Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fabric Stashing

So, I have been on a bit of a fabric buying kick lately. I've tried hard to resist, but there's just too much greatness coming out right now. *sigh* I like to keep a relatively small stash (I think). I just find way too much of anything to be overwhelming. But, with the kind of summer we've been having, I haven't really been sewing. It's been nice, actually, taking a break to recharge, think about new projects, catch up on blogs, and such. And, I guess I decided it was time to recharge my fabric stash a bit. Mind if I share?

This lovely stack is a fat quarter bundle of Field Day by Alison Glass. Alison taught a class and shared her story with us all at Sew South, and she was such an awesomely delightful and inspiring person. I knew this collection was at the top of my wish list, and I found it for a pretty fab price here. Ever since it arrived, I've been thinking about this amazing Kaleidoscope Quilt I stumbled across on Pinterest. I think it would be a fitting pattern for this set.

Oh, Pretty Potent. I was quite sure I could resist this collection. But, it kept popping up on my Instagram feed and on blogs, and, then, I also read the story behind it. Gosh, what a story. As I've heard so many others say, it's a collection that is astoundingly more beautiful in person. I chose a fat quarter stack of the "by Sea" colorway and I adore it. I have a cool quilt block idea that I think would feature it well, so I'm excited to give it a whirl.    

Sometimes I just pick out some miscellaneous fabrics that I plan to use in different projects, and sometimes they show up and look surprisingly perfect together. That would be the case with this last pile. It's such a fun bright mix. Perhaps for a bag? Or throw a few more prints in the mix for some sort of plus sign or cross quilt? I dunno, its all just nice to look at and consider.     

From left to right: Kona Cotton in flame red, Quilter's Linen in Fresh Dew, Catnip in mint by Lizzy House, Diamonds are Forevor in Green by Made by Rae, Pearl Bracelet in Cosmonaut by Lizzy House, and Banner Days in Tomato by Anna Maria Horner.  

Last week I pulled down this old, and very dirty vintage box, and cleaned it up a bit. It seems like a great spot to store new fabric so I can see it and ponder it a bit while I'm working on other things. And before I dive in and chop it all up!

As much as I would like to dive into some new projects with these goodies, I still have several quilts I started this past Winter and Spring that I want to finish first. So, until then, I'll just sit back and admire them. Hope you enjoyed some pretty fabric today!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Our Summer

So many times I've written about the season of summer and what it means to us. It is such a significant time of year, especially when you're a child. So much freedom, so much opportunity, so much much sunshine and water and popsicles and bare feet with wrinkly toes and sun bleached tangled hair, and late warm nights.   

We have such an interesting summer break since Maggie and now Joe go to year-round school. Memorial Day to Fouth of July is about it. Five weeks and bam...we're starting a new school year, back to backpacks and homework. Sometimes it feels completely strange to me - this short summer - and sometimes it feels just right. But, whatever the case, I know we must make the most of this time.

This year, my kiddos requested a camp free summer, which I'm cool with (so far!). Other than a couple of activities, we just kind of roll day to day doing what feels right. Some days we do all the summertime things and some days, say, when the toddler face plants on the pool deck and ends up with a giant busted lip, we leave the pool early, come home and lay around like lazy dogs.  It's good and I think we all need this kind of life right now.

It is still a challenge for me to meet the needs of a very active and mischievous toddler with those of two older and much more independent children. But, as much as I can, I try to take my cue from the older two, who are amazingly patient and flexible. If I just stop and look at them, I see that they are all so happy, smiling and laughing - oh my, there has been a lot of laughter in our house this summer.  Summer is not always going to be magical for them, so I'm very, very thankful for these beautiful days. I hope you're enjoying your summer, however you choose to spend it!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mini Quilt Swap

I recently became part of a fun swap group with six other ladies that also went to Sew South. We were all newbies to Sew South this year. Several of us live around this area in NC and the others live in SC, so we appropriately call our group "Sew Carolina". I love, love, love our little group, especially that there are just 7 of us, and how we've gotten to know each other.

To kick things off, we decided to do a mini quilt swap. I was so excited because 1) Prior to the swap, I didn't have a single mini quilt on my wall in my sewing space and 2) I absolutely love sewing small quilts...really, I could see myself getting addicted to these.

So, first I want to share the mini-quilt I received! Kelly picked my name and she nailed it!! Isn't it perfect?!  I've admired tree quilts like this for so long, I'm so happy to finally have one.

I adore the improv-style piecing, the assortment of greens and those little pops of aqua. Not to mention, the quilting is perfect!

I also shared with Kelly how fitting this mini quilt is for me...I truly love to be amid trees or wandering around on a path in the woods and this quilt reminds me of that. So, thank you thank you, Kelly for making me this quilt - it is so very special to me!  

I made a mini quilt for my friend, Tamie. When I found out she was my partner, I started following her on Pinterest. Right off the bat, I noticed that I loved everything she pinned - good sign! Her quilting boards were really inspiring to me and full of ideas. I noticed that she had a lot of quilts with flying geese or half-square triangle designs, so I decided to do something with those type of blocks. She also mentioned that she liked the look of linen with bright colors, which I incorporate in so many of my own quilts. I chose an assortment of bright prints, some low volume prints, and some Essex yarn-dyed linen in flax.

I'm typically so stubborn about using patterns when I make quilts. But, after playing with some of my own ideas for a while, I kept returning to this tutorial by the Purl Bee and decided to give it a go. It was so easy to follow and came together quickly. I made a couple of changes to the arrangement of the geese, but for the most part, I mimicked the design of the Purl Bee quilt. I think if I had not followed the tutorial, I would've been inclined to arrange the flying geese units in a very random fashion, which I don't think would've looked as appealing. So, in that sense, this was a good learning experience for me. 

I quilted it with straight lines about 1/4" apart. I'm so happy with how it turned. I'd love to try this design again! 

I gained so much from Sew South, but by far the best were the friendships I've made with other sewers and quilters. This swap was so much fun, but mostly I feel so lucky to be part of such a fun group of inspiring and talented ladies! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Things for Babies

We were recently blessed with the arrival of twin nephews. Oh, you guys, they are the sweetest little people in the world. Seeing them snuggled up together just melts my heart. We're so happy that they live close so we can hopefully spend lots of time together.

Divided Basket

Naturally, anytime a baby arrives in my family I start thinking about quilts. I have been formulating plans for these guys and picking out bits of fabric here and there and can't wait to start creating something special for them. But, in the meantime, I made some goodies to welcome them to this world, and hopefully make things a bit easier on their Mom and Dad. I mean, I can't even imagine the number of diapers, burp cloths, and bibs they'll need. Oy!

So, to keep everything organized I started with a Noodlehead Divided basket. I've seen so many versions of this basket made for babies and I love how functional they are. Aside from piecing and quilting some fabric for the front pocket, I stuck with the pattern (it's a great one!). I found this fox print at Joanns and thought it was pretty darn cute, so I paired it with some denim essex yarn-dye linen and a couple of bright prints from Chicoppee by Denyse Schmidt. 

Basket for Babies

Divided Basket Inside

Divided Basket Back

Now, for all the little things...I first saw burp cloths like this on Anna's blog (here), but the original tutorial is over here on Probably Actually. They are so soft, so functional, with a fun band of fabric on each end.

Burp Cloths

I've been making wash cloths like these for years. What seems like eons ago, I tried cloth diapering with Joe. Along the way, I picked up some amazingly soft organic bamboo velour, thinking I'd use it to make cloth wipes. It's seriously soft stuff, but also insanely stretchy. I make a new stack about once a year for my kiddos to use in the bath. Making them has been a battle with how stretchy the velour is but this time around I finally found a trick to make it super easy...I essentially glue basted the pieces together. I've started using glue a lot more in my sewing room (good ole' Elemers) and am amazed at how helpful it is! More on that later, perhaps?


These bibs were my favorite thing to make. I used the Best Baby Bib pattern by Jennifer Casa. I suppose you don't really need a pattern for bibs - there are dozens of free ones available out there or it's easy enough to trace your own. But, I adore the patchwork style and sweet shape of these bibs. Jennifer's patterns are always great with a little something special to them. I used an organic knit for the ties so these will be super soft on their sweet little necks. 


So, of course, I had to sew something fun for big sister too. Riley loves dolls and stuffed animals, so I knew right away that I wanted to use the adorable Three Bears Sleeping Bag pattern by Flossie Teacakes. The one thing my kiddos have always begged for me to make them are stuffed animal sleeping bags...over, and over and over again. I've had my eye on that pattern for a long time and I'm so happy to finally have it on hand. It's such a sweet pattern, simple to follow, with three different size options. Riley's is stitched up in Briar Rose fabrics by Heather Ross, which, tells it's own little story. 

Bear Sleeping Bag

Bear Sleeping Bag

I've been doing so much fun, gift-y sewing this Spring and I have to say - it's the best! Now, these boys better not grow up before I finish their quilts!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Over at Imagine Gnats: Felt Family Photo Book Tutorial

Oh, this is a good one! I'm over on Imagine Gnats today sharing a tutorial for a super awesome Felt Family Photo Book. We took silly pictures in our backyard on a Friday night and by lunchtime the next day, I had this fun little book all stitched up. I love it and I think you or some little person in your family would love one too! So, pop on over to Imagine Gnats to read all about it!

I can't leave this post without sharing these pictures...the Gods of silly family photography must've been shining down on us that night. Everyone was in their perfectly silly element. We popped a tripod up and literally, click...we had one of my favorite pictures of all of us...ever! Enjoy!