Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Catch up

Thank you all for your feedback on my Modern Maples. I'm going to be laying the whole thing out very non-traditionally (contrary to the picture I recently posted) but I still think I'm going to do one leaf, just one, with the saturated background and low volume leaf. You all helped me make that decision, and I appreciate it! Now, some finishes and news from around these parts:

Recently finished my AMH embroidery! It's "Totem" from her Loulouthi fabric line - one of my all-time favorite prints (like my friend Ashley). I only dabble in embroidery, so I outlined the flowers and circles, and filled in some of the colors with matching floss. It was fun and relaxing.

I made a "fall wall" this week with the addition of my fabric wrapped wreath. I love how it looks from my desk, and with all the thread underneath! Also, those knitted flowers are from my grandmother, and I love their autumnal nature.

 This weekend I was in NYC with friends for a Vampire Weekend concert (AHHHH it was amazing! If you also love Vampire Weekend, please feel free to geek out with me in the comments!). When Audrie posted on Instagram that she was at the concert, I was like, no way, and we met up for a few minutes! We mostly talked about quilting (what else, right?) and how we really wanted to be at Sewing Summit. Meeting quilters in person is always too cool!

Finally, I'm sorry I haven't replied to comments! We found out 2 days ago that we are moving apartments/moving back to our hometown NEXT SUNDAY due to a huge/unaffordable rent increase here, so I have started cleaning and packing. With a full week's work schedule for both of us coming up, I need to get as much done today as possible (yes, right now, I'm sitting here blogging/procrastinating, lol). I'm only leaving two projects out for the week if I even get to them (a t-shirt quilt and Modern Maples) - all of my sewing corner and craft supplies are going to get packed up today =/ However, I'm excited about the new apartment and setting up a new space, though it was very unexpected. Though it does mean taking down the fall wall I've been admiring =/ Talk soon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Help!

...still shirking most sewing responsibilities for this selfish quilt top. Don't judge too harshly. Is there therapy for Modern Maple making?

The only thing that starts to get me down is all the HST-making. I consider myself all but a pro now, thanks to the Sisters' Ten BOM, but still - it's a lot of work!

 I clearly still have to make a whole bunch more blocks to get to a large lap size (I like my couch quilts to cover both the hubs and I on the couch, and also our toes - I'm 5'10" and he's 5'11"). What do you think about adding in three or four blocks with a saturated background (purple, red, etc.), with the leaves low-volume? I've been playing around with the idea and I need input, please!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. I've been doing less blog reading and more sewing and working. Whoops :) However, I am wishing I was at Sewing Summit. Total bummer... I hope to go one day. Hope everyone has fun!

Linking up at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Selfish sewing

What should you do if you have a list of at least 10 sewing responsibilities and deadlines?

Shirk them. Shirk them, I say. And start a Modern Maples quilt, which you can't bear to even think about giving to someone else. Because you just love fall that much.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Unexpected sewing day

Yesterday found me at home, cleaning, doing laundry, and trying to finish my Sisters' Ten BOM blocks for September. We had a bad storm on Thursday night, and electricity was out all over, including the school, so it was an early "snow day" for us!

There was a lot of cutting...


HST trimming (not pictured because it is the bane of my existence)...

and finally, sewing together.

Whew. Done! Another goal bites the dust. There was a bit more sewing but I can't show that here yet!

Linking up to TGIFF.

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Modern Trees QAL @ Christa Quilts!

I'm all for the modern QALs and BOMs around blogland, and here's another great one from my friend Christa. She's led a ton of QALs recently - String of Pearls just finished up - check out the gorgeousness here!

Anyway, Christa is leading a Modern Trees QAL just in time for the (pre) (okay, right now, very pre) holiday season. I actually need a backing to my Brr! winter string quilt  top, and I might just make the whole darn thing reversible. Two quilts in one saves money, right?

Modern Trees

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do the solid version (or, one print each version)...

Improv Trees

or the scrappy version! Gah! Look like this will be fun and also include some scraps. Who knows, I might be too ambitious. I'll aim for the quilt top, but keep in mine the tablerunner/placemat gift option for the holidays. Will you join Christa (and me)? Posts start on 9/25:

  • Step 1 (September 25) – Cutting and Sewing the Tree Blocks
  • Step 2 (October 9) – Assembling the Top
  • Step 3 (October 23) – Backing and Basting
  • Step 4 (November 6) – Machine Quilting Part 1
  • Step 5 (November 20) – Machine Quilting Part 2
  • Step 6 (December 4) – Binding to Finish

Christa's Quilt Along

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's fall (in our apartment, at least!)

I want to get a move on with summer. We're back to school and it's been chilly enough for a quilt on the couch at night, so as far as I'm concerned, those leaves should be changing (and they've started a bit, here in western NJ!). I'm also one of those people who starts playing Christmas music the day after Halloween, so I need to start celebrating fall ASAP :)  I'm hoping it doesn't only last about three weeks like it did last year!

Also, last year was crazy, what with us moving into this apartment (it's our 1 year moving anniversary in 5 days), Hurricane Sandy and being out of electricity for 5 days (but it was much worse in other areas), and then our wedding (almost our 1 year anniversary already! Ah!). So, in the way of crafty fall decorating for the apartment, I didn't have much time to do it!

This weekend I made this quick fabric wrapped wreath from some of my favorite fall-y scraps. I used 2 inch wide strips, sew them all together, press the whole thing in half like binding, Then, I hot glued it around a cardboard-like wreath form from Michael's (less than $5), and viola. It's done and pretty. Just like my spring and summer wreaths.

I'll be switching it with this one that my mom made me last year. I LOVE SUNFLOWERS, so chances are, Mom's wreath will actually be staying up most of the season.... lol. I'll probably find another place to hang mine!

I was inspired this weekend at Victorian Days, a local festival. One of the traditional guilds in our area, the Evening Star Quilters, had a booth, and I was ogling over this pumpkin quilt. Can't you see that in modern fabrics? How cute!

Also, there was a really old looking double wedding ring quilt with bright fabrics. I'm kicking myself because I didn't get a picture. =/ My husband was all: Look at this quilt, that looks like something you would like! etc., etc. It made me so happy and I told him so ;)

Also, from the husband: Why are you putting away that quilt? I love that quilt. (Argyled is from the spring!)
Me: Don't worry, we already have a fall quilt. Plus, I'm making another (Modern Maples).

LOL. Does this happen in your house?

Some more decorations. Many of them are from our wedding!

Yay! And the cool air is filtering into the apartment as I type. Perfect.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story and Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better Off Thread.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Featured on Quilt Story today!

I'm honored to be sharing my Dresden Rainbow Wedding Quilt on Quilt Story! Heather and Megan's blog was one of the very first I started following 3 years ago, so I'm really excited to say that you can find me there today!

Quilt Story

Hope you are having a wonderful start to the week! I have a few crafty posts in the works...


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Daily Craft TV Review - "Yes, You Can Piece Curves"

Have you heard about Daily Craft TV yet?  I was recently contacted by Fons and Porter to review one of their videos. Being a self-taught quilter, I'm always interested in learning new techniques fast and cheap - let's be honest! Their video network is growing and I was especially/obviously interested in their quilting videos, such as String Piecing 7 Ways, Unique Quilting Ideas, and Learn How to Paper Piece.

Anyway, the video I chose to review is called, "Yes, You Can Piece Curves: Curved Piecing Two Ways." I've had a long-standing WIP that requires curve piecing and I've been putting it off for about a year (sorry, mom :( ). I know that I need to confront it within the next couple of months, and the video definitely gave me more confidence, as well as a handful of new techniques to try.

The instructors show close up how you cut your pieces for the Tres Chic quilt, which was part of an early 2013 edition of the magazine, Quilty (by the way, the pattern and templates are downloadable with purchase of the video - yay!). It is a version of the Drunkard's Path block. They showed both ways to make the quilt - traditional piecing with the sewing machine, and with paper piecing, which involved making pleats with your fabric. The latter technique was one I had never heard of, and it was really interesting to watch unfold. If you are already a paper piecer, or even if you aren't one, I guarantee that this technique would complement your curvy quilts in the future. The instructors also score bonus points because they used Kate Spain's Honey Honey line for the paper piecing section ;) You know she's one of my favorites!

I like how laid back the video was - as in, if the instructors made a mistake, they laughed about it, and showed how you could fix it if you did the same thing. Finally, at the end of the video, they shared a handful of quilts that used curves, and explained how you could incorporate the techniques learned earlier in the video. At 49 minutes, I think the video and downloadable features are well worth the cost, and I encourage you to check it out, as well as the other quilting, sewing, and crafting videos on Daily Craft TV. More videos are being added all the time, so this is definitely a website to watch!
Do you learn easily from videos? Are there any quilting/sewing techniques you'd like to see on video?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday on Thursday

Whoops, I planned to post this yesterday, but the whole 11 hour work day thing got to me. It's been a crazy couple of first days but I realized how much I missed working with kids!! I'm lucky to work with PreK through high school now, almost every day, because my aide duties involve Prek, K, and 1-4 at dismissal, and tutoring is usually middle and high school students. But, I'm exhausted! Anyway, moving on to the little quilting activity there's been this week so far:

Making a SURPRISE quilt for a retired schoolteacher... more to come soon! But... WORD QUILTING! Thanks to recent inspiration/encouragement by my lovely friend Sarah. :)

This weekend (my weekend starts tomorrow because I only have one job to attend!), I have a lot of guild business to work on because our meeting is next week - AND I plan to finish quilting this thing before that. Maybe then I can hand-sew binding (I can't wait to show you what I picked for that) and finish the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Think I can get there? I think I can... I think I can.

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation!
And, since this is my September goal, linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Instagram and T-shirt Quilt Numero Uno

First, I joined Instagram and now I understand what all the fuss is about! It's like blogging... but easier and less time-consuming. Lol. I'll still be blogging like usual, but if you'd like to follow me there, you can click the little camera in the right sidebar with my social media pennants (THANKS MARISA!!), or you can just go here. :) You'll see I've even dug into my AMH stash for a quilt I'm choosing fabrics for tonight... I know, the world must be ending.

Second, the first of five t-shirt quilts I must finish before Christmas (goal: November) is complete! Most of them are commission, like this one. I have to admit that making t-shirt quilts doesn't really make my heart skip a beat anymore, but I still love doing it solely for the look/excitement of those receiving them. I'll be a bit more excited when I redo mine (project for next year?).

Anyway, this one WAS exciting because of the colors involved (bold, bright), the plays involved, and the friend involved! I met my friend Julie a couple of years ago in college, and she photographed my wedding! You can see we like to trade off in artsy talents :) We've been involved with theater, though sadly not really together. Either way, getting into theater mode is fun, and that's what I did as I made this quilt. Cue Les Mis Original Broadway soundtrack. Anyway, we met halfway for lunch the other day, and I could hand over the quilt!

I quilted it in big flowers with black thread, and I really love the effect. My FMQ foot was going a bit ballistic during the process though, which was super frustrating, and my only thought was to oil it, which seemed to work!

Julie loves butterflies, so I chose a sophisticated black and white (plus, the black flowers show up so nicely, though you can't see it like this). I put a square of camera fabric found at Hobby Lobby in the lower right corner as a surprise! She requested a teal binding (sorry, can't remember the Kona color).

This was the look on her face in the end - not planned - so, like I said, this is why I still do t-shirt quilts :)

P.S. I just realized it's almost my three year blogaversary! I'll have to figure out what to give away... any ideas?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September Fresh Sewing Day

Over the moon about getting stuff done this month!

1. Dresden Rainbow - Our Wedding Quilt, 2. "Sedona" - for Layers of Hope 911, 3. A summer skirt for book lovers - AMH Degas/Volumes, 4. Back - Dresden Rainbow - Our Wedding Quilt, 5. July Sisters' Ten Block, 6. August Sisters' Ten Block, 7. T-shirt quilt for Julie G., 8. August Sisters' Ten BOM, 9. July Sisters' Ten Block

My biggest finish was my "Dresden Rainbow" wedding quilt, with the guestbook on the back! Thank you for all of your support and love for this quilt! I met my August Goal with "Sedona." I made a skirt using some prized AMH fabric. One of the five commission t-shirt quilts I have to do before Christmas was finished  (will post about this soon - it was for a dear friend). And I caught up on Sisters' Ten BOM blocks from July and August. Phew. Oh, and we finished the Lantern-a-long!

Hopefully September will be just as productive, though I'm not sure if it can be with going back to work and all! Positive thinking, right? But, at least it's almost time to get out all the fall stuff :D I already started drinking pumpkin coffee in the morning! Are you looking forward to fall, too?

Linking up to:
Lily's Quilts


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