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Saturday, April 30, 2011


Today we're being featured on Moda Bake Shop!!!!

Honestly, sincerely, I am so excited.  It's one of those crafty dreams of mine, I'm just really excited to be able to share something there!

I'd love if you hopped over to take a look at my project/tutorial.
Confession: I'm scared I'll have 4 comments.  Me, my mom, Heather and an anonymous blogger I invent ;)


Friday, April 29, 2011

Quilt for a princess from Stitched in Color

Did anyone watch the much anticipated wedding??  I recorded it.  Heather is probably dragging her feet somewhere right now...silly girl spent the night at my parents, ate Shepherd's Pie (what "commoners" would eat to celebrate) and got up early to watch the wedding with my dad.  Really I'm jealous and wished I lived near them so I could join too!!  Our daddy is from England so it's fun to get to do these things from time to time.

Rachel from Stitched in Color needs no introduction to must of us!  Her blog is inspiring and a really fun read.  Just check out this latest post where I spent probably AN HOUR reading others comments!!! I can hardly see my computer screen my eyes are fried.  I can't wait to feel free again (ie when Market is over) and can try out her Bottled Rainbow quilt-a-long.  In keeping with a royal theme, here is a quilt she made for her princess:

This picture (finally) brought to you by the inspiration of Quiltstory!

Fairytale Patchwork Quilt

I can't believe I never got my act together and took a finished picture of this quilt!  When Heather and Megan of Quiltstory asked to feature Fairytale Patchwork, it was the push I needed to get it done.  So, welcome to Aria's room!

Do any of you remember this quilt?  I made it last summer for my daughter, inspired by my wildflower curtains (there in the background) and Heather Ross' simply stunning Far Far Away collection (FFA1 on double cotton gauze).  The Far Far Away unicorns had my heart on first glance, and Aria was starry eyed over the Princess and the Pea!

Far, Far Away - Purple Unicorn

Combined with Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Voile and a few Good Folks, this stack of fabrics was sooo invitingly plush and silky.  Fabric heaven!  Still, I was a little nervous to cut into them, being so pricey and all, which is why I did a mock up of my quilt layout like this: 

12" blocks, 2.5" sashing

The quilt design was inspired by Lauren's quilt for her daughter, Mira.  I added the occasional pieced block, to accommodate the tall pattern repeat of those picky princesses.  

Princess Block layout

And sashed the whole thing in natural linen (rather than white or pink), in hopes that the linen would temper the uber-girlishness of these fabrics.  Because, ya know, I'm hoping Aria will love this look for years to come!

Fairytale Quilt Over a branch

Piecing this quilt top was a breeze, even with a near-shocking interruption, thanks to the large cuts and simple design.  And, I'm still such a fan of that approach!  Large cuts really allow my eyes to appreciate the fabrics. Simple is beautiful.  Simple is fast. Simple is fun.  Yeah for simple!!!

Fairytale Quilt Top from the grass
Fairytale Snapshots from atop my Dogwood Tree!

And then this new quilter was faced with the problem of quilting and binding this pretty young thing.  Gulp.  First off, I decided to skip binding.  This quilt already had a linen edge border and I wasn't keen on hand-sewing so much binding.  I did right sides together, sew, turn right side out and close up edge.  Quick and painless.  I'd do it again!

For quilting, I tried machine quilting straight diagonal lines.  Marked them with ruler-drawn lines, marked them with masking tape - nothing worked!  It may have been my lack of experience or it may have been the slippery fabrics, but I couldn't stitch straight lines on this for the life of me.  Frustrating and sad.

Though in retrospect, it was just not meant to be. Hand-quilting was the absolutely delicious alternative!

Hand quilting - Diamond Mine

Hand quilting - Dobby Dots

Hand quilting - Princess Strips

I started work with needle and pearl cotton thread. And, oh my, how I enjoyed hand quilting Aria's Fairytale Patchwork quilt!  The entire process was so relaxing and satisfying, especially experimenting with different quilting patterns.  Here are a few more.

Quilted Diamonds

This pattern, quilted diamonds, ended up being my favorite style for quilting on the Princess and the Pea blocks.  It looks especially nice on this Diamond Mine (from Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks collection) block, which actually inspired the quilting pattern.

Quilted Star

Here's another fun one.  I only used this star pattern on a few unicorn blocks, as I came to the idea a bit late in the game.  I like how it works with the layout of the print!

Quilted Frame

And, a simple pattern.  It creates a clean-lined, understated effect that works on almost any block.

I've been asked how long the hand quilting takes.  Let me start by saying that 95% of the time, I was stitching while watching a show with my husband.  So, given frequent breaks to watch the screen and an overall level of comfortable distraction, each block took me about 45 minutes to complete.  I would begin a block by marking my stitch lines with a chaco pen, and then carefully centering the block in my quilting frame.   On the few occasions that I stitched sans TV, the work came along much faster.

All too soon, I had completed all 26 blocks.   The overall effect is fairly random, since I varied the quilting patterns enough so that no 2 touching blocks share the same pattern.  I reasoned that this sparse quilting pattern was "enough" since I had used a repurposed blanket for batting, which wasn't going to fall apart or bunch up within the quilt.  

But I'm not perfect, and it wasn't enough.  If you were reading Stitched in Color in December, you may remember my confession post, Sew Imperfect.   Here's what happened...

Week Seams

Weak Seams.  I had to wash Aria's Fairytale Patchwork Quilt recently for the 3rd or so time.  One of the children found a hole in the quilt top along the seam soon thereafter.  When I went to repair it, I noticed that several (and one was too many) of the seams were coming open.  Only the Far Far Away gauze and Little Folks voile were effected.  The sturdier quilting cotton seams showed no wear.  It's not as if the stitches actually came undone.  Instead the fabric frayed away.  What did I do wrong?  I wonder if a 1/4" seam allowance was not generous enough or if the fact that I only sparingly hand-quilted it just didn't give it enough strength to withstand normal pulling.  Ugh.  So, my solution was to zigzag quilt around most of the gauze and voile squares to close up opening seams and reinforce the others.  I'll confess, that was not a happy sewing morning.

Your kind comments on that post included so many suggestions for working with delicate fabrics like voile, including using interfacing and a wider seam allowance.  If I were to do it again, I might go that route, but I'm more likely to just avoid quilting with voile in the future.  Not that I think it's unwise or impossible, just that I'd rather save voile for projects that capitalize on it's lovely, drapey, silky properties such as clothes-making or a simple flannel-backed baby blanket a la Anna Maria Horner.  

Since the December incident, Fairytale Patchwork has held up beautifully and it's been enjoyed everyday.  I made Aria a matching pillowcase too!  It's such a privilege to be able to make these beautiful things for my daughter and so rewarding to express my love and creativity in this kind of tangible, practical way. 

I bet you know exactly what I mean!

Fairytale Patchwork for Quilt Story

Thank-you, Quiltstory, for prompting me to share my journey with this project! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meg's Quilt and a Go! Baby GIVEAWAY!

Here is the quilt I created using the Accuquilt Go! Baby fabric cutter.  I originally blogged about it here.  This is for my "someday" baby girl.  I am not pregnant, nor will I be anytime soon, but I would love to have a little girl and name her Lola :)  Although honey is not on board with the name, I have my ways ;)

I've really wanted to use that citron green with grays and aqua, such a cool color combination.  Although the fabrics are girly, I needed to add the appliqué flowers to really make it pretty.

It's the prefect crib size, measuring 31" x 41".  

There's all sorts of fabrics in there, Heather Bailey, Michael Miller, MoMo for Moda...

I used a blanket stitch around the flowers.  Not quite sure how I'll quilt this, but I do know that I will not quilt it until after market :)

Next Thursday, May 5th I will be sharing a tutorial so you can make one too!  All of the piecing was cut with a Go! Baby fabric cutter, but you do not have to have one in order to create this.  I hope you'll come back and see :)


Your very own Go! Baby Fabric Cutter!  
$139.00 value
PLUS 3 dies of your choice!!
for mine I chose circles, 2.5" strips and the tumbler

How to win? You know the drill!
we've had so many giveaways lately!!
  1. Leave a comment with your favorite die cutter, just go here to see more...
  2. Comment if you follow us (or tell us you already do!)
That's it, let's keep it simple this time!! :) 

This giveaway is now closed.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sir Bubbadoo's Chenille Quilt, must see!

For the winner of the Ole Frog Eyes giveaway scroll to the bottom of the post!

Today's feature Kristina is an all around crafter.  Her blog, Sir Bubbadoo, is a nickname of her cutie-pie boy Emmett.  She has all sorts cute projects like these darling stenciled onesies and these cute felt numbers.  She has amazing photos on her blogs, which just makes all the difference in the world to me!  She sells some of her creations in her etsy shop, all kinds of baby essentials.  Today we get to see this very cool technique in her chenille quilt!

I am sure you remember when I made this chenille cut quilt. Well ever since I made it, I couldn't stop thinking about it and wanting to make another one, and as luck would have it, there is soon to be another baby girl in the family, so perfect! (hopefully the mom doesn't mind me blogging about her new quilt! a sneak peek at what will be coming in the mail soon!!)

Following the same steps as I did with the last quilt, I used 1.25 yards of a fun flannel print, and 4 coordinating Kona fabrics (1.25 yards each). Since the flannel is such a busy print I wanted something more solid, less busy, but still striking for the back and opted for purple over pink, as girls just have way too much pink sometimes. I used a gray thread instead of white because I thought it blended better with the flannel.

This time though, I decided to get the Olfa Chenille Cutter (you can find them on amazon or joann fabric) instead of cutting all the rows by hand, because seriously my hand could not take another round of that.

How this puppy works. (no i didn't read the instructions that came with it, perhaps it says all of this...) So you pick which "leg" fits inbetween the rows the best, I found L to work better than LL, and you just slip it in between the flannel and the first layer of Kona and off you go. I had to cut about 1/2 inch into each row to get the cutter started, otherwise it sorta tugged on the fabric to start, and even though it would get covered with bias tape and fuzz in the wash anyway, I thought this method was best.

About 1/3 away across the blanket, it really started to hurt my hand and I had to use a lot of force to get it to go, well guess what, as soon as I turned the blade to a new cutting edge, it magically was super easy again. I used 3 cutting edges to do the whole blanket (you turn the dial to get a new edge). The cutter is a lot easier and much much faster than doing it with scissors, but your hand still hurts a little from gripping this thing and I don't think that it cuts as nicely/evenly as scissors. You don't notice it after it is washed, but it didn't cut exactly down the center - but this is probably me not holding it centered? But bottom line is yes I will always do it this way over scissors. The $20 is totally worth saving your hand for another few years.

I don't know why but I love just running my hands over the quilting on the flannel and over the cut fabric on the back, maybe there is something wrong with me! But I love how it turned out and almost don't want to give it away!

The winner of these Riley Blake fat quarters AND a month membership to try out Ole Frog Eyes is.....

Congratulations to Debra!  To see if you also won, check out Lily Pad Quilting right now!

Blogger Debra said...
I'm already a follower!
April 22, 2011 11:15 AM


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fabric Tuesday #33...come craft with me!

Hi all, Heather here. I actually have a project finished! (they have been few and far between lately because all I have been working on is for market.

Remember the pretty fabrics I got from SkyeReve fabrics?

Have you seen these handy half square triangles? Easy peasy!

I apologize for the late night crafting...(bad photos) but while my dear husband took the 5 children to Chuckie Cheese, he let me stay home and craft in peace...bless his heart!

 I combined all my hst's in this little pattern...

Quilted it, didn't love the quilting, but didn't hate it enough to rip it out...

 Done! Pretty pillow. I wish I had started with 10" squares and had bigger hst's because it doesn't really show the big print off, and I love that print the most!

Fabric Tuesday!
edition #33

If you need a refresher on the "rules" click here.

Let's see some fabric-y goodness!!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Ruffle Quilt from Lilac Lane

Happy Monday everyone.  Quick little note, Heather posted her children's Easter dresses (made by her mil in gorgeous Bliss fabric) on our other blog Fresh Poppy Design, so check it out :)

Melissa from Lilac Lane is sharing a gorgeous quilt today, just check out this piecing!  A lot of the fabrics are from her daughter's clothing, so sweet.  Melissa is a pattern designer, fabric designer and a stay at home mommy.  Enjoy getting to know a little more about her and seeing such a pretty quilt!

A little about me: I'm a fabric and pattern designer and LOVE it! (patterns with and fabric with _____ I can't say yet, but I'm bursting to tell! Maybe by Monday!) Technically, I'm also a pharmacist, although I don't practice much at all. And most of all, I'm a stay-at-home mommy. As far as what kind of quilter I am, I am certainly no perfectionist. I hate to rip! I took my first quilting class about 6 years ago. Before that I definitely quilted a lot, even since I was 10 years old, but I thought I knew what I was doing. LOL I learned a lot in those monthly classes, which I took for about 3 years and another one that lasted two years. Although I'm still no perfectionist, I've learned to do better the first time. Occasionally, I will rip out! But mostly I've learned techniques and shortcuts to make everything turn out better. I've been called the queen of making old look new. As in, I like to use old patterns and make them fresh with color, technique, and changing things up a bit. I'm very definitely a colorful person. I've just finished a quilt for McCalls Quick Quilts which has nine contrasting colors, and I've remarked that it may be the least I've ever put into a quilt. I love to make easy patterns that look difficult. Modern to me doesn't have to be just straight lines.

The Road to Redemption is finished! Those of you who have followed along for awhile remember this two year long quilt process. You can read all about it here. There are 33 small (6 inch) blocks and 12 large (12 inch) blocks. If you're wondering what took me so long, I added a ruffled border and was willing to wait for my ruffler foot to come in to do it. Was it worth it? Yes. But at times I felt like I would die at my machine before this quilt got finished. 

Yes it really did snow here today.

Quilted by Lisa Sipes, who is nominated for a Golden Quilter award for Best Long-Arm Quilter.

This pillowcase was a Christmas present from my sweet friend Marie.