Friday, October 31, 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2014

Ahem. It's been awhile, huh? Since I last posted I have: gotten a promotion, gone to a Garth Brooks concert, and last but not least, gotten married. So obviously I've been really busy, and sadly my sewing has suffered. I do plan to do a round-up post of all the sewing and DIY that I did for the wedding!

Luckily, I have some backlogged projects to show for the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

I made this quilt earlier this year for my boss. She was set to give birth in late February and we were going to have a nice baby shower where I could gift it. And then in January she ended up leaving suddenly and being placed on bed rest and my best laid quilt plans were in shambles. So this didn't get finished until June...shame on me!

Her baby's nursery was decorated in pink and gray, so I collected fabrics in that color scheme for a while. I don't do pink, so I went hot pink where I could. I used the Firework block from Simplify and reworked it to a size that I no longer remember. And then I just added borders as I felt like it.

Originally the triangle border was random between the pinks and low volume, but I hated it, so I ripped it out and alternated between the pinks and gray/white. I also tried a checkerboard border and hated that too. So I went simple and tried to let the fabrics shine. I really enjoyed manipulating that gray Riley Blake bias stripe fabric throughout the quilt.

And then the quilting. Oh, the quilting. I really wanted to stretch myself in my FMQing on this little baby quilt. The back is hot pink flannel, so I knew the stitches would really sink in, and it's small enough to really wrangle through my machine. There's some stippling, orange peels, figure 8's, straight lines, scribbly lines, and clamshells.

I bound it in one of my favorite prints from Jeanean Morrison's Silent Cinema line, wrapped it all up, and gifted it to my boss, who loved it.

I figured I would enter this in the Home Machine Quilted category, because even though I know there are some amazing entries of people who are far more skilled than me, I'm proud to have pushed myself on this!

Approximately 44" square
Fabrics used: Kona White, Metro Circles, Pearl Bracelets, Echino, Swiss Dots, Silent Cinema, Joel Dewberry Herringbone, Aneela Hoey, Happy Zombie, Riley Blake bias stripe, Botanics, Alexander Henry crosshairs, etc
Quilting: various FMQ designs by me on my Viking Sapphire

So thanks for following me on my quilty journey and enjoy the rest of the Festival!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cover quilt of Quilty

What a happy Tuesday!

I took a 5 minute mental break at work and scrolled through Facebook on my phone. Only to see that Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting Facebook page has a poll open for the cover quilt of their September/October issue...

...and the one on the right is mineee!!

I actually went over to my supervisor and said "hey, pretend you care about sewing and quilting for 2.5 seconds so I can tell you some exciting news." She did an admirable job haha.

So if you'd care to vote [you know, you can vote for whichever one you want to, but I'll give you an extra twinkly smile if you vote for mine ;) ] then visit the survey here.

Also, it's hard to read the comments on the Facebook post and not take it personally - I guess I'd never make it in a quilt show.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Finished Tshirt Quilt

Hi all!

We're in the middle of a very typical Florida afternoon thunderstorm right now, which always makes me think of a nap, which then makes me think of snuggly quilts!

Quite a few months ago at this point, an old friend from elementary school reached out to me. We follow each other on IG and she posts just the best pictures of the adventures of her and her little boy. She wanted me to make a tshirt quilt for him. Being the sentimental person that I am, I suggested she meet me at our old elementary school and she gave me a bag full of tshirts and onesies.

I also discovered some newborn blankets in there.

So I cut up these tshirts and onesies and blankets and interfaced them with lightweight interfacing. Some of the onesies were not quite up to the 9x9" square size that I was using, so I pieced some of them together [which I was kicking myself for by the end]. The layout ended up being 6 by 7, which was quite a bit bigger than orinally planned, because when I started laying out the squares I realized I could make it look a bit more cohesive by light value shirts with dark. I ended up using the blanket pieces in more than one place.

I actually had fun making the top, because I used the tag #maddoxstshirtquilt on IG and so the mom could be an active participant in the decision making, and see the progress and get excited. Yay social media!

The reason this thing deserves a post is because of the quilting. No, don't squint your eyes at the screen, there's not some spectacular quilting there. It's just FMQ stippling. But OH. MY. GOSH. I think I almost gave up quilting with this thing. I used stretch needles [even though the back was Kona cotton], because I thought it would make the front look better. And I used my typical white Gutermann thread on top and invisible thread in the bobbin. I've used invisible thread before and been fine. I've used a stretch needle before and been fine. But clearly this quilt was my test.

I BROKE 23 NEEDLES FOLKS. TWENTY THREE. Phew, it feels better to get that out.

At one point I almost cried in sheer frustration. So I stocked up on needles, and I turned to Amazon to buy YLI invisible thread. Through an overwhelming sense of stubborn-ness, I prevailed, and finally finished. And it doesn't look like I broke a zillion needles. It doesn't look like I had a mid-quilting crisis. It stippling. After the first square I did switch to invisible thread in the top and bobbin, which also made it difficult to see where I had already stippled.

But I think the finished result looks awesome, I've gotten to see her precious little boy snuggling the quilt on IG, and I've actually gotten quite a few requests from her other IG mom friends who are also interested.

I think before I tackle another one, I will definitely figure out how to only use 1 needle for the quilt ;)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two scrap packs to destash!

Hi all! Just popping in right quick on this Sunday afternoon - I've got a couple hours of trial prep ahead of me today...I'm the only witness in a trial tomorrow, so I've got to make sure I'm a well-oiled machine!

I spent a couple hours yesterday organizing fabric and then started listing bundles on Instagram [I'm sewfestive over there!]. I've got 2 left, so I wanted to let you know over here on the blog.

I've got a solids pack that is mostly Kona solids, with some Cotton Couture, and a couple pieces of Essex linen blend. $8, including shipping [within US]. Also, hey, it appears I never use orange...

And a pack of 93 strips, varying in width from probably about an inch to 4 inches and anywhere from about 5 inches to WOF in length. $12, including shipping.

These fabrics are all unwashed and come from a smoke-free home. If you're interested, please say which one you'd want and I will respond to your comment to get your Paypal email to send an invoice.

I've got larger cuts of fabric that will be posted on IG throughout the week that I just don't think I'm going to use and need a new forever home ;) - so make sure to add sewfestive if you want to snatch up some fabric at low prices!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2014

I have really loved the Blogger's Quilt Festival in recent years, because as Instagram has become more popular, I like to follow the #quiltmarket posts and drool over all the upcoming fabrics...the Quilt Festival helps me get through not being at Market in person to pet the pretties. Plus I really like getting the opportunity to find more blogs to follow :)

Here's my entry to the Festival...Emerald Ikat - entered into the Original Design Quilts category.

I drew this up a few years ago and then sat on it for a while. I just submitted it to Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting last fall on a whim, and when they accepted it I realized I had to figure it all out. I pieced mine using templates, but I also created a paper piecing version for the magazine.

I personally don't really like to paper piece, but I can't deny the accuracy. I got some pretty perfect points without it though!

The thing that I like the least about making projects for magazines is the tight turnaround between the acceptance of your submission and when the project is due. I have a day job that I work about 55 hours a week on average for, and I don't usually make my projects ahead of time because I don't have the funds/time to just make all the quilts that come into my head. Nor do I have oodles of people to give quilts to. So I want to know that a project needs to be made before I get started. That usually means I end up with a marathon of late-night quilting.

My cats usually think they're being helpful during these late night sessions. For this particular quilt I even sent an apology to the editor saying it would probably need to be lint-rolled when it arrived on their end, because there's just not an inch of cat-free space in my tiny apartment. Luckily, her response was that they love cats and totally understand that cats love fabric too! :)

I took pictures just outside the post office before mailing when I realized I wouldn't see the quilt again for about 6 months. It's a really big post office and I got quite a few stares and several questions. I usually take it as an opportunity to educate people about quilting and show them that young people can quilt too!

The backing is a fabulous curtain from IKEA - it's a polyester blend, but I took a chance and it worked out just fine. It was a pain in the butt to baste though, so fair warning. The binding is a black crosshatch from an unknown line [I have several in my stash from different collections, and I totally should have labeled them!].

Enjoy the rest of the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and thanks for visiting!

Emerald Ikat
Size: approximately 48"x 64"
Fabric: mixture of low volume black and white prints, various Kona green solids, various green small-scale prints, black Oval Elements, black Domino Dots, a black and white polka dot, and the charcoal star flower print from the Washi collection.
Quilting: squiggly lines following the diamonds within the white sections

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! - Giveaway closed and winners announced!

Congrats to Sharon E. [#39] and Mom C. [#136] as the winners of my giveaway! Thanks to all who entered :)

Hi all! Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz.

For those of you visiting for the first time, I'm Rebecca. I've been quilting/sewing and blogging for almost 3 years now [meep!] and over the past year I've also worked in child welfare, which has caused my free sewing time to take a huge nosedive. Like many of us, I'm still perfecting the balance between life and my hobby, but if you want to see projects from some of my busier sewing days, just click on the Finished Projects tab at the top! I haven't updated it recently because I'm a bad blogger lol.

This is my recent favorite project - it's a quilt that is in the May/June edition of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting, and it will get it's own post one of these days :)

On to the giveaway!

There are two winners here:

A set of 36 squares cut from my low-volume fabrics that measure 4.5"

and 4 fat quarters of Laurie Wisbrun Don't Be Crabby fabrics

Here's the rules:
-This giveaway is open internationally
-Please leave a comment stating what your next sewing project is and which fabrics you'd prefer. If you are a no reply blogger make sure you also leave your email address.
-You get a second entry for being a follower, so leave a comment saying if you are!
-This giveaway is void where prohibited and will end on May 16th at 5 pm. I will notify the winner on this post and by email on May 18th.

Now go spend some time entering all the other giveaways at Sew Mama Sew! :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where I pretend to be a party planner

::crickets chirp::

::tumbleweed blows by::

Oh hi. I'm Rebecca. I used to blog in this space here. Sigh.

I can't believe it's May already - is anyone else experiencing that?! I'm not even sure what I've done with 2014 so far. My life right now is kind of like a really stuffed burrito from Moe's...once you take a bite you can't put it down until it's done, otherwise it will all fall apart! I'm juggling so much stuff that I don't have time to stop and breathe, lest something fall by the wayside.

But you know, I've been sewing a lot, and I have a backlog of like 6 projects that need to be blogged. And some of them are big. Luckily, I have the entire week off for the most relaxing sit-in-my-jammies-on-the-couch vacation. My first vacation time in a year. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

I thought I'd kick off my project backlog with something that is not necessarily sewing related, but I'm tickled about my effort, so...I'm a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding next week and recently the maid of honor and I hosted a huge bridal shower tea party for her. We invited 50 people, so we had to get crafty on pretty much everything, since both of us are clearly not rolling in money.

[Please excuse that most of these are cell phone photos, I ran out of time to take proper photos before the event]

Entry way - all the signs were chalkboard paper and all the centerpieces are tea pots or tea tins we owned or borrowed that were filled with flower arrangements the night before the event. All the brown kraft paper table runners were polka dot stamped by yours truly with a champagne metallic paint.

The tables were set with individual tea place settings of real china with a tea pot cut out of paper and threaded with honey straws [the favors!] and the individual's name. The lips and mustaches were cut out of paper as well and used for a game - they ended up being used as photo props too! I think it looked super nice when all the tea lights were lit and provided that soft romantic glow to the space. We had 6 tables, so lots of candlelight!

The color palette for the tea party was mint, ivory, and light peach, with gold accents. We ended up using pops of those green flowers in the centerpieces for a little bit of edge. We also spray painted the baby's breath gold.

The guests got to enjoy a hot tea bar of several varieties of black, green, and herbal teas. I enjoyed a lovely green coconut variety. There was also cucumber water, lemonade, and blushberry iced tea.

This print came from Etsy and was dressed up with some gold glitter cardstock. I had really wanted an ornate frame and was having the hardest time finding one, so I used a cheap black frame that I had and covered in in gold striped washi tape.

This next sign is a platter from IKEA that I painted with chalkboard paint to sit on the gift table. I'm pretty excited to put it in my sewing room with some inspirational quote.

The cohost and I made all the food the day before and day of. The bride is a vegetarian, which actually is perfectly suited for a tea party. Our menu consisted of mini spinach quiche and portabello mushroom and gouda hand-pies made by me for the hot food, cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches and caprese sandwiches that we made that morning, and then my cohost made blueberry, plain, and lemon ginger scones and lemon lavendar bars. We had a selection of nuts, dried fruit that we dipped in dark chocolate, and fruit-filled cakes made by the bride's grandmother.

My greatest achievement for the bridal tea party was this monstrous tulle wall! We held the event in a church [because of the number of people] and I really wanted to make our tea party space separate from the rest of the church to maintain the right atmosphere. So I got hundreds of yards of ivory and mint tulle online and cut strips to tie to fishing line. The wall ended up being 24 feet wide and 6 feet tall [it was strung between the food tables and the gift table]. I added the banner cut from more gold glitter cardstock and it ended up being a great room divider AND photo backdrop [that's my cohost on the left and the bride on the right]!

All in all, a great day! I'm glad it's over with since it required a lot of planning and work, but it was pretty fun to pretend to be a party planner for a few weeks. Next up I have some quilts, clothing, and a tote bag, so stay tuned!