Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pinterest inspired wedding quilt

So not all quilts take me two years to finish.
If the quilt top is only two lengths of fabric sewn together and the quilting is widely spaced and sewn by machine, turns out I can whip out a quilt in a little less than a month. 
Which is good since the inspiration for this wedding gift hit sort of last minute.
This quilt was floating around on Pinterest and I knew I wanted to re-invent it for a special wedding gift.
The names of the bride and groom are embroidered, along with their wedding date, on the big heart.
The little hearts are the initials of their precious daughters.

I wanted the script to look sort of rough, like it would if it were actually carved on a tree, so I just used my own handwriting as the basis for the embroidery.  I used a simple back stitch then to fill it in.

The hearts are appliqued onto the quilt top.

The quilting was pretty much free handed since the lines I drew in my disappearing ink pen disappeared before I finished sewing.
I used store bought binding on this but so it didn't look quite so store bought, I made the front side thin and the back side thick.  Once it was washed, that fold line faded a bit and I assume with time it will work it's way out.  

Check out that rockin' mitered corner.
I wish I could say all of my miters look that sharp.

The binding I attached to the front by machine and then hand sewed down in back.  I think that's my preferred binding method.
You know, in all my vast quilt binding experience.
I had no idea at the time I chose this vintage sheet from my stash for the quilt back, but the bride's colors for the wedding and reception were exactly this citrusy pallet.
I love it when a plan comes together and I look like I know what I'm doing.

This was a fun project and such a neat way to honor this little family.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vintage Goodies

A few weeks ago a surprise package landed on my doorstep.
It was full of the above amazing goodies.
All from my former 4-H instructor slash little sister's baby sitter.  She said she doesn't sew like she used to and thought maybe I could find a use for these things.
Um. . . yes!!

Needless to say, it made my day.
So thoughtful.
Right now I am still in the phase where I just want to touch and look at the pretty things, but no doubt they will pop up in some projects soon.
(That lace collar is killing me! It demands the perfect little project.)
And then, there would be the spoils from my annual President's Day "Momma's Gone Wild" thrifting spree.
President's Day is the one day a year that I don't work but my husband does and the Bug's daycare is open.
It's my favorite holiday ever.

Above you can see some of my loot.

1.   Vintage rose table cloth. . . too small for any table I own but too pretty to pass up.  I thought it might make for some pretty picnics this summer.

2.   "Home Sweet Home" cross stitch. . . this was on my "to find" list for the day and I found it in the first store! It needs cleaned up a bit and probably re-framed (although I kind of love that someone attempted to nail the cheap frame back together) but I love it.

3.   Some retro plaid yardage found at my favorite little thrift store (because they have a whole section devoted to fabric--though it was slim pickin's this time, I still found plenty).  I love the orange, navy and grey color scheme.  It will make a nice handbag lining or a school girl skirt for the Bug.

4.  Some home made bias tape, found at the same store as the plaid fabric. I have no real plans for it, but I've made bias tape. I know the time it takes and the burnt fingers that come inevitably when you press that much of it. It simply needed me to rescue it.

5.  A terrible copper plaque. And yes I did pay over $3 for it! Crazy? Perhaps. But that butterfly is resting on lilies of the valley and I adore lilies of the valley.  I have special plans for this in the Bug's room once I've given it a good cleaning and few coats of pink spray paint.
5.  Patches. . . Apples and mushrooms. Flashback to childhood. How adorable are they? This is only a couple of them. I bought six of each. I know, that's a lot but there were about 20 of each at the thrift store, so see, I was practicing restraint!

6. Rick rack. . . oh how I love you. . . especially in jumbo size. And oh how the Bug will love that sparkly gold!

7.  Old children's book, "The Happy Lion Roars". . . we need another book in our house like we need a hole in the head. But just look at that happy lion and the way Mrs. Happy Lion is looking at him adoringly and tell me you could have left this book lay?? 
I didn't think so.
8.  Chippy, rusty, green file box. . . . I simply cannot explain my attraction to this but I literally squealed out loud when I found it.  How delighted was I do find that the latch really worked and that there are monthly file dividers inside?  I'm thinking a Pinterest inspired project is in order.  Although rather than a perpetual memory calendar, I'm thinking a perpetual calendar of gratitude.  Wouldn't that be awesome?
Yes. It would.

9.  Little house fabric. . . I can't possibly play favorites, but if you threatened to take away my coffee for all eternity, I might feel cornered enough to tell you this was my favorite find of the day.  I love how graphic it is. And the colors are very "me".
Thoughts on what I should do with it?  There is some decent yardage there.

I think it is a good thing I only have one day a year like this, right?  There is a little piece of me that would love to be that lady that stops in to her favorite thrift stores weekly. . . that knows the cashiers by name, and the sale schedules. . . the lady the hold the "good stuff" back for. . .
I wonder if it would get old for me?
The carts with the squeaky wheels, that indescribable but distinctive musty smell, the weird film that covers everything?

Yes, I think for me absence makes the heart grow fonder.
And having this once a year chance makes the thrill of the hunt that much more exciting.
And so Goodwill and your thrifty friends, I bid you adieu for another year.  Thanks for the good time!  What say we do it again next February?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dewberry Quilt Finished!

Two years later and it's finally done!
Those people who finish a quilt in a weekend amaze me.
I want to be like that. But somehow life gets in the way and here I am dozens of weekends later, finally with a finished product.
The pattern for this quilt came out of the book, "Patchwork Comforters, Throws & Quilts".  It's the quilt on the cover and it caught my eye when it came in at the library. I picked it up right away, eager to flip through and get lots of great ideas. Unfortunately, this was the only quilt design in the whole book that I liked.  Thank goodness it was a library book and not one I purchased.  
The pattern in called Salad and it's a beginner level pattern.  It really is simple, even though it kind of looks complicated.
  The instructions in the book are impeccable.  Very organized and easy to follow.
It took 16 fat quarters and a little over a yard of that green border print to do the front.

The fabric is Joel Dewberry, Deer Valley.  It's an older, discontinued line but still available a few places here and there if you Google it.  This is the Tarragon color way.
This is what takes me so long.  
I adore hand quilting.
This time I used embroidery floss to stitch around each of the center blocks.  
I attempted French knots around the border. (some more successful than others)
I enjoy doing the hand quilting and I love the look of it.
I wish I was better at it.  More consistent stitching. . . faster. . .
But I don't know, I sort of like a quilt to look a little "home made" and imperfect.
In that way, the gift strongly resembles the giver.

And this quilt in particular was a gift for a special sister so the time spent quilting was also a time spent in quiet prayer and reflection.  It's so rare I slow down enough to pray like that.  I think that's part of why I enjoy sewing so much.
The quilt pattern says it measures 71" x 71".  I never did take a final measurement.
The back was pieced out of some of the remaining fat quarters and a bit of yardage.

It arrived at it's new home yesterday.  
A surprise.
One of the best kinds of surprises I think.  One accompanied by a great deal of love.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winner Winner!

First, apologies for the extended absence from blogging. It was unintentional but it seems a sewing slump collided with a period of extreme busyness and lack of creative inspiration ensued.
I blame post-Christmas shock.

At any rate, a few weeks ago I was having kind of a rotten day.  I don't even remember what exactly had gotten me down I just remember that I was feeling blah.  I checked my e-mail on my phone before heading in to work for the day and low and behold the subject line "You are a winner!".
I thought at first it might be fishy but my e-mail is pretty well locked down and I don't typically get spam in my inbox.  Then again, I don't typically WIN anything.
But, after a quick look at the sender's e-mail address I saw it was the author of a blog I follow and I decided I could trust it.

I opened the e-mail and sure enough it was Heidi from Honey Bear Lane informing me that I'd won a giveaway, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop, on her blog.
My day suddenly looked up.
Funny how free fabric can do that.
Better yet, the jelly roll was actually a line of fabrics that I really, really like!  It's called Urban Cowgirl and is designed by the Urban Chiks for Moda.  The Urban Chiks are responsible for some of my favorite fabric collections of all time, including the fabric on the patchwork pillow pictured up there, Swell (Currently Out of Print, sigh. . .).  I used one jelly roll of Swell to make one of my favorite projects EVER, the Blue Bird Quilt and I have two more rolls and some yardage stashed for a quilt for the Bug's bed, "someday".

If you've been following for any length of time you've seen me sew with the fabric lines 1974 and Happy Daisy too. 
Here and here and here and here
Geesh, yeah I think I like those Chiks.

I'd love to get my hands on some of the vintagey goodness of Sweet and Dream On and how adorable would Hullabaloo be for a nursery?  But really, a girl has to draw the line somewhere and I'm trying not to spend money on fabric this year.  That's why this win was so much fun!  I got my new fabric "fix" without spending a dime!

Thank you Fat Quarter Shop and thank you Honey Bear Lane for absolutely making my day!
Now. . . what to do with this lovely stuff?  Thoughts?