Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Little Things

A few weeks ago we had a little visitor!  Josephine is an adorable, sweet and charming little lady that entertains us to no end.  She is 2 1/2 and had no hesitation spending the weekend and just hanging out.  Of course we had to have a few fun projects lined up to keep her amused, but even so I could have kept her for an entire week if her parents had allowed it.

My daughter Britt and I planned on having a cookie baking and decorating day.  That's always fun with kids!  I decided it would be fun to make a child's apron for Josephine and promptly hit the Internet for ideas.  

I ended up drafting my own pattern from newspaper.  It was super simple, super fast and super cute!


While I was making it I kept thinking how small it was and hoping it would fit her.  Jokes on me and it shows just how little time I spend with children!  It was quite big for Jo, but it didn't really matter because she loved it anyway.  There's growing room, that's for sure.

I put the heart over Jo's face to respect and protect her and her parents privacy.  I'd love to share that sweet little face, but these days you have to be mindful about sharing too much!

The fabric is robots and a chunk I've had for years.  I thought it would be cute and the colors are pretty together.  

A pocket can be useful for snacks or treasures that children always seem to have.  I found this red mouse fabric and stitched it on.  

The apron is double sided (same fabric on both sides).  I edge stitched around the sides and added some wide gray twill ribbon I had on hand to finish it off.  

Eating the fruits of her labor!  It's so funny watching kids decorate treats!  I've never seen so many sprinkles on one cookie!  And it's always add a pinch of sprinkles, lick your fingers and add more!!  

She had a blast, we had a blast!  You would think after a weekend with us she'd be anxious to go home.  Much to my surprise she wasn't!  

Another 'little thing' I made is also for Josephine.  It's for Christmas though, so she'll have to wait a while.

23" X 27"
I've wanted to make a doll quilt for her all year and finally had the chance.  Now, the fabric isn't exactly girly or sweet princess like, but I've never been one to adhere to those girl myths!  

Instead I went with Alison Glass Handcrafted and bright pink.  It just so happens I've had these bonus HST's laying around and finally got the chance to put them to use.  Not only did I use every single one of them, I also used every single piece of the Kona Valentine solid.  I love when that works out that way!

The half square triangles are 2" finished.  I stitched in the ditch of the rows and then did a some curves in the pink rows.  Simple, effective and done!

The back is Folksy Flannel by Anna Marie Horner.  Since the front isn't girly I decided to make the back more so.  Now we just need Christmas to arrive!

When Josephine was here we dug out Britt's Cabbage Patch doll for her to play with.  The doll was very well loved by Britt way back in the day, and by Jo!  That weekend prompted me to get this little quilt finished.  It'll look adorable with the baby doll we also bought for her for Christmas!  Spoiled?!  Yep!  And its so much fun to do!

This doll quilt is the only gift I made for Christmas this year.  It was kind of refreshing for a change.  

Have you finished all your secret sewing projects?  


Monday, December 9, 2019

Cut it Out!!

In my last post I talked about how quilting a large stack of quilts can be too much all at once.  By taking a break and making a small project in between recharges me to get back to the larger task at hand.

One of those 'intermission' projects was this project.  Rainbow paper pieced scissors.  
11 1/2" x 11 1/2"
I've had this project cut out for weeks hoping that I'd get a chance to make it.  The Geometric Scissor pattern is another amazing design by Kristy Lea of Quiet Play.  The scissors are part of her Quiet Play Pattern Club 2019 which is still available, and happily she has another year lined up for 2020! (Pattern Club 2020)  As you can see I'm a huge fan of Kristy's!

The easy part was picking the rainbow fabric, the hard part was which background fabric to use.  I decided to use something a little different and went with a fat quarter of Coffee Peppered cotton.  

I could have left well enough alone, but I couldn't very well do that!  It's not in my nature!  I ended up making a border to increase the size and give it a boost.  I designed the border in EQ8 and printed paper piece templates.  And very soon after I had the extra element needed to finish it up.  

Near the end of piecing the border I realized I was literally cutting it close with the background fabric!  I needed and used every piece of that Peppered Cotton fat quarter!  


I could have went around the house a found about another dozed pairs of scissors for the photo...but that would have been a bit over the top!  Instead I settled on three pair that were within arms reach.

The detail is worth a couple detail shots, I think!  When I'm paper piecing something as detailed and tiny as the pieces in the handles, I grab larger pieces of fabric than normal so I don't have to worry about being short.  For those who freak out at the waste of it all...even larger pieces for this were pretty small!  That's what my scrap totes are for!

Another element to take it over the top was the quilting.  Or I should say:  in my mind I think it's over the top!  Pebbles using Aurifil Burgundy thread.  I normally try to match thread with backgrounds, but I had the urge to step out of my comfort zone and choose a color that would be visually impactful, but not outlandish.

I also wanted to keep the scissors sharp (pun intended!) and opted not to put one single stitch on them.  Finished off with a red border and viola! it was done and my itch was scratched!

My plan is to maybe take it to our Guilds Holiday Party and add it to the small gift swap.  They say you should give gifts that you yourself would love...and I do love this!


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Blue HST Geo :: In the Bag!

Another finish!  Just when I thought I might never get to the end of quilting my stack, I made it through one more!

51" X 67"
I don't particularly love the quilting process which is why I accumulated quite a stack that needed to be finished.  There comes a point, at least for me, that you have to do the dirty work before you can move on to the fun stuff.    

The kitchen sink of straight line quilting was added to this quilt!  We've got 1" grids and 1/2" lines inside the squares and rectangles, 3/4" randomly dispersed lines throughout the quilt and some other details that brought the entire quilt together and finished!  

I used two different thread colors: Aurifil 50 wt #1148 Light Jade and #2745 Midnight.  

I used Kona Celestial for the binding and the squares/rectangles.  I like having the bold color as the focal point in this design.  I considered doing a scrap binding, but in the end I went with Celestial as the binding.  The dark frame seems to pull it all together to me. 

I think next time I make this quilt, I'll take it down a notch with the quilting adventure!  While I love the effect of all the different lines it does take a lot of time.  I don't think the design would suffer in any way if I went with some sort of all over grid.  We'll see.  I might forget by the time I make another one!

The back of the quilt really shows graphic shapes with the darker thread.  Although it's difficult to see, you might be able to make out some of the other quilting for a better understanding of the 'kitchen sink' of straight lines.

It's no secret that in between piecing or quilting quilts I love to have a palate cleanser of sorts.  A small project to recharge my batteries.  Those kinds of projects are always so much fun and honestly, if I didn't have an 'intermission' from machine quilting I'd go stark raving mad!!  Not a pretty look I assure you!  

What do you do to keep refreshed or recharged when it seems there is no end in sight with a project?!  Maybe you buckle down and get it done, get a glass of wine, or toss it aside?  All of which I have done myself!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Walking On Sunshine :: Finally!

I put off dealing with this quilt for too long!  By dealing with, I of course mean quilting it.  I had big ideas about how I'd like it to be quilted, but in the end I just needed it to be done.  

49" x 71"
I think I started making this quilt in June or July.  So much time has gone by I can't be quite sure!  The colors are probably one of my favorite combinations to play with.  Yellow, orange, pink in various shades and various brands were pulled until I had the right combination.

Each circle is 12" and the block is more rectangle than square at 12" x 14" finished.  I borrowed the 12" Glam Clam ruler from a friend  (Glam Clam template by Latifah Saafir) and with very little trouble began making 12" half circles.  

When it came time to pair the halves, I took an enormous amount of care to match the seams.  I did use glue on the seams to ensure I would be accurate.  The results were well worth the time and I believe I achieved some pretty accurate seams.

My initial plan was to have someone else quilt this for me.  I had ideas, but didn't feel I could pull off a show stopping finish in the quilting department.  The passing off of the quilting duties didn't pan out.  That left me with the only other

Once you start you can't stop!  I totally had to commit to it.  I tend to bite off more than I can chew, but I decided this wasn't the time for that.  First, I quilted in the ditch of all the seams including around each circle.  Then I quilted 1" vertical lines from top to bottom.  

I choose four blocks to keep blank so I could do something special on the inside.  I perhaps should have put a different design in each blank block, however I wasn't feeling that adventurous!  Instead, I did this circle design in one block.


And this square design in the remaining three blocks.  Please, please don't look at the stippling too close!  Now your looking, aren't you?!  

May as well share to good with the bad.  Like I've said numerous times, I'm not perfect.  And I don't mind sharing the not-so-good.  

On the back I used Kona Orangeade.  I just love that shade of orange!  And the binding is Kona Bright Pink.  

I used Aurifil 50wt #2145 Orange Yellow which seemed to be the perfect compromise.  I worked well with all the different colors in the quilt.

While I didn't take the quilting over the top, I did manage a finish.  I can't complain with how it turned out.  I'm just happy it's finished!  

I don't feel like I've had many large quilt finishes to share.  I've spent the past couple weeks getting down to business with quilting and finally have a few more to share.  One more is left, but at this point I'm not going to go there!  I wanna make more quilt tops!

Onward and upward!