Friday, December 12, 2014

FF: The Ranch Quilt Top.

Two hundred and eleven pieces later, this quilt top is finished. (I love it.)

It's made with a mix of Kona, Bella, and AMB solids. I've worked with both Bella and Kona solids in the past, but this was my first time working with AMB. They were...interesting. Not in a bad way! But they were definitely different from their Kona and Bella counterparts. AMB solids have a high thread count, and they worked fine with Agatha and my Aurifil thread, if I was making a project only using AMB solids, I would switch to a different needle. (For the record, I almost always use an 80/12 Schmetz needle.) I could definitely feel a difference when sewing through them.

Now I'm left with a do I quilt this bad boy?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Small Steps.

I am slowly checking things off of my Christmas to-do list. And, you know, only sixteen more days to get it all done. Because that makes me feel better! Sheesh. The other day, my oldest asked me if I'd make him a scarf. Oh, son. You know I will because I am helpless to say no when you ask me to make you something. BUT, it won't be until January. (At the earliest.)

My absolute must-do-before-Christmas task is completed. I needed to make another stocking for the baby. Last year, I made four stockings for my family, and even though a year had passed, I still hadn't forgotten about how annoying they were to make. The thought of making a fifth was super daunting. However! I had saved my template from last year--bravo, Audrey, you occasionally make smart calls--and I remembered that I needed to cut my cuff 1/4" smaller to ease it into the stocking. Thankfully, those two things saved me about a kajillion years of trouble, and this stocking came together with relative ease, proving once again that being prepared and knowing what you're doing can save so much time. The oldest boys decided that Fava's stocking should be yellow. Hopefully next year he doesn't protest and demand an orange or purple one.

I also needed a birthday gift for my BFF, so I sent her the largest size of the open wide zippy bag from Noodlehead. Of course, it was stuffed with goodness.

And here is the finished yellow stocking among its comrades. My sons demanded to have their stockings next to the baby's, so he's sandwiched. I love how much they love their brother. I had my husband hang another nail this weekend for his stocking, and now there are five, so envision a fifth red stocking next to the blue one, okay?

I've finished the top for the baby quilt that has to be done next month, and I'm working on other Christmas/birthday gifts. I'm not going to get everything done. I know that. But I'm trying! :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Black Friday Scores.


Sketch, Joel Dewberry's Herringbone print, some Priory Square, and CATNAP. The Sketch is a much more vivid blue than I was after, but it's a nice stash addition. I've been longing for that herringbone print since it pretty much came out, and NOW I have some. How freakin' awesome is that Priory Square? And the cats...I'm really allergic to cats, so I don't typically like them because they make me feel like dying, but I am powerless when it comes to happy kitty faces on fabric. I should make curtains and use them to ward off the depression that winter inevitably tries to bring. I can't see myself getting grumpy when seeing snow out the window if those happy kitties tell me to turn my frown upside down, know what I mean?

And shot cottons. Oh, how I love me some shot cottons. These are Kaffe Fassett--Aegean, Blue Jean, Jade...I think? And they're for a special awesome project of awesome. Did you hear me? Of awesome! To be continued...

I actually ordered more fabric, but one of my orders was canceled because they didn't actually have the fabric they said they had on hand. I was sad. (Serious frowny face.) It was the background fabric for my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt, and since you have to buy something like twelve kajillion yards of it, I was so stoked to pick it up during the big sales. I'll be waiting until another sale, I suppose. But that's okay. It's not like I could actually do anything with it other than just stare at it for now.

Molli Sparkles

I'm linking up this week with Sunday Stash hosted by the super awesome Molli Sparkles.

Friday, December 5, 2014

FF: Plus Quilt

BAM! A quilt top. And because I love you, I ventured out in the freezing cold weather to photograph this bad boy rather than take the easy road and give you a yellowed-out photo on carpet that needs to be steam-cleaned. YOU'RE WELCOME. Don't you know I do all of these things for you?

This stack (plus a few others fabrics including Kona White) turned into plus blocks using this wonderful set of measurements from Rachel of Wooden Spoon Quilts. (Gotta love the people who allow me to skate by without doing the math.)

Sixteen blocks later, I assembled the top, which is now patiently waiting for me to find room in my schedule to get it quilted. Which, let's be honest, will probably be next year. Maybe by December 2015?

I feel like I should do some close-up photos or something to really show off the WOW factor, but honestly, this quilt isn't that exciting. The colors are rather demure for me, and, well, I feel kind of whatevs about the whole thing. Of course, this quilt will be snuggled by some adorable baby kidlet, and my heart will feel squishy knowing that I've been fortunate enough to contribute another quilt to the world, so all is right. But I am a little eager to move on to more colorful work, and there is plenty of that piled on my to-do list. Squishy cute baby kidlet, love this quilt more than I do, okay? (I'm glad we're in agreement.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Some Purpley Progress.

Wow. Is it Monday? I mean, really? Monday? December 1st? A glance at the calendar tells me it is, and to be honest, it's a bit hard to believe. The last week has been a bit of a blur. My in-laws arrived the Sunday before Thanksgiving, my husband had a deadline on Tuesday, meaning I didn't see him at all until Wednesday, when we left for a quick trip to Cincinnati. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, return trip, unpacking, Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, a bit of sleep, a sick baby, tacos and Pandemic with's been a full week.

But thankfully, not without a bit of sewing! I transformed this stack...

...into this. I had originally estimated 250+ pieces, but when I actually counted it, it turned out to only be 211. (Because 211 is no big deal at all.) The cutting would have taken about three years longer if my in-laws hadn't been keeping an eye on my kidlets, and let me just say it was awesome to work on this while my children were playing with other people. I've had to label the fabrics to keep them straight, but it should be okay. 

And I've started the piecing. Five rows down, twenty rows to go. I thought this project would be near impossible without a design wall, but it's actually not that bad at all. (Here's hoping I've cut all of the necessary pieces and haven't miscounted or anything.)

In October, my family and I did a bit of traveling. We stayed on a ranch for six days, and one afternoon, I was putting the baby down for a nap when I got a close look at the bed comforter. When the baby was asleep, I grabbed my pen and paper and sketched out a potential quilt idea, which I turned to when I needed a fun baby quilt that wasn't hot pink for my soon-to-be-here niece.

That being said, I was browsing Pink Castle's website a few days ago and found THIS. Alexia Abegg's Tile fabric from her Mesa line is different than my sketches and the bed comforter, certainly, but it was still a little freaky to find a pattern so similar.

I've got a quilt top finish to share with you Friday, and I should have some yummy Black Friday scores to share with you on Sunday. I just got an email telling me my fabric has shipped, squee!

Did y'all have a nice Thanksgiving? (Or, for those that don't celebrate Thanksgiving, a nice Thursday?) Is anyone else freaking out that Christmas is a mere 24 days away? Do you want to punch me now for even mentioning that?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SS: The Second Purple Quilt.

I don't work with purple a lot. I don't dislike the color, but I make a lot of boy quilts, and when I do make a girl quilt, c'mon. You know what color I'm going to be using. So when I found out my sister-in-law was expecting a girl...well, I had grand visions of a hot pink quilt. Specifically, I was planning to make an HST collection of awesomeness.

Except, the baby nursery is going to be purple and gray. Normally, when I make a baby quilt, I ask the recipient if there's anything they really dislike, and I make sure to work around that. But this is my sister-in-law, and the first girl baby on that side of the family. Purple and gray it is. (For the record, I'm sure she'd love any quilt I made for them. The choice to use purple is strictly my own.)

It won't be a miserable pursuit. How could it be with that delicious stack of Kona goodness? There are also a couple of American Made solids in there, which my LQS recently started carrying, so I'll be seeing how I like those. Did I write down which solids in particular I'm using? Of course not. That would have been responsible shopping. When I buy solids, I'm always so enamored with the fabric that I think of little else, and added to this trip, I was minding a four-year-old and informing him that if he didn't stop trying to touch that sewing machine, he would not be getting his promised hot cocoa.

When I do use purple, I kinda go overboard. I made my Purple-y Quilt early in my quilting tenure. I can only imagine how vastly different this one will look. I'm hoping to cut into this stack this week and get started piecing. I think I calculated that this baby quilt will have over 250 pieces, so there will be a lot of cutting!

Molli Sparkles

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles! It's the place to be.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

This Week.

Happy Saturday, Friends. I hope y'all are having a lovely week! My husband was on deadline all week, so I didn't see that much of him. It meant loads of quality time with my kidlets. And snow! Oh, you know how much I despise snow, and it had the audacity to make an appearance on Thursday. Seriously! Can you believe how rude? But today is Saturday, and the high is in the low 30s, which makes me grumbly, but there is no snow, so I'm embracing the goodness and trying to keep my spirits high.

I haven't had a chance yet to share this awesome new purse my friend Kim sewed up for me. She was sad because the raccoons are a different colorway from my raccoon dress, but I assured her I would wear them together anyway because how can you ignore the awesomeness? (To all of you who think these raccoons are creepy: I'm sorry. I love them so. We can still be friends, right?)

I spent what was possibly the last "warm" day of the year at a local apple orchard with my boys and a couple of friends. It was practically empty, possibly because it was Monday, right when it opened, and it was very very windy outside. Because that place is usually hopping with people, I had never actually made it inside the restaurant before, but we ventured in on this trip, and I spotted this super awesome diamond quilt hanging high on the wall. All those diamonds. Eep!

Both of my boys are in love with pattern blocks, so that's been happening this week, plus fort building, painting, playdough sessions, castle building, and train play. It has been a good week.

There has been a bit of sewing this week. I should be piecing the back of my improv quilt, but instead, I've been piecing cross blocks out of Autumn Woods and Bluebird Park. I have high hopes they'll play together well when all is said and done. I need to get this baby quilt and the improv quilt out of my life, and soon! I have ramped up work on my Tula Pink CS blocks, and I also need to start cutting and piecing another baby quilt together, and fast.

But first, I need to make a birthday present for my bestie. Out come the pink and purple scraps! 

Hope y'all have a lovely weekend! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

SS: Rayon?

I'm a quilting cotton kind of girl. Linen and voile are a stretch for me. Rayon=total craziness. But I saw it, loved the print and thought, wouldn't that make a really fun shirt? Especially if I kind of sort of color-blocked it with a bright red solid? (Because I know sooooo much about manipulating shirt patterns and what not. Thankfully, there are patterns that do the work for me--thank you Deer and Doe Datura pattern.) But *sigh.* It's going into the closet to crown the ever-growing stack of fabric intended for me-apparel. But one day, oh, one day. I will have time. And the right pattern. And it will be glorious. To the peeps who have sewn with rayon--any tips for me?

Happy Sunday, Friends. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Improv-y Quilt Top

A week or so ago, I was digging through my stalled projects container, and I realized that almost all of my stalled projects were star blocks. I had this *brilliant* idea. Why not throw them all together in one improv-y quilt? Maybe make a few more star blocks and utilize some negative space. I'm a genius, right?

Then I made these triangles as practice for another project, and I figured I could throw them in too.


I almost immediately axed all of the star blocks in favor of triangle and strippy goodness. I pulled out some random fabric and my stack of white scraps and started piecing free form triangles. I added strips that I had lying around. I dug into my scrap bin and pulled out other pieces to fit.

And in the end, it looked nothing like I expected it to. There were no stars. There is a random strip of corduroy. But I kind of dig it anyway. Oh, sure, there are parts I don't like, and assembling it was practically a nightmare. I used a couple of guitar boxes as a make-shift design wall, and stuck things up with painter's tape. Then, I had to sew like a madwoman to get everything put together before my boys started yanking things off. The whites are from various peeps, so they are slightly different colors. But it's done. Best of all, I wanted to make three quilts for Project Linus this year, and this will make number three when it's complete, so that's very exciting.

The free form triangles are my favorite part. I had so much fun making them. It was also super amusing to see my super orderly husband take in this quilt. He loves everything to have symmetry and order, so this really threw him for a loop. He kept looking at it and couldn't find anything nice to say, which I thought was absolutely hilarious. I told him I was totally making him a quilt like this one, and it took him a beat before he realized I was joking. My poor husband. That man has to put up with all of my shenanigans.

I'd like to thank my middle child for taking an uncharacteristic nap so that I could finish this. The baby was sleeping too, and my oldest chose to put together some puzzles. (YES.) Of course, my kitchen had to sacrifice, and there are dishes waiting for me, but it was totally worth it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some triangles and selfish sewing and BACON

Rather than sleeping away entire days, my baby has decided to spend more time awake. While this is awesome because he's a super sweet chubby baby, it also means my crafting time has seen a decrease. There are blocks of days where I don't go anywhere near my sewing machine, and to a girl that used to sew on a daily basis, that's hard, friends. It probably doesn't help that I've once again gotten suckered into doing nanowrimo. I do this to myself EVERY YEAR. I tell myself, no, I don't have time, I can't possibly commit to it, and then what do I find myself doing November 1? WRITING.

That being said, I did manage to get in a few spurts of sewing/crafty love this week.

When I saw this triangle quilt on Film in the Fridge, I was immediately inspired. I have a bright stack of fabrics to make another quilt for my oldest to keep him snuggled and warm this winter while in the car. But I had very little inspiration. I thought I might do some random log cabins, but I wasn't feeling super excited about it. I am; however, feeling very excited about this triangle quilt. So I pulled out a stack of practice fabrics and started making test blocks.

But I don't know about this. I can already tell that I'm going to chop off some corners. Also, my strip of triangles is curving slightly to the left. I haven't decided yet if I'm willing to continue pursuing it or if I'm going to look for something else. It may snow as early as this weekend, so I better figure it out quick!

As I mentioned before, I am starting to audition fabrics for the background of my Tula Pink CS quilt. (I'm doing a rainbow version of Gridlock, similar to the quilt on the cover.) For your consideration, I give you 1. Cotton + Steel Dottie in Kerchief 2. Mirror Balls 3. Yarn-dyed Essex Linen in black 4. the Submarines print from Salt Water 5. print from Fox Field 6. same print from Fox Field but in a different colorway.

(Thanks to the lovelies that chimed in with fabric suggestions and links to where I can buy me some!) Any additional thoughts? Honestly, I'm leaning towards one of the top four. I'm just not feeling the Fox Field print. I love that submarines print, but I worry the color will be all wrong. Will the black be too distracting? Should I really go with 1 or 2? UGH.

And I squeezed in a bit of selfish sewing this week. I have been wanting to make myself a voile pillowcase for ages, but it always fell woefully low on the priority list. Well, I could have been making CS blocks of GW blocks or working on that baby quilt or working on that other baby quilt or holiday gifts...but I chose ME. And I'm glad I did because the whole thing felt like it took about five minutes using this tutorial, and now I have a pretty AMH pillowcase to stand up next to my husband's Marvel superheroes pillowcase. Of course, watching me sew a soft silky pillowcase made my two boys chime into a chorus of, "make me one, make me one!" but they'll just have to wait. (Still, it did a mama's heart good to know that they like it when I make them things.)

Finally, I'll leave you with a story. The baby was fussing, so I asked my middle son to get him a lovey. He came back with play bacon. I can't decide if he's a genius who understands the real import of bacon or...something else.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Menorah Table Runner.

Awhile back, had this huge clearance sale, and I picked up a yard of fabric to make my sister cloth napkins for the holidays. Of course, then I had a ~6" strip leftover, and what am I going to do with menorah fabric? I thought to myself, why, I'll slap a strip of WOF solid on either side, quilt that bad boy and call it a table runner. Easiest gift ever, right? Like fifteen minutes of work, right? WRONG.

Or rather, it wasn't terribly hard, but it was terribly time consuming. Straight line quilting 1/4" apart over the entire runner took some time. I think by the time all was said and done, I easily spent at least three times as much time on this runner as I did on the napkins. (This pic is pre-binding.)

I do love the effect though. I placed masking tape across the surface at random angles, then used those as a basic guide. I think the quilting is what makes this runner awesome.

The solid was "pick a random solid that matches" and I really do love the blue. I chose to bind it in the same thing. The backing is a Kona gray. Steel or Coal, I think. My one grump about this runner is that the straight line quilting slightly warped the center stripe, so in certain spots, it looks a little wavy. (You can kind of see it in the second photo.) Hopefully, that won't be too noticeable to people other than me. My sister knows it's coming, and she's excited! It's a really early holiday gift, but since I wanted her to be able to use it during the holiday, well, that's the way it had to be!

The finished product is ~20" wide and ~42" long.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tula CS Block 76-80.

I've finished another round of Tula City Sampler blocks. I am so close to finishing the blocks, I can taste it! This specific group came about because I had twelve other things I should be sewing...but I didn't want to. My CS project came to my rescue!

Block 76. Salt Water, Birds and the Bees, and some Cotton + Steel Basics. This is very much out of my regular color zone, but I really really like this block.

Block 77. It goes without saying that I LOVE this block. There's some Acacia here, as well as two older lines of Tula's that I'm too lazy to look up right now.

Block 78. Near identical to Tula's version, but I liked Tula's version, so why not?

Block 79=some Prince Charming, Modkid (Heavens to Helsinki line, I think?) and some Kona Aqua. My raindrops piece was the perfect width but was a 1/4" too short, so I made the center stripe 1/4" longer to accommodate that.

Block 80. And this is probably my least favorite because brown and yellow? Hello. So not awesome. Also similar to Tula's. This one looks kinda wonky, but I promise, it's the photo.

I think I numbered all of those correctly, but I could be wrong. I do know they are 76-80. I'm auditioning potential background fabrics because I just don't think I can do white. Any suggestions? I'm making the rainbow Gridlock version, and it's going on my bed, so it has to be fabulous.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

SS: Fancy Tiger Haul.

Y'all, I got to visit Fancy Tiger. And it was GLORIOUS. If you are anywhere near it, go there. Go there now. Then send me a big box full of yummy Fancy Tiger fabrics to say thank you. In typical Audrey fashion, I completely forgot to snap photos of the shop, but trust that it was glorious. Fabric on one side, yarn on the other. Craft night in progress, and a ton of super cool peeps at work, including a bunch of spinners. I had never seen that up close before, and it was super cool, and they were nice and didn't give me the stinkeye for watching them with my mouth wide open in awe. (Added awesomeness? I got to go with Samantha.)

I totally bought a bag to go with my fabric. I needed one.

Kaffe Fassett shot cotton (can't remember what color), Cotton + Steel basics, Tula Pink EEP!, and Lizzy House to round it off.

I picked up yardage of this awesome voile print by Bonnie Christine. I haven't decided on a dress pattern--any thoughts?--but I know it will be epic.

And! If Fancy Tiger haul wasn't enough, my charms from the Tone It Down LV swap arrived!

We're bordering on TOO much awesomeness, but the lovely Michelle also sent me a bit of fabric and an awesome cool drawstring bag. (Aren't those fabrics so me? Michelle nailed it.) I'm pretty sure that I'm much too spoiled, and it was so so sweet of her. 

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

BQF: Fava's Quilt.

For Blogger's Quilt Festival this fall, I'm entering Fava's Quilt in the small quilt category. Let me tell you right now, this is easily one of the most exciting and fun quilts I have ever had the opportunity to make. The design is original, though I made the center medallion using a bee block tutorial from Sylvia, and the paper pieced feathers are from a free pattern of Sarah's. The finished quilt is square, and the sides are all about 42" long.

Fava is my third son, and I finished this quilt back in July just a few weeks before he was born. As I pieced this, I thought a lot about who he would be. I prayed over it, knowing that this little boy would change my life a third time in a super positive way. And he has. Fava is so sweet, and by the time he is old enough to fend for himself, he will understand the word "longsuffering" like no one's business. (He has very enthusiastic older brothers who adore hugging and kissing him.) Having a new baby pretty much kills any opportunity I have for sewing (or even showering!), but he is totally worth it, and I am so thankful for him. While this quilt took forever to piece and finish, I am happy that I took that time to make him something really special. 

When I first started planning this quilt, I knew I wanted to make a medallion quilt. Deciding on fabric was hard. I remember crying to my husband--remember that I was pregnant--what if I can't find any fabric that will be perfect for him? But then! I saw a F8 bundle of Violet Craft's Waterfront Park, and while I almost never use an entire line, I couldn't say no. I absolutely adore that line. I added solids in teal, navy, red, and white, and a some grays and khaki in the scrappy binding.

The back is more Waterfront Park. Apparently, if I'm going to use a fabric line, I'm *really* going to use it seriously. But I love this bridge print, and my husband loved it too, so using it as a back was an awesome way to showcase it.

The binding is one of my favorite parts. I was trying to decide what solid to use, when my friend K suggested I use all of them. YES.

The quilting was really simple--echo quilting in the solid fabric areas. I briefly considered using fancy FMQ, but the top is so extravagant on its own that I didn't want to take away from it.

Here the quilt is, hanging up on Fava's crib. This crib was also my husband's, and he and his three siblings used it. My two older sons used it. And now, my sweet baby Fava is its current resident.

Thanks for visiting--and thank you following friends for indulging me yet again with this quilt--and I am so happy to list this among the other fabulous quilts that are taking a part in BQF this fall. There is so much talent, and I can already feel my brain working as I get inspired by other quilters' creations.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Bee Blocks

For Emma, I made two 16.5" HST blocks using blue and green fabrics. Our particular hive is only going ten months, so I'm done for the year. What will I do with all of my free time??? (Just kidding. I have a huge non-sewing list to tackle.)

Let's be honest--Stash Bee 2014 pretty much rocked. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. And if you're looking for a bee for next year, Stash Bee is pretty fabulous. If you already know Stash Bee is for you, but you haven't signed up yet, go do it! And if you've never ever heard of this Stash Bee business, there is an FAQ page with all sorts of goodness.

Stash Bee 2015

Is it crazy that I already have my block and color scheme picked out for next year? But I'm betting I'm not the only one!


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