Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lizzy House Log Cabins | my first #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap

Just some quick (terrible quality!) photos of my first ever instagram swap quilt so I don't forget I made it :) I put out a call on instagram asking for Lizzy House scraps (if any of my friends had any to spare) and @tennjenny and @euphoriajessica came through for me in a big way! I was able to include pieces of every Lizzy House collection printed up until the time this swap was held. I made wonky log cabins and pieced them together into a warm to cool gradient. The back is a piece of ikea fabric that my friend Ari once wrapped a gift in, and this was the perfect use for it. This mini is happily living with my IG friend @tvanderpol in Canada!

Monday, December 28, 2015

a quilt for Penelope

Like many quilters, whenever I find out a good friend is pregnant I immediately start thinking about what kind of quilt to make. Olga sews and makes quilts, too, so I asked if she had a plan for the nursery or any preference for fabrics or patterns. She asked if I would use a collection of fabric that she had called Sweet as Honey, and I knew she liked hexagons after she sent me screenshots of several vintage quilts that were made of teeny tiny hand sewn hexies. I regretfully told Olga that I wasn't up for hand sewing, but that I would try to make something she would like. I sent her a few ideas and one of them was for this triangle star quilt block. Once I got the go ahead from her I started cutting, using my regular rectangular ruler and the 60° line which took a little getting used to, but eventually I got all 250+ triangles cut out. I sewed two rows together and lost steam because the triangles were hurting my brain. My rows kept getting skewed because I wasn't lining the triangles up right so I gave up for a while. They stayed on my design wall for ages, falling down in the humidity of the summer and early fall and getting kicked around by Matt and the boys, ending up in the hallway and wedged in the door jamb. Amazingly, I didn't lose any and finally started sewing again after the baby was born. Penelope didn't mind though, and I finished up at the end of September, if I remember correctly, only a couple months after she was born.
The back is a few Kona blues that I had on hand along with some of the Sweet as Honey fabric that Olga provided me with. I love scrappy backs and this one is no exception. I can't even remember how I quilted it, but I think it's free motion random loops which are very forgiving for a novice free motion quilter like me. The binding is scrappy, too, made from two different fabrics from the Sweet as Honey line. Sometimes it's nice not to have to make a lot of decisions about a quilt, and using one collection definitely simplifies things. Hopefully this quilt will help keep Penelope warm and cozy this winter!

Monday, December 7, 2015

double the plus | a quilt for Bryce

I'm playing catch up once again here on the ol' blog... I made this quilt lickety split in just a couple days to get it done in time for a baby shower I was cohosting. Our good friends Matt and Kayla are expecting their first baby in February and when my instagram friend Emily put out a call for pattern testers I knew it would make a perfect baby quilt for him. The pattern is called Double the Plus and would be great for an experienced beginner! Emily's cutting instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the quilt comes together really quickly, even if you're not hustling like I was! Make sure you check out the #doubletheplus hashtag for more classic examples of the pattern as mine is a bit unorthodox... I've put myself on a fabric diet and went for a very scrappy look with this quilt! In fact, you can only just barely make out the plus signs, but I like the effect. I used a combination of Tokyo Train Ride by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel to make the plus signs and I used various Kona solids for the background.
Since I had a looming deadline I decided not to make the quilt double sided and instead used another Cotton + Steel print, Mesa by Alexia Abegg, for the backing. The binding is more C+S, some scraps of Cookie Book and another print I can't remember the name of for the life of me.
Finn wanted to sit on the quilt in the worst way so once Matt was done taking the couple of pictures I wanted I laid it down on the grass for him. I hope Bryce likes his quilt as much as Finn did! I think he was sad to see it go :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Harris Road | a mini quilt for the Gamble family

I've been meaning to write about this little wall quilt I made just so I don't forget about it! We have friends who own a small amount of land and they put it to good use with a huge garden in the summer, blueberry bushes, and even a section of Christmas trees. Last year they let us choose our tree from their land and we had a great time trekking through the muddy woods to get to the area where they're planted. I wanted to do something to thank them and originally thought I would make them a little quilted ornament of some kind. I thought it would be cute to make a tiny house that looked like their actual house, but as I pulled fabrics and started cutting it started to get out of control and I knew there was no way it could pass as an ornament. I'm not sure how they use it, if they hung it up or use it as a table topper (or stuck it in a drawer, ha!), but I'm happy with how this little house turned out and I had a lot of fun putting it together. Pieces with meaning and purpose are always the most fun to work on.

P.S. Excuse the low quality photo! This is the only one I have of it, and I took it with my phone.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

little state love | a quilt for Jess & Chad

Back to blogging again... I just can't seem to stay consistent here! Honestly, I just prefer to spend my time at my sewing machine rather than at the computer, but I do like to keep track of all my quilts here so I'll continue on regardless of how sporadic my posts are. So, the quilt! I made this one for friends of ours, Jess and Chad, who just got married earlier this month. Jess used to be one of the lead photographers for Blueflash but this season was her last because she's living back in Michigan, her home state, now. If it weren't for Chad anchoring here there I would venture to say that Jess would still be living in Little Rhody, in Newport, her home away from home, so I made them a Rhode Island quilt. I have to say that it didn't come out exactly as I planned, but I still really like it. I like it so much that I think I'll make another one, and I hardly ever do that. I drew out a map of RI on grid paper to get the shape right and then I determined how many squares or "pixels" I would need for the land and water. (And just in case this is confusing any non-locals, no, Rhode Island is not actually an island!) I decided to use shades of gray for the land and shades of blue for the water, and after two separate trips to Joann and two orders from Fat Quarter Shop I still didn't really have the exact colors I wanted, but I pressed onward anyway. I was running out of time and didn't want to keep spending money on solids I didn't want and probably wouldn't use later. Next time I'll make sure the land and water have more value contrast so they don't blend together so much. I tried to make them more distinct with the quilting, but you can't really see it in the photos. The water has waves quilted in each strip, and the shape of Rhode Island is quilted with what turned out to be concentric rectangles, kind of... I outlined the shape and then continued to echo it until I reached the approximate center. There are over thirty islands that are part of Rhode Island, and I added the most important ones - Aquidneck Island, where Jess lived when she was a Rhode Island resident, Conanicut Island, where one of her favorite spots (Beavertail) is, and Block Island, where she and Chad got engaged. They got the concentric rectangle/square quilting treatment, too.  
Since I wasn't absolutely thrilled with how the front came out and I wasn't even sure it was recognizable as Rhode Island (in fact, I don't think it is. I think it only looks like Rhode Island if you know what Rhode Island looks like and if I point out that it is supposed to look like Rhode Island. Alas.), I wanted to make sure that Jess liked the back for sure. That way if she thought the front was hideous and didn't make any sense then they could just turn it over and forget it exists and use the back exclusively. So I picked out four or five prints that I liked that would coordinate with the front in some way and sent them to Jess, telling her I was working on a project and wanted to know her favorite of the bunch. As I sent the email I wondered if she suspected what I was making... she had asked once, half joking, I think, if I would make her and Chad a quilt and I said no, explaining how I don't make large quilts because my attention span is too short and I enjoy smaller projects better. Then, tragically, Jess's sister passed away just before she was to return to Rhode Island to shoot weddings for the 2015 season. It was then that I decided I had to make her one. Anyway, out of the handful of options I sent to Jess, she picked this print by Katarina Roccella from her Skopelos line, and I think it's the perfect complement to the front. I love the bright floral against the blue and white stripes. I think that they're very Newport - the stripes give it a nautical feel and the flowers add some drama and glam, much like the City by the Sea.

I have to share a little mishap I had when quilting, just because I don't want to forget - I was almost finished quilting and only had some interior sections to complete so I decided I was going to attach the binding and then finish quilting. I was tired of quilting and needed a break, and I thought binding would make me feel closer to the finish line, so I used my clover clips to attach the binding to the edges. Then I realized I would have to change my thread (I was using Sulky to quilt and wanted to switch back to my usual Gutterman for the binding), so I decided to just go ahead and finish the quilting. About an hour went by and I was almost done, just had maybe twelve to eighteen inches left of quilting when I realized that it felt kind of bulky around the needle. I lifted up the quilt to check underneath it and was horrified to realize that I had quilted the loose binding tails to the back in several places! Ughhhhh! I was so mad at myself. I could not believe that I had to pick out so much quilting when I was so close to finishing. I spent the next thirty minutes sitting on the floor with the quilt and my stitch ripper, undoing most of what I had spent the past hour doing! All the while sighing and shaking my head. Thankfully, it was smooth sailing (ha! Unintentional Newport pun!) from then on, and I finished quilting and binding without any more issues. I won't be prematurely attaching binding with clover clips to my quilts anymore, I can tell you that.

Anyway, we took these photos in Newport when we were there for a shoot just before Matt left for the wedding. Ezra, Finn, and I like to tag along sometimes, if we can find a playground nearby and especially if we can score dinner or lunch somewhere close. This time we went with Matt to shoot a couple properties (he does commercial work, too, not just weddings) in Portsmouth, ate the best burgers and dogs in Rhode Island at Mission (if you're on the island, go! It's a must), and then took a few quick shots at Perrotti Park on America's Cup Ave.

Matt flew to Michigan to shoot the wedding over Labor Day weekend and since I couldn't attend I sent the quilt along in his backpack which, other than his gear case, was his only piece of luggage. I insisted he bring it so he could hand deliver it and we weren't sure it would fit but he made it work. I'm pretty sure he wore the same thing all weekend! A few days after the wedding Jess sent me a picture of her and Chad snuggled up under their new quilt! It's always nice to see my quilts in use, and I'm glad it made it safely from Rhode Island to their new home in Michigan. Cheers, Jess and Chad! We miss you here in Little Rhody.
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