Friday, January 17, 2014

Fort Worth MQG 2014

My mom and I are officially members of the Fort Worth MQG as of last night! We're so excited to join the group and already inspired to get sewing. We adore our pins!

I'm especially excited about the 2014 Block of the Month quilt. I've been thinking about my color palette and finally decided on it when I glanced at a bottle of lotion. Just goes to show there's inspiration everywhere!

I chose an orchid fabric for my background (apparently the 2014 color of the year) and chose some warm-colored fat quarters and a few dark berry colors. I'm stretching myself this year by not using any prints or any blue fabrics (I LOVE prints and I ALWAYS pick blue fabrics). Plus I don't own a purple quilt and I think that's just awful.

Another thing that inspires me to FINISH my quilts this year is that I got a beautiful handmade ladder for my quilts as a Christmas present, and I don't have enough quilts to hang on it! The double wedding ring quilt is an unfinished top I recently bought on Etsy. I plan to pick a backing fabric and quilt it myself. Not sure if I'll keep it or sell it yet, but I love it! The quilt on the table is the one I'm currently working on that I hope to have finished for the next meeting's Show and Share!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

houndstooth alabama baby quilt

It has been FOREVER since I've posted, and this quilt is mainly the reason why. Well, this quilt and life in general has been busy.

I made this for a dear friend of mine who just had a baby boy. His nursery was done in crimson, houndstooth, and elephants because they are huge Alabama fans. Roll tide!

I used the Houndstooth pattern by V and Co. I found this pattern on Pinterest and studied it to see if I could do it on my own. It looks easy enough, but I decided to buy the pattern and follow the directions. It was quite a process! Thankfully my mom helped me out a lot and that made it go much faster. Plus it's great bonding time. We plan on making Christmas placemats to use up all the red and white scraps from this project.

I finished the quilt with straight line quilting along both sides of the horizontal and diagonal seams. I'm in love with how this turned out and sad I had to give it away! I am very much wanting a purple and white houndstooth quilt of my own, but not sure I'm up to all the 60 degree triangles and messing with stretchy blocks done on the bias. Plus I have a few other quilts to finish up anyway!

Check out more photos on my Flickr page (link on the sidebar).

Friday, June 7, 2013

totes & baby quilt

It has been WAY too long since I've written a blog post. All I do is work! Here's a few of my latest projects.

I wanted to make these reversible totes and zipper pouches for my mom, sister, and grandmother for Mother's Day, but only finished my mom's in time. I just gave my sister hers last weekend at her baby shower. Still have to make my grandma's! And maybe one for myself, too. Did I mention how much I love Craftsy? This was a free class taught by Kristen Link. I'm sure I'll make these over and over again!

I finished a quilt for nephew #3 in time for the baby shower. I used Riley Blake's Superstar collection and a free Elizabeth Hartman charm squares pattern. I also got the idea to applique the baby's name on the back from Pinterest. This was my first time doing raw edge applique (or any applique, for that matter!) and let me tell you - it was a hassle. But after destroying some fabric letters, almost destroying my backing fabric, and finally reading online tutorials, I went to buy some lightweight interfacing, read and followed the instructions, figured out the zigzag stitch on my machine, and all was well! I quilted horizontal lines across the whole thing. And of course used a diagonal stripe for binding - my favorite choice! My sister went nuts over this quilt. Which is of course what I aim for :)

 LOVE. Now just waiting on the baby! I of course have more projects going on, but I'll save them for a later post. Some got pushed to the side so I could get this done in time. But as always, eventually they will get done!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

t-shirt quilts book review

T-Shirt Quilts Made EasyT-Shirt Quilts Made Easy by Martha DeLeonardis
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I've been looking for a comprehensive book on t-shirt quilts. I've made many quilts but never one from t-shirts and was looking for tips about using jersey knit fabric and interfacing. This book left a lot to be desired. It was really unhelpful because the author assumes we know a lot more about cutting, design, and construction and doesn't go into a lot of detail or give much description (which includes pictures-there are hardly any). I like studying books and patterns rather than YouTube videos, but honestly, those videos were way more helpful. I do like that the author teaches how to incorporate different fabrics to make a "Cinderella" t-shirt quilt rather than just a bunch of squares sewn together.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

christmas quilt - finally!

Though not the most intricate, this quilt means more to me than any other I've ever made. Technically it is my first quilt ever. I don't know exactly how old I was when I started it, but it was right around the time I began to learn how to sew on a machine. I can't give credit to any one seamstress in my life (my mom, grandmother, or aunt) for teaching me, but I learned everything I know from the three of them.

I made this quilt top during the long summer days I spent at my grandmother's house. She gave me a stack of Christmas fabric scraps that were hers, my aunt's, and my great aunt's left over from their own Christmas projects. I cut big 12" x 12" squares out of my favorites and laid them all out on the floor, deciding how to arrange them. I remember being concerned that the reds didn't touch other reds and the whites didn't touch other whites. I think I did pretty well except in one row! I also remember being concerned that the blue fabrics didn't match my color scheme but they were my absolute favorite, so I had to incorporate them somehow!

A few years ago my grandmother found the quilt top in her back bedroom. We were both overwhelmed with nostalgia, thinking back to my first days on a machine and how I pored over quilting books. It was also fun to see my beginnings compared to how hooked I am now! She gave the top to me and I took it home with the full intentions of finishing it soon. I bought the large print poinsettia fabric for the back (her favorite) and the batting. A few years and about five quilts later, I decided to stop letting it sit there and just get it done. I found the cutest candy cane fabric, perfect for the binding. Since binding is my favorite part of the process, I think that was the real motivation to finish.

Through pressing and pin basting the quilt, I realized how very little I cared about seam allowance when I was young, and how very important it really is to me now! I had to take out a lot of seams or reinforce them by hand. This was my first time pin basting, and I can't say that I hate it...but I really love fusible batting most. I did a simple diamond quilting pattern all over (also one of my favorites). One of these days I'll get fancier, but I'm not quite ready for more detailed designs just yet.

This quilt is also an odd size, but I decided not to add another row in order to maintain the charm of the old days and keep it exactly how I originally made it. I snipped all the threads, washed it, and gave it to my grandmother this weekend. She immediately recognized the fabrics and was so happy to see them again after all this time - a finished quilt! I couldn't be more happy with it. This is what quilting is all about to me. Making meaningful gifts for the people you love that they'll cherish forever.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

carpenter's star & hand quilting

This quilt is, without a doubt, my greatest accomplishment thus far. Every quilt has a story, so I'll share it here. I fell in love with Urban Cowgirl by Moda many months ago, and bought a layer cake when it went on sale this summer from Fort Worth Fabric Studio, my favorite online fabric shop. My original intention was to make a quilt for myself because this fabric speaks to my country girl side. I wanted something I could take to picnics or cuddle up with in the winter. My house has a ranch feel to it, so the fabric worked perfectly.

A few weeks ago, I realized I was bored with watching TV, uninterested in books at the moment (weird, I know!), and needed something to do. That's when I remembered the stack of awesomeness I had stored up! I immediately started researching quilt patterns that would work well for a layer cake. (I've never used pre-cut fabric before - LOVE it!) I love big, central star patterns and decided on a Carpenter's Star design and got to cutting! Half-square triangles were so easy to work with and all the measuring and math were already done for me. Couldn't have gone any smoother. For the background fabric, I used a sheet that tore during our last garage sale. I was frowned upon by an older quilter that I know for not buying new fabric, but after sulking on my way home, I decided to forget her - quilts were originally made out of leftover clothing and sheets anyway. Nothing wrong with it at all. I'm proud to be thrifty :)

When I quilt, I have the TV on for background noise, but my mind is far from whatever show is on. I kept thinking about my friends' upcoming wedding. Their shower was at the end of the week and I'd need to go shopping at the places they were registered. The more I kept looking at the fabric, thinking of them and their dynamic as a couple, the more I came to realize...I could give this to them as a wedding present. They love the country. The fabric spoke of them as much as it did of me. And who wouldn't love a quilt as a wedding gift? It had to be done.

Unfortunately, this gave me quite a deadline to reach. I still had to find fabric for the back and the binding, as well as get batting. So I started shopping online again, but knew I needed the fabric the next day if I was going to reach my goal. I went straight to Cabbage Rose Quilting and asked for help! The woman took me straight to the few bolts they had left of Urban Cowgirl. It wasn't my first choice, but I had to settle on Pony Ride Grass Stain for the back and find a coordinating fabric of a different line for the binding.

I also used fusible batting for the first time. It's magic! I've always heard bad things about it, but decided to give it a try because the #1 thing I hate about quilting is trying to keep all three layers together. It's next to impossible for me. But I finished the top, sandwiched the quilt, and outlined all of the diamonds easily and quickly. I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the rest of my idea by the shower, so I had to bind the quilt, give it, and take it back home! I felt terrible, but the couple really loved it and couldn't see how I wasn't finished. But you will soon! (And yes, I'm aware that I was working out of order, but I had no choice! Quilting after binding turned out fine in the end.)

I had quite a task before me. I decided to hand quilt a range of different patterns on the squares, triangles, and corners. I have such a great respect for hand quilters. I don't think I'll ever do it again myself! (Though I do really enjoy the look of hand quilting.) I worked every evening, and sometimes all day on it and finished in about a week and a half. Here's a close-up of the designs.

Ugh I don't want to give it away! But at the same time, I really, really do. I'm excited about the wedding this weekend and can't wait to see this in their house this winter!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sock Owls?

Wow, it's been a while! A lot has happened over the summer that I'm sure I will get to at some point. But for now I'd like to share a new venture of mine that I'm very excited about. I'm branching out from my sock monkeys to sock owls. Here's my first and only so far!

This little guy is for my sister's first classroom, fully decorated in owls and orange. They're so much easier to make than monkeys! I'm considering sharing a tutorial soon. Meanwhile, I'm sure they'll be popping up on my Etsy site!

Also, I've finished my R quilt! Pictures of the end result to come soon. I'm extremely pleased - thank God!