Monday, June 25, 2012

dresden mini quilt

its no secret around here that i love me a mini quilt (or two or three) and since it has been a while since a new mini has graced my studio with its presence, i decided that this weekend would be for sewing and quilting. although there is no modern quilt guild anywhere in my area (can you believe it? i might have to remedy that), i've been inspired by the EZ dresden quilt challenge, held by the salt lake modern quilt guild.

modern dresden mini

mini quilts are a fantastic way to get a little instant gratification, play with interesting fabric combinations, or, like this one, try out new and sometimes challenging techniques. not only did i use my EZ dresden ruler for the first time with this project, i got to test out the six minute circle. while it might have taken much much longer than six minutes to sew this big circle, its a method that i'll tuck into my bag of tricks, to be used again in the very near future.

modern dresden mini
modern dresden mini

i'm loving this one. it feels fresh, modern, and clean. the combination of grey and turquoise has really inspired me as well - i can't wait to use this color palette in more projects soon. and since this dresden mini has me feeling oh so modern, i think it should be part of {sew} modern monday over at canoe ridge creations. its a good way to start the week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ten weeks was a long time to be away
from this little space,
but in the grand scheme of things
it went by in the blink of an eye.

i spent the last ten weeks watching this little bean grow, settling into our family of four, giving my big girl (who is now a big sister!) lots of extra love, and even sneaking in some sewing time here and there. i can honestly say that my quiet time spent at my sewing table first thing in the morning is rejuvenating and oh so welcome. big shout out to the husband for making that work for me - he's golden!

that sewing time has allowed me to finish my first postpartum quilt, a custom baby quilt made for an awesome barter deal. some half square triangles and flying geese allowed me an easy transition back into quilt mode. but let me tell you, all of that straight line quilting probably won't be happening again any time in the near future.

until next time, xo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

there's one tiny (big) reason why i won't be around 
these parts as often in the next few weeks.
his name is august jack 
and he arrived bright and early on easter morning.
we are all madly in love with him and can't get enough 
snuggles and sniffs and baby squeaks.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

here's the thing about being nine months pregnant with baby #2: 
the best thing to do is lie down. 

all i have been able to do this week is
bake a few loaves of banana bread,
almost finish one load of laundry, 
sketch out one baby blanket.

and purchase this for said blanket:

that's it. and i can't see myself doing much more for a few days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

i recently stumbled across this fun little giveaway held by katy at i'm a ginger monkey and couldn't put together my fabric choices fast enough. i decided to make a collection of 12 fabrics (all from either pink castle fabrics online or etsy store) that would work as a little spring/summer wardrobe for frankie. ideas for little dresses and skirts and bucket hats (oh my) have been floating around in my head for the last week or so, and these prints would look SO good on her.

top row:
second row:
third row:
bottom row:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

starry skies sampler :: block no. 11

so, i was wrong. this happens sometimes (more often than i might like to admit), especially when it comes to designing and executing a new quilt design. i had all intentions of adding some sashing to my stars, making some improv strips to go here and there, and laying them out in a pleasing fashion. and i did one of those things - all ten stars went up on my design wall and then were rearranged and rearranged again, and stared at, and rearranged. nothing worked.

instead of fretting over my sampler any more than i already was, i decided to hunker down and make another star. while searching for what the name of last week's star might be (any ideas?) i stumbled across this little block layout. while the name of this star might be a little silly - delectable mountains? - i couldn't be happier with how the final block came together.

oh, hello baby belly. you're matching the star today!

i feel better about finishing off my star making process on this note. i have a clearer vision of how the starry skies sampler will come together, which block goes where, and how to incorporate the different size blocks that i have chosen to sew. 

as always, you can find all of the previous blocks here and sew some up at your own pace!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

sneak peek :: dark night wonky stars

since i made these wonky stars about a week ago, the technique and the idea of a dark night sky filled with little (wonky) twinklers have been dominating my quilting brain lately. i started with eight yards of cotton solids, mostly white or charcoal with an ashy grey in between. i dyed the white using basic rit powder dye in shades of blue, purple, and teal and orange, yellow, and grey. from there, tiny stars are being made with my custom yellow and galaxy blue, plus the addition of a few sky and star prints from my stash.

i did a little internet research after deciding that this would be a massive quilt - one that could live on our bed forever and more than adequately cover a family of four. i know that no matter how hard i try i would never be able to fit a king size quilt in my tiny singer. it just can't happen. my first thought was to send a finished top, batting, and back sandwich to a professional long arm quilter. oh how beautiful it could be - just think of the possibilities!

but i know my budget would never cover something like that, at least not now. so back to the drawing board. i quickly found a few tutorials and ideas for 'quilt as you go'. and so an experiment has begun: with an ever-changing collection of wonky stars and improv strips, i will be making various quilted blocks that will eventually come together for a finished king size quilt.

with one 20" x 20" quilted wonky star block done, i feel like i could be venturing into a collection of mini quilts. and i am very excited.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

starry skies sampler :: block no. 10

i feel like i am nearing the end of the star-making process of this quilt. maybe its because i'm a little hesitant to use every last bit of my stash of miscellany or maybe its because i am starting to envision what these ten blocks will look like together, but i am hoping that my starry skies quilt will be done in time to hang in my little boy's nook before he arrives in the next month or so (talk about a deadline, sheesh). i might have one or two more stars up my sleeve but for now i think this variation on a bear claw block is a good stopping point.

while i have no idea what this block is really called, i saw the tutorial for piecing it on fat quarterly and thought it would be the perfect excuse to use as many prints from the miscellany line as possible. i wish i had been a little bit more careful when fussy cutting the house but i love love love seeing the different prints play off of each other and really come together as a collection.

maybe there will be another star appearing in this space next week, maybe i'll share the blocks that didn't make the cut but were so very inspiring, maybe i'll have the whole thing quilted - who knows, but i will see you next wednesday with an update. and hopefully before then with a sneak peek of a few projects that i have so ambitiously decided must be started now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

i spent most of my day yesterday soaking white cotton 
in giant glass jars with some good old rit dye. 
now i get to cut into these beauties, 
turning them into hundreds of stellar wonky stars.

i can't wait to see where this project goes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

starry skies sampler :: blocks no. 6 to 9

its no secret around here that i have been having trouble keeping up with my self-imposed deadlines, pile of projects to be finished, and my growing toddler girl and growing baby belly. i thought it might be nice gentler to get myself back into the swing of things for the starry sampler quilt by diving into my miscellany scrap bowl.

side note: i have been keeping all of my scraps from this project in their own bowl on the far end of my cutting table. 
it is just so perfect that i don't want to waste a bit of it. 
and i might have a plan or two brewing for all of those scraps.

it was liberating to throw all of those prints together (plus a dot from dsquilts) only thinking a little bit here and there about color palette and composition. i followed this tutorial for sewing wonky stars from the silly boo dilly, only changing the size of my squares from 4.5" to 2.5" resulting in a 6.5" finished star, my smallest yet. these were so quick to sew up that i started looking for more ideas immediately - stitched in color made a block with two different sized wonky stars in one and i love how the offset stars really come together in this mini quilt by fresh lemons.

now that i see these four bitty stars hanging together, i am hoping that i will have plenty of leftovers from this quilt to make some miscellany wonky star pillows or a mini quilt or placemats or...really anything to look at all of the time in my home! don't they look so pretty hanging in our back hall?

now that i feel a bit more back in the game, kick started by how much fun i had making these guys, i am a bit more confident when i say that i will write again very soon. after all, there are seeds sprouting in our dining room and some white cotton that is just screaming to be dyed in the $1 sun tea jars i picked up at the thrift today. that will be happening very soon, but in the meantime why not sew up some of your own wonky stars? or an amish star or a sunshine star or really any other block from the sampler series. i would love to see them!

Monday, March 5, 2012

4 mar 12

i spent my sunday working on some hand quilting for baby boy
and choosing fabric for my new duffle bag.

i'll be writing again on wednesday when i'm done with some new stars
for the starry skies sampler quilt, and hopefully
you'll hear from me a couple of more times this week.
until then, happy monday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

dearest blog readers,

i'm not sure how this happened but life has gotten the better of me this week. i have a sick little girl, an ever growing (and aching) eight and a half month belly, a foot of snow, and family obligations that ate away at any intention i had of getting some quilty or crafty work done this week. i promise promise promise to try to get back into the swing of things for monday.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

starry skies sampler :: block no. 5

i must admit, my 'star making' mojo was in a funk this week. between a nasty cold that has lingered past its welcome (not that it had one to begin with) and a botched attempt at a tiny star involving y-seams and an ugly fabric combination, i left the sewing of this newest star block for the very last minute. so in order to restore my faith in my ability to finish this project, i chose to work with my favorite miscellany print from the line and my favorite, basic stash fabric that i always stock up on when at joann fabrics.

my newest addition to the starry skies sampler is the amish star, another block found in 5,500 quilt block designs by maggie malone. although the book has since been returned to the lbrary, i was able to make some quick sketches of a few star blocks that i found the most appealing. yes, the amish star is nothing but squares, rectangles, and some half square triangles. yes, it is a simple nine-patch quilt block, but it is just what i needed to (hopefully) get me back in the swing of things for this sampler quilt.

interested in how the stars are coming together?

side note:
if i bend over far enough, i can almost see my toes
past the giant belly full of baby boy.

i have plans for big things next week. i have plans to get my act together, do some serious piecing, and take a big chunk of work out of this quilt. i have plans to hang this on the wall in a room where i can walk past it every day and smile. 

in the meantime, back to work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

these days i am loving knitting little things
on tiny needles with skinny yarn.

although our little boy will be a spring baby
i can't resist knitting up some booties and
finishing up a log cabin baby blanket.

back to the needles!
see you tomorrow with a new star...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

in honor of two special birthdays (my boy's and my own), a long overdue visit from my mama, and some much needed time off, i'm afraid there won't be a star for the starry skies sampler to share this week. sometimes its important to knit and snuggle and gestate rather than keep up with deadlines. i promise i will make it up to you next week!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

starry skies sampler :: block no. 4

one more week, one more block - with each star i get a little closer to realizing a sampler quilt and (if it could be possible) more excited to make the next star in line. i found the layout for this week's star block while exploring my local library's quilting reference section. i wish i could say the selection on this little shelf in the library was a little broader and a little larger, but i'll settle for the fact that there is even such a thing as quilting books and magazines for loan. however, on that shelf in the library, i was able to find "5,500 Quilt Block Designs" by maggie malone. it has proven to be a wealth of design inspiration and star block ideas.

i am loving the pop of a bright solid that this block has, as opposed to the (somewhat) more mellow choices i made for the previous stars. the miscellany collection is very bold and while there might be a lot of black and white, there are also some major colors running through this line of fabrics. i am hoping to strike a balance between prints and solids, both bright and subdued with enough white and maybe some improv accents to make this quilt really work. i think that i am on my way!

as always, come back to this space every wednesday for your daily dose of stars, and be sure to get sewing on your arrowhead star in the meantime! you can find all of the previous posts about this work in progress here, grab a button for your blog, and follow along - these stars are so much fun, i promise!

Monday, February 6, 2012

my weekend was spent
knitting and binding off and picking up stitches
and knitting some more.
i'm really loving this log cabin baby blanket.
boiling eggs and baking bread.
cutting fabric, making half square triangles
and flying geese, and piecing stars.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

starry skies sampler :: block no. 3

inspired by the newest issue of fat quarterly, i decided to try my hand at paper piecing for this weeks newest star: the web star block found at quilter's cache (have you seen this sweet elixir bottle wall hanging and awesome catherine holm pot holders?). while it seemed a little daunting at first to see lots of numbers and lines, and which side do i sew the fabric on to the paper, and oops that's the wrong side, it soon became clear that paper piecing was allowing me to create crisper lines and tighter corners than i would be able to achieve with simple patchwork alone.

and so, after a little futzing with the tiny bits of white fabric that i had left, and after an incident in which my temperamental iron sputtered some rusty water on the corner of one block component, my web star is complete and i couldn't be happier with it. seeing this block with its fellow stars makes me giddy - the miscellany line of fabrics seems to be pulling the concept of this sampler together and i look forward to experimenting with new techniques and blocks each week.

as always, be sure to come back next wednesday for a new block.
and in the meantime, 
check out all of the starry skies sampler series here
make yourself a beautiful web star block for your own sampler
and be sure to share your progress!

Monday, January 30, 2012

my weekend was spent with my sewing machine, 
with a new-to-this-world and very dear friend, 
and with a few nesting motivated chores. 

i have really been enjoying sewing up these little baby pants - my boy has a few pairs in super soft flannel waiting for him, and now the sweetest little arlo (that new-to-this-world tiny friend) has a reversible pair! it took a bit of scheming and planning to make these pants happen, but seeing them put together i now realize that they could have been so much easier! hand to forehead and notes for the next pair. 

how was your weekend spent?
see you on wednesday with block number 3 of the sampler.