Winter Inspiration

Hello all!  Wow, it’s been a busy 4 months.  November and December was a gigantic push to get out a whole bunch of custom orders for the holidays and preparing for a really successful market at the Wenham Shop and Sip event in early December.  About a week after that, we left for the holidays – headed to Arizona to visit family for 10 days.  And when we returned, my son Griffin turned 1, we had a birthday party – and then…. we were sick for almost the rest of the month!  Flu followed by stomach flu, ugh!  Finally we are better and back to life as we knew it back in October!  Ha!  But through it all, I’ve been keeping quite busy.

I’ve been working on a quilt for a good friend of mine’s daughter.  When her daughter was a newborn, I made her a quilt as a gift.  She loved it so much that I’m making her a big girl quilt, based on this pattern.

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Given our ‘state’ over the last month, there has been lots of fits and starts and most recently I ran out of the solid Kona snow background that I was using.  So, while I was waiting for more fabric to arrive, I thought I’d take a little inspiration break and make something fresh.

I’ve been enjoying watching the online quilt along for the Scrappy Trip Along.  Instagram has 100’s of photos of this quilt-along, and I couldn’t resist joining in the fun.  I thought I’d start by first making a block and sure enough – I realized what all the hype was.  What fun!  I knew I didn’t have the time to make a full quilt, so I thought some redecorating was necessary.

Remember this quilt?  Oh how I love this quilt.  It is, like I knew it would be, a favorite. Super warm and snuggly, perfect for cold nights in front of the fire knitting.  Our living room was instantly cheered by the bright colors and fun prints on this quilt, I thought doing pillows to match would be a perfect, small project for this quilt-along.  I made a couple of blocks, and added some white sashing and my precious  yarn-dyed essex linen.  It’s a super simple pocket pillow design, no zippers, no frills.  But I’m super happy with the results.

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So now, I’m back on finishing up the bunting quilt.  Can’t wait to see the finished results on that one!

In other news, I now have labels, yay!  Totally love them.  They are easy to sew in and just what I hoped for.  Really happy with the results from this company.

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And that’s all for now!  Lots of work to do.  Hope you all are finding your own winter inspiration to help pass these dark, cold days of winter.

The move and other news

Sure enough, a couple of days after getting a new start at this blog, and deciding to quit my job after over 9 years – we had a major mishap at the house, which – long story short, led to us moving out of our house (a nearly 20 room house) for the summer.  Major water damage during a renovation project was the cause.  For the last 2 weeks I’ve been on overdrive, singlehandedly managing to find 5 month old baby, dog, and family a new home (if you want the full story, call me). And finally we are settled into a furnished condo on the other side of the river from our home.  We are calling it our summer house.  It’s pretty darn nice, I have to say. And I had to move my studio, in the midst of trying to prep all my inventory for my first Farmer’s Market date at the end of June.  Just a wee bit of stress… !  But – my ‘new’ studio overlooks the river, and has a deck, a bathroom and a bed, in case I need a nap during my stressful sewing days. Ha!  At least I’m back up and running, working on production for my much anticipated debut.  I must say I’m a bit nervous – about whether I’m making the right product, whether my sewing is a standard worthy of sale… the list could go on and on – but I’ll spare you.

Here’s a little glimpse into what I’ve been up to, in all the chaos.

Here’s our new view (yes, that’s our deck):

Here’s the view of our poor house:

Here’s my ‘new’ temporary studio:

And if you want these quilts, come to the Newburyport Farmer’s Market on June 24th:

 

 

Oh, and of course – baby Finn – he sits up all on his own now (at least for a few minutes here and there). Absolutely LOVE him.  He’s also my product tester, tried and true!

 

Ok, folks – more to come, LOTS of new creations and patterns to share.  Time to sign off for tonight.  Have a great week!

 

Country Candy Quilt… and other news!

My crafting has taken a complete backseat over the past couple of weeks as there have been some major developments in other aspects of life.  But … I did start a quilt back in March, and finally finished sewing together the quilt top.  And I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out.  The fabric is a very traditional colored and patterned line of fabric, gifted to me over Christmas.  I always love challenges of working with fabric I’m not accustomed to, so was excited of the prospect of making something with this.  My typical fabric preferences almost always include the color green – so the consistent red theme of this fabric was a new challenge!  I went with an Kona solid in Bone for the sashing, which complemented the cream, khaki and maroon of the print fabric.  The pattern is my own design – pretty basic.  10″ squares, with varying 4 1/2″, 3 1/2″and 6 1/2″ centers.  I will post the pattern in the next week or so.  My plan is to do a scrappy binding with the maroon fabric, and back it with a khaki and use solid 6 1/2″ squares integrated into the back.  You will have to wait and see on that one!  Here’s a pic of the quilt top: (pardon the iphone quality, it will be properly photographed when it’s complete!!)

What I like about it is the pleasing, simple palate and the intimate details of the fabric.  You really have to gaze at it to enjoy the fabrics.  Hence, the Country Candy Quilt.  Eye Candy, Country Fabric with a modern twist.  I’m really loving it.  This is a birthday quilt – yet again – to someone special.  Looking forward to finishing it!

 

So, what has ground my crafting to a halt (temporarily) is something that actually makes me quite happy.  So honestly, I’m not sad I’ve not blogged for a month (other than for my readers).  Because …. I’M GETTING MARRIED!!! Yes, I’ve been very busily planning a wedding.  And that, my friends, way tops my blog posts.  I am SO EXCITED.  And honestly, I never.thought.I.would.be.   But I am!!  So darn happy.  So – it’s only been 2 weeks since we booked a venue and things have been ON FIRE in the planning department, since we have only given ourselves 6 months to plan. But heck, I can throw a good party with one day’s notice, – 6 months – I am not concerned.  So – it’s not 100% public yet, but as far as I’m concerned it is.  I am so happy, so looking forward to it, and will have many many fun planning adventures to share.  I am already thinking of a fabric theme…. here’s a preliminary idea, but it’s got me excited!!!  This is Liz Scott’s Sugar Pop fabric line.  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT.   So anyway, pardon my absence, but it was, after all – for a good reason.  Love to you all…

Rainbow block baby quilt and puppy

During the last finishing stages on my mom’s birthday quilt, my friend Ida in Minnesota had a baby girl.  She didn’t find out the gender, so I was waiting until the baby was born to make something.  When I found out it was a girl, well – I had a great project in mind.  Based on the same quilt pattern from this past summer, but with a few modifications, including wider sashing strips and a minky backing.  (which by the way, is a pain in the arse).  It also dawned on me that my dear friend had gotten married almost a year ago, and I had not sent her a present.  Bad friend, yes I know.  So, that meant another project to come between finishing my mom’s quilt.

Here’s the Rainbow Block baby quilt:

Doing the minky back was really tough because the fabric slips around like crazy!  I think next time I’d just do flannel.  But it came out so nice and soft, perfect for a newborn.

And for the wedding present…

I received my first ever layer cake and first ever batik fabric as a Christmas present this year, and I had been messing around with ideas for the fabric and seeing what looked good with what.   I thought that I may make placemats with it but as soon as I had my friend in mind, the project began to take shape, and sure enough – at the end of the day there was a gorgeous table runner.  I LOVE the way it came out.  Here’s a close up of the gorgeous fabric:

And the final piece:

I really have been enjoying (as you can tell) grouping fabric by color and sewing in a rainbow like order.  It is really pleasing to look at.  Plus, when you are dealing with reds, greens, blues, pinks and purples, grouping them really shows off each individual color and fabric print.  More-so I think, than if they are contrasting.  But  I suppose it depends on what you are looking for!  I backed it with a black kona cotton.  I’ll post a pattern later for those interested.  I am quite happy with the way it turned out.  If only I can get it out in the mail sometime this week!

And then Mesa the pup helped me finish mom’s quilt.

Very helpful, don’t you think?  I’ll post the final pics of this quilt very very soon.

Birthday Quilt

How many quilts does one person need?  Not as many as I’m making – that’s for sure.  So, sure enough – most of my quilts have been crafted as gifts.  Gifts actually inspire me the most, though – I love creating something with a person in mind.  With that said, I’ve had a quilt top done for a while, and this week finally got around to doing the quilting – it’s coming along pretty well, using a grid straight line quilting method.  I do love straight line quilting.  I tried my hand at freehand quilting with my last quilt:

It was really hard!  I figure, everyone has their ‘first freemotion’ quilt – so I went into it knowing it wouldn’t be perfect.  But what I didn’t realize is how darn hard it was going to be!  I put 2 needles through my finger (not kidding) not to mention about a 1/2 dozen other broken needles, endless thread and a lot of backaches before I was through.  Definitely a significant undertaking.  I will attempt it again, but it is far more stressful for me than the straight line.  I think I just need to keep practicing.  I love how it came out though.

So back to my latest quilt – it has been underway since January sometime, guess it hasn’t been too long (unlike the last quilt pictured above!).  I think it just feels like a long time because the winter months just tick away so slowly.  If only time passed as slowly during the summer months…  Anyway.  The quilt pattern is from Elizabeth Hartman’s new book “A Practical Guide to Patchwork.”  But I made mine entirely with scraps.  I LOVE the way the quilt top came out.  Every piece of fabric has a different story so it’s really a lot of fun to look at and work with.  I made quite a mess making it, but it was worth it:

The final quilt top:

 

And it underway on the sewing machine:

This is a gift for my mom’s birthday.  It was in early February so I’m not TOO behind schedule… but I’m looking forward to wrapping it up.  I will post final pics later.