Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finish It Up!

Do y'all know Meg? She's crazy talented. The last photo on her banner? Look familiar? Crazy talented. Plus, she's BRILLIANT because she started the "Finish It Up" group on Flickr.

I had wrapped up nearly all of my half-finished projects back in December, but I had one quilt that still languished. It was the first quilt that I free-motioned quilted and it was a bit of a disaster; I really should have practiced more first. I was so disappointed with my quilting that I folded up the un-bound quilt, shoved it in a corner, and let the cats sleep on it. When I finally washed it, the dryer did wonders for it, and while it's so very far from perfect, the crinkles hide a lot of the quilting and I decided to finally bind the thing and finish it up.

I'm glad to have it done. Finished size is 43"x51". It'll make a good picnic quilt since I don't care if it gets stained, but for now the kids are having a grand time building forts with it.

Another project that I started a few months ago and have been meaning to finish is an embroidery of one of Bean's drawings. Bean has never been into art, but this spring brought a new-found love of outer space and, miraculously, a need to express that love through drawing. For the first time, he brought home drawings from preschool every day - rocket ships, planets, aliens. Fully recognizable drawings. I am so in love with his art and the passion in which he describes it all.

I had recently seen this and decided that it was the perfect medium to turn Bean's drawing into a keepsake.

Bean seemed partly proud and party curious that I would have taken his drawing and "did sewing" with it. It hangs above my sewing table and he's more than a bit miffed that he can't have it for his bedroom wall, so I see another one of these in my future.

A big thanks to Meg for the kick in the pants I needed to finish these projects and make way for new ones.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Giveaway Winner


Specs: This table of 1 random numbers was produced according to the following specifications: Numbers were randomly selected from within the range of 1 to 40. Duplicate numbers were not allowed.


I used Stattrek to generate a random number (in unrelated news, if you know how to copy the cute little table from, will you please let me know?) and the winner is Loretta, who wrote:

Go Girl! Congrats!! I could do lots that with adorable pouch, please!! Love you!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Paying it Forward - A Giveaway!

**Comments are now closed.**

I was the winner in last week's Selvage Challenge over at Venezie Designs. A big thank you to all who voted for me. I won a $50 credit at one of Karen's two stores. She has a great online selection, has very competitive prices (and sales!) and assures me that she combines shipping between the two stores. You should totally check her out.

I used my credit to pick up some great fabric - some blenders that I'd been itching for, a few odds and sods, and some fabric for a new dress for Sprout.

As a huge thank-you to those who voted for me, I wanted to spread the love. I'm offering one giveaway with two options - you can choose either a FQ stack or a nifty little pouch.

The pouch is fully lined with the same print as the contrast strip on the exterior. It measures about 9.5" x 6" and will hold whatever your little heart desires.

The FQ stack has four prints - Alexander Henry Heath in Grey, Alexander Henry Luca in Pink, Spring Street Sketchbook Flowers in Green (which I got from Karen), and Moda Basics Notebook Paper.

The giveaway is open to everyone - I'll ship internationally. Just leave a comment and tell me which prize you'd like - it's as easy as that. Don't forget to leave your e-mail address if you're a no-reply blogger. I'll draw a winner Tuesday when I wake up, so you have 'till then to get your entry in. Good luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Harvest

Oh my - I'm not sure where I lost my brown thumb, but I seem to have misplaced it. Do you remember what my fledgling garden looked like a mere month ago? Let me refresh you.

What a difference a month (A SINGLE MONTH!!) makes.

(Do you love my firefighter in the background? I love him.)

I'm so proud of my little garden. I actually had to rip out two of my four pumpkin pants that were started from seed because OHMYGOD those things are large and invasive. The spinach isn't doing well - I'm guessing it's way too hot for it, so I will enjoy the tiny sprouts that I have now and will try it again in the fall. Other than that, things are growing happily.

We had our first mini-harvest today - a cucumber, some radishes, a bunch of basil, the tiniest bowl of spinach you ever saw, and some pea shoots, which I probably shouldn't have picked, but couldn't resist.

Lots of tomatoes are on the way, as are more cucumbers. I'm looking forward to what the next month brings to our plates. I was late in starting this garden, so my harvest is a bit behind the curve. If you're gardening, I'd love to know what you're harvesting now.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Sorbet Quilt

I bought this fabric a while back thinking that it would make a great quilt back. It's a bigger scale print than I'm usually drawn to, but it's bright and happy and I had to have it. I started collecting shades of green, orange, and pink for the quilt top and was thinking that some half-square triangles would be great. There are so many options with HSTs, but in my mind, the quilt was always going to be offset concentric diamonds. Just like this.

I love the way it came out. The colors are some of my very favorites (if I had a dime for every time I paired pink and orange, I'd be filthy rich) and the prints are great. Some Spring Street in orange, Modern Meadow Herringbone in pink, and City Weekend in green, just to name a few. *swoon*

When the quilt top was done, it was so bright and summery to me that I changed my plans for the backing. As much as I love my inspiration fabric, I had a voile backing on my brain for Sprout's quilt, and though I have decided to back hers in flannel, I thought a voile back might make this quilt just perfect for a light summer throw.

I chose a Valori Wells print - the large width of this fabric meant that I could back this 44"x64" quilt with a single piece of fabric. The voile was not as hard to work with as I had feared. I used a 75/11 needle rather than the 90/14 needle that I usually use for quilting, and it quilted perfectly and didn't damage the delicate voile. This quilt is perfect - it is everything I wanted it to be for a warm weather quilt. Light. Bright. Thin but cozy.

I used straight line quilting that followed the lines of the diamond pattern on the front of the quilt. The lines are at random intervals, which matches the random look of the front.

I need another quilt in my house like I need a hole in my head - the shop would be such a better place than my home for this quilt. But I'm just not sure that I can bring myself to list it - I love this one an awful lot. It is folded in a safe place for now - waiting for me to make up my mind on it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Please Vote!

Karen over at Venzie Designs is hosting a Selvage Challenge this week and she thoughtfully invited me to join the contest. There are some amazing selvage projects - if the Selvage Day at Stash Manicure didn't whet your appetite for these lovely gems, maybe this contest will. Selvages totally rock.

I have some stiff competition this week. Cindy at Live A Colorful Life also submitted a beautiful selvage quilt. She's known for all things selvage - I think she might even love 'em more than I do. And there's an adorable bunny made out of selvages that you can even purchase. You should totally check them both out after you vote for my quilt.

So head over to vote at Venzie Designs today. It'll take something like 30 seconds of your time. You know you want to.

And this quilt? The one I love with all of my heart? It took a lot more time to make than 30 seconds. Really. Big thanks in advance.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

She Turns Three

I started my blog when our family of three turned into a family of four and life became pretty insane. Spout was the one who completed our family; she was born three years ago today - 7:02am on 7/2. I accused the nurses of fudging her time of birth, but apparently they take these things very seriously and assured me that 7:02am was in fact Spout's legitimate time of birth. I spent last night re-reading my birth story and getting nostalgic.

For her second birthday, she got a shirt with a "2" on it and she's been wearing that thing for a whole year. It's really small on her now, so I made her a new one for her 3rd birthday, complete with "sparkles" around the neck. She loves it.

Before she went to bed last night, we asked Sprout what kind of cake she wanted. In typical fashion, she was very specific and asked for cake that had "a little bit of pink on it, with chocolate frosting and sprinkles that are purple." So that's what I made for her.

We also asked her what she'd like for her birthday and I swear to you that when she answered "fabric to sew with" I almost wept. Spout is now the very proud owner of a Singer Pixie Plus and five FQs from my LQS. Happy birthday little girl.

Sprout told me that she wanted to make a quilt, but when I told her that we could make a skirt that she could wear today, she was sold. She picked out the fabric she wanted and I plugged in her new machine. It's basic but smart - there is a foot pedal, but for people with little legs that can't yet reach the floor, there is a button that will engage the needle, so Sprout can make the machine sew all by herself.

I taught her how to raise and lower the presser foot, turn on the sewing action, and cut threads. Together we helped guide the fabric through the machine. And in less than an hour, Sprout was wearing the very first piece of clothing she ever sewed. On her third birthday.

We zig-zaged the raw seams, but 3 year olds aren't known for their patience, so the fabric isn't prewashed. We'll see how it holds up once it's washed. Both the length and the stitching are uneven, but it fits and she loves it. And so do I.

I am such a proud mama. I can't wait to sew more with her - I wonder what she'll want to make next. Happy birthday, my sweet little girl.