Wednesday, September 17, 2014

cloudy day baby quilt

A friend of mine is expecting her first baby and she was not exactly thrilled when she found out that it was going to be a boy.  Since I find baby boy quilts a little difficult and this friend has a very strong personal style, I was a little worried about making her a quilt. I wanted to make something that would help her be a little more excited about having a boy since baby boys are just the sweetest.
cloudy day baby quilt
Her style is very minimalist and involves a lot of white.  Originally I was planning on doing an entire quilt of half square triangles made with solid fabrics.  Once I started to cut fabrics I thought that I could probably make it a little more minimal, so I threw in a bunch of white and a few simple prints.
cloudy day baby quilt
I was trying for muted blues, grays, and blacks and I wanted to distribute them to look random. But it turns out that creating a "random" look is much more difficult than it should be. Seriously, this layout took forever and I'd go back and change a few things if I could.  Who knew that random took so much planning?

The backing is an amazing Bark and Branch print.  I was a little sad to use this one up, but it was the right fabric for this quilt. I may need to buy more.
cloudy day baby quilt
I gifted this at a baby shower last week (after finishing at the last minute!) and she seemed to really like it.  Gifting baby quilts is the best.  
cloudy day baby quilt
Finished size: 40" x 50"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Welcome Shabby Fabrics (and a giveaway)!

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I am excited to welcome Shabby Fabrics as my newest sponsor.  Let me tell you a few of the awesome things about this shop.
  • They just launched a birthday club.  You can sign up when you create an account and they will email you a 20% off coupon on your birthday!
  • Earn 5% of your purchase back in loyalty points that can be used on your next order.  
  • I was just browsing around and found a couple of Cotton and Steel prints on sale! 
  • Shabby Fabrics is offering a 10% off coupon to all of my readers.  Just enter Kitchentable10 at checkout.  The coupon is good through 10/18/14.  
And Shabby Fabrics is offering a very generous giveaway.  One lucky person will win this fat quarter bundle of Oh Clementine
This collection is so cute, it has some great versatile prints, and it is designed by the amazing Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew.  

To be entered into the giveaway just leave a comment on this post and make sure that I have a way to contact you.  I will choose a winner on Friday September 19th.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Inspiration Mosaics

When I was in high school I was on the literary magazine staff.  One exercise that we used to help get us to start writing was to pick a famous poem, write down the first few lines, and then use those lines to jump start our own poem.  You were never stuck trying to come up with the first line because your first few lines were already written.

Most of the time the resulting poem bore no resemblance to the original and the first few lines were erased pretty early on, but it was an inspiring way to begin a project.  This is the same way I like to begin a quilt.  I like to take a print or a collection and add, subtract, and edit until I am happy.

And with that long intro, welcome to my first Inspiration Mosaics post.  My plan is to make a monthly post where I choose one favorite fabric from each of my sponsor's shops, and then build on that to create a mosaic.  If I had infinite time and money I would love to make all of these into quilts, but since I don't have either of those, hopefully it will help satisfy that need and maybe inspire someone out there who is feeling a little tepid about putting fabrics together.

Lark Cottons
lark cottons sept 2014
Charley Harper White Breasted NuthatchBotanics Branches CharcoalSquared Elements HoneycombCotton + Steel Basics XOXO DandelionBotanics Branches Blue, Charley Harper Twig Fall MineralArchitextures Crosshatch BlackComma Swinging MustardBotanics Leaves TangerineCotton + Steel Basics Dottie KerchiefBotanics Foliage Teal, Botanics Line Scratch CharcoalBrambleberry Ridge Flight Taupe

I have a special place in my heart for the Charley Harper prints.  If you read my blog regularly you might remember that making a quilt with some of these prints helped me through a difficult time. I used the colors in the Nuthatch print to try to match some more basic fabrics in a variety of shades.  I really like using blues, blacks, and browns together and the Charley Harper prints do that beautifully. 

Lark Cottons is also having a 30% off sale on lots of designer prints and is definitely worth checking out.     

fabricworm sept 2014

I am completely smitten with the beautiful blues and greens in this Kokka floral.  I tried to build on those colors with some basics that won't distract from this pretty print.  Also, how gorgeous would this print be as a quilt backing?  

Fabricworm is having a 15% off sale on all Moda fabrics and, as always, get $5 off a $50 purchase with code Linus5.  

fqs sept 2014
Silver Forest Frivolity, Charcoal Swarm, Spot On Orange, Basics Ghost XOXO, Ansonia Mushroom Connecticut, Littlest Silver Simply Simple, Ansonia Magenta Fine Stripe, Ansonia Onyx Fine Stripe, Cotton + Steel Basics Plummy Netorious, Cotton + Steel Basics Plummy XOXO, Moon Shine Silver Doe Eyed, Cotton + Steel Basics Grape Dottie, Moon Shine Tangerine Static Dot
I am really loving the pinks purples, and oranges in Tula Pink's new collection Moon Shine.  They seem to make this color combination much more grown up.  Plus the deer and bears are so cute.  I really need to get some of these prints into my stash.  

Plus the FQS now has new reduced shipping rates which is so great because I want to spend my money on fabric not on shipping.  

Stash Fabrics 
Stash Fabrics Sept 2014
Brooklyn Bridge in GlareCentral Park in BreezeCrosshatch in CurryScribble Notes in NavyCanyon WallHearts in GrayNY Circuit in AshenSubway Routes in GlowRush Hour in TanOval Elements in Mood IndigoCommute in TaxiCrosshatch in LakeBella in Ochre
I am really in love with everything that Leah Duncan makes and her new collection Gramercy is no exception.  Brooklyn Bridge is my favorite print and I used a few other Gramercy prints in the mosaic.  The Commute and Rush Hour prints would make great stash additions.

Stash has an extensive and awesome selection of clearance fabrics right now so make sure to check those out.  

southern fabric sept 2014
Mimicry Hazel, Plumage Poppy, Miss KateFeathered Flight Sunken, Frames Graphite Grey, Fox Field, Cotton Supreme Solids Dust Pink, Aves Shatter DimStitch Square Teal, C+S Basics Dottie, C+S Basics NetoriousTrendsetterDear Stella Confetti Dots
Southern fabric has a great selection of some of my favorite new collections including Winged, which I am completely in love with.  I really love the peach and pink colors and this collection looks great with some of the Cotton + Steel Basics.

If you haven't checked it out before, Southern Fabric has a great Daily Deal feature.  

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me.  I am planning on making this a monthly feature and would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Now that the kids are back in school I feel like I have a little more time to sew.  Except our air conditioner finally gave up on life last week and I have spent the last several days getting bids for a new AC and boy has that been depressing.  We also entertained 2 separate house guests last week and we will have my sister here for a few days coming up so maybe I haven't really had any more time to sew.

In between those endlessly long, boring consultations with the AC people I got some work done on this baby quilt.  It is for a baby shower tomorrow night so I have until tomorrow night to finish the binding.  I will write a little more about this one when it is finished, but my friend is very minimalist and likes muted colors so I am hoping that this works with her style.
hst baby boy quilt
And number two on my list is the stack that will be for my husband's coworker's new baby.  I have only met him once and I have never met his wife so I am not sure what their tastes are, but he is very good friends with my husband and I thought it would be nice to make something for them.  I figured these pretty Winged prints would work for just about anyone.
winged fabric stack

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Hadley Quilt

When I pulled out the fabrics for this quilt I was initially thinking how fun it would be to work with colors that are a little out of my comfort zone.  But then it occurred to me that you are much more likely to see me wearing these colors in real life than the bright ones that I normally sew with.  So this quilt is more "me" without being what I usually sew if that makes any sense at all.
hadley quilt
The colors for the quilt are based on Denyse Schmidt's newest collection Hadley.  These fabrics are just brilliant and working with the Hadley prints in this quilt makes me want the entire collection.  I love the versatility of Denyse's prints.

The quilt is made up of two simple blocks: a shoo fly and a 9 patch.  They are set on point and I think that traditional blocks work really well with Denyse Schmidt's prints.
hadley quilt
The backing is from Chicopee and this is one my favorite prints of all time.  This is actually the FOURTH time I have backed a quilt with this print (here, here, and here) and I am so pleased that it is still available (you can find a little bit here on sale!).  The binding is a sadly OOP Lecien color basic brown stripe.  If anyone knows where I can find more of this one, please let me know!
hadley quilt
I made this quilt with no purpose in mind, so I think I may hang onto it until I find the right person to gift it to.

Finished Size: a very generously sized lap quilt at 64" x 78"

You can find a wide variety of Denyse Schmidt prints online . . .

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oliver + S Bucket Hats

A couple weeks ago we took a tour of my kids' new school.  We live in Southern California and the schools here are very open air; all of the classrooms open to the outside and the cafeteria is outdoors. They spend a big chunk of their day in the sun and putting sunscreen on them before they leave for school is not enough.

One of the first places that we visited was the preschool/kindergarten playground that my son will be using.  There was a large tree shading the play structure and the snack tables had a little roof over them to protect the kids.  This is exactly what my super pale child needs.

Then we walked over to the 1st-3rd grade playground and just looking at it hurt my eyes.  So much sun and absolutely no shade.  My other super pale child was going to have a problem.

Both of my kids have recently grown out of their bucket hats, so the Oliver + S Bucket Hat (free!) pattern was just what we needed.

I measured their heads and my daughter's was 20.5" which is between the medium and large sizes so I went with the large.  There is a little wiggle room but I'm glad I went with the larger size.
oliver and s bucket hat
The fabric is Petal from Robert Kaufman.  She likes the outer print, but has become partial to the lining print.  Luckily the hat is reversible. 

The pattern is pretty easy and quick.  The only thing that I didn't love is that the last step involves some hand sewing (not my favorite) but it wasn't too bad.

My son's head measured 21.5" (it is huge) which is bigger than the large size.  Once I made my daughter's hat I tried it on my son and . . . it was too small.  Not by much, but it was a little tight.
Oliver + S Bucket Hat
I wasn't really sure how to resize the pattern since I haven't exactly made a lot of hats, so I decided to make a version where I sewed the seam allowances as 1/4" instead of a 1/2".  The pattern has you trim them down to 1/4" anyway.
oliver + s bucket hat
And it worked! I used home decor fabric so I skipped the interfacing on the brim, but I should have kept it since his hat ended up a little floppy.  The fabric is leftover from his curtains and he thought that was awesome.  The lining is Robert Kaufman yarn dyed Essex in Indigo (available here or here).

Both of these hats have been going to school in their backpacks and getting used a recess and we haven't had a sunburn yet!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

around the world blog hop

Last week I got an email from Beth asking me if I was interested in the Around the World Blog Hop.  Since I enjoy reading other people's answers to these kinds of questions I said that I would love to participate.  But these questions are hard to answer!  

1. What am I working on?

Right now I am working a project inspired by the fabrics in Hadley.  There are a few prints from the collection included, plus lots of other Denyse Schmidt prints and a few others.  It is a little out of my comfort zone, but a lot of fun.  The quilt is made up of 9 patch blocks and churn dash blocks set on point.  
I also pulled fabric today for a baby quilt for a friend of mine.  She has a very minimalist style so I am not quite sure where I am going to go with it, but I think it will involve a lot of white, blues, and grays.  

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I have no idea how to answer this question because I feel like I am still trying to find my own style.  I know that I always want to be trying new techniques and sewing with new colors.  My favorite thing is to have a stack of fabrics and then try to figure out the best pattern to use them with.  That's the best.
sparkler quilt

3. Why do I create what I do?

This is something I have been thinking about lately.  I really like to throw myself into projects. Quilting is particularly rewarding because when I am done working on a project I have something substantial to show for it. As much as I love being a wife and a mother, it is important to be my own person and quilting is a great way to express that.

I also enjoy that quilting has both an analytical and a creative side.
Sundown - 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge

4. How does my creative process work?

There are so many different places to be inspired, but I usually start by looking at books or magazines Sometimes I will find an idea, but usually this just helps me to focus my ideas and narrow things down.  

Sometimes I just start cutting fabrics.  I will usually change my mind and those pieces will end up in the scrap bin, but sometimes that sparks an idea.  I used to do a lot of sketching on graph paper, but I have been using EQ7 lately and now I keep a folder of saved projects on my computer that I can look through when I need an idea.  Usually I end up changing and adapting the idea to fit my current project, but that helps spark something.  
fall table runner
I am nominating Amanda from The Cozy Pumpkin.  I think I was supposed to nominate 3 people, but Amanda is so great she can count as all three :) Watch out for her post on Monday September 8th.  
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