Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My First Charity Quilt

A couple of months ago I heard about this Wrapped In Hope charity (though I can't remember where) and it really excited me. I think my most favorite thing about quilting is giving them away/knowing they'll be loved. This is why I think it's hard for me to make quilts just for art's sake. I am inspired by the recipient, what they like and just imagining it being used by them and their family for many years. With all of that said, I think it's obvious that I would enjoy quilting for charity and especially this charity who's mission is to send birthday quilts to kids who have a parent in prison, with the idea that a quilt is a physical thing that they can be wrapped up in and comforted by when their mom or dad can't.


The girl I chose to make a quilt for will be turning 8 next month. She likes art, puppies, kittens and the color blue. So what do you think? Is this a quilt an 8 year old would like?

I tried not to make it too "babyish." I wanted to make something she wouldn't hate in a couple of years, but I also wanted it to appeal to her now, obviously. I managed to incorporate kittens, puppies and a good amount of blue. Remember this flannel? It ended up matching perfectly even though it might look a little "used." I'm just glad I found a use for it because I was thinking of tossing it!


Oh, so another new thing for me here: Hand-tying. I was too nervous to attempt quilting on my machine with that flannel back and admittedly kinda lazy as well, so I thought I'd try tying it with pieces of lime green yarn. I mean, 8-year-olds probably don't care about crinkly, quilty goodness, right? I figure this is more about the prints and the cuddle factor (which is all in that flannel back).


This ended up being just about 45" x 60" which, if I'm not mistsaken, is the minimum size for a quilt donated from this charity. Whew! Good size for a child to grow with though. I really hope she likes it...

P.S. I've already signed up to make another quilt for a little girl turning 3 in June. You should really take a look at the list and see if anyone calls out to you. I hope all of these kids end up with birthday quilts this year!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet quilting prints from Joann!

Check out these lovely prints by Colorbok for Joann fabrics...

Woodhaven Fabrics

Pretty nice, right?

I have never bought any quilting cottons from Joann unless they were Kona solids or one of the few Alexander Henry prints they always seem to have, but I think these are exceptional! The line was designed by Alisa Bobzien who is super creative and crafty. She designs a lot of scrapbooking stuff sold at Joann Fabrics too and is all-around talented!

The 2 gems of this collection for me are the loopy birds and the typewriter keys (and the plaid is coming in 3rd), but each print lends a supportive hand to the other making this an excellent coordinating collection for a quilt (which is exactly what I plan to do with them of course).

Woodhaven Fabrics

I really love the texture-y print behind each design, making them all look more rustic/homemade/antique/even wood-grainy. To me, anyway.

Woodhaven Fabrics

There were about 4 more prints from this collection at my local store, but March is supposed to be a "no fabric month" due to my overspending last month, and I had to pick and choose. I was able to buy a 1/4 cut of my 8 favorites. These will look so great with some Kona White and Kona Ash (which I also bought, but I HAD A COUPON).

Oh and I should say too that these fabrics FEEL pretty good to me as well. They really don't feel any different than Moda fabrics to me. I hope they aren't just veiled with some super sneaky starch, but they honestly feel pretty decent. Definitely nothing like the fat quarters you can get there (but shouldn't get ever because they are total garbage)!

Next time you're at your local Joann, peek around and see if there are any "unknown" fabrics that speak to you. Maybe this is a sign of good things to come... ?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Attempting To Quilt By Hand

Did I share this quilt top? I can't remember; it's been so long. This is from the Postage Stamp Quilt Along that took place a few weeks ago (or maybe it was months). I used a Hope Valley design roll and Kona Snow for the solid. I love the classic look of this quilt.

Quilt top finished!

So the other day (or week, who the hell knows) I got so frustrated while trying to quilt this. My bobbin thread kept getting stuck/breaking. I changed the needle, cleaned the machine, adjusted the tension, but I still couldn't get more than one line in before the problems started. So I would pick out every mother-lovin' stitch and start again only to have it the same problem allllll over again! I said some nasty words to my machine and sat around feeling sorry for myself before I had this idea: HAND QUILTING. One of my favorite parts of making a quilt is hand-stitching the binding on so I thought I might enjoy it. And I do! I mostly love being able to work on my quilt anywhere, at any time. I can quilt while my son is playing independently, or while he's watching a video, or while he naps. In the future I imagine quilting while I'm sitting outside in the sun watching him play in the pool and such. Oh, and I like how I can sit in bed and quilt until my eyes get heavy, and then just set it down and drift off. Quilty dreams.

I also really just love the way hand-quilting looks.

Hope Valley Hand Quilting

I think my stitches are improving. Things look straighter and more evenly spaced, but the first row is kind of crazy. I'd rather just keep going and get this thing quilted than pull out the stitches until they're perfect though. This is my learning quilt.

Do any of you hand-quilt? What tips do you have?

By the way, I'm using YLI thread for this and will be trying that in my machine next time I attempt machine quilting. I'm hoping a better thread will alleviate the annoying thread breaking issues...? 

What's your favorite thread for hand or machine quilting? 

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Birthday Fabric

Since my last post 9,000 years ago... I've turned this many years old:

Happy Birthday To Me

(first real birthday cake I ever made from scratch and it was delicious. Just yellow cake and basic buttercream frosting)

Here are some presents to myself, from myself:

Metro Living + xtras

Metro Living + xtras II

Metro Living, plus a couple of Hoodie prints and one lonely Heath in grey.

Yummy Greys

But wait, let's check out those sweet out-of-focus espresso cups up there:

Stacking Espresso Cups and Saucers

(these are actually my husband's Valentine's gift from me, but they came early; I'm not patient; and because I am my husband's wife, I get to use them too)

Garden Divas by Jane Sassaman

I am in love with these fabrics, but I think they're going unnoticed. Garden Divas by Jane Sassaman. Notice them!

So it would appear that I'm doing more fabric buying and less creating, but this isn't so. Here is one big project I finished:

Keepsake Pillows
Keepsake pillows made from a family member's late Aunt's favorite quilt. She asked me to make enough little pillows so that everyone who loved her Aunt could have a piece. Such a great idea and I think they turned out quite nicely.

I also finished about 3 quilt tops, but I'll wait until they are actual finished QUILTS before sharing them.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

If you are my mom or grandpa, DO NOT LOOK!

I am too overwhelmed by all I have to share on my blog. To help me get started, I'm going to post pictures today and the correlating text will come later (I hope). Ready... ?

Parisville Quilt

Parisville Quilt (close-up back)

Modern Meadow Quilt

Modern Meadow Quilt (back)

Pure Pillow

Pure Pillow (back)
Pure Table Topper

Pile 'o Mug Rugs

Hope you enjoyed the eye candy! Happy holidays :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Man, I am so lazy! Not only did I do basically nothing to promote my giveaway, I didn't even get around to drawing the winner yesterday! It's kinda embarassing, really. I don't think I'll be attempting a giveway again anytime soon. I really wish I would have known about the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day sooner too! I found out about it the day before and assumed it was too late to enter. I found many awesome blogs over the past 3 days hopping around that!

Alright, so... 4 numbers in a hat and the winner is... new follower (hey I got 1 new follower, right?) Elizabeth! I've sent you an email :)

Okay, now on to quilty things:

Here is my finishsed Parisville quilt top

Pomegranate Parisville Quilt Top

This whole thing is kinda improvised. I had no intentions of cutting a bunch of 5.5" squares for this, but I made a cutting mistake with the very first cut into the fabric and had to change my plans. I just started cutting squares with no real idea. I added the border when I decided the quilt wasn't big enough. This finished top is 55" x 65". What do you think? I like it!

I actually started quilting this last night so the final product should be here for viewing pleasure soon! Oh and I'm using a polyester batting (Soft and Bright) and I love it! I don't know why I avoided poly batting for so long. It's light by sturdy and my quilt sandwich feels pretty cuddly already. And it's cheap too (I actually got 3 queen size for $21 on Cyber Monday--heck yes)!