Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Thanks so much for joining me from Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2011.

Here are the latest two quilts I've completed.  I Spy quilts for my sons.

I have two sons.  Wyatt is 4 and Owen is 3.  I have never been a fan of I Spy quilts, but when my sister-in-law showed us the one she made for her son, my kids went nuts over it, searching for each object with a surprising amount of enthusiasm.  I decided then and there that I needed to make my boys their own I Spy quilts, but I also needed to find a design that was more my style.

So I signed up for a couple online swaps for charm squares.  Both swaps were for 4 inch charms.  The first swap got me 200 I Spy squares, but most of the prints were really busy looking.  I put them on a shelf, waiting for inspiration to strike...  Then a color wheel swap started up and I jumped at the chance to add 200 more squares to my stash.  These squares were really nice because most of them were calmer prints or solids.  I sorted all 400 charm squares into piles by color & started making 16 patches.  It didn't take long to come up with the rest of my plan.  A rainbow aesthetic was sure to draw my kids' eyes.  I supplemented some from my stash and a couple friends helped me out with oranges and purples, which I seemed to be short on.

Assembling the blocks went really quickly.  I sandwiched the quilts right before I went on a weekend retreat & got 1 1/2 quilted while I was gone.  I used two different quilting techniques.  The first one was quilted with my walking foot in straight lines.  However, I felt like the quilt was really creeping with me, despite pinning in every other square.  This caused me to try something different in the second quilt.  I used my free motion foot and quilted really densely in a sort of flame/paisley pattern and I changed thread color in each section.  I love the look and feel of that type of quilting and I'll certainly do it again soon.  Using quilting gloves helped me keep a little more control over my progress.   I didn't pre-mark and of my quilting lines.  I just had some wine and got busy.

These will be Christmas gifts for my two boys.  I envision the quilts being used in our living room while watching TV, in the kitchen to make tents or in the back yard for impromptu picnics.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you'll subscribe & want to learn more about me.  You can find more of my work and my taste here on my blog, on my Flickr photostream, on my twitter profile, in my Etsy shop or on my Pinterest boards.


Reason Enough to Learn to Paper Piece

I love, love, love, love anything to do with the Hobbit / Lord of the Rings series.

There is a QUILT ALONG HERE with a Hobbit theme.  Seriously, people.  The first block is Gandalf *swoon*!

Must crank out a few committed items so that I can start my new project.  I'm thinking batiks, people.  Batiks.  Might need to make 3 of these...  Would be good practice & I could give one to each of my kids while keeping one for me and the hubs, who also is a geek like me.


A New Baby in my Neighborhood

My across the street neighbors are expecting a baby girl in about a month.  Here are 3 tops that I have finished.  I'm letting the mom & dad pick their favorite.  Which one is your favorite?

Once they make their choice, I'll need to get my act together & get it quilted soon.  I'd hate for the baby to arrive early & not have her quilt!

Free Spirit Habitat Challenge Via KCMQG

Free Spirit generously donated fat 8th packets of their Habitat fabric to my Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild members.  Our challenge was to make something using only Habitat fabric and solids.

Here's what I came up with:

And here's a closeup... The blue fabric is a shot cotton and the green binding is a Moda Bella Solid.

And my messy signature:

I'll be donating it to my church. We are moving to a much bigger facility, so we'll be needing lots of colorful things on our walls.

So happy to be able to mark this one off my list!

A start for steph

I haven't stitched yet, but here's what I've got so far for Steph. Depending on how well I am able to do on the stitches tomorrow on my
Mother-in-law's pfaff & if I'm able to make it to the store to get some more heat & bond, I may make the optional block, too. We shall see.

Now I need to get very serious on finishing my habitat project.

I'm getting excited about next month's block. Nancy is using some pretty kona earth tones. Not my normal color scheme, so it will make things even more interesting for me. :)

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quilts in the Park

Quilts in the Park 088, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.
A couple weeks ago, we had a beautiful fall day. Perfect weather. And we had an outdoor quilt show.

I signed up to be a vendor and I worked like a mad woman chopping up my vintage sheets into fat quarters. I temporarily shut down my Etsy shop and I put price tags on everything.

We had a nice stream of people coming through, a bake sale, face painting, sewing activities for kids a couple hundred quilts and several other vendors.

I didn't make much money, but it was fun to see the looks on the (many) traditional quilters who saw that I'd made some really great quilts out of vintage bed sheets. They were all astonished that someone would think vintage sheets were pretty. Most of them told me about stacks of vintage sheets they have in their linen closets. :)

If you'd like to see more pictures of the show, check out my Flickr Photostream.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Time to Slow Down

I've been too busy.  Overcommitted.  Seriously.

But I'm trying to politely say no more often & prioritize.  It's a hard process & frankly, I'm not sure I'm doing a very good job, but I intend to try harder.

Two big commitments I made this fall were to teach 4-6 weeks at my church in the K-1 religious education class and to be a vendor at my quilt guild's outdoor fall quilt show.  Both of these things took a LOT more preparation, time and mental energy than you'd imagine.  I've also gone to Arkansas to visit family TWICE in the past month.  It's always good to see everyone & visit my favorite places, but it's really, really nice to be home now.

I've still got some other pressing things that are hanging over my head, but after almost a month (or so it seems) without touching my sewing machine, I decided yesterday that it was time to be a little selfish & have some fabric therapy time.

It took 3 different attempts, but I managed to finish 2 1/2 blocks for my friend, Heather in the Lovely Linen Bee.  I used scraps from my vintage sheet collection (which seems to be multiplying exponentially, not decreasing) along with her white linen to create these beautiful blocks.

This is the last month for the Lovely Linen Bee.  I'm really glad I participated.  I hadn't sewn with linen before & I think it adds a great texture when mixed with cotton.  I always pre-wash it, though, as it shrinks at a different rate than cotton.

Here's hoping that I'll be able to take more time for myself & create...

Guest Blogging

Hey, friends. I'm guest blogging about my adoration for Kate Spain's fabric over at my Twitter friend, Sharon's blog. Hop on over to read more about this quilt top and more...

Quilt Blocks in the Barn

I found such a treasure when I was visiting my grandmother in Little Rock last weekend.  In a barn, I found lots of scraps, old tv guides (to use as foundations for foundation piecing strips) and some completed blocks!  Old ones!

Here's a picture of my grandmother checking out the basket full of scraps, remarking every time she noticed a scrap from one of her mother's old dresses...

And here are the blocks that are completed...

They belonged to my great grandmother, Grandma Nell.  

I plan to use her scraps to make this a little bigger.  I'll likely do it by hand, just like she did.  I don't think I'll have it finished soon, but I will have fun finishing her WIP.

I wonder who will finish all of MY WIPs...?

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Satin Gift from Ms. Mary

A satin gift from Ms. Mary, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

Look what I got on my last trip to Little Rock...

My friend Ms. Mary is a product of the Great Depression. Truth be told, she is a bit of a hoarder & cannot stand waste, so she got these scraps from a friend of hers who does alterations on prom dresses. These scraps would've been trash, but she saved them & used them to create these beautiful blocks and 20 more that she's keeping for herself.

I'll sash these with more satin to make myself a cool summer throw. I'm so tickled with these!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Where have I been, you ask?

Camping in a tent

We went to Devil's Den State Park in NW Arkansas. I went to college near there. It's a out a 4 hour drive from here. Was our first campout & the boys did really well. We will do more camping this spring, I think. :)

Here are pictures from last night:

Worn out!

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