Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

In being a newbie-ish quilter so far, I knew nothing about the Bloggers Quilt Festival...until a few weeks ago!  As it is upon us now, head on over to amyscreativeside and check out the awesome entries.  I've been thinking about which quilt I wanted to enter, and decided on this one.

I started sewing  right after Christmas this past year, as my husband bought be a sewing machine as a gift.  I was beyond ecstatic, as it had embroidery features that I planned on using to embroider everything!  Little did I know that the embroidery feature would not be what I loved most about my machine.  I completed my very first quilt (a baby quilt for a friend) in February, and I was hooked!

The quilt I decided to enter to the festival is my value quilt.  I had never taken color value into consideration when making a quilt before, and I learned so much beyond just deciding on what color scheme I want to use for a particular quilt. 

I really love the scrappiness of this quilt, I used a scrap of each and every fabric I had in my stash at the time and am still amazed that its not the color that makes this quilt so great, but the value in pairing the colors together.  It still amazes me that the quilt design comes completely from how you place each square in the arrangement.  I can assure you there will be many more quilts based on value of color in my future. 

This quilt will be a gift for my mom for Christmas this year, and while hard to part with, I cant wait to give it to her, as I know she is going to absolutely love it! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sneak Peak

I am always so impressed by what Carol, mamacjt does with her mini quilts and applique, and feel I am channeling her in my latest project! 

I am working on an applique Christmas table runner, this is just one portion, but I'm really liking it! 

Hopefully in the next few days I'll get the rest of this pieced together and quilted!  Stay tuned...

In other projects, a friend of mine had asked if I could make her a few Steelers themed totebags as gifts, and this is what I came up with!

I used the tutorial found here from jcaroline creative.  I'm super happy with the way these came out, not overtly Steelers from the looks on the outside but fun Steelers lining on the inside.   Definitly checkout this tutorial if you are looking for a tote bag, by far my favorite I've come across so far!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

knit two purl two

So I've been doing alot of knitting recently.  I had a few scarves in mind for some friends and family on my Christmas list, and ever since learing how to knit in the round, I decided to tackle some hats as well!

I love this hat.  super warm and cozy.  I used Fishermans wool, and knitted using two strands at a time, which gave it that warbled/tweed-y look.  I'm planning on adding a coordinating scarf and this will be going to my brother for Christmas.  I discovered that there are thousands of knitting and crochet patterns on the Lion Brand website, and this actually is a pattern that a found on their site.  A perfect quick little project that only takes a few hours to whip up.  Definitly recommend it.

I finished up a scarf using some super thick and warm yarn for a co-worker, who saw me knitting, and said "you know, if your ever looking for a project to knit, I would love a scarf!"  Hint taken, and another Christmas project checked off the list.

This pattern can be found here.

In case you were wondering...the damage caused to my sock I was working on has been fixed!  With the help of my trusty crochet hook (and my awesome knitting instructor) I was able to salvedge most of the stitches, and my instructor cleaned up the rest and finshed the job.

We learned how to "turn the heel" in our last class, which is just the coolest thing.  I've set this aside for the immediate future, I WILL finish this sock, but my fear is that I wont ever complete a match for it!

You can barely tell that this sock has been tormented and nearly destroyed.  Gives it character and a story I suppose.  Like I said, Lucky Dog.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

All the stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Gesh!  Has it really been over a week since I've posted last?  Where does the time go!  Anyways, I'm here, and have been crafting away, just very slowly apparently.  I've been bitten by the Christmas bug, thats for sure!  Either Christmas decorations, or Christmas gifts, thats what I've been creating. 
I found this tutorial for Christmas stockings on the Moda Bakeshop websitesome time ago, and it's been on my "to do" list, so I decided that now was the time to tackle it!

I followed the "recipe" for this mostly, but made my own pattern based off an old stocking and just added a 1/4 inch seam allowance all the way around, and I assembled the fronts of my stockings differently, but the basic construction came from the tutorial.

I used the embroidery feature on my machine to embroider the white top parts.  These actually came together pretty quickly.  Since I could not for the life of my find our stocking holders to take a picture, I "hung" them on my design wall to see what they'd look like all in a row.

I'm pleased!  They are all ready for Santa to come and fill them with lots of Christmas-y goodness!

More posts to come soon on the many WIPs that are laying around my sewing room, near completion!

I will be linking this post to AmyLouWho's Sew and Tell and Lit and Laundry's Finished for Friday.  Stop by and see other's amazing Friday Finishes!

Friday, October 15, 2010

My dog ate my homework

In all of my 21 years of schooling, I don't think I have ever truly been able to use this excuse.  Until now.  3 years after being completely done with school. 

Remember her? 

And her canine shenanigans?

Well this menace on 4 legs was at it again.  She decided that my sock I had worked long and hard on, getting about halfway done for my knitting class looked like yummy chew toy.

Alas, after finding the humor in this situation, I called my knitting instructor, and explained, "my dog ate my homework," she thinks the damage is likely fixable.  Lucky dog. 


Thursday, October 14, 2010

making a list...

Well, my Christmas-y Christmas gift making has begun! I finished up these reversible Thanksgiving/Christmas placemats for a co-worker and friend, and I think they turned out pretty nice!

I used freezer paper to get a template large enough to paper piece both sides.  As for the Thanksgiving side, I just strip pieced them and then cut out around my circular template I sewed on.  Easy peasy.

The Christmas side was a little more intricate.  I got the idea for these hexagon-ish shaped placemats from Katie at fromthebluechair's hexagon shaped quilt.  I used the same technique, only on a much smaller scale.  I cute 60 degree triangles out of freezer paper that measures appx 9 inches high, and pieced them just like I would have for a string quilt. 

Overall I'm happy with the outcome, I wish my strips would have lined up together a little better, but I'm ok with it.

I didn't bind these either, I used the "birthing" method, and sewed the layers together right sides together and then flipped them right side out.  I really wanted to use a traditional binding, but I ran into the problem of finding a binding that would match both the reds and greens, as well as the browns and fall colors on the opposite side.  This was the easiest solution.


I free motion quilted these in a swirlie pattern, after looking at them, the points in the middle of the swirls kind of remind me of elf shoes!  Fitting. 

I also got one of my blocks for the 3 x 6 mini bee completed.  This block is for Jo, she is making an eye spy quilt for her son for Christmas, she wanted bright blocks that had lots to look at, and left the colors up to us!  This is what I made:

I used the wagon wheel tutorial from three kitchen fairies and voila!  I used a good bit of Robert Kauffman's playdate fabric, and a few other scraps I had.  The backing is Kona turquoise.  I hope Jo's son likes it!

I will be linking this post to Amylouwho's sew and tell and Lit and Laundry's Finished for Friday!  Stop by and check out everyone's awesome finishes this week!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fabric Binge

This may have been both the best and worst things that has happened to me!  I have been thoroughly unimpressed with the fabric selection at most of the local quilt shops I have managed to find in my area.  The fabric just seems so "fuddy duddy" or "old lady-ish" nothing fun and modern.  That is until I discovered that there was an online fabric store, sewlovefabrics who is literally 15 minutes from my house AND she welcomes local shoppers to come to her studio to shop!!!  Like I said, both the best, but possibly worst (definitly worst in my husbands eyes) discovery.  I immediately checked out her etsy shop and was in love, and messaged her to set up a visit to her studio ASAP! 

After work today, I went to her studio and wanted to buy just about every fabric she had.  I limited my self to just a few though...

She had the whole line of Innocent Crush from Anna Maria Horner.  With a great deal of restraint, I picked 4 prints.  I have plans for those pinks to be turned into a slouch purse/bag, and the blue I just couldnt resist.

I couldn't resist these two tuffted tweets by Laura Wisbrun

And finally these few Meadowsweet prints by Sandi Henderson. 

I am incredibly impressed by the huge amount of self restraint I expressed today.  I was almost temped by some Heather Bailey Nicey Jane and Heather Ross Far Far Away 2, but I'll save those for next time.  I think this set of Meadowsweet will be made into a tote bag for a friend for Christmas, that is if I can stand to part with it! 

I highly recommend checking out sewlovefabrics on etsy, Ruth is the nicest lady, with the most amazing fabrics.  I can guarantee she will be seeing more of me in her future!

As for what else I've been up to, I have been working away, things are busy for us on the home front, so I've been sneaking in some sewing and quilting time when possible, heres a sneak peek of my current project...

Just some Christmas-y holiday goodness!!  Hopefully tommorow I'll get this finished and have more to show you then!

Friday, October 8, 2010

hoot hoot

I kind of took a mini quilting break after finishing the value quilt, but no need to fear!  Me and my sewing machine became reaquanted tonight.  My niece's 11th birthday is tommorow, and I had been wanting to try one of Noodlehead's tutorials.  Now my niece is only 11, but she is a die hard Penn State fan (bestill my heart!) and a tomboy to a tee.  We're giving her a gift card for her bday so she can buy what she likes, but I wanted to make something out of my scraps of Penn State fabric I had laying around to put it in. 
Voila!   I used Noodlehead's lil cutie pouch tutorial.  All thats missing is the keyring that I will be purchasing while out and about tommorow.  These are so simple to put together that I couldn't resist whipping up a few more!

I just cannot get enough of the owls!  So cute. 

I'm not exactly sure what I'll do with all of them...but once I started, I just couldn't stop!

While I was in a sewing frenzy, I thought I'd work on my October Block for Kelly in our Solid Bee.  She requested wonky log cabin blocks.  I immediately had an idea, and went to the internet to look for some examples, and it turns out my idea has a name!  I was thinking of a Bento box style block.  Now, in my over-thinking mind, I started thinking "maybe she won't want something like this!" so I went straight to the source and asked, and luckily, she said she'd love to have that style block as well!  Kelly sent us awesome yellows and greys and this is what my block turned out looking like:

I absolutely adore it!  This was my first attempt at a wonky style block, but I love it!  I had all intentions of making a second block for her, but after completing this block, I barely had any fabric left!  I'm very please with it, I hope Kelly likes it as much as I do!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Finished Value Quilt

Quilted, bound and finished!

I chose Kona Chartreuse for the binding, I was debating between that and Kona Turquoise, and could not decide, so I let my husband pick!  I like it, he chose well!

I again machine statiched my binding down, using Rita at Red Pepper Quilts binding tutorial.  As I have mentioned before, I just really dont like hand stitching binding, so by using this tutotial I can bypass this step and still get a nice looking binding.  I think this effort may be my best yet!

Here is my finished quilt (and my husbands feet!) It measures 60 inches x 70 inches, and I have to admit I tried it out while sitting on the couch for a few minutes, and its a perfect couch-cuddling size! 
Here is the quilt back, I wanted to keep it fairly simple, and as my mom's favorite color is yellow, I knew I wanted the backing to be yellow.  I used Kona Buttercup, some yellow with white polka dots in the center, and second darker Kona yellow (the name is escaping me right now). 

I think this backing really helps to show off the quilting...

I know I mentioned before that I had ideas with straight line quilting for this quilt, and as I was deciding how I wanted to carry that out, I thought "What would Rita (from Red Pepper Quilts) do??"  She is the queen of straight line quilting, and it always looks so crisp and clean and accentuates her quilting designs.  I love that she rarely stitches in the ditch, but stitches on either side of the seam.  Thats how I decided what to do here, and I love it!  I really like how it helps to really define the lines, and also the design that it creates on the backing of the quilt. 

Well, I must post and run, its a Steeler Sunday football day!  Go black and gold! 

I will be linking this to AmyLouWho's sew and tell and Lit and Laundry's finished for friday...go check out all the awesome finishes this week!