Friday, May 31, 2013

I'm a finalist!

I just found out that my scrappy little baby quilt has been named a finalist in the Festival of Strings!

Must. Breathe. Deeply.

Okay, so my little quilt has been chosen alongside four AMAZING string quilts and we all have a chance to win AN ENTIRE BOLT of Warm Batting. That's 40 yards of batting! I'd never have to buy batting again!

That was a lot of internet shouting. Sorry about that. I'm done shouting now.

So, if you like my quilt and want to vote for me, would you kindly pop on over to Stitched in Color's Festival of Strings page and cast your vote?

I'll love you forever if you do!

Okay, okay. You know I'll love you forever even if you vote for one of the other quilts - they are all incredible and definitely worthy of lots of votes. I'm still not sure how my little quilt made it through to stand next to them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Festival of Strings and May Finish

UPDATE: I'm a finalist! I'd love it if you'd vote for my little quilt. Who knows, maybe I'll win that ginormous roll of batting! 

Rachel's Scrap Attack Quilt Along has come to an end and it's time for the Festival of Strings!

I'm so very happy with how this baby quilt came out. It's bright, colorful and super-scrappy... basically, everything I love in a quilt. I've always daydreamed about making something like this, and now that I have tried it I most definitely need to make one for myself someday.

I used Jolene's Scrappy Strip Quilt tutorial as a starting point for this quilt, and I quickly found that assembling the blocks was quite liberating. I didn't think too hard about whether or not the prints would work well together, I just trusted my instincts and introduced about a million different prints to each other.

And you know what? I think they all ended up good friends!

I quilted this little beauty using a loose geometric design, and it's been backed and bound. Now I just have to deliver the quilt to my friend, who is expecting her baby in just a few weeks. I think it looks just perfect for a baby... of course, that's my baby below so maybe I'm biased!

I'm also linking this post up as my May finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bitter Sweet Designs.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From cargo shorts to boy bag.

If you have boys in your life and you like to sew, chances are you've felt frustrated at one time or another by how tough it can be to sew for boys.

Sewing for girls is easy. There are about a gazillion patterns and online tutorials available to get you started sewing clothing, accessories, dolls, bags and just about anything else you could dream up. And fabric? No problem! Nearly every fabric store is overflowing with girlie prints.

Now let's talk about sewing for boys. Not so easy, right? Your pattern choices are much more limited. There are some really good tutorials on blogs if you know where to look, but it can take some time to find them. And good luck finding much in the way of cool fabric for your little guy. The selection doesn't even come close to what is offered for girls. And then there's the fact that boys simply don't have the same range of accessories as girls. 
A few weeks ago I was sharing this very rant with a girlfriend at school, who has a son in Miss C.'s class. (God bless her for listening to me go on about sewing!) She mentioned to me that it's been nearly impossible for her to find an Indiana Jones style satchel for her son. Nothing fancy, just something to carry his bug collecting kit and other assorted treasures when they're out and about.

I went home that night with that bag lingering at the back of my thoughts.

And then it hit me: cargo shorts!
Hubby had some ancient pairs of cargo shorts languishing in the closet, so I snagged one (I did check first, and no he didn't need it anymore in case you were wondering) and started cutting. Nothing was wasted on this bag: nearly every piece of available fabric was stitched up to make the body and straps. Pockets were left intact, with one positioned at the back of the bag for storing super-secret treasures.

I don't have much boy fabric in my stash yet, so I did pop into JoAnn's for a half yard of Star Wars awesomeness to use as lining. 

And now an old pair of cargo shorts has a new life as a cool boy bag. Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones!

You can find this project linked up at:



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom.

I love my mom. She's generous and kind, an amazing listener and the best "Ama" my kids could have ever dreamed up. I love her so much and still wish every day that I could be more like her.
Last weekend was her birthday and I wanted to make her something special. She and my dad are both retired, so they have been doing a little bit more traveling around the country these past few years. With that in mind, I thought maybe she could use something special for her travels, so I made a little zippy pouch for her to tuck her small things in when she's on the road.

The exterior is made almost exclusively from Vintage Modern charm squares that I cut into fours and mixed around until they seemed happy together (the only non-Vintage Modern prints are the scrappy zipper tabs). The interior is left over from the backing used on my postage stamp quilt (The Simple Life by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake Designs).

Mom opened up her gift on her birthday last weekend. Her squeezy hug told me just how much she loved it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

If you're here visiting from Amy's Creative Side, welcome!

I look forward to the Blogger's Quilt Festival every spring and fall, and I'm super excited for this spring's festival because I can finally enter my postage stamp quilt. Woot!

I'm absolutely in love with this quilt.

It all started with an enormous mailer full of beautiful scraps, sent to me from the wonderful Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches:
I later added a bunch of my own scraps and started cutting lots of teeny, tiny squares (1.5 inches to be exact!). After all that cutting, I started assembling the blocks by color. Eventually, hundreds of blocks later, it ballooned into this gorgeous stack (and the photo below doesn't even include the green blocks!):
And then – nearly a year and a half after that mailer full of scraps first arrived at my doorstep – I finally put it all together and made my wonderful, snuggly, all-time-favorite Love Quilt. I'm just so proud of how this quilt turned out. From the tiny postage stamp squares to the beautiful spiral quilting. I hope you enjoy it too!

Quilt stats:

  • Blogger's Quilt Festival Category: Scrappy
  • Size: Approx. 60 x 70"
  • Fabrics: A gazillion different prints!
  • Block notes: No two blocks are the same, each tiny 1.5" square was sewn together individually to make the blocks

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer plans.

The weather has already grown hot in our little corner of California, and the kids are growing restless. Summer is almost here and we can taste it.

Miss C.'s Kindergarten class has been counting the days left until the most important day of all: the last day of school. Each day, she eagerly reports on how many days are left: "Mommy, there are only 19 days left of school. Soon there will only be three... then two... then one!"

She's not the only one around here who can't wait for summer vacation to start. This mama is eagerly anticipating having her girl home for three whole months. I miss having her around all day long, and often wish we had more time together. By the time she's finished with school and homework, it's time for dinner... then bath, stories and bed. There simply isn't much time for fun during the week.

Last Saturday morning, Miss C. and I laid around in her bed and daydreamed about what we are going to do together this summer. We didn't want to forget anything, so we made a list. I loved listening to her ideas and watching her write everything down.

Would you like to know what she has planned?

Miss C.'s Summer List:
  • Make popsicles
  • Go to the library
  • Play dates
  • Bounce place (this in one of those indoor play places that are perfect for hot summer afternoons)
  • Play in the sprinklers
  • Go to the park
  • Play games
  • Sew a pillowcase (our first sewing project together!)
  • Art projects
  • Make cookies
  • Learn to roller skate 
  • Blow bubbles
  • Make cinnamon toast
  • Read chapter books
This is going to be a wonderful summer. I think what I like most about her list is that it's filled with simple things. We're not going to over-schedule ourselves or rush around "doing things". We're just going to have fun.

Have you started dreaming up summertime plans too? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes: May Goal

Last night I started the quilting on my String Fever quilt and I'm already so excited by how it's coming along. I decided to quilt it using the geometric quilting that I chose for my brother's wedding quilt, only this time I'm going to leave the quilting a bit looser. I think the looser quilting will keep the quilt extra soft for the baby, but still allow me to stitch over all of those random strings used to construct the top.

This is going to be my last new quilt project before I get started on Master W.'s bed quilt (finally!), so my May goal is to finish the quilt by the end of the month. Finishing it this month has an added bonus of ensuring that my friend receives it well before her baby arrives!