Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April finishes.

Just a quick post to check in with my finishes for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs

This month, I had two main goals: finish the binding on my postage stamp quilt and make a special gift for a friend's daughter. I managed to finish both and start a new quilt as well! 

Let's hope May brings lots of finishes too!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Scrap Attack Quilt Along: String Fever

String Fever seems to be going around, and I've got it bad!

Rachel at Stitched in Color is hosting another Scrap Attack Quilt Along, and this time the focus is on all those long strings hanging out in our scrap bins. Last year's quilt along was so much fun that I knew I'd have to join in again.
This time I'm making a baby quilt for a dear friend who is expecting a baby. My quilt design is completely inspired by Jolene's Scrappy Strip Quilt, which I've been wanting to make ever since she wrote about it last September. My blocks are slightly smaller (due to an error I made when trimming the first block – oops!) and incorporate a good mix of tiny, skinny and fatter strings. (Oh, and check out my helper's adorable chubby little arm!)

The color scheme is bright and cheerful, just like my friend. I pulled virtually ever scrap of red, blue, aqua, purple, yellow, orange and green that I had in my cupboard, knowing that my friend will love the bold use of color in this quilt.
There are no intentional block designs, just pretty scraps happily pieced together until they're the right size. Yes, yes, I know I just got through saying I can't stand improv piecing. But you know, I think I've realized that I'm okay with it on a quilt like this. Everything is still nice and straight-lined. Maybe it was all those solids and wonky piecing that I couldn't stand?

So far I have 12 of 16 blocks stitched up and ready to go. Finishing it is going to be fun!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Love.

I never thought about naming my quilts, but this one kind of named itself: Love.

Just one word, but so heavy with meaning. This quilt was truly a labor of love.

It all started with an over-stuffed mailer of scraps, generously sent to me by Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches. In the next year, I sorted the scraps, cut them into tiny 1.5" squares, organized them by color, then patiently stitched them into small colorful blocks. Time passed, and all of those tiny blocks were stitched together into a top and finally quilted up in a beautiful spiral design. And now with the last hand stitches in place on the binding, it has found a home on my couch.

And I'm so in love with it. Any little flaws on the back have disappeared into the crinkles from the wash, and to me it's absolutely perfect.

Master W. turns it into Disneyland and drives his cars through quilty tunnels. We cuddle up underneath it at nap time each day. Little Miss C. looks so sweet as rolls onto her tummy and back again over the colorful squares. And everyone enjoys snuggling up underneath it for movie time.

We pour so much love into our quilts as we stitch them together, but the real love comes from years of playtime, snuggling and happy memories. I think this quilt is off to a great start.


Friday, April 19, 2013

A big girl messenger bag.

Miss C. has a friend at school whose older sister is scheduled to begin monthly medical treatments next week in a city that is quite a distance from where we live.

Miss E. is such a sweetheart, an amazing big sister and a wonderful role model for younger children. She always includes Miss C. and the other Kindergartners in her games during recess and after school, and I can tell she's going to grow up to be a wonderful young woman someday.

I've been thinking about Miss E. a lot lately and wanted to make something to help make her monthly trips to the doctor a little brighter. After talking to her mama, I came up with the idea of a messenger bag in her favorite colors. It's the perfect size for toting books, art supplies, snacks and travel games.
The bag was made entirely of scraps, with most of them coming from a lovely studio scrap pack I recently picked up from JAQS Fabrics. A few of the pretty prints you see on the flap came from a jelly roll I won from the super-sweet Jennie and Clara over on Clover and Violet. I ended up quilting the entire bag, including the lining, which adds some much-needed sturdiness. I never thought I'd love quilted bags, but this one made me change my tune!


On a very serious note, the terrible acts of terrorism in Boston earlier this week have left me shaken and saddened. How can I bring my children up in a world where seemingly ordinary people will commit such horrifying atrocities against hundreds of people they've never even met? 

My heart aches for the victims and their families. I think about them daily and offer up my prayers. And I keep on sewing. Not just because I enjoy it, which I do... immensely. But because it's an expression of love. And right now our country, our world could use a lot of love. This bag is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it brought a smile to a little girl's face. And we could all use a few more smiles right now.






Monday, April 1, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: April Goals

This is going to be a quick post, since it's very late and I'm writing this ahead of time while we pack for vacation. I'm hoping to avoid too much typing on wee iPod Touch later.

My goals for the month of April are:
  • Finish hand stitching the binding to the back of the postage stamp quilt.
  • Make a special gift for a friend's daughter.
That's pretty darned ambitious! Crossing my fingers that I get it all done!