Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Possibilities


I am in my new house and boy, moving is much more difficult when you have two little "helpers." Not much progress has been made in the sewing room but oh, the possibilities! To go from sewing primarily in my dining room which was the first room you saw when you entered my house, and which needed to be disassembled for every family meal/event, to having my own sewing room? I'm in heaven already!

The baby was in a mood the other day and so during her nap I unpacked some of my fabric onto my shelves, as you can see in the corner. That was my "if I can play with fabric I can destress from a fussy baby" fix. Only about 1/3 of the sewing stuff is actually in the sewing room right now (the rest is in bins and boxes in either the garage or the basement) but most of my fabric is in this pretty new home (though not in this picture. I assure you, the stash is much larger and more ridiculous than those pretty, neat shelves).
My machine is not even in this shot because I took the move as a good chance to take it in to be cleaned.
The room is painted a really light, neutral grey (Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore if you want to know) because I figure that the room will be full of colour from my quilts. But the closet I decided to have fun with and painted it (well, had the painters paint it) Florida Keys Blue which is this fun teal colour that makes the inside of the closet so much more interesting.
And the closet is pretty empty right now. I am positive that will change!
While sorting through and unpacking fabrics, I found a few bundles I had curated for future projects that I felt needed to be added back into general circulation. One example is this Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet combo. For some reason this colour combination was just calling my name but it has been awhile and it doesn't sing to me like it used to. I would rather use these Pearl Bracelets in other quilts so they got added back into the main stash. I figured snapping a picture would preserve the vision, if I ever desperately wanted to recreate it!
Oh, how I love Pearl Bracelets.
Priority #1 is a baby quilt for our (now no longer) neighbours expecting their fifth boy in August. I've waffled on this a zillion times. Here is where it is going. Who knows what it will be like by the end!
I decided to do a rectangular thing (right hand page) and I need to throw in more solids for it to work. 
I hope the other boxes floating around my house can just unpack themselves because I am itching to sew! I think it will take the general chaos that I hate about moving and give me a zen activity to get into a better mindset. Here's hoping for a few minutes of sewing time!


Friday, 3 July 2015

Meow Mix: A Finished Quilt

A lovely friend and co-worker and her husband, whom I've also worked with, are expecting their first child this summer. They both wanted to find out the sex of the baby but two ultrasounds later and baby was not revealing anything. Because she's had a healthy pregnancy (knock wood) there are no more ultrasounds which means baby will be a surprise!

So when I came up with a quilt colour scheme and theme I had to go gender netural. I also know they are both crazy about cats (particularly their sweet, on-eyed rescue cat) so I thought that they would like a cat scheme. I pulled a Lizzy House print to kick off the colour scheme and then this wonderful turquoise, teal and white creation came to be. I'm totally in love with the colours and kind of want one for myself.

The pattern was inspired by this free quilt pattern on Pinterest that I found. I wanted to break up the busy patterns so I had some Kona White for some of the boxes which I think really helps visually. It wasn't quite big enough done to the pattern so I added a border.

All of this fabric came from my stash (Hooray!) including all the bits in the pieced backing.

These colours are so awesome.

This block has the Lizzy House Cat nap print that kicked off the whole colour scheme.

A few more cats. Because why not?

Teal Quatrefoil and Tula Pink? Yummy.

The larger pieces leftover from piecing the front make up the right side and then three strips of leftover yardage from my stash in various turquoise/aquas.

I quilted on either side of each joining seam plus down the middle, then one through each block in each direction, horizontal and vertical. It has just enough quilting to have a nice drape for a baby quilt.

I hope she loves this gift for baby!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Nautical: A Finished Quilt

One of my co-workers is expecting a very surprise delivery in August- a little boy. She was told she was unable to conceive children and then was surprised by her daughter's appearance eight years ago. Now here comes baby #2!

Her nursery brief was "navy, grey and white with a little accent of red." Now that I could manage! I opted to use my go-to tumbler quilt pattern because I thought it suited her style and is quite easy. All the fabric came from my stash (many even from my scraps) which felt good.

Here is Nautical:
You can see that I opted for random navy and grey squares and a white border. The hint of red is in the binding which I think adds a nice little surprise pop of contrast.

I did something completely out of my comfort zone for the backing. I free-form pieced a log cabin type of block out of the scraps from the front, framed it in a red-on-red Pearl Bracelet and then did the rest in Kona White. I totally dig it.

This was so out of my comfort zone. I don't know if I would make these exact choices again but for spontaneous piecing with scraps I think it turned out pretty well.

I used my walking foot to straight-line quilt on either side of each seam line. This included lots of stopping and turning the quilt to get the echo on the tumbler pattern. I love that it creates this interesting look on the back of the quilt amidst all that white.

There are some favourite fabrics in there and it was especially hard to cut into my April Rhodes Arizona print but I think it is the standout pattern in this quilt.
White may not seem super practical for a new baby but this mom, I am certain, will love it. She insists on everything being pristine. Good luck with baby two, Mama!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Thank You Ann: A Finished Quilt

My daughter is nearing the end of grade one. She had a wonderful year. Her development has been remarkable, particularly her reading and math skills. This was, in large part, due to her experienced, calm teacher, Ms. Locke.

This quilt is her year-end teacher gift to thank her for months of caring for, guiding, supporting and teaching my child.

Here is Thank You Ann:
This scrappy rainbow was born mostly from a rainbow bundle I ordered from Pink Castle Fabrics ages back. Some also came from my stash to give me the right variation of each colour.

I quilted vertically through all the blocks along the seam line (but not quite in the ditch) and then did rows of diagonal straight-line quilting going in each direction. I like that it emphasizes the geometry of the quilt. Do you like the little Lizzy House kitty peeking out from that one mustard-y print?

The back is all one print.

It is an Art Gallery print that I ordered a long time ago from Sew Sisters based on a picture on the screen and then didn't end up liking at all for the original purpose. I am content with this use for this print.
Quilt label written by my daughter. I like the extra authenticity of the backwards "2".
I hope this lap-sized quilt is appreciated and used often by her teacher and that it helps her to remember my saucy little girl!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

In Which The Reason for My Insanity is Explained

This is a picture post that summarizes why I make so many baby quilts.
Aria and Tristan

Aria and Tristan (don't mess with Aria)

Sophia

Fletcher

Hudson (I was assured that the unhappy face was because he is hungry and not because he doesn't like his quilt)

Taylor
So, yeah. 
Pretty clear, if you ask me.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Thrown for a Loop AKA Plan B

My neighbours are expecting a fifth little boy in August and OF COURSE I am making them a quilt. The dad is an airplane mechanic and so I was delighted when I did a pull for a quilt using this adorable Ann Kelle fabric with planes. I love the bright blues and the pops of orange and yellow and lime green. I chose a Greek Cross block to use and was so excited to get to this project.
This pull makes me so happy!
But. But then I ran into the expectant mom and she dropped some not-so-subtle hints about the colour and theme of her nursery. Soft green walls, blue and green decor and an animal theme because the baby's name will be Noah.

Oh poop. So I did another pull and came up with this:
The Kona colours are: Spring, Asparagus, Seafoam, Lake and Stratosphere.
The thing was, I was just not feeling it. And I didn't know what to do. Should I make two quilts? That seems overly ambitious considering the long list I already have. Should I make a double-sided quilt? Except the sides don't really compliment each other. Do I make the quilt I want to make and ignore the mom's hints? That seems wrong too.

I couldn't quite figure out why I was so much less enthused about the new pull. Then I thought if I resorted the pull to make it closer to what I might have wanted to see then maybe it will speak to me more. This is Pull #2 of Plan B:
Kept the Ann Kelle turtles and owls, the sheep and those awesome Laurie Wisbrun special order lions. Changed out the greens, keeping Asparagus but adding in Leprechaun. Now I'm liking it A LOT more.
The next step to take it to choose a pattern. My Greek Cross plan will not work with these fabrics because they're so much larger scale that the other pull. I'll spend some time on Pinterest and see what speaks to me. This quilt is probably destined to be my first at the new house anyway, so I do have some time. I think the challenge of doing my quilt fabric pull from a stack of Rubbermaid bins instead of my usual shelves is part of the problem.

I'm going to keep the other pull aside for another quilt in the future (this was my husband's suggestion). 

Any suggestions for this green/blue quilt? A fairly simple pattern that allows these prints to shine? I'm loathe to make the same pattern I've been using lately.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Sweet Blossom: A Finished Quilt

We have recently had the fortunate of gaining two couples as new friends and the one couple, K & J, are expecting their first child, a little girl, this summer. As soon as her husband learned that I quilted he immediately asked if he could order one to surprise his wife. I turned him down, of course, because I don't do commissions but also because I had already started a quilt for her weeks earlier when I found out she was expecting. Tee hee.

Then the wife discovered I quilt and saw two I had made for mutual friends and begged me to make her one. Again, I was mean and said no. Meanwhile her quilt top was already at home, sitting on my ironing board.

It was so pleased to be able to surprise them with this quilt, made in the same colours as her nursery. This is Sweet Blossom, made mostly with Brambleberry Ridge and, lacking originality, using the same pattern I used for Sunset in the Woods. So sue me.
It is very hard to capture the true colours on this quilt. The purple is so soft and light and the greys are also very soft so the whole thing looks washed out in photographs.

The gold in the fabric adds this subtle shimmer that I love.

The back is mostly a grey I've had in my stash for years with a strip of mini Pearl Bracelets in a light lilac and a strip of Carolyn Friedlander Architextures white on white print.

I did free motion stippling in Aurafil white all over. It was not my best work- I think I'm a bit rusty from months off from FMQ practice- but it looks pretty from afar! It is bound in my favourite Art Gallery Squared Elements fabric.

I'm glad I could do something nice for this couple and still stick with my "no commissions" rule!

Linking up to Finish It Up Fridays with Crazy Mom Quilts!