Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Finish: Book Nook

This makes three Fridays in a row that I have a finish to share.  Yahoo!  Book Nook is another project from the book Sew Organized for the Busy Girl that comes together rather quickly.

This is a big pillow.
 I must confess though that I was a bit surprised at how large the pillow finishes.  Of course it says right there in the book 26x26.  I guess since I had recently made the pin cushion I expected it to be a little bit bigger than that but not much.

side by side comparison
You can see by this picture the size difference!  Makes sense though.  The book nook is designed with a large pocket to store books and possibly a stuffed animal.  The stuffing is such that there is plenty of give and squishiness for the child.  (It has been tested and approved by Max!)

quality control tester
The pillow was originally intended for a baby gift, but that's OK.  I know a cute toddler that will love it!  Unless I change my mind before December, this goes in the Twelve Months of Christmas stash.

Bear not included....ha!
 Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  Have a fabulous weekend my friends!
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Finish: Pretty Pincushion

Made another Twelve Months of Christmas gift to put aside with the others.  This pin cushion is destined for a special quilter in my life.  

can't throw away any of my Carolyn Friedlander scraps
The pattern is from the book Sew Organized for the Busy Girl and is perfect for those 1.5" scraps of precious fabric you just can't part with.  

There is a pocket to clip Wonder Clips and place a small pair of scissors (both acquired from Massdrop by the way) which comes in handy while sewing.

This pincushion came together quickly and I see myself making more of these in the future.  

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Finish: Pillow for Baby

Now that Kirsten has received her gift, I can show you the sweet pillow I made for Kirsten's virtual baby shower.  There are three ladies in our Wish Circle having babies, and this is Virtual Shower 2!

Patchwork pillow
With permission, I based this pillow on one that Amanda Jean made for her daughter's friend.  It helped having Amanda sewing right across from me at retreat while I made this.  Nothing like having your own personal tutor available for questions ;-)

My pillow is a bit smaller measuring 18"x12".  I used 2.5" scraps from my scrap box, pieced nine blocks across and six down, quilted straight lines on each side of the seam lines going up and down, and finished with an envelope style back.  Voila!

such a sweet name!
I really like the embroidered name to personalize this little gift.  Her brothers won't be able to steal this one away.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts!  
Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pretty Patchwork

It's the third day of August and I already have all but one of my bee blocks finished for this month!
Wish Circle blocks for July
Kirsten requested red and white nine-patch checkerboard blocks following Rita's tutorial for our Wish Circle at do. Good Stitches bee.
These need a bit of pressing.
RPQ's method produces two blocks, one light one dark, and the instructions are spot on.
I found myself making more of these blocks, playing around with different fabric combinations, and quickly became hooked.
These come together quickly
I'm Queen Bee this month and have requested them from my Sew Sisters Bee.  Those friends that are also in my MCM Bee will appreciate an easier block from me this time around!

There's something about a square and simple patchwork!  Love it!

Happy stitching,

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Finish: Studio Redo

I've wanted to show pictures of my studio as a Friday Finish ever since I moved my space upstairs, but before I could take decent pictures, it would either get messy again or I would rearrange it.  I'm constantly repositioning my sewing table, ironing board and cutting table.  I think I finally have it where I like and now our house is on the market ;-)  My studio is as picked up as it's ever going to be, so let's take a look:

planning area
to-dos and inspiration board
Right outside my room is an alcove with a desk, shelves, bulletin board and an extra design wall.  This is where I sit when participating in online guild meetings which happen about once a month.  There's also room for a laptop, printer and quilting books.

Design wall
Usually the latest quilt project(s) is on this design wall as it is easier to stand in front to rearrange blocks and then step back to get a better look.  The design wall has been taken down temporarily so as not to overwhelm prospective buyers....ha!

the left side of the room
When you walk in my studio, my sewing machine in on the left as well as another design wall and a bookcase.
my Juki, Janome, and Featherweight
There are also some lovely handmade gifts from friends all around my sewing space!  More gifts have been added since this picture was taken....I'm still going through my mail and unpacking from retreat.

the right side of the room
On the right when you walk in is my fabric stash, directly in front is my ironing surface and then around the corner is a small closet.  I love looking across my machine and seeing the lovely fabric eye candy and more handmade quilty goodness from friends.

closeup of shelves
Most of my fabric is folded around comic book boards and "filed" on the shelves by color.  Additionally, I have shelves dedicated to precuts, novelty and favorite fabric lines.

My pegboard above my ironing surface is a favorite feature of my studio.  There's a container to hold my Flatter spray, various size baskets for notions and patterns, a magnetic board, and pegs for rotary cutters, scissors, rulers and small artwork.

small area for displaying notions
Under the ironing surface is more storage.  I also have a foldout cutting table that I rarely use.  Now that my fabric is on mini bolts, I find I can cut yardage on a smaller cutting mat right on my ironing board.

one of several turquoise rolling carts
Several aqua Ikea rolling carts hold WIPs...the idea being each bin holds a different project.  If that were the case, I would need twice as many carts!

beautiful minis gifted to me (other than the far left)
Above and below are updated pictures of my mini quilts after rearranging to accommodate my sister's latest gift!

wall hanging made by Michelle - pattern from book Paper Pieced Modern
Now that summer is almost over and school is about to start, I am spending more time in my sewing space, and I love that!  The hard part is keeping my area clean while creating....I'm a messy quilter!

currently on my design wall - two different MCM Bee quilts in progress
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  I like seeing where others create so I hope you don't mind me sharing my little creative area.  Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gruber's 2015

I'm home from my Gruber's retreat (and three other trips) and starting the process of unpacking while battling a summer cold.  I did a little bit of sewing this morning and it's nice to fall back into a routine.  (If only I could get my blogging routine set!)

This was the sixth Gruber's retreat, and I SO needed this week of sewing and quilty friendship!  It wasn't the most productive as far as project finishes go, but it was a success in terms of quality friend time.  That's way more important!
a large flat rate box holds a lot of fabric scraps
I didn't have a set plan this time around and ended up shipping a box of fabric scraps (and my happies) ahead.  Catching up on the Scrap Vortex QAL, bee blocks and making a baby gift were on my list to work on, and I accomplished those goals.  

Having a sister that quilts is awesome!
My sister and I exchanged birthday quilts while on retreat together.  
Michelle sets the bar higher each year, which is a good thing and a bad thing ;-))

photo borrowed from Mary
Speaking of setting the bar higher, here's a picture of the happies exchanged this year.  I "outsourced" mine, ordering coffee mugs with our Sew Sisters bee logo designed by Terri and adding some favorite fabric scraps and a QAYG coaster.  

quilt cake fail
I had grand plans for a cool quilty cake to acknowledge several milestone birthdays being celebrated, but the cake decorator didn't share my vision (or view the photos attached to my email).  Note to self: research out of town bakeries more thoroughly in the future!

In between laughing, eating, shopping, chatting and more laughing, I managed some sewing:

Kaleidoscope block parts for Amanda Jean - check....

Birthday block for Amanda Jean (there's still a few days until deadline if you'd like to make one too) - check...

Block for Charleston MQG's Emmanuel AME community quilt - check....

and baby gift made (can't show yet) - check!

design table - not as efficient as design wall
My scrappy vortex production is hard to measure without a proper design wall.  I can't wait to put these pairs onto my design wall to see how much progress I actually made.

Gruber's annual photo - year six
I have grown to love these ladies more and more with each passing year if that's possible, and I already miss them so much!  Pictured above left to right: Amanda Jean, me, Doris, Mary, Michelle, Terri, Cindy, Shelly and Stephanie.  We missed Toni this year.

one way to sort your scraps!
 I've said it before and it bears repeating:  If you ever get the chance to attend a quilt retreat, take it!  Saying yes to flying across the country to sew with nine other bloggers I had never met before was a life changing decision that I am so happy I made!

Past retreat recaps are here, here, here, here and here!
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Finish: Fifty Kisses

I'm at my annual Gruber's retreat (yippee!!!!) and hand delivered my sister's 50th birthday quilt to her.  It was difficult to keep progress pictures off Instagram, so it is nice to finally share photos of this one.
Fifty Kisses
I call it Fifty Kisses.  There are 50 different x-blocks made with 50 different Cotton+Steel fabrics and one big x-block (you to grow on!).  No repeat fabrics were used.  The background and backing is Carolyn Friedlander widescreen - blue for the front and black (over the hill) for the back.

Artist Point - Yellowstone National Park
I finished hand stitching the binding while on vacation in Montana so the quilt went with us to Yellowstone National park for a photo shoot.  Here is a picture taken at Artist Point.  I may have pushed a few international tourists out of the way to get this picture ;-)

quilted by Frank Palmer
Apparently I didn't take any in progress pictures.  I guess that's because I knew I couldn't share the process.  I found this picture of the pin basting on the wall which is funny since I ended up giving the quilt to a longarmer.

basting on the wall
When it came time to quilt, my sewing room became inaccessible for the week before I was heading out of town, so I "outsourced" the quilting to our new OrlandoMQG member Frank Palmer.  As bad as I felt about not doing the quilting myself, I am so happy with the quilting Frank did!  He did a beautiful job and allowed the blocks to be the focus.  The quilt washed up beautifully and has that soft crinkly look and feel.
Spanish Peaks in the background
The blocks are from a tutorial by Pile O' Fabric and finish at 5.5".  The quilt is smaller than I would like, measuring 49.5" by 60.5.  Michelle loves it which makes me very happy.  She has slept under it every night!  She gave me a beautiful birthday quilt as well which I will share when I get some decent pictures.

on the ski bridge
one more
Quilt stats:  Fifty Kisses, fabrics Cotton+Steel and Carolyn Friedlander, finished size 49.5x60.5, block pattern by Pile O' Fabric, quilted by Frank Palmer.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.
Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Friday!