Saturday, February 18, 2017

Easter Parade - a February quilt

Another of post Christmas purchases was a bundle from Pink Castle fabrics called Unicorn Whispers. When I saw a Triangle Parade pattern by Amanda Castor in Issue 28 of Love Patchwork and Quilting, I knew it would be a great way to use that bundle plus the low volume bundles I got in an earlier purchase.

Because I was using fat quarters, I made one small change to the pattern. Instead of cutting the fabrics into 10" squares, I cut them into 9" ones to get more out of the 18" x 22" pieces. It is a bit smaller overall but not too much so. I already had a backing on hand, which is great because I am really trying not to do any more fabric purchases for a while, for as long as possible. It's a bit of a creativity boost.

She picked the name.

Up next is a birthday present (not for me!):

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

here and there

I don't really have a lot of words but do have a few pictures to share from the past week or two. I've been trying to be more intentional about allowing times to rest and grow healthier this year, especially given some extra stresses about in my life. The weather has been cold and then warm, gradually creeping toward spring. So I have been in the mood for plants. Our garden is not ready and I do not have those cold frames, so I started a few seeds inside. And bought a few other plants while there.

I ventured up north on a road trip with my mom to an Inspired for Life conference to hear Sarah Bessey and Rachel Held Evans speak.
And found an Ikea there to get some flower pots for my new plants (not in the basket yet).

I've been working off and on with lots of half square triangles to piece together this quilt top. All of the blocks are done! My daughter (my biggest fan) is eyeing this one.
I'm thinking it will be finished next week. I've got another one in mind for a birthday present--great motivation to get this one finished and still give me time to figure out what I want to make next.

And we have been outside some. It was warm enough that they both took off running, with one herding all of the geese into the pond and the other trying some hills. I soaked in the sun and of course then got to do my running in the gym this morning because it was freezing cold again.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Backyard Garden - another January finish

I seem to be on a roll this year and finished another quilt. This one was based on a design I created during the 30 Day Quilt Design challenge. It is much like a rail fence of course, but taller narrower strips, like the privacy fences a lot of people have around here. I love pulling together a collection of fabric and then looking through the notebook and finding a design. A lot of the fabrics from this came from the Watermelon and Mint fat quarter bundle I bought during the 12 days of Christmas sales at Pink Castle Fabrics. I added a few more I had on hand.

When I looked at this picture I realized I was building a collection that coordinated with the little collage I've had on my window sill.

I loved this design because it used up almost all of the fabric cuts with very little waste or scraps.

The backing is a green and white geometric print from Joann, paired with some of the leftover strips and four more fat quarters. I was having wind issues so I did not get a good picture of the back besides this one.

This one is for sale in my etsy shop here, and if it sells in time, it will help me take my son on a trip this summer. Soon I will add a couple of better pics to help sell it!

Monday, January 23, 2017

a photo shoot

I've known for a bit that I have not really devoted any sort of time to my etsy shop for my quilts, aside from adding some occasionally. I do want to sell these quilts however, especially some of the older ones sticking around from when I first opened the shop. After talking to a friend about it, I knew the first thing that needed to happen is to update some of the pictures of the quilts. And with an ongoing sale, it was time for me to register for updates (and the original content) of SnapShop, an online photography course I had taken a year or two ago.

Saturday afternoon was overcast (which I learned from the online course was a great time for photos) but not too cold, so a recruited a helper and headed out in the neighborhood to find some places to take photos. I didn't have to go far, spying some fun areas at the neighboring houses. Leaves and railings and rock walls and metal gates, perfect places to try.

I didn't notice that cup when I took the photo!

We had one last quilt but at this point, we were starting to lose our clouds. That was lovely but made photos a bit trickier. And my "quilt stylist" helper was getting a bit pickier about arranging things--or wandering off a follow a goose or squirrel.

We ended the day with a few photos great for updates though, and I will keep an eye out for more overcast days and interesting places for the next few on the list. It was great getting to spend that one-on-one time with my daughter, being creative and enjoying our warmer weekend weather. I need all the sunshiny days I can get!

Friday, January 20, 2017

January Finish 2: E's nap quilt

Last year a friend came by and in our conversation, she mentioned a quilt she loved--and that she would buy one like it if I would make her one. Sometimes I am a little slow, but slowly this sank into my brain and I figured out I should make her a quilt.

Her inspiration quilt was Denyse Schmidt's Hop, Skip, Jump pattern from her book Denyse Schmidt Quilts. Her pattern used a template to cut out everything and then put them into blocks. A couple of years ago I made this quilt for a student I mentored, and while it is a similar look (depending how you make your cuts), it was a much simpler, improve method of construction. So I did that instead,

I did work to make my cuts more like those on Denyse Schmidt's quilt, less angular than my previous quilt.

As I worked on the front and was getting closer to finishing it, I started thinking hard about the backing. I really wanted to use what I had already, if I could make it work. I had a lot of white fabrics with red print, most of which were leftovers from other quilt backings. After I finished the top and knew what size I needed, I played around with them and (after adding a strip of red) came up with this:

I did regret the strip of red fabric, which I also used for the binding after I washed it and had red splotches to deal with. Thankfully after washing it a few more times, all was well.

And now I'm off to go finish another one while the sun is shining in my sewing room!

Friday, January 13, 2017

when it was warmer

I'm working on a red and white quilt for a friend but don't have a finish for today, at least not yet, so it's time to post the pictures of a little trip we took out of town before school started this semester. When it was much warmer and friendlier outside.

We visited the Chickasaw National Recreation Park, which is about a mile south of us in Sulphur. It's also a frequent choice for our camping trips since it is fairly close. It makes it easy to get there without spending all day in the car--and easy to come home if there are no camping spots available. This trip was more about hiking though, and just being outside. My daughter was able to bring a friend which I know she loved after being away from friends for most of break.

Last time my son was here was for a cross country practice, and was a practice where his group got a bit lost and ended up running 6 miles. While we drove around after the hike, he showed me where all they went--which was pretty much everywhere in the park. And because we were driving around to see where all we went (and to remind the kids of our last camping spot there), we also saw a couple of deer!

Also nearby is the Chickasaw Cultural Center, but we really didn't have time and the outdoor part wasn't open, so we stopped at the Bedre chocolate factory instead and then headed back home. Because all hikes should end with a bit of chocolate.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

first quilt of 2017

As expected, the warm weather last week slowed down my quilt finish. We spent time outside and even made a trip out of town for a bit of hiking and just being out of town time (pictures to come soon). Off and on though I did work on the t-shirt quilt and finally finished it up Monday, after a trip to visit these guys:

One of our family presents this year was a family season pass, so we will be visiting them lots!

I came home, added the binding, then tossed the quilt into the wash. Then got to touch up the binding. Not doing so well on those lately so I guess that can be something to work on for the new year.

Now it is cold again so I wanted to find an indoor spot for the photos. The t-shirts are all softball themed so I decided to bring it along with me to the gym this morning to stay with the athletic theme.

LOTS of softball shirts. I had one more row along the bottom but discovered that made a quilt longer than packaged quilt batting so I pulled that row off and used it for the back, along with a neutral gray I hoped would go well with such a variety of shirts.

Glad to have a new finish for the year and excited about some more quilts on the list (and in piles ready to go in my sewing room).