Saturday, November 26, 2011

Autumn Desert

Whew! What a day! Would you believe me if I told you that when I woke up this morning, this quilt was merely a finished top and only a partially finished back?? Let me just pause right here and say a GIANT thank you to my sweet husband for running after our three preschoolers today so that I could have a marathon quilt day and finish this in the nick of time to participate in Celebrate Color!
Celebrate Color

This was the inspiration fabric for this quilt: this gorgeous print from Jane Dixon for Andover Fabrics called Desert Bloom. I love how this line pairs warm colors with bright. Burnt orange and rust alongside happy green, pink and turquoise captured the essence of fall for me, and I couldn't wait to dive in to make a quilt. But what quilt?? Well, last summer when I was in Chicago and had the great fortune of visiting Quiltology (a fun, urban quilt shop in Lincoln Park),as chance would have it, I had to use the bathroom. Believe it or not, they had the most beautiful quilt IN THE BATHROOM! I gasped and waxed on about how gorgeous the quilt was and why on earth was it hiding in the bathroom??? They said they no longer sold those particular fabrics, so they didn't want it to be on display. Gasp, I say - it was simply stunning! (To be fair, they did have another sample of it made up in the main room, but still!) The pattern was called Lincoln Park, and was designed by Collette, the owner of the shop. I knew it would be perfect for these fabrics! The pattern is fun and scrappy, and I wanted lots of different prints and high contrast between the bars. It's a great pattern, but if you feel so inclined to make it, you're about to get real intimate with your iron, I'm just sayin'. One day, when I have nothing to do, I may just count how many seams are in this quilt. Goodness!
Here's the back - I love how it turned out! I only had to buy 2 yards for the backing, the rest was scraps. And this is a big quilt! (62" x 78" ) And here is a view of the front and back together. I leave you here so I can run link to Celebrate Color (thanks, Rachel!), and go spend some time with the guy who cheered me on all day to get this finished!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eye Candy much time do I actually spend online looking at eye candy in all kinds of crafty forms??? I'm not sure I really want to know...blogs, pinterest, flickr, online shops - there is no end of sources for inspiration and just a little dreamy eye candy to pass the time and escape the reality of ahem, a real life (the house needs to be cleaned again! Didn't I just scrub that bathroom yesterday???). So anyway, I thought I'd share a few pieces of eye candy with you. Here is the
flickr mosaic I made for my swap partner in the Post Summit Swap. Aren't these all so fun??? I never get tired of seeing this!

Then, this week I used some gift cards to get these two quilting books. I've been wanting both of them, and was surprised to realize that I know/have met several people who have contributed to these books. That just made enjoying these books all the sweeter!

Talk about eye candy! Block Party by Alissa Haight Carlton & Kristen Lejnieks has so many fun projects and great tips. I love how they included tons of design ideas and encourage the reader in their own creativity. I've wanted to participate in a virtual bee for ages and reading this book got me moving in that direction. Next up is Modern Blocks compiled by Susanne Woods. Inspiration. On. Every. Page. I want to make all 99 of these blocks! Seriously, amazing. And then, in a perfect storm of combining elements of both of these books, I stumbled across a new online bee called Modern Blocks Bee, started by Alix! There will be 12 participants, each being assigned a month and sending out fabric to each person with requests for different blocks from this book. What a great way to get to try different blocks and share the fun with others.
I am so thankful that I get to participate with these talented group of women from all over the world! on earth will I narrow down my block selections...good thing my month isn't until later next year!
Now, I leave you with a little eye candy of my own from a current work in progress...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rainbow Spotlight

I've been so excited to share this most recent mini quilt I did. It's called Rainbow Spotlight and I made it for my secret partner in the Post Sewing Summit Swap. Mini quilts are a great place to try a new technique, and they can pack a strong visual punch. Plus, they have the added bonus of being done quickly - almost instant gratification! What a treat it was to come back from Sewing Summit brimming with inspiration and jump right into making something special for someone else! My secret partner turned out to be Tracey, who said she liked bright colors. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do a rainbow quilt, which has been stirring around in my mind for a while.

I started off with these: some charm squares from the Color Wheel Swap hosted by Kati.

From there, they turned into this:

After a couple more (ahem, important) steps, it became this!
I was so focused on getting the inset circle right that I forgot to take photos of that part. Although I was a little nervous to tackle it, I promise, it's not as hard as it seems, and once I reviewed what Weeks and Bill had taught me, I was good to go! It was super quick to quilt - I did tighter quilting in the circle for more definition, and looser stippling in the background - and then bound it in Mini Mikes Random Pencil Check (love this print!). The backing was a rainbow stripe print I have had in my stash forever:

I couldn't wait to get it off to my partner (with some extra goodies for good measure)!
And in an interesting turn of fate, not only was Tracey my partner, but I was hers too! She sent me the sweetest package:
She knew my favorite color is orange, and I mentioned that I love Joel Dewberry fabrics - seriously, his heirloom line is incredible and I bought a bunch of it on the shop hop while at Summit. Look how she combined two of my favorite things! I love the patchwork pouch she made - and it's huge! AND she included some extras - Hullabaloo fat quarters and this cute zippered cupcake pouch - love it! (Oh, and there was even a produce bag included too that she had made, but it didn't make the picture because I immediately put it with my reusable shopping bags - gotta love something pretty and practical!). Thanks again, Tracey!

And yay - it's party time! Amy, fellow quilter and North Carolinian, as well as my new friend from Sewing Summit, is brilliant to have come up with this fun event to share and inspire each other with a mini quilt linky party. Be sure to hop on over and check out what everyone has been working on. Thanks for hosting this Amy - I've had so much fun participating!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jumping in on Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Yay! I get to participate in Blogger's Quilt Festival this year! Amy is a genious, by the way! Make sure you check out all the great quilts in the linky party on her site!
I've been meaning to do this all week, but things have been pretty busy around here and I figured I'd just have to let this one slide. But here I am, hours before the deadline, literally grabbing this quilt off of one of my sleeping children to snap another shot of this quilt - it's still warm from that sweet little snoozer!

Fabric: Just Wing It by Momo/ Pattern: Sweet Garden by Emily Cier

This quilt is special to me for lots of reasons: it marks my first quilt made after a long hiatus in sewing to have my babies, it's the first time I used a layer cake, and it's the first quilt I blogged about in my first ever blog post. But it goes without saying that it is most special because my daughter loves it, and uses it every day. This is why I love quilting! Playing with fun fabrics, deciding on patterns/design layout, and in the end, you have something totally useable and practical. Speaking of which...I better get this back on that little snoozer before she wakes up and wonders why it suddenly got a little less warm in her room...