Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ashley's Wedding Quilt-- Done!

While I was on vacation with my family down the shore, I was able to finish the quilting and attach the binding to Ashley's wedding quilt. After a few evenings of hand sewing the binding once I got home, it is all finished and ready to be shipped to Maine! I am so pleased with how it turned out, and I hope Ashley and her new husband Chris like it as much as I do!

...and my cute little bug who was "helping" with the photo shoot...

Amazing photography by my friend Ali Brant

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Quilty Vacation

My family spent a week in Sea Isle. The weather was gorgeous and my girls enjoyed the beach with their Nonna and Pop, aunts, uncles and cousin. For the first time, I brought my sewing machine with me. I debated whether or not to bring it and whether it would be worth the effort to haul it (and all of the accessories, notions, and projects) all the way to the beach. 

I'm so glad I did! I guess because it was so much effort to pack everything up and bring it, I wasn't going to let it be for nothing. I managed to squeeze in lots of sewing time, and I loved my vacation, partly because of that! It's a little hard to see in the photo, but I had a beautiful ocean view from the spot where I set up my machine. 

I brought three projects with me--Ashley's wedding quilt, Judy's Christmas place mats and the beginnings of my nephew John's big brother camo quilt. 

While I was at the beach, I completely quilted Ashley's wedding quilt. I pushed out of my stipple and loop comfort zone and tried three new-to-me free motion designs. I did swirls in the whole center section, wishbones in the small green border, and a sort of rainbow motif in the large outer border. I love how they all turned out! I also made and attached the binding to the front. I just have to hand sew it down and this one will be done!

I also brought Judy's Christmas placemats to work on. I finished up the tops and name appliqué at home, so while I was at the shore, I basted and quilted them, and attached the binding. I also have to hand sew the binding on these and they will be done too. 

Finally, I started working on my nephew John's big brother camo quilt. Since he was born just after I learned how to quilt, I've never made him a quilt of his own. Since his baby brother (who is due to arrive any minute) already has a quilt, I figured it is high time for me to make John one too! 

I picked the Geometric Slide design from the Vintage Quilt Revival book, and I'm making it in camouflage colors. 
Here is a link to the post about this pattern on the author's blog.

Here are my Kona solids for it...that light tan will be the background. At the shore I (almost) finished chain piecing the 160 half-square triangles. There will be lots of trimming in my future, but I got a new ruler (the Triangle Square Up ruler) that I am excited to try. Hopefully it will save lots of time in trimming those HSTs. 

Overall it was a great week at the beach and I got to spend lots of time doing what I love to do, along with spending plenty of time with my family! I will definitely be brining my machine again next year!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lucky Star #5

I finished my 5th Lucky Star tonight...and I really like it. 

When I first got the fat quarter bundle of purples, it was a little overwhelming to have so many shades of the same color (22!). To help myself organize them, I separated the fat quarters into warmer and cooler purples. For the first four stars, I made two with the warmer purples, and two with the cooler purples. In this star, I mixed the warms and the cools for the first time, and I think it worked very well.

Overall, I really like this star. The light purple strips didn't end up lining up exactly right, because some of them ended up just a smidge wider than the others. So they look a bit off in the final product, but not enough for me to rip out the stitches or redo the block!

At this point, I have used all but one of the 22 purples that came in my Kona solids bundle. The last one is so dark and has so many cool or bluish undertones that it looks navy to me.  I'm not sure if I will end up using it at all. 

The only issue I am having so far is that three of my blocks have finished at 12.5", but two are only 12". I made sure that the one-inch square scale on the templates was correct, so I'm not really sure what's going on with that. In any case, I'm planning on sashing them or setting them in the final quilt in some way that they are a bit separated from each other, so I'm sure I'll be able to make it work in the end. 

I'm wondering why it took me so long to finally start making these stars. Well, besides work-kids-husband-house-other projects...but really! These are so much fun to make, and each one feels like a mini-finish all by itself. Finishing a star block is so much more rewarding than finishing any old block!

Next up will be the June, 2013 star.