Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just for me!

Sometimes when I tell my mom I'm working on a quilt for a friend or to sell, she'll say, "You should keep some things for yourself. Are you ever going to make anything for you?"

Well, since my first quilt (which I wouldn't try to sell or give away), I've given away/sold/tried to sell every quilt that I've made. So, no, I guess I'm not keeping anything for myself.

But then...

241 totes
Totes and photography by Angela of Fussy Cut

I came across these gorgeous tote bags on Angela's equally gorgeous blog, Fussy Cut. The 241 tote bag pattern is from the brilliant Anna over at Noodlehead. She has such an amazing gift for construction and function. Her creations are always perfection!

I admit, unlike most women in the world, I'm not really a bag girl. I have two purses, one I use every day and one that almost always sits in my closet. I am just too lazy to move everything over to a new purse every time I change my clothes. So I just stick with my black leather purse and it works great almost all the time. But Anna's 241 tote looks like so much fun that I started dreaming of fun fabric arrangements. I hopped right on Hawthorne Threads and got to work. I've desperately wanted to use the Tip Top Canvas Elephants for something, and this bag gave me that opportunity. I think I might even avoid the interfacing by using a heavy weight fabric for the lining.

241 tote fabric

I love how the youthful elephant print pairs so well with these sassy floral prints from Lourdes Sanchez.

I'm hoping to find some time very soon to get started on my new fall tote!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Baby Boom

Did it happen to anyone else? One week in January, I commented to my coworker, somewhat disappointedly, that no one I know is having a baby. I don't have any kids myself yet, but the blogosphere is so full of adorable baby things and I wanted a piece of it (without the sleepless nights). Of course the responsibility then falls to my friends. Come on, guys!

Well, just a week later I found out that one of my good friends was pregnant and after her it seemed like every fourth woman at church, at the grocery store, and walking in the park was starting to show signs of growing bellies and glowing faces. What a lovely time of year!

Admittedly, I haven't been a baby-gift producing factory as hoped this summer, but after making my 2-D Zoo quilt for my sister's friend, I had some adorable scraps to use up. While browsing blogs one day, I stumbling upon Maked's tutorial for reversible fabric baby booties, I got right to work on a gift for my friend's baby. I found the tutorial to be quite clear, but I struggled a bit with the final step of sewing everything together. It sure was hard to keep everything flat and lined up, but the booties still turned out to be pretty adorable and are certainly worth a try by new and experienced sewers alike.

Reversible Booties

To match the little booties, I also appliqu├ęd some onesies using the elephant and hippo from the Alexander Henry's 2-D Zoo print.


This was my first time doing applique on clothing. I used Steam-a-Seam Lite and it was very easy to work with and lightweight so it was just perfect for the thin cotton material. These onesies (0-3 months) were practically doll-sized and I am still not convinced that a real baby will ever fit in them!

Onesies and booties

Given together, these are a sweet simple gift for any new baby.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cross Quilt: Ready for the Show!

As hoped, I breezed through my second Modern Cross Quilt (especially once all the cross piecing was done). On Saturday afternoon I had a borderless quilt top and by bedtime I had bordered, basted, quilted (in multi-colored thread), embroidered, and attached my binding! Yay for tiny quilts! That left just the hand-finishing of the binding to be done in bed on Sunday morning. Once again, I feel that the quilting has redeemed the quilt. Something about all the quilting lines, the colored thread, and the texture really pulls the randomness of the quilt together and leaves you with a very modern, artsy quilt. I’ll be honest in saying that it’s still not my cup of tea (I’m more of a shabby chic/French country type of girl) but I can imagine this fitting in very nicely in a house with bold, colorful splashes (like my mom’s house, wink, wink).

Modern Cross Quilt 2

About this Quilt:
Fabric: Robert Kaufman's Kona Cotton in various colors, 
border and back in Kona Slate, and "pops" of Heather Bailey's Pop Garden
Binding: Kona Cotton Slate
Size: approx. 18" x 20"
Pattern: Modern Cross
Quilting: Machine quilted in multiple colors


Tonight, I’ll be figuring out how to attach a quilt sleeve to this baby so it can be hung up for the show on Friday. Phew, I made it!

P.S. Thanks to Mr. Side Stitches, who worked very hard to give my little blog a facelift! I love it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Last Saturday, my sister called asking if I want to put a quilt in an art show that raises money for her church's community center. I decided that I could probably put something together since my Picket Fence quilt is finally done, so I said yes. The art show is a week from Friday.

So I got cracking on this small modern cross wall hanging (I know, another one!)


This time I used a few scraps from the Pop Garden collection along with a variety of Kaufman's Kona Cottons. I feel the same way about this quilt top as I did about my other cross quilt at this stage, which is, I'm not in love with it. However, after I quilted and finished my previous quilt, I loved it (which is always good when you're gifting it to a father-in-law)! Quilting really does change the look of the quilt top. I'm hoping the same thing will happen with this one. I'm not quite sure what I don't love about this one, but I think that its the randomness of the blocks and the mix of colors. I'm much more used to very organized and coordinated quilts (I'm so glad designers make collections of prints!) I need more practice matching fabrics from different collections, but I may wait until my scrap collection is a bit bigger before I take up that challenge.

My background (and maybe border) fabric should arrive tomorrow so I'll get to quilting this weekend if all goes according to plan. I'm looking forward to quilting this one. Everything is so much easier when your quilt is only 20" squared!