Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Playing with the Boys - My latest baby quilt

Well I said that I needed to get cracking on these quilts, so I'm happy to say that I have one finished. It went even faster than I thought it would...probably because I haven't made a quilt since at least April and I've missed doing all the steps to create a finished piece...not just a block or a row. This quilt was made for a friend who wants to give it to another friend and hoping that they are both happy with it! Neither had any input in it, so I'm always a little nervous in the end. But I like it, so I can at least be content with that.

Playing with the Boys Quilt

I used many of my favorite fabrics in this and I'm happy to say that I had all the fabrics in my stash! Woohoo! It's always good to do a complete project with the supplies that you already have. I've been wanting to a strip quilt like this for a long time, so I took advantage of the carte blanche that I had been given to design this quilt to use this technique. I love the simplicity that quilts like these have, but of course color, pattern and placement is just as crucial in a quilt like this as other more complicated pieced ones. As always, one of my favorite steps was laying out the different strips and seeing it all come together.

Playing with the Boys Quilt

I used lots of different blues for subtle changes and some bright greens for contrast. The navy and brown solids help give some weight to the pattern and provide a break for the eye from the other patterned fabrics. And what's a quilt without some polka dots?! I think that I could put a polka dot in everything that I make and be happy!

Playing with the Boys Quilt- Detail Shot

I did an echo quilting of the stripped pattern because I love the simplicity of the look and feel that it suits a baby boy better than some fussier quilting options. And for the backing, I had the perfect blue fabric with little white stars that was just begging to go in a nursery somewhere. It's actually a decorator fabric, so it was 60" wide which makes life a little simpler when basting together the layers of the quilt!

Playing with the Boys Quilt- Detail shot with Backing

The binding I pieced together from left over strips from the top of the quilt. I had to cut them down a bit and then make one large strip of them all, but I was happy to use up all the fabric that I had cut to finish up this quilt. Woohoo! Always good to end up with the perfect amount of fabric. That so rarely happens to me. ;) And as always I hand stitched the binding closed for a pretty and perfect look from both sides. It is a great way to finish up a quilt with some peaceful sitting in front of the tv and hand stitching. It never fails to make me very content.

Playing with the Boys Quilt- Detail shot of binding


Well, there are at least two more baby quilts that I'm going to try to get done in the near future. I've ordered the fabric for the Amy Butler love quilt and I can't wait to see those fabrics in person. I've got the design picked out for that quilt already and I'll give you previews as I work on that. And I still need to make the baby quilt for my own little one. That one will probably be the most work. Agh! And I have about 3.5 weeks to do all this. Hopefully all my sewing projects with go as smoothly as this quilt did.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My newest creations!

Well I've been on the computer all morning anyway, so I figured I should update my newest creations. I've been a little behind because my laptop is pretty much dead and I'm having to use my husband's computer...but that's a whole other story and the good news is that a new laptop is on its way! Yeah! Hopefully it will be light years faster than my old one. It really was old.

Anyway... having a dead computer has made me get up and sew more I think...either that or I'm just nesting through sewing! A little of both probably. :) The item that I was most determined to finish was the bumper for the baby crib. I used all the ladies from the Bee Modern Block exchange to help me make the blocks for it, but I was still pretty intimidated to start on it. I've never made a bumper before and although I had collected many different patterns and instructions for making one I was still worried about it. I was prepared for everything to go wrong...and you know what? I don't think anything did! That's pretty incredible for a new sewing project with so many ways for something to go wrong!

I was pretty meticulous in my sewing and planning and I'm sure that helped in the long run, but I am still amazed at how it turned out. I don't think that I'm going to want our little girl to ever get it messy! And that's not very practical now is it. I was worried about everything from running out of fabric, to color choices (something I am RARELY worried about), to sizing issues. But I persevered and came though with a decent product. I essentially made a really long pillow case that I sewed shut in pieces as I inserted the foam. Here's the final product...I thought about taking pictures as I made it, but I was too nervous sewing it all together to want to capture it on film!

Bumper for crib


Bumper in crib 1


Bumper in crib 2


Baby room, crib and bumper

You can see lots more pictures of the bumper here!


And you can finally see the crib sheet that I made (one of them) and a peak at the crib skirt I made. It all looks so pretty together...I am happy with them!

Crib bedding


The bumper was a ton of work, but it's not the only thing that I've been doing. No siree! I made another blanket and burp cloth set for the little girl and this time I decided to add some pink because so many people have been giving me a hard time about how little pink I have in the nursery. My justification is that almost all of the clothes seem to be pink, so there will be pink in there eventually...but I digress. The blanket was more complicated than most that I make because I decided applique across the whole bottom of the blanket. Usually I just put one larger piece in a corner. But I'm an over achiever and I wanted more for this blanket. Each of the circles was hand gathered in the back to achieve perfect roundness. I machine appliqued all the pieces to the blanket to create a little modern garden. And yes, there is pink! But also purple, green and yellow. I can't get too traditional on you!

Baby Blanket - Modern Garden

Baby Blanket - Modern Garden Detail 2

And then to top it all off I also made some matching burp cloths!

Baby blanket - Modern Garden with burp cloths



But wait...there's more! I told you that I've been busy! I also finished the December Bee Modern blocks. But wait you say, it's only November. Yes, but the bambina is due in December and I didn't want to not finish the blocks because of her arrival. And now I'm set until the end of January with this group and needing to sew. Woohoo! I love being on schedule (or in this case ahead of it!).

She sent us a very bright collection of Kaffe Fasset fabrics and solids. I've never actually owned any of his fabrics, so this was another new experience for me. It was great to work with some of them in person and see what I think. I loved her theme for this month as well. She is making an "X and O" quilt and wanted us to make a block of each. Too cute!

I knew immediately what my "X" block should be from her inspiration images. A string block that I've really been wanting to try. I followed this tutorial and I loved the method. I will definitely be using this in the future for a quilt.

December Bee Modern "X"

My "O" block actually caused me a bit of anxiety and I originally started with a completely different block. I only finished a quarter of it though because I realized that I would not have enough of her fabrics to make the full block. I definitely plan on making that block design for another month though, so I've got it on the back burner. I eventually decided to make a quarter pieced circle block. Now I've done that a couple of times already for this group, so I was initially wanting to do something different. But I decided to do a very complicated version of the block and let me tell you, that was different enough! I did enjoy laying out the fabrics but it was a lot of piecing again. Hmmm...still not as much work as last month though, so I guess I shouldn't complain!

December Bee Modern "O"

And some detail shots...

"O" Block Detail 3


"O" Block Detail 1

The two blocks together!

December Bee Modern "X" and "O"


And I'm still working hard on more! This time I have a few baby quilts that need to get knocked out. I have the top pieced for a little boy quilt that a friend requested and I'm planning on basting it today and quilting it together this week! I'm still waiting on some of my blocks from the Bee Modern Group, but when those get here I'm going to do the baby quilt for my girl. And then there is another little girl quilt that another friend requested and she wants to use Amy Butler's new line Love! I'm going to keep myself busy in the next few weeks before the bambina gets here. Hopefully I'll be able to finish at least two of these quilts! My goal is all three, but I've been known to over estimate. ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Denyse Schmidt Give away on Flea Market Fancy Freaks!

There's a give away going on at Flea Market Fancy Freaks and boy would I love to get my hands on that fabric. I ADORE it! Here's hoping I'm one of the lucky winners!



Go check it out!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I've been a busy bee

Despite the fact that I haven't updated the blog lately, rest assured, I have been quite busy sewing lately. Well not this week in all honesty, but I was cranking stuff out the weeks before. Some of the items I don't have good pictures of yet because they are for the baby crib. I finally made the crib skirt (which was loosely inspired by some current Pottery Barn Kids bed skirts for kids' beds that look like tutus!) out of a sea foam green organza. It's kind of hard to get a good picture though. :( But trust me, it's super cute!

I also made two crib sheets for the crib. Again, no pictures yet because I just picked up the mattress tonight and I want to let it air out before putting it in the crib. But I used some of my favorite designer fabrics and anticipate our little girl loving them. I know I do! I promise to post pictures when I have the whole crib put together with everything I am making.

I was also starting to get a little nervous that my little girl would not end up with any blankets or burp cloths despite the fact that I was making them for other people. Crazy! So I started cranking them out and I'm still working on a set. These are my flannel blankets that are bound with pretty fabrics and double flannel burp cloths. I'm happy with them and am excited to finally use some of my creations myself!

Some fun animal burp cloths and blanket. My husband likes these the best. :)
baby animal blanket and burp cloths


I love the greens in these. They are very sweet in person!
stripe baby blanket and burp cloth


These have such a french feeling to me with the binding fabric and the little elephants!
turquoise elephant blanket and burp cloths

A detail of the burp cloths. I'm using this elephant fabric in the quilt and bumper pads as well.
elephant turquoise burp cloths


And hmmm...there is another blanket as well that I must have decided I didn't have a good enough picture of. But I made that one two sided with a minky fabric on one side and flannel on the other. It's super soft and a little heavier than the flannel ones, so it should be good for the cooler months here.


I also needed to work on my blocks for the Bee Modern Quilting bee. The next month's fabric had already arrived and I wanted to work on it right away so that I could get it back out of my house! I didn't want to get behind and I knew that I had lots of sewing still to do for my own baby. Anyway, we got some super fun fabrics by anna maria horner to work with and she wanted blocks with either wonky stars, dresdan plates or hexagons. I've recently done both wonky stars and dresdan plates for this bee, so I decided to tackle hexagons. Whew! What a lot of work! After lots of research I decided to give the freezer paper method a try.

Here's all the hex pieces cut out with freezer paper.
hexagons cut out with freezer paper back


The hexes needed to be entirely hand sewn. I haven't done much hand quilting, so it was interesting to do this. I did pick one of the worst times to try it because my fingers are so swollen from the pregnancy and I don't have the dexterity that I normally have. :) But I prevailed. First I had to wrap the seam allowances and baste them back.

Here's one hex flower that has been sewn together. You can see the freezer paper on the back and how the seam allowances are all hand sewn together.
back of hexagon flower

and then from the front...
hexagon flower


This was for a modern bee, so I wanted to make the block modern despite a fairly traditional hex flower. So I put it off center and pieced some borders around it. I like how it turned out!
modern flower hexagon block


But I couldn't make just one block! Come on...not when there are all those lovely hexes to use. So I made a major hex block. It really stretched me, but I love how it turned out!

Here's the back of the hexes all together.
back of hexagon block

And then from the front...
hexagons pieced together

Then I had to put a border around it to square it all up and tada!
Hexagon block for November Bee Modern


The two blocks look pretty good together too. So I'm sure that her quilt will be beautiful in the end!
Both blocks for November Bee Modern


And one last hex picture because it is so cool....here's the hexes in the light. I love how it looks like stained glass.
Hexagon block in the sun

Future projects include the bumper and quilt for the baby's crib, another blanket and burp cloth set, and a whole other list of things. I'm also going to work on a couple of baby quilts for friends too. I'm not sure if these will all happen before the little girl gets here. She's due in about 6 weeks! When I look at that in sewing time it doesn't seem long at all! I need to get cracking!

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