Sunday, July 26, 2015

AGF Stitched - Fractal Quilt with Free Pattern

The Fat Quarter Shop and Art Gallery Fabrics have teamed up again to create a free pattern.  Let me introduce you to my version of The Fractal Quilt using Happy Home Fabrics by Caroline Hulse.  
fractal quilt
One of the best things about this project is that it uses y-seams and there is a video tutorial with instructions on how to construct the quilt.  This is a great project for anyone who is wanting to try y-seams for the first time, they really are not that scary!
fractal quilt
The only change I made to the pattern was to alternate Fabric D and Fabric H (the yellow and green) instead of having them always in the same location.  I just felt like this helped balance out my fabrics and didn't require any additional fabric yardage.  

The Happy Home fabrics are gorgeous and include several great blenders.  I saved my absolute favorite print for the binding.
fractal quilt

and my other favorite for the backing.  Okay, maybe they are all my favorite.  
fractal quilt
Finished Size: 56.5" x 61.5"
Pattern: Fractal Quilt
Fabrics: Happy Home by Caroline Hulse
Kit Available Here

You can find additional versions of the Fractal Quilt . . .


Friday, July 24, 2015

At Dusk Quilt

Earlier this year I designed a project using Kona cottons and submitted it to Quilty.  A few weeks after it was accepted, I found out that Quilty was going to stop producing new issues and my quilt wasn't going to be published.

Soon after this the good people at Robert Kaufman asked me if I would be interested in making the quilt for them and having it released as a free pattern.  Yes I would!
This quilt uses almost all of my favorite Kona colors and come together pretty quickly considering that it is a 60"x75" quilt.  You can find more details about the quilt here and the free pattern will be available soon.

Since this guy is sleeping much better . . .
this photo is from a few weeks ago but it's my favorite :)
and I am back from my sister's wedding . . .
my youngest sister Kelly with her new husband, my kids, and another sister's kids
I think I will be back to posting more regularly.  I appreciate all of the support in my efforts to make my time here more meaningful and hope to be making more posts that are helpful (tips, tutorials, etc.).  I also am going to be doing a little redesigning so if things might start looking a little different soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fabric Selection

One part of the quilting process that was the most difficult for me as a new quilter was fabric selection.  It was terrifying.  I am not very fashionable and have never been very artistic, so for a long time I sewed almost exclusively with collections of fabric.

Now that I have been quilting for a few years, this is my favorite part of the process. I didn't say it is the easiest - it can still be challenging - but it is oh so much fun.  There are so many people out there who put together amazing fabric combinations and there are so many different ways to go about it, but I thought I would show you what I do.

1.  Build a stash of basics (of course there is a lot involved in building a stash and it deserves its own post, maybe someday).  It is up to you how much fabric you want to have on hand, but I think it is helpful to have basics.  These are fabrics that are primarily one color and that aren't too busy.  Probably about 90% of fabrics that I buy are basics, 5% are fabrics that are kind of crazy but that I love (though they rarely get used), and another 5% are fabrics that are on sale (or that I really love) that I buy for quilt backs.

2.  Pick a color palette.  Type in "color inspiration" into Pinterest and you will have more options than you know what to do with.  One thing that I like to do is to use a fabric for color inspiration.  I'm going to use this pretty voile which will also be the backing for the quilt.
fabric selection
3.  Pick a bunch of fabrics (mostly basics) that coordinate with your color inspiration.  I usually leave them on the counter in my sewing room and add and subtract fabrics over a few days.  Sometimes I stick to my color inspiration and sometimes I go in a completely different direction.
fabric selection
4.  And this is the part that has made fabric selection much easier for me: I put the fabrics in rainbow order.  I don't know if this will be helpful for you, but for me it lets me see if I have too many of certain shades or if I have fabrics that clash with each other.  This quilt isn't rainbowy, but arranging the fabrics in rainbow order helps me to edit the fabrics.  
fabric selection

That's how I do it.  If you are feeling uneasy about selecting fabrics, I guarantee that if you practice you will become more confident and your skills will improve dramatically.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some sewing, some thoughts

Yes, I am still here!  I have been sewing a little here and there - mostly projects that I have been committed to finish for a while and that I can share soon, but not yet.

I have also been making bee blocks.  These are my do. Good Stitches blocks for Steph.  How cute are these little houses?
House blocks
I have also been spending lots of time with my family.  My husband's office gave him 8 weeks of paid paternity leave which has been amazing.
And having this time has given me a lot to think about regarding how I have been spending my time and how I would like to be spending my time.  This doesn't really have anything to do with quilting because I love the time that I am able to spend sewing and I consider it important for my sanity, but there are lots of things in my life that are not important.  

But the main thing that does need to go: social media.  Not completely, because I like sharing and seeing what other people share, but it needs to move way down the priority list.  I got rid of my Facebook account about a year ago when I realized that it was not only wasting my time, but it was making me more stressed and less happy.  It felt like it was tying me down.  And now Instagram, blogs, and keeping up with news sites is doing something similar.  More than anything I just need to put my phone down and be more present in my life.  

So I don't think much will change around here.  I still want to make things and I still want to share them, but I want to try to respect your time more and make my blog a more worthwhile and encouraging place to be.  It might take me a while to get there, but that is the direction I am hoping to go.  So if there is something that you would like to see in this space, please let me know.  Thank you so much for your support, I couldn't do it without you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Teacher Gifts

Last week at the very last minute, I decided to sew up some bags for my kids' teachers instead of going the gift card route.  It was definitely much faster than last year's gift, but I wanted to keep up the tradition of handmade and this pattern was about as much time as I could manage with this little guy (who is now 1 month old!).
August is 1 month old
I used some canvas prints from Fabricworm for the outside of the bags with coordinating prints for the lining.  I had forgotten how fast this pattern was and thank goodness, because August is a little colicky.
Harper picked this cute Teagan White print for her bag.  I love this print, and this line in general.  It is so sweet.
Jonah picked a Charley Harper print.  Initially I wasn't really feeling this print, but in person it is really great.  This bag was a little hard to give away.

We are lucky to have had excellent teachers this year and I wish I could have done more to show them how much we appreciated them.  I can't believe I will have a 2nd grader and a kindergartner next year!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Quilt Remix

Since I have been spending lots of time with a baby sleeping on my shoulder (not that I'm complaining, it's amazing!) and haven't been able to do any sewing, I thought I would spend some time playing with different fabrics in my Skopelos Quilt layout (in case you missed it, I wrote up a quick tutorial here).  I worked with fabrics from each of my sponsor's shops.  It's amazing how using different fabrics can change the look of the quilt! 

I am in love with the First Light collection.  This would be a fun quilt for a baby boy.

I stuck with Cotton + Steel prints for this quilt and really like how alternating the white Kerchief print makes the darker prints stand out.

I love rainbows and I am in love with this new collection of basics from Lecien.  

This is another great combo for a baby boy (or any boy). 

Lizzy House is amazing and I am in love with her Natural History collection, especially the dinosaurs.  

My Mom just came into town and since she is going to want plenty of her own baby snuggle time, I am hoping to have a little sewing time this week so hopefully I will have something new to share with you soon!

Friday, May 29, 2015

New Pillows

About a year-ish ago I made new pillow covers for the couch pillows (see here and here).  They have endured quite a bit of abuse from the children over the past year since they like to treat them as trampolines and the covers were looking pretty shabby. Before the baby was born I wanted to get new covers made since I knew I would be spending lots of time on the couch.
new couch pillows
Well, I got the front of the pillows made and quilted but then August decided to be born 6 days before his due date so they didn't quite get done.  Since then I have managed to fit in 5 minutes of sewing here and there and somehow that was enough to get them finished.

Both pillows were made from scraps.  This one from quarter log cabins:
new couch pillows
And this one from rectangles:
new couch pillows
I forgot to get pictures of the backs of the pillows, but they both have a zipper (using this method) and are backed with Essex linen in black.

I was positive that one of my pillow forms was 2" bigger than the other so I made a 20" pillow and an 18" pillow.  But it turns out that the pillow forms are the same size and 19" pillows would have been perfect for both of them.  Oh well, maybe I will remember next time.
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