Sunday, May 1, 2016

a birthday quilt

I finally finished this quilt for my daughter.  For the past few years I have been making quilts for nieces and nephews as they have turned 8, so I knew I wanted to make a new quilt for my daughter's bed for her 8th birthday.  But we are in a little bit of a limbo situation where we are trying to decide whether to keep Harper in her twin sized bed or get something a little bigger, so we are gong to wait just a little while before we make a bed sized quilt.

So here is our in-between quilt.
birthday quilt for Harper
It is a little on the smaller size (42" x 56"), but should be a good size for snuggling on the couch.  This is actually my preferred size for using at my desk.
birthday quilt for Harper
Because Harper was not very happy about not getting her new bed quilt immediately (we are going through a little bit of a drama queen phase) I wanted to do a few things to make the quilt extra special.  So the first thing I did was use Quilter's Dream wool batting.

I have used wool on 4 different quilts; I have used Quilter's Dream twice and other brands twice.  If you want to use wool, go with Quilter's Dream and I am not just saying that because they are a sponsor.  It is awesome and fluffy and easy to work with.
birthday quilt for Harper
The second thing I did was use double gauze for the backing.  I have used it in a few quilts, but never as backing and it went better than I expected.  Soft and squishy and very easy to hand quilt.  This is from Sarah Jane's Sommer collection.  
Harper's birthday quilt
The last new thing that I tried was using voile as binding.  I bought some Free Spirit solid voile in Cobalt and it was gorgeous to work with.  Instead of my normal 2.5" wide strips, I cut my binding strips 4" wide.  It was a fun change and it gives the edge of the quilt a nice, silky feeling.  

And, as you can see, I hand quilted this one.  After using the extra squishy batting, the extra soft double gauze backing, and the extra silky voile binding, I didn't really have a choice.  Plus I am really enjoying having a hand quilting project here and there.  Or maybe I just love an excuse to lounge on the couch.  

Dresden Carnival Giveaway Winner

Don't worry, I didn't forget to pick a winner!

According to our friend random.org the winner is . . .
Congratulations Carmen!  I will be emailing your shortly for your mailing address.

Thanks everyone for entering!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dresden Carnival Blog Hop (and giveaway)

Welcome!  Today is my stop on the Dresden Carnival Blog Hop.  The book was written by a mother and daughter, Marian Gallian and Yvette Marie Jones.  I will admit that I have never made a dresden quilt because I thought it was kind of intimidating, but this book is really making me want to give it a go.

I was immediately drawn to this Lily Pad project.  I love how much movement the quilt has.
And then in this alternate colorway.  I would have never guessed that this quilt was based on the Dresden plate.  The dresdens are appliqu├ęd, which is a little scary for me, but I think I am going to have to try it anyway.  
 And how gorgeous is this?  I love the floating petals.
I think that this is a great book for people who love Dresden quilts, but it is also a great quilt for people like me to who would like to branch out a little bit and try something new.

And there is a giveaway!  Stash is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner.  To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post.  I will choose a winner on April 29th.

The giveaway is now closed.

Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop:

 Mon. April 18:

Tues. April 19:

Wed. April 20:

Thurs. April 21:

Fri. April 22:

Mon. April 25:

Tues. April 26:

Wed. April 27:

Thurs. April 28:

Fri. April 29:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Birthday Sewing

Thank you all so much for your comments, words of encouragement, and advice on my last post.  I have sent the pattern off to a few people to have them test it so hopefully that goes well and the pattern will be available sometime next month.  

Today is Harper's 8th birthday and I was really surprised how interested she was in having me make things for her birthday.  Not that she didn't also want store bought things - because she wanted plenty of those too - but she requested a crown, a quilt, and a bag.  I made the crown, am working on the quilt, and the bag will have to be a belated gift.
Here is the quilt top that I am working on.  I am hand quilting it, so it will be another week or so before I am done, but I used double gauze for the backing so I am excited to give the quilt to her.  As you can see, she isn't big on pink ;)

We went pretty simple for her birthday crown.  I just used 2 pieces of wool felt with a layer of stiff interfacing in between.  The trim is hot glued on.
Harper turns 8
Her other birthday requests were science toys, getting her ears pierced, and a Nerf bow and arrow.  My mom sent her the bow and arrow and she is in heaven.
Harper turns 8
She is the sweetest 8 year old I could ask for.  It's hard to believe that this was 5 years ago!
I would like to make sewing something for each of my kids a tradition for their birthdays.  So I was wondering . . . do you do any birthday sewing?

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Carol Quilt

Happy Friday!  We are just wrapping up Spring Break at our house and it has been a long week.  I love my children dearly but they are driving me crazy.

This quilt is actually going to go to one of my son's kindergarten teachers.  She is wonderful; I love how much she appreciates my son's personality and has helped him to learn and grow.
The Carol Quilt
I came up with the idea for the quilt after ordering some of Heather Ross' Tiger Lily fabric (I ordered mine here) to use as a quilt backing.  I love this print - the colors, the flowers, everything.  It is so sweet.
The Carol Quilt
This color scheme was fun to work with but is a little out of my comfort zone.  I love pink and orange, but am not big on yellow or green, but together I really like the color combo.  
The Carol Quilt
The binding is one of my all time favorite prints - Chicopee simple plaid.  I have gone through so much of it and am down to about a half yard, I think I might need to hunt some down.  It makes such a great binding fabric.  
The Carol Quilt
I am actually working on a pattern to release in my Etsy shop.  This is new for me and is pretty intimidating.  I am hoping to have it available sometime next week and am considering whether I should have a couple people test the pattern.  Have you ever released a pattern?  Did you have people test it for you?  Is anyone interested in testing it out?
The Carol Quilt
Finished size: 62" x 74"
Backing: Tiger Lily Wreaths Cream (available here, here, or here)
Binding: Chicopee Simple Plaid in Red
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton Select

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stash Builder Box - A Review

A few weeks ago I received an email from the lovely Amanda at Stash Builder Box wondering if I would be interested in trying out their new monthly subscription box.  Yes, I love subscription boxes!  The box arrived yesterday and I wanted to share the experience with you.  I was sent the box for free, but I am going to do my best to give an honest review.
stash builder box
The box got to me quickly after it was shipped and was nicely packaged.
stash builder box
One interesting thing about the Stash Builder Box is that they have a program called Heart Builders.  Anyone can join as a volunteer.  Amanda will send a box of fabric to a volunteer piecer, who will piece the quilt top.  The quilt top is then passed on to a volunteer long arm quilter and then the quilt is donated.  Currently the completed quilts are donated to an organization called Mission Fiji.  
stash builder box
The first things I pulled out were these patterns.  One is a block of the month and one is a quilt by one of my very favorite quilters, Emily.  One thing that I realized though since I am familiar with Emily's work, is that this pattern is available as a free tutorial on her blog.  I asked Amanda about this and she said that starting in June, the box will contain an exclusive pattern each month.  
stash builder box
Next I pulled out the fabric.  There are 6 fat eighths and I was pleasantly surprised to see fabric that I not only really like, but that I am not familiar with.  I tend to do a lot of fabric perusing online and feel like I know most of the collections out there but this one is new to me; it is called Fancy and Fabulous by Riley Blake (the solids are also Riley Blake).  I particularly love the pink floral print. 
stash builder box
The box also contained a spool of white Gutterman thread.  The extras in the box included some basics: a tape measure, pins, a seam ripper, a "Stitchers Gonna Stitch" pencil, and a Chatbooks coupon. 

So . . . who would enjoy the Stash Builder Box?  I think this would be fun for people out there who are either just starting out in their sewing or quilting journey, or who are looking to build up their stash.  Would I personally subscribe?  Probably not.  My stash is taking over my house robust and I have most of the basic supplies I need.  

Are you interested in trying the Stash Builder Box?   Amanda has kindly provided you with a coupon code: enter SBBFREEBOX for $3 off your first month's subscription.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dapper Squares Quilt

I recently had the opportunity make a quilt with Luke Haynes' new fabric, Dapper.  I was really excited to work with the woven fabrics.  They are GLORIOUS!
dapper squares quilt
The tutorial for this quilt is up on the Moda Bake Shop, but I wanted to share a little more here.

You might be wondering what makes these different than regular quilting cotton.  I don't know the technical details, but they feel like a lightweight flannel.  They are a little fuzzy, but not heavy, they have a little bit more stretch to them, but they aren't difficult to work with.
Dapper Squares Quilt
When I was done with the quilt top and trying to decide how to quilt it, hand quilting seemed like the best option.  It kind of took forever (I'm pretty slow) but I am so happy that I took the time.  I considered calling it the House of Cards Quilt because it took me a little more than the entire 4th season of House of Cards to hand quilt it.
dapper squares quilt quilting
I also hand sewed the binding down with perle cotton.  This is the first time that I have tried this method and it was quick, the binding feels secure, and I really like the effect.  

Check out the tutorial for step by step photos.  If you decide to make your own quilt, I would love to see photos!
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