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Thursday, February 12, 2015

quilt 03 of 2015, for Lee

This quilt is the brother quilt to this one that I made over the summer. My friend Amanda wanted to make a quilt for each of her children. I had taught her how using Amy Smart's amazing beginning quilting series the summer that I was pregnant with Ezra and she was pregnant with her second daughter, Sophie. I made this quilt and Amanda made one for Sophie alongside me. Then she made one for her daughter, Amelie, and when she got pregnant with baby number three she bought fabric to make a quilt for him. She ended up not loving how the fabrics worked together (that's the difficulty of shopping online!) and ordered some others. I would periodically ask her how it was going, and when I learned that she had put it aside I offered to make it for her. By this point she was already pregnant with their fourth child! So I told her I would make quilts for both of them.
The feature fabric is Heather Ross's guitars from Far Far Away III and the rest are low volume prints that Amanda picked out - a couple chevrons and one that looks like a maze, but you can't actually solve it. I know because Ezra tried... mazes are one of his favorite things to do lately. Because so many of the fabrics were light and lacked bold color I decided to use the guitars in a few different places to give the quilt some life. I think it worked! More straight line quilting (I think I have so many projects going on lately that I can't put any creative energy into interesting quilting - I'm just trying to get things checked off my list!), and it's bound in more of the chevron fabric, both colors. 

I was super excited to be able to use my new quilt label, too! I've had the idea for them in my mind for months but needed Matt to design them in photoshop for me and I kept putting it off. I finally pinned him down a couple weeks ago, sent the files off to inked papers, and had the labels in just a little over a week! I definitely recommend using them if you're in need of labels for any kind of sewn items.
So Lee finally has his baby quilt! No matter that he's almost three ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

winter woodland | quilt 01 of 2015, for Chase

Here's my first quilt finish of 2015! It feels like a great way to start off the year. This quilt is for a little boy who hasn't been born yet, the baby brother to the little girl who owns this quilt! Jen is expecting her third baby and asked me to make a quilt for him about three months ago and we picked fabrics very quickly. Jen knows just what she wants and also trusts me to choose fabrics and designs that I think will work together, which is a great feeling. She wanted something with woodland animals and a combination of orange, minty green, and gray colors. I seriously loved shopping for this quilt, but then putting fabrics together is always one of my favorite parts of the process :) From top to bottom, the fabrics are orange chevron by Riley Blake, Joel Dewberry's wood grain, elk family by Birch Fabrics, Lizzy House's leaf tails, bear hike in shroom by Birch Fanrics, and Joel Dewberry's herringbone. The feature print running vertically down the length of the quilt is bear hike again, but obviously multicolored. That last print was so hard to find that I had to order it from Australia! Although I just looked for it again and found it easily in the US. Oh well! The pattern I used is a favorite for baby quilts, Bijou Lovely's Color Block quilt. I've made it three times so far and have another one in the queue!

The back is a bunch of fabrics left over from the front of the quilt plus a couple others - squared elements from Art Gallery in carbon and dottie by Cotton + Steel in bandana. I have to say that my favorite print is bear hike, and rightfully so! The quilt was designed around it, after all. I had one little scrap left and made a mug rug out of it. It was sold just before Christmas and will hopefully enjoy a long life underneath steaming mugs of coffee :)

I quilted organic straight lines, starting out very close together somewhere around the center near the bears and gradually getting farther and farther apart as the lines get closer to the edges. The pattern created by the lines reminds me just a bit of tree bark or wood grain which is a nice design element to add to this quilt that I've called "winter woodland." It's bound in more orange chevron with a small strip of Kona coral left over from my Michael Miller challenge quilt. I love scrappy bindings so much! They're my favorite kind of binding. Jen is coming to pick up the quilt this afternoon and is just about ready to welcome her baby boy into the family! He's due in March and I hope this quilt provides just the right welcome for him.

P.S. Special thanks to Matt who took these photos for me after finishing up a shoot in Providence, and to my mom who offered to watch the boys so I could tag along. As a bonus we got lunch at The Grange after! It was the perfect spot for my quilt mini shoot, and as always, the perfect spot to eat lunch.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

a quilt for Liam | elephants and stripes (of course)

This simple baby quilt is the last from my backlog of unblogged quilts! I made it for a friend's son (who happens to have just turned one on Sunday - happy birthday, Liam!) and chose the prints after spying some elephants on one of her baby related pinterest boards :) I had the perfect gray elephant fabric in my stash and then chose lots of blue and gray fabrics to go with it. I didn't follow a patten, just cut large squares and then used a slice and insert technique to make a few of the blocks a little more interesting.
Navy sashing to give all the prints some breathing room...
and green polka dot binding for fun :)
As usual, the back is a large cut (this one is a gray circle/dot print by Denyse Schmidt for Joann) plus leftover fabrics from the front. I quilted it with simple straight lines on either side of all the seams.
Also, wasn't the light just perfect on the day I took these photos? Sometimes I love our living room :) Anyway, thanks for hanging in there with all these quilts! Now brace yourselves, because I have a list of quilts to make as long as my forearm and this time I intend to keep up with them here!

Monday, January 26, 2015

a quilt for Audrey | stars and hexagons

I have a few more quilts to blog about before I'm all caught up, and then I'll be making a new wave of quilts! So many of my friends are pregnant at the same time - currently I have seven baby quilts to make this year, all before the end of July! And there's no telling who else will announce that they're expecting before the end of the year. Anyway, I made this quilt for my friend Hillary's daughter, Audrey, before she was born, and she'll be two in just a few short weeks.
Hillary liked the look of stars and hexagons, so I pieced together some large hexies and let the negative space create the stars. It's difficult to see in the photos, but some of the white hexagons are actually made of a really sweet pink on white flocked polka dot fabric.
Some other sweet details are these little strawberries, funny olives, and lots of florals.


It's quilted with simple straight lines to outline the hexagons. I made this quilt in December of 2012, and looking at these pictures makes me realize how much my skills have improved since then! It's nice to look back and be able to see progress.

The backing is a large cut of a Heather Bailey print, a strip of pink seersucker (I love using seersucker in baby quilts, it makes them so soft!), and one other random pink print I had in my stash.

It's bound in the pink seersucker, too. I think we all know I love a stripey binding!

I wrote this label out on the morning of Hillary's shower and brought it with me so my mom could hand stitch it on for me! I have exactly zero hand stitching skills (really need to work on that) and my mom is always kind enough to help me out. Usually I try to piece a square of fabric into the backing so I can just write directly on the quilt, but I didn't do that here.

And just this past weekend Matt helped me put my idea for a quilt label into an actual design that I'm having printed! I can't wait to use them. These are the things that get a quilter excited :)

Now I have to get to work on a quilt for Audrey's little sister! She's due in May but I had the colored pencils out today so I could start sketching out a design. Coming up with a plan is one of my favorite parts!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New England Winter | an inspiration mosaic contest

Rachel over at Stitched in Color is hosting a little contest sponsored by Cuts of Cotton in which entrants select nine fabrics from the shop's offerings to create a mosaic that represents winter in some way, our interpretation of "iced parfait." I created my mosaic using fabric from a few of my favorite designers - Lizzy House, Alison Glass, and Carolyn Friedlander, plus a couple others. It's made up of deeper hues which evoke a New England winter: snow falling silently in the woods, frozen ponds, and days of harsh sunlight. Midnight is cold and deep. We sip steaming mugs of tea and wear wool sweaters. Frozen moss crunches underfoot when I step outside. Rhode Island has been absolutely freezing lately, and this palette seems perfect for the frozen Ocean State. I'd love to make a winter quilt with this collection of fabrics, perfect for warming up by the wood stove with hot chocolate after a snowy walk around the neighborhood. Visit Stitched in Color to create your own mosaic, or check back on Friday to vote for your favorite! If you like my New England Winter mosaic I'd love if you would click over and cast your ballot! :)
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