Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Wonky Rainbow. A Quilt Top.

I got back from Tennessee last Thursday and I get to be home for 10 whole days (archaeology is so glamorous)! I came home with a serious obsession.

You know when you need to finish a project? I think it is like when you are reading a suspenseful novel and you just need to know who the killer is? I am actually just guessing about this because I am a huge wuss and I can't read suspenseful novels without getting nightmares (okay, back off this tangent, sorry friends).

I designed this block for my month of the Simply Solids Bee (Gamboge group represent!). I even wrote a tutorial, if you want to make your own. I mailed out long strings of super bright colors with some Kona Snow.

It was pretty wonderful to come home from work all April to happy rainbow blocks in the mail.

Then, they all arrived and I had to decide what to do...

So, I did what any rational person would do, and asked Instagram. I can't remember who had the offset idea, but it was perfect.

To give the eye a place to rest, I added the gray diamond. Or we could say it is some sort of artistic commentary? Bonus, this way I get to use one leftover block on the back.

So far this is just a quilt top, but the obsession is not over, and I suspect I am going to be quilting this week!

Okay, I am entering this in Rachel's Festival of Strings over at Stitched in Color. You should go get inspired, I totally am.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sunburst: A Baby Quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

Okay friends. Let me just be real for a second, I waffled about what to enter in the festival. In the end, I chose my stars align, because I didn't read the rules thought that was my number one choice.

Turns out we can enter two!

This baby quilt it one of my hands down favorite things I have ever made. Honestly, if it had not been baby sized it would have never left my house. Also, it is for my bestest friend's older brother, who is practically my older brother. He just had a baby boy, who is hopefully enjoying this quilt (well, honestly the baby probably doesn't care).

It is inspired by Denyse Schmidt's, Crazy Star Quilt (in Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration). I am saying based, because I did not so much follow the pattern as look at the picture in my book. Then I decided to make a quilt that looks sort of like it.

I pulled all of the strings out of my scrap bin and the solids from my stash. They were curated to be gender neutral and cheerful. 

For the quilting, I fell in love with Denyse's quilting design and decided to fill up the negative space with a free motion, sort of organic (read: messy and unplanned), loops. I just made them on my home sewing machine while watching old episodes of TV on Netflix. I think it works.

The back is made up of some Kona strips I had left over from another quilt, some of the Kona Steel (I think?) from the front, and a single strip of Madrona Road (Haystack?) to mimic the bright star on the front. The binding is scrappy. 

I suppose my special technique was foundation paper piecing. I used paper foundations to make the star, nothing special, just scratch paper. 

Quilt Stats.

Category. Baby Quilt

Name. Sunburst Baby QuiltSize. 45"x43"
Fabrics. Kona Steel for the front background, scraps for the star, the back has some Madrona Road Haystack, and assorted Kona blues from my stash.
Pattern. Based on Crazy Star (from Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration)

Piecing. 50wt Aurifil thread
Quilting. Free motion loops (à la Denyse Schmidt) with 50wt Aurifil thread

Check out more pretty quilts at Amy's Creative Side

My Stars Align for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

I spent a long time thinking about what I was going to enter in the blogger's quilt festival.

In the end, I decided to enter the quilt I am most proud of in my quilt-ography.

I designed My Stars Align using an Ukrainian painted egg my friend made. There is more on that in the original post I wrote about this quilt here. I began cutting it right around Christmas time and it took me a month (or so) to complete the quilt. It was a true labor of love for me. I can honestly say, this quilt represents me.

The colors, the design, the prints, they all sing to me. I wanted this little piece of me to go to the festival.

The design is mostly half-squared triangles with a lattice grid around them. I wrote a little tutorial if you are interested.

Quilt Stats

Category. Favorite Throw Quilt

Size. 65"x65"
Pattern. My Stars Align (by me, I think?)
Fabric. Kona Snow and Steel for the white and gray, Star points were Bella in New Turquoise, Architextures, some Amy Butler, some Fiesta from Hope Valley, and oh dear, your guess is probably better than mine about the rest.
Piecing. 50wt Aurifil Thread
Quilting. Free motion quilted on my home machine, dogwood pattern by Elizabeth Hartman with 50wt Aurifil Thread

The back is pretty special to me too. By the time I got around to making the back, I knew this quilt was part of me and was never leaving our little family, thus, I included little bits of fabrics that I felt represented me. There is some special Heather Ross and Architextures. The main print is Bella by Lana Jansdotter.

I still cuddle under this quilt nearly every day. Isn't it funny how some projects tip toe into your life? Maybe they started with some impromptu experimentation? Maybe 2 months later they feel like a precious family member...

I truly love this quilt.

Check out more festive, beautiful quilts at Amy's Creative Side.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not Much Progress Here (currently living in a hotel room)

Not a ton of progress this week. I left for Tennessee/Alabama on Monday and I am going to be here until next Thursday. Boo! No sewing machine on this trip either (something I regret). Work trips can be such a drag on my sewing time. 

Before I left for my work trip, I got some list items checked off. 

1.) Bee blocks. Finished for this month and in the mail. 

2.) Graduation Quilt. I have made the most progress here. The quilt has been basted and quilted. I will have pictures of it when it is all done and maybe some photos with the graduate and his quilt... Bloggers quilt festival? Maybe?

It is actually here with me and I am hand stitching the binding in the evenings. I have to do something!

3.) Drunkard's Medallion. I am working on Chrissy's adorable center block. This arrived in the mail and it is currently residing on my design wall (btw, do you see this adorable journal she sent me? Squee!). I have a pretty solid plan for my next border and I have pulled my fabrics. Now I just need to get home so I can play!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ducks in a Row.

I went to my first grown up baby shower on Saturday.

Before you make some comment about how that is odd for a grown woman, remember I am an archaeologist, I work with all men who are 10 years older than me (minimum), and I live in a college town with a whole bunch of friends who are not having babies.

Remember all of those things.

As I child, I dimly recall being escorted to baby showers by my mother. I remember cheezy games and advice that confused me.

This baby shower was for the wife of a coworker, whom I actually know on a personal level. They are having a much anticipated first baby. It was an all female thing (I guess this is normal?), so I, awkwardly, felt I needed to represent the men. Seriously, I talked about my (male) coworker (the father) and I think I ate more than anyone else there. I was also messier.

The advice still confuses me.

Because I am me and I honestly did not even know people set up registries for baby showers (was someone supposed to tell me that? is that in the handbook I forgot to read?), I made them a quilt.

I am calling it Ducks in a Row. Because that is what you do before a baby is born. I guess. Get your ducks in a row.

The nursery colors are blue, green, and orange. I played with half square triangle papers for this one and I guess it made HSTs faster, but I still had to trim them, and then they still needed to be sewn together. So maybe worth it if you get them from the free table at Sew South (where I got them)? You can buy rolls of the papers at the Fat Quarter Shop. Clearly, they are not paying for this endorsement.

Each of the finished triangles is 3.5 inches. Honestly, that is the size of the papers I had. I would have made them bigger if I was just making half square triangles normally.

I ended up quilting with a large loop. I was totally going to do straight lines on the diagonal. All my IG buddies suggested that. I made the quilt assuming that was how I would quilt it. Then I did three rows, and it looked terrible. I am happy with these somewhat random loops. Plus the finished quilt it super soft and snuggly. I bound it by machine (another first for me) for durability, using this tutorial. I need a bit more practice, but this attempt was acceptable.

I was the only homemade gift giver at the shower. But, I think they loved it.

Quilt Stats:
Ducks in a Row. Baby Quilt

Size: 45"x50"
Fabrics: Assorted Kona grays, some Summersville, the ducks are from Birch, and the foxes are Aneela Hoey, I have no idea what that robot print is called.
Binding: Another random Kona gray
Pattern: My own (if you can call it a pattern)
Finished: May 3, 2013

Winner! Winner!

The winner of my very first giveaway is Tamie, my neighbor down in South Carolina!! Tamie, I have sent you an email to get your address. This lovely package should be in the mail by Monday. 

Thanks for playing! I hope some of you new visitors stop by again. Happy giveaway day! I am so sorry I have not replied to everyone's comments. It is seriously on my to do list. I am just getting a little overwhelmed by day-to-day life. I promise I read each and every one. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May. It's ON.

Hi friends!

There is still time to enter my giveaway here. I am loving reading everyone's homemade gift ideas.

I am back from Tennessee/Alabama early this week because the water levels were so high we could not get into the project area. At least I get to sew a few more evenings this week!

I did really well on my April list, I mean really well.

I decided the list really worked for me. I am putting together a May list.

May List:

1.) Voile Infinity Scarf. This is going to be a late (?) mother's day gift. I am proud to say I finished the hand quilting on my trip. Done. Sorry for the crappy phone photos from my hotel room.

2.) Embroidery Project. Done and received. I think she loved it. Nailed it.

3.) Whitewashed Quilt. No progress. To be honest, it is not a priority.

4.) Bee Blocks. Started, expected completion this weekend.

5.) Baby Quilt. Done and gifted. They loved it. I will share finished pictures in another post.  Spoiler alert... it was is a boss level good.

6.) Graduation Quilt. A friend is getting his PhD this weekend and Derek and I decided that I would make him a quilt full of inside jokes. We had so much fun picking the centers of these log cabins! He is moving to Arkansas in a couple of months and we wanted him to have a little piece of Chapel Hill to take with him. I decided to keep it simple, but he is sort of a big dude, so a lap quilt for him has to be a little larger than it would be for most people... I am happy that I used pretty much all scraps.

7.) Solids Bee Quilt. I have received all the blocks from the Gamboge group from April and now I am gunning to put this quilt together. Rainbows!

8.) Lucky Star Block. Must keep up with May's block. Must not fall behind.

9.) Drunkard's Medallion Along. I need to add a border to Chrissy's medallion when it gets to me. This is a priority, as the next person needs it by the end of May.

10.) Pillow for Guild Swap. I know what I am going to do for my partner. I just need to go for it. Maybe soon? This is also a priority as it has to be there for June's meeting, I can't let someone down. That is not my style.

That's nothing right? I only have to be in Tennessee most of the rest of the month, so right... this might trickle into June just a smidgen. Ha! Let's see how I do!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced's WiP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, May 6, 2013

Welcome to my Giveaway!

Hello new visitors and friends!

I want to start this by telling new people a bit about myself.

I am in my late 20s and I live with my husband and cat in North Carolina. I make my living doing archaeology and spend a great deal of time traveling all over the Southeastern United States.

When I am not working and traveling, I am happiest at home sewing.

I would consider myself a pretty modern quilter. In terms of sewing I love bright colors, paper piecing, solid fabrics, and making it work.

Okay, giveaway time.

I decided to give away a little prize pack of some of my favorite things. 'Cause I like you.

I am including 10 comic book boards. I have recently become addicted to using these to store fabric and I figured this would be a nice way for someone who has not tried this yet to give it a test drive.

My stash, all organized (okay, only part of my stash).

An issue of Generation Q. There are some great things in this one.

A Frixxon pen.

A tiny charm pack of Lario,  by Moda. These adorable charms make me smile, everything small is cute.

A fat eight of this cute flower fabric (I think it is DS quilts) and 2 half yards of these green prints from Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill line.

To enter all you have to do is tell me what homemade gift you like to give your friends and family? Do you make them all zippy pouches? Jam? Cookies? Quilts? You never make any gifts at all? I am looking for new ideas, tell me about your go-to present. Even better if you can link up to a tutorial or recipe. 

Rules (necessary):
One comment per person please. Do not just write a random comment, please answer the question. The giveaway is open only to addresses shipping in the United States. I am terribly sorry about this, but this is my first giveaway and I need to crawl before I walk.

The giveaway will be open until May 10th at midnight (eastern time). I will choose the winner randomly from the comments and announce the winner on May 11th. If you are a no-reply blogger please leave an email address in your comment (you can use the someone[at]whatever[dot]com format to discourage spammers). If there is no email address and no contact information I will choose another winner.

Thanks for visiting! You should stop around again sometime.

For now, go enter more giveaways!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Giveaway Day! Here! Tomorrow!

I have decided to have my first giveaway tomorrow! What! Crazy!

Come back tomorrow to enter to win a "favorite things" prize pack. From me to you.