Work in Progress Wednesday – Let it begin!

With just about two months left until Christmas, I finally gathered all my creativity and started to work on the quilts I plan to make as Christmas gifts. Originally, there were four. And then three. I’d love to turn out three, but I need to be realistic, so the third might not happen this year. BUT, I do have one completely put together and waiting for me to quilt and bind it!

Work in Progress Wednesday

The original pattern is from Modern Bee —13 Quilts to Make with Friends – a book I received as a gift last Christmas. I really like all the patterns, but don’t happen to have enough friends to put together a bee, so I just made all the blocks myself. 🙂 Because I’m rebellious, I changed the colors and added an extra block for pizzazz. I haven’t yet decided how to quilt it, but there’s still some time!

Work in Progress Wednesday

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for today’s Work in Progress Wednesday… lots of neat inspiration on that blog! And tomorrow she starts a sew-a-long that I sadly don’t have the time to participate in. 🙁 Maybe the next one?

And now… what are you creating for the holidays? Or just for fun?

Different, but the same

My brother and his family currently live in Germany. They are stationed there for the next while with the Air Force and while it’s a neat experience for them, it means I don’t get to see them until they are stateside. When they moved, my niece was almost 3 and my sister-in-law was newly pregnant. I was feeling a little more confident with my quilting, so I started looking at patterns right away, hoping to send a little bit of family over when the baby arrived.

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But when the announcement came that it was not one, but TWO babies our family would be welcoming in June, I put all my plans on hold. Twins, to me, are an amazing gift and while I love the matching everything, I wanted to make the quilts different…. but the same.

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In the end, I settled on fabric from the S’more Love line and used the same white fabric for the backgrounds. I also chose to make a scrappy binding for each of the quilts with material from the fabric line. Each quilt has a flannel back that coordinates with the colors on the tops.

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Connor’s quilt was made using the greens, browns and oranges from the line. I embroidered his name on a block that looked like a tree. I know, cheesy… but cute! I added strips of fabric to the back of his quilt as well. His piecing was so simple, I felt like it needed a little jazz. I did straight line quilting on the background fabrics and really love the minimal feel.

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Victoria’s quilt took a lot of time. As in, days to piece and layout the blocks. I used only the mustard and aqua prints so that her quilt has a bright, girly feel to it. It was quilted on an angle through all the wonky triangle.

The quilts were flown over to Germany this week with my father and step-mother. They will be spending time with their new grandchildren and exploring Europe for a few weeks… and considering my last experience with shipping something to my brother’s family, I’ll take the free space in my dad’s suitcase over a crate with my niece’s birthday gift sitting in port for 7 weeks thankyouverymuch! I’m anxious to hear what they think of the quilts, but I guess more importantly, I’m hoping that when I do get to finally meet these adorable little ones the quilts will be very well loved!

Shooting for the moon baby quilt

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Sadly, this is the only photo that got taken of this quilt. I worked like a crazy person in the week prior to this one’s completion because I had three baby showers in the space of 10 days! It was a day or two before I realized that I hadn’t even photographed this one so I’m very grateful that my friend Terri snapped this quickly!

Again, another prechosen fabric bundle from Fabricworm, and that adorable astronaut fabric is amazingly soft flannel. I bound with the same navy blue dotty fabric from the churn dash quilt. And once again, this is another pattern from Camille!

Churn dash for baby boy

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I’ve been dying to try out this churn dash pattern from Camille for quite a while. It’s a smaller quilt, so it would also make a neat wall hanging! I used a fabric bundle from Fabricworm (btw, I love how they set up the bundles with the neatest prints and solids… love it!) and bought a dotted grey and white cotton from Michael Miller (I think?) for the backing.

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One of the blocks in this quilt is made from fabric from a bundle I bought for another quilt, but it matched up so nicely I liked it better than what I had orgininally chosen for that block.

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I straight-line quilted and was very bothered by it. I didn’t go along with the block lines because I needed to start in the middle. I think the overall look was very nice, but I’m fussy 🙂 And every time I looked at it, I saw mistakes where my hands wobbled and the lines weren’t perfect. But babies don’t care!

I bound it up with another dotty fabric and although I was worried that it would be too busy, I really liked how it turned out!

Jungle fever chevron quilt

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This is the first of a month of posts to catch up on my recent quilting. In the matter of a few weeks, I got my act together and took the giant stack of fabrics I had purchased as soon as I knew my friends and family were pregnant. This seems to be the year of boys so far as all of the people who have had babies, except one! It’s been fun for me to sit and pick out the fabrics and patterns with a more masculine theme. I’ve been sewing so much for Sylvi in the last few years that all these little prints that have robots and spaceships are ones that I haven’t gotten to see!

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This quilt was made for a friend of mine from church. She works for the children’s ministry and because of my personal involvement with MOPS, I’ve wound up spending a lot of time with her and it was just so exciting to find out she was expecting. Little Landon made his appearance last week and he’s just precious.

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I had pinned this pattern a while ago and planned to use it for someone else, but when I got the fabric for Landon’s quilt, I knew my plans needed to change. Also, I changed some of the measurements of the original pattern. It called for 7 1/2 inch squares, but once they were sewn together, you were to trim them down to 6 1/2 inches… nope. I’m confident in my half square triangles so I didn’t leave room for trimming and they turned out perfectly.

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I loved the prints and was so excited when one pair matched up enough to extend the picture!

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I backed with Michael Miller flannel and traced out the chevron with straight line quilting, which I honestly believe will always be my favorite kind of quilting. I love how this turned out and hope it gets loved to shreds in the coming years!

I’m linked up here for Finish it Friday with Crazy Mom Quits.

Work in Progress Wednesday – Stalled

I’m trying so hard to get my sewing mojo back. I was on a roll for a while and life happened, sidetracking me. Nonetheless, I’m carrying on this week. I’d really like to finish this quilt before the weekend so I can start working on a few dresses for Sylvi. She’s in need. This child just wants to wear a dress or skirt every day! And just so you know, Sunday dresses aren’t just for Sunday. Nope. They wear just as well on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday!

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After this quilt is completed, I’m planning to attempt my own pattern for the next baby quilt. Then I’m doing another pattern I’ve been dying to try from Camille.

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Last week was Quilt Market and my Instagram feed was loaded with the gorgeous fabrics that are coming out soon. I saw this photo late one night and knew right then that I NEED this fabric. I saw it, fell asleep and woke up the next morning wishing I had written down where it was from. And then I panicked because there were over 16,000 IG posts with the #quiltmarket hashtag. It took over 3 hours of scouring the internet, IG and phone calls to quilt shops before I located the source. When I want something? People. As soon as this is available, I will be in possession. All that’s left is to figure out which pattern will display this artistic depiction of my former career in the glory it deserves.

I’m linking up at Freshly Pieced today for the WIP linky! Check out some of the other posts if you have time!

Work in Progress Wednesday – Confetti

It’s almost embarrassing how many plans I’ve already made for the year. I know of 6 babies due before school starts in the fall, so I’m planning ahead with great enthusiasm. At this point, I have enough fabric to make 6 baby quilts, 1 queen sized and 1 twin sized. But you know what? Once I finish one, I feel such a let down. Yes, yes, I created something and it’s beautiful… but what now? I like to always have something to look forward to!

I just finished my nephew’s quilt and was working on his twin sister’s quilt top when I realized I hated the backing I had originally chosen from my stash. So I ordered material from fabric.com and it should be here tomorrow, so that’s on my list to finish over the weekend. Hopefully.

But with her top finished (and absolutely unnecessarily difficult to piece) I sat back and wondered if I should start another baby quilt or do something for myself. As I type this, a light snow is falling and although it looks so dreary out, I’m aware that spring is actually coming and I’ll have to put away my Winter’s Lane quilt. So I cracked open the wrapper on my beautiful Wishes bundle and started a cheery quilt using Sweetwater’s pattern Confetti.

Lots of ironing and piecing in this project, so I’m taking the time that I have and trying to maximize it. I’m hoping to have this done before the end of the month as then I’ll really need to buckle down and start working on Easter outfits!

Finish it Friday – 2014 First!

I started working on this quilt right after the first of the year. I had thought that I’d be able to put it off a little bit longer, but since Matt bought Sylvi a mattress weeks ahead of when I thought he planned to, I had to scramble. The pattern is one that I was given at a quilt guild meeting and since it was just a black and white sketch I was anxious to see how all the pieces would come together!

I was in LOVE with the Noteworthy line from  Sweetwater so I’ve been working to figure out how to incorporate those colors into Sylvi’s room. I was fortunate enough to find a comforter and sheets at Target that coordinated perfectly with the Noteworthy line, so they held us over until I could finish the quilt… yesterday.

This quilt is made of four different blocks and then arranged in a gird to create the cascading effect. Personally, I really enjoy piecing and I was sad when it came to an end. Simple and really a lot of fun to make, I’m so grateful I went to quilt guild that day! I started to quilt this in an allover squiggly pattern, got about 1/6 of the way and decided I hated it. Not just a mild dislike stemming from a desire for perfection, I just could not stand how it looked. For the record, it took almost 8 hours to pick out each stitch. In the future, I will just stick to the simple quilting lines I like. In the end, I quilted diagonal wavy lines about 2 inches apart. By keeping the quilting to a minimum, the result is a soft blanket, accented by slight puffs of batting. I’m thrilled with the result! Matt is building a headboard and I’m hoping to have it set up this weekend.

I am taking a break from quilting for a little bit so I can start to work on Sylvi’s Spring/Summer wardrobe. I asked Liam if he wanted a quilt and he said no, he likes what he has. 🙁 I really want to make a quilt for his bed! Maybe he’ll let me make one for when he goes to college?  Sheesh. In the meantime, Sylvi and I sat down and talked about the colors she wanted for each of the dress patterns I have selected. Pink. She isn’t impressed with the materials I already bought, so I guess she and I will have to do some shopping soon!

Finish it Friday – 2013 Quilt round up

I decided last year that it was time to start quilting. I knew that the months of January and February were going to be ones where Matt wasn’t home much because of a huge project at work so I needed something to keep myself busy. I had this idea that I’d whip through these projects and I’d be snuggling under my quilts in no time. I started out with a project from Pinterest that wasn’t really a quilt and I realized that I had a long way to go before I’d really be “good”.

But once I made that first project, I had to make one for Sylvi too.  So I hunted around, found a pattern that used pre-cuts and got to work. It was very simple piecing and yet it challenged me because it was really my first time piecing together long rows of fabric. I also learned a HUGE lesson about buying quality fabrics with that quilt. I spent almost double on the material for Sylvi’s quilt than I did for Liam’s, but when the time came to wash them, his quilt shrunk by almost 6 inches.

I tackled another quilt, this time for a friend’s baby and quickly discovered how badly I needed a quarter inch presser foot. Funky angles come together much easier if you are precise in your stitching and that handy little foot made a huge difference for me!

Over the summer, I made pillow covers from a kit and learned I don’t like hexagons (yet) and I put together a table runner using a pattern from the quickly growing pile of quilting magazines in my bedroom. I enlisted the help of a lady in town to help me calculate the measurements for a quilt I wanted to make for my bestie’s new baby. I tried sewing with minkee for that one. I don’t like it.

With those projects under my belt, I bought a jelly roll of Winter’s Lane fabrics to reward myself for surviving the tri and started cutting for our winter quilt. It took me a little over 2 months to cut, piece, quilt and bind, but I absolutely love the end result.   I made matching stockings for our family from a pattern I got from ThimbleBlossoms.

To end the year, I made 3 more baby quilts. One for a friend having her third boy, one for my cousin’s much anticipated baby and one for a friend who is adopting a little girl, due in a few weeks. That last quilt, I finished binding on New Year’s Eve while I watched The Hobbit with Matt.

As I looked back over this year, I was overcome with all the challenges that this quilts were present for. Emotionally I grew a lot, as did my piecing skills. I started cutting piecing a quilt last night for Sylvi’s bed and I’m so excited to watch it take shape, be finished and loved in the weeks, months and years to come.

Work in Progress Wednesday – Holiday Prep

It’s that time of year!  My Christmas shopping is done, I have all the wrapping paper, ribbons, cards, and the enthusiasm… so I know the next 41 days will pass quickly.  And because I knew that I was going to have some down time while I recovered from surgery, I planned out my projects as best as I could.

So the goal was to have all the gifts I was making for others done before I went to the hospital. And for the most part, I did.  I have one more zippered pouch to make.  But having 7 of 8 done before my time goal, I consider myself pretty snazzy.  So I have one more pouch to make, but they only take 20ish minutes, so I just need to sit down and DO IT.

The first full day I was home after surgery, I was scrolling through my Etsy app and purchased a few kits from the Sweetwater shop.  The first thing that has to be done is the Thanksgiving runner I’m making for the sweet Amish family that hosts us for Thanksgiving.  Matt and I started dating the day after Thanksgiving 2004, but every Thanksgiving since (with the exception of 2011) we have been with this wonderful family.  It’s one of those families where when I walk in, I feel like I’ve come home.  So it just seems perfect 🙂

For my birthday (in JULY), I was given the material to do a quilt for the winter.  Because I loved it so much, I bought more material and a stocking pattern so we can finally have beautiful Christmas stockings!  I started piecing Liam’s stocking over the weekend and I love it!  I’ve asked my sister-in-law to help me embroider our names on the stocking cuffs.

I also bought a Christmas countdown kit and am super excited to to set it up with the kids.  I also really, really want to re-vamp our tree skirt, and have a zillion ideas… I just need to pace myself.

I’m feeling fine mentally, but my body still needs to catch up.  Today, I accidentally tore off the glue that held one of my incisions together.  Whoops.  And ouch.  I’m battling a stinking virus thing that everyone else seems to have had and I’m catching the tail end of. In light of that… I’m going to head to bed.  I’m going to ignore the piles of material and my excitement and get some rest.  Maybe.