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.