Saturday, November 10, 2018

Yucatán | a quilt for Annie

Last year I connected with an artist on instagram who happens to live in Rhode Island - it's always a small world when you live in RI! Annie Brady is a graphic designer who has recently released a couple fabric collections for Moda. She also designed some quilt patterns and was looking for someone to sew some samples. I was familiar with her work from instagram and knew I loved it so I was really excited when Annie got in touch with me. I had seen her first collection, Big Sky, when it was exhibited at quilt market about a year ago and I liked her second collection, Yucatán, just as much and readily agreed to make the namesake quilt pattern for Annie. It took me three and a half months and twenty-eight hours. Phew! It's one of the biggest quilts I've ever made and it's definitely one of the fussiest. All those half square triangles took a lot of cutting and trimming! The pattern is very well designed and it's quite manageable; it's broken up into very sensible blocks and comes together quickly. It only took me three and half months because I usually sew after my boys are in bed, unless I neglect them during the day which I admit to doing on occasion! I delivered the quilt to Annie a couple months ago and was thrilled that she loved it. You can purchase the Yucatan quilt pattern here in Annie's shop if you'd like to make your own. And be sure to check out her instagram highlights to see her kitty on the quilt! 

Friday, November 2, 2018

pink pixels | a quilt for Maya

I LOVED my childhood babysitter Meredith. She was five years older than me and from the time I was allowed out in my yard I'm told that I would stand on the front lawn and just yell her name repeatedly and ask her to come out and play with me. We played on my swing set, built forts in my next door neighbor's backyard (it was magically overgrown), and as she got older she became my babysitter. I remember her tucking me into my bed like a mummy and then sneaking into the hallway once I thought my brother was asleep. Meredith is in so many of my childhood memories and I always think of her fondly. In typical Rhode Island fashion she married the son of my teacher assistant from my first job working for Cranston Public Schools. They had a baby boy a few years ago and my mom and I worked together to make a quilt for him, and we did the same thing when we found out she was expecting a baby girl this fall. I decided to make this pattern, one I had bought a while ago but had never made, and I pulled scraps in ice cream sherbet colors from my stash and lots of low volume fabrics from my mom's. The backing is a piece of rain cloud fabric that I bought when I was obsessed with weather themed fabric, an abstract design from AGF, and some cut paper doll kids from Heather Ross's new Kinder collection which is appearing in a lot of my quilts lately. I enjoyed piecing the gentle curves as that's a skill I've been trying to work on. I echoed the circles in the design with my quilting and made a scrappy binding with pieced left over from the patchwork. I dropped it off at their house for baby Maya a couple weeks ago and I hope it brings her warmth and comfort throughout the years!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

geese in the sky | a quilt for Cordelia

My cousin Meghan had a baby girl last week and I sent this quilt to her via her mom who delivered it to Scituate, MA. Meg grew up in Scituate, RI, about ten minutes from my house in Smithfield, and being just seven months apart we grew up together. We slept over each other's houses, swam in our aunt's pool every summer, ate bowls and bowls of "special soup" (aka Ramen noodles), went to band camp together, and cheering each other on at our dance recitals and competitions. When we were in middle school my aunt and uncle got divorced and Meghan and her mom and brother moved into my neighborhood. That same year she also started going to a private school with me so then we spent a good part of every day together on the bus and in the hallways (even though we're seven months apart I was a grade ahead of her so we didn't have any classes together). When I started driving I picked Meg up for school every day, and we drove home together too if one of us didn't have extracurricular activities. Meg went to college in DC and later moved to Boston so we didn't see each other often but we were always close in spirit even if we were physically far away. Now that we're both mothers we talk frequently throughout the week, discussing sleep schedules and toddler boundaries and self care. I'm happy we stay in touch, but I admit to wishing Meg still lived in Scituate, RI instead of Scituate, MA!

Anyway, Meg and her husband Bill prefer not to find out the sex of their babies before they're born so I had a baby girl quilt ready and a baby boy quilt started. The baby girl quilt was made with leftover pieces from a big commission quilt I made earlier this year for Annie Brady with her Yucatan collection for Moda. I love the bright, tropical feel it has and that it's not overly feminine. It was my first time making flying geese and they looked kind of busy so I tried to tone the rest of the quilt down with simple strips. The back is mostly an orange solid and a Leah Duncan print called Las Formas from her Yucca collection for Cloud 9. I think the two collections go really well together!

Meg ended up having a baby girl so I was happy to be able to send a quilt up with my aunt right away. I made some lactation energy bites, collected some hand-me-down nursing bras and nursing pads, and packed the quilt into a bag and my aunt is bringing it all to Meg and baby Cordelia today. I hope it brings her warmth and comfort for years to come!      

Monday, October 22, 2018

sunshowers | a quilt for someone

Lately I've had a lot of quilts going at once which is kind of unusual for me. I tend to work on one project at a time until it's finished but I keep having new ideas and wanting to start them. Then I saw an instagram friend ask for pattern testers for this super cute rainbow quilt and I couldn't resist. I stopped working on everything else to pull fabrics and then I cut the templates and fabric when my kids were in the tub one night. Once they were sleeping I sewed the whole top! I've sewn curves a bunch of times in the past but I still consider myself a novice so I was a little bit apprehensive. The large scale of the design made it a cinch! The curves were pretty simple and I only needed to trim them a little bit to get the blocks to match up. I love the fabrics I chose for the rainbow - a Cotton + Steel floral, Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch in pickle, an older Heather Ross bee print, and a metallic Cotton + Steel basic - against the linen. I had the perfect fabric for backing, a colorful rain cloud print that I bought when I was pregnant with Rory. I was a little obsessed with weather themed fabric at the time. I added some Heather Ross kinder to make it big enough. I quilted the rainbow with lines to echo the curves, straight lines underneath, and free motion clouds in the sky. I bound it in more pickle crosshatch and washed it to get it all crinkled up. Matt took some pictures for me one night when we went to Bayberry Beer Hall for dinner. Now it's ready and waiting for a special little one - it'll be perfect for a rainbow baby! If you'd like to make your own just visit Megan's etsy shop. There's also a smaller rainbow block pattern for making a block based quilt, the #sunshowersquilt. The one I made is the #retrorainbowquilt. Let me know if you make one; I'd love to see! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

diedelbug bags for Ari

When I turned thirty Matt threw a small dinner party with our closest friends to celebrate. I felt so loved and I enjoyed every minute of being together with my favorite friends. They all pitched in to buy me an Ergo baby carrier so I could use it with Rory and it was such a nice surprise. Only one of my friends hadn't turned thirty yet at that point and I decided I wanted to do something extra special for her too. I offered to make her a bag and she said she could use a cosmetic case so I started looking for pattern. I chose the dolled up duo train cases by Diedelbug Handmade and I'm really pleased with how they came out! It only took me about a year and a half to finish them. Ari picked the same main fabric that I used in my cooper bag that I use as a diaper bag, and I added a bunch of coordinates from my stash. My friend Lorraine helped me with the construction a lot! Since I mostly work improvisationally it's sometimes a challenge for me to read a pattern, especially one as detailed as these. Lorraine can read them with ease and she explains them clearly too. I couldn't've made these without her, and I'm sure I speak for us both when I say I never want to make another set again! 

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