunch! You get the idea.

Veggies are a huge challenge here. I feel lucky that I can get her to eat carrots. I'd love to feature more veggies in her lunch, but as anyone who has a picky eater knows... it's a journey. One step at a time!

I hope I've given you a few ideas for packing a Happy Happy Lunch Box for your picky eater. Stay tuned tomorrow for Melissa's post on incorporating Japanese bento goodies into your lunchtime routine!

Want to follow along with the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop? Here's who'll be hosting lunch each day:

Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Michelle at needle and nest (That's me!)
Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Melissa at Julia's Bookbag

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop

It's nearly the end of August so it's time to raise my geek flag and proclaim with a mighty yell...

School lunches ROCK!


You don't love making school lunches too? You don't spend your evenings mentally going through the fridge, planning out tomorrow's lunch? 

Um, maybe that's just me. 

Ahem. Okay, moving on.

Maybe a school lunch blog hop will help bring you to the dark side? Or at least take some of the daily torture out of the lunch-making process. Baby steps, right?

Enter the Happy Happy Lunch Box Blog Hop. I've lined up three of my best bloggy buddies for a week of dishing out our favorite tips and tricks for making your very own Happy Happy Lunch Box.
Want to follow along? Here's who'll be hosting lunch each day:

Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Michelle at needle and nest (That's me! Come back tomorrow for tips on packing for the picky eater.)
Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Melissa at Julia's Bookbag

Seriously you guys, Melissa, Danzel and Whitney are awesome. Not only did they agree to join in on this hair-brained lunch blog hop scheme I cooked up, but they each host AMAZING blogs! I hope you take a moment to check them out – I promise you'll love them too!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Braving the browns.

I've got a problem.

There's a little bag of brown scraps sitting in my sewing cupboard, that's been begging to be made into something. Anything. 

Actually it's not such a little bag, which makes it a big problem. I think they've been multiplying at night, because what started out as just a few scraps has somehow grown to a bursting ziplock bag of menacing muddiness. 

And I don't even buy brown fabrics. Ever! So I really can't explain where they're coming from.

I finally pulled the bag out this week with new determination. But then all of my old doubts crept forward...

I can't ever find colors that coordinate with brown!

Doesn't brown make everything look out of date?

What if I hate it?

I almost put it back. But then I saw something... a little strip of brown with colorful raindrops. Hmmm...

Maybe I can do this brown thing after all.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taking time.

There hasn't been much action at my sewing machine these last few weeks. Summer is coming to a close and school is rapidly approaching.

With just one week left of summer vacation, I've got big plans for my sweeties:
  • Play outside
  • Make French toast
  • Watch lots of movies
  • Play games
  • Read stories
  • Hug, giggle and relax
Oh, and enjoy more of these chubby little baby legs. 

How are you enjoying these last days of summer? Or are your children already back to school?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: August goal

Last month's goal was to start Master W.'s bed quilt. Not only did I start it, but as of today I'm 14 blocks shy of finishing up all of the blocks for the quilt! So with that in mind, my August goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs is to start quilting the blocks using a new-to-me technique: QAYG (quilt as you go). That means I have to finish up the last few blocks, settle on a quilting design and finish quilting at least one block before the month is over. This should be fun!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

We made a pillowcase together.

Actually, Miss C. made it. I just supervised.

My sweetie picked out the fabric, ironed, pinned, cut and sewed until she had a finished pillowcase. I was there to guide her through the process and do the serging (moving knives and six-year-olds don't mix), but she truly did it all herself.

The first day of sewing was done at my table with the foot petal propped up on a small step stool. That worked well enough, but I quickly realized that she couldn't see the needle too well so the following day we set my machine up at our kid-sized table. VoilĂ ! Guiding the fabric under the needle was much easier for her this way.

We used a simple pillowcase tutorial from Made, but did have to make a few changes due to mama-error. I quickly discovered that we didn't have enough fabric since she chose that cute kitty directional print and I forgot to add yardage. Oops! We ended up making the cuff about twice as wide as the pattern called for to compensate for the loss in yardage. In the end, I think it worked out just fine and I'm glad we took the extra time to do it right.

I loved seeing the look on her face when we slipped it over her pillow. She was bursting with pride at doing it all herself and has been dragging it around the house ever since. I can't even begin to describe the emotions I felt when she finished it. I'm simply amazed by the wonderful girl my daughter is becoming. And there's something so special – almost vital, even – about passing a true skill on to the next generation the way my mother and grandmother did to me.
I'm thinking we'll have to make this mother-daughter sewing session a summer tradition in the coming years.

Do you sew with your kids? I'd love to see what you've made together!

Monday, July 29, 2013

July finish.

My goodness, I can't believe how quickly the summer is flying by. We're already at the end of July. Eep!

I'm pleased to report that I got a great start to Master W.'s quilt, and have finished 42 of 72 blocks. Woot! My July goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs was simply to get started on the blocks. It feels so good to see that big pile of finished blocks.

By the looks of things, I should be well on my way to getting them all finished up in the next month.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I'm feeling Clashy Bright!

I'm excited to share that my mosaic was one of 10 selected as finalists for Rachel's Clashy Bright fabric mosaic contest. Woot!

Every single one of the finalists offers a unique and gorgeous take on the theme. Hop on over to vote for your favorite!

And if you're looking to vote for mine (many, many thanks to anyone who votes for me!), it looks just like this:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Traffic Cone Block: A free paper piecing pattern

Have you ever dreamed up a project, going so far as to design a pattern and purchase the fabric, only never actually start it?

Maybe it was the fear of trying something new (anyone else out there afraid to try paper piecing?). Or maybe other, easier projects slipped ahead in line. Or, in my case, a little bit of both...

This past week I'd run out of excuses – and easy projects – and I could no longer ignore Master W.'s quilt. So I bit the bullet and bought my first roll of freezer paper so that I could begin sewing the first of 72 traffic cone blocks for Master W.'s bed quilt.

And you know what? Paper piecing isn't really all that bad when you start with freezer paper and a simple block. Freezer paper piecing is much simpler than you'd think:
  1. Trace your block to the dull side of the freezer paper. I taped mine to a window and used the sunshine for a light box effect.
  2. Cut out the traced block pieces.
  3. Use a dry iron to press the pieces to your fabric, lightly adhering the shiny side to the right side of your fabric.
  4. Rotary cut each piece, adding a quarter inch seam allowance along each side of the piece.
  5. Line up any points when stitching the pieces together, sewing each piece in numerical order.
  6. Press open your seams and enjoy a perfectly pieced block!
I'm having so much for working on this quilt. There are nine different prints set against Kona Steel. Each print will be used in eight traffic cone blocks (so far I've finished 22 blocks). This is going to finish as a twin-sized quilt, so when all 72 are assembled I'm going try out another new-to-me quilting technique: quilt as you go. 

Would you like to give my traffic cone pattern a try? I had a lot of fun designing it and would love to share it with you for your personal use. You can download it for free, then print it out at home. Since it's a 9 x 10" block, it will print in two pages (don't let your printer scale it down in size), which you'll have to cut out and tape together. I numbered each piece and those that need to be taped together have an "a" and "b" side to take out some of the guesswork.

I'd love to see any projects you make with this block (feel free to post your links in the comments of this post), and would appreciate it if you'd credit back to this post if you blog about it. Have fun!

You can find this project linked up at:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Clashy Bright

Rachel over at Stitched in Color is hosting a mosaic contest called Clashy Bright.

Normally I wouldn't gravitate toward clashy bright colors and prints... but I saw this contest as a way to stretch my color muscles. To try something new and a little dangerous.

Can color be dangerous?

Oh yes. Especially when it's purple and orange and turquoise all having a party together.

I'm starting to dig all these crazy colors mixed together. Danger can be fun too, you know.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

For the boss baby.

Hubby's boss is pregnant with her first baby and due in the next month or so. I know I promised myself I wouldn't start any more quilts until I'd finished Master W.'s bed quilt...

But when it comes to babies, I just can't help myself.
This scrappy patchwork quilt was easy and fun to whip up. Baby is going to be a girl – cue the massive amounts of pink – so I dug through my overflowing pink scrap bag, as well as my pink fabric stack to get started. After grabbing any and all pink fabric I could find (including some lovely scraps I won from the super generous Sew Wonderful Life), I snagged some pretty aqua and green scraps to round things out. Then I spied a sad little bag of Kona White scraps, left over from my postage stamp quilt. Most pieces were too small to do much with, but I wondered if some splashes of white throughout the quilt might add some visual interest.

I know there are many shortcuts out there for making patchwork blocks, but I'm one of those oddball quilters who actually likes organizing and sewing up each and every square. So, the following night I gleefully headed over to the cutting table, where I cut everything into 2.5" squares and organized the neat little stacks of squares by print.

Another evening was then spent laying out my quilt top. My only rules were that no single print should end up next to its twin, and that there would be at least one white square in each 9-patch block.

A few nights later, the top was done and I was left pondering the back. I could have gone out and purchased some fabric for the back, but I liked the challenge of finding a way to make the entire quilt from stash (I even pieced two pieces of batting together for this quilt). What you see are several large leftover pieces from stash, as well as several lovely vintage sheet pieces that I won in the most recent Sew Mama Sew giveaway from the wonderful Carpe Lanam. Aren't they pretty?

I quilted it up with some wavy lines, bound it with some more scraps and ran it through the wash to get that squishy, crinkly effect. The result: a soft little quilt, perfect for baby push-ups!

And I must say that I love that my little helper is finally big enough to hold up quilts! I love seeing her sweet little face peeking out from behind the top of the quilt!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: July Goal

I missed the June goal setting party, but I'm happy to be back for July. This month my goal is to begin Master W.'s bed quilt. Ideally, this means I will have completed a test block and start cutting and sewing. Crossing my fingers that my test block goes together easily.