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!