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Thursday, July 28, 2016

summer in New England | a quilt for Ella June

It's summer in New England and my cousin Carlye just had her first baby, a girl to whom she and her husband gave the adorable name Ella June. I wasn't able to get a quilt finished in time for her shower a couple months ago, but when they announced her arrival a couple days ago I got right to work! With my own due date literally three days away I knew I didn't have much time to work so I kept it super simple. 

Carlye, our other cousin Meghan (who was also pregnant at the time and has since given birth to her son Elijah - here's the quilt I made for him), and I had brunch together a while back and Carlye mentioned she bought a pink anchor (I think it was an anchor? It was definitely something nautical, I know that...) to decorate the nursery so I went with that and pulled fabrics from my stash - some pink and navy sailboats by Sarah Jane, yellow and white stripes, florals on stripes by Katarina Roccella, and a pink herringbone print by Cloud 9. I sewed them up quick and then chose a bright yellow print from Dashwood Studio for the back, full of smiling suns and perfect for a summer baby.

I quilted it with a simple wave design (probably my most used quilting design as it fits the nautical themed quilts that are so popular among my friends and family and probably everyone else who lives in Rhode Island and New England) and bound it with more of the pink herringbone.

I brought it along to the Shack at Dutch Harbor in Jamestown where we had the yummiest tacos and burritos on Thursday night. Then Matt and our friend Rachel went cliff jumping at Fort Wetherill and I was super jealous... when I'm not forty weeks pregnant I'm definitely going! Here's a video he captured with his drone of Rachel and some other people who were at the cliffs...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Succulent Star | a quilt for Amanda

I made this quilt as a gift for my sister-in-law. For as long as I've known her she's had tons of house plants... she's one of those people who loved succulents before succulents were cool. I had been wanting to make her a quilt for a few years but didn't feel inspired. When Heather Givans debuted her Succulents collection for Windham I knew it would be perfect for her. To me, the succulents symbolize new life and growth, two things that I hope will be realized in my sister-in-law's life. I chose this simple giant star pattern because I wanted it to be a quick sew! The hardest part was choosing which fabrics should go where, but I'm actually pretty happy with my use of value.

The back actually took me longer to piece because, as usual, I tried to use up most of my scraps from the front. I ended up needing to buy a bit more fabric and decided to go with the versatile crosshatch print from Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures collection. I bought it two separate times because I needed more than I initially realized (quilt math is not my strong suit), and I'm not sure if I bought two different colors or if the print would be that different from two different bolts. Does anyone else see the color variation in the bottom left compared to the top left and bottom right? Just curious...

I used my aunt's long arm machine to quilt wonky spirals in horizontal rows across the whole quilt. Long arming is so quick compared to quilting on a domestic machine! I'm spoiled now and will always want to use my aunt's machine to quilt larger quilts, I know it. The quilt is bound with C+S sprinkles on black which I LOVE and will definitely use as binding again. From what I understand, the quilt is well loved by my sister-in-law and by her cat, so I'm calling it a success!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Indian Summer | a quilt for Cole

I made this quilt for an old friend's new baby boy. I actually planned on making her a quilt when she had her last baby (who's almost Finn's age, so about 2.5) but I dropped the ball and never did, so I was happy to have another opportunity! She and her husband decided not to find out the gender this time around so I went with (what I hope are) gender neutral prints and colors from Sarah Watson's Indian Summer line for Art Gallery Fabrics. The novelty prints are my favorites - the little mushrooms and foxes and mountains are so fun! I admit to hoarding a few scraps for myself :) I had been wanting to make a quilt like this one for a while so I used Emily's tutorial and loved how quickly it came together.

On the back I used up my Indian Summer scraps along with some solid aqua that I had left from a collaborative quilt that I worked on with fellow MQG members. The binding is also (surprise!) scrappy, but mostly made from a print that looks like bubbles that I really like. I quilted it with random wavy lines because I thought they would be a nice contrast to all the horizontal lines of the blocks. I like how the quilting turned out, but random wavy lines were actually a lot harder than I thought they would be! They definitely look better in these pictures than I think they do in real life.

I'm going to visit my friend on Friday and I can't wait to meet her new little guy and give him this quilt. I hope it provides lots of comfort and snuggles over the years!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

sand and salt water | a quilt for Elijah

I made this quilt for my cousin Meghan's brand new baby boy Elijah Crosby (he and I share our middle name! It's my and Meghan's moms' maiden name) and I was inspired by the beach when I was making it so it made perfect sense to take photos of it when we were in Newport for the week last month. I actually quilted and bound the quilt using my mom's machine which she brought on our vacation and was kind enough to let me use while we were staying at the resort. I hurried to get it done so we could take the photos while we were there. Like typical Rhode Islanders, we don't like to drive too far when we don't have to, so I knew it would be tough convincing Matt to head back to Newport just for quilt pictures when we had just stayed there. Thankfully, my mom was willing to sacrifice a bunch of time at her machine so I could get it finished. Thanks, Mom!

I chose lots of gray, blue, and yellow fabrics that reminded me of a cloudy day at the beach. There are also some cats and elephants because Meghan likes them :) The pattern is called Color Weave and it's a free download from Moda Bake Shop. The pattern on the website uses solids and white so the look is quite different, but I still think the effect of mine is a nice one. 

The back is a large piece from Sarah Watson's Indian Summer collection manufactured by Art Gallery. I love Art Gallery quilting cotton because it's so soft and silky, always a dream to sew. I added a strip of scraps in the center for interest and also because I wanted to include more anchors and elephants! I quilted it across the rows using a small wave design which I've done before a couple times, in this quiltthis quilt, and part of this quilt. The binding is a scrappy one, made from pieces leftover from the top including some Indian Summer prints, Joel Dewberry's woodgrain pattern, and Denyse Schmidt's versatile Hope Valley.

My aunt brought the quilt to Boston last week where Meghan and her husband Bill live and I've already heard from Meghan that they love it which is always nice to hear! Oh, and I have to add that Matt took the pictures at the International Yacht Restoration School on Thames Street which is just a couple blocks down the street from where we always stay in Newport. I knew they usually have a collection of old Beetle Cats (the type of boat the students restore) out back and I thought they would make a great backdrop for the quilt. Finn snuck into a photo or two so you can see his little legs and hands with mine :) 

pink kitten modern bento box | a quilt for Rose


I made this quilt for the first daughter of our friends Dawn and Andrew. They have a cat and are decorating the baby's room with pink and gray, so I used lots of kitty fabrics (thankful for Heather Ross for making so many great cat prints!) and shades of pink and gray. I added some yellow for interest. I used this tutorial from Ashley of Film in the Fridge to make the blocks and they came together surprisingly quickly. I enjoyed putting together lots of different fabric combinations. Scrappy quilts are always my favorite! I quilted it using simple straight lines on either side of all the seams to create a grid type pattern.

For the backing I pulled lots of fabric scraps from my stash and pieced together some rows until it was big enough. The binding is made up of scraps from the top and back which adds to the craziness of the quilt... I didn't mean for it to be so bright and bold, but I do like how it turned out. I hope baby Rosie does, too!

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