Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Two Hawthorne Threads Scrap Packs

*** Congrats to lucky number 109, Sandra!  Your Scrap Packs are on their way! ***

It's that time of year again!  Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!  I love visiting all the blogs, finding new ones to follow, and the chance of winning some great stuff doesn't hurt.  And once again, I'm pretty excited to get to join in myself.

So if you've visited before, you probably know all about my love of scraps (and if you're new, welcome!).  I love looking into the bin and seeing all the colors.  It's so much fun to mix and match because you can pull a little bit of everything out, without emptying all the shelves of fabric.

This is a picture of the bin months ago (though the working bin, not the bin I've given up on.  And not the mini scrap bucket, because those have a home elsewehere).  It's gotten more packed and I don't even bother trying to force the lid on, but I get really excited when I finish a project using only these little bits!

1.  Catvent Wall Hanging  2.  Pebbles on the Beach Mini  3.  Orange Peel Vines Hanging

So down to business.  I'm giving away two scrap packs from Hawthorne Threads.  They have really great fabrics, and you get some fairly generous cuts.  I absolutely love getting them, because it's a little surprise every time, and always a good one.  The packs come in Warm, Cool, and Fresh.

How to enter the Giveaway!

Leave a comment telling me which TWO you'd like for a chance to win.

Followers, old and new, get a second chance to win.  Just leave a second comment telling me how you follow.

This giveaway is open to US entrants only, and will remain open until Friday, December 12, at 5 p.m. (PST).  If you're a no-reply commenter, make sure you include your email address so I can contact you.

Thanks for stopping by!  And be sure to check out all the great blogs participating in Giveaway Day this year!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friday Finish: Pebbles on the Beach Mini

I have totally fallen in love with needle turn applique.  I've always loved a good hand stitching project, and these projects have turned out a lot easier to do than I thought and I can stitch shapes that I like without having to deal with machine sewing curves.

Our guild (Seacoast Modern!!) had a mini swap with another guild.  The theme was a "Sense of Place" which completely threw me for a long time.  I seriously would try to figure out what I would make, brain would turn to mush, and I'd avoid thinking about it with a different project.

Then, I bought a copy of Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander.  I was completely hooked by this book; great projects, a good read, and pretty colors.  So I tried to see if one of the minis in the book would apply to the swap challenge.  One of the best thing about the seacoast is the beach, and one of my kids' favorite things to do is find pretty shells, rocks, or sea glass, and Aerial Grove kind of reminded me of pebbles lined up on the beach.

So I pulled a rainbow of scraps and started stitching them down to my "sand" fabric.  I had thought to put them upright as a center column with blue ocean to the right and green grass to the left, but it just looked to busy, so blue ocean won.  I used lighter colors close to the sand to get a waves crashing effect.   Then I quilted it all over with a wave pattern.

And of course, you need a label.

Once I finished that mini, I started right up on one that I would get to keep.  I think in the new year, I'm going to start work on a whole quilt of needle turn, as my big 2015 project.  

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Quilt Matters for TGIFF!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday: A Very Do. Good One

So August was my turn again to lead our circle, and I wanted something a bit easier than my first (Pyramid Scheme turned out great, but was a bit more work than I realized).  So while I was scanning Flickr and Instagram for ideas, I came across this quilt by Jeliquilts.  I loved it, and figured blocks of half square triangles had to be easier.

All my bee-mates sent a nine-patch of warm HSTs and cool HSTs.  I waited until I got the blocks in, then made single HSTs and made strips of them to better blend the line between warm and cool.  I'm hoping to get to the quilting this weekend, but I was to excited to not share an early picture of the top (and also get it in to be eligible for showing at QuiltCon 2015!).

Also in the works this week, was getting these blocks done.  They're for the October round of do. Good, but I'm just a tad behind, but they're in the mail!

And that pile of yarn from last week, I finished one cowl out of it, then started on some Endpaper Mitts, realized there wasn't enough contrast to see the pattern, ripped it all back, and started these Diamond Mitts.  They're a really quick knit, especially because I cut down the ribbing quite a bit, so I'm hoping to have them done by the end of the week when the weather really gets cold.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Friday Finish: Chicopee Plus Quilt!

Here's an old finish for Finish It Up Friday.  I'd finished this quilt a while ago, but didn't want to over share it in case the new owners decided to check my blog.  You never know, and never want to ruin a surprise.  Anyway, I downloaded the pictures to the computer and completely forgot about them until a few days ago when I decided to tidy up my folders.  Yay!

This was a kind of joint collaboration between my mother and I, one of my cousins got married recently and she decided that a quilt would be the perfect present.  Luckily, I was already thinking about a quilt, so she helped me with some of the supplies and then let me have free rein.

I went with Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line because it just works together, but seems to have a little of all the colors.  I wasn't sure what my cousin would like, so I wanted to give them all of them, in a way that wouldn't blow their eyes out.  And Chicopee does this really weird thing where it's loud and subtle, masculine and feminine, large prints and small prints, retro and modern.  I don't know how it's possible, probably magic.

I modified a pattern for neutral pluses on print backgounds, though for the life of me I can't remember which pattern I used.  And I'm really glad that I gave all those prints some room to breath.  Bonus, it gave me a lot of negative space to quilt!

I used Aurifil Spring Green and a discontinued Isacord in teal.  I would quilt a little in one color, then switch when I got bored.  The effect is subtle on the Essex Yarn Dyed Black linen, kind of like green and teal shadows.  (I really wish I'd gotten better pictures, but it was a rainy week, and my only chance for photos was a half hour window at the reception when it wasn't pouring, on the soaking wet ground.)

I rotated between a handful of quilting patterns in the pluses, all in, more or less, coordinating thread.  This star pattern ended up being one of my favorites, that will get put into the usual rotation.  It's super fun, and doesn't have to be exact to look nice.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday: All The Yarn!

Last night a friend came over because I wanted to wind two hanks that I was planning on knitting into another warm and fuzzy cowl.  But once you have the swift and winder set up, you might as well ball every hank in the house.  I knew about two of these, but apparently I subconsciously hoard yarn, so I kept pulling hanks out of bins in my sewing area.  Surprise!

And, yes, those pinks are as neon as they look.

So today, I'm knitting up the two balls that started it all.  They're a really strange color.  It's chartreuse, and fuchsia, and lilac.  Pretty much so ugly it's pretty again.  And it's Malabrigo, so it's super soft.  The pattern is Thirty-Eight by Jane Cochran on Ravelry.  It's all seed stitch and ribbing, which is not my favorite way to knit, but I love the texture, so I'm stuck with it.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wanderlust Honey Cowl

 Oh hi there!  Remember me?  I used to write a blog?  Yeah, instead, I've just been sitting at home sewing and knitting without you.

Well, anyway, today I decided to just get back at it.  I looked down, and there was my Honey Cowl, all fuzzy, warm, and unblogged!  Perfect!  I tossed it on the girl, grabbed my camera, and made grand promises about leaving a bag of Halloween candy unprotected on the table (models always demand candy in their green rooms).

This is one of my favorite knits so far (so favorite I made sure to add it to my Ravelry page).  It was quick and easy, but it's still pretty.  And the yarn is  It's Madelinetosh Merino DK in Cosmic Wanderlust.  I bought it as my souvenir from Purl Soho on a trip this summer, and there's still one more ball to make into a hat.

Or I might have to just make a second Honey Cowl for the little girl.  She loved wearing it and it's so cute on her!  And seriously, I'm completely unable to say no to this face.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Trouble with Tula...

So fair warning: this post is frustrating.  I'm frustrated, therefore I'm trying to get it out by posting here, which may end up with you being frustrated.  But you were warned.

I bought this layer cake the second it hit the shop.  I'm obsessed with Tula Pink because her prints look absolutely insane but beautiful.  Who wouldn't love a giant Parisian ship pompadour print?

Naturally, I jumped on the chance to get a little bit of a whole line.  I had grand visions of making a quilt with just this line (something I never do and feels very exotic to me), but the longer I look at all these crazy prints together, the less convinced I am that I'm in love.  

There are absolute hits, like this blue camping scene, but then it's next to these pastel pinks to the left and melons and oranges to the right.  I just don't think it works for me!

And I've already got a Staple dress that I made from the navy deer print, but that pink one above makes my brain hurt.

So now I have to decide whether I want to abandon my plan to make one quilt out of all these, or to scrap the original plan and come up with a new quilt idea.

The original plan was to make the cover quilt from Dana's Imagine Quilts.  I was thinking of using some dark grey sashing and maybe a navy background for the round bits.  But I'm not sure I want to put all the effort into those curved seams if I'm not sure I'll absolutely love the result.

My other thoughts are to do a Sparkle Punch quilt a la Oh Fransson! Or maybe a plus quilt similar to this one from Film in the Fridge.  Both are fairly simple and quick to make, and would break up the prints so they aren't so in your face.

Anyone have any thoughts?  I'm pretty open to suggestions at this point because I want to get this done so I like the fabric again!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Finish: Round Trip Quilts!

Remember back during the summer when I joined the New Blogger's Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June?  A few of those bloggers joined up to make the Round Trip Quilts round robin bee.  I've already send my center out to Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe, and I'm super excited to see what she does with it.

This center (the four blue/grey stars on yellow) was started by Leanne at Devoted Quilter, and I was a bit stumped by it at first.  As part of our package, we sent along notebooks with notes about our likes, dislikes, ideas for the quilts, etc., and Leanne said she wanted us to just do our thing and not to be scared of using any colors or prints, but to keep it stars.

So I knew I wanted to add a lot of color, partly because that's my thing, but also so it doesn't stick to one color scheme too early in the quilt.  I decided to do tiny little stars along two sides, but was pondering how to add more than six colors/prints, when my friend suggested I do some Victoria Findlay Wolfe-esque centers.  Normally, I wouldn't throw that much crazy at a quilt that wasn't mine, but I figured in such small amounts, it would be perfect.

I pieced the centers out of my tiniest scraps, then trimmed them down to 2.5 inches.  Then made flying geese for the points and trimmed them down to 2.5 inches wide.  It was a challenge working with such small pieces, but sewing bigger and trimming down made it a lot more accurate.

I'll be sending this one off to Chelsea as soon as I can get to the post office.  And soon I'll be getting Jennifer's (of Never Just Jennifer) center.  I was in love with it from the start and can't wait to see it in real life.

Here's the bloggers in the group!

Heather at QA CreationsLeanne at Devoted QuilterKim at Ties That Bind QuiltingLiz at Green Cheese QuiltingMary at See Mary QuiltChristina at WIPs and TutsJennifer at Never Just JenniferChelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Glory Be Quilter for TGIFF!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Toys: Mini Hex N More Ruler

So I work in a fabric store.  It's pretty much like being told you have to browse for eight hours before spending any money.  There's a lot that I want, and my wish list just gets longer every time we get new bolts of fabric in, but I'm trying to not blow every paycheck the second I get it.

And in the spirit of spending smaller amounts of money, I got the Mini Hex N More ruler.  I get to see how I like it before buying the regular sized rulers, because those are obviously on the wishlist too.  And I figured it would be perfect for cutting out mini hexies for some EPP that I might get around to someday.

After storing the ruler in my bag for a couple weeks (read: it's so little I completely lost it) I finally pulled out my box of medium-sized scraps and decided to see if I could put together some pinwheels.

Cutting with such a little ruler wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.  I had a little snafu and cut the wrong sized triangles.  I tried to fix it by making some very scant seams, but the damage was done.  I tried some creative pulling and stretching and pressing, but I just ended up with bulgy centers.  They did come together fast though, so that was a win.

Here's the next batch of pinwheel parts, now with the proper triangles, ready to go.  I think the first set will get quilted to death and maybe made into a pouch or book cover.  And after this, I think I'll make a mini out of little hexies and triangles.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday and Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Finish: Robotic Buzz-saw Baby Quilt

 Here's a super quick post, mostly because I made this quilt under a deadline and shipped it out to the opposite coast before I could get a good day to take pictures outside.  And light on pictures, means a short post, because who really wants to read a novel about a quilt?  No one.  But a picture book, absolutely.

Anyway, I blew a gift card a while back on a couple books that had just come out.  One was Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Quilts.  I'm really pleased with that decision, because a week later I realized that I had nothing to send a friend for their baby shower.  And this Buzz-saw pattern was one of my favorite sneaky short cuts in the book, so perfect time to try it out.

I absolutely loved this pattern.  I had all the blocks sewn up in a day, plus some extras that I decided to cut out.  Day two, was putting them all together and making binding.  And the quilting was a short evening of sewing with friends.  I used a new quilting pattern, a squared loop, which is perfect with the graph paper print.

The parents are both science-types, and no doubt their son will also be a genius, so this fabric from Birch Organics was the perfect line.  Normally I don't go for a whole line in a quilt (said the woman who just made a Chicopee quilt) but this was the time for quickness.  I didn't have time for figuring out a color scheme and pulling fabric.

This also turned out to be a great idea I had, because this fabric is the softest, most buttery, heaven to work with fabric.  It presses so well, and crinkled into the cuddliest quilt.  I really want to buy all Birch and clothe myself in it. (for real guys.)

One of the most fun parts was making the label.  I knew, as a baby quilt, this would get washed a hundred times, and a fabric marker might fade or bleed.  And since I'm not usually a label person, I got really nervous that whatever I picked would be the wrong marker, and again, had no time for testing every marker in the store.

So, I just decided to pull out the embroidery floss and stitched up a label.  I absolutely love it, because I got to color-match my thread to the fabric.  And, I'm pretty sure that the floss will lose it's color about the same time as the fabric disintegrates.

This quilt did make it to the shower, and with a few days to spare.  It has yet to meet it's owner, but I know it will be loved.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Lorna for TGIFF!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Knitting and Stitching Things!

There's so much sewing happening here, I just don't have enough pictures to show you all of it!  I need a live in photographer, or maybe just a remote shutter control.  The latter is probably cheaper to maintain.

In the meantime, here's some progress on my mermaid.  See that little bit of red across her face?  Yep, that's it.  But I did manage to get the rest of the colors I was missing for this, so I can just sit down and finish her now.

And while I was shopping for the last of my colors, I decided to just buy another thread organizer and more plastic cards to wind the thread.  I have one of these somewhere absolutely stuffed with thread, but cannot find it.  It's extra large, so will take a bit longer to fill, but I still have a bunch of floss tucked away in baggies and drawers just waiting to be wound.

And I finally started on some holiday crafting.  Half of our extended family celebrates Christmas on Thanksgiving, so it tends to sneak up on me.  Hopefully this year I won't be binding and burying threads on the drive down to Connecticut.

What are your holiday crafting plans?  I usually make a big list then realize I should have started months earlier!

And you have one more day to head over to Quilty Habit to vote for your favorite Orange Peel Quilt-a-Long quilt.  I'm partial to mine, but there's a lot of great choices!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Little Cross Stitch Mermaid

Summer break is over!  Everyone in this house is excited for school, and I'm excited to get back to a normal schedule.

There was a lot of sewing this summer, but I did a lot of non-sewing crafts too.  I got back out my cross stitch and found this awesome pattern online.  I'm not sure who made it, and the website's all in Italian, but I'm really glad they did.  I started with Ariel, but they have all the Disney princesses done pin-up style.  (I've got them all pinned on my Pinterest board if you want to start your own).

Of course, stitching means that there's little embroidery floss tumbleweeds popping up.  

I was trying to think of what to do with this once it's done.  It's not exactly something I'd hang in the dining room with the family pictures.  I was thinking maybe of sewing it into a bag.  Or maybe stitching up all of them and making a wall hanging for my bathroom.  Still undecided, but it's taking a while to make, so I have plenty of time to figure it out.

Linking up with Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday!

  Sew Cute Tuesday