Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zippers

For as long as I've been sewing, I've been afraid of zippers.  They look really intimating to sew - especially since you have to have a special foot on your machine! 


Well, I finally tried to make a zipper pouch and discovered that zippers are actually really easy to install!  I was able to quickly sew up some cute little pencil bags for Dominic and my nephews and a treasure bag for Malcolm.  The boys love their new bags and are already asking for more.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Isaac's quilt

The lovely ladies of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild made me (well, technically it's for Isaac) a baby quilt!  These are some super cute houses.



It is beautiful and we love it!  Thank you all!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

1000 Days of Malcolm


We recently celebrated our little Malcolm turning 1000 days old. Our lives haven't been the same since his arrival.  Malcolm is a tiny little ball of stubborn energy who gives us a run for our money every day.


He is amazingly strong, very feisty, and so sweet and gentle at the same time.  He can tackle and take down his older brother (who's just about twice his size) and then sit down with the baby to hold him and sweetly kiss his head.  Malcolm has grown to be an amazing brother.


His hugs are rare but so wonderful and full of feeling when he gives them.  My favorite thing is to listen to him chat with himself as he plays - he comes up with fabulously imaginative things for his trucks to do!


Parenting him is a challenge every day but it's been a battle that has made me a better Mother to all my kids. Here's to another wild and amazing 1000 days!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Binary Quilt Challenge

The current quilt challenge for the upcoming January show for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is a binary challenge.  We are creating two color (binary) quilts but we can use as many different shades of a color as we want. I decided to do a green and blue solid quilt.  I am using five shades of blue and five shades of green.  I started off with a plan to make a quilt for Dominic that was all squares and rectangles of different sizes (3, 6, and 9 inches finished).  I actually started this quilt 2-3 years ago with the plan of doing it with various shades of blue, green, and yellow but didn't feel very inspired by it after starting and stopped working on it.  This challenge seemed like a great time to get it back out and try again but leave out the yellow.  Again, I just didn't feel like it was anything special and came up with a new plan.


Shortly before I started working on this challenge a friend of mine in the guild posted a simple and fun block she called a 3/4 log cabin.  When she posted a picture of the completed top on Instagram I happened to show it to Dominic who loved it and asked for one like it.  A few weeks later he was still telling me how much he liked the quilt and that I should make him one so I made it my new Binary challenge goal.  I whipped up a few blocks one night and never looked back!


They are super quick, easy to lay out, and a great way to play with nice bold colors.  I had twelve blocks completed in two nights of sewing and added more at a guild sew-in.  Even Ophelia approved and decided that she liked the quilt when I tried to lay it out on the floor to plan the last few blocks.



I might make a second binary quilt too.  My niece has requested a pink and purple quilt and while I don't have a lot of pink fabric, I do have a lot of purple so she might be getting a nice purple and white quilt for her next birthday.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ideas...

A while back I was in a store and I saw a woman with an interesting pendant.  The idea stuck with me for several days until I sketched it and came up with a quilt.


But, after making a test block I don't think I like it.  I created this at the end of September and it's been sitting on my cutting mat while I thought about it and I can't exactly say why - there's just something I don't like about it.

Maybe it shouldn't be done with solids? Maybe the white is too much white and needs some texture? What do you think?



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pot-holder swap


A few months ago, the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild had a pot holder challenge.  I made two sets for a blind swap.  It was hard to let them go in the swap and I really enjoyed making them. The set above was super easy and quick to put together - the hard part was picking what scraps to use! The set below gave me a bit of trouble on the thumb of the mitt - if I had it to do over I would make the thumb bigger.  It was a fun little project because I used a color palette I've always liked but never tried before (the yellow and blue below) and spent time sorting scraps (my to-be-sorted bin was a bit out id control) so I could find the right fabrics for the scrappy set.



And, here are the pot holders I received. The top set is a nice, thick canvas which is perfect for hot pans and Kristen added lots of fun, hand quilted details. The bottom set, made by Sue, is super colorful and full of tiny patchwork. I really like them both and was super pleased with the swap. Our next guild swap will be our at our holiday party in December.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Clothworks Charity quilts

Labor Day weekend came upon me very quickly this year.  I feel like the summer just flew by and I barely saw it.  I think having three boys is going to make things just fly by from now on!  I was able to spend a day sewing with some other ladies from the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.  We worked on our Clothworks solids charity blocks.  We had enough contributions so that we are able to make two twin size quilts! 


Above is quilt number one.  We decided to use up the left over scraps and make the background multi-colored on this quilt.  Each colored section was designed so that we could easily sew the blocks together into sections with nice straight/even seams.  Figuring out how to put them all together was a huge challenge - all the blocks were different sizes and, while we had a limited color pallet, everyone used the colors in different ways.  I think we were able to balance out the colors and sizes.


I put together the white block above.  For our second quilt (below) we are going to go with an all white background.  We will be having another charity sew-in day at the end of September which will hopefully see the finish of both quilt tops.


Monday, September 9, 2013

PNWMQG meet-up 2013

It's been almost a month since I attended the Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild meet-up in Portland!  It was an amazing weekend.  I took Isaac with me and he did great (and made me very popular!).  Lots of sewing and fabric shopping happened all over the city of Portland.  


I attended a charity sew-in at Modern Domestic, a really cute fabric shop, in the morning and worked on some "chicken" blocks. 


 Isaac was very helpful and took a nice long two hour nap while in the wrap and I was able to get in some shopping and still make two and half of the charity blocks. I believe enough blocks for three quilts were created throughout the day.


During the afternoon I went to several different fabric shops with some other ladies and loaded up on lots of great fabric!  I also finalized my color choice for the upcoming "Binary" quilt show for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. 

I am going with blue and green but I'm using five shades of blue (all Kona in Lake, Robin Egg, Periwinkle, Water, and Deep Blue) and five shades of green (again all Kona in Jungle, Juniper, Palm, Leprechaun, and Asparagus).  I have two ideas I'll be playing with over the next few weeks and hopefully one of them will work and will make a beautiful two color quilt.  






Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meetup Tote Bag


The Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild meetup is happening this weekend in Portland. I'm very excited to go - last year was a blast. This year we are swapping tote bags.  It was a challenge to plan my bag because I wanted it to be something that another "modern" quilter would like to use.


Here is my lining and the interior pocket which features the cute logo tags for our guild.  I've had this Amy Butler print for ages and finally decided to cut into it.  The outside was fun to create.  I made a panel of tiny (1.75 inch) half square triangle chevrons for both sides of the bag and then echo quilted more chevrons.  Robert Kaufman donated all the main fabrics (the denim) used in the swap and I really like how it feels and looks - very nice for a tote bag.  I will be purchasing more to make library totes for the boys soon.
 

          

 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My new travel project


My new travel English Paper Piecing project is a penrose tiling.  It is made up of 72 and 36 degree diamonds.  Penrose tiles have been around for a long time - it's a mathematical formula that was first understood by ancient Islamic mathematicians!  It's a type of non-periodic tiling that exhibits a fivefold rotational symmetry.  What this means for my quilt is that I have a five pointed star in the middle that will have five more stars tiling around it, and then fifteen stars around those, etc.


I started it in June and have found bits of time here and there (at soccer class above and at the park below) to work on it.  The pattern isn't easy to see right now since it's still so small but it should improve as it slowly gets bigger.  I'm not sure how big it will be; I'm debating between a lap quilt and a wall hanging. 



Monday, July 29, 2013

Granny Squares



This past week I pulled out an old work in progress to play with when I had a small bit of time to sew.  It was a hard choice when I entered my sewing room because I have so many projects going on right now.  How many projects do you work on at one time? I added five blocks to it over the week and I need at least eight more to get it to the size I want.  It's a great block for the small chunks of time I find to sew.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Taste of summer

What does Summer taste like to you?  I've always felt it tasted like fresh berries. So far this summer we've picked strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries!

 

My helpers always end up eating so much in the fields that I worry about them getting sick!  But, that's most of the fun of picking fresh berries in my opinion.

 

We made up a batch of strawberry jam, a batch of strawberry-raspberry jam, and two batches if spiced blueberry jam.


I also made my first cherry pie with some amazingly flavorful farmers market cherries.  And, my helpers insisted it had to be an outer space pie if it was going "taste any good at all."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Modern Solstice

The annual show for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is currently showing at the Island Quilter.  This year the show is Modern Solstice - a showcase of modern star quilts.  Here is my Traveling Stars:
                
                                     

The opening was two Friday's ago and it was a great evening.  The staff at the Island Quilter are always so nice and the gallery space they have is amazing! It is huge and so open and bright - perfect for showcasing the quilts!  The show had about 24 quilts altogether - you can see them all over in the SMQG Flicker group (with all of the proper credits because I missed writing down all the titles and names).


                                      

My favorite part of the show was the diversity in style.  Every quilt is a star or stars but each one is so different.


                                      

Amazing work from a group of amazing ladies!
 
                                     



Saturday, June 15, 2013

SMQG charity quilt

                                

Wonky stars are one of my favorite blocks - quick to put together but easy to have lots of variety and interest.  These two stars are my contribution to this years charity quilt for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.  The fabric is all organic solids that was donated by Clothworks.  It is really lovely fabric to work with and it's so soft.  I would definitly purchase some to include in my stash.


                               

Pressing open the seams on the back reveals another pattern - future quilt block maybe?

                              


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Small bits of time

Over the past few weeks I've been able to carve out small bits of time to sew.  I think it's helping me stay sane amidst the chaos of three small children. The first up was a project that had been cut out and has been sitting and waiting on my sewing table for a few months: 

                                 

The boys have been enjoying their new pillowcases and have requested many more! 

                                  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Traveling Stars



I finished my English paper pieced star quilt on May 2 - just one day before little Isaac arrived!  I've been working on this quilt for a little over two years and it was about 90% completed while traveling or "on-the-go". This quilt is my second paper pieced project (and I already have plans sketched out for two more). I choose to machine quilt it in straight lines that created diamonds inside each star.  



My plan when it was started was pretty simple; I wanted the stars to be green, blue, and purple and I didn't want any repeats.  It slowly came together across five states while we were on vacation, visiting family, or watching the kids at the playground.  It feel so nice to have it done and I was successful in my goal of finishing it in the for the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's star quilt show!


             

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's a Boy!

We welcomed our newest addition, Isaac Xavier, to the family on May 3, 2013.  Things have been pretty crazy over the past few months getting ready for his arrival and finishing up my EPP stars quilt in time for a show.  Hopefully, life will settle down soon and I can get back to sewing more often (not sure how that will go with three boys in the house)!

                               

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stars

We've been having some strange spring weather lately.  Last week we had three inches of snow and this week it's warm enough that boys are playing outside all afternoon while I sit on the deck and sew. 


I think that I've almost finished my English Paper Pieced stars!  I'm really happy with about how big it is, have decided on a simple white boarder, and I think I've figured out how I want to quilt it.  Not sure what to do for the back - too many beautiful fabrics out right now!  Now, I just have to get it done by the end of April so I can put it in the upcoming Seattle Modern Quilt Guild star quilt show in June!  With the arrival of baby Cupcake in early May I know for sure that I have to finish it soon or put it off for a few months.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Busy start to the year

Life has been crazy busy lately - isn't it always?  I have been quilting here and there in it all and that always makes things better.  I finally finished my Madrona Road challenge quilt (the third finish of the year) - it ended up as a sweet little baby quilt.  I love the combo of the blue and yellow together - I am now planning more of that color combo for the future.




I choose to go with a simple half square triangle and then ended up with this dark/light value design totally by accident.  After I had laid it out on the floor I walked away and came back after a few minutes and only had to rotate two squares and switch out one square to end up with the design.  It's not what I intended but I really liked the happy accident that made it happen.  And of course, it was really hard for the boys to resist trying to help!



The boys also joined me for the last sew-in of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.  It was a Friday afternoon and I thought I'd just stop by to say hello and see what people were working on but the boys were so calm and happy that I stayed for an hour and a half to work on my paper pieced stars (that's why having a travel project with you in the car is always a good idea!).  It also didn't hurt that our guild VP, Chandra, let the boys go through her scraps and play on the design wall - future quilters???