Welcome! If you are interested in seeing what I'm up to in between blog posts, head on over to my Instagram page where I regularly load photos of what I'm working on. You can also find me on Flickr and of course feel free to wander around the blog. Thank you kindly for taking the time to visit!

9.09.2014

red letter day


Red Letter Day was another one of those Thimbleblossoms patterns (much like Swoon) that I kept seeing everywhere and I was loving every quilt I saw.  My local quilt shop (Janie Lou) had the pattern and I just couldn't resist.  Lucky me, my Lou Bee friends and I were having a retreat soon thereafter and it was the perfect opportunity to sew up the quilt top.  The pattern is straight forward and if you chain piece, will come together quickly.  The large block size doesn't hurt either!

I wanted to make this quilt with fabric I had on hand, and since I have a box of solids sitting lonely most of the time, I decided to start there.  I grabbed a stack of Free Spirit solids that Anna Maria was selling on her site and since they are meant to coordinate with her fabrics I pulled a coordinating AMH fat quarter to go with each solid.  I tried not to over think it - just chose, snapped a picture and started cutting!


I like to do all my cutting before retreats and sew-ins if possible.  Makes my time there seem so much more productive because I'm sewing up results baby!  I tease, but it is a lot of fun to share finished tops with friends.  I used the old iron fat quarters on top of each other trick to make cutting go more quickly.  I will iron up to four pieces of fabric together and rotary cut them all at once; the ironing kind of makes them 'stick' together.  Some people use starch too, but I personally don't find it necessary.


When all the blocks were pieced I was thankful to have my friends help arranging the layout.  We moved them around and around before deciding on the final layout.


I loved the way Cindy quilted her Red Letter Day and since she's pretty much a rock star and I aspire to her level of awesome...I quilted mine the same exact way.  


Up close I like this quilt.  While making it and quilting it I admittedly was feeling kind of meh about it.  From far away I love it.  Something about the solids being all different colors makes me need to see it from a distance to get the effect of the whole quilt?  I'm not even sure that makes sense.  Hopefully you get what I'm saying.


The backing and binding are also Anna Maria prints.  This quilt is destined to be a Christmas gift I think.  I have a few months to decide!  This was a very well written pattern and the blocks went together easily. I wouldn't hesitate to use another Thimbleblossom pattern.  

 Thanks for stopping by!!!


lou bee sewing quilt

I am so excited to share this quilt finish!
 
 We started Round Two of the Lou Bee in the Fall of 2012 and for this round we decided that each person would design or chose a sewing themed paper pieced pattern.  This time though, each member would be making their own blocks; the idea being that we all end up with variations of the same quilt, which sounded pretty special!

I chose to work with mostly Anna Maria Horner Field Study which was new at the time, a few solids and the rest neutrals.  I just kept my stack of fabric in a separate pile for the years I worked on this project and just pulled from it as I needed it.


Kristy designed her own block- it's the one with the spools and the horizontal bars.
Juli Ann also designed her own block - hers is the sewing machine, which I hexie pieced.
My block is the stack of fabric.
Jessica chose a thimble design from the book Needles and Notions.
Jamie chose a scissor design from Craftsy
Laura designed her own pattern to look like a fat quarter stack spread out into a circle.
Cara used a clever sewing pedal block design from Badskirt.
Lynne designed a block to look like a pin cushion with LOU BEE written on it.


I mostly kept up with the blocks and over the last two years I slowly added a piece here and there and would pin it up with the rest.  Every once in a while I would move them around and snap a picture.  Improvisational piecing doesn't come naturally to me, so I just took my time and let it all settle.


I also tried to add bits that were trending at the time I made them. So you'll see lots of popular things...feathers, economy block, arrows...I also added in some classics like flying geese and plain old patchwork.  Badskirt Amy came out with a paper pieced bee in the midst of all this, so I sewed up eight of them, one for each Lou Bee member to include in the quilt.


Finally it all came together and I called it done.  It was quilted by Abby Latimer in a bubble pattern and I just love it.  It's quilted but not too heavily - just perfect.  The backing is voile and the batting is a very thin cotton called Creme Rose.  Despite all the seams and some linen, the quilt is really light and airy.  I'm so happy to have such a special snugly reminder of my good friends!


Laura was the first to finish hers; read about it here.  I'm number two.  It is fun to see the differences in the same patterns and how we put our quilts together.


Thanks as always for reading and stopping by!

9.05.2014

four socks


My goal when I started knitting last Christmas was to learn how to make socks. I kept seeing all kinds of amazing pictures on Instagram (particularly Hey Porkchop!) that I felt crazy inspired to jump in and figure it out.  I feel like I've made lots of progress so far and thought it might be fun to document my collection so far here on the blog.  There isn't much that isn't already available on the Internet about sock knitting and my notes and patterns are on Ravelry, so I'll just keep this a simple picture parade with few notes.


No. 1 Happy Fuzzy Socks
Didn't love the pooling and were a little tight; gifted to my sister who now wears them to bed.


No. 2 Turn it up to 11 MKAL
Just a wee bit big.  Got to have my friend with size 11 feet try these on for size.


No. 3 Soul Train Socks
Pretty darn good fit! Self striping is a lot of fun...you want to keep going to get to the next color!


No. 4 Hermione's Everyday Socks in Nemesis
Best fit so far! I crazy love this colorway Nemesis.  Hedgehog Fibres does such an amazing job.

Can't wait to knit more; I surely have plenty of yarn to keep me busy!

8.29.2014

swap x three



It has been a good while since I participated in swaps but recently the bug hit me again and before I knew it I was committed to three.  I thought it would be fun to share those here together.

The first I'll share was the Shnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.  There were over 600 participants in this fun swap!  I honestly had a hard time following so many projects, but wow were there some amazing quilts made.  The generosity of quilters is pretty tough to beat.  I mostly followed on IG but there was a Flickr group too.  My partner was Patty Sloniger (who just happens to have a very lovely new fabric line out right now called Emma's Garden) and I made her this.


A flying geese mini out of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line and a Sew Together Bag filled with a few little goodies.  Patty was so gracious and on her blog you can see a picture of her mini hanging on the wall.

I pretty much feel like I won the Mini Swap Lottery on the piece I received from my partner, Jen.  A Flowering Snowball Mini out of Anna Maria Horner!  Hand quilted and beautifully assembled.


Seriously!  It's amazing and I continue to be in awe of it everyday.  Jen also sent a purse, a key fob, yarn, and a ton of Canadian candy (which was sooo yummy!).  
Just crazy good and generous; so lucky!


The second swap I signed up for was the Orphan Block Swap through the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild.  It's a blind swap with the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild and what a fun way to use up a test block or a block that just wasn't what you expected it to look like etc.

I used my paper piecing project from the Carolyn Freedlander Aerial class at the Nashville Sewdown and made a little tote!  I'll find out what I get in return at September's guild meeting; should be a fun one!


A few people dropped out of the swap so I stepped in to make an extra item, this easy quilted zippered pouch that was actually a left over from my first try at an item for Patty in the Mini Quilt swap.


And finally my third swap was something I initiated via Instagram when I commented on one of  my favorite yarn dyer's photos.  Beata runs Hedgehog Fibres and I am crazy about her yarn.  The colors are amazing and there is no pooling - win win.  I sewed her two Sew Together Bags and in return she sent me some amazing yarns!



8.24.2014

x plus

Well it's been a long time waiting but my x plus quilt is finally finished!


I was originally inspired to make this quilt after seeing this amazing one by Holly at Bijou Lovely.  I also used blacks, neutrals, and Anna Maria Horner for my quilt but my blocks ended up a little different so there is less black and neutral showing, which kind of changes the look a bit.  Badskirt had the original pattern I wanted to use and SewAlligorical had a charm square version, but in the end I had a cutting mishap and had to re size everything around that!  Quilter problems, right?


Instead of using one line of AMH, I decided to be brave and use all the charm squares I had accumulated during the crazy AMH charm swaps that happened on Flickr in I think 2012.  The x's in this quilt have 196 unique AMH quilting cotton prints from Bohemian, Chocolate Lollipop, Garden Party, Good Folks, Innocent Crush, Lou Lou Thi, and Field Study.  I used different Denyse Schmidt prints for my pluses, mostly Hope Valley and Chicopee if I recall.

I started piecing this quilt back in April of 2013 and quickly finished the top at a Lou Bee Retreat in May of that same year. It sat for a while while my Mom finished her current quilt project, but eventually it was my turn again and my Mom just finished the hand quilting this week. Like Swoon, she used Aurifil 12wt.  I can't recommend this thread enough  for hand quilting.  It's got less drag than Perle cotton and is a tad bit thinner.  I love the look of it too.  Again, as with my Swoon quilt, I used voile for the backing.  I am sure that it will wear faster than quilting cotton, but it is so snugly that I don't care.  I'll treat it gingerly and wash it sparingly and basque in the softness until it's thread bare.


Some kind person in the AMH charm swap coordinated with Anna to get signed charms for those of us who wanted one.  Of course I wanted one!  Here's a close up of the block with her signature.  One wash and it's still there!


Love love love this quilt.  My Swoon used to be my favorite.
I think this one just took over the top spot!