Monday, November 24, 2014

high tea with Rose | Besos

My friend Hillary and I used to to have tea together often. If you were a regular blog reader a couple years ago then you may remember our tea tour! We visited little cafes and tea houses around RI and blogged about our experiences at each place. Well, we had gone to one last place (our ninth stop on the tea tour!) before Hillary moved away which was just before the time I went on my unplanned blogging hiatus. It's been bugging me that I never wrote about our last stop on the tea tour, so here it is...
We went to Besos in East Greenwich for their afternoon tea service and enjoyed their spin on a traditional tea. We had mini Mediterranean wraps, salad, and cucumbers stuffed with cheese, and then profiteroles, tiramisu, and strawberries with fresh whipped cream. Of course we had tea, too, but I honestly don't remember that much about the tea! I think we shared a pot of peppermint.
It's been a little over two years since Hillary moved out of Rhode Island and I still miss her! I wish she lived closer so we could continue to enjoy each other's company over cups of steaming tea.
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." 
- Henry James

Friday, November 21, 2014

a quilt for Luke

I made this quilt for my new nephew back in January - it's hard to believe he's almost one! I took  photos on the morning he was born. We knew what his first name was going to be but his middle name was a secret so I had to wait until I found out so I could write the label.

I cut lots of half square triangles with these boyish fabrics a while ago with a different plan in mind, but when it came time to make the quilt I couldn't remember it! So I played around with a few designs and came up with this kind of random layout. I don't love it, but it was difficult working with the directional prints, especially the chevron. I think it will be well loved anyway! Babies aren't usually too picky about their quilts ;) The quilt I made for his brother uses some of the same fabrics, Alexander Henry 2D zoo, which I think is nice. They don't share a room, but I like the idea of the quilts coordinating anyway.

The backing is a soft blue seersucker and brown and white polka dot. Both were from my stash which is always nice.

The binding is my favorite part of this quilt - polka dots are always a good choice!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

a doll for Appleby

Over a year and a half ago my dear friend Ari's daughter Appleby turned one and I wanted to make her a special birthday gift. I decided to make her a doll (I used this doll pattern and recommend it) that resembled her and a quilt for the doll using the same fabrics from the quilt I made for Appleby. I was overambitious and even asked Ari to send me a picture of her current favorite outfit of Appleby's so I could capture her one year old style forever in doll apparel. Although I am not one to sew garments I drafted a pattern for a sweater and leggings, even piecing the fabric for the sweater since it needed to be striped and I didn't have coral and cream striped fabric on hand. I admit to scrapping the first two sweaters I made and even asking for help dressing the doll after I realized I couldn't get the leggings on over her big feet. I didn't learn my lesson though because I've made this doll a bunch of times since then and made the same mistakes on the next two dolls. I wised up for the last two though, constructing the doll bodies out of the clothing fabric rather than making clothes, and I was much more successful. Anyway, I was pleased with the results and loved giving this doll and little doll quilt to Appleby!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

two plus one equals three | a quilt for Parker

Plus quilts are pretty trendy right now and I had been wanting to make one of my own for a while. I decided to make this particular plus quilt (since I do think I'll be making another some day!) for my friend Jill's baby boy, Parker. He's their third baby which is why I named the quilt "two plus one equals three" - two children plus one baby equals three kids for Eric and Jill :) The pluses seemed like a great pattern to show off some fun fabrics, and since the blocks were on the large side I knew that it would come together pretty quickly. I used a combination of Michael Miller fabrics, seersucker, some Lizzy House, and a few random fabrics that were given to me by a friend who doesn't sew. The background is Kona silver which is my new favorite neutral. 

The back is made up of some large cuts of fabric - gray polka dots that my mom gave me (left over from the back of Ezra's I spy quilt), blue and white chevron, some airplanes left over from the quilt I made for my friend Keri's son Will, red polka dots, and some scraps left over from the front.

I did straight line quilting on either side of each seam to frame each block and bound it in Art Gallery squared elements. There's one little scrappy bit of binding in there though - a small piece of Lizzy House jewels.

A simple handwritten label finishes it off. 

And of course I had some assistance with the photos :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

welcome to the world | an embroidered birth announcement for Jonas

Just a quick post today! I love making "paper" with fabric and thread, and when I posted a picture of a piece on instagram my friend Ashley commented that it would make a cute baby announcement. Well, she was pregnant at the time so I filed that away and then made this for her son's room. I've made a few embroidered notes over the years and there's still something special about them to me. I definitely need to work on my embroidery skills though!

Monday, November 17, 2014

gingham and robots | a quilt for Elliott

I'm posting about this quilt, totally unintentionally, on the recipient's first birthday. So first let's wish Elliott a very happy birthday! I made this quilt for him using lots of my favorite fabrics - some robots by Kokka, guitars by Michael Miller, a few Denyse Schmidt prints, one of Heather Bailey's prints from her Nicey Jane line, and two solids. Simple rectangle patchwork made this a quick quilt to finish in time for my friend Rachel's baby shower even though Finn was a newborn at the time. It seems so far away now! I can't believe these boys are one now. 

I found this gingham in my stash and it made the perfect backing. I had planned on making myself a scarf with pom pom trim with it but I never got around to it and it was too perfect for the quilt not to use it. All my non-quilt sewing projects get pushed to the side and forgotten about because quilting is my favorite.

More stash usage here in the binding - solid gray coordinates nicely and there's one little strip of gingham in there that totally makes it.

Those robots! I love them.

I made a stack of burp cloths with some scraps because I looove using up scraps. I always forget how time consuming scrappy burp cloths are to make, and just for spit up. At least they're useful!

As you can see from this and the top photo, I had a helper during my photo shoot :) Ezra took the photo below, too. I'm so proud - he's a budding quilter and a budding photographer ;)

John and Rachel were so thankful for this quilt which made it even more special. They sent me the nicest thank you note and raved about it repeatedly in person. Apparently John borrows it occasionally :) John posted a couple pictures to twitter when Elliott was a newborn and I just have to share this one of him at ten days old on his quilt - ha! Happy birthday, Elliott! I'm so glad you were born!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

my first foray into hexagons | a quilt for Lillia

Thanks so much for all the sweet comments yesterday about the mug rugs! I really like making them so it's great to see so much interest. I'm going to be putting a few more in the shop, hopefully soon! I received a few requests for specific fabrics and colors and it will be fun to make some custom designs. If you missed the announcement yesterday you can see what I'm talking about here - mug rugs are now in the shop, and from now until the week before Christmas you can receive a discount on your purchase of one (or more!) to help out with all your holiday shopping. Now, back to sharing all the baby quilts! 
I made this quilt for a sweet baby girl who's just a little younger than Finn. I loved the bright and feminine prints mixed with gray and black from Violet Craft's Waterfront Park line of fabric. I had been wanting to work with hexagons for a while and these large ones seemed like a nice way to showcase the prints. I must admit though, I cheated and used this method of piecing! Next time I'll be going all the way, Y seams and all. For now, here's Lillia's quilt, ever so elegantly photographed on my living room floor. It was winter and I wasn't up for a photo shoot in the snow!
My favorite print is the one with the triangles, and also the dots. They remind me of braille or morse code. I quilted simple straight lines across the quilt, along either side of the seams that make up the top, middle, and bottom of each hexagon. I think free motion quilting would have added a little more to the design, but I had yet to attempt that at this point in my quilting career! This quilt was made in either December 2013 or January 2014, and I hadn't free motion quilted anything until this summer.

There's a fun bit of scrappy binding - some solid gray mixed in with a citron Denyse Schmidt print. I used Rachel's method of zig zag binding and I have to say I didn't love it and haven't used it again. Hers is much neater than mine, so there's that, but I prefer the look of a clean straight line stitched in the ditch, or invisible binding. 

I love handwriting my labels on gifted quilts, but I'm looking for some to use on quilts to sell. Any recommendations? I'm going to try to post about another baby quilt finish tomorrow. There are quite a few more that I need to write about!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

wonderland | a quilt for Emory

Edit: I gave this quilt to our friends Alex and Andy when they were expecting their daughter Emory in May of 2015.

Again with the quilt names lacking in imagination - I'm calling this one Wonderland after the fabric collection I used in it. Busy and scrappy, this quilt is a delight to the senses! It's soft and cuddly, perfect for wrapping babies and toddlers in, and it doubles as an I Spy quilt! You can spend time with your child looking for butterfly wings, meadows, scissors, and two pincushions! 
The back is a bold Heather Bailey print, some scrappy blocks leftover from the front, and a strip of a nice neutral fabric I found in my stash that is a relic from the second quilt I made! See the listing for Wonderland in my shop here!
P.S. Speaking of I Spy quilts, did you know that my mom made Ezra one when I had Finn? It's quite different from this (as this isn't a true I Spy quilt) and we spend lots of time searching for all the fun prints she included. Check it out here on her blog!

Monday, November 3, 2014

plus one | a quilt for Finn

When I found out we were having another boy I admit I was relieved. I knew what to expect, somewhat, with a boy, and I loved the idea of two brothers. I was excited to welcome another little guy into our family and I couldn't wait to welcome him into our lives. One thing I love to do to welcome a baby is make a quilt. Of course, right? So I started planning out what I would make for my second baby boy. I decided to use a cool sugar skulls print I had been hoarding as the accent of a plus quilt because I hadn't made one yet and I like the simple modern design. I mixed in lots of graphic gray prints from my stash as well as a few solid grays. I quilted it with vertical and horizontal straight lines to accent the lines of the plus signs.
The backing is mostly a white and gray stripe I bought with a gift card I won to Pink Chalk fabrics, and I added some strips of the sugar skulls because I love them and had to use them again. It's bound in a gray and white seersucker stripe which makes it even more soft and crinkly. I've used seersucker in a few baby quilts over the years and I love the texture it provides. This quilt may be simple but it's one of my favorites because it's the one my sweet baby boy snuggles with.
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